Blog

seo banner

What is SEO? – Learn All About Search Engine Optimization

 

Have you ever wondered, why some websites rank higher on search engines, and some go on to the last pages? The key to everything is SEO.

SEO is an acronym of search engine optimization, which is a process that affects the visibility of a website or a page on search engines.

In simpler words, this marketing technique optimizes the online content present on web pages with certain keywords, so that a search engine shows it as a top result.

Let’s break it down even further:

You’re looking for the best chocolate cake recipe, and you will most probably enter “chocolate cake recipe” on any search engine. Once you work the magic of SEO into your webpage content, your article or website will show on the top results, if someone searches for this keyword.

 

How Searches and SEO Work?

Now that you have a basic idea of search engine optimization, you must be wondering, how SEO works? How are searches calculated in search engines?

The answer is very simple – it is the search engine’s algorithm!

You might use Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other search engine you like, then type a word, and a long list of web pages appear that might have your answer.

How do search engines find the right kind of websites for your keywords?

Search engines like Google have a crawler that runs on every website, gathers information they can find on the web, and bring back the data in 1s and 0s format. This builds an index that is matched when you enter a keyword like “chocolate cake recipe.”

Now that you understand the “SE” part of SEO, let’s tell you more about the “O” part, which is optimization.

seo process

What is an optimization in SEO?

 Optimization in search engine optimization is to add relevant keywords naturally to the content of your site so that the bots understand what they’re looking when they search. This includes the following parts:

  • Content: The content written on the page should be original and informative for the reader. Keywords are important, but without high-quality content, ranking becomes a challenge.
  • Title tags: They are an HTML element that demonstrates the title of a web page, which is displayed on search engines.
  • Meta descriptions: They are also an HTM element that gives a summary of the contents present in the page.
  • Internal linking: Linking the inner pages of the website or other articles inside a content piece, increases its authority for search engines.

seo ranking

Now, you understand the meaning, working, and elements of SEO. It is time to introduce the different forms of search engine optimization.

 

What are the types of SEO?

 In our everyday life, there are some who take shortcuts and some who take the long walk; usually the latter is more rewarding.

  • Black Hat SEO

If you’re someone who is looking for the SEO magic to happen within a couple of days, then you might end up doing black hat SEO.

This type of search engine optimization focuses on making the content optimized only for search engines, and is usually of very bad quality.

This approach may help you make a few bucks fast and easy, but will eventually land you in the zone of spammy and terrible pages, which get banned fast.

You will have to constantly look for new ways to dodge the algorithm updates, to survive in your position.

  • White Hat SEO

If you’re looking for a way to build a substantial business for the longer run, then white hat SEO is the right way!

This part of the search engine optimization focuses on the human audience and tries to give the best possible content, to reach the top positions without breaking the rules.

Inessential to say, but white hat SEO is the one you should choose, to keep yourself in the game for a longer run.

seo black hat vs white hat

What are SEO Categories?

When you start cleaning your house, you think about cleaning the outdoors and the indoor area. It is the case with search engine optimization, as every SEO service focuses on optimizing the website from the frontend as well as backend.

  • On-Page SEO is the most important category of SEO services that impacts the search engines results in the most. It lets your clean the living space, cabinets, and kitchen of your website. It involves content, use of researched keywords, title tags, meta description, site architecture, mobile-friendliness, page speed, and so on.
  • Off-Page SEO lets you clean the backyard and pathways of your website. It involves page rank, domain authority, bounce rate, quality of links, social PR boost, visualization of the content on the web, and much more.

seo

What are some interesting facts about SEO? 

  • Did you knew, 75% of SEO is off-page and only 25% is on-page?
  • Google is used for 90% of the searches among search engines.
  • Title tags are the most important element of on-page SEO.
  • Meta descriptions under 155 characters increase chances of a click.
  • The top 5 results get the most clicks.
  • Google+ makes the most social impact for SEO ranking.

SEO services and optimizing websites is one of the most important factors that help your site gain a better stand on search engines. Higher position means more business, and search engine optimization can help you reach your goals, faster.

mobile responsive design 01

What is a Mobile Friendly Responsive Website?

