Importance of Website Analysis in SEO

Thinking of beginning an SEO campaign for improved web presence?

For the past few months, Google has been working on updating its Panda and Penguin algorithm. The main goal behind the implementation of these algorithms is to improve the overall quality of web pages and present more filtered search results to the users.

With the improvements in the SEO, only the fittest will survive which means the websites with only high quality content will rank higher on the search engines. The Google Penguin updates have caused serious damages to thousands of the websites but it has surely proven rewarding for the users as there has been a considerable cut down in webspam.

Has your site been hit by Google’s Panda or Penguin updates?

If your website has also taken a toll since these Google gradations of algorithms, then an SEO website analysis should be the first step taken to get things in order.

Steps

The first step when planning an SEO strategy is creating. For a successful SEO plan, it is important that you understand the user’s experience on your website. By working on the problematic areas, you can make the required modifications and help your website to rank higher in search engines.

Some of the significant benefits of Website Analysis are :

1. Identifying Internal Problematic Areas of a Website

By going for a website analysis you can workout on all the structural elements of a website that are crucial for SEO. The analysis of the website includes:

  • Checking of internal and external links and anchors.
  • To ensure metadata is placed in the right place.
  • It checks how deep your pages are and how much time these pages take for loading.
  • To check whether breadcrumb consists of text links (keywords)
  • To check the accessibility of your website to Search Engine Crawlers.

2. Keyword Analysis

The website analysis report also covers the keyword research and recommendations based upon the keywords used by your site earlier. Keyword Analysis seeks to find out more ideal keywords to target for improved SEO rankings. Keyword Analysis includes checking the keyword density, keyword prominence, keyword frequency and keyword proximity.

3. Identifying On Page Issues

With search engines becoming smarter and intelligent, getting a higher ranking in search engines hasn’t been an easy task for everyone. Along with good content there are many factors that play a crucial part in letting you have a leg over your competitors. On-page optimization is one of the most important steps that you can implement for improved results. Some of the significant On-Page optimization techniques include -

Title Optimization

The title tag of a website is the most important website optimization element. A well optimized title tag grasps immediate attention of search engines as it is the first thing that is shown and indexed by them. A title should be short, crisp, but descriptive so that users can get to know about you and your business. Your title tag needs to be appealing so that it can rank above thousands of other competitive websites similar to yours.

Meta Tags Optimization

Meta tags description of your website should contain a brief description of the services that your business specializes in. Well optimized meta tags act as a selling snippet. If the user finds your meta tags appealing, he is more likely to click on the meta description and visit your website to know about your business services.

HTML Tags

HTML tags are used to highlight the important content of your website. There are different types of tags that allow to hold the attention of your customers which include the header tags (h1) (h2) (h3), Bold, Italic, etc. Header 1 tags are given high importance by search engines so it contains the most important content of your page. Header 2 and 3 tags can be used to define the other important sections of your website like Page/Post titles. Usage of HTML tags is a very good practice as it makes your content easily readable for the customers.

Image Optimization

Web spiders can only crawl through content and not images so it is important that you use some special tags for images to make them meaningful. The major image optimization elements includes: Alt Text, Image Title, File Name and Image Linking.

Link Optimization

Audit for complete website includes analyzing the complete back links to check for over optimization penalty (or the penalty of Google Penguin update). The unnatural linking or paid linking is the root cause of penalization so it is important that you foremostly clean out all the spammy links. You should only aim for the links which are credible and high-quality to show search engines that your website has relevant content.

The On-Page optimization report also covers areas like Soft 404 Errors, 302 redirects instead of 301 redirects and broken links.

There can be a majority of good points about your website like design, color or menu systems; retain the current assets of the website and rectify the issues which are being a hindrance in your website’s success.

Website Analysis is a great way to evaluate how much your website adheres to the current algorithm of Google. By making necessary modifications to your SEO campaign you can drive more traffic to your website and rank higher on Search Engines.

Get in touch with CueBlocks.com to know more and get a website audit done.

