Rolled out over a month ago, the Penguin update keeps causing a stir in the SEO community. Some webmasters are removing links and keywords in panic, others are sharing tips on how to overcome the Penguin’s grave aftermath.
Whether you’re new to SEO or have been driving websites to Google top for years, listen up.
There’s nothing new nor drastic about Penguin – it’s just another Google’s quality-related update. There were many updates before Penguin, and many will follow.
Whatever the update is, you’re on the safe side if you craft your SEO strategy in line with Google guidelines and don’t fall into “SEO is dead” panic.
Wondering if your SEO strategy meets Google’s search quality expectations? Want to stop sweating about Penguin, adopt a positive outlook and a broader perspective on the current state of search?
Learn why your site’s rankings won’t be affected by the Penguin update:
10 Reasons Why Your Site’s Rankings Won’t Be Affected by Penguin
1. You ensure sufficient anchor text variation
Aggressively used exact match anchor text is the most widely reported Penguin-related risk factor. You’re on the safe side if you’ve developed a link building strategy which combines relevant keywords and decent amount of anchor text diversity. 
2. Your backlinks are relevant and diverse
As with all Google updates, previous and coming, quality of your backlink portfolio was, and is to remain important (unless Google redesigns its PageRank algo).
Your site’s rankings are unlikely to be affected by Penguin if your inbound links
- come from thematically-relevant sites
- are diverse by type: guest blogging, valuable forum posts (not profiles), media coverage campaigns (newsworthy press releases and such), social media shares
- point to various pages of your site, not only the home page
3. You’re not involved in link manipulation schemes
You have nothing to worry about if you’re NOT into any of these: building link wheels, submitting spam links (e.g. automatic submission of forum posts and blog comments) and other types of links intended to manipulate PageRank and search results. 
4. You work hard at social media engagement
In the search world today, social media engagement is a must. Make sure you include rich, interactive element types on the page e.g. video, images, social media buttons, moderated comments, PDF downloads, etc, to increase your visitors’ engagement. 
When targeting social networks, pay special attention to Google Plus. Google is said to be creating an influence metric that will impact how content is ranked within search, and Google Plus might well be the center of this effort. 
5. You have enough compelling and unique content
What your website covers should be just the opposite of “thin” content.
Take a hard look at what value your website is providing: ultimately, it’s those sites that provide that something extra that Google wants to showcase on the first page of search results. 
6. You shun abundant on page optimization:
- You don’t build internal links with your main keyword stuffed all over the place, be it site copy, your site’s header and footer, h1, alt and <b>/<strong> tags.
- Your pages’ titles and descriptions vary from one page to another and sound as natural as possible (with user in mind).
7. You avoid keyword stuffing
For your pages not to trigger Google’s keyword stuffing penalty, you need to either forget about keyword density and write as naturally as possible, or spot the ideal keyword density which works for your competition. 
8. You don’t panic and don’t fall into SEO asceticism
Even if you’ve spotted warning signals of poor SEO practices on your part, don’t panic, i.e. don’t take pseudo-appropriate actions like removing backlinks and keywords. Learn your lessons, and work out a new comprehensive SEO strategy.
Guilty of using only one anchor text variation? Perform an additional round of keyword research to add more diversity to your anchor text list.
Building links of one and the same type and linking only to the home page? Research more advanced link building opportunities and analyze which pages of your site (other than the home page) are worth linking to.
9. You know Penguin is neither the first, nor the last Google update
Florida, Jagger, Real-time search, Panda, Search+ Your World – since 2003, Google has implemented several quality-related updates, wreaking havoc in the SEO community and causing “SEO is dead talk”. Yet, none of them proved to be fatal for SEO. Neither will this one. 
10. You realize that there are SEOs who survive any update
Here and there in search results, we see examples of websites ranking despite any much-hyped-over update. 
Without favoring any of the SEO techniques used by the webmasters, let us bring these cases to your attention to show that Google search quality updates are not worth your agony.
Creating an online community of loyal followers is not important only because it helps you expand the presence of your business and fulfill your goals. An online community can also help you create a new product or develop an entirely fresh approach to your present activities. However, building a community around your brand is not child’s play. It involves understanding your organizational strong points, your business goals and the staffing qualifications.
