What Does SEO Stand For? SEO Terms And Meanings

What Does SEO Stand For? SEO Terms And Meanings

by GingerHippo
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. SEO is how people will find your content and website on the internet. Some people find SEO to be hard, but it isn’t. Once you understand SEO, it’s not as scary as you might think.

What Does SEO Stand For? SEO Meaning, Definition, Tips, And Best Practices.

Table of Contents:

Let’s Define SEO

What Are The Different Types Of SEO?

SEO Tips

SEO Best Practices

SEO Terms And Meanings

Bonus Tips For Search Engine Optimization

Image source: Web Design 499

Let’s Define SEO:

 
“SEO” is short for Search Engine Optimization. It is also a tool companies use to drive traffic to their website. Traffic is what we all want for our websites, correct?
 
According to Wikipedia. SEO “is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website’s unpaid results. This is often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.”
 
What does that mean? It means that effort needs to happen, to make one website rank better than another website in search. The internet is getting more and more competitive every day. Writing a piece of content and expecting it to rank on it’s own, is a thing of the past.
 
By creating better content, and using great principles, we can rank better. Why? Because search engines want to provide the best content.

Image source: Digital Vidya

What Are The Different Types Of SEO? What It Means.

 
There are two different types of search engine optimization, being “On Page SEO” and “Off Page SEO”. We will explain each type, to help understand the importance of both.
 
On Page SEO On page SEO relates to how your content relates to other content on your website. Internal linking between pages, allows us to build authority for our entire website. Also, using external links to outside content, allows us to build credibility.
 
Off Page SEO Off page SEO refers to the efforts of trying to get others to feel your content is valuable. Sharing content on social media, is one method of off page SEO. It is also the most popular, because anyone can share content links. The second method is to get other websites to link to your content. When websites link to your content, search engines determine your content is valuable. We call this “outreach”. Outreach is when we reach out to other websites, to create a “dofollow backlink” to our content. Sometimes, this may happen without effort. Most of the time, we need to reach out to other webmasters to create this opportunity.
 
Outside of the two different types of SEO, there are many other aspects of what it means. By using the best principles, SEO drives traffic to a website. With the added traffic, opportunity to gain new customers happens, by creating solutions. By gaining new customers, more revenue happens. We all want more customers, right?
 
According to Wikipedia. SEO “is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website’s unpaid results. This is often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.”
 
What does that mean? It means that effort needs to happen, to make one website rank better than another website in search. The internet is getting more and more competitive every day. Writing a piece of content and expecting it to rank on it’s own, is a thing of the past.
 
By creating better content, and using great principles, we can rank better. Why? Because search engines want to provide the best content.

Image source: PC Learnings

Let’s Look At Some SEO Tips.

  1. The very first tip we want to share is something we developed in house at GingerHippo, called the “SEO Triangle of Trust”. The triangle of trust refers to the 3 main areas of SEO, being content, traffic, and backlinks.
  2. While most websites have plenty of content, they lack the backlinks to drive traffic. Some websites have backlinks, but they aren’t pointing to relevant content. Writing content using the best format, can be a tremendous tool to gain organic rankings. H-tags, meta descriptions, titles, and navigation are very important. Using a table of contents like we did in this article, can help search engines make best sense of your content.
  3. Contextual links are very important to building your authority and ranking. Internal links and external links should use context relevant to your sources.
  4. Use “dofollow links” for outgoing links in your content. After all, we want dofollow backlinks from our sources, right?

Image source: Executive Digital

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practices.

 
1. Always use white hat methods in SEO. “White Hat” refers to using practices which meet a search engine’s terms of service. This means that you are following the rules. “Black Hat” SEO attempts to improve rankings in ways search engines don’t approve of. This usually involves deception.
2. Make sure people can read your content. Writing content people understand, is a key to content consumption. We recommend using a free tool “Hemingway Editor” to check your content. We also recommend writing content to a 6th grade reading level or lower.
3. Your content should add value to the reader, by solving a problem. Finding solutions to a reader’s problems, will ensure people want to read what you write.
4. Share your content on all social media platforms. We don’t get to decide which platform people use to find answers. Sharing content to all platforms, allows us to find people who are looking for our content.
5. Create unique visuals for your content. People are very visual. By creating visuals, other writer’s may use your visuals for their articles. When they give your visuals source credit, you will receive a link back to your website.
6. Start a list to add to, when other websites give you a backlink to your content. Reaching out to these websites for future content, can be very valuable.

Image source: Blogging Nectar

SEO Terms And Meanings

 
Here is a list of SEO terms and their meanings, for referencing what you hear from others.
 
301 or 301 redirect – When a URL points to a different URL. This can be useful for canonical issues. 301’s are permanent redirects.
 
302 or 302 redirect – When a URL points to a different URL, but isn’t permanent.
 
404 or 404 page not found – When someone clicks on a URL that doesn’t exist. A 404 occurs when an old URL isn’t redirected to a new URL.
 
Adwords – Google’s advertising platform. Other terms used may include CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per thousand impressions), or PPC (pay per click).
 
Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketers, practices, and websites sell products from other companies. Sales produce a commission or fee.
 
Algorithm – A mathematical program search engines use. Algorithms determine which pages are best to suggest for a given search query.
 
Alt Text – A description of a graphic, or image. Alt text generally isn’t displayed to a user. Alt text is important because search engines can’t tell one picture from another. Alt text is best used to give an accurate description of the associated picture. Web browsers for visual impaired users, use alt text to define the content to their user.
 
Analytics – A program which assists in analyzing data about website usage.
 
Anchor Text – The user visible text of a link. Anchor text indicates relevancy of a referring website.
 
Authority – Authority is sometimes called “link juice”. It is the amount of trust a website has for a search query. Authority derives it’s value from related incoming links, from other authoritative sites.
 
B2B – Business to Business.
 
B2C – Business to Consumer.
 
Backlink (incoming link) – Any link into a page or website from other websites. Backlinks are always either “dofollow” or “nofollow”.
 
Black Hat – Search engine optimization tactics that don’t follow Google Webmaster Guidelines.
 
Blog – A website page with content presented in a chronological series. Most blogs use a content management system. CMS platforms allow content creation, without needing the ability to write code. Content creators for blogs, are often referred to as “bloggers”.
 
Bot (robot, spider, crawler) – A program search engines use, which indexes web content. Bots are also used in black hat SEO to scrape the internet for content. The scraped content is often used by spammers for exploitation.
 
Bounce Rate – The percentage of users who enter a site and then leave it without viewing any other pages.
 
Bread Crumbs – A defined navigation area above the main content. Bread crumbs allow users to know where they are on a website. They also allow quick navigation to categorical pages.
 
Canonical Issues (duplicate content) – When content duplicates existing content on a website. By creating “noindex” meta tags, canonical data instructs bots which content is important. This is sometimes called “cornerstone content”.
 
Cloak or Cloaking – Showing search engines a different version of content, than what a human user sees. When search engines catch cloaking, they are often banned.
 
