Just having a website for your business doesn’t cut it anymore today, and even though it may be beneficial for highly loyal customers, it doesn’t provide new clients. The global market and the online world are enormous, which means that competition is everywhere.
That’s why hiring an SEO agency such as SmartClick is more than necessary in 2022, especially if you want to attract more and more people to your site, which by default means the services and products you offer.
Therefore, here we will see the top SEO strategies one has to avoid in 2022 in order to be successful. Let’s begin.
Not Having A Mobile-Friendly Site
It is fair to say that this is probably the worst mistake you can make when it comes to SEO and the success of your website. The reason being is that most users today don’t read or search for products on a laptop; instead, most of them use their smartphones. Therefore, even though the various SEO tools are extremely important, it’s also valuable to have a site that it’s even better when visited on a mobile phone.
Because people use their phones so much, Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites. If you don’t optimize for mobile properly, this will hurt your search engine rankings, which means that gaining more visitors is almost impossible.
Keyword Stuffing Can Be A Huge Problem
Things have changed over the years, and even though in the past it used to be great to repeat keywords as much as possible, today this is not the case anymore. In the past, you even had the chance to repeat the same keyword many times, and Google would still recognize it, and you would maybe rank high. Now, you have to be careful.
Google algorithms have improved in a significant manner and are a lot more intelligent, having a semantic search. In its essence, this means that keyword stuffing won’t provide you with any improvement, but an even bigger problem is that it can harm your SEO. The goal has to be to provide users with valuable info and results in order to satisfy their needs, and keyword stuffing is not the way to do it anymore. That’s why you have to keep your keyword usage to a minimum, and you can use some synonyms to address something of similar meaning.
Broken Links Have to Be Fixed
You probably have noticed that in your blog posts with several links, there is a higher chance that you may end up with a broken link. This issue can happen if the site you link to doesn’t exist anymore or more often if they have changed its URL.
Therefore, you have to review your blog posts and articles and update the broken links, if there are any. If you leave them be, your site visitors will realize that you have poor maintenance, which is not good at all, and even a bigger issue is that if you have many broken links, your site may drop down in the rankings. You can use a tool or even change them manually in order to make sure everything is corrected.
Wrongly Used H Tags
Yet another crucial aspect of SEO is using H tags properly in order to increase readability and represent sections the right way. It is almost impossible for Google to recognize your content without using H1 tags for headings, H2 for subs, and H3 for smaller sections.
Furthermore, it’s not just about Google; it’s also about your readers having a clear view of the content, having a great structure, and showing why this content is beneficial. That is why H tags are vital and are not an optional feature; they are a must if you want to prosper in today’s SEO world. Also, people like it when the text has headings that describe what the paragraph is about when it’s not long, and it’s precise.
When someone clicks on your site and has to wait for several seconds to load, they will for sure leave the site immediately. That’s why Google also sees this as important, and speed is one of the crucial factors when it comes to rankings. If your site is slow, the search engine crawlers will take a lot more time in order to scan it, and you will not rank high, and people will also avoid your site.
There are several ways to make your site faster, and as mentioned above, that’s why hiring a high-quality SEO agency is necessary.
Plagiarism Is Not Allowed
Plagiarized content will seriously hurt your SEO because search engines will detect it quickly. The sites that still make this mistake suffer severe consequences, and it’s much better to invest in creating high-quality content.
Of course, it is wise to take inspiration from your competitor’s content, but you have to improve it, and you have to make it original, plagiarism-free. You can use tools like Quetext in order to check if there is plagiarism, which is a must in today’s online world; otherwise, you won’t have any benefits from that content.
So, please don’t waste any more time and hire a local SEO agency like ours that knows how to practically implement aspects that will make your site better and avoid mistakes such as those mentioned above.
The page speed series of blog posts was geared towards desktops versions of websites and not mobile ones. This post will outline a few ways to improve the page speed of the responsive version of your website.
Before I list those reasons, test your responsive websites load speed. I have had some issues with that site but WebPageTest is also a great resource. Be sure to select an option beside “Test Location” that is either “Android Devices – Dulles, VA” or “Apple Devices – Dulles, VA” for mobile page speed tests.
How To Improve Mobile Page Speed
As online shopping and browsing becomes more and more popular, people use just about every device to participate, often including their cell phones. In our fast paced world, online browsers are impatient and may not use your website if it does not perform quickly, especially on their mobile phone. If you run a business or organization that experiences peak user times or “busy seasons”, having a fast mobile web page is even more critical in these times when more people will be using the page.
