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How Backlinks from Different Page Locations Are Worth More (Or Less): Not All Backlinks Are Created Equal

How Backlinks from Different Page Locations Are Worth More (Or Less): Not All Backlinks Are Created Equal

If you want to get found online, you need a strong backlink profile.

The problem? Not all backlinks are created equal.

Links from high-quality, relevant sites are far more valuable than links from random sites in another industry. Links from spam sites can actually hurt your website.

How do you make the most of your backlinks? You need to pay close attention to the factors that impact backlink value.

Here is what you need to know to make the most of backlinks.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks are links from an external site to your website. For example, if I link to a source about how to protect your app from security issues, that creates a backlink to that website.

If another site links to your site, you receive a backlink.

For a long time, getting as many backlinks as possible was a core component of SEO. Google viewed backlinks as “votes” and rewarded sites with lots of backlinks with higher rankings.

Eventually, however, businesses began to use black-hat strategies to build backlinks. For example, paying sites to add links, buying links from shady sites, adding comments to other blogs with links to own site, or building networks of sites that are all linked to each other.

Google got wise to these strategies and issued an update that made it much harder to get away with building poor-quality backlinks. It released a number of backlink guidelines that marketers should follow and also released another update targeting spammy links in June of 2021.

How Do Backlinks Affect SEO?

As mentioned above, Google views links as votes. The more sites that “vote” for your site (meaning link to pages on your site), the more valuable and relevant Google assumes your pages and site are.

In fact, backlinks are one of several hundred factors Google considers when deciding where to rank a website in its search results.

Here’s why: A backlink to your website means another site found your content engaging, interesting, or educational. So much so that they decided to share it with their audience. Google assumes that means your content is valuable to users, and is more likely to share your content with searchers.

However, there isn’t much you can do to impact how many links another site puts on its pages. Just keep it in mind when considering which links are most valuable for your website’s SEO.

If many trusted sites link to yours, Google knows your site has great content that users will want to read. As a result, you’re more likely to rank high in the SERPs.

What Makes a Backlink Valuable?

More backlinks isn’t always better.

If you use link schemes or other black or gray hat SEO practices, Google will punish you with lower rankings or even manual action. What makes a backlink more valuable than another?  

1. Location and Number of Links on a Page

Did you know that where a link is located on a page can impact backlink value? Sounds weird, right?

Well, Google considers the first link on a page to be the most valuable, which means it gets more of the benefits of having a backlink. In addition, the more links on a page, the less link value each link has.

In practice, this means that if your link is the only backlink on a page, you’ll see more SEO benefits than if your link is at the bottom of a page and is one of twenty other links.

2. Dofollow Vs. Nofollow Backlinks

Dofollow links are your basic backlinks. When the website owners don’t fiddle with the HTML surrounding the link, the link will always be a dofollow.

Dofollow links tell Google the linking website trusts your domain, which can help your rankings.

Nofollow links, on the other hand, look like this in HTML:

What Makes a Backlink Valuable - Dofollow vs Nofollow

Nofollow links tell Google that this link should not pass on value (sometimes called link juice).

In other words, nofollow links still take someone from Website A to Website B, but they won’t help Website B’s rankings.

Why do sites use nofollow links? Because linking to low-quality or low-domain authority websites can hurt the link-hosting website’s rankings. Also, Google doesn’t allow you to pay for links, so some sites use nofollow links on sponsored posts.

Don’t assume nofollow links are a complete waste of time. In fact, they really help generate traffic to your website and increase the visibility of your business despite their unhelpful SEO influence.

3. Domain Authority and Page Authority

DA, or domain authority, is a metric created by Moz that predicts how likely a website is to rank well in the search engines. Scores range from one to 100, with higher numbers meaning the site is more valuable and more trusted. 

Page authority is the same metric, but for a specific page on a website.

It isn’t an exact science, and it isn’t a metric Google came up with—Moz did. However, it does use machine learning to get a pretty decent idea of how well a site will rank.

What does this mean for your backlinks? If a site with a higher domain authority or page authority links to your site, Google will assume your site is more trustworthy, too. That’s a good thing!

Think of it like vouching for a friend to get a job. If you are a dedicated worker and recommend someone else, your boss is likely to assume they can be trusted to work hard, too.

TL;DR: Links from high-domain authority pages are more valuable.

You can find the domain authority of sites using Moz’s domain analysis tool. 

Or, you can use Ubersuggest to run a backlink analysis on your site, and we’ll share all the domain authority and page authority metrics in one place.

What Makes a Backlink Valuable - Domain and Page Authority

4. Relevant Sites and Pages

Relevancy matters when it comes to recommendations. Let’s say you wanted to buy a new snowblower. You look around the internet and find two articles that review the top snow blowers—one is from a hardware store, and the other is from a food blogger.

Which one would you trust? You’re likely wondering what a food blogger really knows about snow blowers, right? The hardware store, on the other hand, probably sells snowblowers and talks about them to customers on a regular basis. There is a good chance they know what they’re talking about.

Google also considers relevancy when deciding how valuable a backlink is. For example, a link from a digital marketing publication or a publisher like Forbes to my site is worth more than a link from a plumber.

In general, links from irrelevant sites won’t hurt your website (unless they are spam sites!), but links from other industry websites do carry more value.

5. Quality of Other Links on the Website

It’s not just the domain authority that impacts backlink value. The quality of every other backlink on the referring domain can impact the value of a link too.

It doesn’t sound fair, does it? You can’t control what someone else does on their site. While that is true, there is a reason for this.

Let’s pretend that you receive a backlink from a website with high domain authority. Your ranking goes up, traffic is pouring in, and you feel like the SEO pro you are.

Then one day, the website that gave you that precious backlink becomes a spam site. They publish low-quality content and link to a bunch of spam sites.

It’s no longer a high-quality site in Google’s eyes, which means that link has lost its value. In other words, pages that link to spam websites devalue all other links that they host.

