Author Archives: helencey

Managed Cloud Hosting and its Advantages

Cloud Hosting has taken the hosting world by storm. From the initial hesitation among users to adopt the Cloud technology in hosting, Cloud Hosting has come a long way. Due to the massive adoption by large organizations and the host of benefits it offers, Cloud Hosting is touted to be the future of web hosting.

What is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud Hosting is a type of hosting where the data of your website is stored across multiple servers. This is a fundamental departure from any type of traditional hosting where all the website data is stored in just a single server. There are many types of traditional hosting methods where multiple websites are housed in a server, but in Cloud Hosting, the website data is housed in multiple servers. This ensures a high level of data redundancy and data protection.

What is Managed Cloud Hosting?

Managed Hosting is a type of hosting plan that web hosting companies offer. It’s a type of offering where your web hosting company will look after the management, administration, and security of your part of the server. 

In essence, that means that you just choose whatever plan you want and the operating system you’re comfortable with and leave the rest to the web hosting company. The web hosting company employs qualified system administrators and web security experts to take care of all the other system management and server upkeep needs. 

Advantages of Managed Cloud Hosting

Server monitoring

This is one of the biggest benefits of Managed Cloud Hosting. Server monitoring is a prevention strategy for cyberattacks that’s implemented by scanning all the files in the server and checking for any abnormalities. 

Server monitoring enables system administrators to find points of failures and inherent vulnerabilities in the server setup. Once a problem has been detected, steps can be taken to mitigate it. 

Reliability and overall security

Even without opting for Managed Hosting, Cloud Hosting is a very secure form of hosting, thanks to its architecture. As mentioned earlier, in all forms of traditional hosting, the data of a website is stored in one server. If there’s a successful cyberattack on the server or if there’s some sort of hardware failure and it leads to a server crash, your website will crash too. 

With Cloud Hosting, that problem will not occur. Your website data isn’t stored in one server, to begin with. It’s stored on multiple servers. So, if a server fails, for whatever reason, there will be no discernible effect on your website. The data from the other servers will be made available to keep your website up and running. 

If you opt for Managed Cloud Hosting, you add another layer of security to your website. Security professionals use varied and powerful tools to prevent attacks in the first place. These tools include malware scanners, DDoS prevention applications, enterprise-level antivirus, and so on. Security professionals also periodically conduct audits and update all firewalls, making your website truly secure. 

Pricing

Cloud Hosting isn’t the cheapest hosting method. Additionally, Managed Hosting plans are slightly more expensive than non-managed hosting plans. So, it might seem counterintuitive that pricing is listed as an advantage. 

The reason is that it’s a lot more expensive to manage your website on your own. A lot of the tasks mentioned above, like server monitoring, malware scanning, server monitoring, etc., need expertise. If you’re not an expert in web hosting, you’ll have to pay experts to do these jobs for you if you want a secure and reliable website. This expertise isn’t cheap. 

Additionally, these aren’t one-time costs. They are continuous expenses, meaning that you may even have to end up hiring a dedicated IT team. All that is far more expensive than simply paying a little more to your web hosting company for a Managed Hosting plan. Thus, Managed Cloud Hosting is highly cost-effective. 

Disaster recovery and backups

Cloud Hosting, as mentioned earlier, is quite reliable and secure. However, this is no reason to neglect data backup and disaster recovery strategies. Irrespective of how good your web hosting company is and how great your web hosting plan is, you will, at some point, need backups. It’s best to stay ready for that. 

While it is possible to implement a data backup strategy on your own, it’s not all that straightforward. Additionally, backups have to be taken routinely to ensure that your backup is always up to date, and in case of data loss, you have the latest copy of your website at your disposal. 

With Managed Cloud Hosting, your hosting company will take care of creating, maintaining, and updating backups, making your life that much simpler. 

Opportunity cost

Students of business management are better equipped to talk about opportunity cost, but it refers to the potential losses you incur doing one task while you actually should be concentrating on something else.

The primary goal of any business is to grow, expand, and become stable. As a website owner, that’s probably your aim too. So, your primary task is growing your core business. But maintaining a website is something that will take up a lot of time too, and while maintaining your website, you’re not growing it. 

The advantage of Managed Hosting boils down to one thing – it takes website management off your hands and allows you to concentrate on actually growing your business. Now, if you have an IT team in-house, you don’t need Managed Hosting. 

Even if you’re a web hosting expert, having Managed Hosting makes sense because it allows you to grow your business and not worry about routine maintenance, updating applications, creating backups, and things like that. You leave such tasks to the professionals and concentrate on your business. 

Conclusion

Managed Cloud Hosting isn’t the cheapest way to host your website. A Shared Hosting plan is cheaper, but the combination of Cloud Hosting and Managed Hosting is hugely beneficial for high-traffic, growing websites. 

