Tag Archives: Google

Optimize Webpage Response Time

How fast does your website load? Here is a webpage load speed test from Pingdom Tools that you can use to see about where your site stands and get a good overview of all of the files that are actually being loaded by your visitor’s browser. Click the image on the right to view the screenshot of all the junk I have loading on my homepage.) Google also has a collection of page speed tools.

I am really noticing this more lately because I have been cleaning up darkbluesun.com and struggling with my page loading speeds. GoDaddy.com is a decent host at times. Yet, some days I have had nothing but problems due to how slowly WordPress runs (probably due to how long takes to connect to the Godaddy server “grid” and retrieve info from the MySQL database service needed to run WordPress).

Other than switching web hosting providers, here are 2 ways to test and 3 steps to speed up your web page load speed.

  1. Correct HTML or Other Code Errors

    I went to W3C’s Markup Validation tool online to test my website for errors and discovered I had 37 Errors, 3 warning(s) to sort out for my webpages.

    I fixed a few of these errors. I knocked the number down to 23 Errors, 2 warning(s). This really isn’t much except you can consider the fact that your browser is now going to throw 14 fewer errors when opening my page.

  2. Reorganize (Maybe Even *Gasp!* Delete) Content

    I am a strong believer in this rule: Never Delete Old Content. I always advise bloggers to update the information in a new post and then link to the updated version from the old post.

    Unfortunately there are some things that are simply necessary to get rid of. For example: it is perfectly okay to leave a few of those bells and whistles out of your site. If you never use the chat widgets or java-based plugins that wind up taking up space, bandwidth and precious time… then get rid of them immediately.

    Some of the WordPress plugins I am using for different functions on my website are causing the rest of those errors I was talking about earlier and I am not going to take the time to debug all of that before I post this. However, if I really needed to dramatically, instantly change the page speed of my site, I would uninstall the WP Cumulus and Sociable plugins on my site.

    Break up large posts into separate smaller posts.
    Yep, this tip is self explanatory. If you have lots and lots of data in one post, then that page will obviously take longer to load. If you divide the information into smaller amounts it will help both your readers if they are looking for a quick answer to their question and it will help the search engines index you more efficiently.

  3. Know How to Insert Images

    • Get in the habit of using relative links to your img src’s than absolute links. E.G.:
      instead of:  img src=”http://www.darkbluesun.com/logoDBS.png
      use this:   img src=”/logoDBS.png
      Relative URLs are obviously shorter than absolute URLs, as a result the file size of the web page would be a bit smaller as well.
    • Give images height and width attributes. This way, browsers can load the page completely giving a space for the image without having to wait for the images to load first.
    • Resize larger images to “web-friendly” sizes. Microsoft Office Picture Manager uses 2 defaults for standard website image sizes:
      large: 640 x 480 px
      small: 448 x 336 px
      With modern digital cameras and larger megapixel abled phone cams, the resolution of the pictures you are posting could be huge! Even if you give a large photo a smaller height and width attributes the browser still has to load the entire picture.

Please Note: Some of these changes will only help your pages load a few seconds earlier.

Every little bit counts when according to the September 14, 2009 press release, published by Akamai: users will only wait 2 seconds for a page to load before clicking (or pressing that dreadful back button) out of your webpage… never to return again?

Reveals 2 Seconds as the New Threshold of Acceptability for eCommerce Web Page Response Times
September 14, 2009 – Akamai Reveals 2 Seconds as the New Threshold of Acceptability for eCommerce Web Page Response Times

4 SEO Rules that Are Here to Stay

Get found SEOThere are some search engine optimizations rules (the rules search engines use to figure out when and where your website is supposed to show up after someone types in relative keywords) that are probably not going to change.

Changes like the new rules for the Google search algorithm are inevitable. Now we have geotagging, search engines boasting that they are decision engines, and are connected to more people (and their opinions) than ever before.

This is the golden opportunity to share your information. However, this also means it will be easier for good content to get lost in the shuffle.

