Industry Buzz

Introducing Your New and Improved WP Engine User Portal

WP Engine -

At WP Engine, being “Customer Inspired” is a core value we rely on for our overall strategic vision as well as the day-to-day enthusiasm we put behind helping our customers win online.     We often solicit customer feedback for our various products and offerings, as most recently seen with our updates to Smart Plugin Manager, our… The post Introducing Your New and Improved WP Engine User Portal appeared first on WP Engine.

How to Launch a Website for Your Service Business Side Hustle

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Launch a Website for Your Service Business Side Hustle appeared first on HostGator Blog. Did you know you can make a considerable chunk of change by starting a service-based side business? In fact, the average person with a handyman services business earns an average of $77 per hour. This may come as a shock to you, and it may even be more than you are currently making at your 9-5 job. If you have grown up learning the ins and outs of fixing up houses, repairing appliances, doing maintenance, or if you know how to fix electronics, now may be the perfect time to put your talents to use and to start your service business side hustle. This post will cover what’s involved in running a service business side hustle, how a website can help you launch your side business, and how easy it is to get your service business website up in no time. What’s Involved in Running a Service Business Side Hustle? The first thing that may come to your mind when running a service-based side hustle is providing handyman services. However, a service business side hustle can include turning any number of your service-based talents into a business. Of course, this can include handyman services, but it could also include pest control services, mobile detailing, fixing appliances, and more. Michael Espinal is one service business side hustler that turned a hobby into a business, with iTechFixIt. Espinal explains that he repairs cellular phones, tablets, and offers computer repairs. He says, “My side business began as a hobby and slowly grew. I now have over 350 contacts, and my part-time business is slowly growing.” Carl Larkin is another side hustler that provides a unique take on a service-based side hustle. He is a plumber and repairman by trade but found more monetary value in combining his plumbing knowledge and website acumen to create courses for other technicians. Larkin explains how he created a special order system for his family business, which eventually led him to start Trade Masters Online.  He says, “I’m a service and repair plumber. I graduated from college with an A- GPA. I did well in school, but I got married and needed a job, so I came back to work for the family plumbing business. The family business needed a system to make special order items, and we didn’t have an organized system.” Larkin seized this opportunity to create a special order system himself. He says, “On the side, after work, I spent more time learning how to create websites.” He successfully created a website, and charges clients every month they use the system. He also has plans to expand this special order website into a service program for other service contractors on the internet. His success with building the special order system for his family plumbing business led him to start online training courses for other technicians. Larkin says, “I now have another website helping teaching other technicians how to get their licensing.” Starting a service business side hustle involves identifying your key service-based talents, creating a website, and creating opportunities for yourself, just like Michael Espinal of iTechFixit and Carl Larkin of Trade Masters Online. Why Do Service Companies Need a Website? It’s safe to say that no matter what type of side hustle you are starting, the first step to success includes building a website.  Why?  The primary reason is that internet search is how the majority of consumers find businesses. In fact, 97% of consumers look for local businesses online. While it’s true that referrals go a long way and will be the majority of your business, it’s important to keep in mind that new customer acquisition will come from internet users using local search. It may seem obvious to state that having a website is necessary to draw customers to your business, but less than two-thirds of small businesses (64%) have a website. Let’s take a closer look at how having a HostGator website has helped various service business side hustlers experience success. Websites drive revenue. Another reason to have a website is that it can help drive customers and positively affect the bottom line of your business. Mike Carpinelli, the owner and operator of American Italian Construction, explains that his website is a huge revenue driver. He says, “My website is driving new customers to my side business, and I’ve gotten $320,000 worth of new business since Nov 2018.”  Imagine that. One platform—a website—is driving over $300K of revenue in under a year.  When push comes to shove, a website is a great way to drive visitors to your business, land new clients, and keep current customers coming back for more. Websites are low maintenance. Remember Carl Larkin? He is the creator of Trade Masters Online. A massive benefit of him having a website is he only had to create the system once and experiences residual income. Larkin says, “I invested 60 hours, and now I get a little bonus every week from my workplace as long as the system I made works and is maintained. Pretty much, I think about the website once every two months.” Building a website, especially an automated system or a hub for online courses, requires you to dedicate time upfront. However, once your website is up and running, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.  Websites provide accurate contact information. I recently had a personal experience with trying to find a handyman to fix my sink and some missing tiles in my bathroom. Like 97% of other consumers, I use Google any time I need to hire help a service-based business. I Googled “handyman near me,” and Google returned several third-party directories. It took me hours to sort through the directories and find accurate information. Not to mention, I had a difficult time getting in contact with these vendors and zero understanding of their availability. This failed search attempt doesn’t mean that Google search doesn’t work. It means that the handyman services in my area are severely under-utilizing one of the best marketing tools out there—a well-designed and search engine optimized website. It seems unbelievable, but it took me three weeks to find someone to hire. The craziest part? The second I got a hold of someone, they came to my house the next day and fixed the problems. I also gladly shelled out nearly $400 for a few hours of work. I know there are several service-based businesses in my area. I also know these side hustlers aren’t taking advantage of low competition when it comes to listing a website on Google. If you’re looking to attract more customers and help customers find you immediately, you need a website. Consider building a website where you list accurate contact information, include your availability, and provide access to an online schedule so that customers can book your services as soon as they find your website. How to Build a Service Business Website Now that you know how critical it is to have a website for your service business, let’s talk about how easy it is to start a website. As mentioned above, without the help of Google search, the success of your business will entirely depend on referrals. Referrals are an excellent way to capture new customers, but not the only way. To leverage your full potential, you also need a website. Thankfully, it’s easy to get a website up and running with the help of HostGator’s Website Builder. You don’t have to know how to code, don’t need any design skills, and it won’t break the bank to build a website. All you have to do is follow six quick steps, and you can get your website up in less than a day. Step 1: Pick a hosting plan for your service business website. The Gator Website Builder has three hosting plans for you to review. You can pick your plan depending on your needs and how much functionality you want your website to have.  The starter plan includes a free domain, 200+ templates, a drag-and-drop editor, cloud hosting, and website analytics, and is an excellent pick for someone looking to start a simple service business website. If you are nervous about building your own service business website and want priority support, you’ll want to select the premium plan. This plan provides everything in the starter plan but includes extra priority support.  If you are planning on selling online courses like Carl Larkin, then select the eCommerce plan. This plan will help you set up an eCommerce store where you can collect payments online. Once you’ve picked a plan, click “buy now” and you can set up your account. Step 2: Pick a domain name for your service business website. Every Gator Website Builder package includes a free domain. To pick your domain, all you have to do is type something in the “get domain” box. If your top choice isn’t available, select another. When it comes to picking a domain name for your service business side hustle, you can choose anything that describes what you do.  For example, Carl Larkin chose the name “Trade Masters Online” (www.trademastersonline.com) because it perfectly describes what he does. He provides online training to help people master a trade.  Mike Carpinelli is another excellent example of a service-based business side hustler with a great domain name. His domain name is https://americanitalianconstruction.com. This domain name aptly describes him and his business. Here is an article on how to choose the perfect domain name for your business if you need help deciding. If you already have a domain name, then you can connect it to your HostGator account by clicking “connect it here.”  Step 3: Create your account. Once you have a domain name, you can connect your HostGator account. All you need is an email address or Facebook account to connect. Then, enter your payment information, and you’re ready to go. Step 4: Pick a template for your service business website. Did you know the Gator Website Builder comes with templates, and all you have to do is pick the one that matches the vibe of your service business side hustle? That’s right! No coding involved. Once you create your account, HostGator will direct you to the “choose a template” page. You can scroll through more than 200 professionally-designed templates, and select the template that you love the most. You can also customize any of the templates to match the colors and theme of your service business. Step 5: Add content to your service business website. Once you have selected the perfect template, click “start editing.” This will send you to your dashboard where you can add, edit, and delete pages. Pages you might want to include are an about page, contact page, description of your services, and a page that links to your various online classes (if applicable). Gator Website Builder includes a drag and drop builder to make it easy to design your website. All you have to do is point and click. However, if you have any questions, Gator Website Builder also includes a free and easy step-by-step guide for reference that you can access at any time. To access this guide, click the “menu” icon next to the Gator by HostGator logo and select the “getting started tour.”   Step 6: Review your content and launch your service business website. The last step is to review your website and go live. By clicking “preview,” you can see your service business website in full. This is when you can look at your website and make sure everything looks how you want it to look. If everything looks right, then click the “finish preview” button at the top and then “publish website” at the top of the dashboard. Gator WebsiteBuilder will present a series of quick steps to help you go live. Start Your Service-Based Side Hustle Starting a side hustle is easier now than it ever has been before. This is especially true considering how many side hustle resources and online tools are available to you, and how easy it is to launch a website. With the help of a website, you can attract the right clients, and start making money.  For more information on how to get started, check out Gator Website Builder today. The process of building a website is intuitive, and you’ll be pleased with the results. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

