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Incorporating SEO Into Your Blog Posts

If you either already operate a blog or are intending to do so, then you may forget about using SEO in order to boost each and every post that you write. However, if this is indeed the case, then you are not alone and the difference that it could make to the exposure that your posts would then receive is astonishing.

This becomes an even bigger problem when the blog part of your website is not even the main reason for it existing. People will tend to focus on other aspects of the website and all of their SEO work will go on the home page and even the ‘about us’ page. The blog is left alone, but then even if you are planning on changing how you approach it and incorporating some optimization, how do you do it? Well, it is all too easy to go wrong if you are not careful.

1. Focus on just one or two keywords.

The first thing to consider is that you should not overdo the keywords that you then focus on. Instead, it is best to look at concentrating on just one or two keywords and no more. You can then have slight variations in how they are included in your post so you can play around, but the actual core keywords should be limited.

Trying to include too many different keywords is only going to lead to your post looking rather disjointed and it will be difficult to keep it on track if your mind is pretty much entirely focused on trying to include those keywords.

2. Consider long-tail keywords.

One thing that has changed is that people are becoming better at searching using rather extended terms. This means that they really do know what they are looking for and they seek to get as precise an answer as possible. It used to be the case that people were often rather generic when they were searching.

From your perspective, you should take those one or two keywords that you have decided to focus on and look at the ways in which people are using them in order to carry out searches. It is then in your best interest to look at how to incorporate them into each and every blog post. Remember, this is going to really boost your organic search results for each and every topic that you are blogging about.

3. Remember the images.

A lot of people also include images when they are writing their blog posts, and if this is what you are doing then you should not miss them out when it comes to SEO. For this, you have to go ahead and make sure that the ALT Image tags are included since even that can boost the way in which people pick up your posts.

You must remember that search engines cannot really search for those images directly and they focus on using words as tags. If you do not do this, then they will not be able to pick up on them and you will then be missing out on some extra traffic.

4. You can include the meta tags.

If you are using the likes of WordPress, then you will have the option to include some plugins that help with SEO and you need to go ahead and use them to your advantage as often as possible. Yoast is certainly one of the most popular and this has been shown to help boost awareness of blog posts and yet the crazy thing is that a lot of individuals might install it, but they will then not bother actually doing it.

This is sheer madness because all you have to do is basically complete the different boxes that come with each page or post that you are creating and it pretty much does everything for you. Now, if it is that simple then why would you want to just not do it because of being lazy?

Blog posts are knowing to play an important role in the development of a website and increasing awareness of what you are all about. More and more businesses are being tempted into running a blog as a direct result of this and we are not just talking about major companies either. Anybody can do this and your blog posts do not even have to be that long. However, regularity is certainly important so even if you do one post every single week then you are going to benefit from it.

At the end of the day, drop that idea of just putting up a post and leaving it for anybody to find. You have to take the post to those people that will be most interested in what you are talking about and how are they going to find you in the sea of posts that are out there on the Internet if you do not give them what they are looking for.

Is Keyword Research Dead?

seo-keywordsAfter Google announced the Hummingbird update in 2013, it was believed by many that keyword research was no longer as prominent and important as it once was. Well, we just do not believe that this is the case. Instead, adequate keyword research is going to undoubtedly boost yourself in the search engines and it is just a case of being aware of how to do it correctly in order to get the best possible results.

The confusion has arisen because the Hummingbird update did not look at keywords and there was also a debate that voice activated search is also rendering them useless, but that is not always the case. What is rather happening is that keyword research is actually just as important today as it was prior to that Google update and we will show why that is the case.

Locating High Traffic Opportunities.

Having a website that receives no traffic is pointless. However, keyword research still has a major role to play in allowing you to unearth opportunities that are out there that also have high traffic levels. Now, this means you end up effectively playing the numbers game because if you are using keywords that get a lot of searches then you are gambling that you will be able to get a share of that particular traffic pie.

