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Is Your Website Fast Enough?

Google is such a prominent and dominant force on the web that it’s become a dictionary entry, a verb. When someone asks us for information, and we don’t know the answer, we tell the person to ‘just google it.’ Or even when we know the answer, and we don’t have the time to explain, we tell people to ‘go google’ the information.

Everyone knows what Google is and all website owners want their sites to rank high on Google. They know they stand to benefit from the search giant’s popularity. Even from the very beginning, Google did search engine right.

At the time every other search engine was focused on becoming a portal, a one-stop-shop on the Internet but Google was solely a search engine. When people searched for stuff on Google, they got much better results than any other search engine.

This largely led to Google’s success. To date, no other search engine comes close, not even Bing, the world’s second largest search engine.

Google’s Vision

“Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Over the years, Google has continuously improved and developed their services to make it in line with their vision. Ask any so-called black hat SEOs out there – gaming Google nowadays is hard work. In the old days, they could fool Google by implementing techniques that made their spammy sites rank high on Google.

Today, this is no longer the case. If you want your site to rank on Google, you’re going to have to play their game. You’re going to have to follow the rules.

Otherwise, you risk getting your site forever buried in the 100th or 1000th page – places where no one will ever bother clicking. What this means is that your site will be practically invisible to people who may be interested in your content.

What Google Wants, Google Gets

No truer words have been spoken. Whenever Google releases an algorithm update, website owners scramble to make sure their site adheres to whatever information, clues, or guidelines Google has released.

But why should you care what Google wants? How would your brand or business benefit from it?

Before we answer that question, let’s understand the context first. Google is the number one website and search engine in the world. It’s got the lion’s share of most searches on the Internet with over 3 billion queries handled on a daily basis. That means billions of people use Google to look up information on all sorts of topics!

Now, imagine having thousands or millions of people heading on over to your website simply because you appeared on the top spot on Google.

Does that bring a smile to your face? Does the thought make you happy? It should!

Unless of course, your site is hosted on some cheap hosting plan. Your site will probably crash under all that traffic, and you’d need to upgrade your hosting to probably the most expensive option! But, that’s a good problem to have, you know.

A massive volume of high-quality traffic is a huge opportunity for your business. It will translate directly to more leads and sales for your business. To top it off, you don’t even need to pay a single dollar to have your site appear on those coveted spots on Google search pages!

So, did the above scenario convince you now on why you should care about what Google wants? I hope you see the light! If you don’t, you’re not going to land anywhere near the first page of Google. Your web pages will be buried somewhere no one will ever see, and no one will be visiting your site from Google.

The only alternative for you then would be to pay Google to have your site appear on the first page. This would be courtesy of Google Adwords which, truth be told, does not come cheaply. Other alternatives include paying for space on other search engines like Bing or paying for ads on social media.

Ask yourself which is better? Getting free and highly targeted traffic OR paying for ads? Of course, you’d choose the first option. There’s no point in paying for ads if you can get better quality traffic for free, right?

This is basically the reason why many webmasters and business owners do their best to make sure their site is compliant with Google requirements.

So, if Google says your site should be faster, then it should be faster. If you do as Google says, your site will ultimately be rewarded by higher rankings on its search pages!

Before you go off making your site run faster, you need to establish a baseline for your site’s speed. You need some tools to do this. Here are some of the top free ones which will give you plenty of actionable tips to help you configure your site and make it speedy.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google’s free tool will allow you to check out your website’s real performance for both desktop and mobile devices. You simply need to enter your website URL, click on the blue ‘Analyze’ button, and wait for Google’s suggestions on how your site could be improved.

There are two tabs: Mobile and Desktop. Each tab will have its own set of suggestions on how you can improve your site’s performance on either platform.

You get a score for Page Speed and Optimization. Ideally, you want a perfect score. And it’s not impossible. You just follow the suggestions Google gives you, so you get a perfect mark!

PageSpeed Insights give you both the good and the bad. When you scroll down the page, you’ll see a section for Optimization Suggestions and another section for Optimizations Already Present.

What you want to do is go through the Optimization Suggestions section, click on ‘Show how to fix’ and do the necessary changes.

If you want to know the good stuff, click on ‘Show details’ in the Optimizations Already Present section. It’s always good to see when you’re doing something right with your website. It motivates you to go and do the things that need to be done!

Pingdom Website Speed Test

Pingdom is another popular tool that you can use to check up on what you need to do to improve your website’s loading times. Many users love this tool because it shows you a lot more information than Google’s PageSpeed Insight does.

All you have to do is type in your website’s URL, select the location you want to test from (currently, you can choose from 7 different locations), then hit the ‘Start Test’ button.

You’ll then be presented with the results. First up is a Summary section which gives your site a ‘Performance Grade.’ It also shows your site’s load time, page size, number of requests, and more (see screenshot below). Further down, you’ll have a list of things to improve on in the section ‘Performance Insights.’

If you want to see which of your website files are contributing to your site’s load, then you can check the ‘Content size by content type.’

What’s really cool about Pingdom’s tool is that they include a waterfall analysis of your site. This type of analysis will help you easily look up which factors affect your site’s performance.

GTMetrix

To use GTMetrix, you simply need to enter the URL you want to analyze and you’ll have your site’s performance report in under a minute. GTMetrix is free to use, and you can glean lots of information on how you can improve your site’s speed.

The only drawback is you can’t use a test server region closest to your location. Instead, the default region used will be Vancouver, Canada.

You’ll get a summary of your ‘Performance scores’ and your ‘Page details.’ You can click on the different tabs to get an idea of the things you need to improve on.

For free users though you can only see data for PageSpeed, YSlow and Waterfall Analysis. If you want to view data in the Timings, Video and History tabs, then you need to either register an account or sign up for a premium plan.

Google is serious about wanting to make the Internet a better place for everyone. If you want your brand or business to succeed, then you’ll need to ensure your site loads fast too. Otherwise, you’ll be losing potential clients and customers to your competitors.

Everyone Hates a Slow Website

Go ahead and admit it – you hate slow websites. Everyone does. So it’s safe to assume that if you have a slow-loading site, you can expect people to hate it, too. But why exactly do we get impatient and hate slow sites?

People used to wait patiently for web pages to load. When the Internet was still new websites took forever to load and no one complained. They were just excited to have the technology that Internet afforded. However now if people have to wait more than a second or two for a website to load, they click away. And no one wants that!

Here are some reasons why you and everyone else hates landing on slow websites:

  1. Waste of Valuable Time

Every person’s time is valuable and precious. Every second waiting for a page to load is time wasted. Everyone wants to make the most of their time so when someone encounters a slow site, it feels like the site owner is not respecting their time.

  1. Bad User Experience

A slow site leaves a bad taste in your customer’s mouth. People click on your link because they want to go check out your content, but since your site is taking forever to load, they’re not going to want to stick around.They wouldn’t even want to come back for a second visit. This means you just lost a customer, a potential repeat customer.

  1. Too Many Choices

As of January 2019 there were over 1.94 billion websites on the Internet. If one site is too slow people will just head over to the next one. Why wait when a must faster website offers the same information. It may seem like we’ve all become entitled to getting our way, but this is the sad truth. We’ve become spoiled by the sheer number of choices we have and the speed by which we can access those choices.

If you think your website is running slow there are multiple free services that will test for you. Take some time (or outsource it) to review your website speed and make sure you are not losing customers but wasting their time or giving them a bad user experience.

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Graphics For Your Social Media Channels

With social media playing such an important part of marketing any business these days, the importance of finding good quality royalty free images to use is a must.

Here are my favorite places to get free graphics to use on social media:

You can then quickly add text to any image at:

However if you don’t want to take the time to create your social media graphics, there is always done for you solutions.  

Here are my favorites:

How do you find graphics and images to use for your social media channels?

How to Make Your PLR Content Unique

Private label rights content is content you purchase to use for your business. It’s often much cheaper than hiring a ghostwriter and it’s faster than creating the content yourself.

One of the drawbacks of PLR is that anybody can purchase it. But this doesn’t have to be a big deal for you. Instead, just take the PLR you’ve bought and customize it for your business by following these tips:

Change the Titles

The very first thing you want to do when using PLR is to change the title. When you search on Google, you can find millions of articles titled How to Choose the Right Lipstick Color or a subtle variation like Choosing the Right Lipstick for Your Skin Tone.

Now Allure magazine could have used that same tired title. But instead they opted to use the headline, The 10 Commandments of Lipstick. This title leaves readers curious. It makes them wonder if they know all ten of these lipstick rules, which causes them to clickthrough to the website.

Rewrite When Necessary

If you’re publishing the PLR content to your blog and you want to get organic search traffic, rewriting is a must. That’s because search engines love original content that’s entertaining and informative. In this case, think of the PLR you buy as a starting off point and make it your own.

But when you’re using PLR in other cases, you don’t have to rewrite every word of the content you purchased. If you’re using PLR in your autoresponder or as an opt-in report, just lightly edit it with references to your target market.

You’ll also want to add in your own opinions and stories to make the content unique to your community. Doing this establishes you as a thought leader in your niche.

Add a Call to Action

PLR content will often lack a call to action at the end. That’s because the PLR seller doesn’t know exactly what you’re focused on in your business right now. So it’s your job to add CTAs to the content you’ve purchased.

Think about where your readers are in terms of your funnel. If this is content that’s on your blog, then you want to include a call to action that invites visitors to become subscribers. If it’s a free report that you’re giving to subscribers, your call to action might be recommending they buy a product or service from you. Regardless of what PLR you use, always add a CTA to encourage your community to go deeper in your funnel.

Making your PLR content unique is important but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You only need to spend 15-20 minutes editing the content before you share it with your community.

Do You Organize Your PLR?

What do you do after you buy new PLR? Download it and forgot all about it? I have been guilty of this way too many times.

Immediately after purchasing new PLR you should review the content. Check out the any articles, reports, blog posts, worksheets/workbooks, videos, and graphics included. You can delete anything you don’t think you will use or move them to another location, which is what I do.  I personally can’t bring myself to delete any PLR I buy.

For instance, if you buy a large package and you don’t like the graphics that came with it, delete or move the graphics and simply keep what you know you’ll use.

After you’ve reviewed the product, create a special folder on your device of choice for PLR content. I use a USB hard drive but I know people who store their PLR on Dropbox, Google Drive, and on their computer or laptop. Store all of your purchases in this place so you can find the content you need at a glance.

If you buy a lot of PLR content, you can create subfolders by category. For example, you might teach others about running an online business and like to use PLR. You might name that subfolder ‘Online Business’. If you have a lot of PLR, you can add more categories to your subfolder. That might look something like this:

  • PLR Content > Online Business > Marketing
  • PLR Content > Online Business > Tech
  • PLR Content > Online Business > Content Creation

Another way to organize your PLR is by seller. Such as:

If you have a lot of PLR or have plans to grow your PLR stash,organizing by PLR seller can quickly get confusing. So, try to sort your content by category if possible. It’s easier to find the content you need when you’re ready to use it.

Do You Give Your Readers What They Want?

Regardless of how good of a writer you are people are not going to stick around unless they are getting the information they want from you and your blog. It’s important to know your target audience and this is why. If you don’t know whom you are writing for then how can you give them the information they want?

There are a number of simple tasks you can do to help you find out just want your readers are looking for from you.

Just come out and ask.

This is probably the easiest way to get answers. Just ask your readers. You can create a survey and ask them to fill it out. You could just write a blog post asking them to leave a comment with their opinions about your content. Or if you don’t
want the results public, ask your readers to send you an email with their thoughts.

Check your analytics.

Keep an eye on your blog stats. Check which blog posts are getting the most views and which pages people stay on the longest or the least (FYI: this is called the bounce rate). Check which search terms people are using to find your site.

Pay attention to not only the subject of your content but also the format. Do you get more responses from a how-to post or a video? Do you get more page views when you write a top 10 list or if you write a book review? Once you have a good grasp on the type of information your readers are enjoying, you can plan your content accordingly in the future.

Of course if you readers want the type of information you are not able to provide, then you should start rethink your target audience and look for guidance on reaching the right people for your content.

Lumen5 Video Example

Lumen5 is an app that will take your blog content and create videos based on that content.  You can then use that video to promote your content on social media!

Lumen5 was very simple and fast to use to create great looking videos!

Lumen5 scanned my blog and got the articles.  Once I choose which article I wanted to use, I just highlighted the sentences I wanted in the video.  Lumen5 does the rest. It even chooses appropriate graphics to use in the video.