How to Install a Wildcard SSL Certificate on Your WordPress Site

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Having an SSL certificate installed on your WordPress site is no longer optional. It is necessary to install it so that you can protect your site and ensure all the data is encrypted and served via an HTTPS connection. A Wildcard SSL allows you to protect several subdomains with just one certificate. A wildcard SSL certificate can function with any subdomain of the base domain it is provided for. For instance, if your domain name is “yourwebsite.com”, your wildcard certificate would likewise secure “subsite.yourwebsite.com” and “subsite2.yourwebsite.com”. 

As with most single-name certificates, wildcard SSL certificates encrypt data employing a bunch of keys. This incorporates a public key that is put away on the digital certificate and a private key that is kept on your server. Nonetheless, with a wildcard certificate, you can copy the private key and transfer it to however many servers as you wish. Therefore, you must know how to install a Wildcard SSL Certificate on your WordPress site. Let’s see the steps to do it successfully.

Installing a Wildcard SSL Certificate

Suppose you conclude that wildcard SSL is your most ideal alternative, the following stage is to purchase and install it on your WordPress site. The cycle for installing an SSL certificate may fluctuate somewhat, contingent upon your host and server type. 

For instance, some hosting plans don’t uphold wildcard SSL certificates, or just offer them as a premium choice. Essentially, the steps associated with the installation interaction may appear to be unique relying upon the control panel and interface of your web host. Notwithstanding, the steps included are generally the equivalent. We should investigate how to install a wildcard SSL certificate on your WordPress site in some simple steps!

  • Purchase Your Wildcard SSL Certificate 

The initial step is to purchase your SSL certificate. As you probably are aware, there is an assortment of SSL suppliers to look over that offer wildcard certificates. The best arrangement will rely generally upon your particular necessities and budget. At the point when you purchase an SSL certificate, you’ll be approached to show the sort of server your site is hosted on. You can choose “Nginx” if that is accessible as an alternative. Nonetheless, “Apache” or “Other” will likewise work.

  • Create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) Code and Private Key 

The subsequent stage is to produce a CSR code, which is needed by the SSL supplier to make and sign the certificate document. To create a CSR code and private key, you can finish the Online CSR and Key Generator structure on SSL.com. Fill in the following fields. 

  • Common Name (Domain Name)
  • Email Address
  • Organization
  • City / Locality
  • State / County / Region
  • Country

Since you are creating a wildcard SSL certificate, for the “Common name” field, make a point to add an asterisk before your domain name (“*.yourdomain.com”). At the point when you’re set, click on the Generate button at the lower part of the screen. A private key document and CSR will be consequently generated. You can choose Download Private Key and Copy CSR to save this information. Not exclusively will you need them in the subsequent stage; however, your SSL certificate is unusable without them. At that point, get back to your SSL provider and transfer your CSR. This will regenerate your SSL certificate (.cert) record.

  • Upload The Private Key and Certificate Files to Your Server 

The following step is to upload your CSR and private key files to your server. Then, under the SSL certificate, click on the Enable HTTPS drop-down menu and select Add custom SSL certificate. Inside the window that opens, click on the Next button. At that point, in the proper fields, add your private key and certificate information. Note that if you need to add your middle certificate also, you can do as such. Contingent upon which SSL provider you utilized, they may have mailed you a .crt file and a .ca-pack file. Suppose you don’t have a moderate certificate or understand what it is, you can utilize an instrument like What’s My Chain Cert to generate it. 

You can utilize a text editor like Notepad to open these files. At that point, you can copy and glue the contents of your .crt file in the Certificate area first, trailed by the contents of the .ca-pack file beneath it. Whenever you’re done, click on the Add Certificate button. As we referenced, the interaction for transferring your private key and certificate files will change contingent upon your host. Suppose your host utilizes cPanel/WHM, you can add this information under SSL/TLS.

  • Affirm That the Wildcard SSL Certification Installation Was Successful 

If you painstakingly executed the previously mentioned steps, you should now have a wildcard SSL certificate effectively installed on your WordPress site. Notwithstanding, to affirm that everything went as it ought to, you should utilize the SSL Checker tool by About SSL. On this page, just enter the URL of your WordPress site, and afterward, click on the Check button. Information about your SSL certificate will naturally show on the screen. This will assist you with affirming whether yours was appropriately installed. If all looks well, that is it! You’ve currently installed a wildcard SSL certificate. After installing the SSL certificate, we suggest running a search and supplant on your site’s database to trade out HTTP URLs for HTTPS ones.

