A press release is one of the most valuable tools in a marketing team’s arsenal. Though press releases have been around for decades, they remain one of the best ways to reach new customers, improve your brand reputation, and generate awareness. 

Press releases are also wonderfully cost-effective. Unless you’re using paid distribution channels, all you have to spend is your time to create your press release.

So, how do you get started?

What is a Press Release?

A Press Release is a short, simple, and compelling news story designed to promote the goods and services of a business. You’ll usually see these pieces of content published on industry websites, news channels, social media platforms, and even on the company’s blogs looking for awareness. 

The idea behind a press release is you provide a publication or group with all of the most valuable facts and insights into your latest newsworthy story. You might use a press release to announce a new product or to tell people about your recent partnership, for instance. 

A press release post then delivers this information to a wider potential audience by distributing the content in a range of different places. 

Why Should My Business Send Press Releases?

Why not simply tell people about your latest products and sales on social media, and leave it at that? The simple answer is Press Releases help you to gain the attention you might not get from your own media channels alone. With a press release, you can:

  • Set the record straight: In the middle of a PR disaster, a Press Release can give people the information they need to make their own decision about who’s right.
  • To improve your brand reputation: Launching press releases through well-known publications immediately boosts your credibility. The right publication shows you’re well-connected and professional. 
  • To gain media coverage: When launching a new product or service, a press release helps attract potential customers to your business and gives you more opportunities for sales.
  • To improve SEO: In the digital world, a press release allows you to earn backlinks from high-authority websites, improving your ranking.
  • To find new customers: Press publications and websites will reach a wider audience than you can find on your own. In addition, publishing press releases gives you new eyes on your business for minimal cost. 

You can send a press release for various reasons, including announcing breaking news, talking about newly launched products, discussing upcoming events, confirming partnerships, and more. It’s also worth creating a press release when new people join your executive team when you receive an award, or even if something bad happens (for crisis management)

What’s Included in a Press Release?

A press release will include different information depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. In general, PR posts feature:

  • A headline: This is where you share the most important info of your story
  • Contact details: How the media can get in touch with you
  • Location: Where you are and where the news event is taking place
  • Body copy: Information about the news event
  • Quotes: It’s common to see quotes in a press release from high-level staff
  • Boilerplate: Insights into what your organization is about

How to Write a Press Release (Step by Step)

Now you know what goes into a press release and why these tools are so valuable, it’s time to start planning your big announcement. 

Here are our top tips for creating an amazing press release.

1. Choose the Right Story

Press releases are focused on sharing valuable news with a specific audience. It would be best if you had something important and new to say, or you risk not getting your story published at all. You can’t just talk about a product or service that’s selling well (unless it’s breaking world, or brand records). 

Think about whether your PR topic is:

  • Timely: Is the event you’re talking about just about to happen, or has it happened recently? If something happened weeks or months ago, press groups aren’t going to be interested. Aside from ensuring your message is timely, make it topical too. Ensure this story is going to give something valuable to your audience. 
  • Relevant: Before you send a press release to anyone, make sure it will be relevant to the audience you’re targeting. Who does the story affect, and why is it important? What kind of benefits or opportunities will it deliver?
  • Unique: What’s unusual or unique about this story? You don’t want to comment on the same things that everyone in your industry is already talking about. 
  • Engaging: What about your story is going to make readers stand up and take notice? Is there any trouble or tension you’re going to overcome? Look at this press release from Target as an example. How can you frame your story in a way that makes people want to learn more about your business?

When asking yourself what your PR story should be about, consider whether you want to publish it if you were a publication leader. From an objective perspective, does this story have value?

2. Answer the Right Questions

A press release doesn’t just provide information. Written correctly, this content will also answer essential questions for your audience. For instance, let’s take a look at the questions you should answer, with an example. 

For this example, we’ll be looking at a social media marketing firm partnering with an SEO brand:

  • Who is doing this? What’s the name of the social media marketing firm and the SEO brand? Where do they come from? Which executives are involved?
  • Who is affected? This news would probably affect the stakeholders and shareholders for the business and the customers by providing access to new services.
  • What have the companies done? They’ve joined forces in a partnership, but which sectors and teams are actually going to be working together?
  • Where is this happening? Which area will these two companies now serve? Who will be able to access the service?
  • When did it happen? When is the partnership going to start when will customers see the first major changes?
  • Why has this happened? In this example, the why might be to offer customers more services and helpful products. 
  • Why does this matter? Why is it so important that this event is taking place for your target audience? How are they going to benefit?
  • How will you be implementing this change? For example, if you’re partnering with a new business, will you change your brand name and leadership team? Will you have a new headquarters?

3. Target the Right Sector

Like most pieces of great copy, a press release should generally be written with a specific audience in mind. The interesting thing about a press release is that you’re not just writing for the people who might be interested in your products and services. You’re also writing for a specific publication, journalist, broadcaster, or editor. 

When you’re writing your content, you’ll need to keep both audiences in mind to ensure that you get your message across. Focus on the kind of crucial messages which will appeal to your end-users and customers but address the preferences and needs of the editor too. Many publications will have guidelines to follow if you want a chance of getting your content on their site. 

If you’re sending your press release to multiple locations, you might need to look into doing several different versions of your press releases, each with slightly different wording and information, based on your target publication.

4. Get the Headline Right

There are few things more important in a press release than an amazing headline. 

A good headline will immediately attract the attention of your publication, as well as anyone who might end up reading your article. The media uses headlines to determine whether stories are worth reading or publishing. This means that you need to get attention quickly. 

Most press release headlines don’t try to be clever. There isn’t a lot of fancy language to worry about. Instead, your focus should be on sharing the main point of the press release fast.

For instance, if you’re announcing the arrival of new security measures in your business to protect hybrid workers, you might have a headline like:

  • [Company] implements end-to-end encryption for hybrid workers
  • [Company] uses new encryption techniques to support hybrid work
  • [Company] invests in encryption technology for hybrid employees

5. Use the Right Structure

Structuring a press release can be tough.

Some companies have specific requests on how your press release should look. For instance, you might have to place the date and time in a specific place. For instance, CNN always puts the date of the release before the headline:

If you don’t have to follow a specific format, you should stick with the inverted pyramid structure. This strategy involves placing the most critical information first and moving down the hierarchy to less important info – like contact details. 

When structuring your press release, make sure the headline immediately tells your customers and readers what the story is about and presents immediate value. The opening paragraph will then summarise the main factors and elements of the story, giving a fuller explanation of what the story is about. For instance, for the “[Company] implements end-to-end encryption for hybrid workers” example, the first paragraph might read:

[Company] recently announced an investment in the latest encryption tools for information at rest and transit for hybrid employees. This new security strategy is rolling out immediately to new and existing customers of [company], with access to extra features available for premium subscribers.

The second paragraph then follows up with contextual insight into why this story is important. For instance, in the example above, the second paragraph might say:

This new investment comes at a time when more employees are moving into the hybrid working model. [Company] believes that higher encryption is crucial for teams working in a cloud environment, even with access to VPNs and other security measures available. 

The third paragraph then presents details on the story, including information on who’s involved, how this story came about, and anything else that business leaders might need to know. If there is an additional paragraph, you might include some quotes from business leaders or industry authorities to add credibility or opinions. 

6. Perfect Your Writing

No matter how short or simple, any press release is an insight into your company and brand. Don’t rely on the publication company you choose to do all the editing for you. Make sure you proofread your content and ensure everything sounds fantastic. It’s also worth double-checking any details to ensure that stats and facts remain accurate. 