Cloud Hosting enables your website to be safe, fast, and reliable. Managed Hosting ensures that you don’t have to deal with the nitty-gritty of website management. 

5 Reasons to Hire a Fractional CMO

The moment when you’d finally become profitable enough to start hiring more staff. When you first started your business or signed up to work with this team, you knew that you were part of something that was on its way up. It was growing and you were going to be a big part of that growth.
But, with growth comes growing pains. For every successful campaign, another challenge finds its way into the business. At one point, you’ll have to ask yourself. Here are the 5 reasons your company should hire a fractional CMO over an internal CMO.

1.The budget isn’t ready for a full-time marketing executive

At one point, Amazon couldn’t afford a full-time executive. Every business has to pass through the essential phases of growth, which don’t always come with a huge ROI. The beauty of hiring a fractional CMO is getting the expertise of a marketing professional without having to go into the red for it.

Your fractional CMO isn’t just an expert marketer, they also specialize in hopping on to new teams and helping organize the team, collect the right data, and launch new projects. They’ll let you know exactly what you can expect from working with them so you can compare their workload to a full-time CMOs. 

2.You don’t have a captain for your marketing ship

When you chase all of the rabbits, you can’t catch any. We’re pretty sure this term came directly from a marketing team that didn’t have a captain at the helm of their ship. Without upper guidance, they spent too much time trying to chase different rabbits and ended up without having anything to bring home at the end of the night.

Focus on one rabbit and you’ll be able to catch it with ease. Bringing in a fractional CMO to pull together all of the different parts of your marketing team is essential for hitting that next growth spurt. Your team needs to know what they’re focused on and why, and without a captain guiding them in the right direction…they will get lost.

3.Managing the business itself has gotten messy

Look, it happens. You don’t even want to see what our desk looks like the week after the Traffic and Conversion Summit. 

You’re busy and the last thing you can imagine doing is cleaning up. While a messy desk is an easy fix, messy data can be harder. Without someone helping you clean up after your launches, creating the necessary spreadsheets to track content ROI, and making sure you’re still heading towards paradise—things will get messy.

That’s where hiring a fractional CMO comes in. Your fractional Chief Marketing Officer can organize the mess of data accumulated like the dirty cups on your desk. They’ll be able to help you figure out where your business is, what you need to do to get it to your next goal and create a plan to make it happen.

4.You’re getting ready to launch something new

You like launching new products. The rush of hitting publish on your next launch is like a mini skydive that you’re probably taking a few times a year. But, you might not be seeing the results you’d hoped for. If your conversion rates are lower than you want and you know it’s because you’re messing something up (but you don’t know what), hiring a fractional CMO can get you out of this funk.

With a fractional CMO, you can hire them to help you with your new initiative. Let’s say you just want to test out this new product with a great launch. A fractional CMO can help you with that launch and let you keep doing your thing with your other marketing initiatives. A full-time CMO will have their hands in all of those initiatives, which isn’t always necessary.

5.You want more flexibility than working with a marketing agency package

The packages are essential for the growth of their business (and their sanity). But, we get it. As a business, you don’t always need the package that an agency has to offer. Sometimes you need your own thing (like having someone help you with a launch and nothing else).

If you need marketing help, but you want to pick and choose what this marketing mind helps you on—that’s exactly where a fractional CMO comes in. Instead of working around the packages of an agency, you can ask the CMO to work specifically as you need them to. As you’re able to move closer to your goals, you’ll be able to reconsider that agency (or even hire your fractional CMO full-time!).

Bottom line

Needing to hire marketing help is an exciting moment and it’s not something to glaze over as you’re stressing about the challenges that come with business growth. Take a moment to celebrate needing someone to help you with your marketing—it means you’re succeeding.

What this doesn’t mean is that you need to hire a full-time employee. With a fractional CMO, you can work with a brilliant marketing mind who can work part-time on the part of your business you need most. And there’s always room to bring them on long-term in the future.

The 9 Best Welcome Email Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

A Thank you for signing up the email starts you off on the right foot with new subscribers and customers. But, by adding a little extra to your first message you can gain much more than this. Learn the tactics that work with this list of the best welcome email examples.

The self-introduction

You can’t assume new subscribers and customers already know everything there is about your business. Your welcome email should reinforce your unique selling points to confirm you’re the right choice for them. 

Just one word of caution: this doesn’t mean it should be all about you. Instead, emphasize the benefits for your new contacts.

The email keeps it simple by focusing on getting customers to explore their offers rather than overwhelming them with conflicting calls-to-action (CTAs).

The video greeting

Showing rather than telling your new audience what you have to offer can help increase engagement with your welcome email content. 

A short video presenting your business brings it to life in a way that’s not possible with text alone. This could be a message from your founder that puts a face to your brand and shares your story, or you could show clips of your product in action.  

