Web Accessibility

When we talk about web accessibility, clients are frequently confused. Web accessibility is an issue that affects everyone, not just those with disabilities. Understanding, using, and preparing for web accessibility can be difficult, and achieving full compliance is best done in stages. Every client must address web accessibility proactively to be most effective, which includes educating oneself about accessibility, generating accessible content, and making that content easily accessible to all online users.

Web accessibility ensures that all users, regardless of ability, condition, or circumstance, may access a website. It focuses on removing barriers to website access and taking an active approach to constructing an utterly accessible website for everyone, including persons with visual, cognitive, physical, and aural challenges.

Four primary Reasons for becoming accessible:

  • It is inclusive and allows everyone, including persons with impairments, equal access.
  • It improves usability.
  • It’s the responsible thing to do.
  • It is required by law.

Web Accessibility is inclusive and allows everyone, including persons with impairments, equal access.

The National Center for Education Statistics survey in 2011 found that 11% of undergraduate students reported having a handicap, and current data(opens in new window) discovered that nearly 13% of the U.S. population has a disability. 

Most clients have inclusivity as an implicit or explicit part of their mission. Excluding such a large proportion of the population would counter our clients’ mission of being inclusive, collaborative, and responsive institutions.

Web Accessibility improves usability.

When we consider accessibility when designing online material, it improves usability and typically leads to a more intuitive user experience. Online material that satisfies accessibility standards will likely be user-friendly for all. People who do not have disabilities can benefit from accessible design, especially if they are in a restricting position such as:

When watching a video in a noisy or quiet area, read the captions.

Changing the brightness of your screen in a dark or bright room

Reading a presentation transcript to reinforce what you’ve learned

When the mouse is not working, use the keyboard to navigate a website.

It’s the responsible thing to do.

People with impairments can actively participate in our society thanks to accessibility. Most organizations believe to have a certain level of societal duty in addition to being leaders of innovation and growth. This philosophy, as well as our clients’ objective, is supported by accessibility.

It is required by law.

Many federal and state laws mandate organizations to make their electronic and web content accessible to people with impairments. Violations of these standards can result in the loss of funding (for non-profits and art venues that look to federal grants for funding), as some colleges have faced legal action for noncompliance with web accessibility laws. You can find more information regarding the laws behind accessibility Here.

ACCESSIBILITY BENEFITS EVERYONE.

Accessible online material ensures that everyone receives your message. Inclusive messages mean that we can all participate and get the same information. It promotes society by allowing more people to participate actively, sharing their thoughts and perspectives.

ACCESSIBILITY MAKES FINANCIAL SENSE.

Websites and online material that are easily accessible are more likely to attract a larger audience of potential users. For art organizations, this involves broadening their reach into various local regions, which could result in an increase in website views, membership, community goodwill, ticket purchases, and other factors.

WHAT DOES WEB ACCESSIBILITY LOOK LIKE

WCAG is an international standard that explains how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. It covers web sites, applications, and other digital content. **

Four Principles of WCAG – Brief Overview

  • Perceivable: Web content is made available to the senses – sight, hearing, and/or touch
  • Operable: Functionality is available from a keyboard, users have time to read and use content, does not cause seizures or physical reaction, easy to navigate & input modalities beyond keyboard
  • Understandable: Content is readable and understandable to the broadest audience possible, including when it is read aloud by text-to-speech.Robust: Content is compatible with different browsers, assistive technologies, and other user agents.

THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Setup comprehensible alt tags for your images –  tag your images
  • Create all the forms with labels and tags
  • Provide descriptions for buttons and navigation
  • Create proper page headings and titles that are informative
  • Do not have extremely sharp colors or flashing content that may trigger physical problems
  • Use an online checker similar to Wave to make sure you’re ok

To get our presentation on accessibility and the arts, please click here.

Dream Warrior Group, a Los Angeles Based web design and digital marketing Company, providing solutions for your online marketing needs. Our expertise includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Posts & Marketing & Google PPC campaigns.  Call us now at 818.610.3316 or click here.

SEO Analysis Gives You a Leg Up

Gaining a competitive advantage over competitors by targeting comparable keywords and audiences is an ongoing effort. Organic growth is difficult to achieve in any business due to the sheer volume of competing sites. Investigating your competitors’ SEO can yield game-changing results.

You may speed up your SEO and content marketing by researching what your competitors are doing right or wrong. Competitor analysis identifies strategic weaknesses in their strategy that create chances for your brand. It also helps you learn from their mistakes so you don’t make the same ones.

Implementing a systematic competition analysis strategy fuels data-driven decisions that allow you to surpass your competitors. Let’s look at critical approaches to include in your SEO and marketing plans.

