Category Archives: Miami SEO Blog

How to configure Apache correctly for WordPress to enable permalinks.

In order to enable permalinks in WordPress, custom htaccess files are created. Your server only reads these if “AllowOverride” is set to “All” in your Apache configuration.


# First, we configure the "default" to be a very restrictive set of
# features.
#
<Directory />
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride None
</Directory>

If you host a single site within an “html” directory:

<Directory "/var/www/html">
AllowOverride All
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
Require all granted
</Directory>

If you host multiple sites within the “www” directory:

<Directory "/var/www">
AllowOverride All
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
Require all granted
</Directory>

Do not put “AllowOverride All” in for security reasons. Notice how it states “First, we configure the “default” to be a very restrictive set of features.”

Google Forced to Use Less Deceptive Look for Ads in Search

Google was recently forced to launch a clearer design to distinguish ads from search results to follow updated FTC guidelines put in place on June 25, 2013. The top Ads are no longer as deceptive. Ads were formerly on a light yellow background with a tiny “sponsored results” line of text.

Advertisers and Google of course are definitely concerned about lower click-thru ratios. So far our adwords campaigns have not experienced any significant drops in performance.

Fixes for WordPress SEO Sitemap Issues

WordPress SEO is a great all in one solution for managing your site. It takes care of SEO, Sitemaps, Robots.txt, and Htaccess eliminating the need for 3 separate plugins.

There happens to be a few bugs that prevent sitemaps from working properly. Google Webmaster Tools may be giving you the following error.

Your Sitemap appears to be an HTML page. Please use a supported sitemap format instead.

If Only Some of Your Sitemaps Result in a Not Found or 404 Error…

For example: http://yourdomain.com/page-sitemap.xml results in a not found error.

Fix:
Edit a page/post in admin.
In the WordPress SEO Panel, click “Advanced.”
Change “Include in Sitemap: Auto detect” to “Always Include”

We don’t recommend this for sites with a lot of pages. Hopefully Yoast figures out a solution soon.

If Your Sitemap Doesn’t Show up at All…

Try resetting your permalinks.
Go to Settings > Permalinks.
Just click “Save Changes”
Give it a try.

Top 5 Useful WordPress Template Tags

<?php echo get_permalink(00); ?>

It’s good practice to use this code rather than hard coding links. If you hard code links (domain.com/original-path-to-link) then change permalinks for whatever reason (domain.com/new-path-to-link), you have to go back and recode every link manually. Using get_permalink(); is the solution. It keeps track of the Page/Post ID. To find out the id of a Page or Post, hover over the page/post and it should be visible in the status bar. Otherwise edit the page/post and you’ll see it in the url (www.domain.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=000&action=edit).

<?php echo get_category_link('00'); ?>

Same function as get_permalink() for cetegories. Make sure to use apostrophes around the ID. The wordpress codex has a complex method to achieve the same result instead.

<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>

Good to use in anything that links to your homepage such as your Header logo.

Example:
<a href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>">Homepage Link</a>

<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>

A great way to link to any images in your template directory.

Example:
<img src="<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/images/logo.gif" />

<?php if ( is_page_template( 'template-filename.php' ) ) ?>

How Important Is SEO?

You’ve now completed and launched your website. Now it’s time to do some marketing to enhance your visitor rate.

If you’ve read any online marketing blogs or articles, you’ve probably heard of SEO. But do you understand what it is and what is does? Do you know why your website needs it and why it is one of the most effective methods of making your website more visible to your target audience? If your answers are no, then it’s time that you learn more about SEO.

Types of SEO Techniques

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a method of preparing your website so that it provides high-quality content and attracts a larger volume of high-quality traffic. Although SEO strategies are always changing and offer no guarantee, the results of their application are often tremendously successful.

When optimizing your website, you should always use ethical “white hat” SEO techniques rather than “black hat” SEO techniques like keyword stuffing, using invisible text and creating fake pages that are not visible to users. Black hat techniques aim to manipulate search engine spiders on a short-term basis. They often backfire. Once search engines notice that your site uses black hat SEO techniques – and they will notice – your site will be banned permanently. Then, it will be almost impossible for anyone to find your site without first knowing your web address.

White hat practices, on the other hand, require the incorporation of highly informative and well-focused web content that is truly helpful to your target audience. These techniques make your website more accessible to search engine spiders, and they follow search engine guidelines. As a result, their benefits are long-term.

Why Use SEO?

Studies show that the typical search engine user only views top-ranking search results. This means, they simply skim through, looking for relevant headlines and summaries. They rarely look beyond the first ten results, and they view subsequent results pages even less frequently.

Using search engine optimization will help your website rank higher in organic, or free, search engine results. And, as stated, a high rank in organic search results is important if you want your website to be seen.

How Do You Apply SEO

Search engine optimization is not easily learned. The process entails many layers and the rules are always changing. In addition, periodic updates are necessary.

To save time and effort, many website owners hire SEO experts to optimize their sites. The initial cost of optimizing your site may seem high. However, you must keep in mind that the impact of optimization is powerful and lasting. So in the long run, SEO is generally less expensive than many offline and online marketing strategies.

What about services that submit my web site to 1500+ search engines?

The majority of these 1500+ so called search engines are free links for all pages, very special interest web pages or, even worse, web sites masquerading as search engines.

Submitting your web page to these 1500+ search engines means that you’ll end up with 1500+ spam e-mail messages.

It’s quality that matters, not quantity. For that reason,¬†Miami SEO Guide¬†only submits to search engines that are really used by the majority of web surfers.