The Importance of Quality Meta Tags

The Importance of Quality Meta Tags

Page titles and meta descriptions are key elements of your website’s content.   Let’s explore what page titles and meta descriptions are, why they are important and recommendations for best practices. Definitions Page Title (aka Title Tag) A Page Title is an accurate and short designation of a page’s content. This short description helps a user to determine which websites are worthy of a click. Oftentimes, the structure of the Page Title is set up with a pipe to separate the page topic from the brand name, like this: Featured Clients | webShine. Page Titles appear in the browser tab: Page Titles also show up in the snippet (summary) on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Meta Descriptions These are the short summaries of web pages that appear in SERPs and on related content pages, such as blogs.If a user searches for keywords that are found in the meta description, they are bolded. This emphasis focuses the search results on meta descriptions that use highly relevant keywords and gives greater visibility to your brand. Important? In short, yes, page titles and meta descriptions are hugely important.  They provide you with an opportunity to market your webpages in the Search Engines Results Pages as noted in the images above.   They also give the search engines insight as to a page’s primary content focus in the header of each page.   Historically, they provided an opportunity to infuse keywords in a page. They still do act as an area of opportunity for keyword usage, but we suggest a softer sell for both users and search engines to meet 2016 best practices. Recommendations SEO...
Google is No Longer Showing Right Side Ads on the Desktop

Google is No Longer Showing Right Side Ads on the Desktop

Google continues to tweak the way it presents search results. This latest change has ramifications for both organic and paid search campaigns. The Change Google is removing text ads from the right side of desktop search and placing ads at the top and sometimes bottom of the page. For “highly commercial” search terms, there may be 4 ads instead of 3 at the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), as shown below. Although ads will be removed from the right-side, Product Listing Ads (PLAs) and Knowledge Graph boxes can still appear in this space. Reasons for The Change Google has shown that it values mobile search and wants to align the desktop experience with the mobile experience. Since smartphones can only display one column on the screen, no right sidebar ads can appear. By removing the right-side ads from desktop search, the results will be similar between the desktop and mobile screens. Another speculation for the change is that Google realizes that click-through-rate for right-side ads is poor. New elements such as Knowledge Panels have pressed right-hand ads down the page. The expected cost-per-click (CPC) inflation from focusing on the top of the page is expected to be more profitable in the long run. What Does this Change Mean for My Business? With 4 paid search ads taking up top of the page real estate, the organic search results may appear “below the fold”, an area that searchers need to scroll down to see. This results in organic space is being even more precious and leads to an increased laser-like focus on SEO. It is possible that click...
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. What platform should I choose?

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. What platform should I choose?

Do the words “social media” strike terror in your heart? Or have you enthusiastically jumped into the social world with both feet? Either way, social media is a force that every business needs to manage and review regularly. What’s the definition of Social Media? Social media are websites and apps that engage customers to share content and participate in virtual communities. Some examples are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Social media differs from traditional media in that it allows people to co-create, share, discuss, and change user-generated content. For the first time in history, people have a direct, real-time access and interaction with companies and their client base. At the same time, businesses have a new found wealth of market information by using social media metrics. Why is Social Media Important for my Business? Besides the primary purpose of building relationships in different channels, social media has an important role in organic search strategies. 1. Link potential Let’s say you publish on Facebook about your new storefront location for craft coffee. A local reporter sees it, writes an article and links back to your website. Links to your website help to increase your SEO power, especially when the link comes from an authoritative source. 2. Search Volume Social media helps to get your brand out to a wider audience. This increases the overall awareness of your brand, which can lead to more searches for your business. When Google sees that more searches are being conducted for your brand, they view that brand as more popular and award a higher search ranking. 3. Traffic Volume Social media can improve the amount...
301 Redirects: What Are They, and Why Are They Important?

301 Redirects: What Are They, and Why Are They Important?

Perhaps you’ve redesigned or updated your website recently. During these changes, some of your pages may have moved or been deleted. This begs the question: What happens when a user tries to access those pages that are no longer at the web address (URL)? If the unavailable pages are not redirected, clients may get a page like this when clicking a bookmark or by typing in the address. To avoid sending customers to your 404 “This page cannot be found” error, it’s best to use a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that points one URL (the old one) to another URL (the new one). To put it another way, a 301 redirect says “The page that used to exist here is now at this location.” When users land on a 404 error page, it creates a poor user experience, search engine ranking power is lost and repeat visitors disappear. No one wants this to happen! “301” refers to the web status code for this type of redirect.  They also impact the search engines who have indexed the original content and will continue to look for it at the original URL until directed otherwise via the 301 redirects. How are 301 redirects put into practice? It’s relatively easy to implement redirects. First run a “crawl” on your site to find the addresses that are missing or changed. Then take the crawl export and match new pages with the phantom pages. Third, implement the redirects on your website in your content management system or htaccess file. With properly implemented 301 redirects you can avoid lost ranking, web...
Happy Holidays from the webShine Team

Happy Holidays from the webShine Team

Happy Holidays from Lori, Lindsay, Jen and Nancy! Here’s a photo from our holiday gathering, after celebrating with wine and a delicious meal. To embrace this season of giving, webShine donated to these non-profits: My Stuff Bags Foundation – http://www.mystuffbags.org/ To Return – www.toreturn.org Aspen Animal Foundation – https://www.dogsaspen.com/ Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club – http://www.teamavsc.org/ We wish you the best of health and success in the New Year. Thank you for a lovely 2015....
The Google Partners Breakfast was a Rousing Success!

The Google Partners Breakfast was a Rousing Success!

We’d like to thank all who attended the Google Partners Breakfast this morning at the Aspen Square Hotel. We learned about the “Path to Purchase” from Andrew Nelson and Rohit Adukia of Google. Lori Calcott, co-partner of webShine, spoke about the latest developments in Google AdWords. One recent exciting feature is the ability to upload client email addresses and target those customers through their Google accounts. Andrew asked us if we had Googled “What does Google know about me?” None of us had, but he explained that we can look at our Google interests and profile and correct them if necessary. A more accurate profile will show more relevant ads when doing a Google search. If you’d like to hear about what’s new at Google, give us a call at  970.315.2157 or send an email. It was great to meet all of you, enjoy breakfast and learn about the latest Google...
webShine is Hosting a Google Partners Digital Breakfast

webShine is Hosting a Google Partners Digital Breakfast

Learn more about Google AdWords from industry experts including Lori Calcott of webShine ― author of The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords ― and from Google, Andrew Nelson and Rohit Adukia. 9:00 – 9:30 | Breakfast and Introduction 9:30 – 10:30 | Presentation – What’s new at Google, the latest on remarketing & Google AdWords for local businesses. 10:30 – 11:00 | Networking The event is free, and your RSVP is kindly requested. Wednesday, November 18th in the Aspen Square Conference Room RSVP & Learn...
Get Inspired for Writing a Blog Post: 6 Ideas

Get Inspired for Writing a Blog Post: 6 Ideas

Did you know that Google gives your website more authority when you post fresh, engaging content? More authority in Google’s eyes means a higher ranking in search results. One way to get new content on your site is to publish blog posts on a regular basis. Whether you’re a veteran blogger or just starting out, here are 6 ideas to inspire your writing process. 1. Changes in your Business: Have you recently hired a new staff member or moved locations? These ideas are great topics to share with your readers while keeping your content current. 2. Changes in your Industry: Has there been a new invention, discovery or product in your industry? A new app that alerts skiers how many vertical feet they’ve skied is a prime blog topic. 3. News Features: Newspaper, magazine or online articles about your company translate into an easy blog post. Simply summarize the article, insert a photo and a link and you’re done! 4. FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions: Is there some aspect of your business that customers ask about over and over again? This is a perfect idea for a blog post. Customers can help themselves to your published knowledge on the subject. 5. Media Mentions: Were you just rated as one of the top coffee roasters in Denver? Or did your gallery exhibit opening garner a reference in a socialite’s column? Media mentions practically write their own blog. See #3 above. 6. Tips: Are there a few handy-dandy tips that your customers would love to hear about? Tricks that you use every day or save lots of time are particularly useful. If you’re...
webShine Goes to Google!

webShine Goes to Google!

We are excited to announce that webShine was selected to participate in the 5th annual Google All-Stars Summit. As a selected agency in this program, we won a one-day trip the Google Headquarters in San Jose, California. Although the trip was short, Google kept us busy. The day was filled with a variety of speakers focusing on optimization techniques, products updates, marketing theory and Google innovation philosophy. Of course, a trip to Google would not be complete without a tour of their amazing campus which includes everything from lap pools, hair salons and volleyball courts (they’re just missing a ski resort.) In true Google-style, they treated us to a party, complete with an adult bouncy house and local wine tasting. Here are some of our favorite take aways: We are in the “Participation Age” and are consumers are our best content creators. Engagement is extremely valuable. Aim to create content that is able to educate, entertain and inspire. Moments marketing allows you to take advantage of micro-moments. Searches that include phrases such as “near me” and “near by” have doubled over the past year. Identifying your customers micro-moments then ensure you are there when they are searching. Google’s 10X Innovation: Google believes that innovation can come from anywhere and encourage their employees to not only think out of the box but think big. Google is committed to improving their Partners Program and webShine will continue to be an active member.  The All-Stars competition is on-going and our goal is earn enough new clients to participate in the summit again next...
Referral Spam: What It Is and How to Deal with It

Referral Spam: What It Is and How to Deal with It

What Is Normal Referral Traffic? Referral traffic is traffic that was “referred” to your site from another site. Basically, legitimate traffic comes from sites that link to your site. For example if you visit our post Standard for Robot Exclusion and click on the Brian Ussery link, the referral traffic report for BrianUssery.com would show referral traffic from webShine’s site. What is Referral Spam? Now that we know what legitimate referral traffic is, let’s talk about fake referral traffic or Referral Spam. Referral Spam is pseudo traffic from other sites that isn’t naturally linking to your site. Visits may happen, but most spam referrals simply deceive your Google Analytics (GA) code to record a false visit without actually visiting. Two types of Spam Referrals: Crawler Visits and Ghost Referrals Crawler Referrals (most of which are automated web robots) visit your site, resulting in “legitimate” traffic sessions. Alternatively, Ghost Referrals are spam referral visits that don’t come to your site, but trick your Google Analytics code into registering a fake session through an automated script. Why do these spammy sites visit my website? These companies aren’t solely targeting your site, they’re simply hammering thousands of sites per day. Your site is one of many caught in a wide net. The purpose of Referral Spam is to show up in your GA report and to possibly pique your curiosity enough so that you click through to their site. These unsavory spam characters have lots of tactics to make money from your clicks, including redirection to a storefront, spamming ads and pushing a marketing scam. The best policy in dealing with these sites...