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Building a Business Around An Unmet Need

Marketing Podcast with Kim Doyal

It’s so easy to start a business today. You simply get online and start. Now I’m not saying it’s easy to own, operate, and profit from a business – but I do know if you don’t start you’ll never know.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Kim Doyal, the WordPress Chick. She is a podcasting coach, WordPress wizard, co-founder of the #FtheHustle movement, and founder at thewpchick.comShe and I discuss her journey, WordPress best practices, and even dish on the internet marketing crowd.

Doyal’s story is part tragedy, part inspiration. As she reveals on the show, she lost her husband in an accident and found herself at a major fork in the road. How she came through it is the inspirational part.

Today Doyal helps entrepreneurs get clear on what they enjoy doing most in their business, map out a digital strategy and find the right medium for creating content and growing their audience… in a way that works for them.

Questions I ask Kim Doyal:

  • What is #FtheHustle?
  • What are some of your favorite WordPress tools these days?
  • What is the best approach for small businesses to work on WordPress?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Why it’s important to just show up
  • Why you don’t need to get in front of thousands of people to grow your business
  • Why connection is key to growing your business

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Kim Doyal:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Are you an independent marketing consultant or an agency owner? If so, you may want to check out the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. It is a growing group of independent marketing consultants and agencies that are partnering and collaborating using the Duct Tape Marketing tools, and really scaling their businesses. Check it out at ducttapemarketingconsultant.com.

How to Build a Business Around An Unmet Need

Marketing Podcast with Kim Doyal

It’s so easy to start a business today. You simply get online and start. Now I’m not saying it’s easy to own, operate, and profit from a business – but I do know if you don’t start you’ll never know.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Kim Doyal, the WordPress Chick. She is a podcasting coach, WordPress wizard, co-founder of the #FtheHustle movement, and founder at thewpchick.comShe and I discuss her journey, WordPress best practices, and even dish on the internet marketing crowd.

Doyal’s story is part tragedy, part inspiration. As she reveals on the show, she lost her husband in an accident and found herself at a major fork in the road. How she came through it is the inspirational part.

Today Doyal helps entrepreneurs get clear on what they enjoy doing most in their business, map out a digital strategy and find the right medium for creating content and growing their audience… in a way that works for them.

Questions I ask Kim Doyal:

  • What is #FtheHustle?
  • What are some of your favorite WordPress tools these days?
  • What is the best approach for small businesses to work on WordPress?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Why it’s important to just show up
  • Why you don’t need to get in front of thousands of people to grow your business
  • Why connection is key to growing your business

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Kim Doyal:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Are you an independent marketing consultant or an agency owner? If so, you may want to check out the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. It is a growing group of independent marketing consultants and agencies that are partnering and collaborating using the Duct Tape Marketing tools, and really scaling their businesses. Check it out at ducttapemarketingconsultant.com.

3 5 WordPress Plugins you Don't Use that Boost user Engagement and Monetization

5 WordPress plugins you don't use that boost user engagement - and Monetization - Duct Tape Marketing

Photo Credit: StockSnap

Running a blog or online publication is no easy feat. Especially when you are looking to monetize and boost engagement at the same time. Users engage in pages that are built to suit their needs. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they steer away from the ads that appear overly promotional and fail to blend into the context of the rest of the site.

Thankfully however, intrusive ads are not the most common way to boost monetization. In fact, WordPress offers plenty of monetization plugins that enhance the user experience and help to achieve engagement at the same time. Read on to discover some of my favorites:

1. TrenDemon

As we mentioned before, your users come to your site in order to achieve something. Whether its knowledge, a sense of belonging, or entertainment–your site can help provide much of it through insightful content. But remember, content that appeals to one person, does not necessarily appeal to someone else.

That’s why there’s TrenDemon. TrendDemon delivers personalized content recommendations– ensuring your users discover the most valuable material every time they visit your site. Their advanced algorithm detects the most beneficial user journey for each user segment.  As a result, the tool boosts conversions by around 380%. Of course, not only is this plugin great for conversions, but because it guides the user along his or her most ideal path, it’s likely to increase both your engagement and monetization as well.

