Hello Happy Site Owners! This week’s tips include actionable advice you can apply right away to get more of your content shared plus ways to get your content marketing campaign off the ground, what’s coming in WordPress 3.6, an easy to configure social share plugin, a neat way to promote your YouTube videos, new changes from Google on image search, a new upcoming events reminder from MailChimp, and how a responsive theme affects your SEO. Listen to the podcast
SEO & AuthorRank Workshop
Yesterday I announced the launch of the BlogAid SEO & AuthorRank Workshop. It’s a live event on Feb 12th, but you need to get ready for it right now. The workshop includes all of your settings for the WordPress SEO plugin, coordinating your on-page SEO, and everything you need to do to set up AuthorRank properly. So, there are a few prerequisites that you need to be able to do to get the most from the live event. They’re easy and I’ve gotten them all broken down for you in a Workshop Essentials series. You may find that you already have most, if not all, of them done. But you don’t want to wait until the last minute to find out.
Plus, virtual seating is limited for this event and I expect it to sell out, so you need to get the prerequisites out of the way and register early.
If you’re listening to Tips Tuesday on the Podcast, you’ll find links to everything in the show notes on the BlogAid site.
Getting more traffic to your site starts with writing content that people like to share. But it doesn’t end there. Ann Smarty is the professional guest blogger behind My Blog Guest, and she has a nice post on ProBlogger on How to Get Your Blog Post Shared. Now, these are not a bunch of generic fluff ideas. These are from Ann Smarty and they’re actionable tips that you can do. In fact, maybe you could print out this post and do a tip a week. That will get you into good habits the easy way.
In WordPress news this week, Regina Smola has an interesting post on her WP Security Lock blog about a Godaddy Account Goes Haywire (hacked or messed up?) That’s not surprising. But what she said about having your domains and site hosting at the same company was. She has her domains at GoDaddy and her site hosted on HostGator, as do I and many of my clients do. She says that split is actually more secure against hack attacks since they can’t get to everything you virtually own in one place. I’d never thought of that side benefit. But, I will say that it may not matter because if someone hacks your domain account, they may be able to change the DNS of where that domain is pointed. In other words, they could point it to one of their own sites instead.
I know a lot about securing your site, but not so much about securing your domain account. Maybe that’s something we should ask GoDaddy. I will say that it’s a super good idea to pay the extra $10 a year and make your registration info private. Otherwise, anyone can do a WhoIs search and get your name, street address, phone number, and email address that you used to register your domain. Unless you like every form of spam, $10 bucks is not much to keep your info hidden.
Tom Ewer, who is one of my fave bloggers has a nice post on WPManage titled WordPress 3.6: What to Expect from the Most Promising Update in a Long Time. This is not a fluff post. He gives the updates a thorough treatment. I’m very excited about the overhaul to the layout of the Custom Menus admin page. It needed it! And, I’ll be testing the new autosave and revisions changes that Tom is excited about. I run a sandbox site to test the bleeding edge version of WordPress. I want to see how these new changes work with the Revision Control plugin I use and install on all of my client sites to keep the database clean. So look for more reports on that as we progress.
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.
Plugins to Check Out
The VB Social Share Widget plugin has been updated. It looks an awful lot like Social Media Widget but only includes the most popular social sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. It also doesn’t have the count bubbles above the icons, which I like. So, if you’re looking for something super simple that covers the bases, this may be it for you.
Here’s a plugin I read about but have not tried yet and would like to hear from anyone who has. The Exploit Scanner plugin scans your WordPress files and looks for anything suspicious and reports those files to you. You can also search your files for any keyword you like. But, the developer warns that any search by this plugin is heavy on the server and you should only run it during off-peak times. That’s going to be true of most scanning plugins. I use the Malware scanner that comes with BackupBuddy (aff link) and run it about once a quarter. It’s made by Sucuri. Do you ever run scans on your site? Let me know in the comments what you use and what it found and if you think it saved your site.
Barry Feldman has a nice guest post on the Convince and Convert blog about Why You Shouldn’t Do Content Marketing. If you struggle with content marketing, you should read it. If you haven’t started content marketing yet, you should read it.
On Social Media Today, Barry Feldman has 12 Brutally Honest Answers to Your Content Marketing Questions. He pulls no punches here. While there is no formula for success, there are fundamentals, and these are those.
Ileane Smith of Basic Blog Tips is full of great ideas, like this one she shared on one of her ScoopIt pages. It’s from the El Dorado SEO blog about How to Find Your YouTube RSS Feed. Ms. Ileane puts that URL in as her website when signing in to post a comment on CommentLuv enabled blogs and she’s able to choose from her video list as the link to share for her. That’s way cool.
Google has made some significant changes to the way it displays pictures when you Search in Google Images. Here’s exactly what they said about it on the Google Webmaster blog:
- We now display detailed information about the image (the metadata) right underneath the image in the search results, instead of redirecting users to a separate landing page.
- We’re featuring some key information much more prominently next to the image: the title of the page hosting the image, the domain name it comes from, and the image size.
- The domain name is now clickable, and we also added a new button to visit the page the image is hosted on. This means that there are now four clickable targets to the source page instead of just two. In our tests, we’ve seen a net increase in the average click-through rate to the hosting website.
- The source page will no longer load up in an iframe in the background of the image detail view. This speeds up the experience for users, reduces the load on the source website’s servers, and improves the accuracy of webmaster metrics such as pageviews. As usual, image search query data is available in Top Search Queries in Webmaster Tools.
So, the meta data you include with your image may play as much of a factor in someone clicking it as the image itself. A searcher my become interested in the meta data or your site name even if they are not interested in your image. So, be sure to get all the SEO juice you can out of this change. I’ve got some nice tutorials covering this in the Working with Images video over on the BlogAid Video Tutorial Library. http://www.training.blogaid.net
The nice folks at MailChimp have created a new app called Gather. It’s a super cool way to keep folks informed of upcoming events or such. Go read the blog post because they have some super tips on how groups, teachers, real estate agents and more can use it. And, it doesn’t require you to set up a List first. It runs independently.
If you’re still recovering from the YouTube update from six weeks ago, brace yourself for more. The nice folks at Reel SEO have the skinny on the news with the YouTube Channel Redesign.
StudioPress has a new theme called Metro 1.0, Taking Magazine-Style Mobile Responsive Themes Widescreen. (aff link) This is the 22nd mobile responsive theme from StudioPress which tells you two things: people like it and it’s more than a trend.
There’s a super post by Kristina Kledzik on SEO Moz about the SEO of Responsive Web Design. She included some nice screenshots and stats. While traffic went way up on some sites, I’m wondering if there has been enough time to get a grip on any loss of revenue or social follows or an increase in bounce rate due to the loss of info in the sidebars. For me, that will be the true ROI test, the difference in spikes of traffic compared to the other stats. Only time will tell. And, something else most designers don’t differentiate is the term mobile surfing to distinguish the fact that there are a plethora of devices now in all different screen sizes. As I reported in a previous Tips Tuesday, tablet browsing is becoming more popular than doing it on a phone. I would think that is going to have to factor in to what you look for in the stats and adjust your design accordingly.
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 RSS via email in the sidebar of the site. Visit BlogAid.net for more tips, tutorials, and free resources to make your site better.
And I’ll see you online!