This is what happens if your website does not load:
your visitors won’t be able to access your site (not good w.r.t. customer service…).
you won’t be able to access your Admin Area and therefore you won’t be able to do any work on your site.
if you are running Campaigns on Google Ads, Facebook, Pinterest, other – visitors clicking on your Ads will be directed to a page that shows: “Page Not Found – Internal Servor Error”.. believe me, your customers won’t be impressed.
Google bot will try and crawl your site but cannot find your pages. Result? Google down-ranks your site on Google search. Very bad for your SEO!!
WordPressTrainingJohannesburg.com was down for 10 hours yesterday. Talk about someone about to get a nervous breakdown…
I have received good service from both hosting companies and so it was with great surprise (and shock!) that I saw that my one website was not loading yesterday.
After a few online chats to Bluehost and getting nowhere I contacted Bluehost’s Head Office in the United States. They said that the server needed upgrading and that I would have to authorise upgrade from EasyApache 3 to EasyApache 4 which I did and the website was subsequently uploaded to the internet. Why request authorization? just do it…
Fortunately no such issues with WordPress.com hosting!!
Why am I writing this post? To let you know the incredible importance of having a “good” company host your website. You don’t want your website to be down… EVER!
Should you have a Developer and should your Developer host your website for you, then hopefully your website is in competent hands and you should be experiencing no issues.
One more note: should your site be the free version of WordPress.com then you have nothing to worry about as WordPress.com will be the host of your free website. And should you one day upgrade from the free plan to a paid (premium) plan, I would recommend your stay with WordPress.com hosting.
At times, what is expensive today is going to save you much time and money later on.
15 Ways to Get High-Quality Backlinks to Your WordPress Site
Do you remember when black hat SEO was a major problem? Google eventually caught on to these unethical SEO tactics employed by shady (and, let’s be honest, lazy) people, so it may not have had a chance to get too close to you. Nevertheless, if you’ve ever had a client ask if you knew where they could buy links from, that’s definitely a remnant of those black hat SEO days—and something you want to stay away from at all costs.
I think the worst part about black hat SEO was the aftermath. It’s not like building up backlinks was the problem. It was the manner in which people acquired those backlinks that was, since they basically tricked the search algorithms into rewarding quantity over quality.
Being a few years away from the pervasiveness of black hat SEO abuses, I think it’s time for us all to get back in the saddle and get over that fear that Backlinks = Bad. We know that search engines recognize a strong network of backlinks as a signal of authority (even if they won’t admit it). It’s just a matter of knowing how to gain those links through genuine link-building strategies.
In this article, I want to talk about what high-quality backlinks are and how to go about building up a strong network of high-quality backlinks to improve your site’s search ranking, all while still staying in the good graces of the search engines and your visitors.
The Various Ways to Use Links to Improve SEO
Let’s start with the basics. There are typically three kinds of links you’re interested in when building a WordPress site:
Internal links connect readers of your site with other pages of content within the site. This keeps them moving through related topic after related topic, which in turn helps demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.
External links connect readers of your site with other websites. But why would you ever want to provide a link that could potentially push a visitor off your site? Well, it’s usually because you want to give a source credit for information you’ve included on your site. You know this back from high school. Quotes, statistics, and original research should always be cited. It’s also good for improving the user experience when you suggesting they do something and then provide them with a quick link to follow through on that action.
Which brings me to backlinks. These are links that point back to your site, but appear on other websites. Let’s say you published a hilarious infographic on the differences between dating in the ‘90s versus dating in the ‘10s. You may find that a whole bunch of dating sites, women’s and men’s e-magazines, and maybe even Buzzfeed want to embed a copy of it on their blogs. In turn, they’ll likely give your site credit with a backlink. (Basically, an external link, but in reverse.)
Internal and external links are both important for creating a strong impression on your WordPress site. However, high-quality backlinks are even more important as they demonstrate to search engines (and readers) that you’re a trusted authority around the web, and that your content is so good that others can’t help but drive their own traffic to it. Of course, these backlinks are only going to be beneficial if:
They’re genuine (meaning you didn’t pay someone to plant them).
