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Why Your WordPress Site Doesn’t Rank High on Google

Posted by on Apr 15, 2019 in Greg's SEO Articles | Comments Off on Why Your WordPress Site Doesn’t Rank High on Google

A website is critical to the success of your online business – it’s the first thing users will look for, so you have to make sure they can find you easily. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the only way to achieve this.

Ergo it is essential to understand the cause of low ranking, so let’s take a look!

GOOGLE HASN’T INDEXED YOUR WEBSITE

This happens to newly-launched WordPress sites since it takes a few weeks for this search engine giant to detect and list you.

Simply search ‘site:’ and add your domain name after it in the search box. If your website shows up as the first result, Google has indexed it, but if you can’t find it, then it may take a few days before you find it using that search query.

META TAGS ARE POORLY OPTIMIZED

Meta tags are website components that allow Google to analyze and rank your content. You have to make sure meta tags are crafted properly:

. Meta description: explains webpage content (up to 160 characters)
. Meta title: another way to keep Google informed about the content
. Image tags: visual elements are also crawled and analyzed, so make sure to mark images adequately.

WEBSITE’S NOT MOBILE-FRIENDLY

Your job is to build a responsive site that functions perfectly across multiple devices. This is best done by using a new, mobile-friendly theme, but it can also be done plugin-wise (WPTouch and JetPack being just two examples).

YOUR CONTENT IS BAD

Content is one thing that really has the power to make or break your online efforts. A typical first-page result on Google contains almost 2,000 words, so today’s users want to see, read, or hear in-depth analyses – it covers topics from all angles, giving visitors a thorough explanation of the topic in question.

YOU HAVE NO BACKLINKS

If no one shares or wants to share links that lead back to your website, it probably means you aren’t publishing quality content. Google takes it into account and labels your site as irrelevant, so you can’t rank much higher in user searches.

YOUR SITE LOADS SLOWLY

visitors typically expect a web page to load in less than three seconds. What you need to do make that possible is test your site’s load speed (such as Pingdom). These tests will show you everything you can do to make your site load faster.

YOU DON’T HAVE ANY SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY

Social buzz improves the visibility of pages, so if you don’t have business accounts on platforms like Facebook or Instagram, you should start using them right away.

YOU HAVE TOO MANY AFFILIATE LINKS

Websites that focus on affiliate marketing instead of quality content are going to get penalized by Google sooner or later.

TOUGH COMPETITION

Lastly, competition may be too tough for a certain keyword. If that’s the case, focus on a less competitive niche by targeting the right audience and finding keywords that won’t overlap with the ones used by industry leaders.

Reducing WordPress Site CPU Usage

Posted by on Apr 11, 2019 in Greg's SEO Articles | Comments Off on Reducing WordPress Site CPU Usage

While it’s praised for its ease of use and user-friendliness, it can also be resource-hungry. Fortunately there are simple fixes to said issue.

AVOID FANCY DESIGNS AND ANY GIMMICKS YOU WON’T BE USING

Make sure first and foremost that your website is fast-loading and message-focused before elegence – otherwise, you’re going to have a site that doesn’t convert well. Having a slider, for example, is nice but you will have to resize the images considerably so it doesn’t slow nearly everything (literally) down.

CHECK YOUR WEBSITE PLUGINS CAREFULLY

Sometimes what’s most resource-demanding is hidden behind the scenes because of plugins. Disable them one by one and test your site’s performance; then verify CPU usage when they’re turned off. Doing this will show you which you need to remove or replace.

OPTIMIZE IMAGES

Just as mentioned regarding your slider/s, if you don’t optimize them, they will demand their share of resources, rendering WordPress to operate less than optimally. We recommend a plugin call “resmush.it” which is very fast at such a process, and optimizes images upon upload.

GET A CONTENT DELIVERY NETWORK

By doing so, like using Cloudflare for instance, certain static files on your site (images, videos, etc.) are loaded from external servers, leaving more power for WordPress. Ergo, usage spikes are prevented.

CLEAN THE DATABASE REGULARLY

It’s not just the WP database that must be taken care of – many plugins grow in size over time by cluttering said database and require regular cleanups. There are plenty of plugins available for database cleanups and don’t require technical knowledge.

GET A CACHING PLUGIN

Instead of generating content every time a particular user visits your website, such a plugin will create static versions of your site’s webpages. Therefore, CPU usage is decreased even further.

How To Force Q&A On a GMB Page That Doesn’t Have It

Posted by on Apr 11, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How To Force Q&A On a GMB Page That Doesn’t Have It

How To Force Q&A On a GMB Page That Doesn’t Have It

Here’s a stupid little GMB Q&A thing I figured out yesterday I thought you all might enjoy.

