Here’s One Simple Way to Boost Your Online Visibility (Without Breaking the Bank)

It’s become more and more difficult to reach potential customers online. Online users are savvier than ever to the various tactics and techniques used by digital marketers, and there are also many protections available to help people avoid digital marketing in the first place. What can a small business do to overcome this and get more eyes on their products, then? If you want to boost your online visibility, there’s one thing you need to focus on; doing so won’t break the bank, but it can give a big boost to how many people find you online.

Focus On Your Customers

Your happy customers are the key to growing your audience and boosting your online visibility. Anyone can spend big money on a huge marketing campaign and grow a big following on social media, but the quantity of followers isn’t the key to a good long-term marketing strategy. Of course, having a big following helps, as sheer numbers of people that see your advertisements may lead to bigger sales revenue.

You should be focusing, however, on building a high-quality customer base, people that love your product and will buy it. These satisfied customers can be your biggest advocate. People are also more likely to trust customer testimonials and reviews in conjunction with your own marketing, and finding a way to include them on your website or in your marketing can work wonders.

One good app for seamlessly incorporating customer feedback into your website is Feedbackify, which gives you simple code to paste into your web coding that allows customers to rate your offerings, send you compliments or suggestions for improvements, and provide other feedback as well. It also lets you filter results and monitor customer feedback by way of a simple dashboard design.

Your goal with your web marketing should be to build a strong, lasting relationship with your core customers based on trust and mutual respect. Incorporating customer experience into your business can and will allow you to grow your online visibility, as more and more people are interested in not only buying from you but also sharing their experiences with others. This word of mouth from trusted friends can be more valuable than much more expensive publicity.

By focusing on customer relationships with your online business, you’re able to dodge some of the pitfalls that web business has that in-person businesses don’t. You can’t hand out business cards to people hundreds of miles away (although if you need business cards, you can design them for free at a great website called businesscards.co). However, you can get that same level of trust that a small, hometown business can get by making sure every customer that purchases from you get the same level of care and commitment.

If you’re looking for some solutions to help you with customer experience optimisation, check out Pipeline. This one-stop customer relationship management tool is perfect for a small business with just a few team members, all of whom handle customer relations as well as sales. With a CRM like Pipeline, you can make sure that every customer who visits your site has a great experience, and you’re able to replicate that for future transactions as well.

Building a good reputation as a business that puts its customers first is a sure-fire way to boost your online visibility. It won’t make you viral overnight, but it will set you up for long-term, sustainable success by building a loyal base of customers that will do much of your advertising for you to their friends and family. And that can be invaluable.

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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The Effect of Typography on User Experience and Conversions

Typography is a body language that gives the first impression of your site to the user. The fonts depict particular emotions so make sure that the right message is being sent to the reader. Typography is important in many ways, and those who brace themselves with its pros and advantages would always produce professional designs.

In this guide, I will explain what effect Typography leaves on the user experience and conversions.

I am sure many people spend most of their time optimising the landing page, but only a few of them know how Typography can affect conversion and what should one do to get out of it. For those who are dealing with this confusion, let’s resolve it through this guide.

How Fonts Affect User Experience?

Do you know that each font depicts a specific emotion that entirely affects the user experience? Now the question here is that how do fonts affect emotions or the user’s experience?

1. Legibility

We all are aware that fonts play an essential role in making the content legible and readable. To make your content readable and understandable, a graphic designer must know that which fonts increases the readability score. You have maximum emotions of fonts that increases legibility and are specifically designed to increase the readability score.

You can pick any category of fonts for your purpose but according to me sans-serif fonts are best fonts and if we specifically talk about any font then you can go with free Gotham font that is a sans-serif typeface and worth to use in designs. Furthermore, you can surely get hands-on many other fonts that would give a better user experience. Apply fonts in a way that your user won’t find it hard to understand your context.

2. Make Appropriate Headings

Do you know that Headings are the first element of your content on which the user pays special consideration? If you fail to write eye-catchy headings, the user won’t stay at your site for long. Make headings in a way that instantly grabs everyone’s attention.

However, many other things also require in this regard, i.e., Size, Font, Space etc., and it all comes in Typography. Make sure to use an appropriate font for Headings with proper spacing and accepted size. Make sure the first impression of the user towards Heading is long-lasting.

3. Take care of Body Font Sizes

After heading, another main element of your content is the text body that will decide either the user is going to stay at your website or not. When it comes to body size, it would be approximately 14px to 16px. Make sure there is proper spacing between each line so that the user won’t find it difficult to read the lines.

Many fonts are designed to make a small size and large size body texts readable, so choose fonts wisely by keeping in mind your niche. Always remember that every font can’t go with every website because each font depicts a specific mood and feeling. These little details make a huge difference.

4. Overuse of Fonts

A common mistake often seen on the website is using so many fonts in a single design that results in messed up design. It brings a bad impact on the user’s experience, and they most likely to switch to another website. Be limited when it comes to applying font in design.

Furthermore, make sure the fonts you are using compliments to each other otherwise, it spoils the overall look of your website.

How Typography Affect Conversions?

Have you ever thought that Typography affects Conversion? The conversion rate is the time that the user spends on your website. With good SEO, you can increase the conversion rate, but here the question is how Typography plays an essential role in making the conversion rate high and low? Let’s enlist those points that reflect how Typography affects conversion rate.

1. Content is Not Readable

Typography is the main element of every content, and if a designer does not apply the right font in the content, they will end up decreasing the readability score, and if the user finds it hard to read the content appropriately, they would surely do not want to stay at your page.

To increase the conversion rate, one must make the content readable so that the user spends maximum time on your site. It is the main reason for the decreasing conversion rate.

2. Not Enough Space

Have you noticed that the content becomes unappealing when proper spacing is not given among words and lines? Spacing plays an essential role in making the content successful, and proper spacing falls in the category of the right Typography.

Once you know how much spacing is appropriate between words and sentences, things will become easy for you. A research was conducted in the past years by sending texts to 20 different people. To 10 people, the message was sent in bad typography, while for the other 10 people, good typography was used. It was found that message that was sent in good typography has the highest conversion rate.

3. Don’t Overpower the Typography

Have you ever faced the situation when the fonts used do not compliment the text? It does happen when you overpower typography. The main purpose of good Typography is to make people remember the message that you want to convey through your content. It is not about remembering the fonts that you have used in the content.

Hence, make sure the fonts you have used to complement the text. Each font conveys a special feeling. A few fonts are fun, friendly while a few fonts depict opposite emotions. Keep your website’s niche in your mind, and later choose the font according to it.

Conclusion

The user experience and the highest conversion rate are the two most important elements for every graphic designer. You can overcome both elements with the right Typography. I have enlisted those points that resulted in a bad user experience and a low conversion rate. Furthermore, I have mentioned those ways through which you can improve both.

As a professional graphic designer, you must be aware of the importance of typography and what effect it brings on other elements. Take notes from this guide and make the user experience and conversion rate better.

For further reading, check out our blog post on the 10 Tips On Typography in Web Design

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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10 Best WordPress Plugins For Food Bloggers

Finding the best WordPress plugins for your food blog can be daunting because there are millions of options for everything that you need to get done.

From powerful conversion and SEO tools to beautiful image sliders, there’s a lot you can do to beautify and optimise your blog.

With lots of choices comes lots of confusion because, at the end of the day, you need to pick the best plugins that should be installed on your blog.

Thankfully, we’re here to help you figure out which plugins you need to increase conversions and SEO and optimise your site.

Let’s jump into the list of WordPress Plugins for food bloggers.

