Guest Posting and Link Building: My Warning

Warnings of who is asking to guest post

On Thursday 25th May 2017 Matt G Southern a well-known and respected writer at the Search Engine Journal published the article “Google Issues a Warning About Guest Posting to Build Links“.

I began to read the article hoping that an issue that happened to me recently would be mentioned, but it wasn’t.  This article is also a warning, but of a different kind when accepting guests posts onto your website for the purpose of forming genuine, respectful links.

However, as already stated in the published post by Matt Southern, the posts can be misleading and the links are in fact spammy.  This was what was quoted yesterday directly from Google.

Google has issued a warning to remind site owners about the dangers of publishing content on other sites for the purpose of building inbound links.

The company doesn’t frown on guest posts or syndicated posts in general, but lately there has been an increase in spammy links stuffed into these types of posts. That’s the reason behind this sudden warning from Google.

Distributing content on a large scale when the main intention is to build links back to your own site is strictly prohibited under Google’s guidelines on link schemes.

But what if there is another reason that people are approaching small businesses to guest post?  I, from experience, can tell you there is.

Is Guest Posting What it Seems?

I have been approached by email on several occasions over the years I have had my website asking if I accept guest posts.  Surprised at this as Virtuadmin.uk to be perfectly honest doesn’t have a tremendous amount of traffic, so together with other SEO (search engine optimisation) publishing guests posts is an ideal way to gain genuine backlinks to improve my SERPs results myself.

The person that contacted me introduced themselves to me as a “Content Writer & Editor” full of praise for my website and to quote in their opening statement “I am a business content writer and I chanced upon virtuadmin.uk“.

I am no website designer, personally, I feel that my website is somewhat amateurish but enjoy the challenges of attempting to improve it to what I consider a professional standard (not there yet but trying!); I am not a website designer but an experienced touch typist and transcriptionist!

Emails were sent back and forth, not very frequently, once every two weeks or so.  They would send an email to say they were working on my article and would email once it was ready for review and any edits I would like.

When the final article came back, I read through it very impressed, suggested some edits to the post, which were duly done.

In the meantime of waiting for the finished article to come back and then be published on this website, I decided to do a bit of research into the person that had contacted me.  I usually do this when I get requests to accept guest posts or infographics.

My Shock

I was horrified to discover the person that had initially contacted, maintained communications with me so professionally, written such a brilliant post I couldn’t wait to publish it, was my biggest competitor. 

Just to be sure of my facts, I looked for information on the person on the professional alternative to Facebook, LinkedIn and Tweeted the company directly to ask if they had a content writer of that name, to which they replied they had and gave me their email address!

This company did not just provide the service in the niche area that I am working solo as a transcriptionist and typist, but many other types of administration duties that can be outsourced and carried out online.  They are very established, very large.  In my mind, if someone chanced upon the article upon my website, I always reference guest post at the beginning, therefore technically I would have been sending business to them.

Personally, I just can’t help wondering for a company so large why are they trying to take out small-time work-from-home Mums like myself?  It’s not just that, why the underhanded way in which they approached me, not even volunteering the information of who they worked for as a Content Writer and Editor!

My Warning and Advice

My warning to anyone that is trying to genuine improve their website rankings without the budget of hiring SEO experts or other tactical ways of achieving page one on Google SERPs, if you are approached out of the blue, just like I was, be polite, the might be genuine but check them out.

How?  Firstly, Google or Bing is a great start.  If it is a common name like the person I was researching, narrow the results down with the details you have.  Location, their job, email address, alternatively LinkedIn.

Even with minimal information, I only had a name, email address and job title, for example, but believe me, you can research the person concerned, you can find out who they are that has contacted you to make this request it.

Hopefully, unlike my unfortunate experience, they are equally a small-time business or stay-at-home Mum or Entrepreneur looking to make genuine backlinks because you share a common niche area.

 

 

 

 

How to Triple Your SEO Efforts Just By Blogging by Julia McCoy

If you’re like most bloggers, you’re probably wondering how you can produce huge results, the kind other bloggers retire doing. Or, you’re looking to gain a serious boost for your business via blogging, but not sure how to get rolling. Fortunately, this success isn’t just blind luck – it is the direct result of a series of efforts you can apply to your own blog.

If you’re like most bloggers, you’re probably wondering how you can produce huge results, the kind other bloggers retire doing. Or, you’re looking to gain a serious boost for your business via blogging, but not sure how to get rolling.

Fortunately, this success isn’t just blind luck – it is the direct result of a series of efforts you can apply to your own blog.