Experts say that three seconds is the maximum time that someone expects to wait for a mobile web page. Anything over that time may cause your clients to open competitor sites, spend less time on your page, and have a more negative image of your brand. So, how do you get that mobile page speed below three seconds and keep it there? Here are seven tips:
Look At Server Response Time
The server is a key element in mobile page speed, and the longer it waits to respond to requests from the browser, the longer your page viewer will wait to see the content on your page. The time your server takes to respond is called the “waiting time” or “time to first byte”, and experts recommend this to be no longer than 200 milliseconds after a request is made. The best ways to speed up this time are to improve your web server software or configuration (through coding), enhance CPU and memory resources through improving the web hosting service, or reduce the resources that your web pages use.
We have all experienced redirects. These are the automatic instructions that move a web page viewer to another location without them having to click anything. The most common type of redirect, a 301, moves visitors from an outdated webpage to a newly designed page. Redirects take up time, so if you do not need to use them, remove them from your web pages. Often redirects are even slower on mobile networks as they are less reliable than a desktop computer network connection. The best way to start is by using tools such as a redirect mapper to see how many redirects your web page contains.
Measure Round-Trip Times
The round trip time of data is the amount of time it takes to be both transmitted from your device to the target destination and returned back to your device. While this interval depends on many factors such as the connection source, physical distance, traffic amount, etc, it is important to regularly measure the round trip time in order to get a clear sense of average times for your page. The longer the round trip time is, again the longer your page viewer will have to wait. One of the best ways to reduce this time is to combine scripts in order to avoid repeated trips.
Load Upper Half Content First
On a mobile device, it makes sense to load the content at the top of the page first, as this is what the viewer will see first. If you code your pages so the server sends data to show the upper content first, your lower content will have slightly more time to load as the viewer browses the already loaded upper half. This gives the perception that the web page has fully loaded faster even if some of the lower content has not appeared yet.
Optimize CSS And JS
This tip will both increase and decrease load time. When data is compressed, it must be decompressed in order to be displayed. This means that the data will transmit faster, but the extra decompression step may take up more time. The trade off here is usually worth it, but this is something to keep in mind as it reduces page weight which is especially important for mobile pages.
Try out the 7 tips above to see your mobile page speeds go from over three seconds to under in the blink of an eye! If you need additional help optimizing your web pages, contact us today.
For high-loaded websites, CDN or Content Delivery Network and dedicated servers are normally used. In this post, I’ll go through both servers and compare their advantages and disadvantages, their variations and a few tips on which one to choose between the two hosting options.
What Is A CDN?
CDN works by serving content to end-users with high performance and high accessibility. The networks of CDN serve most all web contents such as videos, text, and URLs.
How will CDN help with your website?
Through CDN service, there are a lot of internet nodes being designed to share web contents. So after browsing your website, it will then send data from the closest data centre to the users. In this manner, CDN helps in reducing the latency or failure that is due to networks, web server, etc. Various CDN’s utilize P2P technology in caching files to produce top performance.
CDN vs. Dedicated Server
Since CDN is already ideal, why should we need dedicated server? What are CDN’s weaknesses compared to the traditional dedicated server? Well, read on.
Rationally, CDN can guarantee 100% uptime because it is being served by numerous servers; but, it is also possible to have slowness due to the configuration of the network. Using dedicated server, the performance will depend on data centre network and server hardware configuration. Since there is a dedicated bandwidth allocation, there will not be too much latency present.
For many CDN service, security poses the biggest concern. Since it’s going to send data from your website to various locations or servers, it is difficult to have everything protected particularly when it pertains to sensitive information on the website.
Then again, a dedicated server is going to offer maximum security to any data since everything is being kept on one device. Provided that the single server is properly secured, data leaks are not possible.
Today, you can find a lot of CDN service providers on the market but, there is a huge difference in their service quality. A CDN can be built through 3 or 30 nodes. A good CDN service provider has data centres on various places such as Microsoft Azure, but it is not possible for many CDN service providers as they just have a few servers from various DCs and don’t have much access to the network material. A dedicated server is completely controlled by a team with complete access to different configurations, has control over resource allocation and security protection and updates.
If issues do happen, the CDN support will examine each node to get it fixed, and the process may take quite a while depending on the complicacy. A dedicated server is supported by the dedicated server service provider, given that the server is still up and they can access it. Means, unless it’s a MUST, they don’t have to bother your server provider for problem fixing.
When should you choose CDN or dedicated server?
Ideally, a good dedicated server is more costly compared to CDN services; particularly there are CDN providers such as MaxCDN which are only about $120 per year. On the comparison mentioned above, we have learned that a dedicated server is in fact much better than CDN when it comes to performance since it’s driven by the dedicated resource.
So it all comes down to how much you’re willing to spend. We’ve found for our clients websites and ours, the results in page speed improvements have been great despite having a shared hosting account with a CDN in place.
With various hosting types available, choosing the perfect fit for your website can be tough. Do you want a shared hosting, Dedicated Server, or a Virtual Private Server (VPS)? This article will tackle about the advantages and disadvantages of these hosting services so you can make an informed decision on which is best for you.
The Shared Account
Shared account is a basic web hosting account and used by millions of websites around the world. The shared account is perfect for sites with less traffic because they are inexpensive as compared to the VPS and Dedicated Server.
Here’s a scenario to enlighten you. Shared hosting account is like renting a room in a dormitory. You have your own private space; however, you share the facilities such as the bathroom, kitchen, and living room with the other tenants. With shared hosting, your private room is your home directory – nobody is allowed to invade your home directory other than you. That space is solely yours. But, you share major server resources like RAM (memory), software packages, CPU, and network connectivity with other websites.
Pros and Cons of a Shared Account
Very cheap – fee for a basic shared account is as low as $5.97 for every month
It is a great approach in starting an online presence
Fully-supported by Home-Cooked Support
Doesn’t require customer intervention when it comes to system problems
Very easily scaled across the three shared account hosting types
Same with renting a room in a dormitory with others, you are subject to each other’s doings in the server. Since you share the main resources, there may be times when two people will compete with the same resource all at once. Here’s another scenario – two people are using the toilet and you badly need to use it. Although there are automated scripts already in place to ensure that people are not hogging the virtual restroom, there are instances when two processes need the same resource simultaneously. From time to time, the second individual must wait for a moment – however, in computer terms, a “moment” is normally in a matter of microseconds, instead of hours.
Less capacity to modify. The same with landlords that implement rules, shared servers also have rules on what “tenants” are permitted and not permitted to do.
Outbound email is limited to 500 per hour
Root access is not permitted
Must have cPanel
Many individual starting with small online stores or blogs start with shared account.
The Virtual Private Server (VPS)
If you’re not sold out with shared hosting, then a VPS can be your next option. A VPS is somehow the same as shared account in a sense that few resources of the parent server are being shared by the child servers. However, before we delve into that. Here’s a scenario for this option: A VPS is the same as renting an apartment. Different from renting a room on a dormitory and sharing most of the facilities, renting an apartment provides an individual space with more freedom. You have your own bathroom, kitchen, and living room that are only for your usage. In a VPS setting, these are the RAM, disk space, and operating system. But, you still need to share a few resources with the rest of the building, which is the parent server, electricity and the water system, which is the network.
Pros and Cons of a VPS
Cheaper compared to a Dedicated Server
For sites that are becoming gradually popular, a VPS is the next step up
Customizable – the limitations of a shared account are nearly gone
Having a managed or core-managed VPS’s can let Home-Cooked Support take care of the management
You will have more resources – you will have your very own operating system, RAM (memory) and in selected cases, your own CPU
Outgoing email is not limited to 500 per hour
Scalable – can easily increase or decrease system resources when required with less downtime
Root access is permitted
More costly compared to a shared account
There are a few resources being shared with other customers on the server, so there are struggles with memory or server load.
The Dedicated Server
A Dedicated server is a physical server with hardware that you can use exclusively. Here’s a scenario: A Dedicated Server is similar to owning a house. From small cabins to the most elegant houses, it is really good to have something that is yours. Your hardware has no other customer, and nobody is competing for your resources too. It is exclusive to you. Your server is located in a datacenter, same as with your neighbourhood. If a fuse is blown from 3 houses away, it will not affect; but if the transformer of your neighborhood is blown then your house will be affected – if something occurs in your datacenter, which affects the network connectivity (a rare occurrence) everybody is affected. However, for problems that are specific to the server, your server is not affected by the things happening around you.
Pros and Cons of the Dedicated Server
A Dedicated Server is a physical server that is exclusive to you
Root access is allowed
No outbound email limitations
Vast resources for high-traffic sites
Overall control over every aspect of your server
Capacity to add more RAM, bigger disks or RAIDs
Fully supported by Home-Cooked Support (with managed or core-managed Dedicated servers)
More expensive compared to shared or VPS accounts
Regardless of the type of hosting service you opt for, your site will be located on a server. If visitors visit your page, the CPU and Memory of the server will work collectively to provide the visitors with the pages they want. Sometimes, there are instances that your website may utilize excessive CPU or Memory to serve a lot of pages, and that will be the perfect timing to improve and upgrade your account.
Upgrading from Shared to VPS Hosting
For many users a shared account is perfect. You have the capability to host an array of applications like Joomla or WordPress, and there are many email accounts to work with. When you compare Shared Hosting to living in an apartment, cases where an upgrade is necessary includes:
A Growing Family: When your family is growing, and your apartment can’t handle it, then it’s a perfect time to move. For instance, you may have need of an extra bedroom or bathroom for your children. Moving into a condo can provide you with that extra space. In Shared Hosting, if your site is fast becoming popular, you may have to upgrade to VPS Hosting so your account will have more CPU and Memory. This will let you handle all of the new incoming traffic on your website.
Customizations: If you like green and want your walls to be painted green, you may not be able to paint your walls with your favourite color if you’re in an apartment. Moving to a condo provides you with more ownership of your space, which lets you paint and decorate your space with whatever you like. If you need a software that’s not found in Shared Hosting, then upgrading to VPS hosting will have the power to install any software that you desire.
Upgrading from VPS Hosting to Dedicated Hosting
Continuing with the condo analogy, you are given a lot of control; however, you do not have total control. If you are to invite a crew to play in your home, others within the community will hear the ruckus and may complain. If your relative or friend moves with you, you may not be able to add another room to accommodate them. There are a lot of good reasons that living in a condo was great for you during a certain stage in your life; however, your family is growing. You may think of purchasing a family house where there is a lot of parking space, extra bedrooms, and a huge lawn for you to play with your pet.
For mid-sized businesses, VPS Servers are perfect. You will have a virtualized private server where you can create and tweak what you need. You may able to host a limitless number of sizes, and there are no limitations aside from the usage of the CPU and memory of your server. The server of a VPS isn’t a dedicated server, so that means that you’re still on a server with another user. Since you are sharing a server, other users can still be affected by your actions. If your website is busy, controlling most of the CPU time and memory of the server may cause performance problems for other users of the server. And if you’re using an unoptimized script and is running out of control, it will mess up your site and the whole server. This may cause downtime for other users of the same server.
Which to choose?
With the things mentioned above, you now know the various advantages and disadvantages of different type of hosting. We hope that through this article, you have grasped their distinctions. It is up to you to choose what type depending on your needs. If you intend to create a big blogging platform that lets hundreds of people visiting each month, you may have to consider dedicated hosting or cloud hosting because of the needs that you will face. These servers will be faster and help load your website as quickly as possible.
But, if you are starting with something small, why pay for a lot for what you don’t need? Go for shared hosting or VPS hosting and save a small amount of money.
People who visit websites prefer web pages that load quickly. According to experiments by Google, a slight delay, even just hundred milliseconds, can create a negative impact. But, what does “page speed” certainly mean? Today, in this six-chapter detailed speed optimization guide, I will tackle about page speed and explore why a quick loading page is vital.
Numerous benchmarks and research papers have proven that improving the speed of your website is one of the highest ROI and most inexpensive investments. Fast page speed is important for a lot of reasons. First is to provide first-rate user experience. If your website has a better user experience, then the chances are visitors will spend more time on your website thus the chance of buying from you increases.
Another reason to augment the loading speed is for good search engine ranking. Effective April 2010, a website’s search engine ranking is based on its upload times. In short – if all other aspects are the same – fast websites have a higher ranking compared to slow websites.
So if you have a slower site – what can you do to improve it? I will provide you valuable tips that you can implement right away.
Slow? How Slow?
Google engineers have found out that the hardly visible page load time is about 0.4 seconds is sufficient enough to make users search less.
Nowadays, online businesses have all the available resources that they need to provide content in an instant, however, to control and balance these resources; they will require a website that is speed-optimized that provides the finest user experience.
And what happens when they don’t?
One out of four visitors will leave a website loading takes more than 4 seconds. About 46% of users don’t return to websites that are performing poorly. Owners of the website have about 5 seconds to accommodate visitors before they think of abandoning the site. A 1-second delay in loading time could result to $1.6 billion in yearly losses for many online businesses like Amazon.
About 47% of online customers expect less than 2 seconds of page load time before they consider leaving – 40% will abandon the website if they are waiting at the third second, long before a performance analytics tool detects their presence in the website. Two seconds is the average peak loading time for conversion – which is faster that many websites around the world.
And what happens when they speed up?
Acceptable Website Performance – The Neuroscience and Rhythm
The occipital lobe of the brain can store visual info in the form of sensory memory in the speed of 100 milliseconds.
According to Goggle researchers that a loading time that’s less than 100 milliseconds provides visitors the impression of an instant site reaction the same with how the visual sensory memory processor of the brain functions in surges of 100 milliseconds. The memory store is emptied after 0.1 seconds as the photoreceptor cells found in the eyes convey more info going to the occipital lobe.
To maintain a continuous flow of thought, a 1 second loading time for a page is sufficient enough – users will feel more in control during their browsing activities, and the mental strain isn’t intensified except if the website doesn’t respond as intended.
Visitors will barely stay if there is a 10-second delay. Visitors will feel impatient, frustrated and feel abandoned if there is a delay and they will tend to stop going back to such sluggish websites again.
Reasons Why Your Website Is Loading Slow
How a website performs is always important. A website that performs well improves user experience enormously. This will result in visitors returning to your site, staying for a long amount of time and converting. A well-performing website can be typically seen high in the search results due to the fact that the indexer is experiencing minimal issues with it. And, mobile devices are becoming more vital today that a site can’t manage to perform at a slow rate and without the right improvements.
Below are lists of the most basic mistakes:
Speed optimization is completely neglected while building the website
A lot of businesses don’t think that their website has to be optimized during its development. They only think that it needs optimizing after their website is live and they don’t get the desired organic traffic. By that time, the website will be so intricate that a systematic optimization will need them to essentially start all over. It is ideal to have websites optimized while it’s in the development stage. This will help save time and resources.
Cheap web hosting service
Cheap web hosting service is only cheap at first. With millions of websites, the space for web hosting is crowded enough. Ordinary web hosting services offer cheap services at the same time compromising quality. They are able to do this by hosting a number of sites on a single server. This approach slows down web pages a lot that the revenue loss is greater than the reduction cost.
Too many plugins and widgets
Do you want to have a website that’s well-designed? Just remember, add-ons that sometimes come in as widgets or plugins can weigh on the performance of your website. The addition of a widget can add a 2-second loading time to your page. And, plugins that stream huge date to do difficult operations can greatly affect your site. In the end, these add-ons can even lessen the web page’s functionality.
Advertisements can slow things down. Your page is going to load a lot of stuff from the web to show it to your visitors, so make sure not to overdo it. If you try to make profits in this manner, it may cost you more.
Designs with large hi-res images
Attractive and fine-looking themes may come at a price. Using images with high-resolution may make your site look great. However, it may significantly slow it down. Website owners and developers may be tempted such endeavor and often makes sense. But usually, they end up costing bandwidth and make you lose clients.
Websites not optimized for mobile users
Almost everyone today is using mobile devices, and it’s imperative that your site must be mobile device friendly. Sites that aren’t optimized for mobile device users normally experience from problems such as videos that are non-playable, bloated graphics and inappropriate cross-linking. Furthermore, Google has recently defined that to lower the PageRank of sites without mobile optimizations. And that is something to consider for website owners.
Wrapping it up
Though the issues mentioned above are very obvious, I have witnessed numerous sites experiencing the same issues and problems. Vital factors such as site speed, design, and usability suffer due to time or money matters. So it’s very important to begin with the basics and do some research.
Do not neglect the idea of optimizing website load speed. In today’s digital world, so you can be successful, you must deliver in a fast manner. Visitors will not stay long; you have just a few seconds to catch their attention. So begin optimizing the speed of your website now and you can reap the benefits anytime soon.
My next post will be on the difference between hosting accounts and what server you choose is important to website load speed.