How To Increase Your Video SEO The Affordable Way

Video Marketing SEO The Affordable Way

With social video and video marketing becoming one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience, the digital landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. 

Digitalisation and technology have become less expensive than it once was.  In today’s digital world you don’t necessarily need to contract a professional video producer.  Today’s modern technology allows you very simply to create a marketing video yourself, upload it to a video hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo to name just a couple, plan your marketing strategy and off you go.

Marketers, Entrepreneurs, businesses, anybody making a video with the intention of marketing their brand, service or product to an audience, it is 100% essential to create and upload an accurate transcript for enhanced SEO and accessibility for the hearing impaired.  Something else Google will think highly of your video for.

In a recent post by leading marketing agency Marketo, last month published a post on essential SEO tips for videos.  Number 1 recommendation on their list of ‘5 SEO Tips for Videos‘ was “Transcribe Your Video Content”.

Nate the author of the post explains “providing both a video and transcription on a single page offers dual benefits: it caters to different reader preferences, and it makes video content more likely to appear in general Google searches.”  He goes on to say “full transcripts provide more engagement SEO opportunities“.

By adding an accurate text document, either a full transcription or providing text highlights (as described in the article on the Marketo blog), the transcript will create closed captions (subtitles).  Search engine crawler bots cannot see visual images or hear the speech, they rely solely on the readable text.

Unless you add an additional transcript bots only have the information you input in the title, subtitle, description in the metadata.  That is until you upload your video transcript to the hosting platform of your choice.

Automatic captions are not indexed

Yes, the video hosting platform will most probably automatically create subtitles/captions, however, Google (and other search engines) do not index them, which they do need to be to appear in search engine results pages. Closed captions (subtitles) ‘auto-captions’ are not considered accurate enough to rely on for indexing purposes.

So if your video doesn’t get crawled and indexed, your ranking will not be that great.  This is because there is so little information about the content.  The only source of information that they can reliably use is the basic title, subtitle, content of the video within meta tags.

If search engine crawlers cannot index your marketing video, for example, it will not get found, this is not the desired result.  It is also an issue that you do not need when it’s for business or entrepreneurial intentions.

Why add a transcript?

Adding an external transcript of the speech content is a huge asset, it enables search engine bots to read the text and:-

  1.  Find your page, crawl it and know the content is good quality content
  2.  Index it accurately accordingly
  3.  Keywords tied to your niche subject area are naturally spoken and will occur regularly within the transcript

Here are a few statistics to help you understand exactly how popular video marketing has become in recent years.  Courtesy of Buffer, from their comprehensive post of ‘50 Video Marketing Statistics to Help You Create a Winning Social Media Strategy in 2017‘ states “Captions on Facebook video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%.

If that is on Facebook Ads alone, what would it do for your video marketing efforts by adding a transcript; how much extra view time would that generate for your product or service?

Case Study (3playmedia.com)

Digital Discovery Networks performed a study that proves captions on YouTube videos boost SEO and increase views by 13.48% in the first 2 weeks and 7.32% overall. To test this, they searched for a keyword phrase that was present only in their video captions, not in the title, description, tags, or metadata.

Video transcription does not have to be expensive

Ultimately adding a captions file in the form of a transcript is the right way to increase your video ranking in SERPs (search engine results pages) increasing customer views, there are few ways you can do this.

  •  Create the text document yourself
  •  Outsource to a video captioning service (expensive)
  •  Outsource to a freelance transcriptionist (affordably)

Creating the text document yourself

If you are fairly quick at typing this can be the most economical option for you, it won’t cost you anything!  However, there are factors such as the length of the video, how man speakers, when you ideally would like it to be completed for, that determine if you can indeed produce the captions file quick enough.

Also, without transcribing software and a transcribing foot pedal, it is not so easy to go back and replay a couple of seconds to replay what was said if you missed it the first time.  This can eventually lead to frustration and time delays, something you do not need or want.

Outsource to a transcription/video captioning service

With the growing popularity of video marketing, so has the demand for video transcription.  With higher demand comes higher costs and no shortage of online digital transcription vendors specifically available to transcribe the speech from the spoken content within your video.

Unfortunately, however, these providers do have overheads if their staff are on-site office based.  If this is not the case, they operate purely via the internet, they still have overheads to take in consideration that they obviously need to factor into their fees when contracting out their specialist services.

This can be expensive and unaffordable, especially if you are a start-up, solopreneur/entrepreneur, self-employed and working from home, that are just a few examples.  You are trying to obtain the best professional service with the outcome of an accurate transcript with the least expenditure.

Outsource to a freelance transcriptionist

This is ‘How To Increase Your Video SEO The Affordable Way’.

There are some excellent freelancing websites out there today full of talented people waiting to provide their professional services at a fraction of the cost, transcription and video captioning is no different.  It is ultimately a risk-free way to get your video transcribed into text that you can then go on to use as a captions file.

How is it risk-free?  If you order the service of a transcriber via a freelance website you will deposit funds for their services into a holding account, such as Escrow, for example.  When the work is completed, delivered and you are happy, you pay them the funds.  If the worst happened and the transcript wasn’t delivered to you or it was totally unsatisfactory and not fit for its purpose, then it is simple to either hire someone else or ask for a refund.