As an added bonus, you can also choose to monetize on their unique Media Exchange Network, specifically geared for online publishers.

2. Comments Reloaded

Every decent blogger knows the importance of responding to your user’s comments. It goes without saying that if a user takes the time out of his or her day to share insights and cultivate conversation surrounding your content, that it’s both respectful and beneficial for your community to respond. By doing so, you keep the conversation flowing and help to better educate your users. Just as important, you acknowledge your user’s efforts and encourage them to continue to engage in your content.

But what happens when your overworked content/community manager misses a comment? What if they respond too late? The results of this small faux pas can be detrimental to building a robust community full of flourishing conversation. That’s where Comments Reloaded comes in. Comments Reloaded automatically notifies you via email everytime someone comments on your post. This way, you can respond to each and every comment in a timely manner for a better real-time conversation.

3. TinyPass

TinyPass is a simple, yet powerful tool specifically created for content monetization. Whether you choose to charge for particular articles, a section of content, or even an ebook–TinyPass sets up an easy to use pay wall that is simple and unobtrusive. In addition, you are able to take control, setting the price as low as just two cents, making it easier than ever to monetize.

4. Viglink

The goal of all content should be to provide useful and meaningful advice. Often times, in order to do that, we link to products, services, and other articles that help the reader accomplish a specific task. Since these links naturally serve the purpose of the article, they enrich the content and make it more valuable to the end user.

However, as we know, someone else is gaining something from these links other than just the reader. When you link a product, often times, that product is getting a free advertisement or at the very least, an SEO benefit by being mentioned in your article.

Viglink helps you benefit from those mentions. The plugin recognizes specific words in your content and helps suggest various links that would work for specific keywords. The links you add are then easily monetized as the brands that are mentioned within the content bid to be featured. As a result, you instantly benefit by being able to link to the most useful products and services while also monetizing in one easy step.

5. Easy Tweet Embed

Just as it sounds, Easy Tweet Embed helps your users easily tweet a quote from anywhere within your content. Since often times the most valuable part of your content isn’t necessarily the title, Easy Tweet Embed makes tweeting meaningful content instantaneous. Your user simply clicks on a relevant sentence and the quote will automatically be featured in their Twitter feed.

Of course, part of engaging in content is discussing and sharing. It goes without saying that Twitter provides a great open platform for sharing and discussing ideas. That’s why Easy Tweet Embed is so useful for promoting deeper audience engagement. By using it, your users will be able to have a deeper interaction and connection to your content and promote it to their friends.

Producing great engagement and monetization strategies is a necessary part of building a successful blog or online publication. Though it’s important to consider an advanced methodology to do most of the work, having tools to help you get in the right direction is not only smart, but extremely worthwhile. Do you have any more plugins to add? Comment below and let us know.

Nadav ShovalNadav Shoval is the CEO & Co-Founder of Spot.IM, an on-site community that brings the power back to the publisher. Prior to Spot.IM, Nadav has developed and founded 4 technology startups. Spot.IM is his fifth venture. Nadav is a technology erudite and a sports addict.

2 The Panama Papers and WordPress Security

A hacker with a hood with laptop. Online network danger.WordPress is without a doubt the best, most flexible platform for a small business website. We suggest it for every business we work with, and half of the tools we recommend are WordPress plugins or add-ons. Simply put, if you aren’t using WordPress for your website, you are missing out on tons of functionality.

But, like an operating system on your computer, with all that functionality comes some concern for security.

Recently, hackers were able to access over 4.8 Million emails from the Panamanian law and accounting firm Mossack Fonseca. The resulting data leak, dubbed by the press as the “Panama Papers,” was the largest in history, and contained evidence of tax evasion by countless public officials and figures worldwide.

Some cyber security firms are blaming Mossack Fonseca’s outdated WordPress website as the source of the breach.

So what does this mean for you, your website and your business? Are you at risk for a data breach? The simple answer is no, but you must keep your guard up and your website up-to-date.

