What is a Domain Name?

A Complete Beginner’s Guide For Domain Name Choosing, Registration & Precautions That You Must Have In Mind

The domain name is the network address of the website (etc http://www.wpattack.com). Generally, people type this address to get into a website and it contains the combination of letters or numbers that can be up to 63 characters. Have in mind that there are several generic TLD (Top-level domain) extensions such as the .com, .net, .org, .biz and .us, etc. Apart from the above mentioned extensions, there are other groups of TLD extensions such as the local ones, but these are the most popular and recognized ones.

So, if your target market is Google.com, you should take one of these extensions. If your target audience is a local market, such as Greece, France, Italy, uk etc, then you should choose a local domain extension, such as .gr, .fr, .it, .co.uk.

How to Choose a Good Domain Name?

When creating a website, it is imperative that you choose a good domain as it will affect the overall performance of your intended business or work. Therefore, I have provided a five-step process for choosing the best domain. Take a look at the process below:

  1. Choose A Short Domain – The first step would be to choose a short Domain Name Ideally, the domain has to be less than 15 characters, because this helps the people to remember the domain name and thus, it will decrease the possibility of typing it wrong. For instance, ‘WPAttack.com’ will be easier to remember than ‘seo-internet-marketing-and-wordpress.com’.
  2. Brandable Domains – In general, choosing a one or two words domain, can make your domain name more memorable and brandable. For example, the domain name KetchupThemes.com looks more memorable and brandable than KetchupWordPressThemes.com. This happens because three words+ domains look inferior to their “two keywords” brothers. This isn’t an iron rule that should be followed, as there are cases where three words domains are memorable and brandable as well.
  3. Easy To Spell – This is an important factor. Again, there are many cases where many brands use domain names which are hard to spell or remember. Flickr is an example to  be avoided. Choose a name that is very easy to spell as it will help the visitors to type it correctly, plus they’ll remember if when they want to visit your site again. Finally, domains which are hard to spell decrease the credibility of the site.
  4. Niche Related This step one of the most important, as you will be tasked with choosing a name that is inconsistent with the business that will do. Remember that if you fail to pick a name that doesn’t reflect your business or work, then your website might lose reliability. So, don’t go for random names rather think carefully about the name that will not only represent your business, but also will improve the trust of the visitors as well. Ofcourse there are many exceptions for this rule. Take a look at Godaddy for example…
  5. Domain Extension As mentioned in the beginning of this guide, the domain extension plays an important role depending on your target audience. The TLD is a crucial part no matter which aspect you look at. For example users in Greece will remember easier a .gr domain, Google.gr will consider it more relevant etc.

How to Register a Domain Name?

After you have chosen an awesome domain name, you will be required to register it in order to launch your website. Before registering a domain name, you will have to follow these steps.

  1. Initially, you have to confirm the selected domain name by searching it an a domain registar.  This can be accomplished through domain registry companies such as the godaddy.com, namecheap.com or dotster.com. Godaddy is considered the biggest domain register company in this field.
  2. If the preferred domain name is available, then you will be required to pay a certain amount for claiming the right or ownership of that domain name. The payment can be processed through either a PayPal account, credit, prepaid or debit card account. Have in mind that depending on the TLD, the price will vary.
  3. Before paying for your desired domain name, another issue that must be addressed is the length of the registration period. Most of the domain registrars offer registration for at least one year and after that period of time; you can renew it for pre-specified fee.
  4. Following the payment procedure, you will also need a web hosting package in order to make your website. Some domain registrars usually  have premium, basic or free web hosting services, but you might want to choose dedicated WordPress hosting services, such as WP Engine.

Considerable Precautions that You Must take while Buying a Domain Name

The Domain Name is considered the most precious and valuable asset of a website and therefore getting the right domain with no previous history of fraudulence or unethical activities is an important element. So, when you buy a domain name, you should be careful and take precautionary measures to avoid any counterfeit. Here are some of the precautions that you must take while buying a domain name.

