Facebook Opens Up ‘Donate’ Button To All Nonprofits

This new Facebook feature is hard not to like. The social network announced on Monday that all nonprofits can now add the “Donate Now” button to their cause’s page. Some are calling the feature more of

Source: Facebook Opens Up ‘Donate’ Button To All Nonprofits

Find your website’s grade

A plus

Check out your website’s functionality

It’s time to start amping up your business for fall. Your first step is to see how your site measures up on the internet. Is it loading quickly. Are there any issues? Could you do a better job of your SEO?  Find out by doing a quick check over at Hubspot.
Just type your name into the field provided at:  Website Grader

#NoHacked: How to avoid being the target of hackers

If you publish anything online, one of your top priorities should be security. Getting hacked can negatively affect your online reputation and result in loss of critical and private data. Over the past year Google has noticed a 180% increase in the number of sites getting hacked. While we are working hard to combat this hacked trend, there are steps you can take to protect your content on the web:
READ MORE HERE:

Source: Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: #NoHacked: How to avoid being the target of hackers

WordPress › WordPress 4.2.3 Security and Maintenance Release

Source: WordPress › WordPress 4.2.3 Security and Maintenance Release

Google changes their algorithm to better present URLs in search

google_logo_3D_online_large

The structure of your URLs has always been extremely important in terms of your customers and clients finding what they are looking for. With Google’s announcement (and roll-out) yesterday April 16 2015, the structure is more important than ever.

Your site will now be presented in the search using the “real-world name of the site instead of the domain name”. These changes are going to be very interesting to say the least.

Well-structured URLs offer users a quick hint about the page topic and how the page fits within the website. To help mobile searchers understand your website better when we show it in the mobile search results, today we’re updating the algorithms that display URLs in the search results to better reflect the names of websites, using the real-world name of the site instead of the domain name, and the URL structure of the sites in a breadcrumbs-like format.

These changes are rolling out gradually and affect only mobile results. The site name change is US-only for now, and breadcrumbs are rolling out worldwide

Site name requirements

First, the website names you supply in your markup should meet the following criteria:

  • Be reasonbly similar to your domain name
  • Be a natural name used to refer to the site, such as “Google,” rather than “Google, Inc.”
  • Be unique to your site—not used by some other site
  • Not be a misleading description of your siteRead more about

SITE NAME REQUIREMENTS here:
https://developers.google.com/structured-data/site-name

Read more about BREADCRUMBS here:
https://developers.google.com/structured-data/breadcrumbs

For more information, additional links, and troubleshooting guide, click here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ca/2015/04/better-presentation-of-urls-in-search.html

Will Google’s major upcoming change seriously affect your business?

algorithm

Google announced in February 2015 that they will be changing their algorithm to include mobile ready sites as a marker in determining ranking in the search results. To quote them:

When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns.

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.

What this means is that to get a high ranking in the search results, or to continue getting good ranking, the theme on your WordPress site must be mobile friendly.  For example, the STUDIOPRESS themes have been mobile friendly for a very long time. These are the themes that I use exclusively when I build a WordPress website.

If you don’t know whether your site is ready for this change in the algorithm, click here to go to GOOGLE’S SITE where they have a tool in the sidebar to confirm whether your site’s theme is mobile friendly. It’s fast and easy to do, and well worth your time.

If you find that your theme is not mobile friendly, CONTACT ME as I have a package available that will update your site to an awesome mobile theme and get you ready for Google’s change.

Are Newsletters REALLY That Important?

A - ZNewsletters remain the tried and true method for building the “know, like, and trust” factor that can make or break your business.

They are REALLY that important to your business.

.

Here’s why:

1.  Your newsletter allows you to stay in touch with your site visitors even after they’ve left your site. By using an OPT-IN form on your site, you can capture their names and email addresses to begin the process of nurturing relationship with your market.  This is key to the success of your business. I have heard Fabienne Fredrickson say that you need a MINIMUM of 1000 people on your newsletter list before you can launch a product and make a good profit from it, so you have your work cut out for you.

2.  Your customers want to get to know you whether you sell a $2 widget, or a $3000 coaching program. Very few people will purchase from someone they don’t know, like, and trust. To build trust, you have to build and nurture a relationship with your market over time, bit-by-bit.  Writing a newsletter helps you to build that trust. It’s your way of letting them know that you can help them with their problem, and as they get to know you they will become more willing to make a purchase from you.

Build a list of people who want your newsletter:

1.  First you’ll need to enlist the help of an auto-responder service. There are some free ones that you could use to get started if money is a problem, but I highly recommend AWEBER.  They are the best option for an inexpensive service. They do it all when it comes to managing your list, and they make it easy to send out your newsletters and
e-courses.

