Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is one of the most important factor that determines whether your website will get searched by your target audience or ended up as a “dead” website eventually. Most of the experts perceive that SEO is dead but even today SEO can still have a major impact on your business. Doing it in the right manner will give you the desired results – which is higher ranking and bringing in loads of traffic. On the other side, if SEO is not implemented according to guidelines it is bound to have a negative impact not just on your business but your reputation as well. Therefore, it is vital to get your basics right in order to make the most out of it. Continue reading
It may seem like a daunting task to create a website especially for those who are unfamiliar with web development or never been through the process before. However the design and development process can be made easier once the individual understand the basics of web design and the general process of setting up a website.
If you are new to website creation and facing this challenge right now, then a bit of extra planning and effort now can save you trouble later on down the road. Once you acquire a general understanding of web design and how websites work, setting up a basic website can be relatively easy. Fortunately, you can acquire the basic knowledge you need right here. We’ve put together this short guide to make the website design process easier, so let’s get started!
Consider and Register the Domain Name
Before setting up a website, you need to register a domain name first. There are many domain name service provider that allow you to register a brand new domain for a small fee. For respectable and common website address, it’s advisable to pick .com and .org domains.
If you are building a website for your own company, it’s important to choose a domain name that fits your company’s brand and style. The shorter the domain name, the easier you can remember! In some cases, the domain name you wish to register might have been taken. If that’s the case, you try adding geo-location to the domain name. For example, if SpaHouse.com is taken, you may try SpaHouseKL.com, SpaHouseKlang.com or SpaHouseAsia.com and check if any of these is available for registration.
In order to organize your work and simplify things, it is highly advisable to sign up both domain name and hosting by engaging the same provider. ServerFreak Technologies makes it easy for companies to register a domain name and setting up hosting account with a single account registration.
Understand Your Goals
Before you start making a fully functional website, you need to ask yourself first why you are creating your website at the first place. The answer may seem obvious. But for different individuals, the answers may vary. For some, especially those people or companies looking to launch their own website, their answers could be “Building awareness”, “Increasing Sales”, and “Providing Information”.
Most websites, however, are driven by multiple goals, and micro-goals that are part of these larger goals. Therefore it is crucial to understand and outline micro-goals before you begin developing your website because once you have identified your goals, you can start to research on how to achieve them.
If you have scoured the web before, you will notice some websites are properly designed and well organized while a small number of them are poorly designed. Examples of poorly designed sites include restaurant websites that do not bother listing contact information, menus, or hours. Sales websites that lacks calls-to-action (CTA), or educational sites that are bombarded with CTAs and sales text. These websites were not designed with the proper goals in mind. As a result, they will underperform.
If you are capable of outlining specific and detailed goals, you are already able to minimize the risk of building a website that won’t meet your requirements.
Know Your Audience
Understanding your audience is the key to building a lively and engaging website. You need to perform research on your targeted audience as detailed as possible, which includes demographics, such as age, sex, income, location, education, and all the rest. Deeper level of understanding is important too. For instance, what are they looking for? what are their wants, needs, and pains?
Once you have identified who your customers are, you need to think how you can engage with them. For example, selling products or services to highly-educated adults, such as doctors or engineers, differs greatly from marketing to teenagers. Well-educated professionals are going to be more detailed in their research, will use a higher vocabulary, and are often less distracted by strong CTAs.
In addition, you need to constantly think of things from your audience’s point of view. If you create a great website with all the bells & whistles, but are speaking to the wrong audience, it is highly unlikely you will reach your goals. Creating buyer personas can help you understand more about your potential customers and how you can make yourself appeal to them.
Consider Advanced Features That You Might Need
Once you have clearly identified your goals and your audience’s requirements, the next thing you need to consider is “Advanced Features”. So, what is an “Advanced Feature”?
First, let’s talk about basic features. These are static content, such as images, links, and text.
We can define “Advanced Features” as non-static features that allow users to interact with your website. For instance, if you are going to run an ecommerce site, you’re going to need product listings, product review submission box, secure payment processing, and other features ready. If you are going to allow users to comment, or to sign up for newsletters (to collect leads), you are looking at “advanced” features.