If you’re looking to increase your SEO, blogging is the first and most important step. According to HubSpot’s 2015 blogging frequency benchmark data, companies that blog earn 97% more inbound links than companies that do not. Additionally, companies that post more than 16 blog posts each month get roughly 3.5 times more traffic than companies that publish four or fewer posts each month. (We recently gained over 300 keyword positions in a single day—and it was 100% through our content & blogging.)

Read on to learn more about the SEO importance of blogging and how you can triple your SEO efforts through regular, high-quality posts.

Blogging 101: Why it’s so Darn Important for SEO

When it comes to SEO, there is arguably nothing more important than blogging. In order for content to rank well, there has to be content in the first place and multiple industry leaders have shown that companies that blog regularly do better than companies that don’t. 

HubSpot’s aforementioned blogging frequency benchmark data shows that when small companies with 1-10 employees publish more than 11 posts each month, their sites get three times as much traffic as companies of the same size that publish only one post per month. What’s more, sites with 11 posts each month earn twice as much traffic as companies that publish between 2-5 posts each month.

For slightly larger companies, the results are comparable: companies with between 26-200 employees that publish more than 11 posts per month get twice as much traffic than companies who only publish one post each month.

It’s obvious that blogging frequency really does matter and that, in order to boost traffic and improve SEO, you need to produce relevant, useful content on a regular basis.

One of the main reasons for this is that old blog posts stick around long after they’ve been published. In fact, when HubSpot conducted a study of their own blogging traffic, they found that 90% of the leads their blog produced actually came from old posts. That said, it’s possible to generate, in equal parts, traffic from both old and new content, as long as you know how to create content that is genuinely interesting and valuable.

How to Blog for SEO: 6 Takeaway Tips

Now that you know how important blogging is for SEO, here are 6 tips to help you blog better and produce better results.

1. Create quality content

This may seem obvious, but creating content is one of the most important aspects of SEO. This is because each post you write adds a new SEO page that has the potential to be crawled and indexed by Google. Additionally, each new post can be optimized for unique long-tail keywords which allows bloggers to create pages full of new ranking opportunities. Blogs also offer the opportunity for high-quality backlinks and plenty of organic traffic to your site.

2. Write attention-grabbing headlines

If you do it right, every post you write can create high-quality traffic that gets you noticed. Unfortunately, most people don’t do this right. This is because they focus only on getting content written and distributed rather than creating viral content that maintains its value. The first secret to doing the latter is to make sure that your headlines are irresistible.

Eight out of 10 people read headlines while only two out of 10 read body copy, so you can bet that people will click through to your blog if you get your headline right. Need an example? Consider Upworthy for a moment. Upworthy launched two years ago and now boasts viral posts and 88 million visitors, which makes it more popular by visitor numbers than the Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Buzzfeed. The secret to Upworthy’s success? Attention-grabbing headlines first of all, and then minimal sharing buttons and the use of short, intriguing videos to grab users.

How to Triple Your SEO Efforts Just By Blogging

Once you’ve mastered killer headlines, you’ll want to ensure that your content is the correct length. At Express Writers, our blogs are generally between 1000-3000 words and Buzzsumo has found that its most popular posts range between 3000-10,000 words.

3. Solve your readers’ problems

No matter how quality your content is or how shocking your headlines are, it isn’t going to carry you to SEO and sales success if it doesn’t pertain directly to your readers. This means that, in order for your blogging efforts to work in favor of your SEO standing, you need to understand your audience very well. You should know what they’re interested in and which problems they’re struggling with and you should be able to synthesize new content ideas that will help make their lives easier.

To get a better handle on who your audience is and what they want, use sites like Quora to get involved in niche-specific conversations and then head to BuzzSumo for help in creating and generating new ideas for content. BuzzSumo allows users to plug in keywords and see what other related topics have gone viral on social media. Another great tool for this same purpose is Ubersuggest, which is fantastic for generating ideas for blog posts and advertises itself as “Google suggest on steroids.”   

4. Make it evergreen

It’s one thing for your posts to be attention-grabbing but it’s entirely another for them to hold their value throughout the months or years. This is where Evergreen topics come in. According to Moz, evergreen content offers “continued and sustained success.” To put it another way, evergreen content doesn’t rely upon passing trend and it doesn’t rely on the re-posting of old content. Rather, it uses foundational industry truths as topics from which to branch out. Examples in the world of blogging include “How to Blog – The Steps to a Successful Blog Start,” “Revealed: 19 Things to Know Before You Start a Blog” and ProBlogger’s own “How to Blog: Blogging Tips for Beginners.” These posts all take one evergreen topic (blogging) and offer helpful tips and tricks on the subject. Because of this, these posts aren’t going to come into and out of fashion. Instead, they will continue to be highly searched-for and will continue to be a major source of traffic for their home sites.

