Is WordPress Still the Best?
I am a huge fan of WordPress. I’ve run my business on it for a decade, recommended it to thousands and feel eternally grateful for what it’s allowed me to do. But is it still the best option? As you might have noticed, the blogging scene has changed a lot in the last five years….Learn More
22 Unique SEO Tips Backed by 22 Renowned SEO Experts
How great would it be if we could gather all the awesome SEO experts in just one room to talk about search engines ranks with a focus on the best SEO tips available out there? It would be glorious! Since we don’t have a room big enough to gather all the best experts in one place, we […]
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L A T E S T P O S T S
Is WordPress Still the Best?
22 Unique SEO Tips Backed by 22 Renowned SEO Experts
Don’t Miss The Hottest Blogging Trends Of 2017
10 Shocking SEO Facts You Never Knew About
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I am a huge fan of WordPress.
I’ve run my business on it for a decade, recommended it to thousands and feel eternally grateful for what it’s allowed me to do.
But is it still the best option?
As you might have noticed, the blogging scene has changed a lot in the last five years.
There’s free platforms like Tumblr and Medium that are now absolutely booming and doing things slightly differently.
Squarespace, the ultra-sexy hosting service (and podcast industry mega-patron!) is everywhere and is pretty awesome too.
Then there’s the fact that a lot of people blog on social networking sites like Instagram and Facebook and that seems to be enough for them.
Today we’re going to take a look at whether WordPress is still the best bet for bloggers and website owners who are just starting out.
As always, I’d love your comments below.
Every platform as it’s own advantages
One of the first things to note here is that each platform will have some features and advantages that are lacking in the other platforms.
When you’re looking to start a blog or website it’s important to note these features because one something that’s important to you might be completely irrelevant to me.
For example, if you write a blog on LinkedIn you’ll enjoy the fact that it’s pretty easy for all of your contacts to see the articles that you write, and everyone who reads it will be pretty targeted to your niche. Try to integrate a product to sell or a mailing list, however, and you’ll be pretty stuck.
So, when reading the rest of this article please note that the evaluations are made based on what I consider to be the most important features and options for running a successful blog.
So, what does WordPress have going for it?
Let’s start this little analysis by looking at some interesting facts and stats about WordPress so you have an idea of what we are working with.
- Over 24% of the entire web is powered by WordPress.
- There are over 500 new sites created per day.
- Over 1,200,000 people have downloaded WordPress plugins.
- WordPress is available in 56 languages.
- 17 posts are published every second on WordPress
It truly is the most popular platform in the world and for good reason. Here is why I still use and recommend WordPress for bloggers and online entrepreneurs of all levels.
Please keep in mind that I’m talking about a self-hosted WordPress blog here as opposed to the free version.
The main advantage that WordPress has always had over its competition is the seemingly unlimited ability to customize everything from the source code to the look at feel.
As you can see above, there are roughly 40,000 plugins available – each one giving you new abilities and functions on your blog – and it’s all usually for free or a very small cost (compared to actually building the feature).
You might add a store, harden your security, add icons, generate opt-in forms, change your header design, improve your SEO… the list is endless.
And if you don’t like the way a particular plugin works you can open up the code and tweak it yourself. Or you can pay someone to re-write the whole darn thing until it works exactly like you need it to. You can do this at the plugin level, or open up your server and change it from that level. You have complete control – something missing from many other platforms.
Now if we take that same idea over to the topic of themes/templates you’ll see that the WordPress theme directory itself has over 2,000 themes in just the popular section alone – all of them free. There are thousands more available.
Then you can go premium and look at sites like Theme Forest which has around 9,000 premium themes designed by professional WordPress designers whose sole job is to design themes that function well.
People who say that places like Squarespace are better because they offer better support often overlook this fact. Sure, you can get support on the free WordPress forums, but you also have support from your theme designer and your WordPress host.
Once again, if you’re not happy with the way your blog is looking you can open up the source code in five seconds and change colors, fonts, or engage a designer to help you re-work the whole thing.
For me, having a WordPress blog is all about owning your asset, controlling your future, and having complete freedom to tinker and tweak whatever you like.
On most other platforms (Medium, Tumblr, Squarespace, etc.) you are limited to their servers or their APIs and as such there is always going to be something that is limited. It might not be a big things, but when you’re trying to run a business it might just be big enough to be a problem.
There’s got to be some downsides, right?
As was mentioned at the top of the post, every blogging host or platform has it’s downsides. And, as seems to happen with WordPress, sometimes your big advantages can turn into weaknesses.
Security issues come with popularity
For example, as WordPress becomes more and more popular we see increased instances of security breaches. It makes sense – the more people using the platform the luckier the intruders can get by sheer statistical probability.
This issue is compounded by the fact that the open source nature of WordPress means that anyone can build a plugin and that plugin can either have bad intentions behind it, or just be coded in a way that leaves it vulnerable.
To avoid this, it’s important to always use up to date plugins, make sure you read the reviews first, and follow basic security protocols on your blog to ensure it stays safe. And remember, WordPress is not less secure than anything else it is just a target because more people are using it improperly.
Lack of direct sources of traffic
One of the reasons Medium and Tumblr have been doing so well as new blogging platforms is that they have their own little ecosystems that feed your blog’s traffic and chances of success.
For example, the front page of Medium has staff picks and popular items for the day, and you’ll see recommendations from those in your social networks.
This means that content has a good chance of being seen and shared by someone without all of the blogging SEO work that we need on WordPress self hosted setups.
And here’s one I found on the front page of Tumblr today that has had around 60,000 shares within the Tumblr network itself.
The way that these newer platforms have started to bridge the gap between “website” and “social network” is very interesting and I think it will be a trend that we see more of in the future.
This does not mean, however, that it’s the best place to start a blog or website (especially if you want to make money with it) because you simply don’t know if it’ll be around in five years. Look at MySpace and Google+ and similar websites which everyone thought would be around forever. If you’d invested your time and effort into building a career there you may be in trouble.
So what’s the verdict on WordPress?
While some other blogging platforms have made some big inroads recently, I still can’t imagine moving away from a self-hosted WordPress setup.
For me, it really comes down to the fact that WordPress offers you near unlimited options for configuration, design changes, feature development and expansion. You are never going to run out of room or power, and you’re never boxed in to a different company’s API or strictures.
And while a lot of people decry WordPress updates as annoying, what they really represent is constant improvements, security patches, feature additions, etc.
It is actually pretty amazing for something you essentially get for free.
If you want to build a blog that supports your family or perhaps is the basis of a business that allow you to work from home then I would 99 times out of 100 recommend a the WordPress and host combination for the sheer fact that it’s changeable and you control it.
What do you think about WordPress?
As always, I’d really love to know your opinions on how WordPress compares with the other platforms out there. I sometimes am a bit worried that I’m blinded to the features of the new players because I’ve been using this setup for such a long time, so please feel free to teach me a thing or two in the comments below.
How great would it be if we could gather all the awesome SEO experts in just one room to talk about search engines ranks with a focus on the best SEO tips available out there? It would be glorious! Since we don’t have a room big enough to gather all the best experts in one place, we took advantage of the online “meetings” and gathered all the up to date SEO tips into an awesome expert roundup post. That is how we got the idea of interviewing 22 renowned SEO experts and how we found out 22 awesome and unique search engine optimization tips … the best of them.
We’ve got answers from some of the brightest minds about the most actionable tips from the digital marketing world. We’ve found interesting news, insights and really helpful tips and guidelines about mobile optimization, metrics, qualitative content marketing, testing, technical SEO and customer centric websites. These 22 tips are some of the best for small businesses or large enterprises. Make sure you get the best of them.
Grab a coffee, sit comfortably and start reading the next list with 22 unique SEO tips backed by 22 renowned SEO experts that will make your search traffic bloom.
- Understand That SEO Is Not Just About Rankings by Phil Frost
- Optimize Your Content for You Customers and Not for the Search Engines by Omi Sido
- Understand How Your Site Is Actually Performing Away From Vanity Metrics by Danny Denhard
- Don’t Underestimate the Power of Creative Technical SEO by Paul Shapiro
- Have Content Deliberately Written to Be Highly Linkable by Sujan Patel
- Do Not Underestimate How Important “Branding” Is to SEO by Dixon Jones
- Build Your Website on a Solid Foundation of Data and Keyword Research by Trond Lyngbø
- Spend the Time and Money to Have Your Site Analyzed in Terms of Its Existing SEO by Julie Joyce
- Make the Best Page on the Internet for Your Topic by Andy Crestodina
- When It Comes to Link Acquisition You Need to Be Looking for Trust by Tim Grice
- Invest Time and Effort into Developing a Link Earning Strategy by Caleb McElveen
- If Everyone Else Is Zigging, Then Zagging Is a Strategic Opportunity by Greg Jarboe
- Invest More in Content by Eric Enge
- Run Your Own SEO Tests Across Different Search Categories by Carl Hendy
- Perform an In-Depth SEO SWOT Analysis by Marcus Miller
- Understand What Your Targeted Audience Might Be Looking For by Bill Slawski
- Test Longer Strategies over Tactics and Measure Each Step of the Way by Bill Sebald
- Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly by Andy Drinkwater
- Create Your Own Websites and Experiment Things Risk-Free by Mark Porter
- Focus on Content Quality by Rishi Lakhani
- Find a Way to Create Attention by Patrick Hathaway
- Hone Your Technical SEO Skills as Much as Possible by Dan Leibson
We need to mention that all our cool experts had to answer just one-question interview:
If you were to recommend just one SEO tip, what would that be?
1. Understand That SEO Is Not Just About Rankings
|If I could only recommend one tip, then it would be to make sure you understand how SEO fits into the bigger picture of your marketing strategy.|
|Founder & COO of Main Street ROI|
I’ve talked with many business owners that think ranking high in Google is all you need to be successful. The reality is that SEO is just one of many tactics to drive prospective customers to your website. Sure, ranking high in Google is great, but it’s also worthless if you don’t have a website that is set up properly to convert that traffic into leads and sales. Plus, you won’t rank high for long unless you have proper tracking in place and a process to monitor and analyze your SEO efforts. As you can see, SEO is not just about rankings; it’s also about website conversion rate optimization and website analytics and tracking. That’s important to understand before you start to invest in SEO.
2. Optimize Your Content for You Customers and Not for the Search Engines
Producing content that’s irrelevant and insignificant to your audience’s wants and needs leads to only one thing – people stop taking you seriously. People click on your links in the SERPs but they do not interact with your website and leave quickly – wasted opportunity to turn visitors into customers.
|Optimize your content for you customers and not for the search engines. What do I mean by that? It’s so easy to find some high volume keywords around your product and turn them into blog posts. I get it – everybody needs more visits.|
|SEO Manager of Daily Mail|
So how do I find what my buyer persona (not to be confused with ‘buyer profile’) is looking for?
Glad you’ve asked, so let me give you some actionable tips. Finding questions that people are asking about your products or services.
A very good place to start is Quora. I just went there and typed something very uninspiring like “carrots” (Writing content for a boring industry? No Problem).
Some of the questions I get:
- Why are carrots good for your eyes? Does eating carrots improve your eyesight? How?
- How many carrots should I eat a day?
- What else besides carrots can help your vision?
Another favorite place to go would be Answer The Public.
Last but not least, take data from your internal Site Search. All you have to do now is to align a question with a keyword that would bring traffic to your website. To do that just drop a question in the Google keyword planner and you will be presented with an opportunity.
