5 steps to prevent data loss

Data loss is no joke and it’s something your company needs to prevent as much as it can. Unfortunately, many only learn to prevent it after data loss has happened. You don’t want to be in that situation and with these tried and true methods, you hopefully won’t have to.

When data loss happens, your whole business can be put on hold, especially if you rely heavily on eCommerce. It can be costly to recover data and it’s even possible to lose important data forever, so it’s vital that you take the steps needed to protect your data as much as possible. To get started, here are 5 steps that you can take to prevent data loss.

1. Perform regular updates.

Updating your website, its plugins and all your computer’s software can feel annoying, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to do it.

These updates very often patch weaknesses that previous versions had. Weaknesses that expose your data. It’s a good idea to work them into your schedule so that you can avoid the thought of, “I have to finish this work before I can do the update,” because that can lead to you forgetting them. Especially after a long day.

2. Backup backup backup.

In one of our earliest blog posts, we discussed how to maintain a WordPress website and this step was one of the most important. Backing up your data regularly can save you a lot of time and money.

It’s important to have more than one backup of all your data. We recommend keeping one locally and one in the cloud. That way, if all else fails, one of those two backups can save you. Much like the previous step, it’s best to schedule backups so that other work doesn’t get in the way of this very important practice.

“The last thing you want is for that hard work to disappear.”
Stuart Smith, Junior Digital Communications Co-ordinator at Web2Web

3. Get protected by an antivirus.

A virus can come from a number of sources which makes them a very serious threat to your data that can also slow your business operations to a halt.

Preventing this one from happening is very simple, all it takes is investing in an antivirus program. These will scan new data and programmes for potential risks. You can still run into a virus, even with an antivirus. That is why it’s important to update the antivirus and have backups, just in case.

4. Take care of your hardware.

One of the most important part to prevent your data from loss is by taking care of the hardware that stores it. This means keeping it away from areas with dust, in areas that don’t get very hot and most importantly in South Africa, avoiding high voltage and power surges.

With an unpredictable load-shedding schedule, it can be very easy to leave your hardware exposed to a power surge that can damage it. This, dust and heat can lead to breakdowns that could have been avoided. Put a backup system in place to avoid interruptions in power and keep your desktop computers unplugged when load-shedding could happen.

5. Create a disaster plan for your business.

When an emergency like data loss happens, it can get even worse when nobody knows what to do. This is why it is very important to create a disaster plan that everyone learns and can take action on if something like data loss happens.

This practice will minimise the damage done and allow for an easier and faster recovery process. It’s best to make this plan with experts that can teach everyone in the company what to do when an emergency happens and set a system in place that everyone can follow.

Make your website a safer place for business with Web2Web.

You don’t need someone to tell you how important your data is, so we know you understand how important it is to prevent data loss. Your business website, just like everywhere else, needs to have this same level of protection.

This means updates, backups, security like antiviruses and someone who can assist you when the worst happens. Web2Web offers enterprise-level website maintenance and management to supply those exact services.

If you want your data to be safer than ever, contact us today and we can find the solution for you.

7 tips to improve your business blog

Running a blog for your business can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be with these seven tips to improve it.

Your company can really benefit from having its own blog. From search engine optimization (SEO) to gaining brand trust from your clients, it’s not an aspect of your online footprint that you want to ignore. But how do you run one successfully?

In today’s blog, we will be discussing our top seven tips for writing a business blog so you can use it to improve your brand.

1. Define your company’s niche.

If you are a well-established company, you likely already know what you want your content to be about. But even if you are just starting out, it’s a good idea to define your niche in the field of your industry.

A very important step to remember when choosing your topic is that you will be able to spend time writing about it and be happy. There’s no use in choosing a niche that you will give up on in less than a year.

Find the niche that your company addresses, you can write about without getting bored and has a lot of readers. You can find out about the latter by looking for existing communities and blogs that discuss the topics you want to. This competition is good because it means you will be entering a popular space.

2. Keep your target market in mind.

Whenever you write anything, you should be keeping your target market in mind. Your content’s success relies on resonating with your clients and forms a stronger connection with them.

Define who your target market is and find out what other content they read or listen to and what challenges they face. Then make the kind of content that they are interested in and will solve their problems.

If your company happens to supply that solution, you can very seamlessly add in your own products and services. But be warned, don’t make your company the only remedy the reader can get, otherwise, your content could be seen as an incredibly long ad that doesn’t add value to the reader’s life.

3. Give easy to lean value in your business blog.

You want a business blog post that both offers value that your readers can take away and for that value to be written in a way that is easy to learn.

Even if your business tone is incredibly formal, start by writing in a conversational tone, as if you were talking to a friend. Being too formal makes reading difficult and you don’t need to sacrifice the tone to be conversational.

Next, use subheadings and avoid large walls of text. This will help your readers scan your content to see if they want to invest in reading it. This will also make your content more impactful and easier to read. Qualities you want to have throughout all of your blog posts.

Lastly, use images and examples to break up the information. Creating breathers from learning will help your reader absorb what you are saying. The more they remember, the more your brand stays with them.

4. Write a killer headline.

With the knowledge of what you want to write about and who you are writing for. You now need to practise writing a headline that will grab the attention of readers.

