Google Launches ‘’Mobile-Friendly’’ Label for Mobile Searchers


Google is sending out a clear message to webmasters that they want you to build mobile-friendly websites. In an effort to help mobile searchers know which sites are mobile-friendly versus which are not, searchers will soon be able to see a new label in the search results snippets for pages that are mobile-friendly. The new label will look something like this:






Whether a site is optimized for mobile could also become a search rank signal, Google said. The label will let searchers know that the website will be easy to read and understand on their mobile device. Google explained that non-mobile friendly websites ‘’can be a frustrating experience for our mobile searches’’ and labels will make it easier for people to find the information they are looking for. Mobile-friendly labels will also encourage webmasters to build a better mobile experience.

Since this is a new addition, there is no way of knowing how it will affect click-through rates, but I think it is safe to say that mobile searchers are going to visit a page labeled ‘’mobile-friendly’’ before visiting a page that is not labeled. Why would anyone visit a page that is not optimized for his or her phone? This will certainly allow the sites that have put in the effort in earning a mobile-friendly stamp to fly high above the sites that haven’t.

So, how do you qualify to show the ‘’mobile-friendly’’ label for your web pages? Google says a page will be eligible if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

Is your site Mobile Friendly?

To ensure your pages meet the mobile-friendly criteria, run your pages through the Mobile-Friendly Test.   Google has also provided a guide for building and improving your mobile-friendly websites.

The worldwide roll out of mobile-friendly search is finally here. Is your website ready to take on the growing number of mobile searchers across the website?

6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website Re(Design) Final Part: Failing to think like a human


We’ve reached the final pitfall in the 6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website Re(Design).   Failing to think like a human. This may seem obvious but it is often overlooked during the development process.

Designing your website with only SEO in mind can be a mistake. It is important to remember throughout the process that you are ultimately developing your website to try to reach your target audience. Develop a website that delights both your audience and search engines. Make sure there is a balance between creating your website for SEO and creating your website with your ideal customer in mind. Focus on creating value for your audience and delivering the user experience they would like.

The end goal is designing and developing a website that is easy for your audience to search and understand and is simple for search engines to crawl and rank.

Here are some things to think about when designing your website for a human and not a search engine:

  • Clean Design – Cluttered, randomly scattered or unorganized websites are distracting for visitors. Today’s trend is clean and clear design.
  • Colour Palette – Ensure your colour palette reflects your brand’s purpose, message and positioning.
  • Use Obvious Navigation Terms – Label your navigation items in plain English using the most universally understood terms so that users know where to go to find what they are looking for.
  • Content Creation – Focus on creating content your visitors will get value from and enjoy reading. Make sure to speak the language of your target audience.
  • Including Testimonials – Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%.
  • Make it easy for your audience – It is great when you go through a website that has exactly what you want, relevant information everywhere and fits within whatever device you are on.

Keeping your target audience in mind when you are planning a website (re)design is a critical factor in whether your website is going to be effective.  Understand your target audiences’ goals and beliefs and use this knowledge to guide your SEO strategy.


Recently (re)designed a new company website? Have any website redesign and SEO tips that worked well for you? We’d love to hear about them.


4 Reasons Why Financial and Insurance Advisor Websites Struggle

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There’s nothing more frustrating than investing in an amazing looking advisor website only to suffer from a lack of website traffic and visitor engagement. Here are 4 reasons and actionable tips you can use to help solve this very common yet solvable problem.

Reason 1: Not enough content and pages

The old saying of quality over quantity does still matter in the world of digital marketing but many advisor websites I’ve reviewed lack a volume of web pages and content, and by content I mean words, images and video. Not enough content implies not enough keywords and not enough pages leads to low page views and low engagement. Search engines require “food” and need to be given the chance to figure out whether your content is useful and relevant. Simply adding more content is an effective way to increase your site’s traffic.

ACTION: Add more content. I know, seems obvious. Avoid adding content for the sake of adding content. Really think through what you are missing on your website. Have you told the complete story of your practice? Your philosophy? How you engage with your clients? How you solve you client’s most mind boggling problems? If after your assessment you feel as though you have told the complete story, consider starting a blog. Blogging is the web’s most effective way to generate organic traffic to websites.

