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    Selecting the best free fonts is a crucial, yet often overlooked, activity in design when you’re working with a tight budget. Amateurs tend to invest too little attention when choosing fonts for their projects, whether it is about a website, a presentation, or traditional media items.

    It’s a shame, really, because choosing fonts can be a lot of fun and there is no shortage of amazing fonts out there, ideal for all kinds of projects.

    However, scrolling through pages and pages of the best free fonts won’t get you anywhere if you can’t recognize each typeface’s particularities and how they can be used in combination for that perfect result.

    Whether you’re a hobbyist or a seasoned professional, this article created by our team at Amelia, should help you choose the best font for your next project by giving you a few tips and listing 35 of the most popular free fonts available. Continue reading to find out more.

    How Can You Choose an Appropriate Typeface?

    Let’s start with a few tips that will help you choose a better typeface for your project. Ultimately, the purpose of your design project is the number one criterion to follow when searching for fonts.

    The typeface you use has to be aligned with the style that you adopted for the project itself, as well as with its purpose. Ask yourself what you want to convey to your audience: Formality? Playfulness? Futurism? Nostalgia?

    Fonts can make a huge difference in the nuance of the message and the overall atmosphere created, which should always align with the purpose of the piece. The font you choose should evoke the exact emotion that you want to obtain from your target audience.

    The safest way to obtain that emotion is to narrow down a list of the best free fonts to those that suit the context you are working in.

    Most of the time you’ll be using clean, simple fonts, but you can also opt for a typeface to use for special occasions that is very easy to recognize and has unique branding properties as well.

    Although you’re encouraged to get creative, there is one rule that cannot be broken when choosing a font: it has to be legible. The main purpose of a font is to ease the reading process for the user, while also giving the project a certain feel.

    Unreadable fonts — as fabulous as they may look — can be safely eliminated from your shortlist, so you can already reduce your search to those with good communication properties and solid legibility.

    Try to choose your fonts the way you choose your shoes — they need to be both good-looking and practical. Stylish, yet comfy.

    To support a high readability level, you also need to pay great attention to size. Select your fonts based on how well the respective typeface looks at a certain size. Some fonts come in a standard size that cannot be changed because that’s the only size in which they look good.

    The best fonts can be altered according to your needs in terms of both size and letter spacing. To choose the most readable fonts, select one and edit your copy with it, but use 10px. If it’s difficult to read, it’s not a proper font.

    A List of the Best Free Fonts to Choose From

    Assuming that you know what to follow when choosing your font, it’s time to learn more about font families and their basic differences. Some people simply can’t distinguish sans serif fonts from serif ones, let alone other families that have very particular features.

    The information below should help you make the distinction faster and easier while providing a few excellent examples of free fonts in each typeface category.

    Serif

    To distinguish serif fonts, think of the typefaces you see in newspapers, books, or magazines — any piece of work that involves a lot of copy. Serif fonts are ideal for design projects that include larger blocks of text.

    Why? This font family is characterized by the very delicate decorative features they contain. They are easy to read and familiar to a wide audience and are thus often used for print design projects.

    The characters in serif fonts are easy to recognize once you process the difference. Here are some serif fonts to analyze:

    Loki

    Loki is actually a hybrid font. It was created as a hand-written script, but it is a serif font at heart. It contains differing line weights in many of the characters and elegant serif touches.

    The typeface’s name is inspired by the Norse god Loki who was known for his misleading characteristics. Loki is more suitable for titles rather than content as it is only available in all caps.

    Note: the demo version is free for personal use only.

    Canvas 

    One of the best free fonts out there, Canvas is a versatile typeface that is perfect for those who desire a professional yet simple result. Each letter has thickness details that make it pleasurable to read, combining both the fanciness of formal fonts and the boldness of more creative ones.

    Note: the demo version is free for personal use only.

    Woodland

    Mathieu Desjardins went the full nine yards when he came up with six different weights for this font. For serif fonts, it’s important to give the user variants in terms of line thickness, so that they can use the font for both copy content and titles.

    Voga

    This list of the best free fonts wouldn’t be complete without Voga. When he designed this typeface, Charles Daoud tried to mix both straight lines and curves, to great effect.

    Line thickness differs from one letter to another and Voga is carefully designed to look great in editorial layouts for headings and titles. It’s a good font for invitations too.

    Note: the demo version is free for personal use only.

    Lovelyn

    The last font in this category, Lovelyn is a Craft Supply creation that is perfect for those who want a decorative typeface that would ornate any printed design one could think of. Lovelyn was designed as a romantic, elegant font purposed for filling wedding invitations.

    Note: the demo version is free for personal use only.

    Sans Serif

    Moving on to sans serif fonts, let’s explain this family’s characteristics. “Sans” means “without” in French, so the name becomes pretty self-explanatory — it means “without serifs”. If serif fonts are decorated and suitable for longer bits of text, sans serif fonts are the exact opposite.

    They don’t have any decorative elements included, they are cleaner and simpler in appearance, and they can be used in a more neutral manner.

    Below you will find the best free fonts in the sans serif family.

    Kolikö

    This is a bolder font, suitable for those who want to emphasize the creative part of their design project. As a sans serif font, it’s easy to read, but it has thicker lines compared to a regular sans serif typeface. It would be appropriate for geeky websites, especially tech- or science-related.

    Manrope

    Michael Sharanda came up with the open-source typeface Manrope with the sole purpose of helping modern users. You can use this typeface for basically anything and given the fact that it is open-source, you can even create your own font based on it.

    Manrope is a good font for all purposes, considering that it is delivered in seven different styles.

    Moon

    Fancy rounded fonts? Then you’ll definitely like Moon. This sans serif font has rounded, minimal letters, suitable for all types of design projects.

    Note: the demo version is free for personal use only.

    Peace Sans

    This is a sans serif font that will look great on social media designs or print designs. It is a free font that can be used for personal or commercial purposes. In terms of looks, the font is clean and evokes the idea of peace, just as its name describes.

    Crafter

    Crafter is a hand-made font that originates back in 1871. Since then, it has been improved and is now a popular typeface for various design projects, especially for posters, logos, or headings. Alex Jojanic created it after gathering his inspiration from hand-painted metal signs.

    Monospaced

    The next family of fonts, monospaced typefaces are those that resemble typewriter machine styles. They have just one width for all characters in a font, thus being highly legible. Programmers prefer monospaced fonts for their readability and equal alignment across lines.

    Here are some examples:

    PT Mono

    This is probably one of the best free fonts in the monospaced family. It will help you recognize monospaced fonts in an instant. PT Mono is a very sharp font that fits most design projects.

    It was developed for use in contexts such as forms, worksheets, and tables, and is also very popular amongst programmers.

    Fira Mono

    Fira Mono will work great in all formats. It has been designed for coding purposes, but it can also be used to style headings. It looks the best when resized to 12 or 16 px. Make sure to use it in a bold format for extra visibility. It also looks great if you use uppercase-only.

    Cutive Mono

    Looking for a traditional monospace font? Cutive Mono is the typeface that will end your search. It’s great for code snippets because of its thin lines and even spacing, and it can be used to great effect in any project aimed at software developers.

    Audimat Mono

    If you enjoy any fonts bySMeltery, you’ll automatically love Audimat Mono too. It was created by Jack Usine and you can choose between nine different variations of this typeface, to suit all the needs you may have.

    Lekton

    This font was designed by the Institute for Industrial Arts in Italy. It has its origins in the looks of the typefaces used on Olivetti typewriters, a company that was influential in typeface design.

    Handwriting

    Moving on to the next category, this style is very popular nowadays. Even though it’s more difficult to include in combinations and it can be tricky to use in all industries, a handwriting font can give a project that special allure that everyone is trying to achieve.

    Here is a shortlist of the best free fonts in a handwritten style:

    Timothy

    Handwriting doesn’t have to be all curly and swirly. The proof is Timothy, a playful hand-drawn typeface with block capitals, just like the ones you see in fairytale books.

    Timothy carries the name of its inspiration, Timothy Goodman, and was created by KsenyaZoltsmanwho made the font free to use for both personal and commercial use.

    Kavivanar

    Handwritten fonts sometimes struggle to be bold. Well, Kavivanar is definitely bold enough to get anyone’s attention. If you are familiar with Tamil handwriting, you will recognize this font in an instant.

    It includes Tamil alphabet letterforms as well as Latin letterforms and it was created by the type designer ThariqueAzeez who is now based in Sri Lanka.

    Kitten

    As the name suggests, this typeface is nothing but adorable. Kitten is designed to be used for logos or print design, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to those areas. It’s a great font that comes in different weights, but they are only free to use for personal purposes.

    Tuesday Night

    Font Forestry knows how to create good fonts, and Tuesday Night is just one example. The typeface is perfect for wedding invitations due to the attention-grabbing capital letters and exquisite form.

    Note: the demo version is free for personal use only.

    Hello Stockholm

    Last, but not least, Hello Stockholm is one of the best free fonts when it comes to handwriting. It is inspired by Scandinavian minimalism and it combines its simplicity with classic brushstrokes. This font goes well with all sans serif fonts.

    Retro

    Let’s talk a bit about vintage or retro fonts. They are at the center of attention these days because of their versatility and impressive effects on the audience. By using a retro font, you can instantly add age and texture to a design.

    We’ve selected some great free fonts from the retro style below:

    GarmentDistrict

    This is actually a Monoline Script font that has a vintage look to it. It’s the perfect typeface if you want a fancy design. It can be used for branding, signs, and ads, but you can get creative with it and use it with copy as well.

    What’s unique about it is that you get to choose between different uppercase letter options.

    Bobbers

    Bobbers is a 70’s inspired font that will only work well with specific projects. It is so bold and daring that you couldn’t be using it in a minimal design. Choose this font for your project’s header if you want to turn all the eyes towards your design and tell a confident story.

    Note: the demo version is free for personal use only.

    Canterbury

    How could we skip an OldEnglish font? Canterbury is a vintage font that resembles the typefaces used to write titles on the oldest newspapers out there. For that newsy look and a glimpse into the past, give Canterbury a chance.

    Cheque

    Cheque is a geometric-based typeface that has a classic look to it, which makes it vintage. It was actually a student’s project of Mirela Belova but it is now a display font that many people use for all sorts of purposes.

    Brush

    Tired of normality? Brush fonts will save the day. Each letter of a brush font will surprise you through its uniqueness. These fonts are a combination of vintage-retro fonts and modern fonts.

    Brush-style typography is definitely not for all purposes, but it’s worth a revival in popularity for sure.

    Oh Now!

    Syaf Rizal is known for his vast collection of amazing fonts. Adding one more to the list Oh Now! is a brush font that can’t be ignored. It is a textured, edgy typeface that can be used in all sorts of combinations for a unique effect.

    The Cat Has a Hat

    Are you a fan of Dr. Seuss? You probably guessed that The Cat Has a Hat, Luke Thornhill’s font is inspired by the book of a similar name.  Luke created no less than 1,500 characters and packed them all into one set that you can use as you please.

    Bosk

    Boris Garic used his talent to create this font using a brush pen only. How amazing is that? The creator worked hard on Bosk, which is now one of the most appreciated handmade brush fonts out there.

    Oraqle Script

    Need bold strokes? Oragle Script has it. This is another level of brush lettering —one that will stick to your retina once you see it. This font is preferred for logos, clothing, printing, and invitations.

    GallowTree

    It was about time to include a horror font in this list. Gallow Tree is a spooky, yet very pleasing brush font created with a Faber Castell brush pen. Simon Stratford poured his heart and soul into creating this beautiful font that we get to use.

    Note: the demo version is free for personal use only.

    Number

    Designers who use a lot of numbers know how difficult it is to find a font that supports all types of characters. The aesthetic of numbers is a bit more complicated than combining two fonts from different families, so it deserves special treatment.

    Here are some number-friendly fonts to get you out of this uncomfortable situation:

    DroidSerif

    This is a serif font built on contemporary design principles. Droid Serif is great if you are writing a lot of numbers because it is universal and legible. You won’t encounter any readability problems with it and that’s what makes it one of the best free fonts of this type.

    AbrilFatface

    Serifs with original numbers are not uncommon, but AbrilFatface seems to be the most creative one. You’ve probably seen this font while surfing the web, which is a testament to its versatility.

    Montserrat

    Montserrat is often used for titles, but it is just as good for numbers. Because of its letter spacing and thin lines, it is easy to read and aesthetically pleasing.

    Crimson Text

    Garamond-style serif fonts are among the top choices of designers, so there’s no wonder why Crimson Text is included here. It’s widely used yet still appreciated because of its lining and tabular figures.

    Old Standard TT

    Besides the gorgeous, old-school number style, this font also supports popular characters like the dollar sign and much else besides. It’s a font you don’t want to skip if it fits your project’s style.

    Ending thoughts on these best free fonts 

    Before proceeding to use any of the fonts above, make sure that you check the licenses again, in case anything changed. The license is normally listed on the website where you can download the font, so don’t forget to give it a quick read to ensure that it’s okay to use.

    As for design, this huge list of fonts should at least give you some inspiration for your next design project. Analyze them, see which one is suitable for your needs and proceed to combine them with other typefaces that fit. It’s a long process but it’s worth all the trouble.

    If you enjoyed reading this article about best free fonts, you should read these as well:

    The post 35 Best Free Fonts for Designers That Will Come in Handy appeared first on Amelia Booking WordPress Plugin.


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    WordPress is installed and ready to go — what’s next? Setting up your new website! In this article, we’ll show you the basics of setting up WordPress.

    Here’s what we’ll cover:

    • WordPress General Settings that you need to get in place.
    • How to change your WordPress admin username and why you should.
    • Where are your WordPress files stored? Why you might need to access those files and how to do so.
    • How to set up your permalinks.
    • Recap: WordPress General Settings to get in place.
    • WordPress setup and configuration moving forward.

    I’ll even throw in a bunch of tips for you to consider along the way!

    Related: Why WordPress? 7 Benefits of WordPress websites

    WordPress General Settings to put in place

    WordPress’ general settings are those that set the configuration of your site. These variables allow you to set your site title, customize how your site displays, add your tagline, configure your timezone and much more.

    Although the default settings will do for most websites, you’ll want to review these settings and potentially change them for your specific site, if necessary.

    Many of the WordPress default configuration settings will do for most websites. However, taking the time to fine-tune these settings for your specific site is something you’ll want to review and change if necessary.

    To access the WordPress General Settings, log in to your WordPress dashboard.

    In the left sidebar you’ll see Settings → General.

    Setting Up WordPress General Settings

    Your site title

    The site title will display in several places. You’ll see the title in your web browser title bar, and in the header of your WordPress theme (if you don’t replace it with a logo graphic). You’ll also see the site title in the Admin bar in the upper left, while in the dashboard. Depending on your theme and SEO plugins used, you will also have the option to include the site title as part of the title tag on each page and in your site’s RSS feed.

    Quick tip: Your site title will be the primary brand identifier for your site. Make sure it reflects your business name accurately and concisely.

    Tagline

    Your tagline display is dependent on your theme. However, having a tagline is worth creating as it contributes to what your brand is known for. This field is where you can include a short descriptive and memorable phrase that describes your website.

    Quick tip: The default installation tagline is “Just another WordPress site,” so be sure to either modify the tagline to fit your business or leave this field blank. If you can include your primary keyword phrase all the better!

    WordPress address

    This is the actual location of your WordPress installation and core files on your hosting server. For most sites, that will be the same as the URL your site visitors use to view your site. But let’s say WordPress is in a different folder or directory than your public home page. For example: https://yoursite.com/blog. In that case you’ll want to enter that URL here.

    Site address (URL)

    This is the address visitors will type into their browser to view your website (godaddy.com, for example).

    Quick tip: Rarely are these two fields different. Never include a trailing backslash.

    Email address

    WordPress sends administration and maintenance task emails to the email address entered in this field. This field should use an email address that uses the domain of your website to ensure that you receive all system emails. The address in this field will then receive new comment emails, site registrations, plugin and contact form output notifications. The email entered here will not be displayed on your website.

    Quick tip: This address does not need to be the same as the Administrator user account but does need to match your domain. You can use a specific address only used on your site so you can identify website emails easily such as website@yourdomain.com.

    Membership

    If you want to allow visitors to register for an account on your site, check this box. It is unchecked by default.

    Quick tip: Registration generally is only necessary if you are going to have membership areas or if you want to minimize comment spam by requiring registration.

    New user default role

    In most cases the default role is subscriber. This role allows members to only have access to their profile. Additional roles are available to allow more access to your site for team members and guest authors. You can even add additional administrators that have full access to everything we discuss in this article. Other roles are editor, author and contributor. You can review these roles and their capabilities here.

    Quick tip: Never provide your login credentials to any outside users, even those helping with your site. Instead, set up an account for them that you can then delete when/if necessary. Only give new users administrative permissions if you trust them explicitly with the entire functionality of your site.

    Site language

    Here you select which language is used in the dashboard from an extensive drop-down list.

    Timezone

    New WordPress installations default to UTC (Coordinated Universal Time, which is actually in London, England). You’ll see in the drop-down list that you can choose a timezone relative to UTC (such as “UTC+9”) or you can choose from the extensive list of cities organized by continent. If your specific city is not listed, simply select a city in your timezone that is listed.

    Quick tip: Once you set the timezone, your local time will be shown below that selection box, so you can double check that it is correct.
    Setting Up WordPress Time Date

    Date format

    By default, the date format is “Month/Day/Year.” However you’ll see that you have other options to choose from. There’s also an option to customize further if needed. You can find more details in the WordPress Codex about specifying custom formats.

    Quick tip: You’ll see a Preview of today’s date shown in the different format options, so you’ll know exactly what you are selecting.

    Time format

    The default is selected with several other formatting options to choose from, and the ability to specify a custom time format. There will be a preview for you to review your selection.

    Week starts on

    This lets you select whether you’d like your week to start on Sunday, Monday, or any other day, for that matter. This is a helpful setting if you are using a calendar plugin/widget that displays a weekly format.

    Quick tip: Be sure to click the “Save Changes” button any time you make a change on this page. If you do not, all edits to the WordPress general settings fields will be lost.

    Setting Up WordPress Users

    How to change the default “admin” username in WordPress and why you should

    When WordPress is set up, a primary default administrative username “admin” is created. Being this is the known default, potential troublemakers know that to be the case and then can try and hack their way into your site.

    All they need to do is guess your password and they then will have full access to your site.

     

    One of the first things you need to do is create your own administrator account and then delete that default “admin” username so that it no longer exists.

    How to update the default admin username in WordPress

    Step 1: Log in to WordPress using the default “admin” user account. Then go to Users → All Users. There you will see all the current user accounts.

    Quick tip: When you are adding the new username, you will need to use a different email address than that default “admin” account. Otherwise WordPress will display “ERROR: This email is already registered, please choose another one”. To avoid this, change the default admin account to another address first so that your new account can use your correct address.

    Step 2: Add a new user via Users → Add New and fill in all the fields. Be sure to set the privilege for the new user account to be “Administrator.” This new user will become your new admin user, so create a username that is not easy to guess for added security hardening.

    Step 3: Log out of the original admin user account.

    Step 4: Log back into the system using the new username you created in Step 2.

    Step 5: Delete the original “admin” user. WordPress will prompt you to reassign all of your old posts from the old Admin user to the new user. Do so if applicable.

    Quick tip: Use super difficult passwords. The longer and more complicated the better!

    This process takes just a few seconds and is a simple way to eliminate one of the common scenarios used to exploit WordPress sites.

    Where are WordPress files stored?

    Some folks jump over to Appearance → Editor and start modifying the .php files within their theme. But that’s how you end up with a broken site!

    That is why many hosts have the theme editor turned off by default. If you do not understand the layout and syntax of PHP, you risk easily breaking your site.

    That said, there will be times that you do want to tweak certain files.

     

    One example would be in your theme. Here’s an overview of WordPress’ file structure so you can get familiar with what is where. Including the files that are commonly modified (with great care).

    WordPress file locations

    If you are using cPanel web hosting you can use the File Manager interface in your cPanel to view your files. It will look something like this:

    Setting Up WordPress Files FTP
    Otherwise, if you are on GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting, you can connect via SFTP using an FTP software like FileZilla to connect to your hosting server and view files that way. You’ll find your settings in your GoDaddy dashboard:
    Setting Up WordPress SFTP Settings

    Setting Up WordPress SFTP Details

    Your website root

    To locate your website files navigate to the root of your hosting account. The root varies by platform and can be labeled as “public_html”. In the case of GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting, your WordPress files are in the home directory, under your username in the HTML folder:
    Setting Up WordPress Filezilla FTP
    This is where you’ll find the WordPress core files. The only files you might need to modify in the root, if you are confident that you know what you are doing, would be:

    1. robots.txt: The robots.txt file gives instructions to bots that crawl websites, e.g. Googlebot.
    2. .htaccess: The .htaccess file is a configuration file used by Apache, the most common web server software.
    3. wp-config.php: One of the most important WordPress files is the wp-config.php file. This file is located in the root and contains your website’s base configuration details, such as database connection information.

    The /wp-admin/ directory

    The /wp-admin/ directory is where all the backend WordPress dashboard files are located. There’s no reason for you to change any files there.
    Setting Up WordPress Directories

    The /wp-content/ directory

    This is where you’ll find your plugin, theme files, and uploads directories. (While there are other directories there as well, you most likely will never have to go into those.)