Definitely, gaining a deep insight into the demographics of your target audience is where you start. Apart from knowing what your audience’s requirements are, you also need to know the purpose and plans of your business. At the same time, it’s vital to be well aware of your limitations.
But, there’s one more thing that you need to focus on – ‘appreciation’.
If you’re really serious about building an online community around your business or brand, you need to learn how to appreciate. First you need to identify the genuine contributions of your community members and then find ways to appreciate or reward those activities (participation, loyalty and patronization) in one way or another. It’s not just the members of the community that need appreciation. In fact, you need to appreciate even the non-community members.
So, you need to know how to appreciate. Appreciating community members or customers is an excellent way to make them feel passionate about your brand, compel them to visit over and over again and encourage them to interact with the new members. That’s how you keep an online community growing and going really strong. That’s how you build momentum among the audience. That’s how you expand your business and make more money.
Why you really should care about creating a strong online community is due to the fact that it follows you throughout the company’s lifecycle.
Here’s how you should appreciate –
a) Say ‘Thank You’ publicly
b) Respond to questions in a timely manner
c) Organize contests and giveaways
d) Share your best customer stories
e) Offer rebates, coupon codes and discounts
f) Start affiliate and incentive programs
g) Give away rewards for referring others
h) Ask for your customer’s feedback and suggestions
i) Live up to your promise
Basically, there are four big reasons that would compel people to do things – recognition, power, money and sex. By getting involved, the members of your community are doing plenty of good for your brand. To build a strong online community and keep it growing too, you need to give something back and continue with it in one form or another. It’s about making something happen in the everyday life of your customers and community members.
Any online community will have both ‘active’ members and ‘silent’ members. So, it’s important to pay attention to those secret members as well. Most importantly, you need to be consistent in you efforts because community building is not a one-time activity or task. Keep on benefiting from the online community and continue to give back to get even more.
Remember, a strong online community is the proof of your brand’s genuineness and credibility. The loyal followers of your brand can quickly elevate your business to new heights. So, let them speak for your business!
What tips do you have in mind to build an online community of loyal followers around your business? Let’s talk back in comments.
Although WordPress is still amongst the most popular program to create a website, Joomla is gaining speed. Joomla sites allow for easier customization and are considered easier to use than WordPress, so more and more websites are beginning to get creative and try something new. Unfortuately, while Joomla may have content management and usability down, it lacks when it comes to SEO. WordPress does a good job of helping users customize a website for search engines right at the start, but Joomla requires users to install a plugin.
Joomla plugins work in the exact same way as WordPress plugins—you download the plugin and then click “install” once you are in the admin section of your blog or website. It doesn’t take long to download a plugin, but there are quite a few different choices.
Most Popular Joomla SEO Plugins
Joomla plugins are not nearly as discussed as WordPress plugins, so it’s important to really do your research before making your decision. Different plugins work well with different SEO skills and different SEO levels. Below lists five of the most popular Joomla plugins:
1. Smart SEO is all about the Meta data: Great for Beginners
This is probably the most well known plugin for a Joomla site. The plugin is great for beginners because you can navigate around your website and make changes to titles, descriptions, and Meta tags right there on the page. A bar will appear at the top of the screen and let a user know which fields still need to be filled in; thus helping walk a beginner through the process.
2. SEO Pagination is all about page titles: Great for Beginners
This plugin puts a focus on creating unique titles for pages. Being that duplicate content is one of the most important things to avoid when it comes to SEO, this is a great plugin for beginners who aren’t used to creating unique titles. It’s easy to use and great for websites that have a lot of different categories.
3. Joom SEO will help you save time automatically: Great for Beginner to Intermediate
If you think you might know a little bit about SEO but are not sure, this is a great plugin. This plugin will automatically create your Meta data for you to help save you time. Most SEO experts will recommend checking this data, which is why it helps to understand a little bit about SEO, but in general the plugin has good reviews and seems to automatically create great Meta data for a website.
4. Sh404SEF incorporates Google analytics and social sharing: Great for Intermediates
This plugin takes things a step further by offering Google analytics and social tracking to help make SEO decisions. It’s important that you understand how to read analytics and reports in order to take full advantage of this plugin, but it is said to have great customer service.
