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Search Engine Optimisation

3 Quick Ways to Improve your WordPress Blog SEO

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SEO is all the rage these days.  Actually, it has been the rage for quite a while now, and just when people started calling it bunk, it started to surge back.

Personally, I’m a 50/50 believer in it.  There are some good practices preached by SEO’s that really do help.  Here’s the three I have found that make a difference.

#1)  Get yourself an SEO plugin. The two most popular ones available (for free) these days are Headspace and All in One SEO.  They both accomplish the same goal in the end, so it really comes down to a matter of personal preference.  Personally, I am partial to Headspace.

Headspace is a beast because it has a ton of great functionality and settings in it.  It’s a bit of a one-stop-shop.

After you get all your settings taken care of, Headspace will become part of your day to day publishing experience.  The plugin allows you to write a title tag that is different than the title of the post.  The title tag is the part of the HTML code that <title>Looks like this</title>.  Ultimately, what gets in that title tag is what ends up in the top bar of most browsers.  More importantly, it is what the search engines read as the “title” of that particular page.  So writing a good title tag is critical for good search engine rank.

Headspace

Unfortunately, search engine friendly title tags aren’t always the coolest article titles.  I like to be a little snarky or humorous in an article title, but what I’m writing doesn’t have very good Google mojo.  This allows me to write my fun “human friendly” title that shows up on the site while still writing a keyword rich title in the title tags.

The other great thing Headspace lets you control is the indexing of specific pages within your site.

Did you know that it is a bad thing to let Google index every page of your WordPress site?  I know, it seems counter-intuitive, but it is true.

Google hates when it sees duplicate content on a site.  It actually ends up hurting you in the long run.  So if you have a post on your homepage, the post page itself, the archive by date page, tag archive,  and search results page, Google will get confused.

By default, WordPress puts the article in all of those places for you.  However, the search engines see it as 4 or 5 “pages” that happen to have the exact same content (because it shows up in all those places).

In order to tell the search engines that you are not duplicating content, you need to put a no-index tag on certain pages of your site.  That tells the search engines, “Go ahead and crawl these pages but don’t include them in search results.”

The pages you do not want indexed are: archive pages, tag pages, search pages, author archive pages.

Really, the only page you want in the search engines is the actual post page itself.  That way when a user searches for “How to blog like a ninja…” and your post comes up, the link will take them right to the post itself.  Not some archive where the post may have fallen off already, etc.

There’s a lot of other cool things in Headspace I recommend you check out.

#2) Don’t forget about your images!

One of the most common mistakes I see is people forgetting about the SEO value of their images.  Just slapping an image on your post may be visually appealing for the reader, but it can also bring people to your site through search engines.  However, that’s not going to happen if your images are not SEO friendly.

When you load a photo or image into your blog post, you need to make sure to properly fill out the Alt tag and Title tag fields for that image.  The Alt tag is the more important of the two.  That text serves as a description of that image.  Generally speaking, it is the alt tag that search engines use to identify the subject matter of a photo.  So if you are leaving it generic, you are robbing yourself of traffic.

Also, the file name itself is important.  VC100043.jpg doesn’t mean anything to anyone.  Just because that’s the default title your digital camera gave it doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.  The image file name should be keyword rich as well.

There is a plugin called SEO Friendly Images that will automatically take the title of your post and put it in as your Alt tags.  That way, you’ll never “forget” to ad alt attributes to your images.  You can also manually override the alt tags if you want to write your own.

#3)  Got SEO Slugs?

It is important to also remember the SEO value of your slugs.  What’s a slug?  A slug is the part that /comes-in-as-the-link-for-your-post.

By default, the newer versions of WordPress take the title of your post and automatically generate a slug for you.  However, you can manually override that and write a better one.  Words like a, I, am, the, from, go, etc are valueless when it comes to your slug.  You want them to be short and sweet with good keywords.    So for every post, you should at least be thinking about how to improve the slug.

There is also a plugin helper for this.  SEO Slugs is a plugin that automatically weeds out these garbage words for you.  It leaves your post with a nice, neat slug.  Of course, if you want to change it, it will let you do that too.

Happy blogging.

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My name is Foxy, and my job is to sniff out the good guest bloggers from the ones who aren't. This post was written by a contributing author to Blogging Tips. If you would like to learn more about becoming a writer (not one-time guest blogging) for BloggingTips.com, please contact us.

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Search Engine Optimisation

How to Optimize Your Blog for Voice Search

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The new year has come and we are just twelve months away from the year 2020. Why is that important? Because by 2020, nearly all searches are predicted to be voice, rather than text searches.

In fact, Gartner found that 30% of those searches are going to be done entirely screen-less. Here are a few more numbers in case you are not convinced:

  • 13% of households used voice search in 2017 and this number is expected to rise to around 55% by 2022. [Source]. Smart speakers have created an industry of their own and are easily integrated into American household. As the software becomes more streamlined and more applications are introduced, this could cause their adoption to grow even more.
  • 72% of current voice search users claim to use it as part of their daily routine. (source: Google). Looks like searching voice easily becomes a habit! It’s definitely here to stay!

News organizations, radio stations, and websites have begun intensively marketing toward owners of smart speakers. Daily news, music, finances, your calendar and the like can now be read to you as you herd your kids to the car and off to school or before heading in to work.

In other words, voice search queries are going to be taking over the search world.

While voice-activated technology started making its way into our lives quite some time ago, the recent smart assistant technology boom caused the actual voice search revolution. Major brands are quickly investing in voice search optimization.

Is your website ready?

Adapting to the Algorithm

To see how important voice search is going to be we have to look at how Google in its current incarnation really works. When I first started in the SEO world, it was all about simple search keywords. But the exploitation of keyword stuffing pushed Google to further the benchmark and make things more complex.

Now when we look at keyword analysis and optimization, it is a completely different process than what it used to be. Not only have keywords become more varied, the way that Google sifts through the noise in order to provide answers for their users is amazing.

That is what has kept Google on top for so long; competitors like Bing just haven’t been able to develop a framework that is as effective and dominating.

Voice search is underlining this fact in ways that weren’t as clear before. When we type a search phrase we are more careful. We think through what we are going to say, we get phrase suggestions that might help us narrow down or change our language and we get a page of results that lets us refocus if needed.

Spoken words are more spontaneous and harder to predict. It’s not always possible to understand what the searcher really needs. Somehow, Google’s algorithm still works with this format, as long as the content providers are properly optimizing on their side of meet the demand.

So, how do we do it?

Think of Search Queries as Speech

A popular meme lately has been, “This is so sad. Alexa, play Despacito“. While tongue in cheek, it shows the way that speech is taking a handle in search and how we might use it properly.

Imagine you are sitting around talking to your friends. You decide to ask them a question, like, “What movies are showing this weekend?” It is a natural way to speak for you. But if you were to type in search terms, it would be something more like, “Showtimes Century 16”.

Searching by voice presents a new challenge to search engine optimization professionals: Optimizing for all possible ways a user can speak your query.

Optimizing for related terms, synonyms and neighboring concepts is more important than ever. TextOptimizer helps you do just that by running your query in Google and using semantic analysis to extract related topics and neighboring context to optimize your page for:

TextOptimizer

[TextOptimizer extracts related topics for your important keywords helping you optimize for a wide variety of queries]

Get Featured!

The general concept here hasn’t changed, as you still want your page to appear on top of Google’s search result pages: It’s a fact that Google’s users seldom ever scroll past the first page.

Voice search is going to gravitate towards the simplest, top results for the user.

Once upon a time, that meant getting on the front page. Now it means making sure your content is set for featured snippets so you can go above the actual page results and gain priority in Google’s ranking.

Featured snippets are selected search results that appear on top of organic search results in Google and Bing. Featured snippets are what gets read to a user in response to a search query.

Featured Snippets

Articles, tables, images, videos, bullet lists… there are plenty of forms of content that appear in featured snippets.

To better target featured snippet opportunities, use Ahrefs: It allows you to filter search queries to those triggering featured snippets and lets you preview actual search results:

Ahrefs featured

While Schema.org officially doesn’t help you get featured, a lot of SEOs have found that playing around with structured markup actually makes a difference. In any case, that won’t hurt, especially given it’s quite easy to implement using a variety of WordPress plugins.

/HowTo schema is predicted to be used by Google soon (since it’s already being implemented in some of the search experiments), so I’d start there. To show you the markup in action, try running this page through Google’s structured data testing tool:

Structured data

Do you have a strategy to add? Let us know in the comments!

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Search Engine Optimisation

5 Effective Blogging and Marketing Strategies for Your Dental Practice

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As bloggers and content creators, we are often creating content or managing social media and blogs for local practices and businesses in our area. If this is the case, you will definitely find a lot of value in this article — especially if you are working with a local dentist, or maybe even have a dental practice of your own?

Local advertising and offline marketing is something everyone needs to consider when they have a brick and mortar location. However, one also needs to ask the question about online marketing and SEO if they are struggling to showcase how great their dental practice is.

For times like these, it’s important to know which marketing strategies would be most effective in bringing in new patients.

With so many types of marketing strategies out there, it can be hard to know what will work best for your business. With more people using mobile devices and Google than ever before, the common answer for this is to have a blog with niche-focused content that is already relevant for local search results.

Here are five effective content creation and marketing strategies that will help you grow your dental practice.

1. Focus on Local SEO

Chances are there are many different dental practices in your area, which means you need to stand out when potential customers conduct Google searches for a dentist near them.

Focusing on your SEO efforts, specifically, local keywords can help you attract new clients. This will help you rank higher in Google searches when people search for things like “dentist near me.” And what’s better is that it’ll boost your company when people use voice search to find local dental practices.

Make sure to do keyword research in advance. You should also focus on more specific keyword phrases like “wisdom tooth removal” to target searches. These tiny efforts can make a big impact on your discoverability.

Beyond SEO, you should also focus on the general optimization of your website. Make sure it’s clean, easy to use, and highlight your business’s value props. If you don’t know how to do that, check out Willow Creek Dental for website inspiration. Not only does the site design match the look and feel we are looking for, they also have great use of online video as well. Be sure to check out their site through the screenshot below.

2. Get Involved with Your Community

As a local business owner, you need to get involved with your community to attract new customers and keep existing ones. By showing community members you care about your community, you can win them over.

Not sure how you should get involved? Attend town events or sponsor a local sports team. You can even speak to elementary school classes about the importance of dental hygiene.

These dental marketing efforts may seem small, but they say a lot about you and your dental practice. And the more you show your business off in the community, the more likely potential customers are to remember you when they need dental assistance.

3. Invest in Your Social Media Presence

Social media is another great way to get involved in your community and strengthen relationships with your customer base–both potential and existing. Social media platforms like Facebook can help you quickly build an online community that you can keep in contact with.

Social media helps you start conversations with customers and share important updates with them. It also allows you to collect reviews and quickly answer their questions. All of these things prove your value as a business to them.

SproutSocial has a great resource guide that is full of dental marketing messages and methods that are currently being used on social media. The messages that perform best will be the ones that are most creative and compelling — like the one below.

4. Pay Attention to Content Marketing

Marketing isn’t only about showing people you’re there; it’s about proving you have something of value to offer them. That’s why you need to invest in your content creation efforts. Content like blog posts brings customers to your site and provides them with the information and reassurance they need to convert into patients.

It also helps you increase your overall SEO ranking, which will bring even more people to your site!

5. Embrace Physical Marketing Materials

While the Internet is a fantastic way to market your business, it’s not the only type of marketing you should be investing in. You should also be distributing physical marketing materials like postcards, mailed offers, and newsletters to convert local potential customers.

Send flyers with discounts to new residents to win them over. Distribute brochures highlighting your other cosmetic procedures to high-value customers. You can even send newsletters packed with content articles and FAQs!

Final Thoughts on Marketing Strategies for Your Dental Practices

When it comes to your dental practice, great service isn’t enough to make your business stand out. You need to invest in great marketing strategies to showcase your business and win over customers. By following the 5 tips in this article, you can make sure your dental practice is the one customers think of first.

Did you find the content in this article helpful? Need more tips and tricks on marketing strategies? Be sure to check out these expert SEO tips for 2019.

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Search Engine Optimisation

SEO Bloggers, Read This! 5 Tips for Newcomers to the SEO Business

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Image SEO

The SEO industry is growing rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down. This means there are plenty of opportunities for newcomers to break into the industry.

But simply having a general understanding of SEO isn’t enough to start a worthwhile SEO business. You need to have some insider knowledge that’ll put you ahead of other SEO companies.

If you’re new to the SEO industry and you’re ready to break through and have a successful business, read on for some valuable tips.

Do Your Research

SEO is constantly evolving, which means you need to stay up to date with the latest Google algorithms. If you don’t do your research you’ll be stuck doing SEO that is no longer effective in the latest Google update.

Not only should you do your research before you launch your SEO business, but you need to continue to do your research because SEO will continue to change. Don’t get left behind when it does.

Find Clients

Once you have a good understanding of the current state of SEO, you can start looking for clients to work with. Reach out to local businesses and tell them how your SEO company can help bring them more business.

You can use a helpful SEO proposal template to get potential clients interested in doing business with you.

Use Valuable Keywords

Anyone with the even a little bit of SEO knowledge knows you need to use power keywords that attract a ton of traffic. But it’s important to find keywords that also have low competition.

If you only go for high-traffic keywords, such as “SEO”, then your page will never rank and you won’t help out any of your clients. You need to find keywords that get a decent amount of traffic, but have low competition so your page will rank for those keywords and build authority.

Remember to not only use keywords and power words that are going to help rank your content in Google, but also to allow your audience to quickly read through your content and take action. This is one of the major differences between just creating content, and actually optimizing it for the best scenario possible.

Optimize Blog Content

Once you find quality keywords to use, you need to plug them into your blog titles and meta descriptions so Google will recognize that you’re using the keywords.

From there, you can plug in the keywords into your blog content, just don’t overstuff the keyword.

This advice is not only for you to use on your clients, but also for you to use on your own SEO business website. There are tons of SEO companies and you need to optimize your own blogs if you want to attract clients.

Link Building

Link building is just as important to building SEO as using keywords in your own blog posts. It’s especially important for blogs that are just getting started and have very low authority on search engines.

For link building, you’ll want to link in your own blogs as well as in guest posts on other websites. Linking in your own blogs is easy. You just include a couple of links to other pages of your blog and a couple more to high-ranking external sources.

It can be more difficult to link back to your website from other sites, but it will be a huge help. Find websites that accept guest posts and contribute content to their site.

Include a link back to one of your sites to boost your site’s authority!

Help Your SEO Business Succeed with These Tips!

Now that you have these basic tips for beginners looking to start an SEO business, it’s time to put them into action!

Check out these other articles on the blog, which are focused on the latest SEO tips and tricks!

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