Past-me was looking out for current-me when I booked a mid-February trip to Sayulita, Mexico a few months ago. As of this week, Mammoth has gotten almost 500″ of snow this season. I haven’t heard if we’ve broken records yet, but we’re getting close. So dipping out for sun and warmth was a huge delight.
Sayulita was heavenly, and now I’m dreaming of how to make a warm mid-winter escape happen every year. I swam in the ocean, napped in the sun, saw a pair of humpback whale yearlings playing together, ate a bunch of tacos, and only came back mildly sick and mildly sunburned… well worth it for the joy and ease of being there.
Even though I came home to full-on winter, I’ve been savoring being back in my quotidian routines — my weightlifting class, planning fun meals for the week, and working from my favorite coffee shop. If a vacation is on the maybe list for you, make it a yes! Future you will thank you.
This Month’s Observation: A “pretty” website only gets you so far.
I love this graphic from a consumer-standpoint that I found in 5 Principles of Persuasive Web Design. A lot of web designers build sites that are beautiful and feature complex designs or animations. I love making pretty, fun sites too, but the primary goal of a website is to get people the information they want/need very quickly.
I don’t think cookie-cutter websites are a bad thing. There’s often a reason websites look the same and things are in standard places — people use websites every day, and they get used to looking for the same things in the same spots. Meet their expectations and you’ll have the best chance of getting them to take action on your website.
Website & SEO Updates from Around the Web
GTmetrix tends to give higher scores than Google’s test, so it’s a good place to check your website’s speed periodically. If you’re getting bad scores on GTmetrix, it’s definitely worth looking into, as page load time can impact many aspects of your site.
Google: don’t combine site moves with other big changes
If you’re changing your domain name or migrating your site from one platform to another, do these changes in two phases, and be diligent about redirecting everything correctly to avoid losing traffic.
I always recommend setting up double opt-in for your email sign-up forms.
How to write a listicle + 6 examples
I love blogs and see a lot of value in them for most businesses, but a lot of people are stumped about what to write about. Here’s an easy formula you can follow to write a listicle blog post!
What is indexing in regards to Google?
A great bite-size intro to how Google catalogs your website.
Podcast Rec: The Online Search Wars
If you’re interested in SEO at all, this episode from The New York Times’ The Daily podcast is a great listen.
What I took away from it: AI tools like ChatGPT will definitely change the way we search for things in the future, but the ultimate goal of search is still the same: answer people’s questions and get them the info they’re looking for as quickly as possible.
Staying focused on search intent (what your search audience is trying to find) is still the best way to work on your site’s SEO. New strategies will develop in the years to come, but for now, just keep producing high quality, authoritative content and making your website easy and enjoyable for people to use on any device.
If you want a darker/weirder dive into AI, the follow-up podcast “The Online Search Wars Got Scary. Fast.” is a wild listen.