One Awesome Mail Extension For Mac Users

There’s a million ways to handle your email these days.  I’m more of a customized solution type of fellow and have many different domain names and emails addresses I need to handle and I need to reply from that specific email account.

Moreover, I spend the majority of my time at a proper computer terminal working, a workstation.  Not only that but I’m often working late and I wasn’t wanting to email my clients at 2am when I’m finishing up performing work on servers (off peak hours).  I wanted my clients to get that email update first thing as if I was sending it at 10am the following morning, after I was up till 3 working, yea… right… not going to happen.  Guess what… it happens every day now.  

I did a little searching online and found Chungwasoft. That’s where things got beautiful.  The price tag is $10 and it’s well worth it.  Let me explain how it works.

Send Later by Chungwasoft

I was looking for a mail scheduling app.  So I could write my emails whenever I wanted and send them at a specific time.  Something Boomerang handles in gmail but I needed it for Mac Mail, my primary email client for business email.

You install this little lego blog of mystery for your Mac Mail client and it doesn’t add all these crazy things or a million buttons you need to learn and figure out the functionality of.  It doesn’t give you insane popups begging you to buy other software.   Chungawasoft do prompt you to check out more software but you can click “Don’t Show This Again” and you won’t be bothered, nice.  After using this piece of magic I might see what else Chungawasoft has though.

send-later-toolbar-highlight

All it does is add this little icon when composing a message… which once pressed unlocks the power of Send Later.  but once you press that little button the real magic happens.  It’s almost imperceptible but so powerful.

Click It And Unlock The Magic

You write your email and click that little paper airplane with a clock and you’ll be confronted with and means to your end… in this case… scheduling my emails.

send-later-dialog

To be perfectly honest,  I just wanted to schedule my emails at a specific time.  It does that beautifully.  But what I ended up loving is the Time Distance feature.  I find myself using that often so I can just “Send in 15 Minutes”.  It’s actually saved me!  I forgot to attach a file… no more of that.  Went right back in and attached it once I snapped.  that email was just sitting in my outbox waiting to send.  I fixed it and look sharp to clients… not like forgetting stuff.

Thanks Send Later!  Right on time.

We Can Tell You’re A Noob By Your Keyword Stuffing

The thing is… you run across a lot of people to claim to be SEO experts out there, they know who they are, we can tell they’re noobs by their keyword stuffing.  I went back in time (just on Google unfortunately) and found articles as far back as 2012 about avoiding this.  We’ve know about it forever.

It’s The Internet… It’s Pure Anarchy, Right?

No, it’s really a finely structured system that is so well thought out it seems like anarchy, like the over arching complexity if natural phenomenon that seems chaotic but upon closer inspection is governed by strict rules.  The first thing it comes down to is everyone wanting a keyword rich url.  Somehow, in any way possible, everyone wants to rank #1 in search with their awesome URL that’s branded and engineered perfectly for their industry.

Fact of the matter is, the largest online companies usually aren’t the ones with keyword rich urls, go figure.  Think about that, they could have dumped tons of cash into whatever URL they wanted, but they didn’t.   The ones that do have keyword rich URLs, those are the ones that look like spam sites and are screaming for our attention, or to just be remembered somehow.   I’d almost bet if you rattled off your top 5 favorite sites, in almost any category, not a darn one of them has a bad-ass keyword rich url.  They worked for it and that’s what you need to do.

A keyword rich URL isn’t a magic bullet.  The internet just seems like pure anarchy because a month ago some music video about chickens or something from China got shared a million times and the week before that… there were Too Many Cooks!  It does seem like Internet anarchy but it’s not.  These crazy videos and websites find wild popularity not because of their URL’s but because of the content they publish, that’s not anarchy.  Don’t just “stuff” your URL with keyword phrases  just because those words pertain to your industry either.

Or maybe you bought a keyword rich domain name… might as well put the cherry on top and stuff that site with keywords too… right?  Wrong.  It’s long been known that you don’t do this.  Just last week I worked on a site where the urls were great & pertained to the page content, but then…. on every url they threw some keywords in at the end.  For no reason their web admin just tacked them on.

Here’s an good example:

http://www.thisdoctor.com/appointments

Here’s the nightmare I ended up facing on every page:

http://www.thisdoctor.com/appointments-pain-doctor-back-pain-san-antonio-free-consultation

I was mortified partly because someone still thinks thats a good strategy but mostly because I was now involved in a project that (unknowingly) had been internally sabotaged.  Don’t do that,  it’s crazy.  You’d be using your time and mental capacity much better writing one solid article than tapping out random industry related keywords in your URL.

Are You Worried Your Stuffing?

Stuffing is tedious by nature, you often end up picking through text and seeing where you can throw in another reference to your keyword phase.  If you’re doing that, you’re stuffing and you’re going to get caught.

