Monthly Archives: March 2017

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8 Easy Steps for Winning at Small Business Mobile SEO

Category : Blog , SEO

By: Charmian Solter

Published under: YP Marketing Solutions

Small business owners have a lot to manage when it comes to owning and operating a business. These days, understanding the role the Internet plays in how customers search, find, and buy products and services is an absolute necessity for survival. As part of that equation, embracing the power of online marketing and understanding how mobile search can drive business growth is critical as well.

Let’s back up. Google’s algorithm update, dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” rolled out in the summer of 2015 and prioritized mobile-friendly websites in searches. This was brought about by the fact that local search queries occur more frequently on mobile devices, with those searches typically leading to a sale or impromptu visit more quickly than others.

How do you learn if your site is mobile friendly? Start with Google’s Webmaster Tools – they provide a simple test to see how your website shows up in search results.

Once you’ve done the test, follow these eight simple steps to ensure your website (aka, your business) is mobile SEO ready:

Is your website responsive? The information contained on your site needs to provide a user-friendly, visually-appealing experience across any device – including computers, smartphones, tablets, and wearables. Here’s an example:

  •  Think like your customers. Don’t build your website for your preferences. Develop it with your prospective customers’ needs in mind. Think about what they are looking for when they pick up a device to search for something your business offers – and build it accordingly. Also, be sure to use strong and short keywords to help them find your business quickly.
  • Focus on the user experience. Mobile searchers are looking for quick solutions. When developing your mobile website make sure that buttons and clickable areas on your site are easy to find and are easily manipulated with just a thumb. Place your call-to-action at the top of the page, and limit the amount of information you require to be input into forms and fields.
  • Quality design counts. To ensure a top-notch user experience, focus on creating navigation for your site that is easy to use, is appropriately spaced, and has plenty of “tap-able” targets. This will ensure you’ll always have happy searchers. Google craves text that is readable without needing to tap or zoom. As such, make sure the fonts you use and other design elements are visually-appealing and easy to use.
  • Users want speed. A quick loading mobile site ensures that people find what they want, when they want it. Use HTML5 and avoid anything that stops your site from loading quickly (i.e. pop-ups, overly large imagery). Also, be sure your site design accommodates simple swiping motions and finger taps.
  • Get to the point. “Real estate” on smaller screens is limited, so make sure the content on your mobile website is crafted to make the most of that space by making the information your customers need immediately accessible upon landing on your mobile site.
  • Don’t forget click-to-call buttons. People use local search because they are interested in visiting your business. Whether you own a law firm, a dental practice, or a restaurant, the fewer hoops they have to jump through to connect with you, the better. Including a click-to-call button on your site makes it as simple as a single click to do just that.
  • The devil is in the details. While this may sound obvious, this is oftentimes the most overlooked part of local search optimization. Think about the essential information your customers need – such as your full business address, business hours, images of your business, directions, and phone numbers. Accuracy and added detail here will help increase your ranking in local searches.

This should get your mobile website moving in the right direction. If you are unsure how to tackle mobile search optimization on your own, the team at YP℠​ will be happy to help.

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Why are there so few women in STEM?

Category : Blog , Content Creation


Why are there so few women in STEM?

We are all hearing about STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) in education with the fairly, recent push to fully incorporate it into the public school system. Now, even in Kindergarten, they have hands-on STEM projects every week to work on. Despite these efforts, there continues to be a lack of female presence in STEM occupations. This fact has not gone unnoticed by major figure-heads and influential speakers on women’s issues.

Hillary Clinton is not blind to this reality and is calling for change. In a speech she gave at San Jose State University she stated: “We must focus on how we can help women and girls break through ceilings that hold them back,” Clinton continued “It’s the unfinished business of the 20th century.” Reported the San Jose Business Journal.

Is Hillary right? ABSOLUTELY! Statistics reported by the US Department of Commerce, state that women represent only 24% of the STEM workforce and the overall number of women receiving STEM degrees has continued to decrease.

