Proud Sponsors of WordCamp Los Angeles

The past weekend drew a crowd of those eager to learn about WordPress to Loyola Marymount University where WordCamp LA curated speakers for all levels of Blogging Enthusiasts. On the closing day of the weekend we were proud to open up our Los Angeles office for developers to relax, network and enjoy lunch on us!

Registration at WordCamp LA
Registration at WordCamp LA
Team InMotion Hosting at WordCamp LA
Team InMotion Hosting at WordCamp LA
Packed Seminars at Loyola Marymont University on WordPress
Packed Seminars at Loyola Marymount University on WordPress
Don't ask me to fix your computer
Don't ask me to fix your computer
InMotion Hosting goodies
InMotion Hosting goodies
WordPress Developer Day Kicks off at the Office
WordPress Developer Day Kicks off at the office
Showing off gadget paper
Showing off gadget paper for synching dev notes to screen
Organizers of WordCamp LA with more goodies
Organizers of WordCamp LA with more goodies
Are we working
Are we working?

It was a great opportunity for us to chill out with our fellow WordPress fanatics, and also find new ways of working together. There were a cozy few who made it to Developer Day hosted at our Los Angeles office, and not only observe what it was like working here, but also to forge some amazing relationships with the @InMotionHosting team.

Jason, our Affiliate Manager, was available to speak to those about monetizing their blogs, as well as myself who is looking forward to introducing our panel of expert guests to do a live broadcast here on #IMHhangouts.




#IMHhangout | Do Mobile Devices Really Increase Productivity?

Click this Image to Circle us and join our hangout! Wednesdays 2pm-3pm PST Western Time.

Our weekly webmasters live Q+A is a broadcast via Google Hangouts supported with a live twitter chat stream #IMHhangout.

With the talk of the release of the new iPhone 5, we decided to make our topic ‘Do Mobile Devices Really Increase Productivity’. We hope that our audience of web pros, gadget geeks and those that postulate working on the run will share with us their experience working while away.

Questions to follow a round of introductions:

  1. What mobile devices do you own? #iPhone #iPad #netbook
  2. What form of work do you do? #Webmasters, #Designers #Sysadmin
  3. Do you use your device for work or personal organization?
  4. Lets see which apps you use for each group: #personal #office
    1. PicSay for Androids, for remote desktop, Host CPanel iPhone/Android App
  5. How many hours daily do you spend on your mobile device? #texting #sharing
  6. Who or what is really doing the driving?
    1. I threw this sophomoric question in for debate!

So! Whether you’re a traditionalist who prefers doing things in person or keeping work to a focused time-frame rather than jumping to every alert that comes in, here’s an opportunity to find out if those that are really ‘connected online’ fare any better at productivity.

The event will go live both on Twitter using the #IMHhangout Hashtag and on Google. So you can lurk without jumping into the hangout if you’re too shy. We do want you to showcase your tech savvy reviews of mobile gadgets, to help the rest of us decide what we really want. Please interact using here, and we’ll keep an eye on the live twitter stream to mention your name, and find out what products you root for.

How to Find the #IMHhangout

  • Look for our Custum URL [or click here]: / +inmotionhosting
  • Type ‘InMotion Hosting‘ into google plus search to find our brand profile page. On your mobile device you have to do this through ‘people‘ [not circles] profile search to view our page profile.
  • Do a hard refresh [hold down shift + refresh] near broadcast time to make sure our google plus page refreshes and shows you the invitation to ‘join hangout

We received a comment on one of our hangouts that one viewer couldn’t jump in. So I decided to test it out and sure enough Google hangouts do work through iPhones and mobile devices. Unfortunately we cannot explain why some of you get messages like this:

“This hangout is not currently supported on this device” – So we are aware difficulties like this do happen, as this is what I saw on my iPhone. I’m looking forward to suggestions from other mobile people on how they overcome this. In the mean time the only suggestion I have is to leave the G+ app, and restart it if you see this message come up. Even so, please don’t let this hold you back! We value your input through the TweetChat hashtag, make sure you tag your conversation with #IMHhangout so that everyone in the community can see your voice!

Keep an eye on this blog page as details get added to see who’s joining in! We are looking forward to giving you all a spot here in the live broadcast – so make sure you jump in

Circle us!

@InMotionHosting #IMHhangout will be hosted by @JulianaPayson.

Our team to welcome you and help you in the live chat are:

@AnieA203 – Our in-house Graphic Designer, will be scanning our Tweetchat

@IMH_Affiliate – Our Affiliate Manager, will be keeping a deft eye on G+ and hopefully making sure you can jump in.

