Monthly Archives: July 2016

Monday, 25 July 2016, 06:09 pm Written by 

Everyone with an Internet connection knows by now that WordPress is the blogging platform of choice for just about everything. It doesn’t matter if you’re a manufacturer of industrial conveyor-belt cleaners or a teenage boy blogging about how easily The Flash could beat Superman in a no-holds-barred fight, WordPress has the ability to put together a blog that will look decent and let you speak your mind in as much detail as you see fit. So why, then, do all of these SEO companies offer custom blog creation services?

You’d think they wouldn’t get much by way of customers, since anyone can have a blog in seconds just by applying at WordPress.com, right? Oh, so very wrong.

The fact is that, if you intend to use your blog for even the most humble commercial purpose, you need to hire one of those custom blog creators. They do so much for a blog that you’ll never notice — but Google will, and Google will respond by strongly considering ranking your best blog entries. Organic traffic can be a reality — but not without some strong customization.

Come Into My Parlor
The first big advantage that a blog customization will give you is the regular crawling of your blog — all of it — by the Google Spider. All too often, a blog post that’s more than a few months old will just fall right off of the Internet, invisible because even though it technically exists, Google’s spider hasn’t seen it in a while, so Google thinks it’s been taken down. A custom blog creator knows how Google’s spider travels, and provides a big, easy path for it to explore all of the pages on your site every time it comes by.

Feng Shwordpress
The second big advantage comes with the power of interior linking structures. The basic WordPress blog does a passable job with its innate Category and Tags pages, but there are a few tweaks that are performed during your standard custom blog creation that make them 9.5x more powerful than the default. These powerful interior links automatically point more juice at the pages that are already getting attention, making sure that they vault to the top.

Of course, that’s just scratching the surface — there are dozens of advantages you can gain just from a careful selection of theme and header, and the selection of the best keywords for your default categories and most common tags. The point, in the end, is that custom blog creation is well worth the money, even taking into the fact that the alternative is actually free.

Friday, 15 July 2016, 06:05 pm Written by 

Mobile websites come in three basic flavors. There’s the ones that redirect, where you have Wikipedia.com, but then when you log in from your phone, it’s m.wikipedia.com. There’s the ones that are responsive, where when you log in from your phone you see what looks like the same page, but it’s been rescaled and some content has been cut so that it fits better on your phone screen. And there’s the mobile websites that suck.

Yep, that’s it.

And while Google has spent much of the past few years crowing about the importance of responsive design and how it maximizes…stuff (they haven’t been all that clear on it), there are those gurus and those surprisingly-big websites (like Wikipedia) who just don’t do the responsive thing. You ready to learn why?

Con #1: Load Times
The thing about responsive design is that, while it’s great-looking (when done well), it requires the device that’s loading your page to load the whole page. Even if it’s only looking at 1/5th of the content, every graphic and flair and menu that is missing from the responsively-edited version still has to be in memory on the phone. That means long load times (which are bad-bad-bad for impatient mobile users) and it means larger downloads (which are equally bad for folks on limited-bandwidth mobile plans.)

Con #2: Conversion Rates
Simply put, it’s damn near impossible to perform Conversion Rate Optimization when your website looks like five different sites depending on the size of the screen that’s accessing it. A change that bumps the conversion rate of the largest size up will tank the conversion rate on the smallest two sizes. It’s massively easier to perform CRO on two separate, static sites than it is to do it on one responsive site.

Con #3: Build Time (and Price)
Websites designed for mobile natively are rock-bottom cheap, because they have relatively zero by way of features, flair, or other expensive bits. In contrast, to take a website that has been developed for desktop and then redesign it into a responsive website absolutely will take 50% longer and cost 70% more than developing a native-mobile version of the same site.

Mobile website design is a science that the world has pretty much mastered by now — but deciding between ‘what Google claims they want’ and what actually works for you is still an art.

Tuesday, 05 July 2016, 06:03 pm Written by 

Back in the glory days of SEO, when “Content is King!” was a new mantra and Google didn’t know a private blog network from an automated reposter, the expert SEO guy was just that — he was the expert SEO guy, and he did his job to your content after your content was created. By a different guy. Probably John.

But that doesn’t fly anymore. Today’s Google is much more self-aware, and much more lucid when it comes to stupid SEO tricks, so there’s no longer one guy who has read The Book™ and knows how to do The SEO™. Today, SEO happens at literally every phase of a business’ online development.

  • The network engineer has to know enough about SEO to understand that load times, both time-to-first-ping and time-to-full-render, are important factors in how a page is ranked, albeit indirectly in the latter case (see the UX part below.)
  • The web developer has to know enough about SEO to understand that creating an information hierarchy with structured vertical silos with internal crosslinking sufficiency is critical to your future rankings.
  • The interface experience designer has to know enough about SEO to understand how bounce time, dwell time, and other signals of user satisfaction are interpreted by Google when it comes to ranking a page.
  • The content creator has to know enough about SEO to understand that despite Google’s protestations, keywords are still a thing, and Latent Semantic Indexing is actually more important than ever.  Depending on the kind of content created, they might also need to know ‘expert SEO’ such as how to optimize a video, an image, an app (yep!) and more.
  • The social media/outreach coordinator has to know enough about SEO to recognize which industry powerhouses and which social influencers wield websites that are influential, relevant, and accessible (i.e. able to achieve a backlink without investing too much time/money into the process.)

So Then What Is My SEO Company Doing?
Most likely, your SEO company is doing basically the last two parts from the above — not because they can’t do it all (or even because they shouldn’t, because they totally should), but because you came to them and told them the first parts were already done. They were essentially forced to take over someone else’s work.

Chances are, if the first guys who did your web development weren’t expert SEO guys themselves, your current SEO company could significantly improve your results if you let them start over and build everything right the first time around.

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