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Google Business Account, Why and How to Get Started

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google Business Account, Why and How to Get Started

Google Business Account, Why and How to Get Started

WHY GOOGLE MATTERS TO YOU AS A BUSINESS OWNER

Why does every local business owner should own a Google business account? Google has its presence in every premise of the digital world. That’s a fact that we all know. As a business owner it is vital to be aware of the effect that Google can have on your business. Why not lend the power of Google to give it a little push?

Let’s look at an example.

Now, let’s say you wanted to look for a nice cafe near you to have a cup of coffee. Would you Google it? The answer is most probably yes.

You can also ask your friends. However, the search engine would definitely give you the quicker answer. What’s more, address, opening hours, phone numbers, photos of the premise and even customer reviews will be in your palm the moment you tap on the cafe of your choice. Super neat right?

I myself based my shopping and dining choices on local business listing most of the time. Especially when I’m in an unfamiliar area. When a store offers all the information I need with a tap coupled up with good reviews, you can bet I’ll pay it a visit.

If you haven’t tried googling your own business, I suggest you do it right now. If it doesn’t appear on the Google business list, imagine all the potential customers that you’ve lost .

Claiming your business on Google

Create a business account on Google is a good idea. That is the first step to get your business listed on Google search page. However, if your business does appear in the search result, claiming that as yours and start managing it will be a good step to take for your business.

WHAT IS GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

It is a powerful tool where you can manage and profile your business across Google. It’s also free. All those information of all those cafes that appeared on a search result? That’s Google My Business’ working.

Your local cafe search result page

Open up that Google map, zoom in to your current location. Those businesses and public locations you can tap on and get their information at a glance? That’s also Google My Business’ working.

Local business and locations on your Google map

Basically, you have the power to control how you want your business to appear on Google (more or less). You will have the ability to edit your listing. From operating hours to what kind of amenities you provide.

Google My Business will also lend you tools. Use them to keep a tap on your profile. You can see how people found your business: whether they typed in the name of your premise directly, or they made a “…near me” search where your business popped up.

This is only one of the many data that Google can gather. Other useful information includes: how many users visited your website, how many of them requested direction to your premise etc.

All these data is important to understand user behavior. Take that into consideration. Plan your marketing strategy accordingly. Couple up with Google AdWords and Google Analytics you can definitely have a bigger outreach.

Now, if you agree with me that having a Google business account is important. Let’s get started.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

First and foremost, you will need to have a google account. If you don’t, sign up for one. It costs nothing.

Click here to get an overview of the whole Google My Business package by yours truly – Google itself.

Now, click again on that green start now button to get to the fun parts.

First and foremost, type in the name of your business. Take in mind that you would want to insert the name exactly as it appears on your physical premise. You don’t want people traveling to your location for a visit on Bloom Florist and Gifts but got confused because on the signboard it simply says, Bloom.

Bloom vs Bloom Florist & Gifts

Next, type in your address the exact same way you have it printed out on your business card, or listed on your website, yelp, or foursquare etc. If you don’t, it will be confusing to your potential clients and also Google itself. If Google is confused, you’re not gonna get on that search list. Not getting on that search list; not getting that business.

Here’s an important little tip. At the bottom of the page, there will be a tick box that says I deliver goods and services to my customers. If you provide services such as piping, gardening or pest control a.k.a the kind of services that require you to be personally present at your client’s location, tick that box.

If you provide food delivery, gift delivery etc also tick that box.

After that there will be another option to hide your address. DON’T tick this if you have a brick and mortar front where transactions can be made.

A map will appear where you can pinpoint your exact location.

This will be helpful for customers who rely on GPS to reach your location. Make sure it’s correctly pinned yourself because Google could mess it up in a few meters radius.

Later, you will be able to set up your radius of services.

Moving on, you’ll be asked to choose among an intensive list of categories where your business falls in. For example, are you a florist, a wholesale florist or a flower delivery. Choose it accordingly, what you can provide and what the customers will need should be taken into consideration. Be specific is better than being vague.

After that, you have the option to input your phone number and website URL. Those are great ways for customers to get in touch with you directly. Although Google says it’s optional, make sure you fill it up.

Google will ask to keep you up to date and send you some tips from time to time. Yes or no, that’s your own free will.

Lastly, Google will need you to verify that you really do own that business premise. You can get an automated call to the phone number you’ve listed or a mail being sent to your shop lot’s address. Both ways can get you a verification code to make sure you’re the legit owner of the business.

Now that you’ve successfully set up your Google My Business account, you can go ahead and manage your free website, profile, reviews etc. Visual is important. Update photos of your business on Google. That would definitely help.

Keep in mind, if you haven’t verified your business, you have no control over the listing.

Signing up only takes minutes, while the verification process could take a couple days. At the end of the day, a little effort goes a long way.

1. Click start now on Google My Business homepage.
2. Type in the exact name of your business.
3. Type in your address the exact way it appears on your business card or your website.
4. Tick or untick the box “I deliver goods and services to my customers”. If you do, follow from step 6, otherwise skip step 5 and step 7.
5. Tick or untick “Hide your address”.
6. Pinpoint your exact location on Google Maps.
7. Tick your choice of delivery and type in information regarding service area.
8. Type in your business category. (Specific is better than vague)
9. Type in your phone number or/ and your website URL. (Get in touch directly with your potential customers!)
10. Verify your connection to the business via phone or mail. (No verification, no control)

TIPS AND TRICKS ON MANAGING YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PROFILE

First of all, to make it to that search list you have to be active. Interact with your customers often.

Make sure to post at least weekly. Posts are like the window of your storefront. Show them the latest batch of roses that you have in. Post on that Valentine’s promotion. Treat it like how you would on your shop window to grab attention.

Reviews is another important aspect. Made it known to your visiting customers that they can leave a review for you on Google. Be responsive to reviews to showcase good customer service. If you got a bad review, say sorry and ask how you can do better. If you got a good review, thank them and welcome them for another visit.

Be genuine in your interactions. Don’t leave a generic thank you for every review. Google likes it when there’s real communication.

What I find charming from these little interactions is when the business is being genuine and real. Owning up to your own little shortcomings is better than sweeping it under rug.

One more simple trick. Make sure your business is also listed on websites other than Google. Let’s say you have your own company website and a Facebook page. You can do more by listing your business into reviews and check-in websites. For example Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor etc.

As mentioned before, you can link users to your business website. It is important to make sure your website is optimized.

One of the simple SEO steps includes using keywords. LSIGraph is a great website to check for related keywords. Having multiple thematic keywords on your website can make it more relevant to Google.

Another way to SEO your website is via schema. This ensures your website is giving all the correct signals and direction to Google. Make sure that your html is clearly tweaked.

I repeat, if Google is confused, you’re not gonna get on that search list.

1. Post weekly.
2. Be responsive to reviews.
3. Be genuine in your responds.
4. Get your business listed on sites like Yelp, Foursquare etc.
5. Optimize your website utilizing LSIGraph and Schema.

TL;DR

Google’s influence is bigger than ever. Utilize Google My Business to gain more exposure. It’s free! Be consistent with the info you put online, treat it like how you would your actual store. Be responsive, interactive, honest and up-to-date. Get featured in multiple review or check-in websites. Lastly, seo your business homepage. Do all that and you’ll have a bigger chance to get listed at the search front page!

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18 Essential SEO Tools To Optimize Your Website

An up-to-date list of SEO tools for every marketer to optimize your website.
Identify 18 practical tools that save your time to optimize manually
Get more traffic and higher ranking with these tools
Discover the benefits of every tool to help strengthen your SEO strategy

How to Twitter Hashtag for Your Small or Medium-Sized Business

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Twitter Hashtag for Your Small or Medium-Sized Business

How to Twitter Hashtag for Your Small or Medium-Sized Business

Twitter marketing can be easily utilized by every small or medium-sized business owner. With 330 million active users, Twitter is one of the biggest social media sites of the century.

There is no reason for you to not set up a Twitter account for your business. It’s free and it has an insane amount of users. There are 69 million users in the US alone. You can actively engage with your potential customers through this platform.

25.4% of users decided to make a purchase after they discovered a business through Twitter. Though Twitter can be a little tricky to get used to, that conversion rate should fuel you enough to get started.

How does a hashtag works?

One example of a hashtag on Twitter is #ThrowbackThursday. A hashtag is a short phrase, usually made up of less than 3 words following a # symbol. No space, no comma in between. Capitalization doesn’t differentiate a hashtag from one another. Therefore, #ThrowBackThursday will be treated just like #throwbackthursday. However, capitalization does make it easier to read. So keep that in mind while creating a hashtag.

The list of worldwide Twitter trending hashtags

A hashtag that gets a huge number of tweets stands a chance to be trending. The trending list includes that most tweeted hashtags in an area. You can also tailor trends according to location. A tip here, Twitter desktop only shows you 10 trending hashtags, while the App version gives you 20. Try chime into the community by tweeting about something relevant while tagging in a trending hashtag.

Tailor trends according to your location

Why does Twitter hashtag matters to your business?

Twitter utilizes hashtag as a mean to index tweets. A hashtag can be tracked by any Twitter user.

