WordPress Resources at SiteGround

WordPress is an award-winning web software, used by millions of webmasters worldwide for building their website or blog. SiteGround is proud to host this particular WordPress installation and provide users with multiple resources to facilitate the management of their WP websites:

Expert WordPress Hosting

SiteGround provides superior WordPress hosting focused on speed, security and customer service. We take care of WordPress sites security with unique server-level customizations, WP auto-updates, and daily backups. We make them faster by regularly upgrading our hardware, offering free CDN with Railgun and developing our SuperCacher that speeds sites up to 100 times! And last but not least, we provide real WordPress help 24/7! Learn more about SiteGround WordPress hosting

WordPress tutorial and knowledgebase articles

WordPress is considered an easy to work with software. Yet, if you are a beginner you might need some help, or you might be looking for tweaks that do not come naturally even to more advanced users. SiteGround WordPress tutorial includes installation and theme change instructions, management of WordPress plugins, manual upgrade and backup creation, and more. If you are looking for a more rare setup or modification, you may visit SiteGround Knowledgebase.

Free WordPress themes

SiteGround experts not only develop various solutions for WordPress sites, but also create unique designs that you could download for free. SiteGround WordPress themes are easy to customize for the particular use of the webmaster.

50 Shades of SEO: Black Hat, White Hat or a Shade of Grey?

SEO

What On Earth Do the Different Shades of SEO Mean For Your Business?

There is a lot of hype and mythology out there about SEO, but what does it all mean?

With all the different shades that SEO can take, from content marketing white hat to link farming black hat, it’s difficult to know what ‘real’ SEO is.

Search engine penalties, algorithm changes – the SEO world moves fast and it’s hard to keep up with the latest best practices.

And different SEO’s say different things depending on what hat they wear.

So, what does white hat, black hat, and gray hat SEO really have to do with ranking a website?

And what do these different types of SEO mean for your business?

Once, There Were No SEO Shades

OK, that’s not 100% true, but before the mass search engine penalties & algorithm updates of 2011 and 2012, SEOs were a more unified bunch.

The early iterations of SEO were all about ranking sites using any means possible, and as search engines were not that sophisticated; SEO methods were repetitive and simple.

Ranking sites would involve questionable, outdated methods like keyword stuffing and throwing loads of low quality links at a domain at a high velocity.

In their defense, the SEO industry was growing fast and people were constantly testing out different ways to rank sites and earn money online – some methods weren’t that great, but they worked.

Thankfully, things changed as search developed, and some of the old tactics felt less like a good idea.

Google put out successive algorithm updates (Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird being the main ones) that targeted low quality content and excessive links.

SEOs realized their methods were misleading users and devaluing brands, and new ideas about user-experience SEO and content marketing took hold.

When these search engine penalties hit all the big sites and took out the blog networks used for cheap links, most SEOs cleaned up their act and resorted to not using mass production of links or user manipulation for rankings benefit.

A new breed of SEO was taking hold.

Search Engine Optimization

The Rise of the White Hat SEO

Since those turbulent days, white hat SEO has become the norm.

Now, most SEO companies and service providers market themselves as only white hat SEOs – offering penalty-proof, risk-free, long-term SEO strategies.

The risk of causing damage and harm to a branded website because of outdated SEO practices keeps most white hats on the straight and narrow (bar a few experimentations)

SEO is a Financial Investment:

You should see SEO as an investment in future business growth.

Organic traffic is a great way to safeguard your business’s future, but it’s something you need to spend money and time on.

Because of how search has evolved, white hat SEO has become more time-consuming (and expensive) as a service.

There are still some SEO elements (especially local SEO) which are very cost-effective, but on the whole the financial commitment needed to get great online marketing results has risen over the past few years. (This is partly due to the growth of the online marketplace).

SEO is Constantly Moving:

Something that was an accepted practice a year ago, may no longer be worthwhile.

SEOs have to constantly evolve to remain up to date, and this extends to white hats too (a good recent example of SEO development is latent semantic indexing and topical SEO).

Stating they are a white hat SEO may not mean they are 100% confident with all the latest SEO tactics.Click To Tweet

Delve a little deeper to unearth their true SEO credentials.

