Category Archive SEO Tips

Cheap Drupal 8.0.4 Hosting Recommendation

Why You Need Off Page SEO

Imagine this: You’ve done everything you can to optimize your website.

From optimizing your images and conducting keyword research to setting up a site structure and internal linking strategy.

Yet, you’re still struggling to rank on Google.

It may be because you’ve only completed one half of the puzzle. What’s the other half? Off-page optimization.

While your website is vital to your SEO strategy, there are additional actions to take outside of your website that will help you rank.

Off-page SEO involves all actions you take to impact your search engine ranking that fall outside of your website. This can include building backlinks, being active on social media, and guest blogging.

Search engines weigh many factors when determining a page’s ranking. While some of the factors are based on website content and performance, Google also gathers its understanding of your website through sources outside of your domain. That’s why off-page SEO is so valuable.

Link building, for instance – an effective off-page SEO strategy – is one of the top ranking factors. That’s because Google is built on PageRank, an algorithm that looks at a page’s backlinks for quantity and quality.

An off-page SEO strategy supports your website efforts (i.e., on-page SEO) and works to add credibility, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority to your domain.

On-Page SEO vs Off-Page SEO

In the simplest terms, on-page SEO encompasses every action you take on your website to affect your ranking on search engines. Off-page, on the other hand, happens outside of your website.

What actions specifically? Here’s a quick visual guide:

off-page SEO versus on-page SEO

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it should provide some clarity on the difference between these two SEO strategies. The key takeaway is that both are equally important to gain and maintain a high search ranking.

1. Link Building

Links from other sites on the web server as votes of confidence in your domain.

The more votes you get, the more likely you’ll rank on search engines. Conversely, the fewer votes you have, the harder it will be to convince Google that you’re a trustworthy, authoritative site.

You need other pages to vouch for you — that’s what backlinks do. Building an external link is an off-page strategy that should be number one on your list.

There are several types of links you can gain:

  • Natural or earned links, in which editorial publishers or consumers mention your brand organically.
  • Built links, which require some effort on your end, such as reaching out to publishers for link attribution or mention.

It’s important to use white hat strategies to gain backlinks, as methods like flooding forums and comment sections with links to your webpage can get you penalized by Google.

2. Social Media

You’ve probably thought of social media as a brand awareness tool, more than an SEO play.

But social media is a great way to gain domain authority and increase your search engine ranking.

When you share content on social media and direct traffic to your website, it shows Google that you’re gaining traffic from diverse sources and must have interesting high-quality content.

This is why it’s important to consistently engage your community on social media and use it for content distribution. More engagement will likely result in more shares, backlinks, and clicks, which helps build domain authority.

3. Local SEO

Local SEO is a strategy that involves optimizing a site for local search results. This is typically used for brick-and-mortar businesses or those that serve consumers in specific geographic areas, such as hair salons, air conditioning companies, or supermarkets.

For this to work, you must send signals to search engines that service consumers in local areas. How do you do this? Here are few key ways:

  • Add your company to local and national business directories, namely Google My Business.
  • Claim your listing on review sites, like Trip Advisor and Yelp, and respond to reviews.
  • Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews online.
  • Have consistent contact information across all digital platforms

4.Content Marketing

Content marketing helps you reach your target audience and attract them with information that addresses their needs and pain points.

In addition to your on-page content marketing efforts, like blog posts, you can also leverage methods like guest blogging, downloadable offers, surveys, and reports.

These practices are great ways to drive traffic to your website, generate new leads, and improve your search engine ranking.

Take guest blogging, which offers multiple benefits. The first is the ability to reach a new audience that falls within your target market. The second is the value of the backlink you can earn by being published on another high-authority domain. Lastly, guest blogging can earn you more website traffic — another important ranking factor.

Off-Page SEO Factors for Link Building

Over the years, Google and other search engines have gotten stricter in what actions they reward and penalize. Once everyone knew link building was a key ranking factor, people were using all kinds of strategies to get backlinks. From posting their links on forums to paying for links.

Then, search engines wised up and started penalizing the use of unethical or unnatural link placements. Today, here’s what you’ll want to consider when developing your link building strategy:

  • The number of referring domains – The more domains you have directing to your website, the more votes of confidence you have, according to Google.
  • Link authority – It’s not enough to have a lot of referring domains, you want to be referenced by domains with high authority.
  • Relevance – The link needs to be relevant to your site. Say you’re a pet toy company. A link from the National Dog Association weighs more than one from a lifestyle blogger.
  • Anchor text – The specific text that’s hyperlinked and points to your website should be descriptive and relevant, without sounding spammy.

What to Look for In Off-Page SEO Tools

So, you want to work on your off-page SEO strategy and you need a tool. Before you pick out a tool, it’s important to know what features you should be looking for.

The first thing you’ll want to look for is an SEO tool that includes a backlink checker. It should offer details on your referring domains, anchor texts, their linking authority, and more.

SEMrush, for instance, has a backlinks analytics tool that allows you to compare your website to your competitors and identifies areas of improvement.

semrush off-page SEO tool

You’ll also want to look for a tool with a brand monitoring feature.

HubSpot off-page SEO tool

This complements the CRM’s SEO Marketing Software, with on-page SEO features like the website audit and recommendation, topic development, and keyword data tools.

Moz off-page SEO tool

In addition, look for an SEO tool that makes identifying good guest blogging opportunities easy. For instance, the MozBar extension from Moz allows you to get instant metrics on any webpage and determine if it could be the right fit for you.

Developing a robust off-page SEO strategy is just as important as your website efforts. Both work hand in hand to give search engines a full picture of your brand to determine your ranking. So, don’t neglect it, as it may be the key to your success.

Cheap Umbraco 7.4.1 Hosting Recommendation

10 Must-Have SEO Plugins for WordPress Sites in 2021

Are you looking for a great SEO plugin for your WordPress website?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is insanely powerful and key to a strong digital marketing strategy.

But a secret about SEO is that you can help determine where your content ends up in search results even with a basic SEO tool.

So that’s why we put together this list of the must-have SEO plugins and tools for WordPress sites.

The Best SEO Plugins for WordPress

Asking yourself which is the best SEO Plugin for WordPress? You don’t have to use just one. Here’s a list of the top SEO tools out there.

1. All in One SEO (AIOSEO)

All in One SEO homepage

At the very top of the list of our must-have SEO plugins for WordPress is All in One SEO (AIOSEO).

It’s the most powerful SEO plugin available, and if you pick just one on this list for SEO, this would be the smart choice. It’s an extremely beginner-friendly plugin that can replace multiple search engine optimization plugins.

Features: 

  • Well-loved and used by millions to grow web traffic organically.
  • Offers a powerful free version.
  • User-roles to manage access to your SEO.
  • Automatically generate XML sitemaps to submit to search engines so they’ll index your site and you show up in search results
  • Get rich snippets schema for more traffic.
  • Built-in social media integration.
  • Easy-to-use setup wizard to customize SEO for your small business website.
  • Edit your robots.txt files.
  • Run an SEO Health Checker.
  • Use dynamic values (current year, month, day, custom fields, author info, and more) in your SEO title and descriptions.
  • On-page analysis with an actionable checklist to optimize your posts and pages.
  • Optimize your page and post SEO by adding meta-titles, keywords, and descriptions.
  • Discover related and additional keywords you can rank for with the SEMRush integration.
  • WooCommerce SEO tools for eCommerce sites helps you optimize your store for better rankings.

2. MonsterInsights

monsterinsights-best-stat-tool-for-wordpress

The MonsterInsights plugin is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress websites. And it’s also a powerful SEO tool that you should be using on your site as part of your marketing strategy to see killer results.

The more you know about what’s happening on your site, the more you’ll learn how and where to apply your SEO efforts.

Features:

  • Displays easy-to-read analytics reports on your WordPress dashboard.
  • Connect to Google Search Console and track your site’s top keywords.
  • Shows you where your users are coming from, your top content, where users go on your website, and a ton more.
  • See your eCommerce SEO performance by tracking which products are the most popular and how all products are performing.
  • Gives you reports on your mobile traffic with Google AMP.
  • Track the top outbound links from your website to see which ones people are clicking on.

