Categories
SEO Speed, Security & Optimization

The value of Google Page Speed

Page speed is a measurement of how fast the content on your page loads.

What is Page Speed?

Page speed is often confused with “site speed,” which is actually the page speed for a sample of page views on a site. Page speed can be described in either “page load time” (the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page) or “time to first byte” (how long it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the web server).

You can evaluate your page speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights. PageSpeed Insights Speed Score incorporates data from CrUX (Chrome User Experience Report) and reports on two important speed metrics: First Contentful Paint (FCP) and DOMContentLoaded (DCL).

SEO Best Practices

Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. And research has shown that Google might be specifically measuring time to first byte as when it considers page speed. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.

Page speed is also important to user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions.

Here are some of the many ways to increase your page speed:

Enable compression
Use Gzip, a software application for file compression, to reduce the size of your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files that are larger than 150 bytes.

Do not use gzip on image files. Instead, compress these in a program like Photoshop where you can retain control over the quality of the image. See “Optimize images” below.

Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML
By optimizing your code (including removing spaces, commas, and other unnecessary characters), you can dramatically increase your page speed. Also remove code comments, formatting, and unused code. Google recommends using CSSNano and UglifyJS.

Reduce redirects
Each time a page redirects to another page, your visitor faces additional time waiting for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete. For example, if your mobile redirect pattern looks like this: “example.com -> www.example.com -> m.example.com -> m.example.com/home,” each of those two additional redirects makes your page load slower.

Remove render-blocking JavaScript
Browsers have to build a DOM tree by parsing HTML before they can render a page. If your browser encounters a script during this process, it has to stop and execute it before it can continue.

Google suggests avoiding and minimizing the use of blocking JavaScript.

Leverage browser caching

Browsers cache a lot of information (stylesheets, images, JavaScript files, and more) so that when a visitor comes back to your site, the browser doesn’t have to reload the entire page. Use a tool like YSlow to see if you already have an expiration date set for your cache. Then set your “expires” header for how long you want that information to be cached. In many cases, unless your site design changes frequently, a year is a reasonable time period. Google has more information about leveraging caching here.

Improve server response time

Your server response time is affected by the amount of traffic you receive, the resources each page uses, the software your server uses, and the hosting solution you use. To improve your server response time, look for performance bottlenecks like slow database queries, slow routing, or a lack of adequate memory and fix them. The optimal server response time is under 200ms. Learn more about optimizing your time to first byte.

Use a content distribution network

Content distribution networks (CDNs), also called content delivery networks, are networks of servers that are used to distribute the load of delivering content. Essentially, copies of your site are stored at multiple, geographically diverse data centers so that users have faster and more reliable access to your site.

Optimize images

Be sure that your images are no larger than they need to be, that they are in the right file format (PNGs are generally better for graphics with fewer than 16 colors while JPEGs are generally better for photographs) and that they are compressed for the web.

Use CSS sprites to create a template for images that you use frequently on your site like buttons and icons. CSS sprites combine your images into one large image that loads all at once (which means fewer HTTP requests) and then display only the sections that you want to show. This means that you are saving load time by not making users wait for multiple images to load.

Categories
Web Design

You need to have a high quality website

To succeed online in the long term you need to have a high quality website.

Whether you are running a news blog, a content driven website or an e-commerce store, it has to be different (and better) than the thousands of other websites in the same niche.

A high quality website will grow over time both in terms of loyal readers but also in terms of search engine trust, which is equivalent to more organic visits.

Google engineers are trying for years to make their algorithms clever enough to identify and rank websites that are of good quality.

It is not an easy task, taking into account that everything has to be decided by a computer program and not a human.

Nevertheless with the introduction of ‘Panda’ a few years ago, it seems that they are in the right path.

The ‘Panda’ algorithmic changes made a good job in identifying which websites are better than the rest and and gave those a higher position in the SERPS.

Websites are more than just places to house information about your organization, institution, or business. Websites “wear several hats” and serve as vehicles for many different objectives – from brand promotion to new audience cultivation, to lead generation and more. That’s why it’s critical to have a high-quality website that can serve each of these differing objectives.

So, what are some of the key factors that make up a quality website?

A quality website:

  • Provides clear information about an organization’s mission, product, service, or other offerings
  • Houses content that will engage both new and existing audiences and encourages the audience to re-engage again and again (this is how you drive potential converters through your funnel)
  • Demonstrates a clear value proposition that answers the question “What is in it for me?” for the visitor
  • Indicates clearly what the visitor should do while on the site or site page. These indications, called “calls to action,” encourage website visitors to complete a certain action, like downloading or reading content, sending an online donation, or signing up for more information or an email list subscription.
Categories
SEO

10 Free Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website

A good business website is like having an extra employee—one who works 24/7 and can be the face of your company, give information, answer queries and even make sales. But what good does that do you if you aren’t getting visitors to your site? In this post we’ll cover thirteen of the many ways to drive traffic to your website.

There are 1.24 billion websites in the world. That’s a lot of competition, but keep in mind that you’re not trying to attract all internet users. Your goal is to get more people in your target audience to visit your site. Below are some simple and free ways to increase the amount of relevant traffic that you are getting to your website.

1. Create a Google My Business Account


Did you know that an optimized Google My Business listing gets 7x more visits than an incomplete one? Don’t forget that your listing links to your website, so this is a great way to get more traffic to your website. Keep in mind also that Google is getting smarter and smarter with results. If your listing provides all of the information a potential customer needs to make a decision, they might forego your website and contact/visit your business directly—even better than a website visit!

2. Perform On-Page SEO

There are many SEO tactics you can perform on each of your website pages to increase their rank in search engines and get more visitors. This includes producing high-quality content that your audience is searching for, and writing concise meta descriptions for your pages. The meta description appears below your URL in search results. Knowing what a page is about and what will result in a click makes users much more likely to do so. On-page SEO tactics such as these are free, but do take some time. For more help with on-page SEO, check out this blog post: Google Ranking Factors: On-Page vs Off-Page SEO.

3. Get Listed

Another way to increase traffic to your website is to get listed in free online directories and review sites. For most of these sites, your profile will have a link to your website, so actively updating these listings and getting positive reviews is likely to result in more website traffic. In addition, many directories like Yelp have strong domain authority on Google. There’s a chance that your business’s free Yelp page could rank high for relevant searches, which could help drive more traffic to your site.

4. Post to Social Media

Social media is one of the most popular free marketing tools around, and plays a role in driving traffic to your website. Use Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to promote blog posts and other useful content on your website. This way you can get your social media followers to your site, as well as users who follow the people who share your content. Creating useful content is free, and is not as hard as it may seem. You are the expert in your product/service; your job is to simplify it for your audience.

5. Use Hashtags

By adding hashtags to posts that promote your website pages and blog posts, you can extend your reach beyond your network and get discovered by users searching for your products and services. The more eyes on your links, the more free traffic you’re getting to your website.