Presto! Your WordPress site presently has a Wildcard SSL certificate installed on your WordPress site. Bid farewell to negative visual indicators and browser warnings and hi to connection security.

What to Look at When Redesigning Your Website

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What to Look at When Redesigning Your Website

You’re probably here because you’re considering a website redesign. Perhaps you’ve begun to suspect that your site is looking outdated and that it might be time for a change. Maybe you’re having issues with traffic or the lack thereof, or your conversion rates are dropping.

Whatever the reason may be, a redesign can help, but only if you do it right. This post is here to help you do just that.

A good rule of thumb for business success is that what is good for your customers is usually going to be good for your business. We approached a profesional web designer to find the safest, most effective, and overall, the best way to redesign your site with your customers in mind. 

What is a Website Redesign?

First, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page. A website redesign is not the same as a refresh or update. The difference between the two is mostly related to the scope and reach of the changes you’re making.

A website refresh, or update, is a process in which you apply minor changes to your site’s look and feel. It basically represents putting a new coat of paint on your site, with updated typography and maybe a new color pallet. Some small UX tweaks can sneak in as well.

With a redesign, however, not only does the visual appearance of your website change significantly but so does the code. Let’s suppose that you’re going through a full rebranding or a visual identity change. In that case, you’ll be looking to restructure your information architecture, incorporate new functionality to your site, or even add a new content management system (CMS).

Despite all these differences, a refresh and a redesign have one crucial thing in common — both can impact the customers’ experience on your site. The semantics are far less important. What really matters is how you approach the changes you’re about to make.

Things You Should Determine Before Redesigning Your Site

The only way to find out what your customers want from your site and what it is currently doing well is to do some research. Here are three critical questions to ask yourself about your site and your customers before embarking on a redesign project.

What Are Your Website’s Most Important Pages?

Let’s take a second and think about the way you should approach a website redesign. First, you need to figure out what you want to change and what you want to keep. Think of it as you would think about remodeling your home. You wouldn’t just grab a hammer and start swinging without working out a plan for knocking down your walls.

You should have a clear website redesign roadmap as well, outlining the pages that need to be rebuilt from scratch and the ones that only need a few tweaks. 

One way to do this is to analyze your traffic and your conversion rates. This type of analysis will put each of your pages into one of the following categories:

  • Low traffic, low conversions — the most risk-free pages on the site. You can redesign these pages as much as you want because not many people are likely to notice, and there’s no risk for your conversions.
  • High traffic, low conversions — not quite as risk-free as the last category, but some experimentation is allowed. You’re getting lots of eyes on these pages, but something is clearly not working in terms of getting conversions.
  • Low traffic, high conversions — tread lightly with your changes. Most likely, there’s nothing wrong with these pages, and you need to redesign the rest of your website to funnel more traffic here.
  • High traffic, high conversions — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. These pages are the ones pushing your business forward, and any significant changes to them could have massive consequences. Proceed with caution.

Knowing which pages to get rid of and which to keep will help you get the most out of your website redesign. This way, you can make sure that you don’t ruin your conversions or break anything else that is currently working well.

Who Is Visiting Your Site and Why?

Finding out which of the pages on your site are the most important is only half of the story. You also need to know your visitors, specifically who they are and what they want from your site.

Users can come to a website for one of these four reasons:

  • They want to know more about your products or your brand
  • They want to get in touch with you
  • They need instructions on one of your products
  • They want to buy something from you

It is pretty clear that these reasons are all quite different. Understanding the intent of your customers will help you redesign your site with their interests in mind.

An excellent way to start is to create customer personas. These are representations of your current customers based on the data you’ve collected. Customer personas help you determine:

  1. Your target demographic
  2. Your customers’ primary intent

You can start creating customer personas by placing surveys on your site and collecting useful info about what is driving your customers there.

What Is Pushing Your Customers Toward Conversion, and What Is Stopping Them on the Way?

By this point, you’ve figured out what your website’s most valuable pages are. You also know who is visiting your site and why. 

That’s a great start, but there are still a couple of large gaps that you need to fill before you can start your website redesign. To fill these gaps, you need to answer the following questions about your site:

  1. What elements are nudging customers in the right direction, helping them complete the actions they came for?
  2. What elements are stopping customers on their way to conversion?