Top 10 WordPress Plugins For Food Bloggers

I started my own food blog a few months ago. The sheer amount of research I had to decide which plugins to install was taxing.

However, in a few weeks time, I had a list of plugins for almost everything that I needed.

Today, I’m sharing the same list of plugins with you that I have either used or currently use on my blog.

I promise you that all of these plugins will help you increase your blog’s traffic, back up your blog, and simplify your site or make it better.

1. Yoast SEO

This is hands-down the best SEO plugin that’s there in the market. It enables you to optimise your posts, pages and maximizes your blogs SEO potential.

It also has a range of tutorials and articles that help you understand its features and industry trends.

The best part is that it comes with a free version which makes it perfect if you’ve just started out.

2. SumoMe

What’s one plugin that you absolutely need to grow your blog?

It’s SumoMe.

From opt-in forms to social sharing and heat maps to content analytics, it has everything to help your food blog grow.

The Pro version comes with more features and functionality to grow your blog exponentially.

3. W3 Total Cache

A potent plugin that speeds up your blog while caching, this is a plugin you should definitely install.

It also comes with a bunch of other features to optimise your food blog.

Since speed is key, this plugin helps cut down the loading and waiting time of your pages and improve your overall reader’s experience.

4. Jetpack

Sit back and relax as Jetpack supercharges your blog with a fabulous collection of features ranging from subscription forms, website stats and social media icons.

According to me, it’s the best way to check the stats of your website without leaving your site.

WP Smush.it

As a food blogger, you’ll require high-quality photos all the time.

Apart from that, you might also add large files such as videos, PDFs, cookbooks, etc.

While this will be appreciated by your readers, the loading time for these massive media files will not.

It’s common knowledge that a person doesn’t wait for more than 3 seconds for a website to load.

This can be problematic especially when you’re trying to grow your food blog.

The best solution is to install WP Smush.it. This helps reduce the file size and improves the SEO, performance and speed of your website.

6. Contact Form 7

Your theme might be beautiful and come with a lot of features but I’ve come to realise that no matter how perfect the theme is, it always lacks a contact form.

Trust me, I’ve changed hundreds of themes before finalising my current one.

A content form allows your readers and users to interact with you. Adding one to your website also makes your site look more authoritative and reliable.

Contact Form 7 allows you to customise your forms, filter spam, add CAPTCHA among other things.

It’s a great plugin to manage all communication between your readers and yourself.

7. Editorial Calendar

I like to plan the content for my blog a few weeks in advance.

In order to keep a track of each and every article that will be published, I use Editorial Calendar.

It’s an excellent plugin that allows you to schedule and arrange your content by dragging and dropping it on the calendar.

I can rearrange dates without causing a mess and enhance my content publishing strategy in no time.

8. Broken Link Checker

If you’re someone who works alone or even has a small team like me, you’ll need someone to keep a track of pages, posts, comments and most importantly, broken links.

Enter Broken Link Checker that does all this and emails you when it finds broken links and alerts you via your email.

This is crucial because you don’t want your audience to be directed to broken pages that display a 404 error.

Plus, such links negatively impact the SEO of your site.

9. Akismet

When I first started my blog, I used to wish my that my readers would leave comments on my site.

And that started a few weeks after I encouraged them to do so via my social media marketing.

I was elated, overjoyed, in fact. Soon after, my articles were full of comments about fake Chanel bags and vapes and CBD oils.

It felt as though I had managed to attract all the spammers to my website to leave spammy comments!

That’s when I decided to install Akismet.

It stops spammers from posting trashy comments on your website and helps keep your comments section tidy and relevant to the content you share.

10. Vaultpress

The last plugin on my list is Vaultpress.

It allows you to back up your blog in real-time.

Created by the same people who made WordPress, it automatically backs up your content, theme and files every day.

You even get security scans every day that help improve the security of your blog. It’s a paid plugin and costs $5 per month.

Conclusion

You don’t need a million plugins to run a food blog, you just need a handful of effective ones.

Managing your blog will be a cakewalk with these plugins so make sure you give them a try.

Do let us know which were your favourite plugins and if you’ve got better alternatives or suggestions for us to try!

Also, you can check out our other article; Our top 10 used plugins for WordPress – 2021 Edition and find what Silva Web Designs like to use to develop great WordPress websites!

Shristi Patni - Profile

Posted by: Shristi Patni

Shristi is a content writer and owner of F and B Recipes. Formerly the Chief Content Officer at Raletta, she is currently working on her second cookbook. Feel free to contact her regarding a food guest post or a mental health guest post.

 

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Our Top 10 Used Plugins For WordPress – 2021 Edition

Every WordPress developer has a bunch of plugins they tend to install on pretty much every WordPress site they develop, and we are also that kind of people. These plugins give great solutions for caching, security and adding other improvements that build on WordPress core.

That’s the beauty of WordPress – there are loads of plugins to choose from and they are so quick and easy to implement. Some plugins are just a case of downloading and activating, others provide a shortcode which you can copy and paste within your pages and others is a simple as dragging and dropping a widget where ever you wish to display it.

With so many free and premium plugins available, how do you distinguish from the good and bad plugins out there?

Do note, overloading your web site with too many plugins can cause plugin conflict and reduce the speed of your web site, so if you can avoid a plugin and just code it in, that’s even better!

Below you will find our selection of essential plugins, all chosen based on their usefulness, quality and popularity.


1.) WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a great plugin and is really quick and easy to install. It turns your standard WordPress website into an eCommerce store and creates all the necessary pages for you (My Account, Checkout, Cart etc). It allows integration with secure payment methods such as Bank Transfer, PayPal, SagePay and many more. With a huge range of features that can be quickly changed in the Control Panel, this is definitely one of my favourites because of the speed you can set up a fantastic eCommerce website.


2.) Advanced Custom Fields

Advanced Custom Fields is an amazing plugin and without a shadow of a doubt, it’s installed on every project I build. I would definitely recommend getting a licence for the Pro version which you can find out more information about here. You can use the Advanced Custom Fields plugin to take full control of your WordPress edit screens & custom field data. It makes it super easy for clients to change text / images any many other things within your WordPress site without any risk of breaking the site.


3.) Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is another plugin I use on pretty much every WordPress site I develop. You can manage multiple contact forms, customise the form and the mail contents and again, it’s really easy to use. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and many more. All the form elements are generated for you so you don’t even have to know any PHP code. If your not already using this plugin for your forms, I suggest giving it a try now!


4.) Yoast SEO

SEO Yoast is a fantastic platform for SEO. I have used this plugin on 100% of the WordPress sites I have developed and it is the only plugin I use in terms of SEO. If set up correctly, it will improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects. WordPress SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere, it also ranks the SEO of all your pages and posts from ‘Bad’, ‘OK’ to ‘Good’ so you know if your content is going to have any chance of ranking on search engines. The best feature about this plugin is that it even tells you how you can improve the performance of each and every page on your site. It may say things such as, you need to include

tags or include an outbound link on your page/post. You will learn a lot about SEO if you run this plugin on your websites. We actually use the SEO Yoast Premium version which allows up to 5 keywords on each page/post/CPT including many other great features which you can read about or purchase here.


5.) Hummingbird Page Speed Optimization

The next 3 set of plugins I’m going to be talking about are plugins offered by WPMU DEV which you can read about more here. There are free versions of these plugins but they also have premium versions which offer a lot more features which I would highly recommend. Hummingbird PRO is an awesome caching plugin. It zips through your site and finds new ways to boost page speed with fine-tuned controls over file compression, minification and full-page, browser and Gravatar caching. Load your pages quicker and score higher on Google PageSpeed Insights with Hummingbird site optimization.


