Test your mobile friendliness, mobile speed and desktop speed – Google Analytics

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I rarely touch my blog because of work loads until I received a news alert from Google Analytics about their new platform in testing our websites.

I got a pretty low score on desktop because of heavy photos and probably I need to clean up my sidebar which were full of free advertisements, lol but I will be working on that pretty soon and I am planning to remove non performing affiliates.

So here’s the link where in you can check your site, if you have questions feel free to message me about anything in SEO or Digital Marketing. I will be happy to give recommendations!

Thank you Google Analytics!

https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/

My views on Google ask bloggers to no follow links for free gifts or promotions

Few days ago, we read that Google has issued a friendly notice to bloggers who receive free products, endorsements or promotions from brand companies.

It was mentioned that we, bloggers should include a ‘nofollow’ links to any products or services we reviewed so that it won’t force to display in organic search results.

Many go crazy, panicking on why it is too late for Google to drop the bomb wherein they (Google) suspended some blog sites that suspiciously accepting ‘paid’ links injected to their blog posts or running a link advertisements.

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Here are some of my takeaways that may help you to understand what Google really wanted to happen:

  • DO NOT PANIC. If you have included links as a token of appreciation after receiving your free products or services on each of your blog post, do not worry about it. If Google flagged your website and suspended your domain in Search Results the best thing to consider is to check on your neighbor links (they may be spammed or have malwares) and follow the guidelines on how to submit for reconsideration in Google.
  • Write more comprehensive blog stories. If you were invited to any events or receive free products consider posting your personal insights and make the post more convincing rather than making it sound like an advertisement.
  • I also suggest you to include a disclaimer at the beginning or end of your story. You may say that these items you received were for review or this was a sponsor post or something that you can claim that you have partnership with brands. I know disclosing it can create an issue or conflict but I would rather say that I bought this ‘product’ and I recommend this to everyone to use it because I tested it on myself and the results were effective.
  • If you accepted a project and it’s not your area of interest. Maybe Google will suspiciously tagged the website and mark as spam because it was obviously ‘injected’ and the content was poorly written. To avoid such kind of embarrassment, choose projects that you think will recognize you as a ‘blogger’ or ‘brand ambassador’ not for the sake of ‘earning money.’

How to include a ‘nofollow’ tag on your posts? Here’s an example when hyperlinking a text going to a specific webpage:
Edit html post and type in <a href=”signin.php” rel=”nofollow”>sign in</a>

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read more:
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en

On a final note, Google is just testing you and we are not sure how it can be discouraging or will affect our blog sites. If you are 100% sure that you are following the best practices, then, you are safe.

Here’s what Experts say about this Issue:
https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/03/14/google-asks-bloggers-to-nofollow-links-for-free-gifts-the-expert-view/

My love and hate relationship with Excel

I know it’s funny but I admit that I have been using Excel for almost 10 years and since Microsoft Office upgrades the most lovable spreadsheet, I got lost sometimes especially when formatting tables, creating formulas and pivots.

Excel is one of the best spreadsheets to use. If you haven’t purchase Microsoft Office, you can use free source spreadsheet like Open Office but the features were limited.

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When Excel 2013 arrived, some companies have limited resources and still using the old version. Some says using the new one is much easier because of its functionality but we need proper training and introduction to use the new features.

There were incidents that I made mistakes in generating reports because some elements were missing when I modify the changes and I had my most embarrassing moment when I said that I never heard/use about “VLOOKUP.”

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We need to be flexible and one of my goal last year is to study (refresher course) Excel. I’m glad that I have found a coupon in Groupon and I enrolled this Excel 2013 course at RobustIT – Online

groupon

excel online course

There were 10 modules in this course. At the end of the each module, there is a quiz section. You have to get at least 4 answers (there were 5 questions) to be able to pass. Once you have finished all modules, an online certificate is available at the end of the session.

I also found extra activities and resources available for download. I save them all and will be studying more about the pivots, tables and formulas.

How about you? Do you know other Excel tricks? Please share it with us!

2016 New Year Resolution for Bloggers

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That is right, it’s about time to set resolutions for next year. These are goals that we ignore and forget sometimes we just let it pass by until it’s too late to change. On this blog post, I will recommend some goals we (bloggers) must consider that will help our blogs grow and accomplish them without hesitation.

1. Review your blog’s overall traffic, visitors and bounce rate
This is the best time to start reviewing your monthly or yearly traffic stat and how many visitors normally stay to read your blog. If you got below 50% below the fold bounce rate, you’re in the right track but if the blog’s bounce rate was above 50%, then, that means your visitors don’t stay long and just leave immediately.

google traffic

How to fix: Go to Google Analytics and check your page load time. Look for the high bounce rate pages and check your keywords. Those were the key items you need to improve your content. What went wrong? Maybe the keywords you used were attractive but not with your content. If the page/s got less than 3 seconds visit, that is very bad indication that the visitors ignore your content. So, write efficiently.

2. Annual check up with Google Webmaster Tools (Console)
This time, review your internal blog criteria like crawl errors, indexing, links to your page and keyword frequency.

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If you overhaul your blog like reformatting or moving to a new domain or platform (example: moving from Blogger to WordPress), make sure that all pages were perfectly redirected otherwise, “crawl errors” and “not found” will show up on your diagnostics.

