Images and SEO

When working with web platforms like WordPress, there are three letters that induce anxiety in any business owner: SEO (search engine optimization). It’s one of the most confusing aspects of running a business, and web apps that rate your SEO with no more than a red or green light don’t make it any easier. Read on to find out whether the images on your site are the cause of that annoying red light.

Do images really affect SEO?

One of the reasons images tend to be overlooked when auditing SEO is because it’s easy to forget just how many images your website has. Maybe you only had a few photos on your homepage when you first built your site. Over time, however, you probably added more visual elements to blog posts, landing pages, and About Us page — drastically increasing the impact of your images on your SEO.

Image resolution and load speed

The first thing to check is how your images affect your site’s load speed. If you’re using ultra high-resolution photos, those accessing your site on mobile devices or using satellite data connections will have trouble loading your site. Site load times affect your site’s ranking on Google, so make sure to pair your images down to a more reasonable resolution and save them as web-friendly file types.

  • Choose the JPEG format for illustrations or large photos since it provides clarity and good colors in a smaller file size.
  • Select the PNG format if you want to preserve background transparency.
  • Use the SVG format for icons and logos. Combine this with Javascript or CSS to resize SVG images without losing quality.

Keywords and image title

The days of keyword-stuffing are long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with uploading images with filenames like “DSC2558.jpg”. When adding images to your website, make sure their names are relevant to their content, such as “gym-trainer-helping-lift.jpg” or “call-center-customer-service.jpg”. This makes it easier for search engines to derive information from the images on a page.

Alt text and title text

Even though Google is getting better at recognizing image content without any help from text identifiers, describing your images in your website’s back end is still important for SEO. Every image on your site should have enough text-based information without disrupting the user experience.

To see how this works in WordPress, open your site dashboard and click on Media. This will display all the uploaded images, videos, and audio. Click on any photo to access the text editing tools. Whatever you include in the Caption field will be shown below the image, so check that it corresponds with your content. If not, skip it. In this case, user experience takes priority over SEO.

The Alternative Text and Description fields will be visible to visitors only if the image doesn’t load or if they select it manually. They may not seem that important, but these should be considered nonnegotiable for SEO purposes.

Check that your site’s images are properly optimized before requesting another SEO report. If your score changes, audit your image optimizations regularly. If you’re still seeing red, there are a number of web- and cloud-based platforms that can help improve your content. Give us a call today to find out more!

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. SOURCE

Grabbing people’s attention and converting them to prospective customers is the goal of any professional website. To do that, you need to create a terrific-looking and user-friendly site that encourages visitors to sign up for eBooks, consultations, and other services. Be sure your website follows these five rules that make it easier to convert visitors.

1. Optimize your website for mobile devices

More people are now surfing the web on the go via smartphones, tablets, and laptops. If you want a piece of this traffic, you need to make your website’s design responsive to all mobile devices.

To give your visitors an enjoyable mobile experience, make sure your website design fits the screen of any device. Additionally, all elements of your website, including inner pages, resources, and call-to-action buttons should be easily accessible. If not, visitors will get frustrated and click away to a competitor.

2. Make it easy for customers to contact you

This means displaying your phone number in the upper-right corner of every page and providing a simple, easy-to-find contact form. While some people prefer not to give up their email address for fear it will be picked off by spambots, it can serve as another contact option for those who hate web forms. Ideally, your customers will have more than one way to contact you.

3. Keep it simple

People are always busy. They don’t have time to navigate a complicated website, dig through dozens of pages to find a contact number, or try and figure out what it is that you’re selling because your mobile site doesn’t display content properly.

So when it comes to design, simplicity makes sense. When producing a simple website, every page, word, and image you create must have a singular purpose: to get visitors to contact you. Don’t distract them with excessive information, silly games, or flashy animations. Instead, have a nice clean layout so they can quickly understand what you’re offering and can contact you with a click.