  • Domain Name Front Running & Unscrupulous Practices: Domain name front running is a trap to track the users search actions by registrars. When a user searches about a specific and non-existing domain name, then it is swiftly snapped up by the registrars before the user tries to buy it. Ultimately, your unable to buy that unique domain name. Now, the registrar can sell this domain name to other people at an increased price.
  • Domain Brokers: Unfortunately, because of the high demand on .com TLDs, usually you have to buy a domain from a domain broker or through an auction market such as auctions.godaddy.com. Always negotiate before buying a domain name. Usually most domain brokers sell a domain name for a lower price than the one that they mention.
  • Don’t Post YourDomainName.com Related Questions in Public Forums: While buying a domain name, you should refrain from using public forums or groups for getting feedback about the domain name’s price and other issues such as the reliability or previous history. If you share it, then there is a chance that someone else will buy your domain name before you take an attempt. Besides, you might be misguided by some dishonest members, which will hinder you in order for them to buy the desired domain name.
  • Check for Copyright Violence: Before buying any domain name, you should check for any copyrighted name. If any of the domain names contain any copyrighted names such as “WordPress”, you should avoid buying them because in the future you could face legal sanction over the ownership. Be extremely careful about this issue.
  • Investigate Domain History: Before you buy a domain name, you have to check for the history of a domain name. Archive.org gives you instances of your domain’s history. An old, once used domain name might have a good backlink profile which could help you rank better on Google. On the other hand, if the domain is penalized, you could have a hard time to restore it to its previous state. Check if the previous owner used the domain in a legit way or not.
  • Buy Domain Names from a Certified Re-seller: For your hard earned cash, you should be thinking of a shrewd and fruitful investment while buying a domain name. You should always buy the domain name from a certified re-seller so gather enough information about him from review sites.

Although there are many risk associated problems with domain buying, if you take the above  precautions, you’ll be able to buy the perfect domain name. After you do that, you have to choose the proper web hosting provider. Check the next part if you want to have a basic overview of what web hosting is and the things that you should consider before buying a web hosting package.

How To Make A Website

A step by step process of creating a website or blog

Well as you can guess from the title of this post, this guide is dedicated for those who have no prior experience in building a website, but they want to make one. Before I start explaining the ins and outs of website or blog creation, let’s see some of the advantages that they provide us.

With a website, people can communicate to a wide range of people all around the world and can express their ideas and thoughts. Moreover, one can build their business from a remote place to sell both physical and virtual products. Therefore, websites form an integral part of today’s technological advancement.

Consequently, I have written a comprehensive guide for making a website containing six unique and essential parts. This guide will reveal all the necessary information’s alongside procedures with which you will be able to plan and create a unique website. So, let’s take an in-depth look at the guide.

For simplicity’s sake, I’ve split this guide in the following parts

1. What is a domain name?
The first part of the guide includes issues such as “what is a domain name and how to register it after buying”. Moreover, in this part you will find some important tips for buying a domain name as well.
2. What is web hosting?
The web hosting part includes the “place” that your website is. Through your web hosting provider, your users will be able to view and browse through your website.
Choosing a website/ecommerce/blogging platform
There are countless website, blogging and ecommerce platform out there. Choosing a platform based on your needs is a crucial step, which most webmasters often omit.
A complete guide on building your website, blog or ecommerce with WordPress
By many (including myself), WordPress is considered the king of CMS. Let’s see with this step by step guide, how to make a professional looking website, blog or ecommerce site.  
Other ecommerce solutions (why use Shopify or OpenCart for your Ecommerce website)
WordPress usually covers most of the needs, but there are many cases that you might need something simpler or more complex solution. Shopify & OpenCart usually can cover the needs of small to medium ecommerce sites.
How to promote your new website
This short guide includes the first steps that you should take after your new website is completed.

 

Google On Page Factors

In this guide, I’ll explain the most important on page SEO factors for your website. Note that these factors aren’t WordPress related only and that the same rules apply for all cms.

Domain Level Factors

TLD Extension is probably the most crucial domain factor for me. If you have a .gr or .it TLD, don’t expect to rank high on Google.com. Search engines like Google, will try to present relevant information and by relevant, they also mean localized results. If your targeting Google.com, buy a domain name with .com extension. If you’re targeting the French market, buy a .fr domain etc. You’ll rarely see domains with local tld extensions ranking in Google.com.

EMD stands for Exact Match Domains. Simply put, Google, Yahoo! and Bing are in love with EMD. Although an EMD can give you the edge over other generic domain names, if it’s a low quality site, don’t expect miracles.

Keyword in the domain name. If your website starts or contains the keywords that you’re targeting, there’s a high chance that will help you boost your rankings. Have in mind that this factor has been devalued over the past years, but it’s still a better factor over generic domain names.

Domain Age doesn’t mean much as explained by Matt Cutts in this video

Registration Length is also a low to medium ranking factor. Registering your domain name for more than one years, is an implementation for Google that this domain is more legitimate and that you don’t plan to throw it away after one year.

Domain History is usually considered a low ranking factor. If the domain name that you bought had various owners, drops etc, can have a negative impact on your site’s rankings.

