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How to Use MarketMuse – Our Procedure

This step by step guide will show and explain how to use the tool MarketMuse to create better, more valuable and in depth content for our content marketing clients.

See our MarketMuse review and our comparison of Market Muse alternatives such as PageOptimizerPro or SurferSEO in terms of which tool produces the largest increase in traffic.

This procedure was created by the team at ContentRefined.com who use MarketMuse heavily to optimize content for clients resulting in the ability to predictably rank in Google. 

NOTE: Some changes have been made to the appearance of MarketMuse since this procedure was created.  The functionality is the same.

Step 1: 

Go to MarketMuse

Click to sign in with your unique credentials 

Step 2: 

Once you sign in, you will see your dashboard.  On the left hand column, go down to the ‘Optimize’ function.

The screen that opens will look something like this.

Step 3: Take the article that you will be editing and simply copy and paste the focus Topic, the Title and the article in the correct areas. The click the “analyze” button

Hint: The focus topic will be the Keyword which is always in the title of the article  

Step 4:

It might take a minute or two to analyze, but at the Final analysis should look like this. I’ve circled the Content Depth Score, the Average Content Score Target and the Best Content Score. 

NOTE: take a screenshot of this page to record the improvement achieved. 

We generally want our articles to be above the content score target. So for this one, we can clearly see that it needs some work. 

Step 5: 

Read the Article from start to finish

Step 6: 

If you feel like the article is well written and written by a Native English Speaker, then please edit the basic/normal grammar and spelling errors in the article. If it needs more work (ie a complete rewrite please contact your editor). 

Step 7: 

After you’ve read the article and corrected the errors in the articles, you’re going to look on the right side of the page and look at some of the keywords + topics listed.

Step 8: 

Without “ Keyword Stuffing” or inserting Keywords that are unrelated, start going through the article and adding suggested keywords where they fit or adding sections. You will see that it is really easy to get the article up to well above average by just using strategic Keyword placement.

In this screenshot, I simply replaced words like “new windshield” to “Replacement windshield” or “windshield crack” to “windshield damage” and it booted my score to 17, which is above average.

NOTE: It is best to add words to your DOCUMENT instead of right in the MarketMuse box.  Then re-copy and re-paste the entire text. This will ensure that you don’t lose your formatting.

Step 9: 

Now that we’ve got our content up to a reasonable standard by just using different words, take a look at the missing words on the list of keywords. They will generally identify a missing subject from the article. Here you can see that the writer didn’t think to include anything about insurance, which is clearly an important thing to mention if the keyword is the “second most important” on the list. 

Step 10: 

This is where your chance to do some content writing fits in. Simply add in a small paragraph that talks about windshield insurance. It doesn’t have to be extensive. I simply added 4 sentences talking about insurance with your windshield and it bumped it up to 24.

If MarketMuse’s analysis tells you to add more content (i.e. it does not hit the suggested word count), this is also a good strategy to use to add more words. Please try and hit the suggested word count that MarketMuse suggests. 

Step 12: 

You’re done! Please take a screenshot of the final content score and page.

Please try and boost the score as much as you can while ensuring that the article are still fluid. 

We will only deliver articles to a client if they are above the average content score

Step 13: 

Deliver the edited article back to your editor, along with a screenshot of the MarketMuse page from before the edits were made and a screenshot of the MarketMuse page from after the edits were made. 

MarketMuse Review and Alternatives:

Here is a post reviewing the performance of MarketMuse and comparing it to alternatives.

Surfer SEO vs POP vs MarketMuse – Correlation SEO Tool Review (With DATA)

Geeking out on SEO tools that help us predictably rank in Google is a lot of fun… so much so that a few years ago, we started a business centered around that as a core competency – ContentRefined.com

Today we dig in deep and review the explosion of amazing tools over the last couple of years that help give us an unfair advantage to rank in Google.

In this post, we have signed up for, used, reviewed, and analyzed the performance of the most popular content marketing SEO tools. Plus, what would be a post at AuthorityWebsiteIncome if I didn’t share the SOPs we used for each tool (keep reading to get access to the SOPs – free of course). 

Here is what we are going to look at for each tool…

  • Performance – Which tool, if used correctly, will result in the largest increase in traffic/rankings
  • Value – What is the pricing model and cost for each. What tool provides the best value. 
  • Usability – Which tool is the most user-friendly

The 3 tools we will be testing are…

Other tools that are similar that we didn’t test…

These tools primarily fall into 2 buckets using one of 2 core strategies to provide actionable insights to improve an article and help it rank better in the search engines…

  • Correlation SEO
  • Semantic AI

What is Correlation SEO?

With correlation SEO, you identify what Google is already ranking on the first page and emulate that content. You can emulate the keywords, length, features, and headings. Find out what Google wants to rank and mimic those factors. 

CORA, SurferSEO, and POP all fall into correlation SEO with Surfer rolling out a Natural Language Processing (NLP) tool covering both correlated and predictive content ranking factors. 

What is Semantic SEO? 

Semantic SEO involves producing content that is semantically relevant (includes other relevant keywords) that helps show Google that your content best matches the searcher’s intent and covers the topic in more depth than competitors pages. With semantic SEO tools, they predict all related keywords/questions that should be covered for a given topic. 

ClearScope and MarketMuse tools use this often AI-enabled technology.

Semantic content marketing tools look at all keywords around the given topic and use AI to generate a map of what keywords and questions an article that best matches the searcher’s intent would include. 

Ready to see which tool recommendation provides the biggest traffic lift?

How We Tested these 3 Content Marketing Tools:

The only way to do a review of these awesome data-crunching tools justice is to crunch some data ourselves! A light touch review where we signup and give some general thoughts would be an insult to all of these epic tools. 

A larger sample size would have been ideal, but here is how we approached the test in a reasonably efficient way. 

We identified 3 different pages at 3 different sites and updated them using the 3 tools all at the same time trying to control for as many other variables as possible. After modifying the content, we monitored the initial results (2 weeks after publishing).

The tool whose pages have the largest % increase in traffic and ranking keywords/position is what we want to identify.

Steps to Compare SEO Tools:

  1. Identified 3 similar articles (traffic/rankings/trajectory) on 3 different sites of mine (eCommerce, affiliate, service) 
  2. Use a standard SOP for each tool (link to each SOP below) and update each article based on the tools recommendation
  3. Publish the updated articles all at the same time
  4. Compare results 2 weeks after publishing
  5. Update our content marketing procedures at ContentRefined or test further

See how we set up the test below where the “x” represents the tool we will use on which article.

See how we set up the test below where the “x” represents the tool we will use on which article. 

Site & Page SurferSEO POP MarketMuse
Site 1 – Page 1X

Site 2 – Page 1X

Site 3 – Page 1X

Site 1 – Page 2
X
Site 2 – Page 2
X
Site 3 – Page 2
X
Site 1 – Page 3

X
Site 2 – Page 2

X
Site 3 – Page 3

X

Let’s dig into how each one performed…

Performance – Search Traffic and Ranking Changes:

This is what matters! 

Which content marketing SEO tool provided the largest increase in traffic? 

The results were impressive across the board with all articles showing a meaningful lift in traffic. 

We will dig through the data here, but if you are looking for a summary on which tool performed the best, look at the graph at the bottom of this section comparing the traffic increase generated by SurferSEO, POP, and MarketMuse.

Traffic Change:

Every article had an increase in traffic. With an average across the entire study of a 71% increase in traffic! 

To be honest, I am very impressed with the traffic lift! To achieve an average of 71% lift in 2 weeks, it is very exciting!

To have every page see a lift in traffic and an average increase of 71%… very impressed! We have been seeing the benefit of updating content for years at Content Refined leveraging the Pareto content upgrade strategy, but seeing it continue to work is great validation!

In the graph below, the blue column is the traffic before the upgrade for each page, and the green bar is the traffic after the content was updated based on the tools instructions. The orange line shows the % improvement on the second y-axis. 

Chart

Ranking Change:

Traffic is what matters, but it is interesting to see the ranking change in order to confirm the lift in traffic isn’t seasonal or from another reason but is, in fact, due to ranking higher in Google. 

The graph below shows the ranking for each article’s main keyword before the update, and the green is the ranking after. Looking at the target keyword instead of total number of keywords was chosen because a couple of the tools POP and Surfer are built with that as the main objective… telling you what to do to get a page to rank higher.

Chart

Tool Performance Comparison:

Now the important question… what tool performed the best? 

The graph below shows the weighted average traffic increase by tool. 

In the end, Surfer and POP achieved similar results while MarketMuse outperformed both. 

  • Surfer SEO – 61% traffic increase
  • POP – 63% traffic increase
  • MarketMuse – 78% traffic increase
Chart

These results are not entirely surprising as POP and Surfer use a similar correlation SEO approach while MarketMuse uses the semantic AI engine to identify opportunities to improve a piece of content. 

With this sample size of only 9 articles (3 articles per tool), I would say that a similar study could certainly result in a different outcome. However, in the online world where we need to act on correlation without the ability to confirm causation, these results certainly point us in the right direction! 

Price:

The performance of all these tools were in the same ball-park… the price point is not! 

MarketMuse Price

Annual contracts in the 5 figure range but provides functionality that goes well beyond optimizer, which is what was used for this study. They are testing less expensive, metered usage options. So, if your hang-up is with your budget with MarketMuse, then it might be worth still reaching out to them. 

SurferSEO Price

Starting at $59/month, it is a much more budget-friendly option. There are limits placed on the number of times you can use Content Editor per month, which will likely trigger the need for upgrading.  

PageOptimizerPro Price

Starting at $10/month with significant limitations in terms of the number of reports you can get. We would likely be using the $79/month solution if it was used for my portfolio.  

If you are an active user, both POP and Surfer will end up around $100/month with POP a little less expensive with MarketMuse far more expensive. 

Usability:

This section is completed by the lead editor at ContentRefined.com who used each of the tools to execute these updates using these procedures:

How to Use Market Muse

See our in depth MarketMuse Review and Tutorial

See our video review of MarketMuse below:

When it comes to usability, MarketMuse definitely tops the list. It is an incredibly easy to use and straightforward program that helps take a lot of the guesswork out of optimizing content. Again, it is very similar to SurferSEO but has its own perks. To get started with this program, you simply enter the keyword phrase you are focusing on and then paste the content into the window and hit run.

All the information you can use to help you optimize the content is going to generate and can be found on the right-hand side. It offers a list of competitor pages as well as their ranks, provides you with a list of suggested keywords and keyword variants that should be used, along with the number of times they should appear within the content.

They also provide you with the current word count and score alongside the target word count and score that you want to achieve for higher ranking on Google. You can edit and work right within the window on the program, or you can work in a separate document and then copy and paste your changes into the program to run everything again. You can also use the questions tab on the left-hand side for more guidance on subheadings and additional topics you can use to add and optimize the content.

This program is helpful for those who may be new to SEO keyword research because it lays everything out simply. While it may not offer as in-depth results as you can find with the other two programs, it gives you a basic idea on how to pursue those higher Google rankings without taking much time to learn.

