Richard Cummings

Director of SEO, Social Media, and Web Content Development at The SEO System
Richard Cummings has been practicing online marketing for many years and has setup and optimized hundreds of WordPress sites.He founded The SEO System to provide SEO, social media, and online marketing services and software to businesses.
website-optimization-tips

5 “Beat the Competition” Website Optimization Tips

website-optimization-tipsWhen it comes to website optimization, the chances are that your website is NOT optimized at all or only partially optimized.

How do I know this?

Hundreds of people visit our free domain evaluation tool every year and none of them complete the evaluation without finding things that they need to optimize on their website.

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Richard Cummings5 “Beat the Competition” Website Optimization Tips
Choosing the Best WordPress Permalink Structure

The Perfect WordPress Permalink Structure – There’s Only 1 Answer!

Choosing the Best WordPress Permalink StructureQuestion: What is the best permalink structure for WordPress? My company has setup their WordPress permalink structure using a year/date structure and I don’t think that’s the ideal solution. What do you think?
Mary ~ Bethesda, Maryland

Mary, this is a great question and one that, ideally, is given proper consideration before companies setup their website.

However, as you are experiencing right now and as I have seen countless times, WordPress website owners do not give sufficient thought to this and they end up with a bad permalink structure that then needs to be fixed later on.

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Richard CummingsThe Perfect WordPress Permalink Structure – There’s Only 1 Answer!
Google Analytics How To: CTAs & CTRs

A Google Analytics Walk-Through: Easily Tracking User Behavior [CTAs & CTRs]

tracking CTR & CTAs in Analytics

A Google Analytics Walk Through

Google Analytics often seems too difficult, but it doesn’t have to be if you know exactly where to click.

In this post, I am going to take you on a Google Analytics walk-through to show you how to easily track user behavior [Call-To-Actions and Click-Through-Rates] to determine how to improve your website.

Most small businesses never do this.

They simply install Google Analytics and then do little else.  They will then occasionally visit their Google Analytics page and look at the total amount of traffic their website is getting.

Why do people not dig deeper with Google Analytics?  Because it’s seem so dispiritingly complicated.

Well, not so today.

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Richard CummingsA Google Analytics Walk-Through: Easily Tracking User Behavior [CTAs & CTRs]
the-seo-system-mobile-friendly

How Can I Tell If My Website Is Mobile Friendly?

the-seo-system-mobile-friendlyQuestion:  I have been reading so much about how my website should be mobile-friendly.  But, as a small business owner, I have little time to attend to my website.  How can I quickly tell if my homepage and my entire site show up well on everyone’s mobile phone?  It looks good on mine :)  Thanks, Barbara, Dallas, Texas

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Richard CummingsHow Can I Tell If My Website Is Mobile Friendly?
google-rankbrain-publish-content

Google & RankBrain: A Simple Example of How to “Time Manage” The SERPs in 2018

google-rankbrain-publish-contentDid you know that if you don’t update your web content, you may be penalized by Google’s new algorithm, RankBrain?

Let’s examine how this can happen and what you can do to prevent it!

Have you ever modified your Google search to only show web content created in the past year, past month, or past week?

Of course you have, and I have, and many others do as well.

I do it because I research many technical issues.  And often, an article written in 2015 does not serve my purposes in 2018.

But this is not just about technology searches.  It’s about nearly every search.  Searchers want the latest information!  We want now!

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Richard CummingsGoogle & RankBrain: A Simple Example of How to “Time Manage” The SERPs in 2018
titles not showing on yahoo and bing

Web Page Title Not Showing on Bing/Yahoo or Says “Official Site”

titles not showing on yahoo and bingSeveral clients have asked me about their web page titles not showing up properly on Bing and Yahoo.

Frequently, instead of the web page title, Bing and Yahoo will say “Company Name – Official Site as you see depicted in the image to the right.

These images are taken from a Yahoo and Bing search for the company Intel.  However, instead of saying  “Intel | Data Center Solutions, IOT, and PC Innovation” which is what their HTML title element (technically, the title is an element and not a meta tag) says, the title of the web page simply says “Intel – Official Site”.

You may take solace in the fact that, if it’s happening to Intel, you probably cannot do anything about it.

But you’d be wrong.

So, let’s take a look at why this is important, why it’s happening, and what you can do about it.

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Richard CummingsWeb Page Title Not Showing on Bing/Yahoo or Says “Official Site”
how-to-track-facebook-call-now

How To Track the Facebook “Call Now” Button

how-to-track-facebook-call-nowThe Facebook “Call Now” button introduced a great way for customers to immediately contact your business when they are using Facebook on their cell phone.

