Know the Three Popular Cheap SEO Services and Their Risks

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Now-a-days many businesses are hiring cheap SEO services to cut down costs. But, by hiring cheap SEO services does it really make any sense to use these services and do these SEO firms offer search engine optimization?

If you really see, there are many ways to get SEO done at a low price. Read the article to know the most popular cheap SEO services.

1. The CMS (content management system) vendor and the hosting company

Some CMS vendors and the hosting companies will add ‘SEO’ services in their packages. These packages will include automated tools which inserts code and keywords on the web pages and, then these services will submit your website to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

2. Someone who is good with computers

You may know someone’s son/cousin/nephew who is really good with computers, and they may help you with SEO on your website. This will save your money because they don’t charge much.

3. Offshore company that does everything for a low price

Offshore companies will send some unrequested emails offering great services and will also promise you in building backlinks, optimizing the web pages and a lot more for a very less monthly fee. You may be tempted seeing these offers, as they don’t look too bad.

Reasons why you should not use cheap SEO services

Using cheap SEO services just to cut costs does not make any sense because you are doing it at the expense of lost sales and revenue. The three services that are mentioned above have something in common that can be risky for you to use such services. For instance:

  1. The automated solutions that are offered by the CMS vendors and the hosting companies are outdated that have worked in early 2000’s, but presently these methods do not work. Some of these automated methods are considered as spam and your website may get penalized for using them. SEO is no more point-and-click.
  2. Your nephew may be good at HTML coding and he may create a web page for you, but that doesn’t mean that he has knowledge about SEO.
  3. Hiring offshore companies to promote your website is not a good idea because these companies use automated spam tools. Doing so is a sure way to make your site banned from Google.

SEO is more than point-and-click

SEO is not just about building links and adding keyword to your web pages, it is more than that. There is nothing like you can install on your site and you work is done.

The success of any website depends on getting the right visitors from search engines. It is necessary to understand that SEO is not a one-off project. Focusing on the short-lived optimization techniques or tactics will give you short-lived results.

It is better to develop SEO strategies that are long term. You will get better results and you can save money in long run if you use services and tools that are expensive. So, never compromise when it comes to SEO services.

For more information visit our SEO Services Page.

Valuable WordPress plugins 2024

Reading Time: 6 minutes

4GoodHosting-WordPress-Plugins

A large percentage of the client websites we host are based on WordPress. We are sometimes asked for plugin suggestions. Having the right mixture of plugins can help you take your business or otherwise hobby website to the next level.

With over 44,000 free plugins available in the WordPress depot, there is no lacking of any amount on utility that can be easily added to your website by installing one of them. There are literally thousands of plugins providing features that you might have not known to exist.

However, it can be quite time-consuming to sort the great ones from the bad ones, so we are giving you a list of the best plugins that you must have in the most essential categories. We also list an alternative for many of the categories.

All the plugins considered here are free and can be installed on your website within a few minutes.

A. W3 Total Cache

Speed is one of the most important SEO factors. Faster websites rank higher in Google, this means more visitors for your business website and more conversions.

W3 Total Cache allows you to serve compressed and cached files to your visitors. This reduces the load on your server and your website becomes faster.

B. Soliloquy

Sliders on your WordPress landing pages allow you to easily display your featured content, products, and announcements in a beautiful interactive way. Soliloquy is the best WordPress slider in the market. It allows you to easily create your own beautiful sliders and add them anywhere on your WordPress site.

C. OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most popular conversion rate optimization software. It allows you to convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers. If you want to grow your email list, then this is a must have WordPress plugin in 2016.

If you don’t have a firewall on your website, then add one today.

D. BackupBuddy

While we’re talking about security, there’s no better security than having a reliable backup system.

As a business owner, you cannot afford to lose your business and customer data in case of a hardware failure or an attack on your host’s servers. The first thing you should setup on all your WordPress sites is a backup plugin. We recommend using BackupBuddy because it is one of the most reliable and easiest way to backup and restore your WordPress sites with just a few clicks.

8 Essential Tips to Boost the Performance and Speed of Your WordPress Website

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8 Essential Tips to Boost the Performance and Speed of Your WordPress Website

It’s hard to think of examples where complexity is preferable to simplicity, at least when you look at whatever it is for an end-user perspective. There are times when architectural complexity is needed for any number of different interests, but when it’s you that is doing the building and using of it then you probably want everything to be as simple as possible. That certainly applies to websites, as most people who don’t need anything too fancy with theirs are going to be fine with a simple yet functional and fairly good looking one too.

For many that’s a WordPress website, and the ease of use with putting one together and maintaining or upgrading it is why WordPress websites are more numerous that other type of site. Good Canadian web hosting providers like us here at 4GoodHosting are receptive to that popularity and will offer managed WordPress web hosting plans that are optimized for these types of sites. They are also decidedly affordable for people who aren’t leaning on a website to be the most focal point of whatever is they’re promoting for themselves with Toronto web hosting

So going the simple route with a WordPress website is a great place to start if you’re claiming a domain name for the first time and you’re ready and eager to make yourself visible on the information superhighway. There are also ways to make your WordPress site function ever better despite it’s barer-bones simplicity, and that’s what we’re going to look at with this blog entry.

Speedier is Important

Optimizing website speed isn’t a nice-to-have for WordPress website owners, and nowadays it’s really something that you can’t do without at all. There’s been research that’s indicated nearly half (47%) of consumers won’t give a web page any longer than two seconds to load. This is something nearly everyone can relate to, as no one is willing to tolerate or be patient with a page that doesn’t load sufficiently quickly.

