Month: December 2020

12-Point SEO Checklist for 2021

Doing SEO is never as easy as publishing an article, taking a nap, then wait for it to rank. SEO needs to be holistic and it takes efforts in all areas of it to be truly successful. It has been this way and it will surely be this way in 2021 and the next years to come.

However, one can only do so much and there are so many stuff to think about and focus on. It is really easy to get lost in SEO and forget about other factors when you are trying to optimize one factor after another. That is why I created this checklist to help you organize your thoughts and don’t miss a beat. If you want to be successful in SEO in 2021, follow this checklist to help you plan your SEO strategy.

1. Check Meta Tags

Checking and optimizing meta tags are two of the basic steps in doing on-page SEO. It has been and will always be an important part of any SEO checklist because it includes one of the most important ranking factors: the title tag. 

When optimizing title tags, make sure that the target keyword is present while also creating a good copy to attract user clicks. Optimizing meta tags also means optimizing meta descriptions and although it is not a ranking factor, it is important for your click-through rate.

One of the things most people forget when checking meta tags is the meta robots tag attribute which can lead to critical errors. A simple ‘noindex’ tag can completely ruin a page’s rankings because it will literally tell Google to not show this page in the search results. You can use a robots exclusion checker extension so you can quickly check the meta robots attribute of a page without having to go to the source code.

2. Look for Duplicate Content

Duplicate content can cause two main problems: first is that there is a possibility that Google may flag it as spam and second are it may dilute keywords around your website. It is also good to note that duplicate content is not just any piece of content in the body of an article. Duplicate meta tags and subheadings can also negatively affect your rankings.

In instances where duplicate content cannot be avoided (ex. Two product pages with the same item and description but different measurements etc.), use the canonical tag to avoid ranking drops.

3. Check for Pages with Wrong Intent

As I mentioned in the article I wrote about SEO ranking factors in 2021, search intent is going to be big. That is why you should optimize not only new pages on your website but also existing ones.

Check the list of the keywords you are targeting and look for those that are not yet on the first page despite your efforts. Search the keyword you are targeting in Google and take a quick look at the ones Google is rewarding because for now, this is the best way to identify what is the intent of the keyword you are targeting.

Once you have assessed the right intent for the keyword, look back at the page you are trying to rank then adjust your content accordingly. Do the results show products? Then most likely, you need to show products on your page as well. Search intent will always focus on giving the users the answer that they are expecting so you should adjust your content according to that. Yes, keywords on your article and the word count are still important, but if your content does not satisfy what a user is searching for in a specific keyword, you will always be outranked by those that do.

4. Optimize for Core Web Vitals and Page Experience

The Core Web Vitals and Page Experience are confirmed SEO factors that will be integrated into Google’s algorithm in 2021 and there is no doubt that these two should be on your checklist.

Page Experience Chart

There are three metrics that make the Core Web Vitals: Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift. Page Experience, on the other hand, consists of existing SEO factors that are now grouped together to help Google better assess user experience on a website. This includes HTTPS, mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, and no interstitials. The Core Web Vitals are actually included in the Page Experience but it is a big topic that is frequently discussed entirely on its own.

To help you assess how your website fairs on these new SEO factors, you can use a variety of field and lab tools from Google. PageSpeed Insights, Google Lighthouse, and the Core Web Vitals Chrome extension to name a few. I published a series of guides regarding the Core Web Vitals and Page Experience and I highly recommend that you check that out to have an in-depth idea on how to optimize them.

5. Augment Old Blog Posts

Augmenting articles that were published more than a year ago is a great SEO strategy that can boost your traffic. The strategy here is to look for blog posts that were performing before but then dropped off. Most likely, they lost their rankings for containing outdated information and new articles from other websites started to outrank them.

This is an opportunity that most website owners tend to forget because most are focused on publishing new articles when they already have existing assets that can save them time. Check out this sample article I repurposed back in 2019. It was getting a few pageviews per week back in 2018 when it was first published. I then updated it and further optimized it and started getting more pageviews than ever, even carrying the momentum to 2020.

