Phoenix Website Design – 2020 Edition: The Writing Not To-Dos (Part 1)

Back in the day, there’s no such thing as an SEO writer. Now, online writing seems to be a big hit, and it’s not your usual writing because some write captions for social media, create product descriptions, and other non-traditional ways.

woman writing on notebook beside a laptop

Just to be clear, this is not about content strategy. In this post, I will focus on 5 not to-dos in terms of online writing.

1. DON’T go with the flow.

  • You can’t just copy a website’s content because they are gaining views. Every website has its own audience. The important thing is to know is that you should identify who you are writing for.
  • Yes, it’s a competition between websites, but you all have different challenges and different set of readers. You should check your direct competitors’ website only for 2 things:
    • Keywords – what keywords are they ranking for? From there, you will have an idea what to target.
    • Links – what websites are mentioning their brand? Perhaps, you can also reach out to these websites for a guest post.

2. DON’T skip the keyword research.

  • Yes, I admit that keyword research is one tedious task. Don’t just pretend it doesn’t exist and you proceed to the next step. NOPE!
  • The truth is that keyword research should be integrated to any business strategy. Through keyword research, you get to know what the public is searching on the internet. You need to know these keywords and phrases in order to provide answers and solutions to the users. Learn more about The 4 Mistakes to Avoid when Conducting Keyword Research.

3. DON’T be like the rest and strive to be different.

  • If you are going to do a Google search for SEO 2020, you will get 744,000,000 results. The only way to stand out from other pages is to produce exceptional written content.
  • Following other people will make your piece generic. Instead, you should add a personal touch. If you just copy others, you would just become another writer that conforms. So, whether you are writing a short or a lengthy piece, add your own personality. More on: 4 Easy Ways to Improve Content

4. DON’T neglect your headlines.

  • What do the readers notice first? It’s your title. Your headline should capture their attention. Like your content, you should also take time to think about the headline of your piece.
  • There are tools to help you out in this category: Portent’s Title Generator, CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, and many others.
  • Other tips include: add certain keyword relevant to the topic, appeal to your readers’ emotions, and insert numbers such as 90% of the consumers, 3 million users.

5. DON’T post irregularly.

  • Be consistent; blogging is not when you only feel like to post something new. Post on dates and times that have the most traffic on the website.
  • How do you know when the website gets most traffic? You study the metrics and experiment on the dates. Do a trial and error on the posting schedule. Once you figure out the surge of visitors, then, post around those times. If you can do a weekly blog, then, do that. If you want 2x a month, go ahead. The point is that you stick to the schedule.

Writing entails a lot of practice. No one immediately becomes a master in writing; you just do it every single day in order to polish your work. I am not perfect, and I still make mistakes. The important thing is to move forward and continue on writing. More will be discussed on The Writing Not To-Dos (Part 2)!

Phoenix Website Design – Tips in Being an SEO Consultant (Part 3)

Tips in Being an SEO Consultant (Part 1) and Tips in Being an SEO Consultant (Part 2) may be over, but I still have more to share to you. There are more to share about being an SEO consultant, and you should apply these tips to stand out from others.

person using MacBook

Here are tips to continually improve your SEO and communication skills:

  1. Select the right tools for the business.
  • Each business may have different needs. Therefore, they may need different tools to achieve certain goals.
  • However, before you start suggesting tools, your clients need to understand that there are things these SEO tools will not tell them. Even the best SEO consultants will have a difficult time if the clients expect something else from you.
  • Now that’s clear, we can discuss the numerous tools one can use. The available tools can vary from keyword research, WordPress plugins, content creation, and so on. Again, let me remind you that the tools should fit the needs of the business.
  • Yes, there are too many tools available now. Whether a client opts for a free tool or a premium tool, the important aspect here is communication. What do they need the tool for? Is it for project management, digital and social media marketing, team collaboration?
  • Here are some suggestions
  • Disclaimer: I am not in any way endorsing these products. Again, choosing the right tool is important in any business. What may be important for others, may not be important for you.
  1. Know who you are dealing with.
  • Next, communication is key. Learn who your clients are dealing with on a daily basis. This way, you can give suggestions and recommendations that fit their audience.
  • Ensure that the people in the business is knowledgeable on the plans — the what, the how, and the why. Acknowledge their concerns and allow them to see the bigger picture.  Your communication on what it implies for them should be clear as crystal.
  1. Report the progress adequately.
  • To tie loose ends, you have to set expectations and communicate your points well. Both you and the client cannot move forward if you are not on the same boat. So, it is your job to inform the client on the expected performance and what are the things you plan to do in bringing in concrete results.
  • I think the most difficult part of the entire process is to report back to your client. Reporting should be done in a understandable and direct way. Thus, you should not fill everything with jargons that no one would understand. Make sure you will explain the key points well. What does this metric mean for their business? Why isn’t it working? Explain why you need to change certain things.
  • Just reminding you that your clients may feel bored and uninterested when you start to mention jargons such as bounce rate, on-page SEO, and other user engagements stats. Defining goals is an important first step as discussed in part 1, but being able to explain it clearly is the final step that completes the whole process of SEO consultation.

 

SOURCE: (1)

 

 

Phoenix Website Design – Tips in Being an SEO Consultant (Part 2)

In Tips in Being an SEO Consultant (Part 1), I started tackling about how SEO is a vast field. As a SEO practitioner, you don’t magically transform a website. When consulting, you are trying to be working relationship with your clients. It is essential for you to be transparent on your knowledge not just for the short term, but in the long run.

two woman talking near a laptop computer

So, here are more tips for you in order to be great at teaching your clients about SEO:

  1. Be confident in your expertise.
  • First, you can monitor the online activities. Next, you can set up Google Alerts notifications for specific keywords. You are the expert in this field so be confident on telling your clients what to do. Thus, things like confidence and decisiveness will help you win the client’s trust. Make sure you get the information you need. Also, check if there are any changes and new goals in the business. Study the entire landscape of the business and research on their direct competitors.
  1. Anticipate the questions that may be asked of you.
  • Of course, it is impossible for you to know the answers to all of the questions. After all, SEO is a huge world that is connected to other fields like web design, email marketing, social media.
  • An SEO consultant should not sugar-coat. Instead, you should be clear and transparent to a question directed at you. There might be way too many questions asked, and you don’t know that what to address first. There’s no time to answer everything in one short meeting, right? However, answering your client’s questions directly will help you gain their trust. Come up with an answer to frequently asked questions. Most importantly, don’t respond with ambiguous responses. Lastly, don’t just say something just to impress your clients.
  • Again, provide the best answers to questions that may be asked. If you don’t know what to answer, be honest and study their pressing questions. Be sure to get back to them ASAP!
  1. Encourage them to follow your recommendations.
  • Remember, you are merely an SEO consultant in this equation. Thus, you will have no control on the recommendations you suggested. It is still up to the business if they will decide to execute your plans.
  • In order to achieve certain goals, you need to promote certain recommendations over others. Here’s what you can do:
    • Learn to prioritize: Your recommendations don’t have equal rank. Some needs are urgent, some aren’t. You have to draw a line on what items are part of the priority list and what aren’t. Doing it this way, your clients have an idea what to do expect on each item.
    • Plan the execution: Next, you have to strategize a plan. Emphasize on the importance of your plan, and remind your clients of the consequences when not following your recommendations.
    • Provide possible alternatives: Yes, your client may not follow your plan because of reasons beyond your control. Are there other ways to achieve the same result? Perhaps the client just wants a more cost effective or efficient way of addressing the issue? Can you skip it or is it really priority?
  • These will the ways to encourage the clients in taking action and seeing the fruits of your recommendation. If your plans are surely to achieve the goals, then, you have to push and motivate the client to jump.

 

Next? Read the Tips in Being an SEO Consultant (Part 3) for more.

Phoenix Website Design – Tips in Being an SEO Consultant (Part 1)

Sadly, like in any workplace, there are no shortcut to success. In SEO, things are even harder because the field itself is vast and it constantly changes.

Man and Woman Both Sitting on Sofa Both Looking at Silver Macbook

However, there are specific characteristics that will make you stand out from the rest of the SEO consultants out there. Today, let us begin to tackle the ways on how to level up your SEO knowledge.

