TheBestMedia.com Blog

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How to Build an Online Reputation for Your Business

Posted on June 13th, 2017

build reputation

 

Having a good online reputation is just as important, if not more important, than your in-person reputation.

 

If you’re a new entrepreneur and have just launched a website, building a solid reputation is key. SEO is just as important for a new website, of course, but here we will be talking about building trust and a good reputation with your readers or customers. The reality is that it’s an ongoing process and it will not happen overnight. Knowing where to start is the first step.

 

Here are 3 helpful tips for creating relationships with your customers and building a solid online reputation:

 

1. Social media – The most obvious tool that businesses and people use to capture their audiences’ attention. Through the use of likes and shares, it’s an ideal and cost-effective way to rapidly build relationships and trust with users.

The content you post on social media sites can make or break your business. Insults, swearing, and bullying are obvious no-nos (or at least they should be obvious). Your content should always be positive and, more importantly, informational. Creating content that is informative and answers questions that customers frequently ask will make all the difference.

When users have a question that they need answered, the majority of them will turn to Google to look for their answers, thus providing an opportunity for you. Once users see that your business provides a solution to their problem, relationships start and trust-building begins. It’s also noteworthy to mention that the content you post on social media sites should be posted on your website, as well, either with a blog, or perhaps a FAQ page.

 

2. Review sites – They are there because they work. Consumers want to be assured that they are dealing with a trustworthy, reputable company before opening their wallets. When a potential customer searches for “Best Home Renovators” on Google, review pages such as Consumer Reports, Angie’s List, Yelp, or Bing Places will appear. These testimonials will make all the difference, so be sure that your website appears on these sites. According to BrightLocal.com’s 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

 

3. Advertise your past clients and partners – While this is also a kind of testimonial, they can be even more powerful. Showing that your business is good enough to work with other reputable websites/businesses speaks volumes to potential customers when it comes to trust.

 

Has your online reputation already been damaged? To read more on how to recover, and how to rebuild that trust, click here.

Changing URL Formats? What You Need to Know Before Making the Switch

Posted on June 12th, 2017

changing urls

 

Changing your site’s URL format is not too complicated, but there are some things you should keep in mind.

 

Despite the format change being a relatively simple thing, if you want to make sure that you maintain your site’s ranking and authority, this is where things can get a little tricky. But, if you adhere to the following guidelines, then you shouldn’t have any problems.

One of the more common reasons for switching URL formats is to create a more user-friendly site. Perhaps you have thousands of pages and you want to reduce it to a few hundred by combining some of the related pages. But, when you do this, Google will treat the new URLs as brand new pages, causing you to lose any keyword rankings you may have had for those previous pages and suffer a drop in organic traffic. Therefore, when doing this, you need to ensure that you apply proper SEO redirects from the old URLs to the new URLs.

 

Generally speaking, combining pages to reduce the total number of pages should be avoided, if possible.

 

When dealing with larger websites with hundreds of thousands of pages, applying redirects for all the pages can become extremely complicated. But, if you decide to go ahead with it, make sure to have a digital marketing expert or experienced webmaster do it for you.

External and internal links are another aspect that is often overlooked when there is a shuffle in a website’s URL structure. Having links that point to old, inactive URLs (dead links) is disastrous for your site’s search engine optimization. All of these old links must be changed so they point to the new URLs. That also goes for any external links you may have on other websites, blogs or forums.

 

Need help from a digital marketing professional? Visit www.thebestmedia.com for all of your digital marketing needs.

Optimize Your Blogs and Articles With These 3 Great Tips

Posted on June 8th, 2017

optimize blogs

 

You can find endless amounts of information on the web regarding blog writing tips and best practices.

 

So, instead of covering the same obvious topics, such as “What message do you want to send?”, and “be sure to include an introduction and conclusion”, we are going to talk about the best blogging practices in terms of Google and SEO. As search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and ranking factors, you should make use of the following tips, always make sure to stay in the loop when it comes to Google updates, and regularly check on your web traffic for any drops in traffic.

 

Make sure to adhere to the following guidelines if you want the best SEO boost from your blogging efforts:

 

The first tip would be to frequently link back to previous content, preferably a related blog post on the same general topic. Linking structure is important to search engines, so by doing this, it will make your post more powerful because it shows you have some authority on the topic.

Secondly, your articles should have a minimum of 300 words, with keywords appearing 3-5 times throughout. Don’t make them too long, though, as it may scare off some potential readers.

Thirdly, you should post the content on your own website first. Then, wait about a month or so before syndicating it to other websites. You want to give search engines ample time to rank the post from your website before it ranks from your syndicated sites. In addition, this prevents search engines from becoming confused about a duplicate content issue, and ensures that your site will not be penalized, as you were the first to post.

 

For more helpful tips on blogging, visit http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/the-best-tips-for-creating-high-quality-blog-posts/

Duplicate Content – The SEO Consequences and the Remedy

Posted on June 7th, 2017

duplicate content

Duplicate content is content that appears on the web in more than one place.

 

You’re probably already familiar with the term “duplicate content”, but do you know the consequences it can have on your website?

The use of duplicate content isn’t always done intentionally, and it doesn’t necessarily stem from ill intentions, either. And while technically you won’t get penalized for this, it can still have a serious effect on your website and its search engine rankings.

The problem is that when it comes to duplicate content, search engines don’t know where to direct their link metrics, such as authority and trust. Search engines rarely show multiple versions of the same content in search results and are forced to choose which version is likely the best result to display. This means that even though you may be the originator of the content, someone else could end up reaping the benefits.

 

So what can you do if you find your content duplicated on the Internet?

 

First, you will need to pinpoint what caused it. If it was because of someone stealing or scraping your content, contact them and ask them to remove it. If they don’t reply or refuse to remove it, you can report the site as “webspam” to Google.

Many websites have switched from HTTP to HTTPS. So, make sure that there is only one live version of your site on the Internet. Having two live versions could be seen as duplicate content by search engines, so ensure that the previous HTTP version has been redirected to the newer HTTPS version using a 301 redirect.

Another possible cause could be with businesses that operate in more than one location and use mirrored subdirectories, with their products and contents being the same. For example: http://www.ebay.com and http://www.ebay.co.uk. This can also cause confusion with Google. To fix this, visit the Google Search Console and set up location targeting. To learn more about location targeting, visit https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/182192?hl=en

 

Are You Using too Many H1 Tags on Your Site for SEO Purposes?

Posted on June 6th, 2017

h1 tags

 

How many H1 tags should you use on your site?

 

This question has been asked many times over by webmasters and designers. For SEO reasons, it’s something that you should be aware of. H1 tags are extremely important, as they are a ranking signal and they provide information to search engines as to what a page’s content is about. Although they do not hold as strong of a signal as they once did in the past, it’s still an important aspect of search engine optimization.

In the past, the golden rule for H1 tags was each individual page on a site should have only one H1 level heading and it should be used for the title only. Having more than one set of H1 tags sends a less clear message to both the search engines and users. This rule was followed to help search engines better understand the content and subject matter of each page, and improve search engine accuracy (which in turn, improved search rankings for well-designed websites).

 

But, since the introduction of HTML5, that rule no longer exists.

 

If you are using HTML5, which was introduced back in 2014, not only are you able to have multiple H1 level headings per web page, but it’s actually recommended.  The best thing to do in all cases is carefully consider the content at hand, and determine the best way to section and label it based on the HTML5 document outlining algorithm.

 

For information on myths and misconceptions regarding SEO, visit: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/the-5-most-common-seo-myths-and-misconceptions/

How To Continue Using Pop-Ups Without Hindering Your SEO

Posted on June 5th, 2017

pop ups

 

Google is penalizing websites using intrusive pop-up ads, and they will likely see a drop in search rankings.

 

After Google announced this new algorithm update regarding intrusive pop-up ads, businesses and website owners were quick to call their webmasters. The unfortunate part is that pop-up ads do a pretty good job. They work well, assuming that ads are not blatant scams or totally irrelevant to the content you’re viewing. The conversion rate of high performing pop-up ads is just over 9 percent, on average.

 

So, is it still safe to use pop-ups on your website in a legitimate, non-spammy fashion?

 

For starters, the algorithm update only affects mobile sites. Desktop versions should not be affected, but who knows if down the road, that will change, too. Google’s mobile pop-up (or interstitial) penalty specifically targets intrusive pop-ups. So not all pop-ups are taboo. If they are spammy in nature, hard to dismiss, and diminish user experience, your rankings will take a hit. Otherwise, you should be safe. Pop-up banners, slide-ins, and tabs that are easy to dismiss and take up 15 percent or less of the screen, are okay.

 

Some other safe scenarios for using pop-ups would be:

- When you’re legally required to display restricted content
- When you need to verify age
- When it’s triggered by an exit intent
- Cookie use notifications

 

Ensure that they don’t do any of the following:

- Interrupt users as they navigate between pages
- Cover the majority of the screen, obstructing your entire view
- Are difficult to close
- Must be dismissed before users can continue on

 

If you think your site has been affected, you can check the Interstitial Penalty Checker at: https://interstitialpenaltycheck.com/

Building Links By Guest Posting? Why You Should Approach With Caution

Posted on June 1st, 2017

guest posting

 

We’ve all done it at some point – dropping our links through a guest posting on a website we’ve visited.

 

It’s a legit, effective way to reach a community and create exposure for your business or website. But, the question is, if you do this too frequently, will Google see this as spamming? And will it affect your website’s SEO?

Generally, Google doesn’t frown on guest posts or guest blogging. However, there’s been an increase in spammy links (usually from low-quality websites) stuffed into these kinds of posts. This prompted a stern warning from Google, informing site owners about the dangers of publishing content on other sites for the sole purpose of building inbound links.

 

Doing so on a large scale is strictly prohibited by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

 

If the posts are informative, relevant, educational, and not spammy in nature, then Google is okay with it, and this should not negatively affect your SEO. A post or two per day is fine. But, hundreds of posts per day, every day, is not natural and will be identified as spammy.

If a user is guest posting to your site, you could also be affected. Publishing posts or articles with spammy links will result in your web page being flagged as a low-quality site, and will drastically affect your search rankings. Site owners should be vigilant about managing their guest posts, and refuse any links that appear questionable. Things to look for would be over-stuffing of keywords, duplicate content, irrelevant content, and poorly written articles with bad grammar.

 

For more information on the best practices when it comes to guest blogging, visit https://blog.kissmetrics.com/guide-to-guest-blogging

SEO Tips For Your Mobile Friendly Website

Posted on May 31st, 2017

mobile friendly 2

 

There are more people accessing the Internet with their mobile phones than with any other device.

 

Yet, many websites are still not mobile friendly and are not even designed to adjust to different screen sizes. Optimization for mobile devices considers the site design, structure, speed, and other factors to make sure you’re not turning mobile visitors away without knowing it.

As mobile continues to overpower desktop users, having a mobile-first design only makes sense. Search engine giants like Google are continuously changing their algorithm to provide a better user experience, and Google now includes mobile-friendly websites as a ranking factor for their search results.

 

The following tips are crucial when designing a mobile-friendly website:

 

1. Super-Fast Page Speed
Don’t lose your visitors! Make sure your server is up to par. The quicker a web page loads, the more engagement you will get from users. Nobody likes waiting – particularly when you’re talking about the Internet on a mobile device. According to Think with Google, the average mobile website’s load times for bounced sessions were about 2.5 seconds slower than non-bounced sessions. Some simple ways to speed up load times include compressing larger images, utilizing cache, and eliminating redirects.

2. Assume Users Have Fat Fingers
With a mobile-first design, you should be able to navigate a touch screen easily by scrolling, regardless of whether you have large fingers or thumbs. Ensure your mobile design caters to this for a better user experience.

3. Avoid Using Pop-Ups
Google’s new algorithm update, which was released in January of this year, will now penalize businesses that use pop-ups on their mobile sites. Smaller pop-ups such as tiny banners or age verification boxes should still be okay. However, if the pop-up is a stand alone and covers the majority of your page, making it difficult to proceed to the website, this will have a major effect on your SEO and user experience.

4. Ditch the Flash
Most web designers today have already phased out the use of Flash, but sites that use it are still out there. What was once seen as visually cool is now more of an annoyance for users. It’s also horrendous for SEO. Flash is extremely insecure – more than any other web application – making it a very popular target for hackers. To make matters worse, it also reduces the amount of content that’s visible to Google’s indexing bots. In addition, Flash plugins may not already be on a user’s phone, which means they’ll likely just leave your website instead of taking the time to install a new plugin. If you want to create special effects, use HTML5 instead.

5. Include a Viewport Meta Tag
A viewport meta tag gives your browser the scaling and sizing information it needs in order to properly fit a website on your device’s screen. You can’t “see” the viewport on a web page, but it’s very much needed. If you’re not using a viewport, depending on the device used, scaling and sizes on your mobile site can be completely out of whack.

 

You can check on how “mobile friendly” your website is at: https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-ca/

3 SEO Practices That You Should Avoid

Posted on May 30th, 2017

seo practice

 

Some of us have heard or read about “black hat” techniques used for search engine optimization.

 

This refers to sneaky optimization tactics that webmasters use to boost their sites’ rankings in search results. These black hat tactics go against Google’s webmaster guidelines, and anyone caught using these tactics will be penalized by Google, dumping their site to the bottom of the search results. The following list includes some of the most common rule-breaking black hat techniques used today. Make sure to take note of what these techniques are, and avoid using them.

 

Don’t Use Unrelated Keywords

Ensure the keywords you are using are relative to your website and/or business. While it may be tempting to use highly searched (but irrelevant) keywords for the sake of gaining more traffic, this tactic has been proven to be a waste of time. Even if you gain more visitors from this, you won’t gain any sales from it because visitors were expecting to see something else and will likely just leave your website anyway. Search engines will not always catch this right away, but when they do, your ranking will be penalized for it.

 

Avoid Article Spinning

New content on a regular basis is excellent for SEO. Search engines love it. However, because it’s such a time-consuming task, website owners will try and get around this by “spinning” their articles to give the illusion of fresh content. Article spinning is done by taking one article and producing multiple versions of it by changing some of its words, which is commonly done using some sort of spinning software. The idea is to trick the search engines into thinking it’s fresh content. The problem is that these spinners often produce horribly written content that doesn’t provide any new information to users.

 

Buying Links is Not Worth It

It’s common SEO knowledge that search engines will look at inbound links as a signal for ranking. Generally speaking, the more inbound links there are to your page, the more relevant your website is. So it’s not surprising that people will opt to purchase links in order to give their website a boost, instead of earning them through the proper channels. But, the problem is that inbound links must be natural, and search engines will look at the content of these sites linking back to you. If it’s not relevant to your website/content, then it will have a negative impact on your SEO. In addition, purchased links are usually done in bulk, and obtaining 100 inbound links in one day is not likely and not natural. Search engines will take notice of this, and your ranking will suffer.

 

While there are always new tricks for gaining an illegitimate SEO advantage, search engines are becoming smarter, too. So it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be caught. The short term gain is not worth the long term consequences, so make sure to keep that white hat on and play by the rules.

For more information on good SEO practices, visit https://www.semrush.com/blog/best/

Protecting Your Business’ Online Reputation

Posted on May 29th, 2017

protect reputation

 

Have you ever Googled your business?

 

You can probably guess most of the search results, which would include your social media sites, your blog, your website, etc. But have you ever thought of checking for other information that was not put there by you?

In the world of “sharing” and “liking”, it’s not always a thumbs-up situation. This is particularly relevant for businesses, whose success relies heavily on reputation, because that reputation can be easily destroyed online. Imagine you have just finished a business meeting with a potential new client, hoping to secure your next deal. Then, later in the day, the client does a search on Google to learn more about you and your business and comes across a few blogs and forums with negative posts about your business. If this happens, there’s a good possibility that you won’t be hearing from that client again.

More than one third of millennials believe their online first impression is more important than their in-person introduction. That statement is definitely arguable, but it has its merits. The bottom line is, especially in the world of business, you need to know what people are saying about you online, and where it’s being said. Some websites are specifically designed for complaints, reviews, and consumer feedback (both good and bad), and social media has become a major tool for people to express their opinions on anything and everything. In any case, the bigger the online presence, the greater a risk it becomes. Even if you’re a company that provides great customer service, there’s always going to be those complainers.

 

What can you do if someone leaves negative feedback about your business on the Internet?

 

Don’t give up just yet. Although you won’t be able to remove comments made by others on the Internet, there are still many different ways to run damage control.

The worst thing you can do is nothing. You should always be active and respond to any posts or comments directed towards your company, regardless of whether they’re good or bad. For the positive ones, show your professionalism and thank them. For the negative ones, defend yourself, justify your actions, or even apologize if you need to. As long as these things are done in a professional manner, audiences can be more forgiving than you’d think when you’re actually responding to their issues.

You must also ensure to monitor these things frequently. You can use free online tools like Google Alerts that will send you an email every time Google finds a new mention of a particular keyword in search results. For instance, if your business is called ABC Records, then this would be the keyword term that you want to be alerted for.

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