Why a Mobile-Friendly Website is Essential to a Successful SEO Strategy in 2019

Surprisingly, many organizations still don’t have mobile-friendly websites despite there being over 5 billion unique mobile subscribers worldwide. Usually, they are reluctant to invest because they lack resources or don’t see the value. If your organization falls into this category, and you would like your brand to remain relevant on the most widely used search engines in 2019—which, let’s face it, is quickly approaching—you need to invest in a mobile-friendly website.

Here are three reasons your organization must have a mobile-friendly website as you gear up for 2019.

Reason 1: Increased Mobile Visits

Now that Google labels websites that are optimized for mobile as “mobile-friendly” within its mobile search results, failing to have a mobile-friendly website can have a negative impact on your website’s click-through rate (CTR).

Think about it this way. If a user performs a search with their mobile device, and four of the top five results have a mobile-friendly designation, if all other parameters are equal, the mobile user will give preference to the four results that Google identifies as “mobile-friendly.” This results in a greatly reduced number of click-throughs for websites that haven’t been optimized for mobile while simultaneously stimulating the volume of click-throughs for websites that are.

Fortunately, Google provides a tool that allows website owners to test if their website is mobile-friendly. If a website passes this test, it will receive the mobile-friendly designation.

Reason 2: Higher Mobile Rankings

Google already penalizes websites in mobile search that are not mobile-friendly to ensure that websites that have been optimized for mobile devices rank higher. The world’s most widely used search engine is dedicated to improving the experience of surfing the internet, which is why mobile optimization is so highly coveted. Since 2014, mobile-friendly sites have been steadily increasing in ranking while others have been demoted to search engine results pages (SERPs) that rarely see human eyes.

Consider this quote from the Google blog post that announced the new “mobile-friendly” labels:

“We see these labels as a first step in helping mobile users to have a better mobile web experience. We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.” This announcement was made in 2014. Four years later, Google’s dedication to mobile-friendly websites has been unwavering, and mobile optimization has become the foundation of a successful online presence.

Reason 3: Increased Revenue From Mobile

If increasing rankings and click-throughs to your website don’t provide enough incentive to invest in a  mobile-friendly website, hopefully, lost revenue is. Lacking a mobile-friendly website at a time when so many users are turning to mobile devices to find the products and services they need is essentially forfeiting customers over to your competition.

The bottom line is this: without a mobile-friendly website, your organization is already losing revenue. Consumers are becoming less and less willing to put up with poor user-experiences on their mobile devices. If your organization fails to adapt to changing expectations, you will fall by the wayside as your prospective customers seek out the path of least resistance to an improved user experience. Typically, this path will lead them straight to your competitors who have invested in a mobile-friendly website. If you want to continue growing your business in 2019, a mobile-friendly website is crucial to your ongoing success.

Conclusion

Ensure that your organization has a successful SEO strategy in 2019 with a mobile-friendly website. Your organization will benefit from more click-throughs, higher rankings, and most importantly, increased revenue.

Mobile phones possess nearly all of the functionalities of a desktop computer, so it comes as little surprise that more and more interactions are taking place on mobile devices. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you risk missing out the important micro-moments that drive potential customers into your marketing funnel. At Leverage Digital, our creatives work side-by-side with our web development team to craft award-winning websites that feature superior performance on displays of all sizes.

Ready to partner with an award-winning agency that delivers results? Let’s get started.

 

Should You Prime Your Website for Desktop or Mobile?

If your business lacks a strong online presence, you’ll be hard-pressed to survive in our increasingly digital world. Without a dedicated website, immersive social media content, and a strong SEO strategy, potential customers will never connect with your business. To remain relevant, you need to invest in a digital imprint that packages the real-world experience of interacting with your business and delivers it to digital displays of all shapes and sizes.

Whether you already have a website or want to invest in an original build-out, it’s imperative that you understand the importance of optimization. With a skilled web developer assisting you, you can create a website that is optimized for both desktops and mobile, but if you’re just starting out, your site’s initial design and functionality will depend on whether you want to prime your digital imprint for desktop or mobile.

