Panoptic Online Marketing celebrates a very special anniversary this month: it’s been one year since we teamed up with Kathy Estadt of Fresh Focus Group, our sales and marketing partner agency based in Daphne, Alabama. With a background in strategic planning, new product development, brand management and advertising, Kathy rounded out Panoptic’s capabilities nicely, providing insights that give our technical SEO and PPC staff a richer, more informed foundation on which to build online marketing strategies and execute plans for Kathy’s local clients. [Read more…]
Local SEO is a vital component of online marketing for any business that serves a particular town or city and its surrounding areas. But with the constant changes to the Google algorithm — and increased awareness on the part of your competitors around the importance of SEO — basic optimization of your business profiles is not enough to keep your business in the spotlight.
If you haven’t been paying attention to your local SEO lately, now would be a good time to get caught up and revisit your company’s strategy for competing locally using online marketing channels. We’ve updated our checklist to help you through the process.
Panoptic Online Marketing has been working with business owners along the beautiful Connecticut coastal towns that make up the Shoreline area. It’s a joy for our client account managers to get away from the grit and hustle of NYC to spend a few days meeting with clients, prospects and colleagues in Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Madison, Clinton and Guilford. The scenery is gorgeous; farms and forests, the beaches of the Long Island Sound. And local business owners that actively help each other — and the larger community– grow and thrive through their local Chambers of Commerce.
We’ve joined two of these: the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce; it’s through the latter that I met Peter Sikes of Shoreline Pixels, a Google Street View Trusted Photographer. Peter has been providing 360-degree virtual tours for a variety of businesses from New Haven to New London, and we are now teaming up to round out each of our respective business’s capabilities, share leads and deliver great results for our clients!
In getting started, we decided to work with Shoreline on the redesign of its website and make sure the new site was properly optimized for both visitors (hopefully potential customers) and search engines.
The new site provides for better responsiveness to mobile devices and provides Peter with an easy way to add new Virtual Tours to his portfolio, new Testimonials from business clients who have taken advantage of his expert service, and blog/news items for stuff that doesn’t fall naturally into other categories, for example, beautiful shots of moonrise over the Madison Surf Club. We also provided him with an intake form to collect more information from potential customers who may be looking for specific types of digital imaging services.
If you run a business with a physical location — could be a shop, restaurant or bar, hotel or even your manufacturing plant — you should consider a Google Street View for your website. Let us know if you’d like us to introduce you to Peter at Shoreline Pixels.
Everyone knows that having a solid mobile presence is now a must for every business that wants to be found online. With more and more people relying on their smartphones and tablets for information, having a mobile-friendly website can be a big advantage. But for some users the experience can turn into a frustrating one — especially when a web page takes too long to load. This can lead to discouragement with readers ultimately giving up and abandoning your site entirely.
In October 2015, a Google-backed project called Accelerated Mobile Page project (AMP) was launched to help improve the mobile website experience for users. This open source initiative allows website owners to create ultra-lightweight versions of their website pages that load really fast on mobile devices.
What Makes AMP Pages Load Faster?
In a nutshell, the AMP version of your page is designed purely for readability and speed. Among the many reasons why it loads so fast are:
- It only allows certain HTML tags and a streamlined version of your website’s CSS.
- It prioritizes resource loading to only load what is needed for displaying on the device.
For a full list of what makes AMP pages load faster, visit this page from the AMP Project website.
Why should you implement AMP?
We all know what having a mobile-friendly website can boost traffic to our website; implementing AMP brings even more benefits. Just this month Google started expanding AMP support to its search results pages. This means that those who are already using AMP now have the advantage of getting more visits with a lesser chance of click abandonment. Note that the new update is not a change in the ranking factor, it’s just that if you have an AMP version of a page in your website Google will direct searches to that page when it appears in mobile search result.
But is AMP for everyone? Right now, it might not be possible to implement AMP for all types of websites (such as e-commerce sites). But websites that are made up of mostly static pages or those that regularly publish content in the form of news or blog posts should definitely start implementing it. More than the SEO benefits, AMP lets your audience enjoy a better experience on your site which will encourage them to stay on your pages and maybe explore more of what you have to offer.
Let’s face the facts: some businesses are cool and have plenty to blog about. Think bars/restaurants, specialty retail shops, music promoters and anyone designing anything. Other businesses are perceived as not so cool. Lawyers, manufacturing consultants and auto mechanics are an essential part of the American business landscape — and just like every other small business they need to get their services out in front of potential clients and set themselves apart from their competition, but all too often the business owners assume they have nothing to say. Let us assure you: you are never too boring to blog.
In 2015, visual content creation became one of the hottest trends in online marketing, especially with the rise in popularity of visually-inclined social networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. Popular social networks (like Facebook and Twitter) have also started putting visuals in the center stage and all for a good reason: visual content, if done correctly, helps increase brand awareness, engagement and website traffic.
Why Visual Content?
You might have heard it a hundred times: 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. And not just that, studies and data have shown how effective visual content in grabbing your audience’s attention. [Read more…]
I’m never very surprised when I meet business owners that don’t monitor their website traffic and usage reports. As a business owner, I know there are many things I probably should be doing that end up falling by the wayside, mostly due to time constraints. But business owners should learn how to read and interpret some basic analytics data – even if they only check it once in a while. Setting up and configuring a free Google Analytics account is a must if you want to start realizing some return on the investment you made in your website.
Once up and running, you’ll see data start to accrue in your Google Analytics. Here are five of the most basic reports that will give you a sense of how visitors reach your website and what they do once they’re there. [Read more…]
The look of your website plays an important role in how your company will be perceived by your target audience. If done correctly, having a good-looking website can convey your expertise and trustworthiness. But because design is dynamic, doing some redesign every now and then is necessary to keep if fresh and interesting to your audience.
In this post we discuss two of the most popular design styles to date, together with some tips when implementing them for your website. [Read more…]
You might be undergoing a redesign of your business website to update its look and feel or upgrade any outdated functionality. It’s important to have an attractive and accessible website so people don’t balk just by looking at it, and equally important for visitors to be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily.
When considering your website redesign there are a number of factors to consider that go beyond the layout and color scheme. It goes without saying that your website should be mobile responsive and user-friendly; mobile usability is an important component of SEO that can influence your online rankings. The other consideration, often overlooked in a redesign, is how to preserving any SEO you’ve already built up so you don’t fall off the map once the new site is launched. Let’s take a closer look at the “SEO musts” for any web redesign project.
If you are selling products on the Internet you’ve probably heard about Google’s Shopping Ads – maybe you are already advertising on Google’s Shopping platform. Shopping Ads can be a powerful boost to online sale, but only if campaigns are properly setup and maintained. Here are some things you should know if you want to run a successful Shopping campaign: [Read more…]