Gathering leads through the Blog Subscriptions Jetpack Widget

The Blog Subscriptions Jetpack Widget is easy to use and can easily bring you leads.

A popular method for gathering leads is encouraging visitors to subscribe to your site. This way, they’ll receive notifications whenever you post new content. Users can subscribe through the Subscriptions Widget.

Gathering Leads through Subscriptions
Gathering Leads through Subscriptions

This ensures that your site visitors won’t miss your latest posts. When they receive notifications that you’ve published new content, they’ll be more likely to keep you top-of-mind when they’re ready to make purchases.

How to go about it?

  • Go to your Admin Area > Appearance > Widgets
  • scroll down the widgets list to the ‘Blog Subscriptions Jetpack Widget
  • Drag the ‘Blog Subscriptions Jetpack’ Widget to the right hand side (and drop this widget in the correct sidebar). Fill in details.

Gutenberg – A Modern Publishing Experience for WordPress

Did you recently open a page or post on your WordPress website and it looks completely different? If your WordPress website automatically updates to a new version then you got Version 5.0 (or higher). WordPress has introduced Gutenberg a brand new Editor that is going to make your life easier.

Gutenberg is amazing and it gives you many new features. If you are familiar with WordPress websites, Gutenberg is going to provide you with an even better experience.

Gutenberg, WordPress’ new block-based Editor gives you more flexibility w.r.t. how content is displayed, whether you are building your first site, revamping your blog, or write code for a living.

Gutenberg is the Editor by default on all new WordPress.com sites. On existing websites it is now also the default editor if you updated to version 5.0 or higher. Should you not wish to use Gutenberg  you can continue using the Classic Editor by installing it as a plugin. Your life will be easier if you upgrade (at no cost) from the Classic Editor to Gutenberg.

Do More

  • Do more with fewer plugins
  • Create modern, multimedia-heavy layouts
  • work across all screen sizes and devices
  • Trust that your editor looks like your website

Building with Blocks

The new block-based editor won’t change the way any of your content looks to your visitors. What it will do is let you insert any type of multimedia in a snap and rearrange to your heart’s content. Each piece of content will be in its own block.

WordPress has tons of blocks available by default, and more get added by the community every day. Here are a few of the blocks to help you get started:

Freedom to Build, Freedom to Write

This new editing experience provides a more consistent treatment of design as well as content. If you’re building client sites, you can create reusable blocks. This lets your clients add new content anytime, while still maintaining a consistent look and feel.

Why Email Marketing? Why MailChimp?

Why Email Marketing?

Email remains one of the most effective marketing tools. Having a direct channel for connecting with your audience is a priceless way to bypass all the noise on the Internet.

MailChimp is one of the many email marketing providers. The service is a favourite for bloggers, small businesses as well as large corporates. And the best part is the fact that it is completely free to use up to 2000 subscribers.

Why MailChimp?

MailChimp is only one of many solutions out there. So why should you use this service?

  • As mentioned above, MailChimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers on your email list and 12,000 monthly emails
  • The service is trusted by more than seven million users
  • It integrates extremely well with WordPress
  • MailChimp is very easy to use and lets you create HTML email templates without any coding
  • It provides a superior user experience.

Need Email Marketing Training?

Why Email Marketing - Why MailChimp

Why is Security from Cyber Attack SO Important – How to Protect your Computer, Email and Website

Is Security from Cyber Attack Important?

In my case security from cyber attack is very important as in the past four years I lost two of my websites to hacking and last week I almost lost the entire content in my hard drive. A proper website can take months or even years to create – this means much time and money.

Many of us have heard cases of friends whose websites were hacked and their clients were receiving invoices from the hackers.

Once someone hacks your email he/ she has access to your mailing lists and in some cases to all your computer files as well.

Whenever a hosting company tells you that they will back-up your website – take that statement with a pinch of salt. Yahoo, my hosting company at the time was unable to recover my websites. Also, the back-up I had, was not effective. I will mention about an incredibly effective backup plugin later in this article.

Protect your Computer

  • Protect your computer from Malware. There are various reputable brands, Malwarebytes being one of the most popular. If you opt for the free version ensure that you do a weekly scan.
  • Anti-virus: Again there are a couple of good brands Kaspersky being one of the best. A great feature of Kaspersky is the fact that it shows you if a website is not safe to visit. My friend Niren Singh is using AVG Premium and he is very happy with their service.
  • Use an USB Flash Drive or some other easy, reliable storage solution. Install Cobian backup and have all your computer’s content transferred to your flash drive (or other reliable storage device) automatically and do this regularly.

Protect your email

  • Activate ‘two-step verification’ for your email account. What this means is that additionally to entering the password you must tap on your smartphone to access your email on your computer.
  • Change your password regularly. A note from my friend Andrew Gibb:  “I’ve learnt that long passwords are strong passwords, that special characters (like: !@#+-_ etc), numbers and mixed case (UpPeR and LoWeR) are important but not as important as longer passwords. Remember if you think that you’re going to forget a password, write it down and store it in a safe place – it’s not often that crooks steal physical documents”.

