Choosing the best keywords for your website SEO is important.  Keywords are what we type in when we are searching for products, services, and answers on search engines, an act that people all over the world have done over a billion times. One of the important ways to optimize your website’s pages for search is to assign keywords to those pages. They are important for both organic ranking on the search engines as well as PPC or paid ad campaigns. The implications for a business to select the right keywords therefore are big. Deciding on them is a balancing act between art and statistics.

When choosing keywords, start by thinking about whom your target audience is and the focus of your website.  Make a list of words and phrases that will lead to your site when entered into search engines.  For example, if you are selling rugs – consider not only the actual word “rugs” but also carpet, floor covering, carpet brands and so on.  They should be word specific as well as related to the content.  Ask yourself if searchers will find what they are looking on your site when they search using these keywords?

Search for the term/phrase in the major engines.  It is important to also see which websites already rank for your keyword.  This gives you valuable insight into the competition, and also how hard it will be to rank for the given term. Are there search advertisements running along the top and right-hand side of the organic results? Generally if you see many search ads it signifies a high value keyword.  Multiple search ads above the organic results frequently means that it is a highly lucrative and conversion-prone keyword.

Let’s say you own an online pet shop that sells all kinds of animal food and pet equipment. To rank highly for the keyword pet would probably be at the top of your search engine marketing goals. And yet this may not be a profitable keyword that will drive relevant traffic to your site. That is because, from an organic SEO perspective, you are unlikely to rank highly for this term unless you are a huge, highly authoritative site—or lucky enough to be 1-800 Pets.com, knowing that Google rewards keywords that match website addresses.

In this case, you would do well to go after more specific keywords such as dog food, Eukanuba, fish tanks, etc. Not only is the competition for these terms less fierce but, from both an SEO and a PPC perspective, those more specific keywords are going to have a significantly higher conversion rate to purchases on your site. Try to focus on the hundreds or even thousands of more specific keywords that more closely match the services, products, brands, and locations that you sell or serve. Be sure to use these keywords throughout your site copy in your tags and where they make sense.

Not sure how what terms will work and how to choose – Consult with your SEO expert and marketing firm. There are also tools available through Google such Google Ad Keyword Tool and through Google Analytics that can help.

Keywords are an important foundation for an SEO campaign. The right keywords offer an important potential for any campaign to be successful.

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Google has been busy updating “Google Maps” and revealing new features for its desk top and mobile versions.  Among the innovations to Google Maps for smartphones and tablets is a new feature called Explore, a tool that is part of Google’s efforts to gradually make the map app more interactive and social.

Explore is designed to bring real-time information to directions, particularly in the map features that help users navigate around traffic. Users will now be able to get incident reports on chosen routes, which that will help them assess traffic conditions. They will also receive alerts with a new route if a new route means a faster travel time.

To make it more social there are also new features geared towards discovering new places to visit. Explore is a highly visual part of Google Maps that gives you a quick survey of the best options around you across five categories: Eat, Drink, Shop, Play, Sleep. The app’s Explore feature enables users to browse for new restaurants and stores as well as places of interest.  The app’s new 5-star rating system offers a summary of how friends and like-minded individuals feel about local places. Every place that has a Zagat rating will have it displayed next to the place’s address.

The features work great on tablets because they have enough screen space to display all the information Explore offers. On smartphones you can only view a limited amount on the screen at once.

Explore is Google’s next big move towards overtaking its rivals. It is only the first of many Google Maps innovations that should give sites such as YELP pause for concern.

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Fixed header bar is becoming more popular in web design. It refers to the name given to any top navigation that stays at the top of your web browser at all times, even while scrolling down the page. By having the bar stick to the top, this means that the user does not have to scroll to the top when they want to change page.

Although fixed header bars have been around for awhile they are being used by more and more websites today as they are both aesthetically pleasing and provide a better user experience for those navigating a site.

For fixed headers to be effective type of navigation there are some considerations that should be taken into account.

The weight and prominence of your navigation bar needs to be balanced to avoid distraction. If the bar is too large and/or dark it will take attention away from the content — directing it to the navigation bar instead. You don’t want the bar to be overpowering or take up too much space. The navigation should add value to the site and not detract from it.

The best sites to use fixed navigation on are the ones with heavy content and a few main areas of navigation that are frequently used. If a user is ever lost they can quickly reference the navigation. Fixed navigation also works well for websites of companies that are trying to sell  products.  These sites often have a cart and potential for a user to be logged in. The fixed navigation allows the users to access the cart as well as any product or category in the shop at any time.  One page sites with long vertically scrolling content can also benefit from a fixed navigation bar so that the user can easily navigate to desired areas of the site without scrolling through data that might not interest them.

Fixed headers are found on many kinds of sites today including blogs, companies, social networks and portfolios.  Some people might not even realize how many sites they use everyday utilize this type of navigation. Some popular sites that use this navigation are Facebook, Gmail and Pinterest.

Keeping these points in mind when creating fixed navigation will enhance both the design and user experience.

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