Finding the right freelance transcriptionist can be time-consuming, invaluable when you find one.  As a freelance typist/transcriptionist here at Virtuadmin, over 20 years experience transcribing audio and video, a video up to 15 minutes in length, with a single speaker, would cost just £10 to transcribe and send in a text (.txt) file format.  This is how affordable video SEO can be. 

Other formats for closed caption files are available, however, from experience in captioning and uploading text (.txt) files to YouTube, I know this format works extremely well at automatically syncing the speech with the text.

Conclusion

If you are or planning to use video as a promotional tool for your brand, product or service, how is your video going to be found amongst the millions without a transcript? 

The only way to be sure of optimising your video for SEO the affordable way is either type it yourself into a text document or outsource to an experienced transcriber, like me at Virtuadmin, with the relevant equipment to deliver exactly what you need.

Transcripts are a great investment too, especially from a marketing perspective.  Once you have your document there are other alternatives ways to utilise it.  See my infographic ‘9 Ways to Use Your Audio Transcript’ for other instances to capitalise on your investment of a transcript.

Have you got any questions about video captions for SEO?  Please do not hesitate to get in touch, I would be happy to answer queries you may have.

 

 

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14 Free Website Tools to Formulate Your Best Marketing Strategy

Free Tools for Your Marketing Strategy
14 Free Website Tools to Create your Best Marketing Strategy

The tools contained in this list are taken from How to Build the Best Marketing Strategy You Can Using Only Free Tools published on Entrepreneur.com on 11th February 2017 and written by Murray Newlands

From the original post, I have compiled the list of free tools, with links, that are recommended to formulate your digital marketing strategy.

   SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

  1. Ubersuggest
  2. SEMrush
  3. Google Adwords Keyword Planner
  4. Yoast

    Analytics

  5. Google Analytics
  6. Google Search Console
  7. Google Trends

    Writing, Grammar  & Headline Analysers

  8. Grammarly
  9. Hemingway
  10. CoSchedule Headline Analyser
  11. Writefullapp

    Content Automation

  12. Buffer
  13. Hootsuite
  14. TweetDeck

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9 Top Reasons to Add a Transcript to Your Video

Reasons to Add a Transcript to Your Video

Top marketing professionals have voiced their opinions of YouTube Marketing for this coming year, 2017. 

In an article written by Lisa. D. Jenkins, in Social Media Today, where the Pros have made their predictions in what they think will happen to video marketing.  Although they are talking about YouTube, the second biggest search engine to Google, it is largely about video marketing for businesses and the marketing direction it could take.

These are all valid predictions, YouTube is a great way for increasing visibility of your product or service, and love when these predictions come out in the early parts of the year, this year being no different.

The 9 Top YouTube Predictions for 2017 by the Pros are:-

  1. YouTube Solidifies Its Social Network Status

  2. YouTube Explores Long-form Television-style Content

  3. YouTube Channels Embrace Quality Over Quantity

  4. YouTube Integrates Third-party Software to Improve Broadcast Quality

  5. YouTube Marketers Focus on Educational Content Delivery

  6.  Influencer Marketing Evolves Into Exclusive Partnership Programming on YouTube

  7. Increased Socialisation Features Improve YouTube Engagement

  8. YouTube Promotes Longer Engagement Views

  9. YouTube Improves Social Features for Creators and Fans

With statistics in 2016 for the total number of hours of video watched being 3.25 billion, combined with the vital fact that YouTube and other video hosting platforms do not index videos with automatically generated captions.

What does this mean for marketers, entrepreneurs and anyone else wishing to utilise the power of video marketing on YouTube and such like?  Upload a transcript in the format of a text (.txt) file to your video.Video search engine bots, just like Google crawler bots that are curious about your content and how to index it, therefore getting higher search engine rankings, cannot read images, GIFs or hear the audio speech.  What the SEO bots rely on when the post is not in a contextual format, is text, tags, meta and other more in-depth search engine strategies.

YouTube search engine bots, just like Google crawler bots that are curious about your content and how to index it, therefore getting higher search engine rankings, cannot read images, GIFs or hear the audio speech in that video.  What the SEO bots rely on when the post is not in a readable text format containing keywords, tags, meta and other more in-depth search engine strategies.

In number 3 on the predictions list, YouTube embraces quality over quantity, adding an additional transcript immediately tells YouTube about your content, therefore giving it a higher quality rating over others that have no transcript at all.

Number 5 on the predictions list, ‘YouTube Marketers Focus on Educational Content Delivery’ expert Zontee Hou’s prediction, explained “instead of the 30-second video demos of recipes that have taken over Facebook, success on YouTube will require companies to create 1- to 5-minute in-depth demos, courses, and series that answer the viewers’ questions”.

So for educational content that you want to be visible to everyone, even if it is 5 minutes long, you could add a transcript to it for just £5 if you are paying in Sterling, or $5 if paying in United States Dollars.