5. Unicode Slugs SEF is for the person who loves fancy features: Great for the Advanced
This plugin allows a user to add in punctuation and different types of characters to a URL, which can help make sure your site is unique (and these types of characters are just as easy for Google to fine!). Definitely a plugin for someone who really understands SEO.
Although creating a Joomla site may be overwhelming if you are used to WordPress most find (myself included) that it is actually very intuitive. However, it needs some help in the SEO department. Installing SEO plugins should be the first thing that you do when you get create to publish content on your site.
Do you use any particular Joomla plugins? Which have worked for your website and which have not? Let us know in the comments!
Photo Credit: blogohblog.com
If you ask me what the most effective method of boosting the performance of a website is, I’ll give you an instant reply – ‘split testing’. And I really hope you wouldn’t like to differ with me on this point, would you? Since I stepped into the internet marketing industry, I have met very few (can count them on my fingers) webmasters or web property owners who bothered to utilize split testing to find out what worked best and improve the rate of conversion.
Why do most of the internet marketers ignore split testing, while investing plenty of time on just guess-optimizing their websites over and over again? Optimizing your sites on the basis of gut instinct or guesswork may bring you better results. But it won’t ever tell you what really works and what doesn’t. Split testing is the single most effective technique to ensure the best ROI possible.
Split or A/B testing is a proven technique to discover what makes the most impact on visitors, thus helping you to tweak your sites appropriately and improve the rate of conversion. Though conducting a split test consumes time, the result will be much more than the effort that you invest.
So, are you ready to conduct your first split test ever? Don’t worry. Given below is a very simple 5-step plan that you can use to get started.
#1. Choose a Web Page
Find those pages on your site that help you fulfill some important goals. Select a web page that focuses on a specific goal and have one call to action. If you think improving a web page can increase the number of sign-ups, boost online sales or assist you in achieving other significant conversion goals, you can conduct a split test for that specific page.
#2. Create Another Version of The Selected Page
After you’ve picked an important page that you would really want to split test, it’s time to create a new version of the same. To create the new version, you’ll need to list out all the important elements (that you think can increase the conversion rate) the original page contains.
You should decide to test these –
Headings and subheadings
Call to action
Placement of elements
You may focus on other important elements that your selected web page contains and make the necessary changes to create the new version. So, you’ve two different versions – Page A (original) and Page B (new).
#3. Set Up the Test
Now, you’ll need a software or tool to set up the test. If you have adequate expertise, you can make use of Google’s Website Optimizer. Otherwise, you can hire the services of an internet marketing firm that’s known for conducting split tests. There are also several paid split testing tools that you can use. No matter which split testing tools you use, you should make sure that it’s easy to set up, easy to understand and accurate (in terms of tracking results).
The two versions of the page (original and new) will either be shown randomly or simultaneously to visitors. The tool that you use will track the number of visitors, the rate of click-throughs and the rate of conversion for both the pages. Make sure you run the test for an adequate time span and that your sample size is big enough to track accurate results.
#5. Use the Version That Works Best
Analyze the results of the split test and go with the variant that makes the most impact on your site’s visitors.
Have you ever conducted a split or A/B test for your website? Please feel free to share your experiences and opinions.
Google is on the move yet again, but this time the news is better than the usual surprise Panda update. As of two days ago, Google launched its Knowledge Graph in order to better a user’s experience. The new feature will be rolling out in English in the U.S. first, but will soon be available in all languages. Matt Cutts explained that the graph is supposed to help make search results and algorithms “more human.”
How the Google Knowledge Graph Works
Because of the sheer amount of information about users and information about different topics that Google has available, this new feature has the potential to really get search right. Google will be using nearly 500 million different things (people, places, objects, ideas, etc.) and will utilize more than 3.5billion facts about all of the connections between these different subjects. Below is a screenshot Google provided to illustrate how the new graph will look when you type in a search:
As you can see, the bulk of a SERP will remain the same, but the right hand side of the screen will change. Although this map will not be a part of every single search at first, basic search queries will soon have this option.
Benefits of the Google Knowledge Graph
This new feature will do three things for users:
1. Help eliminate ambiguous language so that search results are less confusing.
One of the main problems that Google discussed was the ambiguity of language. The new knowledge graph will help make separate different meanings of the same word. For example, the search query “staples” could mean the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the office supply store, or information about actual staples that hold together paper. The graph will work to make sure that these different results are more separated.