CMS (Content Management System) – Website platforms that allow content writing. CMS platforms do not need coding skills to write content. WordPress, Joomla, Wix, and Webflow, are examples of CMS platforms.
 
Comment Spam – Posting blog comments to create a backlink to a different website.
 
Content (text, copy) – The part of a website that creates value to a visitor or reader. Content is the greatest factor for search engines, when determining search engine rankings.
 
Conversion (goal) – Completing a quantifiable goal on a website. Converting a visitor into making a decision, or taking further action.
 
Conversion Rate – Percentage of users who convert.
 
CPC (Cost Per Click) – How much a company pays an advertiser to send a single visitor to their website. This is also called direct advertising.
 
CPM (Cost Per Thousand impressions) – How much a company pays an advertiser for an ad. This is also called passive advertising. A company pays the advertiser, based on each block of 1,000 displays.
 
Crawl or Crawler (bot, spider) – When a search engine crawls a website. Using link data, the bot determines relevancy of content.
 
Directory – A site devoted to directory pages. The Yahoo directory is an example. A lot of SEO companies will create links to directory sites, for off page SEO. Directory backlinks carry less authority than contextual backlinks.
 
Dofollow – Instructing search engines to pass authority from your page, to your link source.
 
Duplicate Content – Content that relates with other existing content on a website. Duplicate content is often ignored by search engines.
 
eCommerce Site – A website devoted to retail sales.
 
Feeds – Content delivered from other sources. Feeds serve syndicated content. Aggregators use feeds to bring many different sources of content to a single place or page.
 
Frames or Framing – A design which uses two or more pieces of content in a viewing area. Bots ignore framed content, because each frame is showing two or more types of content. Users do not like framed content, because they can’t see the entire page.
 
Gateway Page (doorway page) – A website page that collects traffic, and sends it to another website. Gateway pages use practices like cloaking, which search engines frown upon.
 
Google Bowling – Trying to lower a sites rank by sending it links from bad sources.
 
Google Dance – The change in SERPs caused by an update of the Google algorithm.
 
Google Juice (trust, authority, Pagerank) – Trust from Google. Google Juice or “link juice” flows through outgoing links to other pages.
 
Googlebot – Google’s spider program.
 
Hub (expert page) – A trusted page with high quality content that links out to related pages.
 
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) – Directive that adds web functionality to plain text. HTML is the language of search engines.
 
Impression (page view) – The event where a user views a webpage one time.
 
Inbound link (incoming link) – Inbound links from related pages are the source of trust.
 
Index – A database of WebPages and their content used by the search engines. To add a web page to a search engine index.
 
Indexed Pages – The pages on a site indexed by search engines.
 
Keyword or Key Phrase – The word or phrase that a user enters into a search engine to find relevant content.
 
Keyword Cannibalization – The excessive reuse of the same keyword. This makes it difficult for search engines to determine which page is most relevant.
 
Keyword Density – The percentage of words on a web page which are a particular keyword. If this value is high, the page could receive penalties from search engines.
 
Keyword Research – The hard work of determining which keywords are appropriate for targeting.
 
Keyword Spam (keyword stuffing) – high keyword density.
 
Keyword Stuffing (keyword spam) – high keyword density.
 
Landing Page – The page that a user lands on when they click on a link in a SERP (Search Engine Results Pages).
 
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) – Search engines index associated groups of words. SEO’s refer to these same groups of words as “Long Tail Searches”. The majority of searches consist of three or more words strung together. See also “long tail”.
 
Link – An element on a web page that is clickable. Clicking a link causes the browser to jump to another page or another part of the current page.
 
Link Bait – A webpage with the purpose of attracting incoming links, often via social media.
 
Link Building – Cultivating incoming links to a site. Link building is the most valuable effort of off page SEO. Many SEO companies are only successful at on page SEO functions.
 
Link Exchange – Linking scheme often facilitated by a site devoted to directory pages. Link exchanges usually allow links to sites of low or no quality, and add no value themselves. Quality directories are usually human edited.
 
Link Farm – A group of sites which all link to each other. This is sometimes referred to as a PBN (Private Blogging Network). PBN’s and link farms send traffic from specific websites to a master website. Used to trick search engines, link farms and PBN’s are a black hat SEO tactic.
 
Link Juice (trust, authority, PagerRank)
 
Link Love – An outgoing link, which passes trust.
 
Link Partner (link exchange, reciprocal linking) – Two sites which link to each other. Search engines usually don’t see these as high value links, because of the reciprocal nature.
 
Link Popularity – A measure of the value of a site based upon the number and quality of sites that link to it.
 
Link Spam (Comment Spam) – Unwanted links. Such as those posted in user generated content like blog comments.
 
Link Text (Anchor text) – The user visible text of a link. Search engines use anchor text to state the relevancy of the referring site. Also the link to the content on a landing page. All three will share some keywords in common.
 
Long Tail – More specific search queries, often less targeted. A large percentage of all searches are long tail searches.
 
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) – Search engines index associated groups of words. SEO’s refer to these same groups of words as “Long Tail Searches”. The majority of searches consist of three or more words strung together.
 
Mashup – A web page which consists of single purpose software and other small programs. Mashups are quick and easy content to produce and are often popular with users, and can make good link bait. Tool collection pages are sometimes mashups.
 
META Tags – Statements within the HEAD section of an HTML page giving information about the page. META information may be in the SERPs but is not visible on the page. Also, they are the first impression users get about your page within the SERPs.
 
Metric – A standard of measurement used by analytics programs.
 
Mirror Site (masking) – An identical site at a different address. Sometimes masking happens through redirecting various URL’s.
 
Natural Search Results – The search engine results which are not sponsored, or paid for in any way. Also referred to as “Organic” search results.
 
nofollow – Instructing robots to not follow either any links on the page or the specific link.
 
noindex – instructing robots to not index the page or the specific link.
 
Non-reciprocal link – When a link is outgoing, but doesn’t receive a link in return. Search engines value non-reciprocal links the most.
 
Outlink – (outgoing link)
 
PageRank (PR) – A value between 0 and 10, assigned by the Google algorithm. PageRank quantifies link popularity and trust among other factors. While PageRank is no longer visible to the public, it is still used by Google’s algorithm.
 
Pay For Inclusion (PFI) – The practice of charging a fee to include a website in a search engine or directory.
 
PPA (Pay Per Action) – When publishers are only paid for converting traffic.
 
PPC (Pay Per Click) – Advertisers pay when a user clicks a link. Adwords is an example of PPC advertising.
 
Proprietary Method (snake oil) – A term used for vendors claiming an ability to achieve page 1 rankings. Usually claiming a method unique to their company.
 
Reciprocal Link (link exchange) – Two sites which link to each other. Search engines don’t see these as high value links, because of the reciprocal nature.
 
Redirect – Any of several methods used to change the address of a landing page. Website designers generally use redirects from old web pages to the new page design.
 
Robots.txt – A file in the root directory of a website use to control the behavior of search engine spiders.
 
ROI (Return On Investment) – One use of analytics software is to quantify return on investment. This establishes true metrics for time and money spent, versus the results.
 
Sandbox (speculative) – SEO’s debate the existence of Google pre-penalizing new websites. The belief from one side, is that Google makes a company prove itself over a period of time. Also, it being harder to rank page 1 for keywords, until a website is “out of the sandbox”. Sometimes, penalized companies get labeled as being “sandboxed” by SEO’s.
 
Scrape or Scraping Copying content from a site, often facilitated by automated bots.
 
Search Engine – a program, which searches a document or group of documents. Search engines find relevant keyword phrases and returns a list of relevant matches. Internet search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo search the entire internet.
 
Search Engine Spam – Pages created to cause search engines to show less valuable results. Search Engine Optimizers are sometimes perceived as search engine Spammers. Of course in some cases they actually are.
 
SEM (search engine marketing) – SEM positions a website to achieve the best exposure. Search engine marketing uses SEO, paid listings, and other techniques.
 
SEO – Short for search engine optimization. The process of increasing the number of visitors to a website. This achieves high rank in search results. The higher a website ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that users will visit the site. It is common practice for Internet users to not click past the first few pages of search results. High rank in SERPs is essential for obtaining traffic for a site.
 
SERP – Search Engine Results Page.
 
Site Map – A page or structured group of pages which link to every user accessible page on a website. Site maps improve site usability by clarifying the data structure of the site for the users. An XML sitemap is often kept in the root directory of a site to help search engine spiders to find all the site pages.
 
SMM (Social Media Marketing) – Website or brand promotion through social media.
 
SMP (Social Media Poisoning) – Techniques designed to implicate a competitor as a spammer. – For example, blog comment spamming in the name / brand of a competitor.
 
Sock Puppet – An online identity used to either hide a persons real identity. Sometimes used to establish many user profiles.
 
Social Bookmark – A form of Social Media which aggregates users bookmarks.
 
Social Media – Various online technologies used by people to share information. Blogs, wikis, forums, social bookmarking, user reviews and rating sites are examples.
 
Social Media Marketing (SMM) – Website or brand promotion through social media.
 
Spamdexing – Spamdexing modifies web pages to rank at the beginning of results. Also, to influence the category to which the page assignment in a dishonest manner.
 
Spammer – A person who uses spam to pursue a goal.
 
Spider (bot, crawler) – A specialized bot used by search engines to find and add web pages to their indexes.
 
Spider Trap – An endless loop of generated links which can “trap” a spider program. Sometimes used to prevent automated scraping or e-mail address harvesting.
 
Splash Page – Often animated, graphics pages without significant textual content. Splash pages are look flashy to humans, but look like dead ends to search engine spiders. Executed splash pages may be bad for SEO.
 
Splog Spam Blog which usually contains little if any value to humans. Often machine generated or made up of scraped content.
 
Static Page – A web page without dynamic content or variables such as session IDs in the URL. Static pages are good for SEO work in that they are friendly to search engine spiders.
 
Text Link or Contextual Link – A plain HTML link. A contextual link does not use a graphic. Receiving a contextual “dofollow” backlink, is the best form of off page SEO.
 
Time On Page – The amount of time that a user spends on one page before clicking to a different page. The longer a visitor stays on a page, determines the value of the content. This is sometimes called “dwell time”.
 
Trust Rank – A method of differentiating between valuable pages and spam. Search engines quantify link relationships from trusted human evaluated pages.
 
URL Uniform Resource Locator – Also known as a Web Address.
 
User Generated Content (UGC) – Social media, wikis, and some blogs rely on User Generated Content. One could say that Google is exploiting the entire web as UGC for an advertising venue.
 
Walled Garden – A group of pages which link to each other, but are not linked to by any other pages. A walled garden can be indexed, if it’s included in a sitemap, but it will have very low page rank.
 
Web 2.0 – Websites that encourage user interaction.
 
White Hat SEO – Techniques, which conform to best practice guidelines. White hat tactics do not attempt to “game” or manipulate SERPs.
 
Widget Small applications used on web pages to provide specific functions. Examples include a hit counter or IP address display. These programs can make good link bait.

Image source: Soho

Bonus Tips For Search Engine Optimization

 
We aren’t quite finished. We like to reward people for reading the entire article. Let’s look at some added ways to make your SEO efforts top notch.
  1. Make sure your visual content creates feeling. What does this even mean? When we write content, we are trying to create a positive response. By including the right visuals, we increase engagement.
  2. Infographics are outstanding in SEO. Infographics help people tell their story, and give credit back to you for a reward.
  3. Tell your story in a different way. Writing the exact same content as others, is a sure fire way for it to not rank or be engaging. Write your content from a different perspective.
  4. SEO is a constant effort. The same is true for websites. Building a website is like planting a tree. If you plant a tree and never water it, it will not grow. After awhile, it will even die. Search engine optimization is like the dirt surrounding your tree. It provides nutrients, which provides growth.
  5. Use a 3x3 link method. Include no more than 3 internal links, and 3 external links in your content (excluding image source links). By sticking to this rule, your page authority will grow in a more consistent manner.
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Google’s Mobile-First Index Algorithm Update

Google’s Mobile-First Index Algorithm Update

Google's Mobile-First Algorithm Update Is Hurting Companies' Organic Ranking... A LOT!

by GingerHippo.

In the past month and a half, an unbelievable amount of websites have lost footing on their rankings, due to Google’s mobile-first algorithm update. We will discuss what the changes are, and how to make the necessary changes, in an effort to boost your organic search rankings or recover from the changes made.

What Is Mobile-First?

63% of all internet usage in the United States comes from mobile browsers, meaning 37% happens on a desktop. Google introduced the mobile-first algorithm update on March 26, 2018, in an effort to offer the most relative content, on the platform by which people are searching for it. This update is not meant to penalize companies’ websites, rather offer the most relevant information to the readers available.

How Will Mobile-First Affect You?

Most companies are already realizing the effects of not having a mobile responsive website, but some were compensating content and frequency of publication to stay ahead of the curve, making up ground for their losses. This will no longer be a viable option for staying on page 1. Google pushed their mobile responsive update live on April 21, 2015, and has given companies nearly 3 years to make the changes needed for their digital footprint, but some have used the wrong methods for adapting to the previous update. If you are currently using a makeshift platform for mobile, you DO NOT have a choice in making the right changes to conform to the mobile-first update.

We do use H tags to understand the structure of the text on a page better.

JOHN MUELLER

Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google

Which Forms Of Mobile Sites Take Priority?

Desktop Only– Your content will not be found in organic search by mobile users. Your content will only be relevant to desktop users.

Responsive Web Design– There are no changes in this update. Your desktop and mobile experience will hold equal value in search results.

Canonical AMP– The same as responsive design. There are no changes to this form of mobile search.

