Posts in SEO Search Engine Optimization

How to Conquer On-Page SEO

Regardless of all the changes that have happened, it’s still possible to separate our SEO into largely ‘ON-PAGE SEO’ and OFF-PAGE SEO’. On-page, of course, refers to all the strategies that you can use within your pages to get Google interested in your site. This begins with content – and it begins with having a stronger understanding of the subtle changes Google has gone through in recent times.

How to Make Excellent Content

One of the first things you’re going to need to do is to fill your site with great content and to use your keywords throughout. There’s a fine line to be walked here: you need to repeat the phrase a few times to ensure that you create that association but at the same time, you also need to make sure that you don’t overdo it and thereby appear to be spamming.

Too vague? As mentioned, it’s now agreed that the optimum ‘keyword density’ for on-site content is 1-2%. That means you can use your phrase once per every 100-200 words. But you also need to use your common sense a little: some keywords are easier to use in a natural manner than others and making sure that your content sounds natural should always be the number one concern. Some keywords will be hard not to repeat 100 times! Others will never feel that they can come up naturally.

The user always comes first. So, if you can’t fit the keyword in naturally anywhere, just forget it and use it in your image alt-text etc. The length of your posts is also an important consideration. Back in the days of spammy-SEO, almost every post was 500 words long. Today, you’ll have the most success by writing posts that are longer and more in-depth. Imagine that your reader is going to sit down with a cup of tea and really dive deep into the subject – that’s the kind of experience that you should be delivering!

This has another advantage because it means that you can repeat your keyphrase a lot more while keeping your density low. If you repeat your keyword 100 times and your content is 1,000 words long then that’s a 10% density. If your content is 5,000 words long, that’s 2% density! Of course, 5,000 words is too long for most blog posts. Instead, the general consensus is that an ideal blog post will be somewhere in the region of 800-1,500 words.

But again:

remember that you serve your visitors first and foremost. These are the people that you want to impress and that means that you shouldn’t worry too much about length – do what comes naturally to your subject matter.
Oh, and while you’re at it – try to vary the lengths of your posts a little. This again looks more natural and suggests to Google that you’re not following a strict ‘formula’ of any kind!

Introducing a Conversational Google

At the same time, you also need to consider something called ‘LSI’ or ‘Latent Semantic Indexing’. This is basically a fancy term that explains how Google now understands actual meaning rather than just looking to match words. The way it does this is at least partly by looking for synonyms and related terms when trying to answer questions. In short, don’t just use the exact keyphrase but be sure to use lots of relevant and related language.

This is important partly because it can prevent a mismatch between searches. If someone searches for a homonym, like ‘duck’, how does Google know whether they mean the animal or the movement? Simple: by looking for related terms like ‘duckling’ and ‘feather’ or perhaps ‘dodge’ and ‘dive’.
At the same time, the use of synonyms and related language again shows Google that there is lots of content revolving around the same topic – it’s not just a case of having mentioned the search term a few times in an otherwise irrelevant piece of writing.

So if you’re writing about bicep workouts, then you need to make sure to include lots of related languages, like:

    • Arms Triceps
    • Dumbbells Training
    • Weightlifting

Doing this will confirm the subject matter of your site and will look a lot more natural and useful than if you just use the phrase. And for the same reason, it can also be a good idea to use variations on your keyphrase and to have
‘secondary’ search terms.

For example, if your keyphrase is ‘build massive arms’, then you should also try to include the terms ‘build big arms’, ‘build big biceps’, ‘get big biceps’ etc. Google now knows that this means the same thing but won’t be as likely to penalize you for keyword stuffing. It also makes you look like a better writer for your visitors! Essentially, try to keep in mind that Google no longer works by trying to match the search terms exactly in your content.

You can see this yourself when you search Google. Search ‘get big arms’ and many of the results that come up won’t actually include those precise words! Likewise, linking out to relevant resources might help Google to better understand the topic of your pages and posts, while also demonstrating that you are trying to provide extra value to your visitors.

SEMrush

Schemas and Structured Data

And on that same note, you should also look at rich snippets. Using ‘structured data’ you can highlight to Google certain key elements of your content: like recipes, dates, company names, scores etc. This helps Google show some of that information in the SERPs (search engine results pages) and thereby attracts more visitors to your site. There are plugins that will let you do this easily, or you can do it through meta tags.

