SEO and page speed

What is the SEO Impact of Page Speed?

Have you considered the SEO impact of page speed on your website? In 2010, Matt Cutts at Google announced that page load speed was set to become a factor in search rankings. At the same time, he told people not to panic, pointing out that page speeds would be of fairly low SEO impact when compared with other signals such as quality, relevance, reputation, and so on.

As it stands today, it is definitely worth putting some serious thought into how fast your pages load when developing your website, not only for SEO purposes, but also to provide users with a better experience and reduce the risk that they will bounce off and go elsewhere.

How Google measures page speed

There are various ways Google measures the load speed of web pages, including how long it takes for the return of the first byte of data, known as the TTFB (Time To First Byte), and also what is known as the Critical Render Path (CRP).

However technicalities aside, the actual experience of users is also taken into account. For instance, …

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Authority site

What Site Authority is and How to Achieve it

As our title suggests, in this post we will take a look at ‘site authority’ – what it means to search engines, how to achieve it and what you can do if your authority content is plagiarised.

What exactly is meant by site authority?

Google describes a number of features that describe an authority site. These include:

It provides trustworthy, factual information that is well-written. The content author has expertise on the written subject and / or knows about the topic in depth. The site content is original. Site content is geared towards its audience and not written solely or mostly for ranking purposes. The site is a recognised authority on its topic.

More information on what constitutes site quality can be found here.

Achieving site authority

From Google’s point of view, achieving site quality and authority involves focussing on providing the best possible user experience possible, rather than becoming fixated on their latest algorithmic signals. This is because the search function is not an exact science, and any attempts to manipulate content in order to improve rankings …

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Moving Website

Google Guidelines for Moving a Website

Moving a website is a complex business and not something to attempt without having a strategic, comprehensive plan in place. In light of this, and recognising that important steps can sometimes be missed, Google upgraded their guidelines for site moves in order to make them easier and to help site owners avoid costly errors.

Reasons for site moves

Site moves could happen for any number of reasons. Examples include:

Total overhaul or rebuild / redevelopment of a website. The site owner might be changing hosting providers – in which case they may or may not be changing page URLs at the same time. Changes to URLs – for instance from HTTP to HTTPS to increase security, or changing a URL from .com to .net, or URL path changes.

Getting ready for a site move

Before commencing any site move or redevelopment it’s vital to know the site well. This means understanding which pages are drawing in traffic, how well your site ranks with search engines, which pages have back links and so on. It’s also vital to ensure …

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Bridal Headpiece

SEO & Content Marketing Results Challenge for Deborah Hartl Designs

Would you like to watch a small business SEO case study in progress? SEO for Small Business and Article Writers Australia have teamed up to assist a small business – Deborah Hartl Designs – by providing free SEO and content writing services for the next 6 months. We’re calling it our Content Marketing & SEO Results Challenge. Each month we’ll be posting details of our strategy and the results so that other small business owners can see what it takes to improve visibility online. For now, we’d like to introduce you to Deborah and her fabulous bridal headpieces and explain why she needs assistance and what we’ll be doing.

Deborah’s story

Deborah Hartl creates unique bridal headpieces, from beach inspired designs to floral crowns. She’s good at what she does – the 2015 edition of UK Brides features one of her designs. Deborah established a website for online sales and a Facebook page, but absolutely nothing happened – almost nobody was visiting her website. She did a little research and wondered if creating …

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Looking Out for Common SEO Myths

Looking Out for Common SEO Myths

There are no magic bullets in SEO, no matter what some may try to tell you. It would be nice and very convenient if you could just package up a sure-fire set of procedures that would guarantee number one rankings, but SEO really doesn’t work that way. But because people are always searching for that one sure thing, SEO myths abound. They tend to be ‘the one thing you should do’ to get top results, or ‘the one thing you should avoid’, and so on. Here are some examples of common SEO myths, and a few facts and tips that are much more likely to result in improved search rankings.

What are the myths?

The myths around SEO keep changing as the techniques evolve. Some of them are (or have been) that:

Link building is the way to go; or conversely link building is no longer relevant. Your focus should be on keywords and more keywords. Social media is totally useless when it comes to SEO. As long as you have hundreds of followers on G+ you will …

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User Experience

The Importance of User Experience

The importance of user experience can’t be underestimated in terms of attracting new visitors or customers to your website, and keeping established ones coming back. A lot has been written about the user experience, and how to measure it. So what is the user experience, and how do you know if your website design, content and SEO is providing a positive one?

User experience explained

User experience at its simplest can be said to be how accessible, valuable, useful, credible and usable your website is. Let’s break down a few of the key elements:

Findability – this is how easy it is for users to find what they are looking for on your site, using keywords and search terms. For instance, does their search take them directly to what they were looking for, or lead them to directions on where to find it, or does it just all dissolve into frustration? Usability – usability can be broken down into a number of elements such as effectiveness, efficiency, learnability, memorability, and user satisfaction. In essence it refers to how …

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Tips for Website Conversion Rate Optimisation

You may have heard the term Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), and plenty of talk about how important it is, but do you know how to actually apply it beyond the theory stage? In this post, we look at the definition of CRO, and what steps you can take to improve yours.

What is conversion rate optimisation?

In a nutshell, CRO is about persuading more visitors to your site to take the action that you want them to take. For most commercial sites, this means persuading more people to make the decision to buy the product or service that is being offered, much in the same way as a store owner tries to talk window-shoppers into coming in to buy.

CRO is focused not only on getting more customers, but on getting more of the right kind of customers – that is, ones who will keep on using your services or products and engaging with you, rather than just being one-offs. CRO is also about finding out why visitors do or don’t take action, and taking steps to remove the obstacles …

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Matt Cutts Head

The Importance of Body Content to SEO

Google’s Matt Cutts posted a very amusing head-only, bodiless video of himself to emphasise the importance of the ‘body’ on your website as well as the ‘head’, and how the two should match. It might sound like good old common sense to many of us, and possibly that’s why he didn’t labour the point, but clearly he thought it needed to be brought to site owners’ attention as a reminder.

The body versus the head

So, while the head (title tags, headings and so on) is pretty clear, what is the body? Well basically in this context, Matt Cutts is referring to site content. Despite the constant emphasis these days on quality content being a core metric used by search engines, it seems that not everyone is getting the message about the importance of body content to SEO. And even among those who are, sometimes a few extra pointers are needed.

The overarching point regarding site content is that of recognising that you are creating it for real people and not for Googlebots, and that all your content …

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Google Penguin

Should You Consider a Link Clean Up?

One of the key factors that can penalise your website’s search rankings is having paid, broken or irrelevant links. While fixing up poor quality content is relatively straightforward, doing a link clean up is often no easy feat! Apart from the fact that it can take quite a bit of time and effort, you may also be doing your site a disservice if you try to remove a lot of old links all in one go. After all, some of the suspect links may actually be driving traffic to your site, and naturally you don’t want to interfere with that if you don’t have to.

So how do you know when to do a clean up?

This can be a little tricky to decide. If you have received an obvious manual or algorithmic penalty from Google, then it’s clear you should consider a link clean up. If you only suspect your site might have been affected, you might need to do a little digging to find out if you actually have been penalised by Google’s link algorithm (known …

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Google Authorship

Google Removes Authorship Photos – What Now?

Google has announced big changes to the way Authorship shows up in search results. Under the changes, announced a couple of weeks ago, photos and circle counts will no longer appear. The move might have left you (and quite a few others!) scratching your head and wondering how the change will affect you and what you should do about it. In this post, we will take a look at Google’s reasoning behind the decision, and what you can do to help maintain your position on the web.

Why is Google removing photos from search?

One of the main reasons cited by Google is that they want to clean up SERP visual design so that it is less cluttered, and also more streamlined and consistent across multiple devices – especially mobile ones. This is because Google is of the view that mobile use will surpass that of desktop in the very near future, and photos can take up a lot of space on a small screen, creating a lot of unwanted clutter.

Is there more to it?

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