#VoiceFirst: Thinking About Voice Search Optimization

Speech is one of the first skills we learn and one of the last one we lose. A baby’s first word is considered a milestone. “Famous last words” isn’t a saying for nothing–those final words are part of how you’ll be remembered. Spoken language evokes emotions and moves people to action in a way that’s different from visuals or from the written word. The Voice User Interface (VUI) is here: it’s accessible, it’s easy, and it’s part of the future. And with it comes the need for voice search optimization.

Increasingly, instead of texting or typing, people rely either text-to-type or voice recording for messaging instead. By 2020, 50% of searches will be done by voice command. With Alexa, Google Home, Apple Homepod, and similar devices arriving to market, voice search optimization stats are only expected to increase.

You know you need to optimize for mobile, but in the coming years, voice will become just as important. This is especially important for eCommerce sites. Here are three things to consider now for success later on.

We ask questions differently when we say them.

Seems obvious, but we definitely do interact with a spoken search much differently than we do a typed search. Even if we know it’s a computer, we don’t just bark at our devices. We converse. Where we might have once typed in keywords like “best ice cream anchorage”, in a voice search, we interact in a conversational way. The same search would follow suit: “Hey Google, what’s the best ice cream in Anchorage, Alaska?”

Consider semantics.

To that end, the way we attract attention to our page needs to change. Rather than targeting keywords, we’ll begin to shift over to what’s called semantic SEO. The basic difference between keyword and semantic SEO is that it’s built more around meaning than around targeted keywords. In other words, rather than anticipating what specific words people might search, we have to consider how they might ask for information. You target topics, not keywords.

There are no front-page results.

Voice search results are, of course, not displayed on a single front page where the searcher can skim and pick the content they desire. You receive results one at a time, starting at the top. This means that in order to bring your content and your site to the attention of people searching, your content needs to respond to their specific question in a clear, succinct way. There’s no one specific answer to this, but testing will be critical in terms of seeing how your site and content are performing.

Have you been using voice search technology yourself, either as a marketer or consumer? We’d love to hear your thoughts and observations!

Top 10 Website Design Mistakes to Avoid

Are you currently building your website or making some adjustments to an existing site? Here is a list of 10 website design mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

Everyone wants their website be perfect, but very few of us have any award winning designers to call for advice (except you, dear reader, you’ve got BRANDING FOR THE PEOPLE). You’ve probably heard an earful from the amatuers about how to get clicks and convert eyeballs to leads, but here, we are going to help you build your BRAND online. Here are the top 10 website design mistakes, or landmines to avoid, as compiled by our website designer Lidya Toscano.

 

01. Having a home button on your website:

Having a home button on your main navigation is a thing of the past, and is one of the most common website design mistakes we have personally witnessed over the years. Everyone knows and it should be pretty obvious that the logo is usually your go to place to click whenever you want to come back to the homepage in case you get lost or want to start navigating the website from the start.

Having a home button steals room for more important navigation items like your mission, your vision or the things that actually make you money, like your products.

 

02. NOT having enough Calls To Action:

Your website can be making you a lot of money, but if it’s not, it’s more likely because it doesn’t have enough Call To Actions, also known as CTA, and more popularly known as “Buttons.” These are essential for your website as they direct and tell the user what to do, where to go, how to do it and most importantly they play a big role in helping your website make you money. You can think of them as traffic signs, as they direct you to where you want to go, and to where it’s going to be turned into profit and/or long client relations.

Here are some examples of CTAs:

 

03. Having weak SEO or not having it at all:

What is SEO?
SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is a set of rules that every website and blog should follow in order to help their visibility in search engines and help their search ranking.   

Why is it  important?
SEO plays a big role in your website visibility, and not having it, or not doing it well can impact your website’s ability to appear in search engines.

Although search engines will throw thousands of results, most users don’t even get to the second page, and most of them religiously trust these search engines to have the best choice within the first page, therefore most of them don’t even click past the 5th result listed. So the higher your website ranks the more traffic your website will get and the more money you are likely to make.

 

04. NOT capturing leads:

You have spent many dollars in campaigns to promote you and your site, all the way from Google ads to Facebook ads, to writing copy, to doing public speaking etc., but if you aren’t turning the visitors on your site into email addresses and phone numbers, you might as well just feed your money into an empty soda machine.

If you want your website to generate business, then it is crucial that you’re capturing leads through your website. Simple ways to capturing leads of potential future customers is to have your visitors fill out a web form where they provide you with their name and email in exchange for a free give or service, or to invite them to participate in a 10 day challenge of some sort, with daily motivation sent to their inbox or phone. Once you’ve got their info, you can market to them to your heart’s content.

 

05. Don’t hide your contact information:

Unless you don’t won’t anyone inquiring to do business with you, you shouldn’t be keeping your contact information secret. The most visible and best places to put your contact information is in the footer, you can just include a phone number and an email or a contact page linked from your main nav or a site map at the footer of your website page. Another popular spot for a phone number? Across the top in the navigation!

 

06. NOT having a mobile compatible website:

This is one of the biggest website design mistakes there are, we are now living in the year of 2018 where, according to this Mobile Fact Sheet, 95% of Americans own some sort of cellphone and 77% own a smartphone. This means that people are spending more time on their tablets and smartphones, and 80% them have admitted to making impulsive purchases while on their phone, and, they will do it again! If you don’t believe us, take a look at this Huffpost article 5 Reasons You Absolutely Must Optimize Your Website for Mobile.

