One of the reasons we love WordPress so much is the vast number of plugins it has available to extend the built-in functionality. But since there are over 40,000 plugins available in the repository, we thought it would be fun to help you sort through the pile by recommending a few of our favorites. These will be plugins we use all the time, have thoroughly tested and highly suggest using if you are looking for what they offer.
One of the great things about WordPress is that it’s already optimized for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so just by installing it, you’ve taken a major step towards lifting your place in the rankings. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot more than what it provides by default. To that end, we used to use a plugin called the All-in-One SEO Pack, but a little less than a year ago we made a switch to a new SEO plugin called Yoast SEO.
With a year of testing under our belt, we can now safely recommend it to you! And for good reason. While All-in-One SEO Pack was no slouch, Yoast SEO goes that extra step further in functionality and ease-of-use, making it a no-brainer for our go-to SEO plugin.
So why choose Yoast SEO? Stay tuned, and we’ll look at some details. Continue reading
SSL. If you’ve dipped your toes into the web design & development world at all in the last few years, you’ve probably heard these three letters bandied about. But what do they mean, and why should you care?!
In a word, security. Web security has become increasingly important these days, what with those young whippersnapper hackers and their shenanigans. Get off my lawn (shakes fist)!!
But seriously, that’s what SSL is all about — keeping hackers and other malicious individuals off of your digital lawn.
So let’s get into SSL in more detail, so you know exactly what I’m talking about and why you need it. Continue reading
Your prospective customers are looking for local businesses like yours online. When they search for a business to meet their needs or desires, they enter terms into search engines and get a list of relevant results. Whether or not your business is among those results depends on your local SEO.
It’s true that Google knows where a user is when they search. So it will skew search results depending on where they’re located for their convenience. For example, if I’m in Atlanta, Georgia, and I search for a Bikram yoga studio, the results will show studios in Atlanta more prominently than studios in New York City.
But that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore local factors when it comes to SEO. Local SEO is sometimes considered trickier than general SEO simply because additional factors are taken into consideration. The following tips will improve your local SEO and make a positive difference in driving traffic to your website. Continue reading
“Over the past few years, use of hashtags has expanded beyond Twitter to bloggers and to other social media sites, as well, including Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Vine,” as we wrote in a post a few years ago. (Check out the same post to learn more.)
A #hashtag is a type of label used on social media which makes it easier to find messages or photos with a specific theme or topic. Having started on Twitter in 2007 and spreading over the past decade to a host of social media channels, the # prefix before a subject makes it easier for people to find posts on that topic. Hashtag are actually quite useful—they connect you to vast and varied communities you would otherwise never have discovered. Continue reading
Are you paying attention to your Google Analytics? If not, it’s time to start. And if you are paying attention to your Google Analytics, what are you doing with the information on your content performance?
Maybe you’re simply filing it under “good to know,” because you’re satisfied that people are actually visiting your website, reading your content, and your traffic is growing steadily. Perhaps you’re using what you find to learn more about your readers and potential customers. With a little digging, there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips.
But something that I’ve noticed small business owners often overlook is the opportunity to use content performance metrics as actionable feedback. How well your content performs or how poorly it performs can provide a roadmap for what direction to take next.
The following simple tips will help you use the information you discover about content performance in Google Analytics to your advantage: Continue reading
When you think of marketing, what comes to mind? You’re probably thinking of promotional activities that drive customers to your business—advertising, social media, newsletters, blogging, search engine optimization, tradeshows, sponsorships, networking, speaking, and more. Something that may not come to mind is customer service, but strong customer service is actually an essential part of successful marketing.
Many people mistakenly understand the term marketing to mean promotional activities. But more broadly speaking, marketing includes the overall process of developing a demand for your product or service and then fulfilling your customer’s needs. It’s the entire process that drives your product from concept to customer. Continue reading
SEO changes all the time. Staying in the know when it comes to search engine updates and best practices is far more than a full-time job. However, if you want to avoid getting penalized by Google or falling for inflated promises based on outdated tricks, it’s important to know which one-time “tried and true” tactics can get you into trouble now.
Here are 5 old-school SEO tricks you can skip, because they not only don’t work — they work against you. Continue reading