3. SEMRush

semrush best seo plugin wordpress

SEMRush helped us write this post. It’s a very effective marketing tool and SEO plugin for WordPress.

It really is a strong SEO tool that’s wildly popular with SEO professionals. And, it’s packed full of useful features to help you move up in search engine rankings.

Features:

  • On-Page SEO Checker helps you quickly super-charge your content marketing by looking at details for different pages and posts.
  • Broken link checker scans your site for dead links.
  • Search your competitor’s URLs to check for their highest-ranking keywords and work to outrank them.
  • Analyze keywords for search volume so you can plan your content ahead and know which keywords to add that will boost rankings.
  • Position Tracking helps you see (and track) where you and your competitors rank with specific keywords, so you can easily optimize those keywords.
  • Build an outline for your posts by running a keyword through SEMRush and getting content suggestions.

4. Google Search Console

google search console

Google Search Console is a great, free tool to use to learn important insights about your search result rankings.

You can use it to see how your content is doing and get a bunch of really amazing data about your website and your content across the web. Plus, combine this tool with MonsterInsights and you can watch your rankings explode.

Features:

  • Submit a sitemap and new content for indexing.
  • Helpful tools to come up with new blog post ideas.
  • It’s insanely easy to connect your WordPress site with Google Search Console.
  • View your Search Console Report in your WordPress dashboard using MonsterInsights.
  • Alerts you when Google is unable to crawl and index pages on your WordPress site.
  • Instructions on how to fix common crawling errors.
  • Use it in combination with MonsterInsights to see your site’s top Google search terms and average search results page position, plus clicks, impressions, and CTR.
  • Hide specific content from Google (by noindexing) to prevent duplicate content.
  • Find and fix malware and spam issues.
  • Learn which keywords your pages and posts are ranking for.
  • Check inbound links and find out which websites are sending you traffic.
  • Check your website to see how mobile-friendly it is.

5. Yoast

yoast seo plugin for wordpress

Yoast is another very popular SEO plugin for WordPress. It’s been around a long time and has a huge list of features to optimize your website.

It helps find a balance between creating content for humans and for search engines.

Features:

  • Content and SEO analysis feature checks your pages and blog posts for readability and SEO improvements.
  • Redirection tool lets you perform 301 redirects so you can send people headed to one page right to another one of your choosing.
  • Internal link tracking.
  • Google Search Console integration.
  • Create canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content and Google penalties.
  • Lets you edit/add customized snippets of what people will see in Google when you pop up on the search engine results page.
  • Supports adding a focus keyword for your content (and multiple focus keywords if you’d like).
  • Automatically generates an XML sitemap for all of your content so it’s extra easy for search engines to crawl your WordPress site.
  • Customize breadcrumbs on your site so it’s easier to navigate and index.
  • Lets you add Open Graph metadata and social media images to your articles.

6. Ahrefs

ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the best WordPress SEO tools for WordPress that small business owners often use. It’s a strong tool with a lot of different features.

Features:

  • Detailed organic search reports.
  • Backlink research so you can see where people are linking to your site from across the web.
  • Shows you your top keywords and where they’re positioned on the SERP.
  • Lets you check out competing pages so you can optimize better.
  • Tons of options for content and keyword research.

7. Rank Math

rankmath

Rank Math is one of the SEO tools on this list that’s really growing quickly.

It’s a user-friendly WordPress SEO plugin that lets you optimize your website for search engines. Although, if you’re using the more powerful AIOSEO or Yoast, this plugin might not be needed.

Features:

  • Easily add meta titles, descriptions, and Open Graph metadata to your content.
  • Generate an XML site map.
  • Integrates with Google Search Console.
  • User roles for control over who can do what.
  • Easy-to-use setup wizard.

8. Moz Link Explorer

moz link explorer

Link Explorer is a powerful and effective WordPress SEO tool that was created by the website Moz. To get all the features, you’ll need to subscribe to Moz Pro.

Features:

  • Awesome link-building features.
  • SEO research and link analysis.
  • Uncover lost links + tools to help so you can make a plan to get them back.
  • Free version lets you search 10x/month.
  • Great graphs to help you see what’s going on using data visualization

9. TinyPng

tinypng best seo tools wordpress

We’re huge fans of the very helpful TinyPng tool. It’s a website instead of a plugin, but totally deserves a spot on this list if you want to boost site speed. You’ll want to use this with any image before you upload it to your website.

Features:

  • Compresses your images without loss of quality so you can speed up your site.
  • Completely free.
  • Allows for up to 20 images to be uploaded at a time, more for paid accounts.
  • Straightforward and easy-to-use.

10. Schema Pro

schemapro best seo plugin for wordpress

Schema Pro isn’t needed for most small business website owners if you’re using a top WordPress SEO plugin like AIOSEO. However, if you want advanced SEO functions or to add extra schema types, this is a good tool to check out.

Features:

  • You can use it with your existing WordPress SEO plugin by mapping data to Schema Pro fields.
  • Rich snippets for extended functionality on the search engine results page.
  • Display prices of products, star ratings from reviews, images, and videos.

Which Is the Best SEO Plugin?

Alright, folks – there it is. Our thorough list of the must-have SEO WordPress plugins. We really hope this breakdown helped you pinpoint the right SEO plugins and tools for your website’s needs.

But if you’re still wondering what is the best SEO Plugin, here’s our two cents:

Of all the SEO plugins on this list, we think All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is a must-have for any WordPress website. If you were to pick one, make it this one.

We feel strongly AIOSEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin because it lets you:

  • Replace many SEO plugins by being so powerful and feature-rich.
  • Extremely easy-to-use and trusted by millions of WordPress website owners.
  • Integrates beautifully with your WooCommerce shop so you can really skyrocket your online sales.
  • XML sitemaps, social media integration, and SEO Health Checker.

…and so much more.

Cheap .NET Core 1.0 Hosting Recommendation

How to Improve your Website Security

Do you ever think to improve your website security? Well, sometimes the best methods to complete some tasks are the simplest ones. You know that you must keep your website secure and safe from hackers and the bad guys, but once you dig into the rabbit hole of your website vulnerabilities, you’ll find many complex situations and problems and convoluted solutions. Still, there are many practices you should learn to improve your website security.

Well, here are our six easy ways to improve your website security:

1. Make Sure Your Software is Up-to-Date

It’s important that you keep all your platforms and scripts updated. Hackers mostly target security flaws in proper web software, and the software needs to be updated to fix security holes. It’s very important to main your software and keeps it updated.

2. Use a Strong Password Policy 

It’s important that you use strong passwords rather than using simple ones. Hackers frequently use sophisticated software that uses hacking attacks like Brute Force to crack passwords. To protect your password again Brute Force, your password must be hard to crack and be complexed. Your password must contain uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers. This password policy must be followed by your company or organization.

3. Use SSL Encryption on Your Login Pages

Make sure you use SSL encryption on your login pages. SSL encryption allows sensitive information to be transmitted safely. Sensitive encryption means social security numbers, credit card numbers, and login credentials. If the information added on a landing page is encrypted so it’s meaningless for hackers who might interrupt it. This helps prevent hacker attacks and prevent hackers to steal your sensitive information or private data.

4. Use a Secure Web Host

Using a secure host from a reputable company is very essential for your website security. Make sure the web host you choose is aware of these threats and devoted to helping you keep your website secure. Make sure your host back up your data to a remote server, in case your website gets hacked, you can use that data to restore your website. And make sure you only choose a host who provides technical support to help you in hard times.

5. Don’t Forget to Clean Your Website

Every application, database, or a plugin on your website is another valid point for entry of a hacker. You should delete your databases, files, images, or any kind of data you’re using on your website that’s no longer in use. It’s important to keep your data structured and organized to keep track of changes and update and to make it easy to delete unnecessary data.

6. Backup Your Website

You must backup your site regularly and maintain backups of your site databases and files in case your site becomes inaccessible and all your data is lost. Your web host should provide regular backups for your site on their own servers. If they not, you can use some plugins to keep backups of your data regularly. Some CMS’s (Content Management Systems) have pre-installed extensions and plugins which automatically create backups for your site so you don’t have to worry about that part.

