How to make your site user-friendly while boosting SEO

Many Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) specialists, content writers, and web designers think of on-site SEO as distasteful, user-hostile work. However, I believe SEO can actually improve the user experience when implemented correctly.

yourstory_SEO

It requires a paradigm shift in the perception of SEO. You must shed outdated SEO concepts such as keyword stuffing, and getting massive amounts of (irrelevant) backlinks etc. An SEO strategy built on top of these tactics is no longer sound, and leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

This is because Google has come a long, long way since it became everyone’s search engine of choice in the early 2000s. Search is now smarter, faster, and – more importantly – human.

When AI Meets SEO

Artificial intelligence is slowly gaining traction within the marketing industry and this is particularly true when it comes to SEO. But what does it mean for marketers and their brands operating in the digital space, asks John Ring.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is evolving! That isn’t really news as there have always been changes for content creators to get to grips with. Every time Google changed the emphasis they placed on each element, there would need to be some tweaking, or an adjustment to how a piece of content was written or presented, but this time we are seeing less of an evolution and more of a revolution.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become the area of growth for technology companies in recent times with Google, Facebook, and other big players like Amazon etc all developing AI tools for sentiment analysis, precision product recommendations, and image and voice recognition techniques. AI is also finding a role in predictive customer service, and accurate advert targeting.

What does this mean for SEO?

For SEO the growth of AI means a significant change to the way marketers think about their content. In the early days of SEO it was all about the keywords. Google would scan pages and identify individual words and phrases, and the arrangement and frequency of these words on the page was largely what determined where a paged ranked in a Google search. This began to change in 2015 when Google introduced RankBrain, a machine learning tool that can actually determine what words or phrases mean, and which other phrases might have a similar meaning.

Learning without humans

Over recent months we have started to gain a clearer idea of how AI is going to impact search engine rankings and how SEO will need to adapt to accommodate these changes.

The development of algorithms that enable machines to “learn” to process data, and apply what they learn to future tasks takes SEO to a new level.

Search engines are effectively becoming smarter, and their ability to process natural language is making them more human friendly, while humans are increasingly sidelined in the process. It appears that the ultimate aim of Google is to ensure that its search algorithms are able to learn and update themselves automatically, without human interference.

For SEO one of the most noticeable features of this ‘auto-updating’ by Google is likely to be the way future updates are handled. Over many years SEO people have become used to sudden changes in Google rankings as each new update brings changes to the way websites are ranked. With less direct human involvement it is probable that there will be far fewer of these sudden ‘all-at-once’ changes. AI involves a gradual evolution process as the machine learning-based search algorithm gains experience and starts to make more and more connections over time.

The end of keywords?

As AI develops we will begin to see less focus on individual keywords, and a shift towards in-depth content that provides detailed, valuable information on a subject. Long-tailed keywords will thrive in this environment. Articles being written around a specific keyword will become a thing of the past as Google reads the natural language content and understands the relevance of the topic even if the specific keyword is not mentioned explicitly.

Aside from the changes to the way written content is handled by Google, there will also be significant changes to the way visual content will be optimised in the future. Visual content used to be a problem to optimise to achieve good rankings but Google is getting better at analysing what visual content is about, and this means that marketers will need to pay close attention to optimising their videos and pictures including their related descriptions, length, tags, etc.

Natural language search

Voice search is another area that AI is starting to revolutionise. In part, this is being driven by the rise in searches on mobile devices. We have become comfortable with Siri, Google Now, and Cortana acting as virtual assistants, always on hand to answer any questions at a moments notice. What marketers are only just starting to wake up to is the changes this type of searching brings to SEO. When typing a search query into a box most of us will abbreviate the search to one or two keywords. When using voice search we tend to act differently often using full sentences to ask our question. As AI enables voice search to develop further we will see it become even more conversational.

For SEO the implications of this trend are obvious. Marketers must start to actively research keywords for conversational queries and create quality content that includes appropriate phraseology.

All about value

While AI will revolutionise the way people search, if you are already doing best practice SEO it may make almost no difference to your business. It has long been understood that what Google looks for in a website is “value for the reader”. They like websites that provide high quality information, great resources in specific niches that are both relevant and informative. If you are creating content like this already then you have a great head-start in this new AI world. It is the websites that employ decade-old techniques and poorly written content that are going to struggle as Google begins to understand that their material offers little real value to the reader. Those sites where readers tend to bounce away quickly, without stopping to read that are going to suffer most from improvements in AI.

Conversely, websites that AI recognises as being authoritative, and useful will see their rankings and thus visibility soar. One of the clearest ways to mark your website as being authoritative is through link relevance. The days of making your website appear important simply by having a large number of links pointing towards it are dying. In the very near future, it is backlinks from other relevant websites in the same niche that will help to determine how Google ranks your website. If all your backlinks come from the same niche or industry as your website you will achieve a higher ranking than if you acquire many links from random websites across a range of industries. By restricting the content of your website to one niche and becoming an authority on it, and then seeking out backlinks just from that niche is going to be the way forward for successful SEO.

As AI becomes even better at identifying content, attempts to game the system are going to become increasingly futile as it becomes impossible to out-smart the ever-learning algorithm.

