What Do You Have to Consider to Build Your Brand and Promote Your Business Online?

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It’s been a while since businesses could avoid being online; today’s businesses live or die primarily by their online presence. However, there’s a big gap between knowing that and knowing exactly how to build your brand. Even if your business isn’t web-based, building your online presence can help you promote your business and drive new customers through your doors. Here are some considerations when trying to build your brand and promote your services in an online setting.
Graphics Library

If you’re going to be promoting your business online, you’ll need a decent amount of graphics and visual content to support it. This starts with a logo that you own and can use wherever you need; this logo should match anything your business uses physically to avoid confusion. If you don’t have a logo, head over to LogoCreator, where you can design your own professional logo for absolutely free. 

Besides a logo, other content you’ll want to have is pictures from your business, promotional or marketing graphics for use in online marketing or video content you have of your business in action. All of this content helps you engage people with your marketing, rather than relying solely on long text-based content. Building this library and using it often can help promote your business online.

Use Google My Business

If there’s one place online you want to have your business registered, it’s on Google My Business. The most important benefit this free registration provides is people’s ability to see and find your business on Google Maps. People everywhere depend on Google Maps not only to help them get where they’re going but also to explore their local area and see what’s available. Your business is listed on Google Maps gives you a great promotional tool with a minimal cost associated.

 

Social Media Marketing

It’s hard to avoid social media, and as a business owner, you’d be ill-advised to do so. Social media offers an instant and constant way for people to interact with their favorite businesses, post reviews, and find local services. They often filter information by someone’s precise geolocation. People often ask for local suggestions for different services or products they need.  

You can target people in your area with relevant advertisements using the various social media platforms, which makes your marketing dollars stretch farther as well. It’s generally free to create a profile, although you may want to use paid advertising. The point is, social media gives you a chance to get your business in front of a lot of people who are in your local area and are most likely to use your service.

Email Marketing

Even if you aren’t inclined to build a website, you can get customers signed up for email newsletters after their visit. With a list of people who’ve already bought from you, you can send out periodic newsletters to let them know what you’re up to and all about the great deals you’ve been having. Email marketing is a very effective and reliable form of direct-to-consumer marketing, so you should really consider using it. Benchmark is a highly-rated email marketing service that automates many more mundane tasks, giving you the ability to create professional emails that get your customers to respond. 

Even if your business isn’t web-based, you should seriously consider building a robust online presence. People spend so much time on the internet and social media that by relying on more traditional promotion methods, you’re missing out on a lot of potential clients. Harness the reach possible online by keeping these considerations in mind when deciding how you want to promote your company.

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Are You Struggling? Easily Create Or Improve Your Own SEO Strategy

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SEO is never a one-and-done idea, more it’s a type of philosophy that you must adapt to be successful in your endeavors. Everything you do, every sentence you write, every graphic you create and every content marketing plan you follow should ALL start with SEO.

  1. What exactly is SEO?
  2. What does SEO optimization mean for you?
  3. Why is SEO so important?
  4. Being SEO Flexible.
  5. How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.
  6. How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working.
  7. Your Own SEO Planner.

1. What Is SEO? 

Search Engine Optimization is the science of making your content rank high in the search engines of today.

The official definition is this:

According to this piece of MOZ SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

What goes into SEO?

To understand the true meaning of SEO, let’s break that definition down and look at the parts:

Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead, you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in the products that you offer.

Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.

Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.

2. What Does SEO Optimization Mean For You?

It’s a strategy or plan that you create that will continue to build on SEO as you go along, by using:

  • Title
  • keywords
  • headlines
  • image titles
  • image descriptions
  • categories
  • tags
  • Cornerstone Content
  • social media posts

to consistently rank higher in search engines. This strategy works best when created at the very beginning, but can be improved along any step in the process.

3. Why Is SEO So Important?

SEO is important because it keeps the search results fair. It reduces the ability to manipulate these results as much as possible so that the sites appearing for each search are there because they deserve to be there. Hard work and a website that appeals to visitors correlate with high search engine rankings, so if your site meets these criteria, you’ll have a better chance of showing up in the results.

