Don’t worry – it took me quite some time to say this properly too!!
This is probably the quickest but most effective thing you can do for your overall website health.
A definition of Canonicalization from Matt Cutts at Google “It is the process of picking the best url when there are several choices, and usually refers to home pages”.
What does this mean in English?
There are several ways that you can write a website address:
Yes I know what you’re thinking – they’re all the same and go to the same place. For a person yes – but not to a search engine. Technically all of these url’s are different and could show totally different content on each url which gets search engines very confused and cross (and ultimately gives you lower rankings).
So what to do? Pick one format that you’d like to use – either www or non www and update the header section html on your website with the following code:
(you can see here I’ve chosen to go with the non www version)
The version you choose should be the one you think is most important. If you don’t mind then choose that gets the most visitors or has the most backlinks. But choose one and be consistent!
There is very divided advice in the industry about www vs non www and you can read more about it here.
Google has confirmed that the latest version of Penguin (which is 4.0) is now live and part of their core algorithm as of 23rd September 2016.
Penguin is the name given to part of the algorithm that deals with web spam – things like keyword stuffing and unnatural link schemes and was first launched in 2012.
What does this mean for a small business’s website? Well not much if you have high quality content that doesn’t repeat your target keywords lots and lots (like this screenshot from Google):
Or this example of totally unnatural links (see the links to loans in an article about getting fit):
While these are extreme examples think about your site – do you link out to any other websites that have absolutely nothing to do with your business area? Are there more than one or two links on each page?
If not you should be in pretty good shape to not be affected by Penguin 4.0.
If you’ve seen a dip in your SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) I’d love to hear from you!
Most of us know that using hashtags on Twitter increases the chance of your tweet being seen in a search.
For those of you that don’t know what a hashtag is here is a quick summary.
What is a Twitter hashtag
A hashtag (written with a # symbol) is used to index keywords or topics and allows people to easily follow things they are interested in.
– use the hashtag symbol before a relevant keyword or phrase in your Tweet to categorise that Tweet
– if you click on a hash tagged word in any message Twitter will show you other Tweets that include that hashtag
– hashtags can be included anywhere in a Tweet
For more basic hashtag info have a read of Twitters support page: https://support.twitter.com/articles/49309?lang=en
So, know we all know what a hashtag is how do you use the best ones to give maximum visibility to your Tweet?
Meet Hashtagify.me (http://hashtagify.me).
This cool (and free!) little tool allows you to research hashtags and not only provides meaningful data such as popularity and usage patterns it will also show you related hashtags.
When you go to the website you’re shown one of the all time top 10 Twitter hashtags (you will need a paid account to see the others but don’t worry about that now).
Whats really cool though is that it also shows you other hashtags that are related, and how popular they are.
The hashtag in red is one of the all time top 10, the others in blue are related ones and as you can see the “business” and “jobs” hashtags are slightly more popular than the “marketing” one (just hover over the circles to get their popularity score.
Now if we’re really savvy we could write a Tweet using one of these hashtags but what if its not really relatable to your business?
Enter the search function!
Up in the top right corner you will see a little white rectangle labeled Search #tag. Put in there what you think would be a good hashtag for your tweet and it will again show you how popular that term is and a whole host of other related ones (that may actually be much better for you to use).
For example, I’m a jewellery designer so lets search for jewellery:
So I can see that jewellery is fairly popular at 63.7 and the american spelling jewelry is way more popular at 76.5 but I don’t ship to the US so no point using that.
But necklace (69.1) and earrings (67) are also more popular than jewellery so instead of promoting my entire range using #jewellery I would promote individual items using their respective hashtag.
This really is a great little tool (and no I haven’t been paid or given anything to review it!!!).
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Silent movies haven’t been popular for years right?
Well there have been some confusion in the industry regarding sound for social media videos.
Facebook have been advising companies to create videos “with or without” sound and have even gone as far as switching off audio when video posts play automatically in a news feed. Some of the “big boys” have backed up Facebook’s decision – lovely site Little Things (who have around 150 million monthly views!!) have said that 85% of their videos are viewed without the sound on.
Snapchat on the other hand reported in early June that two thirds of the videos posted to its mobile app are watched with the sound on.
So keeping in mind viewers may not actually hear the sound of your video here are my top tips to ensure your message is still received – loud and clear ;o)
– Make the first five seconds of your video amazingly engaging so people want to switch the sound on
– Add visuals or captions for important points so viewers on mute don’t miss anything
– Make it easy for people to understand the content of your video if they don’t have the sound on
Do you have any other tips? I’d love to hear them!