The answers to the first question are your hooks, while the answers to the second are your barriers. Investigating your hooks and barriers will help you get the answers to the following questions:

  • What about your site is working and what isn’t?
  • Where are your customers getting stuck?
  • What’s preventing people from converting?
  • What do your customers enjoy or dislike about the experience of visiting your site?

And so on. If you can’t make a connection between your website’s performance and your customers’ behavior, you might end up with a lot of the same problems after the redesign. We’re sure you’ll agree that this would be disastrous, as it would render the whole exercise pointless.

Finding the individual elements that work and those that don’t is crucial to your ability to determine what to keep and what to remove.

You Should Never Stop Redesigning Your Website

Once you’ve answered these three key questions, you can proceed with your website redesign. However, if you think that your work is done, think again. The online world is volatile, with accessibility standards, design practices, browser technologies, and customer preferences always changing.

What worked at the time of your latest redesign may be an outdated practice now. 

Keep asking the questions outlined in this post regularly, and your site will remain competitive regardless of the changes in the online landscape.

Author bio:

Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. He is focused on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.

Difference Between WordPress And Wix, Which Is Better?

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If you’re willing to take up website design and development, choosing a tool for building your site is the first step you need to take. 

Although there are plenty of options available, WordPress and Wix are the most popular alternatives out there. 

So, what are the differences between them and which one will be better for you? 

Well, today we are going to give you an answer. 

WordPress vs Wix: The Main Difference 

Before figuring out both the pros and the cons of these tools, we first need to understand the difference between them. 

Wix is a website builder, whereas, WordPress is a content management system.

A CMS, like WordPress, is software that runs on a web server that allows you to store, create and manage content. Being open-source, CMS gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to managing your site. 

You’re not bound to a particular host, but keep in mind that you’ll have to manage maintenance, security and backups all by yourself, or pay someone else to do it for you. 

Website builders, like Wix, are a different story. They provide you with all the tools necessary for creating your website. However, you’ll only be able to work using their platforms.

WordPress vs Wix: Which One Is Better? 

The short answer is that it depends, mostly on the complexity of your website. But let’s discuss this in further detail. 

1. Pricing 

Both of these platforms can be free of charge, to an extent. For example, Wix offers a free basic website builder for as long as you want. However, you won’t be able to use a custom domain name and Wix will also add advertisements throughout your page.

So, if you want to get rid of the ads and have a custom domain name, you’ll have to upgrade to one of Wix’s premium plans. Here, you can opt for a monthly or yearly subscription, starting from $5 per month and going up to $35 per month.

Since WordPress is an open-source CMS, you can download and use it for free. However, by having just a Content Management System, you won’t be able to get your website up and running. 

You’ll also need to find a hosting provider and a custom domain name. For example, when it comes to hosting, Bluehost’s cheapest plan will set you back around $3 a month, which will also come with a free custom domain for one year. 

Besides subscription payments, you also may need to pay for premium themes or additional plug-ins that will give your website more functionality.

2. Ease of Use 

Building a website with Wix is as easy as it can get, making it perfect for beginners. Simply drag and drop any element, such as paragraphs, pictures, buttons, etc. and arrange the layout of your page to your liking. 

Also, if you’d like to add more functionality to your site, just go on the App Market and add new features in no time. 

When creating a website with WordPress, on the other hand, you might end up watching a few tutorials here and there. That’s because you might have to do a bit of coding and also figure out how to work with certain features of the platform. 

3. Customization 

Although Wix is very easy to use, it won’t give you that much freedom in terms of customization and flexibility. That’s because you will only be able to customize your website by using the built-in tools Wix provides you with.  

Besides, even if there are hundreds of templates available that fit a wide variety of industries, once you’ve selected one, you won’t be able to change it. 

With WordPress, you not only have access to a much larger variety of templates, but you can also change or modify them to your liking, provided you know a bit of HTML and CSS, that is. 

In other words, Wix is limited but provides just enough customization options for beginners. Whereas, with a little bit of knowledge, WordPress gives you endless possibilities in designing your website. 

4. Functionality 

When it comes to functionality, Wix can provide you with over 250 free and paid apps through its App Market. 

Although it may not sound like a lot, each one of these apps is either created by Wix, or by third-party developers which are approved by the platform. This means that any plug-in you will find on Wix is guaranteed to work with your website.  

On the flip side, the number of plug-ins available in WordPress is close to 55,000. So, the chances of not finding exactly what you need, are quite slim. 

