Ycademy Seminar October 2014

SEO with WordPress

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on WordPress powered websites and blogs were the keynote topic at this month’s Seminar by Ycademy (October 2014), following last month’s workshops on membership sites and community building with YORGOO. Due to Google’s change in algorithm and the resulting confusion and panic with Panda first, followed by Penguin 3 just a few weeks ago, we all have to learn new tactics and strategies to stay ahead of the game in terms of top rankings on Google, namely the first three positions. This article HERE may give you some valuable insights in case you disappeared from the radar or lost important positions in terms of ranking. Clearly, for us at Web Design South Africa it means an update of our self-hosted WP websites and author blogs, and those of our customers. Not to forget the recent WordPress update to 4.0.

SEO Webinar by Ycademy

 GOOGLE Top 10

As Semiomantics Experts, our main goal has always been to rank our customers’ websites on top of Google’s first page – and we were smashingly efficient at that with ample proof.

Why would we want to be visible – ideally as one of the first entries – on the first page showing the search term?

Very simple: if someone looks up a keyword or a keyword string on the search engine, the first page that opens always shows 10 posts to the left, meaning articles written under that topic and title, and – if a popular keyword is targeted – lots of AdSense Ads by Google on top, to the right side and sometimes even underneath the articles. So anyone looking up a specific term will most likely find what he is looking for right here. This means traffic, i.e. visitors to a website. Who has the time to venture on to pages 2 or 3 – never mind 1000 or one million? Nobody right in their mind!

So there’s a clear message and goal for anyone wanting to be found in order to sell a product or service or someone else’s product or service – as simple as that.

However, there is a choice: either one achieves this kind of visibility by paying heavily and continuously for Google Ads – where each click means U$ and no guarantee for a sale – or one finds a good website designer who not only creates an attractive website with all the features needed, but who can also rank the website. However, ranking a website is an ongoing effort as the competition for one of these 10 positions is stiff – it’s the Formula 1 of the web! No wonder that companies invest heavily in their SEO specialists – either inhouse with juicy salaries, or paying U$4,000 to U$5,000 and more a month!

But it pays: imagine you sell cars for U$20,000 a piece. What difference to your business would it make if you were getting more traffic, meaning more people interested in your cars – and buying? If you sell just one more car per month you’re a winner… and with a well-ranking website you may sell more! We’re seeing peoples’ sales and profits literally exploding online – especially since the mobile web.

So do your maths and invest in a good website to build your visibility and reputation on the Internet – and then hire someone who knows how to position it on your chosen keywords, ideally your website designer him/herself. This is an Art, it’s not done overnight – but once you’re there, you’re off to the races and you can watch your traffic soar!

All this and more was the exciting material we went through at the October Seminar by Ycademy… in preparation also for YORGOO! It’s all happening!







Blue Iris Flower Power

Summer in Cape Town

The Power of the Blue Iris! Finally, the summer temperatures are climbing down here in Noordhoek, South Africa, just about 30 minutes from the Mother city: Cape Town! And while the evening sun sneaks once again around Chapman’s Peak as each year at this time, and a strange mist hovers above Noordhoek Beach, the magic flowers in my pond are exploding in magnificent hues of blue and violet to reflect the sun’s last rays.

Blue Iris photographed by Bianca Gubalke

Give me a camera and I forget time and myself – especially with these flamboyant beauties that more than often resemble winged beasts breathing the very essence of opulence and joy!

Blue Iris Flower Power

Being a Nature freak as you know from my various posts and photos on flowers – see also the ‘Cup of Gold’ – I always loved the Blue Iris – Iris versicolor (versicolor meaning ‘rainbow’ in Greek). I just could not find the ones I wanted in the local nurseries! But things really happened once a dear friend in the romantic Noordhoek valley – who owns the most amazing ‘iris pond’ – kindly gave me some plants and rhizomes. Admittedly, it’s hard work to clean these rather large and heavy plants; these were certainly 80 to 100 cms. I was warned of a certain algae that was most likely to come along with the gift. Although I literally showered and thoroughly cleaned each plant before potting them all and then inserting them in the dam and a smaller pond, I could not avoid it as I know by now. I briefly thought it were the eatable water blommetjies, but no! Nevertheless, in my mind’s eye, I saw them already flowering and offering me the most amazing sight from my kitchen window!

Oh, I’m big at dreaming…

But before the dream literally came true, I had some close encounters with a family of wild porcupines who just thought these new arrivals were the best thing on their dinner plate (as they had already finished off whatever arum lilies they could spot in the garden). So I schlepped most of the pots from the dam into the enclosed and therefore ‘porcupine-safe’ pond. Lo and behold – how they thanked me for it now, as spring turned into summer! They have everyone stop in their tracks in awe and admiration! I can’t get enough of them; their colours constantly change in dramatical ways following the light or absence thereof. The rhythm of their upright leaves, often in kinetic formations, highlighted by the sun while the background still slumbers in the shadows, with a dash of red from a bottlebrush tree caught by a wandering ray hanging just above their heads – a constantly changing display of expression and an invitation to let go, to heal, to be.

Iris versicolor photographed by Bianca Gubalke.

What a surprise when, just some hours ago, I discovered the first blue iris seed pod! Big as a thumb, I had never seen this before and actually looked the seeds up on Google to learn more and know what I could do from here. How exciting: so propagation also takes place via seeds. What I learned is that, eventually, the pod will change its colour slightly, dry out, until the pointed tip breaks open to release its seed. I will keep an eye on them and be there to collect them before the birds or a sneaky squirrel can, and then spread them on clean paper until they are dry. Then I will try my luck at planting the seeds!

So exciting! If anyone has some advice and/or experience, please comment!

I promise to keep you posted…