Cheap .NET Core 1.0 Hosting Recommendation

SEO Tips and Tricks – Using Excel for SEO

Excel is beloved by most SEO professionals – and by many paid aficionados, too.

Of all the SEO tools I use on a daily basis, few are more powerful or more versatile than spreadsheets.

While Word, PowerPoint, and Access have their little idiosyncrasies and challenges in daily work, Excel has stood the test of time and continues to be just as valuable as it has ever been.

There is simply no easier way to sort and categorize data quickly with so little input required.

I use Excel daily to sort lists:

  • Keyword lists alphabetically.
  • Revenue reports by most revenue earned.
  • Pages by highest bounce rate.
  • And every other thing you can think of or sort by.

Excel is also great for de-duplicating lists. You can easily take a huge list of data, like inbound links, and sort it and remove all the duplicates with a few clicks.

Pivot tables are phenomenal for categorizing and re-categorizing data sets with many values. Want to know how many people clicked on a particular keyword from a particular referral source by the date they clicked? There’s a pivot table for that.

And the VLOOKUP command is a poor man’s database, perfect for combining lists from multiple places quickly without having to enter all of the data into a cumbersome tool like Access.

Chances are, you already know all these tricks.

So what follows are some things you might not know you can do with Excel.

Note: While this chapter focuses on Excel, you can perform most of these tasks in any spreadsheet program, including Google Sheets.

1. WildCards

Excel supports the * command as a wildcard.

If you want to cut off part of a data set, it’s easy to do.

For example, let’s say you have a very large list of links but you only want one sample URL from each domain.

After you find/replace for http:// and https://, you can reduce every single URL to only its top-level domain by finding and replacing for /* – the star is a wildcard that removes everything after the first backslash.

If you want the backslash left on, replace for /.

If you want the / gone, replace for an empty field.

Then you can use that de-duplication function to remove all but one example of every URL.

2. LEN

This one counts the number of characters in the string.

This is great for checking the length of titles or meta descriptions. But it can also be used to bring the longest string to the top.

Taking the previous example, let’s say you wanted one sample URL from each domain that you deduplicated, but you wanted an interior page instead of just the top level domain.

You’d take the same steps as above, but instead of editing the URLs in place, you’d copy them to a new column (Source Domain) and edit those instead.

Then, use LEN to find the character length of the Source URL and sort by Col A ascending and Col B descending.

That will bring the longest URL for each domain to the top of the list and then when you de-duplicate, it will save the first instance of that domain – the longest URL.

3. Text to Columns

Text to columns is another brilliant feature of Excel.

You’ve probably used it to make a .csv file useful, by delimiting the data by commas. But did you know you can actually delimit any character you want?

I use this all the time to delimit by the backslash.

This is a terrific way to take an output from Screaming Frog or another crawler and quickly build out a visual architecture map.

By putting each subfolder in its own column, you can use a pivot table to find out exactly how many pages are in each level, then use the data from the pivot table to quickly build a visual map in something like Visio.

4. Find

The Find function is one of the most useful functions in Excel.

You can use it to eliminate things from lists of keywords.

For example, let’s say you have a huge list of keywords and you want to find things that only contain one version of a word (useful when categorizing).

You would start a new column, then use this formula where “word” is the word you want to find.

=FIND(“word”,B2,1)

This will show you the character count at which that word starts, and an error if the word isn’t there at all… like this list where I looked for anything with “mixed”:

Just sort by the “Sort” column descending, and you’ll bring all the keywords that contain “mixed” to the top of the list.

5. Concatenation

Concatenation is great for putting together simple rows of data, but it’s even better for automating the creation of a lot of URLs.

Let’s say you wanted to search a lot of sites to see if a particular keyword was in text on that site… maybe you’re doing a link audit and you need to see if your client’s domain name appears anywhere on a list of sites.

You could (theoretically) concatenate a simple list of commands that you could then run in a crawler like Screaming Frog to see if there are any results.

So, hypothetically speaking, you would do this:

Take the command you need to add and put it into a row in excel.

Let’s say the site is motorola.com, and you’re looking for the word “motorola” on a lot of websites, one of which is www.cnn.com.

Put the site you are searching on in A1. You’ll use this command in Excel:

=”https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3A”&A1&”%20motorola”

If each row in column A has a new value in it, then in theory, you could have a full set of Google commands to put in list mode in Screaming Frog.

Excel Concatenation

Using the Custom configuration, you could look for any results that had “No results found for” motorola.com in the code.

This is all theoretical, of course, because scraping Google is a violation of their terms of service.

Summary

Hopefully now you see many uses for Excel that are beyond the standard mathematical and accounting uses.

Excel is simply the best and fastest way to slice and dice small data sets, and an essential SEO tool that belongs in your arsenal.

Easy Way to Reduce Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is one of those quality metrics that gets tossed around a lot in the search engine space. People are almost always talking about absolutes in terms of “this is how XYZ will reduce your bounce rate,” and so on.

I don’t subscribe to this school of thought; bounce rates need to be looked at subjectively.

While there are some general best practices, for the most part certain activities prescribed as absolute can both hurt and help websites.

Hence the title of this post. I don’t want to stand on my bounce rate soapbox and preach to you that everything in this post is going to help you, so I’m approaching this from a more realistic standpoint; the items on this list are worth thinking about, and probably trying – but this isn’t some magic wand from the land of unicorns and bounce rates under 5 percent.

A high bounce rate can be indicative of a number of things but usually falls into one of two categories:

  1. You’re acquiring the wrong kind of traffic to your page(s), or
  2. You’re acquiring exactly the right kind of traffic to your page(s).

Did number 2 throw you for a loop? Most people forget about the second scenario, since most websites tend to fall victim to the first.

But think about this for a second: if a user comes into your site and finds exactly what they were looking for; an answer to their question or solution to their problem, why should they stay a moment longer or look around on other pages?

Websites that are excellent at solving information problems quickly often have high bounce rates, for example here is a website that is designed to rank for question queries, offering specific and succinct answers:

bounce-rate-71-percent

Users come in, get the answers they need, and leave; but come back often.

On the Flipside

You have websites where it is critical to get your visitors to stick. You want them to spend time clicking around the site, perusing content, and build toward a conversion.

In these instances high bounce rates are a conversion killer, and anything you can do to increase the time on site and number of pageviews will most likely directly correlate to your site’s success and your bottom line.

Before we can approach improving something, it is important to make sure you have a firm grasp on what it is.

Bounce rate is often confused with exit rate, and the difference is important; bounce rate is a measure of people who bounced off a single page (i.e., they did not visit any other pages within your website), whereas exit rate is simply a measure of the percentage of visitors who left your site from that page.

Why It’s Important to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

Reducing the bounce rate on pages that have the highest volume of traffic from your highest converting sources means more engaged visitors and a greater chance of conversion.

What follows is a list of 20 considerations for reducing your bounce rate. These are by no means absolutes and are relative to everyone’s unique value propositions and audience, but generally speaking, these are worth thinking about.

1. You Should Probably Avoid Pop-ups

Pop-up ads annoy people. In some rare cases they offer something worth the roadblock, but usually they disrupt the user experience.

2. Use Intuitive Navigation for Important Items

Don’t make your visitors feel dumb (or think you’re dumb) for not providing them with clear and obvious paths to get the content they may be looking for.

The most common reaction to not being able to find something that should be obvious is frustration – and if you’ve ever been on a web page where you can’t figure out how or where to navigate, this is exactly how you feel.

Heatmaps are a great way to gain visibility into where user’s might be trying to click, giving you insight into what should be clickable. A great tool for this is Crazy Egg.

3. Poor Design is Increasingly Less Tolerable

I’m not just talking about gradients and drop shadows; design now transcends the whole user experience. Your content needs to be attractive; both in terms of graphical treatments and readability.

Design for your target audience, which may not necessarily be the audience you already have, or at least not the majority of it. Design has become a legitimacy signal and the lack thereof can directly impact visitors (and prospects) perceptions of the quality of your business and services.

4. Speed

This pretty much goes without saying these days but nothing really effects bounce rate like having a web page that takes 10 seconds to load.

