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Security Vulnerabilities and 4 Ways to Protect Your WordPress Site

Reseller Club Blog -

Running a self-hosted WordPress website is not as easy as advertised, yet it can be done with the right tools and knowledge. You need to take care of hosting tasks, like choosing a host and making sure your site loads smoothly. You then need to design the site, using themes and plugins in a way that ensures positive user experience.  You also need to create and add content on a regular basis. These are just a few basic tasks that many site owners, admins, and managers need to take care of. Despite the amount of work required, WordPress is a powerful CMS that powers 35% of websites across the globe.  WordPress provides many advantages, amongst these are its open source nature, the huge community of contributors, and the massive marketplace dedicated to WordPress services and products. The platform itself is offered free, and what you need to pay for is another infrastructure. This model enables businesses to grow at scale, add features as needed, and build affordable yet powerful websites for a wide range of purposes.  Like most websites and online systems, WordPress is vulnerable to attacks. While WordPress comes with many features and capabilities, it does not come with in-built security features. You need to install plugins, integrate with security tools, and monitor continually. In this article, you will learn what security vulnerabilities are, and how attackers use these to hack into WordPress sites. You will also learn what the top WordPress security vulnerabilities are, and how to protect your WordPress site against them. What Security Vulnerabilities are and Why You Should Care Security vulnerabilities are unprotected areas of your site or site host that attackers can exploit to steal your data, modify your site, or otherwise cause damage. These vulnerabilities often exist due to insecure plugins that you may add to your site, lack of control over visitor interactions, or failure to regularly update plugins. While you may think that attackers would have no interest in your site, attacks happen regularly to every type of site, regardless of size or traffic. In fact, Wordfence researchers have found that more than 90,000 attacks against WordPress sites occur every minute.  Attackers value user data that your site contains and the site’s access to visitors. For example, a successful attack may allow an attacker to plant a malicious script on your site. Then, when users visit your site, that script runs and enables attackers to steal user passwords or gain access to webcams. Top WordPress Security Vulnerabilities and How to Overcome Them To protect your site and your visitors, it helps to understand what type of vulnerabilities you may be exposed to. Below are some of the most common vulnerabilities that site owners face and some suggestions on how to manage these risks.  Insecure WordPress logins Your WordPress login is a valuable target for attackers because it provides access to your site administration dashboard. If attackers can gain access to your login credentials they will have full control over your site. An insecure or weak administrative password provides easy entry for attackers.  Weak passwords are passwords that can be easily guessed or uncovered through brute force attacks. Brute force attacks are attacks that keep trying different password and username combinations until access is gained. These attacks are possible because WordPress doesn’t limit the number of login attempts an attacker can make. To prevent these attacks, it’s important to:  Use a secure password and change it periodically. Secure passwords are typically passwords that are:  eight or more characters and a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters  The easiest way to ensure you have a secure password is to use a password generator such as the one provided in Google Chrome browsers. Enable two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication requires you to correctly enter your username and password. Then a code is sent to your email or a personal device, such as a mobile phone. Once you provide this code you are allowed to finish logging into your account. Two-factor authentication can help ensure that even if an attacker steals your login information, they are not able to access your account. 2. Outdated themes and plugins Any theme, plugin, or application that you add to your site may introduce vulnerabilities. If attackers discover these vulnerabilities they can exploit these weak spots to gain access to your site and users.  After plugins, themes, and applications are released, developers often continue working on these components. For example, adding new features, fixing bugs, or patching security issues. If you do not keep your various components up-to-date, you miss out on these improvements and may leave vulnerabilities exposed.  To avoid this, it is important that you:  Keep track of current versions of your components and that you are aware when vulnerabilities have been reported. To remain up-to-date, you should periodically check for new versions or patches. If you can enable automatic updates for components you should. ResellerClub’s WordPress Hosting provides automatic WordPress updates, making it easier to stay up-to-date. If automatic updates aren’t available, you need to use a different method of alerting yourself to possible threats. One way is to monitor a vulnerability database. Vulnerability databases are listings of known vulnerabilities and include information about what components are affected and how to fix the vulnerability. These databases can help you ensure that you are aware of any known vulnerabilities regardless of whether an update is currently available.  3. Incorrect WordPress permissions When you create your WordPress site, you create an administrator account, and you may also create user accounts. For example, if you have a team of people who are working on your site or if you have a subscription service. Each of these accounts has a set of permissions assigned to them that determines what a user can do on your site.  When setting these permissions it is important that you only allow users as much ability as they need. For example, you don’t want your subscribers to be able to edit posts or your editors to be able to change site settings.  Roles in WordPress are as follows, from most to least permissions: Administrator—can fully control your site.  Editor—can modify and publish site posts. Author— can modify and publish their own posts. Contributor—can create drafts of posts. Subscriber—can only modify their profile. To ensure that you are assigning permissions correctly, make sure that you place users in the lowest possible role you can. You can always change their role later if you find that the current one isn’t high enough. However, it is hard to undo the damage caused by users with high level permissions.  4. Running your website on HTTPS Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP) is the method used to connect your site to your user’s browser. If your full site address starts with http:// then you are using an HTTP connection. This connection is available to any user and does not require any sort of authentication to use.  Because HTTP connections are not protected in any way, attackers can intercept requests made by users visiting your site. For example, if a user clicks a link on your page, a request is sent to your web server for that page. If an attacker intercepts and modifies this request, they can send your user to a different page entirely.  To prevent attackers from manipulating user or server requests: Enable HTTPS. HTTPS is a modification of HTTP that includes security features for encrypting or hiding the information that is being sent in a request. This encryption prevents attackers from reading or modifying data and ensures that only your web server and the browser making the request have access.  HTTPS is especially important if you are running an eCommerce site. Many users are unwilling to make purchases from a site that is not using HTTPS because they don’t want to risk having their credit card or other payment information stolen. Conclusion In simple words, vulnerabilities are anything that hackers can use to breach your site. There are two types of vulnerabilities: those created by authorized users (like site owners and users) and those created by unauthorized users (like hackers).  Vulnerabilities created by authorized users are typical mistakes such as code errors, misconfigured plugins, insecure themes, weak authentication, etc. When hackers create vulnerabilities, they use techniques that enable them to inject malicious code into your site or eavesdrop on your communications. Top WordPress security vulnerabilities include insecure WordPress logins, outdated themes and plugins, incorrect permissions, and using HTTP instead of HTTPS. The bad news is that there are hundreds and thousands of vulnerabilities out there because human error is a fact and hackers always hack. The good news is that you can avoid many issues by following the practices mentioned above. To know more about WordPress CMS, hosting and features of WordPress, read more from our WordPress Blogs Category.   .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post Security Vulnerabilities and 4 Ways to Protect Your WordPress Site appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

.STORE: Unlock Business Potential This Lockdown

Reseller Club Blog -

If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s that the Internet is King. I’m sitting at home, writing this blog which I will upload soon, exactly as I would’ve done if I were sitting at my office desk. I take all my meeting appointments exactly as I would’ve done at work (only, virtually, this time). We’ve been fortunate enough to have the option to work from home and keep our business going, thanks to the Internet. While the world wide web has been around for 30 years, the COVID-19 crisis has catapulted the dependence on digital. I have a few predictions for life post the lockdown (or as I like to call it, ‘the after-life’): Many companies will shift to a work-from-home model, saving commute time and office rent More will seek out online classes, online certifications (major educational institutions like Harvard, MIT & Stanford are offering online courses that you can take, at home, from another part of the world) Online businesses are going to sprout in every industry (Online dance classes? Yes, please. Online baking? You bet.) E-commerce will see a boom (a demand not just for clothes, makeup and mobile phones, but daily groceries, meats, vegetables, medicines and more). So, what better time than now to invest in .STORE domain names? Your customers are going to want to capitalize on the demand in these times, especially in the e-commerce industry. .STORE fits bang at the centre of this dynamic.  Who is .STORE for? Some of the biggest brands are already on the .STORE domain. .STORE is for: Fortune 500 companies Artists who want to sell online Huge clothing, books, gadget retailers Amazon.store Fashion brands Jimmychoo.store Sport brands Nike.store While it  is valid for the industries mentioned above, it is even more essential today for: Grocery stores (think: the mom & pop shop across the street) Chemists (to be able to serve customers who need to order online and can’t leave home) Cold storage for meats Vegetable vendors Supermarkets In this lockdown period, I haven’t been out of my house in 60 days. Luckily for me, I simply pick up my phone, place an order online and my local supermarket delivers my groceries at home.  Why choose .STORE? Think of www.medicines.store and www.groceries.store. Doesn’t that website address stay with you? A .STORE domain name is/has: Relevant Memorable  High recall value So, let your customers take their business to the world. Help your local supermarket or your local dance classes get online and run their business. A .STORE domain is for anyone and everyone who provides a service, a product, a subscription online, anything.  Buy .STORE domains at a price of just x today and resell it for a profit! Read more articles from our Domains category. .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post .STORE: Unlock Business Potential This Lockdown appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Exciting Upgrades to the Dedicated Hosting Platform

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Our dedicated hosting products are going through…some changes. Continuing to serve the needs of the advanced enterprise operation, the dedicated hosting platform brings you the ultimate in speed and security—now with impressive upgrades. Check out the new Dedicated line. Upgrade Rundown We’ve gone through all of our dedicated hosting packages and upgraded hardware across the board. Some of our competitors might think we’ve gone too far with the combination of features and price, but we think it’s just right. Continue reading Exciting Upgrades to the Dedicated Hosting Platform at InMotion Hosting Blog.