Keyword Stuffing is that old school black hat technique to try and rank better by loading your urls and or domain name with keywords.  Yes, the words might pertain to your industry but pages on your website should be about something, specifically.  All your pages shouldn’t be about your industry generally.  Use specific pages to optimize for the product categories that are specific to your industry.

We all know large sites start somewhere and maybe there are a few pages on your site that cover several topics but eventually, for your site to grow, you’re going to need to invest some time into really developing the products on your site to stand alone and be presented on a single page.  All businesses have reasons or competitive advantages for customers to choose them over a rival business.  Each product you have can stand alone and has it’s peculiarities and advantages.  Showcase your strengths. 

The Stuffing Isn’t The Best Part Anyway

Short and relevant is the key.  You want someone to remember your URL not overwhelm them with jargon and complexity.  Stuffing your page doesn’t make your message or value clear and takes up valuable time that could be spent on long-term Search Engine Optimization strategies that don’t end up shooting you in the foot.

Write real content that you’re passionate about publishing. Check out this video about SEO from google webmasters, it sums up things nicely.

Simply Good SEO For Long Term Website Growth

Why Simple SEO Tips?

If you’re a small business owner, you’re running your own website and publishing yourself or at the very least directly supervising the publication of content I’ve got a few simple SEO tips for you.  They may sound rudimentary at first but there’s some gold in them there hills, I can assure you.  Some of the smallish things I’m about to detail aren’t just good SEO they’re time savers too.

You Need To Read Further For Two Fundamental Reasons:

  1. There Are Not Shortcuts, Magic Bullets, or Secret Codes To Rank #1
  2. Content Is King Today

You’ve got to publish and publish relevant to your industry, bottom line.  But here’s how to make your time or money worth it or atleast get more bang for you buck and keep it simple.

Delegate to A Professional Where Possible

I’ve found that most small to medium-sized businesses like to handle their own content writing.  This isn’t always the best ideas in my opinion but not all businesses see the value in having a solid commercial writer tap great content out quickly and efficiently for them.  Go figure.  There’s even really low-cost solutions for that too, I’ve even found some really great content writers on Fiverr that are well worth the meager cost they charge.  They’ll usually give you an article at about 400 words for 5 bucks.  I’ve rarely had to ask for revisions.  Usually I just need to tell them, “Looks Great” (especially for 5 bucks) and give them a good rating.  You can even get better deals if you don’t just buy one article.  I usually buy one first, test them out, and then if they perform… bang… they got some work all the sudden.

DIY Writers (Like Me!)

Well, there’s never anything like reading an article from a seasoned professional and sometimes the content you’d like to cover in your articles requires some deeper knowledge of your industry than you can ask for from a general content writer.  We all run into that.  But for general articles, consider a writer.  If you’re doing it yourself and talking to a specific group just follow these basic rules when writing an article.

  • Keep it At least 400 Words
  • Give your document Some Structure
  • Use Regular Ol’ Elementary School Grammar

OK… Let me elaborate just a little so I drive home my real point.

Many seo plugins will actually do a word count for you, besides scanning for keywords and give you a little flag if you’re article is too short.  The SEO plugin I use, SEO by Yoast, which I consider to be one of the more elegant and functional, gives you this little flag.  Here’s a quick screenshot of what this handy extension is scanning for while I’m actually typing this post!

A look at the Yoast SEO Analysis
Consider Upgrading To The Paid Version, It always Worth The Modest Prices For Professional extensions Like SEO by Yoast.

You’ve got to use an SEO extension.  As you can see from the chart above there are far to many factors for one person to weigh, but here’s the kicker.  After you use the extension for a while, you’ll start picking these things out on your own & becoming aware of these issues as you’re typing, it really trains you to think like an SEO expert.

 Good and Simple Grammaring

Ok… I know you don’t grammar an article, it’s not a verb.  But I needed a way to offend & at the same time invoke your attention to detail.  I see way to many business owners and business staff members way over-use the formatting toolbar within their content management systems.

Wordpress Formatting Toolbar

The formatting Tool Bar is doing a lot of things behind the scenes you may not know about if you’re not a coder or have little interest in code.  Secretly, It’s trying to provide your article with a structure the search engines will understand, not just make it prettier.

I highly discourage doing these things:

  • Overuse of  heading tags (H1, H2, etc.).  These are for section headings, like in a text-book or any large article.  ONly use them like that and not to just “make it bigger”.
  • Overusing Quotes – Quotes have specific grammatical usage, don’t just put quotes around something because you’re saying it in your mind.  Use quotes like they tought you in grade school.  Plain and simple.
  • Don’t Make A List but Not Use the Order or Un-ordered Lists Feature

Don’t Shoot Yourself In The Foot

You spend all this time making this beautiful article…. you went through the article bolding everything and italicizing entire paragraphs and then changing the color of all the text to be something different, right… You’re shooting yourself in the foot.

If you’re doing that you’re crazy.  The text on your website should display exactly the way you’d like without all that using basic structural elements.  When you overuse the formatting toolbar you’re destroying a clean document structure and making it increasingly difficult for search engines to determine if your website is a spam site or just created by a novice, either way… you’re making it tough on yourself and destroying some the integrity and hard work you put into writing for your business.

I think some website owners are doing the to try to give their article a personal touch or some style.  The style should be in your website and conveyed in your message, not contrived by elaborate typographical treatments that usually fall short of what you’d intended.  Keep it simple and focus on writing not formatting.

Content Creators Rejoice, Benny Has Arrived

While editing in WordPress have you ever wished your text options tool bar would stay put.  Well guess what… WordPress 4.0 brings some of the features you wish you had but maybe never realized it.

Benny is all about under the hood with more much needed adjustments to the wordpress editing experience for us creators.

 

Benny Goodman was an American Jazz Swing musician.  For a little historical reference:

[box type=”info”] WordPress core developers share a love of jazz music, and since WordPress 1.0 all major releases are named in honor of jazz musicians they admire.[/box]

I already enjoy the wordpress editing experience as it is but now that they’re really brining more focused improvements to the content creation interface it’s starting to blow my mind.

Here A List of the Major Changes You’ll Notice:

  • Editor & Publishing Options Stays Put!
  • Live Editor Preview for Embedded Media (like Youtube Videos)
  • Enhanced Media Library Management Experience

The changes they made to the Editor Publishing Toolbar so it would stay put was much needed.  Nuff Said.

The Media library was pretty awesome already but they must have a new UI design team over there because they’ve been hitting home runs with so many of the interface tweaks they’ve made in the past few updates.

If you’ll recall the Smith Update from this past April gave us that cool “drag to resize” feature for images in the visual editor.  Everyone has been waiting for that since forever. But the mosaic gallery preview in the visual editor never worked.  I don’t know why.  I’m sure they’ll get that right some day.  Could be because that’s a feature of Jetpack and not core wordpress.

These tweak are very UI centered and for the content creators at that, relieving us of small frustrations while we’re caught up typing like fiends & building our masterpieces (or disasters).

A Note for Website Administrators:

My biggest concern.  Code Bloat.  While all the new features are cool, I have concerns about new features just piling on adding additional stress to my servers.

  • Admins Get A Completely Re-Designed Plugin Browser & Gallery Interface.  A Much Needed Overhaul!

I haven’t updated all the sites on my networks because I’m waiting for a few plugins to have official compatability posted for the new version but I’m very excited to really start working with Benny.

Grrr.. come on!  update the plugins already.

Easily Publishing Videos On Your Website

It’s quite easy to embed video on your website.  Getting it on your website is one thing, getting people to actually watch your video is a whole new challenge.

One of the key things you can do to increase the number of views your video gets is by uploading the video to YouTube.  YouTube is a place where people already are so that greatly increases the likelihood of your video actually being seen.

Another advantage is that you can easily share your video through a link or an video embed right on your website.

The benefits of serving your video through YouTube are numerous but one of the key advantages is that your video will be optimized no matter what kind of device the website visitor is on.  If you’re trying to upload a video file to the back-end of your website and just put that video file link into a page or use some widget or HTML to display the actual video it will probably work most of the time because modern devices are smart.

But let’s do a quick thought experiment and consider a  mobile user.

Let’s be imaginative and assume the video file is only 13mb large.  That video might need to be completely downloaded, the whole 13MB file, to the users mobile device before playing, it might significantly increase the amount of time your site takes to load and consider the mobile data usage the user suffers in downloading an entire video they might not even watch.

YouTube takes advantage of video streaming so all that is delivered is what the user requests and it’s optimized for whichever device your website visitor is on, desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Here are tons of great resources online to get you started with a YouTube Account.  I enjoy the videos of David Walsh:

After you create your youtube account and establsih yourself with a few videos think about setting up a custom YouTube Channel URL or “Vanity URL” for your YouTube Channel.

You can find out how to setup your youtube channel custom URL right here.

Understanding Feature Images

“A featured image represent the contents, mood, or theme of a post or page.  Posts and pages can have a single featured image, which many themes and tools can use to enhance the presentation of your site.”
WordPress.com

The feature image you choose for your article might just be the one thing that entices your visitor to click, read and find out more about what you have to say, your products or services, so choose carefully.

The official definition is actually pretty good. Your feature image should be representative of your content, tell a story if possible, or at least catch the viewers attention within the context of your content.

I always invite you to find out more about feature images by checking out the official wordpress documentation online!

Official WordPress Help