    The /wp-content/themes/ directory

    The themes directory is where you will find your theme files — and your style.css file. The style.css file is the file most website owners will want to modify. The style.css file contains the global font sizes, colors, layouts and spacing for your theme.

    Quick tip: To make simple CSS file changes, rather than modifying the CSS file directly, simply note the snippets you want to modify in the WordPress Dashboard Customization panel. Appearance → Customize → Additional CSS box.

    The /wp-content/plugins/ directory

    The plugins directory contains plugin files.

    Related: How to update and manage WordPress plugins across multiple sites

    The /wp-content/uploads/ directory

    The uploads directory contains graphics and files you have uploaded for your pages and posts.

    Quick tip: To better organize your media files be sure to set them to be organized by month and year folders.

    Setting Up WordPress Media Settings

    The /wp-includes/ directory

    Rarely will there be a reason to change any files in the wp-includes directory. This directory includes the packages that are included by the WordPress core that are maintained by the WordPress core team. Your themes and plugins rely on those packages being available.

    You can view an entire list of the WordPress directory structure and the files in the WordPress codex.

    A word of caution

    Before modifying any WordPress files, you should always make a copy of the original and save it to your hard drive. This way, if you do not like the results you can easily restore the entire original file/code and go back to the drawing board.

    Remember to always do a thorough backup before making any changes to your WordPress settings, configuration, themes or adding or removing plugins. This way, you can restore the backup if you’re not happy with the results of your changes.

    Whenever you are going to be making changes to your WordPress settings, configuration, themes or adding or removing plugins, always do a thorough backup first. This way if you are not happy with the results that your changes created, you can always restore to your backup.

    Related: Introducing GoDaddy’s automatic set-and-forget Website Backup

    Editor’s note: GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting features automatic setup, backups and WordPress core software updates. Even better? Award-winning, 24/7 technical support.

    How to set up your permalinks

    One other very important setting that you want to have setup properly from the beginning are your permalinks. The permalink format is what creates the URLs for your site as you create new pages and posts. You can find these settings here: Settings → Permalinks.

    Setting Up WordPress Permalinks
    The default selection is “plain.” As you can see, that isn’t very user-friendly nor does it help with your SEO. That’s why selecting the “post name” structure is the recommended format that you want set up from the very start.

    Post name will take the title of any page or post and use that for the page’s URL. For example a post titled “Order Policies” will have the permalink https://www.yourdomain.com/order-policies.

    Recap: WordPress general settings to get in place

    • Settings → General is where you’ll find all the basic WordPress settings. This includes title, tagline, URLs, Email Address, Membership, Default User Role, Language, Time Zone, Date/Time/Week formatting.
    • Default “admin” account needs to be deleted for security reasons.
    • Where WordPress files are located: If you are on cPanel, you can go to your File Manager, if you are on Managed WordPress you use an FTP program like Filezilla.
    • Set up your permalinks right away.

    WordPress setup and configuration moving forward

    Once installed, these are the WordPress general settings that you want to get in place so that your site behaves and displays the way you like.

    There are other settings that you might want to customize as well. The best approach is to go through the left sidebar of options one by one and get familiar with what is where. This will help you to become familiar with all the WordPress configuration options available to customize your new site further.

    This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by the following authors: Christopher Carfi, Mendel Kurland and Lisa Stambaugh

    The post Setting up WordPress: Configuring settings, changing admin username and more appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    This article was originally published on July 16, 2015, and was updated on June 7, 2018, and August 5, 2019.

    Since you’re reading this email marketing guide, it’s probably safe to assume that you already see some value in email marketing for your business. I’ll take the opportunity anyway to mention a few salient points about email and why marketing and email go together well.

    Nearly half of all people worldwide use email. That’s about 3.9 billion people (including about 233 million in the U.S.), according to 2019 stats. It’s estimated that the number of email users worldwide will top 4.3 billion by 2023. Yup, email’s popular.

    Email marketing is a vibrant and powerful way to connect with people.

     

    Email is a part of our lives. A very big part. And if you run a business, email marketing can play a vital role in your success. In fact, 59% of consumers say email marketing influences their decision to purchase.

    Ready to get in on some of that action? Good.

    Email marketing guide: Covering the basics

    Here’s what we’re going to cover in this entry-level email marketing guide:

    Let’s get started.

    Contact lists

    Man At Desk On Smartphone Illustrates Email Contact List

    Right off the bat, let’s get some terminology out of the way.

    You’ll often hear of opt-in and permission-based email marketing. Both of these terms mean that your subscribers gave you permission to email them. And that’s important.

    With the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), following the rules regarding your email subscribers’ data privacy has never been more critical.

    Permission can come in a variety of ways, including being an active customer or filling out a form on your website.

    The key thing is that they specifically gave you — not another company — permission to send them specific types of emails.

    With email lists, bigger is not better. In fact, there are benefits to “cleaning” your list frequently. From a monetary standpoint, you’ll save yourself some expenses.

    If 30% of your list is utterly unresponsive, why pay for it? But there’s a more compelling reason to keep your list healthy: delivery!

    Related: Beginner’s guide to starting an email list

    8 tips for building a contact list

    No email marketing guide would be complete with some recommendations for building a contact (aka subscriber) list.

    1. Write a strong call-to-action on or near your signup form. Tell people exactly why they should subscribe. Perhaps they’ll enjoy special offers, exclusive content or a quote of the day. What’s in it for them?
    2. Create a relevant online quiz. With a quiz-hosting platform, you can trade quiz results for the quiz taker’s email address. And who knows — it might just go viral!
    3. Host a virtual conference. Interview leaders in your industry and market the series of recorded interviews as a virtual conference. Ask “attendees” to subscribe to your email list to gain access to the content.
    4. Share your signup form in your content. Yep — right in the middle of a blog post! When you make a particularly strong point, follow it up with a newsletter plug: “To receive more ideas like this in your inbox, subscribe to my email list.” Include a link to your signup form.
    5. Offer to give new subscribers something special on their birthday. Whether it’s a coupon, a freebie, or a social media shoutout, most people like it when other people — and brands — acknowledge their big day.
    6. Create a free email-based course. Cull your best content and organize it into a series of autoresponders. Create a special signup form for the course and spread the word.
    7. Host a contest on social media. Offer a drool-worthy prize and tell folks they can secure an entry by subscribing to your fabulous newsletter.
    8. Offer a new-subscriber discount. Let folks know that as soon as they subscribe, they’ll receive a one-time promo code or print-ready coupon. Set up an autoresponder to deliver your discount.

    Related: Best form builders for gathering contact info

    Your contact list and delivery

    Your delivery is affected more by your list health than anything else.

    If your recipients have no idea who you are, they’ll mark your emails as spam.

     

    If your list contains “spam traps” or old email addresses from accounts that haven’t been logged into in years, internet service providers (ISPs) like Gmail pay attention to that. They start assuming the worst and might even start sending your emails to the spam folder.

    Trash Cans Represent Spam Email

    Signup forms

    The most common way to grow your list (healthily) is to add a signup form to your website.

    While you can add an email signup form anywhere, I’d recommend placing it somewhere obvious on your website’s home page.

    You can also share the URL for your signup form anywhere you like, including on social media.

    Related: How to create a contact form in GoDaddy GoCentral

    If you’re interacting with people in person, have a signup sheet handy and ask visitors and customers to give you their email addresses and other info.

    What information to collect

    Many people collect info beyond just the email address — like name, city, state and more. Depending on what type of business you run, this info may or may not be pertinent.

    Consider your email marketing goals.

     

    GoDaddy Website Builder Show Contact Form Button On By DefaultWill it be important to be able to sort your contacts by state or ZIP code? A band on tour might need this, but a web-based business might not. Would you like to send an automated email to customers on their birthdays?

    If you’re not sure whether you need lots of info, you probably don’t.

    And a simple signup form might seem less daunting to potential subscribers.

    Editor’s note: GoDaddy Email Marketing includes a signup form for your business’s website or Facebook page. Plus, this elegant but easy-to-use email marketing tool seamlessly integrates with our Website Builder and Managed WordPress Hosting.

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    Email content

    Here’s the REAL reason you’re emailing: You want to connect with your customers and fans.

    You want to provide value, keep them informed, and give them a bit of enjoyment in their hectic day.

    You also want them to read your next one, to share it with friends, and to stay loyal customers. Don’t lose sight of that.

    And how do you do that?

    Email marketing topics

    Brewing Coffee Illustrates Email Marketing Content IdeaStart by sitting down and asking yourself, “What do I look forward to receiving in my inbox? What can I share that my customers might not know? If I were my customer, what would I find interesting?”

    These could be personal stories about a product, the chef’s inspiration behind a new dish, or news about the industry you’re in.

    If you’re informing, you’re already being interesting. If you’re interesting, it won’t feel like an advertisement.

    Say your business is selling small-batch roasted coffee beans. A weekly email that highlights various ways to prepare coffee, from cold press to stove-top percolators (my favorite!), would be perfect. Talk roasting techniques or why the chief coffee poobah created a blend of dark-roasted Sumatran beans and medium roasted Arabica or … you get the point. As a passionate coffee drinker, I’d find this fascinating and I’d be inspired to try out those techniques or new blends.

    Related: Email newsletter ideas you can use right now

    Email length

    I’m a fan of being concise. I like to be able to scan an email quickly and “get it.”

    If you have a lot to say on a specific subject, consider hosting the whole article on your website or blog and linking to it from your email. That’s one of the goals of email marketing — to drive more traffic to your site.

    If your readers need 10 minutes to get through your email, it’s probably too long.

     

    If you’re sending a newsletter with a ton of valuable information, consider organizing it into sections and including a clickable table of contents. This is sometimes referred to as creating “named anchors.” Here’s how to do it.

    Call-to-action

    A call-to-action (aka CTA) is an appeal to your readers — a request that they do something in particular.

    A good marketing email is built around a primary call-to-action, whether it’s clicking through to an article, buying a new product, or checking out your events calendar.

    Once you’ve determined your primary call-to-action, make it clear what you want your readers to do. When designing your email:

    • Keep your layout simple and clean.
    • Don’t waste any time — get to the point quickly.
    • Place your primary call-to-action (with link) toward the top.

    If your email requires readers to scroll to read to the end, you might want to reiterate your CTA toward the bottom.

    Related: 8 costly call-to-action mistakes you’re making on your website

    Proofreading emails

    Simply put, good writing matters. Don’t distract your readers with typos or exhaust them with too many exclamation marks. Before you hit “send,” heed these three pieces of advice:

    • Ban passivity from your writing.
    • Cut the fluff.
    • Phrase things in a more interesting way.

    And have an eagle-eyed friend proofread your email — it’s worth the extra step to catch run-on sentences and poor grammar.

    Related: 5 tools to improve your written communication skills

    Edits on Paper Illustrate Proofreading Emails

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    Email design

    Major blogs and publications usually have a main title, an article heading, maybe a teaser (I call this a subheading) and then some text. Oh, and an image. This works great for emails, too. Pretty neat and easy to read, right?

    While dual columns might seem attractive because well, you’ve seen emails with that format, it’s a “noisy” format that distracts from your message. Keep it simple!

    Keep Email Formatting Uncluttered To Focus Readers On Your Message Graphic With Mailbox

    Banner image

    The banner is a logo or an image that goes right up at the top of your email. Nearly every website you’ll ever visit has something similar.

    The banner image is the first step to branding your email, and since it makes the first impression, it’s vitally important!

    To create a banner image, you’ll need an image-editing application (online or desktop) or a friend with design skills. If you’re the DIY type, here are some resources to help you get started with image editing:

    Import your logo into an image-editing application and do any necessary cropping and resizing. Don’t go overboard with some elaborate design — your company name is usually enough.

    Related: How to design a logo in 12 steps — A DIY guide

    Some of the most beautiful and effective email banners are just pictures.

    For brick-and-mortar stores, try using a photograph of your shop with the name captured in the frame. The point is, have a banner image! It’s your brand. Even if it’s simply your business name in big block letters, that’s fine. It’s easy to change later.

    Editor’s note: Need someone else to create a high-quality logo for your business, without breaking the bank? Look into GoDaddy’s Logo Design Service.

    Color scheme

    Color can set the vibe of your emails, whether you’re going for a calming effect with subdued grays and blues or “party time” with neon and black.

    A stylish, well-thought-out color scheme ties everything together and plays a role in emphasizing important information and links.

    Closeup Colored Pencils Represent Email Color SchemeThere are plenty of ready-made color schemes out there, but I like to create my own. In GoDaddy Email Marketing, you can create a custom theme (aka template) with your favorite colors and fonts.

    Grab ideas, inspiration and guidance from your website and your banner image.

    Here’s where a color-picking tool comes in handy. The color picker — like this one — will give you the exact color, usually in the form of a hexadecimal color code.

    The “hex” code is a six-character code made up of numbers and letters.

    So if you hover the color picker over a color in your banner, you’ll get the hex code. Then you can use that same color in your custom email theme.

    Related: How to choose brand colors and use them on your website

    Tips for creating a great color scheme

    Here are some suggestions for coming up with a color scheme for compelling emails:

    1. Find your boldest color. It could be a bright red, a dark blue or a green that just stands out. It’s usually an eye-catching color in your banner or on your website. Use this for section titles and links.
    2. Keep it readable. Keep the inner background color behind your text white or something light. Dark text on white background is very easy to read.
    3. Set a neutral outer background. Make your outer background a light gray or something similar. This allows your content to be the focus and helps make it pop.
    4. Use a strong dark border. This highlights the space you want your readers to focus on and can help make your content “float” above the outer areas.
    5. Experiment with heading colors. You can’t go wrong with simple here. I tend to make my headings a dark charcoal and the subheading a medium (but readably dark) gray. These colors work with nearly every theme.
    6. Keep it common. Paragraph text should be a very dark shade of gray. Many designers say that off-black is the most readable font color, and I suggest using color codes #222222 or #444444.

    Related: How to choose brand colors and use them on your website

    Typography

    Fonts matter, too.

    Your readers will notice the difference between Helvetica and Comic Sans. More subtly, there’s a difference in mood between Georgia and Optima. While it might not be as obvious as a jarring color scheme, using mismatched (or oddly sized) fonts is bit like wearing pink socks with a tuxedo.

    When in doubt, keep it simple. The goal is to make your emails as easy to read as possible.

    Related: Website typography basics for online businesses

    Images

    Photographer Represents Using Images For Email Marketing

    There are lots of great reasons to include images in emails. Online stores can include thumbnails of their cool new products. Bands can include photos from their latest show. Restaurants can show off their seasonal creations.

    Images can be very fun and engaging.

     

    Thankfully, there’s seldom any reason to hire a designer or pay for images. Almost everything you need can be found on your website, your camera, or free stock photo sites.

    A few tips for using images in emails:

    1. Don’t use too many images. Be restrained and tasteful (whatever that means to you).
    2. Make sure your images complement your content and don’t distract from it.
    3. Format your images. In GoDaddy Email Marketing, banner images are always the full width of your email — 590 pixels. You can resize other images from 79 to 554 pixels in width, with no height limitations.
    4. Avoid using images larger than 1MB. The ideal file size is less than 150KB. The smaller the file size, the faster your image will download.
      And that’s it for the mostly creative part of this email marketing guide!

    Next, let’s talk about …

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    Sending and deliverability

    Of course, you don’t want to go through the effort of creating beautiful, useful and engaging emails that no one is going to open! That’s where subject lines, personalization and sender ID come into play.

    Subject lines

    Don’t worry about the ideal day or time to send your emails — that will drive you mad.

    To get more people to open your emails, focus on your subject lines.

     

    While there’s no such thing as the perfect subject line, some are certainly more powerful than others.

    A compelling subject line can only be built on a strong foundation of content, so make sure that your email offers value.

    If you want to drive higher open rates, write content that inspires great subject lines. Here are some tips:

    1. Be honest. “Hilarious Cat Video Inside!” is not a good subject line if your email does not contain a cat video.
    2. Be brief. Limit yourself to 10 words. Nothing bad will happen if your subject line is 11 words, but in general, concise is better.
    3. Be descriptive. If your email is all about the latest in international politics, then go with something like “North Korea at it Again and U.S.-China Relations Strained.” In a few words, it captures what the email is about and your readers will know there’s good stuff inside!
    4. Be funny. When appropriate, humorous subject lines can drive more opens — but it’s a fine line. Only be funny if you can also follow the other rules.
    5. Avoid all CAPS! No one likes being yelled at, and it might even trigger spam filters.
    6. Avoid excessive punctuation. A comma or a period is fine, but there’s really no need for five exclamation marks.
    7. Create a sense of urgency. Using phrases like “only three days left” might boost open rates.
    8. Focus on the first words. When a reader is previewing your email in the inbox, he or she might only see the first few words. Make them count.
    9. Identify yourself. Using your business name or your product name might boost open rates.
    10. Do your research. Try using the Google Trends tool to identify some strong keywords. While the tool is for SEO, it can tell you what terms people are searching for on Google, and thus, what they’re interested in.
    11. Be true to the purpose of a subject line. The purpose is a preview of the email: a handful of words that capture the essence of the subject matter.

    I’ve always found feedback to be extremely constructive and with subject lines, getting some outside perspective is vital. Ask your friends and colleagues what they think the subject line should be or have them edit your subject lines.

    Better yet, come up with a few options and ask them to come up with some themselves. Then decide which is best. This often results in a really effective subject line.

    Related: Why email subject lines are the ultimate micro-content

    Personalization

    On average, personalized email messages perform three times better than their generic “blast and batch” counterparts. That makes sense, right?

    Use your customer’s name, send them emails triggered by certain events (like their birthday), and cater to their interests. Your customers will appreciate the special attention.

    Here’s how to use personalization tags with GoDaddy Email Marketing.

    Related: How to use personalization to increase sales

    Sender ID

    Before you send your email, consider the name that will appear in your readers’ inboxes. Who is this email from? It’s from you!

    As a recipient, you probably like receiving emails from a real email address, not noreply@faceless.com. See the difference?

    You can reply to a person or a business, but you’re never going to start up a conversation with a computer.

    If you run a small business, it’s really lovely to send your emails to your readers from “you.” You’ll create connections that way. I even recommend avoiding addresses like newsletter@ or news@. They’re nicer than a do-not-reply address but still a little stiff.

    Related: Show them you know them with personalized email marketing

    Now, we come to the name you’re going to be using.

    Sending as your full name (e.g., Dean Levitt) might be a logical conclusion but not all your customers know your full name. When I sent newsletters from my previous company, I used: Mad Mimi or Dean – Mad Mimi. Both made it clear that I’m a real person and I represent a specific company.

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    Email analytics

    No email marketing guide would be complete without a section on email analytics. Why? Stats count! They are what you use to measure and improve your small business’s email marketing efforts.

    Email marketing is about connecting with your readers and customers. Statistics are a way to affirm that the connection is being made.

    It’s fun to watch the stats update after a send, but if you sit there obsessing about whether three more people will open the email tonight, email stats will become a lot less fun. And so will email marketing.

    Stats can help you learn more about your customers and fans.

     

    Knowledge is power. If a particular theme or subject line consistently gets considerably high stats, you’ll know to create similar content in the future.
    Stats are something to enjoy! It’s wonderful to know that 20% of the folks you emailed yesterday read your thoughts and some even clicked through and purchased some stuff. Statistics can either be helpful or misleading, so it’s vital you understand the basics.

    Email stats are almost universally broken up into:

    • Views (or “opened”)
    • Clicks (or “engaged”)
    • Unsubscribes

    Editor’s note: GoDaddy Email Marketing includes reports that show which emails get opened, clicked and shared. You can also easily add Google Analytics to your account to see how long email subscribers stayed on your website once they clicked through, what they clicked on, which pages they read, and where they went from there.

    Views

    Man Viewing Tablet Represents Using Email Analytics To Track Views

    How many people opened your email?

    When a reader sees your email in her inbox and clicks on it, there’s still one more step before it gets counted as a view. The images need to load.

    However, many email clients like Gmail and Yahoo don’t load images right away unless the sender is in the reader’s address book or marked as trusted.

    Open rates depend on multiple factors — including collection practices, list age, sending frequency, industry, subject lines and your relationship with your readers.

    The average view rates for bulk sending are 10% to 25%. So, if only a quarter of your contacts open your email, don’t worry — you’re doing fine! If less than 10% read your email, it’s time to make some changes.

    Clicks

    How many people clicked on a link in your email?

    Click-through rates tend to be quite a bit lower than views.

    Many senders think of clicks as the most important statistic, but I find opens to be more indicative of whether you’re reaching your readers and how engaged they are with your brand in general.

    However, click-through rates can reflect whether you’re using links effectively.

    If it’s easy to click, people will. To make it easy for readers to visit your site, make all your images clickable (including the banner) and place multiple text links in your content.

    Unsubscribes

    How many people opted out?

    Sometimes people just don’t want to receive your emails anymore. Unsubscribing doesn’t mean they hate you or that they’re no longer customers — they simply don’t want to receive emails from you right now.

    However, it’s time to start worrying if more than 1% of your list unsubscribes each time. And if your unsubscribe rate is consistently above 0.5%, review your list and content.

    Unsubscribes should not be a noticeable trend.

     

    If you respect your readers and are adding value to their day with your emails, you won’t see many unsubscribes.

    List maintenance

    You can use your email statistics to keep your list up to date. After more than about 15 sends (or six months), you’ll likely see that much more than 25% of your readers viewed at least one email. The views add up, usually to a nice, high number.

