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What Are The Benefits of SEO (Search Engine Maximization)

seo

You want to attract more customers and increase your website ranking; and get your website on the front page of the search engine.

SEO (Search engine optimization) is a process created to increase online visibility for specific searched words or phrases, therefore, it works to improve your website ranking. SEO works to increase the quality and quantity of the traffic coming to your site by making changes such as improving interactivity, web page content, website speed, mobile friendliness and other core elements of the site.

To yield the best results in SEO, try to understand your customer’s needs, anticipate their intent and provide the information they are seeking. Don’t just echo the questions they are asking, but also offer solutions that are achievable and effective. Learn your customer’s habits, wants and needs; with this information you can better use SEO to create sales channels directed to them.

Benefits of SEO

1. Organic search

It has been reported that approximately 51% of a website customer comes from organic searches. These customers find their way to the websites because the content added to the website is answering their search queries, thus, they are being provided a direction for the results they seek. The content you add to your website today is the traffic of tomorrow. This is the main reason content marketing is such a key part of a successful marketing strategy.

If you are able to rank at the top of Google and other relevant search engine pages, it improves website visibility, and potential customers or readers can be lead to your content.

As of January 2022 Google reportedly has 91% of search engine traffic, that means most people do target getting on Google and ranking highly for desired keywords/phrases; therefore, it can be very competitive to get one of the top spots on the front page for searches, but when achieved, the results can can be very rewarding.

2. Creating beneficial and trusted experience for the customer

To achieve the goals of SEO and realise success in your online business, it is recommended that you follow the guidelines of the specific search engine. In addition, there are also elements that are to be included such as improving page speed, page authority building and backlinks. The website should be easy to navigate and visitors being to able to gain access to the content they clicked to see. Not only should the functionality of your website be on par, you want to gain the customer’s trust, so the content should accurately reflect the title they clicked.

Keep in mind that:

  • Website pages should load fast
  • Website should be secured
  • Website should be easy to navigate
  • It should be easy to use
  • It should have accurate, and quality content

3. Target marketing funnels and increase brand awareness

A business could see a significant impact in the first year of implementing quality SEO, though it is a long-term marketing strategy that could increase results over time. Approaches such as on-page optimization and the creation of content are two strategies that could offer great results. These and other SEO strategies can be used to drive content marketing that targets all stages in a marketing funnel and help you build brand awareness and loyalty.

4. SEO offers ongoing promotion

SEO is ongoing promotion – the ranks achieved through search engine optimization as well as the content doesn’t go away when the budget runs out, as is the case with paid advertising. SEO enables businesses to reach potential customers while they are searching online, which is any time, any day.

In conclusion

If you aim to grow your blog or online business, SEO must be a key part of your marketing strategy.

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Etsy Image Dimension

Using the correct image dimension can make a big difference in the look of your online Etsy store. The correct dimensions would ensure your images are not blurry, and present well.

The image size varies depending on where you want the image to be. The below is Etsy’s recommendation for images (sizes are in pixels):

Profile photo – 400 x 400
Shop Icon – 500 x 500
Shop banner – 760 x 100
Cover photo – The ideal size for your cover photo is 3360 x 840. The minimum size is 1200 x 300.
Team logo – 170 x 100
Item listing photo – At least 1000 pixels wide.

Item listing photos

Most people are understandably interested in having really great images for their items listings. Further to the image size being at least 1000px in width, there are also recommendations regarding image orientation. It is suggested that the first photo be horizontal/landscape or square for a better presentation after cropping. Etsy noted that they crop and resize images from the centre, so to have your images shown properly, it is advised that you centre your images. It is also good to ensure images are clear and crisp and that the colours reflect the type, mood and purpose of the listing.

Free image editing tools

If you do not have an image editing software, try an online tool to cut and resize your images:

Aviary
BeFunky
Lunapic
Photoshop Express Online

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well a great image could bring in quite a few sales, so always ensure yours are the best quality and that they look great!

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[Update] Still Waiting For YouTube Monetisation – Is it end of April or June 2018?

youtube logo

Recent changes to YouTube Partnership programme has resulted in many content creators waiting in what is seeming a very long line to be approved for monetisation.

Usually one would be able to monetise their channel right off the bat, however in April 2017, Google announced new changes where creators would have to achieve 10,000 life time views to be eligible for YouTube Partnership Programme. The requirements changed again in January 2018 – where one would have to achieve at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 minutes watched. These new rules, YouTube noted, is in an effort to weed out ‘bad actors’. Existing players were given a mere 30 days to reach eligibility criteria. Many small channels who were not able to meet these requirements and lost monetisation. It also meant that new creators had greater challenges to getting in.

