My Predictions for the Web for 2017

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McCord Web Services is a Google Partner.

Here are my predictions for 2017 in regards to what will be popular for website business owners.

Google will continue to focus on mobile
This prediction is simply a strengthening of what we have seen happen fourth quarter 2016. Google will continue to keep its organic placement algorithm tied to mobile sites and content found on a site’s mobile page.

Mobile adaptive websites will lose to mobile responsive websites
Google stated that it prefers for a site to be mobile responsive versus mobile adaptive. More site owners will move to responsive websites and move away from using mobile adaptive websites in 2017.

Twitter will continue to lose dominance and may be bought by Microsoft/Bing
Although I have not heard of Microsoft being interested in Twitter yet, it seems like it would be a good match for Microsoft. As Twitter continues to struggle and top staff leave for greener pastures. I see Twitter shrinking even more in popularity, but doubt that it will disappear totally in 2017, but may be gobbled up by another company even if it is not Bing or Microsoft.

Facebook Messenger will start appearing as a chat app on websites
With more sites implementing chat functions, it makes perfect sense for Facebook to aggressively  move into this area working to make it easier for business owners to implement real-time chat functions.

Take a look at my 2015 predictions nearly all of them came true by at least 2016.

Got your own prediction? Leave it in the comments section below.

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Your Mission for 2017 – Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Hit the mark with a mobile-focused website strategy.
Hit the mark with a mobile-focused website strategy.

Your mission for 2017 if you want to be successful is to focus your activity on mobile. That’s mobile optimized content, advertising on mobile, newsletters that look great on mobile, and location specificity for mobile. In other words, gear up to leverage mobile activity in all you do for 2017!

AMP Pages Showing Now on Google Mobile

Earlier this week I noticed that on Google.com from my smart phone that all the results I clicked in were marked AMP that means Accelerated Mobile Page.  These pages have a super fast download and are visible instantly. But they typically do not have navigation, graphic features and do make it hard to people to dig deeper into your website.

If you are using WordPress you can use the Yoast plugin and Yoast glue for AMP pages on your site. If you are not using WordPress, you’ll need to create an AMP page for each page on your site.

Mobile Version Newsletters

Several years ago I shifted my own personal newsletter format and that of many of my clients to a mobile version. If you do not have a newsletter template that resizes to fill your smartphone screen and is stated to be mobile-friendly, in 2017 you need to embrace a change to a mobile version skin.

Location Specificity for Mobile

In early 2017 take a look at your website. Are there areas you can add more location specificity? Can you add a map with directions to your site. Can you sprinkle in more geographically specific keywords? All this helps to bump up the ability for Google to categorize your website and deliver location specific content to mobile users.

Make sure to bookmark our blog “The Web Authority” so that you can be first to know and share our tips on how to leverage mobile activity to boost your 2017 website visits.

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Helping Clients How to Stay on Schedule for SEO

Get professional writing for your website.
Get professional writing for your website.

Placing organically is all about building quality content on a regular schedule. My clients understand the value of content, but some do not understand the value of building out content on a schedule.

The sites that we’ve had the very best success with in moving up in organic placement have been those that embrace the following scheduled strategies.

Blogging a minimum of twice a week
We post on either Monday and Wednesday at 3:00 am or Tuesday and Thursday at 3:00 am. By having something written and posted the same day and time, you can build a following and search engine spiders when they visit will always find something new and come back more frequently.

Newsletters one a week or once a month
We recommend for most clients a once a month newsletter and usually for it to go out on the same day each month. If a client will decide on topics early, we have enough time to order, finesse, and schedule a newsletter proof, and finished version all sent out without rushing for a deadline.

Website content one new page once a month
Although for many clients we are creating and building out pages more frequently than once a month, it makes sense for you to think about having your website be a work in progress, not a once built it is done project. Many of our clients have invested in having us create a site architecture and content plan. Then we simply choose together what we will build out that month based on a review of what is happening in Google Analytics in regards to traffic and pages per session.

Now the hard part, helping the client to stay on schedule…
I am persistent in regards to follow-up once we know a client really wants to be on schedule but may just be busy. I personally keep a task panel open of all responses I need from clients so I know does this client still need to approve content for 1/3/17, does this other client need to approve a January newsletter topic?

