Year: 2021

Why my website is slow?

A website can be delayed for many reasons, and the main is the web hosting. However, the most important and the ones that appear most often are the following.

1. Website Hosting

The most common problem faced by today’s websites as when choosing a hosting provider we usually look first at the cheaper results which provide a shared hosting package which however does not guarantee good speeds and usually results in a slow server response. Another reason that the server may not respond properly is because the server may not be optimized for the applications to be run (WordPress, Joomla, Opencart etc).

A proper hosting package should thus provide fast loading of the website, proper and immediate support on server-side issues as well as optimization for the specific application to be used. The issue of scaling is also very important, ie your package can be upgraded easily and quickly if your page traffic increases.

2. Image Size & Dimensions

We all know the expression “A picture equals a thousand words”.The size of the images plays a very big role in the speed of your website, so you better pay special attention to it. By size I mean the Kilobytes or Megabytes (better not get there of course) of each image. So the images must be uploaded to the website in the ideal size so as not to spoil the result that the user sees.

Most of the time, the images we upload to our website contain “junk” bytes, making it slower and slower. Also, the images that must be uploaded to the website must always be in the dimension we need them. For example, if we need an image of 800×600 pixels, then we need to upload such an image and not an image of 1600×1200 pixels. Because it automatically means that we are uploading twice as much image as we need, so more data, therefore a slower website.

3. Bandwidth Thieves

A typical example is the plugins of a CMS (WordPress, Joomla etc). Many of them you may find useful for your page, but their code is so burdensome that it may be better to rethink their usefulness. Another example is the CMS templates as some of them are not optimized enough in terms of speed. Also, bandwidth thieves can be considered the ads we have on our website to earn revenue as they significantly burden the size of our page.

4. No or incorrect use of tools to speed up the page

We are referring to tools that will help you shrink your page in size, keep photos in faster accessible memory (commonly known as cache) to not load every time from the beginning or even select the nearest server to display your website from the nearest geographical distance. These tools may several times not be set up properly on your host server or may not be used at all due to an omission.

But the truth is that they play a huge role as they can make a huge difference in the loading speed of your website. The time it takes for your website to load and be seen by the user is one of the most important factors for its success and increase your sales, whether we are talking about an eshop or a service company.

5. Bulky and Messy Code

Inefficient and / or bulky code is the enemy of any website, and in most cases it is difficult to manage. For example, many developers use spaces in the CSS code to make it more read-friendly, but in the end they cause a slight delay in the whole web page.

Condensing / shrinking the code can lead to a noticeable improvement in speed. If you have a good knowledge of Web Development, take a look at the CSS files for unnecessary spaces and line breaks.

6. Excessive Flash Use

In fact, using Flash can greatly slow down your website. Indian web developers describe Flash as “The Sumo of the Internet” – large, bulky and displaces responsiveness on mobile phones.

So do not sacrifice the speed of your website for a few more effects, which few smartphone users will have access to.

So why is it so slow to load a website?

And when we say one of the most important factors, we mean first of all the users who visit your page (we have all closed pages that take a long time to load, going straight to the next Google results) but of course also for Google and your position in search results. In fact, the two are usually interlinked as the bad user experience brings more bounces (users who come in and out) which shows Google that the page is not good enough to show it to users. A website can be delayed for many reasons. 

Charley Spektor On Importance Of Link Building For Home Depot

Charley Spektor is the co-founder of Saratoga B2B Group and has a very deep and rich career in digital marketing, from working at IDG, TechTarget, Cheapflights, and Stone Temple Consulting with Eric Enge who I also interviewed. At Stone Temple Consulting he ran the SEO team working on the Home Depot client.

He actually said there was a ton of link building done on Home Depot. They used the Home Depot brand to email people from the Home Depot name in order to publish external content on third party sites with links back to Home Depot. Charley had a blast working on the Home Depot account because he loves hardware stores.