Augmenting old blog posts may vary, there will be blog posts that may need an overhaul but there are also those that only needs a few tweaks. Whatever it may be, it is a good strategy that can definitely get you more traffic. I wrote a full guide on Augmenting Blog Posts that you can read here to give you full insights on how to do it properly.

6. Apply Schema Markups

No, structured data is still not a ranking factor but you should never underestimate the value that it can bring to your website. Properly applying schema markups on your pages make them eligible for Google’s Rich Results which can boost your click-through rate from Google search results.

Many overlook structured data because not only is it not a ranking factor but also it can take a lot of time and effort to manually apply schema markups. But thankfully, there are a lot of tools that could help automate the process. You could easily install plugins if you’re using WordPress or use schema generators that are available to use online for free. This makes creating schema markups a lot easier and not web development knowledge is required.

7. Utilize AMP

Using AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages on your website automatically strips your page down to the bare minimum, leaving only the header, content, and images. This provides mobile users with the best experience because it makes websites load at a very fast rate.

A lot of people are still confused about AMP’s contribution to a website’s rankings. It is already confirmed by Google that AMP is not a ranking factor – meaning enabling AMP on your website does not give you a ranking boost. However, Google also said that speed is a ranking factor and AMP does make your website load faster.

Installing AMP on your website is not difficult and will not require web development knowledge if you’re using WordPress. You can simply install the official AMP plugin then select which parts of your websites will the plugin create AMP versions of.

Do take note that AMP is not for everyone. Since AMP will strip down a webpage’s design down to the bare minimum, visuals that you use to convert customers may not appear. I also don’t recommend using AMP on product pages and product category pages for ecommerce websites. If this is the case for you, it is better to focus on making sure that your website is mobile-friendly without the use of AMP.

8. Check Internal Links

Internal linking is really important for site structure and it also helps in rankings. Important pages of your website should have a lot of internal links to it. Internal linking also helps users navigate around your website and can help convert them. You can also help Google understand the context of pages through the anchor text that you use for the internal link similar to how anchor text in backlinks work.

Another purpose of checking your internal links is you could be wasting link juice by linking to old pages of your website that are not existing anymore or linking to URLs with redirects. Linking to 404 URLs stops the flow of link juice and is a wasted opportunity. Redirects, on the other hand, reduces the authority passed on by the links so you are better of linking directly to where the link redirects.

9. Verify Website on Google Search Console

If you haven’t done this yet, you have to do this ASAP. Verifying your website on Google Search Console is the first step you should take if you want it to appear in Google. There is not really much to say about this step. Simply go to Google Search Console and use your Google account to login. Follow the steps to verify your website and that’s it! Google should start crawling your website then index it.

10. Submit Sitemaps

Once you’ve set up Google Search Console for your website, you will now be able to submit your XML sitemaps to help Google better crawl your website. Google will prioritize crawling of URLs that are included in the sitemap you submit and will also crawl them more frequently. For URLs that are not included in the sitemap, Google will still crawl them but with less priority.

For large websites, you can create multiple sitemaps to better organize URLs. You can also create an image sitemap for image SEO.

11. Check for Crawling and Indexing Errors

The Coverage Report in Google Search Console is one of the benefits of verifying your website. In this report, you’ll see crawl errors that may also prevent pages from being indexed. You’ll also the list of URLs that are being indexed, URLs with warnings, and URLs that are completely excluded from the search results.

For a full guide on how to fix coverage errors in Google Search Console, I highly recommend that you check out this guide that I wrote for it – How to Fix Index Coverage Errors in Google Search Console.

12. Upgrade to Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 or GA4 is an improved version of Google Analytics with advanced AI technology that can provide you more and smarter marketing insights. It also allows you to have better integration with Google Ads and helps you understand user life cycles better. 

Moving forward, new Google Analytics accounts will automatically be in GA4 and you’re currently using Universal Analytics, the previous version, you can easily upgrade to Google Analytics 4 in your property settings. 

I highly suggest that you move all your old universal analytics accounts to GA4 so you can start enjoying the benefits of the new platform. I’m sure it will take some time to adjust to the new platform but there is no better time to adapt and improve. 