They’re relevant and, consequently, drive relevant traffic to your site.
They come from reputable sources.
It’s this last point that can give marketers some pause since backlinks from websites with poor reputations can negatively affect SEO. So, if there were ever a reason not to want to actively work on building a network of backlinks to your site, that would be the one caveat. However, it should be easy enough to work around this. So long as you’re creating connections with reputable and high-authority websites, and paying attention to where your backlinks come from, you should be fine.
15 Ways to Get High-Quality Backlinks to Your WordPress Site
According to a 2015 study done by Moz, they found a very strong correlation between top ranked sites on Google and external links. Of the top 50 search results they assessed, they found that 99.2% of them had at least one backlink. While it’s not impossible to rank without a backlink, the evidence suggests that if you want to make that coveted first page of search results, you need at least one high-quality backlink.
Okay, so now that we got that out of the way…
We know that backlinks are awesome for SEO. We also know that we need to be careful when going about obtaining them. Here are some tips on how you can inspire popular, high-authority, and well-trusted websites to link to your website:
#1. Write Actionable Blog Posts
Well-written and informative blog posts are awesome. It’s basically like you’re giving away free lessons to your visitors in exchange for their patronage. However, if you want to motivate them to link back to your site within their own content, you have to give them something more. Blog posts that provide actionable tips—usually in list format or a step-by-step guide—will give others the opportunity to leverage your expert guidance for their own benefit.
#2. Write Guest Articles
This is really no different than writing content for your site. The only difference is that you have to follow someone else’s guidelines before it gets published. If you do go this route, don’t stress over embedding links to your site within the article; in fact, most outlets frown upon that. Simply just ask if you can put one link in your bio. If the site has a high enough profile, that one link is all you’ll need anyway.
#3. Blog on Third-Party Sites
Perhaps the best place to put well-thought-out and informative posts is on third-party blogging sites. Obviously, that’s not to say these sites wouldn’t benefit from how-to articles. It’s all about creating content for the right place and the right time, and these sites are usually about straight-up thought leadership content. LinkedIn and Medium are good ones to look into.
#4. Develop Long-form Content
Writing a piece of content that discusses the merits of adopting an older dog is nice when you want to connect with your audience, but writing a guide on the 100 ways to help an older dog adapt to its surroundings would most likely elicit a stronger response. If you really want people to link to your content, create something truly of value. Long-form content like e-books, white papers, and manuals work best for this.
#5. Create Tutorials
Another way you could create helpful content others are dying to link to is by developing tutorials. Whether you’re a WordPress developer who recorded a live WordPress training session or a web designer who has created an infographic on the 15 tips for mastering the latest design trend, these creative tutorials that come straight from the expert are always an attractive sell.
#6. Write a Case Study
Before I write any new content, the first thing I do is search for statistical evidence of the point I want to make. The way I see it, my audience will have an easier time listening to me if I point them to solid proof.
That’s why case studies are so powerful. Find a client’s before-and-after success story, write it up with tons of visuals and statistics, and publish on your site (with client’s consent of course). If your case study makes a solid argument for why CTAs belong above the fold, others may find your data valuable enough to link to and use in their own work.
#7. Showcase Partner Logos
This is one of those tit-for-tat situations, but nevertheless is one that will work if you get a valuable backlink out of it. If your business partners with high-profile companies, talk to them about showing off your logos on each other’s websites.
#8. Provide Reviews for Others
Yes, it can be annoying to receive a testimonial or review request from someone when you’re in the middle of a rush rebranding job and barely have time to stop and collect last month’s invoices. The next time this happens, however, I’d urge you to just say “yes”. In exchange for a testimonial or review, you can ask them to include a link back to your site.
#9. Get Your Link Out on Social
Although Google has made it clear they don’t (or, more accurately, can’t) use social media as a ranking factor for websites, that doesn’t mean social can’t be used for backlinking opportunities. You can:
Add your site’s URL to all your social media profiles—for your company, yourself, and maybe even encourage employees to do so as well.