Headlines should be very specific, directed at your target market and give insight into what the article will be about. To help you get better, try the FBR method Ali Abdaal speaks about. The acronym stands for Fast Bad Wrong (let’s forgive that the word wrong doesn’t start with an R).

If you are just beginning to get into writing, your headlines are likely not going to be as strong as they could be. FBR says that is what is suppose to happen. Your first drafts are always going to be fast, bad and wrong. Make many headlines for your blog and from your list, pick the strongest one.

You can use FBR for your blog writing too. Then apply the next tip to make it much stronger.

5. Never forget to edit!

After you have made your blog content, you need to plan to edit it. This works best if you wait for at least a day before you edit to let your brain rest. This needs to happen before you decide to publish for every blog post.

It will help to get a basic grammar checker to iron out the obvious mistakes. But be aware, they can very often miss errors or make incorrect suggestions. Nothing beats a human editor but having the extra help is nice.

6. Understand the basics of SEO.

If you want your business blog content to be discovered online, you will need to learn how to have it appear on search engines. When it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO) for blog content, your focus should be on keyword research.

This is the process of figuring out what people are typing into the search engine to look for information. You can use this to find high-quality topics to talk about. To get even more out of this research, you will need to understand searcher intent. This is what they are truly looking for when they make a search.

Gear your content to answer the questions people are asking about and you will start getting organic traffic to your website.

7. Carefully select plugins for a CMS.

Content management systems (CMS) are incredibly useful ways to run a blog. These are services like WordPress that make website creation and management very easy to understand. Another fantastic feature about CMSs is their ability to use third-party code called plugins.

Plugins can boost the functionality of your website and blog but you will want to choose them very carefully. Otherwise, you could unintentionally break your website. This is why we wrote a whole blog post about choosing the perfect plugin.

Don’t let your next plugin ruin your WordPress website.

Improve your business blog with Web2Web.

Your blog content is a great way to get more people to notice your business organically. It also opens up ways for other content creators to link to your website. If you want blog content that can draw in this organic traffic, get in touch with Web2Web.

Our website management and content writing teams can set your business blog up for success and keep it running with consistent high-quality content.

Make a professional Instagram grid layout

Your Instagram grid is a peek into your company and the layout is what sells the personality. Every Instagram page has all of that account’s posts lined up into a grid of three images at a time. For influencers, it shows off their style, but for your company, it can bolster your brand’s image.

In this blog post, we are going to cover ways that you can use the Instagram grid layout to your advantage. Changing individual posts into a schedule that creates a bigger picture and grabs your clients’ attention.

Why does your Instagram grid layout matter?

As we just mentioned, your Instagram grid layout can show brand personality. From this perspective, all of your current and past posts can be seen, creating what will often be the first impression of your brand, especially if you use Instagram for marketing. In an instant, people will decide whether or not your brand might suit them, and an unorganised mess can lead to them turning away.

This is especially true if your company focuses on an aesthetic or a particular type of lifestyle, but it applies to everyone. Below, we are going to discuss how you can plan your Instagram grid layout for success and then go over popular strategies.

How to plan your posts for Instagram.

The best Instagram accounts start with a plan. To get you started, here are 4 steps that you can follow to get going.

  • Create a mock-up grid.
  • Prepare for consistency.
  • Keep the brand profile on hand.
  • Find a way to schedule posts.

Create a mock-up grid.

The first step to creating a good looking Instagram grid is to map out the images and test the layout. You can use photo-editing or design tools to put your images in a grid to preview the layout before you go live. Use at least nine images and make sure they are all square. Even though you can post slightly different sizes, a square is what Instagram is optimised for and the shape your images will have on the grid.

Prepare for consistency.

A beautiful grid won’t happen if you are not consistent with your plan. Just one photo with the wrong colours, filter or order can ruin the whole look off-balance. You can use a photo-editing tool to keep the colours in check but remember to keep on track.

Keep the brand profile on hand.

As a company, the whole goal of your Instagram grid is to have the layout speak your brand language. You want to carry a unified look and message throughout your whole profile for success. Having your brand profile on hand when planning your Instagram grid will allow you to reference it and stay on brand. You don’t want to slowly drift away from your goal.

Find a way to schedule posts.

Having a way to schedule posts in advance can save you a lot of time and make consistency easy. There are many different tools that you can use online. If you are unsure of where to start, Facebook (the owners of Instagram) have made Creator Studio to do just that. It’s not the easiest tool to use but it is free and can get you used to scheduling your posts well in advance.

Creative plans to design and Instagram grid layout.

With the sheer amount of people on Instagram, there are many tried and true methods for making a grid layout look great. Before you make yourself start from scratch, let’s take a look at them and learn from their success.

Colour.

By picking a colour palette or tone to stick too is probably the most common way companies style their Instagram grids. This makes your entire gallery look like a matching set, no matter what the content of the photos are. Many higher budget Instagram accounts might use built sets for their photos, but using the same filter on every image can do the same thing too.

You don’t need to put yourself in a box with this one. Play with the colours, make them gradually change or combine the next few styles with colours. As long as it matches your brand.

