Tag

tips

Browsing

You might be looking for tips and how can you optimize your blog for the search engines friendliness. In this article we are going to present some of the most practical tips that would be helpful for you in a long run.

· Unique interesting and original content

If you have observed some of the most popular blogs on the Internet, then you would notice some similarity between them. The best blogs have one thing in common and that is an interesting content. Reason behind the success of most of the blogs is that those bloggers are genuinely interested in the topic on which they write. At the same time, they also have a first rate knowledge about the content that is being written on the blog.

Some of them might not be grammatically correct but because they are written from heart it reaches hearts and gets connected. In the world of internet, sharing plays a very important role in making blogs popular. If you are looking for a specific type of content on the internet and you come across it, you would naturally like to share it. As your friend circle is going to be more or less like you and like minded, the chances are that they too are going to like your content and they are going to share it and forward it further. In this way, content get circulated and promoted naturally.

· Keyword density and placement of keywords

There is lots of buzz about keyboards and their role in Search Engine Optimization. Although this is a debatable issue, yet, practically, we can understand that whenever we need to search for or certain type of content, we refer to a search engine like Google and type certain words in it. These words are called ‘keywords’ and the result displayed by Google do include these words. Therefore, we can understand that keywords do play a role in Search Engine Optimization.

However, the keyword density and other technicalities would make your natural content fake, artificial and inappropriate. Therefore, the advice regarding keyword would be to use the essential keywords in the titles, main headings and if they look natural, then also in the subheadings. You do not have to worry too much about the keyword density; you just need to ensure that you write a content that is suitable and appropriate. The rest would be done by itself.

· Using external authority links

Another important part of Search Engine Optimization is the links associated with your site. There is no concrete evidence about it, yet, many SEO experts do profess using reputed or authority links like Google, Wikipedia, YouTube etc. on their web page. This is believed to enhance the repetition of the page which indirectly helps in it standings and positions in the search engines. Again, there is no concrete evidence for it, yet there is no harm doing it either, provided that they comes naturally in your content.

· Alternate image tag

This is probably the least talked about or ignored technical aspects of Search Engine Optimization. Many people forgets to tag the images of the blog posts. If you go to Google and search in the images section, the images are search from the keywords that you use for them. These keywords are nothing but the alternate image tags, that were put by you in images uploading during a blog post. So do tag all of your images in future and if possible, try to tag the ones that you have missed out as well!

Welcome to part DOS of the Lazy Internet Marketer’s Guide to Productivity series!

This post is going to cover only a few productivity strategies but these are crucial to your success online- no matter what type of marketing you do. When you apply these simple guidelines, you actually GET STUFF DONE and as a result, see money flow into your bank account.

And when you DON’T apply these (or just ignorant of these concepts), you’re at the whim of every distraction and ” new shiny object” (*cough cough new WSOs*) that comes your way.

Let me ask you a quick question – when you first started this whole make money online thing, did you set an income goal?

For me, my first goal was to make $3k a month… and it took a few years to reach that goal. The turning point wasn’t when I discovered some new crazy traffic method. It was when I learned how to get FOCUSED and make the best use of my time. I think a lot of successful internet marketers out there will agree with me.

It’s a really rewarding feeling to actually reach the income goals you set out for yourself, especially if you’ve been struggling for a long time. On the other hand, when you’re not where you want to be financially, it’s kind weird and awkward when your friends and family ask you how your “internet thing” is going and you’re not sure how to answer.

Think about how great it would be to look at yourself in the mirror and say, YES I did it! I reached my financial goal! Instead of, oh man… another failed attempt.

This post is going to put you in that first category

Essential Productivity Habits Part Two

So last time we talked about to-do lists and flow state. The two additional productivity habits are the following

1. Workspace management – clear your workspace of ALL non essentials. Get rid of anything that doesn’t help you make money online. This means you need to throw away any food or drinks you have lying around, remove any books, magazines, pieces of paper you don’t need. Shoo away your cat.

My kitten Boo-Boo doing some SEO

Also, turn off your cell phone and TV. Exit out of Facebook and Gmail (block these websites if you have to). Shut the door and tell your family you not to bother you for the next X hours (personally I like working 3 hours in the morning when my minds the most fresh).

Jason Fladlien calls this your “profit hours” where you are COMPLETELY focused on tasks that will make you money.

Eliminating  all distractions and treating your desk as a sacred workspace conditions your brain to start taking your business seriously. It also helps you enter flow state, which I explained in part 1, allowing you to get all your tasks done as efficiently as possible.

2. Set deadlines for each task on your to-do list. Say that your tasks for the day is to write three 500 word articles, install a few plugins and build some backlinks to your homepage. After deciding which one is most important and prioritizing them, you need to set specific amount of time you’ll give yourself to complete each task.You can use either an online timer (http://www.e.ggtimer.com) or actual cooking timer. DO NOT use your cell phone!

This works because of something called Parkinson’s law, which states that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.

This means if you give yourself 2 hours to write a 500 word article, you’ll most likely take the whole 2 hours. If you give your self only 30 minutes, you’ll find a way to get it done in 30 minutes, without sacrificing any significant quality (of course, if we go too extreme, then there will be a bigger difference in quality). So by giving yourself a set deadline, you’ll subconsciously find a way to get it done in that time frame.

But what if you don’t?

Then, give yourself another time frame to finish the task, and set a more accurate time frame next time. You’ll find that by becoming aware of how long it takes you to complete certain tasks, you’ll naturally become faster at finishing them!

The 4 Laws of Internet Marketing Productivity

Here’s a quick recap of the principles we covered from the last blog post and this one…

1. To do list – every night, before you go to bed, make a to-do list. Group them together by things you MUST accomplish, things you can do if you have time and things to do in the near future.

2. Flow state – practice getting into flow state by setting aside a period where you work non-stop with no distractions for at least 30 minutes. Do not stop working and practice for at least 7 days.

3. Workspace management – get rid of anything that doesn’t help you make money online.

4. Set deadlines – Leverage Parkinson’s law by giving yourself realistic time frames to complete each tasks ahead of time.

Action Steps!

My last name ain’t Robbins but I’ll pretend it is for a second :p

Right now, STOP what you’re doing and complete these 2 things:

1, Print out these 4 items or write them down on a Post-it and put it somewhere you can see when you’re working. Look it constantly as a reminder of what you need to be doing in order to stay focused and productive.

2. Also, get another sticky note and write “is this the best use of my time?” and stick it on your computer monitor. Ask yourself this question and if this answer is no, look at your to-do list and switch over to what you need to get done.

Please take the time to do those things- they may sound trivial, but can mean the difference between success and failure!

Your Online Business is Your Baby

Remember that internet marketing is a BUSINESS and you need to treat it like one. If you’ve ever bought a WSO or any other IM product, you have a proven business model you can implement and make money with. The missing piece is just you taking action and staying disciplined and focused.

Your motivation will waiver from time to time and there will be times when you feel like you’ll throw up if you spin another article. But in the end it still comes down to taking action and commitment.

One thing I did that really helped me develop a tenacious resolve to reaching my income goal was making a big promise to my family. My family lives in China and visits from time to time. I made a promise to take them to Disneyland for a week next time they visit. Let’s not forget that Disney isn’t the cheapest amusement park in the US.

I made that promise that to my 13 year old little sister who’s never been to Disneyland in her life.

Wouldn’t it kind of suck if I didn’t keep my promise and let her down?

That’s what drives me to remain focused when I’m working every day and slowly chip away at my internet marketing projects.

Productivity + Focus = Acieving Your Financial Goals

Whewwww! Another post that ended up longer than I had originally intended. Don’t skip over the action steps just because it’s “boring mindset stuff” and not a step by step blueprint for making money (trust me, there will be plenty of future posts on that).

If you put these principles to use you’ll achieve your internet marketing goals– guaranteed! It doesn’t matter if you want to build a 6 figure online business or have a steady stream of passive income coming in, when you get focused and practice these productivity principles, you’ll also feel great about yourself and start succeeding in other areas of your life.

Also, keep in mind that you should only apply these productivity guidelines when you are working on your business (during your profit hours). I assume you’re already dedicating a chunk of time each day to internet marketing. That’s when you want to apply these things.

DO NOT try to be ultra productive during your FREE TIME, like when you’re reading your favorite blog for fum, otherwise you’ll turn some sort of a weird OCD productivity freak :p

Oxymoron?

Would you be surprised if after reading this blog post, you’ll be able to double or even triple your online productivity and make MORE money while having MORE free time by just applying a few simple tweaks?

In today’s fast-paced society, everyone’s looking for ways to become more productive. There are thousands of business books that teach time management strategies, productivity “hacks”, and so on.

As a result, time management and productivity gets wayyy overcomplicated. To the point where some people don’t want to learn these skills.  They fear it will take too much time or be too hard.

I remember reading a 342-page book titled “Master Your Workday Now!” The book basically boiled down to one core tactic: make a to-do list every day and prioritize into 3 categories – Must Get Done, Do if Time, and Due in +2 Weeks.

I wish I read the Cliff Notes version…

But ridiculously simple tips like this, as trivial as they sound, DO work to SKYROCKET both your effectiveness and efficiency.

How to Sell 500% More While Working 900% Less

Here’s an example from my personal experince.

It took me about 3 weeks to finish my very first WSO. 2 weeks of creating the product and 1 week of editing and copywriting before I finally launched it. To this day, it has made $750 in sales.

Fast forward to a few months later, when I was working on Squidoo Cash Storm. This was right after I started studying productivity and time management. It took me less than a DAY to create the product and another DAY to write the sales copy (working roughly 4-5 hours/day).

This WSO has sold over $3,700 in less than 2 weeks!

And it has received way more positive feedback and testimonials than my first one on Facebook marketing, proving that working LESS doesn’t result in loss of QUALITY. Also, working less doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make less money.

Work Smarter, Not Harder.

Work smarter, not harder meme.

How can you work smarter? Here are 5 of the TOP productivity secrets that I now practice on a daily basis to get more work done in less time (and consequently, make more money ):

1. Boost Your Effectiveness With Simple To-Do Lists

I had to read a 342 page book to figure this one out. Now, you’re lucky enough to learn this in a few sentences:

Every day, have a “to do list” that you divide into 3 categories

  1. Must get done
  2. Do if time
  3. Due in the near future

Every evening, before going to bed (so your subconscious has time to work on them while you sleep), fill this out with tasks. Your “must get done” list should be reserved for a few actions that will make the biggest difference in your business or life. Try not to squeeze too many in this category.

Next, fill the “If time” category with tasks to do if you have spare time. These are things that can wait. ONLY start working on these once you finish everything under “Must get done”.

Under near future, list tasks that do not have to be completed for a few weeks. This serves to remind you that they exist so you can work on little chunks here and there.

Of course, your goal is to finish everything on the “Must Get Done” list. Pretend someone has a gun to your head and you MUST finish those tasks. Treat it that seriously.

It might take a while for you to figure out how many and what kind of tasks to put under what categories. As humans, each one of us secretly thinks we’re more awesome than everyone else and tend to overestimate how much we can really get done.

Play around with this system for a while until you get the hang of it (it doesn’t take long) and you’ll be surprise how much more EFFECTIVE- doing the things that get you closer to your goals- you’ll be.

2. Boost Your Efficiency By Accessing “Flow State”

Have you ever been so into something you totally lose yourself in it, forgetting about the outside world including your sense of time. That, my friend, is the wonderful, yet elusive state known as flow state.

Being in flow is like being “one with the universe” and can be described as a spiritual experience. It’s what the best copywriters experience when they sit down in front of their computers. It’s what Kobe Bryant experiences when he’s dribbling aggressively towards the basket, practically oblivious to 2 players closely guarding him.

Flow is also known as being “in the zone”.

In flow, it’s almost as if you’re not doing anything. Some other force is doing THROUGH you. As woo-woo as that sounds, it’s a pretty damn exciting experience.

Learning how to get in and out of flow is one of the most invaluable skills you can teach yourself as an internet marketer. Tasks that once were considered tedious- creating content, writing copy, answering emails, etc.- become effortless and even FUN when you’re in flow state.

Contrary to what you may think, you do not need mastery of a skill set in order to access flow state. It’s totally possible to train yourself to be able to access this amazing state of mind whenever you want.

The Secret to Always Being In the Zone

The secret is to set off some time every day and PRACTICE getting into uninterrupted states of flow. The two main keys are…

1. Practicing it

2. No interruptions

Training yourself this skillset is simple. But if you aren’t used to accessing flow state while working, it may take you a while to get used to it. The key is to set aside at least an hour each day and working NON-STOP, with zero distractions.

Learning Flow

Here’s how I used to “work” before I learned about flow state. Say I had to write a 500 word article…

  • Turn on Pandora (Avicii radio )
  • Pull up some research sites
  • Start writing my article, editing every sentence as I went along
  • Get stuck, feel frustrated
  • Check Facebook, see what my friends are up to
  • Realize it’s my friend’s birthday, send her a text
  • Remember that I’m writing an article and open up the document again
  • Get  stuck again for a few minutes, experience more frustration
  • Half ass the rest of the article

This process would often take more than AN HOUR! That RIDICULOUS for a 500 word article! Nowadays, you can easily outsource a 500 word article for 5 bucks. Here I was, thinking I was a young hot-shot internet entrepreneur when in reality I was working for less than minimum wage!

Studies have shown that when you’re focused on something and get interrupted, it takes roughly 15 minutes to get back to where you before. It also takes roughly 15 minutes to get into that focused state (flow state). Which is why it is absolutely CRUCIAL to eliminate ALL possible distractions.

When you start working, shut the door, turn off your cell phone, close your email, block Facebook and Twitter, don’t eat, etc. You might be thinking, “nah, I don’t need to go that hardcore. I have WILLPOWER!”

While you may have excellent self-discipline, simply taking all these actions to eliminate distractions has the side benefit of confirming to your subconscious that you TAKE YOUR BUSINESS seriously (lets face it- since we all get to “work from home”, we sometimes forget to treat internet marketing like a REAL job)

If you don’t have the habit of eliminating distractions while you work, make a commitment to just try it for the next week. Seriously. You will be AMAZED at how much more focused you become.

It Only Takes A Week…

It took me about only a week of eliminating distractions while working straight for 3 hours (with a 2 five minute breaks in between) to start experiencing flow on a regular basis. When I first tried this, I still got stuck, experienced writers block and experienced distracting impulses. But I would force myself to keep writing. No matter how unclear my ideas sounded or bad my grammar was. I could always edit later.

Great online timer – http://e.ggtimer.com/55minutes (you can set the time by changing the numbers after the slash)

Eventually, your brain gets trained write more and think less. Meaning your efficiency improves. The quality of your work might suffer a bit at first, but that’ll bounce back with practice.

And when you do hit flow the first few times, it feels AMAZING! I now actually ENJOY a lot of the tedious aspects of internet marketing that I couldn’t stand (I also meditate on a regular basis and that has helped A LOT- but that’s another post).

In the article example, I can now crank out about 4 (maybe 5 if I’m REALLY on) 500 articles done in an hour (I outsource most of my article writing, but do write some stuff myself if I need quality work).

I can get these suckers pumped out in 10-15 minutes max.

Increasing Efficiency by 400%

By simply training myself to work through distracting impulses for a week, I was able to quadruple my hourly pay rate- from $5 hour to $20 hour!

So this blog post went WAYYY longer than what I originally intended (flow state anyone? Heh). Stay tuned for part 2 of The Lazy Internet Marketer’s Guide to Being More Productive series.

And because this IS my first post on my new marketing blog, I’d REALLY appreciate your thoughts. Feel free to leave any questions, comments, concerns, death threats, etc.

If you have nothing to share, just leave a comment telling me I’m awesome

Working with a designer for the first time is a complicated process for many people. Anyone who wants to take in web designers for their project is usually curious about their work process in coming up with a design. So what steps should you generally expect your web designer to follow? Here are some crucial steps that you should keep an eye on when searching for a good web designer;

Research

This should be the first step that you should expect from any designer worth their salt. Any designer who simply jumps into the whole work is simply not doing their job properly enough. There are many clients who have no clue about what their site should be like and depend on the kind of recommendations that their web designer will issue. Therefore it is quite important that all designers be in a position to research everything about the brand and how to position it well amongst its competitors online.

Site overview

The next thing that you should expect is an illustration of the site on a site map. This pretty much shows you where all the site’s elements will fit into the overall web design. It is an organization of how the development work will be done. There might be changes during the whole development process but these should only be minor modifications on the overall site map.

Wireframes

Having organized the whole website through the use of a site map, the next part is to organize each page using a wireframe. These wireframes are more like the blueprint of each page. However they need not be followed strictly but just give the designer the overall understanding of how to code the whole site. They also are not necessarily implemented on all types of sites depending on the type of content. More complex sites need to have wireframes in the design process but simpler sites need not have one.

Mock-up design

This is generally where the client is given rough graphic overviews of how their site will appear when complete. This is done with the help of Photoshop. At this stage you should expect to be given a variety of designs of how you would want your site to look like and then get to choose one. It is therefore important that you completely tell your web designers exactly how you picture your website being like. This way they can give you 3-4 variants of how they can implement your idea.

The coding part

After selection of the mock-up design that best suits you, the development phase starts off. In other words the HTML and CSS bits are now hard coded in creating your website. This phase also involves having to check on how well the site can render in different devices (cross-platform responsiveness).

At this point your site will be up and running. However, one vital thing you should also expect is the support from your developers when anything happens. This can be discussed whether it is included in the original package or additional fees apply.

As a right-brained person, I’m great at tapping into my creativity. I’m the type of person who can dream up strange and beautiful things, and then I can express those imaginings through my designs. This is strength of mine, but it comes at a cost. When I am asked to perform left-brained activities (basically anything having to do with math or being organized), I draw a blank. This can be problematic for my freelance business, so I’ve come up with some guidelines to help keep me on track.

What’s more, these guidelines can apply to you whether you’re a freelance or a full-time employee. Whether or not you’re your own boss, you still need to know how to organize your time, back up your work, and communicate with the person giving you orders.

Here are my tips for managing your caseload and keeping your clients (or your boss) happy:

  • First in, first out (sort of) – Ideally, you’re juggling multiple jobs at one. Some jobs you will enjoy more than others. Some jobs you will absolutely dread. It happens. It’s totally normal. But, whether or not they are your favorites, all jobs should have the same priority. The reason for the “sort of” at the end of this bullet point is that each job will include several steps and communications from the client. Your strategy should not be to complete an entire job from start to finish, including all revisions, before moving on to the next client. Rather, each time you hear back from a client with new instructions, that client’s task should be added to the end of the queue.

(Note: The only exception to this, in my opinion, is when you are doing a job for a client who is particularly valuable and will provide you with a lot more jobs in the future.)

  • Back it up – Have a reliable back-up system. Back up your work every day. If you work as a fulltime employee, your company may already have a back-up process in place. If you’re on your own, it’s up to you. Make sure you save your work in more than one place. Some people back up to external hard drives, while others back up to cloud storage services. I don’t really care what system you use, as long as you’re using it regularly. You can save yourself a lot of trouble by taking a little extra time to back your work up.
  • Calendar – Personally, I get stressed out if I have too many jobs hanging over my head. Keeping a detailed calendar helps me focus on the task at hand. If you’ve ever been to a barber or a hair salon, you’ve seen an appointment book. Even though I don’t actually have appointments or meetings, I keep my own electronic appointment book. I estimate how much time each job will take, and I block off the hours I will need. When in doubt, I overestimate. Keeping my time organized in a calendar helps me keep my brain free of clutter, allowing me to be more creative.

