Users expect websites to be fast. As the world becomes increasingly mobile, and as consumers expect services to be on-demand and seamlessly delivered, having a poor site speed can seriously impact your SEO.

Google understands that the time it takes for a page to load is a key part of the overall user experience. Waiting for content to appear, being unable to interact with a page, and even noticing delays creates friction.

That friction costs not only time, but also money. Research from as far back as 2016 showed that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds. And those kinds of bad experiences can leave a lasting negative impression of a brand.

In fact, research shows that the level of stress from waiting for slow mobile results can be more stressful than watching a horror movie.

So it’s no surprise that Google has been measuring the speed of your site, and using that in their ranking algorithms, since 2010. More recently, in 2018, the speed of your site on/for mobile devices became a much more important signal, too. They understand that a good user experience is a fast user experience.

Frustration hurts your users, and hurts your rankings

And it’s not just Google – research from every corner of the web, on all aspects of consumer behavior, shows that speed has a huge impact on outcomes.

  • 47% of people expect a site to load in less than 2 seconds (wired.com)
  • 20% of users abandon their cart if the transaction process is too slow (radware.com)
  • Amazon found every 100ms of latency cost them 1% in sales
  • The BBC found they lost an additional 10% of users for every additional second their site took to load

These costs and this type of site abandonment happen because users don’t like to be frustrated. Poor experiences mean that they go elsewhere, visit other websites, and convert with competitors.

Those behaviors are easily tracked by Google (through bounces back to search engine results pages, short visits, and other signals), and are a strong signal that the page shouldn’t be ranking where it was.

Google wants a faster web

Speed isn’t only good for users – it’s good for Google, too. Slow websites are often slow because they’re inefficient. They may load too many large files, haven’t optimized their media, or don’t make use of modern technologies to serve their pages.

That means that Google has to consume more bandwidth, allocate more resources, and spend more money.

Across the whole web, every millisecond they can save, and every byte they don’t have to process, adds up quickly. And quite often, simple changes to configuration, processes or code can make websites much faster, with no drawbacks.

That may be one reason why Google is so heavily invested in the AMP Project, and why they’re so vocal in their education on performance.

A faster web is better for users, and reduces Google’s operating costs significantly. Either way, that means that they’re going to continue rewarding fast(er) sites.

Getting started

Unsurprisingly, some of the best resources on optimizing your website are from Google themselves.

We recommend that you explore their Web Fundamentals documentation to get an understanding of the techniques, tools, and approaches to building faster websites.

There are also a variety of tools available for measuring and monitoring the speed of your site. Here are a few which we recommend trying out:

  • Lighthouse, for Google Chrome – one of the most sophisticated performance measurement tools available, and great for benchmarking.
  • WebPageTest – provides a waterfall diagram of how all of the assets load on your website. Great for spotting slow resources and bottlenecks.
  • Our posts – we have a bunch of great blog posts which explore tools, techniques, and terminology!

Any questions? Let us know in the comments!

The post How site speed influences SEO appeared first on Yoast.

As a website gets bigger, it’s often hard to prevent pages from becoming duplicates or near-duplicates of each other. This can cause duplicate content issues. If you have two similar pages, and they are both eligible to rank for a certain keyphrase, the search engine simply doesn’t know which of the two URLs it should send the traffic to. To solve this, you can select a preferred URL, this is what we call the canonical URL.

Same content, multiple URLs

You might, for instance, have a post or product that is attached to two categories and exists under two URLs, like so:

https://example.com/black-shoes/black-and-red-shoes/
https://example.com/red-shoes/black-and-red-shoes/

If these URLs are both for the same product, choosing one as the canonical URL tells Google and other search engines which one to show in the search results.

Canonicals also enable you to point search engines to the original version of an article. Let’s say, you’ve written a post for another party that is published on their website. If you’d like to post it on your site too, you could agree on posting it with a canonical to the original version.

How to detect a canonical URL

A canonical URL can be seen in the source of a webpage, by searching for rel="canonical". It is an element only the search engines see, your users won’t be affected by it.

a canonical in the source code

An example of a canonical in the source code of one of our posts: it refers to the original version of the article that was first published on another website.