The big difference working on Home Depot’s retail site and working with B2B clients is link building. He said with B2B, he has not built a single link. I found it interesting that Home Depot needed links but B2Bs did not, but Charley explained that most B2Bs don’t have many links, so there is less competition there. The internal linking is key here, he said. They build internal content ecosystems that helps Google understand what the website is about.

His team writes a lot of blog posts and pillar pages, the pillar pages link to the blog posts and the blog posts link to the content hubs. They work very closely with their clients, who are the subject matter experts, to produce that level content. With the nature of technology, there is always something new coming out and it gives a smaller company an advantage with content development and competing in SEO. Also, if the content doesn’t work for SEO, it is great content from a user perspective that simply works for the web site – so it is a win win he said.

You can learn more about Charley Spektor at

Part two is next week!

You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.

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How to Set Up Google My Business Listings

Google My Business is a core element of local SEO, so it’s important to highlight at this point just how crucial it is that your listing data is accurate and kept up to date.

Research suggests that 50% of consumers visit a store or business the day of performing a local search, such as ‘dry cleaners near me’, and that 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online, so you’ll want you keep your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) consistent across all your listings, not just GMB.

Setting up your Google My Business profile is a critical part of local SEO. Get it right the first time with the following guide.

While there are lots of ways to monitor and improve GMB performance, to start with you’ll need to set up your basic profile, free of the bells and whistles that will come later.

1. Set up a new Google Account

If you want to use any Google service—be it Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs or Google My Business—you need to have a Google account…that’s just the way it is. Fortunately getting one is free, and businesses just need to go here and click the “To manage a business” button.

If you want to create a new Gmail address then your username can only contain letters, numbers and periods, or you can choose to sign-in with an existing personal or business email address. Use an email that you’ll have immediate access to, as you’ll be asked to login and retrieve a security code.

After being asked to provide a phone number, date of birth and gender (and to agree to the ubiquitous terms and conditions), you can now start to build out your business profile and get noticed!

2. Head to

This area is your Google My Business gateway. You’ll be coming back to it regularly so take the time to save it as a bookmark, and when you’re ready click ‘Manage Now’.

3. Enter your business name

If you have the same name as another business in your region, you’ll see the autocomplete function suggest those businesses for you. This is to allow you to see if your business listing already exists (to avoid accidental duplication), and to add a new GMB profile to an existing business if you’ve just opened a new location.

Example of Google My Business business name entry form

4. What to do if your business is already claimed

Click the “Request access” button and submit the form with as much detail as possible. You’ll receive a confirmation email of the request, and Google will contact the email currently associated with the business.

Unfortunately it’s then a case of wait-and-see for 7 days before you can reach out to Google Business Support.

How To Set Up Gmb Screenshot

If during this time you receive confirmation that account ownership has been passed over you, then great!

If you receive an email saying that you’ve been denied ownership, then the best thing to do is to raise a question with the GMB Help Community and get advice from one of their volunteers.

5. Enter the address of the business location

(Only if this is where your business engages in face-to-face interactions with customers).

Google My Business address input form example

If you’re a Service Area Business that delivers goods and services to your customers, you’ll need to tick the box at the bottom of this form. SABs have two options here:

  • If you can receive customers at your business address, enter your address here, tick the box and click ‘Next’.
  • If you don’t have any premises where customers can visit you, leave the address field blank, tick the box and then tick the ‘Hide my address (it’s not a store)’ box that appears below.

All businesses that deliver goods and services directly to their customers will have the option to specify a Service Area in the next step.

Form to specify a service area on Google My Business example

6. Specify service areas (Service Area Businesses only).

Before you can choose your business category, you’ll need to specify the areas you serve, so that Google can accurately surface your business for searches in those areas, even without a physical address. Enter one or more regions, cities, or ZIP codes that your business serves.

Google My Business service area selection example

N.b. At the time of writing, Google My Business is phasing out the ‘Distance around your business location’ option and has stated that these will be replaced, so we’d recommend forgoing this option and specifying regions, cities, or ZIP codes instead. Some businesses are also finding that they are being forced to provide a physical address as a method of fighting spam.

