417 Marketing Blog

How to Boost Your SEO in Five Simple Steps

Do you feel like your website is getting lost in the crowd? Are you worried that you’re missing out on important opportunities for exposure because Google doesn’t like your site? Do you want to improve your search engine rankings and increase your site’s traffic? Many people avoid learning about search engine optimization (SEO), because they’re intimidated by complex tactics, like advanced backlink-building strategies and technical code optimization. Today we’re keeping it simple and practical. If you want to learn how to boost your SEO, put the following five tips into action.
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The Passive Voice and SEO

The passive voice is frowned upon by grammarians. Grammarians prefer the active voice. In a sentence composed with the active voice, the subject completes an action: The girl read a book. In a sentence composed with the passive voice, the subject is acted upon: The book was read by the girl. When prepared in this way, sentences become more difficult to read and understand due to their length and lack of clarity. Although you don’t need to abandon the passive voice entirely, you should avoid it when possible. Not only will this improve your writing, but it may also boost your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).

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Google Search Switching to Mobile-First Index

If you’re like most people, you keep your smartphone nearby at all times and use it for numerous tasks throughout the course of each day. It wakes you up, it helps you communicate with friends and family, it guides you to new places, it updates you on current events, and it always satisfies your curiosity. Since phones and other mobile devices dominate so many aspects of our lives, it may not surprise you to learn that Google Search will soon switch to a mobile-first index. Gary Illyes, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, announced this titanic change last month at Pubcon, startling SEOs everywhere. Like it or not, mobile devices have finally trumped desktop computers.

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Google Possum Update

In the past month or so, did anything odd happen to your Google My Business listings? Did you believe your listings had disappeared only to find that they had been filtered? Did you notice a giant spike in your rankings? What was going on? Although Google didn’t announce any algorithm updates, SEOs in the know detected the change. Since so many people found their listings “playing dead,” the local search community decided to christen the update Possum. The Google Possum Update altered local search results in several ways, giving some businesses a boost while letting others slump down. To learn more about this shake-up, please scroll down.

P.S. Before we get started, do yourself a favor and check out this baby possum playing dead. Did you know that playing dead is an involuntary behavior for possums? They mimic the appearance of a dead animal when threatened or harmed, losing consciousness for between 40 minutes and 4 hours! 
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Penguin 4.0: It’s Finally Here, Folks!

In October of 2015, we cheerfully announced that Santa might be bringing us a new Penguin algorithm for Christmas. As you all know, the Man with the Bag didn’t pull through. However now, one year later, Google has finally released Penguin 4.0. Recently made a part of Google’s core algorithm, Penguin penalizes websites that use “black hat” SEO techniques to sabotage competitors’ websites or improve their own rankings. To learn more about this newfangled bird, scroll down to discover the ins and outs of Penguin 4.0.
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A Study of Google Local Ranking Factors

When is the last time you opened a phone book? Small businesses (and their curious customers) no longer rely on those old-fashioned tomes. Instead, they use the Internet and search engines like Google to quickly and easily communicate with each other. To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your online marketing efforts, check out the 2016 Quantitative Local Search Ranking Factors Study created by Mark Kabana (of Places Scout), Andrew Shotland (of Local SEO Guide), and Dan Lebison (of Local SEO Guide) in collaboration with Megan Smith and Marija Pejcinovska, statisticians from the University of California, Irvine. This rigorous, eye-opening study of Google Local ranking factors may make you see Local SEO in a whole new light.
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Seven Must-Have WordPress Plugins

In the jam-packed directory of WordPress plugins, you certainly won’t be starved for choice. At first you might enjoy scrolling through the selection and browsing your options, but eventually you will find yourself craving a simple list of cream-of-the-crop plugins – that’s where we come in! At 417 Marketing, we have a reputation for building top-notch, reliable websites, and today we’re sharing our seven must-have WordPress plugins. These are plugins that we love and use often, so we’re confident that you will love them too.

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Google Boosting Mobile-Friendly Algorithm in May

We’ve heard it straight from the horse’s mouth: Google will be boosting its mobile-friendly algorithm in May. The search engine began using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal on mobile searches last year, but they’ve decide that it is time to fully embrace the formula by increasing its effects. If all goes well, the update should improve the user experience by bringing forward webpages that are mobile friendly and relevant to the query. Although this is a relatively small change expected to have an insignificant impact on search results, it never hurts to keep on top of Google’s comings and goings. So let’s explore this latest algorithm update . . .
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Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): What You Need to Know

There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for a sluggish webpage to load. Not forgetting where you parked your car, dropping your phone in the toilet, stepping in dog poop . . . Okay, some things are more frustrating than waiting for a webpage to load, but you can’t deny that being patient is difficult when your Internet is as slow as a three-toed sloth. And when webpages take too long to load, their readers become restless and annoyed – some may even abandon ship! Google hopes to speed up our online world with the advent of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). They’re lightweight, pared down, and exceedingly fast.
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How to Maintain a Successful Blog

I don’t want to knock anyone off their high horse, but let’s be honest: starting a blog is a piece of cake these days. In an hour or less, you can establish your own little “corner of the Internet” and publish your first post. Although I doubt that this breakneck blog will be the best blog in existence, you will succeed nevertheless in pioneering a personal website. The more important question is: do you know how to maintain a successful blog? Quite quickly, you will realize that keeping a blog alive requires a lot more than the ability to write coherent posts and upload pretty pictures. In fact, if you want to know how to maintain a successful blog, you will need to consider many other factors: brainstorming topics, preventing repeat content, creating consistent posts, and perhaps even coordinating posts with other writers.

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