Upgrading Your Blogs to Wordpress 3.2? We can Help.

If you have a Wordpress blog and want to upgrade it to the version 3.2 but do not want to fiddle with the intricacies of the job, we can help for a nominal sum of $25 per blog. You will be able to take advantage of the shiny new interface and all the security updates. If you feel like doing it yourself, you should still upgrade your blog. The latest version (as of now) can be downloaded here.

When you assign your blog upgrades to us, you just sit back and relax while we do all the tedious work. This is 100% risk-free. If your blog cannot be successfully upgraded for any reason, we will refund your payment 100%. Email ebizindia AT gmail DOT com.

Make Your Blog Load Faster

How fast does your blog load? If it loads too slow, you may lose visitors because they might not be patient enough. Search engines like Google have openly declared they treat the site loading speed as a factor in the ranking process.

Here are some tips to improve the rendering speed of your blog. This is mainly based on Wordpress based blogs but most of the blogs built with other platforms can also benefit with similar changes:

  • Show fewer number of posts on the home page. Many bloggers show a large number of posts (even 20) on the home page hoping  to entice the readers with at least one post. This works to their disadvantage because loading too many posts can really slow down the home page rendering. I recommend between 5 and 10 posts depending on their length.
  • Put fewer images per blog post. Unless you are demonstrating a process which requires showing many screen-shots, you should not use more than 102 images per post.
  • Crop and resize the images. Don’t upload large size images and make the blog software resize them on the fly. This causes the full image to be downloaded resulting in delay. Try to crop the image so that only important part of the image is shown.
  • You may also like to reduce the pixels per inch of the image to 72 by saving in the web-friendly format. This really trims down the image.
  • Install a caching plugin like WP Super Cache. These plugins save an HTML copy of the page which can be sent to all the users till the time content of the page is changed. This reduces the number of database queries by a huge number and may be the biggest factor your blog may survive a mention on Digg or any similar burst o traffic. Too many blogs go down when they are mentioned on a popular site like Techcrunch or Digg.
  • Activate Gzip or Deflate based compression on your server if you are hosting on an Apache based server. This mode compresses the html output as well as CSS and JS files at the server end and the browser decompresses the files before rendering the page. This can save a large amount of data traffic and can help render the page much faster. Contact the folks at www.webmaintain.co.uk if you are not sure about implementing this on your site.
  • Deactivate the plugins that you don’t use. Having a large number of plugins that do nothing can slow down your blog.
  • Consider using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) like Cachefly if you are expecting a good amount of traffic coming from a wider geographical distribution.

Applying some or all of these suggestions can make you blog load faster and deliver a much better user experience resulting in more page views per person. Feel free to suggest your tips in the comments below.

Blog access from Mobiles

So you have a cool blog with a sizeable readership. Excellent! Have you thought about the ever-growing number of people with smartphones who want to read your blog? It is quite easy to make your blog available to them.

You can install the wptouch plugin that will add a new theme to your blog, making it look like and work like an iPhone application. This enables  the iPhone, Blackberry, Android and other mobile phones users to consume your blog posts easily, while on the go. Check this mobile web site design blog (www.webile.co.uk/blog/) from your phone to see an example.

If you are hesitating to tinker with your blog, we can install and activate the plugin for you for a nominal $25 per blog. Get started by just giving us a few quick details in the form on the right.

Site Search Can Give Vital Clues To Customer Needs

Are you tracking the terms that people are searching for, using the site search option of your website? These can give vital clues to the keywords that you are not targeting clearly on your home page.

Say I have a blog that talks about my web design service. Now if I discover that lots of people are searching for ‘prices’ through the site search option, I will get a signal that lots of people are interested to know what kind of prices I charge. If I make this aspect of my service clearer on my home page, I will be able to retain and may be convert more of my visitors into prospects.

Track site search with Google AnalyticsAn easy way to track this statistic is through Google Analytics. Yu should edit the site profile option and activate the site search option as shown in the picture here. Click on the ‘Do track the site search’ option and then enter ‘s’ in the query string parameter. Save the settings and Google Analytics will now start tracking the site searches for your blog.

Blogging Tips for Better Search Engine Ranking

Do you want your blog to rank higher in the search engines? Did I hear a loud ‘Yes, of course!’?

While we all understand that posting regularly with quality and unique content is the most vital thing you can do to get better search engine rankings, here are a few more tips to improve your results:

  • Link 1-2 times to your money pages (main site, sales pages) with keyword-rich anchor text. Vary the anchor text – don’t use the same text always.
  • Link to other posts in the blog. This increases the number of incoming links to those pages and improves their ranking potential.
  • The links should be included in the main content. Sidebar links carry less weight.
  • Use the main keyword at the beginning of the post title and a variation near the end.
  • For longer posts, use H2 and H3 tags in the sub-headings to break up the posts.
  • Have a juicy introduction para that draws a causal visitor in to the post.
  • Have a nice summary as the last para with a powerful call to action, sending the visitor to the main sales page.
  • Keep your blog software updated. The new versions include features for better SEO, while providing more security against hackers.