5. Use long tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are and have always been a big traffic factor for bloggers. Take Search Engine Journal, for example, who noted a huge 78% jump in traffic after optimizing their content for long-tail keywords. In order to optimize content for long tail keywords, it’s important to create extensively researched, lengthy, valuable content that utilizes your long-tail keywords in a natural way.

Since long tail keywords show you what your users are looking to do, there’s a high probability that content optimized for them will produce far better conversions than content that is not. Additionally, longtail keywords can help you understand how to better structure content in order to solve a searcher’s problems or provide value for their needs.

6. Use CTAs to collect emails

As of 2013, there were more than 3.6 billion email addresses worldwide with upwards of 247 million emails sent on a daily basis. According to many email marketing experts, for every $1.00 bloggers spend on email marketing tactics, they earn $42.00. If you need an example, you can think about QuickSprout, which created a revenue of $43k from one email blast over a single 24-hour period.

That said, it’s wise to collect emails every time someone visits your site. Do this through a special landing page or embed email popups or subscription forms throughout your blog. Accompany these with powerful CTAs and then use the gathered emails for email marketing down the road. In order to get the most emails possible, ensure that your site is structured properly and easy to use. This means that your site should be compatible for all devices and very readable (in terms of font type and actual writing). The site should also load quickly and be easy to navigate. When your site provides a positive experience for users, people are much more likely to click and subscribe than they would be for a difficult site that wasn’t intuitive.

Conclusion

While increasing SEO can be confusing, it’s obvious that blogging does in fact have a large impact on SEO. Follow these 6 tips to help you blog better, increase SEO rankings, and make more sales. Happy blogging!

Julia is a serial entrepreneur and content marketer, and the founder of Express Writers; she loves to blog and is a soon-to-be published author.

Source: How to Triple Your SEO Efforts Just By Blogging

How to Structure a Perfect SEO Optimized Page

The-Perfect-On-Page-SEO-Checklist-for-2016-Infographic-image

 

How to Structure a Perfect SEO Optimized Page

This Infographic was created by Neil Patel at Quick Sprout and introduces his Infographic by stating that (when this article was first published in November 2014 to help get your head around Search Engine Optimization) that Google looks at over 200 factors when ranking a website and that was in 2014!

Today Cent Muruganandam has revisited this infographic and broken down each element of the page and explains the function of and how best to optimise it for better SEO rankings.  This is "The Perfect On Page SEO Checklist for 2016" and was published on Business 2 Community on 14th January 2016.

Today we are going to look at on page SEO checklist every website should be taking advantage of; this includes new blogs as well.

After all, who doesn’t crave for Google Gods blessings?

This is an infographic checklist that delivers the message in an elegant way.

This checklist was created by Neil Patel so you know its undoubted quality!

SEO Friendly URL

More weight is given to the first 3 to 5 words of a URL according to Matt Cutts of Google.

Examples of Bad URLs:

YourEscapeFrom9to5.com/?p=3155 (Only Numbers)

YourEscapeFrom9to5.com/how-to-use-stumbleupon-to-drive-traffic-and-marketing-infographic (Too Long)

An Example of a Good URL:

YourEscapeFrom9to5.com/user-experience-tips-infographic (Short and Descriptive)

How to Fix Non SEO Friendly URL

  • Use a plugin like PrettyLink to redirect the old URLs (in WordPress)
  • Update permalink structure (in WordPress)

Title

50 – 60 Characters

Recommended for YouWebcast: Sales Hacks to Close the Deal

Use H1 Tags for the Title (Also use H2 and H3 tags for Subheadings)

Include Target Keywords

Remember, only 512 pixel width of text will be displayed on mobile devices

How to Fix Title Issues

  • Use a plugin like Yoast SEO to investigate title and description issues. Yoast gives traffic light rankings for each post. (for WordPress)

Use Multimedia and Visual Content

 

Use pictures, videos and audio content to your advantage. Each media type has another avenue for promotion. Videos -> YouTube.Multimedia can keep online visitors engaged and reduce your website bounce rate.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/infographics/perfect-page-seo-checklist-2016-infographic-01428523#ikX4KUvfzx72dtdR.99

Link to Authority Sites

Outgoing links tell search engines like Google what your page is about. The quality of your external links is a signal to Google of the quality of your page.

