How important are optimized images for SEO on Google? | SEO Tutorials

SEO Tutorials: How important are optimized images for SEO on Google?

SEO Tutorials: How important are optimized images for SEO on Google?

The short answer is: yes, optimizing your images is an important thing to do because it improves your website's rank and performance. Google has an article confirming the importance of page speed here.

There's also a tab within Google's Webmaster Tool that will show you how fast your website is as it's experienced by people around the world.

What is an optimized image?

An optimized image is an image designed for one of the three mediums we surf the web on: desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. Of the three, SEO experts are most concerned with the mobile version.

There are a few reasons for this. First, large images (images sized for desktop) load slowly on mobile phones. Second, they consume more bandwidth than necessary.

But the slow load does more than negatively affect your website's organic rank. It increases the chance that the person viewing your site on their phone won't wait around long enough for all the elements to load.

In other words, they'll leave your site before they read your site.

A SEO’s guide to Google Analytics terms

A SEO's guide to Google Analytics terms (a brief intro)

A SEO's guide to Google Analytics terms (a brief intro)

Google Analytics' a powerful tool for data-minded people. But if you don't understand what the individual terms the tool uses mean, you won't be able to use the data effectively.

Now, this isn't going to be a complete, in-depth article. It's simply a selection of the more common terms you'll probably see within a report that aren't too intuitive.


I'm starting with hits because pretty much everything that happens on a website is considered a hit. A hit is a request made to a web server by a browser. Again, nearly everything's a hit, including web pages, images, programmed events, etc.


Every person who visits your website generates one session. A session lasts until the person leaves the site or 30 minutes of browser inactivity has gone by (example: they loaded your website but went out to grab a coffee). Each session is a group of hits (above) of that one user. If a user leaves and returns 30 mins later, a new session is created.

Average Session Duration

The metric displays the average amount of time each session added up to.

Time on page

The amount of time a single person spends on a page. Note: pages with more text might lead to higher times.

Entrances / Landing Page

Websites tend to have multiple pages. The entrance is the page a person entered your site. Example: if they arrived at your site via your contact page, the entrance page would list The most common entrance pages are your homepage and popular blog posts. Note: this is also referred to as the Landing Page.

Exit page

The last page a user viewed before leaving your site.

Bounce rate

If 100 people visited your website in one month, and 50 of them left immediately after viewing only one page, your bounce rate would be 50%.

Don't get alarmed, though. This isn't always a bad thing. Example: 40 of those 50 people who immediately left your website left because they read a headline, found your phone-number and called you. That's not a bad reason to have a high bounce rate.

Here's what I'm saying: before you make changes based on a bounce rate, you need to first discover WHY people are bouncing quickly.

Quick tip about this: it helps to know what organic or paid search terms are driving people to your site. If you can tie that in with the bounce rate, you'll have a better idea of what to change.


PageViews is the number of times a page is loaded/re-loaded in a browser.

Unique Page Views

How many times an individual page was viewed by different users (different sessions).


An impression is generated whenever a search term related to your website is seen organically in a search engine result. Example: if your website link is displayed 100 times in search results in one month, you'll have 100 impressions.


If someone clicks your link in a search engine result, a click is generated. This is a common metric SEO experts use to judge the success of their efforts.

Clickthrough-Rate (CTR)

Your clickthrough rate is calculated by dividing the number of CLICKS a link receives by the number of IMPRESSIONS it has. Example: if your link is displayed 100 times in a search result in one month, that counts as 100 impressions. If 50 people clicked the link, your CTR is 50%. Again, this is a common metric SEO experts use.

Traffic Sources

Direct Traffic

When someone types your specific website's URL into their browser (i.e., they do NOT find it through search engines), it's considered direct traffic. This triggers with bookmarks, email links, etc.

Organic Search Traffic

Organic traffic is the kind of traffic SEO is concerned with. It's the traffic to your site from organic search results, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. This excludes Paid Search Traffic.

Paid Traffic

Traffic that's the result of paid advertising within Google AdWords or Bing Advertising.

Referral Traffic

Referral traffic includes search engine traffic, but it also includes links from other websites and social channels. In fact, you can see which channel by clicking on it (Facebook, Instagram, etc.).

Do you need a hand interpreting the results of a report or a second opinion on one? Feel free to contact us or give us a call.

What is responsive web design

What is responsive web design?

Ever since carrying a cell phone became as important as carrying a wallet, the mobile version of a website has been a critical part of web design. You might not know this, but nearly half of a website's traffic is mobile traffic. So it isn't all that surprising that web developers and designers are always talking about responsive web design.

So.... what is it?

If you're like most people, you access websites across multiple devices -- a desktop, iPad, Kindle, cell phones, etc., and each device has a different screen size. Responsive web design is the task of making sure that the website your browsing is able to respond to each of those devices' screen size on the fly.

