We are really excited to announce that we are giving away free SEO tips every week. We want to share as much free information as possible to help small business owners grow their businesses online.
Use the link below to sign up for the newsletter:
Free SEO Tips Newsletter
Below is a list of the past 4 newsletters:
- Why XML Sitemaps Are Important For SEO
- It’s Time To Take Your Website Speed Seriously
- How To Rank Your Online Event On Google
- How To Use Wildcards In Google Search
Why XML Sitemaps Are Important For SEO
Your XML sitemap is similar to the Table of Contents of a book. The sitemap helps search engines show exactly where all of your pages are inside of your website.
Google has been very public in stating that having an XML sitemap helps their crawl bots access your website more efficiently. Without an XML sitemap, the search engines will have to rely on internal linking, which will delay the time it takes for Google to crawl your newest pages.
Below is an example of our sitemap (https://wickydesign.com/sitemap.xml)
How Do I Create An XML Sitemap?
The best way to create an XML sitemap is to use an SEO plugin. There are a lot of good free SEO plugins that have sitemaps built-in. Below are the top 3 SEO plugins that you can use to build your sitemap.
Tip: It’s important to not include everything inside your XML sitemap. Only include your core pages and any blog posts you have created. Don’t include pages like Author, Categories, or Tags if these pages don’t have unique and useful content.
How Do I Submit My XML Sitemap To Google?
You will need to have a Google Search Console account set up before you can submit your sitemap. Once you have the account setup, follow the steps below:
- Click Sitemaps from the menu on the left.
- Type sitemap.xml in the text field next to your domain. This filename might vary depending on your plugin or settings.
- Click Submit.
Then I recommend waiting 24 hours, logging into Search Console, and checking that the submitted sitemap shows a status of Success.
It’s Time To Take Your Website Speed Seriously
Google recently made a huge announcement stating that site speed is going to be one of its core SEO ranking factors.
You can read the announcement on the Google Webmaster Central Blog:
Evaluating page experience for a better web
Google is focusing on 3 new signals on your website, calling them Core Web Vitals. These new vitals will be a ranking factor in 2021. Only time will tell how much of a ranking factor this will have on rankings but don’t forget that nearly 24% of your users will leave your website if they have a slow experience.
This topic can get really technical, but I love this type of geeky stuff and have personally spent hours learning about these latest changes from Google so you don’t have to.
Below is a list of the 3 items and what they mean in layman’s terms:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – This basically means how fast does the page load for the user.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – This measurement is focused on the user experience. If you have sections of your website shifting around during the load times you will fail this test.
- First Input Delay (FID) – Google is using this measurement to figure out how long it takes for interactive items like buttons to load.
How do I test my website experience?
Google has 2 great online tools you can use to measure your website speed/experience:
The goal is to score 90+ for mobile & desktop. Don’t focus on scoring 100 on both. It’s nearly impossible to score 100 on mobile.
Below is an example of our score on WickyDesign.com:
That’s where someone like me can identify the culprits and get your website to score in the 90s and get your website running lighting fast!
Below is a great example of how I decreased a client website load times by 95%!
If you’re serious about your website speed and user experience and need some additional help with your website feel free to visit our Page Speed Optimization page below:
Page Speed Optimization
How To Rank Your Online Event On Google
Are you hosting an online event and want to stand out in the Google search? Good news! Google is heavily promoting online events because of Covid-19.
You can easily rank your online event inside the Google Events platform and also get a Google Search rich snippet simply by adding schema markup to your website. Below is an example of how your online event can look inside Google Events and the rich snippet result in Google Search:
In order to get these rich snippets for your website you need to add Schema markup code to your website. If you’re not familiar with Schema markup, I recommend you check out our blog article How Schema Helps SEO. This article helps explain what is Schema and all the different ways it can help your SEO.
This week’s SEO tip is how to utilize the Online Event Schema Markup.
How the heck do I add this to my website? Simple! Install Schema Pro and add the needed event information on your webpage and you’re done.
When you install the plugin it will guide you step by step on configuring your website with schema. They have great documentation that will answer any questions along the way.
Below is an example of the fields I filled out to get the rich snippet above in the Google results. It took me maybe 1-2 minutes to fill out these fields.
Once you fill out the additional fields all you have to do is submit your website in Google Search Console and you’re done! The next time Google crawls your website they will add the rich snippet to your website.
In this example, it took Google about 48 hours to add the online event to the Google Events platform.
How To Use Wildcards In Google Search
If you’re trying to create new content and need some extra help with coming up with ideas I recommend you start to use this technique. I call it “Search Analysis Alphabet Soup” (SAAS).
Before I continue it’s important to point out that I’m not talking about the old school SEO technique called “Keyword Research”. SAAS is different because it’s focusing on search intent instead of finding keywords to stuff in your headlines or content.
I will never recommend you waste your time and money on “SEO” keyword tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush and Ubersuggest. These tools don’t produce accurate data, so what’s the point?
Let’s jump into it! I made a video tutorial on how you can use this search technique the next time you need help creating targeted content.