Posts from "April, 2015"

How Google’s New Mobile-friendly Search Results will Impact Your Website

Google rolled out its new mobile-friendly algorithm on April 21st, 2015, with the aim of improving the web for mobile users. To that end, sites that are compliant with their new mobile friendly best practises have been given a boost in the search results over websites that are not very accessible on mobile devices.

For example a page coded for a large screen may end up being outranked by a site that is easily viewable on the screen of an iPhone.

To fully understand how this may impact your business Web Marketing Army answers your questions:

1) Are mobile rankings separate from desktop rankings?

Yes, the default search results shown toGoogle Mobile-friendly Update users of mobile devices are different from those shown to desktop users. This means the changes to the algorithm will only impact your site’s position in the search results of the mobile version. If somebody searches your keyword on their PC, your site will still be in the same position. If your site is already optimized for mobile devices it may have jumped up the mobile search rankings already.

2) Does this impact each page individually or my entire website?

Each individual page is taken in to account, meaning if one page from your site is optimized well for mobile devices it will rank well in mobile search, but if another page isn’t it will rank better on desktop search.

3) How can I tell if my pages are optimized for mobile?

It is now easy to see whether your site’s pages are considered mobile-friendly by accessing the “Mobile-Friendly Test” from your Google Webmaster Tools account. You can run this test page by page or view an overall Mobile Usability report for your entire website. This is dependent on the last time the site was indexed. The report will list the number of pages with errors and what they are. For example, the font size being too small, or the use of flash content which mobile browsers can’t read. If you go through this list and make changes accordingly, your site should become more mobile-friendly in Google’s eyes.

4. If I have yet to make mobile-friendly changes to my site how long does it take for them to be recognized once I do?

Unlike standard Google search updates mobile-friendly rankings are determined every time your page is crawled and indexed. Meaning if you make changes to your pages to make them more mobile-friendly today and Google crawls them tomorrow, it will recognize those pages right away. If Google tends to crawl your site slowly you can speed the process up in Webmaster Tools by using the “Fetch as Google” and “Submit to Index” features, for each URL you have updated. To do this in bulk you can simply resubmit your sitemap, which might already be setup automatically anyway.

5. How quickly are the new mobile search results finalized? When will I notice changes in traffic following April 21st?

April 21st is the initial roll out date, but the mobile search rankings will not be finalized for another week or so as Google continues to crawl the web and find mobile friendly pages. You won’t notice significant traffic changes until Google crawls your site and other sites in your niche.


Since mobile devices are now a very common method for browsing the internet it is important for you to follow Google’s guidelines and make your site more mobile-friendly. Failure to do so may cause you to lose traffic and sales.

Don’t Hold Back on Your Social Media Marketing

Social Media has grown to be an integral part of the internet. In fact according to the Pew Research Center, 71% of American adults are active on Facebook. This is similar across the world. Furthermore data suggests that in terms of traffic, social media is now neck and neck with traditional search engines in the amount of people they send to websites. In other words somebody is just as likely to click a link on their Facebook wall, as they are to go on Google and search for something.

If you own a website or online business this data cannot be ignored. There should be no holding back on your social media marketing strategy. Now’s the time to get the ball rolling.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits and advantages of using social media to market your business online.

More Exposure

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that connecting with people via social media will give you business more exposure. This brand recognition is invaluable in the internet age, and allows you to reach potential customers who may have never stumbled on to your business through other channels. Even if they don’t engage right away, seeing your presence multiple times and on multiple social media platforms keeps you in the back of their mind.

Build Loyalty

This also applies to existing customers. If they regularly see your social media presence and have had a good experience with you in the past, you’re going to build a trusted relationship.

Direct Sales

Whenever you link to your site on social media (even if it’s not a direct link to a product or service) you increase the odds of making a sale, by getting the user through the door. Of course not every engagement is going to lead to a sale, but it could build a relationship that will result in a sale at a later date.

Relationship Building

Social Media Marketing

Social media is not just about building brand loyalty in a passive sense. While people simply observing your links and posts gives you more exposure, it is also important to interact directly with these users. Allowing them to Tweet and message you directly, or running interactive offers and competitions, or simply asking their opinions, all helps build a close relationship. They will view you as genuine and accessible, which in turn builds loyalty and trust in your brand.

More Efficient than Traditional Methods

Traditional marketing methods like newspaper adverts or handing out flyers, can be long and tedious methods, that do not always convert. A Tweet or Facebook post however can be done in a matter of seconds, and has the potential to be shared to thousands of people at no direct cost. Traditional methods can be very expensive.

Customer Insights

Because you can track the success of social media campaigns, by measuring things like comments or re-tweets, as well as the number of hits coming through to your site, you can learn all sorts of valuable insights in to your customers. This will give you a better understanding of what they respond to and what doesn’t work.


While social media certainly shouldn’t be your sole marketing method, it makes up a huge chunk of online activity and is a great way to reach your customers. Hiring a professional internet marketing company to manage your social media accounts, will not only ensure you’re making the right kind of postings, but will also free up time so you can focus on other aspects of your business.

Email Marketing Myths in Sri Lanka

If you want to reach potential customers or build business relationships with important people, one option is to use email marketing. However unless this is done in an ethical and targeted manner, the results may be completely ineffectual.

In Sri Lanka sending out unsolicited emails in bulk has traditionally been a common marketing method. The marketer would gather a list of addresses, or worse purchase a whole database, and then blast out poorly worded proposals and offers.

While this method is still used today, there are a number of reasons why it’s inefficient and smart businesses have moved on to other strategies.

It Can be a Scam

You should never blindly trust somebody claiming to have a database of email addresses, including company CEOs and interested customers. These lists are often outdated and the recipients have moved on or even closed their email accounts. In some cases the list may be totally made up, or the addresses just gathered at random. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Do not waste your marketing budget on lists of thousands of email addresses you’ve never checked yourself.


Unless you build your own list of email addresses, how do you know any of the recipients are Email Marketingremotely interested in your services or products? The fact that these are sold to many different people, over and over again, suggests they are completely random and not based on any specific demographics. One of the key principals of marketing is targeting your audience, why send something to somebody who is unlikely to respond?

Little Interest

In recent years various tests have been done on these kinds of email lists and it’s been proven that they simply don’t work. Tracking the incoming hits reveals that a blast of hundreds of thousands of these email addresses, results in less than 0.01% responses. We’re talking only a few dozen hits! It’s simply not worth it.

It’s Spam

Part of the lack of interest will be down to the poor quality of the lists, but there’s also the fact that email providers are now smart enough to recognize spam and will send your message straight to the spam folder. The recipient may therefore never even know you sent them an email in the first place. Even if it does get through they may simply send it to the spam folder themselves. Ask yourself, how many unsolicited emails do you actually respond to? If the answer is “not many” or “none,” why would this method work for you? If anything it will give your brand a negative image.

How to Do Proper Email Marketing in Sri Lanka

If you want to forge relationships with other business owners in Sri Lanka, you have to do it in a professional manner. Seek out the person directly and send one single email, or send them a regular letter, or give them a phone call.

If you want to market your products or services to potential customers, email marketing needs to be targeted and “opt in.” This would involve using your website or social media presence to prompt people to sign up to your “newsletter” or something similar. This means they are genuinely interested in what you have to offer, and because they opted in, your emails will generally not go to their spam folder.

A professional internet marketing company will be able to implement effective email marketing as part of their wider strategy, which may also include social media management, search engine optimization, and advertising campaigns. They will have the expertise and required tools to bring real results!

How Paid Search Can Keep You out of Trouble

As a business with a website your primary goal is getting as much genuine traffic as possible that converts in to sales. By genuine we mean real people who have shown an interest in what you have to offer. It’s surprising how many new website owners fall for the trap of buying traffic, without even knowing the source. These cheap packages are usually fake bot generated hits, or worthless hits from expired domains.

One of the most lucrative sources of real traffic is from search engines. This can fall under paid search or organic search. Paid search is particularly beneficial if you need traffic and sales right away.

What is Organic Search?

Organic search has traditionally been the core driver of traffic on the internet. The likes of Google crawl the web, indexing pages and ranking them for search terms, based on the content and a range of other factors.

In order to have success with organic search your site needs to have been established for several months and contain a moderate amount of content. Gradually searchers will stumble on to a page when Google believes it to be one of the most relevant pages for search terms.

While generally this is an automatic process when you launch a website, to rank highly for competitive search terms it is important to implement a search engine optimization strategy, which can be accomplished by hiring a professional internet marketing company.

What is Paid Search?

Google and other search engines also offer premium ad positions alongside regular search results that advertisers bid on.

Paid Search

Perhaps the best thing about this is that it’s always there as a backup in case you run in to trouble with organic search or other methods of generating traffic. Once a campaign is up and running the hits will be instant, so there’s no waiting around to see the payoff.

You can also target specific geographical locations, which is especially beneficial if you only serve a local area.

Though there are certain quality guidelines, paid search is not driven by the content of your pages, but rather how much you are willing to spend. This means you can be on the first page of results straight away (though paid results are distinguishable for organic results).

For example if you had a website selling health foods, you might bid on the search term “Acai Berries” Depending on your budget your ad will then be featured in a number of prominent spots on the first page, alongside regular search results for that term.

Data suggests that paid search ads are clicked more frequently when the search term displays “high commercial intent” meaning the searcher is ready to buy a product and has searched a term like “Buy Acai Berry”

If you’ve only just launched a website you may decide to use paid search to get an initial flow of traffic while your content is still being indexed and ranked. This is also practical if you don’t actually have much content at all.

Also if after several months or even years you’re not getting the organic search rankings you’d hoped for, you might turn to paid search to gain that extra exposure.

In normal circumstances paid search should only be one factor in your overall strategy. A professional internet marketing company will help you balance paid search, with SEO, social media management, and other forms of paid advertising. However if you are having trouble generating traffic, paid search brings immediate results.

Where Internet Marketing is Headed in the Next Five Years

As long as the internet is around and businesses need to drive sales or traffic, hiring an internet marketing firm will remain an important part of the puzzle. However internet marketing is not always going to look the same as it does now. For example before the 2000s there was no social media in the way we view it today. In fact even 10 years ago Myspace was only just becoming popular, Facebook was still being developed, and Twitter had not even been conceived.

Today many businesses couldn’t even imagine not having a social media presence as part of their marketing efforts. But the internet evolves and in order to survive businesses must evolve with it.

Internet marketing companies are more savvy now than they’ve ever been, when it comes to looking ahead and adopting new strategies for their clients. So what can we expect in the next 5 years from internet marketing?

All about Images

With web users being exposed to a record amount of information and ads, it’s increasingly important to keep things simple and visual, especially for those swiping away on mobile devices. The most successful campaigns on social media use big images and simple calls to action.

In terms of websites, people’s attention spans are getting shorter, so content needs to reflect this by being more concise and visual. With the rise of sites like Buzzfeed, which popularized the list based blogging method, it’s clear that this only going to become more prevalent in content marketing.

More Mobile Targeting

In the western world almost everybody has a smart phone, but it has still taken time for mobileOnline Marketing ad campaigns, apps, and mobile optimized web pages to catch up. This will only increase over the next 5 years, and there’s no telling the novel ways in which marketers will begin targeting phone users.

Research shows that 95% of people on the planet now have a mobile phone, 21% of which are “smart.” This is expected to increase to 50% by 2018 – making smart phone targeting an important aspect of internet marketing.

Easier Targeting the Right Audience

Internet marketing companies use a lot of powerful techniques and tools to target your desired audience, and this will only get more precise as the years go on. The internet itself is becoming much more segmented. If you wanted to, you could probably find a podcast for every hobby or subject there is. That also means there’s an advertising outlet for every product.

As the tracking of users and the interpretation of that data becomes more advanced, internet marketing should soon reach pinpoint precision.

Google’s Approach to Social Media

Google search honcho Matt Cutts took the SEO world by storm in 2010 when he began using the term “social signals” and revealed the search engine was beginning to count social media activity in its rankings. Some internet marketers jumped the gun a little and believed that social media links and their viral appeal was now directly impacting the positions of web pages.

In 2014 Cutts clarified that Google’s crawlers weren’t necessarily treating social media any different than other web pages, and that it wasn’t practical to track viral appeal through social media, because the likes of Twitter and Facebook move too fast and are not permanent.

This might suggest that Google had fully intended to go in that direction, but the technicalities didn’t work themselves out. In 5 years it’s likely they will have perfected a new approach to using social media in their rankings. This will have a big impact on SEO and internet marketing.