Does anyone have good suggestions for forums, widgets, websites or software for SEO and creating 'good' backlinks and/or other suggestions? This is for my Hubs as well as a Wordpress.org blog. I want to gain traffic and eventually make more money.
Creating your own links is an outdated strategy, like a lot of the advice you get on the internet.
If you look at the slider on my profile, you'll find some helpful Hubs on how to blog/Hub, including one on "How to Get Readers for Your Hub" which talks about the new thinking on backlinks.
I took a quick look at your blog. It's on a specialist subject, and it's a subject on which (unfortunately!) you can offer genuine knowledge and helpful advice. That's a great start.
I'd suggest a few vital improvements to the setup:
First and most importantly, change your theme. Choose a theme that has a small plain header, NO image. Google judges your blog by the content "above the fold" (i.e. what the reader sees without having to scroll down). You've chosen a theme which has a huge photo at the top, then you've added another image above your text - result, Google can't see any worthwhile content at all above the fold, and it will hammer you for that.
Theme designers offer big header images for businesses that have something to sell - it lets them include a "hero shot" of their product or service. You don't need that, so don't hamper your search engine ratings by using a meaningless photo header.
Second, be aware that nobody will ever search your blog by date. Why would they? So I wouldn't have a calendar of posts, or a menu of blog posts by date. Instead, work out a series of categories and create a Category menu, then people can easily find the topic they want to read about.
Thirdly, Google requires you to have a privacy page and a contact page. If you go to my profile and click on my blog link, you're welcome to copy the privacy page from there - it's a standard one that a lot of people use. Use a plugin like Super Simple Contact Form to create a contact page.
In addition to what Marisa said, the more stuff you have the slower your webpage loads and this is also a small metric when it comes to ranking a site.
Great tips have been provided above. In terms of SEO of your content, use the Yoast SEO plugin to optimise your Google snippets and make sure you fill in accurate alt and title tags for all images.
The more content, the more authority Google will see your site as having in your niche. Don't spend more than 10% of your time promoting; the more content you can create, the better it is for your site in the long run.
I completed everything you all pointed out. If you have a second, please take another peek. I just want to say thank you all again!!
Not to sound pathetic, but I have trouble with memory and concentration, so it was nice to have all your comments in one place to refer to. Like I said, I have got a LOT to learn about blogging and writing.
OK, I had a look.
You've got rid of the top image but the header still looks much bigger than it needs to be, which is pushing the rest of your content down. I'd suggest looking for a theme with an even smaller header. Consider Twelve Fifteen (which doesn't have a header at all, the title is in the sidebar) or Aster, or Lycka Lite. You'll notice two of them have an "About Me" widget in the sidebar, worth considering.
Set your front page to "posts", not "a static page". People come to your website for help with their problem, not to learn about you. If they can see helpful posts on the front page, that will draw them in. You can still have your "about me" page but it shouldn't be the first thing people see.
You have a menu now but it's headed "Popular". If it's just your popular posts, that's not what you want. You want to list all your categories, in which case the heading should be "Categories".
You seem to have a million tags on every post. Delete them all - especially your email address!!!. That's keyword stuffing and Google will slap you for it. If you're not sure how to use tags then just don't use them at all, they used to be important but they're not now.
Stay on topic, always. You've got a couple of "fun" and "off topic" posts - you can't do that on a blog. If you want to go off topic, write on HubPages instead. Your blog must stay on topic to succeed.
You seem to open each post with a section in capitals - don't.
For some themes, it's useful to have a Featured Image for each post. You don't have to put the image in the post at all, it just provides a nice thumbnail in lists. Check Pixabay for free photos.
Very educational thread, going to go look at my own sites to see if they need changes!
I believe I got everything completed that you pointed out.
I will tweak some pages/posts to be more on topic tomorrow.
I see that now and I can't figure out the problem. I will eventually get it straightened out. Thanks!
On your dashboard, hover over 'Settings' and choose 'Reading'.
At the top, you'll see "Front page displays", and you have a choice between 'Your latest posts' or 'a static page'.
Choose 'your latest posts'.
If that doesn't work, then have a look under the "customise' link.
The post latest post shows up first. "Gabapentin Side Effects" was the last post I wrote.
Or did I miss something?
