Web site optimization, SEO and digital marketing tips for 2020. Web site optimization, SEO and digital marketing tips for 2020 by BlindDrop Design, a Cochrane Web Design & SEO service provider.

Why Is Optimization So Critical in Web Design in 2020?

Web site optimization, SEO and digital marketing tips for 2020. Web site optimization, SEO and digital marketing tips for 2020 by BlindDrop Design, a Cochrane Web Design & SEO service provider.

For many businesses, the beginning of a New Year brings with it a new marketing plan. Whether you are a new or established business, it’s critical to have a plan in place for your web marketing efforts. This applies to an online store, small business or large corporation. Your plan will of course include strategies to reach your marketing goals to increase your bottom line.

One strategy that is often overlooked, or under-developed, is web optimization. I am not just talking about Calgary SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services, which focus on ranking well in the Search Engines.

As we start 2020 with fresh ideas and goals for our businesses and online ventures, we need to consider the following key factors. These factors can help or hinder your Web optimization and Calgary web design strategies.

The definition of optimization is, “the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource.”
Isn’t that what we want for our business and all resources and channels associated with it?

If you want your business to succeed online, your brand and web presence needs to be properly optimized.

Proper optimization will improve:

  • People’s first impression of your company
  • Brand trust & authority
  • Visibility in Search Engine results
  • An increase in positive reviews
  • Your company’s visibility on other vital profiles on industry sites and review sites
  • Increased back links to your website
  • Customer engagement (not only on your website, but also social media and other websites)
  • How long a customer stays on your site
  • Your multiple channels used for content distribution
  • Increased targeted traffic to your website (More targeted prospects and leads)
  • All of these factors will ultimately improve your bottom line

The optimization process is, as you can imagine, a very detailed and work-intensive process. For this reason, it is something often overlooked by Web development companies, who often overlook basic optimization factors.

Of course, you may have built your own website using a web builder service rather than hiring a web design company to create a custom website. In this case, your site’s success will depend on how much time and energy you had to learn SEO, UEO (User Experience Optimization) and core marketing techniques like doing Web marketing research of your competitors.

I’ve been building websites since 1997 and the funny thing is that many of the key design and digital marketing strategies are still effective. It surprises me how often these are still over looked, even by professional Web agencies.

That said, the biggest change I consistently see is that, as Web technologies get more intuitive and powerful, they get equally more complex to manage behind the scenes. For example, this applies to hardware, like the advent of mobile devices, and software, like Google’s search engine and apps. The easier things are for the end user, the more complex the engine is running them behind the scenes.

Here’s a quick example: if you want to know how well your website is optimized, you need to audit it. So, when I audit an existing website for a client, or when I audit their competitor’s sites, the site scores are usually in the 40/100 to 50/100 score. By comparison, a BlindDrop-produced website scores between 75/100 to 95/100 in our third-party audit. Which site do you think will naturally rank more highly?

When your website is properly optimized, it will rank higher and reach more of your target market.

It will provide a better user (customer) experience.

Overall, it will best represent your services, products and brand 24/7.

BlindDrop is a Calgary marketing company that specializes in optimization. When we produce a Website, we use at minimum, three different auditing apps to get the best range of reference to determine what is uniquely necessary for each client’s website.

To remain successful online requires agility and a proactive approach to your marketing efforts. The Web is an ever-changing landscape. Your website’s rankings change daily. Those rankings will depend on 200 SEO factors that influence Google’s ranking algorithms.

But, as I said, it is not only about ranking high in Google. You need to make sure your website is user-friendly, intuitive and professional. This is also a main goal of the optimization process as well.

Web Optimization Strategies for 2020

So, let’s look at ways to make the best or most effective use of your Web presence and marketing strategies for 2020:

1.    Your Branding

Branding development and promotion in Cochrane & Calgary, Albert

 

I’m sure you’re aware that your brand is not just your logo by now. Your brand is the experience and relationship created by your company with everything and everyone. This includes your prospects, leads, customers, employees and suppliers.

Your brand is your influence on the world. Its relevancy, authority and influence will shift over the years.

