For SEO, Should Your Blog Be in a Subfolder or on a Subdomain?

Your blog is a huge part of driving your search engine rankings up and establishing your company as an industry expert. Many companies don’t know this, but where you post your blog on your website could have a direct impact on your search engine optimization.

Subdomains and subfolders are treated equal by search engines most of the time, but there’s some controversy as to whether one may help your website rank higher than the other. So how do you know whether to put your blog in a subfolder (www.websiteaddress.com/blog) or on a subdomain (blog.websiteaddress.com)?

Why do some websites use subdomains?

Some businesses decide to post their blog on a subdomain because they may already use other subdomains for different pages on their website (such as help.websitename.com or support.websiteaddress.com,etc. Subdomains help to organize web content into distinct sections. Unfortunately, when you’re using your blog as a form of content marketing and not just as an informational area, you can end up dividing your search engine rankings from your IP address.

For example, let’s say you own a auto repair business and you’re trying to increase your SEO footprint and backlinks to get online traffic and conversions. If your blog “blog.autorepairshop.com” is on a subdomain of your website “www.autorepairshop.com,” there’s a chance that search engines will be confused and could penalize you.

Although your blog and main website have different subdomains, both websites have the same second level domain (SLD). This puts search engines at risk of separating a large portion of keywords under your subdomain, which produces undesirable results like diluting your website’s backlink strength.

What makes a subfolder better for SEO?

According to some industry experts, subfolders are the best place to have your blog for SEO purposes. This is because of the different metrics being returned by various search engines.

However, subdomains do have their benefits. They can be great for foreign language variants of your main website and for content that’s thematically different from the rest of your main website.

Subfolders (/blog) are the safest bet for SEO ranking because they’re linked directly to your main IP address. This means whatever traffic and backlinks your blog receives, your main website receives those same backlinks and web traffic. Search engines are less likely to be confused, and they won’t compromise your backlink strength and penalize you.

Also, data suggests that users are more familiar with subfolders. Even if you don’t have a direct link to your blog on your main website navigation, many online users will be able to type “/blog” into the IP address to get your website’s blog. And, after all, SEO is all about increasing visibility.

Would you like to increase your Search footprint with a blog? We can help. Our SEO plans are affordable and are turn-key. You run your business. We drive your search engine results. Click here for more information.

How to Transform Your Google My Business Listing From Good to Great in 4 Easy Steps

If you are like most small business owners, you claimed your Google My Business (GMB) listing years ago and haven’t looked at it since. A small segment of business owners add photos or videos from time to time or update their hours of business during the holidays and that’s about it. To improve your online search visibility, it’s important to take time away from working in your business to work on your business. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day demands placed on you by customers and employees. Make sure you reserve a small amount of time each month to take a look at your marketing efforts. Are the marketing channels you selected providing positive ROI? Is your website traffic up or down? And what is your strategy going forward? Today we are going to give you something to do at your next marketing meeting. We would like you to follow these four tips to optimize your Google My Business listing. You will notice throughout our list of tips that all of the new features in GMB seek to keep users in Google’s ecosystem by replicating features traditionally found on your website. In a sense, it is now your responsibility to maintain both your website and your GMB listing in equal proportion. If you follow these tips, it is our belief that you will see an increase in new customers.

Good to Great Tip 1: Google Services

Google Services was created to emulate the products and services pages of your website. Before the launch of Google Services, the only option available was a list of predetermined categories that described your services. These were often a close approximation of your actual services or only covered a segment of your services. With Google Services, you can enter your services manually into your GMB listing with no limits. It is extremely important to take advantage of this feature as Google will better understand the full breadth of services and display you in their search results for relevant search queries. Because the vast majority of small business owners are not even aware this feature exists, simply entering your services will be a huge leg up on your competition. Entering your services into Google My Business is easy; below, you will find step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Login to your Google My Business listing

Step 2: Navigate to the info tab and then pick services

Step 3: Enter each product or service one at a time until all of your services are listed. This will be a bit time consuming if you have a wide array of services or an entire menu to enter if you are a restaurant owner. Don’t worry if you have to break it up into a few sessions. The important thing is that you get it done.

Good to Great Tip 2: Make Use of Google Q&A

Think of Google Q&A as an interactive FAQ website page. Google Q&A provides prospective customers and returning customers with the ability to ask important questions to guide them along in the buying process. Keep in mind that anyone visiting your GMB listing can answer questions. To reduce the likelihood of a customer answering a question rather than you, we recommend that you keep a close eye on this page and monitor it frequently. Download the Google My Business app on your phone and make sure you are logged in the same account associated with your Google My Business listing to answer questions

Good to Great Tip 3: Use Google Posts

If you only have time to follow one of the four tips outlined here, this would be the one to follow. SEO data provider Moz conducts an annual survey of local ranking factors, and after reviewing the data from November 2018, they advised readers to begin utilizing Google Posts as their number one tip. As you can see from the pie chart below, Google My Business optimization accounts for 25% of a website’s search engine rankings. That means it is important that you squeeze everything you can out of your GMB listing. Which brings us to Google Posts. Google Posts allow you to post blogs directly on your GMB account. Simple, right? Actually, it is simple; the key is consistency. If you are already blogging regularly, we strongly suggest that you allocate half on the blog posts that would normally be posted on your website to your Google My Business listing. Many small business owners ask if they should write differently for GMB than they do for their on-site blog. The answer is that you should write a little differently when creating a Google Post. Try to incorporate local events or landmarks when possible. That will help locate your business for Google and show that you are a member of a community. If possible, try to post once per week; if that is not possible, two per month should do quite nicely.

Steps to post a blog on Google My Business:

  1. Log into Google My Business
  2. Select the “posts” option
  3. Choose “write your post”

Good to Great Tip 4: Create A Google Short Name

If you follow this tip, it is very likely that you may be the first company amongst your competitors to create a short name. A short name is simply a unique, easy to remember GMB URL that you can share with customers. Short names use the following format: g.page.yourbusinessname.

Let’s say, for example, you are the owner of Marv’s Bakery. You could create the following short name: g.page.marvsbakery. Before the advent of short names, you would have had to email a much longer URL string that would not be easy to remember and that would not easily fit on a business card. We advise you to update your stationery business cards and other marketing material to include your short name in an effort to drive additional traffic to your Google My Business listing and website.

Follow the steps below to create a Google short name:

  1. Log into your GMB account
  2. Go to left side navigation area and then select “Info”
  3. Select “Add profile short name”
  4. When choosing a short name, make sure it is no longer than 32 characters and no shorter than five characters long
  5. Make it easy to remember. If you have a long business name, choose the most important part of it

Putting It All Together

The most important step of all is to begin implementing these tips right away. Most people reading this article and similar articles will not take the final step of enacting the changes recommended above. We implore you to be the exception rather than the rule and get this squared away. If you do not have time to do this on your own, let your digital marketing agency do the work for you. If they do not have the bandwidth needed to handle local SEO implementation, ask them to hire the best white label seo service they can find. A white label SEO program can help provide extra capacity to your local agency. Thank you for taking the time to read this; it is our sincere hope that these tips will create extra foot traffic for your business the remainder of 2019 in into the future.

5 Strategies To Boost Your Social Media Engagement

With mobile dominating the digital marketing world, it’s important to employ a variety of strategies to grow your audience engagement on social media. Without a solid strategy, you run the risk of being out of touch with your target audience.

In 2019, companies are looking to improve their social media strategies to help drive growth. Here are five strategies you can use to boost engagement this year:

  1. Brand personas. This is a unique personality that your brand possesses. Your brand should connect with a targeted group or demographic. It’s important that you develop a personality that resonates with the group and the audience of the social media channel you’re using. You can have different personas on different channels. You might want a brand persona that’s more vocal and artistic on Instagram whereas you might want to be more commercial and business-focused on LinkedIn.
  2. Have active conversations. A crucial element on social media is to engage with your users while vocalizing your agenda. Social media users aren’t likely to engage with posts that are too sales oriented. Instead, ask for feedback, reviews, use polls, or ask questions. You want to find the right balance between content and promotional info if you want high engagement.
  3. Use your channel as a customer service tool. As mentioned previously, it’s a good idea to ask your social media followers questions/feedback. It’s also a great idea to use your social media channel as a customer service tool. When a follower asks a question about your company or your products/services, make time and reply properly. Other social media followers are watching closely when you make that reply. This will help to reinforce your brand’s reputation and improve social media engagement.
  4. Use social media plugins. There are many different social media plugins for various web platforms that you can use online to increase engagement. Social media plugins make it possible for followers to share posts and content from your brand’s website directly to their own social media pages. This creates a viral effect for your content and is especially beneficial for potential consumers who may visit your website from another user’s shared link.
  5. Use live video. Video marketing is increasing in popularity due to the fact that it increases engagement more than images or posts. Additionally, it’s a faster content delivery medium and it gives users a sense of immediacy. Live videos and streaming content also give your brand a direct interaction with your social media users in real time.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thank you all so very much for your patronage and support of our company. We love our customers and we love our work. We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a most prosperous New Year!