Checkerboard.

If you alternate the style of the photos you post, your grid layout will become a checkerboard. You can use different colours or alternate images filled with text with photos, way your checkerboard is up to your brand. As long as your stick to the back and forth pattern, your grid will stay on point.

Rows and columns.

A grid lends itself to being the perfect way to post in rows or with consistent columns. Using matching images for each row or column can create a strong impression on the viewer and allow you to convert bigger messages with squares.

If you post in rows, you will need to post three images at a time, otherwise, the rows will break. Panoramic or longer messages can be displayed very well like this. Columns require a pattern of three to keep consistent. What’s great about columns is that you don’t have to make three posts at a time if your layout is ok with rotating the columns.

One continuous image.

This grid layout requires the most amount of preparation for a company. Similar to rows, three images need to be posted every time to create one large image that can span over the whole grid. The benefit of this layout is the impact it will leave on the viewer. It can very quickly become the talking point of people if done right.

Set up your Instagram account for success with Web2Web.

Creating a plan and staying on top of it can be complicated and it’s very easy to mess up a beautiful grid layout. That is where our digital marketing team steps in. With Web2Web, you will have a well planned and beautifully executed Instagram grid that will speak your brand’s language and draw in new clients.

Get in touch with us to find out how we can boost your social media presence.

Instagram logo vector created by starline on Freepik.

Google Core Web Vitals for SEO guide

Google will be making Core Web Vitals ranking factors for search engine optimization (SEO) in May 2021. But what are they and how can you use them to improve your website? In this article, we are going to answer that and provide you with actionable steps that you can use on your website.

With over half of all online traffic coming from organic search and most of that organic traffic going through Google, it has always been important to optimise your website for Google SEO. With the upcoming changes, it is vital to use the new ranking factors to keep your SERP position or overtake your competition.

The Core Web Vitals is Google’s way of testing UX.

Google has several ranking factors that test the user experience (UX) of a website. The Core Web Vitals form part of them. This is Google’s way to determine if a website offers a good experience, no matter what device is being used. This means that if Google views your website’s pages to have a better experience, it will rank them over competitors with similar content.

This won’t replace the importance of quality content. Content is still king, so a website with great UX and poor content is not likely to outrank a website with an average experience and fantastic content.

As we just mentioned, if you have a competitor with similar content, these new ranking factors will become part of the deciding factor for who ranks higher. Since most people don’t go past the first page of Google and the top results gain much more organic traffic than the ones below, these factors can be very significant for your online success.

What are Google’s Core Web Vitals?

Google wants to measure how people feel about the speed, responsiveness and stability of your web pages. To do this, it will use these three Core Web Vitals:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

LCP times how long it takes for the largest element on your website to render on the page. Waiting for content to load can be frustrating so you ideally want the LCP to be as low as possible. For your SEO, you need an LCP of 2.5 seconds or less to fulfil this ranking factor.

FID is the amount of time it takes for the browser to respond to someone’s first interaction on your website. Again, this is something you want to be as low as possible and Google wants that too. To satisfy this ranking factor, the FID needs to be less than 0.1 seconds.

CLS is the number of unexpected layout shifts during the page loading phase. An animated loading screen is fine, but if the elements on a page shift positions while loading, Google will mark your website down. CLS is rated from 0-1 and will rank websites that get a measurement of 0.1.

It is important to take advantage of these three factors before May 2021. Right now, most websites don’t pass a Core Web Vital assessment which means, come May, you will have an advantage over your competition. There is a chance that Google will give visual indicators on the SERP to indicate that Google endorses the UX on your website and these new factors will play a part in that.

How to take advantage of the Core Web Vitals.

If you want to rank higher on Google and get more organic traffic, you need to make sure your website covers all three Core Web Vitals before May, but how can you do that? There are three steps that you can take to improving your website’s Core Web Vitals.

Step 1: Perform a UX and performance audit.

Google has made UX and performance audits easier and since it’s their ranking factors that we want to meet, it makes sense to use their tools. This tool is called the Core Web Vitals report and it will evaluate your website’s performance on all three of the new Core Web Vitals.

The report will rank each page of your website as Poor, Needs improvement or Good with a breakdown of how well it performs on different devices. It’s important to address all poor and needs improvement pages with special attention to how mobile-specific issues.

Step 2: Use CrUX to analyze your website.

Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) is a dataset from people who use Chrome. This was created by Google BigQuery as a public project that updates monthly. You can use CrUX to identify how well your website matches the expectations of FID and LCP.

By using CrUX in addition to the Core Web Vitals report, you will increase your chances of finding UX issues. Since this data comes from real people, it will also help you analyze the experience of those real people.

Step 3: Consider AMP.

Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source framework created by Google to optimize mobile browsing. Google naturally recommends using AMP for optimising Core Web Vitals since it creates a faster and mobile-focused version of your website.

Most websites that already use AMP already fulfil the Core Web Vitals factors and can test their website even further with AMP Page Experience Guide. This can evaluate your websites using PageSpeed Insights, Safe Browsing and the Mobile-Friendliness Test.

AMP might not be the solution you want to use. But now is a very good time to consider using it for your website.

Get ahead of the Core Web Vitals with Web2Web.