 

 

CueBlocks Presents the Holy Grail of eCommerce Conversion Optimization

Everybody is talking about Conversion Optimization but we thought of compiling a list of items that an eCommerce store can do to ensure an increase in the conversion rate of an online store or websites in general.

The article has been published on SEOmoz & is also available at Getelastic.com

The PDF of the article can be received by signing up on CueBlocks.com

Rule 33 of eCommerce Store User Experience: Do Not Ignore eCommerce Touch Points

User experience goes a long way in converting visitors into customers and customers into returning customers. As an online retailer, you have to always keep in mind that there are other retailers offering lower prices and better incentives than you. Not only do you have to compete against small to medium eCommerce stores but online retail giants such as Amazon.com, eBay, and even websites such as Groupon, that have completely changed the dynamics of selling online. Plus online stores don’t have the advantage of a brick and mortar store and that’s why they need to work on customer interaction a bit more.

In this light, the only way to rise above the rest is not just by offering the lowest prices but the best user experience. And this article tells you the exact areas on your website where you need to work on. We will call these areas touch points since they will involve direct interaction with the customer or the visitor on the website.

Touch points need to be treated as potential selling points but definitely not as sale pitches. These areas on the website are the ones that may not result in direct revenue but will be crucial in influencing the buyer in making the buying decision. Touch points help in personalizing the interaction with the user.

On our webstore we have so many messages for users. From your meta tags to auto-responders, search, checkout, social media proofs, customer stories, product descriptions, informational videos, about page and contact page; these touch points if ignored can decrease the chances of a visitor converting into a customer.

How can you modify/ personalize these eCommerce Touch Points?

1) Make them happy and engaging! There are scores of examples on the Internet that are doing it just right when it comes to their 404 Error pages, contact pages and even their newsletter sign-ups.

2) Make Them Unique – Everybody writes those run-of-the-mill messages such as ‘Please sign up for our newsletter’ or ‘Register for our newsletter’. It’s better that you do something different enough to actually make them sign in.

3) Make Them User-oriented – All kinds of instructions and information that you give on your website must be presented in a way that it is easier to locate them, read them and understand them. In the process of making them unique, don’t make them obscure, vague or too funny or too cool to understand.

4) Make them Interaction-Maximizing – Make sure that your touch points are optimized enough and creative enough that they do not end up being closed but open ended. Open ended in the sense that they motivate the user to either take an action or fill that shopping cart. From your home page to your checkout page, invoice email and order confirmation emails, make sure that each and every dimension of your virtual meet-ups with your customers are taken care of.

These eCommerce touch points greatly help online stores and contribute in making the overall user experience better. Modifying these will also help in sealing the deal with the customer. You can start by shopping on some of the big online stores who are doing it right or better still, shop at your own store like a customer and see where all you can improve and improvise.

The fact that the world is moving to digital shopping shows that online stores can very well compete with the brick and mortar stores in presenting consumers both in the digital and the meatspace, a great retail option. Working on eCommerce touch points is equivalent to making your brick and mortar store a wonderland for customers. So better not miss out on them.

Get in touch with an eCommerce Touch Point optimization specialist for the job right away.  Contact Cueblocks.com

How Important is Quality Check When Designing a Website?

Consider this, you purchase a carton of oranges and are not too impressed with its packaging. But you are least concerned about how it looks because what matters is that they are not rotten and taste good. If you are sure about the quality of oranges then don’t you think it is also important to be sure about the quality of the packaging! However the question is, are you doing the right things when it comes to website designing or maybe selling oranges?

Quality check is very important both online and offline. Before we go to QC or Quality Check, we first need to know what does one mean by quality.

Quality is achieved when you are able to locate, find and complete an action online without an obstacle or any inconvenience.

Simplified, it means, when you go back to your carton of oranges, you should be able to have enjoyed a relatively fresh orange without the packaging or its storage spoiling your appetite or time.

