Categories
Marketing

10 Tips to Grow Your Digital Marketing Agency (and Earn More Profit!)

It’s one thing to start your own digital marketing agency, but growing the business is an entirely different story.

In my years of working with digital marketers, I’ve seen agencies reach their all-time high by following their own mantra for success. It’s an inspiring endeavour and one born from hard work and smart decision-making. This is what I’ll be discussing – how to grow your agency and increase your profit.

  1. Build Your Network

    If you can count the number of connections you have using only your hands, you better double your efforts in networking. To grow your agency, you need to put yourself out there and connect with people. Connections can provide you with a stream of referrals and serve as a handshake to your next clients.A couple of pointers when building your network:

    • Start local: Being in the same area serves as your common ground with local businesses. This makes it easier to introduce your digital marketing agency to them.
    • Focus on a specific niche: As tempting as it may be to win everyone, you need to focus on one niche first. The best approach to this is by targeting a niche that you’re an expert in.

  2. Develop Inbound and Outbound Marketing Strategies

    One of the biggest mistakes digital marketing agencies make is forgetting to look after their own brand and market themselves. You can’t grow your business if potential clients don’t even know who you are. This is why you need to set aside budget and time for inbound and outbound marketing to generate leads for your digital marketing agency.

    Inbound marketing – This involves activities that allow you to get leads passively, where potential clients reach out to you.

    • SEO: Add unique, valuable content that will help your site become more visible. Use Google’s Search Console to determine queries you’re getting and build content that addresses these queries.
    • Pay-Per-Click: Target a specific area for your ads. Use remarketing to get more opportunities for conversions.
    • Social media: Join social media channels where most of your targeted leads are active. Look for groups and share content that will attract leads.
    • Content marketing: Create specialized content and lead magnets that serve the needs of your target clients.

    Outbound marketing – This involves activities that allow you to get leads actively, where you make the first move to reach out to potential clients.

    • Cold emails: Automate email sequences with content that matches your lead’s stage in the buyer’s journey. Send cold emails at reasonable intervals to avoid spamming them.
    • Cold calls: Initiate the first phone call after sending an email—this is the point where you’re creating a warmer relationship and securing an appointment with a potential client.

  3. Set the Right Pricing

    When starting a digital marketing agency, a big factor in your growth is offering the right value for your services. Some agencies fail in their ventures because they are not charging enough, while some go over the top with their charges.The charge for digital marketing services may vary for every agency. One way to set the right pricing for your services is by looking at what main competitors are offering. Check their average price and determine if this can cover your expenses and provide you with a reasonable profit.Pro-tip: Don’t set your pricing too low just to please a few clients. Your pricing should justify the value that you’re giving.

  4. Develop a Repeatable, Scalable Process

    There should be a process behind everything. One of the foundations of a successful agency is having specific policies and procedures. These serve as a framework on how to efficiently execute work and follow up on deliverables.

    Automate the reporting process. Instead of writing proposals and contracts from scratch, use templates that you can simply fill and send to clients. Streamline appointment bookings with Calendly and similar scheduling tools. Provide specific guidelines for your in-house team so they can accomplish their work efficiently.

  5. Hire the Right People – Outsource vs In-house

    One of the common pitfalls of digital marketing agencies – especially startups – is taking care of all the work. Sure it’s your job to deliver results that will make clients happy, but this doesn’t mean you have to carry the burden alone. How else are you going to grow your business if you’re too busy with fulfillment? This is where outsourcing comes in.What services can you outsource? Almost everything – from SEO to Social Media Management.Let others take over work that’s not in your area of expertise until you can do it yourself or you have enough scale to hire in-house talent for the job.

  6. Leverage partnerships with influencers

    Remember what I discussed about building your network? It’s not only for finding potential clients, but also for reaching out to influencers who can partner with your agencies.How do you leverage partnerships with influencers?

    • Host webinars or Facebook live sessions about topics of their expertise.
    • Ask them if they’re open to being an affiliate partner for your agency.
    • Write a guest post on their website—or ask if they can write one for your agency’s site.

    Food for thought: Don’t hog all the benefits. When partnering with an influencer, it should be mutually beneficial.

  7. Streamline your onboarding process

    Successful agencies often have a seamless onboarding strategy to ensure clients use their products and stay with them.Think of the onboarding process as your first step in client retention. Mess it up from the start, and you’ll soon find clients moving away from your agency.One of the easiest ways to streamline client onboarding is through email sequences. Each email should talk about the client and their needs, not about your agency.This should make it easy for clients to understand your service and how it can help them. Map the results for every client interaction to determine how the conversation might go. This will help you prepare the appropriate responses.

  8. Learn how to upsell to clients that have one-off projectsYes, it’s important to find and close new clients. But, it’s also equally important to upsell to clients who already purchased one-off projects from you. Upselling allows you to open new revenue streams while providing additional value to clients.Here are some tips on upselling:

    • Complement one service with another service: If a client bought web design, why not offer them SEO? Give them an introductory rate for your SEO services. Show them how you can rank their new website; if they’re happy with the results, offer to put them on a new SEO campaign for the following month.
    • Explain the value of using other solutions: Your clients need to understand what their dollar’s worth. Don’t just pitch a new solution—show them the value of using your service through milestones and potential returns to their business.
    • Only upsell if the client needs it: Provide reasonable ground when upselling, which means you need to justify why clients need your services. Don’t push clients into a purchase they don’t need today.

