Increase Search Traffic with Google’s Next Update

Increase search traffic with Google’s next update. On April 21st, 2015, Google will roll out an update that makes mobile friendliness a larger part of its algorithm. This is a really big deal.

Why? Because Google is saying the mobile update will have a bigger impact than its Panda update.

Should you be worried? Yes!

Neil Patel’s blog on Quick Sprout gives you 3 steps to help you take advantage of this update. Be proactive and help yourself so you are not caught with your pants down.

Don’t Get Caught with Your Pants Down: 3 Steps to Increase Your Search Traffic with Google’s Next Update



What’s the Best Way to Optimize Blog Post Images for SEO?

If you have a blog, you probably encounter this question – What’s the best way to optimize blog post images for SEO – every time you create a post:

Should I add an image to my blog post?

The answer is yes. Images can grab a visitor’s attention and help you with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However you will need to follow several steps to make sure that your images are optimized for SEO so that your images relate to your blog post and help improve your search results ranking.

Preparing images for use in your blog post

Once you have found the right illustration, infographic, video, or image to use in your blog post, you need to consider the following factors:

Choose the right file name

Image SEO starts with the file name. Make sure that your file name isn’t the name generated by your camera. You want Google to know what the image is about. It’s simple: if your image is a sunrise in Washington, DC showing the Washington Monument, the file name shouldn’t be DSC4126.jpg, but washington-monument-dc-sunrise.jpg. The main keyword would be Washington Monument, as that is the main subject of the photo, that is why I added that at the beginning of the file name.

Scale for image SEO

Web page load times are an important user interface, and therefore SEO, aspect. The faster the site, the easier it is for Google and others to visit and index your page. Images can have a huge impact on loading times, especially when you load a huge image and display it really small, like using a 2500×1500 pixels image and showing it at 250×150 pixels size. The entire image will still have to be loaded. Scale the image to the size you want to show it. WordPress helps by providing the image in multiple sizes after upload. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the file size is optimized as well, that’s just the image size.

Reduce File Size

The next step in image SEO should be to make sure that scaled image is served in the smallest file size possible. There are a bunch of good tools for this. I recommend using JPEGMini for this. There’s a free option but the paid option is only $19.99 and works on both PCs and IOS devices. Download JPEGmini.

JPEGmini image file size reducer


People use captions when scanning an article. Next to headings, people tend to scan the image and include the caption as well in that scan. You don’t have to add a caption for every image. I recommend using captions only if the image needs one.

Alt Text and Title Text

The alt text is added to an image so there is descriptive text when the image can’t be displayed. The visually impaired, in particular, use screen readers that rely on the alt text to explain what an image is.

Conclusion: What’s the Best Way to Optimize Blog Post Images for SEO?

Image SEO is all about doing a bunch of different things right. Since Google is improving image recognition/capabilities every day, it makes a lot of sense to ensure your image and all its elements contribute to user experience as well as SEO.

Keep these things in mind whenever you create your next blog post and add an image to an article:

  • Use a relevant image that matches your content
  • Change your image file name so that it also matches your content
  • Make sure image dimension matches the image size as displayed
  • Use image file size reducing tools for faster loading
  • Add a caption so users can easily scan your page
  • Use image alt text, title text is optional
  • Don’t break the left reading line using an image
  • Use images in your XML sitemaps

Google+ Business Page – Why It’s Important

If your business doesn’t show up on Google, it’s as if your business doesn’t exist. A website will help you for sure, but creating and maintaining a Google+ page will literally put your business on the Google map. It will help you build your brand awareness online, allow you to share content, and essentially gives you another billboard to get your message out.

If you’re still skeptical or reluctant to create yet another social network page for your business, consider the following reasons why it’s critical that you set up your Google+ business page.

Connect4 Consulting Google

Google Search Visibility

Search engine optimization is all about getting your website found by your potential customers, and Google has the majority market share when it comes to search. If Google offers you additional tools for free, you have to use them.

Blended Search Results

Google+ content – the content that you post on your Google+ business page – can rank in search results separately from the content that is on your website.

Google+ Factors Into 3-Pack Results



Earlier this year Google dropped the Carousel and replaced it with the 3-Pack display of organic listings. Currently there are five factors that influence the 3-pack results:

  1. location, location, location – local search favors results located in a 25 mile radius
  2. strong social signals – Google+, Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor
  3. reviews – businesses with plenty of positive reviews are favored
  4. scheme and citations need to be accurate
  5. good SEO – credible backlinks

Authorship and Publisher Markup

Authorship and publisher markup can increase your search engine reach now that semantic markup has been adopted by the major search engines.


Google+ Pages and personal profiles can be linked with a website to generate even greater reach on search engines using Publisher and Authorship markup, respectively. As a result, your headshot and Google+ profile stats can show in the search engine results page when your content ranks!

