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Facebook’s New Clear History Feature (& What It Means for Your Marketing)


Monday June 17, 2019

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Last month, Facebook warned advertisers about an upcoming complication for their marketing strategies. The social media company will now be making a “clear history” feature available to its users. By selecting this option, people with Facebook profiles will be able to delete or disable data that the social network receives from outside websites and apps.

Today, we’ll explore why this choice is beneficial for consumers – and how it complicates things for advertisers.

How Facebook’s New Tool Works

The tool doesn’t delete users’ browsing activity or off-site actions, but it does make data anonymous. By choosing to clear their history, those with Facebook accounts will have their personal, identifying information removed – therefore removing the association between browsing activity and a personal account.

The main goal of Clear History is to create more transparency for users; it also provides them with a list of websites they have visited which employ Facebook’s suite of business tools, including Facebook Pixel, SDK, and API. This empowers people with Facebook profiles to make informed decisions about who, exactly, can access their personal information.

The Benefits of Clearing Facebook User Data

Facebook’s founder and high-ranking executives have found themselves in hot water in recent weeks. In the wake of data theft and privacy concerns, it’s no surprise that the social media giant has begun to prioritize users’ safety and data security. This development is just one of many recent changes Facebook’s higher-ups have released to the public. Representatives wrote in their announcement that “it’s important to understand that advertising and protecting people’s information are not at odds. We can do both.”

As mentioned, this change creates greater levels of transparency and independence for Facebook users – your potential customers. Their data is still available for analytics purposes, but with these new policies, it will exist independent of each individual’s Facebook account when requested.

How “Clear History” Affects Your Social Media Marketing

Those who haven’t set up ads themselves may be surprised by just how much data Facebook utilizes to categorize its members. Targeting options include geographical location, interests, prior purchase behavior, connections with pages or events, and demographics (such as age, gender, education level, relationship status, and job title). These prior behaviors are what will be impacted by the new policy.

Retargeting is a common tactic used to convert those who have visited your website in the past. This includes previous buyers, as well as those who browsed but have not made a purchase. By placing a pixel on your site, you are able to serve ads specifically to that audience: previous visitors. This targeting will be the most impacted by the Clear History feature. Once the tool goes live, if a user opts out of linking their off-Facebook activity, companies will no longer be able to use their data for targeting.

In brief, this means that Facebook Pixel and other tried-and-true advertising methods can’t be used to retarget someone who has opted out. This includes any custom audiences you’ve built consisting of visitors to your website or people using your app.

The good news for savvy marketers is that this doesn’t present an insurmountable challenge – just a series of changes to your overall strategy. Analytics reports will be unaffected, and accurate measurement of site traffic and conversions is still assured.

Why It Matters

Facebook has proven to be a great source of rich ad targeting and consumer data, but at what cost to user privacy? The Clear History feature is hopefully a first step towards increased transparency and prioritization of user safety in social media advertising. We’re excited to see Facebook (and hopefully other platforms) moving in this direction.

Webconsuls is a digital marketing company based in Nashville, TN, and Los Angeles, CA.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Any business owner can tell you that by the time you need to come up with a name, you’ve already done a ton of heavy lifting. Between filing as an LLC or LLP (or even a 501(c)(3)!) and getting your funds in order, the logistics can often become overwhelming. After spending hours on your core offerings and value proposition, you may be tempted to settle on just any name rather than pore over the endless possibilities. However, the importance of your brand identity can’t be overlooked.

Today, we’ll walk you through how we arrived at “Webconsuls” and give you some insider tips on naming your business, too.

Where’d You Get “Webconsuls?”

One of the most common questions from our clients and partners is, “What’s Webconsuls?” We thought it would be helpful to explain the history behind our brand name for you today.

In Europe, there are US Consulates, typically staffed with an appointed business “consul” to aid Americans who are working overseas. When our founder, Dennis Helfand, lived and worked in Denmark, he used to meet with them frequently. A consul focuses on making expats fluent in the local business and economic environments they’ll be working in, which improves their chances of financial success while abroad.

Webconsuls is a coined phrase Dennis Helfand developed, which simply means that we serve just as a consul does by assisting our clients as they work within the world wide web (what the internet was called in 1999, when the company was founded).

Names We’ve Been Called

We’re not sensitive when it comes to name-calling, because we’ve been called them all: web counsel, web console (think: comfort someone), web consoles (think: tables), webcouncil, webcounselors… the list goes on.

How to Pronounce Webconsuls:“web” is self-explanatory, and “consul” is /ˈkänsəl. Phonetically, you would say wehb-kahn-sulls.

5 Tips for Naming Your Business

It’s important to have a brand identity that stands out, directly explains your business goals, and applies to your industry. As you try to pin down the perfect name, don’t lose sight of these key principles.