  9. Don’t report – Analyze and Explain

    Your clients care about one thing: Results. They don’t have the time to know about what Click Through Rate is, or how to disavow links. They want to know about how they benefit from what you’re doing. This is why you don’t just report vanity metrics; you also analyze and explain data.

    Analyze: Identify what solutions delivered results and what didn’t to justify the effectiveness of your service. Use this opportunity to determine ways to improve a campaign and maximize ROI for your client.

    Explain: Instead of showing clients a long report, turn data into a language that they will understand. Don’t say, “Here are the changes we made to your Metadata.” Instead say, “We wrote new copies to entice more visitors to click on your site and understand what you’re business is.”

  10. Always think about the post-sales process

    Good agencies know how to find clients who will close; the great (and successful) ones know how to find, close, and keep clients. You don’t stop simulating the care after a client has purchased a solution from your agency—you work to retain the relationship even after the sale.How do you keep the relationship hot post-sale?Here are some pointers:

    • Provide consistent value through educational content, such as how-to articles, white papers and case studies.
    • If there are problems, act fast and communicate the issue—don’t wait for clients to find out about the bad news themselves.
    • Show gratitude; never underestimate the power of saying “Thank you”.

Final Thoughts

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to growing your digital marketing agency. The tips I shared above serve as a guide for your agency—how you reach that seven-digit revenue mark is entirely up to you.

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Hosting

6 Benefits of Moving to Cloud Hosting

When you’re new in the web industry and plan to host your first website or a blog, there are a lot of questions on your mind. Should I go with a free service or a premium one? Is this the right time to invest in a paid service and if yes, which hosting service do I choose?

Eventually, most website owners end up choosing Shared Hosting as it offers good features for beginners and is also quite affordable. With the passing of time, your business grows and so does the traffic. It is at that time you think – since my website traffic has grown the time taken to load is too much, which hosting do I switch to now?

Choosing the right hosting is not always easy. However, with the right resources and guidance, it becomes easier. In this post, we’ll cover Cloud Hosting and the benefits of moving to the Cloud.

Let us begin with understanding Cloud Hosting

Cloud Hosting is a Cloud architecture inspired offering, where we have combined the benefits of cloud as well as Shared Hosting. The benefits of the cloud being (Virtualization, Redundant Storage, Resource Scaling) and the simplicity of Shared Hosting.

The plans are designed in a manner that users do not but they can increase resources (CPU and RAM) based on their requirements to handle an increase in traffic. In case of a hardware failure, the server can be spun back up again with minimal downtime and no data loss due to the redundant storage architecture

Apart from these basics let us see what sets Cloud Hosting apart from other hosting services:

Benefits of Cloud Hosting:

  1. Better Performance

    It maximizes the performance of websites and web applications as the load is evenly distributed between the servers connected to the network. The availability of resources is also high as it is not dependent on a single physical server like in Shared Hosting.

  2. Increased Scalability

    Cloud Hosting allows easy and instantaneous upgradation of CPU and RAM, improving scalability as and when the traffic of your website increases.

  3. Secure Data

    Cloud Hosting provides data mirroring helping you keep your data secure. The data is mirrored on 3 different devices on various drives such that in case of any hardware failure you do not lose your data. This ensures hassle-free data backup and recovery.

  4. Cost Saving

    Although it may initially seem like Cloud Hosting is expensive, when you take into consideration the features it provides, the pricing is considerably more economical. Also in some cases, you only have to pay for the resources you use. Some of the features Cloud Hosting provides are, free data migration, fully managed hosting, resource monitoring etc.

  5. Good Stability

    Cloud Hosting is reliable as data has triple redundancy as a result of mirroring. This ensures that your data on the cloud is secure as well as if the server ever fails, recovering data is easier.

  6. Incredible Speed

    Cloud Hosting servers have low density that helps your website boost its speed along with varnish. Varnish is a web simulator that allows websites to sustain high traffic while loading pages in a super fast speed by caching the static and dynamic content on the web page. It can speed up websites by almost 1000%.

Conclusion

I hope you found this post helpful in understanding the benefits of moving to the Cloud. Once you choose Cloud Hosting the next logical move is to select the best Cloud Hosting plan suited to you.

If you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to drop a message in the comment box below!

 

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Categories
Design

Storyboarding: Business Benefits and Softwares

In today’s tech-savvy world, most people have a computer or at least a smartphone with an internet connection. They browse content in the form of text, images, audio and video. According to a survey by HubSpot, respondents spent around 1.5 hours per day watching videos. As a designer or developer, marketing your brand is important and one way is with the help of videos. If you are able to tap the potential of video marketing then it will directly impact the growth of your website and clientele by means of increasing traffic. Videos, after all, have the power to persuade people to purchase a product, if presented in a pleasing manner. However, before the product is designed or it is live, it needs to be imagined and storyboarding is one of the ways that helps you achieve this.

In this article, I’ll walk you through what Storyboarding is, its benefits and tools to bring your ideas to life.

Let’s start with what Storyboarding is

Storyboarding in simple words is a graphic representation of how your story unfolds to an observer. It is made up of a set of squares with pictures or sketches on a blank sheet of paper with empty rectangles representing a situation about what’s happening during a product planning stage, video shot, animation, website development etc. The situation mainly depends on what you’re using storyboarding to represent or plan.

 most people have a computer or at least a smartphone with an internet connection Storyboarding: Business Benefits and Softwares

 most people have a computer or at least a smartphone with an internet connection Storyboarding: Business Benefits and Softwares

Why is Storyboarding important?

