Author Archives: Kristy Regalmann

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SearchEngineandWebsiteOptimizationServices SEO

Search Engine and Website Optimization – SEO Services

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What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO Services)?

Search engine optimization or SEO, is the process of getting website traffic from the “free,” “organic,” and “natural” search results on the most used search engines.

The major search engines, including Google, Bing, and Yahoo, have primary search results. This is where web pages, videos, and local listings are shown and ranked based on what each search engine considers most relevant to their users. With organic traffic, there’s no payment involved, as there would be with paid search ads.

There are a number of ways to increase your SEO ranking.

Create Relevant Content
Create Relevant ContentQuality content is the main factor of your search engine rankings. There is absolutely no substitute for great content. Use high-quality content that caters specifically to your intended user increases site visibility and traffic, in turn improving your site’s authority and relevance. Increasing your SEO isn’t only about search engines alone, but also about your visitors and their interests.

Choose a keyword phrase for each page, and post, that you create. Think about how you would search for the content your posting, and consider what your readers might look for. Repeat this phrase a few times throughout the page – in the opening and closing paragraphs, and a couple more times throughout the rest of your content.

You can use bold, italics, heading tags, and other emphasis in order to highlight keyword phrases, just be careful not to overdo it.

Remember, though, never to sacrifice good writing for SEO. The best content is written for your visitors, not for search engines.

Update Your Content Regularly
As important as it is to have industry relevant content, it’s also important to keep your content current! Search engines see updated content as proof that your site is current and isn’t sitting stagnant, with old information, so be sure to keep it fresh.

Link to sites, not actions
Focus on creating accurate links within the text. Instead of “click here” or “read more” as your link descriptions, write out the domain name for the destination. Text that reads “click here” or “read more” has no value on search engines, beyond the attached URL, whereas something like “New York Technical Enterprise Program” is full of keywords. Not only will this improve your own search engine ranking, but it can also improve the ranking of the page you are linking to.

Always use alt tags
Describe your image and video media using alt tags, or alternative text descriptions. This allows the search engine to find your website, as well as the information you have posted. Alt tags will also tell search engines that your photo gallery contains relevant information to the post they’re attached to.

If you need help, just let us know, Westgate WEBS offers Professional SEO Services.

If you’re using a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, there are a few tools that you can use to help boost your search engine optimization.

Squirrly – A WordPress Search Engine Optimization Plugin
squirrlySquirrly helps you write content that is Search Engine friendly and ALSO Human-friendly. You’ll get to improve your rankings while providing your readers with great content. See your stats, get a weekly audit and find the best keywords for your content. Delivered to WordPress in a fully integrated way (with both simple sites and multisite installs), Squirrly is a Software that Runs from our servers, in order to deliver the power of an All In One Search Engine Optimization PowerHouse.

Use the step by step tutorial to increase your website and visitor friendly search ranking. You’ll see exactly what changes you can make in each area of your content in order to rank higher against your peers.

Squirrly works great with WordPress sites that already have Yoast. You can opt-in to keep those settings, so no need to start over again.  Would you like us to install and configure Squirrly on your site? We would be glad to help.

Yoast – A WordPress Search Engine Optimization Plugin
yoastYoast (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) a complete WordPress Search Engine Optimization plugin that exists today for WordPress users. It incorporates everything from a snippet editor and real-time page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.

You can check the readability of your content, update your primary category, and focus on your keywords and content analysis.


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CominginWordPressincludesfeaturesthatrequirehoststosupportHTTPS

Coming in 2017 includes features that require WordPress SSL HTTPS

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WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg announced that soon, new WordPress versions of the WordPress CMS would include features that would require hosts to support WordPress SSL HTTPS.

If you do not have SSL on your WordPress Website, now is the time.

SSL is simply an encrypted, secure link, between your browser and the server. Once upon a time, SSL was difficult to set up, oftentimes expensive, and usually slow. Today’s updated browsers make it much faster and easier to set up an SSL certificate, and many hosting companies offer these at a much more affordable cost. WordPress SSL sites will be able to use secure content, advanced features and forms only avaliable to WordPress with a valid SSL Certificate. On top of that, Google has begun using SSL readiness as a search engine ranking factor, and will start to flag unencrypted sites in Google Chrome.

