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Google updates come and go often in the dark of night. Unless you are an SEO wizz, most website owners go on with their day unaware of a recent Google update or algorithm change. April 21st’s algorithm update however, has marketers, bloggers, and website owners scrambling to stay ahead. Why should you be concerned? Because this update could severely affect traffic sent to your website via search.

With 80% of Internet users using smartphones to search online, Google is putting the steps in place to make searches made from mobile devices more functional, friendly and relevant. Starting April 21st Google will begin calling out websites that are “mobile-friendly” in search results. But it doesn’t stop there. Google will now take mobile responsiveness into consideration when ranking your site.

Here’s what Google had to say about the upcoming algorithm changes:

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

So while you might be sitting pretty at the top of the first page today, if your website isn’t mobile friendly by April 21st, you could come crashing down!

So what can you do to stay on top? The first step is to ensure your site is mobile friendly. If you are unsure whether or not your website is mobile friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile Test Tool. Simply type in your website URL and click analyze. If the results say “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly” you are going to be a-ok! If not, you may want to consider investing in a mobile-friendly (or responsive) website upgrade.

I understand how overwhelming this information might be, and you’re probably thinking “how and where do I start!?” I’ve pulled together some frequently asked questions that will help guide you through this update.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why should I make my website mobile friendly?
A mobile friendly site is just that: mobile friendly. This means any visitor who lands on your site while on a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet, will be able to easily navigate your site without pinching, zooming or squinting. The focus is providing the visitor with a seamless and positive experience.

How do I know if my site is mobile friendly?
You can try visiting your own site on a mobile device to see if it is responsive, or you can use Google’s new Mobile Test Tool.

Is this something I can do myself?
It really depends on how web-savvy and confident you are. While some content management systems and blogging platforms (such as Blogger and WordPress) make it easy to implement a mobile-friendly site, some websites that don’t use a CMS may require help from a developer.

How much does this type of upgrade cost?
I wish I had a more concrete answer for this, but it all depends on your website.

Where can I find a mobile friendly theme for WordPress?
If you were considering a website refresh, then now would be a great time to do it! There are hundreds of thousands of new WordPress themes created every day that have responsiveness built in (bonus!), it’s just a matter of picking one that works for you. I like to use ThemeForest to source my WordPress themes.

Where can I find a mobile friendly theme for Blogger?
If you are using the Blogger platform (which I know a lot of my blogger friends are!), you are in luck! Blogger has a simple “on-click” mobile template built right in, you just need to activate it. To turn your mobile template on, log into your Blogger account, navigate to “Template,” and click the “Gear” icon under “Mobile.” In the pop-up select “Yes. Show mobile template on mobile devices,” choose a mobile template from the dropdown, and click “Save.” Done!

Need more guidance and advice? Please feel free to shoot me an email!

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Here we are on the last Friday of the month already! March was such a great month! I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at AMPED on the topic of blogger outreach and influencer marketing. I attended a fun business bookclub as part of my women’s networking group… AND I gave a presentation on how you can use LinkedIn to grow your business!

And since it’s the last Friday of the month, it’s time for Social Media SOS! If you missed last month’s questions and answers take a look at this post here. Thanks Paul for leaving your question, Facebook can be a tricky nut to crack!

If you’re new to Social Media SOS here on GroupTalk, here’s what it’s all about. This year I wanted to try something new and fun! I want to get your social media juices flowing… and nothing gets my clients more excited than giving them the opportunity to ask their burning questions, like “how many times a day should I tweet? Is this blog post too long? What is your favourite link shortener?” Getting your questions answered makes you feel motivated, and that’s exactly what I want to do… So with that, welcome to Social Media SOS!

How does it work? On the last Friday of every month I invite you to leave a question, concern, a link, and I will reply with a simple tip, how-to, and/or instructions on how you can improve! Questions will be taken between 9AM and 5PM ET, afterwhich I will go through and provide an answer. Easy, simple, fun!

So let’s go ahead and get the February’s Social Media SOS started! Ask me your questions!

Let’s face it, there are literally hundreds of social networking sites you could dedicate your time to these days. And I get it. Between keeping up with Facebook, trying not to feel overwhelmed by Twitter, and creeping the competition on Instagram you’re being told to add yet another social network to your repertoire. Except this one is different. As an entrepreneur this social network can make all the difference in the world… of course I am talking about LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is one of the most powerful business networking sites, and you absolutely should be using it daily! We can’t be everywhere, so for those times when someone is in need of a marketing specialist, a hair stylist, or even an engineer – your LinkedIn profile is there to tell them “I’m your gal/guy!”

LinkedIn should be an important part of your online networking strategy as it’s the ultimate platform for meeting key decision makers who need you and your services.

Interested in learning more about how you can use LinkedIn to grow your business? Join me on March 24th at 7:30pm at Kitchener City Hall for a LinkedIn workshop with WINC Waterloo.

In this 1 hour session you will learn:

  • • How to Set Up Your Profile to Get Noticed
  • • How to Add Connections & Screen Connections Who Add You
  • • The Importance of Recommendations
  • • How to Utilize LinkedIn Groups

Interested in learning these LinkedIn strategies? Members of WINC are welcome for free, while guests are $25. Register and get your tickets today!

I can’t help but get very excited when presented with an opportunity to speak about influence marketing and blogger outreach. This is not my first time speaking on the topic. I was invited to speak on a panel at PBH in San Francisco in early 2013, at FBC’s conference in late 2013, and even wrote a few posts about it on my personal blog. But this time it’s a little different. You see, this time around I am speaking not from a brand perspective, but the blogger perspective!

I’ve actually had my personal blog for over 6 years. I’ve working with BIG brands like Home Depot, Staples Canada, Para Paints, Houzz, SodaStream and Panasonic… just to name a few.  Having a blog, and being exposed to blogger outreach every day, has given me a unique perspective on the whole process. I’ve been on both sides of the pitch, so to speak. I bring this experience into my work every day when I am outreaching to bloggers for my clients. And this is exactly why I am so excited about speaking at AMPED with my new friend Alison Burke of Impressions PR. Our unique perspective will come together in a presentation we are calling “Best Practices for Blogger Outreach.”

Best Practices for Blogger Outreach

Best Practices for Blogger Outreach

Building relationships with bloggers offers huge amounts of opportunity. These influencers are talented content creators, have a dedicated and engaged following, and their opinions have a strong influence on their readers purchase decisions. Getting your product or brand in the hands of these individuals is not as easy as writing a “dear blogger” letter. It takes time, patience, understanding and a quality connection. In this session, Alison Burke of Impressions PR and Brittany Stager of My Daily Randomness will outline six blogger outreach best practices that will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to build solid relationships with bloggers and get your product out there.

If you are brand or business looking to tap into influence marketing, I highly suggest attending AMPED tomorrow!

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