4 Trends in Search For 2016

Search engine rankings aren’t just about search engine optimization. Your website design, the programming it uses, the breadth of content, and the on-site SEO are all part and parcel of what allows your site to appear in the search engines. Outdated websites that aren’t mobile friendly and don’t keep up to date will continue to be less visible in search.

As search engines evolve to satisfy the user so too must websites. Here are four trends you’ll see in search in 2016.

AMP

AMP is not the amount of voltage your website puts out, it’s an acronym for accelerated mobile pages, a new open-source project led by Google to compete against Facebook instant articles. When Google has a new initiative they’re behind, businesses and webmasters should listen. Google is expected to launch AMP by late February 2016. More sites and ad networks are working to support AMP everyday.

amp demo


This is a Google Accelerated Mobile Pages demo

The goal of AMP is to speed up the rendering of pages on the mobile web. AMP uses a shared library of scripts, so there’s no need to download each one every time. It’s like HTML on a diet. Caches and prefetches are utilized for optimal delivery speed to the user and instant delivery. Google has now launched support of AMP pages in its search engine and is encouraging its usage for a better mobile web experience.

AMP also has a lot to do with ads. Google needs ads to load quickly on smartphones and adopting its usage helps set a new standard for advertising architecture and more rapid delivery. Google wants broad industry participation so that AMP becomes the standard in mobile. Google recently announced that Google Analytics now supports tracking for AMP.

Mobile Advertising

The number of queries has now surpassed desktop/laptop and the mobile user wants speed and ease of use. With the rise of mobile, mobile advertising has also evolved and is a big reason why Facebook with all its mobile users has seen a surge in revenue. Google has its own mobile search algorithm and mobile advertising continues to rapidly progress with AMP and other new features and trends.

Since Google typically only shows 2 ads in a mobile query, it’s of the greatest importance to have a top ad spot. This makes working with a Google AdWords certified professional all the more important.

Knowledge Graph Expansion

What is the knowledge graph? It’s the data that appears in Google pulled in from another Website in the first result. What’s known as the knowledge can appear in the right hand column of a desktop/laptop Google search. When you search for information, Google wants to show the best possible result. For example, when you search information on a place, data about that place may pull in from a site like Wikipedia in the knowledge panel.

When you search a business in Google, their business information, customer reviews, office hours, photos, Google+ page link, other social profiles, or even business competitors can appear in the right hand side in the knowledge panel. This data is pulled in from our Google business page. Having a completed business page is of heightened importance as Google has evolved away from collecting business data from Google+. This also ties into JSON-LD programming and Schema.

ssl certificate

HTTPS

The push for HTTPS began a few years ago but expect the importance of having an https website to increase in 2016 and the years to come. Google has advocated for a secure web. As part of this push to improve security on the Web, its Chrome browser will soon flag websites that are unencrypted, without a security layer, with a red ‘x’ display over a padlock in the URL bar for the site.

A secure socket layer (SSL) is a layer of encryption that is added to the standard http Web protocol. An https site displays shows a padlock in the URL bar. Google isn’t alone in encouraging encryption as both Apple and Mozilla have indicated they want more Web encryption and the U.S. government required all .gov websites to use https by the end of 2015. Expect Google and others to continue to look for ways to encourage all sites to be encrypted.

What These Changes Mean

While the Web and Internet marketing rapidly one key takeaway from change is the emphasis on providing a better user experience whether it’s speed, less spam, more security, or more easily accessible, concise search information. Google wants to provide the best possible user experience and have highly satisfied users, as should all Websites.

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We Can Create Great Content For Your Website

As a web design company, you probably expect us to provide great designs. Our goal is to have have highly satisfied clients and build professional, conversion focused websites. We want your website to be engaging, match your brand vision, and drive more leads and sales to your business and al the websites we build are mobile friendly and built with the user, and search engines in mind.

But what you might not know is that we can also help provide you with great content for your website. We want to make it easy to build great websites for clients and as a result, we help provide the building blocks needed to have your Websites get results. Besides, what’s a website without great content?

