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As website owners, we all want to create quality content that not only is interesting and engaging to our audiences but often, also serves to promote and ideally sell our affiliates products. Your website can be big business and mean big bucks if you know how to use it.

Ok, so now you might be wondering, is there a way that it is possible to stack the odds in your favor when it comes to ranking on Google? Ranking on search engines is important; when was the last time you visited the second page of a search engine query?

Well, the folks over at Content Refined, a content marketing service seem to think so. Is creating content feeling like a shot in the dark? Are you frustrated with wasting time and money on having articles written that just don’t produce results in terms of ranking in search engines? Below, we share some of Content Refined’s tried and tested strategies on how to increase the chance your content will rank well in Google.

1. Targeted and Relevant Keyword Research, Which Creates Interesting and Engaging Article Titles

Content Refined is a start to finish content marketing service. This means that they will do your keyword research, create titles, write your articles and then edit and publish your articles to optimize them for your website.

Content Refined utilizes a keyword research tool call SECockpit to complete keyword research for their clients. The way Content Refined is different when selecting keywords for your article is that they filter keywords to fit specific sets of data. For Content Refined, that metric is a keyword that is searched at least 500 times per month but has less than a 30% competition score.

The fun doesn’t stop there however. Content Refined will also analyze what other sites are ranking for a given keyword. Even if a keyword is statistically right for use on your site, the team looks at what other sites are ranking for the keyword. This way, they ensure that they aren’t pitting their clients against massive, domain authority sites that they will realistically never be able to outrank.

2. Already Strong Writing Enriched Using MarketMuse To Ensure In-Depth Coverage of A Given Topic

Content Refined only uses native English speaking writers to create their articles. This is a good first step to ensure proper flow and grammar for an article. However, Content Refined goes the extra mile to ensure that not only are the articles interesting with good readability but also that they cover topics in depth. The best way to ensure in-depth coverage of a topic? There is a tool called MarketMuse that Content Refined uses. Users can plug an article title into the program and get back a variety of relevant information about the selected keyword. Not only will MarketMuse produce a list of relevant keywords that should be mentioned or touched upon in the article, but it will also yield the current content score of an article along with the average content scores of competing articles and the overall best content score for a selected keyword from the competition. In addition, MarketMuse will supply its customers with a list of competing articles, so that you can scope out the competition.

Data analysis has shown a moderate to strong correlation between a high MarketMuse score and a good ranking in search engine results.

3. A Statistically Driven Standard That All Articles Ideally Meet

Ideally, Content Refined articles meet a specific benchmark in terms of data and their team believes that articles that fit this criterion are likely to rank on search engines such as Google or Yahoo.

For Content Refined, that standard is a competition score under 30% and a MarketMuse score of over 40. In a real life scenario, this should result in a quality, well-rounded and in-depth article that features an interesting topic with a keyword that isn’t dominated by big, established domain authorities. Content Refined has uncovered that articles that meet this metric have between 80-90% chance of ranking on the first page of a search engine. Combine this with the fact that the service also only uses keywords that are searched at least 500 times a month and you have the opportunity to create some really fantastic, relevant and useful content.

The Content Refined process is based in finding out what people are looking for that isn’t necessarily being extensively or properly covered on the web. The method is to create useful content that is backed up by researched data, instead of using what we call the “spray-and-pray” method, which involves peppering your sites with heaps of articles, some of which may interest your audience and much that may not. The problem with the “spray-and-pray” is that you can end up losing readership if you post too much content that is useless or irrelevant to your audience and “spraying-and-praying” can also end up being very expensive.

To conclude, we all want to make money off our websites; that’s why we have them. However, it can be difficult, time consuming and costly to work out the exact metric for your site. If you are tired of creating content that doesn’t provide predictable results, the tips and tricks of the trade mentioned in this article may be able to help you rank on Google with a higher degree of certainty. Content Refined openly shares their process because they believe knowledge is power and that nobody should be deprived of the ability to create an awesome niche website.

If you don’t have the time to manage all these different tools on top of your singular or multiple websites, you can also take advantage of Content Refined’s start-to-finish content creation process by checking out one of the many available packages here: http://www.contentrefined.com/#prices. With a variety of packages available, you are bound to find something that suits your specific needs.