A Human Lens on NRF’s 2020 Vision: Technology Is Awesome, but Never Lose Sight of Relationships

Nexcess Blog -

NRF 2020 was chocked full of Vision. From walking the floor talking to vendors, to the keynote speeches, to engaging conversations with key partners – we were all focused on the advancements in technology. And for good reason – the retail industry in many ways is leading the way in integrated experiences, artificial intelligence, and security. These themes really stood out to me AI demonstrated its heft at integrating with existing in-store technologies to monitor and improve customers’ experiences in real-time. Ecommerce also demonstrated its agility in adopting and adapting AI to improve the experience of both browsers and buyers – from voice command to customized consumer guidance to forecasting sales to authenticating product reviews. In the aggregate, these advancements lead to an improved customer or user experience – especially vital for marquee brick-and-mortar retailers that must replicate superior customer service ethos online. Think Nordstrom or Total Wine, with some interesting lessons – what to do and what not to do – for small and medium-size online-only retailers. Innovation also took center stage in personalizing the consumer’s journey, from search to scroll to sale. An image of a desired item is uploaded and soon the product available for purchase. Digital measuring software ensures a bespoke fit in clothing or footwear – without ever entering a department store. Key to success across inventories is an omnichannel approach to meeting consumers where they are. Seamless integration agnostic to how a customer finds you – via mobile, online or in-store – will maximize their experiences by keeping their focus on what they seek to find, securely and free from gimmicks or impediments. It was all very cool. Amazing. Sometimes awe-inspiring. But as I reflected on the week in NYC, what really made the most lasting impact was the people and partners I interacted with…you know, people. Human intelligence had nothing artificial about it. I was reminded of the invaluable opportunity to hear from experts about all the above and think about how to leverage their ideas and prognostications for Nexcess and our customers. Because every transaction is backed by a human being, everything we do hinges on our relationships. I simply cannot overstate the importance of our people and our partners. Across the diverse communities that make our sector one of the most exciting places to be and work. As we look ahead to 2020 and beyond, the people at Nexcess are proud of and energized by of our new business packages, new technology partners, and new scaling options. We want to be the e-commerce industry’s most favored Partner in 2020. We’re ‘big tent’ people here at Nexcess and we strive every day to engage with our partners, our clients, and the broader community. We start with the expertise of our people and build an incredible platform around them – from providing a “Safe Harbor” product designed for Magento I businesses that need time to plan for transition to M2, to best in class Magento 2 hosting solutions, to the best WordPress and WooCommerce packages on the market, and to our cloud platform built on OpenStack. So, yeah, technology matters – a lot. But relationships are required to make it work. If the promise of 2020 is bringing further disruption as you navigate evolving technologies and related decisions, our promise to you is to continue supporting your endeavors and success. Expertise delivered by the most experienced and helpful humans in ecommerce. Site by Site. Store by Store. Side by Side. The post A Human Lens on NRF’s 2020 Vision: Technology Is Awesome, but Never Lose Sight of Relationships appeared first on Nexcess Blog.

Find the perfect address with .EMAIL

Reseller Club Blog -

I got my first email address when I was in high school. Yes, I had a really embarrassing email ID too, which I use to this date. But as I began my career, I learnt of the importance of domains and professional email IDs. My first professional ID was amrita@mycompany which I was proud of. As you may know, a brand can give its employees and departments such an email address because they own the domain (think: resellerclub.com, amrita@resellerclub.com, finance@resellerclub.com, marketing@resellerclub.com etc.). It’s probably safe to say that one of the most valuable purposes of a web domain is often, email. So why not just have an .EMAIL extension? In 2018, the no. of email users worldwide was 3.8 billion. This number is set to rise to 4.4 billion in 2023. (source: statista.com) With such a large user base, the .EMAIL extension surely has a place in the domain market. Let’s look at why .EMAIL is a great domain option for your customers. Why .EMAIL? It’s memorable: An .EMAIL domain will make your customers’ business memorable because of its uniqueness. Email addresses are passé. Just share your website address while you network! It is universal & widely used: The term ‘email’ is recognised globally, across languages and geographies. It is used daily at work places, events, conferences, in personal conversations and more. It is widely understood.  It sends a message: The domain helps convey exactly what your brand stands for! Who is .EMAIL for? .EMAIL is perfect for: Anyone who wants a memorable mailing address Marketing agencies Email marketing professionals & email application companies CRMs and mailing technology brands For example, just by adding .EMAIL extensions to popular email applications, the domain conveys exactly what the app is about – Outlook.email, Microsoft.email, GSuite.email The ResellerClub Advantage With ResellerClub, you can register .EMAIL domains at a special price of $2.99 and resell to make your profit! Get your customers on an .EMAIL domain today! .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post Find the perfect address with .EMAIL appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

