Why You Should Start Using the Yoast SEO PlugIn for WordPress

WordPress is considered by most, to be a very SEO friendly content management system. Well it just became friendlier, and more effective with the help of the Yoast SEO Plugin.

This powerful tool is the most comprehensive SEO-related WordPress plugin available today that helps to boost results. It’s a free plugin (with an optional paid upgrade) and can be installed on any self-hosted WordPress site. 

Here are some more details on what the Yoast SEO Plugin can do for you:

– sets your targeted keywords and tracks how often they are being used on your site
– lets you easily control titles and meta descriptions
– provides a Google search result snippet “preview” of your meta data information as it will be seen by others in a Google search result
– manages sitemaps
– can do URL redirects
– automatically notifies search engines once content is published.
– allows to add a custom RSS footer for posts.
– offers integration options for major social sites like Facebook and Twitter
– has the ability to get you verified google authorship for your site.
– has breadcrumbs support, with configurable breadcrumbs titles.
 

For more on WordPress and Search Engine Optimization, visit http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/are-there-seo-benefits-of-using-wordpress/

The Best Keyword Selection Tools for Search Engine Optimization

Internet marketing can be a bit challenging, particulary to those who are new to the online marketing world. Before you start brainstorming those genius marketing ideas of yours, the first step you need to take is determine what keywords you’re targeting for your campaign. Of course, this would vary from case to case depending on factors such as niche, product, location, and the ultimate goal in mind. You need to know what’s best for your website or business.
Using proper keywords will have a direct affect on whether or not you will be reaching your targeting audience. Keyword selection should in fact be done during the design phase of your website because these keywords need to be used accordingly throughout your site. 
The following list are keyword selection tools to help narrow down your search. Have a list of possible keywords that relate to your business, product and website prior to using these tools. Once you’ve done that, you can fine-tune or edit your list as needed. Typically you want to select related keywords that are highly searched by internet users. That’s where these keyword selection tools come in: 

1. Google Keyword Planner
Google is the search king, so it’s not surprising that this is the most popular of the bunch. It’s a free program, but you need to have a Google AdWords account to use it. It produces helpful stats like monthly searches, competition level, and the average cost per click for each keyword. Another helpful feature is that is suggests tons of synonyms and variations.
2. Yoast Suggests
Yoast Suggests is ideal for long tail keywords. It starts with information from Google Suggest and then provides keywords with expansions for you to consider. They are alphabetically listed for easy scanning.
3. Moz – Keyword Explorer
“Keyword Explorer” (or KWE) is another great tool that takes users through the keyword search process. It offers 6 custom filters for keyword expansion and SERP analysis, and also has import/export functions. With this tool, you are given only 2 free searches daily. Anything more than that requires you to have a Moz Pro account, and comes at a cost starting at $600/year. It’s not cheap, but Moz claims it has 95% volume accuracy.
 
Once you’ve established your keywords, you’re ready to go. Start writing those blogs and pump those Google AdWords campaigns!!
 

How To Optimize Your Images for SEO

If you own a website selling products, you want to make sure that the images you’re using are high quality. 
But, in today’s online marketing world, it no longer ends there. There are a number of factors to keep in mind when posting images on your website. High quality images are important – yes, but if no one sees them, will it really help to increase traffic and sales?
Hopefully, you’ve got a decent SEO strategy already in place for your website. We all know that title tags, H1 tags and links are all needed if you want decent rankings. But thankfully, there are a few ways to optimize your images, too. Optimizing your images will make it easy for Google to identify them and spider that information so they will show up on Google’s search results.
Also, regardless of which file type you are using, for the best results, make sure to resize to the size you actually need, and then compress them to the point where you just begin to see a loss in image quality.
 
Here are some must-dos when placing images on your site: 
1. Create descriptive and keyword-rich file names – The worst thing you can do is keep the default file names of photos (e.g. DSC000004). This tells Google nothing regarding what the image is about, so it will therefore not get indexed (neither in an image search, or normal search). You should always use descriptive keywords when naming your image files, as it’s crucial for image optimization.
2. Keep image file sizes small – Speed is everything in the technology world, so it’s not surprising that we are becoming less and less patient when it comes to waiting for anything. Websites are no different. Most desktop users will wait no more than 3 seconds for a page to load, and mobile users will wait no longer than 5 seconds before they exit a website. Large image files play a major role and can dramatically slow down your website’s load times. In addition to that, Google uses page load times as a ranking factor. So, if your website is not up to par when it comes to speed, it’s a double whammy for you. A general rule of thumb for e-commerce images is to keep your file sizes below 70kb. You can do this by either compressing your images, or using the “save as web” option in Photoshop. This will decrease the file size, while still maintaining image quality.
3. Use your alt tags – Using alt tags is an excellent way for your e-commerce product images to show up in Google search results (and also Google image search). Having the appropriate alt tags for your images will bring in more visitors. Be descriptive in your tags and use keywords whenever possible.
4. Use captions with your images – People tend to quickly scan content before they decide to fully read something. When we see images, we instinctively look at the caption. So, make the caption attention grabbing, in order to entice them to read on.
5. Use the proper image file type – Use the right file types at the right times. The three most common you will find are:
JPEG – for most visuals on your websites.
PNG – for high quality graphics and logos.
GIF – for icons, avatars, and animations.
 
For a great read on how to create better marketing images that will help increase traffic to your site, visit The Best Media Digital Marketing Specialists.

What is AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), and Do You Need It?

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a content delivery network that is provided by Google. The purpose of AMP is to deliver websites to mobile users at a much faster rate by using a lighter version of HTML and delivering content via the Google-hosted cached version, instead of from your server.   