To take full advantage of the new ranking factors, you need to get your website ready before May. With Web2Web, you will have a team of SEO experts and website developers that can get you ahead of your competition on Google and claim more organic traffic on your website.

Don’t wait around for May to come. Contact us today.

Email: info@web2web.co.za
Tel: 021 551 2060

5 tips for a more mobile-friendly website

A mobile-friendly website prioritizes the browsing experience done on phones, tablets and any other mobile devices. Over the last decade, this approach to website design has become vitally important to your company’s online success.

Over 50% of all online traffic comes from mobile devices and due to the ever-evolving technology, this percentage will keep on increasing. It’s not just your audience that will benefit from the quality that comes from mobile-friendly website design, but your search engine optimization (SEO) too. We will get into that and five tips that you can use for a more mobile-friendly website below.

Why use mobile-friendly website design?

As mentioned before, over 50% of online browsing is happening from a mobile device. With this data, we would bet that many of your clients and readers are experiencing your website from their phones or tablets.

This is why optimizing the mobile browsing experience has been at the top of designer’s and developer’s best practice list for years. By adding simplicity and ease of use from the very beginning, you are making your website an enjoyable experience to browse. Companies that don’t do this can experience a huge bounce rate on their website and lose a lot of potential business.

You don’t have to sacrifice your desktop website for mobile-friendliness. With responsive design and mobile versions of your website, you can still have the same great user experience (UX) on desktop. If anything, being mobile-friendly will help your desktop traffic. Search engines like Google rank website’s that cater to mobile users higher than ones that don’t.

Five mobile-friendly website tips.

  • Recommended size dimensions.
  • Minimize your menu.
  • Optimize for portrait mode.
  • Limit forms and text input.
  • Thumb-friendly design.

Recommended size dimensions.

When designing mobile-first, you need to consider the size constraints from the beginning of the design process. This will help avoid any layout and spacing problems that could pop up later on.

Mobile screens come in a variety of sizes which makes considering size restraints quite difficult. Thanks to responsive design, that won’t be as big on an issue as your website will adjust depending on the size of the screen. When considering how things look on mobile, going by the size of 360 x 640 is the general rule of thumb.

Images can be as wide as necessary, but keep in mind that landscape images will get smaller a lot quicker than portrait. When it comes to considering image size, remember that you don’t have to put the whole image on the mobile screen. Zoom in and crop out extra background details that are not necessary for your clients.

The smaller a screen gets, the more difficult the font gets to read. We recommend not going any lower than 16px for font size on a mobile-friendly website. For more help on how to use font for your website, take a look at this article: How to use typography to improve your website.

The last thing to consider for sizes is buttons. These are extremely important to get right for your mobile website because when they get too small, they become impossible for mobile users to use accurately. Keep button size between 42px and 72px.

Minimize your menu.

Navigation is a big consideration for mobile-first design. It has become standard practice to minimise menus all in one simple hamburger icon.

This symbol has become the internet standard, so your clients won’t get confused when they look for the menu. This can be used to reduce the whole website header into one space that is easy to find and click on. It would be best that the menu then sits over the whole screen with a clear way to close it again.

For very complicated menus that have options inside of options, it is best to use submenus. For the most effective submenu, it is best that the new menu replaces the older menu with a clear way to go back to the previous menu.

If this clutters your menu too much or your website contains loads of information, a search icon can help your readers easily navigate to exactly what they want.

Optimize for portrait mode.

While most mobile devices can be rotated and used in portrait mode, almost all users will browse your website in portrait mode. Think about it, how often do you use your phone in landscape mode? (Not including YouTube).

But this is not a problem. Portrait mode is perfect for single-column layouts. Have each of your elements placed one after each other from top to bottom. You can even break the monotony of centre aligned content by changing between left and right justification.

More ways to create a more appealing single-column can be to use a grid of icons or a photo carousel. The latter can even switch the way users are swiping to keep their attention. Remember to not tightly pack this content and use plenty of white space to create a better UX.

Limit forms and text input.

How many times have you felt frustrated when filling out a form on your phone? It’s too often for us. By minimising forms to their bare essentials, you will avoid a lot of this frustration.

Using auto-fill tools that help narrow down an address or provide email suffixes can take even more frustration out of the mobile experience. Chances are, your desktop users will really enjoy these features too.

When it comes to payment options for online stores, providing several third party payment methods can really help simplify the purchasing process, especially if you are using a favourite amongst your clients. It really helps to remove both finding and carefully typing in credit card details.

Be thumb-friendly.

We use our thumbs for almost all of the mobile experience (scrolling, clicking, typing). Because of this, mobile-friendly design needs to be thumb-friendly. The thumb is one of the shortest and the widest digit on our hands limiting the reach and precision.

It’s for this reason that many designers will make important buttons and other interactable elements as large as they can. In order to make these elements more reachable, many designers will also change the position of the navigation bar to the bottom of the screen. This stops readers from needing to readjust their hand to use these elements and instead get to them quicker and with more comfort.

Make your website mobile-friendly with Web2Web.

Making your company’s website mobile-friendly is essential for online success and Web2Web can help you get there. Our highly skilled team of website designers and developers create for mobile-first and update your current website to be mobile-friendly.

Don’t wait to put your brand online or let your website chase away mobile clients. Get in touch with us and let’s set your company up for digital success.

Image designed by Freepik.

5 important SEO ranking factors

An SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy is a vital part of your company’s online success but with over 200 ranking factors on Google alone, this can become very overwhelming. This is doubly so when you consider that search engines constantly change ranking factors and how much each one is worth.

Fortunately, some SEO ranking factors have consistently stayed strong and can become key tools in your strategy. In this article, we will go over five of those ranking factors that you need to take advantage of.

What are SEO ranking factors?

Search engines provide their users with an incredibly long list of search results when a search is made. It can very often span several pages, but these results are not randomised. Search engines crawl through every single web page that could match the search and ranks them to relevancy, authority and security.

Search engines like Google want to provide results that will best satisfy their users. To determine this, they have ranking factors that they use to determine the order in which websites will appear first. Getting Google to rank your website on the first page is incredibly important to gain organic online traffic.

You can test how important this is for yourself because chances are, you use search engines. Think, when was the last time you actually went to the second page after a search. We would bet on you saying never or hardly ever because 95% of all Google traffic doesn’t either.

If you want to rank on Google, you will need to use the SEO ranking factors to climb up the SERP (search engine results page).

5 important SEO ranking factors to add to your strategy.

To increase your websites organic traffic through search engines, you need to boost your SEO ranking factors. But what are these factors? Here are our top five that you need to add to your strategy:

  • Keyword optimization.
  • Backlinks.
  • User search intent.
  • Mobile-friendly design.
  • Page load speed.

Keyword optimization.

Search engines use keywords to understand what your webpage is about and how much it relates to a person’s search. To know what keywords you want to rank for on your website, you will need to do thorough keyword research. To get you started, read our article: How to do keyword research for your website.

When you know what keywords you want to use, you are going to want to use them on the webpage you want to rank on. Use them throughout the page and the headline but don’t stuff it into every sentence. The most important part of SEO how much people want to read your content or find out about your product or service. Keyword stuffing will chase them away and chase Google away.

Backlinks.

Links from third-party websites to one of your pages is a backlink. You want each of your pages to have a few high-quality backlinks to really be competitive. Take note of the word high-quality. You do not want backlinks from spam websites.

The backlinks your get should focus on quality over quantity. Search engines love backlinks from websites that have high authority and are industry related. When Google sees this, it will think your website is a reputable one that it can definitely show to its users.

Getting backlinks from reputable and authoritative websites can be an overwhelming task, but you can start simple. Contacting writers from industry blogs and being the first to link to other websites is a great place to start.

User search intent.

Search engines have one goal, to show the most related websites to a search. To move up the SERP, your website’s pages need to answer the intent behind the search queries. If your website was ranking for a keyword that it doesn’t provide an answer to, Google will realise that and rank you lower.

Getting this ranking factor will also help you understand where your visitors are in their buyer journey. Are they looking for a solution to a problem or are they looking for more information on your product or service? This information can help aid your online marketing strategy.

Mobile-friendly design.

Around 50% of all internet traffic is through mobile devices and your clients are no exception. Mobile devices all have different screen sizes which is why responsive design is so important. If your website is not responsive, you could be chasing away most of your potential clients.

Google also ranks sites based on how mobile-friendly it is. This is a very strong ranking factor that you will need to take advantage of to climb the SERP.

Page load speed.

The amount of time your website takes to load is a factor that comes up a lot when discussing website best practises. It’s important for UX, bounce rate and also SEO ranking factors.

We don’t want to wait forever for a page to load and many of your clients will not want to wait for more than two seconds. Search engines don’t like to wait either. By making your website load faster, you will reduce your bounce rate, keep your organic traffic engaged and rank higher for it all.

Let Web2Web help you improve your website’s SEO rank.

Search engine optimisation is important for the online success of your business. If you are struggling with how you can best improve your SERP rankings on Google, then get in touch with Web2Web.

Our team of experts can help with optimizing every page on your website with every ranking factor we have mentioned above and more. We will be with you every step of the way of making your website more successful online.

7 permalink best practices

A permalink is a URL for a specific webpage, image or other content that you publish online and by following its best practices, you will improve your SEO and UX. But what are these best practices and how can they improve your website? In this article, we are going to answer that.

Permalink basics.

Before we dive into making the best permalinks for your business website, let’s go over the basics. Every permalink or URL is made up of five parts, but we only need to look at two. The web domain at the beginning and the slug after the first forward slash. Here is an example:

https://www.webdomain.com/slug

Whenever your website’s URL is entered into a browser, it will take the person directly to your website.

Why permalink best practices are important.

There are two big reasons for wanting to get your permalinks correct. We mentioned them before, they are search engine optimisation (SEO) and user experience (UX).

By applying the permalink best practices, search engines link Google will rank you higher. This is not the biggest ranking factor for your website, but it’s an important one especially if you want to gain organic traffic.

A strong URL doesn’t just help Google, but it helps your clients too. A permalink can do this by giving clues to the reader about what is on the page and the path they took to get here. It also allows readers on other websites to understand what to expect when they click on a hyperlink that goes to your website.

We don’t just have to read about it though. Below are two examples of permalinks, one of which is following the best practices. Which one would you rather click on?

  1. https://www.webdomain.com/index.php?page=546589
  2. https://www.webdomain.com/best-hotels-cape-town

7 permalink best practices.

If you are creating a new page on your website or are reviewing its UX, run through these 7 permalink best practises to create a strong URL that will boost your performance.

1. Make the URL unique.

No two pages should have the same URL on your website. This will cause several issues that will ruin your client’s browsing experience.

2. Include your SEO keyword research.

Whenever you create a new page on your website, you should be doing keyword research. If you want to know where to begin with that, try our guide: How to do keyword research for your website.

By using the keywords that your webpage is optimised for, you send a strong message to search engines that say your website is the best solution to people’s queries. This will help you rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP).

3. Keep your URLs simple.

Your permalink needs to be simple, relevant to the content and as accurate as possible. Limit the use of unnecessary words and only include dates that are important to the topic. This will make your URL easy to read and understand to people.

4. Be consistent.

Following the previous practice of being easy to read and understand, you need to keep your URLs consistent. They should all follow the same formula that allows users to backtrack or understand exactly where they are just by the URL alone.

5. Separate words with dashes and not underscores.

Never use underscores, spaces or any other character to separate words. You want your URL to be easy to ready and actually work. Spaces break URLs and any other character becomes difficult to read or type. For your websites best interest, only use dashes.

6. Use all lowercase.

Using uppercase characters is an easy way to confuse people and have them land on an error 404 page. People expect URLs to be lower case, so when they type it in that way, you don’t want to rely on their browser to fix that.

7. Don’t get lazy with WordPress.

When creating a new page or post on WordPress, they will often turn the heading into a slug using those exact words. Don’t just settle for this. WordPress did not do the research that you should be doing. If the slug it suggests is not optimal, change it.

Best practices to change a permalink.

While it’s in your best interest to not change a permalink, it’s not always avoidable. There can be many reasons for you to change the URL and it’s very important to get it right if you need to. If not, your website can lose the very important backlinks it gained and severely hurt your SEO.

If you find yourself in the need to change a permalink, you will need to let search engines know where to go and change the path of people using the old link. To do this, you will need to create a 301 redirect. If your website uses WordPress there are fantastic plugins for this. You can also create a .htaccess with the following text in it:

Redirect 301 / http://www.webdomain.com/slug

If the new permalink doesn’t contain ‘www’ in it, you will need to create a different .htaccess file with this text:

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} .
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^example.com
RewriteRule (.*) http://webdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Update your website to perform its best with Web2Web.

When it comes time to update your business website, you want it to boost your website’s performance not hurt the SEO that you have worked so hard to get. This includes following the permalink best practises.

When you work with Web2Web to update your website, you get an expert team that will ensure that your website’s online performance will improve with its updates. Don’t wait to rank down on the SERP, talk to us and we can move your website forward in the online world.

9 Google Chrome features to make your life easier

Google Chrome, and many other browsers, are filled with loads of unique features to make your browsing experience better. However, as the most used browser, Google Chrome has added a lot of features that you may not even know about yet. In this blog, we are going to discover nine of them and how you can use them.

Before we get into them, it’s important to note that, thanks to extensions, Google Chrome has the ability to do anything a developer can want it to. You can get many of them from the Chrome Web Store too. But before you go diving into that, there may be some features that can help you right now.

Feature 1: Guest Mode.

Google syncs your browser data from device to device through your account. This is a really helpful feature for when you use multiple devices or need to migrate to a new one. It saves you all the time of having to save everything all over again.

But what is someone needs to use your device? If you keep confidential information on Google Chrome or have saved your passwords on it, the Guest Mode feature is perfect. It will create a temporary blank slate with none of your accounts details on it.

To use this Google Chrome feature, click on your profile icon at the top right corner of the browser and then click on ‘Guest’. This will open a new window in Guest Mode. Once you are done browsing in Guest Mode, closing the tab will remove all browsing history and cookies.

Feature 2: Get more with Flags.

Google Chrome has several test features that are hidden away behind a secret URL. To access them, simply type chrome://flags into the browser and you will see them all. You can search around here for features you cannot find in your standard Google Chrome browser.

Keep in mind that these features are all tests and experiments. They may be buggy and make your browsing experience more difficult. To avoid confusion on which one is the culprit, activate them one at a time. That way you will know which Flag is causing the issue.

Feature 3: Cast your browser.

In the same way that Chromecast works to play Netflix series from your phone to your TV, you can do the exact same thing with Chrome. Simply right-click anywhere on Google Chrome and click the option ‘Cast’. Just make sure you don’t click on a spot that you can type text into. A pop-up will then appear and show you the available devices.

You can also cast your browser by clicking the kebab menu at the top right corner of Chrome. It’s the three verticle dots. Then click on ‘Cast’ in the menu that pops up. This is very helpful for presentations or for watching Youtube on your TV.

Feature 4: Perform quicker Google searches.

Have you ever come across a word you don’t understand or a name of something you would like to know more about while reading a blog? This Google Chrome feature is for you.

To perform a quick Google search, simply highlight the words you wish to search, right-click on them and then select Search Google for…

When you do that, a new tab will open with the Google search for that word. You can test it on the sentence we have put below this paragraph. You won’t regret it.

Baby Pandas

Feature 5: Quickly reopen a closed tab.

If you are like us, you probably have loads of open tabs and many of them need closing but accidentally close the wrong one. You could not be like this but accidentally click close on a tab you really needed open. Google understands the frustration and that is why they made this feature in Chrome.

There are two ways you can quickly open a closed tab in Chrome. The first is to right-click the bar that the tabs appear on but not the tabs themselves. Then select ‘Reopen Closed Tabs’.

The other way to do this is by clicking on the kebab menu at the top right corner of the screen, hover the mouse over history and then choose from the list of recently closed tabs.

Feature 6: Copy-Past handwritten notes.

It could be an old family recipe or the notes that you took down in class, whatever the case may be, you do not need to type it all out. With Google Lens, you can now scan handwritten notes with your phone and past the text into your PC via Chrome.

Your phone will need a way to use Google Lens. With Andriod, you can get the Google Lens app. On iOS, you will need the Google app.

Feature 7: Pin tabs you use a lot.

This is a more commonly known Google Chrome feature, but it’s still just as useful. If you use certain tabs a lot for work or study, you can keep them open by pinning them to Chrome.

To pin a tab, right-click on the tab you want to pin and click on ‘Pin’. That tab will become an icon to the left of the tab bar. Now, when you close and reopen your browser, it will automatically be there and load for you.

Feature 8: Update autofill.

When browsing online, you will often need to fill out forms of personal details and card information. With this Google Chrome feature, you can make that all automatic.

To do this you will need to go to the settings menu un Chrome and click on ‘Auto-fill’. Now you can choose to add or edit Passwords, Payment methods and Addresses. You do not need to add information that you do not want to be saved on your Google account.

When filled in, your forms can fill themselves if you tell it too. The best part is that this works on mobile too (where long forms are the most frustrating).

Feature 9: Hard refresh and clear your cache.

If you have worked with developers to make a website or you are not seeing the updates on a website that you browse often, you may need to perform a hard refresh. This can be done very easily through Google Chrome and we will show you how to do this for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.

Windows and Linux: Hold down CTRL and click the reload button or press F5.

Mac OS: Hold down shift and click the reload button – or – Hold down command, shift and press R.

To find out how to do this on other popular browsers with this blog post: How to hard refresh your browser and clear your cache.

Get more out of your business online with Web2Web.

In today’s world, your business needs an online presence and to be successful, it needs a plan to get it there. Technology is constantly adding new features online and more expectations from your clients. When you work with Web2Web, you can set your business for online success and go beyond expectations.

If you want a team that can make that happen, contact Web2Web today. Let’s talk about how we can develop your online future.

5 steps to write a headline that converts

When you know how to write a great headline, the number of views your content will receive will noticeably increase. It doesn’t matter if that content has never been done before and would change the reader’s life. A headline is what will make it successful.

Fortunately, creating a headline that catches the attention of readers is not out of your reach and there are many things that you can do to make them better. In this blog, we are going to discuss five tips that you can apply to your headlines to make them better.

Step 1: Write a headline that is informative.

If not credible, your content will get ignored. A very strong headline might grab the attention of a reader, but keeping them there is really what you want. This won’t happen if your headline does not match the content.

Write headlines that let the readers know what they will gain from your content. Readers are also more likely to positively engage with articles that answer their queries. This, again, will not happen if they were expecting something your article did not supply.

Step 2: Use numbers and data.

Numbers are a surprisingly effective way to make your headline more attractive to readers. In fact, headlines with numbers can generate more than 60% more engagements than ones that don’t. If your content has a list or a guide, use them as the number in the headline.

Here’s a quiz for you: Which headline that uses numbers gains more attention online?
(Hint: We used similar working on this blog’s headline)

  • 5 ways to get fit.
  • 5 steps to get fit.

Let us know your answer by messaging us on Facebook or Instagram.

Step 3: Use keywords that get attention.

To get organic traffic from search engines, you will need to target certain keywords in your content. Keywords are the terms people type into Google to find answers online. To get the keywords you want, you are going to need to do keyword research.

We have a whole article about how you can get started on keyword research:
How to do keyword research for your website.

Using keyword research will strengthen your online presence and draw in organic traffic. Once you have your keywords, you can start incorporating the, into your headlines as well.

Step 4: Write a headline in the active voice.

The active voice is more engaging and easier to understand to your readers. The goal of a headline it to be attention-grabbing and the passive voice just doesn’t cut it in comparison.

For a quick guide on how to do this, in the active voice, the subject performs the action. In the passive voice, the subject is acted upon. For a more in-depth guide, Grammarly has an amazing article called Active vs. Passive Voice.

Step 5: Create curiosity.

As people, we naturally desire the answers to questions and as content providers, we supply answers to questions. Unfortunately, the internet is filled with other things that are competing for attention, so your headline has to convince the reader that you are more worthy of that attention.

Provide just enough detail in your headline to attract your audience. Your headline should tease the information that the content provides without quite answering it. Your content will take care of the rest.

@meaningful.marketing on TikTok explains an exploit that marketers use all the time to draw the interest of clients. You can use the exact same exploit to draw more attention to your content.

@meaningful.marketing

Building Curiosity 101 ##MarketingPsychology ##MarketingTips ##Copywriting ##SmallBusinessTips_ ##SocialMediaMarketing ##AlwaysLearning

? orijinal ses – ponciklendin

Make your website content draw in more clients with Web2Web.

It’s not just enough to do keyword research and write any type of headline to get success. Writing headlines takes practice and following these steps to get better. There is even more headline writing tips that we will talk about in the future.

If you want your content to start gaining the attention it deserves, get in touch with Web2Web. Our team have been creating success online for over 12 years and we can make that happen for your website too.

3 ways to block an IP address in WordPress

Learning how to block and IP address in WordPress is something every CMS manager should learn. Managing a WordPress website can be fun, all the features are built to make the process easy and there is so much you can do with them. But if you have been managing a busy website for some time, you will have likely come across a spam account or some other kind of offender. What do you do?

The process to block an IP address in WordPress is straight forward and it will seriously help boost the security of your website and to a limited extent, your search engine optimisation (SEO). In this blog post, we are going to cover three different ways that you can block an IP address in WordPress with ease.

Let’s first start with some reasons to be doing it.

Why do you need to learn how to block an IP address in WordPress?

There are a number of reasons why you might need to do this, but the main reason is security. Probably the most harmless reason is to restrict the access someone has to your website. This might be because they had access to the backend to develop your website and now you no longer want them to be able to change anything.

Another reason could be that your website has become the victim of Direct Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Finally, you might be running a popular blog and you are receiving spam posts.

The latter could negatively affect your SEO because it will chase new readers away, lowering the traffic to your website. Google will pick up on this and it could be what knocks your blog off from number one on the search engine results page (SERP).

Can serious threats avoid IP blocking?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. There are a number of ways to get around an IP block on a website. In most cases, this will not be an issue for your WordPress website. A serious threat can change its IP address or use IP spoofing to appear as though there are different IPs.

To protect yourself from a more serious threat, you need to exercise a stronger security solution.

How to block an IP address in WordPress.

Before we dive into how you can block an IP address in WordPress, ask your hosting provider if they have any IP blocking services. Many hosting providers will supply the tools for IP blocking and some will be easier than the methods we will mention in this blog.

There are three main ways that you can find and block an IP address in WordPress that will discuss:

  • Manual blocking.
  • Plugins.
  • Editing your .htaccess file.

Manual blocking.

Manually blocking an IP address is only helpful for comments on your website. But if that is your only problem, then this is the only solution that you need. It’s quick and easy to do and you won’t need to install any additional plugins to your website. With this method, we are going to use the built-in tools that WordPress supplies to deal with spam and harmful comments.

To start, enter the Comments panel in your WordPress panel. This will display a list of all the comments on your website. Look down that list until you find the offending comment. Then, copy the IP address under the author’s name. Go to Settings and then to the Discussion screen in the back end. Find Comments Moderation and add the IP address to the text box. Finally, save your changes.

After you have done this, that user will no longer have the ability to comment on your website but they can still view it.

Plugins.

WordPress has plugins for almost every common problem. It’s what makes this content management system (CMS) so great. There is no exception when it comes to blocking an IP address either. You will likely find that many of the IP finding and blocking options will come with other security features too.

It’s important to note that you will likely have to get two plugins. One for finding the IP and another for blocking. Finding an IP address for a problem that is not in the comments section of your website is not something WordPress can do on its own.

To find the perfect plugin that won’t break your website, follow this guide: Don’t let your next plugin ruin your WordPress website.

Editing your .htaccess file.

If you have a dedicated development team to take care of your website, all you would need to do is ask them to ban the IP address in question. For this method, you will still need a way to find the IP address of the offender and confidence to edit the .htaccess file. So, if you don’t have help from a development team, then this is how you completely ban a user from your WordPress website.

Before you even start, make sure you back up your website, have skills in File Transfer Protocol (FTP), an FTP client and a way to read the .htaccess file. Without these, it would be way better to find a great plugin instead.

OK, now that we are at this point, let’s learn how to ban someone. Use your FTP client to access your server using the credentials listed within your hosting account. Then, make your way to your website’s WordPress installation and find the .htaccess file and open it.

Add this bit of code to the end of the file or on a new line, replacing the IP address with the one you want to block:

Order Allow,Deny
Allow from all
Deny from 168.212. 226.204

Finally, save your changes and it’s done. Whoever that IP address belongs to is gone. Use this power responsibly.

Get the best management and development for your WordPress Website.

Learning how to block an IP address is only the start of WordPress website management. Thankfully WordPress does what it can to make every stage as easy as possible, but they still take time and the know-how. Especially when things go wrong.

This is where the WordPress specialists at Web2Web come in. Our experience with WordPress has allowed us to know it inside and out. So, if something happens to your website, you can count on our team to fix it.

Don’t wait for problems to find you, solve them before they happen with Web2Web.

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