That doesn’t mean you won’t stumble across some of the lower quality plug-ins. However, checking other user’s feedback can mitigate that risk. 

5. SEO 

Speaking of apps and plug-ins, we have to talk about the SEO capabilities of these two platforms.

The good news is, both Wix and WordPress provide you with tools that will aid you with Search Engine Optimization. 

Even though the number of plug-ins available on Wix is rather limited, it still offers quite a few dedicated SEO tools compared to other website builders. 

One of them being Site Booster, which comes free of charge if you have a subscription on anything that’s above the Unlimited plan. If you opted to use Wix for free, or you’ve subscribed to the Combo plan, this app will cost you around $3.50 per month. 

Site Booster offers pretty much all you could ever need from SEO. It helps you rank higher in search results, get your site listed in directories and business listings and more.

However, due to the larger number of plug-ins you can find on WordPress, you’ll be able to have a slightly better SEO compared to Wix. 

6. Customer Support 

Wix offers 24/7 customer support in all of its paid plans, making this one of its strong points. Furthermore, if you’ve opted for the VIP package, you’ll be able to get help right away. 

WordPress lacks in this department. In fact, WordPress does not offer any official customer care. So, if you happen to come across an issue, your best bet would be to head over to its community forums, which might not always fix your issue. 

7. Online Stores 

Regarding eCommerce, Wix is best suited for smaller online stores. It comes with plenty of features that will help you run your business such as social media integration, abandoned cart recovery, post product reviews on your site and more.

However, some of these features are quite limited. In order to run your online store on Wix, you need to choose one of their eCommerce plans. Note that the cheaper ones have a rather limited amount of features available.

WordPress, on the other hand, comes with a large number of plug-ins that are specifically catered toward online stores, WooCommerce being the most popular. 

In fact, over 28% of all online stores are using this plug-in. So, why is it so popular? Well, just like WordPress, WooCommerce is also open source, meaning that you’ll be able to extend the set of features your website has by installing additional plug-ins, features that your online store might not benefit from by using Wix.

Conclusion 

So, is WordPress or Wix a better option for you? 

Well, if you’re comfortable with coding, building and maintaining your website by yourself, give WordPress a try. It offers a lot more functionality and customization options that will most likely give you better results in the long run, compared to a website builder. 

However, if technical skills are not your strong suit, you should try Wix. Due to its ease of use, this platform is perfect for beginners who don’t want to meddle in building a website all by themselves.

Author bio:

Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. He is focused on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels

FAQ Page Best Practices

Typically posted and left to gather dust, the FAQ page represents an outstanding opportunity to engage potential customers, as well as display your personality and score conversions for your online bookstore. Oh, by the way, adhering to these FAQ page best practices will also cut down on the number of disgruntled customers you have, relieve some the load on your customer service team and minimize email inquiries.

1. Make the Page Easy To Find

When a shopper is in a quandary about something, a surefire way to add to their frustration is make them look all over your site for help. The best user interfaces place a “Help” menu item on the main navigation bar, then repeat it in the footer. Another good idea is to include a link on each product page behind a button labeled; “Ask Us A Question” or “Need to Know More?” However, you approach it, make sure the user is taken to your FAQ page in one click when they need it.

2. Keep FAQs Short and to The Point

Populating your FAQ landing page with topic areas and a search window helps users get to specific information sooner. With a search window available, users can ask a question rather than scroll through every FAQ on the page. This minimizes the frustration factor, which helps them stay in a buying mood. Simplicity rules. One of the key reasons Google became the most popular search engine on the web is its home page is just a white field with a search window. Users could ask what they wanted to know with no other distractions. People like that.  Give them a search window and key topic areas, they’ll love you for it. When shoppers find the questions and answers they seek, make your responses pithy, full of personality and get directly to the point in as few words as possible. Answer the question, but don’t go on and on and on.

3. Tell Them What They Want To Know

Too many ebooks online stores populate FAQ pages with what amounts to covert sales pitches. Instead of concentrating on what customers need to know, they tell people what the seller wants them to know. This disparity renders the page largely useless and disillusions the shopper. A well-curated page will satisfy their query and keep them on your site longer—ideally long enough to make a purchase.

4. Use The Page To Learn Your Deficiencies

If you’re consistently getting questions on a particular topic, that’s a sign you’re doing a poor job communicating that information. In some instances, rather than creating a new entry on your FAQ page, go the section of your site best suited to providing a more adequate explanation and rework the content to better deal with the confusion.

