Tag Archives: SEO Ireland

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/

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

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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/

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

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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/

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

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Importance of Google Reviews for SEO

Whether it’s from word of mouth or testimonials reviews have always been an integral part of a business’s success. The positive impact of great reviews for a business cannot be underestimated nor can the negative impact of bad reviews.

Reviews help potential new customers to decide whether they should choose your business over another, having positive reviews from past clients will instill confidence in them that they will experience the same satisfaction as those before them who left the positive reviews. If your website for instance had no reviews then a customer may feel unsure whether they will receive a good service as they have no past precedent or frame of reference to base their decision off. Having reviews can provide this much needed clarity.

While getting reviews from customers has always been an exercise that is beneficial to businesses, the importance of Google Reviews for SEO has never been greater. By having Google reviews you can actively improve the visibility of your business on Google so this means that Google reviews are good for your SEO.

The reason Google reviews have become so important for SEO is that when people use the Google search engine Google will aim to generate the most relevant and beneficial results for local web searches as the quality and quantity of reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. Google looks to see how many reviews your business has and what your current average rating is and from here they will determine where exactly in the listings of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) you should appear. Google themselves have even stated in the past that the “highest-rated” businesses near you will be returned when you search with local intent. By having your listing appear high with a great rating and a lot of reviews potential customers will be a lot more likely to click on to your website over your competitors and you will be a lot more likely to get conversions from these people.

A great part of any SEO strategy is to ensure that you can regularly get customers to give your business a review.

The best way to encourage people to give your business a review is to ensure the following:

  • Great Customer Service

By offering all customers a great customer service they will be happy and happy customers are a lot more susceptible to give you a positive review and share their good experience.

  • Simple Review Process

As well as ensuring that the customer service you offer is great, the second thing you should do to encourage reviews is to make the actual process of leaving you a review simple, straightforward and easy. The easier the process is the more likely people will be to take a second and give you a review. Don’t make the customer work for it!

2Cubed provide award-winning web design and mobile app development services. If you would like to give 2Cubed Web Design a review please click the link below:

CLICK HERE TO GIVE REVIEW

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

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Website Page Speed

How to Improve Your Website Page Speed

Category: Tips and Tricks
March 19, 2019

Website page speed is the measurement of exactly how fast the content on your page loads. This means how long it takes to fully display the content of your page. One of the best ways to evaluate your page speed is to use the free tool Google PageSpeed Insights.

In one of our most recent posts we went into great depth on how important having good results on Google PageSpeed Insights really is. In that post we made the point that page speed is a very important factor for SEO as it is known that Google uses page speed as one of it’s many signals used by its algorithm when ranking pages. As well as being important to Google, page speed is very important to user experience also which plays a part in how your website ranks.

There are many ways to improve your website’s page speed such as:

Fully Switching over to https:

Ensuring that your website has an SSL Cert not only shows that your website is safe to browse on and to purchase products/services safely with your credit card but it will also help with your SEO as Google looks favorably on websites who have an SSL Cert over those who have none. Where this affects page speed is when the http version of your website is cached and redirects to your https version. By ensuring that your website automatically redirects to the https version you can greatly enhance the page speed.

Rectifying Image Related Issues:

Images tend to be a common issue that cause an unfavorable page speed. Images can cause issues unnecessarily as they can be a huge size and of too high of an image quality than required or needed. To rectify these two issues it’s recommended to take a look at all your images and to both compress and resize them as necessary. By resizing them to a more appropriate size and by compressing them to a more appropriate image quality you will reduce your page load time which will in turn improve your page speed.

Browser Caching:

By implementing browser caching on your website you are telling visitors to your website exactly how long their browsers should retain information/memory of your website for. This means that a message would be sent to the users browser that images on the website should be cached (remembered) for three weeks so that when this specific user visits the website again within this three week period your website will load more quickly as the resources to remember the images are being pulled from their device instead of your website. This takes some of the workload away from your website and in turn this will improve your page speed also.

Improving your page speed is a never-ending goal and something that should be continuously worked on to improve it as much as possible as it is so important not only to SEO and User experience but the overall success of your website.

