10 Powerful Habits for Building a Personal Brand

CREDIT: Getty Images
Building and promoting your own personal brand is as important for you as it is for any company. Maybe more.

We all know the power of brands. Who anywhere in the world isn't familiar with McDonald's fabled golden arches, Coca-Cola's distinctive red-and-white logo, or the green Starbucks mermaid?

But here's a secret--building and promoting your own personal brand is just as important for your success and happiness as it is for any business. In fact, since it's you we're talking about, it might be even more important.

In her book Personal Branding and Marketing Yourself, executive coach, trainer, and consultant Rita B. Allen explains that there are 10 habits you should adopt to market yourself while building a more powerful personal brand.

1. Identify specific target markets
When you're building your brand, it's better to first focus on a few, most-promising targets, than to try to reach out to the entire world all at once. You'll get the greatest payoff for your time and money by identifying the segments of your market where you are likely to achieve the greatest rewards, and then pursuing them relentlessly.

2. Know your marketplace
Your brand is only as good as you are. Stay up to date with your industry--the latest news, practices, companies, and other information. The moment you begin to fall behind is the moment your brand will begin to tarnish.

3. Be visible and "in play"
Building a brand means getting out of your office and becoming very visible to your target audience and potential customers and clients. Attend networking events and become active in your profession and community. The more visible you are, the stronger your brand.

4. Become a source of relevant information
You should be someone people contact when they want expert advice or information on a particular topic. When you build a following as a content expert, you put yourself in position to be viewed as a trusted authority, which will attract people to you.

5. Always give something back to your profession and community
When you give back to others, not only will you gain the personal satisfaction that comes from doing it, but you'll build your brand in ways that money can't buy. People will remember the good deeds you have done, and your personal brand will benefit as a result.

6. Practice networking etiquette
Networking is all about marketing yourself, but it's also about giving others the opportunity to market themselves to you. Make sure that your networking efforts are beneficial to both you and to the people with whom you are networking. It's a two-way street.

7. Maintain your shelf life and develop an effective social media presence
In the publishing world of which I am a part, you're only as good as your latest book. Don't rest of your laurels, as impressive as they may be. Continue to do great work and achieve great things. And in these days of social media, don't ignore your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other accounts.

8. Create a networking database
Keep an up-to-date computer listing or database of all your networking contacts and social media connections.

9. Have a clear, brief message to deliver
The founder of every startup has a well-honed elevator pitch--ready to break out at a moment's notice when the opportunity presents itself. You should have a similar pitch ready for your own personal brand. What is your value proposition? Why should someone work with you?

10. Don't ever stop!
Building and marketing a personal brand is all about generating momentum--and then sustaining it over a long period of time. Once you get the ball rolling, then keep it rolling. It's a lot easier to keep the momentum going than it is to start all over again from scratch.

Source: Inc.com

SEO Tips for Affiliate Website


Nowadays, search engine's organic ranking is much harder, especially for an affiliate marketing website. So how do you get higher organic ranking? The SEO Strategy can be different from site to site, but some of the standards remain the same regardless of the topic or niche.

Here’s How To Do SEO For An Affiliate Website That Gets Higher Search Ranking:

Branded Domain Names
Choosing a strategic domain name that represent your affiliate business is not just a task for those starting up their own businesses. For many, the decision to launch your own affiliate website comes many years after you’ve already built a profitable affiliate business. Use a keyword rich domain name, but avoid looking spammy.

Shopify Have a list of 10 free tools can help you choose a great domain name.

Keyword Strategy
Keyword Strategies are essential to develop a search engine optimized website. The best keyword strategies rely on highly relevant keywords & placement on important parts thought your affiliate website, which are keywords that relate closely to your affiliate business or are associated with the industry you are promoting.

Follow these my standard on-site optimization guidelines:

Make sure the title title tag of each page uses 1-2 keywords, is less than 65 characters in length, and doesn’t contain stop words like “and, of, is,” etc.

The meta description tag should be between 150 and 160 characters snippet used to summarize a web page's content. You should include at least 2-4 relevant keywords in the meta description.

The meta description tag won't help you rank, but it will often appear as the text snippet below your website search listing. Search engines sometimes use these snippets in search results to let visitors know what a page is about before they click on it.

Use HTML header tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6), short paragraphs, and lists (UL or OL) to make your written content easy for readers to scan, and be sure to use keywords in these elements (just don’t stuff keywords where they don’t really belong).

