Archive for April, 2015

HTTP Error Codes – 4XX Errors and More

Sunday, April 26th, 2015 by
HTTP Error Codes – 4XX Errors and More

When an online consumer (or anyone) is surfing the web, the browser is constantly in communication with the web server. The browser makes multiple requests and the web server tries to fulfill them. The 1xx codes are informational and they tell the browser that the request was received and processing. They serve as status reports to let the browser know what it’s doing.

The 2xx codes are the successful codes. They serve to let the browser know that the request is valid and has gone through or is in the process of going through. When this happens, the web page that the consumer is attempting to reach will show up. The 3xx codes are redirectional codes. They serve to represent that the original webpage has been moved or removed and attempt to bring the consumer the new URL. They tell the browser that more steps need to be taken in order to see the desired page. Since the 1xx, 2xx and 3xx are mostly informational, they are called HTTP Status Codes.

Within HTTP Status codes exists 4xx and 5xx codes. They represent the errors that can occur so they are referred to as HTTP Error codes. 4xx codes represent client error, and the most common rage from 400 to 404. The most common mistakes include having bad syntax or simply just cannot be fulfilled for whatever reason. 5xx codes represent server error, and the most common range from 500 to 510.  The 5xx are a little more complicated because they represent that the server has failed to process what is apparently a valid request. When these codes show up, it means that the request cannot be processed and you may encounter something like the following:

elieandmai-http-1

It is important to understand what these errors stand for so that you can quickly resolve it to give the consumer a positive experience. While many error codes are behind the scenes and undetectable by the consumer, the daunting 404 page is a common page that many people fear.

The traditional 404 page is sterile and stale, only serving to let the consumer that something went wrong. This could install a fear in the consumer that your webstore has been compromised and the consumer may fear for their security. If this happens, they will most likely take their business elsewhere. For that reason, it is important to have customized 404 pages with recommended navigational options to give the consumer another route.

Here are some examples of less imposing and more approachable 404 pages:

elieandmai-http-2

elieandmai-http-3

For a full list of 4xx and 5xx codes please see the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) Status Code Registry.

Setting Up WordPress for SEO Success

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 by

When new users set up WordPress, sometimes they don’t take the time to read about all the strategies online that can be helpful to them in their journey.

The first step in achieving SEO success is understanding the common terminology that is associated with WordPress.

Regular Web “Page” vs. WordPress “Page”

A web page is a single HTML document that exists at a unique URL.

Even if the extension is .php or .asp, the underlying source code is still HTML.

A WordPress page, on the other hand, is WordPress’s version of a ‘static’ page.

Anytime you’re talking about a page in the context of WordPress, it would be advisable to put the word ‘static’ before ‘page.’ It will make more sense that way.

Pages vs. Posts: What are the Differences?

  • A post is dated and ‘time-sensitive,’ and a page isn’t.
  • A post can belong to categories, tags, dates and authors and a page can not.
  • You can access a post from multiple pages—its category, tag, date or author.
  • A page is only accessible from wherever you link to it.

Some additional references about pages vs. posts:

  • wordpress.com documentation
  • wordpress codex about pages
  • wordpress codex ‘the dynamic nature of pages’

Pages are Static

  • Pages are like regular, non-blog pages on a website.
  • They can have a hierarchy.
  • They will not go into the RSS feed.
Use Pages for the Following Type of Content
  • An ‘About Us’ section
  • If a restaurant, your Menu Page
  • Directions page
  • Fees pages, etc.

URL Control

URL control can be confusing, because some are set in odd places, or called ‘slugs.’

  • Pages and Posts URLs get set within the page/post editor.
  • Category and tag URLs get set in their respective menus under ‘slug’
  • Author URLs are the ‘username’

If everything is set up correctly, it should be easy to get your titles and descriptions in check.

  • Title and description templates get set in Yoast
  • Titles and descriptions at the individual page/post level are set in the page/post editor with Yoast
  • Need help with a title?  Check out this reference

 

 

 

Google Pigeon Helps Local Business SEO

Friday, April 17th, 2015 by

Google Pigeon was launched three months ago and has already helped local businesses SEO. Instead of local businesses competing against larger corporation, they can now focus on their content. Google Pigeon seems to be rewarding the quality of the content rather than just quantity.

When Google Pigeon first launched, smaller and local businesses were comparing notes. Owners found they could still have rank high in SEO, even though they were different from the norm. Local businesses can now focus on their content and edit their existing material to further their sales.

Even though the full extent of the Google Pigeon benefits are still somewhat unknown, many consider this updated the most important since 2012. That was the year Venice update was released. Brett Relander, a blogger on entrepreneur.com was very surprised about the stark differences between the updates.

Google Pigeon Further Update May Change Existing Benefits

The next Google Pigeon updated has not been release yet, but many anticipate it will change the existing benefits for local businesses. The extent of which could mean a different SEO focus and strategy. For instance, the SERP ranking could fall for local and distant businesses.

No matter how the updated changes Google Pigeon, businesses should focus on social media. Establish directors, such as Yelp, have benefited greatly from Google Pigeon and continue to do so. As previous reported on elieandmai, customer reviews and shares bring in business that SEO ranking are not able to do.

Currently, there is not enough information for businesses to map out a specific plan of action. For now, businesses should focus on the alt tags, keywords, tittle tags, etc and edit any material to help focus on localization.

Google Pigeon is showing a more narrow range of results compared to the past. It is also favoring localized businesses rather than large and global business. So, local businesses need to include hyper local reference on their SEO content. Local businesses now have the tools to bring customers to their website, they just need to create a memorable and positive experience on their website.

Google’s Sitelinks Search Box

Sunday, April 12th, 2015 by

google-sitelink

Several months ago, Google announced a new sitelinks search box. Almost immediately, it became one of the fastest growing Schema implementations on the web.

Accoring to SimilarTech the SearchAction markup now dominates all other Schema types on the top one million sites that they monitor.

Understanding Sitelinks

Sitelinks are a listing format in the SERPs that show a website’s main page as well as several targeted internal links indented below the main entry, and organized into two columnbs.

In the diagram below, (1) indicates the main page listing, and (2) indicates the internal site links:

google-sitelinks-2

Sitelinks only display for branded or navigational queries. For example, if users search for “magento,” they are probably going to get to Magento’s official website, www.magento.com. Because Google algorithmically intuits this, they deliver not only Magento.com as the main result, but also additional options that point users to internal pages.

Big Brands

Strangely enough, some of the world’s largest brand search queries don’t have sitelinks. For instance, you take the brand “coca cola”…

sitelink-3

The absence of sitelinks is probably due to the fact that most queries for “coca cola” aren’t necessarily looking for the company, but instead for news, locations or brand information regarding Coke. The search, then, is notnavigational. The knowledge graph results—maps, images, news, etc.—are focused on delivering the relevant results.

Why Google Sitelinks Are Important

Google explains why sitelinks are important. “They are meant to help users navigare your site… to save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for.”

In other words, sitelinks gives users the best results in the shortest amount of time.

As Google explains, “We only show sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don’t think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant to the user’s query, we won’t show them.”

Sitelinks will undoubtedly improve your traffic, reputation, and CTRs. Getting sitelinks isn’t a result of luck, but of website and SEO best practices. Have patience, read up about Sitelinks on blogs like ours, and you’ll start seeing sitelinks soon enough.