No WordPress SSL Certificate (or PHP7)?  What does this mean for you ?

wordpress sslIn the early part of 2017, WordPress plans on only promoting hosting partners that provide SSL certificates by default in their accounts. Once some time passes, they will begin to assess which features, including API authentication, would benefit the most from this service. The end result will be only enabling them once the SSL is there.

Looking ahead, WordPress SSL and updated PHP versions will be something to be on the lookout for. PHP7 may end up the new default for all new WordPress accounts in the new year, as well. As always, we’ll keep you updated!

Need hosting that meets all the future requirements right now?

Westgate Hosting Can Help

At Westgate WEBS Hosting and Free Domains, we provide reliable WordPress CMS hosting packages, SSL Certifictas starting at $22 a year, PHP7,  with a ninety-nine point nine percent server uptime guarantee and an outstanding 24x7x365 customer service. Our hosting packages feature the intuitive Hepsia hosting Control Panel, which is equipped with free-of-charge tools. We also offer more than fifty universal and country-specific TLDs at affordable prices, as well as a free-of-cost Domain Manager plan.

According to w3techs.com WordPress is used by 27.2% of all the websites, that is a content management system market share of 58.5%. The chart below lists the top four CMS (Content Management Systems) and their share of the market.

December 2016 Market share for the major content management systems for websites

  • December 2015
  • December 2016

Westgate WEBS

Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201
United States (US)
Phone: 413-347-9561
Email: info@westgatewebs.com

 


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Facebook Likes: Quality, Not Quantity

Facebook Likes: Quality, Not Quantity

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Likes created by fake accounts or people without real intent are bad for business.

While there are countless services that offer up Facebook likes, as a business owner and page manager, it’s important to understand that anything that doesn’t bring your page an authentic “fan”, won’t help you. In fact, it can hurt your business, and not just alter your statistics.

First, let’s be clear; What are “fake likes”?
Fake likes on Facebook (as well as followers on other social media pages,) are third party services offering likes from fake accounts, or people without real interest, by selling you a certain number of likes for a flat fee. Most of these services offer anywhere from 500 to tens of thousands of likes for a fairly low rate.

Where do these likes or followers come from?
There are four basic ways that fake likes are generated:

  • “Click Farms” in which users with real accounts on Facebook are paid to manually like specific Pages
  • Fake accounts that are created for the primary purpose of liking Pages
  • Self-compromised accounts in which a person voluntarily installs malware or gives up control of their personal account in order get more likes for their Page
  • Compromised accounts that have been unknowingly infected with malware, causing the accounts to like Pages without consent of the account owners

These services make their money by promising, and delivering, Facebook likes to Page owners and admins around the world who may not understand the negative results of purchasing these likes.

Focus on real business objectives, not just page likes.
Page likes are valuable, as they make your ads more visible. They give your business credibility on Facebook. However, having likes is not the end goal. Taking advantage of genuine Facebook likes, as well as using the objectives available in the Ad Manager, will help to drive in-store purchases, app downloads, and assist in building your customer base.

Don’t buy fake likes that will hurt your business long term.
While many Page admins think that fraudulent likes are a useful tool to increase the perception of how popular their Page is, the likes end up being detrimental to the Pages, business owners, and admins that purchase them. Few of these fraudulent likers continue to engage with a Page after liking it. While others do, if you’re a local business or offering a local service, the traffic and engagements from accounts across the country, or across the world, won’t reflect your business plan or goals.

Facebook takes into account Page and post engagement rates when deciding when Facebook Likes: Quality, Not Quantityand where to deliver a Page’s ads and content. So Pages with lower organic like counts are harming themselves, making it much harder and even more expensive, to reach the people they care about most. In cases of bought likes, your posts and advertising could be shown to people far outside of your targeted reach. This means that genuine fans are unlikely to see any of the content you post.