Let’s look at an example, you have a weekend sale every Saturday. You decided to utilize the hashtag #SalesSaturday on Twitter. So you tweeted something like this.

” Roses of every color to fit everyone that you love with only HALF the price! #SalesSaturday”

A user decided to do a little shopping. So they use Twitter search to track the #SalesSaturday hashtag and discovered your tweet. They liked it so they click on your website link listed on your profile and made a purchase.

Meanwhile, they also retweeted your tweet. One of their followers saw it and decided they want to surprise their loved one with a rose too. So now you gained two happy customers. One via the hashtag. Another via the amplification power of retweet.

The purpose of a hashtag is for users to track on a certain topic. Utilizing relevant hashtag makes you more discoverable.

Here’s a list of popular hashtags on Twitter that can be easily utilized to interact with other Twitter users.

#MondayMotivation #Mondaze #MondayMadness

#BeautyTipTuesday #TransformationTuesday

#WednesdayWisdom #HumpDay

#ThrowbackThursday or #TBT #ThursdayThoughts

#FridayFeeling #TGIF #FollowBackFriday or #FBF

#SocialSaturday #Weekend

#SundayBlogShare

Now that you know what hashtags to use. Let’s get down to business.

What compose a Twitter profile?

You got your basics: profile picture, handle, bio, header picture, and a pinned tweet.

Let’s take Wendy’s Twitter page as an example, starting from 12 o’clock respectively: header, pinned tweet, bio, handle, display name and display picture.

Handle: This is your username and unique URL. This should not be simply changed.

Display picture: This should be your company logo. Something from your latest promotional campaign works too.

Display name: Your display name can be different from your handle. It could be easily changed while bearing no substantial effect on your account.

Bio: Provide a precise introduction to your company. You can also set your location and link to your website.

Header: A horizontal picture should be fitted here. Choose a photo that can showcase your product. Again you can change it to fit your promotional campaign from time to time.

Pinned tweet: This is the first tweet on your profile. Meaning everyone who clicked on your profile will never miss it. Pin important tweet like announcement, sales period etc. You can only have ONE pinned tweet, so choose wisely.

Tricks and Tips on how to use Twitter for your business

1. Utilize hashtags

As mentioned before, the hashtag is a big part of the Twitter community. It is a major feature for users to track on a certain topic. It also acts as a means for Twitter itself to keep track of the 500 million tweets being tweeted every single day.

First and foremost, you should take advantage of hashtags to learn from others. Tags like #smallbiz, #startup or #marketing may contain useful information, sources, and latest news of the industry. Take this chance to be more intuned with your sector and mingle with your fellow entrepreneurs.

Twitter accounts can give you a shout out by mentioning you in a tweet and introducing you to their followers. Giving you exposure. Therefore, expanding your social network through Twitter is a pretty good idea.

An example on a Twitter shout out

However, make sure you’re in good terms with each other before requesting for a shout out. Repay the favor by introducing them to your followers too!

An important reason to hashtag your tweets is to be engaged with the community.

Let’s say you own a company selling beauty products you can make use of #BeautyTipTuesday in your tweet. That way, you will be discovered by people tracking the hashtag. If they are intrigued by your tweet, they might click on your profile. Make sure to set up a good profile and pin a relevant yet appealing tweet. That way there is a high possibility that the user would become a follower. A follower would, in turn, become a customer. That’s why hashtagging your tweets are important.

However, abusing multiple hashtags in your tweet is a big no-no. Most Twitter users deem a tweet made up of mostly hashtags as spam and pay it no attention. Therefore, be selective on which hashtag to use. Use at most 2 hashtags per tweet. Make sure to pick one that can you can maximize to reach the most users while still stay relevant to your business.

You can also create your own hashtag for your company or a promotional campaign. The tips for creating a hashtag is: keep it simple. There should be three words or less in a hashtag. As mentioned before, capitalize it accordingly so it’s easier to read.

Nike, for example, has created the #ChooseGo hashtag on the conjunction of their newest campaign. Users are actively hashtagging their post with #ChooseGo to showcase their active lifestyle. There you have a good example of creating and utilizing a hashtag to engage with the community while also actively promoting your product.

Nike’s newest campaign promoted using the #ChooseGo Twitter hashtag

At the end of the day, a little effort goes a long way. Send a tweet daily to promote your business and engage with the community while intricately utilizing relevant hashtags to boost discoverability.

2. Be engaging

Twitter is a free platform for you to interact with the crowd. Any Twitter users can mention you (by utilizing the @ symbol). It could be a suggestion, a query or simply for fun. You can interact with the tweet in a few ways.

For one, click on the heart symbol to like it. You can also retweet it, as in reposting it on your account for your followers to see. Quote tweet, as opposed to a retweet, means you can add a comment while retweeting. Nevertheless, you can also go for the good old reply.

Wendy’s engaging with the Twitter community via retweeting.

If you’d like to keep things more private, you can always utilize DM. DM stands for direct message. Everything in DM will be kept only between those involved. Make sure you keep your DM open, or else users you are not following won’t be able to send you a DM.

3. Set a tone

Next, you need to establish a character for your Twitter in order to stand out. One famous business Twitter account that has a strong character is Wendy’s. Yes, the fast food chain restaurant with a sweet looking little girl as a mascot.

Wendy’s is famous on Twitter for one reason. They’re ruthless.

Wendy’s roasting McDonald’s while utilizing the hashtag #NationalFrozenFoodDay. A tactic to both promote their promise on only ever use fresh, never frozen meat and creating drama with one of their major competitor to attract public attention.

They’re so dedicated to agitating their competitor. They actually created a whole thread (a link of continuous tweets) roasting EVERY SINGLE BURGER of McD’s.

Wendy’s roast thread on McDonald’s

You don’t have to go roasting your competitors like Wendy’s. But the point is, having a character or a specific tone tied to your Twitter. That will really make it stand out. Standing out means more attention. More attention means more people are likely to be checking out your page. More people checking out your page means more customers! WIN!

Your targeted customer demographic should be considered while setting the tone. If you’re selling baby products, a sarcastic tone would not be considered appropriate.

TL;DR

Twitter is free and has an insane number of users. Reach a bigger audience by creating a Twitter account and utilizing hashtags. Set up your handle, display name, display picture, bio, header and pinned tweet. Fit in 1 or 2 relevant hashtags for your tweets to engage with the community while still staying relevant to your business. Excess hashtags in a tweet are treated as spam. 3 tips on using Twitter for your business: utilize Twitter hashtag, be engaging and set a tone that suits your business image.

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Download The Definitive Guide To Hashtag Insights Now!

SEO for Beginners – 5 Hot Tips to Achieve Top Google Rankings

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in Greg's SEO Articles | Comments Off on SEO for Beginners – 5 Hot Tips to Achieve Top Google Rankings

What is SEO?

SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It refers to the way of structuring and optimizing a website or blog in such a way that it ranks higher on search engines. SEO is important for traffic generation. It is a free way to generate organic traffic to your blog or website. Unlike various Ad campaigns out there, SEO ensures that your website or blog is exposed to your target market. Thus, the traffic generated to your website or blog via SEO is real, genuine, and targeted.

SEO is an essential tool for all businesses. With a well-optimized website or blog, you can be sure of continuous uninterrupted sales with or without ad campaigns. If your business is listed on the front page of Google, for instance, you will be visible to potential buyers when they search for relevant keywords.

As a beginner, there are lots to know when it comes to SEO. However, with just 5 hot tips, you can achieve top Google rankings within the shortest possible time.

Top 5 SEO tips for beginners

As a beginner, there are five major SEO tips you should consider. They are:

  • Meta tags and descriptions
  • Social Media score
  • Website/blog layout and mobile accessibility
  • Website page speed
  • Robot txt

1.     Meta tags and descriptions

Meta tags are HTML codes that are inserted into the Head part of a web page, just after the title tag. Perfect Meta tags help to explain the details of your website to the search engines and give directions as to how the website will be ranked. Simply, a Meta tag indicates how a web page should be ranked and what it is to be ranked for.

Collectively referred to as Meta details, this aspect is something you cannot do without as a beginner. The three major SEO features for beginners which include keywords, content, and interlinking fall under this section. As a beginner, you need to manually write and optimize the Meta details of your website or blog for maximum result.

Meta details at the “head section”

A standard Meta description of this category should contain the following:

<meta name=”title” content=” Blog title/name”/>

<meta name=”description” content=” Blog description”/>

<meta name=”author” content=”Name of author/admin/owner” />

<meta name=”contact” content=”Email or contact of admin” />

<meta name=”keywords” content=” list of keywords separated by comma” />

This HTML should be inserted at the head section of your website before the “</head>”. If you cannot do this, you may want to hire a professional web developer to assist you.

Meta details for contents

Apart from the head section of a website or blog, you can also add a custom Meta description for each of the contents/pages of your website or blog. Most blog platforms today, such as WordPress, allow you to add custom Meta titles and descriptions to each article on your blog.