The Case for Desktop Optimization

By optimizing your site for desktop, you give your business the opportunity to represent itself with an industry-leading website customized to your precise specifications. With a talented backend developer working behind the scenes, the only limit to your website is your imagination. Unfortunately, the more resources you pour into desktop optimization, the harder it will be to reformat your site for mobile. It’s up to you to decide which type of device will be used to view your website more often: desktop or mobile.

The Case for Mobile Optimization

On the other hand, mobile optimization utilizes a much smaller toolset to create a website that looks as good as it functions on mobile. Ideally, mobile sites are simple, easy to navigate, and built on the Bootstrap framework. 95 percent of Americans have access to a mobile phone, but only 75 percent of Americans have access to a computer. And although the price of smartphones and computers has decreased steadily over the last decade, smartphones are still significantly less expensive. It’s also worth noting that most households contain only one or two computers, but may contain one or more phones per family member. Since more people are accessing the internet from mobile phones, priming your digital imprint for mobile allows you to reach more customers.

Our Recommendation

Although working with an award-winning digital marketing agency like Leverage Digital means you don’t necessarily have to choose one over the other, if you are working on a strict budget, we recommend optimizing your site for mobile first. 57 percent of all internet traffic comes from smartphones and tablets. If you aren’t focusing on engaging mobile users, you could be losing out on 57 percent of your potential chances to convert customers. A website optimized for mobile can still look gorgeous on 5K displays, but it will be inherently less interactive than sites designed specifically for desktop users. Still, with more users embracing mobile technology than ever before, mobile optimization is a safer, more cost-effective solution to your website woes.

How does your business stack up against the competition online? Every year, the amount of business conducted online increases. If you want to dominate your competition, you need powerful branding backed by quantifiable data. It all starts with a website optimized for your brand’s success. At Leverage Digital, our team can provide you with a website that outshines your competition on desktop and mobile.

Ready to partner with an award-winning agency that delivers results? Let’s get started.

How the Quality of Your Website Can Make or Break Your SEO Success

The quality of your website can have a major impact on the overall success of your SEO campaign. There are two major reasons for this:

First, popular search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo want to ensure their users are having a positive experience when utilizing their powerful search tools. To accomplish this goal, the top search results must include websites that not only contain information relevant to the user’s search query, but also provide the user with an engaging experience once on the site.

Second, websites must be able to convert visitors into leads and sales. A high quality, professionally designed website has a better chance of converting visitors into leads and sales than a poorly designed site with subpar functionality. Locking down first page rankings will be fruitless if your site turns off prospective customers.

How does your website stack up against your competition? Have your customers lauded their experience on your site? Do you feel like your online presence accurately represents the quality and success of your brand? Ensuring that your website provides your customers with a positive user experience will help you convert traffic from SEO and boost profitability; after all, business is going digital, and your website is your new storefront.

Invest in Professional Design

Having an attractive and professional design is one of the best ways to help your website stand out from your competition.

Captivating designs impress and engage users to increase the amount of time they spend interacting with your site. On the other hand, unappealing designs repel users with frustrating, nonsensical navigation and poorly optimized visuals. These issues commonly contribute to high bounce rates and a significant reduction in the time spent on your site. Over time, search engines will begin to perceive these negative signals as a result of a substandard user experience and reduce your site’s search rankings accordingly.

Additionally, people have powerful reactions to visuals and make strong, sometimes permanent, judgments based on first impressions. For this reason, you can expect lower search engine rankings and stifled conversion rates when supporting your brand online with an inferior website. If your website is unattractive or outdated, our agency can help you preserve the success of your SEO campaign while implementing a 360-degree site redesign.

Create Engaging Content

In order to provide users with a positive experience, your site must contain well-written content that meets the needs of your target audience. Users will succumb to frustration and leave your site if your content is irrelevant to their needs or poorly written.

Conversely, users will stay on your site longer, come back more often, and even share your content if it meets their expectations and is deftly written. So, focus on writing content for your target audience, not for search engines.

When you provide users with engaging content, not only will your site receive superior rankings, but the probability of users converting into customers will also increase.

Provide User-Friendly Navigation

Once a user finds your site, is impressed with its design, and engages with your content, the goal is to keep them on your site as long as possible since the more a user engages with your site, the more likely they are to convert into a lead or sale.