    These are your fans — let them know you love and appreciate their loyalty!

    Conversely, someone who never viewed an email in six months probably won’t be interested in the next email either. Isolate them from your main list and send them a special email asking them to opt-in again, reminding them why they signed up in the first place.

    If that doesn’t work, remove these email addresses from your list. You’ll probably save money and keep your list healthy and up to date.

    While you can’t reach everyone every time, with consistent sending, you’ll reach most of your audience (and grow your audience). Be patient and be positive!

    Related: Why deleting email subscribers can improve your marketing efforts

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    Wrapping up

    That’s it — the basics of email marketing for your small business! To sum up:

    1. Start building a contact list. Remember to pay close attention to subscriber opt-in details. When collecting subscriber information on your signup form, less is more.
    2. Create engaging content. Offer topics that will interest your target audience, always including a strong call-to-action. Keep your newsletter content short and snappy and link back to more information on your website or blog. And don’t forget the proofreader!
    3. Use a design that jives with your brand. Include an eye-catching banner image and limit the number of fonts.
    4. To increase open rates and click-throughs, write compelling subject lines, personalize your emails, and sign them with your name.
    5. Track and measure email marketing metrics such as views, clicks and unsubscribes to continue learning and improving your efforts. Regularly clean up your email list.

    Taking those five main steps will get you well on your way to effectively marketing your business using email. Good luck!

    The post Beginner’s email marketing guide for small businesses appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    As a small-business owner, it’s important to be efficient about how you communicate whenever possible. Just like your customers, you’re always on the move—and you need to make sure that every interaction helps build stronger, more connected relationships.

    With a dedicated phone number for your small business, you’re on the right path. But there are times when making or taking a phone call just isn’t possible. Nor is it always the way customers want to do business. According to a 2016 Twilio study, 66% of consumers stated that texting was their preferred communication channel, which is what makes business SMS messaging so powerful.

    With SmartLine, you can send and receive these SMS text messages directly through the app on your smartphone.

    If you’re not using it already, now’s your chance to level up your interactions with customers and give them what they want.

    1. Communicate quickly and effectively.

    SMS messaging is arguably one of the most efficient ways to connect with your customers, with an average response time of 90 seconds (compared with a 90-minute response time for email). Texting also lends itself to concise conversations, making it ideal for updates and check-ins.

    Your customers can reach out with simple questions, and you’ll be able to follow up with them immediately, without having to find time—and a quiet place—for a phone call or wait for someone to check their email.

    2. Use message history to keep track of conversations.

    Unlike a phone call or a series of separate emails, SMS messages have an easily viewed conversation history that each party can see every time they receive a new message. You never have to look back at your call notes or dig through your inbox to find the right thread. With business SMS messaging, you can track every conversation in the app, all the way back to the beginning.

    That history ensures that you don’t miss out on any important details, and it acts as a reliable reference for subsequent conversations. It keeps everyone accountable. Both you and the customer can reference the conversation to verify what has already been explained or promised. It gives you the ability to track customer engagement and satisfaction as well.

    3. Connect with customers on the go.

    While your customers may not always be available to pick up the phone or respond to an email, they’ll likely have time to shoot off a quick text. The same goes for small-business owners. Even if you’re just letting someone know you’ve received their voicemail and will reply later with a full answer, an SMS message is the perfect tool.

    These replies let the customer know you’ve received their message and lets you manage their expectations for additional follow-up, which is a great customer experience. It also helps keep your small business top of mind because you can check in, reply, or just say hi in only a few seconds.

    4. Share information directly.

    It’s not always practical to explain a complicated process over the phone. With SMS text messaging, you have the opportunity to share links, pictures, videos, and other content directly with the customer. Whether you’re troubleshooting a difficult issue, sending follow-up information, or looking to gather some additional details from the customer, SMS messages are a nice additional customer support tool kit.

    While this kind of communication is just as possible through email, it isn’t as immediate, and it puts additional steps in place for your customers. Using business SMS messages, you can send information quickly while you’re on the phone or having a text conversation. Customers can also take and share pictures directly from their smartphones, which can go a long way toward simplifying your interactions.

    5. Respond to voicemails (using transcripts).

    Sometimes it won’t be convenient to return a phone call. Maybe you’re helping another customer or just trying to accomplish one of the myriad other tasks that make up a small-business owner’s day. With business SMS messaging capabilities, you can always let the customer know when they can expect a more in-depth reply.

    While you can do this by listening to the customer’s voicemail, the SmartLine app provides an automatic text transcript of any voicemail, helping you save time and set expectations for the customer. Instead of waiting for a reply, they will know exactly when to expect a follow-up and will understand that they’ll have your full attention.

    Set up your business SMS with SmartLine

    With SmartLine, your separate business phone line includes SMS text messaging. It’s easy to get started:

    1. Sign up for your free trial with GoDaddy SmartLine.
    2. Choose a phone number.
    3. Connect your mobile device.
    4. Install the app via the automated text you receive.
    5. Start sending and receiving texts right away!

    With business SMS messaging, you will be able to always connect with customers in the channel they prefer and will never miss out on an interaction. The ability to text helps build stronger relationships with the customer and keeps your small business top of mind.

    The post 5 benefits of business SMS messaging appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    We compiled a list of 50 SEO stats and online search facts to remind you of something important: To attract online attention for your business, you can’t just set up a website and social media profile and expect the traffic to roll in. You need to position your brand to show up in online search by utilizing search engine optimization.

    When you follow good SEO practices, your brand will appear more frequently in online search results and increase your online visibility, customer base and sales.

    These SEO statistics prove it.

    Related: Beginner’s guide to search engine optimization for small business websites

    General SEO stats

    The opportunity to connect with interested customers through online search is high for brands in all industries because search engagement is incredibly high.

    1. On average, there are more than 40,000 Google searches performed every second (Internet Live Stats).

    2. Each day, there are 3.5 billion Google searches (Internet Live Stats).

    3. That adds up to 1.2 trillion Google searches per year (Internet Live Stats).

    Every day millions of people use online search. While there are other search engine options, such as Bing, Yahoo! and DuckDuckGo, Google still holds the largest share of searches.

    4. About 88% of worldwide searches are conducted on Google (StatCounter).

    People use search engines to look for information related to news, trends and most importantly, products, services and businesses.

    Customers search before they buy products online and before they visit a physical storefront.

    Here are some SEO stats to back up that statement:

    5. 88% of consumers research online before making a purchase either online or in-store (United States B2C Ecommerce Country Report).

    6. 27% of customers search for a local business daily (BrightLocal).

    7. 69% of customers search for a local business monthly (BrightLocal).

    Customers use online search to inform and guide their purchasing decisions. So if you aren’t engaging in SEO practices, you might be missing opportunities to drive new customers to your products, services and business.

    And, you might be falling behind brands who are already using SEO to build and grow their business.

    8. 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority (HubSpot).

    Related: How Google Trends can help you find your next customer

    Online search trends

    If you aren’t convinced that SEO is a worthwhile marketing tactic for your brand, here are a few more surprising SEO stats to show just how powerful online search is.

    It’s important to understand is that search algorithms are always changing.

     

    To keep up in search, you need to know what trends and changes are happening with both search engines and users.

    Search engines change through algorithm updates. An algorithm is a formula of search factors that search engines use to determine which pages should rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).

    9. Since 2003, there have been up to 70 known Google algorithm updates (Search Engine Journal).

    Each time an algorithm updates, it changes the list and value of ranking factors.

    10. It’s estimated there are 200 ranking factors used in Google’s search algorithm (Backlinko).

    To build, grow and maintain ranking potential for your website, you need to optimize your site to appeal to ranking factors that are more important to search engines. You also need to know how to appeal to the engagement factors that are more important to users.

    For example, users are still sticking to the first page of search results. If you don’t appear there, you won’t drive much traffic to your site through organic search.

    11. 75% of searchers never move on to the second page of search results (Hubspot).

    Another interesting SEO stat refers to how people are always finding new things to search for.

    You always have new opportunities for connecting with searchers.

     

    12. 15% of Google searches have never been searched for (Search Engine Land).

    Keeping up with trends and search habits will help you know what terms and tactics are most likely to attract search crawlers and users.

    Related: 10 ways to improve Google keyword ranking

    SEO and voice search

    A recent search trend to follow is the growth of voice search and keyword length. At one time, most searches were for short, concise keyword phrases. But now, long-tail keywords are becoming more and more important.

    Voice Search SEO Stats

    13. 70% to 80% of online searches are for long-tail keywords that consist of three or more words (Search Engine Land).

    Part of this trend is due to online search using more natural language.

    People aren’t searching for keywords as much as they are searching for questions.

     

    The rise of voice-activated search devices like Sir, Amazon Echo and Google Home have driven this trend. More and more people are speaking their searches instead of typing them in.

    14. It’s predicted that by 2020, 30% of web browsing will be done without a screen (Gartner).

    15. The number of voice queries increased 3,400% between 2008 and 2017 (HubSpot).

    16. By 2020, it’s forecast that 50% of all searchers will be voice searches (ComScore).

    Related: Voice search and SEO — What’s the big deal?

    Search and mobile

    The shift toward voice search started when search trends moved from desktops to mobile devices. As smart devices because more available and readily used, mobile search became more popular than desktop searches.

    Holding Smartphone to Illustrate Mobile Online Search
    17. Since 2015, users perform more searches on mobile devices than desktop computers (Search Engine Land).

    People have their phones with them all of the time, and they frequently use them to search.

    18. 87% of smartphone owners perform a search on it at least once a day (Search Engine Journal).

    To get noticed, your website needs to be optimized to appeal to mobile searchers. It needs a mobile-friendly, responsive design as this is a ranking factor and something that users demand.

    19. Nearly 8 in 10 consumers will stop engaging with digital content that doesn’t display well on their device (Adobe).

    Your site also needs to be fast to appeal to mobile searchers.

    20. 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load (Google).

    21. As page load goes from 1 to 3 seconds, the probability of a bounce increases 32% (Google).

    22. As page load goes from 1 to 6 seconds, the probability of a bounce increases 106% (Google).

    Related: Site speed and the small business website

    Local SEO
    Map on Tablet Illustrates Local SEO Stats

    Search engines are sophisticated, and they optimize their results pages — especially their mobile search results pages — to display businesses that are located near the searcher. This is a good thing for local businesses because local online searches lead to visitors and purchases.

    23. 97% of search engine users have searched for a local business (GO-Gulf).

    24. 46% of all searches on Google were for local information (GO-Gulf).

    When people do an online search for a local business, they are often ready to call, visit or buy something — especially if the search is on a mobile device.

    25. 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours (Nectafy via Hubspot).

    26. 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day (Google).

    27. 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day (Google).

    28. Between 2015 and 2017, there was a 500% increase in the number of mobile searches that include the phrase “near me” and a variant of “can I buy” or “to buy” (Google).

    With strong local SEO, you can effectively reach nearby searchers and drive more customers to your local business. Having good SEO leads to business opportunities in more ways than one.

    Related: 7 mobile SEO practices to increase Google search ranking

    SEO, conversions and ROI

    As these SEO stats show, SEO is connected to strong sales funnels and often shows a high return on investment (ROI).

    29. 57% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation (NewsCred).

    30. 71% marketers use broad keywords to capture leads at the top of the purchase funnel (Regalix).

    31. 81% of B2B purchase cycles start with web search (Earnest Agency via Freely).

    32. On average, organic search leads have a 14.6% close rate, compared to 1.7% for outbound marketing leads (NewsCred, via HubSpot).

    The high ROI on search has led some brands to invest heavily in their SEO strategy.

    33. 45% of enterprises are investing more than $20,000 on SEO each month (B2BMarketingZone).

    You can generate sales through a search engine marketing, but to really succeed, you also need to know how to maximize your efforts by using SEO strategies in the right places and accurately measuring your results.

    34. On smartphones, conversion rates are 15 times higher from search than social (Marin Software).

    35. On average, conversion rates are 10 times higher from search than from social on desktops (Marin Software).

    36. Only 44% of companies say they can measure paid search ROI effectively (Digital Marketing).

    Related: What’s the difference between SEO and CRO?

    SEO, content and backlinks

    As you develop an SEO plan, you must acknowledge the role that content plays in search engine optimization.

    It’s difficult to have a strong SEO plan without a strong on-site content plan.

     

    37. 60% of companies report that their SEO and content strategy are integrated (Social Media Examiner).

    38. 53% of marketers rank content creation as the single most effective SEO tactic (NewsCred).

    Looking at SEO stats, you’ll see the use of content on a website is powerful because it forms relationships with audiences while impacting search engine results.

    When your website has a large quantity of high-quality content, it will be more likely to rank.

    39. Companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages than those which don’t (Search Engine Land).

    Having a variety of high-quality, long-form pages that use on-site keyword optimization boosts SEO even more.

    40. Improvements in content have been known to increase blog traffic by as much as 2,000% (Marketing Sherpa).

    41. The average first-page result on Google contains 1,890 words (Backlinko).

    42. Content with at least one image outperforms content with no graphics (Backlinko).

    One of the best things about building SEO through content is that the value of your content strategy can grow over time.

    43. 10% of blog posts are compounding, which means organic search increases their traffic over time (Hubspot).

    44. Companies that published over 16 blog posts per month received almost 250% more traffic than companies that published up to four monthly posts (Hubspot).

    Another upside of content is that websites that have a blog are more likely to acquire links back to their site.

    45. Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website (Hubspot).

    Gaining links back to your site is an important part of SEO.

    Next to content, backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors.

     

    Content on a page tells search engines what the page is about. Links tell search engines how trustworthy and well-known the site is.

    46. The average page in position No. 1 on Google has 35,000+ external backlinks (Backlinko).

    Related: How to get backlinks to a small business website

    Paid search

    SEO can be divided into two categories: organic and paid. Organic SEO works to appeal to ranking factors so that a site shows up naturally in search. Paid SEO uses pay-per-click advertising to pay for search visibility.

    Spending money on paid search isn’t a requirement for SEO, but it can be an effective way for giving your website and business a boost online.

    Many marketers report that paid search has a high ROI and is a good investment.

    47. 61% of CMOs say search engines are an effective marketing channel (AdWeek).

    48. U.S. spending on paid search and organic optimization will top $45 billion by 2019 (MediaPost).

    49. Businesses make $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend (Google).

    Many marketers turn to paid search while they are building their organic SEO. Whereas organic SEO can take months to years to build (depending on your industry and competition), PPC ads can put your brand on the front page of Google in one day.

    Plus, PPC ads can boost conversions — making it an online search strategy worth exploring even after building up strong organic rankings.

    50. 50% of people arriving at a retailers site from paid ads are more likely to buy than those who came from an organic link (Unbounce).

    Related: What’s the difference between Amazon advertising and paid ads on Google and Facebook?

    Use SEO stats to inspire your online search strategy

    As these SEO statistics show, online search is a powerful way for your business to connect with new audiences, grow your local customer base, fill your sales funnels, and boost your online presence.

    So if you aren’t taking full advantage of online search to grow your business, what are you waiting for?

    Need some help? Let the experts at GoDaddy SEO Services guide your SEO strategy and optimize your site so it gets the attention it deserves. Contact GoDaddy today to see how you can work less and rank higher.

    The post 50 online search and SEO stats to blow your mind appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Making simple edits and maintaining a WordPress website isn’t as hard as it might seem. You just need to know what features matter to you and how to use them — and that’s why mastering your WordPress dashboard is so important.

    New user’s guide to the WordPress dashboard

    The rest of this guide will introduce elements of the WordPress dashboard and how to use them so you can confidently manage and update your new website. Here’s what we’re going to cover:

    Ready to get started? Let’s go!

    Related: How to build a WordPress website for the first time

    What is the WordPress dashboard?

    A WordPress website has two views:

    1. The front-end, user-facing view that displays your website. This is the site that people see when they type your URL into their browser.

    WordPress Dashboard Frontend
    2. The back-end, admin-facing view that displays your website’s WordPress dashboard. The back end is where you manage and make changes to your website.

    WordPress Dashboard Backend

    You can navigate to the WordPress dashboard through a login page.WordPress Dashboard LoginThe login page is usually located on yoursitename.com/wp-admin. But, many sites now use a different login URL string to prevent hacking attempts.

    There are also other ways to access the login page or back end of your site. You can use:

    • Your hosting provider. In your hosting account, there is often a link to get to the back end of your site.
    • ManageWP. If you have multiple sites, you can add them to a ManageWP account so you can quickly access each dashboard with one login.

    As for your username and password, the primary admin user account is set up during the site development process. Logins for other users can be added using the WordPress admin dashboard. (We’ll get into that later in this guide.) If you don’t have your login information, ask your developer or check your hosting account.

    Related: Setting up WordPress — Configuring settings, changing admin username and more

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    The WordPress Quick Start Wizard

    GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting features an introductory Quick Start Wizard that helps new sites get off the ground. It includes basic tasks that get your site up and running.

    • If your site isn’t set up, you will go through the Quick Start Wizard the first time you log in to your WordPress admin dashboard.
    • If your site is already set up, you won’t go through this process, and you can skip this section of the guide and go right to the WordPress dashboard.

    WordPress Dashboard Quick StartFor new sites, you will see the Quick Start Wizard the first time you log in. You can click No thanks and skip the process, or click Start Wizard to begin setting up your site.

    If you are starting from scratch on your new site, it’s recommended to go through the process.

    It helps you fill in general details and create a basic layout that makes the WordPress web design and development process easier. You won’t be starting at a blank page the first time you see your site.

    Plus, you can go back and change any of these settings so you aren’t locked in to any of these decisions.

    Settings

    Once you start the wizard, begin by entering information about your website.

    WordPress Wizard Settings Screen

    Type

    Describe how you will use the site.

    • Choose Website + Blog if you want your site to have a custom home page and other landing pages with the blog being a secondary element of the site.
    • Choose Blog Only if the primary content of your site will be fresh blog posts. The site layout will feature your recent blog posts on the home page.
    • Choose Online Store if you are going to sell products on your website. The site will include product pages, a shopping cart and eCommerce functionality.

    Related: How to install WooCommerce on WordPress — A quick guide for new users

    Industry

    This setting guides WordPress to match your site with a theme that is often used in your industry.

    Title

    This will be the name of your website so it should be your business name or name of your blog. It appears at the top of your site as well as on search engine results pages and browser tabs.

    Tagline

    This is the short description of your site. It will appear next to your site title on search engine results pages and in browser tabs. It may also appear next to the site title on your webpage. It should be about three to six words.

    Contact

    Next on the WordPress dashboard, enter all of the details of your contact information and social profiles. This information will be available to site visitors, so if you don’t want it to show, either skip this step or uncheck the box to display the information.

    WordPress Dashboard ContactThe Quick Start Wizard will add this information to relevant places on your site such as on your contact page and in the footer of the site.

    Theme

    WordPress provides a few free themes that you can use for your site. You can go back and change your WordPress theme at any time, so you are not locked into your choice.

    WordPress Dashboard Theme Options

    Keep in mind that you can change images and colors, so select the layout that works best for your site. Once you select the theme, WordPress will walk you through a few tasks to customize it depending on the type of site you selected.

    If you selected a Website + Blog, it will prompt you through three steps.

    1. Select a header image from WordPress’s library of graphics.
    2. Preview other themes.
    3. Click Select to choose the theme and finish the process.

    Related: How to customize a WordPress theme

    WordPress Dashboard StepsFrom here, WordPress will set up your new site with the details you entered. It will also create demo pages of content. You can now view your site from both the back end and front end of WordPress, and get started with further customization.

    Related: What is a content management system and what CMS does GoDaddy support?

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    Elements of the default WordPress dashboard

    When you log into the back end of WordPress, you arrive on the dashboard home page.

    The dashboard home page is designed to help you quickly find the elements, tools, and information you need.

    It includes a main section of quick-use modules and a menu along the left side of the page.

    Let’s first look at what you can do with the main area modules.

    At a Glance Module

    The At a Glance module displays a quick rundown of your website. It shows how many pages, posts and comments are on your site, what theme you are using, and if you need to make updates.

    WordPress Dashboard At A Glance

    Activity Module

    The Activity module shows the recent activity on your WordPress website.

    It includes recently published posts, pages and comments. It helps you keep an eye on the activity on your site and quickly review new content and engage with comments.

    WordPress Dashboard Activity

    Quick Draft Module

    The Quick Draft module allows you to start a blog post from the home page of your dashboard. This is a bare-bones editor, so it’s a great place to jot down new blog ideas and make notes to come back to.

    WordPress Dashboard Quick Draft

    WordPress Events and News Module

    The WordPress Events and News module tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on with WordPress.

    • It shows you notifications about important WordPress framework updates.
    • It helps you find events that are happening in the WordPress community.
    • It launches WordPress-specific sites for more information on Meetups, WordCamp conferences and WordPress news.

    WordPress Dashboard EventsRelated: WordPress 5.0 — Gutenberg and the Classic Editor

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    Customize your WordPress admin dashboard modules

    Each of the modules mentioned above appear on your WordPress admin dashboard by default. But, you can remove, add and rearrange the modules as you see fit.

    Hide or remove modules

    You can hide or remove any module you don’t want to see. Easily hide the module by clicking the arrow in the top-right corner, or remove it entirely by selecting screen options at the top of the page and deselecting the module.

