Comparing Google Pagespeed Insights and Test My Site with Google

 

Our score from The new Test My Site web application by Google.

Google Insights analyzes web performance, gives feedback and suggestions to improve your web page. This test lets you enter your website URL and gives you your performance on both mobile and desktop. If there are problems that need your attention, a yellow exclamation point will pop up telling you to ‘consider fixing’ and will show a list of the things to improve on. A checkmark in green will highlight the aspects about your website that you have passed. Google released a new site performance application called Google Test My Site. As both interfaces provide advice to website users, there are still many differences that separate both website apps apart.

 

With both the pages, the scores remain the same. Test My Site has the option to email your test results, but Google Insight does not. Test My Site also has pretty visuals, such as bright colors and interesting videos, making it user friendly. It also displays your results on one page, where Google Insights displays results on 2 different tabs – one for mobile and one for desktop. To test if your site is mobile friendly on Google Insights, the website will have you click on a link and send you to another page.

Our results from Google Insights with scores and explanations of how to fix results.


What was nice about the old site, Google Insight, was that it displayed all of your scores right away, and was not separated by large tabs and graphics. They also explain how to fix the issues they identified on your site, where the new site does not. This can be frustrating to any user wanting to get right to the changes Google is recommending, like
implementing browser caching, but not having ready access to resources and recommendations. Insights will show you, for example, if an image is too large what size to make it.

This highlights that the new Test My Site web app is for non-technical users, while the pagespeed insights is the more useful resource for developers, so we hope they don’t take it away!

Since more people everyday are using the internet, page speed is becoming increasingly important. Page speed can determine if a user stays or leaves your website. Whether you have large graphics and videos, or issues with Javascript, you need to consult to consult with a high-end tool like these that monitor your website performance. Once you find out that your website is lagging with page speed, the next step is developing a plan to improve issues.

 

Stepping Up Your Business in 2017

Step up your game in 2017 by following these simple practices:

 

Put Your Goals in Writing – Be sure to plan what your goals for the year are. Create a calendar to organize tasks along with the people assigned to them and the deadline for each assignment. Using Cloud storage is a great way to keep organized without compromising your personal storage space. Google Drive gives you 15GB of free space allowing you to free up storage on your computer!

 

Engage Your Team – Emphasize ideation and creativity! Empowering employees to think of new ideas promotes employee engagement and inspiration. It increases your team’s engagement with your brands and product lines and leads to employees coming up with new and inventive ways to promote through blog posts, videos, infographics, or other media. When a business brainstorms, it is able to inspire employee confidence and allows everyone to contribute. Getting different employee perspectives allows a challenge to be approached from many different angles.

 

SEO – SEO is multifaceted with different areas of emphasis applicable to any business or organization’s web presence. One of the most critical aspects for 2017 is optimizing your mobile experience. Over 80% of internet users own a smartphone, creating a positive experience on mobile devices is a key for increasing user engagement and driving conversations. Doing keyword research for your market, local search marketing, developing good content on your website, and link building will help to increase website traffic. The most popular tool for measuring results is Google Analytics, which uses data visualization to display website traffic changes overtime in easy-to-read charts and is provided free by Google to website owners.

 

Design – In a crowded market, one of the best ways to attract new customers is with great design, which is more than just photography and layout. Some aspects to think about include a good use of typography, scaling, color theory, and harmony. Not only should you focus on the visual graphics, but good design can also be found in the site layout. When customers come to your website, it should be organized so that they clearly understand the services your company provides. So making sure your website is clearly laid out and easy to navigate provides for a positive user experience. Beyond the visual aspects, you should also consider whether your website enables visitors to follow the optimal path to the actions YOU want them to take!

 

Branding – It is important for your company to get its name out there! Defining your brand will shape your company’s mission. The benefits or services your company provides will differentiate you from your competitors. Knowing who you are and delivering what you say you are going to deliver are all a part of your branding strategy. Create a unique logo, use your logo colors, create graphics that are modern and appealing to your audience, and be consistent with integrating your brand on print collateral, apparel and digital profiles. These practices will help your company to create its own “voice” which stands apart from its competitors.  

 

Social Media Marketing – Make sure all of your social media profiles are up-to-date with fresh content. Keeping content on a consistent basis, such as weekly posts, will help to gather more followers and engage with the segment of your audience who prefers this medium. Social Media marketing is all about engaging with customers and keeping up with current trends. Ask customers questions, post creative content, and follow people in your niche market to promote company growth.