Internal Linking is the Best Form of Content Marketing

As a rule of thumb, link to your older posts when you publish a new post. Try to include 2 to 3 links in each post. The key is to internally link to posts naturally. Don’t try to sell a shoe that doesn’t fit the customer’s leg.

Use Keyword in the First 100 Words of the Content

Keyword should not only be part of your title and URL; it should also be part of the Meta description and content. The earlier the keyword appears in all of these elements the better.

How to Fix Keyword Issues?

  • Use Yoast SEO to manage keywords and on page SEO elements. (for WordPress)

Use Related Keywords or Similar Words in Your Content

Google uses Latent Semantic Indexing which looks at relative words in the content when ranking websites in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Optimize ALT Tags and Image File Names

ALT tags tell search engines what the image is about. If your image name is ‘image1’ or ‘pic2’ it is useless from a search engine perspective. As a rule of thumb always make the ALT tag descriptive and include keywords. Remember, there is less competition in Google image search and you have a chance of being displayed as one of the images found for a user’s search term.

Website Speed Matters!

If you are stuck in traffic in a slow-moving lane, what do you do? Put the indicator and move to the next lane. What will happen if your website is slow? No indicator, just less traffic. We live in a fast-moving world so test your website speed every once in a while (monthly is a good idea) to make sure your visitors are not lost.

How to Improve Website Speed?

  • Glad you asked. Here is an infographic with 16 tips to improve a website’s loading time.
  • You can also implement a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to boost loading times. CDN sounds complicated but it is easy to implement. If you are on a budget try CloudFlare CDN which is free.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/glass-time-watch-business-medium.jpg.jpg

website-speed-matters-image

Leverage Social Sharing Correctly

Use floating social share buttons. They are easy to use, always visible and a constant reminder to the user. Encourage users to share your content. Use hashtags when you post content in social media and share valuable content from others.

Content Length is Strength

Produce long form content that is useful to the viewer. This post not only tells what the on page SEO elements to focus on but also tells you how to fix them. The content length is determined by whatever it takes to get the message across. Some SEO’s will tell you to only write long post content that is 1,500 to 5,000 words.

Mobile Responsive Website is a Must

The number of mobile devices is growing rapidly; so is the number of people using their smart phones to browse the web. A mobile responsive website resizes its web pages based on the device type the user is on. Remember, social media usage on mobile devices is on the high and you don’t want to be losing out.

How to Make your Website Responsive?

  • Hire a web developer
  • Use a responsive theme (for WordPress)

Wrapping it up

A new website or blog will take time to build up its domain authority (DA) and backlinks. One good habit to get into early is to always focus on, SEO elements on the page as this does not depend on domain authority, domain age or backlinks. On page SEO elements are crucial for search engine traffic and rankings.

If you like this essential on page SEO checklist, then share it!

35 WordPress SEO Tips to Succeed In Blogging

35 WordPress SEO Tips to Succeed in Blogging
35 WordPress SEO Tips to Succeed in Blogging

In this ever changing field, you can stay ahead of the curve with my WordPress SEO tips designed to provide you with what works to achieve results.

A great way to start the New Year – I heard from a very trusted colleague and want to share these wonderful search engine optimistion tips with you.  Over at www.onblast.com he got in touch to say Hi and Happy New Year.  We’ve not spoken for a wee while and really happy to hear from him and guess what?  Even though it has been longer that it should have been he wanted to share his latest post about WordPress and the secret tips of how to get success with blogging.  I am so grateful to him for sending me this I had to share it with you…ssshh don’t tell him!

So with that being said, welcome to the ultimate resource for WordPress SEO tips this side of a Tibetan monk who understands the mind of Google (I’m fairly certain he doesn’t exist).

WordPress is arguably the best blogging platform in existence, and it provides us with a lot of SEO tools that many of you may not know about.

Of course, there are an abundance of other practices in your structure and content that will also lend to a more optimized website, but we’ll get to all of that in due time.

For now, as the salad said to the dinner: “lettuce begin!”

The Secrets to Successful WordPress SEO (You’re Welcome)

“Optimizing your WordPress site is the first step toward real blogging success” [click to tweet]

It’s hard to believe anyone would give this out for free, but I’m Matt Banner, and although most people know me through my brother Bruce, you know, the big green guy (the Hulk) I’m sporting a brain that’s equally powerful and like him I want to use my power for good.

