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Employee of the Month | April

Employees of the Month - April

Coalition Technologies is pleased to announce our April Employees of the Month: Krista Bornman and Jonathan Calderon! Both Krista and Jonathan bring so much to our projects and continuously help make our clients’ campaigns successful. Take a closer look at what they do to make Coalition great!

Behind the Scenes with Krista

Krista started with us in October of 2015 as a Web Digital Producer, and has steadily expanded her expertise into digital marketing. She manages a range of accounts, from web development to support projects to SEO strategies and marketing for our clients.

Krista enjoys working with all of her clients, including Southwest Silver Gallery, Lily Sarah Grace, and QSpray. She loves learning about a variety of industries outside of the tech community. She has worked with incredibly niche clients, like custom 3D glasses, and clients in competitive industries like women’s apparel. In order come up with the best strategy for success, she dives deep into their business models, which helps expand her knowledge set and is her favorite part of the job.

When she isn’t making the whole office participate in the Mannequin Challenge or hiding Easter eggs around the office (two of which haven’t been found yet), Krista loves exploring Los Angeles’ gigantic selection of eateries—she highly recommends Little Easy in Downtown LA.

Behind the Scenes with Jonathan

Jonathan started with us in January of this year as a Front End Developer, and has quickly proven his worth. He works with our web development team to build websites, extend and develop plugins and themes, and strives to produce a high quality of work.. He’s proud of the work he did integrating Experian’s API with our client Cashback Loans.

Jonathan’s favorite thing about working with Coalition Technologies is the environment we’ve created. He enjoys all his coworkers and how we all work together to achieve great things. He’s even enjoyed a chess game with his boss after work, describing it as both tough and funny.

In his free time, Jonathan enjoys travelling and seeing different cultures and types of food. He also loves to watch movies and read books.

Stay Tuned for May

Coalition Technologies is exceptionally proud of all the hard work our employees put in month after month to make our company great. Be sure to check in next month for May’s employees of the month!

BigCommerce SEO Service Companies in California Help Online Stores Succeed

Coalition Technologies has been working with BigCommerce for many years. We were there when the company was a small startup, and we’ve watched as it has steadily grown into one of the top ecommerce platforms. Years of experience and technical knowledge has made us the go-to BigCommerce SEO California agency for businesses ready to expand.

As certified, Preferred BigCommerce partners, we know the platform inside and out. Our highly skilled team knows how to make your BigCommerce store rise to the top of the major SERP rankings, in spite of ever-changing algorithms. If you’re interested in growing your customer base, boosting profits, and increasing your ROI substantially, we’re the right BigCommerce SEO agency in California for the job.

Here are some of the ways we can help your business, as well as some case studies on our past and current work with some of our BigCommerce clients.

We Optimize Your Online Store

In order for your website to rank on Google and other search engines, it needs to meet some important criteria. We recently started an SEO campaign with Paula and Chlo, a designer clothing and accessories company. According to SEO tech team lead, Andrej Sarevski, “We’re taking some steps to make Paula and Chlo’s BigCommerce site more enjoyable for customers, while also improving SERP rankings.”

These upgrades include:

  • Shorten URLs and add keywords
  • Improve loading speed and responsiveness across various devices
  • Make all of the content easy for search engines to crawl
  • Add robust, engaging content that doesn’t depend on keyword stuffing
  • Code the site to show hidden pages to search engines
  • Optimize titles, headers, and descriptions
  • Gain backlinks from reputable sources

As a leading BigCommerce SEO company, we have plenty of evidence that what we do works. We’ve already seen tremendous success through our work with YUNI Beauty, a company that sells natural body and skincare products for people with active lifestyles.

Following an in-depth report of the company’s operations, we optimized the site to improve sales revenue and customer retention. YUNI Beauty has now been featured in household-name publications such as Vogue, SHAPE, StyleWatch, LA YOGA, and InStyle.

We’re only scratching the surface here. The methods we use have been proven to get real results. Because the SEO landscape is constantly changing, it’s critical that your BigCommerce SEO firm in California is able to keep up. As certified BigCommerce partners, we know how to stay ahead of the curve, and we’ll make your business maintains the competitive edge now, and in the future.

Why Choose Coalition Technologies?

There are many reasons to partner with Coalition Technologies if you’re seeking a BigCommerce SEO California agency.

  • Accessibility

We’re always standing by to assist you when you need us. We take great pride in our responsiveness, and we encourage you to call us directly or send an email for any reason. Excellent customer service is our bread and butter, and we strongly believe that excellent communication is the key to a long-lasting, successful business relationship.

  • Experience

Our world-class team knows what they’re doing, and they do it extremely well. We’ve been working on the BigCommerce platform since its inception, and we remain at the forefront of the industry.

  • Creativity

Our staff is known for their outside-the-box thinking, problem solving, and progressive strategies. We constantly push ourselves to exceed expectations, and that’s what really separates us from other BigCommerce SEO companies in California. We strive to transcend the ordinary in favor of the extraordinary.

  • Technical Skills

Our professional team never second guesses a decision. We have the expertise required to meet and solve any problem head on, and we know how to navigate all aspects of web development with full confidence. In short, if you can dream it up, we can facilitate it.

  • Consistent Client Satisfaction

Our track record speaks for itself. Our goal is to form long-term relationships with all of our clients, and that only works if we keep them happy at all times. We’re the California SEO company for your BigCommerce site. You can count on to consistently provide an exceptional experience in every way, every step of the way.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

We look forward to helping your company to succeed. Give our dedicated team a call at (310) 827-3890 to speak with someone now, or send us a message online, and we’ll be sure to get in touch very soon. Now is the time to grow your customer base, increase profits, and improve your ROI. Call us today to get started.

Switching to HTTPS with BigCommerce

 

Many businesses start their online stores without comprehensive knowledge of how a site actually works. The way information is shared on the internet, and how customers find them, has a big impact on the success of a company, yet many business owners don’t understand HTTP or HTTPS. Learning how to use these tools is in the best interest of every business owner and can help ensure you enjoy sales and exposure on all levels.

