Hello Happy Site Owners! This week’s tips include a sweet formula for posting on G+, how and why to create YouTube playlists, creating newsletters folks actually read, a replacement for the Google keywords tool, news on changes with Google Places, more on microdata and Google’s in-depth articles, free dashboards you can download for Google Analytics, help with getting good backlinks, how to write better SEO copy without sounding like a machine, plugin updates to BackupBuddy and PowerPress, the release of a new theme from StudioPress, and what’s up with the overhaul of the WordPress Dashboard, plus a way to make WordPress stop compressing your .jpg images. And for dessert, Oakley, the best wet dog ever. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
I hope all of my U.S. followers enjoyed your long holiday weekend. And Tuesday, it’s the new Monday, right? And, it’s September, my favorite time of year. I’m gearing up for my busy season at BlogAid. It generally lasts through February. My one-on-one class slots for this month were filled up several weeks ago. So, if you’re ready to revamp your site or get started with WordPress, now is the time to book for October and beyond.
How goes it for you the last quarter of the calendar year? Are you making plans for Black Friday and Cyber Monday yet? How about other holiday specials? Yep, it’s time to start putting those plans into motion. It will be here sooner than you think.
I also hope you’ve been enjoying my series on microdata markup. Yesterday’s post was Part 5 and covers practical examples that you can use now for marking up things like your About page and events such as webinars and hangouts.
I’m already testing online tools and plugins to help make this easy for you. But, I suggest you read through this recent post so you can get more familiar with the type of content you can place microdata markup around. Knowing what goes with what is a big help.
And, you’ll see links to the Rich Snippet Testing Tool results with all of the wonderful info Google indexes on the content.
I challenge you to see the results on my sandbox site’s About page and then go look at your own About page results. You’ll see a huge difference, and so does Google.
Okay, let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Did you know that WordPress compresses .jpg images another 10% when you upload them? I stopped using .jpg images a while back and prefer the .png format. It is lossless compression.
Now, if your image is already saved as a .jpg, the compression damage is already done and flipping them over to .png won’t help with that. But, it will keep WordPress from compressing them further.
If you want to stop WordPress from doing any compression on .jpg images, you’ll have to change a line of code in your theme’s functions.php file. You can see how to do that in this nice post from Sarah Gooding on the WPMU.org site.
– – – – – – – –
The WordPress developers are making progress on a new Dashboard plugin. You may recall that I reported on how WordPress 3.7 and 3.8 is happening simultaneously and that some of the new things will at first be plugins before they are integrated into the core. The Dashboard modules have not been overhauled in years. So, jump on over to see the screenshots of the new layouts and see the fresh new look. Will be great for blogs with multiple collaborators.
And, don’t worry about not seeing the Recent Comments module. Their survey results stated it was the most used. I think they are just showing us the overhauled modules right now.
If you’re wondering about that black sidebar, you can get that now with the MP6 plugin. It was supposed to have been included in the core of WordPress 3.6. I installed the plugin during 3.6 beta testing and it’s why you see admin pages with the black sidebar in all of my updated training videos.
Some of the links below are to the plugin developer’s page, but you can find most if not all of these plugins in the WordPress plugins repository.
BackupBuddy 4.1 is out (aff link) and I’m very excited about it because they have made some serious improvements on offsite storage of your files, especially to Amazon S3 and DropBox. Now, I had previously warned folks off using DropBox for two reasons. First, it had a serious transfer limit of 128Mb. I believe that was later increased to 150Mb. But, big sites still had issues cleanly saving files there.
What the folks at iThemes have done for both AS3 and DropBox transfers is to chunk up the file better. And they have significantly reduced memory usage during the backup. Plus, you now have the ability to view individual log files per transfer for troubleshooting.
What iThemes hasn’t changed is the storage limit at DropBox. And that was the other reason I stayed away from them. But now, even the free version is 2 GB. That may be enough for you to store three backup files on a smaller site. I generally store four weekly backups before overwrite.
I’ve updated my free report on How to Backup Your WordPress Site with all this info too.
– – – – – – – –
The PowerPress plugin was recently updated for some issues with browser compatibility and issues with not sending the podcast title to the feed. If you run a podcast, this is the best plugin to help you embed a player on your site and configure your feed properly for iTunes.
The nice folks at StudioPress have released another updated theme. This time is the Minimum theme. This is the fourth theme that is either updated for HTML5 or built from the ground up that way.
Content marketers always walk a tight rope with their blogs between writing for their readers and writing for search engines. Joyce Grace has an excellent post on this topic on the WPManage blog titled How to Write for SEO Without Sounding Like You’re Writing for SEO and Why You Should. It has a good balance of what to do and what not to do.
Backlinks are the backbone of PageRank. +Mike Allton has a super post on it titled The Importance of Good Backlinks with an amazing list of dofollow sites broken out by PageRank. Find a way to get active with these sites and get some of that good backlink juice flowing over to you.
– – – – – – – –
+Ana Hoffman has just made sure that you and me both have zero excuses for viewing your Google Analytics and understanding what’s going on with your site traffic. See her post titled 5 Google Analytics Custom Dashboards where you can download each one. It will take you about five minutes to do that and install them. Then you can go back to her post to see a little more explanation on what each Dashboard tracks and what you can do with that info.
– – – – – – – –
Y’all know I’ve been neck deep in creating the Microdata and Genesis Series of posts. I found a few more for you that specifically cover Google’s new In-depth articles on SEO Copywriting’s weekly SEO and marketing content round up for August 21st.
The first is 3 steps to getting your in-depth articles ranked in Google search by Ben Norman on the SEO Copywriting blog itself.
And the second post is by Rebecca Churt titled What Google’s ‘In-Depth Articles’ Algorithm Update Means For Your Content Strategy. You’ll find that one on HubSpot.
– – – – – – – –
Google is like any other major corporation. They have at least 14 different departments that have no idea what the others are doing. And I believe the word from the top to all of them has been, “Innovate and integrate!”
Well, Google Places morphed into Google+ Local. And they’ve morphed it again. For brick and mortars, these changes are especially important to how they impact your foot traffic.
David Mihm has an excellent post about this on Moz titled Comparing the Google+ and Google Places Page Management Interfaces. Well worth your time to read it if you need it.
– – – – – – – –
It’s finally gone. The free Google Adwords keywords tool is no longer accessible without an AdWords account. There are about a billion posts on the Internet telling you to start your SEO research with that tool.
Now you’re going to see a new billion posts telling you to use the free version of WordTracker. They’ve recently made a significant upgrade to the free version too. I hope one of those were the pester-some emails they send to get you to upgrade to the paid version.
Affiliate marketers who are in-the-know have been using WordTracker all along. And there used to be some trick to getting around those upgrade notices. I think it was a different link to sign up. If you know about that, please leave a note in the comments.
The Go-to Guide to Creating Email Newsletters People Actually Read is a super duper post on Hubspot by Ginny Soskey that you should read, even if you already have a newsletter. I was particularly interested in #4 about having a landing page for your subscription, not only for the reason she mentioned, but because you can’t link to a sidebar widget.
Go see the landing page for BlogAid News to get an idea.
How and why to create playlists on YouTube is a superb post on the B2C blog by Teddy Lyngaas.
– – – – – – – –
And this is an excellent post from Michael Stelzner on Social Media Examiner titled How to Create a Successful YouTube Channel. He really covers all the bases with it. Even if you have good luck with your YouTube channel, read this post. You’ll find something in there to take it up a notch.
Oakley is the best wet dog ever!
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday podcast.
If you find this info helpful, please share it with your friends and leave a comment for me. It helps me know what you want to hear more about.
You can find this podcast on iTunes and I really appreciate everyone who is voting for it there. You can also find it on Stitcher, and the Blackberry Podcast. And, you can 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!