Reason 2: Poor Site Flow

One of the things that make a dancer a good dancer is that their movements follow a logical and progressive pattern and flow. The same logical and progressive pattern is required of any good website. Many advisor websites that I’ve seen have “dead ends” — a place where visitors are not given a choice to continue their journey within the website. It’s also important to remember that your visitors may not always start their visit from the home page. An easy way to determine whether your website has poor site flow would be to take a look at your bounce rates and your time on site. Websites with poor site flow tend to have really poor bounce rates (a bounce rate greater than 50% would be classified as poor) and have visitors who spend seconds instead of minutes on a website.

ACTION: Add more calls to action on your website. Thinking about your website from the perspective of calls to action will force you to think logically about your website’s flow. A call to action provides your visitor with direction and it provides you with a number of different progression points for the visitor. It must be logical and it must be related to the content on your web page. For example, let’s say you think of a call to action that asks your visitor to “Schedule an assessment of their RRSP investment mix”. What’s a logical path to that call to action? It could be, 1) Visitor enters by searching for some tips on effectively saving for retirement, 2) Visitor likes the article and decides to look at what your practice does with respect to Retirement Savings advice and 3) Visitor sees your call to action to schedule an assessment and clicks on it and submits their contact information (first name, last name, email, etc.). Think about what your calls to action will be and plan out the path to get there!

Reason 3: Your Value Proposition is all about You

Writing a solid value proposition can be a challenging and time consuming task. I’ve read a significant number of different value propositions and the most common mistake I run into is the fact that value propositions are always about the advisor or the practice. Very seldom does it ever speak to the visitor. Remember, the first goal of your website is to provide enough incentive for the visitor to click again. That’s it. When someone visits you for the first time or is trying to learn more about you they are trying to figure out how you can help them and not so much about how great you are (that comes later).

ACTION: Re-evaluate your value proposition. Does it speak to your visitors? Does it clearly indicate the problems you help them solve? Or does it talk about what you do and how many awards you’ve received? If you need more tips on writing an effective value proposition, take a look at this blog post.

Reason 4: Where did all the Keywords go?

SEO is critical. With the sheer volume of content that exists on the web, advisors can no longer afford to launch their online brand without knowledge or consideration of Search Engine Optimization. Advisors don’t need to be experts in SEO, but they should understand a the key fundamental aspects of SEO that will help their website rank in a Google or Bing search. Many advisor websites I’ve reviewed have volumes of content, however, there aren’t enough long tail keywords on the page. Before defining a long tail keyword, let’s define “keyword”. A keyword is defined as a word or concept of great significance. For example, “apple”. In search, keywords are used to match search queries, for example, “what is an apple?”. Search engines, attempt to match queries with keywords as a part of their ranking algorithm. Content containing common keywords puts you in a more competitive search rank scenario. For example, doing a search on “Andrew Chung” brings up a ton of other “Andrew Chung” in the world and puts me in a very competitive search competition. Taking the same example, doing a search on “Andrew Chung Veriday”, puts me right at the top. This is an example of a long tail keyword. Even though it still contains “Andrew Chung” (a very common keyword), appending “Veriday” to the end of it makes it unique and enables you to rank high for that particular search. Best practices in keyword optimization state that using your audience’s common language is critical to your keyword strategy.

ACTION: As a start, look at the headings in your content; these are typically titles that have a larger size than your regular text. Are these keywords relevant to your practice? Are they written in your target audience’s language? Are the headings too common (for example “Our Practice” is too common)? Take the 5-10 weakest headings and simply re-write them or enhance them with long-tail keywords relevant to the financial advice industry and your business.


What kind of techniques have you used to help combat low traffic and low engagement websites? Or, if you’ve tried any of these techniques, what were you results?

6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website (Re)Design Part 6): Not implementing responsive design

Not implementing responsive design is mistake #5 in the 6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website (Re)Design.

A responsive design refers to a website that has been designed in a way that all of the content, images and structure of the site remain the same no matter what device you are on. So, when a visitor accesses your site from their desktop, they will see a full view of your site. If they were to switch to their iPhone, the site will adapt to fit on the smaller screen. Responsive design ensures that your website runs properly and looks great on any device.

With the increasing amount of Internet traffic coming from mobile devices, it has become clear that responsive design is no longer a trend, but a must for any website. Now, more then ever, consumers expect their online experience to be consistent no matter what device they are on.

Here are 3 good reasons why every website should be responsive:

Mobile Use Is Only Growing…

The world is going mobile and so are our websites. Worldwide, mobile traffic has doubled between 2012 and 2013.  Not only are people using their mobile for social networking, checking and sending email, and surfing the website, they are also making purchases from their devices.  By 2016, revenue from mobile content is predicted to reach $65 billion.

