Mobile Google Searches Exceed Desktop Worldwide

November 18, 2015

Across the world there are now more people doing Google searches on mobile devices than Desktop computers. That means more than half of the 100 billion searches monthly are occurring on devices with screens 6 inches or smaller (according Google’s Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search and reported by this article in The Verge last month).

3 Reasons Mobile Search Should Matter to Your Business?


Reason 1: Because it matters to your customers & visitors

When was the last time you looked at your own website on a mobile device? More importantly, when was the last time you looked at your competitor’s website on a mobile device? If it has been awhile then now might be a good time to take a look and refresh your memory. If you find yourself squinting at the screen or waiting too long for the page to load, chances are your customer’s have already moved on to the next site or gone back to the search results.

Reason 2: Your site ranks very differently in Mobile than Desktop

Not all search results are the same and just because your site ranks well on desktop does not mean it ranks the same on mobile – in fact it’s probably very different. Mobile friendly sites are ranked higher by Google (read our post on Mobilegeddon) in addition to having more engaged users. This means that if your site is not mobile friendly, it might actually rank lower than other sites with similar content that have been optimized for mobile. On the flip side, optimizing your mobile site before your competitors is a great way to get an advantage over them in mobile search result rankings.

Reason 3: Mobile influences purchases and it all starts with Search

Consumers already spend more than 15 hours per week on mobile research (as this study points out: Google/Nielsen Mobile Path to Purchase custom study, Nov 2013).  Most of them start this process with mobile search and many are looking to purchase within the day or even the hour. Some of these purchases happen online and other happen in the store but there is no doubt that mobile heavily influences this cycle.

How to improve your site on Mobile

First, why not use this Free and quick Google Mobile Friendly Test – just type in your site and see right away. If there are serious issues you’ll find out right away.

Second, ask a professional. It just so happens that we are professionals and feel free to contact us about mobile or to review your mobile website needs.

Third, get your hands dirty or look into things on your own. This article from Search Engine Land  has some great tips on what some of the more important things to consider might be. Some of this includes Page Load Speed, Text Structure or Organization, Links, Keywords and a bunch of other items you’re probably too busy to deal with.

Mobile Search Summary and Advice

If you take away anything from this blog post, realize that mobile use and particularly mobile search is only going to grow. Search rankings are already very competitive and using a mobile friendly and well optimized design will provide and advantage in search as well as be more engaging to users. If you don’t have the time or resources to design a mobile friendly website, our advice would be to try and at least address the things you can fix or improve in terms of content and page load speed and start setting aside a budget for the future.

5 Things to Expect from Digital Marketing in 2015

December 30, 2014

Things to expect from digital marketingOver the past year, digital marketing has seen great changes and growth in several areas and is poised for another year of progression. Are you wondering what to expect in 2015? Blogs and articles detailing areas in which marketing will change are rolling out across the web, and we’ve compiled a list of the top five things to consider priority as we move into the new year.

  1. Content is still king.

With continual changes to Google, content is shaping up to be a focus in 2015; although the strategy behind your content should be thoroughly planned. If you want to influence the success of your business, consider what your content is, where it is and what it really says. Keep in mind that engagement as an algorithm is taking into account how long users stay on a particular page or post, as well as how many users click on page links to measure the value of published content.

Content should be relevant to your brand and message, but don’t let your company fall from the first page of Google. Optimizing your messaging for search engines is necessary, and we can help with our SEO-integrated content strategy model. Our strategic model takes into account your owned social media platforms, as well as your search ranking positions through targeted keyword analysis. Our SEO and social media optimization (SMO) work in tandem to lead your company in the right direction.

  1. Digital marketing analytics will expand.

We all are aware that marketers use many analytics tools to see how customers are interacting with a client’s products and services. In 2015, analytic spending is expected to increase by 60 percent, which tells us that collecting data on consumers is increasingly important to companies and marketers alike. With a plethora of channels, companies are seeking now more than ever to quantify their efforts, and this year is sure to be one for measurement.

  1. Personalization is key.

Although organizations have been saying it for years, it’s crucial that companies treat their consumers as individuals instead of segmented groups. Thanks to a focus on data analytics, we can better influence audiences and increase engagement by marketing specifically to them.

Last year, personalized content increased companies’ sales, enticed users to stay longer on websites and built customer satisfaction and retention. It’s expected to be a go-to practice in 2015, further developing the concept of 1-on-1 marketing.

  1. Don’t disregard mobile.

Similarly to 2014, we predict mobile advertising will continue to grow in 2015 as apps’ numbers increase and access to consumer data becomes accessible across large mobile advertising networks. With consumers spending nearly three hours a day on their smart phones, many predict to see a huge increase in location-based ad platforms in 2015.