5. Direct The User Back Into Your Site

Include calls to action and links back to the appropriate product page to get the shopper back into buying mode as seamlessly as possible. These can be in the form of a button labeled “Back To Product”, or a menu bar offering them a variety of other options—each of which keeps them in the purchasing funnel.

6. Put Your Personality on Display

Your FAQ page is a great opportunity to give your customer an opportunity to bond with you. Humor (where appropriate) can be useful in this regard. Giving customers something to smile about when they’re worried relaxes them and makes for a memorable experience. Demonstrating personality in this fashion also makes your site more relatable.

 

Adapting your help pages to conform to these FAQ page best practices will make them more useful, while inspiring added confidence in your shoppers.

How to Build a Really Cool Members Only Website

Creating a website for your business is not only a good way to solidify its future and help it to grow, but it’s also pretty much necessary in today’s day and age. Companies of all sizes and in all industries are now creating websites as a way to market, advertise, connect, and even sell to their customers and clients. While many businesses choose to set up public websites, in some cases it makes more sense to create a members-only website.

A membership site is one in which visitors have to pay a membership in order to use the site. What this means is that you are guaranteed a monthly income based on membership fees alone. Of course, if you’re going to charge people to visit your site, it’s going to have to be an incredible site and worth the membership fee. So before you go ahead and create a membership site, here are some tips and advice that you can read over that will help ensure you build something really cool and extremely successful.

Research Other Members Only Sites

A great place to start is by checking out what other members only sites are doing. Join a couple that you find interesting and start to make a list of what you think they are doing right and where they may be going wrong and missing out on opportunities. This will help you start to form an idea in your head of how yours should look and work.

Cover the Basics

Before you start to build your site, there are also some basic steps you’ll need to complete. You will need to create a domain name for your site that clearly states what it’s about. The site should be branded, meaning it should be the same as your company’s name whenever possible. Avoid such things as symbols and letters which can be confusing for people to type in.

You then need to find a web host for your site. These hosts often offer a variety of packages, so you’ll need to pick one based on your website’s needs and requirements. One of the top considerations is how many visitors you expect the site to get.

You will also need a membership add-on. What this does is convert your website from a regular one into a membership platform.

Building the Website in Less Than an Hour

Now here comes the really exciting part, did you know that you can actually build a website in well under an hour? As long as you’ve got your content ready to go you can use the WordPress platform to create something professional and sleek. The platform allows you to pick from different themes, features all kinds of add-ons you can use, and you’ll be able to upload content without having to use HTML coding.

Only Use the Best Content

Unlike a traditional site where the content is free to access, with a members site they are paying for access. What this means is that your content has to be stellar. Look for content that has value, meaning visitors will learn from it and find it interesting. Also provide plenty of images and even videos to help make it more intriguing. The content is never an area you want to make sacrifices in.

Give Customers a Way to Provide Input

Because the site is meant to give something to the visitors, their needs and wants should be your top priority. It can be very helpful if you give your customers a way to provide input, suggestions, comments, and share ideas. You can then take this information and use it to help with content creation and your plan moving forward.

Customer interaction is also extremely important so that they feel valued and appreciated.

Final Tips

A few final tips to keep in mind that will help you to stay focused and motivated. A membership site isn’t one that is instantly successful. It takes time, consistency, and hard work. Focus on giving the members you have the best experience possible, and don’t place so much emphasis on getting more members. Word of mouth will start to happen if you offer a fabulous experience.

It’s also important to keep up with changing times, which means using new technology when necessary, being aware of trends, and listening to your customers and giving them what they want.

All of these tips and advice can help you to create a members-only site that is not only cool but is also a huge success.

How to Make Your WordPress Site More SEO Friendly

WordPress has many advantages over traditional HTML sites that make it the content management system of choice for many new and experienced developers. It is easy for anyone with the even slightest knowledge of code to make modifications, even change the whole site’s overall look at the touch of a button. However, WordPress isn’t the best when it comes to SEO. While it is possible to have an SEO friendly website using WordPress, too many people, either because of laziness or ignorance, end up making costly mistakes that can severely hurt their rankings. In this article, we’re going to give you a few basic tips on how you can improve your WordPress site’s SEO.

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Choose a New and Current Theme

WordPress changes all the time and it is always important to go with a theme that is up to date. A lot of people make the mistake of believing in the reviews when they choose a theme. They might go for a theme that was hot not too long ago but has shown some flaws recently. Or theme that once had great support but doesn’t anymore and is no longer updated.