Flexible Grids

One of the most common ways developers accomplish this is through the use of flexible grids. A flexible grid is a series of code that makes a website shift and scale the stuff on the website automatically. What's shifted and scaled includes the layout, images, text sizes, and the general position of things. It's done with CSS media queries.

The meta-concept of responsive web design

People often credit Ethan Marcotte for the concept of Responsive Web Design. In May 2010, he published an article titled, Responsive Web Design. In it, he drew a parallel between web design and responsive architectural design. You see, one problem many buildings have is space. Build a room too small, and large groups of people won't fit comfortably. Build a room too large, and small groups of people won't fit comfortably. The solution was to move the walls. Some buildings use partitions; others use machines to move the walls mechanically. Problem solved. Ethan argued that web developers could use the same principle in web design. By using code (CSS media queries), we could adjust the web site's content to flex to the devices' screen size.
The affect CSS media queries had within web development can't be overstated. It's arguably one of the best solutions we have to answer the compatibility demands our innumerable devices and their respective screen sizes place on web designers. And this demand is so vast that some business models entirely revolve around designing plugins that allow code illiterate people to create responsive websites. It's that important.

And this sparked an entirely new way of thinking about web design.

There are a lot of screen resolutions

New mobile devices are created every year. And more devices equal additional screen resolutions, which also include orientations (portrait and landscape). Given the rising popularity and capability of smartphones, how is someone able to design for all these ever-evolving situations?

We make everything flexible

Flexible layouts were a “luxury add-on” for websites a few years ago. And things weren't THAT flexible. Back then, the only things that were flexible were the layout columns (i.e., structural elements) and the text. Images more often than not break the layout as it resized, and even flexible structural elements broke down when sized down small enough.

Today, things are much more flexible. Images can be coded to adjust automatically, and we have workarounds to prevent layouts from entirely breaking down (although they may become squished and illegible in the process). While it’s not a total fix, the solutions we have today give us far more options. Added bonus: today's flexibility's perfect for devices that switch from portrait to landscape or for when users switch from a large computer screen to an iPad.


I hope this brief article helps you better understand what a responsive website is. While there is a ton more information out there about this, this should be enough to help you understand what this all is. So you're aware, there are limitations to CSS Media queries and flexible/fluid grids we haven't talked about. Maybe I'll write something about that in the future. But for now, responsive websites provide you, the user, a custom website designed for you without the developer having to spend too much time coding every single screen size. I call that a win-win.

Google Is Removing Third Party Cookies by 2022

Google Is Removing Third Party Cookies by 2022

A quick summary. Google's replacing third-party cookies with browser-based tools. They say their goal is to increase user privacy and personalization.

What are third-party cookies?

A third-party cookie's a cookie that's downloaded to your computer by your browser from a website OTHER than the one you're visiting. For example, you visit and you recieve a cookie from

A bit more about cookies.
Cookies are tiny bits of data stored on your computer. They are designed to store information on your computer for later use. Some examples include your shopping cart items in an eCommerce website (such as shopify), information for analytics (like if you're a new or returning user), or login information (so when you return your preferences are saved). While this is all well and good, cookies also have some serious drawbacks if you're concerned with privacy.

As mentioned above, cookies provide and track data. And the tracking extends far beyond your current browsing session. Advertisers and marketers keep track of as much of your browsing history as possible, and use this to create mini-profiles and campaigns targetting you. Here's a common scenario I'm sure you've expereinced: you browse look up some information on a car, or visit a site to read some reviews about boots. Next thing you know, you begin seeing advertisements for everything you've recently browsed in popular social media channels like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Does this mean in-browser advertising and targeted advertisements are gone?
No. Instead, Google intends to gather your data directly through its browser Chrome (rather than through a cookie). Any leftover cookies will be handled differently, for example, their data will be sent only over HTTPS (instead of HTTP), amongst some other changes.

There's a bit of speculation and uncertainty on how exactly cookies will be handled, and the entire roadmap isn't out. So, in order to avoid speculation, I'll stop the article here and provide an update when more concrete information is available.

Missing or empty title tags | SEO Tutorials

Missing or empty title tags.
SEO Tutorials

A title tag is a HTML element which titles the page (surprise!). This is important because the title is displayed to the user in Google’s SERPs (i.e, search). Without a clear, accurate, targeted title, people won’t click through to your website. 


Continue reading “Missing or empty title tags | SEO Tutorials”

How to optimize Headers H1 – H6 | SEO Tutorials

How to optimize Headers H1 – H6 | SEO Tutorials

Here’s the easiest way to optimize your web page’s header tags: structure them as you would a book, essay or short article. Unsure how to do this?? Here’s some why and how.