How to Migrate WordPress From Localhost to Live Server

Reseller Club Blog -

Great, you are done developing and testing your WordPress website on your local setup. You have ironed out all the problems and are happy with the results.  What next? The next step is to make it live, so your users can get to it.  The big question is, ‘How do you go about migrating your WordPress site from your localhost to the live server?’ Well, that is what this article is all about. We will cover two ways to help you publish your WordPress website: Using a plugin  Manually We recommend the first method as it is easy for both techies and the not-so-tech-savvy. Also, this method works seamlessly for all hosting providers. However, do go through the manual method as well, in case the plugin fails (for whatever reason) or you want tighter control of all the aspects of migration. Let us jump right in. Migrating WordPress site to live server from a localhost While we are going to use the Duplicator plugin for this article, you can use any other suitable plugin. Here are a few that you could consider: All-in-One WP migration UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin Migrate Guru WP Migrate DB BackupBuddy VaultPress Step 1: Install and activate the Duplicator Plugin on the localhost Start by installing and activating the Duplicator plugin on the WordPress site hosted on the localhost.  Navigate to ‘Add Plugins’ and search for ‘Duplicator’. Once you find it, click on ‘Install Now’ Do not forget to activate the plugin after installation completes. Step 2: Create a package Package here refers to two files: a zipped archive of your website and an installer.php file to install the archive contents on the live server. To get these files generated, you first need to create a package.  On the left, navigate to the Duplicator menu on the menu bar, and click the Packages submenu. Next, click on the ‘Create New’ button that shows up on the right-hand corner of the screen. Fill in the package name and press ‘Next’ on the next screen. Once the scanning is complete, you will see a screen with a ‘Build’ button at the bottom. Click it to start building the package. The building may take some time. Once completed, it will create a zipped archive that contains your website’s content, plugins, themes, database and all the WordPress files. Once the Duplicator plugin has built the package, you will be presented with a screen that allows you to download the generated files to your computer. You can choose to download the Archive and Installer separately, or together, by using the ‘One Click Download’ option. Step 3: Use an FTP client to transfer the Archive (ZIP) and installer.php to the live server Once you have the generated archive and installer.php, you need to transfer these files to the live server where they can be used to prepare a WordPress installation for your live website. You can use any FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client for this purpose – we prefer FileZilla as it is free and the most popular one out there. FileZilla also allows you the option to use SFTP (Secure FTP) to transfer your files over a secure connection.  Enter the hostname and FTP/SFTP credentials of your live server to make a live connection. Upload the Archive and installer.php to the root web folder (usually public_html) on your live server (you will find these files in the location you downloaded them to in the previous step) Step 4: Run installer.php on the Live Server Now that you have the required files on the live server, it is time to execute installer.php. Point your browser to http://<yourdomainname>/installer.php. This will launch the Duplicator installer. Simply click on ‘Next’ and keep moving. https://theme-fusion.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/doc_duplicator_deploy_step1.jpg NOTE: Before moving to the next step, you may want to remove the previous data (if any) from the live server database. You can use the Database Manager to do this. This will reduce the chances of any leftover data causing any kind of issue later. The next step will ask for your database credentials. Fill in the required information and click on ‘Next’. https://theme-fusion.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/doc_duplicator_deploy_step2_options-1200×1037.jpg Step 5: Update site data and test  live website Confirm the settings on the next screen and click on ‘Next’. https://theme-fusion.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/doc_duplicator_deploy_step3_update_data-1200×1033.jpg Click the ‘Admin Login’ button on the ‘Test’ screen and your familiar wp-login will popup.  Login and navigate through the site and ensure everything is as you want. https://theme-fusion.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/doc_duplicator_deploy_step4_test_site-1200×784.jpg Note: To keep your website secure, deactivate the plugins you do not need (including the Duplicator plugin). Congratulations! You have successfully transferred WordPress site from localhost to server, with the plugin handling all the complexities of the process.  Migrate WordPress site to the live server manually In Migration of WordPress manually, you can use different tools to export database files from local setup and import it to live server as well there are also FTP clients, cPanel to transfer WP files. Step 1: Transfer WordPress Files to the live server Use any FTP client; go to the root folder of your WordPress installation on your local server. Connect to your live server and upload all the contained files to the public_html directory of your domain directory. Using cPanel to achieve the same is also perfectly fine. Step 2: Export the local database Using the phpMyAdmin on your local server, select your WordPress database on the left and use the top menu bar to navigate to Export. Quick Export Method, and click on ‘Go’. This will create a ‘.sql’ file in your download file, containing the commands for your exported database. You can also choose to export to an archive file instead of creating an SQL file. Step 3: Import the database on the live server You can either use the phpMyAdmin interface or Database Manager. Import the DB file you generated in the previous step to the live server database. Make sure the newly created database has the needed privileges for the DB user. https://www.wpblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/17.png Step 4: Update the values for siteurl, home and blog name options  Navigate to the wp_options table, and click on ‘Select Data’ You need to change the values of siteurl, home and blog name to your website’s URL. https://www.wpblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/22-1.png Step 5: Update your wp-config.php Once you are done setting up the DB and getting all your files to the live server, you may need to change some settings on the wp-config.php to match them with your database. Verify these settings: define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘database name’); define(‘DB_USER’, ‘database user’); define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘database_password’); define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘server name holding your database (usually localhost)’); Step 6: Activate your SSL certificate on the live server Finally, protect your live WordPress website with your SSL certificate. (assuming you have already installed it on the live server). ​Introduce these two lines in wp-config.php just above the line that​ reads ‘/* Tdefine(‘FORCE_SSL’, true); define(‘FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’,true); That’s it. You now know of two ways to migrate WordPress from localhost to server. Choose a plugin to make things easier. Or, use the manual method if you want more control over the steps. You are now ready to showcase your WordPress website to the world. To know more about WordPress CMS, hosting and features of WordPress, read more from our WordPress Blogs Category.   .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post How to Migrate WordPress From Localhost to Live Server appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Improving Conversion Rates Starts With a Great Call To Action

InMotion Hosting Blog -

It’s pointless to have a website where you sell products or services, but don’t have a call to action (CTA).  In many ways, the success of any marketing campaign you put together depends on the quality of the CTA and how easy it is for customers to make a transaction.  A call to action is defined as a prompt located on a website urging visitors to take a certain action.  This could be anything like “Buy Now,” “Sign Up Today” or “Contact Us” and could be in the form of a simple hyperlink, an icon, button or many more options.  The best call to actions entice and compel the visitor to take immediate action, whether it’s purchasing something, reading more, signing up or anything else your marketing campaign is promoting.  Without a clear call to action in multiple places on your website, your visitors may move on to other websites after looking for a couple of seconds.  In other words, customers need guidance when they visit your website and a call to action is the way to give it to them. Continue reading Improving Conversion Rates Starts With a Great Call To Action at InMotion Hosting Blog.

Boost Your Domain Authority Score For Higher Website Visibility

InMotion Hosting Blog -

It doesn’t do any good to build a website if no one comes to see it.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for ensuring your website shows up high in search engine rankings.  The better the SEO of your website is, the higher up it will appear in the listing when people do a search relevant to your industry. But how do you know if your SEO is up to par to have a high ranking? Continue reading Boost Your Domain Authority Score For Higher Website Visibility at InMotion Hosting Blog.

WP Engine Releases make|SHIFT, Groundbreaking Documentary Highlighting How Creative Technology Has and Will Continue to Transform Advertising

WP Engine -

AUSTIN, Texas — May 22, 2020 — WP Engine, the WordPress Digital Experience Platform (DXP), today announced the public release of the full-length documentary make|SHIFT, which explores the history of modern advertising and the role that creative technology played in its evolution. The film highlights the makers, agencies, and brands who had the courage to… The post WP Engine Releases make|SHIFT, Groundbreaking Documentary Highlighting How Creative Technology Has and Will Continue to Transform Advertising appeared first on WP Engine.

How to Migrate WordPress From Localhost to Live Server

Reseller Club Blog -

Great, you are done developing and testing your WordPress website on your local setup. You have ironed out all the problems and are happy with the results.  What next? The next step is to make it live, so your users can get to it.  The big question is, ‘How do you go about migrating your WordPress site from your localhost to the live server?’ Well, that is what this article is all about. We will cover two ways to help you publish your WordPress website: Using a plugin  Manually We recommend the first method as it is easy for both techies and the not-so-tech-savvy. Also, this method works seamlessly for all hosting providers. However, do go through the manual method as well, in case the plugin fails (for whatever reason) or you want tighter control of all the aspects of  migration. Let us jump right in. Migrating WordPress site to live server from a localhost While we are going to use the Duplicator plugin for this article, you can  use any other suitable plugin. Here are a few that you could consider: All-in-One WP migration UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin Migrate Guru WP Migrate DB BackupBuddy VaultPress Step 1: Install and activate the Duplicator Plugin on the localhost Start by installing and activating the Duplicator plugin on the WordPress site hosted on the localhost.  Navigate to ‘Add Plugins’ and search for ‘Duplicator’. Once you find it, click on ‘Install Now’ Do not forget to activate the plugin after installation completes. Step 2: Create a package Package here refers to two files: a zipped archive of your website and an installer.php file to install the archive contents on the live server. To get these files generated, you first need to create a package.  On the left, navigate to the Duplicator menu on the menu bar,and click the Packages submenu. Next, click on the ‘Create New’ button that shows up on the right hand corner of the screen. Fill in the package name and press ‘Next’ on the next screen. Once the scanning is complete, you will see a screen with a ‘Build’ button at the bottom. Click it to start building the package. The building may take some time. Once completed, it will create a zipped archive that contains your website’s content, plugins, themes, database and all the WordPress files. Once the Duplicator plugin has built the package, you will be presented with a screen that allows you to download the generated files to your computer. You can choose to download the Archive and Installer separately, or together, by using the ‘One Click Download’ option. Step 3: Use an FTP client to transfer the Archive (ZIP) and installer.php to the live server Once you have the generated archive and installer.php, you need to transfer these files to the live server where they can be used to prepare a WordPress installation for your live website. You can use any FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client for this purpose – we prefer FileZilla as it is free and the most popular one out there. FileZilla also allows you the option to use SFTP (Secure FTP) to transfer your files over a secure connection.  Enter the hostname and FTP/SFTP credentials of your live server to make a live connection. Upload the Archive and installer.php to the root web folder (usually public_html) on your live server (you will find these files in the location you downloaded them to in the previous step) Step 4: Run installer.php on the Live Server Now that you have the required files on the live server, it is time to execute installer.php. Point your browser to http://<yourdomainname>/installer.php. This will launch the Duplicator installer. Simply click on ‘Next and keep moving. NOTE: Before moving to the next step, you may want to remove the previous data (if any) from the live server database. You can use the Database Manager to do this. This will reduce the chances of any leftover data causing any kind of issue later. The next step will ask for your database credentials. Fill in the required information and click on ‘Next’. Step 5: Update site data and test  live website Confirm the settings on the next screen and click on ‘Next’. Click the ‘Admin Login’  button on the ‘Test’ screen and your familiar wp-login will popup.  Login and navigate through the site and ensure everything is as you want. Note: To keep your website secure, deactivate the plugins you do not need (including the Duplicator plugin). Congratulations! You have successfully transferred WordPress site from localhost to server, with the plugin handling all  the complexities of the process.  Migrate WordPress site to the live server manually In Migration of WordPress manually, you can use different tools to export database files from local setup and import it to live server as well there are also FTP clients, cPanel to transfer WP files. Step 1: Transfer WordPress Files to the live server Use any FTP client; go to the root folder of your WordPress installation on your local server. Connect to your live server and upload all the contained files to the public_html directory of your domain directory. Using cPanel to achieve the same is also perfectly fine. Step 2: Export the local database Using the phpMyAdmin on your local server, select your WordPress database on the left and use the top menu bar to navigate to Export.Quick Export Method, and click on ‘Go’. This will create a ‘.sql’ file in your download file, containing the commands for your exported database. You can also choose to export to an archive file instead of creating an SQL file. Step 3: Import the database on the live server You can either use the phpMyAdmin interface or Database Manager. Import the DB file you generated in the previous step to the live server database. Make sure the newly created database has the needed privileges for the DB user. https://www.wpblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/17.png Step 4: Update the values for siteurl, home and blog name options  Navigate to the wp_options table, and click on ‘Select Data’ You need to change the values of siteurl, home and blog name to your website’s URL. https://www.wpblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/22-1.png Step 5: Update your wp-config.php Once you are done setting up the DB and getting all your files to the live server, you may need to change some settings on the wp-config.php to match them with your database. Verify these settings: define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘database name’); define(‘DB_USER’, ‘database user’); define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘database_password’); define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘server name holding your database (usually localhost)’); Step 6: Activate your SSL certificate on the live server Finally, protect your live WordPress website with your SSL certificate. (assuming you have already installed it on the live server). ​Introduce these two lines in wp-config.php just above the line that​ reads ‘/* Tdefine(‘FORCE_SSL’, true); define(‘FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’,true); That’s it. You now know of two ways to migrate WordPress from localhost to server. Choose a plugin to make things easier. Or, use the manual method if you want more control over the steps. You are now ready to showcase your WordPress website to the world. To know more about WordPress CMS, hosting and features of WordPress, read more from our WordPress Blogs Category.   .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post How to Migrate WordPress From Localhost to Live Server appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