The Panama Papers

The Panama Papers are just the latest and largest in an increasingly common trend of high-profile data leaks. Unlike recent data leaks from large retailers that targeted credit card numbers and financial information from individual customers, this leak was focused on the release of sensitive data to the press to embarrass world leaders and tax evaders.

The leak has been a massive, worldwide story, and journalists haven’t been able to sift through all of the data yet. There are over 2,600 GB of leaked data, which is more than any other major data leak in history combined. For context, the Wikileaks data leak of 2010 was just 1.7 GB.

Not only do the papers contain information on tax evaders, which is legal but frowned upon by most countries, they also contain evidence of more serious crimes such as money laundering and fraud.

The leak directly implicates 12 current or former heads of state in these activities as well, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has already resulted in the resignation of Iceland’s Prime Minister.

Also, several other world leaders are indirectly implicated, like Prime Minister of Great Britian, David Cameron.

How did this happen?

WordFence has a nice breakdown of the nitty-gritty details, but a majority of the data was captured by exploiting a weakness in Mossack Fonseca’s WordPress website.

Mossack Fonseca was running a plugin on their site called Revolution Slider. The plugin ran most of their visual features and is a pretty popular and powerful WordPress design tool.

Every plugin or add-on can add a vulnerability to your site. Developers are not perfect, and it is impossible to create a perfect code the first time. That is why most plugin developers release regular software updates. Unfortunately, Mossack Fonseca hadn’t updated the plugin and left some vulnerabilities that were patched in later versions. Wordfence has a video of how hackers were able to exploit this plugin.

Once inside the website, the hackers were then able to access Mossack Fonseca’s email server because they had another plugin that allowed them to send mail through the website. This plugin had no vulnerabilities and was fully updated, but once the hackers were in, it was already too late.

Should I be worried about my site?

The answer to this question isn’t that simple. Mossack Fonseca was a target here mainly because they were involved in potentially illicit activities with high-profile clients and lots of money. The hackers were sophisticated, more so than your general cyber-criminal, and would probably only target businesses like these with high stakes.

But any small business can be at risk for cyber crime, particularly if you handle some of your commerce online. There are plenty of cyber criminals looking to make an easy buck off stolen credit card information.

That’s why you should take away the following lessons from this incident: pay attention to your website, and update your plugins regularly.

Be sure not to leave your website running in the background without maintenance for too long. Hackers and criminals move quickly, and developers are forced to respond just as quickly. If a developer releases an update that includes security features, assume it is because someone somewhere has figured out a way in. You must be willing to update your site regularly to prevent the next person from figuring it out.

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443.jpgAlex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC

WordPress Plays a Key Role in Improving Reviews and Ratings

WordPress Plays a Key Role in Improving Reviews and Ratings - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit: Pixabay

Blogging is a great way to let your inner author awaken. The best part about blogging is that you don’t have to stick to a set of topics or even a theme. Even if you own a food blog, you can create a post or two about travelling. WordPress is one of the leading websites in the blogosphere and there are more than a few reasons why. It has a huge user base and the bloggers on WordPress are far from being dormant. They comprise of an active lot who have healthy reviews on your content, with feedback that is often welcome.

One of the key features of WordPress is that it has an array of plugins at its disposal. Plugins are basically extensions of other websites or services which can enhance the experience on your blog. There is a directory of plugins to choose from for every feature that WordPress offers. From social media,

WordPress Plays a Key Role in Improving Reviews and Ratings - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit: Reviewleap

forums, polls to review and rating plugins, there are thousands of compatible plugins that even a novice can incorporate in their blog. For developers, WordPress even allows you to create plugins, adding even more versatility. If you use the review and ratings plugin feature that is pre-coded, you will even have access to review alerts and ultimately be able to analyse your work in a more productive and positive manner.

The user interface on WordPress is uniquely easy to use and understand. It has been designed with care and precision, specifically keeping the ease of use in mind. WordPress lets you focus on what matters the most- your content. Its motto of being simplistic allows you to get your content (and thoughts) publishes with minimal hassles. It can be personalised for what represents your blog the best- be it a travel blog, a business website or a blog that is completely personal.

