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6 Best Security Plugins Available for WordPress

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WordPress is the most popular content publishing platform on the Internet by a large margin. This makes it a popular target for malicious hackers and spammers. But you’re probably thinking “Why would anyone want to attack my website?”. In particular, if you have a low traffic website, security is probably not one of your main priorities.

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The truth is: It does not matter if your website has low traffic. Hackers are not always looking to steal data or delete important files. Sometimes all they want to do is use your server to send spam emails.

The takeaway: You need to ensure your WordPress website is secure from threats!

With that said, the next thing you need to understand is that the core of the WordPress software is very secure (although not exactly impregnable). So when you hear someone’s WordPress website has been hacked or worse even, your website has been hacked, the security breach probably occurred as a result of one of the following reasons rather than a vulnerability in the WordPress software itself:

  • Weak user passwords
  • Vulnerabilities in plugins and themes
  • Failure to keep the software up to date

Therefore you can effectively block attacks on your website by simply addressing these security issues. For example,

  • Host your website with quality hosting company
  • Keep WordPress updated
  • Choose the plugins you activate on your website wisely
  • Keep your WordPress theme up-to-date and well-coded
  • Use strong login information and change passwords frequently
  • Use the right security plugins to toughen your website

6 of the Best Security Plugins Available for WordPress

1. WordFence

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Wordfence is one of the most downloaded WordPress security plugins for WordPress websites. Security features of the plugin include real-time blocking of known attackers, login security including two-factor authentication, security scanning, WordPress firewall to block common security threats like fake Googlebots, monitoring features and multi-site security. It also scans your posts and comments for malicious code. Read more

How to Optimize Your Landing Page for Maximum Conversions?

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So you conceptualized and designed a killer marketing campaign for your business or a new product. Your ads are attracting a lot of attention, your website is performing well in the organic search results and your social media presence is on point. All in all, you have serious traffic being directed to your landing pages. But there is a problem: Not a lot of the visitors are converting.

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Where is the problem? Do you need a brand new marketing campaign? Do you need to discard your existing landing pages and start from scratch?

Maybe…

But it’s more likely that your landing page is not optimized enough to attract the right kind of people or its anatomy is wrong. If the traffic to your landing pages is good but lead generation is stalled, by making a few changes, you can significantly increase their conversion rate.

  1. Check for the 9 elements of a high converting landing page

The purpose of a landing page is to act as a springboard for users to step further into your site. The best converting landing pages are focused on a single point- the user’s search query and include the following elements:

  • A clear and concise headline
  • Important details about your product or service
  • A call to action. The button may click to another page on your site, add to cart or any other desired action
  • Testimonials
  • Few navigation and link options. The point is to narrow your focus and eliminate clutter
  • An image or video that will convey better than text the unique personality of your product
  • A breakdown of the benefits of the product or service you’re offering (usually using bullet points)
  • Third Party Verifications
  • Make sure you fit elements 1-7 above the fold

See the template below? That’s what we are talking about! The aim here is to make a great first impression.

Landing-page-tweaks Read more

6 WordPress Plugins to Supercharge Your SEO

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As it stands now, WordPress powers more than 23% of the web, from simple websites and blogs to enterprise-level websites and applications. Perhaps some of the features that make WordPress a popular web software include its simplicity, flexibility, fantastic publishing tools, vibrant and supportive community and, of course, the thousands of plugins and themes that you can use to transform your site into almost anything you want. WordPress also offers the advantage of being optimized for the search engines.

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With that said, for more fine-grained search engine optimization, there are a number of SEO plugins that you can use to optimize the many technical and creative elements of your website required to improve its user experience and performance in organic search results.