Separate URL’s– Google will provide more weight to the mobile version of your website (i.e. m.gingerhippo versus gingerhippo)

Dynamic Serving– Google prefers the mobile version for indexing.

AMP and non-AMP– Google will prefer the non-AMP URL’s for indexing.

We will break this down further, as you keep reading the article.

Responsive Website Design Wins The Race

Most Page 1 Organically Ranking Content Has More Than 2,000 Words

Avoid Using Interstitial Ads Or Popups On Your Website

The Responsive Website

There is literally no change to the algorithm for responsive websites. A responsive website merely optimizes the desktop version of a site for mobile rendering. If your site is mobile responsive already, no significant changes need to be made.

Further down in your reading, we will discuss changes you will want to make, in an effort to stay ahead of the curve for upcoming algorithm updates by Google. We don’t know for certain these changes are in the works, but very rarely are we wrong in these areas.

Why? Because the changes we suggest follow a best practice format for ever changing use statistics and methodology.

Canonical AMP

Canonical AMP websites are built using AMP HTML coding. AMP is an open source effort to improve the content ecosystem for everyone. AMP separates content, keeping render blocking content from slowing down the load speed of the main content.

The methodology is to provide content to the reader as fast as possible. Is AMP HTML the best solution for everyone? We say no at GingerHippo. AMP is great for data, but bad for user experience.

If your business model is geared towards user experience, AMP is probably not the best way to push out your information. Some disagree with us on our opinion. We understand.

We Do Use H Tags To Understand The Structure Of The Text On A Page Better

~ John Mueller, Google

Separate URL’s

Separate URL’s offers different content for different platform types. Each page has a page for desktop users and a separate page for mobile users.

We try to ensure digital consistency for clients at GingerHippo, so we work with clients to ensure a uniform approach to website design, navigation, and user experience.

After all, if you find a really cool website on your phone and want to dig deeper into that site later on with your desktop, wouldn’t you prefer to see that same cool content, rather than trying to figure out a new way to navigate through your experience? We would. Brand consistency is something we strive for, and feel everyone else should want in their website.

If we just look at the amount of effort needed to provide separate URL designs for mobile and desktop, we are actually doing at least double the work, in an effort to achieve the same result. More importantly, when making changes to desktop versus tablet, versus mobile, we are required to give triple the effort.

Dynamic Serving

Dynamic serving offers visitors unique content for the device they are using. Instead of reformatting existing content for text font size, imagery reductions, animations, etc., this method will show you a completely different version altogether.

As with separate URL’s or AMP content, the user experience is interrupted and confusing, if the visitor revisits the site on a different type of device.

The winner so far is still responsive design, based on a clear and precise user experience, along with branding consistency.

AMP And non-AMP

non-AMP mobilized content will be served with higher priority than AMP HTML. This pushes AMP content into the category of irrelevance.

This is an outstanding decision on Google’s part, because media companies generally use AMP HTML to serve their content as fast as possible, and gain organic position faster than non-AMP HTML, based on frequency of publication. It seems as if Google made a change we were hoping for at GingerHippo with their mobile-first algorithm change, in the sense that quality is being served over quantity, which allows more defined content to be driving search results moving forward.

For those who have been writing authoritative content and getting beat out by major media, your digital day of limelight has come to fruition.

The Importance Of Using Data Highlighter Moving Forward

We are going to simplify data highlighter and it’s importance. Data highlighter can be found in your Google Search Console, but a little bit of work needs to be done, prior to highlighting your content.

If you really truly want to be relevant and found organically, you will use the data highlighter tool effectively for your content. The way to do this effectively, is to break up your content into market verticals, define your categories, then place the content in the right category for what you are writing. This helps to define the meaning of the content to search engines, and also signals to them that your content is important.

Think of it as a filing cabinet, or more importantly the aisle of a grocery store. If there were no organization or categorization of food items in a grocery store, how would you ever find an item you wanted to buy?

Common Mistakes For Mobile Sites

 

  1. Blocked Javascript, CSS, and Image files. Be sure you are allowing the bots to crawl your website both completely, and as a user would. Fetch your site on Webmaster tools regularly, for both desktop AND mobile, fixing errors found.
  2. Ensure your video content is playable. Use HTML5 standards for your animations, and embed video content that is playable on all devices.
  3. Eliminate faulty redirects, and ensure your redirects match the designated URL for the desktop version. Interrupting a visitors user experience by causing them to navigate to a page they don’t want to see, creates a negative user experience.

4. Correct your mobile only 404 errors. When someone reaches a 404 error, there is a 97% chance they will lose value in your messaging and content. Make sure your 404 errors are eliminated on both desktop and mobile versions of your website.

5. Avoid Interstitials. The overlay pop up ads to join a mailing list or download an app will cause website indexing disruption, if not done properly. The correct format for interstitials is to allow navigation and consumption, while recommending the app download, similar to LinkedIn’s mobile rendering out of their app on a mobile device. If you are causing disruption in navigation and user experience, your indexing and ranking will reflect the disruption.

Content Guidelines To ALWAYS Follow

Make sure your room is clean. What does that even mean for websites and content? Let us share with you EXACTLY what this means:

1. Make sure your content is both informative AND answers the visitors questions or solves their problem. Writing incomplete or shortened content causes content irrelevance, which leads to it not gaining authority.

2. ALWAYS use H Tags in your subheadings, and use ALL of them. The H Tags identify the form and flow of your content. We constantly hear arguments regarding the importance or weight of H Tags in our industry, and we can’t stress the importance of using them enough. Using H Tags further identifies the importance and meaning of your content, and while there are no significant case studies regarding the weight for or against, even Google’s John Mueller has plainly stated they are relevant.

4. ALWAYS use alt image attributes for imagery. This is an area we see tremendous opportunities in for a majority of the digital world. Using relevant imagery to the topics, and defining what those pictures are, could be the difference between gaining ranking organically or not.

5. Optimize the imagery for your website. The smaller the file size, the faster your page load speeds are. The faster your page load speeds are, the better your content will rank. Test your page load speeds here.

6. Important, but not overly relevant to this specific article, is to reduce or minimize the amount of gated content. Content gating deters engagement, if trust and value haven’t been established. Visitors will give you their valuable information only when you have gained their permission, and never before. Predatory gating techniques always devalue your brand.

7. Most content that ranks organically on page 1 of Google, has at least 2,000 words. Google wants to help readers answer questions and solve problems, without needing to search multiple sources to form a conclusion. The days of 300 word articles ranking on page 1 are nearly gone; along with the relevance of the emails people receive from overseas firms, claiming an ability to gain page one ranking organically, regardless of the content type, length, page load speeds, website errors, and publishing frequency.

GingerHippo’s Last Piece Of Advice

Be sure to ask your website developer, marketing company, SEO’er, and every single person about the significance of what we talked about in this article. If their response is to discourage the importance of what is above, find a different employee, contractor, or consultant. Anyone who tells you that anything stated above isn’t important, run as fast and as far away from them as possible.

If you take our advice on running away and are looking for a new solution, GingerHippo would truly love the opportunity to sit in the emptied seat. We are never more than a phone call or email away, and we are always grateful for every opportunity we receive.

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What Does 650 Words Look Like?

What Does 650 Words Look Like?

Is 650 Words Optimal For Articles And Blog Posts?

by GingerHippo.

Today, we invite you to take a break from reading up on the current political situation to join in on a different long-standing debate: how long do your blog posts and web content need to be in order to gain SEO traction? And do you need to worry about word (50 words) counts at all? What does 650 words look like?
On the one side of this discussion sits traditional marketers, who say that hitting a word count doesn’t matter. They advocate for writing to the audience and allowing the copywriting to be whatever length it ends up at to best communicate the message.

On the other, we (100 words) have the hard-core SEO folks. These guys and gals insist that crawled content is consumed content, and that writing to Google’s specifications is the best and only way to get the web hits and traffic that modern marketing demands.

Here at GingerHippo, we say: you can have your (150 words) cake and eat it too. Good content writing can accomplish both goals. And the best way to do so is to bring your copywriting team into your conversations about SEO early. After all, when writers understand how SEO and content marketing work together, incorporating word counts and other SEO best (200 words) practices into the process simply becomes part of creative content writing.

Writing content to create a complete solution, will cause the content to rank well.
BRAD “RAIN MAN” BATDORF

What’s the best length for SEO copywriting?

Once you’ve established that paying attention to word counts will simply be part of content writing at your company from now on, the question becomes: which length is best? Is 300 words the (250 words) minimum for blogs? Or do you need to shoot for that elusive long-form content?

The good news is that you can accomplish your SEO and stylistic goals at almost any length, whether your article is 300 words or 1,200 words. The important thing is to choose your focus and supporting (300 words) keywords wisely, and then build them into your content with context. Google knows when your content is throwaway, written only for the sake of keyword inclusion. And using keywords that don’t apply to your focus keyword will only increase bounce rate, which, in turn, lowers the trust ranking of any (350 words) given post.

There are many factors that contribute to how your content ranks in the search engines, and length is only one of them. Although longer form content (1,500 words+) has some solid research behind it to demonstrate its effectiveness, you can still rank with shorter form content when you (400 words) correctly tag your articles and make ample use of headlines (H-tags are important!). If you’re not sure what all needs to be included in content to make it SEO-friendly, working with an SEO content writing services agency can help, at least to get you started.

Articles With More Than 2,000 Words, Consistently Rank Page 1 Of Google Search Results.

Long Form Content Has A Greater Probability Of Earning Quality Backlinks.

Longer Content Gets More Social Shares.

Consider length in content writing (450 words), don’t live and die by it

I tell my clients that a good approach to content is to create a variety of content that demonstrates expertise at every level. You’re going to need weighty content that helps solve your customers’ problems, and that’s where long pieces like white papers (500 words) and in-depth articles come into play. But you can also support that content and help boost your overall digital brand presence with shorter pieces that lead customers deeper into the buyer journey.

The truth is: it’s hard to be attention-grabbing at 1,500 words, but it’s equally hard to offer real (550 words) value in 150. Yet to successfully communicate your message and create a digital footprint, you need to do both.

You need to generate content and generate a lot of it, so if one piece of content you write doesn’t hit the word count you were going for, it’s simply additional (600 words) incentive to write another piece that does. And when

writing content, it’s a good idea to have a sense for how words look on the page so you know how to build out your blog posts and articles accordingly.

So what does 650 words look like?

It looks like this. (650 words).

Facts About Content Length And Search Engine Rankings.

  • Articles with more than 2,000 words, consistently rank page 1 of Google search results.
  • Long form content has a greater probability of earning quality backlinks. (Hubspot)
  • Longer Content Gets More Social Shares. (QuickSprout)
  • Google likes to reward long form content with good search positioning. (Backlinko)
  • Only 18 percent of companies’ blog posts are 750 words or more. (Curata)
  • 75% of content pieces receive no likes or shares, whatsoever. (Forbes)

We will expound on these statistics below. Have no fear.

75% Of ALL Content Written Receives No Likes Or Shares Whatsoever.

Article Length In Relationship To Ranking.

Let’s put everything written above aside for a moment, and talk about how YOU determine what to click on for searches you make. When you are researching a solution to a question or problem, there are 2 factors in determining which result you choose:

  1. Does the title make you believe the content will answer your question.
  2. Will the content answer that question completely.

The last thing anyone wants, is to have to read through multiple articles to answer their question.

The short answer to the subheading above, is that most questions can’t be answered in short articles, therefor they aren’t read or shared.

Why would anyone share information that didn’t completely solve their problem? Would you ever share half of a recipe for your favorite food? Could you write out your favorite recipe and baking instruction in 650 words or less?

The more thorough the content is, the better it will rank, regardless of how long the content is, because other people will share and link to your content, deeming it authoritative.

Long Form Content Has A Greater Probability Of Earning Quality Backlinks.

Building on what we said above, think about how you consume information for a moment. What was the criteria for what caused you to share the last article or link to it?

The good news is that 75% of the content being written is substandard, which causes it to not rank, or be linked to as authoritative.

Feel free to test this theory out. Write an instructional article about how to tie your shoes, then copy the text, and use this free word counter tool to see how many words it took to convey your instructions.

Most Content Can’t Rank Well, Because It Isn’t Written To Rank.

You read that subheading correctly. Most content isn’t researched well, written well, or conveyed well.

Well…

In the absence of quality content, lies opportunity to do it better, rank better, draw more visitors, and convert more prospects. It’s almost like a field of dreams. If you build it, they will come.

Where do you start? With an idea for an article.

What do you do next? Search for existing content, and determine how you can convey the top 5 results to readers better.

Be sure to check out the infographic below, regarding SEO and ranking. If you lost count on how many words we’ve used in this article, the number is 1300 words. Did all of them have meaning? Did they answer your question or solve a problem completely?
SEO Content Length Infographic
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Using Cornerstone Content To Build Your Website Foundation

Using Cornerstone Content To Build Your Website Foundation

Cornerstone Content Defines Your Digital Foundation

by GingerHippo.

Yoast, an SEO plugin for WordPress, has a check box to define cornerstone content. Most people don’t quite understand what this feature is, or the significance of what it does, so we are going to shed some light on how to use this tool properly. By using this powerful SEO tool, writers have an ability to both define what their most important content is to search engines, but also stop competing with themselves for keyword rankings. Enjoy the article, and let us know what you think.
 

Cornerstone Content Defined

The definition is as simple as defining the word cornerstone and the functionality of what it does.

cor·ner·stone ˈkôrnərˌstōn
noun- an important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based.

Well, there you have it. We don’t need to explain this any further, correct? We wouldn’t do that to you. We are going to give examples of companies competing with themselves for ranking, and all kinds of other good stuff.