In order to understand your audience, and your customer base, it’s important to use Facebook’s likes and reach count. Targeting the proper audience to meet your goals becomes almost impossible when the people, and accounts, liking your page aren’t in your target demographic.

There are a few steps that you can take in order to make your Facebook page work for you.

Invite Relevant People
You may be tempted to invite all of your friends to like your Page. Be cautious with this, as many friends will like your page to be nice, and never interact with your content. Invite friends and family who may have an interest in your business.

Promote Your Page
Both online, and offline. Use your website, as well as other social media accounts, to invite potential customers to like your Facebook page. Feature your online content in your offline advertising; whether it’s signs, business cards, or testimonial questionnaires for existing clients.

Be Interesting and Provide “Value”
This should be high priority for you: What does your Page offer to visitors? It shouldn’t only be about promoting yourself. Value can be found in exclusive deals, providing information or tips from your industry, or even giveaways.

Remember that “easy” is not always “best“. Drive customers to your Facebook page, and ultimately your website and business, organically to see the best results and highest return of your time and advertising budget.


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Facebook's%TextRule

Facebook’s 20% Text Rule

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If you’re in any way familiar with social media marketing, you’re aware of some specific rules regarding advertising on your Facebook business or fan page.

For a long time, Facebook’s 20% text rule was one that few people were aware of. The rule stated that text couldn’t make up more than 20% of the image of your Facebook Ad. Facebook was very strict with this, and many advertisers saw their ads rejected because of it. They even had a (now discontinued) grid tool where you could upload your planned ad to see exactly how much of the image your text took up in order to save you time waiting for a response from Facebook. The old rule even rejected ads from businesses containing text on products, including t-shirts or coffee mugs.

The grid tool that Facebook had available was great, in that you could see exactly where your text landed on the image. If your text touched more than 5 out of 20 boxes, you knew you were missing the mark. It allowed you to rethink size and placement of your text, though it forced you to put watermarks or logos in strange places on your ad.

Facebook's 20% Text RuleIn the first quarter of 2016, Facebook changed their 20% rule, or at least they changed how your image passed or failed the original rule. Instead of a handy grid tool, now Facebook gives a rating: Ok (your ad will run normally,) Low (your ad’s reach may be slightly lower,) Medium (your ad’s reach may be much lower,) and High (your ad may not run.) The text rule includes more than just words on your image, as well; Numbers, text based logos (regardless of size), as well as required watermarks are all taken in to account.

There are a few exceptions to the rule, mostly regarding posters, products with text on them, as well as comics and infographics.

As with all changes, there are some advantages, and disadvantages, to the new system.

The good? Advertisers and businesses are technically not (as) limited to the text on their images on Facebook anymore. You could always have less text, but now you can add more if your promotion really needs it. There’s just a bit of wiggle room, which gives a little more freedom and control to the images used in Facebook advertising.

The bad? While the 20% rules’ update offers seemingly more wiggle room, the rule itself is still pretty vague. Having the ability to add more text than before seems like a reason to rejoice… but, it may not do you much good, as your reach could be limited (and in some cases where your ad is rated “High”, may not even be displayed at all). Facebook also still seems to prioritize images without text above those with text.

While the strict rule may have changed enough to give advertisers just a bit more freedom, it’s wise to err on the side of caution, and only use text that is absolutely necessary.

Test your own images with Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool.


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A Few Simple Tricks to Protect Your WordPress Sites

A Few Simple Tricks to Protect Your WordPress Sites

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Here are a few very simple tricks to protect your WordPress site(s) in view of the recent massive brute-force global attacks.

Limit the access to the wp-admin directory by IP address:

If you are the only person who needs to log into your admin area and if you have a static IP address, you can deny access to the wp-admin folder to everyone but yourself via an .htaccess file.

Create a file called .htaccess using a plain text editor or simply edit the existing one (if any) and add:
# Block access to wp-admin.
order deny,allow
allow from (x.x.x.x)
deny from all

Here (x.x.x.x) is your IP address. You can add multiple IP addresses by adding the line: allow from x.x.x.x in accordance with the number of IPs you wish to whitelist.