 

Email marketing – Make sure that your contacts are up-to-date and be consistent with your messaging. They help to enhance the business to consumer relationship. You can also send out mass emails as a way to quickly connect with your target market. Email marketing is highly  effective tactic to keep in touch with current and past customers, and the potential for marketing automation and follow-up campaigns cannot be ignored. Companies can use this as a cost-effective way to stay in contact with existing customers.

If you’re looking to implement any of these goals to your business in 2017, know that 3PRIME will be there to help with the process! We can help evaluate what has worked in 2016 and what ways your company can improve. From SEO services to creating stand out content, we are here to represent all of your business needs. With simple yet effective marketing techniques, together we can help your business prosper. We hope you enjoyed the holidays and are ready for a productive 2017.

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Profit from SEO

The global use of the internet has prompted many businesses to focus their attention on achieving a strong online presence, and for small businesses, the internet is a cost effective platform on which to advertise. To fully utilise the power of the internet, however, the owners of small companies need to utilise search engine optimisation, commonly abbreviated as SEO. The ways in which they can profit from SEO are listed below.

Increased Traffic

SEO is one of the most effective tools for increasing website traffic, and it’s something that you definitely want to take advantage of. Any good digital marketing agency will tell you that there are a number of ways you can use SEO to increase visitors. For one, a well-planned SEO campaign should get your website to appear on the first page of Google for your chosen keywords. Anyone searching for those terms will be interested in what you have to sell, and the higher your page is, the greater the likelihood that someone will click onto your page. On top of this, a lot of SEO strategies involve building links on other websites. If you can create interesting content to place on these sites, people are more likely to click your links to find out more about you.

Increased Conversions

The main purpose of SEO is the creation of user-friendly and easy to browse websites. Not only can a good SEO strategy help to grab clients’ attention, it can also help them to easily navigate your website. The better your website is, and the more attention grabbing it is, the more likely it is that you will be able to convert browsers into clients. Additionally, good on-page SEO helps small businesses get loyal customers. If your content is honest, written for the readers, and invokes a feeling of trust, you should have no problem retaining them for the long haul, whilst keeping Google and the other search engines happy.

Improved Brand Awareness

Websites that rank on top of the search engine result pages are considered to be of repute. Thus, not only can small businesses can build trust with their clients by ranking high, they can also profit from the brand awareness this offers. Clients are more likely to trust websites that appear on the first pages of popular search engine results than those that appear in the second or third pages.

Get a Wider Audience

The internet has contributed greatly to the globalisation of the business world. Through this virtual realm, small businesses are able to reach vast client bases. However, not all businesses are able to reach a large online audience. In this regard, SEO is the ideal strategy for a small business to adopt.  If you can tailor your content and your SEO strategy to wider markets, there is no reason why you can’t make your business international in the process.

Get an Edge Over the Competition

To succeed online, small businesses need to have an edge over the competition by using SEO as one of their marketing tools. By having an SEO optimised website, and performing off page SEO strategies, a small business should be able to compete favourably with other major brands in its industry. While small business owners can learn how to incorporate SEO into their digital marketing strategies, consulting SEO experts can often be of more benefit.

3 Easy Ways to Boost Sales on Your E-commerce Site

If you have any doubts whatsoever about just how big e-commerce is, just take a look at the staggering figures coming in from Black Friday in both the UK and the US, two countries where online shopping is already huge. In the United States, it is reported that brick-and- mortar sales only grew by a few percent whilst online shopping grew by more than 29 percent year-on- year from 2015. The UK reported similar findings which indicates that online, especially mobile, shopping is strong and getting stronger by the year. Do you have an e-commerce site? If you are looking to boost sales, here are three easy ways to do just that.

1. Mobile Friendly Web Design

Yes, it’s been said a million and one times, but it can’t be reiterated enough. Consumers now search and shop much more often from their mobile devices than they do from PCs at home or the office. For any e-commerce site that wants to grow, it is imperative that you build a responsive website that can be viewed equally well on any size device and screen. It is so important to develop a mobile friendly website that Google even changed their algorithms last year to ensure a user-friendly experience among mobile users. Their warning to e-commerce sites? Get mobile or get lost – literally as you surely won’t be listed in the SERPs!

2. Offer Custom Shopping Apps

The newest rage amongst shoppers are those apps that make shopping a breeze. Downloadable to mobile devices and PCs alike, these apps make it easy to follow bargains as they arise and within just a click or two (after entering your payment info to be called up as needed) you can shop away with no fuss and no muss. App developers can have a field day with e-commerce sites by customizing apps for each business to work with their particular payment platform and the UX for shoppers is enhanced. However, retail e-commerce sites also make out big as an easy platform yields increased spending and everyone is a winner.

