More Traffic Doesn’t Equal More Sales

Are you experiencing more traffic but no sales?

Years ago, when the Internet was in its infancy and businesses were urged to get their very first place in cyberspace, there was a philosophy that ‘if you build it, they will come.’ There was this ‘first on the scene’ mentality that if you could get online first, you could reap all the benefits of the world-wide-web. Suddenly, local businesses could have worldwide audiences. Businesses were dreaming big.

Then came the onset of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. The goal was to utilize the power of search to get more traffic and more sales.

Website traffic used to be a modern-day version of a popularity contest where businesses promoted their page views as a factor in their success. That school of thought is now over because not all traffic is good traffic, especially if you have more traffic but no sales!

What good is having all of that traffic if your visitors are not actually converting – using your services or buying your products? No matter how many people visit your website, or how good your ranking position may be on Google, it’s not helping if your visitors don’t do anything.

Businesses are now demanding so much more from their websites and from their Internet marketing partners because more traffic but no sales won’t sustain a business.

ROI (return-on-investment) has quickly become a very important buzzword. SEO professionals are now elaborating on their reports. It is now necessary to include key metrics that show how ranking results and traffic are also converting and helping the bottom line.

Lead-generation and conversions have since taken over as the new buzzwords. And, rightly so. After all, most websites are built with a goal in mind: to generate more business.

More traffic but no sales could mean you are not attracting the right kind of traffic. It could also mean that you do have the right kind of traffic but your website isn’t helping that traffic to convert.

In either case, it may be time to conduct a conversion and lead audit.

Evaluate Your Website Traffic

What steps do you need to take when you have more traffic but no sales?

First, you need to determine if the traffic you are getting is the right kind of traffic. There are a lot of questions you can ask to help you get to the bottom of what your visitors are doing on your website and what they’re looking for.

  • Are your website visitors looking for what you have to offer?
  • Are they ready to make the next step?
  • Are they purely interested in information?
  • Do they fit in with your target demographic?

You or your Internet marketing professional can dig deep into your website analytics to uncover a lot about the people who are visiting your website. You need to uncover how they got there, what they did once they got there, and even what they might be looking for.

How to Identify Your Target Market?

If you haven’t yet identified your target market, now is the time to do so. By identifying your target audience you are defining your ideal audience for your particular niche. The better you understand your target market, the more you are able to customize your advertising and website content to match.

Some businesses start with a very broad target such as Baby Boomers or Millenials. Others tighten up the demographics slightly such as single professionals ages 30-60. What you need to know is that the more you tighten up your target market and then speak directly to that audience, the higher your conversions will be.

Here’s how you can identify your target market:

  • Compile research and stats on your current best customers including age, location, interests, spending power, spending patterns, language, and stage of life.
  • Analyze your website and social media analytics to determine the types of people who are interacting with your business already. If you have more traffic but no sales and your website isn’t converting, ask yourself if your analytics match your ideal target market.
  • Then, once you’ve uncovered your ideal target market you should create a target market profile. You can even name him/her.
    For example: Meet Jane. She is {gender} aged {age range} who lives in {place or type of place} and enjoys {activity}.

Target Market – Is Your Website Reaching The Right People Based on Their Demographics

Once you’ve identified the type of visitor that is most likely to convert, it’s time to really analyze your website traffic to make sure they are the ones who are visiting your website.

Then, you need to take a look at your website and landing pages with a critical eye for what this target market expects. If your website is soft shades of turquoise and blue but your target market is a business executive, your website probably isn’t attracting their attention.

Location – Are You Reaching The Right People Based on Where They Live?

Use more traffic but no sales to your advantage. By that, we mean analyzing your website data based on city demographics. This can help you determine if you’re falling flat in reaching the right people in the right locations. If you have multiple locations and markets you should determine if there are locations that could use further marketing efforts based on traffic markets.

In some cases, your traffic might be coming from everywhere other than your ideal location. In these cases, you need to set a new strategy to do location-based targeting.

More Traffic But No Sales – Where Are They in the Sales Funnel?

More traffic but no sales could also mean that the traffic is still in the wrong part of your sales funnel. Ideally, your website will be designed to speak to and reach visitors at all the various parts of the sales funnel. But, all too often, many websites fall short at capturing visitors when they’re ready to convert.

If your website has a lot of traffic, it could be because you offer some really valuable information. In fact, providing information, articles, and tips is a great strategy to get people familiar with your brand and your expertise. But, you want to make sure that also offer then the correct calls-to-action – get them to take the next step so you get something from them in return, right?

It’s time to take a critical look at how you move people through the sales funnel on your website and ensure they utilize your services or products when they’re finally ready.

Your Calls to Action – Are Your CTAs Working?

When your visitor is ready to convert, whether it’s buying a product or contacting you, are you making it easy for them to do so? Where are your calls to action (CTA) in relation to your visitors’ movements, habits, and actions? Visitors these days are impatient. They don’t want to have to search for your contact information. They don’t want to have to look for how to make a purchase or get in touch. Your CTAs need to be intuitive. If you can capture them impulsively, that’s even better.

If you are getting a lot of traffic but no sales and you are not seeing the business benefit of all of these people, it’s time to audit your calls to action. What are they? Where are they placed? What do they say? Are they intuitive for the visitor?

Ideally, a call to action that speaks directly to the visitor and asks them to move forward in a specific manner will convert better than a very generic “contact us” button.

Content – Is Your Website Saying The Right Things?

More traffic but no sales will also affect your bounce rate. How’s your bounce rate? Are people hitting your website or landing page and then failing to move further? Are they leaving your website once they’ve arrived? If so, you likely have a problem with your content (text and visuals).

Once you understand your target market, you can identify what it is they will be looking for online. Your content needs to:

  • Match their inquiries
  • Solve their problems
  • Capture their attention
  • And help them on their journey

If it can do this, you’ll stand a much better chance at connecting with and converting your traffic.

Your issue might not be with the people visiting your website, but rather, with the website itself. All too often we’ll get calls from businesses who want to get more website traffic; however, sometimes the best strategy is to really analyze the pages all this traffic will be landing on. You need to build your website and content strategy based on your target demographics and what they will like and be interested in, rather than based on what you like.

If your website is bringing in a lot of visitors but they aren’t converting, it could be an issue with your content, your colour scheme, your page layout, your images, etc.

It’s important that you provide detailed information for SEO; but, it’s also important you don’t give away everything online. Leave the visitor hanging and then follow-up with a strong call to action to get more information. Lead them in. Tease them. Give them good, solid information. But, leave them with a question that only you can answer. And, encourage them, at the right time, at the right place, to reach out to you.

Here’s the thing: many visitors are actually unaware of what they need, where to find it and what to do next. Do this for them. Guide them, lead them and then hook them.

Trust Signals

Items that many pages and websites are missing are what we call trust signals. If you have more traffic but no sales it could be a trust issue. Trust signals include reviews, testimonials, and other elements that prove that your business will do what you’re promising. Portfolio items, case studies, reviews, awards, and certifications are all trust signals that can help your traffic convert.

Mobile vs Desktop

Analyze if your visitors are on a mobile device, a tablet, or a desktop. Does one screen size convert better than the others? Navigating websites on mobile devices must also be intuitive and if it isn’t, it could also lead to more traffic but no sales.

Now, take a look at your website and landing pages on each screen size. If your website is hard to use on a phone and yet 75% of your visitors are browsing from their smartphone, you’ve got yourself a usability problem. There isn’t any amount of traffic that can fix this.

In short, if your website is getting a lot of traffic but is underperforming, there’s a lot you can do to fix these kinds of problems.

Here’s a recap of what we’ve covered.