Alternatively, you can use an animated GIF in your email to get across your brand and its personality. The GIF works hand in hand with the playful email copy to show subscribers what their company’s about.

The personalized welcome message

To get your introduction just right for each contact, you can adapt the email content based on what you know about them. 

Use personalization tools for sending emails that are unique to the recipient. To try this tactic for your welcome email, add questions to your email signup form to learn more about subscribers. Then create content to match different profiles.

The getting to know you email

If you prefer to keep your subscription form brief, your welcome email itself can also help you get audience insights.

Use it to find out what subscribers are looking for, like the content they’re interested in or their preferred email frequency. Not only is this valuable information for your strategy but it also shows your audience you’re serious about meeting their needs. 

Rather than asking for direct replies, you could share a link to a profile update form to make collecting responses easier. That way you’ll build a picture of each contact’s interests and preferences to aid with your email list segmentation.

The product showcase

For B2C companies aiming to convert would-be customers, a welcome email is your chance to show off your best items so they can’t help but start browsing. You might choose to shine a spotlight on your flagship product or promote top sellers or new arrivals.

The special offer welcome gift

You can further boost sales from your welcome email with incentives like discount codes or free shipping that double up as a thank you for signing up. This tactic works well for eCommerce businesses as the email can direct shoppers straight to their online store to redeem the offer.

For example, B2C retailer The Little Traveler created this welcome email template and share an exclusive discount with those who sign up from their website. They accompany this with helpful information about their physical location to encourage future visits.

The expiry date for the coupon encourages customers to act fast, taking advantage of their interest while it’s still fresh. Another trick is to highlight the offer in your welcome email subject line to maximize open rates.

The onboarding welcome email

Once a customer has converted, your aim should be to get them up and running with your product as soon as possible. And onboarding emails provide the know-how and motivation they need to do so. 

Content should focus on educational resources like tutorials and tips that help new users get started and make the most of your product. 

The initial email encourages users to take the first steps in getting set up through clear instructions and a helpful GIF. The CTA button then takes them to the product to try it out. Finally, the customer quote adds a nice touch that shows the benefits they gain.

The resource delivery email

Lead magnets like cheat sheets, ebooks, or free templates are a great way to get prospective customers onto your email list. But, if your first email contains nothing more than a link to the free resource, you’re missing a trick.

You’ve already managed to draw the contact in with something they want. So now it’s time to guide them down your funnel through to sale.

One tactic is to share your related content, as in the welcome email.

You could also encourage the new audience to discover your product, for example through a free trial or case study. Just be careful not to scare them off by being overly promotional — the key is to offer something valuable that’ll keep them engaged until they’re ready to convert.

The customer seal of approval

Another tactic for winning over new contacts without having to toot your own horn is to let your loyal customers do it for you. 

Playing on social proof in your welcome message will reassure subscribers they’ve made the right choice with your business and encourage further engagement.

The rest of the email is littered with customer endorsements, from five-star reviews to glowing feedback, that boost the legitimacy of their claims.

Steps to Attracting More Qualified Leads Online

A lead is an individual or organization with an interest in what you are selling. The interest is expressed by sharing contact information, like an email ID, phone number, or social media handle. Leads vary from cold to warm or hot leads, depending on how engaged they are with your products or services. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) are engaging with your marketing activities, e.g., a webinar. Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) are high-quality leads showing a clear intent and ability to buy. Ideally, you want to scale up the quantity of quality leads to achieve your goals.

The 7-Step Framework

Goals

Using a mathematical formula, you can enter the average sales price of your product and your average lead-close rate to calculate the number of leads you need to achieve your revenue objective. Including the average cost per lead will return your total budget. If you don’t have these figures for your business, use industry averages in the meantime.

Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. To find out the interests, pains, and challenges of your ideal customers, consider interviewing customers, studying your contact database, leveraging website forms, and getting feedback from your salespeople. Then brainstorm with your team to create buyer personas from the info you have gathered.

Buyer Journey

Map the process buyers go through to:

  1. Become aware of a need.
  2. Consider options to solve the need.
  3. Decide to purchase the solution.

Be sure to match journey touchpoints to your type of business (B2B vs B2C).

Content Mapping and Offers

An effective strategy to maintain engagement with your business delivers the right type of content to each buyer persona at the right time. Generate leads with an offer that will motivate your prospects to share their contact information in exchange for it, i.e. a lead magnet. Your local WSI Consultant can assist you with a content audit.

Conversion Path

What digital path is followed to convert an anonymous website visitor to a lead to a buyer? Four basic elements include a download offer landing page, a conversion form, a thank you page, and in return, you get an email address lead.

Channels

This step can only be addressed as a consequence of the previous steps. Now you determine what marketing tactics will achieve your revenue goals. Each channel (paid or organic search, social, display, email) has its benefits and is mapped to steps on the buyer’s journey.