Hulk

(Source: Flickr)

Here’s what you’re going to learn by the end of this article:

Today’s Roadmap
  • A massive list of the best SEO practices out there
  • WordPress exclusive tips to maximize your blog’s potential
  • A sneak peek at the future of SEO and how you can prepare today
  • Step by step on How to Optimize WordPress with the Yoast Plugin

35 WordPress SEO Tips to Chew On

1) Pay attention how you structure your URL: as you create phenomenal posts, remember that WordPress allows you to tailor the structure of your permalinks (or URL) under the settings > Permalinks. You can utilize a custom structure (my recommendation) or pick something different.

Just know that the shorter, the better (i.e. onblastblog.com/get-more-traffic). You don’t need to fit every single word of your article title in the URL.

2) Install the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin: Of all the plugins out there, this is the one you need for your blog. This will help you keep track of your optimization and allow you to tailor other features of your blog without the need for multiple plugins. Yoast will keep your website clean and on track.

Yoast

3) Add Internal Links: When you’re working on a new post, make sure you link to other relevant ones on your blog to increase the networking structure and keep the other posts in the limelight.

This is one of those blogging best practices you should make a habit of doing when you first start your blogSee what I did there?

4) Optimize Images: This is relatively easy and comes included with WordPress. When you’re uploading and inserting an image on your blog, there are fields to provide an alternate text, caption, and description.

Use them all. These all add to the organic visibility of the image, so don’t forget to use them.

5) Content is for People First: Some bloggers get all caught up in throwing as many keywords into a post as possible, and while having your primary and LSI keywords present is certainly needed to help people understand what you’re talking about, ultimately the usefulness of your content will decide how well it performs in search engine results.

Make it well-written, unique, and above all else, useful for your readers.

6) Generate More Brand Mentions: Brand mentionsHaving your posts linked on other blogs is an important step in building a strong organically-focused blog.

Essentially, they are 3rd party recommendations that scream “What you’re doing is awesome”. That being said, you don’t need links from sites that aren’t in your niche or don’t relate to your topic.

Remember, your goal is ultimately about judging the usefulness of your site for users.

7) PageRank isn’t as Important as You Might Think: The way pages are viewed and ranked by search engines is part of a huge machine like algorithm. It’s been widely noted that using page rank as a ranking factor is no longer recognized.

8) Ensure your Title Tag Contains the Most Important Words: The title tag, which displays on Google and other search engines, shouldn’t just be the company name or the name of your blog. Each title tag should accurately describe what will be on that given page.

Practicing this will better improve your SEO and proudly display the content of the post.

Title tag example

9) Make Your Hyperlinks Keyword Phrases: This is a simple tip, but an important one. If you’re linking to an article about common mistakes bloggers make, don’t just say “click here”, use the phrase so readers know what they’re clicking on.

10) Long-Tail Keyword Phrases Beat Lonely Ones: Long tail keywordsYou can pick and choose keywords like you’re the king or queen of the apple bobbing contest, but the real way to utilize these keywords is by placing them in phrases that are relevant to your topic.

If you’re talking about cooking dessert dishes, then expand on that like so: “Our detailed recipes will help you craft the finest dessert dishes.”

11) From the Beginning, Your Design Should be SEO Focused: Your blogs design, whether it’s done by you or by a web designer, needs to be focused on organic search traffic.

While fancy colors and animations are nice, the search engines are looking at text and image descriptions, they might as well be color blind. Bottom line: Don’t get too cute or too fancy with flash and javascript.

12) Get your Site Indexed: Using a tool like Google Search Console will help you establish a clear connection between your website’s content and the Google search engine.

Navigate to Search Console and submit an XML sitemap to make sure your content is indexed as quickly as possible. You can easily create an XML sitemap with the Yoast plugin I touched on earlier.

13) Structure Your Site With Simplicity: A complicated and disorganized blog isn’t going to get a lot of readers or backlinks.

Don’t go crazy with folders and subfolders. Keep things organized and if people want to look at older posts, make sure that’s easy to do as well.

14) Always, Always Reciprocate: Sourcing other contentNot only is it common courtesy to link & reference other sites that have furthered the topic conversation you’re writing about, but doing so will help build your popularity and improve your authority (so long as they’re quality trusted sites that are applicable to the same topic) in your particular niche.

15) Content Needs to be Unique and of High Quality: You can write about the psychological profile of the common household cat all you want, but if the content isn’t of high quality (meaning no keyword stuffing, or a litany of grammar and punctuation issues) then you’re not going to see the results you want.

Creating content that does both of these things will be infinitely more noticeable to Google.

16) Choose a Single Main Keyword Phrase: Don’t try to create a single post that addresses multiple keyword phrases. Find one that most represents your content and use it sparingly in the post.

