web design London SEO

SEO Risks: Which Is Worth Taking and Worth Avoiding

To many business owners and even a handful of web design London firms, SEO offers little or no value whatsoever to their respective websites.  While this is completely untrue on so many levels, the perception is not hard to understand.

With all the information about SEO floating around, it’s hard to see which is real and which is not.  So much so that the decision to employ SEO becomes a very difficult one.

A good SEO strategy will not yield the expected results for months. In fact, the strategy itself might not make sense to most. But when they do, the results can be staggering in terms of exposure and profitability.

Like any other business, making a decision to try some new strategies and tactics carries risks that need to be taken into account. Risks have to be considered if they are worth taking in lieu of the expected benefits or are the risks too big that they’re not even worth trying out.

These are similar questions you can ask when giving SEO a chance to improve your site. So which SEO risks are worth taking and which are not?

To put things in better perspective, not using SEO is the biggest risk you can take. With that being said, let us consider other risks involved.

web design London SEO risks to take

SEO Risks Worth Taking

  1. Creating big and small changes and testing them for effectiveness

The ultimate goal of SEO is to create profitable traffic for your site. If nobody is actually clicking to gain access to your site, then that is not going to happen. There is a number of reasons why this is happening, and finding out is not easy.

The only way is to make changes to one element at a time and compare their performance against new variations of each. Changes can be made to titles, meta descriptions, and actual content, for example.

So what makes this method a risk? Doing these changes and testing routine is a trial and error thing. During the time when the correct wording combination and layout have not been discovered yet, traffic to your site might be reduced even further.

What makes it a risk worth taking is once you find the right arrangements, you’ll be able to maximize it and concentrate on increasing traffic to your site and ultimately profit.

  1. Using high-quality backlinks

Backlinks are a very important part of SEO. They increase rankings and help establish authority, and web design London and other companies can’t get enough of them. But why take the risk of losing customers by pointing them to another site that may potentially be better than yours?

Sometimes, it’s not just about your site but being generous enough to acknowledge other sites relevant to your users. So you may be risking losing visitors to your site by pointing them to other sites but you gain Google’s trust by establishing yourself as a reference to other reliable sites. This works wonders in increasing your rank in Google’s eyes.

  1. Improving your site’s URL structure

Homepage URLs should be brief and if possible contain the company name. Something like this should do the trick: www.mycompany.com. It’s short enough and easily recalled. But succeeding pages should contain unique keywords and be more explicit as to the page contents. However even then, if URLs are too long and descriptive, their display will be in danger of being truncated by the search engine past a certain cut off point and replaced with a (….).  This is the time to change some of your URLs by revamping the site’s structure.

The actual risk involved here is that changes of this sort will affect traffic to the site and rankings. Dips in both traffic and rankings are not uncommon during these situations. But on the upside, if done properly, you will end up with a streamlined structure that is very attractive to both search engines and web users.

  1. Revamp your website

Every now and then, there will be a need to redo your site from the ground up. This may be a necessary move since the site is old and needing a facelift or just part of routinary changes.  Either way, redesigns like these can be risky and costly. You may see a dip in your rankings as Google tries to re-assess your site post-change.

Loyal customers may find themselves lost in the new design and move to other sites. But more often than not, Google understands these changes, and their necessity and rankings should bounce right back. Even old users will eventually get used to the new look. The other benefit of a complete revamp is gaining new clients because of the new improved image.

  1. Acquire Past Due or Open Domains

Sometimes, site owners for whatever reason fail to renew their domain subscription. This renders their domain available to other site owners to acquire and use. Buying domains with a track record and redirecting then to your site can be a good source of necessary backlinks.  There are serious risks involved with this method though, and you should only use this if you absolutely know what you are doing.

Make sure the expired domain you are going to use is related to the business you are in. Because if that domain has existing users, they will be redirected to your site every time they try to access it. Imagine their frustration if they end up on a site totally unrelated to one they are trying to access. The backlash to this technique could be detrimental to your rankings and to your popularity as well. This is a very cheap technique that can drive serious traffic to your site if you can pull it off.

SEO Risks You Should Avoid

web design London SEO risks to avoid

  1. Using or creating doorway pages

Doorway pages are simple web pages designed to redirect users to a different page than what they intend to go to. It is best to avoid using these because Google doesn’t particularly like them. And knowing how Google feels about these pages, it is best to avoid them altogether.  The risks are simply not worth it, and even web design London firms recognise this risk.

  1. Not allowing neutral backlinks to your site

We know that good backlinks help boost rankings, while bad backlinks have the opposite effect. But what about the neutral ones, those that neither boost nor hurt your site?

Neutral backlinks may not offer any advantage or disadvantage to your site, but they can still drive potentially good traffic to you. Plus, in Google’s eyes, your site will look good for allowing quality backlinks access to your site. This is a sure-fire way of avoiding the stiff penalties that Google imposes on sites that host low-quality backlinks.

  1. Deleting or combining entire pages or contents

What may seem to be a mundane action, deleting entire pages or contents from your site due to say, discontinued products and the like, can be harmful to your site’s metrics. Once these pages are deleted, everything associated with them like keywords and URLs is also deleted.  If these pages were ranking before, all those rankings will also disappear. Not a good idea.

Instead of deleting these pages entirely and risk losing those rankings, leave them there and just place messages or links for customers or clients that will redirect them to similar pages with relevant products or services. Similarly, if two pages are to be merged as one, be sure to put 301 redirects on the old URL to ensure all the link traffic and ranking are not lost.

