Your Indexed Pages Are Going Down – 5 Possible Reasons Why by @benjarriola

Your Indexed Pages Are Going Down – 5 Possible Reasons Why by @benjarriola

Getting your webpages indexed by Google (and other search engines) is essential. Pages that aren’t indexed can’t rank.

How do you  see how many pages you have indexed? You can

Each will give different numbers, but why they are different is another story.

For now, let’s just talk about analyzing a decrease in the number of indexed pages reported by Google.

If your pages aren’t being indexed, this could be a sign that Google may not like your page or may not be able to easily crawl it. Therefore, if your indexed page count begins to decrease, this could be because either:

  • You’ve been slapped with a Google penalty.
  • Google thinks your pages are irrelevant.
  • Google can’t crawl your pages.

Here are a few tips on how to diagnose and fix the issue of decreasing numbers of indexed pages.

1. Are the Pages Loading Properly?

Make sure they have the proper 200 HTTP Header Status.

Did the server experience frequent or long downtime? Did the domain recently expire and was renewed late?

Action Item

You can use a free HTTP Header Status checking tool to determine whether the proper status is there. For massive sites, typical crawling tools like Xenu, DeepCrawl, Screaming Frog, or Botify can test these.

The correct header status is 200. Sometimes some 3xx (except the 301), 4xx, or 5xx errors may appear – none of these are good news for the URLs you want to be indexed.

2. Did Your URLs Change Recently?

Sometimes a change in CMS, backend programming, or server setting that results in a change in domain, subdomain, or folder may consequently change the URLs of a site.

Search engines may remember the old URLs but, if they don’t redirect properly, a lot of pages can become de-indexed.

Action Item

Hopefully a copy of the old site can still be visited in some way or form to take note of all old URLs so you can map out the 301 redirects to the corresponding URLs.

3. Did You Fix Duplicate Content Issues?

Fixing duplicate content often involves implementing canonical tags, 301 redirects, noindex meta tags, or disallows in robots.txt. All of which can result in a decrease in indexed URLs.

This is one example where the decrease in indexed pages might be a good thing.

Action Item

Since this is good for your site, the only thing you need to do is to double check that this is definitely the cause of the decrease of indexed pages and not anything else.

4. Are Your Pages Timing Out?

Some servers have bandwidth restrictions because of the associated cost that comes with a higher bandwidth; these servers may need to be upgraded. Sometimes, the issue is hardware related and can be resolved by upgrading your hardware processing or memory limitation.

Some sites block IP addresses when visitors access too many pages at a certain rate. This setting is a strict way to avoid any DDOS hacking attempts but it can also have a negative impact on your site.

Typically, this is monitored at a page’s second setting and if the threshold is too low, normal search engine bot crawling may hit the threshold and the bots cannot crawl the site properly.

Action Item

If this is a server bandwidth limitation, then it might be an appropriate time to upgrade services.

If it is a server processing/memory issue, aside from upgrading the hardware, double check if you have any kind of server caching technology in place, this will give less stress on the server.

If an anti-DDOS software is in place, either relax the settings or whitelist Googlebot to not be blocked anytime. Beware though, there are some fake Googlebots out there; be sure to detect googlebot properly. Detecting Bingbot has a similar procedure.

5. Do Search Engine Bots See Your Site Differently?

Sometimes what search engine spiders see is different than what we see.

Some developers build sites in a preferred way without knowing the SEO implications.

Occasionally, a preferred out-of-the-box CMS will be used without checking if it is search engine friendly.

Sometimes, it might have been done on purpose by an SEO who attempted to do content cloaking, trying to game the search engines.

Other times, the website has been compromised by hackers, who cause a different page to be shown to Google to promote their hidden links or cloak the 301 redirections to their own site.

The worse situation would be pages that are infected with some type of malware that Google automatically deindexes the page immediately once detected.

Action Item

Using Google Search Console’s fetch and render feature is the best way to see if Googlebot is seeing the same content as you are.

You may also try to translate the page in Google Translate even if you have no intention to translate the language or check Google’s Cached page, but there are also ways around these to still cloak content behind them.

Index Pages Are Not Used as Typical KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which help measure the success of an SEO campaign, often revolve around organic search traffic and ranking. KPIs tend to focus on the goals of a business, which are tied to revenue.

