How to Enable Sales with Content Marketing

Posted at December 12, 2015 at 8:57 am by Stacey Talieres

How-to-Enable-Sales-with-Content-MarketingWe live in a buyer’s world. Period. Long gone are the days when you could just advertise at many random digital avenues and expect a steady stream of click through rates to your website. Today’s consumers have changed. They tend to block out the advertisements, look beyond the logos, overlook the seemingly innocuous promotions and wouldn’t sign-up for newsletters. They need the information when they want it, in the format that they want it. They have access to mobile and prefer to gather information on their own rather than being force-fed it.

If you are still broadcasting your products or services to the haystack, you may have more luck fitting a camel through the eye of a needle than your target audience finding your products or services. So how do you make your customers notice you? How do your cut through the noise and get the right information to your customers? With the web littered with chock-a-block content, and more getting added every minute, content marketing which doesn’t enable your sales is like bringing more sand to the beach. Earlier it was the sales teams that used to shoulder the sales funnel, but nowadays the sales funnel has transformed more into touchpoints rather than funnel. Today the content needs to create business value which can be created by creating customer values where the customer is at
the centre. Read on to learn how you can create customer-centric content to enable sales.

Determine the goals for your content marketing plan

The first thing which you need to do is determine the goals for which you want to create content. Is it to create awareness, interest, consideration, evaluation, conversion or retention? Determine the goals and then create the content marketing plan accordingly.

Know your content marketing audience

Remember if your content is for everyone, it is for nobody! Your content marketing plan only works when audiences respond. Just knowing your buyers’ persona is not enough, you need to know your audience for each piece of content you are penning. You also need to understand why the content is being written, that is, what is the desired behaviour change you want to see in order for this content initiative to be a success. What is the desired outcome, as in, what is in it for the reader? The content marketer needs to think of all this and more before you can start on the plan.

Determine information your audience seeks

Just because the information you think is important doesn’t make it automatically what your audience may be seeking. You need to first find out what information your audience require and then work on the content accordingly.

Incorporate your brand into your content

You need to be very careful when incorporating your brand into your content as if it sounds like a promotional piece, your readers will disappear faster than a speeding bullet. Incorporate your brand subtly without making it look like a promotional piece.

Talk about your company

The most successful companies are those that have an emotional connect with their audience. Talk about your organization’s initial days and share interesting trivia with your readers to create a connection with them.

Use different content formats for your content marketing and build an editorial calendar so that you have better visibility of your content and its formats.  Make your content interesting and have a strategic approach focused on distributing and promoting the content to drive desirable customer actions.

Ways to Reduce the Bounce Rate on Your Website

Posted at November 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm by Stacey Talieres

Ways-to-Reduce-the-Bounce-Rate-on-Your-WebsiteImagine an upscale shop with all the latest designer wear, swanky accessories, and fancy outlet. Now,  you would envision people flocking to the store and the queue to be as long as a mile. But sadly for the  owners, people come to the store, browse around and just leave in a few minutes. Now, imagine this in an online setting. You have the best website with amazing design and superior content. People come to your website but leave quickly. This is what is called as ‘Bounce rate’. According to Google Analytics, “Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).” It is the percentage of traffic to your website, where visitors come to your website and leave early without any form of engagement. They do not click, don’t read, and don’t interact in any way. These are the online versions of people who land in your shop, just walk around and quickly walk away thinking, “No…Nope…Nopes”. Well who wants such
kind of visitors? We all want our audience to hang out, keep them engaged and send them through the next step down our sales funnel. But how do you keep your visitors stay put on your website? Fret not! The solution is here. Read on to know the most common culprits of increased bounce rates and ways to tackle them:

Slow web page

“Ain’t no one got time for that” This popular meme phrase is so apt when it comes to slow web pages. With the decreasing attention span of visitors, a slow load page is a sure-shot recipe for increased bounce rate. There are various software available where the load time could be checked. Keep the load time to under two seconds by adding small sized images, reducing slides, effects and custom fonts and by using a reliable and good web hosting provider.

Auto play Videos and Advertisements

If auto-play vidoes or hordes of advertisement pops up once a visitor enters your website, they would be out of your website before you could say Jack Robinson. These kinds of ads may bring you pretty penny but are detrimental in long run. If you need to put ads on your website, ensure that the ads are not intrusive and are relevant to your audience. Get rid of the auto-play videos, they are annoying and doesn’t help you or your visitor. Auto-playing videos without the consent of the users is not good for the usability and would guarantee an increase in the bounce rate.

