Hello Happy Site Owners! Tips this week include a Webmaster webinar, a first look at the WordPress SEO Beta plugin, the SEO plugin I’ll be testing next, free plugins webinar, happy updates to the Redirection plugin, a quick and easy security checkup for your Google Account, the new rich snippets tool, and the real bottom line on what matters about it. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
Holy cow, y’all. It’s been a power packed week here. I’ve been vetting new folks for my team because I’m expanding once again. It takes a village and I’m in need of specialists in a variety of areas for two reasons.
First, I want to be working with folks who have a serious passion for what they do and love working in it all day every day. That includes folks who specialize in hack repair, Genesis themes, databases, plugin development, moving emails to GApps and so much more.
Second, there’s just that much work! I’m thrilled to be working with so many great clients and having so many specialists to come in on the projects and get that part of it done efficiently and affordably. It’s a win-win-win for everyone.
And, I’ve been super busy running tests and audits and chasing down new developments.
So, because of all that’s going on, I’m going to focus Tips Tuesday today on all the important changes that are happening right now.
I believe I’ve posted more in the last two weeks than in the previous two months.
First up, go check out the new series with most of these posts I’ve been writing. I’m absolutely dedicated to helping you get your hosting and site situation under control before the waves that are here, and bigger waves still coming, hit you.
Cyber Security – you’ll find two videos at the top that will get you in the know about what’s going on and what you need to do.
Hosting – I’m seeing reports all over about folks hitting the resource ceiling on their hosting accounts and/or getting them terminated for not dealing with the problems. And seeing way too many folks blaming the host for what is the site owner’s responsibility. And seeing too many hosts upselling as their only way to help the client.
And, if your emails are running through your hosting, start the process of getting them moved elsewhere.
Plugins Webinar – you’ll find two of the four steps you need to take to get your plugin mess under control. These are easy steps that don’t take long to do.
This is a zero-pitch free webinar, but there’s some sweat equity attached to it. The point is to help you get more familiar with your site again so you can get it clean and lean yourself.
Step 3 will be out tomorrow and the webinar is next week. So, you still have time to catch up.
Prevention is the key
It’s way cheaper to get your stuff lean and clean before it comes under duress. Trust me. I get panicked emails all the time from folks who are going to end up paying a premium to fix things, all while they are losing money from a down site.
The Successful Site Owners Series is free and could save you a whole bunch of money and heartache. So, take the time to go have a look.
– – – – – –
Webmaster Level 5 Webinar – will be this Thursday, the 22 at 3:00 pm ET.
We’ll be covering all of these changes I’m telling you about here, plus what’s up with BackupBuddy and how I’m changing settings all over the place now and other critical site and hosting issues it’s pointing me to. And we’ll cover the changes to robots.txt that keeps the Google Mobile Friendly tester happy.
The videos are the most comprehensive training you can find in one place for one price. But I have to tell you, the webinars are worth the price all by themselves. We spend most of our time on open Q&A helping members solve their real-world site issues.
Let’s jump into the changes that have been keeping me
so busy this week that you’ll want to know about.
Team Yoast has made available beta versions of the new WordPress SEO plugin and the Google Analytics plugin.
I set up a new testing site and put the WordPress SEO plugin through its paces. You can see the overview of the new speed claims and such in my First Look post. It also covers the dip in mobile brownie points from Google.
The full case study, including all of the testing conditions and tools is a bonus in the Webmaster Training library.
– – – – – – – –
New SEO Plugin to Test
Thanks to +Ana Hoffman I have a new SEO plugin to test that is aiming straight for the Yoast market. All of it, including the premium plugins. I’ll have more for you on that very soon, as I’m already starting the case study.
– – – – – – – –
Redirection Plugin Updated
I’m very happy to see this. The Redirection plugin has been updated. Version 2.3.13 includes:
- Split admin and front-end code out to streamline the loading a bit
- Fix bad groups link when viewing redirects in a group, props to Patrick Fabre
- Improved plugin activation/deactivation and cleanup
- Improved log clearing
It seriously needed the improved log clearing. This is one of the biggest database hogs I see during site audits. I wish I could provide you with more info on exactly what it’s cleaning up better, but the plugin dev, John Godley didn’t say much else about it.
But, I can tell you this much. It has a couple different types of logs including hits and 404 errors. If you don’t use these logs, turn them off, especially the hits counter. The 404s you can probably get just fine in Google Webmaster Tools, although the logs in the plugin may help you track them down. So, make use of it, get those errors fixed, and clear that log.
There’s a super easy 3-minute online checklist for your Google Account. It helps you:
- verify your recovery and password info
- account activity
- and more
Thanks so much to +John Skeats for posting. He’s a great person to follow for Google tips.
First, log into your account and then go to the Account Settings page where you can run the checkup.
I ran mine and there was one thing out of date. So, glad I did it.
Google has released a new version of the their Structured Data Testing Tool, often referred to as the Rich Snippets Tool.
Here’s why all of this matters and why I jumped right on testing the new tool.
Microdata contains extra tags in the code of your site that Google eats up like candy. WordPress and the Genesis theme framework both support it.
But, if you have a theme that is not HTML5 compliant, those extra code tags are not present on your site.
That means that you are not getting all of the extra SEO perks from it.
Sites that output microdata are getting ahead of yours if you don’t have it.
I had my theme converted to HTML5 compliance the minute it became available.
It’s that important.
So, I’m very interested to see what this new Data Tool picks up and how it differs from the old tool.
That’s also why I’m jumping all over the WordPress SEO beta plugin and why I’m testing the new SEO plugin, plus testing all of the social plugins that help with SEO.
Sites that are in compliance with Google guidelines just do better, all other things being relatively equal.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll take every perk I can get to help more folks find my site and the help they need.
The Real Bottom Line
I’m approaching my year anniversary of leaving my day job and doing BlogAid fulltime. One of my freelancer buddies said something to me about the mindset switch of it and that has grown deeper every day that I do this job.
We were discussing hiring freelancers and spending money at local mom and pop shops.
She said it was an investment in humanity.
My understanding of money has completely changed since I’ve been in business for myself as my only income. It matters where I spend money and the effect doing that has on the people whose hands I put it in.
What I research on BlogAid with all of these plugins and security and such helps my clients, who are mainly solopreneurs. Their site is their only source of income. Or, it supplements the family income and makes a difference to their budget. A real difference.
All of these new folks I’m bringing on my team are in self-employed like me. We’re helping each other and the clients.
I’m not trying to be grandiose about what I do.
I’m trying to say that what I spend my time on is a business decision with my audience in mind. I want our sites to do well in all aspects. If you need to take your site up a notch, I’m here to help. And I get you!
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. If you’re reading this post, try listening to the podcast, it’s more fun. And, if you’re listening to the podcast, you’ll find links to everything I mentioned in the show notes.
And thanks for taking the time to review the show on iTunes. It matters.
Drop on over at my Google+ page and say hey.
Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.