An increase in indexed pages pages may increase the possible number of keywords you can rank for that can result in higher profits. However, the point of looking at indexed pages is mainly just to see whether search engines are able to crawl and indexed your pages properly.

Remember, your pages can’t rank when search engines can’t see, crawl, or index them.

A Decrease in Indexed Pages Isn’t Always Bad

Most of the time, a decrease in indexed pages could mean a bad thing, but a fix to duplicate content, thin content, or low-quality content might also result in a decreased number of indexed pages, which is a good thing.

Learn how to evaluate your site by looking at these five possible reasons why your indexed pages are going down.


Image Credit:

Featured image containing Google Search Console screenshot from Roberto Peñacastro‘s account posted on Google Product Forums. 

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5 Easy Content Optimization Tactics to Boost Your Traction & ROI by @JuliaEMcCoy

5 Easy Content Optimization Tactics to Boost Your Traction & ROI by @JuliaEMcCoy

Your content is useless if nobody knows it exists.

To work for you, your content needs an audience.

To get that audience, you need optimized content.

Content optimization is how you get your content seen and heard. It gets your best stuff in front of many audiences, including electronic ones that ease human discovery.

By now, you know all about SEO and the top ways to rank on search engines. You have Google’s M.O. down pat, and you understand how to write for humans and algorithms.

So, what do you need now?

You need easy and proven tactics that will elevate your content traction and ROI. These tips and tricks will give your content the extra push needed to succeed.

Look at these techniques and tools like moves on a chessboard. They’re incremental steps that can lead you to a big, satisfying checkmate.

1. Score Your Headline

The headline is number one in today’s climate of information overload. If it’s effective, it makes people stop and click. A good headline is your only defense against the endless tide while everyone you follow is posting non-stop.

Your headline is integral to your content’s success. Your headline is what jumps out at readers first. Your headline is the part of your content that shouts, “Look at me! I’m interesting!”

Or, it should.

How do you know the headline you crafted works on all the right levels for readers – intellectually, emotionally, and “hey, this looks cool”?

One easy way to make sure your headline works is to score it using an online tool. Figure out if your headline sucks in seconds with the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. Another good option is CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer.

All you have to do is plug in that little 70-characters-or-less line and hit “enter.”

The headline analyzer will come back with a score for your labor of love. In general, for good results, you should be shooting for an EMV score above 40 percent:

ami headline

This tactic works well. Headlines scored at 40 percent and can get 5o to 100 percent more shares than non-scored headlines, based on my experience.

This is an easy, quick way to boost your headline prowess. Plus, you’ll improve your content’s one-two punch when a reader catches a glimpse of it. They won’t want to look away.

2. Research Trends & Jump on Them

Before you can create good headlines, you need topics to write about. Before you can come up with good topics, you need to know what readers are gobbling up.

Trends are helpful in the content marketing world. Trends tell you what topics readers are zeroing-in on and which ones are old hat.

Of course, if you jump on the bandwagon too late, you’ll feel silly and you won’t get any of the benefits. You’ll feel like I did in middle school when I realized my straight-leg jeans were so 1998. Meanwhile, everyone else was wearing flared styles. The horror!

Don’t worry, though. You can avoid making a content faux-pas by researching trends that are happening right this second. Then you can dive in without any hesitation.

How?

Try a tool like BuzzSumo. This app does a ton of great research for you. It can:

  • Analyze keywords and how they’re performing.
  • Tell you which pieces of content are trending on your site.
  • Show you what’s trending for other brands.

You can look up key influencers in your industry and see how their activity is working for them. This feels vaguely voyeuristic, but acceptably so.

For instance, let’s see which articles get the most shares on HubSpot. All you have to do is enter the URL into BuzzSumo’s search bar and hit Search:

Instantly, you can see which articles have the most shares. You can sort the results by social network, too, and see which content is landing on different platforms.

For instance, HubSpot’s top article is “5 Smart Reasons to Create Content Outside Your Niche.” Meanwhile, their top article on Twitter is “8 Signs of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership.”

BuzzSumo can also show you which types of content are most popular. It will additionally illuminate which types aren’t landing as well:

I can glean lots of great insights from these trends and use them when creating my own content.

Plus, you can take a look at trends happening on your own website. Search your URL and find out what content is getting the most shares. Do a content analysis and see which types of posts are hitting the mark. Note the trends and see what people are digging – then go from there.