Hilary Clinton encourages female students to major in STEM fields

Further, in another report from the US Department of Commerce conducted in 2011; “only one in seven engineering workers is female, while only 27 percent of computer science jobs are held by women.” To add insult to injury, women are reported to graduate college at higher numbers than their male counterparts, however, they are much less likely to graduate with a STEM-related degree (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math.)

We are left wondering why?

There are so many variables that go into the why of this issue: confidence, gender roles, accessibility, to name just a few. According to Heather Huhman with Forbes “The problem starts as early as grade school. Young girls are rarely encouraged to pursue math and science, which is problematic considering studies show a lack of belief in intellectual growth can actually inhibit it. In addition, there exists an unconscious bias that science and math are typically “male” fields while humanities and arts are primarily “female” fields, and these stereotypes further inhibit girls’ likelihood of cultivating an interest in math and science.” Heather Huhman makes a very accurate and strong point here and there is further study to support her position.

There have been many studies conducted to show that girls start off strong in these areas, but with lack of support by teachers and parents, once in high school, girls are no longer leading the boys. “Teachers fail to see girls’ raised hands, and limit their interactions with girls to social, non-academic topics. Boys may be expected to lead the pack in these areas and when a girl shows a proficiency in STEM subjects it can be seen as trivial and fleeting.” Teachers are not the villain here, however, more likely societal gender roles have set this bias in place.

For more information on this issue refer to Teaching for Gender Difference by Dale Baker It is an eye-opening account of what happens to young girls in the classroom.

How do we solve this problem?

First off, I believe we are on the right track offering STEM education at a much younger age. Reaching children at a young age and building their interest and thusly, confidence in these sometimes difficult areas.

Second, I think we educate teachers to encourage young girls to follow their interest in STEM. No teacher is trying to be bias, however, training and awareness of such biases can help alleviate them in the long run.

Third, I think we make access to higher education in these field extremely incising to woman by offering grants and scholarships to gain a bachelor’s in these fields of study. Women are a minority in these courses and as such, deserve recognition and incentive to pursue an advanced degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math.

Corporations can also weigh in by encouraging female applicants, offering internships and placing female college students or entry-level employees with a mentor to guide them in their career advancement.

Those are just a few ways we can direct change on this issues. The first step is awareness and there are in fact a lot of programs in place to address this issue.

A few of those include:

National Girls Collaborative Project

The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) encourages young girls to begin a career in a STEM field. They accomplish this by offering several publications on the matter of the lack of female presence in these career fields. And act as a collaborative group consisting of many organizations across the country.

Association for Career and Technical Education

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), is the largest association of its kind, addressing pedagogical issues in technology education. The association provides resources for teachers of these subjects and is highly involved in advocacy work. They in fact lobby policymakers on behalf of improving technical education in schools.

Association for Women in Science

The Association for Women in Science, or AWIS, is a professional organization for women who work in STEM jobs. They offer many resources for women working in these fields such as continued education, literature, workshops in addition to coaching and mentoring services.

There are several other organizations for women in STEM careers and many to help get females in these fields.

For a comprehensive list please see:

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Marketing Tactics Overview

Category : Blog , Digital Marketing

Personas and Journey B2B & B2C

  • Developing buyer personas and mapping their journey can be done through marketing automation tools like Marketo and HubSpot.
  • We do know that the client at this time is a huge segment of the population, male and female teenager thru seniors; middle thru upper-class; working, student or stay at home mom. The net to cast is large and inclusive. You cannot catch the wrong fish at this juncture. Name of the game is to build awareness, reach people, and become recognized.
  • Service Professionals are also a wide demographic. Do they work in a salon, or are they mobile? There are a few intricacies to note, but again, wide net. Drive the belief that they need to be in ServPal’s directory to be a who’s who of elite, best of the best, exclusive service pros.


  • Website-content, landing pages with call to action, join our network of professionals or use our network of professionals.
  • Content-inbound: email, newsletter ,blog posts, social media, white papers, case studies
  • Social Media-content distributed from site across platforms. Groups on IN and TW, FB
  • Paid advertising PPC and Social sites
  • App Creation-for convenience and data collection of captured audience.
  • Affiliations-leverage each other’s networks and followers to grow links.
  • Promotional-Groupon, Living Social, Local-City Search, Yelp etc.

Types of Content, Scheduling, Formatting

  • Co-schedule is great for scheduling posts on websites and any content you want on a calendar to go out on the site.
  • Types of content: Blog posts, Videos, Q & A, engaginars, downloadable white pages advertised through social and PPC, testimonials, case studies and Press releases. (inbound marketing-drip.)
  • Images of events at the individual service professional and salon level.
  • Edit videos into appropriate snippets-1-2 min FB, 15 sec. Twitter.
  • Informative and fun style groups and business growth advice on FB, Twitter Q&A # groups.
  • Implement Yoast SEO plugin on your site to guide you through on-page SEO for content posts.
  • YouTube has tags and titles attached to videos.

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7 Most Vital Elements of Mobile SEO

Category : Blog , Uncategorized

In the wake of yet another Google algorithm change, aptly named Mobilegeddon, geared at prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in mobile searches and restricting those deemed mobile-unfriendly; you may be wondering just how important is mobile optimization to small business?

While the statistics on the impact of Mobilegeddon aren’t catastrophic; RKG Merkle reports 45 percent of the Fortune 500 companies and 29 percent of Internet retail sites were affected by the update, there are elements of mobile SEO that cannot be ignored, especially for the small business owner.

  1. First and foremost, your website must be mobile responsive.

What does this mean and why?

It means that the information on your website, pages and posts translates to a user-friendly, visually appealing site across any device-desktop, smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Why? More and more people are accessing websites and information from their mobile devices over desktop computers.


  1. Mobile is not going away.

In fact, mobile usages is increasing at an incredible rate with no signs of slowing down.

Here are some statistics courtesy of


  • 1/2 of all local searches are performed on mobile devices
  • 50% of the average global mobile users now use mobile as either their primary or exclusive means of online search.
  • 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with poorly designed mobile site.


  1. You only get one chance to make a first impression, even if it is on a mobile phone.

People will judge your business credibility based on their user experience. If the site does not translate well across devices to look appealing, with easy navigation, allowing them to get the information they are searching for or perform the necessary task, your business is diminished in their eyes and they may not ever return.


  1. Mobile responsive websites can boost search engine rankings.

It is a Google world, in the light of Mobilegeddon, Googles latest algorithm favoring mobile optimized sites, it stands to reason that having a mobile responsive site will improve your search engine rankings and not having one will hurt it.


  1. Optimize your Landing Pages for Mobile.

While you are optimizing your website to be mobile responsive, you can’t forget the landing pages. If most people are performing their searches using mobile devices, then you want your landing pages to translate well, and continue to be relevant for the mobile searcher.

  1. The SEO of It-Mobile SEO


You have to think of the mobile device like its own website. It has different parameters for size and ability, but is just as important as your website and in need of optimization. Think about what the user is doing and what problem they are trying to solve from their phone. Is it a quick search for a restaurant while in the car, or very likely a social app in use? They are on the go, moving fast and most likely doing 5 things at once. Make the site experience easy, fast and fun.


  1. Site needs to load quickly

As we have established, the mobile user is busy, on-the-go, doing 5 things at once and wants to get information and complete tasks on the phone easily and quickly.

Best practices to ensure your site is running optimally for mobile loading are:

  • Avoid Flash –use HTML 5 instead.
  • Avoid pop-ups.
  • Do use CSS, JavaScript and Images
  • Design with swiping motions and finger taps in mind.
  • Provide concise text, as there is much less room on the phone.
  • Consider shorter titles and focused meta-descriptions.

Now that you have a few tips and tricks to work with, I would set to making your customers’ mobile user experience top notch. I would venture to say it may be more important to your small business success than your desktop friendly website. With over half of searches being conducted on mobile devices, it is essential to optimize your site for mobile search. The future of mobile speaks only of its continued use and evolution.

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