Finding Better Prices For Expensive Travel Vacations

Lets face it we all love to escape from the pressure and demands of our busy daily lives here in the 21st century. Whether it is for two days or two months the chance to ‘drop out’ and venture away to an exotic location somewhere in the world is irresistible. And, what’s more, you don’t have to pay ridiculous prices to enjoy an expensive travel vacation.

In many parts of the country we are hunkered down in snow and rain dreaming of a vacation paradise. We envision places where we can be pampered by ‘servants’ catering to our every need. This includes everything from umbrella adorned exotic tropical concoctions to personal guides who take us scuba diving in crystal clear, tropic oceans. Picture a horseback ride on endless white sand beaches. Imagine that you can let the child out and laugh to the splash of turquoise water, as well as feel the temperate breezes in their faces and the warmth of tropical sun on bare backs.

Expensive vacation packages often seem out of our reach. In lieu, we try to locate a travel channel or golf resort magazine that can point us to a blissful destination. We only dream of places that can quench our desires for escape. When able to pursue such a vacation, we sadly often find blacked out dates, overbooked resorts, or exorbitant fees to pay just to have the privilege to get away from it all.

Consider obtaining a membership through travel destination clubs that can give you unrestricted access to many destinations around the world. Many of these travel membership plans have no blackout dates or restricted weeks. This puts you in complete control of your next vacation spot. Whether you want to go to Hawaii in peak season or Cabo in fishing season, these memberships offer a service like no other.

As a member to such places, you generally have access anytime to top resort destinations. You will find it easy to book accommodations at many luxury resort destinations. You can even enjoy discounts on all the major cruise lines as well, depending on which membership you join.

Your best bet is to look for memberships that offer no annual dues or exchange fees. Also look out for restricted weeks and blackout dates. Avoiding these traps means you can have year-round access to the worlds top resorts in peak season. With companies competing for your business, you can find just the deals you are looking for.

When you obtain a membership, you basically get to take advantage of having your own travel professionals. These professionals know how to fulfill your specific requests including exact dates, unit sizes, and the number of travelers. This gives you complete freedom and total control to travel when and where you want. This prestigious service will be yours for a lifetime, if you choose.

If you are ready to escape this is your vehicle and your portal to that bliss you so desperately seek. Joining a travel club definitely has its advantages. Complete packages have become quite affordable over time. What are you waiting for?

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To Travel or Not To Travel – That Is The Question

Are you tired of visualizing yourself lying on a beach with a colorful drink in your hand?

Maybe you’re not like me, but I’ve got to say – I am fed up with watching the travel channel… Don’t get me wrong, I love my “Passport to Europe”, and my Anthony Bordaine. But from India to Ireland and from hotel to houseboat, I am envious!

Here I sit working from home, watching my world from a nice flat TV as I get things done. With all the time I spend working I think I deserve a break. I know I’m not alone.

My friends my family – in fact, I can’t think of one person in my life that wouldn’t love a vacation. Of course my lifestyle does come with bonuses. :)

I don’t have to ask anyone for permission to go anywhere. I mean, how much does that suck? My sister and many people i know have to wait for there 2 week a YEAR vacation!

Ok, so the first issue you may have is getting around the boss, so you can take off for a couple days to experience your world…

Alright I know your experiencing everyday, but imagine if tomorrow you are walking down the palm lined boulevard in California with some extra cash in your pocket? – To good to be true now right?

-or – though its not for me – you might have Vegas on the mind, its Ok, I understand.

Give me beaches my friend. OK by now your wondering what’s the point. or you are just ready to close the laptop and head out the door. It’s frustrating to be stuck, for any reason. And most of the world is sick with worry and stress.

I think its time we take back our lives, get over the devastation and disappointment that comes with living someone else’s life and declare our own independence of feeling and thought.

Now is the time to travel, not later! Now is the time to discover ourselves and know our world.

With the inconsistency of life you never know whats coming at you, what your creating or who will be walking into or out of your life from one day to the next.

Take the time today to drop it all and get your toes into the warm sand as you watch the sunset over the endless water. Stop your visualizing and go – drink in hand, to live your dreams.