2. After you’ve gotten your auto-responder service going, your next step is to create a really awesome “gift” in exchange for your reader signing up for your newsletter. For example, you could give away a free course, a free consultation, or a sample of your products. Just make it valuable because this is a spammy world and your reader is still willing to give you their contact information.  That is huge.

3.  Set up an opt-in form in the sidebar of your site, or create a landing page specifically for your Opt-In form. This is great for being able to add some bullet points to clearly explain to your reader what you will be sending out and how often. Add a “Call to Action” above your Opt-In form and then publish your page. Use your social media sites to advertise the link to your page and watch things start to happen.

Relationship Building

Your goal is to build a relationship with your readers. Be your best so they know that they are in for a treat when they get an email from you. Make it interesting, informative and useful. This is what builds relationships. Help them with your information. Make them laugh. Help them be their best.

Many writers spend lots of time on their headline, but if you are offering your best, your headline will come second to the “from” field.  When your emails are awesome then they will get opened — they’ll open your email just because they know it is from you.

Consistently Give

You’ll have to determine what is right for you AND your readers in terms of the frequency that you’ll send out the newsletter, but once you have that figured out, stick to your schedule — people like to know what to expect. I have signed up onto lists where I received information every day. I’ve also been on lists where I received a newsletter on the first day of each month. If you send them too often, your readers may consider them spam, but if you send them out less than once a month, your readers may forget about you.

So, yes, having a great newsletter can increase your business exponentially. Don’t be that business owner who thinks they don’t have to build relationships with their customers. Start where you are and build over time.

I am an affiliate for AWEBER and will receive a commission if you choose to purchase their service. I only recommend products and services that I have tried and think are awesome!

brought to you by the savvyva

 

9 of My Favorite WordPress Plugins

Basic WordPress Plugins for All WP Users

Basic WordPress Plugins for All WP Users

Where would we be without plugins for WordPress?  They expand our sites and enable us to do some very impressive stuff.

Over the years I have tried a lot of plugins — many did not measure up and were less than impressive, but some have proven to be helpful little winners in my book.

As an aside, when you are thinking of installing a plugin, make sure that you get it from a trusted source such as http://wordpress.org/plugins  They tend to purge plugins that don’t measure up, have scripts in them that intend injury to your site, and are no longer supported.

(But even at the WordPress home base, it is prudent to check the stats of the plugin you intend to use to see if it has been updated recently. If it has not been updated in the last two months or so, do not install it. Plugins (and WordPress sites themselves for that matter) that don’t get updated are at a very high risk of being hacked. While you are at it, check the feedback– if it gets good feedback and has been updated recently, you are pretty safe installing it.)

Here are 9 of my favorite WordPress plugins:

Contact Form 7 plugin

Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. Put a little code onto your “Contact” page and it will take care of the rest.

FeedBurner FeedSmith plugin

Redirects all feeds to a Feedburner feed (so your visitors can subscribe to your blog posts via RSS). It’s all done behind the scenes and anonymously. Feedburner is still responsible for a lot of traffic to my site.

Google Analytics for WordPress plugin

This plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics features to your site. Get your Google Analytics code, paste it into the field and let google do its thing.

Google Analytics Dashboard plugin

While Google is doing its thing, you can view the analytics right in the dashboard of your site with the Google Analytics Dashboard plugin.

Google XML Sitemaps plugin

This plugin generates a sitemap sitemap of your WordPress site which is supported by Ask.com, Google, Bing, MSN Search and YAHOO.

Page Links To plugin

This great little plugin allows you to link to an external URL of your choosing. For example, I created a page called ‘Free Videos’ that, in turn, created a the same link on the nav bar, but redirects people to my YouTube Channel. Just think of the uses for your own site.

Insights plugin

Insights allows you to quickly search and insert information (links, images, videos, maps, news..) into your blog posts from either out on the net or from within your own site (awesome for a little interlinking SEO). Automatically gives attribution for the images, videos, news etc to keep you out of hot water.

Simple Image Widget plugin

If you are at all like me, you struggle with getting a picture onto your sidebar. With this plugin you never have to struggle again. Install it, add the code for the pic and voila!

Editorial  Calendar plugin

Keeps my writing on track like nothing else can. I am able to see at a glance as to what is coming up, what I still need to do, and what has already been posted. Drag and drop your scheduled posts if you need to change the order. Basically I’m organized, I’m on time, and I’m happy.

You’ll find them all at no charge here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/

Tips For Creating Powerful Headlines

Men and a woman reading headlines posted in street-corner window of Brockton Enterprise newspaper office on Christmas Eve, Brockton, Mass. (LOC)

You have a mere 3 – 10 seconds to capture a prospect’s attention and the most powerful tool you have to capture and keep their attention is your headline (or title of your post, sales page, or article).