With The total number of people who use YouTube – 1,300,000,000 and over 30 million visitors per day, can you afford not to add a transcript?

If you have any questions at all about how to add a transcript, how to create one, or about my video transcription service, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

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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

Why you should get your audio or video transcribed

Virtuadmin blog post why you should get your audio or video transcribed
Why You Really Should Get Your Audio or Video Transcribed

Every single audio or video that is recorded in a variety of different formats; interviews, podcasts, webinars, video’s captioned, motivational speeches, business conferences, student lectures is unqiue to the speaker and the participant/s.  Whatever is spoken you have taken enough care and organisation to record it so that you have a record of what was said.  The thing is you need it in a permanent ‘hard-copy’ of what what spoken in the form of a transcript.  Why you ask?

Well computers, hard-drives, servers, cloud based servers are wonderful things but are vulnerable to attack and your audio or video starts with you.  Whatever you have recorded was important enough for you to record it in the first place, but what happens if that audio gets corrupted and no longer playable?  You have lost that important interview, coaching call, student lecture, business tips speech or whatever audio or video that you took part in.

The new age digital world is a wonderful place but it can be hacked, viruses can be spread and all the data that was precious can be gone in an instant so why not get it transcribed?  As soon as your recording is complete you can send it to your transcriptionist straight away.  They should already have an active Dropbox account or similar like Google Drive to share the audio or video files.  The sooner they receive the audio or video the sooner they can turn it around for you and your audience, participants or clients get their copy of the transcript.

  1. There are many other advantages of getting your audio or video transcribed which I feel outweigh the expense of the initial transcription:-
  2. Permanent record should the digital copy accidentally deleted or lost.
  3. Always something to refer to, copy it as many times as you like and write all over A ‘bonus’ for participants  of your podcast, webinar, or live audience.
  4. Text to copy and paste Tweets, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other Social Media platforms to market     and advertise your business.
  5. An accurate transcript added to a Podcast, Video, or Explainer Video will enhance your listing in Search Engine Results Pages.
  6. Excellent resource for Student revision or inclusion in dissertations.

Depending on the length of the audio or video/podcast, the amount of speakers, quality and clarity of speech will generally dictate the time to transcribe and cost.  The transcriptionist will have to take these things into consideration when pricing an audio/video for transcription etcetera.  It’s rare to get a recording that cannot be transcribed, calls in cars, conversations via skype can be challenging due to the background noise while travelling in the car can cause interference and a slow internet connection on Skype.

Before hiring the transcription service of your choice after research or recommendation it’s always helpful to forward a copy of the audio first so that you as the client and your virtual digital transcription service provider are sure that they can both fulfill the agreement of recorded audio or video speech into a text, word or other format of your choice can be met.

Hiring a professional transcriptionist like Virtuadmin may seem a little daring compared to other big companies with their fancy website and assurances but please consider this; what is the process when you visit one of these sites?  Can you speak directly to your transcriptionist and explain what little tweaks you would like from your transcript?  Can you speak about the environment in which it was recorded and the background details of why and the subject matter?  Most probably not.  You have security that they have secure servers, confidentiality agreements (we do too just ask!) and secure payment methods but once you’ve fired off your audio and paid for it what then?  Can you chase it up to inquire about the progress?  Again probably not, why?  Because most big outsourcing transcription companies and organisations break the audio’s into tiny little segments that get sent to many different transcriptionist if the audio length requires it.

This breaks it down to make it more cost effective for the business that is transcribing your audio but many transcriptionists are listening to your audio what if this audio contains sensitive information?  Is each and every transcriptionist expected to sign a confidentiality agreement (we have one in place for you) or non-disclosure agreement?  This is getting time consuming and costly before you’ve even got your transcript!

The many other benefits include accessibility for the hard of hearing, they may hear some of what what was said but having the transcript alongside the audio would ensure they they do not miss out on any important details and especially helpful for students.  Some people who are listening to your audio or watching your video, listening to your podcast rather than auditory and therefore would benefit from an accompanying transcript to get a better comprehension of what was being explained or taught.  Adding a transcript to a broadcasted podcast, video or webinar will enhance the Search Engine Page Results because by adding a transcript the search engine trawlers have a lot more information about your podcast, video or webinar rather than just a title and maybe a brief description.  With the spoken text in your niche it is by nature your transcript will be keyword rich in your subject area giving SEO bots more information to rank it higher.

To conclude the benefits of hiring a freelance transcriptionist is phenomenal and very cost effective.  If you have carried out your research well, asked the right questions before hiring your potential freelance transcriber this should far outweigh the initial expense of the transcript.  Again a freelance transcriber should be more cost efficient than bigger corporations due to the lower overheads that virtual digital transcribers have to bigger competitors.  You’ll get better accuracy, efficiency, flexibility of the format of your transcript, time-stamps, names included, intelligent or strict verbatim and probably a lot more.  More importantly virtual assistants with transcribing / audio typing skills will probably have a wide range of knowledge and experience with a higher skill-set in areas of professions and topics covered in your niche, but that is just one of the questions to ask when searching for the “right” transcriptionist to meet your requirements for your uniquely recorded audio or video.

