Hosts & Speed
Hosting makes a big difference to speed. However there are many many good hosts nowadays. If you stick with the ‘old popular ones’ like GoDaddy, HostGator, BlueHost, etc, they will all operate similarly – and will be slower. WPEngine, BigScoots, Flywheel and the managed WP hosts all operate similarly and you should notice similar speed improvements.
SEO is pretty important! The biggest impact on SEO is authority. So if you get large groups of people linking to you, visiting your site, quoting you, etc you’ll see your traffic go up.
The best way to get more ‘clout’ is to guest post in popular blogs, post regularly, have awesome photographs, and be personable – form that bond with people that makes them want to stick around… same advice as always! Blogging is hard!
But it’s harder now than it was – if you do the same things as before, you’ll slide downhill. That is because there are more and more new bloggers going online. So your market is saturated. To stay at the same place as before – you have to work harder. To get ahead, you have to work even harder than that! Or smarter! Which is why everyone is turning to SEO.
So much SEO advice!
Seo is one huge topic to tackle. Most of you know how to generate a report in SEMrush to get a list of to-do items. However you can spend months changing things that don’t matter. So be careful. Spend time on the things that matter.
Do this. In this order.
- links to your site from authoritative sites
- speed (tied with…)
- mobile-first site
- meta descriptions / snippets that show up in google to entice readers to click through (combined with low bounce rate – means they stuck around)
- AMP & PWA (new technology – I’ll post more about it soon)
- properly tagged content (JSON / HTML5 for How to, Video, Recipe, News)
- accessible (properly named images, pages ready for voice browsers)
The top things you can do for speed
- good host that takes care of server side caching
- use cloudflare as dns and cdn
- optimize images and offer webp versions
- get rid of excess bloat (plugins are the ‘candy’ of wp diets – use in moderation!)
- beware of security risks and plugins that cause havoc on servers; these are usually ads(can’t do much about this!), statistics plugins, link checkers, redirection plugins, jetpack and a few other ones. They come and go on this list as authors fix them up.
How to start
Start with one or two items that you think will make the biggest difference and work on that first.
Every post workflow or daily routine should include a tiny bit of seo improvement/cleanup.
How’s that sound?