Key Takeaway

2021 is going to be a year where us SEOs will get our hands full even more with so many optimization points to think about. Just the Core Web Vitals alone can eat up weeks of work! That is why it is crucial that you are able to organize and plan ahead so you won’t leave any stone unturned. I hope this checklist help you in planning out your SEO strategy and help you rank better this year.

12-Point SEO Checklist for 2021 was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Merry Christmas To All Our SEO Hackers!

Merry Christmas To All Our SEO Hackers

In 2020, a number of businesses were given the difficult task of changing up their processes to fit a world in the middle of a pandemic. While it may not have been easy to pull off, it certainly caused an increase in adaptability and new insights. This year, SEO Hacker would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas by sharing some helpful gifts — articles that can improve your SEO in 2021.

As another year comes to an end, it’s important to look back on your previous efforts and accomplishments. What’s also important is that you start thinking of the journey ahead and how you’re going to maneuver through it. To help you out, we’ve rounded up a few articles we wrote in 2020 that talk about the changes you should expect in the year to come.

 

SEO in 2021: 7 Factors you Should Prepare For

SEO in 2021 Graphics

This year, Google introduced a number of factors to further improve user experience. This included Passage Indexing, Core Web Vitals, Page Experience, and more. They also started to utilize previously introduced factors such as Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT). To learn more about how to optimize your site to have better and more relevant content, take a look at this article.

 

What You Need to Know About the December 2020 Core Update

Google Update Graphics

As you may already know, Google releases core updates every couple of months. The latest of which happened on December 3, 2020. As with any Google Core Update, one important factor to take note of is how it affected your rankings. While some companies were able to bounce back, others weren’t as lucky. Stay on top of your competitors by learning more about the December 2020 Core Update here.

 

Complete Core Web Vitals Guide

Core Web Vital Graphics

In May 2020, Google announced that Page Experience will become a key ranking factor in 2021. In order to ensure that your website is optimized for a user, one of the things that you must take a look at is your Core Web Vitals. How’s your site speed? How fast does it take for your website to react to a certain interaction? This article can give you tips on how to make your website more user-friendly, which can lead to more conversions.

 

Introducing Google Analytics 4: New Features and How to Set Up

Graphics of Website Analytics

In addition to making changes to improve the user experience, this year Google also released updates relevant to marketers. Specifically, with the introduction of Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This updated tool comes with better Google ads integration, which can give you more insights into who your customers are and how they explore your website. Read this article we wrote all about GA4 and its new features.

 

Google Search Console’s New and Improved Crawl Stats Report: Everything you Need to Know

Google Search Console Crawl Stats Report

Another Google tool that was given an upgrade in 2020 was the Google Search Console Crawl Stats Report. Now you can take a look at when Google crawled your site as well as its status. Was it successful? If not, what was the error code provided? With this information, you can better manage your Crawl Budget to ensure that your most important pages are being crawled by Google.

 

Key Takeaway

If you want to learn more about how you can make your website more relevant, searchable, and user-friendly, read up on the articles that we’ve mentioned above. This can arm you with the information you need to prepare your SEO Strategy for next year.

Lastly, once again, SEO Hacker would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. We hope our gifts in the form of the articles above help in your success in 2021.

Merry Christmas To All Our SEO Hackers! was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

SEO Hacker Roundup: Best SEO Articles of 2020

SEO Hacker Roundup: Best SEO Articles of 2020

2020 wasn’t the best year for most of us. A lot of businesses went under which led to a lot of clients from all industries churning. However, a great thing came about because of a crisis like the pandemic – business owners and entrepreneurs realized the importance of going digital, being accessible to all their audiences, and being able to cater to their clients without the need of having physical interaction. 

Through the help of you, our readers, SEO Hacker has been able to endure the difficult times brought by the pandemic. Additionally, this year has been full of experiments and updates that will affect the SEO industry in the years to come. Now that 2020 is coming to a close, let’s look back at the articles that you, our readers, have enjoyed reading the most:

How to Use Keyword Mapping for SEO

Using Keyword Stemming to Enhance your Organic Traffic

Keywords are still one of the most common inclusions in any SEO strategy, which makes keyword mapping all the more important. Through keyword mapping, SEOs can streamline and improve the efficiency of their strategies by organizing, assigning, and optimizing the best possible pages for a specific keyword/topic.

