3 Things to Look for in a WordPress Theme

WordPress powers at least a quarter of all websites. Nearly 60% of those using a content management system are using WordPress, making it the most successful content management system in history. Many people try to customize their WordPress site using various themes. Here are three things to look for in a WordPress theme for your website.

The Right Features

It isn’t the number of features a WordPress theme has that matters. Rather, it is whether the theme’s features are what you need. It doesn’t matter if it has a shopping cart if you don’t need one, whereas a photo gallery may be essential. Conversely, if you might need a shopping cart later, you’d rather have a WordPress theme that offers this than try to change or integrate new functions later. You also want to be able to integrate social media with your WordPress theme and add whatever types of media you expect to include on a regular basis.

If you will be collecting any user information, whether it’s payment information when someone orders an item online or collecting information about a user’s system, you need to know that the WordPress theme has built-in measures to protect the visitor’s privacy and security. And no, a privacy policy on your website does not eliminate the liabilities you create when processing their payment card information or collect their personal information.

User-Friendliness for You, the User

Avoid WordPress themes that require you to know how to code unless you already have the skill and don’t mind using it. And in any situation, choose the WordPress themes that have abundant documentation. The ideal case will be themes that are well-supported if the documentation isn’t enough, though you may have to pay for these themes. If you’re on the cutting edge of interactive content and capabilities, it may be worth it to pay for a premium WordPress theme that is maintained so that it works as browsers and operating systems change. This is where the upfront or ongoing costs need to be balanced against the features included in the theme.

Responsive Design

Search engines penalize websites that take too long to load because their customers hate slow sites, too. Your WordPress theme needs to load quickly on any type of device. You also want to strike from your list the bloated WordPress themes that hog bandwidth, whether it is trying to gather detailed data on user activity or constantly update content. It may be better to work with a company like clickintelligence.com, instead of slowing down your site by trying to gather and analyse all the user behaviour information via WordPress plugins.

Conclusion

You should look for a WordPress theme that provides the features you want and those your website needs. WordPress themes need to be easy to manage in-house without having to hire a programmer or website administrator. And last, but not least, your theme needs to be responsive, work on every device, and at the speeds your customers expect.

What Type of Person is Suited to Working in SEO?

Not everyone is suitable to work in search engine optimisation. There are many facets to the role and when working as a lead in an agency, the challenge is even greater. It’s certainly not the same as being a web designer or a web programmer, even if for small agencies there may be some overlap in the roles undertaken to save on staffing costs.

Let’s break down what type of person is likely to perform well in the SEO field.

Detail-oriented

Some people are detail-oriented, and some are not. It is possible to train yourself to focus more on the little things, but it’s an uphill struggle when it just doesn’t come naturally to you. It doesn’t just come down to creating lists to avoid having to remember every step necessary when launching a site or performing proper on-site SEO for a client; the details must be right to avoid a mistake causing a ranking issue with Google later.

Failing to complete important information is a major failure for any SEO who prides themselves on their attention to detail. When collecting the wrong information on a competitor, which will lead to choosing the wrong strategy to outrank them, is just one example where mistakes cause time and money to be lost.

Good with Software Tools

Modern SEO is conducted using various software tools. Spreadsheets might be utilised to track the ranking of individual pages, note down key information on a site’s competitors or set targets and mark them off as they’re achieved. When you’re uncomfortable using computers and industry software to perform research and track data, you’re going to struggle. Similarly, a person who finds using software second nature to them and finds a way to optimise their usage to get the most out of them is likely to be several steps ahead of their competition.

Enjoys an Ever-changing Landscape

One thing about SEO that’s certainly true is that it never stands still. This can be difficult to handle as what works today is likely to be redundant in six months to a year. When using cutting-edge techniques like those used by digital marketers clickintelligence.co.uk, the lead time could be even shorter than that.

Anyone who wishes to work in SEO should be prepared for things never to stay as they were. Doing things that way “because that’s the way they’ve always been done” is a recipe for disaster. Whereas if you enjoy the fact that the job will change, new ideas will need to be proven to see if they are working and old techniques will be thrown out for newer, better replacements, then there will be a lot to like in the SEO profession for you.

SEO is not for everyone and a job in SEO surely isn’t either. It’s perfectly fine if you’d prefer to stay with web design and not get involved with SEO at all (unless your boss expects you to be multi-skilled). However, if you match the kind of personality traits above, you could be a very good fit for the SEO trade.