Note: Stay focused and only choose the keywords that answer your original buyer’s persona question.
I am sure you already know where I am going. You’ve got the question and you’ve got the targeted keyword. All you have to do now is give an answer in the form of a blog article or video.
We’ve started with the customer in mind and ended up with a content that’s relevant to YOUR audience and, at the same time, well optimized for the search engines.
3. Understand How Your Site Is Actually Performing Away From Vanity Metrics
|My one tip would be always be auditing. Auditing is essential for SEO success. Understand how your site is actually performing away from vanity metrics.|
|Founder of Denhard Media|
If you track for the right KPIs, auditing will supply you with ongoing changes and help you focus on making the highest priority changes for you to hit KPIs and plan for the future.
4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Creative Technical SEO
People often neglect testing in SEO, mostly because it’s not easy, but optimizing CTR is a way to get some huge wins. Check out how Etsy is doing it or this recent look at approaches from Wayfair and their learnings.
|Director of Strategy & Innovation of CatalystSEM|
I’m talking about coming up with novel ideas and analyses that help move the needle but are less about copywriting and more about technical proficiency. A couple examples: digging deep into semantic keyword research and data mining or dynamically populating title tags using the Google Search Analytics API.
5. Have Content Deliberately Written to Be Highly Linkable
|My one main SEO tip would be to make sure that amongst all the specific, actionable content you’re creating, you have a few pieces of content deliberately written to be highly linkable.|
|Co-founder of WebProfits|
Highly linkable content is content written on a broad enough topic that you can work it into guest posts and other link opportunities naturally, without the article having to be directly related to the content you’re linking to.
For example, I wrote a big piece on customer delight – a thorough guide on how to make your customers happy at every point in your relationship. I’ve been able to link to this piece within articles on topics ranging from marketing and sales to operations and employee management. Having a few of these kinds of pieces means you’ll never miss an opportunity to link to your content.
6. Do Not Underestimate How Important “Branding” Is to SEO
Do not underestimate how important “branding” is to SEO.
|There’s no point being number 1 for “Taxi” if your customer types in “Uber”.|
|Marketing Director at Majestic|
7. Build Your Website on a Solid Foundation of Data and Keyword Research
|I’d recommend that you build your website’s information architecture, URL structure and plan the way content is organized on the domain, on a solid foundation of keyword research and detailed analysis of your search data.|
|Founder at Search Planet|
Your goal should be to build a customer-centric destination that works 24/7 at attracting fresh business.
My company, Search Planet, specializes in E-commerce SEO. I often see even large e-commerce Web shops leak revenue and profit because they’ll mirror their own needs and organizational structure online, instead of focusing on their customers’ needs. So the best prospects don’t find them in search results. Or when they do, they won’t buy from them – but go to their competitors instead.
By transforming your online presence to be entirely customer-focused, you’ll cut through the clutter, dominate search engines, draw a flood of targeted traffic to your website, and make more sales.
8. Spend the Time and Money to Have Your Site Analyzed in Terms of Its Existing SEO
|My one SEO tip would be to actually spend the time and money to have your site analyzed in terms of its existing SEO. So many times people aren’t willing to spend the money to have a professional dig in and figure out a good plan of action.|
|Owner of Link Fish Media|
You could have all kinds of issues that you aren’t aware of and rather than just trying to throw links at the site or find someone to write better content for your home page, put some focus on doing a thorough SEO audit.
9. Make the Best Page on the Internet for Your Topic
|The best tip is the hardest to follow: make the best page on the internet for your topic. Google famously has 2000+ Mathematics PhDs on staff. I assume they are smarter than me. And I want them on my team.|
|Co-Founder / Strategic Director of Orbit Media|
So here’s how I think about SEO:
- If you made the best page on the internet for your topic …there are 2000 Math PhD’s trying to HELP you;
- If you didn’t make the best page on the internet for your topic …there are 2000 Math PhD’s trying to STOP you.
Of course, it’s not enough just to make a great page. But it’s step one. Combine this effort with a clear understanding of off-site SEO, links and basic understanding of how to increase your domain authority and everything is going to work out well for you.
10. When It Comes to Link Acquisition You Need to Be Looking for Trust
The landscape has changed so much, we’re seeing a lot more weight shifting towards user experience, and link building has become a game of trust.
|My main tip would be around links, specifically link metrics. When it comes to link acquisition you need to be looking for trust, and you can only do this through a manual review.|
|CEO of Branded3|
SEOs need to forget about them; there isn’t a metric out there that gives a true reflection of the value of a link, we have come across so many links with good domain authority or domain trust that we would class as toxic websites. When it comes to link acquisition, you need to be looking for trust, and you can only do this through a manual review; is this website the kind of website Google would trust and want to pass value through, is it a trusted source of information? You should then focus on how your links appear on that site, links that look like ads, in the footer or sidebars are going to be less likely to pass value in the long term.
We’re seeing a huge increase in the influence site speed has on rankings. We have run a few tests now with clients and are seeing a direct and almost immediate correlation with speed improvements and an uplift in rankings. Make it a priority, work with the development team and ensure your website is as fast as possible.
11. Invest Time and Effort into Developing a Link Earning Strategy
|Link building is not dead, it just as a new name – link earning. Invest the time and effort into developing and executing a link earning strategy for your business.|
|Director of SEO of Reservations|
Do not take any shortcuts to buy or build low-quality links. While links are still a ranking factor, that is no longer their sole purpose. An effective link will provide the opportunity to improve three things; your traffic, your brand, and build trust. These are the links that should be your focal point. These types of links are found in building relationships with relevant websites and companies, creating valuable (not just quality) content, and a consistently having a giving mentality. Though it takes times, the reward will be worth it.
12. If Everyone Else Is Zigging, Then Zagging Is a Strategic Opportunity
If you just want one SEO tip, then let me share the insight that led me to co-found SEO-PR back in 2003. Hundreds of SEOs optimize web pages hoping that they will get a high ranking in Google search results. And many of them do a great job. But only a small handful optimize news stories, blog posts, or press releases hoping that they will get a high ranking in Google News search results.
|The links in press releases are no-follow, so there is no “link juice” in them. But, they can still drive visitors to a page with more information – if it’s relevant and important. We used unique tracking links in four press releases for Southwest Airlines to generate $2.5 million in ticket sales.|
|President & co-founder of SEO-PR|
Now, the Google News algorithm is similar but different than the Google algorithm. Why? Because inbound links aren’t as strong a signal of the importance of a story. This puts a premium on relevance. But, the big mistake that many SEOs make is assuming that the popularity of keywords used on Google is the same on Google News. They often aren’t. You can see this for yourself by using the Google Trends Explore tool. The default result for any keyword will be web search interest. But you can use the drop down menu to see news search interest. And the trends are often different.
In addition, Google says that 16% of searches that it sees every day are new. Well, ask yourself: “Where do baby search terms come from?” And you’ll discover that the stork doesn’t bring them. They are generated by the “news.” So, these are search terms that your competitors haven’t been optimizing their web pages to get high rankings for 15 years. So, you have a better shot of getting your news stories or blog posts (if you’re a news source) and even your press releases to get high rankings for than you would for yet another web page.
Now, admittedly, your ranking in Google News may only last a day or two. But, for near term news and events, this is the opportunity to drive traffic to a relevant landing page on your website. Now, the links in press releases are no-follow, so there is no “link juice” in them. But, they can still drive visitors to a page with more information — if it’s relevant and important. We used unique tracking links in four press releases for Southwest Airlines to generate $2.5 million in ticket sales. And when the CFO asked how we knew that they came from the press releases, we showed him that the tracking parameters on the links weren’t used by any other element of the company’s marketing. And when he suggested that we were merely harvesting interest that had been generated by the company’s excellent TV advertising, we showed him that the releases were for new service to cities where Southwest Airlines had never run an ad. He asked what else we knew. Well, we’d analyzed the database of people who had purchased tickets and found that two-thirds had never flown Southwest Airlines before and that they were generally purchasing round-trip tickets for two people.
Now, here’s the punch line: Part of why we got such strong response was the use of the term “low airfare” in the headline and lead paragraph of the press release. But the other part was the actual price of a one-way ticket in the headline — which actually was a “low airfare.” So, it isn’t just about putting a keyword in the headline and lead paragraph.
13. Invest More in Content
|Invest more in content. This is without a doubt the thing that people underinvest in the most, yet, doing so almost always brings great yields, both in terms of conversion and SEO.|
|CEO of Stone Temple|
Here at Stone Temple, we have built up numerous case studies of work we’ve done where we have more than doubled traffic to the pages we work on, simply by making improvements to the content on those pages.
14. Run Your Own SEO Tests Across Different Search Categories
|Don’t believe everything you read and watch on the internet about SEO. Most of the best SEO’s I know don’t even have a Twitter account. Run your own SEO tests across different search categories.|
|Ecommerce Consultant of carlhendy.com|
15. Perform an In-Depth SEO SWOT Analysis
It is always tough to provide a generic yet actionable SEO tip that folks have not seen a million times before. What is right for a local business is not right for a national business. What works for a B2B company won’t work for a B2C eCommerce store.
|My best SEO tip is to do an SEO SWOT analysis. What are your SEO Strengths? What are your SEO Weaknesses? What are your SEO Opportunities? What are your SEO Threats?|
|Manager director of Bowler Hat|
If you create a basic SWOT grid and start to detail your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you can start to get a better idea what kind of SEO you need. This is exactly how we work at Bowler Hat and even our SEO service page details how you need to identify what kind of SEO is right for you.
As an example. If a weakness was domain authority, then you can focus on that area. Often businesses will have competence in one area or another. They may be great on page SEO but lack keyword research skills. You may have all the content you need but lack authority. It is very easy to focus on your strengths – this approach forces you to confront your weaknesses.
So my tip – identify your current situation and focus on your weaknesses.
16. Understand What Your Targeted Audience Might Be Looking For
A lesson I learned from one of the highest level corporate law judges in Delaware was to “be responsive” – Make it as easy as possible for people to answer you and to say yes to something that you are asking. This lesson translates well into SEO also.
|Make sure you understand what your targeted audience might be looking for when they might search for a site that you are optimizing.|
|President and founder of SEO by the Sea|
What words they might use when they search for it, how they might construct their query and what words they will expect to see on your pages. Also what questions they might have about the goods or services offered on that website; and the answers to those questions, so that you can provide answers, and begin the journey towards having them become customers of your site.
Being responsive means building a website for your audience that makes it easy for them to learn about what you are offering, and easy for them to purchase from you. Being successful at SEO means building websites for your client’s audience.
17. Test Longer Strategies over Tactics and Measure Each Step of the Way
If I were pressed to give just one SEO tip, it’s to not expect a quick return today (generally speaking).
|Is it possible that a single implementation could make a big difference? Yes. Is it likely? Not really. If you’re investing in SEO, you’re accepting a long game.|
|Owner of Greenlane Search Marketing|
Try testing longer strategies over tactics, and measure each step of the way.
Google has made huge changes that altered the way SEOs do their work. Many of the historic, quick-hitting tactics we wrote into our playbooks have either been devalued by Google or have little weight today. SEO isn’t for the weak-hearted – expect that it could take a while to move into a position that starts to hit your goals. It takes diligence, trial and error, and patience.
Google wants to rank the sites that earn their users’ satisfaction. Google isn’t as easily influenced, thanks to new search models and AI that are designed to truly understand the value of a page the way a user would.
18. Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
|There are many things you can do to your website to improve SEO, but I would say right now that you should focus on making sure your site is mobile-friendly.|
|SEO Consultant of IQ SEO|
Google is testing a new algorithm called Mobile First and as long as tests go well, expect this to be rolled out. The reason it is so important is that it will change how Google ranks websites.
At the moment, Google uses your desktop site to rank you on desktop searches – Mobile First turns this on its head because it will base your desktop rankings on your mobile site.
So if your mobile site is very poor, or even if you don’t have one, expect mobile first to cause you problems.
19. Create Your Own Websites and Experiment Things Risk-Free
|The one SEO tip I would offer, that applies to both those who are new or more experienced, would be to start your own websites as soon as possible.|
|Senior SEO Manager of Screaming Frog|
When I started out in the industry I was obsessed with consuming every SEO article that was published, but ultimately things really took off when I started launching websites. None of them are particularly successful, but they allowed me to try things risk-free without jeopardizing a client’s campaign. I was able to freely dive into onsite SEO, and I also dabbled in the ‘dark arts’ of link building which of course led to one of my sites being penalized..all fun and games!
In order to truly understand how a website works I think it’s important to have some hands on experience, and getting that is easier than you might think. WordPress websites are simple to set up, and building up a bit of traffic can also allow you to experiment with advertising, log file analysis and more!
20. Focus on Content Quality
|The single biggest tip I can give SEOs for 2017 is focusing on content quality. Over the last year, I have extensively been running experiments on how much the swing of search results has moved to the quality of the content.|
|SEO Consultant of Fast Fwd Multimedia|
It seems that the Google also is getting better and better at pulling out content and really starting to understand how that content answers a query.
Traditionally we used to talk about “content” and used to hammer in content in areas where really there was no structure, for example on product category landing pages in eCommerce websites. That used to be good enough to dominate the short, mid and long tail of queries as long as you had a decent volume of links.
My experiments have shown that although you may be able to dominate these queries by link volume alone, you can actually rank better with fewer links if your content quality is decent. And quality means ease of reading, supplying specific answers, breaking it down into digestible pieces, and even semantically layering it. Some of my small affiliate sites are dominating spaces where traditionally massive e-commerce sites used to occupy.
21. Find a Way to Create Attention
|Attention creates awareness, which in turn creates (brand) traffic and links, which will improve your SEO. You need to find a way to create attention (to your product/service/brand/company/website).|
|Director for URL Profiler|
22. Hone Your Technical SEO Skills as Much as Possible
|If I had to give one SEO tip it would be to hone your technical SEO skills as much as possible.|
|VP Local & Product at Local SEO Guide|
While SEO is a relatively broad discipline, the technical aspects of it are relatively opaque to many, and there is no shortcut for. On top of that, it is a skill that will likely always be in demand.
On the long run, search engine optimization will always work, it is just metamorphosed into different forms and approaches. The SEO experts involved in this article said that every business owner should focus on the customer, valuable (not just quality or unique ) content, testing, in-depth analysis, link earning, mobile responsiveness, creative technical SEO while keeping an eye on the ranking signals and the quality backlinks. There are a lot of Youtube videos or “ultimate guides” to improve your SEO. The truth is that some grass-root pieces of advice directly from the professionals in the field are always the SEO tactics you can learn from.
The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results. Because nobody might go to the second page in SERP when they look for something. That’s why, from time to time, you need take into account these kind of actionable SEO tips (directly from SEO experts) and rank higher in Google. Lots of people want to receive organic traffic, write relevant fresh content, have fast loading speed, earn quality links, have authority sites and no Google penalties. Having an SEO strategy, get registered with Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and other digital marketing tools might help you outrank your competitors and become number one. But it depends on you to do the things right; if you follow these SEO techniques backed up by experts you might have bigger chances of success.
Make sure you pay attention to these more advanced SEO tactics but don’t forget about the basic SEO tips for your website, such as an internal link strategy, increasing social shares for brand awareness, building relevant links for your website optimizing anchor text, crawling your site to fix broken links, get keyword ideas, create valuable and relevant content on your site, easy to read blogs with popular content, onpage SEO optimization for long tail keywords, image alt text, compelling meta descriptions and unique titles and descriptions. Also bear in mind to integrate social media into the whole SEO strategy, because it is an important piece of the pie. This blog post is a collection of actionable SEO tips for beginners but also for professionals and we hope you will take full advantage of them.
The post 22 Unique SEO Tips Backed by 22 Renowned SEO Experts appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.
A number of active blogs numbers over 100 million, so how do you make your blog a standout? Whether you are starting a blog for the first time, or you are looking to get more traffic to your blog, there are always trends to follow to make your blog shine. Follow these blogging trends to get your site the following it deserves.
Include Engaging Media
Blogs are no longer just made up of blocks of text and a few images scattered here and there. In today’s blogging environment, a variety of content is key. This means not only making sure your images are high quality, but varying your use of different types of media. Fun and creative videos are the latest and most popular trend in blogging. Do not hesitate to create videos and encourage followers to follow your social media accounts.
The crème de la crème of blogging at the moment, however, has to be live streaming. Live streaming is at this time the most immersive experience for viewers because it puts them right there with you. Followers have the ability to interact with you, ask questions, and comment while you are streaming. More and more people want to buy into a totally immersive experience in which they are engaging with the content as it happens in real-time. In many cases, it goes farther than what many blog videos and images cannot do. Depending on the brand of your blog, you can conduct interviews with special guests or even immortalize your travel adventures.
Go for Quality Over Quantity
Today, there is simply too much content on the web to sift through. The sheer amount of blogs that may surround your topic can be overwhelming, so the answer to this is simple: less is more. Readers and viewers today want quality work. Their time is precious and they want to find something worth looking at. If they cannot find it in your content, they will quickly move on to something else. The cure to this is to elevate the quality of your content. Feel free to go in-depth about your specific entry, or divide the topic into a series whether it be politics, lifestyle, or media. Sometimes this means writing more, and sometimes this means writing less. If you are not the best editor, perhaps have a trusted friend or family member who has the skills to elevate your work for you.
Keep in Touch With Your Followers
A great deal of criticism has surfaced about the cold and impersonal nature of social media. While these critiques do have their merits, they don’t have to hold true for you. You can influence your followers by becoming more personable. This means that when a follower reaches out to you, you should make an effort to reach out to them. Often, a popular blogger or YouTuber will have followers that look up to them, so making yourself accessible via a bio, a question and answer session, or a live stream will help your followers connect to you. It may be impossible to answer everyone’s questions, but you do have the ability to reach out when it’s appropriate.
Try Guest Posting
Instead of competing with your fellow bloggers, try contacting them for a guest post on something you enjoy. It need not be a direct competitor, but you can write for a variety of blogs that cover a vast network of topics. Form relationships with your fellow bloggers and you may be surprised at the following you will gain.
Blogging should be a fun and engaging experience for both you and the audience. If you want to continue to have a successful blog in the future, follow these tips add a nice polish to your blog.
Don’t Miss The Hottest Blogging Trends Of 2017 was first posted on April 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm.
SEO still keeps a lot of secrets for a lot of beginners out there, but even advanced users need to be constantly up to date with what happens in the online marketing world. We’ve put a together a list of ten SEO facts you’ve probably never heard of before; however, even if you have, this is a friendly reminder.
There are a lot of SEO facts and stats out there, with more or less known matters. What we’ve tried to do is to put together a list of surprising SEO facts that make you look at the search engine market from a new perspective. This is not a collection of SEO statistics; this is a list of SEO facts that will help you improve your SEO and your overall online marketing strategy.
That is why we have prepared for you a series of ten shocking facts that we believe you never knew about, until today.
- Duplicate Content Won’t Get You Penalized
- Not All Search Engines Use Links as a Ranking Factor
- Google+ Is the Highest Correlated Social Factor for Rankings
- Rich Snippets Have No Direct Impact on Your Rankings
- Only 2 of the Top 10 Most Popular Sites Are Content Sites
- Object Detection in Images is a Strong Ranking Signal
- Google Has Search Evaluators to Determine the Quality of Results
- A Video on Your Homepage Will Double the Chances to Show up on Page 1 of Google
- Travel Time Is a Metric for Google’s Ranking
- Google Ranks Events Based upon Popularity
1. Duplicate Content Won’t Get You Penalized
Will you be penalized for duplicate content? No. Is duplicate content hurting your site? Well, it depends. Allow us to elaborate more on this matter.
To start with, we will cite the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines from March 2017 :
The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC (main content) on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated Lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source.
Did you see duplicate content mentioned anywhere? No. It’s all about copied content. And Google has a different treatment for copied content than for duplicate content. Duplicate content won’t get you penalized, while copied content will. If you don’t believe us, take a look at the video below where Andrey Lipattsev from Google claimed that:
There is no Google duplicate content penalty.
Duplicate content is not always hurting SEO as most of the people think. Of course, duplicate content is not an optimal set-up for pages. Nevertheless, most of the time duplicate content is not manipulative. If you use canonical tags to let search engines know the preferred content, you should be safe. What we want to stress on is that there are many users who have never gazed over what Google says about the duplicate content.
It is not called a penalty if Google notices that your content is not unique.
As Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland describes in the video mentioned above, you can notice that:
- Google does not have a duplicate penalty
- What it does is to reward unique content and correlate it with added value
- The duplicate content is filtered
- Google wants to find new content and duplicates slows the search engine down
- If you want Google to quickly discover your new content, you should send XML sitemaps
- What the big G wants us to do is to concentrate signals in canonical documents, and optimize those canonical pages so they are better for users.
- If we think about SEI, it is not duplicate content that is hurting our ranking, but the lack of unique content.
Remember that if there is a website duplicating your content and you do not have any agreement, you can fill in a request to have it removed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Another thing that you can easily do is to use canonical tags. This is a simple way of telling the search engine that this is where the official version first appeared. You should keep count of the duplicate content issues, anytime you start shaping your content marketing strategies or you want to analyze your SEO rankings.
2. Not All Search Engines Use Links as a Ranking Factor
Is it possible to rank without links? The answer is yes.
Yandex, the biggest search engine in Russia is no longer taking into consideration links as a ranking factor. Before saying that what happens in Russia, stays in Russia, you need to know that Google might be heading in the same direction. The Russian commercial SERPs in Yandex and Google are some of the most spammed keywords, where black hat SEO techniques are used to quickly rank shady sites. Given the situation, Yandex said that their algorithm will be a “link-free” one. Will the other search engines follow?
Will Google remove links from their algorithm? It seems like Google wishes to rank websites based on facts instead of links. They even discussed on the idea of excluding backlinks from the Google algorithm.
We don’t have a version like that that is exposed to the public, but we have run experiments like that internally […] we’ve played around with the idea of turning off backlink relevance and, at least for now, backlink relevance still really helps in terms of making sure that we return the best, most relevant, most topical search results. – Matt Cutts, former Google representative
It seems like Google wishes to rank websites based on facts instead of links. This means that the trustworthiness of a domain might help it rise up rankings if Google measures quality by facts, instead of links, according to New Scientist.
3. Google+ Is the Highest Correlated Social Factor for Rankings
There is a lot of mystery and buzz regarding the influence of shares, comments, likes, etc. on SEO in general. A question keeps popping out:
Are social signals a ranking factor?
The answer is not as simple as a “yes” or “no”. What we can tell you for sure as a result of an in-depth study published in a previous blog post on this matter is this:
The average Google + shares for the first rank are significantly higher.