Thanks for reading and if you can think of any other benefits to having your audio or video transcribed please do comment on the advantages for you at the end of this post, I will be sure to update it.

9 Link Building Resources That’ll Increase Your Search Rankings by Neil Patel

Question: Which would you rather have — more organic traffic or better rankings?

It’s a trick question for most of us — we’d actually rather have both. That’s because both you and I know they can make a huge difference in our businesses.

As you probably already know, Google tends to rank pages higher in search results based on the authority of that page. In modern SEO, links build up the page’s authority and improve its SEO value.

Recent data estimates that the link popularity of a specific page accounts for 22.33% of the components of Google’s ranking algorithm.

What if you could access the most updated resources that’ll help you build the right links? What difference would that make in your investment, considering that about 37% of business owners spend between $10,000 and $50,000 per month on link building?

Over the years, I’ve come to understand that building links with useful content is easier than most people think.

If you can develop and document your strategy, you’ll ultimately generate more authority links for your pages. Both content marketing and link building are like those interconnected steel rings magicians use — the ones that can’t be separated.

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In this in-depth post, I’ll show you 9 link building resources that you can tap into any time you want to get backlinks.

Download a PDF version of this 9 link building resources that’ll increase your search ranking.

These resources provide scalable link-earning techniques, tips and best practices that are proven to work. When you implement them, your rankings and site traffic will both improve.

1. Broken Link Building Bible (source)

All links are created equal, right? Actually, no.

Link building used to be easy. You could set up a few PBN (private blog network) sites and get a bunch of links that’d push your organic rankings to the top. But does it still work?

The honest guys says you shouldn’t do it. Ditch the idea of a PBN. Sooner or later, Google will catch up with you and push your rankings to page 107, or de-index your pages altogether.

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Instead, to get links that’ll actually improve your search listings, increase your traffic, and get you a higher click-through rate (CTR), you need to study the Broken Link Building Bible.

Broken link building is a white-hat and scalable tactic for getting the right kind of links.

At its core, it’s a content-focused strategy. You simply find dead (or broken) links, analyze the page for relevance, create more valuable content to replace the broken content. This helps site owners, editors and webmasters improve their site user experience by replacing broken links with a link to your page.

With the right approach, you can create an effective backlink campaign and automate broken link building, which will continually build momentum for your site.

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As you go through the Broken Link Building Bible, you’ll discover why broken link building is perhaps the most effective white-hat link building strategy in years.

However, understand this: Your success at getting the right links will entirely depend on how willing you are to research and analyze or audit different websites.Broken link building is all about making an impact. It’s about helping webmasters and making the web a better place.

Webmasters are always happy to fix broken links – if they find them. They know there’s a relationship between Google rankings and links but on big sites, finding broken links isn’t easy.

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A dead link — that is, a link that no longer works — doesn’t do the user or the site any good. In fact, too many broken links can have a negative effect on a site.

Having too many broken links on a page is a sign of a neglected or abandoned site. The Google Search Quality Raters General Guidelines view broken links as one of the ways to measure a homepage’s quality.

According to Moz, broken link building is a strategy that constructively addresses many of the competing interests in our industry: content vs. links, link earning vs. link building, inbound vs. outbound, etc.

2. Advanced Guide to Link Building (source)

I’ve had my fair share of SEO struggles. I struggled to get other sites to link to my posts. I struggled to keep up with Google updates. I struggled to reach the expected quantity and quality of links necessary to rank highly in Google.

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Those struggles taught me that achieving success online takes time. You have to be patient, and you’ve also got to create content that’ll help people get closer to achieving their goals.

One of the best steps I’ve taken since I started blogging is the creation of The Advanced Guide to Link Building, which I shared with the digital marketing world for free.

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If you’ve struggled the way I did in the beginning to build the kind of links that Google loves, you should study this guide. It’ll show you:

  • How to go about finding and getting those “perfect links”
  • The right way to create epic content that’ll help you build relationships with the leaders in your industry
  • How to identify and approach the authority sites you can get links from in just a few minutes
  • The hidden secrets to getting hard-to-come-by .edu and .gov backlinks
  • The step-by-step method of link-building outreach, which walks you through the process of initiating and building a relationship with influencers and pro bloggers

3. Using Educational Linkbait to Get Valuable .Edu Links (source)

This resource was written way back in 2011, but it’s been consistently updated to match modern SEO best practices. It’s not your typical long-form post — it’s pretty short, actually — but it’ll show you:

  • Why educational links matter
  • How to create content that attracts .edu links
  • How to build relationships that help you get these links

Link building has evolved significantly since 2011. Lots of tactics that used to work have since fizzled out — e.g., article directories, duplicate or barely-rewritten content, etc.

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But educational sites have remained a viable source of high-quality links for any site.

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Incoming links from educational websites are often perceived as the most powerful links you can get. And getting a bunch of these links can skyrocket your search rankings.

It’s true that .edu links aren’t the only kind of powerful incoming links. There’s no proof that Google rates them universally higher than all other kinds of links. John Mu, a webmaster trends analyst at Google Zürich, clarified the issue:

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However, educational backlinks are powerful — just like links from any other high-authority domain would be.