4. Include custom photos whenever possible

Say you have to choose between two different websites that sell the same thing and look virtually the same. The key difference is that one uses real photos of the owner and his or her staff, while the other uses generic stock images of business people. Assuming images from both sites are of the same quality, which one will you more likely choose? Undoubtedly, the one that looks more authentic.

So the next time you need images for your website, invest some time and money in quality pictures taken by a professional photographer.

5. Move social media icons to the bottom of the page

Everyone loves throwing social media icons on their websites. And while it’s not a bad idea to show your credibility, putting social media icons at the top of the page makes your visitors more likely to click on them immediately. When this happens, you just created an exit for them to leave your site and never return, and we all know how easy it is to get distracted on social media.

Instead, place your social media icons at the bottom of the page or in the footer area. Remember, the goal of your website is to convert. If your visitors leave before they get a chance to explore your services, content, and offerings, you’ve lost them before you even had them.

Need a website or another solution to enhance your digital presence? Give us a call and leverage our IT expertise for your business.

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. SOURCE

In a recent survey of 1,800 customers, 42% said they’re “very unlikely” to purchase from ugly websites. That’s not so surprising. After all, there are plenty of competitors’ websites that are more visually appealing and user-friendly that they can visit. If your business website fails to make a critical good first impression, it could lose money. You can avoid that by improving these elements on your website.

A variety of professional photos

From pictures of your products to team photos, high-quality images are arguably the most important thing on your website. Blurry, outdated, or irrelevant pictures tell your site visitors that you don’t care about their browsing experience. In-house photos are the best option, but stock images shouldn’t cause any problems as long as they are optimized for mobile viewing and relevant to your content.

Navigation

Aside from subpar images, linking to nonexistent pages is one of the best ways to turn site visitors away. Make sure it’s easy to navigate your site and remove outdated or irrelevant pages. You can’t sell 404 pages to customers, and if that’s all visitors can find, it’s game over.

Clear copywriting

The last thing you want to do is to confuse your customers, so it’s important to keep all of your product or service descriptions as straightforward and simple as possible. If what you’re selling has detailed information such as dimensions or technical requirements, make sure the description is easy to find but not obtrusive.

Promises to site visitors

Any website that ships products should make its returns policy as visible as possible. This establishes trust early. Explicitly stating terms of return is also important because some online shoppers make purchase decisions based solely on the clarity of a return policy.

Even if you don’t run an eCommerce site, you also need to prominently display privacy commitments, such as those mandated by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

About page

Your brand needs a story behind it that customers can relate to. Every company website should have an About Us page that describes your team, its culture, and what sets you apart from the competition. Whatever your story is, make sure it’s accessible from any page on your site.

Design

Not everyone is a web design expert, but in today’s gig economy, one is never too far away from such a career. If your budget is tight, there are DIY site builders specifically geared toward small businesses. Or with a relatively low monthly expenditure, you can hire a managed website provider.

With more revenue originating online, small- and medium-sized business owners can’t afford to overlook the importance of creating a fully functional website.

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. SOURCE

Like people, websites also need to be dressed for success. Here’s how you can make yours look impressive and have visitors eager to do business with you.

Make a statement with professional photographs

Before site visitors read what’s on your website, they assess it by checking out your images. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words, but are those words truly what you want to convey to your audience?

Blurry, outdated, or irrelevant pictures tell your site visitors that you don’t care about their browsing experience. In-house photos are the best option, but stock images shouldn’t cause any problems as long as they are optimized for mobile viewing and relevant to your content.

Help visitors find what they want with search tools

If your set of offerings is not expansive, a simple navigation menu ought to help visitors find what they need. However, the deeper your catalog gets, the more you’ll need additional tools. One way is to affix a search bar in your header so that people can use keywords to scour your site. Another way is to engage visitors via chat. You can preprogram a chatbot to ask questions that narrow down a visitor’s intention, or you can have a live agent address a visitor’s concerns in real time.

