Img Compression

Img Compression

Image Compression: Size Matters!

Picking the right image is important but what’s just as important is getting it at the right size. Smaller is always better when you’re adding images to content on your site. A good rule of thumb is to only make the image as big as it needs to be. Most of the time you will only need the smallest size the above photo sites offer. There is not one image in use within SEN that wasn’t the smallest size. And actually, most of them still needed to be reduced down from there.

When reducing an image down only do it once to keep its clarity and quality. And remember, a site that is too image heavy not only leaves visitors waiting but it kills your rankings because no one likes a slow site or one that is all images and no content. This rule does NOT apply to sites who want to rank for image search – as that is an entirely different process altogether.

Pro Tips on Image Optimization

Images tend to make up a large amount of data and can considerably slow a page. Consider the following options listed in order of importance to speed things up.

Pick the Smallest File Size – When choosing your image to download be smart and pick the smallest available file size. These images are meant to support your content and nothing more. However, if you have images that need resizing and cropping then use proper image editing software (like snagit) to reduce the actual file size. It’s a fact that designers frequently resize images by using the img height and width variables on the page itself because it’s easier than firing up an image editor and editing the actual file, aka they’re being lazy. Yes, the image looks smaller but the file size is still HUGE.

Simply put – smaller images require fewer bytes and will download faster so be smart about the images you add to any site!

Optimization – There are many image optimization methods for shrinking the file size of an image by reducing their color depth and/or using lossless compression for .jpg and .png file formats. Most image editors have a save for web feature that will do some compression, plus there are many other software image optimization options out there. Try the free TinyJPG.com, TinyPNG.com, and Optimizer IO for JPG, PNG, GIF and SVG files.

There’s also paid tools like Kraken.io that offers bulk capabilities and even a WordPress Plugin.
Combine Images – This is an advanced tip but since we’re talking image optimization I need to throw it in! By using CSS Sprites, you can use one image for all the little buttons, icons, logos, etc. found on the page. You combine all the images into one large one and use CSS to only display the portion of the image needed. This reduces the number of round trips the browser must make to the server; it can also reduce the total number of bytes downloaded. Sprites are frequently used for reoccurring images on a site and for images that don’t change that often.

Use IMG Height & Width – Specify all images height and width in pixels on every page. Failure to do so will require the images to download before the page can finish rendering.

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Yes, you will find specifying height and width creates some conflicts with responsive images. In that situation you’ll have to avoid this step while we’re trying to find a work around, but at least be sure to use height and width on images that don’t need to be resized dynamically.

Article written by: Kristi Hagen at Search Engine News

SEO Out Links

Google’s John Mueller said yesterday in a tweet that linking out to other sites does not improve your SEO on your site and there is no penalty for not linking out.

For years now when we take on a new client the first thing to do is find out how many outbound links their site has and are they really necessary or not.
When linking out to content it is important to keep in mind, that the content you are linking to may not be at the same url as when you linked to it. One reason for this maybe the site has been redesigned or the content may have been updated and moved to a different url, thus causing a bad link on your site. Another reason may be a forum post that has been closed and is simply no longer there. This is why it is very important to choose carefully to what content you are out linking to.

The only reason you should be creating a link out of your site would be it’s relevancy. Before creating a link away from your site you need to ask these few things.

  • Does it benefit your company or your readers.
  • Is what you are linking to relevant to your pages or sites content?
  • Is it important or are you just trying to create links.
  • Is the content you are linking to up to date and accurate.
  • What type of site or content are you linking to. (ie. PDF, webpage, forum post, blog etc..)
  • The content you are linking to, is it on an authoritative site
  • Is the content you are linking to linking back to your site creating an authoritative back-link

When should you out link:

There are many reasons to out link to content that can be useful to your company or your readers, some of them include the following.

  • To an organization your company is involved with, BBB, Chamber of Commerce, State Business License and Non-profit organizations you are involved with.
  • News articles about your company.
  • Videos, however it is still best when using videos to embed them into your site.
  • Your social media pages.
  • Content that may be copyrighted.
  • Company review sites.
  • Documented material for your products or industry.
  • Application instructions and or usage instructions.