How to Use Short Videos to Turn Prospects Into Customers

Social Media Examiner -

Are you struggling to move people from being familiar with you to buying from you? Wondering how to create short videos to help guide people to purchasing? In this article, you’ll learn how to create short, cost-effective videos to help convince people to purchase your product or service. Why Use Short, Fact-Based Video? According to […] The post How to Use Short Videos to Turn Prospects Into Customers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Keeping our Members Safe from Harassment

LinkedIn Official Blog -

We work every day to ensure you, our members, have a safe and professional experience on LinkedIn. One of the ways we do this is by not tolerating any form of harassment. Anything anyone shares on LinkedIn has to follow our Professional Community Policies. This policy covers all content and any form of harassment -- from unkind words to unwanted romantic advancements to hate speech or bullying -- by any member. Our teams use a combination of technical measures, human review and reports from our... .

How to Run an Online Giveaway on Your WordPress Website

DreamHost Blog -

Thinking of innovative ways to engage with your website visitors and social media followers can be a challenge. Creating fun and appealing activities might be on your list of marketing strategies to explore, but it’s hard to know where to start. Fortunately, online giveaways are a popular and easy way to engage loyal customers, gain new followers, and even encourage user-generated content focused on your brand. What’s more, contests can be a productive way to find new leads. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using giveaways to promote your business. We’ll also take a look at 10 giveaway tools you can use to create a successful contest. Why You Should Run a Giveaway How to Create an Online Giveaway Strategy 10 Giveaway Tools for Your WordPress Website How to Market and Improve Your Contest So come on down — the prize is right! Why Your Business Can Benefit From Giving Products Away Online giveaways and contests can be highly effective ways for your business to attract and keep new customers. At a basic level, they can help to build trust and loyalty for your products. However, the benefits of running contests and giveaways go even further than that. When it comes to spreading the word about your business, a giveaway can be highly valuable. For example, 95% of people who participate in a contest or giveaway share it with friends online afterward (everyone wants to win a prize). That’s a pretty wide reach for something you can often set up for free. We’ll cover some of the ways you can do that later in this article. You can also build your email list by using contests to collect user information. In fact, some giveaway apps also include a social sign-in functionality, which has been shown to increase the success rate of online marketing campaigns. This feature gives users the option to sign in to your website or contest using a social media account they already have, saving them from having to create an entirely new account. Win Big with DreamPressOur automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on your giveaway, not downtime.Check Out Plans How to Develop an Online Giveaway Strategy That Works One of the first steps in carrying out a successful online giveaway is to set explicit goals from the start. Planning out all the details of the giveaway is vital, as you don’t want to have a game go astray or forget a critical component of the rules. More specifically, setting measurable goals for your contest will make it more valuable when you crunch the numbers later and assess whether the Return On Investment (ROI) was worth it. You’ll want to identify whether your goal is to convert leads, gain new leads, promote a product or service, or something else entirely. Then you’ll need to consider exactly how that goal will be measured, so your results will be crystal clear. Contests and giveaways are also excellent at encouraging user-generated content (UGC). This is a way for brands to invite their followers and customers to contribute to the company’s story online. Contests are one way to do this. For example, check out LEGO’s Moments in Space contest. Since 64% of marketers agree that building community is essential to their marketing strategies, combining UGC with giveaways and contests is a smart move. It’s also vital to clarify the type of promotion you’d like to run as you begin to develop your strategy. Sweepstakes are prize giveaways where a winner is chosen at random by luck of the draw. Contests choose a winner based on merit, such as in the above LEGO contest. Lotteries are prize drawings where people have to pay to play — you’ll definitely want to consult with legal counsel before setting one of these up. Whatever type of promotion you decide to run, make sure that you stay on the right side of giveaway rules in your state (or country) since there could be legal ramifications. 10 Tools to Help You Run a Giveaway on Your WordPress Website There are lots of options for running giveaways on your WordPress website. However, it’s worth noting that, while some of the applications on our list have well-maintained WordPress plugins, others do not. Let’s go over everything you need to know about 10 popular giveaway solutions that you can start using on your website right now. Related: How to Create Your First WordPress Plugin 1. RafflePress RafflePress is a free plugin for WordPress with premium upgrade options. It provides a comprehensive package for creating and managing giveaways on your website. This solution comes with a drag-and-drop giveaway builder, fraud protection, viral sharing functionality, and templates. Additionally, it offers tracking and retargeting features, which can help you make an even more significant impact with the work you put into running giveaways. Price: RafflePress has a free plugin for WordPress. Alternatively, you can upgrade to a premium plan starting at $39.20 per year for a one-site license or $359.20 for an unlimited, lifetime license. 2. Woorise Woorise is an application that enables you to create a variety of interactive contest elements for your website with a drag-and-drop editor. There is a WordPress plugin for Woorise, but it has not yet been thoroughly tested and vetted, so we recommend caution. In the meantime, you can create what you need through the platform’s website and embed it wherever you need to on your site. Price: Woorise has a free plan that covers 500 entries, or you can upgrade to one of its annual tiers that all come in just under $100 per month. Related: How to Pick the Best WordPress Themes 3. Easypromos Easypromos is a more extensive software system with many options and lots of giveaway templates for a quick start-up process. You can create campaigns using 30 different applications designed for specific social media channels, as well as games, quizzes, and coupons. All of these can be embedded on your WordPress website using a custom HTML block or widget. Price: Easypromos’ pricing is a bit more complicated than some of the other options on our list. You can price a single promotion, purchase the Giveaway app starting at $29 per month, or get all of the company’s applications starting at $159 per month. 4. Heyo Heyo offers 11 different products and services that are all geared towards building engagement for your brand. You can use them to create various types of photo contests, giveaways, sweepstakes, quizzes, and contests (and even multiformat contests). To use this application with WordPress, you’ll need to create your giveaway within Heyo and use embed codes to add it to your website. Price: You can choose from Basic, Standard, or Premium plans starting at $25 per month for a year-long contract or contact the company for custom account pricing. There’s also a seven-day free trial offer. Be Awesome on the InternetJoin our monthly newsletter for tips and tricks to build your dream website!Sign Me Up 5. Rafflecopter Rafflecopter is a popular and well-known contest application. It has a very beginner-friendly interface that makes it easy to get a contest up and running quickly. Once you create a contest, you can share it with your social media channels, link it to your website, or embed it on a web page. Rafflecopter’s reputation is one of success, innovation, and quality support. Price:  You can start with a free plan or upgrade to the Basic plan for $13 per month. There are also Grow ($43) and Premium ($84) plans that can be upgraded on a month-to-month basis for greater flexibility. 6. Gleam Gleam offers four different applications that cover contests, galleries, rewards, and “capturing.” This means you can create redeemable rewards for your site’s users in return for actions such as sharing your content on social media. You can also use the capture feature to attract more email subscribers. All in all, Gleam is a very visually-engaging option for embedding contests on your WordPress website. Price: You can get all four applications in an easy-to-use dashboard for $97 per month or purchase just the apps you need for lower monthly payments. For example, the competition app starts at $10 per month. 7. ShortStack This platform offers a very comprehensive approach to marketing your online products or services. ShortStack collects a seemingly endless number of features and options in one place. Beyond contests and giveaways, ShortStack also offers data management and team collaboration solutions. Price: ShortStack provides a free plan with limited options. You’ll have to look at its Business plan ($99 per month) or higher to take advantage of the “Embed to WordPress” and popup features. Related: How to Use Google Analytics with WordPress 8. Wishpond Wishpond offers an integration tool for WordPress and has many marketing solutions to choose from. Contests and giveaways are just the tip of the iceberg with Wishpond. If you’re looking for a giveaway platform that also includes a healthy dose of marketing and engagement tools, this might be your best bet. Price: Do-it-yourself plans start at $49 per month, but you will have to contact the company for managed account pricing. 9. Woobox You can run a wide variety of campaigns with Woobox. It includes options for bracket contests, instant winners, and a “winner picker” feature. One of the benefits of Woobox is that you can choose from many pre-built templates and then customize them to match your needs. Price: You can start with the limited free plan or upgrade to a Standard plan for $32 per month for unlimited entries. 10. KingSumo If you’re looking for a truly integrated approach to giveaways, KingSumo is a great option. This application is focused on viral giveaways. You can build your campaigns with their dedicated WordPress giveaway plugin right in your website’s admin panel. Price: A lifetime, single-site license is $198 and includes free updates and customer support. A developer’s license costs $594 for unlimited sites. How to Market and Improve Your Contest Promoting your website online can be challenging, partly due to an overwhelming slate of options. The good news is that giveaways can be fun and engaging, as well as cost-effective. Of course, once you create your giveaway, you’ll need to promote it as well. Here are some low-cost ways of getting your giveaway content out in front of potential participants. Set up an email marketing campaign Write a blog post for your company website Partner with relevant influencers to reach your audience Share with your social media followers If you want some insights on how to best use your social networks, check out our social media for small business guide. Another important aspect of running a contest (especially if you also want to collect valuable marketing data on your target audience) is to include a way for entrants to send you feedback on their experiences. This could be a simple rating system or a follow-up email with an invitation to complete a survey. Either way, it can be very helpful in determining how to make your next contest experience even better. Plus, it gives you a chance to revamp any elements that didn’t work out the first time. Related: 10 Social Media Marketing Tips for Your Small Business Eye on the Prize Aside from being good fun, contests and giveaways have an excellent track record of driving conversions, improving engagement, and boosting brand awareness. Understanding the benefits of running a quality contest and driving entries can help you hone in on all the right elements to include. There are plenty of reputable contest applications and plugins to help. Whether you choose Rafflecopter, Woorise, ShortStack, Rafflepress, or one of the others we’ve reviewed, you’ll be well placed to run a fully-featured giveaway. If you need some more plugin recommendations for your website, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a ton of guides to help you choose the right add-ons for your WordPress site. 9 of the Most Popular WordPress Plugins 10 WordPress Plugins to Maximize Your Lead Generation 13 of the Best Security Plugins to Keep Your WordPress Site Safe 15 Essential Plugins and Features For Your WordPress Website Of course, you’ll also need to make sure your web host is up to the task. Here at DreamHost, we have managed WordPress hosting plans that can help you ensure a safe, secure, and seamless contest experience for your customers! The post How to Run an Online Giveaway on Your WordPress Website appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

