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Month: September 2014 (page 1 of 3)

Dont Over-Thinking SEO?

You might be a little shocked by the time you finish this article. You might even refuse to believe me. But I’m telling you straight: when it comes to SEO, you are almost certainly over-thinking it.

Let’s take a quick poll. Are you reading every SEO article you can get your hands on? Are you constantly tweaking your page title and meta tags to see if your site moves up the rankings? Are you running daily search queries to see how your site ranks for certain keywords? Do you break into a cold sweat every time Google rolls out a new algorithm update?

If you’re guilty of one or more of these actions, you are totally over-thinking SEO and you need to stop. Right now.

I’ve been in the Search Engine Optimization business for 18 years — long before the acronym SEO was even coined. I’ve witnessed the birth of Google, the death of AltaVista and more algorithm tweaks than Yahoo’s had CEOs. With all the changes the search industry has experienced over the years, I can tell you that the key to SEO is this: understanding your audience. That’s IT. That’s all you need to know.

You don’t need to understand latent semantic indexing, you don’t need to know HTML, you don’t need to know Google Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon or any of the other latest algorithm changes. You just need to KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. If you don’t know your audience you need to get to know them. Quickly. Talk to them, talk to the staff who deal with them most often. Find out what makes them happy and what is turning them off. Look at their purchase history, their feedback, their interaction with your brand on social media. Survey them.

There is a lot of talk these days about the Semantic Web and how this is changing SEO best practice. Well guess what? SEO has always been about semantics. The main purpose of the Semantic Web is to enable users to find, share, and combine information more easily. Just like it has always been, the Semantic Web of today is based on searcher intent.

Every search is a question in disguise. When deciding what web content to rank highest in search results, Google compares the content of your pages with the original search query to see if they match semantically.

Use WordPress for SEO

Did you know, if you don’t use WordPress, your competition may have a tremendous advantage over you to attract your ideal customers and clients to them? I know, right! The good news is that if you use WordPress, the tables could be turned in your favor and their clients could be finding you.

You’re probably thinking “How the heck does that work? How much difference could a blogging platform make?” Well, a lot actually. WordPress was designed to be a search engine magnet. Google loves WordPress. When you use the SEO within WordPress properly, you should get a substantial amount of organic traffic.

Organic search results are listings on search engine pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms typed into the Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. search bar, as opposed to the paid advertisements. Organic traffic is the result of the link in those organic listings being “clicked on,” sending prospects to that site from the link in the listing.

Why is that significant? First and foremost, because it’s traffic you don’t have to pay for. Free is good! Also because it is targeted traffic. These are people who typed in an exact phrase relevant to your site. Basically, that means they are likely interested in what you do. That’s huge!

Because it’s so easy to learn and use WordPress with its search engine friendly design, WordPress has become the industry standard. From small business to huge conglomerates, WordPress is the “content management system” of choice. Whether you need a simple blog or an all-out website, WordPress fits the bill. Businesses like eBay, Yahoo, Ford, People Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Sony just to name a few use WordPress. So, if WordPress can handle their needs, it can certainly do anything you can throw at it.

Don’t be scared off by the big names either. The reason so many big companies have switched to WordPress is because of how easy and non-techy it is. Rather than employing huge costly departments of programmers and technical geeks, it just takes 1 or 2 people with a little WordPress training to get the job done! Amazing isn’t it? Let’s talk a little about WordPress SEO, shall we?

WordPress was developed to automatically “ping” or alert search engines to come take a look when you add new content. That’s a biggie! The trick is to optimize your site with the right keywords so when the spiders come a-crawlin’ they find content relevant to your site. That’s why it’s so important to choose your topics and keywords related to your niche. If you are all over the map with your topics, then the search engines will not work in your favor.

Here are a few easy SEO strategies to help you to get more organic traffic.

Use Google Keyword Tool External for keyword research. This is a free, easy-to-use tool that will tell you exactly how many people searched for your keywords in the past 30 days. Use your site’s main keywords in the URL if possible.

From your WordPress dashboard, go to “Settings, then “General Settings.” Put your main keywords in the “Site Title” bar. This is the first thing Google crawls when coming to your site. Right to left, so put them in order of importance. Just under the Site Title bar is the “Tagline” – put secondary keywords there. This is the second place Google crawls.

Install the “WordPress SEO” by Yoast plugin. This will help you to identify where you need to put your keywords in your blog posts. This plugin was designed to look at your post the way a search engine does and make sure all the key SEO components are there. I love this plugin.

Google can’t see images. Be sure to use your main keyword as the title of your image. This is just one more trick to get your keywords in there, creating more relevancy. You’ll do this when you are uploading your image to the media library. Always use the appropriate “category” and be sure to use your keywords in the “tags” as well.

It’s important not to “stuff” your articles with keywords. The search engines pick up on that and you lose credibility. Instead, sprinkle them in and use these strategies and you will soon be getting all kinds of targeted organic traffic.

Good SEO will get people to your site. It’s up to you to build the relationship that will convert them into clients and customers.