5. Use Landing Pages

Landing pages are another free source of traffic to your website. These are pages specific to your offers, such as for redeeming a discount code, downloading a free guide, or starting a free trial. They contain the details users need in order to move forward and convert, and focus on one specific call to action, making it more likely to happen. Because landing pages are so specific, you can get very targeted in your messaging, increasing the traffic coming to those pages.

6. Target Long-Tail Keywords

While short-tail keywords are often searched more frequently, it is more difficult to rank for them on search engines. Targeting long-tail keywords, on the other hand, gives you a better chance of ranking higher (even on the first page) for queries specific to your products and services—and higher ranking means more traffic. Plus, as search engines and voice-to-text capabilities advance, people are using more specific phrases to search online. There are many free tools available to help you find keywords to target, such as Answer the Public.

7. Start Email Marketing

Sending out regular newsletters and promoting offers through email is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and can also help to get traffic to your website. Provide useful information and links to pages on your website where they can learn more, such as through blog posts and landing pages for particular offers. Just make sure that you don`t continually bombard your readers with emails or your customers will either disengage with, delete, or unsubscribe from your emails.

Also, put careful thought into your email subject lines. These heavily influence whether or not a user opens your email. If your emails never get opened, they can’t supply traffic to your site!

This method of increasing website traffic is free, so long as your email marketing tool is free. Many platforms (such as Mailchimp) have a free version you can start with.

8. Guest Blog

Having an industry influencer publish a blog post on your site or turning an interview with them into a blog post can help to drive traffic both through organic search but also via that influencer promoting the content to their audience. This can also help to add more variety to your content and show your visitors that you are active in your field.

Alternatively, you could ask the influencer to mention your business in their own review or round-up post. This method is still free, but you still need the collaboration with the influencer to be an exchange with mutual benefit. Check out this post on how to reach out to influencers with an appropriate “ask”.

You can also be a guest blogger. Identify complementary businesses in your area whose audience is relevant to your business. See if you can contribute a post to their blog with a link back to your website. Make sure your content is relevant and useful to their audience, so that it’s more of an even exchange.

9. Engage Online

It’s free to be active in online groups and on websites that are relevant to your business and community—and it helps you to obtain more traffic. Comment on blogs and social media posts, answer questions people are posting, and participate in conversations about your industry. The more you engage with your community, the more exposure and profile visits you get.

If your social media profiles contain a link to your website, then you’ve turned your engagement into another channel for website traffic. Just be sure to engage moderately and in a sincere way, and avoid including links to your website in your comments—lest you appear spammy and hurt your online and business reputation. Increased traffic should not be the goal of your engagement, but rather a secondary result.

10. Learn from Your Analytics

Google Analytics is free to use, and the insights gleaned from it can help you to drive further traffic to your website. Use tracked links for your marketing campaigns and regularly check your website analytics. This will enable you to identify which strategies and types of content work, which ones need improvement, and which ones you should not waste your time on.

11. Advertise Online

Online advertising is perhaps the most basic way to get more people to visit your site. Social media, paid search, and display advertising are all excellent channels for PPC advertising to boost website traffic. For more help with online advertising, check out the following:

These are only some of the many strategies you can use to drive traffic to your website. Getting more website visitors does not happen overnight. It takes hard work and dedication, but we’ve eliminated the hard part for you: knowing what to do in the first place. Implement a mix of these strategies and you’ll start seeing improvements in your website traffic.

Categories
News & Info @ Vontainment SEO

Get started with a new online presence

Whether you are starting a new business or have been open for a decade your online presence is important. When people look for different types of businesses or service providers one of the first actions we take is to look online. Even when friends refer us to a provider we usually go online to get their info and look.

What we see about a business can directly affect our view. It’s like the first impression meeting a person. We see reviews, images, news and your website (if you have one) as well as some of your competitors. Have you looked up your competition and yourself? Do you look best? If you don’t look best online you could be losing customers to who does.

We specialize in not just creating modern responsive websites but in creating, maintaining and growing online brand presence for small business. We can develop and deploy cloud resources and intranet options for businesses to bring you into the 21st century. as well as eCommerce and other great online options.

There is so much that can be a part of your web presence. An online presence is any existence of an individual or business that can be found via an online search. An example of an individual who is not active on the Internet but who has a online presence is one who is a member of an association that has a member directory listing online. Another example is an individual who only has a LinkedIn or Facebook profile. How do you leverage and enhance their existing web presence to boost their exposure and reputation and market themselves and/or their business online?

One way is to design and build a compelling website or a blog. Once the concept of the web presence has been established, it is time to start building it, including the all-important keywords that are essential to that market. Without keywords, the website will not be successful and will essentially stagnate. It is important to understand that it takes a lot more than a beautiful-looking website to cultivate the success of a particular business through its online presence. Another way is to capitalize on their existing web presence and enhance it with additional social media marketing interactions. A third option is a combination of the two.

Categories
News & Info @ Vontainment

New site design for CannaGoals; Check it out!

We just finished a new site design for CannaGoals.com. Check out their new site and see what they are about. Check-out our work in you are in the market for a website or just looking for a new one. We work hard to make sure all our designs are top notch.

About CannaGoals

Provide education in beginning cannabis use, including medical marijuana in Florida, and over the counter hemp derived products. Guide you step by step; from choosing a qualified physician, to completing the application to The State of Florida, and knowing the fees associated with each. Explain various medications, devices, approved routes and products on the market through unbiased research. Offer extended services for individuals requesting concierge cannabis consultations. Relay information regarding important legislation, events, classes, and more!

CannaGoals.com

This design has many of the following great features:

  • Newsletter
  • Large Contact Form
  • Age Gate
  • Blog
  • Responsive Design
  • Online Invoicing For Clients

What to expect with a new site?

Your website is one of the first experiences a potential customer may have with your company. It’s only logical that you will want to put your best foot forward and have a powerful website that conveys your message and converts traffic into leads. However, there comes a time in every website’s life where a facelift or redesign is needed. This may be due to your evolving business, changes in customers’ expectations, or even technology trends.

Whatever the reason, redesigning your website can be a daunting task filled with uncertainty. Here at Vontainment we work hard to make the process easy and make sure you love the finished product.

Categories
SEO

13 Easy Ways to Immediately Improve Your SEO Rankings

What comes to mind when you see the term “SEO“? Where do you focus all your energy when you’re trying to improve SEO ranking of your website?

Most people focus a large proportion of their time on “keywords” and not much else.

However, if you’ve been working diligently on keyword optimization but are still not getting the results you want, you may need to consider other factors that affect SEO ranking.

Search engine algorithms not only rate the relevance of your keywords on pages, and in the meta data, in relation to a user’s search terms, but they also evaluate information such as the duration visitors stay on your site, bounce rate, broken links, pages viewed, inbound and outbound links and so on…

Getting users to stay on your website and interact with your content can boost your website’s ranking, and you can do so by improving the user experience and usability of your website.

Using keywords to get visitors to click through to your site is only half the story. If you approach SEO as “optimizing your website for people who use search engines,” the notion of user-friendliness becomes an important factor.