The waiting period to be assessed was supposed to be a week, however, many creators who have reached the threshold will see the following message in their YouTube account:

Applications for the YouTube Partner Programme are still in a backlog. We hope to be able to review all open applications by the end of April. Thank you for your patience in the meantime.

Now, April is almost at an end and still many creators are wondering why they are still not approved. Unfortunately the wait for them might be even longer given recent updates in YouTube Help Forum. On the 19th April, 2018, a member of Google’s team posted an update in the forum where a new end date was stated:

We’re hoping to get caught up by the end of June and will let you know if anything changes.’ Of course this has not been officially announced through YouTube’s messaging system.

I do have a channel that has met the criteria and I hope monetisation will be reinstated soon for that channel. As far as I can see there isn’t much that one could do but wait.

Things to do while you wait:

  1. Review the monetisation guideline/policies and whether your videos adhere to these guidelines.
  2. Continue to upload quality content regularly and promote your videos.
  3. Examine other ways you can use your channel to earn beside Google’s monetisation.
  4. Check out alternatives such as D-tube.
  5. In general look at other ways of earning money online.

 

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3 Reasons Why Adsense Is Essential For Content Sites

Google adsense

To know why Adsense is essential for your content sites is to know first how this works.

The concept is really simple, if you think about it. The publisher or the webmaster inserts a java script into a certain website. Each time the page is accessed, the java script will pull advertisements from the Adsense programme. The ads that are targeted should therefore be related to the content that is contained on the web page serving the ad. If a visitor clicks on an advertisement, the webmaster serving the ad earns a portion of the money that the advertiser is paying the search engine for the click.

The search engine is the one handling all the tracking and payments, providing an easy way for webmasters to display content-sensitive and targeted ads without having the hassle to solicit advertisers, collect funds, monitor the clicks and statistics which could be a time-consuming task in itself. It seems that there is never a shortage of advertisers in the programme from which the search engine pulls the Adsense ads. Also webmasters are less concerned by the lack of information search engines are providing and are more focused in making cash from these search engines.

1. It addresses the needs of publishers and webmasters

The first reason why Adsense is essential for content sites is because it already has come a long way in understanding the needs of publishers and webmasters. Together with its continuous progression is the appearance of more advanced system that allows full ad customization. Webmasters are given the chance to choose from many different types of text ad formats to better complement their website and fit their webpage layout.

The different formatting enables the site owners the possibility of more click through from visitors who may or may not be aware of what they are clicking on. It can also appeal to the people visiting thus make them take that next step of looking up what it is all about. This way the people behind the Adsense will get their content read and making profit in the process.

2. Tracks earnings

The second reason is the ability of the Adsense publishers to track not only how their sites are progressing but also the earnings based on the webmaster-defined channels. The recent improvements in the search engines give webmasters the capability to monitor how their ads are performing using customizable reports that has the capacity to detail page impressions, clicks and click-through rates. Webmasters and publishers can now track specific ad formats, colours and pages within a website. Trends are also easily spotted.

With the real-time reporting at hand, the effectiveness of the changes made will be assessed quickly. There would be time to sort out the contents that people are making the most clicks on. The ever-changing demands would be met while generating cash for the webmasters and publishers. The more flexible tools are also allowing webmasters to group web pages by URL, domain, ad type or category, which will provide them some accurate insight on which pages, ads and domains are performing best.

3. Benefits of advertising on targeted websites

The last and final reason is that the advertisers have realized the benefits associated having their ads served on targeted websites. Thus increasing the possibility that a prospective web surfer will have an interest in their product and services. All because of the content and its constant maintenance. As opposed to those who are not using Adsense in their sites, they are given the option of having other people do their content for them, giving them the benefit of having successful and money-generating web sites.

Adsense is all about targeted content, the more targeted your content is, the more on target the search engines’ ads will be. There are some web masters and publishers who are focused more on their site contents and how best to maintain them rather than the cash that the ads will generate for them. This is the part where the effectiveness is working its best.

Conclusion

There was a time when people were not yet aware of the money to be made from advertisements. The cash generated only came into existence when the webmasters and publishers realized how they can make Adsense be that generator. In those days, the content were the most important factors that is taken quite seriously. It still is. With the allure of money, of course.

Pros and Cons of Making Your Own YouTube Videos

youtube logo

Are you one of the millions of internet users who enjoy watching free videos on YouTube? If you are, the thought of creating your own YouTube video may have crossed your mind; has it? If so, you may be wondering whether or not you should make your own YouTube video and then upload it to the YouTube website. When making your decision, it is advised that you can examine the pros and cons of doing so.

