Conversion Rate Optimization: Increasing Website Conversions For City Ranked Customers

Conversion Rate Optimization in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

Incrementally Increasing Website Conversions With New WordPress Programming

As a web design and search engine optimization company, we’ve always maintained that there are really only three ways we can increase the number of conversions a website produces:

  • Drive more qualified traffic
  • Increase the percentage of visitors that convert into prospects, or
  • A combination of both

At City Ranked Media, we are always challenging ourselves by coming up with new and innovative ways to achieve increases in one or more of the above to positively affect our clients’ bottom lines. During the first quarter of 2016, City Ranked Media introduced a new way to manage the above goals to help keep ourselves and our clients focused on activities that would ultimately affect one or all of the above goals.

The City Ranked Account Management Tool

The City Ranked Account Management Tool was developed to focus efforts on building qualified traffic and increasing conversions based upon 4 predetermined quadrants. These quadrants focus on:

  1. New and/or Updated Content – for search engine and end user consumption
  2. Technical SEO – all the back-end coding to increase website and keyword rankings
  3. Conversation Rate Optimization – ways to increase the percentage of visitors that convert into viable prospects
  4. Projects & Programming – technical projects and coding for increased user engagement, which would ultimately affect the conversion rate percentage

SEO and account management services Vancouver WA Portland OR

Our First Innovation After Using The City Ranked Account Management Tool

The programming staff at City Ranked Media was challenged to incrementally increase website form conversions. We focused specifically on mobile users, providing them an interface that’s easy to engage with and use. This interface needed to have the following:

  • Simple and easy to use on any device
  • Provides a clear call to action that enticed the prospect to give their information, and stop them from searching competitive websites
  • Provide the client enough information to call the prospect back with an understanding of what service they may be interested in

Introducing The City Ranked Media MyModal Plugin©

The City Ranked Media MyModal Plugin is an easy-to-use program that is deployable on the WordPress platform. The plugin allows for one-touch buttons to be installed at strategic places across a client’s website. Once a prospect engages with the button, a modal screen pops-up asking the prospect to enter their name and phone number to receive a call-back from the client.

Clients receive an email notification with the request for call-back. This notification includes:

  • Prospect’s Name
  • Prospect’s Phone Number (touch enabled on mobile devices for easy call-back)
  • The website URL of the page the prospect was on and page title (this helps the client understand what the prospect may need help with)
  • Date and time request was made
conversion rate optimization tool for WordPress websites
Screenshot of City Ranked Media MyModal© WordPress Plugin

The Outcome

City Ranked Media deployed the new plugin on several client websites across several industries and discovered the following:

  • Website conversions incrementally increased between 12-20% depending on the industry.
  • Clients that guaranteed a call-back within a recommended time-frame of 15 minutes or less closed the most new customers from these new leads.
  • Clients that guaranteed a call-back of 30 minutes or less came in second for closing new customers.
  • Clients that waited longer than 30 minutes to return calls closed the least new customers from these leads.

** Special thanks to City Ranked Media Programmer Josh Brown for helping realize this CRO Plugin

JSON-LD Schema Structure for Local SEO

JSON-LD Review Schema Structure Portland OR and Vancouver WA

New SEO Schema Markups Released and Tested

First it might be helpful to explain what schema markup is. Back in 2011, the main search engines Google, Yahoo and Bing embarked on a collaborative project to develop code markup to help search engines understand what a specific website (or page on a website) is about.

Implementing on-page markup helps search engines understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results. This shared markup vocabulary makes it easier for webmasters to decide on a markup schema and get the maximum benefit for their efforts. Search engines want to make it easier for people to find relevant information on the web.

City Ranked Media has been using schema markups on our clients’ websites since they were first released, when only 1,500 websites nationwide were using it. Initially there were less than 20 different markups. Fast-forward to today, and there are hundreds of markups available for use.

Why Schema Markup is Important for SEO

Schema markup is important because it helps the search engines understand what a particular page, your website, and/or what your business does. This markup was invented to help the search engines provide a more enriching experience to end users, but it’s up to your web developer to correctly deploy schema markup on your website.

There are literally hundreds of types of schema markups, so understanding what types of markup to deploy on a website can either help or hurt a website’s ranking.

City Ranked Media’s use of Schema Markup

As mentioned earlier, City Ranked Media has been using schema markup on client websites since the beginning, and as new schemas are released, we’ve tested and implemented these on client websites.

Keeping up with new schema releases, and testing these releases on select clients before an implementation becomes standard, has always been an important SEO strategy for us. In keeping with this proven process, City Ranked Media began testing a new format of schema called JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data) in Quarter 4 of 2015.