Either way, you’ll use this to do things like highlighting the ingredients in a recipe, or the showtimes of play, or the score in a review. This is important because it lets Google understand your content even better than it is already able to. Google is no longer just a search engine but rather an Artificial Intelligence (AI) – this is the direction that Google is heading in and being able to understand and utilize this might just be the key to SEO success in future.

Right now, using structured data and rich snippets will allow information from your site to appear right in the SERPs. This way, if someone searches for a recipe, they’ll be able to see the ingredients for your version before they even click on your link! This means your listing will take up more space and demonstrates the value of your site. And all that, in turn, means that you’re going to attract more clicks than a site without that information.

Design and Layout

The next element of on-page optimization is the site design itself. Using breadcrumbs, for instance, can help a lot, as can using alt-tags for your images so that Google knows what they are of. More important is the actual function of your website: does the page load quickly? Is it mobile friendly? Mobile-friendliness, in particular, is something you absolutely cannot ignore in 2019 and beyond.

In terms of the actual design and function of your website, the main goals are to ensure your site will load quickly and that it will look great on mobile. Again, this helps to keep people on your site longer because it will be enjoyable for them to be there. Avoid using too many plugins which will slow you down and try not to inundate your visitors with adverts and pop-overs.

Did you know that using light colours, like light blues, can actually help to keep people on the page longer by making them feel more relaxed? Consider this when picking your theme. Likewise, choose a theme that will adapt to the size of the display viewing it and make sure that you take advantage of things like caching to keep your site nippy.

Themes that do this are called ‘responsive’, in that they respond to the shape and size of the display they’re being viewed on. This works by removing certain elements, by rearranging menus etc. and by shrinking images. Note that mobile-friendliness also means things like having large buttons (which are easier to click with a finger rather than a mouse) and also avoiding ‘mouse-over’ drop-down menus that again can’t be operated on mobile without a mouse.

The best way to ensure that your website is responsive, that it looks the part and that it will encourage the maximum engagement, is to use WordPress. WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) that makes it incredibly easy to build a responsive website and then add a custom theme that you have downloaded (free or paid) or made yourself. Using WordPress removes much of the guesswork and makes it very easy for you to implement new layouts and even to add things like rich snippets by downloading the right plugins.

There’s a massive online community to support your development and the tool is used by many of the biggest sites on the net – meaning that it is a ‘proven quantity’ as far as SEO goes. Seeing as WordPress is free, you’re really just making life harder for yourself by using anything other than it to build your website.

More On-Page Optimization

As mentioned, there are a few miscellaneous tips that can also help you to improve your on-page SEO. For example, it’s generally accepted that using copyright notices and legal disclaimers can be seen as a positive sign by Google as these will make your website look more professional and more like a ‘real business’. Think as well about how you’re going to help Google find the content within your site.

Having a site map can be very helpful for indexing for example. And you need to avoid using images that have text in them and definitely avoid the use of Adobe Flash, seeing as Google is unable to read that type of copy. You can also insert your search terms in your site’s code – by including it in file names (the file name of an image for example) and including it in the permalinks (the URLs of specific pages – which should match the title of your posts).

Then you have the behaviour of your visitors. In other words: how long are your visitors staying on your page? Do they click lots of internal links? Do they scroll down the page? Are they leaving comments? Google wants to see that your site is offering value to your visitors and the best way they can do that is by looking to see if people are actually enjoying the content you’ve created. Your site design is all about getting your visitors to spend long on your page then and to interact with it.

You can do this by using  ‘related posts’ and by making your comments section appear more interesting and easier to use. But you also do it by simply ensuring that your site looks great, performs well and is filled with interesting and relevant content. Try to avoid adverts or bad design elements that are going to instantly put people off and cause them to leave your website!

Remember: Google wants to see that people are spending time on your website and the best way you can ensure this happens is by making content that people want to read. Moreover, you need to ensure that that content is presented in a way that encourages people to stick around. Forget dense blocks of text with no images.

Instead, create content with lots of headers, that’s well spaced out and that uses large beautiful pictures throughout. In terms of the actual writing, try to use a narrative structure where possible to really pull people in. Tell a story, use cliff hangers and make it impossible for your visitors not to move down to the next line!

Ultimately, it comes down to making sure that you’re providing the very best experience for your visitors – but doing so in such a way that Google can see and understand that that is the case.

