SEO Articles

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Is Javascript Bad For SEO?

Is Javascript Bad For SEO?

Does a bear poop in the woods? With javascript and SEO, the answer is just as clear, if a little more complicated.

Javascript-driven sites aren’t bad for indexation. Google can crawl a site that populates content client-side.

Javascript-driven client-side content is bad for SEO. Javascript-driven sites make Google work harder. At the very least, Google renders them more slowly. In the SERPs, that’s a competitive disadvantage.

To demonstrate (Ian rubs his hands together) I get to use quadrant diagrams.

If you already know how javascript works, what client-side rendering is, and how Google handles client-side rendering, print this, stick it to your forehead, and move on:

quadrant

The javascript/SEO quadrant

For us mere mortals, here’s a fuller explanation:

Two Types Of Javascript

There are two ways client-side javascript—javascript executed by a web browser—can interact with web content:

UI enhancement changes the way the browser interacts with content rendered on the server. Examples include tabbed, drop down navigation, and (sigh) carousels.

Client-side rendering delivers pages and content separately. Your web browser uses javascript to merge the two.

This post talks about client-side javascript rendering and why it’s bad for SEO.

Client vs. Server-Side

Every web page is an interaction between a client (a browser, like Chrome, or a bot, like Google) and a server.

Generating a web page involves three steps:

Fetch the page template (the layout)
Fetch the content
Merge the content with the template

Server- and client-side rendering perform these three steps differently.

Server-side rendering does all three steps on the server, then sends the result to the client. The client has everything it needs, renders the full page, and goes on its merry way.

Client-side rendering uses javascript to split the labor: It sends the template to the browser or bot, then sends the content separately. The browser uses javascript to merge the content and the template. Client-side rendering has advantages: It’s speedy (if you do it right). It’s a great way to build interactive applications. But it requires more work by the client.

Here’s our quadrant diagram so far:

quadrant-server-client

Server and client rendering

Static Content vs. Dynamic Interface

Some pages are just stuff: Words and pictures and links and buttons. Clicking those links and buttons send me to another page or display a form. They don’t profoundly modify the page itself. That’s static content, and it’s what you browse 90% of the time: Articles, product pages, blog posts, news, etc.

Other pages change a lot depending on my actions: A text editor, a multi-faceted search, or a page where content continually updates. A page like this is a dynamic interface. The Portent Title Generator, built by some incredible agency (cough) is an example:

javascript-title-generator

A dynamic interface using javascript

Hopefully, your SEO strategy doesn’t hinge on dynamic content. If you’re going to succeed in SEO, you need to get your static content indexed and optimized.

Static vs. dynamic is the next part of the quadrant diagram:

quadrant-all-four

Static, dynamic, client- and server-side

When you combine static/dynamic and server-side/client-side, you get a feel for where and how javascript can make SEO more difficult.

When Javascript Hurts SEO

Javascript is terrible for SEO when you use client-side rendering for static content:

quadrant

The javascript/SEO quadrant

Here’s why:

Static content is what you need indexed. If you can’t get a key product into the rankings, if your blog post is invisible, you’re hosed. Fortunately, Google crawls and indexes javascript-driven static content. All good.

You also need static content optimized: You need higher rankings, and that content is how you’ll get there. The trouble starts here. Google uses two-stage rendering on javascript-powered websites: It crawls the site now, renders content later. Here’s how Google’s engineers put it:

“The rendering of JavaScript powered websites in Google Search is deferred until Googlebot has resources available to process that content.”

That’s in Google’s own words at io2018. Check the video at 14:11.

Two learnings:

Google needs extra resources to fully crawl, render and index javascript-powered, client-side rendered pages
Google felt it necessary to point out that fact

Client-side rendering doesn’t hurt indexation. It hurts SEO. There’s a difference. As I said, Google can crawl javascript content, and it does. But two-step rendering puts client-side content at a competitive disadvantage. All these quadrant diagrams are making me giddy:

quadrant2

Indexing vs. SEO

If you’re doing SEO, you can’t afford to end up in the bottom-right box.

If you must use client-side rendering on static content, here are two ways to reduce the damage:

Mitigation

If you must use javascript, mitigate it using prerendering or hybrid rendering.

Prerendering and user-agent detection

Prerendering works like this:

Render a server-side version of each page on your site
Store that
When a client visits, check the user agent
If the client is a search bot, deliver the prerendered content instead of the javascript-rendered content

The logic is licking-your-own-eyeball-from-the-inside tortured: If you can deliver prerendered content, why not just do that from the start? But, if you must, try Puppeteer to do prerendering, or a service like prerender.io, which does all the work for you.

Hybrid rendering

Hybrid rendering generates the first page/content server-side, then delivers remaining content client-side. Sort of. Most javascript libraries, such as Angular, support this. I think.

If you search for “hybrid rendering,” you’ll find seven million pages, each with a slightly different definition of “hybrid rendering.” For our purposes, assume it means “Deliver the most important content, then the other stuff.”

For example, you could use it for filtering. Coursera lets you filter courses without javascript:

But the interface gets speedier, and the results richer, if your browser supports javascript:

That’s not the best example. TRUST ME that hybrid rendering mixes javascript-driven and static content, delivering static content first.

When To Use Which

For static content, use server-side rendering or, if you must, prerendering. If you want to optimize content that’s in a dynamic interface (like Coursera’s course list), use hybrid rendering.

ONE LAST QUADRANT DIAGRAM:

Why Mitigation Sucks

My rule: If Google gives you ways to mitigate a thing, don’t do that thing at all.

You know your doctor can set a bone. That doesn’t mean you go out of your way to break your leg for giggles.

Google can handle javascript-driven sites. That doesn’t mean you go out of your way to render content using javascript.

If nothing else, remember that Google changes their mind.

But I am not a javascript hater. In some cases, javascript-driven pages make a ton of sense.

When You Should Use Javascript Rendering

Build a client-side javascript-driven website when interactivity is more important than rankings. Apps and app-like websites, aggregators, and filters require client-side javascript rendering. Then use hybrid rendering to deliver critical content to Google.

When You Shouldn’t Use Javascript Rendering

Don’t use javascript for static content. If content isn’t interactive—a basic product page, a blog post, news articles, and any other content that doesn’t have to instantly respond to user input—it doesn’t need client-side javascript.

That doesn’t include carousels and other stuff. That’s UI enhancement, not content delivery. Done right, it’s perfectly OK.

Testing

This will bunch up the undergarments of many SEOs, developers, search scientists, and engineers: Don’t test.

Tests make you feel better. They show you that Google can indeed render the content. Great! Hooray for you!

No. Boo for you! Because testing verifies indexing and rendering. It does not verify that you’re competitive.

If you’re using client-side javascript to deliver static content you’ve failed the test. Stop. Change it.

Ask Yourself Why

There are two lessons here:

Javascript can be bad for SEO
There’s a difference between SEO and indexation

If you want to compete in the rankings, don’t use client-side rendering to deliver static content, or any content for which you want to rank. Use javascript to drive app-like experiences. When you’re considering using javascript to deliver content, do a very honest assessment of the pluses and minuses.

Then remember this handy quadrant diagram. I put a lot of time into this:

quadrant

The javascript/SEO quadrant

The post Is Javascript Bad For SEO? appeared first on Portent.

Read More

How To Manage WordPress Disk Space For Your Website

How To Manage WordPress Disk Space For Your  Website

Given that so many web hosting service providers are offering generous disk space today, the thought of how much space your WordPress site needs may not have crossed your mind. Hosts today offer more space simply because the cost of storage space has gone down significantly over the years. As a matter of fact, the cost of bandwidth has also been dropping.

Unfortunately, file sizes affect your site in ways other than cost – they increase the loading time of your site and that is where it really hurts. While finding the right WordPress host to grow with certainly can mitigate some performance issues, it remains in your best interest to keep file sizes reasonable.

What is Disk Space

Normally it is referred to as the total number of bytes that a disk is capable of holding. In the website case, it is the space you purchase from the web hosts.

When you created a new page, upload a new image or install a new plugin, it gets stored on the disk space. The more files you uploaded to your disk space or server, the more full it becomes.

Eventually, you will need a bigger capacity for your website.

How to Manage File size and Free Up Disk Space

Most of the space taken up by websites lies in multimedia files, which means either images or video, with the former more common. Knowing that, let’s see how we can get manage these file types and clean up your WordPress to optimize your site performance more

Reducing Image sizes

Images sizes are flexible, and sizes of these files can range from a few kilobytes to a few megabytes each. What usually affects the size of an image is its dimensions, resolution and type. As a rule of thumb, the larger the size of an image the longer it will take to load.

There are many ways in which you can optimize your images to speed up the performance. These range from using plugins to automatically resize images or even doing it yourself manually. Today we will explore three ways in which you can optimize image files.

Manually Resizing Images

There really isn’t any way to describe this than to say it is as easy as opening an image in an image editor and then resizing it there. Even the most basic image editors like Paint in Microsoft Windows can do this painlessly.

Take for example the image below. The original size was over 3MB with dimensions of approximately 3000 by 2000 pixels. Once I opened it up in Paint and scaled the dimensions down to 750 by 480, the file size dropped dramatically down to 72Kb – a massive saving in space!

Caption: Paint lets you easily change the dimensions of image files

Optimize Online

There are also online tools which enable you to resize and optimize images. These vary in capabilities from simply helping you change image dimensions to even stripping unnecessary code out of the image to streamline them.

One tool I have used before and found useful is Optimizilla. This online image optimizer not only helps you change image dimensions but also lets you choose what quality level you want to keep the image at. This gives you a great amount of control over the image.

You can even change file formats to take advantage of different image types. It also isn’t necessary to manage your images individually as the tool allows for batch uploads and downloads as well as processing.

Use A Plugin

If the two methods I’ve discussed above don’t suit you then you can always revert to using a WordPress plugin. Although plugins tend to take up some site resources themselves, they can make image optimization very easy for you.

Take for example WP Smush, one of the more popular image compression WordPress plugins around. All you need to do is upload and configure it and the plugin will automatically manage all image optimization for you in the future.

Personally, I find that most plugins, while useful, are typically not as efficient as optimizing your images offline. However, it is a time-versus-benefit thing and you will need to decide for yourself which is more critical for your site.

Reducing Video sizes

If you think that image files are large and unwieldy then it is time to meet the biggest space hog on the Internet – the video file. Videos are great because they can be extremely visually captivating but they also take up large amounts of space.

However, if you really need to use videos there are several ways you can keep their space usage under control as well.

Reduce Video Length

By keeping the length of your videos shorter you are not only training yourself to make full use of shorter time periods, but also controlling size. Long videos also tend to lose viewers as they have limited attention spans. If you have longer videos that you need to share, try cutting them up into segments and posting them as a series.

Lower the Resolution

Like images, resolution of videos affects size greatly. Lowering the resolution of a video clip can make a huge difference in file size. If you feel that this may affect the quality of experience you are trying to pass on to your viewers, then allow them to choose the resolution they wish to view the video at.

Control Audio Bitrate

Another way of reducing video size is by reducing the audio bitrate. Videos are made up of a combination of audio and video and these two components can be controlled separately. You can also consider changing the audio codec to manage compression of that part. Not all videos need ultra-high-quality audio to be great.

As with managing image files, there are also several tools you can use to edit videos and optimize them. Some are easier to use while others more complex, so choose one which suits your skill level and needs.

Some video utilities you can use are;

Handbrake
Pinnacle Studio
iMovie

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways you can optimize both images and video to lower the space taken up by your WordPress site. They are simple to use and, in many cases, can be completely free. The most important thing to remember is not to take images and video for granted. Even with unlimited space, using bulky images and video can result in terrible user experience. Also, it can be time-consuming if you were to move your WordPress.

The post How To Manage WordPress Disk Space For Your Website appeared first on WP Fix It.

Read More