Here’s a probable scenario..
You thought your blog was awesome..
But what if your blog did not look credible to your potential clients or visitors?
It is a disaster. Not knowing the facts that is..
Yeah..I know. It is a bitter pill to swallow..
First impressions last, so when people come to your blog, it will take just a matter of seconds before a person will visit your site again or not.
One way that a visitor can tell if your site is a good one or not is by the way your blog design is conveying it.
This is important especially if you want people to buy your product or to let them know that what you write is credible.
It is too easy to send wrong signals to users so here are some signs that your blog is conveying a bad reputation.
Let us take a look at 11 blog aspects that can make or break a blog’s reputation. Action steps included.
#1 Loading Time
Loading…Yup..I am loading…
A slow loading website can be very frustrating for a site visitor.
But a fast-loading blog will tell the visitors that your site is going somewhere, and the person behind it, actually knows what he/she is doing.
If your website has trouble loading fast, there are a few factors that could be slowing the blog down.
Start with finding page speed of your site or blog:
Action Item #1: Find Page Speed
Find page speed using GTMetrix The tool will give you a score and speed in seconds. Best part is, it even gives specific advise how to improve your total score by optimizing images etc.
Action Item #2: Optimize images for wordpress (for best speed
If you are using images that are not optimized, then you are slowing down your site.
If you have a wordpress blog, install Smush Image Compression and Optimization plugin which can significantly compress your image size and thus improve your site speed.
If you do not have a wordpress blog, do not worry. The page speed tool summary you used above will give you optimized images. Just download optimized images to your desktop and upload it to your server and replace original images. That’s it!
Action Item #3: Install WordPress Cache Plugin
- If you have a wordpress blog, install a cache plugin WP Fastest Cache and it can improve page speed for sure. It is the best wordpress cache plugin.
Action Item #4: Add a WordPress CDN
- Integrating a CDN(Content delivery network) is highly beneficial. CloudFare(free) is a good option. See below #11 for more details of CloudFare.
Action Item #5: Install Autoptimize WordPress Plugin:
#2 Broken links and Images
That “Page not found” error!
404 error indicates Page or image was not found.
When we move images/files or even delete it, we often forget to update the web page or blog post to reflect the change. Hence the 404 error.
Find broken links and fix it
- Broken Tools Finder Tool: This online tool finds broken links within a web page. Find the broken ones and remove the bad links from your page.
- Screaming Frog Spider Tool: This is a tool which you have to download to your desktop and then run to find out broken links. You can then find out broken links and then fix it.
Check for broken links at least once every month or after a major site redesign.
#3 Too Many Popups and Sidebar Widgets
Too Many Popups
It is good to have a landing page that pops-up a newsletter subscription box, but if it happens on every page load, it can be very annoying for visitors of your site.
Conversion rates are high with overlays but once per visiting session is enough.
- Limit overlays/popups to once per session.
- Introduce only after user completes reading half the page(at least).
- Make sure overlay/popup looks professional
- Add an exit intent popup for best conversion
- If set it to appear after a visitor views your site the second time, you are more likely to get higher conversion rates than letting it load on the visitor’s first visit.
Recommended Tool: Poup Domination
Too Many Sidebar Widgets
This applies to your wordpress blog.
Widgets help organize and spice up your blog, but if you have too much of it and it will slow down your site.
If these widgets doesn’t help your site, isn’t it better if you just get rid of them.
If they are not helping you communicate with your users, you should get rid of it. Example: Admin login link in sidebar.
Do your homework. Take the time to determine the unwanted ones and just remove it.
#4 Ads all over the place
More ads does not mean more profit.
Websites and blogs need advertising to survive, but too much of it make you look as if you are desperate for money.
Beware! Cheap Ad tactics can backfire!
Google can penalize blogs which carry too many ads. That too that blocks users readability.
Google wants users to trust its search engine and thus give best search results and best web pages that makes user happy. So Google will be very strict.
Ad placements that hinder content ruins your website.
A great location to place ads on is in the sidebar.
It is positioned so that it won’t interrupt with your content and let readers get them what they want.
- Minimize number of ads.
- Do not mess with user’s readability.
- Determine best selling ads and retain them.
- Poor performing ads can be removed.
#5 Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
Do you want to ruin your credibility and get rid of visitors to your site?
An easy way to do it is to have as many spelling and grammar mistakes as you can.