When to redirect, when to use a canonical

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Unlike with redirects, users don’t see your canonical. If you can redirect a URL without breaking your site. You should. But if redirecting makes your site illogical, setting the canonical is a viable solution.

Want to learn more? Read our Ultimate guide to canonical URLs.

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Every page on the web has an address, a URL, which stands for ‘Uniform Resource Locator’. Sometimes, content moves from one URL to another URL. That’s when a redirect is needed. A redirect automatically makes a browser go from one URL to another URL.

A redirect can point to any other URL: it doesn’t need to point to the same website. Redirects to another domain are sometimes referred to as cross-domain redirects.

Types of redirects

There are several ways of making a browser redirect. Redirects can be divided into two classes: serverside redirects and client-side redirects. Each of these can then be sub-divided into several types.

Serverside redirects

Serverside redirects are performed directly on the server and result in a tiny bit of content being sent to the browser, in so-called HTTP status headers. The browsers then know where to go and will follow immediately. These HTTP headers have a code for the type of serverside redirects, and a new location to which the browser should take you.

Redirect type Use case Browser impact SEO Impact
301 A permanent redirect, used for when a page has moved or for when a page has been deleted and similar content can be found elsewhere. Browsers will cache a 301 redirect and immediately perform it again next time without needing to fetch the original URL again, until the cache is cleared. Search engines follow the redirect and will add the new URL to the index. Links pointing to the old URL will be counted towards the ranking of the new URL.
302 A temporary redirect, used for when a page needs to be temporarily moved, or for when the original URL should always be requested. This is for instance the case with language or geo-location based redirects. Browsers will not cache a 302 redirect, so the server will be getting a request for the original URL every time. Search engines will follow the redirect, but maintain the old URL in their index. Because too many systems use a 302 by default, when a 301 should instead be used, search engines tend to treat long-standing 302s like 301s in many ways.
307 An “improved” temporary redirect, that will always be treated as temporary by search engines. Browsers will never cache 307 redirects. Search engines might not always follow 307 redirects as they’re deemed temporary.
308 Hardly ever used, a 308 means “follow this redirect and never go to the old URL again”. Browsers will hard cache 308 redirects. Similar to a 301.

Client-Side redirects

A client-side redirect is the result of some code that runs in the browser and then redirects the ‘client’, the browser, to another URL. To be able to run that code, it needs to be sent to the browser first, and therefore this is always a slower solution. Client-side redirects should thus be prevented as much as possible.

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There are two types of client-side redirects: the so-called meta refresh, which refreshes the page to another URL after a particular period of time, or a JavaScript redirect, which changes the window’s URL after that code has been run. The SEO impact of both types of client-side redirects is hard to quantify, but usually, it’s not as reliable as serverside redirects.

When to create a redirect

Redirects should be created when:

  • You’re moving from one system to another and change URLs because of that.
  • You’ve deleted a page and there is similar content available elsewhere.
  • You’re merging the content of several pages into one.

Read more: Which redirect should I use? »

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Once you finish a Yoast Academy SEO training course, you get a shiny certificate of completion and a badge you can embed on your site or share on social media. In this way, you can let everyone know about your newly acquired SEO expertise. Awesome! But how useful is SEO certification, really? Does it make a real difference? The honest answer: it sure can, but it depends on your needs and what you’re expecting.

Why getting an SEO certification matters

An SEO certification can help in a number of ways. Obviously, the actual proof of certification matters most to those of you who actually work in the fields of SEO or web design. Or are trying to get there! In this case, you can use your SEO certification to build trust among your customers and help advance your business. However, you can also use it to improve your resume if you work in a different field.

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But honestly, the most important reason to get SEO certified isn’t the piece of digital paper you get at the end. It’s the skills you build to get it. These skills are the real value you get from taking an online SEO course. That said, let’s go through the reasons why you may benefit from getting an SEO certification one by one.

#1 Build trust with your customers

If it’s important to you that others know about your SEO skills, you can use your SEO certification to prove this. You can embed your badge on your website and share your certificate on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Of course, where you follow a training course makes all the difference, here. Especially within the world of WordPress, Yoast is a well-known, and trusted brand, which stands for quality and world-class SEO knowledge. Embedding a certificate on your website means showing that you’ve learned from the best.