Old themes often have obsolete pieces of code or badly formatted tags for current SEO. This is especially true of free themes. A large portion of free themes are completely obsolete and are an SEO nightmare. If you’re going to pick a theme, make sure that its code is being supported. You can also use Snap web design services to advise you on a proper theme for your site.

Improve your Sites Architecture

Increasing your site’s architecture will help your WordPress site in many ways. First, it will make your site more easily accessible to Google’s bots. That plays a major role in any site’s SEO, especially ones that are being updated constantly with new content.

Second, better site architecture usually means a better user experience. UX is now one of the most important criteria for SEO and if your users are unsatisfied with the site’s architecture and navigation, this might show in statistics. One of the best ways to ramp up your bounce rate is with poor architecture and chaotic navigation.

Revise Your Tag Strategy

Yes, the importance of certain tags has been devalued when it comes to SEO lately. But that doesn’t mean that it became completely obsolete. Using proper tags is still important and having bad tags on your site will affect your rankings. When it comes to title tags, make sure that your branding is clear and present. You should try to keep them to under 70 characters, but this rule isn’t etched in stone. You can go past that if you feel the pages demands more explanation.

Header tags are much less important than they once were, but shouldn’t be neglected. H1 and H2 tags still play a central role in how your content is hierarchized and correct from a semantic standpoint. The description should be optimized naturally and descriptive first and foremost. Image attributes, as well as names, should facilitate SEO as well.

Conclusion

As you can see, optimizing your WordPress site doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s all a matter of using a proper theme and providing a good user experience through proper architecture and navigation. Tags should also be optimized to facilitate ranking.

Four Ways To Use Stunning Visuals For Your Blog

If you are a blogger, you are likely already aware of the fact that using visuals is crucial for your business. Individuals are attracted by images, causing them to take a second look at something they might not previously have been interested in. Having a blog means you need to research new and inventive ways to capture attention, while keeping the content fresh and relevant to what you offer your viewers. Rather than just search for an image off Google, here are four inventive ways that you can keep folks in awe of what you have to offer.

Consider Infographics When Trying to Make a Point

If you are trying to write a blog post that is persuasive, consider the benefits of using an infographic to help you illustrate that point. If you find creating these is too difficult, you can always enlist the help of a talented graphic artist. Infographics are common among people who want to list a variety of reasons why something should be done a certain way. Think of it as a mini essay with a bunch of pictures and facts thrown together, while illustrating a valid point. Infographics offer several functions as pictures in a blog. They can increase SEO, making it easier for folks to discover a blog just by searching online.

Use a Video Blog To Save Your Hands

Video blogs, sometimes called Vlogs, are becoming more popular, thanks to YouTube. Folks create videos that sometimes show demonstrations or other interesting things. Sometimes it is easier to do something than to explain it, so these people will create a Vlog that shows what they are trying to convey. It could be footage of someone mountain climbing, to the best practices when it comes to cake baking. If you don’t enjoy taking pictures of something several times to create visual content for your blog, this is an effective way of creating a visual. Best of all, folks will come back and watch the video again and again, allowing you to create more interaction, better brand recognition, and the chance to do follow ups for those who are interested in your content. Learn more about how to incorporate video into your blog.

Take Pictures From Someone Else’s Perspective

If you feel stuck an as though your visual content is not interesting, consider having someone else help you. This could be a professional or a friend. The important thing is, you want to capture it from their perspective. Consider how they will use the camera to help tell a story. You might find mountain climbing fun, but have a friend who frightened to try. You can have them take pictures that focus on how although mountain climbing is beautiful and awe-inspiring, it is also scary. Talk with them and see how they want to use camera angles and their perceptive to help you tell the story in a different way that can help you and your readers understand things from the perceptive of someone else. It is sure to stick in the minds of your readers, especially if they are used to seeing things your way. If you plan on having a blog that is heavy on the images, consider if you want shared web hosting, or something that is more private, and allows you to have more options when it comes to using your images.

Engage Your Viewers With a Contest

If you want to build further engagement with your viewers, think about having a contest. Challenge viewers to come up with different ways to portray something. This could be in the form of a drawing, a cartoon, or a picture that they take. Give them a topic and details of what you are looking for. You can choose to use the work of just one person, or cover a couple images that you really enjoyed. This not only gets readers excited about reaching out and showing off their skills to you, but you can also build relationships that go beyond blogger and reader. You may find someone who is a professional in the field of photography, and make a contact that way. Don’t discount the benefits of working with others and getting to know your readers.

