10 SEO Terms You Should Know About

What is a backlink? What is 404 error? What’s the difference between 301 & 302 redirect?… If you are a business that delegated the SEO activities to an SEO agency, then you have definitely asked about, or maybe checked on Google, the meaning of some of these terms. Well, as an SEO company, we were approached by several of our clients in order to clarify some of the “technical” words used in our reports and recommendations.

For this, we decided to make it easier on everyone by creating a not-so-technical guide for 10 SEO terms everyone should know about.

Let’s start..

1. 301 vs 302 redirect: 301 redirect is a permanent redirect of a page, stating that it no longer exists and that it has been moved to another location, to another URL. A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect, which informs search engines that the page, for a reason or another, does not currently exist but will be back later on. Asking yourself what is the difference in terms of impact? Well, we advise you to always use the 301 redirect for a simple reason: it is more SEO friendly than the 302 redirect.

2. 404 not found error: When you or your website’s visitors see this error, it means that the page no longer exists, and hasn’t been transferred to another page either. In another term, neither a 301 nor a 302 redirect has been used. If the page removed doesn’t have another related page to redirect to, use one of these solutions: 1) create a 301 redirect to the homepage, 2) build a creative 404 page giving the option for the visitors to choose where to go.

3. Alt text: It’s a description of an image allowing visitors facing visual issues to understand what the picture is about. While this seems not really important, it is advised that every image on a site has an alt text, not only for visitors, but for search engines also. It helps them know what the image is about in order to show it in search queries.

4. Anchor text: It’s the text used on a page that links to another page. Generally, an anchor text is recognizable by being dark blue and underlined. It helps both search engines and visitors understand the destination page once clicking on the anchor text.

5. Canonical URL: It’s a tag that tells search engines which is the original URL of the page, in case of duplicate content. Normally, having duplicate content harms SEO, however, in some cases, it’s not really an issue. For example, in an ecommerce website, the same product can be accessed through different URLs, so here comes the role of the canonical URL to set things straight and point out the original one.

6. Backlinks: These are links present on other websites that lead to yours. This is one of the most important SEO practices and is part of the off-page optimization of a website. The number of backlinks to your website reveals its popularity. However, be careful, as backlinks acquired in an unethical way can actually harm your website ranking instead of benefiting it.

7. Black hat: Talking about unethical, black hat refers to improper techniques used to empower the ranking of a website. The most common tactics considered black hat by search engines are spamming and keyword stuffing.

8. Google Panda: It seems that Google loves animals for naming their algorithm updates accordingly. Panda is an update launched in 2011 that favors high-quality content over low-quality content. In other terms, websites with high-quality content have a better chance to appear before websites with low-quality content on search results.

9. Google Penguin: Even though penguins are cute and harmless animals, Google Penguin can hurt your website badly. It’s also a Google algorithm update, introduced a year after the Panda update, that has the role to punish websites with backlinks acquired with black hat techniques.

10. Google Hummingbird: Not sure if Google is still a search engine or it turned into a zoo. Google Hummingbird is another algorithm update introduced in 2013, that focuses on understanding the real purpose and the exact information needed behind a search query.

These 10 terms give you a better understanding of SEO jargon and can help you improve your website’s results. However, this is only a basic guide, and, as you know by now, SEO is way more than just that. Let us know whenever you encounter a recurrent term that isn’t in this list, and if found appropriate, we will add it.

6 Hot Tips to Rock Your Social Media Results

Social media is a powerful way to build a following, turn prospects into leads, and drive sales.

One of the biggest complaints I hear is that business owners are investing lots of time in social media and not seeing the returns on those efforts.

If you aren’t getting the social media results you are looking for, perhaps it’s time to look at new tactics.

If you are ready to get more out of your social media marketing, here’s 6 techniques to try:

1. Use Facebook Live. Video marketing is a powerful addition to your marketing mix. But live video is shown to keep users watching for 3 times longer than a recorded video.

Fans love the feeling of listening to what you have to share in the moment. Try answering questions and providing tips while live.

Other ways to use Facebook Live is to broadcast an update when you are networking or attending events. Or share a Facebook live update on any launches coming down the pipe.

2. Offer Opt-In Gifts to Grow Your Marketing List. People can’t resist getting a checklist, blueprint, app, or white paper that offers valuable information.

When you give value first, it goes a long way to building trust and rapport with your followers. Plus, this allows you to capture your social media leads into your email marketing list.

Give them something they can’t refuse and send them to a landing page to sign up. That way you can keep in contact via email sharing additional offers and information in a drip campaign.

3. Invite People to Take Action. Be strategic with your calls to action to get the most out of your social media efforts.

In addition to sharing a mix of posts, be sure to offer ways your fans can dive deeper with you. This can include a free consultation, special offers and discount deals, webinars, participation in your Facebook group, and more.

4. Build Your Fan Base Organically. Never hire someone from Fiverr who can add 10,000 fans for a fee. This is a bad idea on many levels.

Instead, find groups with people in your target audience. Be helpful. Start real conversations. Invite them to join your social media page or group.

Don’t be afraid to reach out with private messaging to respond to questions they have or share resources or advice.

So don’t buy followers. It’s about quality of followers, not quantity. It’s better to have 1000 raving fans you have attracted, than to have 10,000 fans who don’t really know you or have investment in the connection.

5. Offer a Mix of Post Content. People love variety. Be creative and provide a variety of content formats including how-to articles, videos, graphics, and infographics.

An ideal content marketing strategy is to always keep your target market in mind and post what you think they will best want to receive from you.

6. Post at the Ideal Time for Best Exposure. Timing is everything. If you share an incredible post, you want to ensure the most people possible can see it!

There are many social media tools to help you see the best times to post content to reach the biggest audience. This may vary from platform to platform.