DreamHost Continues to be COVID-19 Ready

DreamHost Blog -

As much of the world continues to live under orders to minimize physical interaction, we’ve all gotten a feel for what life looks like in a world where COVID-19 is ever-present. Some have lost jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. Some are wrestling with the anxiety and uncertainty caused by this global crisis. Most horribly, some of us have lost friends and family as this coronavirus has worked its way through our communities. Our hearts go out to all of you. I want to take a minute to update you on the state of DreamHost and reassure you that, in a world where each day brings new concerns and unknowns, we will continue to be there for you as a partner to keep your businesses and websites online and performing. You may recall that the majority of the DreamHost team has been working on a fully-remote basis since mid-March. Our team members will be able to work remotely throughout the remainder of 2020, allowing them the flexibility needed to stay safe at home with their families. We have expanded our employee assistance programs to help support our team during this time, making additional financial and mental health resources available to them. You’ve Been Busy Over the past three months, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of DreamHost customers logging into their accounts and building wonderful things. For many of you, being #SaferAtHome means having more time to focus on your online businesses and projects with DreamHost. This has been an inspiration for all of us at DreamHost to watch and drives home the deep responsibility we’ve always felt to keep you and your data secure and available. We won’t let you down. We have always prided ourselves on delivering extraordinary customer service, and during this time you are turning to us for assistance in volumes we haven’t previously experienced. To provide this additional help with the same quality and speed that you’ve come to expect, we have had multiple “Support Only” days where everyone in the company drops all other projects to focus on our top priority: individualized customer service. Rest assured that truly expert advice is available from anyone on our team, anytime you need it. All Systems Go We know how much you rely on us to keep your projects running. Many of you are using your websites to host online portfolios and resumes while you embark on job searches. Quite a few of you have shared stories of using this time to build new online businesses. Now, more than ever, you’ve got to have a reliable way to share your content with the world. We’re committed to maintaining the integrity of your hosting, the very foundation of your online businesses, blogs, and web apps. Our systems remain online and operational with enough capacity to meet your needs now and into the future. Payment Assistance We understand that everyone’s financial situation is unique, and some of us may be having a difficult time making ends meet. If your DreamHost bill presents a hardship, please reach out to our customer support team to explore your options. We can work with you to find ways to reduce your bill or even work out a deferred payment plan. Helpful Resources You’re not in this alone. We’ve put together a collection of tools and articles to help your business stay open and thrive for as long as we’re all asked to stay home. You’ll find guides on everything from growing your online business to starting a side hustle. We hope you find these resources helpful! We’re Stronger Together After listening to many of your stories over the past few months, one thing has become very clear. We’re all experiencing this crisis very differently. For some, this has provided a much-needed time to regroup and find focus. For others, entire lives have been upended. One thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to you and your websites. We’re here to support you and your businesses, and we’ll be there to help you build new ones too. This Sounds Familiar… If any of this sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard it hundreds of times by now! Platitudes aside, we are here for you during this difficult time and look forward to a safe recovery. Thank you for choosing DreamHost. We are proud to be your online partner. Be excellent, Michael CEO, DreamHost The post DreamHost Continues to be COVID-19 Ready appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

What Is a Domain Name?

HostGator Blog -

The post What Is a Domain Name? appeared first on HostGator Blog. You’re here because you want to know what a domain name is, and how domains work? It seems like an easy enough question to answer, but it can still trip up a lot of beginners. When you’re building your first website there are a lot of technical terms you’ll come across. And there are a handful of things you’ll need to get right if you want your website to not only work properly but thrive and grow. It’s easy to confuse a website with a domain name, your hosting provider, or even understand what does domain mean? Below you’ll learn everything you need to know about a domain name, how they function, and why they’re necessary. What Is a Domain Name? A domain name is what you type into a web browser to access a website. The domain definition is a unique name that identifies a website. Chances are you’ve already typed in a few domain names today. For example, the domain name of Twitter is https://www.twitter.com. While the domain name for this website is https://www.hostgator.com. Domain names are completely unique to a website, which is why they are so valuable. Domain Names and IP Addresses When we look at the internet as a whole it’s essentially a network of computers connected to each other. Each of these computers is assigned a unique IP address that identifies that computer alone. IP addresses resemble a random string of numbers, which look like 67.454.66.3. But, could you imagine having to remember that unique string whenever you wanted to visit a website? It would be a pretty frustrating experience. So, instead, we have domain names that stand in place of these unique IP addresses. For example, we can look at an IP address as the GPS coordinates of your home, while your domain name could be your street address, or even the more informal name, “Jim’s House”. They all reference the same thing, but some methods are easier to remember. How Do Domain Names Work? Now that you’re equipped with the basics of domain names and IP addresses, let’s dive a little deeper into how they actually work. This will give you a deeper background on what happens behind the scenes when you type a domain into your browser. Once a domain name gets typed into a browser that request gets sent out to a network of servers known as the Domain Names System (DNS). This network then looks up the nameservers of that domain and forwards the request to the appropriate server. The nameservers are managed by your hosting company, which will then forward the request to the specific server where your website is stored. The server then locates the website, or web page, that was requested and sends the data back to the user’s browser. That’s a lot! Right? All of this happens in under a second. This request occurs so quickly, you don’t even notice it’s happening. Different Types of Domain Names When you’re trying to find the perfect domain name you’ll be able to choose between dozens of different domain name extensions. These are the final part of the domain name, for example, .com, .net, and .org. Here are the most common types of domain names you’ll come across:  1. Generic Top-level Domains Top-level domains are the most popular types of domain names. There are hundreds of these available and will generally be the best type of extension for your domain. Here are some of the most common: .com (commercial).net (network).org (organization) Ideally, you’ll choose a domain that uses one of the above extensions. However, there are hundreds of these available. The entire list of available TLDs can be found on the IANA website. Keep in mind that not every TLD on the list will be available for you to register. 2. Country Code Top-Level Domains Country code TLDs are assigned to specific countries and generally used for websites that are based (or serving an audience) in those countries. However, some ccTLDs are used in other circumstances as well. For example, the ccTLD .co is for the country Colombia. But, you’ll find a ton of new websites and startups use that domain as well. Here are some common ccTLDs: .us (United States).co.uk (United Kingdom).ca (Canada).de (Germany).fr (France) 3. Sponsored Top-Level Domains rTLDs are a group of top-level domains that are reserved for specific organizations and agencies. To register one of these you’ll need to meet the specific requirements. If you operate under the category that each domain is reserved for, then you can use that TLD. Otherwise, pick one from one of the other categories.  Here are a few examples: .gov (these are reserved for government organizations).mil (these are reserved for military operations).edu (these are reserved for educational institutions).int (these are reserved for international organizations) Domain Names vs Websites Domain names and websites are related, however, they aren’t the same thing. For example, let’s look at your phone number and existing phone. Although you need both working together, they aren’t the same. Your phone number is like your domain name, while your website will be whatever phone you’re currently using. You can get a new phone (website), but you’ll keep your existing number (domain name) no matter if you upgrade your phone, or even move to a new provider. Let’s look at another example: Say you’re running a website that offers running tips and your current domain name is “letsrun.com”. However, you found a new domain that’s even a better fit, so you buy it. All you have to do is connect your new domain to your existing website and everything will be the same, except your domain. Your domain name is never stuck with any website. You can disconnect it and use it for another website, or purchase a new domain and connect it to your current site. Understanding the DNS System The Domain Name System (DNS) is managed by an organization named Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). They’re a non-profit that creates policies and manages the existing domain name system. Any registrar that sells domains must get permission from ICANN to conduct business. Domain name registrars (like the one here at HostGator) can sell domains, and help you manage your records, renew your domains, conduct domain transfers and more. Choosing the Right Domain Name for Your Website There’s a lot that goes into finding the perfect domain name for your new website. It needs to convey what your website is about in a few characters, it needs to be brandable, memorable, and a lot more. Your domain is responsible for creating a first impression, it can impact your SEO, and needs to be in alignment with your brand. It’s also important to consider the domain meaning, you’ll want to ensure the meaning of the words is in alignment with your brand, and doesn’t have an alternative meaning in other languages. That’s a lot for a few simple words! Luckily, we’ve written an entire article on finding the right domain for your needs.  How to Purchase a Domain Name Now for the fun part. It’s time to purchase your first domain name. If all the information above seemed like a lot, don’t worry. The domain registration process only takes a few simple steps. 1. Choose Your Registrar The first step in buying a domain name is deciding where you’re going to register it. There are dozens of different domain name registrars to choose from. Some only register domains, while others are a service offered by hosting companies, like the domain registrar here at HostGator. You can purchase hosting via the same company you use to register a domain, or you can do the two separately. If this is your first time building a website, then it can be helpful to take care of both from the same company, so you cut out a few technical steps. To do this, head over to HostGator Domains. Here you’ll be able to search for domains, choose your extension, and add hosting to your plan. 2. See if Your Domain Is Available It’s time to see if your chosen domain is available. All you have to do is type your domain name into the search box and click ‘Search’. On the next screen, you’ll be able to see if your domain is available. As you can see from the image below, this domain is already taken. So, we can start a new search. Or, choose one of the other domain name extensions, or even an alternative domain that’s recommended by the tool. 3. Purchase the Domain Once you’ve found a domain that’s perfect and available all you have to do is click ‘Continue to Checkout’ and complete your order. Once you complete your order you’ll have your very own domain name, and it’s time to start building your website! Domain Name FAQ Even with all the information above, you probably still have a few questions related to domain names. Here are some domain name frequently asked questions that should clear up any confusion that’s still lingering: Free vs Paid Domain Names: What’s Best? Maybe you’re trying to save money, so you’ve been looking at free domain names. These are domains that typically come with website builders and will look something like yoursite.wordpress.com. Your site will be a subdomain of the primary domain. Usually, you’ll want to avoid using free domains as they don’t look professional. Plus, you don’t own the domain, so you can’t bring it with you. Also, your domain will always have the domain of the service provider, so it’s very difficult to build a brand and it’s never truly yours. How Much Do Domain Names Cost? In general, a domain name will cost around $10 to $15 per year. However, if you’re purchasing a domain that has a lot of value and is already owned by someone this number can shoot up to the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Think of domains like cars.com or credit.com. However, most people will be registering a domain for the first time, so it’ll fall within the $10 to $15 range. Also, a lot of hosting companies will include a free domain name when you sign up for hosting. What About Transferring Domain Names? Yes, you’re never locked into a single provider when it comes to your domain name. As long as you keep paying the annual fee, you own the domain name. You can transfer it to another registrar or hosting company, you’re never locked in. However, if you do transfer your domain to another provider make sure it’s pointed towards the location of your host. What’s the Best Domain Name Extension? Ultimately, this will come down to your business, but there are some general rules you can follow. Most people tend to prefer TLDs like .com, .org, and .net, along with ccTLDs for businesses targeting a local market. You can get more creative with your domain name, for example, “mysite.coffee” or “mysite.ventures”. But, it’s recommended you stick with the domain name extension that’s the easiest to remember. What’s a Subdomain? Subdomains are a domain that’s nested under the primary domain. For example, here at HostGator, you’ll find the support resources using the subdomain “support.hostgator.com”. Once you register a domain you can create as many subdomains as you’d like. Some common uses for subdomains include hosting an online store at “shop.mydomain.com” or even a blog at “blog.mydomain.com”. Can I Cancel a Domain Name Registration? Yes, but it depends on the length of time of your initial domain contract. For example, if you registered your domain for three years, then you might have to wait for it to expire. It depends on the registrar you used to register your domain, some allow you to cancel whenever, while with others you’ll have to wait for your domain name to expire. However, if you haven’t enabled auto-renew, then your domain name will expire on its own and become available to the general public. Can I Sell a Domain Name? Yes, once you purchase a domain name you can sell your domain whenever you’d like. There’s actually a huge market for domains that are brandable and unique. Some people even build entire businesses around domain flipping, which is the process of buying, holding, and selling domain names. There are all kinds of domain marketplaces where you can sell your domain like Sedo and Flippa. Does Domain Privacy Matter? When you’re going through the domain registration process you’ll have the opportunity to hide your domain registration information. Normally, this information can be looked up via a tool called ICANN. If you don’t want these details exposed to the public you can register your domain privately, but keep in mind that these registration services come with an added fee.  In Closing Hopefully, by now you can answer the question: what’s a domain name? As you can see, there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes the moment a domain is typed into a browser.  Choosing a domain name is an important decision for your website and one worth investing time and energy into.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How Email Hosting Works and Why You Need It