Protect your WordPress Website

  • Ensure you have a website that starts with https://. If your website starts with ‘http://’ change to ‘https:// immediately!
  • On a weekly basis go to your ‘installed plugins’ and update any plugin that needs updating – this takes a few seconds to do.
  • Install and enable a good security plugin. There are various including: ‘WordFence’ and ‘All In One WP Security and Firewall
  • Install and enable ‘VaultPress’ – the best back-up plugin there is (it only costs US$5/ month) and you will sleep easy. This plugin backs up your entire website every 24 hours and should your website be hacked you can restore your entire website at a touch of a button.

Your Developer/ Local IT Store

Keeping your computer, email and website safe is something you can do yourself. Additionally, keep a friendly relationship with your Developer or the Technical person at your local IT store as they are well-equipped to assist you in an emergency.

 

The Importance of Having a Good Hosting Company

This is what happens if your website does not load:

  1. your visitors won’t be able to access your site (not good w.r.t. customer service…).
  2. you won’t be able to access your Admin Area and therefore you won’t be able to do any work on your site.
  3. if you are running Campaigns on Google Ads, Facebook, Pinterest, other – visitors clicking on your Ads will be directed to a page that shows: “Page Not Found – Internal Servor Error”.. believe me, your customers won’t be impressed.
  4. Google bot will try and crawl your site but cannot find your pages. Result? Google down-ranks your site on Google search. Very bad for your SEO!!

WordPressTrainingJohannesburg.com was down for 10 hours yesterday. Talk about someone about to get a nervous breakdown…

My website http://www.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com/ is hosted by https://www.bluehost.com .  My “hobby” website https://fitandfunnow.com is hosted by WordPress.com.

I have received good service from both hosting companies and so it was with great surprise (and shock!) that I saw that my one website was not loading yesterday.

After a few online chats to Bluehost and getting nowhere I contacted Bluehost’s Head Office in the United States. They said that the server needed upgrading and that I would have to authorise upgrade from EasyApache 3 to EasyApache 4 which I did and the website was subsequently uploaded to the internet. Why request authorization? just do it…

Fortunately no such issues with WordPress.com hosting!!

Why am I writing this post? To let you know the incredible importance of having a “good” company host your website. You don’t want your website to be down… EVER!

Which companies would I recommend?

Internationally  https://wordpress.com or  https://www.hetzner.com and in South Africa https://hetzner.co.za/

Should you have a Developer and should your Developer host your website for you, then hopefully your website is in competent hands and you should be experiencing no issues.

One more note: should your site be the free version of WordPress.com then you have nothing to worry about as WordPress.com will be the host of your free website. And should you one day upgrade from the free plan to a paid (premium) plan, I would recommend your stay with WordPress.com hosting.

At times, what is expensive today is going to save you much time and money later on.

Google Ads – Why you Need to Use Broad Match Modifier

Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) recently introduced ‘Broad Match Modifier’ that lets you create keywords that are more targeted than broad match, yet have a greater reach than phrase or exact match.

With modified broad match, you put a plus sign (+) in front of one or more words in a broad match keyword. The words that are preceded by a (+) sign must appear in the user’s keyword phrase exactly or as a close variation.

The words that are not following a (+) sign will trigger ads on more significant query variations.

This feature can drive more traffic than phrase or exact match, and attract more qualified traffic than broad match.

What are examples of modified broad match phrases?

Say your broad match phrase was “red purses.” That phrase could prompt ads on relevant query variations like “red bags,” “colorful purses,” “women’s clutches,” etc.

But if your modified broad match was “+red purses,” the word red or some close variant would have to appear in the keyword phrase.

Close variants include misspellings, singular/plural forms, abbreviations and acronyms and stemming.

So the query “redd purses” or “reddish bags,” for example, could trigger your ad.

If you made your modified broad match “red +purses,” the word purse or some close variant would have to appear in the keyword phrase. Examples include “colorful purses,” “colorful purse,” or “women’s purrses.”

Hasn’t Google Ads had a feature like this before?

Google Ads hasn’t had a feature quite like this one, though years ago Google’s broad match was more targeted than its current broad match.

Broad match meant that words in a keyphrase could appear in any order in a query. Eventually Google switched over to its current version of broad match, and many people complained.

They felt that Google prompted ads for terms that weren’t necessarily relevant, requiring them to draw up long negative keyword lists.

One WebmasterWorld forum user complained, for example, that he saw queries as exotic as “zebras near chicago” for “widgets near chicago.”

How do I enable modified broad match?

Go into your Google Ads account, click on the Keywords tab, and select the keyword phrase you want to edit. Click on the current match type in the Type column and choose modified broad match from the drop-down menu. Add the necessary (+) signs to the keyword phrase.

How do I know if modified broad match is a good idea for my campaign?

If you decide to give it a try, make sure you track how your campaign performance evolves. See, for example, how your clicks, CPCs, conversions, return on investment, and so on change. Google notes in its broad match modifier overview that you can produce a performance report that just details information about modified broad match keywords.

If modified broad match keywords seem to be improving your ROI, then stick with them. If not, stay with broad match, phrase match, or exact match.