As I get too close to a deadline to assure I have time to create content or newsletter, I will send an email with a priority notice in the subject line like – “need a response on newsletter topic by Friday 12/23”. I have also found that some clients will respond best to a text and others to a phone call.

Many of our clients will say they really appreciate our helping them to stay on schedule. They are just busy and forget we have a deadline to make things happen for them. But the benefits of regular content creation are huge, more search activity, greater visibility, and a better website visitor experience.

Find out how we can help you too to be on schedule with content, blogging, newsletters, and social media today.

 

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Time Management Tips

Time is Money! When It Comes to Being Productive in Your Job.
Time is Money! When It Comes to Being Productive in Your Job.

I am experiencing one of my strongest business growth trends this year and as a result I have become a master of time management in order to be productive.

Here are my top tips to get more out of your day:

1. Turn off email notifications. These are those messages that float across the bottom of your screen if you are using Outlook telling you that you have email. While you are working resist the urge to check your email. Stay on task and check when your task is done.

2. Control your phone calls. I use Google Voice and I update my voice mail message regularly. I do not answer my phone when I am really in production. I simply let my calls go to voice mail. It is better to finish up a task faster than to be constantly interrupted.

3. Control your email. When I am really tied up, I will post an auto responder on my email alerting clients when I will touch base back with them. Then mid morning and mid afternoon I will send a quick email response letting a client know I got their message and that I will respond either by the end of the day or the next morning. Then I make sure I do just that.

4. Use a call scheduling app for clients that need to chat with you. Instead of my trying to corral a client and exchange multiple emails to find a time to chat about a project, I put the client in control and use Calendly for my phone call scheduling. I have set the parameters of when I will take calls and the client chooses a time that is good for them. The call appears automatically in my schedule. The client can even self-manage and cancel or reschedule a call. I just make sure that I have time available and code in my Google Calendar when I am free and not available.

5. Control your task list, each night I plan my next day. I move things on my calendar and decide what I will do when. I group similar tasks together like perform all my AdWords work in the morning and all my webmaster work in the afternoon. I even schedule time for lunch, my workout, and planning time. I have found that if I schedule these things I assure that I do have some downtime and flexibility in my schedule if I have to drop in a project or take a call.

6. Move all your email, calendar, and file exchange to the cloud. By moving to the cloud, I have been able to increase my productivity as my smartphone has become my mobile desktop. I can move files to my staff, check on staff projects, and keep abreast of projects even while I am walking on the treadmill.

By being productive and very schedule oriented, I am generating more time for existing clients and more time for taking on new clients.

 

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Google My Business Verification Problems

Building Exterior
Building Exterior that Google does not like!

Google My Business verification should not be so hard! For owners of a single business verification is a snap – complete your profile, ask for a letter to be mailed to you, confirm the PIN number Google sends to you. But if you are an owner of multiple businesses that you run out of separate offices, brace yourself for the run around from Google when you try to verify a second business.

Just this last week, a supervisor at Google My Business finally told me that Google would never verify my client’s second account. We had been working diligently since October 11th to provide all the information and documentation pictures the Google staff said it needed for review. I have to say I was nearly foaming from the mouth when I heard that final response!

It is unthinkable that Google has such vague standards when it comes to business verification; rules that are not in step with small businesses located in the USA. Additionally, add a language difficulty , as the staff appears to all be located in India, and the difficulty grows exponentially.

Ridiculousness at Its Best

I was told to supply a photo of both suite doors and signage on each but as there was a wall between the two, Google did not like the image. I could not knock down a wall in order to provide the photo.

I was told to take a picture of exterior signage for the business, but as the client is in an office condo park, no businesses have exterior signage unless they own a whole floor. Another fail!

I was told to take a picture of the reception desk with the large company sign behind the receptionist. Okay let’s get real, this was a small business, they have an office, but not a glitzy reception area and no need for an inside sign, they know who they are! A fail again.

Finally, I was told that the font on the second business sign did not match the font on the sign on the first business. Wow, that was an eye opener!

Then I was told that due to the history of requests and images sent as we tried to give Google what they wanted for over a two month period, that they did not believe the client ran two businesses. So, the history of what I had sent to Google based on the account reps requests totally worked against the client.

Nothing should be this difficult to resolve, but it’s Google! Understand that on Google My Business verifications, Google does run the world.

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