Meta parameters

a)     Keywords

Keywords refer to the set of words or phrases that your website is all about. For instance, if you website focuses on insurance, you can have keywords like insurance tips, insurance opportunities, insurance around me, best insurance programs, top insurance plans, etc. Note that the maximum number of keywords is 20 (for the head section). For in-post Meta, you need to include at least one keyword in each post. The keyword density per post should be between 1% and 5%.

b)     Meta titles and descriptions

Meta title refers to the title (name) of the blog or website. Meta description refers to the short overview of the website or blog in less than 250 words. The Meta title and description are those that are shown on Google search results. More so, you can add a custom Meta title and description for each article/page on your website or blog.

c)      Image alts

Images also play a significant role in SEO. A quality, unique, and relevant image does not only make your pages/blog posts readable but also helps in ranking. Add a corresponding image to each page of your website/blog and insert an image alt tag. The alt tag should be the same as the keyword of the page/blog post.

d)     Interlinking

Interlinking is the process of linking one page of your website/blog to another page of the same (internal) or different (exernal) blog. It helps to further engage the reader with similar, useful content while also assisting in blog/website ranking. Use anchor texts to link your website pages together and also to link to other reputable websites for continuous reading. External liking increases your website’s reputation while internal linking increases the user’s engagement.

e)      Header tags

Another key feature of SEO ranking under Meta properties is head tags. Heading 1 and Heading 2 (H1 and H2 tags) are important parts of Website’s Meta. Apart from the fact that it increases readability, it also helps in SEO ranking. Divide your website contents into Headings and ensure each heading is followed by not more than 300 words. Also, let your keyword appear at least once in a header tag (H1 or H2).

The effective way to rank your website/blog is the use of unique Meta tags. The Meta information should be kept unique for all pages. Identify the keyword for all the web pages and set your Meta information correctly. The trick is to keep the keyword as the first word on the Meta title, as the image alt tag, in the Heading tag (H1 or H2), and included in the Meta description.

2.     Social Media score

The role of Social media cannot be overemphasized in SEO. Social media scores show how many people are talking about your blog/website on social media platforms. It gives Google and other search engines a signal of authority and genuineness. A high social media score means that people are talking about your website which is a vital factor in SEO ranking.

There are several social media platforms out there that are great. However, the key as a beginner is to stick to the few popular ones for a start. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Maps, and Instagram are the 5 most important social media platforms you should prioritize.

Facebook

Facebook is an excellent social media platform with billions of users. Facebook allows you to create a business page and/or community for your website where you frequently converse with your fans. You can share your recent posts, products, and services for your fans on Facebook. From there, you can generate some clicks to your website.

More so, you should add a Facebook share button to your website to allow your website/blog readers share your contents with their friends on Facebook.

Twitter/Instagram/Google+

Just Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ allow you to create an account and build a huge following. Constantly share your website posts with your followers on Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. Also, add a share button to allow readers to share your posts to these platforms.

Map

Adding a Google map to your website increases the authority and reputation of your website. It tells Google that your website is real and genuine and it gives you an advantage over other websites without a map.

3.     Website/blog layout and mobile accessibility

90% of your visitors will access your website/blog via a mobile device. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile layout, it is possible that your website will be excluded from the Google index. Therefore, talk with your web developer and ensure that your website/blog is mobile friendly.

4.     Website pagespeed

Websites that load faster typically have an advantage over the ones that don’t. There are free tools online that can help you analyze your website pageepeed and as well as make recommendations on what to do.

Generally, the pagespeed of a website is determined by the images and scripts used in the design. Avoid using heavy images as much as possible and use icons instead. More so, optimize all images before adding them to your website. Furthermore, use the cache tools to optimize your website scripts and move most scripts to the footer of your website/blog.

5.     Robot txt

When a search engine user agent visits your site, what it first look for is the robot.txt file. In the actual sense, robot.txt file gives directives to search engines and guide them through your site. It helps them to decide which pages need to be indexed and which one should be ignored. Therefore, it is a very vital component of your website.

Furthermore, robot.txt tells the search engine bots where your sitemap is. You can choose to disallow one or more of your web pages from being indexed. However, you should be careful not to disallow the robot.txt from indexing your entire site. Contact your webmaster to be sure that your robot.txt file is present and working properly.

Conclusion

Search Engine Optimization is an excellent way to market your website/blog without spending a dime. A well-optimized site will attract thousands of visitors daily from search engines. However, as a beginner, there are some basic tips and tricks you need to get you started. Highlighted above are 5 hot tips to achieve a high Google ranking.

Yoast SEO 7.9: Getting rid of bugs in the summer

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Yoast SEO 7.9: Getting rid of bugs in the summer

Yoast SEO 7.9: Getting rid of bugs in the summer

Say hi to a brand new version of Yoast SEO! As it’s summertime, our hard-working developers went out on a collective bug hunt. Together with the community – we’re so happy to be part of – they’re giving their all to make our plugin work better for everyone using it. For instance, to make the various sections of all Search Appearance tabs collapsible, so they’re easier to scan and edit. On top of that, we’re preparing for exciting times to come! What about Gutenberg? And further development of our best-known feature, the content analysis? 

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

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Less scrolling in Search Appearance

The Search Appearance section of Yoast SEO is a true power tool. It allows you to control which sections of your site should appear in the search results and what they will look like. For instance, you can choose to hide certain archives from the search results or to set a template for SEO titles for your product pages. If you have an extensive website though, all different sections and options could create a long list on a tab. On the content types tab, you could already collapse the various content types. Now, we added this functionality to the other tabs as well, for example the archives tab:

This way you’ll have a better overview, making it easier to select and edit the section you want to work on. Also, we’ve improved the accessibility of these collapsible sections, as they should work for everyone.

Bugs killed

When working on this release, we again realized how fortunate we are to be part of the WordPress community. No fewer than 4 voluntary contributors went together on this bug hunt with us. A big thanks to schurigbainternetdawnbirthmikeschinkel to help us fix stuff. Mad props to all of you!

One of the issues we fixed was a residue of our 7.7 release. In that update we introduced the new snippet variables in the snippet preview and templates of the Search appearance tab. In some instances, templates would not be saved correctly though, causing the default template to show under a post or page. This is one of the issues we resolved in Yoast SEO 7.9. Did this bug – or any of these annoy you? Update and get rid of them now!

Preparing for Gutenberg

Slowly but surely Gutenberg is heading our way. Not sure what Gutenberg was again? Check Edwin’s post about Gutenberg here. Gutenberg will have an impact on everyone using WordPress. Whether you’re a copywriter, editor or plugin developer.

Of course our own plugins need to be ready to integrate seamlessly with the Gutenberg editor when it’s there. Not something to take lightly! So we have a special team that’s fully dedicated to make sure we’re ready when Gutenberg is. They’re completely rebuilding all parts of the Yoast SEO plugin in the JavaScript library React, amongst others. Soon we’ll be able to tell and show you more on this. So make sure to keep an eye on our updates.

Working towards a more complete content analysis

Our 7.8 release was all about adding synonyms and keyword distribution in Yoast SEO Premium. Our plugin is now able to recognize synonyms of your focus keyword in English and sees how you’ve distributed them throughout your copy. This was just the first step to a more complete content analysis and understanding of the topic of a text. Apart from identification of synonyms we’re working on morphology (other forms of the same word) and related words recognition and an entire recalibration of our SEO analysis. Curious about the changes that lie ahead? Marieke sheds light on them here.

Read more: Why every website needs Yoast SEO »

The post Yoast SEO 7.9: Getting rid of bugs in the summer appeared first on Yoast.

How to Get Traffic to Your Website (Neil Patel’s Ultimate Guide)

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Get Traffic to Your Website (Neil Patel’s Ultimate Guide)

How to Get Traffic to Your Website (Neil Patel’s Ultimate Guide)

I don’t think anyone would argue that I’ve written a ton of content over the years about how to get traffic to your website. Still, it’s one of the most important skills to learn. Optimizing your website for conversions won’t matter if you don’t have any traffic to begin with. It’s like expecting to sell merchandise when nobody visits your brick-and-mortar store. Once you know how to get traffic to your website, you can optimize your content and pages based on patterns among your target audience. That’s step two. But as they say, you have to walk before you can…

The post How to Get Traffic to Your Website (Neil Patel’s Ultimate Guide) appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Viral Marketing Campaigns and How the Next One Can be Yours

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Viral Marketing Campaigns and How the Next One Can be Yours

Viral Marketing Campaigns and How the Next One Can be Yours

Viral marketing got its name from acting like a virus. Spreading from one person to another at a rapid pace. Would you want your content to spread that way? I would definitely love to.

Let’s take a look at some viral marketing examples.

Examples of viral marketing campaigns and what they have in common

1. Dollar Shave Club

On 2012 Dollar Shave Club uploaded their ad featuring one half of their founder, Michael Dubin presenting their company and products package with a poised air paired with some outrageous actions. The video went viral in an instant and helped secured 12k of orders in the first 2 days it went online.

By 2018 the video has accumulated 25 million views on YouTube and remains one of the first things to pop up whenever someone mentions viral marketing.

The ad itself is straightforward enough. Michael brief the audience about what the company does and encourage the audience to try out their product. However, it is presented in a humorous and exaggerating way. That is why it has garnered so much attention. Their tagline “Our blades are f***ing great” was also refreshingly blunt and honest.

