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Favorable Website Structure for Search Engines

When building a site and optimizing features, steer clear of using JavaScript whenever possible. This type of language is difficult for search engines to read, and it often hides important information from search engines and can slow down websites in a big way. This can ultimately lead to poor user experiences overall.

If you are rather partial to JavaScript for its ability to add a professional appearance to your site, consider using CSS3 or HTML5. These both provide comparable solutions, are much more lightweight, faster and eliminate the issues you will encounter using JavaScript.

Applying these five elements alongside the more frequently covered tactics should help your site in its quest to rise above the rest. One of the most important things to remember when it comes to SEO, however, is that everything is always in transition; nothing is permanent. Always be on the lookout for changes, as they are sure to come and could potentially have major consequences for your site. Just ask those hit with the Panda and Penguin algorithm penalties.

What Web development advice do you have for enhancing SEO? What do you think is the single most important design element for a site to rank well?

Web Development and Design 101

Web design takes a good bit of thought and know-how in order to pull it off. Of course, everyone wants their website to be awesome, but it takes a certain mindset for that to be accomplished.

The design process must take into account two things—what the site is for and what technical requirements are needed. If the design is done with the goal of realizing the purpose of the site as the entire focus, it should be done well. It depends on what topic and/or niche the website is about, the target audience it’s catering to, what problems it’s trying to solve, what special purpose it’s trying to serve, and so on.

The website is never really about the creators and/or owners, but about the people. The audience comes first because they’re who the website is aiming to please. Therefore, in a way, the website isn’t really yours; it’s theirs. Keep that in mind while designing, building, and running the website.

Whether you’re designing and building the website yourself or have a Web designer on hand to do it for you, the details that go into putting the website online should not be ignored. You should know what a domain name is and what Web hosting is for in order to get a website up and operational.

The domain name is basically what people have to type in to visit your website; yourwebsitename.com. Picking the right one for your website means being sure of what your brand is and considering if that alone is enough or if you need to add something else that’s descriptive. For example, you’re the owner of Acme Hardware. Obviously, acme . com isn’t unique, but acmehardware . com may be more viable as it’s more unique and tells people what your business is about.

Web hosting is where your website is uploaded and maintained. Unless you’re going to have your own Web server, you’ll have to pay for a Web hosting service to do it for you. There are different kinds of Web hosting, each with their own features that could be of use to your website. Likely, you’ll be using shared Web hosting if it’s just a regular website with only the basics. If you’re an eCommerce site with more bells and whistles, then you may have to get into a more specialized Web hosting solution.

OK, you have your website designed, built, uploaded into the Web hosting, and set up with the domain name but, wait, you’re not done just yet. You must now set up your search engine optimization to make your website more visible to people on the Internet. A website is only as useful as its visibility, so you need to set up your keywords and topics right at the start in order to consolidate all present and future content and make your website appear in search results.

Security Never Goes Out of Style

Over the past several years, cyber-security breaches have been wreaking havoc for on-line corporations and small business owners. In an effort to combat this digital onslaught, Google announced that it would provide a slight boost to sites who employed SSL encryption techniques. The company was forthcoming with this information by stating:

“We’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal…. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”

Through the utilization of SSL, an encrypted link is developed between the server and the client. Many sites have already doubled-down on this procedure. WordPress, for instance, diligently hammered away at its protection issues by increasing the number of security updates enacted in 2015 twofold when compared to 2013.

Security is of massive importance to you and everyone that passes through your site. Be sure to follow Google’s lead on this and make the switch as soon as possible; you might even see a modest improvement in your SEO score.

Meme Marketing

A meme (pronounced “meem”) is a growing and popular Internet trend where a cutesy or funny image is paired with a clever quote or saying to create an entertaining or funny situation to which we can relate. Memes are also becoming more popular in billboards and other off-line advertising. You can create your own memes at websites like memegenerator.net. They enable you to use your own images and add your own text. Memes are meant to bring humor and entertainment to everyday situations, which can go a long way in the on-line marketing world. They will increase sharing and engagement to help build your social media presence. As always be careful as not to produce and offensive or inappropriate meme. Memes are a fun and interesting way to go viral and take your on-line marketing to the next level for the New Year.
Keeping up with the Joneses so to speak in the marketing world can seem impossible at times but you need to keep up with the changes and trends for each year as they evolve and become more important. Take some time to research each marketing strategy and learn as much as you can so 2015 will be your most successful year ever.

Guidelines for the SEO Writer

SEO involves many things and it can be a complex beast to tackle, but when it comes to writing SEO content, it’s fairly simple once you know the rules. These 15 guidelines are designed to help you win at SEO every time you sit down to type.

1. Do your research

A plane wouldn’t leave the runway without a designated flight plan and you shouldn’t start writing without first conducting ample, focused keyword research. Keyword research can help you determine which words you should be targeting and make you more visible to your audience.