Site Level Factors

Valuable Content is probably the most important on page SEO factor. If your website has great content, people will start linking to it. If not, people will consider it boring and won’t bother coming again.

Site Structure – Architecture might be easy for simple sites or blogs, but if you have a complex site with many pages or categories, with levels and sublevels, you’re making the life of the crawler more difficult. This means that some pages might be omitted entirely from Google Index. Having clear and proper navigation, will help not only the bots, but your users as well. In any case, always have a sitemap and make sure you submit it in Google Webmaster Tools.

Site Health – Upgrades are extremely important. By not updating your site you might be hacked, which means poor quality for your users. Keep your WordPress site up to date!

Number of pages continues to be an important ranking factor. The more pages you have, the more content you have, so this means that you have higher possibilities to rank on various long tail keywords on Google.

Content updates and content recency. We all know that search engines love fresh content. Make sure that you upload new content to your website and that it stays up to date.

Canonicalization (rel=”canonical”) eliminates the fear of duplicate content versions in your site.

Mobile Friendly or Responsive. As stated by Google, if a site isn’t mobile friendly, it won’t rank very well when people search from their cell phones. Having a mobile friendly site, is extremely important.

Website Speed is considered more and more crucial, as not only it affects your SEO rankings, but your conversion as well. It’s important to have a fast website for your visitors and then for search engines.

W3C Validation can help you find coding errors. Although in the past making html errors wasn’t that much crucial, imagine what could happen if by mistake you didn’t properly close your aside tag and included information from the main tag…

Contact us Page & TOS. These factors make a website more respective and trustworthy.

Site Uptime is important if you want to maintain a great user experience. Often downtimes can create problem to the crawlers, which means that your rankings will be affected.

SSL Certificate has been confirmed by Google as a site ranking factor, but it’s important is low probably low, that’s why you can see various websites ranking pretty high even thought they don’t have SSL.

Server Location is a low ranking factor. Usually the location of the server doesn’t affect the rankings at all.

Page Level Factors

Title Tag is another important part of your on page SEO strategy. Google is probably considering this as the most important piece of content, after the whole content of the page. When you write the title of a page, make sure that you include the keywords first. This way, you’ll maximize the value of this ranking factor.

Heading structure. Most of the times, the title tag is exactly the same as the h1 heading of your website. This gives a clear understanding of what your site is about. Never omit however the usage of h2, h3 headings where it’s needed.

Content Length. Usually, posts of 1000+ words, are considered more valuable.

Keyword Density/Frequency can make Google understand what’s important about your site. Just have in mind that if you go overboard, this could really hurt your rankings. Staying between 2 – 4% can have positive results.

Supplementary content and multimedia. If your page has images, videos etc, Google will consider your content more relevant and of higher quality.

Types of outbound links. There’s some indication that linking to authoritative, relevant sites, will make Google better determine the niche and the quality of your website. At the same time, Google will probably won’t like affiliate links in all over your site, so try to avoid them if possible.

Schema implementation and HTML5 usage. HTML5 can give search engines a better understanding on which parts of the website structure are more important. Google will consider the content within the <main> tag more important than in the <aside> tag, so pay attention when building your site with html5. Also, with the use of microdata, Google will be able to understand what is your site about (etc restaurant, cafe, movie portal).

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords in Content, Headings and Meta Description help Google understand the true meaning of your website and position it accordingly. For example, the word “panda” might refer to the panda algorithm or the animal.

Quality of content. By that I mean if your content is correct from a grammar and syntactic perspective.

Page URL should be with dashes – and ideally, should include the site title.

WordPress Tags can help Google better determine your website content.

Well that’s it! Those where the most important on page SEO Factors. When building a site or creating your content, have them in mind and you’ll certainly see better Google Results.

chinesemarket

How To Make A SEO Friendly WordPress Site

An In-depth SEO Guide For Theme Authors, WordPress Developers, Webmasters & Bloggers

Many theme authors, WordPress developers and webmasters often omit the importance of SEO and more often they completely ignore the proper approach that they should follow when developing a WordPress theme – site. Of course, this isn’t happening because they are bad on what they’re doing, but it’s because SEO is a different field, so when developing you’re a WordPress theme or website, it’s imperative to have an SEO Professional, that will guide you through the whole process.