Promote your content and business’ products or services through posts on social.
Create videos, slideshows, and other visual content for niche social media sites (like YouTube or Instagram) and include a link back to your site in the description.
#10. Show Off on Social
While you work on generating your own backlinks, don’t forget to encourage others to share your content as well. The worst way to do this? “Hey guys, I just published this article. Please share it for me!” The best way to do this? Talk about topics on social that are relevant to your business. Trust me, people will take notice—especially if you’re sharing their content and tagging them. Quid pro quo is alive and well on social media.
#11. Update Your Gravatar
Did you know that Gravatar is part of the Automattic family? This means that any website—including your own WordPress site—linked to Gravatar can pull in the profile you’ve created there. This ensures that your website URL will show up on any site where your Gravatar bio does (like when you comment on another blog).
#12. Create Profiles on Q&A Sites
As a WordPress professional, you know how strong the community is around it. There are a number of opportunities to get involved with that community and to lend your input when your expertise is needed. Sites like Stack Overflow, Quora, the WordPress forums, and, of course, the WPMU DEV community.
#13. Upload Your Portfolio
Do you have a design portfolio or something free to give away like a plugin or wireframe kit? Hop on sites like Dribbble, create a profile (with a link to your site), and start sharing.
#14. Get Interviewed
Are you a local expert? Or perhaps you developed a new technique or product that others would find valuable? Maybe you just helped a major Fortune 500 revamp their website? Whatever waves you’re making in your part of the world, use it to get interviewed by podcasts, local new sites, or niche bloggers. In exchange for the interview, they’ll likely give your site a shout-out.
#15. Issue a Press Release
Along that same vein, if you have something truly newsworthy happen to you (like one of your sites won an Awwward or you just sold a million copies of your plugin), issue a press release about it. And not just on your website. Use a service like PRweb so it’ll get picked up by other news channels that will link back to your site, too.
Once you’ve got this backlink train in motion, don’t forget to review the backlinks coming in to your site. You can find a list of these by going to Google Search Console; look under Search Traffic > Links to Your Site. If you find any questionable links (meaning they’re irrelevant or come from inappropriate sites), you can disconnect them.
Black hat SEO made things a little hairy for marketers and web developers for a while. But now that those shady SEO tactics are, for the most part, gone, we can focus on using positive link building strategies for our sites.A strong network of high-authority backlinks can speak volumes to the credibility of your business, so take some time to think about how best to get your site in front of others and motivate them to link back to it from their own sites.
A very useful article by Elegant Themes’ Dan Virgillito :
Did you know: 571 new sites are made and 70 new domains are registered on the internet within a minute? And that’s just counting a minute. You don’t even want to contemplate the average number of websites created within a year. Generally speaking, the competition for high search engine visibility is fiercer than ever. Even for established websites it’s a tough ask. That is where overlooked tactics like social media seo can give you a competitive edge.
On the whole, social signals / links don’t have a direct impact on the search engine rank of a website. They’re easy to manipulate, which is why search engines don’t give them a lot of importance. Yet, social media benefits search engine rank in unexpected ways.
Specifically, social media seo works in the following ways:
Webpages that gain social traction are indexed faster in search engines. The catch is that audience sharing the content must be active and earned.
The likelihood of other websites linking to your content increases when it gets shared and promoted on social media. Links are a major driver for search engine rank.
A strong presence on social media could boost brand awareness and positive reputation. The more popular your website, the more it will be searched for.
Point in fact, social media seo interaction certainly influences search engine visibility.
But it requires more than just creating a social media profile. Here are 4 tips to help you benefit from social media seo.
1. Fill Your Social Media Profiles with Relevant Information
Include as much relevant information as possible about your website while filling out your social media profiles. Most importantly, include the name and URL of your site, as well as the keywords you want to rank for in the description and the updates you post.
So when people share and engage with your social media updates, they’ll basically aid your brand awareness efforts. For instance, Dom & Tom Inc included important information about its blog post in the update it shared on its Facebook page, leveraging social media seo.