  1. Visual Imagery and Vision:

    Irrespective of the business you have, storyboarding helps you put your idea on paper and gives you something more tangible in terms of its look, feel and behaviour. It helps in gathering feedback from peers. What this means is, you can get feedback by showing a visual representation of your idea in the form of a sketch, wireframe etc. This also helps you in shaping the flow of the execution of your ideas so that you stay on track.

    As a web designer or a developer, storyboarding helps you get a sense of how the website you design will look and interact with users before the idea is formally designed and developed. Or if you deal with animation or tech videos to educate your users, storyboarding helps you plan how the video flows before producing it.

  2. Time-Saving:

    Though storyboards take a lot of time to design, they help add clarity and simplicity to the process of executing an idea. Thus, when the time comes to execute the idea you know exactly how to move ahead and what to avoid.

    As a web designer or a developer, your product is mainly the website you’re designing. Storyboarding helps you keep a track of your design and lets you know about the progress you’ve made. This enables you to decrease errors, boost quality and eventually saves time which would otherwise have gone into reworking and replanning.

  3. Makes Planning Easier:

    Another place where storyboarding can help you is to plan and manage the budget of your product before the final release.

    As a web designer or a developer, if you’re developing a site or an app for a client then it means a lot of back and forth interaction between you and the client. If the idea is discussed without a proper diagram or layout it could adversely affect both the quality and the cost of execution. Storyboarding, in this case, would help you and your client envision the final output such that it doesn’t affect the next phase of design and development. Thus, making planning easier.

Now that we’ve seen the importance of storyboarding let us looks at some of the ways you can create a Storyboard.

The simplest way to create a storyboard is to make it in a template. Before making the final storyboard in the form of a wireframe diagram/presentation/video/layout etc it is important to sketch out the template on paper.

The first task is to create blank rectangles on a sheet of paper and make sure to leave empty space below to add text. Post creation of this, add your text and then eventually sketch the storyboard.

As mentioned earlier, there are several reasons to make a storyboard. As a web designer, if along with designing your website you deal with creating animation and videos then apart from sketching the storyboard there are also various softwares to help you create it.

In this section, we will cover 3 softwares to help you create a video storyboard:

  1. Storyboarder

    Storyboarder is a free and open source software. This software is simple, versatile and can be used by artists, advertisers, writers, directors etc. It has a clean interface and is easy to understand. It is ideal for users who are new to storyboarding and it’s easy to draw characters and shapes as well as write the script, enter timing and specify how to frame a subject.

    Another aspect of Storyboarder is that it works in collaboration with Photoshop. It allows you to export your board to Avid editor, pdf, animated gif, Adobe Premiere and Final Cut.

     most people have a computer or at least a smartphone with an internet connection Storyboarding: Business Benefits and Softwares most people have a computer or at least a smartphone with an internet connection Storyboarding: Business Benefits and Softwares

  2. Plot

    Plot is a freemium software that helps you to create a storyboard in a quick and efficient manner. One feature of Plot is that it helps you create and delete scenes easily and allows you to include pictures to help visualization easier. Plot makes team collaboration easier especially in times of strict deadlines.

     most people have a computer or at least a smartphone with an internet connection Storyboarding: Business Benefits and Softwares

     most people have a computer or at least a smartphone with an internet connection Storyboarding: Business Benefits and Softwares

  3. Studiobinder

    Studiobinder is another freemium software that helps you in easy visualization of your project. It incorporates Project Management features making team collaboration easier. One feature is that it allows you to preview your project before finalizing it. Studiobinder is a good professional software used widely by professional TV and film management. most people have a computer or at least a smartphone with an internet connection Storyboarding: Business Benefits and Softwares

     most people have a computer or at least a smartphone with an internet connection Storyboarding: Business Benefits and Softwares

Conclusion:

Storyboarding may look like a tedious and time-consuming aspect of presenting the information, however, it is important as it helps you not only visualize your goals but also envisage the ideas for your stakeholders. So what are you waiting for! Go make your own storyboard now for planning your projects and goals.

If you have any queries or suggestions feel free to drop them in the comment box below.

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Domains

.BLOG: The Writer’s Address

I’ve been a writer for over 15 years and a blogger for about 6 of those years. Yet, while it’s great to write online and share my writing with my friends and family (basically, anyone with the link), I’m aware that my content reaches only a limited audience. Mainly because:

1) My blog was not easily discoverable online

2) Without a shared link, the web address of my blog was not easily remembered

Cut to 2014 when I joined ResellerClub and became aware of TLDs other than .COM and .ORG. I now know that as I writer, I have a domain extension exclusively for my passion. Enter .BLOG. The .BLOG domain extension is a fantastic new gTLD that effortlessly combats both the obstacles I faced with the reach of my blog.

Why .BLOG?

  • It spells out the precise purpose of the website. The address itself lets visitors know what to expect.

  • Instead of thecookingblog.com, switching to thecooking.blog makes the web address far more memorable & unique.

  • It improves website rankings

Who can use a .BLOG?