In this article, I’ll look at the various aspects of website usability that impact website ranking, how to improve SEO rankings by improving website usability and what to do when there seems to be conflict between usability and SEO “best practice.”

What is website usability?

Website usability encompasses many elements of website design, most of which are also tied to conversion.

Here are a few that can affect your website ranking:

  • Effectiveness: can users achieve their objectives when they land on your website? e.g. Can they find the information they need, order the products they desire, or contact the company for customer service?
  • Efficiency: adding to effectiveness is efficiency. Besides being able to achieve an objective, how quickly can a user complete a task? If visitors cannot find what they need effectively and efficiently on your website, they’re more likely to navigate away. The shorter time they spend on your website may have a negative impact on the SEO ranking.
  • Learnability: can users learn to navigate your website quickly? Are the calls-to-action that are clickable consistent so visitors know how to interact? When visitors spend too much time trying to figure out how to use your website, they’re spending less time consuming your information or looking at your products. Plus, when they can’t find what they need, it’s likely that they will get frustrated, navigate away and never come back.
  • Memorability: can users re-find your website next time they go onto a search engine? Repeat traffic can help you get a Google ranking boost. Visitors may find your website and then navigate away for a number of reasons. They may remember it later and try to search for it again. Is the keyword associated with that particular search memorable enough so they can find your site again?
  • Error Prevention: certain errors on a website can affect not only user experience but also SEO ranking. e.g. A 404 Page Not Found error, a link that says one thing but displays something else, or a broken link that is no longer valid.

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How does good website usability improve SEO ranking?

Search engines reward sites that are user friendly, which means they have high usability. Google favors sites that are not only rich in keywords, but also demonstrate user engagement.

SEO ranking improves when visitors stay on your site longer, view more pages, and repeat their visits. The more user-friendly your site is, the more likely this is going to happen.

Let’s have a look at 13 elements that not only increase usability on your site, but also help improve SEO ranking:

1. Useful, high quality, relevant content

Dwell time” is the amount of time visitors spend on your website and it can affect SEO ranking.

When you provide useful content, visitors tend to stay longer on your website to consume the information and therefore increase the dwell time.

Based on this research, content between 2,000 – 2,500 words seems to rank the highest in search engine results.

Although word count doesn’t rule the SEO world – nobody will read your stuff if it’s not helpful to them – longer content does give you the opportunity to provide more value, include more keywords, incorporate more outbound links, and of course, get people to spend more time reading to increase dwell time.

Another reason to create highly useful content is that when visitors bookmark your content on Chrome, it will improve SEO ranking of your website in Google.

Content around 2,500 words gets the most Google juice.

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2. Page load speed

Both Google and Bing take page-loading speed into account in their website ranking algorithm.

Users may leave your site if they have to wait even just an extra few seconds for each page to load. That would hurt your dwell time, increase your bounce rate and reduce the number of pages viewed – all of which could hurt your SEO ranking.

There are many ways to increase page load speed, some of which include using a caching plug-ins, making sure the code is clean and streamlined, optimizing image sizes, reducing the number of plug-ins, and minimizing redirects.

Properly optimizing images can help reduce file size and improve load speed.

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Research has shown that using good quality images can increase conversion rate. Properly optimizing your images can help you take advantage of using photos to generate empathy, increase trust, and improve a visitor’s experience without hampering load time which could affect your SEO ranking.

3. Image optimization

Besides image file format and sizing, there are other ways to make sure your images are working hard for you on the SEO front.

You can signal relevancy of your content to search engines by using keywords for your image file name, alt tag, title, description and caption.

4. Header tags

Nobody likes running into a wall of text.

Good formatting of your content helps improve the user experience of your website tremendously. It makes readers more willing to spend time to read your content and come back for more, which will ultimately signal your relevancy to search engines.

Proper use of header tags can help break up your content into sections that are easier to read and utilize.

It’s easy to insert header tags in WordPress to improve user experience and improve SEO ranking of your website.

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Search engines also rate keywords in header tags more heavily. By including relevant terms in your header tags, you are also boosting your SEO ranking against those keywords.

5. Outbound links

To make your content more useful and relevant, you can link out to authority sites for more in-depth information your readers can use.

Linking out to well-respected authority sites will not only increase the relevancy of your content and time readers spend on your site, but it is also believed to send trust signals to Google and improve SEO ranking.

However, more is not necessarily better. Too many outbound links can be distracting and make the content hard to get through.

6. Different multimedia

Images, videos, slideshows and audio can help enrich the user experience and allow you to deliver information in a way that is most suited to your ideal site visitors.

They also act as a signal of quality content to search engines… after all, you have put in the work to make your content look good and interactive!

Video marketing has become an increasingly integral element in driving user engagement and conversion. It’s found that websites using videos can achieve a 4.8% higher conversion rate, compared to a 2.9% average on websites that don’t use videos.

Videos get visitors to spend more time on a website and retain more information.

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7. Broken links

Who wants to get a 404 page after clicking on a link? Broken links make for bad usability.

Not only that, search engines consider a large number of broken links as a signal of an old, neglected site and this can impact your SEO ranking.

Thankfully, you don’t have to go through every single page on your website and test the links manually. There are many tools and apps to help ensure that your site is free of broken links, such as:

8. Readability

Even if you have a well-educated audience, they probably don’t want to be deciphering a PhD dissertation every time they visit your website and read your content. You don’t want them to give up reading your content and click away because it’s too difficult to digest.

Making your content easy to read and understand helps make it useful to your readers. Some experts also believe that Google takes readability into account when ranking webpages.

You can use a variety of tools to test your content’s readability, including:

9. Layout and formatting

Proper formatting and a user-friendly layout can help improve user experience and make your content easy to scan and digest, so your readers will stay on your site longer and consume your website’s information.

Formatting can help dramatically improve a webpage’s usability by making the content easy to read:

  • Use font size and typography that are easy to read.
  • Use bold type and colors – sparingly and strategically – to call out important information and make the content easy to scan.
  • Use short paragraphs and ample line spacing in between – nobody likes a wall of text.
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists for clarity.
  • Use techniques such as sliders, tabs, progressive layouts, structured grids, modal windows, rollover elements, accordions and mega drop-down-menus to organize content and add interactivity.
  • Break up content into sections with subheads. Proper use of header tags that include keywords also helps improve SEO ranking.

10. Contact us page

According to this Google document (p.98), websites that have sufficient contact information are considered to be more trust-worthy and therefore may rank higher by search engines.

Including a Contact Us page on your website and putting the link in the navigation not only makes for good user experience (especially if you have an ecommerce site) but can also potentially earn you some Google juice.

It’s found that a well-designed contact form increases user participation in a company’s online presence. It also helps generate new business opportunities, capture new leads, improve customer service, and more.

Example of a Contact Us page.

11. Site architecture and navigation

When visitors can’t find what they need on a website right away, they most likely leave the site and this contributes to high bounce rate, low dwell time and low number of pages viewed.

