Google changes their algorithm constantly, keeping everybody in the SEO world on their toes. SEO techniques that worked several years ago may not play much of a role today. With new technology becoming popular such as like virtual assistants, Google’s search algorithms will surely continue to change.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes over the last couple of years, is the massive increase in the use of mobility devices. There are more people today accessing the internet with mobile devices than with a desktop PC. As a result, Google has changed their ranking signals, giving more weight to websites that are mobile-friendly. This is just the beginning.
It’s all about achieving an optimal user experience. Slow websites are frustrating because nobody likes to wait. Reading a poorly-written article that lacks any legitimate message is annoying. Websites that are not mobile-friendly are difficult to view on a mobile device. These are the types of things that Google tries to remedy with new Algorithms.
Follow these helpful tips in optimizing your website and online presence:
1. Build a strong presence in Social Media. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, make your posts interesting and fun, and don’t just jibber jabber. Post frequently but don’t over-do it where it becomes annoying to your friends and followers.
2. Be mobile-friendly. Mobility is King today, so make sure your website or blog is mobile friendly. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to view a website on your phone, and doesn’t fit on your screen.
3. Turbocharge your website. Google doesn’t like slow websites and neither do users. Make sure your site loads fast. If it’s slow and lags, consider optimizing your images or changing servers.
4. Build quality links. Link building is not what it used to be. It’s no longer how many links you have – it’s how good (in quality) are those links? Don’t just exchange with anyone. Ensure that it’s relevant to your website and it’s contents.
5. Switch your website from HTTP: to HTTPS: – Google favors websites that us SSL. Secure sites are indeed the way to go. Once again – in the name of user experience. Secure sites have extra layers of security, preventing hackers from doing what they do
For more interesting SEO tips and how to optimize a mobile-friendly website, visit: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/seo-tips-for-your-mobile-friendly-website/
Not too long ago, creating professional videos involved spending thousands of dollars hiring a video production team, and buying expensive equipment in order to get the level of quality needed for a business marketing video. But thankfully, the cost associated with creating quality videos today is incomparable to what you would have paid 10 years ago.
The megapixels on today’s gadgets are so high, you can make a professional-looking video with almost any of today’s smartphones. Paired up with a good video editing program, you’ll be amazed at what you can create at little to no cost.
1. Windows Movie Maker 2.6 – This is a free software program offered by Microsoft that works with Windows 7, 8, Vista, XP and Windows Server 2008. You can create and edit videos, as well as publish them on OneDrive, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and Flickr with multiple file formats to choose from. It also offers a large selection of tools, effects and transitions (it’s expected to be replaced with Windows Story Remix by late 2017).
2. Avidemux – This is a free video editor that is capable of non-linear video editing and applying visual effects. It supports many file format types such as AVI, DVD, MPEG, MP4 and ASF. It’s designed for simple cutting/pasting, filtering and encoding tasks. It can also insert audio into a video file or extract audio from video files.
3. Lightworks – Lightworks has both a free version, and a paid version. This software program is currently available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS. It’s a professional, non-linear editing system (NLE) for editing and mastering digital video in many different formats, including 2K and 4K resolutions. Hollywood production movies such as “Pulp Fiction” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” have used this software. It offers real-time effects, advanced multi-cam editing, importing of multiple file types and the ability to export to Vimeo and YouTube.
4. Blender – This is a professional, open source 3D content creation tool used for creating animated films, interactive 3D applications, visual effects, video games and 3D printed models. This powerful program allows you to edit, create 3D graphics, sound effects, and add special effects, such as fluid and smoke simulation, texturing, and soft body simulation.
5. VideoPad Video Editor – VideoPad offers both a free and a paid version. It includes a sound editing program, a sound mixing program, and an image editor. It supports frequently used formats, such as AVI, WMV, and DivX, and videos can be directly uploaded to Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.
For more information on video marketing, check out: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/why-video-marketing-is-bigger-than-you-think/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/
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.
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
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).
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/
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.
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.
- 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
- 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/
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.
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
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.
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/