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How Small Businesses Can Do SEO on a Small Budget

How Small Businesses Can Do SEO on a Small Budget | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Managing your SEO goals on a small budget can be overwhelming, especially if you are only a one-person, two-person or [insert small number here]-person team. With a plethora of options available to choose from, you really need to keep your eye out for those strategies that are easy to implement and yet bring considerable returns. So to make your journey easier, we have listed a number of SEO strategies that will give you a quick and easy start. 1. Optimize for mobile Mobile optimization is now a necessity, not an option. Mobile friendliness is a ranking factor and hence it cannot be ignored when you are talking about SEO success. Websites designed for mobile screens perform better in terms of ranking when compared to the ones that are not. With Google’s mobile-first index coming to the scene, it makes sense to optimize your website for mobile users. This takes precedence in our list because, 1) it is an absolute necessity and 2) it is pretty easy to implement. In fact, platforms like WordPress will do it for you. They have a pool of mobile-optimized themes that you can pick from, easy as pie! In addition, read this quick guide to find out how to optimize your site for mobile devices. 2. Build your local presence through local citations If you own a local business, earning a strong local presence is essential for visibility. With local SEO gaining importance, it makes sense to invest in various aspects of it. One of these includes earning local citations in order to get found online. In the latest Local Search Ranking Factors survey, local search experts rated citation related factors as making up approximately 13.31 percent and Google My Business 19.01 percent of the Top 50 factors. Local citations, as per Moz, can be built majorly through three gateways: Industry-specific platforms, Local Business data platforms, and the Wider Web. For instance, the Yelp directory helps businesses like restaurants, bars, beauty salons and so on to expand their local listings. GMB (Google My Business) provides a common gateway for businesses in all industries. Apart from these listings, you can also earn local citations through blogs, government websites, apps etc. It’s important to remember that it isn’t just being present online. Accuracy plays a key role in how you actually show up online. Discrepancies in information across different listings can be detrimental to your business image as it can mislead the audience and create space for bad reviews. Make sure your NAP (aka Name, Address, Phone number) is accurate and updated on all platforms. 3. Create a sitemap One of the major reasons why websites lose traffic is because of “crawlability” errors. So if you really want to increase your traffic results, you need to address such issues at the start of your SEO journey. A sitemap allows search engines to list all your website pages, so they are crawled effectively. Generating a sitemap is easy. There are a number of online sitemap generators you can choose from. For sites hosted on WordPress, your sitemap is generated automatically by the Google XML Sitemaps Generator plugin. 4. Focus on making your metadata click-worthy Optimising your metadata is one of the best DIY methods to get SEO positive results. The major elements in your meta-data are: Title, Meta description, URL. Start by including your target keyword in the title, as shown below. Then move onto meta descriptions; these are short snippets of information your audience can view from the search results. Effective meta descriptions compel viewers to click on your website link. (Note: The meta description character limit has increased to “320” from 160 characters.) Getting your URL structure right is also a crucial aspect of SEO optimization. Ensure that your target keyword is a part of your URL. Additionally, keep your URLs as short as possible. This can be done by eliminating unnecessary conjunctions. 5. Add a visual appeal to your website The core motive of any SEO strategy is to enhance user experience and through it, rank higher. When a user lands on your website, the first impression is created by the website appearance. So, it is crucial to leave a good (or better yet, amazing) first impression. How? Try to enhance your website design visually. Ensure that your blog-posts are “visual-rich”. Articles with relevant images get 94 percent more views. While investing in a video production company to create videos might not be the best thing for your budget, an explainer video can really give you that initial push. If you don’t have it in your budget to hire a designer, you can take a stab at it yourself. There are many free (and fail-proof) design tools out there that can help your brand become more visual. 6. Focus on thought leadership when creating content “Content is king” still holds true in the marketing world. So when you set out to create your content strategy, always think of generating content that is unique and adds value to the readers. Find pain-points that haven’t been addressed and deliver solutions through your content. Incorporate visuals in your content plan, as mentioned above, to deliver information in a more engaging way. This strategy is employed by Moz and executed well in their “Whiteboard Friday” video series. Another good example of a blog that established authority through content is BufferApp. By writing a series of guest posts which offered valuable insights, they earned 100,000 customers in the first 9 months. Quick recap For small businesses, the best way to crack the SEO code is through strategies that offer them an even field with big companies. The first step to doing this is to optimize your website’s metadata and be mobile-friendly. Another great way is through local citations, a good local presence can help small businesses reap great rewards. And the way you deliver user experience also dictates your success. Make sure that you create a visually engaging first impression. (By Sahil Kakkar. Kakkar is the CEO and founder of Rankwatch, a platform, which helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape.)
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Technical SEO Tactics for 2018 and Beyond #SEMrushchat

Technical SEO Tactics for 2018 and Beyond #SEMrushchat | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Last week, SEO consultant Peter Mead joined us to discuss SEO audits and on-page tweaks yet again. He had a lot to share on quick-win tactics, keeping up with trends, tracking performance, and other SEO nuances.
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Time Sensitive: How to Get SSL (HTTPS) for Your Blog

Time Sensitive: How to Get SSL (HTTPS) for Your Blog | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
If you run a blog or website you’ve probably heard about SSL certificates and the idea of moving your domain from the old http:// to the secure https:// version. It’s a very important topic. In fact, this is something that will affect the security, performance and even the search engine rankings of your blog. Today we’ve got a huge post filled with information about how to get an SSL certificate and HTTPS for your blog, including why people are moving, what Google has been saying about it, and even a detailed checklist on how to get it done. This is a pretty complicated topic and so I’ve gone into lots of detail to try and make it as pain-free as possible. Have a read and jump in the comments if you’re still unsure. Note: You’re going to want to press Control + D on a PC or Command D on a Mac so as to bookmark this article for future reference. What is SSL all about? The first thing we should do is take a quick look at some of the more technical aspects behind this topic in case you are already finding yourself a little bit confused. So, what exactly is SSL? SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is the technology now used to create an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This allows all the data passed between the web server and the browser to remain private. The idea is that, when you’re shopping or submitting your details into a form on a website, you want to know that the website is secure in the sense that it’s actually the website you think it is and not something else. Without getting overly technical, HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is how information gets transmitted and received across the internet and HTTPS is just the secure version of it. It’s a little more tricky than that, but it’s basically all you need. When a site has a secure SSL certificate (and is set up properly) you’ll see a little padlock up in the navigation bar, and the URL will have https:// at the start instead of just http:// without the “s”. But how does the “handshake” work? The technology behind SSL is quite complicated, but to your visitors everything will just look normal and the website will function as it always has, except that now there will be a little padlock up the top. It essentially works in five key stages to establish a secure “SSL handshake” between your web server and the browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) that your visitor is using. To do this, it needs three different types of keys known as the public, private, and the session keys which all talk to each other to establish that secure session we all want. Here’s a quick summary: For those big old geeks in the audience, here is a little bit more detail to explain the basics of how it all works: Your new reader visits your secure https website and their browser asks that the server identify itself. Your server sends a copy of its SSL Certificate which includes the server’s public key. Their browser then checks the certificate against a list of trusted ones and makes sure it’s valid and up to date, etc. If the browser is happy with the certificate, it creates a one-time session key with the public key from above. Your server then decrypts the session key using its private key to allow the secure session to start. Once that session has begun, everything that is transmitted between the browser and the secure server is encrypted meaning that it is generally safe from people who are trying to spy on or steal that data as it gets sent through forms, carts, and so on. But remember, while https is important it will not make your website secure by itself as Tony Perez says in his article:   It will continue to be a critical piece to ensuring information in transit is protected from attackers, but that’s the extent of the secureness it’ll offer your website. We do have to start talking about encryption at rest, in addition to encryption in transit. If we look at the number of data breaches, HTTPS did little to stop the exfiltration of data. Now let’s get into the details on how you can actually implement this on your website or blog, and the resources, tools and different bits and pieces you’ll need to make it happen. Why are people moving to HTTPS secure domains? We should be pretty clear, getting an SSL certificate and moving to an HTTPS domain is not really a beginner task and it can involve some really complicated steps if you have a big or multi-faceted site. And when it comes to important moves like this one, it’s a good idea to know why you are doing it and what the implications will be for you, your visitors, and the Internet landscape in general. While there are larger implications for things like web security, the main reason bloggers have been switching is because Google has indicated that sites without SSL certificates will rank lower on search results if they come up against an equally valuable site which has an SSL certificate. This all heated up to a new level in August 2017 when Google sent out an email to all webmasters saying that Chrome would show a security warning on any pages with forms that aren’t HTTPS enabled. That means any page with an email opt-in form, contact form, shopping cart, etc. will get a warning for any customer on Chrome saying that it might not be secure. Obviously this has huge implications for anyone trying to run a business. How to set up SSL/HTTPS on your website or blog You’re probably wondering about how you can actually go ahead and set this up on your blog. As mentioned, it’s a tricky issue that can have some complications. I reached out to the incredible team from Kick Point (who helped me with Blog Tyrant’s migration) to get their insights on the process and they were kind enough to put together an extensive checklist for bloggers and webmasters to use when they are about to dive in to this process. They’ve broken down the process into three stages starting with the pre-migration stage of things to prepare before you begin: Consider a staging site. This should be the first thing you put into place. Why? A staging site gives you room to try out your changes in a safe environment before you commit to them live. Make a backup. It’s not possible to take too many backups — you never know when you’ll need to roll back a change in a hurry. You should have a current copy of all your key site files and a full export of your database. Crawl your links. This will tell you whether you’ve got broken links (404s) that need fixing, plus any links that redirect (301s). Fix as many of these as you can. Take the Before picture. Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to generate organic traffic reports for your most recent three months. Check your site files for absolute (hard-coded) links. As soon as you update your site to https, these will become redirects. Fix what you can now, and flag the rest for during launch. If you’re linking to resources like Google Fonts or jQuery, ensure the URLs use https. Check your pages and posts for content from external resources. This information will be in the crawl you did earlier. If the links don’t use https, update that now. Check your redirects. If your site has any 301 redirects set up, prepare them for the URL change. Check your canonical URLs. These show up in a <meta> tag in your site’s header. Check whether these will update automatically when you change to https, and if not, ensure you know how to update them during the migration. Check your robots.txt. Make sure it’s not disallowing anything important, and prepare a copy linking to your sitemap with an https address. Check your sitemap. Depending on your setup, you’ll either have to prepare a copy that uses https yourself, or you’ll be using a plugin that auto-generates the sitemap for you. Check Google Search Console https domains. You should have a Google Search Console property set up for every version of your site’s domain (both www and non-www, plus now http and https). Now you are ready to go and there are some things to watch out for while you are in the migration stage of the process: Take another backup of your site. Take a copy of your database plus all your site files. Don’t be tempted to skip this step, and take as many as you need throughout the process. Request and install your SSL certificate. What this involves will vary based on your hosting situation. Follow the directions in your host’s documentation. You’ll need a certificate (or certificates) that covers all variants of your site’s url. Apply your site changes live. Now is the time to apply any updates you made to your theme files, robots.txt and any other files to your live site. This includes your 301 redirect updates. Set up your https redirect. This will ensure visitors to your site are given the https version of your site no matter what. Test your https redirects. Try out all the versions of your URL (non-www, www, with https, without https, with a / at the end, without a / at the end) and make sure they’re all directing to the same canonical version of the URL. Rewrite your internal URLs. Ensure none of the internal links on your site are using anything other than https:// in the URL. This prevents unnecessary 301 redirects as visitors browse your site. Crawl, crawl, crawl. As with backups, crawl your links throughout the migration process. By the time you’re done, none your site’s internal links should be using http:// in the address. Check the status of your SSL certificate. Plug your site’s address into a service like SSL Test. You’re looking for the test to come back Trusted, and ideally with an A rating. Annotate your migration in Google Analytics. Use the Annotation feature to make note of your migration right on the report graphs. At this point you should be all done, and now we have a final list of step of things to watch out for in the post-migration stage to ensure everything is working well: Make sure all of your pages show the green lock icon. If not, you have a ‘mixed content’ error. Use a service like SSL Check to check your site for anything loading from an insecure URL, and fix these items on all affected pages. Make one more crawl. Verify there are no more insecure internal links, and you don’t have any outstanding 301s or 404s. Update Google Search Console. Make sure the https versions of your URL are verified, their settings match the http versions, and the robots.txt is showing correctly. Submit your sitemap. Update Google Tag Manager. If you’re using tags or triggers, you might have some set up with full URLs. Update all of those to https. Update your ads, affiliates, and any third-party extensions. Point these to your https address going forward. Monitor your site traffic. Watch for big traffic drops. Use Google Analytics’ custom alerts to stay on top of any traffic changes, or set up a rank drop alert in a platform like STAT. Monitor the crawl status of your https URL. Keep an eye on its indexation status, visibility, and watch for any errors on both the http and https site versions. At the end of all this if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the process and you have a complicated site, I really would recommend engaging a firm like Kick Point to help you out with it, if your host won’t do it. It’s not cheap, but when it comes to a big business move like this it is a good idea to get it right. Some resources to help you migrate to https I’d like to finish off this post by going through some tips and resources that might help you with the process of migrating your blog or website to a secure domain. Transport Layer Security – Technical details from Wikipedia. Let’s Encrypt – Free SSL certificates. Digicert – Premium SSL certificate authority. HTTPS as a ranking signal – Announcement about SSL from Google. SSL SEO Tips – A list of SSL SEO tips from Moz. Enable HTTPS for Blogger Blogs – A good guide for those on Blogger. SSL for WordPress.com – Information for those on free WordPress. WIRED going SSL – How they tackled a huge migration. HTTPS does not secure your website – A good important summary. In-dept HTTP to HTTPS guide – Massive guide to follow. SSL Server Test – Check how well your secure connection works. Again, this is a pretty big topic and can seem very overwhelming if it’s something you are not familiar with. It is, however, something that we are all going to need to do sooner or later so it’s probably good to start looking at the options. What are your thoughts? Have you moved your blog over to a SSL domain? I’d love to know your experience or any tips that you might have to help people who are about to do it. Alternatively, if you’re thinking about doing it soon, are there any issues you’re worried or confused about? Please leave a comment below and let us know.
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10+ WordPress Tips and Tutorials that Will Make You a Pro

10+ WordPress Tips and Tutorials that Will Make You a Pro | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Why wordpress is one of the most popular CMS and blogging platform around? I think it because wordpress is free, customizable and have a great support by community or other developers. And as wordpress users, we ...
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50 of the Best WordPress Tips, Guides and Tutorials I Know ...

50 of the Best WordPress Tips, Guides and Tutorials I Know ... | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Posted in: Making the Most of WordPress. Posted on: July 24th, 2012. 50 of the Best WordPress Tips, Guides and Tutorials I Know. One of the greatest things about WordPress is that there is always something new to learn.
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10 essential WordPress plugins - Computerworld

10 essential WordPress plugins - Computerworld | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
10 essential WordPress pluginsComputerworldComputerworld - WordPress turned nine this year. According to Matt Mullenweg, a lead developer for WordPress, the open-source content management system (CMS) has been downloaded 145 million times (video).
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WordPress Tips and Tricks - Internet Marketing For Business

WordPress Tips and Tricks - Internet Marketing For Business | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
WordPress Tips and Tricks are very important to learn since WordPress is the standard in which websites are built on today. Enjoy WordPress Tips and Tricks.
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WordPress. Quick Start Guide | Template Monster Help

WordPress. Quick Start Guide. Author:Alex Ross; Posted on: September 13, 2012; Tags: guide, manual, quick, start, WordPress. GD Star Rating a WordPress rating system ...
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WordPress tips and tricks 2013 - Wordpress Tips and Tricks ...