But, after implementing the “Call Now” feature in your Facebook local awareness ads, you will have one obvious question that Facebook is less willing to answer:  Are people clicking your Facebook “Call Now button?

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Richard CummingsHow To Track the Facebook “Call Now” Button
jon-loomer-facebook-webinar-review

A Review: Facebook Keys to Success Webinar by Jon Loomer

jon-loomer-facebook-webinar-reviewI just “completed” Jon Loomer’s Facebook Keys to Success Webinar and will provide you with a quick review of it here.

Why do I use the word “completed” in quotes?  Well, as you’ll see below, it’s long and I did not quite make it through the entire video.  That is not to say that the content is not engaging, though I do offer some suggestions below; the content is engaging but I was specifically interested in particular sections and so I focused on those.

One of the particular sections that I was interested in was Facebook Ad targeting.  And coincidentally, as quick proof that his methods do work, I signed up for the webinar via a Facebook targeted ad.

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Richard CummingsA Review: Facebook Keys to Success Webinar by Jon Loomer
Google Non Secure Warnings

Google Branding Websites as “Not Secure” – Live Examples – August 2018 Update

Google Non Secure WarningsSince my article long ago exposing the 10 Facts & Myths of Secure (HTTPS) websites and my more recent Definitive HTTPS/SSL WordPress Upgrade Guide, Google has now provided increased incentive for those of you who have not yet upgraded your website to HTTPS — they will brand you as “Not Secure”!

The Google official announcement 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.”

Important Post Update – August 2018: Google Chrome now labels all http sites as ‘not secure’…not just pages with forms on them.

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Richard CummingsGoogle Branding Websites as “Not Secure” – Live Examples – August 2018 Update
adwords-average-montly-searches-changes

Google AdWords Now Limits Average Monthly Searches for “Low Spenders”

adwords-average-montly-searches-changesIf you’ve recently logged into Google AdWords to get keyword data, you may notice that the “Average Monthly Searches” column is now not nearly as useful.

The Average Monthly Search column in AdWords may now show something like the photo below:

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Richard CummingsGoogle AdWords Now Limits Average Monthly Searches for “Low Spenders”
Upgrade WordPress to HTTPS/SSL

The Easy HTTPS/SSL WordPress Upgrade [2018 Edition]

Upgrade WordPress to HTTPS/SSLHave you still not upgraded your WordPress website to HTTPS/SSL in 2018?  Well, the time is now.

I am going to give you the exact instructions on how to upgrade your WordPress website to SSL in under 3 hours.

“But wait,” you ask.  “I’ve heard that a WordPress SSL conversion takes tons of research and planning.”

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Richard CummingsThe Easy HTTPS/SSL WordPress Upgrade [2018 Edition]
SEO for small business - the statistics

SEO Small Business Statistics 2016: Do-It-Yourself vs Outsource?

SEO for small business - the statistics

Source: Clutch.co

Small businesses, you have a difficult decision to make regarding SEO. Do you do SEO in-house or should you outsource?

As you consider this decision, it’s always beneficial to know what your peers are doing and to find out if they are satisfied with their decision.

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Richard CummingsSEO Small Business Statistics 2016: Do-It-Yourself vs Outsource?
SEO Mistake

The One Giant SEO Mistake That You Are Making

SEO MistakeIf you were to name the one giant SEO mistake that you are making, what would it be?

Who me?  I’m not making any mistakes”.

You and I know that we all make mistakes and you are probably making this one giant SEO mistake.

My inspiration for this post comes from my SEO article of the week by Stephan Spencer:  5 super-common SEO mistakes content marketers make.

In his article, Stephan lists these 5 SEO mistakes that everyone is making:

  1. Hustling for likes instead of links
  2. Misplacing the content
  3. Targeting the wrong audience
  4. Being activity-focused
  5. No help from a power user

I highly recommend Stephan’s article as he articulates each position thoroughly.Read More

Richard CummingsThe One Giant SEO Mistake That You Are Making
unnatural-links-1

Google Unnatural Links Penalty Strikes Again!

On Saturday, many webmasters received a stinging letter from Google that begins:  “Google has detected a pattern of links from your site to other sites that is either unnatural or irrelevant.”

It’s as if it’s 2010 again when many webmasters were receiving Google Webspam penalties and having their websites completed decimated.

6 years later…should this still be happening?  I just asked this question rhetorically on Twitter:


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Richard CummingsGoogle Unnatural Links Penalty Strikes Again!