In content links are the most powerful links on a page – footer and sidebar links have fairly low value. Therefore, some of your most powerful on-site links are from in-text links in your website’s articles or blogs.

Use keywords in every page’s file name or URL, every image file name, etc.

When you add an image to a page, be sure to use an alt tag that contains appropriate keyword(s) relevant to the surrounding content.

Link images to pages – the “anchor text” of an image link is the text you place in the alt tag.

Don’t place important content in IFRAMEs, Javascript tags, or as text inside an image.

Don’t use javascript or CSS tricks to try and “hide” text from the user for the purposes of fooling the search engines – this is a great way to get your site penalized by Google or Bing.

When you name files, avoid using underscores, capital letters, or spaces – these characters can lead to broken links and/or crawling issues. Instead, use a dash to separate keywords in file names (just-like-this.html).

Truly Unique Content
By Truly Unique Content, I means content should be original and not duplicated from anywhere else. Unique content plays a crucial role in search rankings organic ranking because search algorithms rate unique content highly and penalize websites for posting duplicate content.

Invest in quality, unique content & add new content to your site on a regular basis. Focus your SEO efforts on creating great content, and then promote that content one link at a time.

The Importance of Backlinks. If you've read anything about or studied Search Engine Optimization, you've come across the term "backlink" at least once. For those of you new to SEO, you may be wondering what a backlink is, and why they are important.

When a website links to any other site, it's called a backlink. In the past, backlinks were the major metric for the ranking of a webpage. A page with a lot of backlinks tended to rank higher on all major search engines, including Google.

Due to link spamming, search engine like google don't pay much attention to all links. All Links are Not Equal & and some are worth a lot more than others.

Get a link from the manufacturer: Get a link from the manufacturer who’s products you promoting. Often it’s very easy & just sending them an email and asking them for a link that will do the trick. You may have to convince them you are legit, so if you have a ho-hum website with crappy content, they won’t buy it and will probably think you are a spammer.

Business Directory Listing
When you list your business in high traffic business directory sites, you are putting your company in front of people searching for services and products just your like yours.

Search Engine Submission
Search engine submission should be one of the first steps to take for SEO. I don't have this as number one because this list is not a top ranking guide. The purpose of SEO is to rank on search engines, so your first initiative will be to get your website indexed by Google, Yahoo and Bing. There are other search engines you can submit to, checkout this list out.

Video Submission
You can use videos for brand interaction and engagement. After running a couple of text videos, I found out - you can get more interactions and engage with videos than you would with an image or text.

Article Submission
You have written a very informative article, how will you share it? The best way is through article submission sites. Content submission techniques work best because you are bringing instant value to the table.

Web 2.0 submission sites
These sites can have you post content with a do-follow link back to your website. As the internet grows, you start to take control of what you can post and how you want it viewed online.

Guest Posting
When you are an expert, you can find platforms that accept guest posts. When you guest post, you can include a backlink to your website from your content.

Classified Posting
Remember when you ad to post in a classified ad magazine? Well now, you can find classified sites that where you can post your advertisement online and build traffic.

Blog Posting & Submission
Unless you have thousands of dollars to spend on bring relevant or targeted traffic to your site, you will need a blog that is connected to your website. With your blog, you can post news, updates and other informative content that can nurture your visitors.

Press Release Submission
When you submit a press release, your release is hosted on different high authoritative sites that help with more visibility online. This is not necessarily a link building technique, but it's very important as to how you get your website news to the media.

Nich Blog Commenting
Make sure to read the blog post and keep your comments simple. You don't want to talk about anything else than the post. As for your backlink, make sure to include your name, domain and email in the signature section of the comment form.

Blog comment links is NOT a sustainable or effective way to get links. In fact, they can actually hurt your site in the following instances:

The blog where you posted the comment link is not related to your site.
The blog has been blasted with other spam comments.
If the site where you posted the comment link is penalized.
You use your keyword as the anchor text instead of your name.
If all the links pointing to your site are only from blog comments

Social Profile Creation
When you create a social media account, make sure to include you url in your account details and also fill-out the description box appropriately. Most quality social sites are indexed frequently, so it's good to be a part of them as to grow your brand and increase exposure.

Social Bookmarking Submission
You want your site indexed by search engines faster? Then look for quality social bookmarking sites. With these sites, you can save pages of your website that can be shared on the web.