I was asked by mi nuevo amigo, Ruben Coll Molina of PA Digital in Spain, what is the event that triggers the Q&A functionality in a GMB profile? Ruben had found that some of their SMB customers did not have the functionality. He sent me to this SERP for “nouvelle couquette”, a clothing store in Torrent, Spain. At the time, their GMB did not display the “Ask a Question” module like this:

Ok, I doctored it. Of course I forgot to take a “before” screenshot, but trust me, I’m an SEO consultant…

Anyhow, I searched for “women’s clothing stores in Torrent, Spain,” got a local pack then clicked on the “More Places” link and saw Nouvelle Couquette listed in the Google Maps Local Finder, but this time it had the Q&A widget, but no questions had been asked:

On a hunch, using my best 7th grade Spanish, I asked a question:

Ruben answered:

A few seconds later we witnessed El Milagro de Las Preguntas y Respuestas:

Quien es mas macho?

How to Fix HTTP Errors Uploading Images

Posted by on Apr 8, 2019 in Greg's SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Fix HTTP Errors Uploading Images

One of the most annoying things that can happen to your WordPress site is an HTTP error when trying to upload images – there are many ways to deal with this issue.

CHECK IF THE ERROR REALLY EXISTS

Basically, just wait for a few minutes and then check if the error comes up again, because the error may only be temporary.

TRY USING ANOTHER BROWSER

If the error still comes up, the second easiest option is just to switch between browsers. Google Chrome can often disable image uploading, so just try Firefox, Opera, etc.

DEACTIVATE PLUGINS

HTTP errors like this one could happen right after installing a plugin, particularly if it’s for image optimization. Try even disabling other plugins before trying to upload your picture once more.

INCREASE THE MEMORY LIMIT

Problems in WordPress can be easily caused by memory limits – this can be easily fixed by adding the following code to wp-config.php:

define (‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256M’);

By using this solution you will be solving your image upload problem and then some along the way, especially if your theme uses a lot of resources.

SWITCH BETWEEN IMAGE EDITORS

WordPress uses two image editors interchangeably: Imagick and GD Library. Imagick has the tendency to drain memory and henceforth cause HTTP errors. Just add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

function wpb_image_editor_default_to_gd( $editors ) {
$gd_editor = ‘WP_Image_Editor_GD’;
$editors = array_diff( $editors, array( $gd_editor ) );
array_unshift( $editors, $gd_editor );
return $editors;
}
add_filter( ‘wp_image_editors’, ‘wpb_image_editor_default_to_gd’ );

USE .HTACCESS

If you still want to use Imagick you can use another trick to prevent HTTP errors, which is to add this line of code to .htaccess:

SetEnv MAGICK_THREAD_LIMIT 1

CHECK YOUR THEME

Much like plugins, WordPress themes can also cause this HTTP error. Just try a different theme and see if the error still comes up.

UPGRADE PHP VERSION

If your hosting service is using an older PHP version, you’ll likely end up running into HTTP errors like this one and then some. If you can’t upgrade the PHP version from your control panel, you should either choose a more advanced service or change your provider entirely.

5 Enlightened Ways To Use Google Trends for Keyword Research

Posted by on Apr 8, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 5 Enlightened Ways To Use Google Trends for Keyword Research

5 Enlightened Ways To Use Google Trends for Keyword Research

5 Enlightened Ways To Use Google Trends for Keyword Research was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Keyword research tools are useful — until they don’t have enough data for your keywords.

You need to select phrases worth targeting. Sure, search engines understand concepts that are semantically connected and don’t just match keywords anymore. But when you write a webpage or design an ad, you still need to know which words to use that will do the best job conveying your concepts to searchers.

Many keyword tools lump variations together, like singulars and plurals. And they may ignore regional differences altogether.

So you may be left in the dark, just guessing.

Enter Google Trends. This surprisingly flexible and free tool can shed light on your keyword research. It gives relative search volume data — helping you choose between close alternatives, discover regional preferences and more.

Here, I’ll show you five ways to use Google Trends to make enlightened SEO keyword choices.

1. Discover Keyword Variations by Region

Your keyword research tool may not show differences in terms across a region or a country. Or it may look like the search volume is too low for you to worry about some keyword candidates. Sometimes that’s true, but sometimes it’s not.

As an example, what should you call something to put on the bed of a truck? If you’re on the East Coast, you’re likely to use the term “truck cap” or “camper shell.”

Looking these terms up in SEMrush provides keyword volume data and difficulty scores for the queries. You can also see a few alternative terms. However, there’s little or no information for these variations in a standard keyword tool.

Data from SEMrush provides a good starting place but may not give the full story. (click to enlarge)

As a result, you might be tempted to just write about truck caps and camper shells, and leave it at that.