  1. Use of exact match keywords in the anchor text

This was the logical way to boost traffic to your site in the past. But this method was abused to the point of being absurd that Google decided to put a stop to the practice. Now, any sign of overdoing this method carries a stiff penalty from Google, so it is best to just avoid this one. Look for more organic ways to link to your site and develop a good backlink profile.

  1. Making small changes too many times and too often to a site

Once in a while, it is good to update the contents of your site or even change the looks.  This is actually good practice in Google’s eyes. However, too many of these small changes and too often can hurt your site’s performance rather than boost it.

These minute changes will not go unnoticed by Google and even website visitors. This is prone to raising a red flag for Google who may end up penalizing the site for being suspicious because of the constant changes. Even users will eventually notice the changes and may find the site harder to navigate or losing value to them.

web design London SEO risks

In Conclusion

If there is anything that can be gleaned from all of the risks involved in SEO, it is the fact that SEO remains to be vital for website success. Risks are there whether you like it or not, but some risks are simply worth taking because the gains are far greater if they succeed. Web design London firms can help you gauge which risks are worth to tackle and which ones you should completely forget.

web design SEO

5 Web Design Tips with SEO in Mind

Search Engine Optimization or SEO has a very big impact on the success of a website. SEO is responsible for making websites highly searchable to users. This searchability, in turn, creates traffic to a website and ultimately business.

Here are five tips to keep in mind when creating a kick-ass web design with SEO in consideration.

Strategize keyword placement

web design SEO

Keywords are the lifeblood of SEO. But just placing them all over the place without careful planning can have a detrimental effect. Today’s search engine ranking algorithms put more value in the user experience and reward sites accordingly.

Sites that are deemed rich in content that is user relevant are given higher search engine rankings as opposed to low-quality content sites. In fact, overuse of keywords can even lead to penalizations. Place keywords strategically in titles, meta tags, photo and video titles, headers and footers, and product descriptions, for example.

Keywords should offer value and not appear haphazardly placed. Plan keyword placement ahead of time so that it doesn’t appear out of place, and it feels organic to the site. This will make more sense to the user and to site rankings as well.

Find out which keywords are currently trending and which ones are usable for your site objectives.

Create site-maps that are crawl-friendly

Improve SEO using a strategic site map that will promote web-crawling. Prompt web-crawling of all site pages and establish priority pages for crawling by using site maps to deliver URL lists. Promoting web-crawling pays long-term dividends in terms of search engine ranking.

Optimize site loading speed

web design SEO

Slow loading speeds cause users to just pack up and leave despite the elaborate web design you made, and this puts a negative outcome on SEO.  Set up your sites in such a way that it utilizes tools and processes that greatly improve loading speeds.

To do this, you need to lessen factors affecting loading speeds on the server side like unnecessary plug-ins. Avoid redirects if possible, and make use of compression. Remove unnecessary characters from your code to streamline and make it more efficient. These are major factors that affect a site’s loading speed.

Create a social site presence

web design SEO

Search engine ranking puts a premium on website users’ experience. This engagement is recognized by web crawlers and is counted towards a higher search engine ranking. Design your sites to have social sharing buttons, stunning visuals, and anything else that will make social sharing easy. Sharing works wonders in boosting SEO by increasing overall user engagement and also driving subsequent traffic back to the site.

Choose your links properly

web design SEO

Choosing your links carefully goes a long way in positive SEO results. Utilizing a lot of broken links, outbound links, and questionable links put its toll on SEO outcomes.

Provide content-rich links that users can actually use to further improve on user experience and being careful not to overdo it. Bad links and overuse of unnecessary links on your web design only result in search engine penalties and in worst-case scenario negative impression on user experience.

e-commerce websites

Why Is My E-Commerce Website Not Ranking?

In the digital world, landing on the coveted top spot on all search engine results pages, especially Google, could significantly improve the exposure of your e-commerce websites, establishing your authority in this lucrative industry and delivering the kind of ROI that you have been wanting.

But why isn’t your site ranking at the first few pages of SERPs yet?

This is, in fact, the million-dollar question many have been asking themselves at some point or another. Unfortunately, there is no single million-dollar answer.

There are a number of contributing factors why your site isn’t landing the top spot in SERPs. So if you felt you’ve done everything you could for your site yet you’re still at the bottom of the list, then you might want to consider these possibilities.

SEO Takes Time

e-commerce websites

Yes, you’ve read that right! And there is no other way around. There is no magic bullet to propel you to the top.

“SEO is not an overnight process.”

When it comes to SEO, you definitely need barrels of barrels of patience. It doesn’t matter if you have built millions of millions of links if they all lead back to a website that is not able to convert traffic.

Researching, creating and implementing a strategy and producing content all takes time, and things need to be done in proper order. Then, it even take a longer time before Google, for example, realises you have made changes in your site.

You will then have to wait until search engines have determined that your e-commerce websites are providing brand new value. Generally, it takes approximately 4 months to one year before implement improvements and then you begin seeing actual results.

The bottom line: SEO takes time and requires patience, an extreme amount!

Your Site’s Beauty Is Skin Deep

e-commerce websites

You’ve spent a great deal of time and money and other resources to ensure you have a well-designed site. Everything looks spectacular. In fact, you can’t get enough of it, and you visit it on a daily basis just so you could marvel at what you have accomplished.