Photo Sharing
How time has changed, with technology comes different visual ways of interaction. Photo sharing sites are one of the most authoritative sites on the web today. This will include your website in search engine images and rank your website for related keywords. For best results make sure all inbound links are do-follow.

Infographic Submission
Thinking about it - 10 years ago, no one really knew how effective infographics where at the time. today you need them for presentations and visual interactive content. Infographs can help you build quality authoritative links from expert sources online. See a list of sites.

Memes Submission
Photo to snippet videos is becoming a trend. Most post on social media are memes today, so use them to your advantage. Create your own memes, include them in your content and link back to your post on meme sites.

Niche Directory Submission
Submitting your site to niche directories can help you build a brand recognition. When people get to see your site on different directories they frequently visit, the end result will be them trying out your service or product. The are hundreds of niche directories online, just focus on the ones that are directly related to your site and content.

Question & Answers Sites
With the landscape for learning increasing, you can find question and answer site that can allow you to flex your knowledge and skills to help others looking for answers. With question and answer sites you can be sure to include links to valuable content within your site or on your site blog.

Review & Rating Sites
Review and rating sites are becoming more popular due to the fact that today, most people prefer to buy products with recommendations from others who have used it before. Get involved on review submission sites to create high quality do-follow links and increase web targeted traffic to your website.

Micro-blogging Submission
When you create a lot of short content pieces, how do you get your articles or message out there? Micro-blogging sites can help get you there. These sites allow you to publish your own content and curate it. Within your content and profile account, you can post your url and build referral traffic to your website.

PDF Submission Sites
Create white label content like; e-books, guides and checklist manuals to share on these sites. PDF submission sites can be a tremendous way for building quality inbound links because they are easy to link to and share on other channels. See a list of PDF submission sites.

Backlins By Interviews
Backlins By Interviews is an awesome way to build links(or at least get tweets or shares) for your affiliate site. Just find an influencer in your niche and interview them. People can never get enough publicity, so a little bit of flattery goes a long, long way!

You can find influencer on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook

Broken Link Building
Broken Link Building is a link building tactic, broken link building is an effective, white-hat, scalable, content-focused link building strategy that builds links through finding broken links, recreating that broken content, and helping webmasters replace broken links with your corrected link.

Using Check My Links, a handy and free Chrome extension(find it in the Toolkit), you can get see which links are broken. Next step? Email the webmaster informing them of the broken links, and casually ask for a link back to your site.

If the website doesn’t have a contact page or social profiles, you can search the domain name on Whois and if the domain info is public, you can find the site owner’s email address. Send them an email, and see what happens. Success rates will vary from niche to niche, but expect one or two replies for every fifty to one hundred messages you send(Yes, it’s that much work!)

Competitive Link Building
Competitive link building is the art of identifying and acquiring links to your competitors' websites. Going after these types of links is a great way to rank higher on search engine.

Think about it, you search on google & find "abcdotcom" top of google search. Then you find out all incoming links to "abcdotcom" & acquired links to your site from each of the website links to "abcdotcom".

Guess What?

your affiliate website is on the top of "abcdotcom".

Link Prospecting
Link Prospecting is the another art of identifying and acquiring links to your websites. But it often time-consuming and challenging parts of link building. In order to build and maintain a natural link profile for your affiliate website, your prospecting activity needs to cover a wide range of opportunities and generate the right targets and leads for your project/campaign. So prospecting is usually pretty easy to start off with - run a few Google searches and you've got yourself a set of content-rich websites within your target industry.

Ran A Contests or Giveaways
There’s absolutely tons of freebie websites out there or websites that share sweepstakes or contests. This one is a no-brainer, yet so many people don’t do it. It’s a great method to get links AND e-mail addresses.

Maybe not the best option if you sell expensive things like 24 karat gold cufflinks, but if you sell something within a $100-$150 price range, a contest is something worth looking into. With a contest, you approach a blog(or blogs), and ask them to sponsor the contest for you. Usually they will require you to buy ad space or send them a product sample. They review the product and host the contest on their blog, and the way people can enter is that they have to like/follow you for an entry. If your host blog is big, the contest will be picked up by other smaller blogs that will link to that blog and maybe your site as well. For one or two samples of your product, you end up getting a few hundred likes/followers and a nice link or two.

Beware of Paid links, automated link building tools, cheap link building services, and other link building schemes.

Site speed matters.