Not only is this a confirmed ranking factor and lends directly to user experience, but it can cause your follower reach to stall, negatively impact your search rankings, and destroy your conversion rate.

5. Is Your Website Mobile Usable

I realize that is far from proper English, but I feel it makes my point. Being mobile friendly is ideal, but being mobile usable is critical.

Websites can still be effective as long as content can be accessed and used from a mobile device or tablet.

Furthermore, mobile usability does not necessarily mean from a design compatibility and accessibility standpoint, in many cases it means is the language on your site simple and clear enough that people on the go (on mobile devices) can still make sense of what they need to do to find information and at the very least contact you if necessary.

6. Design Information Around Priorities

This comes back to the last consideration, are your target conversion or content points clearly presented on your pages? Can users immediately get a sense of what they should expect to find or are expected to do while on the page?

Websites tends to have two paths to conversion:

  • Landing pages (short direct sales path)
  • A conversion funnel (longer process of qualifying visitors through a collection of pages that drive toward conversion)

Are you effectively managing the expectations of your visitors? A good litmus test for this is if you are able to trigger your primary page conversions more than 20 percent of the time.

7. Segment Information

This is another perspective on creating content that is designed to be digested and consumed. Readability is important here but so is the idea of grouping content into segments or categories – this is most often seen in blog posts where header tags are used to break apart large walls of text.

8. Optimize For Intent

This is a more detailed take on information design, and ensuring that based on the keywords your visitors are using to get to your pages, you are serving them an experience that address their expectations.

This is often talked about in paid search and display advertising, where the highest bounce rates are created from advertisers not closing the loop between the ad copy and the landing page copy and design. The experience needs to be consistent from start to finish or you risk breaking the user’s intent loop.

9. Be Mindful of Ad Placement

This is still a bit of a new idea (especially to advertisers) but if possible avoid the standard ad units. Not only have web users developed ad blindness but Google has also started penalizing pages that have too many ad units above the fold, and hint: they are looking for standard ad unit sizes.

Furthermore, from a publisher perspective, I can understand it’s great to squeeze an extra handful of impressions in per pageview, but if you look at some of the high performing niche ad networks, you will notice there publisher websites have a general lack of intrusive ads.

10. Lazy Load Third Party Content

Lazy loading, in case you’re unfamiliar, is a design pattern process for deferring the loading of objects until they are needed. Mashable is a fantastic example of this in action, notice how their pages load almost instantly and then new content is loaded as it is needed (as your scroll position advances toward those pixels).

This is done both for speed and user experience, and can be specified programmatically on a component by component basis.

11. Color Contrast

Readers need contrast. Contrast between colors can make a dull story into an exciting one and conversely can turn the most exciting content in the world into a palette of indiscernible whites and grays if not given proper consideration.

Contrast is important to consider as the web moves faster towards different mediums of content, with more and more happening on the pages, it is important to use colors and patterns to draw your reader’s eyes toward the important parts of the page.

12. Messaging is Blatantly Obvious

This is another consideration when it comes to focus and attention. Remember you only have a few seconds to translate value to a new visitor, so don’t make them guess.

Taglines are a great way to quickly translate purpose, but if you don’t have one another simple way is to place your site’s purpose in plain text in an obvious place (like the header or the top of the sidebar). If you sell something, say that.

13. Cut Out Distractions

I wish I could say this goes without saying, but I still run into website on a weekly basis that autoplay audio and video. These are distractions and intrusions that aren’t expected and break the experience.

Cutting out distractions not only leads to better bounce rates, but usually dramatically increases your conversion rates.

14. Offer Related Content Based on Personas

If you don’t offer related content on your pages, or intuitive navigation (hopefully with some sort of hook or teaser) then you’re missing out on a substantial number of pageviews and the opportunity to be more of a sticky resource.

Related content gets really powerful when you’re able to target it within the same categories or tags, as these segments of content tend to be attractive to visitors who make it through related posts in the same content stack.

15. Leverage Internal Search

If you don’t currently offer search functionality on your website or if you don’t regularly review internal search analytics, then you’re missing the boat. Web users have become so used to search that it is an easy behavioral pattern to accommodate and leverage for improved experience.

To take this a step further, you can use newer tools for crowdsourced FAQs to literally create a content roadmap for what matters most to your audience.

16. Open External Links in New Windows

This is an incredibly simple concept that is still often overlooked, but if you’re going to link out to a resource on your website, make sure you have it open a new window instead of redirecting the user off your site.

The best (and easiest way) to do this is to simply add target=”_blank” into the link’s <a> tag. So for example; <a href=”http://example.com” target=”_blank”>anchor text</a>.

17. Prominently Display Your Search Box

This is a separate consideration from leverage internal search that has more to do with number 2 on this list; if you are going to offer helpful functionality like site search on your website, don’t make users have to search for your search box.

18. Offer a Helpful 404 Page

Nobody likes to think of instances where their website or pages may greet users with a 404 page, but these things happen.

The best thing you can do to turn a negative experience into a potentially positive one is a few things:

  • Use Google’s suggestive snippet for creating useful 404 pages. Visit the “Enhance 404 pages” section in Google Webmaster Tools, which allows you to generate a JavaScript snippet.
  • Add a search box and a link to the homepage
  • If nothing else, add a bit of design and humor.

19. Keep it Readable

This isn’t a duplicate of number 3. In this consideration I’m talking specifically about your page’s Flesch-Kincaid score, or the level of difficulty for comprehension of your content.

There are two tests used to determine both the ease of reading and the average grade-level required for comprehension. Both of which have been baked into a very helpful index calculator.

20. Split Up Long Posts

People have shorter attention spans than ever before. So when they see long posts they are immediately reminded of times in high school trudging through massive texts of traditional English literature.

Consider instead splitting these up either into separate posts in a series or adding pagination to break up the content into smaller and more digestible chunks. This New York Times piece does a fantastic job (with an absolutely incredible story) of consolidating their story into chapters and breaking up a substantial and engaging experience across several views and interactions.

Windows ASP.NET Hosting Comparison - ASPHostPortal.com VS Webfusion VS HostMySite

301 vs. 302 Redirects for SEO: Which Should You Use?

Redirects are simple. If you’re moving content to a new location permanently, use a 301 redirect. If you’re moving it temporarily, use a 302 redirect.

But you might be wondering, why does this even matter? After all, users can’t tell the difference between 301s and 302s. Both are identical in their functionality.

The answer is simple: Search engines view 301 redirects and 302 redirects differently. And choosing the wrong one can cause SEO issues that often go unnoticed for months or even years.

Here are a few common use cases:

  • You permanently change the URL of a web page.
  • You permanently migrate to a new domain.
  • You switch from HTTP to HTTPS.
  • You want to fix non-www/www duplicate content issues.
  • You permanently merge two or more pages or websites.
  • You permanently change the URL structure of your website.

Use cases for 302 redirects are few and far between, but there are some:

  • You want to redirect users to the right version of the site for them (based on location/language).
  • You want to A/B split-test the functionality or design of a web page.
  • You want to get feedback about a new page without affecting rankings for the old one.
  • You’re running a promotion and want to temporarily redirect visitors to a sales page.

There are undoubtedly other use cases, but they tend to be very specific and individual. The golden rule is that you should only use 302 redirects if you plan to bring back the old page after a short period.

You can create 301 and 302 redirects in several ways, but the most common method is to edit a website’s .htaccess file. You’ll find this file in your website’s root directory.

1 root directory htaccess

SIDENOTE.

If you don’t see this file in your site’s root directory, either your server isn’t running on Apache or you don’t have this file. You can check the kind of server you’re running with this tool. If it’s Apache, the solution is to create a .htaccess file using Notepad or TextEdit and upload it to your root server.

If you’re using WordPress, a less daunting option is to use a free SEO plugin to create redirects. RankMath has this functionality built-in, but this plugin will also do the job.

How to create a 301 redirect

If you want to create a 301 redirect from one URL to another, add this to your .htaccess file:

Redirect 301 /old-page.html /new-page.html 

You can also do this using RankMath or the Redirections plugin. Just choose the type of redirect you want, then add your source and destination URLs.