Providing users with a navigation structure that makes it easy for them to find additional relevant information is a key element of keeping users engaged. If users find it difficult to locate relevant content because your site’s navigation isn’t intuitive, they will likely give up, and move on to the next site. User-friendly navigation helps you procure “clicks” on your site. By making it simple for users to navigate to another page one or more times within your website, you reduce your bounce rate and provide your SEO campaign with a nudge in the right direction.

Ensure Fast Page Load Speeds

Have you ever clicked on a search result in Google only to find yourself staring at a blank white screen for what feels like an eternity? Did you wait for it to finish loading, or did you get frustrated and move on?

When it comes to your website, no matter how great the design or how engaging the content, slow page load speeds will drag your user-experience through the dirt. Both your rankings and conversion rates will suffer as a result of stunted load speeds.

The importance of investing in a quality hosting solution that provides fast page load speeds is often ignored. Cheap hosting can cost you in the form of suppressed rankings and a decrease in new customers, so a quality hosting solution is well worth the investment.

Conclusion

Effectively applying your business model to a digital framework is key to surviving in today’s digital economy. If a century-old company like Sears can file for bankruptcy as a direct result of competition from online retailers like Amazon, just imagine the effect on small businesses.

With a professional design, engaging content, user-friendly navigation, and fast page load speeds, your business can outshine your competition in the increasingly valuable digital space. Not only will these factors contribute to improved rankings, but they will also lead to higher conversion rates and ultimately more customers.

At Leverage Digital, we help you dominate your brand’s corner of the internet with responsive digital design that outclasses your competition, compelling content that drives SEO and user engagement, and industry-leading web support to ensure that your brand is always growing, day or night. Our holistic approach to marketing allows us to customize a superior marketing plan that helps you reach your objectives while building a solid foundation to drive your brand’s growth into the future.

Ready to partner with an award-winning agency that delivers results? Let’s get started.

Bridging the Gap Between User and User Experience

When you browse the internet and visit the websites of corporate behemoths like Amazon, Walmart, and Toyota, you’ll rarely find yourself wishing the user experience was more streamlined or more fully featured.

Clearly, these companies have invested heavily in competitive, industry-leading websites, which is why search bars find what you’re looking for, carts populate when you add items to them, and checkout procedures are quick, simple, and easy.

This is because successful brands understand that in today’s economy, the internet can either be the birthplace or graveyard of a business depending on how much time and effort they afford to optimizing their digital imprint.

Fortunately, by partnering with an award-winning digital marketing agency like Leverage Digital, you can achieve comparable results even if your business isn’t pulling in billions of dollars in revenue annually.

On the surface, developing your brand’s online presence helps your business reach more potential customers, but the significance of representing your brand online goes much deeper than that. Online optimization isn’t a luxury, it’s an expectation, and if your brand fails to commit resources to stake your claim in the digital space, you’ll fall by the wayside faster than a McDonald’s representative at an organic food convention.

Establishing your brand online requires an ardent commitment to full stack web development. Even the prettiest websites will be shunned if they lack functionality; and likewise, a fully optimized website will never get the chance to prove its worth if its homepage looks like it was designed on the Windows ‘98 version of Microsoft Word.

As more and more business is conducted online, your website will essentially become a global point of sales system where you can procure new business 24/7. Unfortunately, malicious entities maraud the internet for opportunities to create chaos. When your payment processor suddenly disconnects from your bank account, or Google starts flagging your site as “not secure” because you lack an SSL certificate, having dedicated web developers on your side can prevent you from losing out on thousands of dollars or more in potential business opportunities.

When you partner with a digital marketing agency to grow your brand, ensure that their team contains web developers specializing in front-end and back-end development. In order to bridge the gap between user and user experience, you need to ensure that the aesthetics of your web pages are backed by stringent coding that improves responsiveness and optimizes your site for mobile.

Developing your brand’s website requires an equal commitment to style and substance. Regrettably, most advertising and marketing agencies are focused solely on presenting their clients with attractive deliverables; but that’s only half of the job. You wouldn’t purchase the newest iPhone with the oldest iOS, so why would you invest in digital solutions that fail to improve the user experience on an aesthetic and functional level?

Without inspired design, responsive functionality, and a watchdog mentality ensuring that your server and database are healthy and happy, your website will never reach its potential. In fact, without a skilled web developer maintaining the technology that powers the components of your website, it’s impossible for your website to exist at all. And as you’re probably aware — if you’re not online, you’re not in business.

