TheBestMedia.com Blog

Web Development, Internet Marketing & All Things Tech

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.

Mobile Friendly Responsive Web Design Services

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.

Mobile Friendly Responsive Design Quote

 

1 Hour Free Consultation Valued at $499.00

 

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.

Selecting the Right Digital Marketing Agency for Your Business

Posted on May 26th, 2017

right digital marketing agency

 

Most larger companies today have their own in-house digital marketing team.

 

This team will address all angles of marketing for the business. But, smaller companies who are not quite large enough to have their own team will typically opt for professional help by hiring a digital marketing agency that is already trained in this field.

Quite often, businesses will make the mistake of going with the lowest bidder, looking for the most cost-effective service. But, a marketing agency can make or break your business, so looking for the cheapest option can be a costly mistake.

As with any important business decision, you need to practice due diligence and research the company. How long have they been in business? Who have they worked with? What are some of their success stories – if any? Keep in mind that you will want to look for the negative stuff, too. Blogs and forums can be a very useful tool in terms of obtaining feedback from past clients.

 

Ensure that their experience is relevant to what you’re looking for.

 

Just because a company is reputable and has a great track record doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be the right fit for your needs. For instance, if the company has never dealt with Google AdWords – and that’s definitely something you’ll need help with – hiring them would be a waste of time and money.

A good digital marketing company will have a strong online presence. If they can’t market themselves, then they won’t likely be able to market your business properly either. Analyze their brand; how do they rank in Google searches for “Digital Marketing Agency” in your area? Do they use social media? Do they have a blog? How often do they post content? Does it look professional? If the marketing agency’s website doesn’t impress you enough to go with their services, it’s not likely that they can market your products or services any more effectively.

Lastly, ask for references. Asking a business for references is an old, yet effective tool when it comes to researching. While you may find plenty of information online, speaking with past and present clients is ideal because feedback tends to be more truthful in person or over the phone than it will be in the form of text. This is also a much more interactive approach, as you can ask their clients questions and make use of their valuable feedback. So, make sure to keep all these things in mind if you want to make the right choice for your digital marketing needs.

 

For all your digital online marketing needs, visit the professionals at The Best Media Inc today!

Chat Bots – The Future of Digital Marketing and Customer Service?

Posted on May 25th, 2017

chat bots

 

Some of today’s top brands are using automated messaging apps or “chat bots” to engage their audience.

 

Although the technology is not perfected, bots now have the ability to hold sensible conversations with their users. So not too far into the future, you might call a customer service line and be told to “Please hold while we connect you with a bot representative”.

A chat bot (also sometimes referred to as a talkbot or chatterbox) is a computer program which conducts a conversation with either auditory or textual methods, typically used for customer service or information acquisition purposes. In its simplest form, a bot will scan for keywords within the input and then find a reply with the most similar wording pattern and best matching keywords from a database. Some of today’s examples would be Amazon’s “Alexa” and Microsoft’s “Cortana”.

The more complex bots of today will use sophisticated Natural Language Processing (NLP) systems, which come from a field of computer science and artificial intelligence that deals with interactions between computers and human languages. They create software programs to process large amounts of natural language information by using natural language understanding and generation.

 

With this enhanced experience between bot and consumer, marketing specialists for large corporations have already started to jump on board:

 

- Twitter has already begun fiddling with the idea, offering the service to Twitter users through Twitter ads.

- Microsoft unveiled chatbots for Skype last year, and more recently added support for chatbots to LinkedIn.

- Google has created an analytics platform called Chatbase that provides analytics and suggestions for how to improve chatbot experiences and make them better for users.

 

In addition, businesses such as hotels and restaurants that have been somewhat reluctant to adopt these kind of apps are beginning to readily embrace these bots. It’s still too soon to say whether consumers will actually embrace the idea of chat bots for what they are right now, but we can safely assume that when it comes to the bot marketplace there will be a lot of movement and improvement in the future.

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