  1. Your name should sound good out loud. In the digital age, you would be shocked by how many people choose outdated monikers cluttered with numbers and special characters. They file all the paperwork and buy their domain, but it isn’t until their first client call that they realize how difficult their lives are about to become. Simply put, clients aren’t going to feel confident contacting you if you’ve got a Web 2.0 name with y’s and asterisks. Moreover, it’ll be hard for them to search you later if it’s not spelled the way it sounds. Trust us – steer clear of exclamation marks, obscure words, and tongue twisters.
  2. Beware of initials and abbreviations. From an SEO standpoint, we don’t advise following in the footsteps of 3M and IBM. These companies have net worths in the billions, and don’t forget: they were founded before the competition of today’s search engine rankings. Initials don’t tell people about your business. Which brings us to point #3…
  3. Choose a name with meaning and benefit. Your name is the first impression that any potential investors or clients will see. Don’t waste that! Select something that indicates the industry you’re in and hints at the type of service you offer. You’ll definitely have an edge over the competition.
  4. Be sure you can secure the .com. Okay, this one is a digital marketing tip. Consumers associate .com domains with more established businesses, and they feel a little more skeptical about .co, .net, .org, and .biz across the board. They’re also not very trusting of the vanity extensions that have recently risen in popularity. Depending on your desired demographic, clients may not even know how to access anything but .coms. Even if the domain is already taken, most owners are willing to part with them.
  5. Be unique! Finally, we recommend that you do your due diligence when narrowing down name options. Search, search, search for competitors. Test your final few choices on Google AdWords to see how difficult it would be to rank for them. Be sure to check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to see if you’ll be able to trademark your brand in the years to come. By taking these steps at the beginning, you’ll save yourself a ton of headache (and maybe some lawsuits) down the road.

Contact a Webconsuls Managing Partner at 949.701.4714 if you still need help pronouncing our name or assistance with (re)naming your business.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

We’ve been in the digital marketing world for twenty years, which means that we know two important things about Google: it’s always changing, and it’s the gold standard for advertising online. As a core tenant of our digital strategy, we make it our business to know about Google’s new ad platforms and capabilities before anyone else. Because many of our clients are lawyers, we’re also always on the lookout for ways to get an edge on their competition.

Flash forward to today, and we’ve uncovered some exciting news: Local Services Ads are coming to legal firms and lawyers in May of this year. This is a massive opportunity for legal professionals throughout the United States. Read on to learn what this means for your business.

What Are Local Services Ads?

Local Services Ads (LSAs) are the #1 listing in Google’s search results. They rank before PPC (pay-per-click) ads and regular, organic search results. These ads have more benefits beyond their top-ranking status: Google vets your business and adds a special “Google Guaranteed” badge to your listing. This indicates that your firm is fully approved and endorsed by the search engine giant, which builds trust with clientele. When potential customers click on your ad, they’ll be routed to a unique page vouching for your business.

In addition to vetting you for potential clients, Google also saves you from click-throughs that wouldn’t be a good fit. Once customers click through, the search engine asks them to confirm what service they’re looking for, as well as their zip code. If at this point they aren’t in your area (or even looking for your area of expertise), Google will direct them elsewhere and you won’t be charged for the interaction.

Local Services Ads have the added benefit of being available on all devices – from mobile to desktop. They’re also fully accessible through Google Assistant and voice search. If you recall, we listed voice search as one of our top SEO trends for 2019. It’s responsible for an increasing percentage of all queries, so these ads are a great way to get ahead of the pack.

LSAs originally rolled out for a very short list of professions. Google’s logic was that household emergencies and services in particular would require hyper-local, high-quality results. For example, if a pipe burst in someone’s house, Google knew that they couldn’t wait for a plumber who was too far away. This means that, until May 2019, Local Services Ads were only available for locksmiths, electricians, HVAC professionals, carpet cleaners, plumbers, and garage door repair services.

Local Services ads connect you with customers in your area who are looking for your specific skills and offerings, as they’re actively seeking you out. This means that your business is put in front of the right people at their exact moment of need, resulting in better conversion rates across the board. These ads also have a unique payment structure that’s particularly helpful for legal professionals. Instead of paying per click or per impression, you’ll only be charged per lead.

Local Services Ads for Law Firms and Legal Professionals

To run LSAs and earn that “Google Guaranteed” badge, it’s required that you submit an application and are fully vetted by the search engine. For lawyers, this process includes verification with your state bar association, as well as a full criminal background check for all employees. You’ll also need to submit a copy of your malpractice insurance. Once this is done, you’ll be ready to outrank the other firms in your area.

