Eugen Oprea http://www.eugenoprea.com Web Analytics, WordPress & SEO Advice Mon, 04 May 2015 03:16:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The “Above the Fold” Myth Debunked http://www.eugenoprea.com/above-the-fold-myth/ http://www.eugenoprea.com/above-the-fold-myth/#comments Wed, 06 Feb 2013 10:00:59 +0000 http://www.eugenoprea.com/?p=3797 Have you ever found yourself saying: “I just need this above the fold so it will be more visible”?

Well, we’ve all been in this situation, but things have changed since 1994 when people were not that used to scroll.

Even if everyone is not willing to admit this, people have learned how to scroll. It’s 2013 after all.

Above the fold” comes from newspapers because the upper half of a newspaper was where the most important stories and images were added.

But this is the present and there is research that supports the fact that “Above the Fold” is a myth.

Plus, I will show you in this article a better place to put your calls to action (CTA).

Nowadays, we use “above the fold” to mean the visible part of a screen (usually the first 600px) where most people like to stick everything they can to make it visible.

If you are willing to dig into it, you can see what’s below the tip of the iceberg.

Research has shown that while users spend 80% of their time reading the information above the fold, they do know how to scroll. And it turns out that scrolling beats paging, because it’s easier for the user to just keep going down.

Additionally, Bnonn Tennant, who wrote about “Why “The Fold” Is A Myth – And Where To Actually Put Your Calls To Action,” has an interesting perspective on the “above the fold” myth the Kissmetrics blog.

Again, backed by research and testing.

He starts by mentioning research done by MarketingExperiments which got a 20% increase in conversion rate just by moving the call to action from above the fold:

Above-the-fold-EX4a

… below the fold.

Below-the-fold-EX4b

And then he shows research done by Michael Lykke Aagaard from Content Verve (among others) who revealed a test where he moved the call to action (CTA) way below the fold. That move led to a 304% increase in conversion.

Above th Fold Test - Content Verve

Bnonn also mentions that “Higher conversion rates have nothing to do with whether the button is above the fold, and everything to do with whether the button is below the right amount of good copy.”  I completely agree with him.

If you do a good job writing good copy that will keep your visitors engaged, it will have a positive return for you.

A CTA always does better if it’s accompanied by some really well written copy.

Chris Lema also ads some compelling reasons why we should stop talking about the fold.

Now, let’s see how you can apply this to your website and what is the best place to add your calls to action.

How does this apply to your website?

Based on some of the above research, last year after I redesigned my website, I decided to do my own research on this topic.

I started by getting myself an account with CrazyEgg and installed the tracking software on my blog.

After the website received a fair amount of traffic (over 1,000 visits) I started to look at heatmaps. They looked like this:

Eugen Oprea Heatmap

You can see that most of the visitor’s attention is essentially below the fold (look for the brightest areas) and interest areas, such as the email signup form from the top of the sidebar, are essentially invisible for them.

This was the point when I started to think at what I later called the “Cloud Box”.

What is the Cloud Box?

The Cloud Box is essentially a floating box generated by a script, which moves along with the reader when reading an article.

You can add some code in a text widget, link it to a script and boom! there you have it (read more and I will show you how to create one for yourself).

You may not know this yet, but you are already familiar with the Cloud Box. You have already seen it just by looking at the right sidebar now.

However, I am not the only one that is using this. It has been successfully used by Neil Patel on his QuickSprout blog…

QuickSprout Cloud Box

… and on the The Daily Egg, which is CrazyEgg‘s blog.

Crazy Egg Cloud Box

In one of his articles, when talking about how you can convert blog readers into customers, Neil even mentioned the fact that the ad he has in the Cloud Box gets clicked on 2.58% of the time.

And if you compare this with .94%, the CTR (click-through rate) of the static ad in the sidebar of the same blog, that’s a difference of 274%.

Just think about improving your CTR with 274% or 670%!

For my ads, out of the total traffic that this site sends to Elevatr through the sidebar ads, 87% is being sent by the Cloud Box. This is essentially 670% more traffic than the static ad from the top of the sidebar sends.

Eugen Oprea Cloud Box Results

But it’s not just for ads!

I found more smart people who use this with success, such as the Freshome blog.

Mihai Micle, the founder of Freshome, says that he has seen significant improvements for the Pinterest and Facebook widgets.

Freshome Cloud Box

You can get really creative with this and add quite anything you want to promote on the Cloud Box, such as:

  • Twitter follow buton
  • Facebook like widget
  • Pinterest button
  • Your about me/us information
  • Information about your products

Essentially, anything that you want to be more visible for your readers.

But it’s important to rotate what you promote in the CloudBox because people get “widget blind” and will not see it anymore.

This way, your visitors will always have something new to interact with.

That is why Mihai started with a Pinterest button, now he uses a Facebook like widget and at some point he may use that spot for ads.

Additionally, you may have noticed on the Kissmetrics blog a call to action to signup for the Kissmetrics app, which I bet will be effective if they keep it there.

What Happens When the Ad is Replaced With an Email Cloud Box?

This one of the first things I was thinking about when working on Elevatr.

Elevatr is a premium WordPress plugin that helps you easily create signup forms and one of my goals was to also have a Cloud Box.

Before Elevatr, I was successfully using the cloud box on my blog for list building and kept adding people to my email newsletter by adding the Email Cloud Box manually.

But after I launched Elevatr, more people started to use it, like Henri Junttila from Wake Up Cloud.

Wake Up Cloud - Cloud Box

He started to use Elevatr soon after I launched it and just in January alone, the Email Cloud Box was responsible for 15% of his subscribers.

But, you should be aware of the fact that Henri had already optimized his blog during the most recent redesign and placed the signup boxes strategically.

How to Create Your Own Cloud Box

Now, because I am really happy with the results that the Cloud Box can bring, I want you to be able to use it.

So I put together the code that you need and a short tutorial on how you can add it to your website below.

First, you will have to download the following JavaScript and upload it to a directory called js, within your theme folder (wp-content/themes/your-theme/).

If it doesn’t exist, just create a new one and upload the file to that location (wp-content/themes/your-theme/js/).

Again, just to make sure that you get it right: download the following file and upload it to wp-content/themes/your-theme/js/.

Remember to unzip the file before you upload it.

Next, you need to add the following code to your functions.php file. You can do that from [Appearance > Editor] in your WordPress admin account. But please do this with caution as if you delete something from this file, you can break your website. In case you are now familiar with this, please ask someone to do it for you.

Finally, all you have to do is just upload your ad image and include it in a text widget at the bottom of your sidebar.

Here’s an example of what I use for my Elevatr ad:

Just copy the above code and paste it in a text widget after you replace the links.

What About an Email Cloud Box?

If you want to have an Email Cloud Box in your sidebar, all you have to do is just replace the link and image with your signup box code.

Remember to keep the code within the tag.

Looking for a simpler way of adding the Email Cloud Box?

In case this looks like a language that someone from Mars is speaking or maybe brain surgery, then you may want to look at a simple way to do this.

And yes, there is a simple way of adding an Email Cloud Box to your sidebar and get more subscribers.

You can actually create an Email Cloud Box with my premium plugin, Elevatr and it should take you about 5 minutes to do it.

With Elevatr, all you have to do is just connect to your preferred email marketing provider (MailChimp or Aweber + iContact coming soon) using your API key and choose Cloud Box while building your form.

And creating the form is a darn easy process – just point-and-click.

You should check out Elevatr today.

Back to you

Before I ask you to go and try this, what are your thoughts about the “Above the Fold” myth and the Cloud Box?

I would love to hear your opinion.

So, once you leave a comment below with that go and test the Cloud Box and then come back to let us know your findings.

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The Zen of Creating Signup Forms and Webinar Landing Pages http://www.eugenoprea.com/create-signup-forms-and-webinar-landing-pages/ http://www.eugenoprea.com/create-signup-forms-and-webinar-landing-pages/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 15:21:51 +0000 http://www.eugenoprea.com/?p=3580 What if, 5 minutes from now, you had a professional sign-up form designed, ready to boost email subscribers?

That may sound impossible, but it’s not.

In the past 6 months I’ve been working on a tool that will make this possible for you.

This tools is easy to use. It’s fast. Secure. It just works. And it’s called Elevatr.