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Imagine this — You open your email inbox and are (un)welcomed by numerous emails. You recognize some, but some seem unknown, vague, and even malicious. There’s an email from sam1223@gmail.com  that is confirming an order you may have placed and there’s another email from abc@furniturecentral.com that too claims to be about an order you placed.  Without even opening the email you know whether or not you placed an order from ‘Furniture Central’, but can you be so sure about a random email from a Gmail account — you’re most likely to delete or ignore that without even opening it.  If you’re wondering how does email hosting work, that’s just one of the many benefits — it raises brand recall.  So, what is email hosting?  Simply put, it is a service that allows you to send, store, and receive emails on the server, provided by a professional hosting provider. Unlike free email service providers, such as Gmail, Yahoo and more, with an email hosting service you can set up a professional email address that incorporates your domain name. For example, if you run an e-commerce store, www.furniturecentral.com, your email address can be customerservice@furniturecentral.com.  That said, apart from creating a strong brand recall, email hosting allows you to create a stronger brand identity, improves business scalability, boosts email security, allows better integration with other necessary tools, and many more benefits come in with professional email hosting.  How does email hosting work With email hosting, you don’t just get a server to host your emails but also bring in additional solutions to better scale your business. These solutions include features that enable secure authentication, re-routing and replication of your emails, management of user domain names, and more.   An email service provider provides you with a server that acts as a trusted link between your email server and the receiver’s email server. When you send an email, it gets routed between the two servers, to ensure smooth delivery and transportation of your email. This adds greater security to your emails, thus eliminating the risks of spam and viruses. With email hosting, you have an added layer of security when sending sensitive information over emails, minimizing the risk of data breaches, or theft. Professional email servers are equipped with industry encryption, ensuring the transfer of data is completely encrypted and an unauthorized party cannot access it. Additionally, with professional email hosting, you can always rely on better uptime. You can avoid critical communication errors, and communicate in a quick and timely manner. This is increasingly important for businesses who may regularly send and receive communication from customers that require immediate attention.  Why Does Your Business Need Email Hosting? When you think about email hosting there are two critical factors to consider: Brand Identity and Security.  Building a strong brand identity is critical to making an impact in this fast-growing digital world. With almost all industries and businesses going digital, it takes more than just great products and services to get noticed. Customers trust brands they recognize and resonate with. With email hosting, you can create a professional and recognizable impact, from the word go!  More importantly, customers value security and more importantly value brands that offer complete security. Email communication has taken over many traditional forms of communication, and as a business, you want to ensure it remains safe and secure, no matter how sensitive the information being communicated may be. This helps you build credibility and reliability for your business. Email encryption, offered by professional email service providers, ensures that all data communicated through emails stay secure and cannot be accessed by unauthorised parties.  Ready to get enterprise email hosting for your business? ResellerClub offers different email hosting plans, to match individual needs. Get great storage, security, mobile-friendly solutions, and much more.  Make an Impact With Professional Email Hosting With email hosting you can stay connected with your customers, clients, employees and any professional network — no matter where you are. You can be sure of safe and secure communication.  It will make it easy for your email receivers to recognize you in their inbox, and build a brand recall that builds credibility.  With email hosting, you make that perfect ‘first impression’ that lasts. Choose an email service provider that understands your needs, and provides you with a solution that allows you to communicate, grow and succeed.  To know more about the latest updates, and learn about all things Hosting, read more from our Hosting Blogs Category.   .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post How Email Hosting Works and Why You Need It appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Here’s How To Step Up Your Product Videos Game, Step by Step