Google+ Authorship connects a Google+ personal profile to an individual webpage, blog post or article. This is great for gaining exposure and building a personal brand, especially if you’re in an industry that makes you the face of your business.

You should consider creating a Google+ Profile for yourself and connecting it to quality content you write or distribute online, especially if you are a:

  • doctor
  • lawyer
  • realtor
  • insurance agent
  • consultant


Google+ Publisher connects a Google+ Local page to your website. People searching Google for your business name or other brand signals will see a “Knowledge Graph” of information pulled from Google+ about your business. You can take a look at HP’s knowledge graph below and can easily imagine how this helps them stand out from a smaller brand that has not yet set up its Google+ business page and activated any of these fundamental marketing features.


When Publisher is implemented correctly, branded searches may show your visual branding, the number of Google+ followers you have, recent Google+ posts and even reviews.

However, it is important to note that Google penalizes Google+ pages without new content. If you don’t update your content frequently, you may see competitors listed at the bottom of the knowledge graph.

Integration With Other Google Platforms

You can increase your exposure even more by integrating your Google+ business page with other Google platforms like YouTube and Gmail. YouTube has more than one billion users. If you have videos on YouTube and aren’t yet on Google+, now is the time to set up your Google+ business page and connect the two platforms.

Conclusion – Set Up Your Google+ Business Page

If all of this makes perfect sense to you but you don’t have the time to implement any of it, consider contacting us – Connect4 Consulting – to help you find your way. We specialize in websites, social media, and communication. A Google+ Business page is truly a blend of website, social media, and communication.


Google will Begin Ranking Mobile Sites Higher Starting April 21

Google Search

Google is making a significant change to its search algorithm. Beginning April 21st, Google will increase the ranking of websites that are mobile-friendly.

The company says that the change will have “a significant impact” on all mobile searches in all languages worldwide, but as a result Google says that mobile users will find higher quality search results.

Google will also start to use more information from indexed apps as a factor when ranking search results for users that are signed in and have apps installed.

These changes are great for mobile users as it should help motivate those websites that still aren’t responsive to actually make changes as soon as possible. Google actually started highlighting good mobile sites in mobile search results earlier this year.

Finding more mobile-friendly search results [Google Webmaster Blog]

Increase Search Traffic. Translate Your Blog Into Chinese.

Chances are high that when you write your blog posts you are writing them in English. What if I told you that you could increase your search traffic by translating your blog into Mandarin and Spanish as they are the two most popular languages in the world?

There are a variety of translation plugins that can help you do this. There is no perfect plugin, however. The best plugin is called Transposh.

If you decide to do this to increase your search traffic, here are some tips.

  1. Download the plugin directly from the website – and install it yourself. This works better than the plugin you will get if you search for it in the plugin repository.
  2. Transposh offers 92 possible languages for translating your content. If you select them all at once, however, the plugin crashes, freezes your browser, and will not translate all of your blog’s posts and pages. For this reason, you should select a few languages (usually fewer than 5) at first and see how it goes.Languages Transposh ‹ Connect4 Consulting — WordPress
  3. Once you select a few languages, find the Settings tab and uncheck the option that says “This enables auto detection of language used by the user as defined in the ACCEPT_LANGUAGES they send. This will redirect the first page accessed in the session to the same page with the detected language.” The reason you have to uncheck that option is because the plugin automatically sends people to a translated version when it shouldn’t.
  4. Once you hit the Save Changes button, head over to Utilities tab, and click “translate all now.” If you have a big blog, it’s going to take hours. The plugin is a little buggy so if nothing happens the first time, select fewer languages and then repeat the steps.
  5. When you publish new posts and pages, you won’t have to repeat these steps as the plugin will do it automatically, but you will need to repeat the process for older posts.

Troubleshooting Transposh

Not everything works perfectly. Although all content, text links, sliders, and button text gets translated, the title tag and meta descriptions are not. For that reason Google Webmaster Tools will show duplicate tags and meta descriptions. The plugin also messes with the design a bit as you can see below.


Finally, the plugin doesn’t translate everything perfectly on the first go-around. Sometimes you have to run it a few times to get it to work correctly and even then, sometimes the translations are horrible. The upside here is that you will undoubtedly increase your search traffic. The downside is the quality of the translation.


How Google Indexes Web Pages

Have you ever wondered how Google crawls and indexes web pages? If you haven’t and don’t know, you should. Why? Because knowing how Google indexes web pages will help you understand how to rank better on Google.

First you’ll need some facts.

Google has had a search engine since 1998 and it has the largest database of indexed websites. Google’s database is twice as large as Yahoo or Bing. When you search for something on Google, you’re not actually searching the entire Internet, you’re just accessing Google’s database of indexed websites.

What is Google’s Index?

The Google Index is the list of all the pages and sites that Google has crawled and cached or stored on its servers. When someone performs a search, Google pulls out pages from this data. More than 40 billion web pages are indexed by Google.