Is this you?

Keep reading if you:

  • Have been unable to make decent looking email signup forms yourself
  • Want an easy way to integrate signup forms with MailChimp or Aweber
  • Need a solution that’s hyper customizable
  • Use tools that don’t always work right and it takes them forever to load
  • Want an easy way to create prettier forms and webinar landing pages
  • Find the design process time consuming and frustrating
  • Don’t have strong coding or HTML knowledge

Introducing Elevatr

Earlier this month you learned about increasing email conversion rate and one of the points there was to place your signup forms strategically on your website.

But you need to create them in the first place, right?

Well, this is where Elevatr comes handy.

Elevatr is a WordPress plugin that helps you easily create signup forms and webinar landing pages so that you can increase leads through email marketing and webinars.

Even if you are not a designer, Elevatr’s point-and-click design controls help you build amazing signup forms and webinar landing pages.

Within minutes of installing Elevatr you can have your signup form or webinar landing page ready to add new subscribers to your list.

Plus, it doesn’t require you to have any coding or HTML experience.

If I were to summarize the benefits of Elevatr, I would say that:

  • It’s super easy to setup
  • It’s fast
  • Builds beautiful forms
  • Has an amazing price (compared with designer costs)
  • Just works
  • It’s hacker-proof
  • Provides fantastic support
  • Integrates seamlessly with email marketing providers

How you can use Elevatr

Elevatr let’s you quickly and easily build custom signup forms and webinar landing pages. And the creation process is dead simple.

For start you will have to add the Elevatr license key to activate it and then connect Elevatr to your preferred email marketing provider.

Signup Forms

To build your form, first you have to add your message/copy. Then you can make your signup forms unique by changing the form and font styles, colors, backgrounds and textures.

Next, you have to choose the list where you want to add your subscribers, select the form type and save it.

Once you have done that you can essentially place the forms in any location you want.

Choose [Custom Location] and use the [Elevatr Form Widget] to place your form in the sidebar and footer.

Or use the shortcode to place it in any post or page you want.

The [Cloud Box] (a floating box for your sidebar) can be added in your sidebar using the [Elevatr Form Widget].

To use [Below Post] you will have to choose the form that will be used below your posts from [Elevatr Settings].

Webinar Landing Pages

For webinars, all you have to do it’s just craft your landing page, just as a regular page, connect to GoToWebinar and insert the webinar form on your page.

Then, all you have to do is just drive people to the webinar page you just built. It’s as simple as that.

Once you finish setting up Elevatr, the real fun begins.

Now, all you have to do it’s just relax, provide amazing content and watch how your list grows.

The Offer

There’s going to be a great introductory offer for Elevatr. And if you act fast, you will get it at a really good price: $37.

But it won’t last long, so hurry up!

Your Turn

Now, here’s what I want you to do:

  • If you like what you read go and check out Elevatr
  • If you know a friend that needs this, please send her to this post
  • If you have questions or feedabck, please use the comments section below

Enjoy!

Elevatr

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5 Shortcuts for Increasing Email Conversion Rate in Record Time http://www.eugenoprea.com/increase-email-conversion-rate/ http://www.eugenoprea.com/increase-email-conversion-rate/#comments Wed, 03 Oct 2012 15:32:03 +0000 http://www.eugenoprea.com/?p=3501 Do you know that building an email list is an important step towards your success?

But you don’t have enough time to put everything together, do you?

If that’s you, then I have some tips that will help.

These tips helped me increase my email conversion rate and I am positive that they will also help you.

First, what I learned recently about managing my time and getting things done is the importance of planning my activities.

You may be planning your activities, but just like me, you’re probably not always sticking with the plan.

So my advice, before getting started, is to block time on your calendar for each of these activities.

Now, let’s see what you can do to increase your email conversion rates.

1. Offer an Incentive to Signup

Most of us are adding a signup form in the sidebar and ask people to subscribe for updates, but is that good enough?

I’ve compared my newly launched website – WP Backpack with this one and I’ve come to the conclusion that “subscribe for updates” it’s not a good enough incentive for people to signup.

Even if the launch article got some really good traffic from my existing list and social media, my signup rate was really low.

Why?

Because it doesn’t have a good incentive to convince people to signup.

On the other hand, on EugenOprea.com, you get my Free Google Analytics course when you signup for updates.

This has been working really well for me, so I keep sending traffic to this landing page.

That is why the next action point on my to do list for WP Backpack is to add a small course for my subscribers.

I am also more inclined to create a course, and deliver it though an auto-responder, than to write an eBook.

This is more effective because, with an eBook, people will get it and unsubscribe or even worse, get it and forget about it.

But with a course, readers will have a consistent reminder of you, and they will become used to clicking the links in your emails and coming to your site. Doing this will, hopefully, help them take action and follow the advice from your course.

A course will also be easier to get done.

With an eBook you will need to write and design it before being able to offer it to your subscribers, but with a course, you can build one lesson at a time.

One lesson per week is a really good starting point and you can also setup your auto-responder to deliver your lessons every week.

So don’t make your job harder by trying to finish it in one go.

Instead, block time each week to write a new lesson and send it to your subscribers once it’s ready.

Shortcut: Start an auto-responder and offer a free course for your subscribers or offer a freebie to incentivize visitors to signup for your newsletter.

2. Place your Signup Forms Strategically

This year I redesigned EugenOpea.com after 6 month of research.

I’ve put into the new design everything that I learned about increasing visitor loyalty and conversion rates.

And one of the things I’ve been focusing is the signup form, or better signup forms.

If you browse the website you will notice that I placed them in strategic locations:

  • on the home page
  • in the sidebar
  • in the footer
  • on the landing page for my course
  • in an Email Cloud Box

Now, let me tell you a bit about each of them and why you should use them, too.

On the Home Page

For most of us, the home page is the most visited page on the website, so it’s really important to make a good impression for new visitors.

That is why I’ve chosen to first share some content with them, so they can see that I am knowledgeable and genuinely provide value.

Only after that I add the signup box, with the benefits of signing up, and a link to the landing page of my Google Analytics course, which contains more details about it.

So my advice for you is to first show your visitor valuable content and then present a reason to signup.

In the Sidebar

Every site has a signup box in the sidebar and you can, just as I did, add it to make it easier for people to signup.

But make sure that you also include a strong incentive for your visitors to take action.

In the footer

I am one of those people who, when I research something, I check every pixel of that website.

For this reason I decided to add a signup form in the footer, so those like me, who reach the end of the page, get a reminder that I want to share more content with them.

On the landing page

Landing pages are a great way to convert visitors into subscribers and this is the main reason why I’ve built a page specifically for my course.

I would recommend you to do the same and if you have more benefits for your readers, create a landing page where you can tell them more about those benefits.

You can use Premise to build really good looking landing pages, so you don’t have any excuse to not do it.

In a Email Cloud Box

Now, you’ve gotten to the most interesting part.

After doing some tests and checking heatmaps for my website with CrazyEgg, I’ve come to the conclusion that my visitors’ attention is not on the signup box from the sidebar.

Visitors are immediately scrolling to the next screen once they get on a page/article.

This is the reason why I added, what I call a Email Cloud Box, which moves with the visitor as she scrolls down.

I will show how to add it in a future article.

Additionally, you should also add a signup box below your posts, so once a visitor reads one of your articles, they can choose to signup for your newsletter.

But, please be aware that not every box works for everyone and if you add signup boxes all over your site, they will not be effective anymore.

If you would like to get started faster with creating signup boxes, have a look at Elevatr, my premium WordPress plugin. It can help you easily create signup forms and webinar landing pages so that you can increase leads through email marketing and webinars.

Shortcut: Take your time to think where you should add your signup boxes, do some tests and implement them. And definitely use Elevatr for your forms.

3. Ask for the Signup

A lot of people don’t know or try this, but asking for the signup has so much power.

When you close an article, when you share it on social media or when you talk about your website, ask people to signup for your newsletter.

Do it in a nice manner and also tell them the advantages. Tell them what’s in it for them.

More than this, ask them to share your newsletter with their friends and colleagues, or with their audience if they have an established business.

You will be amazed how many people will come to help you if you ask them.

But, you will have to also return them the favor.

