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.

What Makes a Good Home Page?

You get about 3 seconds to make a great first impression, so the home page must capture the heart and mind of your visitors. If it does, you have another 3 seconds to arouse enough curiosity to compel your visitor to want to know more. The solution to their problem must be obvious—both in words and design. It must work well, on all kinds of devices and for all levels of user expertise.

great Home PageEmotional connection. In the time it takes to make a first impression, a visitor wants answers to 3 questions: 1) who are you? 2) can you solve my problem? and 3) if you can, answer 3 visitor questions: who you are, what you do, and what’s in it for them. Visitors come to your page because they have a problem that needs solved. They are looking for a business or a person or a cause that will satisfy a need and make an emotional connection that motivates them to dive deeper into the site.

Meaningful language. People connect visually, but they also connect through a common language. The home page is not the place for jargon or boasting, and definitely not the place for long paragraphs. Visitors will quickly scan for words and phrases, then buttons or links to learn more.

Respectful. Avoid the use of flashy objects that move, make noise, or complicate or compromise the connection experience. If you offer a video, it’s considered bad manners to auto-start it. Same for audio. Let your visitor decide when or whether to engage in these sensory experiences.

Device friendly. Visitors come to your site on their desktop computer at work, through a tablet at home or in the field, or a smartphone from about anywhere. A site that is not easy to navigate using a mouse or a finger, or can’t adjust to any screen size, lowers the probability that the visitor will stay on your site long enough to solve a problem, make a purchase, or engage at all.

Actionable. Solve problems or offer information that make your visitors’ lives easier, like an obvious or clickable phone number, a sign up form that doesn’t ask for more than an email address, a social media link that actually works. Keep search engines happy too with relevant keywords, a textual site map, and a well-researched and tested page description meta tag.

Your home page gets the bulk of site traffic, making it undoubtedly the most important page of your website. This is where you get visitors to dig deeper. This is where you convert traffic to leads, and leads to customers.