Reporting

Use data and insights to close the loop between marketing activities and sales results. Getting feedback lets you make campaign changes that increase the number of quality leads.

Factors Behind a Successful Shopify Store

There is a vast number of successful Shopify stores on the platform, many of which earn tens of millions of dollars. There are even some hitting more than a hundred million in annual revenues. We’ll be looking at the common characteristics among the best Shopify stores — to inspire you to stand out with your eCommerce store.

Commonalities you can find with any successful Shopify store are:

  • A well-designed website
  • A mobile-friendly site
  • Great products
  • Beautiful images
  • Clever product descriptions
  • Good customer engagement
  • Strong social proof and customer reviews
  • Great customer experiences
  • Simplified checkout procedures

The successful combination of these factors makes for a satisfactory online shopping experience.

Well-Designed Website

The road to a successful business on Shopify starts with a great online shop design. Your site is the first contact customers have with your product offerings, and as the saying goes: first impressions matter.

A good Shopify website design provides shoppers with easy navigation. Your eCommerce store should be organized and eye-catching, with a compelling theme. Your site design should also be in line with your store’s branding.

The products should be displayed clearly and free from obstructions by your site’s elements. Speed is another factor in a site’s design, as fast-loading sites make shopping more convenient. 

Mobile-Friendly Site

Mobile devices, like phones and tablets, are becoming more ubiquitous in eCommerce. Mobile eCommerce makes up more than half of all online transactions and is growing annually.

The best stores on Shopify optimize their sites for mobile use. They also offer mobile apps, enabling them to maximize their target audience’s reach.

eCommerce stores have to do more than shrink the size of their homepage for mobile devices. The mobile web has its unique characteristics — including a mobile responsive design, which has to be incorporated into the homepage to ensure it shows clearly on phones and tablets.

Great Products

A well-performing Shopify store sells products in a niche area that they are familiar with. You need to be knowledgeable about your offerings, which will become evident on your site.

Your products should aim to fulfill a mission statement and a theme, a goal bigger than just selling. Many successful Shopify entrepreneurs target servicing an underserved community, fulfilling a social theme, or filling a need with their products.

These stores offer products that stand out from similar products in the marketplace. This aspect helps heighten the customer user experience, turns shoppers into repeat customers, and ensures a high conversion rate.

Beautiful Images

One common factor of virtually all top online stores is the lovely photographs that feature on their homepage. They’re visually attractive and present the products in an eye-catching manner that sells.

The stimulating images will move you to the rest of their offerings.

Since shoppers cannot touch or feel the products, a Shopify store has to be visually appealing. You have to spend time planning the presentation of the products along with a unifying theme.

It can be tempting to take the pictures yourself to save money. But investing in a professional photography service will serve you better in the long run. A photographer will lay out the products so they’re in tune with your site theme, and present them in a manner that sells effectively to customers.

Clever Product Descriptions

Shopify’s leading stores use memorable product descriptions. Rather than sales rhetoric, they describe their products in ways that appeal to their target audience and address their pain points.

The product descriptions on your homepage should fire up your customer’s imagination. You can use any theme, but injecting some light humor is a pretty failsafe avenue. And remember to also address the customer’s concerns and desires. This tells the customer you care about them.

Tell a story with your product descriptions. The main point is to convey the product’s benefits in a way that engages the customer and motivates them to make a purchase.

Customer Engagement

The average business sells to customers, but the most successful businesses build a community. Engaging with customers is like building a fanbase. The leading stores on Shopify have succeeded at this, enjoying a high rate of repeat customers.

These repeat customers are more than just customers — they interact with the Shopify store through various channels. Successful businesses have two-way communication with their customers, who feel like family and tout their products whenever they can.

Social media is a great place to host conversations with customers. The store can gain valuable feedback on their product offering and insights into their customers’ desires and aspirations. They can also address issues and challenges that arise with their products.

Social Proof and Customer Reviews

People like to buy their products and services from a company that’s proven to have satisfied customers. This reason is why many peruse the customer reviews of the product online before making a purchase decision.

Leading stores on Shopify usually show proof of their customer base through customer reviews. It’s a great way for store owners to engage with their customers and strengthen the theme of their business.

Potential buyers can also see if the store’s products will provide a solution to their problem through other people’s experiences. Encouraging your customers by making it easy to leave reviews, or even rewarding them, is a necessity.

Great Customer Experience

The saying the customer is king rings true for successful online stores. There’s nothing more important for selling products than this factor. It should be the major theme of any online retail store.

Providing a great customer experience is one way your eCommerce store can compete in the marketplace. It’s the most effective and inexpensive marketing tool you can leverage. It’s also the theme of most business improvement schemes.