2. Create an easy to understand summary of the topic.
The new graph will make it easy for users to get basic information quickly, much like Wikipedia style content. Google will pull information about past search queries for a given subject and base the summary on those past results. For example, if the majority of people have been searching for the novel To Kill a Mockingbird as opposed to the film, the summary will be largely based on the history of the novel.
3. Help illustrate connections between different subjects.
The graph will help show connections between different things across the Internet. Cutts explained that one of the most important aspects of search is being able to learn something you didn’t even realize you were looking to learn; the Knowledge Graph will help make this possible.
Will the Knowledge Graph Affect SEO and Rankings?
Google changes always seem to mix up rankings and cause trouble for many small businesses, but this change isn’t intended to make things harder on your typical website. It seems as though information resources, such as Wikipedia, could potentially lose traffic, but the majority of websites are specific enough that people will still want to click. The Knowledge Graph will be kept to the side and should not affect rankings. However, it will be a few weeks before we can be absolutely sure.
Do you think the Knowledge Graph will affect a website’s SEO in any way? Do you think the Knowledge Graph is something needed or something that you will when you use Google? Let us know in the comments!
It might be that you are a new startup with a limited marketing budget (and thus want to avoid the costs), or maybe you feel that yourself or an in-house employee will do a better job of capturing the right tone and feel of your company.
Whatever the motivation, there are pros and cons to both approaches. This content will discuss the advantages of both options, and then (hopefully) help you make the right decision for your company.
Writing Press Releases Yourself
After reading through this blog post, you should have a clear idea of what is required to write a press release. In short, you need:
- A good story.
- Good writing skills (specific to press releases).
There are distinct advantages of writing your own press releases, and I would fully encourage you to do so if you can consistently write well (or have an employee to write for you). If you are unwilling to invest in an employee, or unsure of how eschewing a professional PR service can help you, read through the following reasons:
A professionally written press release can cost you anywhere from $200 to $500. Considering that this is just a 1-page document, which will eventually contain information that you will provide, this seems an exorbitant price.
While press release writing services make every effort to personalize every press release, there is a distinct style for each writer and for each company as well. Personalized ‘style’ of press or media releases. A powerful example of this is Google – check Google Press for a sample of effective personalized press releases can be.
Be warned though. This is not something easy to accomplish. As press releases are terse, 1-page news items with a very big emphasis on content, it is difficult to establish a style.
Practice will help you improve, and if you feel that the identity and image of your company will be better served by writing the press release yourself rather than outsourcing it, then make sure you read many different press releases from other companies to get a feel of how to build your unique style.
Being directly involved with your industry, you are in the best position to highlight the advantages of your ‘news’ to your potential consumers and competitors.
You will be able to provide relevant, current information and your insight into your industry will also help you to pinpoint which news hook will be most successful.
Matching the expertise of a professional press release writer is a difficult task. On the other hand, in-house press release writing, especially if done by an employee, can be ‘good enough’ if due attention is paid to getting the details right.
Professional Press Release Writing
Despite the obvious advantages of writing your own press release, a professional press release service gives you specific, money-valuable benefits:
Professional press release services have the advantage of having working in this field for a lot longer than you – they have written (hopefully) dozens of press releases, and know the industry inside out.
As such, they are well placed to avoid mistakes that beginning press release writers might make and are likely to produce good, reliable press releases.
Of course, there is also a chance that the press release might not be what you are looking for – maybe the writer gets the tone wrong, or underplays certain features that you wanted to give prominence to.
The added experience will also ensure that the writer will be able to judge better whether the information you’ve given him is enough, not enough or too much. In addition, there is the value of having an ‘outside’ perspective. Outsourcing your press release to an independent PR service will:
- Allow them to present the news in a more realistic light.
- Discourage you from making a press release without having effective content.
Be careful about putting too much faith in the press release service to tell you what is right or wrong, however. The responsibility of ensuring that there is enough ‘newsworthy’ information in your press release is yours, not of the service.