The five best WordPress plugins are the ones that add the most to your blog’s personality. While some are basic plugins that are good for any kind of blog, there will be some plugins which are more customised for your requirements. Some of the generic plugins which every blog should consider having are:

  1. WordPress SEO, by Yoast. If you have a blog that doesn’t come up on web searches, your viewership will dwindle. Ensure that your website is visible to those who are looking for content similar to what you gave to offer.
  2. Widget Logic is a plugin that functions in tandem with the widgets you have on the blog. This will give you the choice to decide which widget appears on what part of the blog or a page on your blog.
  3. Google Libraries will help you to save bandwidth by substituting JavaScript libraries on from your local server with the CDN that Google has.
  4. The Author Post Ratings plugin is different from other review plugins, in the sense that it allows the author to rate the posts and features that feedback on the website. It is a light plugin and ideal for those who want to control how the reviews are published on the site.
  5. Broken Link checker plugin is a life saver for SEO. The dreaded 404 error message can spell doom for a fledgling or successful blog since these are dead links that lead nowhere. This plugin will help rectify such broken links and save you the embarrassment.
WordPress Plays a Key Role in Improving Reviews and Ratings - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit: Reviewleap

Feedback is what drives any writer or blogger to create better things in future. WordPress makes it as easy as installing a plugin (if you want something specific) or you can even choose the option from their built-in settings. Also, Feedback forms can be incorporated into the top, middle or bottom of your post or a particular page. The freedom to place, position and use these forms adds to the how easy it is to use WordPress.

You can also get feedback from built-in comments’ feed on your posts which can be moderated and tweaked. Depending on what kind of feedback you want displayed on your blog, WordPress allows you to filter and block spam comments before they appear on your website. This will help you to implement a regulation system to filter fake reviews that only aim to generate negativity on your blog. The easy notification bar alerts you of any comment that features on your blog. You have the freedom to choose what details of the commenter will show on the blog and can even disapprove of a comment that you feel is unworthy of being featured online.

WordPress has become the leader in hosting blogs and providing domains for those who wish to have a personal website for their blog. Its gigantic user base, ease of access, simplicity and customizability make it one of the finest ways to let the world know you and your thoughts.

JoelJoel Cordle is CEO of review leap and a digital marketer. He is serious about his online presence. He likes to be active in social media market so he always keeps himself updated about the strategies used for presence. As he enjoys reading and writing about marketing and online reputation, his hobby is to write different blogs about reviews, ratings, negative feedback, review alerts etc. He is a good advisor and he keeps suggesting people about how one can develop his online personality.

11 6 Essential WordPress Plugins

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PhotoCredit: PlaceIt

WordPress is a great platform for most business owners. It’s flexible, adapting to your needs and desires to make your website perfect for your business. It’s constantly up to date, with regular maintenance that keeps your site running fast. Frankly, despite the growing number of competitors battling for position, it’s still the best website platform out there.

This flexibility is made possible by the countless WordPress plugins available. Many of these are redundant or unnecessary, but there are at least 6 plugins that no business website should go without. Here are the 6 WordPress plugins you should install on your site today.

SumoMe

SumoMe is the tool we use on the Duct Tape Marketing blog to promote social sharing. There are plenty of social sharing plugins out there, but SumoMe includes all of our favorite social platforms (Including Buffer) and shows total shares so our readers can immediately see which posts are popular.

Disqus

Disqus is the best, most universal comments plugin around. Not only does it allow for quick and easy registration (even through Facebook if the reader chooses) but it also uses just one login for all of the blogs that use Disqus. This makes it so much easier for commenters to keep reply to their own comments, and keep re-engaging with the posts.

Disqus will even send users notifications whenever comments are made on posts they’re following.

The result? Better, more engaging conversations between users, and ultimately, more interested readers.

Yoast SEO

Yoast’s SEO tool lets you quickly and easily optimize every piece of content you create. Once you’ve uploaded your content, you use the Yoast SEO plugin to compare your content to your desired focus keyword for the post. For this post, for instance, I am going to use the focus keyword of WordPress Plugins. Once you give the tool your focus keyword, you can manually update your SEO title and meta description to include your keywords.

