Four States Small Business Blog

Amber Ward

Find me on:

Recent Posts

The Power of Radio Political Advertising

Posted by Amber Ward on March 26, 2024 at 7:00 AM
Read More

Topics: Radio Advertising, Advertising Creative

Understanding the Search Results Page: How to Rank Up

Posted by Amber Ward on March 5, 2024 at 7:05 AM
In the vast landscape of the internet, search engines, such as Google, play a pivotal role in connecting users with the information they seek. For businesses and content creators, mastering the art of search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for visibility and success. One key aspect of SEO is understanding the ins and outs of the search results page (SERP). In this blog, we'll explore the key elements of the SERP, providing insights on how to rank up effectively.

Sponsored Results and Ads

Sponsored results almost always appear at the top of the Google search results page. Businesses bid on keywords with Google Ads to have their business displayed when users search for those terms. While organic results rely on relevance and quality, sponsored results depend on effective ad campaigns and budget allocation, as well as relevance and quality. Crafting compelling ad copy, choosing the right keywords, and optimizing landing pages are crucial for success in the sponsored section of the SERP.

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are concise, informative snippets that appear at the top of the search results page, providing immediate answers to user searches. Earning a featured snippet position is highly coveted, as it boosts visibility and credibility. To optimize for featured snippets, focus on creating content that answers specific questions concisely. Use structured data markup to help search engines better understand and extract relevant information from your content.

Maps Results

For businesses with a physical presence, local search results are pivotal. Maps results, often seen as a map pack, display local businesses relevant to the user's query. Organic map results are based on relevance, distance, and prominence, while sponsored map results are influenced by paid advertising. Additionally, for more map visibility, you can pay to promote your business listing. To enhance local visibility, ensure your business information is accurate and up-to-date on Google Business Listing. Encourage positive reviews, as they contribute to prominence in local search results.

Organic Search Results

Organic results are the standard listings on the search results page, appearing below the featured snippets, sponsored results, and maps results. Achieving high rankings in organic search requires a comprehensive SEO strategy. Focus on creating high-quality, relevant content, targeting essential keywords for your business. Regularly update and maintain your website to stay in line with search engine algorithms and user expectations.

How to Rank Up in Search Results

Mastering the intricacies of the Search Results Page is crucial for anyone looking to enhance online visibility. Whether aiming for the prized featured snippet, navigating sponsored results, dominating local maps, or securing high rankings in organic results, a comprehensive approach to SEO is key. By understanding each element on the search results page and tailoring your strategy accordingly, you can rank up and connect with your target audience effectively online.

Boost Your Online Presence with Zimmer Marketing

Zimmer Marketing's web development team is pushing the boundaries of website design and performance. Fast, visually appealing, and SEO-friendly websites are no longer the exclusive domain of multi-billion dollar companies. If you want to give your business a competitive advantage online through content marketing and cutting-edge design, we're here to help!
Read More

Topics: Website Design, Digital Marketing

5 Criteria for How to Evaluate a Website Design

Posted by Amber Ward on February 6, 2024 at 1:27 PM
Are you trying to determine the quality of your website design? Evaluating your business website can be a challenge, but it's essential for your business success. That's why we've compiled this quick guide to help you accurately assess your company's online presence.

1. Layout

Your website's appearance must be balanced and arranged logically. The content on your site should be arranged hierarchically, with the most important information and brand positioning messaging positioned further up on your homepage. Your content sections need to be paired with well-placed call-to-action buttons. Finally, pay special attention to your website employing mobile-first and responsive design to fit various screen sizes.

A great example featuring a perfect layout is this design we did for  Superior Roofing !

2. Colors

Your website should be consistent with your brand and logo while following solid principles of color use in design. A bad use of color can be both offputting to users and make your website difficult to read and navigate. For instance, having green font over an orange background would be a poor combination, while white on orange can be a good match.

We recently completed a new website for  Windows for Less , which exemplifies ideal color balance.

3. Navigation

Your website's navigation should be intuitive and avoid crowding screen space on the page. For mobile-friendly versions of your site, this can take the form of a hamburger menu, while desktops can feature top-bar navigation styles or collapsible sidebars. Whatever your site's navigation style is, your menu should be simple and avoid having too many pages listed at once. For example, your top-level navigation may have five to seven pages. Further pages, such as those for individual service types, are ideally set up as child pages under a main services page to ensure your top-level menu is manageable.

Notice how we collapsed the multiple services pages on  The Chimney Sweep LLC 's website into a drop-down menu underneath the button for the main services page.

4. Content Quality

The text, images, and videos of your site must be of excellent quality to wow visitors. Your written content should be confident, informative, and free of spelling and grammar errors. A good site utilizes shorter paragraphs and text blocks to avoid overwhelming casual web users scanning for specific information. Images and videos need to be sized correctly to prevent long loading times or a pixelated appearance. 

Our website for  MW Fence  offers a great example of informative copy in brief sections, along with a perfectly optimized auto-play video on the homepage.

5. Search Engine Optimization

The good news is that most decisions that will positively impact your website's visibility on search engines are very simple, often combining principles from the aspects mentioned above. While technical SEO can be a more complicated field, you can start addressing the basics immediately. Your website pages, headings, and content should address strategic keywords for your business in a manner that satisfies the user's search intent. There are many   research tools  that can help you identify important keywords for your business and shape a strategy.

Check out  All Dogs Dream  to see a good example of SEO supported by a successful blogging strategy.

Evaluating Your Web Design

If your website stacks up well in four or more of these categories, you are on your way to a solid web design to promote your business! But don't stop now; there's always room for improvement, and your website should always be evolving. If your site is satisfactory in three or fewer criteria, that's a sign to take swift action to improve your design.

Need A New Web Design?

Zimmer Marketing's web development team is pushing the boundaries of website design and performance. Fast, visually appealing, and SEO-friendly websites are no longer the exclusive domain of multi-billion dollar companies. If you want to give your business a competitive advantage online, we're here to help.

Get in Touch with a Marketing Consultant
Read More

Topics: Website Design

It's Time to Review Your Marketing Plan Results

Posted by Amber Ward on January 9, 2024 at 7:18 AM
As we step into 2024, now is the perfect time to reflect on the effectiveness of your marketing strategies from the past year. While last year brought both challenges and opportunities, assessing your marketing plan's performance is crucial for refining your approach in 2024. In this blog, we'll delve into key aspects of your marketing plan, with a particular focus on brand identity and the potential pitfalls of overstretching a limited budget on too many marketing channels.

Read More

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Marketing ROI, Branding