The HTTP/2 protocol was published in 2015 with the aim of creating a faster, more secure Internet. Adoption has been gradual and is ongoing, but there are clear benefits for marketers who make the upgrade. So what exactly is HTTP/2 and how does it affect SEO? The variety and quantities of information transferred on the Internet have changed dramatically in the past decade. Content formats are larger and more complex, mobile usage has increased significantly, and there is a growing global population of Internet users on a daily basis. It is within this ever-changing landscape that a group of developers built SPDY (pronounced ‘speedy’, aptly enough), to build on the syntax of the original Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). As the name suggests, SPDY was developed with the core aim of finding faster ways to transport content on the Internet that would reduce page load speeds. SPDY was primarily developed by a group of Google engineers and it provided the platform for … [Read more...] about What is HTTP/2 and how does it benefit SEO?
Whether you’re a website owner or a website visitor, everyone wants a fast loading website which can carry out sensitive exchanges of information securely. In 2014, Google announced that it was beginning to use HTTPS as a ranking signal, signalling an increased emphasis on secure connections from the world’s biggest search engine. Then, last month, the news came that Google’s Chrome browser will begin displaying a “Not Secure” warning message for unencrypted webpages. This message will be displayed in the address bar of websites not running the HTTPS protocol. Imagine a situation where your visitors withdraw from your website after seeing this warning message. Google does check whether your site uses HTTP or HTTPS protocol. It might not be a crucial factor if you are not very serious about your website. However, if you are an online business, this is not something to overlook – website visitors demand secure … [Read more...] about Should I move my WordPress website to HTTPS?
A slow site is a slow death for a brand. Whether you have a blog, an online storefront or anything else, your viewers need to able to form a positive impression fast. You have to be able to load a page quickly to pull that off. Back in 2012, there was a study that found it takes under 3 seconds for people to decide whether or not your site is worth staying on. It’s that quick; they click the link and they form an opinion. That study focused more on website design, which is certainly a crucial element to consider. But if in that time your site hasn’t properly loaded or doesn’t allow the user to begin interacting with content or features, you have probably lost a customer. KissMetrics found that users were more than 40% more likely to abandon a page if it took more than ten seconds to load. Their patience was a little higher for mobile sites as they expected to have a longer load time through their phone than their desktop. But the average abandonment time was still 6 … [Read more...] about What may be slowing your site down (and how to fix it)
Google Search Console has long been a go-to platform for SEOs on a daily basis. It provides invaluable insight into how people are finding our websites, but also allows us to monitor and resolve any issues Google is having in accessing our content. Originally known as Google Webmaster Tools, Search Console has benefited from some significant upgrades over the past decade. That said, it is still far from perfect and few would argue that it provides a complete package in its current guise. A raft of industry updates, particularly those affecting mobile rankings, has left Search Console’s list of features in need of an overhaul. Therefore, Google’s recent announcement of some ongoing and upcoming changes to the platform was very warmly received by the SEO community. These changes go beyond the cosmetic and should help site owners both identify and rectify issues that are affecting their performance. There have also been some tantalizing glimpses of exciting features that … [Read more...] about Google Search Console: What the latest updates mean for marketers
If you’re new to the business of SEO and are just figuring out how to optimize your WordPress site for search, navigating the landscape of SEO can seem like a nightmare. You’ll have seen a thousand different articles on SEO: on-page optimization tips, off-page optimization tips, SEO basics, email marketing tips, etc. online and implemented them – only to see them fail, or worse, backfire. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. SEO can be tricky, and there is always a huge scope for overdoing or underdoing things. While I can’t fully solve this problem for you, I’ll make an attempt to round up the most commonly faced SEO challenges with WordPress so that you can look into your site and make some amends. The important thing to understand here is that the same factors can prove to be a boon as well as a challenge when it comes to SEO. The key is to understand your own website intricately and devise plans depending upon what works best … [Read more...] about The 10 most common WordPress SEO challenges and how to solve them
