Category Archives: SEO

2Cubed offers high-quality Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services in order to help your company increase its rankings on Google and other search engines.

Google’s Nofollow Updates

Category: News SEO
September 19, 2019

Since the nofollow attribute was introduced in 2005, it has allowed Google to understand link relationships between pages.

What is a nofollow link?

Initially introduced to help with spam, the nofollow attribute was a simple way to tell Google whether or not to count or ignore links to use within their search algorithms. Link building strategies have changed drastically in this time and gone are the days of link spamming comment sections on websites in order to build authority and manipulate search engines as this was seen as a black-hat strategy and would decrease SEO performance for any sites flagged.

By adding a nofollow link, you can tell a search engine not to associate your site with the linked page and this has been the case for 15 years now. Best practice since is to build high quality and relevant links and this remains the same but with some amendments to the process.

What has changed?

On September 10th, Google posted a blog (see here) highlighting the updates to this process. From now onward, outbound links will now be managed using four separate attributes or ‘hints’ which will help Google understand these relationships in more detail.

  • Regular links will be managed as normal and there is no need to add an attribute to these.
  • The nofollow value remains the same and should be added when a link should not be followed or counted.
  • Links towards sponsored content should now be marked with a value rel=”sponsored”. This value is especially important to avoid any penalties when linking to pages where you have received something in exchange.
  • ugc (user generated content) – links toward comments and forum posts for example should be marked with a value rel=”ugc” but with certain conditions.   

For more detailed information on these values, please click here – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en

It’s also important to note the difference between a nofollow and a noindex value also. The noindex value completely excludes a page from being indexed and should be treated carefully.

In summary, the latest updates to how links are treated should help website owners to correctly mark links to help Google understand the relationship. At present, links already in place will not need to be updated as this would require huge effort for some sites and just isn’t feasible to achieve and there is no incentive or punishment for doing so. Google have said the following:

Why should I bother using any of these new attributes?
Using the new attributes allows us to better process links for analysis of the web. That can include your own content, if people who link to you make use of these attributes.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, our expert team is on hand to assist with any questions you may have. In addition, we also offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services and our website process – https://2cubed.ie/services/

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Keyword Research

August 30, 2019

In order to grow your online business, to drive traffic toward your site and achieve set goals, a fundamental area is keyword research. Whether you plan on developing a solid SEO strategy or a PPC campaign, keyword research gives you the option to fully research and think about what your users may search for.

keyword research

What are keywords?

Keywords are essentially the words or terms that you enter into a search engine when looking for an answer or a service. Put yourself in your ideal users’ shoes for a moment and think about the path they should take in order to see your website. Whether you are selling products, providing a service or providing information to users, you’ll see a huge benefit from developing a keyword strategy.

Where do I start?

Start by mapping out some broad terms related to your website. Keep them relevant to your sector and what you do. From here, you can begin to build out more long-tail keywords which are more specific to what you offer. Long-tail keywords are the three or four word terms that accurately describe your product.

For example, take a store selling sporting goods. They would begin with some general but competitive keywords like sporting goodssport shop and so on. From here, narrow it down to more specific items such as hockey equipment Dublin, boys running shoes Kilkenny, Wexford kids GAA shirt etc. By developing and implementing these long-tail keywords in to your website content, you’ll have a much better chance of being found on the search engines. On top of this, more relevant traffic to your website and the chance to convert these users into sales. The long-tail keywords usually have less competition and a higher chance of conversion!

Useful Keyword Planner tools

There are many options online to assist with keyword research. Some free tools are available but may be quite limited. You’ll have far more features and options with some paid tools.

Wordstream – https://www.wordstream.com/keywords

Google Keyword Planner (connected to Adwords) – Keyword Planner

Wordtracker – https://www.wordtracker.com/

By developing a keyword strategy for your website, you’ll give yourself every chance to be successful online. The importance of this can’t be understated. By using some of the keyword tools, you’ll get some fresh ideas for keywords that you may not have considered previously. Taking these terms and implementing them into your blogs, PPC, SEO and on-page content should enhance your online visibility greatly!

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we offer a number of options to help you develop and a keyword strategy. In addition, we also offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services and our website process – https://2cubed.ie/services/

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Google AMP in 2019

July 12, 2019

Google’s AMP project was launched in 2016 and after a slow start, soon became a common feature across mobile search results. AMP or accelerated mobile pages, is a framework developed by Google to rival Facebooks Instant Articles and the technology allows pages to load almost instantly. Last year, we wrote a post about the importance of AMP – See here. So what has changed in the past year and how important is AMP now? 

Nowadays, online users expect everything instantly. Waiting 10 seconds for a website to load is a big no-no in 2019 so enabling AMP can help enormously in getting traffic into your site while getting ahead of your competitors.

Google have now branched out and added some more features to the AMP framework. At present, it’s possible to create:

  • AMP Websites
  • AMP Stories
  • AMP Ads
  • AMP Email

You can find more information on all of the above and see some case study ‘success stories’ by viewing the AMP resource website – https://amp.dev/

Many sites are now seeing the full benefit of having AMP enabled content on their websites and this is likely to increase further into the near future so this needs to be factored in to your thinking if you own, run or manage a website.

Enabling AMP on your website can be tricky but once done correctly, it’s fairly easy to maintain and use on blog posts etc. For example, a number of WordPress plugins are available to help with layout, templates and amplifying content. As an example, you can view our previous post on this topic on your mobile device by clicking here – https://2cubed.ie/2018/06/the-importance-of-amp/amp/

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can advise or help you with any of the needs above, helping you to enable AMP on your website. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services – https://2cubed.ie/services/

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wordpress plugins

8 Great WordPress Plugins

July 5, 2019

If your site uses WordPress, you’re probably familiar with plugins. Plugins are there to make life easier, essentially. We’ve gone through some of the top plugins on WordPress and picked out 8 that you may want to consider for your site.

  • Woocommerce – Woocommerce powers over 40% of all eCommerce websites on the web. Powerful and easy to use, it allows you to manage products, orders, discount codes and much more. You can read more on Woocommerce here
  • Yoast SEO – Yoast is a plugin to help with SEO on your site. Yoast is a free plugin but the premium version offers more features for advanced SEO. See here for more information.
  • WP Rocket – A number of caching tools are available for WordPress sites and WP Rocket is one of the most popular. Caching helps to maximise site performance and improve speed. The free version offers limited features but a premium version with more advanced options is available. You can read more on WP Rocket here
  • Elementor – This page builder has become one of the more popular tools out there in the past year and the reviews are outstanding. This powerful page builder allows you to easily manage page content and includes both a free and premium version. See here for more.
  • Smush – This plugin is mainly used for image compression and resizing. Having multiple large images on your site will cause issues with speed and performance. Smush helps with this by automatically compressing images once uploaded and again comes with either a free or premium version. You can view the full list of features here
  • Slider Revolution  – Powering over 2.5 million websites, Slider Revolution allows you to add sliders, carousels and more. Currently there isn’t a free version but it is cheap to purchase and includes a good deal of functionality but the premium version gives access to many more templates and features. View a full list of features here
  • Sucuri  – This security plugin helps to flag any security issues or breaches on your website and alerts you if anything does happen. Generally, your website host will look after security but this added layer of protection gives you peace of mind. See here for more info 
  • Redirection – This plugin allows you to easily manage 301s, 404s and more which can help reduce errors and improve site ranking. This plugin can be a useful tool but used incorrectly it can cause some issues. Take a look at more features here 

These are just some of the tools you can use to improve your WordPress site. *Please be aware that installing and updating plugins on your website may cause some issues*

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, helping you decide on and install / updating plugins. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services – https://2cubed.ie/services/

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A Quick Guide to Technical SEO

June 28, 2019

In this post, we’ll look at a critical element of search engine optimisation; Technical SEO. This has become a fundamental and sometimes overlooked area of SEO but we’ll explain why it’s more important than ever below.

Technical SEO contains many topics we could dive in to, but by understanding the key elements, it should allow you to gain an understanding of what it is and best practices to follow. As you would have seen in or SEO Audit post, technical SEO was listed as a key element along with on-page and off-page optimisation.

So, what exactly does it mean? Essentially, the technical health of your site indicates how well Google and other search engines can crawl and index the information on your website. If they encounter any issues, these will be flagged as errors or warnings in Google Search Console.

By resolving these issues, you’ll ensure your site is in good standing from a technical sense and means that the site crawlers can index your site fully without any obstacles. Some of the common issues you’ll need to address are as follows:

  • 404 errors – nobody likes seeing these, especially soft 404s. You can manage 404s by implementing 301 redirects
  • 5XX errors – server errors or timeouts which are blocking access to pages
  • noindex issues – noindex is commonly used to block access to a page that you do not wish to be indexed (such as private or secure pages). If you submit a url in the sitemap but it includes a noindex tag then you’ll need to address this
  • blocked by robots.txt – another method to block access to a page. You can see more here – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7440203#indexed_though_blocked_by_robots_txt
  • Mobile Usability – Google analyse each page and flag any anomalies that may cause a poor user experience on mobile. For example, if clickable elements are too close together, if a page is not fully mobile responsive, text is too small to read and so on. Keeping your site fully mobile responsive ensures a good user experience, decreased bounce rate and just an overall better experience for your website users.  

Most of the errors above can be viewed on the Index Coverage Status report within Google Search Console – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7440203#submitted_but_noindex

This brief overview of technical SEO should hopefully give more understanding of the variables a search engine goes through in order to show your website on Google.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, allowing you to ensure your website is in good technical standing. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services – https://2cubed.ie/services/

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What is Structured Data?

June 20, 2019

As structured data becomes more important, you are likely to see the term more and more. So what exactly does it mean? And what does it mean for your website? We’ll explain in more detail below.

Google and other search engines are always working hard to understand the content on your website. By implementing structured data, you can ensure you give the search engines clear and explicit information, allowing more accurate and descriptive search results for the end user.

By doing this, your website visitors may see more rich and interactive results on the search page.

 

You can see more descriptions of these search results by clicking here – https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/search-gallery

Most of the major search engines combined to create a special project Schema.org. The Schema.org website gives more info on how this data is populated and show examples of these ‘schemas’ and how they should be used.

Why does this matter?

Structured Data is an important element of SEO nowadays. Any information you provide to Google in a clear and easy manner, means they gain a better understanding of who you are what your website is about and can only help to increase rankings.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, allowing you to take advantage of structured data best practices. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services – https://2cubed.ie/services/

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Google’s Mobile Search Update

You may have noticed a new layout while searching Google recently on your mobile device. Around the end of May, Google released an updated visual layout for the mobile search results page. This refresh was released to introduce a more modern and user friendly layout. Google say “we’re unveiling a visual refresh of the mobile search results page to better guide you through the information available on the web.” This was referenced on the Google blog here.

The familiar green font on the ads has now been changed to a black label with a simple ‘Ad’ reference. See below for reference:

As you’ll see from the above image, what Google have implemented is an opportunity for companies online to introduce their branding to users on the web before even landing on your site. This is done by using the favicon image which is uploaded on most websites. You’ll generally see this small icon on your browser tab while searching from a desktop or laptop.

What does this mean for me?

In order to take advantage of this update, you’ll need to make sure your website has an active favicon set and specified. There are some rules behind this:

  • Your website and the favicon need to be crawlable to Google (meaning you need to ensure your site is fully accessible to Google’s Spider). This can be a complicated issue, but we can help you with this if required – Contact Us
  • The favicon should be similar to your overall branding on your website. This will allow users to identify and recognise your brand online with ease.
  • Google will resize your favicon to 16px x 16px. They recommend uploading your file in multiples of 48px square to ensure clarity. For example, 48×48 or 96×96 etc.
  • Any favicon that Google see to be inappropriate will be removed and replaced with a default icon image.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, allowing you to take advantage of this latest Google update. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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5 Great Content Marketing Tips

5 Great Content Marketing Tips

June 5, 2019

As traditional marketing has become less effective in this modern digital age more and more have turned their focus towards content marketing for their marketing needs. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing content that can not only attract your target audience but actively retain them which will mean the chances of customers turning into conversions on your website will greatly increase. Content marketing allows you to actively develop a relationship with both new and existing clients.

Here are 5 great content marketing tips to ensure that your content is the best it can be:

Create Great Content

Just simply creating lots of fresh content isn’t enough, you need to ensure it’s good relevant content. When it comes to content the approach of “Quality over Quantity” should always be taken. By having great content users will be happy which will create a positive user experience.

Understand your Target Audience

Before you start to write your content you should always first be clear in your mind of whom this content will be targeted at. By knowing the target demographic you are creating content for you will be able to tweak and tailor your content to best meet the needs of this market of readers which will ensure that they will find the content relevant and useful.