Limit the access to the wp-login.php file by IP address:

You can also limit the access to your wp-login.php file inside your wp-admin/ area via an .htaccess file.

Create a file called .htaccess or simply edit the existing one (if any) in the /wp-admin folder and add:

Order allow,deny
Allow from (x.x.x.x)
Deny from all

Here (x.x.x.x) is your IP address. You can add multiple IP addresses by adding the line: allow from x.x.x.x in accordance with the number of IPs you wish to whitelist.

If you don’t know your IP you can either type into Google What is my IP address? or visit http://whatismyipaddress.com

Update your robots.txt file:

Add the following lines in your robots.txt file or create a file named robots.txt with the following content:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin
Disallow: /wp-login.php
Disallow: /administrator

This will essentially block search engines from indexing these URLs, as brute-force attackers generate lists of such URLs (intitle: Log In and inurl: wp-login) namely with the help of the major search engines.

This method is more of a long-term prevention, as it will take a few months for the search engines to update this information, but it should make brute-force attempts disappear for good.

Westgate WEBS


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TipsToGoFromTo,FollowersOnTwitter

25 Tips To Go From 25 To 25,000 Followers On Twitter

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Want to increase your followers on Twitter? Reaching the 25,000 mark isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either.
from justunfollow.com

Applicable for businesses and individuals alike, here are 25 things you should do to get from 25 followers (every new user manages to collect these many) to 25,000 (quite a feat!):

1. Fill out your profile: This is the first and one of the most important steps towards your 25k goal. Fill out your profile – add your photo and bio. People like to follow real, credible people and an egg as your profile pic is not going to win you brownie points with anyone.

2. Add a great background: The more creative it is, the better your profile will look and more people will be motivated to follow you.

3. Keep a check on your tweet frequency: Learn to strike a balance between too little and too many.

A good guideline to check whether you are using your tweets judiciously is given by this equation. Don’t send out your tweet in bursts – nobody likes to see their timeline filled with tweets by one person. Anywhere between once a day to a couple of times an hour is fine.

4. Tweet at the best time to tweet: Imagine if you were to keep tweeting when most of your followers are offline – no retweets, no replies.

It’s best to tweet when people will be online to read. Find out your best time to tweet.

5. Always reply to mentions: Twitter is a “social” network. You should be interacting, mentioning, replying and creating conversations. Failing to reply to ‘mentions’ is a sure shot way to get unfollowed.

6. Converse more than you tweet: Tweets originating from your Twitter account are cool, but conversations are cooler.

Interact with others and build relationships. People will recommend you, plus conversations look cool when other users visit your profile.

7. Tweet live whenever possible: Live tweets are killers!

Whenever you are attending a meaningful offline or online event or watching one, send out live tweets from the event and watch your follower count rise.

8. Clean your twitter account occasionally: You may not like unfollowing, but doing that is actually a good policy sometimes.

Unfollow inactive users who haven’t tweeted in forever, those who never interact and those who tweet too much and hog your timeline.

9. Good, original tweets work: Stop retweeting, especially if that is all you do. If you only retweet, you are going to annoy lots of people. Retweet occasionally, tweet oftener.

10. Humor works: Add a dash of humor to your tweets, not always, but occasionally. They get several retweets – more exposure for you.

11. Inspirational tweets work: Though cliche and apparently disliked, there’s no denying that inspirational tweets and quotes are some of the most retweeted tweets.

12. Use hashtags in your tweets: Hashtags are a cool way to get more reach for your tweets. Find popular hashtags and use relevant ones in your tweets.

13. Promote your twitter account: Add your twitter account in your email signature, share it on Facebook and forum, on your business card – essentially spread the word.

14. Take part in twitter chats: Twitter chats are generally used for online events where the participants can interact with each other. Take active part in these.

15. Schedule your tweets: Reach your followers from other time zones by scheduling tweets using apps such as Hootsuite and Buffer.

16. Interact with influencers: Influencers are Twitter users with a lot of clout – a huge fan following, lot of retweets, you get the drift.

