The A/B Advantage

How to pick the perfect WordPress themes and plugins to boost online visibility

Your business needs a good website and a blog to showcase the content of your product or service. It is crucial for you to ensure that you have the right blogging and website platform for the above. Today WordPress is the most popular content management system that helps you to make money online. With this system, you actually can reach out to the targeted audience and generate positive returns on investments as well.

The best part of WordPress is that there are some themes and plugins you may invest in when you are looking for search engine optimization results and better traffic. WordPress is the first choice for everyone primarily because it is free and straightforward for you to use. However, if you are new to WordPress you must be educated and aware of the different kinds of WordPress themes and plugins you can use for your business. The following are some favorite themes that have been briefly described so that you may use them for your website or blog without tensions at all-

  • Genesis- This WordPress theme is very popular, and it has an extensive framework for you to add tags, posts, and categories. They are embedded in the theme, and for extra tasks, you need to install additional SEO plugins. Genesis also supports a broad range of skins that you may choose online. The skins are attractive because they are clear and images and texts can be viewed on them without hassles at all. Experts that have reviewed this theme that you can get an understanding of the SEO position of your article and there are no CSS or HTML errors on it.
  • Thesis- This WP theme is more or less like Genesis however when it comes to quality, it is not the same. Many bloggers consider it to be the best option for creating their blogs on it for the first time. However, experts have detected some admin bugs in the theme, so it is not as popular as Genesis when it comes to performance. Like Genesis, you can get some outstanding skins online that have amazing designs and colors.

What about WP plugins?

When you are looking for plugins that help you a lot with search engine optimization online, three plugins are the first choice by experts. They are –

  • WordPress SEO- Yoast: This plugin for search engine optimization is an all-time favorite of many webmasters and businesses. This plugin helps you to place descriptions, tags and meta titles in any location on your blog. The SEO option has been built in, and there is also a sitemap to your blog or website. This means you do not have to install any other plugin for sitemaps in your site or your blog. Breadcrumbs are used for navigation on a site and blog. The Yoast SEO Plugin gives you this navigation option as well.
  • External links of WP-Google recently unleashed the Google Panda and Penguin Updated a few years ago. Under these Updates, it gave the webmaster certain guidelines to be followed. If you have a blog and it has several dofollow links externally, it is at a high risk of penalization. The Panda Update will list your blog to be a spam blog. With the aid of WP external links, you can nofollow external links in your posts and articles.
  • Images that are SEO friendly- Esteemed company says that when it comes to images, they always use pictures that are SEO friendly. The company deals with business debt solutions. It helps businesses with practical business debt management and relief. They also use many images for the targeted audience who are looking for business debt solutions. The experts here say that if you want the images of your company to be visible in search engine ranks, it is important for you to use the image alt tag. This tag describes your image, and this makes it easy for SEO crawlers to read the text. These crawlers cannot read pictures and therefore cannot bring them up in search engines. However, when it comes to adding tags, it can be hard for businesses to add tags to all their pictures. With the alt tag option, you can automatically make all your pictures and images SEO friendly.

WordPress is indeed a great platform for you, and it is important for you to make your website or blog individual in every way. This is where WordPress Plugins help you. They help you to customize your website and blog. There are many WP plugins for you to choose from. You can always pick the ones that you like. These plugins add much functionality to your website, and the best part is you can insert the ones you want. The original creators have made many WP Plugins and third – parties have contributed to the collection as well. They change the appearance of your blog or website however they are simple enough to improve the functionality of your site or blog. WordPress also has guidelines for these plugins, and in the case of any issue, WP will not take responsibility for the plugins that are not created by their admin. In such a case, experts always suggest that when you are about to install WP Plugins, it is important for you to take a look at their ratings, reviews, and comments.

 

The above also holds true for WP extensions. Therefore, if you are looking for a fantastic website or blog for your business, take time and read the description of the theme or the plugin. Take a chance to go through ratings and reviews. Understand how the theme works for you and your business. In case, you are not savvy enough, hire a WP professional to evaluate your website and site and give you valuable suggestions for the same. With the help of WordPress, you effectively can get an appealing, SEO optimized website or blog that is completely customized to your individual business needs with success!

Author Bio: Evans Connor is an investment consultant and a WP expert when it comes to creating websites and blogs for businesses both small and large in the USA.

4 Easy Tactics to Make Your Content Stand Out from the Crowd

Every day, Internet users publish and share countless bits of information. Additionally, practically every article has links to additional content. Meanwhile, social media has an endless stream of content vying for attention. In the end, the people you want to reach with your material might never see it amidst all the noise.

For this reason, the job of getting your content noticed by your desired audience can seem like a daunting task. After all, people are already limited on the account of their time and attention span. Consequently, even if you create high-quality material, you still might not adequately communicate your message.

