Here on Bizzebee, we have talked about how important your website is to your business and why, when you create one, you should be using WordPress to build it. One of the great things about WordPress is that there are literally tens of thousands of WordPress plugins that you can install to your site to fill a number of different roles. That could be for a design purpose, security, SEO, etc. or in all likelihood, all of the above.
In this post we look at some essential WordPress Plugins for your website.
‘How to improve your Google ranking?’ is a common question that crops up online because it is such an important issue. Search engines send, by far, more traffic to websites than any other method, so it makes sense to make the most use of them. You can only do this, however, by ranking highly within them. But how do you do that? Well we have put together 11 free ways that you can use to help improve your Google ranking.
Let’s get started!
1. Give People What They Are Looking For
First things first, in order to attract traffic to your website you will need to know what people are searching for. This may sound simple (and it is really), but too often website owners write for themselves and not for their readers.
The easiest way to go and find what people are searching for is simply to open up Google or Bing and start typing away. Whatever subject/topic/keyphrase/question, etc. that you were aiming to rank for can be instantly adapted to fit in with what people are actually typing in and searching for online. Of course there are some excellent tools online that can help you do this, such as the keyword planner tool and Google trends, but nothing can quite beat a quick manual search on the search engine yourself.
Only by providing this type of targeted content will you be able to improve your Google ranking, so make sure that you spend some extra time to research your keywords and keyphrases. This leads nicely to my next few points…
2. Use Keywords Within Your Post Titles
Once you have identified which keywords and keyphrases that you are aiming for, you need to include them in your content. By far the best and most effective place to do this is by using them within your post titles. It makes sense of course because obviously (as we have just covered) this is what people are typing into the search engines, but also it encourages people to click onto those pages.
Now, before you go cramming as many keywords and keyphrases into your titles as you can possibly fit (titles can only have a maximum of 70 characters), know that the ones that read properly and make sense are the ones that get the most clicks. This is why ‘question’ titles work so well as;
That is what people are typing in,
That is what people are wanting answering.
For example, let’s say that I was searching online for help on how to make pancakes. If I type into a search engine “How to make pancakes” all the relevant posts and pages will appear. Any post that wanted to rank for this term but simple stuffed their title with keywords (e.g. Pancakes, Cook Pancakes, Easy Pancakes, Pancake Recipe.) then they won’t stand a chance.
As a rule of thumb, try to only use 1-2 keywords/keyphrases within your title and ALWAYS make sure that it makes sense when you read it.
3. Use Keywords Within Your Post Content
Your keywords and keyphrases should also be used throughout the main body of your content. Search engines don’t read in the traditional sense that we do to understand what an article is about, instead it scans your content for words and phrases and determines what it is about based on that.
Again, this doesn’t mean you should stuff your articles with as many keywords and keyphrases as you possibly can. Search engines wised up to this practice long ago and now penalise sites that do this extensively. They should make up no more than 3-4% of your overall article, but if you write normally anyway, you are bound to include plenty naturally.
4. Use Keywords Within Your Post Headings & Subheadings
Keywords and keyphrases should be included in your headings and subheadings, much for the same reason that we include them in our titles.
As we have said, search engines scan through your content to determine what it is about. What they also do though is they look more closely at the text that you make standout in your posts. Subheadings come under this (also known as H1, H2, H3, etc. tags) as they are a good way to gauge what each of your post sections are about, but this can also apply to italics, bold words, quotes, etc.
5. Internal Links Can Improve Google Ranking
A very simple and effect thing that you can do to help improve your Google ranking is to include internal links within your posts. These are links that point to your other articles and pages of your site.
This is especially relevant when you use internal links that are relevant. For example, since this post has a lot of information about SEO, I could link to another post about other useful SEO tips for you to read as this is relevant to the post. This is actually another way that search engines assess what a post is about by looking at what content you are pointing to (both internal links and external links), so it always helps that they are relevant.
Of course the added benefit of using internal links is that readers will get to find more of your own content and stay on your site for longer, which is always a good thing.
6. External Links & The Importance Of Anchor Text
Whilst internal links are very useful, they are expected as obviously sites want to keep people viewing there content for as long as possible. What search engines do though is they also look specifically at the external links that you include (links that point to other websites).
Search engines value the fact that you are willing to point readers to other sites, but which specific sites you point to is especially relevant. Again the key word here is RELEVANT as sites/posts/articles that you link to should in some way be related to what you are saying.
For example, for this post I can quite happily link to other sites that talk about the benefits of external links and SEO techniques because they are relevant to what I am saying. If on the other hand I randomly linked to a site about Orangutans, that would be out of place.
