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10 Best SEO Practices When Creating a Web Site

10 Best SEO Practices When Creating a Web Site

10 Best SEO Practices When Creating a Site 2

    10 Best SEO Practices When Creating a Web Site

    There are many SEO practices to follow when creating a site.  I have documented the top 10 best SEO practices that I see many beginner clients not doing.  Whether this is your first site or you create multiple sites this is a great checklist to go over while creating your site and for review before launch.No need to worry if you have already published your site and did not follow some things on this list.  Just make sure to do them now.  You will have many more steps to follow to bring your site to the top but this is a great start to some of the best SEO practices.

    Keywords

    Before adding content to your website make sure you have done research on your keywords.  Keyword analysis can make a huge impact when it comes to your rankings.  Use google keyword planner to make sure you are using impressionable keywords and keywords that are not too competitive for your geographical marketing interest.  Maybe focus on a niche to start with.

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    Speed

    Speed is getting more and more important in search engine ranking algorithms and needs to be considered to abide by the best SEO practices.  Do things such as compressing images, HTML, CSS, JS and your database.  If using wordpress do research on your theme to make sure its properly coded taking speed into consideration.  If needed purchase a CDN solution.

    Scalability

    If you plan on growing your site in the future make sure you take scalability into consideration.  For ex. if you post a facebook icon on every page then change or delete your facebook site, all of your facebook links will be broken.  In this particular case if you used a scalable social media plug-in solution you could manage all of your social media links in one location. With a scalable solution you would only have to change the link url in one place and it would automatically update the links on all of your pages.

    Social Media

    Make sure to start to build your social media outlets either before you build your site or while you are building your site.  With social media quickly becoming a ranking factor method, make sure not to leave this multi million dollar market behind.  Some common social media outlets are facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube and google plus.

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    Analytics

    You will want to be able to follow your analytics right when you launch your site for proper tracking.  If you plan on using google analytics for your metric then make sure you have set this all up.  Some other metrics to think about including are google search console (google webmaster tools) and bing webmaster tools.

    Optimization

    The best SEO practices will always include compressed and optimized images, audio and videos.  Make sure that not only are your normal images compressed but also your thumbnail images.  If using wordpress than make sure all of your themes images are compressed.  A good plug-in to do this for you for free is ewww image optimizer for wordpress or use tiny png’s website to manually upload photos, compress them then download them.

    Alt Tags

    Image alt tags again goes to content.  Google needs content to know what your site is about and a great way that they find this out is by using alt tags in images.  Although this can be a little bit of extra work it is very important and will help tremendously in the long run with your search rankings.

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    Site Map

    As soon as you are ready to publish your site make sure that you have a proper functioning site map and that you submit it to all the search engines.  Some common search engine submissions for site maps include google and bing.

    Robots File

    A robot file is placed to help search engines read your site.  The search engine sends a robot to your site and that robot reads the robot file and can get easy to read instructions on if it should follow your site or not and other things that search engines like to crawl and index your site.

    Security

    Security is very important.  Always make sure to do the research on the proper security techniques for the way you are building your site.  If you are handling credit cards or any sort of e-commerce its highly advised you obtain an ssl certificate for your site and do research on the types of security your host provides for you.

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    *Bonus* H1 Titles

    Well what kind of Best SEO Practices article would this be without mentioning the use of proper titles.  Make sure to use H1, H2 and H3 titles properly.  Every page needs one header H1 tag at the top of the page and only one H1 tag. Your keyword for your page should be included in your H1 tag.  As for your H2 and H3 tags these need to be used as main points in a hierarchical order.

    Featured photo credit: Skype A Lesson via skypealesson.com

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    Last Updated on September 2, 2020

    How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

    How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

    Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

    In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

    4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

    Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

    1. Be Clear About the Objectives

    Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

    It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

    Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

    2. Keep Goals Realistic

    It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

    It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

    3. Account for Inflation

    Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

    Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

    For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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    4. Short Term Vs Long Term

    Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

    As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

    By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

    How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

    Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

    • Ensuring healthy savings
    • Making smart investments

    You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

    Ensuring Healthy Savings

    Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

    This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

    1. Track Expenses

    The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

    Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

    If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

    2. Pay Yourself First

    Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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    Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

    The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

    Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

    3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

    Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

    Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

    At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

    Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

    You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

    4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

    In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

    Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

    • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
    • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
    • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

    The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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    5. Talk About It

    Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

    Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

    6. Maintain a Journal

    For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

    If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

    When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

    Making Smart Investments

    Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

    1. Consult a Financial Advisor

    Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

    Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

    2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

    Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

    Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

    As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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    3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

    Einstein once remarked about compounding:

    “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

    Use compound interest when setting financial goals

      Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

      Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

      4. Measure, Measure, Measure

      All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

      If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

      Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

      The Bottom Line

      Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

      and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

      More Tips on Financial Goals

      Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

      Reference

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