A well-thought-out site architecture reflected in clear navigation is critical in helping visitors find what they want on your site, accomplish their goals and come back repeatedly (repeated visits can improve SEO ranking.)

A “flat” site architecture not only makes content easier to find, it can also help improve SEO ranking as it surfaces links of all critical pages making it easier for search engines to crawl the entire site.

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Example of a clear concise website navigation.

12. Mobile optimization

As of April 2015, Google has started to penalize sites that are not mobile optimized by bumping down their search engine ranking.

More and more users are consuming content on mobile devices, and not being mobile optimized is going to affect user experience and conversion.

It is particularly important for B2B marketers. Research has shown that 77 percent of executives use their smartphone to research a product or service for their business.

Business executives use mobile devices to research products and services for their businesses.

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It’s not just for B2B websites either. Companies like Yelp that act as search directories connecting consumers to businesses found that 55% of all searches comes from mobile devices.

If your website has been around for a while, it’s time to test it to make sure it’s compliant.

Number of users accessing the Internet via mobile devices has surpassed the number using desktop.

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13. Social sharing

The number of Facebook shares, Tweets, Pinterest pins and other social media mentions can influence SEO rank.

Installing social sharing buttons on your website not only makes it easy for users to share your content, and thereby improve user experience, it can also help you rank higher on searches.

Social sharing also helps drive purchasing behavior: Nearly 4 in 10 Facebook users report they have gone from liking, sharing or commenting on an item to actually buying it, while 43% of social media users have purchased a product after sharing or liking it on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

In this case study, a pest control company boosted organic traffic by 15% in just 2 weeks after running a campaign aimed to increase social sharing.

Peep Laja managed to get over 40,000 unique visits to his site in month number one, having most of the traffic generated through social media sharing.

To get you started, here are a few social share button plug-ins to try:

Resolving the conflict between usability and SEO “best practice”

In most cases, elements that contribute to good usability also improve SEO ranking. However, there are instances when conflict my occur:

  • Many content creators “stuff” keywords onto a page to get SEO juice, but that could undermine the readability and user experience of the content.
  • The attempt to get keywords into an article can affect the vocabulary choice of the writer, sometimes making content hard to comprehend.
  • Outbound links can be good for SEO, but too many of them can be distracting and if they are not directly related to the topic at hand, it can impact the reader’s experience.
  • Overloading footers that contain every single page on the site may help improve SEO ranking, but it also creates confusion when a visitor is trying to look for certain key pages.

Sometimes, particularly in the short term, you may have to make a trade-off between more traffic from SEO and optimal user experience.

Don’t get lured into just comparing numbers – such as visitor numbers and page views. Traffic from SEO may give you higher numbers in the short term, but better user experience can often result in higher conversions.

In the long run, with an eye on conversion and ultimately revenue, it’s often a smart move to prioritize user experience instead of milking every last SEO trick.

Categories
News & Info @ Vontainment

19 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Writing a Blog

Blogging is one of the most valuable tools that businesses have to engage with customers and ultimately make their lives easier. If you’re not blogging, it’s time to get started or get left behind. If you need a bit of inspiration, here are 19 reasons (in no particular order) why your business should be blogging.

Why Should I Start a Blog for My Business?

  1. A blog is a simple, easy-to-use platform for connecting with and sharing timely and relevant information with customers. It’s your direct communication channel.
  2. Your blog fuels SEO. Search engines love valuable content and will reward you for it.
  3. You don’t have to be a professional designer. Many blogging platforms like WordPress and Hubspot are people-friendly and don’t require advanced graphic skills.
  4. 60% of businesses who blog acquire more customers, according to a HubSpot survey.
  5. Your blog is the heart of all of your content marketing efforts. It’s fodder for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email newsletters, e-books, etc.
  6. It gives your company a voice. A blog creates a place to talk about new products or services, comment on timely news topics or market trends, and share company initiatives beyond your website. It’s also the place to let your brand’s personality shine and show people what you’re all about.
  7. Writing a blog shares your expertise. How else will you position yourself as a subject area expert and thought leader?
  8. A blog creates a two-way conversation with customers, prospects and industry peers. It encourages interaction, comments and feedback. Make sure you reply to all comments!
  9. It can be fun. Blogging can be energizing, stimulating, and something you look forward to.
  10. Blog writing makes you think… about newsworthy topics, your industry, your customers and the world around you.
  11. A blog keeps you focused on your content marketing strategy. You must create a schedule and stick to it to continuously deliver purposeful content.
  12. It creates free PR. Business bloggers are often interviewed by journalists as industry experts. Get some press!
  13. A blog builds confidence, relationships and sales. Customers will look to you as a reliable resource for information on your industry; then come to you to buy.
  14. Blogging sharpens your business focus. To create a blogging strategy you must define who you are blogging for and why. A blog with no focus attracts no readers.
  15. Helps you stay ahead of the curve. You have to stay on top of news, trends and competitors to be a successful blogger. It helps you be a leader, not a follower.
  16. You can tell your brand’s story. A blog is a great place to offer more insight into your company, philosophy, employees, and ideas. Tell your customers why you’re in business and how you can help them.
  17. Blogs are cost-effective marketing investments. Every post you publish is a long-term asset that helps build brand awareness and promote your expertise, products and services.
  18. Gives you insight into your audience. Blog analytics allow you to track readers, click-throughs, popular topics, shares and comments. You can even tell what day of the week your visitors prefer to stop by.
  19. Blogging is inspiring. You’ll start to see ideas all around you..talking with friends and colleagues, watching movies, reading, and just walking down the street.
Categories
SEO Speed, Security & Optimization

2019 SEO (Tips & Tricks!) What you need to know.

Google’s heavily investing to be the best. SEOs are trying to adapt to changes that follow. That’s how 2019 SEO trends are born. Let’s view what trends will make a difference in 2019.

1. Mobile-first indexing

In a nutshell, mobile-first indexing means that Google uses the mobile version of your page for indexing and ranking. Since March 2018, Google’s started the process of migrating sites to mobile-first index. It might happen that Search Console has already notified you about it.

Bear in mind, a mobile-first index does not mean “mobile-only.” There’s still a single index with both mobile and desktop versions. However, the whole “mobile-first” buzz means that Google will be using the mobile versions for ranking once the site’s migrated.

You get it, right? With your mobile version being the primary one for ranking, there’s no excuse to procrastinate with mobile-friendliness.

2. Page speed

Google’s nuts about delivering the best UX and delivering it fast. Desktop page loading time has been a ranking factor for a while. In July, it got a twin sibling – mobile page speed’s become a ranking factor for mobile.

This crucial change calls for understanding which metrics matter for Google in terms of page speed evaluation.

Historically, when analyzed in PageSpeed Insights, a site was evaluated just on the basis of technical parameters. Now, both for desktop and mobile, it’s graded according to two different metrics: Optimization and, a new one, Speed.