@Maria_InMotion – Our SEO and Partner Specialist will be watching out for people on Facebook to make sure you get a mention.

Here’s this week’s Hashtracking report which shows that we had over 127,000 impressions on this hangout! Thanks this week to @Brianna5mith who was our top contributor on Twitter from the Business Branding world.

#IMHhangout | Working from the Office vs Telecommute

Click this Image to Circle us and join our hangout! Wednesdays 2pm-3pm PST Western Time.

Our weekly webmasters live Q+A is a broadcast via Google Hangouts supported with a live twitter chat stream #IMHhangout.

This weeks coming topic is ‘Working from the Office vs the Telecommuter’ which is aimed at getting web pros and freelancers together to share their experience on finding the perfect workspace for your digital day.

Questions to follow a round of introductions:

  1. Have you ever worked from home?
  2. What form of work do you do? #Webmasters, #Designers #Sysadmin
  3. What type of office do you think supports your type of work?
  4. Have you ever made use of CoWorking locations?
  5. Pros and Cons of Telecommute?
  6. Pros and Cons of Freelancing?

This hangout is not just for those starting from scratch, but also those who are willing to share their great experience to others that might be looking for some webmaster help, or even webpro employment opportunities! Simply Hover over the event at the bottom of this post and add it to your calendar.

The event will go live both on Twitter using the #IMHhangout Hashtag and on Google. So you can lurk without jumping into the hangout if you’re too shy. Bear in mind this is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and availability for hire. We’ll push on with the show and you can still interact using here. We keep an eye on the live  twitter stream to highlight your say, as well as review every person’s input after the video broadcast.

Don’t forget to hard refresh our Google Plus Page to make sure you see or simply listen in on the hangout! Near the 2pm EST spot, you will have to re-open the page to check if the broadcast is live once everyone is onboard. Keep an eye on this blog page as details get added to see who’s joining in! As a special treat this week we are having our HR team join us so we’ll have some useful insight to present on who they look for!

Circle us!

@InMotionHosting #IMHhangout will be hosted by @JulianaPayson.

Our team to welcome you and help you in the live chat are:

@AnieA203 – our in-house Graphic Designer,

@IMH_Affiliate – our Affiliate Manager

Here’s a sneak peak at the Hastracking report which shows that we had over 95,000 impressions on our first hangout! Check out our previous Hangout on Blogging Here.

Pin this FB Filmstrip Hack [Cool Facebook Template]

Download the FB Filmstrip Template here:

Facebook Template

A little while ago we published a Photoshop Template complete with Guidelines so you could create your own Facebook Page Timeline cover. Now here’s a quirky template for you to customize presentations of your Facebook Albums on the Timeline.

You better Pin this useful map of how filmstrips work on Facebook!

a. New Images, Appear Left-to-right. Facebook will automatically present them on your timeline in this order. It’s always the first photo of your set in the primary position, followed by a string in the order you uploaded them underneath. Simple? try to keep it that way as an album of four images at a time, because further uploads to the same album can start to become messy…
b. Further uploads in the same time frame, Right-to-Left. will appear as a film strip with the most recent thumbnail on the left. Facebook will only show the latest 3 uploaded photos. All photos no-matter what their layout will be re-framed to a centralized square of 133px to display as the thumbnail in the film-strip.
c. Additional edits to the album, can end up with your timeline post looking a bit tricky. Removing images from the stream, additions to the album that aren’t in groups of three, will end up in the film strip showing the two earliest un-presented additions to the album in the left-to-right format, with the latest image up front.
d. Highlighted album will show the film strip running Left-To-Right in order of upload, no matter if you swap images around in your album afterwards

Here’s our attempt at the Facebook Album Hack;

I’m looking forward to screencapping a bunch of reader’s responses so get on and show me your FB Hacks!



Join Us in Google Hangouts!

Google+ Hangout
We recently launched a survey, as we’re sure you’re interested to find out where you compare to the average website owner in promoting their online business. There is a confusing array of options out there for you to attract a bunch of web visitors and clients for your online start-up business, so where are people hedging their bets and placing their money – if at all?

In this Google Hangout we’ll be joined by some Online Marketing tool representatives from the SEO, and Social Media world to help you decipher what it all means and where you could be best off budgeting for your self promotion. Bookmark this post and come back later as we update the key attendees you’ll be getting direct access to ask those burning questions in this free session!

Add the calendar below to make sure you don’t miss this great opportunity to join in and find out as we reveal for the first time some interesting stats on where you told us you prioritize your time on the world-wide-web!

Join us here! –> InMotion Hosting’s Google+ Page
Simply hit the ‘Hangout’ Button to join in.

Where? InMotion Hosting G+
When? Wednesday 9th May 2012 –> Add this date to your calendar here

How much do businesses really spend on Online Marketing?

Hi, and THANK YOU for spending the time to contribute a bit of research that we’ll later present as a set of infographics. We want to help you find out how you compare to the average web hosted business owner in terms of your investment in time and money on the web. There’s hundreds of tools and tweaks you can apply to getting customers to your website, but how do all these techniques really stack up where it really counts? – And that’s if you use them or not! The form is completely anonymous, and we bet you’re dying to know if you’re the average spender or tight purse when it comes to marketing your business online. So, How much do you really spend? Check back to our blog to see the results soon!

The 20-Minutes or Less SEO Audit Checklist

Sniffing out most of a website’s basic SEO (search engine optimization) problems can be done in 20 minutes or less if you know what you’re doing.  In this guide, I’ll provide you the essentials to conducting an effective and fast SEO audit.  Take a dive into this guide’s information. Plenty of notes couldn’t hurt either.

20 Minutes or Less SEO Audit Infographic

Prints on the following paper sizes:

  • Letter (8.5″ x 11″)
  • US B (11″ x 17″)
  • Super B (13″ x 19″)

Note:  See The 20-Minutes or Less SEO Audit Infographic to see the full infographic.  Btw, the tutorial was originally posted on SearchEngineJournal, but this post has graphics that better visually explain the process.

This guide is broken down into the following components for your reading convenience:

  • Adjusting Your Browser
  • Evaluating Your Homepage
  • Testing The Website’s Global Navigation
  • Reviewing Your Website’s Category Pages and Subcategory Pages
  • Checking For Optimized Content
  • Analyzing Your Website’s Off-Page SEO

Adjusting Your Browser
In order to perform a high-powered SEO audit in 20 minutes, you’ll first need to adjust your web browser so that you can determine if the website has crawling errors..

First, disable JavaScript and cookies via your browser’s option settings as shown below in Firefox.

By disabling JavaScript on your website, you’re essentially viewing your website the way a search engine would see it.  If any JavaScript or Ajax-based elements of your website are missing while viewing in this mode, it’s very likely that your website may be having crawling issues.

Many web pages prohibit access to online users if cookies are disabled.  Disabling cookies on your browser helps you see which pages you can and cannot access.  Browse through your website and remember to note web pages that have restricted access.

Nearly 70% of all search engine queries occur on Google so it makes sense to see your website from its point of view.  You can do this by installing User Agent Switcher for Firefox and changing your user agent to GoogleBot 2.1.  Give your website another run-through with Googlebot as your user agent and see if your website displays content other than the content shown as a default user agent.  If so, your website might be running the risk of cloaking and could get penalized and even banned.

Evaluating Your Homepage
As the saying goes, “first impressions are lasting impressions.”  The same can also be said about an online users visiting a website for the first time.  This is why an evaluation of your homepage is absolutely critical.

Start by getting into the mindset of a casual browser.  Scroll down your homepage and see what feelings/thoughts occur as you view the page.  Does the homepage feel trustworthy?  Would you refer this website to a friend or relative?  Would you feel comfortable providing this website your credit card information?  These are all very important questions to ask yourself when assessing the homepage and website overall.

In fact, Google asked these questions along with some others before releasing their highly publicized Panda update earlier this year.  Google’s Panda update was aimed at improving the quality of search results for their users.  As a result, your main concern as an SEO should be the user experience that your homepage provides its users.

As mentioned earlier, check your homepage with JavaScript on and off and take note of any missing elements (if there are any).  Obviously, a good user experience on the homepage, which search engines can tell from metrics such as bounce rate, time spent on a page, page load time, social shares, etc., is usually rewarded with higher rankings in the search engine result pages (SERPs).

Lastly, and probably most importantly, you will want to make sure there aren’t any duplicate or canonical issues associated with the homepage.  Check to see that your website doesn’t have the following issues:

  • A www ( version and non-www ( version of your homepage/website.
  • The homepage (primary) URL doesn’t redirect to another website or irrelevant page?
  • Is your homepage title tag duplicated on another web page?  Can your title tag be improved to be more user-friendly?

Testing The Website’s Global Navigation
As you can tell from the screen shot of InMotion Hosting’s page, the global navigation is the set of links that can be accessed from any page on a website. Your global navigation also distributes your SEO “link juice,”  the power that the search engine’s assign your website, across the various pages of your website.  Therefore, you will want to check that everything is intact with it.

Main Category -- Global Navigation

Again, start by disabling JavaScript before accessing your website.  Check to see if all your global navigation links are working properly and that they are for the most part all HTML links, as these are the type of links that are most effective in passing link juice.

Now, enable your JavaScript and see if your JavaScript and Ajax-based navigation work as well.  Note any errors you notice with your global navigation at first glance, but for the sake of time you don’t have to review every single link in your global navigation.

Reviewing Your Website’s Category Pages & Subcategory Pages
There should be rhyme and reason to each page that is created on a website.  As an SEO, your primary goal is to make sure that each page has enough (good) content to make it a worthy link in and of itself.  Ask yourself if people would even search for this content.  If so, you probably have enough justification to create a category page or subcategory page.

Below is a screen shot of our Custom Web Design page (main category) and its subcategory pages (Overview, Business Websites, Ecommerce, SEO, etc.).

The Custom Web Design page contains content that serves as an overview of the main category.  While some details are mentioned for the subcategory pages, most of the in-depth details are placed in the content for each of the subcategory pages.  This not only gave meaning and reason for the creation of that page, it also allowed for maximum ranking in the search results.   For instance, if you search “inmotion hosting seo” in Google, you will notice that our SEO subcategory page ranks higher for that query than our Custom Web Design page.

After assessing your content, determine if your design layout is conducive to readability.  Are there eye sores obstructing your ability to read the content?  Are there too many chunky blocks of texts?  Are the text columns so wide that it’s hard for your eyes to read long the lines?

Lastly for this section, you’ll want to check that you’re properly linking to your other main and subcategory pages.  Be conscience of your website’s link juice and avoid excessive hyperlinking to meaningless pages.  Also make sure that you’re utilizing an anchor-text nomenclature that provides for optimal click- through rates and search engine indexation.

Checking For Optimized Content
Now that you know how to take a high-level assessment of your website’s various pages, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty elements of your content.  Check to see if the following elements are using SEO best practices:

  • Title Tags
    • No more than 65 to 75 characters
    • Proper and consistent formatting
    • Are not duplicated
    • Are keyword-specific
    • Easy to read and understand from the SERPs
  • Meta Descriptions
    • Though they are not used as signals for ranking higher in the SERPs, a well-written meta description improves click-through rates, which is a signal for ranking higher.
  • URLs
    • Contain keywords specific to web page
    • Short, human-eye friendly
    • Easy to remember
  • Alt Tags for Images
    • Contain keywords
    • Describe the image
    • Read properly in a screen reader; this improves web accessibility for the visually impaired
  • H1 & H2 Tags
    • Proper but not abusive use of keywords in header tags
    • Separates large amounts of content on a web page
  • Limited Use of Flash & JavaScript
    • Content created in these languages still lead to crawling and indexing issues with the search engines

These HTML elements may seem small and meaningless to the average online user, but any seasoned SEO wouldn’t disregard the importance of them.  There are enough studies done by leading SEO experts out there that suggest that there’s a high correlation with optimizing them and higher rankings in SERPs.  Take advantage of these on-page SEO weaknesses as they are the easiest and least time-consuming to fix.

Analyzing Your Website’s Off-Page SEO
No audit is complete until you have analyzed its off-page optimizations.  I strongly recommend subscribing to SEOmoz if you haven’t already for their very comprehensive SEO software package.  As a premium account holder, you are granted access to one of my favorite off-page analysis tools, Open Site Explorer.  With Open Site Explorer, you just have to enter the URL that you want analyzed, and it will access SEOmoz’s index of the Web to gather data about your website.

Here is the information that you’ll want to gather for your website:

  • Page Authority and Domain Authority
  • Total Links and Link Root Domains (the number of different domains linking to your website)
  • Anchor text distribution of inbound links
  • Facebook Likes/Shares and Tweets

Now you’ll want to compare this information to competitors that are experiencing better success in the SERPS.  You might discover that there are some crucial categories in your off-page SEO that your competitors are simply running laps around you in.

Next, you’ll also want want to determine how well your overall website has been indexed by the search engines.  For a relatively brand new website, I like to throw in a few competitive keywords in SEOBook’s Rank Tracker and see which URLs are ranking in the three major search engines (as shown below).

If your website doesn’t show up at all in the results on Rank Checker, it can be due to a few things:

  1. Your website simply does not rank for the keyword.
  2. You have not submitted a sitemap of your website to the search engines.
  3. Your web page(s) has been de-indexed from the search engines.
  4. Your website is banned from the search engine indices.

The latter two issues are more serious and require attention.  For a deindexed page, check the source to make sure that a developer hasn’t accidentally inserted a “noindex” tag or prevented the page from being crawled/indexed by the search engines with overzealous editing of the robot.txt file.  If you’re not sure whether or not your website was banned by the search engines, it’s as easy as doing a branded search query, such as “” in the Google search bar.  If you’re not appearing in the search results then you’ve most likely done something to anger the Search Engine gods.  Therefore, you might have to resubmit a re-inclusion request to Google.

Finally as you wrap up this last step, you’ll want to make sure that your website doesn’t have any duplicate content.  Simply copy and paste content from your website into a search bar and place quotation marks around it.  Click submit and see if that content appears elsewhere on your website or on the Web.  You can also check Google Webmaster Tool to see if there are any reported duplicate title tags issues.  Duplicate content is an important issue to check for during your SEO audit.  Any pages with duplicate content or title tags have the potential of competing with each other in the SERPs.  In these instances, you leave it to the search engines to make the decision on which page is the correct one.  Many times, unfortunately, the search engine may select the wrong one which can have outdated or incorrect information.  This is not a good situation for your website’s SEO and user experience.

Now That You’ve Finished Each Component Of This Guide…
You’ll want to review all notes taken during your SEO audit.  Create a checklist and prioritize your action items.  I always recommend fixing the low-energy/high-yielding items first before working on more complicated and time-consuming issues.  Lastly, since this is a lengthy and information-packed article, below is a trusty infographic that you can use for quick referencing.  And as an added bonus, you can conveniently copy the HTML code snippet below and paste it onto your website for easy blog posting.

How Will Google+ Affect SEO?

How Will Google Affect SEO?

By now you’ve probably heard about Google+, the latest social networking craze and most recent effort by Google to take on Facebook and Twitter. But did you know that it could affect how your business’s website gets found on Google’s search engine?

In addition to building a social networking powerhouse, Google’s aim with its “+1” button — the equivalent of Facebook’s “Like” button — is to determine the social value of websites, or, in other words, they want consumers to add personalized recommendations to Web content and business sites. At present, it actually looks like Google may just pull it off. Since its June 28 release, more than 20 million people have already jumped onboard Google+. With such an unbelievable early adoption rate, many internet marketing professionals are beginning to wonder if those “+1″s will also start affecting how businesses use search-engine optimization, or SEO.

Google+ combines many popular features of Facebook and Twitter into a centralized social hub. There’s a group video chat feature called “Hangouts,” and a user-defined topical news feed (like Twitter’s hashtag) called “Sparks.” But maybe the most unique feature — and SEO-relevant — is “Google Circles,” which gives users the ability to share content with specified groups, or “circles” of people. As users build these circles, they’ll be able to see the sites that members of their circles have +1’d in Google’s search engine results pages, or SERPs.

While “+1″s are currently appearing in the search pages for users that are logged in to their Google accounts, it’s too early to say exactly how “+1″s will affect users who aren’t logged in. Looking at how Facebook and Twitter “Likes” and “retweets” currently affect where a site appears within search pages, one has to assume these +1’s will be as influential, if not more.

As search engines evolve to make searching more social, the main value added of “Likes” and “tweets” showing in SERPs is the concept of something I like to call, “trusted endorsements.” If someone searches for a product or service, there’s a good chance that customer reviews and recommendations will play some role in their decision making process. When looking at these reviews, users trust the opinions of strangers. They assume that these reviews are honest, but there’s always a hint of lingering skepticism.

Now imagine the same user is searching for the same product or service, but instead of having to rely on the opinions of strangers, they see recommendations from friends, co-workers or family members. Just like in real life, the opinions of people in their “circles” influence the decisions they make. That’s the potential Google+ holds.

So how do you optimize for recommendations?

Google has built upon some of the best features of existing social media sites in an attempt to make search less about computer algorithms and more about real people. Google+ and the +1 button are empowering users to influence other peoples’ online activity.

This isn’t SEO in the traditional sense, optimizing for these trusted endorsements is an entirely new strategy altogether. Now more than ever, marketers must focus on providing the best customer experience possible, and encourage +1 recommendations everywhere they can.