SEMrush

All You Need To Know About SEO

With all the benefits the internet world has to offer several websites are launched every month to compete and capture the market share which much just desire for. Some get to the mark where their business objectives are met beyond survival while for some it is the fight between existence and survival. A good reason for such scenario would be the understanding of the terms that are used in an online world to make the difference when it comes to venture the online entity. Yes, that is right a lot of people concerned with online business know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but in reality, they are not sure what it can do for their business.

With several websites coming alive every month it is clear that the set keywords of competitors would be the ones that you would be focusing upon and in such a case it would not be that easy to make sure that you benefit from it and exercise such measures that while competing on high competitive keywords you are focusing on other aspects along.

SEMrush

On the other hand, a normal important thing is to develop a website with all the attractive features as the design of the website, for which the unique rich quality content is essential but not enough and this is where you need to understand the importance of optimizing your website to make the real online difference.

Identifying and planning the right SEO strategies, tools and techniques will be required to rank well among popular search engines. This favored top position will help to derive more traffic volumes on your online existence which provides you the chance to convert your visitors to customers.

SEO should be understood before making it your final plan to promote your online presence and this is precisely where you are either recommended to make sure that you hire a professional firm that will ensure results or either appoints an expert to help you understand and work on productive aspects.

Do not try different online SEO strategies for which you are not sure of as certain aspects can hold you penalize and to an extent hinder your way to success.

Make sure you are not left behind when it comes to online market dominance and competing for the online market, it was never complicated as it is now, but still there are aspects which make a considerable difference for you to be successful. Consider the reason why would you want to undertake SEO and what benefits does it provide you to make it reasonable measures for satisfaction. This is where several online firms have promised to provide and were unable to achieve the very precise objectives.

SEMrush

The 3 Spheres of Search Engine Ranking Optimization

If you wish to run the best SEO campaign possible, you ought to be focused on a couple of chief factors. One may show up well by emphasizing only one or two of the following considerations, but in the long term the success will be much better and stay longer if all of the three categories are boosted altogether.

Each time you perform a search on the Google site (or Bing, Yahoo Search or any of the numerous other online search engines), you’re not virtually “searching the web” at the time. You actually are performing a request for Google’s servers to look throughout its index, which is a database holding a portion from all of the web pages or other information readily available on the World Wide Web. The 3 elements of an efficient SEO campaign will guarantee that:

  1. Your internet site is incorporated into Google’s database
  2. Your content page is considered appropriate using the search being completed
  3. Your site is thought of as reputable and authoritative by an adequate number of additional online resources

Providing that you are aware of your markets and which search terms you aspire to get ranked for, the three aspects to work on to get the most improvement could be defined as follows:

  1. Technical Search Engine Optimization – This area is concerned with the techie facets of your website; all of the areas that will either enable or retard your site from being crawled and indexed. Many of these elements are like a pass/fail course; if they are not set up suitably, they are more than likely keeping your website from attaining its maximum potential in the search engines’ results.
  2. Relevance – This area is impacted by the indexed articles and other content of your website and precisely how that information is presented and structured. In order to rank for a distinct search term, it is extremely important to utilize the exact word or phrase in the important areas of the page you prefer to rank best. For popular key phrases, arranging the information in the right manner can allow the various search engines to discern just how much beneficial content the website has pertaining to the area of interest.
  3. Links from Many Other Internet Sites – Google establishes trust in a website by checking the backlinks connecting to it from other sites. Whenever a specific website links to another, it is akin to voting for the written content contained on that page. Each hyperlink is a pointer showing precisely where the person can find more information and facts regarding a topic.

Instead of just artificially developing links, establishing relationships will provide a legitimate motivation for other people to connect to you.

– Provide awesome service to your current clientele so they write about you, recommend you on Facebook.com and help to pass on your reputable name with word-of-mouth advertising.

– Get closer to your vendors – and even more importantly producers – so they offer you a “where to buy” link to your website

– Supply good content, which can include comments or prospective buyers guides, to aid prospective clients make a shrewd purchasing decision (and encourage lots of others to hyperlink to your site’s written content simultaneously).

– Link to some other websites that provide products or professional services complementary to your very own in return for a recommendation of your own offerings.

If you neglect a technical ingredient that is hindering your website from staying fully crawled and indexed, your pages may not rank well no matter how pertinent the content is or how many links you have referring to your website.