Based on the website browsing experience, product availability, checkout process, customer support, and order fulfillment, the customer’s overall experience will determine whether they’ll make a repeat purchase from the store or not.

Simplified Checkout Process

The checkout process at a top Shopify store is easy and stress-free. Making the payment process simple is a major theme of every leading online retail store.

Implementing a seamless checkout process is much more than linking a call to action at the bottom of the page to a payment portal. Each checkout element, from the shopping cart to the payment options and payment process, has to be free from challenges.

Difficulties during checkout could turn the shopper off from your site, abandoning the purchase altogether.

Bottom line

So there you have it, the secrets of the leading stores on Shopify. Just follow these steps and you will have a high possibility of being counted among the successful stores on Shopify.

How Website Speed Affects Your SEO Rankings?

Even though website speed itself has not been an official ranking factor in Google’s SEO algorithm until now, experts have largely proclaimed its importance for good SEO. With the upcoming Core Web Vitals update planned by Google for May 2021, which adds 3 new metrics to the Page Experience signal, website speed officially becomes a ranking factor. So now many webmasters wonder what the immediate impact of that change will be on the SEO searches.

Website speed effect on organic searches after the Core Web Vitals update

The optimal website loading speed

It’s good to know that major shifts are not foreseen as a result of the new Google update, but still, if your site is not really well optimized, or if you are not sure where it stands, you are still bearing risk and Google is sending you a message to get to work. A good start for this is to figure out how your website currently scores on the 3 new metrics – Largest Contentful paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) and what to aim for.

Useful website speed test tools

There are a lot of website speed test tools, which you can use to check your page loading times. Some of the most common ones are LighthousePageSpeed InsightsSearch Console > Core Web Vitals report, and more.

Website Speed Optimization Suggestions

Here’s a concise list of simple ways to optimize performance.

Lower Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) under 2.5s 

1.Optimize your images

The most common problem for website performance and LCP, in particular, are the large images that need to be loaded simultaneously and slow down the page. That is why you should consider the following optimizations:

  • Add lazy loading of images – that way not all images will be loaded at the same time upon opening the page. 
  • Use caching for static assets 
  • Serve an alternative image format – WebP. This is a very useful way to reduce the size of the images on your site. 

2.Minify your CSS and JavaScript

One of the easiest ways for big performance wins, in this case, is to use compression like Brotli or Gzip. Another possibility is to use plugins for WordPress sites. 

3.Limit 3rd party scripts

The more scripts that need to be loaded on the page, the slower it will open. Third-party scripts are for example tracking software, advertising scripts, heatmaps, and others. Once they serve their purpose, make sure you removed them so they don’t pile up slowing the website.

4.Get a faster web host

Having a fast server helps a lot for boosting the LCP metric. So if you have done all of the above and your site is still loading slow, see what’s happening with your hosting and how your provider can help optimize the environment for more performance.

5.CDN

Since website speed tests are greatly affected by the speed of the Internet connection, where sites with international traffic are most hurt, experts suggest that you use CDN. In case you wonder which of all those optimization suggestions should be the first on your list, take a listen to the users’ opinion.

Get First Input Delay (FID) under 100 milliseconds 

If you score poorly on this one, it is most likely that your JavaScript is the culprit. Minify and defer JavaScript to fix the issue. WordPress sites, that could be done with a click of the mouse from the plugin. 

Get Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) under 0.1 

The CLS is largely a web design issue. The most common reasons for it are:

  • Images without dimensions  
  • Ads, embeds, and iframes with dimensions  
  • Dynamically injected content 
  • Custom Web fonts – AJ suggests using “swap” in CSS and instruct the browser to show the browser font first until the custom font gets loaded to avoid users seeing blanks on the page.
  • Actions waiting for a network response before updating the DOM 
  • Infinite scrolling 

In this blog, we focused entirely on optimizing website speed for the 3 new metrics that will become ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. But your optimization efforts should not stop with LCP, FID, and CLS. There are other things you can do that will improve your performance overall and have a positive impact not only on your SEO but on your user experience and business results. 

How to Boost the Performance of Every Blog or Articles You Write

Are you satisfied with how your content is performing?. Few content creators will answer “yes” to this, and understandably so. At least half of digital content goes unnoticed, and even those articles or blogs that do drive some clicks still leave us wanting more. There’s no such a thing as too much traffic or too many conversions. Here are a few ideas to drive more traffic and conversions from your blogs or articles.

Add a Section Where You Answer Related Questions

In any niche, there’s no shortage of questions people are discussing and seeking answers to. Make it a good habit to always do quick question research every time you are working on a new blog or article.

