Improve Your Conversion Ratio and SERPs with Images and a Blog

There are two things that every online business is looking for: the highest possible conversion ratio and a top ranking on every applicable search engine results page (SERP). These components go hand in hand because a high SERP ranking will push more traffic to your page, which in turn gives you the opportunity to increase your conversion ratio and profit margin.

This concept is rather simple, but the execution can cause many businesses to falter. After all, this is no longer the early days of the Internet when you could use unsophisticated practices to raise your SERP ranking. Instead, you need to use a targeted SEO approach that acknowledges the latest Google algorithm changes. It is also vital to utilize inbound marketing to get the most out of your marketing budget.

To turn your dream of combining a high SERP ranking with an increased conversion ratio into a reality, you will need to need fully embrace the following tips.

1. Blog on a Regular Basis

If you start a blog, you will be able to maximize inbound marketing and boost your SEO ranking. According to HubSpot, your odds of enjoying a successful ROI from your blog are 13 times higher than other inbound marketing techniques. Additionally, 82 percent of companies that blog daily have experienced an increase in customer acquisition.

Business blogging stats

In other words, maintaining a blog should definitely be an integral piece of your marketing and SEO strategies. Always remember that driving more qualified leads to your website should be your ultimate goal because this will result in a better conversion ratio. By posting high quality, relevant blog entries, you can more easily attract the attention of qualified prospects.

2. Use Images and Logos to Your Advantage

Studies have proven that there is a strong link between recognizable brand imagery and sales, which makes it critical for every business to place a big emphasis on logo design. When creating a logo that will define your company, it is necessary to ensure that the image is eye-catching, unique and memorable. This logo should then be proudly displayed on your website and social media pages, along with having a spot on all of your packaging materials.

The other images that you use online will also play a major role in your bounce rate. In fact, the caption that you put underneath each header image on your blog will receive a 300 percent higher engagement rate than the rest of each entry. With this in mind, you must choose imagery that is interesting enough to make people take in the associated caption.

If you do this successfully, consumers will be more likely to stick around long enough to make a purchase. As an added bonus, the title and caption of each image offers yet another place to harness the power of SEO in order to boost your SERP ranking.

3. Widgets Can Boost Sales

Now that your images, logo and blog are pushing more traffic to your site, how do you take advantage of the influx of prospects? It is helpful to be aware that positive reviews have an impact on 90 percent of the consumers who read them. In other words, if you can get positive reviews in front of your website visitors, you should naturally experience a noticeable boost in your conversion ratio.

But how do you put reviews in front of consumers without getting them to click on a testimonials page? The answer is simple: use a conversion rate optimization widget. This will enable you to put positive reviews on your homepage without having them be the focal point at all times.

Instead, the widget will pop the reviews on top of your other content until the visitor minimizes them. This is effective because consumers will have easy access to your reviews, which will make them feel more encouraged to commit to a purchasing decision.

The ultimate end goal for employing all of these techniques is to make it easier for people to find your website and buy something during their first visit.

Images, regular blogging and an eye-catching logo will all be beneficial, but make sure that you have the proper conversion tools in place to take advantage of the increased attention that a high SERP rank provides. A review widget is a great place to start, and you should also strongly consider using a responsive, mobile-friendly website design to make your site as accessible to consumers as possible.

Google Tells Spammers That Reconsideration Is Not An Option

Google has announced a new change to its webmaster policy – from now on, if your website gets a manual penalty, it may not get a second chance to dominate the listings.

In a change that is designed to hurt black hat SEOs more than the Penguin and Panda updates, Google has stated that it will no longer tolerate those who repeatedly breach Google’s webmaster quality guidelines.

The announcement was made on September 18, 2015, in a blog post on the official Google webmaster central blog: Repeated violations of Webmaster Guidelines. Unlike many of the blog posts that appear on the webmaster central blog, this was written anonymously. Being banned by Google is every webmaster’s worst nightmare and some people take it very personally, so it’s no surprise nobody wished to put their name to the change in policy!

Why the Change Now?

In their blog post, Google says that the change in policy is to further improve the quality of the search results. Google has carried out many major changes over the last five years that have made great progress in improving search quality, but one problem still persists – some people are still gaming the search engine.

Google started cleansing the SERPs with the Panda series of updates. These penalised websites that had low quality, poorly written, duplicate and thin content pages. The old SEO trick of creating a new page for each target keyword and filling it with spammy, keyword stuffed text was over.

Google followed this with a series of updates that tackled the problem of link spam – the now infamous Penguin updates. Suddenly, SEO was no longer about getting more links that the competition. Links now have to be earned, and acquired from very high quality sources. The inner workings of Penguin are still unclear, but it seems that just about every easy-to-get link is now devalued – many are probably totally worthless. Directory links, comment links, blogroll links, forum signatures etc. are now deemed by many to be ineffective for SEO.

