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How To Get Google To Index Your Site Quickly



How To Get Google To Index Your Site Quickly

If there is one thing in the world of SEO that every SEO professional wants to see, it’s the ability for Google to crawl and index their site quickly.

Indexing is important. It fulfills many initial steps to a successful SEO strategy, including making sure your pages appear on Google search results.

But, that’s only part of the story.

Indexing is but one step in a full series of steps that are required for an effective SEO strategy.

These steps include the following, and they can be boiled down into around three steps total for the entire process:

  • Crawling.
  • Indexing.
  • Ranking.

Although it can be boiled down that far, these are not necessarily the only steps that Google uses. The actual process is much more complicated.

If you’re confused, let’s look at a few definitions of these terms first.

Why definitions?

They are important because if you don’t know what these terms mean, you might run the risk of using them interchangeably – which is the wrong approach to take, especially when you are communicating what you do to clients and stakeholders.

What Is Crawling, Indexing, And Ranking, Anyway?

Quite simply, they are the steps in Google’s process for discovering websites across the World Wide Web and showing them in a higher position in their search results.

Every page discovered by Google goes through the same process, which includes crawling, indexing, and ranking.

First, Google crawls your page to see if it’s worth including in its index.

The step after crawling is known as indexing.

Assuming that your page passes the first evaluations, this is the step in which Google assimilates your web page into its own categorized database index of all the pages available that it has crawled thus far.

Ranking is the last step in the process.

And this is where Google will show the results of your query. While it might take some seconds to read the above, Google performs this process – in the majority of cases – in less than a millisecond.

Finally, the web browser conducts a rendering process so it can display your site properly, enabling it to actually be crawled and indexed.

If anything, rendering is a process that is just as important as crawling, indexing, and ranking.

Let’s look at an example.

Say that you have a page that has code that renders noindex tags, but shows index tags at first load.

Sadly, there are many SEO pros who don’t know the difference between crawling, indexing, ranking, and rendering.

They also use the terms interchangeably, but that is the wrong way to do it – and only serves to confuse clients and stakeholders about what you do.

As SEO professionals, we should be using these terms to further clarify what we do, not to create additional confusion.

Anyway, moving on.

If you are performing a Google search, the one thing that you’re asking Google to do is to provide you results containing all relevant pages from its index.

Often, millions of pages could be a match for what you’re searching for, so Google has ranking algorithms that determine what it should show as results that are the best, and also the most relevant.

So, metaphorically speaking: Crawling is gearing up for the challenge, indexing is performing the challenge, and finally, ranking is winning the challenge.

While those are simple concepts, Google algorithms are anything but.

The Page Not Only Has To Be Valuable, But Also Unique

If you are having problems with getting your page indexed, you will want to make sure that the page is valuable and unique.

But, make no mistake: What you consider valuable may not be the same thing as what Google considers valuable.

Google is also not likely to index pages that are low-quality because of the fact that these pages hold no value for its users.

If you have been through a page-level technical SEO checklist, and everything checks out (meaning the page is indexable and doesn’t suffer from any quality issues), then you should ask yourself: Is this page really – and we mean really – valuable?

Reviewing the page using a fresh set of eyes could be a great thing because that can help you identify issues with the content you wouldn’t otherwise find. Also, you might find things that you didn’t realize were missing before.

One way to identify these particular types of pages is to perform an analysis on pages that are of thin quality and have very little organic traffic in Google Analytics.

Then, you can make decisions on which pages to keep, and which pages to remove.

However, it’s important to note that you don’t just want to remove pages that have no traffic. They can still be valuable pages.

If they cover the topic and are helping your site become a topical authority, then don’t remove them.

Doing so will only hurt you in the long run.

Have A Regular Plan That Considers Updating And Re-Optimizing Older Content

Google’s search results change constantly – and so do the websites within these search results.

Most websites in the top 10 results on Google are always updating their content (at least they should be), and making changes to their pages.

It’s important to track these changes and spot-check the search results that are changing, so you know what to change the next time around.

Having a regular monthly review of your – or quarterly, depending on how large your site is – is crucial to staying updated and making sure that your content continues to outperform the competition.

If your competitors add new content, find out what they added and how you can beat them. If they made changes to their keywords for any reason, find out what changes those were and beat them.

No SEO plan is ever a realistic “set it and forget it” proposition. You have to be prepared to stay committed to regular content publishing along with regular updates to older content.

Remove Low-Quality Pages And Create A Regular Content Removal Schedule

Over time, you might find by looking at your analytics that your pages do not perform as expected, and they don’t have the metrics that you were hoping for.

In some cases, pages are also filler and don’t enhance the blog in terms of contributing to the overall topic.

These low-quality pages are also usually not fully-optimized. They don’t conform to SEO best practices, and they usually do not have ideal optimizations in place.

You typically want to make sure that these pages are properly optimized and cover all the topics that are expected of that particular page.

Ideally, you want to have six elements of every page optimized at all times:

  • The page title.
  • The meta description.
  • Internal links.
  • Page headings (H1, H2, H3 tags, etc.).
  • Images (image alt, image title, physical image size, etc.).
  • markup.

But, just because a page is not fully optimized does not always mean it is low quality. Does it contribute to the overall topic? Then you don’t want to remove that page.

It’s a mistake to just remove pages all at once that don’t fit a specific minimum traffic number in Google Analytics or Google Search Console.

Instead, you want to find pages that are not performing well in terms of any metrics on both platforms, then prioritize which pages to remove based on relevance and whether they contribute to the topic and your overall authority.

If they do not, then you want to remove them entirely. This will help you eliminate filler posts and  create a better overall plan for keeping your site as strong as possible from a content perspective.

Also, making sure that your page is written to target topics that your audience is interested in will go a long way in helping.

Make Sure Your Robots.txt File Does Not Block Crawling To Any Pages

Are you finding that Google is not crawling or indexing any pages on your website at all? If so, then you may have accidentally blocked crawling entirely.

There are two places to check this: in your WordPress dashboard under General > Reading > Enable crawling, and in the robots.txt file itself.

You can also check your robots.txt file by copying the following address: and entering it into your web browser’s address bar.

Assuming your site is properly configured, going there should display your robots.txt file without issue.

In robots.txt, if you have accidentally disabled crawling entirely, you should see the following line:

User-agent: *
disallow: /

The forward slash in the disallow line tells crawlers to stop indexing your site beginning with the root folder within public_html.

The asterisk next to user-agent tells all possible crawlers and user-agents that they are blocked from crawling and indexing your site.

Check To Make Sure You Don’t Have Any Rogue Noindex Tags

Without proper oversight, it’s possible to let noindex tags get ahead of you.

Take the following situation, for example.

You have a lot of content that you want to keep indexed. But, you create a script, unbeknownst to you, where somebody who is installing it accidentally tweaks it to the point where it noindexes a high volume of pages.

And what happened that caused this volume of pages to be noindexed? The script automatically added a whole bunch of rogue noindex tags.

Thankfully, this particular situation can be remedied by doing a relatively simple SQL database find and replace if you’re on WordPress. This can help ensure that these rogue noindex tags don’t cause major issues down the line.

The key to correcting these types of errors, especially on high-volume content websites, is to ensure that you have a way to correct any errors like this fairly quickly – at least in a fast enough time frame that it doesn’t negatively impact any SEO metrics.

Make Sure That Pages That Are Not Indexed Are Included In Your Sitemap

If you don’t include the page in your sitemap, and it’s not interlinked anywhere else on your site, then you may not have any opportunity to let Google know that it exists.

When you are in charge of a large website, this can get away from you, especially if proper oversight is not exercised.

For example, say that you have a large, 100,000-page health website. Maybe 25,000 pages never see Google’s index because they just aren’t included in the XML sitemap for whatever reason.

That is a big number.

Instead, you have to make sure that the rest of these 25,000 pages are included in your sitemap because they can add significant value to your site overall.

Even if they aren’t performing, if these pages are closely related to your topic and well-written (and high-quality), they will add authority.

Plus, it could also be that the internal linking gets away from you, especially if you are not programmatically taking care of this indexation through some other means.

Adding pages that are not indexed to your sitemap can help make sure that your pages are all discovered properly, and that you don’t have significant issues with indexing (crossing off another checklist item for technical SEO).

Ensure That Rogue Canonical Tags Do Not Exist On-Site

If you have rogue canonical tags, these canonical tags can prevent your site from getting indexed. And if you have a lot of them, then this can further compound the issue.

For example, let’s say that you have a site in which your canonical tags are supposed to be in the format of the following:

Example of a rogue canonical tag 1

But they are actually showing up as:

Example of a rogue canonical tag 2

Example of a rogue canonical tag 2

This is an example of a rogue canonical tag. These tags can wreak havoc on your site by causing problems with indexing. The problems with these types of canonical tags can result in:

  • Google not seeing your pages properly – Especially if the final destination page returns a 404 or a soft 404 error.
  • Confusion – Google may pick up pages that are not going to have much of an impact on rankings.
  • Wasted crawl budget – Having Google crawl pages without the proper canonical tags can result in a wasted crawl budget if your tags are improperly set. When the error compounds itself across many thousands of pages, congratulations! You have wasted your crawl budget on convincing Google these are the proper pages to crawl, when, in fact, Google should have been crawling other pages.

The first step towards repairing these is finding the error and reigning in your oversight. Make sure that all pages that have an error have been discovered.

Then, create and implement a plan to continue correcting these pages in enough volume (depending on the size of your site) that it will have an impact. This can differ depending on the type of site you are working on.

Make Sure That The Non-Indexed Page Is Not Orphaned

An orphan page is a page that appears neither in the sitemap, in internal links, or in the navigation – and isn’t discoverable by Google through any of the above methods.

In other words, it’s an orphaned page that isn’t properly identified through Google’s normal methods of crawling and indexing.

How do you fix this?

If you identify a page that’s orphaned, then you need to un-orphan it. You can do this by including your page in the following places:

  • Your XML sitemap.
  • Your top menu navigation.
  • Ensuring it has plenty of internal links from important pages on your site.

By doing this, you have a greater chance of ensuring that Google will crawl and index that orphaned page, including it in the overall ranking calculation.

Repair All Nofollow Internal Links

Believe it or not, nofollow literally means Google’s not going to follow or index that particular link. If you have a lot of them, then you inhibit Google’s indexing of your site’s pages.

In fact, there are very few situations where you should nofollow an internal link. Adding nofollow to your internal links is something that you should do only if absolutely necessary.

When you think about it, as the site owner, you have control over your internal links. Why would you nofollow an internal link unless it’s a page on your site that you don’t want visitors to see?

For example, think of a a private webmaster login page. If users don’t typically access this page, you don’t want to include it in normal crawling and indexing. So, it should be noindexed, nofollow, and removed from all internal links anyway.

But, if you have a ton of nofollow links, this could raise a quality question in Google’s eyes, in which case your site might get flagged as being a more unnatural site (depending on the severity of the nofollow links).

If you are including nofollows on your links, then it would probably be best to remove them.

Because of these nofollows, you are telling Google not to actually trust these particular links.

More clues as to why these links are not quality internal links come from how Google currently treats nofollow links.

You see, for a long time, there was one type of nofollow link, until very recently when Google changed the rules and how nofollow links are classified.

With the newer nofollow rules, Google has added new classifications for different types of nofollow links.

These new classifications include user-generated content (UGC), and sponsored advertisements (ads).

Anyway, with these new nofollow classifications, if you don’t include them, this may actually be a quality signal that Google uses in order to judge whether or not your page should be indexed.

You may as well plan on including them if you do heavy advertising or UGC such as blog comments.

And because blog comments tend to generate a lot of automated spam, this is the perfect time to flag these nofollow links properly on your site.

Make Sure That You Add Powerful Internal Links

There is a difference between a run-of-the-mill internal link and a “powerful” internal link.

A run-of-the-mill internal link is just an internal link. Adding many of them may – or may not – do much for your rankings of the target page.

But, what if you add links from pages that have backlinks that are passing value? Even better!

What if you add links from more powerful pages that are already valuable?

That is how you want to add internal links.

Why are internal links so great for SEO reasons? Because of the following:

  • They help users to navigate your site.
  • They pass authority from other pages that have strong authority.
  • They also help define the overall website’s architecture.

Before randomly adding internal links, you want to make sure that they are powerful and have enough value that they can help the target pages compete in the search engine results.

Submit Your Page To Google Search Console

If you’re still having trouble with Google indexing your page, you may want to consider submitting your site to Google Search Console immediately after you hit the publish button.

Doing this will tell Google about your page quickly, and it will help you get your page noticed by Google faster than other methods.

In addition, this usually results in indexing within a couple of days’ time if your page is not suffering from any quality issues.

This should help move things along in the right direction.

Use The Rank Math Instant Indexing Plugin

To get your post indexed rapidly, you may want to consider utilizing the Rank Math instant indexing plugin.

Using the instant indexing plugin means that your site’s pages will typically get crawled and indexed quickly.

The plugin allows you to inform Google to add the page you just published to a prioritized crawl queue.

Rank Math’s instant indexing plugin uses Google’s Instant Indexing API.

Improving Your Site’s Quality And Its Indexing Processes Means That It Will Be Optimized To Rank Faster In A Shorter Amount Of Time

Improving your site’s indexing involves making sure that you are improving your site’s quality, along with how it’s crawled and indexed.

This also involves optimizing your site’s crawl budget.

By ensuring that your pages are of the highest quality, that they only contain strong content rather than filler content, and that they have strong optimization, you increase the likelihood of Google indexing your site quickly.

Also, focusing your optimizations around improving indexing processes by using plugins like Index Now and other types of processes will also create situations where Google is going to find your site interesting enough to crawl and index your site quickly.

Making sure that these types of content optimization elements are optimized properly means that your site will be in the types of sites that Google loves to see, and will make your indexing results much easier to achieve.

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AI Content In Search Results



AI Content In Search Results

Google has released a statement regarding its approach to AI-generated content in search results.

The company has a long-standing policy of rewarding high-quality content, regardless of whether humans or machines produce it.

Above all, Google’s ranking systems aim to identify content that demonstrates expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

Google advises creators looking to succeed in search results to produce original, high-quality, people-first content that demonstrates E-E-A-T.

The company has updated its “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content” help page with guidance on evaluating content in terms of “Who, How, and Why.”

Here’s how AI-generated content fits into Google’s approach to ranking high-quality content in search results.

Quality Over Production Method

Focusing on the quality of content rather than the production method has been a cornerstone of Google’s approach to ranking search results for many years.

A decade ago, there were concerns about the rise in mass-produced human-generated content.

Rather than banning all human-generated content, Google improved its systems to reward quality content.

Google’s focus on rewarding quality content, regardless of production method, continues to this day through its ranking systems and helpful content system introduced last year.

Automation & AI-Generated Content

Using automation, including AI, to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results violates Google’s spam policies.

Google’s spam-fighting efforts, including its SpamBrain system, will continue to combat such practices.

However, Google realizes not all use of automation and AI-generated content is spam.

For example, publishers automate helpful content such as sports scores, weather forecasts, and transcripts.

Google says it will continue to take a responsible approach toward AI-generated content while maintaining a high bar for information quality and helpfulness in search results.

Google’s Advice For Publishers

For creators considering AI-generated content, here’s what Google advises.

Google’s concept of E-E-A-T is outlined in the “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content” help page, which has been updated with additional guidance.

The updated help page asks publishers to think about “Who, How, and Why” concerning how content is produced.

“Who” refers to the person who created the content, and it’s important to make this clear by providing a byline or background information about the author.

“How” relates to the method used to create the content, and it’s helpful to readers to know if automation or AI was involved. If AI was involved in the content production process, Google wants you to be transparent and explain why it was used.

“Why” refers to the purpose of creating content, which should be to help people rather than to manipulate search rankings.

Evaluating your content in this way, regardless of whether AI-generated or not, will help you stay in line with what Google’s systems reward.

Featured Image: Alejandro Corral Mena/Shutterstock

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Seven tips to optimize page speed in 2023




30-second summary:

  • There has been a gradual increase in Google’s impact of page load time on website rankings
  • Google has introduced the three Core Web Vitals metrics as ranking factors to measure user experience
  • The following steps can help you get a better idea of the performance of your website through multiple tests

A fast website not only delivers a better experience but can also increase conversion rates and improve your search engine rankings. Google has introduced the three Core Web Vitals metrics to measure user experience and is using them as a ranking factor.

Let’s take a look at what you can do to test and optimize the performance of your website.

Start in Google Search Console

Want to know if optimizing Core Web Vitals is something you should be thinking about? Use the page experience report in Google Search Console to check if any of the pages on your website are loading too slowly.

Search Console shows data that Google collects from real users in Chrome, and this is also the data that’s used as a ranking signal. You can see exactly what page URLs need to be optimized.


Run a website speed test

Google’s real user data will tell you how fast your website is, but it won’t provide an analysis that explains why your website is slow.

Run a free website speed test to find out. Simply enter the URL of the page you want to test. You’ll get a detailed performance report for your website, including recommendations on how to optimize it.


Use priority hints to optimize the Largest Contentful Paint

Priority Hints are a new browser feature that came out in 2022. It allows website owners to indicate how important an image or other resource is on the page.

This is especially important when optimizing the Largest Contentful Paint, one of the three Core Web Vitals metrics. It measures how long it takes for the main page content to appear after opening the page.

By default, browsers assume that all images are low priority until the page starts rendering and the browser knows which images are visible to the user. That way bandwidth isn’t wasted on low-priority images near the bottom of the page or in the footer. But it also slows down important images at the top of the page.

Adding a fetchpriority=”high” attribute to the img element that’s responsible for the Largest Contentful Paint ensures that it’s downloaded quickly.

Use native image lazy loading for optimization

Image lazy loading means only loading images when they become visible to the user. It’s a great way to help the browser focus on the most important content first.

However, image lazy loading can also slow cause images to take longer to load, especially when using a JavaScript lazy loading library. In that case, the browser first needs to load the JavaScript library before starting to load images. This long request chain means that it takes a while for the browser to load the image.


Today browsers support native lazy loading with the loading=”lazy” attribute for images. That way you can get the benefits of lazy loading without incurring the cost of having to download a JavaScript library first.

Remove and optimize render-blocking resources

Render-blocking resources are network requests that the browser needs to make before it can show any page content to the user. They include the HTML document, CSS stylesheets, as well as some JavaScript files.

Since these resources have such a big impact on page load time you should check each one to see if it’s truly necessary. The async keyword on the HTML script tag lets you load JavaScript code without blocking rendering.

If a resource has to block rendering check if you can optimize the request to load the resource more quickly, for example by improving compression or loading the file from your main web server instead of from a third party.


Optimize with the new interaction to Next Paint metric

Google has announced a new metric called Interaction to Next Paint. This metric measures how quickly your site responds to user input and is likely to become one of the Core Web Vitals in the future.

You can already see how your website is doing on this metric using tools like PageSpeed Insights.


Continuously monitor your site performance

One-off site speed tests can identify performance issues on your website, but they don’t make it easy to keep track of your test results and confirm that your optimizations are working.

DebugBear continuously monitors your website to check and alerts you when there’s a problem. The tool also makes it easy to show off the impact of your work to clients and share test results with your team.

Try DebugBear with a free 14-day trial.



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What Is User Experience? How Design Matters To SEO



What Is User Experience? How Design Matters To SEO

User experience is the foundation of a site’s usability, and it’s an aspect of on-page SEO that many people overlook.

If your site lacks the positive user experience and ease of use that end users require to navigate your site, you’ll push visitors to your competitors.

In this guide, you’ll learn what user experience (UX) entails, the types of experiences, the difference between UI and UX, and why it matters to SEO.

What Is User Experience (UX)?

UX is how people interact with your website.

You’ll also find this term used for products, but we’re focusing strictly on websites at the moment.

If you have a, intuitive user interface design, users will have an easier time navigating your site and finding the information they want.

If you do have a digital product, such as a SaaS solution, this interaction will also occur on your digital product.

User experience elicits a couple of things:

In short, user experience can provide a positive experience with your website – or it can lead to frustration among users.

Note: Usability is not UX design. It’s a component of UX that works with design to create the experience your users desire.

What Are The Types Of User Experience?

User experience evaluation must look at the three types of UX design to best understand the needs of the end user.

The three types of UX include:

  • Information: One aspect of a content strategy that goes overlooked is information architecture. Time must be spent on how information on a site is organized and presented. User flows and navigation must be considered for all forms of information you present.
  • Interaction: Your site has an interaction design pattern – or a certain way that users interact with the site. Components of a site that fall under the interaction UX type include buttons, interfaces, and menus.
  • Visual design: Look and feel matter for the end user. You want your website to have cohesion between its color, typography, and images. User interface (UI) will fall under this type of UX, but it’s important to note that UI is not interchangeable with UX.

What Is The Difference Between UI & UX?

Speaking of UX and UI, it’s important to have a firm understanding of the difference between the two to better understand user experience.

User Interface

UI design is your site’s visual elements, including:

Visual elements on your site are part of the user interface.

UI definitely overlaps with UX to an extent, but they’re not the same.

Steve Krug also has a great book on usability, titled “Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.” It was first published in 2000, and the book is a #1 bestseller today.

Steve’s insight from over 20 years ago (although we’re now on the 3rd edition of the book) provides guidelines on usability that include:

  • Desktop.
  • Mobile.
  • Ease of use.
  • Layouts.
  • Everything UX.

If there’s one thing this book will teach you about usability, it’s to focus on intuitive navigation. Frustrating website users is the exact opposite of a good user experience.

User Experience

UX works on UI and how the user will:

  • Interact with your site.
  • Feel during the interaction.

Think of Google for a moment.

A simple landing page that is visually appealing, but Spartan in nature, is the face of the Internet. In terms of UX, Google is one of the best sites in the world, although it lacks a spectacular UI.

In fact, the UI needs to be functional and appealing, but the UX is what will stand out the most.

Imagine if you tried performing a search on Google and it displayed the wrong results or took one minute for a query to run. In this case, even the nicest UI would not compensate for the poor UX.

Peter Morville’s user experience honeycomb is one of the prime examples of how to move beyond simple usability and focus on UX in new, exciting ways.

The honeycomb includes multiple points that are all combined to maximize the user experience. These facets are:

  • Accessible.
  • Credible.
  • Desirable.
  • Findable.
  • Usable.
  • Useful.
  • Valuable.

When you focus on all of these elements, you’ll improve the user experience dramatically.

Why User Experience Matters To SEO

By this point, you understand that UX is very important to your site’s visitors and audience.

A lot of time, analysis, and refinement must go into UX design. However, there’s another reason to redirect your attention to user experience: SEO.

Google Page Experience Update

When Google’s Page Experience Update was fully rolled out, it had an impact on websites that offered a poor user experience.

The page experience update is now slowly rolling out for desktop. It will be complete by the end of March 2022. Learn more about the update:

— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) February 22, 2022

Multiple aspects of UX are part of the ranking factors of the update, including:

  • Intrusive adverts.
  • Core Web Vitals.
  • HTTPS Security.

You can run a Core Web Vitals report here and make corrections to meet these requirements. Additionally, you should know whether your site has intrusive ads that irritate users, and if your site lacks HTTPS.

Page performance works to improve your SEO. Google’s research shows that focusing on UX can:

  • Reduce site abandonment by as much as 24%.
  • Improve web conversions.
  • Increase the average page views per session by as much as 15%.
  • Boost advertising revenue by 18% or more.

When you spend time improving your site’s UX, you benefit from higher rankings, lower page abandonment, improved conversions, and even more revenue.

Plus, many of the practices to improve UX are also crucial components of a site’s on-page SEO, such as:

  • Proper header usage.
  • Adding lists to your content.
  • Making use of images.
  • Optimizing images for faster loading times.
  • Filling content gaps with useful information.
  • Reducing “content fluff.”
  • Using graphs.
  • Testing usability across devices.

When you improve UX, you create a positive experience for users, while also improving many of the on-page SEO foundations of your website.

Final Comments

Customer experience must go beyond simple responsive web design.

Hick’s law dictates that when you present more choices to users, it takes longer to reach a decision. You’ve likely seen this yourself when shopping online and finding hundreds of options.

When people land on your site, they’re looking for answers or knowledge – not confusion.

User research, usability testing, and revisiting user experience design often will help you inch closer to satisfying the SEO requirements of design while keeping your visitors (or customers) happier.

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Featured Image: NicoElNino/Shutterstock

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