Take a deep breath and decide where it is you want to go. Then get out there and find it!

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Home Business and Travel

Do Costa Rica’s tropical rainforests and beautiful beaches beckon you? Have you wanted to see the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, or the Egyptian Pyramids? Maybe you want something more adventuresome: Diving the Great Barrier Reef, a safari in Kenya, or hiking the coast-to-coast trail in England.

Dreams of what we’d like to do some day can keeps us going from year to year. Unfortunately for too many of us, exotic destinations never become more than daydreams. We might read the brochures, look at the ads, and watch other people enjoying themselves on the Travel Channel. But, we don’t make the reservations or go anywhere.

“Some days” have a way of slipping by. With so many of us working extremely hard – often doing work that two people used to do – it can be hard to get enough time off to go on a remarkable vacation.

Then there’s the money. When you add up plane fares, meals, motel rooms, and the special activities you’d like to enjoy, your exciting dream can seem out of reach.

A Simple Solution

If you have a desire for travel, take a look at those million-milers in the first-class section. You’ve seen them, the ones glued to their laptops and cell phones until they are asked to turn them off for take off. You can tell they have traveled a lot. They know just what to do.

Their trips cost them much less than you may think. First class is also called business class. Now that you are in the loop, you can find discounts on business-class fares and can also take advantage of travel packages at bargain prices. These include luxury hotels, breakfast each morning, transportation, and activity perks. But, here is the best thing about flying as a businessman or businesswoman: It’s deductible.

Jeff Schnepper at MSNMoney.com reported that employers as well as the self-employed can deduct many expenses for convention and business travel. Convention fees, hotels, meals, entertainment, and travel expenses to and from the convention are all deductible. Of course, the convention or seminar you attend must relate to your business. Being able to deduct these expenses can make travel affordable for almost anyone.

But I don’t have a business or any money!

There is one solution that works for both of these problems. It’s simple. Start your own business.

You might be thinking about your lack of start-up capital, no knowledge of business, expensive meetings with attorneys, finding the right location, permits from the city planning commission, hiring employees…STOP!

You can start your own business without any of these. In fact, a home business is the easiest kind to start. You don’t have to quit your current job. You don’t have to relocate. You probably already have everything you will need – a computer with an Internet connection and a phone.

Build a business and the money will follow.

Self-employment is rising dramatically. At last count by the Census Bureau, 18.6 Million Americans were self-employed. Those people have already discovered the feelings of freedom that come from being self-employed. Most grew tired of corporate employment and decided to take charge of their own destinies.

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Top Reasons Why You Should Travel To Australia Soon

If you’ve ever wondered where kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, and the pesky platypus come from, then maybe it’s time to plan your next vacation in the land down under! Australia is a huge country or continent if you will, and covers a vast amount of individuality and distinction among its inhabitants. Most people today live in the coastal regions as the interior or “outback” can be quite a dry and desolate area. There are a few small towns here and there in the interior, like Alice Springs, and the train does travel back and forth, but for the most part people tend to congregate in the big cities along the coast.

Queensland in the north is usually the starting point for visitors who are interested in the Great Barrier Reef and some scuba diving, and it’s also famous for the many crocodiles of various shapes and sizes, including the notorious salt water croc of “The Crocodile Hunter” fame. Remember to stay out of the rivers and streams in this province, because you don’t want to meet up with these big boys face to face!

The southern part of the country can be much milder and cooler and most people really enjoy it here. From Sydney to Melbourne, and across the bottom to Hamilton is a vast expanse of very beautiful countryside with the Grampian Mountains added for some scenery. These mountains are a favorite among outdoor lovers, and there are some great views from the top! I personally climbed one of these on a cold winter day, and there was absolutely no one else coming or going that whole day… It was a lot of work, and toward the top the cold wind was really intense, but the view was amazing and I could see the surrounding area for miles! It was well worth it, and if you get a chance while you are there, give it a go. There are usually well marked trails, so make sure to stay on one and don’t go wandering off the beaten path! You may even see an emu or kangaroo in the wild, and if you go in the summer watch out for the dreaded Brown Snake! They could sure ruin your day if you get bitten!