To sum it up. The ad is refreshing, blunt and wacky. The products sound good enough and don’t make a dent in your wallet. People are convinced to give it a try. BAM! Business.

Our Blades Are F***ing Great went viral the moment it went online and prompted 12k of orders in a 2-day span

2. The Blair Witch Project

This is the first ever movie to went viral before we are even aware that a movie marketing campaign can go viral. They created a mystery, an urban legend that lure the crowd in. They are so successful in creating the illusion that instead of a film, it’s an actual found footage that they sparked a debate on the topic.

A couple of websites were built to fuel the background story of the Blair Witch and the characters who went missing. To make it more believable, they even passed out flyers encouraging the public to report to the police if they come across any information regarding the missing characters.

Due to its successful campaign, the movie grossed $250 million worldwide over a $6 million budget. The movie itself became a cult favorite and has a big loyal following.

The key to success of their campaign is they have sparked questions. Is this a movie or a documentary? Is the Blair Witch real? Where are the actors? People got so involved because of the sense of suspension that they rush to the theatres to get their answers.

The movie makers created a backstory of the Blair Witch to make everything seems so much more “real”

3. Red Bull Flugtag

Red Bull is known for their association with an active lifestyle and extreme sports. But they are also not afraid to get a little comical along the way. One of their biggest events is the Red Bull Flugtag, first started in 1991 in Viena.

Flugtag means flight day in German. Participants would try to launch their homemade aircraft from a pier into a body of water. More often than not, they fail to do so. But, the main point of the event is not to have a successful launch. Instead, participants would rack their brains to come up with the most outrageous and eye-grabbing air crafts.

The main selling point of the event is entertainment. People laugh their hearts out at the epic launching failure. The viewers are happy. The participants are happy. Everyone remembers and associates red bull with this happy memory. They’ll be more likely to grab a can of red bull the next one they saw one in the chiller.

The main point is, they created an event where everyone can participate and everyone can get a good laugh out of it. Extreme sports don’t have to always be grueling and keep you off your seats. Getting your product associated with a funny and happy memory will never be a bad idea.

One of the team participated in the Red Bull Flugtag with their eye catching flying machine

A huge crowd gathered to witness the Red Bull Flugtag event

What viral marketing can do to your business
Now that you have seen some viral marketing examples, let’s see how they can affect your business.

1. Increase visibility and traffic

When people are intrigued by your content, they will share it on social media. Via the shareable link, the audience would link back to the page of your content thus generating traffic. The more viral your content goes, the more traffic you’ll gain.

Traffic means exposure and visibility. Let’s look at Dollar Shave Club again, they are literally a freshly launched company that came out of nowhere. But thanks to their viral ad, they gain a ton of traffic. People actually notice them and got the company and their tagline engraved into their memory.

Exposure is especially important to a startup. Putting your name out there and got people to know about your brand could be a long and gruesome battle. But, if you got a campaign going viral, you can get a explosion of recognition. When people recognize your brand they are more likely to buy your product.

2. Evergreen content

People come back to a good content again and again. While your marketing campaign is going viral and being shared everywhere, you want to make sure that people would visit it again and again. A good example of this is the Red Bull Flugtag, people would search for videos of the event when they want a good laugh. Thus creating a constant traffic and help build brand image and recognition.

If you run a blog on your company website, creating a good, informative and fresh piece of content also has the chance to go viral. A good piece of content may not go viral among the general public like a funny video would, BUT it can go viral among a certain demographic. The demographic would most likely be your targeted customers where the content matters to their concern.

When a knowledge sharing piece gained authority it will surely gain publicity and popularity thus becoming your evergreen viral content.

3. Increase backlink volume

Numbers of backlink is one of the weightage to get your website ranked on Google search page. A marketing campaign content getting viral means getting shared and getting shared means a lot of different websites are linking back to your website. Thus greatly increasing your backlink volume.

Although Google would not take each and every one of your backlink into consideration while deciding on your rank, getting more backlinks is better than getting no backlinks.

In seo, link building is one of the major concern. Like everything else, getting to a level where you have a significant number of quality backlinks can take a lot of time and effort. A viral marketing campaign can help you gain a burst of backlinks in a short amount of time.

If you have managed to craft a marketing campaign that has both went viral but is still considered an evergreen content, your site will be able to get constant fresh links. As in people would link to your site constantly instead of just once when your campaign go viral. Google take fresh link into consideration while ranking. Getting fresh links would give you more advantage to rank on the search page.

What makes a piece of content viral worthy?

1. IT HAS TO BE ATTENTION GRABBING. Be it a wacky commercial, sponsoring an extreme sport or let everyone feel like they’re involved on a personal level.

Leave an impact on the viewers and be memorable. Make them go “WOW! I need to share this with my friends!”. If they don’t even remember your content, what’s the point?

2. It has to be sharable. More often than not, pictures and videos work better than words alone. They tend to leave a stronger and longer impact on viewers. Coupled up with social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, the content could be easily shared. Sharable contents let the audience do the work for you. They could share it with their followers thus amplifying your audience outreach.

All you need to do is create a piece of viral-worthy content and plan an initial outreach. After that, you can lay back and see the views start rolling in. Because instead of you, the crowd is spreading your content.

3.Next, the piece should contain a message that you want to tell. Of course, a picture of a gleeful pup stuck in a bush can go viral, but that won’t do anything to your business. Well, I can argue that the optimistic Shiba Inu is telling us to keep our head up even when you’re stuck, BUT, it still won’t do anything to your business.

These are just a handful of the most straightforward reasons that a campaign can go viral. However, they are also the core to creating a viral-worthy content that feeds into your business.

How to build your own viral marketing campaigns

Now that you’ve seen some examples, you know why viral marketing strategies are important and you know what can make you go viral, let’s see how to create a marketing campaign for yourself.

1. Remember that it is a part of branding

Keep in mind that what you published would be forever associated with your brand. The tone you set, the characters who appeared, and even the color scheme should be thoroughly considered before it set in stone.

Take GoPro as an example, their campaign showcases adventurers setting out to explore the world while recording it all down with a GoPro. Instead of a product, they have been elevated into a lifestyle. Anyone owning a GoPro would be perceived as someone who is adventurous and leads an exciting life. When setting out to a new travel destination you’ll be tempted to buy a GoPro to get that rush of being a REAL adventurer.

This is the extent of their campaign and how successful they are at branding their product as a lifestyle.

GoPro embracing and promoting as a must-have for every adventurer.

2. Make sure that the content is relevant to your company and product

Plan your campaign in accordance with the message your company wants to deliver. Without relevance, your ads are just another picture or another video that doesn’t move the crowd to put their attention on you.

Take GoPro again as an example, their product line of action cameras fit in just nicely with their dynamic ads showcasing people going on an adventure.

You wouldn’t want to create a viral content just for the sake of going viral. You want the audience to convert into potential customers. That’s why you need to repackage your message in an interesting and eye-catching way.

3. Choose the appropriate influencer for your initial content outreach

When you have a content, you would want to share it. But where and how? The simple way would to put it up on YouTube or Facebook and pray that people would pick it up. OR, you could do some research beforehand. Look for some influencers who have similar reader demographic as your target. Who are already talking about similar topics, and start writing some emails.

You can be professional or you can get a little more personal, that’s your choice. But what you want to accomplish at this point is to reach out to influencers and ask them to share your content with their followers. That would be the first point of amplification. After that, if the content did go viral, views will start rolling up without your active effort.

However, you will need to filter out a list of influencers with an audience who overlaps with your targeted customers demographic. You also need to make sure that they have a big enough outreach and a good ranking among others.

TL;DR

Some examples of viral marketing campaigns include Dollar Shave Club, The Blair Witch Project and Red Bull Flugtag. The three overlapping reason that pushed their popularity is how those campaigns make the audience feel relatable, it builds up anticipation and also give a good laugh, or evoke a certain emotion. With a viral content in your belt, you can increase your visibility and traffic, have a constant fresh link with a evergreen content and increase your backlink volume. Meanwhile, they’re also attention-grabbing, sharable and give out a message. In order to build a right campaign yourself, you need to keep in mind that a campaign is a part of the campaign. Build an image for your brand, make sure your marketing campaign plan is relevant to your product and choose the appropriate influencer or platform to share your content.

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WordPress Web Design – 4 Big Mistakes to Avoid when Making a Website for SEO

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in Greg's SEO Articles | Comments Off on WordPress Web Design – 4 Big Mistakes to Avoid when Making a Website for SEO

If you need a website for your business or personal use, you probably must have heard of WordPress web designing. WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) and blog platform used by millions of individuals and business owners. This is no surprise as the platform is easy to use, versatile and requires little or no web design knowledge to manipulate.

In this article, we shall discuss 4 big mistakes to avoid when making your WordPress website for SEO. Before then, let us consider some basic reasons why WordPress is an ideal platform for web designing.

·        Easy Customization

WordPress has been the major driven force behind most successful website design and development. The success of these projects is as a result of the easy customization process that WordPress offers. With user-friendly and intuitive features, WordPress can be used by beginners and professionals to build and create a website that is suited to their need.

