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Needing to Make Some Money

2 May

Beer-Cap-Twitter-iconI wasn’t always a web designer.  When I was younger I had the privilege of working with an older gentleman.  He was one of those guys everyone wanted to stop and talk to.  I felt like he was just lazy.  All the time talking and never working but maybe it was his personality of being someone that really cared that made so many people stop and say high.

That’s the kind of person you want today over your social media marketing and search engine optimization.  The truth of the matter search engine optimization is all but dead.

Ask any SEO what works and watch him stumble through it but ask a web designer what you need and he’ll lay it out for you on a nice little platter.  It’s because your web designer is your new marketing guy. 

And the old style of marketing is dead, marketing today is about content marketing on social media sites and it’s that same content that will get your website the link juice it needs to rank.

Even local divorce attorneys can see content marketing is going to be the next be thing.  Attorney Tanya Stewart is already ahead of the crowd by writing and coming out with her own book.

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WordPress SEO – Are You Feeling the Cold Shoulder of Google’s Love?

13 Mar

This is not rocket science, it’s about as simple as a chick with alienation of affection.

WordPress SEO

WordPress SEO

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A couple days ago I wrote an article about how to set up and get links to a site.  I then had someone ask me about doing onsite optimization for a WordPress site.

Here’s how I set my sites up. I start by installing the following plug-ins.

  • All in One SEO – creates title and meta tags
  • ·         W3 Total Cache- speeds up website
  • ·         WP Smush.it
  • ·         WP-DBManager – optimize database and create backup
  • ·         Google XML Sitemaps
  • Easy WP SEO – does on page content optimization 

Caching your website is one of the best ways to speed up your website.  Using a plugin like W3 Total Cache is the best way to go however there are a lot of options and it can get a little complicated.

Once you activate the W3 Total Cache plugin you will see tab on in the sidebar called Performance. Click on the tab and it will take you to the general settings page of the plugin.

You should see a yellow bar that tells you that you’re in preview mode.  Don’t do anything with this at the moment.

Page Cache

Set this to Disk: Enhanced for most shared servers.

Minify

Turn on the minify option by checking enable.  Set it to manual.

Browser Cache

Enable this option

Page Cache

The default settings are good but make sure you’re caching your home page and feeds.

Cache Preloading

Turn this on and set an update interval. Make sure you space it out enough and put the pages per interval low enough so that it doesn’t stress your server.

In order to use this feature you’ll also need to have an .xml sitemap. But you should already have the plugin installed for that.  Put the url location of your sitemap and hit save settings.

Purge Policy

These can be left alone.

Minify

Minify crunches all the extra white space and other non-code out of your html, javascript,

and css files and combines them all into one file that is as small as possible.   You can leave the rewrite url structure checked.

HTML and XML

Make sure it is enabled and you can have it minify inline css and javascript files.

JS & CSS

Select the .js files and .css files that you want to minify.

On your JS settings tab click enable and use the drop down to select your theme.  CSS controls how your site looks so you want it to load first. JS usually adds more functionality so it can load last.

CDN

The first set of options is where you choose what files you’d like to host  on your  CDN.

The most important one is the first one “host attachments”.

Add your FTP info you’ll need to set up a subdomain on your site.  For the ftp path put in the location where your subdomains files are stored.  Click the “Test FTP Server” button to make sure everything is working.

Enable the “set cookie domain” option.  Now upload files to your subdomain. Go back to the top and click the upload buttons.

Deploying W3 Total Cache

You can now deploy your settings and turn off preview mode.

WordPress has a dashboard setting page called “Privacy” Don’t forget to unblock the search engines.

Permalinks and URLs

The default permalink structures offers no SEO value. Make sure to set up the permalink my is set up like this; /%post_id%/%postname%/

Try to have a keyword-rich domain.

Titles and descriptions

The most important piece of SEO real estate on any individual page is the title, which tells both readers and search engines what to expect from the rest of the content on the page. And getting relevant keywords into your titles consistently is imperative for SEO-friendliness.

Descriptions are also important. Remember that the description is what search engine users will see when your result pops up. Crafting compelling copy is the key here. You’ll want to include keywords as well, primarily because those are (by definition) the words your users have in mind when they’re looking for what you offer.

It’s great to rank high, but if your title and description don’t inspire the searcher to click, what good is the ranking?

The standard post edit screen in WordPress obviously provides space for a title, but there are times when you may want to use a different title for readers than for search engines. To do this, you need to have a theme framework or plugin installed that provides a place for a specific SEO title.

For example, The Genesis framework comes out-of-the-box with all of the SEO options you need to craft SEO-friendly content at the post level.

Sitemap

One way to ensure that search engines index your content properly is with a well-structured XML sitemap. There are a number of plugins that will do this for you, updating automatically whenever you publish a new post, but not all are created equal. Some can misconfigure the sitemap structure while others can chew up large amounts of resources.

A strong sitemap option that we recommend at Synthesis is Yoast’s, which is built into his SEO plugin.

And sitemaps are not just for posts. If your site hosts videos, there are major SEO benefits to a properly configured video sitemap. Yoast has a solution for that as well.

H1 tags

Here is a basic SEO fundamental that you shouldn’t have to worry about, but it’s worth mentioning.

The on-page post title should be wrapped in an <h1> tag. This alerts the search engine robots to its importance on the page. But don’t try to get cute and have multiple sets of <h1> tags. Use just one. All subsequent headings should then be in <h2> and <h3> tags.

Any WordPress theme worth installing will have the post title wrapped in <h1> tags. If for some reason you are running a theme that does not, it’s highly advisable that you make a switch or, at a minimum, edit the title’s heading tag.

Enable and encourage discussion

Comments add SEO value.

Not only will the discussion typically center around the main topic of the post, which will add additional keyword frequency to the page, a constant flow of comments will keep the page appearing fresh to search engines.

Remember that the goal of search engines is to deliver the most relevant and timely content to users. A post with an active discussion appears to be both, not to mention people are more likely to share a piece of content if they were compelled to comment on it.

Some people choose to disable comments on posts, which is understandable in certain cases. Just make sure that you have a legitimate reason for disabling comments if you do. Otherwise, keep them active and encourage people to participate, even if only for SEO.

Clean code

The negative effects of deploying shoddy code would warrant their own post.

Suffice it to say, search engines are going to have a hard time finding your content relevant for specific keywords if it has to waste time wading through ugly code to find your content.

Bad code can also negatively impact other oft-overlooked elements of SEO like page load time. Which reminds me …

Site speed, security, and uptime

You cannot really ensure fast site speeds, security, and uptime in 15 minutes. All three of these essential components of a good website require perpetual vigilance.

However, you certainly can get yourself on the right track in less than 15 minutes simply by getting started with the right WordPress host.

Search engines seem to be placing more importance on page load times with every update. And there is no better way to turn potential visitors away than with a malware warning.

So make sure your hosting is buttoned up on both the performance and security side to ensure that these ranking factors come out in your favor.

Google Search Engine Friendly Design 101

10 Mar
SEO Friendly Design

SEO Friendly Design

Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, happens when one attempts to alter a websites ranking in the top of one of the major search engines for a particular keyword within the organic search results.

I say attempt because there are hundreds of thousands of people trying to rank #1 for a particular keyword in one of the major search engines every second of every day.  And no, I am not talking about paid search marketing.  Paid search marketing requires you to pay for every click.  I am talking about organic, the free one.

You see the problem with ranking in the organic results is that the process is always changing.  At one time it was much easier than it is today.  We’ve gone from things as simple as including your keywords in your title tag on your web page to anchor text

Everyone since 1997 search engines have been growing in popularity.  Even before Google and Yahoo we had AltaVista and InfoSeek that could provide results in a fraction of a second.

The really cool thing is that even though the results were no were close to being as good as they are today people still became reliant on them.  By the millions and the frequency at which they were using them was growing as well.

Information is at your finger tips.  You’re able to retrieve information in seconds.  Anything you want to know.  From who’s got the best prices on white silicone wristbands to who’s the best most affordable divorce attorney in Nashville?

It was around about this time in 1997 that search engine optimization was started.  Folks like Danny Sullivan and Bruce Clay appeared on the scene as the experts.  They reported on and got people to look at how the search engine algorithms worked.  Folks from all over the internet began taking notes and testing different strategies to see what worked best for ranking websites.

This was the breeding ground for what we have now known as the SEO’s or search engine optimizers.

Once word got out about search engine optimization, people started charging for the services of helping to rank someone’s website.

Professional Reputation Management

22 Feb

In mseoy eleven years online, if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the easiest thing to do is to destroy someone’s good name.  The hardest   thing you’ll ever deal with is trying to get it back.  The online world has become a place where attackers have gained the upper hand, and the people who are victims are at a disadvantage.

Professional reputation management is the lifeblood of your businesses.

It used to be that people trusted you based on what you said.  But now people are more likely to research you and believe what others say about you.

 

The world you once knew is gone, and it will never return.

Large companies are over taxed, and can no longer afford to hire large staffs.  Companies are investing in technology and calling employees partners, as they get rid of the low-end employees and seek to appease the best in their field.

These jobs are never coming back.

Unions, government overspending, class conflict, and tensions created by the government have seen to this.  I don’t think I’ll ever see a world like the one I grew up in.But then who wants the low-pay, low-prestige, low-dignity, and low-benefit jobs?

Big businesses are rebranding to look more personal, roughed-up and de-branded.  They want a homely, independent and authentic look.  The old look is a haunting reminder of the flush times that are now gone.

Reputation management is going to be part of that new world.

There are sites designed whose only job is too destroy hardworking business owners and their employees.  They suck the life out of small businesses.  They fill the Internet like a virus and suck life out of the people that participate in it.

These websites create pain and anger.  They are bottom feeders.Websites designed to make money from someone else’s hard work, with little to no effort from the site owners.  Websites designed to rank for your name, your businesses name, your products and even your employees names.

As business owners work hard to get their businesses in front of potential clients these sites walk in through the backdoor and rank for the businesses owners name.

The business owner spends his time teaching people about his product.  While the parasite ranks for his product name and sells advertising to his competition.

Eventually this will kill any business.

Reputation management is actually a combination of search engine optimization and social media marketing.

Reputation management is about getting bad stuff off Google — and good stuff on.  Reputation management is about getting the search engines to show what you want them to about you and your business.

To make a long story short, I’ve deiced to create a reputation management business.

It allows me to be free from rules, tight systems and narrow-mindedness.   

Being successful online is about developing your own style and not following someone else’s.  I know that at the moment my comment about being free from tight, systems and narrow-mindedness doesn’t make sense.

But if you will allow me I would like to make a series of post that will further explain what I am doing and how I am doing it.  Then you will better understand how reputation management allows you to step outside the box that Google and the SEO community have put us all in.