How to fix: Contact your webmaster / hosting provider to perform redirection. Or if you are using WordPress, there is a redirection tab in the settings. If you are not sure what are you doing, call a friend who has knowledge in SEO.

For indexing, check if Google or search spider crawls your website. Simply go to search box in Google and type site:www.yourwebsite.com if results show your pages, you’re fine. If not, then, investigate. You are not aware that your blog si banned by Google. For remedies, ask a help from any of your friend who knows SEO (like me – free of charge!).

Too many unnecessary link friends. If you noticed that your blog was linked to those stupid useless links like spam referrals (social sharing icons got many of these). Then, your blog is in great danger! Report these links and remove them from your site. Also, if there are links not related to you or reason why your blog is not performing well – be aware and immediately kick them out on your system.

spam referrals

How to remove unwanted links: Use Google’s Disavow
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main

3. Improving images, videos and design
Start creating a visual content. You’ll need to learn few things: Uploading videos to Youtube, Infographics, story boards, or movie makers.

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4. Improving blog topics
I know it’s hard but the only solution is to write something on your blog. It can be anything you wanted like any events you’ll love to attend, recent purchases or product reviews, opinions about social issues, or place you have been to.

Don’t commit if you can’t blog consistently. You may publish once in every few weeks or develop a series of blog post that will make your readers go back from time to time.

5. Make friends become guest bloggers
I know it’s difficult but if you find someone who can be a solid teammate to write for your blog then go for it. Ask some friends to contribute on certain topics that they excel. You may assign him/her on certain projects. I have my correspondents in the Philippines to attend some events on my behalf.

6. Opportunities and Networking
Push yourself to become more confident to introduce your blog and gain opportunities to some brands. Consider attending conferences or events to learn more about blogging, networking and branding.

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7. Monitor your Social Media Accounts
When was the last time you post something on your wall without linking them to your blog? Post a question and let your followers answer. Sometimes, we are too lazy to post on our page walls instead we just share links. Boosting our blog is good, but make sure you engage with your followers.

8. Go mobile
Make your blog readable in mobile. Having not-friendly mobile sites will hurt your blog’s performance. Ask Google how.

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https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

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9. Make more money $$$$  
I know blogging is fun and some consider it as a passion but if you think of how you can monetize through blogging then this is the best timing for you to think about it. Review your previous proposals and think of a new strategies on how you can get more sponsorships, rewards and seasonal projects.

If you are not selected by brands, review my blog post again and make room for improvements.

Btw, avoid keyword spamming projects. Paid keywords through blog posts linking to unknown client websites are considered a violation. Even linking with them around your blog, so investigate first before accepting the project.

10. Be yourself and start 2016 with a blast!
This year create more strategies and share what your audience enjoys most. I know that we have too many ideas that would like to publish but start conducting test posts and monitor the progress. Never stop learning and spend time for improvement.

11. Back Up your Files (Update)
I forgot to include that it is a must for you to back up your blog (regularly), simply go to your FTP and back up your database. Also, consider transferring files from your laptop to hard drive (or cloud, if you have any). Or buy a new external hard drive if you don’t own one.

Have a wonderful new year!

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Feel free to comment if you have additional suggestions (or questions) on how to improve your skills in blogging for 2016.

 

My Post Notes from ClickZ Chicago 2015

I won an all access pass to ClickZ Live Chicago last November 17. I would like to thank those who supported and voted for my entry.

clickz winners
Yes, this event is worth $2K! Feels like I won a lottery! Every digital marketer (like me), wishes to attend big events like this. So, I grabbed my very last chance on that night to submit my entry. Luckily, I got the highest vote and WON.

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As promised to everyone am sharing some of the topics as well as the links to the presentations and articles. Are you excited?

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ClickZ Live Chicago 2015 was held at Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. It was a three days of new learnings, discoveries and networking plus full of excitement and fun (happy hour) right after each sessions. The kick off pre-launch party was held a day before the actual event, unfortunately I have work and my workplace is far from downtown. The morning keynote was all about digital transformation and it was amazingly delivered by Victor Lee of Hasbro. As we deal with technology, rampant changes occur and we should embrace the changes. Learning from how He deal with changes made me realized that each of us should be aware about the transformation and assess ourselves how should we blend in the environment.

Next sessions discussed about optimizing landing pages, remarketing, seo strategy, and analytics. Though those topics were similar and can be read/found online (there were tons of articles and videos you can research about it) but what made them interesting was there were case studies presented and I was able to learn from them like discovering the errors, how to troubleshoot them and perform several tests before and after launching your website or any campaigns.

I am overwhelmed with too much information during that day. I skipped the second day event because I have important matter to do at work and came back the last day which was the training day. There were two trainings I attended, email marketing (morning) and SEO technical (afternoon).

View my ClickZ Chicago Notes (Google Docs)

Overall, the event was a big success! I wish I will have a chance to attend next year. Working in digital world means you have to be flexible on several things. There were no perfect process but as long as your website or campaign follows the right guidelines and practices – you’re safe. And, don’t afraid to test or try something new – there will be (sometimes, not always) downfalls in between your implemented strategies but the most important is is that – you are learning so start adapting the changes in your environment.

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Inspirational Quotes from Victor Lee:

“Most content today fails”
“Engage, don’t advertise”
“Have goals, make a plan”
“nostalgia is the enemy of progress”

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Very tasteful, Hyatt’s Cheesecake.