There are several strategies you can implement to speed up your WordPress website to go along with the speed benefits that come with Toronto web hosting optimized for WordPress sites. So without any further talk here are our actionable steps that can increase your website’s ability to load with the type of speed that visitors are going to expect with it.

  1. Optimize Images

Images are an integral part of having the right type of engaging content, but they can also be a part of the reason why your pages aren’t loading quickly enough. What you can do here is compress your pictures before uploading them and this is the easiest way to remedy this situation and you’ll quickly see that your images don’t look any worse because you’ve compressed them.

There are a number of free plugins that you can use to do this, and you can also consider using the modern WebP format, which gets high marks for its high compression rate and excellent visual quality.

  1. Leverage Browser Caching

Browser caching is a means for storing frequently visited elements of your website in a visitor’s browser. The advantage to this is in the way that it lets you load the cached elements like images, stylesheets, and JavaScript files swiftly any time that same user returns to your site. Plugins are ready to make this step easy for you too, and ones like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache can be used to make browser caching a part of your WordPress website’s functionality.

  1. Use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

You’ll find that most WordPress websites will be utilizing a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This is a distributed network of servers for delivering your website’s content from a server nearest to the user’s location and chosen from many available ones around the world. The way it speeds up the delivery is based on shortening the physical distance the data needs to travel, and just like that you’ve got faster page loads and an increased likelihood of your site visitors sticking around. Look into any of the best ones out there, including CloudFlare and MaxCDN, that integrate easily with WordPress.

  1. Go with Lightweight Themes and Plugins

When a WordPress theme is too heavy, it can detract from the website’s page loading speeds. Choosing lightweight themes with fewer file sizes and features is the better choice here, and if it can be paired with cleaner and more streamlined code it can really go a long way with decreasing the complexity of your website’s structure. You can be increasing selective of plugins here too, because you never want to have too many of them. An excess of plugins can mean more HTTP requests, and that will mean more of the slowdowns we’re trying to avoid here.

  1. Minimize External HTTP Requests

Continuing with talk around HTTP requests, the biggest problem is when they’re directed towards external scripts like fonts and tracking codes, something that happens quite regularly when servers get requests. When this happens delays with page loadings may occur. Auditing the site to identify any unnecessary external requests is advisable, and you may find ones that are detrimental but won’t affect your site’s functionality and aesthetics if you remove / replace them.

  1. Prioritize Database Optimization

It’s common for a WordPress database to become cluttered with unnecessary data over time, and often the culprits are post revisions, spam comments, and transients. It’s smart to clean and optimize your database regularly so that your site’s performance benefits from it. Most Toronto web hosting providers will have several WP plugins available through their control panel for site webmasters to remove unneeded data and streamline your database, and again this will contribute to faster loading times.

  1. Enhance Mobile Responsiveness

A website that is fully responsive for mobile web browsers is of paramount importance in an era where most people go online via their smartphones more often than by any other means. It’s a standard recommendation that WordPress website operators optimize their site for mobile devices, and that is best done with responsive design techniques and testing performance on various devices and screen sizes. This may be a more laborious process, but it’s something you can and should do if your aim is to deliver a seamless and fast browsing experience for mobile users too.

  1. Go Enterprise Level

This last suggestion if probably a more obvious one, but there are different type of WordPress web hosting available and enterprise level ones will be more expensive. But they’ll also give your website much more in the way of the built-in resources needed for optimized performance, and boosting loading speeds in a big way as part of that. Higher level WP hosting packages in Canada are definitely recommended for Toronto web hosting or anywhere else in the country, and multi-level caching with dynamic caching technology that is engineered explicitly for WordPress is the biggest reason why these advanced WordPress web hosting options are worth the added expense.

Distractions Begone: Introducing Google Chrome’s Focus Mode

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It’s been said that here and now in the 21st century we’ve never had more distractions pulling at our attention day in and out like we do now. This is especially true when we’re in front a screen, and we imagine not many of you need any convincing of that. Distractions aren’t particularly problematic when you’re only web surfing or the like, and more often than not they’re what you might call an irresistible nuisance in those situations.

When you’re on your computer for productive purposes, however, all those distractions can add up to a considerable amount of lost time. That’s where people might wish there was something to be done about them… and it appears as if now there is.

Here at 4GoodHosting, we’re like any industrious Canadian web hosting provider in the way we have our eyes and ears peeled for developments in the computing world. Most of them aren’t worthy of discussing at large here, but considering that nearly everyone has had difficulty staying on task when making use of the Internet then this one definitely is.

Google Introduces Focus Mode for Chrome Browser

As if the Chrome browser needed any more assistance in being the nearly ubiquitous web-browser of choice these days. Google is set to announce focus mode, and while they haven’t actually announced this new feature as of yet, tech insiders have found there’s a new flag to be seen that indicates whether or not ‘focus mode’ is on.

It should be mentioned that they’re not broaching uncharted territory here. Different applications have attempted to take on the problem of getting people to focus while working on a computer, and there have been software solutions available for both Mac and PC that have arrived with little or no fanfare. It goes without saying, however, that no power players commands the attention that Google does these days.

At this time little is known about the Focus Mode feature, asides fro the fact it will soon be implemented with the world’s most popular web browser. The seen flag is reportedly indicating that if ‘#focus-mode’ is enabled, it allows a user to switch to Focus Mode.