But why is Google not seeing how beautiful and well-designed your site is? It could be that the design of your site looks great yet didn’t account for every single SEO angle.

The following factors could be holding your site back:

  • Old, stale content
  • Duplicate content
  • Insufficient content
  • Cluttered navigation
  • Incomplete basics, like alt tags, metas and schema mark-up
  • No blogs
  • Split keyword focus

 

Google May Have Re-assigned You to the Penalty Box

e-commerce websites

Your site could be completely removed from Google’s SERPs if you received a Manual Action penalty. If you’ve ranked well previously and then suddenly your ranking significantly dropped, then Google must have placed you in the penalty box.

Now, how do you bail yourself out? You can resolve this by checking the Manual Actions Report. Then, start correcting issues Googled punished you for.

If you’re one of the sites who received these reports, it only means a Google reviewer (a human) found that your site is no longer compliant with the guidelines set by Google.

Now, what could cause such report?  The following are factors to be penalised by Google’s reviewer:

  • User-generated spam
  • Spammy free hosts
  • Hacked website
  • Spammy structured markup
  • Unnatural links coming from the site
  • Unnatural links going to your site
  • Contents with little to no added value
  • Sneaky or cloaking redirects
  • Spam
  • Keyword stuffing and hidden text
  • Cloaked images

Your Keyword Does Not Mean What It Should

e-commerce websites

Your keyword could me something else to Google. For example, you’ve been doing good SEO to rank a certain page for a particular SEO. However, the page doesn’t seem to catch a break.

The culprit could be that the keyword you are trying to rank for means something else to you than Google.

Take a good look at the first SERPs of the word you’re trying to rank. Check if the results Google shows you are different from what you want.

You Treat Your Site Like It Exists in a Vacuum

e-commerce websites

SEO isn’t the only factor that affects your site’s ranking. Don’t forget that it has not-so-distant cousins, like social media, PPC, content marketing and many more. In fact, today’s online marketing is more than a holistic approach.

Elements such as the number of clickthroughs, time on site, number of mentions on the web, and social media engagement all figure into the site’s overall ranking. Note that some of these indirectly affect the ranking of your site than others, but all of them play a significant role.

One thing you could do is to build a community on social media platforms and interact with them. This could potentially lead people to visit your site, read your blogs and other content and also click your links.

Small Changes Go a Long Way

e-commerce websites

You could be thinking there are tons of things to do to grab the coveted top rank on Google’s SERPs. And yes, that’s right.

All the more reason to jumpstart on making minute changes for your e-commerce websites. Small steps will still bring you from point A to point B.

Don’t worry if you’re still not ranking just yet. Give it a little more time, before you finally decide you need a serious overhaul.

Either way, what you need to do is examine the current situation of your site. Start small. Begin with small changes you can manage.

Remember that SEO doesn’t exist in a mere vacuum.

blogging SEO mistakes

Most Common SEO Mistakes Blogs Make

 The last two decades saw the significant evolution of the digital marketing landscape. Between the surge of misinformation floating around the digital marketing world and Google’s continuously changing algorithm, it’s easy to be derailed from the basic optimisation practices that should be employed in SEO and content strategy.

With the regular technological shift in search and every new algorithm update, we end up obsessing SEO’s impact in this new paradigm, and we end up shifting our focus to reflect this.

However, no matter how much a medium may change, its core principles remain the same. So, it’s best to always get back to basics when developing a stronger SEO strategy.

Below are the most common blogging mistakes that you might be making right now.

Ineffective Page Copy

SEO blogging mistakes

Never sacrifice your site’s credibility and authority with poor page copy.

The digital marketing world often says emphasises write for your readers, not for the search engines. Make sure your content is light, without showing off knowledge or using excessive jargon.

Keep in mind that you need to write at an 8th-grade level.

May fail to understand is that content isn’t about publishing. Rather, it should be creating awareness around consumer needs. So your content should contain actionable tips, hence providing value.

You need to consistently establish your brand and create your voice as the author, thereby establishing your authority in the chosen niche.

Here’s what you need to do: Go over your blog. Then ask yourself—What does the reader experience when he or she comes across your page?

You have to factor in the average attention of each reader is approximately 8 seconds. With that in mind, you need to optimise your meta tags and header structure.

Why?

To encourage easy scanning and clearly communicate your purpose to your reader.

Then pique the reader’s interest by leveraging a powerful headline. Your strong introductory paragraph should nurture this interest. Allow for mental break in between long paragraphs by using images, animated GIFs or videos, and make sure there’s a clear transition in between phrases.

By doing this, you’re increasing the reader’s average user dwell time.

Insert the images every 400 words or so, breaking the information overload provided by massive chunks of content. Also, take advantage of the white space as this will help make your content visually appealing.

Finally, there’s the crucial part—EDITING. The rule of thumb should be 2/3 of writing should be dedicated to editing and reworking. Tools like Grammarly and Hemingway App helps make writing concise, clean, bold and clear.

Unoptimised Videos and Images

SEO

You have to admit this—many bloggers ignore optimising their images and videos when in fact these are the most common mistakes deteriorating SEO performance.

Remember this: All images used for your blog or website should be formatted as .jpg while all vector images should be formatted as .png.

Image alt text should also be optimised for it to rank in the targeted keyword image search since this will be displayed when a browser fails to display an image and tells content to search engines.