What is HTTP and HTTPS?

HTTP, also known as HyperText Transfer Protocol, is how network administrators share information. Every website starts with these letters to ensure that it can be read and understood by search engines and admins everywhere.

HTTPS

Once HTTP became the standard, it wasn’t hard for users to intercept information being shared and steal it, so HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) was developed for information safety. HTTPS encodes the information being transferred, so only the sender and receiver can interpret and read it. Even if the information is intercepted, the document will look like a random series of characters unless it’s accessed with the correct SSL certificate.

SSL Certificates

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, allows data to be transferred securely from place to place. For example, the domain owner, who is also the owner of the SSL certificate, can share this certificate with specific users and allow them to purchase products and services safely.

Why Is HTTPS Important?

As one of the biggest platforms for online sales, BigCommerce is particularly invested in the security of the information that their clients receive from their customers. In fact, Patrick Yang, Enterprise Account Manager at BigCommerce, recently recommended that every seller move to HTTPS “because on Jan. 17, Google also began explicitly labeling HTTP connections as non-secure on Chrome.” He believes that “site security and data encryption, in general, are best practices that directly affect shopper confidence and builds trust that all users have now come to expect when visiting eCommerce sites.”

In addition to more protection for customers, using HTTPS also helps with the loss of referral data that happens when switching between secured and unsecured websites, prevents ad injection into hotspots, and results in higher rankings on Google, as Google considers the security of your site as a factor when crawling it.

HTTPS Protects Your Business and Your Customers

Using HTTPS, data is sent via Transport Layer Security that provides three important layers of protection: encryption, data integrity, and authentication.

Encryption

Keeping data encrypted during transfer protects the user who is browsing a website. With HTTPS, Google, as well as the site they’re using, can track their activity and follow their movements across multiple pages, but nobody else can access this or steal information.

Data Integrity

During transfer, encrypted data cannot be modified or corrupted without being detected—even if legitimate users make an error.

Authentication

When data is sent or received, it must be authenticated to prove that the users are communicating with the correct website. It blocks any interception attempts and helps companies build user trust in the long term.

How to Make the Switch

There are a series of steps that must be completed in order to correctly transition a site from HTTP to HTTPS. When working with BigCommerce specifically, sitewide implementation of HTTPS is typically easier, as all you have to do is make sure you have an SSL installed and BigCommerce will take care of the rest—even the HTTP to HTTPS redirects.

If you don’t have BigCommerce, or aren’t sure where to start, the transition process generally follows a checklist like this:

  • Work on a test server, as it will save you from making mistakes in real time.
  • Crawl the current website for future comparison purposes. Screaming Frog is a great option that will do a thorough job.
  • Read up on any server or CDN documentation for HTTPS.
  • Get a security certificate (SSL) and install it on the server.
  • Search and replace any references in the content to ensure all references and internal links are using HTTPS or relative paths.
  • Update your reference templates to use https.
  • Make sure tags have been updated including canonical, OG, and hreflang tags. Some CMS systems do this for you, but others don’t.
  • To avoid breaks and insecure content, update all plugins, modules, or add-ons.
  • Change any CMS-specific settings.
  • Crawl the site again to avoid missing or broken links.
  • Make sure all external scripts support HTTPS.
  • Force HTTPS with redirects and update any old redirects currently in place. If you conduct a comprehensive redirect QA, you shouldn’t experience a drop in rankings or traffic.
  • Update your sitemap to use HTTPS versions of all URLs and update your robots.txt file for the new sitemap.
  • Enable HSTS, ensuring your browser always uses HTTPS. This eliminates a server-side check and makes the site load faster.
  • To keep the browser from having to cross-reference the issuing certificate authority, enable OCSP stapling to allow the server to check the security certificate.
  • Add HTTP/2 Support.
  • Add the HTTPS version of the site to search engine versions of webmaster tools and load the new HTTPS sitemap. If you see traffic drop, it’s due to the transition of traffic to the HTTPS profile.
  • Optional: Update your disavow file — if you had one, and URL parameter settings — if they were configured.

Now it’s time to go live!

After the Transition

To ensure you’re tracking your new HTTPS correctly, update the default URL in your analytics platform with notes about the changes for future reference. You may also want to update any social accounts, paid media, or email campaigns with new URLs.

If you have the time, it’s also beneficial to clean up any incoming links. There is a lot of outreach and effort involved in this and it doesn’t always make a dramatic change in ranking value. While ensuring incoming links have the correct URL isn’t critical, you do want to change any incoming links from items directly associated with or owned by you, like social profiles or PPC ads.

Common Issues

There are a few things that can go wrong during the HTTP to HTTPS transition including:

  • Duplicate content between the two versions of the site.
  • Preventing crawling because of a failure to allow bots on the server.
  • Different versions of the site showing up in HTTP and HTTPS.

Most of these problems are the result of badly implemented redirects and can be minimized with proper QA work during the migration process.

Working with an Expert

While the switch to HTTPS seems like a long a complicated process, intimidating to many business owners, when you work with an experienced team, you can accomplish the switch quickly and easily.

Coalition Technologies specializes in the transition from HTTP to HTTPS, and can make the process a breeze. One of our BigCommerce Enterprise clients, Nine Line Apparel, recently requested we help them with the transition, and they couldn’t be happier.

According to Myles Burke, “[He] felt like the whole project was handled with much care and the switch to HTTPS didn’t take long at all.”

If you’d like to work with a team who treats every project with care and attention, reach out to Coalition Technologies for more information.

Coalition Helps Got Briefcases Go Far

Recently, we launched a campaign for Got Briefcases, an eCommerce business that carries a wide array of high-end briefcases, luggage, messenger bags, backpacks, wallets, laptop bags and other travel accessories.

With a great line-up of bags and accessories for busy professionals, the company has developed a niche with its selection of well-made Italian and American designs. Now, the company is looking to increase its sales and visibility online.