Lastly, do not get intimidated by the term “advance.” It is not complicated and does not always require technical coding or know-how, or spending huge sum of money. These “advanced features” can be setup quickly and easily with the use of “plugins”. By knowing what advanced features you require, and then doing careful research before you initiate the development process, you can keep your overall costs down.
Understand the Basic Principles of Web Design
Web designing can be described as a combination of both science and art. To substantiate this claim, you just need to take a look at top web developers. The best web developers spend a lot of time crafting their skills and at the same time never stop educating themselves on changing codes, design principles, technology and user experience best practices. This article is not going to go over web design principles in details, but we do need to focus on some basics.
First, every website needs to be optimized for mobile use. Many websites are built to be mobile responsive which indicates that all websites will automatically change to be mobile friendly. Nowadays, both smartphones and tablet devices make up a majority of website browsing activity, defeating desktop use. Hence if your website is not optimized for these devices, the search engines will punish you, and visits will be brief.
Here are some “basic” web designing principles that you need to consider:
- Incorporate more images and videos on your website. Avoid auto-play function in your video.
- No Flash or distracting effects. The use of Flash will slow down the website itself.
- Navigation friendly- Ensure menus are accessible on every device, and that the page layout makes it easy to access content.
- Reader friendly. Avoiding huge blocks of text and content overload. Content should be well-written, typo free, and easy to read.
Understand/Study Your Competitors
Competition among online businesses is getting fierce nowadays. Competing online means you have to study who your competitors are and most importantly at least you want to own a website that is as good as your main competitors. In fact, having a better website than your competitors will always give you an added advantage therefore performing competitive research before you even start developing your website is imperative.
Once you know what you want your website to do, and have planned for a basic web design, you need to check out the competition. If you’re running an online business, you should find the leading websites in your niche. Or, if you want to launch a fashion blog, check out other fashion blogs. Always ask yourself the following questions when you visit their website: What do you like? What don’t you like?
Just like brick-and-mortar business, the competition should always set the bar for you. Always strive to be better than your competitors. If your competitors are setting a low bar, you need to find a higher one. Let’s say you run a match-making agency in your local town. The local match-making agencies all have old, dated websites. This doesn’t give you a free pass to build an outdated website. Instead, find the thought leaders in your business segment. If you run a match-making agency in a small town and the other local businesses have sub-par websites, search for the best match-making websites elsewhere.
Ensure Communication Made Easy
Always make sure you are considering communication methods right from the beginning. It is highly recommended to place your contact information or email address at places where it can be accessed easily i.e. at Contact Us section. For professional reason, you can always consider setting up your own custom email address that represents your company such as firstname.lastname@example.org
Many hosting companies, like ServerFreak Web Hosting offer the ability to create email addresses that match your domain. This makes you appearing professional and credible than using an email from free services such as Gmail or YahooMail. Once you create the email, you need to get into the habit of using it – checking your email at least once per day and strive to replying all inquiries within 24 hours.
Identify Web Hosting Service Options
By now, you should have a good idea of what goes into developing a website. As you have seen, a lot of planning is involved in order to build a successful website. There are many factors to consider. While you are working on your website, you should also consider web hosting options. There are many different website hosting server options in the marketplace right now, and you need to select the one that matches your needs based on affordability, availability, and scalability.
ServerFreak currently offers a range of web hosting plans for small businesses. In addition, we also offer website builder hosting plan that makes it easy for non-website developers to build their own website.
Start Planning Ahead: Marketing Beyond the Website
Launching your website is just the beginning. For an effective digital marketing campaign, you should continue to update content and even the website itself. Ask for feedback from friends and family, and tell them not to hold back. If something doesn’t work, or they don’t like a feature on your website, you need to know. Once you have feedback in hand, adjust.
Always build a good rapport with your customers by using email marketing. Email marketing campaign is a good way to stay in touch with your customers and make them aware of your new content and special offers. This can be a great engagement tool and is relatively inexpensive.
Ensure your content is optimized for the search engine is also critical. Always dedicate some time to read up about the latest Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips which will help you understand what terms your customers are searching for and create the content to help you appear at the top of the search results. You should keep yourself updated with the latest search engine algorithm change too because this will influence your website ranking for your targeted keywords.