Original post: How to Increase The Chance your Content Will Rank Well in Google

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You might have noticed it already: in the past few weeks you might have missed Anselm’s Web Development Reading List issues here on SmashingMag. No worries: From now on, we’ll switch to collecting the most important news of a month in one handy, monthly summary for you. If you’d like to continue reading Anselm’s weekly reading list (and we encourage you to!), you can still do so via email, on wdrl.info or via RSS. — Editorial Team

Web Development Reading List

Hello again! I’ll continue publishing this resource and am grateful for everyone who supports my ongoing work. And to celebrate the last weekly edition, I found a lot of great articles for you: Biohacking news that sound like science fiction, advances in deep learning with JavaScript, and a lot more. Happy reading!

The post Web Development Reading List: Announcing Changes, A Design Kit, DNA Malware, And Why Meaning Is An Advantage appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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How to Write an SEO-Friendly Blog Post

by Guest Author on August 17, 2017

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Google is perhaps the biggest source of traffic for most blogs and websites.If you don’t optimize your blog posts for search engines, then you’re missing out on high quality blog visitors. On the other hand, if you over optimize or wrongly optimize your blog posts, then your blog might get penalized and lose even its existing traffic. If you optimize your blog post the right way, then it will improve the search engine rankings as well as drive more blog traffic.

Here are 7 steps to write an seo-friendly blog post.

1. Pick a topic
The first step is to pick a topic that is relevant and useful to your readers. If people like your blog post they’ll share your content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn and spend more time on your site, without bouncing off quickly. This will send social signals telling search engines that your content is valuable, and rank your blog posts higher.

2. Do keyword research
Once you’ve decided what you want to write about, it’s important to come up with a list of high-traffic keywords that you can target with your blog post. You’ll need to include these keywords at different points of your blog post (described below) when you optimize it.

You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner to get keyword ideas for your topic. Simply type in your blog post topic in Keyword Planner and Google will provide a list of keyword ideas along with their monthly search volume and competition information (low, medium, high).

Pick one high traffic keyword relevant to your topic, as your main target keyword, and 4-5 related long-tail keywords that you’ll include in your post.

3. Write naturally
Before you optimize your blog post, you need to write a great article in the first place. If your content is not good, it won’t rank well, no matter how much you optimize it. So write a blog post naturally, keeping your readers in mind. Will they find it interesting? Will it help your readers? How will they use the information in your post?

This means structuring your content into paragraphs, and using complete sentences.

4. Use headings
Use headings (H1,H2,H3) to break your content into easy-to-understand sections. Headings make it easy for Google to understand the subtopics covered in your blog post and helps improve search engine rankings. Headings also enable readers to quickly scan your post, understand the main points and easily read it.

Generally, the title is displayed in H1 heading, and each subtopic in your post should have its on own sub heading H2. If you need to use H3 sub headings, ensure that they are used after H2.

Use your main target keyword once in your title. Typically, Google shows about 50-60 characters of your Title. So keep your post title within this limit. You can also use your long-tail keywords in some of the sub headings to rank your post for a wide range of keywords and search phrases. However, avoid overusing keywords in headings. Otherwise, you may get penalized for keyword stuffing.

5. Optimize Meta Description
Meta description is the 1-2 lines of text that appears below your blog post title, in search engine results. It helps search engines understand the topic of your blog post, so it’s one of the most factors that affects search rankings.

When you’re adding meta description, you need to provide 1-2 lines of complete and meaningful sentences describing the content of your blog post. Google displays only up to 150 characters of meta description, so ensure that your meta description is within this limit.

Meta description is a great place to include your main target keyword as well as a related long-tail keyword. However, if you try to stuff too many keywords, or use meaningless phrases in it, then Google will simply ignore your description.

Nevertheless, most users look at the title & meta description in search results to decide if they should click the link or not. So ensure that your post title & meta description are not only keyword-rich, but also click worthy.

6. Optimize Images
Images play an important role in SEO – they make your post visually appealing and more likely to be shared. They also make it easier for people to read and understand your post.

Most search engine (including Google) are text-based, and can’t understand images. So you need to add descriptive text, wherever possible, to help search engine understand what your images are about.

When you use an image for your post, ensure that you use descriptive file names. For example, “seo-friendly-blog.jpg” is better than “bsd213.jpg”. If you use multiple images, you can also use long-tail related keywords in their filenames. This will help search engines rank them better.

Similarly, you should also add a keyword-rich ALT tag to your images. ALT tag is basically used to describe your image, and helps search engines understand images better. When you upload your image to WordPress (or other platforms), you’ll see a form with a textbox to enter ALT text. In the above example, you can add something like “how to create seo-friendly blog post” for your image.