This is not a new strategy, but it is an underrated one where once properly done, SEOs can save more time and energy to invest in other ventures. 

Google Announces January 2020 Broad Core Update and the New Look Search Results Page

January started with a core update and a new (minor) design for the SERPs (search engine results pages). This meant a lot of volatility and movements in search rankings for most SEOs. 2020 started with a blast and a lot of SEOs had their work cut out for them and already set the tone for 2020 where a lot of changes and experiments were done to the search engine, primarily to Google.

Introducing Google Analytics 4: New Features and How to Set Up

introducing google analytics 4

Through Google Analytics 4 or GA4, Google aims to evolve the tool along with shifts in consumer behavior, the need for better use of analytics, and new data privacy regulations. Using the app+web property as a foundation, Google came out with GA4 where users can enjoy the following:

  • Smarter Marketing Insights using Machine Learning
  • Deeper Integration with Google Ads
  • Customer-Centric Measurements and Better Understanding of Customer Life Cycle
  • New Data Controls

How to Handle Pagination for SEO

Pagination is one of the trickiest problems that SEOs experience since improper optimization of paginations could lead to multiple pages being flagged as duplicates. A lot of SEOs assume that pagination is bad for SEO, which isn’t really the case. It’s more complicated than that since proper optimization of paginations could lead to some benefits. 

How to Optimize for Google News

Google news is a news aggregator feature by Google that was introduced back in 2002. Google News collates news articles from its list of verified websites and serves it to users based on their interests and location. It is available in more than 60 regions and 35 languages. Through Google News, users are able to access fresh local and worldwide news. This means that publishers and websites that primarily serve up-to-date news and current events need to know how to optimize for Google News to further reach new audiences.

How Digital Marketing Companies are Affected by COVID-19

As mentioned earlier, the pandemic has affected a lot of businesses and industries and Digital Marketing is one of them. Which is why we asked digital marketers around the world how the pandemic affected their businesses and what they’re doing to stay afloat in these difficult times.

How to Get in Google News

The earlier mentioned article where we teach you how to optimize for Google News involves your website already being eligible for the news aggregator. In this article, we discussed how publishing and news websites are able to gain the eligibility to enter Google News and have their articles enjoyed by a wider audience-base.

Key Takeaway

Now that we’re entering 2021 and things are looking brighter than ever – I have no doubt in my mind that a lot more businesses will look into venturing into the digital industry. Which is why I still commit myself to producing high-quality, informative, helpful articles for all our readers. Hopefully, SEO Hacker is your go-to blog for all your SEO questions and resources. We thank you for a slightly rocky year that was filled with innovations and new learnings!

SEO Hacker Roundup: Best SEO Articles of 2020 was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

SEO in 2021: 7 Factors you Should Prepare For

SEO in 2021

2020 was a year full of anxiety and uncertainty. There was so much going on around the world that it also affected the way how people search. With the year 2020 now ending, it is now time for us to look forward and prepare for what’s to come in 2021.

It is no secret that SEO is an ever-changing game. From the words of Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s Head of Search:  “Search is never a solved problem”. That is why Google continues to innovate and we SEOs should do the same.

2021 is going to be an exciting year for SEO and the best time to optimize is now. Here are the things that you should prepare for SEO in 2021.

Optimizing for Core Web Vitals and Page Experience

Google’s announcement of the two new ranking factors, Core Web Vitals and Page Experience, last May was one of the biggest announcements they had in recent years. They then announced in November that these two new ranking factors will be integrated into the algorithm by May 2021.

Most of the things that make up Page Experience are already part of the current algorithm. What Google did is take all of these ranking factors such as speed, mobile-friendliness, security, etc., and group them together to have a holistic view of what provides users with the best user experience.

web vitals chrome extension screenshot

The other ranking factor, Core Web Vitals, is made up of three metrics namely: Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift. These three metrics deal with the overall performance of a webpage such as how long does it take before a user can interact with the page or how long does it take for the largest image to load. According to Google, the Core Web Vitals will continue to evolve throughout the years but for now, these three metrics are where SEOs should focus on.