Continue reading “How to optimize Headers H1 – H6 | SEO Tutorials”

How to handle duplicate content | SEO Tutorials

How to handle duplicate content, like duplicate pages, titles & headings.
SEO Tutorials

The definition of Duplicate Content.

Your content’s flagged as duplicate content by search engines when it’s found on other pages within your own domain or found on someone else’s website. I’d also like to add that the content doesn’t need to be identical in order to be considered a duplicate, similar is enough.

Continue reading “How to handle duplicate content | SEO Tutorials”

Is PageRank Important Anymore? | SEO Tutorials

Is PageRank Important Anymore?
SEO Tutorials

Pagerank is formula that Google uses to judge the value of a page. The value of each page is determined by the quantity and quality of the pages linking towards it and and outwards from it. For example, if you have a page on spriggets, and many people are linking to your page because it's that useful, your page will be judged as having high value, which means a better Pagerank for you. But this is a two-way street. Your outward links also contribute to your own Pagerank.

Now, this is heavily simplified, however, it's most likely all you need to know understand Pageranking in general.

How a links value affects Pagerank: Quality vs Quantity: So, the quantity part is easy to understand -- the more links towards you the better. BUT! The people linking towards you have to have value in order to be valuable to you. If they're not high value, more specifically, if they are spam links (links purchased in an attempt to game the system), they will negatively affect your Pagerank.

Google removed the public Pagerank score: Awhile back an SEO expert could install tools into their web browser that would show a page's Pagerank. This was then used as a metric to either cold-call call clients (by claiming their rank sucked and could be improved) or by proving to the client you've done your job (by raising their Pagerank). This led to a somewhat inflated importance towards Pagerank, and people would prioritize it over other things.

Back to the post question, Is PageRank Dead? Yes... and no. If you have valuable content, people will link to you. And that's good. However, in 2009 Google removed the PageRank metric from Google Webmaster entirely. So, here's how I would phrase the answer to this question: the metric is no longer available; Google has shut it down. Therefore, I'd seriously question the intentions of anyone selling me some product or service via a Pagerank score. However, I'd still emphasize that building quality content, i.e., content that is so valuable that people would link to it, should be your #1 priority because it will positively affect your site / your business.

Side Note, Linking Scheming, a HUGE no-no. Google is very aware of the fact that there are always people who will try to game the system. And they'll heavily penalize your site for it. Some people have reported that your site can be penalized for months after you've cleaned it up.

How broken links and 404’s affect my web site | SEO Tutorials

How broken links and 404's affect my web site.

What is a 404 HTTP error?

A 404 HTTP error is a the error code your browser returns when you follow a link to a page that doesn't exist (or that you've miss-spelled).

You'll find broken links over the web. And, to be honest, they're not that big of a deal because

a) they're simple to fix once caught
b) Google stance is that broken links don't affect your web page's organic ranking.

However, just because they're not hurting your ranking doesn't mean you shouldn't fix them. People who browse your site who recieve multiple 404 errors will typically leave your site frustrated.


What if I'm deleting a website page on my site, or I want to rename it?The solution's very easy. If you've renamed a page's URL (e.g., the name up top from www:// to www://, you can do a 301 redirect. That way, when the user types in the old URL, your site will automatically reroute them to the new URL. If you're forever getting rid of that content, you would have your site intentioally return a 410 error, which is a browsers way of saying GONE vs a 404's NOT FOUND.

Do I need to repair Every 404 my webmaster search console returns?No. Google states that you can safely ignore them ... because they don't know which ... URLs are important to you vs. which are supposed to 404.

Is there anything I can do to make the user experience better?Absoloutly. You have two options.

1) Create a custom 404 page that returns something more useful that CONTENT NOT FOUND
2) Add some code to your web site that redirects all content that doesn't exist to your homepage.

Please bookmark this page if you find it useful. Another short piece will be released every few days.



Should you buy an SSL (HTTPS) certificate for your website? In short, yes. Whether or not you’re selling products online and taking payments, your website should be utilizing an SSL certificate.

Why you SHOULD use an SSL certificate.

Google Security blog post titled Moving towards a more secure web, Emily Schechter, Chrome Security Team, states that

Beginning in January 2017 (Chrome 56), we’ll mark HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure.

So, if you’re currently selling products online or taking credit card information, it’s you’re in your best interest to purchase and install an SSL certificate on your website.

Whether you intend to sell products online or take credit card information in the future or not, it’s still in your best interest to purchase and install an SSL certificate on your website because the long-term plan for Google’s Chrome Security team is to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure. Lacking an SSL will directly negatively impact your rankings with Chrome users because their browser will bring up a warning stating your site is possibly insecure. This is enough to turn most people away from your website.

Need help installing an SSL on your website?

We will do that for you. Simply contact us and we can take care of the entire process of installing an SSL on your website.