Does SEO Work Instantly?

Does SEO work instantly? This is a question that those with a limited amount of knowledge on the subject tend to ask as well as those that are having a website designed and have heard about this wonderful thing called Search Engine Optimization.

But here’s the thing.

A number of people are being misled in that they are being made to believe that brand new SEO campaigns are going to result in instantaneous results. However, this is not true.

People also make the mistake of believing that just because their website has appeared somewhere on Google that it means SEO is working. Instead, it basically means that Google has sent their spider to the website and indexed it. This is something that is completely different, but those companies that are providing SEO in a shady manner and are best to be avoided.

So, How Long Does it Take?

The answer to this question is like the proverbial ‘how long is a piece of string?’ because if you spend some time conducting research into this, then you will see that people do differ with their opinions. However, if you are willing to keep to the rules, and not everybody does, then in order to rank high up for various keywords can take somewhere in the region of six months.

Now, we know that six months sounds like an eternity, but there is a very good reason for that as we will now explain.

Why it Takes so Long.

There are several things that contribute to the length of time that it takes SEO to show some kind of returns for the work that is carried out. First, you need to grow various aspects of it slowly and in a more organic fashion. This was certainly not always the case in the past, but Google then clamped down on those individuals that sought to break the rules.

Also, if your website is brand new with no history, then it takes even longer to then build up those all important backlinks and the various other aspects that are attributed to a successful SEO campaign. This is because the work that is carried out has nothing to build upon. It has to start from scratch and involves pretty much baby steps to get the absolute core of the campaign correctly established.

If you are involved in things such as keyword stuffing or throwing a huge number of pointless backlinks to your website, then this is going to get you nowhere. Sure, Google might at first rank you higher up than you expected, but that is not something that will last.

In other words, it takes so long because Google have designed their algorithms in such a way that you need to play the long game. You need to be prepared to work at slowly building those quality links and adding more and more content that is seen as being beneficial to your website and those that visit. If you suddenly appear on their radar with a brand new domain and yet you have the same number of links as an established site, then the alarm bells are going to be going off.

So Can You Speed it Up?

We understand that there will be people out there that are frustrated and annoyed at the idea of it taking months for results to be noticed, but you have to remember this one thing. The results that you see after say six months are going to pale into insignificance to the results that you will have in 12 months if you keep the campaign going.

This is because it is an organic thing and because it is organic then you can try to do several things, within the rules, to speed it up.

For this, you can make sure that your campaign covers all of the different aspects of SEO. This means making sure that you have your keywords contained in quality content, meta tags, alt tags, build those quality backlinks, social signals, the list goes on. It makes sense that if you use the different aspects of SEO that actually count for something and do so on a regular basis, then you will grow faster than you otherwise would.

So what’s the point in all of this?

The point is to try and steer you away from those companies or individuals that claim they can achieve these amazing things in a few days when it comes to SEO. They will try to charge you a fortune for this as they attempt to sweep you up in this tidal wave of enthusiasm and the belief that your website is going to become famous overnight.

Don’t fall for it. Patience is indeed a virtue and when the potential future of your website is at risk then surely it is in your best interests to ignore those false promises and look at the long term?

Your Header Image Will Grab Their Attention

What is the first thing that you see when you land on a website? The answer is their header image and yet it is surprising how many owners of websites kind of forget about the important role that this one image can have in the potential success of their site.

Think of it from this point of view.

If you are walking along a street and are going past shops, what do you see? Well, you will see their shop sign and their shop window.

Now, move this thought across to the Internet. There, the domain name is basically the shop sign and the front page is the shop window. However, as the header image is the first part that you see, then this is the spot that not only has to look good, but it also needs to grab their attention or they will walk on by.

So how do you get the image that is going to be perfect for your header?

Getting Their Attention.

An image has the ability to really compliment the content. An image can be used to really help tell the story or put across a particular feeling about the site, but only if it is done correctly.

Now, this is one spot where size does not always matter as the dimensions will depend on the layout of the rest of the home page and also the look that the designer is trying to achieve. However, there are a number of things that need to be done no matter the size of the image in order to really get their attention when they land on your website.

1. Add some text.

People love to see some text on the header image. It tells them even more information than just the image itself, but you need to make sure that it does relate whether it be a welcome message or just even repeating your name.

2. Be aware of the color of the text.

One thing that is sure to annoy those individuals that land on your website and make them click off is when the color of the text is wrong and nobody can really read it. You would be surprised how often this happens as people can pay little attention to the colors in the image and where the text itself is landing. You might be able to read 80%, but that 20% can be enough to irritate people and they will go no further.

3. Adding a background to text.

Here is another option that is used by some designers and that is using the header image as an overall background for a page with the text then sitting in a block on top of it. This in itself can be a great way of doing things as it creates a sense of uniformity and some will then take it further by adopting this background on each and every page.

Of course, this is going to mean that you need to use an image that is not only relevant to your website and what it is that you do, but also is not going to be overpowering and detract attention from the content. This can be achieved by just reducing the opacity or making it black and white although other options are available.

The Difference it Makes.

When an individual lands on your website, you have very little time to convince them that they have come to the correct place and to then do whatever it is that you want them to do. If the first thing that they see is weak, outdated, pointless or anything else, then you are not making that good first impression.

However, if you can amaze them and provide them with enough information to make them scroll down, then it gives you the opportunity to really sell yourself to them.

Furthermore, a quality header image makes you seem more professional. It makes you appear as if you actually care about your website enough to have spent the time getting this first part correct. When you then tie this in with getting the correct text with the right contrast and color, then you just need to make sure that the rest of your website is up to the standard that they now expect.

What our advice is regarding the header image is to spend some time checking out what other people on their website for inspiration. Look at the sizes, how dominant the image is, what they typically show and how it relates to what they do. All of this will help you to better understand what should be on your own website and reduce the chances of you falling at the first hurdle.

Research and making sure that things are correct are key. Remember, the potential success of your entire website can rest on this.

Using Visual Media is Absolutely Key

To many, this may seem like a rather obvious thing to say, but when it comes to your website the key is in visual media and how it is used. Now, we are not talking about plastering images all over to the detriment of the words. However, getting a good balance between the two is going to lead to individuals having a far superior experience when they do indeed venture onto your site.

In actual fact, it has been shown that blogs or websites that include images mixed in with text are able to not only hold the attention of individuals for longer but it actually gets them more clicks. The surprising thing is that they get around 90% more clicks than pages or posts that are purely just text.

But we can take this further.

Visual media has also been shown to have a profound impact when it comes to social media. You will have heard of Pinterest and Instagram and it is no surprise that they are two of the highest traffic websites in existence and they are based entirely on the importance of images.

In actual fact, Instagram has more active users putting more energy into posting things than the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Talking of Facebook, if you include an image in what you are writing on there then you are going to get more interest with you actually having more than double the interaction compared to just a text comment.

If this has got you thinking about your own website and how visual media is displayed, then let’s explain the kind of approach that you should be looking at taking in order to boost your own website.

Using Visual Media Carefully.

We mentioned at the outset that you should not just simply throw as many images as possible over a website because this does work against you. This is something that really should be applied for a business website as things are slightly different with an e-commerce website where the images are there to specifically sell a product.

This is something that should be used quite sparingly as the actual key is in making sure that the image or media that you are going to use actually has a purpose. It is not about picking something and throwing it up there just because you now know that people love visuals. This is counter-productive and who wants that to happen?

An image that is directly linked to what the page or post is about is going to be worth 1,000 words all on its own. An image that has been used in the correct manner can help an individual to better understand the point of what is being said. It can create that ‘Aha!’ moment and help them to go ahead and then make their decision as to what they are going to do next.

Do Not Be Afraid to Go Beyond an Image.

Often, people think that a still image is going to be enough and in the past that was certainly the case. However, with connections and computers being faster and more powerful than ever before, things have changed.

Video usage has been on the increase and we can even talk about linking a YouTube video onto a webpage as one potential method. You may have even noticed that some website designs include a video background and that is certainly one thing that you may wish to use if you are indeed looking at a complete redesign or even a new website being created.

Another option that cannot be overlooked is animation, although that is not going to be something that everybody can use. This is perhaps often best used to explain something and, once again, people have mentioned that they can learn a lot more by looking at animation. However, there is a limit as to how long they are willing to wait and watch so do keep that in mind.

Finally, why not consider incorporating more than one version of media on the one page? There are no set rules that will prevent you from doing this but just remember that it does have to serve a purpose or else it becomes pointless rather quickly.

So, take a look at your website and decide how visual media is working on each page. Does it exist? Is the page boring? What are your competitors doing with their websites? You really need to sit there and be critical of your site before you finally settle on how it is going to look or any changes that need to be made. Of course, you are able to go ahead and get some helpful advice from experts that fully understand the importance of visual media with websites. At the end of the day, your site will benefit from that advice which should always be one of your main aims.

Incorporating SEO Into Your Blog Posts

If you either already operate a blog or are intending to do so, then you may forget about using SEO in order to boost each and every post that you write. However, if this is indeed the case, then you are not alone and the difference that it could make to the exposure that your posts would then receive is astonishing.

This becomes an even bigger problem when the blog part of your website is not even the main reason for it existing. People will tend to focus on other aspects of the website and all of their SEO work will go on the home page and even the ‘about us’ page. The blog is left alone, but then even if you are planning on changing how you approach it and incorporating some optimization, how do you do it? Well, it is all too easy to go wrong if you are not careful.

1. Focus on just one or two keywords.

The first thing to consider is that you should not overdo the keywords that you then focus on. Instead, it is best to look at concentrating on just one or two keywords and no more. You can then have slight variations in how they are included in your post so you can play around, but the actual core keywords should be limited.

Trying to include too many different keywords is only going to lead to your post looking rather disjointed and it will be difficult to keep it on track if your mind is pretty much entirely focused on trying to include those keywords.

2. Consider long-tail keywords.

One thing that has changed is that people are becoming better at searching using rather extended terms. This means that they really do know what they are looking for and they seek to get as precise an answer as possible. It used to be the case that people were often rather generic when they were searching.

From your perspective, you should take those one or two keywords that you have decided to focus on and look at the ways in which people are using them in order to carry out searches. It is then in your best interest to look at how to incorporate them into each and every blog post. Remember, this is going to really boost your organic search results for each and every topic that you are blogging about.

3. Remember the images.

A lot of people also include images when they are writing their blog posts, and if this is what you are doing then you should not miss them out when it comes to SEO. For this, you have to go ahead and make sure that the ALT Image tags are included since even that can boost the way in which people pick up your posts.

You must remember that search engines cannot really search for those images directly and they focus on using words as tags. If you do not do this, then they will not be able to pick up on them and you will then be missing out on some extra traffic.

4. You can include the meta tags.

If you are using the likes of WordPress, then you will have the option to include some plugins that help with SEO and you need to go ahead and use them to your advantage as often as possible. Yoast is certainly one of the most popular and this has been shown to help boost awareness of blog posts and yet the crazy thing is that a lot of individuals might install it, but they will then not bother actually doing it.

This is sheer madness because all you have to do is basically complete the different boxes that come with each page or post that you are creating and it pretty much does everything for you. Now, if it is that simple then why would you want to just not do it because of being lazy?

Blog posts are knowing to play an important role in the development of a website and increasing awareness of what you are all about. More and more businesses are being tempted into running a blog as a direct result of this and we are not just talking about major companies either. Anybody can do this and your blog posts do not even have to be that long. However, regularity is certainly important so even if you do one post every single week then you are going to benefit from it.

At the end of the day, drop that idea of just putting up a post and leaving it for anybody to find. You have to take the post to those people that will be most interested in what you are talking about and how are they going to find you in the sea of posts that are out there on the Internet if you do not give them what they are looking for.

The Future of E-Commerce Websites Over the Next 12 Months

Continuing the idea of what the next 12 months is going to entail for web design and
different aspects of Internet marketing, we are going to look at the kind of future that is predicted for e-commerce websites throughout 2017. This is clearly something that will be of interest to a number of people and we are not just talking about those that are looking at taking the leap into the e-commerce world. Instead, we are also thinking about those currently in the industry and who may wish to take advantage of the changes that are coming.

1. The Use of Chat Bots.

This is something that is really starting to appear and it is predicted that the use of chat bots is going to gain real momentum over the next 12 months. Basically, this means that a bot pops up on the screen and it becomes almost like a personal shopper for the visitor.

By interacting with the bot, it means that the customer is going to be in a better position to find the things that they are looking for and overall it will be making the entire shopping experience a bit more pleasant.

2. An Increase in Live Support.

This is different to the chat bot mentioned above as we are talking about an actual customer service representative rather than a bot. However, the idea is still the same in that the visitor is able to interact with someone from the website. This means they can deal with issues, orders, a whole host of things and that is why more websites are including software such as ZenDesk to make the entire process that bit easier.

This is something that can be easily implemented into your website and it is certainly one thing that you should give some serious consideration to. It has been shown in research that the average sale does increase as a direct result of this live support so the benefits of it do really outweigh the potential costs to you especially as it increases customer satisfaction.

3. Yet Another Increase in Mobile Usage.

Even though you will clearly be aware of the fact that mobile usage is always on the increase, it is known that there will be a huge push for it in 2017 with e-commerce. It is believed that the average person now goes to their smartphone more than 150 times a day and yet it is also understood that as little as 14% of e-commerce retailers are actually taking advantage of this.

With mobile usage, it is anticipated that there will be an increase in the number of websites that allow forms to be filled in automatically or the use of mobile money wallets. These should be incorporated into your e-commerce website as early as possible as the push is really towards helping individuals to have a better all-round experience when it comes to shopping online via their smartphones.

4. Using a Prime Like Experience.

There is no doubt that Amazon really changed the game of shopping online when they introduced their Prime package. The fact that people get faster deliver and better customer service in general has led to a huge number of people signing up each month just to get these rewards.

However, the rest of the online world has been slightly slow in catching up with this and that is one area that is going to change in the forthcoming 12 months.

Expect websites to be looking at ways to speed up delivery times and also the returns procedure to be made a lot easier. This is especially true for apparel websites where the number of returns remains predictably high due to the fact that people need to try on the clothing before they know if they like it. If people are then of the opinion that returning items is easy, then they are more likely to complete purchases in the first place.

5. The Impact of Social Selling.

You know that social media has a huge impact on marketing and advertising, but there is going to be a real push towards social selling in 2017.

This is where websites are going to really link up with the likes of their Instagram page but where people are taken from the images they post directly to the items so they can buy them. Now, you might be sitting thinking that this has already been done, but so many companies have been lagging behind and just hope that people go from a profile to their website. This is what is changing and there are several services out there that will help such as Curalate and Soldsie.

The thing that you have to remember with e-commerce is that this is something that is worth a huge amount of money. The entire time there is a need to keep trying to simplify the sales process and making life so much easier for your visitors. Anything that can improve their shopping experience really should be welcomed with open arms throughout 2017.

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