For a full guide on each metric of the Core Web Vitals and Page Experience, check out these guides that we have published:

Core Web Vitals Guide

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

First Input Delay (FID)

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Page Experience

Search Intent is More Important than Ever

Search intent is not a new concept to SEO but 2021 is really the time where you should go all-in on it. One of the reasons why Google continues to dominate the search market is its consistent drive to accomplish its goal of providing users the most relevant search results and it has always been that way.

For Google, content is king and I believe it will always be king. But writing content for the sake of ranking for a target keyword is meaningless anymore. The focus of Search Intent is to provide content that is actually relevant to users. This gives meaning and purpose to creating content because many are tired of hearing the generic advice to create “high-quality” content all the time. So what is search intent and what type of content should you produce?

It is quite a simple concept to understand but can be difficult to execute. Search intent is the reason behind a user’s search. A better way of explaining it is with a question: “what does the user expect to see when they search this keyword”.

Search intent also has 4 types: informational, transactional, commercial, and navigational. 

The question now is how do you know what is the right intent of a specific keyword. Well, ask Google. Search for the keyword you are targeting and check what Google is rewarding. The next step is to produce a better article than what your competitors have.

Going into 2021, search intent should be the focal point of any content strategy. Gone are the days where articles that only have keyword density in mind dominate the search results. Users should always benefit from content that they get from Google and so we SEOs should always keep in mind what’s good for users.

Video Content

video results for how to bake a pie

Last October 2020, Google launched a video on its official YouTube channel highlighting the improvements that they made in search throughout the year. One of the highlights is how Google is now able to automatically tag and identify key moments on videos using AI without creators having to manually tag them.

This helps users save time when searching. When they click on a video from the search results, instead of having to scroll through the whole video, Google automatically directs them to what they are looking for. 

According to Google, this will affect 10% of the search results by the end of 2020 and we can expect that they will continue to work on this in the coming year.

You can upload videos on your website and other platforms but YouTube is still the way to go if you want to utilize video content in the search results. According to a study, 83% of videos in the search results are from YouTube. It is not surprising considering YouTube is owned by Google.

Still, video content on YouTube is not yet explored by many digital marketers and it should be something that you should look into in 2021. It is clear that searchers prefer visual results more and more and with Google’s AI making it more convenient for them, traffic from video results is becoming more valuable and a better way of engaging with your target audience.

BERT Affects all Searches

When Google introduced the Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, better known as BERT, back in 2019, SEOs were quick to try and find out how to optimize for it despite BERT only affecting 10% of search results that time. I also published an article regarding how BERT affects SEO and I highly suggest that you check that out as well.

In 2020, Google announced that BERT now affects 100% of English search results. However, take note that BERT is not a ranking factor or algorithm. BERT is a technique used by Google to better understand what a user is searching for in a specific query. 

Experts and Google say that there is nothing really to optimize for because it does not affect how Google index and rank pages. But one thing to take note of is that BERT can be related to search intent. Since Google is able to understand user queries better, that means content that best answers the user’s query will be rewarded more. My advice, do not overthink how BERT will affect your website because it won’t. Instead, focus on creating content that has the right search intent with BERT in mind.

Game Changer: Passage Indexing

Passage Indexing was also one of the biggest announcements by Google in their Search on 2020 video that took the attention of the SEO industry. Basically, Google is now able to index passages/snippets of an article in the search results if it is related to a user’s query despite not being the main topic of the article. 

Specific searches or passages screenshot

This is another innovation by Google using its advanced AI. Many were confused on how it will affect Google’s crawling and indexing but Google made it clear that they will still index the whole page it’s just that their AI is now able to focus on different parts of the content, not just the main subject.

This is big news because it means there are more opportunities to rank for when writing an article, especially long-form content. I mentioned in the article summarizing Google’s Search in 2020 that optimizing for passage indexing is similar to how you would optimize for Featured Snippets. The idea is to properly segment your content to make it easier for Google to understand and index. 

Although passage indexing will only affect about 7% of search results by next year, I predict that it will be big in the years to come.

Subtopics

Google is looking to further diversify search results for broad terms using their advanced AI to understand subtopics. It was also announced in the Search in 2020 YouTube video and was briefly explained.