Being proactive and attentive to your brand is essential. Also, make sure you are consistent with your messaging across all channels, from your website to email marketing, to print and signage, to customer experience and human resources.

Make sure your visual brand is:

  • Professionally created, with a clean, simple iconic design
  • Is engaging and embodies the unique and authentic feel of your business and its offerings
  • Developed with supporting elements in mind
  • Comes with a branding guideline for future use, especially to share with third parties so they use the logo and branding material as intended
  • Carried through all media consistently, from your website, to mobile apps, to print and signage
  • You have placed some thought to a tagline or slogan.
  • Up to date – your brand needs to balance between maintaining its history and familiarity, but be open to tweaking your brand image and messaging over the years to embrace shifts in design, accessibility and target markets.

2.    Competitor Awareness

Competitor awareness in SEO services and Web design needed in 2020.

 

Competition levels, generally speaking, continue to grow, especially online. So, while we don’t want to dwell too much on what our competitors are doing, we need to be aware of where they are at, and more importantly, what they’re NOT doing.

As I noted earlier, a simple website audit can reveal where your competition is lacking from a branding and marketing perspective. It shows how much that business is invested in their online presence and, ultimately, how they are perceived by their audience. As this perception affects their bottom line, they are leaving money on the table by not dealing with these issues.

The awesome thing about competitors is that they actually are your key to success! Put aside your fears about them under-cutting you, or out performing you. There is room for everyone online. But you do need to know your niche, your competitors and your customers.

You can easily determine this with some top-level research. Once you know where your competition is at, you can more easily define your own goals.

3.    Build a Strong Foundation

When we build a client’s website at BlindDrop.com, we don’t just build a website. We always review the client’s current branding and online marketing efforts.

We then research the client’s niche and develop a Web marketing strategy. From this foundation, we start to develop the website.

Your Web foundation should include:

  • Professional branding
  • A well-researched list of proven keywords and search terms
  • An accessible website that is professional, intuitive, secure, fast loading and delivers the information, digital media, services and products your audience seeks.
  • Host your WordPress website on a managed hosting service, such as a dedicated server, that delivers highest security and page speed.
  • If you are considering using WordPress for your website, make sure you have chosen proven themes and plugins that help you optimize the critical functions of your website.
  • A core network of your brand’s channels that includes Social Media, Video and Industry-related websites. This sets the stage for your social media marketer to shine.
  • If you are a local business, you will need to focus especially on local search factors as well.

4.    Be Consistent

Consistentcy is key in Calgary marketing and branding solutions

Your brand is really a story that builds over the life of your business. As the story unfolds, your brand should remain the mentor to the intertwined stories of your customers, suppliers, employees and competitors. So, the one thing you can do to strengthen your story, to make it one to remember, is to be consistent.

Your brand’s story is told through your website, your social media channels, customer reviews and testimonials, videos, pod casts, employee longevity and any other medium that speaks of your brand.

So be consistent in your messaging. Review your branding, your content, your communications, signage and your phone scripts. Even simple things like your email signatures may be overlooked.

To be proactive is to be consistent in your delivery, despite the changes in your marketplace, your offerings or competitors. Consistency builds trust. Trust builds loyalty and authority in your niche.

5.    Focus on Authority & Service

Brand authority as part of online marketing success

Becoming an authority in your niche is critical to your online success. When you have authority, it is easier to build trust with those who are just learning about your company. The challenge with being an authority is that you need to maintain that edge every day.

An optimized web presence helps you build authority most quickly because:

  • Your brand is presented professionally
  • You appear among your competitors in Google search results and on industry-related review sites
  • You have an active web presence, both on your website and across social media channels
  • Your website is highly secure and loads quickly for your viewers
  • Your clients can easily connect with you via a variety of methods
  • Your industry awards and certifications are easily seen on your website and key profiles
  • You actively build and respond to customer reviews
  • You are able to determine shifts in demand for services and products and adapt accordingly

You will see that maintaining authority is aligned closely to maintaining a consistent, professional image and providing superior customer service.

6.    Be Active

Blogging is an important part of your SEO and web marketing strategy in 2020.

Yes, your New Year’s resolutions to be more active extend to your business and Web presence! A few key activities here:

  • Google rankings – Google’s current algorithms will rank sites higher that get more real visitors than a site that gets lower traffic. So, your ongoing optimization efforts help more people find your website, which in turn, ranks you higher.
  • Blogging – Adding new content to your blog is important, but focus on quality over quantity. By producing quality, optimized content, you’ll naturally reach more of your targeted audience and keep them on the page when they get there.
  • Social media – while being active on social media is an industry unto itself, ideally you are active on at least one or two key channels. From a marketing perspective, focus less on making a sale and more about providing value, sharing information beyond your own company news. This will help keep you top of mind, start conversations and build relationships with your targeted audience.

As such, all activities like these should be first inline with your optimization strategy and research. Again, this is an ongoing process, so your content marketing efforts need to be revitalized over time with fresh research data, updated messaging and proper distribution.

7.    Multi-Media

When it comes to optimizing your content distribution, go wide but stay focused!

Yep, you have to love paradoxes in life. By this I mean you want to distribute your content to a variety of media channels.

Keep it laser focused to those channels and your overall SEO strategy. This benefits your efforts the most.

For example, when you write an optimized blog post, also consider:

  • Making it into a video for YouTube, social media and embedded on your website.
  • Recording an audio-only version for a pod-cast or audio file.
  • Make it into a branded, optimized PDF document that can be downloaded and shared.
  • Creating lead-in posts on social media that draw interested readers to your article
  • To include your optimized content and messaging in your in-person sales presentation, advertising campaign and print media. Remember, consistency is key, but adapt it as needed for each medium, as your audience and delivery will change each time.
  • To use it as a basis for other types of advertising and communications in mobile phone apps, Google ads, email marketing,  print, radio and TV.

Web and Digital marketing can feel overwhelming. So many options and so little time. It’s hard to know where to start and which marketing channel will be most effective for your business.

Building a Solid Business with proper web strategy.

Some Quick Optimization Tips

  1. Start at the end – define your goals and decide what you realistically need to achieve from your marketing efforts.
  2. Be realistic – don’t over-commit to marketing to ten different channels if you only have time/energy/budget for two or three channels each month.
  3. Start with your “hub”, your website. It is the alpha and omega for your web marketing efforts. Yes, you can have success on your social media channels, but you don’t have as much control, impact nor freedom as you do with your website.
  4. Incremental changes add up – keep at it! It’s better to make small changes and efforts each month, than feel the weight of having to make many changes less often.

In summary, focus on making the best or most effective use of your online brand, internet marketing and website. Your efforts will have a ripple effect to all of your existing channels.

So, start with a professional audit, do proper SEO research and build a strategy from there based on your competition and your current Web presence.

If you’d like help with this process, just fill out the form below.

I can provide you with a detailed, one-time service that will objectively identify the areas that you need to improve and a strategy to get them actively in place.

Just fill out the following form to get started!

Lucas Arnatt, Cochrane web designer serving Calgary, AlbertaAbout the Author

Lucas Arnatt is a Web consultant and owner of BlindDrop.com, an award-winning Cochrane web design and SEO company based in Alberta. Lucas has been building websites since 1997 and has worked with hundreds of companies in Calgary, Alberta and across Canada.

BlindDrop specializes in branding solutions, website optimization, SEO services, custom WordPress development and managed WordPress hosting services.

 

 

 

 

Get a Professional Website Audit for $495.00

Whether you have a website or are starting a new brand, you need to know your competition.
You need a core Web strategy to make the most of your online marketing.

With our personalized web audit service, we use a variety of industry specific SEO and marketing tools to research and plan your strategy.

These tools are only part of the auditing equation:
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You can take the information we provide to your current Web marketing team, or we can help you start improving your website optimization today!