Self-Hosted WordPress VS Free WordPress

WordPress Hosted vs Free
Self Hosted WordPress.org vs. Free WordPress.com

Today I had to answer on an ever-ending debate "Self-Hosted WordPress VS Free WordPress" which is better for personal blogging. The actual question was Is it recommended to buy a domain for blogging over the free one on WordPress?

Here're all the opinions expressed on https://www.quora.com/

Ferdinand Brueggemann
Runs a Wordpress blog since 2004

It depends. If you new to blogging, start with the free version. Thus you can start blogging immediately and don’t have to care about anything else, except selecting a nice theme. 
On the long run I would move to a self hosted blog. This is the only way to control (and own) everything and to create a blog 100% to your liking by adding plugins and implementing design changes.

Ryan Biddulph
I can help you create content and connect with leaders to build a pro blog.

Hi Ben, 
Oh hell yeah :) 
But….make sure to buy your domain *and* hosting for these reasons:
  • Own your online real estate
  • brand yourself effectively
  • build a professional looking blog
  • tap into the amazing functionality of Wordpress
  • avoid getting kicked off free blogging platforms, like a squatter is kicked out of a home after somebody buys the property

Adame Dahmani
11 years freelance { WordPress; Web design & development; Web marketing; }

Using a domain will cost you at least a personal plan ($2.99 a month at WordPress.com). The free one doesn’t allow using custom domains. 
One of the new component of SEO in 2017 is building personal brands, and having a domain is one step to achieve that. 
Get a domain name if you want to do things properly. If you want to blog for the sake of sharing, you can do that without using a domain :)

Manasa Jain
I do a little blogging too :)

If your intension is to just to convey information over the web, then you can stick to the free version, however there are lot of limitations when it comes to customising your website. 
If you are willing to make some money through online advertising then you should definitely get your own domain. Here is my answer for why: Manasa Jain's answer to What are the advantages of owning your own domain for blogging and earning money?

Adeel Sami

You’re not build to call a rented place your home. So the same applies to the free domain. You need to build yourself around the premium domain, the domain you have control of. The domain you’re given the full access of. So, must buy the domain for blogging!

Exabee Sg
3 years of experience as internet marketing executive

Well, the answers is YES. 
Free wordpress has limited theme support which limit you to modify the CSS or other codes within the theme. Also, most of the free wordpress also does not allow users to upload any free, pad or custom plugins. 
So of you wish to have full control on your website and keep 100% of the revenue you make, it is better to opt for paid wordpress. There are much more low rate and affordable web hosting service available to host your wordpress.

Hope this helps:)

Brian McIntomney
Been buying and selling domains for awhile now

My recommendation would be to start off with a free blog. Post unique content regularly. Promote your blog on social media, sites like Twitter, Facebook and others. Keep an eye on the traffic (visits) that you blog receives. 
If your blog starts receiving a fair amount of visits (depends on topic, in some “niches” 25 visits per day is fantastic while in others, not so impressive), then I would get a domain name and hosting. 
Basically, a lot of blogs fail because of commitment. A successful blog doesn’t happen overnight.

Sohel Parvez
Online Marketing Consultant Specializing in Local SEO (It's Me Folk)

If you’re looking to build your own WordPress website, the most important difference between Self-Hosted WordPress and Free WordPress is the ability to customize almost anything. Self-Hosted WordPress lets you do it, Free WordPress does not. That’s it. 
Both Self-Hosted WordPress and Free WordPress are Great Options and It All Depends on Few Factors:
  • The Nature of Your Website
  • Your Technical Expertise.
  • The Amount of Time You can Invest in it.
  • Your Budget.
For instance, if you want to operate a simple blog and don’t need powerful functionality like eCommerse? In such cases, it’s best to go with free WordPress Version. You’ll have your site up and running within minutes, won’t have to worry about maintenance, and you’ll be able to share your content with the world – all without having to reach for your wallet.

But what if you’re thinking about operating an Membership or eCommerse Website then it’s best to go with Self-Hosted WordPress simply because free WordPress doesn’t offer these advanced functionality.

Alwin Reyes
Life Lover!

For me, have your own domain name is better, but not a must if you’re just starting out. I said it’s better mainly because of the control you have with your website in terms of customization of theme and plugins you’re allowed to use. 
In a paid version, you can select any theme you like (free or paid), as long as it is WordPress compatible. Plus, you can use any plugins you need. For a free version, you can’t do these things, which I think is very important in blogging.

Santo Singh
Web Developer & Content Writer

Recommend to buy one personal domain name if you want to be listed in google

Zara Balika
No not at all you can go for Freebies..

How To Speed Up Your eCommerce Website

We hear a lot of story about ecommerce website slow loading issue, which ultimately impact negatively. Before we learn How to Speed Up eCommerce Site, we might want to know, how a slow loading website negatively impact your business bottom line.

A website is said to have a high success when it load fast.

Page loading issue is obviously play a crucial part of any website’s User Experience (UX) & Search Engine Ranking. And many times we neglect this critical issue to serve better aesthetic design, a new nifty slider, add more images or unnecessary function to a site.

Imagine, You have great product showcase & content on your website, but if the site take longer than 10 seconds to load, most of your user might leave your website & all your efforts will be unseen by potentials buyers.

Design VS UX

Unfortunately, your website visitors don't pay much attention to all the bells and whistles you want to add to your websites, but they care about how fast your website load. And if your website doesn’t load quickly, you will lose potential visitors, conversions and off-course the purpose of the website “Revenue”.

Additional negative impact is website loading time is a high important factor when it comes to ranking especially Google search ranking & advertisement. Google publicly announced site speed is an important organic ranking factor among their other 200+ factors, in their Webmaster Central Blog at April 09, 2010.

Matthew "Matt" Cutts the former head of the web spam team at Google wrote a follow up article about website speed in his personal blog "speeding up your website is a great thing to do in general. Visitors to your site will be happier (and might convert more or use your site more), and a faster web will be better for all.

Statements made by other Googlers, John Mueller - Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google.

We do say we have a small factor in there for pages that are really slow to load where we take that into account.
We’re seeing an extremely high response-time for requests made to your site (at times, over 2 seconds to fetch a single URL). This has resulted in us severely limiting the number of URLs we’ll crawl from your site.

If you have a slow ecommerce website Google might crawl the site slower and that’s really bad – especially if you are adding new products, blog posts or making changes to your website.

I found similar statement on Bing Webmaster Guidelines, in their statement the call it "PAGE LOAD TIME (PLT)" & Bing direction about PageSpeed is "This element has a direct impact on the satisfaction a user has when they visit your website. Slow load times can lead to a visitor simply leaving your website, seeking their information elsewhere. If they came from our search results that may appear to us to be an unsatisfactory result that we showed. Faster is better, but take care to balance absolute page load speed with a positive, useful user experience."

A Very interesting recent (April 4, 2016) speed experiments ran at Forbes has concluded:

Over the testing period users read fewer articles each day whilst experiencing delays loading each web page.

In this article I’m going to dig some essential ecommerce Industry Stats regarding Webpage Speed. Because speedy sites do better than slower ones, we’ll talk about stats relevant to ecommerce website. Then, we’ll dive a little deeper and give you 11 Actionable Tips on How to Improve your eCommerce Website Load Times.

Research by Radware Ltd. suggests that slow load times are having an increased impact on e-commerce websites: assuming a conversion rate of 2% and an average spend of $115 per person, as the Centre for Retail Research  estimates, a site that gets 100,000 visitors a day would lose over $130,000 a day if 57% of its visitors bounced from frustration over slow loading.

Page Speed Affects eCommerce Website Conversion Rates

According to  Radware, a one second delay in page time equals a 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

Webperformance Today  found that for every one second of improvement, Walmart.com experienced a 2% jump in conversions.

  • The median top 100 ecommerce home page takes 5.5 seconds to render feature content.
  • The median page has increased in size by 13.59% in one year.
  • Forty-eight percent of the top 100 retail sites fail to compress images.

Today, a fast-loading website is a necessity; isn't a luxury. A website load fast should improve your visitor satisfaction levels and the number of conversions, for instance. 50% of Customers expect a site to load in less than 2 seconds, even majority of them tend to close a website that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds. Almost 75% of online shoppers who’ve trouble with websites speed performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again. And obviously they would also recommend their friends not to buy or go through those websites.

John: Joe, Where you get the awesome shoe?

Joe: I first tried to buy it from abcdeal, but the site load too slow; so I bought it from xyzdeal.

OK, what does it mean? It means, abcdeal had a potential customer joe (may be joe will never come back to that website), but lost as it’s site load slowly & the site lost Joe’s friend’s too.

So, how can i improve my eCommerce site speed?

In this article, I will explain you step by step guide to increase the speed of your eCommerce website.

Step 1: Test Your eCommerce Website Loading Speed

To improve your website speed, you first have to determine why it is slow. In order to understand that, run your website though a speed test. It’ll help you discover the areas you need to improve & current state of your website speed & performance.

