Hello Happy Site Owners! This week’s tips include the big news for audio and video in WordPress 3.6, new plugins to keep your site safe from the attack bot, a peek into the future of SEO from Yoast, and a batch of blogging tips including creating purpose driven content, and pulling yourself out of content creation hell, as well as when you just need to walk away for a while. And, I have an easy to understand explanation for you about what the canonical version of a URL is and why you need to know about it. Listen to the podcast.
I’m on a journey and I want to challenge you to go on it with me. I want to make YouTube the top referral of traffic to my site. Now you know that’s not going to happen by just making new video tutorials all the time. It’s going to take making in-person videos and getting more active in G+ Hangouts, both attending and hosting them. I’m cataloging this journey so you can see the steps I’m taking along the way, and it really is one step at a time.
The first in-person video in this series is posted where I introduce you to the gear I’m using, along with practical tips for getting started. I’ve got another post coming tomorrow with more details on all of the mics I tried, and even more posts later on settings and tips to make it easier for you to get going quickly. I hope this series will save you a lot of time, money, and frustration and encourage you to move into where the future of social media and SEO are going to be. I’ve got more webinars coming too and I’ll keep you posted on those.
On the WordPress Development Updates blog, Scott Taylor released more info about the Audio / Video support in the Core that’s coming in the 3.6 update.
Here’s what he says:
“At the core of the experience is the fantastic library, MediaElement.js. MediaElement is the facade layer that gives us maximum file support and cross-browser compatibility. While some libraries require a Flash-only solution to make your media work cross-environment, MediaElement lets you use HTML5 audio / video tags in every browser, and, only when necessary, will use a Flash or Silverlight plugin in the background to make incompatible media work. Translation, things like this: <audio> tag works in old IE, and Windows Media files work in Chrome.
MediaElement uses the same HTML markup, regardless of playback implementation, and you can use CSS to skin the players.”
What that boils down to is, no more player plugins and it works on any device running any browser, and you only need to use the built-in shortcode. Yeah, that’s big. And you can bet I’m going to have a full vid tut on just that. Perhaps you’ve already seen some of the WordPress videos I’ve updated for 3.6. I hope to have the full library updated by the time the new version rolls out around May 20th.
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.
NOTE: This came in too late for the podcast, but it looks like the Facebook follow icon on the Social Sharing Toolkit plugin is having a fit. You can see it in the right side of the header on BlogAid. If it’s still broken, there will be a long empty box instead of the icon.
New plugins and countermeasures are popping up in response to the global brute force attacks. I don’t know if this plugin’s developer had that in mind, but its release sure was timely and appropriate. It’s called Emergency Password Reset and is useful to folks with more than one person logging in. It allows the main Admin to reset all of the passwords and email them out. Every person’s login is a potential security hole and this is a good way to force compliance with a password policy to make stronger logins and change them on a regular basis. Even if you are the only person logging in, you need to adopt those policies for yourself, too.
Here’s another new plugin that will help with security. It’s Remove WP version and shortlink and it does just what the title says. The version of WordPress that you are using is something that bots can see. If they have an exploit for it, your site just became candy for them. I’m hoping some of my developer buddies will leave a comment and help me remember the other plugin that’s been around for a while that does this, and if there are any drawbacks to using it. Yeah, I know, you’d rather hard code it into the site, but I know most folks following Tips Tuesday are going to go the plugin route.
The Shortpack plugin was recently updated and provides the same shortcodes that are found in Jetpack, but without Jetpack’s activation overhead. My advice, if you’re using Jetpack, find equivalent plugins for the one or two things you do, and get rid of Jetpack. It’s overly bloated for what few things most folks use in it.
The Nivo Slider Widget was also recently updated and provides a sidebar widget that creates a slideshow of images. I hear grumblings all the time that sliders are a fad that are overdue for leaving. What do you think? Do you like sites that have them or is the cool, new vibe wearing off?
Here’s a plugin I’ll be checking out. It’s called GoToWP and it creates shortcode you can use anywhere on your site for a GoToWebinar registration. Now, the personal version is what’s in the plugin repository for free. The premium version also accepts payments via PayPal and Authorize.net and sends that info to the webinar for registration. That’s what is useful about the plugin. To me, the free version is not much different than simply placing a link on your page to the webinar registration form on GoToWebinar. We’ll see.
As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been testing out the Webinar Engine plugin for my registrations. I’ve been in contact with the developers and helping work out the bugs and clarifying the training material. It’s a very ambitious plugin with a lot of integration features, and that’s not an easy thing to do. I got an email from them a couple of weeks ago with news of updates they are making, and I want to see those before I do a full review for you. If they can pull it off, this will be a super plugin, so want to give them a fair chance to try.
If you’ve ever read Yoast’s replies on his blog, you know he can be a bit snarky at times. While that puts some folks off, I totally get why, and it doesn’t bother me. But, sometimes things actually irritate him, like a recent post on another blog saying that some element of his SEO plugin was outdated. In his own post reply titled The future of SEO plugins for WordPress, he did what he asks everyone to do, which is research and test before you speak (or ask a question, in some cases).
I think his plugin wipes the floor with everything else, so his defense was like preaching to the choir for me. But what I found most interesting was the last paragraph where he mentions what’s coming for his plugin and SEO in general. He says SEO is something we must start incorporating into all else we do. And, he’ll be creating premium add-ons for his free plugin.
Speaking of Yoast’s plugins, I’m absolutely itching to get my hands on his new Local SEO plugin. With the Internet burning down and the rolling brute force attacks and more client site launches, I had to delay digging into it. But rest assured that I will as soon as I can and will have a review for you and a tutorial on setting it up soon after.
Are you spending too much time on social media and not enough time creating content? On the Convince and Convert blog, Jay Baer says Don’t Ignore Content in Favor of Engagement. In that post he talks with Kyle Lacy of ExactTarget who challenges the oft quoted example from was Gary Vaynerchuk’s video blog that you should spend 10% of your time creating content, and 90% on engagement. Kyle says that will eventually hurt your brand.
Because I write a lot of tutorials that take research and testing, I have more of a 40:60 mix. And, folks need that info across time, so I spend a lot of my engagement time answering questions and sending folks to that content when they need it. That’s where all of my free reports came from too. You’ll find them in the sidebar of the site. What sort of mix do you use?
For those of you blogging and not getting any traction, Denise Wakeman recently hosted Tom Treanor for a webinar where they show you a roadmap for creating purpose driven content and it’s a replay worth watching, especially if you’re blogging and not getting noticed or engaged or haven’t started blogging yet but know you need to.
On the flipside of that, are you in content creation hell? On the Content Marketing Institute blog, Ian Humphreys tells you How to Pull Your Content Creation Process out of Creative Hell. He has a six step ladder for climbing out and the first one starts with walking away for a bit.
Speaking of walking away, on Client Attraction, Fabienne Fredrickson has a post and video titled How to Take Time Off From Your Business. Spring is here and summer is coming and you and everybody else are going to want to get out and away from the office. Like Fabienne, I encourage you to do so. It’s not good to always be in your business. Sometimes you need a break to work on your business and map out its success. And sometimes you just need a break from all of it. Take one, and you’ll return with ideas and energy to do them. So, go watch Fabienne’s video and see the time off schedule she set up to ensure her success.
The Google Webmaster Central Blog has a post on The 5 common mistakes with rel=canonical Now, it’s kind of technical for most folks, but you may want to scroll down near the end of the post and have a look at what it says about the way you set up the preferred URL for content that is naturally duplicated on your site.
Basically, every time you create a post and put it in a Category, the post itself becomes one instance of the content. But it also automatically becomes content in the archives for that Category. You don’t want search engines to index that Category duplicate, meaning that you don’t want the URL for the actual post and the URL for the post in that category to both show up in SERPs.
Or, if they do, you want folks to go to the actual post when they click either, not the archive. That’s what setting the rel=canonical does for you. It takes folks to the actual post.
This setting is super easy to configure in the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. So, if you have that plugin, but have not properly configured it, you’re missing the real power of it. And, if it’s creating your site’s XML Sitemap that helps search engines index your whole site properly, but you didn’t tell Webmaster Tools about it, you’re also missing a key ingredient of your SEO success.
If you want a step-by-step tutorial on how to configure the WordPress SEO plugin, you’ll find it in the SEO and AuthorRank Video Course I created that will also take you through every step of setting up Google Authorship on your G+ profile and site too, plus show you the on-page SEO you need to do for every post and page and take you through every step of that plugin.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday podcast. You can find this podcast on iTunes, as well as Stitcher, and the Blackberry Podcast. You can also subscribe directly to the blog posts http://www.blogaid.net/blogaid-news 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!