Bad writing makes you look like an idiot trying to prove something but is not too convincing because of the way you write.
Always have a habit to run a spelling and grammar checker before you publish a content.
Spell checkers are not perfect.. so you need a proofreader to check your content for any spelling or grammar mistakes.
- Use Grammarly, a tool to find spelling and grammar mistakes in your blog post.
#6 Empty or Spam-full of comments
Comments reflect the kind of people that are hanging out in your blog.
No one wants to hang out in a site that has a lot of spammers the same as a comment section that is empty.
A blog with a comment section that is full of real people makes visitors be involved in your site and participate on comments.
Install Akismet Plugin
- To kill spam comments, you need an anti-spam plugin like Akismet. Just install it and set it correctly.
- If your posts are continuously targeted by spam comments, consider turning it off and on after a certain time.
#7 You speak like a brochure
Your target audience are humans so don’t even think about writing as if you are writing a sales brochure even if you are representing a corporate entity.
You won’t gain a connection to your reader, which is vital to earning that trust thus increase a positive reputation.
It may seem too obvious to you if you write yourself but it can be confusing to someone else.
- Ask someone to read what you have written and if they understand it.
- Keep your writing simple and to the point, the way we normal people talk.
#8 Lacks personality
People prefer buying from people that they like even if they are not directly selling the product, or source of information.
If your website do not reflect your personality, you have a low chance of having your site liked by many.
- Show a little personality to your content. Let your readers know your personality and they will be more confident in what your write.
- Light humor is something that can help your site go a long way.
#9 Too much Design
If you use the blog’sbeautiful design to hide your lack of content, then you are implying a bad site reputation.
Let the users find the basics of your site like the navigation and content – the main reason they came to your site.
- Get rid of blog design aspects that will make your content look small or scale it lower a bit so the content is where the audience will put more attention on, not on your design.
#10 Blog Design Glitches
Refining a design takes a lot of time and effort.
It is easy to miss something that affects the trust you have build up from your content.
- The easy way to fix design glitches is to check for it no matter how small of big the problem.
- Make the site easy to read by setting an appropriate reading font.
- Choose appropriate font size that is not too small that it makes you look like you are hiding something and not too big as if you are emphasizing a content. Related Article: 5 Best WordPress Typography Plugins(Awesome Fonts!)
#11 Optimal TTFB(Time To First Byte) and Full Page Load Time
You have already seen in step #1 above how to improve your blog’s page speed.
But equally important is TTFB(Time To First Byte) and Full Page Load Time. This is a very important metric to consider.
This directly relates to the web server where your website is hosted. Lower the TTFB is, faster the server(in general).
Time to first byte (TTFB) is a measurement used as an indication of the responsiveness of a webserver or other network resource.
We also need to take in account Full Page Load time.
An ideal host will have both values lower.
And best site speed means better site rankings, as Page speed is indeed a critical search ranking factor.
Action Item: Find your TTFB score
Visit http://www.webpagetest.org and enter your url. You can see your server score.
If you have a poor score, then you should consider a good host with best TTFB score and server speed record.
Best Web Host with Optimal TTFB score and best support
We recommend SiteGround, which has a good TTFB(Time To First Byte) score and a fast server.
Their support is very good and makes a very choice for non-techies/newbies as well as for developers alike.
Especially their knowledge base, it’s a gold mine.
SiteGround Speed plan Highlights
SSD Fast Hosting: SSDs(SSD drives) provide for a 1000x increase in input/output operations as compared to regular drives. SSD is a hard disk drive that is 1000x faster than traditional hard disks.
NGINX server speed: NGINX is a web server technology that can speed up the load of your websites’ static content(images etc).
SuperCacher: SiteGround has its own own caching mechanism based on NGINX server explained above. Advantage here is that it can dramatically speed up serving of the dynamic content(database calls etc).
Free CDN: Siteground offers free Cloudflare CDN,which can make your website load faster. CloudFare has multiple data centers all over the world and it caches your content and distributing it over these data centers, thus making site load faster.
The Big HTTP/2 advantage:
Websites that has HTTP/2 support gets additional SEO boost. It can get you better rankings boost due to better speed. SiteGround servers are HTTP/2 enabled.
You can always test the waters by testing them out. Siteground has a 30 day money back guarantee for shared hosting plans.
Sum it up:
If you have one or any of these ominous signs, fix it right away to bring back that site reputation you’ve been aiming and more.