3. Choose the Right Hosting Package to Meet Your Needs

Nevertheless, it needs to be said that in order to be successful your e-commerce site needs to be up and running 24/7 with no downtime whatsoever. If you can’t afford a dedicated server, consider VPS hosting which is the next best thing and where space and bandwidth is expandable as needed. VPS hosting also offers a greater level of security than shared space, so consider that when planning your next big pushto increase sales.

With a reliable hosting provider and a focus on a mobile market that accesses your e-commerce site with custom apps, you can’t help but come out ahead. Just check out the latest Black Friday stats and you will see shopping trends going strongly towards online retail. The most successful online retailers found that their customers shopped with the help of apps (called the app economy) and with the ease at which they could navigate bargains, their spending increased proportionately. Looking for easy ways to boost sales to your e-commerce retail site? You’ve just found them here.

Good User Experience Is Key: Here’s How You Can Improve Yours

Maintaining an existing site is as complicated as starting a new one. There are thousands of new companies being established every day, making staying ahead of the game and retaining visitors more difficult to do. In today’s internet landscape, user experience is just as important as having quality content and a visually appealing website.

We here at 3 Prime love tinkering with different parts of a website to enhance user experience. In this article, we’re going to share some of the best tips you can implement right away in order to improve your site’s user experience.

Differentiate Hyperlinks and Bullets

Not all visitors have the time to read through your content. Some of them – including you and I, when we’re browsing through other websites – simply scan through a page to find the information we are looking for. This is where bullets come in handy.

You can add a summary of the article at the beginning or at the end of the page. Simply display the summary as a list of bullet points and you can help users who scan the page to understand what the content is all about. Differentiate the bullets you add to the article to grab attention.

The same differentiation can be applied to hyperlinks. You can change the background to allow users to spot hyperlinks immediately. You can also change the colour and weight of URLs to separate them from the rest of the paragraph. These hyperlinks will function as stoppers, elements that will stop and direct users’ attention to key phrases in the article.

Be Mindful with Images and Visual Elements

Visual elements are great for making a website more appealing, but they don’t always play well when it comes to delivering a good user experience. Large images, animations and videos can slow a page down considerably.

There are two ways you can get around this. First, you can switch to a more capable hosting service in order to deliver visual elements without sacrificing page speed. Companies like certahosting.co.uk optimize their servers for better, faster content delivery; you can gain so much from these services.

The second approach is to limit the use of images and visual elements. In the old days, we used blank PNG files to add spaces or colours to a page. Today, HTML5 and CSS3 are more than capable of creating these elements – and even animating different parts of the site – for a better user experience.

Use Whitespace to Your Advantage

Add too many elements and your page will start to look crowded and cluttered. While a full layout may work for certain types of websites, such as news portals, it is often frustrating for users. There is something about a page full of text, squares, images and other elements that make browsing through the site a little bit less enjoyable.

Whitespace is your friend. Simply increasing the amount of space between lines of text can make the entire content more readable. The same approach can be applied to other parts of the site too. By utilizing whitespace wisely – and applying the previous tips we covered in this article – you can boost your site’s user experience level.

Avoiding feature creep in websites and web apps

Feature creep is common with a lot of businesses do to the endless possibilities of creativity within a design. However, adding more isn’t always the best for a product and can make things a lot more complicated. When a product becomes complicated, it loses its effectiveness, which in turn loses customers. Customers desire simple yet effective designs, not designs that have so many ad-ons that it takes hours to figure out. When you continuously add to a product past its original scope, this is feature creep. This is the most common way businesses fail with design – when the cost and schedule overruns its result.

Feature Creep Has Been Around For Generations

One example of a feature creep would be with the vintage Swedish war ship Vasa. In 1628, is was built originally to hold 34 canons. However, the builder of the ship decided to make it ornate and very detailed. They added more to create 64 cannons, with additional carvings and sculptures. This ended up costing Sweden 5% of its GNP. Vasa then sank, only on its voyage for less than a mile. The result – the ship sank because of feature creep – its continuous expansion beyond its original plan.

Does Feature Creep Happen Often Today?