Leverage Digital was established in 2008 to help businesses transition from humble, brick-and-mortar beginnings into digital-savvy industry leaders. Today, our clients benefit from award-winning web design and industry-leading web support that outclasses the competition; all wrapped up in a multifaceted digital marketing strategy customized specifically for your needs. If you’re noticing a dip in revenue because your website is underperforming, our team can help you get back on the right track so you can dominate your competition.

Ready to partner with an award-winning agency that delivers results? Let’s get started.

5 Timeless Fonts for Your Daily Visual Content Needs

In an increasingly visual world, it’s imperative that we never underestimate the power of typography. Designers have a virtually inexhaustible reservoir of fonts to choose from, so for inexperienced designers, choosing the “perfect” font to communicate a brand’s message can be a stress-inducing process.

Books on typography, like Simon Garfield’s Just My Type and Steven Heller’s Scripts, tell us that typography goes far beyond the litany of two-dimensional fonts occupying space in your Adobe Typekit. Typography includes photography and visuals that convey a message through language. After all, typography; whether you take a traditional or modern approach, is all about translating your message to your audience as clearly as possible.

Unfortunately, not all fonts are created equal. Certain fonts have been future-proofed through widespread adoption over time, like Times New Roman and Arial. These fonts are Typekit-essentials suitable for a wide breadth of tasks, but when selecting fonts for visual content, it’s important to consider adding these five timeless fonts to your repertoire.

Helvetica

Italicized Helvetica can be an alluring typeface, but as seen here, its standard form is a neat font for conveying your brand’s message in a variety of ways.

 

You can’t talk about typography without bringing up Helvetica. With a diverse array of applications for writing and advertising, Helvetica is arguably the most popular font in the world. Since its inception in 1957 by Swiss typeface designers Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffman, Helvetica has a reached cult status among advertisers and marketers. Helvetica is notable for being inspired by the neo-grotesque typefaces designed in the 19th century by German and Swiss designers.

Today, Helvetica is an integral part of every designer’s Typekit. It has virtually unlimited uses and always manages to leave an immutable impression on the viewer. Helvetica’s popularity is universally recognized in the design community. In fact, there’s even a documentary film called Helvetica that chronicles the rise and sustained popularity of the iconic typeface.

Lato


In this faux indie film poster, Lato’s simplicity and readability was utilized for the slogan and the copyright information.

 

The typographic classification, Sans Serif, is reserved for casual, easy-going, and personable fonts. In Summer 2010, Warsaw-based designer Łukasz Dziedzic introduced the world to the Lato typeface family. The standard Lato font can be best described as a remix of Arial focused on leaning out each letter into a more elegant proportion. Lato fonts are open source and can be used without any limitations. It is a very neutral font that is well-suited to a variety of tasks including text overlays for visual content, infographics, brochures, and even business cards.

Roman Antique

In this shareable quote, Roman Antique makes for a compelling typeface whether accompanying an image or not.

 

Timeless fonts receive the namesake for one of two reasons:

Reason 1: they have been used regularly throughout time.

Many fonts have proven their efficacy in a variety of roles whether strictly as an appropriately stylized alphabet or to help immortalize a brand such as Coca Cola’s iconic Spencerian Script used by Frank Mason Robinson starting in 1885.

Reason 2: they transport the viewer to a past time.

Victorian and Gothic fonts are two classic examples of fonts that leave an invariably historic impression on the viewer. Typewriter fonts are equally effective when you want to leave an indelible imprint on the viewer. Roman Antique is one such font.

Roman Antique is a murky, typewriter-style font that maintains legibility regardless of scale. The further you increase the font size, the more intricate the detailing in this font becomes. Roman Antique is versatile among typewriter-style fonts, but it’s also effective when used in conjunction with visual content. This font possesses a unique sense of gravity that is readily apparent to the viewer. Whether you want to add depth to a quote aimed at inspiring your audience or need to dress up a piece of content with a classic aesthetic, Roman Antique is a flexible, typewriter-style font that can be used to satisfy an array of typographic objectives.

Bellfort


Bellfort was the perfect, attention-grabbing font for this employee introduction featuring a simple quote.