Poor Grammar

We all may not be Grammar geniuses but no one likes to read web pages littered with spelling errors and simple grammatical mistakes. Get your website’s content error proof to keep the bounce rate low.

Providing Unrelated Links

A visitor clicks on your link through search engine and comes to your landing page only to find out that whatever content s/he was looking for is nowhere to be seen. If the headline and links don’t take the visitor to the relevant content, your website would come off as unreliable. Never provide misleading links.

Not skimmable content

Your Grammar is perfect, you have proof-read your content few times, your content is relevant for your audience and you are still facing high bounce. The issue may be that your content is just placed like a novel and is not skimmable. Understand that your audience doesn’t have time to go through your content. Add bullets, headlines and subdivisions and highlight the major points so that your visitors can easily read the content and understand the points.

Hard to read fonts

You may think that a certain custom font makes your website look aesthetic but if your landing page is not readable, you would certainly battle high bounce rate. Use an easily readable font in colours which are not difficult to read. If your content is not readable in the first glance, you may need to change the font or the colour. Legibility is of prime importance if you want to keep the bounce rate low.

Apart from these tips, ensure that your website looks appealing and convey a sense of credibility and safety. Nothing upsets a visitor more than a website which screams ‘scam’ with their design and content. Also, have a clear ‘call to action’ button on all your landing pages. Keep your form small as nobody likes to fill long forms. Ensure that your website is responsive.

If you have incorporated all these tips in your website but your web page load time is still high, you may want to upgrade your hosting provider. Established as a premier web hosting provider located in Secaucus, New Jersey, InterServer provide unparalleled webhosting services at an affordable cost.

Known for quality, reliability, with safe and secure facility, and 24/7 superior support,

InterServerprovides a 30 day money back guarantee on shared hosting, along with 99.5% uptime and a

100% power guarantee. To know more about our WordPress hosting, please visit

http://www.interserver.net/0click/wordpress-hosting.html

Monstroid – Gulliver among the Lilliputians

Posted at November 29, 2015 at 12:55 pm by Stacey Talieres

Have you heard about Monstroid, a brainchild that came out of TemplateMonster’s factory production line not so long ago? We compared this WordPress theme with main hero of Jonathan Swift’s book, “Gulliver’s Travels”, Lemuel Gulliver because Monstroid really looks like a giant among most of the themes on the market.

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Read on and you’ll know much more about this multipurpose theme. First of all, we would like to emphasize that Monstroid is not just another WordPress theme, but the whole web designer’s toolkit able to cater to each and every need. Monstroid can become your lifetime partner as there is nothing impossible for it when it comes to web design and development.

From our viewpoint, the fact that Monstroid is oriented not only towards professionals, but also to DIY guys can be considered its real benefit. The developers even divided the theme’s features into two categories: for advanced users and amateurs.

By the way, if you are a newbie to web design and development, that’s not a big problem. Click this link to get to the Startup Hub and find everything you need to know about how to start a website. A very practical resource, so just give it a try. We believe professional developers will also find useful information there.

But let’s get back to Monstroid.

With all the practical features of this WordPress theme, you can build a modern website in just a few hours. A variety of pre-designed child themes for multiple business niches come in one package with Monstroid. There are 39 of them at the moment, and this number continues to grow.

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Monstroid pack includes 100+ layered PSD files for those who like to dig into Photoshop. That means that all pages of every Monstroid theme can be edited in Photoshop.

Monstroid offers its users multiple layouts. Manage your site look and feel by means of these options, including boxed, full-width, with left or right sidebar or no sidebars at all.

It’s not surprising nowadays that user-friendly websites are responsive, so it goes without saying that your web page, built on Monstroid, will adapt to any gadget with any screen size. Text and images are very flexible, so they will be rendered correctly. Why should you restrict your visitors in terms of location or device? Using a fully responsive website will not only provide users with good service, but boost your conversion, as well.

Parallax scroll is in vogue today. Websites with this effect are very visually appealing! They improve user experience considerably creating the illusion of 3D environments and letting the visitors feel immersed in it. Why do we mention that? Because Parallax is another Monstroid benefit.