When you optimised your video files, make sure to host all video files in one single folder. Then create a video site map so search engines can index your videos. The meta description should also be optimised with targeted keywords.

Inconsistent Internal Links

SEO

One of the most overlooked aspects of SEO optimisation is perhaps internal linking. So why is this so important?

There are a number of ways proper and effective internal linking can help your website achieve SOE nirvana:

  • Distributing authority throughout your site
  • Defining site architecture
  • Showing search engines your site’s most important pages
  • Establishing user-friendly pathways for users across your site for easy navigation
  • Indexing linked-to web pages using the keywords that you use in the hyperlink anchor text
  • Distributing crawl rate by opening deep-linked web pages

You can amplify the magic of backlinks through strategic internal linking. Ideally, you would need at least 3 to 5 internal link per blog and a navigation menu or a drop-down menu on your homepage to provide deep links to web pages that are inaccessible.

It doesn’t mean that you posted a content on your blog Google and other search engines can automatically access it.

You have to conduct a thorough internal linking audit and note down which web pages have the most authority. Then insert internal links on the high-authority web pages linking them to other high-value internal pages, evenly distributing authority in your domain.

Summary

It’s never too late. Know that the SEO content strategy is, in the right way, imperfect. So there’s always an opportunity to refine and improve whatever strategy you have used previously.

 

Content Marketing

Important Tips On Producing Quality Content

 

We all know that having an amazing content is very important when you want to succeed in today’s digital marketing— particularly when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). However, the problem for most people is finding enough time to actually create them.

Most of you are probably busy running your business that producing quality content might be hard to do. Don’t worry though; here are some techniques to help you become efficient at producing tons of great quality content. Aside from that, these things will also aid in generating organic search traffic for your site.

Planning Ahead of Time

If you want to seamlessly produce a ton of quality content, then you’ll need to plan it out. Sorry to say but, not all people can work better under pressure. So here’s what you should do:

I. Start by identifying your strategic goals
II. Find out the best methods to achieve those goals
III. Plan and schedule your content for the next 6 to 12 months

Now, some people might think that this kind of technique could muffle their creativity— but as a matter of fact, it allows you get into a new flow state which helps you come up with even more ideas. Also, if you ever come up with new creative ideas along the way, you can easily insert those into your current work-flow or save it for later use.

Most web designers use this particular technique, so they would have enough time to organize everything without having to do them by the last minute. Remember, having an organized system is important when building your brand.

Content Marketing

The Phases Of Content Production

Speaking of new flow state, you can utilize the same principle when producing your content. A lot of website owners have the tendency to edit while writing, but that’s an awfully ineffective way to produce content. It would be better to divide it into three phases:

1. Outlining
2. Producing
3. Editing

Outlining

Many writers find it easier to compose when they first create an outline. Those rough concept floating around in your head can then be turned into an organized document before you begin to write. This technique helps keep your thoughts on track and it also decreases the energy and time needed for a single post.

Producing

After which, you can now begin expounding the concepts you thought about earlier— but resist the urge to edit as you go. Disregard all typos and even those poorly structured sentences for now; you can deal with them later. Once you’ve completed the body, go back and write the intro and the conclusion. Writing these at the very end means they will be more cohesive and will go on more smoothly.

Content marketing

Editing

At last, it is now time to edit your post. Ideally, you should be doing this part after taking a quick break. Allowing enough time before editing actually clears out your mind from the things you just wrote down. By doing so, you can easily point out the grammatical errors and typos.

Collaboration Is Important

This method can be applied to all types of content, and it also helps cut down your workload. It also acts as an exposure for your collaborators, so it’s really a win-win situation. Here are some examples of collaborative content:

a) quotes
b) interviews
c) point/counterpoint

Don’t forget to include linking your collaborators’ social profiles, as well as their respective websites. Do this properly and your collaborators will likely be eager to work with you again and share your content with their own set of audience. Again, a win-win situation.

content marketing

Re-purpose Your Content

That popular blog post you wrote from before doesn’t have to stay that way— you can always re-purpose it into a podcast or a video, or even rewrite it as a guest post on other websites. The key here is to make it unique every time and customize it to appeal the audience of the publication or the site where it will be appearing.

Producing quality content is hard enough, but creating tons of quality content on a regular basis can be consuming and overwhelming for most marketers. Try out these helpful tips to accomplish your content creation goals for this year!
View Our SEO Methods

 

marketing strategies

Increasing Your Website Traffic For Free

 

Are you still struggling to increase your website traffic, even if you already tried every possible method there is? Does it seem like no matter what you do, the numbers just won’t budge and it doesn’t produce enough money?

Well, I have good news for you-you really don’t need to be an expert at SEO or copywriting in order to increase your website traffic. You don’t even have to spend lots of money because can do it for free! All you need is a proven and tested system that you can utilize on your website right now.

Here’s how it looks like:

First: Optimizing your content

This is the basis of the system. If you truly want to increase website traffic, then first you need to make sure that your content is well-optimized. Otherwise, the traffic will only increase in a short period of time. Remember, consistency is very important.

Second: Crushing the social media

Once your website is well prepared and ready for more traffic, you must now initiate driving traffic into it. You’ll soon learn how to implement this part as we continue the discussion.

Third: Familiarizing content outreach

Social media is only a glimpse of the bigger picture. You must also drive your content in front of new target audiences in order to draw in more traffic.