Being that the success of your content affects the performance of your business, you must take decisive action. For starters, consider the following four easy tactics to make your content stand out from the crowd.

1. Write a Strong Headline

Most people will read a headline, but only about twenty percent of them will read an entire article. With this in mind, you must create an intriguing headline to captivate your readers. In other words, your headline influences the success of everything you publish.

Try including numeric or statistical data. Similarly, articles in the form of lists, so-called listicles, appeal to readers because these announce that the content discusses a certain number of facts or tips. You can also boost your headlines by including emotionally charged adjectives and by asking questions that begin with how or why.

As you write, challenge your reader to react by providing a clear call to take definite and immediate action. Also, without making unrealistic promises, make sure you explain how your readers will benefit from their response.

2. Educate and Entertain with Interactive Content

Interactive content is more attractive to casual viewers. Do everything possible to create a personalized experience that keeps your readers engaged from the time they open your page until the time they leave.

To achieve an educational and entertaining experience for your readers, create content that induces dialog. Regardless of whether you publish blog content or send marketing emails, make sure you give your audience a chance to interact with buttons, text boxes, videos and other tools.

Overall, customers want to get value from their online experience. As a result, if you make sure that your content informs and entertains, your content will stand out. Regardless of whether your content simplifies life, resolves a question or supplies information, it adds value to your audience by delivering immediate, relevant and personalized results.

3. Use Infographics to Grab Your Reader’s Attention

Communicate your messages visually by encapsulating complex ideas in an easy to read graphic. Not only will this add to the information value of your content but also give you a chance to make your content more entertaining and fun to read.

As you begin creating your infographics, however, make sure that you also compose a complementary text. Doing so can create synergy between the two content types and improve your results. In other words, make sure that your infographics and text concisely communicate your message and compel action.

Infographics will continue to work for you long after your readers have left your website or social media page. In the first place, people tend to remember images more accurately and longer than they do words in print. Furthermore, people often share this type of content and thereby extend your reach over the course of time.

4. Impress Your Audience with Video Content

High bandwidth mobile Internet connections have driven the popularity of video content. You can now quickly and affordably produce video content that attracts and fascinates audiences as you tell your story. Regardless of whether you create video tutorials and “how-to” clips or if you use video to demonstrate your goods and services, you can create a unique look and feel for your brand.

Of course, in many cases, the appeal of video content attracts more traffic to your website or blog, so it should play a major role in any marketing effort. Not all video content is equal, however, so use your creativity to make an experience for your viewers that is as entertaining as it is informative.

When it comes to your videos, make sure you make them long enough to concisely accomplish your goals yet short enough to keep the attention of your viewers. Moreover, you can add links to related videos and other material at the end of each clip to make sure people can always learn more.

Conclusion

The selling ranks of digital publishers have caused an abundance of information online. Additionally, most people face a deluge of information in their inboxes. As competition for the attention of Internet users increases, you must deliver value through your strategic use of headlines as well as your text-based, graphic and video content. As a result, you will stand out from the crowd.

Author bio: Ashley Wilson is a freelance writer interested in business, marketing, and tech topics. She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. Connect with Ashley via Twitter.

7 Store Features Every Ecommerce Brand Needs

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The problem is all too familiar with ecommerce brands. You make a great-looking, all singing, all dancing website packed with features, only to find that your sales haven’t increased and you’re struggling to bring in new visitors.

It can be hard for marketers and brands to pinpoint where they went wrong and why their beautiful, fully functioning sites are failing to create online traction.

Here are 7 areas where ecommerce brands need to invest in order to build a strong online brand that brings in great revenue.

#1 Live Chat Portals

As online stores offer a 24/7 shopping experience to customers, why should your customer service support only extend to conventional business hours? You could lose some customers with queries in the small hours, but with automated chatbots, you can remedy these hesitations automatically, whatever the time of day.

Chatbots can be programmed to offer any responses you wish and, more importantly, they learn over time what your customers’ needs are. This will provide you with a wealth of customer data you can analyze to make website improvements.

#2 Social Media Icons

Not only do brands need a social media presence to get noticed, they also need a social media content strategy to ensure that they are attracting new visitors to their store every day.

Influencer marketing is a fantastic way to spread your brand message, and thanks to the fact that this type of marketing is relatively new, it is easy for smaller businesses to get involved, without being priced out by multinational competitors.

Studies have shown that Instagram brings in 25% more engagement than its rival social media platforms. And it’s easy to find the right influencers to target for your marketing strategies. Use a site like Websta to search popular products and hashtags and it will bring up a list of social media accounts with a significant amount of online ‘clout’ you can use to your brand’s advantage.