There are thousands of custom themes and plug-ins available online. Some of these varieties software are free while others are premium. Due to this, many owners are able to customize their website to reflect their personal preference and choice. This accounts for why WordPress is the most preferred web designing platform. More so, WordPress is compatible with most browsers and is another advantage.

·        Search Engine Friendly

WordPress design is simplified with search engine friendly features. These features come in default with the WordPress configuration. WordPress offers an easy way for individuals and business owners to achieve their search engine goals.

For instance, WordPress allows you to create custom URL addresses that are friendly to search engine, publish contents whenever you like and install new plug-ins for added search engine features. What’s more, WordPress automatically and instantly submit your contents to the search engine immediately after you hit the publish button. The Content Management system allows you to moderate your contents and decide which one to index and how the results are displayed.

·        Plugins

WordPress comes with its own default features and you can extend these features even further through the use of Plug-ins. With so many plug-ins out there, blogging on WordPress is increasingly getting easier than before. No matter what you are looking for in a website, there are plug-ins that will do just that.

WordPress has thousands of Plug-ins in stock each with its own unique feature. Whatever you need, just go to the plug-in page and search for your preferred one. Many argue that premium plug-ins are more effective than free ones. However, your choice will depend on what you need.

·        Themes

In order to create and design a befitting WordPress website to taste, there are thousands of WordPress themes available for you. Many of these themes are provided by the WordPress developers and others by third-party developers. Explore the numerous options available and see the one that looks good for your website.

More so, these themes can be modified and customized to suit your taste. It is possible for you to like the layout of a theme but not the color. The customization option available allows you to alter certain features of the theme.

·        Cost Effective

Apart from the cost of purchasing domain and hosting, maintaining a WordPress site is relatively not costly. Themes and plug-ins are free except if you need a premium feature. More so, the cost of licenses to the premium theme and plug-in features are inexpensive and one-time.

·        Easy to Use

Needless to say, the WordPress user interface is simple, easy, and user-friendly. It is quite easy to use for beginners without any coding experience. However, a little coding experience will enable you to modify and make substantial changes to the website design.

·        Search Engine Optimization

WordPress is very efficient when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. With an intuitive content management and permalink system, you can easily format your contents into a search engine friendly one. Furthermore, WordPress is built with a simple programming language that search engine bots can easily understand and indexing isn’t an issue.

However, in order to enjoy the dividends of WordPress website design, there are some 4 big errors you should avoid.

4 Big Mistakes to Avoid when Making a Website for SEO

1.     Missing or Duplicate Title and Meta Description tags

Meta tags are HTML codes that are inserted into the Head part of a web page, just after the title tag. There are some WordPress plug-ins that allows you add a custom Meta tag to each page. Perfect Mata tags help to explain the details of your website to the search engines and give directions as to how the website will be ranked. Simply, a Meta tag indicates how a web page should be ranked and what it is to be ranked for.

Without a Meta title, tag, and description, search engines would find it difficult to rank your website. Since Meta details tell the search engine how and what to rank your website for, your website may end up being neglected by search engines.

Duplicate Meta details, however, can cause confusion and discrepancy to the search engine robots. It is necessary for you to have comprehensive, non-duplicate Meta details in order to catch the attention of the search engine bots.

2.     No “About”, “Contact” or “services” pages

When creating a WordPress website, the first few pages to prepare are the About US, Contact Us, and Services page. The about us page gives information about yourself (the owner), about the business (or company) and what the website is all about. The Contact Us page should contain information on how your readers can contact you. Typically, a Contact Us page must contain contact information like email, phone number, and postal code.

The Services page shows the types of services you offer on your website. If you blog for personal purpose, then your services can include the several categories of posts your blog covers and a brief introduction about them. If you use WordPress for an official purpose (for your company), you may want to include the services your company offers.

3.     Website images are too large in byte size

Large Images slow down the page speed of a website. Websites that are too slow to load are often ignored by search engine robots. In fact, users generally love a fast and responsive website. The best practice is to avoid the use of images as much as possible. Instead of using images, you can opt for icons or even gave a simple design using HTML codes.

We understand that it is relatively impossible to avoid using images on a website. In fact, some websites deal with displaying images of products. Still, images with larger sizes are not good for your WordPress website.

To resolve this, you should compress your images as much as possible in order to reduce its file size. Also, you should optimize your images after they have been uploaded. There are some WordPress plug-ins that focus on image optimization. You should check them out.

4.     Missing Physical Address

Physical address proves that you are authentic and reputable. Apart from the fact that users love to deal with a company they can trace physically, search engine gives priority to websites with a physical address. Adding a physical address isn’t just about adding any random address. We recommend that you add a Google verified address, such as Google+ or Google map.

Of course, having a Google verified address is a great boost for SEO. Users want businesses they can track physically and search engines have configured their robots to prioritize such websites. With a verified address, your website would be given a top priority.

Conclusion

WordPress is a popular Content Management System and blog platform that allows individuals and businesses to create and design a custom website to their taste. WordPress has a number of interesting features which makes it a better option for other website platforms. One of these features is Search Engine friendliness.

WordPress is configured in a simple language which makes it easily accessible and understandable by search engine robots. However, there are some big mistakes you should avoid when optimizing your website for SEO. This article contains 4 big mistakes to avoid when setting up your website for SEO. We hope you will find this piece useful.

The Future of SEO: It’s Not What You’re Expecting

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on The Future of SEO: It’s Not What You’re Expecting

The Future of SEO: It’s Not What You’re Expecting

What do you think the future of SEO is?

And no, I am not talking about what Google will look like 10 years from now… I’m talking about how you’ll be able to rank your site in the future.

You know, that one thing that’ll just skyrocket your rankings.

So, what do you think it is?

I can tell you this… it’s not link building and it’s not on-page SEO.

Sure, those things help, but they don’t skyrocket your rankings. When you build links, it can take months if not a year for them to kick in.

And everyone is doing on-page SEO, so there is nothing unique about it anymore.

So, what do you think it is? Shall I give you a hint?

The accidental SEO hack

I stumbled on the “future” of SEO by accident. Back in March 2016, I was able to take my traffic from 185,980 visitors a month to 195,596 a month.

And it all happened within 30 days.

Here was my traffic in February 2016:

After I ran my accidental marketing experiment, my traffic grew by 9,616 visitors (to 195,596 monthly visitors in March).

I know what you are thinking… there are more days in March than February. And although that’s true, the majority of those additional 9,616 visitors came from search.

So what happened?

As I mentioned above, I accidentally stumbled upon this.

But once I noticed that the side effect of this marketing experiment was that it increased my search traffic, I ran it again.

And this time, on a much larger scale.

Let’s look at my traffic in June 2016:

And now let’s look at July 2016:

And now look at August 2016:

That growth rate is ridiculous! I grew my traffic to 454,382 visitors a month in August from 240,839 in June!

See, during that time period, I wasn’t trying to figure out any cool SEO hacks that would boost my rankings… it just accidentally happened. And it happened because I was running a marketing experiment that wasn’t related to SEO, but funny enough, it impacted SEO (in a major way!).

As you can see from the graphs above, I was able to drastically boost my rankings and search traffic over time.

So, can you guess what it was?

Let me give you a hint…

How Google deals with the Internet cesspool

The EX-CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, talked about how the Internet is becoming a place where false information is thriving. Essentially, the Internet is becoming a cesspool.

He went on to discuss how brands were becoming more important signals whether or not content can be trusted.

And in his words:

Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.

In other words, if you want to do well in the long run, you have to build a brand.

When you look at Google you can see clearly that it’s dominated by big brands. From Huffington Post to Wikipedia to CNN… the list goes on and on.

Sure, these sites have a lot of content and backlinks, but they also have huge brands.

When my traffic grew from 185,980 visitors a month in February 2016 to 454,382 visitors in August, it was due to one thing.

My brand kept growing!

Just look at the brand queries for my name over time according to Google Trends:

Over time, my brand has grown in popularity. And as it’s grown, so has my traffic.

In the last 28 days, 40,412 people found my site by Googling variations of my name.

That’s a lot of people!

But what’s cool is, the traffic increases didn’t mainly come from people Googling “Neil Patel.” It mainly came from an increase in rankings for non-branded terms like “online marketing.”

It’s so effective that I generate over a million visits from Google each month now:

To clarify, the way Google looks at brands is that if a website gets a higher amount of brand queries than their competition (the number of people searching for your website name each month), it tells Google that people prefer that one brand over another.

And when Google is determining where to rank a website for all of the terms they are optimizing for, they give more preference to the ones with the most popular brands because those are the sites that people prefer more.

So why does Google put so much emphasis on brands verus other search signals?

Why Google loves brands

Just think about it, it’s the hardest thing to manipulate.

You optimize your on-page code with very little effort these days.

Heck, if you have a WordPress blog you can just use the Yoast SEO plugin and it will do a lot of the work for you.

And when it comes to links, it is harder, but not impossible. You can do email outreach, guest posting, buying links, reciprocal link building, content marketing

Now, I am not saying you should leverage all of these link building tactics because Google frowns upon many of them and they are short-sided (always think long-term).