The same follows if you’re guest posting on another website. Search their trends, then create what will appeal to the most readers.

Hopping on these trends can get you noticed in a big way. Putting out what audiences are into right now helps you tap into current interest and stay in the game.

3. Include Influencer Quotes in Your Content

Along with staying trendy, you need to hang out with the cool kids if you want to optimize your content in fresh ways. This means you should tap influencers and thought leaders in your industry.

Industry influencers are those people who have a wide following. However, don’t mistake popular for influential.

An influencer is a trusted authority. They have clout. They’re known for their intelligence and experience. When they give a recommendation, share a link, or generally give something the thumbs-up, their followers listen.

Reaching out to an influencer and building a relationship is a good practice in general, but you can also make their clout work for you.

This infographic deftly defines thought leadership:

Do it by including influencer quotes in your content.

This doesn’t mean you have to interview the person. Instead, you can cite their published pieces and data, making sure to credit them. Then, once your content is on the web, reach out to said influencer and let them know you mentioned them.

This is one of the easiest ways to start networking. Plus, once you quote their authority content in your own pieces, you’ll immediately instill more trust in your audience. They’ll think, “Oh, I read such-and-such person’s blog, too – they’re a great source!” By extension, you’ll get props for displaying your own trust in these influencers.

This is a perfect example of a circle of influence – take full advantage of it!

4. Don’t Forget the Nitty-Gritty of SEO

You’re busy scouting for influencer quotes, scoring your headlines, and researching trends. In the midst of all this, don’t overlook small steps that can lead to big content traction.

In fact, go all the way back to one of the basic foundations of SEO.

Meta tags.

This basic HTML code tells search engines where to look on your page to find all the necessary elements. They also describe and structure your content for readers.

Case in point: the title tag.

This seemingly simple, unassuming tag is powerful. It shows up everywhere. This includes:

  • The page title in search results
  • The title on the tab in your internet browser
  • The main text in social media posts to describe the page when someone shares it

Search engines and platforms grab this tag and analyze it to display important information to readers.

Readers use it to know where they are on the web. It helps them categorize what they’re reading and determine if they want to click on a link shared in a post or on a SERP.

The same goes for meta description, the alt attribute for images, and other tags that describe your content.

You may not be a hardcore coder, but you can still properly title your pages and include other vital bits of meta. Do these small tasks and you’ll not only help organize the web – you’ll also make it much easier for your audience to find you.

5. Make Your Content Easy to Share

Make it easy for your audience to repost, retweet, or link to your content on social media. In fact, it should be so easy, they shouldn’t have to think about it.

So, what can you do to make your content physically shareable?

  • Include a static social share toolbar on your site. It should appear on each page that contains shareable content. Try the Floating Share Bar from AddThis or the HootSuite Social Share.
  • Include share buttons at the end of a blog post or article. ShareThis has Inline Share Buttons that you can place in an exact location on a page. Easily accessible share buttons on a page are the standard way to quickly let readers share your content to their chosen social outlet. It’s totally simple – and it looks snazzy, too, which is a big plus. Along with providing ways to organically share your content, you can also encourage this behavior with a few tricks.
  • Ask your readers for a share or a like outright. If you’re not too overt about it, you may inspire them to help you out. Ask a question at the end of the post and encourage answering in the comments. Asking readers for their personal experiences and opinions about a hot-button topic is a great way to begin a discussion and get some shares.
  • End each and every piece with a CTA that spurs your readers to share. If your CTAs aren’t getting you anywhere, revise and tweak until you hit on a good formula.

The cliché is true when it comes to content marketing: Sharing is caring.

Encourage your readers to share, and make it easy for them to do so. You’ll reap the rewards.

Optimizing Your Content in Fresh Ways Can Give You an Edge

If you need to give your content marketing a push, consider these easy ways to optimize your output.

Taking the time for tasks like these isn’t a big commitment, but could pay off handsomely with more shares, more engagement, and a bigger audience.

In short, make it as easy as possible for your audience to find you to find that traction you’ve been looking for. The result will be a higher return on your content investment. And that’s a big deal.


