Domain Extensions: Looking Beyond .COM

Domain Extensions: Looking Beyond .COM

Domain Extensions: Looking Beyond .COM

Suzanne McBride

The Cowbell Agency

This month, our agency begins the celebration of its 20-year anniversary. Since late August 2001, this award-winning agency has evolved from U.S.Ad & Marketing to McBride Woodbridge Marketing to McBride Marketing Group and finally Cowbell Agency. Looking back at 2001, the internet was relatively young and .com and .net ruled the domain names. Today, things are different.

Most everyone knows what a domain is, but what about Domain Extensions?  A domain extension is the suffix at the end of your web address that specifies an internet category and/or the country code of the location the domain is from. We’re all familiar with .com, .net and .gov, but did you know there are over 280 extensions delegated globally?

First, let’s look at how they are categorized. They are divided into 2 main categories:

Why are Domain Extensions important to your business?

People associate certain things with different domain extensions, for example, whether the website seems trustworthy (for example “.gov” for government) or even modern (for example “mobi” – for mobile).  And they do it unconsciously. It also becomes part of your branding so you need to choose wisely when registering.

 

What happens if the domain/extension is not available to you?

If you are frustrated that the domain name you want is already taken, try looking into another domain extensions. Here are a few extensions and their meaning:

.museum (museums)

.pro (professionals like legal, medical)

.name (individuals)

.club (club)

.life (wellness, charities, bloggers)

.xyz (means “little universe” – a new trendy extension , and easy to remember!)

.tel (online directory, virtual business cards)

.travel (travel industry)

.store (store)

 

And if you have more than one domain, they can be forwarded to one main domain. So have some fun with it. 

How You Can Use PageSpeed Insights To Optimize Your Website

How You Can Use PageSpeed Insights To Optimize Your Website

How You Can Use PageSpeed Insights To Optimize Your Website

Owen Yorio

The Cowbell Agency

Last month, Google released an update to their ranking algorithm that puts a larger emphasis on page speed and UX (User Experience). The results of this update are hard to calculate, and it is still too early to see exactly how damaging it is to have a poorly optimized site, at least in regards to page rank. A poorly loading site, however, has always been a major issue to have. The average person won’t wait on a page for longer than 5 seconds to see your content, regardless of how Google decides to rank your page. So, if you don’t already, you should know how to use Google’s website speed tool, PageSpeed Insights.

If you read the article we released last month, you’d know about the three main factors that contribute to Google’s new ranking system, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). These aren’t the only things you should keep in mind when running your page through PageSpeed Insights, but they are the main three. 

Simply enter your domain into the “analyze” bar to begin.

PageSpeed Insights will give you an overall speed rating first, going into more detail below. This is an average of your scores over the main three categories mentioned earlier as well as First Contentful Paint (FCP). This is a measure of when the first image/text is shown on your page. This metric is more meaningful in diagnosing issues than it is for page rank, however, it is still a factor.

Note that this tool will give you the speed rating for your mobile site first, you can switch between site versions with the toggle in the upper left.

After analyzing your overall page speed score, you can review the elements on your site causing speed and user experience issues. You can even filter these problems by how they affect your site, in the top right corner. You can then begin to start optimizing your site, by removing loading issues bit by bit!

Overall, the PageSpeed Insights tool is incredibly useful. Google has provided a way to see behind the curtain, and allow its users to see and do exactly what they are asking of us. These issues can stem from many different things, as websites tend to be complex machines. If you are in need of a web speed touch-up, let us know here at the Cowbell Agency, and we can have your page loading in no time.

Is your website under attack (or can it be?)

Is your website under attack (or can it be?)

Is your website under attack (or can it be?)

Suzanne McBride

The Cowbell Agency

Is your website under attack (or can it be?)

The average website is Cyber Attacked 44 times per day!

With the recent cyber-attacks fresh on everyone’s minds, now is a good time to think about the security of your website. Hackers are far more sophisticated, automated and organized these days. They root out vulnerabilities in web servers and share them with the expanding hacker universe. What’s worse is that hacked websites can be blacklisted by Google as dangerous and go dark with online searches. To battle this, we offer a couple of services that can help ease your mind.

First, you have an SSL on your site. Perfect! But that’s the minimum that should be done. But what else can be done?

Monthly Website Maintenance:

Cowbell Agency will perform monthly maintenance on your site, such as keeping plugins updated, scan for malware, performance tests, site backups, among other services. Outdated plugins can not only bring your site down, but worse–make it vulnerable for cyber-attacks.  Almost 2/3’s of WordPress website vulnerabilities are caused by out of date or sketchy plugins/themes. Remember, just like you take your car in for maintenance, websites require the same love and attention as your car. 

Security/Firewall Protection

We work with GoDaddy with their Website Security Program. The firewall blocks attacks on the site while the malware scanner searches your site for malicious content and alerts you if any are found.

Contact us if you are interested in a quote or have any questions.

info@cowbellagency.com

Google’s Core Web Vitals Update

Google’s Core Web Vitals Update

Google’s Core Web Vitals Update

Owen Yorio

The Cowbell Agency

This month, Google will be releasing a new update to how they rank pages in SERPs (search engine results pages). Among many other ranking factors, Core Web Vitals will now be included in determining page rank. But what are core web vitals, and how will this change how pages are ranking now? To better understand this update, we should break down what Core Web Vitals are, and the metrics on which we focus.

Core Web Vitals (as determined by Google) are three page speed metrics that can measure user experience on a given website. Those three page speed metrics are: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). These three metrics can be attributed to a page’s load speed, user interactivity, and visual stability respectively. Let’s look at each one:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – How long it takes to load a full viewport of a page. This should be below 2.5 seconds.

First Input Delay (FID) – How long before a user on a page can interact with elements on it. This should stay below 100 ms.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – A value attributed to how much elements on a page move while others are loading. This should stay below a factor of 0.1.

What Does This All Mean?

Google has done their research, and has seen that users prefer sites that load faster and are easier to use. Pretty simple, but accommodating these changes can become laborsome. Luckily there are tools to measure these factors like LightHouse and PageSpeed Insights. There is also a new section in Google Search Console dedicated to Core Web Vitals, so site owners can hear back from Google exactly what they think needs to be improved on individual sites.

Overall this change is designed to force site owners to design with the user’s experience in mind, which is a great thing. It is not difficult to find sites that are slow, unresponsive, or just not user friendly. If you’re worried about how your page ranking will be affected with this coming update, email us, or give us a call here at the Cowbell Agency.

Understanding and Measuring the ROI of SEO

Understanding and Measuring the ROI of SEO

Understanding and Measuring the ROI of SEO

Adam Latham
The Cowbell Agency

Communicating the true ROI of programs like SEO can sometimes be difficult. I recently completed a White Paper that looked at several different key metrics that can easily be measured in real-world dollars, which then allow an easy calculation based on the investment in SEO activity.

The program used for this study was a client that recently completed the first four months of an ongoing SEO program.  The strategy and tactics were developed by myself and colleague Owen Yorio (fast becoming a young SEO Jedi).  The resulting benefits could be measured both in monthly organic search traffic, annual organic search traffic, non-branded organic search traffic, and closing those gaps with their competitors.

If that sounded at all confusing (because you have a life), it probably won’t be after you’ve read.

The ROI of this program ranged from 3X to nearly 10X

Download White Paper: Understanding the ROI of SEO

Read on LinkedIn

 

93% of all online interactions start with a search engine

93% of all online interactions start with a search engine

93% of all online interactions start with a search engine

Olivia McDonald

The Cowbell Agency

Did you know? 

93% of all online interactions start with a search engine.

We’ll wait while you pick your jaw off the floor because that’s a pretty staggering statistic. Now you’re probably wondering what this means for you and your business. Well, it means your SEO game needs to be on point to ensure you are ranking for relevant searches so the right people are finding your business online. Before we get into how Cowbell can help, let’s answer the number one question you probably have right now.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. To put it as simply as possible, SEO is the process of increasing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. Optimizations can be as simple as applying a focus keyword to each webpage on your website along with SEO titles and meta descriptions, or it can be as complex as fixing technical issues that could be slowing down your website and affecting the user experience.

It’s complicated, y’all.

And you are busy actually running your business so you don’t have the time to fix all the issues on your own. But it’s extremely important that all issues are resolved so we recommend procuring the SEO services of a highly skilled digital marketing agency, such as Cowbell Agency.

Why choose Cowbell Agency?

We offer world-class global and local SEO programs. We would determine which program your company would be best suited for by assessing your needs and the scope of your clientele. From there, we would run a website audit to identify and fix all the issues that negatively impact your site’s search performance, like missing heading tags, duplicate content, broken links, and the list goes on and on. It’s all the things that, believe us, are killing your search performance. 

There are many other aspects that are included in both the local and global SEO programs, but we won’t bore you with all the nerdy details. Just know that you can count on us to provide you with results you can see and believe. Our SEO reports are honest and insightful. You’ll see exactly where you stand every step of the way.

So are you ready?

Contact us today for a free web consultation and let us take your business to new heights. Be seen. Be heard. Be more. With Cowbell.

Statistic source: Forbes, “How To Optimize Your SEO Results Through Content Creation”

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