It’s important to evaluate the websites you get backlinks from. That will help you avoid harmful URL relationships. Make sure they are trustworthy and do their own link evaluating when choosing which links to include so that your website won’t be at risk.

Also, never buy links from websites. Even sites that seem legitimate will likely get caught by Google at some point, and your site may suffer the consequences.

6. Anchor Text

Anchor text is the text that is highlighted and often underlined that you click on to follow a link, like this.

If the site that links to your website uses anchor text that is closely related to the content on that page, Google will assume the link is more useful to users and, therefore, assigns it more value.   As a result, Google made anchor text a ranking factor.

Let’s look at an example from Yoast’s website. I’ve highlighted the anchor text:

What Makes a Backlink Valuable - Anchor Text

The anchor text for internal links goes to a page about, as you might expect, internal links. Because the anchor text uses the keyword the linked page targets, that link is more valuable than if they used anchor text like “click here.”

Pro tip: This applies to internal links, too. Make sure to use relevant anchor text when linking to other pages on your own website. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Backlink Value

How do I identify valuable backlinks?

Backlinks that come from high-quality, relevant sites are the most valuable. Look for the following links and pay attention to other sites they link to. All of these factors impact backlink value. 

What’s the easiest way to get valuable backlinks?

The easiest way to build backlinks is to create highly-valuable content that other sites will want to link to. This is often called link attracting, versus link building. Other strategies include looking for broken links on sites and asking them to replace them with yours, guest posting, creating infographics, and creating new data. 

What types of backlinks are valuable?

The most valuable backlinks are dofollow links from trusted sites related to your industry with high domain authority. 

How much are backlinks worth?

You can’t put a dollar amount on backlinks. However, a solid backlink profile can improve your search engine ranking, drive traffic, and increase your revenue. In that sense, they are priceless. 

What is the difference between backlinks and internal links?

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site. Internal links are links that point from one page on your site to another. Both have SEO value, but backlinks are usually harder to get and, therefore, considered more valuable. 

What do I do if I have a bunch of low-quality backlinks pointing to my site?

In most cases, Google can spot poor-quality backlinks and will ignore them. If you think they are impacting your site (or if you get a manual penalty), you can use Google’s Disavow tool to tell them to ignore those links. 

Backlink Value Conclusion

Backlinks are a cornerstone of SEO. However, not all backlinks deliver the same value. Links that are higher on a page or from pages with a higher DA will help your website rank better in Google’s search results. 

You can use this information to build higher-quality backlinks. Get it right, and your site can see a flood of traffic and conversions. 

Do you consider backlink value when building links? Why or why not?

Best Merchant Services

Stax by Fattmerchant splash page for Best Merchant Services

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Merchant services exist to help businesses process credit card payments. You might know them by the name “credit card processors.” 

Regardless of what you call them, it’s important to choose the right merchant service for your specific business if you want to take payments from customers.

I’ve reviewed the top six merchant services available today. These are all proven, popular products with reasonable fees.

They all do things a little differently, however, and serve particular types of businesses better than others.

Keep reading to find the one that’s going to fit with your situation. I’ll take an in-depth look at each of the six best merchant services, and conclude by walking you through the major criteria you need to consider as you evaluate your options.

#1. Stax by Fattmerchant Review — The Best for Accepting Any Type of Payment

Stax by Fattmerchant splash page for Best Merchant Services

Pros:

  • Allows you to accept any type of payment, including ACH
  • No markup on direct-cost interchange
  • Deep analytics and reporting

Cons:

  • Invoicing features only on higher plans
  • No transparency in pricing for large business package

Stax by Fattmerchant offers a versatile solution with individual packages for SMBs and businesses processing over $5 million annually.

On either track, you can accept any form of payment your customers and clients prefer. In-person, mobile, ecommerce, and ACH payments are all easily handled by Stax on every pricing plan.

And their packages remove any markup on interchange, so you’re not getting gouged there by unforeseen processing fees.

Small businesses can opt for one of three plans. The Growth plan comes with all the payment processing capability, some reporting dashboards and analytics, and a free terminal or mobile reader for in-person payments.

Stax pricing page for Best Merchant Services

As you scale up in plans, you unlock really useful features. The mid-tier Pro plan includes the ability to send custom invoices (and include a payment link when you send it), payment information storing, enhanced analytics, and the ability to use the Stax API to customize your ecommerce experience.

The Ultimate plan boosts your reporting, insights, and client management. Get deeper analytics, more capability to handle recurring or scheduled payments, and more. Plus, you’ll get a Stax rep dedicated to your account for any assistance you’ll need.

Businesses that process over $5 million annually get their own bespoke plan. That custom-priced offering soups up all the tools and features that small and midsized businesses get from Stax and adds more integrative capability.

So, no matter your entity size or how many payments you process, Stax delivers a robust solution that can offer you much more than payment processing flexibility. Plus, with its scaling packages and dedicated track for large business, you can grow without outgrowing your merchant services provider.

Get started with Stax by Fattmerchant and request your quote today.

#2. Square Review — The Best for Transparent Pricing/Fees

Square splash page for Best Merchant Services

Pros:

  • No monthly fee
  • Transparent processing
  • Free card reader
  • Great added features

Cons:

  • No ACH payment processing
  • Higher fees than desired

Square is popular for its credit card processing and POS systems, but it offers much more. It hosts features such as the “Card on File” feature, allowing users to store customer card information that works great for repeat customers trying to accumulate loyalty points and rewards of that nature. 

The processor also doesn’t have a monthly fee, and while Square’s features might not be as advanced as some of the other payment processors we’re talking about, for a POS without a monthly fee, you can’t beat the value. 

You can accept payments online and in-person, though the transaction costs vary. For in-person sales, expect to pay 2.6% and $0.10 per transaction. For online transactions, it’ll cost you 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. There are other instances, such as:

  • Virtual terminal transactions
  • Card-on-file transactions
  • And card-not-present transactions

These will cost 3.5% and $0.15 per transaction. 

If you have thousands of transactions every month, you can definitely find something cheaper than square.