What, and How?

We bet nearly all of you will be saying right, right – but how exactly is Focus Mode going to work? At the moment, we can only speculate on the features the new option might offer to users. We think it’s safe to assume that Focus Mode will restrict specific websites or applications from being accessed. For example, Focus Mode may stop a user from browsing sites such as YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook (likely the most necessary for most people!). Other industry insiders have suggested that the mode may integrate with Windows 10‘s Focus Assist when working in conjunction with a PC’s operating system.

That last part there is important, as it appears that – at least initially – Focus Mode will be available on PCs running Windows 10, and it’s believed that it will allow users to silence notifications and other distracting pop-ups. We’re prone to wonder if Focus Mode will also work with Windows 10 to stop websites from screaming out for your attention, or restricting those pop-up announcements that are way too common and explicitly designed to take your attention elsewhere.

Patience, Grasshopper

As mentioned, Focus Mode isn’t quite here yet, but for those who are distracted way too easily (and you can certainly count us among them) when time is a valuable commodity to get needed tasks done then this really has a lot of potential.

We can most likely expect to see Focus Mode in a test build such as Chrome Canary before it becomes a mainstream feature available to one and all with Google Chrome. We’ll be following these developments keenly, and we imagine that now a good many of you will be too.

 

Dedicated IP Addresses and SEO

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Even the most layman of web endeavourers will be familiar with the acronym SEO. We imagine further there’s very few if any individuals anywhere who don’t know it stands for search engine optimization, and understand just how integral SEO is for having success in digital marketing. Most people with a small business that relies on its website for maximum visibility with prospective customers will hire an SEO professional to SEO optimize their site. That continues to be highly recommended, and for 9 out of 10 people it is NOT something you can do effectively on your own, no matter how much you’ve read online or how many YouTube videos you’ve watched.

Here at 4GoodHosting, we are like any other top Canadian web hosting provider in that we offer SEO optimization services for our clients. Some people will think that choosing the best keywords and having them at the ideal density is most integral to having good SEO, and that’s true and by and large. But there are a number of smaller but still significant influence that influence SEO, and they’ll be beyond the wherewithal of most people.

Whether websites benefit from a Dedicated IP address rather that a Shared IP address isn’t something you’ll hear discussed regularly. When you learn that the answer is yes, they do, and exactly why, however, it’s a switch many people will want to consider if they currently have a Shared IP address. Let’s have a look at why that is today.

What Exactly Is an IP address?

For some, we may need to start at the start with all of this so let’s begin be defining what exactly an IP address is. Any device connected to the Internet has a unique IP address, and that’s true if it’s a PC, laptop, mobile device, or your web host’s server. It’s made up of a 4-number string which will start at 0 and then go up to 255. Here’s an example of one:

1.25.255.255

This numerical string code makes the machine you are using known. Once it’s identified – and it has to be – the Internet is then able to send data to it. You now can access the hundreds of thousands of websites along the Information Superhighway.

What’s a Shared IP address?



In most instances, the server your web host uses to host your site will be a single machine with a matching single IP address. For most people – and nearly all who go with the most basic hosting package without giving it much thought – you’ll be set up in an arrangement where the server is hosting thousands of websites like yours. It’s not ‘dedicated’ to you and your site exclusively.

Instead, all of the websites hosted it will be represented by the single IP address allocated to the web host’s server. Now if your website is utilized for more of a personal venture or hobby and it’s NOT going to be a leverage point in trying to secure more business, shared hosting will probably be fine. Alternately, if page rankings are a priority for you then shared hosting may be putting you at a disadvantage.

The solution? A dedicated IP address for your Canadian website. If you need one, we can take care of that for you quickly and fairly easily for you. But we imagine you’ll need more convincing, so let’s move now to explaining what constitutes a Dedicated IP address..

The Dedicated IP Address

A dedicated IP address involves you having your own server, and that server only has one website on it – yours. It is common, however, for more than one site reside on a specific server. A Dedicated IP address is an IP address that is allocated to a single website, instead of one being assigned the server and representing every website hosted there by default.

The Purpose of Dedicated IP Addresses

The primary appeal of Dedicated IP addresses is that they promote large ecommerce being more secure, and in particular as it regards sensitive data like credit card numbers, etc. On a more individual scale, though, a dedicated IP address is superior for SEO interests as well.

Why is that? Let’s list all of the reasons here:

1. Speed

When you share space, you share resources and in as far as shared web hosting and shared IP addresses are concerned that means you are sharing bandwidth. The long and short of it is all those other sites on the same server will be slowing yours down. That might be a problem in itself, but if it isn’t then the way slow site speeds push you further down Google’s rankings will be.

While adding a unique IP address to your site will not automatically mean it loads faster, but migrating to a Dedicated Server with a Dedicated IP address definitely will. Sites with a Dedicated IP address are faster, more reliable, and more secure, and that’s a big deal.

2. SSL

For nearly 5 years now Google has been giving preference to websites that have added an SSL 2048-bit key certificate. The easiest way to see whether that’s been done or not is seeing the site’s URL change from HTTP to HTTPS. SSL sites typically utilize unique IP addresses. Google continues to insist that SSL impacts less than 1% of searches, but it’s a factor nonetheless and is another benefit of a Dedicated IP address.

SSL can make your website more visible through public networks and can make websites operate marginally faster, and the benefit of this is in the way visitors get a faster response from the website because it’s not held up by Google the way it would be if it didn’t have an SSL cert. The majority of ecommerce sites with a Dedicated IP address will also have an SSL cert.

3. Malware

Malware is software that’s designed and disseminated for the explicit purpose of throwing wrenches into the gears of a working web system. Unfortunately, the thousands of websites that may be on a shared server drastically increases the risk of being exposed to malware if you’re one of them. Further, when you share an IP address with any site that’s been infected with malware then your site is actually penalized despite the fact it’s not you who’s been infected.

In these cases, you’ll be best served by going with a Dedicated IP address and choosing a more reliable Canadian web hosting provider that has measures in place to protect malware from making its way into the servers in the fist place. A dedicated IP means you’re standing alone, and you’re regarded accordingly.

How Do I Get a Dedicated IP Address?

If you’re with us here at 4GoodHosting, all you need to do is ask. We’ve been setting our customers up with Dedicated IP addresses for quite some time now, and you’ll find that when you do so through us it’s not nearly as pricey as you had expected it to be.

It’s very recommended for any ecommerce site or one that’s utilized for very business-strategic aims, and it’s fair to say that you really can’t go wrong moving to a dedicated server if you’ve made the commitment to do anything and everything to protect your SEO and enjoy the same page rankings moving forward. The vast majority of people see it as a wise investment, and of course you always have option of switching back to a shared hosting arrangement if over time you don’t see any real difference or benefits for you.

Top 5 Spelling and Grammar Checkers for Your WordPress Site

Grammar in website
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Grammar in websiteSome people will pay little heed to the insistence that you shouldn’t have even so much as one type or grammar mistake in the text of your website or blog. Others will disagree, suggesting that there’s a good number of viewers who’ll think less of you in as far as being an authority with your subject matter, or caring insufficiently about your marketing efforts. This is particularly true for anyone who offers a professional service of any kind and uses their website to promote themselves.

Many people choose the simplicity and up-n-running quick appeal of WordPress for creating their basic website. Like any Canadian web hosting provider, we’re sure that it’s the same way for a good many of our customers and, as the author of this blog myself, my first foray onto the web was with a WordPress blog hosted right here at 4GoodHosting.

But enough about that and back to topic, it is important to have text with words that are spelled correctly uniformly along with perfect readability for your viewers. Considering how easy it is nowadays with all of the extensions and plug-ins available to check your spelling and grammar for you, why wouldn’t you take 10 minutes or so to go over your site and make sure everything’s reading smoothly?

Yes, all browsers do include an in-built spelling check tool, but it does not check for readability or grammar. So let’s have a look at those best grammar checker plugins for your WordPress websites in below:

Grammarly

Grammarly is definitely the most well-known of them, a widely-used grammar checker plugin which is available as an add-on for popular browsers like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox. Grammarly scans over your posts’ spelling and grammar mistakes and prompts you to edit them correctly.

An indicator appears at the bottom right of editing field. Click on it and then the tool will display all the errors in your post, highlighted with a red underline. Grammarly does require you to switch your content to text editor to proofread.

Ginger

Here’s another easy-to-use grammar and spelling checker plugin, which assists with boosting your productivity and promoting your writing skills. Like Grammarly, Ginger is available as an add-on for browsers and it’s equally easy to use.

Ginger users will see a small icon appearing at the bottom right corner of entry fields for Facebook, Gmail, and WordPress’ built-in editor. It will detect errors in real time as you are typing and then highlight it with context.

Some drawbacks to Ginger though in our opinion. For starters, you have to revert to text editor in your WordPress website and you also need to manually launch the Ginger editor for proofreading with full ability.

After The Deadline

This plugin is an extension of Google Chrome, and comes with a built-in spelling checker tool along with an optional readability and grammar check display that we really like. After installing this extension in your browser, you will then need to click it on and choose options. It opens a Settings page like you’d find with any add-on, and you then select the options you are likely to use.

Clicking on the Spellcheck icon allows you to run the add-on when you are composing posts. Note that icon can be founded in the editor’s bottom right corner.

Hemingway

Hemingway is little different in that it is a web-based text editor. It doesn’t work like the other grammar checker tools that work within the WordPress post editor. It does offer a free web-based editor free of charge that shows you readability, spelling mistakes and grammar errors in your writing.

What gets Hemingway on the list though it can be a style checker as well as a grammar checker, designed to promote your posts’ readability in the means of displaying the readability score of your posts as well as offering suggestions where you can make improvements.

It’s got a simple and clean layout to help you evaluate your WordPress blog posts quickly before you publish them.

The web-based app of Hemingway also can be a paid desktop application for Mac and Windows that lets you post directly to your WordPress site.

LanguageTool

This is a free extension for major browsers and file managers like Google Chrome, Google Docs, LibreOffice, and FireFox. It’s available as a desktop app and a web-based editor.

Languages tool impresses with the fact that the extension comes with support for more than 20 languages, including English, Polish, Russian and German. Website masters running multilingual sites and having multilingual authors will find it extremely useful.

Only downside for this one is that the free edition will only check up to 20,000 characters each time.

Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin suite for WordPress lets you get off the ground quickly when reviewing your work, and what’s good about it is it comes with many useful modules. The big plus for Jetpack is that the plugin allows adding proofreading to WordPress post editor.

For advanced grammar detection, you can go to Jetpack’s Settings page and choose different style ‘rules’. Jetpack’s only drawback is that the plugin requires you have WordPress.com accounts, and some of the added features aren’t particularly useful for many people .

Now that you’re in the know, try one out and see to it your WordPress website is ‘perfect’ from front to back, and with every new blog post or guest contribution.

As a content creator, grammar and spelling errors can significantly hurt your credibility. Implementing a suitable grammar checker is not just essential for fixing typos and other mistakes, but it can also make your writing more elegant and clearer. In the context of SEO service for small business, having error-free, quality content is vital to improve your website’s visibility and ranking on search engines.

Even when you’re in a hurry to press publish, a reliable grammar checker acts as a quick proofreading tool, ensuring your content is polished and professional. However, it’s crucial to remember that a tool can’t wholly replace manual proofreading. For optimal results and refined content, especially when aiming to boost your SEO, engaging professional SEO services can make a significant difference.

If hiring a professional isn’t an option at the moment, consider asking a friend to read your text, or get another human eye to examine your writing, ensuring it’s not just error-free but also effectively tailored for SEO.

Which grammar checker do you use? How does it integrate into your writing workflow? Does it contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of your SEO efforts? Let me know in the comments below. Your insights might be valuable for others looking to enhance their content quality while balancing the needs of SEO for improved online visibility.

PCI Compliant web hosting is now available from 4GoodHosting, with the same quality, reliability, and customer service you can expect from one of Canada’s premiere web hosting providers. Merchants and service providers online now can now have their website hosted in a secure environment that will be approved by PCI scanning tests. A PCI approval scan will allow you to secure merchant accounts with your financial institution and offer customers proven-secure online processing of their credit cards.

 

What’s in a ‘Tweet’: Understanding the Engagement-Focused Nature of Twitter’s Algorithm

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It would seem that of all the social media platforms, Twitter is the one that businesses struggle with most in understanding just how to harness it for effective promotional means. The common assumption is any shortcomings are related to your use of the ever-ubiquitous #hashtag, but in fact they’re not nearly as pivotal as you might think.

Here at 4GoodHosting, we’ve done well in establishing ourselves as a premier digital marketing agency in Canada and a part of that is sharing insights on how to get more out of your online marketing efforts. Social media is of course a big part of that, and as such we think more than a few of you will welcome tips on how to ‘up’ your Twitter game.

It’s easy to forget that these social media platforms have algorithms working behind them, and working quite extensively. What’s going on behind the screen controls and narrows down what you actually see on your timeline.

For example, let’s say you have specific political affiliations. The algorithms ensure that the majority of the tweets you’ll see will be linked to that party’s views. Or perhaps you’re especially into sports. If so, plenty of sports news sources will be all over your timeline. Oppositely, if you dislike something then that theme will slowly end up disappearing over the course of the week or beyond.

All of this is a reflection of ALL social media platforms, Twitter included, are using more and more complex algorithms to satisfy their user base and deliver content they are likely to find favourable.

So this is what do you’ll need to know about Twitter’s algorithms, and the best ways to use them to your advantage.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled For These

There’s no disputing the fact that Twitter has faded quite considerably in popularity and the strength of its reach. Despite this, Twitter is really narrowing its scope of engagement and a key way to increase engagement is through increasing relevance of the posts seen.

Directly from Twitter’s engineering blog, here are a few of the factors that decide whether a Tweet is sufficiently engaging and thus worthy of ‘appearances’

  • The level of recency to your posts, the likes, retweets, and other things such as attached media
  • Whether you have previously liked, or retweeted the author of the tweet
  • Your previous positive interaction with certain types of tweets

Twitter will then recommend people to like over the next couple of days. Depending on your responses to those recommendations, it will then adjust the content that’s seen by you to better reflect how it is gauging your preferences.

What’s easy to conclude is that users themselves play a predominant factor in what’s going to be seen on their timelines. Liking or using the “I don’t like this” button once or twice goes a long way in this regard.

By this point it begs asking the question; is Twitter’s algorithm perhaps a little too simple? It is definitely not as complex as other media platforms such as Facebook, but the benefit in that is that it is easier to manipulate. Among the many benefits of this is the way that smaller companies may tag a random brand or company in a tweet that is completely non-associable with their tags. Twitter’s algorithms allow this to be a very effective means of getting increased exposure.

Gain Your Advantage

Generating engagement with your tweets is a reliable way to boost exposure and put yourself on top of the algorithm game. Engaging your audience and boosting exposure keeps you ‘in’ the talk and seeing to it you’re using the correct hashtags will ensure you’re being talked about.

Smaller companies can benefit from tagging large companies in their tweets to gain exposure, and that’s especially advisable if the company relates to what you’re talking about. Sure, it only works to a certain degree, but gaining followers by any means possible is always a plus.

Putting all this talk about engagement into perspective, it’s important to understand how to spark the right sorts of conversation. Asking random questions will make it look forced, while if you don’t interact at all you may see a dip in exposure. Find a way to be genuine in your responses, and adhere faithfully to what you’ve defined as your brand’s voice.

7 WordPress Plug-Ins Guaranteed to Boost SEO Big Time

Reading Time: 4 minutes

WordPress continues to be the most predominant web publishing platform around, and the many years it’s had that title is a testament to just how intuitive, versatile, and capable it is for taking your content and making it presentable on the web. The old adage ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ certainly applies, and while WordPress is elementally the same as it was when first rolled out in 2003.

Here at 4GoodHosting, we’ve always had a front row view of just how well embraced WordPress is in the digital world, and in addition to be a quality Canadian web hosting provider and SEO service agency we also try to have our thumb on the pulse of as many aspects of the industry as we can. Page rankings are going to be important for anyone who’s on the web for commercial or promotional purposes. In fact, 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their number one priority.

So this week we’re going to share a handful of WordPress plug-ins that are a breeze to install and will serve to improve your site SEO.

  1. Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress

Feel free to regard Yoast as the Maserati of SEO plugins. It’s usually the first one that will be recommended by an experienced marketer. It is incredibly easy to use and can help you optimize multiple aspects of your WordPress site, addressing and optimizing your URL, meta description, chosen tags, keyword density, internal and external links, and content readability.

It works by first selecting a focus keyword. Next, it will analyze your SEO and provide recommendations on where improvements could be made. Green indicates you’re good as is, orange means your page needs some work, and red means you need to start from scratch as there’s multiple deficiencies. Yoast will then serve up specific actions you can choose to move ‘up’ in the colour spectrum.

Even if you’re decidedly technically inept, you’ll likely have your SEO amped right up with this plugin.

  1. All in One SEO Pack

Yoast definitely takes top spot, but this is quite likely the second best overall SEO plugin (plus the 3+ million installs to date suggest it’s effective). All in One SEO pack was first developed in 2007 and has evolved over the past 10 years to meet the majority of demands today’s SEO marketers tend to have.

All in One SEO Pack includes robust features such as:

  • Automatic meta tag generation
  • Title optimization
  • XML sitemap support for a site that’s more readable to search engines
  • Prevention of duplicate content being created

Essentially, it addresses all of the major elements of effective SEO and – like Yoast – it works with WordPress like a charm.

  1. SEOPressor

SEOPressor also gets high marks from us. This plugin works under the same premise as Yoast and the All in One SEO Pack, delivering comprehensive on-page SEO analysis, as well as providing tips for improvements.

SEOPressor is great as an ‘insta-advisor’, helping you make ideal small tweaks and adjustments that will boost your overall SEO quality. Also, like the preceding two, you don’t need to be anything of a ‘computer whiz’ to get installed and going to work for you.

  1. SEO SQUIRRLY

When top SEO experts like Neil Patel of Kissmetrics and Brian Dean of Backlinko endorse a plug-in, you can A) know it’s good stuff, and B) trust it’s been designed for non-SEO experts.

How SEO SQUIRRLY differs from other plug-ins is that it puts an emphasis on helping you create content that’s designed equally for both search engines and human readers. The importance of this is in the fact that Google places a strong emphasis on positive user experience when orienting their ever-changing algorithms.

SEO SQUIRRL helps you find great keywords, analyzes your articles, offers advice on how to resolve issues, and helps you optimize your content for human consumption, plus it generates an XML sitemap for Google and Bing

  1. SEO Optimized Images

Image optimization is typically a lesser consideration for your WordPress-based site, yet it’s a critical aspect of SEO, and that’s often overlooked. It’s important to ensure that search engines are able to understand the content within your images.

SEO Optimized Images is a WordPress plug-in that makes it easy for inserting SEO-friendly alt attributes dynamically, along with adding valuable title attributes to your images. Long story short, it streamlines the often-laborious process of optimizing the website’s content.

  1. SEO Post Content Links

Any reputable and experienced SEO marketer will tell you that internal linking is of paramount importance for creating a strong link profile. This serves to create better indexing in search engines, it points visitors to other helpful content they may be interested in, which can increase the average amount of time spent on your site.

This is a plugin that takes the guesswork out of internal link building and streamlines the process very impressively. Further, SEO Post Content Links also helps you create proper anchor text that matches current best practices.

  1. SEO Internal Links

Here’s another plugin that’s proven effective for optimizing your site’s internal link structure. Directly from its WordPress description, SEO Internal Links ‘can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories, and tags on your blog.’ Enough said? Very likely. SEO internal links is ideal for anyone who’s not so savvy with linking or having a sound understanding of the value of linking and indexing for the website.

In a nutshell, SEO internal links is a convenient way to create internal links, while at the same time avoiding black hat SEO practices that could backfire on you big time should you choose to employ them. Quite plainly, don’t. The damage you can to your site’s credibility in the eyes of the search engine bots isn’t worth the benefits you may get, not at all.

Here’s to you trying one or more and seeing your SEO get a much-needed push up the hill!

Domain Extensions and SEO Impact

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Before any website makes its way up onto the information superhighway, the domain name attached to it must be registered with a hosting provider. Here at 4GoodHosting, we’re a top Canadian web hosting provider among many and we can certainly take care of that basic and straightforward formality for you. What we’re going to discuss today, however, is the way that your domain name’s extension (.com being the most common) can have direct and measureable results on your SEO, and search engine ranking more specifically.

Let’s review the basics briefly; a domain name is a unique internet address that is made up of a name and extension (such as .com, .ca etc.). This extension is also referred to as a Top Level Domain (TLD) and it is the most relevant part of your domain name. We’ll move now to putting you in the know with factors that influence choosing the right domain extension and how it dictates your SEO rankings in a significant way.

Various Types of TLDs

In the infancy days of the Web, domain extensions were initially introduced to facilitate browsing across different domains. There were 6 general top-level domains (gTLDs) marketed to folks looking to get themselves up and running, and we saw different domain extension for different types of organizations. Some may be surprised to learn that the .com extension was actually introduced for websites for commercial purposes, and has nothing to do with the term computer.