These quick-to-implement tips will definitely give your rankings a nice boost. Please share your experience with other fellow readers.

Short URLs with Semiologic – easily!

If you have a Semiologic blog, you don’t have to use a short-url service like TinyURL where you can’t change the destination later. This is also great for the control freaks who are very scared to use a 3rd party service.

The redirect feature on a Semiologic blog is quite simple and works very nicely if you don’t have a long blog address. Here is how I created a redirect to my reference link for Semiologic:

  1. I verified that the redirect manager plugin was activated. You can activate it if it is not activated.
  2. Then I added a new page. I gave it a short and direct name – Semiologic.
  3. I entered nothing in the content area and scrolled down to the lower side where there was a box for the redirect URL. Here I entered the destination URL.
  4. Saved the post.

That’s all. Now if I type www.rentablogger.com/blog/semiologic, it gets redirected to my reference link for Semiologic blogging system. This is a 301 redirect, comes with my blog URL and therefore promotes my brand instead of the URL-shortening service’s brand.

If I ever had to change the target URL, I can easily do so from my site.

Semiologic URL redirect options to tickNote: If you don’t want to have this page included in the Sitemap, you should tick on the options shown here.

How to Avoid Duplicate Content Penalty on Your Blog

Are you worried about search engines like Google slapping a duplicate content penalty on your blog? Did you know that your blog posts can be accessed through multiple URLs which Google can consider as duplicate pages? Why not give them a subtle advise on which are your favorite URLs to get your content indexed?

For example, check this URL for this blog post:
http://www.rentablogger.com/blog/2009/03/12/avoid-duplicate-penalty-on-blogs/

Now someone may link to this post with his affiliate URL:
http://www.rentablogger.com/blog/2009/03/12/avoid-duplicate-penalty-on-blogs/?affid=”A02″

And if Google discovers both the pages, they will think we have duplicate content here and at will, index one URL and ignore the other.

Webmasters and blog owners have been stuck with this issue for long. However the big 3 search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN) recently agreed on the specs for a special meta-tag that will help them them identify the real URL. You can specify this in the head section (I shortened the URL to fit the window):

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.rentablogger...on-blogs/" />

This is a message to the search engine that we prefer to get this page listed under this URL. Please note that you are not ordering them to do so. They may act otherwise if they see a large number of places linking otherwise. Also you cannot point the engines to URLs under a different domain.

You can get a simple plugin to tackle the canonical URL problem here (courtesy – Joost de Valk)

Links in blog post get more weight

Do you know Google is now giving less weight to run-of-site links (the ones you put in the sidebar or footer, available on all the pages)? It is much better to link to your favorite sites from the content – the blog post itself.

The reason is simple – we won’t think much before putting a link to a golf-training guide on a dog-related site’s sidebar. However the relationship has to be much closer if we were to link to it from the content. Thus it is fair to assume that a link from the content is a closer-in-context link as well as lesser likely to be a spam link (mass link exchange or paid-for link). And search engines tend to treat this as a more valuable link.

Google Analytics: Spot Search Trends

Add Google Analytics for insights into your traffic patternYou should integrate Google Analytics on your blog to get an insight into the traffic sources and update the settings and posts accordingly.

While this does not directly help in SEO of your blog, once you get to know which keywords people are using to land up on your blog, which search engines are sending you the traffic and other such information, you can make a plan to make suitable posts to serve these people.

I personally look at the bounce rate of the various pages on a high priority. If some pages have a high bounce rate, I check that to see if I can introduce some hooks to get people to stay longer on that page. You can add the related posts plugin to add some stickiness.

Don’t forget that your home page may have a high bounce rate because the repeat visitors will just read your latest post and go away.

How To Keep The Visitors On Your Blog Longer!

Add related posts plugin to Semiologic entries - keep them longer

Want to keep your visitors on your blog longer? The more they read, the more they are convinced of your expert status. This will definitely increase the chance that they will buy whatever you are offering. Here’s how to achieve this “stay longer” target:

Use the related posts plugin to show a few related posts just after your blog post. This way when a visitor has finished reading your blog post, she gets to see a quick list of some more posts on similar topics. Hopefully she will find one of these interesting and go ahead and read that. Then she will get another list of related posts and … you get the message.

  1. It is quite easy to accomplish this on a Semiologic blog.
  2. Click on Appearance | Widgets.
  3. Choose “Each entry” in the dropdown in top-right side and click on show.
  4. Add the Related widget from the list of available widgets (middle column list). The widget will be added to the list of widgets being used in each entry.
  5. Click on Save changes. The settings are saved and the list shows again.
  6. Now drag and drop the Entry: Actions widget to the end of the list. This is done to make sure that the related posts do not appear to belong to the next entry.
  7. Click on Save changes again. You are done.

View the blog to see the effect. Now your visitors will be staying on your blog longer than before.

If you don’t feel confident you can pull it off or are strapped for time, we can apply these SEO changes to your blog for a nominal feel. Contact us!