White Hat SEOs are Prone to Specialization:

Find an agency who have worked in your type of business.

It’s great to work with SEOs who understand all your unique business challenges and have experience of your specific search environment.

SEO is Part of the Bigger Picture:

White hat SEO is often part of a digital marketing and content strategy package.

Good SEO should be closely integrated with long-term discussions about your business and can help you launch into new marketplaces.

Black Hat SEO Community

Black Hat SEO

Most black hat SEOs are very open about being black hat – there is a whole underground black hat SEO community where sharing link building tactics and search engine loopholes is common practice.

For black hats, experimentation and testing are central SEO tenets and they are much more likely to take risks with search engine rankings in the hope of making a profit.

Black hats rarely surface outside of online marketing circles because black hat SEO is rarely client-focused.

So there isn’t much risk of your business website getting into black hat hands – unless you answer one of those emails that promise to rank your website number one in Google for $100… (never answer those!).

Is There Such a Thing as Gray Hat?

Gray hat SEO is a term that’s been doing the rounds in the SEO community more recently.

Being gray hat is often a reaction against ambivalent industry and search engine guidelines and it’s driven by a curiosity for more mass-scale SEO.

Gray hat SEO might be more risky, but it’s a method some SEOs feel is justified in today’s commercial search market.

In can be much harder to spot a gray hat SEO, but often it comes down to how they prefer to build links or market themselves.

What Shade Matches Your Business?

Search Engine Optimization Analytics

It’s probably worthwhile thinking about whether you want to invest in SEO because you see SEO as a great way to grow your online brand, or whether it’s something you’re just testing the waters with?

SEO ALWAYS works best when it has your full commitment and is a long-term investment.

All the things that accompany modern SEO – video content, social media, paid advertising, design and development – are all part of the overall marketing mix for your business.

Embrace your business’s online potential outside the world of SEO too.

And leave the black hat SEO methods to people who are willing to take the risk!

Do SEO providers make their intentions clear enough?

What industry guidelines do you think would help consumers?

The post 50 Shades of SEO: Black Hat, White Hat or a Shade of Grey? appeared first on YEAH! Local

Wondering How To Make Your Web Design and SEO Work Together? Read This!

SEO and Web Design Work Together

There are two main facets for building an effective business website:

1. Traffic

2. Website​

These are what all business owners are striving for.

No matter how they attempt to drive traffic, build their email list, convert sales, design their website – they should aim to drive as much traffic as possible and convert as much of the traffic as they can.

If your activities don’t ultimately lead to one of those results, they are superfluous.

For SEO, there is often a sharp debate between which is more important: Your website’s design or its SEO functionality.

Many people believe if you focus on design, you sacrifice your SEO and search engine traffic, and if you focus on SEO you sacrifice design, user-friendliness, and conversions.

In this article, I want to settle this debate once and for all.

You will learn whether design or SEO should come first when building a website to increase your business.

You will also learn how much emphasis to place on the mobile version of your site, and where SEO and website design come together.

Let’s get started!

Which Should Come First: Website Design or SEO?

If you hire the right designer, the front end of your website will look beautiful.

The site will convey a ton of authority and trust, because it’s aesthetically pleasing and communicates to a visitor the business put a lot of money, time, and effort into its design.

This is important, because a business who cares about how it is displayed to the world probably cares about how it serves its customers.

Your site will also (hopefully) be optimized for conversions so when a prospect visits the site they are lead down a natural path through the buying cycle and towards the sale.

However, designers tend to neglect SEO when building out a website.

Web Designer

The code they create can be extremely complicated and unorganized from a search engine spider’s perspective.

This can lead to lower rankings (or no rankings at all) and reduced traffic.

What you’re left with is a gorgeous, conversion-optimized site with no one to use it.

On the other side of the coin, SEOs tend to ignore website design.

When they write code, they write it so it can be easily crawled, indexed, and understood by a search engine spider.

This helps you rank for the right keywords, rank higher for those keywords, and bring in targeted prospects who want to buy your products or services.

However, since they’ve neglected website design, the website isn’t easy to navigate and it’s not optimized to lead your prospects toward the sale.

What you’re left with is a site with tons of visitors, but it’s only converting a small percentage of them (or none at all).