2 301 rankmath

If you’re looking to redirect the entire website, add this to your .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^oldsite.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.oldsite.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://newsite.com/$1 [L,R=301,NC]

Just know that you’ll need to keep your old hosting active to redirect your site with .htaccess, which can be expensive. So it’s usually better to redirect through DNS. Most registrars allow you to select either a 301 or 302 redirect for this. If you’re using Google Domains, just hit Website > Forward domain, then enter the new domain and choose “Permanent redirect.”

3 google domains 301

How to create a 302 redirect

If you want to create a 302 redirect from one URL to another, add this to your .htaccess file:

Redirect 302 /old-page.html /new-page.html 

You can also do this with RankMath or the Redirections plugin in WordPress:

4 302 rankmath

If you’re looking to redirect the entire website, use this code:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^oldsite.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.oldsite.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://newsite.com/$1 [L,R=302,NC]

Just know that you probably won’t want to use a 302 to redirect one site to another. Most domain changes are permanent, so you’ll want to use a 301. It’s the same story for redirects from HTTP to HTTPS, or from non-www to www (and vice-versa).

As the functionality of 301 and 302 redirects are identical to the end-user, choosing which one to use comes mostly down to how Google treats them. And there are two things we need to talk about here:

  1. Indexation
  2. Link signals

Indexation

When one URL redirects to another, Google keeps only one of those URLs indexed.

For 301 redirects…

… that will be the ‘new’ URL. For example, if you create a 301 redirect from old-page.html to new-page.html, Google will index new-page.html and de-index old-page.html. That’s because the 301 redirect tells Google that this is a permanent move, so there’s no point keeping the old URL indexed.

People sometimes get confused about this because after creating a 301 redirect, the old URL can still show up for a while in Google when using site: searches.

For example, Moz changed and redirected their domain from seomoz.org to moz.com many years ago, but seomoz.org still shows up in Google.

5 301 site search

The reason for this is that, as Patrick recently explained, site: searches don’t tell you if a URL is indexed. For that, you need to use either the URL Inspection tool or Coverage report in Google Search Console.

For 302 redirects…

… the URL that Google indexes will usually be the original one. However, because Google knows people often mistakenly use 302s for permanent redirects, they actually assess each 302 redirect individually to try to determine what you really meant.

Here’s what Google’s John Mueller said:

When we recognize a redirect and we see it’s a 302, we assume it is a temporary redirect first and we assume you want the initial URL indexed, not the redirected target. […] However, when we recognize it is actually more like a permanent redirect and the 302 is maybe something that you accidentally set up, then we do treat that as a 301. And we say, instead of indexing the redirected URL, we’ll index the redirection target instead.

John Mueller
John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst Google

Nobody knows precisely how long a 302 redirect needs to be in place before Google begins treating it as a permanent redirect. Usually, it’s a few weeks to a few months, but it can be days, weeks, or months.

In some circumstances, Google even appears to treat 302s as 301s from the get-go.

For example, Patrick recently ran a small experiment where he implemented a 302 redirect from one established site to another. As soon as Google crawled the ‘old’ domain and saw the redirect, the ‘old’ domain disappeared from the search results in favor of the ‘new’ domain.

If you’re not sure how Google is treating your 302 redirects, here’s a quick ‘trick’:

Paste the redirecting URL into the Search Console’s URL Inspection tool. If it shows the “URL is not on Google” warning, Google must be treating the redirect as permanent (301). If it is on Google, then they’re treating it as temporary (302).

6 url is not on google

Just make sure to check the last crawl date when doing this. If this date comes after you implemented the redirect, request re-indexing and come back later.

SIDENOTE.

From our observations, Google is usually quicker to treat 302 redirects as permanent when redirecting to an ‘established’ page or site. That’s probably because the ‘new’ page or website has been around a while, so there’s a higher than average probability that you wanted to redirect the URL permanently.

Link signals

3XX redirects used to dilute PageRank, but that stopped in 2016.

Now, when you redirect one URL to another, link signals consolidate at one URL without dilution. However, the way this works is commonly misunderstood, as the type of redirect can impact where the signals consolidate.

For 301 redirects…

… link signals consolidate ‘forward’ to the ‘new’ URL.

For example, if old-page.html has ten backlinks, and you redirect (301) that to new-page.html, all link signals will consolidate at the new-page.html. In other words, Google should rank new-page.html as though it has ten links.

However, it’s not quite that simple because Google treats irrelevant redirects as soft 404s:

That isn’t a problem if you’re moving content to a new URL without drastically changing it. But if the redirect is irrelevant, as is the case when redirecting an old blog post to your homepage, links to the ‘old’ page probably won’t help the ‘new’ page rank. So the golden rule is to keep your redirects as relevant as possible.

If you’re curious how Google is treating one of your 301 redirects, try this:

Go to Search Console > Links > External Links.

7 top linked pages

Next, filter the report by “Target page,” and paste in the ‘new’ URL.

top target pages new url

Next, paste the ‘old’ URL into your Site Explorer and go to the Referring Domains report.

8 referring domains ahrefs

Finally, in GSC, filter the links by “Site,” and paste in referring domains one by one.

If you do this for several referring domains and get no matches in GSC, Google is likely treating the redirect as a soft 404, and not counting the backlinks towards the ‘new’ URL.

9 no results domain gsc

If there is a match, click on the site to see the actual links. You should see something like this:

10 target url if different

Notice that the “Target URL (if different)” column shows the ‘old’ redirected URL. This tells us that Google is counting links to the redirected URL towards the ‘new’ URL.

For 302 redirects…

… link signals usually consolidate ‘backward’ to the ‘old’ URL.

For example, if you redirect (302) old-page.html to new-page.html, and new-page.html has ten backlinks, all link signals will usually consolidate at old-page.html. In other words, Google should rank old-page.html as though it has ten links.

However, things aren’t quite that simple. It depends on how Google treats the 302 redirect.

If they’re treating it as a temporary redirect, link signals will indeed consolidate backward. That’s assuming the redirected page is the same as or similar to the ‘new’ page. If not, they may treat it as a soft 404.

If they’re treating it as a permanent redirect, link signals will consolidate forward.

You can check how Google is treating a redirect with the URL Inspection tool. Just paste in the ‘old’ redirected URL. If the “Google-selected canonical” shows “Inspected URL” (as is the case below), Google is treating the redirect as temporary. If not, it’s treating it as permanent.

Let’s say that you’ve made the common mistake of using 302 redirects for permanent moves. Do you need to spend precious time swapping them all to 301 redirects?

The answer depends on how Google currently treats those redirects.

If they’ve figured things out for themselves and are already treating the ‘accidental’ 302s as permanent moves, then changing them to 301s may not impact anything. If they haven’t yet figured things out, swapping the redirects from 302s to 301s is likely the best course of action.

You can use the URL Inspection tool in GSC to check how Google treats individual URLs, as shown in the previous section. However, that’s pretty time-consuming if you have a lot of redirects. A faster method is to first look for 302 redirects that get organic traffic. After all, that’s a telltale sign that Google is still treating the redirect as temporary.

You can do this in your Site Audit. Just crawl your site, then check the Redirects report for the “302 redirects” warning.

12 302 redirects site audit

If it’s there, click to view the affected URLs, and sort the report by “Organic traffic” from high to low.

13 302 redirects with traffic

If the user-declared and Google-declared canonicals match, Google is treating the 302 redirect as permanent. If they don’t, the redirected page is likely getting organic traffic because it’s still indexed and Google is treating it as temporary. That isn’t desirable if you used a 302 redirect by accident for a permanent move. Luckily, swapping the 302 redirect to a 301 should fix the issue.

Final thoughts

Redirects aren’t that complicated. If you’re moving content to a new location permanently, use a 301 redirect. If you’re moving it temporarily, use a 302 redirect.

That said, it might be reassuring to know that even if you do happen to use the wrong type of redirect, Google will likely figure out what you meant eventually. Does this always happen? Of course not. Google isn’t always smart enough to figure out what you meant without fail every time, so it’s best practice to use the correct type of redirect where possible.

Cheap and Reliable Magento 2.0.2 Hosting

The Google Tools to Use When Conducting Keyword Research Today

Consumer behavior is changing rapidly and unpredictably during the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s why conducting keyword research is now more important than ever to understand the latest shifts in consumer intent.

