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.

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/

Optimize Your Blogs and Articles With These 3 Great Tips

You can find endless amounts in information on the web regarding blog-writing tips and best practices.   So instead of covering the same obvious topics of “What message do you want to send?”, and “be sure to include an introduction and conclusion”, we are going to talk about best blogging practices – in terms of Google and SEO.

The first tip would be to frequently link back to previous content, preferably a “relatable” blog post of the same general topic.  Linking structure is important to search engines.  By doing this, it will make your post more powerful because it shows you have some authority on the topic.

Secondly, your articles should have a minimum of 300 words with keywords appearing 3-5 times throughout.  Don’t have them too long as it may scare off some potential readers.

Thirdly, you should post the content on your own website first.   Then wait about a month or so before syndicating it to other websites.  You want to give search engines ample time to rank the post from your website before it ranks from your syndicated sites.   In addition, if the search engines become confused about a duplicate content issue, it ensures that your site will not be penalized, as you were the first to post.

As search engines are constantly changing their algorithm and ranking factors, you should stay in the loop of Google updates and regularly check on your web traffic for any drops in traffic.

For more helpful tips on blogging, visit: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/the-best-tips-for-creating-high-quality-blog-posts/

Duplicate Content – The SEO Consequences and the Remedy

You’ve heard the term “duplicate content” before, but do you know the consequences it can have on your website?  

Duplicate content is when content appears on the web in more than one place.  It’s not always intentional however, and doesn’t necessarily stem from ill intentions.    While technically it’s not a “penalty”, it can still have a serious effect on your website and its search engine rankings.  

The problem is that search engines don’t know where to direct its link metrics such as authority and trust.   Search engines rarely show multiple versions of the same content in search results and are forced to choose which version is likely the best result to display.  Therefore, although you may be the originator of the content, a different site may reap the benefits instead.

So what can you do if you find your content duplicated on the internet? 

First you will need to pinpoint what caused it. If it was because of someone stealing or scraping your content, contact them and ask them to remove it.  If they don’t reply or refuse to, report them as “webspam”to Google: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport?hl=en&pli=1

Many websites have switched from HTTP to HTPPS.  Make sure that there is only one live version on the internet.  Having two live versions could be a basis of duplicate content to search engines.  Ensure that the previous HTTP version has been redirected to the newer HTTPS version using a 301 redirect.

Another possible cause would be with businesses that operate in more than one location and use mirrored subdirectories, with their products and contents being the same.  For example:  http://www.ebay.com and  http://www.ebay.co.uk.  This can cause confusion with Google.  To fix this, visit the Google Search Console and set up location targeting: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/182192?hl=en

For more information on duplicate content and prevention measures you can take, read: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/what-can-you-do-to-prevent-your-web-site-from-being-scraped/

Are You Using Too Many H1 Tags on Your Website For Search Engine Optimization Purposes?

How many H1 tags should you use on your site?  This question has been asked many times over by webmasters and designers.

For SEO reasons, it’s something that you should be aware of.  H1 tags are extremely important, as they a ranking signal to search engines as to what a pages’ content is about.  Although they do not hold as strong of a signal as it once did in the past, it’s still an important aspect of search engine optimization.

In the past, the H1 tag golden rule was; each individual page of a site should have only one H1 level heading and should be used for the site title only.  Having more than one set of h1 tags sends a “less clear message” to both the search engines and users.   This rule was followed to help search engines better understand the contents subject matter of each page, and improve search engine accuracy (which in turn, improved search rankings for well-designed websites).

That rule no longer exists.  Enter HTML5.

If you are using HTML5 which was introduced a few years ago back in 2014, not only are you able to have multiple h1 level headings per webpage, but it’s actually recommended.   

The best thing to do in all cases is carefully consider the content at hand, and determine the best way to section and label it based on the HTML5 document outlining algorithm.

For information on search engine optimization, visit: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/the-5-most-common-seo-myths-and-misconceptions/