Invest in best practice

In the future the way to get your content in front of the biggest audience will be through taking the time to invest your resources in industry best practices. Creating great content, and engaging with your audience and other influencers in your niche will work out much better than any short-term gain from dubious practices. As AI becomes better as determining the value of each piece of content SEO will become more natural and intuitive and we will witness the death of “SEO-friendly articles”. Content written which offers no real value to the reader is not going to survive in the AI world.

We are on the cusp of seeing an Internet in which long-form, detailed, articles become the norm rather than the exception. Over the coming months and years, even more than today, it is going to be quality, and value to the reader which determines the ranking and thus brand visibility of any piece of online content.

[“Source-adworld”]

Most important and highly used WordPress SEO tools and plugins for everyone

Image result for Most important and highly used WordPress SEO tools and plugins for everyonePowerful SEO tools and plugins that not only improve the speed of your WordPress website but also making the rank of the website better. Below I have shared some of the best and most used SEO tools and plugins suggested by lots of SEO companies that can take your business to the next higher level.

WordPress SEO by Yoast:

Yoast is one of the perfect SEO solutions and caters various benefits to its users. It’s free and can be installed easily on any self-hosted WordPress website. For additional functionality, you can also purchase premium Yoast SEO.
With the use or help of Yoast we can:-

• Create and submit sitemap of our websites in XML format that also supports images.
• Add SEO title, Meta description, and Meta keywords to each post and page of your site
• Add custom title for your main site, archives, and category and tag pages
• Add Open Graph Metadata that shows you the correct title, description, and image for Facebook, Twitter Cards, Sitemaps and ping search engines at the time of site updating.
• Add custom RSS footer for our WordPress posts

SEMRush

It’s a most important and most accurate SEO tool used in long term keyword researching. Various SEO strategies you can deploy with the help of SEMRush. Nothing and no other SEO tool can beat SEMRush to do competitor analysis. Backlink analysis, the discovery of top keywords, estimate the passage of any site etc. can be accomplished via this perfect competitor research tool.
A SEMRush dashboard offers an open platform to check our website’s health or how a site is performing or to fix any SEO issue if it has. In addition to it, SEMRush also provides Organic keywords, traffic, Ads, position tracking visibility, SEO ideas etc. SEMRush is a paid invaluable see go-to tool that tops the charts to increase search engine traffic and always rank better. SEMRush is one of the favorite tools used by most of Website Development Company who also caters WordPress development services.

Google Keyword Planner

Keyword planner allows the user to identify, analyze and select the most popular and relevant keywords with high search volume to their niche, products or services. Investing a significant amount of time and money in keyword research will repay your every little SEO efforts and assure the success and high revenue of your business.
With the help of best free keyword research, you can

• Search out and swipe your competitor’s keywords
• Find out long tail local keywords in much faster way and easily outrank all other sites
• Search out for niche markets and other topics to blog about
• Create ad words campaigns easily

Google XML Sitemaps

Sitemap accomplishes fundamental requirement of search engines that the new or modified content is crawled and indexed. You can submit the sitemap by free sitemap creator or by paid sitemaps. Google XML Sitemaps is free, most reliable and easiest way to submit a website to search engines. After creating and submitting a sitemap in XML language, the content of sites such as category, tags, and media will update automatically. Best thing is that Google offers free service to submit your sitemap to Google, no charges. Other finest benefits of XML sitemaps are that your site or content can be efficiently and effectively crawled.

W3 Total Cache

Best WordPress plugin offered by the Google loading the websites much faster for users. High page speed via W3 Total Cache plugin can also increase page hits. With the help of W3 Total Cache plugin you can:-

• Cache pages and use browser caching
• Page compression for static pages
• Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Google Analyticator

You can connect your website with Google Analytics via Google Analyticator plugins. Most used this SEO plugin offers unique and ultimate features to their users and some of them are mentioned below:-

• Filter log of logged-in users
• Website loading speed and inbound linking can be tracked easily
• Adsense Ads can also be tracked.

LinkPatrol

This premium plugin helps you to control all the web links on your website. You can clean up all your anchor text, spammy links, and link juice problems as well as can monitor all the outgoing links on your site.

Open Site Explorer

With the help of this free tool, you can get significant information for any domain name such as what anchor texts and links a particular domain is using, top pages, linking domains etc.

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[“Source-customerthink.”]

Seven reasons why your business needs SEO marketing

seo-business

Every business needs promotion and SEO is one of the best techniques to promote your business online. Many people consider that ‘SEO is Dead’ but this is not true. This is the most effective marketing technique that enhances your online presence and boosts your ranking in search results. Here in this guide, we have mentioned top reasons that make SEO most successful marketing tool.

  • It still works

This is a proven strategy even major search engines release major updates to its algorithm. Nowadays the core aspect of Search Engine Optimization is focus on experiences of users. If you have user friendly site with proper navigation, then you will definitely get good rankings in SERPs. SEO will work as long as people will use search engines.

  • SEO is an Investment

You will definitely get high return on your investment. You can check web analytics data to observe that there are certain keywords that have great conversion rates for which you rank on page#3 or #2 on major search engines.  If your keywords rank on 1 or 2nd page of Google, you will get lots of clicks and massive traffic to your website. This would be the highest ROI into Search Engine Optimization

  • This is a crucial part of your marketing mix

Search engine optimization is the master when it comes with boost sale and conversion. This is not the only process that is required to take your business to next level or reach your highest marketing potential.  But SEO is important to strengthen each segment of your marketing process.

