Category Archives: Google

Make Your Web Site Mobile Friendly for Google

Mobile Friendly

On Tuesday, April 24, Google will make an important change in the way it ranks web sites for search.

For at least a year, Google has been pushing web site owners to make their sites more mobile friendly. In fact, they’ve even noted in the search results which sites are optimized for mobile devices.

The biggest change of all in this new mobile front will come when sites are actually demoted in search results if Google deems them not mobile friendly.

Are you ready?

Google’s Mobile Friendly Test will tell you:¬†https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

mobile ready

WordPress Makes It Easy

If your web site is built with WordPress, you are probably all set.

Here are the things you need to check:

  • Are you running the latest version of WordPress? Update if necessary
  • Is your theme up to date?
  • Is your theme mobile ready? WordPress calls such themes “Responsive Themes.” They look good on either a desktop or mobile device. If you are planning to update the look of your site, now would be the perfect time to switch to a new responsive theme.

Jetpack to the Rescue

If you like you web site the way it is, but it isn’t mobile friendly, there is a quick and easy WordPress solution – a plugin called Jetpack

JetPack has lots of useful tools, but for the big Google re-ranking, the most important part is its built in Responsive Theme. It will leave your desktop theme as is while adding a new, mobile friendly theme that will be detected by mobile browsers (and Google!)

Jetpack’s Mobile theme.¬†Instant and customizable lightweight responsive theme designed for phones and tablets.

To use Jetpack, you’ll need a WordPress.com account.

You don’t actually have to build a blog on WordPress.com to open an account. You just have to select Create Account Only at sign in.

Make a note of your WordPress.com user name and password, and return to your own WordPress powered web site.

Download and install the Jetpack theme, sign in with your WordPress.com credentials when prompted, activate the plugin, select Mobile Theme, and you are done.

Your site is now ready for Google’s Mobile Friendly search.

 

Building Search Engine Ranking

When you start a website the first order of business is to start bringing customers (in Internet speak: traffic).

There are a couple of ways that you can start building a steady flow of traffic into your site.

  1. Pay for advertising on the major search engines (called pay per click advertising or PPC)
  2. Build your website so that it is optimized and will naturally ‘float’ to the top of the search

Most websites try for a combo of both. While they are still building the SEO (search engine optimization) they purchase Pay Per Click Ads. They are the little boxes that show up along the side of the search engines, on blogs and websites.

There’s nothing wrong with PPC ads. They are a fast way to build traffic and monitor the results of your keywords.

However, quailifed buyers (the type of traffic we want most) are seven times more likely to buy when they click in from an “organic search” than PPC. Organic search means the results that come up when a person types in their question in the seach engine – the list of websites and blogs that show up naturally.

So, as soon as possible you want to build your web rankings so that your website or blog naturally floats to the first page of the Google, MSN and Yahoo results. Not only will this save you advertising dollars, it will bring in a more highly qualified, ready to buy group of readers.

To rise to the top websites must work on optimizing their blogs or websites.

Here is a quick list of ways to help build your search engine rankings:

  • Optimize you site. Use title tags, meta tags, H1 & h2 heading tags for your most important keywords
  • When writing your web page try to use keywords people type in when using the search engines. Try for one keyword per 100 words
  • Use keyword in your click here or anchor tags – instead of just ‘click here’ type in a keyword pharse something like: how to use eBay Widgets
  • List your site on the indexing directories, dmoz.org – yahoo.com – google.com – most likely the spiders will pick you up sooner, but getting listed on dmoz.org is considered at bonus to the other indexing sites. A real person looks at your site before it is indexed on dmoz.org
  • Make sure you keep your website updated with relevant material
  • Issue press releases with links to your site
  • Comment and participate with other bloggers, leave your url in your signature line
  • Use squidoo.com by writing an article with a link to your site
  • Link exchanges are great, but make sure your partner is not just a ‘link farm’ (someone has a site just for links, with the intent to build SEO)

Use The 301 Redirect To Avoid Broken Links And Google’s Wrath

You’ll eventually find it necessary to move or rename a web page.

However, old, out-of-date URLs will remain in your readers’ bookmarks and favorites, in other web sites’ links, in email sig files – in all sorts of places you cannot control.

When a customer who hasn’t visited your site in many months uses an old, out-dated link, they get a “404 File Not Found” error and the sale is lost.

Just as bad, Google has the old URL squirreled away in its vast memory – and you suddenly find a once busy site penalized or delisted because the link leads nowhere – even if all you did was change the htm extension to html!

You can avoid this problem with a simple bit of code called a 301 Redirect.