7. Add Internal Links
When you write a blog post, ensure that you’re linking to at least 2-3 other articles on your blog. This not only improves SEO score of your blog but boosts the crawlability of those articles.

However, ensure that you’re linking only to relevant articles from your blog. For example, if you’re writing about “how to do SEO” it makes sense to link to posts about “building links” and “doing keyword research”. However, linking to something like “how to install wordpress” is not relevant.

Conclusion
Hopefully, the above tips will help you optimize your blog post to rank better for more keywords and search terms. The trick is to target the right high-traffic keywords, write a super useful & interesting blog post around them, and include those keywords throughout your content. If your blog uses WordPress, then you can use the free Yoast SEO Plugin that allows you to easily optimize your blog post for search engines.

Sreeram Sreenivasan is an entrepreneur & digital marketer who writes for Fedingo Blog about various blogging, marketing & business growth topics.

Original post: How to Write an SEO-Friendly Blog Post

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Developers and organizations alike are looking for a way to have more agility with mobile solutions. There is a desire to decrease the time from idea to test. As a developer, I often run up against one hurdle that can slow down the initial build of a mobile hypothesis: user management.

User Authentication For Web And iOS Apps With AWS Cognito (Part 1)

Over the years, I have built at least three user management systems from scratch. Much of the approach can be based on a boilerplate, but there are always a few key items that need to be customized for a particular client. This is enough of a concern that an entire category of user management, authentication and authorization services have sprung up to meet this need. Services like Auth0 have entire solutions based on user and identity management that developers can integrate with.

The post User Authentication For Web And iOS Apps With AWS Cognito (Part 1) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Designing The Perfect Feature Comparison Table

by Vitaly Friedman on August 15, 2017

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Not all products are created equal. While we repeatedly buy some products almost mindlessly, for others, we take a lot of time to make a purchasing decision. For a price tag that meets a certain threshold or if we are particularly invested in the quality of a product, we want to be absolutely certain that we are making the right choice and are getting a good product for a good price. That’s where a feature comparison table makes all the difference.

Designing The Perfect Feature Comparison Table

Feature comparison tables are helpful not only in their primary function, though. When designed properly, they can aid in decision-making way beyond placing product specifications side by side. They can also add meaning to an otherwise too technical product specification sheet, explaining why a certain feature is relevant to the customer or how a certain product is better than the others.

The post Designing The Perfect Feature Comparison Table appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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5 Reasons Why You’re Losing Twitter Followers

August 14, 2017
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Twitter is an important resource for promoting a blog or other websites but just like all social media platforms, it’s not a place for endless sales pitches, particularly if you’re seeking to build up organic traffic. Obviously, the more followers you have, the better, but it’s the quality of these followers that really matters. After […]

Original post: 5 Reasons Why You’re Losing Twitter Followers

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The Nine Principles Of Design Implementation

August 14, 2017
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Recently, I was leading a training session for one of our clients on best practices for implementing designs using HTML and CSS. Part of our time included a discussion of processes such as style-guide-driven development, approaches such as OOCSS and SMACSS, and modular design. Near the end of the last day, someone asked, “But how will we know if we’ve done it right?

The Nine Principles Of Design Implementation

At first, I was confused. I had just spent hours telling them everything they need to “do it right.” But after thinking about it, I realized the question was rooted in a deeper need to guide and evaluate what is often a set of subjective choices — choices that are sometimes made by a lot of different people at different times.

The post The Nine Principles Of Design Implementation appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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How Technology is Influencing Online Business

August 12, 2017
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Innovation drives the future, and technology is the main catalyst that fuels rapid evolution. High competition to capture profitable markets have pushed entrepreneurs to invest huge sums in developing technologies that baffle all alien life forms. Creative brains have given birth to complex bots and algorithms that interact itself, track, monitor, and analyse trillions of […]

Original post: How Technology is Influencing Online Business

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Tracking Internal Marketing Campaigns With Google Analytics

August 10, 2017
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Editor’s Note: This article is targeted at readers experienced in using Google Analytics. If you’re new to Analytics, the following guide might be challe…

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11 Best WordPress Plugins For Restaurant Websites

August 9, 2017
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WordPress is the easiest CMS to get online so it’s perfect for restaurants. You don’t have to worry about technical stuff and WordPress is full of plugins that do all the heavy lifting. But if you’re…

Click through to read the rest of the story on the Vandelay Design Blog.

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