When it comes to making your own YouTube video, there are a number of cons or downsides to doing so. Perhaps, the biggest downside to making your own video and then uploading it to YouTube is that you are essentially sharing the video with the whole world. Many individuals mistakenly believe that their videos will only be seen by YouTube members, but that isn’t the truth. Any internet user, even those without a YouTube account, can view videos on YouTube. In fact, it is not uncommon for YouTube video viewers to email a YouTube video link to those that they know. Therefore, the views that your YouTube videos may get may be more than you ever expected or wanted.

Since any video that you upload to the YouTube website can be viewed by just about anyone with an internet connection, you may want to be careful with the amount of information that you disclose. For instance, if you are doing a video blog, you might not want to give your real name or at least not your full name. It is also important that you don’t mention where you live. If you want, you may want to outline the state that you reside in, but never give the city or town, especially if you disclose your name. You will want to try and refrain from giving any personal information to any YouTube member, even those who send you personal messages asking for information. As with most online website, YouTube can be a dangerous place, but you should be able to stay safe as long as you stay aware.
youtube
Although there are a few downsides or cons to uploading your videos to the YouTube website, there are also a number of pros or plus sides to doing so. One of those pros is ease of use. Even if you consider yourself to be unskilled with computers, you should still be able to make, upload, and share your video or videos on YouTube. In all honesty, all you need is a video recording device, like a camcorder or a webcam, and a movie editing software program, which now comes standard with most computers. Once you have your video on your computer and edited, if you wish to do so, you will just need to follow YouTube’s step-by-step uploading instructions and then your video should be ready for sharing, in as little as a few minutes.

Another pro to using YouTube to share your own videos with other internet users is uses. Although a large number of internet users use YouTube videos for fun or for personal reasons, there are many others who use them for business or at least to up their exposure. You need to remember that millions of internet users watch videos on YouTube. While your YouTube video will be unlikely to get one million views, you could get quite a bit. Whether you are advertising your services, like as a website designer or an online actress, you can do so through YouTube. The only thing that you will want to do is try to not take the spam approach. If you are advertising yourself as a website designer, try taking a few videos of you making a website or use your video to explore websites that you have made. Simply adding your business information at the end of the video is a great way to get your point across, but without making your YouTube video seem as it is an advertisement.

As you can see, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages, or pros and cons, to making your own YouTube videos. As stated above, it is advised that you use your best judgment. Of course, you can post a video on YouTube if you want to do so, but just make sure that you are doing so safely.

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Making a YouTube Video: Pieces You Should Try

Youtube

Do you enjoy watching videos on YouTube? If you do, have you ever thought about making your own YouTube videos? While making a YouTube video may seem like a complicated process, it actually isn’t one. YouTube makes it so easy for you to upload your videos that the hardest part isn’t actually uploading them, but making them.

When it comes to making a YouTube video, one of the biggest problems a person has, especially a first time YouTube video maker, is deciding what type of video they should make. Of course, you have the option to make whichever type of video you want, within YouTube’s guidelines of course, but there are a few video pieces that you may want to closely examine, as they are great for beginners.

So what are the popular types?

Video blogs

One of the most popular video types currently found on YouTube are video blogs. Video blogs seem to be taking over traditional, printed blogs. Instead of venting about their day in print, many bloggers are now getting in front of the camera. Video blogs are easy to make, as you pretty much just summarize what is going on in your life. Of course, you need to keep safety in mind, when making a YouTube video blog. If you want to outline your day, week, or month for other internet users to see, you will want to do so without giving up too much information about yourself, like your full name, address, or phone numbers.

Comedy

Another one of the most popular video types currently found on YouTube are comedy videos. Comedy videos tend to include standup comedy, skits, as well as comedy sketches. If you have aspirations to be a comedian or even if you and your friends just like being funny, you may have the makings of a great YouTube video. Of course, if you are making a comedy video that involves other people, like your friends, you need to make sure that they know that you are planning on uploading the video to YouTube, for the entire world to see.

Sharing information

If you would like to create a more serious YouTube video, one that may be used for informational purposes only, you may want to think about creating a how-to video or a do it yourself (DIY) video. These types of videos are great for first time YouTube video submitters. If you are interested in creating a how-to video, you will want to make a video on something that you enjoy or one of your hobbies. For instance, if you like making your own candles, you may want to think about making a YouTube video or multiple video segments on how to do so.

