Hello Happy Site Owners! Tips this week include easy Google Analytics Dashboards to download and see what’s going on with your site traffic, 9 things to avoid doing with your site images, repurposing content on LinkedIn and their new SoundCloud integration feature, the WordPress 4.1 beta release that’s not happening and why, Google keyword search and other tools you didn’t know about, how to get in on the new Webmaster Training site discounts and limited release coming soon, and for dessert a super source for creative ideas. So let’s get started. Listen to the podcast.
Website Review Webinar Thank You’s
I want to send a big thank you out to all the nice folks who attended the free Website Review webinar this past weekend. Everybody stuck around for the whole two hours. There’s just that much super good info in them. And kudos to the folks whose sites were reviewed. Most of y’all have a really good start and just need a few tweaks.
And I really appreciate those of you who spread the word on social media and sent me thank you notes. That really warms my heart.
BlogAid News subscribers were the first to know about this free, zero-pitch webinar, and they had the first shot at the 5 slots for getting their site reviewed. So, if you want advance notice, be sure to subscribe because I’ll be doing more of them.
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New Google Sites for Back Office
I want to send a big thank you and shout out to +Mark Vang for all of his amazing help incorporating Google Sites into my Google Apps back office. As many of you know, I switched to Google Apps over the summer and it has revolutionized the way I work and has made me so much more productive.
I have Drive set up as a client management tool and it’s been a great way for me and clients to share site info and to do lists securely. But, it’s not always easy for them to find all those files in an organized way on their end.
Mark has been doing an outstanding job of using Google App products and integrating 3rd party products into it and we’re building Google Sites that will be super duper user interfaces for my clients. They will each have their own and be able to easily find all the docs and spreadsheets and other material that relates to their site. That will also include special training videos I make for them. I’ll have more for you on this as we progress.
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And on the note of training videos, I’m delighted to tell you that the Webmaster Training membership site is finally back on track after nearly being derailed due to some super tough to troubleshoot tech glitches. I involuntarily ended up being a bug tester for the membership plugin.
But it’s all squared away now and I literally rebuilt the site over this past weekend. I’m almost ready to do a limited release.
And one lucky person will get a free membership.
Plus, I’ll invite just a handful of folks for a private release so I can get more feedback. I’ve set up this site in a slightly different way from usual, and want to hear how folks like it.
If you are on one of the special email lists for these announcements, you received notification last night. If you’re not on one of the lists yet, there is still time.
There will be substantial discounts for those in the VIP package of the WordPress Video Library and then the next level of big discounts will go to BlogAid News subscribers. Now, it is too late to get on the special lists for those folks.
But, there is still time for you to get on the special email list for Tips Tuesday Podcast subscribers.
I’ll be sending out more notifications later this week for the free and limited releases, and then another for the grand opening discounts. So be sure to get on that list.
Alrighty then, that’s all the news from here.
Let’s jump into this week’s tips from around the ‘net.
Version 4.1 Beta 1
The first beta of 4.1 was scheduled to be released tomorrow. But, they wanted to merge in a featured plugin, so they said maybe Friday. And now they’re saying that there’s some chaos around how the features plugins are dealt with in general, so this merge and the beta release dates have been postponed.
For a couple of years now the devs have been creating new stuff in plugins first, which is a great way to test and work out the bugs and enhance the features. And now they are addressing the flow of how these plugins get merged into the core updates. It’s an evolving process. And right now it’s derailing the schedule a bit. They’re having to deal with something they didn’t have in the agenda.
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Welcome to the real world
I want to speak to that point of derailing. I have a client who has been working hard to complete her first site. I mean really hard. And then an unexpected trip got thrown into the schedule, so she buckled down even more to complete the site before then.
And we’re coming down to the last stages, which primarily involve the design. Now there is going to be a long delay in getting the logo made. So the question became whether we stop and wait for the trip and the logo, or keep going.
And the decision was to keep moving forward with the momentum that had already been built. So, we’ll launch the site with text in the header and add the logo later. It’s not an established site where 10,000 folks would notice. It’s a new site.
And while we would like everything to be perfect at launch, the real tragedy and harm would have been to let one bump in the road derail the whole project. I’ve seen folks get interrupted and lose momentum and it’s so hard to get back in that groove. That happened with the Webmaster Training site too.
Don’t let anything make you stop moving forward. Keep going no matter what. You’ll get there.
If you use the BulletProof Security plugin, you need to update immediately. A vulnerability has been found and there’s a patch for it.
The folks at Wordfence have a full blog post about it. One of the things I find interesting is their mention of the responsible disclosure of this news. The developer that found it told the creators of the plugin first so they could create a patch for it before the news was released publicly. Hackers read the news too you know.
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And on that note, +Robert Abela at WP White Security has released a report of stats on the biggest WordPress vulnerabilities. He has 10 of the worst plugin offenders and Wordfence is one of them.
Does it strike anyone odd that security plugins have so many security holes in them? Both of these plugins have been updated for that multiple times.
Maybe you’ll want to go read a post in a Tips Tuesday post from a few weeks ago with test results on the three most popular security plugins and how they failed to protect sites from two known security threats.
I don’t know a site manager worth their salt that uses these types of behemoth plugins for security. Not only do they cause a performance issue, they create their own security risks. There are better ways to do it.
Content Marketing Tips
Successful content marketing isn’t just about creating great headlines and contents. The goal is to get clicks. And you need some sort of feedback loop besides social media engagement to know how many folks are actually visiting your site and consuming your content.
If folks are on your site, they’re seeing more than your content. They’re seeing your offers.
One of the best ways to get that feedback is Google Analytics. But, a lot of folks find the default dashboard confusing or lacking the data they are most interested in seeing.
Did you know that you can customize the dashboard? Yep. And the folks on the +Yoast blog have one that you can download and install. It’s laid out in a very pleasing arrangement with all of the data team Yoast thinks are the most important.
Plus, they have a nice video tutorial on how to customize your dashboard too, so you can mix it up even more.
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But maybe you need to track different things, like stats that are more geared to e-commerce or lead generation. Or maybe you want to see how your SEO or social media is working for you.
+Ana Hoffman has a super post with 5 more custom dashboards to do just that. And she does a great job of explaining the actionable steps you can take with each one too.
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Images play a big role in content marketing. And sourcing good ones, or doing the proper optimization and SEO can be a real time suck if you’re in a hurry to post. But you can’t overlook those things. +Jeremy Rivera has a super post on the 9 things you may be doing wrong with your images. Definitely worth a read.
And speaking of +Ana Hoffman on G+ she just posted about a small change on LinkedIn for larger image sizes. If you’ll read down through the comments you’ll see that +Mark Traphagen is running a few tests there of his own, which were inspired by a question I asked him regarding the SEO impact of wholesale copy/paste of your blog posts on that platform. And that was in response to a post by +Neil Patel that I reported on a couple of Tips Tuesdays ago about when to use the rel=canonical tag to avoid a duplicate content penalty.
Whew! It truly takes a village and I’m so glad to be following these nice folks who keep up with all of the changes on other platforms and let us know how to safely maximize what they offer to get higher visibility.
I expect a post with the test results from Mark in the future if he does indeed see a pattern.
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Since you have to have an Adwords account now to use Google’s keyword tools, folks have been scrambling for a replacement. Well, it turns out that Google itself made a couple. You’ll find two of them, along with five other tools you never knew about in this nice post from +Amanda DiSilvestro on the Higher Visibility blog.
Okay, this is the last straw for me. I was wanting to move my podcast audio files over to SoundCloud anyway. And now +Ryan Hanley just posted that LinkedIn is now embedding them.
SoundCloud has become where all the cool kids of HOAs store their audio files of those shows. And it’s super for podcasters too. The interface on your site and LinkedIn really draws attention.
I want to thank +Denise Wakeman for inspiring me to get on SoundCloud and +Mark Traphagen for inspiring me to really get busy again with LinkedIn. It has now become his favorite micro blog with great success.
And SoundCloud has always been very proactive about helping the folks who host files there get more visibility. So, that’s the horse I need to be putting my money on.
Are you looking for a few creative ideas? Well, there’s a post for that, lots of them. I’ve been following +Creative Ideas on Google+ for a while now and it gives me so many neat ideas. Go see what I mean. It’s cool, fun, and just neato.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. If you’re listening on the podcast, be sure to jump over to the post with full show notes and links, and any news that may have broken after the podcast was recorded on Monday.
And thanks so much for giving this podcast a big star rating on iTunes, and please leave a review and let me know what you think of the show. I really appreciate it. And do drop by and say hey over on my Google+ page too. That’s where I hang out most. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.