Educational backlinks are hard to get. According to Felix Tarcomnicu,

The harder it is to get a backlink, the more value it will have.

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Sites with .edu domains typically have high authority as they’ve been around for a long time and have many trusted quality sites linking to them.

That’s why many of these sites are viewed as authoritative by Google. Therefore, getting links from these authority top-level domains improves search performance.

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Wordstream’s guide on using editorial linkbait to get .edu links is a must-read. It uses anecdotes to explain the relevance of educational links and show how you can create .edu link bait.

Link bait is simply content on your site that other sites link to willingly, because the content solves a problem.

When people link to your content page on their own initiative, it means you’ve created a linkable asset. The intersection between link bait and linkable asset is your sweet spot for converting your prospects into customers.

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It can be a blog post, a viral podcast, an infographic, or a helpful ebook.

How to get educational backlinks: High quality links make the difference. After Google launched Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird algorithm updates, quality became the defining factor of a link, as opposed to quantity.

So it’s no longer a question of how many links you need to rank. The challenge that most SEOs and site owners face is actually getting these quality links (e.g., .edu links).

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The vast majority of educational sites from top universities and colleges don’t accept guest posts. The ones that do accept guest articles are stricter than you can imagine. You can’t just write any post you want and get them to publish it.

So guest blogging is perhaps not the best or most effective way to get .edu links. But there are other ways that are proven to work.You can use advanced search modifiers to find education sites in Google. Your goal is to narrow your results down to educational results pages. Some of the search strings you can use are:

a).  site:.edu – shows you search results containing educational result sites only

b).  site:.edu “blog” – returns search results for educational blogs only

c).  site:.edu “forums” – if you want to participate in an educational discussion board

d).  site:.edu “comments” – for educational blogs with comments sections

e).   site:.edu “log in / create account” – returns .edu blog extensions that allow you to sign up as a user, for the purpose of commenting or other kinds of participation

f).   site:.edu inurl:blog “seo” – for educational blogs that understand SEO and would be interested in learning more about search engines

Let’s try one of the search strings:

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As you can see, the search results contain educational sites only. But it’d be difficult to get links from those sites. It’s much easier to get a link from a blog than a static web page.

So let’s drill down our search to focus on blogs:

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These results are more specific to educational blogs related to marketing. So if your site is related to sales or marketing, those educational blogs are your targets.

Broken link building is the easiest way to get your links from educational portals. All you’ve got to do is find dead links on these blogs, and suggest better content — your own — to replace it.

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Broken link building works. For example, Michael Chibuzor, founder of contentmarketingup.com, generated 27 links from .edu domains in 90 days.

Brian Dean has taught broken link building, and his students are seeing great results. Recently, one of his students, Emil Shour, set out to rank for his most profitable keyword.

He leveraged the skyscraper technique, and created an in-depth, long-form article in the employee wellness niche, entitled “121 Employee Wellness Program Ideas for Your Office.”

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Richard researched industry blogs that are relevant to employee management, found broken links, and sent outreach emails to all of them.

By doing this, Richard was able to push his post into a number #1 ranking and generated $100,000 in revenue. Richard also boosted his organic traffic by 348% in just 7 days.

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So how do you find dead links on educational blogs that you can capitalize on to get incoming links?

It’s easier said than done, but it isn’t impossible. Here are the step-by-step instructions:i).   First step: Go to Google and search for educational resource pages. These pages contain lists of links to external sites and contents.

This time, let’s find educational resources for small businesses.

The search string I used is “site:edu “resources” + blogs + small business

And here’s the results screenshot:

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You can see that the search results are relevant to small businesses only. This makes them viable.

ii).   Second step: Choose one of the resources and click on it. Here’s the page, with all the resources:

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Some of the out-going links on this page may be dead, but you can’t tell just by looking. And clicking on all of them one by one will take lots of time.

Instead, use a tool designed for checking dead links …

iii).  Third step: Go to deadlinkchecker.com. Copy the resource page address as it appears on the browser.

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Then paste the site address into the search bar and click the “check” button:

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Out of the 142 out-going links analyzed by the dead link checker tool, 8 of them are dead. Those are the links that return any of these error messages: 404 not found, 400 bad request, -1 not found, etc.

Next, prepare your content. Remember that since you’re concerned about small business, your content needs to be relevant to that topic. Otherwise, it might be difficult to convince the blog editor or administrator to swap out the dead link for your page.

iv).   Step four: Send a personalized outreach email. I’ve received several outreach emails that are obviously form letters. Sometimes, the exact same email I receive went out to 10 or more other bloggers.

Don’t do that. Instead, personalize your email subject lines when reaching out to educational blogs. This is key to better email open rates.

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Often,these people are academics, and any slight error or hint of deception will result in your email being deleted without being read.

To “personalize” means that you give it a personal touch. If you know the name of the person you’re writing to, address them by their first name.

Not everyone understands how to write persuasive emails to site owners and bloggers. If that’s you, don’t worry. Just use the email templates below and add the person’s name, if you know it.

When using any email template, keep these things in mind:

  • Write lowercase subject lines – I do this all the time because I want the email to seem casual as if it’s from a friend, not a robot.
  • Be creative – emails that are boring and lack emotional appeal won’t get opened or responded to.
  • Personalize – you have to include the person’s name and the website name in the email so it doesn’t come off as spammy.

Here’s a broken link email template you can model:

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If you didn’t find any dead links on your targeted educational resource page, don’t give up. Instead of sending a broken link email, you can simply send a basic link request email.

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If broken link building seems like a lot of work, or too difficult to tackle, there are other tactics that I’ve personally used to get .edu authority links:

  • Blog comments
  • Create a case study that’s relevant to the subject matter
  • Blogger recognition
  • Leveraging alumni news
  • Local resource pages
  • University discounts
  • Improve a section of a site
  • etc.

You can learn how to apply all these link earning tactics in Chapter 5 of the Advanced Guide To Link Building.

4. Linking Out Instead of Link Building to Rank in Google (source)

This helpful resource shows you why linking out is a strategy, not a tactic — because when you link out, you also get these benefits:

  • Enhanced awareness for your site and brand
  • Opportunities for other sites to link back to your page
  • Search engine awareness that you have a timely and useful resource
  • More helpful information for your readers

And so on…

Developing a link building strategy isn’t a cakewalk. Heck, even SEO experts  sometimes fail at link building.

Outbound links or links that point to external web pages from your own site can actually impact your blog authority. Just make sure the pages your links point to are relevant, useful, and have good standing with Google.

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At the heart of effective link building is the concept of giving.

In other words, you link to other sites, pages and case studies willingly.

Linking out instead of link building to rank in Google” is a helpful resource that doesn’t contain the traditional advice. Rather, it capitalizes on the principle of reciprocity.

According to Wikipedia, “reciprocity is a social rule that says we should repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. That is, people give back the kind of treatment they have received from you.”

For example, if you’re writing a guide to SEO, you should link out to authority sites that have addressed the topic before. As much as you can, link out to pages with high page authority – it’ll have a dramatic impact on your search performance and online visibility.

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Reciprocity is one of the most vital of Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion. We humans are basically hard-wired to pay back our debts, help those who offered us a helping hand, and generally treat others as they’ve treated us.

I’ve applied the principle of reciprocity to grow QuickSprout to over 700,000 monthly visitors, and generated tens of thousands of quality backlinks. I give away tremendous value in my content.

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When I write a post, I link out to anywhere from 5 to 20 external web pages that contain helpful and relevant content.

I don’t claim to know it all – that’s why I bring other expert’s view into my post. And it’s helped me earn more links and increase revenue since 2007.

Here’s one of my recent posts on neilpatel.com. I linked out to more than 20 external web pages that offer additional information to my readers.

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Linking out to relevant pages not only earns you editorial links, but it also improves your search rankings. A survey of major newspaper on the web found that those who link out tend to outperform others who don’t on several performance metrics.

Check popular sites like Digg, Reddit, Twitter & Tumblr – they all link out excessively, and yet they still get millions of visitors coming back again and again.

If you’re worried that linking out will harm your rankings, do you have any proof of that?

I’ll keep looking, but so far I haven’t seen any proof that linking out to relevant and informative sites/pages that users will benefit from actually hurts long-term rankings and revenue.

5. Low Hanging Fruit: Linkbuilding with Screaming Frog (source)

To a large extent, valuable content makes it a lot easier to convince webmasters to link to you. According to MarketingSherpa, “53% of businesses view content creation as the single most effective SEO technique.”

There are lots of opportunities to grow your site, if you just study your Google Webmasters Tools data and pinpoint the links coming in to your site.

Go to Traffic > Links to Your Site:

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Next, go to “More”:

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Finally, download latest links (limit is 100,000):

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Getting the right links may seem difficult, especially when you’re not producing enough content.

But if you consider the impact those links will have on your search rankings, you’ll invest in content creation and promotion.

The old way of creating content and expecting customers to just show up is no longer feasible. You need to spend about 70% of your time and resources on promotion – that’s the new and better way.

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Low Hanging Fruit: Link Building with Screaming Frog” is an in-depth post that reveals opportunities for getting the right links using Screaming Frog, a premium SEO tool for link reclamation and link analysis.

Screaming Frog is invaluable for architecture research. You can also use it to initiate relationships with bloggers and reporters, among other things.

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The tool can analyze your links and show you ways to pass more SEO value to your web pages.

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Knowing when to increase your link building efforts or slow down with that mission is critical. This is the whole essence of link velocity, which measures the rate at which other sites link to you.

There’s no single rule on how fast you should get links to your site. SEOs have differing opinions, but Google hasn’t said one way or the other.

The best approach is to create more content and increase your site authority. Content growth can solve your link velocity problems.

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For example, it doesn’t matter how many links Moz.com or HubSpot.com generate this week; Google won’t view those links as manipulative, because both sites have good authority and thousands of pages already.

6. Your Link Reclamation Sucks Like Irene’s Dyson (source)

Link reclamation is the easiest way to earn editorial links to your pages, from referring sites that mentioned your brand but didn’t link to you.