Proper Approach

When developing a WordPress site, you must have in mind the market that you’re targeting. Not all search engines behave the same way or have the same rules. The image below, summarizes the market share of each search engine in the Global Market. Google as you might have guessed is the dominating force in the Search Engine World with 69%. Baidu, the Chinese search engine comes second with 17%. Yahoo! comes third with 6% and Bing follows with a percentage of approximately 6% as well. The rest of the search engines, have a 2% share.

googlemarket

So, now that we’ve seen that Google is the king of the Search Engine Realm, you should start developing your wordpress theme with Google in mind, right? Well although for theme authors this might be the case, if you’re a WordPress developer, blogger or webmaster and want to target the Russian market, things might get nasty. Let’s see why…

russianmarket

As you can see, 62% of Russian users use Yandex, a Russian search engine and only 26% use Google.

And that’s not all, if your target is the newly established market of China, then Google doesn’t even exist there…

chinesemarket

Yes but don’t all search engines have the same logic? I can’t understand how the on page SEO could have serious effects on the overall SEO strategy of my WordPress website…

The short answer is that if you don’t take it seriously, you could have grave results. I’m sure that the Chinese websites that you found, most of them are completely white and have almost no or minimal images. That’s because Baidu usually indexes less than 100 – 200kb/page of information, so if your website is larger than that, probably the information will never be indexed entirely. If critical information is after those 200kb, the game is lost.

So, before you decide to develop your site, you might want to check those guides first.

Google On Page Ranking Factors

Baidu Ranking Factors

Developing a SEO friendly WordPress Theme

Here are some guidelines when developing the WordPress theme from scratch (for theme authors & WordPress Developers).

I’ve been a theme author and front end developer for three years now. The good thing is that I’ve started my career as a blogger – SEO consultant, so I know pretty well the crucial parts that a site or blog should have when developing a WordPress Theme.

  1. HTML5 is a more specific hypertext markup language than the others. When you place the <main> tag, the search engines know that this is the main section of your website. The <aside> tag on the other hand implies that the content is less important. Bottom line, be cautious what tags you use and where you use them.
  2. Although this rule isn’t absolute, usually you must use one H1 tag within your page. I tend to use the H1 tag where’s the most important information. All the other sections might be split then in H2, H3 headings etc.
  3. Microdata incorporation. Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex have the same logic when incorporating microdata. Microdata can boost the SEO of your site, but you must have a couple of things in mind:
    • If you’re developing a theme from scratch for only a client on a specific niche, use niche specific microdata. The more specific, the better as those search engines will perfectly understand what this site is about.
      Example – If I’m developing a theme for a restaurant owner, I should use https://schema.org/Restaurant for his website.
      See an example of how your code should be

      <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Restaurant">
      
      <h1 itemprop="name">The Small Restaurant</h1>
      
      <p itemprop="description">Discover more than 50 delicious <span itemprop="servesCuisine"> mediterranean</span> delicacies in our restaurant</p>
      
      <p>Working Hours: <time itemprop="openingHours" datetime="Mo,Tu,We,Th,Fr,Sa,Su 09:00-23:00">Daily from 9am to 11pm</span></p>
      
      <p>Phone Number: <span itemprop="telephone">210 111 1111</span></p>
      
      <p>Check our <a href="http://domain.com/menu" itemprop="menu">Menu</a>.</p>
      
      <p>Address:<br />
      
      <span itemprop="streetAddress">Strofadon 59</span>,<br />
      
      <span itemprop="addressLocality">Athens</span>, <span itemprop="postalCode">11361</span></p>
      
      <p>Accepts Reservations: <span itemprop="acceptsReservations" content="true">Yes</span></p>
      
      </div>
      
      
    • If you’re developing a theme for Themeforest, Mojo Themes or for your own theme club business, use generic microdata. Have in mind that someone might buy a restaurant theme, but in the end he might use if for the development of a Music Band.
      Example – If I’m developing a restaurant theme for Themeforest, I’ll probably use generic microdata such as https://schema.org/Thing.
      Note the difference

      <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Thing">
      
      <h1 itemprop="name">The Small Restaurant</h1>
      
      <p itemprop="description">Discover more than 50 delicious mediterranean delicacies in our restaurant</p>
      
      <p>Working Hours: <time itemprop="openingHours" datetime="Mo,Tu,We,Th,Fr,Sa,Su 09:00-23:00">Daily from 9am to 11pm</span></p>
      
      <p>Phone Number: <span itemprop="telephone">210 111 1111</span></p>
      
      <p>Check our <a href="http://domain.com/menu">Menu</a>.</p>
      
      <p>Address:<br />
      
      <span itemprop="streetAddress">Strofadon 59</span>,<br />
      
      <span itemprop="addressLocality">Athens</span>, <span itemprop="postalCode">11361</span></p>
      
      <p>Accepts Reservations: <span itemprop="acceptsReservations" content="true">Yes</span></p>
      
      </div>
      
      
  4. Opengraph & Twitter Cards incorporation. Although those types of schemas have nothing to do with SEO per se, they can properly present your content it is shared on Facebook or Twitter. As Twitter has a fallback for Opengraph, usually I don’t incorporate Twitter Cards in my meta. That’s a raw example of how my header.php looks like when I try to automate the Opengraph process.
    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html <?php language_attributes(); ?> prefix="og: http://ogp.me/ns#">
    <head>
    <title><?php wp_title('|',true,'right'); ?></title>
    <meta name="description" content="<?php the_field('header_image_text'); ?>">
    
    <--OpenGraph Starts Here-->
    <meta property="og:locale" content="<?php language_attributes(); ?>" />
    <meta property="og:title" content="<?php the_title(); ?>" />
    <meta property="og:type" content="product" />
    <meta property="og:price:amount" content="<?php the_field('theme_price'); ?>" />
    <meta property="og:price:currency" content="USD" />
    <?php $facebook_img = get_field('facebook_image'); if($facebook_img == ''):$facebook_img = get_field('header_inside_image'); endif; ?>
    <meta property="og:image" content="<?php echo $facebook_img; ?>" />
    <meta property="og:url" content="<?php echo getUrl(); ?>" />
    <meta property="og:description" content="<?php the_field('header_image_text'); ?>" />
    <?php endif; ?>
    <--OpenGraph Ends Here-->
    </head>
  5. Metaboxes and small tweaks can help you eliminate the use of SEO plugins. In order to have better descriptions and page titles, I use metaboxes in order to create page titles and descriptions manually. I also have a fallback method, so when I think that the page title is ok, the metaboxes take the values of the page title. The meta descriptions work this way as well. By implementing those tactics, you probably won’t need plugins such as All in one seo or Yoast, because with those metaboxes, you simply
  6. W3C Validation. I’m not one of those persons who are fanatic of having a perfect code, but your theme should be checked through the W3C validator always. If for example you’ve applied all the above and you forgot to close a tag, this could cause problems in your site. Let’s say that you didn’t close the <aside> tag properly and that it included information from the <main> tag in it. Google or the other search engines might not consider now the content that much important as they otherwise should, and therefore harm your rankings.
  7. Transform your vector icons into svg fonts. This is a nice trick that will enhance the performance of your site.

setup-tumblr-blog

Case Study: How I Ranked A Tumblr Blog on 1st Page With ZERO Cost.

This is a case study from a personal blog of mine that i developed some time ago.

Before i proceed into the ins and outs of the methodology that i followed in order to achieve my goal, i’d like to give some insights on the niche and my site.

Keyword Research: The exact match searches for the main keywords are 74.000 & 33.000 respectively. I also wanted to rank on many other long tail keywords, which is something that i achieved eventually. The domain has the exact match keyword phrase in it and it’s a “how to” site. The competition of that keyword is considered medium.

Although i love WordPress blogs, i always test new platforms. Tumblr intrigued me because of it’s microblogging style plus its social aspect. Not only you can get visitors directly from search engines, but on the back end it’s pretty much like any other social media platform. The later proved to be a huge goldmine in my case.

Initially when i started my Tumblr blog i was disappointed because of its slow indexing rate. For some strange reason, Google seems to have a difficulty in indexing Tumblr blogs. Once it indexes it though, then everything is normal.

In order to boost my traffic, i started initially to do bookmarks of my content and posted the blog on relevant forums. This didn’t have any effect on my rankings, but i managed to index it faster.

Then the fun part came…

Inside Tumblr dashboard i started to search for other blogs – profiles with related content to mine. As i liked what they posted, i clicked on the “like” button that Tumblr has. Then those people started to follow me and liked or even better, they reblogged my content without my even asking them to do so.

The golden rule on that was that my content was very helpful and visual, so the blog started to become viral. With each “reblog” or “follow” that i received, the blog started to obtain more and more backlinks, which boosted my site to first page (3rd result) in a period of four months. Not only that, but i also managed to rank almost all of my long tail keywords on the first page of Google.

Here’s an overview of the gradual improvement of my  blog

stats

Things to have in mind…

I know that some people might want to try something like that and the bait of ZERO cost is very attractive, but bear in mind that i spent a lot of time to develop that level of content.

The content also was mainly visual, and that’s exactly what people want on Tumblr. Non visual content, probably won’t take you far.

I invested time to answer questions to people that had problems and in return they posted about my site on their blog.