And be genuine about it. This is very important.

Shortcut: Here’s what you should do right now: go in your favorite Facebook group, favorite forum and on the social media outlet where you have the most followers, and ask people to signup for your newsletter.

4. Start Guest Posting

Everyone sees this as a really hard task to do, but as long as you master your topic and put everything you know in writing the article, you can’t fail.

Yes, it can take months until it gets published and you may work hours to write it, but it’s worth it.

I got my first 1,000 subscribers from 3 guest posts I did at the beginning of the year and guest posting is always on my to do list.

You know that you can’t always increase conversion rates without increasing traffic, so guest posting, just like SEO, can help you drive more traffic to your website and gain more subscribers.

But here’ what I would recommend you to do to make sure you have success:

  • brainstorm 3-5 post ideas and choose a website were you want to submit your post
  • contact the website owner and present your ideas
  • if one of them gets approved, start writing it
  • send the traffic to a landing page that has a signup form and an incentive to signup

Additionally, when writing the article, make sure that you include your best tips, but think that you are writing it for your own blog.

Don’t get hung up in making it perfect, because there is no such thing as perfect.

Shortcut: Block some time and start brainstorming ideas for your guest post. Then send your pitch and once it gets approved, write the articles. Most of the time, it is as simple as that.

5. Improve your SEO

Just like guest posting, you may think that SEO is fairly difficult, but it’s not.

All you have to do is build awesome content that people love and share.

Essentially, you will need to make sure that you write for people and not search engines.

I am saying this because search engines try to emulate human behavior when deciding what website is best for their search results.

So, put your best into writing great content and a really good headlines.

Then you can add a good description for your article to show in the search results page, get some links from friends and through guest posting and write more good content. :)

Plus, for additional peace of mind, I would strongly recommend you use Scribe, which is a fantastic piece of software that can help you better optimize your content.

Shortcut: Check this article about WordPress SEO and take some time to implement the advice there. Once you do that, you will be all set. Oh, and subscribe for Scribe. It’s worth it!

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How to Break the Fear of Technology http://www.eugenoprea.com/how-to-break-the-fear-of-technology/ http://www.eugenoprea.com/how-to-break-the-fear-of-technology/#comments Mon, 20 Aug 2012 06:38:09 +0000 http://www.eugenoprea.com/?p=3464

I won’t upgrade my WordPress blog because I am afraid of breaking it.

Does this sounds familiar?

In this article I will show you how to break this fear and start doing more yourself if you want it.

Why this type of article?

Well, I was reading The Flinch by Julien Smith and it occurred to me how many times I’ve heard my clients avoiding to take action because they were afraid of breaking something.

Fear it’s natural, especially when it’s at stake something you have invested a lot of time and money in.

That it’s why you need to take some measures that will help you be more confident in yourself.

Let’s say that you want to install a plugin, tweak the design, upgrade WordPress or test a new signup form.

If you are like most of us you will be put of by the thought that you might break something.

But if you will make sure you can repair what might break, you are covered. Here’s how…

Backup

The first and most important thing you need to do when you want to try something new is to backup. Backups are really useful not only for testing, but also to have something to restore in case of a server failure or hacking.

I’ve heard a lot of stories where people lost months of work and money because the didn’t have a backup. Plus, it happened to me once, so I am speaking from experience.

In this case you will need to backup your website before testing, tweaking or upgrade anything.

To do this, just install one of the WordPress plugins that help you backup your site.

Create a Sandbox

Better than a backup is to work locally or on a different instance on the server and not on the live version of your website.

This way nothing will get lost and if something breaks it will not affect your main website.

Then if everything works you can go ahead and apply the changes to your main website.

Learn and Test

Once you get your setup ready and you are sure that you have a backup in place or your work locally, it’s time to have some fun and try new things that you’ve been afraid of.

You may want to learn how to update your logo or how you can change the spacing of your articles.

Or you may want to learn some CSS and change your footer. In order to do this you will need to learn how to do it. Obviously, right?

You will need to look for a WordPress blog, a Web Analytics book or an SEO guide and search the things your want to learn.

The Internet is full of information now and you will be able to find anything you want.

Then, once you’ve gathered the necessity knowledge, you can start to apply what you’ve learnt. It’s as simple as that.

In Closing

I hope that this article helped you take action and I am glad if I contributed to that.

If the article helped do share with us what you’ve accomplished or post your questions in the comments below if you have any.

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3 Simple Ways to Increase your WordPress Site Speed http://www.eugenoprea.com/increase-wordpress-site-speed/ http://www.eugenoprea.com/increase-wordpress-site-speed/#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2012 10:01:24 +0000 http://www.eugenoprea.com/?p=3394 Does your website seems to be the slowest website you visit all day?

In this case it’s time to tweak it a little bit.

I won’t hide from you that optimizing your WordPress website is not an easy process, but I can assure you that it’s worth it.

In this article I will show you 3 simple fixes that you can apply straight away to improve the speed fo your website.

Plus, it will take you minutes to complete them.

You may consider these tips as being too simple, but I would like to start with actionable information that you can apply right away.

There will be more advanced tips on how to improve your WordPress blog speed in the next articles. So stay tuned!

1. Keep a minimum number WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins add a large overhead to your WordPress website and this is the reason why you need to keep their number as low as possible.

Before doing this, I would suggest you to get the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler), which will help you see what plugins add the most overhead to your website.

I know that this is an extra plugin, but you will temporary use it to audit your website and delete it once you finish the audit.

The P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) will show you the number of plugins you have on your WordPress site, what is their load time and their impact on the page load time.

Then you will see a nice pie chart with a runtime breakdown by plugin.

P3 - Plugin Performance Profiler

In this chart you will see which of your plugins add the most overhead to the WordPress installation.

Once you have this information, you can easily delete those plugins and replace them with other that behave nicer.

I would also recommend you to hire someone to help you better implement the functionality you are looking for.

2. Delete Spam Comments

It may be obvious that you need to delete your spam comments, but you would be surprised how many people ignore to do this.

Spam comments will not add a large overhead to your database, but when you have thousands, things may change.

That is why I would recommend you to empty the spam comments, especially if you get hundreds every day.

It’s a simple process and all you have to do is click on the [Spam] comments from your dashboard and then select the [Empty Spam] button.

That’s all!

3. Delete Posts Revisions

Posts Revisions is a feature that was added to WordPress in the version 2.6 and it automatically saves a draft of your article/page as you write it.

It’s nice to have it while you are working on it, but once you publish the article, you will not need the revisions anymore.

Then, if each post is saved 20 times while you work on it and you have 100 posts on your site, then you will have 2,000 extra revisions on your WordPress site.

This will make your database slower and your pages will take more time to load.

In order to avoid this, you will need to delete your post revisions at least monthly. But if you publish every day or multiple times a day, I would recommend you to do this weekly.

This way, you will not ad a large overhead on your database.

However, I would not recommend you to delete them every day, as you may change something that breaks the article/page and posts revisions as a saver.

Also, for the same reason avoid disabling posts revisions.

Now, in order to delete them you will need a tool. You can do it straight in the database if you are comfortable with that or using a plugin.

For my blog I’ve done it both from the database, but also using a plugin: Better Delete Revision.

Better Delete Revision, allows you to delete old revisions and also optimize your database if needed.

All you have to do to use this plugin is install it and look for [Better Delete Revision] under the [Settings] section.

Better Delete Revision

Once you are on that page press the [Check Revisions Posts] button and you will see a list with all your old revisions.

Finally, select the button to delete all of them and you are all set.

Conclusion

This post will be the first in a series that will teach you what you need to do to increase your WordPress site speed.

Again, these are simple tips that you can start with which will not take you hours or days to implement.

Later we will look at other ways of improving your WordPress site speed.

In the meantime, I would love to hear what other simple ways you use to do this or what troubles you had while trying to increase the loading speed of your website.

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WordPress SEO Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Getting More Traffic http://www.eugenoprea.com/wordpress-seo/ http://www.eugenoprea.com/wordpress-seo/#comments Wed, 09 May 2012 13:14:54 +0000 http://www.eugenoprea.com/?p=3310 If your website is one of the 70,000,000+ that use WordPress, then you are doing it the right way.