Whatever Happened to These Icons of the Early Internet?

HostGator Blog -

The post Whatever Happened to These Icons of the Early Internet? appeared first on HostGator Blog. Do the words “dial-up modem” make you think of a screeching sound? Do you remember deciding whether you’d sign up for Prodigy or America Online? Did seeing an entire set of encyclopedias presented on one CD-ROM disk (complete with sound and video snippets) blow your mind?  If so, you probably had firsthand experience with some of the most successful innovations of the early internet. If not, you’ve probably heard of at least some of them.  Read on for a nostalgia trip to the heyday of slow connections, clunky site design, the dawn of chat and celebrity search engine mascots. What Happened to Myspace? Myspace then What didn’t happen to Myspace? Myspace, founded in 2003, went from zero to world’s biggest social network in four years. In that brief time, it won millions of users and launched countless careers (and derailed at least one) before slowly sliding into irrelevance. Teenagers and young adults flocked to Myspace to connect with each other and find new artists. Because users could upload songs and embed YouTube videos, Myspace became a hub for budding comedians, filmmakers and musicians who wanted to reach a big audience. Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys, Ke$ha, Skrillex and Katy Perry all used Myspace to share their early work.  In 2004 Myspace had the chance to buy Facebook but passed, because Mark Zuckerberg wanted a seemingly outrageous $75 million. The next year, Myspace spawned an epic bidding war between Fox News parent company News Corp. and media titan Viacom. News Corp. won, Viacom’s CEO got fired for failing to land the deal, and Rupert Murdoch got to hang out with Myspace’s creators.  By the mid-to-late 2000s, the social network had more than 100 million users worldwide. Myspace’s time at the top was brief, though. Its site, according to a former VP, was a “spaghetti-ball mess” that was hard to manage and maintain, as the Guardian reported in 2015. It was also increasingly unappealing to users, compared to the sleek design of Facebook.  Once Facebook started gaining traction, Myspace started to fade. Sold numerous times after it peaked, Myspace was briefly owned by Justin Timberlake and a group of co-investors who were sadly unable to bring MyspaceBack. Myspace now But don’t let Myspace’s sad tale of lost fame and fortune fool you. The site still gets about 8 million visitors per month. And it’s still focused on music and videos–although it did lose 12 years’ worth of content during a botched server migration revealed earlier this year.  The lessons of Myspace: Buy Facebook at $75 million, streamline your site and back up your data before you migrate to a new server or host.  What Happened to Netscape? Old-school web browsing Compared to Myspace, Netscape practically emerged from the primordial mists of the early World Wide Web. Launched in late 1994, Netscape Navigator was the first web browser available to the average home or small business computer user—until Microsoft countered with Internet Explorer in the second half of 1995 and kicked off the browser wars.  By 1998, Netscape was falling behind Explorer, which Microsoft bundled with its Windows releases. That same year, Netscape made its source code public. Even though Netscape had lost market share to Microsoft and gave away its code, AOL (remember them?) spent more than $4 billion to buy Netscape in 1999. What followed was a decade of staff cuts, outsourcing and attempts to keep Netscape and AOL relevant. In 2008, Netscape was finished as a browser. However, several of Netscape’s innovations are still with us.  The Mozilla Foundation–named for Netscape’s mascot–used Netscape’s open-source code to develop Firefox, which topped TechRadar’s list of 2019’s best browsers. Netscape helped create the JavaScript programming language that underpins most websites and Android apps.Netscape also developed the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. So the next time you renew your site’s SSL certificate, thank Netscape for protecting your customers’ data from man-in-the-middle attacks. What Happened to AIM? AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) debuted in 1997. It gave everyone, AOL user or not, a way to chat with people on their “Buddy List” and later with AIM’s chatbots. At a time before social media and smartphones, AIM turned users’ desktop computers into portals for real-time conversations. As its popularity grew, AOL released more versions of AIM for everything from the Palm Pilot and BlackBerry to iOS and Android devices. It’s hard to overstate what a huge deal AIM was, especially for kids and teens who wanted to keep in touch with their friends. Typing away at the family computer didn’t rack up long-distance fees, and it was less disruptive (and more private) than trying to have a conversation on the kitchen phone.  AIM was also the Millennial generation’s introduction to using the emoticons and abbreviations that are second nature to smartphone and social media users today. Among AIM’s fans was a young Mark Zuckerberg, who credits AIM for planting “a lot of the seeds of what would become Facebook.” By 2001, according to Technology Review, there were 36 million AIM users.  Alas, AIM never made much money for AOL, and as AOL’s star began to fade, so did AIM. When Facebook Messenger and Twitter came along, AIM suddenly looked stale.  AOL pulled the plug on AIM in 2017, but AIM made chat part of our daily lives. What Happened to Ask Jeeves? It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time in internet history when the only way to search was by typing keywords into a browser like Netscape or searching through different levels of information in a directory like Yahoo.  If you wanted to ask a regular question instead of thinking like a computer, you were out of luck—until Ask Jeeves arrived on the scene in 1997. Jeeves, a cartoon butler, was happy to find answers based on either written questions or keyword searches.  Like today’s internet users who happily use voice search on their mobile phones and assistant devices, ‘90s web surfers appreciated the humanity Jeeves brought to a jumbled and overwhelming internet. Within two years of launching, Ask Jeeves was answering a million questions a day. Soon, Jeeves had an agent in Hollywood and his own float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  So why isn’t Jeeves still answering our internet questions? The dotcom bubble burst, the company’s value tanked, and Google started its march to domination of the search engine market. Eventually the company showed Jeeves the door, rebranded as Ask.com and focused on listicle-type content.  Still, the idea that drove Ask Jeeves – letting users communicate naturally to get information online – lives on in Siri, Alexa and other voice assistants today. Need more internet nostalgia? Check out these hallmarks of 1990s website design. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Onboard Social Media Marketing Clients: A Checklist for Consultants

Social Media Examiner -

Do you manage social media for other businesses? Wondering how to request the assets and information you need to do your job? In this article, you’ll discover a checklist for onboarding new clients so you have what you need to manage their social media marketing effectively. Why a Social Media Marketing Onboarding Process Is Important […] The post How to Onboard Social Media Marketing Clients: A Checklist for Consultants appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Sunsetting support for data-vocabulary

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

Structured data schemas such as schema.org and data-vocabulary.org are used to define shared meaningful structures for markup-based applications on the Web. With the increasing usage and popularity of schema.org we decided to focus our development on a single SD scheme. As of April 6, 2020, data-vocabulary.org markup will no longer be eligible for Google rich result features.As a preparation for the change and starting today, Search Console will issue warnings for pages using the data-vocabulary.org schema so that you can prepare for the sunset in time. This will allow you to easily identify pages using that markup and replace the data-vocabulary.org markup with schema.org. A bit more about structured dataGoogle uses structured data standardized formats and shared schemas to provide information about a page and the things described by the page. This information is used for two main purposesUnderstand the content of the page Enable special search result features and enhancementsWhat are structured data formats?Structured data formats like JSON-LD, RDFa and Microdata define a small number of fixed structures that can be used to encode descriptive data. They typically build upon lower-level standards like JSON and HTML. To learn more about the supported and recommended formats, please check out our developers guide.What are structured data schemas?Alongside the structured data formats, structured data schemas work like a kind of dictionary, defining terms for types of thing (e.g. "Person", "Event", "Organization"), and for properties and relationships (e.g. "name", "worksFor"). By maintaining this separation between format and schema, it is possible for users of different formats to take advantage of the same, widely shared, schemas.Data-vocabulary schemaGoogle's "Data Vocabulary" project was an important milestone in the development of structured data on the Web, because it led to our collaboration with other search engines to create schema.org. However it is now very outdated and it is generally preferable to use more widely shared vocabulary from Schema.org. Therefore data-vocabulary.org markup will stop being eligible for Google search result features and enhancements.Please note that this is the only consequence of this change. Pages using data-vocabulary schema will remain valid for all other purposes.In order to be eligible for Google rich result features we recommend converting your data-vocabulary.org structured data to schema.org. For example, here is how you would change the data vocabulary to schema.orgData-vocabulary.orgSchema.orgYou can test any code snippet live on Rich Results Test by pasting it into the search box. Try it out! And if you have any questions or comments, check out the Google Webmasters community.Posted by Dan Brickley, Standards Developer Advocate, and Moshe Samet, Search Console Product Manager