This is something that you will be unable to do without carrying out keyword research.

Dealing with Long Tail Keywords.

If you were of the opinion that long tail keywords that have little competition would be a waste of time, then think again. Instead, as long as it gets a reasonable amount of traffic then it is worth checking out.

Think of it this way. If there is no competition, then there is a better chance of you being able to get a higher percentage of that traffic and then hopefully convert it into paying customers or whatever it is that your website is about. If you optimize content for various long tail keywords of this ilk then it all adds up.

Once again, none of this would be possible without you carrying out keyword research.

Make Sure You Use the Correct Language.

This is a feature of keyword research that is often overlooked in that it allows you to determine if you are using the correct language in your content.

Now, by this we do not mean English, Spanish or whatever. Instead, we are talking about those key terms or words that people identify with whatever it is that your website is about.

Say for example your website is all about dogs. You want to make sure that your content contains various terms related to dogs and in a style that is attractive to those people that visit your site. By doing this, people are going to actually pay attention more to what you are saying and, of course, they will also find your website more easily because of the way in which you have used those keywords in your content.

The chances of you being able to do this effectively without keyword research are practically zero.

Boosting Your SERPs.

It is important to remember that it is not just with the content that you need to think about keyword research. Instead, you have to be aware of how you get the individual to actually click on your link in the search engine results pages in the first place.

For this, you have to think about your meta tags and meta description as both of those areas are going to be key. Your use of keywords has to entice the individuals into doing the action that you want, which is coming to your website. The important thing here is to not just try to optimize and do keyword research for your content, but also be aware of the main terms that are used in this instance as well. After all, if nobody clicks through, then it has all been pretty pointless.

Make life easier for yourself by studying other meta tags and descriptions, research the keywords, and then play around with them to see what gets the best response.

As with everything else above, this is not going to be possible without adequate keyword research.

Now, to be honest, we could go on and on about the benefits of keyword research and why you would be wrong to assume that the process, or art of research, is dead. Instead, it is very much alive and kicking and it could easily be argued that it is actually even more important than before with there generally being as much competition.

Perhaps the key thing to do here is to forget the theory that the Hummingbird update made keyword research obsolete and just focus on the simple fact that this is still something that you need to do and it would be in your best interest to have an expert help you out. After all, the potential future success of your website is at stake.

Dealing with Keyword Stuffing

When we examined our list of SEO terms that you should really know about, we mentioned the concept of keyword stuffing. We stated how this is something that you need to avoid at all costs or else Google will quite simply penalize your website and you will then see yourself just plummeting down the results pages. However, in order to avoid it, we understand that you need to have a better idea of what it is or else how can you take the appropriate action?

The History of Keyword Stuffing.

To really get to grips with the concept of keyword stuffing, we need to give you a short history lesson on SEO and the techniques or methods that used to be applied. In the past, it was all about the frequency of keywords and terms related to your keywords and if you had them mentioned a number of times then the search engines would pick up on it and you would be ranked better.

The problem here was that Google began to realize that people were just throwing in keywords without the text actually making sense. It was all just a ploy to rank higher and get people to their website in the first place.

Now, this was not exactly something that they wanted to be involved in as it meant that the end user was basically being duped into using a website that was just incapable of being a quality resource and was all about just getting people there in the first place. As a result, Google changed the algorithm so that it was no longer related to the number of times that you had a keyword on your page but how it was used. This forms the basis of the quality over quantity argument that transcends so much of SEO.

The Basics of Keyword Stuffing.

With keyword stuffing, the idea is pretty simple. You have the keywords related to your website, you have text, headings, image tags, and anything else and you try to include those keywords as often as possible.

Now, this is going to be very easy to do, but at the same time it is also going to really disrupt your website as it becomes very apparent to your visitors that all you are doing is trying to get those tags mentioned as many times as possible. The result is often a mess of a page with text that is almost impossible to understand so even when you were able to get people to your page it would often result in people just navigating away.