#2 Show that you do SEO the right way

By getting certified, you can show others how they can expect you to tackle SEO. At Yoast, we have very clear ideas about how you should practice SEO. We advocate a holistic and sustainable SEO strategy, built to last. And we’re known for this.

Of course, we think the world would be better off if everyone followed our lead. In our training courses, we preach what we practice. We don’t like tricks. We want sites to rank by being the best result. By taking a Yoast Academy training course, you make clear that you do SEO the right way, and have the tools to do it!

#3 SEO certification can boost your resume

SEO skills are very valuable! Lots of companies depend on good rankings for their revenue. A capable SEO can make a big difference. Employers know this, but how can they be sure you’re up to the task? Precisely because SEO is such a practical field, anyone can claim they’re an expert. I don’t even want to think about the number of people out there claiming to be SEO experts without having so much as a clue about what they’re talking about. With a certificate, you can back up your claims. You’ve put in the hours, you’ve completed a challenging training course. That’s valuable!

#4 You’ll learn a whole lot along the way

All of the previous arguments are aimed at impressing or persuading others. But the best reason to value an SEO certification is that taking a good training course helps you become a better SEO. Your certificate should not be a goal in and of itself, it should be a nice reward. There’s no better feeling than having worked hard to improve your skills, and seeing the confirmation that you’ve finished a training course successfully.

And when it doesn’t…

As I mentioned before, SEO is a very practical field. If you’re depending on our SEO certification to get you hired somewhere as an SEO expert without any previous experience in the field, don’t get your hopes up. Our training courses are the first step towards expertise. You’ll still have to apply the principles you’ve learned in the real world.

Fortunately, Yoast Academy excels at preparing you for this real-life context. Our training courses allow you to practice actual SEO skills. You can practice writing code and apply your knowledge to realistic example cases. Because of this, there’s only a very small bridge to gap between the theory and actual real-life SEO. You’ll be confident in your abilities, and deservedly so. And the results will bear that out!

Conclusion

There are a lot of good reasons to pursue an SEO certification. It helps build trust and, more importantly, you’ll learn a great deal along the way. On the other hand, don’t expect an SEO certification to magically open doors. The real world asks for real skills. Fortunately, our SEO training courses make sure you’re as well-prepared as possible.

Read more: Yoast Academy: Teach yourself SEO »

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You’ve probably come across the term duplicate content quite a lot, but what is it? Duplicate content is content that lives in several locations — i.e., URLs. Duplicate content can harm your rankings and many people say that copious amounts of it can even lead to a penalty by Google. That’s not true, though. There is no duplicate content penalty, but having loads of duplicate or copied content can get Google to influence your rankings negatively.

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What does duplicate content mean?

Duplicate content is all content that is available on multiple locations on or off your site. It often lives on a different URL and sometimes even on a different domain. Most duplicate content happens accidentally or is the result of a sub-par technical implementation. For instance, your site could be available on both www and non-www or HTTP and HTTPS — or both at the same time, the horror! Or maybe your CMS uses excessive dynamic URL parameters that confuse search engines. Even your AMP pages could count as duplicate content if not linked properly. Duplicate content is everywhere.

Google’s definition of duplicate content is as follows:

“Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin.”

That last part is important. If you scrape, copy and spin existing content — Google calls this copied content — with the intention of deceiving the search engine to get a higher ranking you will be on dangerous ground.

Google says this type of malicious intent might trigger an action:

“Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results”

Michiel has some great tips for discovering duplicate content on your site: DIY Duplicate content check. Google’s documentation is also a goldmine for working with duplicate content.

Duplicate content vs. copied content vs. thin content

The topic of duplicate content confuses a lot of people. For Google, most duplicate content has a technical origin, but it will also look at the content itself. “I have two URLs for the same article, which one should I choose?” While most regular people will probably think of pieces of similar content that appear elsewhere on a site. “I have used this piece of text in several other places, is that bad?” This is all duplicate content, but for determining rankings, search engines make a distinction between duplicate content, copied content and thin content.