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Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, there are three sources of links you need to reclaim:

i).  Brand mentions: This means aspects of your brand such as your site, events, courses, etc. Other sites could be mentioning your site, without linking to it. Brand mentions are the future of link building. Through link reclamation, you can request actual links be added to mentions that already exist.

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ii).   Product mentions: Several sites, media portals, and discussion boards could be mentioning your product without linking to your sales page or homepage,

If you’ve got a great product, I can almost guarantee that you can reclaim 10 or more unclaimed links today. You can use the Rank Tank’s brand unlinked mentions finder tool to find these product mentions across the web.

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iii).   Personnel mentions: What about your team, your name, your nickname, or a professional title?

All of these provide another opportunity to reclaim unlinked personnel mentions and boost your search rankings.

If you want to dominate social media and claim brand mentions easily, by building relationships with social media power users, site owners, and bloggers, this guide — “Your Link Reclamation Sucks Like Irene’s Dyson” — will help you.

In an earlier Whiteboard Friday video, Ross Hudgens showed that that you can reclaim links from brand misspellings, brand monitoring, moving links to primary domain, etc.

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7.  Ultimate Guide to Link Building (source)

Without a doubt, links connect the web together. Links exist because there are websites, pages and portals that need to share information with users.

Who links to your site, and how they link to it are more important to Google than virtually any other Google ranking factor. Data from Searchmetrics suggests that the number of backlinks is the third most important factor in the UK Google ranking factors.

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In this book, Ultimate Guide To Link Building, Eric Ward shows you:

  • How to build links
  • How to gain authority and credibility for your website
  • How to increase your site traffic and rankings

Ward teaches with a deep understanding of link profiles, what makes them good, and how to maximize the quality of links that point to your site.

Ward uses illustrated case studies, expert interviews, and helpful resources in this book to drive his message home. You’ll find that getting backlinks can actually be fun, once you master the art of networking with bloggers.

Using some of the outlined whitehat backlink techniques, Dom Wells, founder of Human Proof Designs, built 59 quality links to his new site in 10 weeks.

And Inflow used email outreach (a tactic for connecting with site owners and getting them to reference and link to your page) to gain 96 links from 43 domains.

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8.  Link Building for Startups – Find Unlinked Brand Mentions at Scale (source)

Most startups waste time trying to get the right links when there’s a far more accessible opportunity right under their noses.

More links will improve your search performance, increase leads to your business and increase your revenue. If you don’t get links to your site, your search rankings, traffic and leads will suffer. And your startup will fail.

If you’re a startup entrepreneur, you’ll agree with me that you need to contend with a lot of competition.

According to Club Z, about 80% of startups fail to see projected return on investment, mostly due to a lack of planning and experience.

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Before you can drive targeted visitors from Google, and benefit from your site, you need to build quality links to your pages.

Guest blogging is a viable and free way to do just that. As you contribute to industry blogs, you can speed up your rate of getting links by simultaneously reclaiming your brand mentions.

For example, I could cite your domain name (e.g., dodocase.com) without linking to it. Before someone can visit that site, they’d have to copy and paste it into their browser, or look for it via a search engine.

But if the domain name was hyperlinked, when someone clicks on it, they’ll visit the startup site.

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If you’ve been consistently creating fresh and useful content and promoting your site through social media, there’s no doubt that other sites are mentioning your brand name. Don’t let these mentions be a waste; reclaim them.

And that’s exactly what you can learn from “Link Building for Startups – Find Unlinked Brand Mentions at Scale.”

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9.  How to Get Links on Resources Pages (source)

One of the most effective methods I use for getting links is through resources pages. With this tactic, Startup Company Lawyer got a link on the resources page of Johnson Cornell University.

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Although contextual links are desirable and powerful, you still need to diversify, because if all your links appear within the content, may not seem natural.

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I am a firm believer that there’s no single one-size-fits-all approach to link diversity ratios.

Depending on the domain authority and page authority of referring pages and their IP diversities, Google can use these factors to gauge and pass value to your links.

Different niches require different approaches to getting links. For example, building links to a niche site (e.g., a site focused on a specific topic or product) is a delicate process, because you’ve got to be mindful of the site – making sure they’re relevant even if they’re not too popular.

But for an authority site, it doesn’t matter where you get your links from. It could be from an entirely unrelated web page, but provided your site has some authority Google will likely not view this as spammy.

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How to Get Links on Resources Pages” is a helpful guide that gives you vital information on how to get the right links by capitalizing on resources pages – pages with plenty of linked-to resources (e.g., blogs, books, papers, resource works, images).

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Matthew Barby used the resource linking tactic to find link building opportunities for the travel blog he created with a group of friends, MeltedStories.com.

He got 15 new links from the sites he contacted, generated a decent amount of traffic, and grew his blog.

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Conclusion

At the heart of every link building campaign is email outreach. Whether you’re involved in guest blogging, broken link building, social media networking, or blog sponsorship, you need to connect with people.