    WordPress Dashboard Hide Remove

    Rearrange modules

    If you want to change the order of module based on importance to your website, moving modules around is simple. Simply drag and drop the module by clicking on the header bar of the box and dropping it where you want it.
    WordPress Dashboard Rearrange

    Add modules

    By default, your WordPress dashboard usually features these four modules. But, you may see other modules depending on what theme and WordPress dashboard plugins are installed on your site.

    You can add additional modules by clicking on Screen Options and selecting inactive modules or by installing plugins that add more modules to your home page.

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    How WordPress dashboard plugins impact your site

    A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that can be installed on your site to add additional functionality, tools and features. There are thousands and thousands of plugins that can be added to a WordPress site.

    When a plugin is installed and activated, it can change the way your WordPress dashboard and menus look.

    WordPress dashboard plugins might add modules to your home page as well as add items to the main dashboard menu.

    WordPress Dashboard PluginsLater in this guide, we’ll talk more about adding, updating and using plugins. But for now, it’s worth noting that your WordPress dashboard and menu might look different from the examples because your site may use different WordPress plugins.

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    Elements of the WordPress dashboard menu

    Along the side of your WordPress admin dashboard, you’ll find a menu that leads to pages where you can update and manage your site as well as add and change site content, layout and functionality.

    WordPress Dashboard ElementsAs mentioned earlier, the menu items may change based on what plugins are installed on your site. The menu might also change based on:

    • The theme you have activated
    • Where you host your site (For example if you have a WordPress site hosted on GoDaddy cPanel Hosting, you may have different menu options than if you were using GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting.)

    In this guide, we’ll cover the default menu items that are accessible on most WordPress dashboards.

    If you have additional options in the menu, ask your developer what they are. Then, ask them if you need to perform any activity within those features to keep the site up and running.

    Now, let’s start at the top of the menu.

    WordPress Admin Dashboard

    The dashboard section is where you will find top-level information to help you oversee and manage your WordPress website.

    Home

    The Home menu item takes you to the dashboard home page that was described earlier. It is where you can find your home page modules.

    Updates

    Under the WordPress dashboard menu item, you’ll also find the Updates page. Your WordPress site requires regular updates to keep it safe and secure.

    Updates are changes to the software that add new functionality, fix bugs, or add extra layers of security to your site.

    The WordPress framework, WordPress themes and plugins all need updates at some point. It’s important to make the updates when they are available.

    The Updates page is where you can go to see what updates in WordPress are needed and make the necessary updates.

    WordPress Dashboard UpdatesYou can do this yourself, but occasionally updates can break your site. So, make sure you have a plan with your developer to step in if that happens. Also, be sure to always back up your WordPress site before performing any updates.

    Posts

    The posts section is where you manage the blog posts on your site. Posts are slightly different than pages on your site. Posts are pages that appear in your blog roll, whereas pages are standalone landing pages that don’t appear on your blog.

    All Posts

    The All Posts menu item takes you to a list of the blog posts on your site. It offers a top-level look at all of your posts, showing live posts as well as deleted posts, schedule posts and drafts.

    From this page, you can:

    • Navigate to the back end of individual blog posts (by clicking on the title or hovering and selecting Edit).
    • Navigate to the front end of individual blog posts (by hovering and selecting View).
    • Quickly edit the post’s title, slug, date, categories, tags, status and more (by hovering and selecting Quick Edit).
    • Bulk select posts to perform actions like edit or move to the trash.
    • Sort to find and show posts by date, category or keywords.

    WordPress Dashboard Posts

    Add New

    The Add New menu item takes you to the back-end view of a new blog post. This is where you write content for new blog posts on your site.
    WordPress Dashboard New Post

    Categories

    The Categories menu item takes you to a page that lists all of the categories available for blog posts tagging.

    Categories are a form of classification for your blog posts.

     

    You can assign one or more category to each blog post. Each category has a front-end page that curates blog posts assigned to that category.

    On the Categories page, you can:

    • Update and delete existing categories.
    • Add new categories.
    • See how many posts are assigned to each category.

    WordPress Dashboard Categories

    Tags

    Tags are similar to categories in that they are a form of classification for your blog posts. You can also assign one or more tags to each of your blog posts. The Tags page is where you manage all of your tags. It looks similar to the Category page and also allows you to:

    • Update and delete existing tags.
    • Add new tags.
    • See how many posts are assigned to each tag.

    WordPress Dashboard Tags

    Media

    This is the section of your site where you can directly manage the media (files, images, videos, PDFs, etc.) uploaded to your site.

    Library

    The Library page shows all uploaded media. From this page, you can sort by media type, date and keyword, and click on individual media items to see their details.
    WordPress Dashboard Media

    Add New

    The Add New menu item takes you to the Upload New Media page, where you can select files to add to your site. This is one way to add files to your site. (The other way to add images to your site is directly through the post or page editor.)

    Links

    This section is where you can add links to other websites. This feature was popular when blogrolls, a list of links to other related blogs or websites, were frequently used. It is not as widely used today and you will likely not need to use this section.
    WordPress Dashboard LinksMost WordPress sites include default links that are already added. In this section, you can update the default links, as well as add new links and link categories.

    Pages

    In WordPress, pages are very similar to posts. The difference is that pages stand-alone whereas posts are connected to the blog section of your site. The pages section is where you can edit and create new content for individual landing pages on your site.

    Related: How landing pages bridge the gap between marketing and sales

    All Pages

    The All Pages menu item leads to a list of pages on your site. It looks very similar to the All Posts page. From this page, you can:

    • Navigate to the back end of individual pages (by clicking on the title or hovering and selecting edit).
    • Navigate to the front end of pages (by hovering and selecting view).
    • Quickly edit the page title, slug, date, status and more (by hovering and selecting quick edit).
    • Bulk-select posts to perform actions like edit or move to the trash.
    • Sort to find and show pages by date, category or keywords.

    WordPress Dashboard All Pages

    Add New

    The Add New menu item leads to a page editor that also looks very similar to that post editor page. From there you can add new content and make changes to existing content.

    Comments

    The Comment page is where you can view and manage the comments on your site. You should regularly approve, respond to, and/or mark comments as spam as they come in.

    On this page, you can:

    • Approve comments (so they appear on the front-end view of your site).
    • Disprove comments (so they don’t appear on the front end of your site).
    • Reply to comments (your response shows on the front end of your site).
    • Mark comments as spam (so they don’t show on the front end of your site and it alerts WordPress that the name and email might be associated with a spam account).

    WordPress Dashboard CommentsThe comment section also includes Pings or Trackbacks which are links to your site from other sites.

    Appearance

    The Appearance section is where you’ll find tools and settings that allow you to manage the look of your site.

    If you hired someone to design your site, you probably don’t need or want to do anything in this area.

    Making changes in this section will impact the front end of your site and can possibly break your site, so it should be reserved for more advanced users.

    Themes

    The Themes page lists all of the WordPress themes that are installed on your site. You can see the live Active theme on your site along with other themes that are installed but not currently being used.

    This page also highlights themes that need to be updated. You can make updates directly from this page instead of navigating to the Updates page.
    WordPress Dashboard ThemesFrom the Theme pages, you can also select which theme you want to use. When you select to Activate the theme, it will update your site for that theme. So be sure you want to make the change to your entire site before you make that selection.

    If you just want to see what a theme would look like on your site, you can select the Preview option. This shows you (and not your website visitors) what the site looks like with the new theme.

    This is also where you can also add new themes. Use the button at the top of the page to upload new themes.

    Customize

    The Customize button takes you from the back end of your site to the front end of your site to make changes. It allows you to adjust settings and see how they look in real-time.
    WordPress Dashboard CustomizeThe items that appear on the customize menu will change depending on the theme and plugins you are using. View the changes on your site, and click Publish to make the changes to the live version of your site.

    Widgets

    On the WordPress dashboard widgets are sections of your website that exist outside of the main body of your site. They are often used in sidebars and footers. The Widgets section of the WordPress dashboard allows you to control what content shows in the widget sections of your site.

    On the left side of the page, you’ll find a list of available WordPress dashboard widgets that come with WordPress or are connected to your theme or plugins. You’ll also see a list of inactive widgets. These are widgets that have been customized, but removed from active widget sections on your site.

    On the right side of the page, you’ll see a list of available widget sections on your site. When the widget section is open, you can see the widgets used in that section.

    • To add widgets, drag and drop them from the left side of the page into the widget section you’d like it to appear in and select the blue Save button.
    • To remove and save widgets, drag and drop it into the Inactive Widget. This will save the settings of your widget in case you want to add it again later.
    • To remove and delete widgets, select the delete button on the widget box.

    WordPress Dashboard Widgets

    Menus

    On the front end of your website, you use WordPress menus to help users navigate your site. The menus sections is where you manage and update these menus.

    The menus page is broken down into two sections: Edit Menus and Manage Locations.

    In the Edit Menus section, you can create and edit menus. Once you select a menu to edit, you’ll see the links you can add to your menu on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page, you’ll see the menu and what is included on the menu. Drag and drop the menu items where you want them to appear on the menu. Click to open menu items to adjust its settings.
    WordPress Dashboard Edit MenusIn the Manage Location section, you can choose where you want your menus to appear on the front end of your site. Depending on your site theme, you will see a variety of options for where you can use a menu on your site.
    WordPress Dashboard Manage Locations

    Theme Editor

    The Theme Editor page is where you can edit the files and code associated with your site’s themes.

    If you are not a moderate to advanced WordPress user, you should stay out of the editor as one mistake here can create a huge headache.

     

    Making just one small change to the code can break your site so users can no longer access the front end of your site.
    WordPress Dashboard Theme Editor

    Plugins

    As mentioned earlier, WordPress plugins are pieces of software installed on your site to add additional functionality, tools and features. The plugins section is where you manage your WordPress plugins.

    Installed Plugins

    The Installed Plugins menu item takes you to the page where you can view all of the plugins installed on your site. You can see which are active or inactive and also make updates.

    The list highlights plugins that have a new version available, and you can click to update one or more plugin at the same time.

    You can also find the settings page for each plugin from this page (if the plugin has one). Click on the settings link below the plugin to navigate to its settings page.
    WordPress Dashboard Manage PluginsAdd New

    From the Add New page, you can search for and find new plugins to add. You can also upload plugins that you download from other places. Install WordPress plugins and activate them to add their functionality and features to your site.

    If you install and activate a plugin and it causes errors on your site, you can use a tool like Plugin Detective to help you uncover which plugin might be causing the issue.
    WordPress Dashboard Select PluginsPlugin Editor

    Similar to the Theme Editor page, the Plugin Editor page allows you to manipulate the code for each plugin. Unless you are an advanced WordPress user, you should avoid making changes here as it can cause major issues on your site if done improperly.

    Users

    A user is an account that has access to the back end of your site and can make changes depending on their permissions. You can add new users and change permissions and settings for existing users in the User section of your site.

    All Users

    On the User page, you can see all of the user accounts on your site. You can view their username, name, email, role and number of posts (blog posts they are the author of) and make changes to each user by clicking to edit.

    WordPress Dashboard Users
    Add New

    The Add New User page is where you create new accounts. You can create new users and assign them a role such as administrator, editor, author, contributor and subscriber.

    Each WordPress user role comes with permissions on how the user can edit the site (such as an admin that can change anything to a subscriber that can’t edit anything).

    If you choose to add users, make sure you know what they can do with their account and only give permission to people you know and trust.

    WordPress Dashboard User RolesYour Profile

    Your Profile is the page that features all of the information from the WordPress Dashboard tied to the account that you logged in with. From here, you can update your contact information, password, bio and more.

    Tools

    In the Tools section of the WordPress dashboard, you can add and use advanced tools to manage your site and install content from another platform.

    Your site can easily break if you play around in here so if you aren’t well-versed in WordPress, it’s best to leave this section alone too.

    Settings

    This is where you can change a variety of settings on your site from date formats to link structure to comment rules. If you’re up-to-date on best practices and WordPress requirements, then you probably won’t have to use this section.

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    Use Screen Options and Help for more

    There are two other menu items that can help you while working with the WordPress dashboard.

    In the top right corner of the WordPress dashboard, there are dropdowns for Screen Options and Help. Both of these options add more to your user experience and change depending on what page you are on.

    Dashboard Screen OptionsThe Screen Options allow you to adjust the view of the page and add or remove elements.

    In this example from the posts page, you can see how the Screen Options allow you to add or remove information from the blog post list.
    WordPress Dashboard Screen Options HelpThe Help dropdown opens to show helpful articles and advice on how to use the page you are on. So if you need additional help as you navigate WordPress, click here to find useful tutorials and notes.

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    Start getting the most out of your WordPress dashboard

    There you have it. You have been through the most important pages of the WordPress admin dashboard so it should no longer look like a complex M.C. Escher drawing.

    Use this as a starting point.

    Stay on the path of what you know until you get comfortable with those initial features, then slowly branch out to explore the other options as you expand on your WordPress knowledge.

    Soon, you’ll be navigating the WordPress dashboard like a pro and laughing about the time you thought the simple interface was complicated and overwhelming.

    Plus, building your website with WordPress is easier than ever with GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Hosting.

    Use the one-click installation to get your website up and running with prebuilt themes and popular plugins — all in one neat package. Then, use this guide to take control and customize, manage, and use your WordPress site to grow your business.

    This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by Shawn Pfunder.

    The post New user’s guide to the WordPress dashboard appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Clinical research scientists perform medical research in labs, seeking better ways to diagnose and cure a wide variety of illnesses. Read on to learn how to become a research scientist, what kind of research scientist degrees exist, medical researcher salaries, and more.

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    During the process of naming your business you’re likely asking some questions about the type of domain name(s) to register to help you create a strong online brand. One consideration is whether or not you should buy a premium domain name.

    Domain names that are priced higher than standard domain names are called premium domains.

    Such names are usually short and one word, making them meaningful and memorable — and thus more valuable.

    Related: What are premium domain names and how can they turbocharge your online identity?

    It’s interesting to note that most domains are registered for the price of your morning cup of coffee. However, the ones that end up getting sold at a premium are domains that have more than one buyer willing to pay a lot more than a couple of dollars to acquire it.

    For example, www.insurance.online is far more valuable than www.getyourinsurance.online. They are both relevant domain names for an insurance business. However, the former is more brandable and memorable than the latter.

    If you go to buy a premium domain, remember GoDaddy’s domain search page also highlights such points:

    Buy Premium Domain Insurance Online Example

    Buy Premium Domain Get Insurance Online Example

    Related: The top 25 most expensive domain names

    What makes a domain name premium?

    Premium domain names are usually short in length, simple and brandable, and meaningful, memorable and category defining.

    Buy Premium Domain Search

    The inherent demand of certain domain names make them premium.

     

    The fact that no two people can own the same domain adds an aspirational touch to them as a commodity. The ones that are more sought after attract people looking to buy a premium domain — and demand a higher price.

    For example, www.cars.com, www.casino.online or www.magazine.store.

    Each of these domain names can easily own the business category they represent. It’s easy to conclude that the dollar value of a domain is in direct proportion to its perceived brand value.

    There are multiple factors that qualify domain names to appeal to people planning to buy a premium domain:

    Length: One- to two-word names that are usually easier to remember and appealing to a wider audience. For example, www.ces.tech.

    Brandability: Catchy, unique names that immediately communicate their niche and make the brand stand out. For example, www.hello.space.

    Keywords: Certain business or brand keywords when paired with the right domain extension become relevant and memorable. For example, www.magazine.store.

    Another great example of a premium domain name that checks all three aforementioned characteristics is www.pineapple.store — the eCommerce website that is everything pineapple.

    It is a fitting example of a domain name that exactly matches the business and the brand positioning it desires to have. No other domain name will do more justice to “Pineapple Store” than www.pineapple.store.

    Premium Domain Pineapple Store Homepage

    What specific branding benefits do premium domain names offer?

    When you buy a premium domain, it’s a long-term investment in your brand; it offers the exclusivity that is needed to build a distinguished online identity.

    When you buy a premium domain for your online business, you are investing in an unforgettable and intuitive web address that will enable your business to gain authority over the business category you belong to or the target market you cater to.

    Here are some of the reasons why businesses are willing to invest a huge chunk of their marketing budgets to buy a premium domain name:

    1. Premium domains tend to bring in more traffic

    While Google treats all domain names and domain extensions equal, there’s still benefit when you buy a premium domain to drive more traffic to your website.

    It’s important to understand that to scale your organic traffic consistently, some of the most important factors are:

    • Original, relevant content that is in line with your business, posted frequently.
    • Credible backlinks linking back to the content on the website.
    • Mobile-optimized website.

    However, once the website starts ranking high in Google search results, that’s when premium domains play an important role in getting the maximum share of the search volume.

    For instance, both, www.youronlinenutritionist101.com and www.nutrition.online stand a chance to rank equally high in search results. However, the user is almost always likely to click on the latter domain because it is automatically perceived to be more credible and “brand like” in comparison to the former.

    This means that the websites with premium or brandable domain names attract more clicks (and trust) than the others, resulting in business growth.

    2. Premium domain names are marketing-friendly

    Since premium domain names are short, memorable and meaningful, they are great for business marketing. If used smartly, you can buy a premium domain for a brand narrative on social media as well as in offline marketing.

    You are likely to remember www.magazine.store from a billboard or a print ad but recalling www.subscribemagazinesonline.com will not be easy.

    Besides, in the era of voice search, it’s imperative that you have a domain name that clears the radio-test to make your website ready for SIRI, Alexa and other virtual assistants looking to give you the best results for your voice queries.

    3. Premium domain names help build authority in the industry

    A “category-defining” domain name comes in handy if you are aiming to become the leader in your industry.

    For example, www.bags.online or www.mobile.store have everything going for them to become the go-to websites for what they respectively represent — provided the website content is in line, too.

    When you buy a premium domain, it’s a brilliant way to establish brand positioning and credibility, especially in industries that see intense search volumes on the internet.

    Related: Using multiple custom domains to control your online identity 

    Is it worth it to buy a premium domain?

    Domain names are a business’s online identity — a good domain name can help build a strong brand.

    With the competition increasing at a phenomenal rate, brands are looking for monikers that add that additional value to their overall branding.

    Maybe you’re not looking for a domain name for your business. That shouldn’t stop you from buying one as an investment. If you come across a domain name that is not exactly premium but has perceived value or business potential, buy it and flip it for potentially thousands of dollars.

    For example, given that the stress management and mental wellness industry is booming, this domain name might be a good buy as an investment and could fetch you some returns:

    Buy Premium Domain Investment

    How do you buy premium domain names?

    If you’re thinking of possible premium keywords, there’s a strong possibility that they might be available on new domain extensions such as .tech, .store, .site, .online, .space, .fun, .press, etc.

    Related: Domain extensions guide — What you need to know before you pick a domain name

    Buy Premium Domain Extension

    While the registry reserves some of the top-tier names on the new domain extensions that it operates, most of them are still available. If you’re keen on exploring or buying a few, check them out on GoDaddy’s domain search.

    Go ahead, give it a try:

     

    A premium domain name might be just what your business needs to get to the next level.

    Related: How to buy a domain name in 3 steps

    The post Should you buy a premium domain name for your business? appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Learn how to become a healthcare manager. Research the education and career requirements, training and common job duties, as well as the experience required for starting a career in the healthcare management field.

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    The GoDaddy Pro team was at WordCamp Boston and WordCamp Denver last month. In both cases we had the pleasure of talking to WordPress users who come from a range of backgrounds and experience levels.

    Having spent a fair bit of time at WordCamps and WordPress meetups, I’ve noticed a trend:

    The people who choose WordPress today are different from those who chose WordPress five, ten, or fifteen years ago.

    WordPress started as a publishing platform, catering to bloggers and competing against the likes of Movable Type and Blogger. Then it matured into a full-on CMS, catering to web developers while taking on Drupal, Joomla, and proprietary platforms.

    Now, with the evolution of the new block-based editor (Gutenberg), WordPress is competing against website builders.

    That’s not to say that WordPress is better than website builders. We have our own GoDaddy Website Builder, after all. But WordPress is an alternative, and depending on the circumstances, it may be a better fit for building a website.

    Related: How to choose the best website builder for your business

    With that shift, we’re also seeing more people who build websites as a service, even if they don’t dig into the code running under the hood. Which brings me to my main point.

    You don’t need to write code to give back to WordPress.

    If you’re building websites with WordPress, you can contribute to WordPress.

    You don’t need to be a PHP or JavaScript developer. You don’t need to know Git or SVN. Heck, you don’t need even need to know HTML and CSS.

    What you do need is a willingness to take time and give back to WordPress.

    If you have that, you can contribute to WordPress without writing a single line of code.

    So, how do you do it?

    Share your experiences & spread the word. You don’t need to know everything about WordPress, or web development, to be helpful. You have more knowledge and experience than someone else, and the people you’ve learned from have learned from others.

    Keep that person-to-person knowledge transfer going. Write a blog post, record a video, speak at a meetup — whatever works for you. Take what you know and pass it along.

    Contribute to documentation. The Make WordPress Docs team are the wordsmiths of official WordPress documentation. Everything from developer guides to inline help text is within their purview. (Bonus points if you’re multilingual and able to localize documentation for other regions.)

    Volunteer at a WordCamp. WordCamps are informal, volunteer-run community conferences dedicated to all things WordPress. Volunteering to help, speak, or organize a WordCamp is a great way to give back to the WordPress community. It’s also a great way to meet other WordPress users in your area.