Now that you’re done with the overview, let’s jump right in and learn the rest of the techniques!

optimize content

 

OPTIMIZING YOUR CONTENT

I. Take note of your current statistics:

Before you even begin growing your website traffic, you first need to know your current traffic statistics because that is your baseline data. From there, you can start to see how your efforts are driving your traffic growth. Be sure to set up a tracking code in Google Analytics for this one. If you don’t have it yet, better do it now. Here are some of the essential metrics you should take note of:

  • Exit pages
  • Pageviews
  • Bounce rate
  • Pages per visit
  • Unique visitors
  • Average time on site
  • Traffic sources (search, direct, and referral)

II. Often check your website traffic:

When testing new strategies, of course, you need to know how they’re performing. That’s why you have to check your website traffic more often– at least a few times a week. By doing so, you’ll be able to determine what’s working and what’s not.

III. Creating a newer and better strategy in content marketing:

Here’s where a lot of businesses fall off the tracks. You can try out all methods to boost your SEO, but without a solid strategy in content marketing, you’re just wasting your time. So the question is, how do you make it better? Let’s first talk about the types of content that should be incorporated into your strategy:

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • eBooks
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics

A good content marketing strategy should have a mix of all these types of content. As for your actual strategy, it should include (but not limited to) the following elements:

a) Frequent posting
b) Amplify the scope of your content
c) How would you set your content apart from the competition
d) Determine the primary goal of your content (generate leads, increase traffic)
e) Define your audience (Who are they? How can you help them through your content?)

IV. Compelling blog titles:

A compelling title is what sells your content. If you want your content to be read and to rank in search engines – then opt for great blog titles. There are two main things you must optimize for your blog titles: Search traffic and Social traffic.

To do so, your headlines should have the right length, the right keywords, and compelling enough for social media users to click on them. Here are some tips for writing better headlines:

  • Ask a question
  • Create curiosity
  • Use power words
  • Make it as clear as possible
  • Occasional use of alliteration
  • Use list posts (“10 Ways On How To”)

content writing

 

V. Writing better content:

A great content marketing strategy with catchy blog titles won’t do enough if you don’t have compelling content. So how do you make it even better?

a) People have low attention spans so you better hook them in from the beginning. If you don’t have a compelling start on your blog posts, then chances are people will just click exit in a matter of seconds.

b) Use shorter paragraphs. Avoid huge blocks of text and long paragraphs. Try to keep your paragraphs under 5-6 lines.

c) Tell more stories. Stories drive us to take action and connect with us emotionally. Adding in stories into your content is always a good idea.

VI. Making use of eye-catching (and high quality!) photos:

Is a picture really worth a thousand words? Of course, it does. High quality and attention-getting photos can do wonders for your traffic. They make your posts more visually appealing, and in return, the readers would want to share your article or blog post on their social media accounts. When you combine a catchy blog title with a strong image, you give it the best opportunity to generate more clicks and traffic.

VII. Why internal linking is very important:

Internal linking refers to adding links from one page on your website to another page on your website, or from one recent blog post to some of your older blog posts. Most websites don’t use this technique quite enough.

Why bother with it anyway? Internal links are useful because they help your readers navigate through your website without having to manually search each blog post or article. It also improves the search rank of the pages you link to.

How to do it right:
a) Creating more quality content. The more content you have, the more post you can link to. It’s that simple.

b) Utilize appropriate anchor text. If you want to internally link one blog post to another, you can write a sentence in one blog that has a similar sound to another blog post.

c) Only link to relevant posts. You shouldn’t link just for the sake of building links. Remember to link to posts that will add to your readers’ interest and experience. By doing so, the next time your audience will read a post on your blog, they are more compelled to click the links because they know that those are relevant.

d) Do not overdo it. Anything more than 5-10 internal links in a 1,000-word article or blog post is just an overkill. Be sure to limit your links.

auditing content

 

VIII. Auditing all your content:

Should you delete a bunch of your content, and yet still double your website traffic? Yes, you definitely should.

You have to understand the fact that when you’ve had a website for several years, you can start bumping into certain problems like irrelevant and redundant content that no longer meets your brand’s message or objectives. By performing a content audit, you can easily solve these issues.

Additionally, a content audit can greatly improve your SEO ranking. Let’s face it; quality content is the new SEO. After all, Google wants the best quality experience for the users and by completing a content audit, you indicate that you’re seeking to produce the highest quality experience for your audience as well.

But before we get into it, here are the things you need to do first. Go through all the archive of your content and put them into a spreadsheet. Yes, every post and every page. Next, categorize each one according to these categories:

a) Keep. Good content that should stay on your site.
b) Update. The post is on-brand but it needs a little updating.
c) Combine. Short posts on a related topic that can be combined into one.
d) Delete. Posts to remove because they’re off-brand or irrelevant.

After that, use the following steps to conduct the content audit:

First: Update and enhance the content in the “Improve” and “Keep” categories. Consider building lead magnets for higher traffic articles. You can apply these criteria when examining your content:

– Is it easy to read?
– Is the formatting on point?
– Are the photos SEO-friendly?
– Are the affiliate links accurate?
– Is the writing quality up to par?
– Are there a sufficient number of internal links?
– Is the title optimized for both social media and search engines?
– For posts that you updated and combined, be sure to remove any older comments that are no longer applicable, so as not to mislead the readers.

Second: Combine the shorter, similar blog posts into a lengthy but quality content. You’ll be surprised to know that you probably have several groups of related posts to merge.