Image Credits

Featured image: (c) Julia McCoy & Express Writers

Thought leadership: Mitchell Levy

Screenshots taken by author, July 2017

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How to optimize for user intent in search

How to optimize for user intent in search

User intent. Also known as searcher intent, it is a theory that unashamedly stands up to the more primitive pre-Penguin and Panda tactics of optimizing purely for keywords.

User intent and optimizing for it has come into being via a combination of three key factors:

  • Latent Semantic Indexing, Hummingbird, Rankbrain. All have fantastic and mysterious sounding names but all underpinned by the fact that Google’s algorithm is not exactly made up of high school algebra. Google is clever, real clever. The algorithm understands more than just the specific keywords that a user types into the search bar.
  • As a result of the aforementioned ability, people trust Google. They may not trust them as a business that will pay their fair share of tax but they trust the search engine to understand their query and as such will ask more complex questions rather than utilising pure keywords. To ‘Google’ is a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary!
  • The internet and Google (among other search engines) have made unfathomable amounts of information accessible to the masses. As a by product, Google is often the first port of call for more than just purchasing actions. More on this later.

Voice search has further stamped on the throttle for user intent with more and more never before seen searches due to the conversational nature of voice search. As such, if you are still basing your SEO strategy around keywords you should probably start to think a little bit deeper around user intent.

Finally, and this is an important one. Optimizing for user intent is not just about providing solutions or using synonyms. The majority of SEO campaigns are built around driving revenue and whilst rankings are great and indicative of campaign success, in reality you won’t retain clients without providing ROI.

Fully optimizing for user intent requires an understanding of how your potential customers buy via your inbound marketing channels. As a result, make sure that you have identified these sales funnels as they are crucial for capitalizing on optimizing your website for user intent in search.

User intent: An overview of the basics

What is user intent? In short it is the reason why someone is searching for something in Google. What are they actually trying to achieve as a result of typing (or saying) that search term?

Traditionally, the intent has been categorized as either navigational, informational or transactional although some like to define commercial intent or use different terminology such as ‘to buy something’, ‘to do something’, ‘to find something’, ‘to learn something’, ‘to go somewhere’ and so on.

These questions or intents can then help to you to identify your Buyer Personas and the stage that they are at within your inbound funnels. Again, various inbound funnels utilize different terminology, but I am a fan of Hubspot’s methodology:

Image credit: Hubspot

How do you figure out what the user intent is behind a search term? Honestly, it’s pretty easy. Just about everyone uses Google. Put yourself in the searcher’s shoes and ask yourself, “if I used that search term, what would I be looking to do?”

Also look at the types of search results that Google returns for a given search term; this is a great indicator of the user intent that Google itself attaches to that particular query.

Focus on VALUE for the user

Even if you don’t read on, here is a very simple tip that should permeate your entire SEO strategy. Ask yourself this question:

Does what I’m doing here add value for the user and if so, how can I make it as valuable as possible?

If you are taking into account what your user is looking to achieve and therefore providing as much value for the user as possible (forget SEO and rankings for one second), you will put yourself in a great place to have a successful campaign both now and into the future.

It is the primary focus for Google as a search engine, so you should make it your focus as well!

An easy place to start is evaluating each piece of content that you are writing. Does it complete the journey that the user is taking? If not, are there quick call to actions to pages that will? Your content will preferably be the former, providing solutions and value directly to the searcher.

In addition, if you continue to put the user first (instead of being keyword-focused) you will naturally create better, deeper, more complex and solution led content, thus satisfying the aforementioned LSI, Hummingbird and Rankbrain. Write for search engines first and you run the risk of lowering the content quality, in turn lowering the quality of your results.

How to align your SEO strategy with user intent

Targeting transactional search terms

For years SEOs have focussed on the sharp end of the funnel. and for good reason: the search terms with transactional intent bring in revenue. Let’s be clear, these search terms should remain a staple of any website focussed on ROI.

However, there are a few optimization tips associated with transactional search terms. As above, they are all focused around value for the user:

  • How easy is it to make a purchase from that specific page?
  • Are the call to actions clear?
  • Have you provided the user with all the information required to make that purchasing decision?
  • Is the language used focused around the purchase?

As SEOs, we have to make it abundantly clear to Google that if someone types in a purchase based search term, that our page is the very best result for that search term.

I hate to hammer it home, but it is the webpage that will complete the desired outcome for the user and therefore offer the most value. 