Although 100% of SEO professionals worth their salt understand how to dig insights out of Google Search Console and know which keyword tools have helped them in the past to increase traffic, rankings, and visibility in search results, this is the time to think outside the search box.

Even one new insight per fortnight can help your company or clients pivot to create more relevant content as they navigate the “new normal.”

That means taking advantage of resources that didn’t exist before March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, or using extra tools to double-check your assumptions.

Here are some places that I now visit virtually every weekday and some tools that I’ve reached for in the toolbox that I rarely used before I had to start dealing with strange things that go bump in the night.

1. Rising Retail Categories

In May 2020, Think with Google launched an interactive tool called Rising Retail Categories to help us understand:

  • Fast-rising retail categories in Google Search.
  • The locations where they’re growing.
  • The queries associated with them.

7 Google Tools to Use When Conducting Keyword Research Today

For example, the top trending categories in the U.S. year-over-year include:

  • Sprinkler controls.
  • Sneeze guards.
  • Household disinfectants.
  • Neck gaiters.
  • Protective masks.

Or, focus on the top trending categories month-over-month to discover:

  • Food Container Covers (+100%).
  • Crayons (+100%).
  • Medical Equipment (+90%).
  • Pen & Pencil Cases (+70%).
  • Baby & Toddler Outerwear (+60%).

Then, tackle the top trending categories week-over-week, and examine:

  • Blank ID Cards (+40%).
  • Pie & Pastry Fillings (+30%).
  • Play Mats & Gyms (+30%).
  • Foosball Tables (+30%).
  • Neck Gaiters (+30%).
  • Chalkboards (+30%).

If your company or clients makes any of these products, this is your opportunity to spot a key trend and become a hero.

2. Coronavirus Search Trends

In March 2020, Google launched Coronavirus Search Trends.

There was a surge in search interest for the topic, coronavirus, from late February through early May.

Since then, search interest in coronavirus has fallen below the topic, weather, and is now roughly equal with search interest in the topic, news, but still remains above the topics of sports and music.

7 Google Tools to Use When Conducting Keyword Research Today

3. The U.S. Economy & COVID-19

Recently, Google has added a new section of its Coronavirus Search Trends that is focused on The U.S. Economy and COVID-19.

How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected searches around the economy?

How do they compare now to searches in the past?

Scroll down the page to see search interest in the term, recession, since 2004.

7 Google Tools to Use When Conducting Keyword Research Today

And keep scrolling down to see the spikes in search interest in other terms, like unemployment benefits, food bank, food stamps, and mortgage forbearance.

Or, look at the map of the country to see where search interest in terms like debt, bankruptcy, and “can’t pay rent” are located.

4. Shopping Insights

Google launched Shopping Insights in October 2015, but I’ve rarely used the tool before the COVID-19 recession despite the fact that it enables you to see how your company or clients stack up against your competitors, and it lets you track competing products in your category.

In these “extraordinarily uncertain” times, it’s a life saver.

Now, it’s painfully obvious that this year’s disruptions are making it hard for retailers to plan for the holidays.

But, Shopping Insights helps them stay up to date on what shoppers want and follow trends in their category.

How can Google provide these shopping insights?

According to Think with Google, in 63% of shopping scenarios, shoppers go online to conduct research before they make a purchase decision, regardless of whether they end up buying online or in a store.

With daily search data for 55,000+ products, 45,000+ brands, and nearly 5,000 categories across the U.S., Shopping Insights helps you better understand customers’ shopping intent online, and make more informed merchandising and marketing decisions across online and offline channels.

For example, the top brands in the Toys & Games category, based on data from July 17 to August 16, 2020, are:

  • LEGO.
  • Hasbro.
  • Mattel.
  • Funko.
  • Hot Wheels.

So, if you are planning for either Small Business Saturday or the entire Holiday Season, you know which brands to stock on your shelves.

7 Google Tools to Use When Conducting Keyword Research Today

5. Market Finder

Google launched Market Finder in November 2017, but I’ve rarely used the tool in the past.

But, it has now become a game-changer when helping clients navigate the “new normal.”

For example, I’m working with the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) to generate applications for its Online Professional Masters in Human Resource Management program.

By entering SMLR’s URL into Market Finder, I was able to calculate which regions offer the best opportunities for growth, based on key metrics for my chosen categories.

Within the United States, they are California, Texas, and Florida.

For Rutgers, which is the State University of New Jersey, this came as a major surprise, because it represents a significant shift from the geographic trends before the pandemic.

7 Google Tools to Use When Conducting Keyword Research Today

6. Google Surveys

Google Consumer Surveys was launched in March 2012. It was renamed Google Surveys in October 2016.

It’s become one of the essential tools in my toolkit for getting valuable insights into the minds of my clients’ target audiences.

If you haven’t used it yet, Google Surveys is a market research tool that gathers data from survey questions that you write.

Web users answer your survey questions in order to access high-quality content on the Google Display Network.

In turn, content publishers get paid as their users answer your questions. Google then aggregates and analyzes the responses through a simple online interface.

Yes, I also use Search Console and keyword tools. But, those tell me “what” people are searching for.

They don’t tell me “why” people are conducting those queries.

That’s why I’ve used Google Surveys multiple times to “see around corners or peek above walls,” as the toy periscope ads often say.

Only now, Google Surveys help me uncover search intent, which is much more valuable.

I have frequently used screening questions to ensure that the respondents to a particular survey represent the niche audience that my client is targeting, instead of anyone and everyone who used a search term.

And Google Surveys has enabled me to get answers within days instead of weeks with more traditional survey methods.

Oh, and did I mention that it was cheap?

No, it’s not free, but prices start of $0.10 per completed survey, although I typically pay about $1.50 per completed survey because I use surveys with 2 to 10 questions that are targeted at respondents of specific ages, genders, or locations.

For example, keyword research will generally help me select a keyword phrase to optimize the title and headline of a landing page.

But, Google Surveys will help me to ensure that the content on that landing page actually addresses the consumer intent behind the query.

7 Google Tools to Use When Conducting Keyword Research Today

Why is that valuable?

Because you can do more than generate organic search traffic.

SEOs can generate organic search traffic that converts into qualified leads or online sales.

7. Google Trends

Google Trends was launched in May 2005, so it’s the oldest tool on this list.

And many SEO professionals don’t use it that often because it doesn’t provide data on organic search volumes.

But these aren’t normal times.

And finding insights that can be processed within minutes of an event happening in the real world can get SEOs a seat at the table where strategic decisions are made.

For example, I just taught a course for the New Media Academy (NMA) on “Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy” to a group of more than 100 business professionals in the United Arab Emirates.

And one of the recent articles that I shared with my NMA class was entitled, How people decide what to buy lies in the ‘messy middle’ of the purchase journey.

It was written by Alistair Rennie and Jonny Protheroe, who both work on Google’s consumer insights team, and it was published last month in Think with Google.

Rennie and Protheroe used Google Trends to take a look at worldwide search interest for “best” vs. “cheap” from January 1, 2004, through July 1, 2020.

7 Google Tools to Use When Conducting Keyword Research Today

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never done this particular comparison before.

And I was surprised to see that worldwide search interest for “best” has increased steadily over the past 16-and-a-half years, while worldwide search interested for “cheap” had decreased steadily over the same period of time.

Oh, and the Great Recession of 2007-2009 didn’t impact these trends at all.

Now, that’s in insight worth taking to the next Zoom meeting of your entire marketing team.

As your company or clients deal with these “extraordinarily uncertain” times, this is not time to create and optimize new content for “cheap.”

You should create and optimize new content for “best,” instead.

Why?

Because that’s what your customers are searching for.

And, even though we’re facing an unprecedented crisis, it’s worth remembering that a crisis represents both a threat and an opportunity for your company or clients.

That means this unprecedented crisis represents a threat and an opportunity for you, too.

That’s why this is no time to continue using the same old tools that you learned to use five, 10, or 15 years ago.

It’s time to explore some or all of the alternatives mentioned above.