Sunsetting support for data-vocabulary

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

Structured data schemas such as schema.org and data-vocabulary.org are used to define shared meaningful structures for markup-based applications on the Web. With the increasing usage and popularity of schema.org we decided to focus our development on a single SD scheme. As of April 6, 2020, data-vocabulary.org markup will no longer be eligible for Google rich result features.As a preparation for the change and starting today, Search Console will issue warnings for pages using the data-vocabulary.org schema so that you can prepare for the sunset in time. This will allow you to easily identify pages using that markup and replace the data-vocabulary.org markup with schema.org. A bit more about structured dataGoogle uses structured data standardized formats and shared schemas to provide information about a page and the things described by the page. This information is used for two main purposesUnderstand the content of the page Enable special search result features and enhancementsWhat are structured data formats?Structured data formats like JSON-LD, RDFa and Microdata define a small number of fixed structures that can be used to encode descriptive data. They typically build upon lower-level standards like JSON and HTML. To learn more about the supported and recommended formats, please check out our developers guide.What are structured data schemas?Alongside the structured data formats, structured data schemas work like a kind of dictionary, defining terms for types of thing (e.g. "Person", "Event", "Organization"), and for properties and relationships (e.g. "name", "worksFor"). By maintaining this separation between format and schema, it is possible for users of different formats to take advantage of the same, widely shared, schemas.Data-vocabulary schemaGoogle's "Data Vocabulary" project was an important milestone in the development of structured data on the Web, because it led to our collaboration with other search engines to create schema.org. However it is now very outdated and it is generally preferable to use more widely shared vocabulary from Schema.org. Therefore data-vocabulary.org markup will stop being eligible for Google search result features and enhancements.Please note that this is the only consequence of this change. Pages using data-vocabulary schema will remain valid for all other purposes.In order to be eligible for Google rich result features we recommend converting your data-vocabulary.org structured data to schema.org. For example, here is how you would change the data vocabulary to schema.orgData-vocabulary.orgSchema.orgYou can test any code snippet live on Rich Results Test by pasting it into the search box. Try it out! And if you have any questions or comments, check out the Google Webmasters community.Posted by Dan Brickley, Standards Developer Advocate, and Moshe Samet, Search Console Product Manager

The Block Editor is Now Supported on the WordPress Native Apps

WordPress.com News -

Part of what helps WordPress power 35% of the web is language: WordPress is fully translated into 68 languages. Pair that with the WordPress native apps, which make WordPress available across devices, and you have a globally accessible tool. Today we’re announcing app updates that bring the new Block editor to mobile devices, so on-the-go publishing is even easier for that 35%. At Automattic, we speak 88 different languages, so we thought: why not use some of them to tell you about the editor updates? Instead of a few screenshots and bullet points, here are some of the people who build the editor and apps sharing their favorite tools and tricks for the mobile Block editor. To make it more accessible, we’ve also included English translations.  (And for those who want more detail — yes, there are still screenshots and bullet points!) Rafael, Brazilian Portuguese Com o novo editor, a criação de conteúdo é mais intuitiva por que as opções de formatação de texto e inserção de arquivos são exibidas de uma forma bem simples. Toque no ícone ⊕ enquanto estiver editando um post ou página para ver os blocos disponíveis como Parágrafo, Título, Imagem, Vídeo, Lista, Galeria, Mídia e texto, Espaçador e muitos outros. Translation With the new editor, creating content is more intuitive because the options to format text and add media are displayed in a simple way. Tap on the ⊕ icon when editing whether a post or page to see all the available blocks like Paragraph, Heading, Image, Video, List, Gallery, Media & Text, Spacer and more. Anitaa, Tamil பயணங்களில் மிகவும் விருப்பமுள்ள எனக்கு, பயண குறிப்புகளை பயண நேரத்திலேயே எழுதுவது வழக்கம். இந்தப் புதிய கைபேசி செயலி என் வேலையே மிகவும் எளிதாக்குகிறது. எனக்குப் பிடித்த சில அம்சவ்கள்:   கி போர்ட்டில் உள்ள நேக்ஸ்ட் பொத்தானை அழுத்துவதன் மூலமே புதிய பத்தியை தொடங்க முடிவது.பட்டியல் தொகுதியைப் பயன்படுத்தி எனது சொந்த பட்டியலை உருவாக்க முடியும். பட்டியலின் உள்ளெ பட்டியலை சரிபார்க்கும், அல்லது, துணை பட்டியலை உள்ளடக்கும் பட்டியல் பத்தியை ஆவலுடன் எதிர்பார்க்கிறேன். எனவே அடுத்த புதுப்பிப்பைப் பற்றி நான் மகிழ்ச்சியடைகிறேன். Translation I love travelling and I spend a lot of time on my blog writing travel tips while on the go. My favorite features in the Block editor include: Creating a new paragraph block by pressing the RETURN button on the keypad. Adding a List block to create my own lists.You can even add sub-lists! I look forward to seeing what’s coming next! Mario, Spanish Cuando escribo, doy mil vueltas sobre qué palabras utilizar y me cuesta decidirme. Uso mi móvil porque me da la posibilidad de capturar mis ideas justo en el momento que se me ocurren. Es por eso que de las cosas que más me gustan del Editor es que puedo moverme de un bloque de texto a otro con facilidad y también cambiarlos de lugar. Además, se puede hacer/deshacer muy fácilmente, y siempre se mantiene el historial de edición lo que me da mayor seguridad a la hora de cambiar incluso sólo pequeñas partes del contenido que voy escribiendo. Translation When I write, I walk around in circles and can never decide which words to use. So I use my mobile phone, which lets me capture ideas right when they occur to me. That’s why the things I appreciate in the new Editor are the abilities to move from block to block with ease and to change their order and since you can undo/redo quite easily and can see your editing history, I have confidence when I change even small bits of the post I’m writing. Jaclyn, Chinese 用過 Gutenberg 古騰堡後網誌效率高很多!因為寫旅行文章,很多時候是在旅途中或是平日空擋等候時間紀錄和寫下想法,行動 app 讓我隨時隨地都可以編輯文章。行動古騰堡簡化了移動文章段落重新排序的步驟,讓文章的架構變得很清楚,也更容易管理。 Translation The new block editor truly makes a difference in my blogging efficiency and experience. Since my blog is about traveling, I often scribble notes and thoughts during my trips. The block editor on mobile simplifies the process of moving paragraphs around and organizing content, so the architecture of the post becomes clearer and easier to reorganize. To start using the block editor on your app, make sure to update to the latest version, and then opt in to using it! To opt in, navigate to My Site → Settings and toggle on Use Block Editor. We hope you give the latest release a try; tell us about your favorite part of the mobile block editor once you’ve had a chance to try it. We’d also love to know your thoughts on the general writing flow and on some of the newer blocks like video, list, and quote blocks. For specific feedback, you can reach out to us from within the app by going to Me → Help and Support, then selecting Contact Us.