  1. Start with knowing your goals.
  • Every time that I can, I always remind the audience that goal setting is very important. As discussed in The Things That SEO Tools Will NOT Tell You, no matter how sophisticated the tools you will use in SEO, all those things are useless if you don’t know your goal.
  • At this point, you should be able to clearly identify what you want to achieve. You also need to categorize your goals, and know what the attainable ones are. If goals take time, then, assign it to an expert or a team that can handle it well.
  • With knowing your goals, it is impossible to move forward. If you don’t know what you want, then, how can you say that your project was a success or not?
  • Remember, each website has different goals. One may want an increased website traffic. Meanwhile, others may want to improve keyword rankings. Perhaps, one may say a want more organic clicks. Thus, you should be able to detect what metrics to monitor depending on the agreed goals.
  1. Let your clients understand what SEO truly is.
  • Next, you should inform and educate people. You have to remind people that this isn’t a magic show. SEO results won’t just magically appear in front of their eyes!
  • Nurture the relationship of your clients by setting realistic expectations on the anticipated results. Moreover, they should have a clear understanding on what they should contribute to the project. After all, a website project is not a one-man team. It takes a whole village to organize everything.
  • You may have knowledge in SEO, but let’s face it, there are still other aspects of running a website such as email marketing, social media marketing, web design, and so on. No one can be knowledge of every area in the digital realm.
  • Even in the topic of SEO, there are numerous subtopics under it such as technical SEO, keyword research, off- page SEO (or better known as link building), on-page SEO, and so on.
  • Aside from all these things, the SEO landscape is continually evolving. If your client knows the SEO from 5 years ago, then, they probably know of the Outmoded SEO Practices.
  • Know where your client is at, and start from there.  Catch up on the areas that needs improvement. If they don’t know the basics of SEO, then, spend time teaching them about the SEO terminologies and phrases before going into details. You can only have a strong foundation of SEO if you make time in teaching your clients. Besides, if you have discussed difficult topics early on, you will less likely to encounter complications in the future.

 

Next? Read the Tips in Being an SEO Consultant (Part 2) for more.

Phoenix Website Design – Conquering the SERPs with WordPress (Part 3)

Now that Conquering the SERPs with WordPress (Part 1) and Conquering the SERPs with WordPress (Part 2) are done, I am done to the finale post on discussing why people choose WordPress. When you are a platform that controls 34% of all active websites, then, WordPress is obviously doing something right.

assorted icons on the wordpress dashboard

So, what could those be? Read more about it below:

  1. WordPress combines well with social media.
  1. You can easily sync other tools with your WordPress website.
  • The great thing about WordPress is that it is easy to connect with other tools such as Google Analytics Tools and Yoast SEO. We all know how Google dominates the internet with its various tools. So, the good news is that you can still use other services with any hassle. WordPress works harmoniously works with these tools below:
    • ConvertKit – a tool for customizing landing pages, emails, sign up forms, and so on.
    • Sucuri – a companion for securing your WordPress websites.
    • G Suite – Google’s business solution for emails, documents, and storage. An all-in-one package to keep everything in one place!
  • With these software tools running smoothly with your site, you can boost engagement which will further improve your SEO rank.
  1. Web design won’t be a problem because WordPress provides SEO-friendly designs and themes.
  • Of course, a pretty website would be useless with SEO integration. With the built-in themes in WordPress, you can easily add your focus keywords, and edit the metadata to your preference, increasing the page’s relevance.
  • You don’t need to worry about enhancing the design because SEO and web design both coexist in a WordPress theme.

Conquering the World Wide Web with WordPress

There you have it! The reasons are now obvious; with WordPress, users have the options to optimize their website because WordPress is packed with user-friendly tools and thousands of compatible plugins. When you the WordPress tools, you are surely closer to your lifelong dream of dominating the Google search results.

 

SOURCE: (1)

 

Other related articles you may find useful:

 

Phoenix Website Design – Conquering the SERPs with WordPress (Part 2)

As stated on Conquering the SERPs with WordPress (Part 1), WordPress dominates the internet because it controls 34% of all the websites. Obviously, WordPress has been downloaded way too many times.