Branch off of that keyword with secondary keywords and relevant topics to further expand on the subject matter.

17) Your SEO Must Lead to a Strong CTA (Call to Action): Much like dousing logs in lighter fluid, it’s all for naught if you don’t light a match to ignite the flames. At the end of your posts, you should always leave the reader with something to do.

It could be a sign up for your newsletter, or an invitation to comment. It could also be an opportunity to purchase your products or services. Make sure this is present, and that it’s clear and concise.

18) Never Stop Researching: IdeasAnything involving SEO is only a present solution or tactic.

The landscape of this is always changing. With new updates to Google and Yahoo, the methods by which pages are displayed and ranked is always changing. Staying current on these trends and algorithms is the best way to stay ahead of the curve.

19) The Text Around Your Images Matters: As mentioned earlier, the caption, description and ALT-Text attached to your images helps them rank well in search engines.

What you’re saying when the image appears (the text around it) also matters. SEO is relying more on how things connect and less on specific keywords, so remember to make everything fit together.

20) Your Social Media Presence is Huge: Having your blog posts present on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites goes hand in hand SEO. Installing a social media plugin on your WordPress blog will also allow people to share your posts on their networks, further spreading the influence of your site.

21) Mix-Up the Types of Content on Your Blog: It’s not about text and pictures, you need to get more creative than that. Publish videos, record podcasts, and try new things with your posts. You never want to shatter the style or voice you’ve established, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stretch the types of content you deliver to other forms.

22) Use Clean and Simple Themes: Designed ThemeThink minimal.

The more code that search engines have to search, the harder it’s going to be for your content to stand out.

Use simple themes that are light on coding and run fast. This way your content is found faster and easier by search engines and ultimately by your readers.

23) Create an XML Sitemap: This is essentially a map of your website that Google can use to properly understand what pages you have.

Creating one of these can be done using an SEO plugin, or with other sitemap specific plugins, but regardless of how you do it, this is an essential action that will make your site infinitely more readable for search engines like Google.

24) Don’t Index Every Single Page: All the pages of your blog don’t need to be indexed as some of them are just, well, there. The ones that provide value to readers, the ones with content are the ones that should be viewed by search engines. That being said, if you index your category pages on your blog, consider adding a paragraph or two about what’s in that category.

This adds value to the page, and being that’s a detailed description, it will only show up for that category, this is key because simply placing a post teaser or teasers on the page will still allow that content to appear in other searches.

SEO WordPress Tips for 2015

25) Keep Your WordPress Up to Date: The updates for WordPress that come down the pipeline are important.

They ensure that your security is solid, but they also alter any possible errors or glitches in the coding that could be hurting your SEO ranking. You don’t want anything holding you back, but more than that you don’t want your site getting hacked.

26) Remove Defaults from Your Site: Configure SettingsWhen you’re first developing your WordPress blog, you’re going to see defaults that can hurt your SEO. For example, in the beginning, the posts are categorized.

As mentioned above, you can create category pages with their own unique content and index them for an SEO boost.

In addition to things like that, consider changing default messages like “Hello World!” and others that are put there as placeholders. These look unprofessional on a live website and your readers will recognize them as they stand out from the rest of your blog’s style.

27) When Customizing your URL, Remember Keywords: I mentioned earlier changing the URL from the default setting, but there’s something to be said about customizing them yourself to include the title of your blog post that remains as small and simple as possible.

Focus on the keywords and remove things like “and” “a” and “is” from the permalink.

28) Avoid Duplicate Content by Creating a Static Homepage: Identical content is the bane of any blogger’s existence. When you setup your WordPress site, the default is posting your latest content on the homepage. The problem with this is that showing the content on the homepage and in the respective post creates that dreaded duplicate content.

To fix this, create a page for blog posts and go to the reading settings. Once you’ve done this, choose between latest posts or a static page for the front page displays.

Each article you post should be represented by an excerpt, then double check that the discourage search engines from indexing this site is not selected.

29) Track Your Progress with Google Analytics: Analytics & GrowthUsing an analytics tool such as Google Analytics will help you monitor your progress.

you should always be aware of how well you’re doing, and this is the way.

The results of a tracking program will help you find 404 pages, see how long people stay for, and how much traffic you’re getting from search engines.

All of this information will help you better understand what’s working, and what isn’t. When you finally find that ‘secret sauce’ based on all of your efforts and the results to prove it, then your analytics account should look something like this:

Good Analytics Screenshot

30) Make Sure You’ve Got the Date Right: New and fresh content is great for SEO, but WordPress uses a default UTC time zone when you set it up. If this time zone isn’t correct for your location, your new content may not be noticed by search engines.