A press release can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a day to write, revise and get just right. If you are part of a fast-paced company where you measure your time in hundreds of dollars, then spending that much time on a press release might seem expensive especially since you can get better results by outsourcing the press release.
Do not underestimate the time required to write a press release – for your news to be a full-blown success, every little detail has to be just right.
It’s just a 1-page document. Why does it cost so much?
I’m faced with that question every day. Considering that you will still have to provide a lot of the information to the press release service, it seems ridiculous to pay over $200 (and up to $500) for a press release. But in the end, it’s the results that justify the costs.
A professionally written press release will always have a better chance of being accepted for distribution, and the experience of a professional PR service will serve you will in making your press release successful.
Another factor working in the favor of professional press release services is their ‘package deals’ – a promise to distribute your press release at a discounted rate if you have your press release written by them.
Costs vs. Expertise
I’ve been saying this throughout the content, and I say it again:
Your press release is (almost) worthless without newsworthy information. Keep this point in your mind as you make the choice between writing the press release yourself (using the advice in thisblog post) and outsourcing it to a professional press release service. Where will that newsworthy information come from? From you.
In fact, even if you outsource the press release, the bulk of the information put in the press release will come from you, either as part of the original specifications presented, or from the questions that the writer will ask you to help him write the press release.
So what are you really paying them for?
Their experience – press release writers have considerable, battle-field knowledge of writing press releases – the kind that only comes through time. You are also paying for their language and marketing skills, as writing a press release requires a specific writing style that does not fit into traditional sales copy.
Don’t hire a sales letter writer to write your press release until you are sure they have experience in writing successful press releases.
However, if you are willing to learn and apply the knowledge from this content (or have an employee as a suitable candidate), in-house press releases can be just as successful as those from a PR service. The key is to do two things repeatedly:
- Ensure that you are fully prepared.
- Differentiate between traditional sales copy and press release writing and make the effort to write ‘in a reporting, unbiased style’.
Choosing the Right Service
While this content goes a long way towards helping you write your own press releases, the primary aim is to guide you into preparing the best press release for your company, each and every time.
And sometimes, a company does not have the time, or the technical skills, to dedicate resources towards in-house press release writing.
In such cases, outsourcing your press release requirements becomes necessary. This section, although concise, will help you in picking the right service for your company.
Hiring a PR service
If you are looking to hire a professional press release service, make sure that you complete the following checklist.
- Does the service have a portfolio or a client’s list? Make sure that you can see visible results, and don’t be afraid to ask for proof.
- Compare costs and services between different PR companies to make sure you get the best deal.
- Understand the fine print. Some PR firms may not allow for more than 1 revision, and some also don’t allow for free consultations – which essentially means that if the PR firm decides that your ‘story’ is not newsworthy, you would have ended up paying for nothing.
- Don’t automatically jump for combined packages (press release writing and distribution). Make sure the investment is worth it, and that you see a list of the media contacts (at least their names, if not their contact information) that your press release will be distributed to.
- Themed distributions are very different in impact to generic distributions, so don’t fall into the trap of paying less and actually getting something that is worth nothing to your company.
- If you like the company’s portfolio, try to negotiate a discounted package in return for bringing all your press release business to them. PR firms would normally not refuse long-term business relationships, and the promise of continued business can possibly lower your long-term costs as well.
Hiring a freelance writer
Of course, if the cost is a really serious issue, and you cannot have the press release written in-house (for various reasons) then you may be better served by outsourcing to a freelance writer.
There are several online freelance websites from where you can hire good writers – Elance and RentACoder are the most popular, and most effective.
With freelance writers, there is the advantage of saving on money – a good press release can be written for $100 or less. On the other hand, there is a risk of not getting what you really want.
I’ll not go into the details of how to ensure that you don’t get your money’s worth as there are many ”freelance hiring”guides on the Internet (some good, some bad, and some bad copies of good guides).
Just make sure that you follow the same pattern as you would when hiring a PR service – check their portfolio, and do your best to provide them with complete information.
RentACoder has many safeguards that prevent buyers (like you) from projects that go bad, so trust the system and follow their advice.
However, one bad apple does not make everyone else incompetent. Freelance websites are full of hard-working individuals wanting to earn good money – make sure that you find someone who is capable of doing the job, and then enjoy the benefits of a well-written press release for a fraction of the price.