Also remember when linking out to content or another site to use the target=”_blank” in your url, this will allow the user to view the content in a new tab or window leaving your site still open on their computer. You can also use nofollow: nofollow is a value that can be assigned to the rel attribute of an HTML a element to instruct some search engines that the hyperlink should not influence the ranking of the link’s target in the search engine’s index.

**Key things to remember. Only link out when it is necessary either to provide relevancy to your content, actually has something to do with your company and or product, is useful to the end user visiting your site.

***Remember Google has no penalty for not linking out!

Google Site Search

Google Site Search
On April 1, 2017, Google will discontinue sales of the Google Site Search. All new purchases and renewals must take place before this date. The product will be completely shut down by April 1, 2018.
There is still time to renew your paid version or you can use the Free version of site search.

Google announced yesterday:

We are winding down the Google Site Search product over the next year, but will provide customer and technical support through the duration of license agreements. For GSS users whose contract expires between April 1st and June 30th, 2017, we are providing a free 3-month extension with additional query volume to allow more time for them to implement the necessary changes to their site. GSS customers may also take advantage of our Custom Search Engine solution, an ads-supported model that offers similar functionality. We continue to build out new functionality and invest in new technology that make enterprise search a great experience for our customers. Just recently, we introduced the general availability of Google Cloud Search for G Suite customers.

Article By: Seoroundtable

Google adds new data type for books, with markup that supports “buy e-book” links in Knowledge Graph cards.

On Dec 3, 2016 Google announced a new schema markup for books, this should make the authors and publishers very happy when this actually goes live. Aaron Bradley actually posted an article on Google + Google has added a new data type to their structured data documentation, Books, that allow publishers to point to a purchase location for an e-book.

Here is a screen shot of what your information card may look like.
Google Book Schema Markup

If you are an author or currently have an e-book you might want to fill out the Book Interest Form and get approved to start using this new schema. You can also read more about this at Google Developers.

This schema markup code can be incorporated on your website in the head section in the form of a (application/ld+json script) if implemented this could be a win for writers and authors to help sell their books.

Specialty Web Designs Inc, is a full service Christian based web design firm specializing in search engine optimization and online marketing. We are located in Spring Hill Fl but service the entire Tampa bay area for local businesses and the US for all our services.

Our Services include:SEO - Search Engine Optimization

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Web Design (Website Development)
  • Online Consulting (Develop marketing plans that you can do in house)
  • Graphic Design (Logos, Brochures, Images)
  • Online Marketing (Ad Design & Management)
  • Social Media Management (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin)
  • WordPress Design (CMS software)

When consulting with businesses I am most often asked these 3 questions:
Q) Do I Really Need To Hire An SEO?
A) This is the most asked of all. Depending on your website and your industry the answer is usually yes, at least periodically every 3 months.
As an SEO I realize that not all businesses are the same, and some can’t afford to hire an SEO on a full time basis. However it is a good idea to ask if they can do a quarterly SEO audit and keep your pages optimized and code up to date.
True SEO is not just changing a few snip-its of code and making sure the meta tags are right, there is a certain method and order to optimizing a website. Done correctly the results can be wonderful, however done incorrectly the results can be devastating to site’s rankings. Most designers, developers and marketers have a basic knowledge of SEO but it is best to hire a professional SEO if possible.

Q) Is there anything we can do on our own?
A) The answer to this question is YES. There are basic SEO steps that anyone with a little knowledge of a website can do to improve their rankings and optimize pages on their website. As I stated before this can be devastating to your site if you are not careful, especially with the meta tags. Never put this in the hands of a developer or designer only. Developers and Designers often don’t understand the complexities of SEO and can create entirely new problems while trying to fix a few.

Q) Isn’t there just some kind of code you can put in that will automate the process?
A) If you are using WordPress or other CMS systems the answer is YES in a way. For WordPress for instance there are several different plug-ins you can install that will automate SEO in your meta data. Although helpful these plug-ins use your title and content to come up with a description and keywords, I have not seen one yet that doesn’t need a little editing to insure the proper information is in the meta data.  ** Important: Do Not Rely Solely On The Plug-ins Interpretation.
Following these 5 simple strategies will help to optimize your websites content. (Read More..)

If you are looking for a SEO or Web Design company for your business you can contact us at (727) 247-9722 or by email support@specialtywebdesigns.com.

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