SEO

What you want to create is an SEO-optimized site that is user-friendly, looks good, and is optimized for conversions.

Creating a site like this is a balancing act.

You can’t just focus on your site’s design or just focus on its search engine optimization.

You need to work with someone who understands the importance of both and builds out both aspects at the same time.

As they are designing your website, they’re also considering each SEO implication.

As they are making your site easily crawlable, they’re also considering how its design will affect conversions.

But, if you had to prioritize one over the other, SEO would come first.

Here’s why:

A website with complicated design code is tough to slim down and make search engine-friendly without sacrificing everything put into it.

You typically have to start from scratch and redesign the site around a search engine-optimized backend.

So it’s better to start off with a search engine-optimized website backend, then build a beautiful conversion-optimized site around this code.

This ensures, no matter what, you have visitors coming to the website. Then you simply need to make adjustments to its design if they are not converting or if you want to improve conversions.

So your first priority should be SEO and traffic. Then focus on design.

But ideally, you should work with someone who considers both at the same time, so that neither have to become a priority.

Mobile Design and SEO Considerations

Have you heard of Mobilegeddon?

If not, Mobilegeddon refers to Google’s mobile-friendly ranking algorithm, which was released on April 21, 2015.

All else being equal, it gives higher rankings to websites with a mobile-optimized design. This design makes the site user-friendly on smartphones and other mobile devices.

From an SEO perspective, at the very least, you should make sure your website is mobile-optimized in Google’s eyes. You can use this tool to verify it.

If you take a look at your analytics, a significant amount of your search engine traffic (and overall traffic) is probably coming from mobile devices.

In fact, it has probably been increasing over time, and it should continue to increase for the foreseeable future, as Google said that mobile searches have now surpassed desktop searches.

Total time spent on mobile devices is also increasing:

Time Spent on Mobile Devices Increasing

Source

And comScore found that a majority of consumers are using both PCs and mobile devices to access retail sites, so it’s important for these visitors to have a consistent experience on both:

Multi Platform Google Searches

Making your website mobile-friendly will help you maintain and continue to grow your mobile search engine traffic.

But it also has a big implication on the design side of things.

This shift from laptop and desktop usage to mobile device usage also means a shift towards increased conversions and sales on mobile devices.

Or, at least, the intention to make purchases on mobile devices.

If your website design is not optimized for mobile, prospects may leave your site and use a competitor’s, whose website is mobile-friendly and easy to use.

Thus, you end up losing out on potential sales despite continuing to drive more traffic.

So a large emphasis should be placed on your website’s mobile usability.

Make sure it passes Google’s mobile-friendliness test, then make sure it is designed in a way that makes it easy to navigate and, most importantly, make purchases.

Where Design and SEO Come Together

Despite the debate between design and SEO, they help each other out a lot.

Good, effective design and UI/UX lead to lower bounce rate and longer dwell time (time on page).

Due to Google adding these two factors into their algorithm, this can drastically improve your rankings.

It can also help them stay there, because Google will rank you higher if your bounce rate is lower and your dwell time is longer than your competition, even if they have tough off-page SEO (backlinks, etc) for you to compete with.

Good, effective design can also lead to increased trust and perceived authority.

Combined with authoritative content and/or superior products, this can lead to more natural backlinks and more successful link outreach.

It’s always easier to promote a well-designed website with great content and superior products than one without.

And if your SEO efforts lead to more targeted traffic the design investment doesn’t go to waste.

You end up with a stream of consistent leads visiting your website where they are primed to convert.

As a sales funnel should work together, so should your website design and search engine optimization.

Over to You

When it comes to finding someone to help with your website design and SEO, it can be tough to find a company that considers both.

Most designers or SEOs are simply not well-versed in both practices, or they feel like one or the other is not important.

I suggest that you don’t hire a designer and an SEO separately. Most likely, they won’t want to work together in building out your website.

This can lead to conflicts in your code that are detrimental to both endeavors.

Hopefully, you realize how important it is to build out your website while considering design and SEO together.

Find a designer or an SEO who understands this importance as well and who has the knowledge to make it happen for you.

Have you neglected either of these aspects in favor of the other?

Let me know your concerns in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help you out.