7. Choose your business category.

This is a very important field that will not only strongly influence the kinds of search terms you appear in Google for, but also appear within your Google My Business profile. It’s also something worth testing when you come to update your Google business listing.

Google My Business category choice example

While you are able to adjust this later (which will require re-verification – more on this later), we’d recommend researching competitors and looking through a full list to find the most accurate category for your business.

N.b. Some Google My Business features are category-specific. For example, hotel listings show class ratings and list any amenities offered. Food and drink businesses can also add URLs to their listing for online orders, reservations, and their menu, and they can even add menu items directly into GMB. Services and health and beauty businesses may be able to add a booking button to their listing.

These are just a few examples of the sophistication that Google is developing for GMB, so it’s worth staying up-to-date on new additions to Google My Business.

8. Add a contact phone number and website URL.

Neither is compulsory but are strongly recommended if you want to take advantage of GMB functionalities like call tracking. If you ever need to change this when updating your Google business listing, be sure to make those changes to all other business listings, too.

Google My Business add contact details example

If you don’t already have a website, Google will even give you the option to create a new ‘Google Website’ based on the information you’ve provided. However, as we’ve shown before, there are plenty of reasons local businesses need their own unique websites.

9. Complete your Google My Business Verification.

Google My Business verification example

Google obviously needs to be able to prove that your business is where you say it is, and for entirely new GMB profiles, you have three options:

  1. Postcard verification. This is the most-used verification process, and is available to all businesses. With this process, a verification postcard will be sent to the address you entered earlier (it should reach you within five days). Once received, you can enter the code in your GMB account to verify the business. If your code doesn’t show up, you can click the ‘Request another code’ banner at the top of the screen in GMB.
  2. Phone verification. Some businesses have the option to verify their listing over the phone. You’ll know you’re eligible if you see the ‘Verify by phone’ option at the beginning of the verification process. Using this process, you’ll receive an automated message with a verification code, that you’ll then need to enter into GMB.
  3. Email verification. Like phone verification, this is only available to some businesses, and you’ll know you qualify for it if you see the ‘Verify by email’ option. This simple process sees you receive a verification code in the inbox of the Google Account associated with the GMB listing and entering it at the verification stage. Be sure you have access to this inbox before proceeding with this option.

The two other options are instant verification, which is only available if you’ve already verified your business’s website with Google Search Console, and bulk verification, for businesses managing ten or more locations. You can read more about both of these options here.

What’s Next?

Once you have an officially verified listing, it’s time to optimize your Google My Business!

Now you can:

To benchmark your business’s GMB performance against others in your industry, take a look at our Google My Business Insights Study.

Boost your local marketing with BrightLocal

Setting up your Google My Business profile is just the start of your local marketing journey. Competition is rife, no matter how niche your business is, so it’s crucial that you have the local SEO tools on hand to help you understand your local search presence.

That’s true of your website as well as your Google My Business listing (remember that the Local Pack appears above organic search results for local searches and is only made up of GMB listings), so you’ll want a toolset that gives you an overview of how both are performing.

BrightLocal’s Rank Checker, Local Search Audit, and GMB Audit are great ways to get this up-to-date and accurate performance data for you or your clients. Get started with a free 14-day trial today!

Jamie Pitman

Jamie heads up BrightLocal’s content team, ensuring we produce insightful articles, research and resources that enable businesses and SEOs to get even better results in local search.

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Udit Mhatre On AI & Dark Patterns SEO

In part one of my interview with Udit Mhatre, the Senior SEO Manager at DuMont Project, we talked about doing SEO in India vs the US.

How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Google SERP

Now Udit said he is spending a lot of time studying how RankBrain and BERT work and he is seeing the quality of content is adapting to satisfy Google’s new algorithms. He said it is now more about content than building links. He said content is more important to Google’s ranking algorithms more so because of RankBrain and BERT. He also said linkless mentions (citations without hyperlinks) do matter because it builds sentiment with Google.