  1. Online advertising budgets will increase.

Online advertising budgets are predicted to increase by 10 percent in 2015, and mobile advertising in expected to rise globally by 48 percent. Between the two, it’s almost certain that the cycle will continue to grow and develop, ultimately allowing for more hyper-local consumer targeting and increased online spending by consumers. If you’d like to boost your digital presence, we can help.

Van West Media is a full service design, support, and consulting agency, offering comprehensive Internet marketing solutions for small to mid-size businesses.

5 Reasons SEO Still Matters in Business

September 25, 2014

Why SEO Still MAttersMany clients come to us for assistance with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on their websites and shared content. But why do successful businesses need SEO? Here are five reasons SEO matters:

1. Your competitors are benefiting from SEO

Unless you’re in a highly political and controversial business, it’s not to your advantage to keep low profile on the web. Your competition is using SEO to get to customers before you do. A quick Google search on the nature of your business (e.g., photography in New York City) will display competitors who are using SEO the right way (which is why they are at the top of the search results). Keep up and maintain your authority as a leader in your field/industry.

2.  Customers are just one click away (and usually via a Google link)

You do it several times a day: Google a service from your mobile device, and call the first number that pops up…unless you prefer Yahoo or Bing, in which case, please accept our compliments for being unconventional. Your potential buyer is looking for you in the same fashion. Help them find you quick and easy.

3. SEO happens, whether you want it or not

The web already knows something about your business (or, if you registered your company an hour ago, the web will know about it fifteen minutes from now). Unless you have a clear, deliberate SEO strategy in place, Google will make assumptions about your website that may be arbitrary or even incorrect.

That information will be accidental and rarely useful to your prospective customer. With SEO, you can help your customers to find the unique brand of happiness that only you can offer them by making sure Google has accurate info about your business and your site.

4. SEO saves money and grows your business

If your digital footprint expands over time, so will your customer base – ultimately leading to business growth. Do the SEO the right way, and you’ll be able to forget about sales teams and cold calling. You’ll be too busy answering calls and emails from prospective customers!

5. SEO makes you a VIP

Imagine telling your Chief Marketing Officer you found a way to increase sales and reduce cost using SEO instead of expensive print, radio or legacy sales tactics. In many cases, the money saved more than pays for the SEO efforts or campaigns put in place. You are the expert in your field. Make it known. Do the SEO.

To find out more about SEO and what we can offer you and your business, contact Van West Media today.

Van West Media is a full service design, support, and consulting agency, offering comprehensive Internet marketing solutions for small to mid-size businesses.

Basic Principles of Inbound Marketing

September 26, 2013

Strategies such as inbound marketing are complicated and take several steps to fully comprehend. Through processes like these, you need to have strong fundamentals to work from and we are here to help you with your marketing foundation.

You need to analyze your main enterprise, which is most likely your website. Your prime information should be on your website and from there, you will get a client base. Therefore, you need to measure and check your analytics throughout your marketing process to make sure everything goes smoothly. This allow you to know what works for you and what doesn’t. The number of unique visitors is important to monitor because if it keeps increasing, then you know you’re doing the right thing. On top of seeing how many people are visiting, you need to see what traffic source they are coming from. From this, you can target certain customers and optimize your SEO.

The next step is to analyze how they go about your website once they are brought there. Which pages have the most views? This will help you figure out where to place your calls to action for opting in so that the viewers will become leads. Landing pages give way for prospective leads. By analyzing your landing page views and submission rates, you can compare and contrast the different methods and see what works best for you. Tracking the results will show you the best conversions and spotlight your strengths. It will also help you see what you need to improve or eliminate from the marketing process.

The last main principle of inbound marketing is distribution. You need to know your reach and keep reaching for them. Checking your ROI allows you to know your sources to give you an idea of how to target them. Just like checking your landing pages will help you, you should check which social media outlets or other channels people are going to for reaching your website. By understanding the different sources, you not only can adjust and measure your SEO, but you can target certain calls to action and landing pages straight from these outlets as well.

With the measure of analytics, the tracking of landing pages and the understanding of different source channels, you will make the best of your inbound marketing strategy. These fundamentals will give a basis to your tactic to keep your marketing running smoothly. A strong basis is what your business needs to build from so that you can expand and grow to your highest potential.


Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Strategy

September 23, 2013

We understand that inbound marketing is difficult but here are some guidelines to help you plan out your strategy to get you on your way.

1. Plan. You need to develop the personas you are targeting your product or services for. Frrom there, you can assess your current needs, and set objectives and measurable goals in order to develop an effective content strategy. When you have a strategy, you can then define the responsibilities and distribute them among your staff to achieve your goals.

2. Create. Whether it is videos, blogs, webinars, podcasts, white papers, or ebooks, you need to develop interesting content for your audience. The content will attract visitors, convert them into leads and position you as a thought leader. You need to feed them information that they can’t really get elsewhere or that they would look to you for as their main source.

3. Distribute. You need to share content specifically designed to appeal to your ideal customer. Help get found through keywords for SEO. Promote your posts on social media and beyond throughout the web. Utilize email marketing to bring visitors back. These are great ways to share your content. You should also use a content calendar for strategic planning so that all of these outlets don’t get mixed up or overlooked.

4. Capture. You need to convert visitors to generate a list of qualified prospects. You can do so with premium content offers and compelling calls to action. Landing pages and contact forms are also straight-shots to your leads. When you give your audience the opportunity to give you their information and contact you, they will more likely do so and begin their process as your customer.

5. Analyze. Once you have captured some leads, you can’t just stop there. You need to review the data you have to determine what’s working and what’s not. This way, you won’t be having useless parts of your advertising that just take up space for the things that can convert more leads. Tools from sites like HubSpot and Google Analytics allows you to identify your top lead sources, show which topics and posts are read the most, and which specific offers are converting your readers into leads.

6. Cultivate. You can’t just have a potential lead or customer and expect them to not change their minds. You also want your customers to spread the word to people they know as well. This process makes it necessary to maintain lead nurturing and marketing automation in order to establish trust and credibility. This is necessary to make your brand stand apart from the rest. People don’t just trust anyone and if you can keep this, your customer base will stay with you and grow with their recommendations to others.

Content Curation for Inbound Marketing

September 18, 2013

Content is key when it comes to inbound marketing and that is because it is the main reason for your audience to turn to you compared to others. It’s what drives your vision, goals through your products and services. However, creating lots of extensive content is hard when there are so many other assets to your business. That’s where content curation comes into play.

Creating a steady flow of relevant content isn’t easy and many companies know this. Therefore, the consistency is a challenge. Here are some ways that brands dealt with content curation along with the pros and cons of each situation:

1. Hiring a Dedicated Content Curator allows you to depend on one person whose sole purpose is to create content for you. This is great for ensuring a consistent brand voice and a steady flow of content for your organization. However, the approach is very expensive as you are just paying that person to write for you. Also, you need to keep in mind that you need to train this employee to learn about your brand and company so that their writing reflects upon you.

2. Internal Crowdsourcing brings a diverse source of voices with different areas of expertise to your blog. It allows people that have a deeper knowledge of each field to express what they know about each situation so that you know the audience is well-informed in all aspects rather than from a person who knows a little bit about everything. This may seem like a great way to go but it can also create inconsistency within your blog. The many different voices may agree to disagree on many topics and your audience will be confused in such manner.

3. Outsourcing Externally turns to other companies that are experts in the field of content curation. With this method, you will hire the person that can speak of your blog to the best of their ability in regards to your topic. These people will be much more professional and understand what your company is about better than if you just hired a dedicated content curator yourself. Outsourcing through an organization made for content curation will give you the best possible content. However, sometimes these people may not understand your company well enough and just like if you hired a dedicated content curator, you’d need to spend a lot of time and money to sustain this tactic.

4. Collecting User-Generated Content is very popular among business to customer (B2C) brands. By relating to your customer base, you will have a happier audience that is more likely to understand and respond to you. Customer voices give proof that your brand is “real” and relatable to others. It makes a much stronger connection between your business and your audience. However, for business to business (B2B) brands, there would be a need to conduct surveys and have case studies to understand the other perspective. This would take a lot of time in this aspect.

5. Licensing Content gives you the ability to use other articles in its entirety. It is for those who have money but don’t have time or resources to create content. This should be the last possible choice for you as the opportunities through this isn’t very practical. Yes, you save a lot of money but you are also using very broad information. Also, search engines do not index licensed content as you paid to use and publish it and they don’t have any rights. Without a great SEO backend for your blog, it is difficult to get the word out there about each entry.

Curation is a difficult task when it comes to a business in the long-run. These are several ways to get past that bump in the road for your business. There are pros and cons to each of them but each are good for your brand based on what your needs are and how much time, money and resources you have already. It’s important to compare all the different possibilities you have to get the best possible outcome for you. Inbound marketing relies on a steady flow of strong and relatable content and if you are lacking in this situation, curation just might be what you need.

Developing Optimized Architecture

September 11, 2013

A great architecture is the basis of every company as it is what they build their core values and marketing tactics from. By using inbound marketing, you can develop an optimized architecture to help your business thrive. Here are some tactics you can use through inbound marketing to help you get started:

1. Attract with timely and relevant search results. Search engine optimization (SEO) is greatly affected by content rather than through keywords. It’s important to understand that almost every business in the same industry is using the same popular keywords to rank higher in search results. Yes, these keywords are important but what really captures your audience’s attention is the content itself. Do you have information that others don’t? Do you represent another view of the topic? Questions like these are important to help you decide what content to include on your site.

2. Build and engage with social networks. Social media is the easiest way to quickly spread news and the best part is that it is FREE. Few things in life are free and the advantages of social media are endless. Because you can upload anything from text to images to sounds to videos on the web, you can pretty much share anything to help your business grow. The more useful information for you give your audience, the better. Useful information will more likely be shared through your audience to others and you will get free marketing from this tactic. Take advantage of social media as consistent conversating with your audience will help you to connect with your potential leads.

3. Optimizing the conversion point. The landing page must be of utmost importance when it comes to your website. It is what people first see and it can either make them continue to look through your site or make them leave. A great website with easy navigation and functionality as well as beautiful aesthetics will lead to a higher conversion rate than a messy website. It’s important to understand that the functionality is more key than the aesthetics. People need to find what they are looking for and know exactly where you want them to go so steer them in that direction when they come to your site. Once you give them information and the correct steps, make sure you have call-to-action on your page so that the next step is for them to become a lead. Leads turn into conversions and then you know the rest.

Inbound marketing is a strategy that has excelled and really transforms your business. Through SEO, social media and a great website and, of course, consistency throughout, you will gain more conversions and more sales.

Not Just Online Marketing, But Content Marketing

July 3, 2013

Companies have been trying to find ways to use keywords to stay on top of search engine optimization but this is not that way to bring in the best leads. Content is what drives traffic and what brings people to in. By giving people the information that they want rather than focusing on search engine positioning placement, you are more likely to gain leads. This is what we call an inbound marketing strategy.

People will see that you are catering to them just by looking at the content you are providing. Many people use the internet specifically to find the information they need quickly. Yes, this may cause them to search through a search engine but how many times have you gone through the top 5 results only to close them and move on to the next one? If you provide the information needed, people will respond positively and both parties will be in a better place in the end.

It isn’t only smart for business marketing services to have their own websites full of useful content but it’s great to use others that provide them as well. Pay-per-click (PPC) management is also important to keep up to date. By placing your ads on sites that provide great content for the people, you will have a support system and give customers assurance that you provide important content as well.

Marketing isn’t a simple thing and it’s important to understand the different aspects that go into a digital marketing strategy. Inbound marketing starts with attracting customers to what you have to offer through your site and others as well. From there, you can go into call-to-actions and emails and so much more. Content marketing is the first step and from there, you will have the attention of customers who will turn into leads.

Social Media Consulting

June 19, 2013

In this day and age, social media makes a huge impact on where your business can stand amongst the rest. The growth you can achieve from a social network is endless as people from all over are connected to each other in ways you can’t even imagine. As a marketing agency, we understand the impact of such a strategy.

Social Media builds Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and therefore, brings more traffic to your site not only through the social media networks themselves, but through large search engines as well. Here a chart to help you understand the capabilities:

social media

Internet Marketing Through PPC

May 1, 2013

When it comes to internet marketing, paid search advertising through pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) come to mind as they are the most effective tactics. Many real estate agents realized the potential of these methods for great placement and the best exposure on search engines in the shortest amount of time possible.

In the world of real estate, timing is everything as great places at amazing prices come and go quickly. A home is a sanctuary and a place of comfort that people purchase for a long period of time. People want reliable real estate agents that provide the best places at the most reasonable prices. The myriad of agents in a city make it difficult for an agent to stand out above the rest, unless he is the top grosser in a large firm or something of the sort. Paid search advertising changes the game as agents can advertise themselves easily on popular search engines for clients to find. The image below portrays how PPC works from a visual standpoint.

As you can see, PPC isn’t controlled by popularity but rather through the use of paying others to get your services started. This makes the playing field easier for those who just joined the game of Real Estate and gives them a chance to make something of themselves from the get-go. Obviously, using PPC for your entire career isn’t practical. PPC is meant for start-ups and small businesses to make a name and present themselves to the public. Once their image is out there, it is their own responsibility to positively influence their client base.

It’s important to understand the effectiveness of PPC as the advantage of it is so beneficial. Paid search management is also necessary as it researches your industry and the keywords relevant to your company and competitors. By having original, descriptive copy with such keywords, you will be linked to the right clients rather than poor-click conversion rates. There are many other job fields similar to real estate that depend on timing for success and this method brings you to the attention of the right people the quickest.

For more insight, check out our e-book “The Essential Guide to Internet Marketing“!