2. Be descriptive

The “show don’t tell” spiel that was hammered into you by your Grade 6 English teacher has come back to haunt you after all. When writing SEO content, it’s important to be descriptive in everything you do. This includes your headlines, metas, body content and CTA’s. What is the text about? What will it do for your audience? Why should they read it? What will they get for clicking on this button or that link? Make it all clear and you’re bound to have better conversions and more traffic.

3. Don’t duplicate

Duplicate content is dangerous for the SEO writer and when two pages look too much alike, Google removes one of them from the indexes. To avoid this, follow Google’s best practices and focus on high-quality, original content first, and then use canonical link elements to avoid duplicative content problems wherever they may arise.

4. Don’t stuff your content

Keyword stuffing is one of the cardinal sins of SEO and, if you don’t avoid it, it can kill your ranking. As a general rule, keyword density should be no more than three percent within your content. Once you’ve determined your target keywords and phrases, they should appear in your header if they can do so naturally, in the subheaders, and throughout the body content several times. This keeps your keywords feeling natural and prevents you from being dinged by the Google Gods.

5. Write great metas

The purpose of metas is to help search engine crawlers determine what the page is about. Therefore, the 150 character-long meta description may well be one of the most important pieces of your content. To write great metas, make them descriptive, persuasive and interesting. By doing this, you’ll ensure ample click-throughs and attention from readers.

6. Make your titles irresistible

Approximately five times as many people read your headline as read your body content. That said, headlines are the single most important piece of content you’ll write. A great headline does two things: it supplies information and it helps people decide if they should read or not. To make them great, headlines must be unique, specific, urgent and useful.

7. Don’t Spam anyone

Nobody likes spam and if you head to forums or blog comments and create unnatural link profiles, you’re going to find yourself in a version of SEO purgatory. If you want to earn yourself links and views, get out there and interact from a point of genuine interest rather than spammy sneakiness. This means reading and commenting on other people’s blogs, asking and answering questions on sites like Quora, and getting involved in niche-specific communities. Although it won’t earn you on-line fame overnight, this approach is much more sustainable than spamming people with links to your site.

8. Write original content

People come to the Internet looking for answers and information and if all you do is provide them with a regurgitated version of someone else’s content, you’re not going to stand out from the crowd. With this in mind, focus on writing original content in your unique voice. What are you an expert at? What can you offer your visitors that nobody else can? Original content goes much further than the simple “don’t copy content” commandment; it also means being uniquely you in everything you write.

9. Post often

If users get to your site only to find out that it hasn’t been updated in six months, they’re going to click “back” immediately. Posting often can help you avoid this. Don’t kill yourself by posting every single day – simply set a realistic goal that you can adhere to and make an effort to update all of your social channels at least once a week. This keeps content fresh and users interested.

10. Incorporate quality links

One of the most important factors for SEO ranking is links. Google wants to see that you’re getting your information from high-quality sources. When writing your on-line content, focus on linking to industry leaders and well-known publications. If you need help determining what’s a quality link and what isn’t, download the MozBar to your browser and only link to things with a DA score of 50 or higher.

 

11. Vary your content

Would you want to eat the same thing for dinner every night? No! And your readers don’t want the same type of content over and over again. Your common denominator should be originality and value, but beyond that you should experiment with content types like blogs, videos, podcasts, memes, infographics, and Q&A sessions. This keeps your content interesting and helps you reach a wide variety of users.

12. Earn quality back-links

Just like the links you use are important for SEO, so are the links that use you. Earning high-quality back-links is a process, and it often involves steps like offering guest posts, interacting with thought leaders in your industry, or offering to review a product. By writing high-quality content and reaching out to other SEO writers, you’ll begin to build quality back-links in no time.

13. Pay attention to your site

When it comes to getting good at SEO, your content matters, but your site does as well. To make sure that you’re not missing rankings for silly reasons, ensure that your site is coded correctly, easy to navigate, loads quickly, and is visually appealing. Google hates sloppy sites and yours will be down-ranked if it fits the bill.

14. Use site maps

Want to make your site easier to navigate without a whole lot of effort? Install a site-map. A site-map is a Google plugin that creates a full list of all of your posts, pages, or archives. This site-map then automatically submits the list to search engines like Google and Bing without you having to do anything. This makes your page easier for search engines to index and helps you be more visible on-line.

15. Beef up your social media platforms

As it stands now, Google is beginning to look at social media as an indicator of a site’s authority, relevance and value. This means that if your article has thousands of shares on Facebook or hundreds of re-tweets, that it’s probably pretty valuable. With this in mind, it’s important to beef up your social media profiles. This means ensuring all information within them is current, interacting with content, posting fresh content often, and getting verified accounts where you can. While it may seem simple, a solid social media strategy can help you stand out from the crowd.

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