Third: Remove all the content from the “Delete” category. You need to eliminate any content that you no longer see fit for your site.

Auditing all your content may not be an easy process, but if you put in the work and truly invest your time into it, you can see some exceptional results with your traffic numbers. That’s why we highly suggest giving it a shot.

social media

 

CRUSHING THE SOCIAL MEDIA

How to properly share your content: In terms of how to get traffic to your website, social media is the next big key. Here are some helpful tips on how you can get the most shares, engagement, and traffic:

I. Optimizing each platform

Social media posts look differently on different platforms. That’s why optimizing your posts for each of them is very important. For instance, in Facebook, a great post should include the following:

– High-quality photo
– Quality description
– Compelling link description underneath the photo

II. Come up with a sharing schedule

How often should you share your content on social media? Having a functional sharing schedule is vital at this stage. This keeps you organized so won’t be under-sharing or over-sharing your content. Keep in mind that not all of your content must be shared in all of your platforms. You need to choose carefully and think which is relevant enough to be shared and posted.

III. Add sharing buttons to your website

Proper sharing of your content is important – but an added bonus is if you can get your audience to share it straight from your website. To do that, simply integrate some easy social sharing buttons.

IV. Please don’t be a spammer

If one of your posts does not seem to draw in attention the first time you share it, then don’t try to keep reposting it the same way. This is a spammy action and it will eventually drive your audience away if you keep doing it. Rather than doing so, be sure to aim for a solid mix of social media content—share videos, blog posts, and various content from other influencers that could add interest and value to your readers.

V. Learn to post during peak hours

There’s a method on how to effectively gain more audience and more traffic to your site. How? By having a posting schedule that meets the peak hours. Here are some of the best times to post on various social media platforms:

Facebook: The best time to post: between 1-3 PM; The best days to post: Thursday and Friday
Instagram: The best time to post: 2 AM; The best days to post: Wednesday
Twitter: The best time to post: 12 PM, 5-6 PM; The best days to post: Wednesday and Thursday
LinkedIn: The best time to post: 12 PM; The best days to post: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

content outreach strategy

 

FAMILIARIZING CONTENT OUTREACH

I. Use Republishing to Get Featured on Large Websites:

So your website and social media are now optimized, but you still need to do the final step: get your content in front of new audiences. One way to do that is to get your content re-published on high-ranking websites and large publications.

This method is ideal because you won’t have to spend many hours writing new guest posts every month, and you can also get some proper linking from high ranking sites. But first, here are some things you need to remember:

a) Review and follow the publishing guidelines of the site
b) Aim to include 3 to 4 backlinks to your blog posts
c) Be sure to change the titles so Google won’t get confused when ranking them

With this, you can easily get more posts a month without having to do extra work on your part. Most importantly, these can bring you a ton of website traffic.

II. Getting more guest posts:

While having your content republished is easier, you should still write 2 to 3 guest posts a month (or more). Guest posting greatly improves your SEO rank, and it also introduces your content to more audiences.

RECAP:

If you take enough action and utilize these proven techniques, then you’ll surely gain more traffic to your website. Let’s recap the three main steps you need to do:

a) Optimizing your content
b) Crushing the social media
c) Familiarizing content outreach

All of these things might sound overwhelming at first, but once you start doing it you’ll soon realize that your website traffic is getting better and better. That’s how most website owners do it—and how you should do it too! Try these methods now and see for yourself.
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Negative Seo Attack

Understanding Negative SEO Attack and How to Prevent It From Happening

 

The Internet has become really overcrowded, congested, and highly competitive over the past few years. Nowadays, when you search for a specific topic or product online, you’re going to get a whole lot of search results in an instant. Not just hundreds but over thousands of them—maybe even hundreds of thousands!

With that being said, nobody would click through each one of those sites. Most people would only click on the first few results that are listed and then adjust or modify their search if they don’t see what they’re looking for.

This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes to play. SEO is a collection of techniques and methods to fully optimize a website with the sole purpose of getting it to the top of the search result rankings for specific terms or keywords. But then again, where one thing serves to positively impact the rankings, there are those who will find ways and invest a ridiculous amount of time to utilize SEO for the opposite outcome.

While top search engines, like Google, have learned to identify a lot of these issues, a lot of questionable and shady companies still feel like they would rather try to tear other websites down instead of just focusing on their own growth.

It is important to note that when you get hit by these types of negative “SEO attacks,” it can sometimes be difficult to bounce back—but certainly not impossible. Before we dig deeper, let’s first start with the basics so that you can accurately recognize what these tactics are, how you can prevent them from happening, and what to do if you ever encounter these issues.

how SEO works

 

Understanding How SEO Works

Search engine optimization is a collection of useful methods that cater to both user experience and Google’s algorithm. The ranking factors that work into Google algorithm have different weights and value, and the algorithm continually shifts.

If you present relevant information on your site for your readers and online visitors, design a user-friendly experience, and fulfil all the distinguished algorithm factors, then your website has a great chance of climbing up on the search results list for your brand’s targeted keywords. This kind of SEO is usually called “white hat SEO”, but you can just think of it as the ethical and established method to boost your site’s audience and traffic.

Nevertheless, depending on the industry you’re into, the competition for rankings can be quite intense.

To be able to get to the top or gain the upper hand in this highly competitive field, some companies have tried to manipulate the system by using dirty SEO tactics. These corrupt SEO practices usually referred to as “black hat SEO”, are not tolerated by Google so they penalize these online companies when caught. However, there are always those who are willing to take the risk just so they could drag other companies down.

Learn About Negative SEO

Google has grown faster in intercepting webmasters who use unethical SEO methods and has executed firmer punishments for the offenders (banning of websites, lowering the ranks, and many more). Still, some companies who are too desperate to increase their search rankings have found ways to hack into the websites of their competitors and perform some damaging procedures on those sites.

Some don’t even have to go that far. Now, there are loads of tactics that they can perform to make it appear as if your website is just acting up and doing some questionable things on its own, whether it’s scouring and posting your content, creating problems with your local profile, or building thousands of links from dubious sites.

The ultimate goal of negative SEO is to reduce the rankings of rival websites. They believe that this will consequently raise their own rankings once the competition is out of the way.

black hat SEO

 

How To Know If Your Website Has Been Attacked

More often than not, negative SEO attacks come in the form of fake reviews, spammy links, or an outright website hack.

There are obvious signs that your website has been hit by negative SEO. Look into the analytics of your website; if you start noticing sharp decreases or increases in bounce rate and website traffic, these are usually red flags and it may suggest that something is going on. Moreover, try to detect any coding and formatting issues during the routine maintenance of your website as it may be an indication that your site has been hacked.

There are various ways that this can be attempted. The most frequent example of negative SEO that gets addressed is link-based negative SEO, but there are several other approaches that corrupt people can apply to try to decrease your rankings. Here are some of the most common type of links that you will usually see when someone is trying to hit you with negative links:

  • Links from foreign forums
  • Huge number of links from total nonsense blog entries
  • Loads of keyword-anchored links from various sources
  • An influx of bad links from websites such as payday loan sites, gambling sites, porn sites, and a whole lot more.
  • A large number of links from sites with TLDs of .cz, .ru, .pl, .cn, .ro, .biz, .bg, .com.br, .com.ar, and .info. Not all of these links are going to be harmful, but if you are suddenly noticing an influx of links from these kinds of sites, it could be a sign of an attack.

Things You Can Do If Your Website Has Been Hit By Negative SEO

If you believe that your website has been hit with negative SEO, there are some actions you can execute in order to avert further damages that could sometimes be irreversible.

It is crucial that you take prompt efforts to fix these problems and inform Google of the negative SEO attack. Take note that when you are upfront and direct with Google about these issues, it implies that you’re actively addressing the matter and they will not likely put your website at a disadvantage for those unethical SEO procedures.

Listed below are some measures you can take to prevent an attack from occurring and how to block a negative SEO attack:

I. The Speed of Your Website
If you ever notice an abrupt slowdown in your website’s load speed, it may be possible that your site has gotten attack either by a hacker, a virus or with negative SEO.

One strategy of negative SEO includes crawling a website. This “forceful” crawling places a strain on the web server, thus, prompting the website to slow down and even crash. The speed of your website is an important ranking factor for search results. If you don’t contact your webmaster or web hosting provider immediately, you will definitely get a number of frustrated online visitors and this will eventually lower your search result rankings.

sudden spike of links

II. Always Keep an Eye on Your Links
Conducting routine inspections on your website’s links is a great way to identify potentially suspicious negative SEO activity. Frequent monitoring of your link profile can also help you intercept a possible attack and prevent it from occurring and spiralling out of control.

So, what should you particularly look for?

  •  Upon looking into your website analytics, an ideal, typical graph will reveal a progressive increase in linking and backlinks domains.
  • If the graph for your website presents sudden drops or spikes; better be aware. Pay particular attention if you see any sharp spikes or drops when you have not been working on link building. These things are huge red flags.
  • You should constantly check the content on your website, as well as the links within the content. For instance, if your website gets hacked, a couple of your contents may hold additional spammy links and foreign links that get redirected to either an inappropriate site or to another competitor’s website. If you’ve noticed a sudden rush of spammy links on your website, promptly alert Google and have them disavow those links.

III. Watch Out for Copy-Cat Content
If you constantly deliver great, quality, and original content, be very aware of content scraping.

Content marketing has grown to be a major player involving SEO during the past few years. Useful, interesting, relevant, and original content has also become an essential ranking factor in Google algorithms. With content being one of the leading factors in raising search ranking, some companies will do whatever it takes to pack up the content on their website—which may even include stealing content from another website and declaring it as their very own.

In negative SEO, the attackers will duplicate content (verbatim) from another website, post it on their own site, declare it as their own and mix it up with a link farm attack. Be aware that duplicate content can hugely influence the rankings of your website. If your content is not indexed before the duplicate content, your content will then be marked by Google as the copied. The result? Your website will be the one that will be penalized with lowered search result rankings. We wouldn’t want that now, do we?

search engine ranks

 

IV. Monitor Your Search Engine Rankings
A sudden drop in your website’s search rankings can be a sign of incorrect SERP rankings induced by an unethical SEO attack.

If this happens, please make sure that your website’s robot.txt. is properly set up. Also, if you want to obtain a complete, comprehensive view of the status of your website and how it’s currently doing, you can always utilize several of Google’s analytics tools. Use everything you can to ensure that your website is safe and well-maintained.

V. Keep Track of Your Website’s Click Through Rate
The Click through rate is a useful indicator of whether you’re drawing in the right or wrong kind of online visitors, and if all your content is what your audiences are looking for. If you’re bringing in wrong audiences they will likely find your webpage content to be uninteresting, irrelevant and/or useless which would result in a low CTR.