On my PC, the theme had disappeared and there was just the post - but it must've been a glitch because it's all looking fine now.
One more suggestion - look at a plugin called Evermore. Right now your blog is showing entire posts on the front page, and it would look much better if it just showed the introduction and then a "read more". Evermore lets you do that.
I am glad its fixed now. Now it's time for tweaking some posts and some hubs too.
The theme is broken? The site looks really bad. It's like you just put in your own HTML site up there without knowing HTML. I am sure this is not the case as you are using WordPress, just trying to say that the theme is broken up completely for some reason.
Maybe this is what Marisa saw too? Could it be cache on my system.
Yes it looks broken. Maybe the OP did something in the coding editor or installed a dodgy plugin?
The theme should look like this: https://twentyfifteendemo.wordpress.com/
Looked like to me that just the home page was broken, if you click a link to a post or to "categories", then it comes up with the normal theme.
Yes, I'm seeing it broken now too. It was looking OK for a while. It could be a conflict problem caused by a plugin or theme.
Jimmy, go and look under Appearance, click on Widgets and remove the Calendar widget and the clock widget completely. You're not using them in that theme yet they're still showing up on the code so they may be interfering somehow.
Deactivate and delete the Jetpack plugin, it's notorious for slowing down your site and it conflicts with other stuff.
Deactivate and delete the Footer-Putter plugin, it's nonsense and you don't need it.
Ditto CommentLuv - it's an old idea that no longer provides any benefits.
Delete the old themes that you're no longer using (you do that by clicking on the "More Info" in the middle of the theme, then you'll see a Delete button in the bottom corner).
If there are things that Jetpack does that you need, let me know what they are and I'll tell you which plugins can do that better for you.
Have you tried to make any changes to the actual theme?
I think I got everything turned off and/or deleted.
Like I said, I am new at this. It's strange having all the widgets/plug-ins at your fingertips and not knowing which ones work.
That's the trouble with plugins - there are so many out there, it's tempting to go overboard and install a heap. However, while they do good things, every one you add slows down your site just a little bit. So for each one, it's a case of weighing up the cost vs the benefit.
As I said, I recommend you use the Evermore plugin, so you can have excerpts on your front page instead of whole posts - it will encourage readers to click through and read more.
Here are the other basic plugins I generally use:
1. EU Cookie Law (this is to comply with European law - you will get readers from there so you need this);
2. Super Simple Contact Form;
3. EWWW Image Optimizer (if you don't use a lot of images, just install this, run it, then deactivate it until you upload another new image).
Any advice on things I SHOULD add to my blog?
If I am asking too many questions, just let me know.
Or you all could just design my site......j/k
Isn't great how helpful everyone is!! I love it! I know I still have loads to learn but this information has given me a terrific leg up. At this point, I think my website is good to go, except for social networking, but let's see it stays up successfully first.
You have knowledge in a niche that does not have a lot of useful information out there which is readily available. Rather than Social, I would focus on writing good titles and URL's on the pages that you already have.
Maybe go through my profile and look for the hub SEO for dummies and look at the subchapter that talks about keyword research. It would definitely be helpful.
One more thing - your formatting looks a little bit strange in places.
When you create your posts, you type into the text box the same way you'd type on a word processing program. However, what's really happening is that the Wordpress software is turning that into HTML.
You can find out what that means by opening a post in Edit mode, then click on "Text" in the top right hand corner of the text box.
If you've written a plain-text post and you can see a lot of gobbledegook at the start of every line (e.g. style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: tahoma, arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"), then something is wrong. What you may have done is copied the text from somewhere else and pasted it into the blog post, and it's included formatting that you don't want and don't need. All that extra font formatting slows down your site.
The way to fix it is easy: click on "Visual" again. Highlight the whole post, right click to CUT it, then click on "Text" and paste it in there. Now save.
OK, I did what you said. I also think it was 'Fonts' widget.
I don't remember copying and pasting outside text at all.
It will take me a while to go through entire blog, but I will fix it.
It's very annoying that Wordpress has all these widgets, plug-ins and options, but using them are a nightmare.
But that's the point, you don't need to use most of the plugins. Which ones do you have installed now?
As you get more experienced, you'll find that you want to do more complex things, and then you can go looking for a plugin that can do whatever-it-is. Until then, you don't need them.
I just took a look and the site is not displaying properly again - it may be my browser but I suggest taking a quick look.
I am not able to add links on my Hubs. I want to link to another hub, but it just does not work. Anyone else?
It looked ok to me. I am not sure what is happening.
A2 Optimized WP
EWWWW image optimizer
Super simple contact form
W3 Total cahe
WP broken link status checker
Try deactivating all your plugins. If the website appears normal, reactivate them one at a time until you know which one is causing the issues.
Here's what the site looks like to me now:
Always, always, always check the ratings and reviews on plugins before you consider installing them. If you'd read the review of "A2 Optimized WP", you'd have seen the review which said 'crashed my website instantly'!
I suggest uninstalling the following, they are not helping and may be causing conflicts:
A2 Optimized WP
W3 Total cache
WP broken link status checker
You don't need any of the above. You may need them when your website gets bigger, but you do not need them now.
You'll need to read the instructions on how to fully uninstall W3 Total Cache. It's a good plugin if you have a big website, but it's complex to set up and it can be a nuisance to get rid of.
Because you don't have a lot of images,you don't really need a backup plugin. Just remember to go to Tools-->Export every now and then, and export your website as a file. You can save it on your computer. If your website goes down, you can restore all your content (except the images) by simply uploading that file. You'll need to reinstall your settings, theme and plugins but that's no big deal.
I'm dubious about WordFence too - it has a lot of good reviews but a lot of bad ones too, and they're all recent. I'd consider dumping it. It's not as if the world would end if someone hacked your site - if you've got a copy of all your content, all you need to do is delete the site and reload it. Look at Sucuri instead if you want security.
It appears fine when I look at it, and since it appears normal, I will not know how to check which plug in is causing the issues.
Oh boy, this is a problem.
OK, deleted the ones you picked. I then deactivated all, and activated back one by one, while refreshing my website in an incognito window. I did not see anything unusual.
Ok, great. I will work with what I have now.
But, seriously, why did I bother starting with WP if nothing works? My bad
WP is a good platform, you just need to know how to use it right. Plugins are written by people, you can create your own and put it up as opensource. But you could write code which is bad and could break a site. Or you could just write code which interferes with the code of another random developer (whose plugin you also have installed) this will also break your site.
You've already learned a lot in the past few days. There's a lot more to learn, but you're off to a very good start. I for one never had help the way you're receiving help Tbh I never asked on a forum, but I read quite a bit as there are plenty of blogs out there with some good information. I doubt you need to do that though.
No, don't think that way! Wordpress works, and works very well. You're misunderstanding the nature of themes and plugins.
Wordpress is the software that enables the site to work. Everything you need to create a basic blog is right there in the core. Wordpress.org also has a range of standard themes to use with the software, like the one you're using.
However Wordpress is SO popular that over the years, thousands of users have had ideas to improve on it. They don't work for Wordpress so they can't change the core software - so what they do is design plugins and themes that can be added on. As those people are all individuals, their plugins and themes are of variable quality. Wordpress.org, as a service to other users, lists them on their site - they're not saying they're perfect, it's up to you to check on that. That's why there are reviews and ratings, and a support forum for each plugin and theme where you can see what problems people are having with them, if any.
Kind of an aside, though relevant. I updated a plugin awhile back, on my sites (I have several), and the update locked me out of my sites and shut the sites down. I got an error message when I tried to visit the sites, the sites themselves and also when I tried to log into the WP dashboard. I had to go into my webhost dashboard and get rid of the plugin. Believe me, I'm not savvy, so it took me awhile to figure it out. Pain in the *bleep*. So, I'm careful what I use as far as plugins go, needless to say.
I understand both responses. Of course, thank you again. Yes, still tons to learn. As frustrating as it is, I am still having fun. I am really enjoying learning. I need this.
I am now at a loss of words. My mind does not work like it should, thank goodness all your responses are right hear to look back on. I will forget all this by tomorrow. I can't remember things. Thanks
With wordpress that is always a possibility as there are so many interactions among the plugins. Therefore, before updating any plugin I always make sure that I have a backup of the files. Even if it's just the wordpress version update, I have a backup. I had my site broken enough to have learnt to do this
I do not use wordpress anymore, but a static HTML site.
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