Want to show off your best products in some interactive way? Background video is there for that purpose.

Monstroid gives you the possibility of choosing between multiple slider plugins (Cherry Simple Slider and premium MotoPress Slider), which come with Monstroid for free. With their help you can assemble good-looking slides of text, images and videos, decorating them with nice transition effects.

WordPress charts plugin lets you embed and manage interactive charts into your posts and pages, making it easier to visualize your complicated data and quickly comprehend it.

Font icons are scalable graphic elements that can be adjusted to different sizes without any loss of quality. Your font icon will look sharp even on high-resolution displays.

Now let’s have a look at Monstroid technology.

The theme has the fourth Cherry Framework release at its core. Therefore, the theme is easy-to-install, has solid Bootstrap options, plenty of shortcodes and widgets, and a foolproof way to update the current design with Parent/Child theme possibilities.

Monstroid is equipped with Installation Wizard. With this plugin you can install all theme files without using FTP or file manager. Please note that you are able to install only those plugins you are going to use and not overburden your website with unnecessary stuff.

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Theme settings backup feature is one of the most useful ones. It allows you to back up your settings and then restore them at any moment.

Monstroid developers have been really generous and have included a number of premium extensions with the package, that is, they are free for Monstroid owners.

Google Map API lets you mark the location of your company on an interactive Google map. This will make customers’ route to your company office swift and trouble-free.

Thanks to full Social Integration you will be able to promote your website via all popular social media networks.

The theme is SEO, Mobile & Google-friendly, so your website will be highly ranked on Google Insights website.

Run a multilingual WordPress site. Modify pages, posts, custom types, menus and theme’s text with WPML and they will be displayed correctly in every language.

The developers have included Google Analytics for you to obtain detailed insights of how visitors interact with your site. Track their actions in order not to miss the moment when some amendments should be made.

With 500+ Google Web Fonts you can change the styles of all fonts on your Monstroid-powered website. Do this through the Cherry Settings.

You can extend your site’s capabilities using extensions like BuddyPress, bbPress and others. Monstroid supports third-party extensions.

Create colorful infographics or present the stats you need in the form of pies, columns, areas, lines with Charts feature.

With Shortcode Editor you can create an unlimited number of shortcodes to call any content the way you want.

Static Area Builder allows you to create custom headers and footers or remove them from certain pages.

Add dynamic properties with LESS by means of variables, mix-ins, operations and functions with Dynamic CSS.

The following may sound unbelievable, but with Independent Modules all plugins available in the Monstroid pack can be used independently out of the framework.

And one more essential Monstroid feature. CSS Compile/Minify plugin gives you the ability to unite multiple CSS files into a single file, which improves overall site speed.

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As you can appreciate, the information about Monstroid features is not exhaustive. But you can get to know the rest from the theme’s documentation, which really covers every aspect.

And now we would like to draw your attention to some of the Monstroid pre-designed pages peculiarities.

The home page of Monstroid has 7 design variations. They include business, personal, blog, one-page, parallax, video, and landing pages. Just choose the one that seems the most appealing to you or is most suitable for your needs.

Monstroid is integrated with WooCommerce, a powerful e-Commerce platform. That means that you can build a store out of the box by simply replacing the default content with your own. (The Monstroid package comprises a full set of e-Commerce options and pre-designed pages: home, shop, category and product page).

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Monstroid offers several designs for portfolio pages (Masonry, Grid and Justified). The page comes separate from the other posts and pages of your site. It allows you to categorize and tag your projects so that they do not overlap with the rest of your posts.

Monstroid Gallery includes 7 pages. You can showcase your works (photos, designs, etc.) in Masonry, Grid or Justified style and manage them quickly and easily.

Contact Us page is available for the visitors to get in touch with you. It is functional and attractive.

Today almost every website has a blog. This helps to build/improve customer – brand relationship monitoring what content they like and enabling them to comment. Monstroid offers several blog styles: Classic, Grid, Masonry, and Timeline.

A well-designed Services page with thorough items descriptions will definitely increase your sales.
As a rule, FAQ page contains an extensive knowledge base answering the most frequent questions about your company, services, and products. Such things save you and your customers’ time as they reduce the number of repetitive inquiries.

Good Testimonials give your potential customers the needed confidence to think that you are a reliable partner and it is safe to deal with you. Testimonials page can affect your conversion rate as a result.