There are several keys to writing a compelling and selling headline. Here are a few tips to help you.

1.  Tap into Your Reader’s Emotions

According to psychologists, buying decisions are based on emotion. So get emotional! Create your headlines so they include a strong emotional benefit (to what you are selling), and you will have written a compelling headline.

Examples:

“You will get amazing results with just a few minutes effort each day”  (easy, simple, effortless).

“Men will flock to you once you lose those last few pounds. Here’s how”  (attractive, sexy, respected, proud)

“Are you ready to attract the man of your dreams?” (in control of destiny, attractive, hopeful)

“Buy this and you will never spend another Saturday night alone again”  (sense of belonging, in control of their own destiny, attractive)

“If this face cream doesn’t take 20 years off your face in just 7 days, I will refund your money immediately” (confident, pampered, safe, hopeful)

OK so these examples are a little over the top, but you get the gist. You have to tap into emotions to get a response from your viewer. If they do not ‘feel’ your message, they won’t take the next step which is to continue reading.

2. Make it Active

Use active language – language that shows movement and that commands attention.

For example,Conquer Your Cravings With This Simple Step”, is an active headline because ‘conquer’ is an active and emotionally powerful word.  Readers get the benefit of feeling powerful and in control, and it commands action.

3. Let Your Reader Know They’re Important

‘YOU’ is a powerful word. Make your readers feel as though your are speaking directly to them. They want to know that you are interested in helping them solve their problems or issues, and/or that you can help them achieve their desires.

Use “You” in your headline.  People want to know what’s in it for them. For example, the difference between “Stop Your Cravings” and “Conquer Your Cravings” is night and day. Conquer suggests that you will never be bothered by your problem again. It is conquered, once and for all. It’s a powerful, action-oriented word, and it creates a compelling reason to continue reading (and make the purchase).

  • Make a promise –   You will get amazing results
  • Make it newsworthy –   Buy this and you will never spend another Saturday night alone again
  • Ask a question –   Are you ready to attract the man of your dreams?

Do you have a formula that has worked really well for you? Tell us what you did by leaving a comment below.

Get Your Bricks & Mortar Business Online

google search fieldYou know when you do a search for a business on Google and they don’t show up? You can access many businesses that are similar, but the one you are looking for doesn’t show in Google search results. It seems really odd, or it could be just me, but when I run into this situation my first thought is, “how good can this business be if they aren’t online?” Then I wonder if it means that they can’t be bothered because they’re redundant and maybe going out of business? Or could it be that they aren’t established yet? Or maybe it’s an old company that just doesn’t believe in the internet and social media?

Basically, I am wary. Is that weird, or is it a sign of the times? I think it is a sign of the times. People want to deal with businesses that are forward thinking and with the times. Hip and savvy are important too. We want to know that any work they do for us is going to be contemporary and current. If they aren’t online and I am, could we be on the same wavelength?

Benefits You Can Count On By Having A Website?
.

Consistent Visibility

You might be offline, but your customers are online. Your customers only notice you when they walk down the street or happen to drive by — otherwise, you are very much invisible. As people spend more and more time online, it is only online businesses that get visibility resulting in products or services being sold.

Communicate Regularly with Customers

Your website is your vehicle for communication, including a venue for collecting email addresses. Most people still check their email regularly, so instead of spending money on print advertising, you could send customers special offers and discounts via email, making your advertising costs much less. At the same time, email can be used to build relationships with your customers by offering other tips and advice via newsletters.

Build Brand Awareness

Your website is completely under your control, giving you the ability to create and promote your brand image. Everything from the design of your site to the content and interaction that happens there builds the image that you want the world to see. Think of it as your dynamic billboard with which you communicate and interact with the rest of the world.

Demonstrate Social Proof

A website is one very important component in demonstrating social proof AKA as proving your integrity. People make purchasing decisions based to a large degree on recommendations. Including testimonials from customers shows prospective buyers that you are here for the long run and can back up your products. Ratings and reviews are also a way to help people make purchasing decisions; think Yelp and similar sites. By the way, your customers can leave reviews on Yelp about your business and being online gives you the opportunity to comment, give thanks, or refute a bad review.

Global Exposure

As a local (offline) business, your ability to  prospect and increase your customer base is very limited. Once your business goes online, the potential for sales is only limited by the logistics of shipping. In fact, some websites like Etsy have made it possible for even the smallest business to give the whole world access to their products.

While it’s possible to survive as an offline local business, the potential to grow and prosper is much better when you have a website. You have to be visible to customers and prospects where they are, and that is online.