Generally, answering popular questions on your pages helps on many levels:

1. Improve your odds to rank each page higher (answering questions adds relevant content to your pages)
2. Get it featured more, as well as make your content better optimized for voice search
3. Improve engagement by addressing popular questions (questions are well known to grab human beings’ attention and prompt them to take a pause and start looking for an answer)

Additionally, for those content creators who provide useful answers to niche questions, Google has introduced structured markup to help them stand out in search.

1.1 People Also Ask

Google has been featuring related questions (and answers) within a special search element called “People Also Ask” for a few years now. These days, they show up for the majority of search queries, and they give you a good idea of your target audience’s searching journeys.

1.2 Text Optimizer

Text Optimizer has a cool feature that allows you to research semantically relevant questions for any search query. Text Optimizer offers you a bird’ view of all possible questions for any topic, letting you get a quick understanding of how to structure your content.

1.3 Ahrefs

Ahrefs (as well as alternatives) has a separate section where you can see all search queries that are phrased as a question. There’s also a handy filter that allows you to group those questions by a keyword modifier.

1.4 Search Quora

While all the above tools rely on Google, Quora is your key to seeing real people discussing what interests them. Check Quora to see the most popular discussions on your chosen article topic and keep a record of the threads you may also want to participate in when your article is live.

Create and Embed Videos

Videos are well-known for their ability to boost engagement in just about any medium, including email marketing and social media.
Videos are believed to be the future of the social media web. According to Maxwell Hertan of Megaphone Marketing, video is the major form of content consumed on social media these days. Without video, there is no content marketing.

So why not use videos more often?

These days, videos are quite easy to create. You no longer need to invest in expensive software or training to start producing video content. You can easily record yourself sharing some wisdom using Zoom or, if you are shy, you can simply turn your text content into video format using online tools like Invideo.

The beauty of getting into a habit of creating a video each time you write an article is that you will have engaging content for promoting your content on social media.

Social media users don’t like links much as they like images and videos, so you will generate many more shares and clicks if you have a nice video to help you promote your article.

The bonus is that you will also have a chance to rank your content in more than just organic results. Videos receive extra exposure in search through video carousels that drive extra clicks and brand visibility.

Diversify Your in-Content Calls-to-Action

Attracting many readers is nice, but what do you want them to do on your site? Most blogs are written to inform or entertain, but if you are smart about marketing your blog, you also want those readers to become your customers or subscribers.

Here are some possible actions you should include:

1. Share your blog to get more clicks
2. Opt-in to your email newsletter
3. Come back again sometime in the future

Conclusion

Creating truly useful and unique content is key but it is not enough. In the era of information overload, you need to put in extra effort to get noticed and prompt action. Hopefully, the above tricks will help you boost your content performance.

6 Website Metrics That Truly Matter for your business

Your website is one of the most important assets your business has.

And every top-performing business pays close attention to its most important website metrics.

Obsessing over the details, from big things like your traffic to smaller details like how fast your pages load, can give you the edge over your competitors. Here are some of the most important metrics you should track and share free ways to improve each metric.

1. Website Traffic
2. Traffic Sources
3. Page Load Speeds
4. Search Engine Impressions and Clicks
5. Goal Conversions
6. Top Pages

Why Website Metrics Matter

Website metrics are how you measure your site’s performance. Metrics tell you what’s working, what’s not, and where you can improve.

Without paying attention to your metrics, you’re working off assumptions, and you have no idea how much your website helps your business grow or the opportunities you’re missing.

Honestly, it doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. The metrics we’ll discuss today can all be measured in minutes, using free tools like Google Analytics.

6 Website Metrics You Should Measure

There are so many metrics you can measure — the choices are almost unlimited. But just because you can measure something doesn’t mean you should. In this post, You’re going to see six metrics that matter to your business. Let’s jump in.

1.Website Traffic

Traffic is essential for any website; this metric tells you how many visits your site receives. In many ways, it’s the metric you should measure because without traffic, there is nothing else to measure. 

Traffic tells you how many people visit your website over a given time, and it’s a great way to tell if your website is growing, standing still, or even in decline. 

2.Traffic Sources

Once you’ve learned how many visits your website receives, it’s worth finding where that traffic is coming from. This tells you how people come to your website and helps you determine:

  1. The sources that drive the most traffic.
  2. Ways you can grow your traffic.

This data is available in Google Analytics and, by default, is grouped into six channels:

  1. Direct: Traffic from entering your URL directly into the browser address bar.
  2. Social: Visit from social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 
  3. Email: Clicks from email campaigns, or links within any email message sent (e.g., email signatures).
  4. Organic Search: Traffic from search engines like Google and Bing. 
  5. Referral: A visit to your site from a link on another page.

3.Page Load Speed

The faster your pages load, the better, for two reasons:

  1. People HATE waiting for web pages to load; if your pages don’t load instantly, some visitors will bounce before they consume any of your content.
  2. Faster page speeds help sites rank higher in Google.