The more helpful your website is, the more it will foster trust in your brand and make visitors more likely to do business with you.

Extra tip:
Reduce the number of clicks a visitor has to make to achieve their objectives. For instance, eschew using the “Read more” link on product descriptions on product details pages. Visitors dive into a product page because they’re interested in fully learning more about the product, and the “Read more” link just hinders them from doing so.

Present your case clearly with good copywriting

The last thing you want to do is to confuse and frustrate your customers, so it’s important to keep all of your product or service descriptions as straightforward and simple as possible. If what you’re selling has detailed information, such as dimensions or technical requirements, make sure that they’re easy to read and are typed out.

Don’t use screenshots of information tables because web visitors compare offerings by collating information from different sellers. If your information is displayed in the form of an image, you’ll force users to type the info themselves. You’ll immediately lose the ones who don’t want that sort of hassle.

Let visitors get to know your company better in the About Us page

Your brand needs a story behind it that customers can relate to. Every company website should have an About Us page that describes your team, your company culture, and what sets you apart from the competition. Whatever your story is, make sure it’s accessible from any page on your site.

Hire a professional web designer

If your budget is tight, there are DIY site builders specifically geared toward small businesses. Or for a relatively low monthly fee, you can hire a managed website provider. A website provider will take care of:

  • Form – They’ll make your site look impressive on any screen size.
  • Function – The provider will ensure that your site is easy to use and works as expected, whether you’re using a keypad and mouse or just your finger or stylus.
  • Fixes – If something in your site is broken or you want to make changes to it (such as integrating an appointment scheduling app), they will handle it for you.

With more revenue originating online, small- and medium-sized business owners can’t afford to overlook the importance of creating a fully functional website.

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. SOURCE

Small- and medium-sized businesses are often tempted to relegate their search engine optimization (SEO) analyses to the free reports offered by online platforms like WordPress and Google Analytics. Unfortunately, those reports rarely provide the details you need to make improvements. One of the things they tend to glaze over is image optimization.

Do images really affect my SEO?

One of the reasons images tend to be overlooked when auditing SEO is because it’s easy to forget just how many images your website has. Maybe you only had a few photos on your homepage when you first built your site. Over time however, you probably added countless visual elements to blog posts, landing pages, and team photos — drastically increasing the influence of your images on your SEO.

Image resolution and load speed

The first thing to check is how your images affect your site’s speed. If you’re using ultra high-resolution photos, those with mobile devices or satellite data connections will have trouble loading your site. Site load times affect your site’s ranking on Google, so make sure to pair your images down to a more reasonable resolution and save them as web-friendly file types.

  • Choose the JPEG format for illustrations or big photos since it provides clarity and good colors in a smaller file size.
  • Select the PNG format to preserve background transparency.
  • Use the SVG format for icons and logos. Combine this with Javascript or CSS to resize SVG images without losing quality.

Keywords and image title

The days of keyword-stuffing are long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with uploading images with filenames like “DSC2558.jpg”. Before doing so, make sure the names of your images are relevant to their content, such as “gym-trainer-helping-lift.jpg” or “call-center-customer-service.jpg”. This makes it easier for search engines to derive information from the images on a page.

“Alt text” and title text

Even though Google is getting better at recognizing image content without any help from text identifiers, describing your images in your website’s back-end is still important for SEO. Every image on your site should have enough text-based information without disrupting the user experience.
To see how this works in WordPress, open your site dashboard and click on Media. This will display all the images, videos, and audio there. Click on any photo and you’ll have access to text editing tools. Whatever you include in the Caption field will be shown below the image, so check that it corresponds with your content. If not, skip it. In this case, user experience takes priority over SEO.

The Alternative Text and Description fields will be visible to visitors only if the image doesn’t load or if they select it manually. They may not seem that important, but these should be considered non-negotiable for SEO purposes.