But that’s just the platform and when it comes to promoting your website on the web you need to think seriously at SEO among others.

That is why in this article you will learn what WordPress SEO means and how you can optimize your website for search engines.

Before getting started I would like to inform you that robots are getting smarter and you cannot trick them anymore.

That is why, I would encourage you to write and optimize with your audience in mind and not Google or other search engines.

If you do this, you will see that results will come. But, they will come easier if you apply the following hacks to your WordPress SEO.

Get it Right from Start

I know that you’ve heard this a lot while building your website, getting started with SEO, diving into Google Analytics and even when you started your business, but it’s true:

You need to get it right from start!

By this I am referring at the fact that you need to understand the SEO process, prepare the tools that will make your job 1 million times easier and setup goals for what you want to achieve.

Additionally you need to have a clean design with nice fonts that makes articles easy to read, uses a smart theme (if you are on WordPress) with good coding that Google loves.

Setup Goals

Always, always setup goals when starting a new project. In this case you can have as a goal a specific ranking for your keywords, a targeted number of links to your site or visitors that come to your site from search engines.

Personally, I set as a goal for my articles to rank fast and then get on the first page of Google.

Sometimes they do get there and sometimes they don’t, depending on how competitive the keyword is.

If they are on the first page I already have a boost in traffic and all I have to do to get them higher on the page is just increase my site authority.

Do your Research (Keyword Research)

Before starting to get traffic from search engines you need to target the keywords that you would like to rank for.

But in order to target keywords, you need to research them and see if they are the best fit for your business.

To do that you need to use the Keyword Tool from Google to brainstorm some keyword ideas that you can use to decide which one is most suitable for your articles.

Keyword Research

In order to do that just think at some words related with the topic you want to write about.

Once you have those clear in mind, just head over to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and start researching those words.

They will help you find really god keywords that will offer you a great start on your search engine optimization efforts.

While doing this research you need to look for the keywords that are balanced in terms of Global Monthly Searches, Competition and CPC.

  • Global Monthly Searches – this will help you see how popular a keyword is and how many people are looking for that keyword with approximation every month. The higher the number, the more chances you have to get a large amount of traffic for your website if you rank high in search engines.
  • CPC – this will tell you what is the average cost per click for that keyword in AdWords. Why is this important? Because high converting keywords are really expensive and those keywords with a high CPC will most likely give you visitors that relate with your business and convert better.
  • Competition – this metric will tell you how hard is it to rank for a specific keyword. With a high competition you will have a really hard time trying to rank higher in search engines, so look for medium and low competition.

Now that you know what each metric means, you need to find keywords that are balanced with a decent Global Monthly Searches number, a high CPC and a low competition.

Another thing to consider is the match type that you are analyzing. By default Google will return Broad Global Monthly Searches, which means that it will include searches that contain your keyword and other words.

On the other hand the [Exact] match will count only those searches that match exactly your keyword.

For example, an [Exact] match will count only the “seo software” queries for the “seo software” keyword, while a Broad match will also count “seo software reviews”, “seo software comparison”, “seo software free” for the same keyword.

You can select your match type from the left sidebar.

When you optimize a webpage or when you write an article think about what you want to achieve with that page/article and choose 1 main keyword for which you want that to rank.

For my articles I prefer to do keyword research before writing them, because I want to write the article with those keywords in mind and naturally spread them across the article. Sometimes I am so inspired and I just start to write, so I leave this process for the time when I finish writing, but most of the times, I do this prior to writing the article.

Others prefer to do keyword research for articles after they write them. I am fine with that and in my opinion everyone should have it’s own process, so really, create your own process and follow that.

Advanced users will also test the keywords before implementing them into their website using an AdWords campaign. You can setup an AdWords campaign using exact match keywords and measure the traffic that you get after a couple of hundred clicks.

Track clicks, impressions and conversions. See how many converted and work out how much traffic and revenue you will get using the leaked AOL data mining.

As a final note to keyword research, consider following these best practices:

  • Do not target keywords that have a high competition
  • Do not target keywords that have a high search volume
  • Look for exact match instead of broad match
  • Target keywords that are relevant to your business
  • Target the singular form of keywords and not plural
  • Pay close attention to CPC (Cost Per Click). Higher CPC give you higher conversions.

URL Structure

One of the first WordPress SEO hacks you need to apply is related with your URL structure.

By default WordPress will use for your URLs question marks and lots of numbers, which don’t really have a value for your search engines and can’t improve your SEO.

However, you can change this by setting WordPress to generate SEO friendly URLs.

To do this you need to go to [Settings] > [Permalink Settings] and change the Common Settings to [Post name].

WordPress Permalink Settings

If you post multiple times a day and plan to publish a large number of articles over time, then you might consider using dates in the URLs.

But the downside of this is the fact that some visitors might consider some articles too old if they see the date and they will leave your website.

Plus it’s a best practice to keep the URLs shorter, so [Post name] is the best way to go about this.

Remember that you can change your URL to whichever you want while editing an article or page to keep it short and relevant

Title Tags

Title tags are really important because they are shown in the browser title and used by Google in the search engine results pages.

The first thing that visitors will see when browsing the results will be the title tags.

That is why title tags are also a really good call to action which should make the users click your link.

To improve this make sure that your title is compelling.

Also, remember to always use the keywords you are targeting towards the beginning of the title tag and make sure that each title tag is unique.

Meta Description

It’s what users see in search engines along with the title tag and you should carefully write it because the meta description can increase or decrease your click-through rate.

Additionally, place your target keywords towards the beginning of it and make each of them unique.

Body Copy

When talking about WordPress SEO the copy of your articles/pages is really important.

This is probably one of the most important factors for getting a good ranking in search engines.

TThe are a couple of important things that you need to focus on when writing the copy of your article/pages.

First you need to make sure that you write for people, not for search engines, because you will get the attention of your audience. They will know that you are genuine.

Again, the search engines are smart enough to see when you over optimize your copy.

Second, use the keywords that you researched and place them naturally in your article. Just by knowing them from your research your brain will automatically place them where they are appropriate.

Additionally, if you are looking to read more about the perfectly optimized page, check Perfecting Keyword Targeting & On-Page Optimization, written by Rand Fishkin, the CEO of SEOmoz.

Perfectly Optimized Page

Blog Privacy

If you have installed your WordPress blog using an automatic script provided by your hosting company, I would recommend you to check the privacy settings of your WordPress blog.

To do that you need to go to [Settings] > [Privacy Settings] and make sure that [Site visibility] is set to [Allow search engines to index this site].

WordPress Privacy Settings

This way search engines like Google will be able to come, crawl and index your website.

In case the other option is selected, then they will come, read the message and leave without indexing your WordPress blog, thus your blog will not exist for them.

Internal Linking

Interlinking between articles and pages on a WordPress blog is not only a common SEO practice, but also a good way to keep your visitors engaged with your content, thus keep them longer on your website.

To do this, just add a link to related articles while writing, just as I did above.

I’ve seen some WordPress plugins that do this automatically, but I would recommend you to keep the links at a decent level and place them manually.

These automatic plugins will place 5 links in a phrase and this will look spammy for both visitors and search engines.

Link out

Linking out might not be a proper SEO technique, but it has a couple of advantages.

One of them is that you will provide to your readers additional resources that they might find interesting and helpful.

This way you will add even more value, which will make visitors to come back or subscribe to your blog.

Another advantage is the fact that when you will link out to other people and send traffic there, they might notice it and return the favor.

If they will appreciate it they will come to comment on your articles, share them with their audience and even link back on a different occasion.

Use ALT Attributes for Images

Using ALT attributes for your images is mainly an accessibility factor for your visitors with disabilities.

But because search engines encourage making websites more accessible is also considered a ranking factor.

That is why it’s strongly recommended that you should use ALT attributes for your images.

To do this, you need to make sure that you when uploading images to WordPress you also add text for description and ALT fields.

WWW vs non-WWW

By default you can access your website by typing WWW before your address on not.

Example: http://www.eugenoprea.com and http://eugenoprea.com

However, if you keep it this way, you will loose a lot of link juice because some people will link to you using the WWW version and others using the non-WWW version.

This way, you will have 2 versions of the same page splitting Page Rank and link value.

