Recent Posts

5 Upcoming WordPress Changes to Look Out for in 2020

By Christa Escudero |
WordPress has come a long way since launching in 2003. From a simple publishing system that allows people to write and post blogs, it ...

5 Upcoming WordPress Changes to Look Out for in 2020

By Christa Escudero |

Upcoming WordPress Changes to Look Out for in 2020


WordPress has come a long way since launching in 2003.

From a simple publishing system that allows people to write and post blogs, it now powers different websites — ecommerce stores, forums, job boards, and more.

And it shows no signs of stopping.

Now we’re on our way to 2020 — what updates does WordPress have in store? And how will these affect your existing website?

Here are 2020 forecasts for WordPress, along with tips on how your website can keep up with the changes.

Big WordPress Changes Coming in 2020 and Beyond

1. Gutenberg will revolutionise how people create content


Gutenberg made headlines last year when it was released as the new WordPress editor.
As a block-based editor, Gutenberg makes it easier to build content and layouts. The building blocks include regular text, images, video embeds, widgets, and more. It’s expected to reduce extra plugins needed for contact forms and columns.

This makes it ideal for media-rich pages and posts.

And while not a full-blown page editor yet — Gutenberg’s end goal is to “go beyond the post into page templates and ultimately, full site customization.”

As of now, the Gutenberg plugin is still in beta, with developers releasing it as a plugin to gather user feedback. It is expected to be released to the core platform soon.

How to keep up: Give it a try!


Gutenberg will revolutionise how people create content
If you’re not tech-savvy person, Gutenberg is the editor for you.

You can create eye-catching layout, add call-to-actions, and anchor links to your headings. There’s so much you can do to provide your audience a good reading experience.

Though Gutenberg’s reviews have been, erm, less than favourable — you can always test the plugin out for free.

2. WordPress will be more than just a CMS platform


If you’ve been keeping up with WordPress in the past months, you likely have heard of REST API.

REST, an acronym for Representational State Transfer, is an API that’s adopted by tech leaders like Facebook and Google. Developers prefer it thanks to its simple structure and use of lesser bandwidth.

For a while, REST API was an independent plugin that developers could experiment with. But its recent integration to the core platform signals WordPress’s move towards becoming a “fully-fledged application framework”.

You can read more on REST API on WordPress’s official developer page.

How to keep up: Diversify your online presence


WordPress will be more than just a CMS platform
With WordPress REST API, you won’t be limited to platforms like say, PHP.

It creates an exciting opportunity to start mobile apps using WordPress. Say for example you run an ecommerce site — now you can easily extend your desktop experience on mobile.

WPblog has a great step-by-step guide to using WordPress REST API.

Don’t limit yourself to mobile apps, experiment with other web projects like new plugins. The more you explore WordPress API, the more you understand how powerful this feature is.

3. More languages will be supported


More and more people will be using WordPress. And they’re not just confined in one location users are from all over the world.

That means more languages are needed in the platform.

Predictably, developers will meet that demand and integrate more languages into themes, plugins, and even in the core platform.

How to keep up: Localise your content


More languages will be supported in WordPress
Content localisation is important, especially if you’re targeting a specific region.

Translate your content to their local language. While doing so, consider differences in spelling for each reg. For example, personalise and colour in British English is spelt as personalize and color in the U.S. respectively.

Also, use terms that are specific and sensitive to your audience’s culture and lifestyle. Take note of idioms that may mean one thing for a region but a different one in another.

Lastly, localisation does not just involve text content, but also visuals.

Some colours, symbols, and images mean differently for each region. So use the right ones for your website!

4. There’ll be more accessibility


The REST API doesn’t just make it possible for developers to create WordPress-based apps. It also allows developers to make platforms that are user-friendly for the sensory-impaired.

Coupled with the existing WP Accessibility plugin and the WordPress Accessibility Handbook, there’s a lot of room for websites and apps that are usable for everyone.

How to keep up: Build your website with accessibility in mind


There’ll be more accessibility in WordPress
Good user experience is inclusive. It considers the needs of users from all walks of life — including the specially-abled.

That said, make your website more accessible to them.

  • Add toggles so users can adjust contrast, font size, and saturation.
  • Write descriptive content for screen readers to understand. That includes your call-to-action buttons, image alt texts, anchor texts for links, and many others.
  • Build a website design that’s convenient for keyboard-only users.
  • Evaluate your website’s accessibility using online tools.

5. WordPress will grow bigger than ever


In 2019, WordPress powers 34% of the entire internet. That number has been steadily increasing since 2011.

If you consider content management systems alone, it holds a whopping 60% of the market share.

With all these radical changes happening to the platform, there’s no doubt that the trend will continue.

And as more people benefit from WordPress, more developers will aim to accommodate the demand. This means more plugins, themes, and other WordPress-centric tools.

Who gets happy to have access to abundant tools? More users of the internet!

It’s an endless cycle of increase in demand and supply — a growth that’s unstoppable.

How to keep up: Get a WordPress hosting service


WordPress hosting service
There’s never been a more perfect time to use WordPress to get your business online.

With an intuitive content editor, tools for better localisation and accessibility, and opportunities to scale, it’s easy to build an online presence that attracts traffic, generate leads, and earns revenue.

Conclusion

The future looks bright for WordPress. All these predictions pose a good run for the platform in 2020 and the following years to come.

What about the future of your website?

Take note of these fearless forecasts as you strengthen your website and make improvements. When your website keeps up with progress, its future will be bright, too.

7 Ways to Optimise Your Website for Local Search

By Analuz Abing |



Imagine this — it's rugby season, and you're looking for a sports bar in your area.

So you whip out your phone to Google. And just like that, you find one bar where you can watch the games with your friends.

Your customers are doing the same thing. They're on their phones finding nearby products or services. And as many as 88% of consumers actually visit a local business within 24 hours of searching for them online.

To increase visibility in location-based searches, you'll need local SEO. It's a strategy that helps startups, brick-and-mortar-stores, and smaller businesses stay relevant.

Use this local SEO guide to stand out online and drive more foot traffic to your offline store.

Optimise Your Business Website for Local SEO

1. Provide your NAP details


NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number.

Search engines — like Google — take your NAP data into account and use it to decide what businesses show up on geo-targeted searches.

So make sure you input correct and consistent details on your website. You'll also want to display it in visible areas, like on the header or footer.

Sure, this sounds like common sense advice. But you'd be surprised on how many misleading data float around the internet these days!

2. Target local keywords


When targeting keywords, go local.

Local keywords comprise your targeted niche and geo-specific terms, like "pediatric dentist Melbourne" or "plumbing repair Adelaide".
Local keywords produce lower search volumes. But keep in mind that you're looking at traffic that's more likely to convert.

Search Engine Journal details a great step by step guide to leveraging local keywords.

You can also use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool or Ubersuggest to find top local search terms in your industry.

3. Localise your link building strategy


Link building is a key strategy to ranking in organic searches. "Localise" by earning quality local backlinks.

Search engines favour authority over the volume of backlinks you have. So, focus on earning backlinks from sites with relevant content and high domain authority.

You can also try the following tips:

  • Join local social media communities in your niche/industry. This helps you network with like-minded people or businesses.
  • Sponsor community events. Most local businesses find a way to get involved in local events. Not only is it a way to show support, but it's also an opportunity to get your website featured on their event page.
  • Guest post. Reach out to industry bloggers and local news sites. Remember to create quality content to earn a reputation as a trusted contributor.
  • Reach out to local influencers/bloggers. Influencers often require money, but you can always negotiate or go for micro-influencers.
  • Host local events. Putting up an event page on your site usually results in mentions by local news sites.

    4. Secure a spot in Google's Snack Pack


    All local businesses aim to get to Google's Snack Pack. It displays the top three businesses in a specific location and niche. You'll see it right on top of local SERPs (search engine results page).

    With its prominence, companies that appear on the Snack Pack invite more conversions.

    How do you win the snack pack?

    We won't fluff our words here. Getting a spot in Snack Pack isn't an easy, overnight thing.

    You need to consider these small, yet crucial details:

    • Specify your business category. The more specific the category, the better. For example, instead of just "dentistry", think of the particular service you offer. You can say general dentistry or cosmetic dentistry.
    • Insert your niche in your business name. Example, John Doe Pediatric Dentistry, Carlton Periodontics Group.
    • Don't forget your meta tags. Double-check your title and description tags and make sure they fall within character range (title tags are 50 to 60 characters, description tags are between 160 to 200 characters). Also, focus on your local keyword and place it on the beginning of each tag.
    • Add your local information in all your web pages. Primarily your business name, address and phone number.
    • Remove bad backlinks. These are irrelevant inbound links directing to your website.
    • Grow your social media engagement. Increase your followers and likes on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Google considers these social signals as additional points to place you on the snack pack.

        5. Setup a Google My Business (GMB) profile


        Google My Business signals are the top ranking factor for Google Snack Pack. It's a free business directory, so you should have no problems with getting listed!

        Listing your business in GMB tells Google that your business exists. Once you create a listing, GMB verifies and matches your business to specific local searches.

        When setting up your GMB account, remember to specify the following info:

        • Add a unique business description that includes your website link.
        • Add your local phone number and address similar in your website, social media accounts, and other local directories.
        • Add your business hours.
        • Choose the right business category.
        • Upload high-quality business photos.
        • Verify your GMB listing.

          6. Build local citations


          Did you know that citations are the fourth most important factor for local search ranking?

          You build local citations through mentions of any NAP or other business information online.

          Get quality citations through online business directory listings. This includes your GMB listing as search engines trust them.

          Aside from GMB, you can opt to list your business on directories like Yelp, Foursquare, and Yellow Pages.


          Recommended: Reach local customers with Crazy Domains Business Directory


          There are several other ways to build citations for your local SEO campaign, including:

          Industry- and geo-specific directory listings

          For example, you have a dentistry business in Australia. You can list your business in Australian Dentists Directory, Australian Health Directory, Dental Find, and more.

          Create or earn supplementary citations

          These are citations you earn through publications involving the use of news sites, government databases, maps, etc.

          6. Get online reviews


          Online reviews play a key role in influencing a buyer's decision. And while this is a wide-known truth, what most people don't know is that reviews actually impack local search ranking.

          In fact — the volume, frequency and diversity of online reviews rank third on Moz's 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors.

          How to earn online reviews?


          • Create more review portals by listing your business on online directories. This makes it easier for customers to leave feedback.
          • Link directory sites on your website. Set up directory buttons to turn visitors to your directory listing.
          • Give rewards such as discount coupons, freebies, gift cards, etc. to encourage customers to talk about their buying experience.
          • Ask reviews through a follow-up email after a customer's purchase. Keep it short and engaging. Make sure to link your email signature to review portals where you want them to leave reviews.
          • Show off positive testimonials from previous customers. You can share it on your website or through a social media post. This does not only make a good impression but encourages other customers to give their feedback too.
          Get positive reviews as much as possible. The best times to ask are during re-orders, social media mentions and referrals. If there are negative reviews (as they're unavoidable), give a professional response quickly to redeem your reputation.

          Conclusion

          Local SEO helps you reach out to your local market. Don't miss the opportunity to let people in your area know you exist!

          Use this simple guide to build a local SEO strategy, and say hello to higher search traffic and larger customer base.

          Why .STORE is the perfect domain extension for your ecommerce business

          By Alisha from Radix |
          Why .STORE is the perfect domain extension for your ecommerce business


          Ecommerce business is (undoubtedly) on a boom! The more new businesses that come, the more they are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the domain name that best highlights their business.

          With over a thousand new domain extensions to choose from, domain names using .store are resonating the most with both SMBs and ecommerce giants such as Amazon (www.kindle.store).

          To better understand this, the article will highlight the following points:

          • The importance of a domain name in branding your online store
          • .store – the perfect choice for businesses that are selling online
          • Tips to keep in mind when picking a domain name for your business
          • Tips to come up with a great .store domain name

          Let’s dive in!

          The importance of a domain name in branding your online store

          New ecommerce businesses with exceptional domain names are sprouting up almost every day. This makes it crucial for you to stand out from the competition and get a domain name that breaks stereotypes and helps your business.

          Did you know that picking the right domain name is the first step to setting up an online store? (Your website design and promotional plan come much later).

          The reason your domain name trumps everything else is that it’s the first touchpoint of your business with your potential customers. They’ll form an opinion just by being exposed to your domain name.

          Top marketing experts are of the opinion that a domain name can be one of the most valuable assets a brand can own — one that can take the business to new heights. And they’re not wrong. A long, clunky, hyphenated, or complicated domain name is hardly memorable. Worse, it could come across as spammy!

          .store – the perfect choice of domain extension for businesses that are selling online

          Why .STORE is the perfect domain extension for your ecommerce business
          As a word that has been long linked with the act of purchasing or the place where you go to make a purchase, .store distinctly communicates what your business does. This makes it the perfect choice of domain extension for businesses that are selling online.

          It’s easily understandable, and it allows you to have a domain name that is short, slick, creative, and memorable — a perfect blend of quirkiness with functionality. www.husk.store is a great example of a business that sells dry fruits and nuts online.

          Tips to keep in mind when picking a domain name for your business

          Here are five tips to be cognizant of when finding the perfect domain name for your ecommerce business.

          1. Make sure it’s searchable


          Why .STORE is the perfect domain extension for your ecommerce business
          SEO will take up a major chunk of your time. So, when finding a domain name for your business, keep the SEO factor in mind.

          A contextual and keyword-rich domain name can help double up as intuitive search keywords that can benefit search queries. A domain name that is clean and optimised for search on the Internet is future-proof.

          Consider the following example:

          One of the top airlines, Emirates has two domain names. The organisation uses www.emirates.com for their commercial website and use www.emirates.store for their merchandise website.

          When you conduct a Google search for “Emirates Merchandise”, guess which website shows up as the first organic result?

          Why .STORE is the perfect domain extension for your ecommerce business

          2. Keep your domain name short and simple


          In the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

          A good domain name is short and simple. That’s what makes it memorable. Anything more than 18-20 characters or three words is too much for a domain name. Choose a web address that’s easy to type and decreases the chances of being misspelt.

          For example, a one-word, snappy domain name such as www.twirl.store is so much more efficient and striking than www.everydaysustainableliving.com.

          3. Make it voice search-friendly


          Why .STORE is the perfect domain extension for your ecommerce business
          Unless you’re living under a rock, you’re aware of voice search turning the tide in the way search is conducted.

          With Alexa, Siri, other virtual search assistants taking over the search for humans, having a domain name that’s easily understood is imperative.

          Here’s how you can test if your domain name is voice-search friendly or not:

          Say it out loud on the phone and ask the person on the other end to log onto your website. Are they able to understand it clearly or do they ask for spellings or other details?

          For instance, www.slide.store is beyond a doubt voice search-friendly.

          4. Make it brandable


          Any domain name that’s free of any grammatical and lingual errors is a great domain name.

          Avoid using hyphens, numbers, abbreviations, misspelling, in your domain name. That will confuse people and fail the voice search test. Worst-case scenario, it may direct people to your competitor’s website. That beats the purpose of keeping it short and simple.

          A brandable domain name is one that’s easy to have a handle on. For example, www.giveawaygoodies-4-free.com is messy when compared to www.giveawaystuff.store.

          5. Ensure your domain name is legally protected


          Why .STORE is the perfect domain extension for your ecommerce business
          Part of your domain name research must include looking for any trademark or copyright issues with the name you’ve decided to pursue.

          Pick a name that not only is valuable to your brand but is also free from any possible legal hassles. Check the local and international trademark and copyright directory to be thorough.

          Tips to come up with a great .store domain name

          There are multiple ways you can come up with a quirky domain name for your business. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

          Why .STORE is the perfect domain extension for your ecommerce business

          Conclusion

          With all the points mentioned above, a .store domain name for an ecommerce website is downright one of the smartest choices.


          Alisha Shibli is a Senior Content Marketing & Communication Specialist at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, including .STORE and .TECH. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

          7 Wordpress Themes that are Perfect for Halloween

          By Faith Lisondra |
          7 WordPress Themes That Are Perfect for Halloween There’s no denying it — Aussies love Halloween. In fact, Halloween spending in Australia continues to rise year after year.

          ‘Tis the season not just for trick-or-treating. Take this time to spike your sales up and boost your revenue.

          Seasonal promos and discounts should give customers a good case of the heebie-jeebies. But to fully immerse in the spooky trend, you’ll need to redesign your website.

          If you’re using Wordpress, you won’t need the help of a web designer. You only need to find an awesome Halloween template and install it on your website.

          Don’t fret. We’ve rounded up the best Wordpress themes you can use that’ll bring on the thrill (and the conversions!).

          Wordpress Themes You Can Use for Halloween

          1. A landing page for your Halloween event


          7 WordPress Themes That Are Perfect for Halloween Halloween is a great time to organise a themed event for your staff or customers. So make sure to dress your website for the occasion!

          This Wordpress template screams Halloween from all angles.

          The colours, fonts, and graphics give off an eerie yet unexpectedly thrilling aesthetic. Your site visitors will want to know what the event is about. They’ll even stick around to know more about your business.

          2. An awesome Halloween party page


          7 WordPress Themes That Are Perfect for Halloween Australians sure know how to throw a Halloween party. That’s what this PartyMaker Wordpress template is about.

          This Halloween-inspired theme brims with background photos that transform scary into adorable. 

          Customise the homepage to include all the essentials — an About section, your products and services, a gallery, and your contact info.

          Plus, the PartyMaker theme has a responsive design that adjusts to fit your desktop, tablet, or mobile screens.

          3. A web design to introduce your Halloween-themed business


          7 WordPress Themes That Are Perfect for Halloween If you own a Halloween-themed business, you’re in luck.

          Grab this chance to spice up your website with this Wordpress template.

          This sleek, minimalist template gives the right amount of spooky without being over the top. This way, your Halloween-themed website appeals to online visitors all year round.

          4. A design template for your spine-chilling content

          7 WordPress Themes That Are Perfect for Halloween Obsessed with all things supernatural? Now’s the best time to flaunt your taste for the macabre.

          This “Hexetanz in Haunted House” Wordpress theme gives a cinematic vibe to your online space. We love the witchy fonts, chilling orchestral music, and the interactive user interface.

          Its optional page templates let you put up a gallery or a blog. It even has a Paypal-powered online ticket reservation feature — a great addition when you’re organising Halloween events.

          5. A spooky 404 page


          7 WordPress Themes That Are Perfect for Halloween Not ready with your spooky content yet? Make an equally spooky 404 page.

          Stay true to the season by applying this Halloween 404 Wordpress theme. It has a cute animated ghost character that floats up and down your screen. Your visitors won’t even mind landing on this page with this guy around.

          Choose from three theme versions — coloured, light, and dark — to coincide with your entire website design.

          6. A zombie-fied 404 to scare your viewers


          7 WordPress Themes That Are Perfect for Halloween Everybody loves zombies. Why not put them on your 404 page?

          This Zombie 404 Wordpress template will make your website scarier than it already is.

          Amuse your visitors with its manicured zombie hand design and fun, mischievous copy. The animation feature is the perfect icing on top.

          This creative, easy-to-use template makes the undead look cooler than they already are.


          7. A subtle template with Halloween colours


          7 WordPress Themes That Are Perfect for Halloween Want to join in on the fun but don’t want to veer away from your brand’s serious tone?

          Here’s a subtle website template for you.

          The theme’s sleek geometric design keeps everything professional. But its orange-and-black colour palette gives off an instant Halloween vibe.

          This Wordpress template is the perfect temporary theme to kick off the Halloween season.

          How to Install Your Halloween Wordpress Theme

          Ready to start revamping your website for Halloween? Once you’ve downloaded the perfect Halloween theme for you, you need to upload it to Wordpress before installing. Follow these five easy steps:

          1. Log in to your Wordpress site.
          2. On your Dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes on your left side menu. Click Add New.
          3. On the Add New page, click Upload Theme.
          4. Click Choose File and select the theme zip file from your computer. Click Install Now.
          5. To Activate the theme, select the Appearance > Themes tabs. Locate the theme and click Activate.

          Conclusion

          Halloween is just around the corner. Start transforming your site to get ahead of the competition. With a bit of tweaking, you can customise these Wordpress themes to stay true to your brand.

          Want to setup a Wordpress site for your business? Check out our Wordpress Hosting packages.

          7 Tried-and-True On-Page SEO Tips Your Website Needs

          By Faith Lisondra |
          7 Tried-and-True On-Page SEO Tips Your Website Needs
          When search engine optimisation (SEO) comes to mind, you may think about keywords, keywords, and more keywords.

          Truth is, they only comprise a small chunk of the pie.

          There are more ways you can boost your website for SEO — and do so yourself.

          What is On-Page SEO

          Search engines are all about domain authority. The more your website earns backlinks, reviews, and mentions all over the internet, the higher it ranks on Google.

          These factors belong to off-page SEO — something you have little direct control over.

          What you can improve on is your on-page SEO.
          As the name implies, on-page SEO includes techniques you apply on your own web page or site. This involves tweaking not only your content but also your website’s backend.

          Don’t worry; on-page SEO isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

          On-Page SEO 101: How to Optimise Your Webpages

          1. Improve your readability


          Website readability
          Long ago, search engines ranked webpages through the number of keywords.

          This led to keyword stuffing — a black hat SEO tactic that tricks search engine algorithms.

          Today, search engines have improved at recognising quality content. And they love a readable copy as much as we do.

          But how readable is a readable copy? Here are tips to take note of:

          • Structure your content. Bundle topics, order your ideas and use headings (we’ll get to this later).
          • Write short sentences. The lengthier the sentence, the harder it is to process.
          • Avoid using the passive voice. Writing in the active voice gets your message across much faster.
          • Make your content appealing. Avoid repeating the same words; use synonyms. Use transition words — like since, also, most of all — to cement your content together.
          • Leverage the Flesch test. The Flesch reading ease test grades your text on a scale from 1-100. The higher your ease score, the more readable your copy is.


          2. Add internal links


          Internal links
          Internal links are hyperlinks that point to another page on your website.

          To get a better context on internal links, visit a Wikipedia page. See how the content has links to other Wikipedia pages?

          Your web pages should also do the same.

          Internal links don’t only improve website navigation and architecture. They also spread link equity — a search engine ranking factor in which a link passes authority from one page to another.

          How do you add internal links?


          Create your cornerstone content

          Cornerstone content are the pages or posts that you really want to rank for. These are the ones most relevant to your brand — and they reel in targeted traffic. Think of Ultimate Guides or online tools that drive a ton of engagement.

          When creating new posts, make sure you manage to link them back to your cornerstone content. This gets the attention of search engines and increases your chances of landing in the SERPs.

          Insert contextual links

          If you’ve published similar content, link them together.

          This will not just lead your readers to your other content — it also informs search engines that these posts are related to each other.

          There are two ways to contextual linking:

          • Create links within the posts themselves. Let’s say you have an article about the types of shoes and another that tackles shoe stores in your area. In your shoe types article, mention “shoe stores”. Select that phrase and link it to the corresponding article.
          • Add a Related Posts section. Add a plugin to the bottom of your articles displaying a list of relevant content within your website (e.g. YARPP, Shareaholic). Make sure to test the plugin — check if it does show related posts.

          Add navigational links

          Do you have categories and tags for your content? Link your posts to the category/ies or tag/s they belong to. Also, add links to your categories and tags in your homepage.

          This will organise your site and help users — and search engines — navigate it easily.

          While you’re at it, add a link to your cornerstone content from your homepage!

          Add links to popular or recent posts

          Add a section containing links to your popular or recent posts on your website — ideally in the sidebar or footer. This makes it easier for your readers to access your content and spread your link equity.


          3. Add outbound links


          Outbound links
          Outbound links are links from your website to another website.

          Now, you may be hesitant to link to other webpages. What if your audience leaves your website? What if these links spread link equity to other pages instead of your own?

          But it’s actually good practice. We even did it in this article!

          Outbound links make your site more credible. They show that you’ve exerted effort to provide more information to your readers. And when you give educational content to your readers, they’ll come back to you for more.

          Also, linking to other pages helps Google understand what your content is about — and rank you better.

          But before adding outbound links, take note of the following:

          • Link only to quality sites. If you want to be credible, you have to give credible information, too. Linking to spam sites will only let Google tag you as one.
          • Avoid user-generated links, like from your blog comments. You may allow your readers to include a link to their website in their comments — but always look out for spammy links.
          • Disclose any paid advertising. If you have affiliate links in your content, inform your readers what they are. People trust businesses that value transparency.


          4. Use heading tags


          Heading tags
          Headings are HTML tags used to structure content within a webpage.

          Use heading tags when writing your content. In the frontend, you’ll see the different heading levels in text editors and word applications.

          Heading 1 holds the most importance. Heading 2 is followed by Heading 3, and so on.

          Aside from structuring your content, headings boost your SEO by:

          • Improving accessibility. Headings are in HTML, so they’re understood by assistive technologies like screen readers and braille terminals. What’s a win for accessibility — and humanity — is also a win for SEO!
          • Creating better quality content. Headings make your copy readable. They also emphasise what the page is about.

          Locals also trust businesses that hit home. By using a ccTLD, you don’t just tell them you cater to them — you’re also embodying the values they believe in.


          5. Add an alt text to images


          Image alt text
          People keep 65% of certain information for up to three days when it’s paired with a relevant image.

          People are simply visual — and it’s time you use it to your advantage.

          While you’re at it, don’t forget to add an alt text!

          Alt text — or alt tag — is the written copy that appears when an image on your website fails to load.

          It’s another factor that improves your website accessibility. Screen-reading tools read the alt text to describe images to visually impaired users.

          Another SEO tip? Insert relevant keywords to your alt text.

          Google depends on your alt descriptions to understand images and place them on image search results. That’s another traffic source to get your hands on.


          6. Create a sitemap


          Sitemap
          A sitemap is an XML file that holds a list of all individual pages within your website. Think of it as your website directory — only it’s not for your visitors.

          Sitemaps help search engine spiders “crawl” or follow all links to your site. They make sure the bots don’t miss out on anything.

          The more pages search engines can index from you, the more authority your site gains. In turn, your website shows up and ranks on search engines.

          Create a sitemap through the Google XML Sitemaps plugin on Wordpress. Activate the plugin and it’ll generate the sitemap for you.


          7. Modify URLs


          Modify URLs
          Along with internal linking, your page URLs need to show the hierarchy of information within your website.

          Here’s an example of a good URL structure:

          https://crazydomains.com.au/web-hosting/transfer


          URLs are also vital in SEO. In fact, Backlinko lists it as one of Google’s ranking factors.

          Start optimising your page URLs with the following tips:

          • URL length. Make your URLs too long and you may hurt your page’s visibility on search engines.
          • URL path. The closer your pages are to your homepage, the more search engine authority they get.
          • Keyword in URL. Add relevant keywords to your URLs to give your pages a slight boost in search rankings.

          Conclusion

          Search engines now mimic human responses. So optimise your website for users first, then search engines second.

          Either way, you’ll be hitting two birds with one stone when you follow this quickstart guide by heart.

          Don’t have time to boost your site’s SEO? Let our experts do it for you.

          How Search Engines Work, and How to Make Them Work For Your Business

          By Christa Escudero |

          How search engines work


          Google receives 3.5 billion searches every single day. So it’s no surprise that people rely on it to learn more about businesses.

          When running an ecommerce website, you’ll need to get on the good side of search engines.
          This is where search engine optimisation (SEO) steps in.

          SEO allows search engines to find your business website — and include it in relevant searches.

          By understanding how search engines work, you'll know how to sharpen your SEO strategies. Plus, you’ll achieve higher visibility, targeted traffic, and conversions.

          How Search Engines Find and Rank Results

          How search engines work
          Search engines work through three important functions: crawl, index, and rank.

          Crawl


          The first step takes place well before you conduct a search.

          Search engines deploy spiders — bots that "crawl" the World Wide Web to look for new content. Some content examples include text, images, alt tags, and documents.

          When spiders crawl your page, it means that search engines are looking at it. A spider then stores and forwards your website data to search engines for indexing.

          Index


          Once spiders crawl your page, search engines later decide if it gets indexed.

          That’s right — not all crawled pages get indexed. But how do search engines decide what’s worthy?

          Google only wants the best for its clients: the people who use the platform to search for something.

          This is why it always picks new, fresh content that’ll add to great user experience.

          If your page contains duplicate content from other indexed sites, then there’s no need for Google to index yours.

          Rank


          After indexing your page, search engines then decide where it should appear in results. This is where ranking comes into the picture.

          Now, when a user types in a keyword, search engines pick the most relevant results from their indexed pages.

          The most relevant results for that keyword get the best ranking.

          The results are based on several factors, which include:

          • Matching keywords
          • Quality content
          • Backlinks from authoritative websites

          So, what makes your website appear in search results?

          1. Google should be able to index your webpages. So, it should not contain duplicate content. If it does, the specific page should be set to noindex or nofollow.
          2. It should follow the rules of SEO to rank higher in search engine results pages (or SERPs).

          How to Rank High in the SERPs: Introducing SEO

          Introduction to SEO
          SEO involves a set of best practices that gets your website to appear in the SERPs.

          And not just appear, but also rank high enough to earn a spot on the first page.

          75% of users are more likely to click on a result from the first page. If your page only appears on the second, third, or fourth page, you lose 75% of your prospects!

          So when performing SEO, make it a goal to be on the coveted first page — nothing less.

          Why SEO is Important

          Why SEO is Important
          Search engines have undergone changes over time. One of these changes is paid ads.

          These gave businesses the opportunity to pay to be on the first page of the SERPs.

          That's a quick and easy trick to put your business online.

          But it doesn't pay off in the long term.

          You'll have to pay for every click your page gets and bid higher to keep up with the competition. And you’ll need to keep spending to keep your place in the SERPs.

          In the long run, SEO provides a higher return on investment. You only have to pay for tools and services to apply the right SEO techniques.

          It may take time for you to achieve results, but you’ll benefit from them in the long term.

          Conclusion

          Now that you know about search engines and SEO, you now have the power to let your business rule the SERPs. Make the search engines work for you, and get that traffic and conversions you deserve.

          It's time for your website to rank high and provide real market impact. To learn more about optimising your website, reach out to our SEO experts at Managed SEO.


          How to Set Up Your First Website Through Web Hosting

          By Christa Escudero |

          What is web hosting

          The internet is an indisputable part of our lives. We use it for research, connecting with people, and showcasing our online identity.

          With so many people going online these days, it’s a no-brainer to set up a website for your business.

          But creating websites are only the tip of the iceberg.

          Do you ever stop to think about how you put a website on the World Wide Web? Or maybe you’re wondering how they store so much data at the same time.

          That’s where web hosting comes in.

          An Introduction to Web Hosting

          How websites work
          For you to understand web hosting, you need to understand how websites work.

          By definition, a website is a collection of related web pages sharing the same domain. They are stored in a server and are accessed through web browsers.

          Now, what happens when you open a website?

          Consider this simple analogy.

          You’re buying from a pharmacy. You head to the counter and show the pharmacist your prescription. The pharmacist then checks the inventory, and if they’re available, gives the meds to you.

          Accessing a website works the same.

          Your web browser is the pharmacist that checks the inventory — which is the server — and hands back your request — or the web page — to you.

          Your web hosting is the pharmacy that holds the entire inventory. It provides the server where your website is kept.

          Why You Need Web Hosting

          Why you need web hosting
          Technically, anyone can host their own website.

          You can configure your personal computer to work as a server and store your website content.

          But it’s more complicated than it sounds.

          Most people don’t have the expertise needed to manage a server. For one, servers need to function 24/7 so people can readily access your website.

          You also need to consider the latest software updates, high-speed (and costly!) internet connection, and regular server maintenance.

          Who’s got the time for all that?

          The more practical — and cost-effective — solution is a reliable web host.

          Web hosts have an array of servers available for you to rent and store your website. They don’t just maintain your website uptime; they also protect your website from malicious attacks.

          Some web hosts also provide bundled online solutions to go with your web hosting plan. These include domain hosting, email hosting, SSL certificate, and others.

          Most of all, web hosts are managed by IT experts. By getting a web hosting service, you’re assured that your website is in the right hands.

          How to Choose a Good Web Hosting Plan

          How to choose a good web hosting plan
          There are a lot of web hosts available, and it can take time and effort to choose the best one for your business.

          To guide you, here are some factors to consider in a web hosting plan:

          User-friendly hosting manager


          A hosting manager is a panel where you manage your hosting.

          It’s where you upload website files, manage your database, create email accounts, and more.

          All these tasks are essential to your website, so you need an efficient hosting manager — one that’s easy to navigate and has all the tools you need.

          Efficient data management


          Your web host is mainly responsible for storing your website content and keeping it up and running all the time. Find a web host that does this best!

          Ideally, your web host should be able to:

          • Give you access to File Transfer Protocol (FTP), so you can upload your website code, images, and other files
          • Provide you with fast and unlimited data, so your web server can handle multiple requests at the same time
          • Backup your files in case of emergencies

          Multi-code support


          Websites use different types of code, like HTML, CSS, PHP, and Javascript.

          So it’s good to have a flexible web hosting plan that supports multiple coding languages.

          Easy app installations


          If you don’t want to deal with the process of hard-coding your website, you have the option to install web applications instead.

          Choose a web hosting plan that allows you to create a website in just a few clicks.

          Get access to content management systems like Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal, or ecommerce platforms like Magento and AbanteCart.

          Email protection


          Emails are a great avenue for your audience to reach out to your brand.

          Most web hosting plans offer email hosting.

          A good email hosting bundle provides email protection. This will scan any incoming emails for spam and viruses, protecting your website from any risks.

          Regular site monitoring


          Because your website needs to be up 24/7, it needs regular monitoring and protection from unwanted cyberattacks.

          One of the ways to do that is through Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection. This preventive measure shields your website from external attacks and keeps unwanted downtime at bay.

          Conclusion

          Web hosting is one of the first few steps to greatness in the interwebs.

          Now that you know the basics of web hosting, it’s time for your brand to take centre stage on the World Wide Web.

          Want to know more about how to take your business online? Read more of our educational guides here.

          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business

          By Faith Lisondra |
          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
          Choosing a domain name for your business is not as simple as choosing your outfit for the day.

          Your domain name defines your brand and online identity. It’s your audience’s access to your website — and it’s going to stick with them for a while. Make it count.

          You may already have a domain name in mind, but don’t register it just yet. Here are 10 key factors to consider before choosing your business domain name.

          How to Choose a Winning Business Domain Name


          1. Let it stand out.


          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
          One of the top secrets to a high-traffic website is a memorable domain name. So you’ll want to pick a catchy one.

          Think of something that someone can easily pass along to others — whether by text or word of mouth. Research shows that word of mouth contributes to 20% to 50% of customers’ purchase decisions.

          That said, make sure to choose a domain name that stands out. Let your creativity run loose!

          But a word of caution: make sure no matter how memorable it is, your domain still ties well with your brand.

          A good example is mywifequitherjob.com.

          For one, it’s catchy enough to grab our attention. Also, it closely relates to the website’s mission — empowering people to build their own ecommerce businesses and give up their day jobs.

          2. Keep it short and simple.


          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
          Put yourselves in your customers’ shoes. Would you type in a web address that’s five words long and full of numbers and hyphens?

          Longer domain names tend to distract your audience. Plus, they’re hard to spell. You wouldn’t want potential customers misspelling your domain until they lose interest.

          If you have a long brand name, try shortening it for your domain.

          For instance, turning Mexican Mama’s Pizza and Tacos into a domain name would be a disaster. A shorter version, like mexicanmamas.com, will do the trick.

          3. Keep your business in mind.


          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
          It’s easy to get lost trying to make your business domain as fun and catchy as possible.

          But if you feel like you’re getting off-track, think of your brand identity.

          Your brand identity keeps you grounded. It helps you think of a domain that actually reflects who you are.

          4. Consider ideal extensions.


          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
          There’s now a lot of options for domain extensions aside from .com. So you’ve got a big decision to make.

          Top-level domains (TLDs) — like .com, .net, and .org — are ideal for brands targeting a global audience.

          But if you’re a startup looking to gain local traction, a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is the ideal choice. These domains represent your target country, which includes:
          • .sg for Singapore
          • .co.nz for New Zealand
          • .com.au for Australia (and soon, a .au!)
          ccTLDs prompts search engines about where you're based and who your content targets. So if someone searches for “coffee shops in Australia” — or simply “coffee shops” — the top results are likely websites with a .au extension.

          Locals also trust businesses that hit home. By using a ccTLD, you don’t just tell them you cater to them — you’re also embodying the values they believe in.

          5. Ditch the hyphens.


          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
          Hyphens are added friction when customers type in your domain on their browsers.

          Not only that — it’s often used to work around a domain name that’s already taken. For example, a business may resort to kickin-car-parts.com if kickincarparts.com is already registered.

          You don’t want people to bother with the hyphens, let alone regard your business as a copycat.

          A domain name that’s similar to other companies can drive your audience to the wrong website.

          6. Go with keywords.


          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
          Keywords are what people type on search engines. So including them in your business domain is good for SEO.

          If you’re selling claw machines, go ahead with a domain like johnsclawmachines.com.

          This way, people know what you’re selling right then and there. Plus, you’ boost your online presence through an SEO-friendly domain.

          But before giving keywords a go, be careful not to pigeonhole your brand for the future.

          For instance, John’s Claw Machines may want to transition into a larger amusement company in the future. By that time, johnsclawmachines.com may no longer represent the brand as a whole.

          7. Check its availability.


          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
          You’ve been brainstorming for days on end for the perfect domain name — only to find out it’s taken.

          Avoid getting your hopes up for nothing. Check a domain’s availability immediately as soon as it’s at the top of your head.

          Use online domain search tools like WhoIs to check if a particular domain name is already registered.

          8. Look out for trademarks.


          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
          Be careful — some domain names are trademark-protected. This means that you’re not allowed to use them unless you want to get fined.

          Before applying intellectual property rights, double-check the domain.

          For businesses in or catering to Australia, search for your domain name idea using the IP Australia Trade Mark Search.

          For New Zealand-focused businesses, check for existing trademarks in the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office website.

          9. Remember your social media handles.


          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
          Your website will not reach as much online traction alone. You’ll also need a social media presence to boost visibility.

          Now that you’ve got a catchy, short, and unique domain name in mind, do a quick search if it’s available on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, among others.

          Tying in your business name to your domain and social handles maintains brand consistency. And a consistent brand makes you more recognisable in the online space.

          10. Move fast.


          10 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
          Domain names sell out quickly. So if you’ve decided on the perfect domain name, register it as soon as possible.

          You didn’t spend so much time working on your web address only for others to take it away.

          Most domain names aren’t expensive. And they’re worth the price, considering you get to keep the most fitting domain name for your business.

          Your online journey starts now

          Coming up with the right domain name may take time, or it may come in the next few minutes.

          Use these tips to guide you into making a decision that works best for your brand. Now it’s time to get those creative juices flowing!