The SEO title of the post is mentioned in the description. This will also get passed around when social media audiences share this update and tag their peers in the comments section.
Potentially, it could result in searches like “things to keep in mind when building apps for kids Dom & Tom” or “Dom & Tom tips for building kids apps,” bringing an indirect increase in Dom & Tom’s search engine visibility.
2. Striking Up Conversations Is an Integral Part of Social Media SEO
Undoubtedly, social media provides an easy way to start a conversation with your target audience to offer value and address pain points . Launch inquiries, post useful tips, start a general discussion and reply to the audiences’ comments with helpful tips.
Then, engage people in the conversation directly. Such engagements are key to creating and retaining an interactive community. Social media seo would encourage your existing customers to return while helping you develop authority for potential ones. Not to mention, a satisfied audience would be willing to spread the word about your company.
For instance, WordPress.com engages its Facebook audience by answering their queries in the comments section.
When implementing this tactic, you can also capitalize on the immediacy of response, which 72% of customers listed as critical. Fast response will increase the willingness of people to recommend or praise your brand on social media.
Indirectly, it will result in SEO gains when someone mentions your name on their blog as a helpful resource.
3. Partner with Social Media Influencers
By and large, social media influencers can multiply the visibility of your social media content. Though increased readership won’t directly boost your search engine rank, you’ll create a gateway to more links in the future through this social media seo tactic.
For instance, if an influencer with 5 times bigger following than what your social media efforts can muster shares your content, it would be a boon for your visibility as the influencer’s audience start Googling you up. As a result, your published pieces will have better value after syndication.
Therefore, start connecting with relevant influencers to build a cycle in which they promote your content and talk about your brand. For instance, Kissmetrics partnered with Jeff Bullas and Ann Handley, two of the most respected content marketers, for a webinar.
The update was shared on social media. Both influencers also informed their audiences about the collaboration. On the whole, it resulted in increased brand awareness for the Kissmetrics brand.
Note: In such influencer-based collaborations, you’re likely to earn nofollow links from the influencers’ social media pages and dofollow links from their websites when they mention your name.
4. Create & Push Captivating Content
Eventually, social media seo comes down to developing compelling content and experiences that your audience will love to discuss and share. Ensure that your video, infographic, visual, text, etc. is unique and in line with the social experience.
Once your content sees some engagement, push it via social media advertising to create a healthy buzz. The incoming traffic will likely result in increased engagement, which could result in more external links. Actually, it’s quite rare to see a highly linked-to page with no social media shares. You can even use hashtags for better reach.
Check out the content shared by Blugraphic on its Facebook page.
In one of the posts, they’ve made an album for Giraffey Free Uppercase Condensed Typeface. Other updates include videos and animations in actions. This is the kind of captivating content that social media audiences love to see and share.
While standard SEO practices continue to be the first preference when it comes to increasing search engine visibility, it seems that social media seo is fundamental for building authority. Therefore, put some effort into optimizing your social media profiles, connect with the right influencers, and post quality updates on each social media network. You will be surprised to see the ROI these endeavors bring overtime.
Yoast SEO 3.3 has many new features. The most important improvement is the new content analysis: Yoast SEO checks both the readability and the SEO-friendliness of your articles.
If you hit the content tab, you will find 6 brand new content checks. These checks will help you write more readable texts. The plugin checks sentence length, paragraph length and your use of subheadings amongst many other essential SEO features.
Congrats to Team Yoast – ‘Yoast SEO’ is arguably the best SEO plugin there is!
Michael wrote: “Content Quality is one of the primary dimensions along which we optimize our ranking models. This is good news for web masters because the three pillars of Content Quality are largely in their control. And the great news for users? Content Quality means we are serving more authoritative, useful, and better designed content.
According to the article ‘Content Quality’ is a Primary Factor in Ranking
In Bing, the relevance of a result is a function of:
Topical relevance to the query (“Does it address the query?”)
Context (“is the query about a recent topic”), and
Content Quality (as measured by the three pillars described below)
The Three Pillars of Content Quality
Authority: can we trust this content?
