The Most Common Website Problems That Affect Business

The Most Common Website Problems That Affect Businesses

Your company’s website is it’s most important online sales asset, period. If you expect to create any sort of value for your company through your website, you need to make sure it’s armed for the task.

Bounce Rate is the indicator that shows you how many people are leaving your website after seeing a single page. When your bounce rate is high, it means visitors aren’t liking what they are seeing or aren’t finding what they’re looking for in your website, even though your company might actually provide what they need. If your visitors are bouncing, your website may have problems related to one or more of these categories:

In this blog, we want to take an in-depth look into the most common website issues affecting businesses all around the globe:

Design

Clean, responsive, and visually-appealing design is indispensable for a corporate website. Your visitors need to like what they see first and foremost before you can start expecting them to provide you with their information. Design problems can range from unappealing or outdated visual design to issues with the website’s internal structure. Poor design can result in slow loading time, confusing navigation, and altogether failing to capture leads or even keep visitors interested in staying. Some of the most common website design problems out there are:

Content

A visually-appealing website will keep your visitors interested for only a short period of time if your content isn’t up to standards. We like to say that “Content is King” because content is the answer to your public’s questions. Content is your online sales pitch; you don’t have a face-to-face interaction with your visitors, so whatever they read on your website has to convince them to take the next step. Content also needs to fulfill certain standards so that search engines can find it. As important as content is, it’s probably the area where many business websites are weakest.  Some common content issues are:

Optimization

So, your website’s look and feel are modern and intuitive, and you regularly add relevant content, but you’re still not getting enough organic visits. You may have missed out on a critical step: SEO.

SEO used to be seen as an afterthought, but nowadays optimization is considered a minimum requirement for search engines to give your website any sort of attention. SEO needs to be taken into consideration from the very first steps of content design. Keywords need to be researched, strategized, and implemented with a tactical approach. Overall, SEO is not an overly complicated process, but you need to know what you're doing to get it right. Common SEO issues are:

Lead Capturing

Lead capturing is the science of funneling a lead through your website content a towards them giving you their information to start the sales process. There both front-end and back-end characteristics of lead capturing optimization. A well-designed information flow, strong Calls to Action (CTAs), and comprehensive contact forms are all part of the front-end aspect of lead-capturing. Behind the curtains, the lead funnel needs to be able to notify your sales team and get them to act quickly. Some of the most common website problems relating to the lead capturing process are:

If you are experiencing any of the most common website issues that affect business, you may need some expert advice. Contact our team to find out how your website can improve and become a powerful sales asset for your company.

5 Ways How PPC Can Help Your Business

It wasn't too long ago when SEO was the solution that every digital marketing agency was pushing for. An entire online culture was built around the concept of Search Engine Optimization and how to get your website to crawl up the rankings and make it to Google's front pages. Nowadays, SEO has become more of a necessity rather than an option. Your business' website needs to be optimized as a minimum requirement or Google will ignore it altogether. So, if all of your competitors are using SEO tactics to make it to Google's front pages, what other options do you have to gain an advantage in this highly competitive digital market?

It's time to learn about the benefits of another 3-letter acronym: PPC.

How Can PPC Help My Business?

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click. In a nutshell, it refers to paid advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. These paid ads on search engines are pieces of well-researched copy placed at the top of a search results page which have been designed to reel-in targeted leads. It's called "pay-per-click" because you only pay when a visitor clicks on your link and goes to your website. In short, PPC is an advertisement that you only pay for when it's effective.

PPC works in tandem with SEO practices using many of the same parameters; well-designed content with highly-relevant keywords that tie into the optimized pages. SEO practices will lead the way for organic traffic, but this takes some time to develop. Your PPC campaign will reel in paid visits and, as your site becomes more visited, your page will start ranking higher. As your website becomes more and more relevant, your PPC strategies will have indirectly boosted your organic traffic as well.

