Why Auditing Your Website Could Be One Of The Best Things To Do In 2022

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Website auditing isn’t sexy or fun but it is enlightening and can help you bring in more revenue by streamlining where you can, automating when you can’t, and pivoting to what is working while cutting out what isn’t.

Whether you’re a lawyer or a massage therapist keeping your message positive and on track is imperative.

Whether you’re a writer or a baker your website provides you with the insight and clues you need to reach more customers, therefore, making more money.

Before you even begin though you need to identify your goals.

I don’t mean like “I want to make more money or I want more followers.” That just doesn’t get it.

You need to create concrete goals that can be measured. For example, I have a goal to reach 10K followers on Twitter.

Two months I was at 4600 when I started. By putting in some effort I’ve already grown to 7600. That’s easily measured and concrete.

I also want more pageviews on TDAC & TT. That requires creating more content, staying on a consistent schedule (which is where I struggle), and promoting that content.

If you’re a writer, looking at what you’re audience is drawn to and what they aren’t can mean the difference between a successful book launch and a flop.

By looking at the past stats you can make a plan for the future. Which topics do better? What which ones could use some help?

In the last post, I talked about writing down your top 10 blog posts and 10 of the most unpopular posts.

  • Do they have a theme?
  • A category?
  • Can you identify what worked and what is ignored?
  • Is there a problem you can solve?
  • This helps me create more content that people really want to read.

Maybe 6 of your top posts were about baking and the other four were candy it would stand to reason that people really like your desserts and maybe you should concentrate more in that direction.

In the same token, if 6 of your least ranking posts were about grilling and the other four are about tailgating recipes you might want to change the way you create new content by pivoting to more outside cooking and less on indoor dining and luscious desserts!

If you really want to address this, find a way to update and refresh these least favorite posts you could pivot this to holiday parties, family reunion recipes, etc.

You just have to be flexible and ready to pivot towards what you’re audience is really wanting. It’s okay to decide some content no longer follows along those lines.

It’s most important to stay on your brand’s main message.

Think about this…

Most of you know I have another blog The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver and this site.

I started posting stuff about caregivers on TT nobody would be interested because that’s not our message.

In the same token, if I started giving tech tips on TDAC it probably wouldn’t get a lot of traction.

As writers, we’re often tempted to write what WE want, but you have to remember you’re providing a service even if it’s only a blog post.

To be successful you need to write what THEY want. This is why we have sayings like this; “Give them what they want”.

Maya Angelou said, “People won’t remember what you say and do. They remember how you make them feel.”

If you solve a problem for someone you’re probably going to make them FEEL good.

They will more than likely come back again and again and eventually become customers, readers or clients.

It’s all about building that relationship with your readers.

Even if that problem is just needing a place to escape for a moment into your blog post, video, webinar, podcasts.

Whatever you’re creating.

Places To Explore

  1. Top Posts
  2. Least favorite posts
  3. Contact form submissions
  4. Comments
  5. Analytics (Demographics and even your bounce rate).
  6. Create a survey.
  7. Your email service provider (which emails pique people’s interests and which ones are getting clicks or ignored altogether).
  8. A/B Testing

As you can see this can be a very important step in your business’ growth and therefore attaining those goals that you identified in the beginning.

It will be like following a road map once you get the available information all in one place!

 

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GET YOUR WEBSITE & CONTENT READY FOR 2022

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As a website owner, it is imperative that we keep our websites running safely and efficiently as well as provide a good user experience. This is no easy task, but today I’m going to walk you through the steps to make sure that you’re doing what you need to do without making you crazy! 

MAKE A BACKUP BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING

Before making any changes you should always make a backup of your site. While you’re at it this is a great time to check how things are set up and that they are running correctly. Answer questions about where your backups are delivered to. 

I use Dropbox for this, but you can have them sent to any number of places. Google Drive, One Drive, AWS, Delivered to your email, etc. 

Also, you want to see how many copies are being stored. If you don’t have a limit set you could be filling up your storage which in the end costs more money. I keep two copies at all times and then set it to delete any others.