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If content is king, then there is a new heir to the throne – Video. Video has outperformed other forms of content in capturing people’s attention and gaining their trust. Its reign might have just begun, but its achievement is already phenomenal. Consumers have made their choice —  72% of them prefer videos to text while searching for a product and 84% of them buy only after watching a product video.  In e-commerce, videos help products gain exposure. Videos also help consumers experience the product before buying. Simply put, today, you can’t ignore this marketing behemoth.  That said; let’s find out how to increase eCommerce conversions using product videos.  Product Unboxing Videos Making unboxing videos is such a simple (and obvious) idea, but most brands overlook its potential. For a second, go back in time and think of the bubbling excitement and anticipation you felt when opening a gift. Product unboxing videos work because they recreate this childhood emotion in the consumers.  Brands can improve the effectiveness of unboxing videos by sharing videos of real customers. The concept behind an unboxing video is straightforward. Users open the product package, describe each item in the box, and give a brief explanation of the item’s purpose and function.  Unboxing videos have been around since the launch of YouTube. They have gained prominence, so much so, YouTube witnesses posting of more than 90,000 unboxing videos every month. According to the ThinkWithGoogle website, 62% of consumers view unboxing videos to research a product.  How Do Unboxing Videos Increase eCommerce Conversions? Emotions are contagious. Seeing a customer unbox a product with excitement and anticipation invokes similar emotions in the viewers. This subconscious mirroring of emotions makes the viewers feel they are close to the product and using it themselves. For digital products or services, these can be replaced by videos which show the customer using the service, with a focus on the emotions of the user and the benefits offered by the service. An unboxing video is the next best thing to visiting a brick-and-mortar store to see the actual contents of a  boxed product. Unboxing videos reassure the prospective customer that he or she is making the right choice. These videos also speed up the buying decision by removing most of the doubts in a customer’s mind.  Product Explainer Videos While product unboxing videos touch the surface and describe the items in a package, explainer videos go a step further. These videos are in-depth guides to the features and benefits of a product or service. Consumers prefer videos, and a short and slick video is more engaging and effective. Users who have a fair bit of explaining to do about a complex product can split the content into two or more short videos. Editing a video to give it a professional look won’t cost much. Nowadays, no one reads lengthy product descriptions or user manuals. People prefer explainer videos that show the product in a close-up view and from different angles. E-commerce brands must use these videos because 96% of people watch explainer videos to understand products. Dropbox is a pioneer in using explainer videos to expand its customer base. In 2009, the company introduced explainer videos of their service that increased their conversion by 10%. The explainer videos campaign added 10 million customers and earned Dropbox an extra $48,000,000 in revenues.  How Do Explainer Videos Increase eCommerce Conversions? Explainer videos do what videos do best – grab the viewer’s attention and make them listen. Consumers researching many brands hate reading similar descriptions and features again and again. A creative explainer video will engage and convert viewers into buyers.  Many of us have the innate need to try on the clothes or take a new car for a test drive before buying. Testing assures us that the product works. In e-commerce, we see others explain, show and test the product. Explainer videos increase trust and reduce doubts in the minds of the buyers.  Some customers put off the buying decision because they are unsure how a product solves the problem(s) they are facing. Explainer videos that use a problem-solution approach remove this impediment to increasing sales. Explainer videos are better than buyer’s guides in removing doubts in customer’s minds. Product ‘How-To’ Videos As opposed to explainer videos which are 100% created using computer generated and animated graphics, product ‘how-to’ videos will feature real actors that your clients can relate to better, How-To videos are a powerful tool to motivate prospective customers to make the buying decision. Research data shows that around 97% of video marketers believe that product videos help consumers understand a product or service.  How-to videos are effective because they show consumers how the product works and how to use it. Furthermore, if the consumer has decided to buy, checking the how-to videos will give the satisfaction of making the right call. For the web hosting and domain industry screen recording based ‘How To’ videos work great, as they walk the customer through the process, step by step. With these types of services being highly technical most of the time, an in-depth walkthrough tutorial works great. The product demo or how-to videos use the old ‘show, don’t tell’ approach. These videos don’t stop at talking about the product and explaining the features; they go a step further and show the product in action — speeding up their buying decision.  How Do How-To Videos Increase eCommerce Conversions? Product ‘how-to’ videos hosted by a person with the same personality as that of the target audience generates a feeling of empathy and reliability in the viewers. Such videos connect with the audience and make the experience impactful and memorable.  A video on ‘how the email forwarders work’ would be more believable and effective if it’s filmed over the shoulder of a user actually doing the email forwarding and then testing it live to demonstrate it works. So, showcasing a product in real situations will not only help better understand a product but also build trust. Product Review and Testimonial Videos Displaying user-generated product videos on the landing page is a great way to earn the trust of prospective customers. Plus, according to Bazaarvoice, these videos can increase conversions. According to a study, e-commerce stores can expect a 10% increase in sales by including one user-generated product video. The percentage of sales shoots up to 44% if the website contains 200 or more review videos.  Source: Bazaarvoice Bazaarvoice analyzed 35 billion product pages and 57 million reviews. The outcome of their study showed that reviews set off a chain reaction among review video creators. The use of product reviews, apart from increased traffic and conversions, also encouraged the creation of more product reviews.  Bear in mind that the reviews must be user-generated and genuine. Customers can spot a fake review a mile away.  How Do Review and Testimonial Videos Increase eCommerce Conversions? Review videos give the viewers the much needed human connection to the product. For prospective customers, it becomes easier to decide when they see others using, explaining, and enjoying the product.  Every customer has his or her own opinion about a product. Prospective customers can gain new insight into the usefulness of a product or service by watching testimonial videos.  Video testimonials are far more engaging than text reviews. Seeing the reviewer smile or exhibit other positive emotions encourages prospective customers to buy the product. Product ‘Lifehack’ Videos Product tips or lifehack videos are becoming extensively popular among the masses. They are different, useful, and entertaining. Lifehack videos teach viewers many methods of using a product that customers were unaware of before.  Lifehack videos also aid other marketing efforts such as increasing social media shares and organically growing an email list. The videos are usually short and simple; hence, generate plenty of links, shares, and comments on social media. They are more likely to go viral on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media networks.  How Do Lifehack Videos Increase eCommerce Conversions? When customers see more uses for a product; uses they were unaware of, then chances of a sale increase.  In lifehack videos, the prospective customers are watching the product in action. This increases the trust and credibility factor, thereby speeding up the decision making process. Other Innovative Ways of Using Product Videos to Increase eCommerce Conversions Live Link Videos, a new technology created by FlipSeek, allows brands to add hotspots into their product videos. Clicking a hotspot will add the product or accessory to the customer’s shopping cart. Some user-generated videos contain small thumbnails of the product on the left or right side of the video screen. Viewers can click on the thumbnail to buy the product.   Making the video interactive will get the customer involved and increase the chances of the video going viral. The ‘I Surf Because’ campaign by Billabong allows viewers to add a short statement into a video and share it with their friends.  More than half of the video marketers believe personalized content will generate more leads and 72% of consumers prefer only personalized content. E-commerce brands can create personalized videos for their target audience in different localities. To personalize the videos, the brands can focus on locations, languages, age, weather, etc.  Final Thoughts Videos are already popular. But, they are still under-utilized and no way employed to their full potential. In e-commerce, product videos have already proved their mettle. Product videos have overshadowed images and text content. Videos are better at engaging and entertaining the viewers, and in educating and converting viewers into buyers. So, if you want to increase sales, regardless of the size of the e-commerce business, make product videos an essential part of your marketing strategy. Use these product video tips to give prospective customers a deeper understanding of the product. To know more about the latest tips and trends in marketing to up your business game, read more from our Marketing Blogs Category.      .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post Here’s How To Step Up Your Product Videos Game, Step by Step appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

The 11 Most Important SEO Metrics to Track

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a collection of techniques used in web design and content creation to increase your website’s reach. When done right, your search engine rankings should improve and your website’s traffic can increase. That’s why knowing to what extent your SEO strategy is making a difference is essential. Fortunately, tracking your website’s metrics and analyzing the trends you find helps you understand how users are interacting with your content. Knowing the most crucial SEO metrics to track — such as page views, bounce rates, and conversions — helps you evaluate which strategies might need to be tweaked and which ones are hitting a home run. In this article, we’ll share the 11 most important SEO metrics to track. You’ll learn what they mean and how to apply them to your business. We’ll also offer some helpful tips and tools for making sense of the data you collect. Let’s get started! Looking for a Shortcut to SEO Success?Partner with DreamHost! Our automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on SEO results.Check Out Plans Why You Need to Track the Right SEO KPIs Tracking your SEO data and crunching the numbers so they provide you with insightful information definitely requires an investment of time and often money. However, 63% of marketers actively invest in SEO, as well as tracking the data that results. Without identifying the right key performance indicator (KPI) for your website, your SEO strategy is “flying blind.” This is because SEO metrics tell you exactly how your campaigns are performing, what keywords are getting a response, and which tactics you can stop wasting time on. When you track and analyze your SEO metrics appropriately, you’ll have access to specific data points that can inform your decisions and increase your leads, conversions, and more. All you need to get started is to know which numbers matter most. The 11 Most Important SEO Metrics to Track Websites and their users create a lot of data. To help you sort through the chaos, we’ll take a look at 11 of the most important metrics to track when evaluating your SEO effort. 1. Keyword Ranking Keyword rankings indicate where your website appears in search engine results for specific words and phrases. For example, if you have a construction company, a search including the word building may result in your site only appearing on page three of the results. However, if you’ve used more SEO strategies that focus on the keyword contractor, your site should appear in a better position for searches including that term. The higher your site is ranked for relevant keywords, the more visibility it will have to your audience. This means that in order to improve this metric, you’ll want to do some research to determine which terms and phrases your target audience is searching for. To start tracking keyword rankings and other related data, there are several SEO tools you can use (check out these 15 awesome options). Google Search Console is the best place to start if you have a small (or nonexistent) budget, while the other products offer scalable pricing depending on your needs. If you’re looking for a more robust tool, we recommend SEMrush, an SEO suite that’s trusted by 5 million marketers around the world. Its Position Tracking tool makes it easy to see how your site is ranking for target keywords and paid results each day. Plus, you get in-depth insights into your competitors’ top terms. The good news? We’ve worked out a special two-week trial with SEMrush so you can see if this tool is a good fit for your site! 2. Backlinks Backlinks are links to your website from another site. Many backlinks operate like citations, noting where the information came from and referring readers to the original source. Search engines tend to give preference to sites with lots of backlinks, especially if they’re coming from high-quality sources. Building backlinks can be tricky since you don’t have direct control over who links to your site. Most of the tools out there related to backlinks are focused on tracking existing backlinks and using that information to help you build better content strategies. For example, Linkody is a backlink-specific tool that delivers a lot of useful features. This backlink tool enables you to not just track who is linking to you, but also identify and correct any link errors. It can also be connected to Google Analytics. Just remember that when it comes to getting a backlink, quality matters just as much as quantity. So while it’s good to see the overall number of backlinks going up, you’ll want to make sure that as many of them as possible are coming from relevant and highly-ranked websites. Related: 13 Simple Ways to Boost Your SEO Performance 3. Organic Search Traffic Organic search traffic includes visitors who arrive at your website from search engine results rather than through other channels such as social media, paid advertising, or backlinks. One of the easiest ways to track this type of traffic is with Google Analytics. Organic search is significant because users who find your site this way are typically searching with a specific goal in mind. In fact, 51% of all web traffic comes from organic search, and over 40% of revenue is generated from it. In other words, growing this metric is one of your best options for improving conversions. Generating organic traffic requires sharp SEO tactics and effective audience targeting.  This means that tracking this metric over time is vital, so you can see immediately what strategies are working and which need to be amended. 4. Top Exit Pages for Organic Traffic Another common analytic you can track is the last page each user was on right before leaving your website. This is called the “exit page.” Having this information at hand can be just as important as monitoring your overall organic traffic. This is because the more you understand why users choose to leave your website, the easier it is to convince them to stick around longer. If the top exit pages share certain elements in common, such as a particular type or style of content, this can be a clue that your target audience is looking for something different. Google Analytics is one of the best tools for tracking your site’s top exit pages. You can easily access an Exit Page report and see a breakdown of all the related data. Related: The Top 11 Domain Best Practices to Improve Your Search Traffic 5. Breakdown of Organic Traffic from Search Engines There’s a lot more to discover about your organic traffic data than simply how many users found you through keyword searches. In fact, Google Analytics offers a detailed breakdown of this traffic. Under the Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels menu, you’ll find keywords displayed in context with a number of other key data points. This includes how many new users used certain keywords, how long they viewed pages, and whether they generated revenue for your site. Learning about where your organic traffic is coming from and what they’re doing enables you to pinpoint problems to be fixed (such as a high organic traffic rate with few resulting conversions). 6. Page Views Per User Next up: page views. Page views measure how many times the pages on your site have been viewed in a given period of time. This isn’t the same as your traffic number, since many users may visit more than one page. This means that page views is a metric best considered in context with other numbers. For example, average page views per session or user can tell you how engaged most visitors are with your site. You can also look at this metric in combination with the length of time users spend on your pages. This provides valuable insight into how your content is performing. Are people moving from page to page too quickly, or spending time with each new piece of content? If any of these numbers appear troubling, reviewing your content and revisiting your market research are two steps you can take to create a more engaging experience for your users. 7. Average Time on Page Tracking your website users’ average time on page can be tricky. This is because there are many factors that influence user behavior. For example, a tab left open but idle in a browser for hours shouldn’t really be counted as part of the user’s “time on page.” According to CrazyEgg, 15 seconds is the average time users spend on a web page. If you find that your numbers are below this benchmark, it might be worth doing some market research to make sure you’re targeting the right audiences. Technical issues can also lead to difficulty keeping users on your site. If you suspect this is a problem, you can try checking your page loading speed with a tool like Pingdom. You can also use one of several optimization tactics for boosting the performance of your website. 8. New vs. Returning Users Keeping an eye on your number of new and returning users can be a good indicator of how your audience is responding to your marketing and SEO efforts. For example, if you have more returning customers than new users, that likely means you’ve successfully built some trust and loyalty among your visitors. However, this might also mean that while your existing customer base is steady and reliable, you may need to spend more time and resources on attracting new customers. One way to do this is to revisit your target market research and see if anything has changed, or if new markets have emerged where you can focus your SEO effort. Alternatively, high numbers of new users are a great sign that your promotional strategies are working. However, if the number of returning visitors is low, you may need to do some work on your site to better capture the attention of those new users. 9. Bounce Rate Your bounce rate is a metric that represents how many visitors leave your website without engaging in any content at all. A user might land on your home page, look around but not click on anything, and leave. If no other actions are taken or pages visited, that’s considered a “bounce.” This rate is found by dividing the number of “no activity” users by the number of overall visitors to the website during the same time frame. Alternatively, you can use Google Analytics’ Behavior > Overview report to get a quick view of your site’s bounce rate. Normal bounce rates vary by industry and website type. As a general rule, however, a bounce rate higher than 50 to 60% may indicate a problem with your site’s content. You can take a look at some of the other metrics we’ve discussed, such as the top exit pages and average time on page, to see what’s causing users to bounce away. Then you can make adjustments to your content and strategies in order to keep them around. Related: How to Build a Lead-Generating Landing Page with WordPress 10. Page Speed A slow page loading time can have negative consequences on your overall success online.  Whether you’re running a blog or an e-commerce page, no one wants to wait around for your content to fully load. In fact, one Google study found that a wait time of just one to three seconds increases the probability that users will bounce away from your website by 32%. The golden rule is to keep your page loading times under two seconds, but the lower they are the better. Fortunately, you can easily optimize your website for speed. A great place to start is by testing your site’s performance with a tool like Pingdom or GTmetrix. These solutions will also help you identify aspects of your site that may be hurting its performance. Related: 12 Reasons Why Your Website Is Slow and How to Fix Them 11. Conversion Rate In many cases, conversion rates are the most crucial SEO metric to track. A conversion happens when a visitor to your site completes an action you’ve prompted them to do. For example, if you have a blog, a conversion might happen when a follower signs up for your newsletter. For businesses, a conversion is often measured as a completed sale. Whatever your goal might be, conversions are a great way to directly investigate whether your SEO strategy is working. If you’re not happy with your rates, you can use your analytics tools to look closely at your conversion data and see where improvements might be necessary. In Google Analytics, for example, you can set up “goals” in your dashboard. These are the specific actions that will count as conversions and be tracked. This enables you to focus on your unique objectives and gather a robust and comprehensive set of conversion data. Related: The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) How to Keep Your SEO Momentum Going With Quality Control Checks It’s necessary to keep in mind that your metrics are a reflection of the work you put into improving your site and growing your audience. This means there are several other elements not directly related to SEO that you’ll still need to keep an eye on. Here are a few other elements that can have an impact on how well your website performs in search engines: Crawl errors can mean that your site’s data is not being indexed correctly by search engines. Pages crawled per day is information available in Google Search Console, and can be used to keep tabs on your site’s health in terms of SEO. Duplicate titles and descriptions can hurt your rankings in search results, but you can use a tool like Yoast SEO to clean them up. Local visibility means focusing your SEO strategy on your local area, such as by registering with Google My Business. Click-Through Rates (CTRs) typically pertain to advertisements or email marketing efforts and are an important measure of the effectiveness of your campaigns. All of these pieces are key parts of the SEO puzzle. Of course, the quality of your content also has a significant impact on how well your site performs in the rankings, so that’s a factor to keep in mind as well. SEO Expert in Your InboxWhether you need help picking the right engagement metric, understanding digital marketing, or creating an SEO campaign, we can help! Subscribe to our monthly digest so you never miss an article.Sign Me Up Improving SEO Performance Now that you have an idea of which metrics are most important for SEO, it should be easier to develop a solid web analytics plan. Your unique goals will also affect what numbers are most relevant to you and your site. Google Analytics is a great place to start when it comes to navigating key data such as conversions, page speed, user behavior, and more. If you’re using WordPress, it’s even easier to integrate analytics tools right into your admin dashboard, using plugins like Google Site Kit and MonsterInsights. Here at DreamHost, we offer many reliable WordPress hosting plans. Whether your site is big or small, we’ll handle the hosting so you can focus on your favorite SEO metric to track the data you need to succeed! The post The 11 Most Important SEO Metrics to Track appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