What is your opinion on DIY vs Professional writers?
It’s not just the Googlebot that crawls images on your web properties. There’s also an image-specific robot for indexing images – Googlebot-image. And the best idea to attract maximum attention from Google is to get your images (and pages) crawled by both Googlebot and Googlebot-image. Properly optimized images can prove to be a source of additional traffic. As internet passes through a phase of ‘visual boom’, it’s vital to make sure all the images on your website and blog get quickly indexed by Google, so they can appear in Google image search.
While publishing images, one thing that should always remain at the top of your mind is that it enhances the experience of users. Image search and web search are like the two sides of a coin. Even when it comes to searching images, Google strives to return most relevant results to users.
Google-Supported Image Formats
If you really want to help Google index your images quickly, you should always remember to use only those formats that it supports. On its official blog, Google mentions its supported formats including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP and SVG. Therefore, you should always avoid using those image formats that are not supported by Google.
According to Google, it can index images of almost any size. Though size does not matter (it depends on your specific requirements), images formats must always be paid careful attention.
Googlebot vs Googlebot-Image
As mentioned above, both Googlebot and Googlebot can index your site’s images. But many times, webmasters notice that their images are only crawled by Googlebot. When there’s some confusion regarding the image URL, the image is first indexed by Googlebot. Once Googlebot is sure that the URL leads to an image, Googlebot-image re-indexes the image.
That’s why, getting your images and pages crawled by both Googlebot and Googlebot-image is a good idea from SEO point of view. Getting your pages indexed by both these robots is a way of attracting maximum attention from the search engine giant Google.
Ranking Algorithm for Google Image Search
Earlier, it was believed that PR played the biggest role in the search ranking of an image. Though the PR of the page (where the image is published) also plays some role, there are a host of other criteria that Google uses for ranking an image in its image search results.
Here’re some of the most important ones –
Placement of the image in a page
Image Alt tabs and filename
Image content (identified via the optical recognition system)
Domain authority of the website the image belongs to
Authority of the page that contains the image
Text surrounding the image
Though there are many other criteria that Google may use, these are the most important ones. Therefore, you should optimize your images by using appropriate filenames, alt tabs and the surrounding text. In addition, you should consider submitting an image sitemap to help Google know more about your images and rank higher in image search results.
Don’t Forget to Optimize for Social Sharing!
If you plan to increase the visibility of your images across the web, it’s a good idea to optimize your visual content for the social media as well. Social signals carry a lot of weight in terms of textual content. The same goes with the images that you publish. Always use superior quality, inspiring the relevant images. However, you should also remember to protect your images by making them available under an ‘attribution license’ so that those who share those images can attribute you (link pointing back to your domain) as the source.
Please feel free to share your thoughts.
Designing a website is all about driving traffic to that website—a website can have the greatest information in the world, but it means nothing if no one is reading. You want to catch a reader’s attention through infographics and cool typography, and then the reading will begin. In a sense, you as the designer are the first piece to the puzzle. Once the reading begins, it is out of the designers hands and into the hands of the writers, right? In many cases yes, a writer has to provide quality, clear information to make a website worthwhile. What many designers don’t realize, however, is that they too can improve the actual content of a website (beyond making it look nice).
Many companies are starting to see the potential in translating their websites into different languages. According to the Internet World Stats, English is the most used language on the Internet at 536.6 million users. For this reason, having a website in English is extremely important; however, the benefits to translating a website into different languages are a little less well-known. A few of these benefits include:
- Wider Audience – This is probably the most obvious reasons a company would want to translate a website. You will be opening up information to people around the world.
- Loyal Readers -Although many people speak English, many speak it as their second language. If you offer information in their native language, you will likely capture those readers time and time again.
- Improved SEO – You will be able to rank highly on search engines in other languages because there is less competition. You website may also do well if someone was to type in a different language on an English search engine. Either way, it can’t hurt.
- New Perspectives – Most company websites have an option to give feedback or comment on a blog. With other languages able to read the website, you will have a variety of opinions to help you improve your website.
- Duplicate Content – This does not count across languages, so if you are managing a blog you will not need to worry about writing separate articles for each language you’re targeting.