6.) Smush Image Compression and Optimization

This plugin is one of my favourites; it will resize, optimise and compress all of your images with the incredibly powerful and 100% free WordPress image smusher. This uses Lossly compression which will significantly reduce the file sizes of all images on your web site which will definitely increase your sites speed. Again, the premium version of this plugin is 100% recommended as it will allow you to SUPER-Smush all your images along with a few other great features which will allow you to further optimise your site. Need a high Google Speed Test score? This plugin combined with Hummingbird will make the job a piece of cake 😉


7.) Defender Security, Monitoring, and Hack Protection

Security is definitely important when it comes to WordPress, the number of sites I’ve had to restore/repair and remove Malware from is crazy. So make sure you have fully configured a great security plugin to prevent your web site from these kinds of attacks. Defender is layered security for WordPress made easy. And by easy, I mean amazingly easy! No longer do you have to go through hideously complex settings and get a virtual PhD in security. Defender adds all the hardening and security tweaks you need, in just minutes!


8.) Akismet Anti-Spam

Sick and tired of spam comments and junk email from your WordPress site? Akismet has you covered! Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against their global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content. You can review the comment spam it catches on your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.


9.) MailChimp for WordPress

MailChimp for WordPress allows your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter very easily. This plugin helps you grow your MailChimp lists and write better newsletters through various methods. You can create good looking opt-in forms or integrate with any existing form on your sites, like your comment, contact or checkout form.


10.) Classic Editor

Finally, our last plugin which we have made a lot of use from since WordPress 5 is Classic Editor! Classic Editor is an official plugin maintained by the WordPress team that restores the previous (“classic”) WordPress editor and the “Edit Post” screen. It makes it possible to use plugins that extend that screen, add old-style meta boxes, or otherwise depend on the previous editor. By default, this plugin hides all functionality available in the new Block Editor (“Gutenberg”). Since a lot of people are finding it difficult to get their heads around Gutenberg, this is a great quick fix plugin which will restore the editor back to the way you’ve known and loved for a long time.

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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Why Your Business Needs SEO in 2020 – 10 Reasons to Invest in SEO

We’ve put together a pros list with essentials tips to understand why your business needs SEO in 2020, whether it’s in the future or just in general.

1. SEO Offers Long-Lasting Results for a Business

SEO is a long-term strategy which will bring you long-term benefits. It has a noticeable impact on your business. You probably heard or maybe you’ve asked yourself this question: “How long will it take me to get ranked #1 for my keywords?”. I’ve seen lots of business owners and companies that start doing search engine optimisation and, after a month or two, they just give up and say “SEO doesn’t work” or “We didn’t get the results we needed to justify the cost.”

If you start a new website, it is important to know that you’ll see results in approximately 6 to 12 months. It might seem a big period of time for some, but if done correctly, it will keep your website on SERP and the results you get can last for years. This can have high SEO importance for small businesses that are struggling to succeed.

If you have had a business for some time, then you know how important it is to keep your portfolio and generate conversions. Having search visibility is a great asset for achieving results. SEO can help you by offering visibility in SERP and afterwards with monetary results, but you have to invest in it – time and money.

There are lots of factors that should be taken into consideration when we think about SEO. You need expertise and a feasible plan to achieve SEO success

SEO is and will be a good investment for an online business, which brings us to the next point.

2. You’ll Receive Impressive ROI

SEO brings a great return on investment if you have a healthy budget and an on-going process. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Budget 6 to 12 months of SEO, otherwise you risk losing money, and you’d better use that budget for something else. Paying for just a few months won’t bring you the results you’re longing about and you’d be like throwing money outside the window.

An investment in SEO is an investment in your business’ future. SEO can bring in about 15 times more clicks than PPC advertising. It is a long-term strategy, as we’ve mentioned before, and it shouldn’t be seen as an immediate way of generating sales. A long-haul plan will bring you a return on investment because SEO is an online marketing strategy with one of the best ROIs.

It might be hard to calculate ROI, but you have lots of analytics you can track and evaluate your goals. Even so, organic SEO is way more powerful than other online marketing tactics, even stronger than paid search ads. SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search.

The results in the first months of using SEO might be awfully small. But after the 6th month, things start to soar. You’d have to wait until the big leads come pouring, and you’ll need SEO for that.

3. Organic Search Is Often Times the Primary Source of Traffic

Organic search is accountable for a huge part of a website traffic source. Lots of studies strengthen the value of organic search and its importance. Around 51% of all website traffic comes from organic search and only 10% from paid search, 5% for social, and 34% of all other sources.

Search visibility is a great asset and Google owns a significantly larger piece of the search market than competitors such as Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, DuckDuckGo, and other more. We all know the importance of a trusted website; a website that everybody likes is always liked by Google. Quality and constant website optimisation will keep the website as a trusted source by Google and be qualified as a good ranking position on the first page of the search engine results.

There are over 40,000 search queries every second on average on Google, which means 3.5 billion searches per day.

4. SEO Can Be Cheaper Than Other Paid Search Strategies

It can be cheap if we take into consideration a 6-month plan. For SEO you need to invest a lot more money in the first phase, compared to other paid advertising methods where you have to pay from month to month if you want to keep receiving traffic on your website.

Paid search marketing, compared to search engine optimisation, has a shorter time for returning conversion, but your business should invest to see results. As long as you keep paying for results, you’ll get them, which in the long term is not so equitable as SEO.

SEO converts more efficiently, SEM has more speed. Search engine marketing includes every form of paid advertising for your business. Lots of people don’t invest in search engine optimisation because it is expensive at first and desire to look for cheaper alternatives that unfortunately don’t have continuity and stability.

SEO has leverage on improving search engine visibility at a cheaper cost than SEM. The first one is a true investment in your business’ future and not a marketing cost.

5. SEO Is Quantifiable

SEO will provide lots of analytics data for your website. The only struggle you’ll encounter is pulling the data yourself and making decisions for improving your results. It might be a little tricky to understand the data and you’ll have to chew on it more before taking any actions. Any good SEO practitioner will start by finding the rotten data from the pile, which shouldn’t be a big challenge.

There are tools that can help you keep track of your website’s performance. Google Search Console provides data regarding pages that have the best performance, mobile issues regarding your content on-site, indexability.

Google Analytics gives all sorts of data regarding your website and third-party apps if connected. You can see information about:

  • your audience: what they like, what they read and so on;
  • traffic sources & other channels of collecting users: different websites, paid ads, paid search, social and more;
  • viewed content and behavioural actions on site: most clicked pages, particular events.

On top of these two tools, you can opt-in for SEO tools, that show lots of other features such as authority pages, competition ranking, linking situation, on-site errors, duplicate content, slow page speed, content marketing gaps, lack of mobile-friendliness and so much more. Mobile traffic has experienced high growth in the last years. You shouldn’t forget about these elements if you want to grow your business.

A proper way to start would be to make a site audit, then look at the traffic that comes your way and check those pages to see if you need to improve them or redirect the link if the content is obsolete. Next on the agenda would be backlinks evaluation and competitive analysis. So start with on-site technicalities, then move to SEO off-site elements.

6. SEO Offers Credibility and Trust to Your Audience

2020 for sure means trust and credibility more than ever, with the latest migration to HTTPS. That means the goal of SEO should be to build trust and credibility to Google, to the user. User experience and SEO together mean business success. In the old days of SEO, it was simpler to rank by taking all sort of shortcuts. Now, the internet user plays one of the most important roles. You need to know your target audiences very well and to fuel their appeal for your brand to build authority. That way you’ll have the opportunity to quantify your marketing efforts.

Everybody wants traffic, trust, and credibility, but few people really know that UX is involved in this process. If you gain trust and credibility, your website will earn authority, but authority doesn’t come easy. And for that, you need to offer valuable information, have a clean and easy-to-use website. It takes time, patience, effort to make your audience trust your brand and the content you provide. Every business growth needs UX in their lead generation strategy.

Website design such as easy navigation and intuitive site structure are a starting point for creating user-friendly websites. It is very important to have relevant content and description for each section of your menu and every page that you have. Speak the language of the user and don’t try to change the wheel on the natural funnel process otherwise, the user will feel disoriented.

Effective SEO relies on three pillars: authority, relevance and trust. Google has something called the Trust Factor, which is a combination of lots of factors that calculate how trustful a site is. The more trustful a site is, the more likely articles will be ranked higher on Google. A website is considered to be less trustful because it has harmful and/or has low-quality content.

If you want to see how trusted your website is, there are tools that can tell you on a scale from 0 to 100. For example, Majestic Trust Flow is such a metric which is weighted by the number of clicks from a seed set of trusted sites to a given URL, or Domain.

7. Voice Search Keeps Growing and You Need Higher Visibility in Search

Voice search has increased tremendously in the last few years. Even studies showed that. Mary Meeker’ annual Internet Trends report shows that voice search queries are now 35 times larger than they were in 2008 (when voice search was launched).

There’s no doubt that voice search has had accelerated growth and will become even bigger in 2020. Lots of brands developed voice search technologies for assistant apps that listen to the user and give audio results based on their queries.

SoundHound, an audio and speech recognition company has found 4 categories of voice search queries:

  • Personal assistant: that includes to-do lists, scheduled meetings and all sorts of events, texting, calling on the phone plus other day-to-day activities.
  • Fun and entertainment: buying and listening to music, searching movies, TV series and similar actions.
  • General information: web search, news, publications, and similar media.
  • Local information: searching for restaurants, hotels, and places near-by, traffic jams.

You need to make your audience more aware of your brand and make them hear about you more often. It will help you by raising your brand awareness and get further benefits such as authority, traffic, revenue. When implementing SEO is very important to know your users, to connect with them and make them recognise you by the particularity that you have. This way you’ll be memorable and breed brand recall, so you get more customers to stick with your brand. You need to make them always look and search for you.

8. You Can Push Your Audience Down the Funnel With the Right Type of Content

SEO starts right at TOFU, which is not food. It means the top of the funnel. You might make a correlation with food, and think of it as an appetiser. Because SEO is in the first league, where your audience is. You have to attract a large portion of users right from the start, and then push them down the funnel through the middle of the funnel (MOFU) and bottom of the funnel (BOFU) by using other techniques.

In the first phase of the buying cycle, the user lands on our page and you have to maintain them thereby offering valuable content and useful information. So the process of search optimisation starts with keyword research, understanding your audience, learning their language. There are other technical SEO elements that should be taken into consideration, such as high loading speed, high quality and lossless images, mobile-friendly website, un-broken pages and so on.

9. You Can Get More Customers and More Traffic with Local SEO

If we’re talking about the reasons why you need to invest in SEO, then local optimisation should be on the list. Due to the increase of mobile searches and voice searches, local SEO has started to dominate the SEO trends. Now, it became mandatory for every online business.

Searching for any business location on maps helps the user have more trust and knowledge of your business. It can get to you faster and receive recognition through reviews.

Google My Business is a great way to start your local search engine optimisation process. There you can add NAP (name, address, phone) information and you can connect your website, link a social account, add pictures and a lot more.

For example, you have a restaurant near the stadium in Madrid and one of your customers is visiting the stadium and afterwards decides to eat. Then they look for a place that they like nearby him and end up in your restaurant.

You can use local optimisation for your blog and search for local keywords to include in your articles and also to boost your rankings by targeting top positions in Google. If you are targeting for a specific location, then use the Keyword Tool and Content Assistant, which is very simple and easy. For example, if you are targeting real estate school and your business location is Chicago there are two situations:

  • If you want to target only the people from Chicago or who are in Chicago, my recommendation would be to choose the “real estate school” and set the local tracking.
  • In case you want to target other cities besides Chicago, you should choose the option to track “real estate school in Chicago” so you’ll see all the searches made from other cities.

10. You Can Get New Opportunities for Your Business

High-quality SEO can bring you lots of possibilities for building a better business and a bigger brand. Not only will you improve your business, but you’ll also make it sparkle.

When people understand your brand due to a quality search engine optimisation process then you reached a new phase in your business growth. If you have a well-known brand, people will search for you, share your content, ask for guest-post and contact you for collaborations. It can become a love mark, a concept that is used when brand loyalty goes beyond reason. And to create a love mark you need great stories that trigger sensorial effects which goes beyond the monitor. It is also important to demonstrate commitment and empathy to the audience.

Conclusion

SEO is an important part of any inbound marketing plan because it helps people find (then share) your content. A business should invest in SEO to get the desired results.

Implementing quality SEO has lots of benefits for your business, no matter how big or small it is. It will always be beneficial to make the most of your SEO and increase the opportunities to grow. Comparing to other paid search tactics, SEO has the guarantee of a long-term relationship. You’ll invest, and get the results for a more extended period. You don’t have to pump money to keep it going. If done correctly, it will go on by itself.

For some further reading, you can research How To Develop a Profitable Digital Marketing Sales Funnel.

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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5 Ways How to Increase Organic Traffic Without Link Building

Link building is one of the most popular ways web owners use to rank their website on the SERPs. It’s also one of the fastest ways to bring Google’s penalty hammer down on your website.

Well, if link building is an effective organic SEO strategy, why ban people from doing it? And if it’s frowned upon by Google and other search engines, why do site owners still risk it? The answer to this has been shrouded in shades of grey for a long time.

Firstly, the problem with backlinking isn’t the act of linking itself; it’s the intent behind it. Websites that have a few links to their web pages from authoritative websites have a good thing going. However, too many web owners take it too far and try to drown their websites in links from unreputable sites, most of them paid for.

Of course, we get the drive; everyone wants to earn wealth and live an improved lifestyle. However, using shady backlinking practices to boost your site’s traffic and, potentially, revenue, is almost guaranteed to end in tears.

Buying backlinks is a massive risk, and it’s only a matter of time before Google’s algorithm fishes out your site. And you can be sure they will, and when they do, there’s no coming back. The introduction of ‘no-follow’ links was a response to spam links; these link types tell websites not to pass on their reputation or vote of confidence to the sites linking to them. Still, no-follow and do-follow links can be useful if you know how to use them, but that’s not the reason for this post.

The truth is that links are still a huge ranking factor for websites even though search engines see most of it as an SEO guideline violation. Thankfully, there are a ton of other ways to boost organic traffic to your website.

You could be building a POD platform like Teespring, an authority blog like Neil Patel, an essay writing service review outfit like Online Writers Rating, etc. Whatever the case, if you’re thinking of how to increase organic traffic, the strategies on this list will prove incredibly useful for you if you do them right.

Focus on researching and putting viral content.

There’s regular content, and there’s viral content. This doesn’t mean that regular content is terrible by any means; however, viral content, by definition, is the kind of content that “breaks the internet” and pulls waves of traffic to your website.

While almost anyone can write and publish regular blog posts, creating viral content is an art form. It takes a higher level of writing and research skills to put out such content successfully. Thankfully, there are few reliable resources online to help with that.

Authority resources like Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and many more have a ton of posts to guide you in writing articles that will go viral. Virality, beyond the writing and research, has to also do with having your finger on the pulse of trends, as they are more likely to go viral.

Another resource for gleaning viral trends is Buzzsumo. It is an established idea generator for insight into trends and trend-worthy article ideas. YouTube is also another great idea generator. You will come across many videos that inspire you about stuff that hasn’t been written about yet, or at least not exhaustively. Develop those and watch your organic traffic grow.

Long-tail keywords are your friend.

Can you make a guess how many people are trying to get traffic with “digital marketing,” “hair care,” “credit cards,” and more? Probably a lot more than you think. There’s just one problem; they’re all doing the wrong thing.

These keywords are generic and very likely oversaturated. Plus, they have no intent behind them anyway. However, imagine instead of trying to rank for “what are credit cards?” you build content around “what are the best no-fee credit cards in Ontario?” Do you see the difference? The latter keyword is a long-tail example and is something people are searching for. Everyone already knows what a credit card is, so no one is searching for the first keyword—unless they’re from another planet, which is just as unlikely.

Long-tail keywords typically have sizeable search volumes that grow with time, so it makes sense to use them to boost organic traffic. Just bear in mind, though, that ranking for long-tail keywords is almost always a long-term tactic. You’re almost guaranteed to see no impact on your traffic in the first few months. But if you’re patient, the results typically start to come in at the six-month mark and beyond, and it can affect your website traffic rankings significantly.

Don’t search for keywords. Search for questions.

Technically, they’re the same thing. However, when most people make a search engine query, they usually phrase them as questions. Quick usage of Google’s autocomplete feature will prove this assertion. What’s more? These are usually long-tail keywords, which means the competition and traffic potential is relatively low and high, respectively.

So how to get traffic to your website using these questions? You’d have to find them first, and besides Google’s autocomplete, places like Quora are a good place to start your search. A quick tip: if you find a Wikipedia page as a top result, the chances are that you may have a shot at the keyword in question. Wikipedia typically doesn’t employ too many backlinks, so showing up as a top result points to the fact that you may be able to rank for the same keyword without risky backlinking practices.

Tools like Moz are also great at sniffing out a page’s domain and page authority. You can use it to analyse the top five results to understand your chances for ranking for any given keyword better.

Niche topics are amazing.

There was a time before Google Panda when crash and burn website experts were raking in the big bucks. All they had to do was create a website and stuff it full of hundreds of pages talking about the exact same niche topic. Thankfully, those days are gone, and Google’s algorithm has prioritised content quality.

Still, this doesn’t negate the usefulness of niche topics. There are so many untapped or undersaturated niches out there that are just waiting to be discovered and optimised. Niche topic sites include gun blogs, health blogs, writing recommendation blogs like Best Writers Online, gaming blogs, gardening blogs, and more. Almost anything could be a niche topic.

So look out for niches that have relatively little competition, and you should be able to create content that will rank for said niche easily.

Look out for markets beyond your geographic location.

Don’t forget; the world is a global village. Just because you live in the United States does not mean you should only target US traffic. Consider creating content for a more global audience. Content marketing is relatively still unpopular in many parts of the world, keyword saturation is still a myth, and many of the practices circa Google Panda still work in these places.

The beautiful thing is that content for these regions can blow up nicely and boost your organic traffic without you needing to build a single backlink.

Final Words

Hopefully, you can see now that how to get traffic to your website isn’t always about link building. The strategies in this post are wonderful to get a superior rankings to boost that will, in turn, grow your organic traffic, risk-free.

Melissa Mauro is a self-improvement author who is always interested in new projects. She wants to create her own writer brand, that’s why Melissa is looking for fresh platforms for the implementation of her ideas. Creativity and unique style make it possible to deliver valuable and engaging content to her ideal reader.

Posted by: Melissa Mauro

Melissa Mauro is a self-improvement author who is always interested in new projects. She wants to create her own writer brand, that’s why Melissa is looking for fresh platforms for the implementation of her ideas. Creativity and unique style make it possible to deliver valuable and engaging content to her ideal reader.

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How to Disavow Links – The Ultimate Guide

As we know, in modern times, backlinks are one of the most important factors when it comes to SEO. In this tutorial, we are not talking about acquiring backlinks, but removing them. Why would we remove them? Well, not all links are good backlinks, bad backlinks come with a spam score which gives you a negative score or a spam score. This is why it is good to use the disavow tool to remove unwanted backlinks.

Unlike some other topics, Google has been quite forthcoming on their backlink disavowal views and its place in your search engine optimisation toolbox. Let’s look as to why you may want to disavow a link and how we go about using the tool.

Why Should We Disavow Links?

If your spam score is increasing or poor backlinks are having a negative effect on your SEO, then the disavow tool is what you should be using. If you receive a message from Google in your Webmaster Tools about having ‘Unnatural Links’, you are being penalised whether you are knowingly complicit or not.

An important role for any SEO export is addressing any Google penalties that may arise. It’s not an issue if you stick to white hat SEO, but knowing how to keep a clean backlink profile for your website is vital when it comes to your SEO strategy.

Another great tool you can use to monitor negative backlinks is Moz Domain Analysis tool. This will provide you with metrics for your PA (Page Authority), DA (Domain Authority) and a Spam Score which is all ranked between a value of 1-100. However, I am going to mention here that if we disavow links in Google’s Disavow Tool, it will not take effect on Moz. We are simply using this tool to check which links we could potentially disavow. Unfortunately, Moz doesn’t have any access as to which links have been disavowed from Google, so just within Moz; it won’t reduce your spam score.

We, unfortunately, will not detect that a link has been disavowed, this isn’t something we were able to include in the old or new DA models. Since disavowing links doesn’t actually remove a link, it just signals to Google that the links aren’t important, our crawler will continue to find the link. We are working on having something like that built into Link Explorer, where if you disavow a link in Google, you can also mark it as disavowed in Moz, but I’m afraid that option isn’t available yet.

So, what constitutes a healthy backlink profile?

In general, the majority of organic backlinks can be classified as ‘good backlinks’. They represent the ideal Internet that Google is looking for. One where the website has great content is referenced frequently, naturally and freely. A single backlink won’t really have a big impact on your website, but they will slowly be building a reputation for your website and acknowledge your website to be a trustworthy and authoritative source.

On the other hand, ‘bad backlinks’ are mostly non-organic (with few exceptions). Two of the biggest offenders of this are where people decide to purchase backlinks in a mass order from shady websites. This, and intentional backlink schemes which utilise a private backlink network (PBN). You can read more about this in this article: What do I need to know about buying backlinks in 2020?.

It is also possible to gain ‘organic’ links from spammy websites that are just lists of products and links with no real content. The link was most likely generated by a script/robot, and it is certainly not benefitting your site, in which case, these are the ones we want to be removing.

Negative SEO Attack

Just to add here, with disavowing backlinks, you have to be really careful. It is a serious action. that can significantly impact your search ranking, whether it’s for the better or worse, so be very careful with the links you wish to disavow.

Google considers it a pretty last-resort option. You can find this in Webmaster Tools > Advanced and there are 3 warning screens you have to click through before you can upload a disavowal file.

In general, you should only disavow a link that you know for sure is bringing you down. Check the Google Quality Guidelines for a more exhaustive list.

Note that a link from a low-traffic or low domain authority site is not a bad link. It probably won’t contribute much individually, but every link is a vote of confidence in your site that Google takes into account. Obviously high ranking PA / DA websites will increase your score quicker, but a thousand low-quality PA / DA websites linking to your website is also helping you as well.

So, What Happens When You Disavow a Backlink?

Essentially, this is a request for Google to ignore those links to your domain. If the link disavow is successful, it won’t be counted for or against you when determining ranking in the search results.

Do note, Google is not obligated to honour your request to disavow the links. If you have a look in their documentation, you will see that it is only a suggestion to disavow the links that you are requesting. Also, this can take up to 48 hours before it takes effect on your websites search ranking.

Is it possible to undo a link disavow?

It is indeed. You are always able to download your current disavow file and edit it to your requirements. I wouldn’t edit it too frequently, you really want to be sure that the links in which you want to disavow are the right ones and the ones you wish to stick with.

How to do I Disavow Links in Google Search Console?

If you have a Google Analytics tracking tag on your website then you will also have access to Google’s Search Console tool.

Within the Google Console, you can conduct a link audit from the Link Report page. Just click the Export External Links button on the top right of the screen then select the More Sample Links option. You can export this file if you wish as well.

Once you have determined which links you are sure you wish to disavow, you will need to create a text file (*.txt) which you can upload to the Google Disavow Tool. With this, you need to follow a specific format but it’s really simple. The format goes as follows:

  • Each entry has to be on a different link
  • Each entry needs to begin with domain:
  • You can name the filename of the text file as anything you like

Following these rules, here is an example of how you can block either a complete domain or just a specific page:


# Pages to disavow
https://spam-website.com/this-is-a-bad-link
https://spammy-website.com/oh-damn-another-bad-link

# Domains to disavow
domain:spam-website.com
domain:super-spammy.org

Blacklisting the entire domain will save you quite some time over blocking just a specific URL. However, there are few instances in which you would want to disavow a single link from a site but still allow other links from that domain, but that’s why the option is available.

Head over to the Google Disavow Tool, select your domain and click through all of the warnings prompts until you reach the dialogue box that allows you to browse your folders and choose a file to upload. Select the disavow file you already created, and select Open to upload it to the disavow tool.

Within the next day or so, Google will no longer take the listed domains into account when determining your pages’ ranking.

Conclusion

Disavowing links can be intimidating if you don’t know what to do, so be sure you know what you are doing before adding a list of domains/pages. You can potentially ruin your SEO if you abuse disavowing, so it’s crucial to get it right.

We think every site owner needs to know about disavowing. It can mean the difference between a clean link profile and a spammy one. Plus, there are so many benefits to disavowing links correctly. Why? Well, your website will most likely get a book in ranking which will result in a higher ranking and more traffic to your website.

As already mentioned though, you don’t want to disavow links if you can help it; a manual removal is always preferable.

Only disavow links when you have no other choice. In this case, don’t be afraid to use the Disavow Tool, at the end of the day, that’s why it’s readily available.

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of why you should disavow links and when you should do it. It can be a bit of a daunting task, but once you get used to it, it’s super easy.

Has the disavow tool ever helped you in the past? How much did it improve your rankings? Let us know! 🙂

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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Pay Monthly Website Solutions

We have just made a ‘soft-launch’ of our pay monthly ‘sister’ website which goes by the name; Code Twenty Four, it’s quite far from the completion stage but it’s off to a great start. Let us know what you think!

So why did we start rolling out a new pay monthly website package? Well, quite often we do get requests for pay monthly solutions. This is also extremely beneficial for smaller businesses who quite simply can’t afford to pay the large upfront costs before a project commences.

How does it work?

Well, the process goes like so:

1. Choose your Package

Choose a website package that suits your requirements, if you’re not quite sure then talk to one of the members in our team and they will get a customised package tailored exactly to your requirement.

2. Design Concepts

The designers will start working on a fresh bespoke design that meets your requirements. Should they not get it right the first time, don’t worry, the designers will provide up to 3 revisions for any particular page to ensure your vision comes to life.

3. Website Build

Once the design is signed off, the development beings. They will start building your site and provide a development link where you can view the latest work carried out.

4. Go Live!

Once your new website is fully tested, secured and given the go-ahead, your website will become live to the whole world, Ohh yeahhh!

What’s even better, you can get a website up and running without paying anything as there are no up-front costs. The way we like to think about things is that a website should be like a phone contract. You get the phone, pay monthly and if you want all the bells and whistles then you can add ‘bolt-ons’ or ‘add-ons’ whenever you like.


What services do you get?

Everything! Well, exactly the same as what we offer with the only difference being that the payment scheme is different. As always, we offer the following services:

  • Brand design
  • Responsive design
  • CMS systems
  • E-commerce
  • Speed Optimisation
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email campaigns
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  • App development
  • Hosting
  • Website Security
  • Copywriting

Why did we do it?

Well, as we said before, we want to cater to everybody’s needs, if you are a start-up company looking to start selling online, then we have your back! Maybe you can’t afford the up-front costs and this is the perfect solution for you, and that’s why we created Code Twenty Four.

Conclusion

We created Code Twenty Four because we already had a lot of interest in this method of paying for a website. We fully understand why some businesses would prefer to do this and so we created this solution and provide our new service where you can benefit from:

  • Having a modern/clean Website Design by an experienced team of web designers.
  • Providing no hidden charges or increases.
  • No Upfront Costs
  • Free, unlimited updates.
  • 7 Days a week customer support.
  • A fully Secure website. (SSL / https)
  • A Mobile Friendly, Responsive Website. (Which will look pixel-perfect on on desktop, tablet and mobile)
  • Super-fast Website Hosting.
  • A Content Management System to edit your website content and images.

Let us know what you think to pay monthly solutions and the new website we have created!

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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What do I need to know about buying backlinks in 2020?

Have you ever had someone say to you that they’ve had a sudden decrease in rankings on their website? Everyone wants to rank on the first page for certain keywords on the search engine results page (SERP), and if you’ve been there before, you’ll realize how impactful this is on traffic and revenue coming through to your website.

There are various reasons why this could happen, more commonly because of the use of low-quality or bad backlinks which can be considered as spam. These low-quality links are usually caused by website owners purchasing backlinks for their website. If you consider the amount of time, effort and money people have to make to build website traffic, a sudden negative impact due to poor backlinks is known to disrupt the operation of their business, both mentally and financially for that matter.

Before we get started, we’re going to mention a great tool we like to use to monitor the performance of our website called Moz. You can also download their browser extension here which makes it easier to analyse your domain. What this will do is provide a score for your domain, and you will receive a score for DA, PA and it will give you a spam score as well.

PA & DA stand for Page Authority and Domain Authority, respectively. These are numeric metrics which are both scored out of 100. Quite often, they are used to see how search engines see the strength of backlinks by a particular URL. However, Google does not use PA or DA as ranking methods. From this information though, you can think of Moz as a third-party metrics to get an idea of what your PageRank might look like.

There are similar link-graph metrics from other third-party tools as well such as:

  • Ahrefs DR & UR
  • Domain Rating & URL Rating
  • Majestics TF & CF
  • TrustFlow & CitationFlow

Which ones should you use? Well, it all comes down to personal preference. Some SEO’s use these metrics, some don’t trust link-graph metrics at all or think they’re useless.

Personally, we prefer Ahrefs & Majestic metrics as we’ve worked at a web-host previously and got a taste for the scale of different bots in practice. Moz doesn’t actually crawl that much. Ahrefs & Majestic have a much larger crawl infrastructure, so I would trust them more… But again, the choice is down to you!

You can read more about Link Building on one of our previous posts here.

So, what are backlinks anyway?

Backlinks are links from one website to another website. Google and other search engines consider backlinks as a vote of authenticity. Basically, if another website links to you, it means that website is giving you a ‘vote of trust’. If you have thousands of backlinks linking to your website, this ‘could’ increase the worth of the page in the eyes of any search engine. One thing you have to understand though is that a few backlinks from reputable websites are going to be worth a lot more than several links from unreputable sites. How can we determine if a site is reputable? Well as we mentioned before, we can use certain tools to get an idea of how ‘worthy’ a backlink is.