    Host an in-person WordPress meetup. WordCamps tend to be annual events, while local WordPress meetups happen much more frequently. The format and frequency of a meetup depends on the community. Some are like mini-WordCamps with presentations, while others are run as workshops or social gatherings.

    Join conversations in Facebook Groups. Facebook Groups have become a go-to resource for people learning and using WordPress. There are groups dedicated to specific WordPress themes, plugins, experience levels, types of sites, and more.

    Related: How to use Facebook Groups to grow your business

    Yes, you can be a WordPress contributor without writing any code.

    Participate in the WordPress community and you’ll make valuable connections with other WordPress users and businesses. Help others by sharing your knowledge and you’ll find more people referring to you as an expert.

    It’s a smart move for your business. You’re building your credibility, building your network, and building your brand. All while giving back and helping others. It’s a win-win for everyone.

    Have a great month,

    Andy McIlwain
    Content & Community @ GoDaddy Pro

    What’s new? Headlines from June & July 2019

    We skipped our community update last month, instead sharing our recap of WordCamp Europe 2019. Here are the big web industry headlines from the last couple of months:

    Dear Developer: An essay

    A thoughtful essay about how we’ve transformed a simple, open technology platform (the World Wide Web) into an inaccessible mess of tangled JS dependencies, bloated pages, and steep learning curves. This essay pairs well with HTML is the web.

    10 small design mistakes we still make

    “We need to keep consistent with a couple of principles that will remind us of how to design great products. We should be told at least once a month about these small principles until we live and breathe good design.”

    What web designers can do to speed up mobile websites

    “When it comes to mobile loading speeds, your website can always be faster. And if you’ve implemented all of the caching, minification and other optimizations you possibly can, it’s time for the web designer to step in and get creative.”

    How to section your HTML

    “The sectioning elements in HTML5 are <nav>, <aside>, <article>, and <section>. <body> is also kind of a sectioning element since all content lying inside of it is part of the default document section. Here is a brief explanation of each sectioning element and how they are used.”

    Typography in web design: A guide for all designers

    “It may seem new-ish to web design, being a fairly young media but design using mainly type as been around for ages. Ancient Rome and Greece were using type for signage and communication everywhere, it is only natural as web design matures that it tends to shift towards these established paradigms.”

    Optimizing Google Fonts performance

    “Google Fonts are easy to implement, but they can have a big impact on your page load times. Let’s explore how we can load them in the most optimal way.”

    Google changes handling of robots.txt rules

    “In the interest of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and preparing for potential future open source releases, we’re retiring all code that handles unsupported and unpublished rules (such as noindex) on September 1, 2019.”

    Fresh Chalk’s 150k small business website teardown

    A deep dive on how small businesses are building & using websites. “This analysis is specifically focused on speed, google rank, and market share for the big website providers.” Check out Part 1 of the series.

    Backlinko’s 2019 SEO services report

    “We surveyed 1,200 business owners to better understand the current state of the SEO services industry.” This report makes a compelling case for offering SEO services to your clients.

    How to identify & remove render-blocking resources

    “Page speed isn’t only about total page load time; it’s also about what users experience in those 3 (or 15) seconds. It’s essential to consider how efficiently pages are rendering.”

    Everything you need to know about CSS margins

    “Margins in CSS seem simple enough at first glance. Applied to an element it forms a space around the element, pushing other elements away. However, there is more to a margin than you might think.”

    Reading source code to improve your JavaScript knowledge

    “Carl Mungazi shares how he got over his fear and began using source code to improve his knowledge and skills. He also uses Redux to demonstrate how he approaches breaking down a library.”

    From the GoDaddy Blog

    How to productize your services as a web designer or developer

    “Productization is taking “delivery” and making it repeatable, scalable and standardized. It also means that you personally don’t deliver the whole process from start to finish.”

    How to quickly build client websites with a page builder

    “In this article, we’re going to talk about why you should consider using page builders for client websites, with examples from Beaver Builder. Then we’ll list five ways that WordPress page builders can make your work much easier. Finally, we’ll discuss how the Beaver Builder plugin and GoDaddy can help.”

    A visual website feedback tool for WordPress

    “We are going to take a peek into issues that arise when your client base begins to grow. We’ll look at how to streamline your client communication and website management, so you can improve your client relationships, and have more time to focus on your business.”

    How to start a web design business

    “It takes time to build a successful business, so manage your own expectations, and make a commitment to see it through to the end. Use these guidelines to stay on track as you get rolling.”

    Becoming a professional WordPress designer/developer

    “In order to help you understand what goes into being a professional WordPress designer or developer, we did the research and found out if they are self employed or work for a company, how much time they spend on building sites and how much they make.”

    Free website security consultations for GoDaddy Pro

    “67% of web professionals say clients have asked about website security. GoDaddy Pro members can get free website security guidance and advice from Sucuri.”

    GoDaddy Pro Sites integration with Amazon Lightsail

    “Our latest integration between GoDaddy Pro Sites and Amazon Lightsail gives Lightsail users free access to GoDaddy’s WordPress website management capabilities. This integration is a result of GoDaddy and Amazon working together, providing customers with an array of tools and products for building and managing a powerful online presence.”

    5 valuable (and overlooked) web design skills to start learning

    “Here are five niche but highly sought-after skills that all web designers should add to their resume. All these skills are timeless, sought after by clients, and can make you more valuable to current and new clients.”

    10 uncommon ways to find more web design leads

    “We’ve put together 10 unusual and underused sources of web design leads for freelancers and agencies. Pick a few ideas, try them out, and soon you’ll have a thriving pipeline of potential prospects knocking at your door.”

    9-step web development project checklist

    “Every web development shop is unique and no two designers follow exactly the same process. However, identifying a standard procedure that you can step through over and over again has lots of benefits. The following checklist is a solid starting point.”

    A foolproof formula for setting freelance web design rates

    “Finding the right balance—where your clients are eager to pay what you ask, your business turns a healthy and sustainable profit, and you still have the kind of flexibility that freelancing affords—isn’t easy.”

    Marketing automation: A guide to getting started

    “Between running your business, networking, managing projects and the million other things on your to-do list, marketing can fall down the list of priorities. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Marketing automation is here to help you do everything from keeping your social accounts updated to converting leads into sales for yourself or your clients.”

    11 web design trends to watch in 2019

    “Are you wondering what the top brands and companies are doing on their websites to make a statement? Perhaps you’re looking for new web design trends that will make your next project stand out. Or, maybe you’ve been using the same general design styles a bit too much lately and you need some fresh inspiration to help you break out of your slump and get the creative juices going.”

    From our colleagues at ManageWP

    How to choose a page builder

    “In this post, we’ll explore why these tools are so useful, talk about how they compare to the new Block Editor, and walk through how to choose a WordPress page builder plugin. Let’s get to it!”

    What to do if your site gets blacklisted

    “Blacklisting is a practice that flags websites with malicious content to prevent users from accidentally downloading malware. However, search engines and antivirus vendors could blacklist your site as a result of a cyber attack. This can have a negative impact on your site’s reputation and visibility.”

    How to manage your site’s off-page SEO (and why it matters)

    “Not only do you have to optimize your website’s content, but you also need to pay attention to what happens outside of it. If you don’t prioritize ‘off-page SEO’, your site’s rankings may suffer as a result.”

    How to Boost Your Website’s Performance: Content-Related Considerations

    “When it comes to your website’s performance, there are many factors that work together to increase or decrease your site’s load times. Measuring and monitoring your performance metrics is fairly simple, but implementing improvements can be trickier.”

    3 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Improve Your Site

    “Google Analytics is often cited as a useful tool for tracking and managing website data. However, if you don’t know how to put the information this platform provides to use, it may seem like a waste of time and effort.”

    From our colleagues at Sucuri

    How to Stop a DDoS Attack & Prevent Future Attacks

    “DDoS attacks are a growing threat for websites. But do you know how to mitigate them in their tracks? We’ll cover some essential fundamentals on stopping a DDoS attack and preventing them from happening in the future.”

    How to Perform a Website Security Audit ( with Checklist)

    “Most hacks and cyber attacks happen because of poor security practices. The first step you can take to improve your online security is knowing exactly what’s installed on your website. Having a checklist can help you stay on top of website security.”

    The Cost of a Hacked Website – Survey

    “If you are a business that has dealt with any type of website attack, your participation in this six-minute survey will help us improve our services and support website owners like yourself.”

    7 Things You Should Monitor in WordPress Activity Logs

    “WordPress activity logs can be helpful when troubleshooting or trying to identify a hack. In this article, you’ll learn about the seven things you should monitor in your WordPress logs.”

    How to Know If You Are Under DDoS Attack

    “Nowadays, DDoS is a pretty recognizable term. Though many webmasters don’t know exactly what a DDoS attack is—its method is very subtle to identify—they’re pretty sure it’s a bad thing. And that’s a correct assumption. In this article, we will focus on how to know if your website is under attack and how to protect it from it.”

    P.S. Check these out…

    Alignable

    Connect with other business owners, ask for help, share your expertise, jump into conversations, and find potential clients or business referrals. Alignable is a social network catering to local small businesses at a city level.

    do_action

    Charity hackathons powered by WordPress. Get together with other WordPress users and developers in your area to build websites for nonprofit organizations.

    Briefbox

    Improve your design chops through practice. Briefbox offers free creative briefs, curated series, mentorship, and other educational resources.

    Typespiration.com

    A massive library of inspirational Google Font and color palette combinations with ready-to-go CSS. Pairs nicely with Really Good Emails, a curated gallery of email design inspiration.

    From FYI: Free business templates

    Free templates for a variety of use cases (design, strategy, planning) and platforms (Evernote, Trello, Airtable).

    That’s it for this update! Have a great month. – Andy

    The post GoDaddy Pro community update: Making code-free contributions to WordPress appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Those figuring out how to become a healthcare administrator usually need to start with a bachelor's degree and some work experience in the field. Here we discuss the necessary degrees, what a healthcare administrator does, and more.

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    It’s easy to fall victim to fads in your quest for success with search engine optimization (SEO). They’re quick fixes that sometimes offer temporary results, but ultimately end up hurting your website’s chances at ranking higher in search results. That’s why it’s so important to know current SEO best practices.

    If you want to improve your business website’s organic search engine ranking, forget popular SEO tricks and shortcuts and focus on creating long-lasting results.

    Take a look at these 11 SEO best practices that will help you build a website that appeals to search engines and your customers.

    You’ll learn how to research keywords, pick up some SEO content writing tips, and get up to date on mobile-friendly SEO.

    Related: Beginner’s guide to search engine optimization for small business websites

    11 SEO best practices for your website

    Below, you will find 11 SEO best practices that are easy to implement on your small business website:

    1. Research your keywords.
    2. Create great content for your website.
    3. Make your website mobile-friendly.
    4. Understand metadata and use it properly.
    5. Avoid duplicate content.
    6. Showcase reviews and testimonials.
    7. Understand backlinking.
    8. Don’t play tricks.
    9. Measure success.
    10. Submit your sitemap.
    11. Speed up your website.

    Use these tips and tricks to improve your website’s SEO rank and start getting more organic traffic.

    1. Research your keywords

    Research keywords that are valuable and appropriate to your business. It’s important to know what your customers are looking for, and then to use that knowledge to deliver what they need.

    You can attract your customers to your site by using those keywords in informative blog posts.

    Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Keywords Everywhere to find relevant keywords that online visitors enter when searching online.

    While we’re on the topic of keyword research, you should also take some time to understand the concept of long-tail keywords and how to use them. Long-tail keywords usually consist of three to five words in the phrase.

    Long-tail keywords are highly specific and often easier to rank for than short keywords.

     

    In the long run, long-tail keywords have higher potential of bringing you more high-quality traffic and visitors that are already primed to make a purchase.

    2. Create great content for your website

    Create useful, current, relevant and interesting content.

    When writing text for your website pages, consider what visitors want to know, not what you’d like to tell them.

    Put the customer’s needs first, and you’ll get the chance to say what you want after you cultivate loyalty.

    As you’re creating content, be sure to use the keywords you researched naturally throughout your post or a page. However, don’t keyword stuff as search engines are quick to pick up on it and will penalize your site for it.

    Related: Step-by-step guide to writing a search-friendly blog article

    3. Make your website mobile-friendly

    SEO Best Practices African American Male On Mobile

    Google has been emphasizing the importance of mobile-friendly websites for quite some time now, and with the introduction of mobile-first indexing, it’s more important than ever to have a website that looks and works great on mobile devices.

    That’s why it’s important to master mobile-friendly SEO.

    You want your website to perform and look as good on users’ smartphones and tablets as it does on their desktop computers. No pinching and squeezing!

    You can test if your website is mobile-friendly using Google’s Mobile-Friendly tool. If you get a negative result, consider redesigning your website or using a CMS like WordPress along with a mobile-friendly and responsive theme.

    Related: Responsive web design tutorial

    4. Understand metadata and use it properly

    Metadata refers to page and post titles and descriptions that show up on the search engine results pages when a visitor searches for a particular keyword, phrase or a term.

    To follow SEO best practices, your meta titles should be 50 to 60 characters and include at least one keyword that is related to the content for that page.

    Your meta descriptions should be 150 to 160 characters and provide more information about the content of the page. Using a keyword or two in your meta description will boost your SEO and increase the number of clickthroughs you get from the search engine results pages.

    Related: Meta tags and the head section of a website 

    5. Avoid duplicate content

    Recycle, don’t copy. Search engines penalize websites that have pages with duplicate content.

    Avoid using another website’s content or having the same content on multiple pages of your website — be original, because that’s what you are!

    Related: How to increase website traffic with existing content

    6. Showcase reviews and testimonials

    Take advantage of social media and local review sites.

    The more online visibility your business has, the more traffic your site will generate.

     

    Incorporating social media and review sites (like Yelp and TripAdvisor) will help improve user engagement and credibility.

    Related: How to ask for testimonials and reviews from your clients 

    7. Understand backlinking

    Backlinking refers to getting other websites to link to your blog posts and pages.

    Getting backlinks from relevant, reputable websites and blogs is a major ranking factor so consider using guest blogging as part of your marketing strategy.

    Don’t be afraid to link to other reputable websites that are related to your industry, another plus when it comes to search engine ranking.

    Related: How to get backlinks to a small business website

    8. Don’t play tricks

    It isn’t about working the system. If you try to fool the search engines, your organic online success won’t last long. It’s best to avoid questionable shortcuts. Do your research to find out if what you’re doing will truly improve your site.

    Tip: The Moz blog is a great resource for staying on top of current SEO best practices.

    9. Measure success

    Track your site’s performance. With website analytics programs, you can track the number of visitors to your website, conversion rates and more — and thus your marketing success.

    Sign up for Google Analytics and add your website as a property so you can easily keep track of important SEO metrics.

    Related: How to use Google Analytics

    10. Submit your sitemap

    A sitemap helps search engines crawl and index your website faster.

    If you’re not using a CMS like WordPress, it’s imperative to submit your sitemap to Google and Bing.

    Start by using a tool like XML sitemap generator to build a sitemap.

    Once the tool is done building your sitemap, upload it to your website. Then, head to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools and submit your sitemap’s URL.

    Related: How to use Bing Webmaster Tools to improve your site’s SEO

    11. Speed up your website

    Nobody likes a slow website, search engines included. If your site takes longer than two seconds to load, including on mobile, you could be losing out on sales. Your ranking in the search engine results will definitely suffer.

    Use a tool like Google Page Speed Insights or Pingdom Tools to find out how fast your website is and then follow their recommendations to improve the loading times.

    Editor’s note: Need some help with search engine optimization for your website? The experts at GoDaddy SEO Services can help you work less and rank higher.

    3 SEO tactics to avoid

    Now that you know SEO best practices for your website, let’s talk about three SEO practices that you should avoid at all costs, if you don’t want to hurt your site’s rankings.

    These practices relate to any website built on WordPress but can also apply to websites built with other platforms.

    WordPress describes itself as a natural fit for SEO best practices. That said, you should also know that there are some WordPress-specific issues to watch out for.

    1. Blocking search engines

    Why would anyone want to intentionally block search engines? Many WordPress users build their sites on live hosting, rather than create a staging site. If they’re not careful, the search engines will start indexing the site before the developer is ready (and more importantly, before they’ve finished adding content).

    There is nothing worse than unedited or dummy content popping up in Google with your site’s domain name attached to it.

    Thankfully, WordPress lets you block search engines from indexing the site by changing the Search Engine Visibility option under General > Reading Settings.

    SEO Best Practices Reading Settings

    In the excitement of getting your new (or revised) website up and running, it’s incredibly easy to forget the Search Engine Visibility setting.

    If you ever toggle it to block the search engines, even in the beginning of your site’s construction, make an SEO best practices to-do list for when you go live and, at the top of it, include unchecking the Search Engine Visibility option.

    2. Changing permalinks

    Your site’s permalinks are the URLs for site content. By default, it looks something like this: http://yourdomain.com/?p=223

    To make your URLs search-engine-friendly and easier to find and index, set it to post name, so it looks like this: http://yourdomain.com/benefits-of-good-seo

    SEO Best Practices Permalink Settings

    Permalinks can also be altered under the post or page title in the Editor window.

    SEO Best Practices Permalink Example

    After putting in your title, you can manually edit the permalink to make it search engine friendly.

    A word of caution: If you decide to change it after publishing, inbound links to the original URL will result in 404 Page Not Found errors.

    Avoid permalink missteps by:

    • Determining your permalink structure early on, then configure the permalink settings before you begin publishing posts. As for manually editing permalinks on individual posts and pages, you should tweak them before you publish, not after.
    • Installing and use a WordPress backup plugin so you can undo any major changes that break your site.
    • If you really need to update the permalink on single posts and pages, install a redirect plugin so you can redirect the old URLs to the new ones.

    Related: How to set up 301 redirects in WordPress

    3. Using themes with built-in SEO settings

    Some WordPress themes have their own idea of what SEO best practices should be, and have built them in as features. You will often find them under the theme settings.

    It appears to be a good option at first, but think about it — what happens when you change themes? There’s a good chance you might lose the website optimization work completed through the WordPress theme settings, as there might not be a way to export the original theme’s settings after you change themes.

    Yikes.

    The SEO best practice here is to let a plugin, like Yoast SEO, handle the search engine optimization. When you change themes, the plugin settings stay in place.

    Another solution, if you are using a theme it supports, is to use the SEO Data Transporter plugin that allows you to move your SEO data from one theme or plugin to another.

    What’s next?

    Now you know much more about SEO best practices, how to research keywords, SEO content writing tips and mobile-friendly SEO. Put this knowledge to work for your website!

    • Create a blog editorial calendar to plan compelling content around target keywords.
    • Consider writing guest posts for other websites, with links back to relevant content on your own website.
    • Likewise, share your awesome content on social media to encourage others to link back to it.
    • Encourage happy customers to leave reviews, and showcase them on your website (with their permission).
    • Don’t forget about metadata. You can learn more about structured data here.
    • Test your website on a mobile device to make sure it looks and performs great on phones and tablets.
    • Use a tool like Google Analytics (or one of these alternatives to measure the success of your efforts and make improvements.

    Best of luck with your SEO efforts!

    This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by Bob Dunn and Genevieve Tuenge.

    The post 11 SEO best practices for your small business website appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    A medical receptionist is a specialized doctor's office receptionist who typically has training in medical terminology, billing, and more. Learn how to become a receptionist and the specific job duties and career info for a medical receptionist.

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    This post was originally published on Sept. 20, 2016, and was updated on Aug. 12, 2019. 

    Google Search Console can be a powerful resource for website owners — if you know how to use this tool to its full potential. This guide will explore what Google Search Console is, why you need it, how to integrate Google Search Console with your WordPress site, and even a little about what to do afterwards.

    Ready to get started?

    What is Google Search Console?

    Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools) is a free tool that allows website owners to directly connect their website to Google. It provides a deeper look into how Google sees a website or blog.

    The powerful tool gives website owners the ability to find out if there are any specific problems that could be detrimental to being listed properly in the search results.

    These problems might include the website’s security, if there are errors crawling the website, if there’s unnatural linking, if there are mobile usability issues, and much more.

    Google is not some mysterious game that you have to figure out.

     

    In fact, Google Search Console is a great tool to help you, as a website owner, understand and learn to improve your site so that others can find you in the search results. Everything you need to learn to make the important site improvements surfaced via Google Search Console is based on the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

    Check out my video, “Google Quality Guidelines 101 for WordPress Bloggers,” to take a deeper dive.

    Related: How to use Google Analytics and increase website traffic

    Why do you need Google Search Console?

    In addition to providing insight into the visibility of your site in search results, Google Search Console can help you:

    Discover if your website has crawl errors

    If you’ve got crawl errors, you might be sending visitors to web pages that have no content.

    You want your visitors to find information fast, and with no problems.

     

    If you know your crawl errors, you can fix the problem by properly redirecting content, or by informing Google that web content has been permanently deleted.

    Related: How to set up 301 redirects in WordPress 

    Optimize your website for speed

    Ideally, your website should be loading at a speed of about one second. The page speed analysis tool within Google Search Console allows you to check what you need to do in order to speed up your website.

    Related: Speeding up WordPress

    See if your website has malware

    Google has your back. If your website has been compromised, you’ll receive a notice via email and in Google Search Console about the problem.