Challenges and Solutions

Got BriefcasesOur challenges with this campaign include driving more substantial, relevant customer traffic to Got Briefcase’s website in order to boost sales and revenue. In order to do this, we’ll have to produce content that enhances the company’s top brands and products’ visibility across organic search results.  As potential customers in the travel sector tend to be discerning, we’re optimistic that our new content will enhance the overall user experience for travelers looking for concise, yet detailed overviews of Got Briefcase’s products. In addition to providing well-written content that explains each bag’s value and craftsmanship, we’ll also focus on appealing to search engines through unique metadata, H1 headers, and keyword optimization on each page.

Along with fresh copy, we’ll focus on duplicate content issues found from product descriptions pulled straight from manufacturers. These duplicate descriptions will also be optimized by our team for revenue-generating keywords and fully-branded and informative copy.

Additionally, we’ll make technical upgrades that can further enhance this online store’s SEO through a comprehensive redirect strategy for any pages returning 404 errors. Ultimately, streamlining navigation will get customers to relevant product pages as quickly as possible in order to promote conversions. We’ll also develop a comprehensive link-building strategy that will include guest blogs and profile links. This will bolster Got Briefcase’s domain authority along with driving traffic to the site from relevant forums, blogs, and other industry-related sites.

SEO Best Practices Put to the Test

In working with Got Briefcases to improve organic sales and rankings, we strive to perfect our SEO methods to provide superior results. Among these SEO best practices are a number of measures we take to improve a website’s visibility.

We’re confident that our technical strategies, implementation, and well-written content will greatly improve the richness of each customer’s experience, which is a key element in continuously optimizing for search engines and their routine algorithm updates. We are constantly using rigorous data analyses gleaned from top industry tools along with frequent testing in order to keep on top of changing trends and market conditions.

While we work on these upgrades, Got Briefcases can continue to grow their business, selling their premium bags and travel accessories to an ever-growing number of customers online. We’re proud to play a part in this company’s future success, and we can only see this travel-focused business go far in their eCommerce endeavors.

Contact Coalition

If you have an online store that could stand to see substantial growth and visibility online, Coalition Technologies is always ready to help you succeed. With our strategic implementation and results-driven strategies, we’re confident that we have the most innovative practices bolstered by the SEO industry’s leading team of experts. Contact us today for a consultation at (310) 905-8646 or send us a message online to get started. We look forward to helping your business succeed!

Employee of the Month | March

Colin Fox - March Employee of the Month Kanika Khanna - March Employee of the Month

Coalition Technologies is excited to announce our newest Employees of the Month for March: Colin Fox and Kanika Khanna! Colin and Kanika have both been an integral part of our projects and have greatly contributed to our client campaigns’ success. Take a closer look at what they do to make Coalition great!

Behind the Scenes with Colin

Colin started at Coalition Technologies as a Digital Producer in August of 2016. He manages a variety of client projects, from content development and SEO strategies to eCommerce expansions and lead generation. Colin has worked with clients across many different industries including fashion, payment gateways, restaurant supply, and industrial materials. He’s managed to create a web presence for his clients, increasing their rankings to achieve first page results.

Colin loves witnessing the positive results his hard work has generated, and he truly enjoys when clients see an improvement in their performance and rankings. He looks forward to every time he is able to inform a client of progress in their campaign.

While Colin is passionate about his work with Coalition, he also loves being outdoors as much as possible. Hiking, camping, and general adventuring are always on the menu after work and on the weekends. Currently, his favorite area to explore is the Los Padres National Forest.

Behind the Scenes with Kanika

Kanika is celebrating a great year with Coalition this month! She started as an SEO Tech, but in less than a year, her hard work and dedication earned her a promotion to SEO Team Lead. She manages many of our digital marketing clients and keeps her team working hard on their behalf. Kanika has helped develop strategies for many clients across very diverse industries — from large eCommerce clients and financial service companies to medical practices and jewelers. Kanika’s work for these clients consistently shows an increase in organic traffic and revenue and many of our clients praise her commitment to their projects.

Kanika loves working with Coalition, especially since she gets to work from home. Being able to work full time and take care of her daughter is one of her favorite things about Coalition. She also feels that her colleagues always appreciate the work she performs and that management notices even her smallest achievements.

In her free time, Kanika loves to read — she would read a book a day if she could! She also channels her creativity into a small blog that discusses new technologies and interesting gadgets called Wat A Gadget.

Stay Tuned

Coalition Technologies is always proud of the work our team members put into making our company great. Check back next month for more team members who are being celebrated as Employees of the Month!

Painless Improvements for Sedation Dental Center of San Diego

Sedation Dental Center of San Diego is a company that specializes in painless cosmetic sedation dentistry. Founded by Dr. Steven DeLisle, one of the leading painless sedation dentists, Sedation Dental Center of San Diego is committed to providing a relaxing experience for all customers and unparalleled excellence in dentistry. Dr. DeLisle provides sedation dentistry for a wide range of dental services, including cosmetic dentistry, botox, root canal therapy, and crowns and bridges.

The Man Behind the Teeth

Dr. Steven DeLisle has been a board certified Dental Anesthesiologist since his graduation from the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Due to his experience with patients who suffer from anxiety and chronic pain, Dr. DeLisle started a dentistry service that pays special care to their needs.

To ensure the best anesthesiology and dental care for all his patients, Dr. DeLisle attended the acclaimed Dental Anesthesiology program at Loma Linda University Medical Center after his graduation from the University of Washington. There, he spent two years treating thousands of patients under general anesthesia. Dr. DeLisle has the experience, accreditation, and technical knowledge it takes to perform all types of dental procedures under sedation.

Working with Coalition Technologies

After launching a successful practice in Las Vegas, Dr. DeLisle came to Coalition Technologies to generate new leads and more customers through SEO strategies for his San Diego practice. He wanted to see increased income that could be definitively traced back to the improvements we made to their site and SEO.

Current Challenges

After an in-depth analysis of the Sedation Dental Center of San Diego website, we discovered various issues with video playback and duplicate copy. Both of these problems drive down the rankings for search engine results and make it harder for potential customers to find Sedation Dental Center of San Diego.

Coalition Technologies also discovered that sedation dentistry is a very niche market that caters to exclusive clientele. By creating unique, optimized copy that reinforces the benefits of sedation dentistry and addresses the needs and concerns of the target demographic, we expect to increase traffic to the site and increase conversions.

Contact Coalition

Whether you’re looking for to increase your sales, boost your organic traffic, or redesign your website, Coalition Technologies is here to make you smile. To learn more about how we can help your business, give us a call at (310) 907-7823, send us an email at sales@coalitiontechnologies.com, or reach out through our contact form.

What Makes A Good Website?

good website analytics

Having a website is similar to inviting someone into your home or business. From its style to more functional elements like its layout and content, what makes a good website are solid design and development that can make an exemplary first impression for guests and potential clients. Ideally, you should be conveying trustworthiness, hard work, and quality the second that visitors land on your home page, and this vital first impression will determine a great user experience from a poor one. With retention and increased engagement in mind, let’s take a look at some of the key priorities and features of forward-thinking web design.

Content

There are certain attributes that will enhance a website, and having helpful, relevant content is a vital one. Content is part of the informational human element that you’re providing your visitor, and a good website should always offer content that not only answers visitors’ questions, but exceeds their expectations. Well-written content can contribute to SEO growth, along with higher traffic and sales as we’ll discuss a little later. However, many site visitors will likely be put off by a website with poorly written content or copy that lacks the information they’re seeking.
Make sure your website is useful, informative, and clearly points out how your services will help customers and meet their needs.

mobile social media apps

Engagement and Promotion

Along with optimized content, what makes a website relevant and good is its engagement with visitors across multiple channels. You should develop ways to promote your website along with its products and services. There are several ways to go about this, among which social media and email newsletters are two of the most effective promotional outlets.

Social media is important because it allows visitors to connect and build trust with your site. With that said, consider a social media strategy that stays “on-brand” for your company. If you have a reporting tool like Google Analytics, you can access demographic information that can determine your overall strategy. Let’s say you have a steady flow of millennial customers and visitors. Consider building on that base with regular Twitter, Facebook updates, or even Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest if you have a business that relies heavily on aesthetic curation. However, if your viewers tend to be older or more professional in their engagement, consider publishing articles and updates on LinkedIn and Google+ as ways to connect with them.

Along with these outlets, you should maintain a regular schedule for email newsletters that invite visitors to browse new products, seasonal sales, markdowns, new content, and more. In terms of site integration, include social media icons for your profiles in the footer section across all site pages, and utilize a friendly pop-up message on your home page that invites visitors to quickly input their email address. That way, you’ll be able to grow your customer base through more effective email promotions to people who are already interested in what your site has to offer.

SEO

There is no point in making a good website, however, if no one will be able to find it. Search engine optimization is crucial for users in order to find relevant services and products quickly, and with all the competition out there, it is a good idea to optimize your site’s SEO on a regular basis. Research keywords and search terms, and make sure the content does not sound as if its sole purpose is to include keywords just to get a high ranking with search engines. The title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and keywords should closely match what a visitor might type into a search engine so they can reach you easily and engage with your services. However, SEO is a constantly evolving field that requires regular updates and strategies for long-term success. Perform regular SEO audits in order to track rankings, wins for your business, and opportunities for growth.

Layout

A huge deterrent for many visitors will be a site that has a confusing or dysfunctional layout, as this will lead them to immediately leave your website in search of a competitor that can offer fluid design and a more user-friendly interface. Essentially, a poor layout can contribute to your bounce rate, adversely affecting your site’s SEO and rankings online. If visitors come across multiple site errors, restricted pages, or dead ends, they’ll take their business elsewhere. Additionally, if you make your products or contact pages difficult to find, you’ll likely suffer from decreased sales and referrals since visitors will inevitably get lost among cluttered category and landing pages. In our time-crunched society, convenience and ease-of-use are top priorities for most people, so make sure that all links work properly and your website is easy to navigate.

Tracking Progress

These elements are what will make a good website stand out and build trust. However, as we mentioned earlier, you should make your website is utilizing comprehensive reporting tools, either Google Analytics, or features provided through your website’s platform. Using a set of analytical tools allows you to see who visits your website, how long they stay on certain pages, and what information or services are attracting them. If you’re running an eCommerce site through Magento, Shopify, or BigCommerce, we recommend utilizing both your platform’s reports along with Google’s tools in order to develop nuanced sales strategies and opportunities for products or categories that could see better results.

Contact Coalition Technologies For More

Overall, it’s a good idea to see your website from a visitor’s perspective. What should their experience be as they navigate your site’s pages and content? Can they easily engage with products or information? Is your contact information prominent and accessible? Are they hearing about your site through relevant links or search results? If you have an online business or service that you’d like to enhance, Coalition Technologies is here to help you develop and design a good, user-friendly website. What makes a customer or visitor experience great is the level of detail and attentiveness that you put in your website, so it pays to invest wisely. Contact us today at (310) 905-8646 or send us a message online and we’ll help your website with a strategy for long-term success.

What Is An SEO Audit?

seo audit

Whether they’re running a business, purchasing something, connecting with friends and family, or just surfing the internet for entertainment, people are spending more and more time online. With many aspects of life adopting a quicker pace, people’s attention spans are becoming shorter, especially when it comes to processing information through search results. This is why it’s important for a website rank high on a search results page. More importantly, the website itself should function smoothly with no glitches or errors. This is what an SEO audit is for.

Search Engine Optimization

What an SEO audit does for a website is crucial. Search engine optimization is the strategy used to bring a website to be one of the first to come up on the results page when a certain topic or term is searched online. Using algorithms and programs, companies like Bing and Google determine a website’s relevance and importance, determining the amount of exposure a certain website will receive. As such, many companies spend an abundance of time, energy, and money making sure their website and its content are fully SEO-ready.  

What Is An SEO Audit?

One of the main benefits of an SEO audit is the feedback on how well the website is working and if a visitor can use the website without experiencing setbacks or errors. An SEO audit will show any major or minor errors the website currently has and reveal mishaps like missing titles, broken links, empty meta descriptions, redirected pages, and broken images, just to name a few. It also enables a person to check the relevancy of keywords and make sure the content doesn’t come across as spam. By being able to determine what isn’t functioning, action can be taken to correct errors, increasing website rankings on search engines.

Who Needs An SEO Audit?

seo analytics

Although SEO audits should be done for anyone looking to improve their rankings on a search results page, it is especially important for businesses and companies aiming to promote their brand and attract and keep new customers. According to CPC Strategy, more than 80% of people who use the Internet have purchased something online, and the trend for online purchases continues to rise. In order for businesses to grow online, performing an SEO audit is necessary. 

Frequency Is Key

Because taxes and financial reporting are mandated by government agencies with strict deadlines, entrepreneurs generally follow regular schedules for financial analyses and tax preparation. However, businesses looking to increase their traffic and revenue online should also be concerned with the frequency of their SEO audits. As with other reports, we recommend performing SEO audits on monthly, quarterly, or every six months. SEO takes time and strategic implementation in order to yield solid organic increases in search result rankings. While dramatic gains won’t happen overnight, it’s important to maintain a routine when it comes to monitoring wins and opportunities for growth. This is why it pays to invest in an SEO specialist or outsourced expertise from an agency. 

Contact Coalition Technologies To Learn More

An SEO audit is what will contribute to a website that ranks highly while maintaining user-friendly features and content. When you identify strengths and weaknesses within your website’s technical and on-page elements, you’ll be able to hone in on what your potential clients and customers are looking for. If you’re interested in growing your business online but don’t know how to get started, we’re here to help. Contact Coalition Technologies at (310) 905-8646 or send us a message for a consultation today. Together, we can create a long-term strategy for your company’s success online. 

Essential Tax Season Preparation Tips

tax computation

You’ll rarely hear people talking about tax season in a positive light. The experience of getting stressed out and resorting to procrastination is a fairly universal one. However, if you know how to prepare for doing your taxes ahead of time, it can greatly reduce anxiety and frustration. Here are a couple of preparation tips to make sure you’re ready for tax season. 

Gather Materials for What You Owe

If you have everything you need gathered in one place and ready to use, you won’t have to periodically stop the tax filing process to go searching for documents and information. First of all, make sure you have all of the documentation required to declare your income, as you’ll need to calculate whether you owe anything. 

For example, have your W-2 form ready, which contains all of the earnings information you need to enter in, and it will contain your employer’s tax ID number. There are a number of other forms that may have pertinent information for you. For example, if you are an independent contractor, you should have a 1099-MISC form. Your employer is obligated by law to get these forms to you, so make some inquiries if you don’t have one yet. You’ll also need your Social Security number.

There are other taxable sources that you should be aware of. Interest on savings accounts is taxable, so it is a good idea to get a hold of statements and tax forms on those accounts if you have them. Taxable interest is usually reported in a 1099-INT. If you are invested in stocks or mutual funds, or you’ve received earnings from broker transactions, you’ll need 1099-DIV and 1099-B forms respectively. 

Tax Prep for Businesses

Conversely, if you are a business owner, there are a lot of factors to consider, along with supporting documents available to make sure filing your company’s taxes on your own goes as smoothly as possible.

To start, It’s a good idea to have your tax return from the previous year with you when you’re latest tax return. It’ll have things like your federal tax ID number, your business code number and business activity descriptions, and lots of other vital information. A previous return is also helpful if you need to check for any red flags or if you’d like to compare previous expenses and profit over this year’s finances.  

You’ll also need accounting statements, bank records, credit card statements, and payroll information–basically anything that has to do with your company’s expenses and income. It’s a good idea to have all your accounting information on hand, because regardless of which software you use, organizing your accounting records makes tax preparation much easier. The same goes for banking information. Analyzing deposits and expenditures will enable you to categorize income and deductions to prepare your tax return. 

Filing taxes as a business owner can be daunting as there’s so much to remember and keep track of. However, having all these things organized and reconciled makes filing everything that much easier.

tax receipt

Take Stock of What You Can Deduct

If you want to deduct expenses from the taxes you owe, you’ll need documentation for that too. It is a good idea to have all of this information ready so you can wrap things up fast. 

If you are claiming dependents, you’ll need all of their Social Security numbers in addition to yours. Think of all of the credits you are claiming as well, because you’ll need paperwork for them. For example, a child care credit requires the tax ID number of whoever is taking care of your child. If you are self-employed you can deduct your business expenses, but you’ll need bills, receipts, and other types of documentation to prove it.

Are you self-employed and paying your own insurance premiums? Those premiums can be 100 percent deductible, as long as you don’t qualify for health insurance from your spouse’s job.

Have you taken out a large loan that you are paying interest on, such as a mortgage or a car loan? The interest is tax-deductible, and you’ll need 1098 forms for those loans if you want to deduct them. 

You can also make deductions for paying certain taxes. Real estate taxes are often deductible, and you can get a 1098 for those too. Further, state and local income taxes are deductible, as well as any personal property taxes you might pay, such as on your car. The information for these deductions comes on your W-2. 

Finally, you can take deductions for your charitable activities if they are substantial enough. For example, if you donate personal items that are over $250 in value, you can deduct that value from your taxes. Just make sure you get receipts for your donations. You can also deduct the mileage you accumulated in the course of volunteer work. 

Research Your Filing Status

Your filing status will have an important effect on your taxes. For example, your filing status can look very different if you are single or married. If you are married, but then get divorced, your taxes will change as well. The same holds true if you have children you consider as dependants in the eyes of the IRS.  Consequently, their status changes as well once they’re filing their own taxes and they’re longer financially supported by you.  

