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Setting Realistic Website Goals for 2019!

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | January 14, 2019

 

New Year, New Site

The number one thing website owners want to change when the New Year rolls around is to update their theme. That is to update the website’s look or change up the layout all together. However, there’s more to make out of an annual update! Here are a few steps better suited for your website than a new design.

  • Focus on increasing leads
  • Grow your email list & customer base
  • Increase site traffic and successful conversion rates
  • Increase your returning customers and blog engagement

A great article by engeniusweb.com has an infographic that helps with website goals!

Make sure you don’t make outrageous goals, but something like 15%-25% is a reasonable goal for each.

 

Now that you’ve set your goals, how do you track them?

Lucky for you, Google Analytics has your answer! If you haven’t set up your website analytics through Google, it’s easy to do and will help you at every turn on tracking your new website goals for 2019!

Look a little too overwhelming? Real Basics can help set up all your goals and website analytics with your new and improved website. If you host your website with Real Basics, not only will you get security and safety with your website, you’ll also be able to contact us day or night to help make sure your site is always up and always bringing in the traffic you need! Give us a call for a quote today!

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Are Millennials Real? How to Market your Website to the Next Generation

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | December 26, 2018

When you throw words around like “Millennials” it tends to get an eye roll from either Millenials themselves, or everyone who is tired of hearing about what else they’ve ruined this week. However, they’re making a big impact in every aspect of the economy. Millennials technically make up ¼ of the US population with a total of 77 million. (Nielsen). In addition to being one of the most influential generations, they’re also one of the smartest! Millennials are the best-educated group of young adults in US history, with ⅓ of older millennials (ages 26-33) having earned at least a four-year college degree. (Pew Research Center).

So how do you keep your website relevant to a smart and tech-savvy crowd?

  1. Mobile Friendly: Tech-savvy means on the move and always on the phone. Keeping your website mobile friendly will make sure to reach the right audience. All plugins and key components of a mobile-friendly website are important to keep up-to-date. 66% are confident that the information they find on mobile devices is the same on a desktop (Google).
  2.   Speed is Key: Millennials have a sense of urgency. If they don’t find what they’re looking for on your site within one or two clicks, they are likely to leave and go to a competitor’s site instead. The fastest wins the race and the sale.  Make sure your copy is succinct and easily understood, and all major questions are answered as quickly as possible.
  3. Buying incentives: 90% of millennials look for coupons while buying anything online. Aim for attractive CTAs in the right places displaying offers or first-time visitor deals. Updated e-stores are important as well. 15% of millennial smartphone owners make online purchases on their smartphones multiple times per week, plus another 15% make smartphone purchases weekly. (Fluent) Not only does it mean your website needs to be mobile friendly, but user-friendly too!
  4.  Means of contact: The millennials want to know all the possible ways to connect with you – a mere contact phone number won’t suffice. Giving them your email, your Instagram page, your Twitter handle etc. ensures there are multiple ways through which they can reach you. 66% of millennials follow a company or brand on Twitter and 64% like a company or brand on Facebook to score a coupon or discount. (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth).
  5. Minimalism: The new business generation hates clutter on a website and they won’t make an extra effort to gain clarity from clutter. Less is more when designing your UX.

Tired of dealing with your slow and out-of-date website? Real Basics can help update it to a faster speed and cleaner design. Don’t want to overhaul just yet? No problem, consider our ongoing maintenance package. For your first FREE consultation, give us a call today!

 

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Update for December 2018: Signs of Naughty and Nice Websites

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | December 17, 2018


Photo by kevin dooley

Two lists with a seasonal flair from web security provider Sucuri!

“Naughty” features include outdated software, resused passwords, every user is an Administrator, and no automatic backups.  They also point out that if you’ve got more than one website it’s a security risk if they’re all kept in the same folders on your server.  (That’s standard practice for shared-hosting setups like GoDaddy or Bluehost.)  Naughty features according to Securi include having all default settings (allowing anyone to create an account, for instance!) and not having strong security for login attempts.

We’d add that sites should have the latest server software (databases, programming languages) as well as a “green lock” security certificate to protect site visitor privacy.  Note: quite a few hosting companies should get coal in their stockings for not updating their servers or offering free security certificates.

“Nice” features include keeping all site and server software updated, backed up, and secured, only one Administrator’s account with everyone including the owner using an Editor’s account for day-to-day use, having only those plugins and themes necessary to support the features you need, and routine security scans.

Some of the other features on Securi’s list include possibly self-serving features that their plugins and cloud-services happen to provide.  And while we agree those can be a good idea too we’re not yet convinced they’re make-or-break.

Not to put in a plug or anything but if there’s a website on your holiday shopping list that needs a year-end checkup we’d love to help.

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WordPress 5.0 will be cool, but waiting a week for WordPress 5.0.1 will be worth it

By David Innes (Admin) | December 6, 2018

WordPress 5.0 introduced the new Gutenberg editor

The new Gutenberg blog editor is just one of the nice improvements that comes with WordPress 5.0.

It’s a very big change though.  And while it’s been tested by thousands of users they were still making bug fixes and feature changes almost up to the last minute.

That might be par for the course, but in my experiments so far I’ve noticed several problems…

  • There can be multiple “Edit Page” options in the administration bar depending on whether you’re using the “Classic Editor” plugin or page builders.
  • Not all themes and plugins have been updated to take advantage of the new editor or those pesky late bug fixes and last-minute feature changes
  • Even the experts have only had a few hours to assess this “final” version
  • Due to ridiculous timing, WordPress 5.0 was released just as many major developers were on their way to WordCamp US 2018 in Nashville, TN.  (Instead of in their development offices.)

The WordPress developers themselves have said they expect to be releasing minor bug-fixing versions of 5.0 (i.e. 5.0.1., 5.0.2, etc.) roughly once a week

My strong advice?  Wait just a week or two before upgrading to let everyone else catch up.

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Your Small Business Needs a Professional Website

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | November 28, 2018

Websites are more important than EVER!

Unless you’re not interested in growing your business or brand, you need a website.

The ease of the online community today is a major threat for businesses that are behind the times. Research has shown that more customers research shops online more than they do just walking in. “Of those polled, 36.4% said they often check out the store online prior to visiting, compared to 7.2%, who said they don’t.”

Other than statistically, reasons you need a website for your small business include:

  • Showcasing your products or services
  • Access both a local and global audience
  • Become a top Google search
  • Make your marketing a breeze
  • Provide a social media platform for customers
  • Become a trusted expert in your field
  • Harness the power of customer reviews!

Last but not least, using tools like WordPress to help build your site makes it all the more affordable and easy. Not sure where to start and what kind of site you want? Take a look at these great design inspirations!

Real Basics can help you build your small business website and put you on the map! (Google Maps to be exact). Give us a call today to get a free consultation!

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Pexels Partners with WordPress.com to Create a FREE Stock Photo Option

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | September 5, 2018

Great news WordPress users! Struggle to find Stock Photos no more!

Have you ever had the difficult task of finding the perfect (yet free) stock image for your website or blog? I know I have! Even at this very moment I don’t know what the image will be for this post. Will it be an interacting office image like the one on the great WP Tavern article here? Or will it be whatever image from Pexel I can find that has to do with computers and pictures? Can you search “Stock Image” in a stock image site? Questions for a later day, I’m sure.

The geniuses at WordPress.com and Pexel have now partnered to create a free, diverse, and vast library of stock images right in your media bank on WordPress! For many websites and blogs, this is an upgrade everyone’s been anticipating. The feedback on the library has been overwhelmingly positive so far and WordPress.com users have already downloaded more than 1 million images since the free stock image library was introduced.

WordPress.com users can access the images via the Add Media button.  Try it today!

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Blogging about Blog Posting for Blog Posts – What to Really Blog About!

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | June 4, 2018

Blogging Got You Down?

Worry not! Real Basics knows your pain!

Blogging on a weekly, monthly, or even daily basis is a lot to take in! Researching, writing, and re-writing all while keeping up your business seems impossible, but a recent article on contentequalsmoney.com lays out the simple question, “I’ve set up a business blog, now what?” Well, let’s look into specifics:

How do I come up with new ideas for every post?

The answer is a lot simpler than you’d think! Instead of writing about what you personally think people want to read, make your experience a little more scientific with the Google Keyword Planner. Start simply by searching words or phrases associated with your brand, products, or services your business provides. When Google provides this list to you, just pick and choose keywords to make your topics of blog posts! This method gives your blog posts the relevance to your readers because you’re now appealing to what they’re searching. The Keyword Planner also lets you build out charts to track keywords and phrases. Once you’ve built your keyword search structure, you can dive deeper into bidding on Google Adwords to boost your visibility online! We know this is a daunting task knowing how and what to spend your money on, and Real Basics is happy to assist in building your campaigns!

Find your Audience

Chances are, there’s a blog out there similar to yours. While that may be discouraging to think about, it’s actually a good sign. It means there’s an audience for you! Your business would not be successful if it wasn’t for you being able to sell your product to an audience, whatever type or group of people that may be. The 2nd best way to know what your audience is interested in, is to look into what the big blogs are talking about! Seeing what kind of opinions bigger blogs have makes it easy to agree or disagree with them in your own writing.

We know blogging is hard and knowing your audience is a lot of work! Real Basics can help you manage everything on your website from SEO, search words, blogging topics, style upgrades and much more! Learn about all our services HERE

Happy Blogging!

 

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Do You Need Customer Testimonies on your Website?

By David Innes (Admin) | May 9, 2018

The Best Plugins to Showcase Your Business Reviews

Customers are key to any business! Using the customer voice is a great tool to help your potential customers look into other’s experiences. Showcasing these reviews can be tricky connecting to review sites like Yelp or Google reviews. Here are some great plugins from an article by WPBeginner for WordPress to help show your best customer reviews!

  1. Testimonial Rotator is an easy to use WordPress testimonials plugin. It allows you create a testimonial carousel and add rotating testimonials anywhere on your website.
  2. Easy Testimonials allows you to add a customer feedback form on your website, so you can collect testimonials. You can also manually enter testimonials from your WordPress admin area.
  3. Strong Testimonials is one of the most customizable WordPress testimonial plugins. It comes with multiple display options including testimonial slider, grid layout, masonry layout, single column layout, and more.
  4. WP Testimonials is a simple yet highly customizable testimonials plugin. It allows you to easily add testimonials and sort them into categories and tags.
  5. Testimonial Slider offers a modern WordPress testimonial slider with an improved user experience. It comes with a slider as well as plain list layout.

 

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Can Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, other Site Builders “Do” SEO as Well as WordPress?

By David Innes (Admin) | April 26, 2018

Can other Site Builders do SEO as well as WordPress? Instead of saying yes or now let's ask some questions instead.

Most of the SEO pros I know gripe, that compared to self-hosted WordPress websites, site-builder platforms like Wix and Weebly are a nightmare both to work with and in terms of search-engine indexing/ranking results. Wix, Weebly, and other partisans (and paid staff!) naturally bitterly object that they are too just as good as WordPress.

My assessment is that many sites built with those other platforms underperform because they’re built by beginner or untrained site owners who may no know the first thing about doing SEO correctly anyhow. It’s also possible those platforms don’t have the sort of internal assessment and bulk-update tools that mature WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO, etc. have. That would tend to bias SEO pros.

Oh, and site builder platforms may or may not be very good at adding “seo” facilities (actually more like social-media) like Facebook pixels, Pinterest verification, etc.

The good news is once a platform reaches a certain saturation point Google’s likely to teach its AI how to spelunk through the kind of ugly, unstructured HTML and Javascript salad some page builder sites use to make things “what you see is what you get” for authors. So at least in principle you probably can make sites that Google can parse and rank.

But why argue, especially since all platforms (including WordPress) are constantly evolving?

Instead let’s ask questions that should help assess any platform’s SEO potential:

  • Can you customize which categories or tags are set as the default?
  • Can you customize ecommerce product URLs (are they clean and human readable or are they code salad like “?prod=c78485311”)
  • Can you add customized meta description to all pages including ecommerce product pages?
  • Can you customize page titles for all post types including product pages?
  • Can you add the kind of targeted microcoding Google uses to create rich Google Cards in search results?
  • Can you add the kind of metatags and validation scripts social media platforms require to work well?
  • Can the platform provide correctly formatted images for social-media banners, default images, etc?
  • Oh yeah, and do they provide individual permanent links for blog posts that don’t evaporate the bottom entry when a new one is added the way (can’t remember which) one of those platforms notoriously does?

If yes (cough*WordPress*does*cough), and if it can do those things in a standardized and efficient way then cool beans. Otherwise?  Maybe not.

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What to Look for in a Woo Commerce Theme for a Seamless Web Store

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | April 10, 2018

Your Web Store needs Woo Commerce

This word has confused and worried Business Owners for over a decade now with online shopping being a pinnacle of a wide range and functional website. If you have things to sell, you’re most likely going to need a functional online store. Before we get into the best themes and looks for your online store, first let’s explore what Woo Commerce really does and how it plays into your online business.

What is Woo Commerce?

A great tutorial from ithemes explains Woo Commerce as a plugin that integrates easily with your existing WordPress site, turning your site into a fully functional WordPress e-commerce website with just a few clicks. With the plugin’s booming success since it’s launch in 2011, it now currently powers over 99% of WordPress e-commerce websites in the US, Canada, and the UK. The best part though? WooCommerce is designed to make getting started as easy as possible, with a simple installation and setup to get your e-commerce store up and running in no time!

Themes, Themes, & More Themes

Choosing the right theme isn’t always easy. When new and old businesses alike look for a theme for their website, here’s a few tips on what you’re looking for from a great article by Envatotuts:

  • Attractive Design – On top of looking good, your chosen theme should be appropriate for your audience and the type of products you sell. For example, if you sell clothes or toys for children, use a theme that has a playful look and bright colors.
  • Continued Updates and Support – Choose a theme that is well-supported and maintained to avoid any possible conflicts when WooCommerce or WordPress itself as they release their updates.
  • Custom Functionality – if you know that you will require custom functionality like sliders, custom widgets or different layout possibilities, choose a theme that already has those features integrated.
  • Responsive Design and Fast Loading Time – Keep in mind the increasing use of mobile devices and look for a theme that has responsive design and loads fast.

Learn more about what to look for and great suggestions on Woo Commerce Themes here.

Still too much for you to take in? No problem!  Real Basics can help you set up with Woo Commerce or any online store for your website. Give us a call today to get set up with a FREE Consultation and get your website selling!

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