However, some SEOs are still doing very well because although Google has improved its search algorithm. With some careful planning and some excellent links, you can still rank well. In short, unnatural links are still working for many people.

Manual Penalties

Google works hard to identify and manually penalise websites that buy or sell links. Whenever Google has good evidence that somebody has been selling links to pass PageRank, it applies a manual penalty.

However, in these cases, manual penalties are easy to recover from. All you need to do is remove the links (or add a nofollow attribute) and submit a reconsideration request, explaining how very sorry you are and beg to have the penalty lifted. In the past, Google trusted webmasters enough to grant them their wish, and would lift the penalty.

Unfortunately, some webmasters have exploited this and, after having a reconsideration request approved, they would start selling links again or remove the nofollow tags. This is Google’s main bugbear at the moment, and this latest change in policy directly tackles this problem. Google says that it will no longer tolerate webmasters who repeatedly breach its quality guidelines.

Google has not said exactly how harshly it will treat repeat offenders, saying only in its blog that “repeated violations may make a successful reconsideration process more difficult to achieve”. In some cases, Google may still allow a website to recover – but in other cases, there may well be no way back in the SERPs after a repeat offence.

We have already seen some websites, most notably known link sellers, completely drop out of the Google index. We predict that in the future, more sites will suffer a similar fate. If you are not a white hat SEO, take heed – your days may be numbered!

What You Need to Know to Improve SEO Using CDNs

Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can improve page load speed and bring more traffic through better search engine positions. But only if you use it correctly. Network Optimization firm Incapsula, a provider of cloud-based CDNs that aid in defending and optimizing webites, has shared their in-depth knowledge of this topic in multiple posts on their blog. In this post I will summarize the points they made.

Debunking CDN SEO Myths

Let’s start with eliminating some common SEO myths. None of these are true:
  • Many sites on a single IP are bad for SEO; in this Google Webmasters official forum discussion the official Google rep stated “We generally do not treat sites hosted on CDNs any differently”.
  • CDNs create duplicate content; each copy of your content has exactly the same URL, so Google’s crawlers will not see multiple copies regardless of which location presents the content when they crawl it.
  • Bot blocking will stop Google’s crawlers; bot blockers only block bad bots; they never block crawlers from recognized search engines.
  • CDNs will hurt my ability to rank for my geographic location; the IP address is not the primary signal Google users to determine the location of the server that hosts your site; Google first looks at your Webmasters Tools setting and TLD country code. CDNs also whitelist their server locations to prevent any localization errors.

CDN Affect on Page Speed

We all know the importance of reducing page load times and increasing page speed. Moz has been very clear about how webite speed impacts search ranking. What many do not realize is that what really matters is “Time to First Byte” (TTFB). CDNs impact on TTFB Using a CDN will not improve your SEO unless you optimize not only how long it takes to load the first byte, but also what you load. Ilya Grigorik, developer advocate on Google’s “Make the Web Fast” team rejected a study claiming TTFB does not matter, explaining:
“It’s not only the time that matters, but also what’s in those first few bytes… Of course it doesn’t matter if you flush your ‘200 OK’ after 1ms vs 1s…. But if you know what you’re doing and craft the response right, then it can make a huge difference”.
The primary cause of slow TTFB is processor time required to dynamically generate html pages. Sites using any database driven CMS (WordPress for example) dynamically generate your home page for every new visitor. Loadtime comparison of html, javascrips, images and CSS An excellent solution would be to classify the HTML components as static and have them delivered directly from a CDN, with no processing and from the nearest possible location. Some CDNs are using advanced caching algorithms to identify and cache more html to store statically, thereby reducing the time and amount of html that must be dynamically generated.For example, Incapsula wrote in CDN SEO Benefits and Advantages:
At Incapsula we see a double (and event triple) digit site speed improvement among the websites using our service. This improvement is achieved not only by CDN content Caching and Geo Distribution capabilities, but also by clever uses of existing assets. Namely, we will automatically Minify your source code, GZip your files and even Cache your “Un-Cacheable” dynamically generated content (especially useful for websites with dynamic catalogs, on-site search features and etc). As a result your website will load faster, achieve higher SERP rankings and provide better overall User Experience, thus also improving Bounce and Conversion rates.

More advanced CDNs use various methods of compression to automatically Minify your source code and GZip your files for additional reductions in load time. CDNs can be used to improve on-page SEO and search rankings, but only if you choose the right CDN and take advantage of faster TTFB, reduced dynamic html, and increased compression.