Check that your site is doing all these things before requesting another SEO report. If your score changes, audit your image optimizations regularly. If you’re still seeing red, there are a number of web- and cloud-based platforms that can help improve your content. Give us a call today to find out more!

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. SOURCE

It’s not enough for small businesses to have a beautiful-looking website these days. Small business owners must also adopt web design trends that not only attract more visitors but ultimately increase sales. Consider the following web design ideas to achieve just that.

Scrolling

Scrolling is a convenient method to navigate a website. Instead of clicking on confusing menus and drop-down tabs, you can just scroll through a one-page site that has a cleaner look and is usually more intuitive to users. This web design style is definitely more important now that people have grown more accustomed to mobile web browsing.

You also have to decide how far visitors will have to scroll to get to know your company. While a long scrolling page gives you more white space and content to work with, a short scrolling page can quickly convey your company’s message and encourages action.

Animations

One way businesses have been setting themselves apart from others is by adding customized animations to their pages. This doesn’t mean you should overload your site with flashy effects that take forever to load. If you want to use animations on your site, give it a subtle twist. For instance, Slack’s loading animation features their logo.

Additionally, animations can be used to increase user interaction and engagement. Hover animations will allow your users to position the mouse over your content and get an immediate response without having to move between pages. Slideshows on your homepage can also showcase what your company is about without throwing too much information at the audience. When deciding to add animation to your page, figure out how a specific effect can enhance the user experience while showcasing your business.

Flat design

To achieve an optimal viewing experience for users, many companies have adopted a flat design for their websites. The flat design style replaces the elements that give an illusion of depth, like shadows and textures, with minimalist typography and colors. For example, Google employed this style to get content to viewers more effectively. The company added flat-design colors and used a sans-serif font. This allows the logo to load faster and makes it easier to read, as well.

Full-screen forms

More websites and apps are using full-screen forms to increase user interaction. Rather than being redirected to another page where your visitors decide to register or login to a website, they are welcomed by a full-screen form right on the home page. This is also especially useful for mobile users since they are less likely to misclick sections of the form.

Customized photos

The next time you want to use photographs to highlight your company, forget about using stock photos. Business websites that exhibit the company’s own photographs on their homepages look more personal and stand out from the competition.

While these trends are popular at the moment, don’t blindly adopt them all because it might end up looking messy. Instead, use the trends that are best suited to your company.

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

 

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. SOURCE

According to the B2B research firm Clutch.co, in 2018 a small amount less than two-thirds of all SMBs in the United States had their own websites, but interestingly, the same study also reported that only 17% of those SMBs with websites are actually investing in Search Engine Optimization – or what gets your SMB’s website to the top of Google’s search results so that new and old customers can actually find your official website.

The reason for this statistical discrepancy will be blatantly apparent to most SMB owners. The marketing budget is not unlimited for SMBs, and unnecessary expenses should be avoided, but don’t trick yourself out of realizing the importance of your company’s web presence.

Research has been done that states that upwards of 80% of people lookup and research an SMB or their product or service before visiting a site or buying something from them. Even if your company has a website, chances are your most important content and information is being buried by other, less relevant search results. The following are three ways to ensure the right audience is seeing your site, and benefiting from all of the services you offer:

  1. Off-Domain Visibility

For SMB owners that haven’t built a website yet, this tip can be especially helpful. As you build your website, think of other ways to increase your online presence. Tools like Google My Business(GMB) are a great way to provide information and content for potential customers on the web, even before your website is completed. If you have little experience in this area, it can help to consult with an experienced company offering Google My Business services.

It is also beneficial for any company trying to establish an online presence to have consistently-updated social media profiles. This provides a different avenue of exposure for your business, and may even reach potential customers you might not find elsewhere.

  1.  Technical SEO

The benefits of, and strategies behind technical search engine optimization(SEO) are some of the most important concepts to learn when it comes to getting your website found by the right people.