If you plan on running ad campaigns, it’s important to allocate sufficient ad budget and set your end goals. If you want to see results for your efforts, targeting the right audience is crucial. However, handling paid ads can get tricky if you are inexperienced, so you may want to engage professional marketing agencies that specialize in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads to manage the campaigns for you.
Remember constant improvement will bring you ever closer to perfection. By referring to the tips listed in this article, we hope that your website will be on its way to achieve huge success!
For new business or website owner, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can seem to be a complex and foreign landscape, but it doesn’t have to be too complicated. In fact, there’s many small businesses (and anyone) can do without any great SEO knowledge, and without spending too much money.
In this article, we have broken down SEO into a few key areas to help make it more manageable. Let’s take a look…
1) Install an SEO Plugin
The first tip is to use an SEO plugin to perform content optimization on your WordPress website. To improve the position of your pages and posts in the search engines, there are several SEO plugins available to this purpose:
a) Yoast SEO
The Yoast SEO is widely regarded as the most famous WordPress SEO plugin. There are free and paid versions of this plugin. For the free version, it provides control over your titles and metadata, breadcrumbs, social links, permalinks, XML Sitemaps and lots more. However, the enhanced features of this plugin such internal linking suggestions and Content Insights can be unlocked only in the paid version.
For a start, the free version of Yoast SEO is deemed sufficient enough for any new website unless you want the full bells and whistles of the SEO features. The free version allows you to type in the keywords you wish to rank for a particular piece of content. The plugin will check whether your keywords density is satisfactory or excessive, or placed in the right position of your article content. It will also offer advice on what to improve in order to boost your website ranking in the eyes of the search engines for specific keywords.
b) Yoast’s Local SEO
This type of plugin is works differently compare to Yoast SEO. Why? That’s because Local SEO focus on the optimization process for the local results in search engines. That means the plugin takes care of your websites visibility in Google Maps. You should consider installing to Yoast’s Local SEO for WordPress premium plugin if you have a local business with physical premises. Another option is installing Yoast’s Local SEO for WooCommerce if you are running an eCommerce store alongside your brick and mortar shop. The benefit you gain from installing this plugin is that it helps you rank in the search engines for local searches, as well as enable you to easily insert Google Maps, contact info, a store locator and opening times into your WordPress website. Try performing a search on “Serverfreak” on Google and you shall see our company working hours, office address and Google Maps location.
2) Perform Keyword Research
Performing keyword research is definitely vital for new businesses. As a new business owner, you need to identify what your potential clients or customers are searching for online. Once these keywords have been identified, you can prepare or start writing your content, so your site ranks for these terms. Alongside with proper keyword optimization, these visitors will come across your site in the search engines when someone searches using these keywords.
In order to identify which probable keywords your visitors enter into the search engine, you need to use a keyword tool such as the Google Keyword Planner, which is a popular tool that allows you to type in keywords that are associated with your business. It will inform you about the monthly and yearly searches for these particular words.
Another important feature of Google Keyword Planner is it helps to find related phrases or keywords associated with your original keyword. You should then try and use these relevant keywords in your content to help your site rank for a variety of popular keywords that are compatible with your niche.
3) Performing Link Building Activity
Link building is definitely an important action that cannot be simply ignored when it comes to ranking a website. It is an important factor in the Google algorithm for ranking websites; therefore you need to add links to your site, both internally and externally. Over time links will organically happen, but as a new business you should also plan for how to receive links initially for your WordPress site.
a) Internal Links
To help improve your website ranking in the search engines, adding internal links to your website is certainly a must. Internal links allows Google to find your site, identify and rank content. Internal links also make it easy for your visitors to find content and help increase the time that they spend on your site.
Wherever makes sense to link pages and posts, take advantage of this opportunity to add internal links to your WordPress website. As an example, you may include link to other relevant blog posts within an article. Another example is from your home page, link to pages where you want your visitors to go next.
b) External Links
Gaining external links is referring to getting links back to your website from large, reputable websites. By link association, Google will determine that your website is important and this will help it rank in the search engines.
Writing guest post on other sites is a great way to generate links back to your website. You can do this by contacting other sites in your niche, similar businesses, industry online magazine and news sites, and any other relevant websites you can find. By writing guest posts for these sites you can leave a link back to your own site.
4) Keep Writing Fresh Content
Content is what will help you rank for your target terms. This means content on product pages, homepages and everywhere around the site, but a blog can also help.
A blog also allows your site to grow. This can be achieved by adding interesting and valuable content that will attract new visitors and recurring users. You may consider uploading different types of media, like video, podcasts, and webinars onto your blog in order to appease different audiences. Increasing the traffic to your website will be great to your business but increasing visitor numbers or website hits will also help with your website rankings.
To grow your blog and increase the chances of your blog getting ranked for numerous keywords, you can write each blog post targeting different keyword. This will allows your site to rank for a selection of varied keywords, and consequently reach a wider audience. The more interesting and diverse content you posts, the more likely you are to connect with new users.
5) Site Performance Optimization
Another method to optimize your website for the search engine is to ensure that your WordPress site is performing to the highest level in terms of loading speed and user friendliness.
a) Monitor Your Site’s Speed
Search engines reward websites with higher position especially those that load quickly and provide a seamless user experience. If you want your site to earn higher position in the search engines, then you need to ensure your website’s loading times is short.
You may want to use Pingdom website performance management service if you are unsure how well your site is performing. The free version of this service will allow you to monitor how fast your site is loading. Pingdom is able to produce comprehensive reports to help you understand what type of content or files that are reducing your website loading speed and what you can do to improve load times. If you want to monitor your page speed on an ongoing basis, you may consider upgrading to their premium service.
b) Improve Your Site’s Speed
There are 2 ways to improve your site’s speed – themes & plugins selection and choice of hosting. Firstly, look carefully at the theme and plugins you are using. A modern, fast loading theme such as WP Total, will immediately impress the search engines and help your site rank. Installing a few different plugins to your WordPress website such as caching plugin, image optimization plugin and lazy load plugin will improve your site’s performance and help you gain favour with the search engines.
Secondly, hosting your WordPress site on a high-quality web host is equally important. With the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’, definitely rings true. If budget is not a concern to you, always choose a high end hosting company like Serverfreak. ServerFreak web hosting offers WordPress Hosting plans which have an impressive track record, providing fast loading times for the numerous websites they host.
6) Develop Your Website Becoming Mobile Friendly
If you want your WordPress website to rank well in the search engines, therefore it’s important to use a mobile responsive theme on your website. Mobile responsive themes are now easily available in the marketplace, so it is wise to spend some money in getting one of these for your website. However, for those using an older theme, and are not yet ready to upgrade, then you need to install a plugin that optimize your site for mobile devices.
One of these plugins is called WPtouch which is a free and extremely popular WordPress plugin. When accessed by smartphone or tablet users, this plugin will automatically enable a mobile-friendly version of your website with ease. A Pro version of this plugin is also available offering a variety of enhanced themes and providing you further control over the features and functionalities used and displayed.
Another method is to utilize Google’s Page Speed Insights tool that checks how well your site is performing on mobile devices. Simply type in your website and Google will give you a score out of 10 for your site’s mobile performance, and recommendations on what to improve.
For many new businesses, most of them don’t have the time needed to dedicate to SEO. If this is the case, and you have the budget for it, then it makes sense to bring in an SEO professional to help optimize your website. Hiring an SEO expert can be a great way for a new business to jumpstart their way into the search engines. Just make sure you do your research carefully before hiring.
However, if you have limited capital for SEO professional service, you may consider the above tips in order to improve your WordPress website site ranking in the eyes of the search engines.
For your information, SEO (search engine optimization) started back in the 90’s, in which webmasters created such system to provide better results and accurate information to their users. Most importantly, this allows certain websites to show the most relevant search result and avoid unrelated pages with abundant keywords. In addition, it also enables false results to find other search sources.
Ok. Let’s break down the reasons why search engine optimization is important for your website.
- As you know, webmasters do their best in order to provide the people like you, the surfer, with relevant information and attractive websites. What search engine optimization does is help advertise campaigns through the keywords provided by the users, and leads them to the promoted site. Posting ads on the internet may sometimes charge you a lot of funds, therefore investing in SEO may aid in lessening your expenses.
