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10 Unique Tips for Promoting Your Websites’ SEOThe standard in SEO for a business website is to create content and build links inside it. Most people who spend money on SEO employ this tactic.

But it’s not the only way you can make SEO work for your site. Dozens of other solutions can promote SEO within your website and boost your search rankings.

1. Update Your Website

One of the most essential criteria for Google’s SEO algorithm is quality. If the content you write and your other web page content is of low quality, your search rankings will inevitably suffer. You’ll also have a more difficult time converting customers.

Spend a little time updating your website. Create a fresh, contemporary design and offer clear-cut navigation.

2. Speed Things Up

The time it takes for your web pages to load — both on mobile and desktop — can have considerable bearing on your website’s success. Very soon, Google plans to update its algorithm to include speed as a crucial criterion for your search rankings.

The average website visitor will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. If your bounce rates increase, you’ll have a harder time ranking high in search engines.

3. Allow for Online Appointment Booking

A sneaky way to generate more links when you’re a service-based business is through online appointment booking. Not only does this increase the likelihood of Google correctly categorizing your website, but every time someone books an appointment online, he or she will visit your website and earn you points.

One of the most user-friendly free appointment booking websites is Yocale. You can set up appointment booking according to your industry, and input information about your business. Every time someone books an appointment or uses the information on the Yocale page to get access to your site, you’ll gain another point for SEO.

4. Get a Google Plus Page

Google Plus is one of the forgotten social networks, but in terms of increasing website SEO, it’s a gold mine. When you connect your Google Plus page to your website, you instantly create higher online visibility.

Your site’s information is cached, and it’s more likely to be cited in response to relevant search queries. Just be sure to fill in your profile completely.

Every bit of information can be critical for giving your website full visibility in accordance with search engines’ demands.

5. Link with Social Platforms

Don’t forget about the power of other social platforms as well. According to Impact Bound research, 76 percent of marketers report unbridled success when they used social media to help boost their SEO.

Social media is one of the best ways to share content and get more interaction on a certain post. By connecting your website with various social pages, you can get a lot of mileage with organic search.

These links help search engine crawlers identify credible websites and connect keyword phrases with search queries.

6. Maximize Video Use

Video is not only an excellent marketing tool, but it’s also quite useful for SEO. Given enough videos posted on your website and affiliated social accounts, you can improve your page’s ranking on SERPs.

According to Marketing Land, 62 percent of all Google searches are for videos. What’s more, videos get 50 times more organic page ranks and 41 percent higher click-through rates than plain text.

So try to generate a variety of entertaining, informative, but overall useful videos for your target audience. Post them to your website, YouTube, and social networks to earn more search engine attention.

7. Experiment with Voice Search Function

Voice search function was named as one of the top priorities for smart devices today. Most people utilize voice search on their devices, and you can take it a step further by optimizing your website for voice search functionality.

Use long-tail keywords that are most likely to be spoken out loud so the results can be routed back to your website. This means you’ll use more common language in the keywords you optimize on your site’s backend.

8. Get on Google Places

If you’re a brick-and-mortar organization, local SEO is among the most important metrics to use. Filling out your company profile on Google Places is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to improve your local SEO.

Since about 85 percent of customers have searched online for a local business at one point, this localized attention will be invaluable for your business.

9. “Steal” from Competitors

You’ll learn a great deal about effective SEO in your industry based on the success of your competitors. Monitor their actions regularly and borrow their ideas to use as your own.

This doesn’t mean you should mirror every single thing your competitors do, but it will give you a starting point that’s better than starting from scratch. You don’t have to be completely original to be good at SEO.

10. Create Content People Will Use

Link building is currently the most effective way to bring SEO back to your website, but if the content you’re trying to link back to isn’t something your web visitors will want to use, you’ll be back to the drawing board in no time.

Work on content that’s worth a backlink. Definitive guides are among the most successful SEO tools. You’ll get a lot more backlinks to guides that go in-depth on a certain issue rather than simply skimming over the surface.

5 Tips for Better Product PhotographyFirst impressions are everything online, and the product images you choose to use on your ecommerce site will have a significant influence on how people view your products and your brand. And while you don’t have to be a professional photographer to take product photos, you do need to understand some basic principles for success.