There were some other correlations we’ve made between Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn and ranks; yet, the strongest correlation was between a high number of Google+ shares and better ranks.
Before overlooking Google+ within your social media marketing strategy, take a look at the screenshot above. It’s true that correlation doesn’t mean causality but such a high correlation cannot be easily ignored.
It seems that Google+ interactions affect Google search rankings. Therefore, Google+ provides engagement with your audience, but it also affects measurable outcomes beyond engagement, including higher search results ranking. You don’t have to be an SEO expert to know that organic listing doesn’t come up easily, regardless of the SEO tactics or social media strategy you’ve used. Yet, any little help that will improve your search traffic definitely helps.
4. Rich Snippets Have No Direct Impact on Your Rankings
Rich snippets have been a sneak preview on the SERP page since they first appeared in 2009. The question is: Do they have a direct impact on your ranks? Well, not really.
Rich snippets have the role of adding extra information to a search listing but, according to Google, they do not influence rankings. Google has stated several times that rich snippets have no direct impact on site rankings at the moment. You can even find answers on the Web Master Help Forum:
Q: Does using rich snippets affect my site’s ranking?
So Google said it all. Apparently, rich snippets do not affect our rankings in a direct way. This does not mean that it cannot generate indirect SEO benefits though, like helping a page to be easily indexable or showing useful data for the reader. Rich snippets will help you in an indirect way to get more people to visit your website, and that in turn might further help you with your rankings; yet rich snippets have no direct impact on your ranks.
5. Only 2 of the Top 10 Most Popular Sites on the Web Are Content Sites
In order to completely understand this let’s take a look at the 10 most popular sites according to Ebizma. It seems that the top most popular sites in March 2017 are: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo!, Amazon, Wikipedia, Twitter, Bing, eBay and MSN. No suprise here, I know. Yet, if we think of them for a moment we notice that only Wikipedia and YouTube are truly content-oriented websites. The other are “content gates” if we can say that but they are not offering direct content in a way a usual website does.
This leads to an important question:
Does usefulness matter more than content?
Eight of those sites give the core users something to do, not only to consume. As Carter Bowles from Northcutt claims, they do not stop at passive reading or video watching, but they give people tools and places that they can use to do something. These websites are popular because the action required from the core user does not stop at consuming content.
Google is a tool that gives users the chance of quickly searching the whole web in order to find something that they want. They are not popular due to content or fantastic link bait, but as a result of interaction. So, we might ask ourselves:
Is content still king?
We are not implying that content marketing is not working. Quality content is great because it provides an amazing way to grow. What we are stressing on is the fact that interaction seems to be working wonders. If we try to understand why these websites are popular, we will notice that up to a point, content marketing is also part of their strategy. But what facts prove to us is that the most outstanding sites out there place communities, tools and interactive platforms before content. Even more, those two content sites that are at the top of popularity, YouTube and Wikipedia, are still making use of interactive platforms.
6. Object Detection in Images Is a Strong Ranking Signal
You may know that Google is smart enough to recognize objects in images but what you might not know is that object recognition is now a ranking signal that can affect any business out there.
Not long ago we wrote an article about the way Google will read & rank images in the near future. Well, it seems like the future is now. It’s true that there have been lots of studies with complex equations and algorithms about image recognition since the ‘90s, so we can say that the subject has appealed to researchers ever since search engines appeared. What should be appealing for users is the idea of image optimization, and not in the classic way of adding title tags and alternate text.
Since the moment the big G made the Cloud Vision API public, a lot of people started raving about the technology. Without any doubt, Cloud Vision API can be used to analyze and determine what is inside an image. This quickly classifies images into thousands of categories (e.g., “sailboat”, “lion”, “Eiffel Tower”), detects individual objects and faces within images, and finds and reads printed words contained within images. You can build metadata on your image catalog, moderate offensive content, or enable new marketing scenarios through image sentiment analysis.
This feature allows search engines to detect what content is inside the images that you post on your websites and rank it accordingly.
Object Detection in Images adds an extra layer of ranking signals that cannot be easily altered.
However, this is really big for the SEO industry as the object recognition:
- Will help by helping Google to show a lower number of false positives when searching for a particular keyword.
- Can strengthen the ranking of a page
7. Google Has Search Evaluators to Determine the Quality of Results
You might know by now that a lot of algorithms are used by Google in order to rank websites. You might be surprised to find out that to evaluate the quality of search results Google hired people who make around 40,000 precision evaluations. These search evaluators have to establish the quality of results for various searches. The guidelines that they use to rate the results are explained in a rather dense document that can be found here.
Although the document seems to address more those who wish to become evaluators, a gaze through the guidelines can help developers and marketers as well, because they help you understand how quality is perceived by Google.
Google uses search evaluators from different countries and with different languages. This means that Google is trying to understand content written in more languages.
Following this, we might think that the engine will be able to apply penalties to content coming in not so common languages as well. For the moment, by Google’s estimates, the Penguin algorithm affects approximately 3.1% of search queries in English, about 3% of queries in languages like German, Chinese, and Arabic. These trained experts might be able to catch spam in more languages and therefore affect the overall ranks.
8. A Video on Your Homepage Will Double the Chances to Show up on Page 1 of Google
All that YouTube has achieved in the last years made it the world’s second largest search engine and also the go-to choice for online video marketing and advertising. Let’s think of it for a moment. Everybody likes videos, right? They are instantly more attractive than text for lots of people and it seems that the big G holds a special place for Youtube in its heart. We should also take into account that, after all, it is owned by Google.
According to a study conducted by Tubular Insights, videos have a 41% higher CTR than text.
According to a study made by Aimclear, it seems that the platform we choose to upload our videos impacts the ability to rank. What platform is preferred? You guessed. YouTube dominates Google’s SERP, but there are other platforms that have some influence as well, as you can see in the image bellow:
But what about having videos on homepages? Will they help us rank better? The same study from Aimclear mentioned above says that nearly 100% of the videos returned in universal SERPs also ranked on the first page on their native platform. It’s true that a high ranking on YouTube results doesn’t guarantees a universal search placement; yet it seems to be a prerequisite. Also, direct or indirect, videos will boost your rankings. Aside from keeping your visitors engaged, it will give them something they can easily share.
A video can help by keeping your visitors more on your website and this will be seen as a ranking factor by the search engines. We should also consider the possibility of visitors sharing the page containing the video on social media and this will increase the possibility of receiving inbound links from users that notice it. This will certainly add value to your SEO.
9. Travel Time Is a Metric for Google’s Ranking
No, we are not talking about time traveling and time machines, but about the physical time it takes for someone to get from a location to an event/place/business he/she is interested in, and as a consequence, about local search and local optimization.
The amount of travel time someone goes through in order to reach a place is a ranking factor.
Travel time is a recently granted patent from Google that seems to be connected with the local SEO and is defined as the “time investment a person may be willing to make to visit a specific location.” Therefore, proximity comes first not just in our day to day lives but in SERPs as well. Sites that are not as optimized as yours will rank ahead of you if they are closer to the user. Therefore, if you have a local business you should be highly interested of this search market feature if you are interested in a high close rate as well.
Just look at the image below. The “plumbers” search listed a few businesses relevant for this search. Yet, why are these websites listed first?
Do they have quality content? Well, some of them don’t even have a website, as we found out from a research conducted by Darren Shaw. Not to mention that some of them have 0 links and 0 reviews. Therefore, why are they ranking in top 3? You’ve guessed it: proximity.
It seems like Google also wants to know if a person visits a place after seeing it in Google Maps, either by following a recommendation or after seeing it in the search results. As Bill Slawski mentioned, the term ”time investment” used in this Google patent refers to the actual time that it takes to visit a place that was seen in the search results.
10. Google Ranks Events Based upon Popularity
According to another patent granted for Google, it seems that the search engine will soon rank events depending on popularity instead of considering the number of inbound links pointed at the event’s pages. The idea behind this patent is that because many events can happen in the same region or around the same time, people that are interested in them might consider it difficult to choose the event to attend.
This will help users choose the most interesting event when multiple events take place at the same time.
The big G will be receiving data about the events that take place during a certain time period along with the computing signal scores for those events.
Other signals for ranking events according to the patent might be:
- generating an initial ranking of events based on the popularity scores;
- computing a modified popularity score for each of the events based on the initial ranking;
- generating the ranking of events occurring in the physical location by ranking the events according to the modified popularity scores.
Above we’ve exposed some of the facts from the search engine optimization market we believe will help you out with your organic search and your overall digital marketing strategy. The search engine market is an ever transforming platform where effective SEO still pays the bills and keeps on driving traffic. Even if you invest in paid search or in link building, what we want at the end of the day is to have all of the internet users, if possible, generating organic clicks on our site. Increasing sales is what we all aim to. And as 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, being aware of the Google SEO statistics that can influence your website’s performance (regardless if they are SEO facts 2017 or older SEO statistics from 2016 )it’s of paramount importance.
There is no single most effective SEO statistic, tip or fact, a lead generation formula that will drive to guaranteed marketing success. Yet, the SEO facts we’ve debated along this article might help you with your onpage SEO, your integrated marketing or content strategies. Conversion rates don’t come easily and some SEO tips, paid ads or marketing stats won’t bring million users all of the sudden. But being aware of the SEO stats and facts and shaping your online marketing according to it, will definitely improve your global web presence. Stay up to date to the marketing trends, be concerned of content creation, check out where your users click on, invest in inbound marketing and the organic results will eventually follow.
We look forward to seeing how Google’s search engine will evolve with all the new technology and we also look forward to hearing from you.
The post 10 Shocking SEO Facts You Never Knew About appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.
Ads are still the primary way that bloggers try to make an income online. But is it really the best solution? Probably not.
There seems to be a common perception (among newer bloggers in particular) that the best way to make an income with a blog is to write content and then put some kind of advert in the sidebar or at the top of each post.
I regularly hear from people who want to know how to get more AdSense clicks, or where to find advertisers to pay them for a prime piece of website real estate.
In my experience, this is one of the worst ways to make money online.
Today’s post will take a look at why ads are not the best way to make an income from your blog, and what alternatives are available to us in the short and long term.
Note: I’m always happy to be wrong and learn new things so make sure you read to the end if you’ve got a different point of view!
Why I don’t like ads on blogs
Let’s start this post by jumping right in and looking at why advertising and programs like AdSense aren’t the best fit for blogs.
- Lack of quality control
One of the first things you notice when you sign up to a program that delivers ads on your blog is that you often don’t have much control over the ads that are then displayed on your blog. I often find it a bit sad to see a high quality magazine, for example, displaying ads from questionable products that they would otherwise never approve.
- Site load time
If you run a speed test on any website that uses an advertising network you can almost guarantee that it will be slowing down their site. As we know, a fast loading blog is essential for good Google rankings and, as such, we should be a bit careful about installing anything that affects this negatively.
- Low earnings per lost reader
When you think about it, a program like AdSense is sending readers away from your site for a few cents (or maybe a few dollars in a good niche). While this can add up to a lot, it’s still a relatively cheap way to lose readers that are quite difficult to acquire through content creation, SEO, networking, etc.
- Intrusive display options
From an advertisers points of view, they are going to want to maximize the amount of coverage they get on your blog. But from your readers point of view, that represents an annoying intrusion or a big break in page momentum. This can have a huge effect on bounce rate and subscriber conversion rates.
- Lack of trust
In some extreme cases, ads can cause readers to lose trust in the site. For example, there are some blogs that have so many ads and pop ups that I no longer visit them (even with a pop up blocker) because I don’t like the scripts and cookies and some of the nasty things they can do to your computer.