  • Search Engines are a major gateway

The numbers of products are increasing day by day that rises demands and offers. People check reviews of products online by using major search engines. You have to adapt this trend as this is must. You have to increase your online presence via boosting ranking of your web pages in major search engines.

  • It saves your money

The pricing of SEO differs and this is cost effective. You can promote your business online by using SEO services. This is easier and cheaper way to spread word about your business.  It takes some time to provide results but it produces lasting results. You can get much greater return on investment than anything else. If you get listed on 1st page of Google, you can attract massive traffic to your website that helps increase conversion rate.

  • Your competitors are doing SEO

If you don’t invest in SEO, you may have risk of losing major benefits to know who your competitors are. You can also play ahead of your competitors by engaging in Search Engine Optimization activities.

  • Rise of Mobile:

Nowadays businesses have reached in the palm of customers. People have started using mobiles and they use search engines to find any product and service.

These are seven top reasons that make SEO a necessity for a business. You should look for SEO services to get your business ranked on 1st page. Cross Graphic Ideas is the best SEO Company in Jaipur which offers result driven SEO services Jaipur at best price.

[“Source-udaipurtimes”]

SEO: 7 Reasons to Use a Site Crawler

Image result for SEO: 7 Reasons to Use a Site Crawler

Third-party crawlers, such as DeepCrawl (shown here) and Screaming Frog, can mimic search engine bots and uncover problems to a site that affect search rankings.

No matter how well you think you know your site, a crawler will always turn up something new. In some cases, it’s those things that you don’t know about that can sink your SEO ship.

Search engines use highly developed bots to crawl the web looking for content to index. If a search engine’s crawlers can’t find the content on your site, it won’t rank or drive natural search traffic. Even if it’s findable, if the content on your site isn’t sending the appropriate relevance signals, it still won’t rank or drive natural search traffic.

Since they mimic the actions of more sophisticated search engine crawlers, third-party crawlers, such as DeepCrawl and Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider, can uncover a wide variety of technical and content issues to improve natural search performance.

7 Reasons to Use a Site Crawler

What’s out there? Owners and managers think of their websites as the pieces that customers will (hopefully) see. But search engines find and remember all the obsolete and orphaned areas of sites, as well. A crawler can help catalog the outdated content so that you can determine what to do next. Maybe some of it is still useful if it’s refreshed. Maybe some of it can be 301 redirected so that its link authority can strengthen other areas of the site.

How is this page performing? Some crawlers can pull analytics data in from Google Search Console and Google Analytics. They make it easy to view correlations between the performance of individual pages and the data found on the page itself.

Not enough indexation or way too much? By omission, crawlers can identify what’s potentially not accessible by bots. If your crawl report has some holes where you know sections of your site should be, can bots access that content? If not, there might be a problem with disallows, noindexcommands, or the way it’s coded that is keeping bots out.

Alternately, a crawler can show you when you have duplicate content. When your sifting through the URLs listed, look for telltale signs like redundant product ID numbers or duplicate title tags or other signs that the content might be the same between two or more pages.

Keep in mind that the ability to crawl does not equate to indexation, merely the ability to be indexed.

What’s that error, and why is that redirecting? Crawlers make finding and reviewing technical fixes much faster. A quick crawl of the site automatically returns a server header status code for every page encountered. Simply filter for the 404s and you have a list of errors to track down. Need to test those redirects that just went live? Switch to list mode and specify the old URLs to crawl. Your crawler will tell you which are redirecting and where they’re sending visitors to now.

Is the metadata complete? Without a crawler, it’s too difficult to identify existing metadata and create a plan to optimize it on a larger scale. Use it to quickly gather data about title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords, H headings, language tags, and more.

Does the site send mixed signals? When not structured correctly, data on individual pages can tie bots into knots. Canonical tags and robots directives, in combination with redirects and disallows affecting the same pages, can send a combination of confusing signals to search engines that can mess up your indexation and ability to perform in natural search.

If you have a sudden problem with performance in a key page, check for a noindex directive and, also, confirm the page that the canonical tag specifies. Does it convey contradictory signals to a redirect sending traffic to the page, or a disallow in the robots.txt file? You never know when something could accidentally change as a result of some other release that developers pushed out.

Is the text correct? Some crawlers also allow you to search for custom bits of text on a page. Maybe your company is rebranding and you want to be sure that you find every instance of the old brand on the site. Or maybe you recently updated schema on a page template and you want to be sure that it’s found on certain pages. If it’s something that involves searching for and reporting on a piece of text within the source code of a group of web pages, your crawler can help.

Plan Crawl Times

It’s important to remember, however, that third-party crawlers can put a heavy burden on your servers. They tend to be set to crawl too quickly as a default, and the rapid-fire requests can stress your servers if they’re already experiencing a high customer volume. Your development team may even have blocked your crawler previously based on suspected scraping by spammers.

Talk to your developers to explain what you need to accomplish and ask for the best time to do it. They almost certainly have a crawler that they use — they may even be able to give you access to their software license. Or they may volunteer to do the crawl for you and send you the file. At the least, they’ll want to advise you as to the best times of day to crawl and the frequency at which to set the bot’s requests. It’s a small courtesy that helps build respect.