The plugin will then analyze the components of your content against your focus keyword and give you suggestions on how to improve the post so it ranks better. It will give you an overall score in an easy-to-understand “stoplight” score. If the light is green, your post is optimized! Here’s an example of what it suggests for this post:

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 7.45.50 AM

Awesome! Green light means I can publish!

CoSchedule

It is no longer good enough to share your content once on social media and call it a day. You must return to the content regularly over the next few weeks and months to make sure you get the most impact. That’s where CoSchedule comes in.

CoSchedule allows you to schedule out your promotional social media posts across all of your favorite social media platforms directly from the WordPress dashboard. You can even prepare this for posts set to go live in the future. Never has scheduling your content promotion been easier.

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar is simple in comparison to these other plugins, but it allows you to see scheduled posts and drafts in a calendar form. Yep, that’s it, but it makes it easier to see your content in a form that we all immediately recognize. Best of all, it’s free!

ThriveLeads

This one is a doozie, because it can totally revolutionize the way you gather leads on your website. ThriveLeads allows you to create lightboxes on your site quickly and easily, even allowing you to test different variations of the ad inside the lightbox. You can distribute content directly on other related pages, allowing for “Content Upgrades” and all other forms on-page lead capture.

Since we installed this app on our webpage, our lead capture has gone into overdrive.

Is your WordPress website as useful as it could be? These 6 plugins will supercharge the engine of your digital marketing racecar.

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443.jpg Alex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC

4 How to Know What the Heck You Should Write About On Your Company Blog

photo credit: mac image via photopin (license)

photo credit: mac image via photopin (license)

I’m guessing the goal of your company blog, like anything you spend effort working on, is to boost your business, brand awareness, and sales.

Which all sounds very nice in theory, until you get into WordPress, click on “Add Post”, find yourself starting at the blank editor screen not knowing what the heck to write about.

A company update? A new feature you’ve added to your product? Something you’ve been musing on lately? A tutorial on how to use your product? A case study? A new testimonial a happy client just sent in so you can prove that your product really is the best?

How to Rationally Decide What to Write: Reader Intent + Traditional SEO

To help yourself decide, think about the backend and functional purposes your blog serves for your website.

It’s a place where you write. Lots of words. And search engines are going to crawl those pages to find out what your website is about so they can know who they should show you to in their searches.

So, though you might send out your blog updates to your current email list, a big purpose of your blog is to fulfill the information discovery need… and to do it better than your competitors. (Which may or may not be very difficult, depending on your nice.)

So if organic traffic and new customers are what you’re after (which I think is the case for most DTM readers), it only makes sense that you’ll write about the topics your target audience is searching Google to find more information about.

You may already know what keywords your audience is searching with, especially if you’ve got a particularly robust PPC campaign. But even if you don’t, a few hours or less of research will give you a handful of keywords that’ll be a great place to start. (This quick start guide will take you less than an hour.)

How Reader Intent + Traditional SEO Tie Into Better Overall SEO

Rand Fishkin has a presentation called SEO in a Two Algorithm World where he talks about why these two elements are so crucial to a good content (read: company blogging) strategy.

Word-based SEO is the traditional kind where the words you use on pages and in your meta descriptions tell the search engines what your post and your website is about. This is one algorithm search engines track for reader benefit and relevancy.

The other algorithm is on-page SEO or the data the search engine gets from how people interact with your site once they click through. Do they bounce quickly? Scroll all the way to the bottom slowly? Click to another page on your website?

This second algorithm is about engagement. Which is why it’s so important to write about what people want to know… because if you give that to them, they’re much more likely to stick around and interact with you more—boosting both your sales and your SEO scores.

Generating Title Ideas That’ll Get the Results You’re After

With your list of keywords in hand (sounds cheesy), all you need is a few resources to help you take those keywords from representations of broad topics into blog post titles that your targets will see and want to read immediately.

Four of my favorite resources to recommend include:

1. Huballin

This is a free, online software in beta that helps you narrow down potential blog post titles based on the topic you enter and keywords you select that are popularly associated with it.

