5 Ways to Get High-Quality Background Images for Your WordPress Website

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In the past, high-quality images reduced the load speed of many websites. With the advent of faster high-bandwidth connections and responsive technologies, many of these images are making a return without sacrificing site efficiency.

When it comes to your WordPress website, adding an amazing background image could add to its attraction. However, you may still want to monitor your site speed to make sure that you’re not hindering your performance with quality images.

Remember, most visitors like sites that are quick and easy to use. I many cases, it’s probably a good idea to create your own web optimized images. This way, you get exactly what you want and need.

Here are five ways you can get high-quality graphics to use as WordPress background images. While some can be downloaded and installed for free, others may have a price tag attached.

In either case, the perfect image could be that added bonus to improve visitor retention. Continue reading “5 Ways to Get High-Quality Background Images for Your WordPress Website”

Moroccans Take the Lead in Reducing Carbon Emissions with a Big Move Toward Clean Energy

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Photo Credit: Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Hot on the heels of the Paris Climate Summit, the small North African nation of Morocco set an unprecedented example for the rest of the world. King Mohammed VI unveiled Noor I in February 2016, the first phase of a massive concentrated solar power complex in the Sahara Desert. With the completion of the remaining phases of the project, planned for 2018, the parabolic solar installation will supply more than one million people with all the power they need. It will also significantly reduce Morocco’s carbon emissions, a task critical to slowing climate change. Continue reading “Moroccans Take the Lead in Reducing Carbon Emissions with a Big Move Toward Clean Energy”

4 Things You Can’t Ignore When Your eCommerce Sales Are Down

ecommerce sales

Many businesses have put a great deal of effort into developing a good eCommerce platform. This is because people are spending more money online each and every year.

According to recent studies, the global markets will account for more than $3.5 trillion in sales by 2019. With the innovations offered by mobile technology and the decrease in pricing for many services, more people are taking to the Internet to buy goods. Continue reading “4 Things You Can’t Ignore When Your eCommerce Sales Are Down”

Here’s Why Social Media Marketing is Critical

Social Media Marketing

Since its development, social media has played a continuous role in how people interact with each other. From a business standpoint, it contributes to how companies interact with potential customers as well.

As this has become a powerful method for organizations to reach a target market, many social platforms have integrated methods to help businesses reach their audiences.

According to Statista, 97% of the global share of companies uses social media marketing. Continue reading “Here’s Why Social Media Marketing is Critical”

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Running a Small Business From Home

small business from home

Many people often fantasize about operating a business from home. The prospect of being their own boss is quite attractive to millions of people around the globe.

Although there are many aspects to the home-based business that are very alluring, it isn’t without some level of risk. Depending on the kind of business you operate, it’s often more stressful and time-consuming than having a traditional career for some big company. Continue reading “The Benefits and Drawbacks of Running a Small Business From Home”

5 Stats for Your WordPress Website Pages You Should Be Monitoring and Why

wordpress website stats

When it comes to creating content for your website, few systems are as versatile as WordPress. However, it takes more than just writing excellent posts to enhance the success of your site.

Statistical information will help you focus on everything from content to overall functionality.

Here are five WordPress website stats you should pay attention to and why they are important to your future success.

1. Page Views

Page views are collected in a number of ways. Most commonly, people will use Google Analytics or Jetpack’s Site Stats to monitor this site traffic. This information shows you how often your pages are viewed by others.

Each time someone accesses a webpage, analytic tools record the visit. It’s important to note that some systems will also record bot activity scanning your pages.

This data will show you if people think your content is worthwhile. A low count may signify that the material is less interesting to your target audience. You may find it’s a waste of your time to continue developing content along the specific topic if people are avoiding the post.

It could also mean you need to add more interesting content to the topic to increase visitor activity.

2. Bounce Rate

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In Google Analytics, there is a metric called “Bounce Rate.” This is when someone access your website, but then leaves it without exploring. A bounce happens quite often as many people are only interested in the information they are looking for at that moment.

An exceptionally high bounce rate of over 90 percent may demonstrate that your content isn’t grasping the attention of the visitor and inspiring him or her to explore the site.

You may need to make adjustments to the content or even the layout of your pages.

Of course, a bounce can also happen if a visitor finds exactly what he or she is looking for and simply leaves. Take a look at the time visitors spend on your pages as well as the bounce rate.