[“Source-practicalecommerce”]

Walkthrough – How to Conduct a Technical SEO Audit for Your Site

seo audit

What is an SEO Audit?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Audit is an evaluation of search engine friendliness of a website in a number of specific areas.

It identifies issues that need improvement, can be a basis for an action plan and helps to keep a website up-to-date with newest developments in a search marketing. General in-depth SEO Audit strategy usually includes 4 important parts:

  • Technical Analysis
  • On-Page Analysis
  • Off-Page Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis and Keyword Research

When is an SEO Audit needed?

Nowadays SEO industry is changing rapidly, as the content requirements set up by Google are quite high and are getting higher every day. So it is becoming more and more important to keep an eye on the website’s health. For that purpose, SEO industry has both SEO specialists and a number of automated tools.

Latest investigations recommend a quick SEO Analysis every month and in-depth full SEO Analysis once a quarter or at least twice a year, for the website to be competitive and well-visited. Also, it is important to do an SEO Audit at the beginning of a new project or before the first website release.

Why is Technical SEO Audit important?

As a part of a full SEO Audit, the technical analysis is a first thing to do, for it shows whether the website is working properly. If the website has a lot of technical issues, it affects general website performance and a number of visits.

Technical SEO Audit is aimed to ease the crawl and indexing the website in search engine, find broken links, improve rankings and optimize the overall speed of the website work.

It is a basis of the SEO Audit strategy. Technical analysis can be compared to a foundation of a house. If a foundation is bad or broken, everything else will be crooked too.

What is checked by Technical SEO Audit?

As already mentioned, technical analysis is the best place to start a complete SEO Audit. It will bring quick wins and will help to plan the basic improvement of the website. The main aspects to be checked are websites:

  • Accessibility
  • Indexability
  • Site Performance

Let’s make a short overview of each of them.

Accessibility

It is important to make sure that the website’s content is available for search engines. When this step contains even one single mistake, the website won’t be crawled by search engines, which leads to the lack of rankings, for nobody will be able to find such a website. This issue, though, is easy to find and fix. The most used are the Robots.txt Checker tool. It will find whether there are any pages blocked from crawling.

Accessibility checks up also include an investigation of HTTP Status Codes. The process is well-known. A crawler requests a specific page of a website, and a web server gives back an HTTP status code with a response. So the response code should be marked with the number 200, it would mean that everything is working fine. If a status code returns with 4xx or 5xx, it means something went wrong and has to be fixed.

Canonicalization is another important thing to check under Accessibility point. It is dealing with duplicated pages, like

–         http://www.sample.com

–         https://www.sample.com

–         http://sample.com

–         http://sample.com/index.php

For a user, all these URLs seem to be one page, but for a search crawler, each of them is a unique page. On this small example, we illustrate that there is a big number of duplicated URLs coming up when dealing with a single homepage. No need to talk about the entire website. Canonicalization is a process of creating a redirection of all these duplicated pages to an original one.

Popular Read:  AngularJS vs React – War of Facts | An Infographic

Interlinking is the last thing we will mention under Accessibility point. Interlinking is a process of creating internal links between all the pages of the website. If some of the pages stay isolated, crawler won’t be able to find them. Which also means visits decrease.

Indexability

Checking accessibility of the website ensures the visibility of a website in the search engines. Now search engines are actually allowed to access the pages of the website. But this is not enough for a website to be visited.

Next thing in the check up list should be an investigation on how many of those accessible pages are indexed by web crawlers. The more pages of the website are indexed, the higher is the rating of the entire website and the higher status in a search queue.

To check websites indexability there are different tools, like Google Webmaster. They will point out how many pages of the website are indexed.

Site Performance

Speed. Is. Important. This is the big thing to remember when doing a technical analysis. Nowadays people tend to visit websites via smartphones or tablets, which usually means the usage of a slower mobile internet connection. If the website takes more than 5 seconds to load, nobody will wait. They simply сlick ‘return’ and go to the next search result. That’s why the speed of a website load is a very high priority.

There is plenty of different tools to check whether the website is running fast enough and whether it is compatible with smartphones and tablets. Each of them can be used.

2 Ways to Perform a Technical SEO Audit

SEO is becoming a big part of IT industry, and this rapid development hasn’t gone unnoticed. Industry’s ‘big players’ know how important is the upbringing of young specialists with a good insight on SEO tendencies. That is why SEO is not a rare topic for student’s works now. On contrary, students examine case studies of successful SEO strategies and write analytical works about the industry overall, about how SEO has changedand on a  smooth adaptation to these changes.

SEO specialist becomes a popular and wanted position, even though it demands a detailed, attentive and patient attitude to websites analysis. The big increase is seen in developers creating of automated tools and applications for helping people to cope with all the necessary moments in SEO Audit. The industry is attracting a lot of attention.

Now, we can say, there are two main ways to perform a Technical SEO Audit for a website.

  1. Order Audit from SEO analyst

SEO specialist is someone who can perform an in-depth investigation, analyze every aspect of the website health, create a report about the issues and make a good plan how to improve them.

It is important to remember, that there is no need to pay to a ‘specialist’ who will only use automated tools and present the report done by programs. A true SEO specialist surely uses tools and applications, but still, he performs a deep analysis of the reports and creates a strategy to improve the situation.

  1. Use automated tools for SEO Audit

Also, there is an option to perform a Technical Audit without an SEO specialist, and it is available if you are familiar with SEO techniques and have good analytical skills. There is a number of tools and applications to do that. But, we should mention, it is a time-consuming process, that will demand patience, accuracy and strategic thinking. The application or tool most surely won’t come up with a brilliant solution to the web sites problems. The best thing it can do is to point them out. If you are enough self-confident, go straight to the next point of our article. We will briefly overview the most popular tools and applications to perform Technical SEO Audit.

Popular Read:  Why Technology is a Breakthrough Factor in the B2B eCommerce Space in India?

Tools for Technical SEO Audit

  1. Screaming Frog or Xenu

Tools like Screaming Frog and Xenu check how many pages of the website are indexed. They allow to take a website and crawl through its pages like search engines do. These tools detect issues like as incorrect canonicalization, internal redirects and duplicated pages on different URLs. Screaming Frog is free to use if a website has less than 500 pages. If the website is bigger you would need either to pay for a Screaming Frog subscription (apr. 126$ per year for unlimited access) or use another tool, like Xenu, which is free of charge.

  1. IIS SEO Toolkit

Similarly to Screaming Frog, IIS SEO Toolkit works from the desktop and analyze web site’s how searchable the website is. Still, it differs a bit. It helps to improve web site’s relevance in search results by recommending how to make the site content more search engine-friendly.

  1. SEMrush Site Audit

SEMrush Site Audit advantage is crawling a website from a web browser, creating an online report with potential issues in an easy-to-read format with an option to export and perform offline analysis. Also, a customer benefits from comparative and historical sections. They show whether implemented changes had a good or bad SEO impact on the website.

  1. Pingdom DNS Check

A helpful tool to avoid crawl errors, check DNS health and whether DNS servers are set up correctly. Easy and quick check up to save nerves and time in future.

  1. Builtwith

Is good for identifying areas of SEO concern. It checks the architecture of a domain and creates a report on its structure. So, the report will present the information on the server type, operating system, about the installed plugins, etc. So, the user knows the things that make up the website in advance and has the possibility to resolve the potential issues regarding them.

  1. GTmetrix

As we already know, speed really matters. Not a single user will stay on the website that takes ages to load. And by ‘ages’ here we mean ‘more than 5 seconds’ time.

A faster website is a website, that is crawled more. A faster website is attracting more visits. A faster website has good rankings.

GTmetrix is a free online tool, that goes through the page and shows the elements that have to be improved as they are causing a slow load. It also includes the history of a website speed, if used several times.

  1. Google Webmaster Tools

The name speaks for itself. Google nowadays is one of the most recognized brands and one of the most trusted. Its Webmaster Tools help a lot in defining issues with the on-page, link and technical health of a website. It is good in looking for crawl errors, to have a look on pages indexation, find structured data issues, blocked resources, and many others.

Summary

An SEO audit itself can be an exhausting thing to perform, still, it definitely will bring benefits for the website. Technical analysis is considered to be the basis of all the Audit. It indicates main technical issues and problems, including:

  • Website’s accessibility
  • Indexability
  • Site Performance

Plenty of automated tools and applications are already developed to perform a technical audit quickly and easily. They differ in their functions and capabilities, but all of them are detail oriented and help to find even tiniest mistakes.

Still, a powerful tool called a human brain is still needed to perform analysis of all the automated reports and outline the state

[“Source-iamwire”]

The 5 Best WordPress Themes for SEO Visibility

The 5 Best WordPress Themes for SEO Visibility

This article is part of a series created in partnership with SiteGround. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

Theme selection to optimize your website’s SEO is more important than you might think. SEO can easily be negatively affected by poorly written themes. Specifically, the following points can hurt your SEO or the user experience causing your search engine rankings to suffer:

  • The inability to remove spammy links. Too often free or low-cost WordPress themes are given away in some campaign to generate leads and come with code and links that can hurt your organic search visibility.
  • Poor usability can result in higher bounce rates
  • Non-mobile friendly designs will suffer to Google’s SEO scrutiny
  • Poor design will result in a lower average time per page which tells Google your content isn’t relevant resulting in a lower ranking
  • Slow loading time from a bloated them will also go against Google’s best practices for SEO
  • Regular updates and ongoing support. Very few free or low-cost themes are patched for security purposes or upgraded when new versions of WordPress rollout. This leaves your site open to all sorts of vulnerabilities from hacking to poor SEO performance.

These all contribute to the overall user experience, and will consequently affect your SEO. With that knowledge as a base, we set out to find the top five WordPress themes for SEO visibility. This list will outline our top five and give you insights into how they will strengthen your site’s SEO performance.

1. SEO WP

SEO WP

According to Brian Dean, renowned SEO expert, SEO WP is his top recommendation for SEO optimized WordPress themes. What makes it so special?

  • From the minute you download it, you a get blazing fast theme load time of only three seconds, which greatly improves the SEO of the website and the overall user experience.
  • Your website is fully responsive and will look great on any webpage. They validate every site with a Google mobile-friendly check.
  • Consistently updated each month to have the best written code for SEO and to make sure it is free of all known bugs.
  • Lightweight design and code cuts the average size of your site in a third.

In addition to a solid SEO foundation the theme comes with a free live composer page builder which allows you to customize the theme to any layout you desire.

SEO WP

Read more about the SEO WP theme or read user reviews and try it out on ThemeForest.

2. BoomBox

BoomBox

BoomBox is a solid theme choice right out of the box. It was designed specifically for SEO because its purpose is to cater towards creating viral content and building popular websites that generate a large amount of traffic each day.

Much like Reddit, BoomBox has a neat front-end submission feature built in so visitors can submit content for voting without visiting the back-end admin section of the website. You also get the option to vote on posts based on your desired emoji response. This feature is, of course, optional.

BoomBox

Read more about BoomBox, get user feedback, and download the theme on ThemeForest.

3. Salient

Salient

Salient is a multipurpose SEO-optimized WordPress theme that is well known for being a high-quality product. It comes with a specially tailored version of Visual Composer’s drag-and-drop builder to make even the most novice website designer to pro status in no time.

Salient

Salient boasts 150+ professionally designed templates so you can get your site built efficiently and to your standards. It also has over 3,500 icons, over 700 fonts, and unlimited color possibilities including gradient colors.

If you want truly customizable and full SEO optimization right out of the box then head over to ThemeForest and download Salient.

4. X Theme

X Theme

One of the most popular themes of 2017, the X theme has taken the WordPress theme market to a new height by introducing the concept of stacks. Currently X has four different stacks to choose from:

  1. Integrity – Perfect for professionals, creatives, and business sites.
  2. Renew – Designed with a flat look that showcases your content in an easily digestible format. User-friendly content keeps visitors on the page longer which is a key metric in any SEO analysis.
  3. Icon – Crafted for more modern blogging sites. It gives a minimal design that gives the blog’s words the spotlight. This site will run lighter with fewer design elements which gives your site an SEO boost in the speed category.
  4. Ethos – Built with magazine sites in mind. Ethos highlights engaging content that promotes click through rates and with it a more respectable bounce rate.

X Theme

Like many of its heavyweight counterparts, X comes with a front-end page builder. You get a free license for Cornerstone with each purchase.

To give the X theme a shot or to see some live demos check out ThemeForest.

5. Schema

Schema

As far as SEO optimized WordPress themes go, Schema is among the highest in demand in the market. It combines SEO support with unparalleled load times. It is advertised as being the fastest loading ultra friendly SEO WordPress theme on the market — a statement that is echoed by all the 5-star reviews you will find on MyThemeShop. Knowing full well how much loading time affects search engine rankings makes Schema a smart choice for those looking to maximize their site’s performance and still roll in under budget.

Schema

As you can see they don’t just talk about SEO optimization results, they test them. One of the ways Schema sets itself apart is by utilizing a vast library of shortcodes that work with rich snippets to help you rank higher on search engines. They also code with Google’s SEO best practices in mind and write quality code to make the site even more friendly to Google’s algorithm.

To read more about Schema or try it yourself, check out MyThemeShop.

Summary

Now that you know which themes are top shelf, you can move forward into deeper testing and tweaking of your site’s settings and content to rank even higher. Follow this short SEO checklist for best SEO practices:

  1. Run a quality check against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
  2. Make sure your website is mobile friendly
  3. Make sure your website loads quickly

Finally, no matter the theme, you can still mess up your SEO with your content and configuration. Remember to supplement your theme’s built-in SEO with high-quality content written for humans (not search engines) and a solid SEO plugin like Yoast or All In One SEO Pack.

If you’re looking for somewhere to host your WordPress site after you’ve got your theme choice figured out, take a look at our partner, SiteGround. They offer managed WordPress hosting, with one-click installation, staging environments, a WP-CLI interface, pre-installed Git, autoupdates, and more!

If you’re looking for somewhere to host your WordPress site after you’ve got your theme choice figured out, take a look at our partner, SiteGround. They offer managed WordPress hosting, with one-click installation, staging environments, a WP-CLI interface, pre-installed Git, auto-updates, and more. They even have a tailor-made plugin, SG Optimizer, which optimizes and speeds up client sites tremendously!

[“Source-sitepoint”]

Digital Storytelling Requires Synergy Between SEO and PR

Did you know that as many as 93 percent of online experiences in 2016 began with a search engine? And because 94 percent of those searches started on Google (for mobile users), the Californian tech giant could quite easily become the sales team that drives your business. In this world where digital storytelling is all about including the right keywords so that an organisation’s brand story stands head and shoulders above the clutter, is public relations working in synergy with SEO to maximise an organisation’s visibility?

Amazon discovered how to do this a decade ago when it used a strong SEO strategy to establish a stronger online presence than all its brick-and-mortar rivals. In India, test prep company Online Tyari used the same SEO approach to build its brand, reaching 5 million users and establishing its complete domination over this market.

How good SEO makes better PR

While it may not be immediately apparent, both PR and SEO specialists are in fact driven by the same engine—quality content. Just like PR has to tell a compelling brand story, only high quality, relevant digital content can ensure top SEO ranking. This is no longer just about the right brand voice or keywords, but also about building powerful narratives. This is why Amazon did not just focus on SEO, it also developed innovative content in the form of informative blogs and original podcasts. These improved both search engine and brand visibility.

In this way, when done right, SEO and PR can work together to create the most impactful kind of brand visibility. However, content has to be well liked, and even respected, for SEO or PR to succeed.

And just like how good SEO increases the reach of PR storytelling, good PR can amplify content to improve your SEO ranking. After all, nothing improves search engine visibility like good PR that facilitates cross linking from respected ‘influencer’ websites. That’s why PR and SEO don’t just have similar goals, they are also interdependent. And if PR is all about earned media and third parties talking about a business, SEO is in fact the best avenue that PR professionals can use online to optimise their coverage.

Enter the digital CMO

Yet despite the interdependence of PR and SEO in digital storytelling, PR professionals and SEO experts still have to gain knowledge of the other domain in order to evolve the best program for their organisation. There must also be the realisation that good content is at the heart of the success of this collaboration.

The ‘digital’ CMO will now need to set joint goals for PR and SEO. Organisations will no longer be able to view PR as ‘traditional marketing’ and bifurcate SEO as ‘digital marketing’. In the future, marketing will have to be a vibrant confluence that combines both areas and unique skills.

But SEO and PR alignment becomes more complex when a company has a diversified business or multiple brands. While aligning the marketing goals of such an organisation has never been simple, the need to integrate a single strategy for SEO and PR increases complexity.

In this digital world, the very idea of a well told story is changing. PR professionals now have to skilfully build the right keywords into a campaign—from its messaging to press releases. Innovative stories will have to both mobilise an organisation’s ‘Google’ sales team and retain its audience’s attention. An organisation must unify its messaging, combining innovative PR storytelling with the precision of SEO research to have a consistent brand voice.

The synergy between PR and SEO also finds resonance in the changing role of the CMO. While in the past it has often been said that CMOs are more likely to lead digital transformation as compared to CIOs, a recent Gartner survey even predicts that CMOs will outspend CIOs on technology in 2017. So Apple’s Philip Schiller, who is among the most influential chief marketing officers in the world, does not just think about fact sheets or brochure, he is also credited with iPod’s initial click wheel interface. Clearly, if in the past, the role required a deep, rich and varied marketing experience, there is now an intersection of new skills. The CMO for the digital age will have to be a skilful marketer and a savvy technologist. Organisations that succeed in achieving this mix will tell the most impactful brand stories.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

[“Source-businessworld.”]

The Basic Concepts Of SEO Explained to Beginners

While SEO (search engine optimization) is not rocket science or brain surgery, it certainly isn’t the easiest paradigm to understand, especially to someone who doesn’t have a background in the internet or technology.

Whether it’s the way words sound (meta data optimization) or a particularly technical aspect of SEO (like schema markup), I tend to encounter confusion quite often with those customers who are new to the concepts of SEO.  In order to guard against a customer’s confusion or worse, feeling inferior, a successful sales rep has to create a bridge between the customer and SEO in order to grow a clear understanding of the practices of a successful SEO campaign.

This is vital to bringing the sales process to a successful close.  Having a customer leave a conversation confused in the least bit is often the death rattle of your sales cycle.  Never fear; analogies are here!  Just as the Internet is full of analogies (the web, crawling, server, etc…), SEO has some particularly helpful metaphors to improve anyone’s understanding of its basic (or even advanced) concepts.

Let’s look at three of these analogies in an attempt to acquire new tools to help others understand the basic concepts of SEO.

The Basic Concepts of SEO

Backlinks = Votes of Confidence

In attempting to explain the importance of acquiring relevant, authoritative backlinks into your website, I often hear silence or muttering at the other end of the phone. Who knew that simply placing the word ‘back” in front of a concept that is seemingly universally understood, ‘link’, would lead to so much misunderstanding?

I find that discussing backlinks in terms of their function is very helpful in establishing what they are in another’s mind.  This is where “votes of confidence” comes into play.  If one can understand that these websites linking to your site are vouching for your site to the search engines, one can begin to grasp the importance and role of backlinks in an SEO campaign.  This simple metaphor helps do the trick of engendering a growing understanding of a key concept.


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Alternate Metaphor – Popularity Contest

Conversion Optimization = Billboard on the Side of the Highway

Any (extremely) lazy optimizer can drive more traffic to a website.  Heck, you can pay five bucks to boost your traffic overnight, and you don’t have to do any real SEO work.  The catch is that it is highly doubtful that this traffic will lead to a conversion on your website.  After all, the goal of a website is to guide a user to take some action, be it read an article, purchase a widget, vote on a picture, or fill out a contact form.

To get this idea across, a coworker of mine uses the billboard analogy regularly.  He says something like this: “Your website is like a billboard on the side of the road.  People can drive past it all day long, but, if they don’t pull over and write down your information, what is the point of having the billboard?” His point is that having all the traffic in the world matters little unless those users are converting.  I really like this analogy, and I have adopted it in my sales calls.

Alternate Metaphor – Restaurant menu

Schema Markup = Writing Your 11th Grade Term Paper

This is one of the more daunting challenges when it comes to SEO, and, to be honest, it took me several conversations with coworkers and family (Thanks, Mom) to come up with this one.  Just mentioning this word, much less explaining it, will cause eyes to glaze over and minds to be numbed.

So, and this is not a perfect analogy, think about when you had to write that high school term paper.