The post Wondering How To Make Your Web Design and SEO Work Together? Read This! appeared first on YEAH! Local

Content Marketing: Become The Authority In Your Niche

YEAH! Local (404) 539-6068 https://yeah-local.com/services-we-offer/content-marketing/

Content Mаrkеtіng іѕ thе рrасtісе оf writing аnd рublіѕhіng vаluаblе content оnlіnе wіth thе ultіmаtе gоаl оf acquiring new lеаdѕ аnd сuѕtоmеrѕ.

The process іѕ fосuѕеd on targeting a сlеаrlу-dеfіnеd аudіеnсе that hаѕ еxрrеѕѕеd ѕоmе tуре оf іntеrеѕt in уоur particular tуре of рrоduсt, ѕеrvісе, оr business.

By publishing уоur оwn engaging аnd uѕеful content оnlіnе, Cоntеnt Marketing hеlрѕ уоu sell уоur рrоduсtѕ аnd services wіthоut асtuаllу “ѕеllіng.”

Inѕtеаd of hаrd-ѕеllіng, іt аllоwѕ уоu tо deliver great information tо уоur target mаrkеt thаt naturally рrоgrеѕѕеѕ іntо thеm bесоmіng a рауіng сuѕtоmеr.

https://yeah-local.com/services-we-offer/content-marketing/

Why Link Building is Your Website’s “Best Friend” for Small Business SEO

Link Building for Small Business SEO

Search engine optimization is an ever changing and evolving beast.

The 200+ factors that contribute to how the Google algorithm perceives the relevance of a website for a specific search term is often changing.

BUT one ranking factor of SEO which never is far from the spotlight is the practice of link buildingClick To Tweet

Historically, the links pointing to a site have always held importance.

Over the last few years, the message coming from Google has been one that has tried to downplay the significance of external links pointing to a website as being a major ranking factor.

Is the power of link building a myth then or is Google just trying to pull one over on us?

Where We Have Been

One reason we have heard Google telling website owners not to worry about incoming links to their websites is that Google genuinely wants webmasters to not actively seek to build links.

Why is this?

For years, even a non-technically gifted SEO could send hundreds and even thousands of spammy links to a website with exact match anchor text and rank for semi-competitive terms easily.

Spammy Links

This does not fit in with what Google wanted to achieve-to provide the best value content to its searchers.

As the Google algorithm has advanced, the search engine giant has tried to eradicate the impact of spammy links to help a website rank in their search engine.

Where We Are Now

So the big question now is-are external links still valuable in the eyes of Google?

We used our own data and some external sources to take a look at a range of competitive key terms to see whether links still seemed to hold relevance for ranking.

We were looking for a direct correlation between external links from a range of referring domains and the power they had in terms of ranking.

For this experiment, we used a range of tools to help us scrape the data-the ones we found most effective were Majestic, Moz, and Ahrefs.

The findings confirmed what we thought we already knew and Moz had stated here. as well as Stone Temple here and Ahrefs here.

Here is a summary of our key findings:

  1. Over 99% of top performing websites had more than 1 referring domain linking to them.
  2. The number of links from referring domains and unique IP addresses correlated with higher rankings. In other words, the more websites that were linking to a website resulted in higher rankings.
  3. The number of links to inner pages of a website (the page ranking) did not correlate with higher rankings. However, the links pointing to the domain correlated with a higher ranking.

So what does this all mean?

Take look at the chart below showing the difference between what backlinks will do compared to just fixing on page factors:

Backlink Factors for Google Rankings

In a nutshell, no matter how much Google tells us link building should not be a focus –

link building still the single most relevant factor in determining the search engine ranking of a websiteClick To Tweet

What it also showed us is that while links pointing to inner pages had importance, you could still rank inner pages with less links (per inner page) than a competitor if the overall number of quality referring domains is higher.

What Is Meant By Quality?

Now we are getting to the crux of the matter and what is meant by Google when they say not to focus on link building strategies.

What Google wants to avoid (and what they want to penalize for) is manufactured and manipulated link building tactics.

They want to reward highly relevant and highly regarded links with the power they deserve.

Domain Authority comes into this somewhat but again it can be just another manipulated metric.