4.Search Engine Impressions and Clicks

Search engines are one of the best ways to grow traffic to your website. For example, Sumo generates over 170k clicks each month from Google alone: 

 The great thing about SEO work is that it compounds over time. Look at how the clicks to Sumo from Google have trended upward over the past 12 months: 

 When measuring search performance, focus on two metrics: 

  1. Clicks: The number of times a user has clicked through to your site from Google.
  2. Impressions: The number of times your site has shown in search results.

These two metrics go hand in hand; often, as impressions increase, so will clicks. But if you see impressions increase and clicks stay the same, this gives you some opportunities to improve. 

5.Goal Conversions

What’s the action you want someone to take when they visit your website?

Maybe it’s an email sign-up, making a purchase, or downloading a lead magnet. Whatever it may be, you can often measure your goal with Google Analytics. 

In Google Analytics, you can measure goals in four ways:

  • Destination: Visiting a specific URL on your site.
  • Duration: Sessions that last a specific amount of time or longer, like 1 minute or more spent on your site.
  • Pages/visit: The number of pages you’d like people to visit per session.
  • Events: An action you desire people to take on your website, such as played a video or clicked a CTA.

By measuring goal conversions in Google Analytics, you get a quick snapshot of your site’s performance and the progress you’re making toward your goals. 

6.Top Pages

With most websites, you’ll find that the Pareto principle — AKA the 80/20 rule — rings true, with the most traffic to your website coming from just a few of your top pages.

This is certainly true of the Buffer Library, a hub for SEO-focused content. 

When just a few of your pages account for so much of your traffic or sign-ups, it’s important to keep an eye on how those pages perform.

Step by step guide to transfer your domain to Bluehost

One of the most exciting steps when signing up for a new website is choosing a domain. Conducting a domain name search to find the perfect name and registering it makes everything feel official. However, over time you may find yourself unhappy with your hosting providers’ service or realize that your needs have expanded. You might opt to transfer your existing domain name to another provider.

Can You Transfer a Domain Instantly?

A domain transfer is a process of changing your domain registration. You can transfer your domain instantly if it satisfies the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) transfer conditions, which require you to have had your domain for at least 60 days.

What Is the Average Domain Name Transfer Time?

A domain transfer can take anywhere between five to 14 days to complete. The amount of time it takes depends on how fast you meet the requirements and how quickly your current domain name registrar and the web host you’re switching to authorize the transfer.

To have a better idea of the domain transfer process, keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to transfer a domain.

Step by step Guide

  • Choose a new web host and create an account with the host you want to transfer your domain to. 
  • Review your contact information When you register for a domain, the registrar will ask for your contact information because your new web host will be notifying the administrative contact during the transfer.

If you’re using your domain-associated email, you need to change it to a general or public email address such as Gmail.

  • Update privacy settings with the current registrar – Disabling domain privacy allows the current registrar to view your contact information. You will then need to wait for the WHOIS database to update its records with your details.
  • Update your name servers – Name servers direct the traffic from your domain to the host server. 

If you already moved your website to your new host, it’s best to update the name servers now as you cannot make DNS changes when the domain transfer is in progress.

  • Unlock your domain name – Upon purchase, most domain registrars “lock” your domain to ensure it’s safe from unauthorized changes or transfer attempts. 

Unlocking your domain name is relatively simple — some registrars will let you do so manually, while others will do it for you.

  • Request your authorization code – The last thing you need before initiating the domain transfer process is the EPP (or authorization code). Most registrars send this code via email. 

This step often takes the longest — it can take up to five days before you receive your code.

  • Initiate the transfer – Once you’ve received your EPP code, you’re ready to initiate the transfer. Your new web host will guide you through the process.
  • Pay for the transfer – An important thing to note about the domain transfer process is that some web hosts will charge transfer fees on top of annual renewal costs. Consult the web host you’re transferring to for any related charges.
  • Cancel your previous domain registrar – Make sure the domain transfer is completed, and your new account is up and running before canceling your prior service.

If you’re moving to Bluehost, you can check out this guide on transferring your domain.

Why Your Domain Transfer May Be Taking Long

If your domain transfer is taking longer than the recommended amount of time, you may have encountered some issues, such as:

  • Your new web host hasn’t received the EPP code – It can take anywhere from five to 14 days to receive the EPP code in your email. 

If you haven’t received the code yet, check your domain’s registered email address. If it shows the domain-associated email address, you’ll have to file a Change of Registrant request.

Otherwise, if you’ve changed your email address, check your spam or trash folders. 

  • Invalid EPP code – The EPP code is case-sensitive, so if you encounter any errors, simply copy-paste the code again and make sure to remove any spaces before or after it. 

If it still doesn’t work, the EPP code may have expired, so you will need to request a new one.