You likely had to use footnotes, MLA Format, and proper quotation practices or your teacher marked you off.  There were certain structures that you had to include in your paper to properly convey the meaning you wanted to convey to anyone reading it.  In the same way, schema markup is a way of coding a website so that the search engines better understand its content. Obviously, this explanation isn’t ground shaking in its intricacy, but this is the world of metaphor, so we are in the business of creating images, not math equations.

Alternate Metaphor – Please tell me if you know one

After writing my first two blog posts about SEO, much of the feedback that I have received from friends in family goes something like this: “I loved your post, and you write great, but I have no idea what you are talking about.”  I can’t help but think that if I am not going out of my way to help my client understand SEO, he or she is probably leaving our conversations with the same confusion.

It doesn’t have to be this way if we work hard to create analogies that explain our industry in terms of everyday things, they will go a long way to helping people understand the basic concepts of SEO.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

Dumbing Down SEO: Basic Tips For The Organic Search Beginner

SEO Dashboard

SEO Dashboard

SEO is a complex topic that sounds simple, so let’s clarify what it means before we get into the meat of the issue. SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization refers to how search engines determine which links are shown first to users.

This determination centers around certain factors in the case of the results stemming from an organic search (non-paid). That’s not all. The benefits and profitability of SEO are even increasing with respect to mobile platforms. SEO refers to the set of factors that determine the search ranking of your landing page and other links in relation to many factors.

Framing the issue is important before getting into the question of why SEO is so important in the first place. Most people intuitively understand that the higher their site’s landing page shows at the top of a search engine’s results page, the more traffic they will receive. In reality, the influence that search engines have over the results you see and the frequency at which search engines are used may surprise you.

The fact of the matter is that search engines generally dictate what gets shown and what doesn’t get shown. Nowadays, search engines appear to have taken on a referencing role based on website relevance in addition to a simple search function. Interestingly, search sites like Google act as both gateways and gatekeepers to the rest of the Internet.

Google controls seven out of every ten searches. Because of this, Google is a gateway that most people use to find other sites that they need. On the other hand, Google is also a gatekeeper based on how it organizes and ranks the links of various websites.

This article will go over five ranking factors used by Google to shed insight into the details of that ranking process. In other words, by reviewing the features of the gatekeeping process, we can implement more robust and effective SEO measures.

1. Provide Useful Content

The more accurate, helpful, and reputable your content is, the better SEO results you’ll get. Simple, right? In theory, good content leads to higher rankings. The problem here is that machines are sorting through and making judgments on what’s good or bad. So you’re really trying to hit a number of things that mimic or approximate good content in your SEO quest. Making small, impactful, and targeted changes is key to creating the type of content attractive to search engines.

2. Write Suitable and Attractive Anchor Text

What’s anchor text? It’s basically the blue underlined stuff that you click on when you browse the Internet that takes you to another related site. Essentially, the HTML code specifies a section of text and associates it with a link to create the hyperlink that we are all familiar with.

So how do you add a bit of flair to your anchor text beyond its depressingly default color of blue? Moz gives a number of suggestions, but in general you just want to want your anchor texts to be pithy, unique, simple, and relevant to the linked page.

3. Backlinks

Backlines are exactly what they sound like, but like all important SEO features on your site there are both good and excellent ways to use backlinks. The concept behind a backlink is incredibly simple. It refers to the sites that link to your site, or any other site. Let’s say the Wall Street Journal made a link to your website. That’s a backlink.

There’s a number of key things to do when considering backlink quality. These tips relate to making your backlinks more useful to site visitors. You can accomplish this by evaluating a site’s link relevancy through a number of factors like content and online tools. Focusing on real websites, or websites that experience a lot of traffic along with using authority sites will also boost your rankings.

4. Make Your Site Easier to Navigate

This one’s pretty easy to grasp too. Just don’t fill your site up with a much of unnecessary clutter. Clean simplicity is one of the reasons that Google was so successful as a search engine in its earlier stages. You want your site to get to the point. You want to capture your users and have them understand the purpose of your site within seconds. Finally, you’ll need to arrange buttons and widgets around a theme or style that appeals to the visitors for maximum ranking results.

Even Google itself thinks organization and navigation clarity are important in its SEO guide. It emphasizes things like the relationship between clean navigation and search engines and makes suggestions like planning your site around your homepage in order to make visitor browsing more convenient.

5. Consider RankBrain’s Algorithms

The significance of technology appears to have subtly increased to a great degree over the years. Google’s RankBrain is an example of an algorithm has been making waves on the issue of search traffic and rankings.

So how does Google do it? The larger category of technology is called artificial intelligence, coding computer to perform tasks that only humans normally handle. But with the arrival of a type of artificial learning called machine learning, RankBrain has certain elements that are capable of rewriting their own software to get better at ranking the most relevant sites.

The real impact of RankBrain manifests in its ability to interpret human meaning (in searches) to an extent: “RankBrain is designed to better understand the meaning behind the words a person uses and types into his or her search engine because 15% of queries per day had never been seen by Google” (Broadbent, 2017).

With the powerful machine learning technologies guiding SEO and the calculations behind the rankings of site relevance, focusing and studying up on the latest SEO trends across popular platforms has never been more important.

[“Source-forbes”]