When a user searches for a broad term for example “computer”, Google is now able to understand relevant subtopics related to computers such as gaming computers, office computers, computer peripherals, etc. then serve it to the user.

This gives more importance to the use of the topic cluster model. I highly recommend that you read the guide we published for the Topic Cluster Model to help plan your content strategy for next year.

Optimizing for Rich Results

It’s 2021 and no, structured data is still not a ranking factor but properly marking up your pages with schema is important as ever. Google is pushing more and more rich results in the search results and they are easily stealing the spotlight from the regular blue links we are accustomed to.

Rich Results are visually improved and more interactive search results in Google. Generally, Google uses structured data markups on pages to pull up data for rich results. Marking up your pages with schema markup will not guarantee that you’ll appear in rich results and technically, structured data is not required for you to appear in rich results, but marking up your pages boosts your chances.

The benefits of appearing in Rich Results are the same with Featured Snippets – higher click-through rate. And similar to Featured Snippets, you don’t necessarily have to be the top 1 in the search results to appear in rich results. 

As of writing, these are the structured data types that are eligible for rich results in Google:

  • Article
  • Book
  • Breadcrumb
  • Carousel
  • Course
  • COVID-19 Announcements
  • Critic review
  • Dataset
  • Employer Aggregate Rating
  • Estimated Salary
  • Event
  • Fact Check
  • FAQ
  • Home Activities
  • How-to
  • Image License
  • Job Posting
  • Job Training
  • Local Business
  • Logo
  • Movie
  • Product
  • Q&A
  • Recipe
  • Review Snippet
  • Sitelinks search box
  • Software app
  • Speakable
  • Subscription and paywalled content
  • Video

Google will continue to update this list as they are also working with Schema.org to improve structured data on the web. You should frequently check Google’s documentation on structured data to keep updated.

Key Takeaways

If you notice, half of what I talked about are things that were mentioned are related to Google’s AI technology and features. However, at the end of the day, users are the most important and everything that you do should be beneficial to them if you truly want to be successful for SEO in 2021.

I believe that 2021 will be an exciting year for SEO and also a busy year with all the new innovations we’ll have to think about and optimizations we’ll be doing. While there are factors that are highlighted such as those that I talked about in this article, keep in mind that SEO should always be holistic. You can focus and prioritize these new things that are to come in 2021 but do not leave other SEO factors behind.

SEO in 2021: 7 Factors you Should Prepare For was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Outsource Web Design: What to Know + How to Do It Effectively

Web Development

Web design is incredibly important. The way that you craft your online presence will say a lot about your business to your potential customers.

Once upon a time, it was your storefront that customers saw first, and that was the most important way that you could make a positive first impression on them.

But in the modern business world, it’s all about your website.

Most customers will find you through search engines like Google. That means their first impression is established through your website.

In other words, you need a good looking and functional website if you want to succeed.

Many businesses choose to outsource their web development or website redesign services rather than hire an in-house designer.

But why do people outsource? And what steps should you take to ensure you succeed when outsourcing your web design?

Read on to find out.

Why Should You Outsource?

Web design outsourcing can be beneficial for businesses of all sizes. It will allow your business to maintain and scale while still getting an original website with an optimized user experience.

But there are also a lot of website builders out there specifically designed to help business owners with no technical knowledge create a website for very little money.

So, again, why outsource?

For starters, there’s time commitments.

If you’re concerned with creating a website, you’re not going to have the time needed to dedicate yourself to the actual running of your company.

Time is a precious resource for an entrepreneur or small business owner, and you’re going to be better suited to allowing an outside party to tackle this vital task while you focus up on keeping the business moving forward.

You’re also going to be able to get a more personalized website design if you’re working with a professional website development team.

These website builders are typically on rails, providing you with templates that you either aren’t allowed to edit, or aren’t skilled enough to edit.

You might think that bringing on a full time developer would be better in the long run for your business, but that’s not cost effective.

On top of paying the salary of your new full time employee, you’re also dealing with bonuses, benefits, and the cost of hiring a new staff member, which can be up to $4,129 on average in 2020.

Not only is hiring a development team more affordable, it’s also more efficient for web development services.

When you’re working with a single in house designer, you have one person working on your site. When you outsource to a web developer, you often have an entire team of dedicated web design professionals working for you at a fraction of the cost.