Your website is likely receiving a high portion of mobile users and given it isn’t responsive, nor has a mobile version, that’s a lot of visitors who are receiving sub-optimal experiences.  According to Hubspot, if a user lands on your website on their mobile and is frustrated or doesn’t see what they are looking for, there is a 61% change they will leave immediately and go to another website (most likely a competitor).

Google Loves Responsive Design

Google has recommended responsive design as the primary mobile configuration and has referred to it as the industries best practice. This configuration makes it easier for Google to crawl your pages, retrieve your content, and ultimately, rank your page.

Provides Great User Experience

Responsive design provides users with a better and faster user experience, and does a better job of converting visitors into customers. When a user has to wait for a page to load, there’s a high change they will leave your site before it opens on their mobile phones. Responsive design eliminates the need for site redirects, improving the overall speed of the site allowing users to get their information quickly.

Responsive design is one of the most effective ways to ensure every visitor has the best possible user experience. Responsive design is still an emerging practice so chances are your competitors have not yet jumped on the bandwagon leaving you a chance to gain a competitive edge. What are you waiting for?

We are almost at the end of the 6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website (Re)Design.  Stay tuned for the last pitfall coming soon.

Question: Is your website responsive? When on your mobile device, would you stay on a site and try to decipher and zoom in on small text, or would you move on to a site that adapted to your screen size?


What is Google My Business?

Getting your practice or business listed on Google My Business is a critical step that every advisor should consider to set yourself apart from your local competitors. It also helps provide a consistent user experience your audience receives when they are looking for you using Google. So, what is Google My Business?

Google My Business = Google Pages + Google Maps + Google Search

Google My Business is a service offered by Google that helps connect businesses and organizations to individuals. It provides a consistent user experience across all of Google’s key search related applications and across all devices like smartphones, tablets and desktops. Let’s look at each discreet component.

Google Search

You’re probably familiar with Google Search if you’ve ever tried to find something online. This is Google’s claim to fame and is still very much a primary revenue stream for them with the combination of Search and Adwords. The user experience you typically receive produces a combination of organic search results (highlighted in yellow below) and paid search results (highlighted in blue below). In this format, the search results provide you with some knowledge of what to expect for each search result. Paid search results, as the name suggests, require you to purchase that space, while the organic search results are free.

Example search result using Google Search

Example of a Google search result using “Financial Planning”


Google Maps

Then along came Google Maps, an application you’re also probably very familiar with if you’ve ever had to get directions to go somewhere. The ever familiar Type in a search term and it visually presents little points on a map that it thinks matches your search term. However, going to vs presents two very distinct experiences where one provides location context around the result.

Google maps search result

An example of a Google Maps search using “financial planning”


Google Pages

In November of 2011, Google launched Google Pages to help connect the online world with “businesses, organizations and other things that you care about” (Our history in depth, When Google pages was first released, it attempted to match the same user experience as that of other social media technologies like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN. It gave organizations the capability to provide their audience and publish quick and short updates such as promotions, events, etc. It also provided them with the ability to corporately brand and personalize the Google page and provide visitors with a user experience that replicated the brand as well as key pieces of information such as their website, address and other contact information (kind of like a business card).

Macy Google+ page

Example of a Google+ Page


Google My Business

Google My Business is effectively the combination of all 3 of these features where the setup process begins with creating a Google Page for your organization, company or practice. By setting up your Google Page and as a result, your listing, you provide Google with key pieces of your company information that Google can leverage when it presents your company via the three aforementioned components. Namely, Google Search, Maps and Pages. Individuals using Google to find you and your business will receive a fully integrated experience no matter what device they are using and no matter from where they are performing the search query. At Veriday, we have ourselves set up in Google My Business. We have a Google Page and when performing a search for our business on Google Maps and Google Search, you receive a more useful and consistent experience.

As you will notice in the example, Veriday’s Google+ page has clear branding as well as detailed information about their address, contact information and hours of operation all within the banner at the top of the page. Below that, are the updates, articles and useful things they share with their audience to encourage additional engagement. In the Google search result, it provides a dedicated area on the right hand side showing the map, logo and contact information using the information and other assets collected when setting up the Google+ page. On the mobile experience, it provides a more targeted experience to the user and assumes that because you are on mobile, you are either looking for location and/or contact details to call. Each of these user experiences are automatically published in all three mediums by simply creating a single profile using Google My Business.


Are you using Google My Business? Have you tried setting up a Google+ page? Share your experience by commenting below!!