You get the point… it’s not that hard to build links these days if you know what you are doing.

But the one thing that is hard to build, no matter how good of a marketer you are, is a brand.

Even if you do massive PR stunts, which causes everyone to know your brand and search for your brand on Google (that’s how they measure it), it won’t help you in the long term.

And trust me, I’ve tried it all.

I even tried to get people to search for my name by having famous people hold up signs with my name as it causes others to wonder “who is Neil Patel” and perform a Google search. I also did that throughout the world in different languages.

I even had Larissa Manoela, a famous Brazilian actress, post this on her Instagram account for her 15+ million (million!!) followers.

The concept behind this marketing stunt was that no matter what industry you are in, everyone follows celebrities (or at least knows about them). And if you can get these celebrities to talk about you, it will create buzz and get new people to learn who you are and potentially become an avid follower. Or at the very least, search for you in Google.

And if you can get a lot of celebrities (or social influencers) to talk about you during the same time, it will create even more buzz and potentially cause newspapers and news websites to talk about you as well.

Now I didn’t have enough money to pay A-list celebrities, so I took Internet celebrities (and a few big names in countries outside of the US) and got them to hold up signs with my name on both Facebook and Instagram.

This created buzz, which then caused more people to Google my name. This, in turn, increased my popularity over time. And the end result was that I increased my rankings for non-branded terms (like “online marketing” and “SEO”).

That’s how I got the big boost in traffic from February 2016 to August 2016.

Although that will help boost your search traffic in the short run, it won’t last long unless you continually build up your brand. Google is looking to see how many people are searching for your brand name on a daily basis… and ideally, they want to see this increase over time.

In other words, if you can’t maintain your brand’s popularity, your search traffic will die off if you use short-term strategies as I did. That’s why you see huge spikes in my brand when you look at the Google Trends image below.

But if your brand continues to grow in popularity, so will your search traffic for all of your non-brand related terms.

It’s hard to see it in the chart above, but before I focused on building my brand, I was only generating 18,304 brand queries per month, versus 40,412 that I am generating now.

So how do you build a brand?

As I mentioned above, you need people searching for your brand name on a consistent basis.

The only way to really do this is by creating value.

Just look at me… I blog on a regular basis, produces educational videos, I have a daily podcast, and I even speak at conferences.

All in all, it has caused my brand to grow over the years.

And this works even better for corporations. If you create an amazing product or service, people will love your brand and keep coming back.

I learned this from my Ubersuggest acquisition. When I bought the brand and merged it into my website, my number one search query become the term “Ubersuggest” and variations of it.

People love the tool… so much so that they access it by Googling the brand name. Sure, the tool has more direct traffic, but people also go to sites using Google.

But to get back to the question of how you can build a brand?

Well, there are no very detailed strategies I can give you as it will range from business to business. I can give you an overview of strategies that have worked for me though, as well as some stats to go along with it:

Blog weekly

I’ve found that if you blog on a regular basis you get more brand queries.

When people are expecting content from you on a regular basis, they’ll Google your brand to come back to your blog and read your latest content.

When I blogged daily, I generated 11% more brand queries than when I blogged once a week. This is why sites like CNN, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and every other news site generates a lot of brand queries… they blog numerous times per day.

Create videos

You don’t have to copy my YouTube strategy, but you should create some sort of videos related to your product, service, or industry. Not because of Google or YouTube, but because of social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn love video content.

So much so that it’s easier to get eyeballs on Facebook and LinkedIn for video content than it is on YouTube.

This will cause more people to see your brand, and build a relationship with you or your company.

What I’ve found is that the more videos I create the more brand queries I get. Just look at the screenshot below:

The screenshot shows how many views my videos received on YouTube over the last 28 days from people searching for my name. It’s 3,806 visitors to be exact.

I know YouTube brand queries doesn’t mean more brand queries on “Google.”

But if you can push out video content on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn, it can’t hurt. It will cause more people to see your brand, and eventually, this should cause more people to Google you.

Now, the reason I am emphasizing LinkedIn and Facebook is that it is easier to generate views on those two social networks for video content. I know they count views differently, but there is a huge difference (and even if there weren’t, it’s extra views).

Just look at my YouTube views for my video on GoogleRank Brain, it has 10,010 views:

And on Facebook it has 31,000 views:

And on LinkedIn it has 29,506 views:

So if YouTube is creating roughly 3,806 brand queries per month when it’s generating fewer views than Facebook and LinkedIn, just imagine what these videos are doing for my brand.

Sadly, Facebook and LinkedIn don’t share stats in the same way as YouTube, but you can come to the conclusion that it probably helps in a similar fashion.

That’s why you need to create videos in order to promote your personal or corporate brand on all social sites (you can use the same content, just upload it to each social network).

Speak at conferences

Every time I speak at conferences I see an influx of brand queries.

It’s harder for me to see these days as I already have a lot of brand queries, but I used to see big swings in my brand queries when I was starting out because of my participation at conferences.

Every time I spoke at a conference with at least 300 attendees (the number of people attending your speech, not the total number of people registered for the event), I would see an increase in brand searches within 24 to 48 hours of my talk.

Each speech would typically bring me 110 to 180 extra brand queries. Although that seems high, you have to keep in mind that reporters also sit in on speeches and are blogging about your speech. This creates more press related to you and your company, which helps with brand queries.

And if the conference you are speaking at uploads the video of your speech to YouTube (or even live streams the event on Facebook) you’ll see even more brand queries.

The larger the audience the better as it creates more potential searches. If you don’t know how to get speaking spots, check this out.

And if you don’t have the time to travel, you can speak at virtual events. They won’t have the same effect, but it is better than nothing.

Build an amazing product or service

I learned this one from my Ubersuggest acquisition… if people love what you are building, your brand queries will really skyrocket. It’s so effective, that it has become my new SEO strategy.

As you can see, the better product you build, the more brand queries you’ll receive.

With Ubersuggest I took a simple approach, just take what my competitors are charging for and give it away for free.

And my brand queries don’t even compare to companies like Dropbox, Apple, Slack, and the loads of other companies that have built amazing products or service.

This strategy is easy to replicate and you’ll see the results fast as long as you take what your competition is charging for and give it away for free.

Just look at the chart above: it shows a huge spike in just 1 month. That was when I released more features for free.

Performance-based press

There are companies like PRserve that charge for performance-based press. If they get you press, you then pay. If not, you don’t pay a dime. It won’t cause tons of brand queries at first, but over time it will help.

If you want to do it yourself, here is an article I wrote breaking down how to get press. It takes longer and it’s harder than hiring someone, but as long as you are willing to put in the time, you will see results.

You can also check out sites like Help a Reporter Out, where journalists ask questions and people go to help them out. When you see a question related to your expertise or industry, you should respond and you can get free press.

Release a book

This works better for personal brands, but publishing a book is a great way to get more brand queries. There are even companies that can streamline the whole process for you.

When I released my book Hustle, I learned three important things:

Don’t co-author a book – I love my co-authors, but I would have received much more of a brand boost if I self-authored the book.
Write a book about your expertise – Hustle was a mainstream book that appealed to most people versus people who wanted to learn about marketing. If I wrote a book about marketing, which is where my expertise is, I believe my brand would have grown faster (even if fewer people purchased the book).
Don’t focus on being a New York Times Bestselling author – I was on the list 3 weeks in a row, and I don’t think it did much for me. Focus on building a following within your space, versus just generating book sales from people who don’t care about your business.

Hopefully, the strategies above will give you a start on building your brand… it just takes time and a lot of elbow grease.

There is no quick solution and what worked for me may not work for you. So get your creative juices flowing and think outside the box.

Conclusion

Branding may seem like a waste of money, but it isn’t.

I used to think companies like Nike were wasting money with all of their TV ads when they could have focused on channels that produced a direct ROI like Google Ads.

But what’s funny is, when you think of shoes you naturally think of “Nike.” You don’t have to Google them, you just know about them because they’ve built a huge brand and are everywhere.

Same goes for Visa. When you think of credit cards, Visa comes to mind because they are accepted worldwide and run tons of ads.

The list keeps going on and on… from McDonald’s to Coca-Cola… the one thing you have to learn from these big companies is that you have to build an amazing brand. Not only will it create more brand searches, but it will help drive more revenue in the long-run.

Most of the companies I mentioned above don’t generate the majority of their sales from Google… they generate their sales from having a huge brand that people trust and love. The brand queries that they get on Google is just an added benefit.

And if that doesn’t convince you, here is an interesting stat. One of my friends works for one of the largest travel companies in the world. They are publicly traded and run television ads as well as spending millions on Google/Facebook ads each month.

When they run TV ads, their Google cost per click (CPC) goes down by roughly 20% because people are seeing their brand everywhere and are more willing to click on it. When they turn off the TV ads, they see the CPCs go back up.

They also own so many travel sites in the space, so they tested this out with a handful of them. Every time they saw similar results, no matter which travel site they tested it on.

More money spent on branding equals a cheaper CPC. When they don’t run TV ads, CPCs go up.