Outsource Your Web Design Work to Our Team

Since 2009, we have helped many agencies and businesses white-label our services under your brand. Let us do it for you!

The Steps to Succeed in Outsourcing Web Design

Now that you know why you should outsource your web design, it’s time to talk about how to go about web development outsourcing safely.

There are three major steps that you’ll have to take if you want to get the most out of your web design efforts.

They are:

  1. Clearly define your web design goals and budget
  2. Find a company that can accomplish those goals while remaining solidly within that budget.
  3. Communicate with your design company throughout the process so that you’re updated every step of the way. (This also gives you ample time to dictate necessary changes to remain within your agreed upon time window.)

Let’s dive into these steps one at a time, examining how you can accomplish each and why they’re important.

Step 1: Clearly Define Your Goals and Budget

Before you start your search for a outsourcing company, you have to first outline what your goals are for this web development project.

What kind of website do you want? What does it need to do? What do you need out of the user interface? Are there specific features you don’t need?

(Image Source)

The more information you determine before you start your search, the more likely you are to find someone who can do exactly what you need them to do.

If you don’t know what you need the web development company to do, you run the risk of hiring someone who won’t be able to deliver on what you need. That’s a major problem and might cause you to revert back to square one.

You can avoid this potential issue by clearly defining your goals from the start.

In order to do that you’re going to have to understand your audience completely.

That means creating a series of buyer personas that outline your most common customers.

(Image Source)

You have to know what problems they’re trying to solve, what they like to see, how they like to interact with your company, and, perhaps most importantly, what they don’t like.

By understanding exactly what your ideal customers are looking for, you’re able to more accurately create an online user experience that appeals to them.

After all, your target audience are the people you’re designing this website for in the first place. If you don’t understand them, you have a really big problem.

Just because certain trends are “in” right now from a web design perspective doesn’t mean that your audience will appreciate or enjoy them. That’s why you have to also make sure that your developers understand the wants and needs of your audience.

Then there’s your budget.

That has to be set before you start your search, if only in the interest of time. By being up front with a development company about your budgetary needs, you’ll be able to weed out options that are too expensive without listening to a long and involved pitch.

Remember, company pitches usually don’t touch on pricing until the end. You don’t want to sit through a series of 30-minute presentations just to be smashed with a massive cost estimate.

If you’re able to be up front and say, “this is what I need and this is what I’m able to spend,” you’ll be able to quickly narrow your search when it comes time to choose the right vendor.

Step 2: Search for the Right Company

You need to find the right company to contract with. That way you’ll know from the start that the website you want is the website that you’re getting.

After you’ve outlined your goals, make a list of questions that you can ask the potential design companies that you interact with. This will help you create a pre-screening process which will allow you to weed out any companies that aren’t offering what you’re looking for.

You’re also going to want to take a look at the company’s experience and, most importantly, portfolio.

Not only are you looking for quality functional work, you’re also looking to see if they have any experience catering to your audience.

If they don’t, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should disqualify them. But, if you’re a dentist and the companies you’re speaking with have experience creating websites for dental offices, there’s going to be a much smaller learning curve.

Next, ask about their specializations and capabilities.

You’re going to have certain needs from a website perspective. If you want a site that features a reservation creation platform, you need to make sure that the company you contract with has experience and understanding regarding the creation of this feature.

Then there’s eCommerce, which is a hot button issue right now.

The eCommerce industry is booming. By the end of 2020, the global eCommerce industry is estimated to reach $4.2 trillion and account for 16% of worldwide retail sales.

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If your company needs an eCommerce component, you have to make sure that your web designer has the ability to design a point of sale system for you and create an online store that falls in line with the needs and the wants of your audience.

Make sure you check the reviews for any company you’re considering hiring.

You should be able to find reviews on most reputable companies. If there are no reviews for a web design firm, that in and of itself is a huge red flag.

See what past clients have to say about the companies you’re considering. A lot of times you’ll be able to find some good information through the experiences of others.

Keep in mind, you might have to do some homework and travel off the beaten path to get a full overview of how a company’s clients perceive them after an outsourced project is complete.

