Time to Revamp Your Website?

By: Peter Girard

Last week’s post on the death of SEO got me thinking. If you didn’t get the chance to read it and want to, follow the link in the first sentence. In a nutshell, the article recommended keeping a tidy, up-to-date website as the best SEO practice you can adhere to, and there’s some data that supports that claim.

I linked to the article about study done by the Missouri University of Science and Technology in last week’s post but I wanted to revisit some of the figures and elaborate on just how important it is to have your website in tip-top shape. If you think your website is just ‘alright’ or ‘gets you by’ I’m talking to you. Hopefully you’ll change your tune after you learn that it takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form a first opinion of your brand after they’ve glanced at your website. It then only takes them roughly 2.6 seconds for their eyes to concentrate in such a way that reinforces that first impression.

So what’s a company to do with a window of under 3 seconds to ensure they make a good first impression on a potential customer? First and foremost, you need to understand why customers are going to your website and it’s almost always for information. According to a 2014 survey done by Intelliresponse, 68% of the respondents said a company’s website is the first place they go when looking for information regarding a product or service.

Once a potential customer lands on your page, where do their eyes go next, and go long do they rest there? In the study done by Missouri S&T, participants were asked to rate sites on the basis of visual appeal and design factors during an average of 20 seconds spent on each of 25 websites. In descending order based off time spent on each, here are the design elements participants found most important:

  • Logos – visitors spent about 6.48 seconds focused on this most identifiable portion of a website.
  • Navigation Menus – visitors spent almost as long (6.44 seconds) studying the menu for the webpage they were visiting.
  • Search box – this aspect held visitor attention for a little over 6 seconds.
  • Links to Social Sites – participants focused on social media icons for 5.95 seconds and offers insight onto how important it is for your business to engage with customers outside of your website.
  • Primary Image – the main photo or graphic held visitor attention for approximately 5.94 seconds.
  • Written Content – this portion of the webpage only held their attention for 5.59 seconds.
  • Bottom of the page – engaged users for about 5.25 seconds.

According to BrightLocal, when it comes to local websites, customers most value the “four P’s” identified as product, price, place, and phone number. If these 4 elements are not quickly discernable, you run the risk of losing the potential customer. In the aforementioned Intelliresponse survey, it was uncovered that 59% of respondents look for a transactional relationship where they can get in and out with they want while only 24% of respondents seek out ‘friendly’ relationship where they can personalized service. All this data suggests that taking steps to make sure your website is context rich, clean, and easy to navigate will benefit any users visiting your webpage.

local website musthaves

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Back to School With Kevo

By: Kalyn Schieffer

I know it may seem a bit early to even utter the phrase, “back to school”, but every year, it creeps up and many people find themselves completely unprepared for the change of pace. Aside from beating the rush at the store for school supplies so your kid can get the perfect binder, there are a few products out there that can help make the back to school transition a bit easier on your family.

One of our clients, Unikey, powers the Kevo, the only bluetooth touch to open smart lock available on the market. Unikey partnered with Kwikset, the well-known North American residential lock leader, to create this innovative and one of a kind smart lock to make unlocking your door quick and convenient. The more I learn about the Kevo, the more I think about convincing my apartment managers that we should have them installed. If being able to unlock the front door with just a tap of a finger could make my life easier, it can certainly make the lives of busy moms and dads a little easier as well.

Not only does the Unikey technology behind the Kevo eliminate digging around for your keys while juggling other things like groceries, a gym bag, or even a child, it can help you keep track of when your children arrive home. During the school year, manyBackpack_1 parents get home after their child is already back from school, therefore requiring them to entrust their kid with a house key or take the risk of hiding a key under the mat. I’m sure most parents who have tried either of these tactics have replaced their locks several times due to frequently lost keys. With a Kevo installed in their home, older kids with smartphones just need to get registered with the Kevo app and possess an e-key allowing them to touch the lock and walk right in. For younger kids that may not be ready for a smartphone, the Kevo also comes with a key fob that they can keep in their backpack or pocket so they can utilize the smart lock as well.