For this newest testing, City Ranked focused on schema markup that would directly benefit businesses that offered services and products. Particular attention was focused on helping search engines understand a client’s:

  • Physical Address
  • Correct Business Name, Address, and Phone Number(s)
  • Business Reviews
  • Multi-Location – for clients that operate more than one business location
  • Opening & Closing Hours, and Days of Operation
  • Alternate Business Names

This schema also helps search engines understand a client’s services and products offered, including:

  • Specific names of services and/or products for better ranking associated with corresponding keywords
  • Reviews associated specifically with different services and/or products
  • Availability of a service or product
  • Geographic area of service or product available

It additionally helps search engines better understand a client’s website structure by:

  • Achieving multiple clickable site-links on search engine results page for better engagement of search engine users
  • Providing a better website structure and supporting structure to increase link-juice to main service pages, targeting highly competitive keywords

Furthermore, schema markup helps search engines better understand a client’s service area in order to:

  • Achieve rankings outside of client’s immediate area by implementing markup to let search engines know where a client travels to, or where prospects travel from
  • Target mobile and GPS-enabled devices for local SEO rankings
  • Use existing search engine programs to help reinforce these service areas

Finally, schema helps search engines understand a client’s entire internet footprint; they tie on-page and off-page SEO efforts together through standardized JSON-LD markup to show the search engines all efforts being done in one place.

The Outcome of this New SEO for Local Search Rankings

City Ranked Media developed a new and proprietary way to structure JSON-LD markup. This markup was tested with several clients’ websites with many of them seeing increased results for targeted keywords and landing pages.

This new code structure showed extremely positive results with search engine rankings when compared to competitor websites not utilizing this structure. For example, one client achieved a 376% increase in SEO results when compared to over 300 competitive websites in the State of Washington (according to Google Analytics)

SEO Code Innovation: Targeting SEO Through GPS Location

SEO Code Innovation for better Search Engine Optimization

GPS Targeted SEO

We here at City Ranked have been busy testing, retesting, and refining SEO tactics based upon GPS coordinates of web enabled devices. Most internet enabled devices manufactured in the last few years including laptops, tablets, and smartphones have some sort of GPS locating feature built into them. These features are being used by search engines and social media sites alike to serve better and more refined results to end users.

The Challenge Get Our Clients Ranked Based Upon GPS Coordinates

Our goal has always been to place our customers in the highest position for local search, so naturally we took on the challenge of trying to get our customers to show up higher in results based upon the GPS coordinates of end user devices.

The GPS SEO Test

During the first quarter of this year, the staff here at City Ranked Media started quietly testing a new and innovative way to send the search engines marked-up code using JavaScript, schema markup, and the Google Map Maker API to indicate our customers’ various service areas within their towns. We initially tested this on City Ranked Media Enterprise Level clients in three major markets–Seattle, Portland, and Las Vegas–for extremely competitive keywords.

We tested all three locations using Apple iPhones, as well as Samsung, testing in the same locations within each city. Tests were completed using Safari, as well as Google’s Chrome App. All tests were completed in incognito mode, using cellular data, not wifi.

The SEO and Design Work

Initial testing showed moderate improvements to client positioning organically, and in Google Maps listings, improvements were up by as much as 50% in keyword rankings over the initial 90-day test. However, these improvements weren’t enough to move these customers to acceptable rankings for these competitive keywords.

Seeing that we were heading in the right direction, we retooled our coding, our markup, and our integration with Google Map Maker to see if we could move rankings to first page positioning. Several development, coding, and testing hours were invested to revamp our delivery of this new SEO to the search engines, helping them better understand our customers’ service areas and key service offerings.

Particular attention was paid to the keywords “[Keyword]” and “[Keyword] + Near Me” without city names or states attached to these queries. Often on mobile devices, these city and state keywords are left out in favor of shorter keyword searches. The new coding would rely heavily on the ability of the new markup and code to communicate with the search engines that these customers served within these specific areas of town.

The Results of the New GPS SEO CodingLocal Google Maps SEO by GPS location

The second set of results at local GPS SEO fared much better. Each client’s targeted keyword(s) in the geographies we optimized for saw dramatic improvements in search rankings for both Google Maps and Organic rankings.

Clients saw an improvement from an 8 position increase on the low end, to over 80 position improvements for the most competitive keyword(s) for their industry. These higher rankings affect everything from the quality of web prospects driven, conversion rates, and increased call volume from Google Maps, and organic listings.

What This Means for You and Local SEO Rankings

Search Engine Optimization based upon GPS coordinates testing has proved beneficial to rankings on search engine results. City Ranked Media can now help our customers achieve higher rankings in areas of town that they would like to target. This new SEO, combined with Google’s newest algorithm update named Possum, can make it possible for us to rank clients in Google Maps, even if they don’t have a physical location in a specific area of town. This new SEO also enables us to positively affect rankings organically.

Programming Innovation: Get Customer Reviews Through Text Messaging

Programming innovations for customer reviews

The Text Review App

(Demo video at the bottom of this article)

With an ever-increasing number of savvy consumers searching the internet for local products and services, the impact of reviews on a local business’s continued success is becoming more and more apparent. Because of this, City Ranked Media developed the App (patent pending.)

For local small businesses that need to keep a step ahead of the competition, taking advantage of this consumer review system (especially Google reviews) is now a necessary part of an overall SEO marketing strategy.

Why Online Reviews Are So Important

It is no longer just the occasional few consumers searching for business reviews online. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 consumers have read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business. This increasing consumer reliance on reviews is also evidenced by the fact that in 2016, 92% of consumers read online reviews, compared to 88% in 2014.