Let’s look at Facebook for example:

Facebook, at the time of writing, has a PA of 100 (perfecto!), DA of 96, 1,601,867,432 backlinks, and only a spam score of 1%. Pretty incredible right?

Since the advent of the search engines and the rise of Google, backlinks have remained instrumental in ranking the website. Despite regular changes in the search engine algorithms, experts still regard the number of quality backlinks as one of the most important factors of any website.

That being said, how did backlinks become of such great importance for a website? It wasn’t always like this but here is a bit of history of backlinks.

History of Backlinks

Once upon a time ago, search engines such as AskJeeves, Yahoo, AOL, Excite amongst a few others dominated the search landscape. For this reason, developers of search engines were always trying to find a way in which they could rank websites based on the quality of information that appeared on that website. In the beginning, search engines started by ranking websites based on the number of keywords for the particular website.

In these golden days, whenever somebody searched for something, the top-ranking web page on search engines would be pages that had the most relevant keywords to that particular keyword search. Let’s say you were to search for ‘Website Design’, this would normally rank a web page based on the number of keywords for Web Design and similar terms for a particular page. What was the issue? Well, this method of ranking led developers to do things such as ‘keyword stuffing’. What this means is that a lot of people would then stuff their website with hundreds of keywords on every page of their website just to gain priority (or even a top-ranking) on search engines for a particular search term. What this meant was that a lot of low-quality websites would start appearing quite highly ranked up even if the website wasn’t even about that given topic, crazy right?

Not only that, but to keep the look and feel of a web site, people were actually hiding these keywords, placing them off then screen (let’s say like 9999px to the left) just to get a higher ranking and increased web traffic.

This is when Google first came into the spotlight back in 1998. Their objective was to change how the information is presented to the user in search listings. Over time, Google started putting more emphasis on backlinks instead of keywords. Why? Well, there were obviously some flaws before and it’s not quite as easy to ask other website owners to link to a particular page on your website; because of this, the number of backlinks was a preferred method over keywords and other factors.

It was a very wise thing to do: if you look at big companies such as Apple, Amazon, CNN, and so on, they all had one major thing in common. They had thousands of backlinks. For Google, this was an awesome start as people were then shown information from authority websites that had more relevant information based on their search terms.

Over time, people were also finding ‘hacks’ to gain a higher ranking. This resulted in business owners purchasing backlinks from companies that could sell them in bulk and given more emphasis on keywords (with a link to their website) that people wanted to rank for. As a result of this, it once again became possible to climb up the search engine ladder and reaching the top page once again quite easily.

This obviously challenged Google to address another problem. What they did to tackle this was that they started blacklisting websites, decreasing their rank, or in more severe situations, just outright blocking the website. This meant a lot of websites suddenly noticed a massive decrease in their rankings.

For some websites, it meant losing thousands of pounds of revenue for just a single day’s operation. For others, it meant restarting their journey from the ground up again. Even today, Google and other prominent search engines are proactively changing their search algorithms to stop website owners from dodging the system.

To get a better idea of how you can rank for SEO these days, you should check out this blog post: The 4 best SEO practices for 2020 and beyond.

So, should I buy Backlinks?

Well, since Google and many other search engines now put a huge emphasis on backlinks, it’s quite obvious that many website owners will feel pressured into buying them.

They continue to buy them because it saves a lot of time and helps them get results faster. But there is a problem here…

Google and other search engines will eventually catch on to this, which can lead to their website becoming penalised which can even lead to established websites becoming bankrupt because of this.

Google does have some clear guidelines regarding link-building schemes. These guidelines are regularly published by SEO companies and experts who try to steer people away from buying backlinks. Unfortunately, some website owners don’t take any notice of this, assuming it’s just a quick and easy (lazy) way of attracting customers to their website.

What you should look into prior to this is having a look at what Google says about buying backlinks (aka; link schemes):

Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links, or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.

Funnily enough, one of the first things Google mentions in its guidelines is related to link schemes and how it prohibits the buying and selling of backlinks. Exchanging money for links and generating excessive link exchanges where other sites link to others in an excessive manner is banned by Google. Should they discover that you have bought links, it WILL severely penalise your website without any given reason. Google is very clever, don’t underestimate their power.

If this does happen to you, you’ll be stuck in a pretty sticky predicament: you will be left without anywhere to go. The only thing you can do is to contact Google using their webmaster tool and hope that there will be a reply. While Google is not known for replying to such queries, consider yourself lucky if your website is restored at a later stage… very lucky indeed!

Don’t just take our word for it though, a quick Google search will tell you that most people lose their minds trying to recover from such a situation. The most practical way of recovering from this is to remove the ‘bad links’, which will ultimately restore the website a lot quicker. If you don’t have access to websites to remove such links, you should consider using Google’s Disavow Links Tool. What this does is allow publishers to tell Google that they don’t want certain links from external sites to be considered as part of Google’s system of counting links to rank web sites. It can take some time to recover, but this tool can be very useful. We spoke about Moz earlier and how they provide a spam score by a percentage. With this tool, you can actually see which links are considered spam. From this, we can include such links into our Disavow tool to regain the desired 0% spam score.

To get a general idea of how impactful search engines like Google take automated backlinks into account, they actually initiate nearly 400,000 manual actions every month. Besides the manual actions, thousands of websites are often hit by Google algorithm updates, which are specifically designed to stop low-quality websites from popping up in the search radar.

What can we take from this? Well, for any website owner, it is clear that search engines are actively monitoring low-quality backlinks and spam issues, so you always need to be very careful! Buying backlinks is an easy strategy, but is it worth the risk? Definitely not.

Here are some truths about Backlinks…

Google and other search engines DO NOT promote link building. If you’re quite new to the wonderful world of SEO, this surely might sound confusing or contradictive as backlinking is widely used to promote the SEO of your website.

Despite what Google suggests, SEO experts have proven that backlinks are a huge factor in terms of higher page rank. Over time, this fact has been proven on a variety of occasions. For this reason, if someone tells you that link building is not important, they probably don’t have a clue what they are talking about.

Nothing against Google, and if the truth were told, if I were one of Google’s executives or the owner of an emerging search engine, I would probably do the same. After all, there are reasons to continue focusing on all aspects of your website, which DO include high-quality backlinks.

What should we focus on then?

High Quality Backlinks

Backlinks are not always ‘equal’. What we mean here is that there are high-quality backlinks and low-quality. A high-quality backlink is most likely a link from an authoritative and legitimate website. However, a low-quality backlink is generally one from a low ranked website, a spam website, or a link exchange.

What we mean here is that you should not simply focus on the total number of backlinks you have, but instead, focus on the overall quality of backlinks you have. For example, we would rather have 10 quality backlinks (where the PA and DA are very high), than 200 low-quality backlinks from unreputable or spammy websites. In fact, these low-quality backlinks can actually lower your overall ranking on SERP’s.

Let’s cover: Do Follow vs. No Follow Links

What is a do follow link?

A do follow Link is a hyperlink that is able to tell all search engines to pass along its page rank influence to an outbound link.

What is a no follow link?

A no follow link is exactly the opposite of a do follow link. It is a hyperlink that removes the ability to pass on its page rank status to other sites.

Before we begin setting up a link building campaign, it’s very important to understand the difference between a follow and a no follow link.

A history of backlinks suggests that a “do follow” link is the most important type of link because it will count towards the authority of your website. On the other side, search engines will only give link juice to a “do follow” link. For this reason, if you have let’s say; 100 links that have a “do follow” attribute, search engines will count all of those 100 links towards the ranking of that particular page. However, if you have backlinks with a “no follow” attribute, it will simply ignore or give very little juice to an external website. You can read more about this from Neil Patel on his blog post: Should You Waste Time and Money on Nofollow Links? Here’s a Final Answer. When it comes to SEO, he’s the guru, we 100% recommend subscribing to his mail list, you will gather so much knowledge on SEO it’s unreal.

Anyway, the “no follow” attribute was originally introduced to reduce spam. How? Well, before lots of people were deliberately leaving links on Wiki pages, and high valued forums that quite often pointed to low-quality websites. These links did not help the web site owners because you could literally go to a lot of websites and add a backlink to your own website.

The solution to this was creating the ‘no follow’ attribute. You can read more about this here. These days, most websites such as Wikipedia, forums, and any commenting system will only allow “no follow” links that do not count as votes. As a result, it helps fight spam.

If these “no follow” links don’t count towards the ranking of a website, then what’s the point in building such links right?

While “no follow” links may not count as a vote, it can definitely get you a lot of traffic if placed on an authoritative website. With the passage of time, hundreds of these no follow links can build a regular stream of referral traffic that will continue non-stop. It means that you will not need to put any effort after placing the link because the link will bring automatic traffic to your website.

In the end, it always helps to build a mix of no follow and do follow links. Even when you’re using an SEO professional to rank your website, ask them if they know about the proportion of do follow vs. no follow links.

To conclude…

We have discovered now how search engines have evolved over time. In the olden days, we could rank for websites using a variety of keywords to gain traffic, stuff pages with thousands of keywords, and gain a load of traffic. Well, we can’t do that anymore, search engines have evolved and we now know that we can get severely penalised for using such techniques. This can go the same way with buying backlinks… If you get caught, you will get penalised, it’s as simple as that. There are cases where people have been fortunate to get away with it and even try and find loopholes around this to make it safer, we won’t mention these techniques but you have to ask yourself the question: Is it worth it?

For us, we’re pretty happy gaining backlinks from websites we build (i.e. by adding Developed by Silva Web Designs in the footer) and if anyone mentions one of our articles in their blog posts, then awesome! We tend to concentrate on several other SEO techniques as well. We won’t list them all but this includes SEO best practices, like only having one h1 tag per page, optimising all images and improving the page speed which can be checked using tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights or another one we like to use; GTMetrix.

There are other ways to gain traffic depending on your budget as well such as Google Ads. How this works is like an auction system: Google Ads, aka Google AdWords, is Google’s advertising system in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google’s search results. Since advertisers have to pay for these clicks, this is how Google makes money from search. Not only Google of course, but generating traffic to your website may also gain revenue, so if the ROI (return of investment) is worth it, it’s definitely a great tool to use.

If you have any questions in regards to this article, feel free to get in touch or leave a comment below.

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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The Impact Of Web Design On Conversion Rate In Your Company

Do you know that a good website design can positively influence your website’s conversion rate? Research conducted at Stanford shows that 75% of website visitors will judge a company’s credibility based on their website design. Also, an unattractive website will turn about 38% of new website visitors off from ever revisiting your site.

Your website design shouldn’t be just about functionality; you should also consider search engine optimisation, branding, user experience and the user interface, traffic that will be coming into the website, your sales funnel, etc.

So, if you are creating a website for your business or updating your website, we will share a few tips that can increase your conversion rate through your website design.

Your website aesthetics matter

You might not think so, but a beautifully designed website will keep every two out of three people on your site for longer. Your website aesthetic is the first contact visitors have with your website, and it will form their first impression of the kind of company you have.

This impression will then either lead them to stick with your website or close the window. So, you want to make an excellent first impression.

Figure out what you want your visitors to know about your company, and then find ways to integrate it into your website design. For example, a clean and ultra-modern website aesthetic will convey to your visitors that your business is modern.

A mobile-friendly website can boost conversion rate

Another way your website can increase your conversion is through mobile responsiveness. In 2018 alone, about 52% of all website traffic came from mobile devices. That is more than half of the internet population was viewing websites using their phones. Let that sink in.

Mobile internet is here to stay, and you need to structure your website to keep on top of this trend if you want to increase conversion. Here are a few ways you can embrace a mobile-friendly design for your website:

  • Keep your website menu simple. This will help your mobile visitors swiftly access the most useful content on your site.
  • Ensure your navigation helps mobile users quickly move from one topic to another. You can incorporate sticky navigations, ‘back to the top’ links, anchor links, etc. into your website design.
  • Reduce the amount of CTA on your mobile site. Put the most important action you want your mobile visitors to take upfront, and ensure you aren’t bombarding them with unnecessary pop-ups.

Embrace white space in your website design

Next, white space is invaluable in building a conversion web design. You need your website visitors to be able to scan your site when they first open it easily.

So, by using whitespace in your design, you can:

  • Highlight your CTA to your site visitors.
  • Bring your most valuable website features front and centre
  • Promote high conversion images on your site.
  • Highlight your cornerstone content, etc.

White space is a high conversion optimisation design technique. Whereas, a clustered website will both turn your website visitors off and prevent essential features on your website from reaching your visitors.

Call-to-action placement on your website

Also, know that there is no such thing as a high-converting website without a solid CTA. A well-designed call-to-action is essential in your conversion web design, and by ‘well-designed’ we mean that the CTA on your website must:

  • Be clear and straight to the point.
  • Contain unambiguous action-oriented language (your visitors should immediately understand the action you want them to take).
  • Be more than one. Some visitors might want to ‘buy’ some visitors might want to ‘sign up.’ Create various actions you want your visitors to take and place them evenly around your site.

pickthewriter.com/

Drafting the right CTA might take some time, but once you get it right, you will notice a growth in your conversion. However, not everyone is an expert in drafting action-driving content, so writing review websites like Pick The Writer and Writing Judge where you can hire writers can come in handy.

Readability and typography in your site design

One of the changes in web design to improve conversion rate we advise is clear and high-contrast typography. The font type, font size, font colour, etc. you use on your website can help your readers actually read your content. Which, in turn, can affect your conversion.

For example, a visitor that comes on your website looking for something, in particular, will appreciate fonts that help them skim through your site. If they can quickly identify what your offering is, they can take desired actions.

So,

  • Make sure your visitors can clearly differentiate your headlines and subheads. You can do this by using different font sizes or types in your headlines, subheadings, and paragraphs. You can also play with font colours, and textures.
  • Be consistent in your font type, size, colour, etc. all through your site.
  • Use no more than three fonts in your website design. This will help increase website usability and readability.

Content placement on your site & SEO ranking

Finally, in making changes on a web design to improve conversion rate, your site SEO and content placement go hand-in-hand. For example, in Google search ranking, websites with written content have a higher ranking than others.

Next, placing valuable content at the top of your site page can help your SEO ranking as well as help your visitors understand what your site is all about, which in turn can increase your conversion.

Although Google has improved in matching SEO synonyms to help website ranking, using literal keywords in your opening headings and paragraphs is still beneficial for your web ranking.

Also, adding useful content to your website will ensure that visitors stay longer on your site, which will benefit your website ranking.

Wrapping-up

Conversion web design is a practice that you shouldn’t neglect if you want to see a rise in your conversion rate. These few tips we have given you can help in the changes in web design to improve the conversion rate. So, don’t forget that your website can be a sales tool that actually sells, simply by following our tips.

Posted by: John Edwards

John Edwards is a writing specialist who is looking for ways of self-development in the field of writing and blogging. New horizons in his beloved business always attract with their varieties of opportunities. Therefore, it is so important for him to do the writing.

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