The game-changing part here is how Speed score is generated. The data for the metric’s taken from Chrome User Experience report, the real users’ performance database. It reflects how your site loads for each visitor. It’s obviously hard to measure how fast each visitor’s device loads your site. As a result, the metric’s impossible to get through local tests.

As for Optimization score, you can totally control it by fixing all the issues preventing your site from loading fast.

So, which metric has the strongest influence on rankings? According to the mobile page speed experiment by SEO PowerSuite, the correlation between the page’s Optimization score and its position in SERPs is strong (0.97). And there is no correlation between the page’s position and its Speed score. In other words, now Google can rate your site as slow, but your rankings stay the same.

However, Speed metric is something new, so it’s clear Google’s testing it. With time, those correlations may change.

3. Brand as a ranking signal

Gary Illyes, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, has stated at Pubcon that Google uses online brand mentions in its search algo. There’re two ways it can use a brand as a ranking signal.

First of all, through unlinked brand mentions, the search engine learns that your brand’s an entity. By further analyzing all the properties mentioning it, Google gets a better picture of your authority in a particular field.

Second, each component’s sentiment and context matters: reputation, trust, advertising, complaint-solving, etc. Through context, Google learns to tell the good from the bad. For example, its Search Quality Guidelines state that reputation matters for rankings. Consequently, the sentiment around brand mentions can affect the site’s rankings.

4. GDPR

Let’s bet you got annoyed this spring when your inbox got filled with GDPR and Privacy Policy mails. What’s this thing?

GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation passed in the European Union. It regulates a very nagging issue – who owns the data created by users’ interactions online. From now on, it’s users who do, not corporations which collect it. Consequently, users can now request to see what personal data the company has about them and ask for its correction or export. If a company doesn’t comply with the regulations, it can be hit with severe fines (€20 mln or 4% of the company’s annual profit).

This regulation affects the EU companies and customers. However, international companies should also comply with GDPR. As a result, Google’s decided to introduce changes into its Analytics. Now all personal user data expires after 26 months since it was collected. Such data includes demographic and affinity data (earlier kept perpetually) and doesn’t include sessions and goal completions. However, each site owner can change this data collection default period. Plus, it’s now possible to delete the data of individual users upon their request.

5. Become Familiar with Structured Data

Structured data is intimidating. But it’s actually easy to become familiar with how it works. The easiest way to become familiar with it is to copy and paste and start working with it.

I wrote a step by step tutorial for helping those new to structured data. It shows how the online manual for structured data is set up. Then it walks you through creating and testing your own structured data code.

6. Focused Content

This is perhaps the most important part of Internet marketing for 2019. Unfocused content is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve been seeing all year for sites that have lost ranking.

7. Improve Your Image SEO

Images are more than something to make your page pretty. Images are important for SEO. Treat them the same as you treat your title and heading elements because they all work together to help the page rank better. Images can also boost your ranking power by showing up in enhanced listings.

Image SEO Best Practices

Use images that tell a story
Readers achieve deeper understanding of concepts with symbols or images that illustrate your point. If the article is about adopting a pet, show cute kittens at an actual animal shelter.

If the article is about the failure of a company or a process, perhaps consider an image of a ship about to hit a rock or a car with the tires falling off.

Communicating an idea or a point quickly with an image can help readers understand what your article is about, which will help them decide to read it.

Illustrate Step by Step Instructions
Readers and consumers love step by step instructions. Screenshots and illustrations are super helpful and Google tends to use these kinds of images in enhanced listings. A single image that illustrates how to do something can be ranking gold.

Optimize Images
Using images that can be measured in megabytes may slow down sales and rankings. Heavy images will contribute to higher bandwidth demands on your server, which can cause extra charges from your web host. Heavy images can contribute to slowing down the server when a crush of site visitors reach your site at the same time.

Bonus: Keep Up to Date

In addition to these tips for improving your SEO, you may wish to focus on security as well. Keeping the software that underlies the website updated is important. Use difficult to guess passwords. Consider undertaking an audit of all third party add-ons and plugins to make sure they are regularly updated and well written by a company that can be trusted.

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SEO Social Media

Port Charlotte’s online business presence

Port Charlotte has a thriving economy driven by seasonal residents and tourists. With so many new projects in workds from Murdock Village to the Allegiant Air Resort driving new business and money into the area. 2019 is the time to invest in your online presence.

With competition about to grow, who you are online will matter much more than it has in the past. Port Charlotte Businesses must be aware of their reviews and making sure to respond with personalised responses. Having a modern responsive website can help make ppl choose you over other local businesses that are competing for their business.

When residents and visitors of Port Charlotte search online for a service or goods they are immediately presented with online reviews and website addresses. As trivial as it may be a well designed website provides more brand trust. Have you ever had to pinch and zoom a website just to get annoyed and move on to the next?

Make sure when people search your business they see nothing but good reviews and mitigating responses to bad reviews. Make sure when they click your website they are wowed and find the information they need easy and quick.

Wow them with interactive media and responsive design. From desktops to laptops and phones, make sure what they see is amazing. We may be in SW Florida but having a big city design is more affordable than ever.

Why hire a pro?

With services such as Wix and Weebly offering do it yourself designs for $10 many business owners ask why hire a professional? Well services like Weebly and Wix can allow you to create nice looking websites on your own they inherently have some flaws. From taking your time away from running your business to design a site. As well as no SEO, and no social media integration.

Hiring a professional free your time as well as creating a site that has great SEO and many high end features. There really is no shortcut to a great online presence. There is so much more than just your website.

You want a site that drives interaction and encourages reviews. A website that you don’t have to spend your time on. You want the wow factor, great functionality, and affordable price. SEO, search engine submission, directory listings, graphic design, logos, and more.

Give us a shot!

Port Charlotte businesses have a lot to gain from a professionally designed online presence. Check out our online branding and see what we can do for you.

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News & Info @ Vontainment

The 10 Most Important SEO Tips You Need to Know

A lot has changed in the world of search engine optimization. However, certain fundamental principles remain unchanged. For example, targeting keywords with the sole intent of improving organic rankings no longer works with search engines, but keywords are still essential.

Beyond getting SEO juice, keywords reveal a lot more about users and what they’re struggling with.

With so many SEO techniques, it’s become almost impossible to determine which ones to stick to and which you can safely ignore.

Is link building a thing of the past? Should you devote your time and energy to on-page SEO? How can you write a title tag to drive your rankings with search engines? Where do SEO and social media intersect?

And, seriously, what are the truly best SEO tips that’ll lead to results? 

Both B2B and B2C marketers want more search leads, because they carry a 8.5X higher chance of conversion than an outbound lead.

Brian Dean did a fabulous job when he created a post showcasing 200 Google ranking factors. The post went on to become extremely popular, generating thousands of new leads, from organic search, for Brian.

This article may not be as in-depth as Brian’s. Nor will I be answering all of the questions raised above. Instead, I want to show you the 10 most important SEO tips that you need to know right now.

If you focus on these techniques alone, you’ll definitely drive more organic traffic to your blog and improve your search rankings without risking a Google penalty.

Let’s get started: 

1. Remove anything that slows down your site.

Page speed is a critical factor in SEO.

In the past, you could get away with a slow-loading site. I can recall a time when I had to wait for about 5 minutes before a popular news site fully loaded.

I’m sure you can relate to that.

That’s never a good experience, but it’s the kiss of death in today’s marketplace. A slow page can frustrate the user experience and ultimately discourage people from buying your product.

Data from Strange Loop shows that a 1-second delay in page load time can yield a7% loss in conversions.

In the mind of potential buyers, a slow site is an untrustworthy site. Period.

Page speed is vital, both to users and to search engines. According to eConsultancy, “40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.”

As businesses become more aware of the opportunities to generate targeted leads and increase revenue through search engine optimization, there is a huge demand for speed.

On April 9, 2010, Google included site speed as one of the all-important ranking factors.

This means that if your pages are slow, you’re fighting a losing battle for top organic listings, regardless of the quality of your content or your professional website design.

According to the search engine giant’s internal studies, when a page loads slowly, visitors spend less time there. On the other hand, faster loading pages reduce operating costs and improve user experience, among other benefits.

Get rid of non-essential elements that slow down your site. If you’re a WordPress user, consider deactivating plugins you may have installed and activated but don’t actually need.

Also, declutter your sidebar and put only essential widgets there.

To learn how to get more out of search engines by improving your page speed, see the resource pages below:

2. Link to other websites with relevant content.

Linking out to other blogs is critical to growth,

says Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger Media.

To most people, linking out to relevant and authoritative content pages is bad because it takes people off your page.

But, I don’t think so. Link building remains a fundamental part of smart search engine optimization strategy.

According to Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz,

Linking out sends trackable traffic, it makes your site a more valuable and scalable resource.

You can’t expect to get from others if you’re unwilling to give first. For example, if you’re looking to get inbound links from authoritative blogs, one of the easiest ways to do that is to show your willingness to link out to those blogs from your own content.

Of course, you should only link out to content pages that offer tremendous value. It’s a good SEO practice.

More important, you can notify an influencer when you link out to them, and, if your post is valuable, they can link back to you, share the post or even email it to their huge email subscriber list.

Link building is also all about quality, not quantity. You’ll build more trust in your niche if you have a few authoritative links rather than a dozen poor quality links.

3. Write for humans first, search engines second.

Lately, I’ve noticed that more and more bloggers and content creators are going back to the old method of SEO, wherein keywords meant to drive search results surpassed the real qualities of engaging, valuable content. If that’s you, it’s absolutely time to change your mindset.

Many people still aren’t capitalizing on long-tail keywords, preferring instead to attempt to manipulate search engines.

That’s the wrong approach.

Don’t prioritize search engines over the actual humans reading your work. Instead, write content for the user, people who have eyes to read and credit cards to purchase your product. Search spiders are just scripts — they don’t buy products, they don’t engage with you on social media, and they won’t become a loyal customer. 

Copyblogger is my #1 go-to site, when it comes to putting readers first. No wonder Brian Clark is so successful at content marketing. He’s even turned Copyblogger into a multi-million dollar digital marketing company.

It all happened because a marketer like you was passionate about helping people.That’s what drives me, too — and maybe you, as well.

So, what does it mean to write for users first, before search engines?

Well, it’s simple.

Forget that Google and other search engines exist when you’re writing. Instead,create content that will help someone. This is known as SEO copywriting.

Funny enough, when you put users first, you’ll actually write helpful content that search engines will reward, because search engines follow users. It’s not the other way round. At the same time, you’ll be enhancing the user experience and building trust with your audience.

4. Encourage other trustworthy sites to link to you.

To a large extent, inbound links are still the lifeblood of search engine rankings.

When you combine dofollow and nofollow links, you get a natural link profile that even Google will reward.

Content marketing is all about creating high-quality, engaging content and creating in people the need and urgency to link to you and share your content on social media.

Do you know why so many bloggers link to my posts on QuickSprout.com and NeilPatel.com?

The major determining factor in my success is that I invest a lot of time, money and resources into creating a single post or other piece of content.

How much effort do you suppose when into creating, “The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand”?

When you’re at the forefront of your industry, creating useful content and linking to authoritative blogs, you’ll find that more people will link to you naturally. This is the essence of effective link building.

5. Have web analytics in place at the start.

After defining your search engine optimization goals clearly, you need software to track what’s working and what’s not.

Google AnalyticsGoogle Search Console and other, private web analytics software solutions can help you track your success.

Tools like CrazyEgg also show you where your site visitors are clicking, and how they navigate away from your site.

You should have these web analytics in place, even before you send the first visitor to your site or landing page.

6. Write unique and relevant meta descriptions for every page.

One of the most important SEO tips that most people neglect is the well-crafted meta description.

The meta description is the first section that people see when Google serves up your page to search users.

Generally, the search engine giant doesn’t like duplicate content. Yes, there are times when there is a need to cite a paragraph or sentence from another site (and link back to the source), but if publishing duplicate content becomes your way of life, you might get penalized by Google.

In the same vein, duplicate meta descriptions could get you into trouble. But, even if you don’t get penalized straight away, you’re still not providing a great user experience. 

You can’t have the same meta description for a page that talks about email marketing and a page on making sales. There’s a big difference in those topics and your meta descriptions should communicate that fact.

If you’re a WordPress user, you can fix duplicate meta descriptions by installing theAll-In-One-SEO Pack or Yoast plugins.

Then, in your WordPress editor, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and add a unique title tag and meta description.

7. Use readable and meaningful URLs only.

If users can’t read or understand your URL, then search engines may be confused as well.

Here’s how my page URLs look:

Granted, the URL above is long, but it’s easy to understand, for both users and search engines. There are no numbers or characters, other than the words and dashes.

Remember, search engines follow search users.

Brian Clark once said that Google bots are like infants, who need to be spoon-fed regularly. And, he’s right.

Even in this age of search evolution, including the RankBrain, search spiders are still programs, not humans. You need to guide them accordingly.

If I were to adopt a new URL structure, I might pattern it after Brian Dean’s structure. He ensures that only 2-4 words are included in any URL.

This makes the URL memorable to the user, search engine-friendly and easy to type. Copyblogger does the same thing:

You can learn more about optimizing your page URLs from this infographic:

8. Build momentum with social signals.

Social media is an integral part of SEO strategy, and search signals are important. You’ve got to focus on increasing yours.

It’s true that Google hasn’t added social signals into their ranking algorithm factors, but I’ve personally seen that social signals do impact search engine rankings.

Don’t believe me?

Well, several case studies have proven the impact of social shares, likes, tweets and pins on search engine rankings.

As an example, Moz started to rank on Google for “Beginner’s Guide” after Smashing Magazine tweeted out the guide. Shrushti’s search rankings improved from page 400 to page 1 of Google, due to social media.

If you want to get more social signals, the rules haven’t changed. Here’s the summary:

  • Create useful content that’s share-worthy across your social media platforms.
  • Add share buttons to your post and make them visible.
  • Encourage people to share, by asking them to.
  • Host a social media contest to get more shares.
  • Mention and link to social media influencers/power users in your post and notify them.

… And so much more. Social media is at your disposal. Use it, and use it well.

9. Use the right keywords in your images.

Images are important in search engine optimization.

Google dedicated an entire section of its search results to images. This should tell you how concerned the  search engine giant is with pictures.

When users are looking for a particular image, what do they search with?

Keywords.

For this reason, you should use the right keywords in your image names and accompanying text (like the caption). Of course, this is not permission to engage in keyword stuffing.

However, if your image is of a “blue women’s hat,” don’t name your image “click here to buy hat.”

Always remember that in search engine optimization, relevance is more important that creativity or cleverness.  

10. Create & publish unique content consistently to improve your rankings.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, producing unique and engaging content is a challenge for most marketers.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, you need to be disciplined, when it comes to content creation.

It’s even more important than you might think, due to something called the “fresh factor.” Unique content is one of the factors that affect this freshness score, and, consequently, the search engine rankings for that specific page.

If you’re not Brian Dean, who’s mastered the art of content promotion and can regularly get tens of thousands of users to read a new post and share it with others on social media, the easiest way to optimize your freshness score is by creating content consistently.

If you’ve chosen to market your business online, then creating unique and helpful blog posts isn’t an option — it’s a must.

Conclusion

The age of a domain or web page is also one of the top SEO tips you should keep in mind. Indeed, it’s crucial for your success. For this reason, don’t constantly change your domain name. Pick one and stick with it, unless there’s a very good reason to change.

If you’ve published a post in the past that’s no longer relevant to users, especially due to the recent Google changes, then instead of writing a new piece of content from scratch, work to update that page.

That way, you can retain the backlinks, social media shares and other on-site engagement metrics it’s already earned.

Finally, learn to focus on and create content around long-tail search phrases (e.g., social media marketing techniques), and not head keywords (e.g., social media).

When link building, think quality, not quantity. And, don’t forget to make your web pages mobile-friendly.

If you pay attention to these important SEO tips, I guarantee that you’ll create better contentdrive more organic traffic, acquire more leads and grow your revenue.

Which other search engine optimization tips or techniques do you think are most crucial for improving search rankings? Are there any SEO tips that have worked against you?

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News & Info @ Vontainment

Free designs for local nonprofits

We here at Vontainment are happy to announce that we will be doing web designs and marketing material designs for free to all local nonprofit organizations who serve the local community. This will be going on for all of 2019 as long as we have the available time and resources. We are one of the best design firms in the area and look forward to sharing our skill set to help those who help the local community. We feel it is important to give back to the community who supports you. A business is only as good as the community it serves.

Nonprofits organizations are important to our Community and they help provide services, goods and resources to meet community needs. In other word non profit organizations are important because they help provide to underprivileged child, disabilities child and poor people. It isn’t difficult to think of reasons to be thankful for nonprofit organizations. From providing vital and basic services to giving voice to the voiceless, nonprofit organizations fill every type of role you can imagine. They change lives and enrich them; mobilize communities and build them. 

Nonprofits are DOING something about the social issues many of us care about but don’t know how or where to start to affect change. Nonprofits make us feel valued: I’m thankful for non-profit organizations that strive for social good and bring humanity back to issues that are often stigmatized and leave those affected by them needing the most help. Nonprofits and their services often represent a turning point in countless people’s stories. And because the communities they build remind individuals they are not alone. By design, they attempt to provide things society needs that fall between what the government and the private sector can’t (or won’t) provide. That’s pretty cool. They’re also trying to accomplish a lot with a little.

So lets celebrate this new year by giving a website and graphic update to all the local nonprofits service our community. Give us a call at (941) 313-2107 or drop us and email at Contact@vontainment.com.

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SEO Syndication

Why you should try out the new Yoast SEO analysis

In next couple of months, Yoast SEO 10.0 will see the light of day. In it, you’ll find a brand new SEO analysis. One that’s based on thorough SEO research. Last year, we evaluated all existing assessments and added new ones to make the analysis reflect the search engines of today. You can now try out this brand new analysis! In Yoast SEO 9.4 you can easily switch from the current to the new analysis (and back). So, go ahead and see if your content meets the SEO standards of today! We’d love to hear your feedback.

Why a new analysis?

Search engines evolve. What used to be important a decade ago might not be relevant today. As search engines become smarter, our SEO analysis should too! That’s why we decided to test if all our checks are still relevant.

A multidisciplinary team, consisting of SEO experts, linguists and developers, scrutinized the SEO analysis: Are some SEO assessment redundant nowadays? Should we add new ones? Or change the weight of certain factors? We checked all of them, removed some, added a new assessment and adapted the calculations. For details on the changes in the new analysis, please check the release post of Yoast SEO 9.4.

This video shows why and how we changed the Yoast SEO analysis:

Why try it out?

This is your chance to find out if your content stands the test of time! Try the most advanced SEO analysis out there. See what happens to your posts’ scores. Are they still optimized, do you still get an overall green bullet for your post?

Of course we tested this new version extensively. But before we push this change to millions of Yoast SEO users, we like to see how it works with your content. Your feedback will help us fine-tune the analysis, before we release Yoast SEO 10.0.

What happens if you test?

First of all: don’t fret! Nothing will happen to your posts or their rankings. It’s just the SEO scores that will be recalculated. And that’s what we’re interested in. Did your scores change? Did you get more green or red bullets? How do you feel about the new assessment? Do you think the feedback you get on your content makes sense?

If you participate, we’d like to ask you some questions about your experiences. So, if you switch to the new analysis, you’ll receive two short questionnaires we’d like to ask you to fill out: one a couple of weeks after you switched, and one after you’ve been using it for a while. Please share your thoughts, because we value your feedback!

How do you participate in this test?

Switching is easy. Go to the Yoast SEO settings in the sidebar of your WordPress dashboard. Click on General and select the features tab. You’ll see this screen:

Here you use the toggle to turn on the new Yoast SEO analysis. That’s it! Now your content will be analyzed according to the latest standards in SEO. Don’t like it? You can easily toggle back to the old analysis too!

Make sure that you are updated to Yoast SEO 9.4 in order to try the beta!

Any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments!

Read on: Yoast SEO 9.4: Help us beta test the new Yoast SEO analysis »

The post Why you should try out the new Yoast SEO analysis appeared first on Yoast.