WordPress dashboard on a laptop computer

So, I am going to continue to talk about why WordPress conquers the onlineverse. For SEO marketers, these could be their reasons on choosing WordPress over other options out there.

  1. WordPress helps deal with page speed.
  • Let’s start with speed because, obviously, Google considers speed an important website factor. Plus, users won’t like a slow website. Remember, o slow site ever dominated Google’s search results.
  • With WordPress, you won’t worry with letting your users down. Through the help of plugins, they won’t ever feel annoyed over slow page loading time.
  • So, what can you use? For example, you might want to consider ShortPixel Image Optimizer. It is a free lightweight plugin that compresses image and PDF files in order to speed up the website.
  • Next, you also have WPOptimize. It promises 3Cs: Clean your database, Compress your images, and Cache your pages.
  • If you’re looking for ways to improve your WordPress site, please check out WP Clipboard’s 91 Ways to Speed Up WordPress.
  1. Mobile users are prioritized.
  • If it isn’t obvious to yet, mobile usage is continually growing. According to BroadbandSearch.net, mobile traffic has increased by 222%. In the last five years, the mobile sector has continued to grow. So, if you are an SEO marketer, you can expand your reach by making websites mobile friendly. You have to enhance your current website for the mobile users.
  • The good news? If you are using WordPress, then, no need to worry about a thing because WordPress websites have been optimized for mobile. Mostly, the themes on WordPress are ready to accommodate the mobile users. You don’t need to tweak anything as many of the themes are mobile-optimized.
  1. There are WordPress plugins for SEO.
  • WordPress has made SEO more understandable to the general public with the help of the correct plugins. Don’t worry, I will mention some helpful ones that can make SEO an easier task to bear.
  • Yoast SEO
    • This has both a free and premium version. With Yoast SEO, it helps you improve your content. After all, a great content is the strong foundation of SEO. The plugin will assess your content’s readability and evaluate your chosen keyword for the page.
  • Google XML Site Maps
    • Next, Google XML Sitemaps has over 2 million active users on WordPress.  Using this plugin, you create XML sitemaps with ease. Then, you can upload your sitemaps to the different search engines — Google, Bing, and etc — for them to understand your website better. Additionally, it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.
  • Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin
    • This shows you the website stats that are essential in growing your website. With Google Analytics Dashboard, it is easy to know how people found your site and how they use your site. You get to track the user’s activity in your website. Thus, focusing more on the actual stats. No need to switch to different platforms; it’s all in one page. Most importantly, no need to learn to code. It’s really to reach more internet users and not just tech experts!

Phoenix Website Design – Conquering the SERPs with WordPress (Part 1)

If you are wondering what would be your BEST option in conquering the online world, I would tell you — it’s WordPress!

WordPress started its humble beginnings back in 2003. Today, it controls 34% of the shares of all websites on the internet. No kidding, WordPress dominates the web according to web survey by NetCraft.com.

WordPress dashboard on a flat screen monitor

As of writing this article, WordPress 5.3 has been downloaded 39,772,359 times. You can check the latest download counter here!

So, why is WordPress downloaded by millions of people? What could be their reasons? Well, we don’t know each and every reason. However, one thing is sure:  as an SEO marketer, WordPress is your best option.

Wanna know why?

  1. It’s the experience users get when using WordPress.
  • With WordPress, there are ready made themes and plugins one can immediately use. Certainly, user-friendly and easy to use are the few words to describe this CMS. Because of this, users are contented with the website experience. Hence, more users stay longer than usual.
  • Why is this good for your website? When users stay, it decreases the website’s bounce rate. Plus, Google is looking more websites that give just the right amount of satisfaction to its users. So, if you plan to increase your SEO efforts, WordPress will be your friend.
  1. Users are allowed to customize the URLs or the permalinks.
  • When publishing a new post, it’s easy to change the links. Just below the title, you have the option to edit the URL of your post.
  • Instead of having an ambiogious link like:

https://www.phoenixwebsitedesign.com/c5229a

  • You can add relevant keywords to your blog post’s permalink like:

https://www.phoenixwebsitedesign.com/blog/meta-descriptions-are-the-biggest-influence/