Using Google Analytics in WordPress Blogs

Google Analytics is a free tool that is widely used by businesses and websites of all sizes with capabilities of working efficiently on WordPress blogs. Setting up Google Analytics in WordPress blogs does not require technical knowledge and can be done in less than 5 minutes. Tracking usually begins within hours, but you may not see any results until after 24 hours. You just need a Google account login to get started.

A major advantage of using Google Analytics in WordPress blogs is to be able to track all the activity on your site, from where visitors are coming from, popular landing pages, highest viewed content, time on site, time on specific web pages, bounce rate, and more. If your WordPress blog also features an e-commerce section then Google Analytics can track data that is specifically interesting to business owners, career section- to students after writing a dissertation who are looking for a job. Google Analytics is constantly changing and adding new features, so after you start using Google Analytics in WordPress blogs make sure that you stay up to date on the latest developments.

Setting up a Google Analytics account is quick and simple. After registering for a Google Analytics account, the blogger will be provided with a code snippet to enter into the blog’s header. There are two different ways of adding this code to the blog. If you have a basic understanding of html, you can copy and paste it on the header.php file above the tag. If you do not feel comfortable with doing this manually, or you like gadgets, then there are plug-ins available to insert this code for you. One I like to use is Google Analytics for WordPress. Search through WordPress’s free plug-ins to install one to your blog. Some of these plug-ins will allow you to conveniently view your WordPress statistics directly on your dashboard so do you do not have to log into Google Analytics each time for updates.

Adjust your analytics tracking settings when using Google Analytics on your blog. In order to block Google Analytics from tracking your activity, you can block your IP address from being included in its statistics. If you have multiple authors or contributors to your blog then be sure to ask for their IP addresses and update them periodically. Since IP addresses change from time-to-time, it is important that you keep Google Analytics updated with the latest so that it does not affect your statistics.

Author bio: Beatrice Howell, writer and editor for Phdify.com.  

A high qualification, experience in students newspapers, Beatrice works with dissertations, essays, articles, reviews, summaries and other students work, help in university selection and preparation to entry exams.

Digital Marketing Tips

When you are a start-up company or even a long established company, you don’t necessarily have the budget for huge marketing campaigns. When ROI is far from guaranteed, it is tempting to hold back on marketing altogether but then how do you attract new business? If you have a really limited budget but you know that you need to somehow attract new customers, here are some free or cheap solutions that you may want to give a try:

Website Builders 

If your business doesn’t currently have any digital presence then you are certainly missing out on huge business opportunities. Perhaps it is the expense that is holding you back from getting a website set up for your business? There are a lot more options these days for setting up websites, so you do not necessarily need to hire an expensive developer to get one set up for you. If you are a relatively small business then you may want to consider using a free website builder as offered by a number of different hosting services including GoDaddy and SiteGround.

They will provide you with all of the tools that you need to get a website set up and live, completely for free. There are some drawbacks of setting up a free website but if your options are between a free website and no website at all, surely the best option is to get one out there? Many free website providers offer easy website builder tools to help novices to get their first website online.

Free Email Campaigns 

Sending an email from your standard email account will not look half as professional as using a responsive template that you can add your branding and images to. If you want to capture people’s attention with your email marketing campaigns then there are companies such as MailChimp that will allow you to use their templates and monitor the success of your campaigns. You can get a lot of their services for free, so unless you are looking to send your campaigns to larger volumes than MailChimp allow (in their free plan), you can do it all completely for free.

Social Media Accounts 

The more channels you can use, the more people you can reach, so explore the different social media platforms that you can use to promote your business. Some platforms will suit different businesses more than others. As a starting point, you can look at LinkedIn, Facebook for business, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. You can also use Hootsuite to help you to manage multiple social media platforms to save you the time and effort of logging in to each account separately to share content. 

Design Tools 

If you are spending ages developing content to go onto your social media accounts like banners etc., have you thought about using a company like canva.com to use their templates and free icons and images? You can quickly develop designs for all kinds of marketing material without spending a penny for the design. Canva enables you to create social media content, posters, flyers etc. with considerable ease and to a professional level.

There really are lots of free and cheap marketing options out there and if you prefer to use direct marketing like mail or flyers then always look out for offers that Vistaprint and other popular online printers offer. If you go to a local printing company, you may find that you could make considerable savings by switching to an online printing provider. Don’t put a hold on your marketing when you run out of budget, simply look at cheaper marketing options!

Setting Up Your First Website

Setting up a website for the very first time can be a huge challenge, particularly if you wouldn’t describe yourself as technically-minded. However, for businesses looking to stay relevant in terms of marketing trends and consumer behaviour patterns, a website for a business is a must.