What Are Email Drip Campaigns (and How Can They Help Your Business)?

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The post What Are Email Drip Campaigns (and How Can They Help Your Business)? appeared first on HostGator Blog. How often does your small business run drip campaigns? If the answer is “never” or “what’s a drip campaign?” then this post is for you.  “Drip campaign” is an awkward term for one of the most effective email marketing tools you can use. In this post we’ll show why drip campaigns are worth using and how to get started. What Is a Drip Campaign? A drip campaign is an automated series of marketing messages that go out to your customers or prospects on a schedule that you set ahead of time.  For example, when a visitor to an online store signs up for email discount offers, that should kick off a drip campaign. The first message in a campaign like this is usually a thank-you/welcome email that includes a discount code. The next email a few days later might include some personalized product recommendations based on items the visitor has viewed on the store’s website. And so on. This kind of campaign is designed to nurture leads and grow customer relationships with frequent small interactions rather than one big pitch, the way nurseries water seedlings with a gentle mist and not a firehose. Why Do Businesses Use Drip Campaigns?  One simple reason that businesses use drip campaigns is because customers are more likely to read a series of brief messages than one long one. After all, if you’ve got five minutes to go through your inbox, are you more likely to read something short and snappy or a 500-word essay? There’s another reason that well-planned drip campaigns work, too. It’s because a good drip campaign increases the number and quality of touchpoints your brand has with prospects and customers.  Touchpoints are the interactions your brand has with your target audience. Customers often need to experience several touchpoints before they’re ready to buy from you. That’s because they’re getting to know and trust your brand a bit more with each touchpoint—in this case, with each message in your drip campaign. And let’s not forget the biggest reason businesses run drip campaigns: they’re effective. In Q2 of 2019, drip emails had an open rate 66% higher than other marketing emails. Drip emails also generated more than twice as many click-throughs as other marketing emails.  What Can You Do with an Email Drip Campaign? Our example about email offers isn’t the only way you can use drip campaigns to grow your business. You can also use drip campaigns to  Welcome new subscribers to your newsletter.Welcome new customers.Keep existing customers coming back with personalized recommendations.Promote upcoming seasonal sales and products.Educate customers about your products and services or how to solve a problem for their business. Many B2B businesses run this kind of drip campaign.Remind customers about items they’ve left in their shopping cart.Touch base with customers who haven’t visited your store in a while.  Marketers have come up with a lot of ways to run drip campaigns in different channels, including  Direct mail SMS messagingFacebook Messenger for Business and other chat toolsMobile and desktop push notificationsEmail We’re going to focus on email drip campaigns, because they’re the most common type of drip campaign and they’re relatively easy to set up.  If you’re not experienced enough with email marketing tools to feel comfortable setting up a drip campaign yet, no worries. Here’s how, step by step.  How Can You Set Up a Drip Campaign with Constant Contact? HostGator partner Constant Contact is an email marketing service that—among other tools—makes it easy for businesses to set up automated email series (aka drip campaigns). Here’s how the process works.  On the Campaigns section of your dashboard, click the Create Button.  A pop-up will ask you to select a campaign to get started. Click Email Automation. On the next pop-up that opens, click Create Email Series.  Next, you’ll give your drip campaign a name. This is a name only you will see.  Then, you’ll decide what will set your drip campaign in motion.  From Constant Contact’s Trigger Type menu, you can set your campaign to start when a user opens an email from your businessclicks any link in one of your emailsclicks a specific link in one of your emailsjoins one of your lists Depending on which trigger you choose, you’ll next decide whether to use a link in an existing email or in a new email.  Or you may need to decide which lists users will join to activate the campaign. Then save your choice. If you choose to use a specific link in an existing email as the trigger, you’ll need to choose the email from a dropdown menu that lists all your past campaigns.  Then, you’ll choose the exact link you want to be the campaign trigger.  Save your selection. To add more emails to your series, click the Add to Series button.  Just like for the first email in your series, you’ll choose between a new email that you’ll create later or an email from your existing campaigns.  After you save that choice, you’ll be able to see your drip campaign sequence so far. Note that you can edit the time between the trigger action and the first email, as well as the time between the other emails in your campaign.  You can add as many as 15 emails to a single drip campaign in Constant Contact. Most drip campaigns aimed at consumers include 12 or fewer messages. B2B drip campaigns are usually shorter than consumer-facing campaigns.  Once you’ve chosen your trigger, the emails you want to include in your series, and the time between your trigger and each email, you’re ready to click Activate. If your trigger is an email, you’ll be asked to choose the list you want to send it to and when you want to send it.  Constant Contact will then validate your series to make sure it’s error free. You’ll have a chance to fix any problems before the series begins.  Once your drip campaign is live, your work is mostly done. One thing you’ll want to do is keep tabs on your stats.  Over time, you’ll see which types of drip campaigns work best for your business. That information can help you get better at writing subject lines, choosing triggers and writing email copy that helps your customer relationships flourish.   Ready to master more email marketing skills? Check out these email marketing dos and don’ts. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Web Pro in Focus: Double Focus

