Home » Blog » Archives for September 2018

Month: September 2018

wordpress logo

Why Choose WordPress?

WordPress is the most popular open-source Content Management System( CMS ) in use today. According to a study by W3Techs, it is used on almost 32% of websites.  And it makes up 60% of websites that use a CMS. graph of wordpress usage

 

Let’s dive into why choosing WordPress for your website is a good idea.

1. WordPress is free

The actual software is free.  That does not mean that having a WordPress site is free. There are a few options available to get your software.  There is WordPress.org and WordPress.com. You still need to have a web hosting service to run your website on. WordPress.org is a place where you can get hosting.  I do not recommend it for running a business. It is more of a platform like Blogger for hobby or blogging only sites. They do have high priced services available but it is still limited compared to what you can do on on a self-hosted site.

WordPress.org is a more of a community where you can download the software to put on your own web hosting. For the cheaper options, there is shared hosting like GoDaddy or Host Gator.  Though what really gives you a better experience is Managed WordPress hosting.  These are web hosting companies that specialize in just hosting WordPress sites.  Some to consider are WPEngine, Flywheel and SiteGround.

2. easy to use

It is famous for its 5 Minute Installation, which walks you through the speedy installation. It is quick and easy.  So much so that you don’t have to be a techie or geek to do it. Though most hosting companies make it even easy with a 1 click install.  And most of the Managed WordPress hosting merely have a create new website type of install.

5 minute install screen

3. The support and Community is huge

It has been around since 2003, giving it lots of time to create lots of support documentation. WordPress.org is the perfect place to start when looking for answers to any question or problem you might have.  The forums are vast and pretty much everyone is super helpful.  There are many Meetup groups all over the world.  And even bigger are the WordCamps– volunteer led conferences about WordPress that have something for every level of expertise.

4. Making your site unique and customizable is easy

There are thousands of themes available to make your site look how you want.  The themes even come ready for different functions.  Let’s say that you want an online magazine.  Or an e-commerce site.  The sky’s the limit with themes.  Some are free and others aren’t.  Yet even the paid themes aren’t too expensive.  The themes let you customize pictures, colors and many other elements.

If you need even more functionality that isn’t in a theme, then you can add plugins.  Plugins are extensions of the basic WordPress software that let you do more specialized actions with your website.  You can have contact form plugins, digital marketing plugins, e-commerce plugins, or payment plugins.  It all depends on your business needs.

5. empowers business owners

Empowering business owners to take control of their website by making it easy to manage.  It is always a nice thing to not really need a developer to do the simple things of writing your own blog, adding new content or even removing old content is really a big deal.  Many business owner still use developers for more complicated or time consuming issues, but the freedom to choose is a great thing.

6. SEO friendly

It was made with SEO in mind.  To make your SEO efforts even more effective, use the Yoast SEO Plugin.

7. Security is important

It makes security a priority.  It is essential to keep you software, themes and plugins updated to stay secure.  Even updating is a cinch.  You merely check the boxes of the software needing an update and click update.  You even get notified when something needs an update.

 

When you want a professional looking website that gets results and is easy to setup and maintain, WordPress is still your best bet.

If you still feel unsure about which CMS to use, or just want the extra help getting your WordPress site running. I’m ready to help you so you can concentrate on running your business.

 

google search bar

SEO Basics: The Truth About SEO

Mastering SEO basics will help your business get exposure and grow. Yet many people believe it is dead because it doesn’t matter anymore with social media. And some other people believe that SEO is only about getting the #1 ranking on a Google search. While many believe it to be outright manipulation. But the truth is SEO is still very much alive and important. It is sort of like a cat- easy to own, yet a very complicated creature and with nine lives.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization.  It is the way that all major search engines, like Google, Bing,  and Yahoo, rank and show web pages that are considered most relevant to users.  The pages are ranked by organic, meaning free, search results. Paid search ads aren’t figured into this ranking.

How long for results?

This is usually where most people are thrown off.  They believe that SEO is something that takes effect pretty quickly but it usually takes anywhere from 3-6 months before you see results.  The large range has to do with the fact that SEO is not a one size fits all.  And several factors go into when results are seen.

Having a good SEO ranking does help to get more exposure to your business.  Yet having the #1 spot or even getting on the first page does not guarantee good conversion rates.  It is much better to focus on getting good conversion rates from your ranking that just getting a good ranking.

SEO ranking is something that is best done slow and steady just like the tortoise.  And when this vision is lost many businesses lose interest.  It is something that is worth the investment.  But it will take some time and it is something that needs constant caring after to continue to work to its fullest potential.  It is not something that is done once and works forever.