Interacting with them will not only improve your Twitter skills, you may one day get lucky enough to get a direct mention from them and several followers consequently.

17. Use trending hashtags to grow: If you can tweet relevant stuff using trending hashtags, more power to you! The better your tweets in conjunction with the hashtag, the more followers you’ll get.

18. Build an authority: All sorts of people use Twitter. There are teenagers, adults, seniors, social media enthusiasts, journalists, lawyers, trekkers, cyclists, just about everybody.

Think of what you are good at – you know a lot about social media? Law? NASCAR? If your tweets convey what you are passionate about, you will build an authority in that field.

19. Don’t be negative: Negative tweets are a huge turn off.

Constant complaining and cribbing is sure to drive your followers away and will repel prospective followers too.

20. Share breaking news: One of the many benefits of Twitter is the almost real time access to breaking news.

Become a breaker of news and you’ll get followers aplenty. Trick: Follow top blogs.

21. Images and memes: Images work on Facebook, they work on Twitter too. Tweets with images tend to get more engagement – retweets and replies.

22. Give something away for free: Everybody likes free stuff. Whether it is a pdf or a discount coupon – give something away in return for follows and you are sure to get them.

23. Don’t do things that will get you unfollows: There are a few reasons why people consistently unfollow other twitter users. Try not to incite unfollows.

24. Use JustUnfollow.com: JustUnfollow let’s you copy relevant users from other accounts (for eg: if you are starting a pizza outlet, you can copy followers from a successful pizza company’s account and these Twitter users may be willing enough to follow you back – since they clearly love pizza – plus they may drop in to your outlet. Total win-win!).

It also lets you unfollow those who unfollow you, follow your new followers and do a host of other things that can help you maintain your Twitter account better. Give it a go.

25. Don’t take it too seriously: After all’s said and done, Twitter is just another social network and followers just a number.

Don’t take it too seriously, be yourself, tweet for fun and the followers will follow.


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SliderRevolution Whiteboard

Slider Revolution

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One of the questions we get asked the most tends to be about sliders. You know that fancy top screen that scrolls beautiful images with information and links that keep visitors visually entertained, while providing important information and links? Well, that is what a slider should do.

After years of working with the many hundreds of professional sliders, we found that Slider Revolution is perhaps the ONLY choice for not only sliders, but also a massive amount of site content that can not be matched.

When it comes to sliders, 90% of the free versions just fall short, or will not have all the features you are looking for.  Slider Revolution, at only $19, is not only the best buy, but so feature packed that you will be amazed at what you can do. The newest version includes the famous White Board feature, which everyone loves, and visitors will watch and find impressive. There are companies out there that offer White Board Graphic services for $100s of dollars! This is included!

We have given this WordPress Plugin a 5 Star Review and continue to use it on many of our client sites. If you are looking for a great responsive slider that wont break the bank, this is the one we recommend.

If you need help installing it, or setting it up, remember that this is what we do! Give us a call today and let’s get started. Just let us know you want to have Slider Revolution on your site, and we will include it in your development plan for free!

WestgateWEBS and WestgateHosting

Some of the hundreds of great features in Slider Revolution:

Front Page Designer
Slider Revolution is not only for “Sliders”. You can now build a beautiful one-page web presence with absolutely no coding knowledge required. To get you started fast, we included a ton of pre-made examples that come with all assets included!

Create Beautiful One-Page Websites
Lots of Examples included
Works Great on any Device (Desktop, Tablet, Mobile)
No Coding Knowledge necessary!

Drag & Drop Visual Slider Building
Building sliders has never been easier! Even though Slider Revolution is sporting an impressive number of options, even beginners will manage to create beautiful presentations with our new, more intuitive workflow.

Text, Image, Video, Shortcode, HTML Content Layers
Complete Graphical User Interface
Custom Slide Content for different Devices
Full Control over Styles, Animations, Transitions

Fully Responsive Solution
We make sure that Slider Revolution looks great and is intuitive to use on every device, be it desktop computers, tablets or smartphones.