Who knows, they may help your company or clients bounce back from the COVID-19 recession more quickly, or they may even help you bounce forward to your next promotion in a shorter period of time.

How to Remove Internal Duplicate Content from WordPress Site?

Having WordPress as your content management system (CMS) is definitely a wise decision that will make your life as a blogger and business owner easier. In most of the cases, the best SEO practices are already implemented with the platform’s responsiveness and its unprecedented optimization versatility. As a matter of fact, WordPress now runs more than 30% of the pages from the entire internet!

This is because with WordPress, businesses and bloggers can create their own unique DIY experiences. As a CMS, WordPress also allows you to incorporate plugins and tools that will help you enhance content practices even more. However, as the content management process became easier, the possibility to have a duplicate content problem in your WordPress site is more present than ever.

Content duplication can be one of the leading reasons why your site doesn’t rank well in search engines and why users can decide to abandon your blog and look for content somewhere else. If you don’t want to leave anything to chance and improve your WordPress site by solving duplicate content issues, prepare to learn more about the problem and how to avoid it successfully.

WHAT IS WORDPRESS CONTENT DUPLICATION?

To put it simply, WordPress duplicate content is any copy from one page that completely matches or is remarkably similar to other copy from another page of your WordPress website. Or a content that is the same but with different URLs.

Some of the readers won’t mind if they find some duplicate content because, in the end, they got the content that they searched for. However, search engines have a tough time with duplicate content on your page because they have to choose which one is more relevant to show in the search results.

If you host more copies of your content on your website, intentionally or unintentionally, you’ll confuse Google about which version is the relevant one. Then the search engine will pick one and hide the rest from the keyword search that you target the content for and this will inevitably result in a diminishing effect on your WordPress site SEO.

This may seem like an obvious thing to avoid, but many times, one simple error or lack of creativity can yield problems that involve duplicate content. Without further ado, let’s have a look at where these issues can happen and what can you do to fix them.


CAUSES OF DUPLICATE CONTENT

In most of the cases, web owners don’t produce duplicate content intentionally on their sites. Instead, the issue happens due to technicalities, such as:

Wordpress Duplicate Content Issues And How To Fix Them

  • Session ID: If you run an eCommerce site, you need to keep track of your visitors and allow them to store items or login passwords. This requires from you to provide them a ‘session’. Some systems can’t back up Session IDs and every internal link from your page will get the Session ID which results in a new URL (duplicate content).
  • URL Parameters: http://www.domain.com/post-x/ and http://www.domain.com/post-x/?source=rss are not the same URL. Not only that these URLs make it difficult for your page to rank, but they also create duplicate content.
  • Content Syndication: Sometimes other websites can use your content without your agreement. This makes the job for search engines difficult because they have to deal with two versions of the same article. The more popular your blog is, the bigger are the chances for it to be scrapped, which increases the chances for duplicate content too.
  • Comment Pagination: WordPress allows you to paginate your post comments. This causes duplicate content by adding URLs to the original post, such as ‘ArticleURL+comment-page-1, comment-page-2, etc.
  • WWW/no-WWW: When both versions of the URL lead to your homepage, or HTTP vs. HTTPS duplicated content, where the same content can be accessed with both protocols.

PROBLEMATIC TAGS

Using tags can be problematic because when you use tags in your articles, you create a page that is full of posts with similar content. That page contains parts, links, and snippets from the posts that use that tag. Tags are not categories, and you can easily confuse search engines if you created a competitive page for your categories.

Wordpress Duplicate Content Issues And How To Fix Them

This is why overusing tags is not beneficial for your WordPress website. Luckily, it’s a problem that is easy to fix. One of the solutions is to reduce your tags or having none at all. The other one is to incorporate meta robots no index dofollow tags. With that, you can hide the duplicate content pages that you don’t want Google to index when assessing your content.

To make the incorporation of no index do follow tags easier, whether you want to isolate one post or an entire section of the posts that use a particular tag, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin for your WordPress site.


DUPLICATE URLS

If you have multiple URLs that direct the users to the same content, again, it will result in a duplicate content within your WordPress site.

From all those URLs, the right one is called the Canonical URL. You can set up canonical URLs if you want to tell search engines which links they should index, a feature that is built-in within the CMS.

Canonical URLs are one of the vital features of your on-page SEO. Your URL can be accessed in the following ways:

  • http://domainname.com/1
  • http://domainname.com/1/
  • http://www.domainname.com/1
  • http://www.domainname.com/1/

Each of them takes the users to the same page and consequently create duplicate content from your URL. When you set up a canonical URL, you can redirect search engine robots to the links that you want them to index.

If you want to avoid duplicate URLs, you need to use the rel=canonical in the URLs of your WordPress site. For the purpose, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to add the canonical URL for your WordPress blog or add the following code to your theme right before the <head>:

<?php if ( is_singular() ) { ?>

<link rel="canonical" href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" />

<?php } ?>

</head>

This will tell the search engine which link is preferred for indexing. Or, if you want to completely delete or rename your duplicates, go through the following steps:

  1. Go to Pages and sort your pages alphabetically
  2. Locate the duplicate pages
  3. If the content is different, edit the title to avoid confusion
  4. Go to the Permalinks page, remove Page Slug, and click OK
  5. Delete any pages that have duplicated content or edit the URLs if the content and the layout of the duplicated URL is the same

PREVENTING DUPLICATE URLS

If you want to avoid the issue of duplicate URLs in the future for your WordPress, keep in mind the following tips:

  • A page and a post should never share the same title.
  • If you use the Duplicate Post plugin, always change the title and the URL of the Clone page to something unique.
  • Only publish pages that you plan to use.
  • Delete unused pages and drafts.
  • Pay attention if you import demo content – it may conflict with the existing content.

DUPLICATE CATEGORIES

Just like tags do, categories feature multiple posts under one hat. The content from the links in most of the cases is displayed with snippets before users can click the link and access the post.

This problem arises when you archive pages that are created with every tag and every category. For example, “WordPress Mistakes You Need to Know” is your post and you tag it with “WordPress Mistakes” plus you categorize it with “WP Mistakes”. This creates 3 different archive pages with a duplicate content. Each of those pages is made up from the same content “WordPress Mistakes You Need to Know”.

The duplicate pages may disappear if you manage to rearrange your content in a proper way. If you have lots of tags and categories, the chances for duplicated content will be bigger.

The solution for duplicated categories is again, just like in tags, using meta robot index and dofollow tags for posts plus giving each category a unique name that is relevant for the posts that go under its hat.


ATTACHMENT IMAGE URLS

When you attach an image to your WordPress page, the image is added as an attachment URL, so if the users click on the image or open it in a separate page, they’ll be redirected to the image URL.

This causes duplicate content to be indexed on Google and it will hardly add any value for your SEO rankings. One swift way to fix this is to use Yoast SEO plugin and locate the function “Redirect attachment URLs to parent post URL”.

Wordpress Duplicate Content Issues And How To Fix Them

Keep the option checked as “Redirect”. Another way to solve this is right when you upload an image. When you upload it, make sure that you select “Link to none” or “Link to image” as optional.

Wordpress Duplicate Content Issues And How To Fix Them


WRAPPING UP

Bottom line, duplicate content happens constantly, whether because of technicalities of your WordPress site, URL redirection or content scraping. In most of the cases, each content duplicate issue can be solved easily by using the tips that we described above.

Always pay close attention and make sure that any duplicated content is removed from your site. It will improve your search rankings and guarantee that your content and URLs are properly arranged as they should be on your WordPress website.

Cheap Moodle 3.0.3 Hosting Recommendation

Easy Way to Improve Your Google Rankings

How Long It Takes to Rank on Google

A study by Ahrefs turned up some interesting information, in terms of how long it takes to rank on Google.

Among the main takeaways:

  • On average, a page that ranked in the top 10 was over 2 years old. Moreover, the average age of pages that ranked first was nearly 3 years old.
  • Among the pages that ranked in the top 10, only 22 percent of them were less than 1-year-old.
  • Of all pages in the study, only about 6 percent appeared in the top 10 search engine results for at least one keyword within one year.
  • Zooming into the top 6 percent pages, most of them were able to get to the top 10 from nowhere in 2 to 6 months.