Cheers!
 – The AutoWeb Technologies Team

5 Strategies for Creating a High Converting Landing Page

For online visitors, the landing page of a website is the first impression that they have of a business. It is always the intention to get the visitors to perform a certain action such as a purchase or an opt-in. When we optimize the landing page of a website, we enhance the user’s experience. This, in turn, leads to higher conversions.

Landing page optimization may be defined as the method of improving the design of the landing page so as to generate more leads and increase the engagement of the visitors. Landing pages are the ideal places to optimize since the maximum traffic of any website is directed towards this page. A well-optimized landing page that leads to healthy conversions adds substantial value to the overall ROI of any business.

Below we discuss 5 ways in which we can optimize a landing page.

Clear call to action

One of the most famous mantras in sales is “Always Be Closing.” This should be the idea behind a well-optimized landing page as well. The most effective way to accomplish this is by creating a clear call to action or CTA.

A call to action may be defined as what we want our visitors to perform – making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, submission of one’s email id, etc. A CTA is a nudge along the path of conversion. It is the persuasion and the effort to convert an interested visitor into a paying customer. As such, it is better not to throw too many CTAs towards a prospective customer. The best landing pages almost always have only one CTA.

A good CTA should be rigorously tested including the placement of the button, its size, and color. Even the copy of the text used in the CTA should be tested – button text, etc.

When designing the CTA, we have to make sure that the button is clearly displayed on the landing page. Visitors should not be made to guess which the CTA is. If need be, we should use visual cues such as arrows and images to direct the attention of the visitor to the CTA button. It is not advisable to have multiple CTAs on a single landing page.

Entice visitors with an irresistible offer

Many websites make offers to their visitors in order to make them perform the desired action which helps in the conversion rates. One example is when a visitor has spent about 10 seconds on the site, a pop up offers the visitor some form of savings in the form of discounts etc. if they choose to become a paying customer. A precise and to-the-point offer goes a long way in enticing a visitor into converting into a paying customer. While making the offer, it is important to convey to the visitor that the benefit is immediate.

Addressing the pain points

In order to create a relevant and pertinent landing page, it is very important to know what the visitors to your site want. Almost all visitors are looking to alleviate their problems. A landing page that provides a direct solution to a problem statement is more likely to have higher conversion rates than pages that do not.

Killer Headline

A headline addresses a lot of issues – interest, understanding, and attention. It is the first thing that visitors see when they visit a landing page. A good headline should be able to accomplish the following –

  • It should be able to grab a visitor’s attention
  • It should be able to convey to the visitor what the product or the service is all about.
  • It should be precise and concise.

Narrow Focus

The landing page of a website should always be as simple as possible. Research shows that the more options we provide to our visitors, the longer time they take to arrive at a conclusion or a decision.

When creating a landing page, one should make efforts to ensure that the CTA stands out as much as possible. Any other clickable links or buttons should preferably be removed. The landing page should comprise only of content that will aid in making the visitor perform the desired action. Most importantly, when deploying a form to obtain information from visitors, we should strive to create a form that does not ask for irrelevant details but is to-the-point and gathers all the vital information. Less is more in this case.

Need a great landing page for your business? Contact us today. Always here to help…

The AutoWeb Technologies Team

How to Increase User Acquisition With Mobile App Development

Today, there are about 2.2 million apps in the Apple App store and 2.6 million apps in the Google Play Store. Mobile Apps account for about 92 percent of all the users time spent on mobile in the U.S. With every passing day, it is becoming an increasing challenge to have a company’s app be unique and really stand out. User acquisition is probably the most important metric through which all organizations, with a footprint in mobile apps, measure how much value is being added to their top line.

Measurement of User Acquisition

User acquisition is measured primarily through two metrics – install rate and number of installs. These two metrics are the most important ways through which one can tell if their apps are being successful in reaching out to the key demographic. Marketers, however, use other metrics as well to properly evaluate the success of their apps:

  • * Cost per install (CPI) – This about $3.15 in the U.S. This is an expensive and not an efficient way to acquire users.
  • * Cost Per Action (CPA) – This is defined as the cost of converting a customer.
  • * ROI – This is used to determine if the users who have been acquired are actually adding value to the company.
  • * Customer acquisition cost (CAC) – This is defined as the total acquisition cost divided by total new customers.

