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What Happened To My Google Rankings? The Answer is AMP Mobile Sites PLUS Google Rolled Out the Mobile Index Update

Did you just Google your core business keyphrases this morning and are thinking, “What Happened To My Google Rankings?” The Answer is a combination of the creation of AMP Mobile Sites PLUS Google’s Mobile Search Index just rolled out.

As I write this blog post I’m thinking of the millions of business owners whose rankings will drop as a results of this update. The very same business owners who were told, at one time or another over the past 7 years, they should re-create their business website on WordPress. All of the data they were presented with made sense; the updating technology, ease of use, compatibility with other platforms, mobile responsiveness, that it was build using open source (as they thought to themselves…Whatever that Means!@#\!) and so on.

The challenge is now WordPress does not have a plugin or core update to easily create an AMP site from an existing WordPress site. This difficulty to convert “pages and archives” to the new AMP criteria (cited on WordPress here). This leaves millions of businesses on the WordPress platform at risk of loosing their hard earned Google rankings.

If you are reading this blog then Google just fully released AMP preferential treatment and has switched over to their mobile first index. Here is a background on all the facts:

1. The story starts to make sense when Google first stated that AMP results will go ahead of non-AMP pages on mobile (cited in Wired here).
2. It was first thought that Google would run two separate indexes, desktop and mobile (cited in Search Engine Land here).
3. On September 27th AMP results started showing on desktop. The news about their being 2 separate indexes didn’t seem to make sense since Google was showing AMP results on desktop. It made sense that this was a test for the big update to come, one index with mobile first results (cited in Search Engine Land here).
4. Just this past Friday, November 4th,  it was confirmed when Google announced there will be one index, with mobile criteria leading the ranking criteria (cited in Mashable here).

Learning and watching large players in an industry is important to learn how trends will move. When Ebay announced it was AMPing their entire mobile site anyone not paying attention was doomed to be left behind. Ebay first figured out the importance of AMP and then announced their intention to AMP their m. site on July 4th of 2016 (cited in Search Engine Land  here). AMP was first announced for news outlets and posts on WordPress but the initiative by Ebay made it clear that this was going to be a technology suitable and preferred across all types of businesses and industries. The first reported AMP use on Ebay was mid October and still being tweaked at the date of this article showing the challenges of even the best development teams with the faster but newer AMP code.

On the WordPress platform it is also challenging and we ran into many obstacles using recommended plugins. The way we AMPed our own site is we created a separate AMP website and forwarded amp.optfirst.com and then configured the required forwarding, viewing and tagging. Creating a separate site that is AMP validated is an intense but worthwhile process. It can lead to 4X faster mobile version of any mobile or responsive website.

To check if a website is AMP’ed or has an AMP version you can install the verified AMP Validator available here.

To learn about all the benefits of Accelerated Mobile Page, code elements and requirements you can view the Official AMP project site here.

5 Reasons We’re So Amped About AMP

As we all know, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are kinda huge deal for anyone that has a website that people view on a mobile device, i.e. everyone. The AMP framework basically strips away many of the unnecessary web page elements that slows down the mobile experience making it much faster for users. For anyone that hasn’t heard about the roll-out of this user-friendly mobile experience, here are the top reasons why we’re so excited about AMP.

1) It’s super fast – about 15% to 85% faster on mobile. Since it strips down the code to only the essentials, it’s able to showcase websites much more quickly. This is a huge win for anyone that has short attention span.

2) Google is a big fan – Google historically favors websites that optimize user experiences – especially for mobile – which is great for search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.

3) They’re noticeable – AMP sites have a small gray lightning bolt so people will know that your website is the one to click on and bypass your competitors.

4) Will help you get and keep visitors on your page – when over 50% of people are using mobile to search for products/services, it’s best to have the most mobile optimized site and since bounce rates can be as high as 58% for websites that take up to ten seconds to load – you’re bound to get more page views.

5) Last but certainly not least – while Google doesn’t explicitly say that it’ll reward AMP websites with higher rankings, when you look at the other advantages, i.e. fast speeds and optimized user experience, it’s easy to see how being an early adopter will be beneficial for not only mobile, but overall organic rankings.

With all these benefits to AMP-ing up a website, it’s no wonder we’re getting tons of requests from our clients to AMP up their current website!!