Take home value for online QC from this? – User Experience and Navigation

Whether it’s a banner, an ad, a page or an entire website, you must analyze each and every aspect of its usability. When designing for the web, always keep in mind that you may have a target audience but in all you have more than thousands of people viewing it every day. A poorly designed website will put off a prospective buyer in one go. It won’t take even a single second for a prospective buyer to turn into a visitor who may never return. Internet has options. It’s just not your website that people will visit unless of course you are Zappos, Amazon, Threadless or an eCommerce power house like them.

Before the design is ready

Start with quality checks on your website design even before it has taken shape. Yes, it is recommended. Get your designer friends to do it, hire professionals, take an online poll, put it up on various portals like reviewmydesign, dribble, sitepoint, critique the site, concept feedback, please critique me and others to know what fellow designers and experienced people in the industry think about your work. This will help. A fresh eye on your work will help you make it better. There is also a chance that you may stumble upon an even better idea after you receive some review and are able to give a new twist to your design, an alternative perception.

When under production

You must also do a quality check on your website design while it is under production, close to completion. While it is still under production, you or your fellow designers or your extended team can test its various features to help determine its usability. A random group of users can help you better comprehend the finished product. It is better to know the problem areas of a design before it’s ready for official launch. Someone who is not a designer can do it the best. Just ask them to visit the website and analyze the design. They can always tell you the usability experience they had which will help you in heaps to make your design better. This may prolong the time duration of the entire designing process, but will help you design a quality website, which will then be worth all the efforts.

After the launch

The work doesn’t end. Just delivering a high quality design was not your task. The task is to maintain that quality throughout its use. Design has so much to it that a good designer is never satisfied with his/her work. Be open to suggestions and criticism. You will have a lot to improve now because the website will be out there, for not just visitors but intelligent designers themselves. Development and design will now function together and you will have lots to do. Certain areas will look awesome, whereas at some places you will find everything redundant. This phase is as crucial as the initial designing phase for a designer.

Conclusion:

So what exactly is quality:

Quality is a Function of Brand – Popular brand names already have half their job done but a lot of that fame is a result of great design efforts and what’s more important is that you maintain it.

Quality is a Passing Grade - We have been trying to get away with that one since school, but I guess there’s still some time.

Quality is Meeting Goals – Set your goals and never give up. There are so many things to learn.

Quality is Perfection – Perfection leaves no scope for ambition. Aim for being close-enough but never quite there at least in terms of evaluation.

Quality is the Absence of Problems – There should never be a bug in the code. No problem equals to awesome design.

Quality is Acceptable Performance - When people like your website and accept the performance level, smile :)

Social Media Retail Potential – The Revival of Word of Mouth

Who would have thought that in the 21st century, we will buy what our friends deem right for us or tell us about. Well, here we are, relying on social media for more things than we could imagine among which shopping seems to be ruling the charts or should we say the newsfeeds and timelines.

Social commerce sales were expected to total up to $9.2 billion by the end of 2012 and will most likely surpass to $14.25 billion by the end of 2013. Social media has become one of the most important mediums for the retail sector as more and more social networking websites seem to function as mouthpieces for the retail shops.

A huge population is looking forward to finding its favorite brands and retailers on various social media networks. Moreover, it has been observed that peer influence goes a long way in motivating buyers to purchase a particular product online. And social media is where people unhesitatingly display their product preferences and brand loyalties.

Facebook has 901 million active users, Twitter has more than 140 million active users and YouTube has 106.7 million unique visitors per month. If a person buys something from a leading website and talks about it on any of these social media networks, the product will be exposed to not just a limited target market but to millions and millions of users. Something that cannot be topped by other forms of advertising.

What makes social media a new-age shopping avenue?

Buyers look for retailers/ merchants on social media
Online shoppers look for their favorite brands and retailers on social media. It’s not just an authentication of the brand but also a great way to share that shopping source with friends and family. People want to see what their favorite brands are doing on social media and that is how they build a connection with them and engage them with their brand. See for an example how Taco Bell has been a champ on social media -

http://mashable.com/2013/01/03/taco-bell-epic-social-media-win/

Social media powers sales
Social media has the influence to power sales of your website. When your buyers share with their friends what they are buying, it is bound to create a market where it never existed. Friends of friends and so on, people spread the word about a store and influence opinions. Also, make your social media page interactive by keeping lots of hyperlinks and making all your social media icons clickable.