According to Liveinternetstats, at the time of writing this line, there were 3,081,208 blog posts written today. This gives you as a reseller, the chance to reach out to this large market! A .BLOG extension is perfect for:

  • Companies
  • NGOs
  • Individuals
  • Religious organizations
  • Media outlets
  • Writers

Some stats to WOW you!

Still undecided if .BLOG is worth it? These stats from Transformationmarketing will show you just how large the blogging community is!

s great to write online and share my writing with my friends and family  .BLOG: The Writer’s Address

The ResellerClub Advantage

We’re giving you a chance to register .BLOG domain names for just $7.99 till 31st July, 2018. It’s your opportunity to make your profits!

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Hosting

Importance of Backup and the Best WordPress Backup Plugins

Imagine you have a blog or an e-commerce website and suddenly one day you lose all your data. You try to figure out ways to recover it but all in vain. It is then you realize you never took a backup. Backups are essential to ensuring the retrieval of your website data.

Backing up your data manually is alright when you have just begun but, as your website grows and the data increases, you would need external help. There are various solutions available online for safeguarding your WordPress website. One solution is to choose a Managed WordPress Hosting provider who would take timely backups of your website. Now irrespective of whether or not you choose WordPress Hosting, installing WordPress backup plugins and tools for your website is important.

Before we delve deeper into how to take backups, let us first see some of the common reasons why WordPress backups are necessary:

  1. Hardware or software failure is one of the most common cause for data loss
  2. Your website is hacked, or attacked by a malware. You either lose your data or your hosting service provider shuts down your website
  3. Your site goes down because of some coding error. You can neither debug the error nor retrieve the data
  4. The data center your website is hosted is breached resulting in loss of data

One way to retrieve the data is to install backup tools like Codeguard that not only takes backup of your website but also help in restoring your website easily.

However, if you own a WordPress website taking backups is simplified further. All you as a website admin need to do is, download a WordPress backup plugin and you’re sorted. WordPress plugins are easy to install and are readily available on WordPress.org as well as various Marketplaces.

Let us check out the 3 best WordPress backup plugins for your website.

  1. BackupBuddy

    commerce website and suddenly one day you lose all your data Importance of Backup and the Best WordPress Backup Plugins

    Launched in the year 2010, BackupBuddy is a premium backup plugin from iThemes that allows you to backup, restore and move your WordPress website. It is one of the best WordPress backups plugins available. It is easy to configure and integrate on the WordPress dashboard and allows users to store their backups remotely on BackupBuddy Stash.Some of the other services on which it helps you store your backup are Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud etc.

    Features:

    1. Has a flexible backup schedule and enables you to set up backups on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
    2. Since this is a premium plugin, you get 1GB free storage space in BackupBuddy Stash.
    3. Allows you to manage upto 10 WordPress website from the iThemes Sync dashboard.

  2. BackWPup

    commerce website and suddenly one day you lose all your data Importance of Backup and the Best WordPress Backup Plugins

    BackWPup is free backup plugins for WordPress, with over 600,000 active installations and more than 6 million downloads. It allows users to backup their complete WordPress website and store it on Google Drive, Amazon S3, etc on the cloud or even their computers. Since the backup download is in the form of a single .zip file it is easier to restore.

    Features:

    1. It takes complete website database backup, as well as, file backup and of all the plugins installed. With the Pro version, you can even check and repair your WordPress database.
    2. BackWPup allows you to take a daily or weekly backup so that your website backup is always up-to-date.
    3. Apart from .zip it even allows you to store your backup in the following formats: .tar, tar.gz, or tar.bz2.

  3. VaultPress

    commerce website and suddenly one day you lose all your data Importance of Backup and the Best WordPress Backup Plugins

    VaultPress is a backup and security scanning service and has recently become a part of the JetPack community. If you have a JetPack subscription plan then you can easily use VaultPress. It is another WordPress backup plugin that allows you to backup your entire website including dashboard setting on a daily basis. VaultPress also has an active customer service that helps users to repair and restore their WordPress site.

    Features:

    1. VaultPress provides one-click restoration and repairs from both the VaultPress as well as WordPress dashboard.
    2. It is one of the best WordPress backup plugins as it allows you to not only backup your data but also scans it for malicious entities like malware, vulnerable codes etc.
    3. It provides real-time cloud backup solution that stores your data for one month.

Conclusion:

Choosing the best WordPress backup plugin is crucial. However, having a plugin is more important as lack of backup can prove to be fatal for your website. While backups protect you in case of a contingency, it is also wise to secure your website from external threats at the same time. Check out this post on how to secure your WordPress website. Also, ResellerClub’s WordPress Hosting offers both security and backup solutions integrated with the product and we encourage you to check it out and get in touch with us in case you have any questions.

Do drop in your comments below and keep your website safe and up to date! Until we meet again.

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Hosting

The Best Web Hosting for WordPress

A common question for anyone who has just built their website is to figure out which web hosting service to use. The options in the market are endless. The conundrum is not only to pick the right web hosting company but also which web hosting package to purchase from the many types available within that company. This blog will focus on the best web hosting for WordPress in particular and will share all the information you need to make the right decision on your own by just asking a few questions.

Why? As obvious as it may seem, making the right choice of web hosting product is critical for the success of your WordPress website or blog. Customers today judge a website in the first few seconds of a page loading. A slow page, or one with obvious security issues will lose any traffic that it attracts, for good.