Content

We have worked on hundreds of Websites and know the importance of relevant, high quality content for a site. By providing valuable content, not only are you answering the questions and providing the information you’re customers are seeking, you’re also help your Website be more easily found in search engines.

At Ascent, our content writing services help clients who don’t have the time or wherewithal to write the content for their site. We charge on a per page basis. We can also create awesome infographics to help convey information in a more meaningful, visually appealing, and shareable way.

We have found by providing content services, not only do our clients get great results, it also helps streamline development times and helps clients have their Website up quicker with a better finished product.

Stallard Photography: Commercial &emdash;

Photography and Video

Written content isn’t the only medium to provide great information for your customers. Images and video are critical components of a Website. We have partnered with a local St. George photographer and videographer to help clients get the high quality photography their business needs. This includes team photos, products, real estate, aerial, and ‘action’ shots.

Live Chat

You want your visitors into clients and live chat can be an effective tool to better monetize Web traffic. Live chat service isn’t the right fit for all businesses but it can be an effective tool in capturing leads to your site, especially if your customer value is more significant. When installed on your site, live chat can be available 24/7, staffed by real people, that can professionally engage with prospective customers, obtain their contact information, and email you the chat transcript immediately after the chat has concluded.

We can help you seamlessly integrate live chat service onto your Website. The provider we typically recommend is Ngage, as can been seen on our site, but there are a variety of live chat providers depending on your type of business.

Live chat has different billing methods but typically there is an initial setup fee and then a per chat service fee, in which you are only charged for a legitimate, qualified chat that is in your geographic area and is not a previous contact. To evaluate this tool, it’s useful to know that based on data from Ngage, only about 2-3% of websites visitors will be legit chats on average.

Hosting

Hosting is not content but it’s what keeps your website content up and running 24/7, all from the palm of a customer’s hand. We utilize powerful, state-of-the-art servers that have historically had 99.9% up time. With our hosting service, you get dedicated server space and great customer support at a reasonable price. We also offer security certificates and security badges to thwart hackers and promote trust and confidence in your site.

Contact us to learn more about our content services and the other tools we provide to help our clients get more results from their sites!

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Tips to Build a Better Website: Video

For most businesses, your website is the marketing hub and building a great website can be one of the most effective and cost-efficient marketing mediums. There are a number of ways you can create a website that is not only visually appealing but also is built with the user and SEO in mind.

Get useful tips in my video on Instant ETraining. In this 20 minute+ video, I discuss how to build a more engaging Website and how to create a stronger site foundation from which to market from. View the preview below.

To view the full video, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial here (affiliate link) at Instant ETraining.

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Is Microsoft Edge an Improvement Over IE?

Microsoft’s newest operating system — Windows 10 — brings a host of new updates and features to its most popular applications. One of the biggest departures is that the default browser is an all-new Web browser that replaces Internet Explorer (IE) called Edge.

Microsoft developed Edge to effectively replace the Internet Explorer legacy. Although it sports a similar logo to IE, Edge is a radical departure from IE. It brings some impressive new developments to the Windows 10 experience and his a huge improvement over its predecessor.

Why the Change?

20 years after the first version of IE was first released, it comes as no surprise that Internet Explorer is bogged down with support for old technologies, amongst other issues that has seen its market share steadily decline in recent years against its main competitors Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Microsoft stripped many outdated components from Internet Explorer to deliver a more faster and streamlined experience. ActiveX, Browser Helper Objects (BHOs), Visual Basic Script and many more features and support are not present in Edge.

edge

Increased Speed

Internet Explorer has been utilizing the Trident rendering engine since its first release. Microsoft EdgeHTML is the replacement engine for the Edge browser that promises to load web page much faster than Internet Explorer.

Enhanced Security

One of the most important improvements in Edge is security. Web pages you visit are rendered inside a sandbox to thwart malicious attacks from penetrating your computer. Edge brings HTTP Strict Transport Security and HTML5 Content Security Policy — new Internet security standards — not available in Internet Explorer.

Next Generation Search

Edge features powerful search integration. Cortana — Microsoft’s virtual assistant — and its Bing search engine are connected to Edge. Questions you enter in Edge’s address bar are answered immediately without needing to open a full Bing Web search. This further integrates integrates Bing into the browsing experience as Microsoft wants the search engine to gain market share.

Revamped Extensions

Microsoft Edge makes developing browser extensions much easier than Internet Explorer. The new Web browser runs extensions built on JavaScript and HTML code; a standard for developers creating extensions for other browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox. New extensions won’t go into effect until a later update to Edge. Internet Explorer will remain in the background as a fall-back for compatibility issues.

New Innovations

One of the more innovative new features found in Microsoft Edge targets Windows 10 tablets and touchscreen monitors. You can annotate directly on a web page using a variety of markup tools, such as a pen, highlighter and text. You can add public notes to web pages and save pages directly to your bookmarks, a reading list or to your notebooks in Microsoft OneNote.

While some features and technologies have been removed in the release of Microsoft Edge, the new Web browser brings a ton of powerful tools to Windows 10. Test out its features and performance against your browser of choice and see how it stacks up.

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Understanding Google AdWords Remarketing

Remarketing is an under-utilized marketing tactic that if you haven’t yet discovered, you may want to consider exploring and implementing. Taking advantage of remarketing is a great way to recover some of the conversions that you may not capture when consumers visit your site initially, build brand recognition, and have prospective customers come back for another visit.

The Difference Between Traditional Online Ads and Remarketing

Paid search advertising through Google AdWords is designed to target users who have intent to purchase your product or service. Search ads are text only. Online display advertising generally targets the type of people who are likely to visit your website through contextual targeting and/or keywords. Text or image ads may be used to appeal to the demographic that you anticipate would purchase your products or services.

Remarketing (sometimes referred to as retargeting) is the strategic placement of ads on websites. These ads appear on a website after a person has visited another website, and there are a lot of them. There are more than two million Websites on the Google ad network. As an example: If you design and sell jewelry and a person visits your site online, remarketing would facilitate that the same individual sees ads for your jewelry while visiting a different site after yours.

adwords remarketing

How Remarketing Works and Its Benefits

To implement remarketing, you will need to install a specific code from your remarketing provider on your website. This code is not complex, and it should not interfere with your site’s speed or performance. The people who come to your site should not even be aware that the code is in place.

Once a person visits your site, the remarketing code will install a cookie in that person’s system and you start building a remarketing list. Once your list is large enough, when that person visits a different site, the cookie will inform your remarketing provider that a corresponding ad from your website should appear on the site visited subsequently.

The main benefit of utilizing the remarketing technique is that it can help you successfully increase conversions. People often respond to such ads because they remind them of the products and services they have recently considered while browsing online. They also help to increase consumer awareness of your brand, which can ultimately lead to more sales overall.

The Options Available via Google AdWords Remarketing

Google offers a variety of remarketing options. Standard remarketing may be the most commonly used: Visitors to your site see ads for your brand displayed when they go to other sites. Dynamic remarketing utilizes dynamic ads to accomplish the same thing.

You can also choose remarketing for mobile apps, which is a viable option since so many people browse the Internet via mobile devices. Remarketing lists for search ads will display ads to your site visitors when they perform subsequent Google searches. Video remarketing ads are similar to standard retargeting ads, but the ads occur after people have viewed your videos.

Remarketing is also available in other advertising platforms such as Bing Ads, Facebook, Adroll, Retargeter, and others.

Final Thoughts

If you hope to increase conversion rates from your Website, remarketing can be a highly effective technique. While remarketing is a fairly simple process, it can get somewhat confusing and with its myriad of set up options and features, there’s a learning curve involved.

It’s recommended to work with a Google AdWords certified professional to properly set up your PPC campaigns and get the best results through ongoing optimization and ad campaign management.

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