More than ever before, a potential customer will use the internet to find a product or a service and if you are not appearing in that list of results then you are missing out on a huge volume of business leads.

A website can make the difference between a highly successful business and one that struggles to attract new customers. If you are fortunate enough to have a long list of returning customers then you are probably doing okay but what about in the future? Can you afford to not pick up any new business? Of course, for local tradesmen there will always be ‘word of mouth’ referrals but people increasingly want to see a tradesman’s online ratings or visit their website before they make a decision.

If you are reading this article then you have probably already decided that you need to set up a website for your business. We have made things a bit easier for you by providing some tips to help you along the way:

Research your web host options 

You will need a web host provider to give you some server space so that your website can exist online. There are many different types of hosting companies available and they offer many different levels of service and features, so it is an area that needs some consideration before you make your choice. You can get free hosting, cheap hosting and pretty expensive hosting, so if budget is a big factor for you, take a look at the various offerings of each different type of host.

You can get shared web hosting services, which is a popular option for small business websites that do not want to spend a large amount of money on their host. Free hosting has a lot of limitations, so make sure you understand what you are taking on before you invest time in building a website using a free hosting solution.

Content management 

Who is going to be updating your website? You will need to make changes at some point, so make sure that whoever needs to update it knows how to use the content management system. For many reasons, a lot of businesses choose to use WordPress for their CMS, as it is one of the most straightforward systems for updating content.

Content plans are good too, don’t just set up a website and expect it to work well without any future work involved. Great content is what attracts new visitors to your website, so time should be spent on making it as good as possible.

Keeping content up to date and adding new content will keep it fresh and SEO friendly. Which brings us to our next point:

Understanding SEO 

If you are not looking to pay for website traffic then you will need to rely on organic traffic through SEO friendly content. The world of SEO covers many aspects from using keywords to creating in-depth content. Knowing how and when to spend time on SEO will help to ensure that your website performs well in rankings and that potential customers can easily find you. If you haven’t heard about Google algorithms then that is a good starting point and then keep up to date with SEO trends from leading marketing experts.

How to Grow your Business Online through SEO

Whatever industry you are in, you will agree on the fact that businesses just couldn’t grow th old fashioned way. Sure, traditional advertising still enjoys some appeal among large brands, but when it comes down to startups that have yet to stand on their own, different strategies need to be involved.

It is due to this issue that a lot of businesses today spend a great deal of time and resources building their brands online. It’s inexpensive, and it’s obviously the most practical thing to do in terms of attracting clients and, in the long run, grow one’s enterprise.

Businesses in Canada, for instance, are not left behind in using digital platforms to promote their products and services. At least 80 percent of businesses agree that digital marketing plays a vital role in business strategy and that entrepreneurs should focus more on using methods that will make their brands more visible in the search results.

For this, companies should not look further than SEO. For the uninitiated, SEO is about ensuring your website gets to enjoy a good influx of visitors and, more importantly, influence a purchase.

One thing’s for sure, getting your fair share of the online market does not only involve churning out content on a daily basis. In fact, it also involves hiring search engine experts  that are capable of putting your brand on top of the of the search results.

For good measure, here are some tips that can help you reach that objective.

Quality over quantity

Back then, it was always about keywords. More keywords means more opportunities to gain a customer. But then, Google found a problem with this, that is, there was a great proliferation of low quality content. Eventually, it decided to update its search algorithms to encourage business to up the ante, not in terms of the keywords they use, but in terms of the content they want to publish on their sites.

With that said, focus more on actually providing well-written blog articles or engaging graphics that would attract anyone. For sure, you will be able to grow your revenue that way while building your brand’s identity on the side.

Go beyond your niche’s demands

What’s a better way to know the type of content you want to throw out there? It begins by knowing what your niche wants. But most of the time, your niche doesn’t know exactly what it wants in a certain product. Chances are, they are looking for something different and it makes sense to try on gimmicks and other strategies that have yet to be tried out.

Be careful though. Not all ideas will end up happily ever after, so you need to know a great deal about your market before trying on different shoes.

Be consistent

If you plan on blogging daily, so be it. Make it a habit to publish every day and e sure to include information that is close to the hearts of your audience. Once you have started on your way, it eventually becomes easier for you to gain new clients while retaining existing ones.

How to Properly Design Your Website’s Homepage

Never underestimate the importance of making a good first impression. Instinctively we all know this. When we go for a job interview, we make sure that we look presentable. The salesperson ensures he or she is not just smooth with words, but looks credible and tries to build a bond of trust. The mechanic wants you to know what they are talking about and show they are an expert in the field.

Your website should do the same thing; it’s important for the whole – and crucial for the homepage. You need to put your best foot forward, and this means you have to impress the visitors of your website. But how exactly do you do that? Here’s how to properly design your website’s homepage.

Look great

The visual aspect is incredibly important – just like a sales person, a job applicant, or a politician, you want to put your best foot forward, and first impressions matter a lot. Ensure you have great visuals, engaging images and text, and that your colour scheme appeals to your target demographic. Make it clear, organised, and visually appealing. This goes for all your pages, but especially your homepage.

Talk about value

Come straight to the point, and don’t dilly-dally; tell your visitors exactly what you are about from the start and what value you have to offer to them. It may seem like a normal, obvious thing to do, but we often see too many websites that lose their audience simply because they seem to be afraid of being straightforward and clear with their purpose.

Go social

Social media has become a very powerful tool, so give your visitors the chance to follow you on FaceBook, Twitter, and all other social media outlets you are active on. This is an excellent opportunity to create a loyal customer base, advises the affordable web design Bristol professionals from It’seeze Websites.

Easy navigation

Can you imagine your first-time visitor trying to navigate your website having trouble and becoming confused? This will not do. Make it easy, straightforward, and intuitive.

Credibility

Instill a sense of trust. This can be done in many ways (via testimonials, partnering with other reliable websites, providing plenty of contact details, online support, and so on). Credibility is essential. You need to look professional and trustworthy.

One more thing should be kept in mind: your blogs are important, as they are a link to your reader and your website. This means the blog has to be relevant to the concerns of your ideal consumer, but it also means you have the perfect opportunity to hook readers. Ask visitors to submit their email address to give them regular updates. Give them a chance to interact by speaking to a representative who’s online right now. Give your visitors the chance to get to know you; that’s how a customer base is built.

Image attributed to Pixabay.com

How VR Will Shape the Future

Not too long ago, people were abuzz by an announcement that was straight out of a science fiction movie. Never have we thought about how virtual reality was going to be brought into, well, reality until the unveiling of the Oculus Rift last March 2016.

This was due to the attention that the technology itself has cultivated, spurning interest even more online. In fact, within the first few weeks it was introduced to the IT crowd, you could already see an Oculus Rift review here and there.

The news itself was met by an ecstatic crowd of tech aficionados who accept many more innovations to come in the Rift’s wake. For sure, the VR era will not stop with the Oculus Rift as other companies are tapping into this newfound market in the tech and software industry.

Just recently, Variety has pegged revenue for the VR market at $7 billion for 2017. The numbers will get even bigger as more and more startups have decided to tread into a whole new world of possibilities.

Much of this optimism has been influenced by a desire for companies to take advantage of this fascination that the general public has for VR technology. But even more so, tech gurus and consultants are confident of VR’s potential to shape innovations in the years to come.

With that let’s look at how VR can point the way to the future.

Continued revisions

Alongside praise for VR technology, there has also been a considerable amount of doubt at what it can actually provide right off the bat.

Issues such as a lack of motion control and a vertigo-inducing experience have hounded the Rift’s debut. But anyone can tell you that technology does start off in primitively, and it makes sense that VR was not perfect the moment Facebook, the brand that initiated the development of the Oculus Rift, announced its venture into this vastly unexplored arena.

There is still room to be optimistic. As Forbes contributing writer David Ewalt points out, the Rift is not that perfect a piece of technology. True that it has its downsides that critics can drool over, but like everything else in the field of technological innovation, VR can be improved even further, especially now that everyone is waiting for how the Oculus Rift 2 will fair. Ewalt even predicts that the continued development of VR technology will eventually hit living rooms everywhere. Only time will tell, of course.

Influence on other media

VR technology is every gamer’s dream. Realism, after all, is the only thing that makes a truly exciting gaming experience, and hardware such as the Oculus Rift can properly satisfies this demand for immersive gameplay.

But Ewalt also expects for VR technology to break barriers. He argues that such technology will be able to go beyond the gaming industry and affect other entertainment areas as well. We will be seeing more movies or television shows that literally absorbs viewers into the narratives. But it remains to be seen how VR can also influence other aspects of society as well, particularly warfare and disaster response.