For example, if I enter the topic “yoga” and select the “cure” smart tag it suggests, I get a whole list of quality titles I can write on like:

 

  • Can Yoga Cure Astigmatism?
  • How to Cure Sinusitis Through Yoga
  • Can Yoga Cure Lower Back Pain?

Pure gold, if you ask me.

huballin

2. Digital Marketer’s Headline Swipe File

The idea of a headline swipe file is to have something to refer to for ideas when your brain isn’t working or you just don’t want to do the thinking yourself.

The headlines in this swipe file are focused specifically around getting more attention on social media, which can be incredibly useful if you use social media as an effort to reach your target market.

For example, here’s one of their headlines for you to personalize & “swipe”:

“How [impressive number] Got [desired result] in [time period]”

Hint: That “desired result” is more than likely going to be one of your keywords.

3. 101 Headline Formulas

This document (along with the one from Digital Marketer) is based around the idea that  effectiveness in a headline can be boiled down to a few core formulas that you can plug information directly into, rather than them being subjective pieces of art.

And they’re not wrong.

With headline formulas like “How to [blank] Even if [blank]” or “Don’t Screw Up Your [blank]! 8 Most Common Mistakes”, it’s easy to plug your keywords in and get content that’s the perfect storm of everything you’re after: SEO-friendly, useful, and sharable.

4. HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator

This tool by HubSpot is pretty straightforward: enter three nouns on your keyword list and get a week’s worth of useful blog topics in return. (For the most part, it isn’t perfect.)

Inspired by this post, I entered business blog, SEO, and content marketing. These were the results I got:

hubspot

Not bad, eh?

Write & Schedule Your First Post

After you know what keywords you want to target and have picked out your first title, write your first post and publish it.

It probably won’t be perfect (especially if you’re new to blogging), but don’t let that worry you. The important thing is that you get started with content that will be found by search engines and useful to your target audience.

 

 

Chelsea_HeadshotChelsea Baldwin is the founder of Copy Power, where she helps companies maximize their online sales and marketing funnels via content that stands out from the crowd and turns readers into devotees. Her ebook offers a five-step DIY guide for non-writers to maximize the impact of their on-site sales copy.

12 Things a Small Business Owner Can Do to Get the Most Out of WordPress

WordPress is a popular CMS platform, so you’re in a great place if you use it as the foundation for your website. With millions of themes and plugins, a superior experience can be had. It’s easy to get started, and an out of the box solution is free.

Let us count the ways to maximize your WordPress installation.

Grab a Theme

Wordpress ThemeGive WordPress a custom look and feel that accurately represents your brand. ThemeForest has thousands of low-cost templates that can be customized with some know-how.

 

Get Your SEO in Shape

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.21.34 AMThe Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin is the most popular search engine visibility plugin. It controls title/description tags, avoids duplicate content, and sets up an XML sitemap for search engines.

Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is a customizable form with many great features. It’s the frontrunner of contact forms for WordPress; many themes include it.

Contact Form 7

Build Out Your Newsletter

MailChimpThe MailChimp plugin is a great newsletter tool. Send automated messages, marketing emails, and targeted campaigns, and see reports for what’s performing best.

 

MailChimp’s plugin also works well with Contact Form 7.

Clean Up Spam

While not all WordPress sites are blogs, most are. Once you see your blog on the map, you’ll get spam comments. Akismet helps you silo those comments off and keeps that junk out of sight and out of mind.

Encourage Social Shares

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.22.40 AMDigg Digg lets you add a floating share bar to your site.

This bar lets visitors of your website share content to like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+. Digg Digg lets you customize visibility and placement of the share bar, so it doesn’t have to float on the side of the content if you don’t want it to.

Build a Business Schema

The most useful plugin for a small business with a physical location, the All in One Schema.org Rich Snippet, lets you add local business schema to your WordPress website. Schema markup helps search engines understand the intention and categorization of web sites to assist with customer acquisition. Schema.org’s markup shows geography (location), hours of operation, reviews and testimonials, Google authorship, and more.

 

With information like this, search results will look like this:

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.23.20 AM

Don’t you feel more compelled to click on listings with reviews?