Without identifying the foundation of your digital footprint, search engines can only be confused.
BRAD “RAIN MAN” BATDORF

When NOT To Use Cornerstone Content

Have you ever heard the story of the little boy who cried wolf? We will assume everyone has. If you haven’t, by all means, you can Google it.

The biggest problem we see with copywriters and other content creators, is they feel that every single piece of content they write is building a foundation, which is far from the truth.

Even popular content, which is being shared socially (or even viral content), isn’t necessarily the foundation of your digital footprint. Establishing what your company “should” be known for, is sometimes very different than what is driving people to your website.

But, all traffic is good traffic, right? <shrugs> Sure. Traffic can boost your Alexa ranking, but how many conversions are you getting from the content piece? How many REAL customers are you gaining?

Cornerstone content is meant to be relative content to your business. Relative content drives visitors to the top of the marketing funnel, encourages them to engage, giving you the opportunity to convert. It’s actually that simple.

Identify Your Market Verticals

Use Keyword Planning Tools

Help Search Engines Make Sense Of Your Content

Competing With Yourself For Keyword Rankings

Most companies don’t even realize they are competing with themselves, every single time they produce content. This is one of the biggest areas of improvement we see, when we take on a new client at GingerHippo. Using the picture to the right as an example, let’s discuss how this happens:

1. Companies keep telling the same story, over and over again, expecting a different result. Pete and Repeat went fishing. Pete fell off the boat. Who’s left?

2. Copywriters feel they have created every form of content surrounding their market verticals. This is never true. Generally, we find this to be the case with companies who don’t use a content calendar for planned publishing.

3. A company’s marketing department is subservient to the sales department. When sales rules the roost, a sale needs to happen from every visitor (in their minds), which is counterproductive to nurturing leads. More sales are lost than won with this tactic, because not every visitor is at the decision phase of the marketing funnel when they visit your website.

What Competing With Yourself For Keywords Actually Does

The picture on the left is a tremendous eye opener. Due to diluting their authority for their name, competitors are gaining ground on their name.

By not paying attention to the big picture, a medical aesthetic clinic is gaining ground quickly for their name. This is the worst possible scenario for a company, being their content should justify a #1 ranking organically in search for their name.

NovuHealth is NOT unique, unfortunately. They are merely the example we are using for our article. Let’s talk about how to NOT follow in their footsteps.

Never Use Blind Writing Techniques, And Expect Content To Rank

1. Delineating Your Market Verticals

Regardless of your product or service, there are thousands of different searchable topics to cover. By delineating your verticals AND your products/services, you can plan your content “months” in advance. Don’t believe me? Let me give you an example.

Chia Pet:

Let’s assume we are writing content for Chia Pet, the pottery that we spread chia paste all over a pottery head, water it, and watch it grow. What are the different areas we could create content for, which would draw readers to our website? Can you think of three, or ten, or even hundreds? I bet you can think of 50 topics to write about, in a matter of 10 minutes or less.

Let’s figure out their verticals. Off of the top of my mind, I’m thinking their verticals are pottery, chia seeds, and watering. Using just the three verticals, how many articles could they write for different topics about the construction of their pottery? How many articles could they write discussing different uses for chia? Watering techniques and water quality? Heck, I’m pretty sure they could create a chia pet liquid fertilizer and market the product as an add-on sale, if they produced the right content to build enough value.

Or, they can just keep on showing the 20 year old commercial on television during the holidays. Chu-Chu-Chu-Chia Pet!

2. Use The Right Tools To Determine Your Audience

One of the biggest mistakes we see in the content world, is what we call “writing blind”.

Writing blind is when companies don’t research their content in advance. There are numerous keyword tools available on the market, and while some are free, paid keyword planning tools provide better data. We recommend the platform Ahrefs to everyone, and we aren’t an affiliate of theirs, nor do they ask us to mention them. Their platform allows complete dissection of keywords, backlinks, organic rankings, AND competitor data.

The only complaint we tend to hear about regarding Ahrefs, is their user interface is droll. I’ll take functional over pretty, every day of the week.

3. Help The Search Engines Make Sense Of Your Content

Are we telling you to write content for the search engines instead of the readers? Absolutely NOT! Always write content for the reader, but do so in a way that encourages search engines to promote your content as being the most valuable to read.

What In The Holy Sam Buckets Does That Mean?

If we are writing a piece of content about “Cars”, we are required to write the content in a manner that delineates whether the article is about automobiles or the Disney movie. If our content mentions Steve McQueen or racing, we may confuse the search engines regarding which one we are talking about, and while the content may rank higher at first, it will sink in organic rankings over time, if people aren’t linking to our content.

4. Make Your Content Visually Appealing

In the picture on the left, we are providing an example of ugly content. We need to agree on the absolute fact that people engage more with visually appealing content, than they do with just words.

At GingerHippo, we always recommend giving readers a picture to use as an example of what they are reading, so we can create a desired feeling for a reader. If we are writing an article about juicy cheeseburgers, wouldn’t a picture of a juicy cheeseburger drive the messaging home? If we are writing that same article, but use a picture of a pickle, we probably aren’t going to get the same desired effect.

5. Allow People The Ability To Share Your Work

We pick on the content key holders, who gate their content, A LOT at GingerHippo. Let’s take a moment to imagine that we’ve just created a piece of cornerstone content, which defines the meaning of our company and brand, then force new visitors to give us their name, email, phone number, and an IOU for a potential kidney donation if we need it. Believe it or not, we see this happening more often than not, in our world.

Cornerstone content should never be gated, and should always be extremely easy for readers to share, on the platform of their choice. Notice that all of our articles have a super cool sharing icon for multiple platforms on the left hand side? We don’t have a preference on who sees our content, or where they find it. Neither should you.

It’s Time To Start Writing Cornerstone Content!

 

Let’s do a quick recap of our article, just to make sure we are tracking on next steps:

 

  1. Clearly define your market verticals. Make sure the content you are writing as cornerstone content sets an absolute foundation for your brand.
  2. Use keyword planning tools to further define what you are writing, how difficult it is to rank for those keywords, and who you are competing against.
  3. Write valuable content for both the readers AND search engine rankings. Most top 10 front page articles are at least 1200 words in length.
  4. Make your content visually appealing. Add images that create the desired feeling for the reader, for the message you are conveying.
  5. ALWAYS allow people the ability to share cornerstone content. NEVER gate content which defines your core business.
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Brand Presence Versus Brand Awareness

Brand Presence Versus Brand Awareness

Is Brand Presence Or Brand Awareness More Important?

by GingerHippo.

Brand awareness is a term that’s been floating around marketing departments and MBA classrooms for years. It’s considered fundamental to the promotion of a product, and companies like Coca-Cola and Nike spend boatloads of money on brand awareness each year. Recently, however, a new term has been taking its place at the table: brand presence. Is this simply an evolution of terminology, or are we talking about something new here? What is the difference between brand presence versus brand awareness?

What is Brand Awareness?

The most common brand awareness definition that’s trotted out goes something like this: the greater the likelihood that consumers are able to recognize your brand and associate it with your goods and services, the greater your brand awareness.