Genio – The Ultimate App for Cleaning Businesses

Ultimate App for Cleaning Businesses

Starting a cleaning business can be overwhelming – from what needs to be done from the get-go to how are we going to grow and expand our clientele. Imagine if there was a way of simplifying the process of starting a business but more importantly, if there was a software that provided you with the resources needed to succeed? Genio, is a cleaning service management software that can help take your business to the next level. It has the ability to take the work that is often done manually, such as scheduling and automated the process. Imagine, less time worrying about who is working when and more on focusing on the clients and employees. That is what Genio offers – a house cleaning software for any sized company.

Automation = Simplification

Imagine a cleaning business software that took care of the dirty work so you can focus on the things that matter when operating a business?  Genio offers a cleaning service software free to any budding entrepreneur who is looking to not only take advantage of maximizing their time but more importantly looking to take their company to the next level.

Whether you have a staff of 4 or forty, having a house cleaning software can make the managing and operating of a business easier and efficient.

You may be wondering how this is possible?

Smart Schedule

A smart schedule allows a management team to easily task jobs to their crews but also to engage in communication with them. Doing this means that you and your team will never have to worry about any conflicts but more importantly, Genio offers real-time updates. Have a last minute booking with a client looking for immediate service? Don’t worry because Genio allows you to see who has a free slot for the time needed and reserve the time.

When managing a company, one often overlooks the importance of scheduling – it is almost second nature that we would just assume a regulated and rigid work schedule, but that is far from how the cleaning industry operates. If anything, the cleaning industry operates on spontaneity within the confines of organization and accessibility. Genio has the ability to offer a scheduling software for cleaning services that will remove the reliability on old-fashioned timesheets but more importantly paper work.

Curious to see how your company staff is doing, or maybe how many jobs are happening in a particular area of town?

You may also like: How To Secure A Small Business Loan For Your Cleaning Business

Live Map

Plot out hotspots of existing clients to see if there are any potential clients that you and your company have yet to tap in to. Or maybe, you would like to quickly see how your staff is doing with their list of clients – Live Map, offers this service. You can see the rate to which your crews are working but also the locations that you can work on retaining and growing in.

Using a Live Map, means having a cleaning service software that has not only automated and simplified the process of keeping tabs on your crew but it allows you to be connected and informed from a distance.

But, Genio offers much more than just focusing on your crew and staff – it allows for customer management.

Customer Management

If there is anything that Starbucks has taught the business world – it is that everyone looks to make things customized and personable. With this insight, it only makes sense that when your cleaning service company gets a client, one cannot assume that “clean the house” will mean the same thing from client to client. As a result, Genio’s customer management feature allows you and your staff to have pertinent customer information and job details that will assist in providing a top-notch service.

Maybe you client wants only certain things done around the house, or maybe they need you and your staff to come between a certain time in the afternoon – regardless of your client’s needs, with this feature in your cleaning service management software, you will have the ability to real-time send this information out to your cleaning crew and they can be in the know-how of what precautions need to be taken.

Being informed is just as essential as knowing how to do something, which is why one of the great features of Genio is the activity log.

You may also like: 5 Solid Reasons To Launch Your Cleaning Business

Activity Log

Unable to finish a job because the customer came home, or maybe something came up unexpectedly and you have to leave. Don’t worry, with the activity log, you can leave detailed information about jobs that need a follow-up, or that had to be rescheduled.

This feature not only enables the crew to stay informed with their colleagues but as a business owner, you have provided your crews and staff with the tool to always be informed but to succeed. With the activity log, you will be informed on when your staff check’s in and out of a job, when there are unavoidable delays or cancellations but more importantly, you can see the feedback of your clients.

Knowledge is Power the information that a company can decipher from the Genio is invaluable but more importantly, the information is something that some companies pay thousands for because they either don’t have the tools to do so or they don’t think their company is able to get this information. The reality is, so long as you are willing to invest in your company, Genio has the tools to provide you with what you and your company needs to succeed. Don’t feel misinformed or that you don’t know what is happening in you company, don’t be held back or mislead in believing that the cleaning industry doesn’t rely on technology and innovation – if anything it is an industry that is looking to always simplify and automate processes without sacrificing quality.

Don’t let the fear of technology, innovation hold you back – embrace a cleaning management software like Genio, and you will see the benefits through your clientele and more importantly in the efficiency and productivity of your staff!

SEO for online insurance companies

We normally think of SEO as something that trendy stores or start-ups would do to get some initial traction to their website. Few would expect SEO to be of any use to insurance companies. The truth is the complete opposite. Insurance businesses are not heavily advertised, which is why alternative strategies including SEO can be very useful. Even law firms like Fisher &Talwar can use SEO to educate the public about legal issues. If you are an online insurance company, SEO can become your primary marketing strategy to make up for low visibility in the offline world.Continue reading →