Google did say that there is no way to optimize for RankBrain and BERT. But the type of content that Google matches on for the most relevant for searchers. We then dive into a bit on the history of links vs content. Content won out by the way. He also brings up some examples of how passage indexing might help.

UI/UX Dark Pattern Hacks:

There are some brands that make it very difficult to terminate your account with them and consumers do not want you go through all those steps to terminate. So anything that a brand can do to not impact their website publicly but help their brand, from a UI/UX perspective, is called a dark pattern. Companies sneak items in your cart or subscribe you to a service without you knowing, it is sneaky. Google did come out with methods to check some of this behavior for merchant center. Also, using various colors and text to push your website visitors to click on buttons, but some sites are using these methods to trick people into actions they do not want to take.

Right now, he said most of this is not hurting SEO right now but he thinks one day it will hurt your SEO and rankings. Here is the example of the story of the site who mistreated its customers to get negative reviews.

You can learn more about Udit Mhatre on LinkedIn.

You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.

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What’s New in Local Search Grid? More Reasons to Put Your Rankings on the Map!

In the months since we launched Local Search Grid, we’ve been hard at work adding new functionality and updates to make it the de facto geo grid of choice.

Alongside the usual, subtle quality-of-life updates you’re not supposed to notice, we’ve launched some big new features that take understanding and improving your local search performance to the next level.

Here’s why there’s never been a better time to put your rankings on the map!

New Key Metrics in Competitor Tables

One of the really neat things you can do with Local Search Grid is to track your competitors and find out why their Google My Business profiles might be winning in local SERPs. You can view the business category they’re using on GMB, see the number of reviews and their average review rating, and find out where you might have an angle to beat them.

We’ve since added two key on-site SEO metrics to this table, number of backlinks and website Domain Authority, so competitor espionage can uncover more routes to winning than ever before!


What's New in Local Search Grid? More Reasons to Put Your Rankings on the Map! - 0

Links: This is the number of links we’ve found on the internet that direct to the business’s website. Comparing the number of links between competitors allows you to understand where you might be able to beat them in organic and local search by building links back to your site.

Authority: This number, out of 100, tells you how likely a business’s website is to rank in organic search, and is a good indicator of their overall SEO performance. If all of your competitors are beating you here, you might want to look at improving your website’s SEO.

SERP Screenshots

We’ve all been there: you’re talking about rankings and your local SEO client says “well, when I looked on Google…” With this update you can now roll your eyes back to the front of your head and calmly present your client with proof of the true picture of their rankings positions.

This much-sought-after update allows you to see what a Google Local Finder search looked like, in-browser, when our system performed it.


What's New in Local Search Grid? More Reasons to Put Your Rankings on the Map! - 1


This will help you communicate rankings performance to skeptical clients and stakeholders by showing results in a format they’re familiar with. It also really helps inform and educate clients about local SEO!

Visit the FAQ to find out more.

Purchase Addons

Regularly running out of credits or tired of manually buying more?

Good news! We’ve added bundles of Local Search Grid credits to the Addons page, making it easy to customize the number of credits you get every month.


What's New in Local Search Grid? More Reasons to Put Your Rankings on the Map! - 2


Note: only BrightLocal Account Owners can view and purchase Addons.

Archive Report Runs

There are many reasons why you might want to clear the decks in Local Search Grid. No longer have use for a report run but don’t want to delete it? Have a report run you’d rather not appear in your white-label report?

Well, now you can archive individual report runs with ease, and access your Report History at any time from within Local Search Grid.


What's New in Local Search Grid? More Reasons to Put Your Rankings on the Map! - 3


​​Visit the FAQ to find out more.

Support for Enterprise Plans

Great news for agencies and brands managing 100+ locations: you can now set up custom plans for Local Search Grid credits!

This means no more repetitive manual purchasing of additional credits for businesses working at scale.

Speak with the Enterprise Team to get these set up in your custom plan, or read our launch article for more info.

Local Search Grid Module Added to Brightlocal Academy Course

Want to get the most out of Local Search Grid? We’ve added a module focused on doing just this to our Level Up Your Local SEO with BrightLocal course in BrightLocal Academy.


What's New in Local Search Grid? More Reasons to Put Your Rankings on the Map! - 4


In it you’ll learn how to use Local Search Grid to get the clearest picture of local rankings, alongisde using the powerful competitor benchmarking features to reveal where you should be focusing your ongoing optimization efforts!

You can find out more and join BrightLocal Academy for free by following the relevant link below.

If you’re an existing BrightLocal Academy member, enroll on the course, or if you’ve enrolled already, jump straight in and complete the Local Search Grid module (you don’t have to worry about re-taking the final exam again!).

We hope you enjoy these improvements as we continue to make the most affordable geo grid on the market. Want a particular feature? Let us know in the comments below!

The post What’s New in Local Search Grid? More Reasons to Put Your Rankings on the Map! appeared first on BrightLocal.

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Cheese: What are its types and its value in your diet

Undoubtedly, cheese is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. Also many people work in cheese production. It is a product rich in nutrients, prepared by processing the milk of cow, sheep, goat or buffalo.

The history of cheese

The history of cheese-making is lost in the depths of prehistory. No one knows how it first appeared or how the processing of milk in order to turn it into cheese was introduced.

The beginning of cheese-making, according to historians, took place after the domestication of the first ruminants, around 8000 BC. A legend attributes the preparation of the first cheese to a random event. Once upon a time, a merchant crossed the desert carrying milk in a pouch made of sheep stomach.

The heat of the desert and the presence of natural rennet on the wall of the container, caused the milk to ferment which “cut”, that is, it was separated into cheese and whey. The merchant tasted it, was fed up with the cheese, quenched his thirst with the whey and tried to reproduce the process, thus beginning the art of cheese-making.

In ancient Greece, cheese-making had already developed in the years of Homer. In fact, in the Odyssey, reference is made to the cheeses prepared by Cyclops Polyphemus in his cave from the milk of his sheep. However, cheese-making in a more organized form developed later, in Roman times.

How many types of cheese are there?

Cheese is the most popular dairy product in the world. There are hundreds of types of cheese and thousands of variations of them, while most people have to display dozens of local cheese products.

There are many ways to divide cheese into types, and all cheeses belong to more than one category at a time. For example, there are soft, semi-hard and hard, sweet and salty, yellow, blue and white, fresh and long ripening, those that melt at high temperature and those that remain solid, etc.

What are the most popular types of cheese in the world?

The most popular types of cheese worldwide are parmesan and mozzarella from Italy, cheddar from England, French Brie, Dutch Gouda and of course Greek feta, which is gaining more and more fans all over the world. Both its flavor and the worldwide spread of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet have boosted feta sales in Europe and America.

How are cheeses combined?

The delicious combinations of cheeses are unlimited. Almost all cheeses can be eaten alone or in combination with other cheeses and cold cuts. Usually in a plate of cheeses and cold cuts, the mild ones coexist with the most intense and spicy flavors.

The cheeses are combined with all kinds of baked goods such as bread, rusks, breadsticks, etc., as well as fruits such as figs, grapes and watermelon. Some cheeses such as gruyere and cream cheese go well with honey, creating interesting and special combinations.

The wine that traditionally accompanies yellow cheeses is dry red, while white cheeses go best with mild, fresh, white wines.

As for beer, it has always been a perfect pair with cheese. The connoisseurs even claim that the darker the color of the cheese, the darker the color of the beer. That is why they combine white cheeses with blond beers, light yellow cheeses with red beers and yellow and blue cheeses with dark beers.

What is the nutritional value of cheese?