When boosting the writing of your press release, remember:

  • Address the topics that your readers will find most interesting: Choose relevant topics with obvious benefits and repercussions for your target audience. Don’t get bogged down in fluff, and don’t be overzealous with patting yourself on the back. It’s best to avoid too many adjectives like “world-leading” and “fantastic” when describing your brand.
  • Write in the third person: Third-person writing is common for press releases, even when you’re talking about yourself. For instance, you might say, “Dell’s marketing team recently shared information on a new computer series.” 
  • Keep it simple: Stick to one focus story per press release and try not to overwhelm your audience with too much information. Press releases are short, focused, and easy to read. If you have extra information to provide, you can make a note at the bottom of the release. The close of your PR is where you can provide contact details, links to products, and backlinks to further articles. 

Remember, a compelling, human quote can really make a difference to your press release too. This is a chance to allow the executive voices in your business to shine through. Make sure you highlight exactly why you’re so excited about the press release in the quote while using emotive language to connect with customers. For instance,

The company CEO said: “We’re proud to be offering our current and new customers access to this new security service. After working with the best encryption professionals in the industry, we’re confident we can reduce data breaches and security concerns for hybrid workers.”

7. Double-Check Your Press Release

Before you send your press releases to anyone, it’s best to do a quick check to ensure that everything sounds great and that you haven’t left any annoying errors unaddressed. Use this quick checklist to examine your content:

  • Is the release date and publishing date correct (make sure you’ve included information on any embargos)
  • Is the contact information correct and in the right-hand corner of the page? This includes the name of the company, phone number, and email address.
  • Does the formatting match the outline requested by the publication?
  • Is the boilerplate at the bottom of the template?
  • Is the headline eye-catching and meaningful?
  • Are all of the relevant details included throughout the press release in order?
  • Are names and information spelled correctly?
  • Is the press release free from any grammatical issues and complex jargon?

Make sure you include information on how to reach out to you if the publication notices anything wrong with your site’s performance. 

Where To Send Your Press Releases

Once you’ve worked through your press release (and double-checked it for quality and accuracy), you can think about where you’re going to send it. For example, you may send multiple versions of your press release to different companies and publications. Ideally, you’ll create an entire press kit, which might include pictures of your team, product, or service, as well as contact details and extra brand information. 

Some companies prefer to approach press relationships by pitching their story to a few carefully selected editors and publications. This is often a good idea if you’re trying to reach a particular audience or you want to improve your reputation by connecting with a certain brand. 

Alternatively, you can use PR wire services to send your information to multiple companies at once. There are various services online to help you get your press announcements to the right people. Options to look into include:

  • Industry publications for specific sectors (like technology or medicine)
  • Local newspapers and online news outlets
  • General news sites like Google News and Apple News
  • Blog sites that attract your target audience
  • Influencers and industry partners

Start small and gradually build a list of contacts to help you get your voice and business out there. Eventually, you’ll find it’s much easier to get publications to accept your press releases. You might even find that people start approaching you to find out if you have any upcoming news. 

Go and Get Published!

Now you’re equipped with everything you need to know to create a fantastic press release and attract new eyes to your business. The only thing to do next is to get out there and start sending your press releases to the right people. Remember, once your press release is published, make sure you promote it through your social channels, email, and website. 


Featured image via Pexels.


The post How to Write a Press Release: The Complete Guide for 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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There’s no shortcut to success when it comes to Google search results. That is unless you count pay-per-click advertising.

While pay-to-play will shoot your site to the top of the SERP immediately, it’s not a sustainable strategy for maintaining your position there. So, you’re going to have to get serious about SEO.

This guide will show you what to do to improve your SEO ranking and start seeing results this year:

  1. Use Google Analytics to track metrics
  2. Get an SSL certificate
  3. Improve mobile page speed
  4. Design a mobile-first UI
  5. Make your site accessible
  6. Optimize your images
  7. Create great content
  8. Structure your content for scannability and readability
  9. Create click-worthy title tags and meta descriptions
  10. Choose one focus keyword per page
  11. Improve your internal link strategy
  12. Use only trustworthy external links
  13. Get your site listed as a featured snippet
  14. Get high-quality backlinks
  15. Create a Google My Business page
  16. Refresh Your Content
  17. Regularly monitor Google Search Console

How to Increase Your Website’s SEO Ranking

If you can improve your SEO ranking — and get your pages closer to, if not on the highly coveted top SERP — you will:

  • Boost your site’s overall visibility as its authority in search grows;
  • Bring high-quality traffic to your pages;
  • Drive-up your conversion rate.

That said, search engine optimization is most effective when it’s an ongoing strategy as opposed to something you set up and forget about. So, some of the suggestions below will only need to be implemented once, while others you’ll have to return to every six months or so to make sure your site is on track.

Let’s get started.

1. Use Google Analytics to Track Metrics

If you haven’t yet begun tracking your website’s activity with Google Analytics, it’s the very first thing you need to do.

While Google Analytics alone can’t tell you how well or poorly your website ranks, there’s valuable data in there about what happens to the traffic that arrives from Google. Or any search engine your visitors use.

You can find this information under Acquisition > Source/Medium:

What you want to see here is that (1) you’re getting lots of visitors from organic search results (as opposed to paid) and (2) that they’re highly engaged. So, that means:

  • Longer times on site;
  • Multiple pages visited;
  • Lower bounce rates.

And if you configure Google Analytics to track different conversions on your site, you can see how well those organic visits convert.

Obviously, there’s a lot more you can track here. But you must understand if your SEO efforts are working in the first place, and that’s where you’ll get your confirmation.

2. Get an SSL Certificate

HTTPS has long been one of Google’s SEO ranking factors. Yet, of the two billion-plus websites that are online today, BuiltWith data shows that only 155 million have an SSL certificate installed:

Security and privacy are major concerns for consumers. So if you want to increase their confidence in your website, installing an SSL certificate is an easy thing to do. And it’ll put you in Google’s good graces, too.

If you don’t have one already, get one for free from Zero SSL.

3. Improve Mobile Page Speeds

Mobile loading speeds became a Google ranking signal in July 2018.

It was something we saw coming ever since smartphones overtook the desktop as the primary device people used to access the Internet. Once it became a ranking factor, though, mobile page speed was something we could no longer treat as a “nice to have.” It became a must.

And with Google’s most recent Core Web Vitals algorithm update, there’s no ignoring how big of a role your site’s mobile loading speeds (i.e., performance) play in ranking it.

To ensure that your site meets Google’s expectations for speed, bookmark the Core Web Vitals tool. It’ll tell you how your site performs across all four of the major ranking categories.

You’ll find your speed-related issues at the bottom of the page, along with resources to help you resolve them.

Most of those tips will have to do with optimizing your code. However, there are other things you can do to make your site load quickly:

  • Use well-coded themes and plugins;
  • Remove unused themes, plugins, media, pages, comments, backups, and so on from your database and server;
  • Install a caching plugin that’ll minify, compress, and otherwise make your site lightweight and fast.

It’s also not a bad idea to review your web hosting plan. You might not have the right amount of server power or resources to keep up with your existing activity.

4. Design a Mobile-First UI

On a related note, a mobile-first design can also improve your site’s loading speeds. Rebekah Carter wrote a really helpful guide on how to do this last year.

In addition to speeding things up — since you won’t be trying to jam a bunch of desktop-first design and content into a smartphone screen — it’s going to help your site rank better.

Just be careful when you do this. A mobile-first design doesn’t mean creating a scaled-back version of the larger site for smartphone users.