  1. Identify your ideal target market. Who is your ideal visitor?
  2. Identify your current website visitor.
  3. Are the people visiting your website actually your ideal target market?
    – If yes, it’s time to analyze your website.
    – If no, it’s time to begin to target your ideal visitor with your SEO and marketing efforts.
  4. Identify the steps in your sales funnel. Generally, people are either conducting research, comparison shopping, looking to have a question answered or are ready to make the conversion. Does your website address every stage and then provide a clear call to action or lead-in to the next stage? Are visitors arriving on the right information based on what they’re looking for? For instance, if they’re just at the research page, they shouldn’t be arriving on a page that is designed for purchasing.
  5. Analyze your content. Is it written, created, and designed for your ideal target market?
  6. Analyze your calls to action. Don’t be vague. Don’t use marketing language. Be simple, clear and concise. Tell them, show them, and guide them to what they need to do next.

When it comes to more traffic but no sales, you either have a traffic-type problem or a website usability/target problem…or both.

Target the right people with your traffic-generating tactics. Use your website and content to speak directly to your target audience, answer their questions and provide them with the information they’re looking for. Quickly and easily lead them to the next step and capture their information along the way.

When you look at your lead generation strategy from the perspective of the visitor, rather than from what you like or think the visitor should do, you can begin to look at your strategy and content with all new eyes.

You should then have more traffic and more conversions. Your return-on-investment from your website and marketing efforts will be greater. After all, it isn’t just about getting people to your website. It’s also about getting the right people and then ensuring you’re handling them appropriately based on where they are at in the sales funnel.

And, the number one tip to achieve this? Make it simple for the visitor to understand what they need, what their next step is, and why they need the services/products of your business.

About 1st on the List

1st on the List is one of North America’s leading SEO companies that offers complete SEO services. Please call our SEO experts at 1st on the List toll-free at 1-888-262-6687 to learn more about SEO or if you still have any questions about getting more traffic but no sales.

Why update WordPress plugins is a very common question…more common than you might think.

Keep in mind, however, that WordPress themes and plugins are software programs. Over time, these programs can become outdated, or the software developer may have released newer updated versions with better features or even bug fixes. So, the main answer to “why update WordPress plugins” is to help keep your WordPress website up-to-date and working optimally.

One of the selling features of developing a website in WordPress is there is pretty much a plugin for everything and anything you might want to do on your website.

That’s what makes WordPress web design so powerful and popular. In fact, according to whoishostingthis.com, WordPress powers almost 15% of the top 100 websites in the world. That’s big brands trusting WordPress to get the job done. But it’s more than the big guys using WordPress. In fact, according to w3techs:

  • 32% of all websites in the world are run on WordPress
  • WordPress is the most used CMS system
  • With 59.4% market share, WordPress is far ahead of any other CMS system (by comparison, #2 is Joomla with 6% market share)

Why is WordPress so popular?

Another great answer to “why update WordPress plugins” is that WordPress is open source software. It’s free. And, some of the greatest minds work openly to create seamless and useful website functions, which we know as plugins. This helps web developers and designers code and create websites more efficiently and effectively.

What is a plugin?

Most WordPress websites are compiled of a group of functions that are pre-programmed for functionality and integrate seamlessly into the WordPress platform. WordPress plugins are pre-built software solutions that can save web developers a lot of time and money when programming their own solutions.

There really is a plugin for almost everything, from SEO tools to rotating banners and from image resizing to pop-up messages. If you can dream it, there’s likely someone who has already built a WordPress plugin solution.

Here are a few other reasons why updating WordPress plugins is necessary.

Proliferation – The WordPress Plugin Directory currently lists over 56,365 plugins (and growing) with over 1.3 billion downloads.

Too Many Plugins – Overuse of plugins can slow down a website. Plugins can also clash with each other, which could then cause problems with your website that might be difficult to assess.

Stale or Outdated – Some WordPress plugins are completely useless and others no longer function as they should or are now obsolete.

Nevertheless, if you need something for your website, chances are there’s already a plugin for that.

Web developers are also continually challenged to answer this important question: “When to use and when not to use a plugin?” The key to using plugins effectively is to only select plugins from verified sources and only install them if they solve or serve an essential function that isn’t already a part of your framework.

Keep Up with the Changing WordPress Platform

From security and bug fixes to enhancements and improved speed, every WordPress update is released to help your website function better.

Your website sits static in its hosted environment. Meanwhile, the Internet and programming languages are constantly evolving. As well, hackers are consistently finding new vulnerabilities. WordPress plugin updates are released in an effort to keep up with the improvements and bug fixes.

As of March 12, 2019, WordPress was running version 5.1.1. By the time you read this, this number will most likely have changed. WordPress is constantly releasing new updated versions in an effort to ensure functionality and security.

Ensure Regular Backups of Your Website

Change is another reason “why update WordPress plugins” should be a mantra.

When you make any sort of update or change on a website, anything can happen. Even with the best-laid plans, sometimes updates or plugins are incompatible with other functions, even unrelated functions of the website. This is why it is important to ensure regular website backups.

There are plugins for website backup protocol! Popular solutions include:

  • iThemes Backup Buddy
  • UpdraftPlus
  • Vault Press.

With the ability to run daily or weekly site backups, you’ll be thankful you have a recent backup to revert to should you ever get hacked or run into a major problem.

Use a Security Plugin To Protect Your Website

According to Sucuri, WordPress is the world’s most hacked CMS system and 61% of infected websites are running an out-of-date version of WordPress. Meanwhile, 52% of the vulnerabilities reported are coming from incompatible or outdated plugins, as reported by WPScan. Why update WordPress plugins indeed!

Common and popular WordPress plugins that are often a gateway for hackers include:

  • Gravity Forms
  • Revslider
  • TimThumb

In order to protect your website from potential vulnerabilities and hackers, you need to ensure your website is secure. While ensuring you are up-to-date on WordPress plugin updates is a great start to ensure your security, you can do more to protect your website. Popular security plugins include:

  • iThemes Security Pro
  • WordFense Pro
  • Sucuri

Update Your WordPress Theme

Themes are another reason why update WordPress plugins are important. Most WordPress websites use a theme to ensure consistency in look, feel and function. A theme is akin to a skin. A theme provides more control over the look and presentation of a website, without having to make constant custom updates.

Many WordPress themes have a variety of features, customizations, and functions already embedded within the theme. WordPress themes can be updated to improve security, reduce vulnerability, and add features and functions. If your chosen theme has a new update, it’s important to listen and act accordingly. If you fail to stay up-to-date on plugin updates, it can cause website problems down the line.

Update Your Plugins Regularly

As is the case with the WordPress platform and themes, plugins can also have updated versions. Most plugin creators continue to add new features, improve code, enhance quality and reduce vulnerabilities. These changes are released as updates. It is important to ensure your plugins are up-to-date so your site can benefit from these updates immediately.

Solving Plugin Incompatibility Issues

Plugins…the very thing that makes WordPress so great can also cause major issues! Because there are so many plugins available from third-party developers, it is common to run into compatibility issues.

  • Some plugins are not compatible with updated versions of WordPress
  • Other plugins will have issues working in tandem with other plugins.

How do compatibility issues arise? Well, different plugins might be trying to do the same thing on the website, or they might be trying to change or update a feature or element but in different ways. Plugins may also have been developed based on a past version of WordPress. Finally, a common reason for compatibility issues is when a plugin was created with bad or buggy code.

Generally, somebody else will have already discovered the compatibility issue and will have made a note of it or offered a possible solution. So, before you install or update a plugin, it is wise to search for any known issues.