Your choice will determine how efficient your WordPress website or blog will be with regards to:

    • Speed

    • Scalability

  • Security

  1. Pick the right web host:

Ask the following questions of each WordPress web hosting company you come across:

    • How long have they been in the industry?

    • How many customers do they have?

    • What reviews do you see from those customers online? (while online reviews cannot always be trusted, it should give you a general idea)

    • What kind of support system do they offer? Are there different ways to reach out to their teams? Are they available 24X7?

    • Do they offer other related web service products such as security, email and backup solutions? Purchasing everything you need for your website in one place will reduce the time you spend coordinating with different providers

    • What steps/technology do they implement to guard against security threats?

    • What is their backup policy?

    • Do they offer servers in locations closer to you? (web page speed is everything)

    • Do they allow you the ability to manage your hosting package on the go i.e from a mobile device?

  • And most importantly, do they specifically have WordPress Hosting?

  1. Pick the best web hosting for WordPress:

Once you zero in on the right web hosting company for you, you need to figure out which of their web hosting packages will suit your website. Like I already mentioned, if you have a WordPress website, you must purchase a WordPress Hosting package. Why? While a regular web hosting package such as Shared or Cloud Hosting could suffice for your WordPress website, it will not give you the edge that a WordPress Hosting package can. A WordPress Hosting environment is optimized to deliver the best speed, performance and security to a WordPress website.

Here are a list of items you should look at when considering a WordPress hosting package:

  • Pre-installed WordPress:

Good web hosting companies will offer the WordPress script pre-installed on your server to let you get started within minutes.

  • Automatic WordPress updates:

WordPress is an open-source script supported by web developers around the world. They ensure that the platform is continuously updated with the latest features and also plug any security loopholes that are detected. Therefore, a good web hosting company will offer automatic WordPress updates to ensure you face no issues with a old script.

  • Speed enhancement:

The best hosting for WordPress will offer solutions such as advanced caching and a CDN to help you deliver the fastest page speeds to your client.

  • Scalability:

How easy is it to upgrade to a higher plan once your website starts growing? For example, ResellerClub’s WordPress Hosting product lets you increase your RAM and CPU on-demand to cater to the growth of your website.

  • Security:

As the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world, WordPress is subject to a lot of security threats. The WordPress team regularly fixes security issues on the platform and releases them as updates. To ensure that your website has the best protection, look at what security solutions your web hosts provides along your WordPress hosting package. For example,

Companies like SiteGround monitor and fix vulnerabilities on WordPress and its plugins at the server level before official WordPress releases and at ResellerClub, our WordPress Hosting product offers SiteLock, an anti-malware solution to ensure robust security.

For some additional security, we recommend adding these plugins to your WordPress website.

  • Managed WordPress Hosting – How much hand-holding do you need?

A few companies will offer a version called Managed WordPress Hosting that will involve the web host managing hosting and administrative (especially technical) tasks for you. This is to let you focus on running your business and not having to worry about the technicalities of web hosting. Managed Hosting providers do this in various ways. Liquid Web, for example, manages plugin updates. ResellerClub helps takes away the worry of backing up your website with our CodeGuard integration in our packages. CodeGuard is a cloud-based backup service that backs up your data and stores it in a high-secure environment.

This should give you a good idea of how to pick the best web hosting for WordPress. Do you have a few more questions or points to add to this list? We’d like to hear from you!

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Marketing

It’s alive! Image SEO is back from the dead

Image optimization used to be a vital part of both content and on-site optimization efforts, allowing brands and marketers to use image search as a means of driving traffic to their websites. However, the successful practice of using image optimization for traffic generation was coming to an end. In 2013, Google updated its image search UI and added the now infamous “view image” button, a move that resulted in substantial declines in image search traffic across a number of different verticals.

Large brands and enterprise-level companies suffered the most damage, as they had already spent considerable amounts of effort and resources to optimize their Content Management Systems, image catalogs, captions and XML sitemaps for search engines. Image optimization was ultimately rendered useless by nothing more than a simple button and as such, fell out of use with marketers and SEO specialists.

But what no one saw coming was the complaint filed with the European Commission claiming the tech giant was knowingly using their image search UI update to divert image searchers from websites that were hosting those images in the first place. Fortunately, this story got its happy ending in February of 2018, when Google finally agreed to remove the button and bring image SEO back from the dead.

How does a simple button fit into all of this?

The issue image hosting companies had with Google’s “view image” solution is that it opens the image directly, allowing for it to be easily downloaded, instead of redirecting users to the page that hosts and licenses the actual image. Getty Images, one of the largest stock-image repositories in the world is the one who filed the complaint with the EU, claiming that Google was scraping images for the sake of, well, Google, while at the same time failing to provide credit for the original owners of said images.

Given that Google had already been fined more than €2.42bn by the EU authorities, removing the “view image” button and avoiding a costly and oftentimes lengthy trial becomes less a matter of choice and more a matter of practicality. In the end, the two digital giants managed to reach an understanding and make a mutually beneficial partnership deal, prompting Getty Images to withdraw their charges soon thereafter.

With the “view image” button finally gone, image hosting and licensing websites are starting to experience an increase in image search-related traffic. Data collected from 58 different websites shows a solid 37% increase in image search-related clicks, which is great news, once you consider that those same websites lost around 70% or all their image search traffic just a couple of years ago when the button was first implemented.

Why is image SEO so important?