Some of the most popular SEO plugins that can help you put your site’s best foot forward in terms of both:

1. Visibility in the search engines

2. And your site’s interaction with users include:

All in One SEO Pack

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Look at any listing of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress, you are bound to find All In One SEO Pack listed there. It’s a plugin that automatically optimizes your WordPress site for the search engines like Google including feature like:

  • Creating unique and accurate page titles
  • Optimizing the “description” meta tag
  • Creating optimized URLs
  • Google Analytics support
  • Fine-tuning your navigation to ensure convenience for users and the search engines
  • SEO Integration for WordPress e-Commerce sites (All in One SEO Pack is the only plugin with this feature)
  • Avoids the typical duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content across your site

Read more

3 Examples of Local Search by Businesses that are Doing it Right

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In 2015, if you want to have a successful local SEO strategy, there are some things you need to know. For example:

1. Your Goals Inform your Campaign

Search engine optimization encompasses technical and creative elements to improve your rankings up the SERPs, drive traffic and increase awareness in the search engines. Therefore, to have a successful campaign, you should have a good idea of what your objectives for SEO are and how it will fit into your marketing mix.

For example, are you interested in traffic or are you interested in conversions you could track. Maybe you want to know how your content pieces are improving your ROI. The truth is: You can have all the traffic in the world but if it is not meeting one of your goals of SEO (conversion or education) then the traffic is not helping any purpose.

2. Tunnel Vision is Not Necessarily Advisable

In a post published on December 3, 2014, Mike Ramsey from Nifty Marketing talked about a click study test he ran through Usability Hub. The first study- “Salt Lake City Hotel” gave the following results of what people clicked on following a Google search for “Salt Lake City Hotel”.

Local-seo

The takeaway: Users click all over the place and while it is desirable to be number one on the SERPs, you also want to get clicks from your paid ad, local result and barnacle SEO efforts.

3. Don’t Spam

And finally, while Google is getting smarter and better everyday, some spammy tactics still work. Take the example below for instance.

local-seo-results

Don’t do it. Instead, you want to rise above it and do things the right way. If you take shortcuts, sooner or later you will get penalized and it’s not worth the heartache.

3 Examples of Good Local Search

Bricco

If you Google “best Harrisburg restaurants”, you would see that the upscale Mediterranean and Italian restaurant Bricco is the top result.

local-search-results

Is the food really good there? Sure! Going by the reviews and ratings of the place, Bricco offers a really great dining experience. But that’s not all. It is also listed on trusted and top-ranked sites such as TripAdvisor and Urbanspoon. In SEO, there is a marketing tactic referred to as “Barnacle SEO”.

In essence, just like the way barnacles attach themselves to whales’ skins, in Barnacle SEO, by attaching your name to top-ranked and trusted sites in your industry, you benefit from top rankings in the SERPs as well. This makes it very different for your competition to drown you out SEO-wise.

The takeaway: Do not underestimate the power of good “Barnacle SEO”. Get listed and maintain a good presence on review sites that are trusted in your industry. Read more

Planning Your Content Strategy for a Whole Year

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There are a variety of different factors that can help to make a website successful. A highly innovative SEO campaign is essential and that will be impossible without an effective content strategy. As the old saying goes, content is king and without it, your website will be bare and barely noticeable. With this in mind, it is vital to plan out a long-term content strategy that can be followed for the entire year.

content-strategyIn basic terms, your content strategy is the management and creation of the content for your website. It is possible to incorporate written content, as well as videos. As long as something is being added to the site, your site will remain active and thrive. How many posts should you add in a week? How long should they be? Below, you will learn everything you need to know to plan an entire year’s worth of content.

Is it necessary?

First and foremost, a lot of businesses will question the overall necessity of the content strategy. It has been proven repetitively that a good, solid content strategy can drive a business to success. Those that have already taken the time to implement one are more effective and able to manage their time more efficiently. Following a specific plan will ensure that your content’s effectiveness expands and covers your blog and social media channels. Suffice to say, a thoroughly planned content strategy is crucial for all businesses!