We’ll take a look at the flip side of all this in a minute, but these are the main reasons why I don’t think bloggers should consider ads as a main source of income for their long term careers.
A quick example of the problem with ads
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, I thought it would be good to look at an example of how advertising might have a negative effect on a site. Please keep in mind that this is me talking personally as a user/reader of a site. I don’t have any data on this particular example.
The above is a screenshot from News.com.au which, at the time, had at least five ads on the homepage for well-loved painkiller, Panadol. For many web users this makes it extremely difficult to determine where the news ends and the advertising begins. I think there would be a lot of accidental clicks, which, to me, doesn’t do any favors for the advertiser or the seller.
I acknowledge that news sites in particular are in a difficult position at the moment as revenues fall, fake news gains popularity, and budgets are tight. But I can’t help wonder whether this is doing more harm than good over then long term, as opposed to sites like the New York Times and New Yorker which are adjusting quite well with subscription models.
Note: This is also why I don’t recommend free blogging platforms where ads are often a non-negotiable part of the user experience.
So, what’s the alternative?
At this point you’re probably wondering what a good alternative is. That’s where it gets a little bit tricky and we have to start thinking from a more long term perspective.
- Develop a strategy for the future
The first thing we need to do is develop a long term blogging strategy that factors in all the different goals and ideas you have for your blog over the next five or so years. This really helps to make the next stages more focused, and gives you ideas about where to go next.
- Explore temporary sources of income
In my guide on how to make money from a new blog we go into some better details about what is possible for short term income sources that enhance your blog instead of detracting from it. For example, using your blog as an Internet business card to sell services to businesses in your area, freelancing, etc. This really helps while you’re getting established.
- Build a mailing list around a particular niche
Throughout all of this, we should be focusing the majority of our efforts on building a mailing list that is very closely targeted to the area that we want to monetize in the future. For example, if your blog is about Bonsai growing you could set up a mailing list with a weekly Bonsai expert tip and, throughout this process, introduce people to some affiliate products that you use with your own Bonsai garden at home.
- Create a product that appeals to your mailing list
The majority of bloggers who have gained some level of success have created a product that they then sold to a mailing list that was primed for the sale. Examples include ViperChill opening an SEO training course after writing about Google for months, Darren Rowse selling photography guides to his enormous community at Christmas, Pat Flynn building a podcast player while also having the best how to podcast guide on the net, etc.
- Reinforce these systems with more traffic
Once you have a good system of email list > affiliate products > original products set up then your main job is to drive relevant traffic to those posts and pages that promote the funnel. This can mean getting more traffic Google and then exploring things like advertising, guest posting, instagram marketing, etc. as a way to ensure that you get a continuous and reinforcing flow.
One of the main reasons that I like this style of monetization is that the whole process, if you so choose, can be of value to your readers – the content that originally lands them, the email course, the products – all of it can solve problems and help people in their daily lives.
A quick example of this being done right
There are so many places to see this type of strategy but I thought I would just show you one that I really like in the hope that it’ll give you a few ideas for your own blog. This example is from The Chess Website.
This is a fantastic demonstration of how to use free content as a way to encourage people to sign up for a highly relevant paid product – in this case the unlocking of further strategies.
The Chess Website is also prolific on YouTube and its videos get millions of views to its free training and strategy videos.
Once you visit the website to practice more chess openings or strategies you see that you can get many more tutorials unlocked by paying a small membership fee. This is a really flawless transition from free to paid content and gives them so many opportunities for further promotions as they already have an active and very engaged customer base.
When are ads on blogs a good idea?
I couldn’t end this post without taking a look at the inevitable situations where ads are a reasonable idea.
This mainly occurs where traffic is relatively large but the time on site is relatively low because readers are getting the information they need quite quickly, or the information doesn’t require much analysis.
For example, product review sites where the products aren’t that interesting (think fridges, vacuums, etc.) are going to really struggle to get people subscribing for a mailing list. It’s different when the product has a cult following (think iPhones, video games, PC hardware, etc.), but where someone is just looking to see if a thing is good or bad based on others’ reviews then there isn’t much more you can do than ads.
Another situation might be where you site gets a lot of traffic but is about a very generalized group of sub-topics. Some magazines and newspapers run into this issue – while one reader might like to see articles on climate science updates that doesn’t mean they’ll want to read about elections in New York. In this situation it’s still preferable to use affiliate product where you can, but some advertising might be necessary.
The last option I wanted to throw out there is when an advertiser approaches you directly and wants to place ads on your blog exclusively. They might buy naming rights, or sponsor your site for a period of time. This could happen, for example, if your blog is about a new movie or video game that is coming out. In that scenario you have complete control over the ads and the price.
Do you use ads on your blog?
I know that a lot of you gals and guys use ads on your blog and I’d really like to know whether you disagree with my assessment, or whether I’ve missed any important point. Have ads worked well for you? Or have you found another alternative that you think bloggers might like to know about?
Please leave a comment.
Top photo © Danomyte Scared Man.
The amount of information that Google holds is, beyond any doubt, amazing and this is maybe one of the reasons we are so connected with this search engine. All the functions and functionalities keep evolving, and even though you might know and admire the really creative Google Doodles and you might have already amused yourself with some of the big G’s April Fools Day jokes, some of you might not be aware of the different secrets that it holds: the Google Easter Eggs.
Blame it on the season, blame it on our curiosity but we’ve prepared for you the most comprehensive list of Google Easter Eggs that I am sure it will intrigue you just as much it intrigued us. We might mention that we are not offering you the decorated or chocolate eggs that are usually used as gifts on the occasion of Easter or springtime celebration. We’re offering you something just as “delicious” from a recreational point of view: the hidden messages, intentional inside jokes, or secret features, in other words the complete list of Google Easter Eggs.
We’ve tried to gather all the Easter Eggs that are available at the moment. Keep in mind that if you want all of them to work, it will be useful to have the latest version of Google Chrome browser. With no further introduction, we declare the traditional (Google) Easter egg hunt opened.
- The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything
- Baker’s Dozen
- Bletchley Park
- Conway’s Game of Life
- Play Atari Breakout in Google Images
- Flip a Coin
- Fun Facts
- Feeling Curious
- Roll a Die
- Play Solitaire
- Server Status 418. I’m a Teapot
- Tic Tac Toe or Terni Lapilli
- Play Dreidel
- Once in a Blue Moon
- The Number of Horns on a Unicorn
- Loneliest Number
- Search For “Anagram” Or “Define Anagram”
- Blink HTML
- Marquee HTML
- Do a Barrel Roll
- Google in 1998
- Is Google Down?
- Zerg Rush
- Search for Recursion
- Sonic Easter Egg
- Super Mario Bros
- 3D Easter Egg
- Bacon Number
- Valentine’s Day Easter Egg
- Bubble Level
- Pirate Language
- Loch Ness Monster
- Google Mars
- Google Moon
- Dinosaur Game
- What Sound Does a Dog make?
- Nutrition Info
- The Funniest Joke in the World
- Lego Lovers Build with Chrome
- Spelling Numbers
- Explore Space with Google Sky
- Find Webpage Fonts
- Google Gravity
- Let Me Google That for You
- But Where is Chuck Norris?
- Google Space
- Google Sphere
1. The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything
This is a really one of the coolest Google Search Easter Eggs, especially for those who read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. In his book he wrote that “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.” A lot of fans tried to decipher what was the secret meaning of the number, but Douglas Adams himself said: “The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base 13, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat on my desk, stared in to the garden and thought 42 will do. I typed it out. End of story.” Even though the author said the number was made up, millions of Hitchhiker’s fans still think of multiple secret motivations.
2. Baker’s Dozen
If you go to the search bar and look for “baker’s dozen”, you will see the number 13 on the calculator. A baker’s dozen, a long dozen or a devil’s dozen is 13 and this comes from the practice of medieval English bakers giving an extra loaf when selling a dozen. This represented an insurance against the items being lower than the statutory weight, or of lower than usual quality, which could cause the baker to be fined. The thirteen loaves where never called by the number and were described as a “baker’s dozen” because of the “unlucky 13”.
3. Bletchley Park
Look for “Bletchley Park” and on the search results page you will notice that Google’s Knowledge Panel will decode the name of Bletchley Park and will show it beneath the location on Google Maps. In the World War II, Bletchley Park was the central site for British codebreakers and it housed the Government Code and Cypher School. According to Wikipedia, it regularly unveiled the secret communications of the Axis Powers, the most important German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers.
4. Conway’s Game of Life
This is also among the nice Google Search Easter Eggs. Simply Google for “Conway’s Game of Life”, and you will see a few small blue boxes that move through different patterns and spread over the page. According to Wikipedia, The Game of Life is a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway, in 1970. The “game” is a zero-player game, meaning that its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input. One interacts with the Game of Life by creating an initial configuration and observing how it evolves or, for advanced “players”, by creating patterns with particular properties.
5. Play Atari Breakout in Google Images
Do you want to kill boredom? Well, you’ve finally reached the right place. Go to Google and do an image search for ”Atari Breakout” and start playing. This will be a breeze for anybody who loves the “oldies but goldies” type of video games and it will certainly bring back some memories. You will be able to navigate the paddle by using your mouse or arrow keys on your keyboard in order to destroy all images.
Search for ”askew” and the search engine will tilt the screen for you. This is one of the display Easter eggs that Google has. Everything else still works as it should and if you look for anything else the search results page will go back to normal.
7. Flip a Coin
We have all flipped a coin in order to decide something with another person. The folks at Google seem to do this so much that they had to include a card with an animated coin flip. This time at least, you will know that it is a fair deal.
8. Fun Facts
Do you know when ears and nose stop growing? If you feel like you want to learn something new, go to the Google search bar and write down “fun facts” and be amazed.
9. Feeling Curious
This one is pretty similar to fun facts. If you like trivia questions or you get bored, this is really useful. Google “I’m feeling curious” and the search engine will show you a random question and an answer that will teach you something new every single day. If you click on Ask Another Question, this will never stop. Did you know that the olympic flag was first flown at the Antwerp games in 1920?
10. Roll a Die
This is one that Google made for all the gamblers out there. All you have to do is search ”roll a die” and the big G will roll a die for you, one out of six.
11. Play Solitaire
The history of the card game named Solitaire dates back to the mid-18th century. Solitaire gained different names along the time, but what really matters is that now you can simply Google ”solitaire” and you will be able to play the card classics Solitaire in any desktop browser in an instant.
12. Server Status 418. I’m a Teapot
You can easily access the page by clicking here. This is an easter egg which was designed for server and SEO geeks. The teapot page is a 418 response code, which was initially an April Fools Joke from 1998 that was not intended for implementation, even though Google did it anyway.
13. Tic Tac Toe or Terni Lapilli
It does not matter if you call it Tic Tac Toe or Terni Lapilli, as the ancient Romans used to call it, simply Google “tic tac toe” or even “terni lapilli” and discover a game you can play with the computer or with a friend. For a challenge we recommend the impossible difficulty.
You can go to the Google hompage and search for the word “spinner” and you will see an interactive spinning wheel appearing. You will also be able to choose numbers from 2 to 20.
15. Play Dreidel
Talking about games and easter eggs, you can type “play dreidel” in the search bar and enjoy. For those who do not know, dreidel is a Jewish variant of the teetotum, a gambling toy found in many European cultures. Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (He), ש (Shin), which together form the acronym for “נס גדול היה שם” (Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – “a great miracle happened there”). It is great that it is now one of the Google games.
16. Once in a Blue Moon
This is one of the amazing Google easter eggs. If you search “once in a Blue Moon”, Google will guide you to the mathematical equation for the occurrence of a blue moon. The calculator will show the result of “once in a blue moon = 1.16699016 × 10-8 hertz”. Once in a blue moon is something that happens rarely.
17. The Number of Horns on a Unicorn
Similar to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy joke, look for “the number of horns on a unicorn” and the search engine will show you the calculator with the answer “1”.
18. Loneliest Number
Look for the “loneliest number” in the search box and the Google calculator will show you the answer “1”.
19. Search For “Anagram” Or “Define Anagram”
This is a must in the definitive list of easter eggs. Write “anagram” in the search box, Google will ask you “did you mean: nag a ram?”. For more fun you can type in “define anagram” and it will ask you again “did you mean: nerd fame again?”
20. Blink HTML
The easter egg hidden here is quite interesting. Type “blink html” or “<blink>” in the search box in order to activate it. You will notice that the words “blink” and “html” will actually blink on the SERP. You can see an animated GIF with this action:
21. Marquee HTML
Another interesting secret hidden withing your Google page can be seen when looking for “marquee html”. You will notice that the results count will slowly move from right to left on the page. Check it yourself and see.
22. Google Barrel Roll
Look for “do a barrel roll” and the SERP page will quickly execute a roll. The barrel roll is known as an airplane maneuver in which the pilot performs a 360 degree roll while flying forward at a consistent altitude. It seems like Google wanted to help people understand what this maneuver is by simply showing it.
It seems that Seinfeld fans will get a nice treat by typing “Festivus”: an undecorated aluminum Festivus pole. Festivus represents a parody and also a secular holiday that is celebrated on December 23. It represents an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.
24. Google in 1998
For those who want to roll the years back and have a short reminder of how Google looked at the beginnings of time itself, search for “google in 1998” and you will get one of those classy SERP pages.
25. Is Google Down?
Quickly look for “is google down” and you will get the answer in an instant…or not?
26. Zerg Rush
Search “zerg rush” and fight to protect the results on the SERP! If you have ever played a Starcraft game you will know that a “zerg rush” is a tactic which implies gathering a low-level or poorly equipped group against an opposing group in the hope that big numbers will crush the adversary. The search will activate a simplified example of a zerg rush using an army of O’s. When you finish the game, the O’s will gather up in the form of “GG”, which all of the gamers out there will know that it means “good game”.
27. Search for Recursion
The recursion Google joke seems to be a classic. Look up for the word “recursion”, which means a repeated application of a recursive procedure, and the engine will ask you “did you mean: recursion?”. No matter how many times you click it, you will end up on the same page.
28. Sonic Easter Egg
This is a nice Easter egg for all the Sonic fans out there. Search “sonic the hedgehog” and you will see an animated .gif with Sonic waiting in the info card located on the right side of the SERP page.
29. Super Mario Bros
Write “Super Mario Bros” in the search bar and you will notice an animated .gif question mark box on the knowledge panel which is located on the right side of the screen.
Search “kerning” on Google and every time you will see the word “kerning” on the SERP page, you will notice that it has the spacing between the letters applied.
Ready for more of the Google Easter eggs games? Search “pac-man” and use the arrow keys to play the video game.
32. 3D Easter Egg
This is one of the amazing Google easter eggs. Click here and along with a mind blowing calculus you will see a spinning egg in 3D.
33. Bacon Number
This is another fun Google secret. Type “bacon number” followed by any actor’s name and you will get the bacon number. This represents the number of degrees of separation they have from actor Kevin Bacon, as defined by the game known as Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. The numbers go from 1 to 6 because there is the theory of six degrees of separation which says that all living things and everything else in the world is six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.
34.Valentine’s Day Easter Egg
Do you feel the need of giving your heart to someone? Google made it easier than ever. You can click here and see an Easter egg that might work good for valentine’s day. And if it doesn’t work good for Valentine, at least you will impress the other with a complicated mathematical calculus.
During the Gay Pride Parades, users that search for keywords like “gay pride,” “marriage equality” and other LGBT rights terms will see a rainbow themed SERP. The colourful results will differ and sometimes even the Google logo will change, as a sign of support for the LGBT community.
36. Bubble Level
Simply search for “bubble level” on your smartphone and you will instantly have an interactive leveler on your mobile phone.
37. Pirate Language
If you want to check out Google’s pirate interface go to the language setting and you will be feeling lucky sailing the web with Google’s pirate language in no time. Good luck with your searrrrrch!
38. Loch Ness Monster
It is time for a Google Maps Easter Egg. After intensive searches and a lot of really hard work, our team here at cognitiveSEO has finally found the Loch Ness Monster. All you have to do is to search for “Loch Ness” and you will see the Google Maps Pegman button change in the bottom right corner.
39. Google Mars
If you got tired of Google Earth and you want to take a short trip to Mars, it is now easier than ever and you can even take a Google street view. The folks from Google declared not long before April Fools Day:
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is committed to meeting our customers needs—no matter where they are. Amidst our growing list of new regions, today we’re pleased to announce our expansion to Mars. In addition to supporting some of the most demanding disaster recovery and data sovereignty needs of our Earth-based customers, we’re looking to the future cloud infrastructure needed for the exploration and ultimate colonization of the Red Planet. Our first interplanetary data center—affectionately nicknamed “Ziggy Stardust”—will open in 2018. Our Mars exploration started as a 20% project with the Google Planets team, which mapped Mars and other bodies in space and found a suitable location in Gale Crater, near the landing site of NASA’s Curiosity rover.
40. Google Moon
Are you curious about the Apollo missions? Do you want to have a closer look at the moon? You can now easily do this with the aid of Google by following this link.
41. Dinosaur Game
Some of you Google Chrome users might already know about the dinosaur game. Every time your internet connection falls down you will be able to press the space bar and the arrow keys to play it.
42. What Sound Does a Dog make?
It does not apply only to dogs, but all you have to do is search for “what sound does a dog make” and you will be able to hear it and even choose multiple animals.
This is a really useful secret feature for musicians. Anytime you want your instrument just look for “metronome” and you will have one in a heartbeat.
44. Nutrition Info
You can quickly do a google search of “nutrition…” and add any food and find out all the details you need to take care of health.
Whether you want to quickly convert Euro to USD or kilograms to pounds, you can quickly search it and find out the result.
46. The Funniest Joke in the World
This is a small Google hacker result. Look for “Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput! to English” and see what Google Translate has to say. If you are curious about the german phrase, you need to know that it’s often referred to as “The Funniest Joke in the World” .This is the title most frequently used for written references to a Monty Python’s Flying Circus comedy sketch.
Let’s say that you easily want to keep track of time and you want a handy tool in your web browser. There is a hidden timer directly in Google’s Search.
48. Lego Lovers Build with Chrome
This is something that Lego lovers will certainly spend lots of time with. You get a Google Earth view with this website and you get to build what you want where you want. Go to the website and enjoy it!
49. Spelling Numbers
If you ever have trouble with spelling or reading a big number in english, you can ask the big G to help you out. All you have to do it look for “number=english”
50. Explore Space with Google Sky
Did you get bored of the Google Earth flight simulator? Go to this page and enjoy your space voyage.
51. Find Webpage Fonts
If you are in need of finding a really nice font for something you can go to Google.com/fonts and see what fits you. What is the cool thing is that you can compare fonts based on the exact phrase that interest you.
Third-Party Easter Eggs
52. Google Gravity
This lets you feel the power of gravity while searching for a Google result. Check it yourself by clicking here.
53. Let Me Google That for You
A really cool trick, you can see what it does by clicking here. It basically shows you how to search for something on the web and it can be really useful for those friends of ours who ask a lot of questions. But what we really found interesting and fun is that Google also had some fun regarding the subject. Search for “let me google that for you” and see what the knowledge box says. We have surely amused ourselves by reading the Q&As.
54. But Where is Chuck Norris?
For those who love Chuck Norris jokes, you can click here.
55. Google Space
This website shows you how Google would look like if it were in the zero gravity mode. You can check it out yourself.
56. Google Sphere
Another Mr. Doob experiment, this shows you Google in the form of a sphere.
It can be difficult to notice the difference between regular Easter eggs, a very well hidden in-joke and other special features that work on particular events such as Easter or Christmas holidays. From in-browser games, to hidden jokes and features, inspired by the season, we have decided to start a hunt and post the most complete Google Easter Eggs list that you can find out there. Google is highly dynamic and it’s hard to create a definitive list of Google Easter Eggs. Features hidden within your Google browser will keep on popping out as the big G’s engineers try to maintain a sense of humor through surprises like these.
Considering all the in-jokes, in-browser video games and the hidden features that we have found, we believe that our quest ended here and we believe that this is the list with most of the interesting eggs out there. Have you found any other Google Easter egg? Let us know!
The other day, I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who I first met via social media, but has become a close confidante and teacher.
We were talking about the various changes we’ve seen in the time we’ve known each other (close to 10 years now) and how these changes have impacted both our careers and the content we publish on our respective blogs.
While she continues to blog about marketing – but more slanted towards tech and how AI will impact business – I moved away from that a few years ago, to focus on more personal stuff.
As we talked, she asked whether I felt the move away from marketing-specific content had harmed me when it came to career choices, or “putting myself on the map more”.
After all, if I’m a marketer but I don’t blog about marketing, why would anyone hire me for a marketing role in their business?
While this wasn’t her point of view per se – she was simply asking as if from a hiring company viewpoint – it was a fair question, yet one I’ve never worried about.
Words, Like Clothes, Don’t Make the Person
One of the topics I consistently push back on is the “dress code argument”, where you can only be taken seriously in business if you dress for the part.
While I’m not advocating for cargo pants, tee, and sneakers for every job, to me it’s irrelevant what someone wears to do their job – the results come from the action(s) of that person, not their sartorial choice.
I’ve worked at some companies where the smartest dressed and – by association – smartest thinkers have been woefully underqualified, whereas the jeans and shirt wearer has brought home stellar results.
This isn’t the old boy and school tie network economy anymore. That died out a long time ago (except in some industries that seem destined to be stuck in the past).
Much like the presentation of an employee shouldn’t have a huge bearing on their ability to do the work, the words on a marketer’s blog shouldn’t dictate their ability to be a marketer.
I’ve been in marketing for over 20 years now, after gaining my marketing degree back in the UK.
During that time, I’ve been lucky enough to lead marketing initiatives for some of the most well-known B2C and B2B companies around, and privately consulted others on modernizing their marketing strategy and culture.
All this came from what I did for the company versus what I did for my blog. Not once in that time was I hired for writing something on my blog – while it may have helped in awareness of me, it meant squat when it came to the ability to do the job I was being scouted for.
Because, let’s face it, at the end of the day anyone can go Google strategy and tactics and use these results to publish something that makes them sound uber-smart.
Implementation and execution, though? Now that’s a different beast.
Marketing Isn’t Everything, But Everything is Marketing
And this is why, to my friend’s point, I don’t worry about my “prospects” when it comes to mot writing about marketing here on the blog.
My current role didn’t come as a result of the marketing content I was publishing here. If I was to leave that role at some point in the future, my next one wouldn’t be because of the marketing content I write here (probably because there is none these days!).
Instead, it’ll come from results I brought to my current role. It’ll come from references on past results at previous companies. And it’ll come because of the strategic ideas I share for the future of any new role and its place in the hiring company.
Marketing is a means to an end. It’s an important means, and you need to know your shit to be successful at it and bring the results you’re paid to bring.
But it’s just one facet of a far bigger picture.
The people stories that drive marketing, and the behaviours, interests, and intents of these people when it comes to services and products, are the dots that really start to connect everything.
Everything we do is marketing, whether we realize it or not.
The stories we share on our blogs. The behaviours we exhibit when sharing content, or consuming content. The simple act of what we stand for and what we fight against is us “marketing our preferences”.
All of these actions helps connect us with people that have the same outlook, or vision, or belief. Some of these people will be decision makers who want to bring our beliefs and viewpoints to their companies and help market it to their customers.
And none – or at least, very little – of that will come from blogging specifically about marketing.
Which, truth be told, is exactly how it should be.
SEO can be a scary thing for a small business. You always have to compete with the big guys. Not to mention you have to squeeze your whole SEO strategy on a limited budget.
Before you start reading this eye-opening guide on building an SEO strategy on a friendly budget, get your coffee or tea. Then you can sit back at your desk and start your day properly with this blog post. It will help you get through the hard days as it will help you answer the big question: How to build an SEO strategy on a limited budget? It’s hard but not impossible. On this article, you will find some great tips for small businesses on how to shape online marketing campaigns with limited financial SEO efforts.
We’ve got you covered with a guide on how to build a robust SEO strategy on a shoestring marketing budget. Although the next steps worked for other companies, we can’t guarantee a 100% success, because it depends on the industry, on how small your budget is and on the approach. However, these are a few steps to get you going and start growing your ranking. And even if it won’t boost your traffic to the skies, but it will give your SEO campaign a clear advantage.
Remember that no matter what, it is important to do things on a white hat level, so you don’t get wiped off the face of the organic searches.
Now ask yourself: how can you build a robust SEO strategy on a small budget? First, you need to check for errors, then plan a local SEO strategy, optimize for long tail keywords and so on. Check out these steps to build a strong SEO plan and … see you on top (of search results)!
- Steps for Building a Robust SEO Strategy on a Limited Budget
- Focus on Local SEO Optimization to Dominate Local Search
- Look for Content Opportunities and Fill in the Gaps in Your Competitors’ Website
- Try Guest Blogging to Work Wonders for Your SEO Strategy
- Optimize for Long Tail Keywords and Phrases
- Improve Page Speed with Minimum Efforts
- Check and Fix Errors in the Search Console to Clean up Your Website
- Get Involved with Local Networking & Meetups
- Fetch Your Content with Google to Make It Easy for Search Engines to Show Your Content
- Become a Recognized Content Publisher to Increase Awareness and Authority in Your Industry
- Use Reverse Engineering to Follow What Worked for Your Competitors or Experts
- Get Your Hands on the Winning SEO Strategy
Steps for Building a Robust SEO Strategy on Limited Budget
If you feel overwhelmed by the work you need to do and the money you need to spend when you hear the word SEO, don’t sweat it, we’ve got your back. Whether you are the head of the marketing team, in charge of the management of the webmaster tools, the social media manager or the one responsible for creating quality content, your aim is probably the same: show up among the first on the organic searches, with as little invested money as possible. This is why we’ve built up a few ideas for creating an SEO strategy on a tight budget. Some of these marketing tips would be a great fit for mobile SEO, also.
All the SEO tips gather on today’s article are a great match for a startup, local business, small company or maybe a new independent subsidiary. You can do wonders with a little guidance for onpage optimization and offpage SEO. We’ve thought about everything on SEO strategies to keep you in line with the big guys in the online marketing world. You’ll find a few link building strategies, search engine optimizations lessons, hands-on recommendations and opportunities to increase ranking.
Below we’ve put together a smart guide to help you get the winning SEO strategy on limited budget.
Step 1. Focus on Local SEO Optimization to Dominate Local Search
Website presence is a must and so is the local SEO optimization. Before you even start running, take small steps first. Think locally and maybe when you’ve got some experience you’ll start acting globally. Start small, think big and then work your way up on a shoestring budget.
Local SEO has got a lot of attention lately, and that’s because it’s a good way to grow your company, especially if you have a limited budget. If you offer a local service, then you need to focus your energy and money into ranking among the first positions. A good starting point to do that is to register your firm into Google My Business. It is quite simple to do that and in just 2 clicks or so you can set up your business account. You have to log in with an email address into Google and then fill in a form with your company’s contact information, such as name, address, phone number (NAP).
The good part of this process is that your face, I actually mean your company, will show up on the map and SERP. To get a sense of what I’m implying, take a look at the next search query on Google.
You can see that first results were from Maps and then appeared the organic results. It depends very much on whether the locations map appears based on your type of industry, products, business and so on.
Here are the steps you need to follow in order to make sure you’ll be among the first in the search results:
- place the city/location of your business in the title tag;
- the NAP information is correct;
- try to get reviews naturally;
- write local content (optimize your content for the local customers);
Step 2. Look for Content Opportunities and Fill in the Gaps in Your Competitors’ Website
Another good idea to build an SEO strategy on a limited budget is to look for content gaps at your competitors. Watch their social media activity to search for their social media marketing strategies, read their blogs, see what they are missing, read the comments and find out what other people’s needs are and start making fresh new content or improve the one you already have. If you found the gaps, you can use the new content and share it to generate a new clientele.
Keep an eye on content gaps in conversations in relevant forums, blogs, online publications.
Then write new content based on what those people were asking for, post links with answers and reach out to webmasters who wrote similar content to create a debate. It could be a great chance for you to get links because you fulfilled a need and helped fill in an important gap.
Step 3. Try Guest Blogging to Work Wonders for Your SEO Strategy
If you’re a savvy blogger, you know what guest blogging means: the idea is that a copywriter creates content for a blog that is not his. It is a good opportunity to develop awareness and prove that you’re an expert in your industry. Make sure to choose relevant blogs, that they have engagement on the blog. Also, seek that those blogs are trustworthy and have relevant content. When you decide to take this idea into consideration, follow the next goals:
- target blogs with a whole new audience;
- present yourself as a thought leader;
- engage yourself in conversations with well-known bloggers in your industry from the blogosphere.
Because of the bad turn that the word guest blogging took in the past, it is good to understand that you need to keep your name clean, your content accurate and your links nofollow. That is if don’t want to have a spammy look, draw bad attention from Google and get “honored” with a red flag instead of a blue ribbon.
If you do guest blogging, it is a good chance to increase website traffic to both participants (the owner of the blog and the guest bloggers’ website).
Step 4. Optimizing for Long Tail Keywords and Phrases
Another idea to build a robust SEO strategy on a limited budget is to go for long tail keywords or phrases. Also, you can use this tip if you are in a competitive niche, try to make yourself noticed among the big guys and want to show your face in the top results.
It is really necessary to do a keyword research, first. It is better to optimize for a long tail keyword if you have a small budget because you don’t have the necessary assets to compete with large enterprises. So make sure you’ve got the right keywords, not too specific, though because in that situation nobody might look for them.
Use Google Automation Suggestion in combination with Google Keyword Planner, Search Console or other (free or paid) tools to make the best choices.
Some of the best benefits of the long tail keywords include:
- low competition compared with short tail keywords;
- more relevant and in some cases more targeted searches;
- a larger number of conversions due to the fact that they bring qualitative traffic.
Step 5. Improve Page Speed with Minimum Efforts
To do that you’ll have to check the page load speed first and then take actions. It has been widely debated that the speed of a website can influence the user experience. So your speed page means increasing the overall user experience. Longer load times showed that it negatively affect conversions.
Google indicated that page speed is used for its search ranking algorithm, among other factors.
If you use PageSpeed Insights, it is easier to see what improvements you have to make. Some of the factors you have to take into consideration about the load time are:
- optimize images;
- minify CSS;
- minify HTML;
- avoid landing pages redirects;
- reduce server response time;
- enable compression;
- leverage browser caching.
With minimum efforts, you can use the tool and see what you should fix and what is already fixed.
Step 6. Check and Fix Errors in the Search Console to Clean up Your Website
As the first step in every digital marketing strategy, you have to make an SEO audit to see if you have bugs, errors, broken pages, slow page load time and so on. To do that, you can use (free or paid) online tools and platforms to analyze your site, or you can outsource this job and collaborate with a specialist (freelancer or business).
One of the most used platforms is Google Console (Google Webmaster Tools). You can sign in cost-free and analyze your site. Make an in-depth analysis, so you know exactly where you stand you have to check your message board and then verify each section on your Google console menu. Maybe one of the most important things you need to investigate are the crawl errors that Google Console shows you. You can see a screenshot below with the list of crawl errors that a site may have.
The good thing about the platform is that you can track your website before and after any change you decide to make. This way you can decide what digital marketing strategies are best for you.
Step 7. Get Involved with Local Networking & Meetups
Getting involved in local networking and meetups is another smart idea to build a robust SEO strategy on a limited budget. Despite the fact that business events are a good way to network, you can create a relationship with different influencers and experts in the industry. It is a good opportunity to increase brand awareness. Although it may not cost you a dime, it would take a considerable amount of time to build a business relationship.
When you’ve gathered a little bit of experience, and you aren’t so new to the business you can host meetups or similar events to reach new customers or build new partnerships in the community. Another great idea you could try is to organize workshops or give presentations on a specific topic in local hubs to get awareness and get people talk about you. Then you could improve traffic on your site and get higher ranking on Google.
You could do either one of these approaches with almost no monetary investment. For example, if you have a flower shop, you can partner with an events location to keep a presentation about a particular type of event and create content to earn a few links in the future.
Step 8. Fetch Your Content with Google to Make It Easy for Search Engines to Show Your Content
Then you can go to the next step. For that, you’ll have to go into the Search Console (if you have your site registered you’re ok, if not make sure you take some time to register it) and look for robots.txt Tester into the “Crawl” section. It is recommended you have the robots.txt file on your server, so you won’t block the crawlers to read your site’s data. Check for orphan pages (pages with no internal links pointing at them) because search engines might have a hard time finding them and your homepage might not pass the authority to those specific pages. You could lose some qualitative traffic.
One thing you could do is using the Fetch as Google feature from Search Console.
Once you wrote the link you want to fetch as Google, you can choose to take this action on both desktop and mobile. After you manually sent the link to Google to index it, you’ll have to wait for the information to be processed.
Step 9. Become a Recognized Content Publisher to Increase Awareness and Authority in Your Industry
Another tip that will save you serious amounts of money is to become a recognized content publisher. We know, easier to say than done but totally worth the effort. On top of that you can increase trust and show to Google, you are a reliable source of information by publishing content that is fresh and relevant to your niche on a regular basis. It is highly recommended to have a blog within your website. Blogging affects ranking, and on top of that, studies showed that comments from a blog can help it rank higher in SERP. The reason for this is the fact that comments contribute to the length of an article and, the longer the article, the higher the chances to increase your ranking.
You should always focus your SEO strategy on quality and consistency. If you become a recognized content publisher, you’ll have a better chance to increase awareness and authority in your industry.
You can easily become a content marketing rock star by following experts and well-known content marketers that do it for a living. Get involved with them, ask and get answers to see how to get better.
Step 10. Use Reverse Engineering to Follow What Worked for Your Competitors or Experts
Another budget-friendly tip to build your SEO on a limited budget is to use reverse engineering to follow what worked for the competitors. See what worked for others and try it for yourself. Spend a little time on your competitors’ website and analyze them, see how the information is displayed, look for bugs, make comparisons. If they have a blog, take a look and see what are they writing about, how are they writing (is it a friendly mode or in any other way), look carefully at their blog/website structure.
If you want to make that as easy as possible, use tools to help you out. Site Explorer can offer you a hand if you want something free and helpful. The icing on the cake is the fact that it can save you a bunch of time. You can visualize the report quickly, and it lets you save the file so you can look at it whenever you want. A time saver indeed!
Get Your Hands on the Winning SEO Strategy
There’s no shortcut to a winning SEO on limited budget, regardless if you are a startup SEO or a well know brand with a robust strategy. But you should follow the previous ideas and tailor them to your needs and your pocket.
If you have limited time and want something ready to get you going up, let us say this in a friendly mode: you might never find it. SEO needs time, but there are things you can do pretty quick that in a relative short period of time will help you rank higher in the SERP. Some of the tips mentioned above will help you do that. It depends on you to keep an eye on your competitors to be a step ahead of them and outrank them.
The post How to Build a Robust SEO Strategy on a Limited Budget? appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.
Blogging has long been an effective way to share ideas and information, but it hasn’t always been something that the cool kids embrace. Should that worry us?
Last week someone kidded with me by saying that “…only idiots blog, so don’t do it”.
Don’t worry, they were joking and I had a good laugh! But it did get me thinking about all the positive things that blogs can do, and how they’re really not just for selfies and re-sharing memes.
A good blog can change the world. Maybe not everyone knows about that.
Today I want to show you some of the most inspiring and effective blogs on the net (like, way better than Blog Tyrant) and why I think this medium is still one of the most powerful forms of communication around.
My own feelings about blogging
Blogging has quite literally changed my life.
It’s allowed me to build a career where I can work from home, travel with my partner, and even donate a little bit of money to some charities that I really love. And while I honestly don’t think Blog Tyrant is anything special, I feel so lucky to be able to work on a website with such a great community of friends and fellow web entrepreneurs.
I don’t say any of this to make myself seem good, I just feel it’s important to show examples of how blogging can really impact both the blogger and the reader. For me it has been an absolutely fantastic process, and something that I will always evangelize in the hope that it will spread little chunks of goodness around the web.
Blogging isn’t for idiots, it’s actually very important
As the world becomes more deeply digitized, websites and blogs are going to play an extraordinarily important role in education, modern thinking, culture and, as we saw last year, how effectively our political systems work.
I’m also convinced that blogging will play an bigger role in our economy as artificial intelligence and robotics steps in and takes over more and more traditional job roles. Millions will turn to the Internet to look for supplementary income opportunities.
So, what I thought I would do now is go above and beyond this little blog and show you some examples that have had a significant impact on their community, the Internet itself, and maybe even the whole world.
1. GiveWell – Charity reviews and research
GiveWell describes themselves as “…a nonprofit dedicated to finding outstanding giving opportunities through in-depth analysis. Thousands of hours of research have gone into finding our top-rated charities. They’re evidence-backed, thoroughly vetted, and underfunded.” The idea is basically that they help you donate to charities in the most financially effective way. You know that every dollar that you donate is having an impact.
But the interesting thing is how much their blog shaped my own ideas about charity. Their articles are brilliantly researched and really help to open your eyes to new ideas. This article on whether to give now or later is a good example.
This is one blog/website that is read by thousands of people and organizations around the world and is having a very direct impact on things like getting kids healthy through de-worming, and by making charities more effective and transparent.
2. Gates Notes – The blog of Bill Gates
We all know Bill Gates as the man behind Microsoft. But, for me, the more important thing is that Bill has used his wealth to make the world a better place through extensive and effective charity and things like The Giving Pledge where he, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffet have encouraged dozens of billionaires to donate their wealth to philanthropy.
This particular blog is important because it shows Mr. Gates leading by example. It is exciting to see a billionaire technology giant writing about topics like How Foreign Aid Helps Americans and How You Can Be a More Effective Donor, and so on.
These articles are shared and read by millions, including policy-makers, those with money to burn, and, perhaps most importantly, the younger generation who will one day take the reigns
3. Wait But Why – A new post every sometimes
Wait But Why is one of the only blogs where I have sat quite literally for the whole day and read. That is such a rare feeling and something that I really value.
This is the type of long-form content blog that makes you think about things in an entirely different way. The posts are meticulously researched and, best of all, it’s written in a way that is so approachable and warm that you just want to keep going deeper and deeper. I can’t help but imagine how many people have had breakthrough moments reading this stuff.
Articles like this one (where he interviewed Elon Musk!) must have inspired so many people to study science, and this one to make people read more books because, actually, you only have about 300 books left before you stop reading for the rest of eternity. I’d avoid the article on A.I. though, it actually caused me to lose sleep!
4. I Used to Be a Human Being – New York Magazine
This one is not a whole blog but a single article that originally appeared in a print publication and then was syndicated online. The article I Used to Be a Human Being is one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever read online, and made me genuinely re-think the way I work, live and interact with the world around me.
To me, this is a fantastic example of how a blog format can take an amazing piece of writing and spread it to the masses. While the New York Magazine print edition has decent circulation numbers, it’s online presence reaches far more people and allows articles like this to be shared with people who might otherwise have never purchased or subscribed.
One has to wonder whether Andrew Sullivan would have had the opportunity to publish articles in magazines like this one without an already exceptional and popular blog of his own.
5. Dooce – I like babies but I couldn’t eat a whole one
A genuine cultural icon. Dooce, written by Heather Armstrong, was one of the first and arguably the most successful in the niche of personal bloggers (and that awful term “mommy bloggers”). She started back in 2001 and was even fired from her job for blogging about a bad experience – that lead to the term “Dooced” which has been used by people all over the world. For a long time Heather was considered one of the most influential women in online media.
The thing that really stood out to me about Heather’s blog was how openly she wrote about depression and the difficult sides of parenting. These articles were read by millions of people around the world and, as you can see on this post, the comment threads fill up with people sharing stories and opening up about their own struggles.
Heather really inspired a whole generation of bloggers who started writing and sharing their stories. While I know not all of them went on to Dooce’s level of fame and fortune, I have no doubts that this genre has helped a lot of people deal with day-to-day existence.
6. Tree Hugger – Sustainability with Sass
Tree Hugger is a well-established blog that is aiming to make sustainability and green-technology more mainstream. To me, this is a perfect blog as it combines approacability with a very strong brand and ethos. You know exactly what it’s about and it can be something that you bookmark and read regularly to discover new ways to be a contributing human being.
For example, this article on whether our own personal lifestyle choices help the environment in a meaningful way is a really good method for introducing people to more political thoughts about green technology changes. It’s a warning but also quite hopeful. With the current climate emergency, this type of blog is essential.
7. Students for a Free Tibet – Transformation through non-violence
I sit here and write this article from a comfortable office. Many of the bloggers behind Students for a Free Tibet, however, are often quite literally risking their freedom in order to share information that tells the world about what is going on inside a Chinese occupied Tibet.
Social media has played an increasingly important role in modern times. During the Arab Spring, for example, we saw how risky it could be to be a blogger, but also how important it was to get truthful information out to the world when a dictatorship might be blocking news access. I can’t imagine how terrifying this must be, and I feel really quite inspired at this very brave use of the blogging format.
8. LGBTQ Nation – World’s most followed LGBTQ news source
The Internet has probably done a lot for making LGBTQ issues more mainstream. For example, it’s provided forums and private chat rooms where sexually confused teenagers can get support and seek advice.
Sites like LGBTQ Nation go a long way to ensuring that issues like sexism, homophobia, LGBTQ suicide and depression, etc. don’t go unnoticed. It also shines a light on news that specifically affects a large but often under-represented portion of our population. Here’s a recent example.
9. Medium – Share stories that matter
I was pretty skeptical about Medium when it first came out. And while I still don’t think it’s the best choice for a blog host when you want to build a business or a long term career, the quality and power of this blogging platform is undeniable. They have truly created a place on the net where people come to write good stuff.
For example, there’s the article where the CEO of GoDaddy stopped by to talk about how A.I. will replace jobs, or this article with 12k shares about how quitting a corporate job ruined a life, or this wonderful story with advice from a 30-year-old to his younger self.
So many bloggers are now using Medium to share ideas or get feedback on topics they aren’t sure about. I regularly find myself clicking through to links containing the medium.com URL because I have come to associate much of the work their with quality research, progressive thinking, and helpful communities.
How does your blog affect the world around it?
If you are thinking about starting a blog soon, or already have one in operation, it’s important to think about the impact that you’ll have on those that read your stuff. I often think about this quote when it comes to the Internet:
Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. – the Dalai Lama
I’m not saying that everyone needs to be perfect (I’m certainly not), and we can’t all have blogs that change the world, but in a global society where your writing can reach all countries, and kids have near unlimited access to everything, our blogs play a bigger role than ever.
So that just leaves us to wonder: what impact are we having?
One of the topics that continues to do the rounds is that of blog comments.
Do they still count? Should blogs just switch off comments and become a content publication instead? Are comments even valued as they once were?
This follows the decision by many bloggers and content creators to close down their comments section, citing all the conversation is on social media now, there’s too much spam, and it takes time to moderate the community.
For me, though, it’s less external issues that have caused these sites to close down comments, and more internal ones – namely, the blogger (or blog owner) stopped showing up and caring.
I used to follow a lot of the blogs that closed their comments section(s) down, and something that became clear as they were getting close to that decision was the blogger was seen less and less in the comments.
Whereas before they’d been very active in helping build community and hold active conversations with commenters, now they were only replying to comments that praised them or their post.
That’s if they even showed up at all.
Instead of a thriving, interactive comment section, there was simply comment after comment without a reply, either from the blogger or other commenters.
In that kind of environment, of course blog comments are going to suffer – after all, how long would you stay talking to someone on the phone, or in-person, if there was no reply coming back?
Then there’s the “I’m too busy to do all the back-end stuff” argument, which – in fairness – has some validity. But to what degree?
You’re Busy, I’m Busy. And..?
I get it. We’re all busy, and we all have finite time in our days.
There’s only so much we can allocate to our blogs versus elsewhere, and remain effective on both sides of the coin.
But then isn’t that true for everything in life?
Don’t we make decisions based on what we want and how to get there, as opposed to giving up because the work to get there is a little more than what we want to put in?
- Yes, conversations are happening on social. But guess what? People are complaining that there are less opportunities for conversations on social now the marketers and brands have taken over.
- Yes, blog comments need moderation. But guess what? Do the legwork early on (blog comment policy, banning offenders, making the comments a fun place to be, etc.) and you’ll actually get a better community.
- Yes, community growth needs interaction. But guess what? Interact and build that community, and you have a wonderful “base” to build from when you do have something to sell, or need to get your message out to a wider audience.
It’s easy to blame social media for blogging’s woes. Much like blaming others for our own failings in life, scapegoats are more attractive than self-analysis.
But it’s not as clear-cut as “all the conversations are happening on social media”. They may well be happening a lot – but guess where that traffic will come when they want to see the source of that discussion?
Once that traffic arrives, if they find a comments area that looks as fun and inviting as a McDonald’s restaurant does to a food snob, of course they’ll leave immediately.
If, on the other hand, they see a blog that opens up to others, and – imagine this! – actively converses with them, they’ll stay. Comment. Reply. Subscribe.
Social media won’t “kill” blog comments – bloggers will.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Unless you let it be.