Hello Happy Site Owners! This is the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for November 26 2013 and I’m your host, MaAnna. This week’s tips include what’s in the future for WordPress core and new plugins you can get now plus something to go check on your own site, a way to revitalize your old content that will make your readers and Google happy, a superb guide for Google Local, revisiting RSS Feeds that’s eye opening, and something you might want to start including in your emails that 82% of marketers say is effective for more opens and click-throughs. So, let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
Well, it’s the Tuesday before the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. and I know a lot of you are traveling or busy this week. So, we’re going to keep Tips Tuesday rather short.
I also want to remind you about the Site Audit Special that I’m running across the Black Friday weekend. You select your preferred time and via screen share and the phone, you and I will look at your site together. So, you don’t have to give me any passwords, and you see what I see. And all the while I’ll be creating a 20 point inspection report with everything we checked so you’ll have a record of what’s okay and what needs attention.
– – – – – – – –
Thanks to everyone who is taking the time to give the BlogAid Podcast a rating in iTunes. I’m focusing hard on getting enough ratings for it to display an average to the public. I’ve got a lot of subscribers, and I hope you’ll take the time to help me out with a rating or a review so more folks can find this podcast too.
And if you’re on Stitcher I’d appreciate you giving it rating on there too. It says that the podcast is on 31 playlists. That’s up from 25 in the last couple of weeks. So, thank you so much for connecting with me there.
Jeffrey Zeldman is joining Automattic’s advisory board
Automattic is the company that holds the reins on all of WordPress, including both the .com and .org versions of the software. Brian Krogsgard reports on PostStatus that Jeffrey Zeldman is joining Automattic’s advisory board. That’s a big deal because Zeldman has been around the block and brings a lot of real-world experience to the table. I hope that he will also bring a much needed voice about future changes to WordPress and they begin to focus more on function and less on fashion.
– – – – – – – –
Open Sans, bundling vs. linking
I was delighted to read this post on the WordPress.org blog that they are considering bundling the Open Sans font with WordPress. I’ve been using the Google Font version of it on most client sites. And including it as natively supported in WordPress would go a long way toward further adoption of it.
Have you given a good look at the font on your site lately? I’ve got 12pt Verdana on BlogAid, but will be changing over to either Open Sans or something similar during the next theme revamp phase.
I’m delighted that the trend has been to go with a bigger font that is easier on the eyes, and I want to get BlogAid updated to that. But, I’ve been dismayed by the trend to make fonts too light a weight. Nobody uses a true black font on a true white background anymore because it fatigues the eye. But some themes have gotten so light gray with the text that it has become a similar kind of eye strain. You have to hit a happy medium between too much contrast and too little.
Go have a look at your site, and do it on as many devices as you can. Is your font or contrast scheme out of date?
– – – – – – – – –
Widgets Area Chooser – 3.8 Proposal
Looks like there will be a much needed overhaul of the widgets admin area in WordPress soon. A few of the features are already in the MP6 plugin. But there are just too many changes for that plugin to handle. So they’ve created a new plugin for it called Widgets Area Chooser. It’s available now and offers a new interface that really cuts down on the drag and drop process. I’ll have a video of the new features for you after the holidays.
One Activity You Should Do On Your Blog Every Day
If you run out of posting ideas, or you’re looking for new ways to bring life to old posts, you’re going to love this post by Darren Rowse, aka the ProBlogger himself, about how he is updating his archives and why.
There is also an SEO factor to consider here because Google loves fresh content. Now, one thing I will say about this tactic is that it can be viewed as a little sketchy. Simply changing the publish date without actually putting an update notice that is visible on the post could be viewed as cheating.
Also notice that he is doing this on one of his other sites because the ProBlogger site has dates in the permalink. And that doesn’t change when he edits the publish date on the post.
This is definitely not a tactic I use on BlogAid because so much of my content is tech based, and that changes all the time. It’s much better for me to write a new post, and then link back to archive material that is evergreen. Those intra-site links are counted as important by Google too.
So, you need to decide which of these tactics works best for you.
A Complete Guide to Google Local
+Travis Taylor has compiled A Complete Guide to Google Local that is awesome. You’ll find it in the +Plus Your Business Community on G+. And I definitely suggest you Circle them. Lots of experts freely sharing lots of super duper info there.
RSS feeds in the age of Panda and Penguin
It’s been a while since RSS feeds have been in the news. The last big story was Google shutting down Reader. And that helped fuel the rumors that were already spreading about when they would shut down Feedburner.
Joost de Valk has an interesting post about it with a bit of history on what affect the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates have had.
But the main focus of the post is the decline in RSS subscription. I’m not sure his analytic count is a good indicator, though. When I subscribe via Feedly, it’s to the raw feed of the site, not to the one that is being ported through a service like Feedburner, or the one Joost switched to, which is FeedPress. Now, there are plugins that redirect folks from the raw feed through the service simply for this sort of tracking purpose.
But, I think the thing that has really affected the decline in RSS feed subscription the most is social media. I tend to see new posts on G+ from the site owners I follow way before I see them in Feedly.
Also while you’re reading the post, you’ll be interested in seeing Joost’s thoughts on whether to offer a summary or the full text of the post in his RSS feed. And, you’ll see the results of what happened when he stopped sending his feed out and why he reversed that decision.
To tell you the truth, I’ve stopped caring about tracking RSS subscribers via a feed service and have been much more interested in tracking those that subscribe to my blog posts via email. I think that ensures more folks see it than anything. RSS to email is simple to setup as a segment of your mailing list if you are using a service like MailChimp or Aweber or such. If you need help with that, check out my MailChimp Video Course that takes you step-by-step through it.
82% Marketers Say Video Email Marketing is Effective
And speaking of email marketing, Mark Robertson has posted a survey result that you’ll definitely want to read if you make videos now or are thinking about it for the near future. The survey reveals that 82% of marketers who include a link to a video in their email campaigns say that it is effective in getting more opens and click-throughs.
Mark includes a lot of nice graphs from other info they gathered in this survey, including that the videos that had the greatest affect were for product and service promotions, followed by sales lead generation.
That’s a big deal.
So, I’m definitely going to consider adding links to my videos in my next newsletter and see what types of results I get.
And since we’re coming up on a feasting holiday, for dessert this week, I want to share with you a post from one of my clients, Ann Drake who owns On Sutton Place. Now, you know that I usually give the link to someone’s G+ profile. But truly, the best place to follow Ann is on Pinterest.
Now, one of my favorite things this time of year is pumpkin. And this post from Ann caught my attention because I didn’t think that it was possible. She has a recipe titled Better than Pumpkin Pie. I’m going to give it a whirl and I’ll let you know how it turns out.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday podcast. Please feel free to share this post and podcast with your friends.
You can find this podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Blackberry Podcast and I appreciate everyone who votes for the podcast there. You can also subscribe directly to the blog posts to get them via email.
Visit BlogAid.net for more tips, tutorials, and free resources to make your site better.
And I’ll see you online!