    Usually, if Google found a problem, website visitors will be given a warning to protect them until you’ve cleaned up the malware or virus.

    Related: How to get rid of malware on your small business website

    Let you know who is linking to you

    Knowing who links to you is important. If you’ve got linkbacks from a lot of non-relevant websites, you could be penalized by Google for unnatural linking (aka link schemes).

    Having that list will allow you to easily hunt down and ask the owners of those websites to remove the link.

    Related: How to get backlinks to a small business website

    Understand if Google can render your website properly

    Some WordPress plugins or tutorials wrongly implement CSS and JavaScript blocking techniques that will not allow Google to crawl your website as thoroughly as needed. Google will tell you if you’ve got code blocking them from seeing your website, so you can fix the problem.

    There are many more features of Google Search Console, but for the beginner, the ones mentioned in this article are the most helpful.

    How to integrate Google Search Console with your WordPress website or blog

    In order to integrate Google Search Console with your WordPress site, you will need to add your website, as well as your website’s sitemap.

    The sitemap — which is a generated list of all the content on your website — will allow Google to crawl and index your website far faster and more accurately than just submitting your website URL alone.

    This tutorial will include both submitting your website’s URL and your sitemap URL so you get a headstart on being crawled by Google.

    The easiest way to integrate Google Search Console with WordPress is to install the Yoast SEO plugin.

    How to use the Yoast SEO plugin to Integrate Google Search Console with WordPress

    Google Search Console WordPress Yoast Plugin Graphic
    The Yoast SEO plugin is extremely handy for WordPress beginners, as it contains features including the ability to verify your website and produce a valid sitemap for Google.

    To submit and verify your WordPress website with Google Search Console:

    1. Go to Google Search Console

    You will need to have a Google account or sign up. The tool is free to use, and you’ll only receive an email if there are any crawl issues with your website.

    2. Submit your website

    Add your preferred domain — with or without the www in the URL. You will click in the area that says “Search Property” and on the drop-down menu, click Add Property.

    Google Search Console WordPress Add New Property
    You’ll get a screen that pops up, just like below. Add your site to the right side of the area, and click Continue.
    Google Search Console WordPress Select Property Type

    3. Verify your website

    You can do this by using the HTML tag method. Copy the code into a plain text editor. Then copy only the long sequence of letters of numbers.

    Google Search Console WordPress Verify Ownership
    That code will go into your Yoast SEO General settings, under the Webmaster tab, in your WordPress admin.

    Google Search Console WordPress Blog Verification Code
    Once you’ve added the code, and saved it, you can go back to your Google Search Console tab to click on the Verify button.

    Note: If adding the code to Yoast SEO doesn’t work, which does happen for some people, you can also use the Headers and Footers plugin so you don’t have to mess with opening up your theme. Some themes also include an option that will allow you to add code snippets to the header area. Simply copy the whole line under the HTML tag method, and paste it into the header script area.

    Also, in some rare cases, this method might not work. If you cannot use any method with Yoast or WordPress, you can use the HTML file download method to verify your site.

    Google Search Console WordPress Download File Prompt

    You would upload this file to the same directory where your site’s wp-config.php file is located. If this method doesn’t work, contact your web host to ask them if they are blocking any ports or have any server rules in place that are preventing you from adding your site to Google Search Console. You shouldn’t need to use any of the other verification methods.

    Google Search Console WordPress Ownership Auto Verified
    Congratulations! If you’ve gotten the success message in Google Search Console, you can proceed to the next steps.

    4. Find your sitemap URL

    If you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin, you can find your sitemap URL by going to your WordPress admin panel, and navigating to the SEO > Features tab, and then finding the toggle section on XML Sitemaps.

    If the toggle is set to On, click on the tooltip question mark, and a link will show up for your sitemap. Click on it or use your mouse button to right click and copy the sitemap link.

    Usually, the Yoast SEO sitemap URL ends with sitemap_index.xml.

    Google Search Console WordPress Yoast SEO Sitemap

    5. Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console

    In Google Search Console, to submit your sitemap, go to the section under Crawl > Sitemaps.

    Compare the URL you copied earlier and make sure to add the exact URL path in. Usually, you will just type in sitemap_index.xml into the field, and click Submit.

    Google Search Console WordPress Add New Sitemap
    Now your WordPress website or blog should be properly integrated with Google Search Console.

    Depending on the size of your website (how many pages your site has), Google could take a few days to a few weeks to crawl your website.

    You’ve added Google Search Console to WordPress — now what?

    After Google crawl your website and lets you know if there’s anything you need to improve. Some of the things you might see in Google Search Console include:

    1. Improve website speed.
    2. Improve mobile usability.
    3. Remove any 404 errors or broken links.
    4. Eliminate any security issues.

    Improve website speed

    Your website needs to load quickly — including on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. You should try to get your site loading in less than two seconds, or at least close to that.

    Improve mobile usability

    If your site is not easily viewable on mobile devices, get to work improving your website’s design so it is responsive to most device-widths.

    Remove any 404 errors or broken links

    A 404 error occurs when a page can’t be found or no longer exists. You might have moved the page and renamed it, but forgot to add a redirection to the new page or let Google know if you completely removed the content.

    Aside from your own content, if you’re linking to other sites, you might find that over time, some sites have either changed their links or they no longer exist. It’s important to remove these issues so that your visitors are directed to the right content.

    Eliminate any security issues

    It’s always possible that your site could get hacked.

    Google does something like a courtesy check every so often, to make sure that your site is safe for others to view. If it’s not, sometimes Google will warn your visitors, and from Google Search Console, email you about the problem.

    If this happens to you, make sure to clean up the problem as quickly as possible as it can deter people from coming to your site, or Google could blacklist your site.

    Related: Roundup of WordPress security resources

    That’s a wrap

    Hopefully this guide has done a thorough job of not only helping you to integrate Google Search Console with WordPress, but of helping you to understand a little more about both the tool and how Google works.

    It’s most important to take quick action on the items that Google identifies as problems — including mobile usability, site speed, security and broken links. Taking a proactive approach to improving your website using the insights gained from Google Search Console can do wonders for your search ranking and website user experience.

    Editor’s note: Search engine optimization is easier with GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting. Our WordPress search engine optimization (SEO) plugin walks through your website and automatically handles your basic SEO needs so Google can find your site.

    The post How to integrate Google Search Console with your WordPress site appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Not getting enough traffic to your website? Don’t know where your visitors are coming from? Learning how to use Google Analytics will give you the answers you need to increase website traffic.

    Getting a handle on some Google Analytics basics will go a long way to helping your improve the performance of your website.

    If you understand where your website visitors are coming from, what pages they’re visiting, how long they’re spending on a page, and more important details that Google Analytics can tell you, you can tweak your website to make it more effective for your business.

    This guide is designed to help you overcome the challenges of getting started with Google Analytics so you’re confident in using this amazing tool to get insights into your website’s performance — and ultimately, increase website traffic.

    Related: A beginner’s guide to search engine optimization for small business websites

    Guide to using Google Analytics

    Here’s what we’re going to cover:

    Ready to get started? Let’s go!

    Why use Google Analytics?

    You’ve probably heard people tell you that you need to track your website’s traffic at some point. There are many different traffic analyzing tools available online — but Google Analytics is free and it’s one of the very best.

    We’ll get into the nitty-gritty details later in this article, but trust me when I tell you that this tool is robust. You can see how many visitors are on your site at any given time, whether they’re using a desktop computer or mobile device, their demographic details, which website pages get the most visits, and so much more.

    Plus, there are lots of support articles and videos to help you with getting started with Google Analytics.

    Related: How to increase blog traffic with 13 proven tactics

    What exactly is Google Analytics?

    Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google. It enables website owners to gain insights into how users find and use their website.

    Google Analytics is about more than counting simple clicks and pageviews.

     

    It offers the in-depth ability to track a visitor’s behavior, their demographics, how much you’re selling, what other sites are sending traffic to you, etc.

    All of the data you need is gathered in real-time, broken down into different areas — think traffic sources, user behavior and more — and displayed in a dashboard filled with charts and pie graphs to help you visualize your website’s progress.

    Here’s an example of what a Google Analytics dashboard looks like:

    Google Analytics Sample Dashboard Master View

    Google Analytics tracks a lot of different areas. For the basic user, here’s a breakdown of those areas, and what they mean.

    Real-time: Google Analytics can track your traffic in real-time. Yes, that means you’re able to see, at this very moment, how many people are visiting your website and where they’re spending their time. Pretty cool, right?

    Audience: Audience is all about telling you what type of visitor you have. You can find out whether more males or females visit, their age range, where they are from, what device and browser they are using, and the primary language they use.

    Acquisition: Acquisition is exactly what it seems. It’s all about where your traffic came from. You can learn whether a visitor came through Google or another search engine, from another website (referral), or even from social network sites like Facebook and Twitter.

    Behavior: This capability tracks how your visitors use your website. This is where you find out how long people stay on your site, if they leave right away, whether they go to specific pages, and when they leave your site.

    Conversions: Conversions is all about analyzing whether your visitor did something on your website. This could be filling out a form, purchasing a product, or even clicking on an ad campaign link.

    You can even find out at what step in your shopping cart process your visitors are leaving, which is known as cart abandonment.

    Data from the Conversions section of Google Analytics can help you tweak your shopping cart and forms so more visitors complete the process.

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    Google Analytics vs. Google Analytics 360

    Google has a lot of products, especially in its analytics platform. Google Analytics and Google Analytics 360, which used to be called Google Analytics Premium, are similar. But Google Analytics 360 is more for an enterprise-level business and, as a result, has a monthly fee.

    In comparing Google Analytics vs. Google Analytics 360 services, some of the differences are that 360 includes:

    • Integration with third-party marketing solutions like Salesforce and Google BigQuery
    • Advanced analysis
    • Advanced and customizable funnel reporting
    • Advanced and customizable attribution modeling
    • Maximum of 400 views per property (vs. 200 in the free version)
    • 200 custom dimensions and metrics per property (vs. 20 in the free version)
    • Data freshness is guaranteed every four hours
    • Unlimited data
    • Unsampled reporting
    • Access to raw data
    • Support services provided by Google and their global partner network

    If you’re just starting out with your business and don’t have a lot of website traffic, you likely only need the free version of Google Analytics.

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    Getting started with Google Analytics in 7 steps

    For website owners who don’t use a content management system like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla!, or if you’re comfortable with copying and pasting a little code, there are just a few easy steps to getting started with Google Analytics:

    1. Sign up for Google Analytics.
    2. Set up account properties and reporting views.
    3. Add the Google Analytics tracking code to your website.
    4. Grant permissions and take care of user management.
    5. Link your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account.
    6. Set up goals to identify the actions you want users to take on your site.
    7. Download the app so you can get insights on the go.

    Let’s take a look at each step.

    1. Sign up for Google Analytics

    To sign up, go to the Google Analytics site and choose the Start for free button.

    How To Use Google Analytics Start For Free

    This will prompt you to either sign in to your Google account or to create a Google account. If you’re creating a Google account, you can choose that you’re creating an account for yourself or to manage your business, depending on your needs for Google Analytics.

    Note: It’s not required to have a Gmail account to use Google Analytics, but you will be required to verify your email address when you sign up for Google Analytics.

    2. Set up account properties and reporting views

    This might seem a bit confusing, so to explain, account properties are for the users on your account. This means that if you have a team of people, you would add several accounts to manage your Google Analytics property.

    As for reporting views, this is better explained by what you want to analyze, whether it is a Google ad property for your site, your actual website, or even a subdomain of the site.

    To set up account properties, go to the Admin section, which you’ll find on the bottom left side of your Google Analytics dashboard. Find the first section on Accounts and click Create Account.

    How To Use Google Analytics Create Account

    Add your account name, site name and site URL.

    There are also fields to select what industry your site falls under, what time zone you want to use, and a few other steps that you should read through, but keep selected, as they are recommended data sharing services that you will want to keep available for your Google Analytics property.

    Set Up New Google Analytics Account

    Once you’re done filling out the form, click Get tracking ID.

    Set Up Google Analytics Tracking ID

    You’ll be prompted with a window to accept the Google Terms of Service and their additional terms that apply to sharing data with Google products and services. Once you’ve accepted the terms, you will be sent to a screen that will contain your Google Analytics tracking ID.

    How To Use Google Analytics Global Site Tag

    Once you have your tracking code, copy it and paste it to a text file, as you will need it.

    If you need to add views, return to the third column on the Admin screen and click Create View.

    How To Use Google Analytics Create View

    Fill out the short form with your view’s name, whether it’s for a subdomain or subdirectory.

    Set Up New Reporting View Google Analytics

    Then go back to View Settings section and fill out the URL for that view, if it is different from your main account property’s settings.

    How To Use Google Analytics View Settings

    3. Add the Google Analytics tracking code to your website

    If you’ve copied your tracking ID code to place it on your website, you will need to add it to your site’s code, usually before the ending HTML head tag. The ending HTML head tag looks like this: </head>.

    Paste your Google Analytics tracking ID code. This is the easiest tag to look for, so you don’t have to get confused about all the other code.

    4. Grant permissions and take care of user management

    If you plan to have a team of people helping you manage your Google Analytics property, go back to your Admin screen, and under the Accounts section, add a person by going to the User Management section and entering their email address. You will be able to grant them full access or limited access to your Google Analytics account.

    How To Use Google Analytics User Management

    Note: Your Google Analytics teammate(s) will need to have a Google account, too.

    5. Link your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account

    If you have a Google Ads account for your site, you can link it to your Google Analytics account. Why would you want to have a Google Ads account to help increase website traffic?

    You can’t solely rely on Google’s magical search engine indexing powers.

     

    An ad will pop your site up in a more prominent place, with the search terms (or keywords) that people may be searching for. If you’re not ready to have an ad, that’s fine. However, at some point, you’re going to want to start paying to play when it comes to getting more traffic.

    Other benefits of linking your Google Ads to Google Analytics are that you can:

    • View your ad campaigns in the Google Analytics dashboard, instead of going to Google Ads.
    • Import your ad goals and any recorded shop transactions over to Google Ads.
    • Dive into remarketing, where you can try to bring back a customer who didn’t buy the first time they visited your website.
    • Utilize the multi-channel funnels report, so you can understand how your traffic sources are working hand-in-hand to create sales.
    • Measure cross-device conversions, which means you can track when a person clicks a link on their mobile device, and then completes the sale with their desktop browser.

    Related: How to retarget website visitors with Google Ads

    In your Google Analytics Admin dashboard, you can link your Google Ads in the second column.

    How To Use Google Analytics Google Ads Linking

    If you already have a Google Ads account, you can continue on.

    Configure Google Ads in Google Analytics

    If you have any Google Ads set up, you’ll want to select the campaigns you want to link in Google Analytics, and make sure to turn the linking to ON for the properties you want to collect Google Ads data.

    6. Set up goals to identify the actions you want users to take on your site

    Your site has a plan. You want your visitors to buy something, share your content, fill out your lead forms, download an ebook, sign up for an account, or sign up for your newsletter. Each of these also can be called a goal. In Google Analytics, you can track goals.

    If you think checking in on just your pageviews and visitors is enough, you’re wrong. You have to dig deeper by seeing if people are taking the actions you want them to take on your website.

    Often, people put together websites with an idea that they want people to buy their stuff, but they never clearly indicate on their site what it is that they want people to purchase.

    Goals can help keep you on target by telling you if people are actually clicking on and buying the items or services you’re trying to sell.

    With goals in Google Analytics, there are several things you can track:

    • URLs or destination
    • Time or duration
    • Pages/screens
    • Events

    Some specific examples of goals you can track are completing a sale for an eCommerce site, filling out a form, completing a game level on an app, or even interacting with a survey.

    Some of these goals can tell you if a form was completely filled out, or even where the user stopped in their eCommerce transaction.

    How to use Google Analytics to set up a goal

    1. Sign into Google Analytics and navigate to the Admin dashboard.

    2. Go to the third column under Views, and click Goals. If you have multiple properties, you will need to select the view for which you want to set up the goal.

    How To Use Google Analytics Goals

    There are different ways to set up a goal based on what type of goal — URL, time, pages/screens or events — you’re tracking. You also can select a template.

    However, the following instructions are based only on the type of goal. In this case, before selecting which type, instead of using a template, you’ll use Custom. If you select a template, Google Analytics gives you different ones like setting up a goal for placing an order, creating an account, live chat, callbacks, tracking downloads, media play, social sharing, and signing up for things like newsletters or groups.

    3. To set up a URL or destination goal:

    • Fill out Goal name under Goal description.
    • Select Destination.
    • Enter the URL. This URL is used to start tracking the goal. There’s no need to put the full URL destination, so if you’re tracking yourdomain.com/shop, you only need to add /shop to the URL field.

    If your form allows people to purchase an item or service, you can set a monetary value. You also can set up a funnel, which is great if you’ve got a form process or even eCommerce process where there are several steps involved.

    The funnel process will allow you to track if a user has abandoned the form at one point.

    • Verify the goal to see how it works, based on previous data gathered by Google Analytics on your site.

    How To Use Google Analytics Goal Details

    4. To set up a time or duration goal:

    • Fill out Goal name under Goal description.
    • Select Duration.
    • Because you’re tracking traffic in a specific amount of time, you’ll fill out the form with the duration.
    • Verify the goal to see if it works. It will usually pull from past collected data.

    Set Up Duration Goal in Google Analytics

    5. To set up a Pages/screens goal:

    • Fill out Goal name under Goal description.
    • Select Pages/screens per session.
    • Fill in the form with how many pages you want the visitor to surf in order to trigger this goal.
    • Verify the goal. This is optional, but you may want to try this against your past traffic to make sure it works.

    Set Up Pages Goal in Google Analytics

    6. To set up an Events goal:

    • Fill out Goal name under Goal description.
    • Select Event under goal type.
    • Fill out Category, Action, Label and Value.

    Event goals can track things like links to external sites, downloads, buttons on your site (for example: social media) and time spent viewing videos. In this case, if you want to track downloading a zip file, you’d fill out Category with Download Action with something like “zip file,” and Label with the path of the download, like “/download/your-zip-file.zip.” As for Value, this area depends on the average time it takes to download the file, view a video or listen to music. You will assign it a number (but not a negative number, as negative integers will not work). You can learn more about how to better assign a value for your event goal here.

    • Verify the goal if you wish to test it.

    How Set Up Event Goal in Google Analytics

    7. Download the app so you can get insights on the go

    If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner on the go, having the Google Analytics app installed on your phone can allow you to monitor your website from anywhere. You can find the Google Analytics App in the Google Play store. Simply install, open and give Google permission to display the app on your mobile device.

    The default dashboard in the Google Analytics app might not seem like it shows a lot, but it actually includes most of what you see in the desktop version. Plus, you can select what you want to see. Here are some screenshots of the mobile version.

    Google Analytics Mobile Play Store

    Google Analytics Dashboard Mobile

    Google Analytics Home View Mobile

    Google Analytics Audience Overview Mobile

    Google Analytics eCommerce Overview Mobile

    Now that you’ve learned a lot of Google Analytics basics, such as setting up Google Analytics on your website and even creating goals, you are ready to dig a little deeper and learn how to increase traffic with Google Analytics.

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    How to set up Google Analytics with WordPress

    Got WordPress? Prefer to use a plugin instead of fooling around with code? Then here are a few steps on how to set up Google Analytics with WordPress.

    1. Go to your WordPress admin and under Plugins, click Add New.

    Add Google Analytics WordPress Plugin

    2. Install and activate Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights.

    3. Connect Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights with Google Analytics.

    You will need to go through their setup wizard. On the first screen, select what type of site you have.

    Google Analytics MonsterInsights WordPress Setup

    On the second screen, connect with Google Analytics.

    Connect MonsterInsights to Google Analytics WordPress

    Next, authenticate your Google Account with MonsterInsights and give the plugin permission to access Google Analytics.

    Google Analytics MonsterInsights Authentication

    How To Use Google Analytics MonsterInsights Complete Connection

    Tell Google Analytics what you’d like or not like to track, using the settings given in the MonsterInsights plugin. You can come back later to set this up in more detail.

    Google Analytics MonsterInsights Settings

    Click Save and continue, then you can skip the step on installing other plugins.

    Once you’ve done this, your WordPress site is connected with Google Analytics.

    The free version of Google Analytics for WordPress plugin by MonsterInsights doesn’t deliver in-depth dashboard analytics, so if you want that ability, you have to purchase the pro version.

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    How to use Google Analytics to increase website traffic

    First, before delving into how to increase your traffic, you have to understand why people come to your website.

    Of course, in some cases, they are coming from Google or another search engine, a social network or sometimes from another site. This means that somewhere along the line, someone was interested in what your website had to offer.

    In order to keep Google’s attention, and keep your site indexed or even ranked well, it’s important to continually update your site.

    This doesn’t mean you have to update every single day, but you should try to update your website’s content as frequently as you can.

    For example, if you run an eCommerce site and have been blogging for a while, you’ve probably seen that your pages are getting indexed and people are visiting. Those visits could be directly from Google, your email newsletter list, social media or even other search engines. However, if you stop introducing new content, in Google Analytics, you’ll probably notice a decline in traffic.

    A better and more accurate way to know why people are visiting your site is to learn how to understand a basic page report in Google Analytics.

