Google’s Test Your Mobile Speed

Here’s a great new tool from Google.

Here’s the link – https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com

Just type in your website address and Google will test your website for load time (on a standard 3g connection) and mobile compatibility.  It will also test how your website looks and handles on mobile devices (font size, layout, etc…).

Google will show you an Industry Comparison of how your site stacks up compared to your competitors and even suggest a few fixes to help speed up your website.

After you test your site, click the link that says “Get My Free Report” and send it to your webmaster.

If you don’t have a webmaster, contact me here!

Top Five ‘Make Sures” for Better SEO

Inspired by this article from Jonathan Long, here’s my Top Five ‘Make Sures” for Better SEO.

1. Make sure your website has the “S”

HTTPS is no longer just an option.

Most Internet users (and search engines) expect your website to be safe and secure. Google favors websites that utilize https.

2. Make sure you don’t leave SEM out of your SEO strategy

Paying for clicks is not a bad thing.

To successfully stay at the top of search pages, you’ll need both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) working together.

More here

3. Make sure you’re paying attention to social media

People turn to social media for referals and reviews on products and services all the time.

Make sure you have a managed social media presence and make it easy for people to find you and share your content.

4. Make sure Google knows when you’re open

“Google, find me the nearest hardware store that is open late.”

Make sure your Google listing is accurate with relevant information about your location, hours of operation and services.

5. Make sure your website is ‘mobilized’

Test your site here.

Google will show more love to websites that load quickly and display well on mobile devices.


Here’s Jonathan Long’s original post:  8 SEO Trends You Need to Pay Attention to in 2017 [ENTREPENEUR.COM]

Which CMS is #1?

When it comes to a Content Management System for you website, which CMS is the most popular?

Was there any doubt? It’s WordPress!

Statistics for websites using CMS technologies in Canada which use the .CA Extension

WordPress is behind over 51% of Canadian websites, with Wix and GoDaddy trailing. In the US, WordPress is also #1 at over 50%, with Wix at #2. Globally, WordPress is #1 and leads 2nd place Joomla by over 16 million installs.

Check out the Canadian numbers from builtwith.com

  • WordPress 36.83%
  • WordPress (4.7) 10.98%
  • WordPress (4.6) 3.48%
  • GoDaddy Website Builder 3.17%
  • Wix 3.08%
  • Wix Non-Flash 2.99%
  • Weebly 2.99%
  • Joomla! 2.8%
  • Wix Premium 2.77%
  • WordPress (4.5) 2.54%

Here are the US numbers from builtwith.com

  • WordPress 34.39%
  • WordPress (4.7) 10.17%
  • Wix 5.12%
  • Wix Non-Flash 5.01%
  • Wix Premium 4.44%
  • WordPress (4.6) 3.73%
  • Squarespace 3.29%
  • WordPress (4.5) 2.67%
  • Telerik Sitefinity 2.41%
  • WordPress (4.4) 2.34%

Global numbers builtwith.com

  • WordPress 18,308,117
  • Joomla! 2,166,689
  • WebEx Panel 2,078,790
  • Workplace by Facebook 1,278,773
  • Blogger 787,675
  • Drupal 701,774
  • HubSpot 241,023

Find out more and search other countries here.

What does a freelance website manager do?

Most of the time customers just want me to change a picture or update some text on their website, but I can do more.

I can…

  • keep your website working and secure.
  • keep your domain name and hosting arrangements up to date.
  • perform updates and upgrades to your Content Management System. Keep your CMS, Themes and Plugins up to date.
  • update your website content (images, text, graphics…)
  • set up an online store and manage your inventory.
  • manage user access.
  • moderate comments and blog posts. Unattended websites can look outdated, quickly.
  • monitor and report your website statistics.
  • track keyword performance goals and search results.
  • backup, backup, backup. Manage and monitor backups and keep a full backup off site, just in case…

Also, if your website looks lousy on your phone or tablet, maybe it’s time to update your site for the mobile world. I can help with that too!

Contact me here!

The wrong street address is showing up in my AdWords ad

Here’s how to fix it!


If the wrong street address is showing up in your AdWords ads, it could be because Google is mixing up one of your account addresses with your campaign address.

In your AdWords dashboard…

Check “Ad extensions” in “Campaigns” and select the appropriate “Campaign extension” from your list of “Account extensions”.

  • Select the “Ad extensions” tab
  • Use the pull down menu under that tab and select “Location extensions”
  • Here you should see your ‘Account’ level extensions (“Account location extension).
  • Select the tab “Campaign extension” (right beside “Account extension”).
  • and then click the red “+ EXTENSION” button to select the appropriate address for your business.

Let me know if this works for you (or if not)…

If you need some help fixing this issue, contact me here.

Top Five Reasons Why Your Website Is Failing

#1. It’s so slow.