How to manage orders on WooCommerce

We love WooCommerce. We use it all the time for e-commerce clients. There is something about it’s easy-to-use interface, customization ability, great integrations including Google Shopping, etc. (the list benefits could go on…). It’s perfect for clients that are on a WordPress that are selling 30 products or less.

Since we use WooCommerce a lot, we’re always pointing clients to the manage orders doc page. Additional questions about how to manage orders come up, so we created supplemental procedures that go over how to make address changes, how to process cancellations, how to process refunds, what if a customer wants to add to an existing order or how to manually add an order, etc.

We hope it’s helpful for you.
Happy selling!
OptFirst Team

 WooCommerce Procedures for Order Management

Go to: https://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin and enter your username/password.

Once you are signed into the WP-Admin section of the website:

  • On the left hand column, scroll to WooCommerce. Click Orders.
  • You will see all the orders that have been placed on the website, including breakouts of:
    • Pending Payments (merchant account has not yet approved the payment),
    • Processing (payment has been approved by merchant but the product has not shipped),
    • Completed (the product has now been shipped to the customer),
    • Cancelled (Cancelled orders & when the customer drops off in the checkout process, usually because it took to much time),
    • Failed (those that tried to use a credit card but merchant would not allow it to be processed, i.e. wrong billing info, declined credit card, etc.)
  • On the top Right, you can search for orders by order number, first name, last name, etc.

 
woocommerce orders (1)
 
Once you pull up a customer’s details, it will look like this:

woocommerce orders (2)
 

Address Change

  • Under the customer’s order, next to Billing Details / Shipping Details, click the pencil to edit, update the address and click “Save Order”

woocommerce orders address (3)
 

Cancellations

  • Under the customer’s order, under “order status” change to “cancelled”. Then click “save order”, then under “order actions” click on “cancelled order” for it to send a notice to the email address selected.

woocommerce orders cancellations (4)

 

Refunds

  • On the order page, under Order Items, click “Refund”
  • Once you click “Refund”, boxes will appear to enter the refund amount. Enter the number listed above the box (the original prices). The refund amount will auto calculate. Then click on the “refund $____ manually” button. You will then get a refund notice to confirm you want to send a refund. Click “ok”.

woocommerce orders refunds (5)
 
woocommerce orders refund (6)
 
woocommerce orders refund (7)
 

  • The order status will automatically go to “Refunded”. Click “save order” and the system will auto generate an email to the customer notifying them that their order has been refunded.

woocommerce orders refund (8)
 

  • Please note that you will need to be sure that refund was processed through the merchant account as Woocommerce may not be set up to automatically process this.


Item Change (swap out an order)

  • You first change the status from “processing” to “on hold” then “save order”. Then in the order items section, on the right there is a “x”, click on that to delete the item. Then click “add product”, search for the product, “add” and then “save”. Then you can change the status back to “processing” and then on the top right, click “Save Order”. You can then generate a new order email on the top right drop down.

woocommerce orders item change (9)
 

Add to an Existing Order

  • Rule: Customer needs to place a new order on the website
  • Exceptions to that rule: manually add to an order – You first change the status from “processing” to “on hold” then “save order”. Then in the order items section, click “add new line item” and then “add product”, search for the product, “add” and then “save”. You can then “calculate total” Then you can change the status back to “processing” and then on the top right, click “Save Order”. You can then generate a new order email on the top right drop down.
    • You will also need to calculate the actual remaining amount due:
    • updated order total amount – amount they were charged originally = the amount you need to manually charge the customer


Manually Add an Order

  • You will first need to create a new user and then add a new order. See the below for instruction. In the order section, once you’ve added the customer information (make sure to include the shipping info and add their product order) and then change their order status to “Processing” so that it’ll be ready to ship.
  • If someone was already a user, you’d have to enter their username into the area that says Customer and then update the information. This creates a new order under the existing customer’s name.  

STEP 1 – How to Add a User: on the left hand side, click on “User”, then on the top left, “Add New”  and then add the required information, Role: Customer, and click “Add New User”.

woocommerce mannual add an order (10)
 
STEP 2 – How to add a new order: under “Woocommerce”, “Orders”, click “Add Order”. You would add all of their customer information (billing/shipping details), then click “Add Line Item”, search for the product, select it. Then manually enter the shipping info, “Calculate Total”. Then “Save Order” and then update to “Processing” so it’s ready to ship. You can also generate an email through “Order Actions” and select “New Order”, “Save Order”
 
Part 1 of how to add an order:

woocommerce manual order (11)
 
Part 2 of how to add an order:

woocommerce manual order (12)
 
 

View Sales Reports

  • Under WooCommerce, click “Reports” and you can view the sales in whatever time frame you wish. Click “export CSV” if you’d like the information on Excel.