Works on Desktops, Notebooks, Tablets & Smartphones
Optimised for Android & Apple Devices
Custom Slide Content for different Devices
Fallback Options for Mobile Devices

True Multi-Media Content
We want Slider Revolution to integrate into your website as seamlessly as possible. Why not show any content with it? Visit

Regular Image Display with Bulk Upload
HTML5, YouTube & Vimeo Video Support
Popular Social Media Content Stream
WordPress Post & Custom Posts

Navigation Designer
You get tons of navigation styles for bullets, arrows, tabs & thumbnails with Revolution Slider. The kicker is that you can now easily modify or create your own sets of navigation elements!

Arrows, Bullet, Tab, Thumbnail Navigation
Lots of “Ready to Use” Styles included
Markup and Style Builder with Preview
Export your own Navigation Sets!

We take Security Seriously!
Our Slider Revolution WordPress Plugin was audited by professional researchers at morxploit.com to make sure that it’s no threat to the security of your WordPress website.

100% Secure WordPress Plugin
New Update Notifications via the Backend
Constantly Maintained ThemePunch Quality

Optimized Performance
Good looks aren’t everything, so we made sure that Slider Revolution also loads lightning fast!

Loaded core file size automatically scales with used features
Intelligent Lazy Loading options
SEO Optimization
Monitor and optimize all aspects of your sliders
Advanced Debugging Options

Plugin Version / CompatibilityPlugin Version / Compatibility

Version 5.3.0 StarPath release Date 20.10.2016
Wordpress 4.x Ready
jQuery 1.7.x – jQuery 1.10.x and jQuery 2.+ Compatible

Visit Theme Forest and Search for Slider Revolution ( and to see some of the fantastic add-ons) to get this amazing plugin for your WordPress site today! You will not be disappointed!


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Why does my website need SEO

Why does my website need SEO?

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Your site needs SEO to let the search engines know what your website is about. Without it, it is like putting a book on a shelf with no information on the cover. Most people will pass that book by, never even taking a look at the contents.  This is the same with your website.  The search engines need a bit of help clarifying what your website is about, and who they should show it to.

The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines – Google, Bing and Yahoo!. Although social media and other types of traffic can generate visits to your website, search engines are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users. This is true whether your site present content, services, products, information or just about anything else.

Search queries, the words that users type into the search box, carry extraordinary value. Experience has shown us that search engine traffic can make (or break) an organization’s success. Targeted visitors to a website can provide publicity, revenue, and exposure like no other channel of marketing. Investing in SEO, whether through time or finances, can have an exceptional rate of return compared to other types of marketing and promotion.

Your organic SEO, being what your page is about will help potential visitors find exactly what they are looking for, and you have a better chance of turing that visitor into a customer. Search engines are unique in that they provide targeted traffic – people looking for what you offer.

3-seo-branchesSearch engines are the roadways that make this happen. If your site cannot be found by search engines or your content cannot be put into their databases, you miss out on incredible opportunities available to websites provided via search.

SEO services promised by pay per click or buying backlinks can provide a boost to your website temporarily but if done incorrectly can actually hurt your website.  Every page or post should be optimized for that content.  Making it human-friendly, meaning readable and not just crammed with keyword phrases that make pages hard or read and confusing is the key.

We have provided a very basic SEO roadmap below:

  1. Is the Keyword is present in the URL: www.mysitekeyword.com/my-keword/ ?
  2. Keywords are used in Title:  Welcome to my page about Keyword?
  3. Is the Title length is between 10-75 chars?
  4. Are your Keywords are used in Content? The keyword must be in your content at least once.
  5. Did you Bold one of the keywords?
  6. Did you use image(s) in content or featured image and make the alt text contain your keyword?
  7. Does your meta description contain the keyword?
  8.  Does your keyword appear in the first paragraph of the copy?
  9. Is your text more than or equal to the recommended minimum of 300 words?

You can read more about organic SEO content in our or post about Search Engine and Website Optimization – SEO Services

Need help with your SEO? Just ask, we review your websites SEO and talk to you about what we see and how we can help.

Westgate WEBS

Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201
United States (US)
Phone: 413-347-9561
Email: info@westgatewebs.com