[Click on the screenshot below to enlarge it]

Google Ads - Why you Need to Use Modified Broad Match Modifier

Sources:

5 Easy But Effective Ways to Optimize your PPC Keywords >

Top 9 AdWords Mistakes You Really Need To Avoid >

What Is Modified Broad Match? Using the Broad Match Modifier in PPC >

Compress your PNG/JPG Files by up to 80% and Retain Full Transparency

I received the following email from Nur:

Hello there ,

Thank you for telling me about this WordPress plug-in to compress my pictures.

But then I discovered that adding plug-ins to my site itself causes the site speed to go down, which kinda ruins the purpose. So that is why I decided to look around for a free online tool.

After some exploring, I wanted to suggest it as an alternative to the plug in:

https://www.websiteplanet.com/webtools/imagecompressor/

This is a free online tool that allows you to compress pictures that are up to 50 MB in size both in jpeg and in png format! So maybe sharing it with your users can help them too.

In hope I helped back,

Nur

Editor’s note: Nur, I briefly went over the website and it seems to be effective. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Free Online Photo Editor

Another question I often get relates to photo editing. What is the best online photo editor?

The probability is high that Adobe Photoshop has the world’s best imaging and photo editing software. But it is not free and it has quite a steep learning curve.

There are a number of free online photo editors, one of the best-known being Canva. Besides being free, Canva is easy to use.

Free Online Photo Editor

With Canva‘s drag-and-drop feature and layouts to design, you can share and print business cards, logos, presentations and more. It has many features – you can create:

  • Poster
  • Flyer
  • Resume
  • Web Banner
  • Presentation
  • Invitation
  • Photo Collage
  • Social Graphic
  • Poster and so much more on your own or with your Team.

This is not a tutorial on canva. The objective is to show how easy it is to edit an image you already got:

How do I edit the image below to have 2 lines of text that reads: ‘Terrier dog enjoying driver’s seat’? I would like the text to be in blue and at the top and centre of the image. To view the edited image please scroll down to the bottom of this post.

Go to https://www.canva.com/ and register (click on any screenshot below to enlarge it).

What do you do? Choose one.

Invite your Team (you don’t actually need to invite anyone should you not be working in a group)

Choose what you would like to create

or just click ‘More’ if you want to edit an existing image > on the page that opens click ‘Use custom dimensions’ >

On the page that opens, enter the width and height of your image. In my case, let’s assume I would like to edit my 1024 x 768px image >

Click ‘Design’ > on the page that opens click ‘Uploads’ > click ‘Upload your own image’

Click on the image you have just uploaded > click ‘Text’

Click or drag to add text  (I chose ‘Add subheading) > Type text: for example ‘Terrier dog enjoying the driver’s seat’.

Should you need to edit further… go ahead and enjoy!

On the top right hand corner of the page click ‘Download’ > on the drop-down menu click ‘Download’

You can also access your photo on Android or iphone

Open your download > click the ‘…’ > on the drop-down, click ‘Save as…’

Go to your folder and open the image

The example above was just very basic editing. Canva offers many useful features and you can do very fine editing should you need to.

And that is it ladies and gentlemen. Trust the aforementioned is of some help. Cheers!

Can I Source on Google, Free Photos for My Website?

One of the questions I get the most often is: “Can I source on Google, free photos for my website”. The answer is: yes, you can!

Two of the most respected (and inspiring) resources for free stock photos include Unsplash and pixabay. Additionally you can also source beautiful free images on Google.

It is quite simple. Click on any screenshot below to enlarge it.

Let us assume that you are interested in free photos of ‘Terrier dogs’ for your website.

Go to https://images.google.com/ and type ‘Terrier dogs’

when the page opens click ‘Tools’ > click ‘Usage rights’ > click ‘Labeled for reuse’

Let’s assume that you would like an image 1024×768. Click ‘Size’ > click ‘Exactly’ >

Enter ‘width’: 1024 and enter ‘height’ 768 > click ‘Go’

Choose the photo and click on it

On the page that opens click ‘View image’

On the page that opens you can ‘Save image as’ (hover over the image and right click on the image and choose ‘save image as’).

Can I Source on Google Free Photos for My Website

And that’s it. I trust the aforementioned is of some assistance.

10 Tips: Increase WooCommerce Conversion Rate with Product Tables

All WooCommerce stores share a single aim: To increase conversions and get more sales. Whatever your wider business goals, that’s what it all comes down to!

If you Google ‘WooCommerce conversion rate optimisation’, you’ll find lots of general advice on how to convert more visitors into paying customers. This usually focusses on improvements to the cart and checkout. These are important, but often forget that you need to convince customers to buy your products in the first place.

In this article, I’m going to do the opposite. I’ll provide specific and actionable tips on how you can convince customers to add more products to their cart using a specific tool: product tables.

WooCommerce product tables are an excellent tool for increasing your sales. By adding well designed table layouts to your store, you can present products in user-friendly ways that make it easier for customers to buy from you.

Source: 10 Tips: Increase WooCommerce Conversion Rate with Product Tables

Consulting & Training: AdWords, Blogging, E-commerce, Email Marketing with MailChimp, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, WordPress

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