We’ve already heard whisperings about the estimated cost per lead for legal professionals in specific markets. Estate lawyers in San Diego expect to pay about $72 per lead, while those in Houston can anticipate rates as low as $49. Estimates for San Diego immigration lawyers are $49 per lead, while their Houston counterparts expect to pay closer to $85. These rates are speculative and subject to change based on the market. As more and more legal professionals flood in, costs can rise and fluctuate at any time.

Don’t Get Left Behind

If you’re looking to get leads to your law firm, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of managing partners today. This is your chance to get ahead of the competition – before this market is saturated with competitors. Call Webconsuls today at 949.701.4714 or submit a contact form here to speak with a member of our team about your digital marketing strategy.

Reading Time: 10 minutesIt’s nearly April, which can mean only one thing: spring cleaning is on the horizon. In today’s world of KonMari madness (thanks, Netflix), it’s never been more en vogue to tidy up. Once your house is spic and span, be sure to turn your attention to old social accounts that are gathering dust – they can have serious impact on your digital marketing.

 

Why Digital Matters

It goes without saying that digital presence is everything in 2019. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 81% of people perform some sort of online research before making a large purchase. We’ve covered everything from the importance of mobile first website crawling to the weight of compelling blog content on the blog before, if you’d like a refresher.

These days, a Google search could be the difference between new clientele and fading business. Great companies suffer each year because of poor rankings, and even more receive customer complaints about barren social profiles. For example, 93% of people view menus online prior to dining out. When polled, many said they wouldn’t go to a restaurant that didn’t list their menu online. The same applies to people shopping for goods and services – just about everyone wants to see ratings and descriptions online. That’s digital in a nutshell.

In the spirit of tidying up, here are our top tips for cleaning your digital presence this spring.

 

Inventory

First, make sure you’re addressing all your accounts. In the KonMari method, you pile all similar items (clothes, books, you name it) together to go through them. The same principle applies here. Make a list of every Facebook, Twitter, or Xanga account you can remember, then delete unused or unnecessary social media profiles. (If you read our recent post on Google+, you know that it’s probably best to go ahead and delete that one before Google does.) This keeps potential customers from stumbling across information you no longer curate or endorse.

 

Privacy and Security

Now’s a great time to get into the nitty-gritty of your socials. Yes, we’re talking about security… cybersecurity. While often overlooked, weak passwords and vulnerable accounts can snowball into something much more serious than off-brand Facebook statuses. If your password is the same across different platforms, including your online banking system or business email, you’re making the company’s assets vulnerable to multiple account breaches. This information may be scraped by someone online, but it’s also possible that former employees may retain access to your social media.

To combat any rogue login attempts, get into the habit of regularly creating strong passwords. Avoid using any personal information relevant to you, such as birthdays, names, or addresses. As a best practice, you should change out passwords on a regular basis.

 

Updating Information

One of the most common issues customers complain about is conflicting information online. Is your old office still listed as your primary location on Google My Business? Ancient phone numbers still in your website’s footer? It’s more important than ever to make sure your data is up to date; no one’s checking the Yellow Pages these days. NAP Consistency – short for Name, Address, Phone – has become a key factor in local search. Google has outlined that if those items aren’t identical internet-wide, you could become invisible to the search engine and its users.

Be sure to go through your contact and location information with a fine-toothed comb to avoid customer headaches. Many companies forget to update their About section with current news; as a result, outdated promises of new locations and product releases can detract from your social media presence.

This is also a great time to keep your socials active by updating your profile pictures and cover photos. Have you had any company photoshoots recently? Gotten new branding and logos done? Are you sick of the winter-themed posts cluttering your profile? Even something as simple as refreshing your imagery can create a little buzz around your business and keep you relevant.

 

Digital Networking and Groups

Whether you’re looking at your company’s LinkedIn or Facebook account, your feed is probably full of old connections and personal friends. While it’s important to network, everyone could benefit from intentionality in their online presence. Remove yourself from groups that don’t relate to your business connections, and seek out new ones you’re more interested in.

Consider pruning your “following” list in pursuit of the ideal ratio – avoid following more people than follow you. Make sure to remove spam accounts, those who never post, and those who post content that doesn’t align with your philosophy. Once you’ve freed up that space, update your profile with any conferences or industry events you’ve attended, any honors or awards received, or any indicators of growth from the past year. Your social accounts should be as good at networking as you are.

 

Go Google Yourself

Or Bing it. Run your company’s name through every search engine in the book: Google, Bing, YouTube (did you know YouTube is one of the top-ranked search engines? Fun facts). If you’re not ranking where you’d like to, we recommend troubleshooting with our checklist of 2019’s top SEO strategies. Better yet, give us a call at 949.701.4714.

 

Need Help Scrubbing Those Accounts? Let’s Talk.

You only get one chance at a (digital) first impression, so let’s get it right. Our team of experts will run through your social media profiles and website content to craft your cohesive, refreshed brand presence. You can reach one of our managing partners by calling 949.701.4714 or filling out this form. We look forward to chatting with you.