Use a tool like Synup to help with local marketing components; it gives visibility into what your websites look like across 200+ sites so you can fix issues. You can also use Synup to track rankings, display reviews, and monitor reviews.

Schedule Regular Backups

BackWPup is the best tool I’ve encountered to backup WordPress files to a Dropbox account. I set up a weekly job on a less-trafficked night (usually Friday) and get an email as soon as it’s done.

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.23.43 AM

This gives peace of mind that if something happens to my site (it gets hacked, files get deleted, the server hard drive dies, etc.) that I have something to rely on.

BackWPup has a pro and free version. The free version is great, but if you love the plugin, support it by going pro.

Get People to Schedule Appointments Directly from Your Site

AppointmentsA service provider looking to schedule bookings can use Appointments, which lets you accept, set, and manage any bookings on your site.

I also recommend YouCanBook.me or Calendly. With tools like this, managing your calendar is easier than ever.

Seek Help with Content Ideation

ScribeUsing Scribe, easily identify content marketing opportunities for maximum shareability.

Scribe isn’t free, and that has been reflected in its reviews. Should you have a budget, it’s worthwhile to explore. I also recommend Oz which is being used by agencies for content ideas.

Create Custom Landing Pages for All Products, Services, and Locations

Beaver BuliderBeaver Builder makes it easy for businesses with multiple service offerings and/or locations to create custom landing pages for each.

It is drag-and-drop, so you don’t need your developer.

Bonus: Update Your Site

Infinite WPWordPress plugins get updated often. Think about smartphones; almost every time your power that thing on, you’re notified about another app update. The same holds true for WordPress. While updating your smartphone is optional, updating your WordPress plugins is mandatory. Most WordPress plugins are updated for two reasons: 1) feature updates, 2) patching holes that can give outsiders access to your web server.

Ever seen a hacked website? Without regular updates, you’ll be next.

That’s why I recommend InfiniteWP. Get notified daily of new updates to your installations, log-in, and update!

 

It’s easy: with WordPress and a good theme foundation, all you need is a few plugins to power the site to be a small business website powerhouse. With love, care, and constant updating, your small business site will stay secure and build up your visibility in store, in person, and on the web.

Tamar Weinberg is a professional hustler and author of best-selling social media book, The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web. She blogs about all things tech and social at Techipedia.

10 21 Blogs I Turn To When I Need to Learn How To Do Stuff

No shock in this statement – I’m a big fan of blogs and blogging as a core marketing, content and SEO practice.

Blogs

photo credit: via photopin (license)

I subscribe to many blogs, read blogs daily and generally find that when I search for things blog posts offer the most useful solutions.

I read many different types of blogs – some for inspiration, some for thought leadership and still some for personal growth.

Today I want to present a list of blogs that I turn to on a regular basis when I want to learn something practical and useful.

This list of 21 blogs isn’t top list or ranking or any other of the link bait kinds of lists you see out there. The blogs on this list are tools for me as I market and grow my business and attempt to expand my knowledge in an ever changing world.

I frequently get asked about resources I turn to and, for today, here they are. I placed them into a handful of categories, but many of them could cross over into multiple categories and often do in the range of topics they weigh in on. Most of these won’t be new to regular readers as I reference them often, but it can be helpful to see them all in one place. Subscribe to this list and you’ll always have ready access to tips, tools and techniques you can take action on today.

Feel free to share blogs you find utterly useful when you need to learn how to do stuff.

Video
Reel SEO – http://www.reelseo.com/
Video Brewery – http://www.videobrewery.com/blog/

Podcast
Podcast Answer Man – http://podcastanswerman.com/
Entrepreneur on Fire – http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com

SEO
MOZ – http://moz.com/
Search Engine Watch – http://searchenginewatch.com/

Social Media
Social Media Examiner – http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/
Buffer – https://blog.bufferapp.com/
Razor Social – http://www.razorsocial.com/blog/

Facebook
Jon Loomer – http://www.jonloomer.com

PPC
PPC Hero – http://www.ppchero.com/
WordStream – http://www.wordstream.com/blog

Conversion
Kiss Metrics – https://blog.kissmetrics.com/
Unbounce – http://unbounce.com/blog/
QuickSprout – http://www.quicksprout.com/university/

Analytics
Occam’s Razor – http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/
Crazy Egg – http://blog.crazyegg.com/

Content
Content Marketing Institute – http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/blog/
Copyblogger – http://www.copyblogger.com/blog/

WordPress
WP Beginner – http://www.wpbeginner.com/category/wp-tutorials/
Yoast – https://yoast.com/

 

 

2 How to increase conversion rate on your blog

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Giles Thomas   – Enjoy! 

featured-imageDo you often ask yourself:

How do I get more people to sign up to my blog?

