Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Google Is Playing Possum With Your Local Search Results

Search Engine Land analyses the latest Google Algorithm that is impacting Local Businesses and provides some clarity on how the Local Search (code named Possum) update may have effected your bricks and mortar business.

One of the key changes is the merging of local and organic ranking signals as we see the proximity of the searcher's location becoming a more important ranking signal with this new Google update.
It's understood that Google is now rewarding certain businesses that are not only optimising their location data and content for search but also physically closer to the searchers location.
To understand more about the the impact of Possum  on local businesses, let’s look at the following scenario:
  • Prior to Possum Update: Let’s say Bob, a resident of Erina, New South Wales, requires a podiatrist and is doing a search for podiatry specialists in the Erina area. An area podiatrist, Erica Dash, that publishes location pages for dozens of podiatrists might dominate the local pack results — not necessarily because Erica Dash optimises her website content better than anyone else, but because it is the largest podiatrist clinic in the area and has enough domain strength to make those pages relevant from an algorithmic standpoint.
  • Post Possum Update: Bob conducts the same search for podiatrists. Instead of a single podiatry clinic dominating search results, Google allocates more real estate to other podiatry clinics nearby based on their location and the usual ranking signals — unless Erica Dash’s content and data are so well optimised for search that they outperform other podiatrists by a wide margin.
The reason Google is doing this is to make it harder for the larger national companies and brands to dominate the search results for local searches simply because of the size and authority of their website.

What you can do to beat your competition

Search Engine Land offers the following advice for Local Businesses that want to take advantage of the latest Google update:
If you are a business that operates brick-and-mortar locations, you should first check to see if your rankings for local search have been affected. You might not have been affected — or you might be seeing better results, not necessarily a drop in rankings.
Regardless of whether you’ve been affected, now is the time to get more rigorous about how you manage your data and content as assets to make your brand more visible where people conduct near-me searches. Ask questions like:
  • Is my data accurate and shared properly with the publishers and aggregators that distribute my data?
  • Are my data and content differentiated to make my brand stand out?
  • Am I listing data attributes, such as the availability of free parking, which might differentiate me when near-me searches occur?
  • Is my deep content, such as long-form description of my business, or visual imagery, optimised properly for search?
To wrap things up, there's never been a better time to boost your local search results...
If you'd like to find out how you can improve your local search results and drive more customers to your website, get in touch via our contact form for a free one on one analysis of your situation.

Read More Here: Google Is Playing Possum With Your Local Search Results

Monday, 19 September 2016

10 Tips to Designing Flawless Website Layouts

The perfect website layout is easy to achieve only if you know what to consider right from the beginning. Many designers make countless mistakes because they jump right into designing without taking the time to think of how they want the design to look, and what is needed to achieve that look.

There are many things that web designers need to know and pay attention to during the website building process if they would like to achieve a professional website layout. Here are some tips you can employ in order to get it right all the time;

Sketch your thoughts

Designing is all about solving a problem. One mistake many designers make is going straight to Photoshop without thinking about the problem at hand, and what you need to do to solve it.

You need to picture what you are thinking about and put it down on paper so that you can visualize it clearly and see if it is what you need or not before you start working on the design.

Choose your topography wisely

You need to familiarize yourself with different fonts to make good decisions on what you should use on your website. The rule here is to try as much as possible to stick to a few different fonts, maybe two or three, depending on the type of website you are designing.

The most important thing is to choose a font that can be read easily. You can then do a little more on the headlines and calls for action, especially as these are the sections of your webpage that you will want to grab the most attention.

Choose a good color theme

The color that you will use on your UI, your backgrounds and also on your text should be carefully considered as well.

You can mix a few colors to achieve a good tone but keep the colors to a minimum to prevent diverting the attention of your visitors to the colors rather than the content of your website. Maintain the same color scheme throughout the design to create uniformity.

Consider dividing your layout

You cannot have everything on just one page as this might confuse the users. Divide your layout in different sections and let each section carry a different story for your users. Each section should be about the most important part of your brand.

Your users should find every section useful, and adding a call for action button at the end of the content will allow them to make the right decision faster.

Pay close attention to every detail

Every image and element that you use on your web page should come out clearly, as it is important in the design. Do not overlook what may seem like simple or small details; these should be highlighted as they can add a wealth of value to the final product.
Sharpen your design

You have to ensure that your design looks as clean and as appealing as possible. There are a variety of details that many designers fail to pay attention to, which damage the end product. For instance, font rendering options, blurry edges, strokes that do not match the backgrounds among others. You need to work with these in order to achieve a sharp, appealing design.

To get this right, look at your design as a whole before publishing it to ensure that everything is flowing as it should. Only then will you be able to analyze every component in detail one by one.

Give every component great importance

Designers need to know that every component they have in their design is as important as everything else. Therefore, it should be designed as if it will stand out on its own in the design. This is how you end up with exceptional components in your designs which add so much value and importance to your design.

A mistake made by many web designers is that they leave out some parts of the website to work on them later, and when the time comes, they work on these ‘forgotten’ sections in a hurry without doing much about them, affecting the end results.

Always be prepared for the worst

Web designers should always aim for the best design but expect the worst case scenario. When creating designs, rather than looking for what is easy and achievable, web designers should look for what seems difficult.

These are the different constraints through which web designers should work in. The kind of websites you are designing should therefore work in both ideal situations and in the worst-case scenario.

Be good at presentations too

Unfortunately not many designers are good at presenting their designs, which is why some of the best designs do not get to see the light of the day. You should be as good in presenting as you are in designing because the importance people place on your design is based a lot on how you present it.

Sometimes designers ignore some of the most obvious details when presenting, often without realizing that what seems as obvious to them is not obvious to other people.

Evaluate your design during the development process

It is quite easy to make changes to your design if you keep evaluating it from the beginning during the development process other than waiting to evaluate it once it has been completed.

This is the only way you can ensure that your design is well executed and that the results will be just as you imagined them to be.

Web designers need to be smart in order to impress their users, and most users are impressed by excellent website layouts. These not only attract users, but also keep them coming back for content from your website.

There is so much that you can do as a web designer to attract and convert users to buyers, and this list shows some of the most effective ways to do so.

10 Tips to Designing Flawless Website Layouts was first published on www.codecondo.com