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The Importance of Your Website’s Title Tag and Keywords

The Importance of Your Website’s Title Tag and Keywords

What is your website all about? Not only do your web visitors ask but Google is asking the same question. To answer it, the first place the search engine looks is your Title Tag. A title tag is part of the meta data and one of the very first lines of code used to create your website. In most cases, it is also the first line of code a developer writes yet it is also often the most changed. The title declares what the document is about to the search engines.

The search engine examines the keywords used and compares them to the other keywords seen throughout the page. For example, let’s take this title tag:

<title>Buffalo NY Web Design & Social Media Marketing | Alpine Design<title>

We see a few keywords such as Buffalo NY, web design, social media, marketing and Alpine Design. The search engine will scan the rest of the web page and expect to find matching words, headlines and phrases for those terms. If it finds them, it will make the terms all the more relevant. This should improve your overall search engine position for the targeted terms.

Search Engine Placement and Click Through Rate

The title tag isn’t just used by the search engines to determine the relevant keywords for a page, it is also used with the meta description to display your website in the search results. You will see it in blue in every Google search.

listing

It serves as the main call to action to search engine users and is usually the first thing they see. Google strives to deliver its users the best possible search results. That is why pages that reflect their title (or title that reflects their page) will typically rank higher. When a user clicks on a title that contains the keyword they searched for, Google wants to make sure the page it takes them to is highly relevant to that keyword.

A poorly written title will not only cost you search engine position but it will also cost you clicks which in turn cost you further search engine placement. Yes, you heard that right, if people don’t click your link you may lose search engine placement. When a search is performed, the links shown are called impressions. Google tracks all of the impressions a website has and the number of times the link is actually clicked. They take that data and devise a ratio called a click trough rate (CTR). The CTR is compared with other websites and those that perform better are generally rewarded with better search engine placement.

bounce_rate

Think that is complicated? Google goes a step further with another metric called bounce rate. Bounce rate is another topic all together but it is relevant in this discussion. The bounce rate is calculation of the number of visitors that arrive on your web page, and abruptly leave. This can be for many reasons such as broken site, obnoxious music playing and many others but the reason we are concerned with is irrelevance to a the title.

Say you were searching for kitty cat pictures and a site came up with a title that said “cat pictures”. You click on the site and the first thing you see is pictures of Caterpillar “Cat” construction equipment. You would immediately leave this page, in other words: bounce. A good title must display enough information to give a good concept of the web page.

Writing a Good Title Tag

Writing a good title tag isn’t too difficult if you follow the right steps. It is very important you are using Google Analytics and tracking your rankings. A good title tag is continually improved until it gets the desired results so keep working at it to make it better.

Please Note: Changing a title tag on a live site can have undesired consequences so proceed with caution.

Step 1 – Keyword Research

Take some time to brainstorm what keywords you want to rank for. Make a list of 10-20 and analyze them further to see which ones are actually searched for, easy to rank for and what your competitors are successfully using. Choose a few of the best ones to include in your title.

Step 2 – Make sure they are relevant

Analyze your page to ensure the keywords used are relevant to the page body text, headlines and other content. There are a lot of great tools online that can help you with this like the Keyword Density tool from SEO Centro. If your content is not relevant, adjust it to your title or your title to it.

Step 3 – Craft Your Title

Use your keywords and brand to create your title. Make sure it is easy to read and is written like a sentence and try to keep it under 55 characters. For example:

New and Used Auto Parts in Los Angeles CA | The Part Co.

New Auto Parts Used Auto Parts Los Angeles Part Co.

Where you place the keywords within your title make a difference. Keywords closer to the beginning of the title have more relevance. They should also reflect the relevance on the page compared to other keywords. If you wanted to place more emphasis on Los Angeles in the above title, you might write:

Los Angeles CA  New and Used Auto Parts | The Part Co.

Step 4 – Monitor Results

Perhaps the most important step is to track the results. It is the only way to really see what is working. There are many free and paid tools to help you with this. It is important you give your changes a few weeks to take effect to see position movement and you can make adjustments to see how they perform.

If you have any questions about creating a title, please feel free to email us and we would be happy to help.

3 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Converting

3 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Converting

Website conversion never seems to be as hot of a topic as SEO yet it’s due equal time in the spotlight. Many companies spend 1000’s if not 10’s of 1000’s of dollars on marketing to get visitors to their website but neglect to pay attention to what these visitors do once they are there. Lets say you spend $100 to bring 100 visitors to your website and 1 of them expresses an interest in your product or service. You have a 1% conversion rate. With strategic changes to your website design, structure and content, lets say you get 3 out of 100 visitors to express interest in your product or service. Now you just tripled your web leads and your advertising dollars are working 3 times harder. Conversion optimization is far more important than SEO since it capitalizes as much ROI as possible for each visitor. Let’s examine some of the reasons why your website isn’t converting.