Team page serves for displaying team members’ profiles with direct links to their social media profiles using handy widgets and shortcodes.

Monstroid features a custom-designed About us page where you can place information about your company. The theme will help you give this page a striking look. It’s important, as the ‘About us’ page is one of the first pages people see before they start browsing your website.

What else is worth mentioning about Monstroid? Unlike many other companies, its developers provide the theme owners with free updates and 24/7 support for a lifetime!

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Not enough benefits for you? What would you say about 50+ royalty-free images you can use any way you like? They are also included as part of the Monstroid pack.

Should we sweeten the deal even more for you? Ok, if you really like this theme and want to purchase it, here is a 30% promo code “interserver”! Summing up everything said above, you can buy a multipurpose theme for all your web design needs and save nearly 24 bucks. You must agree that this is a really good investment.

It looks as though we have said enough about Monstroid; now it’s time to leave you alone and let all the information sink in for a while. Your own further research and comments on this huge WordPress theme are also welcome.

Thanks for your attention and good luck with your Monstroid!

InterServer was a Proud Sponsor of WordCamp NYC 2015

Posted at November 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm by Michael Lavrik

InterServer is proud to have sponsored WordCamp NYC 2015.  The WordCamp conferences are unique in that they are all locally organized and cover a wide range of WordPress related topics.  This local forum allows experts the ability to provide invaluable information and networking opportunities to designers, developers, business owners, and bloggers.   The team at interServer was elated to have the opportunity support the WordPress community through our sponsorship of the event.

The conference took place from October 30th to November 1st, 2015 at the New York Marriott located at the Brooklyn Bridge which was widely recognized as a huge success.

The Halloween themed event was a great gathering for the community it was educational and informative while creating a fun and festive environment for everyone in attendance.  We were especially impressed with this year’s lineup of presenters, all of whom we found to be enlightening.  Whether newer users or seasoned WordPress experts, everyone benefited from this event

Some Fun Facts:

  • Lots of great swag was circulating around the event
  • Contests were up and running (across social media)
  • Sponsorships ranged, from hosting companies to plugins (Woo Commerce)
  • Conferences were well attended with great feedback about the topics covered
  • Attendees loved the snack stations, which were a hit!

Several attendees asked us what compelled us to partake in WordCamp NYC and the answer was pretty simple our customers! At InterServer we help thousands of users set up their WordPress sites and keep them up and running smoothly 24 hours a day.  We always take cues from our customers and when we received feedback that we should look into this sponsorship based upon our offering of fully managed WordPress hosting, we agreed and began our quest to join in on the fun.

Finally, from the entire team here at InterServer we would like to thank WordCamp NYC 2015 for the opportunity to sponsor such an exciting event.  We would also like to thank all the speakers and presenters who shared their learnings and findings with all in attendance.  We’re looking forward to next year’s conference and will continue to seek more sponsorships that will support the community.

Next up WordCamp U.S.A. in Philadelphia on 12/4/15 thru 12/6/15 see you there!

 

phished imageMost responsible website owners would never dream of creating phishing pages. Google actively searches the web for potential phishing and flags sites thought to host malicious pages. Some site owners wake up to a message in search that their site is flagged as a phishing portal. Honest site owners don’t know what’s considered phishing, so they panic and immediately try to have the site reviewed. Having your site flagged isn’t the end of the world, but you do need to clean up pages before you can have a successful review. A successful review removes the warning from Google search results, so it’s in imperative that you act fast. Here are the why, how, and what you can do to fix a phishing flag placed on your site.

Understand What Constitutes Phishing

You might not even know that your pages are considered phishing portals. The first thing to ask yourself is what pages could be considered phishing. The first red flag is a site that doesn’t use SSL or TLS on their web server but retrieves personal data. SSL (and now the newer TLS) are certificates you install on your web server. The certificates allow you to provide encryption between your site and client’s browser. SSL certificates provide your site with the ability to use HTTPS as the protocol, which protects against eavesdroppers.

Go through your pages and identify if any of them ask for personal information. If a user lands on your page using HTTP, he should be redirected to the HTTPS version of the page before entering private information.

