Mobile First…and Primary

DWG has been building and spreading the word on mobile first for a long time…remember “.mobi?”  Times have changed since then and at some point the emphasis flipped from a mobile site as an accessory to your desktop version to mobile primary. This concept is so important that we thought a refresher may be helpful. The idea is simple – the site needs to respond to the visitor and visitors are on their devices.

A few reasons:

  • It is now often your first impression.  Where do you open your emails and click links?  So do your visitors
  • Google – This isn’t a surprise or a secret especially if  you keep up on Google various email channels. If your site does not have mobile friendly interface, you will be downgraded.  Google considers mobile primary — they are not wrong.
  • Why not?  At the end of the day, all of your versions should be well-designed and fully functional.

Your visitors use your mobile first, so it should be primary to your design.

 

What Is Semantic Search and What is the Context in Today’s SEO?

Search engine technology has progressed substantially and will continue to do so. Semantic (context-based) search has become increasingly important for SEO. It is important and can work for you.

SEO is transitioning from multitudes of backlinks and keywords to high quality backlinks and from long tail keyword and search queries to fast websites with semantic search.

The Search Algorithms have added, replaced or modified many of the variables that are used for placement/ranking. Previously, the focus has been on speed, cohesive content and congruity, The focus since early summer 2021 has been on understanding intent and action, as well as the context (semantics) that surrounds them.

Optimization has changed. The days of reverse-engineering content to improve rankings are gone and just discovering keywords is no longer sufficient.

You must provide rich information that provides context surrounding the long-tail keywords and have a strong grasp on the user’s purpose. This combination is essential for SEO, since AI and NLP (natural language processing) are being embedded in to search engines in order to better understand the context and users of search. So, in short, semantic search is a search engine’s attempt to produce the most accurate results possible based on the end users’ intent, query context, and word relationships. In another word, semantic search, tries to process and understand natural language in the same manner as a human would.

Semantic search on the web extends nearly two decades. Whether it was Powerset or SHOE in the 2000’s or the google knowledge graph in 2010 which eventually led to Hummingbird, RankBrain and BERT. All these engines are attempting to create the Semantic Web where intent and query is matched as closely as possible with the provided content.

How do you succeed with semantic search?

Most of you who know me (Nami), know that I have been a strong advocate of structured data. Going back to 2013, DWG first advised our clients that they need to create structured data to inform search engines of their shows, events, products, content, and location.

Well, don’t be surprised then if I tell you the structured data is more important than ever. But structured data by itself, especially if not used properly can prove to be detrimental.

First as always, is your content. The age of keywords alone has long passed, so look through your pages and give your audience, a comprehensive answer and include long-tail (4 – 5 words). Before digging into more technical information, provide content that answers a typical inquiry simply and concisely at the top of the page.

Consider providing “comprehensive guidance” and more complete resources that your readers will find useful instead of dozens of small, disjointed pages, each with its own topic. Think of big themes in your field that you can go into detail about. By focusing on people’s intentions, you can build a comprehensive, creative, and high-quality content strategy.

This strategy will focus on a list of subjects for content generation that focuses on the searches that bring users to your or your competitor’s website. Focus on the real question that is being answered and not the individual keywords.

Now that you have these pages, circle back and recheck the basics:

  1. Long Tail keywords, Nice URLs, Meta tags, H1, and H2 Tags
  2. Authoritative Backlinks
  3. Use Schema.org (structured data) to help the search engines present your information in more ways
  4. Accessibility and WCAG audit – Even though it is intended for accessibility testing, this will help you find many of possible short falls of your SEO and even help your SEO in places.
  5. Site Speed – getting your site speed up is essential – Minify resources, compress images, use caching, and if possible, use a CDN.
  6. Information Design – Create a logical Information structure for your site and make sure there is a logical relationship between your content for a better user experience.

–Nami

Breaking up or Together Forever?

I (LaMae) have probably advised you on vendors, set-ups or other miscellaneous curiosities.  I’m always happy to chat and advocate for you.

One of the things we talk about most often is how to determine vendors and whether to use a vendor with packaged services or purchase the services individually.  My answer still remains -keep them separate.  But when you consider how to make that decision, think about control, integration, and cost.  I’ll offer some examples that may help.

Credit Card Processing:  As you know, you will need a Merchant Account, a Gateway, Bank Account, and a form/cart/shopping tool.  You have the option to use an integrated service such as Stripe and quickly add your bank account and that can work great.  Or you can put things together on your own, work a bit more upfront and pay less over time.  I have selected our gateway provider and merchant processor separately and then linked them together.  Why?  So if one doesn’t work out, I can quickly find a replacement to connect in and I have not lost a minute.  If I purchase everything together, I feel a bit at the other’s mercy.  If an all-in processor turns out not to work as expected,  you have to start all over.

Domains:   Always own and keep access to your own domain — end of the story.  (I’ve spent hours and hours helping folks untangle domain ownership)

So with these examples in mind, here are my general guidelines

  • Make sure control is key — you should own what is yours and have an understanding of what an exit path may be.
  • How much work is it to change…both from figuring it out and the actual changes needed.
  • Read reviews
  • Ask an expert

And for the cost decision — that will probably become clear when you review the above items.  Technology is becoming more flexible, interchangeable, and cost-effective.

Compare apples to apples and do your homework.

How can we help? E-commerce? Virtual Interaction? Questions?

Now is not the time to profit – so please know in advance that our consultations will be free and our pricing will be at sustainable rates for our team.

DWG understands how dramatically your business/life/business-life have changed in the last few weeks and perhaps, minute-by-minute.  Perhaps we can help….24/7.

Do you need online access to your business such as selling products online, updating your clients, hosting your digital messages?  DWG will brainstorm and implement promptly.  We stand ready to be your digital support whether you are a long-time client or someone with a new need.  Let’s talk.

Phone:  818.610.3316
Email:  [email protected]
Top Software Companies in Los Angeles

LaMae and Nami

Corona / COVID 19 Web Thoughts

Clients / Friends / Humans:  First, let me take this moment to wish you health and well-being in every way.

Those of you who are our maintenance clients have already heard from us about how we can help you communicate your message.    Dream Warrior is happy to pitch-in during this chaotic and critical time.

Here are some thoughts and recommendations to consider (and we know most of you have already done this):

  • Put a pop-up or popover on your site so you patrons and customers can readily find information.
  • Designate a new and separate  advisory webpage that you can update and change as information changes.  That should be the place where everyone can go to for current information – which will help your internal team as well as clients.
    • Include the latest updates regarding programs / services
    • Include the best local and national resources for information such as WHO and CDC.
    • Put best personal care practices as a service
    • Let them clearly know what you are doing on a schedule and maintenance basis — we are cleaning in this way or here is our refund/exchange policy.
    • Update them on the best way to reach you — phone lines and emails are very busy…explain that.
  • Then pass this information and page everywhere…
    • Post on social media
    • Create a link on menu
    • Include a link in email footers (of course send an email as well)
    • Consider your PPC or retargeting campaigns – how can you adjsut them to best serve your customers.  Do you need to change your ads letting them know of cancellations?  Can you give the options to work with you during this process – alternatives to refunds?

Please call us if we can help:  818.610.3316 x1

As for us, we are keeping safe and helping the best we can.  I am off to New York this weekend to speak at the Arts Reach conference – I expect there will be plenty of seats on the plane.  I will be careful and keep you updated.

LaMae