What does a compatibility error look like? Well, it can be anything from broken functionality to something less obvious. In fact, sometimes you might not even realize the issue because it will manifest in a way you are not expecting or looking for. This is why it is important to test and do a thorough run through of your website whenever you perform a WordPress or plugin update.

Only Keep Plugins That You Are Using

Keeping your website clean – another reason why update WordPress plugins help. You can help prevent future problems and vulnerabilities. Often, plugins are left active or installed on a website even if they are not being used. They are then forgotten and left abandoned and vulnerable to hackers, or they can cause other issues within the website.

Regularly perform a plugin audit and disable any plugins that you are no longer using.

How to Update, Maintain & Secure Your WordPress Website

You can find out more about this topic by reading this Guide to Updating WordPress Plugins courtesy of SitePoint. Now that we’ve outlined why it is important to ensure your WordPress platform, theme and plugins are up-to-date, maintained, and secure, it’s now time to discuss how to do this properly.

When you log in to WordPress you may see a message alerting you to a core WordPress update or plugins that have available updates.

If you are an experienced web developer you shouldn’t have any issues making the updates; however, if you are a website user, you should have your web developer make the updates for you so you can try and avoid any issues that might be caused. GitHub is a community that is great for feedback, so posting here can help save you time and avoid issues.

But, guess what? As you might suspect; there are plugins for this, too. Site Push, Theme Check, Sandbox and Plugin Detective can help you before you run into big problems.

If you run into an incompatibility issue you’ll likely want to take your website to a staging server and deactivate every plugin. Then, one-by-one, reactivate them until you can source the plugin causing the issue.

If you decide to run updates yourself and run into an issue, this can cause further issues down the line. The best practice when it comes to website maintenance is to let the professionals handle it.

The Importance of Regular Website Maintenance Plans

Years ago, when most businesses got their first website there was a mindset of “set and forget.” In other words, you had your website built for you, the content was static and you didn’t really have to think about it again unless you wanted to make a change. It was likely built and coded in a custom environment and likely lacked complexity and functionality. In other words, there was no need for website maintenance, except if there was something you specifically requested.

With the advent of content management systems such as WordPress, updating your own website got a lot simpler; however, vulnerabilities opened up. Functionalities increased and websites got better; however, with one update you can cause serious issues.

It’s important to have a long-term site maintenance plan. While the most obvious risk to your website is a site hack, there are other problems that can arise if you fail to, or wait too long to make updates.

From improved functionality to increased speed, regular site maintenance plans are designed to ensure optimal user experience. A regularly-maintained and updated website helps search engine rankings, helps with speed, improves usability, protects your brand, and can even increase customer retention and conversion.

Unfortunately, your website is at risk. Wordfence reports there are up to 90,000 attacks on WordPress websites every minute. Even non-WordPress sites are just as susceptible to a hack.

Functionalities can Change, Break and Evolve

Think of your website as a car. With regular use, your car needs regular maintenance including gas, oil changes, tire alignments, etc. Think about modern-day cars and the vast speed of new technology that has become available in recent years. The same is true for websites. Today’s websites are complex with a variety of moving parts, much like a car. Even elements that do not seem to be integrated with each other, can be connected in some way.

Just like you take your car to a mechanic, it’s important that your website has a professional team looking out for it.

Maintenance plans generally include things such as ensuring the hosting environment is optimal or updating themes and plugins. Larger, more complex websites often have a custom, hands-on approach to maintenance that involves a lot of testing when things are updated.

Generally speaking, the more complicated your website the more regular maintenance that will be needed.

Here’s the thing. You could wait for your website to break before you realize it needs to be maintained, or you can pre-empt disaster and get a handle on a proper maintenance plan now. Back to our car analogy: regular oil changes end up far less expensive in the long run than replacing your entire engine because you failed to maintain your oil.

About 1st on the List

1st on the List is more than just an SEO company. We can help you understand “why update WordPress plugins” is a question that needs to be addressed, continually. We offer website maintenance plans to ensure your website is running at optimal levels because we know that a well-running, functional website helps with SEO and lead generation.

Trust your website maintenance to the professionals so you can focus on your business without any risky technical interruptions.

Did you know? It’s because of services like our WordPress Maintenance and Security Plans that we are recognized as a top E-Commerce Design & Development Company on DesignRush.

For more information, call us toll-free at 1-888-262-6687.

When done properly, great landing pages that convert can really add to your ROI.

The object of any landing page is to provide a clear and complete path to a decision, whether that is a download, a purchase, a request for more information, or some other clearly defined call-to-action.

SEO, pay-per-click marketing, and other online forms of generating traffic are designed to direct more visitors to a website. With a good SEO strategy and excellent content based on user-intent, you can grow your targeted traffic. However, getting them to the website is only half the battle. What they do once they arrive is what really counts. Getting traffic to your website is great but if it doesn’t convert, what’s the point?

Whether you call it conversions or lead generation, landing pages that convert are the holy grail of a full SEO or digital marketing strategy.

What is a Landing Page?

By easy definition, a landing page is any page that a visitor lands on from any form of advertising or search engines. So, any page within your website might be the very first page a visitor lands on when they visit your website. This could be your homepage, a sub-page, or even a blog article.

With this in mind, it’s important that you evaluate your entire website to create landing pages that convert. Each page within your site should be a good representation of your brand and should have a clear path for what you want the user to do next.

That being said, many digital marketing companies will encourage you to invest in “landing pages.” These are specific pages designed to match a campaign and user intent.

Some online marketing professionals insist that landing pages that convert must have a form. Others will argue there just needs to be a clear call to action or next step.

Ideally, a landing page is a page with a clearly defined target audience based on a specific topic, usually decided based on a user query. The user is then provided only the information they need to make an informed decision, be it a purchase, a form fill-out, newsletter signup, a content download, or even an offline visit.

Identifying Landing Page Topics

The first step in gaining traffic that converts is to figure out a visitor’s intent and then create content that is a good match. SEO keyword research is a great place to start. You’ll likely narrow down to a variety of keyword queries that will give you a fairly good idea on user intent. From there, you can create landing pages that match the target queries.

  • If you’re a real estate agent in San Diego, you might find you could use landing pages that convert for San Diego ocean view condos.
  • If you run an accounting company, you might find you could use a landing page for 2019 tax deduction tips.

In other words, you are identifying the demand for your product or service and then you’re going to use your landing page to reel them in.

Before you write a sentence of copy, you need to have a clearly defined message for your clearly defined target audience.

Landing Pages that Convert have Clear Calls-to-Action

What do you want your visitor to do? Be clear. Your general website is the backbone of your online presence. It’s where people might go to to learn more about your company and your services. It’s where you can be different things to different people.

Your landing pages? They have one important job to do. They need to capture the attention of the visitor. Since you’ve already identified the target audience and their user intent, you need to clearly articulate the next step.

Common calls to action include Buy Now, Download, Contact Us, Sign Up, Try It, etc. Don’t distract your landing page visitor with a variety of messages. Make it easy for them to take the next step.

Help The Visitor Along

In a perfect world, a person types in a query and clicks on your ad or organic listing and lands on landing pages that convert right away. Well, unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect and this is a rare occurrence.

You have to work a little bit to help the visitor along your path to conversion. This is where content comes in.

Ideally, you will have a combination of three forms of content.

  1. Text
  2. Images
  3. And video

Each piece of content should be able to stand on its own, but also compliment the other forms. In other words, you aren’t going to say the same thing, word-for-word in a video that you have in text on your page. After all, there needs to be a reason for the visitor to watch your video.

Having some social proof can also be an important element in landing page content. This is a testimonial or two depicting how your product or service has helped someone to solve whatever it was they came to your website looking for.

So, in order to help the visitor along so they feel comfortable forging a relationship with you, you need to provide them with the answers to their questions, the information they’re looking for, and a hook they simply cannot resist.

Keep It Simple

It’s important to ensure you do not overcomplicate your landing page. More often than not, landing pages that convert are clean, simple, and easy to understand.

This means you have one clear message. Everything that is on that page must relate to that message and must help lead the visitor further down the path to a conversion. Limit the content that doesn’t serve your main goal: moving the visitor down the conversion funnel.

Don’t complicate the page with a variety of messages and calls to action.

If you can, keep your navigation simple. After all, you don’t really want them leaving the page to get lost within your full website. You don’t need to offer them all the information about your company. Eliminate almost any click that isn’t your call-to-action.

Use your brand guidelines, fonts, logo, etc., so that the visitor starts to establish a relationship with your brand; however, keep it as simple as you can.

Important Elements of Landing Pages that Convert

Landing pages that convert generally have a few important elements in common.

1. A Really Great Headline
The job of your headline is to reinforce the visitor’s query while enticing them to stay on your website. You have a second for the user to decide if your page will help them. Your headline needs to help solve their query, look professional, and be catchy enough that they want to scroll a little bit more, rather than hit the back button. It has to capture their attention, their interest, and compels them to learn more about your offering.

2. A Really Great Subheading

The main headline piqued a visitor’s interest so now it’s up to the sub-heading to go in for the kill. Normally the sub-heading is positioned directly below the headline to act as the two in a one-two punch.

3. Enticing Visuals

Visual storytelling helps to sell. Any images you use on your website need to be clear, beautiful, and help inspire your visitor to action. Do you have a video that can help reinforce your message? Many visitors look to video to help them in their decision making.

4. A Benefit (pleasure) Statement

Articulate the main key benefit the visitor will get for completing whatever it is you are asking them to do. If you can use a feeling of pleasure within the copy, you can best play upon their emotions.

5. A Reinforcement (pain) Statement

Does your product or service solve a pain point? Now is the time to remind them of this pain and reinforce how your product or service will solve their problem.

6. Legitimize Your Business – Part 1 – Contact Details

Landing page visitors will look to ensure you are a real business and they will do this by looking for your contact details. Having your address, phone number and email address on your page’s footer is an easy way to show the world that you are real. You can go even further by having a link to your about page.

7. Legitimize Your Business – Part 2 – Social Proof

By showing satisfied past clients, you are providing social proof that your business, product or service is legitimate. Many web visitors are wise to testimonials, so use legitimate reviews cited from third party websites.

8. The Offer
What are you offering the visitor? What are you offering in exchange for the visitor completing the action? Keep it clear.

9. The Value Proposition

What’s in it for the visitor? Just like the offer, you need to keep the value proposition clear and simple. Outline the benefits. This is where you need to talk directly to your visitors about your visitors’ needs, not about you.  

10. A Guarantee or Way Out

Want to catch a visitor in a moment of spontaneity or weakness? Offer them a way out. A website visitor is more apt to take the plunge when they know there is a safety net to catch them. A guarantee or unsubscribe at any time statement allows them to know they are not locked into their decision.

11. Simple Form

Did you know that the more fields you have in a form the lower your click-through-rate will be? Only ask for the information that you absolutely need at that moment. You can obtain other information at a later time.

12. A Powerful Call To Action
Ok! So you’ve hooked them and reeled them in. Now you need to seal the deal before they get cold feet. This is where your call to action comes in. What is the one thing you most want them to do? Make it big and bold. Make it unmissable. Make sure it stands out.

Let’s Talk About Layout

Many web designers create website pages on very big monitors. They’ve accounted for plenty of ‘white space’ and are able to design very stunning pages. But, did you know that the average screen size is 1024×768? Yes, that’s a typical laptop screen. Plus, more and more Internet users are conducting searches on their mobile phones. So, while a page might look great on the web designer’s screen, how it looks and acts on a laptop and phone is far more important.

Landing pages that convert well are also very responsive. This means the content and images adapt to fit the browser size of the visitor. This allows for the page to look and function great on any device.

How the site responds to the various screen sizes should be planned out. Often, items will simply begin to stack on a mobile device which can account for an awful lot of scrolling. Is the same information necessary to a phone visitor as it might be to a desktop visitor? Is there a visual indication to keep scrolling? These are all important question that needs to be asked. The most important elements of the page should be front and centre regardless of the device!

A/B Testing

It goes without saying that you will test your landing page links and form. What we’re talking about is A/B Testing. This means delivering variations of headlines, copy, images, colours, etc. to different users to determine which combination of elements gets the best click-through rate.

After all, for all the good design rules and how-to’s out there, it can be difficult to predict what will actually resonate with the majority of visitors.

The rule of A/B Testing is to test one element at a time so you can effectively make a determination of the winner. Colour, call-to-action wording, call to action location, etc. are all things that can benefit from A/B testing.

In Conclusion

The best landing pages that convert are the ones that were planned and designed with the user in mind. Once you decide what action you want them to take, you can guide, persuade, and convince them to do it. If you make it clear and simple, most people will do what you ask them to.

1st on the List is one of North America’s leading SEO companies that also offers SEO website design. To speak with one of our SEO experts, please Email or call us at 1-888-262-6687.

 

You might also find Neil Patel’s article interesting entitled, The Definitive Guide to Creating High Converting Landing Pages.

1st on the List – 2019 Top Canada Web Developer

1st on the List is proud to have been named on the Design Rush List of 2019 Top Canada Web Developers.

Design Rush is a trusted B2B marketplace, an online source for advising businesses on how to find the top digital agencies, web development companies, and SEO firms.  It’s a great resource for businesses who are in need of digital marketing services because it showcases the best-of-the-best and outlines each agency’s strengths and services.

Our passion here at 1st on the List is to help get your company’s name to the top of the list on Google. Our experienced SEO experts have been doing SEO longer than Google has been around! Not many can boast that accolade! Each member of our core staff has over 10-years experience in SEO and has serviced hundreds of SEO clients across North America, in a diverse range of markets and industries.

Today, we see many digital and web agencies outsourcing their SEO efforts, which doesn’t always provide a cohesive integrated strategy. Our focus has always been SEO and that includes SEO web design and development. We love the complexity, the shifting trends, and the evolving techniques of SEO. When it comes to web design, SEO isn’t an add-on for us. It’s what we do.

Top, professional SEO firms have the skills and experience to make big strides in the digital landscape. For businesses that are seeking to start or expand their digital strategy in 2019, who you select to partner with can be as important (if not more important) than the actual strategy. This is because your SEO professional will guide and lead the strategy based on experience and trends, alongside what’s happening in your industry now and what’s predicted to be the future of search tomorrow.

The Importance of Our Design Rush Recognition

Who doesn’t like to be recognized for a job well done? While awards aren’t everything, when we get recognized for something there is an audible buzz in the office that acts as a spark of energy. It’s the proverbial pat on the back.

Our team at 1st on the List works hard every single day to ensure our clients are getting the results they deserve. The results that drive us forward. They motivate us to continue to strive for more. Our client’s words of thanks are recognitions enough…being recognized by a leading B2B marketing agency like Design Rush is just icing on the thank-you cake. It is further proof that our experience, hard work, knowledge, and results continue to propel us forward as one of the top SEO agencies and web development agencies in Canada.

Recognition feels great!

Recognition Can Fuel Business

We get a lot of business based solely on our results and referrals. Someone will call up saying, “Oh, we saw you did the website design (or SEO) for such-n-such-business. Can you get do that for us too?” Our clients also will recommend us to other businesses they know.

We also get business from our own SEO results. After all, we specialize in SEO and ranking well on the search engines is part of the process.

But, for many business owners, they require more information to make the decision. They begin to compare companies and, if you’ve ever done so yourself, you’ll quickly realize it can be like comparing apples to oranges.

That’s why we love B2B marketing agencies such as Design Rush. They make it easier for businesses to sift through the various digital firms in order to narrow down who might be the best fit for them.

How to Use the Design Rush List?

Hiring Local?

Do you need to hire a local digital agency? No. Some businesses like the ability to walk into an office for face-to-face meetings. That’s a nice perk; however, with communication tools such as Skype and screen sharing, hiring a local digital agency isn’t necessary. Local doesn’t always mean better or right for you.

Experience?

Should you select the digital agency with the most years of experience? Maybe. Experience counts for a lot. The innate knowledge that comes from having done something for a long time is invaluable. But, being able to rely on experience while staying up on the trends is even more important.

Industries Served?

Should you select a digital agency that specializes in your market? Maybe. Some digital agencies have found their niche and have honed their specialization to serve it. That means they are very well-versed in that industry. It might also mean they’re doing the SEO work for your competition. That’s not a deal breaker and in some circumstances can even be a benefit. But, just because an agency has a unique specialization doesn’t mean they are the best.

Reviews?

Should you select a digital agency based on their client reviews? Yes. Client reviews can provide a benchmark for how an agency services their clientele. Are they timely? Do they produce results? Do they communicate well? Are projects managed well? You can learn a lot about an agency based on what others who have worked with them have to say.

Results?

Should you select a digital agency based on their results? Absolutely. An agency that has an extensive results-oriented portfolio means they are properly positioned to do the same for your business.

Industry Awards?

Should you select a digital agency based on industry awards?  Maybe. Industry awards can help you narrow down which agencies are best for you. They act as a seal of approval for tried and tested services.

Ultimately, at 1st on the List, we like our results to speak for themselves. We’ve been helping businesses get to the “top of the list” since before there was even a search engine called Google. We have experience in a multitude of industries, targeting cities across North America…and the world!

This recent accolade from Design Rush is a feather in our cap. We’re proud of our team, their diligence, and their hard work. We’re proud to be among such great company on the Design Rush list of Top Canada Web Developers.

To learn more about our services, please call us toll-free at 1-888-262-6687.

For more information about Design Rush, visit their Design Rush Facebook page.

Inevitably, every client wants to know how long does SEO take to work.

Everyone wants instant gratification. We live in a time where nobody really wants to wait too long for anything. We’ve been conditioned to believe that faster often equates to better. We want instant food, instant miracles, instant success, and instant everything! But that’s not reality.

Let’s take food for instance. You can open up a can of soup, heat it up in the microwave and within seconds you can be eating your lunch. It’s delicious, quick, and provides you the sustenance you need to get through the next part of your day. Sort of. It’s also filled with salt and preservatives, and in many cases, the nutritional value can be lost or minimal.

Now, think of that homemade turkey soup you cooked right after Thanksgiving. You created a broth from the bones that you let simmer for hours in order to extract every ounce of natural flavor. You added in your fresh vegetables and herbs. It might have taken all day (not to mention the day it took to cook the actual Turkey) but the result was the perfect bowl of homemade soup that was chock-full of goodness and taste.

It took time, but it was worth it. The same can be said for Search Engine Optimization.

SEO Takes Time, But It’s Worth It

Almost every single client will ask the all-important question: how long does SEO take to work?

The industry-standard answer is 4-6 months…perhaps. You can find hundreds (or thousands) of articles on the Internet that agree with this consensus. And you can say that to every-single-client, but sometime within the first week or two, every client asks if it’s working yet.

Clients are excited. They’re nervous. They need to account for their spend. You’ll remind them that you ensured they’d start to see some results within 4-6 months, but at some point, they’ll begin to get impatient. It might not happen every time, but it happens enough. How long does SEO take to work will depend on a lot of variables.

Sometimes results can take a day, a year, or even more. It all depends on the goal, the key performance indicators (KPIs), the competition, the industry, and the ever-changing landscape of the Internet.

Let’s Determine What The Results Will Be!

Instead of providing the generic four-to-six months answer to the question “how long does SEO take to work,” we find it can be far more beneficial to outline what our anticipated results will be.

Key Performance Indicators – KPIs

KPIs are objective, tangible metrics that are used to measure the success of a campaign.

In the realm of SEO, there are several KPIs that can constitute successful results.

1. Growth in Organic Sessions – Tracking traffic from organic search is a measurable KPI. Growth can be slow going, as it does take time for pages and websites to make their way up the search engine results, especially in competitive industries. It is the objective that lies at the heart of any SEO campaign since more targeted traffic from the search engines is something that always excites clients.

2. Increases in Keyword Rankings – Back in the day, SEO companies would provide clients with spreadsheets outlining keyword results for targeted keywords. It was a metric the clients loved. But, with the growth of localized and individualized search results, it became more difficult to provide an accurate measure of keyword rankings. A website could be sitting at #1 for one user but #4 for someone else in a different location. Now, SEO companies might provide a more generalized average for keyword rankings.

Keyword ranking isn’t the be all, end all though. Going from number 50 to number 8 might not make a huge difference in traffic; however, going from number 8 to number 4 likely will. This is because most users will click on the first few results, but not wade too much further down the list.

3. Leads & Conversions – What good is all of this extra traffic if they are converting into leads? More and more companies are getting savvy with the results they expect to see, and leads, orders, and sales have become a valuable KPI for SEO campaigns. On average, the best results for a website come from organic traffic results. After all, this traffic is highly targeted for specific searches. If a person is searching for the best place to wash their car, it is likely to assume they are further down the path-to-purchase than a person who gets advertised to by a car-wash display ad or social media post.

4. Session Duration – Generally speaking, once you implement an SEO campaign, you will likely start to see an increase in session duration. This is because the quality of traffic is highly targeted, which means the user would likely be more genuinely interested and engaged in your website and information.

Targeted Traffic vs General Traffic

If you look at just numbers, one might think that having 10,000 visitors a day vs 5,000 visitors a day is a win. But, if the 10,000 visitors who are coming are more general in nature, is it really a win? They’re likely not spending as much time on the website, or they’re browsing without intent to purchase, contact, or convert. They take more effort to convert or bring back. So, if you can get 5,000 visitors who are specifically searching for one of your particular products or services, they’re more targeted. They’re likely more ready to convert or purchase. Those 5,000 visitors are more valuable than the 10,000 generalists.

How Long Does SEO Take to Work Depends on Tactics

Depending on the industry and the competition, an SEO professional will undertake a variety of tactics to achieve results. Think of it like growing a garden. Some plants, fruit, and vegetables take longer to bear fruit or flower than others. In addition, you can’t quite ever predict how long it will take before the tomatoes are ready to be picked.

An SEO plan that is really content-driven can take a lot of time; however, the results might come in spurts. The SEO professional will target a keyword, have a piece of content written and published, and depending on how competitive the keyword is, results may start coming within a week or longer. No one really knows how long it takes for SEO to work.  It could also take six months or more. In the meantime, with each new piece of content, site authority and ultimately results will start to build.

Budget Also Affects How Long SEO Takes to Work

Nobody wants to admit that the more you pay the better results you will get; however, budget equals time and resources.

How long does SEO take to work? Simply put, the more you put into it the more you should get out of it. Three team members spending six hours should see results faster than one team member sending two hours.

At the end of the day, SEO is not a quick-fix for a business that requires results immediately. It’s a long-term process that requires a strategy and if done properly, can provide long term results. SEO is a process where every step builds upon the one before it. Today’s results are likely built upon the effort from six months ago.

So, while you’ll likely find it takes four-to-six months to start seeing results, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There are many types of SEO services that can be brought into play. Instead of offering a timeline for how long does SEO take to work, it can be more beneficial to offer education on the KPIs. That way, you can start celebrating the little wins along the way.

Please call our SEO experts at 1st on the List toll-free at 1-888-262-6687 to learn more about SEO or if you still have any questions.

For additional information on this topic, visit this informative article by Search Engine Journal.

Top Advertising Agency Clutch 2019

If you’re looking to get your company’s name to the top of the list, look no further than our seasoned group of SEO experts here at 1st on the List Promotion. Each of our core staff has over a decade of experience, having serviced hundreds of SEO clients in Canada and the US in a diverse range of industries and markets. Some firms today are outsourcing their SEO efforts, but our core focus has always been SEO, with all of the its complex trends and techniques. It isn’t an afterthought for us- it’s what we live and breathe for!

With that said we are very excited to announce that Clutch has named us as a Leader in Marketing & Advertising for Canadian firms in 2019.

We take great pride in this recognition as it has always been our firm’s goal to provide the best service for our wide range of clients.  Clutch included us as a top SEO services provider based on the strength of our core business practices, our outstanding customer relations, and our overall ability to deliver results.  Clutch is a B2B reviews platform that connects service providers with their potential clients in a quick and easy manner. Clutch has added value to our firm by collecting high quality, in-depth reviews from our previous clients and displaying them on our profile.

Here’s what some experiences that our previous clients have shared with Clutch:

“They are honest and deliver.” – CEO, Door Screen Company

“They have very sound strategies and produce real results.” – CEO, Specialty Hardware Distributor

“1st on the List Promotion delivered on all fronts.” – Digital Manager, Home Care Provider

We truly appreciate all the resources Clutch has provided us which includes two features on their sister sites: The Manifest and Visual Objects.  The Manifest has listed us under their list of the top SEO agencies in Canada, increasing the likelihood that firms in need of an SEO agency will find our firm’s website.  Visual Objects is an additional resource that has added our portfolio of work to their site, further increasing our reach as a firm and improving the chances that we win more organic leads. 

Overall, we cannot express enough how proud we are of our team here at 1st on the List Promotion and we are very excited to continue our success throughout 2019 as a Clutch Leader in Advertising & Marketing.  

Yes, it really is possible to have too much business. Your business will have a sweet spot of success. The right number of people throughout every level of the sales funnel, all being properly serviced by the current team, is an ideal goal. Of course, for some businesses, they are looking for increased business beyond this sweet spot, and will grow their business and staff to match.

But, what happens when you simply want to maintain your current levels? Many businesses will ask to pause all marketing efforts in an effort to decrease the flow of new leads and customers. They’ll admit to being too busy and promise to re-enlist when things slow down.

Does that sound familiar?

Here’s the thing: it’s actually not in your best interest to pause your SEO efforts. Generally speaking, the SEO efforts we make today will see the benefit in six months or beyond. Plus, every monthly effort builds upon what was done before. Stopping cold turkey can have a negative effect on your SEO rankings and can be more difficult to rebound from.

So what do you do?

If your current SEO plan is working well (or too well) for your business, the best thing you can do is slow down your program, rather than stopping altogether. This way, you don’t lose the momentum you’ve built up along the way, and your future-proofing your efforts with your current work.

After all, SEO is an ongoing process and the last thing a business wants is to disappear or have all the prior hard work be for not.

There comes a time when businesses are faced with a decision as to where to allocate their online marketing spend. Often, when it comes to targeted search-based advertising, a business will be presented with the option of PPC and SEO. Which should you choose and what is the difference?

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click advertising. Generally speaking, this refers to paying for search placement ads in a search engine. You bid on keyword phrases and pay when a visitor clicks on your text-based ad.

Pay-per-click is quick to set up, and you can start benefit from this form of advertising right away.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the art and science of building a website, landing pages and content that is designed to bring targeted search-based traffic to your website based on related keywords. In other words, someone goes to Google and is searching for a business with your products or services, sees your organic search listing, clicks on it and reaches your website.

Building a stellar SEO pipeline can take a lot of work and time; however, the benefits are great.

Ideally, you should make room in your budget for both forms of advertising. Pay-per-click is great for campaigns or when you don’t have time to wait for your SEO strategy to work; however, year after year, the best, most targeted traffic is usually generated from organic search.

In other words, SEO is a long game while PPC is now. As with all your marketing efforts, you can really maximize your efforts by layering your digital efforts throughout the online marketplace.

In this post we’ll take a look at mobile marketing advantages. If mobile marketing is not on your radar or has yet to make its way into your marketing plan, now is the time to start.

If your business is targeting the average North American, one of the easiest ways to reach them is to get to them when they’re on their phone. After all, most people are rarely not within arms reach of their mobile device. We can often be spotted scrolling through our social media platforms, texting, browsing photos, or playing games on our cell phones. And, we are constantly on our phones – during downtime plus work time, playtime, mealtime, family time etc.).

Mobile Marketing – A Key Advertising Platform For Businesses

What is mobile marketing? Mobile marketing is advertising designed to reach mobile device users. Generally, this comes in the form of real time offers that can often be time or location sensitive. The advertisements appear on a variety of mobile platforms including apps, text messaging, email, websites, and social media.

While many forms of digital advertising offer a mobile audience target, your success will be greater if you have an integrated mobile marketing plan in place to ensure you are capturing attention. After all, with so much noise and clutter in the marketplace, getting noticed is key.

Mobile marketing is not the future of online advertising; it is the here and now. The great news is that it is often quick to implement so even if you’re feeling behind the times where this is concerned, you can be up and running fairly quickly.

Top Mobile Marketing Advantages

1. People are on their mobile phones a lot.

This means you’re reaching your potential customers on the device they have in their hands, or keep within arms reach.

When you think about advertising in general, the medium is the message but targeted reach is key. Marketing professionals will map out audience target personas and then craft advertising campaigns and ad buys to reach the key audience. Today’s average North American spends a good portion of their day on their cell phones or with their phones within easy reach. Think about how many times you look at your phone each day. Whether out of habit, necessity or boredom, much of a person’s screen time takes place on a mobile device.

2. You can easily tailor your marketing message.

These can be tailored to the device, advertising platform, location or past browsing history… in real time.

Generally speaking, ad creation for mobile marketing is less costly than traditional advertisements. Plus, any changes you make are almost instant. Unlike some traditional advertising platforms (print, radio, television) that may take days, weeks or a month for an ad change to make it to the public, with mobile ads, you can easily change your message whenever you like.

In addition, you can change your message for whomever you like! This is key. Offering custom advertising based on user information increases conversion rates.

As an example, let’s take a restaurant. You can radius target an area within easy reach of your restaurant and craft a “hungry? It’s lunch time and this burger is calling your name” ad to go out during the typical lunchtime hour(s). For a user, seeing a lunchtime message, at lunchtime, while they’re in the vicinity of your restaurant will play upon their impulses much more than seeing the same message at bedtime, while they’re nowhere near your place of business.

Want to further increase your conversions? Offer a “show this ad to receive a discount – limited time offer” message on your ad and your conversions will further increase.

3. You’re less likely to be ignored.

Acting on impulse happens in real time. So, if you can reach a person at the right place, at the right time you’re more likely to see a conversion. Information consumption on a mobile device is huge which means, your message is not only likely to be seen (or heard), but also less likely to be ignored.

4. Mobile content is very shareable.

Mobile content is easy to share. In fact, it is the easiest form of advertising to quickly and easily share with a friend. Whether via tagging, sharing, forwarding, messaging, or by way of screenshot etc, mobile users love to share things they think their friends will enjoy. Due to the phenomenon of digital sharing, your reach has the capacity to further increase.

Craft the right message and watch your numbers grow.

5. Great for impulse purchasing.

The Internet has made comparison shopping quick and easy. Price checking on a mobile phone is common. Want to capture a user at their point-of-purchase or impulsive moment? Be where they’re looking. With a limited time offer, or only a few left messaging, you may have increased conversions.

6. User data can be tracked immediately.

Being able to analyze data assists in evaluating ad and audience performance. This knowledge then allows advertisers to make changes. When data can be analyzed immediately, and ads can be changed quickly, and then businesses are able to adjust ad settings based on performance.

Reaching Your Target Audience In Real Time

Raise your hand if you want to reach your target audience in real time – when they’re most likely to convert.

Yes, that’s what we thought! This is why digital marketing, and specifically mobile marketing is so popular and powerful.

Print Advertising – Newspapers and magazines have set schedules, be it daily, weekly or monthly. This means you have to plan your advertisement, including promotions, well in advance. You will not have the luxury of taking advantage of market changes or daily pop culture and media happenings. In addition, your advertisement is generally tailored to the publication and their broad audience, rather than an individual user. In other words, everybody who opens the publication is seeing the same ad.

Television Advertising – A lot of resources go into making a good television commercial. In addition, tv ad buys can be quite pricey. Due to the cost and time to get a commercial into market, it is much more difficult to change your ad on the fly. Like print advertising, your ad will be tailored to the spot you’ve purchased and the station’s broader audience, rather than an individual user.

Radio Advertising – Radio ads are generally pre-produced unless talking points are purchased for a radio show. So, like print and television, you have to pre-plan your ad and message. This makes it harder to play on the current, most-up-to-date happenings in the world. Again, your one ad spot is designed to appeal to a very broad audience.

Digital Advertising – Generally speaking, digital ads take fewer resources to create and the ad buys are generally less expensive than traditional forms of advertising. Usually, you can make changes in real-time which means you can tailor your message to your results. Since you can target ads based on a variety of criteria including web usage, location, demographics (and more) you can provide very customized messages for your audience.

Mobile Advertising – Mobile advertising takes digital ads one step further, as they’re designed specifically to be consumed on a mobile device. Further targeting and customization is available.

Mass Communication Made Personal

People like to feel important. When messages have a personal touch, they’re more difficult to ignore. This is the key driver behind the success of a good mobile marketing campaign. Due to the very nature, set-up and ease of digital marketing advertising platforms, advertisements can be designed to speak directly to a person which feels far more personal than a newspaper ad.

Consider the impact of ‘follow-me’ ads. Have you ever browsed an e-commerce website and then began to see the items you were most interested in suddenly pop out of seemingly nowhere, following you around on the Internet?

While many people can now recognize the technology and when they’re being retargeted to, it is still a form of advertising that works, in part because it is personalized according to your past browsing history.

As advertisers get to know you, they’re able to deliver messages to you that make you feel important, play upon your impulses and start to take you down that path to conversion.

Mobile advertising, like digital ads in general, can be highly personable. Think about texting and email ads you may be regularly receiving. Many of these businesses know your interests, past purchases and even your name. It’s more difficult to ignore messages of interest than it is to ignore things that don’t really matter to you.

Instant Gratification – A New Kind Of Human Nature

One of the big advantages of mobile marketing is that it plays upon human nature. Instant gratification is par for the course in today’s North American culture. People no longer have the patience to wait until tomorrow for today’s news stories (now there are online news outlets), to hear their favourite song on the radio (music downloads and subscription services are so popular) or to wait for the next episode of their favourite television show (binge-watching on Netflix feeds the need to watch more). The Internet is literally at our fingertips and in the palm of our hands thanks to cell phones, data and Wi-Fi.

In the same vein as instant gratification is our propensity for making impulse decisions. We love to comparison shop online, but if you can stop in at the store you’re driving by and you already know the price is the same as online, you’ll get your widget or whatchamacallit in your hands that much faster.

When advertisers take human nature into consideration when creating advertisements, they win.

Real World Example Of Mobile Marketing At Work

Let’s examine a couple headed on a beach vacation. They begin researching destinations and suddenly they’re followed around the Internet by every best-deal website around. In addition, they’re starting to see content on their social media platforms related to the world’s best beaches or top all-inclusive destinations on the cheap.

How Does The Travel Agent Compete?

The travel agent can have targeted ads in their market area designed to reach people based on their travel search habits. If their advertisements can outline they have a best rate guarantee and speak to the point of making everything easier for the traveler, and the benefits of using a travel agent they may be more apt to get the booking. By utilizing a variety of mobile ad platforms, they can even target the couple when they’re near the bricks and mortar location.

What About Other Beach Travel Related Businesses?

There are a variety of other businesses that have products and services this couple can use on their beach vacation. A quick-dry, sand-repellent towel. Sunscreen. Pre-tanning. Sunglasses. Luggage. Travel Accessories. Snorkel Equipment. Excursion companies.

By creating ads and content in mobile formats and on mobile and social platforms, they’re able to reach the traveling couple before they head out on their vacation, too. They’re able to provide tools, equipment, ideas and topics of help and of interest and deliver it directly and in real-time.

If the company is online only, they can tout free and quick shipping. If they have a local location, they can advertise the ease of picking up the product while they’re nearby the store. And, when advertisers can do the work for the audience, such as price guarantees, it makes for an easier purchase.

Businesses can target based on past browsing history and begin crafting a series of ads that is personalized to the couple’s beach vacation. A person going on vacation is generally excited and in planning mode. This is an ideal opportunity to reach them, play upon human nature and hopefully get the impulse buys.

So What Does All This Mean?

If your business wants to capture spur of the moment purchases or conversions, impulse buys or has helpful and valuable information, catching a person on their phone provides an ideal opportunity. Ads can be texted, emailed, placed in social networks in mobile games and apps and in videos.

With today’s advanced technology, you can begin targeting your audience when they’re nearby. You can offer them personalized messages and discounts based on past browsing data, their location or other criteria.

Generally speaking, mobile ads are less expensive to make, easier to implement and capture visitors’ attention.

When you’re looking to build your business following, consider targeting your potential consumer on their mobile device.

It’s not as difficult as it sounds and the technology behind it all is designed to provide excellent results.

In the late 90s and early 2000’s, it was a lot easier to choose an experienced SEO Services firm because there were not that many of them. Of course, like any industry, there were some amateurs and bad apples in the mix. The term ‘black hat seo’ stemmed from early SEO days where some individuals and businesses were looking to cheat the system, rather than figure out best practices for success.

But, even back then, many businesses had a hard time justifying if the work was worth the cost or if they had found a good company. SEO is complicated and not in the average business’ wheelhouse so it can be more difficult to understand the complexity of the results.

After all, if a business knew how to do it and had the resources to do it in-house, they wouldn’t be hiring out.

So, when it comes time to look for an SEO services firm, having a basic understanding of what’s involved and knowing the questions to ask during the interview process is key.

Recovering from a bad SEO strategy or unprofessional tricks is time consuming and costly. You can avoid this by ensuring you’re selecting an SEO Services firm that has the experience and methods to achieve success.  

Benefits of Search Engine Optimization

Traffic from organic search engine results is highly targeted. This means, when a user queries a search engine they are looking for something specific (be it an answer, information, a product or service). The goal of the search engines is to deliver the best results for the query. So, the idea is that if a visitor lands on your site from a search engine, it his highly likely they are looking for your product, service or information.