No matter how you want to use images, these are a few of the different ways that you can bring attention to your blog. You will involve others, and bring new viewers in, as they become interested in what you have to offer.

Four Things to Look for in a WordPress Theme

Whether you’re building a website or blog for personal or business reasons, WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems out there and it certainly provides a safe and effective choice for your site. However, once you’ve signed up to WordPress and figured out your website name, it’s time to begin the hugely important task of putting your site together. For many WordPress site owners, this will mean choosing a WordPress theme. With literally thousands to choose from, you won’t have any trouble finding some that you like. But, what should you look for in a theme that’s going to suit your site well and keep your visitors happy too?

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#1. Responsive Design

One of the first things that you should do when selecting a WordPress theme is rule out any themes that do not come with a responsive design. With more and more people today using their smartphones and tablets to access the web, a theme that looks awful on an iPhone screen is never going to go down well. Along with irritating your visitors, an unresponsive theme can also wreak havoc with your SEO efforts and cause your rankings to drop, so they are best avoided as they’re quickly becoming a thing of the past.

#2. Simple Navigation System

When choosing your WordPress theme, it’s a good idea to put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and imagine what you’d like to find on your website. For most web users, being able to easily find what they want on a website is a very important factor that can easily sway their opinion of your brand. A simple, well-laid out navigation system that categorizes all the different parts of your site and makes anything easy to find should be one of the top priorities when picking a theme.

#3. Easy Customization

When starting your own website, no matter whether you’re doing it to bring in an income or for a personal venture, the last thing that you want is a site that looks exactly like somebody else’s! Because of this, using a theme that you can easily customize to fit in with your business or personal brand is essential. Opt for a theme that allows you to change colors, add images, and tweak the layout if needed to come up with a unique layout for your site alone. Don’t forget that you can also get in touch with the professionals at Snap Agency to put together a custom-made theme for you too.

#4. Plug-Ins

The type of plug-ins that you’ll need from your WordPress theme will depend on the purpose of your website. For example, if you’re planning to make an income from selling items online, then you’ll need to opt for a theme that is compatible with WooCommerce so you can set up an online store with a secure payment system. Make a list of the various features that you require from your theme to help you narrow your search down.

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Five Ways to Tell Your Marketing Strategy is Working

At first glance, this would seem to be a rather elementary topic. After all, one of the best ways to tell your marketing strategy is working is whether or not you’re generating more revenue after a suitable time period has passed. However, while this is indeed a significant measure of failure or success, there are other aspects to consider.

Are You Seeing an Uptick in Traffic?

A strong marketing strategy is going to bring more people in to take a look. So how much of an increase in traffic are you seeing? How much of it is organic from search? How much came in directly from your advertisements and social media? Paying attention to where your new visitors are coming from will give you a strong idea of what’s working and what isn’t. When you see you’re getting better traction in certain areas, redouble your efforts in those to make them even more effective.

How Long Do Those New Visitors Stick Around?

More traffic is always a wonderful thing, but an even better thing is when those new visitors spend enough time on the site to see what it’s about—and buy something. In other words, your marketing efforts are definitely working when the majority of the new visitors to the site “take off their shoes and sit a spell.” Better known as your “bounce rate,” most sites see 50 to 55 percent of new visitors stay on the page. Anything over 60 percent is considered fantastic. In other words, your marketing strategy is working rather well when your bounce rate is 40 percent or less.

What’s Your Click-Through Rate?

If first-time visitors are drawn to your blog by your content marketing efforts, how many click through to your ecommerce pages? If you set up a store using free website templates  like those of a software provider like Shopify, you’ll get a suite of analytics designed to help you measure this activity. If you’ve successfully woven contextual links into your content as part of your marketing strategy, you should be seeing some pretty strong numbers in this area.

Do They Convert?

Obviously, the goal of this endeavor is to convert visitors into buyers. When people do click through to your ecommerce pages are they also buying? What are they buying? How much are they spending? Track the activities of your sites’ users so you can get a firm grasp upon their responses to your efforts.

You should be able to discern how many purchases were influenced by your blog content, the average amount of those purchases and how effective that aspect of your site is at generating revenue. If the numbers show steady growth, your strategy is working. If they don’t, it’s time to see what needs adjusting.