6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website (Re)Design Part 5: Failing to consider your URL structure


Failing to consider your URL structure is mistake #5 in Hubspot’s 6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website Re(Design).

One of the most important search engine optimization techniques is using SEO-friendly URL structures to help the indexation of your website.  A good domain name is simple and short so that visitors can easily remember it. Search engines, like users, prefer URLs that make it easy to understand what your page content is all about.

From an SEO point of view, a site’s URL structure should be:

  • Straightforward: URLs with duplicate content should have recognized URLs specified for them; there should be no confusing redirects on the site. (Search Engine Journal, 2014)
  • Meaningful: URL names should have keywords in them. Avoid numbers and punctuation marks. (Search Engine Journal, 2014)
  • Emphasis on the right URLs: SEO-wise, not all URLs on a site are of equal importance as a rule. Some even should be concealed from the search engines. Ensure the pages that should be accessible to search engines are open. (Search Engine Journal, 2014)

Separate words in your URL with a hyphen, or an underscore?

Search engines treat hyphens and underscores differently from one another. Google has made it clear that you should always use a hyphen to separate words in your URLs. Google treats a hyphen as a word separator, but treats an underscore as a word joiner. So, for example tips_for_advisors (using underscores) would be understood as tipsforadvisors. Using tips-for-advisors (hyphens) search engines can  identify the different words and return them in various combinations (ex. tips for advisors, tips, advisors) Using hyphens is better for SEO, making it easier for search engines to identify what your page is about.

Keep your URLs short and simple. Your user prefers it, and so does search engines. When it comes to choosing a good URL – if it’s good for users, it will generally be good for search engines.

Question: What is the biggest challenge you face when it comes to your SEO strategy? Share with us below.


What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and why do I need it?

These days, it is tough getting noticed on the web.   As most people have discovered, it is not enough to just have a website or web presence. People are often questioning why they are not receiving traffic, why they are not being found online or why their website is showing up on page 15 of Google search results. It all boils down to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)…

So, just what is this Search Engine Optimization (SEO) thing and what does it do? Simply put, SEO is all of the things you do to your website to help it rank higher in search engines. It is the practice of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in search engine results. The ultimate goal for SEO would be to get to page one, and ideally to position one.

To put this into context, just think about the way you search the Internet. When you are looking for information on a specific topic, one of your first instincts is to go to Google because it is the fastest and easiest way. Once you’ve inputted your search terms, you’re likely to search through the links on the first or second page of results because they are the most relevant to what you are looking for. This is the point of Search Engine Optimization, to try and get your site ranked as highly as possible on search engines. As a general rule of thumb, websites that appear higher in the search results page will receive more traffic, and in return, more business.

A common practice for Internet users is to click a website on the 1st or 2nd page of search results. Hubspot reports that 75% of people do not scroll beyond the first page of Google. Why build a website that no one can find? For this reason, it is important to constantly keep SEO in mind when creating a website.

So, how does SEO work? SEO works by finding certain keyword phrases or conversational questions that your target audience enters in search engines and by matching those phrases with the products or services you offer on your website. seoWorks has outlined some of the key elements that effect the SEO of your website:

On your website

  • Targeting keywords that your target audience might search
  • Matching relevant content to target these keywords
  • Constantly creating new content to target these keywords
  • Website infrastructure and architecture

Off your website

  • Developing on-theme incoming links
  • Having a relevant and active social media presence
  • Creating citations about you
  • At least half of your SEO results are influenced by elements outside of your control

One of the best SEO strategies is considered to be high quality, relevant and informative content with researched keywords naturally inserted into the text. Google rewards websites that are continuously posting new, relevant and interesting content.

Gaining top rankings can take a very long time. Just because you follow all of the best practices for SEO, does not mean you will be found on the first couple of pages. You cannot set up optimization strategies for your website once and leave it untouched. SEO is a continuous process that requires constant and well-maintained efforts. We’ve only just scratched the surface here.

Looking to (re)design your website with SEO in mind? Learn about the 6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid during your next re(design).

Are you interested in learning more about the complex world of SEO? If so, leave us a comment below and we’ll be sure to address your questions in our upcoming articles.

6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website (Re)Design Part 4: Failing to identify (and include) commonly searched keywords


Failing to identify (and include) commonly searched keywords is mistake #4 in Hubspot’s 6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website (Re)Design.