Image SEO serves two main purposes:

  1. Optimizing the data normally embedded inside the image and

    Search engine crawlers rely on this embedded data to not only index different web pages, but also different on-page elements. Embedded image data includes the file name, title tag, alternative tag, meta tag and in some situations the caption and anchor text.

  2. Reducing the file size while preserving image quality.

    Image size and page load times are closely connected. The bigger the file size, the more time it will take for all of them to load. The more time it takes to load, the more likely is the visitor to abandon your website. Attributes including file size, page-load times, bounce back rates, etc are just some of the many factors considered by search engines when determining your page rank.

How do I optimize my images?

Never use images that you personally do not own or without the necessary permissions. Stock photos are the easiest solution, as long as they are used with taste, they convey your message and don’t feel out of place or out of touch. Besides stock images, you can also use graphics, illustrations or even animated gifs. Always use high-quality, reduced-file size images for your pages. If your images are still too large, you can always reduce their size by wiping the EXIF data. WordPress users are encouraged to use responsive images that have a special srcset attribute that allows them to serve different images for different screen widths and provide a custom mobile experience.

What shall we call you?

The best file name is an informative file name. It should offer clues and provide a useful description regarding the subject matter portrayed in the image. If you have an image of a black cat with a red bow, black-cat-red-bow would probably be your best option. Title tags provide the image title, while alt-tags act as an alternative text used to convey the same information and functionality as if the image were there.

Make sure your alt text contains the SEO keyword corresponding to that page, when appropriate and necessary. If you lack the necessary experience and knowledge about SEO it should be easy enough to find the top digital advertising agencies currently operating in the industry and follow their example.

What lies ahead

As bright as the future seems for image optimization practices, Google is, at the moment, the only search engine to completely remove the “view image” button from its UI. On the other hand, Bing and DuckDuckGo have kept this functionality, signalling that image SEO is nowhere near the level it once was, or potentially could be. In fact, the majority of SEO clients were quite reluctant to spend their valuable resources post-2013. The overall lack of attention and available resources might further slow down the rebound of image SEO, however, it’s safe to say that the practice isn’t going away anytime soon.

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Design

4 Easy Fixes to Restore Traffic Post Redesign

Redesigning is a big effort. The intent of redesign could be to improve content, design, product offerings, etc. to make your website more user-friendly, all in the effort to encourage more hits. However, while the purpose of redesign is to improve traffic or user experience or both, your website could actually see a decline in traffic right after the redesign. Although traffic drops after redesign is a general trend, a drop greater than 10% is worrisome.

Why does redesign cause a traffic drop?

In order to serve the new version of your webpages, Google needs to crawl and index them so a temporary drop in traffic is expected. However, if the drop in traffic is significant, it could need some fixing.

Redirects

Unless your URLs are exactly the same as before, failure to redirect old URLs to new ones can be the biggest cause of a traffic drop. This is because redirects inform search engines and browsers where the new page is and failure to do so will indicate to the search engine that the page has been removed or doesn’t exist.

The fix

Ensure your changed URL structure or your old pages are all moved to the new locations with proper redirects in place. You can log into Google’s Search Console, select Crawl > Crawl Errors and click the “Not Found” tab.

Pages without redirects will show up here.

 The intent of redesign could be to improve content 4 Easy Fixes to Restore Traffic Post Redesign

Then, implement 301 redirects for your old web pages. 301 redirects tell search engine bots that your old URLs have been moved to new ones. With this, your traffic should be back to normal in a couple of weeks.

Site Structure/ Sitemap

Another aspect Google considers during indexing is your sitemap. If your redesign is extensive, such that your sitemap also changes, you’ll probably need a new / updated site structure to prevent traffic drops. A sitemap is a basic listing of all your web pages. Again, the Search Console can help speed up the crawling and indexing to restore traffic.

 The intent of redesign could be to improve content 4 Easy Fixes to Restore Traffic Post Redesign

The fix

Create a new site structure with all the important pages in place. Try and keep the limit of pages to a maximum of 100. If you overshoot that limit, crawlers will consider a general overview rather than a complete listing.

Content

Redesign could mean improvements to content as well. However, the problem could arise when you forget to include content and keywords that either were on the old website or which bring traffic to your site. This again leads to a drop in traffic.

The fix

Give SEO priority. At ResellerClub, even though our website has undergone a couple of redesigns, we always ensure our SEO specialists are always  included in the redesign process right from the start. An SEO specialist will help you identify keywords and advise on how to increase traffic.

Robots.txt file blocking

The robots.txt file lets search engines know which pages to index and which ones not to. It’s a good practice to disable the indexing when your site is under development / being redesigned. However, it’s important to update the Robots.txt file once your new site is live. Failure to do so will continue to restrict search engines from indexing.

The fix

Ensure your Robots.txt files are always updated before you launch your redesigned site. Keep a tab on which pages are allowed to be indexed and which ones are disabled by checking your files in a browser. In the address bar, enter your website domain name followed by /robots.txt. Once here, you will be able to view your files. Here’s what it looks like:

 The intent of redesign could be to improve content 4 Easy Fixes to Restore Traffic Post Redesign

Keep these best practices in mind and you will see the traffic to your website restored. If you’re still seeing a drop in traffic, keep a check on Google Analytics which can give you some insight about where you’re seeing drop-offs. Check out these articles for more:

Getting the most out of Google Analytics – Part I

Getting the most out of Google Analytics – Part II

Getting the most out of Google Analytics – Part III

Comment & let us know if this helped!