    Related: Why updating your website matters for sales

    Understanding Page reports in Google Analytics to increase website traffic

    At the basic level, Page reports can give you very good insights into why people are visiting your website. In the Page report, look at the following:

    • Page Views
    • Average time on site
    • Bounce rate
    • Acquisition
    • Behavior

    Here’s a little more information about what you’ll find in each of those sections.

    Page Views

    Page Views are when the visitor clicks and lands on a page that is being tracked by Google Analytics. In the case of counting page views, an example of Google Analytics tracking a page view would be going to a second page on the same website and then returning to the originating webpage. This would end up counting as two page views.

    Average time on site

    The average time on a site is how long, on average, that visitors stay on your website. This is only counted with legitimate page views, not when someone is exiting the site or if they’ve left the site right away. This might seem confusing, but Google can’t track when a person leaves the site, only the last page they visited. So, if they initially came to the site and never visited a second page, then basically no page view was counted, and for average time on site, Google Analytics gave 00:00 for the time.

    So, how can you get people to stay on your site longer? Here are a few suggestions:

    • Create video content to appear alongside any images or text content on a page.
    • Create interactive content such as quizzes.
    • Encourage visitors to leave comments on blog posts.

    The page will have to load again after they submit the comment.

    Bounce rate

    Bounce rate is an average of how many times people only visit one page on the site and then leave. With bounce rate, you don’t want the percentage to be high. In fact, you want it to be as low as possible.

    To decrease bounce rate, give visitors clear options for what to do next on your site. For example:

    • Include links to related content in your blog posts.
    • Use strong calls-to-action to encourage visitors to click through to other pages on your website, such as product pages.

    Related: 8 costly call-to-action mistakes you’re making on your website

    Acquisition

    The Acquisition section is where you find out where your traffic came from. You can find this under Traffic Source. This could be from Google search, another search engine, social networks or other websites.

    The Acquisition report is not necessarily a basic report, but you can easily check out the Overview tab for an idea of where to put more effort into promoting your work. For example, this report can provide insight into which social sites are driving the most traffic to your website.

    You can use this information to focus more on those social networks and less on platforms with lower traffic referral numbers. Or, if you feel that your business can really benefit from a strong presence on a social network that isn’t currently referring much traffic to your website, increase your efforts on that network.

    One of the really cool areas to look at within the Acquisition area of Google Analytics is Location — especially if you’re a local business owner trying to target your city, state, country or region. For example, if you’re a business in Phoenix, like a restaurant, and you’re trying to gain more customers, you obviously don’t want your website to target an audience located in Japan.

    Behavior

    Behavior allows you to look into what people are seeing on your site and how you can improve it. In fact, this area can let you know what pages people are finding most interesting, and if they are going to another page.

    The Behavior flow area in Google Analytics can help you build more content around the areas that people are enjoying, as well as correct any content that needs to be linked to other related content on your website.

    Back to top

    How can you improve your site’s SEO to show up higher in Google search results?

    Again pulling from your Google Analytics toolbox, there are a few simple steps you can take to improve your website’s ranking in Google search results for whatever term or keywords you’re aiming for.

    Look at your Google Analytics page report data and use it to plan website content and tweak what you already have on your website.

    Build solid content around the areas of your site that you want people to pay attention to. This is usually called creating “cornerstone” content related to the products or services you’re selling, the newsletters or accounts you want people to sign up for, or the downloads you want people to take away. Pick a couple major areas, and plan content around them. Start with an in-depth article for those main subjects, and then create smaller related articles.

    Link to other sites on occasion. Once you have included external links that relate to your website content and that you consider valuable for your website visitors, let those other website owners know you’ve linked to their sites. You could possibly build a partnership with them, which would be great if you have products or services that complement each other.

    Share your website on social media sites. You can’t expect people to do it for you, so you have to start the fire first. Sure, you do want your website content to show up in organic search results, but there’s nothing wrong with getting traffic from social network sites.

    Reshare evergreen content. If you have content that is still as relevant today as it was a few months or years ago, don’t let it sit there collecting dust. Re-share. Even better, tweak and improve that content by adding more, linking to newer related articles, and even creating related video content.

    Related: Beginner’s guide to search engine optimization for small business websites

    Back to top

    What’s next?

    There’s a lot of information in this article, from how to use Google Analytics and why you need it, to getting started with Google Analytics, setting up goals, and even some tips on how to increase website traffic. Hopefully, you now have a basic understanding of how to use Google Analytics to improve your website’s performance.

    It’s time to install Google Analytics, poke around this amazing tool to learn everything it has to offer, and begin measuring your website’s performance. Then, use this data to create a better experience for your site’s visitors and increase website traffic.

    If you need some extra help with your SEO efforts, check out GoDaddy SEO Services. These experts can help you rank higher — without having to put in extra hours.

    This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by the following authors: Christopher Carfi and Alex Sirota.

    The post How to use Google Analytics to increase website traffic appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Standing out as a freelance web designer isn’t easy. Clients are busier than ever—it’s difficult to even get their attention, let alone get them to reach out about starting a project.

    Even as a highly skilled professional, you still need to spend time creating a strong web design portfolio to show off your expertise and your past projects — an online portfolio that lets you break through the noise and stand above the competition.

    Unfortunately, building an online presence and portfolio isn’t something that comes easily to many freelance web designers. You’d rather be doing great work for your clients than talking about yourself and your skills. So to help you start building your own portfolio site and winning more business and better clients, we’ve put together 20 inspiring examples of web design portfolios from a mix of freelance designers and creative studios around the world.

    Before we jump into the list, though, let’s take a look at what goes into a stellar web design portfolio.

    How to create a web design portfolio that attracts clients

    The most compelling web design portfolios have a few common ingredients:

    • They grab clients’ attention by using bright colors, original imagery, or interactive elements to stand out from the competition.
    • They frame every element around the ideal client. Instead of just talking about what you do, they explain what you do for your clients, focusing on benefits over features or services.
    • They cut out all unnecessary fluff. The best web design portfolios don’t overcomplicate things unnecessarily—they make navigation straightforward and always direct visitors toward the desired result.
    • They show the design journey using case studies. Potential clients want to know you can solve their problems, and the best way to explain how you’ll achieve this is through detailed case studies. Explain the challenges behind the project and how your solution overcame them, and highlight measurable outcomes from each project.
    • They create confidence using social proof and other trust signals. Potential clients trust the recommendations of others, even from people they don’t know. You can also include other trust signals, like describing your process and mirroring clients’ beliefs in your copy.
    • They inject a bit of personality. Clients hire people, not brands—adding a few personal touches to your portfolio helps create a connection with your ideal clients.
    • They include a clear call to action. Since your portfolio is meant to attract new clients, make sure you’re asking them for their business. A clear CTA lets clients know what they should do next, whether that’s setting up a call, filling out a contact form, or something else.

    Now that we know what should go into your web design portfolio, let’s take a look at some examples from other designers.

    20 stellar web design portfolio examples to inspire your own

    #1: John Henry Müller

    The web design portfolio of John Henry Muller.

    Portfolio Link: https://johnhenrymuller.com/

    John injects a ton of personality into his portfolio with bright colors, friendly photos, and friendly copy that help attract the type of clients he loves working with. It’s also worth checking out his terrific (and witty) case studies as a great example of how to add some personality to your own portfolio.

    #2: Olivier Guilleux

    The web design portfolio of Olovoer Guilleux

    Portfolio Link: https://www.olivier-guilleux.com/

    Olivier’s portfolio pairs minimalist design with bright colors, along with subtle animations on the home page to grab visitors’ attention. His portfolio pieces, like this one detailing his work on design blog AA13, effectively show off his design skills, and each one includes a clear CTA to inquire about his design services. It’s a great example of using minimal design to maximum effect.

    #3: Rumsey Taylor

    The web design portfolio of Rumsey Taylor

    Portfolio Link: http://rumz.org/

    Rumsey specializes in creating interactive online stories, so it’s fitting that his portfolio includes a touch of his interactive design prowess. Scrolling through his site’s copy brings up interactive elements that overlay the page—each element links to the final published work, showing off both his past work and his talents in a unique form factor that’s sure to stick in clients’ minds.

    #4: Raphael Aleixo

    The web design portfolio of Raphael Aleixo

    Portfolio Link: https://aleixo.me/

    Portfolios don’t need to be overly complicated, and front-end developer Raphael’s one-page portfolio gets straight to the point: showing off his design prowess. A unique left-to-right scrolling motion lets him include multiple projects on the same page, and clicking each project brings up a more detailed case study. The dark theme helps the colorful screenshots pop, and the vertical menu makes the site easy to navigate.

    #5: Jarrod Drysdale

    The web design portfolio of Jarrod Drysdale

    Portfolio Link: https://studiofellow.com/

    Yes, Jarrod’s portfolio website is beautiful, but it’s the copy that really shines here. His Services page explains clearly how his designs help customers achieve their goals, linking to detailed case studies that demonstrate the value of his work. Jarrod’s ability to link design to results is something you should strive for in your own web design portfolio.

    #6: Ramon Gilabert

    The web design portfolio of Ramon Gilabert

    Portfolio Link: https://gilabert.design/

    Ramon’s portfolio design is calming and beautiful, and the design adapts particularly well to mobile—important when more than half of web traffic these days is on mobile. His case studies are particularly effective, listing specific results and explaining his thinking behind the project.

    #7: Alex Coven

    The web design portfolio of Alex Coven

    Portfolio Link: https://www.alexcoven.com/

    Like Ramon’s site, Alex’s portfolio is notable for its minimalist design, but what makes it truly special is the great navigation. The menu pops out from the left side and contains most of the site’s content, letting Alex use the majority of the page to show off his best work. It’s a unique approach — and one that works quite well.

    #8: The Wonder Jam

    The web design portfolio of The Wonderjam

    Portfolio Link: https://thewonderjam.com/

    Our first studio! Design duo Allie and Adam Lehman put their clients first in every part of The Wonder Jam’s web design portfolio. From the great use of testimonials, friendly client photos, and clear descriptions and transparent pricing of their services, every element serves the same purpose: to put the success of their clients front and center.

    #9: Steven Hanley

    The web design portfolio of Steven Hanley

    Portfolio Link: https://www.steven-hanley.com/

    Steven’s a digital designer with a penchant for bold typography, which takes center stage in his portfolio—at least until you click on one of his case studies. The eye-popping colors, strong headings, and interactive design come together to show off Steven’s design skills and attract his ideal clients.

    #10: Angle2

    The web design portfolio of Angle2

    Portfolio Link: https://angle2.agency/

    Another interactive portfolio with great typography, Angle2’s interactive headline captures your attention immediately. As you scroll down, the angled design continues through their case studies and services, lending a unique, but somehow cohesive and engaging, agency portfolio.

    #11: Branex

    The web design portfolio of Branex

    Portfolio Link: https://www.branex.com/

    Branex’s web design portfolio stands out for two main reasons: the colorful design and the detailed case studies. Embracing bright gradients and a unique palette, the site certainly stands out from generic business templates, and their detailed case studies cover both the design and the final results.

    #12: Up Late Studio

    The web design portfolio of Up Late Studio

    Portfolio Link: https://upl8.com/

    Up Late Studio’s one-page portfolio takes the neon theme to a whole new level. The bright colors and flashing signage make for a memorable portfolio website, but the rest of the design shows a little more constraint, with customer testimonials and a slideshow of past work.

    #13: Momkai

    The web design portfolio of Momkai

    Portfolio Link: https://www.momkai.com/

    Momkai is a design studio built around simplicity—their portfolio is clean and easy to follow and works particularly well on mobile. Each case study, like this one from their work with stroller company Bugaboo, shows off their web and graphic design work through a combination of animated images, video, screenshots, and compelling copy. It’s a simple design that works to great effect.

    #14: Sage McElroy

    The web design portfolio of Sage McElroy

    Portfolio Link: http://sagemcelroy.com/

    Sage’s personal site is from the rare breed of portfolios that make dark themes work well. The friendly text and detailed case studies get straight to the point of a portfolio —showing off Sage’s work—and there are plenty of opportunities to reach out via email to inquire about new projects. All the essentials of a great portfolio, without the fluff.

    #15: Jake Dow-Smith

    The web design portfolio of Dow Smith

    Portfolio Link: https://dow-smith.com/

    Jake Dow-Smith’s minimalist site has a unique approach to showing off their portfolio pieces. Each piece is presented as a short embedded video, showing visitors not just how the sites look but also how they work. The site also loops back to the start as you scroll—a fun touch, if a little confusing for visitors.

    #16: Gin Lane

    The web design portfolio of Gin Lane

    Portfolio Link: https://www.ginlane.com/

    Editor’s note: Since the time of writing, Gin Lane has closed their agency business and started a new company called Pattern—this post refers to their portfolio as it stood at publishing time.

    Great typography, use of color and motion, detailed case studies—Gin Lane has one of the best all-around web design portfolios out there. The site also works just as well on mobile as it does on desktop, flowing perfectly to fit the smaller screen design. And the emojis add a whimsical touch to the friendly copy.

    #17: Matt Olpinski

    The web design portfolio of Matt Olpinski

    Portfolio Link: https://mattolpinski.com/

    We love how Matt balances his services and product offerings on his site—but the real highlights here are his in-depth case studies, like this one for fitness website FitLegit. Each case study includes a breakdown of Matt’s design approach, covering everything from colors to typography to information architecture. Wrapping up each case study is a testimonial from the client, along with a call to action to talk about Matt’s services. It’s a master class in putting together great web design case studies.

    #18: David Hellmann

    The web design portfolio of David Hellmann

    Portfolio Link: https://davidhellmann.com/

    The quirky “jumping” heading and dark theme on David’s portfolio catch your attention immediately, and the attention to small details continues throughout the rest of the site. David also includes photos from his Instagram feed, adding a personal touch to the professional site.

    #19: ZURB

    The web design portfolio of Zurb

    Portfolio Link: https://zurb.com/

    Zurb’s site has personality in spades. The space theme continues through their typography and copywriting, and their case studies (like this one from their work on Men’s Wearhouse) detail their unique approach to helping clients discover “Design Insights.” As a bonus, they’ve also hidden 42 cows in unexpected places around their site—see if you can find all of them!

    #20: Nicky Tesla

    The web design portfolio of Nicky Tesla

    Portfolio Link: https://nickytes.la

    It’s . . . well, it’s a spreadsheet. Specifically, Nicky’s portfolio is an interactive Google Sheet that’s publicly available and attached to a domain name. The spreadsheet portfolio even includes an interactive drawing—visitors can change the background colors at will, and the changes are reflected on the live site. It means it’s not exactly the most readable portfolio, but it’s certainly one of the most remarkable.

    Make your portfolio about your clients

    Your web design portfolio can be a very personal site, reflecting your design approach and your individual personality—but don’t forget that, ultimately, your portfolio’s job is to sell. That means focusing on how you help your clients—how you solve their problems, how they derive value from your services, and how happy they are to work with you.

    With inspiration from these examples, and a little bit of effort, you too can create a killer web design portfolio that attracts your ideal clients and wins you more business.

     

    Header photo by Jonathan Farber on Unsplash

    The post 20 examples of inspiring web design portfolios appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Phone calls are one of the most urgent communication channels a customer can use. When they reach out for help, they’re actively taking time out of their day to speak to you in real time, with the expectation of a reply as soon as possible.

    When you’re a small-business owner, it’s not always easy to reply to these calls right away. That’s why voicemail transcriptions are so helpful. Text transcripts of your voicemail save valuable time by giving you the option to read the message instead of listen to it.

    While you can go through the complicated process of setting up Visual Voicemail on your iPhone, or adding it through your carrier on Android, you’ll always have to seek out this transcript manually. Our SmartLine app provides these transcriptions to you automatically, placing them with the rest of your customer’s texts, voicemails and missed calls.

    Using these voicemail transcriptions makes it easier to maintain a healthy work/life balance and lets you prioritize your outreach more efficiently. Following below are four ways voicemail transcription enables your business to provide the best possible experience for your customers.

    1. Saves small-business owners valuable time

    With a voicemail transcript, you don’t have to spend time listening to customer voicemails over and over to get all the information. Just access the text transcription through the SmartLine app and read through it like you would any other email or SMS text message. Automating the process of providing these transcripts helps you get closer to the customer.

    Using automatic voicemail transcriptions also helps you streamline your personal workflows. Easy access to the customer’s name and phone number, as well as their specific inquiry, makes it easy to understand and respond, too. If you’re not able to call back on the phone right away, you can reach out to the customer via text or email (whichever works best for you at the time) and let them know you’ve received their call. This manages their expectations for follow-up and builds trust.

    2. Helps prioritize outreach based on customer need

    Managing customer outreach is difficult, especially if you’re the only one doing it. Voicemail transcripts communicate customer inquiries faster than the recordings, allowing you to better determine which issues require the most urgent callbacks. Instead of listening to the same voicemail over and over again to suss out the customer’s information and specific problem, you can simply reference the transcript.

    Voicemail transcripts are an organizational tool as well. Instead of spending time looking for the right voicemail message in your inbox, trying to remember the date and time you received a particular call, you can scroll through your transcripts for any customer and parse the importance of their questions directly.

    Remember: Customers will always think that their inquiry is the most important, so you need to address that when you reach out to let them know you’ll reply back in time.

    3. Keeps a clear record of past conversations

    Text is much easier to reference than a recording. When you’re tracking past customer conversations, it’s much easier to copy and paste information than to spend the time listening to recordings yourself and jotting it down. Just copy these transcripts into the customer notes, and you have access to valuable context at a moment’s notice. Or search past transcripts quickly without having to listen to any of the messages in real time.

    Plus, text transcripts don’t pick up customers’ accents, phone service issues, or sirens going off in the background of a call. You’ll see only the most important information.

    4. Easily shared with a team or customer relationship management platform

    When you receive a voicemail that is particularly interesting, relays positive feedback about your product, or calls out a bad experience, a transcription can be a valuable learning tool as well. You can easily copy the text transcript and share it directly, or upload it to your customer relationship management (CRM) platform for access from your team.

    These voicemail transcripts also help you keep a record of customer satisfaction over time. Anyone who accesses your CRM, or receives a copy of the transcript, will know exactly what’s going on with your customers without having to spend their time listening to the actual recording. This makes providing a continuous customer experience simple and straightforward as your small business grows.

    Using voicemail transcriptions with GoDaddy SmartLine

    With SmartLine, you receive automatic text transcripts for any voicemail on your business phone number. You don’t have to do anything except open the app and read through the voicemail directly. While there, scroll back through past interactions to understand exactly what the customer is looking for.

    Getting SmartLine set up for your business only takes a matter of minutes and can be available for under $10 a month. First, choose a number that you want to use for your business phone line on the website. You have the option of both local and toll-free numbers. Then, just download the SmartLine app and start making calls and receiving your voicemail transcripts right away.

    The post 4 reasons to start using voicemail transcription appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    This post was originally published on Sept. 5, 2013, and was updated on Sept. 18, 2017, and Aug. 13, 2019.

    OK, we all know that Facebook is a social networking powerhouse, with more than 1.56 billion daily active users (as of April 2019) posting on their timelines and pages to share information in real-time about everything from their dating status to favorite restaurant. With all those engaged users, it makes sense that understanding how to use Facebook for business is a smart growth strategy.

    By establishing a Facebook Page for your company — complete with your logo, a memorable description of your business, and a cover image that represents the products or services you offer — you can begin to cultivate relationships with current and potential customers, increase brand awareness, and drive sales.

    

    Editor’s note: Need a little help building your community on Facebook? GoDaddy Social has your back.

    How to use Facebook for your business

    For businesses, Facebook provides a robust platform for sharing information about products and services, company updates, live videos, special offers or discounts, and messages to establish credibility.

    Ready to get started? Here’s how to use Facebook for your business:

    1. Create a Facebook account.
    2. Start a Facebook Page.
    3. Create content.
    4. Share your Page.
    5. Consider paid advertising

    Let’s dive into each step.

    1. Create a Facebook account

    If don’t already have a Facebook account, head over to Facebook and set one up.

    2. Start a Facebook Page

    Next, you’re going to create a Page.

    Pick a Page type.

    Just choose the right page type for your business to get started for free.

    Screenshot Of Facebook Business Page Setup Step One

    Enter your business information.

    Depending on the Page type you choose, you’ll be prompted to enter specific business details before clicking Get Started. For example, for a Business or Brand, enter:

    • Page Name — likely the name of your business.
    • Page Category — perhaps your type of business [e.g. real estate agency].
    • Street Address & Phone Number

    Screenshot Of Facebook Business Page Setup Step Two

    Complete the About section.

    Add a descriptive blurb about your business to tell people what your Page is about. And be sure to add your business’s website address so visitors can check out your site to learn more about your products or services.

    Finish setting up the About section by verifying that your business is a real establishment and that you’re authorized to represent it.

    Add a short description.

    On the front page of your Facebook Business Page, you will see a section prompting you to “Add a Short Description.” This allows you to add one to two sentences to let customers understand what you offer at a glance.

    Upload a profile picture.

    Choose a profile picture that represents your business and will capture viewers’ attention. You can find the proper image dimensions here.

    Related: Social media image sizes — The 2019 cheat sheet

    Add to Favorites.

    Add your new Facebook Page to your Favorites so it will be easily accessible from your home page.

    Claim duplicate pages.

    If applicable, Facebook will display a list of Pages it deems similar to yours and ask you to claim them. Why? To avoid duplicate pages, which are confusing to users and draw attention away from your main Page.