When something like this occurs, you need to focus more on what you can add to keep the visitor exploring the site rather than just leaving.

3. Text to HTML Ratio

The text to HTML ratio shows the amount of text you have against the characters within website programming. Free browser apps such as WooRank can show you this information from systems such as Google Chrome.

Some search engines will penalize a site if the ratio between text and HTML is too low. These are often seen as high-risk sites because it’s easy to include malware within pages.

You can avoid this by reducing the coding in your site or increasing the amount of text – such as writing more content.

While the text-to-code ratio is not as much of a ranking factor for engines like Google, creating more content is still a good practice to get into.

4. Load Times

Each time someone visits the site, the web hosting company sends the individual packets of information. The faster a website loads for various users, the better. Always focus on speeding up your website.

There are many things that can affect the load time ranging from HTML coding to the use of large images.

The load time is greatly influential in search engine rankings as well as personal experience. In fact, users are more likely to abandon a website if pages take too long to load.

Humans love instant gratification, which is why you need to make sure everything is quick and easy for the target audience.

5. Inbound Links

Inbound links, or backlinks, play a prominent role in search engine optimization and overall popularity. The more often you get links to your site, the better. Keeping an eye on these can help your site evolve into an online powerhouse.

Getting backlinks often requires directly interacting with other site owners, guest blogging, participating in forums and many other venues. Just make sure your links are from legitimate sources.

Some forms of “black SEO” purposely try to bury your site by linking to it from questionable sources. The end result is often a site that performs poorly in search results.

However, situations like this are easy to avoid if you carefully keep an eye on your links and stats.

Use the Available Tools

You can use a wide array of tools ranging from WordPress plugins to browser apps that can help you discover many different things about your website. You can create the most alluring site possible by using these tools.

If you don’t spend a bit of time pouring over the data, the competition could easily surpass you. Don’t underestimate the importance of these five stats. Your success could rely on what you do with the data.

What statistics do you find as the most informative for your website? What kinds of data collection apps or plugins do you use?

Why You Should Consider Creating an Eco-Friendly Home and How to Go About It

eco-friendly home ideas

The rewards of making your home eco-friendly are energy savings and a healthier environment. Even small eco-friendly home ideas, like insulating and composting, are important steps. Larger projects, like switching to domestic solar or wind power, are becoming more attractive all the time, and if you’re thinking about remodeling, use eco-friendly materials for long-lasting results. Making your home eco-friendly not only helps slow climate change, but it also lowers your power bills. Plus, some pretty significant government incentives mean being eco-friendly is more affordable than ever. Continue reading “Why You Should Consider Creating an Eco-Friendly Home and How to Go About It”

The #1 Online Business Mistake You Should Avoid

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The online business is one of the easiest to establish. It often requires far less overhead, reduced financial investment and put together rather quickly as opposed to brick-and-mortar locations. However, there are many pitfalls that you need to avoid if you want to continue having any level of success.

Out of all of these that could happen, the worst may be your own lack of commitment.

How A Lack of Commitment is the #1 Problem for Online Businesses

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If you’re not committed to what needs to be done in every aspect of the online business, it will be next to impossible to experience any real success. You have to be ready to adjust your tactics as well as meet the demands of your target audience.

The following are aspects of the online business you need to show commitment to if you want to become a success.

Commitment to Social Media
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Facebook Drives Sales

Facebook is one of the biggest referring websites for eCommerce. In reality, about 85% of sales from social media sites come from ads and posts seen in Facebook. These sales average to about $55 spent per order.

Considering there are more than two billion monthly active Facebook users, you’re simply missing out by not capitalizing on the social hub. That’s nearly one-third of the entire population of the planet.

All Social Media is Beneficial

Facebook isn’t the only social platform that people are using to shop online. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat all have their digital fingers in the proverbial pie.

Sales from social media is such an effective platform that many businesses spend ad money on influencer marketing every month. This is when a social “celebrity” markets your product to their followers and fans.

Keeping Consumers Interested Enhances the Experience

One of the primary reasons why social media has such an impact on various companies is because of the amount of interaction that is delivered. You can’t expect to post one or two comments on your business Twitter account and expect a big turnout.

There needs to be a regular flow of content on a daily basis. Many of the largest organizations post between 5 and 10 comments per day on social channels in order to engage consumers.

