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7 Quick Tips on How to Best Optimize Your Images For SEO

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Images are an often overlooked part of SEO and the whole search engine experience, however they can play an important part and proper utilisation can be very beneficial. So, here are some tips to help you optimise for the best SEO.

Focus On Quality And Originality When Choosing Your Images

Images can add a lot to the overall user experience. Ideally, all of the images that you use on your website should be original. They should also be highly relevant to the content of the page where they are shown.

There are a couple of different ways that you can go about getting original images. For photographs, you can take your own pictures using a high-quality camera. For other types of graphics, you can use an in-house designer or you can outsource them, hiring a graphic design firm to create them for you.

Ultimately, all of your images should serve a purpose on your website, providing your visitors with a good experience every time they land on one of your pages.

Stock photographs are so common that most people ignore them. Matt Woodward advises you take your own photos, on the other hand, makes it much easier to grab people’s attention when they spot your one of your photos in the search results.

If you aren’t sure where to find the best images for your site, and don’t want to pay for them, check out this list of free image sites that offer royalty free graphics and images.

Make Sure Your Images Serve A Purpose

The best images are the ones that reinforce an idea or that make it easier for users to understand a concept or a product.

Many people are visual learners, meaning that they learn best when content is presented to them in a visual format. From an emotional standpoint, images are also typically far more impactful than big chunks of text.

Ideally, you should try to add images to all of your content. Just make sure that they are relevant. It is better to have no image than to add an image that doesn’t relate to your content.

Screenshots are another valuable type of image to add to your website. You can use them to explain concepts or to help people understand how to perform certain actions. They are particularly beneficial when you are writing about a topic that is complex or difficult to understand.

In terms of content creation, the goal of images should be to serve as a complement to your written content. They should enhance your writing, making concepts easier to understand or showcasing products. They can also be used to break up large blocks of text.

Select the Correct Format For Your Images

Deciding on an image is only the first part of the process. Once you find the perfect picture, you need to decide what format to save it in. The three most common file types used on the web are JPEG, PNG, and GIF.

JPEG is the best option for photographs. It compresses images, helping to keep the file size down. Unfortunately, this compression can result in a loss of quality. Another drawback to JPEGs is that they don’t support transparency. However, when you are dealing with photographs, it is usually the best file format since it helps keep the file size as small as possible, ensuring that the photos will load quickly.

GIFs are the best choice for basic art or for animated images. GIFs can only contain 256 colors, meaning that this file format is usually not appropriate for photographs. For simple graphics or business logos, however, it does a great job of keeping the file size small while at the same time creating crisp, clean images.

PNG files combine the benefits of GIFs and JPEGs. Like GIFS, they support transparency, making them a good option for logos or other types of digitally-created content. At the same time, they also have much greater color support, meaning that they can be used for photographs, as well. Although the file size of PNG images can be somewhat larger than JPEGs, you may find that it is a good option for situations that call for high-quality images that are as crisp and clear as possible.

Check the File Size Of Your Thumbnails

Thumbnail images are a great way to give people a preview of larger images that reside on another page. For instance, in an e-commerce store, products may have a thumbnail image on the store category page with a larger image on the product detail page.

The only thing you have to keep in mind when using thumbnail images is that the file sizes can quickly get out of control. Instead of just shrinking down a larger image, you should save each thumbnail individually, making sure that it has the smallest file size possible. That way, your category pages won’t take too long to load.

Because thumbnail images are so small, you can usually sacrifice a little bit of quality in order to keep the size of the file small. Since most pages with thumbnails include more than one image, you need to focus more on small file sizes than on the quality of the images.

When filling in the alt attribute for these images, try to use different text than the text that you use for the larger, higher-quality images. Imagine how disappointing it would be if your thumbnail image got indexed by the search engines while your larger image got ignored. Some experts even recommend avoiding using the alt tag on thumbnail images.

Use A Sitemap Specifically For Your Images

When creating sitemaps for your website, consider creating one specifically for your images. Google actively encourages webmasters to take this step since it makes it easier for them to find and index images. This is particularly important if you have images on your site that are loaded via JavaScript.

You can either add image information to your existing sitemap or you can create a second sitemap that is devoted only to images. The process is a lot easier than you might think. In essence, it just involves adding a small amount of image information for each URL.

There are even plug-ins available for WordPress that you can use to easily create a sitemap for your images.

Use Descriptive Names For Your Images

When you pull images off of your camera, they have a default filename. As tempting as it might be to leave this file name, it is generally a bad idea from an SEO standpoint.

Renaming them using relevant keywords is a great way to help the search engines better understand what the pictures are all about. The more descriptive you can be with the titles, the better job the search engines will do of listing your images.

Here is a great example:

Imagine that you are selling a Hyundai Elantra. When you take a photo of the car, your camera automatically assigns it a name, which is usually made up of a jumble of letters and numbers. Instead of sticking with this original name, you should change the name of the file to something like 2018-Hyundai-Elantra-blue.jpg.

When coming up with names for your images, think about the types of search terms that your customers are the most likely to use. Then, name your images accordingly. You can find detailed information about the phrases that your customers are searching for by checking the analytics of your website.

Share Your Images

Sharing your content is a great way to get noticed. As long as you are providing high-quality images, people who discover your content after you share it may decide to link to it on their own, which can be beneficial from an SEO standpoint.

Luckily, visual content performs extremely well on social media and in newsletters. People are naturally drawn to images, making this content ideal for sharing through these channels. The more often you share your content, the more likely it is to get shared with others, helping to expand its reach. You can make it easier for your visitors to share your content, as well, by adding social media sharing buttons to your site.

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12 Essential Digital Marketing Tools Guaranteed to Grow Your Business

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A craftsperson is only as good as their tools. Companies deploying growth strategies using digital marketing tools need to make sure they are investing the right time and money.

But with the digital economy changing so fast it can be difficult to know where to invest your time and money. There are new companies and new tools springing up every day.

Each one promises huge returns and low cost. Make sure you have the right investment or the competition could leave you behind.

You need these 10 tools today:

1. Feedly

It isn’t enough to have great content. Your content strategy needs to be curated, scheduled, and tracked.

Feedly will help you curate your content calendar across platforms.

2. CRM Software

What is CRM Software? CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a must for companies that need to make use of valuable data across all departments.

This means you! Without CRM you aren’t able to target the right people, turn insights into conversions, or avoid redundancies.

3. LeadPages

Your bounce rate could be killing your SEO. Even worse, all those bounces could be symbols of your business going elsewhere.

Leadpages is the answer. You can test new landing pages and deploy for success with Leadpages.

4. Splice

If you aren’t using video content, you should be. And if you aren’t optimizing your video content for social media you are missing a huge opportunity.

Splice, from the makers of GoPro, is the tool for your video content.

5. Google Analytics

There is no replacement. You need this.

From within your Google Webmaster Account, you can manage all aspects of your site when it comes to SEO and making sure you are good in the eyes of Google.

Not sure if your site was affected by one of the latest penalties, or if it’s indexed in Google? All of this and more is tracked from Webmaster Tools.

6. Yoast

If you are using WordPress and struggling with SEO, Yoast is the tool for you. Yoast comes in a free version and offers insight into your text.

Yoast will scan your content and rate all of it, traffic light style, for SEO.

Best of all, this tool is extremely easy to use, and free!

7. LiveChat

Customers want support in real time. Make sure you are on the cutting edge of user experience with LiveChat.

The next time you visit a website or ecommerce site and see a little chat popup window appear, this is exactly how LiveChat works.

There are plenty of alternatives out there, and many of them are powered with artificial intelligence.

Take a look at the different options available and how other brands are using these chatbots to grow their business — then think about how you could do the same.

8. WooCommerce of Shopify

If you want to start selling products online, you need to have a great ecommerce platform.

Two of the most popular and best solutions out there are WooCommerce and Shopify.

Discover how to boost ecommerce sales with either of these platforms, while also improving your SEO and revenue in the process.

9. Social Shark

With over 1 billion users worldwide, there’s never been a better time to make the most of Instagram. But for marketers new to the social media platform the results can be disappointing without the right tools.

Social Shark is the right tool to grow your Instagram presence.

10. Ahrefs and DA/PA Checkers

All those SEO hunters out there already know about Ahrefs. The tool will track your rankings as well as link-building campaigns.

The tool also helps you improve local SEO.

Another useful tool to add into this section, is TheHoth’s DA/PA checker.

It’s free to use and if you are looking up

11. MailChimp

Email marketing represents the highest return on investment in terms of digital marketing. But if your company is only dabbling in the email marketing field you are missing out.

Email marketing needs to be targeted, managed and tracked to be effective. MailChimp is a great tool for small businesses.

12. Famoid

Everyone is obsessed with social media and making sure they reach as many people as possible. This can clearly be seen by how much the top influencers are getting paid when posting content and showing brands and products within their updates.

While everyone starts at ZERO, there are ways to speed up this process.

Famoid is a social media marketing platform that allows people to grow their following fast — no matter if it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

In addition to growing your follower, they also have options for increase shares, likes, and views as well.

Moving Beyond Digital Marketing Tools

Remember, digital marketing tools are only a means to an end. Many business owners and marketing professionals feel that once they have the right tools the rest will take care of itself.

Not so. You need to lead your company into growth.

Now that you have the 10 essential tools covered, make sure you are headed in the right direction.

Learn more now about the hacks that will make your company grow faster.

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Why Isn’t My SEO Working? 10 Reasons Why (And How to Fix It)

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According to statistics, there are over 3.5 billion searches on Google every single day. If you are not getting the traffic that you want, you need to figure out why isn’t your SEO working, and what you can do to fix it.

SEO is the bread and butter behind every website, it will help people find your business and turn them into buyers.

It does not matter how beautifully designed the website is or how perfectly curated your content is written, if you do not have your SEO working properly, your business will greatly suffer.

But how exactly do you know if your SEO is optimized properly, and even harder, how do you know how to fix it if it isn’t? The last thing you want to do is keep making the same mistakes.

Keep reading to learn how to get your SEO working optimally so you can start rolling in the sales!

Let’s get started.

You Do Not Have an SEO Strategy

If you think that SEO is just the simple action of stuffing some keywords into your content, you are, well, wrong. You need to have a clear and concise plan of action, just as you would with a business plan.

An SEO strategy is where you organize your website’s content by topic, which helps Google to understand the user’s intention when hunting for relevant information. A great SEO strategy has their content organized by topics, then incorporates the long-tailed keywords that relate to each topic.

The more specific you are, the more you will attract specific clients who will turn into customers.

Your Website is Horrendous

There is more to building a website than just choosing pretty color schemes and writing awesome blogs. Sure, they are great and play a large part of your results. However, they are not the core of the SEO portion of your website.

If you used a free or cheap website builder, chances are that your website is slow, and not optimized with keywords embedded properly within. Some things to check for are;

  • Is there a call to action on every page?
  • Is it optimized for mobile searching?
  • What is the loading speed?
  • Is it simple and easy to read, or busy and convoluted?
  • Is it clear about what your business is about right off the bat?
  • Is it easy to navigate?
  • Does it take the user easily to the checkout page?
  • Is there a search function?
  • Was SEO included during the entire design process?
  • Does it include basic SEO elements?

All of these are essential components of a well-designed, SEO working website. If you can agree to all of these, you are now on the right track!

Your Website Speed is Slow

With mobile searches more popular than ever, the speed of your website has become an essential SEO ranking factor. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is designed, in our current instant gratification culture, if it is not loading right away, it will turn prospective customers away.

There are many tools online, especially on Google, that will help you discover your website’s speed and what to do about it.

You Are Not Optimizing Keywords Accurately

Now we get to the juicy stuff, the keywords. We now know that keywords are not the be-all-end-all, but they are sure extremely important. Keywords are the words and phrases that a user types into the search engine to find and discover content like your website.

The more relevant your keywords are to your content, the easier your target audience can find you in the world wide web amongst all your competitors. A great example of this done perfectly is done through various local-targeted SEO agencies. You can see an example of there where one agency correctly incorporates keywords in all the right places without overdoing it, check it out!

On that same article, you will also find the following recommended tips when trying to decide on the best agency to use:

  1. Establish Your SEO Goals
  2. Set Realistic Expectations
  3. Consider Your Budget
  4. …But Don’t Go Cheap
  5. Look at Reviews and Testimonials
  6. Ask For a Consultation
  7. Don’t Buy Snake Oil

Your goal as a website is to drive traffic from the search engine result page (SERP) to your website by implementing what the specific words your ideal traffic would include in their search. This can include long-tail keywords, single words, and even full sentences.

Your Content Is Horrible and Not Optimized

We have touched on the keyword importance, and what is even more important is how you use those keywords within your content. A keyword is no good unless it is naturally placed within a well-written article or page on your website.

Make sure you are writing content that people will actually read, become engaged with and hopefully even share. Do not just write content just for the sake of getting content on your website or else you will definitely have troubles getting your SEO working. If your site design and content is just a mess and you don’t know where to start, then you can ask any of the top web design agencies to clean this up for you. While this might cost some money, it will definitely speed up the process and likely be done by a professional at the same time.

People want fresh, relative content that is easy to read and straight to the point. They do not want to feel like they are being sold on something, and will definitely pick up if you are keyword stuffing. Once in the title, first paragraph, one header, conclusion and a couple throughout the article (depending on the word count) are optimal.

You Are Not Tracking Conversions and Traffic

How are you supposed to know if your SEO is optimal if you do not have a method of tracking the progress? Using software such as Google Analytics will help you monitor your sales, conversions and incoming traffic. It will also teach you your bounce rates, and give you hints on how to improve them.

Learn More About Getting Your SEO Working Optimally

If you realized that you do not have your SEO working optimally, do not worry! You still have time to fix it, however, we suggest doing that sooner than later because most changes take about 6 months to start seeing the increase in traffic.

There are also many other factors that will come into play when looking at SEO as well. This can be anything from the DA/PA and ranking power of your site, to the length and focus of your content, to also how many backlinks you have pointing towards your site. Be sure to look at all of these variables when trying to improve your site rankings.

If you are fed up with trying to do it yourself, that’s ok, you probably shouldn’t be doing your own SEO anyways. Before you hire anyone, read this article on hiring an SEO specialist,

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SEO Video Marketing: How to Approach Video SEO and Optimization in 2019

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The Web is overwhelmingly addicted to online video content. Cisco forecasts online video traffic comprising 82% of all IP traffic by 2022. In the stat’s regards, creators forgoing SEO video marketing face obscurity.

Here’s the kicker: There’s no excuse why your brand shouldn’t explore video.

Video creation is easier-than-ever thanks to inexpensive video cameras and editing programs. The camera in your smartphone is often enough to create engaging videos. Even YouTube offers a free editing suite in its platform!

Video and SEO happen once you embrace the “something is better than nothing”. It’s overcoming your fright of being on camera and perfection. Those saying, “Yes, I’m ready!” keep reading because you’re about to learn how it’s done.

Why SEO Video Marketing Matters

Consider this: YouTube is the 2nd most used website and shares the same rank as a search engine. Yes, a search engine! YouTube is where many begin their discovery — appearing there has similar effects to the top 10 in Google.

Let’s not discount the 1-billion videos viewed on YouTube each day, either.

YouTube benefits are too good to pass — they include:

  • Presenting a face to your brand
  • Tapping the massive user base
  • Creating new marketing funnels
  • Building bigger brand awareness
  • Integrating with promo efforts

Video content is also among the most shared viral content types. A well-received video could change your business overnight! Given YouTube’s insane traffic, your efforts may prove more fruitful than written blogs alone.

Convinced yet? Let’s explore what you’ll do.

How to Create and Optimize Videos for YouTube

Your video SEO efforts do better when the content is good, that’s a given. Aim for high-quality videos covering in-demand topics. Read your audience and deliver what they want by looking at video stats and analytics.

Likewise, spend as much as you need for great video and sound quality. The mix of good content choice and video fidelity will boost engagement. The engagement is what you’re aiming for since this is one of the biggest SEO signals.

Now, let’s get into the video SEO techniques and strategies you’ll use.

1. Do Your Research

YouTube keywords are similar but different from those used in Google. Remember how YouTube is a search engine? Use its search features for topic and keyword discovery — type in your query and take notes!

Look how others use keywords:

  1. Let YT autosuggest keywords in the search bar
  2. Sort videos by ‘Most Popular’ with the given keyword
  3. Look at the creator’s keyword placement

Use this time to make a list of creators in your space and follow them. The list keeps a tab on their efforts and shows content gaps between their channel and yours. The content gap is the missing topics yet covered — giving you an advantage if you choose to cover these items.

2. Define Your Goals

Consider the video content type and how it relates to user intent:

  • Informative
  • Sales and marketing
  • Brand awareness
  • Internal resources

Your keyword selection often reveals the user intent by way of its topic. Create a spreadsheet and brainstorm a dozen ideas for each category. Then, define the direction and call-to-action used in these video types.

Examples would include tutorial or explainer videos for informative pieces. Or, reviews and product overviews for sales videos.

When knowing the intent you can:

  • Define where the video gets shared/embedded
  • Who you’ll work with for its promotion (influencers)

You can also use a tool like mysimpleshow to start creating whiteboard and animation videos through a simple drag and drop platform. There is no need to create your own videos, audios, or even being a coder or video producer.

mysimpleshow storyline

3. Keep Viewers Engaged

YouTube wants users spending a lot of time on their site. The longer users engage the better chance it shows positive ranking signals.

You can increase video engagement by doing the following:

  • Create video around interesting topics
  • Including video transcripts (they’ll linger while reading)
  • Use enticing thumbnails to boost clicks/views
  • Interlink videos on the platform and resources on your site
  • Ask for comments, subscribes, and shares

Aim at creating longer videos, too, if the topic supports it. Longer videos keep viewers hooked and could spur comments (and shares).

4. Wrap It with Content

Give your video a boost by embedding it on a page featuring relevant information. Examples include a product review on a product page. Or, crafting a video in tandem to a blog post either covering everything or acting as support.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Convert a popular post into a video
  2. Optimize the video on YouTube
  3. Embed the video back onto the page

Worry less about technicals like keeping it above the fold and more about its context. Give visitors a reason to stop and view the video by calling out its value in the content leading up to the embed.

5. Apply the Optimization

Apply optimization strategies to YouTube pages as you would your site:

  1. Place keyword(s) in the title, description, and tags
  2. Include a transcript or let YT transcribe for added content
  3. Add videos to catchy-titled playlists

Refer to your YouTube research for the keyword selection. Front-load the keyword in the title and early on in the description. Use secondary and long-tail keywords, too, if they add value to the video’s description.

You should take this time to craft an engaging channel about page, too. Fill the basics like channel description, details, and contact. Give people a reason to subscribe so they’ll return with each published video!

6. Get It Promoted

Invest in the video’s promotion as if it were a product:

  • Share it across your social channels
  • Tap influencers for mentions and shares
  • Interlink videos on popular platforms
  • Send the video URL to the newsletter
  • Promote it through paid advertising

To learn more about any of these methods and to see what’s working best for others, view this list of top influencers on YouTube. They don’t have millions of subscribers just out of luck. They actually know what they are doing when it comes to online video, and how to get viewers to click, like, and share.

The promotion satisfies two things:

  • Gets more views and potential shares
  • Provides feedback for new video ideas

Promoting like a product commands more commitment vs jumping to the next project. You’ll maximize the video’s potential and reach. This extra effort could turn viral — giving you a break in the industry!

Video Killed the Blog Star (Don’t Let It Be You)

Blogging has been the vehicle for business promotion for many years. Yet, this is changing as brands double-down on SEO video marketing. The Web has spoken and they want video content — will you deliver?

Don’t wait any longer nor overcomplicate the video creation process. Set up, press record, and shoot a video. Create something and use it when applying the video SEO strategies in this post.

Ready to take the next step in video production? Read our YouTube channel guide to grow with video content like you never imagined!

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