SEO in the Age of Siri and Alexa

SEO Trends for 2018: How to Get on the First Page of Google

After being in the digital marketing space for almost a quarter century, we consider it an honor to share our knowledge and know-how with peers and fellow business owners. Recently, we presented an educational “mini-seminar” that touched on meeting the new challenges for website SEO in light of trends toward image-intense responsive websites and the rising popularity of Google Voice, Echo Alexa, and Apple Siri voice-activated search queries and long-tail-plus SEO keywords.

Our Coffee Talk presentation to the Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce was on Tuesday morning, March 13, 2018. Coffee Talks are small group educational events hosted by Hobe Sound Chamber member organizations four times a year in the John H. Filer Memorial Boardroom, an adaptable meeting and event space adjoining the Chamber’s offices on Bridge Road.

Presentation Outline:

  • SEO Keywords Trends in 2018
  • Text, long-tail & long-tail+ keywords defined
  • Good keywords vs bad keywords
  • Influence of voice search on keywords
  • Importance of mobile first design and content
  • How to build outbound links and backlinks
  • Important of image SEO
  • SEO for the User Experience in 2018 and beyond
  • What do to now to be ready for 2019

We believe that when we work together with other business owners in our community, as a community, we help spread the story of Hobe Sound—and that collectively we
become a better town because of it.

Feel free to download our presentation on SlideShare, and if you want to learn the backstory about SEO trends for 2018, or if your company might benefit from a personal no-obligation one-on-one conversation about your current SEO issues, give us a call at (772) 932-7969 or contact us via email ac@activecanvas.com

Website Design Trends for 2018

blog 2018 trendsWith a new year on the horizon, we like to share what we believe are the top web design trends that may be applicable for the clients we serve. You’ll quickly notice that it’s all about designing for the way we access the web now and where the web is going in the future. Mobile is up over 35% from last year and the trend won’t be slowing down.

  1. Search engine giant, Google, has announced that they will use the mobile version of the web as their primary search engine. This means that Google will rank mobile sites higher in their index than sites that are not mobile responsive. If you’re website is not mobile-friendly yet, it’s time to get serious about a website design upgrade.
  2. The use of whitespace is becoming more important as designers learn that whitespace, or negative space, makes content stand out so that it’s easier to read and navigate. Here’s a recent sample of ours »
  3. Irregular grids are replacing the uniform grids that have served as the base for WordPress themes. WordPress will likely continue to have security holes and its bulky, buggy code will continue to leave it a target for hackers worldwide.
  4. Bold fonts and bright colors are replacing oversize images so users can focus on content that will likely remain the most critical component of page rankings. Unlike images that slow pages down, scaling the size of typography wont impact performance.
  5. Responsive design has been around for a number of years because we now use phones, tablets, smart watches, desktops and smart TVs. So this design principle is not going anywhere.
  6. For designers, scalable vector graphics (SVGs) have been part of our toolbox for a few years and we expect this graphic format to overtake more traditional files format such as PNG, GIF, and JPG. SVGs don’t lose quality when scaled up or down and don’t affect page speed, so we’ll be integrating more SVG graphics in the sites we build this year and beyond.

In 2018, our focus will be on designing simple yet powerful websites that are optimized for mobile devices and care deeply about the user experience. We will use new formats, styles, and technologies to help our clients say more, do more, share more, and enjoy a greater return on their digital investments.

Web Builder vs Web Designer

There’s an old adage attributed to copywriter Gary Halbert (1938-2007), “The Prince of Print” that goes like this:

What does it take to have a successful restaurant?

Great location? No.
Superior service? Nope.
Good prices? Nope.
Ambiance? Not even close.
Amazing food? Actually, not even that.

To have a successful restaurant … you need a starving crowd.
Everything else is a means to serve that crowd a little better—to get their attention
and give them what they want.

Your business has its own version of the starving crowd. It’s up to you to figure who’s starving. Or is it?

dog and catHalbert goes on to say that once you know who’s starving, get their attention and give them what they want. If you have a successful business now, you’ve got a pretty good handle on who is picking up what you put down. But guess what? Those starving people can now find you!

New customers, patients, clients, donors, whatever, tell Google their problem, and like magic (not really magic, more like an algorithm) up comes a menu of solutions providers. Often, the list is long, so you want those eyeballs to see your business name right in front of their eyes. Not an easy task! But we’ll get to that later.

So now they found your website and it’s beautiful. They love the look. But they’re still starving because they can’t figure out in the first 3 seconds how you can solve their problem. This is pretty common when you’ve chosen a website builder like Squarespace.

I mean, would you hire me to take photos at your wedding? I’m a whiz on my iPhone camera and have Photoshop, so why not? It’s just the most important day of your life. Well the same thing applies to your website.

There are so many complicated back-end things that go into a beautiful custom website that have nothing to do with design:

  1. Write marketing copy or repurpose existing copy that is intelligently packed with keywords in the right tone and voice for your business.
  2. Build a navigation scheme around that copy that gets attention, raises curiosity, engages visitors so they spend time on your site, and finally, to get a visitor to engage or take action.
  3. Ask questions in order to know you and your business; do exhaustive research on the competition and outline a strategic marketing plan. (Clients often get more out of this process than any other).
  4. Refresh a logo or repurpose images to put your best face forward online.
  5. Implement and integrate SEO, social media, email marketing, blogging, e-commerce, CRM, and more.
  6. Provide for approval a written content document and a static mockup of the site before the actual site building starts.

If you’ve thought about using a website builder, give us a call. We’ll buy you cup of coffee, lay out the pros and cons in a fair and honest way, and give you a chance to really understand your options. If we move forward, great. If not, no hard feelings and you never know what’s down the road. Just saying though, next time, coffee is on you. I like the Flat White at Starbucks.