Utility: is the content useful and sufficiently detailed?
Presentation: is the content well-presented and easy to find?
When Bing evaluates the page with regard toauthority, they try to answer the question, “Can we trust this content, its author, or the website? If you are the author of the Blog, ensure that your name is shown rather than the word “admin”.
When considering the utility of the page, Bing models try to predict whether the content is sufficiently useful for the topic it is trying to address. Does the page provide ample supporting information, etc…
A well-presented page will have an easy-to-read, accessible design, and will make its primary content easy to find.
I enjoyed reading this blog, learning the importance of the various pillars of content quality, particularly authorship.
A valuable plugin for WordPress Bloggers is WordPress SEO, an all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress by Yoast.
Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. Ranking for the “right” keywords can make or break your website. Through the detective work of puzzling out your market’s keyword demand, you not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.
It’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors. The usefulness of this intelligence cannot be overstated – with keyword research you can predict shifts in demand, respond to changing market conditions, and produce the products, services, and content that web searchers are already actively seeking. In the history of marketing, there has never been such a low barrier to entry in understanding the motivations of consumers in virtually every niche.
Let’s assume we have an online shoe store. It would be great to rank #1 for the keyword “shoes” – or would it?
It’s wonderful to deal with keywords that have 5,000 searches a day, or even 500 searches a day, but in reality, these “popular” search terms actually make up less than 30% of the searches performed on the web. The remaining 70% lie in what’s called the “long tail” of search. The long tail contains hundreds of millions of unique searches that might be conducted a few times in any given day, but, when taken together, they comprise the majority of the world’s demand for information through search engines.
Another lesson search marketers have learned is that long tail keywords often convert better, because they catch people later in the buying/conversion cycle. A person searching for “shoes” is probably browsing, and not ready to buy. On the other hand, someone searching for “best price on Air Jordan size 12” practically has their wallet out!
Tips from Matt Cutts, Head of Google Webspam Team:
Great content will bring you many links.
Answer Questions – participate in the community by answering questions that may help others. If you help someone the probability is high that that person will link to you.
Original Research – share the results of your research with the public. If someone benefits from your search the probability is high that they are going to remember you and link to you.
Newsletters – email useful info to people’s inboxes. This will result in increased traffic and conversions.
Social Media – participate in a forum or a blog and participate also on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and other social platforms.
Doing a Presentation at a Conference is another great way to get links.
Directories – enter your business on online Business Directories
Create a Blog and become an authority in your field – there is no excuse these days for a company/ individual not having a blog. Use your blog to establish yourself. Your blog is your online business card, your Profile on the internet.
How-tos and tutorials. Did you learn something useful? Put it on the internet. It may help someone else.
Do you have a free product or service? make it available to others. A good example is open source such as a new free plugin for WordPress. If you develop a free plugin and make it available for others to use… you won’t have to go to people… people will come to you. You do the work once and people downstream will come to you. Some will be grateful for what you have done and they will link to you.
Ensure your website has good site architecture. Ask yourself: Can my site be crawled? can my site’s URLs be bookmarked? What about my internal links – can Google get to all the pages on my site? Make it easy to link to your site as well as to individual pages and posts within your site.
Matt Cutts of Google states that about 25-30% of content on the net is duplicate and that it is not all spam.
Google looks for duplicate content and then tries to group it together and treat it as one piece. So when Google comes across two identical pages Google may decide to show just one of the pages on search results. Not all duplicate content is spam – it just needs to be clustered appropriately.
If all you do is duplicate content and you are doing it in an abusive, deceptive, malicious or manipulative way than expect Google to take action and treat your content as spam.
How can small sites become popular? Can smaller guys outperform the bigger guys?
Matt Cutts of Google suggests that it is important that your site is dynamic, responds quickly and has superior content. Matt refers to how sites such as Facebook and Instagram started small. MySpace was around when Facebook started.
If you are doing it better then in time you can expect to grow. Focus on your niche market. Cover it well and branch out from there.
Smaller guys can outperform the bigger guys as long as they do a good job. Don’t stop producing superior content.