Obviously, most companies are going to tout their successes and hide their failures.

That’s why you need to look through third party listings like a Google My Business Page or social media reviews. This will help you get a more honest assessment of a web design company’s true capabilities.

Here are a few criteria that you should check out when trying to make your decision.

  1. Processes. What are the steps that these businesses take in creating a custom web design? They should have the entire process outlined for you.
  2. Communication. How good is their communication? Do they speak your language fluently? How often are they willing to check in and provide updates?
  3. Samples. Are they willing to provide you with samples of their previous work?
  4. References. Are they willing to provide you with references from past clients? Are you allowed to talk with these clients?

Make sure you don’t just hop on board with the first company that says the right things. Shop around a bit, see what else is out there, and ask lots of questions.

Once you’ve selected a company and you’re moving forward, have them sign a Non Disclosure Agreement so that all of the details of your project remain private, even if the project falls through.

Outsource Your Web Design Work to Our Team

Since 2009, we have helped many agencies and businesses white-label our services under your brand. Let us do it for you!

Step 3: Communicate Throughout the Process

Communication is going to be very important throughout the web design process. You want to make sure that you’re hiring a company that’s willing to communicate with you and provide updates on every stage of the project.

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As we mentioned in the last section, most web design firms should have an outlined process that’s broken into stages. This helps you map out how things are going to go and form realistic expectations about the process and timeline.

Each stage of the process should include some form of communication or reporting.

You should be able to review aspects of the site as you go along, as opposed to all at once at the end. This will allow you to spot potential issues that go against your initial vision quickly.

It’s best to catch these problematic elements early in the process, if only to save time at the finish line.

There are so many stellar digital forms of communication now, from WhatsApp to Slack to Zoom. You can and should communicate with your design company using these tools, and collaborate using systems like Dropbox or InVision.

Make sure you’re assigned a point of contact, whether that’s the owner of the company or a project manager.

It’s important that you have one central contact so that you’re not being told 10 different things by 10 different people.

In Conclusion

You need a website and it has to be good. As such, outsourcing web development really is your best hope of creating a successful website that will meet your needs without breaking the bank.

By clearly outlining your goals and budget, searching for the right company, and communicating with the company throughout the process, you have a much better chance at achieving greatness through your business website.

Outsource Your Web Design Work to Our Team

Since 2009, we have helped many agencies and businesses white-label our services under your brand. Let us do it for you!

Outsource Web Design: What to Know + How to Do It Effectively was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Opinion News Found By Machine Learning at Google

Opinion News in Top Stories Earlier this year, I wrote a post about news stories that are shown in carousels in Google Top Stories Are Chosen By Importance Scores The patent I wrote about in that post told us that Google may attempt to show opinion pieces related to topics that were being identified as … Read more

Opinion News Found By Machine Learning at Google was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Opinion News Found By Machine Learning at Google

Opinion News in Top Stories Earlier this year, I wrote a post about news stories that are shown in carousels in Google Top Stories Are Chosen By Importance Scores The patent I wrote about in that post told us that Google may attempt to show opinion pieces related to topics that were being identified as … Read more

Opinion News Found By Machine Learning at Google was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Opinion News Found By Machine Learning at Google

Opinion News in Top Stories Earlier this year, I wrote a post about news stories that are shown in carousels in Google Top Stories Are Chosen By Importance Scores The patent I wrote about in that post told us that Google may attempt to show opinion pieces related to topics that were being identified as … Read more

Opinion News Found By Machine Learning at Google was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Opinion News Found By Machine Learning at Google

Opinion News in Top Stories Earlier this year, I wrote a post about news stories that are shown in carousels in Google Top Stories Are Chosen By Importance Scores The patent I wrote about in that post told us that Google may attempt to show opinion pieces related to topics that were being identified as … Read more

Opinion News Found By Machine Learning at Google was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Opinion News Found By Machine Learning at Google

Opinion News in Top Stories Earlier this year, I wrote a post about news stories that are shown in carousels in Google Top Stories Are Chosen By Importance Scores The patent I wrote about in that post told us that Google may attempt to show opinion pieces related to topics that were being identified as … Read more

Opinion News Found By Machine Learning at Google was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing