Category Archives: SEO

The Do’s and Dont’s of Content Marketing – Infographic

Content Marketing is the New SEO. Having a Content Marketing strategy for your online business is key to SEO success in 2013. However, Content Marketing should be done correctly by following certain guidelines. Below is an infographic which shows the Do’s and Dont’s of Content Marketing.

Content Marketing Infographic - Do's and Dont's

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Do-It-Yourself Wordpress SEO Tips

When setting up your Wordpress blog or site, don?t forget to optimize your content (including any media) and your html to get the best possible rankings and traffic to your pages. Don?t just rely on built in themes and easy Wordpress SEO steps because these won?t get you optimal results. And if you at any time decide to carry your site over to a new theme, your hard optimization work might not stick around if you don?t take the time to complete proper do-it-yourself SEO steps.

This post will explain a few easy DIY tips that will take your Wordpress SEO to the next level.

USE A PLUGIN

Plugins are like little SEO worker bees that can get you started with great results in search engines. There are multiple SEO plugins available through Wordpress (such as the SEO Yoast) that can work to better your rankings. However, make sure you don?t leave it all up to your plugin to generate SEO. Handle all the basics like title tags and metas so that your SEO functionality will stay static. That way if you switch up your theme some of your SEO work will be carried over.

WordPress SEO Yoast Screenshot

TAKE THE TIME WHEN ADDING IMAGES

Don?t just add an image with a random or meaningless title. Use the Wordpress media uploader to the full extent and you could better your SEO results. Input meta information that speaks to the concept of the image and the results you?re trying to get for your site. Make sure to properly fill out all the image information before your photo is posted: this includes Title fields, the Caption, Alt Text, and Description fields.

WordPress-Image-Uploader

REFINE PERMALINKS

Set up a permalink that is descriptive of your website. Change your permalink structure in your settings by going to the Permalinks screen on your dashboard. Select a permalink that is well-matched to your site. A URL should tell users and search engines what the main point of a page is. Where your URL is concerned, just remember to keep your titles short and sweet or they?ll make your slug too long. Taking the time to think of concise but descriptive titles will help get you noticed by both users and search engines?and you won?t have a messy slug added to your URL!

CLAIM GOOGLE AUTHORSHIP

When your content is claimed and you employ the Author Box plugin, authors of posts get credit for what they write (even in search engine results). Getting exposure to the social profiles of your authors will give you credibility when it comes to site visitors and search engine results. There is one step you (or your authors) must take here: Make sure you and your authors add the site in question to their Google+ profiles under the ?Contributor to? option. Doing so will ensure that their profile pic will show up next to the page they authored in search results. These links are more likely to get indexed and clicked on.

CHANGE THE DEFAULT TAGLINE

Don?t let your SEO results pin you as ?Just another Wordpress site.? Make sure you change this tag by navigating to your settings, clicking on general and altering the tagline. Doing this will make your site more distinguished and it might even make it more credible to potential visitors.

SET UP YOUR OWN DESCRIPTIONS

If you don?t manually input your descriptions, you?ll either have the same description for each page of your site or the first few sentences of your posts will be automatically used instead. Don?t make this mistake. Setup your descriptions manually, and make them relevant to each post or page of your Wordpress site. Use Yoast?s Wordpress SEO plugin to achieve setting up your own descriptions for a cleaner site and better SEO results.

USE TERM DESCRIPTIONS AND LIMIT CATEGORIES

Make sure you try not to overload your site with categories and tags. If your site is worthwhile, your categories won?t be jumping all over the place anyway. You?ll probably only need to have about seven main categories to filter your posts into. Also, too many tags at the end of a post can look spammy, just keep it relevant. On that note, do make sure you taxonomize your posts and pages with term descriptions, that way they are archived properly and you direct users and search engines better through your site?s pages and topics.

IN CONCLUSION

DIY SEO does take some time. But it?s pretty simple. Make sure you commit to doing at least a little of your own search engine optimization where your Wordpress site is concerned. A plugin will certainly help, but it won?t cover all of the bases. Even if you complete just half of the abovementioned tasks your site or blog?s SEO potential will be better off.

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is comprised of two major parts, off page SEO and on page SEO. Off page SEO refers to anything done outside of the actual website that helps it rank higher in search engines such as building backlinks and content marketing. On page SEO is all about the elements that make up your website that attract search engines such as proper keyword density, page structure, META tags, URL structure etc. SEO is definitely a strenuous task, but if you?re using a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla!, taking the proper steps to rank your website becomes much easier thanks to SEO plugins and extensions.