Don’t stop there! If you enter all of the keyword suggestions you find into Google Trends, you’ll see a bigger picture.

That’s because people in different regions search for different terms. You can look at the chart by subregion to see this clearly.

Google Trends can show terminology differences between regions. You can view any country’s data here. (click to enlarge)

So if your website targets the Pacific Northwest, you’ll want to include truck canopy. And in places like Montana and Illinois, you’ll want to talk about truck topper, too. These make sense for those markets.

Which of those two images would you rather use to make a case for your keyword and content recommendations?

You might wonder why the other keyword tools didn’t show any meaningful data for the alternative search terms. It’s likely because their data is based on nationwide searches. But we know it’s important to speak the language of our customers. So use Google Trends to help find keyword ideas for unique content by region.

2. Spot Changing Trends

Language and search behavior change over time. How can you make sure your content reflects these changes?

Case in point: We used to call ourselves an “internet marketing” company. Several years ago, Google Trends confirmed that “internet marketing” was declining as a search term. “Digital marketing” was rising. So we updated our site to reflect how people were searching for our services.

Trends let you visualize swings in word usage. (click to enlarge)

By the way, “digital marketing” no longer fits our services as it’s become a very broad term. What we really do is provide great consulting services for “search marketing” (SEO, PPC, content, and social), but we do not do email or CRO or reputation management or PR and so on. So our keywords have evolved again.

Sometimes trends swing quickly and permanently.

For instance, Google AdWords rebranded to Google Ads in July 2018. A month later, Google Ads had already overtaken Google AdWords in relative search volume — which the trend chart shows:

Language changes can happen quickly. (click to enlarge graph)

Searchers change terms and adapt their searches faster than you (or your boss) might think. So plan to check Google Trends regularly. Watch for competing trends and update your content accordingly.

Searchers change terms and adapt their searches faster than you might think. So plan to check #GoogleTrends regularly. Watch for competing trends and update your content accordingly.
Click To Tweet
3. Augment Your Google Analytics

Do you ever notice a big shift in your website analytics data and wonder what’s going on?

There may be times when you don’t have enough historical data to know if your site is seeing an expected change in visits, or if something unusual has happened, maybe in the world at large.

Look in your analytics and Google Search Console data for organic traffic to your landing page for a particular keyword. Also look in Search Console for organic search queries related to your term. Compare this to Google Trends for the same searches, and you can get a more detailed understanding of your site in comparison to larger search trends.

4. Find Spelling Preferences

Keyword search volume tools often lump results together.

“Donut” and “doughnut” are listed as having the same search volume in SEMrush. Google Keyword Planner won’t even give volume results for the spelling “doughnut” — even though “doughnut” is the preferred spelling by the Associated Press (which guides most blog and newspaper writers).

Data from SEMrush (click to enlarge)

But using Google Trends, you can actually compare spellings to see how much search volume each variation gets.

Use Google Trends to confirm how to spell keywords. (click to enlarge)

More importantly, notice the annual spike in search trends for all these donut-related terms?

Scroll down to the Related queries section, and you can see searches related to National Donut Day in the U.S. (the first Friday in June). Aha! You have a new content idea for your site’s donut silo.

Related queries can give you clues for content needs. (click to enlarge)

Using #GoogleTrends, you can actually compare spellings to see how much search volume each keyword variation gets.
Click To Tweet
5. See What’s Trending Today

Don’t forget daily and realtime search trends. Google Trends lets you change the length of time for your research to just the past day, past 4 hours, or even the past hour!

When there’s an out-of-season spike in visits to your avocado recipes and your PPC budget for those related terms is spent by lunch, the trending searches can point out the avocado recall announcement and give you terms to add as negatives in your campaigns.

Avoid Data Pitfalls Where Google Trends Messes Up

Google Trends can get confused, however.

Searching for “dish soap” and “soap dish” shows identical search interest over time (you can’t even see the blue line below the red in the chart below). Yet they are two very different terms, and their results in a Google search are completely different.

On some comparisons, Google Trends can’t tell the difference. (click to enlarge)

Search volume data confirms that there is a difference in the terms, as you would expect:

Data per SEMrush (click to enlarge)

Another workaround for this Google Trends glitch is to use a plural for one or both search terms, when it makes sense.

You can see that the trends for “dish soaps” and “soap dishes” are distinctly different.

Google Trends distinguishes the plural versions. (click to enlarge)

Similarly, “marketing technology” and “technology marketing” also show identical search volumes in Google Trends.

When your common sense tells you that can’t be right, you’ll want to verify with another source. This could be as simple as performing a search in Google. Or you can look at comparison search volumes in another keyword research tool to see if searches really are identical.

Conclusion

Remember, you are not your target market. You might be in your pickup with a truck cap and eating a donut, while your reader is driving around Seattle with a truck canopy and trying to find a doughnut.