I know you probably don’t like the idea of branding because it isn’t something that is instant, and it is hard to manipulate. But that’s why creating a strong brand drastically increase your non-branded rankings.

So, what are you waiting for… are you going to focus on building a brand?

The post The Future of SEO: It’s Not What You’re Expecting appeared first on Neil Patel.

How to minimize CPU usage in WordPress

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to minimize CPU usage in WordPress

How to minimize CPU usage in WordPress

CPU usage problems are widespread in WordPress websites. They become more prevalent when you use shared resources or a hosting plan that doesn’t have that many resources. However, the CPU usage can also happen in a good hosting plan. When that happens, it slows down your website considerably as there are no resources to serve content to your site.

CPU usage problems can lead you to not only poor user experience but can quickly impact your website ranking.

In this article, we will learn how to minimize CPU usage in WordPress. All the tricks that we will share are simple and easy to follow. However, if you can always use a developer that can do it for you. So, without any delay, let’s get started.

1.    Get rid of the unnecessary plugins

Plugins offer excellent value when it comes to adding features to the website. Any website would require a set of plugins to work correctly. However, it is clear that we as users install plugins that we don’t need. Sometimes, we install plugins to test and then forget to remove them. In other scenarios, some plugin features are overlapped to an extent. In both the cases, it is always good to remove those plugins and bring down the CPU usage.

Note: Always uninstall plugins according to the official guidelines. If you are not sure always refer to the documentation as removing the plug in the wrong way can affect the site functionality undesirably.

2. Configure WP Disable

Another nifty way to reduce CPU usage is to use WP Disable. WP Disable is a plugin that lets you disable WordPress settings that consume unnecessary CPU cycles. For example, you can disable embeds, emojis and much more. Furthermore, it also helps you to reduce HTTP requests that can further improve the website performance. Once you install the plugin, you will get the option to do so with an easy to use interface.

It also provides dashboard stats so that you can monitor important things right from the go. We recommend disabling things that you just don’t need. Remember, you can always enable them back by toggling on the option. Also, if you are not sure about an option and what it does, it is better to ignore it.

3. Image optimization

 

Another most significant bottleneck that modern websites go through is because of lousy image optimization. Let’s take an example to get a better understanding. When a page loads, it loads different elements including images. With images, their metadata is also loaded. However, the metadata doesn’t help (in some cases). So, you can remove metadata from images and make it easy for the CPU to process the page.

You can use PNGGauntlet to do the job for you. It is a free plugin. However, if you can also use JPEGmini, a compressor that is paid. You can get it for just $19.99.

Both the above-recommended plugins also let you compress images. Furthermore, you can also use plugins such as WP Smush.it, EWWW Image Optimizer and more.

4. Configure WordPress crawl rules

Believe it or not, your website is crawled by a lot of crawlers. But, not all crawlers are useful. Some are there to scrap your data for other use. As a crawler crawls a site, it uses precious CPU cycles. To ensure that it doesn’t happen, you can easily block them and only let the important ones crawl your website.

You can use the “crawl rate limiting rules” function in Wordfence to ensure that a useful bot does crawl. Also, you can change settings for crawlers providing that your website doesn’t get slow due to unnecessary CPU usage. You can also block IP address if you think someone is continually hammering your servers for no reason whatsoever. This will improve the experience of legit visitors and enhance CPU performance in every scenario.

5. Limit Google+ Bing Crawl

Popular search engines crawling your website is critical. However, they are resource-hungry especially Google crawler. The good news is that you can limit site crawl rate for both Google and Bing. By doing so, you are not affecting your Google rankings. According to Google, you can customize the crawl rate according to your preference. For example, a news website should always have a higher crawl rate compared to a site that published once a day.

If that’s the case, you should go to the Google Search Console and search for the “site settings.” There you can find the option of crawl rate to low. Bing also offers similar crawl rate control. You can do it by going to Bing Webmasters Tools and then change it in the “Crawl Control” settings.

6. Database cleaning

Another proper way to improve the CPU performance is to clean your database. If a database is bloated with unnecessary information, it takes more CPU time to process a simple query. Now, imagine how much database learning can impact if your website requires multiple queries per second.

With regular queries, your database stores a lot of data that is not required for proper functioning of the website. Some of the examples include post revisions, trash, transients, and so on. Also, plugin data is stored even after a plugin is uninstalled. This can lead to a bloated database.

The best approach is to use optimization plugins such as WP-Optimize and WP Rocket regularly. You can use both the plugins to automate the cleaning.

7. Avoid high CPU usage plugins

You can find a lot of plugins that can have a massive impact on site performance. These plugins should be avoided if you want to have your CPU usage in control. Some of the plugins that can slow your website or eat precious CPU cycle are Jetpack, SumoMe, Visual Composer, and so on. To know the impact of a plugin on your site, you can install it and then go to GTmetrix to check its website impact. If it is too much, it is better to avoid it and find an alternative.

If you are not sure which plugins are CPU intensive, you can use free hosting to try out the plugins. There are various hosting providers like 000webhost who offers free hosting for beginners. You can also choose to use localhost and check the CPU usage. If everything looks good, you can then install the plugin on your live website.

Conclusion

These seven tips will surely help you to minimize CPU usage. You can also use cache plugins to improve CPU usage further. There are many points that we are not able to cover. However, the above points will surely help you in getting a decent improvement.

 

Playing detective: how to identify bad backlinks

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Playing detective: how to identify bad backlinks

Playing detective: how to identify bad backlinks

I completed a backlink audit recently, and this is the post I wish I’d had when starting the tedious task of identifying the nasty links. Not all dodgy links are obvious, heck some are even near-impossible to find, especially when you have a spreadsheet containing thousands of them.

This is not a post about how to do a backlink audit from A-Z – that’s already been written about loads of times. Instead, I’m going to take you through how to identify patterns in your backlink data to quickly and accurately uncover spammy links.

I’ve written this post for the greater good of all SEOs, and yes, you’re welcome.

Wait – do I even need to do a backlink audit?

There has been some confusion since the last Penguin update as to whether or not SEOs even need to carry out backlink audits anymore. After all, Google has said that now they only devalue spam links as opposed to penalising the site receiving them, right?

Well, the short answer is: yes, you probably should continue to carry out backlink audits and update your disavow file. You can read more about this here and here.

Why can’t I just use an automated tool to find the bad links?

I know it’s tempting to get automated backlink tools such as Kerboo to do all the hard-lifting for you. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t a great idea.

In the backlink audit, I did recently, 93% of porn links were assigned a link risk of ‘neutral’ with a score of 500/1,000 (0 being the safest link and 1,000 being the riskiest). Links from the BBC also received a ‘neutral’ rating, with some getting a higher risk score than the porn links! Go figure.


Automated backlink tools can be super valuable; however, this is because of all the data they draw together into a single spreadsheet, as opposed to them being particularly accurate at rating the risk of links. To rely solely on their link risk metrics for your backlink audit is a quick ticket to trouble.

Is this guide relevant to my site?

This post is not a ‘one-size fits all’ strategy to a backlink audit, so please use your common sense. For example, below I recommend that root domains containing the word ‘loan’ are generally indicative of unscrupulous sites. However, if you’re doing a backlink audit for a financial services firm, then this generalisation is less likely to apply to you.

It’s up to you to think about the guidelines below in the context of the site you’re auditing and to adjust accordingly.

You will need

Before you start, you will need to have all your backlinks neatly assembled in a spreadsheet along with the following information:

URL (one example per linking root domain)
root domain
anchor text
citation flow (Majestic) or domain authority (Ahrefs or Moz)
trust flow (Majestic) or domain trust (Ahrefs or Moz)
backlinks
IP address
title
page language
link location
and anything else you can think of that could be useful

This article can bring you up to speed if you’re not sure how to assemble this data. Make sure to combine data from as many sources as possible, as different SEO tools will contain different information and you don’t want to miss anything! As I said earlier, I would also recommend Kerboo as one of your data sources, as it pulls a lot of the information you could want into one place.

How to spot the patterns

Fortunately for us, the bad guys almost always do their dirty work in bulk, which makes life easier for us good guys who inevitably have to clean up after them. It’s rare to find one dodgy directory submission or a single piece of spun content containing a paid link. This is a massive help – use it to your advantage!

Pivot Tables

I highly recommend creating a pivot table of your data so that you can see how many times an issue has occurred in your data set. This can help you to quickly spot patterns.


Above: spotting suspicious anchor text using a pivot table

For example, let’s say you’re doing a backlink audit for a clothing site. By pivoting for anchor text, you might be able to quickly spot that ‘buy cheap dresses’ appears several times. Given the commercial nature of this anchor text, it’s likely it could be spam. You could spot check some of these URLs to make sure, and if they’re consistently dodgy, you can reasonably assume the rest of the links with this anchor text are too.

Above: putting together a pivot table to spot anchor text frequencies (view large version of gif)

Word Clouds

Another thing I like to do is to dump my data into a word cloud generator. This is useful because it visualises the data (the bigger the word, the more times it appears in your dataset). It can help me to quickly catch something that looks like it shouldn’t be there.