Picking the Right Competitors for SEO Analysis

Only analyze the sites related to your specialty. It would be beneficial if you concentrated on direct competitors. These are the websites that:

  • Serve the same demographics and client personas
  • Target similar keywords as you 
  • Offer comparable items, services, and content

In most niches, you’ll only need to monitor a dozen or so competitors who offer the most direct threat. Avoid overstretching yourself by tracking hundreds of peripheral sites.

And, every few months, go over your list to add newcomers or remove sites that are no longer relevant competition. The competitive landscape is continuously changing.

Leverage Their Keywords for Insights

Investigating a competitor’s keywords exposes the terms that are driving their visibility.

  • Examine their keywords to:
  • Confirm that you are targeting the same themes and aim.
  • Find out what keywords you’re overlooking.
  • Find keywords for which they do not already rank well but resist the desire to replicate a competitor’s keywords. 
  • Keywords must be related to your pages and offerings.

The idea is to obtain insights to develop your keyword portfolio, not duplicate theirs strategically.

Avoid Repeating Their SEO Missteps

Failure to learn from a competitor’s mistakes is a missed opportunity to gain an advantage. Identify any obvious SEO flaws as you examine their website and strategy.

Look for:

  • Overoptimization for a single term across multiple pages
  • The issues with the internal connection structure
  • Misapplication of headings and metadata
  • Excessive filler information that adds little value

As you develop your SEO strategy, don’t replicate their harmful behaviors and profit from what they’re doing incorrectly.

Spot Technical and UX Issues to Capitalize On

Conducting a technical/UX assessment of competitors’ websites shows performance issues.

Examine the site for mistakes, broken pages, sluggish load times, cluttered navigation, and other issues turning off visitors. Addressing them on your website improves the user experience.

You can even target and outrank specific low-quality pages by improving their themes.

Fixing UX issues that competitors ignore provides you with an SEO edge.

Pinpoint Their Content Weak Spots in your seo analysis

Optimizing content around keywords and themes important to your target audience is an essential aspect of SEO. Analyze your competitors’ content kinds to obtain an advantage:

  • Case Studies
  • Blog Posts
  • Articles
  • Google My Business
  • Social Interactions
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Videos

Look for areas where rivals want additional content for specific formats or subjects. These are excellent opportunities to address gaps and meet searchers’ overlooked demands.

You can also examine the content they create. Examine their top-ranking pages—those will be difficult to dethrone. Look for substandard content that isn’t adequately optimized as well. You can outshine it with some effort.

And join their email list to see how their campaigns look. Email is an excellent channel in competition research.

Study Their Backlink Profile for Link Building Opportunities

Backlinks continue to be essential for ranking. You can find influential sites linking to their domain using competitor link analysis.

Prioritize pages with high authority in your industry. These are good targets for obtaining backlinks.

Find the sites that link to a rival but not to you by backlink analysis. Those provide more readily available ways to request a link.

Once you’ve compiled a list of pages, you can seek backlinks through broken link building, resource page submissions, interviews, and other methods.

Get Discovered Where Your Competitors Have Presence

Beyond SEO, you must be visible anywhere your target audience looks for information. Determine which communities and platforms your competitors have established their brand on.

To find their presence, search for their company name, ignoring their website. Join the same industry forums, directories, blogs, and social media platforms that your target audience does.

Then, ensure you thoroughly optimize your profiles and engage the community to level the playing field and position you as an option to their audience.

Learn from Their Social Media Practices

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all battlegrounds for attention and engagement. Examine what your competitors are posting and how they interact with their fans.

Look for qualities to imitate, such as various material formats, responsiveness, and appropriate publishing times.

Look for areas where you can improve as well. Is there a need for more videos? Ignore criticism? Understanding their social media SEO opens the door to stealing followers.

Become the student of your Competitors when doing SEO Analysis

Competitor SEO analysis, at its foundation, allows you to model success. The sites that dominate your space got there in some way. You can unpack the blueprint for your progress by studying what makes them tick.

Use tools to track on-page SEO, backlinks, keywords, and other metrics. However, they also interact with their brand regularly by subscribing, purchasing, reading, and researching.

Consider competitive intelligence to be fuel for constantly improving your SEO and content. You have the map to the top if you have the correct insights.

Dream Warrior Group, a Los Angeles Based web design and digital marketing Company, providing solutions for your online marketing needs. Our expertise includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Posts & Marketing & Google PPC campaigns.  Call us now at 818.610.3316 or click here.

Google Business Profile

How to Leverage Google Business Profile

Google dominates the search engine landscape, controlling a staggering 92% of the market. To better tap into the potential of Google Search and Maps for attracting new clientele, it’s imperative to set up a Google Business Profile (GBP), previously recognized as Google My Business (GMB).