Playing video games

If you enjoy playing video games, you may also want to make a YouTube video about them. As it was previously mentioned, there are a large number of first time YouTube video submitters who prefer making videos about something that they know or love. If you have an old video game or even just a traditional, vintage board game, you may want to make a YouTube video on it. Your video could include information on the history of the game or even tips on how to play it, and so on.

Choices choices

As you can see, there are an unlimited number of video pieces that you can create for yourself and a large number of them are perfect for your first YouTube video. If you are looking for more information on popular YouTube videos, you are urged to examine the YouTube site. You can easily examine a video’s popularity by looking at its ratings or by seeing how much it is being discussed. Examining currently posted YouTube videos is a great way to give you ideas. It is also likely to up your chances of making a YouTube video that will be popular; one that will be watched or one that will be talked about.

When starting…

The decision as to what YouTube video you want to post as your first one is yours to make, but you may want to think about starting out small. After you have tested the waters, you can move onto bigger and better YouTube videos, should you wish to do so.

5 Great Rules in Website Design

Create an online presence

With regards to your website, additional consideration ought to be paid to the details to ensure it performs ideally to fulfill its need. Here are five essential guidelines to make sure your website performs well.

1) Avoid splash pages

Splash pages are the main pages you see when you land on a website. They typically have a lovely picture with words like “welcome” or “click here to enter”. Quite often, they are just like lovely pictures with no genuine reason. Try not to give your visitors a reason to exit your website – which sometimes happen when they encounter these pages. Instead, give them a reason to stay and explore further.

2) Avoid excessive banner adverts

Instead of adding too many banner advertisements, weave your affiliate links and other adverts into your website content. This way it doesn’t come across as overt and annoying.

3) Use straightforward navigation

You need a basic and exceptionally clear navigation menu that anyone, regardless of age, can easily utilize. Avoid confused Flash based menus or multi-layered drop down menus. If your visitors don’t know how to explore your website, they will leave.

4) Have an unmistakable indication of where your user is

Do not confuse visitors – they should know where they are on your website at anytime and be able to browse the information they seek and move to other areas of the website they wish to.

5) Avoid utilizing sound on your site

Be careful of how you add audio to your website – this can be quite annoying, especially if you add it on several pages or in a sidebar. If you do include sounds, ensure visitors can easily turn it on or off if they wish to.

A Short Small Business summary

Small Business

Small business is a term that we use day-to-day. That is because in the past decade the rise of small businesses has been higher than in earlier decades. This is could largely be attributed to the increasing number of services and opportunities that are available to small business owners, to enable them to start and keep their business running.

Small business guidelines

There really isn’t any guidelines for when the term small business is used, however it is often defined as a business which has a small number of employees and/or the nature of the business. How few employees is debatable, and the definition of when a business changes from a small business to a larger corporation varies by country and industry. This number is however generally less than 100 employees.

Types of businesses that are small businesses

Small businesses due to their nature, are in most cases sole proprietorship, partnerships, or privately owned corporations. In many countries, small businesses, are most often related to: accountants/book keepers, restaurants, consultancy services, guest houses, photographers, small shops, hairdressers, tradesmen, solicitors, lawyers, small-scale manufacturing, customised jewellery etc.

Mode of operation

Small businesses in some cases are located in private homes, for two main reasons. The first is because it is economical and in most cases convenient. The second reason is that there are several tax benefits with having your business in your home.

In a nutshell

Running a small business is an exciting venture, and a great way to introduce yourself into the business world, and to gain business sense and creating economic livelihood. If you are interested in starting your own small business, find out more about your industry and your business market potential. I would also recommend getting some advice from an accountant or lawyer specific to your industry and local area.

Good luck with your new venture!

3 Ways For Driving Traffic To Your Website

3 Ways For Driving Traffic To Your Website

This article looks at three ways you can increase traffic and boost sales.

Your website is ready. It sits there while you wait for anyone to come to along, view your products, and yes, hopefully, buy something! However, it has been several months and very little or nothing is happening.

You need targeted internet traffic and sales for your online business to grow and thrive.

Your ultimate goal is to generate targeted traffic. You want to gain the interest of your target consumers and drive them to your website. You can achieve this by working on the advertising and marketing aspect of your e-business. There are a number of ways to generate this traffic, including using the below methods:

1: Search Engine Optimization

If people search through major search engines, type in their search keywords and your website comes up, chances are you could expect more website traffic than you could handle. Therefore you could aim to rank heavily on the main search engines such as Google and Bing.

This however does not usually happen overnight. It will likely take a lot of time and effort to achieve this. To aim to make your presence felt and known on the internet could begin by becoming one of the top sites in the results page when a keyword query is made. As such, you could try filling your website with articles reflecting the relevant keywords about your product and service. These could be articles or pages that offer potential customers valuable advice and other crucial information.

SEO takes time so this may not be the quickest approach. It is advisable, therefore, to employ multiple methods to generate more web traffic.

  • You could try buying traffic from vendors to generate website hits.
  • You could buy traffic with Google’s and Yahoo’s pay-per-click programme.
  • You could use Facebook advertising.

How this works is that you determine and identify your target market’s possible keywords and bid for these words or phrases. This may be costly, but it would generate hits.

Of course, it doesn’t end there. You will then have to focus on converting those hits into sales. You have to keep your customer’s interest with an interesting website to begin with.

2: Syndicate your site

There are many websites that would allow feed burning. You would have to create Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds that would link your content and blog to other websites.

Make sure that you are providing informative and interesting information on your blog, to appeal to potential customers. RSS feeds may increase website hits but they may not generate profit or sales leads, if your website is boring or doesn’t inspire trust.

3: Create useful, informative and interesting article content

Again, it doesn’t matter if your website is generating thousands of hits. It also doesn’t matter if suddenly, your website is generating more traffic than you could handle. What is really important is that you are earning profit from this traffic.

You need to provide your prospective customers with quality web content. The content should be responsive to their need. Write as many articles as you can or hire someone to write them for you. You must provide your customers information on how to solve their problems. Keep your articles fresh, updated and relevant to your customer’s needs or problems.

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Google Adsense Plugin Deprecated

Google Adsense Plugin

Google created the Google Adsense plugin to offer an easy way for publishers to integrate Google advertisement into their websites. It automatically suggested places to insert ads and all one had to do was select their preferred positions for showing the ads.

For me, this was convenient and I’m sure for many of you also. However, it seemed many people did not like this plugin, due to what they considered its lack of flexibility, inconsistency and limitations. In addition, there were reports that it just did not work or that it broke, which is undoubtedly why the Google Adsense plugin is now deprecated. As such, it begs the question whether Google had put enough effort into creating, updating or maintaining this plugin.

Google Adsense plugin deprecated

Google Adsense plugin rating

The plugin has now been deprecated, so if you have ads on your website that was created using this plugin, as of April 5, 2017 you are no longer able to modify ads using the plugin and as of May 3, 2017 you will not have access to the plugin front end.

Key dates

  • Early March, 2017: New publishers will not be able to sign up for AdSense by using the plugin.
  • Early April, 2017: Existing publishers will not be able to change their ad settings or ad units through the plugin.
  • Early May, 2017: Google will no longer provide support for the plugin.

What should you do?

Even though your ads will still work for a while, choose  an alternative now, then deactivate and remove the plugin. Always make sure that your website is updated with the latest plugin versions and themes. When a website is not updated it creates the possibility that the website could be hacked. Therefore, it is never recommended to keep deprecated or outdated plugin on your website.

Google has noted some guidance for affected publishers. However, it might be easier to find other suitable plugins on WordPress to get the job done.

Popular WordPress Plugins for Google Adsense

There are a number of popular WordPress alternatives for Google Adsense including those listed below:

  • Adsense Plugin WP QUADS – 40,000+ active installs and a 5 star rating from over 350 users.
  • Advanced Ads – 30,000+ active installs and a 5 star rating from over 270 users. It can also be used with other ad platforms and affiliate marketing programmes.
  • Ad Inserter – 50,000+ active installs and a 5 star rating from 164 users. It can also be used with other ad platforms and affiliate programmes such as Amazon Affiliates.
  • WP-insert – 30,000+ active installs and a 4.5 star rating from 125 users. It can also be used with other ads platforms and affiliate programmes.
  • AdRotate – 50,000+ active installs and a 4 star rating from 438 users. It can also be used for other ads platforms and affiliate programmes.

There are of course a number of others worth considering but these are some good ones to start with.

Will Google offer another Adsense plugin?

From all indications, no. Google has no replacement plugin for the Google Adsense Plugin. They have noted that they have ‘new innovative features’ such as,  ‘automatic ad formats and other upcoming initiatives’. Hopefully we will soon see what that’s all about!

Conclusion

Google Adsense plugin worked for some people, however, it didn’t work for many others, as shown by the ratings. If you have it on your WordPress website; backup your website, install a new ad plugin and remove the Google Adsense plugin. There are some really nice alternatives to choose from.