It's important to note that PPC is not a substitute for SEO. SEO is still the most important tactic you'll need to generate organic traffic and earn Google's highest rankings; PPC however, is where your business can really earn a competitive advantage. Here are 5 ways that PPC can help your business in our ever-evolving digital marketplace:

1. PPC is a cost-effective solution

Many businesses are still hesitant to engage in a PPC Campaign because they fear it will cost them too much money without being effective enough. A poorly-designed and mismanaged PPC Campaign can certainly prove unnecessarily costly, but when it is executed carefully, it can prove to be the most cost-effective form of online advertising you can use. An effective PPC Campaign generally follows these "rules":

a. Start with a small investment, measure keyword effectiveness, adjust the campaign, and expand your investment progressively.

b. Use PPC optimization to find the best long-tail and short-tail keywords that can find you better targets at lower costs. Remember, broader keywords are more expensive and more specific keywords phrases are both less costly and will give you more nurtured leads.

c. Be patient, and increase your budget on profitable campaigns. In the beginning, every campaign will take about a couple of months to start showing its true results as initial measurements and optimization adjustments are made.

d. Study your competitors. There is a wealth of information you can get about the competition that can give you insight into how they are working, as well as what they are missing. There are several tools that let you mine data such as which keywords they are ranking, what their ad-copy looks like, and what their PPC budget is.

e. Adjust your keywords constantly. As your PPC Campaign develops, you will generate enough information to see which keywords are being the most profitable as well as which ones are just costing you money. Get rid of keywords that aren't profitable and invest more in the ones that are.

2. PPC has a rapid ROI

SEO will show its benefits over the long-term, but PPC will give you a quick turnover of positive results. Think of it with this hunting analogy; SEO is like setting up traps, while PPC is like aiming at a target and shooting. GoogleAds, Facebook Ads, and other PPC options allow you to make very specific targeting with your advertising. This means you'll be able to aim at audiences that are specifically looking for what you have to offer. You'll be able to direct your ads towards the people most likely to purchase your product or service.

A well-optimized PPC campaign will start showing positive results within the first trimester. A well-managed PPC effort will yield a high number of leads well before a year of investment. The average CTR (click-through rate, or each time a visitor clicks on an ad and goes to your website) is 2%. That may sound low, but the math for ROI is pretty astounding. Let's say you receive 100 clicks per day with a CPC (cost-per-click) of $0.20, your total investment will be $20 in advertising. If your product/service makes you $5 for each sale, you'll only need to convert 4 of those clicks to cover your costs. If you're a tech firm with each contract representing several thousand dollars, you'll be able to make large ROI on several small investments.

Note: If you are looking to lead a successful online campaign to boost your leads, you'll need to make sure your website is optimized both in SEO terms as well as sales conversion terms before you go full steam ahead into a PPC effort.

3. PPC allows you to test how products and services sell online

Running a Google Adwords campaign might be the easiest way to measure the performance of your website as a selling point as well as the online appeal of your products and services. PPC's function is pretty straightforward: you pay when they click and only when they click. This means that leads are taken directly to your doorstep. From that moment, it's up to your website's appeal and your product or service's value to strike a connection with the visitor and convert them into a sale.

If your PPC Campaign is delivering a lot of leads to your website but you aren't converting any of them, then it's likely you have to re-evaluate your website's marketing appeal or the quality and value of your product/service. Using PPC as a way to test how your offering sells obviously comes at a cost, but any company aiming to build its online presence needs to identify where improvement is needed early in their digital marketing journey.

4. PPC works in tandem with other digital marketing tactics

PPC covers a lot of terrain and integrates with every other digital marketing tactic out there:

5. PPC lets you do re-marketing

Attention spans are short in the age of the smartphone. It's likely that many of those visitors that clicked on your ad and visited your website didn't convert into a sale right then and there. This is even truer for company's whose products or services are expensive or require a long-term business engagement. These passerby clickers aren't necessarily lost customers, however. PPC keeps track of who clicks on the ads and can then aim ads at those people again at a later time that reminds them of their interest.

Re-marketing is obviously not as simple as it sounds. Complex algorithms are put in place to identify the best moment to re-market to a visitor and improve the chances of piquing their interest.

Is PPC right for my business?

PPC is a highly-versatile online marketing tactic that can be tailored to fit nearly any business and industry. The more important question you should be asking is if your business is ready to take advantage of PPC. If your website has been optimized with SEO best practices and you have a proper sales funnel structured towards acting on leads quickly, then your business might be ready to start a PPC strategy.

It's also important to note that designing a successful keyword strategy and managing a PPC campaign with constant improvement is not a simple task. Successful PPC strategies require knowledge and expertise in the SEM playing field as well as plenty of time to analyze, adjust, and execute the campaign. This is why it's often a smarter choice to partner with a digital marketing firm with PPC expertise that will help your business have a successful and ever-improving PPC effort. They will also be able to identify what other aspects of your digital marketing strategy might need improvement to ensure that your PPC investment is not in vain.

If you are interested in PPC advertising for your business as well as demand generation tactics, find more information here.

3 Quick Actionable Steps for a Better Connection with your Audience

On today’s fast paced global information sharing era, differentiation will make a difference when it comes to optimizing customer acquisition.  Having an Unique Value for your existing customer base to retain them and sell them more, is as critical as being able to transmit that same message to your potential new customers doing research online.

When they are ready to buy, they will find a provider, whether is your company or your competitor; so here are some actionable steps that will help you improve your overall digital customer experience and attract more qualified leads.

1-     Start by Creating a Great Unique Value Proposition

2-     Adapt to all Mobile Devices

Fully Responsive Designs:  Ensure your website is Fully Responsive and is optimized for all mobile devices as today’s customers spend more time than ever searching on these devices.

Consumers expect a seamless and consistent experience in ALL devices and ALL platforms; therefore, when designing your Corporate website or any Collateral Digital Material always have a as priority your huge audience using mobile devices and in many cases fixed devices of all sizes; from small handheld phones to extended size computer screens to oversized television or projector screens.

The most important thing to consider when hiring an agency to redesign your corporate website is to understand the functionality!  Look and feel are important as it will allow your customer base and audience in general, to be able to connect with your brand; however, to truly drive traffic down to the bottom of the sales funnel; always make functionally your top priority.

3-     Leverage the AIDA Model to Drive Action!

Provide guidance to ensure website architecture convinces visitors to navigate site thoroughly by using all content elements. Guidance will ensure landing pages’ answers visitors’ questions, resolves objections, explains benefits and value of the offer, and provides overall security and confidence

Here are some initiatives to implement  the AIDA for Sales Promotion

Attention:

Interest:

Desire:

Action:

The AIDA model identifies the cognitive stages an individual goes through during the buying process

Conclusion

Understanding your Audience will always be your primary focus; keep in mind that as technology changes, your customer mindset will also evolve and to stay in top of the game, your Digital Marketing Initiatives are to be equally dynamic!

We are here to help you grow your business with effective Digital Marketing campaigns; contact us through the following link, and we can gladly set up a discovery call!

 

Optimize your website: The 5 items you can't miss on your SEO Checklist

The internet has fundamentally changed the way people and companies do business; over 90% of decision makers start the buying process with a search on the internet and referrals from social and professional networks. If your company does not have a good internet presence, you are losing potential clients.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and your overall Online Presence are critical to your business success. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of all sales will occur online, without a sales person interaction during the research, consideration and sales process. This CXGlobals SEO checklist will help you take those critical first steps to maximize your Search Engine Presence and capitalize on the growth opportunities it will deliver.

Among all of the SEO factors that play an important roll on your website's ranking, we would like to highlight 5 of them, as top priorities to start improving your company's online presence today:

1. Canonical Redirect

Each page of a website should be reachable from a single, consistent URL. This address is known as the page's canonical URL, and any others should be redirected to it, avoiding a potential “page rank leak”, which can lose potential ranking weight assigned by the search engine.

The reason behind this is that Google might interpret a link to the page http://www.website.com different than a link that directs to http://website.com, for example, so the page rank would be split between the two URLs, even though they present the same page. One popular method for dealing with this is to utilize the rel=canonical tag, which is part of the HTML head of a web page. For example:

<link href="http://www.website.com/canonical-version-of-page/" rel="canonical" />

This tag tells search engines that the given page should be treated as though it were a copy of the URL www.website.com/canonical-version-of-page/ and that all of the links and content metrics the engines apply should actually be credited toward the provided URL.

2. Sitemap

A sitemap helps search engine spiders to easily crawl your entire site. It is a separate HTML page that acts as a directory of the pages on your website. Each page listed in the site map is hyperlinked, so use keywords in the anchor text. Also, since search engines seem to place more weight on text contained in a bulleted or numbered list, use this format for your sitemap. Sitemaps also help with usability and site navigation, helping visitors to find even deeply nested pages.

3. Having a Robots.txt file on your server

This file tells the search engine spider which web pages of your site should be indexed and which ones should be ignored. It is a simple text file (no HTML), that must be placed in your root directory, for example: www.website.com/robots.txt

How to create a robots.txt file?

Open a simple text editor to create it. The content of a robots.txt file consists of so-called "records".

A record contains the information for a special search engine, consisting of two fields: the user agent line and one or more Disallow lines. Here's an example:

User-agent: googlebot

      Disallow: /cgi-bin/

 

This robots.txt file will allow the "googlebot", which is the search engine spider from Google, to retrieve every page from your site except for files from the "cgi-bin" directory.

Here is another example:

User-agent: googlebot

      Disallow: /support

 

In this case, both the "/support-desk/index.html" and "/support/index.html" pages, as well as all other files in the "support" directory, will not be indexed by search engines.

If you leave the Disallow line blank, you're telling the search engine that all files may be indexed. And you must enter a Disallow line for every User-agent record. If you want to give all search engine spiders the same rights, use an “*” on the “User-agent record. Here is an example:

User-agent: *

      Disallow: /cgi-bin/

4. Adaptability to mobile devices

More consumers than ever are staying connected using smartphones and tablets. If your website is not adaptable to mobile screens, or is taking too long to load on these devices, you might be at risk of losing quality leads. For example, a recent Google Research study showed that 91% search for tech products on mobile devices, so you should consider providing a great user experience for mobile visitors.

You can test your site's mobile adaptability by using Google Webmaster's Tool.

5. Having a Solid Keyword Strategy

Keywords or search phrases are foundational for any SEO or effective content distribution efforts. Finding the most appropriate ones for your business is still one of the most valuable activities in the search marketing field. A website that is well optimized for search engines "speaks the same language" as its potential visitors base, and through keyword research you understand better your customers and learn which terms to target to connect searchers to your site.

So, is keyword-focused SEO still really alive today?

Keywords once meant everything to SEO; search engines collected data about a site mainly based on the keywords a web crawler found on its pages and in its links. Even the keyword meta tag was important back in the day, and all this made it easy for anybody to start stuffing and ranking.

Those days are long gone, and search engines are constantly refining their algorithms, increasingly looking for meaning and not just isolated words, but they still need some kind of text to figure out what a given site is about. Today’s major search engines are able to interpret the data on a website, making conclusions about what your site and your business really deliver by, for example, deriving meanings from synonyms.

In the same way, semantic search is another functionality that’s starting to have a major impact on SERPs. Search engines can also infer meanings from user queries, aiming to find the best answer to any specific question.

So you could show up in the results even if you don’t have that exact phrase on your site, but good keyword research and implementation will make it easier for search engines to understand your content, increasing the possibility of pairing your site with a search query perfectly related to what you offer. After all, it is not about getting visits to your site, but about attracting the right kind of visitors, the ones who will convert in the end, so the usefulness of the intelligence and overall value generated through good keyword research cannot be overstated.

Conclusion

This article gives you the necessary advice to begin your SEO process. Please consider that this is an ongoing process that requires continuous testing and measuring. To achieve high search engine rankings, increase the visitor flow and convert it into sales, leveraging different assets such as social media profiles, having an active blog or promoting your content through link building and social media.

Now you have the necessary knowledge and tools to start optimizing your digital presence, remember that whenever you need help, CXGlobals is here to help you.

Ready to get started? Click here to get a personalized assessment from one of our specialists

Responsive web design officially a critical SEO factor

Google mobile responsive designIn a historic, game-changing move, Google announced that on April 21st they will release a new version of their algorithm that weighs mobile-friendliness more heavily as a ranking factor. Google has always hinted the importance of mobile-friendliness for organic ranking, but now they are using the phrase “significant impact in our search results” with an exact date, so responsive web design becomes urgent and imperative; we can expect complying sites to see a dramatic boost in organic rankings, especially on mobile search results but also for desktop queries.