  • Domain privacy is enabled – If you’ve already received an EPP code but still experience delays in domain transfer, check whether your domain privacy is disabled.

If your privacy settings haven’t been updated, the registrar will send the domain transfer emails to a Privacy Protection inbox that isn’t easily accessible.

Once domain privacy is disabled, it will take up to 24 hours for the WHOIS database to be updated. Only then can the new administrator receive the domain transfer email.

If you’ve tried the fixes here but cannot find the solution to your problem, visit Bluehost’s domain transfer troubleshooting guide. If you’re not satisfied with your current domain registrar, it’s easy to transfer your domain.

Bottom line

If you’re searching for a domain registrar or a new hosting provider, look no further than Bluehost. Because Bluehost is a trusted global hosting provider that offers a large selection of domain names, including geo-location domains. Bluehost domains offer domain privacy, 24/7 support, and the ability to create a fully customizable website. Sign up for a Bluehost domain today.

How To Get Your Videos To Rank on Youtube in 2021

There are billions of people watching online video content, and that number grows every year. Video is a gold mine for content, so the SEO strategy you’ll need to capture viewers will be different from your common SEO strategy.

However, SEO for video marketing still needs to be a part of your overall strategy. There are even some specific Youtube SEO techniques you can use to rank videos with Google.

Here are the 5 ways you can optimize SEO for video content

What is Video SEO? 

Video SEO is different from SEO for search engines. After Google, Youtube is the second most used search engine on the internet, and it has its own search rules, keywords, and search intent. 

It helps that Google owns Youtube, so linking or associating your videos with your other content can help your SEO efforts. The searches conducted through Youtube have a different intent, and the keyword research you do will reflect this difference. Search intent in this case would not be transactional; it would be more instructional. 

Someone won’t want to know where to buy stir fry; they’ll want a video showing them how to make the quickest and easiest stir fry.

Alongside their selected video, Youtube will show them a stream of suggested videos. Youtube generates these videos based on search intent and the user’s viewing history.

If you can tap into a niche with your keyword research, your videos can have a long-lasting rank for suggested videos and continue to serve you.

SEO for video is specialized, so you can’t just use Google keywords and Youtube keywords interchangeably. While there will be cross-over, you do need to treat each search intent separately.

5 Best Practices for Video SEO

1.Video Thumbnails must be Eye-catching

Much like a SERP, where people choose a link based on the meta description and their intent when people decide to watch a video, their choices are made mainly on the thumbnail image presented to them.

If you don’t engineer your thumbnails, then Youtube will present an image from the video. If you’re not careful, your thumbnail may be of someone pulling an awkward face, or an otherwise useless frame. Not only do these thumbnails not represent what the video is about, but it is also unprofessional and will reflect poorly on your brand.

The Youtube Studio app can help you make thumbnails. You can choose 3 options from your video or choose to make your own. Make your thumbnails relevant to the topic and eye-catching. Through the thumbnail image, you immediately know what the video is about, and the brilliant pops of yellow on the purple background are very eye-catching.

2.Your Title Tag Must Relate to the Video

For search intent, people will click on a video that matches what they’re looking for. If they click on your video and it doesn’t fulfill their search intent, they will click back and go elsewhere. Google, and Youtube, will notice this, and you might receive a drop in your search rankings. 

Google will also penalize you if you try keyword baiting, where you deceive people into watching your video by tagging with irrelevant keywords. Do some keyword research and write a good copy for your title tags.

3.Contextual Video Description

Your video description works much like a meta description. They should be relatively short and to the point with some keywords included. Don’t stuff keywords into the description, and don’t lure people using a false description. Penalties will apply if you do.

Google bots search your video description, so make sure you’re serving up what the viewer wants when they’re searching for your content. Include keywords from your research to work with that SEO campaign.

4.Tag your Video Appropriately 

Video tags help categorize your video. When combined with the title and the description, video tags work in SEO harmony and can help boost your video up the search rankings.

Video tags help Google return videos that match search intent and can help users find similar videos by selecting the tags to search under.

To add a tag to your Video:

1. Sign in to your Youtube Studio. (You should have one if you have a Gmail account.)
2. On the side menu on the right, select CONTENT and select the video you would like to add tags to.
Add your tags.

You can also do this via mobile.

5.Upload your Video’s Transcript

Transcribing your video is possibly the best tip to boost your video’s SEO. Transcripts comprise the text that appears in your video’s closed captions. They can appear in the comments below the video as well.

Naturally, you’re going to be talking about the main topic, which has been researched and includes keywords, so the transcript will have that. But there are more benefits to uploading your transcript, including:

1. Google crawls the text for SEO ranking.
2. It allows people who have hearing difficulties to follow along with your video content as well.

If you include the transcript in the description or comments section, you can add time markers to key points, so those who want answers immediately can jump to the timestamp and get the content they need.

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