Google My business screen for Bobby's BBQ

Understanding GBP 

Google Business Profile is a complimentary business listing service provided by Google. It’s a platform where businesses can share detailed information and visuals about their offerings, including their location, range of services, and products. By establishing this free profile, businesses can significantly amplify their visibility across various Google platforms. The information from your Google Business Profile can seamlessly integrate and appear in Google Search, Google Maps, and even Google Shopping.

However, it’s essential to understand that Google Business Profile is tailored for businesses that have direct interactions with customers. This encompasses entities with a physical presence, like restaurants or retail stores, and service providers who engage face-to-face with clients, such as consultants or plumbers. If your business operates solely online, you’d benefit more from other Google utilities like Google Ads and Google Analytics.

The Significance of Having a GMB Account

      • Boost Visibility on Google and Google Maps: Google stands unrivaled as the premier search referrer, directing both online and foot traffic. A well-optimized Google Business Profile ensures that when potential customers search for services or products akin to yours, your business emerges prominently. Especially on Google Maps, a local business listing significantly enhances the chances of discovery.
      • Command Your Online Business Narrative: With GMB, you’re in the driver’s seat. Update contact details, operational hours, and other pivotal data as and when required. If there are changes in your service offerings, temporary halts, or resumptions, you can promptly communicate this to your audience. Given the potent local SEO capabilities of Google Business Profiles, the information you provide takes precedence, overshadowing outdated data on other websites.
      • Foster Trust Through Authentic Reviews: Reviews are the bedrock of credibility in today’s digital age. Google’s review system, which amalgamates star ratings with room for detailed feedback, offers customers a platform to share their genuine experiences. This transparency aids potential customers in making informed decisions about which businesses to patronize and which products to invest in.

While the prospect of public reviews might seem daunting, especially given the inability to filter which ones appear, there’s a silver lining. Google asserts that a blend of positive and negative feedback appears more authentic and trustworthy than a barrage of exclusively glowing reviews.

Harness the power of Google My Business and watch your business thrive in the digital landscape.

Dream Warrior Group, a Los Angeles Based web design and digital marketing Company, providing solutions for your online marketing needs. Our expertise includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Posts & Marketing & Google PPC campaigns.  Call us now at 818.610.3316 or click here.

Understanding SEO

The quest for visibility and relevance is a continuous journey in the digital world. One of the most critical tools in this journey is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However, a common question arises: “How long does SEO take to work?” 

Based on insights from SEMrush, this article aims to shed light on this question and more. Many use the comparison between the tai-chi movement and a fast-paced world to describe the pace of SEO versus other forms of promotion. It’s not an instant solution but a strategic process that requires patience and persistence. The timeframe for SEO results can vary, but generally, it takes several months up to a year to see measurable outcomes. Both research and industry consensus support this timeframe.

How-long-does-SEO-take

Understanding SEO Results

Before diving into the timeframe, it’s essential to understand what SEO ‘results’ mean. The primary metric for measuring Optimization success is relevant organic traffic. A significant uptick in organic traffic is often the first indicator of a successful Optimization program. If a substantial increase in bounce rate accompanies this, the success is far less credible. The best ways to compare the increase in organic traffic are:

Increase in engaged traffic = (Traffic after SEO campaign x (1-Bounce Rate))- (Traffic before SEO campaign x (1-Bounce Rate))

Increase in goal Completion = Goals completion after SEO Campaign – Goal Completion before SEO Campaign

The ratio of Converted Engagements = Increase in goal Completion / Increase in engaged traffic

A great SEO campaign will give you improved overall traffic, improved increase in engaged traffic, improved increase in goal completion, and improvement in the ratio of converted engagements.

If you only see your traffic increase without a lift in other areas, it may be time to question the quality of key phrases used for your site optimization.

Traffic increases from Search Engine Optimization – Real World Exampales

To provide a clearer picture, let’s look at some real-world examples. An e-commerce toy business that lost significant search rankings and traffic after launching a redesigned website managed to rank 37 priority key phrases back onto Page 1 within five months. Within six months, they saw a return to previous traffic levels.  It took an additional year to ensure that the additional 25 keywords aimed at mid funnel were in the first page thus improving all the results.

A niche ad agency’s website that suffered from lost rankings in relevant keywords despite the increase in organic search traffic started to see an increase in relevant traffic results after seven months of implementing recommended improvements. Within nine months, they received record levels of relevant organic traffic, and within two years, they saw a 200% increase in goal completion (phone calls and form completions for purchase of their products and services).

Factors Impacting SEO Timeframes

Several factors can influence the timeframe for SEO results. Three of the most important are your actions, the website’s condition, and the competition. The “SEO results” clock starts ticking once you implement the program, not when you hire someone or when strategies are being formulated.