Reviews Impact Your Bottom Line

Consider these statistics from’s 2015 Local Consumer Review Study:

  • Star rating is the #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews
  • 68% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a business more
  • 51% will select a local business if it has positive reviews
  • 23% will visit a business in person if it has positive reviews

Additionally, studies show that customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews, and a one-star increase on Yelp leads to a 5 to 9% increase in a business’s revenue.

These statistics clearly indicate that digital word of mouth is on the rise and is likely to continue to have a significant impact on local businesses.


How The App Can Help You Get Reviews

City Ranked Media developed a text messaging app to help our clients get trusted reviews on places like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and their own website. This easy-to-use app works from any web-connected device and sends an invitation to a business’s customer via text message.

How The Review App Works?

  1. Upon successful completion of a job or service, the City Ranked Media client opens the app on their smart phone, or on a hidden page on their website.
  2. Client asks their customer if they would care to leave a review about the services they received, then client enters the customer’s first name and cell phone number into the app.
  3. The app automatically sends a personalized text message to the customer thanking them for their business, along with an invitation to click a link to leave a review of the services they received.
  4. Once the customer clicks the link, it asks them if they use Gmail or Google Apps, if the answer is “Yes”, the app redirects the customer to a pre-filled 5 Star Review for the City Ranked Media client’s Google My Business Page.
  5. If the answer is “No,” the customer doesn’t use Gmail, or Google Apps, the App opens the same interface for Yelp or Facebook, completing the same process to leave a review.
  6. If the customer doesn’t use Gmail, Google Apps, Yelp, or Facebook, the final option presented is to ask the customer to leave a review on the client’s website.

We’ve Tested the App – It Works to Get Reviews

City Ranked Media enlisted some of our largest customers to beta test the review app, leading to outstanding results.

  • Top client achieved more than 20 new reviews in less than 60 days.
  • Interactions on Google My Business and Yelp increased for clients that actively requested new reviews.
  • Clients that participated in the beta testing and actively used and attained business reviews saw an increase in Google My Business Searches, Views and Actions.
  • Clients that actively solicited and obtained reviews through Yelp saw big increases in ranking positions. One client hit #1 organic for their main category, and another hit #2 for their main category.

Demo Video of the app

** Special thanks to all the hard work from the following City Ranked Media employees that made this project possible: Josh Brown – Project Manager & Programming, Erika Sarraco – Programming, Chris Kramer – Graphics

SEO Code Innovation: Local SEO and Google’s Doorway Page Update

Targeting Local SEO After Google’s Doorway Page Update

Way back in March of 2015, Google released its Doorway Page Update specifically targeted at websites trying to gain rankings using pages that Google deemed added no real value to search experience. In local SEO, this was a search tactic used years ago to rank for specific terms of “[Keyword + City]”. Here at City Ranked Media we tested and used this strategy on a few websites with some success, but quickly moved away from it understanding these were nothing more than “Doorway Pages”, something that Google frowned upon.

In the second quarter of 2015, City Ranked Media began testing how we could send signals to the search engines that a client served a specific geographic area, even when the client didn’t have a brick and mortar location in that area. The specific challenge was for service-based industries, such as pest control or plumbing companies, that would or could service customers in person in their area.

Introducing the City Ranked Media Geo-Block

After much testing, revisions, and refinement, City Ranked Media launched beta testing on the City Ranked Media Geo-Block. This block was designed to send city-specific data to search engines for important services a client provided, reinforcing with the search engine that the client served specific cities. The code, structure of the code, schema markup, and position of the code relative to other website elements was continually tested and refined to ultimately achieve desired results in first page rankings for pages the City Ranked Media Geo-Block was inserted on.

Initially the programming staff at City Ranked inserted this specific code directly into the website code for testing purposes. Later, after successfully completing beta testing, our programming staff created a WordPress plugin for easier and more standardized implementation for all City Ranked Media clients. The beta testing on this plugin and its effects for local SEO rankings were great enough that City Ranked Media copyrighted the code behind the Geo-Block.

WordPress local SEO plugin for local SEO rankings

City Ranked Media Geo-Block Local SEO Results

During beta testing, City Ranked Media tested this new programming on Enterprise Level SEO clients in several markets across the United States to get a broad set of data to compare. Clients in the following markets were tested:

  • Seattle
  • Portland
  • Las Vegas
  • North Carolina (rural)
  • Providence
  • Vancouver, WA

During initial testing, modest improvements were seen in rankings for longer tail keywords. Code, positioning, and front end aesthetics of the Geo-Block were revamped to be more search engine friendly, and more understandable for Google’s Quality Raters.

After revamping the Geo-Block’s code and front-end looks, clients participating in the beta testing began to see positive movement in rankings. In some cases, rankings increases were minimal at first, but as Google continued to crawl all changed pages with the new code, landing page began to see major improvements. In fact, many of these pages achieved first page rankings for cities outside of the client’s normal SEO footprint.

Sample Results (click to enlarge)

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Future Enhancements to The City Ranked Media Geo-Block

We’re already hard at work utilizing this new code to enhance and affect Local SEO based upon GPS location.