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/

SEO Tips For Your Mobile Friendly Website

There are more people accessing the internet with their mobile phones, than with any other device.  Yet many websites are still not mobile friendly and are not even designed to adjust to different screen size.  Optimization for mobile devices considers the site design, structure, speed, and other factors to make sure you’re not turning mobile visitors away without knowing it.

As mobile continues to overpower desktop users, having a mobile-first design with SEO only makes sense.  Search engine giants like Google are continuously changing their algorithm to provide a better user experience.  Google now uses “mobile-friendly” websites as a ranking factor in their search results. 

The following tips are crucial when designing your mobile-friendly website:

1. Super-Fast Page Speed

Don’t lose your visitors!  Make sure your server is up to par. The quicker a web page loads, the more engagement you will get from users.   Nobody likes waiting – particularly when you’re talking about the internet on a mobile device.   According to Think with Google, the average mobile websites’ load times for bounced sessions were about 2.5 seconds slower than non-bounced sessions.   Some simple ways to do this:  compressing larger images, utilizing cache, and eliminating redirects.

2. Assume Users Have Fat Fingers

With a mobile-first design, you should be able to navigate a touch screen easily by scrolling regardless of whether you have large fingers or thumbs.  Ensure your mobile design caters to this for a better user experience. 

3. Avoid Using Pop-Ups

Google’s new algorithm update that was released in January of this year, will now penalize businesses that use pop-ups on their mobile sites.  Smaller pop-ups such as tiny banners or age verification boxes should still be okay.  However, if the pop-up is a stand alone and covers the majority of your page making it difficult to proceed to the website, this will have a major effect on your SEO and user experience.

4. Ditch the Flash

Most web designers today have already phased out the use of flash, but they are still out there.  What was once seen as visually cool, is now more of an annoyance for users.  It’s horrendous for SEO.   Flash is extremely insecure – more than any other web application making it a very popular target for hackers.  To make matters worse, it also reduces the amount of content that’s visible to Google’s indexing bots.  

Flash plugins may not be available on a user’s phone, which means they’ll likely just leave your website instead of installing a new plugin on their phone.  If you want to create special effects, use HTML5 instead.

5. Include a Viewport Meta Tag

A viewport meta tag tells your browser the scaling and sizing information it needs to fit the screen.  You can’t “see” the viewport on the web page, but it’s very much needed.  Otherwise, depending on the device used, scaling and sizes on your mobile site can be all out of whack

For more information on mobile-friendly websites and why it’s crucial that you have one, visit: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/mobile-friendly-websites-why-its-crucial-that-yours-is-friendly-too/

Search Engine Optimization Tips for Podcasts and Audio

Search engines “read” your website based on the text found on your site; the content, meta tags, alt text, links, and the keywords used within all of these.  At this point in time, search engines can not “watch” a video and still remains dependent on text that is accompanied with the video.  

So where do audio files and podcasts stand when it comes to SEO?  Are podcast websites just out of luck until search engines evolve?  Thankfully, no. There are still ways to optimize audio files, just as you would optimize any website.  Google can not index these yet, but as audio files become more commonplace on the internet, this will more than likely change down the road. For the time being though, you can use these helpful tips on how you can optimize them to the fullest.

1. Transcribe Your Audio Files
Transcribe your Audio File content into an RSS feed. Include this transcription in the Item Description field to ensure the file gets indexed and included in related searches.  You don’t necessarily need it to be word-for-word.  A modified script that summarizes the podcast that includes your targeted keywords should suffice.  
2. Create a new page / blog post for each podcast 
Create separate pages for each of your podcasts and blog posts describing it with at least 300 words.  Include the keywords you are targeting, but keep it to a minimum.  You don’t want to over-stuff.  Try and vary the keywords from post to post.
3. Include keywords in the URL and file names
The URL of where your podcast will be found, should include a keyword and inserted as an extension.  If you use multiple words, be sure to hyphenate them.  Do not use underscores to separate words.  For example, if your podcast is about creating a wordpress website, the URL should look something like this: http://www.yourcompanyname.com/creating-a-wordpress-website.  Audio file names share the same rule.  
4. Promote your podcast in podcasting directories 
There are a number of online directories that freely accept podcast submissions such as iTunes.  This helps to create a backlink to your podcast that will help boost your page rank.
5. Use Social Platforms
Facebook likes and Twitter retweets play a huge roll in boosting your ranking.  Be sure to share your podcasts with these social platforms.  Having highly active social accounts will help to get your message out there and raise your online profile.  