In this post, we?ll take a look at the top SEO plugins for both WordPress and Joomla! that will help your site rank higher in search engines such as Google and Bing. It?s important to realize that on page optimization is only part of the solution for ranking higher in the search engine results page (SERP). Don?t forget to build high quality backlinks in conjunction with the plugins mentioned in this post to really improve where your site ranks for target keywords.

WordPress SEO Plugins

We will start off with the top SEO plugins for WordPress. Not all of these plugins will be an all-in-one solution, so it?s best to use them in combination with each other instead of just relying on one.

1: WordPress SEO by Yoast
When you Google ?WordPress SEO plugin?, the first result on the page is this plugin. The 3rd result is a page about WordPress SEO by the company that makes the plugin, Yoast. That should give you an idea of why this plugin is so useful and beneficial. It?s made by people who understand SEO and know the ins and outs of WordPress. The Yoast WordPress SEO plugin allows you to control everything from:
– Meta tags

– Xml sitemap

– RSS feed

– Breadcrumbs

– Robot.txt file

– Much more

SEO Yoast Plugin by WordPress

It has proven to be one of the most complete SEO plugin available for quite some time and has landed on top of many lists for Best WordPress SEO plugins. Nearly any element that effects on page SEO is able to be tweaked with this plugin. The on page analysis feature even lets you see what you could be doing to further optimize a page. You cannot go wrong with the Yoast SEO plugin.

Try it: Download

2: All in One SEO Pack

This is the second most popular all-around SEO plugin for WordPress. It has many of the same features as the Yoast plugin and some people even prefer it over Yoast?s. One of the major benefits that you get with this plugin is that it provides SEO integration for WP e-Commerce site. For businesses that use WordPress to power their web store, this plugin might be just what you need. Another great thing about this plugin is that it works well for people with very little SEO knowledge and SEO experts as well. The options are simple and the setup is very easy to follow. Some of the other benefits you?ll get with All in One SEO Pack are:

– Advanced canonical URLs

– Custom post types

– API is built in so it works well with other plugins

– Ability to customize nearly everything

– Set custom META data

All in one seo pack

You can choose either the free or Pro version for $39 plus a monthly fee.

Try it: Download

3: SEO Rank Reporter

One of the most important factors of SEO is tracking where you rank for certain keywords. There are several different software programs available for this, but if you?re running a WordPress site, the SEO Rank Reporter plugin is a great option. This plugin allows you to track where you rank for certain keywords, as well as see what phrases or keywords users are searching to find your site.

seo ranker

One of the great features of this plugin is that it reports the ranking status for your keywords every 3 days. Since the SERP is fairly dynamic, updating results every 3 days is a great indicator of how your SEO is doing. All of the keywords that you are tracking can be displayed in the form of graphs to see the correlation between the keywords you?re ranking for, and how many page visits you?re getting from searches looking for those keywords. This is an excellent way to help you analyze your click through rate (CTR) as well.

Try it: Download

4: W3 Total Cache

One part of on page SEO that often gets overlooked is loading time. Google looks at how fast a website loads in determining the rankings. Google?s goal/mission is to ensure users get the best website results when they make queries using their search engine. Pages that take 30 seconds to load do not fit into that description. So making sure your page loads as fast as possible is very important.

w3 total cache

W3 Total Cache has helped decrease the load time of many WordPress sites such as Mashable.com, Mattcutts.com, and yoast.com to name a few. Some of the features of this caching plugin are:

– Compatible with shared hosting, VPS, or dedicated servers

– Works on mobile browsers

– Transparent CDN for media library, theme files, and WordPress files

– Caching database objects, objects in memory, feeds, and more

Try it: Download

5: Google XML Sitemaps

In the event that you don?t use the Yoast SEO plugin, you?re going to want the Google XML Sitemaps plugin in order to create an XML sitemap of your site. The way Google analyzes the pages and posts on your site is through your site sitemap. A sitemap is a special page on your site with all of the pages mapped out. You absolutely need to have one if you want your site to rank well in Google. This plugin creates your sitemap with the click of a button. After installing the plugin, simply create your first sitemap and you?re set to go.

google xml sitemap

Google XML Sitemaps will update your sitemap regularly as well so new pages/posts are added as they?re created. A great feature of this plugin is that you can choose what content is included in your sitemap so you may exclude archive pages, tags pages, and other pages that are relatively useless for SEO purposes. The goal with your sitemap is to steer Google towards the pages with content you wish to rank for, and this plugin does that very well.

It?s also very important that you submit your website?s sitemap to Google via Google Webmaster Tools. The plugin will provide you with the URL for your sitemap which typically looks like http://website.com/sitemap.xml. This is the URL you will submit in Google Webmaster tools.