However, if you have done sufficient audience research and you are constantly generating the same type of content, your click-through rate will be high. So if you notice an abrupt decrease in your website’s CTR, then something is definitely not right. On the other hand, a high bounce rate (which is usually hand-in-hand with a low CTR) may mean that a negative SEO attack has transpired on your website. In which cases, the bounce rate results can be a sign of false SERPs generated by malicious bots.

VI. Keep Watch on Google My Business
Another favourite method of negative SEO attackers includes overwhelming a company’s online business listing with false, negative reviews.

Unless your company has had some sort of hiccup or disagreement, an overabundance of negative reviews is highly questionable. If you don’t do anything to address these fake reviews, they will consume your company’s character and reputation which can lead to decreased sales and profits. No need to worry though, with Google My Business, it’s very easy to report these fake, malicious, negative reviews. All you need to do is locate your business listing, find review summary, click ‘flag fake reviews’ and simply fill out the report form. Pretty easy, right?

website security

 

VII. Increase and Tighten Your Security
Even if negative SEO attacks are not the same as cyber-attacks, both of them can negatively influence your website’s search rankings. When Google catches a site that has likely been hacked by a cyber-attack, the website is then flagged with a line, suggesting that the website has been compromised. Normally, this warning is sufficient enough to scare potential website traffic away.

To defend your website against any cyber-attacks, be sure that your web security is up-to-date and working smoothly. Some recommendations for a more thoroughly protected website include migrating the site from HTTP to HTTPS, establishing security patches on your website software, and making sure that your CMS or content management system is outfitted with user encryption protection.

After reading all these and you’ve noticed that your website has likely been a victim of a negative SEO attack, you do not have to panic. You do, however, have to promptly respond to fix the issues before it turns into a bigger problem with potentially unchangeable outcomes.

Lastly, remember that not all negative SEO attacks are easily detectable. It is necessary to regularly monitor the content and performance of your website in order to prevent any potential negative SEO attacks or to block an attack to stop it from escalating.
View Our Web Security Methods

Google SEO Ranking Factors in 2017 [Infographic]

 

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a very dynamic field that continually evolves day in and day out. And it’s no surprise that the top search engine such as Google continues to change and improve its algorithm and results pages. There is nothing more important than keeping up with improvements in Google ranking factors.

Making it to the top of Google SERPs takes a whole lot of courage and hard work. Each site must adhere to the more than 200 components, or as others may refer “ranking signals,” that makeup Google’s top ranking. Although it is advantageous and useful to be familiar with the ranking signals, it can be a very daunting and time-consuming task.

Fortunately, SEO is not about hitting the bull’s eye on every single one of the 200+ ranking signals. SEO is about setting your priorities right. There is a handful, or more, of tricks or cheats that could save you time and other resources. What you need to understand is Google ranking factors were not created equal. By focusing on specific ranking factors, you’ll be able to maximise your site’s SEO efforts.

So, we have compiled a list of Google ranking factors in order to maximise SEO, from mobile-first indexing to social media footprint. Check out the infographic below to find out more of today’s vital signals to increase your site’s organic traffic, just in time before 2017 ends.

 

Google SEO Ranking Factors 2017
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SEO Strategies outdated

5 Outdated SEO Strategies That You Should Avoid

 

With more and more people relying on the Internet for practically anything they need, the call for site developers to up their game in terms of search engine effectiveness has never been more real. Indeed, the SEO game has been upgraded yet again.

With the ever-changing algorithm of the Google landscape, developers and SEO wizards find themselves armed with a plethora of SEO strategies and techniques to navigate the terrain, but sadly, most are now considered obsolete and should be avoided altogether. Failure to do so could potentially harm your site rather than give it the boost you expect.

Here are some SEO strategies that you should watch out for and avoid at all cost.

 

seo strategies image optimisation

 

Failure to optimize images along with the content should be avoided.

Since optimizing images is not part of the SEO strategy, it is one technique that tends to be overlooked. By adding some relevant keywords and shortcut references to images that are relevant to the article greatly increases the chances of a search engine recognizing it and accepting it as a link to a legitimate site.

Bombarding your website with keywords is a big no-no.

Rather than boost your rankings among websites, keyword stuffing as it is popularly known can harm your site irreparably. Google’s new algorithms can flag a stuffed site as potentially harmful or even block it altogether. Placing a few well thought of keywords in strategic locations on your web design is the way to go.

 

seo strategies

 

Not executing a canonical when you should.

If you anticipate a possible site duplication scenario, take the necessary steps to ensure that search engines will direct traffic to your site and not treat it as a duplicate.

Forgetting to index your pages.

Indexing is important because it assures the continuity in a search or ranking situation by getting rid of blank pages in the search stream. 404 page not found errors interrupt the search or ranking process and therefore exclude your site in search engines.

seo strategies

 

Failing to update your site and introduce new content renders your site stale.

Most companies become complacent after their site is set up and just leave it alone until it dies. Updating site content now and then with new material interesting tidbits ensures the survival of the site and a steady stream of traffic instead of a decline.

Avoiding making mistakes is the first thing to keep in mind as Internet marketers, yet a difficult task. SEO Agency London recommends you adapt and adjust your SEO strategies with the latest in the industry and leave the old behind.
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