Mobile-Friendly Or Else



Google has recently started favoring mobile-ready Websites over all Websites in mobile search results. This does not affect desktops at this point at least, but if you have noticed lately, mobile traffic is exceeding desktops.

In other words, we can say the average Website is about to lose 50% of its search driven traffic as a whole if it is not mobile-friendly.

Now is the time to upgrade, start over, modify, cobble or do whatever you can to get your Website to conform to these new standards before you lose half your traffic and possibly half your sales.

To avoid being pushed down the search results your Website must conform to the following:

– Don’t use uncommon software on the site such as Flash

– Text must be readable without having to zoom the mobile browser

– Links must be spaced far enough apart so they can be naturally “touched”

– Match screen size to device to keep from having to scroll horizontally

– You must specify that each page is compatible by having a Meta  tag similar to the one below in the “<head>” section of the page:

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″>

Everyone can check if they are in compliance by using the Google Developers Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Do this as soon as possible because you are probably already losing positions on mobile search!


Get Found Locally

So you think you know something about online presence and how to get found locally? You can take the quiz on the MOZ Website (search experts) to see how much you really know.

I am humbled to say I scored an 88!

local search expert quiz


According to MOZ, that’s not too bad(below)..

local search score

How did you do?

If you scored like I did then you probably already know enough to head out on your own but if not, keep reading as I can offer you a little advice to get you pointed in the right direction.

Now MOZ says the test is for “fun” and it is, but I say for small business owners and marketing people alike,  it is life or death knowledge. Why should you know this info? Because you will know even if the person you have doing these things, doesn’t. It is critical that this gets done and done right! Lets start with breaking down local search a little.

State Level Search Results

By adding in the state or state prefix to a search, you will get results mostly pertaining to the state. This is a great thing if you are located in a certain state and want to get business from the surrounding area. For an example of state level search applied to my very own Website, try searching Google for:

content management systems wi

As expected, this search returns some results related to the entire state of Wisconsin as shown below.

State-wide search result



City Level Search Results

By adding in the specific city, users will get results almost entirely for that city. There is a HUGE boost in performance for page 1 Google search results! This is great news if you have a city specific business. Places like Google + and Yelp will get you found just as easy as your own Website and even better if it is relatively new.

Now try:

content management systems prairie du chien wi


City specific search results.


These types of search results vary greatly on things like the industry, competition, how active the Website is, even social signals like Google + (Google + pluses have been noted by many as the second most important ranking factor of all).

Name Address Phone Number

A word about your Website if you have one. Make sure that the NAP (name address phone number of your business) is on all the pages, typically in the footer. This tells the search engines that you are talking about a very specif place and a specific business. The more relative things are both on the search side and on the Website side, the better the two will match up in search and the better the positions will be in the search results!

Using Free Services To Get Your Business Found

Before you set out to get your business found in local results, make sure you keep the NAP (name address phone number) the same across all sites.. Also, where there is a place to enter your Website’s URL do so; when a user sees your ad and a link to your Website, they are only one click away from a visit! Make sure you keep track of all of your passwords , URLs needed to log in to these sites as some day, you will probably want to update your information!


Of all the things out there, start with Google!


Then Yahoo Local


Then Bing Places for Business


Then Yelp


There are many more out there. Use a service like Yext to find them, you do not need to sign up just take their list and go to the sites yourself and sign up for the ones you want.

Don’t forget to get into social media also especially Google +. Facebook, Twitter & Pintrest are also great places to share your ideas, products and services.

Here is a list of other places you can sign up for, but be forewarned some will try to sell you extended services. Again, these extended services are not really necessary.

Where To?



Content Management Systems & Search Engine Optimization


Even though a CMS (content management system) is an entirely different thing from SEO (search engine optimization), they are often used together for a common goal.


King Of CMS

WordPress is the king of CMS making it possible for anyone to put their thoughts onto the internet and do it fast and efficiently compared to hacking out HTML pages and trying to link them all together. You may think there would be no reason to go farther like custom CMS, but many times WordPress turns out to be too broad in its design; sort of a jack of all trades but a master of none. There are some really nice advantages to WordPress mainly plugins like the  WordPress SEO Plugin by Joost de Valk that helps any writer optimize the content for better performance in the search engine results pages.

Custom Content Management System Advantages

Custom CMS can give you greatly improved performance in both speed and optimization. It can be designed with your specific needs in mind making the interface more like a fill in the blank experience than something with a million different possibilities of which any one of them could cause more harm than they are worth having in the first place. By streamlining the CMS you  can greatly reducing the time needed to do these more specif tasks. An example could be dropping a photo into place and writing a brief description, you don’t have to tell WordPress that you want a photo there and where and how it is to be

positioned. Another issue I have encountered is getting WordPress to anything much faster than a crawl for page speed even with caching systems in place. Page speed is an important factor when the search engines debate your position in the the search results. Getting WordPress to “crawl” much faster than 2 seconds is a real chore , but some of my custom CMS can render a page in less that a half second.

CMS – SEO Point of View

SEO is a wide subject covering hundreds of different topics but when it comes to the CMS that is powering the Website, it is important the the CMS is writing correctly the following:

URLs – Like “” NOT “”!!! URLs help search engines determine what the page is about.

Title Tags – The text that shoes in the tab at the top of the browser and in search results. Again, search engines use title tags to help determine what the page is about and what to put in the snippet in the search results.

Page Headings – The biggest bold text on page that describes what the page is about. Yet again, search engines use headings to help determine what the page is about.

Internal links – To other pages. Search engines follow links within a Website to discover new content and to help establish what pages get more credit as far as positioning in search results go. Guess what, they also use the anchor text of the link to determine what the page the link points to is about also!

External links to other Websites. These are used once again to determine what the page is about at the destination of the bound link. Also how relevant the two sites are to each other, and a few other lesser factors.

Sitemap – Important for search engines to find the the pages on a Website in the first place.

If any of these things (and many more) are not being performed correctly, your CMS is likely causing harm to your Website’s positioning in the SERPs.


CMS for a Restaurant



The Parkway Family Restaurant has been in business since 1990 and has never had a Website; only a few placements on local business Websites that really didn’t help them much at all. This place already has a good sized group of followers that have found the restaurant over the years. The owner of this business is a very hard working and business savvy person. He is what I call a success story.

The problem with this restaurant is not the great food, the great service, or the the low prices, or even that they are available for their customers from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm… It is about their location.

The Parkway Family Restaurant is  located only a couple hundred feet from Highways 12, 14, 18 and 151 (the belt line in Madison Wisconsin) and you would think that this is a very good location, but there is more to the story. First, it is not visible from the belt line because of exit ramps and trees etc. Second, they have a business in the modern world; the world of the internet. When people do a Google search, they see his neighbors and the chain stores, food and dinning guides, but he is nowhere to be found. Out of site, out of mind, out of business…

I stopped there one night to eat because it was very late and many places were already closed. I was served very quickly with some of the best steak I have ever eaten, 1 pound for $16. I have been driving past this place for a very long time now and I had no idea it existed until one day a local mentioned it to me. I handed the waiter a business card and told him without batting an eye, that they need a Website and an online presence.

The next day I got a call and the rest is history. The owner knew that his business was beginning to slide between the fierce competition on the web and the road construction; he made yet another successful business decision; to hire me and get his place found on the internet.

Features and Concepts

This Website appears to be simple and somewhat old fashioned, but there is a reason for every detail that you see. There is an address on every page and the home page puts this first. The slide show on the home page helps people recognize the restaurant by using images. The menu bar gives access to the rest of the site and especially the menu. I asked the owner what sets him apart from others in his industry and he said mostly the prices, but I would have to say service. So when you visit his Website, you will see prices on everything because this is one the restaurant’s strongest features (See images below).


Along with prices, he also boasts a large and complex menu. Many restaurants suffer from the PDF syndrome as I call it. They seem to have a great Website but when it comes to the menu, they dish out a simple scanned PDF image file that is not only hard to read, and impossible to search, but also many people do not keep up on the installations of Adobe so they get nothing or a crash instead. I was able to break this large menu down into sections and implement a database with a search feature so that customers could search for their favorite cuisine. The initial menu section changes depending on what time of the day it is; 4:00 am, they get the breakfast menu, noon, the sandwiches and 4:00 pm, they get served Entrees!

Try searching a photo copy of a menu, or better yet, see if you can get Google to index that information to be relevant in a user’s search result! Only pure text can be read and indexed properly. If the information is only in image format, your menu will never draw in people searching for their favorite food.parkway-cms-search

So he has a great little Website with a large menu, what else could he do to self-promote this Website and his business? How about a chance to win a free meal? When someone wins, they always drag the rest of their family in with them so the cost is absorbed and turned into profit. But what the real winner is that they will come to his Website and enter to win. While they are there, they will look at his menu and specials. They can choose to have more information on specials sent to them in their email. Yes, an instant and welcomed mailing list!


The restaurant is very adaptive and it’s menu is always changing. But no frets, this Website also has a content management system that allows them to change or add new listings. They can select a photo, change prices, select the order that the items appear on the page, even the days of the week that the specials will appear because they run different specials every day to entice a different crowd. They can do all of this without ever having to call a web designer, pay him, and wait for him to make the changes.


When you pick item for edit, the edit window opens up and you are able to change any of the data associated with a food item or delete it.

Just as important as the main Website, Parkway Family Restaurant also has a mobile Website. In this day with millions of mobile devices being used to find directions, products, and just about anything else that home computers are being used for, it is of greatest importance to have at least a simple mobile Website, or again, out of site, out of mind.


There is more to a Website, like search engine optimization; creating a Website is only the beginning. A person could spend a lot of time registering with all the free sites,  modifying content and meta tags to help optimize the search results. Getting links from other good Websites to help boost this site’s ranking in the search results and much more.