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Categories
Design Hosting

How to Use Custom CSS in WordPress

While WordPress offers users thousands of themes to use to launch a website as quickly and easily as possible, it does not disappoint those who would love to use an existing theme and still stand out from the crowd. This is exactly what most web professionals who want to set up their own website do through tweaking the CSS of their WordPress theme or template. Not to mention that custom WordPress themes are a great way for WordPress developers and designers to earn some extra income. If you’re looking for a way to break into this opportunity or just put your own stamp on your WordPress theme, this blog is for you. Let’s explore how to use custom CSS in WordPress.

While WordPress offers users thousands of themes to use to launch a website as quickly and How to Use Custom CSS in WordPress

 

How to use custom CSS in WordPress:

  1. Directly in your WordPress admin panel:

WordPress lets you add your own CSS in WordPress to an existing theme to customize its appearance and layout in the following way:

  1. Log into the admin area of your WordPress website
  2. Go to ‘Appearances’ > ‘Customize’ > ‘Additional CSS 

While WordPress offers users thousands of themes to use to launch a website as quickly and How to Use Custom CSS in WordPress

While WordPress offers users thousands of themes to use to launch a website as quickly and How to Use Custom CSS in WordPress

TIP : When you use the custom CSS option in WordPress, your modifications are preserved in the event that you decide to switch to another theme and revert again.

 

2. Modify your CSS in WordPress through plugins:

1.SiteOrigin CSS:

The main attraction of SiteOrigin CSS is the visual controls it provides while editing the CSS of your website. With a 5 star rating from 100+ users and 200,000+ active installations, the plugin seems very well-received by most users.

Cost : None.

While WordPress offers users thousands of themes to use to launch a website as quickly and How to Use Custom CSS in WordPress

 

While WordPress offers users thousands of themes to use to launch a website as quickly and How to Use Custom CSS in WordPress

 

2.WP Add Custom CSS:

This plugin lets you add custom CSS in WordPress selectively to individual parts of your website (such as posts,web pages, etc) or of course to all of it.

While WordPress offers users thousands of themes to use to launch a website as quickly and How to Use Custom CSS in WordPress

 

3. Absolutely Glamorous Custom Admin:

Want to customize your WordPress admin dashboard? Use this plugin to tweak that CSS code.

Use this plugin to tweak your admin area including the login page, menu, backend colours, add custom content like images and text and also the tweak the CSS.

While WordPress offers users thousands of themes to use to launch a website as quickly and How to Use Custom CSS in WordPress

More Resources:

If you look at nothing but the resources offered on these 2 pages, you’re good to go !

If you think you need a little more help, check out this CSS tutorial from W3 Schools.

We hope you found this blog on ‘how to use custom CSS in WordPress’ informative. Did you find using a plugin easier or the custom CSS feature in the WordPress admin dashboard? Let us know! Also, if you’re looking for a WordPress Hosting package, check out our WordPress hosting built on the cloud that is designed to deliver the maximum performance for your WordPress website.

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Categories
Marketing

How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

In 2017, Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than 12 million pounds through his YouTube channel alone, making him one of the highest YouTube earners in the world. While it’s not easy and there are millions of YouTubers who make far less from the platform; reaching this number is very possible if you have your eye on the real prize – creating content that an audience loves. To help you get there, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you understand how to earn money through your YouTube videos.

Learn:

  • The several ways to earn money through YouTube
  • How to optimize your videos
  • How much money you can make
  • Resources to help you strike gold

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

The channel worth 12 million pounds!

———–

How to earn money using YouTube

Create great content and generate a large following:

YouTube allows monetization through its Partner Program (which we’ll talk more about later) for a channel that has 4000 watch hours in the last 1 year AND 1000 subscribers.

  • TIP – How to ensure you meet this standard

Sharpen your saw! Focus first on creating great content and keeping the large audience that it attracts engaged.

If you’re not there at the moment, don’t be disheartened. Most YouTube channels making money from the platform worked their way up for a considerable amount of time focusing first on putting out great content. Here’s a look at the top YouTuber right now. While you note the amount of money this channel earns, also note the date that it was set up.

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

You can look at the entire list at socialblade.com

  • TIP – Optimize your videos

You should also ensure that you optimize your videos for your content to help reach more people who search for content that matches your video. Similar to a website that you would optimize for a search engine, you need to optimize your video for YouTube (which is another large search engine itself).

Research search terms or keywords for every video that you upload and feed that into your keyword tags, video description and video title. There are various ways to ensure you have the right keywords for your video:

Note- YouTube (like its parent Google) is intelligent enough to detect inaccurate, inconsistent video descriptions. Attempting to scam YouTube could lead to severe penalties for your channel.

 

1 – Type the content that your video is about into the YouTube search bar:

This should give you some idea of what people are currently looking for with regards to your video

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

 

2 – Take a look at the competition for a few of the keywords that comprise your content:

You can accordingly decide which one you want to focus on more to attract that specific search audience.

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

 

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

 

3 – Another tip is to look at the top video in the search results for each keyword:

Take a look at their video titles and description and note what seems to be working for that particular video. You may find that they will not have optimized their videos at all but have risen to the top based purely on amazing, engaging video content.