Use Google Trends to shed light on your keywords and help you know exactly what you should call things when.

Like this article? Please share it with others who can benefit from these search marketing tips!

Top 15 WordPress Tips & Tricks From The Pros

Posted by on Apr 4, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Top 15 WordPress Tips & Tricks From The Pros

WordPress is the most popular content management system that attracts both amateur webmasters and experienced website administrators. The platform generates more than 1.1 million new registered domains every six months, mostly thanks to its incredible versatility.

With almost 55 thousand plugins, you can hardly find a single website function that cannot be upgraded and improved. But the sheer fact that WordPress is so comprehensive makes first-time users dazed and confused.

Sometimes it might seem terrifying to cope with all those features at once, so it’s necessary to understand the most important functions. Our post will show you 15 professional WordPress tips and tricks.

1. Make Use of Online Learning Sources

The Internet is flooded with useful WordPress learning sources. There are tons of websites and services that can help you to master the art of website administration, including article libraries such as WP Beginner. If you need any help with WordPress-related content creation, we recommend you to consult with essay service professionals at Rush My Essay.

2. Keep It Simple

As a beginner-level webmaster, you should try to keep things simple. You don’t want to start with complex features straight away – take care of the basics before moving on to advanced functions. Of course, the first elements to consider here are themes and plugins.

3. Select a Good Theme

The theme you choose will strongly affect website performance. Our suggestion is to find a WordPress theme that perfectly resonates with your branding strategy and also gives you the possibility to make improvisations and adapt it according to your own needs.

4. Eliminate Spam Comments

The primary goal of building a website is to create content. However, a WordPress site cannot look professional with spam messages in comments. Your job is to eliminate spam using a simple procedure:

Go to phpMyAdmin ? Database
Click SQL
Enter the code line: DELETE from wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = ‘0’;

5. Understand SEO Fundamentals

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the basic precondition for higher ranking in engine searches, so you need to figure out how it works. It’s a complex topic that requires a fair share of studying, but you must understand the fundamentals such as keywords, slugs, and meta-descriptions.

6. Increase the Memory Limit

Plugins can burden a WordPress website and drain the memory, thus making your site a lot slower. You should increase the memory limit to prevent this issue. Just open the wp-config.php file and enter the following line of code: define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);

7. Analyze Performance

Analytics is yet another important aspect of website administration. You need to know where the audience comes from, how much time they spend browsing your content, etc. Google Analytics is the simplest tool that can help you to evaluate every single aspect of website functioning.  

8. Forget Image Carousels

Visual content is attractive and appealing, but you can just keep adding imagery without considering the issue of user experience. Image sliders and carousels are particularly inconvenient because they are time-consuming and force visitors to take unnecessary action. If you don’t want to boost the bounce rate, make sure to remove this type of content.

9. Take Care of Security

Website security is another major issue because you don’t want to jeopardize months or even years of content creation. Your job is to create strong passwords and use a reliable security plugin such as Sucuri or Wordfence.

10. Delete Obsolete Plugins

Sometimes inactive plugins can also harm the security of your website. This is not always the case, but we still recommend you to delete the plugins you don’t use or don’t plan to reactivate them anytime soon.

11. Highlight Author Comments

The content you publish has the purpose to hook the audience and inspire them to engage. However, you do want to highlight the author’s comments and make them stand out from the rest. In order to do so, write this code in the CSS file: .bypostauthor { background: #eee; }

12. Make a Simple Site Structure

Your site should be easy to navigate, allowing users to get wherever they want with only a few clicks. For this reason, it is important to make a simple website structure with up to six main categories that spread into the corresponding subcategories logically.

13. Improve Load Speed

Today’s users expect a webpage to load within three seconds, thus forcing administrators to optimize and improve website load speed. You can do it using online tools like Pingdom, a platform that evaluates site performance and gives you practical tips on how to reduce load time.

14. Add Social Share Buttons

Social media attract billions of users on a daily basis, which can grant you a lot of extra exposure. You can immediately install a social share plugin and allow website visitors to spread the word about your content through their accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other popular networks.

15. Back Up the Website Regularly

The last tip on our list is obvious, but we can never overestimate the significance of backups. Backing up your website regularly keeps the content safe and sound regardless of malware attacks or any other digital hazard that might occur.

Conclusion

WordPress is an all-encompassing content management system, but its complexity forces webmasters to analyze the platform carefully before making any concrete moves. We discussed 15 professional tips and tricks that can make the job a lot easier for you, so make sure to use them and build a fully functional WordPress website!

The post Top 15 WordPress Tips & Tricks From The Pros appeared first on WP Fix It.