Why is no one joining our email list?

Generating leads from your blog is no easy task.

It can be difficult to keep writing content when your conversion rate is low, 1% or even less.

Through testing and trial and error we came up with a technique that not only makes your visitors happy but also increases your conversions rates.

Convert more visitors to email subscribers using the Content Cliffhanger Technique

I struggled with conversion rate just like you, I had a pretty ok conversion rate of 3% until I discovered a fairly unknown marketing technique.

The Content Cliffhanger Technique

In three easy steps I went from 3% to a site-wide conversion rate of 22.46%!

First I’ll explain the psychology behind the technique then I’ll show you how.

Information Loops

Just like in a tv series or film, when it comes to blog conversions cliffhangers work like a charm!

This is due to something called the ‘Zeigarnik effect’.

It is when a piece of information starts but does not finish, our brains then keeps hold of the information, pushing it into our mind time and time again until the information is complete.

It seems to be human nature to finish what we start and if it’s not finished, we can’t forget it.

Bluma Zeigarnik a Russian scientist learned the phenomenon when her tutor Kurt Lewis noticed something very interesting about waiters and waitresses.

After observing them when waiting tables, they realised the waiters had much better recollection of unpaid orders than paid ones.

To the point that, when the table left the restaurant and closed the cheque the staff member would forget their order all together.

The information loop stayed open in the persons mind until the table was complete, because the narrative of that table was not complete.

Get more emails with Zeigarnik’s Findings

We can leverage this technique in our blogs to help us collect emails.

Start a narrative or information loop in the blog post and ask for an email opt-in from the visitor to complete the loop. The ending to the narrative.

The way you do this is simple:

1. Write about niche topics

For example ‘The 6 Most Effective Endurance Exercises’.

In the post start an information loop, the beginning of your narrative, the set up for your cliffhanger.

In this example they talk about 3 of the 6 best ways their readers can improve their abs.

6-best-workouts

They then offer a bonus content area to email subscribers with videos showing in detail how to do all 6 exercises.

Your bonus content could be a PDF, video or even a swipe file.

2. With the Content Cliffhanger plugin give away free bonus content

Create a download for the post that shows the reader in video form all 6 exercises in detail.

This means the reader can close the information loop by downloading the free content.

I created a free wordpress plugin to enable you to easily offer free downloads.

content-cliffhanger

 

3. Record the difference in your email opt-in rate before.

I cannot promise you exact opt in rates, nothing in conversions is a hard and fast rule. There are no one size fits all fixes. But I can say from my experience I have yet to see this make an improvement to a blogs conversion rate.

The difference with this plugin and most others is that you can customize the form and its contents for every post or page. So you can have free downloads that are always aligned with your pages content.

That is the secret behind the technique, when the users search intent is aligned with the opt-in offer, you see much higher conversion rates. Because the giveaway is aligned with what they originally searched for on google.

Start an idea in your blog post but finish it in the download, like a cliffhanger in a good tv series.

People then want to close the information gap or loop, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

This works much better than generic opt-ins like, ‘Join our newsletter’.

You can have increase your blogs conversion rate too…

…but first you must take action on what you learned in this post.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. What techniques are you using to get more conversions? What do you offer your customers when asking them to opt-in?

Talk to you soon below!

giles-thomasDownload the free 65 page Guide to List Building, download the guide here. Giles Thomas writes about Content Marketing and Conversion Rate Optimization at Acquireconvert.com. He is also the founder of  the holistic design agency Whole Design Studios.

 

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