Search Engine Optimization

WordPress is one of the most robust and extremely versatile content management systems around. WordPress could be used to design a basic blog page, or it can be used as the powerful support behind your e-commerce business. What is fantastic about WordPress is that you will be able to easily build both kinds of websites without any help; even if you do not know a single thing when it comes to building a internet site or HTML. Even so, the very best point about WordPress is that it is incredibly search engine optimization friendly. Why is WordPress is among the best web content management platforms for search engine optimization?

1. SEO Friendly Permalinks:
Permalinks are in essence links or URLs to your article. Any time you generate a post or article on WordPress, a URL is instantly created.

Word press lets you create URLs or permalinks that are made up of keywords that search engines love. This allows search engine crawlers to rank you for the keyword of your choice.

2. Search Engine Optimization Friendly Blog Post Titles:
Wordpress can be set up to automatically make the blog post titles a URL. A key word rich title utilized as a permalink to your internet site will make it easier for you to achieve greater rankings in Google and other search engines when people are searching for data or products that you have to offer.

3. The Ability to Create Tags:
Tags are similar to labels. Tags are located at the end of a article on any Word press web site and enable you to utilize keyword phrases to describe your article. At the end of this article you will likely see several words or tags at the end of the post such as “Word press”, “WordPress for beginners”, or “WordPress for SEO”. These tags or key words will let the search engines web spiders to better index your article which in turn will assist visitors who are looking for information like “word press” or WordPress for SEO to find your online site.

4. Gives You The Capability To Cross Link Content:
Word press allows you to effectively link comparable content to one another which helps with search engine optimization. Cross linking is when you create a link from one of your articles to another relevant article on your site. Using this article as an illustration, I could create a link within this article that when clicked on will bring you to another WordPress article which you may find insightful.

The link would be a key word, or keyword phrase such as “learn WordPress”. This is another WordPress tool that will help with your search engine optimization.

5. You Can Ping All New Articles or Posts:

Every time you publish or edit either a posting or a page your Word press web site will alert a number of different web sites that you have updated your website. This is called pinging and it is another very valuable aid that you can use to help your website ranking in the search engines.

6. Easy Set Up of Google Sitemaps:
Google Sitemaps comes with 2 very important advantages for website owners. Not only can it help site visitors see a outline of what they can find on your website, but it helps Google to further index and rank your website by letting Google know which blog pages are the most significant.

7. Ability to Create Categories:
Categories help you to automatically arrange your content on your web site. Think of categories like folders or maybe, a directory. Guests to your website can find any blog post that you have ever published on your web site, or any product that you want to sell easily because WordPress lets you create a category. If you have visited web sites where you can easily select a list of subjects or products based on type, that web site has set up categories. As you’ve probably suspected, search engines love it when website information is well organized and this will also help with the indexing of your blog site on Google, or any of the major search engines. A suggestion for you: Use keywords that your audience is searching for as categories to make it simpler for people to discover you. Having a web site that is SEO friendly is a breeze because of the resources built in to Word press.

If you really want to make it simpler to be discovered on the internet, Word press is a an effective search engine optimization tool that you can not do without.

Ethical SEO Techniques

Hundreds and thousands of people have made use of the Internet in a variety of ways, each in an attempt to subjugate its great power and potential to give profit and gain to users and businessmen. However, alongside the aims of these hardworking innovators and entrepreneurs are people who simply want to extort as much money from people in exchange for dubious products and services.

Web content is brought to a potential user by means of either direct recall of a particular service provider’s website, or by blind searches done on various Internet search engine platforms made available by Internet software giants. By entering words, known as ‘keywords’ relevant to the desired information, product, or service, into the search field, users can employ these blind searches to look for content closest to what they are looking for.

As is the practice, a search engine usually produces a list of websites matching the keywords provided by the user to a degree of relevance. These are ranked by relevance, quality of content, and sometimes, ‘visitor votes’ that come in the form of a measure of frequency of visits by people who usually find the content useful to them.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a method used by many businesses and entrepreneurs online in order to maximize the potential of the search engine by helping them rise in the ranks of the query response listings. SEO usually deals with organic searches, or those that need no payment to be listed among the list of likely matches to a client’s keywords, as well as crawler search engines, which are search engines that literally crawl through web pages in search of relevant links and relations between pages in order to find relevant content.

Dubious figures in the Internet, however, have made use of the Internet to forward their own selfish desires, leading to an unethical use of the brilliant SEO model. This has led to a divergent field of SEO, called “black hat SEO”. In this method, various deceptive schemes are used in order to manipulate search engines and dupe customers by providing them with websites that are completely useless. This method is also called “spamdexing”.

Ethical SEO techniques also exist in the Internet. Before even going into details, the most important ideal behind ethical SEO techniques is in providing better service to clients, and allowing this satisfaction to become key in promoting the website.

What does it take for a method to become an ethical SEO technique?

There are various ways under the central guideline to achieve them.

The first one is creating quality content for the users. After all, no ethical SEO technique tries to get the better of any customer, or even harm them to the slightest extent. By providing quality content, users receive useful, timely, and secured information when they need it.