Another possibility is how you process data. When you submit data from a web page form, it  sends data either in a form POST or GET action. The GET action sends data in the browser’s querystring values. You’ve probably seen web pages with a question mark and variables appended at the end of the page name. Querystring values look like the following:

Mysite.com/?firstname=john&lastname=smith

The querystring is everything after the question mark. In this example, a user’s first and last name is passed to a processing page. What if the querystring contained a social security or bank account number? This is considered insecure. When hackers use phishing methods, they are generally sloppy in how they set up pages. For this reason, poorly secured or programmed sites are considered suspicious and flagged.

Another common and much more difficult problem to identify is a hacked site. Hackers who gain access to your site place phishing pages on the domain without your knowledge. This makes it much more difficult to track and identify the phishing page.

You can use a crawler that looks specifically for hacked content. For instance, AWSnap (aw-snap.info/file-viewer/) is one site that crawls specific pages, identifies any suspicious code and gives you suggestions. Another tool is Securi.net. This tool also lets you subscribe for a fee and use it to automatically crawl your site at a specific rate. If any suspicious files are found, Securi sends you a notification.

If you can’t find the hacked pages, you’ll need to hire a professional. Google won’t remove the warning until any phishing content is removed from your domain.

In rare occasions, your site might be incorrectly flagged. If this is the case, you can request a review and explain. Google also provides this URL for reporting incorrectly flagged sites:

google.com/safebrowsing/report_error/.

You should also know that Google has different levels for warnings. The most common form of a phishing notification is “Deceptive site ahead.” The message is displayed in the Chrome and Firefox browsers. If Google believes you host malware, the warning indicates that a site could harm a computer or contains malware.

What Can You Do to Fix the Site?

What you do to fix your site depends on what caused the phishing notice in the first place. If you take personal information with no encryption, you need to purchases an SSL/TLS certificate. Contact your host first. Most hosts offer a security certificate for their customers. It could be a free or paid upgrade depending on your hosting plan.

Once you install the certificate, you need to redirect your pages to the HTTPS version. You use a 301 redirect for moving from the HTTP to the HTTPS version. If you use WordPress, there are plenty of plugins that help you redirect. If you have custom applications, check with your developer. You don’t need to use HTTPS on all pages, but it’s recommended. Google announced that it uses encryption as a minor ranking factor.

If you’re using a GET form action, this is more difficult to fix if you aren’t a coder. You need to change the form submission process, which takes some coding from your end. If the forms you use are from a plugin, you can either contact the plugin coder or use a different plugin. If you hired a coder to implement forms, he needs to change the submission code. The processing page can remain mostly the same.

Finally, if the site is hacked, it’s also difficult to troubleshoot. However, with hacked sites you can usually disable the plugin causing the security breach and delete the malicious pages.  To avoid the situation, always upgrade your WordPress version and any plugins. Don’t download plugins where the owner does not manage and support updates. Most plugins must be updated after a few WordPress updates, and WordPress disables incompatible plugins.

Request a Review

After you’re confident that the phishing pages were removed and any hacks were deleted, you can now request a review. The review process happens through Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools). If you haven’t already signed up, take some time to sign up and register your site in Search Console.

In the Malware section of Search Console, click the “Request a Review” button. Explain what you did to fix the site in the text boxes. Google employees review the site and the review requests, so be as detailed as possible with what you did to remove the content.

Google is very fast with malware reviews (as opposed to their reconsideration requests that can take weeks). The alert should be removed within 24 hours, but it usually happens in only a few hours.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Site?

If your site was hacked, you must take precautions from it happening again. Change your site’s passwords, and update any WordPress plugins. If the hackers were able to access your site’s files, check your local computer for any security holes.
Chrome extensions are one way a hacker can gain access to your passwords. Malicious extensions can perform numerous logging events to get your information.

Finally, always rotate passwords for important applications such as FTP used to connect to your host. Keep antivirus running on your machine, and always update definition files to avoid being victim to new viruses.

Once you have a hacked site, you never want to go through the trouble again. It’s a good lesson for webmasters who aren’t serious about security. There are numerous scripts that can be downloaded on the Internet, so penetrating WordPress sites doesn’t even require advanced capabilities. Always upgrade your plugins and WordPress version to avoid falling victim to these scripts.
Thankfully, Google is quick to remove the warning provided you cleaned up the phishing pages. Your customer’s data and privacy should always be a top concern, so always follow best practices for your websites.