Scribe SEO Review

Scribe SEO Review

This is the most biased Scribe SEO review you’ll ever read. Why?

Well, for one, I designed and developed scribeseo.com. Secondly, I had a hand in the development of the Scribe platform.

That said, bias isn’t all that bad. In fact, in this case it just allows me to give you a magnified review of Scribe.

If you’re not familiar with Scribe yet, here’s a bit about it:

Scribe is an SEO software service for WordPress that analyzes the content of web pages, blog posts, online press releases, you name it… at the click of a button.

The Scribe API then reports back to the WordPress interface and tells web writers, bloggers, affiliate marketers, and small business owners how to tweak their content to get more search engine traffic, all while maintaining quality reader-focused copy.

Let’s assume you’ve installed and configured the plugin (which is pretty easy) and you’ve written a post. Now, you just hit the “Analyze” button and Scribe gives you its report…

SEO Score Card

Scribe SEO Review Score CardThe first screen you’re presented with is the score card — an overview of scoring factors and recommendations. It gives you a quick glance at things you can do to improve your copy.

The Good

Beyond a simple interface that highlights the changes you need to make, it scores a host of factors that make the score card quality:

  • Character and word count of the title
  • Title keyword usage and placement
  • Character and word count of the description
  • Description keyword usage and placement
  • Character and word count of the body
  • Body keyword usage and placement
  • Keyword density
  • Hyperlink count and prominence
  • Reading ease

The Bad

Every post/page is unique and following the recommendations blindly could hurt you. Achieving a score of 100% shouldn’t be your goal. Keep in mind that the analysis is only scanning the content you’ve just written and not the rest of the content that will appear around the post (header, sidebar, footer, etc.). As long as you remember that the score card is a guideline you’ll be ok.

Keyword Analysis

Scribe SEO Review KeywordsYou’re likely writing content with the hopes that people will find it through a search engine (duh!) so you need to be aware of what keywords people are going to use to get to your page. Its pretty tough to pull these out of the air. You never know if a word you might search for is what other people would use. So, we have keyword analysis…

The Good

There’s some tools out there that let you paste in your content and specify the desired keyword. Well, like I already said — you don’t really know what people are searching for. Scribe takes the guess work out of it finds the keywords you are using. You can see which words will likely get you ranked and then you can make a judgment call about whether you want to target that term. Fortunately, that call is easy to make with all of the data provided.

  • The keyword’s rank within your content
  • Prominence
  • Frequency
  • Density
  • Annual Search Volume

Plus, Scribe gives you suggestions for making keywords more of a primary keyword or less.

The Bad

Despite what any analysis tells you, there aren’t any hard and fast numbers to determine what the golden number of keywords should be. So, the suggestions Scribe gives are based upon industry theories, but like most SEO advice, they need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Tags

Scribe SEO Review TagsCategories and tags are used in WordPress for organization which helps users just as much (or more) as it does search engines. Sometimes its hard to remember to add tags. Even more difficult is to come up with tags.

The Good

Scribe gives you semantically relevant terms that you can use as tags. These are terms that the plugin as determined to be good search keywords and are relevant to the content of your page or post.

The Bad

Scribe should give you an option to add tags to your post. Maybe a check box and an “Add to post” button? Its not all that bad, but would be a time saver.

Conclusion

I’ve left out a handful of other features (SERP example, SEO best practices, integration with WordPress themes and plugins, etc.). Although, I’ve covered the meat and potatoes of what make Scribe SEO what it is.

Scribe for WordPress is an excellent plugin that can be used by anyone and is especially helpful for those that already know what they’re doing but just need to save time.

Just remember that SEO can’t be completely automated and it requires some common sense. With that in hand, I give Scribe two thumbs up. But don’t take my word for it.

By the way, affiliate links were unashamedly used in this post. Scribe is the only thing I promote using affiliate links … because I trust it enough to do so.

Scribe

ScribeScribe is a unique tool that allows online publishers to analyze and optimize their content on the fly. Traditional SEO tools don’t integrate so seamlessly with the creation of the content. That’s why its perfect for web writers, bloggers, affiliate marketers and entrepreneurs.

Scribe is a WordPress plugin combined with an API that allows you to tap into the content optimization service right from your WordPress interface.

The site was designed and built to be promote the Scribe service and and WordPress plugin. Together with Brian Clark of Copyblogger, we were able to put together something appealing.

Website: Scribe

Platform: WordPress

Scribe SEO Review

Trial: Five $300 PSD > Child Themes

I generally spend most of my time consulting and designing custom sites, but not everyone needs that service. For the rest, a decent design conversion fits the bill.

There’s plenty of PSD to WP conversion companies out there, but none that tailor to child themes, specifically. So I’m giving this a test run.

The first five requests I get will be $300. Send the tweets out and let your friends know about this deal because it won’t last long.

What you get:

  • A custom Hybrid child theme
  • One home page and one interior page
  • W3C Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict/CSS
  • IE 7+, Firefox, Safari, Chrome compatibility
  • SEO Code, Load Speed Optimization

In addition, I’ll be turning the designs around in one day each. Meaning, you’re likely to get your site the next day and, at most, five days later.

Interested?

Just visit the Contact page and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

What is Your WordPress Experience Level?

[polldaddy poll=2641979]The most successful marketers have one thing in common — they know their audience. Unfortunately, I’ve taken my site in so many directions over the years that my audience has consistently changed, rather than consistently grown. So that’s mistake #1 that I made.

Mistake #2 is that since I’ve decided on the general goal of this site — that is, to make Develop Daly accessible to customers and to provide rich information on WordPress and web design — I haven’t really addressed who I’m writing to.

Now, whomever my audience is won’t dictate the exact content of the site, but it will help me determine whether or not posts like “Is @font-face Safe to Use Yet?” needs more or less explanation of the general topic of web fonts. With that said, leave your vote on the poll.

Safe to Use @font-face Yet?

If you’re not familiar with @font-face yet don’t fret. For years web-safe fonts have been the only easily used fonts for web designers. Along the way, Flash and image alternatives have been made up to accommodate the barren typographic landscape of the web.

The obvious reason for lack of web-safe fonts is that displaying a font on a website requires it to be installed on the computer viewing it — of which only a handful are universally accepted as common enough to be web-safe.

A technique called @font-face was invented to remove the dependence on a user’s computer and instead use fonts from the web itself. So, in short, it pulls fonts from a web server rather than a local computer, making them viewable by anyone…almost.

Slow Browser Support

While @font-face does its job well, we’re stuck relying on browsers to support the feature. Surprisingly, Internet Explorer was an early supporter — since version four. The limitation is that it required fonts of a certain font file type that was/is infrequently used (.eot).

Fast forward to today and now every major browser supports @font-face in some sort of fashion. Firefox just announced support for the newest supported font type: .woff. So the web font is still evolving, but the big question: is it safe to use yet?

Yes, you can use @font-face successfully in all current versions of major browsers!

The Wait Is Over

All major browsers now fully support @font-face. You’ll need to pay close attention to which browsers accept which font types, but as long as you provide all of the different font types required you’ll achieve the desired effect.

Browser .otf TT, .ttf .otf PS .eot .svg .woff
IE4+ No No Yes No No
FireFox 3.5 Yes Yes No No No
FireFox 3.6 Yes Yes No No Yes
Chrome .3 No No No Yes No
Chrome 4 Yes Yes No Yes No
Safari 3.1+ Yes Yes No Yes No
Opera Yes Yes No Yes No

What Fonts Can You Use?

Any font can be used now with the availability of font converters. The best font converter I’ve found is Font Squirrel’s @font-face Generator. With many different settings for generating the most compatible font and the option to generate all possible font types, Font Squirrel’s generator is amazing.

Seriously, Any Font?

First, any font can be used assuming a font generator is able to properly render all  of the necessary font types .

However, judgment is necessary in which fonts you choose. Because you’re placing fonts on a server and making them publicly available you cannot use fonts that restrict distribution. So, only fonts that explicitly allow the use of a font for whichever purpose you’re intending (commercial, non-commercial, non-profit, etc.) are allowed to be used. In other words, if you have to pay for a font you likely cannot use it.

As An Example

The header above (As An Example) and many other elements on this page are using the font Graublau Sans Web, a free font available for use on the web.

Using @font-face

I think the easiest way to understand how to use @font-face is to simply download a font package from Font Squirrel and look at the stylesheet provided.

Available Font Types

TrueType (.ttf)
TrueType is an outline font standard originally developed by Apple Computer in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe’s Type 1 fonts used in PostScript. Source
OpenType (.otf)
OpenType is a format for scalable computer fonts. It was built on its predecessor TrueType, retaining TrueType’s basic structure and adding many intricate data structures for prescribing typographic behavior. Source
OpenType PS (.otf)
In addition, we have the PostScript (PS) “flavor”, sometimes known as OpenType PS or CFF-based OpenType and having an “.otf” file suffix. Adobe and font producers including Elsner+Flake, Emigre, Storm and URW++ typically produce fonts in the OpenType PS flavor. Source
OpenType TT (.ttf)
OpenType terminology redefines Windows TrueType fonts as “the TrueType (TT) flavor of OpenType”, sometimes called OpenType TT and having a “.ttf” file suffix. Microsoft and other font producers including Linotype typically produce OpenType fonts in the OpenType TT flavor. Since OpenType TT fonts are for all practical purposes internally the same format as Windows TrueType fonts, there are no problems getting such fonts to work in Windows. Even Windows 3.1 from 1992 will display such fonts. Source
Embedded OpenType (.eot)
Embedded OpenType fonts are a compact form of OpenType fonts designed by Microsoft for use as embedded fonts on web pages. Source
Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg)
Scalable Vector Graphics is a family of specifications of an XML-based file format for describing two-dimensional vector graphics, both static and dynamic (i.e. interactive or animated). Source
Web Open Font Format (.woff)
The format itself is intended to be a simple repackaging of OpenType or TrueType font data, it doesn’t introduce any new behavior, alter the @font-face linking mechanism or affect the way fonts are rendered. Many font vendors have expressed support for this new format so the hope is this will open up a wider range of font options for web designers. Source

WordPress Tips 2010

WordPress Tips 2010

For the past two years I’ve give ten tips on how to better use WordPress so I wanted to continue the tradition. This time, however, I’m taking a bigger picture look at the WordPress horizon. These “tips” are less tangible than adding a snippet of code to a template or installing a new plugin. Still, you’ll surely find them helpful for understanding WordPress more as well as keeping up with the always evolving software.

Also, there’s many posts out there featuring tips for WordPress. Honestly, I don’t have much more to add at this point. That said, after the 3.0 launch in April 2010 there will be much more to discuss.

Theme Frameworks

My prediction is that before long the majority of new themes will be child themes. That is, once the WordPress theme repository supports child themes I think they will catch on quickly with developers and gradually gain users. The reason is simple. Child themes are easier to make, maintain, and switch between than traditional themes.

The parent/child theme relationship is already possible with any theme, but frameworks built for the sole purpose of being said framework are so robust and well thought out that they’ll pioneer the themeing frontier for the next couple of years.

WordPress = BuddyPress + WordPress MU + bbPress

So this equation has long been one of frustration.

  • If you wanted to use BuddyPress with WordPress you needed WordPress MU.
  • If you wanted to use bbPress with WordPress it needed it’s own install.
  • If you wanted to use bbPress integrated with WordPress you got a headache.
  • If you wanted to use WordPress MU with all of the features of its standalone counterpart then you had to wait.

This year will be dominated with consolidation. All of these separate projects are already in the works to become seamless. WordPress MU will simply become WordPress. BuddyPress will work in WordPress. bbPress will become a plugin that will fit right into WordPress.

This has to be one of the most exciting things for developers. Suddenly managing these different properties will reside under one roof. Nuff said.

Community

The driving force behind WordPress’ success is community. 2010 seeks to make the community more accessible. Ideas are floating around about how to revamp WordPress.org to be more community-centric, giving everyone a voice and making ideas actionable.

On top of this, the WP user base is so large now that feuds pop up about the differences in how WordPress should be run. While its not ever a good thing to quarrel, it is nice to know that people care enough about this project to put their feelings into it.

And then on the flip side, the user base is so diluted with every type of person out there that wrangling the community is harder than ever. So it may not be long before large groups begin to move away from WP to find their new, upcoming project. There’s nothing wrong with that — its how WordPress grew to be so successful. Don’t fret though, WordPress is here to stay for a long, long time.

Pro, Premium, Core Plugins

I’m not differentiating between these three categories of plugins. They all share the same idea of being well-developed and supported plugins. In other words, its taking more and more to be considered a worthwhile plugin these days. Its the nature of capitalism at work and its been great for producing some high quality projects so far. The downside, of course, is that competing with the “big boys” is becoming harder.

But, an experiment is upon us and officially supported plugins (those that WordPress will put a stamp of approval on) are nearing. The debate is back and forth over whether having “official” plugins is good or not, but it should at least prove to be a move in the right direction for those wanting a bit more stability and longevity out of their sites.

Re-Dedication to Perfection

Matt and the WordPress committers have always been keen on keeping the code clean and bug-free. Nothing can be perfect, of course, but there seems to be a renewed spirit of making sure the best quality code gets into the core. Beyond that, there’s a promise for more stringent testing phases to ensure that bugs are caught and fixed before major releases. This comes from keeping the development cycle more organized and also from a simple spirit of making 3.0 the best WordPress ever.

CSS Video Tutorials

Great CSS: Level 1I‘m pretty excited to announce the availability of a new series of video tutorials on CSS.

Together with O’Reilly, we’ve put together (what we think) a unique set of tutorials that make learning CSS easy. Instead of reading a book this time, we’ve made it easy to watch 2-7 minute video clips on specific topics of CSS. This is great because you actually see how things are done. It’s also online which makes it much more organic than a book that’s written and never altered. This means that we’re able to add more tutorials where we see fit or even correct errors or provide further clarification.

I don’t need to go on and on about it here. Instead, check out the information page for the table of contents and a bit more explanation.

How I Backup Everything

After my incident last week I was glad I’d just recently started backing everything up automatically. I figured it’d be a good tip to share. First of all, this is only for PC users, sorry.

backups-cartoon

Your best friend here is SyncToy. There’s lots of backup tools out there, but most aren’t free. If they are, then they probably aren’t any good. However, SyncToy is both free and awesome. So go download it.

A prerequisite to all of this is that you have another drive to backup to. You’ll likely want a large external hard drive (I’m using a 1TB drive) so that you leave yourself plenty of growing room. So let’s setup SyncToy to backup our drive.

Setting Up SyncToy

You could just backup your Documents folder or your Pictures, but if we’re gonna play it safe let’s just backup our entire C drive (or whichever your main drive is).

Create a New Folder Pair

Your Left Folder is going to be your regular drive with all your stuff on it (C drive). Your Right Folder is the backup (your external drive, probably).

Action

SyncToy gives you three options on how to backup.

  • Synchronize
  • Echo
  • Contribute

We don’t want to Synchronize files because if you ever accidentally deleted something it would be reflected on both drives. We want to save everything just in case.

Echo sends everything to the backup drive, but if you change a file or folder name on the original drive then those changes are reflected on both drives. This is an okay option, but again, I’d rather keep everything just in case. That’s why we’re doing this in the first place!

So, I’ve chosen Contribute as it just backs up everything. If you rename a file then you have the old name and the new name on the backup drive.

Scheduling Your Backup

I’d prefer to have everything backed up nightly, but you have the option to do whatever you want. However often you chose, here’s how to schedule on Vista or Windows 7. For other operating systems, use SyncToy’s help menu as this is just coped right from there anyway:

  1. From the Start menu, select All Programs – Accessories – System Tools – Task Scheduler.
  2. Select Create Basic Task in the Actions pane on the right.
  3. Add a Name and Description and select Next.
  4. Choose when you want the task to start and select Next.
  5. Choose date/times (if applicable) to run task and select Next.
  6. Choose Start a Program option and select Next.
  7. Select Browse and locate the SyncToyCmd.exe.
  8. Type -R in the Add Arguments textbox. -R all by itself will run all folder pairs that are active for run all. If you want to run just a single folder pair, add -R"My Pair" to the end of the command line.

Now you can sleep well. Of course, this is only one step. What if your office caught fire and your computer and backup drive were destroyed. You probably won’t ever face that problem, but you’d want to look into remote backups to play it safe. But at least taking this step is much safer than you were before!

Backups, You Better Have ‘Em

I‘m sitting on my office floor right now because I just finished installing a new hard drive and I’m waiting for Windows to reinstall.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that when I booted up my computer I was getting a message that one of my two hard drives had failed, but everything was still working fine so I did about five minutes of research and gave up.

Then I came home from Thanksgiving to a DOS screen that told me that no bootable drive could be found. It ran some tests and eventually worked. But just about anytime I left the room I came back to the error message and it became increasingly more difficult to boot up. Then it just wouldn’t boot at all.

So, I went and bought a new drive today (Windows just finished installing, so I’ll wrap this up soon) and I’m back in business.

Thankfully on Black Friday I noticed Target was selling 1TB external hard drives for $59.99 (that’s crazy!) so I got one and as soon as I got home started backing up all my data. I already have another external HD, but it was about to max out.

In the past I haven’t been so fortunate to have all my data backed up, but I made a concerted effort to backup everything this past year and it certainly paid off.

Make sure you’re backing up your computer and your website. It’s not a lesson worth learning the hard way.