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We, at ResellerClub, have always spoken gladly and wholeheartedly about our customers purely because of how proud their journeys make us feel. Having empowered over 200,000+ resellers and web pros across the globe, we only feel contentment when we look at our customers’ journeys in retrospect.  One such web pro that makes us extremely proud is Double Focus, who we’ve been working with them since last year. We spoke to the founder of Double Focus, Kannan, where he told us all about their experience of working with ResellerClub. Read on to know what Kannan has to say.   Company Name: DOUBLE FOCUS Company Logo: We spoke to:  Kannan Website Link: http://doublefocus.net/ Favourite Control Panel Feature: No particular favourite  I Choose Resellerclub Because: We believe that the relationship we have with ResellerClub is a two-way relationship. We have a lot of trust in ResellerClub and thus we can transfer this trust to the end customer. It is a service industry and so it is a chain-reaction. Q1. When did you enter the Web Services Industry and where do you see your business going? We started in 1999 and at that time we were with another brand. It’s been a good 20 years. Going forward our goal is to increase our client base. We are focussing on the hospitality industry – getting their payment gateways integrated and so on.  Q2. What do you think is your secret to success and why do Customers prefer DoubleFocus? Clients prefer DoubleFocus as it is a one-stop-shop for all their needs. It works as a hub for e-commerce, domains, hosting, website designing, payment gateway integrations, etc. all in one single place. Also, we provide quality support which helps the clients a lot in their time of need.  Q3. Tell us a little about doing business in India/UK. What are the most unique aspects of the market? We are based out of India and 90% of our clients too are based out of India. However, we do have a few clients in the UAE Q4. Is there any advice that you’d like to give others that are still learning the ropes in the Industry? When someone is starting their business, it can be quite confusing as there are a lot of companies and freelancers in the industry. One should properly analyse the companies offering these services, competitors and offer the right service at the right time. If this is provided, customers will come back. Customer Satisfaction should be the main focus. Starting off in this industry does not require a huge investment. You can start small and build gradually.  Q5.  You have been with ResellerClub since last year. What do you think has changed over the years? I joined ResellerClub over a year back, and since the time I have joined, I am very happy with the hosting and the services offered. There is constant support and good help from the Account Managers. Q6. Could you tell us some interesting stories or anecdotes about your company? How has having ResellerClub as a partner helped your business? I started back in 1999 with a single person and a rental computer. We slowly entered the web designing space working late at night due to slow network and connectivity issues. Gradually we moved to better technologies, creating a portfolio of clients between 1999-2005.  By 2008, we were a big team. Recently, we moved to the hospitality industry. Our role is to analyse the entire hotel’s marketing requirement, dive into its history and also offer virtual 360-degree photography and website development. Furthermore, we help them with a booking engine and setting up payment gateways. We have quite a few reputed hotels as our clients.  Q7.  Have you tried using the ResellerClub Mobile App? If yes, how has your experience been?  I have downloaded the app, however, owing to the nature of our business we prefer to use the desktop website instead. Q8.  The recent COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways businesses operate. Are you running your business remotely? If yes, how has your experience been thus far? My entire team is working from home currently, we coordinate through WhatsApp and Zoom calls. But it is quite hard to manage time schedules of individual employees. Businesses, in general, are also down, so it is affecting productivity. Q9.  Are there any challenges you are facing while serving your customers? If yes, how are you overcoming them?  Most of our customers are from the hospitality and tourism industry. So this has affected the business as payments are being deferred as this industry is affected. We are constantly speaking to the clients and trying to empathise with them while at the same time trying to find ways to assist them. Providing discounts and temporary credit so that their orders don’t expire. This requires a lot of convincing from our end. We need to present the clients with more offers and benefits to sustain them. Q10.  What are your learnings when it comes to your interaction with your customers while working remotely?  We need to be empathetic to the customers and ask them to renew their packages, send reminder emails etc. constantly. We hope things will be better as the economy opens and business gets back to normal slowly. That’s all from our chat with DoubleFocus. Thank you for reading through this post and also, a big shout out to Kannanfor patiently answering our questions. We also wish Team DoubleFocus all the best wishes and hope their business starts functioning smoothly soon!  Find Double Focus on Social Media here: .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post Web Pro in Focus: Double Focus appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Full Site Editing: The Future of Building with WordPress

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If you are tuned into WordPress news sources or online communities, you’ve probably heard chatter about how full site editing is coming to WordPress. What exactly does that mean and what do you need to know to be prepared for the changes ahead? Those questions (and many more) are what we’ll cover in this article… The post Full Site Editing: The Future of Building with WordPress appeared first on WP Engine.

7 Ways to Make Your Website More Interactive

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The post 7 Ways to Make Your Website More Interactive appeared first on HostGator Blog. How interactive is your website? If your website isn’t interactive, visitors are just passively skimming it and not sticking around for long. So, do you want to learn how to make it more interactive, so people stay on your site longer and engage with you and your content?  Your website is an important part of your marketing strategy, so it’s essential to make sure you’re encouraging people to interact with it as much as possible. Engaged visitors will come to your site often, subscribe to your email newsletter, buy your products, and share your message with their networks. Let’s explore the benefits that come with building more engaging experiences for your visitors through these seven ways you can make your website more interactive. 1. Encourage Social Sharing We all know the value of sharing your content through social sharing buttons on all of your blog content and product pages. This way, if someone comes to your site and loves your content, they can easily share it with their networks and thereby interact with your brand.  You can easily add social sharing buttons to your site with a WordPress plugin like Shared Counts. This plugin not only displays how many times your content has been shared, but also includes sharing buttons to encourage more engagement.  Remember, it’s also essential to engage with fans and followers on social media. Many brands sign up for accounts on all the platforms and then do nothing with them. People like it when brands interact with them online, as it shows you’re listening to them.  2. Add Quizzes, Surveys, and Polls Encourage people to interact with your website through online surveys and quizzes. People love quizzes and usually don’t mind taking a minute to fill one out. Plus, it will help decrease your website bounce rate since they’ll be on your site for longer, and if you ask for their email before revealing the results, you’ve got a bonus way of growing your email list.  You can use a form plugin like WPForms to create engaging quizzes, surveys, and polls. With it, you can create polls and display the results in real-time on your site or create surveys that dynamically change based on people’s responses. Surveys and polls not only make your site more interactive, but you can also use them to understand the needs of your potential customers and get feedback on how you’re doing.  3. Use Gamification Gamification is a psychological trick that website owners and marketers use to improve the interactiveness of their sites and increase conversions. Combining the fun of a game with the lead generating magic of an opt-in form or a coupon opt-in form makes your site more fun. People will want to see what happens when they spin the discount wheel, but they’ll only find out once they enter their email.  You can create a coupon wheel opt-in form easily with OptinMonster and customize it to your offer, your brand style, and more. Or, use one of their professionally-designed coupon wheel templates to get up and running more quickly.  4. Suggest Relevant Links Once a visitor is reading one of your blog posts, your goal is to keep them on your website. Do this by showing relevant content within each of your posts that let visitors navigate easily to other articles on your blog. Seeing a link to an article that promises further information about the same topic encourages readers to click on the second link even more.  The best place to do this is within the post itself and at the end of each one. HostGator recommends content in two ways at the end of their blog posts. First, by relevant subject, then by publication date, both of which are another way to leverage links to their content to deliver a ton of value to readers. 5. Invite Conversations Many site owners don’t see the importance of complete contact details and omit it entirely. They figure the information on the site is enough and there’s no need for people to contact them (or they’re trying to hide from complaints, but that’s another story.)  Don’t be afraid to talk to your visitors. Publish your contact information openly on your website and show the world you’re available and open to feedback. Don’t forget to list all the ways you want people to be able to reach you. Here, Constant Contact lists their office locations and the contact details for them, their main toll-free telephone number appears on every page, and visitors can choose a team to contact if they have a specific question.  Another way you can invite conversations with your site visitors is to encourage comments on your blog. Write engaging calls to action (CTAs) at the end of every post and invite them to tell you their thoughts on the subject. Respond to their comments and increase the interaction even more.  6. Publish User-Generated Content Let people interact with you directly by incorporating user-generated content on your website. Doing this signals that people’s time and effort at contributing is appreciated and valued, incentivizing them to engage with you even more. They’ll share more of your content, buy more of your products, and evangelize you to their networks.  There are several ways to display user-generated content on your website, including writing articles based on comments from your blog and showcasing social media posts and images of customers with your products. Be sure to encourage your site visitors to submit their user-generated content and make it easy for them to do so as well.  Here’s how Lululemon does it: Another way to create user-generated content is to show off your happy customers on a testimonials page. They’re a secret way of publishing more user-generated content, and they give you more insights into how they view your products and brand, while also acting as social proof for you.  7. Run a Giveaway People love prizes, which is why many websites use giveaways to boost interaction. You can offer a free product or service in exchange for someone’s email address. The giveaway helps people get to know you and your business, making it easier to convert them into a paying customer in the future.  RafflePress has easy templates you can use to create your giveaway, and they look good on desktop and mobile devices. Embed your giveaway on your site or create a customized landing page for it to get the best results.  This giveaway tool also offers verified bonus actions that can help skyrocket audience engagement. Users can perform certain tasks like answering a poll, watching a YouTube video, or following you on Twitter, to receive extra giveaway entries.  Make Your Website More Interactive Today With all the content available online, customer interactions are increasingly valuable to websites and businesses. Use these tips to make your website more interactive and encourage people to comment on your posts, click on surveys and quizzes, and share their thoughts and feedback.  Try out a few of these to start and see which encourages customers to stay on your site more. You’ll create a more interactive experience online and learn more about your audience at the same time. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Leverage Tech to Streamline Your Content Marketing Efforts