When searching for new content, Google check the time set on your WordPress, not the time and date it actually went up.All you have to do to fix this, is head into the settings > General and you’ll see the time zone. If you need help figuring out which time zone is yours, Wikipedia has a handy chart.

Looking Into the Future: How SEO is Evolving (And How You Can Stay Ahead of The Curve)

As time goes on, the way that Google searches changes constantly. In 2013 there were a number of updates for example, some small, and some large.

With each of these updates the SEO landscape changes and we must in turn change with it. While the changes are beneficial and contribute to the overall whole, they are still radical in some aspects. Here are the updates issued in 2013:

Panda #24: First update of the year issued on January 22nd.

Panda #25: This was the last update before the Panda update was added into the core algorithm.

Hummingbird: This was a major update to the core algorithm, modifying semantic search among other SEO tactics in a big way.

Penguin 2.0./2.1: These were both minor updates that didn’t touch the main algorithm.

So, why did I show you a list of oddly named updates? Well, of the five updates, two of them were fairly major. This means that several times per year, the way we understand SEO changes. I know, that seems scary, but you needn’t be afraid.

When it comes down to it, Google is just trying to make their search results the best they can be for users. Speaking of users, don’t forget to use a handful of these WordPress plugins to improve your reader’s experience on the site.

SEO Cycle

Staying ahead of the curve isn’t about reading every last update note (that would help though if you can understand them) it’s about understanding what Google defines as a high-quality website. If you meet these standards, then the search engine is looking for you instead of you looking for it. That’s gotta be a nice confidence boost.

So, with that in mind, here are characteristics of a high-quality site in Google’s eyes:

  • Original, Quality and Correct Content
  • Trustworthy and Credible
  • Nothing biased or one-sided (use perspective)
  • Minimal to zero consumer complaints
  • Content should be comprehensive and thorough

 

A low-quality or unoptimized website has paid links everywhere, way too many ads, and little to no content.

And you know what proves all of this? Your analytics account: The average amount of time a reader stays on your website, how many pages do they visit, etc.

What About the Future?

With time flying past us, we’ll be talking about 2015’s update logs before you know it, but we’ve already seen some big changes coming down the pipeline.

In order to keep you on top of how things are going, I’m going to give you some final tips that will help you stay at the forefront of these constantly changing times.

31) Promote Your Content

Promotional outreachI know, you’re probably thinking that you’ve heard the word “content” enough times to make your ears bleed, but hear me out on this one.

Older SEO resources will tell you that proper structure, keywords, permalinks, site mapping, and so on will be enough, but they’re not anymore. Those things are still important, in fact, they keep you afloat. They don’t, however, elevate you to greatness.

The SEO tips I’ve provided will act as your life jacket in the ocean of the internet, but you’ve got to reach out and grab something to hold onto if you want to take off.

This is done through marketing. When you write your posts, make them unique, powerful, and irresistible. Give people the power to share it with social media plugins, and spread the word! This is one of the best ways you can promote your blog and increase traffic to it.

A post on Quicksprout from Neil Patel stated that 95% of your SEO is attributed to your link profile.

What’s that about?

Essentially it means that you must produce top notch content and market it to your targeted audience, as well as similar websites in your industry.

This will help contribute to building up a link profile that Google approves of, which in return will allow your site to rank higher in the search engine results pages.

32) SEO and Public Relations Are Merging

I know, it’s scary, but this is the way of the future. In a video posted by Matt Cutts of Google fame, he spoke about the importance of integrating PR tactics into your SEO:

“Over time, backlinks will become a little less important. If we could really be able to tell, you know, Danny Sullivan wrote this article…or Vanessa Fox wrote this article, something like that, that would help us understand — okay, this is something that we can tell, 1) it’s an expert, 2) it’s an expert in this particular field.”

In essence, people want to know who is writing these articles. When Google Authorship was still around, these profiles would rank incredibly high, along with Wikipedia pages, and expert news articles.

Suddenly it became about more than the content, it was about who wrote it and what their presence is on the internet. While it may seem hard to grasp, it’s important that going forward, your content is optimized, marketed, and that the author of the post has an equal presence and profile.

33) Google’s Algorithm is Smarter Than You

Blast offYou may be a certified genius, but it means nothing when compared to the might of Google.

In May of 2014 they celebrated 16 years and in those years, numerous changes and modifications to the search algorithm have resulted in one singular truth: you can’t trick Google.