Your website visitors expect your site to load in less than 3 seconds. 45% of visitors will actually leave if it takes more than 3 seconds.

#2. It doesn’t work on my phone.

60% of “visitors-from-searches” are on their phone NOT a desktop PC.

#3. I can’t find what I’m looking for.

Poor menu structure and confusing language are responsible for most “bounces”.  According to Google Analytics, “a bounce is when a person leaves your website from the entrance page and doesn’t interact with the page”.  These visitors just go away, usually because they don’t see what they want in their first glance.

#4. I can’t find your address or phone number anywhere.

Phone books don’t exist anymore! The #1 and #2 reason why someone would Google your business is to find your address or phone number.

#5. The most recent comments are from a year ago.

Your website looks out-dated and unattended.

Honorable mentions…

  • You have annoying pop-ups or unwanted ads.
  • It says “Copyright 2012” at the bottom of your page.
  • Your links don’t work.
  • You have a spelling mistake.
  • I can’t pay online?
  • You don’t have an online contact form.
  • I don’t see any links to your social media pages.

If you need help fixing any of these issues, just contact a Freelance Website Manager here.

WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform on the web

WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform on the web, according to stats from Builtwith.

When you look at the “Entire Internet” (Statistics for websites using eCommerce technologies), WooCommerce is used by 42% of eCommerce sites.

“Entire Internet” usage stats from Builtwith

Among eCommerce sites in Canada (with a “.ca” domain), the number is 39% for WooCommerce, with a strong showing from Shopify (Shopify 9% + Shopify Conversions 9% + Shopify Canadian Dollar 8%).

“Canada” usage stats from Builtwith

In the U.S. WooCommerce is #1 with 38%. Squarespace is at #2, then the “Shopifys” at #3, 4 & 5 (Shopify 7% + Shopify Conversions 7% + Shopify US Dollar 5%)!

“U.S.” usage stats from Builtwith

WooCommerce logo

If you already have a website running on WordPress, setting up a WooCommerce store can be done pretty quickly (with a little WordPress knowledge – or – the help of a Freelance Website Manager).

Upside: It’s “free” and it’s all yours! The store, the software, everything is on your site.
Downside: Regular maintenance and updates are required to keep things running smoothly.
Cost: WooCommerce is a free plugin, however special shipping, invoicing or taxation add-ons can cost a few dollars.
Transaction fees: Regular credit card fees apply depending on which payment method you choose.

More info here from the WooCommerce site.

Contact a Freelance Website Manager here.

New Year’s resolutions for your website

Six things you should do for your website in 2017.

Lose weight.

Pare down large images,  graphics, outdated plugins and overweight code. Your customers and Google both appreciate a website that loads quickly. Check your site speed with Pingdom.

Be a better friend.

Make sure your website is socializing well. Make it easy for people to share and comment on your content (whether you’re selling swing sets or mortgage rates).

Be more responsive to others.

Your website should be available and usable whether your customer is on a phone, a tablet or a PC. Check your website responsiveness here.

Think about others.

I know it’s your website, but don’t make all about you. Make sure your content is useful to  your customer.

Keep in touch.

Use analytics and track your performance. For expert advice and bulletproof analytics, sign up for Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. They’re both free!

Get a personal trainer.

If you’re too busy to stay on top of all this, get some help! A freelance website manager can make all this happen and make sure your site is secure and up to date all year long.

Does my website need an SSL certificate?

Yes.

Google has started favoring websites with SSL certification (websites with “https”) over regular websites (sites with “http”) in it’s search results.

SSL certification shows that your website is using encryption to protect users and their personal information.

By January 2017, the Google web browser, Chrome will treat all regular “http” websites as non-secure.

With this in mind, yes, I suggest you add SSL certification to your site.

The actual SSL certificate costs about $150/yr (based on a single medium-size website) or $300/yr for an e-commerce website. You will also need some help from a website manager to ensure the certification is handled properly.

There’s no rush on this, but it is something to consider before 2017.

Common mistakes that small-business websites make

My take on some points made in the article “These Website Mistakes Are Costing You Money” from entrepreneur.com.

  • Poor SEO – “I can’t find your website on Google.”
  • No mobile  – “I can’t see your website on my phone.”
  • No social media links  – “I can’t share your website with my friends.”
  • No website manager – “Your website is a security risk, it also looks outdated or unattended.”
  • No metrics / analytics  –  “Without analytics you won’t know what’s working and what’s not working.”

I think fixing the SEO issue should be #1 on your list, if no one can find you, none of the rest matters.

Mobile is #2, more than ever people are looking for you with their mobile device and your website must support that.

You don’t need a big budget to fix these mistakes, most can be fixed quickly and inexpensively with a good freelance website manager. – Mike