The Temptation of DIY Web Design

When the seemingly inevitable point comes when your Calgary business cannot do without a website, when people wait with baited breathe and poised pen for your lips to start “double-u, double-u, double-u” or for those living in the fast lane “dub, dub, dub…” you may well be tempted to go the DIY route and whip something together over the weekend or during the evenings when the house has become quiet – just to relieve that mounting pressure.

Or, if you have a young employee with fingers blazing away at text-lightning speed, you might naturally assume they know what PHP, MySQL, and DNS mean because they apparently were born without umbilical cords (ever since pregnancy went “totally wireless, dude”). This is not to say that today’s youth are not skilled in technology, since we all know that a toddler’s knowledge of home theatre often stumps the thirty-something cable guy, but it is to say that successful technology is based on pairing geeky science (the language of the introverted) with the fleshy test ground of the general masses (the dance of the extroverted).

The Web didn’t wait long to look us dead in the eye and say, “Web 2 point what?” and then grab its long board made up of forums, chat rooms and membership sites and go for a new ride by turning into a more business-savvy entity, now known as “Social Networking.” Okay, this to me sounds like the geeky science guys went to a party and met some inauthentic marketers and they all got whacked out on a couple of six packs of those Energy drinks that come in lady-finger thin cans with logos done by a tattoo artist – so it’s cool – and they ALL decided in between slurps and tweets that it was time to “Network Socially.” This is akin to the brain thinking about emotion and deciding it’s the same thing as emotion.

Whatever “Social Networking” is or what emerging Web trends afflict on you, whether you’re an entrepreneur, dedicated employee, Fortune 500 owner or someone unemployed and on that vacuous Web treasure hunt on EBay or looking to “Make $10,577.98 per month with no effort whatsoever” (that includes the effort to use discernable common sense), the Web can be daunting wherever you are in the world. So to begin the task of stepping into this full spectrum virtual reality takes more than just exporting your site from Publisher or getting your Graphic artist to create your site from JPG images cut up in ImageReady.

Websites often seem to be singular entities and still look like electronic versions of a 3 panel brochure, but they really do rely on multiple strata of technology and human interaction.

A basic Website now needs the following support:

  • A well-chosen, not too long, but definitely relevant, domain name registered to you.
  • A loving and supportive Web host that provides all email and Web services 24/7.
  • An attractive Web design (either pre-fab or custom) to wrap around the content
  • The most intuitive and clearest navigation possible, including a planned site structure
  • Unique, accessible, informative and/or entertaining, Search Engine Friendly content
  • A doting audience of actual people, not just Search engine bots.
  • Advertising support provided by links, banner ads, Adwords, print advertising, etc.

Before plunging into building your own website, you do need to ask yourself:

  1. Do I have the time and patience to learn about: domain registration, domain name server IP switches, hosting account set up, email account and email forwarding configuration, fundamental website design, GUI design, ASP or PHP, DHTML or XML? Browser compatibility, Content drafting, revisions and changes based on recent SEO trends, how to set up Google Analytics, what Content Management solution works for you, if your images are to be stock or custom, if those images are copyright or royalty-free, whether you write promotional articles yourself, if you want a blog fully integrated or if you have to set up one on ANOTHER server at ANOTHER web address, or find a 3rd party e-commerce shopping cart to “somehow” fit into your html site, what GUI means, how to run adwords, adbrite, overture, how to add in a multi-page “sticky” form, or upload a file for your visitors to download, custom MX records, A records and just for fun, how to write your very own SPF records.
  2. Were you born without an umbilical cord? If the answer is yes, indeed, you were born “cordless”, you’re in luck, since you should know all of the above anyway, so no problem, right?

There are so many facets to building a successful Website that really; the Web designer is only part of the equation. A good Web designer will provide you with a good looking, functional site. A great Web designer will do their best to create a site geared to bring abundance to you, to plan for the future, to work in organic SEO at every level possible, build toward expansion in content and traffic and provide a look to the site that will not become dated as fast as you can say “drop shadow” or “3D bevel”. A great Web designer will do whatever you choose not to do, and do it better than you could. So keep your weekends free, spend evenings with family and friends and when you’re ready to say “dub, dub, dub” give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest.