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...
Local Search Listings Change to a 3-Pack Style on the Desktop

Local Search Listings Change to a 3-Pack Style on the Desktop

It’s evident that Google wants the desktop search experience to align with the mobile search experience. This strategy is readily apparent in Google’s newest change: moving from a 7-pack listing to a 3-pack listing in local search results on the desktop. The 3-Pack The “pack” style lists local businesses in a box, with the option of clicking on the map, website or directions. Here’s what a 3-pack looks like:   The old 7-pack style is simply an extension of the 3-pack, listing 7 businesses instead of 3. Why did Google make this change? The 3-packs fit exactly on a mobile phone screen. Since Google is emphasizing mobility these days, it makes sense that they would bring the desktop version in line with the mobile version. There are also questions of whether sites in positions 4-7 in the 7-pack received much traffic. If these lower positions got significantly fewer clicks, then Google possibly figured “What’s the sense in showing them?” However, these lower listings were a branding opportunity for businesses on the desktop. Now if local businesses have more than 2 competitors, they’ll need to work harder to capture the attention of searchers. What does this change mean for my website? If your business remains in the 3-pack, that’s good news, but it’s not a reason to rest on your laurels. Google continues to tweak Local Search factors and changes on their end could mean that you’re no longer in the sought-after box. Additionally, your competitors have probably figured out this new reality and are optimizing their web pages to bump you out of the coveted 3-pack. If your business...
How to Find webShine’s Office in Basalt, Colorado

How to Find webShine’s Office in Basalt, Colorado

Our address is 231 Midland Avenue, Suite #101, Basalt, Colorado 81621. We’re located in the eastern, red brick Riverwalk Building on the river side, at ground level. We recommend parking on Midland Avenue in front of the Riverwalk Buildings which is free for 2 hours. Watch this quick video to easily find our webShine office.  The video starts on Midland Avenue, looking towards the Frying Pan River.     If you’re in Basalt, drop in for a chat!...
New Google Algorithm Gives Weight to Mobile Sites on April 21

New Google Algorithm Gives Weight to Mobile Sites on April 21

With Google’s new algorithm release on April 21, they’ll expand the role that mobile friendliness plays as a ranking factor. Why is Google making this change? We all know that people are increasingly using their mobile devices to access the internet. Last year use of the internet underwent a paradigm shift: the number of mobile users surpassed desktop users. This is a colossal change and Google needed to update their formula to address the shifting landscape of search. What will the new algorithm focus on? Google wants to make sure that people have a good mobile experience. To achieve this goal they changed their search algorithm to give weight to mobile web pages when accessed on mobile devices. This won’t affect desktop search. It doesn’t make sense to get a mobile search result on your desktop or vice versa. How do I know if my website conforms to Google’s new algorithm? Since mobile friendliness is now being used as a ranking factor, it’s imperative that your website uses mobile strategies. One evaluation tool is the Mobile Friendly Tool, shown below. It lists factors to change to assure compliance. For webShine clients, we’ll use this tool’s feedback to audit your sites and update, if needed.   Another tool that helps with mobile worthiness is the Google Webmaster Mobile Usability Report, shown below. We’ll monitor this report for our clients and make updates where needed. If you’re not a webShine client and want to see your Mobile Usability Report, follow these steps. 1. Log in to Google Webmaster Tools 2. Click on your client name 3. Click Search Traffic 4. Click...