    You will become the admin of any Pages you claim so you can merge them for easier management.

    Add a cover photo and other finishing touches.

    Add the following elements to finish up your new Page:

    • Cover photo — This is the big image at the top of your page, so make it count. Again, you can find image dimensions here and here.
    • Hours of operation
    • Services
    • Call-to-action button

    Related: 8 costly call-to-action mistakes you’re making on your website

    Review and publish.

    When you’re finished creating your Page and you’re happy with it, it’s time to publish. Just click Settings at the top of your Page. From General, click Page Visibility. Select Page published. Finally, click Save Changes.

    That’s it!

    3. Create content

    You’re probably itching to share your new Page, but first take a few minutes to create some strong content. It’s important to consistently post relevant, quality content that will engage — and expand — your audience.

    Check out these sample Page posts for a fictional landscaping company, Joe’s Wonder Landscaping:

    • “Like” us today and receive 30% off tree trimming services.
    • Joe’s Wonder Landscaping Tip of the Day: Anchor your landscape designs with focal points like statuary and water features.
    • Want to learn about layering your flowerbeds? Join the experts at Joe’s Wonder Landscaping for a free workshop this Saturday. Get all the details on our website at www.thebusinessname.com.
    • Watch our live stream of Joe building a garden pond.

    The moment someone Likes, Comments or Shares something from your Page, it shows up on their friends’ News Feed. This gives you valuable word-of-mouth advertising and increases your brand’s visibility.

    Related: A beginner’s guide to social media for small business

    4. Share your Page

    Invite your friends to Like your page. Click the ellipses (…) below your Page’s cover photo. Select Invite Friends. Click Search All Friends to select a list, or enter a friend’s name in the search box. Click Invite next to the friends you want to invite.

    Invite your customers to Like your Page. You can also upload their email addresses or import their contacts.

    Remember to Include a link to your Facebook Page on your website.

     

    Have a GoDaddy Website Builder website? It’s a snap to connect your site to your Facebook Page.

    Screenshot Of GoDaddy Online Store Facebook Connection Tool
    5. Consider paid advertising

    Facebook also offers a number of paid options to boost the power of a business Page. Facebook’s advertising tools enable you to target a specific audience so you can put your message in front of the people who are most likely to respond to it.

    Related: How to retarget website visitors with Facebook ads

    Learn more about how to use Facebook for business

    Keep coming up with fun ideas to engage and entice customers and prospects. When something changes — like the addition of a new employee or product — post about it. Your customers are going to take notice.

    For more insight into how to use Facebook to grow your business, check out “Boost Facebook content to reach more customers” and “3 ways to engage your employees in social media marketing”.

    The post How to use Facebook for your business appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Why should you care about domain authority?

    By now, you realize just how important it is for your site to be visible in search engines.

    Search engines like Google are the primary mode of discovery for billions of users, so if you can get your site at or near the top rankings for relevant keyword phrases, you can secure an ever-growing stream of new traffic to your website.

    But many online business owners neglect a fundamental element of search engine optimization (SEO) strategy: domain authority.

    Learning how to increase domain authority and using a good domain authority checker can dramatically improve your overall SEO results.

    In this guide, you’ll learn the intricacies of how domain authority is calculated, why domain authority matters, and of course, the strategies you need to be successful in improving it.

    Related: Beginner’s guide to search engine optimization for small business websites

    What is domain authority?

    Let’s start with a basic outline of what domain authority is and how it functions.

    Domain authority is a cumulative score of trustworthiness for a given web domain.

     

    When search engines formulate search engine results pages (SERPs) they usually look for two things: relevance, or how appropriate the content is for the given query, and trustworthiness, or how valuable and reputable the content is.

    Domain authority is useful for gauging how reliable a website’s content is; the higher the domain authority for a site, the more likely its content will be to rank highly in SERPs.

    Google doesn’t explicitly publish these scores, nor does it document how these scores are calculated. Instead, SEO experts (like the smart folks over at Moz) have come up with their own estimated formulations for domain authority. The scale usually runs from zero to 100, with zero being brand new sites with no authority and 100 being the most trustworthy sites on the web.

    We’ll get more into how domain authority is calculated and how to increase domain authority later. But for now, understand that it takes into consideration a mixture of content quality, domain history and inbound link profiles.

    Domain authority applies across your entire domain, so every page of your site shares the same domain authority rating.

    You might also want to consider page authority, which is similarly calculated, except it applies at the page level. For example, you could have a high domain authority, but if one piece of content you published has a significantly higher page authority than your other pages, it’s going to perform comparatively better in organic search results than the rest of the pages on your site.

    Related: Everything you need to know about domain names 

    Why is domain authority different from other SEO tactics?

    The first SEO strategy most webmasters learn is how to optimize for strategically relevant keywords.

    The basic idea here is to include important keywords within page metadata, and notably, in the body of your content, to increase their likelihood of ranking for queries with similar wording.

    Website owners who follow this strategy while ignoring other SEO tactics are often perplexed to learn that their search rankings aren’t improving as expected.

    Focusing on domain authority is distinct from keyword-based tactics for several important reasons:

    The authority factor

    Remember, search engines need to see both relevance and authority to regard you highly for SERPs. As the name suggests, improving your domain authority is critical for improving the “authority” side of the equation.

    Without it, even the best keyword optimization strategies are going to fall short because search engines will have no way to measure whether or not that content is trustworthy.

    Sitewide application

    Your domain authority applies to your entire site, including any subdomains you have and any and all pages of content you produce.

    This makes any investment in your domain authority valuable for every other SEO tactic you execute.

     

    It’s a rising tide that lifts all boats.

    Growth and sustainability

    Domain authority is hard to increase because it depends on so many factors, but once you start increasing it, it’s relatively easy to preserve that momentum. Over time, your domain authority will get higher and higher, boosting your relevance almost permanently.

    Short of following black-hat SEO tactics, there are few ways to decrease your domain authority, so you’ll likely continue reaping the benefits of your domain authority investments for years to come.

    Related: What is a meta description?

    Why is measuring domain authority useful?

    Domain Authority Measuring Tape

    With the help of a domain authority checker, you can numerically measure your site’s domain authority, on a scale of 0 to 100. Why is this useful?

    For starters, it’s a good indicator of the overall health of your SEO campaign. Your domain authority can increase thanks to better on-site content, more inbound links and other factors, so if you see your DA ticking upward, it’s a good sign you’re doing things right.

    Additionally, it’s a useful measure for competitive analysis. Understanding that your top competitor has a higher domain authority than you can help you identify some of the specific tactics that set them apart. It can also help you determine when it’s worth fighting a competitor for a contentious keyword phrase, and when it might be wiser to back off.

    Related: How to find inspiration from your competitors (without stealing their ideas)

    How is domain authority scored?

    Now let’s investigate how domain authority is scored.

    Inbound link profile

    There are several minor factors that play into your domain authority, but the biggest factor is your inbound link profile. Google’s search algorithm relies on a system known as PageRank, which basically calculates a site’s trustworthiness based on the number and quality of links pointing to it.

    A site with many links pointing to it will typically be seen as more authoritative than one with few links pointing to it.

    However, there are many other factors to consider. For example, links from more trustworthy sources pass more authority than links from new or untrustworthy ones, and it’s better to have links from many different sources than it is to have many links all from one source.

    Accordingly, link building is one of the best ways to increase domain authority.

    Related: How to get backlinks to a small business website

    Other factors include:

    Site structure

    Sites that are properly structured for search engines to crawl are automatically going to be considered a higher domain authority than sites that aren’t. If Google can’t even see your site, you won’t have an authority score at all.

    On-site content quality

    Google has built-in algorithms that are able to calculate content quality, or at least estimate it. Using evaluations like natural language recognition, Google can reward sites with better-written material.

    Domain history

    Older domains tend to carry more authority than newer ones. This isn’t a make-or-break factor, so don’t let it discourage you if you’re starting a new site from scratch.

    Note that domain authority is best used as a comparative tool, and might not have a one-to-one relationship with search rankings — in other words, a site with a higher domain authority won’t universally outrank a site with a lower one.

    Domain authority checker tools

    So how can you measure your domain authority? The best way is with an online domain authority checker. These are some of the best tools available:

    Moz’s Link Explorer

    Domain Authority Moz Link Explorer
    Moz is the company that defined domain authority initially and set the zero to 100 scale. You can use its Link Explorer tool to calculate the DA of practically any domain and analyze the links pointing to it at the same time. You’ll be limited in how many queries you make unless you pay for full access.

    Small SEO Tools

    Domain Authority Small SEO Tools
    Small SEO Tools has a more basic domain authority checker, but it should give you all the information you need within seconds. All you have to do is plug in the URL you want to check, and you’ll see its DA, page authority and more.

    SEMRush

    Domain Authority SEMRush
    SEMRush is a paid search analytics tool, but you can make 10 free queries when you create an account. With it, you’ll get access to measurements like domain authority, page authority and SEO-related data like search rankings and organic traffic.

    Editor’s note: Do you need some expert help with search engine optimization (SEO)? Check out GoDaddy’s SEO Services today! After a free consultation, we’ll work with your business to help you rank higher and earn more traffic.

    How can you increase domain authority?

    Now let’s get into how to increase your domain authority. Let’s assume you’ve structured your site in a crawlable way, and that you have no real control over the length of time your domain has been active.

    1. Produce high-quality content

    Your first step is to produce high-quality content for your blog on a regular basis.

    High-quality content is not only going to directly increase your domain authority, but it’s also going to serve as an anchor point for the links you build for your domain.

    High-quality content is free of spelling and grammatical errors, has a diverse vocabulary, natural speech patterns (i.e., no keyword stuffing), and links to other valuable sources.

    It’s also important to publish new content regularly since Google disproportionately favors new content. Aim to produce at least one high-quality post per week, if not more, but remember to prioritize quality over quantity.

    Related: Editorial calendar — The content, keyword and SEO connection

    Earn inbound links

    Chain Links Represent Inbound Links for Domain Authority]

    Your next step is to earn more inbound links for your site.

    This is the best way to increase your domain authority, but it’s also the trickiest. That’s because Google is acutely aware of the possibility that webmasters are building fraudulent or manipulative links for the sole
    purpose of increasing their
    domain authority and search
    rankings.

    Accordingly, your link building strategies need to be focused on providing value to web users while simultaneously pointing to your site.

    The safest approach is to popularize your best content in the hopes that other writers will see it and cite it in their own work.

    For example, you can distribute your content on social media, complete with original research and statistics that other content producers will link to.

    However, it’s often more reliable to build links on your own. If you want those links to be relevant and valuable to web users, the best way to do this is through guest posting with external publishers. The basic idea is to write an article that the publisher (and their audience) will find valuable, and find a way to relevantly link to your on-site content in the body of that article. For example, you might cite your own original research or link to a guide you’ve written for further reading.

    Related: How to start guest posting for your business

    Link building strategies

    Link building is a complex strategy that takes years to truly master, but these introductory tips can help you if you’re just getting started:

    Prioritize content quality. New link builders often get carried away trying to link to their work no matter what, but it’s vital to prioritize the quality of your content above everything else. If your articles seem slapped-together or poorly researched, you aren’t going to get featured.

    Always link in a relevant, valuable way. Your link can’t be shoehorned in, or it’s going to be removed or look spammy. When linking to your on-site content, always make sure it’s done in a way that’s valuable to readers and relevant to the topic at hand.

    Keep seeking new publishers. Subsequent links on the same publisher will yield diminishing returns, so always keep seeking visibility on new publishers.

    Point to many different articles. Keep your page authority in mind, and try to build links to a variety of internal pages.

    Work toward obtaining links from high DA publishers. The higher the domain authority of the referring domain, the more authority you’ll gain from a link built on it. High DA sites often have high standards for the content they publish, so consider starting with low DA sites and gradually working your way up.

    Avoid link schemes. Many sites will promise to increase your domain authority quickly, or build you lots of links in a short period of time. These are usually link schemes, and they’re going to do more harm than good. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Start building domain authority

    It’s practically impossible to rank higher in search engines unless you spend time focusing on improving your domain authority — and there are plenty of secondary benefits to authority-boosting strategies as well.

    Rely on link building and content development to be the pillars of your strategy, and keep an eye on your competitors so you continue to improve.

    This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by Christopher Ambler.

    The post What is domain authority and how can it enhance your search visibility? appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    This post was originally published on May 19, 2015, and was updated on Aug, 14, 2019.

    How do you know when it’s time to expand your business?

    Some entrepreneurs roll with a gut feeling — the “when you know, you know” mentality, where everything clicks into place.

    Entrepreneurship may be full of risks, but I’m willing to bet the vast majority of small business owners wouldn’t ride by the seat of their pants when it comes to business expansion.

    They likely have a plan in place, covering everything their newly expanded business needs — from leasing an additional commercial property space to hiring new employees to join the staff.

    Expanding a small business can be an exciting time for entrepreneurs.

     

    It’s a win-win-win across the board for everyone including the business, people involved with it and the nation as a whole.

    Revenue and cash flow are rising, which benefits the business. Entrepreneurs then have the ability to hire employees, which benefits the lives of talented employees. Ultimately, expanding a business helps strengthen the country with small businesses acting as the backbone of the U.S. economy.

    However, it’s important not to let your excitement for expansion cloud your judgment or preparation plans.

    Related: Grow It — Taking your Journey to the next level 

    4 questions to ask before expanding a business

    Ask yourself the following questions before expanding your business:

    1. Have you conducted thorough market research and established a timeline?
    2. If you have bestselling products or services, can you add on or diversify?
    3. Can you afford to expand or will you need extra capital?
    4. Is it possible to establish mutual partnerships with other like-minded businesses?

    Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Answer these questions first to see if you’re prepared to make the leap forward. If you find you’re ready to do it, make sure to take care of the three key areas we outline below to keep your business in compliance.

    1. Have you conducted thorough market research and established a timeline?

    Expand Your Business Brainstorming ResearchWhy should you expand your business now? The answer should be more succinct than “We’re doing more business than we can handle!”

    Your business may have certain elements, like a solid customer base and best-selling products or services, that are keys to its success.

    However, that doesn’t mean it’s time to start opening up random storefronts all over the place.

    Begin conducting research regarding your plans for business expansion.

    Are customers seeking you out? That’s great! Research how they’re finding you, whether it’s through traditional advertising like billboards or email newsletters as digital marketing.

    Learn more about their demographics, location and how you can reach them.

    If you discover that your customer base lives predominantly in a certain city or state, you may choose to open up a storefront in that area.

    Once you’ve conducted your market research, begin establishing a timeline for business expansion.

    Outline your plans for the company’s expansion over the short term (six months) and slightly longer term (one year). Give yourself a clear idea of what to anticipate with that expansion and its changes.

    Remember to be reasonable in your expectations.

    2. If you have bestselling products or services, can you add on or diversify?

    You know what’s better than one bestseller? Two bestsellers — or more bestselling products and services than you can count!

    There are two strategies business owners can take if an existing product or service is successful.

    • They can add new products or services into their lineup.
    • They can tweak existing offerings that might not be popular now to becoming appealing to customers.

    Creating new products or services make take a bit of time to test and work out the kinks, so be mindful of that in your expansion plans.

    It may be more cost effective to take items that already sell a little, but have the potential to sell a lot, and hit refresh.

    Opting for one — or both — strategies allows your business to expand its revenue streams and meet customer needs.

    Related: 5 tools for product market testing on a budget

    3. Can you afford to expand or will you need extra capital?

    Expand Your Business Man Holding Money

    Are you considering physically expanding to the point where you will need a brick-and-mortar storefront or even a warehouse to ship goods? If so, it’s crucial that you go in financially prepared.

    Think back to when you first started your business. How did you fund it? Maybe you bootstrapped or dipped into personal savings. You might have taken out a business loan or applied for and received a relevant small business grant.

    Extra capital may be necessary in order to expand your business.

     

    Look into your financial options, decide how much you need, and consider the amount you can afford to pay back in full.

    Remember that all eyes will be on your credit (and possibly that of the business!), so put your best foot forward. Pay down, or off, any existing debt, and always make timely payments.

    This better positions you as an attractive candidate for loans or other financing options.

    Related: 10 small business funding options 

    4. Is it possible to establish mutual partnerships with other like-minded businesses?

    This ties in with the strategy for adding on or diversifying bestselling products and services. Consider establishing a mutual partnership with another business in your field.

    There are several ways a partnership can aid business expansion.

    Partnerships introduce a business to a new audience, exposing it to growth and word-of-mouth opportunities.

    The best partnerships are fueled by key ingredients including engagement by partners, customer engagement, and mutual benefit for both parties.

    Start by researching potential like-minded businesses with whom you could partner. Perhaps they offer a product or service that you do not and vice versa.

    By establishing a mutually beneficial partnership, you are able to identify and provide offerings that meet the needs of each respective customer base.

    Related: How to market a local business through strategic collaboration

    Ready to expand your business? Take care of these 3 areas

    You’ve determined that you’re ready to expand your business.

    You’ve drafted a detailed timeline. You developed strategies to diversify your offerings. And you’ve figured out whether or not you need additional capital. You might even have established a partnership with another business.

    Now, it’s time to set your expansion plans in action, being sure to follow these three important steps.

    1. Communicate details with your team.
    2. File a foreign qualification.
    3. Spread the news with your customers!

    Let’s look at each to-do item in more detail.

    1. Communicate details with your team

    If you’re planning to expand physically, like opening up another storefront location, it’s critical that everyone on your team is on the same page.

    Communicate with your existing employees, and begin outlining the who, what, when, where, why and how for expansion.

    Some details you may address include:

    • Will new employees be hired to work at the new location? Can existing employees relocate?
    • Why did the business choose to expand to XYZ city or state? Is it small-business friendly?
    • How do we plan on sharing the expansion news with customers?
    • Will there be new contact information and, if so, how soon will it be available?
    • What date does everything go into effect?

    Encourage employees to share their feedback and thoughts on the expansion.

    Be ready to explain why it’s necessary and address any concerns.

    Use this time to thank your team for all of their support and dedication.

     

    After all, without their hard work toward reaching a common goal, the business might not be able to expand as quickly as its able!

    Expand Your Business Team Meeting2. File a foreign qualification

    If you’re planning to expand to another state, opening up shop will mean doing more than packing up and shipping out to the new store. You’ll need to register your business to operate in that state and file a foreign qualification.

    Generally, if a business is expanding to a new state, it means that this is not the same state they initially incorporated in. Filing a foreign qualification allows the business to register the company there as a foreign entity. Once registered, they have obtained authority in order to do business.

    How do you know if you foreign qualify?

    Beyond planning to open up a storefront and establish a physical presence in that state, businesses also foreign qualify if they conduct business in that brick-and-mortar storefront and pay employees to work there.

    Certain documents are necessary in order to be approved for a foreign qualification. In fact, it’s a process that can be broken down into three easy steps.

    1. Apply for a certificate of good standing from the state of incorporation

    A certificate of good standing proves that your business knows how to meet its tax and filing obligations. It shows that your company is in compliance with its existing state.

    2. File your foreign qualifications documents with the state where you’re planning to conduct business

    Additional information, such as documents relating to your home state and entity type, may also be requested.

    3. Your completed documents will be forwarded to the state where your business is planning to expand

    The Secretary of State will review your documents and decide on approval. If approved, you’ll receive a certificate of authority from the state (hang on to that for your personal records) and you’ll be ready to conduct business.

    Then, there’s just one more thing that needs to be done …

    3. Spread the news with your customers

    Once you know you’re ready to expand your business, start spreading the news with your customers.

    You may decide to share news about expanding your offerings or moving to a physical location by distributing national press releases and conducting interviews with members of the press to share in print and digital media.

    Additional spaces where you can cover news about business expansion include email newsletters and any social media platforms where your business has an established presence.

    GoDaddy Email Marketing makes it easy to create, send and track mobile-friendly emails.

    Make sure you cover any changes in existing contact information. Encourage customers to follow your business on social media platforms and to sign up for email newsletters to stay in the loop on future endeavors to come.

    Related: What is a media kit and how do you create one?

    Is business expansion worth the risk?

    There are a lot of “what ifs?” that come with entrepreneurship. Business expansion is a huge one.

    What if you expand the business to another location and nobody visits?

    What if you expand the product offerings and nobody buys them?

    If it doesn’t work out, you may find yourself wondering if it was worth it in the end.

    However, the “what ifs” never actually go away in business.

    What separates great entrepreneurs from good ones is being ready and willing to take a risk.

    There’s never going to be the “perfect” time for expansion, and I can’t assure you that every business that expands will be successful either.

    What I can say is that if you work hard, have a positive attitude and listen to your gut instinct, it’s worth it to explore your hunch that the moment to expand business is now.

    Entrepreneurs are unique in that we can identify needs and desires in a market that are not being met. If you instinctively feel that it’s time to explore your hunches, go for it. Test the waters. Research a new location that could be a great spot for your business. Roll out a limited product or service you believe might do well.

    Remember that instinct is one of an entrepreneur’s most useful tools.

     

    There are other elements that help businesses to succeed, like a talented team, solid customer base and bestselling product or service. Without instinct, however, it’s easy to fall into a pattern and become wary of changing the formula even for expansion’s sake.

    Always be on the lookout for signs that it’s time to expand. Knowing when the iron is hot enough to strike is crucial to staving off stagnation.

    The above content should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

    The post Is it time to expand your business? If so, here’s how appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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