Having consumers immediately connect your brand with goods and services sounds pretty good, right? And it’s true, brand awareness is certainly an essential part of marketing and sales. But today’s digital marketing capabilities offer so much more. They’re an opportunity for your company to build brand presence.

What is Brand Presence?

Brand presence is establishing your brand in the lives of your consumers. A company with solid brand presence has their content and services built into the very fabric of their market vertical. When consumers are looking for information on a given subject or a product to serve a certain need, they go to companies with strong brand presence. It’s connecting a brand with goods and services that a consumer needs at the moment they need it.

Brand presence isn’t an entirely new concept, but it’s been made more accessible to companies of all sizes thanks to digital marketing and SEO.

 

If you inspire someone, they will want to engage. Be inspiring.

BRAD “RAIN MAN” BATDORF

Brand Presence versus Brand Awareness. Which One is Better?

Think about it: would you rather be the guy at the party who has presence, or the guy whose attendance is something others are merely aware of?

When you build brand presence, you’re doing the work of truly standing apart from your competition by gaining market share in a way that’s meaningful to your consumers.

Brand awareness is most often achieved through traditional outbound marketing like advertising and sponsorship. It relies on a consumer remembering a certain brand once they’re ready to buy a product. Brand presence, on the other hand, utilizes inbound marketing techniques that fit seamlessly in with the consumer’s needs and preferences. It allows the product purchase to occur at the end of the natural sales cycle, after a consumer has done research, considered their options and made a decision.

While both brand awareness and brand presence are necessary for growth in today’s market, what we specialize in here at GingerHippo is, not surprisingly, helping companies establish and mature their brand presence. We believe that it’s brand presence that will ultimately and most effectively feed the sales cycle. Brand awareness is simply a step in the journey towards brand presence.

Invest In Content Marketing

Use SEO Best Practices

Integrate Information & Design

How To Build Brand Presence

Now that we know it’s better to understand how to build brand presence rather than how to increase brand awareness, let’s dive into the good stuff. Here are our top three tips for doing just that:

1. Invest in content marketing

Solid, relevant content that the consumer can trust is central to building brand presence. Write and distribute content that will help address the core problem(s) that your products or services can solve for your target audience. Don’t worry about giving away too much information—today’s consumers are savvy, and when they find good information online, it’s often the first step toward a later purchase. It’s better to establish authority with your content than to write blog posts and articles that read more like a sales pitch.

2. Use SEO Best Practices

Even the best content will do you no good if it can’t be found by your consumers. SEO ensures that your digital presence is effective by creating content that shows up high in search results and is encountered based on the appropriate keywords. At Brand Presence Agency, we’ve helped small companies and start-ups compete with the big dogs by beating them at the SEO game. And we’ve helped the big dogs too when it comes to elbowing out the competition.

Sad Fact:

Some of the best content on the internet is rarely found, due to a lack of search engine optimization.

Sad Fact: Most Great Content Isn't Found, Due To Bad Or No Search Engine Optimization.

3. Integrate Information With Design

Digital marketing allows your brand to communicate your marketing message through the design of your site. Images should use LSI keywords in their alt-tags, and the right website template can make the difference in stretching your marketing dollars. We also recommend integrating design with content in media like videos and infographics, which are highly prized by today’s consumers and search engine algorithms alike.

Brand presence takes more consistent effort to build, but it also allows for a long-term strategy rather than one-off marketing efforts. And since your company is for the long-term, we recommend that your brand create presence for the long-term too.

What Are Some Methods To Build Brand Awareness?

If you thought we would only gear this post towards brand presence, you are mistaken. Both brand presence and brand awareness are being covered, and each has their place in the branding food chain. Here are some methods for creating brand awareness quickly:

Step 1: Socialize Your Content

Telling people how you feel about a subject, versus being interactive with your audience, is truly a skill. Be interactive.

The days of people following content publishers like sheep are gone. Today’s readers want to be inspired, and they require engaging content.

If you inspire your digital audience, they will want to share your content with those they feel will agree.

We all know the flip side of that coin, being that same audience will share negativity, should they disagree with you. If that weren’t true, Facebook wouldn’t exist.

Step 2: Get People’s Attention

Sure. We have an advantage at GingerHippo in regards to metrics. We know that 5,000 people search for this topic per month, and this article will receive approximately 900 views per month, if we write it correctly for search engines.

Did we get your attention with our title? We are assuming we did, if you found this article through organic search, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading it.

Article titles should be both engaging and thought provoking. If you have a quality piece of content that isn’t performing, try updating the content, and refreshing the title.

*IMPORTANT

Using negatively toned titles draws negative visitors, which leads to negative interaction.

Step 3: Build A Referral Network Through Incentivizing Your Audience

Referrals are quite simply the most underutilized growth hack, in today’s market place.

Your current audience is the warmest source of engagement and lead source, assuming your current audience’s network values their opinion. By offering your audience an incentive to engage with their network, they are motivated to achieve results for you. Sounds easy, right?

Most businesses unfortunately have extremely selfish marketing programs. Their marketing programs are driven purely by sales. Your audience will recognize this antic, and be negatively displaced by your messaging.

Step 4: Become The Content Authority

Our last recommendation regarding brand awareness, is to become the authority for the subject matter you are trying to be known for.

The steps for becoming the authority on subject matter is actually quite simple, regarding how information is presented by search engines. Search engines want to see a variety of information and content, which relates to other subject matter, and is regarded as quality content by others. Simply stated, don’t tell the same story, about the same product or service, over and over again, while expecting to achieve different results.

 

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Top 5 Website Mistakes And How To Fix Them

Top 5 Website Mistakes And How To Fix Them

Website Mistakes Drive Customers Away. Let’s Take A Look At Why.

by Rain Man.
We can’t all have websites as sexy and user friendly as lingscars.com. Let’s rephrase that. We should ALL have websites built better than Lingscars.com. Let’s talk about what makes the best designed websites great. We are going to use Lingscars.com as the example throughout this article.

Just Because It Has A Bad Website Design,

Doesn’t Make It A Bad Business.

 

Lingscars.com can be confusing at first glance. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to chat to Ling about playing a game that could win me a “wah” mug, or lease a car. The music in the background wasn’t my personal favorite, and I was a bit confused on the language, being the company is out of the UK. We found the video where the music was coming from, halfway down the page on the right, and it was advertising a television series. The paisley sidebars are vibrant, but there is a lot of wasted digital real estate to use for more mug giveaways.

So, let’s dive in and figure out what Ling could do differently, being that 11,800 people per month visit his site. His actual business is outstanding, but his digital presence is all over the place. Ling has A LOT of website mistakes.

“What separates design from art is that design is meant to be… functional.
CAMERON MOLL

5 Improvements To Make To Your Website, Today!

 

Website Mistake #1 – Cluttered, confusing and not designed for mobile

Using Ling’s website mistakes as the example, the site is not visually appealing, wastes a tremendous amount of space with either a lack of information or the wrong information, and generally confuses the visitor. Looking at the mobile version of the site, I can’t quite figure out where I landed, or the journey I’m about to start taking.