Since it’s release, webmasters and website owners have noticed that websites that were optimized for mobile use (with AMP) were rewarded with higher mobile search engine rankings, whereas websites that were not optimized for mobile use, experienced a drop in their rankings.  Coincidence… not likely?  With the rise of mobility use and Google’s focus on improving user experience, it will likely become a key ranking factor in Google’s books.

Here are some interesting facts to consider:

– Slower-loading webpages are associated with higher bounce rates, and approximately 40% of visitors are likely to abandon your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.  
– On average, AMP pages load 30 times faster than non-AMP websites.   
– Mobile webpages using Google AMP for business see approximately 200% increase in click-through rates
– US mobile search accounts for MORE than half of total search volume in 2016.

At this point, it’s uncertain if AMP is an actual ranking factor or not.  Most would agree that it is.  The AMP project has more than 860,000 domains that publish over 35 million AMPs per week according to stats shared by Google.  Google also noted the expansion of AMP to more than a billion additional users in China and Japan.

Now that mobile usage has surpassed desktop usage, we should be adopting the “mobile-first” mentality.    If you happen to have a WordPress website,  AMP can be installed in minutes by installing a couple of plugins.  If you need help in implementing AMP on  your website, contact The Best Media – The Digital Marketing experts.

Here are the 5 Best SEO Tips That You Need to Know for 2017

Google changes their algorithm constantly, keeping everybody in the SEO world on their toes.  SEO techniques that worked several years ago may not play much of a role today.  With new technology becoming popular such as like virtual assistants, Google’s search algorithms will surely continue to change.  

Perhaps one of the biggest changes over the last couple of years, is the massive increase in the use of mobility devices.  There are more people today accessing the internet with mobile devices than with a desktop PC.  As a result, Google has changed their ranking signals, giving more weight to websites that are mobile-friendly.  This is just the beginning.

It’s all about achieving an optimal user experience.  Slow websites are frustrating because nobody likes to wait.  Reading a poorly-written article that lacks any legitimate message is annoying.  Websites that are not mobile-friendly    are difficult to view on a mobile device.  These are the types of things that Google tries to remedy with new Algorithms.

Follow these helpful tips in optimizing your website and online presence:

1. Build a strong presence in Social Media.  Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, make your posts interesting and fun, and don’t just jibber jabber.  Post frequently but don’t over-do it where it becomes annoying to your friends and followers.

2. Be mobile-friendly.  Mobility is King today, so make sure your website or blog is mobile friendly.  There’s nothing more annoying than trying to view a website on your phone, and doesn’t fit on your screen.

3. Turbocharge your website.  Google doesn’t like slow websites and neither do users.  Make sure your site loads fast.  If it’s slow and lags, consider optimizing your images or changing servers.

4. Build quality links.  Link building is not what it used to be.  It’s no longer how many links you have – it’s how good (in quality) are those links?  Don’t just exchange with anyone.  Ensure that it’s relevant to your website and it’s contents.

5. Switch your website from HTTP: to HTTPS: – Google favors websites that us SSL.  Secure sites are indeed the way to go.  Once again – in the name of user experience.  Secure sites have extra layers of security, preventing hackers from doing what they do 

For more interesting SEO tips and how to optimize a mobile-friendly website, visit: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/seo-tips-for-your-mobile-friendly-website/

Creating High Quality Marketing Videos for Your Business at Little to No Cost.

Video marketing is a fantastic and effective way to connect with your audience on both a personal, and professional level.   Not too long ago, creating professional videos involved spending thousands of dollars hiring a video production team, and buying expensive equipment in order to get the level of quality needed for a business marketing video.

Thankfully, the cost associated with creating quality videos is incomparable to what you would have paid 10 years ago.  The megapixels on today’s gadgets are so high, you can make a professional looking video with almost any of todays smartphones.  Paired up with a good video editing app / software, you’ll be amazed with what you can create.

The following are a list of great options for editing your marketing videos:

1. Windows Movie Maker 2.6 – This is a free software program offered by Windows and works with Windows 7, 8, Vista, XP and Windows Server 2008.   You can create and edit videos as well as publish them on OneDrive, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and Flickr with multiple file formats to choose from.  It offers a large selection of tools, effects and transitions.  (It’s expected to be replaced with Windows Story Remix my late 2017. )

2. Avidemux – This is a free video editor that is capable of non-linear video editing applying visual effects.   It supports many file format types such as AVI, DVD, MPEG, MP4 and ASF.  It’s designed for simple cutting/pasting, filtering and encoding tasks.  It can also insert audio streams into a video file or extract audio streams from video files.

3. Lightworks – Lightworks has both a free version, and paid version.  This software program is currently available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.  It’s a professional non-linear editing system (NLE) for editing and mastering digital video in many different formats, including 2K and 4K resolutions.    Hollywood production movies such as “Pulp Fiction” and “The Wolf of Wall Street have used this software.  It offers realtime effects, advanced multicam editing, importing of multiple file types and the ability to export to Vimeo and YouTube.  

4. Blender – this is a professional, open source 3D content creation tool used for creating animated films, interactive 3D applications, visual effects, video games and 3D printed models.  This powerful program allows you to edit, create 3D graphics, sound effects, and add special effects such as fluid and smoke simulation, texturing, and soft body simulation.   

5. VideoPad Video Editor – VideoPad offers both a free, and paid version.  It includes a sound-editing program, a sound mixing program, and an image editor.   It supports the frequently used formats such as .AVI, .WMV, and DivX and can be directly uploaded to Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.  

For more information on video marketing, check out: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/why-video-marketing-is-bigger-than-you-think/