What is key is the Trust Flow and Relevance of the website pointing to you and the natural power that the website has.

By relevance we are talking a website about cats will link to a website about cat toys.

A website about cats is less likely to link to a website that centers around real estate.

So which link will give more relevance?

It seems simple now-but it is anything but.

The cost of building a backlink profile using this relevancy in a natural looking way is not only costly in terms of monetary value, it is also costly in terms of time, and costly in terms of experience.

If you get this wrong, then there is every chance Google will penalize your website and you will feel like the man below.

Penalized by Google

Penguin 4.0 Update and The Good News

There is good news for link building with the MASSIVE algorithm update from Google concerning the new Penguin 4.0.

Google has stated, via Gary Illyes, the following info about Penguin 4:

Penguin 4.0 Gary Illes

Bottom Line:

Google is telling us unless your site is being aggressively spammed, low quality backlinks will simply be ignored!

They will not count for or against you.

Great news for small business owners and SEO’s!

Where Things Are Likely To Go Next

The significance of external links to your website is not something going away.

Our study shows this and there are numerous other studies which also back up what we found.

The SEO scaremongers will always run around shouting the importance of natural link building (if you build it they will come)…but they never come.

The reality of it is external links are and will continue to be the single biggest ranking factor in the Google algorithm and there is a simple reason for this…

External links are the hardest element of SEO to build.

Let’s take it one step further…

High quality, authority, and relevant external links are the hardest element of SEO to build.Click To Tweet

Google knows this.

This is why Google places such a high value on these highly relevant contextual backlinks.

When Google looks at your website backlinks it will either give you credit for them, ignore them, or penalize you for them.

If you have over 500 referring domains and have a good backlink profile that isn’t spammy then the odd bad link will not affect you.

But if you have a poor backlink profile of spammy links and they are all coming from a few referring domains, then you are likely to get ignored or penalized-if not now, then a few months down the line.

How To Backlink Safely

It really takes the hand of an experienced SEO expert to assist with a link building strategy of this nature.

The use of guest posts, foundational links, and building other high-quality backlinks on trusted sources is the number one tool in a good SEO’s arsenal.

Can you rank without it for competitive terms? NO

A simple and resounding NO!

Sure, on-site factors will matter to Google-but nothing will hold the relevance and significance that a good set of backlinks will provide.

Unless you know how to acquire these backlinks in a natural looking way, the time frames that are acceptable to link out to your website, how many links to provide, the anchor text to use, the types of websites to link from, and how to assess the power and relevance of these referring websites then you are very much advised to leave the back-linking to an expert.

After all-one mistake too many and your website could disappear from the Google SERPS for good.

Need Small Business SEO Help? Download Our SEO Checklist Instantly!

Atlanta Local SEO Checklist

The post Why Link Building is Your Website’s “Best Friend” for Small Business SEO appeared first on YEAH! Local

Why Link Building is Your Websites Best Friend for Small Business SEO

Link Building for Small Business SEO

Search engine optimization is an ever changing and evolving beast.

The 200+ factors that contribute to how the Google algorithm perceives the relevance of a website for a specific search term is often changing.

BUT one ranking factor of SEO which never is far from the spotlight is the practice of link buildingClick To Tweet

Historically, the links pointing to a site have always held importance.

Over the last few years, the message coming from Google has been one that has tried to downplay the significance of external links pointing to a website as being a major ranking factor.

Is the power of link building a myth then or is Google just trying to pull one over on us?

Where We Have Been

One reason we have heard Google telling website owners not to worry about incoming links to their websites is that Google genuinely wants webmasters to not actively seek to build links.

Why is this?

For years, even a non-technically gifted SEO could send hundreds and even thousands of spammy links to a website with exact match anchor text and rank for semi-competitive terms easily.

Spammy Links

This does not fit in with what Google wanted to achieve-to provide the best value content to its searchers.

As the Google algorithm has advanced, the search engine giant has tried to eradicate the impact of spammy links to help a website rank in their search engine.

Where We Are Now

So the big question now is-are external links still valuable in the eyes of Google?

We used our own data and some external sources to take a look at a range of competitive key terms to see whether links still seemed to hold relevance for ranking.

We were looking for a direct correlation between external links from a range of referring domains and the power they had in terms of ranking.

YouTube Video

For this experiment, we used a range of tools to help us scrape the data-the ones we found most effective were Majestic, Moz, and Ahrefs.

The findings confirmed what we thought we already knew and Moz had stated here. as well as Stone Temple here.

Here is a summary of our key findings:

  1. Over 99% of top performing websites had more than 1 referring domain linking to them.
  2. The number of links from referring domains and unique IP addresses correlated with higher rankings. In other words, the more websites that were linking to a website resulted in higher rankings.
  3. The number of links to inner pages of a website (the page ranking) did not correlate with higher rankings. However, the links pointing to the domain correlated with a higher ranking.

So what does this all mean?

In a nutshell, no matter how much Google tells us link building should not be a focus –

link building still the single most relevant factor in determining the search engine ranking of a websiteClick To Tweet

What it also showed us is that while links pointing to inner pages had importance, you could still rank inner pages with less links (per inner page) than a competitor if the overall number of quality referring domains is higher.

What Is Meant By Quality?

Now we are getting to the crux of the matter and what is meant by Google when they say not to focus on link building strategies.

What Google wants to avoid (and what they want to penalize for) is manufactured and manipulated link building tactics.

They want to reward highly relevant and highly regarded links with the power they deserve.

Domain Authority comes into this somewhat but again it can be just another manipulated metric.

What is key is the Trust Flow and Relevance of the website pointing to you and the natural power that the website has.

YouTube Video

By relevance we are talking a website about cats will link to a website about cat toys.

A website about cats is less likely to link to a website that centers around real estate.

So which link will give more relevance?

It seems simple now-but it is anything but.

The cost of building a backlink profile using this relevancy in a natural looking way is not only costly in terms of monetary value, it is also costly in terms of time, and costly in terms of experience.

If you get this wrong, then there is every chance Google will penalize your website and you will feel like the man below.

Penalized by Google

Penguin 4.0 Update and The Good News

There is good news for link building with the MASSIVE algorithm update from Google concerning the new Penguin 4.0.

Google has stated, via Gary Illyes, the following info about Penguin 4:

Penguin 4.0 Gary Illes

Bottom Line:

Google is telling us unless your site is being aggressively spammed, low quality backlinks will simply be ignored!

They will not count for or against you.

Great news for small business owners and SEO’s!

Where Things Are Likely To Go Next

The significance of external links to your website is not something going away.

Our study shows this and there are numerous other studies which also back up what we found.

The SEO scaremongers will always run around shouting the importance of natural link building (if you build it they will come)…but they never come.

The reality of it is external links are and will continue to be the single biggest ranking factor in the Google algorithm and there is a simple reason for this…

External links are the hardest element of SEO to build.

Let’s take it one step further…

High quality, authority, and relevant external links are the hardest element of SEO to build.Click To Tweet

Google knows this.

This is why Google places such a high value on these highly relevant contextual backlinks.

When Google looks at your website backlinks it will either give you credit for them, ignore them, or penalize you for them.

If you have over 500 referring domains and have a good backlink profile that isn’t spammy then the odd bad link will not affect you.

But if you have a poor backlink profile of spammy links and they are all coming from a few referring domains, then you are likely to get ignored or penalized-if not now, then a few months down the line.

How To Backlink Safely

It really takes the hand of an experienced SEO expert to assist with a link building strategy of this nature.

The use of guest posts, foundational links, and building other high-quality backlinks on trusted sources is the number one tool in a good SEO’s arsenal.

Can you rank without it for competitive terms? NO

A simple and resounding NO!

Sure, on-site factors will matter to Google-but nothing will hold the relevance and significance that a good set of backlinks will provide.

Unless you know how to acquire these backlinks in a natural looking way, the time frames that are acceptable to link out to your website, how many links to provide, the anchor text to use, the types of websites to link from, and how to assess the power and relevance of these referring websites then you are very much advised to leave the back-linking to an expert.

After all-one mistake too many and your website could disappear from the Google SERPS for good.

Need Small Business SEO Help? Download Our SEO Checklist Instantly!

Atlanta Local SEO Checklist

The post Why Link Building is Your Websites Best Friend for Small Business SEO appeared first on YEAH! Local