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Posted by on in Website Design

Local search is becoming a valuable source of customers for local brick and mortar businesses. People are increasingly using the Internet to find businesses near them, especially using mobile devices. At the same time, the number of people using mobile devices to get online is increasing. Statistics also show that local searches end with a visit to a store within 24 hours roughly half of the time.

People who use local search to find businesses near them have a purchase intent. Local businesses can benefit from increased visibility in local searches, but to do so, they need to rethink their search engine optimization. Ranking for local search is similar to ranking for global search, but it still requires a separate optimization effort.

1. Local Keywords

In global search, the current rule of thumb says you should be focusing on long tail keywords. Local search, however, is a bit different. You want to use the same keywords that people are using on their mobile devices, and they're not as likely to use whole phrases when searching. So, your focus shouldn't be on long tail keywords.

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Posted by on in Website Design

Last year will be remembered as the year when mobile devices finally overtook desktop devices as the go-to hardware used to access the Internet. Everyone who wanted to look could have seen this coming from a mile away - just a year before, there were more Google searches performed from mobile advice than any other type of advice. The reign of mobile has started.

For a business-person who wants to establish their presence on the Internet, the mobile-first era starts with a simple question - is your website optimized for mobile devices? It should be, because more than a half of people won't stick around if your websites load for more than three seconds. Even if the loading times are quicker, visitors will not waste their time on a website that's built to be navigated using a mouse and keyboard, not thumbs. And as time goes by, mobile-friendliness is going to be increasingly important.

Why Is Mobile-First Indexing Important?

Google still hasn't fully implemented mobile-first indexing, but it's getting there. Right now, your website's search ranking is still largely determined by how well it performs on desktops. But as the numbers continue to show that people are favoring their mobile devices when accessing the Internet, providing your visitors with a good mobile experience will become important for search rankings as well.

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Posted by on in Website Design

Security should be the number one concern of any business that has a website. The number of website hacks is rising, and it seems like the people who would like to hack your website and use it for their own means don't discriminate based on size. You can have a small business with a simple website, or a large company with a big website - the size of your website will not do anything for you in terms of security.

Does it mean you're left at the mercy of hackers? Of course not. There are plenty of things you can do to make it harder for people with bad intent to hack your website. And it all starts with your choice of hosting.

Hosting and Security

For businesses, especially small ones, choosing a hosting option is a sort of a balancing act. On the one hand, there's the need to keep the overheads down and go with the most affordable hosting option. On the other hand, there's the need to have decent features in your hosting package, and the more expensive packages usually come with better features.

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Posted by on in Website Design

How many different ways do you have to spread the word about your products or services? Online, there are social media channels, paid advertisements, your business' website, blog, other blogs where you can guest-post, and affiliates. There are a plethora of channels you can use to communicate with your customers. The effectiveness of most of these channels, however, hangs on a single thing - your ability to serve quality content.

Different types of content serve different purposes. Viral content, quizzes, and competitions raise awareness about your products. Infographics, guides, and trend reports do the same, although they educate more than they entertain. When you want to move away from building awareness towards increasing purchases, you'll need different types of content, such as product reviews, case studies, and - customer testimonials.

How Do Customer Testimonials Affect Decision Making?

Customer testimonials are one of the most valuable tools you have for word-of-mouth marketing. They go hand in hand with customer reviews as the type of content people like to seek out before they decide to use a product or a service. They serve as social proof that your product or service brings value to its users, and as such are more than capable of increasing the credibility of your business.

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Posted by on in Website Design

Whether you're creating the first website for your business, or you're finally deciding to give your existing website a fresher look, one of the steps you'll have to make is - consult with a professional. You should give up on any ideas of designing the website on your own. It's not as easy as it seems, and unless you are in fact a website designer yourself, you should really leave it to people who do it for a living.

But the fact that you're hiring someone to improve your website doesn't mean that you won't have a role to play in the process. You can be involved as much as you want. You can also try to be involved as little as possible, but even then, there are some things that you'll have to do. Things like going to a consultation with a website designer. And, if you want your website to be any good, preparing for the consultation.

The Very Basics Your Need to Cover

Your website should have a purpose. It's not there only to look pretty, although that will certainly help it achieve its purpose. You need to know what exactly you want to achieve with the website redesign, and what do you want your website to be able to do. Do you want your whole website geared towards getting people to sign up for your newsletter? Are using it solely to boost your own status as an industry expert? Or do you have an online store, but you want to add some content that will make it rank better in search engine results? You need to be very clear on what you want the website to achieve before you start talking with a website designer.

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