Is the ROI Sufficient?

When you measure the sales you made against the amount you spent to attract the new visitors, does the return on the investment (ROI) pencil out? How much did it cost to get each one of those new visitors? Did they spend more on your site than you spent to get them there and stock the merchandise they bought?  As we alluded to at the beginning of this article, the absolute best one of the five ways to tell your marketing strategy is working is if you made more profit after implementing it than you did before putting it into play.

Keep in mind, while increased sales are absolutely desired, exposure is important too. Sometimes people just look around a new site, then comparison-shop another one before returning and making a purchase. If you can them to visit, you’ve got a chance to sell them.

Implementing Visuals to Your Online Marketing Strategy

Did you know that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual? Moreover, according to BrainRules, when we hear information, we’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, our ability to recall information increases to 65%.

Considering these facts, visual content becomes number one deciding factor for buying products and is more successful than any other tools of marketing communications.

 

As a marketer, it’s important to realize the value of visual content and understand how exactly you can get the most out of your marketing efforts by using visual content in your campaigns. But, when you think of an effective visual content, what comes to your mind?

4 Types of Visual Content that Works

 

Eye-Catching Pictures and Photographs

The first thing that any brand should use and utilize is photography. Especially when it comes to social media, pictures are much better because a lot of people do not like to read a lot of text. You have to think how this image is going to portray your audience. Is this something that they can use or is this something that you are posting just for entertainment? Think about how you are engaging with your audience with that image. Starbucks shows how to make creative visual content that describes what brand is about and at the same time delicately promotes their products. In their original photographs, Starbucks regularly informs about happy hours and other promo activities.

 

Infographics

Also known as information graphic, an infographic is a visual representation of information and data put to you in the form of a chart, graph, or image accompanied by minimal text intended to give an easily understood overview often of a complex subject. Infographic is used by all major brands that mainly are illustrating interesting facts aimed at promoting their marketing campaigns. Red Bull demonstrates one of the greatest examples of using visual content to drive customer’s attention by producing videos, animated ads, and infographics. Red Bull’s Flying Car infographic describes the history of the flying car to get some attention to their International Air Race competition. One of the reasons their visual content works so well is because it always goes in line with their mission and tagline, “Red Bull gives you wings.”

 

Engaging Videos

Creating videos is a great way to boost your content marketing strategy as this is a unique tool for storytelling, which can be used on nearly all social media platforms.

You can create the video:

  • To engage your audience by offering fun and interactive content and asking your users to take part in a contest or just create a ‘wow’ effect as Oreo did with their #OreoDunkSweepstakes that involved celebrities.
  • To inform your audience by offering them tips and tricks about your product, or making a series of short how-to videos.
  • To use video testimonials that are made by your loyal customers or brand ambassadors.

 

Animation

With so many video content that is trying to get viewer’s attentions, it has become very difficult for companies to stand out. That’s why using animated videos can be a creative way to tell your unique story to the audience. Animated videos can become a viral content which is the most sought after by marketers. According to Spiel, finding a creative way to mix up your visual content can allow you to express ideas more effectively and set your brand apart from traditional written content that is published every day. One of the best examples of moving away from traditional visual content is transforming static content into animated infographic. Although there is no exact answer on what kind of content works best, it is absolutely clear that variety should be a key to clever visual marketing.

 

Keys to Effective Visual Content

What does effective visual content mean? Here are the basic rules for a video content that will help you to captivate your audience.

 

  1. Combine Text with Visuals

 

This is one of the best ways to make your content stand out from others with appealing and useful facts. Any content is a means of information that’s why, insert informative text into the image, add a quotation or ask a question. If you include the text into the image, make sure it is laconic and clear. TripAdvisor can be an example of how brands make visual content both informative and engaging by asking their users about their travel experience and then including quotes into the images.

 

  1. Be Consistent with Your Content Creation

Everything you show on the visuals becomes a part of your brand identity. That’s why, always consider design, voice, and personality of your message that you deliver through visuals. If you have doubts whether this content goes in line with your brand, you’d better not use it.

 

  1. Make Your Content Diverse

Your users do not want to see the same type of visual content every day. Combine videos, memes, infographics and animation so that you could grab and keep the attention of your audience.

 

There is no doubt anymore that visuals have become a substantial part of marketing. Whether your business goal is to build an audience, enhance your brand or add more engagement, visual content can be both creative and fun way to achieve those goals.

Making the net better – one nut at a time.