But for a small business, the lack of monthly fees and price transparency makes it easier to budget than some of the other merchant services. Learn more.

#3. Payment Depot Review — The Best for Established Businesses

Payment Depot cost comparison chart for Best Merchant Services

Pros:

  • No contract processing
  • Competitive rates
  • Easy to integrate online

Cons:

  • Best for high-volume business
  • Application process

Payment Depot uses a membership pricing model, which can save established businesses a lot of money.

New businesses that aren’t doing so much volume won’t see the benefit (and may actually wind up with higher charges than they would with other services), but if you are already handling a lot of transactions, Payment Depot can be a good choice.

Unlike other companies, the processing fees with Payment Depot’s membership pricing remain consistent and predictable no matter how much business you do.

Because Payment Depot isn’t of passing off credit card fees to the customer at an increased markup, you can wind up saving a ton of money. The more transactions you process, the more you save with the membership pricing.

Payment Depot accepts all major cards and contactless Apple Pay and Google Pay as well. You get next-day funding and integration with top POS systems as well as ecommerce platforms such as: 

  • Shopify
  • Revel
  • QuickBooks
  • PrestaShop
  • BigComemrce
  • WooCommerce

I don’t think this is one of the best merchant services for small businesses because of how they structure their pricing. The transaction fees go down as you pay a higher monthly fee, and they seemingly force you to increase your plan because of strict processing limits. 

Here’s a breakdown of their pricing: 

Basic Plan

  • Fee: $49
  • Transaction Fee: $0.15
  • Monthly Limit: $25,000

Popular Plan

  • Fee: $79
  • Transaction Fee: $0.10
  • Monthly Limit: $75,000

Premier

  • Fee: $99
  • Transaction Fee: $0.07
  • Monthly Limit: $150,000

Unlimited

  • Fee: $199
  • Transaction Fee: $0.05
  • Monthly Limit: Unlimited 

So, as you can see – if you’re doing high volume, it would make the most sense to upgrade to the most expensive plan for the lowest transaction fees. 

#4. Helcim Review — The Best for Small Business 

Helcim splash page for Best Merchant Services

Pros:

  • Limited fees
  • Fees based on volume
  • Free online store software

Cons:

  • Limited integrations
  • $199 for the card reader

If you’re a small business owner, Helcim might appeal to you. With this service, you’re able to process credit and debit cards online and in person. You can also do some of the following: Set up recurring payments and send invoices.

With a Helcim card reader, you can accept all major cards, including Amex plus Google Pay, Apple Pay, and JCB. 

Helcim does not have any contracts or cancellation fees, and they charge $0 in monthly fees. 

Overall, Helcim is affordable but much more for in-person payments than they are online. Here’s a quick breakdown of their pricing structure, which is based on how much business you do each month: 

Monthly Volume: $0 – $25,000

  • In-Person: 0.3% + 8 cents (+ interchange)
  • Online: 0.5% + 25 cents (+ interchange)

Monthly Volume: $25,001 – $50,000

  • In-Person: 0.25% + 7 cents (+ interchange)
  • Online: 0.45% + 20 cents (+ interchange)

Monthly Volume: $50,001 – $100,000

  • In-Person: 0.2% + 7 cents (+ interchange)
  • Online: 0.4% + 20 cents (+ interchange)

Monthly Volume: $100,001 – $250,000

  • In-Person: 0.18% + 6 cents (+ interchange)
  • Online: 0.35% + 15 cents (+ interchange) 

Helcim offers nice features for those of you looking to integrate this payment gateway into your online store. You can add a checkout to your site for invoicing and customer registration while also accepting recurring subscriptions. 

#5. Flagship Merchant Services Review — The Best for Great Customer Service

Flagship Merchant Services splash page for Best Merchant Services

Pros:

  • Dedicated account manager
  • Free account setup
  • Free card terminal (with fees)

Cons:

  • Confusing ownership
  • Little information regarding price

Flagship Merchant Services cut the tape in 2001 and was acquired by iPayment in 2012. Now, they primarily resell iPayment, so keep that in mind. 

This company was one of the first to offer free account setup without any application or fees and real month-to-month contracts. They operate tens of thousands of merchants, and they have a strong reputation. 

Since they’re not a direct processor, most of their merchant accounts are set up through iPayment. iPayment uses First Data as their processor, and it can get confusing trying to figure out who is processing what through what service.

For retailers, Flagship does offer a free credit card terminal, but you’re responsible for paying account fees and insurance on that terminal to keep it up and running. 

For ecommerce, they offer either Authorize.net for processing and integration of an online cart onto your site. 

One thing that was a little frustrating about Flagship is trying to find information on their rates. If you go to their website, you’ll see that you need to fill out a form to get any info about what they charge. 

I’d like to see more transparency, but you may end up with a more catered package deal with this strategy. 

My favorite feature is that you get a single line of contact with the company when you purchase a gateway; they act as account managers. If you ever have a problem, you contact that specific person, and this isn’t a feature I’ve ever seen with any other merchant service.

#6. Stripe Review — The Best for Online Payment Processing 

Stripe splash page for Best Merchant Services

Pros:

  • Extremely customizable
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Great solution for online businesses

Cons:

  • Complicated setup
  • May require developers

If your business runs entirely online, Stripe is your best choice. It’s made specifically for ecommerce and internet business, and tons of startups and Fortune 500 companies trust Stripe.

The company offers sophisticated software and APIs that allow online store owners to customize their checkout experience. You can use the pre-built integrations to connect a Stripe checkout right away and then customize it as you go along. 

That’s one of the main reasons why I love Stripe; it’s a payment processor that grows with you and allows you to change it as your business needs change. 

With all of these features and moving parts comes complications. It’s not the easiest to set up, and if you plan on utilizing the many benefits of Stripe, you’ll likely need a developer to handle it for you. 

Stripe offers a “pay as you go” strategy–there’s no monthly fee and transaction fees are transparent across the board. 

  • Online: 2.9% and $0.30
  • In-Person: 2.7% and $0.05
  • International: Add 1% per transaction
  • ACH Direct: 0.8% maxed at $5.00 per transaction
  • ACH Credit: $1.00 per transaction

You can use all major credit and debit cards plus ACH, WeChat Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and much more. Expect to wait two business days for deposits or pay a one percent fee to get instant deposits. 

Stripe integrates with WordPress, Magento, Squarespace, 3DCart, Zoho, Big Cartel, and more.

How to Choose The Best Merchant Services For You 

Before we get into the reviews, let’s talk about how to determine what makes a good merchant service.

I’ve broken this down into three major areas:

  1. Processing rates/monthly fees
  2. Services
  3. Type of merchant services account

Let’s go through each of these criteria, one by one.

Processing Rates/Monthly Fees

It’s all about the money, and credit card processing is not as simple as you think. You have to weigh the pros and cons with each service; otherwise, you can end up paying way more than you planned. 

We need to look at the processing rates first. With every merchant service, you pay a small fee each time a transaction is processed. It’s usually between 1 to 3%.

You’ll also pay monthly fees, which vary depending on the service you choose.

To get a lower processing rate, you usually have to pay a higher monthly fee.

So, if you’re processing a ton of payments, a merchant service with a high monthly fee and low processing rates can be a good option.

On the other side, if you’re not processing a lot of payments, having higher process rates won’t hurt you as much as a high monthly fee would. 

There are also the rates that different credit cards like Visa and Mastercard charge. Merchant services like Toast let you choose between flat-rate and interchange processing rates.

With flat-rate, you pay a fixed amount for processing each month. With interchange, you pay whatever Visa or Mastercard charges plus a small fee to Toast.

Flat-rate processing is a predictable solution that works well for businesses that want to avoid big changes in their rates. That said, interchange pricing is generally more affordable. 

Services 

You want to look at what the payment processor offers in addition to credit card processing. Do they offer free POS systems, hardware, mobile payments, integrations, etc?

Some merchant services even offer consulting, customer loyalty features, and invoicing tools. 

Sometimes the “extra benefits” you get from a merchant service provider can outweigh some of the negatives. 

The Type of Merchant Service Account 

There are two primary types of accounts, one is an aggregator (or middleman), and one is an ISO (or independent sales organization). Let’s compare the two and see why it’s important to understand the difference.

Aggregators 

These are middlemen working in between the business and the bank, offering an easy payment processing solution for businesses. Square is an example of this, and while they make it easier, they usually have higher fees and transaction costs. 

ISOs 

Payment Depot is an example of an ISO, and while they usually have a more strict acceptance policy, they offer lower rates and user-friendly software compared to a direct processor. 

Integration

How well will your current systems integrate with your new merchant service?

Whether your are selling online or in person, the product you choose should complement your current process or even enhance it.

Stripe offers a wide range of integrations for popular ecommerce platforms, which makes it a great choice for online stores. It also integrates with the best email autoresponders like MailChimp and GetResponse.

If you are already using these tools, Stripe integrations will make it easier to get set up and stay organized.

You shouldn’t have to redesign your daily workflow to accommodate a new merchant service, so find one that has the integrations to plug right into your business.

Summary

By this point, you should know which of these merchant services is right for you. They all have their pros and cons, and you should choose according to the type of business you own.

Let’s take a quick look back at my top picks:

  1. Stax by Fattmerchant — Best for taking any type of payment
  2. Square — Best for transparent pricing/fees
  3. Payment Depot — Best for established businesses
  4. Helcim — Best for small business
  5. Flagship Merchant ServicesBest for great customer service
  6. Stripe — Best for online payment processing

My favorite option for any case is Stax. That platform can handle anything, whether you’re large or small.

If your business is already doing a lot of volume, I recommend exploring Payment Depot.

Square is an overall solid solution for all businesses, but the transaction fees are a bit high, and scalability is lacking. 

I’m also a big fan of Helcim because they allow you to grow with your processor by increasing the monthly payment as your volume needs increase. 

Regardless of which choice you make, keep the important factors in mind and choose carefully, so you don’t regret your decision down the road. 

How to Get Your E-Commerce Website to Rank in the SERPs

How to Get Your E-Commerce Website to Rank in the SERPs

It’s probably fair to say that all e-commerce website owners want the same thing: higher visibility on search engines and more sales.

After all, heightened visibility means getting seen on search engine results pages, or SERPs. You’re likely familiar with these as you see them on Google in the form of ads, featured snippets, and video links. You see them on other search engines too.

Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to get your e-commerce website to rank higher.

The following article details proven methods to optimize your website and get more online attention.

Why Does Ranking in the SERPs Matter for E-Commerce Businesses?

Ranking in the SERPs matters for e-commerce businesses because it brings organic traffic to their website. These organic visitors are more likely to convert into customers and potential leads.

Further, the more organic inbound leads you’re attracting, the less you spend on advertising, and if you claim the top spot, you’re going to gain even more traffic. Backlinks increase considerably, too, giving you additional credibility in Google’s eyes.

E-commerce website - backlinks stats

You also want to rank higher than competitors as it makes it more likely shoppers will find your e-commerce website and buy from your store.

Even with the challenges facing e-commerce like limited or duplicate content, high competition, and common SEO errors, there’s plenty of ways to get noticed by the search engines.

Your site might not be at the top of the SERPs right now, and you may not even be on the front page. 

That doesn’t matter because SERPs aren’t static: They’re dynamic, and you can take action to give them a boost. 

Let’s explore how.

8 Ways to Get Your E-Commerce Website to Rank in the SERPs 

Although it might take time and effort, getting your e-commerce website ranking in the SERPs isn’t too tricky.

1. Optimize Your Product Pages

Your core product page is the landing page for any potential customer. Some of the most critical factors for designing an effective product page are:

  • creating a visually appealing yet clear presentation of your product features and benefits
  • ensuring your target audience can quickly find the information they need to decide on your products
  • having a clear call to action (CTA)
  • including reviews and testimonials
  • optimizing meta titles and descriptions
  • including long-tail keywords
  • using psychology and color psychology

Then there’s your overall design.

The product page’s layout plays a crucial role in influencing how customers perceive it, so make sure the site is easy to navigate. You should also use white space so customers don’t feel overwhelmed with information.

2. Modify Your Site’s Hierarchy

Hierarchy means your e-commerce website’s structure. 

You need to get this part right because the way you organize content makes or breaks your conversion rates as your hierarchy defines how easy it is for visitors to find what they’re looking for.

There’s another reason to get your site’s hierarchy sorted, though.

Getting your structure organized means ease of use for customers, and that’s something Google considers for your site’s ranking.

Now you know why it’s vital, here are some tips for better site structure

  • Take time to plan the structure.
  • Add product tags and scatter breadcrumbs.
  • Keep content evergreen.
  • Review permalinks
  • Incorporate an inward linking structure.
  • Ensure you organize all subcategories.

Finally, divide your site into distinct categories.

Below is an image of what the ideal structure for an e-commerce website might look like:

Ways to Get Your E-Commerce Website to Rank in the SERPs  - Modify Your Sites Hierarchy

3. Focus on the Right Keywords

You all know the importance of keywords. You also understand long-tail keywords are vital, but are you focusing on the right ones?

You’re looking for keywords:

  • with a good number of monthly searches
  • that are profitable
  • with have low competition

Fortunately, there’s plenty of free and paid tools to identify these. Try:

  • Ubersuggest
  • Google’s search engine
  • The “People also ask” feature on Google
  • Ahrefs
  • Moz
  • WordStream
  • SEMush

4. Reduce Site Loading Time

There is no getting away from it. The longer a user has to wait for a site to load, the more likely they are to click away. 

Loading times can also have a significant impact on your bottom line. Research shows every millisecond counts, especially with an e-commerce website.

However, that’s not all. 

Slow loading times can impact conversion and bounce rates and result in a poor user experience. How quickly your e-commerce website loads is also a ranking factor for Google. 

You can test out your site’s loading time for yourself. Many tools are available for speed testing, like Google’s Page Speed Insights

Then, if you find your site is slower than average, consider taking the following steps to accelerate speed.

  • Use fewer images per page (reduce the number of thumbnail images).
  • Optimize your photos with compression tools like Photoshop, or use free tools like PhotoPea.
  • Create a site map.
  • Establish an effective navigation system.
  • Consider changing your web host.
  • Optimize video content and reduce the size.
  • Avoid unneeded tools, like excessive plug-ins or redirects.
  • Limit coding or compress it. Here’s a tool to minify several coding types.

If your website loads on desktops within 2.3 seconds, you’re in the top ten percent. For mobile, 1-2 seconds is ideal. 

5. Increase Your Incoming Links

Inbound links are a vital component of SEO and can increase your website’s ranking on search engines.

Every e-commerce site needs incoming links to rank well. While it’s challenging to get organic links these days, there are several ways to get them, like:

  • Social media: Create engaging social media posts that link back to your website and ask followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to do the same. 
  • Use Quora: Adding content on Quora within your niche is an effective way of increasing links to your site.
  • Create internal links: Backlinking is a simple strategy. Implement it by including individual product links or linking to other pages on your site like the contact page, shipping information, and returns policy, etc.
  • Get repeat buyers to promote: Ask returning customers to share photos of their purchases or product reviews with their friends or encourage user-generated content.
  • Join online communities: Sign up to forums, Facebook and LinkedIn groups, and any industry-related communities.
  • Write guest posts for your niche: Businesses and publications are always looking for content for their sites. Search for guest posts + your niche to uncover ample opportunities.
  • Create FAQ pages: Use your FAQ page to answer the most common questions your prospects have and redirect back to other related content.
  • Issue press releases: Is something newsworthy happening? Then write a press release and publish it for free online to build backlinks fast. 

6. Research Your Competitors

Researching your competitors is one of the best ways to understand what is likely to work for your business.

How do your competitors optimize their e-commerce websites? More importantly, how do you find the keywords they’re using?

It’s simple: Use one of the many competitor analysis tools

These can enable you to uncover all sorts of information, like:

  • backlinking opportunities
  • gaps in the market 
  • keywords
  • differentiation points.

While we’re still on competitive analysis, don’t forget to check Google. You should see the keywords in the SERPs snippets.

7. Use A/B Testing

A/B testing measures the conversion rates for different variations of a landing page to identify which variations perform better. There are three different types of A/B testing that you can use:

  1. Split testing: The most common type, where you randomly show half your users the original version and the other half see the variation.
  2. Multivariate testing: With this method, you test multiple versions at once instead of just one at a time.
  3. Clickthrough rate testing: This is where you change only the design or copy on your website without changing how it works. 

Common areas of your e-commerce to test are:

  • product descriptions/pages
  • headlines
  • CTA placement/color
  • headlines
  • font
  • free shipping/special offers
  • overall color scheme

The best approach is to A/B test over time to see what works. Experts recommend 7 to 14 days at a minimum. However, you may want to test findings for a month to get a clearer picture.

8. Optimize for Mobile

Mobile device use is far more than a passing trend. 

According to Statista, half of internet traffic now comes from mobile, and stats show an upward surge in mobile use in recent years.

Ways to Get Your E-Commerce Website to Rank in the SERPs  - Optimize for Mobile

It’s without a doubt. For better visibility in the rankings, you must cater to mobile users.

Google implements mobile-first indexing, meaning it “predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking.”

In other words, a mobile-optimized website is essential for enhancing your SERPs and product sales.

It’s about customer experience too. A responsive design ensures the layout of your website adjusts to fit different screen sizes like tablets, smartphones, etc. 