WordPress Tips & Tricks from Pros

Posted by on Apr 4, 2019 in Greg's SEO Articles | Comments Off on WordPress Tips & Tricks from Pros

With nearly 55 thousand plugins, you can hardly find a single WordPress function that can’t be updated or improved; however, it is necessary to understand the most important functions.

1. MAKE USE OF ONLINE LEARNING SOURCES

There are plenty of websites that can help you learn WordPress back-to-back, such as WP Beginner.

2. KEEP THINGS SIMPLE

You don’t want to start out with complex features right away – just take care of basics before you move on to advanced functions.

3. CHOOSE A GOOD THEME

Find a WordPress theme that blends with your branding strategy and gives you the ability to make changes easily and adapt it according to your own needs.

4. REMOVE SPAM COMMENTS

A WordPress site’s not going to look professional with spam messages, so just go over to “comments” (right under “pages” in your WordPress dashboard) and delete any spammy comments.

5. UNDERSTAND THE FUNDAMENTALS OF SEO

Search engine optimization is what’s needed for higher ranking in Google searches, so you’ll have to understand keywords, slugs, and meta-descriptions.

6. INCREASE YOUR MEMORY LIMIT

Plugins can slow your site down by draining memory, so simply open the wp-config.php file and enter the following line of code:
define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);

7. TAKE CARE OF WEBSITE SECURITY

Don’t jeopardize months or even years of content creation. Create strong passwords and use a reliable security plugin such as “All-in-One WP Security” or “Wordfence”.

8. DELETE OBSOLETE PLUGINS

Sometimes inactive plugins can also increase the risk of a website hack, so just delete the ones you don’t use or don’t plan to reactivate.

9. HIGHLIGHT AUTHOR COMMENTS

Your content needs to hook the audience to your site, and one trick is to highlight authors’ comments. Write this simple code in the CSS file:
.bypostauthor { background: #eee; }

10. MAKE SIMPLE SITE STRUCTURES

Make your site easy to navigate by making a simple site structure with up to 6 main categories.

11. INCREASE LOAD SPEED

You can do it using online tools like “Pingdom”, a site that shows what’s fast or slow and what can be done in terms of improvement.

12. ADD SOCIAL ICONS

This’ll help visitors spread the word about your site through their accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

13. SET WEBSITE BACKUPS REGULARLY

This keeps your content safe and sound in spite of potential site hacks or technical issues like a sudden 500 error.

7 Things to Check to Ensure Your WordPress Is Secure

Posted by on Apr 1, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 7 Things to Check to Ensure Your WordPress Is Secure

You invest plenty of effort to keep your site as secure as possible. You chose a reliable host. You installed few plugins that ensure better security. Now what? Is your site safe?

You can’t just wait until security issues show up. You have to test and figure out how to secure WordPress on the go. It’s a continuous process.

In general, WordPress is secure. Still, there are few common issues that arise. Some of them include SQL injections, file inclusion exploits, and brute force attacks. That sounds scary, but you can prevent security issues if you keep working on your site.

We’ll list 7 things to check to make sure that your WordPress Site is secure.

The Checks: How to Make WordPress Site Secure

The Passwords

You already know this. You must use strong passwords that no one could ever guess. But did you? Are the passwords on your WordPress sites un-guessable? If you created these sites years ago, an update won’t hurt.

You can use a password manager to make them stronger and securely save them. 1Password is a good tool for that.

There’s something else: two-factor authentication. Did you add it? It’s one of the most effective preventive measures against brute force attacks. You can use a WP plugin to enable it.  

The Site’s Attack Surface

What can hackers attack at your website? What vulnerable surface have you left for them?

When a hacker decides to target a website, they won’t take random actions hoping to hit a vulnerable spot. They target the so-called attack surface, which includes the web applications, themes, and plugins that your website runs.

You can’t eliminate the attack surface, since you have to run applications. But you don’t need them all, so you can minimize these vulnerability issues. Start by removing all apps that you don’t need or you don’t use. Then, remove the accounts that are not being used.

The Backup

So you worked really hard to get high-quality content there. You invested in long-form posts, whitepapers, info-graphics, and even research studies. You hired a writer to write a brilliant essay, which got tons of positive attention and shares.

But you lose it. You lose all the content.

Now what?

No one really thinks about backups until something like this happens. At that moment, this is all you can think: “I wish I had a backup.” Don’t wish! Do it! Choose a backup plugin that offers a flawless restoration process. If the worst happens, you’ll have your site back with a click of a button.  

The Firewall

Do you have a security team actively maintaining the firewall? You should! Whenever a theme or a plugin gets vulnerable, it takes time for a fix to be introduced. During this time, your website is exposed and it’s the firewall that protects it.

Attacks can happen anytime. You need to invest in a team that will discover them. In addition, they will discover vulnerabilities before the hackers do, so they could improve the firewall on time.