If you would like to inquire about improving your website’s page speed please contact 2Cubed and get your business the traffic and success it deserves. You can call us on 01-9058114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie or else get in touch using the live chat on our website!

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Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights and why it’s so important!

Category: Tips and Tricks
March 6, 2019

Google PageSpeed Insights is a free tool offered by Google which is designed to report and make an informed determination of the performance of a specific web pages performance on both Desktop and Mobile devices. Google PageSpeed Insights also provide suggestions on how that specific web page can be improved.

The report that is provided by Google PageSpeed Insights provides you with information such as field data and lab data about your submitted web page. Lab data is a type of data that can be used to aid with debugging performance issues whereas field data’s main use is that it captures real-time user experience metrics which can be helpful.

As mentioned previously since PageSpeed Insights are a free tool offered by Google anyone can simply search “Google PageSpeed Insights” and enter their website URL to get a live up to date results for their PageSpeed on Desktop and Mobile devices. Entering a URL and hitting “Analyze” will quickly get you a detailed report of what’s slowing that web page based on two parameters and this report will also come with recommendations on how to fix it. When you enter your url your website will be analyzed and within a few seconds you will receive a score for both desktop and mobile which will be a percentage out of 100. 0%-49% is considered slow, 50%-89% is average whereas 90%-100% is considered fast by industry standards.

The reason these scores are important is because they play a factor alongside general SEO optimisation when it comes to google’s algorithm of ranking websites. Basically the better your Google PageSpeed Insights score is the more likely you will be to rank higher than others provided your general SEO optimisation is done efficiently as well of course.

Google recently changed how PageSpeed Insights judge websites and since Google have made this change a lot of websites are finding that their once higher score has now fallen and they are struggling to get it back to it’s once former glory. When your website is analyzed by Google PageSpeed Insights as part of their analysis summary they will provide diagnostics and opportunities for improvement. By following these suggestions you can improve your overall score again.

Google PageSpeed Insights true to their name provide a great insight in to the health and strength of your website by giving you accurate reports on it’s page speed. As it’s a free tool there is no excuse to not avail of it and use it’s useful information.

IMPROVE YOUR GOOGLE PAGESPEED INSIGHTS SCORE

To inquire about improving your score on Google PageSpeed Insights please contact 2Cubed and get your business the traffic and success it deserves. You can also call us on 01-9058114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie or else get in touch using the live chat on our website!

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Website Content & SEO Value - 2Cubed Web Design

The Importance of Good Content for SEO Value

Category: Tips and Tricks
February 25, 2019

Content and SEO are two important elements of a website that when both done well can elevate a website to new levels of success. However when neither are done well or even just one done well then the website will without a doubt suffer.

The reason for this and the reason that content and SEO accommodate each other so well is because strong content that is seen by google to have SEO value will rank more highly than others who are deemed not to be of such value so basically when your content has value to search engines the SEO work that you will have done on this page already will cause your page to rank highly on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

So what is SEO value exactly you may find yourself asking? To explain what SEO value is one should first be clear on how Google as a search engine works. Google uses algorithms when people input a search to generate results which based on Google’s algorithms are what they believe to be the best and most relevant to the term/search query inputted by the user. The results that Google will display to the user are generated from content that is available throughout the web and content which is then ranked in order of its usefulness to the user’s search. So to ensure that your content is shown here in the relevant results you need to ensure it has SEO value and to ensure that it does have SEO value your content simply put needs to be beneficial to searchers, it needs to provide answers or at least information that will aid the user.

To ensure that your content provides the right beneficial information and that it has SEO value be sure to ask yourself these questions when creating your content:

  • Does my content provide useful information?
  • Is my content easy and engaging to read and interact with?
  • Does my content have a professional and credible tone?
  • Is my content more beneficial than competitor’s content?

If you can honestly answer yes to these questions then your content has the correct elements in place that are required to achieve the true potential of the SEO value of your content. If your answer to these questions is no then it’s time to go back to the drawing board and rewrite your content to achieve some true SEO value.

Please contact 2Cubed and get your business the traffic and success it deserves. You can call us on 01-9058114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie or else get in touch using the live chat on our website!