Most Popular Types of Translation Services
Once you and/or your company have decided to offer content in another language, it is the job of the web designer to install a WordPress plugin. At first glance it seems a bit confusing because there are so many plugins available, but consider a few that are the most popular:
1. Google Translate – This is one of the quickest and most inexpensive ways to translate your blog into different languages. This is considered the best if you expect that most of your readers speak English, but you want to offer the option of different languages. Download the plugin here at Google Translate and then copy the code into WordPress just as you would with any plugin. If you need a refresher course, the Google Translate website will walk you through step by step. You will be surprised just how easy it is!
2. Global Translator – This is one of the best WordPress plugins if you expect your website to be read in a language other than English. If you decide to take this route, it will create subdirectories for all of the translated content. Although this causes extra pages on a website, some prefer this for organization. Download it here and get started.
3. WP Translate – You can’t get much simpler than WP translate. Your readers will be able to select the language they need from a drop down menu. The plugin works as a widget on your WordPress site and you can select the title of this widget. You can download this plugin and learn more information here.
Getting Started with Translation Step by Step
Once you decide which plugin is right for you, it’s time to put the plugin into WordPress. All three services are extremely similar when it comes to downloading and uploading. The below steps take you through how to set up Google Translate onto WordPress:
Step #1: Download – You can download Google Translate here. This widget will bring Google Translate to your sidebar. All your readers have to do is choose from a dropdown menu which language they’d like to read.
Step #2: Select Type of Translation Element – You will have one of two choices: You can either add translation to the entire webpage or add translation to a section of the webpage.
Step #3: Select Language of Your Webpage – This will most likely be “English” for those reading this article.
Step #4: Translation Language and Display Mode – Here you decide which languages you want available to readers and how you want the dropdown menu to look (vertical, horizontal, etc.). You can click specific languages or select all languages available.
Step #5: Copy the Code – This is the most important step. You will need to copy this code into the body section of the web page that you want to be available in other languages.
Once finished, be sure to preview your webpage and make sure everything looks the way you had envisioned. Both of the services will take you through the steps as you begin the process, so few people have any problems. It’s as easy as that!
Quick Tips about Translation Services
- Just as with any language translation services, no computer can translate a piece of content absolutely perfect. Some slang terms or formalities may change, but the general message will remain intact. Even if the language is not perfect, readers will understand that you are using a translation service. They will still get the overall message.
- Many business owners get nervous that they will not be able to answer a comment if it is in a different language. However, it is possible to use Google Translate to translate your responses. Copy and paste the comment into Google Translate that you can find online, see what it says, type your comment, translate it, and then paste it as a response to the comment. It’s extremely easy! I will also add that although many people may read your blog in another language, most will actually answer in English!
In the end, translating a website into several languages will be worthwhile for just about every company. For this reason, knowing how to set-up these WordPress plugins will be a necessity in the future. If you are a web designer who knows how to make this happen, you will be all the more marketable to companies hoping to optimize their website in 2012.
Photo Credit: webtechpoint.com
There are a lot of options when it comes choosing a comment system for your self-hosted WordPress blog. So when people ask me what I suggest, I always say that I go for the basic WordPress comment system that comes with your blog upon installation. Here are some questions I always ask people to consider before choosing a third-party comment system.
1. How will your site speed be affected?
Pingdom did a great study on the WordPress comment system’s load time vs. four popular third-party systems: Livefyre, IntenseDebate, Disqus, and Facebook. Here are their results.
Is the time difference significant? In most cases, not really. But what you have to consider is that if you want a speedy site, you need to optimize everything possible. 1,000 milliseconds here and there can add up to a lot when you consider all of your other plugins, banners, widgets, and images.
2. Who will own your comment author’s data?
When you comment on the basic WordPress comment system, you enter your name, email address, and a comment. That information goes into the WordPress database which the blog owner can backup and export at will. Most third-party comment systems will put the same comment data into your WordPress database. Before you install a third-party comment system, you should be sure that you will still be able to get this information into your database so you can retain ownership of your comments if you decide to remove the comment system at a later date. Speaking of which…
3. What will happen to your comments if you switch systems?
For most people, migrating from a third-party comment system back to WordPress is pretty simple. For others, I have seen some “interesting” things happen. Things like the comments from one post somehow duplicated themselves onto other posts and had to be manually deleted. Also, I saw a customized WordPress theme that was built around the third-party comment system. When the blog owner removed it, they lost the formatting and threading of all of their comments. So along with the question of who owns your comment data, you have find out what will happen to your blog if you choose a third-party comment system and change your mind.
