Hello Happy Site Owners! This week’s tips include an incredible list of resources for high quality images for your site, and a super tutorial on how to jazz them up, super duper tips for getting more conversions from your About page, ways to diversify your offerings so you stay in business no matter what, a new form of blogging, how to take advantage of the new big image feature on G+ and not goof up your site in the process, and a setting you need to check on your G+ profile due to a glitch that might have changed it. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
I’m trying a shorter format for Tips Tuesday this week. Let me know if you like the new length. And, let me know specifics about the kinds of things you want to hear more about. You know I read about 100 blogs a week to gather up the good stuff for you. If you want to hear more on certain topics, please do let me know. Whatever it is that would help you most, that’s what I want to deliver.
+Dustin W. Stout has put together a super list of resources for places to find quality images for you to use on your blog. Now even though the name of his post is the Best Places to Find Free Images Online, most of the sites mentioned do require attribution links. And, he also includes the best paid image repositories too, if you don’t want to give attribution.
The best thing about these sites is that there are no restrictions on the use of the images except that you can’t resell them. So, you can modify them as you need for your purposes. But, as always, check the terms of service on each site carefully. And Dustin is starting his own image service too, so be sure to check those out. The link is at the bottom of his post.
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And if you want to jazz up those free photos, +Marco Saric has a nice tutorial post with screenshots to help you, including how to put a nice overlay on it.
The About page on your site is NOT about you. Every page on your site is a sales page, and the About page is no exception. It’s all about what you can deliver to your readers. In this post on the Unbounce blog, Jen Havice gives you a bunch of nice tips on how to use your About page for conversion. I do it, and it works on BlogAid!
Diversify or die. That’s the title of this post by Heather Lloyd-Martin on the SEO Copywriting blog. And it is so true. Here are the main points:
- Diversify your client base (or die.)
- Build an emergency account.
- Always keep selling. Always.
- Consider any “big money” client extra cash.
Definitely read the post because how she fleshes out those points is important.
Content Marketing Tips
Did you know that SlideShare has 60 million viewers a month? Did you know it’s owned by LinkedIn? I didn’t. That’s just a couple of the facts Jay Baer talks about in his post on the Convince and Convert blog. He calls SlideShare “one of the most underrated content platforms in existence.”
And what he goes on to talk about is a new form of presentation popping up there called BlogShare. It’s text instead of image based. And he gives several good examples that got my creative juices flowing.
I’m about to get on a video tutorial making binge next month to update all of the videos that will be affected in the BlogAid Video Library when WordPress 3.9 comes out. And I’m going to see how many of the short ones I can turn into SlideShares. And then I’m going to see how many short tips posts I can turn into SlideShares.
So, go have a look at Jay’s post. And if you haven’t done so yet, you may also want to pick up his book Youtility. It’s a good marketing read.
I’m sure many of you who are active on G+ have already heard that they are rolling out a new feature of swapping the thumbnail image on a linked post for a much bigger image. The nice folks at +Stone Temple Consulting have put together some preliminary findings on what it takes to get G+ to pick up that big image on your post. And I’m going to give you a brief of that here. Keep in mind that all of this is from preliminary tests run by others.
First, the minimum width seems to be 506px.
Second, the image must have the og (Open Graph) tag on it.
Third, the code of the post must have the schema markup to label it as a post or an article.
Okay, let’s translate the geek-speak into what’s on your site.
If you’re using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, under Social > Facebook, there is a checkbox to have this plugin supply all of the necessary og tags, including for the image, the title of the post, and the excerpt. If you’re not using this plugin, then you’ll need another one that performs that function. Just make sure you don’t use two plugins that do this same function.
Next, if your theme is HTML5 compliant, then it is already outputting the necessary schema markup for the post, which is marking it as an article. This is something I’ve been talking about ever since WordPress 3.6 came out. If your theme is not HTML5 compliant, your site is missing out on a lot of search perks, not just this image thing. Get your theme converted or get a new one. It’s that important.
You’ll want to read the post from Stone Temple for other preliminary findings. The only one I would caution you about is putting any schema markup on the image if your whole theme is not HTML5 compliant. That special kind of tagging is hierarchical, meaning it has a top-down structure. If it doesn’t see the right tags at the top of the post, those lower down on the image will just goof up indexing.
I also want you to keep in mind that none of what I just told you is a how-to, and everything is based on the tests of others. I’m just translating here for you. Your results and findings may be different, and I’m positive folks will soon start coming out with different “best practices” posts on this. Just keep what I’ve said in mind about the hierarchy of schema tags so you don’t goof up your indexing. And maybe the og tags are all you really need, and perhaps the image doesn’t have to actually be that big.
I’ve already heard that Google is tweaking this feature, and I’m positive more tests are already being run this week. So, you’re likely to start seeing various reports on what it takes to get those big images on your G+ posts.
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There is a setting in you G+ Profile for you to choose whether you want how many Circles you’re in to be displayed publicly. That shows up in your profile hover card as well as in Rich Snippets in search. Most folks have it set to show publicly, but G+ experienced a glitch recently that changed it to private for some folks. Thanks to +Mark Traphagen for the heads up and for sharing a post on how to check that setting.
Alright y’all, that’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. If you’ve got tips you think will help folks, send them on over to me. And please do leave a comment here on the blog, on iTunes, or on G+. I love hearing from you. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.