Reading Time: 9 minutes

What is LegitScript certification, and why do I need it?

Okay, fair question. If you’ve visited the blog before, you’ve probably seen our other posts on the topic of LegitScript. For our new followers, here’s a general summary.

Back in September 2017, we got word from Google that AdWords advertising for the addiction treatment industry was halted while a new verification process was implemented. This was done with the intent of weeding out false advertisers – those who earned undisclosed referral fees from addiction centers, but didn’t provide recovery services themselves.

Today, that verification process is in place. Google has partnered with LegitScript to provide the only certification service for drug and alcohol treatment providers. Getting their seal of approval reduces the chance that your advertising will be disrupted and differentiates your services from competitors (not to mention those sketchy lead farms mentioned above).

Now that you’re up to speed on the history and importance of LegitScript certification, read on for a condensed list of their requirements. Glance over the items listed below to get an idea of what you’ll need to have before submitting your treatment center for approval. This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive rundown, just an idea of what you’ll need to get started – you can read more about the full application process and requirements on LegitScript’s official website.

The LegitScript Application Checklist

Are you where you say you are?

  • Register as a corporate entity (ex: an LLC) in the area where you claim to offer services.
  • Provide documents proving ownership or lease agreement (for MSGs: permission to use) to confirm physical location.
  • In general, privately owned (“recovery”) residences will not be eligible for certification.

Are you licensed?

  • Adhere to state legal and regulatory licensing requirements for addiction treatment facilities.
  • Adhere to licensing requirements for all other services you offer.

Is your domain registration public?

  • Make sure your domain name does not have privacy protection.
  • Provide a list of all domain names and websites under your control.

Have you checked your content?

  • Display your physical address(es) where services are rendered, and what the nature of those services is.

Do you have written policies and procedures?

  • Provide a list of written policies + procedures demonstrating commitment to best practices, effective recovery, and continuous improvement.
  • List the actual treatment or intervention services offered or recommended by the program.

Is your team qualified?

  • Provide resumes for business owner, business leadership, and treatment professionals on staff. Must demonstrate expertise and training in addiction treatment.
  • Do you have a medical director and/or a clinical psychologist with addiction training on staff?

Do you have a professional setting?

  • Addiction facility must be in a professional (business), not residential, setting, as must other addiction treatment settings to which patients are referred.

Will you agree to a background check?

  • Applicant + key staff must submit to criminal background checks.
  • Disclose any prior criminal, regulatory, or civil violations.
  • Disclose any litigation commenced, resolved, or otherwise addressed that involves applicant over the past 10 years.
  • Neither applicant nor any other business under applicant’s current or former control may have been listed on HHS’s List of Excluded Individuals/Entities within the last five years.

Are you ready to disclose all your facilities?

  • Disclose all physical properties and corporate entities under applicant’s control and/or to which it refers patients.
  • All such properties must also adhere to these standards.

Do you have insurance?

  • Maintain + provide proof of insurance to operate an addiction treatment facility or service.

Are you compliant with HIPAA and other privacy provisions?

  • Comply with all provisions of applicable laws and regulations, including HIPAA.

Are your business practices legit?

  • None of your businesses may engage in practices (or extend offers) that may deceive or defraud patients in any way, including but not limited to any material detail about the facility.

What types of medicines do you prescribe, if any?

  • You may not use or recommend any drugs not approved by the FDA for their purpose. You may not rely on miracle cures, designer drugs, unapproved drugs, or other products such as Kratom or Ayahuasca (refer to LegitScript’s “Red Flag” list).

Do you offer incentives?

  • Disclose all incentives offered to patients to use your services. Applicants that offer incentives (ex: offering to pay for travel) will not be eligible for approval.

Will you be fully transparent?

  • If you fail to provide full and accurate information as requested, you will be denied. You may undertake reasonable remedial action during the certification process without penalty.

Do you work with lead generators?

  • Any co-ownership or affiliation with lead generators is prohibited. Any affiliation with a lead generator may be grounds for immediate denial.

Are you advertising without the proper certification?

  • Applicants advertising on Facebook or Google without LegitScript certification are presumed to be attempting to circumvent the goals of the LegitScript certification program. This may be grounds for denial.

Do you consent to on-site inspections?

  • You agree that LegitScript may conduct on-site inspections of your facility(ies) and you will in no way restrict this access.

That’s a wrap!