THEN FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS TO CLEAN UP YOUR SITE

    • UPDATE ALL PLUGINS & THEMES
    • DELETE ANY INACTIVE OR UNNEEDED PLUGINS
    • DELETE YOUR CACHE OR OPTIMIZE YOUR DATABASE. I use OPTIMIZE DATABASE BY DELETING REVISION PLUGIN or a caching plugin that is compatible with your theme.
    • RUN A SCAN FOR MALWARE
    • RUN A TEST FOR GT METRIX. This will give you a report of how your site is running. Check the speed and the overall grade. 

THIS IS A GREAT TIME TO FRESHEN YOUR SITE UP & TAKE AN AUDIT

  • DO YOUR OPT-IN BUTTONS WORK?
  • DO YOUR SOCIAL FOLLOW BUTTONS WORK?
  • ARE THERE ANY WIDGET AREAS THAT NEED TO BE REFRESHED?
  • DO YOU WANT TO MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR WEBSITE? 

NOW IT’S TIME TO AUDIT YOUR CONTENT

Go to your stats. Whether you use JetPacks or Google analytics either one will work.

  1. Find the top 10 posts of 2021 and make a list. 
  2. Find the least read posts of 2021 and make a list.
  3. Go through these posts and refresh what you can. Add new images, change some wording.
  4. Find ways to improve your SEO. I’ve got a great SEO planner and it’s totally FREE!
  5. Go over your most popular posts and come up with content for 2022. How can you turn last year’s content into this year’s greatest blog posts?

IF YOU WANT TO DELETE BLOG POSTS IN BULK FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS

On WordPress, you can delete any old posts simultaneously.
  1. Go to WordPress and log in to your account.
  2. Click “Posts,” then click “Edit.”
  3. Click the category containing the posts you want to delete, then check the posts you want to delete.
  4. Click the “Bulk Actions” drop-down menu and click “Delete.”

Are you ready for big things in 2022? If you’ve been wanting to up your email marketing game with MailChimp you’re in luck!

Stay tuned for next week’s big announcement and an opportunity to build your email marketing strategy from beginning to end together!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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How Web Design Affects Your Online Sales

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Here’s something many business owners are not aware of: their website is more than just their online identity. While also considered by many as a virtual representation of their physical store or office, it is so much more. Apart from being your online business card, your website is also a powerful selling tool.

Here’s another fact many might find surprising: your website’s design has a massive impact on your online sales. For starters, your website’s architecture can impact consumer trust and the length of time they remain on your site. Both factors can translate to revenue (or loss) depending on how they are handled.

While it’s important to know the right website trends to incorporate in your design, knowing how your web design affects your online sales is just as crucial.

Let’s start by looking at some interesting facts that highlight the impact of web design on your online sales:

A staggering 75% of visitors will base the credibility of your website on your design. When visitors don’t find your site trustworthy, they will stay away from your site and look for information elsewhere. Understandably, this can result in a loss of sales for your business.

An enhanced design can improve your site’s credibility. A polished, clean, and modern website can make it very convenient for your visitors to browse or shop on your site. When it’s easy to transact on your site, they are more likely to patronize what you have to offer.

A great web design can increase customer loyalty. A whopping 89% of people turn to a competitor after a bad customer experience. If you want to generate more sales and improve customer loyalty, your web design is one of the things you should look into.

Web Design Elements That Can Help Boost Your Online Sales

Now that you know how your web design affects your online sales, here are some web design elements that can help you generate more revenue:

Integrate responsive design.

Once you know the impact of web design on your online sales, it’s easier for you to understand the impact of having a functional site. One of the first things you need to integrate to increase sales is a responsive design. A responsive design can help ensure your website can be accessed by anyone regardless of the device they use.

Make your call to action (CTA) page stand out.

Creating a superb CTA page is another effective way you can boost your online sales. When visitors want to purchase the products or services you offer, they look to your CTA for guidance. If your CTA page won’t be able to successfully guide your visitors on how to proceed, you can lose substantial revenue in the process.

Use high-quality visuals.

To help increase sales, use only high-quality visuals on your site. Avoid using graphics or stock photos as they can seem impersonal. It is also likely that your visitors will see them on other sites. Also, adding top-quality visuals can make your site stand out and make your products and services more enticing to your target audience.

Ensure you have organized navigation.

Another important web design aspect you should look into is your navigation. Ideally, you need to have organized and easy-to-use navigation. It is easier for you to sell your products and services to your visitors with organized navigation. You need to also ensure your site has all the relevant information your prospects will look for.

Use white space accordingly.

Many brands make the mistake of filling every inch of their website with visuals or information. However, overloading your website can be counterproductive as it can overwhelm and distract your visitors. This might not be common knowledge, but white space is key to good design so use it to your advantage.

Speed up your site.

If your site does not load fast, your visitors can leave without even checking the products or services you are offering. To determine your site’s current load time, you can use Google

PageSpeed Insights. If you don’t have the time to implement changes that can improve your page speed, investing in the help of experts would be a good idea.

Final Thoughts

Various factors can impact your online sales, and web design is one of them. If you are not where you want to be in terms of online sales, it is recommended that you carry out a website audit. If you need any help improving any aspects of your website, don’t hesitate to invest in the help of experts. If anything, it is an investment that will yield lucrative returns in the long run.

About The Author, Shawn Byrne is the founder and CEO of My Biz Niche, Arizona-based digital marketing, and web design company that has achieved superior results for its clients. Before My Biz Niche, Shawn worked for Venture Capitalists where he built a private portfolio of e-commerce and informational websites that generate revenue through various digital marketing strategies.

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

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“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.  

  3. PERFORMANCE
  4.  

  5. 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.
    3.  

  2.  

  3. 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.  

  4. 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.  

  3. Check sites for updates starting with WordPress, moving on to themes, and then plugins. Twice every month.
  4.  

  5. 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.
  6.  

  7. 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.
  8.  

  9. Check your site speed with GT Metrix. (free) I do this once a month.
  10.  

  11. 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! 

 

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

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

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Have You Audited Your Website’s Mobile View? Here’s What You Could Be Missing!

 

I read A LOT of blog posts and like most people, I use a variety of devices to do it. At this time I have, a laptop (2), an iPad, and my iPhone, and what I find most often really surprises me.

80% of the blog posts I read are not totally mobile responsive AND you are being penalized by

  • a lower ranking,
  • a lower domain authority, and whether not your website is showing up in Google searches.
  • no matter how good of an SEO strategy you have if your site isn’t mobile responsive it’s all for naught.

To see this many websites who just aren’t getting it really concerns me. This can mean lower readership, lower sales, and a user experience that leaves a lot to be desired.

Answer this honestly: When was the last time you looked at your website on your mobile device? That doesn’t mean getting on and taking care of something like approving a comment, but really looking at what your readers and clients see when they visit your website on mobile view.

Have you?

  • Read a blog post & attempted to comment?
  • Tried to opt-in on your phone?
  • Tried to fill out your contact form?
  • Clicked on your social media buttons?
  • Tried to share a blog post on social media?

These are all tests that you should use to check your website for mobile responsiveness. I say at least every 6 months or anytime you make changes to your website.

As I was reading just this morning alone I saw:

  • images that wouldn’t load or were not the right size
  • no sharing buttons anywhere. I saw several foods and/or tech blogs that didn’t have Pinterest buttons or Pinterest-sized images on your site. Did you know that most community boards won’t allow you to pin unless your image size is 1000 x 1500?
  • no commenting section
& that was only after an hour of testing out different sites!

I know this isn’t something new, I mean Google started putting the word out in 2015 so why aren’t people listening? I’m not sure but I’m going to hope that you just don’t know what you don’t know. When I was researching this issue I found lots of articles on “mobile-friendliness”. Here’s a great one I found on Search Engine Journal or this one on Business News Daily.

Here are a few facts:

  1. More than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices.
  2. Google prioritizes mobile pages load speed as a key metric.
  3. They offer all sorts of free tools to help you achieve complete mobile responsiveness.

Are you tired of trying to find these answers by yourself or you just need a little help knowing what to do and how to do it?

Check out my maintenance plans that cover just that!

 

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