 

Search engines rely on complex algorithms to rank sites based on a host of factors like page load time and rendering speed. Testing your site’s HTML and correcting errors, along with finding and eliminating pieces of duplicate page content will also go a long in boosting your page in the rankings. This means there are two important things you need to understand:

 

  • Why search engines view your site the way they do and the factors they are looking at when indexing
  • How to control and optimize the aspects of your site that are being evaluated by search engines.

Working with an experienced web development-, marketing-, or SEO-focused company can give you all of the tools you need to harness the power of technical SEO services.

 

  1.  Fresh Content

It is important to be consistent and earnest when it comes to posting content for your website. Simply providing fluff content stuffed with industry keywords will usually result in a lower ranking or your site. It is important to work with someone who knows what google is looking for and how to strategically plan content management services as part of your website design. Fully understanding the role of fresh content and how to manage it with a well-laid-out plan can make your website visible to those who are searching for it.

 

Having a site that looks great is only half the battle when it comes to attracting customers and providing a great first impression. A stream of content that is both relevant and useful plays an important role when it comes to the way Google and other search engines view your site.

 

Bonus: Up to Date

It’s current year, your SMB’s website should not look like it’s from the same era as bell-bottom jeans. While some would rightfully argue that completely redesigning and updating the look of your website is not an easy step toward fixing your SMBs web presence, it is one of the most important ways a company can improve its presence on the internet. If your SMB needs a website overhaul, Xponex Marketing can help. We’ve worked with dozens of SMBs to modernize their websites and optimize their SEO to give them competitive advantages in their marketplaces.

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

 

Published with consideration from SMBnow.com. SOURCE

We are taught never to judge a book by its cover. But in this superficial age, looks are everything, especially for websites. Your website is a customer’s first impression of your business, and if it doesn’t wow them, you’re losing money. Follow these best practices so you don’t end up in that situation.

A variety of professional photos

From pictures of your products to team photos, high-quality images are arguably the most important thing on your website. Blurry, outdated, or irrelevant pictures tell your site visitors that you don’t care about their browsing experience. In-house photos are the best option, but stock images shouldn’t cause any problems as long as they are optimized for mobile viewing and relevant to your content.

Navigation

Aside from one subpar imagery, linking to nonexistent pages is one of the best ways to turn site visitors away. Make sure it’s easy to navigate your site and remove outdated or irrelevant pages. You can’t sell 404 pages to customers, and if that’s all visitors can find, it’s game over.

Clear copywriting

The last thing you want to do is to confuse your customers, so it’s important to keep all of your product or service descriptions as straightforward and simple as possible. If what you’re selling has detailed information, such as dimensions or technical requirements, make sure it’s easy to find but not obtrusive.

Promises to site visitors

Any website that ships products should make its returns policy as visible as possible. This establishes trust early and some online shoppers make purchase decisions based solely on the clarity of a return policy.

If you don’t run an eCommerce site, you also need to prominently display privacy commitments, such as those mandated by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

About page

Your brand needs a story behind it that customers can relate to. Every company website should have an About Us page that describes your team, its culture, and what sets you apart from the competition. Whatever your story is, make sure it’s accessible from any page on your site.

Design

Not everyone is a web design expert, but in today’s gig economy one is never too far away. If your budget is tight, there are DIY site builders specifically geared toward small businesses. Or with a relatively low monthly expenditure, you can hire a managed website provider.

With more revenue originating online, small- and medium-sized business owners can’t afford to overlook the importance of creating a fully functional website. For more information on building a modern website, call us today!

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. SOURCE

 

 

Whether you’re a newbie or an expert in search engine optimization (SEO), the field changes so often that it can be overwhelming. That can be pretty frustrating since businesses of any size need to get people to their sites in order to really grow in our web-driven culture. Thankfully, there are a few tried-and-true methods for improving your position in Google’s index.