 

4 – Look through other keyword research resources such as ‘Google Trends’:

Type your keyword into Google Trends and select ‘YouTube Search’.

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

 

Scroll down to look at ‘Related Topics’ and ‘Related Queries’ and switch between ‘top’ and ‘rising’ queries for more ideas.

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

 

5 – Select the Video search option in Google:

Another tip is to look at the video search results for your keyword in the Google search engine and note the videos that come up here.

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

 

6 – Feed the keywords into your video description:

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

Remember to include both short and long-tail versions of your keyword. Also try and ensure that the first 100 characters of your video description includes your keyword and is exactly what you want a viewer and YouTube to know about your video.

 

7 – Check the video transcription:

The transcript of your video also plays an important part in expanding your reach. Not just to ensure it comes up in related searches, but also to communicate accurately to viewers who are differently-abled in terms of their auditory senses and those who may find the accent in the video difficult to follow. While YouTube automatically transcribes your video, the bot is known to make mistakes especially when it seems to have trouble recognizing the accent of the speaker. It is much better to transcribe the video yourself to ensure it is 100% accurate.

YouTube allows you 3 ways to do this as you can see below.

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

 

Earning money through YouTube – Method 1 : Ads

Apply to join the YouTube Partner Program

The YouTube Partner Program will strategically place ads in or near your videos. As a YouTube creator, you will earn money based on how many ad views you receive. To join the program, YouTube asks that you meet the eligibility criteria of 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours in the last 1 year. Once you apply, YouTube reviews your videos to also ensure that your content does not contain:

  • Copied content from other creators including music without rights or permission
  • Crude/graphic, violent, dangerous, hate-filled, spam or misleading content

To join the YouTube Partner Program-

  1. Go into the Creator Studio of your account
  2. Select Channel > Status and Features from the side menu
  3. Select Enable in the monetization box

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

 

Connect to your AdSense Account:

Follow the instructions given in the next screen to connect your channel to your AdSense Account where you can earn money on ads that YouTube will place in or near your videos. It may take upto 48 hours for the connection to get activated.

  • TIP 1 -Do not create an AdSense account directly through adsense.com but follow the instructions from within the YouTube monetization flow (as mentioned in the screen above).

  • TIP 2- Make sure that the email address that you have used to sign into your AdSense account is the same as the one you have signed into YouTube with.

Set your monetization preferences:

As soon as your channel is approved, choose the kind of ads you want to run for your videos and also if you want all or individually selected videos to be monetized.

The kind of ads you can choose to appear near your videos will be:

  • Skippable video ads (5 seconds or less)
  • Non-skippable ads (15-20 seconds long)
  • Bumper ads (non-skippable ads of 6 seconds or less)
  • Display ads (either at the top, bottom or at the side of the video)
  • Overlay ads (semi-transparent ads on your video)
  • Sponsored cards (like normal cards but presented as a teaser)

You should then see the monetization icon next to your videos.

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

However, if you see a yellow icon instead, it could indicate that your video is not suitable for advertizing or just for select ads and could receive just a few ads.

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

  • NOTE- even if monetization is set for a video, an ad may not always appear. Ads are shown based on your video metadata and how advertiser-friendly your content is. Further, YouTube also tries to make sure that viewers aren’t bombarded with too many ads.

 

Earning money through YouTube – Method 2 : YouTube Red

YouTube Red is the premium version of the platform which offers several benefits including ad-free videos. You will earn money from YouTube based on how often viewers choose to watch your video content. Unfortunately, YouTube Red is only available to select countries at the moment.

 

Earning money through YouTube – Method 3 : Exposure to big advertisers as an Influencer

If your content is great and a hit with audiences, there will be a ton of brands who would love to partner with you to help create content for them (such as reviewing or talking about their products) especially if your audience profile matches their own.

I’m sure we don’t need to talk about remuneration here. However, you will need to notify YouTube by selecting the check-box that says ‘video contains paid promotion’. YouTube will still run ads for your video but will filter out ads that conflict with the brand you are endorsing.

 

Earning money through YouTube – Method 4 : Merchandising!

If your video subscribers are the ultimate fans, they will want to possess your own branded merchandise. There are a ton of YouTubers who do this really well – one of my favourite examples is ‘Cole and Marmalade’ (cat videos, of course!). Merchandise from their videos is used to support animal foster care. You can place links to your merchandize in the description.

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

Even better, just this month, YouTube rolled out a feature that places merchandise links alongside your video. At the moment however, YouTube has enabled this is select countries only.

 Daniel Middleton from the UK made more than  How to Earn Money from YouTube Videos

image source – routenote.com

As you can see, this is also a great way to drive traffic from here to your website or alternatively (if your website happens to generate more hits) to your YouTube channel. If you have a WordPress website, you could use the WP YouTube Live plugin to automatically detect live videos from your Channel and display it on your website.

 

Earning money through YouTube – Method 5 : Selling paid membership

Just this year, YouTube is allowing creators (currently only in the US) to sell paid membership to their subscribers at $4.99/month for exclusive returns such as shout-outs in videos, special access to other videos and more.

 

Resources to help you strike gold:

Learn and train through all of the following resources below to help get to the top of that YouTuber ranking list we shared from socialblade!

Check out :

 

We hope we’ve helped you learn how to earn money from your YouTube videos. Reports show that YouTubers are earning more than ever with time on a platform people just can’t get enough of!

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