There is a very interesting “town” called Dunkeld at the base of the Grampian Mountains, and one of the rest stops there was a place called “The Royal Mail”… This is actually a very fine dining restaurant that had just become famous before I got there because the Travel Channel food guru Anthony Bourdain had just done an episode at that very restaurant in the middle of nowhere! The chef is superb, and developed an incredible menu where he uses freshly grown vegetables and herbs right from his garden, and tries to implement as many local ingredients from the area as possible in his selections. Anthony Bourdain loved the food, and he called it the “best restaurant anywhere in Australia”. That’s quite a compliment, coming from him!

At that very same restaurant in the outer bar, I met a man who was carrying around an orphan baby wallaby in his backpack, and he put the sack down and opened it up and showed me it. He said that he carries him like that because he’s not weaned yet, and he has to grow enough hair to be able to stay warm on his own before getting out of the pouch. That is what he would be doing in his mothers pouch anyway, and so it was natural to him. It was great though, because this guy from the town (that the bar keep knew very well), just popped this baby wallaby out and placed him on the bar and no one batted an eye! Sounds straight out of the movie “Crocodile Dundee!”

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Benefits of Travel Planning and How to Get Started

If you travel frequently or travel a lot then you must have realized the importance of travel planning. A well planned trip really gets you your money’s worth. You are aware of your schedule, plus you are not wasting your time in figuring out (at the last minute) what to see, what to do, where to eat, etc. But still a lot of people travel with vague plans and without a complete picture. A lot of people say to me that travel planning is hard and time consuming and that if they were to wait for a travel plan then they would not be able to travel at all.

I disagree with all of them. Yes, it takes time to plan a trip but whats the point of traveling to another country or city if you are not going to see the best sites, taste the local food, or experience the top activities. Following are some of the tips that you can use to plan a near perfect trip for yourself.

First of all, zero out on a location where you would like to travel, it may be another city, state or another country.

Second, Why you would like to go there? Maybe some friend or family member went there and were full of praise or may be you read about it on internet or magazine or saw it on TV. Realizing WHY you want to travel to a particular location will help you plan the trip properly. For example, you may want to travel to the New York city to see the skyscrapers, or/and see Statue of liberty or/and may be visits the Museums.

Third, How long i.e. How many days you want to spend in the new place.

Once you have decided WHERE you want to go, understand WHY you want to travel there and decided HOW long you want to visit for, you can then begin preparing your itinerary.

You should start by asking your friends, family & co-workers about the destination that you have selected. If they have not been there, you should ask if anybody they know have traveled to that place. If yes, then don’t be shy of talking to that other person about their experience. Realize that people love to talk about their trips. This way you would learn a lot and maybe make a new friend in the process.

You can watch YouTube videos or watch Travel Channel to get ideas about the place you would like to visit.

Further, Google is your friend, you can search for the location to get tons of information about any place. There are thousands if not millions of Travelogues written virtually about all places on this earth.

Tripadvisor.com is an excellent site to research about any destination. You can ask questions, read about other’s experience etc. But the research on internet is time consuming and you should be diligent.

Lastly, you can even read the travel books, city guides by Frommer’s, Lonely Planet and Fodor’s. These are very well written and cater to all level’s i.e. Newbies, repeat, expert etc.

All these will tremendously help you plan your ideal trip and make the most out of it.

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The Culture Of Free In A Digital Universe

Who among us doesn’t like getting something for free? Whether times are tough or not most of us appreciate not paying for something we want or like.

The world wide web has taken this to new heights. There are all sorts of sites with all sorts of content which we access for free.

Music, Art, Entertainment, Books, Sports, Games… you name it. In fact, how many of you when faced with a pay-wall for premium content simply decide to go elsewhere? I know – I’ve done the same thing.

You probably have to really want the content to decide to pay for it, because in most cases you can get what you’re after somewhere else for free.

But this “free” content does have a price. The creators of the content certainly incur expenses in order to produce the content. So, how is it that there’s so much content available for “free”?

There are several dynamics at play. In most cases the owners of large web site operations are able to monetize the traffic they receive by selling advertising, which allows them to offer content for free.

If you’re able to prove that you get millions of visits each day, advertisers find this valuable and are willing to pay for the privilege of being visible on the site. Or they pay for the clicks they receive on the ads displayed on the site.

In order to continue to receive millions of visits each day, these sites require new and interesting content all of the time. After all, if the sites you visit have the same thing each day, you probably won’t frequent them very often. So, how do you solve the problem of acquiring new and interesting content continuously?

If you’re a News site – you rely on reporters to develop and report on stories as part of the news cycle. This is a very expensive operation, afterall the reporters have to be paid for their efforts. Some News sites rely on donations from their visitors to support their operations and conduct periodic fund raising campaigns to keep their operations going. Other sites are owned by larger organizations which consider it valuable to maintain a presence on the internet and can afford the news gathering effort although they still tend to sell advertising.

A number of the large social media sites discovered the best way to acquire new and interesting content continuously was to allow their visitors to provide the content themselves.

Every photo, post, update, etc. is content provided for free by the visitors and then monetized by the sites. Now this may seem like a pretty fair arrangement in this context. The visitors (you and me) get a nice site with all sorts of fresh content, we’re able to connect and share with friends, and they don’t charge us anything. It’s FREE! Yay us!

You may not think of yourself as a content creator – but broadly defined, when you upload photos, or post videos of your dog or cat doing dog and cat stuff, or make a post providing some of your life lessons – you are a content creator.

However, let’s think of content creators a bit more narrowly defined. Let’s look at Writers, Musicians, Singers, Artists, Videographers, etc. In many cases these content creators produce their content at great expense to themselves. If they are unknown content creators then one of their first tasks is to find a platform or forum to gain exposure for their content.

There are many specialized web sites which cater to these specific areas – whereby the content creator is enticed to provide their content for free to the site with the carrot being that they will gain exposure for their content and gather new fans of their work along the way. Many of these sites even provide a means for the content creator to sell their content directly to the visitors of the site. This sounds wonderful in theory.

The content creator gets to have their content exposed to lots of people, far more than the content creator might be able to reach on their own. The content creator has a platform to offer their content for sale to those who are interested, with perhaps a small cut to the website owner. A win for everybody, right?

Well, not quite. There’s still the culture of free to overcome. We visitors have become accustomed to receiving our content for free. And while we might like some content, maybe even like it enough to give it careful consideration, but when it comes down to clicking the “BUY” button, there’s a tendency to move on, because we don’t have to have it. And there’s more free content available somewhere else.

It is still a win for the site owner – because they are able to monetize the visits and sell advertising. However, in this scenario the content creator is left trying to figure out what they need to do to close the deal with the consumer.

Of course it is the job of the content creator to make their content as compelling as possible so that a consumer will deem it worth acquiring. But the Culture of Free is a difficult hurdle to overcome in this context. Prior to so much content becoming digitized, it was necessary to acquire it via whatever means of distribution was available. Absent that, there were not many legal free means of accessing or acquiring content – beyond free broadcast radio or television, or in the case of print media – heading to the newstand or the bookstore.

Content creators are faced with an ever expanding landscape where everyone is vying for attention and so much is offered for free it has the effect of devaluing the creative efforts of content creators. Some would argue that the cream will still rise to the top, even in this environment. And that content creators simply have to be more innovative with drawing attention to their work, and produce more compelling content.

Ultimately, I believe that content creators are far better served by taking all the steps that they can to direct traffic to their own websites. Content creators may still choose to make some of their content available for free to their visitors – but at least any monetization would benefit the content creators directly.

And yes, I do recognize the irony that this article will probably appear on some of the larger sites I refer to which aggregate content for free from content creators such as myself.

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Power Up Your Online Business With Article Marketing

Starting with your online business – You have to practically start from scratch, and use cost-effective methods in order to boost the performance of your site. This is very tricky as it is becoming more difficult to find free marketing tools that can help you give your website a good head start from the rest of the pack. If you are just a newbie in online business, you have to learn all the tools that you can employ to help you with your new business. Article marketing is one of the effective and inexpensive marketing tools that you can use for your Internet marketing efforts.

Article marketing is an inexpensive traffic building marketing tool that has been used by many online marketers. Some of them are even ranking high in their respective niche and field primarily due to article marketing. Writing unique and content-rich articles on topics related to your online business will allow potential customers to learn more about your website and products. Consequently, the links that you will be including in your article will give the customers access to your site and to your products.

You have to understand that article marketing is not only about producing articles just for the sake of meeting your daily quota of article submissions. Any person can write articles. However, not all have the skill to in delivering quality content. You have to keep in mind that quality and informative articles draw online consumers to several article directories. It is very important for you to be perceived as an expert in your chosen niche and field of expertise. You can do this by providing quality articles that is a cut above the rest. Consequently, the people you have pulled in to read your articles will eventually check the links and eventually buy your products. A good result can mean strong endorsement of a satisfied client to other people. On the other hand, if you keep on providing useless and rehashed articles, online consumers would likely ignore your article.

When writing articles, you also have to understand the importance of using keywords. Use keywords that are likely to be used by consumers in their online searches. The keywords that you use will play an integral role into drawing prospective clients to your article and then to your website and products.

Seasoned online buyers spend a considerable amount of time in their research and study before making a purchase. This is where you can use article marketing to your own advantage. Through your articles, you can provide a perfect buying guide for your target market and passively advertise your website and products. You will know that your article marketing is effective if and when you are able to sway people to buying your product through the articles that you write.

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Please Teach Me How To Promote My Blog

I do not know how to.

Actually, I do not need to know how to. My personal blog is simply a blog about my observations and experiences of traveling. Of course, I would like other people to read, benefit from and leave comments on the blog. I love the interaction and knowing where my readers are located.

The overwhelming majority of my readers are from primarily English-speaking countries (or countries where English is heavily taught) such as the United States, India, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Philippines and Singapore (as much of my travels have taken place in those last two countries), but also Germany, Russia and China.

I also know that I have readers in almost each and every country except for, somewhat mysteriously, large parts of central Africa and central Asia.

Most importantly, I do know how to promote my blog. Even though I do not use all of the following techniques (because my blog is primarily a labor of love), I do use many, and I do know that these will work if you want to promote your blog.

1. Use Twitter

As a blogger, I have an antipathy toward Twitter. However, I do understand the concept and realize that it can be advantageous. After writing the blog post, tweet your post with an attention-grabbing headline. I recently sent a message of “scrambled eggs on a stale, musty, salty beach” even though the post was about an air freshener (written as part of a blogging contest, which leads me to offer yet another tip of promoting your blog: enter blogging contests). Most importantly, do what you want others to do. If you want other people on Twitter to read your blog posts, then read the posts of others and leave tweets or comments at the blog.

2. Other social media

I have a love affair with Google. It all started with Orkut (perhaps defunct by the time you read this), which led me to Blogger, Gmail, Google+ and Google Calendar. In fact, I am typing this on Google Docs (apparently called Google Drive, now). Regardless, you can promote your blog via LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and RSS feeds. There are also communities of bloggers, both at Google+ and online. I belong to Expat-Blog.com and to Glipho.com.

3. Do what you want others to do

If you want others to read your posts and to leave comments on them then you should read others’ blogs and to leave favorable comments on them. You can do this via the above-mentioned communities or by searching for blogs similar to yours via a Google search.

4. Using SEO

I confess that I am somewhat of an infant regarding SEO or search engine optimization, and do not fully comprehend it. In essence, though, it is about writing about something without writing about it; it is about using keywords. In this article, it is to promote your blog. However, use it naturally and do not inundate the readers with it; otherwise, they will never return to your blog again. Most of all, I–and Google–believe that content is king. Write good quality articles with an intriguing title and everything else will be easier.

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5 Common SEO Mistakes That You Should Avoid

Over the past few years, SEO has evolved faster than the previous decade. And this has made it harder for users to keep up with most recent updates. The launch of Penguin and Panda changed the way things worked in the past. In short, the way Google used to rank website has changed a lot. But if you want to reach your objectives, make sure you avoid some common SEO mistakes.

1. Avoiding RELEVANT CONTENT

In the start, Google said that it would rank websites that have the most relevant content on its first page. This statement is still valid. What has happened is that the search engine has become a lot better at achieving the objectives. In other words, now, Google is in better position to know what is relevant and what is not.

So, what you need to do is offer content that is relevant and avoid content is not relevant to your niche. Of course, the content should be informative and unique.

2. Following Tricks

People have been using many illegal ways of cheating the search engine algorithms for traffic, exposure and backlinks. Some of these tactics can still give you a temporary edge, but they are bad for your blog or website for the long-term.

So, you should avoid using low-quality, duplicate content, keyword stuffing, questionable redirects or cloaking for traffic. It may be tempting to go for these short-cuts, but they will just hurt your ranking, and may even get you banned for good.

3. Overloading your site

It has been a common perception that photos, videos and other graphics make a website more appealing for the viewers. To some extent, this perception is true; however, there should not be too much of it or your website will take ages to load. Your viewers don’t have all day to wait for your site to load. If your blog takes longer to load than other websites, the viewers will just click away. You will not only lose viewers, you will also lose ranking against other websites.

4. Making navigation difficult

Navigation is one of the most important factors for any website. It’s important for both viewers and search engines. Ideally, your viewers should be able to get the desired information from your website in one or two clicks. This may not be an easy task for you. So, what you can do is put important content on the main page of your site. This the users will be able to get what they want more easily.

5. Misunderstanding THE BACKLINK PROCESS

You may not want to be obsessed with obtaining a lot of backlinks. Although you don’t have to have backlinks from authority websites to establish your credibility, it helps a lot. However, what you need to do is try to get backclinks in a nature fashion. But it’s not a good idea to buy backlinks. This is one of the worst mistakes that you can make.

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Image Optimization for SEO – Best Practices

Quality content is the key to SEO success. Content doesn’t just mean your text contents. Images must be an integral part of your content strategy. At times, single images can be far more effective than your 1000 word blog post. It also helps you improve blog post quality and performance.

Images, Infographics, Videos and all other multimedia contents on your web page will help you in increasing the user engagement on your site and makes the visitors stay on your site for longer duration which helps in reducing the bounce rate.

Not just adding images to your contents, you should also optimize those images for better SEO performance. Optimization of images must be the one important aspect of your on-page SEO process.

If you are using images in your content, there are many aspects to be considered related to SEO.

Relevancy

Using images doesn’t mean that you should fill up your content with loads of pictures. You should use it only when it is required and also you should use images that are more relevant to your content.

Placement of your images is an another important aspect. It should be placed at a relevant location in your content according to your text content.

Use original images

Originality always helps in improving your user experience and your authority. Usage of original images will be helpful in improving your SEO performance. You can create original images with a graphic designer or you can take your own photographs with a quality camera. It is the reason top White hat SEO companies employ talented graphic designers for creating quality images.

If you are not able to employ an in-house graphic designer or if you are running out of time, you can always use high quality images from the web. But the important factor to be considered is it should be copyright free.

There are many tools available for getting copyright free images without any cost. The most popular ones are Unsplash, Flicker, Freeimages.

Image Size

Images are the main source for damping your site’s speed. And site speed is a crucial factor in your SEO performance. So, you should be extra cautious in using images without compromising your page speed.

It should not also affect your image quality, you should have a correct balance between. You can achieve this by reducing the file size by compression. You can use tools like Photoshop for compression.

File name

Search engine crawlers are visually impaired, it can even interrupt a 5000 word text content, but it cannot interrupt a single image and what the image is about. It is the reason using a keyword rich file names for your images is an important aspect in image optimization.

Google bots and other search engine crawlers can read your image’s file name and if it is named with your target keyword, it gives a signal to search engines about the image topic and thus helps your SEO performance.

For example, if your image is related to selling sports shoes, rather than using the file name as “IMG_89868″ you can use it as “Black_Tennis_Shoes”.

Alt text

Similar to the file name, search engines can read Alt text of the images. Alt text is known as “Aleternative Text”, is an HTML attribute used to describe the content of images.

You should use Alt text which is relevant to your images and it should be clear and descriptive. You can use your target keywords in the Alt text but be cautious about Keyword stuffing.

If you are not focusing on Image optimization, you are missing a huge opportunity in improving your SEO performance. You can use above mentioned best practices in your on-page optimization process.

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