Now that your kid is inside, they probably forgot to let you know that they got home safe because they are already hard at work on their homework… or watching TV. Don’t pick up your phone to call home just yet, because you can head straight to your Kevo app and check the lock history to see who has unlocked or locked the door. This could even help parents outsmart their teenagers who think they are “sneaking” out. Gotta love technology.

Having a Kevo can not only benefit everyone inside the family when the school year starts, but it can also help out babysitters or dog walkers who need to access your home on certain days and times when you may not be there. Using the Kevo app, you can send temporary eKeys straight to their smartphone so they will be able to get in the house to do their job without you having to come home in the middle of the day to let them in, or give them a spare key. When their job inside your home is done, you can easily disable the eKey you sent so they no longer have access.

Kevo-brass-touchKeeping your house and family safe and secure gets more difficult during the school year when everyone has a different schedule. That’s why the Kevo was not only manufactured to be convenient, but also extremely safe and strong. Families have trusted Kwikset locks and deadbolts for 67 years and can continue to do so with the Kevo’s advanced security features. With patent pending intelligent positioning technology, the Kevo can detect whether an authorized user is inside or outside the home before it unlocks to ensure that only the right people can enter your home. After you walk in the front door and your smartphone is still within range of the lock, it will not allow unauthorized users to press the lock behind you and gain access.

Getting used to the school year grind can be stressful for everyone involved. Let the Kwikset Kevo powered by Unikey technology take care of keeping your home safe and secure amidst your family’s crazy schedule. Installing one may even be easier than picking out a new lunch box!

To learn more about the Kevo, visit Kwikset’s website. Find news and updates on Unikey’s website at www.unikey.com  or follow them on Twitter. If you have any questions about how the Kevo can help you and your family, feel free to ask me in the comments or reach out to me on Twitter @CasterKalyn or @CasterComm.

 

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The Death of SEO?

By: Peter Girard

ClickZ recently published an article entitled ‘Is SEO Dead?it then got picked up by Mashable which is how I came across it and wanted to share the article with you. I’ve talked about SEO before in a post of ‘hacks’ you can do from your own backyard but it remains a complicated subject. The SEO landscape is constantly shifting. A quick google search of ‘SEO optimization’ yields approximately 45,600,000 results in 0.59 seconds…so yeah, there’s some literature on SEO.

SHARK

“SEO is a big industry. According to a site called State of Digital, 863 million websites mention SEO globally and every second 105 people search for SEO links on Google.” There are SEO best practices, SEO quick tips, Black-hat SEO and everything in between. But what does ClickZ have to say about the current state of SEO and its future?

“Now SEO may be going the way of Megalodon, a 100-foot shark rumored to exist but mostly accepted to have gone extinct a million years ago. If it isn’t functionally dead, it’s certainly in the sick-house. Google does not especially want the SEO industry playing games with its rankings, and what Google wants, especially in a case like this, Google gets.”

The SEO industry is jam-packed with promises and, as made apparent by several upgrades to their search algorithm, Google doesn’t appreciate those who think they can trick or ‘fool’ their system. So, is SEO dead? What still works?

Out of all the SEO practices out there, the health of your website is probably the one you should care about the most. Ensuring your site is well organized, content-rich, and updated frequently is what you should strive for. If a user gets to your page and can’t find what they’re looking for, you’ve lost them. According to a study out of the Missouri University of Science and Technology it takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form their first opinion of your brand once they’ve perused your company’s website, and just another 2.6 seconds for that viewers eyes to concentrate in a manner that reinforced that first impression.

Unfortunately, ClickZ predicts that SEO is not going to get easier, Google’s algorithms are always a step ahead of the marketers trying to game them. The bottom line? If you want your website to rank highly on Google (and who doesn’t?) exert the time, energy, and money to build a good site and then market it the best way you know how to. While SEO will continue to play its role, just don’t expect it to be the answer to your traffic-related prayers.

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