You have only 15 total seconds to capture and engage your audience, and most people make a general decision about a company’s website in “0.5” seconds. That’s right, 1/2 second. You have just 1/2 second to make the best first impression to your visitors, then create an engaging message, over the course of the next 14 1/2 seconds.

Is your initial impression to your website visitor causing them to rethink their decision to visit your website? Dressing up the imagery should give you the opportunity to keep your visitors on page, while giving them your elevator pitch of why they should want to do business with you.

1. Create A Modern Design, Which Is Full Width, And Mobile Responsive

2. Fix All Broken Links And/Or Navigation

3. Is Your Website Being Penalized For Slow Page Load Speeds?

4. Your Visitors Aren't Living A Cartoon, Nor Are They Searching For One.

5. Stop Gating Or Guarding Your Content

Website Mistake #2 – Broken Links And/Or Navigation

When you are searching for a solution to a problem, or looking to purchase something from an online vendor, how likely are you to buy or make a decision after getting a “404 Page Not Found” error?

Most people lose a majority of their built value in a website, when they receive a 404 error. A diligent company will ensure their links are pointing to valid pages, and constantly look for 404 errors to correct them. This one of the easiest website mistakes to fix.

How often should you check your site for errors? Our recommendation is once per month for small companies, once per week for medium sized companies, and every single day for large companies.

“A website without visitors is like a ship lost in the horizon.”
DR. CHRISTOPHER DAVAGDAG
Website Mistake #3 – Is Your Website Being Penalized For Slow Page Loads?

Even the best looking websites can penalize themselves for slow page loads. In an article published by Google (click here for article), mobile pages with slow load times will be penalized in search, starting in July 2018. They’ve been penalizing desktop slow page loads for a couple of years already.

What we often find in the website design and SEO verticals, is our customers have paid a handsome amount of money to a graphic designer, or their friend’s sister’s husband’s nephew, to create a website for them, which may be visually appealing, but doesn’t rank well. After all, Billy just got done with a class in college that taught him the basics of web design, and he is up to the task. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but graphic designers aren’t web designers. Each position has a place in the total outcome of a project, but their job descriptions are quite different.

Website imagery should not be higher than 72 dpi (dots per inch) on a website. We use a free tool at GingerHippo that major corporations use, called TinyPNG, which allows us to minimize the file size of .png’s and .jpg’s, before uploading the imagery to a website. The lower the file size of the image, the faster it can be loaded in a browser. The smaller the file size, the better.

Test your website load speeds with Google Page Insights here.

Optimizing The Image Sizes, Allows A Website To Load Faster, And Rank Better

Website Mistake #4 – Your Visitors Aren’t Living A Cartoon, Nor Are They Searching For One.

We all thought cartoon animation or cartoon explainer videos were pretty cool when they first hit the scene, but the style faded faster than butterfly collars and mullets.

If I am searching for how to get my dog’s nails to stop bleeding, because I trimmed them too short, I definitely don’t want to meet the cartoon dog Cliff, who is going to first reinforce why I shouldn’t have done that to begin with.

“Web design is not just about creating pretty layouts. It’s about understanding the marketing challenge behind your business.”
MOHAMED SAAD
There are approximately 3.7 billion searches every single day on the internet, and nearly 1.8 billion websites on the internet. Assuming all things are equal, and your website is going to receive it’s equal share of the internet, what do you want your 2 visitors to see, when they get to your website?

Solving problems using the 3 W’s is our recommendation to all of our clients at GingerHippo, regarding the presentation of content. The 3 W’s are:

  • What is it?
  • What does it mean?
  • What does it mean to me? (the visitor)

By answering these fundamental questions in your content, visitors are likely to be more engaged, and build value.

How does Ling answer the 3 W’s? All of the information is there, but it takes us longer than 15 seconds to figure out how to find it.

Website Mistake #5 – Stop Gating Or Guarding Your Content

Blocking an IP address can be necessary. We understand the importance of keeping predators away, right? Or not. Definitely not.

Let’s assume I really, REALLY want to see your content, but you’ve blocked my IP address. When I use a proxy IP address, which took me 10 seconds to change, I’m seeing your content.

Truth be told, once I’ve reached your website with my proxy IP, I’m going to get past your gated content through your site index, but thanks for costing me an extra 15 seconds of hassle.

Let’s relate what I just said above to a customer experience. If I’m on your website to solve a problem or make a purchase, I’m probably going to give you the first piece of gating, which means a potentially bogus email address and a fake name, but I’m leaving your website on the second round, when you ask me for my job title, company, phone number, blood type, and general family medical history. When I’m ready to make a purchase, because you have built up enough value, we can discuss what information I’m willing to give you.

Do we use gating at GingerHippo and for our customers? Of course we do, but we are extremely non-predatory with our gating practices. We strive to encourage visitors to want to give us just a bit of information to provide further marketing opportunities. In a recent build we just completed for Maineville Car Wash, we asked the visitors one time for their name and email address, in exchange for giving them a coupon for a discounted wash. Are we going to market to them further? Sure we are. When a special comes along, we’ll be sure to email them directly.

The message we are trying to drive home on this step, is to provide quality content, rather than worry about the “secret sauce”. After all, we all know that McDonald’s Big Mac sauce is some variety of Thousand Island dressing, right? Uh oh… The secret is out.

Lastly, we would love to hear your thoughts about how Ling could provide a better visitor experience.

Slideshow On Getting Around Gated Information

Link to NovuHealth’s gated content – ungated: Click here

An Example Of Content Gating As A Website Mistake

Asking someone for too much information, without building value for your product or service, is a huge website mistake. If they don’t know who you are, or trust you aren’t going to sell their information on the open market, why would they give you the information? Take a look at all of the *required information that is being asked for. Wowza!

Getting Around Gated Content Successfully

Someone who wants the information badly enough, will ask their friend in a non-relevant market vertical to download it for them. If they really want to be predatory, they will ask their friend to download the email, then mark the email as junk, to increase the company or competitor’s spam rating.

Successfully Navigated Through Gated Content

In this case, all gmail, hotmail, and other POP email providers are blocked, requiring me to put in my company email. If my IP were blocked by this company, I would have called a friend, and asked them to download it for me, then email me the case study. I’m not really sure what is actually being protected here, if anything.

Here Is The Email Of The Gated Content

Other than trying to gain information regarding the value of the lead, I’m not exactly sure what the content gating is accomplishing. A somewhat interested customer wouldn’t give up all of this information to a company that hasn’t established value.

Opening The Email Sends Me Their Link To Share

After going through nearly a minute of hodge podge to get the case study, the email sends me to a link of the .PDF, which is unguarded, and allows me to share the link with others, without further gating, as I did above this slideshow. If I were a competitor of this company, I would have all of the information necessary, as soon as the information were published.
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