5 Tips You Need to Try

You don’t need to invest thousands of dollars into product photography to get it right. Any ecommerce business owner can excel in this area by understanding a few key principles and leveraging tips like these:

1. Get the Right Equipment

“The first thing you’ll need is a camera,” videographer and photographer Tyler Kapper says. “Consumer DSLR cameras are getting more affordable every year, so if you plan on taking lots of products photos, it may make sense to invest in a good digital camera. But, if that isn’t in your budget right now, an iPhone can do the trick.”

You’ll also want to invest in some backdrops or light boxes as well, which makes it easy to take high-quality, distraction-free images (particularly of smaller products). If you’re on a budget, you may even be able to make one for just a few dollars.

2. Use Plenty of White Space

Want to know the secret of creating compelling product photography in 2017 and beyond? Use as much white space as possible.

Gone are the days where busy backgrounds and lots of colors were the norm. You need to model your product listings after this page from Jacob Time. Notice how the majority of the page is made up of negative space, which focuses the visitor’s attention and makes the product images pop off the page. There’s a time and place for getting more intricate, but in most cases, simplicity is preferred.

3. Play With Colors

The colors you choose in your product photos have a significant impact on the way your products are perceived by the marketplace. For example, some colors promote a sense of peacefulness and tranquility, while others heighten senses and create urgency. By studying color theory and being strategic with the tones you select, you can design much more intentional pages.

4. Balance Natural vs. Artificial Light

Lighting is one of the most critically important aspects of photography. Just as bad lighting will ruin a picture, good lighting can turn an average image into a stellar one.

Whenever possible, you want to leverage natural light. Shooting product photography in a well-lit room during the early afternoon generally gives the best results, but it all depends on the location and orientation.

When using artificial light, you have a little more control over one significant element: shadows. You can create hard shadows by making sure the size of the light source is small (in comparison to the size of the product). Soft shadows can be created by ensuring the light source is larger than the product being photographed.

5. Use as Many Angles as Possible

One of the shortcomings of shopping online is that customers aren’t able to touch and feel products before they make a purchase. One way you can overcome this is by providing pictures from as many different angles as possible. This product page from Bose is a good example of how a variety of angles can be strategically implemented.

Get Product Visuals Right

Elements like product descriptions, features, and customer reviews matter, but it’s no secret that product photos and visuals get the bulk of a visitor’s attention. If you want your listings to have higher conversion rates and better sales numbers, it’s time that you give product photography the sort of attention it commands. When you get this aspect right, everything else will fall into place.

The 5 Types of Content That Will Definitely Earn You LinksThere are many strong motivations to create content for your SEO campaign. They give you more pages for Google to index, they allow you to optimize for long-tail keywords, and of course, they serve as anchor points for building and attracting inbound links. Those links, of course, are essential if you want to improve your domain authority and climb the rankings, so you’ll be especially motivated to create compelling content for your brand.

Here’s the thing—not all types of content have the same likelihood of attracting high-quality links.

Top Types of Content

These types of content are usually the best for attracting links because they’re dense, they’re informative, and they’re somewhat tricky to pull off—which means they’re rarer and more appealing to your audience:

  1. Massive lists. Massive lists are appealing for two reasons. First, they have a ton of content to wade through, which makes them seem well-researched and “deep” on the subject matter. Second, they’re organized into numerical points, so they’re easy to peruse. Listicles offer a similar effect, but massive lists (with 100 items or more) offer a much richer and more linkable experience. For example, 121 things to do in Rome isn’t just an exploration of the highlights—it goes into detail about what the city offers, making it a citable resource rather than just fodder to share with your social media followers.
  2. In-depth tutorials. In-depth tutorials are also strong contenders as a linkable asset. Tutorials teach people how to do something, which makes them practically valuable. If that task is specific enough, you’ll see high search volume with minimal competition, but best of all, anyone writing about similar or related topics will probably link to your resource—as long as it’s the best one available. For that reason, your tutorial needs to be in-depth, like this guide on how to sketch in three dimensions.
  3. Infographics. Infographics tend to gather many data points from many different sources, and collect them together in a single, visually immersive package. This makes it immediately appealing to share, but also makes it an all-in-one resource to reference for others who are working on similar or related material. This infographic covering multiple data points on the Bond film franchise is a perfect example of one blending together citable information in an aesthetically pleasing package.
  4. Short videos. You can also put together a short video, covering ample information on any topic. This medium is more open-ended, though you’ll still need to have something citable. You can transform a tutorial into a hands-on approach with your video, or bring in an influencer and interview them; as long as there’s some quotable material there, people will be willing to cite your work. Up until this point, longer and more detailed has been better to increase your chances of earning links, but here, shorter is better; people don’t have time to spend searching for small details they need in a 20-minute video.
  5. Documented original research. Any original research you provide on a topic that your audience wants to learn about is going to be instant and high-quality fodder for links. Original research hasn’t been done before, and therefore has no competition to worry about. You’ll provide new, unique data points that other people need, and nobody else can steal that traffic from you. Moz and BuzzSumo’s analysis on how content earns shares and links is a good example of this—and is pretty meta, given the nature of this article. Any type of research is valuable, so long as it’s new.

A Note on Quality

Just creating a piece of content in one of the archetypes above isn’t enough to guarantee you’ll earn some links. The piece also has to be of exceptional high quality; it should be appealing to your target demographics, easy to read and understand, well-researched, detailed, and engaging. The content world is flooded with both amateurs and professionals, desperate to get a piece of today’s ridiculously high user demand. You’ll need to produce grade-A material if you want to stand a chance in the field—no matter what type of content you end up producing.

Supporting Your Content

After producing your piece, you can’t just sit back and let the links come to you—you have to support your work if you want it to thrive. Make sure you syndicate it on social media, submit it to social bookmarking sites, and shop it around with influencers. Unless you have a strong initial audience, your piece’s quality won’t be enough to get you the links you need. But with the right support, and high enough quality, you can turn any of the content archetypes above into a link-generating landmark masterpiece in your SEO campaign.

3 Software Companies That Get Web Design RightWeb design trends come and go, but the most successful software companies seem to prosper regardless of evolving stylistic trends. That’s because they understand what makes their customers tick and how they can best serve their needs.

3 Good Examples From Other Software Companies

Software websites are often unique in the sense that they have to convey a lot of information – clearly explaining what their product does and how it’s unique when compared to other options – but they still have to take into account the need for simplicity and minimalism.

Here are three good examples of what this looks like when executed to perfection.

1. Billdu.com

The first thing you’ll notice when you land on this invoice making website is that it’s clean. Not only is there a lot of negative space, but the images are crisp, the typeface stands out, and everything seems to fuse together for a cohesive look. On the homepage, in particular, the web design strategy does a fine job of incorporating lots of information without being overwhelming.

2. Evernote.com

The Evernote website is a prime example of how valuable it is to cut out the fluff and emphasize the key points of the software. The page is predominantly made up of white space, while the limited text and visuals effectively convey the key value points. The sign-up form on the homepage is particularly well placed and makes it easy for anyone to sign up without risk or delay.

3. Lithium.com

The Lithium website is another website worth studying – particularly if you have software that’s challenging to understand. The above-the-fold design on the homepage is simple and eye-popping, while the below-the-fold design is very practical and informative. Once again, whitespace plays a key role in eliminating unnecessary distractions and allowing the critically important elements to stand out.

Software Web Design: Tips, Tricks, and Takeaways

As you can see in the three examples, it’s possible to design a software website that’s both aesthetically pleasing and informative. As you look for ways to improve your own site design, here are some helpful tips, tricks, and takeaways to consider.

  • Show proof. Regardless of what type of software you’re selling, your audience has choices. If they don’t like what you’re offering, there’s almost always an alternative. In order to gain the trust of your site visitors and encourage them to choose you, integrate as much social proof into your website as possible.
  • Explain features. Instead of going into detail about every single feature your software has, pick a few of the most attractive ones and focus on them. It’s better to provide in-depth analysis of three features than surface-level information on seven or eight.
  • Design for multiple devices. Remember that your visitors access your website from a variety of browser types and devices. In order to deliver a seamless experience that’s visually pleasing and highly functional, be sure the site is responsive.
  • Always test and change. Finally, web design isn’t something you check off on a list and forget about. Consumer preferences change, styles evolve, and best practices come and go. To maximize conversions, you should continually test your site and adjust accordingly. You’ll be amazed by how tiny tweaks can make such a big difference to the bottom line.

Web design is always challenging, no matter the industry, but it’s particularly difficult when you’re selling an intangible product like software. The demand for minimalism means you can’t say everything you want to say, while the consumer’s desire for information requires that you’re thorough. With the tips and examples highlighted in this article, you should be able to give it your best shot.