It is worth noting that the influencers you target don’t need to have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Someone with around 20,000 followers within a specific niche, for instance, can prove just as useful. Look for accounts with similar product placement posts and email addresses visible, as this will indicate that they are open to offers. Get in touch with your pitch and offer them a free sample. In some cases, they may charge for sponsored posts, but as mentioned, you should be able to find a few affordable influencers to get you started.

#3 Blogger Outreach

Your site will also need a solid content marketing strategy, so if you haven’t already, set up a company blog and start creating a list of post ideas that answer your customer’s key question:

what’s in it for me? Posts that answer user queries and offer useful information for free are going to help brands stick in their readers’ minds and keep them coming back for more.

In terms of outreach, offering to guest post on popular blogs and industry news sites will help you generate more website views over time – especially if you create evergreen content ideas that remain relevant all year round.

#4 Information Architecture and UX

Building a great ecommerce shop site requires more than a just keen eye for aesthetics. You need to also ensure that the site is well-designed from the bottom up, including how you categorize your store catalog.

Considering the user experience (UX) starts with dividing your audience segments into customer personas and anticipating how each of these demographics may vary in how they navigate your site.

#5 Trust Markers

Setting up reviews is essential for brands looking to make a ‘go’ of ecommerce because many customers now research online extensively before choosing to make a purchase. Have trust icons and review streams visible from your home and product pages, and do all you can to encourage users to leave reviews after making a purchase.

To facilitate this, set up auto-generated emails for customers who have bought something from you. You can ask them to then fill out a simple feedback survey or add a review. The more you have, the more trust you build with potential customers.

#6 Analytics

Customer insight analytics will help you track and analyze customer behaviors and make further improvements from there. Depending on the ecommerce host you opt for, you can access a wide range of analytics reporting plugins that can run alongside your online store dashboard. From analyzing these large data sets, you can make an online store that targets your customers’ needs and make adjustments whenever required to encourage more sales revenue.

#7 Login and Registration

Web stores that wish to make the most of customer lifetime value need to ensure that their site offers a registration portal that will store and protect customer card details, allowing them to make quick purchases with fewer clicks. Nothing will turn a customer off quicker than a site where you have to enter all address and card details every time you wish to buy something. This, and similar levels of ecommerce personalization, allows brands to present recommended products to their customers, based on browsing histories and other online and social media behaviors. So make sure your brand doesn’t miss out!

Ecommerce brands that stand out from the competition always put their customers’ needs first in whatever they do. Whether it’s in their influencer marketing strategies or in the layout of their site, examining your customers’ queries and hesitations to purchase will help you design an ecommerce site that fosters brand loyalty, as well as great sales figures.

Victoria Greene is a brand marketing consultant and freelance writer. She writes over at VictoriaEcommerce where she likes to share tips to entrepreneurs looking to make the most of their ecommerce brands.

Why the Skyscraper Content Strategy Opens a World of Possibilities for Bloggers

According to Statista, there were 173 million blogs on the Internet in 2011. You can only imagine how much content is on the Internet today. With the convenience of the Internet to access any blogs and articles, how can you ensure that your blogs are being seen?

Many SEO professionals rely on a popular strategy known as the Skyscraper Technique, which consists of three easy steps. SEO expert Brian Dean spearheaded this strategy and successfully used this technique to increase search traffic by 110% in 14 days. The technique begins with researching popular topics and link-worthy content. Then, you take the topic and create something even better. Finally, reaching out and promoting your content to the right people.

Sounds easy, right?

The technique works extremely well and can bring great possibilities for bloggers too.

Increase Organic Traffic and Awareness for Your Blog

Outreaching is one of the most critical steps of the Skyscraper technique. Once you’ve curated a list of potential bloggers to outreach, make sure you find the correct email and start sending them your blog. While people may not always link to your website, emailing them your blog allows them to be aware of your content and blog.

Additionally, many bloggers are willing to share your blog on their social media channels instead. This exposes your article to their followers and increases the traffic to your blog. A domino effect tends to happen in which their followers will share the article on their social channels, and so forth.

Build Connections with People of Similar Interest

Because you’re contacting professionals and bloggers that have already linked to similar content, you know that they will be interested in the blog you have written. In fact, these are writers or blog owners that likely have similar interests as you.

More often than not, they will respond to you and thank you for sharing a piece of article with them. Therefore, take this as an opportunity to follow them and build a connection with them on social media. This way, you can reach out to them in the future for other articles you’ve written or the possibility of them guest blogging on your website.

Building Links and Increasing Authority

Of course, we can’t forget about the SEO benefits that the Skyscraper technique has for bloggers. The links through the Skyscraper techniques are generally of higher quality because you’re contacting bloggers that are related to your topic of interest. Since you’re choosing who to contact and what blogs to reach out to, you’re ultimately the quality control for the links.

With a great backlink profile, Google and other search engines will rank your blog higher. Thus, increasing your domain authority.