Manage Reviews on Product Pages

  • When you get a notification that you received a review, go to the left hand side, under WooCommerce, click “Products”. Select the product that has a pending review. When you scroll down, you will see a “reviews” section with the pending comment. You can review it there, click “approve” or “trash”. It will save and then process on the front end of the site. See below.


Notes


For more information on WooCommerce and managing orders, visit: https://docs.woocommerce.com/document/managing-orders/

 

Why Google’s laughing all the way to the bank over Google Plus

Social media companies have rejoiced! They finally killed Google Plus and no longer have to post on their clients’ accounts!!! YEAH! So Google is killing Google Plus and what does that mean for social media? Google Plus was merely the bridge between Google’s core products: Google Search, Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps, trying to make things easier for the sometimes not-so-tech-savvy consumer. By getting rid of Google Plus they are admittedly not trying to take on Facebook any longer, though when you own the online real estate Google owns -(whose market share is increasing on a daily basis) there is no need to. So ultimately Google will have lower cost, less management and no client dissension over their brand. That remind us of an old saying, “whoever laughs last, laughs loudest.”

Now you may ask, what will posting on Google Places for business look like? Considering that Google Places/Maps typically has more traffic than a business’ website and posts are actually included in Google search results, it might STILL BE SMART to post on that online property that has 10X the visibility and click through rate compared to a Facebook post – that really can only be seen if the business owner pays to promote it! So yes, it’s still hugely important to post of Google Plus for Business (or whatever it will ultimately be called now). Sorry social media companies.

Click Here to Find Out More

5 Top Local Search Factors

As the head of a leading Search Marketing firm I’m asked what the top criteria are that determine first page map results. In the past I found four top criteria in search engines determining local rankings:
1. Business Name – The importance of this increases exponentially as the business has multiple locations and can now be managed in the Google multiple business manager.
2. Business Address – Verification of the business address, per location, primarily happens via ‘snail mail’ or a telephone call-in pin for locations that previously exist in the listing directories system (usually because they scraped the information from a ‘higher up’ directory).
3. Business Phone number – Call-in pins are common to verify listed phone numbers.
4. Website URL – It is important to have a unique URL for every unique listing. I often see businesses get ‘sloppy’ and try to use their homepage for 3 different locations. The extra step to create a unique ‘homepage’ for each location is imperative in order to compete with competition in the local map market.
5. Google Plus for Business page – This is a new item I’ve added over the last few years. It’s not enough just to use the first 4 pieces of information to PROMOTE a G+ business page, but rather the creation, syncing and promotion of the page individually that determines overall success in Google Maps results.
Bonus verification – Business email, ie @optfirst, is often not only used to verify the domain but the existence of a real business owner and identity.

For information on how you can make your current website traffic profitable contact us and

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Conversion Optimization Company Miami

Experts in Website Conversion Optimization

Want to get more out of your website? Tired of having lots of traffic to your website and have no leads or online sales? This is a common issue that our OptFirst clients have before hiring us. Just because a website has a lot of traffic  doesnt mean that it will have lots of sales or leads. The process of getting a website to perform well so that it delivers customers and clients is a unique science. It could be better described as an art backed up by science and tested data.

Miami Website Conversion Optimization Company

To know how website visitors use a website and what they expect is the starting point of optimizing a website for conversion. Here are a few items that our clients tend to have before using our SEO and

conversion optimization plan:

  • Placement of Conversion Forms
  • Banner Placement
  • Product Placement
  • Unique Selling Proposition
  • Value Offers
  • Mobile Compatibility
  • Click to Call Functionality

Some of the analysis that OptFirst does in order to fix issues and optimize for sales:

  • Website Traffic Review
  • Heatmapping User Mouse and Eye Movement
  • Tracking Click to Calls
  • Lead Form Analysis

For information on how you can make your current website traffic profitable contact us and

Click Here to Find Out More