Keyword research is one of the most important and valuable parts of doing SEO right. Keyword research is about identifying which keywords and phrases are being used, in search engines, by your potential customers to find the products/and or services that you are providing on your website. It is the most important step to drive targeted traffic to your site, and it will help you decipher what topics you should write about and what phrases you should use while writing. If done correctly, it provides a road a road map for building your website and developing content.

Hubspot has provided an exercise for how to establish a keyword list:

  1. Make a list of important topics based on what you know about your business and what topics you’d ideally like to rank for.
  2. Fill in those topic buckets with keywords and phrases that you think are important for your website to rank for in search engine results.
  3. Check to make sure you have a mix of short and long tail keywords in each bucket (great for long term goals and short term wins)
  4. Research related search terms (scroll to the bottom of Google’s results and you’ll notice some suggestions for searches related to your original search)

After completing these steps, you will have a list of keywords and phrases that will help you focus on the right content and topics for your website. Building your business website around your keyword research can provide leverage from which you can further build your SEO strategy to continuously improve your search engine ranking.

In short, researching commonly searched keywords before your website design is a crucial first step in the process for the following reasons:

  • Keyword research reveals your target market
  • Keyword research informs your content
  • Keyword research will inform how you write your content

Do you have your own methods and tricks to identifying your website’s keywords? We’d love to hear about them. Share your tips and tricks below or drop us a line if you have any questions about your next website project.


6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website (Re)Design Part 3: Not doing an audit of your existing site

Mistake #3 of Hubspot’s 6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website (Re)Design is Not doing an audit of your existing site.

If you are redesigning your website, make sure you take the time to examine your current site to see what is working and what is not. If it’s working, keep doing it. If it’s not, this is your chance to figure out where the opportunities lie to help your site rank better in search engines.

There are many reasons why you would conduct an audit of your existing site. Maybe you are not getting as much traffic as you hoped for. Or, maybe you are getting traffic but visitors don’t seem to be engaged in what you’re selling them. Perhaps your website is old and neglected and you need to identify what pages need to be totally revamped, or removed. Regardless of why you are redesigning your website, a properly conducted audit will help you to identify what content delivers better results and what content may be hurting your website. The audit will help you to establish how popular your content is and if it is meeting your visitor’s expectations. For example, a high bounce rate or low time spent on a website might indicate that visitors aren’t engaged with your content, and leave your site right away.

Below are some key metrics you may want to consider when auditing your website:

  • Number of visits/visitors/unique visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Average time visitors spend on your site
  • How many new vs. returning visitors does the website achieve
  • Top performing keywords (in terms of rank, traffic, and lead generation)
  • Number of inbound linking domains
  • Total number of total pages indexed
  • Total number of pages that receive traffic
  • Top landing pages
  • Content review – do the main pages of the site have enough content? Which pages are receiving the most traffic? Which pages are visitors spending the most time on?

A website audit is the first step in the path to redesigning a website. This process will provide you with the insight and context you need to make informed design decisions. An audit is not necessarily about finding what is wrong with your site, but rather to find a list of things that can be changed to help make your site rank better in search engines.

Looking to redesign your website but aren’t sure where to start? That’s what we’re here for!


6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website (Re)Design Part 2: Not thinking about SEO from the start


Let’s dig a little deeper into the first of Hubspot’s 6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next (Re)Design. In case you missed it, here is a refresher on What is SEO and why do I need it? One of the biggest mistakes you can make during a website redesign is not thinking about SEO from the start. Many people treat SEO and web design as though they are two separate entities. But, every good developer knows that you must connect both, from the beginning, in order to create an effective website.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

SEO needs to be ingrained in your (re)design strategy from the very beginning. Throughout the process, keeping SEO in mind will allow you to create a site that meets your design and functionality needs, and also excels at SEO. A site designed with SEO in mind will be better indexed and ranked by search engines, which ultimately increases visitor traffic and revenue.

It is also important to understand who your clients and prospects are during the process because your website should be structured and written for them. Creating a website with your end users in mind, and combining web design practices with SEO practices will result in a win-win.

So, what aspects of my website should be developed with SEO in mind? The answer is simple. All aspects. The structure and design of your website, URL foundation, navigation structure, heading tags, the meta description, images, relevant keywords, organized and targeted content, internal and external links, social media integration…to name a few.

Many people are too focused on the look and design of their website.  This is important, but if you are not generating enough traffic to your site, then the design and usability doesn’t really matter much.  Don’t spend time and money to build a website that no one can find.

Still not sure whether the trials and tribulations of SEO are really worth it? Not sure how to infuse best SEO practices into your website (re)design? We’d love to help! Get in touch with us today!