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Review Your Website to Ensure SEO Success in the New Year

A poorly maintained site usually won’t rank well on Google.

2018 is nearly over, and we all have our own lists of things we’d like to complete before the end of the year.

One task that should definitely be on your list is a quick review of your website.

Let’s be clear: mistakes on your website matter. An old phone number or malfunctioning contact form could keep you from acquiring a new customer, while inaccurate information and broken links can lead new prospects to decide you’re not a vendor they feel comfortable with.

Broken links and inaccuracies matter to Google as well – a poorly maintained site usually won’t rank as well in Google’s search results.

So what’s a concerned site owner to do? Here’s a simple checklist of 10 items to review on your website to make sure your site is in good shape:

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6 Linking Tactics – and a Bonus Tip – for Better B2B SEO

Content marketing & link-building can provide a powerful one-two punch for your B2B SEO.

One easily forgotten element in the battle to improve search rankings is simple linking.

Here are some easy ways to increase the number of links to your website:

  1. Content marketing is the key here: Write new, useful content every month – no one will link to an old, outdated website that has nothing new to offer. This content can include:
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Industrial, B2B Companies Must Adjust Mindset to Succeed at SEO

Effective B2B SEO means building your site from the ground up with higher rankings in mind and continuing with an ongoing content marketing and backlink building strategy.

We don’t do social media. We don’t need a blog. We don’t know anything about backlinks. We don’t have any videos or PowerPoint presentations we can use. We don’t have time to talk about new content for our site. We don’t want to change the way we do things.

“We don’t” and “we can’t” are the biggest reasons why industrial and other B2B companies fail in search engine optimization (SEO). With Google using more than 200 factors to rank websites (half related to site structure and content and the other half to content marketing and backlinks), and an ever-evolving algorithm that’s updated multiple times a year, there’s one thing that’s certain, SEO for industrial businesses requires a big commitment and a commitment to change.

It’s not enough to build a site that’s responsive and that utilizes Yoast or other SEO plugins. Effective B2B SEO means building your site from the ground up (programming, navigation and content) with higher rankings in mind and continuing with an ongoing content marketing and backlink building strategy that supports the work you’ve done to optimize your site. 

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4 Important SEO Tasks When Converting to HTTPS

Converting your site to HTTPS will create some work that needs to be done to ensure that Google is giving you credit for all the SEO work you’ve previously done.

If Google saying it would prioritize HTTPS sites in its search results didn’t get you to convert your site to the secured protocol, then perhaps the European Union’s new GDPR privacy law will.

As part of the privacy law, the GDPR requires that transmission of private data be done in a secure manner.  For websites with contact forms, that means converting your site to HTTPS to encrypt those transmissions.  You can read more about the GDPR privacy law requirements here, but the real purpose of this article is to remind you of the other things you’ll need to do once you’ve converted your site to HTTPS.

Converting your site to HTTPS will create some work that needs to be done to ensure that Google is giving you credit for all the SEO work you’ve previously done.  Below are four important tasks to do before you can consider your HTTPS site conversion complete:   

#1:  Verify that your HTTP site is set to permanently redirect to the HTTPS domain.  If you type in your web address starting with just www, it should automatically redirect in your browser to the HTTPS site.  If not, talk to your web programmers about correcting this issue.

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Maintaining Brand Consistency Across Social Media

You want each of your social media sites to look like they are all from the same company so you can create a strong connection with visitors.

From your website, to your marketing materials, to each of your social media accounts, brand consistency is essential in building trust with new or existing customers. But, since just about anyone can create and populate a social media site for their business, sometimes this attention to consistency can get lost or overlooked.

So, how does your social media presence hold up when it comes to brand consistency? To get a sense, compare the following design basics of your website and marketing materials to your social media sites:  

Instead of just typing in your company name, your logo should be included as part of your cover image or avatar. In most cases, the same version of your logo should be used across all platforms. The more often your logo is seen from site to site, the better.

Assign a cover photo. Choose one of your images that is already recognizable to your customers, or, select one that has a similar visual treatment as your main website photos. The photos in your posts should also resemble images from your website. Shadowing, borders, filters, colors and other treatments should be the same or very similar.

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GDPR, Your Website & Your Company

The penalty for violations is just over $23 million or 4 percent of your global revenue for the year, whichever is higher.

You’ve surely seen a lot more emails coming into both your work and personal email accounts from companies providing you with their updated privacy policies or asking for permission to continue contacting you.

That increase isn’t a fluke or a coincidence – it’s a direct result of the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation, which was passed by the European Union in 2016 and goes into effect May 25, 2018.

And, yes, the regulation likely pertains to your company.

And, yes, this is serious business. The penalty for violations is 20 million euros (just over $23 million, based on exchange rates earlier this week) or 4 percent of your global revenue for the year, whichever is higher.

A GDPR Primer

The regulation’s goal is straightforward – to give individuals living with the EU full control over how any of their information is used by any company.

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Google Algorithm Changes Stir Things Up

Remain focused on building great content.

Google is up to its old tricks, unleashing several algorithm changes since the beginning of the year.

One of the most important is also one of the ones we’ve known about the longest: Google’s move to a mobile-first index. Although it’s been talking about this change since 2016, Google only began testing mobile-first indexing on a few, select sites in October.

And then on March 26 Google announced that it was officially moving larger batches of websites to mobile-first indexing. Basically, if there’s a mobile version and a desktop version of a website, Google is going to display the mobile version in its search engine results, which is what people will see whether using their mobile devices or desktop computers. Eventually, Google will have one index that favors mobile-friendly websites.

If you have a well-optimized website that works on mobile devices, you should be in the clear. 

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Tips for Adding an Image Gallery to Your Website

Discuss the idea with your tech support or web development company to find out which galleries will be compatible with your site.

A website image gallery can be a dynamic and interactive way to share groups of images with your website visitors. Some galleries can be useful for maximizing website real estate, displaying a collection of numerous images in a small space, instead of having to scroll or click from page to page to see the images. Others can display a number of images at once making it fast and easy for visitors to find what they are looking for. There is a vast array of galleries available to choose from for whatever your goals are for displaying images on your site.

So, how do you begin to select the right gallery for your website? Below are some tips to help you begin the process.

  1. Examine the layouts that are available online.

    Find and test available image galleries and decide which display you would like best for your website.

    Here are just a few of the countless formats that are available for image galleries:

    • Carousel
      Revolving images that automatically rotate, or, are controlled by the user by clicking the arrow buttons.
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