So, based on their findings, about 94 percent of the pages in the study never made it to the top 10 search engine rankings within a year.

How to Improve Your Google Rankings

As you can see, to reach the top 10 SERPs in less than 1 year, takes lots of hard work, skill, and sometimes luck. And this takes us back to the topic of today’s discussion on how to improve your Google ranking.

So, if you want to boost sales and conversions by taking your website to the first page of Google, here are five steps you should take.

1. Start with a Sound Foundation

Poor website structure and information architecture can doom even the best SEO campaigns.

If your website is difficult for users to navigate and Google to crawl, your rankings are likely to suffer.

Think about “usability first” on a mobile platform. That is the pathway to success.

Perform a Technical SEO Audit

The Google algorithm incorporates hundreds (if not thousands) of signals, plus machine learning to determine search rankings.

That said, tending to the SEO basics will give you an advantage over many competitors.

Fix Duplicate Content

Duplicate content issues are often related to technical issues. The most common being multiple versions of the same page.

For example, http://www.yousite.comhttps://www.yousite.comhttp://yousite.com, and https://yousite.com would be considered by Google as four different pages with identical content.

This can be resolved by setting the proper redirect rules in your .htaccess file

2. Optimize for Mobile

With Google rolling out the mobile-first index, your website needs to pass the Mobile-Friendly Test.

According to Google:

“… our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content… Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking…”

In order to avoid a mobile ranking meltdown, you should double down on mobile tasks and performance.

Tasks

Think about what users want to do on your site, once they land on it. They need to be able to perform those basic tasks smoothly and without difficulties, even while multi-tasking.

What are the first three to five objectives of your site’s visitors? Ensure they can be accomplished on your mobile site effortlessly.

Performance

Do your visitors find themselves scrolling endlessly to access the services or products that you offer?

Do images bog down loading times on your website?

Did you know that Google will be using page speed as a mobile search ranking factor, starting in July?

Loading time is a huge factor on mobile devices, particularly since most of the connections on mobile tend to be slower than those of PCs.

3. Optimize for Speed

For both mobile or desktop, you must continuously monitor the speed and keep improving it.

Use the Google PageSpeed tool to benchmark performance.

Here’s how you can execute page speed optimization:

Image File Size

Use your favorite image editing program.

Before uploading, you can further optimize your image by using an image compression and optimizer tool.

Lastly, always confirm that the dimensions of the image fit into the reserved image space to retain a clean, structured look on your live webpage

Browser Caching

When a web browser loads a page, it loads a number of resources. Browser caching stores these resource files locally on the users’ computer. That way, when a user navigates to a new page, those resources need not be loaded again.

For most sites, the best way to enable browser caching is by adding code to the web host/server .htaccess file.

For WordPress, there are plugins available to accomplish this.

Script Handling

Before loading countless JS and CSS files to enhance your site, make sure that you actually need those extra augmentations as they end up slowing down your website.

You can also minify your files by stripping comments, for instance, to keep things running fast.

If it’s possible to merge several scripts into a single file, go for it. That way, there will only be one retrieving call to the server to load all the scripts.

4. Work on the Links

Both internal and external links continue to have a huge influence on how your website ranks.

Here are a few tips for polishing up your link game:

Fix Broken Links

Many website owners have a habit of ignoring broken links. This can create a less than ideal user experience.

By running a crawl on your site with tools like W3C Link Checker, you can easily spot the 404 errors and fix them.

Exact Match Anchor Text

Abuse of exact match anchor text can be poison as an external linking strategy but still plays a big role when selecting internal anchor text.

As with anything, don’t be spammy, but if it’s relevant – use it.

Turn Site Mentions into Links

Get notice of mentions of your site by setting a Google Alert.

This will help you keep track of your brand mentions across the web.

In cases where the mentions are unlinked, contact the webmaster and request they turn the mention into a link.

5. On-Page Optimization

Google wants to help you out here. They have produced a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide meant for anyone interested in promoting online content via Google search.

As with website architecture, just doing the basics, as explained in this guide, will put you head and shoulders above many of your competitors.

Best Practices

Tell Google What Your Pages Are About

Do this by adding structured data throughout your site. That way, Google can easily understand what each page is about.

Schema is the format preferred by Google.

Schema types include recipes, businesses, products, authors, and more.

Create Unique, Brief & Descriptive Titles

Create a title that is natural and descriptive as opposed to a series of keywords.

Every page needs a unique title.

Craft ‘Clickable’ Meta Descriptions

Even though meta descriptions don’t have a direct impact on your website’s ranking, they play a significant role in CTR. This, in turn, can increase your traffic.

So, make sure all descriptions are both unique and irresistible to click. If you don’t use a description or if Google doesn’t like your description, they will auto-generate one.

Conclusion

As Google continues to close the door on spammy techniques and schemes, anyone serious about digital marketing needs to take a long view.

The strategies mentioned above aren’t sexy or new. They do, however, require work and a continual investment of resources.

Cheap Drupal 8.0.6 Hosting Recommendation

Tips to Improve PrestaShop SEO

The main purpose of search engine optimization is to help both users and search engines better understand a website’s content. Bearing in mind that Google ranks sites according to such parameters as site speed, used keywords, time spent on site etc, it is appropriate to optimize your SEO PrestaShop as much as possible. The more your website is user-friendly and the more original content it contains, the higher rankings it will receive from Google.

Let’s get closer to the most necessary PrestaShop SEO tips that should definitely be included in your SEO checklist.

Select strategic SEO keywords

One of the most important factors making Google rank you high is using the right keywords. The best way to define popular keywords is by using such tools as Google Keyword Planner or Google Trends.

Create appropriate SEO meta tags

Metadata is used to help web crawlers index your site in the correct manner. Meta titles and meta descriptions should be not too long or too short. The recommended length is about 200 characters. Also, make sure your metadata is not overwhelmed with keywords, otherwise Google may throw your positions way down.

Write unique product and category PrestaShop SEO descriptions

Google does not prefer displaying pages with duplicate content on the first search result positions. So you should try to create informative and original product descriptions and avoid using those provided by your manufacturers as they can appear on many other sites too.

Set SEO friendly URLs

Friendly URLs are links containing correct category and product names for a customer to be appropriately informed and guided. Unfriendly URLs consist of a mix of numbers and words giving a shopper any information about the destination of the link.

You can also enable redirecting to canonical URLs – these are original URLs, so in case your site contains duplicated URLs, a user will be redirected to the original one. In order to find the settings, rfom PrestaShop admin go to Preferences => SEO & Urls.

Speed up PrestaShop

According to statistics, an average user waits for a page to load no more than 3 seconds. So you need to take all possible measures to make your site work faster. For example, configure Combine, Compress, Cache (CCC); load images in mostly supported formats like JPEG, PNG or GIF; avoid using redirects. You can also get a content delivery network (CDN) that provides connection to local server and getting data from there.

Create PrestaShop sitemap

An XML sitemap is a file used for navigating web crawlers to reach and index particular pages of your website. It also tells the bots how often these pages need to be checked.

It is also recommended to use robots.txt file instructing web crawlers on how to track and index your site.

Integrate your site with social media

A Facebook or YouTube profile of your store having numerous subscribers can bring you a lot of new visitors and make your site more popular. So you should connect your site to social media profiles. It would be also a great idea to enable sharing your products or services on these profiles.

Set structured data markup

Structured data, also known as rich snippets, is the additional information placed next to meta title and meta description. In our case this is some important product information (e.g. rating, price, currency etc). Rich snippets can help both web crawlers and users better understand the content of your page and make it look well-presented in the search results.

Make your site mobile-friendly

Multi-screen web search becomes highly prioritized by users. That’s why having a mobile optimized website can bring your positions much higher.

Adjust your page sizes so users will not have to scroll horizontally. Also, make sure to reduce images and buttons size and make text readable without zooming.

Summary

When it comes to involving more customers to your store, search engine optimization becomes an imperative task. Having a favorable position in search results can provide your website with high traffic and increase your conversion rates. That’s why you need to make sure that all of the above listed features are in good condition. Besides, effective SEO requires constant checking and improving according to current trends.

error: Content is protected !!