What are breadcrumbs and why are they important for SEO?

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Breadcrumbs are an important part of almost any good website. These little navigational aides not just help people visualize where they are on your site, but also help Google determine how your site is structured. That’s why it makes a lot of sense to add these helpful little pointers. Let’s see how breadcrumbs work.

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What are breadcrumbs?

When Hansel and Gretel went into the woods, Hansel dropped pieces of bread on the ground so they could find their way home if the two of them ever got lost. These breadcrumbs eventually became the model for the breadcrumbs we see on websites nowadays. A breadcrumb is a small text path, often located at the top of a page. On yoast.com, for instance, the path to our Yoast SEO plugin page is Home > Software > WordPress Plugins > Yoast SEO for WordPress. This breadcrumb immediately shows you where you are. Every part of that path is clickable, all the way to the homepage.

Breadcrumbs also appear in Google. If you use Yoast SEO or add the correct form of structured data to your site, search engines can pick up this data and could show your breadcrumbs in the search results. These provide users an easy to understand overview of where the page sits on your site.

Different kinds

Looking closely, we can distinguish different types of breadcrumbs. These are the three most common types of breadcrumbs you will find on sites:

Hierarchy based breadcrumbs

These will pop up most often. We use them on our site as well. Breadcrumbs like this will tell you where you are in a site structure and how many steps you can take to get back to the homepage. Something like Home > Blog > Category > Post name.

breadcrumbs hierarchy

Attribute based breadcrumbs

Attribute based breadcrumbs appear after a certain selection has been made, for instance, while searching for a product on an e-commerce site. Maybe, Home > Product category > Gender > Size > Color.

breadcrumbs attribute

History based breadcrumbs

History based breadcrumbs do what it says on the tin; they are ordered according to what you have been doing on the site. Think of these as a replacement for your internet history bar. These would appear like this: Home >  Previous page > Previous page > Previous page > Current page. It’s also possible to combine these like Macy’s does in the screenshot below.

breadcrumbs history

Advantages to using breadcrumbs

There are a couple of advantages to using breadcrumbs on your site. Let’s go over them quickly:

1. Google loves them

Your visitors like breadcrumbs, but Google likes them as well. Breadcrumbs give Google another way of figuring out how your website is structured. In addition to that, Google might use your breadcrumbs to show these in the search results. This way, your search result will at one become much more enticing to users. To increase the chance to get these breadcrumbs in Google, you need to add structured data or use Yoast SEO.

2. They enhance the user experience

People hate to get lost. When confronted with a new location, people often look around in search of recognizable objects or landmarks. The same goes for websites. You need to keep visitors happy and reduce as much friction as possible. Breadcrumbs can help your user experience since it is a well-known interface element that instantly shows people a way out. No need to click the back button!

3. They lower bounce rates

Hardly anyone comes in via the homepage anymore. It’s all organic search nowadays. That means every part of your site could be an entry point. You must come up with a way to guide these visitors to other parts of your site if the selected page does not meet their expectations. Breadcrumbs can lower bounce rates because you’re offering visitors an alternative means of browsing your site. Don’t you think it’s better to send a visitor to your homepage than back to Google?

How to add breadcrumbs

There are several ways of adding breadcrumbs to your site. Firstly, if you use a WordPress site, you can use one of the many breadcrumb plugins or just use Yoast SEO. If you use a different CMS the process might be different. It is also possible to add them by hand. If you want them to appear in Google as well, you need to use structured data in a way that Google understands. You can find more information on this in Google’s developer documentation on breadcrumbs.

Yoast SEO offers an easy way to add breadcrumbs to your WordPress site. It will add everything necessary to add them not just visible on your site, but get them ready for Google as well. To add breadcrumbs to your site, you need to add the following piece of code to your theme where you want them to appear:

<?php
if ( function_exists('yoast_breadcrumb') ) {
yoast_breadcrumb('


','

');
}
?>

This code can often be placed inside the single.php or page.php files, just above the title of the page. Some themes want it at the end of the header.php file. Try not to add it to functions.php since this could create problems.

After adding the code, you can go to the advanced settings of Yoast SEO and switch on breadcrumb support. Here, you can also determine how the breadcrumb structure will look and what prefixes will be used. Find out more on our Knowledge Base page on implementing breadcrumbs with Yoast SEO.

Conclusion

While using breadcrumbs, Hansel and Gretel still got lost in the woods. Don’t let that happen to your visitor. Breadcrumbs provide an easy to grasp way of navigating for users. Visitors instantly understand how the site structure works. For the same reason, Google loves them as well. Use Yoast SEO to add breadcrumbs to your site easily.

Keep reading: ‘Site structure: the ultimate guide’ »

July 10th 2017 wordpress

Ask Yoast: Meta descriptions and excerpts

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When you’re running a large and busy website, it’s practical and time-saving if you can reuse some of your material. Both meta descriptions and excerpts use a brief passage to summarize the content of a web page. So, it could be handy to use the same text for both. But how do you do that? In this video, Joost explains the easiest way to reuse your text for both meta descriptions and excerpts, and whether Google approves of this reuse.

Renee Lodens sent us an email with the following question:

“Is there a way to bulk copy the Yoast SEO meta descriptions to the excerpt field? Also, is this considered duplicate content?”

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page! 

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Meta descriptions and excerpts

So, what to do if you want to save time and use the same passages for meta descriptions and excerpts?

“Well, let’s start with the first thing. It’s probably easier to do it the other way around. If you put the description that you want in the excerpt field, and then in the back end, in the Yoast SEO Titles & Meta section, you can use the excerpt short code for meta descriptions. We will automatically put your excerpt in your meta description. That’s easier. You can do it the other way around too, but then you’d have to code a bit.

Is this considered duplicate content? No, it’s not. Because they are different things used for different purposes. Your meta description will only show up in the metadata, which will not be shown on the page. And Google considers these two separate things.

So this might actually work well for you if you write really good short excerpts that fit well into your meta description.

Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from followers. Need some advice about SEO? Let us help you out! Send your question to ask@yoast.com.

Read on: ‘How to create the right meta descriptions’ »

July 7th 2017 wordpress

RT @WordCampDenver: Love #WordPress and…

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June 18th 2017 personal, wordpress

Three Powerful Reasons Why Your Hosting Choice Must Be On Target

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How do you decide if a web host is a good choice? Are disk storage features and bandwidth still important? Choosing a web host for your site is almost more of an art than a science. But, there is also a methodology to it all.  It is a matter of you defining the process that works for you.

For many, it can be downright tricky. This is especially true if a person doesn’t know what to look for in a web host. It is really helpful to have a checklist to help you get through all that trickiness. Defining the checklist is almost a personal journey, but a little help (qualified, that is) never hurt anyone, or at least that is what they say.

What is the Big Deal About Hosting Companies?

Nothing is more important to your website’s functionality than a reliable web host. Your web host needs to operate on a powerful enough server and have a stable network connection to the rest of the world. The recommended uptime score is anything above 99.5; with the unacceptable rate being anything below 99 percent.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the people factor. That can include the customer service, but also the knowledge level. Many times there is a fair amount of knowledge floating around at a hosting company, but one needs to beware of the hosting companies (usually occurring in the smaller companies more so than the larger, established companies) that have people who are more talented at selling used cars than understanding the definition of DNS.

Tips for Choosing a Hosting Service

If you look online, you’ll find plenty of articles with information about publishing platforms. However, while these platforms work well for building an online presence, a web host can easily taint even the prettiest web page.

Also, keep in mind that the definition of a publishing platform can include user-generated-content (UGC) sites like blogger.com and medium. Those are platforms where you can publish your own content, by virtue of the fact that the owners of the domain/site give you permission to do so. These sites are hosted, yes, but you are not the one that has to deal with the hosting company. Instead, you are dealing with the owner of the site who has given you permission to publish using their publishing platform/software.

In cases such as WordPress, you may have a publishing platform, like WordPress.com or you may be downloading the WordPress software (from WordPress.org) and installing it on your own web host. When you go through the installation process/choice, you have a publishing platform that is called WordPress, but it is a choice of using the WordPress.com (who handles their own hosting issues) or setting up your site and having your own publishing platform installation (downloaded from WordPress.org). In the second case, you are the one who is dealing with the hosting company and therefore, the choice of which hosting company you want.

Does it still sound a bit confusing? Check out this article on the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. That should help clear up the WordPress explanation as well as applying to other similar situations.

We will come back to a discussion that is specifically catering to WordPress in just a bit. But first, let’s return to the discussion about that host of ours, shall we?

How Can the Selection of a Bad Hosting Affect Me?

Many people may initially think that saving money is the end all and all that is important, especially when starting out with a shoestring budget.

Oh, sure. It is important not to be throwing your money at unnecessary doodads, but at the same time, be careful. Many times it is a case of getting what you pay for and if you are not paying that much, think about what you are getting in return.

Web Hosting

Choosing the least expensive web host many save you money, but it can also lead to slower download speeds, freezing web pages, and a loss when it comes to the Return-on-Investment (ROI).

You really need to do your homework and find out the answers to your questions, before selecting that host. Not doing your homework beforehand can:

  • Negatively affect your ranking;
  • Waste your money;
  • Affect your online authority.

When comparing web hosts, also remember that bigger doesn’t always mean better. Even the best companies can get so blindsided by their success that they stop paying attention to the little guy. If their hosting solutions don’t suit your specific needs, it’s a good idea to look elsewhere.

Keeping the Hosting Features in Mind

You need to do more than looking for the highest quality at the lowest price.  You need to look for solutions. For example, do you need unique software? If so, can the host support it? If you only need a simple WordPress site, be certain that your host can provide managed WordPress hosting. Deciding factors should include these types of features in the list. While things like price are important, these other factors may make or break the deal.

Don’t Forget the Advantage of Online Reviews

Each web host has different features, so to get a feel of how they function, check out their website and look to other online review sites. Use your best Google search methods to find out what others are saying about the hosting company.

Remember to remain impartial and look to see how the hosting company rates overall. Are there more than a few disgruntled customers complaining about the price? Are there numerous complaints about the host’s overall performance? These are the types of questions you need to ask before your purchase a plan.

Considering the Special Needs

We already mentioned that sometimes you have specialized needs for your website. That may be a Drupal installation, a specialized database installation for a specific application, or a case where someone has set up your site in a corporate environment, and now, as you are moving it, you realized that you are not like everyone else on the planet.

The most common specialized need is hosting for WordPress. That said, it is becoming so common that many hosting providers are ready for it and have ways for you to click a button and have the server system software install the WordPress installation for you. It used to be, in years past, that it was not uncommon to contact the hosting provider’s support team and request that they install WordPress.

The key thing, when it comes to the special needs, like WordPress, is to ensure that it is available to you with this hosting provider and that you have the level of technology help that is needed. So, if you are not tech-savvy at all, you want that click-button option. If you are really tech-savvy (as in having run your own hosting company, as we did), you may be willing to sacrifice some technology support (because you don’t want or need it in the first place) for some discount on the price of the hosting.

Web Hosting

What Do Other Professionals Say on the Matter?

We asked a couple of SEO experts what they thought about hosting, the companies/providers, and what is most important when it comes to evaluating hosting service features. The following are their answers, compiled through the service at MyBlogU.com.

Q1. What are the most important aspects or features when considering a hosting company for your site or blog?

 

A1a. Mike Khorev (Independent SEO expert)

I usually host more than one website, and I always look at the number of MySQL databases, available space, and traffic allowance that the host provides. Company reputation and years in business are also important factors as I have had a negative experience with new companies being closed and taking down my domains and website files with them.

A1b. Riverbedmarketing (Senior Inbound Marketing Team Leader)

I would say that some of the most important aspects to consider are the following when it concerns the selection of a hosting company for anyone launching an online business:

  • Server Reliability (How does the server handle itself under a heavy load?);
  • Hosting space, size, & speed.
  • Is there an option for dedicated hosting (not shared hosting) and if so, how much hosting space does the provider offer in those plans

 

Q2. What tips or insights can you share, when it comes to hosting companies, experiences with hosting companies, and any other tips or insights you would like to share with us?

A2a. Mike Khorev (Independent SEO expert)

I’ve used quite a few hosting companies in the past ten years, and I found one that offers the best pricing, hosting services, and flexibility to fit smaller websites. I host more than ten websites on the same account, and it would be troublesome to migrate them all to another hosting provider, so I am content to keep them running on the same account that I have right now.

A2b. Riverbedmarketing (Senior Inbound Marketing Team Leader)

Minimal downtime and fast response to server issues and inquiries are things that are important to me. A host that provides maximum control to their clients is key. So, for example, a hosting provider that allows us, as clients, the ability to access CPANEL and the ability to hand out logins to our developers freely is very important. That would be the self-service accounts.

Q3. Is customer service a key make-it-or-break-it component when deciding on a hosting company? Why or why not?

A3a. Mike Khorev (Independent SEO expert)

Customer service is of secondary importance to me. The most important factor is how fast my website will load for visitors, and it depends on server CPUs, connection speed, and database. Reliability is more important to me than customer service.

A3b. Riverbedmarketing (Senior Inbound Marketing Team Leader)

Customer service is at the forefront of what I look for when recommending hosts to my clients. This is crucial and critical in order to ensure that downtime is minimalized, especially in the case of e-commerce stores/sites.

The following is a little bit more about our two volunteer interviewees.

Mike Khorev (Independent SEO expert)

Mike Khorev is an Independent SEO Expert with over eight years of experience in web design and digital marketing. Here are a few links to help you connect with Mike:

Riverbedmarketing (Senior Inbound Marketing Team Leader)

Michael Bergen has been working in the digital marketing industry for over ten years. Currently, he has been overseeing his agency’s operations. His technical strengths are in marketing analysis, SEO, content strategy, and inbound marketing. His agency has experience working with quite a number of WordPress sites and typically works with private hosting companies that provide the white glove service. Finding the right fit between client and host is very important. Here are a few links to help you connect with Michael:

Summing Up Those Three Reasons

The three powerful reasons why that host selection is essential:

  1. When you have an online business, you need it to run smoothly without a hitch.
  2. When you have technology needs, you need to have a solution that does not involve you pulling all of your hair out of your head.
  3. You need to ensure that no damage besets you (i.e. reputation, traffic, etc.) because of a poor (or non-existent) decision-making process in hosting provider selection.

In Conclusion

As an online business, choosing a web host is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. You already know what features are necessary.  Now, focus only on the bottom line, but not so much that you leave out some important factors. If the host has exceptional functionality, supports your specific needs, and has exemplary customer service, follow your gut instinct.

Above all else, never settle for less simply because it costs less.

Now, you might want to grab your favorite drink and sit down in your favorite spot.  Next, start making that checklist of important components that you require in a web host. Then, stick to it, ok? 🙂

The post Three Powerful Reasons Why Your Hosting Choice Must Be On Target appeared first on SEO Chat.

June 14th 2017 Technology, wordpress

Checking out some cool #graphql…

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Checking out some cool #graphql and #wordpress stuff with @jasonbahl (at @Galvanize Denver – Platte in Denver, CO) https://t.co/P7ET6Qtg3Y

June 1st 2017 personal, wordpress

Planning your website like your holiday

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Planning your website is much like planning your holiday. If you rush into things, your hotel might be crappy, the surroundings without anything to do, and you might even pay way too much for it. Here, I’ll explain the process of planning a (new) website from scratch. And make that process clear by highlighting similarities with planning a holiday.

Your website is like your holiday

We are all working towards our summer holiday, right? Our kids have their last month at school and the office is buzzing with holiday destinations. In the back of our mind, we’re already thinking about that sunny day at the beach this summer. It struck me how many similarities there are between planning your holiday and planning your website. Think about it:

  • Why are you going on a holiday / why are you setting up a website?
  • What is your destination / what is the main goal of your website?
  • Where do you want to go sightseeing / what do you want your visitor to see?
  • Will you be using a travel agency / are you going to build the site yourself?
  • What is your budget?

I’m sure you can come up with more similarities, but let’s focus on these five in this article!

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What are we going to do?

You can set deadlines all you want, if the purpose of your website isn’t clear, you might as well not set up a website. It’s like planning a trip without thinking about what kind of trip you want to make. Spending two weeks on a beach is totally different from hiking from mountain top to mountain top.

There are a couple of things to consider up front for your website:

  • Is your website strictly meant as an online brochure / reference material?
  • Do you want people to get in touch with you?
  • Is your website a place to sell stuff immediately (eCommerce site)?

Obviously, there can be combinations of the three as well.

Online brochure

If your website is solely a brochure, don’t mind optimizing the website, if I can be that blunt. If you only have a website so you can refer people to it for more information, get the cheapest website you can find, make sure to put a logo and some text on it.

Get in touch

If you want people to contact you or subscribe to your newsletter, SEO becomes important. You might want to focus on local SEO, or do some proper keyword research to make sure you have the right, optimized information for your visitor. Make it as easy as possible for a visitor to contact you. For instance show your phone number in all the right places or add forms or email links in spots where you feel you’ve convinced them to send you an email.

eCommerce sites

An eCommerce site obviously needs a different approach. Be sure to think of a proper category structure and start optimizing landing pages for predefined target audiences. Think of great introductory content for your category pages and set up your call-to-action on every page. Optimize your homepage to show all shopping ‘aisles’ of your website.

Of course, you can come up with more variations, like websites that mainly provide information or websites that have a business model based upon ad revenue. It’s very important to think about what kind of website yours is or will be. Keep that goal in mind during the entire process of creating or improving your website.

Where are we going?

This is tougher than you might think. A website owner might have a different idea about of the main purpose of a website. The goal of your website depends on what you want to get out of your website. It is much less about what your website can do for your visitor. Sounds manipulative? Perhaps it is.

Where are we going? Road signs

If you plan a trip, your destination is obviously very important. You can combine hiking and leisure. But if your goal is just sipping Martini at the beach, you don’t want to end up in Nordkapp. For your website, this is pretty similar. A website meant to establish contact with new customers, has a different look and feel than a website that is meant to support existing customers, for instance. The core of your site will be different. Finding that main, core element your website revolves around can be hard. As it can be to pick a destination for your holiday.

Take a look at the website of your local car dealer. He might occasionally sell a used car, but chances are most of his business is about repairs and service and not per se sales. Especially if he’s not selling a specific car brand. His website, however, probably has the newest used cars listed smack in the middle of the homepage.

Ask yourself “what’s my main business” and make sure that that business, or proper content about it, is the centerpiece of your website. The ‘destination’ of your website shouldn’t stop you to plan day trips to other locations, by the way.

Will you be planning day trips?

Where do you want to go sightseeing? In your website, there should be a proper internal link structure to all the other good stuff you want to present your visitor. At Yoast, we often refer to this as setting up cornerstone content. We actually wrote about that a couple of times. Optimizing your website isn’t just about writing that one main page about your main subject, but it is about optimizing all pages related to that as well. If you are selling trips to Paris, just one page about Paris as a whole doesn’t cut it. In addition, you also want a page about the Notre Dame, the Tour Eiffel, and the Sacré-Cœur, just to name a few. These could be your cornerstone pages.

Plan your trips to these pages by adding links on the appropriate pages of your website. By linking these pages from related pages, your cornerstone content becomes easy to find for both Google and your visitor. As you don’t want to take the same day trip every day, don’t keep linking to the same cornerstone content from every page. Instead, decide what cornerstone content is valuable for that specific page. An example: it would make no sense to add a link to Yoast SEO for WordPress here.

What travel agency should you use?

Why would you want to try to book that entire trip yourself? Your main business is probably not building websites or writing content. It is convenient to use a web partner that knows what plugins to use or how to optimize your images for speed or mobile. It simply means you don’t have to worry about any of this, as is the case when using a travel agency. All will be taken care of.

Choosing the right travel agency or web design company / web developer can be hard. There are web design agencies on every street corner. We are often asked which companies we recommend for the implementation of our advice. So we created a list of implementation partners. We know these companies, have seen their work and know and like their approach. If you are looking for a local developer instead, check our friends at Codeable.io, as they have set up a great marketplace for local WordPress developers. Simply post your job there, and get quotes delivered right to your inbox. Pick the travel agency that is best for your voyage.

And what budget should you reserve?

As with your holiday, a new website, or adding improvements to your website, will cost you money. There is no standard for this, but let me assure you that a good developer comes at a certain price. Do you think you can get a new website for $699? You can’t. If your web design agency or web developer charges $699 for a website, start running and never look back. It’s like booking a trip, arriving at your destination only to find out that the trip did not include an accommodation. Where it initially appeared to include that. Paying $699 for a website is a start, but your developer will charge you for every email you send and every feature request you mention. Buy cheap and waste your money.

As mentioned, there is no golden rule for your budget. Just keep in mind that people ‘window shop’ online as much as offline. Your store just has to be appealing, and your door should be open at all times. And yes, that will cost you money, depending on the project you have in mind. Having built and sold my share of websites, I can tell you with 100% certainty that you will talk to your web designer or developer a lot after your website goes live. It will help if you hire a trustworthy, client-friendly company. A company that doesn’t just do what you tell ’em to, but shares knowledge and helps you to lift your online presence to a higher level. Don’t be afraid to pay for that.

Have a nice holiday!

Of course, there is more to planning your holiday. And more to planning your website. As you will understand by now, there is a lot to consider. But as your holiday is meant to relax after working hard for all these weeks, so is a properly planned website. You don’t build a house without thinking about the foundation first, right. Make sure you have answered the questions above first, and then start designing that website. It’ll be a nicer trip that way!

Read on: ‘What’s the mission of your website?’ »

May 29th 2017 wordpress

Conditionally Removing the Featured Product Image & Styling Gap from a WooCommerce Product Detail Page

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Considering I spent several hours searching for a way to do the following successfully without much luck, I figured the information was worth sharing. I have a site using WooCommerce where some products need to have product images and others don’t. On the individual product page, I wanted to be able to remove the image… Read More

The post Conditionally Removing the Featured Product Image & Styling Gap from a WooCommerce Product Detail Page appeared first on Sugarrae.

May 24th 2017 wordpress

How to start a blog

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If you’re thinking about starting a blog, the most important thing I have to say to you is: go for it! Start your blog! Just do it! Blogging is a great SEO strategy, it’s a wonderful marketing tool and blogging is lots of fun! A new blog will allow you to make smart and strategic choices. Just take a little time to think about how to set up your blog before you begin, so you’ll have less work later on. Let me share some tips with you on how to start a blog.

Choose your niche

You should always write about what you know. But you should not write about everything you know. Pick a niche. Decide upon a main topic and write posts related to that topic. It’s more likely that your audience will come back and read your other posts if you’re writing about similar topics. People will know what to expect. Starting a mom blog implies that you write about all things concerning your children and family life. Starting a travel blog implies you write about traveling. You can write about something slightly off topic once in a while of course, but try to stick to your niche. An audience of a travel blog doesn’t expect a blog post about gardening. 

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Do your keyword research

Once you’ve chosen your niche, you should do some solid keyword research. Try to find out what people are searching for. What words are they using when they want to read about your niche and your topic? You should really get inside the heads of your potential audience. If you do your keyword research properly, you should end up with a long lists of keywords you would like to be found for. Try to come up with competitive, head keywords as well as with less competitive long-tail keywords.

Read on: ‘How to start your keyword research’ »

Think about site structure

This is the best time to think about site structure. What categories are popular in your niche? What are the most important head keywords you’d like to rank for? You should write a long, kick-ass article about each of these keywords. Those will be your most essential articles, or in other words, your cornerstone content. You should give those articles a prominent place on your site.

After you’ve written those beautiful cornerstone articles, write lots of blog posts on sub topics of that main topic and always link to your cornerstones. That way, you’ll be telling Google exactly what the most important articles on your website are.

Read more: ‘What is cornerstone content?’ »

Write that first post

Take some time to do keyword research and to think about site structure. But don’t take too much time. Just write that first post! Put pen to paper and just do it. Your blog starts with the very first post. That post doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be published. Need some help to get started? Check out our 10 tips on how to make your post awesome.

Pictures and videos

Writing blog post is more than writing a nice story; a successful blog has pictures and videos as well. Every post should show at least one image. Taking nice photos yourself is a great way of creating images and making short videos is a really good blogging strategy as well. Especially if you’re blogging about (aspects) of your own life, photos of it are a necessity.

Keep reading: ‘Images for blogs’ »

Optimize for the search engines

Before publishing your post, optimize it using Yoast SEO (on WordPress of course, but on Magento and TYPO3 now too!). Don’t forget to create an awesome SEO title and a decent snippet. Finetune your text. Make sure your text is both readable as well as SEO-friendly.

Read on: ‘How to use the content & SEO analysis of Yoast SEO’ »

Promote your blog

Using social media is the best way to reach and grow the audience of your blog. That’s why your blog should have a Facebook page. Sharing your posts on Facebook is a good marketing strategy. Don’t forget Instagram and Twitter either!

In addition to the use of social media to promote your blog, we advise you send out a digital newsletter. Let people sign up for it and send out emails with your latest blog posts and some other fun facts.

Read more: ‘Marketing your blog’ »

Stick with it!

The most important thing to start a blog – besides setting up your new blog – is to write that very first blog post. Once you’ve written that first post, your blog has started. You should keep on writing blog posts to make it successful, so try to determine a frequency to publish new posts. You don’t have to blog every day, once a week or maybe even once in every two weeks would be a nice frequency to start with. Find a frequency you can stick with! Your audience will know what to expect, if your blogging frequency is stable.

Keep reading: ‘Blog SEO: make people stay and read your post’ »

May 19th 2017 blogging, wordpress

Import posts from Jetpack/WordPress.com

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I’ve just released version 1.8 of both Keyring, and the Keyring Social Importers. This version includes a new service file, and an accompanying importer, which allows you to import content from a Jetpack-powered WordPress site, using the WordPress.com REST API. That means any site hosted on WordPress.com, or any self-hosted site with the Jetpack plugin installed. There are also a few key fixes for the Twitter and LinkedIn services/importers, so it’s a nice update.

The new importer will pull across the entire content of posts, including tags. Similar to the Instapaper importer, it attempts to avoid duplicate content issues by marking pages as noindex if they come from imported content.

This is another piece of the puzzle required for me to create a complete archive of my digital footprints over on Dented Reality, now that I’m blogging here. This post should be imported over there automatically within an hour.

Note that currently the importer doesn’t sideload any media items (will add that soon) or support geo data (again, I’ll add that when I get a chance).

Check it out, and please use responsibly!

news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympics/swimming/7549701.stm">Michael Phelps’ historic performance</a> at the Beijing Olympics of 2008, the question on everyone’s mind is “what happeend to humans competing against humans?” Beating out the Gladiatorially-named <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/15/sports/othersports/15runner.html">Oscar Pistorius</a> as the first hyper-human athlete to compete in the so called “games”, Phelps officially marks the beginning of a spiral into artificially modified “humans” performing for crowds of unengineered, imperfect pure-bloods such as you and I.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.olympic.org/uk/index_uk.asp">IOC</a> officially barred Pistorius from competing in the Olympics due to the modified lower-legs he competes upon, a requirement due to the fact that his God-given limbs were amputated at the age of 11 months. Using a variety of thinly-veiled excuses such as “[t]he rule book says a foot has to be in contact with the starting block” and “we cannot accept something that provides advantages”, the IOC on one hand denies a man with no legs, while on the other they allow the juggernaut American swimming team to suit up in <a href="http://www.speedo80.com/lzr-racer/">specially-engineered “super suits”</a> to improve their own performance. The real controversy however, is not what we see at first glance, but the startling facts of the reality that is Michael Phelps.</p> <p>As explained in <em><a href="http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/showsports.aspx?id=SPOEN20080061934&ch=8/17/2008%209:04:00%20PM">Phelps’ body, the secret of success</a>, </em>we are talking about no ordinary 23-year-old man. Indeed, depending on how it is judged, we man not be talking about a man at all. The laundry list of evidence of Phelps’ super-human physique and biological make-up is impressive:</p> <ul> <li>He measures in at 6’4″ and 195 pounds, with “<span id="lblStory">a long, thin torso”,</span></li> <li><span id="lblStory">His “wingspan” is a full 3 inches longer than </span><span id="lblStory">for a </span><span id="lblStory">normal man his height, with “</span><span id="lblStory">his arms work[ing] as powerful propulsive paddles”,</span></li> <li><span id="lblStory">He “</span><span id="lblStory">has an upper body of a 6’8″ person but his lower body seems to be of someone who is only 5″10″, which also make[s] the perfect plane in water”,</span></li> <li><span id="lblStory">He was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, giving him more energy to channel into training, while<br /> </span></li> <li><span id="lblStory">“</span><span id="lblStory">His unique constitution also produces less lactic acid than others which means Phelps takes less time to recover”.</span></li> <li><span id="lblStory">As if that wasn’t bad enough, his size 14 feet are attached to double-jointed ankles, allowing him to motor through the water as if equipped with custom propellers.</span></li> </ul> <p>And what, you may ask, is the scientific probability of a single person coming together with all of these traits <strong>and </strong>being pushed into swimming at a young enough age to hit peak physical performance right when the US needed a hero? Precisely a bazillion to none. That is, however unless you accept that Phelps was clearly either genetically engineered, or selectively bred for precisely this reason.</p> <p>While Phelps’ birth mother was everywhere to be seen at the Olympics, decidedly absent was a father of any kind. The publicity nightmare that would have ensued had all of his fathers been there was obviously something Team USA chose to avoid. To breed a specimen such as Phelps, it is likely that at least 3 different fathers were involved, splicing their DNA together and fertilizing a single egg to create the real “Aqua Man”.</p> " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-440" src="https://i0.wp.com/beau.blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-15-at-5.03.43-PM.png?resize=791%2C105&ssl=1" alt="Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 5.03.43 PM" />

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April 16th 2017 personal, wordpress

How to Use Tags on Your Blog or Website

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In my opinion one of the more powerful and underutilized tools of a blog or website is the ability to tag your pages and posts. That said, effectively using  tags isn’t easy or straightforward. In this post I’ll take you through some examples of how to use tags and get the most out of them, the pitfalls to watch out … [Continue reading How to Use Tags on Your Blog or Website]

The post How to Use Tags on Your Blog or Website appeared first on Graywolf's SEO Blog.

January 27th 2017 SEO, wordpress