Some Quick Thoughts On The Value Of Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is essentially the process of making sure that your website ranks as highly as possible in the various different search engines. Any website has to focus its attention on SEO if they want to be successful and without a proper strategy, it is going to be extremely difficult to battle with your competition. Of course, in order to be successful online, you will certainly need to work hard and there are several key things that you need to focus on.

If you focus your attention closely on a decent strategy then you should be able to rank highly for the keywords that you target. Ranking highly leads to visibility and exposure. This, in turn, will lead to a much higher degree of traffic and targeted traffic at that, which will lead to further sales and success as a result.

The entire process is based on picking the right keywords and optimizing your website both on the page and off the page by using these specific keywords. The first place to start when developing your strategy is to consider the types of keywords that people will type into their search engine when they are looking for the types of products or services that you offer.

After generating a list of regular keywords it is a very good idea for you to extend this to longtail keywords. Longtail keywords are very important to any small business because they will be far less competitive. If you are attempting to optimize for extremely competitive keywords then you are ready going to struggle and your ranking is likely to suffer as a result. Optimizing for longtail keywords, however, is a lot easier and therefore your ranking should be much better.

When people type of these specific keywords into their search engine the search engine itself will rank websites that are most relevant for the keywords that are being used. If you optimize properly for the keywords that you believe your customers will be using then there is no reason why you shouldn’t appear right at the top of the rankings.

If you do appear right at the top of the rankings then you will get far more people linking directly to your website. As such, your traffic streams will go up significantly and you will have far more people gaining exposure to your website and to the products and services that you are offering. As long as you have built a website that is likely to convert potential traffic to sales then this increasing traffic will have a dramatic impact upon the money that you are making.

Search engine optimization is certainly the best place to start for any new website. There are loads of different traffic generation techniques that you can include in your strategy, but SEO is always going to be essential.

Your Master Guide to SEO for Bing

SEO for Bing is a little bit like that slightly slow friend that you had in school who didn’t really understand jokes. Or to put it another way: as an AI, Bing is probably somewhere on the spectrum. Yes, taking things too literally is one of the most common criticisms leveled at Bing and that’s because it has a tendency to simply look for exact matches in the content.

Point #1 – Bing Likes to Take Things Literally

If you search for ‘I like to eat steak’, then Bing will look for websites that have that phrase or something similar somewhere in their text:

On the other hand, Google just looks for content about steak and about people who like to eat steak:

In this way, Google shows a little more understanding and has more ability to read between the lines. Not that this is always a good thing mind. Sometimes Google’s second-guessing can actually be a bit irritating and can lead to results that aren’t directly related to what you’re looking for. If you ask a question for instance, then Bing will be more likely to break up a page where someone else has asked that same question. And this can be very useful!

But what it means for you, is that it’s still worth using some keywords. Whereas Google is much more about ‘latent semantic indexing’ and writing ‘around the subject’, perhaps using some long-tail keywords – Bing will still reward you for including the basic keywords you’re trying to rank for. So try and do a little of both.

You’ll want to use a slightly lower link density than you used to if you want to avoid being penalized for spamming by Google but you should still include some keywords in there for Bing!

Point #2 – User Engagement Matters

Something that Google and Bing can agree on is that user engagement matters. Except Bing is even more explicit about this if anything and has even coined a phrase to describe it the activity they want to avoid: pogo sticking.
There will be none of this, thank you very much!

Pogo sticking is when a website jumps from one result, clicks back and then clicks on another. This is what they want to avoid so if you want Bing to love you, you need to prevent your visitors from wanting to click back. This means you need to grab attention early on and it means that you need to think about your page speed, your design etc.

Point #3 – And So Do Click Through Rates

Another similar factor that Bing also takes seriously is CTR – Click Through Rate. In other words, how many people click on your link. So if they keep showing your website in their SERPs but no one ever clicks on it, then this suggests that your site doesn’t look very interesting. All it’s doing is cluttering up the page and taking up space that another site could make better use of!

This is quite a clever way for Bing to check that the results coming up are relevant – or that they seem relevant in the eyes of its visitors. This is interesting because it’s not something that Google talks about a lot. And improving your CTR is going to involve a rather different process compared with the SEO practices you’re probably used to! What improves CTR?

Many things but of course the title and meta description are going to be right up there. Think about what will be interesting for someone who is searching for the keyphrase that you’re trying to rank for. Make sure that there is a direct connection here and have all the signals pointing to the same topic.

And learn how to write engaging titles and descriptions!

Point #4 – Social Signals Are Big on Bing

There is some debate still as to the role of social signals on Google, even now. We know for a fact that getting +1s on Google+ will improve your Google ranking but whether the same is true for Facebook Likes is less certain. And if Facebook was central to Google’s strategy, then you might ask why BuzzFeed isn’t the number one result for every search.

But Bing has gone on record as saying that social signals do matter to them and this means that you should definitely include social media marketing as a big part of your marketing strategy.

Point #5 – Crawl Depth

Going back to your site content and keywords for a moment, it’s also interesting to consider the difference in crawl depth for Google versus Bing. Reportedly, Bing only crawls around the first 100kb of a web page, unlike Google which will read your whole site.

This then means that you should aim to include your keywords more heavily in the first portion of your content compared with the rest. And actually, this makes a lot of sense for Google too – for different reasons. Google actually looks at certain key points within your content as being more important as indicators than others.

The first paragraph is one section that is given extra importance, as is the last paragraph and as are the headings.
And by increasing the keyword density in the first paragraph, you can send the right signals to Bing without getting too spammy with keywords for Google. Everyone wins!

This also introduces some other interesting points though too. For instance, a lot of people will rely on sitemaps in order to help search engines index their site. This is one page that links to every other page on that domain – and it means that once the sitemap is indexed, Google knows where to find all future content you add.

But this won’t work for Bing if it’s only reading the top segment of the page!

If you want a sitemap to work for Bing, then you need to ensure that you put the pages you most want to be found right at the top. And if you’re adding new content, then you want to make sure that new content goes at the top of any list, rather than at the bottom.

Point #6 – Respect Your Elder (Content)

Bing believes in golden oldies. In other words, it believes that an older domain is likely more authoritative than a newer domain. So if you have a page that has been around for a long time, you’ll find that it gradually climbs up the rankings.

This is one thing that has personally always put me off about Bing. Most of the research I do requires up-to-date and current answers and that means I can’t make do with posts from 2012. When I search on Bing, I’m often left wondering if anything I’m reading is relevant anymore.

This is personal preference though. As far as SEO goes, it’s actually a good thing.

Why? Because it means that Google is going to like fresh content and Bing will give it some love as it starts to fade.
But do bear in mind that both Bing and Google prefer older domains. And Now for Some Rapid Fire Differences…
Of course, there are way more differences than we have space to go into in detail, so let’s take a look at some rapid-fire differences to finish off.

  • Bing likes keyword domains more, Google prefers brand-name domain
  • Bing takes site authority very important – it likes editorial content, older domains, and established organizations
  • PageRank is less relevant for Google these days – it has never been relevant for Google
  • Bing likes content to closely linked to a site homepage and it likes breadcrumbs

Another thing to take some time to learn about is Bing’s ‘Spam Filter’. This is how Bing decides whether or not to penalize sites that show up on its SERPs, so you need to make sure that you observe the rules Bing recommends.
This means:

• Being careful about your outbound links – only link to clean sites

• Don’t trade links

• Use Bing’s Webmaster Tools to find out if your site has been blocked

That’s right! Bing has a ‘Webmaster Tools’ just like Google does and it’s just as useful/invaluable for marketers. You can find this at www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster.

Bing SEO – The Next Steps

The Alan Parson’s Project sang, ‘where do we go from here?’. Now you have lots of information about why Bing SEO matters, how it works and how it is different from Google. But you also know that you need to keep on focussing on Google. So what’s the best way to proceed?

Well, exactly as we said earlier.

For the most part, you’re not going to do anything that different. But you may want to consider including a few more keywords in your opening paragraphs. Maybe you show a little more love to your legacy content. Perhaps you reorganize your sitemap. Oh and definitely think about your titles, your meta descriptions and how these factors will impact on your CTR.

And in doing all that, you’ll be throwing Bing the occasional bone that will help you to succeed a little bit more on the second biggest search engine in the world. This will help you start tapping into that 30% market share that little bit more and hopefully improving your number of visitors.

And if the Googlepocalypse ever does come, at least you’ll have a backup site that will still be bringing you fresh visitors and helping you to run your business. And then everyone else will find themselves wishing that they’d paid just a little more attention to old number 2!

And one last thing! Why not go and take a look at your current rankings on Bing right now. If you haven’t looked before then it might surprise you just how similar, or different, the results are!