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social media marketing wexford

4 ways to successfully integrate social media into your website to increase social media traffic

Category: Tips and Tricks
October 26, 2018

Social media has the power to generate huge amounts of traffic to your website. When social media is integrated correctly your social media traffic can rise significantly if you can establish a strong, steady and consistent flow of traffic from your social media platforms to your website.

To achieve this feat is something that is not always simple but your chances to achieve it can be enhanced greatly if you can do the following things:

Have Social Media Feeds on your page

Having social media feeds on your website is a great way to catch the eye of users when they visit the website as unlike most content on websites which is static such as text and still images, feeds are live and change in real time as they are continuously pulling fresh data and scrolling.

Include Sharing Buttons on Your Blog Posts

By including sharing buttons on your website you give users the chance to share your blog posts on their profile pages on their social media platform such as Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn etc.. and from these platforms other users can see this and click on the shared post and end up on your website.

Have Social Media Button/Links on your website in header or footer

It should always be easy and convenient for people to find your social media pages, by including them in your header and/or footer they will be clearly visible and will encourage users to check out your social media pages which will help to increase their following.

Engage regularly with your audience through your social media platforms

When people actually take the time to message you or post on your social platform make sure that you engage with them. This shows everyone that you’re a business who cares about their customers and takes the time to answer their questions or queries. This will increase the relationship between your business and users and they will be a lot more receptive to future advertising and linking that you may do through social media to your website.

Social media is free to use, so you have no excuse not to utilize it to its fullest. If you can do the above things mentioned in this article you should be well on your way to successfully integrating social media with your website to increase your traffic generated from social media.

To find out more about excellent tools and strategies to use to improve your website Contact 2Cubed today!

You can also contact us on 01 905 8114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie

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email marketing services wexford

Email Marketing in a Post GDPR World

Category: Tips and Tricks
October 25, 2018

When GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was announced it struck fear in the hearts of all businesses, it especially struck fear in marketers as they worried about one of their arguably most important marketing tools being compromised or going extinct, that was of course the tool of email marketing. Where they justified in being worried? Well yes if they didn’t adhere to some required compliance’s.

Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. These emails are usually sent with the purpose of to act as an advertisement, request business, or solicit sales or donations. Efficient email marketing at its core is meant to build loyalty, trust and brand awareness. Marketing emails traditionally could be sent to a purchased lead list or a current customer database.

When GDPR came into law it greatly affected the rules and regulations regarding email marketing and email marketing campaigns. A recent study found that there are more than 269 billion emails sent every day and over half (53%) of these 269 billion sent emails were emails of a promotional nature.

GDPR brought in the need for clear consent to be given by people when they sign up to your newsletter. Even if someone was already on your email list you had to run a re-submission campaign to get people to sign up into your GDPR approved mailing list. Seeking out clear consent and permission and keeping a record of it are the cornerstones of GDPR.

Traditionally it was easy for websites to assume that if a user filled out a pop up or a web form that  can could add their email address to a mailing list and start sending them email campaigns. GDPR changed this when it made it clear that users need to clearly give you consent to market to them. This means that the old methods of having a pre-ticked box and concealing your communication policy within your privacy statements. If you want to send emails to a prospect, they must explicitly opt-in to receive newsletters from you.

Despite the challenges GDPR has presented, email marketing still remains as the most tried and tested and preferred marketing channel of use for B2B companies. In fact email marketing doesn’t show any signs of becoming an irrelevant use of communication and as such it’s so important that websites get it right when it comes to utilizing effective compliant email marketing campaigns in a post-GDPR world.

While being compliant with GDPR may seem complicated and head wrecking it’s important to remember that to be compliant when it comes to email marketing you just need to ensure the following:

  • Email campaigns can only be sent to those who have given consent and opted in
  • Always provide subscribers with the opportunity to opt-out of your email marketing
  • Offer subscribers the option to manage the type of content they receive from you.

If you can ensure these three above requirements then you are well on your way to being GDPR compliant when it comes to email marketing. From there you just need to ensure your content is great and engaging!

Email marketing may have been rocked by GDPR but it certainly is not down and out, it’s still relevant and as strong as ever when used effectively.

To find out more about excellent tools and strategies to use to improve your website Contact 2Cubed today!

You can also contact us on 01 905 8114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie

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