The Users and Their Roles

Do other people have access to the panel? If you have contributors, you have to check and verify their roles. No one should have admin access. They could easily sign you out and take control over the site. That can happen if you started the site together with someone, they left it to you, and now they decided they want it back.

You want to remove the inactive users. Then, you should make sure everyone is assigned the right role.

The Security Plugin

This is one of the few plugins that you must install to a WordPress site. It will automate a good portion of the security checkups.

Wordfence and iThemes Security Pro are among the best security plugins at the moment. They include features like password checks, malware scans, two-step authentication, and more.

The Security… Duh!

Even if you take all steps towards better security, you’re never 100% secure. You have to schedule regular security checks. For that, you need to choose a good website malware and security scanner. It will discover outdated software, errors, and all kinds of trouble, so you can fix it before it causes damage.

You See? It’s Not That Hard

You’re always trying to make your site better. That’s your daily goal. But the first thing you should be asking yourself is: is this site safe?

Security is not something you can achieve and stop working on. It’s an on-going process that demands commitment. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to make the commitment. Just follow the tips above and you’ll stay on the right track.

The post 7 Things to Check to Ensure Your WordPress Is Secure appeared first on WP Fix It.

Checking to Ensure Your WordPress Site is Secure

Posted by on Apr 1, 2019 in Greg's SEO Articles | Comments Off on Checking to Ensure Your WordPress Site is Secure

You invest a lot of effort and time to keep your site secure. You’ve chosen a reliable host, and you’ve installed some plugins that ensure better security. Now what? Is your site now safe?

Here are a handful of things you can do to make sure your WordPress Site is secure.

PASSWORDS
This one’s obvious: you have to choose a strong password. But: are they unguessable? A password update won’t do any harm if you haven’t changed it in a while.

You could use a password generator (available in WordPress’ “Your Profile” page under “Users), but there’s also “Two-Factor Authentication”, which can be a CAPTCHA, text-message verification, a question to verify it’s you (e.g. “Birthplace”, “name of first pet”, etc.), and much more. Most security plugins like “All-in-One WP Security” have such options available.

ATTACK SURFACES
When someone decides to hack a website, they attack what’s called an “attack surface”, which can be the web applications, themes, and plugins on your website.

Remove any themes, plugins or accounts you don’t or aren’t going to use.

BACKUPS
No one really thinks about backups until a hack occurs. “BackWPUp” is a plugin we highly recommend so you can be ready for a potential attack and you can restore your site with ease.

FIREWALLS
Attacks can happen at anytime. “All-in-One WP Security” has this and much more!

USERS AND THEIR ROLES
Who else has access to your WordPress site? Remove any users that are no longer needed.

SECURITY PLUGINS
This can’t be stressed enough, but “All-in-One WP Security” and others like “WordFence” have plenty to offer such as password checking, malware scanning, the afore-mentioned two-step authentication features, checks for outdated plugins / themes, and much more.

How to Create a Global SEO Strategy

Posted by on Mar 28, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Create a Global SEO Strategy

How to Create a Global SEO Strategy

As a child, I did everything that most kids did. I played outside with friends, I watched a lot of TV, I loved eating cereal for breakfast, and I went to school.

My childhood wasn’t too much different than yours. But there was one thing that was a bit unique.

I grew up watching Bloomberg before I went to school.

Now, I don’t want you to think I was some child prodigy because I wasn’t. The only reason I watched Bloomberg in the morning is that my dad dabbled in the stock market and wanted to know if his stocks were going up or down.

Plus, we only had one TV… so I didn’t really have a choice.

But from all of those years of watching Bloomberg, it wasn’t too hard for me to spot trends. And one of the big ones is globalization.

See, as a kid, most of the financial news channels discussed how things were progressing in America.

But now, due to technological advances, companies no longer see themselves as regional or even national. Things like headquarters no longer matter.

Companies look at themselves from a global perspective. And every big company out there has done well because they focus on attracting customers from all over the world as it’s a much bigger pool and opens up more potential revenue.

And it’s not just businesses, it’s people too. When children go to school these days, their parents think about how they are going to stack up against kids in other countries versus kids just from their own classroom.

So, with everyone thinking from a global perspective, why do you think of your SEO from a national or regional perspective?  

Don’t beat yourself up just yet, I used to think about SEO from a national perspective until a Google employee opened up my eyes.

And once I cracked the nut of international SEO, my traffic exploded…

So how much traffic do I get?

Here’s how many visitors NeilPatel.com received over the last 7 days.

In the last 7 days, there were 972,026 sessions on my site that generated 1,501,672 pageviews. And of those visitors, 584,294 where unique people. Hopefully, you were one of those unique people. 😉

But this is where it gets interesting…

The United States only makes up 22.35% of my traffic.

The rest is coming from other countries and, in many of them, English isn’t their primary language. Just look at the chart above… Brazil, India, Germany, Spain, and France are all examples where I am generated a lot of traffic from.

Of course, there are people all around the world that speak English, but the big reason for the growth is that I started to expand internationally by doing things like translating my content.

Just click on the language selector next to my logo and you’ll see some of the regions I am going after.

So how does one go after organic traffic from different countries?

The simple answer is to translate your content. If you translate your content into different languages, in theory, you should get more traffic.

Just look at the most popular languages all across the globe:

Mandarin Chinese (1.1 billion speakers)
English (983 million speakers)
Hindi (544 million speakers)
Spanish (527 million speakers)
Arabic (422 million speakers)
Malay (281 million speakers)
Russian (267 million speakers)
Bengali (261 million speakers)
Portuguese (229 million speakers)
French (229 million speakers)

But what most people won’t tell you (because they haven’t done it enough times) is that translating your content isn’t enough. Even if you translate it and adapt it to a specific country, it doesn’t guarantee success.

I had to learn this the hard way.

Case in point, here are the traffic stats during the last 7 days for the Portuguese version of my blog:

And here are my traffic stats during the last 7 days for Spanish:

I get a whopping 238% more traffic on the Portuguese version of NeilPatel.com than I do on the Spanish version.

Here’s what’s interesting…

There are 298 million more Spanish speakers than Portuguese speakers.
My team doesn’t just translate articles for both of those regions, we optimize them and make sure they are adapted to the local markets.
We do keyword research to make sure we are going after popular terms.
And I have more backlinks to the Spanish version of the site than I do to the Portuguese version.

Here’s the backlink profile to the Spanish version:

And here is the backlink profile of the Portuguese version:

As you can see, the Spanish version has 52% more backlinks.

Are you puzzled why the Spanish version of my blog isn’t as popular? There is a reason and I’ll give you a hint. Here’s a quote from Eric Schmidt who used to be the CEO of Google:

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

Need another hint?

Here’s how many people land on my site from branded queries (people searching for my domain name or variations of it) in Spanish speaking countries:

And here’s how many people land on my site from brand queries in Portuguese speaking countries:

That’s why I get so much more traffic from Portuguese speaking regions like Brazil. I have 104% more brand queries.

It’s something Google values so much that most people ignore.

And it’s not just me. I have analytics access to 18 other companies that have a global strategy due to my ad agency. I obviously can’t share their stats, but it just shows the power of brand queries from a global perspective.

So, what’s the real secret to ranking well globally?

Based on my site and helping 18 other sites go global, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. Sadly, I made one too many mistakes, but you won’t as long as you follow the advice below.

Localizing

You have to translate and adjust your content to each region you want to target. You can do so by hiring translators on sites like Upwork, but the quality may be low.

Now, this doesn’t mean Upwork is bad, more so you should consider getting an editor who knows the local market, speaks the local language and speaks English, and understands the niche you are working in.

This way they’ll understand your goals, your original content, and the market you are going after.

And similar to finding translators on Upwork, you can also find editors there too. Just interview a few and ideally look for people with experience in your field.

The last thing you want to do is translate 100 articles to find out that they were all low quality and you have to do it all over again.

Keyword research

Popular keywords in one language aren’t always popular in other languages.

Read this article to get an overview of how I rank for 477,000 keywords. It teaches you the concept of key expansion and it’s important for your translators and editors to understand the process. You’ll want them to use it.

In addition to that, have them use free keyword research tools like Ubersuggest as it will give them more ideas. I would also have them check out this tutorial as it will teach them how to get the most out of Ubersuggest.

By understanding which keywords to go after in new markets, you can start creating new content (beyond just translating) to target keywords that are relevant and have high search volume. By understanding where there are gaps in the quality of the competition’s posts, you’ll be able to produce new, high-quality content that can rank quickly.

The article on my Portuguese blog, for example, that gets the most organic traffic from Google is an article that only exists in Brazil. We found a keyword to go after that had low competition but high search volume and were able to rank very quickly for it. In the last 30 days, that article has had 17,197 visits.

Build links

Building links in English may be hard, but internationally it’s easy.

No one really sends those cold outreach emails begging for links, so when you do this for countries like Brazil, you’ll find that it is fishing with dynamite.

Again, you’ll want someone who knows the language to do the outreach… this can be your editor or someone you hire from Upwork.

Once you have the person who is going to be in charge of your link building, have them start with this. It will break down what they need to do step-by-step.

Make sure you let them know to avoid spam sites, paying for links, and even building rich anchor text links.

Remember in these markets SEO isn’t as competitive, so it won’t be too hard to get rankings. 

Hreflang

Google doesn’t penalize for duplicate content… especially when it is in a different language.

If you translate your content, it isn’t as simple as popping it up on landing pages. You have to tell Google which version to show for each country/language. You would use hreflang for that.

Here’s a video that explains how it works:

And here is a tool that’ll help you generate the hreflang code needed for your site.

Subdomains over subdirectories

On NeilPatel.com, you’ll notice that I use subdirectories for each language/country over subdomains.

They say subdirectories are better because more authority and juice flows through your site versus using subdomains.

But here’s what I learned the hard way, you are much better off using subdomains from everything that I tested than subdirectories.

Not only is it easier to rank as it is treated as a separate site, but it ranks faster from my experience. And if you don’t mind spending the extra money, I would even consider registering the international variation of each domain and forwarding it to the respective subdomain.

Browser redirects

Similar to how Google Analytics shows you the browsers people are using and countries and languages people come to your site from… your server is also getting that data.

What you’ll want to do is redirect users once you’ve translated your content and set up your hreflang tags.

For example, if you were to visit this site form Brazil and your browser told us that your preferred language is Portuguese, we would automatically forward you to the Portuguese version of the site. Not just to the homepage, but to the correct page you were originally browsing, just the translated version.

Now if you were visiting this blog from India and your browser stated that your preferred language was English, we wouldn’t forward you to the Hindi version of the blog. We would keep you on the English version as that’s what you prefer.

If you don’t forward people, you’ll find that it takes search engines much longer to realize that they should be ranking the language and country-specific sections of your site instead of the English version.

Build a community

As I mentioned above, international SEO isn’t just about backlinks or content, it’s about building a brand.

I pay in each country to respond to my blog comments as I don’t speak Spanish and Portuguese so I can’t personally respond to them.

I show them how I respond to comments in English so they can replicate me.

I also spend money on boosting posts on Facebook within those regions as it helps me attract new potential readers and get my brand out there.

And most importantly, I hire people on the ground in each country to help build up my brand. That’s why I do so well in places like Brazil over the Spanish market.

I have more people on the ground in Brazil focusing on brand building. From attending conferences to representing my brand on webinars… they put in the effort to truly help people out when it comes to anything marketing related.

That’s how you build a brand. Just look at my Instagram channel, the content is in English, but a lot of my followers are from Brazil due to the localized brand building efforts.

AMP

Do you remember Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)? No one talks about AMP anymore, but it does help increase traffic.

What we’ve found through testing is that in regions like the United States, AMP doesn’t do much, if anything, for your traffic.

But for regions like Brazil and India, where their infrastructure is still developing, we found that leveraging AMP boosts mobile search traffic by anywhere from 9 to 32%.

If you don’t want to use AMP that’s fine too. Just make sure you optimize your load speed times. Not only does it boost traffic, but it also boosts conversions.

Time

Similar to how it takes forever for you to get Google rankings in English speaking markets, it does take time internationally. Typically, not as long as it does for the United States or United Kingdom markets, but it does take time.

Typically, if you are doing everything above, you’ll see some results within 3 months. Things will really take off at the 9-month mark and after a year you should be crushing it.

Now as your traffic and rankings go up, this doesn’t mean you should slow down. Just like how you can lose rankings on your English site, the same can easily happen for any other region.

What countries should I target first?

You got everything done when it comes to international SEO… all that’s left is tackling the right regions.

It would be great to go after every language and country at once, but it’s going to be too resource intensive and costly.

You could try tactics like automatically translating your content through machine learning, but the translations won’t be great and your user metrics such as bounce rates will go through the roof. This typically will lead your whole site’s rankings to tank.

You don’t want to do that.

Another approach people take is to go after the markets with the highest GDP… such as the USA, China, Japan, UK, Germany, etc…

But going after markets that have money doesn’t guarantee success either because culturally each region is different. Some may not care for your products or services.

What I like doing is to look at your Google Analytics and see where your traffic is coming from. Are you getting traffic from countries where English isn’t their main language? And, if so, are people from those countries buying your products and services?

If they are, now you have a list of potential countries to go after.

Then what you’ll want to do is look at your competition and see if they are going after any regions by translating their sites. Chances are if a region that isn’t predominantly English speaking is driving you sales, and your competitor is translating their content for that region, then you should be going after it as well.

Conclusion

SEO is no longer about ranking your site in one country or even just English-speaking countries.

You have no choice but to think of it from a global perspective. Not only is it more affordable, but there is less competition and you can see results faster.

Sure, the total market of some of these international countries may only be a fraction of the United States, but there won’t be much competition, which means you can gobble up the market share.

So what countries are you focused on with your SEO?

The post How to Create a Global SEO Strategy appeared first on Neil Patel.