With the evolution of Smartphones, everyone today wants a mobile friendly website. If your website lacks resolution and compatibility with your visitor’s mobile devices, you’re in trouble of losing some potential leads.

It is also impractical to consider that the same
website version on a PC where resolutions are much higher will be equally responsive to a smaller touchscreen device!

People are constantly on their smartphones. Whether it is to order a pizza or making big payments online – mobile devices is the new generation Internet medium!

mobile responsive design 02Does this mean, you have to accept the result of losing visitors eventually? The answer in web development is NO!

Let’s understand more about a responsive website.

What is Responsive Website?

A responsive web design is a strategy that implies that design and development of a website should automatically respond to user’s environment, depending on screen size, orientation, and platform.

In much simpler words, if I am opening an e-commerce store on my laptop, every tab and menu will appear in a much more elaborated format. Once I switch to my smaller, mobile device, the e-commerce store will change its resolution, and the tabs will appear in a more compact manner.

Image viewing a desktop e-commerce store on your mobile device, as the tabs will become smaller for the user, and it will require constant zoom in and zoom out! This will eventually decrease your visitor rate and increase your bounce rate.

 

What are the Features of Responsive Website?

The idea here is not to create a custom website for each platform (it will be unrealistic in this constantly evolving tech world), but to create one website that fits all sizes!

This does not involve any use of sensors or artificial intelligence; instead, it uses the abstract thinking to generate fluid layouts, scripts, and markup.

Don’t limit your thinking to screen resolutions only, as mobile friendly responsive website changes itself into a new design on every platform.

mobile responsive design 03

Following are the features of a responsive website design:

  • Universal adaptation is used to provide the same user experience, without depending on the screen sizes. These features aim
    towards making a site adjust independently, based on the device and its screen resolution.
  • Support for all browsers is important to ensure greater compatibility of the site on every platform.
  • Search Engine Optimized website along with responsiveness greatly impacts your visibility on the web.
  • User-friendly website is the biggest feature of a responsive Internet site. Our ultimate goal here is to make the transition from one platform to another for a user, seamless.

 

What is Mobile Friendly Website?

A mobile friendly website is the smaller version of your regular site. It limits the drop-down menus and has no flash animation. A mobile-friendly website will be same as your desktop site but with way fewer features.

Search engines like Google constantly demand the websites to become user-friendly for mobile visitors. A mobile friendly website alone is not the answer, as it will only decrease the user’s interest in your site.

Combining the power of mobile friendliness and responsiveness is the key!

 

What is Mobile Friendly Responsive Website?

A mobile friendly website that is optimized for mobile users is a far more advanced version of your regular website. Your website will be reformatted and will get unique navigation and images, to make it more user-friendly on every platform.

mobile responsive design 04

This will eliminate the disadvantages of a mobile friendly website, where the drop down menus and other functions are limited, and will replace them with new features that will automatically change for every platform.

When responsiveness is included in a website design, the real part of developments come into action. The site becomes flexible for all platforms, and it orients itself seamlessly, depending upon the screen size and platform.

 

What are the Benefits of Mobile Friendly Website?

mobile responsive design 05There is not doubt that a website that is mobile friendly and responsive has a better chance of surviving the competition, than a basic website that is hard to view on smaller screens. Here are a few of its many benefits:

  • The features will become “thumb” friendly and the graphics will be reduced, without disrupting the important information.
  • It avoids making users type a keyword, unless absolutely necessary.
  • It also gives the option of viewing desktop version – best of both worlds!
  • The user experience will be improved, which means you will get more chances to get customers from every platform available in the market.
  • Your bounce rate will reduce, as your visitor can surf on your site on any platform.
  • The website’s load speed is faster on mobile devices, which will create more interest among your visitors.
  • The SEO element of your website will improve by a great number, and you will get more visibility on the web.

Believe it or not the world is changing, and to succeed in your market, you will have to reach to your customers, where they are available the most – mobile devices! Consider changing your website into a more responsive and compatible version, and take every opportunity to convert a lead into a permanent customer.

