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Essential SEO Tips For Your Website

Essential SEO Tips For Your Website

These tips are essential in a good SEO marketing strategy. Making a site does not mean just putting in content and some photos or images. If you want it to be visible to others, it is important to follow some basic rules. These points should not to be forgotten but should be present in all your web projects. This may sound basic, but it is always good to review the basics of SEO.

Your site must have a central subject

Obviously, you can talk about several topics on your site, but you must have one central topic, which will govern everything. A main subject which will be the guideline of your content. If you do not have any ideas, do a little keyword research (with Google Keyword Planner for example). This will also let you see the potential audience of a keyword.

Mention the key phrase when you must

Once your keyword is chosen, do not swing it all over the content of your site without thinking. It is important to place it in strategic places like the domain name (even if it is discussed), the title of the site, the description of the site, the categories, the content. When writing titles, descriptions, articles … always have in mind your key phrase to work around it.

To manage elementary SEO elements of the site, use Yoast SEO under WordPress. It makes a good difference and allows you to manage it right as it should clean off all the mess of the metas, titles and company.

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Add internal links to your site

It sounds basic but it is a crucial element. Linking pages together can share the juice inside your website and to direct the visitor on “similar” contents. Personally, I use the WordPress plugin and SEO Smart Links, although it’s better to link the contents manually because the plugin can be exceeded

Use SEO-friendly URLs

This may sound stupid, but the structure of a url is important. Do not use urls with numbers to identify your posts or pages, but instead use optimized contextual urls such as “http://www.mysite.com/CATEGORY/ARTICLE-TITLE” Example: http://www.mycarcomparison.com/sportscar/mercedesbmw.

Avoid urls of the type “http://www.mysite.com/?p=69”. With WordPress, you can easily configure all this in the permalink settings.

Ensure you have a quick website

The loading time of your site is a crucial element for SEO. There are many elements that make it possible to optimize its speed. Under WordPress, the W3 Total Cache plugin is a must have. Well tuned, it can drastically increase the speed of your site. To test this, use Pingdom Tools or GTMetrix.

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Use keywords in the names of your images

Do not do it all the time, but try to name your images properly. Often use a few keywords of the content in which you have integrated your image and some keywords that describe the image. Also add an alternative tag and title and a caption. It allows you to find some of your images in Google Image and catch some traffic.

For example, if you have an image with the picture of a black BMW sports car, try to rename the image in “car-sport-bmw-black.jpg” By reading the name of the file; one knows what the image is about.

Make links to external sites of the same topic

Yes, you read right! It is even a recommendation that counts! Do not hesitate to include external links in your content. For example if you make a car comparison between BMW and Mercedes, include a link to the description sheet of each car on the manufacturer’s website. In your articles, always put some external link.

Regularly add content to your site

When I say regularly, it’s not necessarily every hour or every day. I happen to post only one article in the week. But you must continuously keep your site active, on the one hand for your visitors, on the other hand for Google.

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In general, this means to set a minimum of one article per week. But when you have inspiration, try to write an article as often as possible, even if you have already posted one the day before. If you have several ideas on the same day, put them in as a draft and publish them later to not have too many newly published articles at once.

To find content ideas, rely heavily on Twitter to see current trends and your lists of RSS feeds to search for targeted content.

Netlink

Basic but very important: netlinking. Having external sites that point to your site is an important factor in positioning. Of course, it does not do everything, but if you have good sites (not directories that you can find everywhere) that link you, it will send you juice SEO on your site.

In general, to have some targeted and easy links make some trustful and reliable directories. At the beginning of a project, make about one directory every 2-3 days to start quiet. While it becomes a challenge to making the perfect choice, it’s not a shame to seek for an expert or a maestro in this field to make it easier for you.

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As said, have a netlinking strategy that is close to zero. There are much more worked out netlinking strategies. But to start your site, a few well-placed little links will suffice. Obviously, it also depends on the competition on the keyword you have chosen.

Make “human” articles

Write like a human. Do not try (not immediately in any case) to make content automated, it may be disgusting and Google will let you know. As said above, look for a good theme, a good idea, look to the left and to the right at what the others do and write in your niche, with your words and your ideas.

Never try to go too fast. Build your project; feed it with ideas and content by laying down articles, tests, tutorials – all which will really interest your visitor.

Do not hesitate to be inspired by what others do. But be careful, I’m not telling you to copy / paste like a novice. But get information from here and there and then build your content with your own words

Featured photo credit: Luis Llerena via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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