  • Users and search engines can quickly identify what the post is about. Very helpful indeed!
  1. Managing metadata made easy!
  • Search engines look for page titles and meta descriptions to discover, identify, and understand the relevant content in your website.
  • With the given metadata, the different search engine bots can quickly understand the content of the pages in your website. Moreover, when you specify the SEO keywords, your website can rank for those words.
  • How does WordPress help make your life easier? With WordPress, there’s a free plugin called Yoast SEO. It allows users to optimize for certain keywords and terms related to the post. Not only that, Yoast SEO will also tell Google what your post is about. Plus, you can even preview your post as seen in Google. (Yes, you will be able to see how it looks like in a typical search results page.) Then, you can quickly assess if it something a user will click your page or not.
  1. Optimizing images is also easier!
  • To be honest, it’s not just the keywords but the images as well. Of course, your blog post would be bare if there are no images. More on: 7 Ways to Optimize Images for SEO
  • With WordPress, you can easily assign alt texts to the attached images. Aside from that, WordPress also helps you to resize large images. This way, images won’t take long to load and it won’t drag your website down. No one would ever complain that your website is slow!

 

Next? Conquering the SERPs with WordPress (Part 2)

Phoenix Website Design – Helpful Tips in Combining Both SEO and Web Design (Part 2)

If you missed Helpful Tips in Combining Both SEO and Web Design (Part 1), now is a good time to catch up before I proceed to the second part. As I have mentioned previously, SEO and web design go together. You can’t just choose ONE over the other.

No, that’s not how it goes. SEO and web design are like peas in a pod.

MacBook Pro and white board on website design

So, this is exactly why I am writing this post. For you the 2 things to coexist harmoniously, here are some tips to follow.

  1. Strive to improve page speed.

Let’s start with page speed because a good design won’t be effective if pages won’t load quickly.

Aesthetics will help your website look clean and professional. However, the website speed will make or break it. More on: Advantages of Enhancing Website Speed

To address the speed issue, you choose a simple and minimalistic look. Just make sure that you are maintaining a clutter-free website because Google considers speed when indexing. With a slow speed, your website will surely have a high bounce rate and users will spend less time on it. Additionally, iCrossing.com also talked about how slow pages will lose its users.

Remember, a fast loading page equals satisfied users. So, continue to work on website speed. Here are other related articles that may help you:

  1. Don’t forget good content.

In SEO, your website content should be precise, clear, and straightforward.

Google appreciates websites that have an apparent structure, with obvious pages and navigation cues. The content you produce should also be relevant and customized for your users. You don’t answer your own queries; you help others find solution to their problems.

So, blog posts such as how-tos, tutorials, and other pages are beneficial to the users. A relevant content will always help you rank up!

More on: Google’s John Mueller Shared Tips on How to Enhance Content

  1. Learn about sitemaps.

Lastly, sitemaps are literally maps of your site. This will tell Google about the different sections about your website. With a sitemap, Google can better crawl and index your website. You can learn about sitemaps on this Google help page or read this article written by Ed: Things You Need to Know When Creating a Sitemap.

Every portion of your website should make sense, and with a sitemap, you can see the connections clearly. At the end of the day, if the website structure confuses you, it will definitely confuse your users and Google too! So, take time to organize things internally and learn the relationships of each page on your website. Ultimately, make sure everything is connected and there are NO dead ends.

When talking about sitemaps, the topic of internal links will also come up. Read articles such as:

With these things discussed, your pages are seamlessly connected to each other. Then, this technical art of SEO can take your website up another level when it entwines to your web design. The takeaway is here is that SEO and web design go together. You can’t just detach them from each other.

SOURCE: (1)

Phoenix Website Design – Helpful Tips in Combining Both SEO and Web Design (Part 1)

When you think SEO and web design aren’t related, you’re definitely wrong

Well, these 2 things are closely connected more than you think.

Undoubtedly, SEO and web design need to work together. Google is concern with the appearance and the quality  of your website. Even if Google can’t look at a website like another human being, there definitely advantages to creating an impressionable website. Being on Google’s good side is more than just creating interesting content, page titles, and meta descriptions.

woman checking her mobile phone

In this blog post, I will share to you tips on how to make your website show up on search results more frequently than usual.

  1. Mobile version over the desktop version.

On December 18, 2017, Google made an important update on the Google Webmaster Central Blog stating that Google is prioritize indexing mobile websites over the desktop versions. Thus, changing how crawling and indexing works.

Before this crucial change, it was the desktop version that would be indexed or scan first. Eventually, Google started to shift to mobile websites. Now, more than ever, Google is giving importance to mobile sites because of the growing number of mobile users all over the world.

Google has already seen this mobile phenomenon coming. As early as November 1, 2017, many sites have reported the growth of mobile users. In fact, Quartz.com reported that 70% of our time spent on the internet are on our mobile phones. The same reported mentioned that by 2019, numbers will climb up to 80%.

If you are thinking of enhancing your website, then, do some revisions on the mobile version. Make time to cater to your mobile audience since Google is implementing a mobile-first algorithm. Are the texts readable on your mobile? How about the pictures? Does it show up well? Is the design and structure the same way on the desktop version? These are the questions that you need to answer honestly.

The mobile version should serve as your barometer. If some web elements aren’t showing up right, then, edit it. Prioritize your mobile users and, for sure, your SEO rankings will also improve. To test how mobile friendly your website is, you can check out Google’s Mobile- Friendly test.

  1. Google favors user-friendliness.

Once a user leaves your website after a few seconds of accessing it, this is called bounce rate. The more higher your website’s bounce rate, the more dreadful it is for you.

Strive to keep your bounce rates low. Obviously, with this development, Google values websites that help the users. When a user leaves a website immediately, it means that the website has not satisfied the user. Google is clearly after the users’ welfare. It wants satisfaction for the users.

Some pointers to think of when enhancing your website, consider the navigation, the user-friendliness, and the accessibility your website offers. The more help you are willing to give to the users, the more time they will likely spend on your website.

Other helpful resources:

 

Next? Helpful Tips in Combining Both SEO and Web Design (Part 2)

Phoenix Website Design – Meta Descriptions Are the Biggest Influence on Click-Through Rates According to a Study

Meta descriptions are not just a mere on-page SEO element. In fact, it has the most influence out of them all. Next is on the list is another on-page SEO element, which is the page title. Finally, the brand name completes the top 3 list. We all know this now thanks to Ignite Visibility’s latest study.

Overview on the study: The research had over 500 participants aged 25-60, and the purpose was to identify how these users decide on what to click.

The result? This is what Ignite Visibility found out…

62.9% respondents agreed that meta description has the most influence on their decision on what to click. However, two-thirds of the users were wary that Google seems to be putting more ads to the search results, making them less likely to use Google.

person seated at the table using laptop

Meta Description wins!

As indicated on the results above, meta descriptions have the MOST influence on click-through rates. Without a doubt, 62.9% of respondents said that it was because of the meta description. When the participants were asked factors, 24.2% mentioned the brand name, and 13% responded with the page title. However, the brand name has its own disadvantages. 55.1% of people surveyed revealed that they will click on brands they know. So, if they don’t recognize your brand, they would less likely to click those search results.

Search Results Showed Significant Improvements.

Almost 59% of the respondents, 58.5% to be exact, noticed that they like Google’s present search results. This study was conducted on December 2019, and they preferred these search results more than those results on January 2019. Moreover, around 55.5% were also satisfied with the additional Google features such as the featured snippets.

More Ads Appearing on the Search Results

Is this really good for the search engines? Honestly, 66.7% admitted that because Google is adding more ads, it makes them want to use the search engine less. This means that they don’t automatically trust the ads that are appearing in the search results.

This is quite ironic since just on December 2018, when survey respondents mentioned that ads help users find more information. Obviously, now, tables have turned and users would want less of these ads. Hence, most of the users will only click results if they know the brand.

Why should you care?

Lastly, you have to learn from this because brand recall comes after meta descriptions. Your brand name will be the next factor on which users will base their decisions. If you want your click-through rates, then, you have to work on your increasing brand awareness and improve on your on-page SEO efforts.

Review on how to make your meta descriptions better. Ensure that your meta descriptions coincide with the users’ intent.  If users mention their preference, then, you have to follow what your audience prefers. Follow more of what they want and less of paid ads. Here are some related articles that may help you: