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How to Optimize Your WordPress Blog for Speed

How to Optimize Your WordPress Blog for Speed

Content marketing is more important than ever, and WordPress has become the major venue for businesses to talk about the ins and out of their industry to attract attention. It is the most used content management system in the Internet with over 500 sites being created every single day.

But with so many websites using WordPress, how can a single website stand out from the crowd? A good content marketing strategy is the most important thing which any business can think about, but there is more to attracting attention on WordPress than by churning out quality content. By optimizing your blog via techniques such as improving your links and improving your website’s hosting, you can get your website higher on the Google rankings. This can get more people to visit your website and ensure the success of your content marketing strategy.

Some tricks to improve your search ranking are technologically advanced, but there are things which anyone can pull off. Here are a few simple tips towards ensuring that your content is seen and shown by Google’s algorithms.

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Don’t try to trick Google

A lot of SEO optimization can sound like little tricks designed to fool Google, and to some degree it is. But understand that while Google allows tricks like the ones mentioned below, it frowns heavily on so-called “black hat tricks” that exist only to trick the search engine and provide no value to either the website or the readers.

Google has a list of behaviors which it will not tolerate, and the company will blacklist you from its search engines if it suspects that you have been trying to trick them. Read over those behaviors and make sure that you try none of those ideas. Ignorance is no excuse for violating Google’s policies.

Link and promote other websites

At a basic level, Google ranks websites by how many other websites link to them. So if you want other people to link to you, you can start by linking to other people. This is especially so if the two websites are in the same field. When your websites is linked to by another, it will get more views and those viewers will create new links, which will spur more views and so on.

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While you can obviously link to other websites whenever you wish, make sure that those websites know about it. On the Settings tab in WordPress, there are checkboxes to notify other websites you have linked to them and to let you know when you have been linked. Make sure those are checked.

Think about changing your Host

As the Internet has grown faster, customer are more impatient than ever. According to Kissmetrics, half of web users expect a web page to load in just 2 seconds and will “bounce” if it is not loaded within 3 seconds. When you consider that every web page basically has one chance to make a good impression on every visitor, to be held back by a poor page loading speed, absolutely cannot happen.

There are things which every website can do to improve loading time like using a WordPress theme with a smaller loading footprint. But one of the biggest things you can do is look into your host. Using a fast WordPress hosting is essential in optimizing your entire site. Do not just go with the cheapest host out there. Slower hosts mean slower loading pages which means bouncing visitors.

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Cache your Pages

Because decreasing your page’s loading time is so important, another means through which you can ensure visitors to quickly load your website,  is page caching.

With page caching, Google stores a back-up version of sections of your website. This is so that when a visitor returns to your website, his browser can just use the caches to quickly load up certain sections without having to query your database. The catch is that the cache can be out of date, but that should not be a problem if your website is not constantly changing its picture or layout.

Google recommends a cache time of preferably up to one year for those assets which change infrequently.

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Don’t forget about Content

There are a whole lot of other ways to optimize your WordPress website beyond these few tips. Using good key phrases and key words to attract visitors typing in particular phrases and promoting your posts on social media will ensure that others will follow your work.

But your WordPress blog is part of your content marketing strategy, and content is the most important thing of all. You need to regularly update content, make sure that it is high quality, and ensure that it is relatable to your targeted audience.

Google is a critical tool towards ensuring that your website receives traffic, but it is not the only method. By promoting your website through social media as well as through your personal and professional contacts, you can ensure a growing audience. That in and of itself should be able to attract Google and further perpetuate your marketing strategy’s success.

Featured photo credit: Venu Gopal via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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