Become an Influential Blogger

Dr. Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of influence includes reciprocity, authority, and credibility. By giving someone a valuable blog, one that is better than the one they’ve linked to, you’re hoping for them to reciprocate with a backlink or social shares to your website.

In addition, you’re increasing your authority and credibility as a blogger and expert.

But how?

The social shares from other bloggers are perfect ways of them demonstrating their support for your work.

It’s Successful!

Finally, this technique is tried and true. SEO expert, Brian Dean, and many other marketing professionals have given it a try, and while results may vary, bloggers have had positive outcomes from the technique.

Even if it doesn’t generate a number of backlinks or traffic streams to your website, you’ll definitely increase your blog exposure and develop connections with other influencers.

7 WordPress ‘beginner’ mistakes you should avoid

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It certainly is exciting to build a whole new website using WordPress, but what if you’re not aware of the things that could possibly ruin all your efforts? To avoid such mistakes, you first and foremost need to know what they are. By steering clear of these WordPress beginner errors, you can definitely keep away from being unduly aggravated and also save your precious time while building your website.

Managing a website

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Let’s face the facts. WordPress may be a carefully designed domain with meticulous coding involved, but it is not the simplest thing to learn, especially if you’re new at managing a blog or a website.

Besides, WordPress is solely for writing enthusiasts. How are they supposed to know what tech-settings to change and why they are important?

Most websites that use WordPress use special themes and a handful of plugins. At times, the themes include custom post types and page templates to work with, or special features such as customized enhancements and the Layers widgets. Only to make things more complex than they already are, WordPress installs some setting defaults that are not optimal for an average site set-up.

Here we will take a look at the most common glitches you can face while building a WordPress site, how to set things right, and how to avoid them in the future.

Mistake #1: Keeping the default username ‘admin’

Once you install WordPress, you will notice that it automatically creates a default ‘admin’ username and provides it with a governance concession. The word ‘default’ lures hackers to break, and in most cases, cause severe damage by gaining access to your WordPress ‘admin’ account. In many cases, hackers will take full control of your website.

You already know that keeping this default setting doesn’t make practical sense, hence, make use of the opportunity to change the name during installation. If you have already launched your website, don’t panic and google articles on best security features to implement on WordPress and you will figure out how to change your ‘admin’ user settings. Try using a combination of small/capital letters, special characters, and numbers both in the username and password.

Remember, your admin credentials should be specific and difficult to guess.

Mistake #2: Leaving admin privileges for previous authors

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WordPress, no doubt, is a great Content Management System (CMS), however, it is important to keep in mind that post authors should not be granted ‘admin’ rights. Letting an administrator manage content on your website is one of the riskiest things you could do.

Instead, you should let the admin user do exclusive, back-end work, and create an extra account that will work as the author’s. By doing so, you can protect your website from unauthorized access by using the compromised password and username. The authors can still send a message to the admin asking for approval before the posts go live.

Mistake #3: Forgetting to set ‘back ups’

What would you do if your website was hacked and the data stolen or lost? Similar to cloud computing, you would most likely create a backup of your data.

So, why -not do it while you’re creating a new website? You can easily use the free ‘WordPress Backup to Dropbox’ plugin which will keep your files safe from all types of breaches. On the other hand, you can also choose to select the two-step authentication, which will protect your data from cyber criminals.

Mistake #4: Not using permalinks

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Every WordPress installment has a permalinks option located under the ‘settings’ menu in your WordPress Admin. This is where you can customize the look of your URLs. Most of the renowned blogs and websites such as SproutSocial use a URL structure that is SEO friendly, containing the post or page title, and often times the date too. WordPress calls these ‘Pretty Permalinks’, but usually tends to default to a URL containing only your post ID. As stated by Google, the visitors on your site might be weirded out by a cryptic URL, containing odd numbers or letters, as these are often associated with corrupted websites.

Mistake #5: Using tags incorrectly

Nothing can be worse for your first few posts than publishing them into the black ‘uncategorized’ hole. Considering how your content is, as a member of a real category on a dedicated server the default place WordPress adds your posts to is not always compatible with themes of widgets that are solely dependent on it.

Categorization is one method of setting your posts up to be different from pages; the other is tags. While the former organizes your content into groups of posts, the latter relates content, regardless of category.

The blog mentioned below, for instance, has content divided into News, Tips and Opinions. Posts involved with any of these categories may talk about common subjects, but rather than ‘layers’, which is too broad, we sometimes use tags that talk about layers.

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Always make sure your posts are settled in a category. Tagging isn’t mandatory unless you want your posts to be as searchable as possible. Both WordPress and Google need one another.

Mistake #6: Mismanaging plugins

From showering your homepage with animated snowflakes to solving just about any need or desire, WordPress plugins can add the needed functionalities to a website. Not all plugins are good, however, and the biggest mistake new WordPress site owners can make is installing bad ones.