The art and science of having your website appear for related search queries is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short

A good SEO strategy places your business in a position to receive targeted visitor traffic to your website. A targeted visitor is further down the path to conversion/purchase which makes them a great target market.  

SEO is a long-term marketing strategy. It can take some time to implement; however, the results are usually long-term.

Generally, an SEO firm will recommend a long-term monthly program. A well-run and successful program is ongoing and includes a variety of items including on-page continuous optimization, content strategies, technical elements, link building and more. Analyze. Rinse. Repeat.

How is SEO Achieved?

There are a variety of tactics involved in a good SEO strategy. Often, you will see that a web designer offers ‘SEO’ under their list of services. Usually, this means they are outfitting the site with a tool designed to allow for the integration of Meta tags (strings of code read by the search engines). This is only one factor of SEO and is not a strategy or a tactic, but rather a tool.  

For the average business owner, if they’re told they’re getting ‘SEO’ they believe it, right? What many are not aware of is that there is SEO and then there is SEO. How do you tell SEO from SEO? Ah, now that’s the big question!  

A Successful SEO Plan Generally Includes:

1. Keyword & Market Research – What is the targeted web visitor searching for to find the website? What are other websites providing? Where is there room for improvement and market infiltration?

2. Content /Site Planning – User experience is everything because SEO is designed to get a visitor to a website, but what happens once they are there is equally as important. Determining the required content, order of pages, importance of items and site flow is paramount.

3. Site Navigation – A cleanly navigated website is easier for the visitor and the search engines.

4. Content – Content is king (and queen, and prince/princess/commoner, too). Again, SEO is designed to get a visitor to click on a search result. Content is what keeps and converts the visitor once they arrive on a website.

5. Clean Coding – A well-built, clean-coded website does wonders in helping a website rank.
6. Speed – Search engines factor in site speed and website load when looking at a website. Speed on mobile devices and desktop computers should be looked at.

7. U/X – User-Centered Design/Content – Some businesses design the website they want to see, or the website they like; however, well-performing websites are designed 100% for the visitor.

8. Meta Tags – Title and description tags are integrated on every page to help aid the search engines in what that page is about.

9. Page Titles– A page title is important for the search engines and the web visitor.

10. Technical SEO Items – There are a variety of technical elements that can help or hinder SEO.
11. Analytics Review – It’s important to continue to monitor campaign results, traffic, and user-flow on a website to adjust strategies and get new ideas.

12. Repeat – SEO is not a one-time affair. For long-term success, an ongoing strategy is essential.
13. Plus various other factors – There are a variety of factors that go into how well a website ranks on the search engines. From link-building to alt-tags and everything in between, a professional SEO services firm prioritizes tactics for your success.

One of the first things you will see is that there is a good deal of planning and strategy that goes into an SEO-optimized website before the build even begins. This is because it is important to build a website that is designed for the targeted web visitor. A site plan, content strategy and website that is built with SEO in mind from the ground up has the right foundation for success.

How To Choose an SEO Services Firm

With so many SEO Services firms out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the choices. Finding one who can talk the talk and walk the walk is key.

In addition, because SEO is a long game strategy, choosing the wrong firm can set you behind. But even more so, when SEO tactics are not implemented properly, or black hat tricks are used, long lasting damage can often be done to a site that takes a lot of hard work and time to overcome.

By asking these questions, a business is able to better ascertain who is reputable, and who is not.

Top 5 Questions To Ask An SEO Company

1. How Many Years Experience Do You Have (and can you show me examples and case studies of your success stories)?

Perhaps the general philosophies and tactics of SEO can be book-learned; however, actual industry experience is priceless. Through working in the industry, SEO experts can delve beyond best practices and recommendations because they have developed an innate ability to naturally assess a situation and implement a strategy that will work.

By asking this question, you’re looking for an SEO services firm that has been around for years and can provide many examples of top search engine positioning and lead generation results in a variety of industries.

2. Do You Follow Industry Best Standards and Google’s Webmaster Guidelines?

Ideally, we’d like to think this is the easy question that every SEO professional would answer properly; however, there are some out there who have developed proprietary practices designed to trick the search engines. That’s your cue to run away.  Another cue? When they tell you they can rank you in a day or a week and offer ranking guarantees. If a sales pitch sounds fishy, generally, the practices put in place are too.

You should only hire a company that continues to stay up-to-date on recommended best practices and uses white-hat SEO practices.

3. How Is Your Success Measured?

Reputable SEO companies work with you to outline goals, targets and timelines. They send regular reports and updates that measure things such as keyword positioning, website traffic, visitor demographics, time on site, bounce rate and lead conversions.

It is important you know the goals of the SEO firm and that they align with your goals. What kind of traffic increase are you expecting? How many visitors per month are the targeted keywords expected to get?

4. What Keywords Can You Guarantee?
Here’s the trick question! You want to hire an SEO services firm that can look you in the eye and explain that keyword positions cannot be guaranteed. There are many companies out there touting first page positions, guaranteed! But, for what keywords? And, for how long? Organic search engine results are not something that anybody can guarantee so it’s best you work with a company that is upfront about the goals and the strategies to get there.

Generally speaking, the more popular a keyword, the more competitive the keyword which means the more work and time it will take to rank. We’ve worked tirelessly for multiple years to rank a website for a very popular keyword while others can take a week or a month.

5. Am I Under Contract? What Happens if We Part Ways?
Many reputable SEO services firms are confident in their ability to establish long-term client relationships and are happy to not work within locked-in contracts. Some may require contract terms. Regardless of whether you are locked-into a relationship or not, more importantly, you need to understand what happens if you choose to part ways.

There are a variety of reasons a business may cancel or pause their SEO services. Best practices are that the business retains their content, access to their website (if with the same company) and all logins/passwords for accounts.

Trust, Integrity and General Likeability

One of the reasons a business might have difficulty selecting an SEO services firm is because they do not understand the process and therefore, find it more difficult to ascertain what to look for. Business owners regularly have to contract out services that are outside their own scope of work. When a business can build a long-term relationship with an outside vendor, there is a greater opportunity for success.

A successful relationship with an SEO services firm can be highly beneficial to a business. So, it is important you select a firm you can trust and is based on integrity. This firm and their professionals will be working hard on your account so it’s helpful if there is a good working relationship.

Selecting the least expensive company or the company with the slick sales pitch doesn’t necessarily bode well for long-term success.  

Ideally, a company that has been around, achieving successful results, for years is best suited to help your business achieve long-term success. They’ve not only seen, but experienced, search engine algorithm updates. They’ve had experience with competitive keywords, dropped rankings, and cleaning up technical code on a website. They’ve developed an innate understanding of what it takes to achieve results. They stay up-to-date on best practices and up-and-coming trends but have a solid grasp of the foundation and good, sound business.

They can speak client and programmer and act as a bridge for your company between these two, very different languages. They can delve deep into analytics to continue to strategize for best results and then provide you with key indicators in a way you can understand. They can stay up-to-date on the trends but also are not bound by the trends.

Ideally, you’re looking for a company that has a proven track record, satisfied clients and has achieved long-term successful results that go beyond positioning and into ROI and lead generation.

As a business owner, you don’t need to know how to do SEO to hire an SEO services firm. You just need to know the right questions to ask so you can ensure you’re hiring a reputable firm that has your best interests in mind.

About 1st on the List

Located just outside Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1st on the List is a boutique SEO Company that has been offering search engine optimization, pay per click, and SEO web design services since 1997.

To learn more about our services, please call us Toll Free at 1-877-562-7965 or send us an email.