Another reason to optimize your website to be mobile friendly is that Google penalizes non-friendly mobile websites by lowering their search ranking and this directly hurts your business if you make your money by generating leads online. Want more info? Read this: Google Boosts Mobile-Friendly Algorithm, Further Penalizing Non-Mobile Sites.

 

07. Don’t Stop Scrolling:

When it comes to designing a website, infinite scrolling is often looked at as a negative feature by old school designers. But, look around, everybody is doing it! You are actually doing it right now! Especially when it comes to mobile websites, scrolling is not a bad thing and it’s a thing people are very used to doing. People do it everyday and love to do it on all of their Social Media accounts such Facebook and Instagram. So avoid this common website design mistake and don’t limit your content by thinking that scrolling is a bad thing.

 

08. Embed text in your images:

Another very common website design mistake is to embed text in images, search engines can’t read embedded text in images. If that’s your issue you could be hurting your search ranking and might as well not even include the text on the image at all, since having it embedded is equivalent to not having text at all. And if you still don’t understand why SEO is important go back and read point 3.

 

09. NOT including your social media:

Not including your social media on your site, is plain bad. Adweek states that on average a person spends 5 years of their life navigating their social media accounts.

Now, why should you have social media you ask? Many companies are taking advantage of social media to advertise products, promote services and make announcements which eventually leads to profits. So why would you not include yours?

 

10. Inconsistent branding

Now this is our area of expertise and we know a bad and inconsistent branding when we see one. Not only is this visually bad, but you can be confusing your users by making them think they’re on a different page every time they make a click and users will be more likely to not trust you neither return to your site.

Here is a list of signs to tell if your branding is inconsistent or not:

  1. Pixelated photos and graphics.
  2. Not having a color system.
  3. Having too many different fonts, and font colors and sizes.
  4. Your photos are different styles, basically not having photography guidelines.
  5. Not having a brand voice and personality.

 

 

If you need professional help building your website click here for a complimentary consult.

 

Think you can’t push the envelope? Meet GoDaddy.

Why GoDaddy dominates: branding.

Whoever thought an IT/tech brand could have fun? Someone at GoDaddy, that’s who. GoDaddy is an extraordinary lesson in effective commitment to and ownership of an archetype… even after some of its key messaging required change. For years, tech businesses played it safe. Stoic. Devoid of personality. Blue. Remember IBM? Yeah, that kind of blue. Then, a little known company came along and RAN in the opposite direction with formidable fury and fervor. That’s why GoDaddy dominates. The company stands out, above, and beyond (not always without criticism) to own its market. All because of branding.

How It Started

It wasn’t always GoDaddy. Bob Parsons started Jomax Technologies, named after a dirt road, in 1997. But that didn’t offer any insight into what the brand offered or what it would do. A brainstorming session didn’t result in a new name, but eventually someone suggested “Big Daddy” (which had already been taken). “Go Daddy” was available. Still, they weren’t convinced and used that name as a lark while searching for other options. Meanwhile, everyone loved the name so it stuck. And the strange logo? THAT resulted from a mother-daughter doodling session. Silly and fun.

The Brand

What in the world is that? A doodle. An absurd doodle. Sunglasses and loud, like a California surfer who got lost at the mall. Is that orange hair? Or sunburn radiating off a bald head?

The color scheme is bold, bright, and very much NOT blue. The personality of colors bright yellow, orange, and green embody the fun, cheerful, silliness of a Jester Archetype. One who enjoys the journey. Everything is open to exploration and for cracking jokes.

But, the Jester does NOT mean anything goes, as GoDaddy eventually learned. A brand that offends may be remembered, but not for the right reasons. Still, it’s possible to change and keep the personality!

The evolution of GoDaddy

A brand creates a feeling with more than logos and colors. Branding includes all touchpoints and methods of communication with a target audience. This means that the messaging in your verbal identity is just as important for a brand to attract the audience it wants.

In 2005, when GoDaddy ran its first Super Bowl ad, critics argued that the ad objectified women simply to make a profit. It gained familiarity, but consumers still didn’t know what the brand did, while the ad proceeded to hurt their recruitment of women. Starting around 2013, after dominating the landscape, GoDaddy began to address its employer brand problem and eliminate the frat boy reputation. How? According to this 2015 article, the company embarked on a 4-tier plan: active participation in women-in-tech conferences, biquarterly events on women’s rights issues, employee training, and active engagement in education so that more women graduate with computer science degrees.

The change didn’t happen overnight. It takes a long time to change a reputation. In fact, there was praise last year when GoDaddy didn’t advertise in Super Bowl 50. Still, GoDaddy remained focused on maturing its Jester Archetype.

The result? A Jester who doesn’t mock or objectify women and STILL has absurd fun to show what that brand can do for business.

Still the Jester. Still dominating. Still different.

Summary

Don’t be afraid to push boundaries. GoDaddy dominates because it wanted to be known. It needed to be different. It also needed to change, but, as we can see, change didn’t require GoDaddy to lose the fun side of its personality,