What to Include

There are a few integral aspects that should be included in your strategy. First and foremost, you need to layout your specific needs! What is the overall purpose of your strategy? What are you attempting to succeed and what are your goals? All of this information will prove to be beneficial and will help to keep you on the right track at all times.

Next, you’re going to include your overall plan. How are you going to be able to deliver your information? What steps must be taken to get the content that you need? You should also keep track of the difficulties that you will face. This information will ensure that you’re able to get the content needed and deliver it in the most effective manner.

Details about your specific audience should be added. It is vital to know as much about your customers as possible. What type of content is best for these individuals and what exactly are they looking for? By knowing these individuals thoroughly, you will be able to deliver the exact content and information that these individuals desire. By doing this, your strategy will prove to be much more fruitful. Read more

A Tool for Every Webmaster: Schema.org

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Throughout the years, the practices of SEO have changed significantly. As Google continues to churn out new updates, the practices are slightly altered further and further. This can make it difficult for webmasters and SEO technicians to keep up with the latest standards. Now, there is an entirely new system, which is proving to be quite effective. Now, it is highly recommended to incorporate schemas into your HTML coding for more structure and easier understanding. Within this guide, Schema.org will be explored in depth.

Schema-org

What is Schema.org?

In actuality, Schema.org isn’t an idea or technique. Instead, it is a collaborative effort from some of technology’s most substantial individuals. The group, which runs the site and is pushing for schemas, consists of experienced and highly intelligent individuals. Some hail from Yandex, while others have worked with Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. With this type of backing, there is no doubt that the group is onto something big! These massive Internet corporations encourage the use of schemas and actually sponsor Schema.org.

Introduction to Schemas

Every website owner, Webmaster and SEO enthusiast needs to know a great deal about HTML coding and other similar languages. However, they likely know very little, if anything, about schemas. The schemas actually take the process a little bit further and help to define the HTML tag in a much deeper sense. When organizing your information with header tags, such as <h1>, you’re typically helping viewers differentiate the importance of your content.

By incorporating the use of schemas, it is possible to do the same for the various search engines. When these extra tidbits of information are added, the search engines have a much easier time determining the overall purpose of the tag. This allows them to provide more relevant content to users.

By relying on Schema.org, the webmaster will be able to access a comprehensive database of information and terminology, which can be used to properly mark up their pages. By using the vocabularies, which have been shared on the website, the webmaster can enable the search engines to better understand their websites. Read more

8 Tools to Help You Evaluate Your Website Content against Your Competitors

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Whether you want to build trust among your customers, drive sales, or become recognized as a thought leader in your industry, content marketing is essential to building a successful online presence.

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A big part of producing and publishing information that builds authority and a community around your brand is watching your competition. After all, you’ve been doing it from the time you were in school or on a sports team. The value of watching your competition is twofold.

  1. You want to keep up
  2. You want to know where the marker is set so you can outperform your competition

In the world of online marketing, the same principles apply. Competitor analysis is essential to finding opportunities and setting goals based on thought leaders and competitors you aspire to beat.

Keeping an Eye on Your Competitors

As a content marketer, it is valuable to keep a finger on the pulse of your audience. One of the ways to do this is to keep an eye on your competitors. In particular, you want to analyze the types of content they are producing because competitive marketing strategies are strongest when:

  1. They position your strengths against your competitors’ weaknesses
  2. Or when you choose positions that pose no threat to competitors so that you are no longer competing for the same

This, in turn, can help you write opinion pieces. You also gain valuable insights into reader expectations.

4 Ways to Evaluate your Content Marketing Strategy against That of Your Competitors

  1. Set up an Alert to Get Notified Whenever your Competitors are Mentioned Over the Web

While knowing when your competitors are mentioned over the web does not directly help you compare your content marketing strategy vs. your competitors’, it can help you keep a tab on what’s happening on and off their website. This can help you identify the keywords and types of content that are likely to increase any return on your investment (ROI). Read more