How to Use SurferSEO

Get our in depth Surfer SEO review and Tutorial

View our Surfer SEO Video Review below…

When logging into this program, you will see the dashboard. This is where you can input your keyword or keyword phrase. The guidelines here are based on the main keyword as well as localization. Once you have entered the keyword you want to rank for, press create. 

The guidelines will take a little time to generate because SurferSEO analyzes up to ten competitors and their content. When complete, you will have access to tips and information to help with the length, structure, and the words you use in your content so as to get the content to rank higher. 

It also allows you the chance to customize and adjust the guidelines, which is helpful when you try to rank for more difficult phrases. You can download a spreadsheet containing all of the keyword suggestions including the number of times the keyword appears and if you should add or cut specific keywords and phrases.

This program is very similar to MarketMuse. They offer a list of suggested subheadings that can be used in the content to help with the keywords and ranking of the article. You are also not limited to one window. You can work in a different window and then paste your revised work in to run everything through.

SurferSEO fills you in on some other vital information you need to pay attention to, including how many bold words you should be using and if the content length is too long. This program helps you find the balance between the content, finding enough valuable information to include, and avoiding keyword stuffing. It is straightforward and not hard to navigate.

How to Use Page Optimizer Pro

See our Page Optimizer Pro Review and Tutorial

When it comes to usability and being user-friendly, this program is definitely not at the top of the list. They provide you with a fair amount of valuable information to help your content rank, but it is given to you in a crowded spreadsheet that isn’t always easy to read and follow. However, it does offer suggestions on headings, which words should be eliminated because they are overused, provides keyword variations, and offers tips on changing the subheadings. 

To get started with POP, you simply insert the URL of the page you want to optimize. When doing this, you must make sure that the domain for the URL matches the domain you are using for the project. It then prompts you to name your page. When inserting keywords, you need to type them in exactly as a searcher would type it into a Google search. It only considers what you type into the field. You can then choose your region and then fetch variations. Once done, you can then review those variations, enter the competitors, and edit your content according to the suggestions in the spreadsheet that you had downloaded.

All of the changes and edits you make using this program need to be done within their editing window. As we were working with the program, we realized it would not allow you to copy and paste content from another document. 

This program takes a bit longer to get used to and can prove difficult to navigate at times, but it still provides you with valuable information to get your articles ranking better on Google. 

Summary:

Below is a summary of the results based on the 3 dimensions we were testing with each of these tools.


Ability to Increase TrafficEase of UseCost
MarketMuse1st 1st3rd
Surfer SEO2nd1st2nd
POP2nd3rd1st

MarketMuse Review:

Right Choice For You If… you have one or a few significant sites that are your main livelihood and have the budget, MarketMuse produces the largest traffic increase. Plus, MarketMuse has other tools like inventory that help provide additional unfair advantages for content marketing a website. 

SurferSEO Review

Right Choice For You If… you are value-conscious and want an easy to use tool that will deliver solid traffic and ranking improvement. If you are a portfolio owner looking to systematize the upgrade process Surfer and its ease of use is a great tool that can be handled with minimal training. 

PageOptimizerPro Review

Right Choice For You If… you are very cost-conscious and don’t mind using a tool that isn’t super refined. Or if you want to be able to turn the dials a little more yourself to customize.

10 Best Note Taking Apps for Windows in 2020

Gone are the days where you needed a pen and paper to take notes, jot down your ideas, and write your to-do lists. Don’t get me wrong, you can still use this surefire method if you prefer, but with today’s technology, you are doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t taking advantage of convenient note-taking applications and note-taking software. 

One of the best note taking apps that entrepreneurs used to use was TreePad. Unfortunately, TreePad is no longer available, but these are some alternative note-taking apps for Windows that I had tested and want to share with you today. I will also include which I feel is the best note taking app Windows has to offer. 

1. Sticky Notes

Best Standard Windows App – 3.9 out of 5 stars

The Sticky Notes app comes standard on PCs with Windows 10 or higher. You do not have to download or install additional note-taking apps or note-taking software if you have a Windows 10 PC or higher. Sticky Notes is a basic, simple, and effective app for taking and saving notes and reminders. Sticky Notes can be pinned to the desktop or home screen, come in a variety of colors, and can sync with Microsoft OneNote. 

Sticky Notes defaults to a size of approximately 2×2 when opened on a PC, but the notepad can be expanded or condensed as needed. If using a Microsoft Surface Pro, you can write notes directly on the area of the Sticky Note using a stylus pen.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Comes standard on Windows 10 or higher operating systems
  • Ability to sync with Microsoft OneNote and calendars
  • Different colors available
  • Can pin to desktop or start menu

2. Microsoft OneNote

Best Note-Syncing App – 4 out of 5 stars

The good news about Microsoft OneNote is that you can use it in a couple of different ways without having to pay a dime for the app. It is completely free and works with Windows 7 operating systems or newer. If you have a Microsoft account (Hotmail, Windows Live, Outlook), you can access Microsoft OneNote directly from the application you are in. For example, if you are in your free Hotmail email account and need to create notes, calendar events, or organize information, you can do it directly from the Microsoft OneNote add-in that is included. 

The other way to use Microsoft OneNote is as an application on a phone or tablet. As long as you are signed into your Microsoft account, all your Microsoft OneNote files will sync, and you will be able to access them on any desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone that uses the application.

Microsoft OneNote saves your notes into your “Notebook” for you to access from any Microsoft-based application. Microsoft OneNote is free, but if you need the full Microsoft Office 365, it costs $69. 

Pros:

  • Free and paid versions
  • Easily access your notes by signing into your Microsoft account on any device
  • Syncs with Microsoft programs and other note files on your computer
  • You can add pages and sections to each note 
  • You can create more than one “notebook” on OneNote, making organization easier

3. Evernote

Most Popular Overall – 4.2 out of 5 stars

I wanted to go ahead and knock out the two most common note-taking applications that come standard with Windows operating systems today before I dive into the details of Evernote.

Evernote is the most popular note-taking application for Windows – and for a good reason. Evernote gives users the option to choose a free version or a paid plan. As for myself, I like options. Maybe I want to spend a little money on an application if it’s worth it, or maybe I can be perfectly happy with a free version; at least give me the option, and that is exactly what Evernote does.

Evernote Basic is the free version of this notes app, and it doesn’t cut any corners. You can access your notes from any device when you log in, you receive 60MB of file storage each month, and you can save a webpage directly into a note with the “Web Clipper” add-on. You can also create a to-do list with the Evernote Basic version. 

Evernote Premium is $7.99/month, and I would recommend it if you needed daily organization in your life. If you have multiple meetings, deadlines, and projects, Evernote Premium may be worth the $7.99 each month. Perhaps the best feature of Evernote Premium is the access you have when you are offline. You can also attach emails, Microsoft Office and Google documents, PDFs, business cards, and handwritten notes with Evernote Premium making it a highly organizational note-taking application.

Pros:

  • Basic (free) or Premium (paid) versions available
  • Large storage capacities each month with a cloud-based file system
  • Web Clipper add-on lets you save webpage information directly into a note
  • Multiple types of files can be saved in Evernote Premium
  • Connect the Evernote application to your smartphone to use voice commands to add notes (Hey Siri, Hey Google)

4. Simplenote

Best Text-Only App – 4.3 out of 5 stars

Another free note-taking app for Windows that I have tested is Simplenote. I like Simplenote because it is free, simple, and functional for the note-taking I do. I don’t need to add audio files, pictures, and attachments to every note I take which is what makes Simplenote so appealing to me, but this may not be enough of an application you need. 

The good news about this application is that it is free, so you can at least download it and add it to your repertoire of note-taking applications if need-be. Maybe there are basic text-only notes you need to take and organize? Simplenote is perfect for organizing text-only notes which is what makes it one of the 10 best.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Text-only notes
  • Tags for easy searching
  • Online publishing 
  • Access your notes on any device

5. Google Keep

Best App for Google Lovers – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Google has become my go-to for docs, sheets, and cloud photo storage or organization, so I was excited when I discovered Google Keep. Google Keep is the best note-taking application for those who enjoy Google-based applications. Google Keep has that same Google feel you get in other Google applications.

Organizing your notes in Google Keep is simple and straightforward. You can organize your notes according to how you label them. Google Keep has three preset labels that you can use to organize your notes, or you can remove them completely and make your own. You can create a label for work, personal, financials, sports, or as many or as little categories as you need.

Google Keep allows you to add a collaborator, which is someone who can also edit the note. You can also change the color of each note and add images in addition to text.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Google feel and design
  • Effective organization through colors and labels
  • Add text and images to notes
  • Invite a collaborator to add and edit notes

6. Dropbox Paper

Best App for Groups – 4.4 out of 5 stars

Most of my notes are not required to be shared with others, but there are times when I have wanted an application that my colleagues and I could each access, edit, and publish. Dropbox Paper gives me exactly what I need when needing to share information with others. On the flipside, Dropbox Paper is great for me to go into to see what my colleagues have added so that I can stay up-to-speed on the latest project. For a complete list of cloud project management software checkout this guide

I think the best feature of Dropbox Paper is its immediate integration with the Dropbox application that allows every file I have uploaded to Dropbox to be accessed and attached to the document on Dropbox Paper if need be. 

Pros:

  • Free
  • Easy sign-in on computer or smartphone to access documents anytime anywhere
  • Dropbox files are synced and accessible to add to documents
  • All file types can be added to documents 
  • Cloud storage for documents created

7. Typora

Best App for Formatting – 4.3 out of 5 stars

There are times when I need to immediately access a note, which is why I recommend the Sticky Notes application. Then, there are times when I need to create detailed and organized notes that I may not frequently access yet I need them on standby. This is when I would use Typora.

If you are a visual person like me, you respond to titles, headings, and specific formatting of text. This is what landed Typora on this list. Typora is extremely customizable. You can make any note in any format you choose. The markdown editor formats text as you type, making note-taking quicker and more effective. You can even create a table of contents to look at specific headers, titles, and outlines. 

There is one setback to this app – once you create a note, you have to save it as a document to your computer. You cannot save it within the application and come back to it later to view it or organize it within the application. The good news is that you can create quality, detailed notes with the Typora app and save them on your computer for quick and easy access whenever you need it.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Extremely organizational with titles, headers, and outlines
  • Customizable with markdown editor that formats text as you type
  • No mobile app version available – desktop only

8. Microsoft WordPad

Best Get-the-Job-Done App – 4 out of 5 stars

 

The pioneer of note-taking apps is Microsoft WordPad. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, and this note-taking application has lived up to the test. A basic note-taking application for you to add text, bullets, and outlines. 

If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to grab a pen and paper, open up Microsoft WordPad on your desktop computer and begin writing. It’s that simple, and it has stood the test of time. Microsoft WordPad first debuted on Windows 95 and it is still going strong today. Microsoft WordPad has evolved since Windows 95, but it has still retained its basic interface.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Comes standard on all Windows operating systems
  • Limited customizing options; colors, font-size, bullets, and outlines only
  • Notes must be saved to the computer they are created on

9. Standard Notes

Best for Private Notes – 4 out of 5 stars

Private notes should be private, and Standard Notes has ensured just that. Standard Notes has promised that your notes have AES-256 encryption. This means that only you can read the notes you create and no one else. The best part is that the free version of Standard Notes offers you more features than some of its competition’s paid versions. 

For example, in the free version of Standard Notes, you can edit documents while offline, there is no data limit, and the notes you create are automatically synced and available to access. 

The paid version is still affordable at $2.48/month. The benefits of the paid version include receiving encrypted copies of your documents that can be stored on Google Docs or Dropbox, automatic backups so that you never have to fear losing anything you have created, and Two-Factor Authentication to ensure your privacy stays private.

Pros:

  • Free and paid versions
  • Private 
  • Automatic sync
  • No data limits
  • Offline accessibility

10. Notion

The All-in-One Note-Taking App – 3.4 out of 5 stars

Notion has been described as the organizational note-taking application that can take all the information from Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other databases and combine them into one organizational app. Notion can be used individually or in an office or group setting. Not only is Notion used for creating notes and documents, but you can also assign tasks, create questions and answers, and record spreadsheets and databases.

Notion comes in different tiered plans. There is a free plan, a $4/month plan, and an $8/month plan. 

  • Free plan includes 1000-block storage, 5MB upload limit, and bulk export of files
  • $4/month plan gives you unlimited block storage, no file upload limit, priority tech support, and bulk export of files
  • $8/month plan gives you unlimited block storage, no file upload limit, priority tech support, admin tools, and bulk export of files

What is the Best Note-Taking App for Windows?

Now that I’ve given you my tried-and-true recommendations of note-taking apps that work, it’s time for the big reveal.

The best note-taking app for Windows is Evernote

Evernote was founded in 2000 and has been evolving ever since. In 2018, CEO Chris O’Neill announced he was stepping down from the company. He was replaced by current CEO Ian Small. Ian announced that Evernote was going to continue building the future, and they have delivered.

Evernote has something for everyone, and you don’t have to pay for the app if you don’t want to. Their free version is effective, and you don’t lose any of the operational features of the app. The paid version is affordable, and you do get a few more options, but I like the features I receive from the free version. 

I also like that Evernote can transcribe handwriting. If using a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet or a smartphone with the Evernote application installed, you can use your finger or stylus pen to write handwritten notes and Evernote will turn it into a document, organize your notes, and save it. 

Why You Need the Best Note Taking App for YOU

Everyone is different, so what may work for you may not work for another. Identify the reason why you need to be using the best note-taking app. 

One of the features I have found that is worth its weight in gold is being able to access the app while I’m not online. You may need the same feature in your line of work. Perhaps you are on-call even when you are on vacation in remote areas where Wi-Fi service is non-existent. Being able to access or create valuable notes pertaining to the phone call you are taking may be a selling feature of one application over another. 

Applications that have both desktop and mobile app versions make it so much easier to access notes on-the-go. You can be sitting at your desk updating a note and then grab your phone for a meeting and continue adding to the note when the meeting starts. Applications that have handwriting recognition can also help you record notes as you jot down key points from a meeting.

Storage, Storage, Storage 

The number of notes you write each month may determine the application you choose. You will not want to choose an application with a monthly upload cap or a storage limit. 

While Notion is a great note-taking application, it does not offer much storage allowance at all. This may be the factor that determines if you use Notion or another application. Dropbox Paper, Evernote, OneNote, and Standard Notes might be a better option for you in this case.

Conclusion

As you can see, I made mention of Evernote multiple times throughout this article. Evernote is hard to beat with all of the features, both free and paid, that are offered in the app, but Microsoft OneNote is a close second. 

When searching for the best note-taking app for Microsoft Windows, a Microsoft product is hard to beat. Just remember you must have Microsoft Windows 7 or newer to be able to download both of these!

Best Autoptimize WordPress Plugin Configuration Tutorial for 2020

Since you have already searched for a WordPress Autoptimize tutorial on Google, you are certain you want to know how to configure an Autoptimize WordPress Plugin to make your website faster.

Hence in this post, there is no beating around the bush. I will go straight through to the important actions you should perform to configure an Autoptimize plugin because I value your time.

Remember that I will explain only about the optimal configuration for an Autoptimize plugin. It is a configuration I have achieved after several tests and I believe you will get an amazing site performance with that particular Autoptimize configuration.

If, at any point in time, while reading this tutorial, you will feel lost or confused, please send me your feedback via the contact form or comment down below. I will happily reply to your genuine feedback into this blog post, so future readers will have an even better website creating experience on their end.

Before we proceed to the proper and most effective configuration and optimizing for these plugins, let me introduce you to some reviews about it from real people who are currently using these kinds of plugins.

If you have noticed that your WordPress site has begun to experience much higher bounce rates or your Metrix reports have begun to minify HTML, CSS, and JSL files, then you may also find a slower-moving website and as a result, you are looking for the option to enable better performance and speed by optimizing the plugins you are using.

A WP optimize plugin is one of the best WordPress plugins to get if you are looking for effective ways to speed up your website and improve its performance with optimization. 

In addition to combining all of the CSS and JS files, this WordPress plugin loads them into proper order and helps with minify HTML codes and cache different files. 

Results of Autoptimize Plugins

When the Autoptimize plugin is run correctly, you will find a reduction in the number of requests being made to the server, a reduction in the page size and file size of the website and decreased initial load times for the website. 

To optimize the HTML code on your website, you want to remove all of the white space that is between the HTML code. This will go a long way in helping to reduce the file size of your site. This is just one of two HTML code options. You can also enable it so that all HTML code comments remain on the page.

How to Optimize a WordPress Site

A good way to optimize your WordPress site, as you may already know, is to monitor your plugins. The plugins used on a WordPress site are one of the biggest reasons the site begins to slow down. If you continue to install these plugins without doing any research, you will also find a ton of performance issues you will need to address as well.

Bad coding and calls to external servers can both be reasons a site can slow down, so only use plugins that will help you. P3 Profiler is a good tool to use to see how much load time the plugins you are adding to your site are taking. This is one of the more effective ways of pinpointing which plugins are affecting the performance of your site.

You should also optimize any images you use for the web as well. Optimize the images before you post them using a photo application like Photoshop that allows you to choose a save for the web option. There are other plugins you can use to optimize images that have already been uploaded as well.

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin-review

These are some examples that some people love to use that autoptimize plugin as they find it works better than other plugins specifically on their website. But one or two reviews can’t prove that Autoptimize will always work well with you. Some people even find it difficult to run/open/load their site after installing the optimization plugin.

For example, This is the reason why you should be very careful while setting up the plugin with WordPress. After reading this guide, I hope you can complete the setup easily and be able to achieve a faster site speed as well as better performance in many types of networks.

How Do I Set Up Autoptimize?

Install the Autoptimize WordPress Plugin

Either install the plugin from WordPress admin panel > plugins >add new > Autoptimize or download the plugin from WordPress repository and upload it to your WordPress.

When the installation is done, activate the plugin and proceed to settings > Autoptimize. On the main tab, find “Show Advanced Settings” on the top right corner and active it.

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

Autoptimize-Options

Configure HTML Options

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

HTML-settings-autoptimize-WordPress

*** You can enable and disable the HTML comments and check if it does affect your website or not? If not required, you can disable it, but I recommend to keep it enabled.***

Configure JavaScript Options

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

Autoptimize WordPress-JavaScript-Options

  1. If you detect render-blocking on tools like Gtmetrix or Pingdom, then enable the Aggregate JS-files.
  2. For faster page loading, activate the aggregate inline js but practice clearing your cache regularly.
  3. JavaScript in the head can lead to a slower loading page due to rendering blocking.
  4. Enabling the catch-wrapping can fix the JavaScript problem of your website.

Configure CSS Options

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

CSS-Configuration

Should You Inline All CSS?

  1. Back in the day, CSS optimization was easy; put all CSS in your head, aggregating everything in one CSS-file per media-type.
  1. Inlining all CSS has one clear advantage (better PageSpeed score) and one big disadvantage; your base HTML-page gets significantly bigger, and if the amount of CSS is big, Pagespeed Insights will complain of “roundtrip times.”

Configure CDN Setting

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

MISC Configuration

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

Extra Settings Configuration

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

Extra-Autoptimize-Settings

Important: If you notice a huge drop in performance score due to multiple content delivery networks, then disable the ShortPixel Optimize Image.

*** Autoptimize 2.4 beta 3 includes image optimization ***. So, keep that enabled.

You can also read our previously published guide on: How to reduce server response time.

Install Async JavaScript Plugin

When Autoptimize is all set up, then install another plugin to extend the java-script control. This plugin is developed by the same producer of Autoptimize, so it will totally work with the main plugin.

Go to the WordPress repository and download the plugin and install it. When the installation is done, activate it and follow the given configuration.

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

Async-JavaScript-Plugin

async-javascript-plugin

When done , click on save and test your website.

CriticalCSS.com Power-Up

There’s one more plugin you can add for a more optimized performance. The Autoptimize criticalcss.com Power-up is available in the WordPress plugin repository. This plugin integrates with and extends Autoptimize. It integrates with criticalcss.com, a premium service that uses a “headless” browser to extract real critical CSS.

It charges $2/month to provide the service. CriticalCSS fully automates the extraction of high-quality critical CSS and the creation of rules for that critical CSS. It can work 100% automated, but also allows semi-automated jobs and manual rules.

When activated, it will appear inside the Autoptimize settings and gives you the following features.

crtitcal-css-settings

Critical CSS Alternative:

In case you don’t want to go with a premium critical CSS add on, you can use “Speed Up – Optimize CSS Delivery” plugin. This is an automated plugin, and the purpose of using this plugin is to load your vital stylesheets synchronously and non-vital CSS files asynchronously.

Non-vital CSS-files can be, for example, fonts, icons, before the fold template-specific CSS, etc. Additionally, you can choose which files to load synchronously with a filter in your function.php files. To do that just modify(add) the function.php files with the code below.

// exclude main and child stylesheets from delivery optimization function exclude_from_delivery_optimization($handle){ return in_array($handle, array(‘main-stylesheet’, ‘child-stylesheet’)); } add_filter(‘speed-up-optimize-CSS-delivery’, ‘exclude_from_delivery_optimization’);

One Last Step: Keep Your Database Optimized

Removing all the unnecessary data is precious. A junky database takes more time to respond to any queries. So, it’s better to keep your database clean, compact, and de-fragmented. To shape your data tables clean, install WP-optimize.

When activated, you will get a WP-optimized link on the bottom of your WordPress left-bar. Once you click on there a dashboard will appear with all the cleaning options with priority. It’s better for you to follow their recommendation.

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

*Consider installing WP-draft to back up your site before cleaning your database. It will keep you safe from losing precious records. When you are done with these settings, go to GTmetrix and check your domain name. (you can consider checking any other pages too).

For this website, I have really good performance ratings. Look at the test result screenshot below.

gtmetrix-test-autopimize-wordpress-plugin

Conclusion

So, these are the settings I have found useful for performance improvement as well as providing a better user experience overall. Feel free to try these settings if you are using the Autoptimize WordPress plugin and see the output and the results for yourself. Also, keep testing your page speed and performance to make sure your site is not losing user impact due to bad performance and slower load speeds.

If you find this article helpful, send me your feedback & don’t forget to share your experience with other readers. Have any questions about any of the info we have included above? Get in touch with us.  Also, send me a review so that I can work more on my crafting and come up with more resources to help you in the future.

12 Best Website Checker Tools 2020

After building a site, you need to analyze the performance and speed. The full insight of the site will give you a performance report so that you can monitor it easily.

However, the website checker tool will detail performance and page speed at the same time. Monitoring and optimization are always key after building a site.

Moreover, you can even check the performance score of the AMP version and desktop version. Usually, after installing any optimization or security tools, you should check the performance score.

So, after checking the score, you will have a better idea about the page load time, YSlow score, and other analysis options are well or not. YSlow is a tool that analyzes the page and tells you exactly why it is slow. This can help you when deciding to reduce the page loading times and improving the user experience. 

You can base these changes off the check-list style suggestions this website checker tool provides. What’s even better? This tool is free and open-source!

Let’s check the best website checker tools

To give the best experience to your page visitors, you will need the best website checker tool to monitor the site.

1.GTmetrix

GTmetrix is an efficient website checker tool that will give you a full insight report of performance.

The bottlenecks can be detected easily if you will have detailed information on the performance score. The tool will also give you a recommendation on how to optimize.

website-checker-tool-gtmetrix

The details include page speed, YSlow score, waterfall, video, and history with other recommendations. You can check the individual load time of the page.

The data of recommendation consist of grade, type of data, and priority of data. The summary report will indicate the total page size and total requests.

You can easily compare the performance of the website relative to the average of all websites checked by this tool. The tracking of performance by interactive visual graphs showing the detail information is easy.

You can monitor the page by scheduling the time, whether monthly, weekly or daily, to ensure the optimal performance.

Pro users will get some advanced features such as simulate a device, change the screen resolution, add a custom DNS and create presets etc. In videos, you can slow the playbacks and view the page load in a filmstrip view.

Moreover, the plus users will also get advanced features such as HTTP authentication, connection throttling, URL whitelist/backlist, and AdBlock plus for security.

GTmetrix

Related resource: How to Fix Image Optimization Issues in Gtmetrix

2. Pingdom

Pingdom is another one of the best choices when you are looking for the website checker tools. Monitoring website performance is easy to accomplish with this analyzer tool.

The key features consist of uptime monitoring, real user monitoring, synthetic interaction testing, page speed monitoring, and many more. The tool will alert you whenever there are real faults that occur along with poor performance.

 PingdTools-website-checker-tool

There are four different sections, which include waterfall breakdown, performance grade, page analysis and history.

The page analysis will display the information such as size analysis, size per domain, the number of requests per domain, and what type of subject matter had most requests.

It will also outline where bottlenecks are and where to make the improvements.

Pingdom Tool

3. Google Page Speed Insight

Google PageSpeed Insight is an effective analyzer and optimizer tool for website performance. It will instantly give you the results of the performance score.

There will be two scores for the mobile version and for the desktop version. It will display the optimization, which will speed up the page load.

PageSpeed-Insightwebsite-checker-tool

In this report, you will find other valuable data, as you can see above. It includes the speed index, time to interactive, first CPU Idle, and the first meaningful paint, etc. It also suggests areas in which other improvements may be needed.

The lab data can also be used for debugging performance issues. Field data is used to capture the true and real-world user experience.

However, a lab data score is only considered good if it is more than 90. Diagnostics provide additional information about how the page adheres to the best practices for web development.

Page Insight

4. Website Grader

Website grader is also one of the instant website checker tools. However, the performance report has four different sections: performance, mobile, SEO, and security.

In the performance section, you will see page size, page speed, a page request, browser caching, and page redirects.

Website-Grader-website-checker-tool

In the mobile section, you will see the score out of 30. It shows how effectively your website is optimized in the mobile version for mobile applications.

In the SEO section, it has also score out of 30. That indicates how much your website is easy to reach out to your audience. It includes the check of the page meta description, headings, site map, and more.

In the security section, it indicates a secured website score out of 10.

Website Grader

5. Web Page Test

WebPageTest-website-checker-tool

WebPageTest is an easy to use website checker tool that helps you monitor performance levels. You can run simple tests with some advanced settings options.

The test this website checker tool uses includes multi-step transactions, video capture, content blocking and much more. The advance setting option provides advance, chromium, auth, script and custom options while testing.

The visual comparison also can be made via various test configurations by entering multiple URLs. It has a unique feature of showing the first view and repeat view.

That indicates the first time DNS lookup delay, which was mentioned earlier. The grade is assigned from F to A depending on different performance tests such as compress transfer, compress images, and effective use of CDN.

The report is divided into various sections, including summary detail, performance review, a breakdown of subject matter, and screenshots.

Web Page Test

Additional resourcesWordPress Maintenance Mode Plugins

6. Uptrends

Uptrends is also a tracking tool to check the performance report. You can monitor various things by using this tool, such as website monitoring,  web application monitoring, and server monitoring.

 Website-Speed-Test-website-checker-tool

The report has two sections: waterfall and domain groups. The domain group is further categorized into different sources such as CDN, statistical, first party and third party overall.

This website checker tool provides you with a location-based report created by measuring minute details. The tool supports many useful protocols for your website, including, but not limited to, HTTP/HTTPs, Ping, DNS, and SQL.

You can easily share the report by sending it through email in a PDF or excel export. The Uptrends downtime double check ensures the bug before sending an alert message.

Up Trend

7. Semrush

Semrush is the multitask tool for both tracking and performance. You can check multiple things such as your analytics report, visual charts, and have access to a content analyzer.

Keyword-research-tool-website-checker-tool

You can easily compare your competitor’s position changes with your position. The analysis will be created by gathering all the data in One elegant with drag-drop.

Moreover, you can easily customize the reports online by inserting a logo, branding, and commenting features. You can even schedule your report time daily, weekly and monthly.

The content analyzer will access the website content online and measure it externally.

The content audit feature is also provided, which compares the performance of different content pieces.

Semrush

8. Dotcom-Monitor

Dotcom-monitor is an instant website checker tool. This particular tool offers 23 different locations and 7 browsers to run the performance test.

dotcom-monitor-website-checker-tool-2

The geographical tests can be run simultaneously, which will consume less time. You can even check the individual report of the waterfall breakdown.

The analysis is separated into five sections. These sections include summary, performance, waterfall chart, and errors. It will show the performance of the fastest and slowest elements.

To diagnose the connectivity of the network and error, the ping test tool is provided. This website checker tool is a cloud-based load testing platform and can provide you with fully managed and scaled load testing results.

Additional resource: How to Configure the Cookie-Free Domain in WordPress

Dotcom-Monitor

9. YSlow

YSlow is also a webpage analyzer tool which will be based on the yahoo’s rules for high performance. Remember, we touched on this website checker tool a bit in the introduction. This tool offers valuable suggestions and bottlenecks for improvement.

YSlow-website-checker-tool

It also provides other tools for performance analysis, such as Smush.itJSLint. YSlow will first crawl the domain to find all the components and gather the information of the components.

After gathering the information, it generates the grade for each rule and then turns each of those grades into the overall grade. It has 23 different rules for checking the performance including CDN and CDN, reducing DNS insight.

Yslow

10. Bitcatcha

Bitcatcha is another one of the best website performance checker tools you can utilize for performance and improvement. It checks server speed as delivered by the web host. It also checks the overall performance of the website as well.

Bitcatcha-website-checker-tool

Bitcatcha checks your overall web design, the cleanliness of the code, cache, plugins, and visual media. The tool will give a speed rating in grades, so it is easy to understand and follow.

The ideal speed rating for your server should be B+; however, it gives the grade from A to E. It will also give the recommendations for improvement of page speed score.

BitCatcha

11. IONOS

IONOS is a website optimizer tool that shows you the overall performance of the website. The report is divided into four sections: BE PRESENT ONLINE, GET FOUND, BE SECURE and BE FAST.

IONOS-website-checker-tools

In the Be Present Online section of the report, it will show if the site is optimized or not. It also shows if a favicon and touch icon is present or not.

It will also let you know if the page title is easily found by visitors or not. The ideal domain length is also displayed with character.

In the Get Found section, it shows how the website is displayed on the search engine. The page description improvements and other recommendations will also be listed under this section of the report.

In the Be Secure section, it shows secure cookies, server version, and apache status for the site.

IONOS

12. Free Analysis Tools – Neil Patel

This free analyzer tool by Neil Patel will give you almost the full insight performance of the website.

The analysis includes website analyzer, competitor analyzer, and keywords. You will instantly get the page speed test and recommendations that are required.

SEO-analyzer-website-checker-tool

The analysis includes load time analysis, size analysis, and request analysis. Web performance is displayed with a grade and scores.

However, you will find each and every element of the website with the grade. Moreover, this tool also checks the SEO analysis.

Neil Patel SEO analyzer

Honorable Mentions

To have a well-rounded breakdown of the best website checker tools currently available, we can’t forget some honorable mentions you may want to consider as well. 

Ryte

To increase your digital marketing success and for another great SEO checker to have under your belt, you can use Ryte software for single page analysis, innovative technology, and technical optimization. The three top features of Ryte that can help you boost the overall performance of your page include Website Success, Search Success and Content Success

Website Success is a good tool to help you create an almost technically perfect site and page that search engines will favor. Search Success is how you can monitor and analyze your real-time rankings using real data from Google. Finally, Content Success shows you different ways to create more valuable and relevant content while also providing suggestions on how to improve what you currently have.

Ryte

Silktide

If you are looking for one platform to monitor and manage your sites more effectively, then you will definitely want to check out everything that Silktide has to offer you for performance monitoring and so much more.

With this tool, you will get an analysis that provides you with a clear overview of everything you need to change to improve your page and your site. From ranking the overall quality of the site to filling you in on the effectiveness of your website marketing, you will find that this is a valuable tool to have.

With this tool, you can check and fix any misspellings you have, add a privacy policy, check and fix broken links, link pages, and even review any potentially offensive language there may be. 

Silktide

Conclusion

The above-mentioned website checker tools will provide you with detailed insights and valuable checkpoints to watch regarding the overall performance levels of your webpage for more business success. The performance statements will be location-based as well as based on the options of various browsers.

It will be easy for you to choose any website checker tool for monitoring the performance of your webpage after reading through everything each of the 12 best website checker tools, and the two honorable mentions have to offer you in 2020.