Hello Happy Site Owners! This is the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for March 31, 2015 and I’m your host MaAnna.
Tips this week include:
– WordPress SEO Plugin 2.0 release and new video tutorials
– Everything you need to know about Google’s Mobile Algorithm
– Why page load speed matters more than ever
– Server response time vs. page load time
– Getting serious about site success
– My site revamp journey details
– why you need to conduct a content audit
– what to do with your old, neglected, and broken content
– what’s behind the 5 big EIG host companies being hacked
– why you must use unique, strong passwords everywhere
So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
In knew it. A couple of months ago I helped Yoast run performance tests on the 1.8 beta version of his WordPress SEO plugin. Since then I’ve been waiting to remake my SEO video tutorials for it in both the WordPress | SEO | Genesis Video Library and the Webmaster Training Video Library until after it was released.
Well, I got tired of waiting and started in on the first video. And wouldn’t you know it. The very next day there was a major update of the plugin to version 2.0.
WordPress SEO Plugin Configuration Videos
I have been a video making crazy person this week. I jumped right on this new plugin version.
And in that WordPress library, there is a full SEO course that has 2 hours’ worth of video instruction for you to set up everything including that plugin to tweak it exactly for your site, all of your on page SEO, and both authorship and publishership connections.
And no, neither of those are dead. Google very much wants to know who wrote what online. They just stopped giving some of the more visible authorship perks, like your happy face next to all of your posts to anyone other than your Circles in G+.
And I’ve added several new vid tuts to the Webmaster Training member site besides the WordPress SEO plugin. In fact Level 3 is all about SEO and includes everything from making your Google Connections for analytics and Webmaster Tools to how to do redirects properly. I’m finishing out that section right now. And only have a few videos left to make in Level 4 that will complete the entire training course.
Designers Who Know This Stuff Make More Money
If you’re a designer or work with sites in any way, including just setting them up for folks, this is the kind of webmaster training that will help you stand out in that crowded field and set your business apart from the rest. You’ll be able to bring so much more to your client work, and can make more money that way too.
BlogAid Training Testimonials
I want to thank a couple of nice folks for their wonderful comments on G+ to that WordPress SEO plugin video tour.
+Tim Sweeney said,
“This is one of the reasons why I signed up for all your training. You summarize and present what we need to know as site owners all in one place. Thanks! (Saves hours of searching and vetting information.)”
+Mary Ionatti said,
“MaAnna’s trainings are huge time savers. Lots of good information is also exchanged at the live Webmaster webinars. It’s extra knowledge you won’t find in the trainings and it’s really valuable.”
Very kind of them to say.
That’s most all the news from around here.
Let’s jump into this week’s tips from around the ‘net.
The really big news this week comes from Google. They have drawn a line in the sand about getting your site lean and clean.
This is an outstanding post by +Ana Hoffman replete with every link worth reading about the impending Google edict to get your site mobile-friendly by April 21st or else.
And then +Barry Schwartz put the nail in the coffin with this report on John Mueller himself saying that if any URL takes longer than 2 seconds to fetch by a Google bot then Google will severely limit the number of URLs the will crawl on your site.
Now, this is mainly referencing server response time, not page load time.
The days of cut rate hosting are over.
+Ana Hoffman posted about this news from Barry, with a challenge for folks to write posts that helped explain all of this in layman’s terms. Then Google’s own +John Mueller commented that he would like to see a post begin with the difference in server response and page load times.
Go have a look at why all of this is so important and what it all means, plus what you can do right now to help your site.
Are You Serious About Site Success?
That’s it folks. The gauntlet has been thrown by Google. And I’m going to make it as clear as I can for you.
Either you want to run a successful online business, or you don’t.
If you think these changes with Google won’t affect you because your business does not depend on search from Google, think again. More and more folks every single day are getting their sites in line with Google’s directives. That means cleaner and leaner is going to become the norm. And visitors will expect sites to load accurately and quickly on phones and other mobile devices. If yours doesn’t, they leave. And they go to sites that they can easily view. That’s the bottom line.
There are billions of sites on the web. You’re competing with all of them in viewer expectation, regardless of niche.
I had an interesting conversion yesterday with a client who initially hired me to help her with SEO on her site. It took me about 2 minutes of poking around to check her current SEO status to find several other serious issues with the site that dramatically increased the load time, which is about 8 seconds.
When I showed her a few of those things in a live session, she remarked that Google is making it impossible for the average blogger to have a successful site.
It’s time to take responsibility as a business site owner and invest in making your site what it needs to be to make you money. You can’t have a gorgeous design on cut rate hosting anymore. It’s like a great store in a crappy neighborhood. You don’t want your visitors to have to go through that to get to you.
You can’t just keep throwing plugins and ads all over your site and expect it to perform well.
And you can’t keep hiding behind the cobbler’s children excuse.
If you don’t think you have enough time to get your whole site account, including your hosting in order, you’re about to have a lot more time on your hands from being out of business.
Every other site in your niche that is making the time to get their online act together is going to do better.
You’ll get a full report that we chat about live and can make a nice to do list in phases so you take it in an organized way, in manageable chunks. You’ll know exactly what needs to be done and how to do it.
Site Revamp Tips
As promised, I’m sharing the steps I’m taking for my deep audit of BlogAid and I’ll be sharing those tips in a series of posts.
I’ve been playing with some new layout ideas. You can see a few changes on the home page of the site. It’s not exactly pretty, but at least everything there reflects the type of services and information I offer now.
I’m doing most of the work on the backside for now. I’ve made a list of all the core pages on the site, mainly by just going through the navigation menu, and I’m tweaking the content and layout over in a sandbox site so that they will also reflect my current offers, and to get them ready for a responsive design.
Next, I plan to copy my XML sitemap into a spreadsheet and go through every single page and post on the site. I’m betting that there will be bunches of them that can go bye-bye. I’ll tell you more about that whole process in the weeks to come.
But the main thing is, I’m doing a full content audit and I’m taking it a step at a time. Here are a couple of nice, and timely posts, that will help you do the same.
A content audit can seem like a daunting task. But it is necessary to do, especially if you’ve never done one on your site. It’s probably full of outdated info that is no longer helping you meet your online goals.
+Carrie-Anne Foster has a nice post on why you need to conduct such an audit with helpful tips and an infographic that will help you get started on the process and help you take it a step at a time.
And once you get started with that audit, you’ll enjoy this excellent post on Copyblogger about what to do with all that old content on your site. There is no single best way, and the variety of actions Demian Farnworth offers in this post are spot on, including:
- 3 reasons to fix it
- and 4 options of what to do with it
- what to do with past events
- what to do with obsolete products
- what to do when a product or company name changes
- what to do when sales end
- fixing expired job or house listings
- and what to do with limited capacity training courses once they have filled
So, it’s most definitely worth the read to not let all of these things just expire and become dead weight on your site.
Holy moly. Hosts owned by EIG such as HostGator, Bluehost, HostMonster, and JustHost were hacked yesterday by the Syrian Electronic Army. According to the report by +The Hacker News the SEA went after EIG’s biggest brands because the hackers claimed EIG was hosting terrorist sites. The hackers even displayed screenshots on their Twitter accounts of the hacked home pages of each host.
Y’all know that I’ve been steering folks clear of EIG owned hosting companies for a couple of years now. But honestly, there is no place to hide from this sort of thing. It can happen to any host, just like a massive DDoS extortion attack can befall one of them. It’s unique that we actually know why hackers chose this particular target. But all hosts are at risk these days.
Use unique, strong passwords everywhere
If you have multiple users on your site, require every one of them to use super strong passwords, and require that they get rotated on a consistent basis, like every 6 months or so. I don’t care how much you would trust them with your life, you can’t trust that they are using a unique password that hasn’t been used on any other account, and that account has not been compromised.
The same holds true for you. Case in point below.
Here’s the reality. Privacy policies can change any minute. Act like there isn’t one with every account you open. Assume that your data is being shared or sold and is already available on the black market and in use to try to hack other accounts.
To help you keep up with all of those unique passwords for every account, get a service like LastPass. There is a free version, but if you want to have access to it on multiple devices, including mobile, you’ll want to pay the $1/mo fee. Come on. $12/yr guys. It would take you way more than an hour of your time to straighten out any hacked account, and most folks listening to this podcast make more than $12/hr.
Stop expecting everything to be for free and make the investment to protect yourself properly.
Thanks to +Mark Vang for catching this news for us.
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. And do drop by and say hey over on my Google+ page too. That’s where I hang out. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.