Product info across social media is power to your brand!
Many e-Commerce stores now have product information of their most popular/ searched for products on social networking sites. And this is done because buyers seek for product information on social media networks now. Shoppers now go into extensive research before making a purchase, so being active on social media is very important. Also, social networking sites are a great platform to offer deals and coupons to attract more buyers.

Shoppers don’t shop alone
Your shoppers are never shopping alone. A very high percentage of buyers are simultaneously sharing product links with their friends to take their opinion. Some shoppers also go ahead and share the product on social media and have their friends’ view it. 37% of online shoppers take pictures of the products they like and share it with friends. And this is how your product goes forward from one shopper to another.

Social media is a great platform to boost sales and popularity of a brand. Today, what’s important is to be present on appropriate venues and create a visibility for yourself. Let shoppers know that you are out there!

CueBlocks has successfully handled social media for online retailers and would be able to help you out too with an engaging eCommerce strategy!

Top 10 Comparison Shopping Engines in 2012

Google Shopping

Everyone expected Google Shopping to see some adversity soon after it announced its services from free to paid, but that surely did not affect the position it holds in the online shopping industry. According to the second quarter comparison shopping engines stats, Google Shopping is still the number 1 CSE. Standing number 1 in all the rankings except traffic (number 2 in that), Google Shopping does not seem losing its popularity and trust to anything at all.
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The Effects of 2012 Shopping Season on CSEs?

2012 shopping season will bring in various new developments in the comparison shopping engine marketplace. And it can’t go without mentioning the biggest development of the year – Google Shopping’s transition into a paid CSE. This along with other factors are going to have some very interesting effects on CSEs this 2012 holiday shopping season.

  • Major changes are expected with paid Google Shopping services. Google Product Search has been a free of cost comparison shopping engine till earlier this year. The affect of its transition is going to be one important aspect of 2012 shopping season this year. There are various possibilities of increased and decreased sales and eventually revenue with this change. Continue reading

How To Further eCommercialize Your Product Pages

What makes eCommerce stores, eCommercial? Well, the products that you are selling online! So why is it that we ignore the most sacred pages on our webstores – the product pages – and instead give them a step-motherly treatment. We have our nicely designed home pages, the slick and navigable category pages but the moment we click those product pages, we are welcomed by deadness in the form of vapid product descriptions, a low res product image and even a poorer call to action.

Now you may be warming upto on an assumption here by NOT working on the product pages. The common assumption also a goal-destroying one is: the user who has reached the product page is likely to or will make a purchase. Such an assumption may be effective in promoting other web pages of a website but definitely not your product pages. We definitely need to start treating product pages with a little more respect and almost at par with all the other important landing pages on the website. Actually, come to think of it, product pages are the most important landing pages, since that’s where ideally all the traffic should be directed.
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Common Myths attached to Conversion Optimization

Conversion Optimization implies developing a holistic strategy that will result in increasing the conversion rate of an online store. That is converting more visitors into customers.

Conversion optimization however doesn’t only work at the store level but business level to bring you and your customers on the same page. It simplifies the business process in order to remove any hindrances that a customer may be facing while browsing the store to purchase or simply having a look. Continue reading

Which Search Engine Performs Better When It Comes to Buyer Satisfaction?

Though it would be hard to pick one, but when it comes to buyer satisfaction in comparison shopping engines, it is a tough call between Google Shopping and Amazon Marketplace. Google Shopping is taking a lead in all aspects when it comes to revenue, conversion rates, responsiveness, merchant tools etc, but Amazon Marketplace possesses quite a good lead in traffic.

Ask how and why and you will find the answer in one word – ‘trust’. Both the leading comparison shopping engines command a lot of ‘trust’ from online buyers. Both Google Shopping and Amazon are the first that come to anyone’s mind when planning to buy online.
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