Get Started

Once you have all of the required materials and documentation together, you’re ready to begin the tax filing process. Luckily you’ve already covered a lot of ground! All you need to do now is put in all of that information and send it out. 

What type of tax program are you going to use? A casual search will retrieve all sorts of web-based solutions that make filing your taxes easy, or you could use software on your computer like Turbo Tax. 

With this basic preparatory information, you’ll be able to get everything you need together and get your taxes in fast. If the tax filing process proves to be more complex than you initially thought, there is no need to sweat it. You can request an extension with the 4868 form and avoid any associated penalties. With preparation and diligence, tax season shouldn’t be as stressful as it used to be.

Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs

For International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating women all over the world who inspire us to be bold and create change. Here, we’ll highlight some of the amazing women we work with who have set themselves apart in competitive markets and witnessed great achievements over the years. These women motivate us all and remind us that success is measured by hard work, passion, and determination.

 

Buffy Simoni, Paper MartPaperMart.com | Facebook | Twitter

PapermartBuffy Simoni, president of Paper Mart, is well-acquainted with what it takes to run a successful business. In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Simoni revealed that she is the 4th generation of her family to run Paper Mart. In fact, she grew up listening to her grandfather discussing operations and strategies with his partners!

Simoni is no stranger to the challenges of running a business—especially one that’s over 90 years old. She has discovered that, while it may be easy to shy away from tough choices, being bold and owning her decisions has proved successful. She believes in the importance of reaching out to both customers and employees in order to better understand opportunities for improvement—whether it’s product offerings, internal processes, or discovering innovative new markets to branch out to.

Over the last several years, Simoni has taken notice to how crowded the eCommerce market can be. Each store needs a unique way to jump into the market, and Paper Mart has been able to bridge that gap with exceptional customer service.

What we do differently, and the reason our customers are so loyal, is that we provide excellent service, which customers don’t always find online. Our model of low prices and high-quality service has set us apart in our industry.” —Buffy Simoni

 

Sawako Yamauchi, Miki MietteMikiMiette.com | Facebook | Twitter

Miki MietteSawako Yamauchi, owner and founder of Miki Miette, worked as a designer in mens and womenswear for 12 years. However, when she discovered that she was going to have a son, she was inspired to create something new in fashion industry, therefore changing the game. Yamauchi has created a children’s line that is fashionable, comfortable, and lovable.

Yamauchi’s bold choice has led to a very successful line. Miki Miette has sold in boutiques and department stores like Barneys New York and Nordstrom. Since launching, Miki Miette has grown in popularity and has recently opened a flagship store in Los Angeles!

Children’s clothing is an incredibly niche vertical market, as it specifically targets parents of young children. Yamauchi distinguishes her business with her intimate knowledge of what it takes to be a mother. She’s a mother designing for mothers, so she understands children’s clothing needs in a way only a few do.

 

Suzanne Dawson, YUNI BeautyYUNIBeauty.com | Facebook | Twitter

Yuni BeautySuzanne Dawson, co-founder of YUNI Beauty, has had a long career of success. She worked with Aveda as Vice President of Global Marketing and Innovation, at Murad as Chief Marketing Officer, and at OleHenriksen as President/Chief Executive Officer. Today, she is the Chief Officer at YogaWorks, Inc. and runs YUNI Beauty with her husband, Emmanuel Rey.

As with many industries, bodycare is one that’s overloaded with big names. Dawson made a bold decision to create a new market, targeting yogis and environmentally-conscious people alike. YUNI Beauty is the only store that provides mindful body, skin, and hair care, as well as beauty products that are natural, sustainable, and inspired by yoga.

 

Rebecca Fairbanks, Coalition TechnologiesCoalitionTechnologies.com | Facebook | Twitter

Coalition TechnologiesRebecca Fairbanks has been in digital marketing for nearly 10 years. With a background in integrated marketing communications, she got her start by delving into public relations and securing national press opportunities for musicians.

Branching out from public relations, she managed projects for web development, SEO, and PPC before settling into her role as Lead Digital Producer at Coalition Technologies. Working with her team allows her to do what she loves most: manage client campaigns to meet and exceed milestones.

Through her hard work, Fairbanks’ clients have witnessed huge improvements in traffic and revenue. Today, she continues to apply her managerial experience and tech expertise across all of our SEO clients. We’re proud to have her on our team, and we look forward to growing her success!

 

Competition for Clicks

eCommerce is a very competitive and crowded market. Each industry has so many different websites and stores that demand the attention of their target market and require their own set of innovative strategies.

Coalition Technologies has helped entrepreneurs develop their own techniques and strategies, and continues to welcome more revenue, organic traffic, and success.

Let us help you and your business today. Give us a call at (310) 907-5497 or email us at sales@coalitiontechnologies.com to see what we can do for you.

Get Your Website on the First Page with These 10 Essential SEO Tips

10 Essential SEO Tips

Everyone wants to get on the first page of Google, but the question is how? Read on for these top 10 essential SEO tips to see how you can rank your website.

Essential SEO Tips 01 - Use Meaningful TItle

1. Use Meaningful Titles

  • An attention-grabbing title increases the chance of someone visiting your site. As such, the title should incorporate the primary SEO keyword when possible and precede a strong introductory sentence.

 

Essential SEO Tips 02 - Subsections2. Incorporate Subsections

  • Once you have your reader’s attention, keep them interested by dividing the article into 100 word subsections. This is not only aesthetically pleasing, it increases article readability and entices the reader to follow along.

 

Essential SEO Tips 03 - Content with substance

3. Create Content with Substance

  • Search engines prioritize and index content that’s relevant and meaningful. Your primary goal is to create high-quality content that engages the reader and provides them with useful information.

 

Essential SEO Tips 04 - Know your audience

4. Know Your Audience

  • You’ll have a better chance at engaging your audience and establishing credibility if you understand their interests and needs. This contributes to garnering a higher number of unique visitors and increasing your conversion optimization.

 

Essential SEO Tips 05 - Interesting pictures

5. Post Interesting Pictures

  • Posting interesting pictures is a visually appealing way to draw the reader in and keep them interested. Make sure to include alt text to go along with your pictures so search engines can view it as well.

 

Essential SEO Tips 06 - Use keywords proportionately

6. Use Keywords Proportionately

  • Be careful not to overly optimize copy, as this can make it difficult or confusing to read. While keyword density has its benefits, search engines consider overuse as keyword stuffing or spam.

 

Essential SEO Tips 07 - No black hat

7. Avoid Black Hat Techniques

  • Black hat techniques are disapproved practices to increase SEO value. By going against a search engine’s terms of service, you run the risk of penalizing your site. Instead, focus on proper SEO practices to attain organic results.

 

Essential SEO Tips 08 - Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

8. Include Title Tags & Meta Descriptions

  • Title tags & meta descriptions are crucial to accurately portraying your page on the SERPs. Keep title tags between 45-55 characters and meta descriptions between 145-155 characters. If possible, incorporate keywords into each as well.

 

Essential SEO Tips 09 - Link strategically

9. Link Strategically

  • If you’re using links in your copy, be strategic and use relevant anchor text. Limit outbound links to those you absolutely need and develop a complex link profile, especially if you’re citing sources.

 

Essential SEO Tips 10 - Strong call-to-action

10. End with a Strong Call-to-Action

  • Recall the primary purpose of your SEO copy when creating a call-to-action statement and use compelling action words like shop, start, learn, or discover. Make it crystal clear to the reader what the next step should be.

 

With these 10 SEO tips, you can implement a powerful strategy that works for your website. Check out the full infographic here. For more information on how to build your site’s value and increase your chances of getting to the first page, contact Coalition Technologies for world-class SEO services.

JW Media Signs Up For SEO Assistance with Coalition Technologies

JW Media is an industry leader in print order fulfillment, creating large scale banners, flags, and other promotional products for businesses. They are dedicated to using advanced technologies and the highest quality materials when creating advertising materials.

As a wholesale retailer, they deal exclusively with industry professionals, with an emphasis on turnaround time, quality of materials, and competitive pricing not available to the general public. Some of their best selling products include wide format printing, 13oz vinyl banners, advertising flags, retractable banner stands, and printed table covers.

Partnering with Coalition Technologies

JW Media has years of experience creating signs and keeping their business profitable, but they came to Coalition Technologies because they were interested in reaching new customers and garnering more sales with their subsidiary company, 777 Sign. Beyond providing customer service oriented strategies, like great prices and swift turnaround times, they want to implement new marketing strategies with SEO and PPC campaigns. We will be optimizing the copy on their website, writing new copy for major pages, including the Home and About Us pages, and launching an extensive PPC campaign.

Coalition Technologies often partners with companies to create high-quality copy for SEO and PPC campaigns, but JW Media is interested in involving themselves much more deeply with the marketing strategy and giving their input on every aspect of a project.

Challenging the Sign Industry

After an analysis of the 777 Sign website and an in-depth meeting with that company’s executives, Coalition Technologies discovered a unique challenge that 777 Sign faces: content poaching by competitors. Recently, competing sites have been stealing content from the 777 Sign site and posting it on their own sites. To stay ahead of these poachers, Coalition Technologies plans on overhauling all of the written content on the 777 Sign site. This new copy will be very focused as well as highly relevant and appealing to the company’s clientele.

Achieving Success

If you’re looking for a marketing and web development company to boost your sales, increase organic traffic, or redesign your website, Coalition Technologies can help. Reach out to us today by phone, at (310) 907-7823, by email, at sales@coalitiontechnologies.com, or online through our contact form.

February Employee of the Month

Ben Bordofsky - February Employee of the Month     Diane Apao - February Employee of the Month

Coalition Technologies is proud to announce our newest Employees of the Month for January: Ben Bordofsky and Diane Apao! Both Ben and Diane have put in hard work and helped our client campaigns. Take a closer look at what they do to make Coalition great!

Behind the Scenes with Ben

Ben started at Coalition Technologies in September of 2015 as a Digital Producer Trainee. Since then, he’s worked his way up to Web Development Digital Producer & Team Lead. Today, he oversees web development projects, manages SEO campaigns, generates campaign strategies, and works with clients to reach milestones. He has worked across many industries including fashion and jewelry, office furnishings and supplies, industrial tools, family law, martial arts, health and wellness, technology, and many more.

Ben’s favorite thing about Coalition Technologies are the people. He finds the team interesting, smart, and hilarious—and he’s happy that even though team members are distributed across the world, everyone is close knit.

Ben loves playing video games (League of Legends, Pokemon, and Rocket League) and enjoys reading. His recent reading list includes Pillars of the Earth, Accidental Salesman, and anything by Michael Connelly. He also happens to be a great cook (which the LA office can confirm)!

Behind the Scenes with Diane

Diane joined Coalition Technologies in December of 2016. Even though she’s a new team member, her work as a Front End Web Developer has launched her into the Coalition spotlight. Diane helps convert designs to responsive BigCommerce and Shopify themes, and has worked across several industries, creating templates and themes for fashion clients, health and wellness clients, and niche industries like beverage coolers and aftermarket auto parts.

Diane loves that Coalition Technologies offers plenty of room for career growth, and that our company values the hard work of each and every team member. She’s very proud and gratified to be employee of the month!

She enjoys watching anime and Korean TV, but also enjoys mountaineering near her home in Cebu City.

Stay Tuned for Next Month

Coalition Technologies is happy to honor new team members each month for their successes and efforts. Stay tuned for our Employees of the Month for March!

Packed Perfectly | CT Blog

Travel can be a rewarding experience, filled with fun, adventures with friends, education, and insights into foreign cultures.The world of travel blogging is occupied by adventure-seekers with a knack for sharing their unique experiences in exotic locales and once-in-a-lifetime events, complete with expert advice, incredible photos, and unforgettable stories.

Packed Perfectly, the newest Coalition Technologies client, took the best parts of the travel experience and transformed an adventurous spirit and passion for travel into a profitable business.