How to Avoid it and What to do.

The question that people now ask when it comes to SEO is still keyword related, but it is more about how you handle the keyword situation so that you do not fall foul of the Google terms and conditions.

To be honest, so much work has to go into the initial study of keywords so that the correct terms are targeted leading to the best possible outcome for your budget and target market. It is more connected to the ability to find easier to target terms with less competition and carefully weaving the terms into the fabric of the text so that it appears naturally and is also compelling. At the same time, the website should also provide value of some kind to the visitors.

It is important that you are able to step back and realize that it is the quality of what you say and the keywords that you use rather than the quantity. Google now promotes websites that offer quality experiences no matter what industry it is and any attempt to subvert their quest for providing quality links as being the best out there is something that has to be avoided.

In other words, to avoid keyword stuffing you need to think about these points or you could run into a number of difficulties in a short period of time.

  • Choose keywords and terms wisely.
  • Do not try to squeeze in as many as you think possible.
  • Make sure that they are used in a natural way rather than forced into the text.
  • Keep the keyword percentage low.
  • See keywords as just one piece of the SEO jigsaw rather than the main thing.

So, if you were of the opinion that just putting in as many keywords as possible would make a difference to how you are ranked on Google, then you would be correct in thinking that just it is not going to work out in the manner that you had hoped. Instead of ranking higher as a result, you are going to head in the opposite direction because it is all about careful placement of keywords, not overdoing it, and also just providing your visitors with something that is worthwhile.

The days of throwing countless backlinks or keywords at a website are now long gone and the Internet is better for it.

Common SEO Terms You Might Hear About With Your Website

You will probably be aware of the importance of SEO in order to get your website noticed, but the problem is that the lay person will have very limited knowledge of the industry, the methods and techniques, and even the terminology that can be used. However, it is often the case that a few common terms are used and by offering an explanation as to what they mean it should make things a bit clearer for you before you go ahead and start your SEO campaign.

Algorithm

The first term is algorithm and this is important. You see, when Google are working out the rankings of websites on their search engine they use something called an algorithm. Now, the way in which they calculate the positions does tend to change every now and then and you should keep an eye out for updates named after animals. Basically, just see this term as being an equation and the result of the equation is your ranking on Google.

Backlinks

Backlinks have always been important in SEO but the types of links that have been preferred by Google has certainly changed. The easy explanation of this term is that it is a link to your website from another website and Google sees this link in the same way as an Internet recommendation. Previously, it used to be the case that the more links you had the higher the ranking but now it is the quality of the site that is important rather than the number.

Black Hat

Black hat is something that has to be avoided as it focuses on methods and techniques that are purely aimed at the search engine and not the public. It includes methods that are against the terms and conditions of the search engines and if you are caught using them then your site is going to be punished by Google.

White Hat

On the other side is white hat and as you can imagine it is the complete opposite of black hat in that it focuses on methods and techniques that work and are in line with the terms and conditions of the search engines.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is a percentage of people that end up leaving your website after they have just landed on the home page. For Google, this is then seen as your website being boring and not worth visiting so it is a negative thing for your ranking if you have a high bounce rate.

Keyword Stuffing

You may know that keywords are important for good SEO, but overdo it and you end up doing keyword stuffing and that is bad. Google prefers keywords to be used naturally and for things to make sense so if your content is just keyword after keyword thrown in, then they are not going to be best pleased.

Meta Tags

Meta tags are things that you do not see, but they are required by the search engine as they use them to find websites after an individual has carried out a search. They then use this to show you the small sentence that appears on the list of searches so you know what the website is going to be about before clicking on a link.

Organic Search Results

Organic search results refers to the page that you see on Google when you carry out a search but not including the paid adverts that appear at the top or at the side of the page. The results that you see at the top should, by all accounts, be the pages that have been optimized correctly for the search terms that you entered.

Paid Search Results

Paid search results refers to those adverts that appear on the side or the top of the page when you go onto Google or any other search engine. This links in to Adwords and you can effectively buy your way to the top if you have the budget available for it.

Sitemap.xml

This is something slightly more technical, but it is a document that is going to be hosted beside your website that contains every page that is on your site. The search engine spiders that then come your way will look at this document and learn all about your website including how the pages link together. If your website is using WordPress, then this is something that is generated automatically.

Now, we are not saying that these are all of the important terms that you should know about when it comes to SEO for your website as there are many more. Instead, it is merely designed to give you some insight into what is actually being meant when you ask about SEO for your site and you are met by a host of terms that just seem to bewilder you.

The main thing is that if you do not understand these kinds of things, then ask for them to be explained. After all, you are the client and deserve to know what you are spending your money on.

Understanding the Importance of Speed for Websites

Webfoot Website SpeedWhen it comes to you having your website it is one thing wanting something that is amazing to look at and capable of providing all of the information that you have deemed to be relevant, but there is something else that is perhaps even more important than the way it looks. That thing is the speed of the website and we are going to look at the reasons as to why this is so important.

The one thing that you can generally say about us humans is that we are often not the most patient species on the planet. We want things to happen now and to not sit around and wait for it as we get bored, irritated, and simply storm off and go elsewhere or do something different. Now, this also applies to websites and, to be honest, the problem is actually worse with websites than it is generally going to be elsewhere.

But why is it like this?

The problem is that we always feel that we are so busy that we hate to waste time. Also, we are aware that there are a number of websites out there for whatever it is that we are searching for that there is no reason for us to just be stuck on the one site as there are other options available. In other words, we hate the very idea of effectively being held captive by a website while we wait for it to load.

So, what is the outcome? Well, it has been shown in studies that if we do not see real progress being made with a website loading in a matter of seconds then we are very likely to just click off and go elsewhere. As a website owner that is going to result in you effectively having people just bouncing off your domain name and of course in this kind of situation you are not exactly going to be able to get the results that you expected from your site.

Overall this is going to have a profound impact on your bottom line and your business is going to suffer from a marketing and monetary perspective and that is hardly something that you want to have happening on a regular basis.

Often, the problem with load times is that people want to have this huge and elaborate website with all of the fancy bells and whistles as they mistakenly think that this is what people are looking for. They want the wow factor when somebody lands on their site, but what is the point in having the wow factor if it takes forever to load and nobody then sees it?

That in itself just does not make sense and it is clear that there has to be a balance between effective design and a short loading period.

This speed issue is a massive problem. In actual fact, the way in which we are now using our smartphones or tablets to access the Internet has only made matters worse. A study showed that as many as 73% of smartphone users have complained about the slow loading speed of websites and, as a result, they simply navigate away.

Now, imagine almost 3 out of every 4 people that load your URL not even bothering to wait for the page to load as it is just taking too long. How is that going to affect your business?

So, what do you do?

Well, the answer is actually easier than you think and it is all back to that key part, the website. You have to get honest and real with yourself and accept that having all of those fancy things is not all that it is cracked up to be. People are more interested in what you are trying to tell them and the information that they are looking for rather than whether or not some cool little gadget flies in on a spaceship and lands on a sunflower before the page opens up or some other crazy stuff like that.

Do yourself a favor and focus on the content. Focus on the navigation and making sure that all of the information that is relevant about your website is on there and is accessible. It is that information that is going to make your business and website a success and nothing else. It is not the cool design that takes an eternity to load.

All that we are saying here is that you need to put some more time and effort into thinking about the actual design and how it is going to work from a practical point of view. Also, you want to listen to your designer and if they say that something is going to be too heavy and take forever to load, then accept that this is going to be the case and take a different route instead.

Websites should be useful, informative, and still look good. They should not load slowly or else there is no point in having them.

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