The same can be said about anchor text (the text that you use for the link). This needs to reflect what you are linking to and not be generic (i.e. ‘click here’ is not as good as ‘SEO techniques’ when linking to a post about on-page SEO techniques).
7. More Links To Your Site = Good
Search engines look at the number of links that point to a site and use them as a way to assess how good that site actually is. Think of it like a popularity contest, sites with lots of links pointing to it clearly must be good because they have so many people wanting to link to it. Sites with not very many links pointing to it must be less popular or not very good. This is clearly a very basic way of putting it as obviously, as we have discussed, there are many other factors that are taken into consideration, but it is one metric that search engines use.
A word of warning though. Don’t just think that you can spam links to your site to help boost your ranking. There are many dodgy companies that offer to sell X thousand links to your site, but you should avoid these like the plague. Often these links are from dodgy sites themselves who you don’t really want to be associated with. Also, search engines look at the rate at which sites build up links. If anything looks unnatural (like buying X thousand) then it looks suspicious and could cause you more harm than good.
8. More Quality Links To Your Site = Better
As the old saying goes – “It’s quality not quantity that matters.”
Search engines look at the sites that are pointing to yours and judge their worth based on how good those sites are. This is done using Google’s PageRank (PR) statistics. High quality PR8 sites are significantly better than much lower PR2 sites.
So having 1,000 links from PR1 sites is good, but it is MUCH better to have 100 links from PR5 sites.
In order to help improve your online Google ranking then, try to aim to get links from quality websites within your niche instead of from any old site.
9. Improve Your Google Ranking By Improving Your Website Speed
This is actually very beneficial to your readers, so this is something that you should look to improve upon anyway, regardless of the search engines or not. It is estimated that people only stick around on a site for a few seconds before getting bored and navigating away. If they click on your site and end up staring at a blank screen whilst waiting for everything to load, then they won’t hang around for long. Instead you really want everything loaded up quickly so that they can start reading or viewing your content.
10. The Longer People Stay On Your Site The Better
Another factor, that is both beneficial for your website in general and search engines, is how long people stick around on your website. This includes;
Pages / Session
Avg. Session Duration
If you can increase how long on average people stay on your website and how many posts/pages they view in a single sitting, then you are on your way to dramatically improving your rankings. Unfortunately there are no easy solutions to these problems and can be affected by things like; website design, writing quality, how easy it is to navigate around your site, etc.
11. Your Site Gets Better With Age
Search engines can see and record how long a website is active for. The longer you are around online, the better it looks. Think of it like this – if a site was rubbish and no one was interested in it, then it wouldn’t last very long.
This is why many people like to buy existing sites and “do them up”, so to speak. They get the benefit of a matured domain and everything that comes with that, whilst they can improve upon it and attract more traffic.
Obviously this point is something that you can’t really get around. You simply need to focus on creating and maintaining your site to a high level over time.
Improving your Google ranking is certainly not easy, not least for the fact that search engines never quite let on exactly how they rank sites as they are always changing and adapting. Hopefully though, these free tips will help you to focus your attention on what does work. If there are 3 key things to take from reading this post though, it would be;
Use relevant links,
Quality is what really matters,
Improve your site for your readers and it will improve in the rankings.
What are your views? What other free methods would you add to this list? Do you have any questions? Please feel free to get in touch below via the comments section and we will try to answer them for you.
Yes, you heard me right. The secret to blogging success is, of course, fast food. I mean it’s obvious, isn’t it?
OK, maybe I should explain before you pick up the phone and order another [insert favourite food] from your local take out. The secret isn’t about the food itself – that will just lead to diabetes and obesity – instead it is more about why fast food is so popular.
Why Fast Food?
Ask yourself why fast food is so popular. We all know that it is bad for us (really bad!) yet people still eat it. I consider myself reasonably healthy and I even follow fitness plans from sites as https://www.tophealthjournal.com/, yet I am still partial to the odd curry from my local take away restaurant now and again.
You see, fast food (and junk food in general for that matter) is popular, not because of the taste but because it is both convenient and cheap. Just walk down the street and you will pass several take out restaurants. Supermarkets are stocked full of convenience food and there are vending machines on just about every corner. Frankly it is everywhere!
What Has This Got To Do With Blogging?
Ok, bear with me. I’m getting to my point.
Fast food is simply a product that is widely available to the mass population, which is why it is so popular. Blogs can learn a lot from this as the real key to success is to simply try and make their content as widely available to the mass population as it can.
The internet is a wonderful thing. Never before have we been so connected as a global species. Despite this fact, sites still need to work on making their content accessible in order for people to find. Just because it is online, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people will be able to find it easily. You need to do what all the fast food companies do and get your quality content in front of as many people as possible.
There are plenty of ways of doing this, including;
Anything basically to help people find you and your site. Some of the biggest fast food retailers (McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc.) aren’t really successful because of the food they make (I could make a better burger), it’s more to do with the fact that they can deliver that food to everyone because they are everywhere.
Advertising is usually the first method that people choose to use to help promote their website, but arguably the better option is to focus more on SEO. Search engines are how the vast majority of people will find you online, so by concentrating on improving your ranking within Google, Yahoo & Bing, you can greatly increase the visibility of your site online.
Another way to think of it is like this. Think of each of your blog posts as fast food outlet. The more of these quality “outlets” that you have ranking highly; the more people can potentially find you online via the search engines. Only then can you make money yourself via your own advertising, product sales, affiliate links, etc.
There are too many bloggers out there that give up and throw in the towel simply because they are not getting the traffic that they expected. On inspection of their site however, it is usually clear to see that many of these are doing very little promotion (if any at all) of their content, which is why they are getting no traffic.
I hope this post has helped highlight the important factors that you should be focusing on with your blog. The fast food metaphor was simply used to try and hit home the message.
I’m now off to eat something incredibly unhealthy. Please feel free to leave your comments and feedback below.
A pretty important aspect to focus on when starting a new site is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is because the vast majority of your traffic will be coming from the search engines. Now I know many people struggle with SEO when they first start out, which is why I thought I’d put together a list of some helpful SEO tips for you to use.
1. Learn About SEO!!!
Yes, it may sound obvious but it is VITALLY IMPORTANT (I can’t stress that enough) that you spend time learning about how SEO works. Meet with L.A SEO Experts to learn more about what SEO is and have them help you with your website because if you understand the fundamentals of how SEO works and how a site can attract more traffic through it, then you will save yourself a lot of work in the long run.
I get the sense (from readers, comments, emails, etc.) that many new bloggers think that they can put off learning about SEO until later. Something along the lines of “…oh, I’ll build up my site first and gain a following before I read up on SEO” is what comes up a lot. This is just the wrong way to look at it. You may as well say “…oh, I’ll jump into the ocean and splash about for a bit before I learn how to swim.” That’s not going to go well!
Traffic is essential for any site, so if your plan is to build a successful site, then SEO is one of the first things you need to learn about. Putting it off will only slow you down. Start by learning the basics about both on-page SEO and off-page SEO techniques.
2. Think Long-Term, Not Short-Term
SEO is certainly no “quick fix” for a site and can’t instantly make a difference to your traffic. Instead you need to think of SEO as a long-term strategy for your site (which is another reason why you should learn about it sooner rather than later).
When you first start out online, your site will likely only have a handful of pages. While you can (and should) optimise those pages for the search engines, they can only make so much of an impact. Some of the best best seo company‘s have said that the real value of SEO comes when you have built a much bigger site with hundreds, if not thousands of pages, all optimised for the search engines. This creates a snowball effect – as your best pages help to raise the rank of your site, which in turn helps to attract more traffic to your other pages, which helps to raise your rank – and so on.
Always try to think “long-term” with your website. After all, the tortoise always wins the race in the end.
3. Always Write For Your Readers
As important as SEO is for a site, readers should always take priority. Again, this may sound obvious, but it can be easy to fall into the trap of just writing content purely aimed for search engines. That may help attract traffic to a site, but you want them to stay when they get there.
Search engines have gotten a lot better at spotting the fake sites who are only interested in manipulating their traffic. They wised up to them and now heavily penalize sites that abuse this practice. Instead, it is much more beneficial to write quality content for your readers and attract traffic that way. That doesn’t mean you can’t use SEO techniques, just not to overuse them and spam keywords just for the sake of it.
4. Don’t Fall For The Scammers
There are plenty of individuals and “companies” online that will happily scam you out of your money when it comes to SEO. The sad thing is that it is easy to get fooled by them when you are just starting out.
Stay well clear of ANY adverts that claim to be able to “get you to the top of Google in X days/weeks/months” or that suggest that they have “the secret to ranking highly”. In most circumstances they are simply talking out of their ass.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of legitimate SEO companies online and the only real way of knowing is by talking with them. You see, SEO is a very specific service that has to be tailored to a specific site’s needs. That is why you should avoid doing business with any that make promises before you have even spoken to them. How do they know what business you are in, where you are from, what keywords you are aiming for? All that information is key to planning out your SEO strategy. Again, this is why you should learn about SEO, even if you plan on outsourcing the actual work.