Here are some SEO rules that are foundational and certain to keep your site high in the search results (and easier to navigate for your visitors):

  1. More links to your website from other well-structures websites will equate to a better search result ranking. The 2011 way to get links to your website will largely be done by writing great content and then hoping it is shared virally via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Linked IN, and then whatever other smart social network service they can come up with that will consolidate all if them. :)
  2. The older a website is and the longer a website is registered for is very important. (I registered darkbluesun.com in 2003 and it doesn’t expire until 2015 – So, I won’t have to mess with this one for my redesign.) Why would they want to make a site that is going to expire in less than a year a priority to index?
  3. The links that you have to other websites are also very important. Broken links prove that your site is unkempt. My blog is older, so some of the links that I shared have become obsolete and some of the websites that were posted with visitors comments are also broken.
    • Google’s Webmaster Tools will show you most of your internal and external broken links. However, it does miss some especially the ones included in the comments. So what else can I do?
    • There’s a program called Xenu Link Sleuth that I downloaded a while back. It will run a report for you on your entire website that will show all of the links that are broken, working, or redirected. It does other nifty things too.
      For more info on this detailed (older still) blog post from seomoz.com: Xenu’s Link Sleuth – More Than Just A Broken Links Finder it gives a lot of good detail on what this program can do.
    • More quality content on your website also gets attention. The more quality content, the better chances you’ll have to get the search engines like Bing! and Google to trust your website as a reliable source.

Next week I will share SEO rules for all of your written content keeping good anchor text for links, tags, labels, and categories. For now, I am going to continue cleaning up broken links and minor fixes on the site this week.

Update 4/17/2012 – I found another very good article about SEO from the site “Say Notes” called What Web Designers Need to Know About SEO

Google PageRank

Google PageRank imageI am sharing this Google pagerank checker because until about 4 or 5 months ago, I didn’t really understand the whole Google pagerank numbering system.

When I was first learning, I thought if you had a page rank of 1 that it meant you were number 1! (HAHA! – I can laugh at this now ; ) However, that isn’t how it works. If you have a pagerank of 1, that’s 1 out of 10! Being 1 out of 10 isn’t as exciting as being number one right?

Use this nifty tool to see what your business or personal website’s Google pagerank is.

Check Page Rank of any web site pages instantly:
This free page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

That’s my number! -> Check PageRank Kinda sad huh? But it’s only a place to start.

It just means we have some work to do. :)

Wired Magazine Exclusive: How Google’s Algorithm Rules the Web really gives you some good info on how the whole Google Algorithm/Ranking system works.

How is Your Business Measuring Up?

As a small business owner, you must measure your successes, failures, and most importantly your progress. Even if you are getting reports from your web developer or social media consultant, it’s smart to know how to get some numbers of your own. Consultants and virtual assistants can bring so much value to your business! Make sure you can measure that value.

How much $$$ is your web presence and SEO worth?

  1. This WMtools link tells you what your website is worth based on Google page rank, backlinks, etc.
  2. Try SERP Analytics to see what keywords your website has and how much their worth! See this analysis of a website I was searching for when I first found this tool: http://www.serpanalytics.com/sites/www.softalize.com. You can simply delete the “www.softalize.com” and type in your own web address. (This really only works well for people who own their own domain.)

How much traffic is your message getting?

  1. Alexa Web InfoAlexa tells you where your website ranks on the traffic level. Many sites aren’t large enough to be given a graph, but the historical data will tell you if your business website is becoming more popular.
    *It also shows you some of your inbound links.
  2. For more on website traffic analytics, see this article: Histats, Google Analytics, and my favorite URL shortener- bit.ly. If you shorten all of your links with bit.ly, you will be able to keep track of how many hits your links are getting.

  3. Klout.com will measure your influence on twitter.

What is your grade? Graders by

  1. Measures a website’s marketing effectiveness and search engine optimization (SEO).

  2. Get the most out of your press releases.

  3. Measure your twitter network reach.

  4. I love this tool! It measures your personal reach with your Facebook profile and your professional reach with your Facebook fan page.

  5. Does your content have “goggledygook words?” Better check it out!

Numbers are so important. We number almost everything in our lives; just look at our clocks, calendars, price tags, and bathroom scales. Some numbers are easier to remember than others, like our favorite television channel, our favorite football players or our best friends’ phone numbers. Others are a little more forgettable, like the number of Hershey’s Kisses you’ve already indulged in (what’s one more?) or how many boxes you were actually carrying up the stairs when you tripped and twisted that ankle. Some can be scary like our credit score or the percentage of our population that’s unemployed. Regardless of what numbers you’re dealing with, it’s so important to make sure you are dealing with them.

Know your numbers and keep tabs on them constantly. You have to know what you need to work on and what actions you need to take to keep it up.

Next week I’ll bring together an article on backlinks. They are also so important and I’ll explain why. Don’t miss it!

Keywords & Categories & Tags! Oh My!

I like labels, don’t you? Search engines do too. It’s time we all learned how to use them and make sure our work is found in relevant searches. This article is for all of those amazing bloggers and copy writers who have fabulous content, but aren’t getting found due to a lack of or inaccurate labeling!

Think of a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo as a great big filing cabinet and within their drawers you find all the websites in the entire world.  Wouldn’t you want your pages to be in the right drawer?


Keywords are the words search engines use to index your blog posts under the correct section.  You must label each blog post as accurately as possible. The more accurately you label your work, the more favorable you appear to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This will result in your content being closer to the top of the search results for your topic.

According to the SEO Workers Search Engine Optimization Analysis Tool, “normal web pages” should contain a maximum of 8 keywords. I like to use this rule of thumb for my blog posts as well. I max out at 8 or 9 keywords in the form of categories, subcategories, or tags. That doesn’t mean you can’t use more. However, if you use six categories and ten tags for one regular-sized post, then your readers (or indexing search engines) have to read through a paragraph of keywords and still may not know what information they are really going to get in your article.


For WordPress Users

Categories can have a hierarchy. This means you can have a main (Parent) category like: Virtual Assistants. Then you can have sub (child) categories like: Training, Groups, and Interviews.

Categorizing isn’t required; however it’s important to familiarize yourself with how to use them to keep your fabulous content organized. Visitors usually don’t want to wade through a lot of irrelevant information to find what they are looking for.

If your blog has many categories with only one or two posts in each category, you may want to convert the categories into tags. If you do

convert a category with any sub-categories under it to a tag, then the children (sub-categories) will become main (parent) categories.


  • Choose keywords that are in your content for tags. You can use tags that aren’t in your content like if your post is about a television show you love, you can use “television” or “TV” as a tag. However, use this type of labeling carefully!
  • Choose common keywords that people will be searching for as tags. If you use a narrow topic like “Smith Valley High School Basketball”, you have a very small window of people who may search for this topic. However, if you split this tag into two different tags: “Smith Valley” and “high school basketball” you will definitely broaden your scope of searchers who are looking for local community sites and those who are looking for sites about high school basketball teams.
  • Choose tags that are not already categories.

More Articles about Tags

Tag, You’re It! Leveraging Tagging For Your Blog – By ProBlogger article dated: 02/27/06

Tag Management – From the support forum WordPress.com article last updated: 12/31/09

For Blogger

I also recommend utilizing “Labels for this post:” which is the equivalent of categories in WordPress. In fact, if you import a blogger blog into WordPress, “the labels for this post” import as a categories.

Other ways search engines index keywords from your site are by:

  • the blog title,
  • the site or blog address,
  • each post title,
  • what you choose for headings (mostly for Heading 1),
  • and any words you type in bold.
  • A lot of these SEO tricks and other targeted inbound marketing techniques can be found at Inbound Marketing University.

I Have my Facebook Fanpage Setup, Now What?

Facebook is a busy place. There are over 250 million active users on Facebook, and more than 120 million of them log in every day. Those in-the-know are taking advantage of Facebook and promoting themselves and their products using Facebook’s platform through one of the actual business applications-the business fan page. I have seen quite a few of these pages popping up around companies that haven’t had a social media presence until someone decided to put the page together. A fan page is a facebook page, similar to a personal profile, centered on businesses, organizations and people that have fans, such as public figures, writers, artists, etc.

Making a fan page takes just a few minutes – add some information about your company, your URL, upload your logo and you’re done. Then, when someone becomes a fan of your fan page, everything you publish appears in their News feed for all their fans and friends to read (unless they have this feature turned off). It makes someone joining your fan page somewhat viral.

The goals you want to have in place when using Facebook for business are:

  1. To get found by people who are searching for your products or services.
  2. Connect and engage with current and potential customers.
  3. Create a community around your business.
  4. Promote positive content, including webinars, blog posts or other resources.

Ok, so now what? I suggest creating Google Alerts with industry related search terms. Posting these articles and blogs to your fanpage will help your fans become more aware of what you have to offer along with building your business and brand.