Besides using your Webmaster Tools account to review mobile issues across your website, Google has a neat online tool to test if your page has a mobile-friendly design.

Did you pass the test? If not, we can help!

Webinar: SEO – The Key Inbound Marketing Activity

Did you know that 90% of B2B purchase research is completed using online resources?

Enable your website to attract these online researchers by incorporating Search Engine Optimization (SEO) into your inbound marketing strategy and start building your lead pipeline by attracting new visitors to your site!

Join Semdrives's free webinar to learn more about how you can optimize your SEO strategy, including the top 5 best SEO practices you can implement today.

Wednesday, November 12, 20149:00 AM - 9:30 AM (Pacific Time)

Register now!

Link spamming, Panda hit, and how to get back on the game

Many websites have always been the subject of link spamming, either because of bad SEO (Black Hat) or due to malicious attacks from competing companies and domains throughout the internet. Unscrupulous competitors can inflict search engine ranking drops by creating links to websites that aren’t trustworthy to Google, like dubious online pharmacies, casinos, link farms, bad directories, lottery sites, sharing sites or anything that might look like scam, or by blog/forum spamming. Simply out, anything that might look shady in the real world will likely be shady to Google. A large Google algorithm update in February 2011 (Panda) affected around 6% of the websites on the internet, including big names like J.C. Penney, whose SEO agency used black hat techniques to make them rank high for just about everything they sold. After that, and being exposed by an article in the New York Times, they got penalized and their pages were nowhere to be found for the queries they had previously ranked number one for. On the other hand, websites who did not use link spamming techniques were not affected by this algorithm.

Major post-Panda algorithm updates:
Page Layout Algorithm Update on January 2012
Penguin 1 on April 24, 2012
Penguin 2 on May 26, 2012
Penguin 3 on October 5, 2012
Penguin 4 on May 22, 2013
Penguin 5 on October 4, 2013

Google God

Google watches over everything, it is omnipresent and semi-Omni sapient on the internet. Their goal is to continue delivering relevant unique content for the end user, hence their crusade against excessive spammers. Good SEO services are based on the notion that websites need to earn links from high-ranking sites in an organical manner, not by exploiting internal mechanism flaws. So after Google released those updates, webmasters started getting feedback notices from Google explaining why their websites were considered to be using Black-hat SEO techniques for link building, providing bad user experience, having a faulty navigation structure and other issues. Google also placed a reconsideration request feature on Google Webmaster Tools for those who considered they have been affected by a false-positive by the algorithm. The next image shows that “request review” action:


Request Review

In this case the best one could do to get back the previous ranking, or at least not to drop so low, is to download the list of links that are pointing to your website in Google Webmaster Tools and find those that might look spammy, based on Google's Quality Guidelines for link schemes. Then you should send a blast email to all of the different webmasters in the list of sites, with a message that looks something like this:

Dear “Webmaster”

As of “date” Google has notified me that there has been a link from your website pointing towards this page of my site (Add URL) is considered by their quality guidelines as SPAM. I kindly request from you to remove this link or un-follow it as soon as possible.

Thanks
(Your Name)
(Your Website)
(Additional contact info)

After that, there another way to clean malicious links that were not removed by the previous effort, using Google Webmaster Disavow Tool. This is an advanced feature that tells Google bots not to pay attention to specific URLs that are coming from a website, and should be used with caution because links that you might want to be considered can be accidentally deleted with this tool. Following next steps from the next screenshot will get rid of those awful spammy links:


Disavow

Once you followed the steps described above, you may Request a reconsideration for your site. Add documentation about the links that were removed or disavowed and wait while google does its magic, paying attention to your Google Webmaster Tool account for any notification. Hope this helps to kill your panda!

Panda

Improving SEO results and user experience through cloud hosting

Business cloud hostingWith today’s technology advances and internet ubiquity, companies have to find different ways to offer their products and reach customers. Having a website is just not enough: companies really need to make a continuous effort to find areas of improvement to optimize and leverage all their digital properties.