Much more common nowadays are domain extensions with a country code, also known as country code Top Level Domains (ccTLD). These took off between 1985 and 1990, and examples of these types website name domains are .ca for Canada, .kr for South Korea (who have the fastest internet speeds in the world) .in for India, .co.uk for the United Kingdom, etc.

1998 saw the creation of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an international nonprofit organization designed to keep the Internet secure and stable. New gTLDs were released in 2001, including .info and .pro, designed for informational websites or those representing certified professionals.

The number of domain extensions has quickly expanded since. There are now even domain extensions that utilize Arabic characters instead of the usual Latin characters. A complete list of all extensions (with Latin characters) can be referenced at the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) website.

Specific SEO Benefits for Each Domain Extension

  • Country code Top Level Domain

Advantages

A ccTLD provides Google with the strongest and clearest indication of where a website originates. Provided all other SEO factors are equal, the ‘example.com’ website will be better ranked by Google than an ‘example.ca’ or ‘example.co.kr’.

Disadvantages

The primary disadvantage of a ccTLD is that you will be required to purchase a new extension for each language, which will add to the cost quite considerably. Further, Google’s crawlers (aka ‘bots’) do not recognize multiple websites as one website because they have different extensions. Each website must develop its own authority.

By authority we mean the value that Google assigns to a website. More authority results in Google’s bots staying on the website for a longer period of time and indexing deeper pages of the site. This of course is very beneficial for SEO. Higher authority leads to a greater likelihood that your site will rank high on Google’s SERPS (search engine results pages). There are other factors that determine how well a website performs in this regard, and in fact Google uses more than 200 signals to determine which results are most relevant.

  • Generic Top Level Domain

Generic domain names are increasingly popular these days, with examples like .pizza, .amsterdam and .club, websites that distinguish the nature of the business or venture very explicitly. People continue to speculate about the advantages and disadvantages of these new extensions as they relate to search engine rankings. Google has shared that the new TLDs are not more likely to score high with Google than older TLDs or ccTLDs. However, there are several examples that suggest otherwise, at least to some extent.

Coffee.club is one of them. It climbed to the first page in Google US search results within the span of a week. That’s worth taking note of, as it takes a lot of time to get to the first page on Google US, and that can be true even if you’ve built up plenty of authority.

Coffee.club was purchased in November 2014 and received several links from authoritative websites that announced the transaction. The backlinks had 80% of ‘coffee.club’ as clickable text, and one week after the launch the website was already on the first SERP for the term ‘coffee club’. We can understand that when a gTLD (in part) matches a keyword you want to match in Google, it counts only links with the domain name in the clickable text.

Simply, ‘coffee.club’ is interpreted by Google to be “coffee club”. In such instances a TLD with a relevant keyword will indeed have an SEO advantage over a traditional TLD like those ending with a .com.

Google still insists that there is no advantage or disadvantage to having a new gTLD, stating that each gTLD has the same opportunity to rank well. With a gTLD, it is possible to specify which country the website is intended to serve within the Google Search Console. This of course is done via international targeting, but keep in mind that when you expand your website with a different language you must adjust or disable international targeting.

Choosing the most appropriate domain extension

Your best choice for a TLD will depend on a number of factors. Want to score well on Google.com? Then you’ll be best served by choosing the overall top level domain, a .com. Conversely, if you only sell products in Canada, you’ll be wise to choose the .ca extension. Google will then recognize that your website is intended for the Canadian market and that your aim is to score better on Google.ca.

It continues to be that SEO is often not taken into account when people are weighing which TLD extensions is best for them. For example, there are websites that buy a ccTLD so the website has a nice name and is easy to remember. For example, ‘autorepair.ca’ may seem like the ideal choice for the nature of your business, but it’s probably not going to score well on Google.com. This is because you indicate to Google with the .ca extension that your website is taking aim at the Canadian market explicitly.

When your website is in fact targeted to a specific country, though, it is advisable to choose the ccTLD of that country. In this case, you may need to purchase a new domain with another TLD at any international expansion. The country-specific nature of the ccTLD will definitely have a positive impact on your search engine results.

When you go with a gTLD, Google will not see it as a .com, .pizza, or .whateveritmaybe. GTLDs have as much chance to score well and as a result do not affect SEO status of your website. And yet, even while Google insists on the validity of that, there are cases like those coffee.club mentioned above that show that links with only the domain name in the clickable text are counted in Google search results. This is the case when a gTLD will create a partial match with a keyword you want to match.

The important thing to keep in mind when using a gTLD is that you communicate this choice to the consumer. Consumers will often undertake searches including the domain extension in the search terms. If you choose a gTLD, make sure that you make that fact very clear to your target audience, and that’s most commonly done by presenting your company name WITH the extension attached in Headers or any other component of the communication piece that will be visually grabbing and readily identified

Also – last but not least – go into your Google Search Console and make sure to set the international targeting to the right country.

Multiple Domains for the Same Company: Yea, or Nay?

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You’ll find many business owners (or their e-commerce shot callers) that are proponents of having multiple domains for a single venture. Others will insist it’s an unnecessary expenditure if you utilize and position for your single domain with maximum effectiveness. For the average person, being able to make the correct determination here may well be beyond what they’re able to objectively determine, so let’s spend a little time this week to help those of you asking ‘is it better to have multiple domains and websites for a business?’

Here at 4GoodHosting, it’s our mix of solid hosting, competitively priced packages, and excellent customer support that makes us a good Canadian web hosting provider, but we feel another aspect that sets us apart is the level of insight we have into our industry and all of the subject offshoots that come from it that will be of interest to our customers.

