Mike Yasieniuk, Author at YasTech Developments
MarketingReginaSaskatoonSEO

Google is the new Yellow Pages: The Importance of Being on the First page of Google

Invisible on the InternetWhen was the last time you opened the Yellow Pages to find a business? If you’re like me, it’s probably been at least 7+ years or more, or, if you’re part of our younger audience, the answer may be never. So, why am I even talking about this?

Back when the phone book Yellow Pages were a thing (it still is but I’m not sure why), if you were a business, you ‘needed’ to have a Yellow Page listing. Businesses could even pay for a Bold listing or larger graphic ads to try and stand out from the competition. But, at the very least, just being listed there got you exposure.

Today though, things are different. Google has taken over as king, and if you’re not on their first page when someone searches for a business in your industry, you’re almost invisible.

The first page of Google today also means much more than just the first 10 organic results. When doing a local search for a business, this will include ads, the local map pack, and the top 10 organics results. Let’s dive into some of the stats about each of these sections.

Google Ads

As a test, let’s do a search for ‘lawyer in Edmonton’. This is what is considered a local search. It has the industry and the location. The first thing we find on Google for this search is 4 paid Google Ads.

Google Ads

It’s hard to find specific stats on how many people click on paid ads for local searches, but most studies confirm that around 40% of clicks go to the top paid ads in search results (Powertraffick.com PPC Stats). With recent changes making ads look more like organic results, more people are clicking on ads.

To appear in Google Ads, you need to pay for them. To get started, you can go to https://ads.google.com. If you need help setting them up, check out our recent article titled Master Your Google Ads Game in 10 easy Steps, or contact us.

Running Google Ads is the easiest way to get yourself on the first page of Google. If your goal is to increase traffic and exposure quickly, this is your best bet.

Google Map Pack

When doing a search that includes the name of a city or town, Google will show you their map pack. This section will include a small map with pins to 3 businesses that match your search. There can also be an ad spot within this map pack as well.

Google Map Pack

Other than the Ad spot, there are many factors in play when Google decides who to place in this map list. Here is what we have found to be factors that help your business get placed in this map pack:

  1. A complete Google My Business listing
  2. Quality reviews on Google for your business
  3. Good website search engine optimization

An important thing to note about the Map Pack, though, is that where you are searching from will also affect which businesses are listed here. For example, if you’re downtown and search for a business, Google may show different businesses than if you search from the North side of your city. This is because vicinity to search also plays a role in who’s shown.

Think of this from Google’s perspective. If you type “McDonalds” into the map, Google is going to show you the closest locations. It wouldn’t be very valuable to show you the location across the city, and Google wants to make sure you keep using their search and their maps.

Organic Search Listings

On each page of Google are 10 organic search results. Your website gets listed within these results based on how well your website is search optimized. We call this SEO.

Just like getting listed in the Google Map pack, there are many factors that decide which websites appear in the top 10 organic search results. Some of them include:

  • Do your website titles, headings, and content include the keyword being searched
  • How quickly your website loads
  • How mobile friendly it is
  • How many quality back-links to your website do you have

Having quality back-links to your website helps Google trust your website. If a website has more back-links, Google feels it can trust this website to be a reliable source of info.

There are tasks you can do yourself to improve the SEO of your website. Here’s a great guide we found on doing that:

Beginners guide to SEO

In this report from April 2019, Advanced Web Ranking breaks down the click-through-rate (CTR) percentages for each of the top 10 positions for both desktop and mobile search:

Position Desktop Mobile
1 31% 22.5%
2 16% 14%
3 10% 9.5%
4 6.5% 6%
5 4.5% 4%
6 3% 3%
7 2.5% 2.5%
8 2% 1.5%
9 1.5% 1.5%
10 1% 1%

On desktop searches, 78% of all organic clicks occur in the top 10 listings, and on mobile, that number is slightly less at 65.5%.

If we add up the number of people who click on ads, the map pack, and the top 10 organic listings, we get 95% of all searchers. That means only 5% of people go past the first page of Google. So, like we said, if your business can’t be found on the first page, you’re nearly invisible on the internet.

So What Should You Do?

The answer to this will depend on your goals.

If you’re looking for immediate results, go with Google Ads. This puts you at the top of the list almost immediately. If you do run Google Ads, it is important that you monitor them to ensure you’re seeing a positive return on investment. Ads can become expensive if you’re not seeing a return.

Another downside of Google Ads is that once you stop paying for them, you no longer appear on the first page.

If you’re wanting to appear in the Google map pack, start by making sure you have claimed and completed your Google My Business listing. Once you have done that, make sure to set up a process to ask for reviews. Google reviews can go a long way in building trust in your business.

If you’re looking for the best long term results, go with SEO. Optimizing your website to appear in the top 10 results can take some time to see positive results, but the work you put in doesn’t disappear if you stop optimizing. After putting in the work to get to the first page, if you stop, you website is still going to appear there, at least until someone else puts in more work.

Depending on your industry and location, though, SEO can be quite competitive, and a lot of work might be needed to get your business onto the first page. If you’ve tried all the SEO basics you can do yourself and you’re not seeing results, let us know and we can help you out.

Whatever strategy you want to take, we’re here for you if you need help. Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

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The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

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Website Design Showcase

Did you know that not all the websites we build go into our portfolio?

We keep our portfolio clean and simple, and strategically choose projects to showcase. Each project in our portfolio highlights a different design or development feature that we want to show off.

Every website we design and develop though, is done with care and is something we are proud of. In this post, we’d like to showcase some of the other projects we have recently released. We have been working with clients across Western Canada, in various industries. Actually, most of these are businesses that are not in Saskatoon.

Without further ado, check out these beauties:

Prince Albert Smiles

Prince Albert Smiles

A dental centre in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Square One Consulting

Squareone Consulting Website

Asbestos and hazardous material consulting with locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Meridian Solar

Meridian Solar Website

Solar and electric company in Southern, Saskatchewan.

Sonata Design

Sonata Design Website

A window fashions company with locations in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta.

Alto Hearing

Alto Hearing Website

Hearing aid services in Saskatoon and throughout Saskatchewan.

Diamond Carpet Cleaning

Diamond Carpet Cleaning Saskatoon

Carpet cleaning company in Saskatoon.

Competitive Thread

Hockey development and athlete testing in Edmonton, Alberta.

Last Oak Golf & Country Club

Last Oak Golf Website

Golf course located in Southern Saskatchewan brought to you by YasTech Golf.

Yas is recognized as a Top 25 Enterprise Logo Design & Branding Agency on DesignRush

Coming Soon

We will be launching another 5 new website projects in the next two weeks, so make sure to come back and check out our updated website portfolio soon.

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The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

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Marketing

How to Include Online Analytics in Your Year-End Review

If you’re looking to grow your business in 2019, then this article is for you.

I believe that looking back at the end of the year can help transform how successful you’ll be in the next year. Many businesses undergo quarterly reviews, but some only review their last quarter of the year to save time. I urge you to review your full year, as it’s easier to spot trends over a longer timeline.

Preparing for your review

Before you start diving into stats and analyses, it’s important to identify the intention for your review.

  • What do you want to learn, and why?
  • Are you wanting to improve your marketing?
  • Improve productivity?
  • Find efficiencies?

Answering these questions will give purpose to your evaluation.

Where to Begin

When it comes to marketing reviews, I’d suggest looking at these 3 main areas:

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Social Media
  3. Lead Conversions

Google Analytics review

Google Analytics

I’ll assume you have Google Analytics set up on your website. If not, check out this guide.

There’s a lot of data in Google Analytics, and it can get overwhelming fast. The key items to evaluate when reviewing your analytics are:

  1. Performance of your marketing campaigns
  2. Your overall traffic growth.
  3. Your bounce rate

Performance of Marketing Campaigns

Follow these steps to review your marketing campaigns:

  • First, identify the time periods during the year where you ran a marketing campaign. Maybe it was an Adwords Campaign, SEO campaign, or maybe email newsletter campaigns
  • Go to Acquisition->All Traffic->Channels, and choose the date range of your campaign, and check off “Compare to previous period”.
  • Your results will you show you stats during your campaign and the same period of time before your campaign. If you don’t feel this is a good comparison, you can also compare to last year’s stats. Do this for each identified campaign

Google Analytics Acquisition Channels

  • Evaluate each campaign to determine whether it met the result you wanted. Did the campaign generate the traffic you were expecting?
  • If you set any ‘Goals’ within analytics for those campaigns, review the results of these goals. If you need help setting goals, check this out: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1032415?hl=en

After you’ve reviewed each of your campaigns, determine which ones yielded the best results and which ones aren’t worth doing again.

PRO TIP: Evaluate every campaign as soon as it’s done to save time at the end of the year!

Traffic Growth

Next is your overall traffic growth. You can read this information month by month, or as a full year. Let’s walk through a full year analysis:

  • Within your analytics account, go to Acquisition->All Traffic->Channels
  • Edit the date fields in the top right corner to be Jan 1 to today’s date and check off ‘Compare to Last Year’.
  • You’ll be able to see a percentage of growth for each of your traffic channels including direct, organic search, referral, social, paid search and others. This will give you an idea of which channels you’ve seen improvement on and which ones need more attention.
  • You can also review what pages on your site have been most popular or grown in traffic by doing the same date comparison on Behavior->Site Content->All Pages

Google Analytics Compare Last Year
Traffic analysis is a great way to see if your marketing is improving or not. Your website is the hub of your marketing wheel, so improving website traffic is a definite must.

Bounce Rate

In technical terms, Google’s bounce rate measures any session that begins and ends without triggering more than one request to analytics. In other words, this is how many people get to your website and leave without interacting with it.

The best way to get a real idea of your bounce rate is to return to the pages overview and focus on the sections depicted in the following image:


I’ll give an example analysis of our own website’s bounce rate: It’s clear that we’re seeing an increase from last year (a bad thing), but a glance at the information right below that shows me that the rate from our home page has decreased considerably (a good thing). Here’s what has changed:

  • We launched a new website
  • Our page views have increased
  • Our new website has many more pages than the old one
  • Customers are landing directly on some of our inner pages due to ads, referral traffic, social media, etc.

Over all, this tells us that we’ve been doing great work catering to our viewers that land on the home page, but that we can work on making our interior pages more interactive.

Social Marketing Review

Social Media

Facebook

To find out which posts are most popular on your Facebook page, follow these steps:

  • Log into Facebook and open your Pages Manager
  • Once you’ve opened your Page, go to the Insights tab
  • On the left, click on Posts
  • Along the top, click Post Types
  • At the top you’ll see each Post type with their average reach and average engagement
  • Under this will be stats on each post
  • Go through your list of posts to determine which ones performed the best, and which ones had no engagement

Facebook Insights

If you ran any paid marketing campaigns within Facebook, you can also review your Promotions tab under Insights.

Other Channels

If you also use Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Youtube in your business, you can follow a similar strategy to find out what has been most popular on those channels.

Look for trends and try to identify what has worked for you in the past. Social media is always changing, so try to stay up-to-date throughout the year.

Lead Conversion Funnel

Lead Conversions

There are two main components to tracking lead conversion. The first is generating the lead, and the second is converting that lead into a paying client.

One way we track lead generation is by using goals in Google Analytics to determine what percentage of traffic complete one of our online forms. We must manipulate this data a bit because no matter how good our spam protection is, bots or spammers find a way to fill out our forms, too.

All leads that come in, whether they completed a form on our website or called us, are tracked in a tool we use called Trello. We have lists within Trello to follow each lead through the conversion funnel. This can then help us determine how many of our leads are converting into paying clients.

There are many lead tracking tools known as CRMs, and every business seems to do it a little differently. However you track your leads and conversions, make sure you evaluate the data to make sure you’re always improving.

Now What?

Now that you know what to do, go set yourself some goals. You’ve reviewed your data from last year, now go use that to set goals and strategies to have even a better year in 2019.

While you’re at it, kick off the new year with a bang by taking advantage of some of tools and services we offer here at Yas by clicking here!

 

Yas has been featured as a Top CRM Software Development Company on SoftwareDevelopmentCompany.co

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The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

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MarketingSEOWeb Design

Top 8 Most Important Qualities of a Great Website

Imagine your customers seeking out your products and services, rather than you having to go out looking for them. Sounds great, right? With the right website, it’s possible! Let’s discuss some of the most important qualities your customers are expecting from you:

First Impression

Think about your first few seconds on any website. You make a lot of decisions in these crucial moments, and so does your customer.

check mark

When it’s good: Your website will build trust, show that you care, and help your customer navigate.

XWhen it’s bad: Your website will tell your customer that you don’t care and chase them away with slow loading times, unsatisfying imagery, and errors.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google’s goal is to provide its users with the most relevant, trustworthy, high-quality experience they can. Here are some of the most important SEO factors:

  • How many other websites are linking to this page?
  • Does the page load quickly?
  • Is it easy to navigate?
  • How long are people spending on each page?
  • Is the content right?
  • Are there images or videos on the page?

check markWhen it’s good: Google will rank your site closer to their #1 spot on the first page, which means your customers are more likely to find you before they find your competitors.

XWhen it’s bad: Google will bury your website deep where your customers may never look.

Quality Images and Video

Images and video portray emotion, which helps your customers relate to your message and values. Eye-catching images are also used to hold your customers’ attention as they read through your pages.

check markWhen it’s good: Your customers will see great images of your products and facilities, which will help them feel comfortable choosing you over your competitors. They’ll also spend more time interacting with each of your pages.

XWhen it’s bad: Your customers won’t read about your services or products if it feels boring to them, and low-quality images and videos just won’t hold their attention.

Easy to Navigate

A website that’s user friendly and easy to navigate is essential—the key is a good menu.

check markWhen it’s good: Your customers will see your easy-to-understand menus and find what they’re looking for right away.

XWhen it’s bad: Your customers won’t think to look under “About us” to find your “Services” page, or they won’t know what “Our Discoveries” means, so they’ll leave your website and find one that’s simpler.

Quality Content

You need to understand your audience and provide them with the easy-to-read information they expect to find on your website—fast.

check markWhen it’s good: Your customer will find the content they need to make an informed decision based on your insightful recommendations.

XWhen it’s bad: Your customer will give up on finding the information they need because, like many in this day and age, they don’t like reading.

Mobile-Friendly is a Must

More than 70% of your users are accessing your website from their mobile phone; catering to this audience is a must.

check markWhen it’s good: Your customer will be able to experience your entire website seamlessly, giving you every opportunity to convert them.

XWhen it’s bad: Your customer will get fed up with scrolling side-to-side in order to read your page and they’ll look for a competitor’s website.

Calls to Action

If your website doesn’t convert your visitors, all of your marketing efforts are a waste. These conversions can make the difference between no customers and too many customers.

check markWhen it’s good: Your customer will know exactly where to go to make the purchase after their questions have been answered and your on-the-fence buyer will be motivated to make a quicker decision.

XWhen it’s bad: Your customer will leave your website thinking, “That was a nice website”, but then forget where they found their information and possibly buy from your competitor instead.

Fast Loading

If your website doesn’t load quickly, your customer is going to leave before your site is ready to go. We live in a fast-paced society and you need to keep up with your customer.

check markWhen it’s good: Google will recognize this for SEO, and your customers will spend way more time on your website because it’s fast enough to keep up with their attention span.

XWhen it’s bad: Google will penalize your SEO, and your customers will get frustrated very quickly as they try to move between your pages. Chances are, this will cause them to leave.

Now that you know your customer is harder to please than your in-laws, reach out to Yas and we’ll help you make sure your website is in the green for every single category. Call us at (306) 249-9609 today!

FREE 7-DAY MINI COURSE

The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

Start off with Yas’ Website Strategy Cheat Sheet and follow along as we show you what you need to know to create a high-converting website.

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MarketingSEOWeb Design

Top 3 Reasons a Website Care Plan Keeps Your Revenue Flowing

You want your website to keep bringing in customers and revenue for your business, right? Of course! Here are the top 3 reasons a Website Care Plan can help you keep your business profitable:

3. It Keeps Your Website Functional:

How many times have you left a website because something didn’t work?

You likely answered something like, “more than once”, and your customers are no different—they’ll leave a site in a heartbeat.  Our care plans include updating WordPress Plugins, fixing bugs, and providing additional training to ensure your website is always up-to-date and ready to wow your customer.

2. It Keeps Your Website Relevant:

How many times have you left a website because the products or team are incorrect?

“Yes, I’d like to order that iPhone 3 you have on your website”, said no one ever.

Our Website Care Plans are great for your business if you update your images, text, team, products, or anything else on a regular basis. We’ll work with you to ensure that none of your customers miss out on what’s new.

1. It Helps You Prepare for the Future:

I bet you thought I’d ask another “How many times” question. Well, I didn’t have one.

Yas doesn’t just offer protection and updates with our packages—we want to help you with STRATEGY. Come in and sit down with us once every month or so and we’ll discuss where your business is going and how your website can work with you to make it all happen.

Now that your mind is full of ideas to get your website up-to-date, let’s get started by clicking this button!

Why Yas

Having been in business for over 11 years now, we understand what it takes to find success maintain a strong online presence. Investing in a Website Care Plan has an excellent return on investment for your business.

You take care of your business, and we’ll take care of your online marketing needs!

Whether someone else built or your website, or Yas did, we can get you setup on a care plan today. Contact our office to get started.

View our Care Plans and Pricing

FREE 7-DAY MINI COURSE

The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

Start off with Yas’ Website Strategy Cheat Sheet and follow along as we show you what you need to know to create a high-converting website.

Where would you like the Mini Course sent?

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MarketingSEOWeb Design

5 FREE Tasks To Do Once Your Website Goes Live That Are Easy To Do

Unfortunately Google and other search engines, don’t automatically list your website on page one of their search results the minute your website go live. Lucky for you though, there are a few things you can do to start driving traffic to your website right after launch.

In this article, we assume you already have a website, if you don’t, contact us and we can help you get online.

WHERE TO BEGIN

A website that does not help you achieve your goals is not an asset. Your website should be the hub of your marketing and an effective tool to help you solve your online objectives. Thus, it simply is not good enough to just throw a website up and hope people will find it. There are tons of online marketing options that can help increase traffic to your website. But for today let’s focus on a few simple and FREE tasks to get you started.

Below are 5 tips to jump start driving traffic to your website. All are free and some people just straight up forget about. Some may seem simple and obvious, but trust us, we have seen countless businesses miss them.

1. Put your website on your business cards.

What?!? Isn’t this obvious? Believe me, plenty of people forget to do this but it is the most important thing to do after launching your site. Every time you hand out a card to a potential client, contact, etc. you can almost guarantee a visit to your website (granted you established a worthwhile relationship or reason). You are telling them where to go and what to do next. Guide them to your best marketing tool, and help them along their customer journey. Also, make sure to add your website to your email signature and any other marketing materials.

2. Tell everyone you know about your new website

Tell everyone you know about it. That’s right. Tell your family, friends and clients that you have a new website. You can do this by sending out an email, posting your new site on your social media feeds (if you’re on social media), and simply bringing it up on conversation over the next few weeks. It is amazing how simple yet effective this can be for a few reasons:

  1. Your clients, friends, and family are often your biggest and best spokespeople. Maybe they can share it on their social networks or even tell their friends about it. Word of mouth is still probably the most trustworthy source of marketing you can get.
  2. Your friends and family are usually (hopefully) honest with you. Have them check out your new site and let you know what they think. Feedback is good, it will help you improve what’s already there or may be missing.

3. Add or find your business on Google My Business.

This is one of the most important things you can do! It is easy and you can do this by going here and following the steps. What does this do? Have you ever noticed the map results that appear when you search something in Google? It’ll look something like this:

Google Business Listing

Completing a Google My Business listing will give you a listing like ours above. It will allow you to enter your hours, contact info, website, reviews, and location. Most people look through these listings when searching for services so it is very important you show up here. If you have questions about this process just call or email, we can help.

Create, update, and post to social channels

Some of you may already have a Facebook business page, or other social channels setup, and that is good. If you already have these setup, you’re a step ahead. Here are 3 accounts we believe all businesses should have:

  1. Facebook Business Page
  2. Instagram Account
  3. LinkedIn Business Page

People aren’t on Google every day, searching for your business, but most people check Facebook a few times a day, so if you can show up in front of them there, you’ll become top of mind when they need your product or service. Instagram is becoming one of the most used social networks, and LinkedIn is the social network for business professionals.

When you launch your new site, make sure these social channels are setup for you business, ensure all the about and website fields are completed, and use these channels to tell people your new website has just launched.

If you need a hand setting up your social channels, contact us and we’d be happy to help.

5. Ask for links to your website

Ask suppliers, partners, business associates, friends or family to add a link to your website on their website. SEO is something all websites should care about for a pretty simple reason. The higher your website ranks in the search engines, the easier people will find it. The more links you can generate back to your website, the better Google will believe your site is, and thus, rank you higher.

To sum it up…

Once your website is live, there are a many simple and important things you need to do. Add it to your business cards and email signature, get a google listing, tell your people about it, spread the word on social networks, and ask appropriate contacts to link back to your website.

These may seem easy and obvious, but trust us when we say they are extremely effective and often forgotten. Now if someone asks you,  “What should I do after I launch my website?”, you can give them these 5 easy and free tasks.

For more information on additional marketing options once your website is live, check here.

FREE 7-DAY MINI COURSE

The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

Start off with Yas’ Website Strategy Cheat Sheet and follow along as we show you what you need to know to create a high-converting website.

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