Another key element is engagement. Being social is the primary focus of “social media.” This means interacting with followers and directly addressing consumers. It shows you’re more than a faceless corporation trying to make a buck.

Commitment to Adapt Marketing Strategies

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You can’t simply create a pay-per-click campaign and hope for the best. If one method for marketing isn’t producing good results, you need to adjust and adapt your strategy.

This comes from keeping an eye on various analytical metrics of your website and advertising campaigns. Committing to search engine marketing and other strategies only enhances the business, and it should always be maintained.

This includes any plans you have for local SEO marketing as well. After all, people are more likely to look up business information from the Internet than the traditional phone book.

Have a Budget Plan Ready

Part of the process to start an online business should be to budget the money needed for advertising. There is only so much that can be accomplished for free, and paying for various marketing services may enhance your success.

Once you find the perfect marketing strategy for your business, you need to commit to making sure it remains relevant over time.

Commitment to Adding Regular Content

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When you visit business websites, there is a very good possibility that there is a blog available. For many of these companies, it’s the blog that brings in the visitors and engages them to make a purchase.

Many will promote their products and services by explaining how to use them efficiently. When you start an online business, you need to focus on how to get people to visit your site. Blogging and creating informative content is how a lot of this is done.

Keep the Material Fresh, Relevant and Frequent

Like social media, it takes more than a blog post once or twice a month to have any real impact on the Internet. Many professionals attest to five to eight being the magical number for blog posts per week.

Some have gone as high as 10 per day.

It all centers around what your business delivers and how committed you are to creating content. In either case, it takes material to attract readers.

To really draw in the audience and build consumer relationships, you can create:

  • List articles
  • Tutorials
  • Reviews

Any one of these types of content are effective at driving an audience.

SEO Promotes the Business

Part of making sure people are reading your content is by committing to search engine optimization. Implementing SEO on your website and social outlets is how most of your visitors are going to find the business.

Without these practices, your competitors will essentially bury your business in search result pages. Today’s business needs to focus a great deal on SEO if you want to remain relevant and competitive for your target audience.

Commitment to Education

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Industries and information can change rapidly in our fast-paced economy. You need to be committed to educating yourself further to enhance the business. This could include learning new methods to perform tasks, new products and new information in general.

For example, the knowledge gained for computer networking in the 1990s is obsolete by today’s standards. Using this as a platform for your business would be futile. You need to strive to be the best there is in your industry.

This means you need to spend some time developing your knowledge.

Keeping Aware of Current Technology is a Boost to Success

Education should also include becoming knowledgeable about current technology. Although you may not need to be certified in computer engineering, keeping tabs on website and mobile device technology is beneficial for future designs and implementations.

For example, those who still do not have a responsive web design for mobile marketing are losing sales. This is because mobile Internet usage is widespread. More than 51% of the people on Earth use mobile Internet in some form.

Commitment to Profit

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Although making money should be your primary goal, there are many people out there that sacrifice income in a variety of ways. A prime example of this is how people view online auctions and eCommerce in terms of competition.

In order to compete with other online businesses, many will drop their prices to encourage sales. This isn’t entirely a bad practice, until the market value of that particular item is dropped to the point of being worthless. This is called “market saturation,” and it could mean disaster for your business.

How Market Saturation Destroys Businesses

The sellers on eBay are one of the best examples of saturating the market. Since 2000, individual sellers and businesses have slowly decreased the value of many products.

In an attempt to sway customers, each person drops the price of an item in order to make a sale. In many cases, the price dropped lower than the actual manufacturing costs. Unfortunately, this led to many companies closing down their eBay outlets.

When too many people are trying to sell the same item and continuously drop prices, the only one who wins is the consumer. It no longer becomes worth selling products or services.

In the case of eBay, a large number of sellers were more concerned with just making a sale than they were with actually making profit.

eCommerce Sites Are Historical More Profitable than Auction Sites

Using an eCommerce site takes away a great deal of the problems faced with online auctions. Businesses compete more on a platform of marketing.

Successful owners are more committed to making income and providing superior customer service than many that use auction sites. Marketing and reputation is what often drives quality consumers, not price reductions.

Being Fully Committed Improves Business

A lack of commitment to the online business is why many of them fail over time. When you start an online business, you need to put full-time effort into the process. Analytics, marketing, shipping platforms and more need to have your utmost attention if you want to see real profits.

Commit yourself to the overall success of the business and reap the benefits.