Cheese has great nutritional value, as it contains all the benefits of milk in high concentration and is more digestible. Contains 10-30% proteins of high nutritional value. In fact, hard cheeses contain more protein than even meat.

Cheeses contain fats that depending on their type range from 1% to 50%. Low fat cheeses that do not lack rich flavor are now widely available on the market, while they are suitable for those who follow a low fat diet.

The calcium contained in cheeses is more easily digested by the human body than that of milk, while it is also found in much higher concentrations, especially in yellow cheeses.

Also, cheese contains linoleic acid which can potentially reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. Finally, in small quantities it can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant as it contains much less lactose than milk.

Greek cheese production

Greece produces a wide variety of cheese products, based mainly on goat’s and sheep’s milk.Let’s see some of the most popular Greek cheeses and their characteristics.


The most common Greek cheese. It is a soft, white, salty cheese, made from sheep’s or goat’s milk, has a sour taste and is preserved in brine. It is usually eaten raw, plain, in a salad, accompanied by fruit, or used to fill pies, baked or fried.


It is a hard cheese that looks like gruyere but has a saltier taste. Produced from sheep’s or goat’s milk. It is usually not consumed plain but grated, flavoring the pasta with its spark.


A very hard cheese, with a spicy salty taste produced either from sheep, goat or goat’s and sheep’s milk. Its rich aroma is due to its minimal maturation in three months. Its color varies depending on the milk mixture used in its production.


Mizithra is a special cheese produced by mixing whey with fresh sheep’s or goat’s milk. We find it either dry, ideal for rubbing, or green, eaten raw or as an accompaniment to fruits and pastries.

Read more about cheese production:

Local Citations: The Complete Guide

Local citation management is a core part of local SEO and can be a great foundation to build upon, especially for businesses just starting out on their journey and agencies working with them.

In this complete guide to local listings management, we’ll walk through:

  • What local citations are, in the context of local SEO
  • Why local citations matter and how they can help you 
  • How to successfully execute a local citation building campaign
  • And more!

Get ready to learn everything there is to know about local citations. In fact, you might want to bookmark this resource and come back to it throughout your local SEO journey.

The post Local Citations: The Complete Guide appeared first on BrightLocal.

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Justin Abrams On Human Experience Marketing & Adaptation of Technology

In part one with Justin Abrams, the Senior SEO Consultant at BrightEdge and also the co-founder of Cause of a Kind, we spoke about SEO customer success and a bit about mountain climbing. In part two we go into human experience marketing and the adaptation of technology.

(0:16) Human Experience Marketing:

As you will quickly see, Justin has a special skill of understanding the person he is talking with and really being able to relate to that person on their own level. Our first topic of conversation was related to how to use human experience in your marketing. Justin explained there is a shift in digital business going on. Early on, people were focused on driving web performance but SEOs were like the black sheep of the business. Now, there is this shift going on from a search marketer to a human experience marketer. It is all about how does what I write, what services I provide, what I build server a human need. It is about putting the human at the epicenter of the decision making process.

(8:05) Adaptation of Technology:

We have seen a huge increase in start ups, and some of these companies that has changed human behavior, such as Uber. We are starting to see new technologies being built around human needs. Technologists and developers are now thinking about the next step in their human experience and how their customers, friends, etc can be helped with technology. Doing a search first experience is what many are thinking about. Looking at the data to see if search data to see if there is a need for a new technology, is there a market, is it competitive, and so on. Organizations are looking at all of this from a search first perspective.

You can learn more about Justin Abrams on LinkedIn.

You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.

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Local Quizness – What Happened in Local SEO in March?

The world of local marketing never stands still, and staying on top of the trends can take its toll. 

That’s why we created Local Quizness – a monthly quiz to help you recap the biggest stories affecting local businesses and marketers. Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions – and rest assured you’re aware of the news that matters most.

Happy with your score? Share this on Twitter using the hashtag #LocalQuizness!

If there are any you missed, check out all the links below:

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