Welcome Our Newest Expert, Patrick Rauland

Nexcess Blog -

Nexcess is pleased to welcome Patrick Rauland as our new Product Marketing Manager for managed WooCommerce. Patrick is a known WooCommerce expert with experience in development, configuration, and client-based consulting.  Before joining Nexcess, Patrick was a Woo Product Manager at WooThemes and Automattic, as well as an industry trainer and author. Patrick has experience developing core functionality in WooCommerce itself, leading technology releases, and helping run ecommerce conferences. In his new role, Patrick will focus on increasing Nexcess’s WooCommerce presence in the market. “I’m excited to join Nexcess. They have the hands-down best plan for WooCommerce customers and I’m excited to articulate exactly why that is and what you can get out of it.” Patrick will work out of Denver, and we can’t wait to see his impact on the WooCommerce market and our own Nexcess team.  The post Welcome Our Newest Expert, Patrick Rauland appeared first on Nexcess Blog.

A History of the Internet As We Know It

HostGator Blog -

The post A History of the Internet As We Know It appeared first on HostGator Blog. Can you believe it’s been 30 years since the birth of the internet as we know it? Considering we’re a web hosting company and our entire business is reliant on the internet (aren’t all companies nearly reliant on the internet these days?), we’re feeling a little nostalgic. So let’s cheers to the internet as we know it and all the geniuses who make the world wide web spin! Here’s a look back at the pioneers. Speaking of pioneers… Wait. Who is Tim Berbers-Lee? Tim Berners-Lee is the guy we owe “it all” to. He is the inventor of the World Wide Web and is still the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, commonly known as the W3C. The W3C is like the governing body of the internet, and is responsible for setting the standards for the web such as coding languages, best practices, operating guidelines, and helpful tools. So of course, you’re going to see his name several times in our history of the internet below, starting with pre-Y2k. Imagine if the Y2K bug really did bring down the house… Thankfully, the crisis was averted and we have 20 more years of internet awesomeness to talk about! What’s missing? So, do you have a favorite “internet history” moment that is missing from the list? Or, what new internet craze do you have up your sleeve for the next 20 years? You could be a pioneer just like Tim Berners-Lee. Just get your ideas online and out for the wonderful world wide web to see! Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Recover a Suspended Facebook Ads Account

Social Media Examiner -

Did Facebook suspend your Facebook ads account? Wondering how to appeal the decision and get your ads up and running again? In this article, you’ll find out how to submit an appeal to get your Facebook advertising account reactivated. Facebook Ads Account Suspension: Two Red Flags You’re going along your merry way, crushing your Facebook […] The post How to Recover a Suspended Facebook Ads Account appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Mark Zuckerberg Lays Out Future Vision

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Mark Zuckerberg’s latest personal challenge and what it means for marketers with special guest, Mari Smith. We’ll […] The post Mark Zuckerberg Lays Out Future Vision appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