This can also help if your client is asking for an estimation of when you will be finished with a particular project or task. If you are following a “first in, first out” policy and you’ve just received a new task, you can look at the next few days in your calendar, see that they are booked with other tasks, and you can estimate that it will be at least 4 days until you are able to complete the new task.

  • Communication – Your organizational strategies can help you and your clients. When a client gives you a new project or task, take a look at your calendar, and give the client an estimated date of when you will be finished. Again, when in doubt, overestimate. You never know what might come up.

I have also found it helpful to communicate with the client as I am making progress on a task. While I don’t want to inundate the client with minor details, I try to send a daily report to my active clients, at least to say that I’m running on schedule and what still needs to be completed. This doesn’t have to take long. In fact, I have a few templates that I use, which makes it even faster.

I hope that these tips will help all of the right-brained designers out there. You can manage your time and your business. It just might take a little extra effort.

Sometimes people ask me how they can get into freelancing, or better yet, how they can turn their existing freelancing efforts into a success. There’s not one easy answer that I can give. And it’s really not about how good your designs are. What it comes down to is who you are as a person and what your financial needs are.

Below, I’ve listed the five biggest things to consider when deciding whether or not freelancing is right for you:

1.     Entrepreneurial spirit

I’m hoping that, at this stage in your life, you know yourself pretty well. From what you know of yourself, would you call yourself a goal setter? Do you have a thirst for knowledge? During your first few years as a freelancer, there’s a lot to learn. Are you the type of person who wants to learn those things?

2.     Self-motivation

This goes hand-in-hand with having an entrepreneurial spirit. Are you willing to go it alone? If you’ve ever had an office job, consider what you do when no one is watching. When the boss is out of the office, do you buckle down and get your work done, or do you goof off in the break room? In order to succeed as a freelancer, you’ve got to be self-motivated. You’ve got to work with no supervision. Some people thrive in that environment. Others do not.

Consider how motivated you are, all on your own. Are you the type of person who will stay up late nights to get jobs done?

3.     Business savvy

As a freelancer, you’ve got to have a handle on your own finances, and you’ve got to be able to negotiate on your own behalf. There is no buffer between you and your client. At some point, you may want to expand your team, but at least initially, you are on the front lines, and you’re also doing all of the background work.

Are you comfortable with figuring out how much to charge a client? If a client is not forthcoming with payment or is asking for more than what you’ve agreed to, do you think you can be your own enforcer? Or would you rather work in an office setting where someone else takes care of these details for you, allowing you to focus primarily on actual design tasks.

4.     Time and dedication

How much time will you be able to put into freelancing? If you’re just doing it casually, your client base is not going to grow. Remember that, as a freelancer, you are a one man show. You’ve got to market yourself through social media. You’ve got to drive traffic to your website through SEO marketing. You’ve got to take care of your own invoicing and client communications. This, of course, is in addition to completing design work.

If you’re thinking of doing freelancing as a side gig while maintaining another full time job, you will probably never get your freelancing business on its feet. If you’re wanting freelance to be your full time job, you’re going to have to commit some serious time to it. Are you willing and able to do that?

5.     Your immediate and long-term needs

When I decided to strike out on my own as a freelancer, I was single and childless, and I made sure I had saved up enough money to pay my bills for 12 months. I didn’t want to have to depend on my freelance jobs for income because I wasn’t sure how quickly I’d be making decent money as a freelancer. Until I started bringing in a livable wage, I ate frozen burritos every night for dinner. I was determined to cut out extraneous spending until I was sure that I actually could afford it.

It takes a while to build up a client base. If you’re not financially stable and/or prepared to live on ramen noodles for a while, freelancing may not be for you.

There you have it: the reasons why you should (or shouldn’t) give freelancing a try. Personally, I have no regrets. I love my life as a freelancer. I work hard, but I also get to work wherever I want, whenever I want. It’s called freelancing for a reason.

What does “ambition” mean to you? Do you consider yourself to be an ambitious person? Some people are naturally more ambitious than others are. I’m not saying whether or not that’s a good thing; I’m just stating a fact. Some will accept a job at the age of 20 and will stay at that job until they retire around age 65, doing the same work day in and day out, receiving minimal pay increases over the years. Others will accept a job at 20, and then pursue the next step, then the next step, then the next step, hoping to one day find themselves as leaders in the corporate environment.

This post is for those of you who are climbers—those who won’t be satisfied with web design forever. While I’m not really the climbing type, I have to admit I’ve thought about it over the years. Here are some potential future scenarios for those of who are itching to grow:

Baby Steps

Web design is different from web development, as you know, but web designers can benefit themselves by becoming well-versed in both parts of the field. This requires someone who can use both sides of his or her brain. Web design is art. Web development is science. If you think you are a good balance of right-brained and left-brained, web development might be a natural next step for you. Having both skills will make you more versatile in the workplace, and it will open up more opportunities for the freelancers out there.

A Recreational Jog

Since you’re already in the IT field, a natural progression for you may include moving toward another IT career. One option you may work toward is software/app development. If you find that you have an aptitude for the structure (coding) behind websites (such as html and css), consider branching out to other programming languages—ones that can be used to build apps on different platforms, or ones that can be used to build larger software. Again, this will greatly increase your hireability while also increasing your paycheck.

A Giant Leap

What I’m going to talk about here is a hot topic across the world right now: cyber security. If you want to make yourself marketable in this growing field, it will be a long trek, but the potential rewards are great. With big businesses using technology to process and store sensitive data, there is a growing need for people who can keep that data secure. And the need isn’t being met adequately! Recently, MSNBC has reported that there will be 1.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by the year 2020. Yes, learning everything that you would need to know would be a great undertaking. That is why this section is called “A Giant Leap.” However, it is worth considering if you believe yourself to be a very ambitious person. The world needs you!

I hope that this post has been informative and not overly simplistic. Naturally, there are plenty of other options for you within the computer science field, whether or not you are the type of person who wants to career climb. Personally, as I’ve said, I’m happiest as a freelance web designer. My job allows me to be creative, and I get to choose my clients and set my own hours. It wasn’t an easy career to establish myself in independently, and I’m not looking to give it up. I have my share of on-the-job trials and challenges, but this career is home for me, and I plan to stick with it for as long as I can.

Proper web design needs to factor in usability. However usability is a general concept that can only be detailed depending on the web design being adopted. There are generally many atrocities that have been made on usability over the years and many designers fail to notice unless the clients point it out to them. Here are 10 mistakes that your designer may fail to notice;

Horrible site search engine

Most people usually type for items with typos in their spellings. If your search engine is not able to filter this out then your site has the potential of losing out on many users. It is also important to prioritize the search engine’s results based on the popularity of the terms and how much they have been searched for in the site.

Distracting wall of text

This refers to text that is written in a manner that makes it long and boring to read. This will chase away users from your site however helpful the content may be. Unless it is a blog, people generally want to know what your site is about in the most minimal wording possible. Always separate your content with subheadings, highlight the major points, create short paragraphs and keep it simple.

Advertisement design

Users generally ignore advertisements when they are navigating through a site. Therefore don’t try to create content and put it in a manner that looks like an ad. This means that you should avoid placing info in banner ads, having flashing elements and pop-ups. Most users will never look at these areas.

Creating PDF files link

Some web designers usually put up PDF links for further reading on their sites. This is a huge deterrent to the flow of a person’s concentration. Most users usually ignore this and hence fail to get more information that you would have wanted them to consume. Always convert all information into web content and put it up on the site unless there is a highly logical reason for using PDF files.

Font size

Some web browsers can fail to render the correct font sizes for your site and hence lead to a tiny font text which is hard to read by the elderly and people with eye problems. It is always important to let the user be in control of their font sizes and in order to do so, the font sizes should be specified in relative terms.

Violating best web design practices

Most users usually tend to know how to navigate through your site based on their experience from other sites. This means that if you create something different (in terms of navigation patterns), then there is a likelihood that users will find it hard to use the site and hence leave the maze.

Low search engine visibility for pages

Most web designers fail to use proper design that can help in the search engine ranking for sites. Therefore when choosing the site title, ensure what you want it to be listed under.

Failing to have an indicator of the page links visited

It is important for a user to know exactly which page they are on, in order for them to know where next to go to. Failing to indicate this through the use of colors or highlighting disorients the user and they may fail to know where to visit next.

Opening new windows on the user’s browser

A common behavior is having links open up in a new browser window. This is not usually helpful as it breeds hostility among users who feel that the site is taking over their browser use and most likely they may leave your site as a result.

Failing to give out information relevant to the user

Some sites fail to address the content that users want to see. For example a site that is offering a service and fails to disclose their prices usually leads to less conversion as most users who fail to find the info they need tend to visit others that have detailed this info.

When you build a web page there are several things to juggle, the code, where the page fits in the sitemap, how you’re going to get traffic to it and how you’re going to get that traffic to convert to sales after visiting your page. Here I’ll go over 5 of the top things to keep in mind for web pages to increase conversions.

Things to consider when designing a web page.

1. Be Clear

If visitors don’t know what the page is about, or can’t find the links to make a purchase or contact you, then they won’t. Remember most people are using the internet to make their lives easier, if you start to complicate things for them, they’ll go somewhere else. That won’t help your conversion rate.

Each page should be divided into clear sections, the main navigation should be in one area, the text and related pictures and diagrams in another. Use headlines to break up sections of text so people can quickly scan the page and know where to find the exact information they are looking for.

2. Tell Them What To Do

If you want people to sign up for your newsletter, tell them. If you want them to buy something, give them a clearly labeled button to push to make a purchase. This doesn’t mean that the call to action has to dominate the page, it just means it needs to be easy to find. Ideally you would employ both a text link and a graphic button on the page. I would also suggest that you place your call to action both above and below the fold of the page. As any sales person will tell you, calls to actions make conversions.

3. Make the text easy to read

The text on your page needs to be easy to read, that means that the main bodies of text will be written in a font that is easy to read, like Verdana or Times. Save the decorative fonts for short headlines. You will also want to make sure that the font color stands out against the background color, you won’t be using blue text on a green background.

4. Keep Content Relevant

Don’t be like your old aunt Betty and tell wandering stories and address fifteen different topics when you started out trying to explain one thing. If you have a page on Bass Fishing, don’t spend more than a sentence on outboard boat motors. Stay on topic. If you decide that you really want to go into boat motors, create another page and link to it from your bass fishing page. The people who clicked the link to get to your page did so expecting the information promised, not something else. If they feel that the information isn’t relevant to their interest they will leave.

5. Limit the number of Steps

Remember that the idea is to help people get to where you want them to be. Getting there should be simple, which means it should take as few steps as possible. Ideally a person should be able to get from any page on your site to any other page in four steps or less. The contact page and purchase page should take fewer steps. Ideally these two key pages should be reachable in one click.

There are two ways to get a site to the top page of google. In the SEO world they are loosely called black hat and white hat. There are pros and cons to each method, which I will outline briefly here.

White Hat uses the guidelines provided by the search engines to get a site to rate well. The three major search engines, google, bing and yahoo, each have libraries dedicated to teaching webmasters how to get their sites to rank well and include warnings on what the search engine considers to be cheating. Their specific considerations vary but essentially they all say the same thing, make your site the kind of site that users will like to visit and link to from their own sites. The way the search engine determines how well the site is made, is by looking at the frequency and placement of keywords and the number and value of links that point to any given page within a site. So white hat SEO specialists create user friendly content on the web site but spend most of their time getting other web site owners to link to key pages on the sites they manage.

The pros to this approach are:

  • Once you hit page one, you stay at page one
    Even when the search engines change their algorithm, your ranking won’t change drastically
  • Nobody can report you for cheating
  • Competitors will have a very hard time un-seating you
    The cons to this approach are:
  • It takes a little longer to reach number one (actual time depending on the industry and region)
  • costs more

Black hat uses loopholes and short comings in the search engines algorithm to climb to the top page. Black Hat SEO specialists use tools like link farms to fool the search engines into thinking that there are several hundred links pointing to a site. They also use program generated text to fill pages text with keyword rich filler. Many times they will create one or two user friendly pages to mask the search engine friendly pages so that visitors to the site aren’t confused by what they are seeing.

The pros to this approach are:

  • Fast climb to page one
  • Usually inexpensive monthly fee without contracts

The cons to this approach are:

  • Each time the search engines close a loophole hundreds of black hat sites drop or completely disappear from their rankings
  • Competitors who suspect cheating can report sites to search engines for investigation
  • Sites found to be engaged in “cheating” can be suspended or banned from search engines

It is very rare that any SEO specialist falls entirely into one camp or the other, it’s more of a continuum than two camps. It’s important to understand where your SEO specialist falls on the spectrum because of the amount of risk inherent in each technique. Silver Lizard Design is pretty heavy on the White hat side of the spectrum. Contact us to get more information on how we can help you.

We’ve all used Google to look for things. Maybe you were looking for the perfect recipe or maybe you needed to find a place to buy a pet toy, regardless of what you were looking for you probably got tons of results to your search. You may have wondered how to limit your results to sites that matched your needs even more. I’ve compiled a short list of ways to get better results from Google.

Basic Search

Example Search Gets Pages that containing…
dog park the words dog and park, not necessarily together
dog park or playground have dog parks or dog playgrounds
“One small step for a man” the exact phrase “One small step for a man”
tile -ceramic the word “tile” but does not have the word “ceramic”
web-site all forms of the term, with or without hyphen or spaces
define: dichotomy definitions of “dichotomy” from the web

 

Refining Search

Example Search Gets pages that…
tax site: whitehouse.gov contain the word tax from whitehouse.gov only
New Yorker Sushi  2000…2005 have articles from the New Yorker talking about sushi between the years 2000-2005
budget plan filetype:pdf have a budget plan in pdf format
link: www.whitehouse.gov contain a link to www.whitehouse.gov
weather Cedar City UT shows the weather at the specified location (zip code can be used instead of city, state)

 

Restricting by keyword location in result

Example Search Results
allinanchor: Dog Training finds pages where an outgoing link reads “Dog Training”
shopping inanchor: covered-parking finds pages where an outgoing link says something about shopping and covered-shopping
allintext: recipe beef garlic finds pages that contain all the words recipe, beef and garlic
intitle: easy recipe finds pages with a title that contains the words easy and recipe

 

Hosting accounts are now more popular than they ever have been. It seems that everybody and their dog (literally!) has a hosting account nowadays, whether it is to run a business, a personal blog or something completely different. Of course, there are thousands of web hosts out there, some better than others. I have therefore put together this pretty handy guide that you can use to ensure that you won’t get burned when searching for the host of your dreams!

It is important to choose a company that has a solid reputation, preferably one of the larger ones. Yes, it is all well and good supporting the small companies, but this is very important. Imagine choosing a smaller company (who may just be using a reseller account) and one day they decide to pack everything up and stop hosting, perhaps they forgot to pay their bill or they want to engage in other ventures. You are going to lose ALL of your work. Which means you will lose money, so it is best to steer clear! Checking out a couple of reviews online should tell you whether the company is ‘small’ or not (look at the amount of reviews they have) if they have a particularly amateurish website then it could also be a fairly good indicator. By all means if you do your research into a smaller company you can go with them, but bear in mind things could go wrong.

If you are not used to hosting, or need a little guiding hand from time to time then you will want to opt for a host which offers 24/7 support. That way you can be sure that there is always going to be somebody there whenever you need a little bit of help! It is generally only the larger companies that offer support like this for you.

In addition to this, you will want to pay attention to what you actually get for your money. You should remember that ‘unlimited’ does really mean what it says. Instead it is subject to a fair usage policy (read the terms and conditions of your host), which means they may ask you nicely to upgrade or limit your usage. In cases of unlimited it is really a case of the host trying to put as many sites on the same server as possible, which is going to cause slowdown. Therefore you will want to aim for the larger companies here who have money to invest in larger and better servers!

Finally, don’t let price be the guiding factor. Yes, there are cheap hosts out there who are reliable, Hostgator being one of them. However, you should always check to see they have the features that you want, but perhaps more importantly, how reliable the host is. You should be able to get everything you need in this regard from web reviews.

If you bear the tips above in mind, then you honestly will find it far easier to find a web host that you are able to work with and who can fulfil all of your requirements. Remember, always opt for the reputable companies, that way they won’t disappear over night! I also suggest checking out a number of reviews from these companies before you actually make your purchase, that way you know whether you are getting a good deal nowadays.

What is a SSL certificate?

SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer, a standard web technology that is used to secure information being transmitted to a server. SSL ensures that any information that is passed between a browser and server is encrypted, and cannot be deciphered should it be intercepted by a third party.

SSL certificates are usually sold by web hosting and domain registration companies. The certificates are usually required in e-commerce websites and other sites that require users to enter sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers, home addresses, emails among others. Web owners have to install SSL certificates in order to secure their users’ information.

Should I Install SSL In my Website?

Installing an SSL certificate on your website is optional. However, if you are likely to take any sensitive information from your customers, it is recommended that you install an SSL certificate. E-commerce sites, credit institutions, and private sections of a company’s website are examples where installing SSL is recommended. If you have a blog or website which you do not use to collect any sensitive information from your users, installing the certificates may not be crucial.

SSL and Online Payments

If you operate an online store, installing SSL is a definite must. With e-commerce sites, customers usually have to sign up at the website before the can purchase anything. Having an SSL certificate assures customers that the information that they are entering on your website is secured. Today, many people are used to shopping online and expect e-commerce sites to have SSL certificates. With the certificates, they are assured that the information they enter such as their credit card numbers is safe and will not be intercepted by prying third parties.
By installing SSL on your e-commerce website, your conversion rates will improve and this will increase your profits. Customers are quick to leave websites that do not guarantee their information is secured. Trust and security are major issues online. With the common horror stories of credit card theft online, no one is taking any chances. You do not want to lose sales by failing to install an SSL certificate.

Capitalize On The Branding of SSL Certificates Providers

Most of the companies that provide SSL certificates are well- known and have come to symbolize information security online. Brands like VeriSign, GeoTrust, Comodo and others have made a name for themselves over the years for securing customer data transmitted online. When you buy an SSL certificate, the SSL company will issue you with a seal to show that your website is secured using their SSL certificate. This immediately increases customers’ confidence when they are shopping or entering their information ,

What If I opt not to use SSL?

Using SSL is not mandatory. However, you have to weigh the sales consequences of not having an SSL certificate installed. Customers may leave your website when they realize you do not have the certificate. This may in turn make your website be considered a scammer site, something that will drastically hurt your conversions.

On-Page SEO (nowadays referred to as simply onpage SEO) is set of recommended steps that content producers can undertake ON their web pages to improve their search rankings.

In the rapidly evolving world of SEO, on-page SEO is becoming increasingly important. A successful online venture needs to have a mix of both on-page and off-page SEO. This article examines the on-page SEO techniques in greater detail.

What’s the Purpose of On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEO recommends changes to the structure, content and meta-content of a post such that it appears favorable to the search engines in context of a keyword search.

Note that on-page seo is about making your page or post the favored destination for a particular keyword. The single biggest purpose of On-Page SEO is improving search rankings of a particular web page in context for a keyword search.

Understandably, on-page SEO encompasses (not necessarily in order) –

  1. Producing quality content that help readers
  2. Managing headings (sometimes called h-tags)
  3. Managing URL
  4. Dealing with keyword-density
  5. Managing internal and outbound links
  6. Optimizing images and other multimedia content
  7. Providing meta tags and meta description
  8. Managing social media

Note that creating quality content is the most important, non-negotiable factor.

Let’s get started and analyze them one by one, starting with the most important one.

1. Produce Quality Content

Everybody has heard so much about quality content that it’s become a joke. Nevertheless, content is THE king. There is no substitute for quality content. If you are not able to produce quality content, there is little hope.

Let’s take a quick look at what quality content is and how does one go about creating high quality content.

What is high quality content?

High-quality content is one which is

  1. Unique
  2. Relevant & focused
  3. Sufficiently long to be informative
  4. Accessible on all modern day platforms
  5. Using multimedia for illustrations
  6. Not displaying too many ads or affiliate promotions

How to produce high quality content?

Producing high quality content is a prerequisite for a successful online venture. Make sure that all your content adheres to guidelines describe here.

Make the content unique

Either the idea or at the very least the presentation is not found elsewhere. The search engines have become so smart (though not perfect) at detecting and penalizing duplicate content that copy pasting stuff nowadays is considered passport to oblivion. Copying content rather than saving your time will destroy your reputation beyond repair and will cost you the entire venture. Golden rule – Never copy content. Also, never let others copy your content.

Make the content relevant and focused

Your content should be related to a topic which normal people care about. “How to stay fit” would be a nice example. A counterexample would be “How to make aliens do your homework”. Similarly, your content should be focused on a single broad relevant topic which should be your keywords as well. Make the page hyper-focused on a single topic. Nobody likes ramblings and adding fluff to meet content length guidelines will do more harm than good.

Content must be sufficiently long to be informative

Content should be at least 700-800 words in length. Though there are no hard limits and length will mostly depend on the nature of your topic and the amount of information already available in public domain, writing content which is less than 300 words is pretty bad and qualifies as ‘thin content’.

Content must be accessible on all modern day platforms

Make sure that your content is aesthetically pleasing or at the very least is readable on major hardware platforms. This is where theme design and responsive design come into play. Making a website that is not rendered properly

Content should use multimedia for illustrations

They say a picture is worth thousand words and a video is worth hundred thousand. Search engines, especially Google, seems to have taken this a bit too seriously. Add images and video where you can. It dramatically increases your rankings.

Page should not display too many ads or affiliate promotions

Nobody but the spammers like spam. Your content must be informative enough to help your audience. Focusing on advertisements/links above content is the single most-frequent reason behind experts failing to produce successful websites.

Most Important point regarding your content

Before you start your online venture or commit yourself fully, make sure that you fully understand and appreciate the following facts of business life on internet –

  • You cannot get away by copying content
  • You cannot succeed with thin content
  • Your content must solve some real life problem of some people
  • You need to produce content frequently and regularly
  • Internet ventures are zero sum. Being on page-3 of Google is as bad as being out-of-business. Only the first page counts.
  • You need to use Social media as an
    • alternative organic traffic source
    • indicator to the search engines about quality & ‘heat’ of your content

2. Manage Your URL structure

URL is the address to your web page. Therefore, you have to structure it such that not only search engines but readers too find it attractive.

Tips to manage your URL

Here are a few tips to structure your URLs for SEO. Make sure that your URL –

  1. Contains 3 to 5 words in addition to the domain name
  2. Contains targeted keywords
  3. Does not contain any stopwords
  4. Never ever use underscore as word separator. Hyphen (minus) is the only acceptable separator.

Your URLs should neither be too long nor too short. They should contain 3 to 5 keywords that you are targeting. You can ignore stopwords such as the, an, in, on to the extent that they don’t make your URLs ridiculous. The stopwords don’t harm your rankings but they occupy precious real estate, space that should be taken by target keywords.Search engines prefer URLs that are not made unduly long by stopwords. On the other hand, humans need stopwords to make sense of phrases. Therefore, strike a balance.

For example, if you are writing a programming blog post on using Linked List as Stack you should prefer

http://codingraptor.com/linked-list-stack

over

http://codingraptor.com/blog/data-structures/using-linked-list-as stack

Not only is the first URL more reader-friendly, but by same virtue is more SEO tuned.

Since it is so very obvious, I don’t elaborate on the fact that the following structure is a big NO NO –

http://codingraptor.com/posts?postid=8929

3. Manage Your Page Title & Blog Post Title

The title of your page is one of the most important, if not the most important, levers available to you for on-page seo.

There are two different titles being talked about here. So, let’s ensure that you understand the difference between the two –

  • Page Title – the title of browser window when a visitor opens your web page. This is part of HTML head and is written inside <title> tags.
  • Blog Post Title – the headline at the beginning of the web page informing the visitor about the content on that page. This is part of HTML body and is primarily aimed at humans. This should be written in <h1> tags and ideally should be the only h1 tag in your blog post.

Tips to manage your titles

Here are a few tips to structure your page titles for SEO. Make sure that your page title and post title –

  1. Starts with (or at least contains) the targeted keywords
  2. Is embedded in proper tags (<H1> tags for blog post title and <title> for page title)
  3. Is neither too long nor too short. Should fit easily on the screen and should never contain more than 65 characters
  4. Contains enough ‘extra’ words that long tail keywords are captured
  5. Has a timestamp if the content is updated frequently

Your page title and post title are the only two places where keyword cramming is not only allowed but recommended. These titles are your chance to inform your readers and search bots what you are going to talk about. A page title is enclosed in title tags. A blog post title must be in h1 or h2 tags. Similarly, make sure that you capture the long tail versions of the keywords by appending them to the title. For example, if you are writing a blog on politics, you are better off saying

Donald Trump Likely to Win Presidential Elections 2020

rather than

Trump Hot Favorite for 2020

Likewise, if you have dynamic content update your page and post title to contain timestamp. For example, if you have a coupons website where you post discount coupons daily, it is massively more beneficial to say

Ebay coupons on Sept. 11, 2001

rather than

Ebay coupons today

4. Manage Your Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are author supplied summary of the article. A meta description goes in the head section of HTML and follows this format –

<meta name="description" content="A SENTENCE OF 156 CHARS CONTAINING KEYWORDS" >

The primary purpose of meta description from end user perspective is that it provides a brief summary of your article in search results. Readers peruse this meta description sentence to decide whether they want to visit a particular page or not.

Apart from providing a brief summary to potential visitors, a meta description is also used by search engines to figure out what your article is about.

If you don’t provide a meta-description, search engines provide one for you by using first few words of your article. This is less than optimal because

  • All your keywords may not appear in the search results
  • Your meta-description may not be coherent and it may contain incomplete sentence toward the end.

Important points to remember about meta description

  1. Always provide meta description for your post. The default is generally sub-optimal and might actually harm your rankings
  2. Make sure that meta description is a meaningful sentence and conveys the value your article provides to human readers succintly.
  3. Meta description should be less than 156 characters in length. Characters after this limit are truncated and apart from leaving the readers in a lurch show author’s incompetence.
  4. NEVER EVER copy a meta description. Copying meta description is worse than not providing one. It is the easiest and surest way of telling search engines “Hey Dear, I copied content from somewhere else. Come, penalize me.”

5. Manage Your Meta Tags & Meta Title

Apart from meta description, there are other meta tags that are not as important and are gradually losing their sheen. If at all you want to skip one on-page technique, it has to be this one as it is least important.

You can provide a list of keywords relevant to your article using the meta keywords tag shown below

<meta name="keywords" content="kword1, kword2, ... more crap :-)>

Rampant misuse and abuse of these tags has left them almost worthless, nevertheless if you want to extract even the last drop of juice from your hard work, you can provide meaningful meta keywords and meta title.

Here are a couple of noteworthy points about meta tags

  1. Meta title should be less than 70 characters
  2. Meta keywords are ignored by most modern day search engines. There is little sense in investing too much effort in meta tags.

6. Use Multimedia Effectively

Interspersing text with images and videos breaks monotony and helps your readers grasp information faster. Search engines recognize this and award pages with more multimedia content a higher rating.

Important points to remember regarding on-page multimedia usage

  1. Multimedia content makes a website more engaging. Sprinkle liberal doses of multimedia in your content. Multimedia content increases your ‘dwell time’ on your website.
  2. Use image description, image title and alt description to stuff them with your website name and targeted keywords. This can drive image search traffic to your website and associate your website with targeted keywords in the ‘mind’ of search engines.
  3. To the maximum extent possible provide an image capturing gist of your entire on-page content. Multimedia creation is costly and is therefore a double edged sword. Using multimedia content increases the cost of content production but at the same time has the potential of fetching much better returns.
  4. Loading and rendering of multimedia content increases your page load time. Too many images increases your page load time and search engines, like humans, don’t like pages that take an eternity to load.
  5. Strike a balance between the kind of hosting provider you are using and the number of images + videos you have on-page.
    Pro-tip: Google’s Blogspot and Automattic’s WordPress.com platforms have an excellent page load time and are free. If you are planning low-cost multimedia centric online ventures, these are your best bets while starting

7. Use Internal & External Links

Backlinks are an important cornerstone of any modern day SEO strategy. Counterpart of backlinks is linking your content with other content on web. Content that is linked with other content on internet is perceived more valuable in the eyes of search engines. Therfore, link your content to other internal content and with content of ONLY reputed websites (such as StackOverflow.com, Quora.com, Wikipedia).

Link management

While linking your content, keep in mind that –

  1. First try to link important keywords with already existing content on your website. This reduces the bounce rate and increases the time users are likely to spend on your website. Both these factors are quite important in deciding the ranking of your page.
  2. If you are describing a complicated, uncommon term which is not yet present your website you can provide an external link to help your audience understand the term better. As described previously in the informative article on backlinks (and this is also an example of backlink), when you link to an external website you may end up passing ‘link juice’. You can and MUST prevent this by using no-follow tag.
  3. ALWAYS use target=”_blank” in your link’s HTML code. This opens the linked page in a new tab. If you let the users open the linked content in same window where they are viewing your webpage, it is quite unlikely that they will come back to your page.

8. Provide social media buttons

All your posts must have social media sharing buttons. Include most popular social media in your strategy – Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Reddit, Pinterest to name a few.

The social media buttons induce certain percentage of users to share your content in their social circle. This gives you valuable organic traffic. Furthermore, the group in which your content gets shared is most likely the target segment of population that you wanted your content to reach to. Since your content reaches targeted audience you can get higher rankings because of increased user engagement, higher dwell time, lower bounce rate.

Conclusion (On-Page SEO checklist)

This article started with defining on-page seo and described important techniques that ensure that your content will give maximum bang for your buck.

In conclusion, let’s summarize important points in On-Page SEO in these 15 points –

    1. Produce high quality content (for definition and how to create high quality content, see point #1)
    2. Ensure that your URL contains keywords and is of optimum length
  1. Make sure that post title is a H1 tag
  2. Page title and post title must contain targeted keywords
  3. Meta description must be provided and it must contain less than 155 characters and must make use of targeted keywords
  4. Don’t stuff or cram keywords in your content. A keyword density of 1.5% is desirable.
  5. Avoid stop words in URL, they increase the length but don’t add much value
  6. The most important keywords must appear in H2 and H3 tags as well
  7. Make liberal use of multimedia content. But don’t go overboard to the point your page becomes slow.
  8. Use free blogging platforms such as Blogspot.com (Blogger) and WordPress.com if you cannot afford powerful hosting
  9. Your content must ideally be 700 to 800 words long
  10. Create internal and external links to make your content more attractive
  11. Time spent on a website (dwell time) and bounce rate (number of users returning after viewing your first page) are important drivers in search engine rankings
  12. Use social media buttons on every post to allow users to share content. A highly shared (even if not viral) content automatically gets more importance by search engines.
  13. Be present on social media, especially the medium that makes most sense to your niche.

Every one wants to optimize images on their WordPress sites. But sometime you need to make an exception and have to upload a high resolution image. But still you wonder why the image look pix-elated and blur after uploading on WordPress front-end.

After reading this article you will know the theory behind this.

Default WordPress JPEG Image Compression

FYI, WordPress automatically compresses JPEG images to 90% of their original size. This is the default setting which compress every image uploaded to WordPress. There is no option to change this setting from/within your WordPress admin panel.

The motive behind this is to increase your page load time and improve your site performance.

However, this is a good feature with good motive but sometimes it can be annoying for some users.

For e.g. – If you are running a photography blog and want your photos to look at their best, probably that 10% compression is going to ruin your appearance. And the irony is – sometimes users don’t even know what is happening to their image quality after uploading to WordPress.

Reason, this is working completely under the hood.

Are you still staring the title words ” Default WordPress JPEG Image Compression ”? Than you fall in that “innocent users” category.

How To Disable The Default WordPress JPEG Image Compression

If you don’t want to compromise with the quality of your images and want to snitch back that extra 10%, you can turn-off this default setting.

Copy and paste the following filter code in the functions.php file of your theme.

add_filter('jpeg_quality', function($arg){return 100;});

As we assign the value to 100, WordPress compress the image at is highest quality i.e. no compression will take place at all.

How to Increase/Decrease Image compression in WordPress

Optimized and small size images plays an important role in speeding up your page load time. If you want to increase the image compression to scrap down few extra kBs paste the following code:

add_filter('jpeg_quality', function($arg){return 85;});

Play with the value (from 1-99) to increase or decrease the compression setting. Set the return value to 100 for disable the image compression ( as explained above ).

Smaller the value more will be the compression. Similarly larger value will lead to less compression.

Note: After making any image quality changes, the images uploaded to WordPress will be compressed according to new setting. But it will not affect the existing images in your media gallery. To change the quality of images uploaded before modifying the default setting, make sure to regenerate your thumbnails.

Hope this article helped you to change your default WordPress JPEG image compression.