In fact, Google explicitly tells us not to do that and why:

“If it’s your intention that the mobile page should have less content than the desktop page, you can expect some traffic loss when your site is enabled mobile-first indexing, since Google can’t get as much information from your page as before.”

And if your response is that the content on desktop-only doesn’t matter, then it really shouldn’t be there. Don’t waste your visitors’ time with useless or repetitive content, as it’ll only give them more reason to abandon your site.

5. Make Your Site Accessible

Accessibility has come to the forefront of the SEO discussion thanks to Core Web Vitals.

Now, running your site through the tool will tell you if there are any inaccessibility issues that Google will ping you for. But that doesn’t make your site completely accessible.

Considering the rise in website accessibility-related lawsuits, you’ll want to take this seriously.

Because a bad experience due to inaccessibility won’t just cost you visitors and a lower search ranking, it’ll cost you a lot of money, too.

Here are some things you can do to ensure that your site and all its content is accessible.

6. Optimize Your Images

Technically, image optimization falls under the page speed tip. However, that’s not the only way you should be optimizing your images, which is why I wanted to address this separately.

According to HTTP Archive, the average weight of a mobile web page these days is 1917.5 KB. Images take up a sizable chunk of that weight:

Because of this, bloated image sizes are often to blame for slow pages.

You can do several things to optimize your images for speed, like using lightweight formats, resizing them, and compressing them. You’ll find 6 other image optimization tips here.

While those tips will help you speed up your site and, consequently, improve your SEO ranking, there’s something else you need to do:

Add alt text to your most important images.

One reason to do this is to improve accessibility. Another is so your web page can rank in both the regular Google search results and image results as this search for “WordPress by the numbers” does:

If you can write alt text that perfectly describes your graphic and matches the image searchers’ intent, you can create another ranking opportunity for your page.

7. Create Great Content

There are many technical ranking factors you have to pay attention to if you want to create a good experience for your visitors and rank well as a result. However, none of that will matter if your content sucks.

So, how do you make great content? It really depends.

Think about the difference between a page describing your web design services and a product page for a blender.

Your web design services page would need to:

  • Explain why hiring a web designer is a must;
  • What your design services entail;
  • What they can expect in terms of results;
  • Include some proof in the form of testimonials or portfolio samples;
  • Have information on next steps or how to get in touch.

That would be a comprehensive and useful page. If business owners searched for “hire a web designer near me” or “should I hire a web designer?”, that page would sufficiently answer their query.

A product page, however, would need to:

  • Provide a brief summary of the blender;
  • Show photos of the blender, different angles of it, as well as different variations of the product;
  • Display the price;
  • Allow customers to Add to Cart or Save for later;
  • Include technical specs of the blender;
  • Recommend related products;
  • Display sortable customer testimonials and ratings.

The last thing a shopper would want is to be directed to a product page that reads like one of your services pages.

So, great content not only needs to be well-written and error-free, but it needs to match the searcher’s intent and expectations. If you can do that, your visitors will stay as long as they need to read through everything, which will help strengthen the page’s ranking.

8. Structure Your Content for Scannability and Readability

Including necessary details and in the right format is an important part of making a page’s content valuable to the visitor. The structure is going to help, too.

For starters, you want to make sure every page is human-readable. So, that involves:

  • Shorter sentences and paragraphs;
  • Linkable table of contents for longer pages;
  • Header tags every few hundred words;
  • Descriptive and supportive imagery throughout;
  • Text callouts like blockquotes and bolded phrases.

By making a page less intimidating to read and easier to scan for a quick summary of what it is, you’ll find that more visitors are willing to read it and follow your calls to action.

You can use a tool like Hemingway to improve your page’s readability. Quickly pop the text of each page into the editor and follow the recommended suggestions:

You’re also going to have to think about how well Google’s indexing bots can read your page. They’re smart enough to pick up on cues but not smart enough to sit down and read your article on the benefits of Vitamin D or how to install a new showerhead.

So, you’ll need to use HTML meta tags as well as hierarchical header tags to tell the bots what the page is about.

If you’re building a WordPress site, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to analyze how scannable and readable each page of your site is (among other things):

9. Create Click-Worthy Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

To get eyeballs on your really great content, the brief preview users see of it in search results needs to be able to lure them in. Get more clicks to your site from search, and Google will take notice.

But they can’t just be superficial clicks. If Google notices that your page is getting a ton of traffic that almost immediately drops off once they see the content on the page, your page will not fare well in search results.

So, your goal is to stay away from clickbait-y title tags and meta descriptions and make them click-worthy.

The first thing to focus on is the length. Google only gives you a certain amount of space to make your pitch.

There are many tools you can use for this, but I prefer Mangools’s SERP Simulator:

It allows you to play around with your URL, title tag, and meta description and to watch in real-time as it fits the allotted space. You can also compare it to the pages that currently rank for the keyword you’re going after, which can be a really useful reference point. After all, if those sites have made it to the first SERP, then they’re doing something right.

Another thing to think about when writing click-worthy titles is how engaging they are.

The tool I recommend for this is CoSchedule’s Headline Studio:

I don’t find this useful so much for basic web pages. You don’t need to get creative with something like your About or Contact pages. But for content marketing? If you want to beat out competing articles for attention in Google, this tool will be very useful.

10. Choose One Focus Keyword Per Page

It’s not as though you can add a keyword tag to your page, and Google will automatically rank your site for it. That’s not what keyword optimization is.

Instead, what you do is select one unique keyword per page and write the content around it. So, it’s really more about creating a clear focus for yourself and then comprehensively unpacking the subject matter on the page.

Keep in mind, though, that if you want to improve your chances of ranking for the keyword, it needs to be relevant to your brand, useful for your audience, and your site needs to actually be able to compete for it.

You can use the Google Keyword Planner to find keywords that fit those criteria:

Ultimately, you should choose a keyword that:

  • Has a decent amount of monthly searches — over 1,000 is what I aim for;
  • Have “Low” to “Medium” amount of competition, but the lower, the better;
  • Matches the user intent. So take that keyword, put it into Google and see what you find. Then, look at the sites on that first page of search results. Do they match what your own page will address? If so, then you’ve found a keyword that aligns with your users’ search intent.

Now, if you’re writing great content that addresses your visitors’ questions and concerns, then optimizing for your focus keywords will happen naturally. The same goes for related keywords you might want to target. As you write the content for each page, the keywords will organically appear.

But remember how I said Google’s indexing bots need certain HTML and header tags to “read” the content on the page? This means you’ll need to include the focus keyword in some of those areas, so there is no question about what the page is about.

Here’s where your focus keyword should show up:

  • Title tag (H1);
  • Meta description;
  • Slug (hyperlink);
  • Within the intro;
  • The first H2 header tag;
  • Alt text for the most important image on the page;
  • Within the conclusion.

It should also appear throughout the page, along with variations of the keyword that people might search for.

You can use the Yoast SEO plugin to analyze this as well.

11. Improve Your Internal Link Strategy

Okay, so here’s where we start to get into SEO strategies that Google might not directly care about, but that can still drastically improve how well your site ranks.

Internal links, in particular, are valuable because they create an interconnected structure for your site. Here’s a basic example of why that’s important:

Let’s say these are the pages on your website. Each of them can be accessed from the home page and main navigation. This structure tells us that each page is related to the overall message and mission of the company, but they are not related to one another. And that doesn’t make sense, right?

When you’re educating visitors on your Web Design services, it’s naturally going to come up that you also happen to specialize in WordPress and eCommerce design. So, those internal links should appear on your Web Design page. And vice versa.