There are quite a few decent (and free) site speed checkers available online. I like  Google PageSpeed Insights Most. With this free Google Tools, you can test your website's mobile & desktop devices load time of individual pages. The tools also analyze website performance & give you actionable suggestions to make your website faster.

Google PageSpeed Insights Tools

Visit the site, enter your site URL and run the test. It’ll grade your website 0-100 for mobile & desktop user performance & experience.

Another great tool I would like to introduce you is  Pingdom, Try their  Pingdom Website Speed Test, This tool measures the performance of your website by Load time, Page size, & number of HTTP requests. Pingdom shows you how long it takes to load your site on the first visit (how long it would load for someone who never visited your site before) and for the second visit (how long it would load if someone visited your site before and has assets cached in their browser). It also shows you how many http requests it needs to load your page.

In short, it is an easy-to-use tool to help webmasters, site owners and web developers everywhere optimize the performance of their websites.

Speed Test & Accessibility Tools I Recommend

PageSpeed Insights by Google -  https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Pingdom -  http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/

Website Report by University of Illinois -  http://fae.cita.uiuc.edu/


Step 2: Reduce HTTP Requests

A Website, essentially, is a collection of data files. Now, imagine that a separate HTTP request is required each time the browser needs to fetch a file from your server. If the browser continues to get your site’s files in this manner, the site will take a long time to load.

So, How to reduce the number of HTTP requests?

Use CSS Sprites: Despite the scary name, a CSS Sprite is just a group of images combined into one. For Example, if you need to load 2 versions of the same button (active and inactive), you can bundle them together. This way, it’ll take just one HTTP request to acquire the entire CSS sprite (image bundle), and then you can display the appropriate image depending on the situation.

Enable KeepAlive Connections On Your Server: Usually, browsers can make one HTTP request per one HTTP connection. However, if you have KeepAlive connections enabled, the browser will be capable of sending multiple HTTP requests (data requests) over the same TCP connection.

Step 3: Optimize Images

In almost 87% of my personal project, I found images are the culprit for website slow loading issue. Don’t be careless with your images; think about how you can optimize them. It’s ok if you want to showcase your products by high resolution images, but try to optimize/resize them as much as possible.

According to Radware, roughly 45% of top 100 e-commerce sites on the web don’t bother to compress their images.

You can use free tools like tinypng.com or tinyjpg.com to dramatically reduce the size of your images, while the image quality defer silently.

Step 4: Reduce the Number of Plugins Installed

You know, plugins add extra functionality to your web store’s pages, by including one or more CSS & JavaScript files (Think about Review Widget, Social Media Sharing Plugin, Pop Ups, and Newsletter Signups, etc…) integrated with your website template.

As long as the plugins installed & stay on active mode (doesn’t mean you really use it), your web store CMS loads those plugins CSS & JavaScript files in non-render-blocking way. Meaning, the browser loads them via HTTP  request & spends some time to loading those unnecessary files.

What is a problem though: Browser loads those files even if you don’t use the plugin. As long as it is installed, it will continue to load the files.

So, I really recommending you uninstalling unnecessary plugins for improving your web store’s performance. Not the ones you are using of course. But absolutely, please do remove the ones you are currently not using.

Step 5: Choose a Optimized Template

Unfortunately, your online store’s performance is somewhat dependent on which template you have installed. A template that is optimized for performance includes all styles in one CSS file, and includes all necessary JavaScript in one JavaScript file, loaded in a non-blocking way (or at least keep it minimal). A template that is not optimized for performance has multiple CSS and JavaScript files, and loads them in a render-blocking way.

So before you buy a template, I recommend you to test the template with Google Pagespeed Tools and see the performance score.

Step 6: Optimize the JavaScript and CSS files

OK. Now comes the tricky part. If you already have a template installed on your website, and you don’t want to buy & install another template, but still want to improve your site’s speed & performance, you have to manually optimize your files.

Here is How To:

You can make your files smaller by Minifying JavaScript & CSS files with any of the available third-party tools:

Step 7: Use a Fast and Reliable Hosting Servers

Your hosting company and package have a huge impact on the speed of your eCommerce site. Make sure your web host’s servers run well and can handle your busiest times. For example, you’re running a flash sale. Can your host handle the added traffic quickly and efficiently? If not, find another web host.