Users trust search engines and achieving a top spot in search engine rankings signals to searchers that your site is a credible source. The higher you rank in results pages, the more clicks and traffic your site will generate. SEO also improves user experience, making it more likely for customers to become repeat buyers. According to this piece on WEBFX.

4. Being SEO Flexible

What does being SEO flexible mean? It means that you take several key factors into consideration when making your SEO plan. Such as:

  • Current Events
  • Special Dates
  • Longtail keywords
  • Pivoting when things aren’t working.

No one ever sits down and creates the “perfect SEO plan” because honestly, it doesn’t exist. Being SEO optimized is an ongoing strategy and taking in these other key factors will only improve your rankings.

Taking into account the keywords you have chosen for your brand messaging you should also find ways to create with these four ideas in mind.

EXAMPLE:

Ellen is a food blogger and she uses these 4 keywords as her foundation.

  • Baking
  • Desserts
  • Organic
  • Gluten-free

Now using the previous considerations she might use these sentences or keywords.

  1. How To Keep Your Holiday Desserts Gluten-Free
  2. How to Bake The Ultimate Organic Holiday Meal.
  3. Baking Thanksgiving Desserts For The Dietary Challenged.
  4. Your Christmas Baking Taking To The Next Level With These Organic Recipes.
  5. Ten Things That You Could Be Doing To Completely Ruin Your Easter Baked Goods.

5. How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.

Now comes the easy part, because I’ve actually done the hard work for you. I created the FREE SEO PLANNER STRATEGY PLANNER and it’s a step by step guide to build a strong SEO foundation and to scale that plan as you grow.

On-Page SEO Tips

  1. Make sure that your URLs are clean:
    1. Think ahead
    2. Be consistent
    3. Use keywords
    4. Avoid any special characters. As they show up as “%20” which is unattractive.
    5. Length should be 50-60 characters
  2. Make sure your title is attractive:
    1. Start with keywords.
    2. Mind the length.
    3. Make it sell.
  3. Meta Descriptions:
    1. 150-160 characters.
    2. Don’t overstuff with keywords.
  4. Schema Markup: Structured data can do wonders for your SEO strategy.
    1. Use a Schema Markup Plugin
    2. You can also use Google’s, Markup Helper.
    3. How to check- use Rich Result Test.
  5. Optimized headings (h1-h6)
    1. H1 headings- Technically each of your pages has 2 titles.
      1. The title tag is displayed in search snippets.
      2. H1 tag benefit: Unlike title tag no character limitation. Use more keywords.
    2. H2 headings- Split page into high-level section mini titles within your content.
    3. H3-H6 headings- Used to mark further subsections within the content. Don’t overload keywords.

A.Keyword Saturation:

  • Use keywords earlier in the copy. You should be using keywords within the first 100 words.
  • Go beyond “exact matches” add more related keywords.

B.Content Length:

  • Content length changes from year to year and is currently around 2,000-word posts do best.
  • Want to make your content more compelling? Check out this piece from MostlyBlogging.com

C. Visual Aids:

  • Fill in your “alt” tags.
  • Compress your files.
  • Use descriptive filenames.

D. Above The Fold Content:

The top part of the page visual when it’s first loaded.

  • Remove distractions.
  • Optimize For Core Web Values
    • How fast it loads
    • How stable it is while loading.
    • How soon it becomes interactive

E. Mobile Friendliness:

You should check your site on all mobile search engines and make changes based on your results.

F. Internal Links:

  • Should flow from one link to another.
  • Pass authority from popular pages to less popular ones.
  • Move users down a funnel.
  • You need to always consider this: Whenever you create a piece of content you should always consider where the reader should go next.

G. Outgoing Links:

  • Link to larger, more established sites.
  • Each piece of content should have relevant links.

H. The Comment Section:

Make sure that your comments are set up as “no follow”. If you use popular comment plugins they take care of this for you.

6. How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working:

If you see that your backlinks are on the rise, your SEO efforts are working properly. If you see that the number of organic keywords on your website are also increasing, it’s safe to assume that you are targeting the correct keywords for your industry and using them successfully in your content. WebFX

7. Your Own SEO Planner:

 I’ve created your very own SEO Planner to help you keep your brand message on point. Sign up for my weekly newsletter (Sunday mornings) to get a copy for your very own, plus you’ll get full access to the Resource Library, deep discounts, and amazing tips to help you succeed in your online business or blog.

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It’s Coming, Are You Ready For Google Web Core Vitals?

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Google is making a major update to the way they rank websites.

 

It’s a new set of website performance metrics that will affect your SEO rankings

 

I’m sure you’ve seen that term floating around the internet. If it’s new to you, you may in for a big shock come May of this year when your rankings tank and your SEO plan go down the tubes!

 

You do have an SEO plan, don’t you?. If you don’t have a successful SEO plan in place I suggest subscribing and you will receive your very own SEO Strategy Planner for FREE!

 

Google uses 3 tests (Web Vitals)

  • Largest Content Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

LCP

This metric measures how quickly the main content becomes visible to the user.

This can be an image, article, or description, etc.

EX: You may have a fast load speed, but the larger content takes longer.

 

SPEED TESTS TOOLS WILL GIVE YOU A HIGH SCHOOL BUT PROVIDING A POOR USER EXPERIENCE MAY BE WORSE.

These tests are meant to give you a clearer picture of your website’s performance.

 

FID

Measures the time it takes a user’s browser to actually be able to begin processing event handlers in response to a user’s interaction. 

Are you sensing a theme here?

This can be as contact form, comment, share button, opt-ins, etc.. How long does it take when they are able to click that link?

CLS

Measures the time it takes for a website to become visibly stable.

As a website loads, some elements take more time to load than others.

During this time, your website’s content may keep moving on the screen.

EX: A reader is reading a paragraph on a mobile phone and a video embedded loads above it, this makes the entire content move down.

Frustrating if a user is trying to accomplish an action such as adding a product to a cart.

These metrics should be

  • LCP     2.5 seconds
  • FID      <100 milliseconds
  • CLS     <.01

 

  • You can also access your Core Vitals report in your Google console. This allows you to see how many URLs need improvement, passed, or have a poor score.
  • You can also obtain this by using your Chrome browser by right-clicking on the page and choose Inspect Element, look at the top and you’ll see LIGHTHOUSE by clicking on the arrows where it says ELEMENT, CONSOLE SOURCE>> hit those arrows to see it. MUST BE IN THE INCOGNITO MODE FOR THIS TO WORK (in your Chrome Browser click those three dots and the very top right-hand side and click NEW INCOGNITO WINDOW.

Google has already announced that search algorithms update will include page experience as one of its ranking factors  5/21

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WEB CORE VITALS

  1. OPTIMIZE YOUR WEB HOSTING – Having good web hosting is becoming a necessity these days and the core web vitals are no different. This is an important part of your score. Bargain hosting is no longer adequate when you worried about rankings. Premium hosting can be a lifesaver. By providing security, SSLs and a CDN is the way that websites are being hosted these days. I HAVE THE ANSWER FOR THIS
  2. IMPROVE LCP SCORE – Optimize your images! Make sure that you are using a caching plugin if possible that includes image optimization. You can also use tools like Imagify, Smush, etc. (I recommend WP Rocket (make sure it’s compatible with your theme). Also, I find a lot that clients are using several of these thinking perhaps the more the better when in fact the opposite is true. I prefer to use caching in my premium web hosting instead of adding a weighty plugin. An example of LCP would be the featured image in a blog post. If it exceptionally large that could cause problems.
  3. IMPROVE FID –  Again a caching plugin will help with this. Changing the way you load your Javascript and CSS can also be a big help. Always, minify your CSS.
  4. IMPROVE CLS – Fix layout shifts. Make sure all of your images have size attributes. Right-click on inspect tool to check these. Cache plugin.
  5. ELIMINATE RENDER BLOCKING ELEMENTS (Elements that are slower to load). These are usually: Javascript & CSS that is added by plugins like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, etc.
  6. PROPERLY SIZE IMAGES IN WP – Wrong size images can cause issues on mobile devices.
  7. USE A CDN – I HAVE THE ANSWER FOR THIS. A CDN allows you to serve static content on your website from multiple servers around the globe which drastically decreases load times.
  8. IMAGES – When you upload an image to your WordPress media library three copies are automatically created. These sizes are THUMBNAILS, MEDIUM, LARGE. You can set these under SETTINGS>>MEDIA. If you put a “0” in that box it will skip that size if you aren’t using them. Also, if you’d like your thumbnails to be rectangular you could change the thumbnail size to something like WIDTH: 450px  HEIGHT: 200px. such as for food blogs.Larger images provide a clearer image but take up more storage space. Check the “Organize my uploads by month and year.

NEED MORE HELP WITH RENDER BLOCKING TEXT?

As I said, this is inserted by your plugins. If you’re using

  • WP Rocket uses the FILE OPTIMIZATION TAB.
  • Minify & combine your Javascript and CSS ** Make sure to check because this can cause some minor design changes.
  • Javascript deferred – Save mode for JQuery.

 

.WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

A 1-second delay in page load time can lead to:

  • a 7% loss in conversions
  • 11% fewer pageviews
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

 

graphic showing losses in dollars amount

 

 

 

 

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The Must-Have Guide To WordPress Website Maintenance That Every Entrepreneur & Blogger Needs In Their Arsenal

“Why Should I Care About Website Maintenance?”

 

First, let’s look at the numbers:

 

  • 60 Million websites are created with WordPress.
  • 39% of the top 10 million websites use WordPress.
  • 500 + WordPress sites every single day are created.

Website maintenance addresses every single part of your website. and each part is just as important as the next. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to break it down into three sections.

  1. SECURITY
  2. PERFORMANCE
  3. HOW TO PROPERLY MAINTAIN YOUR SITE, PLUS A LITTLE EXTRA

HACKING:

  • 49% of hacked WordPress sites are caused by vulnerabilities on your hosting platform.
  • 52% of WordPress vulnerabilities come from plugins.
  • 44% of hacking was caused by outdated WordPress sites.

**INTERESTING FACT:

In 2011, 18 million users were compromised due to a hack!

I. MAINTENANCE: HOSTING:

Let’s cover those:

Hosting platforms:

  1. Shared Hosting (GoDaddy, Bluehost, etc.) This is where your website shares a server with a bunch of other websites.
    1. Service overload is the #1 reason your site is slow, your getting site suspensions or 500 errors. Your website is sitting there with 200+ other websites. These packages run anywhere from $3-$5, but like with anything else you get what you pay for.
    2. Pay for extra features like necessary SSL certificates.
  2. DIY VPS
    1. More for developers & bootstrap startups. Can cause lots of problems if a mistake is made.
    2. Great if you’re smart, savvy, and need to save money.
  3. Managed WordPress Hosting (Flywheel, WP Engine)
    1. Hosts handle all of the backend-related tasks plus offer support when you need it.
    2. Saves you time and hassle.
    3. $25 – $150 monthly for these plans (but they cover things like SSL’s that most shared hosting charges extra for.

 

II. MAINTENANCE: PHP ISSUES

PHP – PHP is an open-source server-side scripting & programming language that’s primarily used for web development.

  • The build of the core WordPress is written in PHP along with your themes & plugins.
  • Should be 7.0 or higher.
  • Faster speeds improved security.

BEWARE OF HOSTS OFFERING HHVM AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO PHP. HHVM IS NO LONGER A SUITABLE SOLUTION.

III. MAINTENANCE: THEMES

It’s very important to choose the right theme from the very beginning.

Every element in a theme has some impact on your overall speed!

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A THEME:

  • Start with a fast, lightweight theme that is built with only the features that you need. OR
  • A more feature-rich theme but you can disable features that aren’t in use:

THINGS LIKE:

  1. Google fonts.
  2. Font Awesome
  3. Icons
  4. Sliders
  5. Galleries
  6. Videos
  7. Parallax Scripts

BEWARE OF PAGE BUILDERS AS THEY CAN INCREASE LOAD TIMES. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO TURN OFF.

IV. MAINTENANCE: PLUGINS

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  • Too many can slow down your site.
  • Quality is as important as quantity.

MOST POPULAR:

  1. SEO By Yoast
  2. Akismet
  3. JetPack
  4. Wordfence
  5. Contact Form 7.

V. OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

Here is a list of settings and other tweaks you should or can make to your websites.

  • Change your WordPress login. By this, I’m not talking about changing your username and password. In this instance, I’m talking about changing the /wp-admin/ to something else. Think about it almost every website uses this same login extension. By changing this you make it nearly impossible to sign in to your website because only you would know the new extension. You can use anything you want. This can be accomplished with a plugin.
  • Disable, remove or tweak your plugins. A simple setting can mean the difference between a slow website and fast website.
  • Disable Pingbacks from other sites, (Disable all both from you and from other sites).
  • Limit the number of posts in your feed. No more than 10 is best.
  • Caching is the most important and easiest way to speed up your website. BENEFITS: Your server uses fewer resources. Can easily reduce your page speed by over 33%!
  • Image Optimization can significantly impact your overall page speeds. More important than Javascript, CSS & Fonts. Images make up on average 34% of a web page’s overall weight. The trick is to find that delicate balance between load times and acceptable image quality.
  • Important to also consider when thinking about the images on your site is the format type of file. Compression can reduce your image size by as much as 5 times!
    • PNG – Higher quality images – larger file size
    • JPEG – Good quality and size.
    • Compression types for JPEG | LOSSY COMPRESSION MEANS: Eliminating some of the data (may come out pixelated). LOSSLESS COMPRESSION: Doesn’t decrease quality by removing unnecessary metadata. ** Choose one that compresses and optimizes images externally.
    • GIFS – Kill your website performance.
    • Delete the number of revisions in both drafts and updated versions. To limit the number of revisions you can use a plugin like Optimize Database & Delete Revisions plugin or you can add this code to your .php function files. define (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS, 10’); YOU CAN CHANGE THE NUMBER TO ANY AMOUNT YOU WANT. You can also disable revisions altogether.
    • Clean up your WP_OPTIONS TABLE & Autoloaded data.
      • Here you will find things like; Site URL, Home URL, admin email, default categories, posts per page, time format, etc.
      • Settings for plugins, themes, widgets (remove old deactivated).
      • Temporarily cached data.
      • 4 – Field columns:
        • option_id
        • option_name
        • option_value
        • option_autoload These you can change, but be careful.

MY MAINTENANCE ROUTINE:

  1. Create a clean backup of your site before making any changes whether it’s updating a theme or changing a plugin. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. The sites I manage are backed up every single day.
  2. Check sites for updates starting with WordPress, moving on to themes, and then plugins. Twice every month.
  3. Optimize databases (I use the Optimize Database While Deleting Revisions or the WP-Optimize plugins to accomplish this. Most of the above settings above can be done here). Twice every month.
  4. Scan for malware using Wordfence or another Security plugin of your choice. TIP: Make sure your hosting isn’t doing this already! Twice every month.
  5. Check your site speed with GT Metrix. (free) I do this once a month.
  6. Do a font-end visual check. Sometimes updates can make small changes to your site. It’s good to take a good look at this time. Check that email opt-in to make sure it’s working, social media buttons, or other important parts of your site. Twice monthly or after any changes.

IF YOU THINKING

“THERE’S NO WAY I HAVE TIME FOR ALL OF THIS”

I GET IT. LIFE IS CRAZY, BUSY THESE DAYS.

MONEY IS TIGHT 

YOUR PLATE IS JUST TOO FULL

THEN I HAVE THE ANSWER FOR YOU!

Not sure what kind of help you need?

I offer a FREE 30 MINUTE DISCOVERY CALL! 

 

When I travel I leave my website in Rena’s trust-worthy, capable hands. She not only watches over my site to make sure everything is okay while I’m unavailable. she serves as a virtual assistant to take care of commenting obligations. I never give my website or blog a second thought because I know she is overseeing it. She is a treasure.

Carol Cassara

AHealingSpirit.org

GO CALL HER RIGHT NOW! SHE IS AWESOME!
She answers emails in a very TIMELY manner. She is quick and gets the job done even if she’s never done it before.

I find her a joy. There is always an email shot back to me to say job completed. Stop dragging your feet and sign up for her services. Money well spent!

Elizabeth Kirkpatrick

TheVintageContessa.net

I’ve worked with Rena on all kinds of techy type projects and I can say with full confidence that she is responsible, timely, affordable, knowledgeable willing to take initiative, able to learn on the fly, and has a knack for all those server maintenances and WordPress issues that flouncy designers don’t want to deal with. I would recommend her highly!

Julie Stoian

JulieStoian.com

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2-Step Verification: What It Is & Why You Need It

two female entrepreneurs at work

Over the last few weeks, one of my clients and I have been lost in cyber hell. The lovely Vintage Contessa who glamourized your Instagram feed for the last few years had her account hacked and then hijacked. You may remember her from the Women In Biz features last year she was the first! She went to sign in to her account and nothing. Her account was gone along with years of time, hard work, and 13k followers.

 

Now, in 2020 you would think that this would be a simple matter of contacting Instagram or its daddy Facebook and they would swoop in and save her account from the clutches of these villainous assholes. Immediately went on a search for a contact email or some kind of support. I spent hours just trying to track down an email address, but the many rabbit trails I went down led to nothing. I tried every one I could think of, we filled out a troubleshooting problem forms daily for several weeks and not one attempt was made to contact us back.

 

When you use a free platform you do it with the understanding that nothing there is yours and they reserve the right to basically do what they want while not offering anything in return. Facebook makes billions from its users but they can’t offer a support line to fix issues like this? It’s not fair, but that is the way it is. Although by far the worst is Facebook/Instagram.

 

Today, I’m going to show you how to protect your accounts

 

What Is 2 Step Verification &
How Does It Work?

 

Wikipedia definition: Multi-factor authentication is an electronic authentication method in which a computer user is granted access to a website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism: knowledge, possession, and inherence. In plain old English, it means you need to take 2 steps to sign on so that if someone kidnaps your email they still can’t get into your account because they won’t be able to complete the necessary second step (a text message to your phone, an Application Authenticator APP that you download to your cellphone).

 

How Do You Set 2-Step Verification Up?

 

It depends on what platform you’re using, but I’m going to show you how to set up on a few different areas and from there you’ll know the basic steps to set it up in the places that you need them.

Since we were discussing Contessa’s Instagram account we’ll start there:

 

Instagram Profile setting screenshot

 

 

 

2-step verification setup for Instagram

 

 

Very easy to do even for a novice! The same principle applies to all of your other social media platforms start at your profile and find the security section.

 

For Your Email Service Provider (Of course, we’re using Mailchimp.
Bonus: If you set up a 2-step verification you get a small discount on your monthly subscription).

 

 

 

screenshot from a Mailchimp

 

And finally your WordPress website:

The first thing you need it to download the 2 Factor Plugin 

This plugin is easy to set up. After uploading and activating your plugin you’re going to go to USERS>> scroll down until you see the 2 step verification settings. The easiest way to do is to check the email box (see images below).

 
 
screenshot of active plugins page
 

 

screenshot of 2 step verification set up

You Also Want To Add These Authenticator APPS to your Android or iPhone account.

screenshot of authenticator apps

 

 

screenshot of the Google Authenticator app

Bonus Tip:

I love tech all kinds of it, but it can be overwhelming and confusing when you’re trying to keep it all together. I use things like LastPass and ways of keeping track and Trello being another. CAVEAT: I also go old-school and keep things written down. I found an old fashion recipe box and I bought a pack of index cards. Each account gets its own card with the information needed to get into an account in the case of a computer crash or such.

Other Resources:

HOW ANY INSTAGRAM CAN BE HACKED IN 10 MINUTES – Security Boulevard

HERE’S WHY HACKERS WANT YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT:- ABC News 7

HACKING STATISTICS TO GIVE YOU NIGHTMARES  – Dataport

 

 

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Start 2021 With A Clean Slate By Organizing Your Website

There are several times a year when cleaning up and starting fresh seem to be at the top of everyone’s mind, but none more than a new year. This year, I think in particular, we want to start off 2021 on better footing and wipe 2020 completely off of the slate. This year as you see, I’ve taken that to a whole new level with the creation of Technology-Therapist.com. Formerly, The Blogging 911. As The Blogging 911, I was a web designer/maintainer/troubleshooter but it takes a lot more than a website to run a successful online business and I want to help with the whole picture from beginning to end.  My maintenance packages come in three different sizes depending on how much help you want or need. I hope you will check them out HERE! This year unlike any other we all need that fresh start don’t we? Last year was a shit show of the highest level and I for one am thrilled it is gone. One of the most important parts of running a successful business or blog is maintaining it and doing it in a way that doesn’t hurt your SEO strategy (you do have a plan don’t you? If not next week’s post is just for you!) or your analytics. There’s never a better time than a fresh new year!  The first thing I always do is study the numbers and ask myself several questions. What worked in 2020 & what didn’t. I track everything much like a company does inventory you should do the same thing. Some of the things I look at are:

  • Most successful post of 2020 & of all time.
  • Least successful post of 2020 & of all time.
  • Products that were the most successful.
  • Products there aren’t selling.
  • Which pages are getting the most attention?
  • Take stock of your sidebar, is it still relevant?
  • Do a site audit. Does your contact form work? Are your products set up correctly? Does your op-tin go to the right place?

Once you’ve taken stock of all of this study the numbers and see what was the most successful. Update those posts. Maybe add some new images, some newer data. This is very important for your SEO to keep your content relevant. It will also provide your readers with a better user experience. I’m going to use my The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver site as a case study so that you can get the full picture of what it means to clean up your website for 2021! A little background: This site was established in 2014 and posts new content weekly.  MOST SUCCESSFUL POSTS (TOP 5)

  1. Amazing Benefits of Massage For Alz Disease Patients.
  2. 6 Signs Of Dementia In Elderly Women
  3. Mom With Dementia – What To Gift Her On Mother’s Day
  4. 5 Tips For A Healthy Aging & A Active Lifestyle
  5. 6 Ways To Ease Your Parents’ Transition From Assisted Living To Memory Care

Make any updates to those posts. Add new graphics, check links, and update any research. LEAST SUCCESSFUL POSTS (TOP 5)

  1. Respite Care From Caregivers Is A Necessity.
  2. Why Should You Stay Physically Active As A Senior
  3. How To Survive Senior Caregiving.
  4. What It Looks Like To Be An Alzheimer’s Caregiver
  5. Keeping Our Seniors Safe From Scammers.

Since this isn’t an eCommerce product stats aren’t necessary. I also like to see what the numbers were the year before and compare them to this year to get a clear picture of how the site is doing. I have to admit I was surprised by the changes from 2019 to 2020. As you can see from the image below from one year to the next my pageviews increased by 67.84% (or 11,694). WEBSITE AUDIT SIDEBAR

  • Check your social media buttons to make sure they lead to the correct profile.
  • Check your search button to make sure it’s working.
  • Does your opt-in go to the right place?
  • Check any links

OTHER

  • Check to make sure that your copyright is up to date.
  • Check any links.
  • Check for widgets.
  • Check to make sure that your contact form is working properly and goes to the correct email address.

MENU

  • Check to make sure your menu makes sense.
  • Is easily navigated.
  • Provides the right information.

Read this post by Yoast about cleaning up your site structure. Does your site:

  • What’s my most important content according to my mission?
  • Is that the content my audience is looking for too? (What does the data say?)
  • Can my users find it in the menu or on the homepage?
  • If I look at my goals, is there anything essential missing on my site?
  • Do I have content in my menu or high up in the hierarchy that isn’t essential after all, or doesn’t perform well?

Once you’ve completed this you’ll have a better understanding of not only your website but also if you’re creating relevant content or maybe it needs a few tweaks. It will become clear through the data what it is your readers want from you & the best way for you to provide that information. CONCLUSION While this is a great way to start off 2021 on the right foot it’s also not a one & done process. It’s a strategy or plan that is a constant work in progress. Next week, we’re going to work on updating or deleting! That’s always the big question, isn’t it? Have more questions? Let me know in the comments below or head over to the Technology-Therapist Facebook page & ask your questions there!

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