When choosing an ecommerce platform to power your online store, it’s important to consider search engine optimization (SEO) features in your decision-making process. No matter how experienced you are with SEO, when you put the power into a platform’s hands, you may or may not end up with ability to control elements of your site that are essential to your ranking success. Let’s take a look at five core features that your ecommerce platform needs to have, along with examples of platforms that offer each feature. Hopefully this guide will make it easier for you select a home for your merchandise that is capable of dominating search. Editable robots.txt files The Robots.txt file allows you to tell search bots which pages and directories to ignore when crawling your site to index it for the search engines. I bet you’re thinking it’s not a big deal if you can’t control this file, but let me show you why it matters. When a customer makes a … [Read more...] about 5 SEO features to make sure your ecommerce platform supports
As a society, we have been conditioned with the age-old saying “Build it and they shall come”. However, does this hold true for the digital world and your website? And more specifically, what about Google? In most organizations, organic search optimization becomes a layer that is applied after the fact. After the brand teams, product owners and tech teams have decided what a website’s architecture should be. However, what if I were to tell you that if search were a primary driver in your site’s architecture you could see a 200%+ performance gain out of your organic channel (and paid quality scores if you drive paid to organic pages), along with meeting brand guidelines and tech requirements? The top 5 benefits of architecture driven by organic search Match Google relevancy signals with audience segmentation and user demand Categorization of topical & thematic content silos A defined taxonomy and targeted URL naming schemes Ability to scale content as you … [Read more...] about Build it and they shall come: Why your site architecture and search strategy must be aligned
As a society, we have been conditioned with the age-old saying “Build it and they shall come”. However, does this hold true for the digital world and your website? And more specifically, what about Google? In most organizations, organic search optimization becomes a layer that is applied after the fact. After the brand teams, product owners and tech teams have decided what a website’s architecture should be. However, what if I were to tell you that if search were a primary driver in your site’s architecture you could see a 200%+ performance gain out of your organic channel (and paid quality scores if you drive paid to organic pages), along with meeting brand guidelines and tech requirements? The top 5 benefits of architecture driven by organic search Match Google relevancy signals with audience segmentation and user demand Categorization of topical & thematic content silos A defined taxonomy and targeted URL naming schemes Ability to scale content as you … [Read more...] about Build it and they shall come: Why your SEO architecture and search strategy must be aligned
We’re often told that the web is increasingly mobile, and that it is imperative for businesses to adapt their marketing strategies to be ‘mobile-first’ in order to capitalize on this shift in internet behavior. But just how mobile is the web in 2017, and what does this mean for search? SEO and performance marketing agency BrightEdge today released a new report which sheds light on this question, and on the steadily widening gap between mobile and desktop search. I spoke to Erik Newton, VP of Customer Marketing and Head of SEO at BrightEdge, about the report’s findings, Google’s mobile-first index tests, and how SEOs can adapt their strategy to account for the increasing divergence between desktop and mobile. Majority mobile: 57% of web traffic is now mobile & tablet devices In one of the key findings of the research, BrightEdge reports that 57% of web traffic now originates from mobile and tablet devices – meaning that close to 6 out of every 10 … [Read more...] about Why SEOs can’t afford to wait around for a mobile-first index
More than any other digital marketing discipline, SEO is a game of opinions. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy that guarantees success, and that leaves plenty of room for healthy debate. Given how profitable SEO can be when done well, the industry has spawned a vast array of influencers, dispensing morsels of invaluable insight that businesses can apply to their own strategies. A few of these influencers have even gained something close to celebrity status. It’s been a tough few months for the industry in that sense, with luminaries like Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan and Matt McGee announcing their respective departures from the scene in the near future. These are all respected figures with a wealth of experience who essentially put SEO on the map. In their wake, there is a need for a new wave of dedicated SEO experts to conduct and share their findings with the wider community. Fortunately, there are plenty of worthy candidates. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of bad … [Read more...] about The best SEO influencers and resources to follow