Less than 10% of the entire Internet is indexed. That means there are more than 450 billion web pages that are not indexed by Google.

Google uses programs called “Spiders” to index your site.

Spiders have the following characteristics:

  • they browse the web just like people browse the web
  • they move from page to page and link to link
  • they try to find and index every page on the web

This process is called crawling.

Crawls can happen several times a day or once every few months.

Update or change your content regularly and Google will crawl your site more often.

Fun Fact: Google needs more than 1 million servers to crawl the web and deliver search results.

  • Facebook only has 181,000
  • Intel has only 75,000
  • eBay has only 54,000

7 most common reasons Google can’t crawl your pages:

  1. No or incorrectly configured robots.txt file
  2. A badly configured .htaccess file
  3. Badly written title, meta, and author tags
  4. Incorrectly configuring url parameters
  5. Low pagerank
  6. Connectivity or DNS issues
  7. Domains with bad history

How to help Google crawl more pages:

  1. Check out crawl errors and address them
  2. Be careful with Ajax applications
  3. Add a robots.txt file and make sure it’s working
  4. Add a sitemap to your site

We can help you address these four critical steps to make sure you are doing everything you can do to help Google crawl your pages.

Contact us today by emailing or calling 202-236-2968 for more information.

Seven Obsolete SEO Tactics

Search Engine Optimization has changed dramatically over the years and what worked before doesn’t necessarily work anymore. Some of the old tactics you are using may now be a waste of time or money and it’s also possible that some obsolete SEO tactics may actually now harm your search engine ranking.

Obsolete Tactic #1: More Backlinks Means Higher Ranking

Although more backlinks used to mean a higher search engine ranking, this is no longer completely true. These days you’ll notice new sites with few backlinks that rank better than old sites with hundreds of backlinks. What’s going on? Google is prioritizing backlinks – rewarding backlinks that are more relevant. This just shows that you don’t have to focus on backlink quantity. Focus on building highly relevant links that are topical to the content of your website.

Obsolete Tactic #2: SEO is About Writing Keyword-rich Content

If you want to rank for a term like “business loans,” you would need that phrase on your web page, right? That used to be the case, but Google’s algorithm uses latent semantic indexing.

Latent Semantic Indexing is an indexing and retrieval method that uses a mathematical technique called singular value decomposition (SVD) to identify patterns in the relationships between the terms and concepts contained in an unstructured collection of text. LSI is based on the principle that words that are used in the same contexts tend to have similar meanings.

In other words, Google sees the words “corporate loans” as being similar to “business loans”. That means that if you used the word “business” instead of “corporate” you would still rank for both words.

Instead of trying to write keyword-rich content, write content that is user-friendly. If you put your users first and you write what’s best for them, Google will naturally figure out what terms you should rank for and will place you there.

Obsolete Tactic #3: SEO is Just Links, Code, and Content

This is what SEO used to be five years ago. Sites with tons of links, good on-page optimization, and mediocre content ranked really well. That’s not the case anymore.

Sites that rank well are sites that have a large social following. The more popular your site is on the social web, the more eyeballs you will draw to it. And the more people see it, the more backlinks it’ll get.

Check out this great Social Media Tutorial if you want to build your social following yourself.

Obsolete Tactic #4: You Need to Track Your Rankings

Rankings are irrelevant. Sure you want better rankings, but search has changed into a long tail game. Just look at the data: search volume for head terms is down by 8%, and sites are starting to see the majority of their traffic coming from long tail phrases.

The beautiful part about this is that you no longer have to track your rankings. Instead, you need to focus on creating a long tail strategy by using content marketing.

Obsolete Tactic #5: More Pages Means More Traffic

If the pages aren’t high in quality, you won’t rank well. Instead of actually helping you, adding too much content, especially mediocre content, can hurt you.

Google released an update called Panda, which targeted sites with low quality content. Such sites got penalized, and their search traffic dropped.

Don’t create sites with thousands of pages. Focus on creating high quality content.

Obsolete Tactic #6: Higher Rankings Means More Traffic

There is a big misconception in the SEO industry that higher rankings mean more search traffic.

It’s true that more people will see your listing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you will get more clicks because the keywords you are targeting may not get much search volume. Or your meta tags may not be appealing, which will cause people to not click on your listings.

You can solve this by doing two things:

  1. You need to start using the Keyword Planner tool by Google to find the right keywords to go after.
  2. You need to optimize your click-through rates.


Obsolete Tactic #7: You Need A Lot of Text to Rank Well

Until recently, you needed as much as 2,000 words on a page to rank well, but this is changing dramatically. Sites like have very little text but rank well.

This shows that text isn’t the only form of valuable content. Videos and images also do well in the rankings, which is what Upworthy typically uses within its posts.

If you want high rankings, use different types of content to reach this goal. From podcasts to videos and quizzes, there are many possibilities.


Stop wasting your time on obsolete SEO tactics, and start focusing your energy on strategies that will boost your traffic.