Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- The new Google Search Console Course is releasing this week!!
- How to get a discount to the new course
- Why hiring good help is so important – and why paying more isn’t always a good thing
- Why putting your site on a solid foundation sooner rather than later is more profitable
- Why the Gutenberg Accessibility Audit has been postponed indefinitely
- A big hiccup at SiteGround that panicked a bunch of folks with downed sites
- The wackiest optin trend I’m seeing lately
- The 2 bugs that got fixed in Search Console
- Why Yoast doesn’t have a separate image sitemap
- A guide to mobile-first indexing
- A list of mobile emulators to test your site
- 7 questions to help you troubleshoot your content marketing efforts
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join me live tonight at 9pm ET / 6pm PT for the party and an interactive Tips Tuesday recap and breaking news discussion on the BlogAid Facebook Page. You can also catch the quick recap later that evening on the BlogAid YouTube Channel.
I’m thrilled to tell you that the first segment of the new Google Search Console course is out of beta testing and ready to release into the larger DIY SEO course this week!!!!!
Everybody’s site and links will be different, and the more examples I can show, the easier time you’ll have of sorting through what’s a problem and what’s in fact a good setting in Yoast SEO.
Flash Challenges in the Works
I’ll be releasing the course to members this week.
And I’m currently working on our live Flash Challenges that will start soon.
These will help you take the course in bite-size pieces.
It will also give me more feedback of the kind of issues more site owners see, so we can get screenshots of those too, or I can dig deeper into helping you get to the bottom of the issue.
Course Discounts Coming Soon
In the next few days I’ll be sending a super deep discount link to the DIY SEO course so that all of my site audit clients who have not already taken advantage of that can do so before the price goes up.
And, I’ll be extending that same super deep discount to all of my Webmaster Training folks too.
Then, I’ll be sending a discount to all of my BlogAid News subscribers.
So, be sure to tell every blogger you know to get on that list.
All of these will be Flash Sales before I raise the price on the course permanently.
If you miss these, then you’ll have to wait for my annual holiday sales, but those will be on the new pricing.
Look for those emails later this week.
Hiring Good Help
Well, a month after moving in to my new place, most all of the inside work is done and I’m mostly all unpacked.
We’re going into week 6 of the original contractor finishing up.
And I’ve contracted with another company to finish some of what the original contractor can’t do, or can’t do right, and to build my new deck sometime this winter. They are higher priced and backed up 8-10 weeks. But, they are worth it compared to what I’ve been through the last 6 weeks.
It reminds me a lot of the horror stories I’ve heard from site owners before finding me.
And yes, I always have a bit of a waiting list, but I’m usually not higher priced – in fact, far from it.
Come to think about it, the best folks I’ve worked with over the last decade in this biz have not been the higher priced people.
And it makes me sick to see non-techie coaches and such get $1500/mo for just hyping folks up about all they can do and not give them the tools, or educate them on the tools, so that the site owner can actually carry out the tasks.
Cleaning Up the Messes Made by Others
Right now I’m working with a client that has a mess of 15 sites that are a jumbled mix of add-on domains and sub-domains that were all created to help prevent her original site from running slower.
And it pains me that a yes-man host would not educate the client on better ways to do this, but just take their money and do the tasks assigned by a site owner who didn’t know any better.
Now she’s having to pay in both support and sweat equity to undo it all and preserve her SEO.
It has taken us 3 live sessions and notes from the host to sort it all out and make a plan we can work.
And it will probably take us another 2-3 months to do all that work.
But, she will know exactly how her sites are set up, secured, and how to move forward with confidence in her business plan. And she will become very profitable again on the other side of this.
It Gets Worse
Last year I worked with a client that gets about a million hits a day on her main site and she runs an empire from it.
She was her own tech and did all the research and vetting she could of how to best grow this thing and hire the right folks to help her with the backside.
It took us over a month, and me calling in a database specialist to help sort out the mess 5 folks working in it had made of things.
But, after we got the plan together and started the cleanup, she instantly saw a speed increase.
And right behind that she started seeing a financial increase, as more folks were able to access her site faster. And they stuck around to see more of it too, which means they saw more of her money makers.
She was profitable again before we even finished.
Best of all, she knows what’s going on with the backside because I kept her in the loop with how everything was set up and all the changes we made.
She’ll be able to keep the site that way from now on.
And I’ll work with her on anything, anytime she needs it. She’s a super person and site owner and I really believe in the good she’s putting out into the world too.
Put your site on a solid foundation and get educated
Both of these site owners, as well as dozens more of my clients, can tell you exactly how much cheaper it is to get the back end of your site squared away and get educated on how to keep it that way, all the way down to the plugin choices you make.
A site audit is one of the very best investments you can make in your online business.
Not only do you get that education, you also get to participate in a village of site owners with the same education. And, you get on-going special care from me to keep you in-the-know and prepared for whatever comes down the pike.
Tips Tuesday is a MUST read for all site owners
I appreciate you!!! I know you are investing in your success by reading this post every week.
And I really appreciate all the folks who come to the live recap every Tuesday night and get the deeper stories, plus bonus news that’s not in the post!!!!!!
Thank you for helping me help you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Gutenberg was WordPress’ chance to build something from the ground up. And they blew it on putting accessibility checks as a top goal. This post on WP Tavern explains why an Accessibility Audit has been postponed indefinitely.
This, after the resignation of the accessibility team lead, mainly due to frustration with getting nowhere, or worse, having the gains they made trampled all over with the next update.
So, we will get Gutenberg either around Thanksgiving, which most all of us are screaming no to, or around January, which would be better than through the holidays.
I’ll believe it when I see it.
Thanks so much SiteGround for ruining last Friday morning for me and panicking a bunch of my clients hosted there.
SiteGround decided to move a bunch of folks from one server to another and didn’t send the emails they said they did to warn anyone. At least none of my clients got those emails.
So, the switch made the server IP address change, which meant that Cloudflare no longer had the right IP in its DNS records, hence the sites being down.
I want to thank my Site Audit Plus clients for reporting this in our FB group and for your emails so we could get to the bottom of it.
I sent out an email on Friday morning to all of my site audit clients and jumped on social media with a livestream of how to fix the issue.
I had to do that because SiteGround didn’t even bother to tell their tech support how to fix it when calls started pouring in.
Giving Away the Store
I’ve been hearing from several site owners that they have a password protected page with links to PDFs that are giveaways for their optin.
And the gist is that folks get all of the ones that have come before, plus all the new ones they add on a regular basis.
Who thought this up as being a good idea?
First, a password protected page on your site does not take it out of your XML Sitemap, so Google will try to crawl, but can’t, and will show it in Search Console as an issue.
Second, PDF’s on your site are bad bot magnets. It’s way better to serve them from off your site, like from AS3, and obscure part of the link.
Third, you’re on the hook for constantly delivering prime new stuff for free, and all for a one-time email address. Sure, you can grow your list that way, but there is no funnel that leads folks deeper into more money makers. These things are in addition to all the blog posts you deliver for free.
Fourth, if anything, you are losing money with this deal.
Offer something, but if folks want more, then that’s a paid program.
Or, drip the latest thing to all subscribers. Don’t give away everything that came before too.
And, for whoever did think this up, check to see if it is the top of a bigger funnel. If not, see how long they have been able to keep this up and how much money they have made from all the extra effort.
Bugs in Search Console Fixed
The release of the new Google Search Console has not been without issues, as most of you know. We’ve been chasing down alerts that they have been emailing us for a while, only to find it was a waste of time.
But, it looks like they finally got the caching issue fixed. Cached page links were going to 404s.
And they got an issue with sitemaps fixed too.
So, maybe we will see a decrease in those email alerts for a while.
Ever wonder why the Yoast SEO plugin doesn’t include a separate sitemap for images?
I certainly wondered about this recently due to Google’s new push to beef up Google images and the traffic it can send directly to your site.
Well, Yoast finally told us what they do with images. In this post, Yoast cites Google’s own directives about it near the bottom of the post.
And that’s why he includes images in the posts and pages sitemaps instead of making a standalone image sitemap.
So, now we know.
Also, if you read the section above about using Alt text and Image Titles, you’ll see that he agrees with my assessment to leave out the extra steps of adding titles. The Alt text will suffice just fine for both visually impaired site visitors and SEO.
Does most of your traffic come from folks using cell phones?
You can see that data in your Google Analytics.
I know this is true for most of my clients.
And I also know that they primarily design their sites to be gorgeous on desktop.
Do you see the inconsistency in that?
Yep, and so does Google, as pointed out in this post from Blogging Pro.
I know several of you are considering a theme revamp in 2019. Maybe it’s worth considering a mindset revamp first.
Maybe it’s time to lighten up on the design elements, and rethink where your money makers hit on the mobile layout.
In other words, do what Google is doing, and what most of your site visitors are doing and put the look of your site on mobile first.
Thanks to my webmasters, most of whom are designers, here’s a list of online mobile emulators they use to test new design layouts.
- FireFox Responsive Design Mode in the Safari adaptive design mode
- Chrome Inspector, Firefox emulator (Ctrl+Shift+M)
Now, I haven’t used the browser ones, so you’ll need to figure out how they work.
Content Marketing Tips
My favorite part of this post on the Content Marketing Institute blog is #4 – do you have the right team?
- Content strategist
Considering that most of us are the CEO of our sites – you know, Chief Everything Officer, we have to wear a lot of hats.
But, the one we most often forget is that last one – analyst.
We get on a hamster wheel of producing content and don’t pay much attention to how it is performing.
Or for those with all of their eggs in the Pinterest basket, you look only at their analytics, which are completely whack half of the time, and never bother to look at your site analytics, which is your true bottom line.
It really doesn’t matter if you get a 1000 repins if only 100 of those folks ever visit your site and then only 10 of them stick around long enough to see your money makers and only 1 of them opts in to your newsletter to get more from you so you can build a tribe of repeat visitors.
In fact, I had to let go of a site audit client because they had been on that content hamster wheel for 4 years, churning out 5 posts a week and all while making zero money. They didn’t have any time left over to devote to make site fixes a priority.
That was the tip of the iceberg on the mindset problems that would keep them from ever making money with that site. And that is definitely not the type of client I can help.
The fact of the matter is, you could stop posting for a month before anyone would notice.
Folks have busy lives and they don’t hang on your posts as much as you think.
Frankly, I believe there are only 20 people who would freak out if I missed a Tips Tuesday.
The point is, read this article, and take a step back from your routine, and what you think is important, and vanity metrics, including the folks you hear from in comments, and take a hard look at the story the data tells you about all the content you’re working so hard to get out there on a regular basis.
And then take a hard look at your promotion of that content. Write less, and promote more.
That will actually get you more eyeballs.
And that’s why you’re creating the content in the first place.
Tips #5 and #6 in that post are worth reading too, about your audience driving your content calendar and owning your audience.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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