We hope this checklist will be helpful in your quest for LegitScript certification. Feel free to reach out by phone or email with any questions you may have – the Webconsuls team is always happy to talk digital strategy for your treatment center.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

mobile first web development
Google Now Crawls Mobile BEFORE the Desktop Version

What You Need to Know About Mobile-First Indexing

You might remember that in our last blog, we discussed the importance of ‘thinking mobile’ while establishing your 2019 SEO and marketing plans. Since Google’s 2018 rollout of mobile-first search engine indexing, Webconsuls clients have had many questions about how this new process impacts their rankings—and how they can best adapt their search strategy to the mobile-first indexing system.

One of the most important things to remember is that mobile-first indexing is about gathering – not ranking – content. Google will now crawl your company’s mobile site to establish search-engine rankings before it crawls your desktop site. This means that if you have a desktop-only website, your search engine rankings will suffer. It also means that to remain competitive online, you must give proper attention to your mobile/responsive site. (That’s where our digital achievers come in!)

The What & Why of Mobile-First Indexing

Since 2015, mobile search has surpassed desktop searches—and mobile usage continues to accelerate. In a March 2018 Google blog, the search-engine giant explained the reasoning behind its recent shift to mobile-first indexing:

“To recap, our crawling, indexing and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they are looking for.”

In lay terms, Google’s mobile-first indexing means that:

  1. Desktop-only sites will not perform as well on Google rankings as responsive or hybrid sites, since they lose mobile users (which are growing exponentially).
  2. Desktop pages will still be crawled, but not at the same frequency as mobile pages crawled by Google’s smartphone agent.
  3. When it caches pages, Google now saves the mobile version of your site instead of the desktop version.
  4. Responsive and mobile-friendly sites help content to load faster, which improves Google rankings (since slow-loading content is penalized).
  5. Content is still critical when it comes to your mobile site. Don’t deprive mobile users of content or strip your mobile site down to basics. Just remember to format content for usability on smaller screens.

Next Steps: How to Meet Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Standards

  1. Remember that mobile users are now the rule, rather than the exception. Stop thinking of your desktop site as the main event. Your mobile site is now primary, so it should never be an afterthought.
  2. Keep in mind mobile users behave differently than desktop users. For example, mobile users tend to consumer more visual media like images and video. Ask your digital marketing consultant how you can harness the power of visual media (and other elements) to better serve your mobile audience.
  3. Click here to use Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test” for your website. If the results say that your mobile presence needs work, Webconsuls digital achievers can help you update your site and integrate mobile-friendly tactics into your overall marketing plan.
  4. Work with an SEO and web development professional to ensure that your mobile site delivers an optimal user experience. Do pages load quickly? Are images and dynamic features are optimized for fast loading? Is your site easy to navigate on a small device?
  5. Ask web developers about using the open-source AMP framework, which helps websites render faster on tablets, phones and phablet devices. To learn more about AMP, call Webconsuls at 949.701.4714 or visit the AMP Project online.
  6. Make the most of your Google Search Console. If you have not yet set this up, ask a Webconsuls team member about using Search Console tools to measure your mobile site performance, fix search issues and enhance your rankings.

Think Mobile With Webconsuls

If you have been dragging your feet on developing a responsive or mobile-friendly web design, there’s no time to waste. As Google moves forward with its mobile-first indexing approach and mobile users continue to insist on an enhanced UX, there’s no room for websites that translate poorly to mobile use.

When you partner with our elite team of Nashville digital marketing experts, we offer integrated digital solutions that move your brand—and your search rankings—forward. Putting our mobile development experience to work for you, we tailor services to meet your budget and marketing objectives while teaching you the “why” behind it all. Get started now by calling a Webconsuls’ managing partner at 949.701.4714. For your convenience, you can also submit your confidential inquiry online, 24/7. Our digital achievers will be in touch promptly to answer your questions!

Reading Time: 8 minutesWhile content still reigns in 2019, Google is making some technical and search-related changes that are bound to impact every business’s SEO and search marketing strategy. Consider these tips from our digital achievers as you adapt your SEO strategy to a new year and create a complementary action plan for content marketing, paid search and social media management.

  1. Think Mobile.

If you have yet to develop a responsive web design, the time is now. As part of its commitment to optimizing the user’s search experience, Google is making big waves in 2019 with a mobile-first indexing approach (which actually started last year). This means Google’s bots use “mobile eyes” to crawl your responsive site before crawling your desktop site. If your website isn’t responsive or translates poorly to phone, tablet and phablet use, Google will still index your desktop site—but your rankings will likely drop. Ask Webconsuls how we can help with new and adapted responsive designs and search strategy.

  1. Think Beyond Keyword Strings.

Search engines have gotten smarter since the days of exact-match keyword strings. What’s important today is creating high-quality, accurate and authentic content that’s useful to users andmeets their search intent. Google and other search engines can now pick up the subtleties of concepts and topics rather than simply ranking for a particular word-for-word phrase. Using the latest keyword-research techniques and our in-depth understanding of 2019 Google logarithms, Webconsuls provides content marketing, SEO strategy and digital marketing consulting services that ensure your content rises to Google’s complex expectations.

