Saturday, May 30, 2015

5 SEO Strategies for 2015

Nowadays, most people know what SEO (search engine optimization) is and how it helps a business successful. There are some strategies that worth spending time to update them.

1. Increase site speed

Google has made that site speed matter in search rankings since 2010. The faster sites not only get better on search rankings but also improve user experience. You can test site speed with Google Page Speed Insights

There are few ways to speed up your site:
  • Optimize images – compress images and crop images to correct size
  • Reduce the number of plugins
  • Minify CSS and JavaScript

2. Create and optimize for mobile users

Having a mobile-friendly site impacts your SEO. Recently Google adds a “mobile-friendly” label to mobile search results for better user experience. The mobile-friendly means a user can view the website’s content without to zoom in or horizontally scroll to read. You can see if your website passes Google’s mobile-friendly test.

I’ve gathered some important data about online searchers’ expectations:
  • Local searches lead 50% of mobile users to visit stores (Search Engine Watch)
  • 72% of consumers expect brands to have mobile-friendly sites (adweek)
  • 48% of mobile visitors who visit a site that is not mobile-friendly felt that the company just didn’t care about their business (Reach Local)
  • 9 out of 10 mobile search users have “taken action as a result of a mobile search, with over half leading to a purchase." (Search Engine Land)
  • Studies show that by the year 2016, mobile searches will overtake PC searches for local search (Reach Local)
  • 3 out of 5 consumers search for local businesses on their smartphone (Reach Local)
These are some reasons why your website should be mobile-friendly.

3. Grow Natural Links

According to the Moz 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, one of the top five factors is link signals to the site or the specific page.

These steps can help you build backlinks to your site:
  • Create a local business listing on Google Places
  • Create backlinks by having the account in social media like LinkedIn, Google + or Facebook. Try to update your company activities or what you’ve done for community on daily basis in those accounts. When users or your followers see it helpful, they will share your content.
  • Have a high quality and frequently updated blog that is relevant for your audience.

4. Unblock JavaScript and CSS from Google Fetching

From Google webmaster central blog
For optimal rendering and indexing, our new guideline specifies that you should allow Googlebot access to the JavaScript, CSS, and image files that your pages use. This provides you optimal rendering and indexing for your site. Disallowing crawling of Javascript or CSS files in your site’s robots.txt directly harms how well our algorithms render and index your content and can result in suboptimal rankings.

If your website have experienced block JavaScript and CSS from Google fetching. It’s time to fix this problem. How Google see you? and How to allow Google to view my CSS & JavaScript

5. HTTPS as a ranking signal

Google announced that HTTPS would now become a ranking signal. That means websites use secure, encrypted connections may get a boost in Google rankings.

But there are costs to enable HTTPS for your website.
  • Host with a dedicated IP address
  • Buy a certificate
  • Activate the certificate
  • Install the certificate
  • Update your site to use HTTPS

However, Google said “For now it's only a very lightweight signal.” But they may decide to strengthen it over time. For an informational website that doesn't handle any customer data, at this point there's probably not enough SEO value to make the switch.

In the end SEO is an ongoing process, however keep updating your SEO strategies will help your website success for many years to come.

NWDS Alaska Web Design

About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more.

Friday, May 8, 2015

How to choose colors that fit your brand

Color increases brand recognition by 80%, and 85% of shoppers place color as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product, according to a infographic from KISSmetircs. It is essential to choose a color or a combination of colors for your brand.

Color meaning

  • Red – exciting, strong, energizing, fast

  • Orange – sociable, adventurous, affordable, warm, optimistic, cheerful

  • Yellow – happy, uplifting, creativity, challenging

  • Green – reliable, sympathetic, generous, adaptable

  • Turquoise – idealistic, creativity, compassionate, healing, self-sufficient

  • Blue – loyal, caring, reliable, conservative, idealistic, devoted

  • Indigo – responsible, obedient, sincere, structural

  • Purple – individual, creative, inventive, psychic, mysterious, fantastic

  • Magenta – loving, supportive, innovative, artistic

  • Pink – unconditional, understanding, warm, innocent, feminine

  • Gold – wealthy, luxurious, victorious, beautiful, attractive

  • Silver – modern, sleek, scientific, distinguished, calm, imaginative, feminine

  • Black – powerful, protective, comfortable, sophisticated, mysterious

  • White – innocent, pure, equal, simple, neat, open

  • Grey – intelligent, classic, mature, refined, conservative, neutral

  • Brown – practical, comfortable, reliable, friendly, humble, natural, organic

Source: Empower Yourself with Color Psychology

How to select your color

  • Choose a color that best describes your brand’s personality.
    Brand’s personality is like human’s personality. Choose colors that represent your brand’s personality; your brand is strong, sophisticated and mysterious; adventurous, optimistic and self-confident; or idealistic, creative and inspiring.
  • Know the impact of colors to consumers.
    The research shows colors have a significant impact on the logo and the brand.
    The study revealed that blue logos invoked feelings of confidence, success and reliability; green logos invoked perceptions of environmental friendliness, toughness, durability, masculinity and sustainability; purple logos invoked femininity, glamor and charm; pink logos gave the perception of youth, imagination and fashionable; yellow logos invoked perceptions of fun and modernity; and red logos brought feelings of expertise and self-assurance.
  • Consider cultural interpretations.
    For example, blue is the most preferred color across cultures. Red is the color of happiness and celebration in China, often seen red is being used in New Year or wedding. Black associates with death in Thailand.

Here are some resources you may find useful:

NWDS Alaska Web Design

About NWDS  - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more.

How Website Design Affects Your Business

Here are some reasons how the design affects your business.

1. Credibility

According to Stanford University, the study shows 46% of people judge the credibility of a business based on the design.

It's not enough that you just have a website but you must have a professional-looking design. Since many people now search for information online before making a purchase, your site may be the first chance to make a good impression to potential customers.

2. Responsive design

Why does responsive design matter? A responsive website is designed to fit any size of screen when someone is using to view your website (desktop, tablet, smart phone, etc.). Here why responsive design matters to your business.
  • The number of smartphones globally used will reach 2 billion in 2015. The number of smartphone users is growing each year. If your website is not responsive, you risk losing a big number of visitors to your site.
  • Google released the mobile friendly update on April 21st. The update will potentially give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results.
  • Responsive design provides the better user experience for each device. The better your website pleases visitors; most likely they will come back again.

3. Slow loading web pages

40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Once visitors find you on search results, they click your website. You have only 3 seconds to have your webpage load, if not you have very high chance to lose potential customers.

4. Good content

If your website do good jobs for all of above reasons, but you don’t have good content. That will be huge impact to your website.
  • Write for fast reading. People tend to be in research mode when they are reading online; use one concept per paragraph, make sure the key idea is at the beginning, and remove redundant words.
  • Have content that relevant to your business.
  • Provide useful information and images that visitors expected.

Your website is part of your business. You may use it as one of your marketing tools and with some other reasons. It should give you the best results to your business.

NWDS Alaska Web Design

About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more.