August 2020 - Sleek Web Designs Blog

Month: August 2020

External Links and SEO: How to Vet Your Sources

External links target external domains and are integral to the way Google’s algorithm evaluates web pages. Every modern SEO understands that external links are a vital source of ranking power.

Search engines often consider them like third-party votes of confidence that help to increase your website’s SEO value. They base their assessment on the idea that the way people talk and recommend your website explains a lot about you.

Importance of External Links

External links play an influential role in the ranking of your website. Associating your site with high authority, relevant sources helps you rank highly. It provides strong sources to your authority and allows your website to outrank other sites that don’t have them. This is according to Shai Aharony’s study.

External linking increases your website’s visibility and relevance. Search engines will show how they value their users by listing the most relevant results to their queries. By including external links from same-niche websites, Google will understand your web content’s relevance for a particular query and the level of your popularity, which may boost the ranking of your website.

When you link to another website, users will be able to find additional information related to their searches. This adds value to user experience, which, in turn, encourages them to visit again in the future and get more quality content.

Linking out to powerful and reliable sources allows you to get a backlink from these sources and naturally build a linking environment. This technique will improve your ranking on multiple search engine results pages (SERPs)

How to Vet Your Sources

An external link should come from a good source. But what does a good source entail? Let’s uncover the answer to this pressing question with a keen eye on the topics defined on Google QRG’s page 9.

The accuracy of your information is essential, and as a content creator, you have to ensure that, in the end, your traffic play will not hurt your readers.

Step 1. How to determine if a Journal or Website is Credible

The first step to ascertaining if your resource qualifies to be used as a source is to figure out if it’s trustworthy. To do this, you should evaluate the following;

Who is the Author?

  • The credibility of the journal or website’s author is easy to check. Scrutinize the name of the person who wrote the content and ask yourself this;

Do You Know Them?

  • You cannot assess the content’s credibility if you haven’t determined its author. In most SEO articles, using individual expert names is recommended. So whenever possible, if the writer’s name is indicated, use it. Some high authority companies don’t use the writer’s name, though. Instead, they publish content under a brand name.

How Proficient Are They in Their Field?

  • Does this author hold a certification or degree as proof of their experience?

What Reputation Do They Have in This Field? Are They Associated with Trusted Names?

  • An excellent example is the article from Shai Aharony. No one would’ve known anything about the author, but Rand Fishkin vetted his data. Fishkin also said a lot of positive things about the other experiments carried out by Aharony. Looking at Fishkin, you’ll discover that he is a recognizable name in SEO. Thus his involvement means you can trust Aharony’s work.

Have They Any Incentive to Sway Their Readers?

  • An expert author who has a financial stake in their SEO content should be scrutinized thoroughly.

Who is the Source’ Publisher?

  • The credibility of the source’s publisher is imperative. Although academic researchers have been using journal reputationto assess credibility, these rules have not worked on websites. Most sites have shortcomings such as ad spam, lack of HTTPS, and much more. You can search for reviews or use backlink monitoring tools to determine the source’s credibility. Also, check if the sources are listed as distrust on sites such as Media Bias Fact Checkor Quackwatch if it’s necessary.

Who Funded the Source?

  • The best academic journals come with a full funding disclosure policy that lets readers follow potential paper trails if there any. Websites, on the other hand, can be mixed up. What you need to watch out for is the sponsored content that may mislead you to believing it’s an authoritative source.

Determine if the potential source is giving too much attention to a company, service, or product, and you’ll know if it’s sponsored or not.

Is their Content Recent?

  • Does the authors’ context reflect your own? When writing content on specific topics, you should rely exclusively on sources that are current and updated.

Does the Resource Back Up Its Claims?

  • Your resource should provide sources and data to support its claims. Assertions that have no legitimate backing only means that the source is not trustworthy. So when linking, you should know who your potential resource is linking to.

Step 2: How to Determine If Your External Link is Excellent for SEO

It is crucial for you to determine if your potential source should be considered for SEO. Apart from providing readers with relevant, reliable, and trustworthy information, every marketer should critically evaluate whether their source will improve the content’s value and user experience or damage it.

Here’s what to keep in mind:

The Comprehension Level of Your Audience

Your source’s strength doesn’t necessarily mean that all your readers will understand the context of your article. Some of them will be left feeling worried and confused about your product. Don’t try to convince readers about your products without providing a source that will help them fully understand its details. A good source should give context and authority, which is only possible when readers understand it.

The Experience Users Have with the Destination Source

While keeping your website ad-free and fast-loading is a good move, you must also ensure that your sources have the same qualities. Readers often get turned off when they click a slow-loading source cluttered with ads, even if it looks nice and clean. Your external link is an endorsement of the destination source, and that’s how your readers perceive it to be.

The Safety of the Source

Never link to an attack site, it may not be great for SEO. When you associate yourself with a source that serves malware, you will lose your audience’s trust. Don’t use a source that fails Google’s safety tool check and which, when you click through, your browser will warn you.

The Source’s Scannability

Linking out to wide-ranging resources leads to poor user experience. The reader will find the source more resourceful than your content and will choose to continue browsing on the source since that’s where they can find the information they need. Instead of using wide-ranging sources, link your content to Google’s definition, which is short and dedicated and will not make users bounce.

Linking to a Competitor

Make sure you don’t link to your competitor. This can happen given that a lot of people may be writing in a vertical like yours and will share your space. Don’t link out your direct competitor’s content if you want to avoid bouncing your readers to their content funnel. If the audience finds your competitor’s content more engaging, they’ll click their CTAs and convert to their site because you directed them there.

Key Takeaway

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when exploring external linking and its value. This article gives you heads-up on how to achieve SEO value by linking to fresh, updated, and valuable sources. The best practices of external linking will earn you the right signals used by search engines to determine your website’s ranking worth. Remember, excellent sourcing increases your website’s trust.

speed up website

7 Ways to Speed up a WordPress Website (and Get More Traffic)

Increasing your website’s loading speed is the best way to keep visitors streaming in. Search engines like Google also value fast loading websites and will rank them higher than slow-loading ones. Website loading time is among the parameters in Google’s search algorithm, so if you want to get a high ranking position in the search results, speed up your WordPress website.

When a web design company in New York sets up your website, they often do everything keeping the user in mind. The right loading time of your site should not go beyond four seconds.

If it takes above ten seconds to load, you need to do something about it because it’ll cost you your readers and customers. Use the various techniques available to boost your website’s performance.

Here are the necessary steps you can take to speed up your WordPress site;

1. Invest in Quality Web Hosting

Your WordPress website’s speed is influenced by its hosting. It is essential to host your site with a quality web hosting provider offering unlimited space, bandwidth, domains, emails, and more.

As you are well aware, shared hosting may not deliver excellent loading times and uptime as well. Their performance is often poor, considering that you share one server and space with many other websites whose resource usage is unknown. Also, you don’t know if the servers are well optimized.

Stay away from shared hosting, if possible. This way, you’ll avoid having a slow website. Get hosting that provides an excellent balance of comfort, cost, and speed. You can also opt for managed WordPress hosting where your website will run on an optimized WordPress server. All the technicalities of running a site will be taken care of, and the prices are budget-friendly.

You can also buy dedicated cloud servers from Amazon Web Services, Digital Ocean, Google Compute Engine, or SiteGround at a nominal price. The only drawback will be in setting up the servers. You’ll have to engage a hosting provider at an extra cost.

2. Use a Well-Coded, Lightweight Theme

Some WordPress themes come with plenty of dynamic elements that may be appealing to you but can slow down your website. With so many features and code that should be loaded, your site will be overloaded and slow down as the code executes.

Advise your web design company in New York to consider using a default WordPress theme that is lightweight or one with excellent frameworks such as Bootstrap or Foundation. Find a theme that will give you only what you need with no extras. This way, your loading speed will be optimal, with minimal issues. You can also get a lightweight theme and add functionality using plugins.

A premium lightweight theme should offer you premium features, frequent updates, and quality support. Features like speed and other quality parameters significantly impact SEO, and they can only come from a good theme.

3. Optimize Your Images

Images contribute to the bulk of web pages. They require additional space than CSS or text. To speed up your WordPress, you should compress your images without compromising on their quality.

If you have to optimize images manually, use Photoshop or Chrome PageSpeed Insights or other tools. But remember, this will take a long time to accomplish. Fortunately, you can use plugins such as Optimole, EWWW Image optimizer, or WP Smush for quick image optimization and improve your website’s speed.

WordPress will create different sizes for you to insert the size you want it to display when using images in the content. Do not post a full-size image as it will make the website slow.

4. Implement File Minification

Minifying JS and CSS files is a genius concept that will keep your website up to speed. A code file like CSS is often neatly organized for readability. Code formatting creates large files which can cause long download times.

Whenever you run your website on Google PageSpeed Insights, you’ll get a notification telling you to minimize your JS and CSS files to improve your website’s loading speed. Google has guides to help you with manual file minification. If not, plugins such as Autoptimize and W3 Total Cache can help you optimize your CSS, HTML, and JS files.

5. Install Advanced Caching Plugin

WordPress has free caching plugins such as W3 Total Cache to help you add caching rules to your site with ease. They come with excellent features and are user-friendly. When used alongside advanced caching mechanisms, your website’s loading speed will increase considerably.

An advanced caching plugin can store site viewer information, including images, Flash files, JS and CSS code, HTML, and fonts for future visitors. WordPress doesn’t have to generate it every time for subsequent site visitors.

Other plugins you can use to increase your WordPress website’s performance and improve user experience include Breeze, WP Rocket, and WP Super Cache, among many others.

6. Utilize a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Every website attracts visitors from different geographic locations. The site loading speed differs depending on location. A content delivery network can help you keep the speed at a minimum for all your website visitors. It also keeps a copy of your sit in different datacenters across the globe to help serve visitors effectively from locations nearer to them. This helps to cut down the download time. The commonly used content delivery networks are Cloudflare, MaxCDN, StackPath, and Google Cloud CDN.

7. Optimize Your WordPress Database

It is important to you keep your website database optimized and clean by deleting all unwanted data. This will minimize the database size, including backups. Delete all old drafts, fake users, spam comments, and unnecessary files that have accumulated and are affecting your website’s speed.

WordPress has an effective plugin known as wp-optimize. You can use it to remove unwanted files and allow your web visitors to enjoy high loading speeds.

These and more, are ways you can increase your WordPress website’s speed and enhance the user experience for more productive SEO and conversions.

Want help to optimize your site database? Our SEO services in New York include speeding up the loading speed. We can help!

Why Speeding Up Your WordPress Website Matters

The page loading speed matters greatly as it influences your bounce rate, web traffic, user satisfaction, conversions, and profit. For you to maximize on your website, you should keep it up to speed. Here are reasons why you should be concerned about your site’s loading speed:

Slow Speed Increases Bounce Rates

According to statistics, 47% of customers expect a website page to load immediately after clicking. That is within one or two seconds. About 40% of visitors will abandon the website if it takes above three seconds to load. Among these, 79% of shoppers dissatisfied with the performance of a website may never return.

This means that a second’s delay can reduce conversions by 7%. Do you know what this means? Make your calculation.

The consequences of a slow loading website are wide-ranging and will cost you a lot in visitor conversion and retention.

Use SEO services in New York to help reduce your site’s bounce rate.

Website Speed is a Ranking Factor on Major Search Engines

The global percentage of people who access websites from their mobile phones is very high. Search engines often want to present their users with the best SERPs (search engine result pages). Although it’s not a ranking factor, website speed will definitely factor in your search position.

Visitors will leave your website right away the moment they realize it’s slow-loading. Google will then take note of this and downvote it as a low-quality site. Very soon, Google will put page loading speed as a ranking factor for its mobile index. Considering this fact, you must optimize your website’s performance.

To Sum it Up

Minimizing your website’s loading time has plenty of benefits. It is going to enhance UX, whether they’re using computers or mobile devices. This will earn you repeat visitors and massive conversions.

Furthermore, your rankings in the search engine result pages will also improve. If your website is slow and want to speed it up, enlist SEO services in New York for help. Contact us today to increase your site’s loading speed once and for all.