10 Essential SEO Tips for Non-Profit Websites

HostGator Blog -

The post 10 Essential SEO Tips for Non-Profit Websites appeared first on HostGator Blog. You know people care about your cause. You’re sure more people would give if you could just get the word out about your organization to the people concerned about the problems you help solve.  But we live in a world full of distractions—there’s tons of competition for the eyeballs of your target audience, and even more for their wallets. Figuring out how to reach them with your message to begin with is the first challenge every non-profit has to overcome.  54% of donors prefer to do their giving online. That makes your non-profit website a crucial tool for getting found by potential donors. And while there are a lot of online marketing tactics you can employ to promote your website, one in particular is widely considered the best for making your website more discoverable: search engine optimization (SEO). 10 Steps to Improve SEO for Non-Profit Websites If you want your non-profit website to show up in the search engines when people are looking for the kind of work you do, there are a few main steps to take.  1. Make sure your website works on mobile. For several years now, mobile use has surpassed desktop use. A significant portion of the people coming to your website will be doing so on a smartphone or tablet. Does your site work well on the small screen? If it’s been a few years since your last website redesign, you may not have treated mobile use as a top priority. But now it’s non-negotiable. Update to a responsive website—that means one that automatically adapts to the screen size, while keeping all the page elements the same.  Building a website that’s mobile friendly may sound like a big project, but it doesn’t have to be. Because of the prevalence of mobile, any good website builder will now include responsive templates. You can get a responsive website up fast, without having to spend much at all. Our Gator Website Builder only costs a few bucks a month and makes editing your website a breeze:  2. Improve your website speed. Your visitors care about speed. We’re no longer in the days of bandwidth connections, when slow-loading times were the norm. If your non-profit website takes too long to load, your potential donors will click away. The main priority that Google and the other search engines have is to provide the best results possible in every search. Because visitors care about speed, the search engine algorithms do too. Google has been upfront about using page loading time as a ranking factor. If your website is at all slow to load, there are a number of steps you can take to make it faster, including: Upgrading your web hostingCompressing your imagesRemoving any unnecessary plugins (if you’re on WordPress)Using content delivery networks (CDNs)Allowing browser caching That may sound confusingly technical, but most of these steps can be completed by anybody with a little time and willingness to look up instructions on how. We’ve linked each tip to a blog resource on the topic — just click each step to access it! 3. Switch your website to an HTTPS. Any time you visit a website, you can tell if it’s an HTTPS based on two things:  The URL will start with the letters httpsYou’ll see a lock icon to the left of it When visitors see that, it signals to them that the website is secure.  Websites that have these visual cues have taken the step of investing in an SSL certificate. That adds an extra layer of encryption, which means that any information a visitor shares with the website—including (and especially) payment details—will be harder for hackers to access.  The search engines care about security, so give HTTPS websites more weight in their rankings. But it doesn’t just matter for SEO. Potential donors that come to your website will be far more likely to feel comfortable making online donations if they see that your website’s secure.  Luckily, this step is extremely easy. Check with your web hosting provider, and you can usually add an SSL certificate to your subscription for a small fee, or sometimes even for free.  4. Do keyword research. Once you get beyond the more technical aspects of SEO, most of the other steps depend on keywords. Keyword research is how you learn what your audience is searching for, and the specific language they use when doing so. You can tap into a wealth of keyword data using SEO tools that show you how often people are searching for relevant phrases, how competitive they are, and provide suggestions for related keywords. Use these tools to put together a list of keywords that relate to your non-profit’s mission. Your list will include two types of keywords: Broad keywords – These are the general, descriptive words that describe exactly what you do, such as “animal shelter” or “prison book programs.” These are the kind of keywords you target for the main pages of your website, such as your home and about pages. This category can also include phrases related to the kind of help you need like “foster kittens” or  “book donations.”  Long-tail keywords – These keywords are usually longer and represent topics related to your mission rather than describing precisely what you do. These are less competitive than broad keywords and the part of the list to build your content strategy around. Examples could include “how to catch stray dogs” or “most requested books for prisoners.” The people searching those terms aren’t thinking about donating or volunteering at the moment they’re performing the search, but they’re highly likely to be the kind of people who care about the work you do. Creating content that targets those terms will help you get onto their radar, and seeing the helpful content you’ve provided may inspire them to learn more about your organization and get involved.  Keywords are valuable because they help you craft a strategy for visibility based on relevance. You don’t need to be found by any or everyone, but you want it to be extremely easy for the people who care about your cause to find your non-profit website. By choosing the right keywords—the ones they’re searching for—you can ensure the right people find your website when they have issues related to your mission on the mind.  5. Optimize each page on your website for a relevant keyword. For each page on your non-profit website, select a relevant primary keyword from your list. To optimize the page for that term, make an effort to include it in a few key parts of the page: The URLThe title tagHeadings and subheadings (h1, h2, h3, etc.)The webpage copyImage names and alt tagsThe meta description Whatever you do, don’t force it. Only include it where you can do so naturally. You don’t want any use of your keyword to look weird to human visitors to your site.  If you can’t work your primary keyword into the page without it making things awkward, chances are, you picked a keyword that wasn’t actually relevant to the page. Go back to your keyword list and find a better one. Relevance is more important than search volume.  In addition to optimizing the specific page for your chosen keyword, look for other places on the site you use that term or a similar one. Those are opportunities for internal linking.  Google pays attention the anchor text used to link back to a page—that’s the words that are hyperlinked, the ones that usually show up in blue with an underline. Every link back to your page that uses your primary keyword in the anchor text signals to the search engines that’s what your page is about.  