One more thing to consider is that it’s best to get a Dedicated IP Address for your account. As per GoDaddy, a dedicated IP could “ensure faster response during periods of high traffic load.” (If your site uses an SSL certificate, this means there already is a dedicated IP allocated for you, since it’s required to establish an SSL connection.)

8. Use a PHP Accelerator

What PHP Accelerators do is increase the speed of PHP Application, which leads to “improvements of web page generation throughput by factors of 2 to 7.”

Although it’s hard to imagine that no such accelerator is installed on your server yet, check with your webmaster/web host to make sure there is one. Some widely-used PHP accelerators include:

If you have a site written in a programming language other than PHP, most likely you won’t need an accelerator for it. (For instance, no corresponding tool is required for a Java  Based Website.)

Step 9: Use GZIP Compression

Gzip Compression allows the server to compress site files when returning them to the browser, which reduces the size of files exchanged and, of course, shortens the time it takes to load a page. According to Google, this feature can reduce the file size of one’s pages and stylesheets up to 70-90%.

GZIP Facts:
  • GZIP performs best on text-based assets: CSS, JavaScript, HTML.
  • All modern browsers support GZIP compression and will automatically request it.
  • Your server must be configured to enable GZIP compression.
  • Some CDNs require special care to ensure that GZIP is enabled.

Ask your web host if their server support GZIP Compression. It can greatly speed up your eCommerce site by reducing files size without ruining image quality or the site itself.

Step 10: Include Breakpoints for Mobile

A breakpoint is the point at which your webpage will resize or respond to suit the best browsing configuration for the screen that your customer is viewing.

If a webpage doesn’t offer multiple breakpoints for different screen resolutions, the viewing quality of the site will be negatively impacted.

11. Use a Content Delivery Network

A content deliverynetwork (CDN), essentially, is a network of additional servers used to deliver site content to the user. The beauty of using a CDN is that such content as your videos, images, CSS files, or JavaScript can be gathered from multiple servers at one (even a closer one to your user!), which spurs their delivery.

You see, a browser can establish only a limited number of simultaneous connections to one domain. But this limitation is lifted if you use a CDN. Popular content delivery networks include:
It should be mentioned, however, that content delivery networks don’t come cheap, and you may choose to exhaust other means of accelerating your site before you turn to a CDN provider.

Be sure to consult a Professional SEO Consultant on how a CDN may affect your traffic from image search first.

As we have seen, website load speed directly correlate to user experience & search engine ranking. If you care about your search engine rankings, and the experience of your users, you should be improving performance of your website.

If you think that your website still too slow, let me know; I'll inspect your website & help you speed up.

How To Find Out How Much Traffic a Website Gets


There are numerous reasons you might want to find out how much traffic a website gets. Perhaps you are interested in researching websites that compete in the same niche as a website you own. Maybe you are considering starting a new website, and you want to research the niche to see if there is enough interest in the topic for your new website to be viable. Perhaps you want to grow the traffic to a website that you own. Maybe you’re curious about how much traffic some of the big media publishers’ websites get.

When I visit a website for the first time, I don't look the design; look at something else. In less than few seconds, I get a estimate of how much traffic that website gets which helps me decide whether or not to stay.

Knowing how much traffic a website gets help me validate the website’s content and let me know how much traffic I need to get to see similar results.

Here are My 7 favorite techniques for figuring out how much traffic a particular website gets.

1. Alexa
The Alexa Ranking isn’t exactly “little-known,” but it is the best-known metric for ranking websites. Alexa tracks stats for everyone who has the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser, which accounts for less than 1% of internet users. So it’s not very accurate, but it’ll give you a rough idea of the website’s popularity.

Alexa data is not completely accurate, because it involves flawed methodology. Alexa ranks websites based on how much traffic they get from users who have chosen to install the Alexa toolbar. Alexa toolbar users are a small minority of website users, which makes the data somewhat skewed. However, basic Alexa data is free to the public and easy to obtain, and it does give you insights you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

2. Compete.com
Compete.com is a web traffic analysis service of Compete, Inc. which operates in the United States and publishes the approximate number of U.S. visitors to the top 1,000,000 web sites.

Based on checking my sites and Income Diary, the “Unique Visitors” stat that it generates is much lower than the actual traffic.

3. SimilarWeb.com
SimilarWeb is another website traffic checker that’s similar to Alexa and Compete, except, it’s got a lot more detail put into it, so it’s more accurate!

The main takeaway is that it gives you a line graph with values for the number of daily unique visitors and the sources. You can see the countries that your traffic comes from, top referring sites, the top destination sites (sites people visit after yours), display ads, audience interests, and up to 10 organic keywords with the free version.

4. comScore.com Reports
comScore is an American global media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to many of the world's largest enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers.

Comscore publishes a number of different traffic reports. Their reports tend to cover only the largest publishers, and they include metrics by country for websites with the highest traffic numbers. This can be useful if you are interested in learning about how much traffic the most prominent websites on the Internet are generating.

5. Traffic Estimates by TrafficEstimate.com
This free resource gives you a bunch of data in one place, although some of it is inaccurate. You’ll be able to find out some basic Alexa rankings, keyword phrases the website is targeting, other websites targeting similar keyword phrases and websites with close relationships.

If you’re researching smaller or newer websites, you might not get any results from this tool. The closely related websites report is flawed; in some cases it does find closely related sites, but in other cases the sites it shows are all unrelated.

6. quantcast.com
Quantcast is an American technology company, founded in 2006, that specializes in audience measurement and real-time advertising.

Quantcast offers you a multiple opportunities to discover a website’s traffic measures. If you are interested in finding out metrics for your own website, you can subscribe to their services to receive detailed insights.

Quantcast also offers website owners the choice to make selected analytics data publicly available. Many website owners take advantage of this because they think it benefits them to show potential advertisers their site’s metrics as verified by an unbiased, trusted third-party source. So you can check to see if the website you are interested in researching has a public Quantcast profile available.

7. searchmetrics.com
The Searchmetrics Suite for enterprise companies is the global leader in SEO marketing and analytics, SEO optimization, social and content marketing.

Similar to SEMRush, Searchmetrics will show you the organic search visibility for a website and also some of their top keyword terms.

Unless the owner of the website reveals exactly how much traffic they’re getting, every other figure is a best guess. Most tools are surprisingly inaccurate when it comes to generating stats. They are good, however, for comparing yourself against others.

Do you know of any other ways to figure out how much traffic a website gets?

Google Drops Their Feature Phone Crawler & Error Report in Search Console

No Feature Phone Crawler & Error Report Available in Google Search Console
November 29, 2016 Google Announced Goodbye to Content Keywords, Wednesday, November 30, 2016 Wrote on Webmaster Central Blog that they're doping Google's feature-phone crawling & indexing in Search Console. Although there are probably a lot of feature phones around, I wonder how many people actually use search with a feature-phone.

No surprise there, This does not impact how Google crawls or indexes smartphone content, just feature phones. Feature phones are those old Nokia phones that let you access websites in a text-based interface.

Google said that “Limited mobile devices, "feature-phones", require a special form of markup or a transcoder for web content. Most websites don't provide feature-phone-compatible content in WAP/WML any more".
"We won't be using the feature-phone user-agents for crawling for search going forward."
It Means, Google Bot won’t be using the feature-phone user-agents for crawling for search going forward. So you will no longer see those in Search Console logs.
Use "handheld" link annotations for dynamic serving of feature-phone content.
Some sites provide content for feature-phones through dynamic serving, based on the user's user-agent. To understand this configuration, make sure your desktop and smartphone pages have a self-referential alternate URL link for handheld (feature-phone) devices:  
<link rel="alternate" media="handheld" href="[current page URL]" /> 
 This is a change from our previous guidance of only using the "vary: user-agent" HTTP header. We've updated our documentation on making feature-phone pages accordingly. We hope adding this link element is possible on your side, and thank you for your help in this regard. We'll continue to show feature-phone URLs in search when we can recognize them, and when they're appropriate for users.
It means, that if you do have a feature phone support on your website, you need to use “handheld” link annotations for dynamic serving of feature-phone content.
We're retiring feature-phone tools in Search Console:
Without the feature-phone Googlebot, special sitemaps extensions for feature-phone, the Fetch as Google feature-phone options, and feature-phone crawl errors are no longer needed. We continue to support sitemaps and other sitemaps extensions (such as for videos or Google News), as well as the other Fetch as Google options in Search Console.
"We've worked to make these changes as minimal as possible. Most websites don't serve feature-phone content, and wouldn't be affected. If your site has been providing feature-phone content, we thank you for your help in bringing the Internet to feature-phone users worldwide!" Posted by John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst.
This is a change from previous documentation for feature-phones of only using the "vary: user-agent" HTTP header. Feature-phone tools are going to disappear from the search console.