4. How easy will it be for your visitors to comment?
As a tech savvy person, you might forget about how people who are new to the blogosphere will feel about comment systems that require logins. Anyone can understand name, email, website (optional), and comment. Some might get lost in the signup process for a third-party comment system and never get around to actually leaving a comment on your blog.
5. Is it spam you are worried about?
Third-party comment systems boast about spam control and advanced community management features. Registration supposedly cuts down on spammers, right? Not necessarily. Comment spammers can figure their way around any system. Allowing them to register for a comment system means that they get the green light on blogs that allow registered users’ comments to post automatically.
Need more reasons?
If these aren’t good enough arguments to keep you on the base WordPress comment system, then there are two more things to consider.
- CommentLuv Plugin – A great way to encourage comments and get to know comment authors by seeing their latest blog posts. You can even encourage social sharing with CommentLuv premium!
- Aweber Plugin – If you use Aweber as your mailing list program, you can install this plugin which will add a simple checkbox to your comment form. This makes it easy for comment authors to also subscribe to your mailing list.
If you own a self-hosted WordPress blog, what comment system do you use and why? How do you feel about the others?
If you don’t know already, I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I use it a bit as a hobby but mostly I’m interested in browsing to see what others pin and how they organize their pins. There is so much valuable marketing inspiration contained on Pinterest, you just have to go out and find it.
Tomorrow I have a post going live on Search Engine Watch that discusses using Pinterest as a way to conduct market research. One of the things I share in the post that I discovered, is what a wealth of information you can glean to help you improve your website using Pinterest. In the end I think I’ve narrowed it down to 4 key areas in Pinterest that can help inspire a website owner.
The sheer nature of Pinterest is enough to inspire a bit of a website upgrade. The site is so clean, sleek and modern that it’s easy and simple to browse. Additionally, the site’s magazine type layout and heavy photo focus is what appeals to many.
Using the categories as well as search function on Pinterest, you can conduct a bit of research to see the images and items in your niche or industry that are popular. Whether it’s instructographics and how tos to infographics and photos of products, each of these image asset types can be developed and used on your site. Pinterest may inspire you to start a gallery on your website and add additional image assets throughout your site.
I love looking at how users pin images and organize their boards. The board names themselves are hilarious, creative and often interesting. As a website owner, you can use the boards of users pinning posts on your site to help you organize content better. Maybe several users have pinned products on your site and added them to a board called “Graduation party ideas”. If you don’t already have items categorized into a list that is easy to find on your site during graduation season then you should – and users have already done it for you. Check out that board and see what other products and items are there.
Boards can also help you to understand how a user might categorize pages on your site and products as well. Seeing this data may inspire you to set up split testing with different navigation pathways for visitors or organize content differently in the future.
Many products are submitted to Pinterest and marketed by their owners. Often these are small business owners and they know a thing or two about marketing their products. Monitoring the Gifts section in Pinterest can give you ideas to improve the product offerings on your site and show you better ways to present your items.
If you carry an item that many others carry in order to be successful you need to make yourself stand out. Pinterest can help you to see what makes others stand out and eventually you may start to see a pattern in the information, a display style and color combination that really seems to work all because you saw it on Pinterest.
While the platform isn’t heavily comment based, there are still a lot of comments to read through and glean information for your online marketing purposes. Many users simply repin or like but don’t comment, sowhen they do you should listen. Start monitoring what users pin on your site, by going to pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com, and see what they comment on their pins.
A pin that might say “this would go well with” something else, or “I like this but in a different color”, can be used to pair a product with something else or improve a product offering on your site. Additionally the comments may shed some light on other competitors. Users are often asking each other where to buy the item in the photo. Those with the inside track will give little known places to purchase the item. These sites might be your competitors and are worthy of investigation.
Pinterest can be used for so many things, inspiration for your website is just one of them. How are you finding inspiration on Pinterest? Share your experiences in the comments below.