Back in the early days, there were tricks and workarounds that you may still see online, but check the date on those articles, because those things don’t work anymore.

A great example is co-occurrence which is one of the recent developments. This concept allows the search engine to predict how one phrase will spark other ones.

If those phrases are present, the page ranks higher for relevancy. So if I were to say “Mickey Mouse” then other phrases like “Disney World” “Magic Kingdom” and “Minnie Mouse” will relate to that original term.

34) Social Profiles Matter More Now Than Ever

Social

When looking at sheer numbers of search inquires, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have upwards of two billion searches per day.

With all of these incoming searches, SEO is now becoming more social than ever. We always want to market our content, but now we need to market ourselves.

Just like the rise of PR in SEO, people are going to look for your presence on Facebook, Twitter, and so on.

Your persona and your reputation online through these sites will greatly affect the success of your blog.

Obviously you don’t want to be fake, but just like an embarrassing picture can sabotage a job interview, the same principle now applies to your readers. Put your best face online.

35) Future Concept: Entity Salience

A Google Research paper recently mentioned the concept of entity salience. This is some future level stuff but you can prepare for it now and it will pay off in the long run.

Beyond using keywords to determine relevance, this technique uses “entities” on the page, examining the known relationships between them to better understand the content.

Anything that is distinct or well-defined is an “entity.” If the relationship between entities is strong, it adds more relevance to the overall page.

Entity Salience

For example, if we’re writing about HBO, we could go into shows that the channel broadcasts like Game of Thrones, but we could go even further and establish entity salience by mentioning specific characters like Jon Snow or Arya Stark, or Ned Stark, thereby strengthening the relationships between these entities.

Setting Up Your WordPress for Success

Like me, if you’ve ever tried to fully optimize your WordPress blog for success then you would know first hand that you’ve driven yourself crazy trying to figure it out.

“What chu talkin about Matt?”

What I’m talking about is the irritating plugins, themes etc. that get in the way of our optimized WordPress blog.

Here’s a quick step by step tutorial on how to optimize it specifically using Yoast:

Step 1: Descriptions & Titles

Titles & Descriptions

WordPress SEO by Yoast features very useful settings that give you ultimate control over title & descriptions. This applies to all post & page types.

Step 2: Indexation

Indexation

Under “post types” ensure that posts and pages are both left unchecked so they are indexed. There’s no need to keep media indexed, however.

Indexation 2

Categories do not HAVE to be indexed. Deciding whether or not to index your category pages depends on whether you anticipate those pages to rank on search engines.

In addition to that, a category page (like any indexed page) HAS to have unique and valuable content that can’t be found elsewhere.

Meta Settings

Step 3: XML Sitemaps

XML Sitemaps

Please make sure you’re not using any other plugins that handle XML Sitemaps – this can cause confusion for your WordPress.

When you’re excluding post types and taxonomies, only check mark the types of pages you DO NOT want indexed. Performing this step the right way will help you with an optimized XML Sitemap.

Step 4: Permalinks

Permalinks

I would strongly advise you to strip the /category/ off of category URLs. The shorter and more succinct your URLs are, the better.

I would also enforce a trailing slash on all category and tag URLs as well as removing stop words from slugs. Slug is another word for URL.

After configuring the permalinks, your Yoast plugin is all set and optimized for success! Now, on to the meat of this article, my very own WordPress tips for you to keep in your back pocket.

Some Final Thoughts

SEO is always a subject that constantly changes. Just about every tactic sticks around in one form or another, but they always evolve.

Constant changes on a yearly basis can be seen, and things that worked six months ago won’t work now. It’s not something to be afraid of, but it is something to be aware of.

We can prepare for the future by staying abreast of changing elements in SEO and always focusing our content on being unique and high-quality for our readers. If you’re writing for them, you’ll never fail.

Keep these tips in mind, but never let them leave yours. Now that we know how PR is affecting SEO, we can also seek to improve our social media presence as we market our content.

These are all great WordPress SEO tips, so make sure you’re using them all as your make your mark.

It’s a lot to take in, especially the concepts of Entity Salience, but I promise, you’ve got this. Keep this blog bookmarked as we continue exploring the best ways to blog, and as always don’t forget to tell me about your opinions and your SEO tips in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Source: WordPress SEO Tips to Succeed In Blogging

9 Google Tactics to Increase Your Blog’s SEO and Traffic by @sm_onlineclass

9 Google Tactics to Increase Your Blog’s SEO and Traffic by @sm_onlineclass