1.  Your Design is Outdated

An outdated design is the number 1 reason for a lack of conversions for a good reason, it makes you lose credibility with your customer. When your site looks like it hasn’t been updated in several years or looks like it was built in the dot com boom, customers tend to think you are behind with the times. According to a study by Pew Research, 78% of internet users research a product or service online before they buy. Your website is the face of your company and is the first thing most potential customers see making it extraordinarily important to make a good first impression.

The latest design trends help your company appear successful and modern while giving you a one up on your competition. If your website isn’t the full width of your screen, uses flash or Ariel font, it is probably well past the time to upgrade. Many business will see an uptick in business shortly after the redesign of their website if done by a company that understands buyer behavior and how to optimize for conversions.

2. Outdated Technology

Coming in at number 2 is outdated technology and it ties in very closely with number 1 since it also leads to a loss of credibility. With the internet changing faster than Clark Kent in a phone booth, it is essential your website is up on the latest tech trends. These are made possible by modern coding that allows for full width responsive design, parallax images and HTML5 videos. Flash is out. Let me repeat that: Flash is out! There is nothing that dates a website more than Adobe Flash Player and it really hasn’t been in for the better part of the last decade. In fact, it doesn’t even play on most browsers.

Did you know according to Google, up to 60% of web visitors enter a website on a mobile device? If your website isn’t mobile friendly you are losing out on over half of your potential customers. To add insult to injury, Google also announced it will penalize websites they don’t find to be mobile friendly with poor search results on mobile browsers. The good news is, once remedied, Google will reward your website with better rankings and more traffic.

3. Poor Layout and Navigation

Is important information easy to find on your site? Do you have an online product catalog that is easy for customers to find their product and checkout? In many cases it is not as ideal as it could be. A website’s navigation can be a make or break for any business. If your website is cumbersome to use, you may actually be better off not having a website at all. It all boils down to first impression. If you frustrate someone trying to use your website for the first time, they may not only leave your site and not become your customer, they will also have an unfavorable impression of your company.

This can all be remedied by making sure your layout is foolproof and easy to use. No need to reinvent the wheel here, make sure you have  menus in the top section and\or left column where users expect them to be. Clear contact information should be on every page in the top bar and footer section. Don’t over crowd pages and have clear calls to action.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is: An outdated website is costing you sales and money. In many cases a re-design can recoup the cost rather quickly and sometimes within the first month. You work so hard and spend so much money to bring people to your website that you need to maximize the results once they are there. So isn’t it time for a re-design?

 

Web Design From Concept to Reality

Web Design From Concept to Reality

Alpine Design Group offers the latest trends in web design with the features and usability your business demands. We build all websites with the latest code optimized for display, conversions and SEO. Our sites focus on clean responsive design that will adjust to mobile phones and tablets that is years ahead of the curve. Our experience in conversion optimization helps you get the most out of your website by improving your visitors experience and leading them to the desired result, whether that be a phone call or a sale.

Complete Approach to Web Design, Not Just Pretty Colors

Web design is not just flashy graphics and pretty pictures, it is the journey that is traveled from the concept phase to the final design. Like any great endeavor, a website must start with a rock solid plan. We begin every project with a client interview to learn as much as possible about their business and their customers. To create a high quality site, you must first understand the potential visitor to it. If you understand the website user, you can predict their actions and lead them more efficiently to the information or product they are seeking. The websites we build are carefully laid out with attention to detail and are far more than just pretty colors.

Great Design Begins with Great Software

Perhaps the most important step after determining the needs of a client’s website is pairing the correct software with those needs. Do you need a shopping cart? Or perhaps a blog with an RSS feed? Every business has different requirements and there is no one size fits all solution. That is why we are familiar with many different platforms and constantly test them to make sure they can fill the needs of our clients. We are not only expert coders in HTML, CSS, PHP and Java Script but we also understand and further develop the following platforms:

  • Opencart
  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Magento
  • Zen Cart

Modern and Responsive for the 21st Century

Since the devices we use to search the internet are rapidly changing, the coding and website structure must also change to keep up with technology. Responsive website design has never been as important as it is today. Responsiveness is the ability for a website to adjust to the screen size of the device used. Responsive sites will appear different from desktop to tablet to smartphone. This is done using CSS stylesheets that change the size of the containers content and images appear in.

Not only does a website need to be responsive but it must also reflect the latest in web design trends. The use of stylesheets and flat design are very common. If your website is outdated, your customers will notice and lose confidence in your company. Your website is your face to the internet and an outdated site portrays an outdated company that is out of touch with the rest of the world. If you want to compete with the rest of the world, you need a world class website.

Local SEO Services and Web Marketing

Local SEO Services and Web Marketing

SEO is the process of making your website more desirable in the eyes of Google with the goal of ranking higher in the search results through a variety of techniques. There are many factors that Google and other search engines take into consideration when determining where to place your website in the search results. The main factors are highlighted in the info-graphic to the left. Alpine Design’s Buffalo SEO experst can develop a strategy to strengthen these main areas.