Plugins displayed on the homepage should consist of three critical elements: the star rating, the number of days since it was updated, and whether the plugin has been approved compatible with the updated version of WordPress.

In the example mentioned below, the keyword ‘newsletter’ was searched, with the results displaying two of the popular plugins first, mailpoet, and then Newsletter. Both have hundreds of thousands of users, 5-star ratings and are verified compatible with the latest version of WordPress. Contact Us, on the other hand, has 1000 users, and doesn’t seem to be actively maintained.

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So how do you make a choice? Click on ‘more details’ on any plugin to open an overlay window with information and FAQs about the specific plugin so that you can make the correct decision on which one is appropriate for your website. Things to look for are whether the plugin has any dependency on another domain and if the plugin options fits your needs.

Mistake #7: Failing to moderate comments

While developing sites for small businesses or brands, designers at times fail to provide proper training. This results in their clients not knowing how to manage their WordPress sites, and by the time they realize it, they have too much on their plate.

You can easily disable comments in the settings section, or if you choose ‘quick edit’ on the post you want to remove comments from, you will see a checkbox to disable pings. Comments can be a creative feature but a lot of monitoring goes into weeding out unoriginal/ incorrect statements for your readers.

Conclusion

Whether you manage a website or run a blog, as a beginner, you have a lot to take care of while using WordPress. Remember to keep a keen eye on your site and take care of it, so that it is worth all the effort you have put in to creating it.

Solopreneurs – 5 Tips How to Manage a Startup from Home

The dream of working from home has transformed over the years from a trendy dream shared by many to a realistic work option for many. In fact, it is now an increasingly common way for everyone from remote workers and freelancers to entrepreneurs and others to work and earn a living. As a solopreneur, you may benefit from working in the comfort of your own home on a daily basis rather than in a stuffy corporate environment filled with bothersome distractions. You can also save time and money each day by eliminating a lengthy commute from your schedule.

However, regardless of whether you are running a side business, launching a major entrepreneurial project or pursuing other career goals out of your house, you need to manage your home office strategically to promote optimal growth and success.

1. Get the right digital tools.

There continues to be a benefit in jotting down ideas on a notepad and making lists on a whiteboard, but the use of the right combination of digital tools should not be overlooked as well. There is now a wide range of apps that are designed to promote success in a work-from-home environment.

Freelancers and remote workers can explore apps and tools for assistance with everything from time management and financial management to remote team activities, copyrights and more. It is wise to try out a slew of apps to learn more about how they can benefit you and assist you in overcoming your challenges. However, refine your use of them to a handful so that you can maximize their benefits fully.

2. Show what you have with a great landing page.

If you are a solopreneur trying to launch a side business or a primary business, you need to have an amazing website that your consumers can explore at their leisure. The website should have a well-designed landing page that clearly states what your business is about, and it should not be vague or misleading in any way. The entire website should be created with easy navigation in mind.

Remember that users who are confused or frustrated by a website will likely click off of the page. More than that, it should provide your target audience with a convenient way to communicate with you and to get the information they need about your company and its products or services. Make the content SEO-rich to boost search engine rankings, and add taglines as needed for maximum benefits.

3. Manage your home office like a corporate one (but also like your home).

One of the biggest challenges you may face when working from home is finding a home and work-life balance. Set up a home office that is dedicated to professional activities so that you do not impose on the comfort of others who live in the home. This can also help you to minimize distractions when working from home. Your office space should be comfortable and have a dedicated area for your professional activities, ample lighting and numerous power sources for all of your equipment.

While you may be busy with work activities daily, keep this space as neat and organized as possible to promote efficiency. It is also wise to complete seasonal maintenance on this space, such as by conducting a thorough spring cleaning and checking all wires for fraying and other safety hazards. With the right setup for your home office, you can boost your productivity and efficiency level tremendously.

4. Use social media to strengthen your brand.

As a modern solopreneur, you have access to exceptional tools and resources that your predecessors did not have access to, and there are numerous benefits associated with the proper use of these resources. Social media marketing is one of the top resources that you need to use to strengthen your brand and communicate with your target audience in a cost-effective way.

Select a few of the top social media platforms to focus your attention on, and pay attention to the platforms that your target audience is most likely to use frequently. Use your social media presence to communicate regularly with your audience in a meaningful way that adds value, and encourage them to communicate with you in a two-way fashion to establish a loyal following. You can easily develop your brand and even expand your reach to a larger target audience without a huge marketing budget when you use social media marketing effectively.