WordPress tips and tricks 2013 - Wordpress Tips and Tricks ... | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
WordPress tips and tricks 2013. September 12, 2012 — GoogleThem. Since July 2008 we've cut through the longwinded noise and shared the clean, lean and sometimes mean tips. How to hack your WP self installed server without messing it ...
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Beginners Guide on How to Add Twitter Cards in WordPress

Beginners Guide on How to Add Twitter Cards in WordPress | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Step by step guide on how to add Twitter Cards in WordPress, so you can get maximum exposure to your content, increase twitter followers and traffic.
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Highlight author comments in WordPress - Ghacks Technology News

Highlight author comments in WordPress - Ghacks Technology News | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Ghacks Technology NewsHighlight author comments in WordPressGhacks Technology NewsMost WordPress themes iterate between two different comment background colors but do not highlight author or user comments in other ways.
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The pro's guide to the new cookie law

Sandi Wassmer presents a practical guide to internet privacy, explains what web designers and developers need to know about the new cookie law.
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How To Schedule Post in Wordpress | Business Success Guide

How To Schedule Post in Wordpress | Business Success Guide | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Wordpress is particularly loved by a lot of bloggers because of the presence of different plugins which have made a lot of things easier, including scheduling a post for future publication. We all understand why bloggers have ...
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Are WordPress Plugins Free?

Are WordPress Plugins Free? | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Along with the WordPress core code and its massive collection of customizable themes, plugins round out the trio of essential...
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How to Start a WordPress Blog in 5 Minutes: Step by Step

How to Start a WordPress Blog in 5 Minutes: Step by Step | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start a WordPress blog in just five minutes that has been used by thousands of people. We have a full walk-through including hosting recommendations, best practices, and even a video you can follow along.
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Best practices for categories and tags on your blog - Real Lawyers Have Blogs (blog)

Best practices for categories and tags on your blog - Real Lawyers Have Blogs (blog) | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Real Lawyers Have Blogs (blog)
Best practices for categories and tags on your blog
Real Lawyers Have Blogs (blog)
You'll end up with too many tags, look foolish, and make it hard for your readers to use tags as a guide to content they're looking for.
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A Few Wordpress Tips For a Better SEO | Technolyze.net

A Few Wordpress Tips For a Better SEO | Technolyze.net | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
A Few Wordpress Tips For a Better SEO You don't expect this post to start with why a good SEO require a blog, do you? If you hadn't known that, you.
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Wordpress security tips - ITworld.com

Wordpress security tips - ITworld.com | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Wordpress security tipsITworld.comAugust 29, 2012, 1:42 PM — Here are some Wordpress security tips that will help keep your Wordpress content management system safe and secure. 1. Make sure the computers you use to work on Wordpress are secure.
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Ultimate WordPress Guide for Small Business [Infographic] | Search ...

Ultimate WordPress Guide for Small Business [Infographic] | Search ... | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Ultimate WordPress Guide for Small Business [Infographic]. Posted on September 7, 2012 by David Wallace | 7 comments. If you are not already blogging, you've no doubt recognized the need to have some kind of content marketing strategy ...
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Securing WordPress against hacks - Computerworld (blog)

Securing WordPress against hacks - Computerworld (blog) | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Securing WordPress against hacksComputerworld (blog)I've been using the WordPress content management system for six years.
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A Comprehensive Guide to Formatting Your WordPress Posts and ...

A Comprehensive Guide to Formatting Your WordPress Posts and ... | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
After reading this post, you'll understand how to create WordPress pages and posts that are interesting to look at, easy to read, and engaging to even the most jaded web surfer ...
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WordPress Is Probably Powering Your Favorite Candidate's Website - Mashable

WordPress Is Probably Powering Your Favorite Candidate's Website - Mashable | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
WordPress Is Probably Powering Your Favorite Candidate's WebsiteMashable“[WordPress] allows politicians and candidates a beautiful, fully integrated website that has all of the backbone you need for politics — social features, mailing list signups,...
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Sphere - Multi Purpose Responsive WordPress Theme - ThemeForest

Sphere - Multi Purpose Responsive WordPress Theme - ThemeForest | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Sphere theme is a gem in today's WordPress templates market. With minimum effort you can launch professionally looking, fully responsive website. And with built in Theme Options panel, you c...
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WordPress Plugins I Use | CSS-Tricks

WordPress Plugins I Use | CSS-Tricks | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
I think this is a fun and useful style of post that any WordPress blogger can do. It's always interesting to hear in what ways people are extending what Wo.
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A Guide to Canonicalization for WordPress - WPMU.org

A Guide to Canonicalization for WordPress - WPMU.org | WordPress Wonderland | Scoop.it
Make sure that you are getting one of the most oft-ignored elements of SEO right!
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