- With SEO, this allows your website to be more attractive, relevant, and visible to users.
- Without a good SEO or promotion, it’s like having a business without people having any idea about your products and location. This scenario may lead to business failure.
- Having SEO would be very beneficial for those websites promoting products to clients, especially when this type of website needs more marketing and exposure.
- Existing customers would certainly be able to locate your site, but how about potential customers who have not been reached by your promotion through magazines, newspapers or brochures? This would reduce the probability of increasing your sales. That’s another reason why SEO is so important to your business.
- Search engines makes it possible for potential consumers to simply enter few words in the text box associated to your product, SEO would then provide them links to your website.
- In cases of businesses such as restaurants, the absence of SEO would typically lead clients to links of new articles and reviews but not to your official website.
There you go. All the information above answered the question why search engine optimization is important for your website. Feel free to browse other useful articles included inside the Savvy section.
In this article, we will address the difference between these 2 terms. Getting both ‘On Page’ and ‘Off Page’ SEO properly optimized will deliver excellent result to your site ranking.
Here’s the difference:
On Page SEO Optimization
The term ‘On Page’ is referring to website optimization which is done on the pages of your websites.
How? It’s simple.
This can be done by optimizing your keywords, article contents, designs, title tags and description. Relevancy is very important here. After you’ve decided the content and nature of your website, you have to arrange those elements I‘ve just mentioned correctly on your web page.
At the main page, it is always recommended to place your primary keywords or main phrases that you are targeting. Another good practice is to place ‘header tags’ such as h1- h7 in most article post or pages to emphasize on key points. And on these heading tags, you must place the important phrases to grab search engines’ attention. The use of italicized or bolded keywords in the meta tags may help to strengthen the critical phrases you wish to rank well.
Should you use images inside your site, make sure you insert the ‘img alt’ tags which contain the main keyword phrases. The use of image tag will inform site visitors about the image when the website is used in non-compatible browsers.
The use of file names and folders inside your website are also crawled by search engine robots. The added advantage of using keyword rich folder names and file names will greatly assist search engines to index your website for those particular key phrases.
On-Page SEO Checklist
- Always start with keyword selection, research and testing
- Meta Description tag
- ALT tags
- H1 tags
- URL structure
- Internal linking strategy
- Keyword density
- Site maps, both XML and user facing
- Usability and accessibility
- Track target keywords
- Expect results in 6-12 months
Avoid common on-page SEO mistakes such as:
- Duplicate content
- URL variants of the same pages
- Off-site images and content on-site
- Duplicate title tags
Off Page Search Engine Marketing
Finally, the term “Off Page” indicates optimizing your web page outside of your web pages element. Link building is exactly an off page SEO option.
One of the most common ‘off page’ SEO method is to write great content articles and submit them to articles websites with back links to your own sites. Another method is to participate in social networking sites e.g. Facebook and place your own web link. In addition, you can also consider posting your own website profile links or signature to forums.
Off-Page SEO Checklist
- Always start with keyword research, testing and selection
- Use Keywords in link anchor text
- Obtain links from high ranking publisher sites
- One-way inbound links (not link exchange or reciprocal links)
- Different keywords in your link-ads from the same site
- Gradual link building technology (no growth spikes)
- Use relevant keywords near your inbound link (contextual relevance)
- Deep linking (from multiple pages to multiple pages)
- Target a large list of keywords (5-500+)
- Link from sites with a variety of LinkRanks
- Track active all keywords and refine strategy as required
- Discontinue campaigns if ranking does not improve
- Expect results in 1-2 months (Bing) 1-9 months (Google, Yahoo)
Avoid common off-page SEO mistakes:
- Duplicate keywords in link avderts
- Site-wide links causing link growth spikes
- Using on-page SEOs to do the work of specialist off-page SEO’s
- Placing random links without keywords near your link adverts
Feel free to browse other useful articles included inside the Savvy section.
Are you wondering how to get high search engine rankings? If you want to get high rankings, you need to provide two to three key phrases extracted from the content and utilize search engine optimization.
If you are hesitant to spend on getting traffic through link building and other means that requires you to spend, the last resort is to venture on getting high search engine ranking to attract visitors.
Your objective is not necessarily to get into the top spot but to attract traffic by search engine optimization. And the secret to this is the use of the right keywords. Even if you optimize your site but you don’t get to let many people visit your site then it is useless.
First thing, is to think of a good key phrase which most people would likely type if they search for a topic related to yours. You need to get in with little competitors as possible in order for people to get a look at your site. It is not such a great idea to focus on optimizing while you can’t get enough traffic. It is necessary to make a research on the phrases that the majority would most likely type and what is the status of competition there are for this keyword phrase. Your goal is to look for a high search with low competition.
You need help from a program in order to track on different key phrase that will be your guide. Free Wordtracker is one of the services you can use. The next thing to do is create a theme to your page based on those familiar phrases the service had tracked for you.
One more thing to consider is building a professional site as much as possible. This can get you listed on directories like DMOZ Yahoo. You can search on the source codes of high end websites in order to get a concrete idea on how they do it right.
Take note of title and description tags because they are the most important tags to include your key phrases in order to attract visitors. Incorporate theses phrases with in the first couple of paragraphs of your page content. These are also same phrases that you need to use in keywords tag. Have it separated with a comma. Remember that during this time engines are too smart to review the page for a relevant content rather than simply believing on your keywords.
Other than these tips, you should also take note of these 3 important efforts to establish in order to get a good position on top search engines:
○ Domain name
Getting a domain name will make your site belong to the relevant ones. Once you do not get this, search engines will not consider your site.
○ Use key phrase
This will increase your chance on getting high ranking rather than the use of key words. This will also allow many visitors to check out your site.
○ Link Familiarity
It is best to start creating a page that feature links to related sites and as a webmaster you can ask those sites to link you. This is very time consuming but it is worth doing in order to get a spot on top search engines.
Well, that’s all you need to know about getting high search engine ranking. Although this seems to be a difficult and time consuming task, but once you get to do the search engine optimization right, it’s worth every sacrifice and effort.
Feel free to browse other useful articles included inside the Savvy section.
One of the most important things you will need when you start your own online business is a website. However, building your website entails a lot of work. Aside from that, when you finally are able to build and launch your website, you will need to make use of a number of internet marketing strategies so that your website will be exposed to as many people as possible. The more people visiting your site, the more chances you would have in increasing your revenue. Therefore, you need to make sure that you practice certain techniques in building your site, as well as after launching it. One of the techniques used is called SEO or Search Engine Optimization. This technique involves a lot of methods, which could even include the making of your own website. One of the company’s you can tap for web development is called Serverfreak. To get to know more about it, and see if its web development team applies certain techniques to make it SEO friendly, you can always check it online.
Search Engine Optimization, is often used by a lot of online marketers, to make sure that their websites would appear on the first results page of the search engine, or at least on the second page. This is because in most cases, people will only consider viewing the first two pages of the results, when they search for something online. In other words, if your website will be placed or ranked on the third and forgoing pages, then there is less likely that your website would be viewed by a lot of people. When this happens, your website would not be able to earn you money. Keep in mind that the volume of traffic is one of the keys in earning a lot of money on any kind of online business.
To make use of SEO, you can either make use of the methods yourself, or you can hire someone to do it for you. However, if you want something less costly, then you should do it yourself, or perhaps seek the assistance of your web developer. Building your website is important in SEO as well, since it should have the right kind of content, optimized by keywords so that it would be seen by different kinds of search engines. Therefore, if your web development service provider is quite competitive, then there is more likely that your website will be optimized effectively.
In addition to building your website’s content, you can also write articles to maximize the potential of your website to be found by web surfers. If you write the articles yourself, you will definitely be able to save a lot of money. What is important is that you are able to optimize it with keywords. You can always make use of different kinds of tools online, so that you will be able to determine which kinds of keywords should be used for your website.
Submit your articles to a variety of available article directories on the web. Do not forget to put the link of your website on it. You should also make use of the articles as additional content on your website, so that it will get indexed by the search engines. You should begin practicing SEO already upon website creation. Therefore, check it out soon, so that you will be able to know the kind of website development service they can provide.