Make sure you’re indexed by Google

Go to Google.com and search ‘site:’ with your website domain listed after the colon (example: ‘site:acme.com’). If you don’t see any results from your page listed, that means Google hasn’t added your site to its search results yet. Although some advisers recommend filling out a request form that Google offers, there is a much faster way to get recognized by the search giant.

Google is constantly scanning web pages for updates in content to include in their search results. When they see a link to an external site on one of their already indexed pages, Google will add that link to the queue of new sites to be scanned and indexed. If you can get your domain name linked on a popular or trusted page, you’ll start seeing your page in the search results in no time.

Go out and get more links

The more links to your site from external pages, the higher you climb in the search results. Other than getting affiliate businesses to link you on their pages, consider managing a blog or RSS feed. Content generation not only promotes interest and traffic in your site, it also lets you submit yourself to blog directories or news aggregator sites like Feedly and Alltop which compile source materials and get you those external links.

Fine-tune your content

Be very careful not to change any of your core ‘permalinks’. If users have links that direct them to pages that can’t be found, it could affect your site’s ranking. Keep your pages live, and keep them named efficiently. Some website platforms, like WordPress, use default link structures that create complicated, number-based links that can be off-putting to users and confusing to administrators and search engine indexers. If possible, make sure your links use category and page title references for more appealing links and organizational structure.

Measure and track your ranking

Just because you believe your site has achieved a desirable ranking on Google doesn’t mean it will stay there. Stay proactive and never let yourself get lazy with your content production, site management, and SEO monitoring — it could mean the difference between moving up the search page, and disappearing from it altogether. Online tools like Cyfe and Google Analytics give you a more in-depth look at your site traffic and external links so you’re always ahead of the competition.

Optimizing your Google page indexing can be daunting. For more information on how to get your site moving up the ladder. Contact us today.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Despite efforts to protect your data, some breaches are beyond your control. When an online company with your personal details gets hacked, you have no choice but to manage your risks on your own. These practical tips can help you reduce risks of identity theft and other threats.

Determine what was breached

Whether its names, addresses, email addresses, or social security numbers, it’s critical to know exactly what type of information was stolen before determining what steps to take. For example, if your email address were compromised, you’d take every precaution to strengthen your email security, which includes updating all your login credentials.

Change affected passwords immediately

Speaking of passwords, change yours immediately after any breach, even for seemingly safe accounts. Create a strong password comprised of alphanumeric and special characters, and make sure you never reuse passwords from your other accounts.

Once you’ve changed all your passwords, use a password manager to help you keep track of all your online account credentials.

If the website that breached your information offers two-factor authentication (2FA), enable it right away. 2FA requires two steps to verify security: usually a password and a verification code sent to a user’s registered mobile number.

Contact financial institutions

In cases where financial information was leaked, call your bank and credit card issuers to change your details, cancel your card, and notify them of a possible fraud risk. That way, banks can prevent fraud and monitor your account for suspicious activity.

Note that there are different rules for fraudulent transactions on debit cards and credit cards. Credit card transactions are a bit easier to dispute because they have longer grace periods. Debit card fraud, on the other hand, is more difficult to dispute, especially if the fraudulent transactions happened after you’ve notified the bank.

Place a fraud alert on your name

Hackers who have your personal information can easily commit identity fraud. To avoid becoming a victim, contact credit reporting bureaus like Equifax, Experian, or Innovis and request that a fraud alert (also called credit alert) be added to your name. This will block any attempt to open a credit account under your name and prevent unauthorized third parties from running a credit report on you.

 

Putting a credit freeze on your name might result in minor inconveniences, especially if you have an ongoing loan or credit card application. Still, doing so will greatly reduce your risks of getting defrauded.

These steps will ensure you don’t fall victim to identity theft in the event of a large-scale data breach. If you want to take a more proactive approach to protect your sensitive information against breaches, contact our cybersecurity experts today.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

 

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE