What is Content Marketing

What is content marketing and what does it have to do with your online presence?  In this article, I’ll go over what it is, how your already doing it, and why it’s important to stay consistent.   Michael Holding What is Content Marketing Content marketing is marketing that uses content to bring in customers rather than advertising or sales.  According the Content Marketing Institute: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. When done well it will entice readers to your site and customers will actively search for your content.   While blogging is one of the most used mediums for content marketing it is not the only one.  Social Media, video, newsletters and more can be key components to a successful strategy. Consistency is Key – Building a Strategy There is no such thing as a universal template for content marketing.  Your strategy should outline your key business and client needs and how your content will address them.  It is vital to set reasonable goals for each step in your marketing strategy.  If you are aiming for thousands of new visits you can become discouraged quickly.  Smaller, incremental goals will also help you refine what is working with your content and what doesn’t connect with your audience. Knowing your target audience is not a new concept in marketing but it’s worth repeating.  As you understand who you’re trying to attract with your content you will learn how to effectively refine your content to be...

Google is pushing SSL, it’s not something you can ignore.

Right now, SSL certificates come with the incentive of guaranteed improved search rankings. But Google is showing they’re not afraid to use Google Chrome to “punish” sites who don’t move to SSL.  Below I go over what an SSL Certificate is, why you need one, and how to get them. Michael Holding What is an SSL Certificate Have you ever noticed how sometimes websites start with “http://” and other times they start with “https://” and have a green padlock nearby?  That’s the end result of an SSL certificate. SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites. Why your site needs an SSL Certifcate As mentioned above, SSL Certificates allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. This makes for secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites. So, “SSL” is short for Secure Sockets Layer. In simpler terms, it is a means for small business to communicate to their customers that they can browse, shop/pay, and share information, safely with you online. Stated simply, in a non-technical manner, adding an SSL creates a safe connection aka online environment. How you can get an SSL Certificate There are three ways to get an SSL certificate for your website: DIY – There are only a...

Customizing your contact form in DIVI

In this tutorial I will walk you through customizing the contact form module within the Divi theme.  If you are one of our clients, you already know how versatile we think the Divi theme is.  If you’re just checking out the site, we encourage you to check out their site demo on the Elegant Themes website. *Updated March, 2017 – I’ve added some custom css to our contact form to jazz it up! **DIVI updates the Contact Form – June 2017 – New features and functions. Michael Holding Adding a Contact Form Module I have created a new post by clicking on Add New under the Posts menu in the main WordPress Dashboard.  Give your post a Title, in this case I’m using ‘Contact Form Module’.    Use the Divi Builder If the Divi Builder is not open, click on the Use The Divi Builder button.  Once open, click on the Insert Column(s) and choose the configuration you prefer.  I have kept things simple and selected two columns for this post.  Next, click on the Insert Modules(s) column where you want your contact form and select the Contact Form module from the options. Contact Form Module Settings   We are now in the Contact Form module and we can see that the default has a Name, Email and Message fields.   We’re going to leave them as they are for the moment.  As we explore the module we find a Captcha option (an easy test if you’re human or a bot). Next there are several fields that need to be filled in.  What email will the contact emails be going to?  Do you want to...

Basic SEO Tips

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ever changing landscape of trends, keywords and analytics.  I’m going to go over some simple steps to help you with your site’s SEO.  These tips will give you a basic foundation to build from but they should be seen as first steps in a long term project. If you find this article helpful please leave a comment below or share it with your networks. Michael Holding Keywords Keywords are the searchable terms we type into a search engine bar when we’re looking for something online.  Having a good understanding of what your target audience is searching for will help you refine your keywords.  If your site is selling shoes and you’re calling them ‘Smashing Slip-On Soles’ it will be hard for anyone searching for ‘shoes’ to find you. When choosing the your site’s keywords it can be helpful to make use of  the Google Keyword Planner, you will need to have an Adwords account to use this tool but you dont’ have to spend anything.  Google Trends is another good resource to familiarize yourself with. URLs and Page Titles     When the web was a simpler thing your site’s URLs and page titles could be ‘home’, ‘gallery’, ‘about’ etc., but no longer!  The web and search engines have evolved and need more relevance these days to be satisfied. Based on the keywords you’ve choosen for your site, make each page’s URL unique and relevant.  If you have multiple services or products, you should have a page for each that is customized for that item.  For example, at Pod Creative we have separate pages for Web...

RSS Feeds

Let’s talk more about RSS, Feedburner and auto posting to social media using RSS!  Not sure what RSS is?  Have a look at What is RSS and How Does it Work? Michael Holding Getting the URL for an RSS Feed If you are looking to get updates from a favourite site and they don’t have a neat RSS icon, like we do, how can you get the right feed?  It’s surprisingly easy!  All you have to do is copy the URL and add feed/ to the end.  If I wanted to be updated every time we added a new site to our Portfolio page, I would use the following URL: http://podcreative.ca/porfolio/feed/.   What is Feedburner?  Do I need it. No.  It’s outdated, unsupported and constantly viewed as buggy.  Here’s a great site that looks at some alternatives: feedburner-alternatives.com   Populate your Social Media via RSS A great way to get your site’s content out to your target audience is to share via social media.  There are a number of third party apps out there that will help you integrate your RSS into Facebook, Twitter, etc.  I recommend looking at Zapier, dlivr.it and IFTTT and seeing how comfortable you are with them.  Any auto-publishing to a social media platform will require that you create a developer account on each platform you are posting to. You can accomplish the same thing using NextScripts: SNAP or Social Media Auto Publish by XYZScripts, we can recommend both...

How to Display Google Analytics

In this tutorial I will show you how to display your Google Analytics in the dashboard of your WordPress site.  You can learn more about Google Analytics by reading some of our other posts: What are Google Analytics and why should I install it on my website? How to activate and install Google Analytics on your website. Michael Holding Once you have set up Google Analytics for your site you will want to be able to view that data right from your Dashboard.  Luckily there are a number of useful plugins that allow you to do this.  At Pod Creative we use the Google Analyticator plugin by Noah Kagen.  We have found it to be reliable and light weight. Install From the Dashboard, hover on the Plugins tab and click on Add New.  This will bring you to WordPress’ Plugin page.  Here you can search for Google Analyticator and click the Install Now button to add it to your site.  Adding the code Once you have set up a Google Analytic account and installed the tracking code, the next step is to click on Google Analytics in your Dashboard.  This is where you will select if Analytics is enabled, which account you want to get data from and a number of other settings.  For this example I have selected the correct account from the drop down menu.  If you do not have an account listed you will need to go back and check that your tracking code is in the correct place.  I have also selected Traditional for the Tracking Code.  You can set the rest of your parameters as need be....

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