Connect with us

Internet

9 Actionable SEO Techniques & Strategies for 2018

Published

on

1. Make your site SUPER fast!

We are now in the day and age where, frankly, people have very little patience. Website users want to access a website and be able to view all the information on that website in a matter of seconds. A lot of research has been performed over the years, boiling down to this:

  • The amount of people visiting a website, who have to wait longer than 1.65 seconds for a website to load will leave
  • Once that sweet spot has been exceeded, the conversion rate decreases
  • Less conversion means less visitors
  • Less conversion means less potential customers

How do I make my website faster?

Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are lots of things you can do to make your website faster! Google’s PageSpeed Insights allows you to enter your website URL, and even individual page URL’s to it’s analysis tool. Once your website, or website page, has been analysed, PageSpeed Insights will display both a Mobile and Desktop score out of 100, based on your website’s URL. Google will suggest required optimisations, possible optimisations, and optimisations that are already in place in order to improve your website’s page speed.

It’s near on impossible to gain a 100/100 page score, due to many factors, such as, page caching, etc. However, the higher your score, and the more improvements you can make to it, the better your chances are at improving your website’s loading time and overall page speed. As well as telling you what could be improved to increase your website’s loading time. We recently changed our hosting provider to SiteGround and instantly increased our loading times.

Surprisingly enough, Google publicly announced that website loading times and page speeds actually effect, and get taken into account, when calculating your search engine ranking position.

So, making your website SUPER fast not only affects the conversion rate on your website, it is also a factor in determining your search ranking on Google. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves various factors, but we are confident that a super fast website should be your number one priority in 2018.

2. Rank Brain (increase CTR)

What is Rank Brain?

Google RankBrain is essentially an artificial intelligence system used in Google’s core search algorithm. RankBrain uses a set of mathematical processes to learn and calculate how people use search engines, why they search, and what they search for in order to apply logic to future searches. RankBrain updates itself constantly, rather than being pre-determined like it used to be.

An example of how this works is as follows. If you type in the word ‘Christmas Day’ into a Google search, we get the following…

Using AI, Google RankBrain is able to determine the current date, and produce a logical search result based on what we’ve searched for. If we were to fast forward into January 2018 and search using the same keywords, Google would recalculate it’s results based on the day of the search – clever right?

How does RankBrain affect SEO?

RankBrain is more of a ranking signal than an SEO masterpiece, however, it does have some effects on SEO, and can be especially useful if users don’t know 100% what they’re looking for, or simply can’t find the right words to use. Let’s imagine you own a weather website, and you want to focus your keywords around the term ‘hailstones’, RankBrain can turn ambiguous search terms into relevant keywords that point in your website’s direction. If someone searched for “that hard cold stuff that falls from the sky”, RankBrain would cleverly translate that into the most familiar result, being ‘hailstones’.

3. Ensure your site shows up for Featured Snippets and Quick Answers

FeatureSnippet

What is a Featured Snippet?

When someone enters a question into a search engine, a featured snippet will show a small summary of the top ranked answer above any search results. The answer is extracted from a relevant webpage and will show the webpage’s title and URL to read further.

Why are Featured Snippets good for SEO?

  • If your website displays in a featured snippet, it means Google has chosen your website over another to provide the best answer to a users’ questions
  • A featured snippet displays above organic search results, meaning your website will be seen before any other results, even if another website is ranked #1 on Google
  • A featured snippet is quick and easy to click, so by providing the most relevant and useful answer, your website is likely to gain more traffic from user who want to read further

How can my website show up as a Featured Snippet?

  • Ensure your website targets the right keywords
  • Create new website content that is relevant to a potential featured snippet
  • Create a single webpage that displays a Q&A section, or FAQs
  • Use basic optimisation techniques to ensure your website is found by Google
QuickAnswers

What are Quick Answers?

Similar to Featured Snippets, Quick Answers provide what they say on the tin; quick answers to users’ questions based on a search. Quick Answers provide, sometimes multiple amounts of, relevant information based on the question a user has asked, along with the webpage’s title and URL.

Optimising your website for Quick Answers

  • Link to relevant websites
  • Use nouns within your content where the context is natural
  • Be featured within Wikipedia
  • Have a topic on your website that is interesting to other users
  • Ensure all content on your website is of a high quality and relevant to the theme
  • Create ‘How to’ lists in relevant places, e.g. “How to make a pancake” with bullet or numbered lists
  • Ensure your website is updated with basic SEO practices

4. Ensure your website is 100% Mobile Responsive 

 

Having a mobile responsive website is user friendly, expected, and also counts as a ranking signal on mobile searches with Google. This means, if your website is not mobile friendly, it could have a serious effect on your SEO, as Google want to ensure mobile users are receiving relevant and optimised search results.