In addition, your Portfolio and Contact Us pages are likely going to be the most common CTAs on the site. Your prospective clients shouldn’t be forced to backtrack to the homepage or scroll up to the navigation to take action. By including these internal links or buttons within the content of the services pages, you’re giving them a quick and direct line to the next steps.

The more intuitive you make the user journey, the easier it will be for them to convert.

This is one reason why websites with a strong internal linking structure perform well in search results. Another reason is that internal links help Google’s bots find all of the content on your site and better understand how they relate to one another.

12. Use Only Trustworthy External Links

Link juice is one of the reasons why business owners are obsessed with getting backlinks. We’ll get to that shortly.

But it’s also something that comes into play when choosing external links to include on your site.

Link juice is the idea that one site can pass its authority to another through a dofollow link. So, by linking out to authoritative and trustworthy sources, your site may raise its own clout with the search engines because of that connection.

However, it works both ways. If you create external links to websites with misinformation that pose a security threat to visitors or are otherwise untrustworthy, that bad reputation can do your website harm.

So, make sure that every external link you use is necessary and reliable. If not, get rid of it.

13. Get Your Site Listed As a Featured Snippet

I said earlier in this post that pay-per-click advertising is the only way to shortcut the SEO process and get on the first page of Google. That’s not entirely true.

We’ve already seen how optimizing your images for Google Images search can shoot your site to the top of results. Another way to get ahead is by optimizing your page using structured data to land a spot as a featured snippet.

Like this page from Bankrate that answers the question “how do you get a loan”:

Remember that structured data alone won’t instantly move your web page into the featured snippet space. The content needs to be the best it can be, and the structured data needs to be well written.

Schema.org was created to help you pick the right category and write the structured data for it:

Use this to write up the relevant microdata for the pages to make the most sense to do so. For instance, an About page probably wouldn’t benefit from having structured data attached to it. However, a lengthy blog post that explains a step-by-step process would.

There are WordPress plugins (Yoast is one of them) that will help you insert this code into your pages if you prefer.

14. Get High-Quality Backlinks

Backlinks pointing to your website are a huge indicator to Google that your site is share-worthy and authoritative.

However, like everything else in SEO, you can’t cheat your way into a bunch of backlinks. They need to come from authoritative sources, and they need to be relevant. That’s why paying or bartering for backlinks isn’t usually effective. If your web page’s backlink doesn’t organically fit within the content on their site, visitors aren’t going to click on it.

There are lots of ways to go about building up a repository of backlinks that do generate authority for you and improve your SEO ranking in the process:

Get active on social media and become an authority there: The rule is generally that 80% of your posts need to be non-promotional. By sharing content from all kinds of sources that are relevant to your audience, you’re going to get more meaningful engagement. And this’ll eventually put the spotlight on your own content and get people to share it on social media, too.

This is something that Google will look at when ranking your site: What sort of social signals are coming from your brand?

Get featured as an expert: You don’t need to become an influencer for people to view you as an expert in your field. It’s all about your reputation.

By leveraging your reputation to get speaking gigs, you’ll grow your authority even more. Just make sure they’re relevant to what you do. So, look for podcasts, webinars, and conferences in your field that are looking for experts.

Become a guest blogger: If public speaking isn’t your forte, that’s okay. Turn your attention instead to lining up guest blogging gigs.

By writing high-quality content for authoritative websites (whether you get paid or not), you’ll bring more attention to your own brand. And Google will pass that authority onto your site.

15. Create a Google My Business Page

Any business can create a Google My Business page. There are a number of SEO-related benefits to doing this.

The first is that local businesses can literally put themselves on the map with Google My Business. Here’s what a Google search for “restaurants near me” looks like:

Even if your site doesn’t appear on the first SERP, the map that sits at the top of search results can give you a front seat anyway.

Another reason to create a My Business page is that you get to control your knowledge graph sidebar, like Ford’s Garage does here:

By including high-quality graphics, pertinent details about the business, and collecting positive customer reviews, this knowledge graph could do your brand’s reputation a lot of good in the eyes of Google and your prospects.

16. Refresh Your Content

This is useful for all of the content on your site, even your most high-performing pages.

If your site is starting to gain traction, take a close look at your Google Analytics data. You may find a few pages that no one seems to be paying attention to or, worse, that they always seem to bounce from.

In Google Analytics, go to Behavior > Site Content to figure out which pages are underperforming.

Then, ask yourself:

  1. Is this page even a necessary part of the user journey? If not, you can probably scrap it and have one less distraction on your site.
  2. If this page is necessary, what do you need to do to make it more valuable and relevant to your audience?

With the most popular pages on your site, it’s not unreasonable to expect that at least part of what you originally wrote will go stale or become irrelevant within a year or two. So, it’s a good idea to refresh these as well.

To do that, it’s simple. Do a search in Google for your focus keyword. Read through the top five results and see what sort of information your post is missing. Then update it accordingly.

Anything outdated or irrelevant should also be stripped out.

17. Regularly Monitor Google Search Console

Last but not least, you should keep your eyes on Google Search Console.

There’s a lot of valuable information in here that will tell you why your site might not be ranking as well as it could. You’ll find issues related to:

  • Indexing
  • Mobile usability
  • Security
  • Core Web Vitals

You’ll also find data on how well your site is ranking in general. You’ll find this under the Performance tab:

Use this to identify:

  • Which keywords you’re ranking for and are driving traffic to your site;
  • Which keywords you’re getting the most impressions from but not getting clicks from;
  • Which keywords you’re getting the most clicks from but not a lot of impressions;
  • Which keywords you rank low for and could stand to improve upon.

You can learn a lot about how strong your SEO strategy is. Just use the Clicks, Impressions, and Position tabs to sort your data so you can better understand what’s going on.

Then, prioritize fixing the pages that can and should be bringing your site highly qualified traffic but aren’t.


If you’re wondering how long it’ll take before you see an improvement in your SEO ranking, it depends. If your domain’s current authority is low, it can realistically take about six months to see major changes. That said, if you implement all of the suggestions above, you can certainly expedite that.

Just remember that there are no real shortcuts in SEO. You need to have an authoritative and trustworthy website and brand before anything else. So, take the time to build your credibility online so that these SEO tactics can really work.


The post 17 Things You Can Do To Improve Your SEO Ranking In 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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It’s fair to say that AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a controversial topic among web developers.

AMP is a Google-guided technology that strips down web pages to a limited sub-set of tags to serve pages faster. It was developed as a web-based rival to native news apps from vendors like Apple.

The controversy first arose when it was clear how much influence Google had over the conventions, essentially creating a tiered Web overseen by a single entity. The clamor didn’t calm when it became clear that Google prioritized AMP pages for mobile search results. Developers were left in a difficult position: stand by best practices supporting a platform-agnostic Web, or do what’s right for their clients by building the most competitive mobile site possible.

But that was 2015, six years is a lifetime for a web technology, and things are about to change.

Hidden among the announcements about the much-delayed Core Web Vitals update — it’s finally rolling out, a year after originally planned, but don’t expect to see much impact until the end of August — is the news that Google mobile search will no longer prioritize AMP pages.

Beginning immediately (from the 17th June onwards) and completing sometime before the end of August, AMP will cease to be a factor in mobile site ranking. The AMP badge on mobile search results will disappear, and AMP is not required to have your site included on Google’s news app.

This significant move is due to the fact that the Core Web Vitals update from Google will expect the same speed and usability as AMP from non-AMP pages. Google still expects the same optimized user experience; it simply isn’t offering a cheat sheet on how to achieve it.

You can continue to use AMP, but there’s no automatic benefit to doing so, and the housekeeping involved in maintaining multiple front-ends means it’s far simpler to optimize your base site. Without a solid purpose, AMP ceases to fill a need. And just like that, one of the most controversial technologies of recent years slips away.

Featured image via Unsplash.


The post Poll: Is AMP Dead, and Do We Care? first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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For many, SEO is more of an art than a science, a mysterious process in which a tiny tweak to a site’s code can propel it to page one of Google or send it plummeting to the depths of page 50.

Myths abound, but the answers are readily available if you know where to look. How much do you know about SEO? Let’s find out!


The post Quiz: How Much Do You Know About SEO? first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

You’ve named your business. You’ve sorted out the visual branding piece. Now, it’s time to get your business online so you can start making money.

In this post, we’re going to look at where your web design business needs to set up shop online and how to get it up and running quickly.

Step 1: Set Up Your Website

As a web designer or developer, having a website is non-negotiable.

Not only does a website provide prospective clients with all the information they need about you, it can help you automate many of those annoying tasks that get in the way of your actual paid work.

So, let’s start here:

Buy Your Domain Name

If you haven’t done so already, use the business name generator exercise to come up with a domain name. You then have a couple of options for buying it.

To Do:

  • Buy it from a domain name provider like GoDaddy or Domain.com;
  • Or buy it from your web hosting company;
  • Check the next step to see which option makes the most sense for you.

Choose a CMS

Use the same CMS as the one you’ll use to build your clients’ sites. That way, clients don’t wonder why you’d use something like Squarespace for your site, but then recommend WordPress for theirs, for example.

To Do:

  • If you use a self-hosted CMS (like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla), hold on this until you purchase your web hosting;
  • If you use a hosted CMS (like Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify), you won’t need to do the next step. Instead, just sign up for your website builder and buy your domain name now.

Buy Your Web Hosting

If you’re wondering what the difference is between the various types of web hosting, read this post.

Basically, this is what you’re looking for:

  • A hosting company with a good reputation that provides expert and timely support;
  • An affordable starter plan — either shared or cloud hosting;
  • Server locations near you (at the very least, in the same country as you);
  • Top-notch security features at the server level as well as the physical hosting facility;
  • Caching and other speed optimizations built into the server and on-site equipment;
  • Compatibility with your CMS (look for one-click install, too).

Also, look for add-ons like SSL certificates, CDNs, and, of course, a free domain name.

To Do:

  • Sign up for the hosting plan you want along with your domain name and SSL certificate (this is a must for SEO);
  • Install your CMS from the control panel once you’re ready to go.

Build Your Website

Ultimately, you have two goals here:

  1. To build a website that convinces prospective clients that you’re the real deal;
  2. To build a website that prospects would want for themselves.

So, there’s no need to go crazy with outlandish features or futuristic animations and design. Keep it simple. Keep it neat. And give prospects an honest portrayal of who you are, and what you can do for them.

Design It

The first thing to do is take all that work you did to create your visual branding and use it to design your website.

If you’re building a WordPress website, consider starting with one of these multipurpose themes.

Build Out the Pages You Need

A theme will automatically create the pages you need (most of them, anyway). If you’re not sure which ones to start with, these are the ones your prospects are going to be looking for:

You may also want to add separate pages for Testimonials and Case Studies once you’ve accumulated enough of them to show off. For now, you can include samples of your work in the Portfolio page and testimonials on the Home page.

Fill in the Content

Even if writing isn’t your strong suit, that’s okay. So long as the content you write for your site is free of spelling and grammar errors, your prospective clients are going to focus on what you’re telling them, not on how proficient a writer you are.

That said, if you’re nervous about this piece of your website, here are some tips to help you out:

1. Be concise, it’s not just minimal design that goes over well with modern audiences. Minimal copy does, too.

2. Be transparent. Tell prospects what exactly they can expect when they work with you and why your web design services are going to be different from the competition.

3. Consumers don’t trust companies that use meaningless buzzwords and make empty claims. Instead, focus on writing about the real and very competitive skills you have. According to research from NIDO Student, these are the skills employers look for when hiring a designer:

4. Let your images tell some of the story for you. Just make sure you use (or create) images that will impress your audience.

5. After you’ve written your content, take a step back and tackle the structure and formatting from a designer’s POV.

6. Before you hit the “Publish” button, run your copy through Hemingway Editor to ensure your content is error-free.

Add the Right Features

When I talk about features, I’m referring to anything outside the main design and content on your website. These are usually sales and marketing tools like:

  • Chatbot/live chat
  • Contact forms
  • Pop-ups or notification banners
  • Discovery call scheduler
  • Cookies consent notice

Only add the features you absolutely need. In other words, the features that will automate the marketing and sales tasks you’d otherwise have to manage on your own.

Step 2: Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very important part of the work you do to get your business online. Here’s why:

After you launch your business and website, the next thing you’re going to focus on is getting clients. This can take a lot of work as you pore over the following resources for referrals and leads:

  • Your existing contact list (i.e. family, friends, old employers, colleagues, etc.);
  • Freelance job boards;
  • Industry-specific job boards;
  • Social media posts, pages, and groups;
  • Google search results for “we’re hiring”;
  • And so on…

And when you’re not busy cold-emailing prospective clients or talking to them on the phone, you’re probably going to be working on your business’ processes. Running a business is very time-consuming.

So, what happens when you finally start working on website projects? It’s not like the client search ends there. It’s an ongoing thing. Which is why your website needs to be optimized for search.

Once your site gets indexed by Google and starts to generate authority, your pages will rank better and the increased visibility will start generating leads without you having to actively make the first move.

SEO is a huge topic, so I’m not going to cover it here. However, the links below will do a good job of guiding you towards your next steps.

To Do:

Step 3: Get Active on Social Media

Your website is going to play a lot of roles:

  • Digital business card;
  • Authority builder;
  • Marketing vehicle;
  • Sales platform;
  • Content marketer.

But there’s one very critical thing it can’t do and that’s directly converse with your audience and grow your network. This is why you need to spend time building out your social media once your website is good to go.

As for which social media platforms to use (as there are way too many), here are my thoughts:

Become an authority on Twitter.

Twitter is a good place to share daily thoughts and interesting content you’ve found on the web.

Get discovered on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is useful because it’s another place to get noticed by potential employers, so make sure your relevant work experience and portfolio are up-to-date.

Connect with other creatives on Facebook.

It’s really hard to get noticed on Facebook unless you pay to play. Instead, use it to find groups that you can turn to for support, referrals, and brainstorming.

Share your work on Dribbble.

While you could use Instagram or Pinterest to show off your work, you might get more traction on a design-specific platform like Dribbble. Serve as inspiration for others and potentially get discovered by prospects looking for designers there.

Down the line you might decide to expand your business into recurring revenue opportunities like online courses. In that case, a platform like YouTube would be great. For now, focus your efforts on the main ones above.

To Do:

  • Create your social media accounts;
  • Brand them to match your website — both the visual component as well as the bio;
  • Start sharing content on a regular basis. You can automate sharing with a social media management tool, but remember to log in at least a couple times a week so you can engage with others, too;
  • Be careful not to commit these social media faux pas.


I realize this is a ton of information to throw at you. However, if you want to get your new business online and for it to succeed, you need to maximize the opportunities that are available to you.

I hope this three-part guide to starting a new business has been helpful. If you have any questions on the tips provided along the way, let me know in the comments.


Featured image via Pexels.


Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

Votre nombre d’abonnés risque peut-être de diminuer bientôt sur Twitter. Il est possible que ces comptes n’aient pas cessés de vous suivre, mais qu’ils soient plutôt visés par une nouvelle mesure du réseau social. [Lire la suite]

Source : Pourquoi vous allez perdre des abonnés sur Twitter

A comprehensive and thoughtful SEO strategy is what you would turn to if your goal is to improve your website’s visibility and grow traffic and revenue respectively.

While off-page tactics like link building still remain at the top of the agenda, on-page SEO is no less important in the age of semantic search.

Search engines’ attention has gradually shifted from authority alone toward the quality of the content you provide, its structure, its relevance, and the overall user experience, so taking care of those aspects also plays a major role in succeeding online.

In the past, SEO tags proved to have significant impact on rankings, but now tags are one of the most controversial aspects of on-page SEO, surrounded by debates.

Which tags are obsolete now? Which ones are as crucial as ever?

To answer these questions, it’s important to understand the role of each type of tag and evaluate the impact it may have in terms of user- and search-friendliness.


Whether these are meta tags like title and description, or other tags classifying or organizing the content – the way we use tags and their relative impact on rankings has naturally changed over the years.

As the search engines got smarter at reading and interpreting data, using all kinds of tags in a manipulative manner has become obsolete. However, new tags and new ways of organizing data entered the game, and by changing the approach a bit, one can make great use of both old and new ones.

Let’s dive into the variety of tags and investigate their SEO importance.

Title Tags

A title tag is an HTML attribute from the <header> section that specifies the title of a webpage. It typically appears as a clickable headline in the SERPs and also shows up on social networks and in browsers.

Title tags are meant to provide a clear and comprehensive idea of what the page’s content is about. But do they have a major impact on rankings as they used to for many years?

On the one hand, they are no longer “a cure for all ills,” as explicit keyword stuffing just doesn’t seem to convince Google anymore. On the other hand, well-written optimized titles and higher rankings still do go hand in hand, even though the direct correlation got weaker.

Over the past few years, user behavior factors were being discussed a lot as logical proof of relevance and thus a ranking signal – even Google representatives admit its impact here and there.

The page’s title still is the first thing for a searcher to see in SERPs and decide if the page is likely to answer the search intent. A well-written one may increase the number of clicks and traffic, which have at least some impact on rankings.

A simple experiment can also show that Google no longer needs your title tag to include an exact match keyword to know the topic the page covers.

For instance, if you search for [how to build brand awareness] on Google, you’ll only see one result (Position 7) in the top 10 with the exact match phrase in the title:

how-to-build-brand-awareness Google SERP

This shows how search engines are getting more powerful in reading and understanding the content and the context rather than relying on keyword instances alone.

You can see how the title isn’t the cure-all, but is a crucial piece of the puzzle that proves your page is relevant and rank-worthy.

Search engines are now taking a more comprehensive picture into account, and tend to evaluate page’s content as a whole, but the cover of a book still matters – especially when it comes to interaction with searchers.

Following best SEO practices, you should:

  • Give each page a unique title that describes the page’s content concisely and accurately.
  • Keep the titles up to 50-60 characters long (for them not to get truncated in the SERPs).
  • Put important keywords first, but in a natural manner, as if you write titles for your visitors in the first place.
  • Make use of your brand name in titles.

Meta Description Tags

Meta description is another paragraph of text placed in the <header> of a webpage and commonly displayed in a SERP snippet along with a title and page URL. The purpose of a meta description is to reflect the essence of a page, but with more details and context.

It’s no secret that meta description hasn’t been an official ranking factor for almost a decade now. However, the importance of meta description tags lies close together with title tag, as it impacts the interaction of a searcher with your site.

  • The description occupies the largest part of a SERP snippet and is a great opportunity to invite searchers to click on your site by promising a clear and comprehensive solution to their query.
  • The description impacts the amount of clicks you get, and may also improve CTR and decrease bounce rates, if the pages’ content indeed fulfills the promises. That’s why the description must be as realistic as it is inviting and distinctly reflect the content.

Surely, no description can perfectly match absolutely all queries you may rank for.

Your meta description can be any length you want. But Google typically only shows around 160 characters in the SERPs – and the snippet Google uses for your site may not be the meta description you’ve written, depending on the query.

Following best SEO practices, you should:

  • Give each page a unique meta description that clearly reflects what value the page carries.
  • Google’s snippets typically max out around 150-160 characters (including spaces).
  • Include your most significant keywords, but don’t overuse them. Write for people.
  • Optionally, use an eye-catchy call-to-action, a unique proposition you offer or additional hints on what to expect – ‘Learn’, ‘Buy’ constructions, etc.

Heading Tags (H1-H6)

Heading tags are HTML tags used to identify headings and subheadings within your content from other types of text (e.g., paragraph text).

The hierarchy goes from H1-H6, historically in a sense of “importance.” H1 is the main heading of a page (visible to users unlike meta title), and the most prominent tag showing what the page is about. H2-H6 are optional tags to organize the content in a way that’s easy to navigate.

The usage of heading tags these days is a source of some debate. While H2-H6 tags are considered not as important to search engines, proper usage of H1 tag has been emphasized in many industry studies. Apart from that, clumsy usage of H1s may keep a site from major rankings and traffic improvements.

Utilizing the heading tags certainly adds up to the architecture of the content.

  • For search engines, it’s easier to read and understand the well-organized content than to crawl through structural issues.
  • For users, headings are like anchors in a wall of text, navigating them through the page and making it easier to digest.

Both these factors raise the importance of careful optimization, where small details add up to the big SEO- and user-friendly picture and can lead to ranking increases.

Following best SEO practices, you should:

  • Give each page a unique H1 reflecting the topic the page covers, using your primary keywords in it.
  • Use H2-H6 tags where appropriate (normally, there’s no need to go further than H3), using secondary keywords relevant to each paragraph.
  • Don’t overuse the tags and the keywords in them. Keep it readable for users.

Italic/Bold Tags

Italic and bold tags can be used to highlight most important parts of the content and to add a semantic emphasis on certain words.

In terms of SEO, it is commonly being said that bots may appreciate such little tweaks, but won’t care too much really.

Thereby, these are not crucial kinds of tags to utilize, yet again they may improve readability and user experience, and this will never hurt – bots tend to appreciate what’s appreciated by searchers.

Following best SEO practices, you should:

  • Only use these tags where it really makes sense. Steer clear of excessive use.
  • Scan a piece of content as a whole, to make sure it isn’t overloaded with accents and is comfortable to read and digest.

Meta Keywords Tags

At the beginning of the optimization race, meta keywords used to be small snippets of text only visible in the code, that were supposed to tell the search engines what topics the page relates to.

Naturally, over the years the tag turned into a breeding ground for spamming and stuffing, instead of honestly optimizing the content.

Now, it’s a well-known fact that Google ignores meta keywords completely – they neither impact the rankings, nor would cause a penalty if you stuff it up.

Bottom line: meta keywords are pretty much obsolete and not worth wasting too much of your time on.

Following best SEO practices, you should:

Image Alt Tags

The image alt tag is an HTML attribute added to an image tag to describe its contents. Alt tags are important in terms of on-page optimization for two reasons:

  • Alt text is displayed to visitors if any particular image cannot be loaded (or if the images are disabled).
  • Alt tags provide context, because search engines can’t “see” images.

For ecommerce sites, images often have crucial impact on how a visitor interacts with a page.

Google also says it outright: helping search engines understand what the images are about and how they go with the rest of the content may help them serve a page for suitable search queries.

Additionally, a clear and relevant description digestible for search engines raises your chances to appear among Google Images results.

Following best SEO practices, you should:

  • Do your best to optimize most prominent images (product images, infographics, or training images), images that are likely to be looked up in Google Images search.
  • Add alt text on pages where there’s not too much content apart from the images.
  • Keep the alt text brief and clear, use your keywords reasonably and make sure they fit naturally into the whole canvas of page’s content.

Nofollow Link Tags

External/outbound links are the links on your site pointing to other sites. Naturally, these are used to refer to proven sources, point people towards other useful resources, or mention a relevant site for some other reason.

These links matter a lot for SEO: they can make your content look like a hand-crafted comprehensive piece backed up by reliable sources, or like a link dump with not so much valuable content.

Google’s well-known for its severe antipathy to any manipulative linking tactics, sticking to which can cause a penalty, and it doesn’t get any less smart at detecting those.

Apart from that, in the age of semantic search, Google may treat the sources you refer to as the context, to better understand the content on your page. For both these reasons, it’s definitely worth paying attention to where you link, and how.

By default, all hyperlinks are dofollow, and when you place a dofollow link on your site, you basically ‘cast a vote of confidence’ to the linked page.

When you add a nofollow attribute to a link, it instructs search engines’ bots not to follow the link (and not to pass any link equity). Keeping your SEO neat, you would preserve a healthy balance between follow and nofollow links on your pages, but would normally set the following kinds of links to nofollow:

  • Links to any resources that in any way can be considered as “untrusted content.”
  • Any paid or sponsored links (you wouldn’t want Google to catch you selling your “vote”).
  • Links from comments or other kinds of user-generated content which can be spammed beyond your control.
  • Internal “Sign in” and “Register” links following, which is just a waste of crawl budget.

Robots Tags

A page-level noindex tag is an HTML element that instructs the search engines not to index given page. A nofollow tag instructs not to follow any links on that page.

While these tags don’t correlate with rankings directly, in some cases they may have some impact on how your site looks in the eyes of search engines overall.

For instance, Google highly dislikes thin content. You may not generate it intentionally, but happen to have some pages with little value for users, but necessary to have on the site for some reason.

You may also have “draft” or placeholder pages that you need to publish while they are not yet finished or optimized to their best. You probably wouldn’t want such pages to be taken into account while evaluating the overall quality of your site.

In some other cases, you may want certain pages to stay out of SERPs as they feature some kind of special deal that is supposed to be accessible by a direct link only (e.g., from a newsletter).

Finally, if you have a sitewide search option, Google recommends to close custom results pages, which can be crawled indefinitely and waste bot’s resources on no unique content.

In the above cases, noindex and nofollow tags are of great help, as they give you certain control over your site as it’s seen by the search engines.

Following best SEO practices, you should:

  • Close unnecessary/unfinished pages with thin content that have little value and no intent to appear in the SERPs.
  • Close pages that unreasonably waste crawl budget.
  • Make sure carefully you don’t mistakenly restrict important pages from indexing.

Canonical Tags

Canonical tag (rel=”canonical”) is a way of telling search engines which version of a page you consider the main one and would like to be indexed by search engines and found by people.

It’s commonly used in cases when the same page is available under multiple different URLs, or multiple different pages have very similar content covering the same subject.

Internal duplicate content is not treated as strictly as copied content, as there’s usually no manipulative intent behind it. Yet this may become a source of confusion to search engines: unless you indicate which URL is the one you prefer to rank with, search engines may choose it for you.

The selected URL gets crawled more frequently, while the others are being left behind. You can see that while there’s almost no penalty risk, such state of affairs is far not optimal.

Another benefit is that canonicalizing a page makes it easier to track performance stats associated with the content.

John Mueller also mentions that using a rel=canonical for duplicate content helps Google consolidate all your efforts and pass the link signals from all the page’s versions to the preferred one. That is where using the canonical tag may help you steer the SEO effort in one direction.

Following best SEO practices, you should canonicalize:

  • Pages with similar content on the same subject.
  • Duplicate pages available under multiple URLs.
  • Versions of the same page with session IDs or other URL Parameters that do not affect the content.

Schema Markup

Schema markup is a shared markup vocabulary recognized by search engines, letting you organize data in a logical way. It has been on everyone’s lips lately as one of the most underrated tweaks.

A “semantic web” is a “meaningful web,” where the focus shifts from keywords instances and backlinks alone to concepts behind them and relationships between those concepts. Structured data markup is exactly what helps search engines to not only read the content but also understand what certain words relate to.

The SERPs have evolved so much that you may not even need to click through the results to get an answer to your query. But if one is about to click, a rich snippet with a nice pic, a 5-star rating, specified price-range, stock status, operating hours or whatever is useful – is very likely to catch an eye and attract more clicks than a plain-text result.

Assigning schema tags to certain page elements makes your SERP snippet rich on information that is helpful and appealing for users. And, back to square one, user behavior factors like CTR and bounce rate add up to how search engines decide to rank your site.

Following best SEO practices, you would:

  • Study available schemas on schema.org.
  • Create a map of your most important pages and decide on the concepts relevant to each.
  • Implement the markup carefully (using Structured Data Markup Helper if needed).
  • Thoroughly test the markup to make sure it isn’t misleading or added improperly.

Social Media Meta Tags

Open Graph was initially introduced by Facebook to let you control how a page would look when shared on social media. It is now recognized by Google+ and LinkedIn as well. Twitter cards offer similar enhancements, but are exclusively to Twitter.

By using these social media meta tags, you can provide a bit more information about your page to social networks. By enhancing the appearance, you make the shared page look more professional and inviting, and increase the likelihood of clicking on it and sharing it further. This is not a crucial tweak, but it’s an absolutely nothing-to-lose one, with a couple of potential benefits.

To ensure your pages look good when shared across social media platforms, you would:

Viewport Meta Tag

Viewport meta tag allows you to configure how a page would be scaled and displayed on any device. Commonly, the tag and the value would look as follows:

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>

Where “width=device-width” will make the page match the screen’s width in device-independent pixels, and “initial scale=1” will establish a 1:1 relationship between CSS pixels and device-independent pixels, taking screen orientation into account.

This tag is a no-brainer to add, but one screenshot from Google is enough to show the difference it makes:

Viewport meta tag has nothing to do with rankings directly but has a tone to do with the user experience, especially considering the variety of devices that are being used nowadays and the noticeable shift to mobile browsing.

Same way as many of the above tags and tweaks, taking care of it will be appreciated by users (or, more likely, not taking care of it will be depreciated), and your CTR and bounce rates shall reflect the small efforts you make accordingly.


To get most of your on-page strategy, don’t neglect the small tweaks that add up to the big picture.

As for now, some tags are still must-have as they make up the taxonomy of your page; others are not vital, but can let you be one rich snippet ahead of competitors who just didn’t bother.

Small changes that improve user experience and help search engines understand your site better will be appreciated by both sides, and will definitely pay off in the long run.

More SEO Resources:

Image Credit

Screenshot taken by author (from Google Developers), June 2018

By Search Engine Journal Source : https://ift.tt/2sNS4GJ

social media researchWelcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media.

On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Instagram announcing how their news feed algorithm works with Jeff Sieh, Facebook Watch news shows, and more breaking social media marketing news of the week!

Watch the Social Media Marketing Talk Show

If you’re new to the show, click on the green “Watch replay” button below and sign in or register to watch our latest episode from Friday, June 8, 2018. You can also listen to the show as an audio podcast, found on iTunes/Apple Podcast, Android, Google Play, Stitcher, and RSS.

For this week’s top stories, you’ll find timestamps below that allow you to fast-forward in the replay above.

Instagram Shares Ranking Criteria for Algorithm: Instagram shared which factors are weighed by its algorithm before a post appears in a user’s personal feed. TechCrunch reports that three main considerations that determine what you see in your Instagram feed are interest, recency, and relationship. Instagram also addressed several “myths” about how it ranks content. (3:50)

Instagram Prepares for Long-Form Videos and Snapchat Discover-Style Video Hub: The Wall Street Journal reports Instagram is preparing to launch long-form video, which could allow videos of up to an hour long. It’s speculated that Instagram will initially expand this update to vertical videos exclusively. Neither Instagram nor Facebook has confirmed any details about this move. Until now, Instagram limited video posts to 1 minute and stories to 15 seconds. (24:34)

A follow-up report from TechCrunch suggests that Instagram may not just be exploring long-form video. It might be preparing to unveil a long-form video hub that will be similar to Snapchat Discover. The company is meeting with popular social media stars and content publishers to find out how their video channels elsewhere would work within its app and there’s a chance this opportunity could eventually be monetized. An official announcement from Instagram is expected on June 20. (25:34)

Instagram Introduces @mention Sharing for Stories: Instagram added one of its most frequently requested features to Stories; the ability to re-share a post from friends. Now, when another user mentions your username in their Instagram Story, you will be able to share that photo or video to your own Story for a 24-hour period. Instagram notes that only public accounts are eligible to have stories shared in this manner. (31:42)

Instagram added one of its most-requested features to Stories, the ability to re-share a post from friends.

Facebook Watch Introduces First Funded News Shows: Facebook announced the first slate of funded news shows for Facebook Watch. The lineup includes news shows from traditional broadcast channels such as CNN, Fox News, ABC News, and Univision, as well as digital publishers like Advance Local, ATTN:, and Mic. Shows from these publishers will debut later this summer and are expected to feature “a mix of daily briefings, weekly deep dives, and live breaking news coverage.” Facebook plans to announce additional shows “in the coming weeks.” (37:50)

News on Facebook Watch

Stay up to date with news on Facebook Watch.
Introducing new shows with breaking news, daily briefings, quality coverage and much more.

Posted by Facebook Watch on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Facebook Debuts Lip Sync Live and Other Music Features: Facebook is testing Lip Sync Live, a new feature designed to let users pick a popular song and pretend to sing it on a Facebook Live broadcast. Users can also add a description and customize their video with masks or a background. When broadcasting with Lip Sync Live, friends will see the artist and song highlighted in the video and can tap to follow the artist on Facebook. Engadget notes that Lip Sync Live is being tested in a handful of markets now, but the company plans to make it available worldwide over time. (43:15)

Facebook is testing Lip Sync Live, a new feature designed to let users pick a popular song and pretend to sing it on a Facebook Live broadcast.

Facebook also announced that it’s working in partnership with the music industry to enable people around the world to include copyrighted music in their Facebook videos. Facebook is currently testing this feature in several markets and “look[s] forward to making it available more broadly soon.”

Apple Rolls Out Memojis, Group FaceTime Video Calls, and Digital Wellness: Apple kicked off its annual developer conference, WWDC 2018, by announcing several updates to all of its major operating systems. Along with debuting iOS 12 and big updates to its augmented reality platform, Apple also introduced Memojis to compete with popular Bitmojis, group video calling with up to 32 people on FaceTime, and a new digital wellness program for better managing screen time.

Apple Expands Advertising Business With New Network for Apps: MarketWatch reports that Apple is expanding its growing advertising business with a new ad network for apps. Businesses will be able to sell promotional ads for search terms in the App Store and share the revenue with the apps displaying the ads.

Newest Apple iOS and macOS Will Block Unauthorized Data Collection and Social Media Buttons: At WWDC 2018, Apple also announced that the newest edition of the iOS and the macOS will offer security features to alert users when Facebook or other apps seek to collect data on them. It will block social media Like or Share buttons and comment widgets from tracking users without permission.

Facebook Monetizes Marketplace With Ads and Boosted Listings: Businesses can now run product ads that will appear alongside other products and services in Facebook Marketplace and “reach people where they’re actively shopping.” Facebook has been testing these new ad placements with select brands and reports seeing increased purchases and year-over-year returns on ad spend. Over the next few weeks, all advertisers targeting audiences in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will be able to run Marketplace ads using the traffic, conversions, product catalog, video views, and reach objectives.

Businesses can now run product ads that will appear alongside other products and services in Facebook Marketplace and reach people where they’re actively shopping.

TechCrunch reports that in addition to running product ads in Marketplace, Facebook is also testing the option for regular users to “boost” their Marketplace listings to more people through the news feed. Ad buyers simply set a budget and end date for boosting their listing. The article notes that “no additional targeting options beyond being shown to age 18+ users in nearby zip codes” are currently available.

Facebook Introduces Bidding for In-App Ads: Facebook Audience Network announced that it now supports bidding for in-app advertising. Within this new system, ad networks will engage in real-time bidding among themselves to compete for the available ad impressions. The ads from the network willing to pay the most for placement within a publisher’s app will be served.

Facebook Expands Non-Profit Giving Tools to More Pages: Facebook initially rolled out charitable giving tools to help non-profit causes and organizations gather funds and support through the platform. The company expanded these tools to personal users and certain Live broadcasters last year and has now brought them to brand and public figure pages as well. Facebook also made it possible for users to invite up to three friends to organize and manage a fundraiser together, which helps expand their network of supporters.

Facebook pages for brands and public figures can now use Facebook’s fundraisers to raise money for nonprofit causes, and nonprofit organizations can do the same on their own pages.

Other Social Media Marketing News

LinkedIn Adds Estimated Commute Times to Job Listings: LinkedIn members can now view the estimated commute times “on a typical work day” from their device’s current location to jobs posted on LinkedIn. Users can adjust the times, mode of transportation, and starting location and save their address information locally for ease of use. This feature is gradually rolling out to members globally and is currently only available on the LinkedIn mobile app.

LinkedIn members can now view the estimated commute times on a typical work day from their device's current location to jobs posted on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Enables Editing for Profile Posts: Last month, LinkedIn quietly shared an article on its Help page detailing how members can edit the text in posts shared on their personal LinkedIn profiles. This feature is available on the web and in the iOS and Android apps. The company notes that the ability to edit text posted to groups or company pages isn’t available at this time.

Facebook Tests Page Post Templates: Facebook appears to be testing customizable templates that allow admins “to easily create a great post” on their pages. It offers a few basic content and topic suggestions for page posts, but not much else at the moment. This new tool was discovered by Catherine Daar of Daar Communication and shared by Matt Navarra via Twitter.

Facebook Launches Create Button for Desktop: Facebook appears to have rolled out a new menu button found on the top navigation bar that allows users to quickly and easily create a page, ad, group, and more. This possible new feature was spotted on Facebook’s desktop site by Michael Stelzner, as well as one of our Society members, Ben M. Roberts.

Facebook appears to have rolled out a new menu button on the top navigation bar that allows users to quickly and easily create a Page, an ad, a Group, and more.

Facebook Tests New Event Promotion Tools: On last week’s show, we reported that Facebook appears to be testing the option to allow people to ask questions via Facebook Messenger, add a free or paid admission option, and set a ticketing price range when setting up a Facebook event page. This week, two other new Events features were spotted and reported by Matt Navarra. These include an Events Tickets button, which suggests that the site may soon allow admins to sell event tickets via page post.

Facebook may also be experimenting with a new ticket icon found on Events to allow tickets to be purchased via Facebook.

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By Social Media Examiner Source : https://ift.tt/2Jn5rZs