Your duplicate content might classify as copied content if you use an existing text and rehash it quickly to reuse it on your site. It doesn’t matter if you give it a little spin or put in a few keywords, this behavior is not acceptable.  Throw in a couple of thin content pages — pages that have little to no quality content — and you’re in dangerous territory. Site quality is an issue and these tactics can bring serious harm to your site. Remember Panda?

Don’t block duplicate content on your site

Google is pretty apt at discovering and handling duplicate content. The search engine is smart enough to figure out what to do with most of the duplicate content it finds. If it finds multiple versions of a page it will fold these into the version it finds best — in most cases, this will be the original article/page. What it does need, though, is complete access to these URLs. If you block Googlebot in your robots.txt from crawling these URLs, it cannot figure these things out by itself and you will run the risk of Google treating these pages as separate instances. Here are a couple of things you should do:

  • Allow robots to crawl these URLs
  • Mark the content as duplicate by using rel=canonical (read more about this below)
  • Use Google’s URL Parameter Handling tool to determine how parameters should be handled
  • Use 301 redirects to send users and crawlers to the canonical URL

There’s more you can do to fight duplicate content on your site as Joost describes in his article on duplicate content: causes and solutions.

Use rel=canonical!

One of the essential tools in your duplicate content fighting toolkit is rel=”canonical” . You can use this piece of code to determine what the original URL is of a piece of content, something we call the canonical URL. We have an excellent ultimate guide to rel=”canonical” that shows you everything there is to know about it.

Focus on original, fresh and authoritative content

Another tool in your arsenal to fight duplicate, copied and unoriginal content are your writing skills. Google is focused on quality. It is always on the lookout for the best possible piece of content that fits the users intent best. Your goal should not be to make a quick buck but to leave a lasting impression. Watch out for thin content and make sure to make it original and of high quality.

The same goes for similar content on your site. We’ve talked about keyword cannibalization before and this is an extension of that. Folding several comparable posts into one can achieve much better results, both in terms of rankings as well as fighting duplicate content.

Here’s Google’s take on similar content:

“Minimize similar content: If you have many pages that are similar, consider expanding each page or consolidating the pages into one. For instance, if you have a travel site with separate pages for two cities, but the same information on both pages, you could either merge the pages into one page about both cities or you could expand each page to contain unique content about each city.”

Duplicate content is everywhere — know what to do about it

Ex-Googler Matt Cutts once famously said that 20% to 30% of the web consists of duplicate content. While I’m not sure these numbers are still accurate; duplicate content continues to pop up on every site. This doesn’t have to be bad news. Fix what you can and don’t try and turn duplicate content and its siblings copied content and thin content into a viable SEO strategy.

Read more: Content maintenance for SEO »

The post What is duplicate content? appeared first on Yoast.

Yesterday, Yoast Academy released a new and improved Basic SEO course. But wait, didn’t Yoast release a free SEO for beginners course just a couple of months ago? Yes, we did. So what’s the difference? Doesn’t the SEO for beginners training also cover the basics? Why should you pay for access to the Basic SEO course if you can get all the good stuff for free? Great questions. I’ll tell you exactly what sets the two courses apart and why Basic SEO perfectly complements SEO for beginners. 

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Basic SEO training Info

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What is the key difference between the courses?

Essentially, the SEO for beginners training answers the “what is…” question, and the Basic SEO training answers the “how do I…” question. The free course is theoretical, the Basic SEO course is very practical.

In the SEO for beginners course, for instance, you learn what keywords and keyword research are. In the Basic SEO course, we give you a step-by-step plan for a good keyword research strategy. We also provide a screencast in which we show you exactly how to set up a keyword research sheet.

After completing the SEO for beginners training, you’ll have a clear idea of what every aspect of SEO is and what factors you should take into account. You’ll be able to make some minor changes which will positively affect your rankings. After completing the Basic SEO training, you’ll be able to immediately make a lot of changes to your website and set up a proper SEO strategy. It really is the best way to make sure your SEO efforts are effective!

Are there any other differences between the courses?

Basic SEO contains two more modules and several more lessons. We go into off-page SEO, site speed, conversion and more. SEO for beginners doesn’t cover these topics. In the table below, you can find a breakdown of the differences between the two courses.