Having multiple domains means carrying more than one website for the same company. The general logic is that it’s especially wise to do so if you have a product or service that appeals to different audiences. A site that’s tailored to the viewing / interacting / purchasing preferences of each respective target audience. Typically you will aim to customize the messaging, sales content and collaterals, and other marketing strategies so that they’re more likely to be ‘hooks’ for that demographic.

For example, a website for communications professionals will use a different approach than one for a staffing agency, for example, and this means that so a cross-over product (e.g., copy / scan / fax machines) might prove to be challenging to pitch effectively on a single site. It’s in these situations where the business will often consider having 2 (or more) sites with different domains so as to maximize the effectiveness with which they promote themselves to multiple specific buyer demographics.

From the SEO Standpoint Only

Should you take the decidedly narrow view and only consider search engine optimization (SEO), any reputable SEO expert will advise you that multiple domains can hurt your page ranking. That’s because having several keyword-rich domains pointing to your website is of no real specific benefit. SEO is directed towards a single domain name and will be regulated by site popularity, the volume and type of content featured, keywords located in meta and title fields – not to mention whether or not you’re paying or ‘sponsoring’ your spot in the ‘top 4’ at Google. What’s really most beneficial and should take precedence in your decision making process is taking into account the functionality of the site and how it specifically supports your goals. You should determine very specifically what is the exact role of your website (or sites) when choosing to use more than one URL.

Websites that can be identified as serving a simple purpose, like a portfolio of work for example, will be just fine using multiple pages on the same. Or they should be. If the business model is a little bit more multi-leveled, then considering multiple sites is warranted.

But now let’s have a look at where multiple domains for a website are suitable, and where they’re not. But before that let’s take quick stock of 3 considerations many people may overlook when starting to consider multiple domains:

  1. More work – For starters, each of these sites will require unique content, regular updates, and their own specific SEO optimization. You’ll be spending more time seated in front of the screen, for sure.
  2. Increased costs – Unless you’re going to shoulder all of that increased workload on your own, it’s almost certainly going to cost staff time, tech support, and don’t forget that outside vendors are now going to require a pair of paycheques. Yes, there can be economies of scale for hosting and other services to an extent, but that needs to be weighed against the value added to the goals for the sites.
  3. Organization – You’re going to have to do more as regards regular maintenance and content updates, plus you’ll have to ensure your marketing messages are consistent across all platforms, including the websites themselves.

Multiple Domains are Suitable When..

  1. You Have A Single Business with Diverse Audiences

Most people won’t need to be reminded that 1-size does not fit all when it comes to communicating with different audiences online. Each group has its own set of needs and expectations about how products or services fit their needs. When an array of messages is required, separate sites makes it possible to tailor content as well as approach an individual group.

  1. Your Niche Website Is Designed to Showcase a Specialization

Niche websites always tend to more appealing as compared to large, generic ones. Larger are prone to having too much overlap with a competing site, and this diminishes the likelihood of being able to get the value you need from links. Niche sites are ideal for allowing the kind of specialization that makes them helpful with complementing the information (or services) of other sites.

This in turn can support the development of deep, topic-specific content that then works to make your site a valuable (and linkable) resource. That of course goes a LONG way it you getting what you need out of your website

  1. You Have High Turnover

Name changes are more common in certain industries. An accounting or law firm might change associates or partners, adding new names or removing that of a retiree. In addition, if an affiliation exists with a parent company, such as a broker with being part of a larger umbrella of multiple provincial or regional offices, wholesale changes can result from rebranding efforts and the like. In these and other cases, multiple domain names can be helpful in leveraging an established identity or geographic presence.

  1. You’re Visible in Multiple Countries, with Multiple Languages

Those of you doing business in multiple countries might want to consider having separate sites for each geographic location. Localizing the colors, images, and content to match the social and cultural norms will serve to make your site much more user-friendly. Further, matching local preferences and habits can make it so that the URL is easier to find.

Multiple Domains are Less Suitable When..

  1. Your Challenges in Managing Multiple Domain Sites are Primarily SEO related.

When it comes to page rankings, at the most basic level there is zero benefit to having multiple sites, while there very well could be negatives. Garnering bad links to phishing sites is one example, and if it occurs that requires significant technical troubleshooting.

  1. People Are Have Difficulty Finding You

Most people are inclined to look up a company by name, and that means multiple domain names can make it difficult (or confusing) for a prospect or customer to find what they need.

  1. Your Domain is Less Authoritative Due to Name Changes

Frequent changing of one or more of the domain names can hurt the site’s credibility.

  1. Your Related Expenses are Problematic

As mentioned, the time and money that will be required of your for building and maintenance (including troubleshooting) increase in line with the number of sites you’re maintaining.

  1. You’re Experiencing a Diluted identity

Depending on your brand, separating products and services between different sites could undermine the power and market influence of the company.

  1. You’ve Got Merging Issues

Anyone who’s eyeing a possible merge into a single website will need to keep in mind that the migration needs to be done correctly (and that will come with significant expense).

All this said, it’s entirely true that a single website can support multiple product lines and services, but the catch is that it’s got to be decidedly easy to navigate. That needs to be the primary motivation you’ve got to keep at the forefront in your mind, rather than focusing on the ease or low cost of design maintenance.

So, any feedback? Are you a multiple domain holder for your site(s) based on your type of business interests, or the nature of the business itself? Or is a single domain perfectly sufficient for your needs?