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News & Info @ Vontainment

New Design For Christine Cristina

We just worked on a wonderful eCommerce site for an independent author Christine Cristina. She wanted a site to showcase her new book as well as make digital downloads and physical purchases. Her site features a full blog, E-store, and several pages of information. All designed in a clean modern and responsive experience. There isn’t glamor cheap tricks used in this design. Just simple designs, effects, and beautiful HD images. You can see the design here below or visit it live at Christinecristina.com

” What happens when you get an UNexpected phone call that leaves you devastated and life as you know it will never be the same? In this compelling book, Christine shares her very personal and painful journey of how her life UNraveled and her search for answers. God took her on a journey of UN where she discovered you can be UNstoppable, UNshakable, UNsinkable, UNcommon and UNforgettable in the midsts of life’s UNraveling experiences. “

Christine Cristina is an author and licensed Aesthetician whose passion is to help women see themselves through God’s perspective. After 20 years of successfully climbing the corporate ladder, she changed careers to the beauty and wellness field where she successfully owned a private Aesthetic spa. During this time, she became an educator and ambassador for two major skin care companies. Christine desires to help women move beyond their outer beauty to see who God intended them to be and understand real beauty from the inside out. Her experience and drive allow her to speak to women with in-depth knowledge about navigating life’s ups and downs and living victoriously through Christ. She is a native New Yorker who now resides in Southwest Florida.

If you are looking to get a new site or update an old site. Don’t be shy and contact Vontainment today.

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News & Info @ Vontainment

New Services, What’s new at Vontainment

We are opening up some new services to our clients soon. We are always looking for better ways to use our skills and technology to help better our services. We are very excited with our companies growth and feel it is time to expand on that. Located in Port Charlotte, we specialize in modern responsive Web Design, Social Media, Marketing & Graphic Design. We will be offering some of the following services soon:

  • Focus Groups

This will help test slogans, logos and designs for our clients though our vast social and business networks.

  • Information Technology Consulting

We will be offering out tech expertise to help local businesses put in place affordable and effective tech infrastructure to help their business grow and thrive.

  • We will also be offering some new client specials for select industries.

We will keep you updated on all the latest from Vontainment on our blog and social media. If you are interested in the services listed please contact us for more info and availability.

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News & Info @ Vontainment

10 Best Free Animation Libraries For The Web

You can build some crazy things with UI animations on the web. This is quickly becoming the norm for modern websites where user engagement is a big deal.

If you look around you’ll find plenty of code generators and custom tools to help with animation. But you can also find free libraries that’ll save you time in the coding process.

These are my 10 picks for the best open source web animation libraries. This includes a good mix of JavaScript libraries and CSS-only animations. Both styles are great and they both have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Either way I guarantee this list will have something you’ll love.

1. GSAP

The GSAP library is one of the coolest free resources available for developers. It runs purely on JavaScript and it’s one of the more robust animation libraries you can use.

It works on top of HTML5 specs and plays nice with all modern browsers, not to mention the team is constantly updating this library with new features. It can work with SVGs, canvas elements, or even jQuery objects along with other related libraries like EaselJS.

Definitely worth looking into if you need a powerful web animation library. This can handle simple tasks too but there’s plenty of smaller libraries out there you can try for those.

2. Anime.js

When I first found the Anime.js library I was floored. This thing is incredibly powerful and it goes beyond simple UI/UX animations.

With Anime.js you can design aesthetic animations with logos, buttons, images, you name it. This supports all the typical user triggers like clicks/hovers/swipes and you have access to a bunch of custom-built animations.

If you have a look at the documentation you can actually find a bunch of examples embedded right into the page. Plus there’s a collection on CodePen full of Anime.js examples to peruse.

3. Wicked CSS

Here’s one of the newer libraries with a focus on pure CSS code. Wicked CSS works on top of CSS3 properties to offer some pretty incredible results.

From the main page you’ll find a bunch of live demos you can test right in the browser. These include object rotations, flips, slide-ins, and so many similar animation effects.

Some of these may be simple enough that you could build them yourself. But others get real complex and that’s what makes the Wicked CSS library so fun to play with.

4. Animate CSS

Perhaps the definitive resource for web animation is Animate.css. This open source library was released quite a few years back and it’s still more relevant than ever.

Developer Daniel Eden created this project as a simplified way to add custom CSS3 animations onto a webpage. Over the years it has grown into a fully-fledged animation library with enough power to run on any major project.

The homepage offers plenty of demos so you can test out the animation styles and see what you think. Plus there’s a bunch of great documentation on GitHub including a list of classes and some example code snippets.

5. Tuesday

The one thing I like most about Tuesday is the simplicity of these animations. With this library you control how elements appear and disappear from the page.

But these animations are not over-the-top or super glamorous. Instead they pack a nice subtle punch that really improves the page aesthetic, but doesn’t detract from the content or the user experience.

I haven’t seen many websites using Tuesday but it is perhaps the cleanest library out there.

It runs on pure CSS and the animation styles are so darn reasonable. They can blend with any site and you’ve got over a dozen fade in/fade out styles to work with.

6. CSShake

I’ve yet to see any CSS library as fun or strange as CSShake. This is one part crazy and one part unique so it probably won’t fit with every website.

The reason it made the list is because I cannot think of any similar library with these features. With CSShake you can power hover animations with shaking effects from all types of styles, all running on pure CSS.

From mild movements to vigorous shaking and everything inbetween, this library has it all with a pretty easy setup to boot.

7. Mo.js

Out of the many detailed JavaScript libraries for animation I have to say Mo.js is one of the best. This library is massive and it’s really designed for motion graphics over UI/UX animations.

But you can use this for anything if you learn how it works. The codes are pretty simple to manipulate and there’s a bunch of tutorials you can follow to make your life easier.

Is this the perfect animation library? Hardly.

However it does have a lot of amazing features and it really simplifies the animation process whether you’re animating a navbar, a logo, or some other complex object.

8. Animate Plus

For a super lightweight easy-breezy animation library check out Animate Plus. This only weighs 2KB when minified and it’s got all the basic features you’d expect with custom JavaScript animation.

This is easy to install with npm and you can set it up following the code snippets on GitHub. Most of these are just basic demos so they don’t get into anything complex, but you can find all the options and callback methods right on GitHub as well.

Have a look at this sample demo pulled straight from the code snippet in the main repo. It’s not much but it’ll show you how to setup Animate Plus and run a bit of default code from scratch.

9. Bounce.js

With Bounce.js you can make powerful CSS3 and JS animations with just a few clicks.

On the homepage you’ll find a custom animation builder with a focus on modules first. This way you can add the specific animation features you want onto the page without adding extra code.

The biggest difference with Bounce.js is that it doesn’t work as just a library. Although you can find setup info on GitHub, it’s not just a basic script. It actually comes with a web builder so Bounce is one of the few animation libraries you can stylize in your browser.

10. Magic

Fun animations with a dash of playfulness best describes the Magic library.

This entire collection focuses on CSS3 animations while pushing custom styles that can’t be found elsewhere. It’s a pretty big collection of CSS3 codes and you’ll find a lot of neat tricks in here too. Rotations, perspective flips, fading effects, plenty to go around.

If you look at the demo page you can check out some of these effects in action.

Granted this library is still much smaller than other CSS3 libraries so it can’t compete with Tuesday or Animate.css. But it’s got a lot of neat web animations that you just won’t find in other libraries.

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