If your website has a lot of technical issues, received a manual action from Google, or was negatively impacted by a Google core update, it might take longer to see results. On the other hand, quick fixes like resolving a robots.txt file blocking search engines can produce fast SEO results.

Competition also plays a significant role. The competition can be challenging depending on the industry and the resources your competitors have. However, it’s possible to beat the competition with a nimble and creative approach.

Accelerating SEO Results

While you can’t drastically speed up SEO results, there are ways to streamline the process. An in-depth, technical SEO audit can pinpoint how to fix your site and beat the competition. Enlisting the help of an expert SEO consultant or agency can also make a significant difference.

In conclusion, SEO is a long-term investment. The results you see within several months to a year are just the beginning. With a solid SEO strategy, you can expect better results as time goes on. Remember, in the world of SEO, patience and persistence are key.

Dream Warrior Group, a Los Angeles Based web design and digital marketing Company, providing solutions for your online marketing needs. Our expertise includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Posts & Marketing & Google PPC campaigns.  Call us now at 818.610.3316 or click here.

Sitemaps

News about Sitemaps Ping Endpoint Deprecation

On Monday, June 26th, Google made a significant announcement regarding the Sitemaps Protocol, a tool that has been assisting search engines in discovering new URLs and scheduling crawls of already known URLs since 2005. The announcement revealed that the sitemaps “ping” endpoint, a feature of this widely utilized protocol, will be deprecated within the next six months.

What are Sitemaps

To repeat some of our previous posts, Google defines a sitemap as “a file where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site, as well as the relationships between them.” (Google: Find out more about sitemaps.)

When you submit a sitemap, search engines may crawl your site more efficiently.

A sitemap will offer search engines crucial information such as:

When was a URL last updated?
How frequently are modifications made to a page?
The importance of a page in relation to other pages on your website.

This data assists search engines in finding, crawling, and indexing the web pages on your site. Sitemaps can be generated in an XML file, the most often used method. Some content management systems have capabilities that make it simple to create sitemaps.

Below is an example of a simple sitemap with all possible elements sourced from Dream Warrior Group‘s site.

<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″>
<url>
       <loc>https://dreamwarrior.com/</loc>
          <lastmod>2023-06-28T00:00:00-07:00</lastmod>
<changefreq>daily</changefreq>
                       <priority>0.8</priority>
</url>
</urlset>

Understanding the Sitemap Ping

The sitemap protocol provides an unauthenticated REST method for sending sitemaps to search engines. However, subsequent internal Google and other search engine research have revealed that these unauthenticated sitemap submissions are no longer helpful. In the instance of Google Search, most of these submissions have been detected as spam. As a result, Google has chosen to remove sitemaps ping support. The deprecated REST API will stop working in six months, and any pings to it will result in a 404 error, and using the endpoint will no longer be useful.

The end of the sitemap pinging doesn’t mean that your sitemaps are useless; if you are utilizing robots.txt or regularly pushing your sitemap to the Google search console, you should experience no issues.

The Role of the Lastmod Element

The utility of the last mod feature, which indicates the latest modification date of a webpage, has fluctuated throughout time. However, it has recently become more impactful in a variety of situations, and Google now uses it as a signal for scheduling crawls to previously identified URLs.

To serve its purpose, the last mod element must be in a supported date format, as stated on sitemaps.org. Once you upload your sitemap, Google’s Search Console will alert you if it is not. Furthermore, it should accurately reflect the actual modification dates: if a page was last amended seven years ago, but the last mod element indicates that it was modified yesterday, Google will eventually discard the last mod dates provided.

You can apply the last mod element to all or just a subset of the pages in your sitemap. Because these sites frequently aggregate content from other pages on the site, some site software may need help to detect the last modification date of the homepage or a category page. In such circumstances, omitting the last model for these pages is appropriate.

It is critical to understand that “last modification” refers to “last significant modification.” Minor changes, such as changing the text in the sidebar or footer, do not warrant an update to the last mod value. Only if there are significant modifications to the primary text, structured data, or links you should change the  last mod value.

Changefreq and Priority Elements

Google does not utilize the change freq or priority elements. The change freq element overlaps conceptually with last mod, while the priority element, a highly subjective field, often fails to accurately represent the actual priority of a page relative to other pages on a site based on Google’s internal studies. For further information on sitemaps, please review  SITEMAP.ORG.

Dream Warrior Group, a Los Angeles Based web design and digital marketing Company, providing solutions for your online marketing needs. Our expertise includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Posts & Marketing & Google PPC campaigns.  Call us now at 818.610.3316 or click here.