SEO Tuned Design

The overall design and page structure of a site is very important to search engines when determining rank. The site must be written in the latest coding standards and created with the correct elements. Responsive sites are now given precedence over non-responsive sites to appease Google’s quest to find sites that offer the best user experience. Every site we design is responsive making it friendly to smartphone and tablet users. Let the best Buffalo SEO firm quote you today.

HTML and Keywords

HTML stands for HyperText Mark-up Language and is the main source code used in web design. The code must be written in compliance with the latest standards and include all of the necessary elements for proper SEO. Alpine Design Group tunes the elements in every site it builds to best reflect your keywords using H1, H2, H3, image alt tags, proper meta tags and proper use of stylesheets and scripts.

We will also tune the content of your site for the proper keyword densities. How do we know what keywords to use? We have software that extracts from Google the best keywords for your website based on user search data compiled by the search engines.

Content and Blog

The number one rule in Search Engine Optimization is: Content is Key. Most of the main content needs to be provided by the client  but we guide you on creating the right content the first time and then hand it over to our content writers to fine tune it for maximum benefit. If you wish, our team of content writers will create custom content for your site.

Great content does not end with your about us page. We recommend you keep your site dynamic so visitors and search engines keep coming back. We can do this by attaching a blog to your site and having our content writers post relevant articles on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. A blog platform is also a great way to keep your customers up to date of your company news.

Backlinks

Backlinks were once the mightiest force in SEO but recent changes have made them less relevant. Years of abuse have cause the major search engines to discount their importance. We do offer link building packages but prefer to focus on the more important aspects such as content and social media. Social Media is beginning to take the place of linking and we want to make sure you stay ahead of the trend instead of trying to catch up.

Logo Creation and Graphics Design

Logo Creation and Graphics Design

Custom graphics design and an eye catching logo are immensely important when creating a website. These elements engage visitors in their own unique way. Quality graphics must portray the concept behind a page without the web user having to read a single word. Studies have shown that when someone views a website, they have an impression of what the site is about within the first 1/10 of a second! A logo must stand out on the page and be as memorable as possible. When someone thinks of a company, the logo is the image they see in their mind.

Graphics Design

Graphics design begins in the concept stage before a webpage is created.  Once the initial concept of the website is created, our team of graphics designers begin their rough draft of a graphic set for the site. This graphic set may include:

  • Logo
  • Background images
  • Stock Photos
  • Banner ads
  • Slideshow Slides
  • Icon sets

A typical site includes about 30 images, vectors and icons. All of these must be cropped and recomposed before installed on the site. Our graphics designers painstakingly craft each image to best convey the concepts and goals of your site. Once we come up with a concept for the graphics of the site, we work closely with the client to make sure they address the needs of the site and make any needed changes during the development phase.

When ordering custom graphics for your site, please offer as many details as possible before we create them. They are very time consuming and usually cannot be changed like text can be and are often scrapped and re-done if needed.

Logo Creation and Icon Design

Perhaps the most important element  of graphics design is logo creation. The logo is your business’s face to the world. Alpine Design Group has skilled logo designers with collectively 1000’s of logos created. It is our goal to design a logo that “speaks” for your company. It’s elements should stand out with custom fonts, colors and icons to properly represent your company.

A custom icon set is a great way to add additional depth to your site. Icons are primarily used to represent categories, pages or other important areas of your site. We have access to a vast selection of stock icons or can create custom ones as needed.

Content is King and Marketing it is Key

Content is King and Marketing it is Key

Creating great content is the key to any great website and without content marketing, it will never bee seen. Great content must be written in a way to engage your audience, entertain them and give them a sense of value after reading it. It is recommended that each client write their own website copy because lets face it, you know your business best. Sometimes, our clients cannot write their own copy due to time constraints or other factors so our staff of professional copywriters can craft a unique copy on any topic.

Content is Not Just Limited to a Great Story

This is the 21st century and the days of text based websites are over. Welcome to Web 2.0 where anything goes. Our definition of content has evolved from just text to an entire array of media. Videos, images, infographics and feeds have all become part of our lexicon of great content. When Alpine creates quality content, it’s not just a well worded copy, we provide the stock images, embedded video or any other media that will enhance your visitors experience.

All of this interactive media is not meant to detract from a great copy, but enhance it. Your copy must still have all the characteristics of a great story but still needs an additional layer that is unseen by the average user. This is the SEO factor. Not only must your copy read well, it needs a little tuning for that little extra edge of being indexed high in the search results. Every copy is written with a keyword in mind and the densities of it and related keywords are carefully tuned to give you the best SERP as possible.

Content Marketing – Build Your Audience – Get Ranked

Like a great work of art, great content needs to draw an audience and an audience is drawn to great content. Having a dynamic blog with a steady stream of content is a great way to bring visitors to your website using a wide variety of keywords. One of our specialties is blog management and content generation to index your website and provide your visitors with lots of great reading material. A dynamic blog is one of the most effective content marketing strategies and we can develop it to enhance your website and grow your visitor base. The SEO value of a great blog is massive since it provides the search engines with index-able content and readers will often link to it helping to build your link profile.

Contact us to learn more about our content generation and content marketing strategies.