Keeping on top of your data

Make sure you make a note as you work that explains why you’ve decided to disavow a set of links. It helps not just at the end when you’re reviewing your links, but will also be a big help when you come to spot patterns. It will also stop you from revisiting the same links multiple times and asking yourself ‘why did I decide these were bad links?’

Above: screenshot from my recent backlink audit with ‘action’ and ‘reason’ columns

Examples of common patterns to find bad backlinks

I’m now going to give you specific examples of bad links which you can use to find patterns in your data.

It’s not always a clear-cut answer as to whether a link is spam or not, however, the guidelines below should help guide you in the right direction.

When you’re unsure about a link, ask yourself: ‘if it wasn’t for SEO, would this link even exist?’

Words to look for in the root domain or URL
X-rated words in the URL

You’ll immediately want to disavow (unless of course, these are relevant to your site) any x-rated links. These usually contain one of the following terms in their URL:

porn
xxx
sex (also sexy can result in some shady sites)
escort
dirty
adult
and any more dodgy words you can think of that relate to orgies, orgasms and other obscenities

Be careful not to accidentally disavow URLs where ‘sex’ is in the middle of a word – such as sussexhotels.com or essex.ac.uk. This will require some manual spot checking.

Root domain contains references to directories & listings

Next, you want to look for any URLs that indicate manipulative SEO link-building tactics. Directories are an obvious example of this, and while not all directories are bad (here is a good article on how to tell the difference), generally those created purely for link-building purposes contain the following words in the root domain:

‘directory’ – especially ‘dir’ and ‘webdir’
‘links’ – especially ‘weblinks’, ‘hotlinks’ or ‘toplinks’
‘listings’

You might notice I’ve specifically said ‘root domain’ as opposed to ‘URL’ here. There is a reason for this: you might find lots of URLs in your dataset where ‘links’ is in the URL path. As a general rule, these are a lot less likely to be manipulative links. Compare http://www.lutterworthyouththeatreacademy.co.uk/links.html with www.speedylinks.uk. One of these is spam, and the other isn’t – can you spot the difference?

Root domain contains references to SEO

You’ll also find that if the root domain contains SEO or web-related terms, it’s likely it exists simply to serve the purpose of building links. Look out for the following words in the root domain:

‘domain’
‘search’
‘seo’
‘web’

Bear in mind that lots of sites have ‘search’ pages, so your best bet is to focus on the root domain for this to be an indication of anything suspect.

Content farms are another common feature of a poor backlink profile. Look for any domains that contain ‘article’.

Other dodgy root domains

The following keywords in the domain are usually indicative of dodgy link-building practices:

‘cash’
‘loan’
‘com’ (such as com-com-com.com – yes, really)
‘world’
‘ads’

Root domain contains consonant or number clusters

Another obvious sign is any root domains which simply do not make sense. You’ll likely have lots of domains linking to your site consisting of bundles of consonants and letters, such as ‘1073wkcr.com’ or ‘a0924111232.freebbs.tw’. Watch out for domains like these, as more often than not they are low quality.

You can easily find URLs like this by sorting your root domain column from A-Z. You will find that:

any domain starting with a number will appear at the top of your list.
scrolling to the bottom to letters x, y and z usually throws up lots of domains with consonant clusters that do not make sense.

The ccTLD is uncommon

Uncommon ccTLDs are usually indicative of dodgy sites. Any site worth its salt will try and obtain the .com, .net, .org, .edu or relevant country ccTLD for its domain name. The less common ccTLDs are an indication of a lower quality site and those examples I found in my most recent backlink audit which indicated spammy sites were:

.biz
.casino
.clothing
.ooo
.properties, etc

Looking at titles for further clues

When the domain name or URL isn’t particularly insightful, the page title is the next place to look. Look out for the same keywords listed above, as well as the following phrases:

‘most visited web pages’
‘reciprocal links’
‘link partner’
‘link exchange’
‘seo friendly’

Another clue is to find any site titles that are completed unrelated to the niche of your site. Titles that contain commercial terms are particularly suspect, such as 

‘louis vuitton belts’
‘nike shoes’

As I mentioned before, bad backlinks often operate in bulk, and there’s nothing like a load of duplicate titles to lead you hot on the heels of a group of spammy URLs.

What can anchor text tell us?
Is it keyword-heavy?

A popular SEO tactic in the pre-Penguin days was to link to your site with keyword-heavy or commercial anchor text, such as ‘cheap red dresses’.  Make sure to put together a pivot table of your anchor text so you can quickly scan for any recurring anchor text that looks suspiciously well-optimised and check out these links to see if they’re legit – they probably aren’t.

Does it make sense?

In addition, any anchor text that simply doesn’t make any sense or is completely unrelated to the site you’re auditing is highly likely to be low quality.

Is the language consistent with the rest of the page?

Finally, any anchor text that is in a different language to the rest of the content on the page is likely to be a paid link. You can use the ‘language’ column (provided by Ahrefs and Kerboo) to see what language the page is in, and you can compare this to the language of the anchor text of your links. Anywhere where there is a mismatch is likely to be suspicious.

Duplicate root IP address

Pivot your data to see if there are several with the same IP address. If there is a block of URLs that share the same IP address and one of these is spammy, it could be likely that the rest are too.

Make sure to do a manual spot check of the sites to make sure you’re not disavowing anything harmless. For example, sites hosted at blogspot.com and wordpress.com are commonly hosted at the same IP address, and many of these will be harmless.

Where on the page is the link located?

In many backlink reports, there’s a column which tells you where on the page the link is located. In Kerboo, this column is called ‘link section’, and it’s another nifty tool for us to use in our hunt for dodgy links. Filter this column for keywords contained in the footer and sidebar to see if there are any which look suspicious on opening the page.

Footer and sidebar links are prime locations for dodgy backlinks. Why? Because these are site-wide, they are often targeted for paid link placements as the recipient of the link can often benefit from the most link equity in this way.

In addition, if the link is providing no value to users on the site (for example, if it’s completely unrelated to the site content, which is likely if it’s a paid link) then the footer is a useful place to essentially ‘hide’ the link from users while still providing link equity to the recipient.

Where is the link pointing to?

In the ‘link to’ column, look out for links pointing to the ‘money pages’ on your site – these are any pages which are revenue-drivers or particularly important for other reasons, such as product pages or sign-up pages.

It’s natural in a backlink profile to have the majority of links pointing to your homepage; this is where most people will link to by default. It’s much harder to build links to pages deeper in a site, especially product pages, as it’s not particularly natural for people to link here.

By glancing an eye over links which point to money pages, it’s likely you could spot a few suspicious links which have been previously built to help boost the rankings of important pages on your site.

Taking things to the next level

All the tips I’ve shared with you so far have involved mining data that is easily accessible to you in your backlink spreadsheet – things such as root domain, URL, page title and anchor text.

To take your backlink audit up a level, it’s time to get savvy. This is where Screaming Frog comes in.

Using Custom Search to spot link directories

You know how earlier we mentioned that not all directories are bad? Well, an easy way to spot if a directory exists solely for link-building purposes is to see if the page contains phrases such as ‘submit link’, ‘link exchange’ or ‘add your site’.

These telltale phrases will not necessarily be in the URL or page title of your link, so this is why it’s necessary to take things up a step.

To find pages which contain these terms, you can run a crawl of your backlink URLs using the Screaming Frog Custom Search feature.

Above: using Screaming Frog ‘Custom Search’ to find web pages containing suspicious text

Once the crawl is finished, you can then download the URLs that contain the phrases above. These will most likely be some obvious link directories that you’ll want to disavow pretty sharpish.

Using Custom Search to spot spun content

The Screaming Frog custom search feature isn’t just useful for finding directory links. This is where you really need to put on your detective hat and to have a good think of any patterns you’ve noticed so far in your backlink audit.

When I did my audit recently, I noticed a recurring theme with some of the paid links. There were links to other sites with commercial anchor text that kept appearing alongside the link to the site I was auditing. This was a piece of spun content that had been copied and pasted across multiple sites and forums, and whoever had done the work was clearly being lazy, lumping a load of unrelated links together in one paragraph.

Apart from the fact the text made no sense whatsoever, the anchor text of these other links was extremely commercial: ‘cheap nike free run 2 for men’ and ‘chanel outlet UK’ where a recurring theme.

Above: example of spun content that appeared in my recent backlink audit

I’d tried to find a pattern in the URLs or titles of these pages, but it was a bit hit and miss. It was then that I realised I could do what I had done to find the directory links – Screaming Frog custom search.

I, therefore, carried out a Screaming Frog crawl that looked for recurring anchor text such as ‘cheap nike’ and ‘chanel outlet’ to identify any URLs that I hadn’t yet uncovered. It was extremely useful and allowed me to identify some URLs that up to that point I had been unable to identify from the data in my spreadsheet alone.

To wrap up

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! I appreciate this post was a lot of writing, but I hope it’s really helped you to dig out any dodgy links that were lurking under the surface.

If there’s one thing to take away, it’s to look for any patterns or consistencies in the dodgy links that you find, and to then use these to dig out the less obvious links.

Do you have certain criteria that you find helpful when identifying bad backlinks? Comment below!