Social Sharing

When you have published some great content to your blog don’t sit back and relax! Now you need to ensure that your content gets maximum exposure. A great way of doing this is sharing your blog post on your social media channels such as facebook, twitter, Linkedin etc… It is also a smart move to enable social media sharing on your blog posts which will encourage readers to share your content. The more your post is then shared the more exposure and web traffic you will get.

Simple Language

Keep your content simple and easy to read! Don’t make your content too intelectual with big words that are going to be a chore to read and understand. Keep it simple, straightforward and to the point, that what users want and that’s the kind of content that they will appreciate.

Calls to Action

All great content should contain effective calls to action. Such as click here to read more, click here to share our post etc… By having these call to actions you will promote readers to further engage with and share your content which can lead to it being exposed to others who would not have seen it otherwise maximising your content exposure and website traction.

If you can incorporate these 5 content marketing tips into the future creation of your content then you should see an increase in your website’s level of success as a direct result.

To inquire about content marketing with 2Cubed please get in touch today!

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5 Great Reasons Why You Should Develop Your Website on WordPress

WordPress is a content management system (CMS), which means it’s designed to help you organize and display the content on your website. The most popular CMS chosen by people to develop their website on is WordPress.

Here’s 5 great reasons why WordPress is the CMS platform of choice for many:

Free to use

WordPress is a free to use platform which means it’s perfect for those on a small budget especially for start up businesses. If you want to buy a specific theme to give your website a unique design there can be a small cost but to use and download the WordPress tool is absolutely free.

Easy to use interface

WordPress are renowned for their easy to use interface. It’s actually a very simple and fast process to get a WordPress website created and up running. While doing the more complex customisations may require some research beforehand most people will be able to get their website from beginning to live in a matter of minutes.  

Secure and Safe

WordPress is a cms that is very secure and safe. This is because WordPress makes it very simple to update your software and ensure it is all up to date. Ensuring your software is up to date will help to keep hackers away from your website. Updating your software couldn’t be easier as all you have to do to update plugins and themes is to click the checkboxes next to them and click the update button. There is also an option to enable auto updates so you won’t have to remember to manually check.

SEO Friendly

WordPress websites rank higher than other types of websites in search engines. Google and other search engines love WordPress and treat it favourably because as WordPress is very SEO friendly. WordPress also allows you the ability to use SEO plugins to further optimise and enhance your website’s SEO.

Easy to Customise

WordPress makes the process of customising your website easy regardless of whether you are tech savvy or not. To effectively use WordPress it is not a requirement to have prior knowledge of designing websites. WordPress offers users the choice of thousands of free templates and themes from which to choose from. WordPress themes are easy to customise and allow you to manually add custom functionality to your website through the use of plugins. This customisation allows you to put your own unique spin on your website.

WordPress is without a doubt the best CMS system to use. To inquire about using the WordPress CMS for your website get in touch with 2Cubed today.

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Google Ads

3 Common Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid Making

Recently we discussed how to evaluate whether your PPC campaign is worth it? In this post we will discuss 3 common Google Ads mistakes that people make all too often in their PPC Campaigns.

Not enough ads per group

Less is certainly not more when it comes to ads in your ad group. Google recommends that it is best practice to have at least three ads per ad group. If you only have one ad then you aren’t giving Google’s machine learning technology the proper chance to analyze and prioritize the ads that are expected to perform better.

Bad Landing Page

While getting a lot of traffic from Google Ads is a good thing, if you aren’t getting conversions out of these hits then it’s simply a waste of money. One big reason why you may be failing to get conversions is if your landing page is poor, if your landing page is poor people will land on your page, be unimpressed and leave without you converting them which means they cost you money and you got nothing in return. To ensure that your landing page is good you should ensure the following:

  • It loads fast
  • It has a clear Call to Action
  • It’s easy to read and navigate
  • It speaks to the audience who your ad is targeted at

Not taking advantage of Location Settings

To ensure that the right people, your target market see your ad you need to configure the location settings. If you only wish for your ad to be seen in a specific county, province or country you can do so through here. For instance, if your ad is aimed at businesses in Wexford then it shouldn’t be appearing in Dublin, Cork etc.. By taking advantage of location settings you can ensure that your budget will be spent on the right places.

By ensuring that you avoid these 3 common Google Ads mistakes you will minimise the risk of wasting your ads budget and greatly increase your chances of getting your target market to see and click on your ads and most importantly get conversions to your website from your successful PPC campaign.

For advice and information on having a successful website contact 2Cubed today!

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