Hello Happy Site Owners! Welcome to the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for June 16, 2015 and I’m your host MaAnna.
Tips this week include:
– Webmaster Level 5 Webinar
– early release link to the free Website Review Webinar
– the plugins I’m trading for in the BlogAid site redesign
– what’s up with the LastPass hack
– why to check your XML Sitemap in the WordPress SEO plugin new release
– a roundup on the Third Annual Virtual Bloggers Conference
– why you must start thinking of your site as an asset
– 8 misconceptions about content marketing
– rookie blogging mistakes and how to fix them
– the signs you’re suffering from self-taught blogger syndrome
– how to make your own custom blog images
– a step-by-step image optimization tutorial
– 5 popular SEO Analysis Tools
Listen to the podcast
It’s been a get ‘er done kind of week here at BlogAid. Lots of client work from site audits, plus planning a few webinars that I’m excited to tell you about in a moment. And, nearing the end of the BlogAid site revamp too.
Me and fellow webmasters will be getting together this Thursday for our quarterly webinar. We’ve got a lot to cover including a sneak peek at the BlogAid revamp and all of the nice new coding and special page template features on the back side. I know all of the designers in the membership are going to want to have a look at that.
Plus, we’ll be covering the latest on performance and security, including some little-known ways to run performance checks so that they are more accurate. And, how to keep ghost spam bot crawlers from skewing your analytics and eroding your SEO over time.
Then next Thursday, on the 25th, I’ll be doing a free site review webinar and this time we’ll be doing a quick SEO and performance check on them too.
BlogAid News subscribers were the first to know about it, and the first to get dibs on the limited slots for site reviews. We’ll only be doing 2-3 this time.
So, be sure to subscribe if you want to be the first to hear about the next one.
I’ll be making a blog post on it for tomorrow, but you can go ahead and register now. Lurkers are always welcome. There are typically 30-50 folks on each of these webinars and they stay for the whole time. There’s just that much great info being covered, and it’s different for every site.
I’m delighted to tell you that in the next few weeks I’ll be announcing a paid SEO webinar. And it will focus squarely on the 11-14 levels of SEO you can get on every single post and page on your site, as well as the important global SEO settings that I see so many folks missing now.
This is not a bunch of theory and fluff. It’s in the trenches SEO with plenty of takeaways that you can start doing on your site immediately afterward.
BlogAid News subscribers will be the first to know about it.
BlogAid redesign almost complete
+Cyndi Papia and I have been at it every day getting this new theme, and content, and conversion points all revamped and tweaked. We’re working out the kinks in the responsive parts now. Well, actually, I’m tweaking content so it will look good everywhere.
And I’ll have a bunch of new plugins to add and then an almost equal number of plugins that I’ll be deleting. Each list is about 10 plugins long.
Several of the ones I’ll be deleting have to do with blocking spam. I’ll be trading Akismet for Antispam Bee. And then I’m using the math quiz on Contact Form 7, which means that I can get rid of the Really Simple CAPTCHA plugin. I had also been trying the Spam CAPTCHA plugin as a better substitute for that. Now it can go too.
We’ll be adding the Strong Testimonials plugin, along with a few plugins related to Advanced Custom Fields.
And, I’ll be trading out some of the Genesis plugins I’m using too.
I’ve added a couple of new pages to the site, and will be deleting at least four pages that will be redirected to more appropriate content.
The biggest chore for me has been an overhaul of the core content. There’s actually less of it all over the site and I get to the CTA (Call to Action) much quicker now. I expect conversion to go through the roof, just like it did a couple of years ago when I hired an SEO copywriter to take a hatchet to my overly verbose content.
I was shocked to see how less was more and how that worked so well. This time around I plan to see that same thing happen again.
I invite you to give your content a super hard once over, or even consider hiring it out if you don’t have the heart to chop it to bits yourself. I didn’t the first time either.
I can hardly wait to show you this nice new site so you can see what I’m talking about. Soon, very soon.
That’s all the news from around here.
Let’s jump into this week’s tips from around the ‘net.
The link I’m providing you first in the show notes is to a G+ post by +Ana Hoffman who provided the first report I saw on this. Take some deep breaths and read through her comments about exactly what the hackers stole and what they didn’t. And then take a few more breaths and follow her advice on the steps you need to take.
If you want to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s the link to the post from LastPass.
I’ve seen lots of comments from folks saying how LastPass should have their site super protected from hacks, considering what they are protecting for their clients.
Here’s the thing. The only bullet proof site is one that is not connected to the internet. Financial institutions get hacked all the time, but there are no laws that require them to tell folks.
And here’s the biggie. LastPass did protect the master passwords of their clients. The account info like names and email addresses are what got stolen.
It’s unfortunate that this happened, but to be honest, when a hacker team is targeting you, they are going to break through. They simply have more resources at their disposal, and all the time in the world to keep poking at the site until they find a crack.
I still say LastPass is a good service and one worth considering using. You may want to add two-step authentication wherever you can too.
You may have already seen an auto update notice recently. That was a minor update for the 2.1.x version. Major releases like this won’t auto update. So, you’ll need to do this one manually.
Plus, you may want to check your XML Sitemap and ensure it’s valid, and not returning a 404 not found error. Me and several of my peeps have randomly seen it be goofy. And we don’t know on which update that bug started.
If you do encounter that issue, uncheck the box for the XML Sitemap and Save. Then recheck the box and Save again.
At least one person reported to me that after this 2.2 update, the XML Sitemap box was unchecked. So, watch out for that too.
Site Success Tips
This virtual conference happened this past weekend and the nice thing is, you can still see the replays from all 13 HOAs. +Chef Dennis Littley put this thing together and he has the whole schedule linked in his G+ post.
Why Your Website is an Asset for You & Customers
It’s A Matter Of Attitude And Implementation
Sweet +Gina Fiedel simply nails the mindset it takes to run a successful online business in this post.
I want to give you a challenge. Go read this post. If you don’t agree with it, or my assessment of it, I want to know why. Because I think either you don’t have a business mindset about your site, or you’re so lucky that I want to pay you to buy me a lotto ticket.
Feel free to leave your comments about it here or over on G+.
Content Marketing Tips
If you’re confused about what content marketing is and what it can do for your business, then this most excellent post from +Andréa Jones should straighten that out fast!
I believe I’ve heard every one of these misconceptions from bloggers. Not only are the properly explained in this post, she offers a remedy too.
Now that’s my favorite kind of post. And it’s a great example of content marketing itself.
The title of this post may get dismissed by folks who have been running their sites for a couple of years. But I see these rookie mistakes all the time.
No matter how long you’ve run your site, this post is worth reading.
Self-Taught Blogger Syndrome
I see a lot of WordPress and SEO fundamentals being skipped by self-taught bloggers. Most of us just jumped in and figured it out as we went. Then we got into habits and ways of doing that went unchecked and unchallenged.
Or, we kluged together a bunch of tips and never checked to see if they actually made things better or not.
That kind of hit-or-miss way of doing things is probably holding you back.
A full 80% of my training clients don’t know WordPress fundamentals.
That’s too high.
This summer I’ll be offering a new set of webinars to small groups that focus on WordPress, SEO, conversion, and more.
BlogAid News subscribers will be the first to know and get first dibs on the limited slots.
You know you need super images to go with all of those posts you write. Well, Neil Patel has written the end-all-be-all of posts about how to source graphics, doctor them up, and make the most of promoting them.
And before you upload all of those nice images you made, go read this knock-it-out-of-the-park post by +Mary Ionnatti on how to optimize them for reduced size and speed.
It’s super duper important that you optimize BEFORE you upload. And that’s not just about changing the display size. It’s about properly compressing the file size. And the ways to do that best is where this post from Mary really shines.
When you’re ready to see what’s going on with your site SEO-wise, there are a bunch of free tools to help you. Start with this post from Amanda DiSilvestro on the Higher Visibility blog. The info you get from these tools can be a little overwhelming. But if you run your site through all of them, you’ll start seeing patterns in the scores and info that will begin to give you some insight about how well your site is doing.
I ran BlogAid through each one of these. Each one tells a slightly different story because of what it considers to be important. Honestly, I think that if you don’t already know much about the SEO status of your site, the info from these testers may be a bit overwhelming and confusing. But, it may be worth your time just to have a look anyway and get more familiar with all of the components that go into SEO factors.
Here’s what I see a lot. Site owners either want a magic bullet or they think that they have to pay an SEO expert $500 hour to help them. The truth is, you need to be doing certain basics consistently, and cooperating with the configuration you set on your SEO plugin. Do the basics first, and then see what a difference it can make. And that’s precisely why I’ll be doing an SEO webinar in a few weeks. To help you ensure you have a solid foundation and getting the most you can out of every post.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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