I love this analogy from SEOMechanic, “SEO is an investment. Think of SEO as a 401k approach versus a roulette approach. Your efforts will begin to compound over time and gradually deliver greater returns the longer you do it.”

SEO Basics

So what do you really need to get a good SEO ranking? Here’s 4 basics to master to improve your SEO.

1.Keywords

Keywords bring in your targeted traffic.  If the keyword is too board, it will be harder to bring in traffic since there will be a lot of competition.  But using the right keywords will bring in the right traffic to your site and help your business grow. Focusing solely on keywords isn’t the way to go either in today’s evolving SEO.  Keywords do need to be researched but having quality content is being valued much more as it is more relevant to the user.

2. Competition

Your business and location all affect your SEO rankings as well.  If you are in a saturated market with a lot more competition, it will take longer to rank.  Also if you are going for local SEO, national SEO to even global SEO affect the time for rankings to improve.  The bigger the market the longer it takes to rank.

3. Content

It has been said the content is king.  In part that is a correct statement because quality content, the one that is really easy for consumers to read and find the relevant information they are seeking is the most important.  It really isn’t about churning out a lot of content.  It is about quality over quantity,  A very good blog post or article has more weight in the SEO rankings than 10 articles that do not give any real information.

4. Link building

It used to be that having lots of links back to your website guaranteed better SEO ranking.  But things have changed and this has gotten to be another element that quality over quantity is more important.  You do want to get links back to your website from other sites, but if they are coming from low-quality sites it will hurt instead of help.  Focus on getting quality links from relevant websites.  Rankings have shifted into a more natural approach and any indication of manipulation with harm you.  This means that your link building should be gradual.

 Need help improving your website’s SEO ranking? I’m ready to help you so you can concentrate on running your business.

unread email on mobile phone

Take Your Email Marketing To The Next Level

Email marketing is in the top 3 choices of digital marketing channels for companies ( CLUTCH ).  The three top choices are the best for telling your brand story, gaining awareness and increasing sales.  When done right, email marketing allows for precise targeting of specific audiences along with a bit of personalization.

Here are 7 ways to take your email marketing:

USE DOUBLE OPT-IN

When you have someone signup to a list make sure to have a double opt-in system.  This ensures that they truly are interested in your list and it was not just an accidental signup.

Along with your double opt-in make sure to have a confirmation page for the signup.

SEGMENT YOUR LIST

It is a great thing to have a large email list of your clients and other people interested in your brand.  But it is much more powerful when segmented into smaller lists of interests.  This allows for much more targeted campaigns that only appeal to those on the list.

It is best to have each signup form on your website go to different emailing lists, like one fo your newsletter, one for the contact form, etc.  When you send out newsletters that have links to click to different subjects, it is a great strategy, to have those links signup the customer to a new list that corresponds to that link.  Whenever you gain new data about your customers, use it to help market to their interests and needs.  This will help have a better conversion rate on your emails.

USE DRIP CAMPAIGNS

Setting up drip campaigns helps automate your email marketing flow and makes it easy to start sending emails immodestly when someone signups for a list.  You can have a drip campaign for when someone signs up for you newsletter merely thanking them for signing up and letting them know the frequency of the newsletters.  It can be followed up with just general information about the site every few days for a week as an example.  The possibilites are endless with your imagination and needs acting as a guide.

CREATE A COMPELLING HEADLINE

This is possibly the most important piece to each individual email you create.  Make sure that the subject creates interest and lets the reader know what to expect in the email.  The subject also needs to be concise as must email accounts and mobile devices truncate subject headlines.  The best length is somewhere between 30 and 50 characters including spaces.

HAVE A CLEAR MAIN MESSAGE AND A CALL TO ACTION

Making sure that the reader understands the main message of the email is important.  Having a Call to Action that helps promote the message and final goal helps increase the conversion rate.  It is good practice to have your call to action in several places and in several formats.  With scrolling it is not necessary to put all the important content “above the fold” as scrolling is fairly easy.  But getting to the point earlier is still considered good practice.

CONSISTENCY RULES

Setting up a consistent schedule for when your emails go out is nice for setting up expectations for your customers.  They will know when to expect new emails.  It has been show that the best days to send out emails are Monday through Thursday mornings.  Emails sent out at these times have much higher opening rates than others dates and times.

MAKE IT EASY TO OPT OUT

It is always best to make it easy to opt-out of your email list when customers no longer wish to receive them.  Otherwise you remails can become a nuisance and you my lose a customer all together.

Need help taking your email marketing to the next level? I’m ready to help you so you can concentrate on running your business.

 

 

*originally posted on http://www.rgodin.com/