 

 

wordpress

What is WordPress and why is it so popular?

Planning to start your blog or website, you’ll find that WordPress is the most highly recommended platform among all. After its inception in 2003, WordPress rapidly became the most widely used self-hosted blogging tool in existence.

Technically speaking, WordPress is an open source web design framework based on PHP (a programming language). It features a web template system that enables users to customize the pages effortlessly. WordPress also offers an endless list of unique features like built-in themes, mix-and-match plugins installations, widgets, static pages, and easy media management options.

All these powerful features together help the users to create an attractive website while optimizing it for the search engines.

With more than 60 million people around the globe using WordPress web development to power their blogs and websites, one might wonder what makes it so popular?

cms market share march 2017

CMS Market Share at March 2017  source: W3techs.com

Enlisted below are major reasons that make WordPress the first choice for those looking for an easy and efficient online content management and publishing system:

It is Free & Open Source

WordPress web development is completely free to use, edit and redistribute, which makes it the most cost-effective solution available in the market. It is entirely open-source. The software script that is used to run WordPress can be downloaded and installed by anyone from their official website.

The source code can be easily edited and customized according to your individual needs. Most of the web hosting services offer one-click installation option for WordPress, and therefore you can get started with a new and free blog within seconds.

Ease of Use

Free availability of WordPress doesn’t come at the expense of its usability. WordPress offers an insanely smooth learning curve, which means that you don’t need to be a programmer to understand how it works.

It comes with inbuilt features for publishing content, user management, feeds, revisions and much more.

WordPress offers a visually easy to navigate backend or admin panel. The administrator interface is so practically organized that everything from editing a page to uploading media can be easily accomplished.

Flexible and Versatile

Another amazing feature that makes WordPress a popular choice is its extensibility and scalability. Today, it has become much more than just a blogging platform as it now offers the flexibility to develop any website.

From a video sharing site like YoutTube or Vimeo to a fully-functional eCommerce store like eBay; WordPress is versatile enough to be used for a developing any website.

The availability of a countless themes and plugins in WordPress allows you to easily develop the following types of websites:

  • Blog
  • eCommerce store
  • Video Website
  • Service Website
  • Photography Website
  • Directory or Classified Ads Listing Website
  • Membership Website
  • Question Answer Forum
wordpress screenshot

WordPress Screenshot

Themes

WordPress is an incredible content management system with high creative and practical capabilities. There is an endless list of themes to choose from on WordPress.

From lightweight web design created by casual developers to extraordinary powerhouse developed by professional designers, you can find a plethora of free and paid themes for your specific purpose.

In addition to that, it can be easily customized without any coding. The control panel under the WP dashboard enables the users to customize the colors, design, and features of the theme.

SEO Friendly

A website should be SEO friendly so that the search engines like Google and Bing can index and rank it. These search engines use various predefined parameter to rank the websites. This includes fast loading speed, XML sitemap, good coding, navigation, user experience, etc.

WordPress web design pays attention to all these parameters and also offers several additional plugins to improve the visibility of the site on search engines.

According to Google, WordPress is 99% SEO friendly; therefore it will minimize your efforts for making the site rank higher in the search results.

Easy monitoring and maintenance

If you are worried about regular surveillance and maintenance of your site, then rest assured. WordPress maintenance will not soak up your budget or time. Also, there will be a very little room for downtime with this platform as the updates do not consume much time.

It takes about 15 minutes to backup the data manually for an average multi-plugin update.

WordPress also offers a large community of active users and developers to help in troubleshooting. It has well-maintained support forums where you can post your questions, search queries and find solutions to your problems.

Security

WordPress design helps create robust and highly secured websites of any type. It has very high-security standards and is regularly updated to minimize vulnerability and keep the hackers at bay.

Users are encouraged to take certain precautions to reduce any potential threats. Using essential security tools, updating WordPress regularly, downloading the plugins from WordPress.org only, are some of the measures to improve safety.

WordPress has a lot of inbuilt functionality that helps develop powerful websites of any types. It also pays attention to all the major aspects of security to SEO to ease of use, which makes it a highly recommended framework for anyone trying to explore the digital realm.

If you’re looking to get a corporate site, e-commerce store or blog developed, speak to us anytime for advice or a quote.

ecommerce stock photo sized

10 Useful Tips for Starting an Online Store

These days more and more people are trying to explore the digital realm for business opportunities, and hence online stores are becoming more common than brick and mortar stores.

You may think that starting an online store is a lot easier and profitable than establishing a physical storefront. You don’t have to worry about paying monthly rents and utility bills on top of investing in the products you are going to sell, plus you can reach millions of people globally sitting in the comforts of your home.

Undoubtedly, the appeal of starting an online store is just too good to pass. But as with any other business, you need to have a strong business plan and plenty of knowledge about how things work online to make profits. Mentioned below are some tried and tested e-commerce tips to help you from beginning to end.

  1. Find a niche & test the waters

This day and age, one can sell anything and everything online. But not all products are conducive to sell online as it can become difficult to drive sales when the customers cannot see the product.

While exploring your options consider what product you want to sell carefully. Try to find something highly original but with a general appeal.

Once you have determined the product, you will need to evaluate the niche and size up the competition to create a successful online store.

You can test the waters before taking the plunge by selling your products on a small scale like social media or eBay. This will give you a pretty good idea of who is buying your products, what customers are ready to pay and how you can improve.

  1. Build your website

When it comes to creating the website, it’s important that you choose the platform carefully. You can get a web developer to build your site from scratch or opt for a hosted platform if you want to avoid any contact with code.

We suggest you go for a secure and robust platform that offers room for customization and scalability. WordPress and Shopify are popular platforms that can get you up and running in no time at a very reasonable cost.

You must carefully assess the benefits and limitation of the service you choose because if anything goes wrong with the website in future, your sales will suffer.

  1. Make the Ordering Process Simple & Secure

Process of placing the order should be a breeze for the customers if you want the sales to go smoothly and ensure that the buyers come back for more.

Amazon is a great example when it comes to offering an effortless checkout to the customers. All you need to do is add to product to the cart, if you are a registered user your personal details will be already available on the site; just click a few buttons and voila! Purchase is complete. It cannot get any easier than that.

Make navigation easy for the customers and only create a two or three step checkout process to enhance the user experience.

  1. Pay attention to SEO

You will not be able to get traffic and make sales until and unless you are able to create a web presence. Therefore, paying attention to SEO should be your prime focus after your website is operative.

Search engines use specific parameters to index a site and rank it in its search results. These parameters include fast loading speed, user experience, clear coding, XML sitemap and navigation etc. Until and unless these parameters are fulfilled and the site isn’t completely optimized, your customers won’t be able to find you.

  1. Create informative and attractive product descriptions and add images

Since the customers cannot see the products in person while shopping online, it’s important that you offer as much information on the product as possible.

Write high quality product descriptions with complete and authentic information about the product so that the customers know what they are purchasing. Also add attractive and high res images to provide a visual stimulation.

  1. Market

Along with optimizing the site to make it search-engine friendly, you will also need to pay attention to marketing for bringing visitors to the site, engaging them and converting them into sales.

Creating attractive landing pages, starting a blog, staying active on social media are some of the ways to attract customers to the site. Running a newsletter is also an important tool for boosting sales.

Offering incentives, special discounts from time to time or free giveaways through newsletter is a surefire e-commerce tip that will bring you a lot of leads and sales.

shopping items bought sa 2016

Effective Measure 2016 SA E-Commerce Report

source: Effective Measures

  1. Upsell

Advertising similar products right before the customer checks out is a growingly popular trend these days. Needless to say it is very effective as well in promoting sales and increasing profits as by showing products similar to the ones your customer has added in his cart, you can encourage him to consider more options.

All these above mentioned tips will help you in successfully starting an online business so make sure you add this article to your bookmarks.

If you’re looking to find out more about starting your own e-commerce store, contact Digital Consulting for advice and solutions.