Today, this often happens because features are so easy to add on to products. Marketers think they know what the customer wants, but they end up overestimating and don’t go for the customer’s needs.Believing more is better is a common misconception, and promotes feature creep. In business, products have more features added to them instead of taken away. When a product had features added, it becomes more complex, which costs more money. Many electronic products are returned not because they weren’t working, but because they couldn’t figure out how they worked. Adding ends up having little effect on customer experience, usage and customer service

How to Spot Feature Creep

When you are designing a product, look for signs of feature creep and inform your employees of their feature creep usage. Feature creep is hard to catch because changes often come a little at a time in design, which is why it’s known as feature creep, because it slowly creeps up on you.
Make sure the features are just for customer needs and not for an addition of convenience or to make it look more appealing Every good product that is released needs to not only be asked what should be added to it, but what should be taken away. Finally, make a milestone for the project so you do not add more features to the product. This way, the product targets your customer’s need for convenience and effectiveness.

Google’s ‘Possum’ Algorithm Update

Many people are having trouble finding their local rankings on Google, and cannot figure out the problem. With Google’s latest ‘Possum’ Algorithm update, your business rankings are not gone, they are just filtered under different words.

The Google Update

This recent update has just affected the ranking in the three pack and local finder (local or Google Maps results). The update was included with reasons being to help control spam, improve rank, and diversify the local results. The main thing that was addressed was Google’s filter for local search results. Based on reports for search rankings, this is the biggest update since Pigeon from the year 2014.

Changes Applied in Further Detail

1. Business that are outside the city boundary had a surge in rankings
Before the update, there were businesses that didn’t fall into any city’s boundary according to Google maps. They would have a hard time using keywords for ranking if they were included in a city. Now, the new update has these businesses ranking again, and even have a huge spike in their rank! After the update, many businesses went up about 21 positions.

2. Filters are Done by Address and Affiliation
Profiles were filtered out with a shared number or domain by a local filter based on local results. An example would be a doctor’s office having 4 listings: one listing would be for the doctor’s office alone, and the other 3 would be for 3 of the doctors working there. One of these listings would show up in results and the others would be filtered out. If you search lawyers and 10 lawyers have the same address, one lawyer would show under this address in local results and the rest of them would be filtered out. The update is now filtering out business by the same address or in the same category.

But, it was discovered that normal search results with a filter will filter out businesses, but when you zoom in on the local search forum, you will see all of the filtered listings. According to this article by Search Engine Land, results are filtered on the Local Search Forum, and when you zoom in you can see the Google Results that have been filtered out of the search. The image below will determine just where exactly your Google search results are going.

 

local-filter-possum

Photo Credit: Search Engine Land

 

Not only will Google filter out like addresses in one instance, they filtered out a business that had 2 listings with 2 different business names, different phone numbers different addresses and different websites. Each time, the local search results were different; one listing would show up and the other would disappear. The owner said that these businesses are all in the same building even though their address is different. The business address will change due to the side of the street you enter from. This confirmed that Google results were not just based on the address, but even get more complicated.

Another instance would be a dentist who has 2 different dental offices. They are in different buildings with different addresses, different name addresses and phone number, different sites, different dentists, and not under the same Google account. But,the connection was that the Dentist owned both dental offices, which was listed on his business license. Google asks for a business license when a business is suspended.

Google’s filter in turn is not a penalty, but it picks out the profile that works best with the business. It will not remove listings, but will filter them out much like an organic filter.

 

3. The Update Makes the Location of the Business Important

startup-photosOne example of a business down South was they lost their ranking in the 3-pack with the new Google update. They had their main business headquarters in Alabama, but had another one of their businesses in Texas. Since they conducted the search from Alabama, they were seeing different results than they would if they were in their business in Texas.

For their business in Texas, the further you are away from its location, the ranking list would drop and you would zoom out further and further from the map. Their listing, if searched from Texas, would be number one in rankings. But, since they searched from Alabama, it was number seven.

To make sure your business gets the correct results and rankings, set the searcher location to the city your business is located. Bright local makes a tool that lets you change your location.

4. Changes in Keywords are Weighed Heavier than they were Before the Update

The 3-pack results are changing due to slight keyword differences. If you are searching “New York Doctor” or “Doctor New York”, you will get mixed results between these like keywords. Before the update, similar variations of the keyword would deliver the same results.

5. The Local Filter Runs more Independent than the Organic Filter

In the past before the update, Google would filter your website organically, which affected businesses negatively. The new update, businesses are now ranking much higher.

It separates more of the organic rankings than the local. If it shows up in organic rankings, it won’t impact the local rankings as much. But, with the new update, Google may have a hard time identify sites with similarities apart, which is why both the local and organic rankings are less connected than they were previously.

Summary

Over the past week, we have seen major changes with the update in Google’s search and rankings. Since search results are often not consistent, and there are a lot of different changes, this may be Google’s A/B testing to try out the best ranking methods.

The filters overall are running well, but Google will continue to look for patterns and bugs within the system.