How can I make my website mobile friendly?

Thankfully, Google comes to the rescue once again. We have to give it to them, if Google make changes to their ranking system, they are extremely dedicated to ensuring their users have easy access to relevant information in order to ‘keep up’ with changing technologies. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is designed very similarly to PageSpeed Insights, in that you can enter your website’s (or any website’s) URL into the search bar, and the results will simply display whether the site is mobile-friendly or not, and how to improve it.

A large majority of users are now using their smart phones or tablets to browse the internet. If a user lands on a website that isn’t mobile-friendly, the chances of them staying on said website are very slim. As well as Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, there are also other ways you can optimise your website to be mobile-friendly:

  • If you’re using a website builder, such as, Wix or WordPress to build your website, select a responsive theme
  • Optimise the layout of your website content
  • Adapt the content that is shown on your website
  • Create a mobile and desktop version of your website (this can be done through coding)
  • Test your website using multiple browsers and mobile devices using a tool like Browser Stack

5. Use long tail keywords in your SEO strategy

Long tail keywords may seem like going against the grain a little in terms of SEO, because they notoriously don’t generate as much traffic as shorter keywords, however, they do have a purpose!

In order to be more specific about a product you’re trying to sell, or a service you offer, using long tail keywords is the answer. If you’re more specific, you’ll have less competition; this is a great opportunity especially if you’ve just started your SEO strategy for your new website. Let’s take a look at an example to break down what using long tail keywords really means.

6. Produce High-Quality In-Depth Content (the longer the better)

High quality, in-depth, and meaningful content attracts users – it’s a fact! If your website contains content just for the sake of it, it’s not going to mean anything to your website users. If they can related to the content, and it’s the right kind of content, they’re going to come back for more. Quality most certainly trumps quantity, but don’t be afraid to create a lot of content (as long as it’s meaningful). Admittedly, it can be tough thinking up new content for your website, and keeping it up-to-date, however, we have a few tips and tricks that you can follow.

Let’s say your website focuses on social media marketing, but you’re not sure what to write about. Google News is a great free tool where you can type in pretty much anything, and receive the latest news surrounding your search topic.

As well as using free tools to get some refreshing ideas, there are simple steps you can take to ensure the content you write is high-quality, and relevant to your website users:

  • Market Research: Identify your audience and brainstorm ideas – even go as far as collecting research and data on your potential customers in order to ensure you have suitable content for various types, e.g. blog articles, infographics, FAQs, etc.
  • Build a Campaign: With your keywords and key phrases identified, and your audience selected, you can begin to create your content campaign; decide whether you want to build the content yourself, or get a freelancer on-board when required
  • Multiple Platforms: As well as having a website full of high-quality content, don’t be afraid to reach out into other platforms, such as, blogging, social media, etc. The more content you have in various places, the more backlinks you gain, leading users back to your website.
  • Review & Update: Always ensure that your website content, blog articles, etc. are updated – if a user is looking for something specific, they could be put off if they see that the content they’re reading is outdated

7. Update and Re-publish old articles and posts

We’ve touched on this point slightly already, but it’s worth looking at in further detail to understand why updating your website content and articles, blog posts, etc. are so handy when it comes to SEO.

Google offers a free web service called Google Search Console which allows you to analyse your website’s data, and gives you an indication of how you can optimise your website in order to increase visibility and SEO. If you look at your click-through ratio (CTR) and find that a particular page on your website is performing badly, it’s a clear sign that your content needs updating. When you’re updating your content, always ensure that it contains relevant keywords to your website, whilst not bombarding your users with unnatural content.

  • Poorly Written Content: We’ve likely all had times where we’ve rushed a piece of content in order to get it published, not realising spelling or grammatical errors. Check back on your old content thoroughly, have a good read through and make sure it packs a punch for your readers.
  • Remove Content: Check up on your website’s analytics to see if your website or posts are bringing in little to no search traffic; don’t be afraid to remove content that isn’t relevant any more. If you have 10 pieces of content, where 4 out of 10 of the pieces are performing really well, focus on those first and get them updated.
  • Outdated Information: Perhaps you wrote a really engaging piece of content 12 months ago – great, but that was 12 months ago; ask yourself, is it relevant any more? If your content was gaining a lot of search traffic, and no longer is, update it based on the latest facts and figures to bring back your users.
  • Broken Links: There’s nothing more frustrating than reading an interesting piece of content with broken links. If you have provided links to other websites in your previous articles or posts, check back every so often to ensure the links are still valid – if they aren’t, update them or remove them

8. Switch to HTTPS://

Would you purchase something from a website if you knew it wasn’t secure, and nor were your personal details? I guess the answer would be definitely not. If a user is performing an online transaction, or filling in a confidential form, they are more than likely going to want to be reassured that their details are kept safe and private, as opposed to using a website that doesn’t have the HTTPS URL. As well as knowing that your website is safe, Google have confirmed that they now include HTTPS as a ranking signal, meaning if your website is secure (vs not secure), your website will be higher up the search engine ranks.

If you’re running an online business, it’s essential that you have an SSL licence to ensure your customers’ data is protected. Many web hosts, such as, GoDaddy and HostGator include a free private SSL when you purchase their business or eCommerce plans. It’s certainly worth keeping an eye out for when choosing a web host, as purchasing an SSL licence can be expensive. Scrimping on safety is not the way forward!

9. Increase your Social Media presence

There’s absolutely no doubt about it, social media marketing is huge, as is social media itself! Statista has confirmed: “Social network penetration worldwide is ever-increasing. In 2017, 71% of internet users were social network users”. So, 7/10 people using the internet are also social network users; that equals a large market to target. If your website or business has no social media presence, you’ll be losing out on a lot of potential traffic, and a decline in your SEO.

There are lots of tips and tricks available on the internet regarding social media marketing, with free tools available to analyse how will your social media presence is doing, such as, Facebook Audience Insights. We’ve compiled a small list of tips to get you started on your social media journey.

Social Media Tips:

  • A single relevant post on social media can attract lots of users; if one person sees your post and shares it with 10 of their friends, and they share it with 10 of their friends, well, you can do the math
  • Post and share relevant content for your users to view
  • Gain followers on your social media platforms to optimise your SEO strategy
  • Relevant social media posts and links count as back links
  • Engage with your social media followers by creating offers, competitions, ask questions, etc.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Internet

Gmail’s dark mode is rolling out to Android phones. Turn it on now

Published

on

By

With Android 10Google lets you apply a systemwide dark theme across its new mobile Android OS, and you can easily turn it on in individual Google apps on your phone as well, from Calculator and Calendar to YouTube. But Google doesn’t let you apply it everywhere, and a few popular apps — including Chrome — lack a dark-mode setting. Gmail has been one of them, but it’s no longer a holdout, as Google has started to roll out a dark-mode setting for Gmail on Android 10. Google is pushing the update out slowly, so it’s not available to everyone yet.

Dark mode is increasingly in demand. Before Android took it on, the popularity of dark modes for apps was already growing, for Facebook Messenger and the Slack and Reddit apps, for example. And Apple’s also following the dark mode trend, as iPhones and iPads ($249 at Walmart) will also get a dark theme with the release of iOS 13 this month.

The new version of Apple’s mobile operating system will apply the theme broadly, from wallpaper, widgets and notifications to Calendar and Messages.

With dark mode, you can conserve a bit of battery life and your phone’s screen will be easier on your eyes at night. Google first added dark mode to an Android Pie update earlier this year, but the theme didn’t show up everywhere. In Android 10, dark mode is much more widespread, and apps that use the default system theme will automatically adopt the new dark mode when you turn it on, inverting dark and light colors. 

Not all of Google’s apps use the system default theme automatically. Along with Gmail, you’ll need to turn on dark mode in Calendar, for example, and YouTube. Here’s how to turn it on in Gmail on Android 10.

Turn on the Gmail dark mode setting in Android 10

gmaildarkmode
In Android 10, you can now apply a dark theme to Gmail.Google. Screenshot Clifford Colby/CNET

While many of Google’s Android apps will adopt a dark theme when you turn it on in overall settings, you need to flip it on separately in Gmail.

1. In the Gmail app on your phone, tap the hamburger menu in the top left.

2. Scroll to the bottom of the list, and tap Settings.

3. Tap General Settings.

4. At the top of the list, tap Theme.

5. Tap Dark or, if you’ve already set the dark theme as your system default, tap System. default.

Set dark theme as the system default in Android 10

For those apps that automatically adopt the default system, here’s how to turn on the dark theme.

1. In Settings, tap Display.

2. Near the bottom of the list of settings, toggle on Dark theme.

You can do more with Gmail than just change how it looks, of course. You can keep spammers from tracking you, for example, and unsend messages to avoid regret.

Source: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/gmails-dark-mode-is-rolling-out-to-android-phones-turn-it-on-now/

Continue Reading

Internet

Instagram’s Reportedly Working on a New Tool Which Replicates TikTok’s Key Features

Published

on

By

There’s one thing that you can be absolutely certain of with every new social media trend these days – replication.

Any time you see a new tool, a new app, a new trending function, you can bet that other platforms will seek to copy it, in an effort to maximize their own potential, for one, but also, to limit the impact of the competition. If you can get all the latest features and tools in the app/s you already know and love, there’s no need to download and check out any others, right?

Evidently that theory works, at least to some degree, as this week, reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong has found that Instagram is once again replicating a competitors’ features, this time with TikTok in the firing line.

Instagram 'Clips' example

As explained by Wong, Instagram is working on a new, TikTok like tool called ‘Clips’:

“Just like TikTok, “Clips” allows users to record segments of videos into a single video Story. Just like TikTok, users can overlay music on clips. Just like TikTok, users can adjust the speed and timer of each video clips.”

So, just as it’s done with Snapchat’s Stories, AR masks, YouTubeHousepartySquad and a range of other apps and functions, Facebook, through Instagram, is looking to add in yet another similar function in order to fend off competition, and keep its 2.7 billion active users (across its “family of apps”) from straying to these shiny new offerings.

The strategy does make a lot of sense. TikTok has been steadily rising over the last year, and now claims to have more than 500 million active users, though that figure hasn’t been officially updated for some time. There have also been some questions over the app’s capacity to retain its users, with “a significant majority” of new users said to be abandoning the app within 30 days of downloading, and reverting back to the platforms on which they already have established friend networks.        

That’s where Facebook, in this case through Instagram, wins out. While new apps are able to gather attention, Instagram has over a billion users, and is available in regions where many other apps have yet to launch. By releasing copycat features, Facebook can stifle new app growth, often beating them to market in these new areas, despite its version being a copy, and maximizing their use on the platforms which users are already familiar.

Stopping users from even downloading these new apps is a key first step, so if Facebook can copy the same tools and keep users engaged, and in-app, they’ve already won a significant part of the battle.

As such, it’s no surprise to see Instagram looking to copy TikTok, or any new app and tool. It may seem a little cheap, a little tacky even to be so blatantly copying your competition. But it clearly works. Snapchat’s growth has stagnated since Instagram stole Stories, while Houseparty was sold to Epic. You may not like how Facebook goes about squeezing out smaller challengers. But it works.

But will it work for TikTok?

As noted, there are already questions about TikTok’s long term viability, and the company has been secretive about its ongoing engagement stats. That would likely suggest that there is some truth to the aforementioned issues with user retention – and if people can create TikTok style clips within Instagram instead…

Replication seems like a questionable tactic, but Facebook’s dominance continues to expand.  There’s no word, at this stage, on an official rollout of this new Instagram option. 

Continue Reading

Internet

WhatsApp: Hackers on the prowl, protect yourself

Published

on

By

Users are being urged to update their WhatsApp smartphone apps immediately because of a security bug that allows hackers to take over your phone by simply calling it, whether or not you answer.
These hackers could get hold of all your personal information.
They act on your integrity and sometimes send out pornographic posts and inciteful posts, as if you sent them!
They will change your phone number to theirs and replace you in whatever chat group you belong to.
For instance, Mr. Lucas Ajanaku, whose phone was hacked yesterday narrates his ordeal, “I received a call from a number about 6.50pm in the thick of production. The caller introduced himself as one naval captain. The person that came to my mind was one Capt. Olayiwola of NIMASA. We belong to the same WhatsApp group with Dele Adesina, Femi Falana (SAN) and many others from my town in Ekiti.
“He started by saying he noticed I don’t usually contribute on ‘our platform’ and I told him he was right because I am a very busy person. I told him my wife was also on the platform and draws my attention to important developments there.
“Then he broke the ice: there’s a group programme that’s coming up by 10pm, he would want me to be part of it. I asked, what programme, and he said it’s going to be beneficial for me because experts will share their success tips and offer advice on the need to have multiple income streams. I told him I don’t have the time as I would be tied to production but he said I could hook up any time I was free. My phone beeped and he told me he had sent a code for me to be part of the programme. I checked the code and he demanded to know the four-digit stuff, which I read out to him.
“He already knew my name since that preceded the conversation. A few minutes afterwards, a message came from WhatsApp that I had exited the app. I was asked to verify. Instead of verifying, I restarted my phone in the hope that it would cancel out the tech reaction. But the verification request popped up again. I drew the attention of my guy in the ICT department to it. He encouraged me to do the verification.
“At speed of lightning, these scam messages started rolling in like a dammed river losing its fetters. Before I could say Jack, people that knew me and what I stood for started calling, wondering why such messages should emanate from me.”
In order to prevent such things from happening to you, do the following immediately:
•Go to the bottom right hand side of your WhatsApp main page
•Select Settings
•Click on Account
•Click on Two-step verification
•Enter PIN (Choose a six-digit PIN you will remember)
•Confirm your PIN
•Input your email address
(Use a valid email address)
•Confirm your email
•Save your selections
With the above precaution, if someone wants to change your settings, WhatsApp will ask them for the two-step verification and without it the account won’t open.

Source: https://www.sunnewsonline.com/whatsapp-hackers-on-the-prowl-protect-yourself/

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending

%d bloggers like this: