CAll Us: +1 888-999-8231 Submit Ticket

Starting an Online Business Checklist: Things You Need [2022]

Whether you’re exploring turning your craft hobby into a side business or quitting your full-time job to be an ecommerce entrepreneur, you need this starting an online business checklist to ensure you think through everything.

Starting an online business can be much easier, faster, and cheaper than starting a traditional brick-and-mortar business. You can start an online business for a few hundred dollars instead of the thousands it costs to start a traditional business. Even though it’s less expensive and easier, there are still things you need to start a small business online. We’ve put together this online business startup checklist to outline everything you need to think about, do, or buy to turn your ideas into a successful business.

What To Think About

You need an online store business plan before you start a business. Creating a business plan helps you think through the details about what you need to start and run your company.

A business plan checklist for starting an online business includes:

  • Product or Service. What product or services will you provide? How will you make the products, or where will you buy them?
  • Target Market. What customers will you serve? Who is your ideal customer? What do you know about their spending, shopping, and internet habits?
  • Research. How can you learn more about competitors and the current market? Based on the product and market, what does your research tell you about how to price your offerings?
  • Budget. How much will you spend to operate your business on an ongoing basis? How much do you need to start? What income do you expect to come in at first?
  • Funding. How will you finance your startup expenses?
  • Marketing. What’s your plan for launching your business and getting your product in front of potential customers?

What To Do

After you make a plan, it’s time to leap into action. Use this checklist to include all the essential details on your to-do list.

Things you need to do to start a small business online include:

  • Decide on a Business Structure. Entrepreneurs can choose from various legal structures for their business, each with its own tax implications. You’ll need to decide on your business structure before registering your business with your state government.
  • Register Your Business. File your business incorporation paperwork with the appropriate state entity, the secretary of state, in most cases. You’ll need to officially register your business to open a bank account or apply for any permits you need. 
  • Open a Bank Account. Open a business banking account to separate your business finances from your personal bank account.
  • Apply for Licenses and Permits. Depending on where you live and what type of business you start, you could need any number of state or local permits. See our post on how to get a business license for ecommerce for a step-by-step guide.
  • Set Up Your Website. You’ll need to set up your website with content, products, and a way to take payments.
  • Hire Staff. Planning on being a solopreneur? You can skip this step. But if you’re going to hire help, you’ll want to start the process early. It takes a few weeks between when you post a job and when someone can start.

What To Buy

Once you’ve made your business official and opened a bank account, you can start to buy the things you need to launch. This list is not exhaustive but does include the necessities for starting a small ecommerce business.

Things you need to buy to start an online business include:

  • Inventory. If you’re selling goods online, you’ll need to purchase inventory. To save money and space, you could consider using a drop shipping service instead of purchasing and storing your own inventory. With dropshipping, you select what products to list on your website and pass the order information to the dropshipping service that picks and ships the order. You only pay for what you sell instead of buying inventory upfront.
  • Supplies. You’ll also need basic supplies for shipping and other office needs. If you’re making products to sell online, you’ll need to purchase the raw materials.
  • URL. You can’t have an online business without a website. That starts with buying a domain name.
  • Hosting. You’ll need a hosting service to run your website if you’re using an open source ecommerce system. If you’re using a proprietary ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, the platforms include hosting.
  • Advertising. You’ll also want to consider purchasing digital advertising to promote your new business. Unfortunately, “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply to ecommerce stores or small businesses. You have to advertise and give people a reason to visit your store.

How Hostdedi Can Help

The key to crossing off everything on your starting an online business checklist is finding cost-effective and innovative tools built for small business owners. StoreBuilder by Hostdedi eliminates the need to spend countless hours searching for the best web hosting and ecommerce platforms.

StoreBuilder includes Hostdedi premium hosting services and lets even technical novices build a WooCommerce-powered website in days, not months. WooCommerce is the most popular and powerful open source ecommerce platform.

With StoreBuilder, new business owners can have a functioning store in no time. All you need to do is start picking the colors and uploading products. Sign up today.

Source link

How to Name Your Business: 5 Best Practices [2022]

What’s in a name?

Shakespeare once questioned its importance — but when it comes to a business, a lot of thought needs to be put into the name. After all, the name of your company can directly affect its success.

Before you start your ecommerce business, it is important to come up with a proper name for your company.

Ideally, it should sound catchy, represent what kind of business you want to run, and help customers differentiate you from your competitors.

Keep reading to learn how to name your business, and best practices for selecting a name.

What Makes a Good Name?

A good business name is distinctive and fits the products it serves. Tesla and Coursera are excellent examples of how a name can be associated with a company’s products. These names are unique and simple, which helps the brands be easily recognizable and memorable.

Still, one needs to be careful when naming a company, as it may produce an adverse effect on its image and reputation. There are many articles on the Internet that make fun of such names. At best, such a name becomes viral on the web, which results in a temporary sales boost. But the hard reality is that no one is likely to take your company seriously and do business with you.

Considerations for Naming Your Business

Imagine you have come up with a creative company name. Now’s a good time to conduct some research before registering it legally. Here are a few points that need to be checked to prevent possible far-reaching issues in the future.

Preferred Name Is Similar/Identical to Existing Businesses

It is not advisable to use names similar to ones already being used by other businesses in your industry, especially if your competitors are based in the same country or region. This will have an unfavorable impact on the image of your business. Additionally, it will confuse customers who want to contact you but accidentally end up speaking with your competitor.

Related reading: How To Make Your Ecommerce Site Stand Out >>

The only situation where it can be acceptable is if another company using this name serves a completely different product. It’s even safer if it is in a different state or country. For example, you sell baby clothes in the USA while the other company sells digital products like downloadable posters in India.

In the worst-case scenario, you can find yourself fighting a trademark infringement lawsuit. Not only will you lose money and time, but it also may force you to rebrand your business completely.

Preferred Name Is Already in Use

Finding out that your ideal business name is already taken might be discouraging. However, it is still possible to find a way out.

  • Shortened Variant — If you failed to register a company named “Delta Design-Build Constructions,” try to abbreviate it to “Delta DBC.”
  • Contacting the Owner Of the Company Holding the Desired Name — Possibly, the name was registered but not used. In that case, the owner can transfer the name to you. Chances are it is not going to be free. Another possible scenario is that your preferred company name was registered, only to be sold later — which is akin to domain name squatting. If that is the case, the only way out is to pay the squatter to get the desired company name.
  • Brainstorm a New Name — Take a step back and see if you can come up with a few new options. Who knows, maybe you will be able to generate a better name for your business.

Domain Registration

Online presence is vital for any business. Before you make a final decision on your company name, make sure the domain name is available. According to statistics, US residents trust the .com domain names the most. However, if you primarily serve products to non-US customers, then you can go with a country code top-level domain (also known as ccTLD) name such as .de or .fr.

You may also want to explore the possibility of using a domain hack — a domain where the company name and top-level domain comprise a single word together. For example, “” or “”. On the plus side, it looks creative, shortens the URL, and helps customers memorize it. A drawback is that it may be difficult to come up with a name that can take advantage of this trick.

Given the fact that domain registrations are made for at least 1 year, it might be a good idea to register beforehand to make sure you can still use it when you are ready to launch your business.

Related reading: How to Purchase and Register Your Domain Name >>

Best Practices on How to Name Your Business

The name of your business will determine how it will be perceived by your potential customers and partners. A perfect name is easy to remember, makes it clear what your business is about, and makes your company stand out from the crowd.

Below are a few suggestions that will help guide you on how to name your business,

Be Careful With Spelling and Acronyms

When you speak to a customer over the phone and ask them to visit your site, it is great to have a business name that is spelled the same as it sounds to avoid confusion. You will know you got it right if your company name can be easily recognized by virtual assistants such as Alexa or Siri.

Additionally, pronounce the company name you came up with to make sure it sounds appropriate. Acronyms can sound awkward as well, especially if they are longer than three or four letters. And if you happen to match the acronym of another business entity, that can create issues with search engine results and rankings.

Envisage Expanding in the Future

If you launch, say, an optics business, and sell only telescopes at the start, it does not mean you will not be able to expand the range of products to binoculars, riflescopes, microscopes, or even photography gear. That being said, it is better to pick a company name that is related to your industry, not some particular product you sell.

Related reading: How to Choose the Best Dropshipping Products: 38 Best Items >>

The same principle applies to the geographical aspect. Starting in Miami, Florida, but looking to work your way up across the entire country to Seattle, Washington? Do not limit your business name to the place where it originated.

Think Twice Before Using Your Own Name

Using your name to create a new brand can be challenging. While you are not widely known, such company names will not mean anything to your potential customers. Also, if you decide to sell your business at a point, you might find it difficult to do so because of the name.

In certain situations, it is possible to make a catchy business name out of your personal name. For example, Adidas was named after the founder Adolf Dassler who had the nickname “Adi.” Adi Dassler eventually turned into Adidas. Or, consider Automattic, which was named after its founder Matt Mullenweg.

Now That You’ve Got A Name…

Now that you know how to name your business, what’s next? Learning the best practices for naming a business is a crucial step in setting up your business. Creating your online brand can sound like a tough job, but there are solutions and experts ready to cover your back.

Here at Hostdedi, we offer a truly unique ecommerce solution — StoreBuilder. WooCommerce optimized hosting teamed up with premium plugins will help you create your own, one-of-a-kind ecommerce website. This solution does the heavy lifting of developing your store from scratch without you having to write a single line of code.

Hostdedi manages every aspect of your store, allowing you to focus on growing your business and generating revenue.

Get started with StoreBuilder risk-free for 30 days.

Source link

What is a Tag in WordPress? How to Use Tags in WordPress

What is a tag in WordPress? And how do you use them?

WordPress tags are a special type of default tool you can use to categorize your website posts. You can add multiple tags to each of your posts to help visitors find similar content on your site. There are also WordPress categories to consider. Unlike tags, WordPress categories are not optional.

Keep reading to learn more about WordPress categories, tags, and how to use them to your advantage.

What Is a Tag in WordPress?

A tag in WordPress describes specific details of your posts. They’re usually made up of one or two words. WordPress tags are a great way to improve the usability of your website. They help users quickly find a specific topic they’re looking for without needing to go through all of the content you’ve published.

For instance, if you have a post about a book, you could add tags that describe the publisher, author, and topics you covered.

Related reading: 27 WordPress Resources to Bookmark Right Now >>

What Are WordPress Categories?

Now that you know what a WordPress tag is, let’s switch to another default taxonomy — WordPress categories. Generally speaking, a taxonomy is a way of grouping things together (for instance, WordPress posts).

You can use WordPress categories to sort out your blog posts and group them into different sections. A news website is a good example of that. It might have categories for the articles filed under News, Weather, Sports, etc. Categories help users quickly to navigate your site and find different topics it covers.

WordPress Tags vs. Categories

WordPress tags and categories look pretty similar at first. Even though both of them help you organize content, they do have some key differences:

  • Every WordPress post needs to be placed within a certain category, whereas tags are optional.
  • Categories are hierarchical, while tags are not. This means you can create a parent category and “support” it with child subcategories. Tags, on the other hand, don’t have such relationships — each one is just a standalone entity.
  • While categories are something you use to broadly group the topics you write about, tags are more unique, specific, and narrowly related to the actual content in your post.

It’s best to use categories for broad groupings of certain topics. For instance, if you want to create a review website, you might use categories like TV, Books, or Film.

Tags, on the other hand, refer to topics that are way more specific, as well as ones you want to associate with related content. Once again, let’s say you want to start a website that reviews media. You might want to use tags such as action, adventure, science fiction, or horror.

The best option is to use both WordPress tags as well as categories.

If you’re, for example, making a review of a romantic comedy, you can place your post into the broader category Films and add specific tags like romantic comedy, or the name of the director and actors.

People who read your post could then use the tags to find the rest of your posts related to that topic.

WordPress Page vs. Post

There’s one more thing many WordPress users find a bit complicated — the difference between WordPress page vs. post. Here are some key factors to help you distinguish them:

  • Posts are used for more timely content you update on a regular basis, whereas pages are for static content.
  • Posts are a type of content that fits great on social media, while pages are not.
  • Posts have a published date and author, while pages don’t.
  • You organize posts by using WordPress tags and categories, whereas pages are hierarchical (child/parent).

When WordPress was first created, site owners primarily used posts for traditional blog entries. These days, you can use them for other types of content too. For example, you can share company news, publish articles, or simply tease your followers with updates related to the products or services you offer.

Generally speaking, posts are a great way to present content you’d like to share with your visitors on a regular basis. On the other hand, pages are supposed to hold key information you won’t change that often like Contact and About Us. Most websites have such content in their main navigation menu where users can easily find it.

WordPress allows users to create as many pages and posts as they want. Still, posts are not necessary — many business or portfolio sites have only pages. At the same time, if you chose WordPress as a strictly blogging platform, you might not find pages so important. It’s still smart to add at least one or two basic ones, so your readers know who you are and where to contact you.

Related reading: How to Create a One-Page Website >>

Best Practices: How to Use Tags in WordPress & More

Now that we covered what is a tag in WordPress and more, let’s discuss how it looks in practice.

A Single Post to Multiple Categories?

WordPress allows you to assign your post into multiple categories. You can do it by adding it to a parent category plus subcategories or a couple of parent categories instead.

However, having multiple categories won’t positively affect your SEO. You should put posts in multiple categories only if it makes sense for your audience. Otherwise, search engines can see it as a duplicate post, which lowers the overall SEO value of your content.

If you still want to go with multiple categories, at least try to avoid putting one post into two or more parent ones. In other words, each of your posts should be within one main category only.

WordPress Tags SEO

When it comes to SEO, WordPress is definitely the best CMS (content management system) you can get. Once you install it, WordPress comes with built-in SEO features that help you get a better position in search results. It has predetermined features that guide all search engines to index the pages, posts, tags, and categories in your website as well as store the information in its database.

It’s important to learn how to use tags in WordPress. When done correctly, a well-managed taxonomy such as tags can definitely boost your SEO. Still, they hurt your efforts too.

For example, you can create a similar name for a tag and a category. That way, you get two identical tag and category pages. If you use Movies both as a category and a tag, search engines might be confused about which one should be first on the search results. A similar problem can happen for single or plural nouns in your tags, such as Movies or Movie.

Also, tag pages don’t have unique content on their own. You write the unique content in the individual post, while tag pages have the posts’ excerpts. That’s exactly why search engines scan post pages rather than tag pages.

Related reading: SEO Trends in 2022: The Future of SEO >>

Unique Content And Taxonomy Pages

Add unique content to your tag and category pages to make them more attractive to search engines. First, include introductory content that briefly explains the topic. This will also make these pages more satisfying to your audience.

How can you do that? It’s simple — when you click on the name of one of your taxonomies in the category and tag menus in the WordPress backend, you get to a page where you can add a description to it. Add a keyword-rich description to improve your rankings.

Try Fully Managed WordPress Hosting from Hostdedi

WordPress is a versatile content management solution that makes it really easy for you to create a website. It’s the most popular tool for site creation with more than 100 WordPress versions released in the last 18 years. Plus, it’s great for both beginners and advanced users.

It’s important to choose a fully managed WordPress host who will help you make the most of the platform, like Hostdedi.

There are many advantages of WordPress hosting with Hostdedi.

  • First, infrastructure and customer support. That means you don’t have to worry about the technical part, which leaves you more time to be creative with your content.
  • You also get automatic updates — something users who always click on “remind me tomorrow” will be particularly grateful for.
  • WordPress is the most popular CMS that runs almost 40% of sites on the internet. Since so many people use it, it quickly became a for attacks. That’s why WordPress developed effective features for additional security protection to help you prevent unauthorized access to your website’s backend.
  • Speed-boosting features such as built-in content delivery networks and image optimization.

Get started with fully managed WordPress hosting by Hostdedi. Explore our WordPress hosting plans today.

Source link

How To Find Your Target Audience and Why It Matters So Much

Last year, 85% of blog traffic came from organic searches. However, most businesses miss these benefits by not appealing to a target audience.

How do you avoid others’ mistakes and reap the rewards of target audiences? Learn how to find your target audience by identifying potential customers and then how to use this information in a way that really matters.

Keep reading to learn:

What Is a Target Audience?

While you may have heard the term before, few actually know what a target audience is. Some may say their audience is ”whoever wants to buy my product,” and others may throw out a group of people like “teachers” or “New Yorkers.” But none of these are actually fulfilling the requirements of a target audience.

A target audience is a specific group of people with similar demographic information that has a high overall interest in your product. This isn’t meant to exclude anyone from buying your product. Instead, it’s about understanding where marketing efforts should focus.

By learning how to find your target audience, you can tailor product designs and marketing campaigns to best suit the group of people who are most likely to buy your product.

How To Find Your Target Audience

1. Start with current customers.

2. Study your competitors’ audience.

3. Identify product benefits.

4. Create an audience persona from your marketing strategy.

5. Keep improving with Google Analytics.

1. Start With Current Customers

Analyzing your existing customer base is a key element to any market research, and for good reason. Information from previous purchases can tell you about buyer needs, key demographics, and the ideal marketing strategy moving forward.

Start with the people who already purchased your product and try to find similar demographic data. Scour your email lists, social media followers, and blog post subscribers for your entire audience. If you don’t already have buyer metrics available, you can get feedback from customers in a few different ways, including surveys and interviews.

2. Study Your Competitors’ Audience

Try to answer the following:

  • How are my competitors selling products?
  • What social media platforms do they rely on?
  • What needs do they appeal to?
  • What do these things say about my competitions’ target audience?

The answers to these questions will help you know how to find your target audience.

3. Identify Product Benefits

Listing the benefits of your products identifies your target audience’s values. This empowers you to appeal to consumer needs and find your target audience. But before we get into how to use benefits, let’s distinguish features versus benefits.

Features are simply attributes describing what your product can do. Benefits are the ways that a product or feature can improve a customer’s life. For example, a car may feature rear cameras and side sensors, but the listed benefits of the car include increased safety.

To determine your target audience’s needs, make a list of all the ways customers benefit from using your products, starting with the most important. Then, analyze this list in the mind of the consumer. Think about what needs must exist for consumers to want these benefits, and what values go along with these needs.

This analysis is the basis for identifying your target audience’s values.

4. Create an Audience Persona From Your Marketing Strategy

A buyer persona is an illustration of your ideal customer. Buyer personas let you hone in on customer needs and pain points to create a marketing message that will target new customers effectively.

As an example, a buyer persona might sound like, “Amiable Aimee is a stay-at-home mom who likes finding inexpensive ways to decorate her home and make her life easier. She is creative and fun.”

To create a customer persona, look at the information you have gathered based on your existing marketing strategy. Try to identify a few key characteristics. These traits should speak about your ideal customer’s motivations and behavior.

Picture this person in your mind:

  • Where do they live?
  • What is their marital status?
  • What is a likely job title or income level?
  • What type of content do they prefer?

These questions will help you make your first persona.

5. Keep Improving With Google Analytics

Once you know how to find your target audience, it’s important to support the description with data. Beginners can use Google Analytics for free, but a paid premium service is also available. Google Analytics is a great way to know your audience as it continues to evolve.

The program uses machine learning to track advertising investment returns. You can figure out whether your target persona is currently receiving most of your marketing attention. To get started refining your intended audience with this service, check out our guide on Google analytics for email marketing.

There are also many analytics tools out there besides Google. If you feel ready to expand analytics tracking, one of these seven ecommerce analytics tools will further clarify your target market.

Why Does the Target Audience Matter?

Now that you’ve been able to define your target audience, how can you use it? Whether you’re looking to streamline marketing strategies or raise your return on investment (ROI), knowing how to find your target audience will help. Below are some of the key ways that a target market improves your business.

Better KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are how most companies measure success. When you have a target audience, you can adjust your KPIs to create more realistic and actionable goals. Measuring the growth of a specific audience will ensure that money is being spent in the most efficient way and marketing campaigns are directed appropriately.

For example, let’s say audience research has indicated that white female millennials are in your target audience. Knowing that this group uses social networks like TikTok and Instagram rather than LinkedIn or Facebook pages, you may want to fit your digital marketing campaign around these social media platforms.

Focused Product Research

Knowing who is buying your product will make it easier to conduct focused product research on what people want to buy.

This is where knowing the values of your target customers really becomes important. Product research that is based on a target audience’s needs can be much more effective than research without this information.

Write Better Product Descriptions

Writing a product description can be tough. Enter your target audience.

Knowing your ideal customer makes it possible to create a product description that specifically caters to this type of individual.

Final Thoughts: How To Find Your Target Audience and Why It Matters So Much

Having audience insights is crucial to improving business. Knowing how to find your target audience can lead to:

  • Higher ROI.
  • Effective marketing campaigns.
  • Greater customer retention.
  • More focused goal setting.
  • Better social media marketing.

Once you’ve gotten your target audience down, move on to creating a fully optimized digital store with Hostdedi StoreBuilder.

Try StoreBuilder risk-free for 30 days. Get started today.

Source link

Hostdedi Employee Creates “Text a Veteran” Suicide Prevention Effort

Asking for help can be as difficult as the situation you’re enduring. Despite the impact it has on all of us, mental health remains stigmatized in our culture. Between that stigma and resources being cost-prohibitive or scarce — many people do not get the mental health services they need.

With May being Mental Health Awareness month and culminating with Memorial Day, we’re putting a spotlight on the experience of one of our employees and the project he’s been working on.

Hostdedi Affiliate Program Manager Chris Stone served in the U.S. Army for 6 (Active) + 2 (Inactive) years. He spent his time in the Pacific Theater in a Civil Affairs Unit before receiving an honorable discharge. A husband and father of five, Chris also writes military fiction and is a freelance web developer.

Faced With an Unimaginable Loss

Following his military career, tragedy hit closer to home. Chris’s wife and best friend of ten years was diagnosed with breast cancer.

As she fought her best, Chris visited a restaurant supply store to purchase jars of mustard seeds — a nod to the bible passage that states you can move mountains with faith the size of a mustard seed. He placed jars in every room of the house to remind his wife that nothing is impossible.

Unfortunately, she lost her battle to cancer and passed away at the age of 30.

Like anyone coping with loss, Chris sought peace. He found solace in exhilarating activities like downhill skiing, surfing, and racing fast motorcycles.

Chris was engaging in risk-taking behavior that put his life in danger — something medical professionals recognize as a form of suicidal ideation, but the severity of which may be lost on someone still healing. The thrill of speed brought life into him, replacing one extreme feeling for another.

When Chris crashed his motorcycle at 165mph, his internal pain became physical pain. He ruptured five thoracic vertebrae, punctured his lung, and broke countless bones. Thanks to his helmet, which was destroyed on impact, he survived the crash.

However, Chris was told he’d never move from the waist down again and was diagnosed as a T4 paraplegic.

The Long Road to Recovery

Recovery was far from easy.

Being surrounded by others in pain who often screamed or made awful noises made it hard to feel well, or even like himself. Chris spent weeks being rehabilitated by therapists, getting pain relief, and having healthcare workers assist with more sensitive needs.

The helplessness of having to rely on others, particularly when one’s identity is tied to being a serviceman, was damaging to his psyche.

Chris also received counseling, something he may not have sought out prior to his accident. At this point he was no longer just handling grief, he was also processing his own trauma.

During this time, Chris would request to be taken to the roof for fresh air. When left alone, he would talk to his late wife, pleading for the strength to live for their two young children.

Sometimes he would lean over the side of the building in contemplation.

“I didn’t want to kill myself, but I didn’t want to be me anymore.”

In the United States, roughly 4% experience suicide ideation. Over 50% of individuals with suicidal thoughts do not receive mental health services. Chris eventually did attempt suicide, overdosing on pain medication and wine. Thankfully, he survived.

During his 72 hour hold, Chris was surrounded by others who were in bad shape. “You’re around people you know are going to die. I didn’t want to be around them,” Chris said. “So I took myself to the library.”

A room filled with paperbacks, Chris was looking for a distraction. What he got was something much more meaningful.

Chris scanned the room for something interesting and picked up a book. Flipping through it, he opened to a chapter entitled, “Sometimes Mountains Don’t Move.” Almost unbelievably, the story was about a pastor counseling a man who lost his wife to breast cancer.

That moment was crucial for Chris. When he was on the rehab facility rooftop, he said he didn’t have the courage to go through with it. When he overdosed, he did want to give up. As he saw that chapter, reminiscent of the mustard seed passage, his perspective began to change.

“Ok. I get it. I’m not supposed to quit,” he told himself.

Within six months, Chris, who was diagnosed as a T4 paraplegic, overcame the odds and started walking with a single point cane.

Safeguarding Veteran Lives

Over twenty years later, Chris is far from that seventh floor roof and hospital beds. He can also walk without a cane. He’s experiencing the next chapter of his life and exploring hobbies that are, objectively, a lot safer.

While working on a military thriller novel, Chris sought out the technical accuracy of another serviceman: a Tier 1 Army Special Forces operator who had over 600 missions in Delta (The Unit). His frequent conversations helped spark an idea.

Chris Stone emerged from his dark days triumphant — he met a woman that became his best friend, wife, and soul mate. He had three more beautiful children, and works every day toward something bigger.

In keeping in contact with other veterans, Chris realized that everyday camaraderie is a life line. A simple text or a brief check-in can change a life. More aptly, it can extend and safeguard a life.

There are medical resources, PTSD programs, and centers specifically for veterans — but that is all grouped together in the same category. It’s help. Whether it is pride, accessibility, or simply failing to realize you need them, many do not seek much-needed mental health services.

This isn’t strictly a military mindset — it’s an ingrained, societal one. We often believe we should just “deal with it” and suffer silently.

Approximately two thirds of individuals with mental health disorders are left untreated. One of the many unfortunate side effects of untreated mental health is an increased risk of suicide. Approximately 8% of individuals with mental health disorders are thought to be at risk for committing suicide.

No one understands this better than members of our armed forces. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. military. The rate of suicide among veterans is significantly higher than the civilian population. A 2013 study revealed that the civilian rate of suicide per 100,000 was 14. Among veterans, it was 30.

Currently, approximately 22 veterans die by suicide every day.

A Text a Day to Save Lives

Chris, a web developer in his spare time, developed the website, The goal is to attract sponsorship and the technical know-how to develop a system for volunteers to text a veteran daily.

This would be done through a secured database of opted-in veterans’ cell phone numbers. That text, a connection they may not otherwise have, could mean the difference between life and becoming a statistic.

“I can build this website, but I don’t have the skills to tie together the tech,” says Chris.

He’d like to be able to create the means to have volunteers type in, “Hey, hope you’re great today,” and send it directly to a veteran.

A text may not be the equivalent of therapy, but that connection gives people something to look forward to. It’s a reminder that someone is out there that doesn’t have to care for you — like a doctor or therapist. It’s someone who wants to.

Join the Cause

Chris hosts on Hostdedi servers and is actively pursuing sponsorship for his cause. We’re happy he calls Hostdedi home. We are grateful for Chris, his service, and for the tremendous cause he’s working every day to support.

Chris believes that a few words can make a tremendous difference. “Thank you for your service,” or “I hope you’re having a great day” — positive affirmations like these are enough to change someone’s world. If you know or see a veteran, he encourages you to voice your appreciation.

Borrowing a line from his former superior, Drill Sergeant Harris, he adds, “If you’re able to respond, you are responsible.”

If you’re interested in sponsoring or assisting with the tech end of this project, contact Chris Stone at @ChrisStoneBooks.

And, if you know a veteran — text them today.

Source link

Bad Product Reviews: How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Positive reviews are great for showing potential customers that they can trust your business. But what happens when reviews pop up that aren’t so positive? Learning how to respond to negative reviews the right way can prevent any damage they might cause and show your customers that you’re dedicated to serving their needs.

Why Reviews Matter

Before someone makes a purchase, they want to know they aren’t wasting their money. Reviews can put customers’ minds at ease, but reviews are essential for other reasons.

Improve Search Rankings

Reviews play a critical role in how Google places your business’s website in search rankings. The more reviews your business has, the more likely your business is to appear in searches. But that’s not the only way reviews help customers find your business. Your reviews also appear alongside your Google Business Profile information. Local customers can see your star rating before looking up anything else about your company.

Lead to Higher Conversion Rates

If you want to learn how to improve ecommerce conversion rates, consider adding reviews to your site. Reviews can be the difference between a customer on the fence and a customer who is ready to click the buy button. People are more likely to purchase if other people agree that it’s a good choice. Online reviews are a significant source of social proof and make customers feel more confident in their purchases.

Make You Look Trustworthy

Reviews are a key ingredient of your brand’s online identity. Customers tend not to trust businesses that have ratings below four stars. Having higher star ratings can build trust with customers and make your business more reliable in their eyes. So, even though the distance between a four-star and five-star review may seem small, companies with higher ratings are more likely to make sales because customers feel they can trust them more.

Essential for Decision Making

The majority of shoppers think online reviews are crucial to their purchase decisions. They consult sites like Google and Yelp to help them make these decisions. And they’re more likely to look at those sources than they are to ask friends and family. Having customers talk about your brand and their experience with it is a great form of advertising. And encouraging customer reviews can lead to more customers in the future.

Open Line to Customers

Online reviews aren’t just a way for your customers to share their experiences. They’re also how customers share their experiences with you. Reviews act as a way for customers to be honest about their purchases and experience. These reviews allow you to thank your customers or offer them future promotions. But most importantly, these reviews allow you to act fast and fix any issues a customer has to show that you care about them and value them as customers.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Reviews can do a lot to entice new customers and build your company’s reputation. But negative reviews can stick out and prevent new customers from trusting your brand. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to respond to negative reviews quickly and efficiently. The following steps can help you prevent any harmful effects negative reviews may have.

Respond Quickly

Any time you spot a bad review, take time to read it and make a plan for addressing it. Responding within 24-48 hours is ideal. You don’t want a bad review to be left unanswered. If a customer was so unhappy with your company that they decided to leave a review, it should be your top priority.

Be Professional

A negative review can feel like being called out, but it’s no time to start a fight. Respond calmly and clearly, and state what you will do to fix the customer’s negative experience. Even though some reviewers may use inflammatory language or seem childish, remaining professional is essential. Even if one customer uses a review to insult your brand, other customers watch how you respond.

It’s also a good idea to have a process for addressing negative reviews. Creating a reference for employees to follow can be a great way to educate team members about how you’d like to handle these situations. Plus, it creates a cohesive approach should you need to delegate the task of responding to someone else.

Acknowledge the Complaint

If a reviewer had a bad experience or received a faulty product, acknowledge it. Showing empathy can go a long way, and customers will appreciate that you took the initiative to fix any issues.

Acknowledging complaints can also be an excellent way to prevent any compounding effects of harmful product reviews. Responding to a negative review with something as simple as “we’re sorry you had a bad experience” can make the customer feel seen and prevent the bad review from further damage.

Apologize and Take Responsibility

Apologizing to a customer, rather than arguing with them, is an integral part of customer service. Showing the customer that you hear their complaint, are sorry it happened, and will do better next time can show future customers that you hold your business to a high standard and they shouldn’t expect to have the same experience as the bad review.

Provide an Explanation, If Needed

Not all negative reviews require an explanation, but they might depending on what’s in the review. Businesses err and products occasionally fall short. Explaining poor material quality, miscommunications, technical issues, slow delivery times, or product backorders can help customers understand what happened and be more ready to forgive your business for their bad experience.

When explaining, make sure you aren’t justifying a lousy experience. You don’t want to sound like you’re making excuses. Make it clear that you are sorry when you explain. Let the reviewer know what you can offer to make up for their experience.

Take the Discussion Offline

All reviews are public, and just as the good reviews can build customer trust, the bad ones can break that trust. The more visible your response, the more people will see it. Suggest in your response to the negative review that you’d like to move the discussion to a private place, like email or a phone call, so not all customers can see the entirety of this conversation.

Make It Right

Even if a customer’s bad experience wasn’t directly the fault of your business, take responsibility and reinforce your business’s high standards. Make it clear that you are equally disappointed that they had a bad experience. Consider offering a refund or a free service or product to make things right.

Making it right might also encourage the reviewer to remove the negative review. But, at no point should you ask them to remove it. Your customers want to feel like you hear their complaints, and asking for a review to be removed can ignite further controversy.

Examples of Responses

Responding to a negative review doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some examples of how you can respond next time you get one:

  • Thank you for your review. We’re sorry you had a bad experience. We promise to do better in the future.
  • Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’re sorry your experience didn’t match your expectations or ours. We’re looking into the issue and hope to resolve it quickly.
  • Thank you for letting us know. We set high standards for our company, and we’re sorry we didn’t meet them. We would like the opportunity to chat directly with you to make this right.

Building a Better Customer Experience

Learning to deal with negative reviews is just one step in managing your brand’s online reputation. Having the proper tools to serve your customers can mean the difference between satisfaction and disappointment. When creating a seamless and intuitive customer experience, Hostdedi has your back. Power your online store with fully managed WooCommerce hosting and radically improve load times to serve your customers better.

Check out our fully managed WooCommerce plans to get started today.

Source link

What is a Marketplace in Ecommerce? Marketplace Definition

You’ve probably bought something on an ecommerce marketplace and maybe didn’t even realize it. So what is a marketplace?

An ecommerce marketplace is a place where multiple sellers can list their products for sale. Amazon offers millions of different products, but most items aren’t sold directly by Amazon. Third-party or marketplace sellers make up a significant portion of Amazon’s offerings.

If you have an ecommerce business, how do you decide if marketplace selling is right for you? In this post, we look at what marketplaces are, how they work, and what strategies ecommerce businesses can use to be successful.

What is a Marketplace in Ecommerce?

Amazon isn’t the only ecommerce marketplace. Other popular ecommerce marketplaces include Etsy,, and eBay. The marketplace exists to connect buyers and sellers.

Retailers like Amazon and Walmart added marketplaces to their websites to expand their product offerings without investing in sourcing additional inventory. Other marketplaces like Etsy and eBay began and remain only marketplaces without a traditional retail operation.

How Do Marketplaces Work?

Selling on a marketplace begins with applying for admission or setting up your seller account. After listing your products, shoppers can buy them on the marketplace. The marketplace processes the transaction and passes along the order information to your business or fulfillment partner for shipping. The marketplace typically deducts a small commission before making a payout to your business.

Benefits of selling on an ecommerce marketplace include:

  • Market Expansion. From selling internationally to reaching new demographics, marketplaces allow existing brands to reach new customers.
  • Traffic and Credibility. Marketplaces offer what many new ecommerce stores lack — traffic and credibility. Buyers are often leery of purchasing from an unknown website but will add something to their Amazon cart without a second thought.
  • New Source of Revenue. Marketplaces also offer a new revenue line to support your ecommerce business. By reaching new customers on the marketplace, you can increase sales.

Drawbacks of marketplace selling include:

  • Lower Margins. Marketplaces charge transaction fees to third-party sellers, so you won’t make as much money selling the same product at the same price as you would on your website.
  • Fierce Competition. If you think you can just increase your price to cover the marketplace fees, you’ll want to check out the competition first. Unless you offer a one-of-a-kind product, odds are that someone is already selling something similar on the marketplace. You’ll compete on price with other sellers. You’ll also compete for views on your product listings.
  • Limited Control. The marketplace handles the transaction and will be the primary point of contact for customer service issues. Businesses don’t have the same control over their data and customer experience as they do on their own websites.

What is a Marketplace Strategy?

Developing a profitable marketplace strategy begins with research. Check out the various marketplaces where you could list your products. What’s the fee structure? What competitors are already using the marketplace? Given the fee structure and the competitive pricing landscape, can you sell your products at a profit?

If you’re considering selling on Amazon, listen to our Store Builders podcast episode on The Amazon Question: How to Choose If and When to Use Amazon as a Channel.

After you’ve selected the right marketplaces to sell your products, you’ll want to optimize your strategy.

Elements of a winning marketplace strategy include:

  • Excellent Product Content. High-quality product photos and snappy, detailed product descriptions help your products stand out from the competition. If you’re selling in a new market with a different language, consider paying a native speaker to edit your product descriptions so they don’t sound like you wrote them using an online translator.
  • Paid Advertising. Many marketplaces sell paid listings and ads to increase views. If you’re selling a common item, paid listings can catapult your product to the top of the search results in the marketplace. As with any advertising, be cautious and set a reasonable budget.
  • Pricing. Marketplace sellers constantly adjust their pricing to stay near the top of the results. Many shoppers will sort or filter their search results by price. Monitoring and adjusting your pricing will ensure a competitor doesn’t take your spot by undercutting your price by 25 cents.

How to List Products in an Online Marketplace

Managing your marketplace place listings is not as stressful as it sounds. Many marketplaces integrate with your existing ecommerce platform so you can manage product listings for your online store and marketplaces in the same place.

One of the reasons WooCommerce is such a popular ecommerce platform is how easily you can add integrations. Various WooCommerce plugins can help you sync products from WooCommerce to a marketplace and vice versa. You can find similar integrations for the other ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce and Magento.

Start With Your Own Store

Thanks to an easy integration, your marketplace selling journey begins with setting up your own store. StoreBuilder by Hostdedi makes setting up a new WooCommerce-powered online store simple.

StoreBuilder includes all the plugins you need to create a beautiful and functional store. All you have to do is add your products and customize the look of your store.

To add marketplace channels, just pick the right integration and start processing your orders.

Try StoreBuilder risk-free for 30 days.

Source link

9 New Magento Extensions You Need | Magento 2 Extensions

Magento is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) out there to build an ecommerce store.

Although Magento’s market share is lower than its competitors, Magento is gaining popularity and market share thanks to the powerful extensions that help you add features like a payment system, security, search capabilities, and search engine optimization.

Read on to learn more about the nine new Magento extensions you can use on your ecommerce store.

Magento Extensions for Sale

Magento extensions for sale offer additional options you can benefit from during your sales to enhance your customer support, payment processing, and sales analytics.

Auto Invoice and Shipment Magento 2.0 Extension

Magento, by default, does not have a functionality to create invoices. Users need to generate manual invoices.

However, manual invoicing becomes a hectic job once the orders increase. You need a dedicated person to handle this task, but that increases the possibility of human errors — which may dissatisfy your customers.

Auto Invoice and Shipment is a Magento 2 extension that helps you automate the process of generating the invoices and shipment in a single step. Thus, it would decrease the time spent on manual invoicing and increase customer satisfaction by informing customers through a notification system.

Key Features:

  • Automatic invoicing.
  • Selection of specific payment methods.
  • Configuration automatic shipment generation.
  • Scheduled email notifications to buyers.

Custom Reports Builder Magento 2.0 Extension

To build a profitable business, you need to know exactly what product to sell, who your buyers are, how your customers make their buying decisions, and what factors affect your customer’s purchasing journey. You need data to cover all these significant aspects.

With the rapidly changing market, websites are an essential source of data. You can integrate data from websites into thorough analytical reports and respond to the market in a timely manner.

Custom Reports Builder extension is one of the latest Magento modules. It facilitates customers without requiring them to learn deep analytical or technical skills to create any sort of custom report.

Custom Reports Builder extension is designed to extract and process any sort of data available from your store that lets you examine the store’s performance. This extension arranges all of the vital columns in maximum handy order, applies filters, sets the time intervals, and visualizes the statistics with charts.

Key Features:

  • Extensive range of custom reports.
  • Integration of any available store information into your reports.
  • Filtering and sorting to get relevant results.
  • Aggregation to optimally organize records.
  • Set intervals and visualize records with charts.

Configurable Products in Bundles Magento 2.0 Extension

Packaging is a great way to combine matching goods and create complete sets aimed at increasing average sales and checks.

Magento does not provide tools to add configurable products in a bundled product, which restricts store owners from creating such offers.

Configurable Products in Bundles extension solves that issue by offering simple and configurable product bundles that would help you create new offerings for your customers to increase sales and customer satisfaction.

You can offer bundled products as a discount to encourage customers to buy the bundles. In this way, you can move your slow inventory, and customers get to buy suitable products with a single click.

Key Features:

  • Creation of a variety of new bundle offers from configurable and simple products.
  • Custom pricing and discounts for bundles to motivate the customers.
  • Custom product options for configuration within the bundle for the end-user.

Magento Extensions for Enhanced Search

Ecommerce search matters.

Suppose you offer a product in multiple variations. If those variations don’t appear in the users’ searches, you won’t be able to sell those products.

Magento extensions for enhanced search let you optimize your search options for easier product discovery, so you never have to worry about products being ignored by the search.

Product Parts Finder Magento 2.0 Extension

Providing customers with a quick and clear way to find products based on key metrics is essential. Product Parts Finder Magento 2.0 extension can help you with that.

For instance, if you sell auto accessories and spare parts in Magento 2, you can use this feature to let online buyers find products by entering details like:

  • Year of assembly.
  • Vehicle type.
  • Model.
  • Manufacturer.

With the Product Parts Finder Magento 2.0 extension, you can add the product search to your website’s home and category pages and provide customers with vast filter options as a convenient drop-down menu. You can import product data using CSV files too.

Key Features:

  • Support for large data.
  • Customizable, user-friendly search design.
  • Drag and drag import capability.
  • Bookmarking of search results.

Elastic Search Magento 2.0 Extension

Elastic Search Magento 2.0 extension indexes your data for speedy processing. It defines the search weight of product attributes in the search algorithm to provide your buyers with reliable results. And it automatically offers your shoppers similar products when no stock is found.

Besides that, website visitors can search the products of the entire website. Magento marketplace extension Elastic Search shows full-text results in pages and blocks within the content management system.

Elastic Search extension also provides site visitors with accelerated page loading and index recovery from the gateway in the event of a server crash.

Key Features:

  • Full-text and full-website multilingual search.
  • Partial search by SKU, name, attribute, or category.
  • Autocomplete suggestions and typo corrections.
  • Alternate search terms and words to ignore.
  • Support for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages.

Advanced Search Magento 2.0 Extension

Advanced search is a global standard to provide the best user experience for website visitors. To build buyer loyalty, give shoppers a seamless product search in your ecommerce store.

Advanced Search Magento 2.0 extension makes the search process intuitive, which greatly increases the chances for a visitor to find the desired product and make a purchase.

You can extend Magento’s default search functionality with advanced features specially developed to improve store usability.

Key Features:

  • Results from the product, category, and CMS pages.
  • Insights about your customers from search analytics.
  • Recent and popular searches to engage users.
  • Customization of the layout of the autocomplete pop-up.

Magento Extensions for Marketing

Magento extensions for marketing empower on the marketing front with multiple features helping attract and land more customers.

Marketing & Sales Suite Magento 2.0 Extension

Marketing requires you to perform several menial tasks regularly, which stops you from concentrating on innovative ideas and other higher priority tasks.

Marketing and Sales Suite extension helps you automate a series of regular marketing and sales activities to save time and resources for your new ideas and creativity.

Besides that, you can Improve product trustworthiness, automate review collection, and display smart reminders. You can also make personalized offers to retain buyers.

Key Features:

  • Customer reviews and social proof.
  • Auto collect feedback with pop-ups and email reminders.
  • Point system to reward for specific activities.
  • Personal discounts to particular customers.
  • Products stock status and recent sales.
  • Countdown timers on pages with limited-time offers.

Google Page Speed Optimizer Magento 2.0 Extension

Google considers page speed a ranking factor for searches on mobile and desktop devices. Pages with faster load speed are ranked higher on search engine result pages (SERPs).

This means that stores with a fast loading speed and optimized performance will get the top spots in a Google search ranking and attract more customers.

Google Page Speed Optimizer Magento 2 extension helps you optimize your ecommerce store performance. Visitors will stay on your website due to responsiveness, and Google will index your website faster and bring you to the top of Google search results.

Key Features:

  • Optimization of JS, CSS and HTML.
  • Faster page loading with WebP and Lazy Loading.
  • Optimization of images for mobile devices.
  • Smart JS Bundling and Server Push.
  • Use of Magento Cloud and CDN.
  • Built-in AMP functionality.

Google Rich Snippets Magento 2.0 Extension

Google Rich Snippets Magento 2.0 extension helps you add structured data to your webpages, helping Google and other search engines understand the data entered on your ecommerce store pages.

Google Rich Snippets Magento module displays clear navigation, which makes any ecommerce store easier to use and lets Google understand the content of a website.

Key Features:

  • Support for breadcrumbs for rich snippets.
  • Rich snippets with organization name and logo.
  • Display of search input box for a home page in search results.
  • Show average products rating and starting price data for category pages.
  • Products availability and condition tag in rich snippets.

Final Thoughts: 9 New Magento Extensions You Need For Your Ecommerce Store

The above new extensions of Magento help you enhance your website’s sales. If you are interested in more Magento 2.0 extensions like these, check out more extensions to boost your store’s sales.

Customers appreciate a performance-optimized store that loads quickly and lets them find their desired product. Besides the extensions above, look for a reliable hosting provider that aids you in running an optimized store.

If you want to run your Magento store without worrying about performance, try Hostdedi’s Fully Managed Magento hosting today.

Source link

Easy SEO for WordPress: 7 Tips for WordPress SEO Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) for WordPress websites is a process that helps improve the ranking of SEO for WordPress websites in search results.

The goal of SEO is to get more people to find your website through search engines, and thus drive more traffic to your website. SEO is key to making your business stand out online. It can help you improve marketing efforts by attracting new leads, generating more customers, and growing sales.

Some factors that affect the ranking of SEO for WordPress websites include:

  • Website security
  • Crawlability
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Visitor’s engagement with the website
  • High-quality content

Want to find out how to do search engine optimization in WordPress? Keep reading!

WordPress SEO Optimization Doesn’t Need to Be Difficult

The future of SEO is bright. Google recently changed its algorithm and core web vitals to show more organic listings. And website owners need to keep up.

As you probably know, search engine optimization for WordPress websites is one of the factors to ranking well on Google. But that’s not the only consideration.

To provide the best user experience, Google also ranks fast websites over slow ones. The Google ranking factors that relate to the user experience include page load speed and website navigation. Slow loading sites provide bad UX for users, so faster ones are ranked higher.

When it comes to your WordPress site, website performance matters. Site uptime and security vulnerabilities can both have a significant impact on how well you rank in search engines like Google. So make sure that you pick a hosting service that offers reliable performance.

If you’re not an SEO expert, don’t worry. There are easy SEO techniques for WordPress that you can utilize for your site. These are the easiest techniques to learn how to do search engine optimization in WordPress.

Easy SEO for WordPress Beginners: 7 Tips to Try

People love using WordPress because it is powerful — and it can be used to create beautiful, engaging content for your site. But it’s not enough on its own. You need an SEO plan too!

Maintaining high rankings takes time and effort, but if done correctly, it will help increase traffic from organic searches, which in turn helps increase sales online.

Here are top techniques to try for easy SEO for WordPress:

1. Pick an SEO-supported WordPress theme

2. Install an SSL certificate

3. Enable website indexing

4. Select SEO supported URLs

5. Install an SEO WordPress plugin

6. Use SEO-friendly page headings

7. Add alternative text for images

1. Pick an SEO-Supported WordPress Theme

WordPress is a hugely popular platform for building websites and blogs. It’s built on PHP, the programming language for web development, which means that you can install a wide variety of plugins and themes to extend the functionality of your site. The default theme comes with plenty of features but often isn’t what you want to use.

Several themes are available straight away in your dashboard. You can also buy premium themes, but make sure you choose carefully because they ought to have WordPress SEO optimization support. Make sure you find a search engine-friendly theme that does not come with unnecessary plugins or scripts that will affect page load time.

If you decide to use a plugin to implement the design, make sure it does not slow down your website too much. For example, if you decide to use a slider, search for one that doesn’t run on heavy plugins. Before installing any theme, see if it passes all of Google’s audits for potential performance and SEO issues. Check out our blog on testing website speed to learn more.

2. Install an SSL Certificate

SSL is a designed protocol that provides security to the communication happening between computer networks over the internet. For example, when you send money through an online payment system, such as an ecommerce website’s online payment feature, SSL protects your financial transactions.

Websites with SSL certificates are more secure than those without. They create a protective barrier between your site and users, making it tough for hackers to steal information from you or get past the encryption code.

Search engines reward sites that have an SSL certificate because they know the information on these websites cannot be compromised. A website with HTTP rather than HTTPS shows search engines there is no encryption protecting their data. Your WordPress SEO will suffer because of this.

If you want to install an SSL certificate, speak with your hosting provider to see if they offer them.

Check out Hostdedi’ SSL certificates here >>

3. Enable Website Indexing

WordPress is a great tool for developers, because it allows them to stop search engines from indexing your site, which essentially means they won’t rank it. This can be used during times when you don’t want your site found on Google — like when a development process begins.

But the rest of the time, you’ll want your website to get indexed by Google. To do so, you can check your site’s visibility under “Settings.”

  • Under your website dashboard
  • Go to Settings > Reading
  • Scroll down to the Search engine visibility
  • Tick this checkbox, if it is unticked

4. Select SEO-Supported URLs

WordPress provides you with a variety of URL structures, and it is essential that the one used for your site be SEO-friendly.

For example, this type of URL is not the best for WordPress search engine optimization:

A URL like this means your site will be overlooked in rankings time after time, while others with more appropriate links will be ranked higher by Google.

Instead, use an SEO-friendly URL structure on your site. Use something like this:

A URL like this has much better SEO value. You can choose either Custom Structure or Post name structure from the Permalinks Settings under Settings in your website’s dashboard.

5. Install an SEO WordPress Plugin

The better your website ranks on Google, the more likely it is that visitors will find you. Investing time in learning about SEO and using WordPress plugins like those mentioned below can help improve your site’s rankings.

The best SEO plugins will not only help you improve your content for search engines, but they’ll also make sure that all of the information on each page is optimized and easy to read.

If you already know how to optimize your posts and pages with SEO fundamentals, then there is no need for WordPress plugins. You can achieve fantastic results without using them.