Traveling in Style

Packed Perfectly was founded by Lara Green, a world traveler who started out offering her loyal readers suggestions for visiting some of her favorite far away places—what to see, where to eat, activities to do, and, of course, how to pack.

As the popularity of her travel blog continued to rise, Lara realized that she could turn her love of travel into a business by providing her readers with the perfect set of clothing and accessories anyone would need for each specific adventure. As an affiliate marketer, Lara curates different products and fashionable attire on her site, while providing experienced, in-depth guides to some of the world’s most exciting places.

Taking the Leap

Packed Perfectly hopes to become one of the go-to destinations for credible travel and fashion advice, drawing in readers who are seeking the recommendations of expert globetrotters on how to make the most of their adventures. Eventually, Packed Perfectly’s affiliate partnerships will include not only fashion items, but hotels, restaurants, bars, and responsible local activities.

In order to expand, Packed Perfectly needs to continue to engage with readers and potential customers on social media, optimize their onsite content, and create new, high-quality content to increase traffic and boost revenue as an affiliate marketer.

Overcoming Obstacles

Packed Perfectly occupies two highly competitive spaces: travel and fashion. With such a crowded market, standing out among other blogs can present a significant challenge. In addition, the seasonality of the fashion industry will require frequent changes to the products featured on the site.

By creating quality, optimized content that emphasizes the unique differences between Packed Perfectly and its competitors, while also bolstering the brand’s social media presence, there’s a real opportunity to make a mark on two industries at once by becoming known as a go-to ‘travel stylist’.

With a powerful SEO strategy in place, we’re confident that, over time, Packed Perfectly can increase organic traffic, grow its global readership, and expand its affiliate partnerships.

If you’re interested in starting a marketing campaign for your business, call Coalition Technologies at (310) 907-7823, contact us online, or send an email to sales@coalitiontechnologies.com. Connect with us today and see how we can help you take your business to the next level.

Key Shopify Features You Need for Your eCommerce Site

notepad, cellphone and laptopOpening an online store can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Shopify has changed how people approach ecommerce, opening the floodgates for entrepreneurs of all types to get involved, regardless of technical abilities. Intuitive yet powerful, Shopify is perfect for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as major enterprises.

Of course, just because Shopify is a user-friendly platform doesn’t mean you should rush into anything. It’s important to do some research and get your ducks in line before you launch. After all, first impressions are everything. With the right Shopify SEO California agency on your side, anything is possible.

Let’s take a look at some of the essential features that you should be keeping an eye on as you open your online store. Shopify comes loaded with everything you need to get started right out of the box, and here are the critical features that you must never overlook.

analytics feature1. Marketing Tools
One of the most appealing aspects of using Shopify is that there’s no shortage of marketing and SEO tools available right at your fingertips. After all, getting people to come to your store can be quite a challenge on your own. Of course, if you’re looking for an agency that specializes in Shopify SEO upgrades in California, we’re more than happy to help, but it’s always nice to know that there are onboard tools available to get you started.

  • SEO Basics

Shopify makes optimizing your website for higher SERP rankings easy and intuitive. Let’s take a look at some of the basic steps we took to improve the Shopify store of one of our clients, Poppy Smooches. By enabling image compression and minifying code, we were able to increase page load speed. We also improved URL structure and addressed internal 404s.

Additionally, In terms of enhancing product visibility, Shopify has a number of apps that can utilize dynamic ways to target customers. Amandeep Singh, one of our SEO experts and web developers, says, “Shopify has a number of add-ons, like their free Google Shopping integration app. By providing individual product information from pricing to images and SKUs, merchants can list products on Google Shopping easily.”

Not only do basic steps and tools make the site more appealing to search engine algorithms, but they also give the customers a better experience.

  • Analytical Features

The built-in analytical features are also extremely useful. Being able to track where your traffic is coming from is a huge advantage. For example, if people are finding your jewelry store by searching for “handmade rings,” you may want to push your rings harder on the front page to encourage conversions. You could also write a blog post using that same keyword to further increase organic traffic.

managing sites2. Design Tools
You can have the best California Shopify SEO team, a winning staff, and a top-notch product, but if your website’s design is unappealing, it’s not going to convert. The visual aspect of a website is overlooked far too often. A well-designed ecommerce store instills trust in the customer. It makes people want to come back again and again. Just like any brick-and-mortar store, aesthetics matter.

Fortunately, Shopify is highly customizable, and it includes powerful features to make an ordinary site extraordinary. You have complete control over your store’s HTML and CSS, so the possibilities are virtually limitless. You don’t need to be a programmer to have a great looking store, however. Shopify includes customizable, standards-compliant templates free of charge.

3. Product Management Tools
Shopify’s streamlined CMS interface makes adding, listing, editing, and organizing your products a breeze. It also comes with inventory management tools, such as multiple variants for each product so you can track individual product weights, prices, and so on. Shopify allows you to use keyword tags, which makes searching for products fast and easy.

Customizing your product listings is as simple as clicking a button. Rearrange the order of your product photos by simply dragging and dropping. If you’d rather not handle the shipping yourself, Shopify supports other fulfillment services, such as Fulfillment by Amazon.

4. Order Fulfillment Tools
After an order is placed, there’s still work to be done. When you receive a new order, Shopify can alert you with an email, RSS, and/or SMS message so you can respond quickly. Orders include detailed reports so you can track payments and shipping, and you can filter through your orders by their status.

If your customer makes a mistake ordering or changes their mind, you can utilize order cancellation with automatic chargeback for fast and easy refunds. Shopify also has an onboard email system so you can contact your customers through your store when needed.

Contact Coalition Technologies to Learn More

We’ve only scratched the surface here. Shopify is a powerful platform that’s loaded with features that put you on the fast track to success. With the right California Shopify SEO agency on your side, the possibilities for growth are truly boundless. Give our Shopify experts a call at (310) 827-3890 for a free consultation, or simply send us a message and we’ll be in touch soon.

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