 

When you need a cohesive font family that spans an array of distinct styles and ideologies, Bellfort is your best option. The dense Bellfort family of fonts features 7 sub-families including regular, rough, press, shadow, press shadow, shadow only, and script which are also divided into four different weights.

The standard Bellfort font is characterized by thick lines and bold verticality. It is a caps-friendly font that looks attractive as informational text, a title, a quote, or something else entirely. When you need to get your message across clearly to a wide audience, Bellfort is a universally lauded font that can help you bring your brand closer to its target audience.

Raleway

Raleway is another versatile Sans Serif font. We used Raleway Heavy to create a bold, eye-catching message with a white drop shadow in the first image. In the second image, we reverted back to a single color version of Raleway Heavy and added a CTA using Raleway Standard.

 

Raleway is a striking font with a strong sense of symmetry and a few unexpected design nuances that help elevate your typography to the next level. Raleway is defined by its balance and boldness. This font is a treat for the eyes and has as many applications as you can imagine. Raleway helps enhance visual content on platforms like Instagram and Facebook by providing a dynamic typeface that is suitable for nearly any tone, motif, or message. Adding a drop shadow to Raleway fonts greatly increases their visual aesthetic and helps create a significant sense of depth to separate your image and typography.

Regardless of the platform, when you publish visual content, you want to be certain that you are conveying your brand’s message as clearly as possible. An in-depth understanding of typography can help you boost engagement with your target audience and convert prospective customers into dedicated followers. By building familiarity with a handful of timeless fonts, you can equip yourself for any future design projects on the horizon.

Are you concerned that your brand is failing to reach its target audience? Does your visual content fall by the wayside without any real engagement? At Leverage Digital, our in-house team of content strategists can help you reach your objectives by evaluating your brand’s goals, developing a personalized content strategy, and executing a 360-degree content campaign. Whether it’s compelling written copy, aesthetic visual content, witty social media posts, or informative videos, our team is equipped with all of the tools you need to boost your brand’s online visibility.

Ready to partner with an award-winning agency that delivers results? Let’s get started.

Designing for Your Content

Design is everything you see. ​When designing your website, remember that your site will not only be viewed on the computer but on every possible digital platform. A designer’s job is to create a cohesive look that ensures your brand looks great on all platforms. The content on your website is what tells your story and helps sell your product. Showcasing your content in an effective way is the most important aspect of a designer’s job.

A CONTENT FOCUSED DESIGN

There are a few ways to approach designing for your content. The most common way is to start on a desktop computer, which then gets translated to various size screens that are usually smaller. The issue with going from big to small (computer to phone) is trying to squeeze the same content into a much smaller area while also considering the limitations of a mobile device. The solution then would be to start small and go big. This is called Mobile First, a current buzzword in the design community. The issue remains—big to small and small to big won’t always translate without usability being compromised. Considering the optimal design for content will make it easier to display the content on any device. Case and point, think about your users and how they will view your content and design with them in mind.

IT’S ABOUT BALANCE

The balance of content is an art. To achieve the balance, you must start with content first. If you take into account who is using your website and what the end goal of that user is, you will have a good foundation for building a functional and usable website. It can be big to small or small to big. It should not be dictated strictly by one or the other, it should be customized for your brand content first.

CONTENT IS KEY

Thinking about your content before you think about the device will make you more flexible with the design, as well as create a streamlined and easy user experience. So if you hear buzzwords such as Mobile First, make sure your designer has your content in mind, not just a defined method that may or may not work for your brand.

Leverage our expertise. Work with us.

 

Easy Tips to Simplify The User Experience

There are endless possibilities when it comes to building a great user experience on your website including navigation, social media, content, and imagery. The list goes on and on which allows for digital clutter to build up quickly. At the forefront of your design should be user experience. Focus on creating a simple site that’s easy to navigate—follow the KISS principle!

REMOVE THE CLUTTER

Simplifying your website can go a long way in improving user experience. Whether it be taking advantage of existing device functions (such as mobile-friendly websites returning to the top with a tap at the top of your screen) or removing unnecessary distractions (like too many call to actions, buttons or links), simplifying generally creates a better user experience. This ultimately means more conversions for you!

SIMPLIFY THE EXPERIENCE

A simplified web experience means having exactly what you need and only what you need so the user flows smoothly through your content. Links, buttons, and functions that are not optimized and flexible for all viewing platforms can all be distractions that confuse your users and inevitably lead them astray from the original purpose.

Leverage our expertise. Work with us.

 

The Importance of Typography in Design

With the announcement that the National Weather Service (NWS) will now be able to use mixed-case lettering due to updated equipment, there has been a spark in the importance of typography treatment. In their April press release, the NWS explained the transition from the teleprinter which only accepted ALL CAPS to an advanced weather system which accepts mixed-case lettering. You’re probably asking, “why is this important and what does it have to do with marketing?!”

ALL CAPS has turned into the shouting joke! WHEN YOU READ IN ALL CAPS YOUR INSIDE VOICE IS PROBABLY SHOUTING RIGHT NOW!!

Typography treatment can be summed up with the example above. ALL CAPS is meant to be read with a sense of importance while mixed-case lettering is the accepted conversational tone.

Typography is the Key

When creating a website, one of the most important aspects of your brand, it’s important to understand how typography plays a role in the user experience. Viewers are more likely to click through and read content when it’s easy to find. There are a variety of typography treatment options to use to call attention to certain pieces of content. The treatment can range from bold letters, ALL CAPS, underlining, or even changing the color. If your menu features one of these treatments, it makes it easier to find it among the rest of the content on your website.

A visual hierarchy is created when the text on your website is treated differently and calls important links and menus to the user’s attention. Without varying typography treatments, everything looks the same and is hard to follow.

When thinking about your website’s content, keep in mind the most important aspects. You want them to stand out so your clients can easily navigate your content.

Leverage our expertise. Work with us.

 

How Design Can Impact Conversion

The design of your website can mean the difference in converting a new customer versus losing a potential customer. Building a strong design foundation should be the first priority. You should be designing with user experience in mind. How do potential customers flow through your website? Is it easy for them to locate the information they are seeking? If you aren’t using basic design principles, you run the risk of losing potential customers because of your website design.

Design Principles Convert

Using basic design principles increases conversion rates and customer engagement. Visual hierarchy is one of the key components of design, the flow should convert clients with ease. Visual hierarchy includes calling attention to important elements with color, size, shape, etc. With this flow, customer engagement increases because the design leads users to the end product.

Make Users Happy

Design is an integral part of any highly functional website. If your website is a trap that sends potential customers in circles, they will become frustrated and leave. You only get one chance to make a first impression, don’t frustrate your site visitors with bad design!

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call us today at (866) 611-6267 or submit our contact request form.

Go Mobile or Become Irrelevant in Google Mobile Search

Google’s Announcement

In February, Google announced that beginning April 21, they will expand their use of mobile-usability as a ranking signal, and that this algorithm update will have a significant impact on Google Search results. Google is providing what is essentially a deadline to encourage those who haven’t already adapted their websites to mobile to begin making this transition. Even prior to this announcement, Google’s intentions were clear as it made a strong push to encourage website owners to make their web properties mobile-friendly. This included adding “mobile-friendly” labels to their mobile search results, and providing mobile-usability warnings in Google Webmaster Tools.

Mobile-Friendly Websites Will Become the Norm

Up until now, having a mobile-friendly website has been a competitive advantage for most organizations. However, with this announcement, mobile-friendly websites will quickly become the norm as organizations scramble to remain relevant in mobile search. Moving forward, those organizations that provide visitors with the best mobile-experience will have the competitive advantage.

Responsive Design is Still Google’s Preferred Mobile Solution

One thing that remains constant is that Google still recommends responsive design as its preferred mobile solution. Google believes responsive web design provides a better user-experience because it’s less prone to errors than dedicated mobile sites, and we at Leverage Digital tend to agree with this sentiment. We have encouraged our clients to begin making the transition to responsive design since 2013, and those that heeded our advice, will likely benefit from Google’s upcoming algorithm update.

If you’re still on the fence about making the switch to mobile, now is the time to do it, if SEO is a strategic priority. Failure to adapt your website to mobile may result in a significant decline in mobile search rankings and mobile traffic once the algorithm update goes into effect.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call us today at (866) 611-6267 or submit our contact request form.