Yes, you heard it right. I resigned from my full-time job that I enjoyed over the last 2 years…but now am able to come back to what I love most – Blog Setup & Design – and supporting you 😀 So, if you're looking for blog help…read on…and book your date with me!
For those of you I'm already corresponding with, you do not have to schedule an appt. – you're all set!
so clients can book their Blog Setup & Design, Newsletter Design, Blog Tune-up, Go Mobile Friendly services,
that allowed them to pay upfront,
and more importantly let them know where they are on the wait list – when their site would be worked on.
With VCita, there is no guess-work. You book your date/time, pay via PayPal (or credit card via PayPal interface), and we're all set.
I'll have a separate article on how to add this to your site… or I'd be happy to add it for you… book a Blog Tune-Up service.
Blogs By Heather Services
Check out the cool tool that pops-up when you visit my sites – Blogs By Heather (this site) or Blogs By Heather WP Hosting. It allows you to quickly and easy schedule any of these services:
WordPress Setup & Design
TypePad / Blogger Blog Setup & Design
Newsletter Design (such as Constant Contact Newsletter Design)
Go Mobile Friendly (Blogger)
Go Mobile Friendly (TypePad)
Go Mobile Friendly (WordPress)
Graphic Design Included
All the "Design" packages (the 1st three services listed) include all the graphic design work such as a banner, signature, watermark, sidebar buttons, headings…for your setup & design. Again, it is already included in the price!
I'm super excited and cannot wait to work with all of you again!
Keep in mind, we have an entire "How To Setup a Blog" video/PDF library inside Stamping & Blogging; how to create a Constant Contact, MailChimp, or Aweber newsletter template; and at present we are adding videos on how to make sure your blog is Mobile-Frienldy! So if you're a DIY type of blogger, then join today for $14.95 and have access to more than 400 stamping and blogging videos (we are a few away from 450!! – so a new badge coming soon).
So how does this work? First, you must have a website to accompany your app. Developers need to implement the App Indexing API into the mobile app to get started, and then annotate their website pages with app links that can be opened in the mobile app. Read more about this and consult your app developer on the best way to implement these changes. Here at Bluebridge, we’ll be proactively consulting with our clients about rolling out these changes in addition to other best practices as they evolve. (Convince And Convert, 5 Things You Need To Know About Google's Mobile Changes)
What Is App Indexing?
Google explains it best:
App Indexing allows you to connect pages from your website with specific content within your smartphone app. This enables smartphone users who have your app installed to open it directly from relevant mobile search results on Google.
And you'll get your answer…..Sandi's site is mobile-friendly! This site, Blogs By Heather is not! So we'll go thru that later….
Review of Terms
Let's review quickly two terms you probably keep hearing, Responsive and Mobile-Friendly. They are two separate things. Your site could be Responsive, but not Mobile Friendly.
Responsive means that it auto-resizes to fit any screen…whether it's your desktop, laptop, iPad or smart phone. For example, you can see this site on your smart phone, it resizes beautifully…but can your read it?
That leads us to Mobile Friendly….Just because a website or blog is responsive and can be scaled proportionally, it's usability and readability is not so good.
A site is mobile-friendly if it can be easily read and navigated from your smart phone without having to take out a magnifying glass or zooming in to read a blog post.
So, when a site is Mobile-Friendly is contains the same great information, but appears in a different layout. Check out Sandi's site for a great test. http://stampinwithsandi.ca. Look at it both on your ipad or desktop and then watch it change when you visit it from your smart phone!
Many mobile-friendly sites have the form of a logo at the type (in place of a banner), and a vertical layout of your navigation bar, followed by excerpts of your blog posts, and then your sidebar elements are normally towards the bottom of the page, again in a vertical layout. Sandi's is beautiful :D
So, how do you fix it? How do you make your site Mobile Friendly?
Let's review Blogger, TypePad and WordPress.
Blogger Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Design
Well, you have to figure this one would be 1-2-3 easy and it is! Google Blogger has a Mobile layout built-in. You just have to turn it on and viola!!! Done. In seconds!!!!!!
From your Dashboard, go to Layout and there is the Mobile layout!
Click on the Settings icon, I chose the layout on the right and clicked Save! That's it. This was available long before Google's April 21st announcement.
Again, this video will be a snap for us to create for you at Stamping and Blogging. Stay tuned 😀
WordPress Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Design
Many WordPress themes are Responsive and Mobile-Friendly, such as Sandi MacIver's new Canadian blog: http://stampinwithsandi.ca. Check it out on your desktop and iPad. Then go to that site via your smart phone and check out how easy it is to now navigate the site and be able to "read" everything.
When choosing a WordPress theme for your site, be sure to read the description and that it's at least Responsive. Although a WordPress themes may be Responsive, it may not mobile-friendly yet, so you'll need to add a plugin. Most popular are:
TypePad will be the more challenging change for many of us that have custom designs. You can see here in my mini-tutorial on switching to a Responsive Design and using CSS code to load the custom banner. TypePad Everything support jumped in to share with us special code that would help the custom banner become "responsive".
However, TypePad also shared this tip in their article (on how to optimize your blog for mobile devices) for those using the Classic Theme Builder, which many of my clients do…so this may help get you started….(but it's only for BETA users at present).
At Design > Theme Builder, check the Create as Responsive box and click Save Changes to make an existing design responsive. To create a new theme, go to Design > Choose A Theme, select Theme Builder, and click Choose. Then, you'll have the option to Create as Responsive and apply the new design to your blog.
Lastly, TypePad shares this article in response to how to make your TypePad blog mobile-friendly.
So I will share with you my experience as I transform this site, Blogs By Heather from Advanced Templates to a Responsive Design. The biggest challenge I'm thinking will be the dropdown menu….but we'll see 😀
(Updated May 11, 2015) I will use one of my customer's sites as an example. I'm actually preparing to move over to WordPress and can instead share with you how I do that!
Additionally, in Stamping and Blogging we're creating videos on how to convert to a Responsive Design using one of the three Responsive theme TypePad has available currently for all users.
What happens if your site is NOT Mobile-Friendly?
In closing, this new Google algorithm does not impact your desktop search results ranking. It only impacts your mobile-ranking and how Google identifies and lists those sites resulting from a search people are doing from their smart phones (mobile devices).
So first, make sure your site is at least Responsive. And then follow the above tips to make it Mobile Friendly or join Stamping and Blogging for step-by-step videos!
Have you ever wanted to have the same signature to appear at the bottom of every blog post so you don't manually have to do it? YES!!!! And now you can do it without much code and messing with the Editor!
In my previous tutorials, there's a lot of coding involved in getting this to work (and it does work), but those who have WordPress blogs can breathe a little easier with the use of a plugin called WP Post Signature! NOTE: Click here for my tutorials for Blogger, TypePad, and WordPress.com (free WordPress).
So…for those using WordPress…go to your Dashboard, Plugins, and Add New.
In the Search box, enter WP Post Signature.
When it finds it, click Install.
Then click to Activate it.
Next, to modify the settings and add the code that will then be placed at the end of each post. If you want an image signature, you have to first load that image to your Media Manager. Click Edit, and then select and use that Image URL (you'll see below where to put it).
To edit your new plugin, go to the Dashboard, then Settings, then WP Post Signature.
Enter 1 in the 1st option and Save Changes. This will put your signature ABOVE the LinkWithin widget that many paper crafters use.
Then in the section below, set it to ON and at the bottom of your posts.
Add the HTML code you want to use – such as the code for a shop online button and linking it to your website. Or simply enter the text you want to appear at the bottom of each post.
When you're done, save changes.
For more tutorials (video and PDF) on building your WordPress site, join us at Stamping and Blogging! We have a ton of videos including how to create post and pages, add sidebar items, edit HTML code like that used here, and so much more!
Here's a great new SEO tool for you! It's called AHrefs. Pretty cool name right? YES, since it's all about links…specifically what is known as "backlinks". Backlinks are simply those sites (which contain links) that link to you!
I used to to find those that I have lost…. Lost Links. Which normally means the post or page has been removed from the source or is now a broken link in that I may have deleted the page or post they were linking to, etc.
To help build your SEO ranking and overall online presence, you want high quality links to your site!
Now, I have not been posting like I used to back in the day…but I used my site as an example anyway to show you the Dashbaord and all the great info you can gain from this type of tool. I do have many links to my site, which is great 😀 But I have lost some links too. Anyway…give this tool a try! Visit https://ahrefs.com to get started.
Want to know how fast your site is loading? No? Well, you should. If your site doesn't load in approximately 5 seconds or less, then you're already lost a potential new follower, new customer.
You only have a few seconds to gain their interest. So in addition to having a site that loads fast, make sure it looks good (great!) and that you have a clear mission statement and call-to-action! They need to know what you offer and what the next step is.
Okay, so back to page speed. Check out this free tool by Pingdom. Simply enter your blog's address and wait for the results.