What other SEO tips would you like to add to this list for new bloggers? What helped you out when you first started? What SEO questions do you have? Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment below.
Blog post length is something that many bloggers think about and is one question that I get asked a lot online. So exactly how long should a blog post be? Well this is what I’ll be discussing in this post.
Short Blog Posts vs Long Blog Posts
If you read online about this subject you will see that there are generally two viewpoints as to which is the best approach – short blog posts or long blog posts.
Of course another BIG factor is the subject matter that you are writing about. Certain content (i.e. tutorials) will naturally be longer as you would need to explain in greater detail, whereas other content (i.e. news) may only need to be brief.
Now, both long and short posts have their advantages and disadvantages, which makes it a complicated decision to make. On the long run, it might be best to consider hiring PlacementSEO and have them do a complete competitor analysis and determine what the length of your blog post should be.
Short Blog Posts
Short blog posts are obviously much quicker to write. This is a major benefit if you have a site that needs to publish lots of content, perhaps daily or even multiple times a day. In comparison, it is much harder to write out a really long blog post (i.e. 1000+ words) on a daily basis, as that can take its toll on the writer.
Short blog posts can encourage visitors to read the entire post. People don’t have long attention spans online, so short, quick to read posts are a great way to get the information that they want. This is particularly noticeable on news or magazine based websites as they publish a lot (not all) of bite sized content for their readers.
Short blog posts don’t tend to include a lot of information. Whilst they may be good for news related items, anything else really requires more info for readers. You couldn’t hope to explain the inner workings of a subject in 300 words or less. If anything, trying to do that would just end up frustrating your readers and encouraging them to go elsewhere to find what they were looking for.
Short blog posts can be harder to rank in the search engines. Now I’m not saying that they can’t because plenty of short posts can rank well, but I do believe it is harder for them to do so. This is because of the way SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works. For search engines to determine what your content is about, they look at different aspects of it. These are referred to as on-page SEO techniques, so obviously the sorter your post is, the less of these you can include to help you rank.
Long Blog Posts
The advantages and disadvantages of long blog posts are basically just the reverse of short posts, so to make it easier I’ll just list these as bullet points.
Can contain much more information for people to read,
Can include more on-page SEO techniques and keywords to help it rank well in the search engines.
Long blog posts take much longer to write,
People won’t generally read the whole post, instead preferring to scan through it for the information that they are after.
So Which Is Better – Short Blog Posts or Long Blog Posts?
A lot will depend on the subject that you are writing about, but if I had to choose I would lean towards longer posts. This is simply for the fact that they are easier (not guaranteed) to rank in the search engines. That is something that you should really focus on doing as search engines can send you a lot of traffic if you can rank well.
Essentially though, there is no “better” type. As we have discussed, both have their pros and cons. If anything, people should try to stop thinking about blog post length all together and just focus on producing the best quality content that they can. Try mixing it up a bit on your site and produce both long and short posts – long posts to help rank well and explain topics on greater detail and shorter ones to keep your readers interested and up-to-date on news in your industry.
What is your opinion on blog post length? Do you prefer to write/read short blog posts or long blog posts? We want to hear your opinions, so please let us know via the comment section below.
Running a website is no easy task, so it’s inevitable that we will make mistakes from time-to-time. Mistakes can even be a good thing if we learn from them, but to save you the hassle, I’ve put together a list of some common website mistakes to avoid to help you.
1. Unresponsive Website (Not Mobile Friendly)
You are making a BIG website mistake if your site is not “mobile friendly”. More and more people are connecting to the internet via their smart phones and tablets, which is why it is vital that your site is responsive across multiple devices. If it is not, you are simply limiting the number of people that can visit your site.
There are plenty of WordPress themes that you can install that are ‘mobile responsive’. Sites like StudioPress have a wide variety of responsive themes for all types of site that you can use. There really isn’t any excuse for people not being able to access your site on their mobile devices, so make sure that yours is good to go.
2. Bad Website Navigation
You can spend all the time in the world creating fantastic content for your site, but if no one can find it once they get there, then what is the point!
Bad website navigation stops people from finding all the great content on your site. Whether you have only a few pages or hundreds of posts, you want people (and search engines) to be able to find them easily. Only then will you get visitors staying on your site for longer, which helps to increase your pageviews.
Think about the menus and links that you display on your site. Are people able to find the different sections/categories of your site? Do you display a search box? Can people easily find your search box? Which are your most important pages/posts? These are the types of questions that you need to be asking yourself in order to improve your site navigation.
3. Not Building An Email List
An email list is a very powerful thing for a site to have, which is why you should be building one. You see, the people that signup to your site (whether it’s to an eCourse, newsletter, to receive offers, etc.) are your best customers. They are the ones who are interested in what you have to say on your site, allowing you to send them offers, promote products or just encourage them back to your site.
AWeber is the market leader for email marketing software where you can create and schedule a set of emails to be broadcast automatically once people subscribe. You can create signup boxes, newsletters, broadcasts and much more by using them, helping you to grow and manage your email list.
4. Not Posting Enough
Every website needs regular content published as that helps to drive traffic. People (and more importantly search engines) will see that the site is active, which will encourage them to come back again and read more.
If you don’t post enough, then your site can become stagnant. A lot depends on what your site is about, but you wouldn’t keep coming back to a site if nothing changed.
Make a list of all the things that you can write about and keep adding to it when you get inspiration. If you end up struggling for ideas, it may mean that your niche is too small, in which case you may need to broaden out a bit. I think a lot though comes down to getting into a regular routine. Try to update your site regularly (perhaps once or twice a week) and stick to it.
5. Posting Too Often
Some people go to the other extreme and post far too often. Like we said, regular content is good, but too much can be overwhelming for your readers. If you are publishing 4, 5 or even more posts a day, then you can’t expect visitors to keep up. Sites that post this frequently tend to be massive news sites with lots of writers and millions of visitors. That is certainly something to aim for, but you certainly can’t do that on your own.
You also have to consider the quality of what you are posting. Publishing 1 high quality post is MUCH better than lots of little mediocre posts. As the saying goes, “It’s quality not quantity!”
6. Doing Zero Social Media
Social media is a fantastic way to market your site, so it makes sense that you should be using it. Make sure that you have an active presence on all the major social networks (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.), particularly the ones that relate to your site.
Just having a page setup on each of these networks will help people to find you, but by engaging with your audience, it is such a great way to build a following for your site that you shouldn’t overlook.
7. Doing Zero SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an often understood practice that seems to confuse and petrify people at the same time. It may sound complicated and unfathomable, but it’s really not too difficult when you get to know it.
SEO is simply a way of getting your website/content seen by search engines so that they can index it and present it to as many people as possible. Search engines, like Google, are by far your best bet to get traffic to your site, so it’s best to work with them.
By using On-Page & Off-Page SEO techniques, your content can rank highly on search engine result pages (SERPs). The higher you appear on the SERPs, the more traffic you will get.
Essentially, all it involves is making it clear what your posts are about. This is done by including keywords in your post/page titles, meta descriptions, sub-headings, alt-tags, etc. That way, when the search engines find your content, they have a better understanding of what it is about, allowing them to show it to people who are looking for that information.
If you are doing zero SEO for your site, you are essentially sticking your head in the sand. Spend some time learning about SEO and actively doing some for your site. It’s not as scary as you may think.
8. Not Interacting With Your Readers
If people spend the time leaving comments on your site, sending you emails or asking questions via your social media channels, you should make sure to respond to them. Not only is it good manners but it is also good for business. If people see that you are happy to interact with them and help, they will be much more likely to keep coming back for more. It also shows that your site is an active one, which again can encourage people to keep visiting your site.
Admittedly, this can become a problem if your site is very popular (can’t reply to everyone), but you should at least try to reply to as many as you can.
I have in the past made changes to my sites, only to find that they were not displaying correctly on another browser that I didn’t use regularly. Once you know about the problem, it’s usually very easy to fix, but you need to test it to find out.
Get into the habit of testing your website on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari (the 5 most popular web browsers) whenever you make any changes to your site. That way, you can see whether there are any issues that need fixing.
10. Thinking That Your Website Is Finished (Biggest Website Mistake!)
This is probably one of the BIGGEST website mistakes on the list that many people fall victim too. The minute you think that your site is “finished”, you may as well pack up and do something else.
The internet is constantly evolving and there is always competition looking to overtake you. You should always be looking to update, reinvent, add new features/products/content, etc. to your site to keep it fresh. This is one of the things that I absolutely love about what I do, there is always something new to learn about and improve on your site that you should never find yourself standing still. Keep pushing yourself and striving to create a better site for your visitors. That is the best way to run your site.
What website mistakes have you made on your site and how did you go about fixing them? What other common website mistakes would you add to this list? Please let us know below by leaving a comment.