However, you can’t simply blast scripted emails to hundreds of people and wonder why only a handful of them read it and replied to you. So you also need to learn how to write high-converting emails.

Get personal. Your target audience wants to connect with you on a personal level.

That’s the quickest way you can build a loyal audience, get referral traffic, improve your search traffic, increase your email subscribers and grow your sales.

As usual, your comment is appreciated. Which of these resources have read, and what lessons can you take home and implement on your blog?

 

Source: 9 Link Building Resources That’ll Increase Your Search Rankings

16 Best Free WordPress Plugins You Must Use in 2016

WordPress Plugins
16 of THE Best Free WordPress Plugins by Ayo Isaiah

With all the WordPress plugins readily available, it can be hard to find the best ones. This article shares 16 of the best free WordPress plugins.

However, it can also be difficult to sort out the great ones from the bad ones, so we are giving you a list of the best plugins that you must have in the most essential categories. We also list an alternative for many of the categories.

All the plugins considered here are free and can be installed on your website within a few moments.

WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most revered SEO plugin for WordPress. Takes care of Title tags, XML sitemaps, meta descriptions, focus keyword and much more.

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Alternative: All in One SEO Pack is another highly recommended plugin with over 1 million active installs. Provides advanced SEO for WP e-commerce websites, Google Analytics support, title optimization and much more.

There are plenty of social sharing plugins, but if you are looking for one that just works and supports a big array of social networks, then the Floating Social Bar is what you need. It adds the essential sharing options to your WordPress website without slowing it down.

wordpress-plugins-floating-social-bar

Alternatives

  • Shareaholic – Highly customisable and supports Share and Follow buttons for several social media platforms. Also adds a “Related Posts” feature if you need it.
  • Sharify – Adds beautiful and responsive sharing buttons to your website. Also comes with built-in caching support to reduce server load.

Contact Form 7 has to be the best in this category. It is easy to install, setup and use. It also allows you to add multiple forms to your website with AJAX and CAPTCHA support.

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Alternatives

  • Ninja Forms – Neat form plugin with a drag and drop interface for easy creation of forms. Functionality can be extended using premium plugins.
  • Pirate Forms – Comes with built-in widget and shortcode support.

Updraft Plus is highly recommended to back up your site. You can back up to multiple locations, split backups or schedule automatic backups. Many more features are included as well.

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Alternatives

  • BackWPUp – Comes with multi-site support and allows you to make your backups in several formats (such as zip, tar.gz, etc.).
  • BackUpWordPress – Highly rated on the WordPress repository.

Sucuri Security offers a wealth of security options such as Security Activity Monitoring, Malware Scanning, Blacklist Monitoring, and Security Hardening. It is probably the best plugin for monitoring your site without slowing it down.

wordpress-plugins-sucuri-security

Alternatives

  • WordFence Security – Offers two-factor authentication, integrity checking and real-time blocking of known attackers among other useful features.
  • All in One WP Security and Firewall – Gives your site a “Security score” based on the options you have activated on your website and helps you improve on that score.

The page builder plugin is useful if you are not technical and need to create custom layout for particular pages. Page Builder by SiteOrigin is the most advanced free page builder plugin for WordPress. Period.

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There are a few plugins in this category.

WP Smush helps you to reduce your image size (by stripping unnecessary information from your images without quality loss) and make sure your site loads faster. Alternative to this include EWWW Image Optimizer and Kraken Image Optimizer

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Regenerate Thumbnails is another image optimization plugin that helps you regenerate thumbnail sizes for image attachments after you altered thumbnail dimensions.

BJ Lazy Load does not optimize your images. In fact, it hides all your images and only loads them as the user scrolls through the page. This plugin can help you save bandwidth and make sure your website loads fast. BJ Lazy Load supports responsive images as well as iframe (such as Youtube embed, etc.).

Yuzo – Related Posts is highly recommended as it can display related posts to your stories with different features of text and image size. Best of all, it doesn’t slow down the site.

wordpress-plugins-yarpp

Alternatives

Notable mention: Many consider Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) to be the best post related plugin with one of the most complete algorithms to find related posts. The con is that it can be very resource-intensive for a heavy site, and that’s why we don’t rever to it as the best here.

Caching your site is the best way to make sure your site loads fast and the server does not go down when there is a sudden spike in traffic. W3 Total Cache is probably the most advanced (and free) caching plugin available for WordPress.

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Alternative

  • WP Super Cache is the next most well-known caching plugin after W3 Total Cache. If you just need a simple caching mechanism, then WP Super Cache is strongly recommended over W3 total cache
  • Broken Link Checker – Monitors the links in your posts and notifies you if there are any broken links.
  • Edit Flow – Improves organization of your website’s contributors and offers a calender to view scheduled content.
  • WP Mail SMTP – Reconfigures the native WordPress mail function to use SMTP and make sure all your outgoing emails reaches their destination.
  • JetPack – Brings the best parts of WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress. Highly recommended, though it can be overly bloated.
  • Askimet – Prevents comment spam on your website.

Have you got other favourite WordPress plugins that you just cannot do without? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Source: 16 Best Free WordPress Plugins You Must Use in 2016