However, third-party plugins can definitely be a good way to do easy SEO for WordPress. SEO plugins provide you with guidance on how to improve your content so that it’s more search engine friendly, but ultimately all of the optimization work still falls onto your shoulders.

The use and importance of these tools have grown exponentially over recent years as Google becomes increasingly strict when determining what appears within their results pages.

Below, you’ll find the best SEO plugins for WordPress to help your site rank higher on Google.

6. Use SEO-Friendly Page Headings

Optimizing page headings are easy SEO for WordPress — and they’re also an important ranking factor for search engines.

Studies show that page headings with keywords tend to rank higher than those without them. It is important for the headlines of your pages and blog posts to be engaging, yet not too aggressive or distracting. The H1 and H2 headings should provide enough context for people to easily understand what the page is about.

7. Add Alternative Text for Images

Alternative (Alt) text is a way for those with visual impairments to read the content on your website. It also tells web crawlers what they’re looking at and makes it easier for them to understand as well.

Some people might not be able to see images or have difficulty reading text, so your alt tag must reflect a clear description of what the image shows. That is the primary purpose of alt text. However alt text can also include key phrases for SEO.

You can add this information in WordPress’s “Image Settings” section under blocks on how you would like it displayed when someone does attempt viewing an invalid file type (e..g., if they are trying to view PDF files as JPEGS).

Consider Hosting With Hostdedi

Hosting your site with a reliable provider is key to ensuring that everything runs smoothly. This can be especially important for those running a business or company website. To ensure that your site is fast and accessible at all times, you need to carefully select a hosting provider.

Here at Hostdedi, we know that your website is critical. That’s why our fully managed WordPress hosting offers you the best of both worlds by delivering high-quality service with fast loading times.

Our fully managed WordPress hosting can help you achieve fast loading times, scalability, and security for your website. We offer a variety of plans to suit your needs, and our team of experts is here to help you every step of the way. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, try out our fully managed WordPress hosting today.

Try fully managed WordPress hosting from Hostdedi.

Source link

The Etsy Strike and Why You Need Your Own Ecommerce Store

“I wonder what would happen if on April 11, so many sellers put their shops on vacation mode that Etsy starts [getting worried]. And then they have no choice but to negotiate with us.” — Kristi Cassidy.

That was a call to action that Kristi Cassidy (one of the strike organizers) made on Reddit in late February after Etsy announced that it would increase seller transaction fees from 5% to 6.5%.

Kristi Cassidy’s Reddit post triggered a week-long strike that started on April 11, 2022. Thousands of sellers put their Etsy shops in “vacation mode” to protest the fee hike. Besides that, an online petition outlining their demands had well over 85,000 signatures by May 2022.

Etsy’s most recent fee increase was in July 2018, and the new fee structure more than doubled in less than four years. The fee increase also came on the heels of Etsy’s phenomenal growth, and the company followed up on its gains by putting more burden on its sellers.

The company benefited greatly during the 2020 pandemic as customers avoided stores and turned to online retailers. As a result, active sellers on Etsy generated $12.2 billion in gross merchandise sales in 2021, up from $5 billion in 2019.

In addition to transaction fees, Etsy sellers have to pay payment processing, listing, and shipping fees. They also have an additional cost between 12% to 15% whenever a customer purchases a product after clicking an ad (Offsite Ads program).

The Offsite Ads program makes Etsy fees unpredictable and can take more than 20% of each transaction. These site ad fees, coupled with the recent transaction fee increase, make it harder for small businesses to make a profit and sustain themselves on Etsy.

The Star Seller Program is another complaint that Etsy sellers have, which puts undue pressure on them, while they frequently complain about having to wait weeks or months for responses to urgent Etsy support tickets.

On top of that, AI-powered bots shut down legit seller accounts at random, while Etsy ignores resellers who undercut authentic makers and violate its policies.

As a result, Etsy sellers demanded:

  • Cancelation of the fee increase.
  • End of the Star Seller Program.
  • Allow all sellers to opt out of offsite ads.
  • Crackdown on resellers with a transparent, comprehensive plan, so sellers can hold Etsy accountable.
  • Give “Golden” support tickets to sellers affected by extreme AI actions such as account termination and 45/90 day holds.

How Did the Etsy Strike End?

Etsy said that less than 1% of sellers went into “vacation mode.” And that the week-long sellers’ strike to protest a 30% increase in transaction fees had no material impact on its sales. It also said that churn had remained at normal levels in the first quarter of 2022.

While Etsy claims there was no impact at the macro level, some sellers echoed a widespread sentiment to Reuters, telling them they’d look for alternatives to create their own website.

For example, Allyson Reed, who sells animal bones-based artwork in Indianapolis, left Etsy to build her own website saying, “The fee increase just didn’t make sense to me. It was a kick in the pants to the little guy.”

Why You Should Have Your Own Ecommerce Website

If you want to have more control over how you run your store and receive payments, it makes sense to have your own ecommerce website.

By running your own store, you can:

  • Minimize the cost per sale since reaching consumers directly through your website will help you save on third-party seller fees.
  • Market through social media and search engines since your website will appear on the top search results. You can also build trust and confidence with your audience through ratings and reviews.
  • Get unique opportunities to drive brand loyalty and increase repeat sales. You’ll have the freedom to sign up new shoppers, encourage them to visit your social media pages, and offer them value through content and other helpful resources to increase engagement and brand recognition.
  • Venture into cross-promotional marketing that’ll help you earn more revenue. You can’t do this kind of marketing on platforms like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay because of their rules and policies.
  • Have several marketing opportunities that third-party marketplaces or sellers don’t provide. For example, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) can help ensure you drive traffic and customers to your ecommerce website.

Why StoreBuilder Is the Best Alternative to Etsy

StoreBuilder lets you launch an ecommerce store and start your online business faster than any other solution on the market.

StoreBuilder is built around sellers’ success and addresses the pain points of Etsy sellers. With StoreBuilder, you won’t have to worry about:

  • Increased Fees — Etsy increased its seller fees by 30%, more than doubling in less than four years. StoreBuilder doesn’t have transaction fees or costly add-ons — your website, data, and profits belong to you.
  • Star Seller Program — Etsy passively tries to influence seller behavior on the platform, which results in a bad customer experience. With StoreBuilder, you own your online store and what you put into it. You’ll have total freedom and flexibility.
  • Offsite Ads Program — Etsy sellers aren’t in control of how much they spend on ads, which listings to advertise, and whether or not to advertise. Besides that, Etsy usually forces its sellers to foot its advertising costs. But StoreBuilder harnesses the power of the best ecommerce solutions on the market to help you grow your brand effortlessly.
  • Poor Support — Etsy sellers have to wait for months to appeal to AI-made decisions that prevent them from accessing their earnings or running their businesses entirely. In contrast, StoreBuilder offers you fast, friendly support when you need it. You can speak to our ecommerce experts by phone, email, or chat 24/7/365.

Final Thoughts: The Etsy Strike and Why You Need Your Own Ecommerce Store

After the Etsy seller strike, most ecommerce business owners are looking for Etsy alternatives. You might have sold your crafts and creative items on Etsy for years, but the platform might no longer be viable.

StoreBuilder comes with everything you need to sell your products online, add items to carts, and seamlessly checkout with shipping costs and tax calculations.

If you’re ready to build your first ecommerce store, get started with Hostdedi StoreBuilder and sell your products online worry-free.

Source link