Differences Basic SEO course versus free SEO for beginners course

For more information on the exact contents of the Basic SEO course, visit the product information page. There is no difference in the quality of the courses (besides the fact that we’re trying to do better each time we develop a new training, of course). We value our free products as highly as our paid products.

Does the Basic SEO course offer enough exclusive material to justify the cost?

There are 20 new videos, exclusive to the Basic SEO course, as well as fresh reading materials and quizzes. That’s more than most of our other courses have! So you’re definitely getting your money’s worth. Of course, much of the SEO beginners training is great information to work up towards the practical tips in the Basic SEO training. Actually, we’ve added all the relevant materials you find in the SEO for beginners course to the Basic SEO course as well, so you can also take the Basic SEO course if you’re just a beginner.

But isn’t it annoying to have to take those lessons again? Don’t worry, we’ve solved this problem. If you’ve already finished the SEO for beginners course, the lessons you’ve already taken will automatically be completed in your Basic SEO course, as well. You don’t have to take these lessons again.

Conclusion

The Basic SEO course is essential for everyone who wants to get started on optimizing every aspect of their SEO. After taking this training, you’ll have an entirely new set of tools to start optimizing your rankings immediately. It perfectly complements the SEO for beginners training, too. If you’ve already taken the SEO for beginners course, that’s not a problem at all. It’s an advantage!

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The post Basic SEO training / SEO for beginners: What’s the difference? appeared first on Yoast.

Today, Yoast Academy is proud to release an all-new SEO course: Basic SEO. If you want to learn how to make your site rank high in Google, there’s no way around it: Take our Basic SEO training and start working seriously on your SEO. It teaches you exactly how to tackle the key aspects of SEO. The course combines world-class knowledge with practical examples and exercises to put it to practice. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to set up your own SEO strategy from start to finish! The new training replaces the original Basic SEO course we released in 2015.

You can get the course for $169, but only in the first week, so don’t wait too long!

New to SEO? Learn the Basics of SEO in our Basic SEO course »

Basic SEO training Info

Get the New Basic SEO training Now$199 $169 (ex VAT) for course, certificate and badge

What will I learn?

Do you want your website to rank high and get better results with it? Then our Basic SEO training is what you need! This course has it all: we have modules on keyword research, copywriting, site structure, technical SEO, link building, User eXperience, you name it. We even go into non-traditional SEO topics like accessibility, email marketing and social media use. But most importantly: you learn practical skills. We don’t just tell you how Google works, or how SEO works. We teach you exactly what you should (and shouldn’t) do to be a great SEO. You’ll get clear step-by-step plans to help you set up a keyword research strategy, implement the optimal site structure, make sure your site is speedy and secure, and much more. Knowledge alone isn’t enough. The new Basic SEO training actually teaches you SEO skills you can apply yourself, immediately.

Why did you create a new course if you had one already?

The Basic SEO training was, in fact, the first course we made all the way back in 2015. Now, three years later, we’re so much better equipped to create effective courses. We learned more about education and hired a dedicated team. We improved the quality of our videos. A few months ago, we already updated the existing Basic SEO course with better questions. But we felt like we needed to do more to ensure that you walk away with the best result possible after completing the course. The only way to achieve this was to start from scratch. Make no mistake: this course is completely new. We created all the materials specifically for this new training.

But don’t you already have a free SEO for beginners course?

We do! And that’s a great course to learn more about what SEO is. However, it doesn’t really get practical. It’s not enough for people who actually want to do good SEO day-to-day. That’s what the Basic SEO training is for. It’s all about theory vs. practice. Compare the course content below:

Differences Basic SEO course versus free SEO for beginners course

Want to know more? I wrote an entire blog post about the differences between these two courses to clear things up if necessary. Keep an eye on our SEO blog tomorrow!

Conclusion

If you want to get serious about SEO, the new Basic SEO training is how you do it. It teaches you practical skills and allows you to practice them immediately. It is currently available for $169, so get it before the offer expires!

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The post New Basic SEO training: Up your all-around SEO skills today! appeared first on Yoast.

A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers in different geographic locations working together to get content to load faster by serving it from a location near the visitor. Here, I’ll explain what this all means and what a CDN can do for you and your SEO.

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What does a CDN do?

A CDN caches static content. Static content is files like HTML, CSS, JavaScript and image files that stay the same for every user. These files don’t have to be dynamically generated based on a set of rules — that’s dynamic content; static files are just there and everyone uses these. By making these static files available on a CDN with many servers all around the world, you can get them to your visitors super fast.

Picture this: you’ve hosted your site on a server in San Francisco, California. I hear you asking: “But I have a web host, why would I need a CDN?” Well, whenever you load your site from your house near Oakland, it loads lightning fast. You’re physically close by, right? But do you think someone from Mumbai, India would have the same experience if he or she were to visit your site? Probably not. Why is that? Among other things, latency.

The longer the distance between a server and client — a.k.a. your browser —, the longer the latency will be. Latency is the time needed for the server to respond to a request. In suboptimal conditions that latency will keep getting worse. You can use a content delivery network — or CDN — to move your site closer to your visitor, so to say. The result? Less latency and a fast loading site. But a CDN can do a lot more, and we’ll get to that in a minute.

no cdn vs cdn wikipedia

On the left a typical situation without a cdn. Every visitor requests the site from the same server, no matter how far away they are. Right: with a cdn, every user requests the same site from a location near them. CC image: Wikipedia

What are the benefits of using a CDN?

There are several reasons for using a CDN for your site. Remember, you can do a lot of complicated stuff with a CDN, but most people will use it to get that nasty latency down and speed up the loading times of their sites. Here are several reasons to use a CDN:

  • Speeds up your site
  • Reduces bandwidth costs
  • Adds scalability: improves availability and uptime
  • Improves security

A CDN speeds up your site

For most people, the speed bump a CDN can deliver will be their main focus point. We’ve talked about that first reason already. Everyone wants a fast site and site owners do everything in their power to make their sites as fast as possible. A fast site offers a great experience for everyone. Plus, Google loves fast sites!

A CDN reduces bandwidth

The other reasons might be less obvious. A CDN helps you to get your bandwidth costs down because it serves up static content to users for their servers, not yours. This can have a drastic impact on your costs for web hosting. Often, traffic comes in waves and if the traffic exceeds the limits set by your hosting plan, you have to pay — big time. Of course, you have to pay for a solid CDN so you won’t keep a lot of extra cash in hand, but it does give you a firmer grip on what you’re spending.

A CDN can add a layer of security to your site

Adding a CDN in front of your site is a great way to improve security. The CDN provider has all kinds of tools that help with that. It can serve as a kind of firewall to protect your site from going down during a so-called Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS), for instance. It helps you guard against the most common threats out there. There are even specific settings to keep hackers out of your WordPress sites.

A CDN is scalable and improves availability and uptime

By hosting part of your website’s content, a CDN can help you enhance uptime and availability of your site. Also, many CDN providers also use tactics to make sure that your site doesn’t go down, whatever happens. Load balancing, for instance, can help your site stay online whenever you have a sudden, massive spike in your traffic.

Does using a CDN have any implications for SEO?

Your SEO won’t suffer if you activate a CDN. It might even help your rankings a bit because your site speed might get a big boost. In addition, by installing a CDN you can also use state-of-the-art technology like forcing a secure HTTPS connection and using the new HTTP/2 protocol to improve your site speed and uptime. In general, users should be happier if your site is excellent, snappy and secure. You should, however, take care that you implement it correctly. Most providers have specific instructions to set up a CDN without hurting SEO.

What CDN should I use?

There are numerous CDN providers out there. You should try and find one that offers the best mix of performance, features and price for your specific situation. We use Cloudflare at Yoast, but you could also consider some of the other well-known CDN providers like, for instance, Sucuri, MaxCDN, Microsoft Azure or Amazon CloudFront.

Most CDN providers have easy-to-follow setup instructions for WordPress sites, so you should be up and running in a couple of minutes. Some even offer WordPress plugins to improve the process even more. After setting up the account, you can get to work to improve the speed and security of your WordPress site.

Conclusion

A CDN is a great tool to improve the loading speed of your site. Not only that, but it also adds a layer of security to your site and improves uptime and reliability. If you are not using a CDN yet, you might be missing out. Pretty much every site can benefit from a CDN, so please investigate if it might help yours.

Read more: ‘What is SEO?’ »

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We’ve added a free course to our curriculum of online SEO courses. It is an SEO course for beginners. If you’re an SEO-newbie or your SEO skills have become a bit rusty, then this is the course for you! Our free online SEO course offers lots and lots of training videos, reading material and challenging questions. We’ll really make you sweat for those right answers. That sounds amazing, right? Or is it too good to be true? Why do we offer a free SEO course? Is there a catch?

Free course! Learn what makes your site rank with our SEO for beginners training »

Free SEO course: SEO for beginners Info

There really isn’t any catch. I would even say that this course is the best course we’ve created so far. In this post, I’ll explain all about why we offer that free online SEO courses at Yoast.

SEO for everyone

The main reason why we decided to make a free SEO course is because of our mission. We offer a free plugin because we believe that everyone, even that small weblog with no money at all, should stand a chance in the search engines. Our plugin takes care of a lot of the important SEO stuff. But if you want to do more, if you want to understand more, you needed to read about it, for example on this blog. And our many articles will tell you everything you need to know in order to set up a successful SEO strategy. But the journey through these articles, the search to find the information you need to get started can be quite the hassle. Our SEO for beginners course helps you to make sense of all the information. We’ll talk you through the important aspects of SEO, step by step. After following our course, you know what it takes to set up a successful SEO strategy.

Get to know our courses

Another reason for offering a free online SEO course is because we are really proud of Yoast Academy. We want more people to experience our online courses. In the past year, we hired new people, set up our very own studio and really invested in developing the best learning materials. We now offer a very high-quality online training. We have many -mostly rather short- video’s in which a topic is explained and we offer reading material covering the same topic. But most importantly, we test whether or not you really understand the material. You’ll be challenged by our questions at the end of each lesson. In order to get the certificate, you’ll really need to master all of the topics we discuss.

Our free SEO for beginners course will offer you a real Yoast Academy experience. Of course, we hope people will get hooked and buy one of our other online courses as well. Lifelong learning it is ;-).

More free courses?

The SEO for beginners course is the first free online course Yoast offers. However, we are already thinking about making another one. The second free online course is planned to be released at the end of 2018 and will be a course covering the basics of the workings of the internet. We would like to address the question: how does the internet actually work? This might sound basic, but for an SEO it is really important to have a correct understanding of the workings of the internet.

Read more: ‘What is SEO?’ »

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Would you like to learn more about SEO? Do you want to learn from world-renowned experts? But can’t justify spending a lot of money on a training just yet? At Yoast, we understand that. And we want to help. That’s why today, we are releasing our first free course: SEO for beginners!  

Free course! Learn what makes your site rank with our SEO for beginners training »

Free SEO course: SEO for beginners Info

What will I learn?

In the Yoast SEO for beginners training, we will teach you what SEO is, what Google does, and how to rank in the search results. Do you know, for example, how Google reads your content and ranks it? Well, after this training you will! We’ll also tell you how to write your copy in such a way that Google knows exactly what you’re talking about. Moreover, we’ll tell you how you can make sure that Google can actually put your pages into the search results. And much more!

Could I benefit from this training?

The SEO for beginners course is valuable for everyone who is not already an SEO expert. Whether you are looking to start a career in SEO or are a small business owner with a website. Maybe you just want to join the discussion with your colleagues. It doesn’t matter. SEO is all about gaining an edge over your competition. You can now take the first step for free!

Do I have to use WordPress or the Yoast SEO plugin?

No, you don’t. The training is valuable for anyone, regardless of whether you use WordPress or the Yoast SEO plugin. Some lessons discuss how the plugin can help you with your SEO. Still, the majority of the information applies to anyone and any situation.

Why is the training free?

We want SEO to be for everyone. That is our company mission. Sure, we need to make some money and we have a collection of great products which helps us do that. But not everyone is able to afford them or justify the investment. We want to be there for you as well. There are more reasons, which Marieke has written an entire article about!

How can I get this course?

Getting a Yoast training has never been easier. If you already have a MyYoast account, the course is already available to you here. If you don’t have a MyYoast account yet, you can just create one here. You will receive an email with a link to the course. Enjoy!

 

Read on: ‘Yoast’s mission: SEO for everyone!’ »

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