In order for that to be achieved, no amount of exaggeration or manipulation of the nature and content of the website is done to lead customers into believing that it contains the website relevant to their query. Ethical SEO does not employ any method that will mislead the customer into a site, and even offend the customer once he or she has found his or her way into the website.

Moreover, ethical SEO techniques do not, in any way, violate any laws as regards intellectual property rights, international law, or spamming laws implemented at every level of every way. This would include not claiming for their own products and services that are not theirs to sell or produce just so they can fool users into providing sensitive information through which they can extort money.

A website employing ethical SEO techniques will never try to exaggerate and reflect a company’s image any more than how it should be portrayed; doing so, in effect, manipulates the customer into trusting a company based on falsity.

Relevant to various security issues existent on the Internet, one last measure of how ethical a search engine optimization technique is lies in the protection of its customers on the basis of privacy agreements. In providing the service sought by the client, ethical SEO techniques protect the confidentiality and sensitivity of the information made known to them in confidence by their clients.

Both goals aim to achieve the same end of profit. However, the road diverges and one must pick one over the other. In the end, ethical SEO techniques allow for users to maximize the profit they pay without impinging on the rights of other people an manipulating others; this by far is the best option to go.

SEO in WordPress

This insanely popular content management system is touted by many as the best available, and for good reason. WordPress enables novice designers and developers to create truly beautiful and functional websites, with easy publication tools and upkeep.

SEO, however, is never “built-in” to any website; it must be planned, properly executed, and meticulously maintained. These days, there are a slew of fantastic SEO tools for WordPress sites, like Yoast and Ultimate SEO. These are extremely valuable in assisting with many long-term SEO techniques.

First, however, you need to build your site with SEO in mind, or all the tricks in the world won’t help your rankings. Below is a list of the top SEO musts for any WordPress website; follow these, and you have a strong and search engine friendly foundation to grow a truly successful online business.

Step 1: URLs

The default URL structure in WordPress is ?p=123 – and this is simply not beneficial for SEO. To change it, click Settings, then Permalinks. The best option is by post name, or /sample-post/.

This is ideal because the title of your page or post should be keyword rich, and therefore crucial for search engines to crawl. Leaving the default numeric structure doesn’t tell search engines anything about your content.

Step 2: Page and Blog Titles

There are few things more important for your WordPress site than the page titles and blog subjects you select. These not only communicate your core focus to search engines, they are the first thing people will see in your search results. These need to be descriptive, concise, and should display your core keywords.

Get even more mileage by changing the order for a blog post from “Blog title / Blog Archive / Keyword rich post title” to “Keyword rich post title / Blog Archive / Blog Title”. Why? Search engines automatically weight the first words of the title, so you want your keywords up front. In addition, people looking at the search listings scan the first words too; these need to be the most compelling parts of your title, lest you lose people (and search engines!) genuinely looking for your content.

Step 3: XML Sitemaps

Most of the top SEO WordPress plugins make creating a XML sitemap an easy and efficient process. These are essential to publish, as they keep search engines updated to any new content you post on your site. Once you launch a sitemap, any additional updates will automatically be propagated to the search feeds.

Step 4: Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are text navigation threads often placed at the top of web pages. They allow users and search engines to follow the site structure related to any given page. Why are they important to SEO? Done properly, they make it easy for users to navigate throughout your site, and in turn, they communicate your site structure to search engines. Both very, very good things.

Breadcrumbs should always start with your homepage, then list the current category, and post name. If a given page is listed in multiple categories, pick the most popular – don’t have duplicates, as this gets too confusing.

Step 5: Pagination

If you have category pages with multiple posts, it can be difficult for search engines to reach all the content. A good rule of thumb is 10 pages or less, or you risk search engines lowering your ranking because they can’t access all your content. Plugins like WP-PageNavi can help you create numeric pagination, which will solve the issue completely.

Step 6: Optimization

Page and image load times are often overlooked as key SEO elements, which is truly a mistake. Page load times may not be the most important factor to a highly ranked WordPress site, but it is absolutely a consideration. If you have images or pages that take too long to load, visitors and search engines alike will not have easy access to your content, and this is obviously not your end goal. With so many excellent optimization tools available now, there’s no reason to slack on load times.

Step 7: Internal Links

It doesn’t take long to amass a healthy collection of older content on your site. To keep it current in the eyes of search engines, link to related posts when you publish new content in the same grouping. There are plenty of plugins that will help you do this by keyword or category, or you can use custom code within your theme.

Step 8: External Links

Millions of WordPress sites use the popular side bar menu, including blogrolls that link to various external sites. If you opt to use this, do so only on your homepage or category page. It’s rarely a good idea to prominently send folks off your site, and from an SEO perspective, if the links aren’t completely relevant to the content on that page, they could hurt your overall rankings.

Step 9: Engage with Your Visitors

Lastly, once you start generating faithful followers, make sure to stay very current on any comments or questions. When users feel you’re actually paying attention to them, their loyalty levels skyrocket. Comments and testimonials are SEO gold these days too, so it’s a bona fide win-win to keep your audience engaged with your content. WordPress makes this very easy to maintain; you’ll want to enable a spam-filtering plugin, at the very least, if not enjoy one of the many comment-focused add-ons too.

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