In addition to these tips, ensure that the quality of your audio files and podcasts are primed.  It should be clear and easy to understand without any background noise interference.   Also, include a graphic with your podcast as it helps to draw additional attention to your listing in directories.  As with audio files, image file names and alt text should also contain keywords.  

As a final quality control check, once your file is uploaded to your website, blog, or directory, download a test copy to ensure the quality and volume is good, and that the feed is properly formed.

Are you looking for someone to do your search engine optimization for you?  Contact The Best Media – Digital Marketing Solutions today!

Important SEO Steps For Your New Website

The primary steps you take before launching a new website will have a big impact on your website’s potential to rank well in search engines, bring in traffic, leads, and ultimately sales.

Getting things right at the beginning will save you hours of work further down the road.  It’s important to structure your website properly in order to “start off on the right foot” when it comes to search engine optimization.   Each page on your website should be targeting it’s own set of highly relevant keywords and should be addressed at the design phase prior to launching.

For example, if you own a landscaping business, you would want a separate page for each of your services; tree planting, hedge trimming, laying sod, tree stump removal, etc…  Each page would have its own set of keywords that specifically relate to that service.  This type of structure gives each page greater relevance and will improve its potential for ranking well in search results. 

On each of your pages, be descriptive using your keywords while avoiding repetitiveness. The average content length for web pages that rank in the top 10 results (for any keyword) on Google contains a minimum of 2,000 words.   Content is king, so try to stay within this minimum for each page.   

Take full advantage of your H1, H2, H3 and H4 tags.  Search engines rely heavily on them when structuring search results, so be sure to use your primary and secondary keywords that you are wanting to rank for.

Ensure you link up all of your social media accounts to your website.  Long ago, ranking was all about link building.  The more links you had out there, the better your ranking was.  Today, links play a much smaller role and ranking is largely based on how interactive and engaged you are within the marketplace.  Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are the best way to do this, helping to multiply your online presence with followers and “likes”.

To read more on search engine optimization and the google ranking factors that play a part in it, read: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/google-ranking-factors-that-you-should-know/

E-mail Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

E-mail marketing is alive and well.  With the explosion of social media sites
today, some feel that e-mail a dying marketing tool.

 

E-mail still remains one of the most lucrative
marketing channels for businesses. It’s a free source of advertising and it’s
targeting an audience that has already shown interest in your brand by
subscribing to your email list or newsletter.   
Customers are more inclined to buy from you because a level of trust has
already been established.  E-mails and newsletters can help boost sales, given
that it’s done properly.
  You can
actually lose customers if not done with care.
 

Here are some helpful tips to remember before sending out that email to
your subscribers.

 

 

1. Personalization
–Avoid generic greetings such as “Hello”, or “Dear Valued Customer”.  E-mails that address readers by their first
name are much more effective and helps build the relationship on a more
personal level.  Most email marketing
tools will have a function that will automatically replace each email with the
individuals’ name, so you don’t have to type all the names in manually every
time.

 

2. Know your
Message, and Write It Well
–  Before
you start writing that email, ask yourself why you’re emailing your customers
and have a call to action (What you want them to do?)   Be sure it’s well written and is engaging
for your customers to read.  Assume that
you have a couple of seconds to grab their attention and make the first few
sentences enticing so customers will continue reading on.  Use headings and small paragraphs for ease of
reading.