But you can solve this problem by 301 redirecting all your traffic from the non-WWW version to the WWW version or the WWW version to the non-WWW version.

To do this you will need to add a couple of rows of code in your .htaccess file.

The .htaccess file is located in the root directory of your website and you can access it via FTP or your hosting Control Panel.

Once you edit your .htaccess file it should look like in the example below to redirect traffic from WWW to non-WWW.

# Redirect Non-WWW to WWW
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourwebsite\.com
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yourwebsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]
# END Redirect Non-WWW to WWW
# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

# END WordPress

Remember to replace yourwebsite with your website URL.

Additionally, you will need to add WWW to the [WordPress Address (URL)] and [Site Address (URL)] in the [General Settings] section of your WordPress blog.

Change WordPress and Site Address

Note: Once you press the save button, you will be logged out and you will need to enter your login credentials again.

XML sitemaps

It’s recommended to have a XML sitemap, update it regularly and submit it to search engines, so you can get your articles indexed faster.

If you are not doing this already, I would recommend you to create a Google Webmaster Tools account and submit your XML Sitemap.

To create an XML sitemap in WordPress, use Google XML Sitemaps.

The Google XML Sitemaps plugin will allow you to automatically build and submit your sitemap to search engines. It also let you configure how the sitemap is created, where it’s stored plus other options you can check out.

Use WordPress Update services

One of the default options of WordPress is to notify popular update services by sending a XML-RPC ping when you publish a new post or update one.

Everyone uses Ping-o-Matic, which is sending one “ping” from you and lets many other services know that you have updated the content of your blog.

The Ping-O-Matic’s server (rpc.pingomatic.com) is listed by default in the WordPress [Update Services] list. All you need to do is sit back and let it work for you!

But if you would like, you can also add other update services that can be pinged when publishing posts.

Personally I have added these services to my blog and I noticed that my articles are indexed and ranked within 1 hour from when I publish them.

If you would like to also add there services to your blog, just copy the list and paste it into the [Update Services] section from the [Settings] panel > [Writing].

XML-RPC Ping Services

http://rpc.pingomatic.com
http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2
http://rpc.twingly.com
http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2
http://api.feedster.com/ping
http://api.moreover.com/ping
http://api.moreover.com/RPC2
http://api.my.yahoo.com/RPC2
http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping
http://blo.gs/ping.php
http://bulkfeeds.net/rpc
http://geourl.org/ping
http://ipings.com
http://ping.blo.gs/
http://ping.feedburner.com
http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php
http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/
http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2
http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2
http://www.blogshares.com/rpc.php
http://www.blogsnow.com/ping
http://www.blogstreet.com/xrbin/xmlrpc.cgi
http://www.feedsubmitter.com
http://www.newsisfree.com/xmlrpctest.php
http://www.pingerati.net
http://www.pingmyblog.com
http://www.weblogalot.com/ping

Getting Links

Authority is something that Google likes and it will give you good SEO rankings if it sees you as an authority.

You can start building this authority by asking your friends to link to your site. Now almost everyone has a site and every link counts even if it’s from a site with low authority.

Next, in order to get links and traffic, make sure that you optimize your social media profiles.

Sites like Google+ and About.me allows you to have backlinks to your site that send link juice and improve your rankings.

Once you do this basic link building, you can move at the next level and start commenting on other people’s articles.

This can send back link juice from blogs who have a dofollow policy and traffic if your comments are compelling enough.

Then you will need to move into guest posting, which is the best way of building links from authoritative websites.

With guest posting you will not only get backlinks to your website, but it will also help you build traffic and trust among the readers of your host blogs.

You can get links back to your articles and landing pages of your website.

Additionally, add your website to major directories (Yahoo Directory, DMOZ, BOTW or JoeAnt), which still offer link juice for your website. Yahoo and BOTW have paid listings and your DMOZ submission might take a while to be approved, but JoeAnt is definitely a winner.

Finally, here they are, your easy to get backlinks in the order of their SEO value. If you don’t have links from these websites already, get them right now:

Setup Google Webmaster Tools

One of the tools that will help you in your efforts to optimize for SEO your WordPress website is Google Webmaster Tools.

You can signup for this with your Google account and then you need to verify your website.

Once you do that Google will provide you access to a wide range of metrics about your website such as who is linking to you, which of your keywords have a good ranking in Google or +1 reports.

Additionally you get access to a variety of tools that will help you submit a sitemap, configure your website for Google and much more.

Google Webmaster Tools also provides status reports about your website crawlability and if Google finds any malware.

Tools: Scribe SEO

Scribe SEO gives you a chance to see how your article scores before you even publish it.

And this is important. Really important.

This way you will be sure that when Google will come to index your articles, they will get a good score from start.

Next, all you have to do is just build some authority and your article will improve it’s SEO rankings and it will be boosted on the first page of Google.

To start using Scribe SEO just get a license, install the plugin on your site or use the web tool to analyze other pages and start analyzing your articles before you publish them.

Using the best practices I was talking about above, Scribe SEO will tell you what you did right and what you did wrong, so next time you will not make the same mistake again.

All you have to do is analyze your article and follow it’s guidelines to score 100%.

ScribeSEO Content Analysis

Then, once you start to use it regularly you will see that your articles will score 100% from the first analysis because your subconscious will learn the rules and it will not let you do the same mistakes over and over again.

Tools: WordPress SEO Plugin

The WordPress SEO plugin from Yoast helps you optimize your WordPress website if you don’t use a premium theme with SEO options.

The WordPress SEO plugin will allow you set custom meta title and meta description tags, give you control offer what you should index and what not, create XML sitemaps and much more.

One interesting thing that I like about the WordPress SEO plugin is the fact that you can strip the /category/

Tools: SEOmoz

I talked before about SEOmoz, which is an online service that will help you manage your SEO campaigns, do keyword research, track your rankings and do competitive backlink analysis.

I would recommend you get a trial and see how it can help you increase your keywords rankings.

Tools: Advanced Web Ranking

Advanced Web Ranking helps you track your keyword rankings in search engines, see who is linking to you, displays traffic data from your Google Analytics account and provides you insights about your social media activity.

Read more about Advanced Web Ranking in my SEO 101: Keywords, Ranking, Links and Analytics article

DO NOT Overly Optimize your Blog

If you have worked a lot to optimize your website for search engines, but you’ve overly optimized it, then you are in danger.

Google is rolling out updates that will address this and you need to make some changes so you can avoid getting penalized:

Takeaways:

  1. Use authentic, non-spammy titles for your articles
  2. Avoid manipulative internal linking
  3. Take out links from your footer if it’s too crowded
  4. Avoid text content blocks built especially for search engines
  5. Don’t get links from penalty-likely sources
  6. don’t create different pages which target similar keyword with slight variations.

You can check the video transcription here.

Analyze your Results

Making sure that what you do works is really important because you know if it’s worth continuing to do it.

That is why I would recommend you to dive more into learning Google Analytics.

If you are eager to do it, signup for my free Google Analytics course or take it at the next level and get my Web Analytics Blueprint paid course.

Your input

Now that you’ve learned more about the WordPress SEO process, please let me know what action you are going to take right now to improve your rankings and the traffic you get from search engines.

Use the comments section below to do that or lave questions if you have any.

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How to use Advanced Segments in Google Analytics http://www.eugenoprea.com/advanced-segments-in-google-analytics/ http://www.eugenoprea.com/advanced-segments-in-google-analytics/#comments Thu, 05 Apr 2012 12:24:52 +0000 http://www.eugenoprea.com/?p=3270 You know that you need to take Google Analytics more seriously, but you tend to avoid it sometimes.

Am I right?

If I am, then you can take this opportunity to learn more about Google Analytics Advanced Segments, what they are, why you should use them and how you can use them to get more insights from your data.

I will show you how you can create Advanced Segments and give you some examples you can apply for your website immediately.

What are Advanced Segments?

Advanced Segmentation is a tool you can use to slice and dice your Analytics data with great precision. Advanced segments allow you to choose what types of visits you want to be considered when generating the data for a report.

This is the official definition provided by Google for Advanced Segments.

In other words, by using Advanced Segments you can easily filter the data so you can properly analyze it and get more insights out of it.

Say for example that you want to see how engaged are the visitors that come from a social media profile or a guest post. You can use Advanced Segments!

Or to discover long tail keywords (keyword phrases that consist of between two and five words) that are used by visitors to reach your website from search engines. You can use Advanced Segments!

And the possibilities are endless with this Google Analytics feature.

How to create Advanced Segments?

If I got your attention, let’s see how you can create an Advanced Segment.

From the default view of Google Analytics, click on the [Advanced Segments] button.

Once you do that a list with the default segments will appear and you can click non the [+ Create New Segment] button to create a custom segment.

Create Advanced Segments

Then, using [AND] and/or [OR] statements you can filter the traffic of your website and create new segments to see that traffic filtered on all reports.

Advanced Segments Examples – Social Media

Now that you know how you can create Advanced Segments it’s time to add them to your Google Analytics account.

Social Media is a powerful medium and it’s important to see how the visitors that come from Social Media outlets behave.

To measure that you can track different segments for all social media sites or segments for individual sites, so you can compare them.

Social Media Segment

For start let’s have a look at a Social Media segment that will filter the traffic from more than one outlet.

Social Media Segment

To create this segment you will need to select [Include] > [Source] > [Matching RegExp] as condition and paste the code below:

(twitter|”t.co”|hootsuite|tweetdeck|bit.ly|facebook|plus.url.google|
linkedin|pinterest|youtube|reddit|digg|delicious|stumbleupon|ycombinator|flickr|
myspace|popurls)

copy it on one line

This regular expression will match all the above sites and if you get traffic from them, they will be included in the segment.

Once you do that, you can press the [Test Segment] button to see how many visits your segments matches.

When you are ready hit the [Save Segment] button to save your segment.

Twitter Segment

If you would like to filter traffic only from specific Social Media sites, you will need to apply the conditions that will match just that website.

Let’s take Twitter for example:

Twitter Segment

You can see that in this example are included multiple sources that contain specific terms. These terms are actually sites or Twitter clients that are known in Google Analytics to send traffic to your site.

Facebook Segment

Now that you have a Twitter segment, it’s time to also add Facebook and other social media sites in the mix.

Using the same technique add one segment for Facebook:

Facebook Segment

Google Plus Segment

Google Plus is already an established network so it makes sense to track the traffic that comes from it:

Google Plus Segment

Pinterest Segment

Pinterest seems to be the faster growing social network and more people use it for marketing purposes. If you also do that, the create an advanced segment for Pinterest:

Pinterest Segment

If you want to learn more about how you can track Social Media traffic with Google Analytics, check out my guest post on Social Media Examiner.

Now that we’ve checked out how to track social media traffic, it’s time to see how you can use Advanced Segments for SEO purposes.

Advanced Segments Examples – SEO

The following 3 segments will help you filter the traffic that arrived to your website based on the number of words the keywords contain.

But to make the most of them, be sure to check the [Organic] report under [Traffic Sources] > [Sources] > [Search].

1 Word Keywords

You can use the [1 Word Keywords] segment to see if you rank for any keywords that are powerful, like “insurance”, which is quite difficult, by the way.

Most of the times, you will not get good results but it’s good to check anyway.

1 Word Keywords

To create this segment use the following regular expression:

^\s*[^\s]+(\s+[^\s]+){0}\s*$

2-3 Words Keywords

Analyzing [2-3 Words Keywords] will give you really good insights, because these keywords convert really well they usually direct targeted visitors to your site.

2-3 Words Keywords

Use the following regular expression to create this type of segment:

^\s*[^\s]+(\s+[^\s]+){1,2}\s*$

4+ Words Keywords

The long tail keywords are really good to analyze, because if you are a blogger they can give you a ton of ideas for future articles.

Sometimes visitors can be directed to your articles/pages even if they look for something different and even if they leave, this will help you find your next post idea.

More Than 4 Words Keywords

Use the following regular expression to create this type of segment:

^\s*[^\s]+(\s+[^\s]+){3,}\s*$

The next 2 Advanced Segments relate to each other and you can use them the way you find it easier.

You can filter branded keywords and see what are your fans searching when looking for your website or filter non-branded keywords and analyze only those keywords that are used by new visitors.

Branded Keywords

In this example you will need to add an [AND] statement.

Use as a regular expression something similar with the one below, but with your own terms:

Branded Keywords

(eugen|oprea|eugenoprea|eugen oprea|eugene)

Non-Branded Keywords

Non branded Keywords

Again, use your own terms, just like in the example above for the regular expression.

However, in this case, [Exclude] your branded terms.

Advanced Segments Examples – Referrals

You can also create Advanced Segments that will help you segment the traffic you receive from a friend or a guest post, referrals in general.

To do this use the examples in the Social Media section and replace Google Plus, Facebook or Pinterest with the website you receive traffic from.

This way you will be able to see how visitors from a specific guest post behave and how they compare with the ones from another.

How you can use Advanced Segments?

Advanced Segments are a really powerful method of filtering your traffic.

If you are still wondering how you can benefit from them, think at the fact that they can isolate specific data to analyze it and discover behaviors.

Then you can take that data and compare it with another batch.

You are able to see visitor engagement, loyalty, what sources convert better, what visitors are readers, customers, subscribers and so on.

Segmenting is truly powerful and today it’s your chance to start diving into it.

Back to you

Now you don’t have any other excuse, so let us know in the comments below what Advanced Segments you have implemented.

Or if you have other that are not shared here, please add them below.

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The Friday Wrap: Making decisions http://www.eugenoprea.com/the-friday-wrap-making-decisions/ http://www.eugenoprea.com/the-friday-wrap-making-decisions/#respond Fri, 30 Mar 2012 08:19:38 +0000 http://www.eugenoprea.com/?p=3252 In February I was talking about taking action and this is what I’ve been doing in the meantime.

It involved a lot of planning, using calendars and making decisions, which is something that I would like to discuss with you today.

At the end of 2011 I promised you an amazing 2012 and this is what you will get. I worked a lot behind the scenes and you will see the results in the coming weeks.

But before that, I have a question for you: How do you make good decisions and how do you know that they are good?

Let’s start from this and continue the conversation in the comments below.

Now, back to the Friday Wrap. Here are the best articles from this week:

Web Analytics

The Definitive Guide to Google+ Analytics

This post discusses how Google Analytics can be used to analyze Google+ in-site interactions (e.g. +1 button clicks) and off-site interactions (e.g. comments, posts, shares that happened on Google+).

Go With The (Google Analytics Event) Flow

When the world was focused on web analytics a common analysis technique was path analysis. The goal was to find the “magic path” through the website that lead to the most conversions and then force everyone through that process.

The Growth of (Not Provided)

With Firefox poised to make HTTPS encrypted Google search its default search engine, the black hole of keyword referral data lumped into (not provided) in Google Analytics appears likely to experience another major growth spurt.

SEO

Romanians are Smart or How to Change the Google Autocomplete Suggestions

I am a Romanian. I am proud of it, despite of what the world thinks about Romanians. What people think about Romanians could be influenced by Google. Google is a voice in the world, which influence in a positive or negative way, even if we do not like it.

I totally added this link because the value of the article is great and of course because I am a Romanian.

Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links

Have you got a message like the one below from Google? If so then it means that Google has discovered some links that it doesn’t like in your link profile and you need to act fast to fix things.

How to Optimize Your Business For Local Search and Social Marketing

If you have a local business or one that targets audiences in a specific geolocation, then you will want to move beyond general guides for search and social optimization. This post will take you through several marketing strategies for local search and social media marketing.

WordPress

Empowering journalists with WordPress

Is blogging journalism? Are bloggers journalists? Have you ever heard these questions, or questions like them, before? For those interested in writing and publishing, as I’m sure many of us are, these are important questions. Words like “blogger” and “journalist” are important and carry a lot of meaning.

How to Add Social Media Icons to Your Sidebar, Without Using a Plugin

Social media should be a critical part of your website in that you can share your website articles with your followers and interact with them through your social media channels.

Integrate Blog Comments and Twitter, Ninja Style

When you are first starting out as a blogger, it can be tough to see a mere trickle of comments come into your site. You spend all of that time and effort in crafting perfect blog posts, and it seems that no one is willing to give you the time of day.

Blogging

How to Find and Keep Great Writers for Your Blog

As a web marketer you’re probably already familiar with the concept guest blogging. This “content for links” strategy works so well because both parties are receiving something truly valuable. As the writer of the article you receive a link to your domain from a trusted source…

12+ Blogging Tips for Better Business Blogging & Community

It’s amazing how a meme can turn into a stream of content when it resonates well with a community. Recently I was sent a set of interview questions and one of the questions asked about building blog community.

25 Clever Ways to Grow Your Email Marketing List

It’s a sad fact, but your email marketing database degrades by about 25% every year. Your contacts’ email addresses change as they move from one company to another, they opt-out of your email communication, or they abandon that old AOL address they only use to fill out forms on websites.

Social Media

How to Automate Your Social Activities

Are you looking to simplify management of your social activities? If so, then Ifttt is for you. Don’t be put off by Ifttt’s crazy name. This is one handy tool that you should definitely know about.

7 Ways to Get Your Blog Noticed in a Crowded Niche

Are you struggling to get your blog noticed in a crowded and competitive niche? Do you have to lock horns with celebrity bloggers who are sucking the oxygen out of your topic area?

Social Media ‘Best Practices’ Questioned

As the founder of Rev Media Marketing, Lori R. Taylor is always emphasizing the importance of maximizing our clients resources and focusing our efforts on providing the best response for their needs.

Now over to you

What you’ve found really useful this week. Share it with us in the comments below.

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Premise Review – Membership Site & Landing Page Software http://www.eugenoprea.com/premise-review-membership-site-landing-page-software/ http://www.eugenoprea.com/premise-review-membership-site-landing-page-software/#comments Thu, 01 Mar 2012 11:21:58 +0000 http://www.eugenoprea.com/?p=3190 Whether you are just starting a blog or you are an experienced entrepreneur, you need to get an income with your website.

In order to get an income you need to have something for sale whether it is a product, like an eBook or course, or maybe some services.

But what is the best way to make your products available for people to buy and attract people to buy them?

If you are tech savvy that’s an easy question, but what happens if you are not able to custom code a landing page or setup a membership software that requires hours of hand-on work?

Luckily, Copyblogger Media has built Premise which made creating landing pages really easy and now it’s launching the version 2.0, which ads a membership module to help you easily setup a membership site.

Getting Started

If you are serious about using your website to help people and also make a living from it at the same time, then you need to setup a system that will help you achieve that.

You will need to have, for start, a blog where you can publish content to become an authority in your field and make people trust you.

Then you need to setup an autoresponder, so you can keep your visitors engaged with your content and get their permission to receive messages from you.

Once you start building an audience and your newsletter list, then you can make them an offer.

But don’t wait until you will have 10,000 people on your list, do it even if you have 100. It works!

Now, in order for you to achieve all this you need to have that system in place. You will need to build landing pages, products, to have a PayPal account, to use a membership software and to make everything work like a Swiss watch.

Sounds really hard, isn’t it?

Introducing Premise

It is, but I am here to help whether I provide you advice or point you to the best solution that can help you achieve what you need.

In this case, I will introduce you to Premise, a WordPress plugin that started initially as a landing page software for WordPress.

But from version 2.0 will also helps you build membership sites and sell products really easy.

Without further ado, let’s get started:

Create beautiful Landing Pages

For Start, Premise can help you create beautiful landing pages in 8 different styles:

  • Sales Page
  • Content Landing Page
  • Pricing table landing page
  • Opt In
  • Video Page
  • Tab Scroller
  • Thank You
  • Social Share

Additionally, it provides you over 1,000 graphics to make them look even better.

If you are not a fan of coding, then you shouldn’t worry, because Premise can help you control fonts, colors and styles without adding a line of CSS or HTML.

Write your copy with advice from expert copywriters

With Premise you get copywriting advice as you write your landing page copy, so you don’t need to go anywhere from your WordPress editor.

Using the similar buttons with the ones that you are familiar, Premise will auto-complete your landing page with text that you can use a model and easier withe the copy for it.

Along with the tips and templates for each landing page type, you will also get, as part of your membership “The Premise guide to effective copywriting”.

Premise Landing Page

Test, rinse and repeat

Once you finish the copy of your landing page, you can integrate premise with Google Website Optimizer or Visual Website Optimizer to test different elements of your pages.

On top of these capabilities, you can also get access to conversion seminars with industry experts on this topic.

This way, you will learn best practices that you need to follow in order to build effective landing pages.

Here’s a screenshot with just a small part with what you will get once you signup for Premise.

Premise Content

But Wait! There is More!

Now, with Premise 2.0 you can build not only landing pages, but you can also:

  • Build rock-solid membership sites with WordPress
  • Take recurring payments with automated access management
  • Automatically drip member content over time
  • Securely sell ebooks, software, and other digital downloads
  • Confidently create private forum areas with vBulletin
  • Quickly set up password-protected content libraries
  • Easily build check-out pages for PayPal and Authorize.net

So let’s see how you can get started building a membership site and selling your digital products right from your WordPress website.

If you haven’t installed Premise yet, it installs just like a regular plugin, but once you have it installed, make sure that you add your key to [Premise] > [Main Settings] > [API Key].

To activate the Membership module, just select it from the same window.

Premise Membership Settings

Settings

For start you need to configure the system and you can do it from the [Settings] menu under [Member Access].

The [Member Access] options panel will appear once you enable the membership module from the main Premise settings.

Main Settings

On the [Main Settings] section you are able to enable SSL for your checkout process, but if you want to use it, you will need to purchase a SSL certificate and have it installed by your hosting company.

Namecheap provides SSL certificates at a really good price.

Once you buy it, you will need to discuss with your hosting company about installing it. You might also want to check how much that would cost prior to your purchase. HostGator charges $10 for an installation.

So, with about $20 you will make your customers feel more secure when purchasing your products.

Additionally, you can setup your country and the pages where your members can purchase the product, login and the page where they are redirected after the purchase.

You can easily create these pages and add any next you want there but do not forget to also include these shortcodes:

  • or to add the checkout form on the checkout page
  • or
    to add the login form on the login page

Once you create these pages, just select them from the drop down lists.

Premise Member Access Settings

Payment Settings

From this section you are able to easily setup the payment processor for your membership site or product.

You can use PayPal for Express Checkout and Website Payments Pro or Authorize.net as a payment processor. Please note that you need to have an account with one of them.

For testing purposes, I would recommend you to create a dummy account using Paypal’s developer sandbox. This way, you don’t need to use your personal account and refund yourself.

To setup the payment settings, just get the required details from either PayPal or Authorize.net.

Premise Payment Settings

Email Settings

Once a member purchases your product or signs up for your membership, they will receive a couple of emails and from this section you can control the look of the “from” email address.

You can setup the name that you would like them to see and the email address to which they can reply if they have questions.

Premise Email Settings

File Protection Settings

This section allows you to setup the directory that will store your protected files (if you have any).

That directory will reside under your uploads directory and everything you upload there will be protected by Premise.

Premise File Protection Settings

Forum Settings

Here you can enable the vBulletin Bridge and setup the user group for your members.

Premise Forum Settings

Products

If you want to use Premise to sell products then once you setup the settings, you need to move to the next panel, [Products].

With Premise Ultimate you can setup an unlimited number of products into your system and here’s how you can do it:

Premise Add New Product

All you have to do is to add a name, description and price for your product and then publish it. Just like a regular blog post.

Additionally, you can customize the email receipt that your customer will get after the payment is complete.

If you want to setup multiple access levels (let’s say that you want to add some extra bonuses for specific users), you can setup them from the right hand, just like regular post tags.

Orders

All the orders that have been done on your website can be seen in the [Orders] panel.

If you move your mouse over a specific order and click [Edit], you will be able to review the details of that order.

Link Manager

In the [Link Manager] panel you are able to setup download links for your products (eBooks, videos, mp3s or any other digital product).

Premise Membership Link Manager

All you have to do to setup a download link is to add a name for it, the name of the file that is already uploaded in the protected directory (/member-access/ in our example) and the access level that the user needs to have to get access at this product.

The access level can be setup for each product from the product page.

Additionally, you can also set a delay access to each product. This way your members will have access to a specific download (if there are more) after a specific time period.

Once you publish the link, you are able to copy the download URL and add it in the welcome email so your customers can easily access the product.

Reports

The [Reports] panel helps you see statistics about your purchases and it will display the users that have purchased something from you, the products that each of them has purchased, the date and the price of the product.

Protect Content

One of the main features of the new Premise version is the content protection, which can be done very easy from the post, page or landing page you want to protect.

Premise Member Access

By default, the [No Membership Required] option is selected and this means that the post, page or landing page is public for everyone to see it.

You can change this to [Has Member Access to] specific access levels if you have setup a couple or [Does not have Member Access to] if you plan to provide access to almost all access levels.

But there is more, of course!

You can provide access or hide specific content from a post, page on landing page based on the membership level. So, for example you can make a page available to multiple access levels, but want to offer some extra content to specific members. You can do that with Premise.

Other Shortcodes

On top of the shortcodes mentioned above in the article, you can also use the following ones:

  • or to automatically add the product title
  • or to automatically add the product desciption
  • or [product-_price productid=”10″] to automatically add the product price
  • or to automatically add the link that will direct the user to the checkout page
  • Please Log in to view your account. or Please Log in to view your account. to automatically add support for members to change their password
  • or to automatically display the products which a member has access to
  • or to automatically insert the first name in the welcome email
  • or to automatically

 

Yes! There is also a deal!

With the new functionality of Premise 2.0 Copyblogger Media should have raised the price, but funny enough they have reduced it.

You can get Premise 2.0 with unlimited websites or domains, membership gateways, digital product downloads, landing pages, updates & support and save $70 instead of spending more.

That’s $95 for the latest version of Premise.

However, they will not keep this price for a long time, so if you are thinking to get Premise, do it now.

Get Premise now, before the offer expires or Brian changes his mind!

 

Even if the deal is over, you can still Get Premise at a really got price with Unlimited Everything.

What about you?

What’s your experience with Premise? Do you have a Premise license already? If not, what’s stopping you from getting one?

Let me know in the comments section below.

Later Update – FAQs

I will use this section to update this section with questions I stumble on.

How can members log out once logged in?

Your members will be logged into WordPress, so all you have to do is just provide them a link to logout like this one below:

http://www.webanalyticsblueprint.com/wp-login.php?action=logout

… yoururl.com/wp-login.php?action=logout

How do members edit their profile?

Premise is fully integrated with your WordPress blog and all you have to do to let members edit their profiles is just point them to the edit profile feature of WordPress while they are logged in:

http://www.eugenoprea.com/wp-admin/profile.php

… yoururl.com/wp-admin/profile.php

How can I setup recurring payments?

In order to setup recurring payments with Premise for your membership site there are a couple of steps that you need to follow:

  1. In the Member Access > Settings Section, select “Enable Recurring Payment Option?” to enable subscriptions on individual products.
  2. When you create your product select the option “This is a subscription”
  3. Do not forget to edit the product duration for the period when you want to charge your clients next. This way Premise will setup a preapproved payment in your customer’s PayPal account and they will be automatically billed at the next billing cycle.
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The Friday Wrap: Take Action http://www.eugenoprea.com/the-friday-wrap-take-action/ http://www.eugenoprea.com/the-friday-wrap-take-action/#respond Fri, 03 Feb 2012 14:08:25 +0000 http://www.eugenoprea.com/?p=2966 Today I am going to take a different approach with the Friday Wrap.

From now on, you will get along with the best articles from last week 1-3 action items that will help you achieve more with your business.

As promised, this is part of my goal to increase the quality of content on this blog.

This week we are preparing for an amazing 2012. So, do not delay and take action immediately:

  1. Setup goals for 2012 – I know that we are in February now, but if you haven’t outlined your goals for 2012 yet it’s time to do it. If you don’t do it, you will just walk around without a clear focus. Also, break each big goal into small easier achievable chunks and celebrate every time you complete one.
  2. Use a calendar – Google calendar does a good job, but you can use any calendar. Use a calendar to add those goals into your calendar and stick with them. Feel free to change things around, but get a way of seeing anytime your goals.
  3. Book your time – Book time in your calendar to write an article, a guest post or answer emails. This way, you will set yourself a limit and you will become more productive.

Now, back to the Friday Wrap. Here are the best articles from this week:

Web Analytics

Google Analytics Tutorial: 8 Valuable Tips To Hustle With Data!
Eight recommendations for unlocking the full value of Google Analytics, and strategies for doing incredible digital data analysis.

Episode 53 – Google Analytics Premium with Phil Mui
In this episode, the Beyond Web Analytics team talks with Phil Mui, Senior Product Manager of Google Analytics about the introduction of Google Analytics Premium.  The group discusses what lead to the creation of the paid version, the new features and expanded functionality, and what the future may hold for Google Analytics.

4 Key Analytics Metrics That You’re Probably Underestimating
What are your site visitors trying to tell you? In this post, learn how to use analytics to uncover how and why visitors are interacting with your site.

SEO

7 Smart Tips to Boost SEO Rankings and Traffic
Learn how to boost SEO rankings and traffic using 7 smart tips and without much of an effort. See where to start and what you need to do next.

Lies Writers Tell To Cripple Your SEO Copywriting
Even the newest of SEOs and marketers understand how important content is to developing a brand presence. Your content is who you are. It’s your voice in the market and what you use to convey your message to customers.

How Much Does SEO Cost? 3 Analogies To Help You Determine Its Value
“Why can’t you just give me a straight answer?” Johanna’s voice showed a trace of irritation. “All I’m asking is how much you charge for SEO services!”

WordPress

How to Add Pinterest “Pin It” button in your WordPress Blog
Step by step guide on how to add the Pinterest "Pin It" Button to your WordPress blog without a plugin.

The Ultimate Guide to Implementing Facebook Comments on your Blog
Using Facebook Comments on your blog offers your readers a way to instantaneously comment on posts, as well as to share them without having to do any work.

Why You Hate The WordPress Text Editor and What To Do About It
There is a lot to not love about TinyMCE – the open source text editor that is used in WordPress. I’ll start. Who here thinks that this is an ample number of buttons for a WYSIWYG text editor?

Blogging

When Should You Start Selling from Your Blog?
How do you know when your audience is ready to buy from you? Should you wait to “monetize”? How big does your audience need to be?

The best content curation tools online
Are you using content curation tools? Lilach Bullock Social Media Expert shares her top tips on how and why you should be using content curation tools and lists the…

Build Your Platform – Start
The age of social media oversaturation is upon us. People are declaring Twitter bankruptcy to go along with their email bankruptcy. They cite not wanting to start on yet another social network as their reason for not getting more involved with Google+.

5 Essential Qualities of Growing Your Blog Quickly in a Crowded Niche
The five essential qualities of successful bloggers and how they have found a way to stand out from their peers in a very short period of time.

What to Do When You Hate Your Blog
Hate your blog? Fed up of it? Tired of churning out crap? Here's what to do about it. Click to read more.

Social Media

5 Ways to Brand Your New YouTube Profile
YouTube Marketing: how to optimize the new YouTube layout to get more from your video marketing efforts as Google+ integrates fully with YouTube.

100 Ways to Become a Twitter Power User
CNNFortune reported 100 million Twitter users log in at least once a month. Half of those, 50 million, log in every day. About 55% check in with mobile devices, while about 40% just check in without actually tweeting. Those numbers.

How to *Own* Google+ Using Sparks and Ripples (and gain friends and influencers in the process).
Google+ has two excellent features that are worth paying attention to: Sparks and Ripples. Learn how to use them to expand your social network.

Design

12 Critical Elements Every Homepage Must Have [Infographic]
An infographic describing the 12 critical elements of a website’s homepage.

CSS3 & jQuery folder tabs
Check this article to learn how to create cool folder tabs using nothing more than pure CSS3.

What Successful Products Teach Us About Web Design
Web design is a craft that is constantly evolving and yet also sometimes sabotaged. The moment a design is released, a new version is born. In the beginning, like a baby, it seems vulnerable and weak, but in time it grows up and becomes self-sufficient.

Why Rounded Corners are Easier on the Eyes
Rounded corners are used so much today that they’re more of an industry standard than a design trend. They’re not only found on software user interfaces, but hardware product designs as well.

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