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According to a report by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 86% of content marketers leverage content marketing to market their brands. After all, content is the perfect medium to reach consumers. It’s still the king. That said, today’s content marketing campaigns are no easy feat (think: research, strategy, execution, optimization, etc.), especially with today’s empowered consumers. For this reason, it’s important to streamline and optimize your campaigns so they are fast, efficient and generate a bigger impact with the target market. This is where content tech comes in and helps with sleek execution. After all, employing the right mix of tech tools together with your strategy is important to reduce wastage and move the needle much faster in the long run. So in this article, I’ll break down the three fundamental steps you can take to streamline your content marketing through tech, and later, share expert recommendations on the tools you can use to make the process a success.  We’ll be covering the following points:  Why use tech to power your content marketing Step one: Identify your content marketing goals  Step two: Research and invest in the right tools  Step three: Measure your performance  Content marketing & tech: brands that are doing it right  Use technology to power and streamline Why use tech to power your content marketing The process of scaling up one’s business through strategically placed marketing efforts can be both time and energy-consuming.  Driving high traffic, ensuring consistency and coordinating team efforts are all common challenges.  On top of these challenges, there’s a lot of manual work involved (think: gathering data and email campaigns) as well. Source: Content Marketing Institute For this reason, it’s important to leverage tech as one of the key solutions to automate and innovate your campaigns and make them flow smoother.  The number of content marketers turning to tech have grown over the years. However, only 16% of respondents in a research conducted by CMI stated they have both identified the right tech and are using it to its potential. The problem here is not the lack of resources but the inability to identify which ones to use and how to leverage them. By eliminating the repetitive work through automation and aiding your content marketing campaign in its coordination and implementation stages, tech will bring you that much closer to achieving your goals.  While there are numerous marketing tools available to help you with each funnel stage in your campaign, it’s about finding the right ones that work for you.  To get you started, let’s go over the three steps you can take to do this.  How to leverage tech to streamline your content marketing efforts  Step one: Identify your content marketing goals  As a content marketer you want to increase the number of site visitors, convert as many of them into loyal customers, provide the ultimate customer experience, maximize conversion rates and, ultimately, the ROI.  However, vague goals can lead to incomplete plans of action that later fall apart in the execution stage.  This is why streamlining your content marketing efforts is important. By breaking down your plan into actionable and clear steps, you reduce the chances of mishaps and can smoothly implement your plans for better results. It all begins with your content marketing goals. If you know the ins-and-outs of your business, the industry you’re operating in and the customers you’re catering to, putting down your content marketing goals will be easy.  However, it’s important that your content marketing goals are fine-tuned to suit and help you meet your ultimate business goals. The SMART approach helps build a viable content marketing plan by making sure your goals integrate well with the objectives you set. SMART refers to a five-category checklist you can refer to as a guide to frame your content marketing objectives. To expand upon them, each letter represents an aspect that your goals should be designed around. Specific – There should be no room for misunderstanding. Your goal should be clear and sensible.  Measurable – Quantify your goals in order to be able to track your progress. For example, what percentage increase in organic traffic are you aiming for? What is your target customer base number? Achievable – Your goal needs to be grounded in reality and attainable. Consider your financial factors, the skills required and manpower to meet your goals. Relevant – Does your content marketing goal integrate with the bigger picture for your business? Is it worth the time and investment you’re putting in? Time-Bound – Every goal needs a deadline/target date so you know what you’re working toward and when to accomplish it by. A time-bound goal will help you prioritize your everyday tasks for your long-term goals.  For better understanding, here’s an example of applying the SMART framework to build a content marketing campaign. Let’s say, your  goal is to increase email signups: S: Increase the percentage of email signups. M: Boost email signups by 20% (from 1000/month to 1200/month) A: This is attainable because I have an existing organic traffic of 10,000/mo (0.012% conversion) R: This is relevant to my quarterly goal of increasing my email list. T: Increase the percentage of email signups by 20% each month for the next quarter. By formulating your content marketing goals alongside the SMART framework, you can make sure there is a clear and robust plan of action that everyone is on board with and understands.  This will ensure everyone is working together toward the same vision and will also lay the foundation down for other important decisions (think: the tools to use). To take goal-setting a step further, I recommend integrating the right tools.  Step two: Research and invest in the right tools  Finding the right tech tools that fit into your marketing plan and operations is a concern for most marketers.  Source: Content Marketing Institute Needs vary and so do the perfect tools to meet them.  So how do you find out what tools to best invest in to help meet your content marketing goals and make your campaign a flying success? It’s time for you to conduct some research.  Depending on your budget and the areas of your marketing campaign that you want to focus on, the tools you choose can vary. Source: Concured  Here are examples of three areas you can leverage content-related tools to make your life easier.  Area #1: Content campaign management Content automation in social media marketing has grown quite popular as a means of managing a content marketing campaign.  By using a tool like Hootsuite, for instance, to schedule and manage your posts, you can ensure your campaign runs smoothly and follows the timeline you had planned in advance for it.  Together with these efforts, providing visually stimulating content is a go-to move for lots of content marketers in their campaigns, for example through the creation of infographics.  Source: Venngage Spicing up your marketing campaign with these tools can go a long way.   Area #2: Content automation of low-impact tasks Did you know there are AI-driven software available that can help boost your customer service skills through a chatbot? Hours spent communicating and servicing customers can be cut down drastically by reducing manpower and re-focusing customer service reps’ efforts on other parts of the marketing campaign.  By automating repetitive tasks and freeing up time, creative efforts can be redirected to high-value areas.  Examples of other areas that can be streamlined through content automation include SEO optimization and target audience analytics.  Area #3: Content calendars and coordination Coordination struggles with your team regarding content production and consistency can also be addressed through tech apps catered toward ensuring high-quality communication with co-workers.  For example, through cloud-based platforms that enable remote working and the maintenance of resources in one shared area.  After choosing your preferred mix of tech tools, it’s time to start putting them into action. Step three: Measure your performance How can you tell the effectiveness of your content marketing campaign unless you dig deeper into your results and performance? Which content practices work best? What content generated the most engagement and why? What sales value does one content medium offer over another? Your performance measurement should rise above the basic quantitative to the fundamental values your customers attribute to your brand and how your content can best deliver those. Tech has also enabled the process of performance measurement. For example, AI provides analytics capabilities. Certain software can analyze your competitive positioning in the content space and identify the loopholes you should address in your marketing campaigns to move ahead.  Tech can help you scale your efforts by showing you the areas to focus on and the tools you can employ to maximize your productivity.  Once you track your performance and identify the metrics you want to improve on, you can continue to streamline your work efficiency as you’ll now focus on what actually moves the needle. And due to these insights, you’ll be able to set better content marketing goals by employing better tools and approaches to meet your objectives.  Content marketing Tech: Case’s from brands that are doing it right Using tech to revolutionize content marketing is something companies have already been focused on as part of their strategies, some more successful than others. Identifying the areas where tech is most suited in content marketing and applying it efficiently can take time but if done right, will bring out amazing results. For example, have a look at these companies and experts and how they used tech to transform their content marketing to greater heights.  Adobe’s Art Maker Series Adobe’s innovative approach to leveraging user-generated content for a content marketing campaign continues to be one of their most effective moves in the space. They identified what their content marketing goal was: to connect with their customers and engage them on a more personal level.  The ‘social media proof’ that results from this campaign can then be repurposed to boost their brand image. The tech they are using here to realize this strategy would be social media as a platform.  The design software company then invested (step two done right) in promoting a user-focused campaign called the Art Maker Series. The campaign invited designers and artists globally to create and share their art through the use of their favorite Adobe products like PhotoShop.  Source: Adobe Adobe then repurposed the content that was produced through customer reviews and product promotions, exhibiting their various service offerings through their own user’s results of the same. This was an innovative tactic that helped them to keep ahead of the competition while establishing the end goal of generating content buzz directly from the consumers themselves.  Leveraging social media platforms like Instagram where they spread the word about the campaign was an instrumental part of their content marketing campaign. Nick Malekos — Learn Worlds Nick Malekos, from the Business Development and Marketing team at LearnWorlds, believes that any content strategy, for software companies, in particular, should focus on three pillars: Relevancy, Product and Value. Relevancy focuses on your customers and SEO tactics. You want to attract the right readers and in order to do so, your piece should be relevant to attract the right target market.  Product is about how connected your content is to the product/service you sell. “That means how your product is the solution to the specific problem,” Nick elaborates. “Screenshots, examples and use cases work incredibly well here.” Finally, the entirety of your content piece should add Value at every step of the way. VValue is all about reader engagement and how they share and link back to your content.  “Here at LearnWorlds, we follow this strategy for our top content pieces, and it works like a charm,” Nick says, highlighting the success of their article on how to create an online school.  “This article is highly relevant to our audience, it showcases our product and adds value by addressing all steps in details and how can someone do this.”  The result?  Compared to their top visited articles, it has double the conversion rate from visitors to trials and brings consistently highly relevant traffic to their website. Tope Long — Biteable Tope Long from Biteable recommends two tools that have been effective in boosting his productivity. Firstly, Biteable itself!  Source: Biteable Biteable is an online video maker that puts the power of video in your hands.  “Regardless of budget and skills, it helps you create professional high-quality videos in minutes. That’s why Biteable is a delight for small businesses,” Tope says. Biteable has hundreds of free stock video/audio clips and images that are integrated into professionally designed templates to choose from. You can also add your own content to make your video unique, such as text, photos, colors, and sound.  Biteable provides options to create all kinds of videos, ranging from presentations and infographic videos to logo animations and ads.  It’s free to try it out for up to 10 video projects/month, this version allowing publishing your finished video to Facebook, Twitter and also embedding it on your website or blog.  The premium plan ($19/month) is required to remove the Biteable’s watermark, download your video, upload your own footage, and access to other exciting features. Like Chioma, Tope also recommends Time Doctor. He uses this application to track billing hours on his writing projects.  These brands and individuals are not the only ones reaping the benefits of partnering with tech to bring about positive results to their content marketing.  So why not go ahead and try it for yourself? You have a lot more to gain than lose from giving it a shot. Use technology to power and streamline Businesses spend a significant amount of time, money and work into perfecting their marketing strategies and getting their brand out there.  Content practices can make or break a brand. Everything from brand perception to customer loyalty and their experience can be affected by your content marketing strategy.  Knowing your brand’s strengths and combining human effort with tech capabilities can open new doors for your business and take your brand to greater heights.  So what are you waiting for?Start streamlining with tech.  .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post How to Leverage Tech to Streamline Your Content Marketing Efforts appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

.BIZ – The Perfect Place for Your Online Business

BigRock Blog -

A name is a powerful thing. It is the mirror that highlights the identity of anything it is associated with, be it a person, place, product, brand or a domain. And when it comes to your website to be recognised as a business website, .BIZ is a sought after option.  Moreover, branding is integral to a business and .BIZ domain extension is the quickest way to establish your business and find customers. .BIZ is an ideal choice for businesses, be it small, medium or large scale. The domain extension ensures transparency, professionalism and status of the online business it is associated with.  Now, more than ever owing to lockdown restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing an online presence for your business is important. If you’re worried about it being expensive, worry not. With BigRock’s Flash sale running 19th May you can avail the .BIZ domain extension at an unbelievably low cost.  Why choose .BIZ? It is synonymous with business It helps establish the online presence of your business  It is short, crisp and easy to remember It improves the SEO of your website Furthermore, .BIZ domain extension has seen a steady rise in registrations since the time it has been launched.  .BIZ is beneficial for: Kickstarting your online business Startups  E-commerce websites Business & corporate companies Online entrepreneurs of all sizes The BigRock Advantage With the BigRock Flash Sale, you can get the ever-popular .BIZ domain extension as low as Rs. 199. This offer is for a limited time period!  If you’re still considering setting up an online business then this is the right time! All you need to do is register your domain name with the .biz extension, select a hosting plan and set up your website, So, what are you waiting for? Get .BIZ at unbelievably low prices till 19th Match and enter the growing world of online business to make profits today! And just in case, you miss the flash sale price worry not as .BIZ will still be available at a nominal price of Rs. 399!

Leading Your Company Forward in an Increasingly Digital World

WP Engine -

With the massive shift to a remote work model in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaders at organizations of all sizes face a litany of new challenges that require bold action to overcome.  Communicating effectively across the organization, continuing business momentum and growth, and nurturing a strong, inclusive companywide culture are just a few of… The post Leading Your Company Forward in an Increasingly Digital World appeared first on WP Engine.

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