SEO Permalink Tips

SEO Permalink Tips

SEO Permalink TipsLet's talk about WordPress permalinks. These links are essential when it comes to getting any recognition from search engines, but it's also one of the most overlooked areas on any given WordPress blog.

Make Sure Those Links Are Right

You'll have to spend some time brushing up on your SEO tactics to understand the exact importance of the right link, but WordPress also makes this simple enough. At the top of your WordPress dashboard, you'll see an option to create a customized URL.

It's a good idea to add a keyword or two to that URL. You can do this really quickly before you publish any post. Don't stuff your links full of keywords, but adding one or two is a really great way to attract the attention of search engines.

SEO Permalink Tips: Why Mess With Links?

Links to blog posts tell searchers what that post contains. More importantly, though, these links tell search engines what your post contains. If you create a link that states: ‘permalink tips' at some point in the link, a search engine will pick up on those tips. Thus, the next time that someone searches for permalink tips, your blog entry will show up.

It's all related and it all matters – just make sure not to change a permalink after it has been published. Why? Because removing that link will result in a 404 error, and that means that you'll have to redirect all of those links using a redirect plugin tool. It is possible to manually redirect all of these links, but why bother? You could just set it up correctly as you move forward, and work on other page details to clean up those older posts.

SEO Permalink Tips: The Shorter The Better

Permalinks should be short and sweet. Try not to make your links too long. Even if your blog title is on the long side, be sure that your permalinks are much shorter. This way, search engines won't have a hard time finding the information needed to send people to your site – and that's what it's all about.

In addition, social media networks pick up on those links. So it's really important, then, that your links make a ton of sense to anyone search for the content you're providing. Since we're on the topic of what people are searching for, let's jump into that page description for a moment, shall we?

SEO Permalink Tips: Your Page Description

People will be reading your page description, so there's no real point in making this keyword-friendly. You can add a keyword or two to your page description, but it's better if you just go with a straight paragraph that people are bound to read and understand.

What should you write? Just be honest. Tell people what your post is about. That's simple enough, right? This way, humans searching for content like yours will see what your post synopsis is. If they like what they see, they'll click on that link – and you'll make both search engines and people happy.

What Is Backlinking?

What Is Backlinking

What Is BacklinkingTrying to figure out SEO for your website is not easy. Really not easy. Especially if you've just been throw into the lion's den and have to set up SEO quickly. The best thing to do would be to contact a friend that knows absolutely everything about SEO. But, that might not be an option. One of the most essential elements of SEO is backlinking, and your site really can't survive without it.

What Is Backlinking?

Simply put: a backlink is a link from another site that points towards your website. The more sites that think your site is great, the more Google will like your page. It's a simple concept with a not-so-simple solution.

Steps to Backlinking

Guest Blogging: find sites where you can submit guest posts.

Social Media: don't just throw your site name around social media groups. Get out there, participate in conversations, and let your presence be known – it's called networking (and it was a lot more fun during the Mad Men era when it involved martinis!).

Interview People: when you interview people, those people will spread the word of the interview that you've posted on your site. That's simple enough, right? But, you'll have to find someone that's related to your topic to interview.

Directories: add your site link to industry directories. I'll only add this word of caution: make sure that you don't over submit your site link to directories.

Link to Other Sites: after that, get out there and let those people know that you've linked to other sites. People want to know when you mention them, so do it!

Press: if you can get a journalist to cover your site in a press release or blog post, that's a really great thing. Try to see if you can create news that's press worthy enough, and people will flock to your site.

Not Too Hard

None of this is hard to do, but you also have to make sure that every page on your site is filled with the right content, includes keywords, and is optimized. Not sure what those things mean? Take the time to keep reading this blog to find out.

Even though Google is pickier with words and content than in previous years, it's really all about SEO still. I know, I'm not a fan either, but it's the way it's done. If you own a website, you have to have your SEO in line. Can you do it all by yourself? Sure; just make sure to read and research as much as you can. And, if you happen to have a friend that's an expert, make sure to bend her ear a bit first.

Need some help on how to add backlinks? Just ask! We're here to help you out – and we love to interview people, so make sure that you ask us if you think you have a product you'd like us to talk about!

Photo Courtesy of waivecraigk via Flickr Creative Commons

Web Developers Tools and SEO Tagging Tips

Web Developers Tools and SEO Tagging Tips

seo tagging tipsWith the advancement in the technology and  the introduction of new devices, it’s now possible to access the Internet in ways never imagined (and those options keep expanding daily). Every website owner should be interested in making a site more visible to search engines. Understanding SEO is a large part of this process. It’s vital that content can be found on a wide range of devices from PCs to tablets.

Webmasters install various browser development tools to evaluate screen readers of various platforms like Windows, Mac or Linux. Using HTML5, better semantic markup and accessibility standards are now better than ever. The result is a website that’s more user-friendly and easier to manage in addition to being attractive to search engines. Since Google (and other search engines) still don’t understand images of videos, it’s important that these site items include the right SEO tag information. Site that are easily accesible become more shareable, and that means more site traffic.

Accessibility Web Developers Tools

To check accessibility issues and SEO, standard tools are available and compatible with all browsers. These tools help tremendously with the site building and development process. Here’s a breakdown of the best tools for each common browser.

Tools Available for Most Browsers

  1. Developer Tools – with this tool, objects visible in a browser can be turned on or off. For example:  if you want to view a site without CSS, just disable ‘All Styles.’ Similarly, you can view a page without images or other objects. This is done to audit a page.
  2. Firebug – once it is installed, a button appears in the right corner of the browser and when clicked it provides the CSS output.
  3. SenSEO – this plugin helps to reveal the hidden SEO info on a page. Firefox reveals the information like title, description and keywords of page, web address, type of text, encoding, size and Meta tags. To use, right-click anywhere on a page and select ‘View Page Info.’ This is the information that search engines are viewing. With SenSEO, what search engines see on a page can be revealed. Search engines and social networks like Facebook or Google+, captures the text from meta-data provided in the page, which can be controlled.

Importing SEO Coding Tricks

  • Language Check – In the HTML tag, put <html lang=”en-US”> to tell the search engine and text speech browser, that the content is in U.S. English. If a tag is in some other language, a browser will detect the language and offer translation options. If the page contains multiple languages, then codes for those languages must be embedded.  These codes can be referenced from the site
  • Proper Meta tags – provides additional information to page and provides information to search engines. Each page must have a proper title and description. The description must be brief (less than 160 characters). What to include: try to embed the primary keyword in both the title and description. You can also add other keywords, but they are becoming less important to search engines.
  • Use HTML5 semantic codes – HTML is now in the 5th iteration thus the name HTML5.  Start using the new tags provided in HTML5, they are easier to understand and prepare your page for future added functionality in browsers.
  • Give proper heading and descriptions to the different sections (menus, content, sidebars, and footers) of your page to make them clearly defined and separated. They can be hidden or taken out of context for a normal browser viewer looking for content.  You can shift them away from the screen by positioning absolute and padding it to -9999px.
  • Use of ordered or UN-ordered list for related and sequential content, which should appear together like menus, comments and gallery.
  • Use ‘Title’ attribute in links and images after hyperlink reference for additional information. Similarly ‘alt’ attribute is also necessary in images as per standard compliance. If an image is a link, ALT text must be the same as the title of the link.
  • For mulch-level content, use headings h1 to h6 – which makes pages easier to navigate, easier to parse and easier to understand for both people and for search engines.
  • Use <strong> to strongly emphasize (bold) text instead of <b> and <em> for emphasis instead of <i> – Both the tag <b> and <i> don’t add any search engine weight. Using the CSS, <em> (font-style:italic;) and <strong> (font-weight:bold;) can be also stylized.
  • Use of <blockquote> to indicate quotation – this code can be used when content has been taken from another website, or when you are quoting someone. This validates the text as it can be linked to the source making it more transparent (important to do with the new Google). Use the <cite> tag when the content refers to another source. Link the source so that viewers can access that page easily.
  • Use <small> tag for copyright statements, conditions, rules and legal disclaimers.
  • Use <meter> tag to display the data range like “8 out of 10”. <meter value=”8” minimum=”1” maximum=”5”>. This is a very good tag for sites, since it displays ratings, reviews etc.
  • <abbr> tag for abbreviations and acronyms to provide extra information. When a reader mouses over this tag, a small pop-up will display additional information.

Web Developers Tools and SEO Tagging Tips: In The End…

When you’re on top of the latest plugins and SEO tags to use, it’s a win-win situation – both for you and for search engines. Questions?

The Rules for Backlinking

Rules for Backlinking

Rules for BacklinkingBacklinking. It's a touchy subject. One that confuses a lot of would-be bloggers and cheap hosting site owners. Should you do it? How often should you do it? Are there any real guidelines that Google has set on the topic? It all depends on how you look at it. Here's a guide to blog backlinking that makes things (relatively) simple.

Guest Posting: A Good or Bad Idea?

Google hasn't weighed in on guest posting completely, yet. But there's a good rule of thumb that you can use to figure out if you have too many guest posts on your blog.

If you are going to create guest posts, make sure that the post actually adds value to your blog. Are you asking people to guest post just for the backlinks? That's not a good idea. There's something else to consider too.

Make sure that the guest posts you are post are actually original. A lot of people will spin an article, sell it as an original article, and your site will be penalized. Put an article through an article spin test before you post it – trust me, it happens all the time!

Rules for Backlinking : Optimizing Anchor Texts

Here's the deal with optimized anchor texts: you can use them on your own site. But, don't put the same article (or a variation of that article) on another site. Google doesn't like this tactic. If you are going to link to a keyword in an article or press release on another site, make sure to use the no-follow code: Rel=nofollow.

This code tells Google that a link shouldn't be followed by a search engine, but it will let humans click on a link to find the site you're trying to link to. Backlinks are tricky things, but there are just some basic rules to remember when setting it all up.

Rules for Backlinking : The Backlink Bottomline

You need SEO and backlinks in order to spread the word about your blog or site, right? Right. But, you have to be careful not to overuse or abuse those links, or Google will punish you. Why are we so concerned about Google? Because it's the most widely used search engine out there. One day, Google may fall, but, for now, you'll want to obey what laws Google does lay down when it comes to linking and SEO.

The bottomline is this: you can use backlinks, but they should only point to your site. Otherwise, you can use all the links you like in any content, but make sure to also include that “no follow” code. Sure, it all sounds like a pain, but that's the way to do things if you want your blog to earn top Google marks.

As always, we are here to help with any questions that you have – really! If you need something or want to know more about cloud hosting or any other topic (including SEO), all you have to do is ask. We will get back to you as soon as possible with the right answer!

Why Image Optimization Is Important

Image Optimization

optimize photos for cheap websites Image OptimizationThe right image on your dedicated hosting website, whether on the homepage or embedded within a blog post, is critical. And it isn't just for SEO purposes (although this is a big reason to host quality images, too!) High quality images on your homepage draw people in. After all, an image is the first thing that most people notice.

How do you ensure your images are drawing people to your site? Follow these steps to add high quality images optimized for viewing.

1. Image Optimization: Resize

So you found some amazing images, and chose a couple to load onto your homepage. First, you want to make sure the image is sized to the specifications of the space it will be taking up using your editing program of choice (Photoshop, SnagIt, PicMonkey, Gimp, etc.) Setting up your site to resize large image files per visit means making site readers wait for images to load – and this also lowers your SEO performance. Resize your photos before you post them to your site.

2. Image Optimization: Compress

You need to do more than resize the image too. A digital image contains a certain amount of information, making it either high or low resolution. A high-resolution image can slow down your site substantially. You don't really need a high-res image for a website, either. These types of images are more for printed images or photographs, where detail is key.

Go ahead and compress your image, the display quality won't be affected. You can use the free tool offered by Yahoo to make this task a lot simpler.

3. Image Optimization: Keywords In File Names

Let's say you sell furniture. You are uploading a picture of your best selling couch to the homepage to entice users to browse your online inventory. Instead of loading “IMG_2034.jpg”, rename the file using keywords — “leather-couch-discount-furniture.jpg.” — in order to optimize it for SEO.

4. Image Optimization: Title and ALT Tags

Putting keywords to work for your site yet again, add a title tag and ALT tags. These fields are important for both SEO and visitors to your website. However, don't make it keyword-rich gibberish. Instead, write image descriptions that sound natural. Use the target keywords in a way that makes sense and is appropriate.

Image optimization is key to improving page load times and, ultimately, SEO. If you go crazy on the keywords, however, you might find yourself penalized by the search engine for over-optimization! This is especially true with Google’s new Panda algorithm, which quickly penalizes sites for bad content – and that includes overly keyworded photographs. Sure, keywords are helpful, but there is such a thing as overkill!

We also want to remind you not to simply right-click and snag photos from the Internet. Using a service like Flickr’s Creative Commons is the best way to go – simply attribute the photographs you download to the person that posted those images, and you are good to go. Otherwise, you risk copyright issues, and that can lead to your cheap hosting site taking down your site temporarily (a real headache!).

Do you already optimize your images? Got any additional tips? Need help? Ask away!