You can’t control the anchor text used on other websites linking to that page, but you can for any internal links you add to your own site. So every time you use your target keyword elsewhere on your own website, link it back to the page you’ve optimized for that term.  6. Create a non-profit content strategy. Content marketing is a really important part of SEO because it: Gives you the opportunity to target a much longer list of relevant keywords by creating content around themMeans you’re consistently creating new content, which tells the search engines your website is currentGives other sites more reasons to link back to yours, because you have more pages providing useful information. Use your keyword research as a starting point to build out a list of topics related to your non-profit that you can cover in your content. Supplement that by brainstorming any questions you regularly hear from donors. Create an editorial calendar that clarifies: The topics you’ll be coveringThe formats you’ll be using for each (e.g. blog post, ebook, video, podcast, etc.)Who’s responsible for creating the contentDeadlines for each phase of creating each piece Content marketing does require time and resources, so don’t expect this step to be easy. But if you want to be more competitive in the search engines and reach more of the people who care about your cause, it’s a big part of effectively doing so. 7. Create high-quality content. Don’t skimp on the content itself. In the early years of the internet, websites could game the system and get rankings by publishing a lot of low-quality content stuffed with target keywords. Now Google’s worked to crack down on that and ensure only high-quality sites show up in the results. For your content marketing to pay off, it needs to provide accurate, helpful information in a way your audience finds engaging. Try out different content formats to see what they respond best to. And test different approaches. Some examples could include how-to posts and videos, interviews with the people your work helps, and infographics that collect relevant stats that show the breadth of the problem you’re working on.  8. Promote your content. When you’re trying to reach potential donors or volunteers who have never heard of your organization before, you can’t count on them to find your content on their own. Over time, as you build up your SEO authority, people will start to find it via the search engines. But that doesn’t happen overnight. To get your first viewers, you need to give it a boost. A few content promotion strategies to consider include: Sharing it on social mediaSending it to your email listSending it to prominent activists working on your cause that may share itGuest posting on relevant websites to spread the word about your organization and build backlinks back to your siteUsing search and social advertising to expand your reach on each platform Many of the metrics search engines use to determine a website’s authority depend on getting traffic to begin with, so your content promotion strategies are important to boosting your SEO.  9. Build links. The hardest part of non-profit SEO is link building. Many of the steps on this list require work, but you have control over getting them done. Link building depends on convincing other people to update their websites to include a link back to yours, which is a whole other level of challenging. But non-profits have something going for them businesses don’t in this area: you’re doing something good for the community!  People are more likely to respond well to requests for help from a charity doing meaningful work than a company trying to sell products. Here are a few strategies you can try to build links to your non-profit website: Create a listing on all relevant directories – Do some Googling to identify relevant directories. This includes general non-profit directories like Guidestar and Idealist, local and state non-profit directories, and cause-specific ones. Reach out to related non-profits – Other organizations doing similar work are your friends. Sometimes non-profits will have a whole page on their site devoted to linking out to other organizations doing work they respect, so you may be able to get on their list. Or they may be willing to partner with you in creating content together or doing a joint initiative that results in a backlink on their site. Reach out to local businesses – It’s a smart business practice for local companies to associate themselves with good causes. Reach out to local businesses to see if they’re interested in a partnership of some sort. If they agree to donate a percentage of all profits for a night to you, or to host a fundraiser for your organization, they’ll inevitably link back to your website when promoting it. Release and distribute press releases for newsworthy updates – Anytime you have an event, start a new initiative, or even get a significant grant, that can be a reason for a press release. Write one up and distribute it to the main press release websites and any relevant publications that may cover it. Make it easy for journalists to contact you – If a journalist or blogger is working on a piece about your cause and needs an expert source, you want them to come to you. Provide an obvious email address on your website for all press inquiries. Find unlinked mentions of your non-profit – If a website mentioned your non-profit without linking back to your site, that’s a backlink opportunity. Contact the site owner to ask them to add a link. Link building is challenging, but links play a huge role in how Google decides how authoritative a website is. Every link you build on a reputable site makes your own website much stronger in terms of SEO. 10. Perform regular SEO audits. At least once a year, do a review of your site to look for opportunities to improve your on-site SEO. Check your analytics to see which pages are performing the best and which are underperforming. Identify content that would benefit from an update to make it current or otherwise more valuable. Re-evaluate your keyword strategy. Are any of the keywords driving irrelevant traffic? Are any more valuable for getting donations than you expected? And look for new internal linking opportunities for the content and pages you’ve added in the last year.  This is a step many non-profit website owners neglect, but it can help you make the work you’ve already done on creating content and improving your website’s on-site optimization go further.  Why Does SEO Matter for My Non-Profit Website? If you’ve made it to this point in the post, it’s obvious that none of this is easy. SEO is competitive and doing it well requires a sizable commitment in time and resources. But search engines are the first place most people go today when they’re looking for anything—the answer to common trivia questions, directions to get to a store, a new pair of boots, and information on causes they care about.  Improving the SEO of your non-profit website is how you make sure the people who want to donate, volunteer, or otherwise get involved with your cause will know where to find you. It’s hard work, but the type that will pay off in helping you advance your cause.  For help putting these best practices into action, contact HostGator’s SEO Services. Our SEO experts will put together a strategy just for your non-profit website. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

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