Targeting informational search terms

This is where a sit down with the team and the drawing up of a content strategy that is aligned to your user intent (and therefore inbound funnels) can unlock serious content marketing magic.

Real results you say? Surely informational searches only result in you giving away free information? Exactly.

Let me take you all the way back to the inbound methodology and the fact that people use Google as a source of information. Creating great informational content can have the following impact:

Providing value earlier in the consumer buying process

They may be wanting to research a product or service prior to making that buying decision. The more awesome information you give them the more aligned with your brand they become. When the time comes for that purchasing decision guess who they will lean more favorably towards? Of course there is a little caveat in that all other things are equal.

Earning links

Even if no sales come as a result of your informational content (unlikely), if it is good enough it will earn links as people reference the content…funnily enough to provide further value for their own users. These links will subsequently improve the authority of your website and help you rank for transactional search terms. It’s a warped digital version of karma.

Understand your user flows

This is particularly relevant for transactional and informational search terms. Top notch SEO incorporates more than just onsite optimization, content creation and link building. It should pull in all marketing channels, including design. It’s all well and good generating traffic, but it counts for nothing if the website does not convert them.

Identify your key user flows and actions that you want your users to complete on your site according to where they are in the funnel. Are they an informational searcher? The website needs to encourage them to continue their hunt for information on your website or start to transition them further down the funnel to a purchasing decision.

Really understanding user intent and user flows will only help you with your conversion rate optimization.

Adjust your appearance in search

In the same vein as design supporting CRO, your appearance in search should be aligned with the user intent. The two standard influencers here are your title tag and meta description, although additional factors such as schema markup can also be implemented.

For example, if the search term is transactional make sure that the metadata is enticing and using purchase driven vocabulary. Whereas if the search term is informational make sure that it hints towards how the information on the corresponding web page will solve the searchers’ problem.

Use your outreach skills

I thought we were talking about content here? Yes, on the whole we are but there are opportunities within link building as well. Some users will turn to Google not simply to provide them with the best result, but also a list of the options available to them. Common examples of how a small change to the wording can result in this alteration to user intent are as follows:

Tailor London > Best Tailor London

Or

Tailor London > Tailors London

The addition of an adjective or the plural version of a keyword can often result in lists being supplied by Google. Not all of the results will be these lists, but for those not already in the top results they do offer an opportunity.

Contact these sites to get listed – we saw a considerable increase in conversions by doing this for a software platform client recently.

Don’t forget local search

Mobile search vs desktop search is a mainstream conversation nowadays, with some stats showing that mobile search has a 75% chance of action being taken by the user.

With this in mind, don’t forget to optimize your local listing in order to sweep up all of the traffic (over 50% globally now) using Google via mobile devices.

Some useful tools

Keyword research is critical in identifying valuable search terms, whatever the corresponding user intent is. We have listed a few options below, hopefully you are already using these tools alongside Google’s Keyword Planner, Moz’s Keyword Explorer or whichever tool you use to look at traffic. These tools can provide content ideas that will drive your campaign:

Answer The Public

Using a who, what, when, why, how style format, Answer The Public will give you a list of search terms. Use these prompts to create content ideas.

Keywordtool.io

In a similar vein to Answer the Public, Keywordtool.io will display search volumes (if you pay for it) and commonly asked questions that relate to your keywords.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo allows you to view the most shared pieces of content via social for a given subject. Don’t just rely on data fed to you, check how popular these subjects are in real life!

Google Autosuggest

Use Google’s own user oriented functionality to understand the commonly asked questions and search terms for a given subject. Start typing and let Google do the rest.

Impressions via Search Console

We always warn against purely using Search Console and Google Analytics data as the basis for decision moving forward, purely because it is reactive data.

However, you can look at search terms for which you are gaining impressions but potentially a low CTR and adjust the content accordingly. It may be as simple as making your metadata more attractive in the SERPs.

Horses for courses

The base theories will have to be adapted slightly to suit your particular needs. Some businesses may focus on impulse buys where others are deemed comparison goods and will benefit more from informative, longer sales processes. It is a ‘horses for courses’ scenario.

If you understand what you are trying to achieve via your SEO campaign, the journey taken by your user during the buying process, the various relevant searcher intents and align your strategy accordingly, it will place you in a great position to increase organic traffic and also your conversion rate.

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Doesn’t Everyone Hate it When Service Companies Get Involved in Software?

Doesn’t Everyone Hate it When Service Companies Get Involved in Software?

Local SEO Guide is happy to announce Locadium, a Google My Business reporting system built from the ground up for multi-location brands and agencies. According to a recent poll of Local SEO Sherpa’s, 78% of them have problems with Google changing information on GMB profiles. Now I know you are saying:

“Dan, there is the ability to see changes suggested by Google in the GMB dashboard”.

Thanks, random Internet person! You can see Google suggested updates in the various GMB dashboards, and in addition to that, Locadium reports actual front end UI changes that users are seeing

In addition to the core reporting application, you can also push updates to GMB through the GMB API in real time, manage thousands of children locations from a parent agency or brand setup, check recent reviews and see how Google is updating your information over time. These are all things that we have been using internally to help us manage GMB profiles at scale.

In addition to these features, we are hard at work building out aggregate GMB Insights reporting and the ability to push attributes via the GMB API that we plan to include at no extra cost.

While I think that those are all pretty exciting features,  my favorite is probably our industrial strength GMB duplicate checker. Using our proprietary technology we gather and score all the relevant duplicates and potential duplicates out there so you can detect any rogue GMB listings. Then you can either claim and optimize them or terminate them with EXTREME PREJUDICE.

So that’s all the good stuff if you are so inclined head over to www.locadium.com now and check it out. But before that, screenshots!


The top level dashboard:

A “Location Page”:

The reviews at the bottom of a “Location Page”:

The ability to edit a location page:

The post Doesn’t Everyone Hate it When Service Companies Get Involved in Software? appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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Why Live Video Needs To Be Part Of Your Visual Marketing Strategy

Why Live Video Needs To Be Part Of Your Visual Marketing Strategy

Why Live Video Needs To Be Part Of Your Visual Marketing Strategy

Apparently, 2017 will be the biggest year for video marketing yet. In fact, video is expected to take up over 70% of all internet traffic by the end of the year, with video consumption increasing more than 100% from 2016.

But with these numbers comes a big change. We are now seeing a shift from pre-recorded video (of the kind seen on YouTube) to live, raw video feeds.

While pre-produced, traditional videos are still very popular, live video is definitely on the rise.

But what exactly makes live video so popular? And how can we, as marketers, leverage this popularity to achieve real sales and business growth?

Well, first let’s take a look at the evolution of live video.

Live video: what makes it work?

Statistics show that most people would rather watch a video than read a blog, especially if it’s about a product or service. This is a matter of pure convenience, as well as the fact that the video format caters to the visual nature of learning.

However, unlike pre-recorded video, live video adds an unexpected element to affairs: human interaction.

In a live video, no matter what platform you use, it’s just you and the people who have hopped online to join you. By putting a face to the name of your business, you attain authenticity with your audience. You build real relationships and foster a connection between your business, product, or message, and the people who are paying for it.

In our content-driven, impersonal world, a medium which is inherently personal – like live video – is just what people want.

Will live video work for you?

As we watch the rise and rise of live video, it’s critical to evaluate whether or not you actually have the means, the time, the energy and the audience to make live video work for you.

To start off, think about where you’re going to run your live streaming campaign. While Facebook Live is arguably the most popular platform for live video, it’s not the only one out there. There are others including Crowdcast, Google Hangouts, Periscope, DaCast, and LiveStream at reasonably affordable prices (that also offer more functions and capabilities). Even Instagram is getting in on the “live action” with its live streaming features.

Consider factors such as your audience size as well as your budget and bandwidth restrictions. As for knowing the outcomes of your live streaming campaign (and whether or not it’s worth it for you or your business), only time and testing the waters will tell.

Given the incredible popularity of live video, the odds are stacked in your favor. With the vast majority of consumers (over 80%) watching live video and less than 20% of marketers harnessing this tool in 2016, there’s a huge gap that can be filled.

How do I make an impact with live video?

To ensure that your audience enjoys and engages with what you’ve got to say, keep the following points in mind:

  • Create urgency

This includes adding hype to your promotions about live video events. Try adding statements like ‘Check this out before you invest in your next startup idea’ prior to posting your live video. This way, people understand in advance that you’ve got something important to say and that they have to engage with your live video to gain from it.