  1. Don’t Neglect Voice Search.

Thousands of homes now rely on the artificial intelligence assistance of their favorite Google Home or Amazon Echo—which throws yet another boomerang into the already complicated search mix. Although Webconsuls doesn’t recommend hanging your SEO hat on the outdated idea of keyword stuffing, we also teach clients that long-tailed keywords and exact search terms enable more accurate voice search.

  1. Listen to Your Audience.

It can be tempting to immerse yourself in Google research, spend all day reading SEO blogs and try to refine your SEO strategy in a vacuum. Instead of being a student of Google, become a student of your target audience. Before you write or optimize an article, conduct research about your target audience, consume media from their primary influencers, listen to their search vocabulary and build buyer personas that give you a focused marketing direction. If this sounds overwhelming, Webconsuls provides digital marketing consulting services tailored to your needs. Our digital achievers stick with you through each phase of the marketing and SEO process while teaching you to implement timely SEO strategies on your own. After all, what good is a consulting service if it doesn’t teach, equip and empower you to make positive change?

  1. Technical SEO Matters.

Aside from on- and off-page SEO, Google holds your website to a technical standard. Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your web pages so Google can effectively access, crawl and interpret your website. Technical SEO has little to do with content or website promotion, and more to do with your site’s infrastructure. Here are three tips for improving your site’s technical SEO. 

  1. Obtain SSL certification.If your site is unencrypted and does not yet have an SSL certificate, Google flags your site as “unsecure.” This is concerning to visitors and detrimental to your search results. At Webconsuls, we can help you address this problem by obtaining and installing an SSL certificate.
  2. Prioritize loading speed.Best-in-class websites should load within three seconds or less. If your website is clunky and slow, Google will lower your ranking and visitors will leave before they’ve gotten to know you. Webconsuls makes sure your desktop and mobile pages load quickly and meet Google’s rigorous technical standards.
  3. Talk to Webconsuls about AMP-ing up your site. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are designed to load even faster than mobile-responsive designs, and this speed protocol is gathering momentum in 2019. We’ll make sure your new website is incorporating these fast-loading page structures, where applicable, for optimal user experience.

Partner With Webconsuls During 2019

Meet the team of digital achievers that’s changing the SEO landscape in Nashville and beyond. With SEO, digital marketing and consulting services tailored to your branding needs, we provide integrated digital solutions that move your brand—and your search rankings—forward. We’re experts in search strategy and the latest Google logarithms, and we’re ready to ready to put decades of collective marketing expertise to work for you. Happy New Year! Welcome to a new (and exciting) year of search!

Reading Time: 11 minutes

blogging

You know you need to blog, but maybe you don’t know how to do it. Whether you’re launching a new business or want to refresh your brand’s digital presence, this blog will help you get started on creating content people actually want to read.

1. Set the groundwork

Before you start blogging, you have to cover the very basics. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s your blog’s purpose?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you want to get out of it?
  • What do you want your audience to get out of it?
  • How are you going to host it? (WordPress, within your website, etc.)

Arguably the most important of these questions is “Who is your audience?” Your blogging audience likely fits the same profile as your customers. It’s crucial to understand who they are and what they need so you can consistently deliver content that is relevant and valuable to them.

2. Generate topic ideas

Start collecting ideas for new blog posts. You never know where inspiration may strike, so make it a habit to write down ideas as they come to you. Set up a Google Alert for industry-related topics. Reading other headlines can help shape your headlines, and you might even be able to glean a blog post inspired by a recent news story.

Another great source for topic ideas is your customers. Think about frequent questions you get from your customers or common concerns they have. You can easily come up with a few topics that address those questions and concerns.

3. Create an editorial calendar

How much time are you or someone on your team able to devote to writing blog content every week? You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. Sometimes, less is more, especially if that content is valuable.

It doesn’t matter if you post once a day or once a month, just as long as you’re doing it consistently and the final product is valuable.

An editorial calendar serves as a visual to-do list that shows all the content you’ve created, and all the content that’s to come. It also helps visualize dates so you can plan content around holidays, new product/service launches, special announcements, etc.

4. Find your voice

How do you want your blog to come across to readers? Blogging affords you a little more creative license than other media. Depending on your brand and industry, it might be OK to use more casual language, sentence fragments or even–gasp!–end a sentence with a preposition.

You don’t need to ignore the rules altogether à la e.e. Cummings. Just know that the rules of blogging are more flexible.

Whatever your voice, write like a human. Whether you’re writing a blog for an organic pet food company or a legal practice, write in a conversational, human tone. Readers can recognize disingenuous, promotional language from a mile away, and it’s a huge turnoff.

5. Focus on formatting

Blogging isn’t as simple as plunking away on a keyboard and clicking “Post.” You want readers to read your blog, and that requires formatting.

Studies on how users read online content have found that they don’t actually read at all. They scan. One study of five different writing styles found that a sample website “scored 58% higher in measured usability when it was written concisely, 47% higher when the text was scannable, and 27% higher when it was written in an objective style instead of the promotional style.”

Instead, we scan in an F-shaped pattern. By keeping this pattern and some blog formatting best practices in mind, you’ll be able to optimize your content for readers and search engines.

There are a few ways to make your text more scannable:

  • Chunky text: Thick blocks of text just won’t do. Readers scan text waiting for keywords and hyperlinks to jump out at them, so in addition to peppering in keyword-rich words and phrases, break up text into chunky paragraphs–five lines or fewer–and make it easier to scan.
  • Lists: Bulleted and numbered lists and bold, italicized and underlined text are simple ways to improve the scannability factor.
  • Subheads: Bigger, bolder text stands out against body text. Subheads break up the overarching topic into more scannable sections. It presents content in a more organized, less overwhelming fashion. You can also incorporate keywords into subheads to boost search engine performance, but don’t go overboard–a term known as keyword stuffing.

6. Cut the fluff

Cutting text isn’t always easy, especially if you’re the one who wrote it, but think of it this way: It doesn’t take 45 minutes to describe the plot of a 45 minute TV episode. Say what you need to say using the fewest amount of words possible.

There’s probably a paragraph that isn’t completely relevant, a sentence that can be trimmed down, or wordiness that can be made more concise.

Once you’re finished writing, go back and trim down the article. Then trim it down again. Bullet points and numbered lists are also easy ways to trim down text.

7. Always include imagery

Use at least one image with your blog posts to break up the text and make it more visually appealing. This also helps social media pull imagery when sharing the blog on your social networks. Royalty-free images can be found on Flickr and Creative Commons.

8. End with a call-to-action

Blogging serves a dual purpose: to prove your credibility and value as a useful resource and to nurture readers into becoming clients. Your blog posts should end with some type of call to action, whether that’s to download a free guide, subscribe to your email list, learn more about your services or contact you for a free quote.

It can be difficult to blog on a consistent basis, especially if you aren’t confident in your writing chops or if you’re too busy running a business to spend a few hours a week blogging. Webconsuls is a digital strategy agency that specializes in content development. From topic generation to editorial calendar creation to churning out blogs on a weekly basis, we can help design a strategy that gets your business on track and improves search rankings.

Contact a Webconsuls Managing Partner directly at 949.701.4714 for a free consultation.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

custom attorney directory website

Welcome to Feature Friday.

A Custom DUI Attorney Directory

Today we’re featuring our custom design and development of California DUI Lawyers Association.

This client wanted a custom, user friendly directory of DUI attorneys in California. The goal of the website was to create a space where:

  1. People could find DUI attorneys in their area, review their profiles and credentials and click through directly to their website.
  2. DUI attorneys could sign up for the association and directory seamlessly through the website and pay annual fees.
  3. DUI attorneys could fill out and upload their profile using a custom, user friendly platform. Attorneys could post, learn about and sign up for association events.

Clean and User Friendly

The result was a clean, modern design with clear call to actions, a search feature and an interactive map for those seeking an attorney and a seamless process for attorneys to join and post and learn about professional development events.

Here is a list of custom development features:

  • A custom responsive website design
  • A custom content management system (CMS) with administrative access
  • A custom user interface (UI) for attorneys
  • A dynamic search map
  • Ad management
  • User management
  • Custom reports for individual attorneys
  • Attorney directory management
  • A custom search feature
  • An event management tool
  • A membership payment system
  • Dynamic email template management

Did we say “custom” enough? I think so.

Timeline and Process

This project took 12 weeks to complete, from inception to going live after testing. Our process is time tested and efficient – we know how to get down to the details, predict and avoid snags and roadblocks, provide mock ups that reflect the vision of the client and incorporate it all into an unmatched, user friendly, lead generating directory.

If you’re looking to build a custom legal directory website but have stalled because it seems like too much of an undertaking, we know what to do – we’re the digital team you’ve been looking for. To start your project email us at info@webconsuls.com or call us at 949-701-4714.

Reading Time: 5 minutes 

San Clemente Fiesta

 

Sunday was the 55th anual San Clemente Fiesta and street fair. And as you can see from the above shot up Del Mar, it was a packed house. Lucky for us Ella has been spending the last few weeks at the Boys and Girls club getting ready for her “Prime Time” Dance review, so just in case you missed it I bring you “Ice Cream Freeze” as performed by the San Clemente Dance 7 & under group.

Feel free to sing along!

Ice Cream Freeze – (Let’s Chill)- by Hanna Montana (Miley Cyrus)

Everybody do your dance
Ain’t nothing better than an all night jam
Are you ready for something a little new tonight
I got a brand new step thing you’re gonna like yeah

C’mon boys
Gotta do what I do
Just follow my lead
Everybody let’s chill

Do the ice cream freeze
Strike your pose
Can you do the milkshake
Shake it shake it down low

Can you snow cone slide left to right
Put your hands in the air
We could party all night

Do the ice cream freeze
Strike your pose
Can you do the milkshake
Shake it shake it down low

Can you snow cone slide
Left to right
Put your hands in the air
We could perty all night

Shake it shake it shake it shake it shake it down low
Then do the ice cream freeze
All kind of stepping make you feel good
Triple step, butterfly, sugar foot (sugar sugar foot)

But I’m comin’ with a new thing
What do you need? (that’s right)
Now everybody wanna do the ice cream freeze (woohoo)

C’mon boys
Gotta do what I do
Just follow my lead
Everybody let’s chill

Do the ice cream freeze
Stike your pose
Can you do the milkshake
Shake it shake it down low

Can you snow cone slide
Left to right
Put your hands in the air
We could party all night

Do the ice cream freeze
Strike your pose
Can you do the milkshake
Shake it shake it downlow

Can you snow cone slide
Left to right
Put your hands in the air
We could party all night

Did I hear anyone say party?
We’re just gettin’ started (woo!)
Wanna take it from the top
Will you know I will

Now everybody let’s chill
Lights, camera, freeze
Everybody let’s go!

Do the ice cream freeze
Strike your pose
Can you do the milkshake
Shake it shake it down low

Can you snow cone slide
Left to right
Put your hands in the air
We could party all night

Do the ice cream freeze
Then you do the milkshake
Shake it shake it shake it shake it shake it

Do the snow cone slide
Put your hands in the air
Go crazy!
Everybody let’s chill…

Reading Time: 1 minute

How Organized Consumer Purchasing Can Push Change.

Who else besides government is big enough to change the world?

We are.

CarrotMob, using mob mentality to push positive change.

The problem with corporations is that they will do anything for a buck.

The solution is that corporations will do anything for a buck!

Think you are too small to have an impact?

Try sleeping with a mosquito in the room…

Reading Time: 3 minutesI found two food ideas that will spice up and perk up your summer.

The first is grilled poppers. Poppers are stuffed peppers, either hot or mild. While you can slice the peppers and clean them it is more fun to use a Jalapeno Pepper Roaster.

The recipe that comes with it is fine but takes a little work. If you want you can just stuff the peppers with cream cheese. Fun to make and taste great.

I like the taste of lemon. If I order dessert is is usually something like a lemon tart. I dug out my old ice cream maker and found a recipe for lemon sorbet. It is fantastic.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Combine sugar and water and bring to a boil then simmer until sugar dissolves. Cool completely (overnight in the refrigerator). When cool add the lemon juice and the zest, stir to combine. Put in your machine and make the sorbet.

I had not used the ice cream maker for a few years. I had tried to make some low carb or low cal conconctions and was disappointed. Not now.

Reading Time: 2 minutesIn the not too distant future, you walk by your favorite restaurant, and your cell phone beeps, you have a new message, It is an offer for 10% your meal, with photos and video…

What makes this shiny new toy different is that it is reaching you via Bluetooth!

Range? Up to half a mile with the right hardware. In Europe proximity marketing via bluetooth has already been used at bus stops to market “High School Musical” with downloadable ringtones, wallpapers, and discount codes.

Once you have the server set up the cost to send a message to users in range? $0

Proximity Marketing via Bluetooth coming soon to a cellphone near you.

Reading Time: 2 minutesThe US wireless industry crossed 80% subscription penetration in Q207. Though the growth rate has slowed down, there is still plenty of room for growth over the next five years. 86-88% of the handsets sold in the US are now replacement devices. Time for an upgrade? The % contribution of data to service revenues jumped from 14.5% to almost 17% in Q207 and is certainly going to cross 20% by the end of this year. Considering the market was only at 6% in 2004, it is a significant improvement in 3 years. Verizon led in % data contribution to ARPU with 19% followed by AT&T at 17.3%, Sprint at 16.3%, and T-Mobile at 15%. If your users are not looking at your site via a handheld device now, they will be soon. Got .Mobi?

Reading Time: 1 minute Get Mobi Enabled

Got Dot Mobi?

With the explosion in handheld mobile devices, your users are no longer just browsing your site from a computer, they are now also viewing your site through their mobile phones.

Convergence is happening folks, and we do not see that taking place on your TV set or computer at home, but on that trusty little device that everyone seems to be walking around with, the ubiquitous mobile phone.