Hello Happy Site Owners! Tips this week include a 300% improvement in site performance, G+ posting going big for crafters and artisans, protecting your home wifi router from hacks, writing irresistible headlines, the new age of SEO and mindset changes you need to bust and move to keep pace, and the difference in running a hobby blog vs a business site. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
It’s been another super busy week here of checking and fixing sites.
Some site audits lead into 2-3 month projects with several Phases of improvements. Those include things the site owner does. And some they ask me to do. It’s a coordinated ballet.
In the last two, we were able to improve site performance by 300% on one site.
Yep, you heard that right. 300%.
And we improved it by 200% on another site.
On then on yet another site, we fixed some major link and category issues that were driving traffic to only half of the available desired content. Time on site and shares and even engagement have radically improved. Some of the effects were instant and some happened within just a few days.
I’m a very results oriented person and it tickles me pink when just a few of the right changes yield this kind of fabulous and quick result. And the clients – well, they’re over the moon. That’s also why I have such great word of mouth business and enjoy long-term relationships with my clients.
We just keep taking their sites up another notch, and they can see it working. Not to mention how much more confident they are in what they’re doing with their site. They know how to make it sing and keep it safe.
That is the joy of what I do.
I’ve been getting caught up on my two week waiting list for site audits. Lots more of them came in after the third post in the Fix Your Plugins Mess series of posts.
And then even more came in after the webinar. See the replay here.
Some folks feel more comfortable having a qualified set of eyes on this level of their sites. One audit I’m working on right now has so many plugin conflicts that we’ll be doing a live session to sort it out and help decide which to keep, which to let go, and how that will affect site functions that may need addressing too.
And this was from only having 10-12 plugins. It doesn’t require loads of plugins to set up a conflict.
And this is why you need to be careful of free, generic advice, especially in social media groups. When they suggest a good plugin, they’re not taking into account what you already have on the site. Nor do they mention that many of these plugins need to be configured.
Very often in site audits I see plugins with zero configuration. The WordPress SEO plugin is a prime example. Depending on how you have things set up, it could be doing more SEO harm than good.
For those of you who were unable to attend live, a replay of the webinar is available. Just from it you’ll get a really good idea of plugin conflicts and resource hogs. So, go have a watch.
And something really fun and unexpected happened this weekend. If you think G+ is just for techies and geeks, think again. There are loads of arts and crafts folks there too. I’ve started carving again, and posting the journey. It received over 100 +1s on G+!!! That was very exciting.
That’s all the news from around here.
Let’s jump into the tips from around the ‘net.
I told you months ago to lock down all the stuff you have connected to the internet, like your router. Make sure you keep it updated too. Thanks to +The Hacker News for this alert.
And here’s another report from the nice folks at +Black Lotus about it too.
Excellent video posted by +Dave Webster on the dangers of using free wifi.
Keep in mind that these hackers made themselves visible for this video. They can just as easily hack a router in a coffee shop or hotel and steal the info passing through and no one would ever know.
Get VPN and protect your stuff. Dave has a nice service with a free trial if you want to see what it’s like.
Folks, I know these security tips aren’t about your site. But I do want you to know just how widespread this problem is, and to keep yourself cyber safe everywhere.
Content Marketing Tips
Great headlines get more clicks. And there’s an art to writing them. I found this guest post on the Convince and Convert blog to be chock full of helpful examples and data to back up why one way is better than another.
You know, headline writing would make a fun webinar, wouldn’t it? Hmm. I’ll have to see where I can fit that on my calendar.
If you’re still using SEO tricks you heard about two years ago, it’s time to wake up and smell the traffic you’re missing. Semantic search and Google penalties have changed the SEO landscape for good.
This nice post by Adam on the Inc.com site does a great job of summarizing the changes in laymen’s terms. So, go have a look and see where your thinking is old compared to the way things are done now.
And let me give you some incentive to actually go read the post. Everybody else in your niche who has kept pace has more traffic from their site than you do. That translates into the potential for more conversion and more money.
And if you’re heavy into social media and relationship marketing and think this doesn’t affect you, think again. So, go read the post.
Shout out to +Cole Wiebe for bringing this post to my attention.
Is Your Site Working for You?
And finally this week, I want to share some food for thought. Why do you have a site? A goal for what you want it to do for you is the best way to make it successful. You have something to aim for with it that directs your activities concerning it.
Take my carving site for example. It’s a hobby. I started the site six or seven years ago just to share my joy of discovering that art form with my buddies all over the country and with other craftsman. I had big fun sharing it on Twitter back then too.
I sold the carvings and that generated some hobby income, which was great, because the materials weren’t cheap.
Well, I did something so unique that a magazine column writer found it, and that started the journey of me becoming an internationally recognized carver.
I wasn’t trying to get my site found. SEO was a twinkle in Google’s eye at the time. And Twitter was still a novelty.
Due to a shoulder injury, I had to put carving aside for a while. And then BlogAid started catching fire and there was no time for that hobby for the next four years, which meant the site and the blog just sat there.
I’ve only started blogging again and it’s already taking off. I know so much more now about content marketing and intend to put it to use.
I also intend to keep carving a hobby. And the site is a great place to play with other aspects of content marketing that are more appropriate for it than for BlogAid, like a nice Pinterest board with all of my carving pictures.
I had a Follow this Carving series that did very well back when and I’ll be reviving it.
I’m also excited about getting that carving site switched over to WordPress. It’s a static HTML site with a Blogger embed. A temp theme is on the way, just to get me switched over. And a new theme will be coming as soon as my lead designer, +Cyndi Papia has a minute to breathe. She and I have been working on big projects together and client sites come first. This has been back burner since November, so I decided it would be best to at least make the switch to WordPress and do a full blown design later.
I want to start catching metrics on this site because I intend to explore the world of sponsored ads and PPC with it too. So, look for more on that as it comes along.
Now, as long as BlogAid is paying the bills, I can afford to play and try things on the carving site, or not. I already know that I’m going to have lots of traffic. We’ll see if monetizing it has any real value to me. Not just in income, but in gaining a working understanding of other ways of generating online income that I can bring to my BlogAid clients.
What I’ve also discovered from reading the older blog posts is that I have a different voice when I’m in artsy mode. I want that back. My first couple of new posts there really sucked. I was writing like I write for BlogAid. But then I finally found my grove and that’s the post that’s getting so many +1s.
Being creative feeds my soul and it’s great to be able to share that online for exactly what it is.
But, if I had to put food on the table with this site, I’d be taking a whole other approach. I’d have specific goals and would invest in learning from Pinterest experts and take a deep dive into learning about ad networks.
In other words, I couldn’t afford to waste a year of try this try that strategy. Or rely entirely on kluging together freebie tips and training.
I’d do whatever it took to put this site to work for me as quickly as possible and I’d treat it like a job that pays an expected salary.
Where are you with your site mindset? Do you treat it like a hobby or a business or something in between. How are you investing in it with your time and learning?
I hope you’ll leave a comment on the site, maybe in the G+ comments section. Or jump on over to my G+ page and join the discussion there. I really do enjoy hearing from you and what you find helpful or latch on to with Tips Tuesday too.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. Thanks for subscribing on iTunes, and for giving this show a rating and review. I really appreciate it. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.