  • Engage your audience

This includes hosting ‘Ask Me Anything!’ sessions and verbally acknowledging people as they join your live video event, even though you can’t see them. You can use unique styles and techniques for your event, from having someone on your team delivering a speech, to holding impromptu sessions that encourage people to stay tuned to your live feed.

  • Offer incentives

These might include free content upgrades, shareable infographics, one-time discounts or upgrade teasers for a new course, ebook, etc. Information that your audience can immediately implement or share is a huge incentive for live video participants that is also capable of increasing attendance.

How do I make sure that my live video resonates and gets shared?

If you’re wondering how to deliver information that won’t go in one ear and out the other, you have a few options. While live video does mean, well, live, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use a few visual aids.

This is where platforms other than Facebook Live excel, as they let you live stream in more than just a rear-facing camera view. Using Crowdcast, Google Hangouts and more, you can screen share, split screen, and even have chats with other people – all in real time!

These platforms are especially useful if you’re sharing information or data that you really want your audience to remember because they allow you to combine the visual element with the human one. That’s what we like to call the ‘double whammy’ of internet marketing.

Here are three easy tricks to combine visuals and video that will get your live event to really ‘stick’ in your audience’s head, even after you’ve stopped streaming.

  1. Cater to the visual learning majority. Only 30% of people are auditory learners, while a massive 65% of people learn through visuals. Don’t just rely on your video’s audio narration – combine visuals such as original photography, infographics and slideshows to highlight important information. This also serves a double purpose, as attendees can share screenshots, further encouraging others to attend your next event or sign up for your services.
  2. Establish yourself as an authority. The  best way to do this is by sharing information only you know. This means doing research on your product, your industry, or your niche so that you can give amazing insights to attendees. Your audience will love connecting with you, and when you use visuals to share your information, they will be even more persuaded to convert.
  3. Diversify your live feed. Did you know that the normal human attention span is now only 8 seconds? Luckily, we process visuals (both in the form of video and images) in less than 250 milliseconds. That means you can use these visual elements to attract an audience, but generating useful, relevant, and interesting visuals is what will keep people around. This means diversifying your live feed, not just settling on rearview camera angles or product footage.

Parting wisdom

Live video, while still in its infant stages, is already a major player in the marketing arena. Because of the novel and personal nature of live streaming, it’s a great medium to push urgency, engagement, and information sharing.

The key to success with live video isn’t streaming 24/7 or even having the biggest audience. Live videos are so popular because they provide a singular experience for people interested in you, your product, your service, or your message – something they aren’t getting from your competition.

Give live video a go before the end of 2017 – you’ve still got a few months up your sleeve to see how it can expand your reach and ultimately your business.

Guest Author: Latasha Doyle, discusses all things “infographic” on Easel.ly’s blog. If you are looking for more information on creating infographics, you can also check out Easel.ly’s free ebook, “Infographic Crash Course.”

The post Why Live Video Needs To Be Part Of Your Visual Marketing Strategy appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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How WordPress Exposes Your Admin Username & How to Fix It!

How WordPress Exposes Your Admin Username & How to Fix It!


How WordPress Might Reveal Your Login Info



I received an alarming DM from one of my e-buddies, Darren of Small Biz Geek.

This is what it said…

Tweet From Darren

Say whaaaaaaaaat?

Now, I will say this…

I know not to ever use “admin” for my username, and I’m aware of the nickname issue.

What’s the nickname issue, you ask?

Always change your admin nickname to something else, otherwise the name shown with your comments will be your username.

Go into Users from your dashboard, and edit your Admin user account. Make sure you change your nickname to something other than your username.

But I had already done that, so I wasn’t aware of any other username vulnerabilities.

Well there’s another one, and it’s a biggy!

The Byline Might Be Exposing Your Username

Darren figured out my login username for my new site, and he didn’t have to hack the database or go to great lengths to figure it out.

All he did was hover over a link in my author byline.

You might have the same vulnerability on your WordPress site, and there’s a very easy fix.

If you have “By [Name]” in your byline that usually shows up underneath your WordPress title, you might be exposing your admin username.

So I wouldn’t risk exposing anyone’s site that was vulnerable, the byline in the above example is not even hyperlinked, but I just wanted to show an example of what it would look like since I ended up removing my byline altogether.

Anywho…

Hover over that name in your byline. (Not all themes show the byline.)

You will notice it goes to http://ift.tt/2vYgspV

Whatever you see in the [name] is your login username.

How crazy is it that WordPress has not addressed this yet???? As if WordPress is not vulnerable enough!

And since most of us post using our Admin accounts, this is dangerous. You are basically telling the hackers of the world what your WordPress admin login username is.

So all they have to do is run their script to figure out your password. And if it’s super simple then it’s not hard for them to crack into your account.

For the record, hackers easily crack some passwords by running scripts that attempt to figure them out. They typically start alphabetically and go down the list.

a… aa… aaa… aaab… aaabbb and then they had numbers to the end.

Sounds tedious, right? But here’s the deal…

This is happening at a rate of million of attempts per second because it’s a script, so they can go through the millions of combinations VERY quickly.

It’s not like John (or Jane) 🙂 is sitting at your login screen manually entering each option. This process is totally automated!

Many WP blogs get hacked because they use “admin” as the username and then a super simple password.  That’s why you should always use lowercase, numbers, uppercase and symbols.

If you’re using a password like happy123, then you’re begging to get hacked — especially if your username is exposed in the byline.

For the record, words that can be found in the dictionary are a big no-no — even if you add numbers at the end.

How to Hide Your Username In The Byline

This may seem intimidating at first, but it’s super easy and should only take you about 3-5 minutes.

Darren created a video that explains all this and shows you how to fix the problem. There are also text instructions below.

I would highly recommend you backup your database before making any changes. Pleeeeease!

Text Instructions

If you prefer text instructions, here ya go…

1. Login to your cpanel or hosting account control panel.

2. Go to PHPMyAdmin or whatever database software your host uses. It might just say “Databases.”

Your interface may also look slightly different. I’m on dedicated hosting, and my cpanel just got upgraded. The point is to find phpMyAdmin or your database icon.

phpMyAdmin

You will see your WordPress database name(s) and any other databases you have setup. It should look similar to the image below.

3. Click the name of your database (or the plus sign next to it), and it will expand a list of all the tables inside that database.

database

4. Look for a table called wp_users (or something similar) and click it. This is where all your blog’s users are stored.

This will bring up a table of all the users in your WordPress database.

5. Find your username for your admin account and click Edit.

You should see a field called user_nicename and it will be the same as your login.

This is the culprit and what you should change IMMEDIATELY! Change it to “webmaster” or anything other than your login username.

6. Click “Go” or “Save” and that should be it.

Now if you use the byline on your posts, your username will no longer be displayed in the hyperlink.

It will show the name you just changed it to, which is OK because it’s not tied to any of your login details.

What Is The Purpose of The User_Nicename Field?

In case you’re worried about breaking something with this change, here’s some reassurance.

The user_nicename field was only created to simplify the URL of the author archives.

It’s a slug to make the author post archive link appear “nicer”, hence the name.

So if your username is something funky with symbols and hyphens, then the user_nicename will simplify the author post archive link (URL).

If you change the user_nicename, you are changing the URL of the author’s archives.

The good news is WordPress will automatically make this change dynamically so you won’t have broken links in your bylines.

But if you happen to manually link to all your author posts somewhere else on your site (rare), then you will have to change those links to the new one.

There really is no need for a byline when you have a single-author blog anyway.  If you use Genesis themes like me, you can easily get rid of it by installing The Simple Edits plugin.

What If Your Theme Doesn’t Have a Byline?

This is pretty common today. A byline might not be coded into your particular theme.

However, even if the byline is not displayed, the author URL still exists because it’s part of WordPress’ dynamic code.

So you can still go to http://ift.tt/2uNqyLF]. But if your theme doesn’t link to your author archives, then it would be nearly impossible to find.

Nevertheless, it still exists if you go to it manually. So I’ll leave that up to you to decide if you are going to change it or not.

—————-

Thank you, Darren for alerting me of this! This is such an important issue so I want to spread the word as you have done on your blog.

I can’t believe I’ve used WordPress all these years and have never come across this info! 😮

Look-a-here, ladies and gents! All WordPress users need to know about this. Please spread the word by tweeting the link below, especially if you have a website that targets bloggers.

WordPress is exposing your admin username! Here’s how to fix it.Click To Tweet

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