So don’t guess when you can use analytic tools with reports that help you identify the ideal time to post.

Social media is evolving and growing fast. There is a lot of opportunity get leads, drive sales, and build a following but you have to get creative. You can’t just rely on the old tactics you have used in the past; you need to implement new techniques and tools if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

3 Reasons why your website speed matters

In general, people don’t like to wait, wherever they are, whatever they are doing. Everywhere we are, we witness impatient people cutting the line. It’s in the human’s’ genes to get what we want when we want. And this applies also on our digital life. When looking for a piece of information on the internet, we might check several websites in order to find it as we need a clear answer straight away. Therefore, it is in the businesses benefit to have a website with a fast load time. But don’t worry, it’s up to the web agency who is creating the website to make it fast.

Here are 3 main reasons why your website should open in less than 2 seconds:

Yes, Website Speed IS an SEO Factor

The fight for high ranking on search engines will never end. Every day, millions of businesses do their best in order to position their websites higher than the competition. For this, regular activities should be performed to optimize a website. And one of the very important factors of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is improving website speed.

Google has secrets. Some of them are still undisclosed, and others have been revealed. What is no more a secret for SEO agencies, due to an announcement made in 2010, Google doesn’t like slow websites; therefore, they could be penalized in ranking. Of course, no business would want that, or else it will be outperformed by the competition with faster load page.

Faster access to information = better user experience

Active internet users are faced with hundreds of information daily. This shows that the internet keeps them busy. And we all know that no busy person like to wait. So once users visit a website, they expect to receive the information needed as soon as they click on a page. Otherwise, they will look elsewhere.

This not only affects the user experience but also, in a more complicated way, the ranking of the website. To explain this point, we need your full attention. When a user accesses a slow website, he tends to quickly move away from it. The results of this action are 1) a high bounce rate (the percentage of website visitors who leave a site after viewing one page), 2) less opportunities for the content to be shared which is also an SEO factor, and 3) Google registers the website as irrelevant to the user’s need. As you can guess, these 3 points have a direct relation with the ranking of the website in SERP as it won’t be considered as a significant source of information.

Mobile internet users are on the rise

Since the big wave of smartphones, more and more people are accessing the internet via their mobile. In 2014, 94% of internet users in the Middle East surfed the web with their mobile. This represents a huge number for any business operating in the region. The main reason for users connecting online via their mobile is that they’d need information on-the-go, in other terms, as quick as possible. So making them wait results in the same consequences as the previous point.

In addition, a fast website speed is crucial for online stores, for the reasons mentioned and more. In 2015, around 50% of online shoppers used their mobile to purchase, which also represented a promising opportunity. Therefore, building an ecommerce website with a fast load time increases conversions. How? Well, as you probably know, in order to purchase online, a user passes through a process of several pages. So, a customer attempting to buy from a slow website will end up abandoning his cart.

In conclusion, several studies showed that internet users would wait on average 2 seconds for the page to load before losing patience. According to KissMetrics, a load page of 2 seconds has an abandonment rate of 10%. This rate increases to 25% when adding 2 more seconds to the load page. There are several tools to make sure that the web agency, when building your website, took into consideration the website speed. For example, check Pingdom in order to see if your site fits in the average or needs optimization for a better performance.

5 WordPress Tips That Will Make Your Blog Better

WordPress is a cornucopia of plugins, themes, and countless different techniques that are supposed to help you beat the competition. Yet all these additions are getting massive, bigger and, to be honest, not exactly simple to use. Have you been searching for simpler ways to use WP but without success, for far too long? 411Locals will help you with some of the easiest WP hacks for blogging:

You Can Master the art Of Coding without Actually Coding

It’s about time for you to learn how to use shortcodes! They are special tags you can insert in the body of your post, which make a suggestion for more complicated coding. Whenever WordPress checks one of these tags in a post, it automatically replaces it with the corresponding HTML equivalent. Check out the examples:

[ audio ]– embeds an audio file and displays a basic audio player in the page
[ gallery ]– creates a basic gallery based on a set of images
[ video ]– embeds a locally-hosted video in the page
NB! type these shortcodes without blank spaces

Get Rid Of “Uncategorized” Posts

“Uncategorized” is your default category & as such, it adds no value to your posts. Proceed with this: From the left-hand menu, go to Settings > Writing, and switch the Default Post Category to whatever you want – for instance, your most frequently used one. Alternatively, you can rename the default category itself. This way, you can alter the category of your previous “uncategorized” tagged posts.

Get The Perfect Image Size With Ease

The most irritating experience when you create your blog post (apart from starting it) is to see how your image doesn’t fit, making your work amateurish. Instead of resizing, re-previewing, rechecking and what else not, you can use the following hack:

You should simply change the default media size for your uploaded images.

When you opt for “Thumbnail,” “Medium,” or “Large,” WordPress pulls those pre-set image sizes from your blog settings. The “Large” category can fit the full width of your post layout. Do the following – from the left-hand WordPress menu, choose Settings > Media, and adjust the “Max Width” and “Max Height” settings to fit your blog sizes. You can also set the “Medium” size to take up 1/3 of your post layout, then use these “Medium” images such as feature images for your posts, by aligning them to the right, and set the “Large” size to fill the full width of your post layout.

Use the “Inspect Element” option in your Chrome browser to determine the maximum width.

Right-click anywhere inside the text of your post, and choose “Inspect Element.” Here, you can access the web code of your page. Point your mouse at the highlighted separate parts of your blog design, along with a display of height and width of the element. You can judge the right post size from here. Even more, you can go on the right-hand side of this new code window and click the tab for “Computed.” You should see a graphic of boxes with numbers in the middle. They show the size of your post, with the first number indicating the width.