User Acquisition Tools

App Store Optimization or ASO

It is important to optimize one’s app inside the App store after it is launched. Keywords should be put in the (app) app description and the app title. However, care should be taken to ensure that there is no keyword stuffing. Through the title and the description, you have to strive to convey to the key demography the benefits of using our app.

Social Media

Social media is one of the most important parts of any user acquisition strategy. Social media is a great way to reach out to the target audience. Some of the common strategies employed by marketers when working with social media are to follow industry leaders and well-known communities. Social media is probably the easiest and the quickest way to reach out to the key demography by making content go viral etc.

Segmentation

The key to a successful marketing strategy is smart segmentation. Targeting the right customer can increase conversions substantially as opposed to reaching out to an indiscriminate group of customers. Having said that, it is not an easy task to target the right customer for app marketing. Some methods that might help in segmentation are:

  • * Create a profile of your top customers in order to better target the future users.
  • * When building segments, it is important to have more than one with separately defined parameters in order to be able to reach out to customers with separate goals.

Video Ads

According to e-marketer, digital ad buys in 2017 will top $82 billion and video ads will account for about 15% of that. Mobile video ads consumption is increasing at the rate of 100% every year. Video content is hugely popular. In fact, speculation is that video ads may rival social media as a viable marketing strategy in the coming few years. Some of the most common tools used for video ads are Loop Me, Inneractive, and YouTube Mobile Video Ads.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a very good way to reach out and increase the user acquisition for any app. There are many platforms online which allow you to sign up and talk about your product for free. However, just engaging these platforms in order to market one’s product will not work. Instead, you need to participate and engage customers and convince them into trying out your products. This will happen primarily through engagement via refreshing, entertaining and informative content. Some of these content platforms are Buzzfeed, StumbleUpon, Product Hunt and Quora.

8 Reasons why WordPress is so popular

There is hardly a savvy business owner in the world today who has not heard of WordPress. It is an open source content publishing system. In 2003, it was created by merging the platforms built by entrepreneurs/developers Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. Consequent to its creation, each subsequent upgrade has incorporated powerful features such as mix-and-match plugins, media management, widgets, built in theme installation and static pages.

Autonomy and Plugin Stability

One key element of WordPress plugins is that they do not need other plugins which may or may not need constant updates. This means that the user does not have to spend a lot of time on maintenance and extra monitoring. Online businesses which cannot afford costly maintenance or downtime should always opt for WordPress as their go-to platform. If the database is being backed up manually, an average multi-plug-in update will take about 15 minutes. A backup plugin would reduce that time span to a few minutes with a few seconds required for customary maintenance.

Open Source and Free

WordPress is free to use, redistribute and edit. This is the reason why its original source codes are publicly available. There is no validity limit on WordPress. It is easily downloadable from its official website. The cost comes with design, configuration, and customization of the User Experience.

Great Flexibility and Highly Customizable

WordPress has a flexible framework. It allows developers and designers to modify and create applications and layouts. Its websites are not limited by enterprise extensions.

It Is SEO Friendly

The CMS is written with code which is of very high quality. It leads to semantic markup which in turn makes any site rank higher in search queries. Additionally, WordPress can be further made even more SEO friendly by using the SEO Plugin.

It Is Easy to Use on Any Device

The majority of internet users access the web via their smartphones. This requires companies to have a web presence which is not only mobile friendly, but it is imperative that it is an engaging and enriching experience to their customers on the small screen. WordPress by its very design is 100% responsive and will adapt to any and all screen sizes.

Themes

Themes allow users to have a well built and good-looking website at the click of a button. Whether it be a full-featured powerhouse that has pre-populated images and content or minimal and lightweight frameworks, themes run the entire gamut.

Blogging Platform

WordPress is primarily used as a blogging platform that allows web developers and webmasters to use the same to extract external links. This means this platform can greatly benefit any site that they are trying to improve. Today, it is one of the best web content solutions when it comes to blogs and as a content management system, it powers a wide array of business websites. The blogging module can also be used for business reviews, advertisements, announcements, and job boards. With WordPress, the options are unlimited.

Multiple Websites

On the same installation, WordPress allows us to host multiple websites. This greatly reduces cost. As an example, we can create multiple websites for each of our sales agents and control them all from the same installation.

In summary, WordPress is a hugely popular CMS with tens of thousands of developers worldwide offering solutions to their clients. With every passing day, more and more programmers are adopting WordPress as their go-to CMS framework.

Want to learn more? Contact us today. Always here to help…

The AutoWeb Technologies Team