Learn SEO Class – Los Angeles

Practical Search Engine Optimization For Your Blog/Website

You’ve set up your blog, now what? How will anyone find you? How will you attract the targeted traffic you need for your business? Search engines are one of the most powerful sources of traffic if you know the basic principles. This class will teach you the fundamentals of search engine optimization so that you can develop a thriving and effective business website or blog.

This class is designed for those with little or no understanding of search engine optimization, or anyone who is not getting the results they expect from their SEO. The examples will skew toward self-hosted WordPress users in terms of implementation, but the principles and techniques apply to all types of sites.

Saturday April 9th, 1:30pm – 3:30pm, $40
Register for Practical Search Engine Optimization For Your Blog/Website in Los Angeles, CA  on Eventbrite

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Food Bloggers Take Note – Google Rolls Out Recipe View

Google Recipe View

If you’ve Google-d for a recipe lately you may have noticed a new feature Google has launched, which is a recipe-specific search – they call it Recipe View. It allows the user to search results specifically designated as recipes, and also to narrow searches by ingredients, prep time and even calorie count. You access it via the  “Recipes” option in the left menu bar on search pages.

google recipe view

What About Food Bloggers? Another Reason You’re Better Off With WordPress

It seems pretty useful for web searchers, but what does this mean for food bloggers?  Well in order for your recipes to show up in this special search, Google is looking for you to use special markup i.e. code, to designate your content to be recipes. It’s called a microformat, which is a specific set of code tags used to designated content as recipes, with special parameters such as prep time, ingredients, reviews and more. Click here to see all the gory details

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How Do Themes & Plugins Help With SEO?

How Do WordPress Themes & Plugins Help With SEO?

I recently wrote about the need for the website owner to take responsibility for  SEO and not rely 100% on a theme or a plugin. Themes and plugins do of course have some benefits if you understand what it is they do, and what they cannot do.

The benefit of themes and plugins

‘SEO-friendly’ themes and SEO plugins present your content in such a way that it is easy for search engines to understand, determine the relevancy of, and navigate. So if you’ve targeted your content for specific keywords, the search engine will have no doubt what that piece of content is all about. The content and keyword research is up to you. No theme or plugin alone can make your site rank highly if your content is not valuable and targeted. Also, this all relates to on-site SEO, but ranking is also determined by off-site factors such as incoming links from other websites. Themes and plugins cannot help you with these off-site factors.

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Don’t Leave Your SEO To A Theme or a Plugin

In the WordPress community, especially amongst new users, a lot of emphasis seems to be placed on themes and plugins as crucial factors in SEO. Theme companies compete for bragging rights on whose is the most ‘SEO-friendly’ while website owners are frustrated that they are not getting the search engine traffic they expected despite having such-and-such theme and an SEO plugin.

The reality is that these things are helpful, but only if you have the right content.

Themes and plugins are like well-written directions to a party (your content).  They help your guests (search engine bots) find your site’s content, but whether or the not the party rocks depends on what they find when they arrive, and that responsibility lands squarely in your, the website owner’s, lap.

Even the most SEO-tweaked theme and fine-tuned plugin cannot make your site rank highly if your content is not relevant and targeted for your audience.

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In Life and SEO – There Are No Guarantees!

Business owners are often asking how they can be ranked #1 on Google, or if they should trust the company that told them they would guarantee a first place ranking. A common turn of phrase is that a company told them they would “put them #1” on Google. If only it were that easy! I always steer clients away from such offers, tempting as they are, and try and explain the complexities and many factors involved in ranking. Google didn’t get to spawn its own verb by enabling folks to ‘put’ any ole’ site at the top!

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Basic SEO for Blogger – Adding Alt Text To Images

I personally use and am a huge fan of WordPress – I made the switch from Blogger many years ago. However I do have a couple of clients that use blogger to publish their blogs – they find it simpler to use. But simplicity comes at a price. Although it is owned by Google, Blogger does not do a great job at providing SEO features by default.  One of the basic things it lacks is an easy way for the user to add alt text to an image they are uploading.

Adding alt text to images is important for 2 main reasons:

1)   Accessibility – visitors to your site that don’t see well and are having the page read to them need alt text to understand what the image is all about.

2)   SEO – the alt text is the only way a search engine knows what the image contains. It cannot ‘read’ an image by itself and relies on alt text. Additionally you can attract traffic from Google Image Search with well-optimized images.

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