5. Build brand loyalty by giving away freebies.

After you have a rather large number of followers on a few relevant social media platforms, consider the benefits of giving away free things to your target audience periodically. These may be actual gifts or digital items, such as an e-book or a free tutorial. People love to receive free things, and this can help you to develop incredibly loyal consumers with relatively minimal effort. When used effectively, your freebies can even create demand for your products or services. This can increase your profitability and overall success in the years to come.

Running a successful business from home can be challenging, but you can see that there are strategic steps that you can take to promote great results from your efforts. Regardless of whether you are a freelancer or you are starting a much larger business out of your house, you can easily act on these tips today to enjoy a more functional and productive work-from-home experience.

Jeff E. Brown, freelance writer

Jeff E. Brown is a freelance writer, self-taught lifehacking teacher, DIY home improvement specialist, owner of two happy dogs and a barbeque master. He loves learning through experience and writing about all the cool things he has learned since he moved out of a compact apartment into a comfortable house. You can reach him @jeff8rown

5 Simple Tips To Up Your Content Marketing Game

A content marketing campaign is crucial to any business trying to make a name for itself in the online world. Content marketing has become so prevalent that over 90% of small businesses now employ it as part of a broader marketing push. That means that today it is not enough to create content, one now needs content that is of the highest quality and greatest relevance.

Many people are finding that achieving their desired goals is more difficult than they thought and some are flat-out failing with their content marketing strategy. Thankfully there are many tried and true methods to not only improving your strategy but to achieving long-term success as well.

Listed below are the top four ways to improve your content marketing campaigns.

1. Refine Your Strategy

When you created a content marketing campaign, you probably (hopefully) set out with a strategy for implementing it. Unfortunately, most people fail to realize that a strategy is not a one-and-done prospect. It requires the flexibility to change and adapt.

A good strategy begins with identifying key performance indicators (KPIs). A KPI can be anything from a view ,to a share, or even a conversion – as long as it is something you can track. These KPIs could, and perhaps even should change over time.

Once you have a refined strategy with set expectations, you can begin testing what content works, and what doesn’t. There is no single method of creating killer content (no matter what anyone might tell you), so trying different things until you find the one that works for your business is always necessary.

2. Stop Underestimating Cost

If you’re like most businesses I have consulted, you expect the world at the lowest cost possible. Unfortunately, companies that are not willing to spend the money necessary for a successful content marketing campaign usually don’t see success.

When it comes to marketing you get what you pay for. Writing is not a science, yet many businesses treat it as such, hiring anyone who claims they can create effective content. Finding the top content creators is as important as finding the best person for any other position at your company.

All of this is worthwhile in the long run, as generating leads through content is actually less expensive than it is through traditional marketing techniques.

3. Promote Your Content

On the internet, the phrase “If you build it, they will come” does not apply. It is not enough to create an optimized website and write content. You have to work hard to promote it as well. Of course, great content generally gets rewarded by search engines, but even the best content needs a boost. With so many ways of promoting your work, there is no excuse not to.

You may start out by including it in an email newsletter to your subscribers. Your base is your most reliable source of views, so always cater to them first. Next, make use of all social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Google+. Even the most minor of online mentions can boost your content.

Finally, pitch your work to others. Influencers are usually happy to share great content and other site owners are always looking for some new ideas to share. The best part about content promotion is that everyone benefits from the cycle of sharing.

4. Implement Systems Instead of Goals

Most businesses create lists of goals that they wish to achieve when considering a marketing campaign. These can be anything from aiming to get X number of site visits every day or hoping to earn X dollars in a single year. This style of thinking, especially when it comes to content marketing campaigns, isn’t always best, however.

In his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Scott Adams discusses the benefits of creating systems instead of goals. He argues that systems are more effective at creating lasting results than goals, which are fleeting and limit your output. After all, if you have an endpoint, you will work only to achieve that and nothing more.

Adams also happens to talk about his personal content creation process. When he first began, he treated the process as a kind of research and development. He wrote on a variety of topics, in a variety of different tones, and analyzed which garnered the best response. He continued to build on the content that worked and his style eventually got him so much attention that publishers and publications sought him out.

Adams understood that had he set out with a specific goal in mind, he would not have had the opportunity to feel around for his own personal voice and command the respect and response that he eventually received.

5. Listen to Feedback

One of the best ways to find out how effective your content marketing campaigns are is to simply ask your audience. You can do this simply by adding a comments section to your blog and opening yourself up to constructive criticism. You can also analyze your data.

Analytics provide an unspoken testimony about what your visitors truly think. Do they spend time reading your content or do they bounce quickly? Is your content converting or are you targeting the wrong audience? It’s easy to figure this information out if you approach the data wisely.

Finally, keep an eye out on your social media posts. It’s important that your content be packaged differently for each platform and that you understand the desires of your followers on each one. Feedback in the form of likes and comments can go a long way in helping you shape your message.

6. Curb Your Expectations

Content marketing is not the end-all solution to your company’s success. It is just one of many strategies you should have in place. When used as a supplement to your overall online marketing plan, it can be very effective, but many people have extremely high expectations – especially in the beginning.

It is important to remember that you are competing with hundreds of other companies just like yours. Even minor results are great results, however, and every view counts. Just because your site isn’t bringing in millions of visitors, doesn’t mean your campaign isn’t providing you with worthwhile outcomes.

Always remember to keep things in perspective, be grateful for your successes, and remain flexible with your plans. Using these four methods, your content marketing is sure to take you places.

Author: Brandon David is the founder of Website Builder Insider. Although he didn’t receive any formal training, he has dedicated most of his time to becoming an authority on everything web related. When not online, Brandon is most likely eating, sleeping, or doing something else to maintain his unhealthy addiction to the internet.

List of Tips for SEO Workers

SEO is becoming more and more important for websites and businesses, seemingly on a daily basis. With constantly changing guidelines, there’s so much to consider all the time; it can be difficult to keep on top of things. However, whether you’re searching online for a definitive source of information or asking your colleagues, it seems as though everybody has a different idea on what’s more important and what the basics actually are.

In this article, we’ll explore and define a vast number of tips and tricks that can help you to improve your SEO knowledge and techniques, helping you to become one of the most effective and efficient SEO workers in the industry!

Patience is Key

SEO practices are equally about you as a person as it is about how much knowledge you have. Once you’ve optimized the keywords in a web page or article, you won’t instantly see millions of readers once you hit the publish button. SEO is about the long game. This means being patient to see what results come from certain techniques before panicking and changing your strategies before they’ve had a chance to work.

Never Stop Learning

With over 200 SEO criteria set by Google alone, SEO is one of those industries where you could easily learn something new every day. Be open to this ability to learn. In fact, you should embrace it and try to learn something new every day. When you have the time, commit to online SEO courses, read books on the industry and read articles written by some of the leading people in the industry. The more you know, the better you’ll be.

Page Warren, Marketing Manager for Best Australian Writers, explains;

Despite the overwhelming demand for SEO workers, this is still an incredibly competitive industry. You need to be on top of your game if you want to be the best. By keeping your knowledge of current SEO practices up to date, you can be sure that you’re always one step ahead, allowing you to maximize your opportunities by doing the best job you can”

Master on the Basics

Despite what every SEO worker says, there are some basics that you’ll need to practice ensuring your website’s SEO ranking can be the best it can be. You’ll need to learn how to create XML site maps, refine your URLs so that they’re SEO-friendly as well as constantly researching the best relevant keywords for your industry. These are all essential techniques that you should be using already. If you are, ensure you master your practices, so you can complete them effortlessly without wasting too much time.

Your Website’s Content is Your Lifeline

Whether you’re working for a blog, a website, a business or for yourself, content marketing is vital. If you don’t already write blogs or source blogs from external sources, you need to start, now. This will effectively generate leads of your website as well as increase your SEO ranking. You need to make sure all your content is of the highest quality possible and is 100% unique while applying the correct keyword density to each post. The same applies to your static page content.

Utilizing Social Media

Social media is bigger today than it ever has been before and this will continuously grow with time with no end in sight. However, from an SEO worker’s perspective, you need to use these platforms wisely. Whether you’re sharing content on your website’s page or using the integrated marketing and advertising tools, do your research before you start spending money. Most successful sites have completed prior research and have become successful on a very limited budget because they were precise and targeted properly.

Use Tools

Even if you only practiced the tips and tricks mentioned above, there simply isn’t enough hours in the day to complete it all, let alone all the other practices you should be implementing and completed. Whatever aspect of SEO you excel in, concentrate your energy on that. For the other jobs, research, download and invest in other tools that will help to make your job easier. Whatever aspect of SEO you want to complete, you can be sure there are endless tools out there that can help you to complete that task with ease.

Optimizing the Website

This is an essential SEO practice that many workers implement at the start but never return to. Optimizing your website is considered by some to be the most important element to building a high SEO ranking. At the start, your website may run fluidly and flawlessly. However, once you begin adding content, videos, images, plugins and extra pages, it won’t be long before the website begins to slow. Take time out each month to complete a thorough deep clean and optimization of your website, ensuring your users will never have to wait around while the website loads.

7 Do’s and Don’ts of Email Signature Marketing

Did you know that every single day, approximately 144.8 billion emails are exchanged? And what’s more mind-blowing is that 84% of this mails end up in your spam folder. Don’t you think this kind of makes it obvious that many people are totally unaware of the aspects that are accountable for great marketing strategy?

You may think nobody even notices an email signature but the smartest online entrepreneurs will tell you otherwise.

It is more than just a decoration, an email signature is your identity to somebody you want to build a professional collaboration with and who knows simply nothing about you.

