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    Anchorage Alaska's Crucible Designs
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    Small Business, Local Business, Successful Business Websites

    Keeping up with the competition

    It takes a lot of work to keep up with the latest news and best-practices in Design, SEO, SEM, Content Marketing, and Social Media management. It's my job to do the research so you don't have to.

    The information in this blog is based on hours and hours of market research, expert advice, and data driven studies. There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not keeping up-to-date with latest breaking news to make your website better.

    All the posts in this blog are dedicated to making sure that you have actionable tools to improve the SERPs, traffic and conversions on your site. I keep promising that I'll build your website while you build your business. You can do the work yourself or contact me for help. Let's make sure you stay ahead of your competition!


    Read All Our Blog Articles


    Mobile Results with Photos


    A couple of years ago Google's "mobilegeddon" convinced most of my clients that a mobile friendly website was worth the investment.

    Last year, Google's threatened "Mobile First" update scared a few more into protecting their site's traffic and upgrading.

    Mobile first has come and gone and Google is adding new features to mobile SERPs that you can either get excited about or let it be another excuse to wait until someone else has your position, traffic, and business.

    Photos in mobile search results

    Mordy Oberstein of RankRanger reports today that they are seeing a big increase in page one SERPs showing image thumbnails (Mobile results). This appears to apply to products AND services over the past few days .

    In addition to enhanced local results and carousel results, mobile search is now offering more engaging SERPS. Whether the image drives the top 10 result or makes the result more clickable doesn't matter. Making your listing more visual has the power to drive more traffic and business.

    What to do?

    You tell Google about the thumbnail image using structured data. There are several different techniques, each site may have a different type of data that fits better. You can get started by reviewing Google's Custom Search Help here.


    Define the thumbnail image that you want Google to display in mobile search results using Structured Data.


    Also Read:

    Report: Google’s mobile search results now show image thumbnails 45% of the time
    Barry Schwartz, SearchEngineLand


    Time to Secure Your Website


    Google Chrome has announced that they will be marking all http websites as non-secure this July. 
    'For the past several years, we’ve moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. And within the last year, we’ve also helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as “not secure”. Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”.'
    65% of internet traffic is done on Chrome so this warning isn't something that most websites can ignore. 
    Whether or not site security is a ranking factor, this warning will affect your bounce rate. You can't convert a website visitor if they see the warning and move off to another website.
    What Needs To Be Done?
    All websites need to be protected with a security certificate, it's the 's' in 'https'. Usually your hosting company will help your apply for and install a certificate on your website.
    Next comes the finicky bit. All internal links on your site need to point to the https version of the site. This includes images, files, pages, scripts, and documents. Wherever possible, I use automated tools to speed up the process. My software can mimic Google's spiders to make sure we don't miss anything. If you are doing it by hand take your time, view each page source and use a ctrl+f search for 'http://' . Change each instance to 'https://' if it points to your own website.
    Once you are sure the website is secure and every page will have the green lock symbol, submit the updated sitemap to Google and update the preferences in Google's Search Console. 

    Local Search in 2018 SMX Advanced Highlights


    With the huge changes in how Google displays local search results you may be left wondering if your website still matters. On desktop and on mobile the results are now geared to giving the searcher all the information they want in a quick and simple format.

    Search results on mobile can pull data from your website (if you've optimized for local). More often the results will be details from your Google MyBusiness account, Google Maps listing, your Google Posts, and Google Reviews.

    There are new pitfalls with the new emphasis on Google's own properties.

    • If searchers are using the contact information links from the knowledge box results you need to be responding and fast. Google does track that data. Google's position is that a serious business cares enough to answer questions in a timely manner.
    • Reviews are a ranking signal bad reviews can move you down in the SERPs. Manage reviews by monitoring, answering and reporting fake reviews. (Note: Google looks at other review sites as well as their own.)
    • Google posts expire. You can't write a bunch today and expect them to be relevant forever.

    Only 2 out of 5 local searches on mobile result in a click through to a website. If you aren't actively managing your Google tools you are missing out on traffic and business.

    But yes, your website does still matter. Your website is one of the fastest ways to tell Google the information that will get the position zero results and a knowledge box before your competition. Schema code isn't new but it is increasing in importance on your website tells the search engines exactly what your site and your pages are about. (I'll be covering this topic in greater depth on other posts.)



    If you want or need help leveraging Google tools or making sure your website is sending the necessary signals. Give me a call.


    Technical SEO SMX 2018 News


    The most important technical SEO news this year is actually technical. I'll be condensing specific information and solutions for specific clients. I'll be coming back to Alaska with new tools, ideas and spreadsheets. If you have questions or need more information - you know how to get hold of me


    Keynote news from SMX Advanced



    Fabrice Canel, Principal Program Manager, Bing @bing @facan

    Bing is counting on the evolution of Search, multi-perspective answers offering different opinions in an intelligent model.

    • Search is becoming more conversational. Try searching for "stress management". You will get a conversational reponse. "What do you want to know". Bing is continuing to work on a natural question/response experience.

    • Search is becoming more visual. Carousels with images  and descriptions are popular formats for search results. The more information your page provides the more likely you will be in these premium spaces.

    SEO is evolving too. Bing's webmaster guidelines reflect those changes. https://aka.ms/webmasterguidelines

    AI helps Bing solve Search but they are reaching out to the SEO/webmaster communities to share logs and actively work together to continue to build a better search engine.

    The breaking news from Bing: Bing announced JSON-LD schema.org support (yay!) and enhanced AMP suppport via Bing AMP viewer rolling out this summer


    Ilya Grigorik, Web Performance Engineer, Google

    Ultimately it's always about the user experience for Google. If your site isn't optimized for your user it isn't optimized for Google. The Mobile-First update is being rolled out and speed / UX is still the most important factor.

    While Google isn't breaking any news this morning, they are sharing some valuable tools. Use real world data to understand how your users and visitors are actually relating to your site. Google Chrome is collecting this data and offering Google Reports API for developers to work with. See: Chrome User Experience Report. New tools on PageSpeed Insights should make it clear what your pages need. Keep the user in mind and you'll see that you haven't really optimized your site if it is still too big and bloated.


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