One factor that is often overlooked is site speed. Google included page speed-related metrics within their search algorithm since 2010; it might not be the most important factor for SEO but some studies show that a 1 second delay in page load time leads to 11% fewer page views and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction. 57% of online visitors will abandon a site after waiting just 3 seconds for it to load and 80% of these people will not return. Also, with the increase of mobile search one thing to keep in mind is that mobile devices use a relatively small bandwidth, so it’s critical to develop light and mobile responsive websites in order to increase visitor retention.

So speed is clearly very important to internet users and therefore is likely to affect your overall digital marketing strategies. Cloud hosting can help your business on that regard, offering a high reliability level that allows prominent downtime decreases, and you can host your site in multiple locations across the globe, which speeds up access. It’s also scalable, so the risk of overstrained servers during traffic spikes is removed. Sure, you might be charged more by your cloud provider if you have an unusually high traffic volume, but your site won’t slow down or stop responding, and in the end, if your site is well optimized, this will equally result in an increase on total conversions.

Aligning with the current state of SEO

Content-MarketingSearch Engines were born in the early 90’s at a primitive stage, beginning with Archie, an FTP site hosting an index of downloadable directory listings. Then the mid-90's saw the rise of search engines that allowed natural language queries, such as Alta Vista, WebCrawler and Yahoo. Finally, in 1996 Google was born, which became what we know today as the world’s most used search engine.

SEO is very different today as it was yesterday. Search engines are constantly changing algorithms and parameters that they use to provide results to their users. Because of this, it is imperative that companies stay tied with a good digital marketing agency that helps them to remain up to date with the latest SEO standards partners, creating constant customized analysis and implementations that allow them to stay ahead of their competitors.

Here are a couple of examples of popular SEO strategies that worked in the past that you do not want to practice today:

• Link spamming: back in the day black-hat SEOs used link farms; fly-by-night websites created with the sole purpose of hosting links, taking into account that inbound links have always been a major component of most search engine’s algorithms. There were also paid blog networks; companies such as “Build my Rank” and “Linkvana” were paid to flood the internet with blog posts to gain back links. In 2012 Google took action and eliminated some of the major blog networks from its index.

Keyword stuffing: another obsolete practice consisted of loading a webpage with keywords, often out of context and disregarding semantics, resulting in a negative user experience. They could also be placed hidden text or inside the metatags. The goal was to raise the keyword diversity and density of a page, trying to make it look relevant to those search phrases for a search engine’s web crawler.

On the other hand, this is what works in the current search landscape:

Content Marketing: Communications need to be addressed to your market niche (possible customers) without trying to sell them your product or service, rather informing or instructing them on the benefits and having them make that decision on their own.

Social Media: You can gain traffic to your site by leveraging social profiles as Facebook and Twitter, posting to help or teach people with things that are relevant to products and services that you offer. It is good to use the help approach and nurture rather than selling.

Digital marketing is a constant changing environment. The way potential customers reach what they are looking for changes daily, so, as mentioned before, it is highly important to partner someone who has the right experience and skills you need to stay competitive in today’s digital world.

Why are Incoming links important?

Incoming links are links pointing towards to yours site. The number and relevancy  of those links can be used as an indication of the popularity and importance of  your website. Search engines will give credit to websites that have a good number and quality of incoming links.

Quality vs Quantity

The relevance of a site regarding incoming links is not based on the amount of links but rather on the quality. The higher the relevance of an inbound, the greater their quality and greater the value for the search engines algorithms that eventually will provide a better ranking for keywords.

How to get incoming links?

There are 3 ways to get incoming links in your website

1)      Link exchange with business partners

2)      Paid directory submission

3)      Free directory submission

A few types of submission process:

General Directory Submission deals with all sorts of business so is not recommended to get qualify incoming links.

Niche Directory Submission submit your site to particular categories under which your site is well matched, there is a better chance to get qualify links back.

Page Rank Directory submission: the main purpose of sending our site to a directory is to get qualify links make sure the directory has a high page rank in order to get good results.

For more information, watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1Pu1YWcIh04#action=share