In fact, reports have shown that successful email marketing campaigns can garner 4300 percent ROI. Below, we will discuss 7 do’s and don’ts that’ll help you reach your marketing goals.

Do Find a Good Layout: This is the first and most important step for creating an impressive email signature that’ll promote your business. A good email signature should be informative and neat.

What information you’d need to put in the signature will depend on the kind of business you are promoting. Remember that everyone is a fan of simplicity.

So, keep the information to-the-point.

Don’t Clutter It with Too Much Information: There is absolutely no point in using an email signature to write your autobiography. If you overstuff your signature with truckloads of links and information, that would be a major turn-off for your potential clients.

The chances of anyone opening the never-ending list of URLs in your signature is too less.

Do Include Social Media Links: 21st century is all about making your presence felt over the web and social media platforms have leveled the ground for everyone. If you or your company has no presence on social media, people will find your business shady. That’s plain psychology.

Adding Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin links to your signature will help you generate more traffic and most importantly, your business will be talked about, that’s the goal, right?

Don’t Use Multiple Fonts and Colors: Minimalism is in vogue right now. Treat your email signature like a signature only, it is not a medium to show-off your graphic designing skills.

In order to avoid making the design overly complicated, limit the number of color palettes in the signature and always use only one type of font.

Using the same font you use for writing the email for the signature as well gives it a nice touch of professionalism. Choose a type and size of font that’s easy to read, e.g. Ariel, Calibri, Tahoma, Verdana, Gill Sans and a few more.

Do not use Comic Sans at any cost because you wouldn’t want to come across as an unprofessional, unserious business person, would you? To make the design clean and eye-catching, again, opt for the minimalist approach.

A pro tip is to take inspiration from the colors present in your logo. This will help your clients and users connect to your brand more effectively.

Do Include Your Blogs: Including your blogs, Podcasts, Webinar in your signature is also a smart marketing tactic in the digital era. If you keep adding fresh content on your blog and hyperlink it to your email, the recipients will get an easy access to new content and will keep coming back for more.

Don’t Use Personal Quotes Unnecessarily: If you’re promoting a serious business, you have to create a solid impact on the email recipients. The best way to do is include information related to the brand only. Using personal quotes, unless you are a globally recognized celebrity, would be over-the-top and kick of tacky as well.

Do Keep the Font Palette Small: Previously, we spoke about keeping the color palette small, now we will talk about the importance of keeping the font palette even smaller. The whole point of chalking out an impressive email signature is to increase brand awareness.

Using different fonts for highlighting different texts would make it look like school project of a student who ran out of materials to write about. If you want to get a flexible typeface that can be customized according to your liking, the internet has a plethora of options for you.

Don’t Add Long Disclaimers: Inserting a long disclaimer in email signatures is a very common mistake people make. Now you might argue that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Well, sorry to pop the bubble here.

No legal advisor will ever tell you that email disclaimers hold any weight. Its function is strictly limited to just annoying people.

Do Use Dividers: Use dividers to keep the contents of the signature organized and maintain a strong hierarchy. Full-bleed dividers will help the most important pieces of information in your signature like Name, Contact Info highlighted so that they readily capture the attention.

Don’t Jam It with Social Media Buttons: This might counterintuitive to our suggestion to use your email signature as a medium to general more traffic to your social media pages. Having said that, overdoing anything in an email signature has more demerits than otherwise.

Tailor your signature according to your target customers and the brand. Use maximum 4 social media buttons (use icons instead of URLs) to keep the space uncluttered.

Do Use Professional Headshots: Using a headshot instead of a full body photo (do not use selfies) is another tip you must follow to create lasting impact on the recipients. Make sure to look professional in the photo, dress in formals and keep the hair well-groomed, look directly at the camera and pose against a not-so-flashy background.

Headshots are best of email signatures because it highlights your face and as the image size would be small, it will take less time to load.

Don’t Use Too Many Images: Once again, let’s stick to “the lesser, the better” policy. Including too many images in the signature can make the emails end up in the Spam folder. Limit it to maximum 2 images. The pictures you choose should be relevant to the service you’re promoting.

Do Make the Signature Mobile-friendly: Everyone has smartphones these days and the number of people opening emails from their phones is ever-increasing. Did you know that 48% of the total mails delivered everyday are opened on phones. That’s something to take note of.

To kickstart a successful email signature marketing, you have to pay attention to the scale of your design. For small screens, you need to optimize the size of the logos, images, shorten the long website links and email addresses. If you are going to use a wide logo, make sure to use a vertical template.

Don’t Overcrowd with Too Much Content: As you might have already remembered by heart now, less is more when it comes to designing a cool and catchy email signature. Including irrelevant content like quotes and sagas of your achievements will only backfire.