In the past, webmasters used metatag redirects or javascript redirects to send readers or buyers to a page other than the one whose address they’d typed into the browser address bar. Today, this practice is seen as inherently deceptive because it is used and abused by spammers and crooks.

To stay on the side of the angels – and on Google’s good side – use the 301 Redirect in a file called .htaccess

Here’s how:

If your website is hosted on a server running Linux or Apache, you probably already have an .htaccess file in the root directory. Use your favorite FTP program to download the .htaccess file to your own computer. (If necessary, you can also create a new .htaccess file by just opening NotePad and writing out the redirect command and then naming the new file .htaccess NOTE: do not use the .txt extension)

Before you make any changes to an existing .htaccess, be sure to create a back up copy. If anything goes wrong, you’ll want to revert to the original file, and the simplest way to do that is to just upload it again.

Open .htaccess in Notepad and add this simple command:

Redirect 301 /original/original.html http://www.yournewURL.com/new.html

Save the changes, being sure to change the File Type to “All Files” so that NotePad doesn’t add a .txt to the end of the file name. It must remain .htaccess

A few things to note:

  • There is no “http://” or “www.” in front of that first URL.
  • There is a single space between parts of the command: Redirect [space] 301 [space] old URL [space] new URL

At first glance, this may seem like arcane mumbo-jumbo. But it is really straight forward and not at all hard to do. A little time spent experimenting will be more than repaid in improved SEO.

A 301 Redirect can be also be very useful in other ways. You may, for instance, want to give shoppers an easy way to find your eBay store. Rather than hoping they’ll recall a complicated eBay URL, just send them to YourStore.com/ebay/ and use the 301 Redirect command in .htaccess to permanently send that URL to your eBay store.

Where Do Advertisers Break Even When Purchasing Pay Per Click?

Adverting is an important part of building a business. No doubt about it. You can’t make sales if you can’t get buyers into your shop.

One way online sellers can get people into their eBay store, Bonanzle Booth or stand alone website is pay-per-click (PPC).

The problem is there aren’t a lot of numbers available about conversion rates, cost per acquisition and results. Which makes it difficult for a shop owner know if they are breaking even or even coming out ahead with a PPC campaign.

Let’s take a look at what we do know.

  • Typically advertisers can expect a 1 to 2% conversion of clicker into a buyer.
  • A standard marketing/advertising budget is around 10%

Let’s take those statisticsand put them to work for a hypotheitical Silver Level PowerSeller on eBay — called the MightyTinMan. * A silver level PowerSeller is a seller who makes $3,000.00 in gross sales on on eBay. While the actual profit (margin) from that $3,000 will vary with type of item, let’s give this seller a 50% margin.

That means the MightyTinman’s gross profit will be $1500.00.

If he spends 10% of his gross on advertising he has $150.00 to spend. How will that measure up for a PPC campaign?

One other thing to look at is the average cost of the product(s) he sells. In this example we’re going to say the typical retail price for his product is $25.00.

MightyTinMan decides to bid .50 cents per click on appropriate keywords relating to his shop. That means he’ll receive up to 300 clicks a month, or ten per day. (Click prices vary depending on what keywords your bidding on and how much competition you have. It’s not unusual to expect to pay between twenty-five cents and a couple of dollars a click).

At a 2% conversion rate the MightyTinMan will make 6 sales from the PPC. If his average item sells for $25.00 a month, and his gross profit is $12.50 that means his sales from those six clicks will average him $75.00 a month in profit.

If we are looking at gross profit, our seller MightyTinMan is losing money on the PPC.

There is another intangible factor that comes into play as well. In advertising it’s referred to as the lifetime value of the customer. If the seller is able to get those six buyers onto his mailing list, he has a better than average chance that they will purchase again(around 44%).

However, one of the problems for eBay sellers is that they don’t have control over the names and emails of their customers. EBay sellers are allowed to add customers to a eBay approved mailing list – where they have very restricted access to their customers.

On the other hand, consider this:

EBay sellers have a secret advantage. EBay itself purchases pay per click advertising for their sellers. That’s a mixed blessing. It’s great that they don’t have to purchase the PPC, but if they do want to try a PPC campaign, they’re going to pay more to compete. And you they end up competing against their own listings! With eBay’s buying PPC budget larger than most sellers – that could drive the price way up.

Please don’t be discouraged by this news.

There are many, many benefits to paying for traffic, especially when building your mailing list (if the landing page is set up correctly you can expect a 30% or more conversion)for newsletter signups – if the optin offer is stated correctly.

While PPC advertising is a great way to advertise online, sellers must weigh the rewards and expenses. And for the eBay seller, they are in a difficult spot where realistically they must focus specifically on the cost per acquisition. The buyer may never return to shop with them again, so their is no lifetime value of customer.