 

3. Frequency
and Timing
–  Don’t over-do it.  It’s recommended that small businesses should
be emailing their subscribers once or twice a month.  Emailing too frequently will ultimately lead
to higher unsubscribe rates. Social media sites are better tools for frequent
communications.  Also keep in mind that
there are “prime” times to send these emails. 
Although it will vary slightly depending on your target audience and the
type of business you are in, typically these are the best time to marketing
emails:

 

Day of the week – Monday to Friday (except for mail about
recreational content, when it’s the weekend)

Time of Day – the optimal send time is 10.30am (except for
content about hobbies, which is 8.00am)

 

4. Do Not Spam – It’s very important that
you do NOT add people to your email list who did not personally sign up.
Remember, emails are great tools for maintaining and strengthening
relationships (or sales), but highly ineffective at recruiting new customers.
Adding unsuspecting names to your email list will only foster a negative
impression and might even get you dropped by your email provider. So don’t do
it!    Avoid
using spammy sounding phrases in the subject line.
  Include the business address, as this will
also help your mail from being treated as spam by email filters and servers.
 

5. Make it Mobile-friendly – Your emails
should be mobile friendly Prior to finalizing your next email campaign, make
sure that it is tested against all major mobile devices. Mobile emulators are
also available so you can see how the email looks on different devices. 

6. Use Social Media – Your website is not
the only medium to increase your email subscribers. Make full use of your
social media business accounts.  Include
your social media profiles in the email. Provide links to your Twitter feed, Facebook
page, and/or your blog in all email messages.  
Ask your followers to register and explain the benefits of doing so. 

7. Keep It Interesting – People get bored
easily, so keep your content static. 
Don’t focus on the same message over and over. Mix up your content and
keep your subscribers engaged by offering special offers and vouchers.  On average, 7 in 10 people make use of a
coupon or discount from a marketing email.

Check out these handy tips before creating your marketing emails and articles:  http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/optimize-your-blogs-and-articles-with-these-3-great-tips/



Ways to Increase Your Websites Page Speed

Google has started taking site speed into account as one of the factors for deciding search result listings. 

The bounce rates (particularly on mobile devices) are higher when the site speed is slow.  According to digital marketing specialist Max Goldberg, a website that loads faster makes money faster.  In addition, it creates a better user experience because nobody wants to wait more than a few seconds for a page to load.  That’s the reality of it.

So, what do you do if you find that your page loading speed is “slow” (generally 3 seconds or more)?  You don’t have to necessarily redesign your entire site.  There are a few ways to increase your page loading speed without an entire website overhaul.

Image optimization – There’s no need to have huge image files on your website.  They can be sharp, clear and of high quality without it being a 2MB image.  Images tend to load much slowly compared to text.  If your image sizes on your website are in the range of 1 MB or more, it can lead to longer website load times.   The more pictures you have, the more this factor plays a part.    You can compress and optimize all of these images. A good standard is to have images in the range of 100 kb in size.

Use system fonts – System fonts may not have the dazzle and funkiness of the custom fonts you can find these days, but it will improve your page loading speed.  Using standard system fonts like Arial or Times New Roman will speed things up, and looks great on pretty much every device in every operating system.

Get rid of the auto-playing videos – If you insist of having video on your website, disable the auto-play.  It’s incredibly annoying to the end user and slows down significantly. Have the video link to your YouTube channel, or have the user manually click on PLAY to watch it.

Minimize Redirects – Redirects triggers an additional HTTP request, which adds delay to page loading.  You should try to avoid redirects totally and should be included only if it’s technically required and if an alternate solution is not available. Your web pages, you should never reference URLs that can redirect to others.

Faster Servers –   The speed at which the website content is delivered by it’s server has a major impact on the load time. This is why hosting companies will vary considerably in price.   It’s the “you get what you pay for” scenario – the cheaper ones are a lot slower than the more costly ones.  If you have a decent budget, opting for a dedicated virtual private server would be ideal.  

Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)  – Google now makes use of an open source standard for mobile devices referred to as AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Instead of loading all the content from your site, Google creates its own index of your website. It strips it down to HTML so that mobile devices load sites faster. Google attaches preference to AMP pages when it comes to mobile searches. For websites that were created with WordPress, you can use the AMP plugin for deploying AMP pages.

To learn more about page speed and how it directly affects your SEO rankings, visit http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/this-is-why-page-speed-will-significantly-affect-both-your-seo-rankings-and-conversion-rates/