Try it: Download

Joomla! SEO Extensions

Next, we?ll take a look at the top SEO extensions for Joomla! Unlike WordPress, Joomla! doesn?t come with many SEO options by default so you will need to rely heavily upon extensions to ensure your site is properly optimized for search engines.

1: SEO Simple

SEO Simple is a Joomla! SEO extension designed to help with the META description of your website?s pages. By default, Joomla! gives you the option to either set global META data used for every page, or customize each page?s META data individually. This extension automatically generates META description based on the page?s content which eliminates the need to manually add the information yourself for each page.

seo simple

The extension uses a defined number of words at the beginning of each page to generate the META data. For example, you may set the first 150 characters (which is the standard) to be used in order to generate the data. It?s a good SEO practice to make sure that any keywords that your page is targeting are mentioned within the first couple of sentences of the page. When the extension grabs the first few sentences to generate the META description, your keyword will be present.

If you set a custom META description for the page, the auto generated description from the plugin will be overridden.

Try it: Download

2: Xmap

The Xmap extension creates a sitemap for your Joomla! site. This extension works similarly to the WordPress plugin mentioned earlier. The sitemap generated by the extension will be compatible with all major search engines including:

– Google

– Bing

– Yahoo

xmap

The extension uses the structure of your website?s menus in order to generate the sitemap of your site. You can also generate multiple sitemaps and specify preferences for each one. In addition to this, the plugin also displays statistics for each sitemap. The extension also allows you to specify the priority of each page so Google and other search engines know which pages to check for content the most frequently. The extension keeps great statistics such as the number of visits, how many links were generated on the last visit, the last date the sitemap was visited, and more. This is arguably the best XML sitemap extension there is for Joomla!

Try it: Download

3: sh404SEF

It?s difficult to classify what type of extension sh404SEF is because it does so many different things. However, a majority of the extension?s features are geared towards SEO so most people know it as an SEO extension even though it has social media features as well. As for the SEO benefits of this extension, they include:

– Google Analytics support

– Custom URL structure

– META data management

– Canonical headers

– Redirect 404?s

– Manage page titles

– Caching

– Track social sharing statistics of your site

sh404sef

As you can see, sh404SEF is a well-rounded extension that helps your site?s SEO on several different levels. The social sharing aspect of it is particularly appealing because social media sharing has begun to play a major role in how sites are ranked so it?s an important metric to track.

Try it: Download

4: JoomSEF

I prefaced this Joomla! extensions section by mentioning that this CMS isn?t natively SEO friendly (SEF). This is made evident by the default URL structure for pages in Joomla! which consists of random strings of characters that don?t help search engines identify what your pages are about at all. Since Joomla! does not allow users to choose their own URL structure by default, this extension is a necessity. The general practice is to use the title of your page in the URL structure, which should have the target keywords in it.

joomla sef

This extension comes in both a free and paid version ($35.52). Since the biggest benefit of this extension is the ability to set SEF URLs, the free version would probably be the best choice when used in conjunction with one of the other SEO extensions we?ve listed.

Try it: Download

5: JoomSEO

The final extension we will talk about is JoomSEO which is another all-in-one type of SEO extension. It allows you to generate automatic META data such as descriptions and keywords by using your page?s content and title. This means that you no longer have to manually go into each page to set custom META tags. Some of the other great features of JoomSEO are:

– Variable phrase lengths

– Choose words to exclude from keywords

– Choose heading tags (h1,h2,h3,etc.)

– Caching

– Edit site name, page titles, page description and more

joomla seo

The settings for this extension are also very customizable so you can edit them to your liking and to fit your needs.

Try it: Download

The Anatomy of a Perfect Landing Page (Infographic)

A landing page is the page that you create for your users to see once they click on your link on the Search Result Page. A poorly designed and developed landing page will not give you the desired result. In the end, you want your website to convert and poorly structured landing page is not a way to do it. Below is an interesting infographic that I found online (source is mentioned on the infographic itself) which clearly points out the key areas on a landing page and do’s and dont’s while creating one.

Anatomy of a perfect landing page

10 Helpful Tips for Content Marketing

In the last 12 months we have seen a major shift in SEO because of the recent Google Penguin Update on April 24, 2012. More and more we are hearing about Content marketing and helpful tips on writing good content rather than stuffing your website with just random articles or blog posts that really have no relevancy to your product or website. Its become very clear from what others have experienced that good relevant content related to your product, service, or website is very effective and can not only effect your SEO in a positive way since content is king, but it can also significantly over time increase your traffic to your website. One of the most important lessons to learn is to write and post good content that delivers high quality, relevant information yielding measurable results without promotional push and a sales pitch. Offers visitors an opportunity to come to your website and learn from your content.
How do you get your content to deliver results?
Here are 10 Helpful Tips for Content Marketing

1. Think about your objectives. What do you want your content to achieve? Is it traffic? Or signups?

2. Know your audience. Who is your audience? You will need to gear your content towards that audience.

3. Setup a Content Marketing Strategy. What does this mean? This step is not to be overlooked. You will need to setup a strategy for how often you will write, on what subjects, how often will you guest post.

4. Select Media Formats. You have the option of creating content with photos, videos, and info graphics. Think about your target audience and see what type of contact attracts your audience the best.

5. Write killer headlines. Headlines are the key to getting your content discovered. Remember your content is competing with many others; you need write a good headline which is catchy and captures attention.

6. Keyword Research. One of the most important steps to doing any type of online marketing is finding the proper keywords that you want to target, take time to do your research and find relevant keywords with a good chance that you can rank for them.

7. Embed Keywords. Embedding keywords within your content is very important, do your research and input the proper keywords into your content so search engines can pickup these keywords and rank them in results.

8. Socialize your Content. Be sure to make it easy for readers to share your content via social networks right on your site by including social icons.

9. Promote your Content. Be sure to push your content to different social media sites so that users can easily discover your content.

10. Measure Content Marketing. Results. Just like any other marketing initiative, you will need to track your results, set goals, and tweak your strategy as you go.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Have questions regarding content marketing? Please feel free to contact us for questions.
Happy Content Marketing,
PJ Taei

10 Very Useful Off Page Strategies

Many times our customers contact us looking to find out more about our Online Marketing Services. We Find it interesting when customers specifically say we would like to be #1 on Google, I often ask them in return, what happens if you are #1 on Google but no one clicks your website? The tone of the conversation tends to change at that point. The reason this is important is because there are many factors that contribute to good SEO, on page, off Page, keyword research and much more. I would like to share with you 10 very useful off page strategies I have learned over the years.

1 ? Keywords: Choosing the right keywords is crucial in developing good SEO ranking. There is a lot that goes into good keyword research and many factors apply, but finding the right keywords for your website is one of the most important first steps.

2- SEO Tools: Having the right tools will enable you to do research on your keywords, track your SEO analytics, check your on page optimization, find good relevant links and much more.

3 ? Link Research: Doing good proper link research is crucial to your SEO success, without the proper links to go after, you will not gain good SEO placement.

4 ? SiteMap: Creating a sitemap in XML and submitting it to Google is important for your website.

5 ? Press Releases: Online Press releases are one of the best ways to get good authoritative links to your website. It will also help you promote your brand and your content.

6 ? Social Media Plug-ins: Install good plugins on your blog so users can share your content.

7 ? On page SEO: Have good and strong on page SEO with the right keywords.

8 ? Use Good WebMaster Tools: Using this free tool allows you to see errors on your website if Google cannot crawl your website or has issues crawling your website.

9 ? Clean up your Links: Have you used cheap SEO services in the past? If so you need to cleanup some of your old bad links, Google now penalizes bad SEO tactics so its important you get rid of bad SEO strategies you used in the past.

10 ? Anchor Text: Anchor text links are still good, although links within the body of the content is more important, its important to continue to get good anchor text links to your website.

These are just 10 examples to get you started on the right foot for proper white hat SEO off page optimization. There are multiple other examples that can also lead you in the right direction, which I will be sure to post another blog post for. SEO optimization has changed dramatically in the last 12 months because of Google?s recent update. Link farming and getting footer links or anchor text is no longer effective, in fact it can possibly hurt your search engine ranking. Feel free to contact us with questions regarding SEO, we are more than happy to help.

Content Marketing Matrix (Infographic)

Content is King and we all are aware of this fact. However it is essential to write content catered towards the right audience. We came across two infographics on Content Matrix that effectively highlights how you can segment your audience and target them with proper content.  Its also very important that your content delivers high quality Grade “A” relevant information content.  Often times we see content just for the sake of content, its important you create good quality content on your website that might have the potential of getting tweeted, or going viral.  Keep in mind that content marketing fuels social media, search and much more.  It can significantly help you drive traffic to your website and blog.  Converting that traffic into customers is a completely different subject, but bringing good quality traffic to your website is a great start.

The Content Marketing Matrix: In the matrix, the content is divided into four quadrants Entertain, Inspire, Educate and Convince

 

Content Marketing Matrix for Small Businesses:  Here the ways of distributing content is divided based on its ease of implementation and the required attention from its audience

How Load Time Affects Google Rankings (Infographic)

How Load time affects Google Rankings is a very common question to website owners.  How often do You get frustrated if a website takes too long to load? I get annoyed very easily and move on to another website. Google, is now able to track this user interaction with slow loading website and they have started penalizing such websites. Speed is essential to a website, and one of the reasons a website may load slowly is that it may be hosted on a slow server.  We understand what speed means to our customers and internet browsers in general, we make sure our servers are not the reason for making your website slow.
Below is an interesting Infographic we came across from QuickSprout. It highlights how Google rankings are affected by load times and what one can do to fix it.

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WebSite Usability Lessons from EyeTracking Eye Gaze Patterns

I have been spending a lot of time looking for useful and valuable content to read online in the last few weeks.  Today I landed on something I really enjoyed.  Considering I have been active in the web hosting field for the last 10 years I had heard of this fact multiple times but I did not really give it much thought until I came upon a few posts this week that went into further detail about the way users tend to browse web pages in an ?F? shape pattern.  I decided to visit Jacob Nielsen?s excellent article about the f-shape browsing patterns and want to share those with you.

?F?, that?s right!  Users tend to scan web pages in an F shape pattern.  F for Fast.  That?s how users read your precious content.  Remember now a days there is tons of content online and users are overwhelmed with not only content, but pop ups, ads, social media, and much more.  Myself even when purchasing online I tend to scan quickly and not so much read content like I used too.  That?s not to say Content is bad, content in fact is king and you should put as much content as possible on your website without crowding your website or making too boring, remember Search engines love content, that is what they understand and rank your site with, so the more content the better.   But placing the content in the appropriate locations for call to action type text is key.


A study done by Jacob Nielsen recorded over 232 users looking at thousands of web pages.  They found that users main reading behavior was fairly consistent across many different sites and tasks.  This dominant read pattern looks somewhat like an F shape and has the following characteristics.

–       Users first read in a horizontal manner, usually across the upper part of the website.
–       Next, users move down the left side of the page, either half way down, or all the way down
–       Finally, users will scan the content within the middle part of the website in a horizontal fashion.

This is obviously not true for all users, but these were the patterns recorded in 232 users looking at different websites in no particular order.

Implications of the F Pattern
The patterns shown above are clear.  Users will not read all your content in a word by word type fashion, they are mostly scanning.  Its important that the first half of the website shows the most important information you want to show your users first.  Using subheads, paragraphs, bullet points with information carrying words is the key to grab your users attention.  For your next website re-design and revamp be sure to take these items into consideration.

Top 5 SEO Mistakes

Here are Top 5 SEO Mistakes made everyday

1) Choosing a wrong Keyword
Targeting the right keyword is the most important when it comes to SEO. Many people make the mistake of not choosing the right keyword for optimizing their website. A keyword should be descriptive of your website content and related to what a user might type in the search box when looking for the website.Choosing the wrong Keyword

Another common mistake many people do is that they assume their company’s name to be a keyword. This will be good for people who already know about your company and who are only looking to find you.

Choosing a proper keyword is essential but it may happen that you are not able to come up with a good keyword list. In such a case there are many keyword generation tools available which will help you find keywords that are good for your site.

2) Title Tag
Title tag is one of the first elements that a search engine spider sees on your HTML page. Ignoring the title tag can cost your dearly in terms of search engine rankings. Title tag is also a very convenient place to put the keyword that you have decided for your website.

Another mistake is to have the same title for different pages. Every page on your website should have a different title and relevant to the content on that page.

3) Internal Links
A website should not only have links to other site, but also to all the important pages within the site. All the internal pages within a website should be properly linked. Having internal links and a good link structure on the website makes the search engine spiders happy and also gives you an opportunity to use anchor text when linking to various pages on your site.

4) Missing Alt Attribute
The alt attribute should never be kept empty. The alt attribute is a good way to add a description to the Images, logos, videos etc and inform the Search Engine spider what the image or video is all about. The spiders cannot see a car image and interpret that the image is of a car, the alt attribute tag helps them understand what the image is about. Atl attributes should be descriptive and related to images.

5) Slow loading pages
Everybody loves speed and wants to visit a website that loads faster. It is taxing and irritating to sit in from of the HighSpeed Web Hostingcomputer screen and wait for the website to load. Google has recently decided that page-loading speed will be included in its algorithm for its search engine. This means that websites that take longer to load will be penalized by getting a lower ranking. A slow loading website could result from bad HTML coding, lots of huge size images or due to a very louzy and slow hosting provider. At WebNet Hosting we provide very High-Speed servers that will help improve your website loading time.