To make your e-commerce website mobile responsive:

  • Keep your text size readable at all times.
  • Change the background color of the webpage to black or white.
  • Add high-contrast colors to help readability on mobile devices, like black and white.
  • Test your website on a variety of different browsers and devices.
  • Provide a mobile-friendly checkout process.
  • Use smartphone-specific features such as QR codes and barcodes.
  • Optimize your site’s URLs for search engines and smartphone users.
  • Compress images to reduce loading time on low bandwidth connections.
  • Include local content in your mobile strategy. Promote any special discounts or promotions that might be happening on the site.

Frequently Asked Questions About E-Commerce Websites

How can I improve the SERP ranking for my e-commerce site?

Make navigation easy. Don’t have too many links on a single page and place them in a logical order. Next, ensure your website loads quickly, and each page contains only the necessary content. Fast loading times help with both SEO and conversions. Lastly, seek links from reputable sites with high authority.

How can I do SEO for an e-commerce website?

SEO for an e-commerce website means optimizing your website in core areas, for example, creating appropriate metadata and selecting the right keywords. Next, review the products pages on your e-commerce website. Could you use fresh content with unique product descriptions? Or small images and videos?

Also, update the home page and include a clear CTA button for any featured products. Finally, update your blog to generate organic traffic and lead interested buyers to product pages.

What are the top 3 SEO strategies for e-commerce sites?

The top 3 SEO strategies for an e-commerce website are:

  1. Keyword research analysis: Do this to identify the top keywords relevant to your products or services. You can use tools like Ubersuggest, SEMrush, or Moz.
  2. On-page SEO: Ensure you build your site with a focus on sales by keeping the content relevant to what customers are looking for and optimizing for conversion.
  3. Off-page SEO: Create an engaging user experience on social media by providing high-quality, shareworthy content that points back to your site.

How do I increase organic traffic on my e-commerce website?

  • Hone your descriptions: Use search intent and understand what customers are looking for.   
  • Optimize your website content: You can do this by using keyword research tools to find the search terms your prospects use. 
  • Optimize your website design: Visitors should discover your website through images, headlines, titles, descriptions, etc. 

You can also increase organic traffic by using social media to amplify your content and expand your reach. 

Conclusion of E-Commerce Website Guide

Understanding how to rank in the SERPs is key for any e-commerce website. If your site doesn’t show up in the SERPs, you won’t reach your audience.

There are several stages to enhance your e-commerce website. The first step is to optimize your website for search engines through keyword research, on-page optimization, and backlink building.

It’s also imperative to focus on site hierarchy, page loading times, and mobile optimization.

Are you an e-commerce website owner? Which tactics do you use to increase SERPs?

How to Run Responsive Display Ad Campaigns

How to Run Responsive Display Ad Campaigns

Getting your products or services in front of the right audience is becoming increasingly more challenging. This is because most businesses are going digital, increasing their reach online, and leveraging paid ads.

To help you stand out from the crowd, you should consider running responsive display ads.

What Are Responsive Display Ads?

Don’t let the name confuse you. Google Responsive Display Ads are your typical Google Display Ads with a twist. The twist is they can automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit the available ad space on the Google Display Network (GDN). You can also incorporate visual elements into your display ads.

responsive display ad set up

The best part about responsive display ads is that they can be created automatically (by Google’s AI and machine learning engine) using your assets. These are the same assets you can upload to use for both standard and smart display ad campaigns. To get your responsive display ads, all you have to do is upload up to:

  • 15 images
  • 5 headlines
  • 5 descriptions
  • 5 logos

The GDN platform will then combine these assets into varied ad unit combinations for every available size. 

Why Should You Use Responsive Display Ads?

You might be wondering: what’s the difference? Is it worth the extra asset creation? 

Responsive display ads have several advantages compared to standard ads, including:

  • Being fast and easy to create: One of the biggest advantages of responsive display ads is you can quickly and easily create and launch campaigns with no heavy lifting or design strategy on your part. All you have to do is upload your assets, and Google automatically optimizes your ads for you.
  • Broad reach: Thanks to the multiple asset types uploaded and the responsive nature of the ads, you can reach a wider audience. One reason for this is your ads can fit on any available ad space and thus have more opportunities to be displayed. 
  • Versatility: With responsive display ads, your ads can take on many shapes and sizes. For example, your ad might show as a banner ad on one site and a dynamic text ad on another.
  • A high degree of personalization: Personalization is key to better conversion rates. With responsive ads, you can show personalized content to your customers from a feed you control and add it to your campaign. This also makes them compatible with dynamic remarketing.
  • Affordable: Since you can DIY your campaigns, responsive ads are more affordable, making them an excellent solution for smaller companies. If you’re not confident creating your own responsive display ad campaigns, you can always enlist the help of PPC specialists.
  • Easily deploy video in your ads: Video content has fast become the most preferred content format for users. Deploying videos in your responsive display ads is super easy.
  • Differentiation: Users revisiting a site may become victims to “banner blindness,” automatically skimming over the same-old, same-old ads. If you’ve got the power to keep your adverts fresh and exciting, why not use it? 

Responsive display ads are here to stay. That’s why Google has been encouraging businesses to adopt them quickly. It’s also why it’s essential how-to run responsive display ad campaigns. 

Top Tips for Successful Responsive Display Ad Campaigns

Now that you know the versatility of responsive display ads, you’re probably rearing to get started. Before you do, here are some top tips for making your ads successful. 

1. Choose (and Optimize) Your Images Carefully

Images play a huge role in running successful display ads. This is because they are an excellent way of grabbing attention. Another reason is that they are a great way to convey your message easily.

That’s exactly why you must select your images carefully and ensure they’re optimized. On the same note, try to upload about 3-5 images per ad campaign.

  • Image choice: When choosing images to use in your responsive display ads, choose ones that clearly show what you’re advertising.
  • Image optimization: Remember, your ads will scale up or down in size depending on the ad space they’re placed. That’s why you must optimize your images to show clearly in both large and small spaces.   

Pay close attention to your images and test them on different size displays before uploading them for use. Speaking of image size, Google allows advertisers to use two aspect ratios for image assets landscape (1:91:1) and square (1:1). At least one of your images must have an aspect ratio of 1.91:1. For the rest, you can use either of the two.

2. Be Careful With Your Logo

Your logo is your visual identity. You only have a few seconds to grab attention, so your logo must be clearly visible—which can be tricky. 

Logo uploads for responsive display ads are the same as image uploads—square and landscape. Since most logos are designed to be either landscape or square, scaling can be a nightmare. To ensure your logo always displays correctly:

  • Consider adjusting it to fit better in the space.
  • Cut part of your logo if possible to make it work better (e.g. any background “noise” around your design).
  • Use the icon portion only.
  • Get your designer to create a square/landscape version of your logo. 

Whatever you do, don’t fall for the trap of simply adding white space to change the aspect ratio of your logo. It may fit the image requirements, but when scaled down, it will be difficult to read. There are plenty of logo design tools that will help you play around with your logo until you find options that work. 

3. Create Different Variations of Your Responsive Ads Assets

When creating responsive ads, you have greater flexibility for impressing your audience. You can use different variations of copy and images and measure what works best. Your responsive ads manager allows you to change:

  • short headlines: 25 characters
  • long headlines: 90 characters
  • descriptions: 90 characters
  • business name: 25 characters
  • visuals like images and video
  • calls-to-action (CTA)

4. Text Combinations Can Be Quite Tricky—Create Them Wisely

One significant advantage of responsive display ads is that they offer more text fields for you to work with.

While this is great as it gives you more opportunities for creativity and to get your message across, there is a caveat—not all text will be shown together.

To craft effective response display ads, you should know which text combinations are shown together. Here are a few pointers to help you in this regard:

Headlines Are Never Shown Together

Because headlines can never be shown together, this makes it easy for you. You can create different versions without worrying about repeating yourself.

Descriptions Can Be Shown With Both Types of Headlines

Descriptions are to be treated as an extension of your headlines and are never displayed without a headline. This means descriptions can be shown with both short and long headlines. Because of this, make sure to craft your descriptions in a way that they don’t repeat the copy.

Headlines Can Sometimes Be Displayed Without Descriptions

Depending on the ad space available, Google Ads can sometimes display headlines without descriptions. This is why you must craft headlines that are compelling enough to elicit a click without the aid of a description to give more context. You should also design your long headlines in such a way that they include a call to action.

Long Headlines and Descriptions Can Get Truncated If They’re Too Long

Given that text fields are limited in terms of characters, your message can get truncated if you go beyond the prescribed limit. To ensure you get your message across, you should front-load important information.

Knowing which text field combinations are more likely to appear together makes it easier for you to optimize the text in your responsive display ad campaigns.

5. Your Landing Page Should Always Match Your Ad

For better conversions, ensure that your landing page matches your ad—from copy to CTA, visuals to colors, and also everything in-between. 

Remember the responsive display ad example above? 

Here’s the landing page you’re directed to when you click on the ad: 

Top Tips for Successful Responsive Display Ad Campaigns - Your Landing Page Should Match Your Ad

It’s so similar to the ad design that you know you’re in the right place when you land on it.

Another critical ingredient to ensuring your landing page matches your ad is to use the same keywords in both your ad copy and landing page copy. Doing so will help your customers feel more confident in continuing to make the transaction when compared to finding a landing page that doesn’t have the same tone, language, or feel as your original ad.

While Google does an excellent job of optimizing your display ad assets and showing the best versions to individual customers, you too have a hand in the quality of your responsive display ads. Using the tips outlined above will help ensure you run effective display ads, giving you an excellent return on your ad spend (ROAS).

How to Set Up Responsive Display Ads

Now we get to the exciting part—setting up your responsive display ads. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. 

How to Set Up Responsive Display Ads

Here are the 11 simple steps you need to take to get your campaign up and running:

  1. Log in to your Google Ads account.
  2. On the navigation menu, click “All campaigns.”
  3. Choose the “Display campaigns” option and select a campaign you want to add responsive display ads.
  4. Click “Ads & extensions,” and then click on the “Ads” option.
  5. Click the “plus” (+) button.
  6. Select “Responsive display ad.”
  7. Choose the ad group you want to add your responsive display ads to.
  8. Upload and save your visual assets (such as images and video links).
  9. Fill in your ad details (headlines, descriptions, business name, and landing page URLs)
  10. Preview the best formats of your ads.
  11. Save and launch your ad.

Once you’ve saved and launched your ad, monitor its performance and update your assets regularly. Make sure to keep your top-performing assets and put them in competition with the new versions. 

Responsive Display Ads Frequently Asked Questions

Where are responsive display ads shown?

Responsive display ads are shown on the Google Display Network (GDN). GDN is a group of over 2 million websites, videos, and apps where Google Ads can be placed.

Are responsive ads better than text ads?

Responsive display ads are better than text ads as they are bigger, offer more flexibility, and can be scaled up or down to fit available ad space. 

How does Google Ads generate responsive ads?

To generate and display responsive ads, Google Ads relies on a powerful AI engine. This system optimizes your ads for you and ensures they are displayed properly on the Google Display Network.

Are responsive search ads worth it?

Responsive ads are definitely worth the resources and effort that goes into creating them, as they have far more advantages than text ads. Examples of such benefits include greater reach, better visual appeal, and more.

Responsive Display Ads Conclusion

As a digital marketer, small business, or even large enterprise, display ads should be integral to your marketing arsenal. That’s why you must know how to create and run them well.

While they’re generally easy to pull off, they need someone who understands the world of paid advertising to be successful. Of course, if you’re not comfortable going the DIY route, you can always enlist the help of a professional to help you create and run yours.

Have you ever run responsive display ads before?

What was your experience like?

How to Use Google’s Advanced Search Operators

How to Use Google's Advanced Search Operators

Regardless of which industry you operate in, providing value and gaining visibility has never been more important.

With increased competition in the digital space for audiences, you need to employ every tool in your toolbox to outmaneuver your competitors.

If your website isn’t ranking high on Google’s search engine results page (SERP), you may need to look for different ways to reach your intended audience. 

When you’ve exhausted all options, it’s time to look to non-conventional tools for search engine optimization (SEO). While there are plenty of choices available, both paid and unpaid, have you considered using Google’s own search functions to top the SERPs?

If you answered no, read on to learn how Google’s advanced search operators can considerably benefit your strategic digital efforts. 

What Are Google’s Advanced Search Operators?

While you may be familiar with some basic search operators from Google, the search algorithm supports deeper dives through a series of commands.

These commands include things like search term (denoted by: “[term]l”), prices (denoted by: $[item]), and site-specific sources (denoted by: site:[site.com]).

Search operators like these are super handy for the everyday Googler, but more advanced operators can be a differentiating tool for the savvy marketer looking to gain a competitive advantage.

From word searches within titles to results that are within one word of another, Google’s advanced search operators can impact SEO and improve your standing in a market.

In this post, we highlight the top advanced search operators and how they can help take your digital strategy to the next level.

Why Should You Use Google’s Advanced Search Operators?

On the surface, the benefits of advanced search operators may seem to primarily align with search functionality; these handy codes can actually offer much larger benefits.

Below, we break down the top four ways advanced search operators can aid your digital presence.

1. Improve SEO Ranking

Let’s be honest: we’re all trying to improve our SEO ranking.

You can use the codes associated with many of Google’s advanced search operators to identify on-site issues that are negatively impacting your SEO.

These include:

  • loading times
  • host stability
  • security
  • bounce rates
  • search relevance
  • on-page keywords

From identification of indexing issues to highlighting linking opportunities, advanced search operators can go a long way in helping you improve SEO for improved SERP appearance. 

Plus, there’s another added benefit: this is a free strategy you can undertake individually to enhance your site’s overall performance.

2. Increase Blog Post Traffic

Struggling to attract the right traffic to your blog?

Posting as a guest on different industry-related blogs and news sites is an excellent strategy for driving more organic traffic to your website, not to mention scoring backlinks (which you can review using Ubersuggest).

Luckily, there’s an advanced search operator that can help you identify guest blog opportunities.

Use intitle:[topic].

For example, if you’re searching for a guest blog spot on how to manage an electronic health record implementation (EHR), you would search the following:

Healthcare intitle:”become a contributor”

Healthcare intitle:”become a contributor” on advanced search operator

3. Learn Your Competitors’ Publishing Schedule

As every marketer knows, keeping an eye on your competitors’ business is vital to your continued success.

To help make your monitoring easier, use the advanced search operator site:[competitor site] to learn how often your competitors post to their blog.

Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your posting schedule to be competitive and assess what they’re sharing, when, and why.

This research can also give you a better view of industry topics that generate organizational interest—an especially effective content strategy for B2B businesses

4. Identify Q&A Thread Opportunities

We all want more exposure and to establish ourselves as industry experts. We also want to identify any opportunities that can drive more traffic to our blog.

By answering questions or joining in on conversations on Q&A platforms, you can increase brand awareness and also demonstrate your knowledge to build trust with your audience. 

What’s more, you can subtly share links to your blog posts for further clarification, driving traffic to your blog.

To find relevant Q&A threads on known boards (such as Reddit, Quora, or other boards you interact with), search:

site:[board] intitle:[“topic”]

For example, if we’re hoping to contribute to a backlinking thread on Quora, we would search:

site:quora.com intitle:”backlink.”

Healthcare intitle:”become a contributor” in advanced search operator

5 Ways to Use Google’s Top Advanced Search Operators

While we talked in general categories above, let’s dive deeper into specific search operators that can help boost your SEO score

Trust us, you’re going to want to commit these to memory.

1. Find Indexing Errors

Most sites contain Google indexation errors—and this is potentially true of your site, too.

To ensure that Google is indexing your site, you can use the site:[your site] operator to view your number of pages indexed.

Armed with this information, compare this number to Google’s and take action to correct any errors.

2. Find Duplicate Content

Duplicate content doesn’t do your Google ranking any favors.

In fact, it can tank it.

Imagine this scenario: you’re working to optimize an e-commerce site and learn that there are multiple identical product listings with only the color changed.

That’s no good.

Rather than manually combing through description after description, use Google’s advanced search operator to identify these duplications.

Use site:“copied and pasted content” to correct these simple errors.

3. Find Content Ideas

While we’ve already shared how Google’s advanced search operators can help you find guest spots on other blogs and track your competitors’ publication schedule, it’s time to talk about how an operator can help you find content ideas.

We all know how challenging it can be to come up with content topics regularly. To help make this arduous process easier, use the advanced search operator [inurl]:.

If we stay with our backlink example, we can search backlink inurl:“5 ways.”

By using this search function, you’ll return results within your industry, allowing you to browse for relevant content ideas.

site:quora.com intitle:”backlink.” in advanced search operator

Pretty cool, right?

4. Find Linking Opportunities

Linking should top your SEO strategy list. You should constantly assess opportunities for both internal and external linking. Luckily for you, Google’s advanced search operators can help you do both.

External Linking Opportunities

Linking can have a huge impact on your SEO ranking. To help you find opportunities, you can use Google’s advanced search operator.

First, identify a site you would love a link from. After that, use search operators to create a list of similar sites you may also want to gain a backlink from.

In this case, the search operator you’ll want to use is [related:].

For example, imagine you’re a marketing firm and you would love a link from Moz. You would search related:moz.com to generate a list of similar sites. 

Internal Linking Opportunities

Internal links are vital to your site’s success, not to mention your SEO strategy.

When used appropriately, internal links encourage visitors to spend more time on your site and provide navigational efficacy throughout. 

Let’s imagine you just published a how-to blog.

It would be wise to go through your site to see where linking to this blog would be beneficial.

To find anchor text that aligns with your blog, you can search site:[yoursite] -site:[blog url] intext:”[anchor text].”

From there, you can start optimizing backlink opportunities for your newest content asset.

5. Discover Non-Secure Pages

Data breaches have been headline news in what feels like a weekly occurrence. Given these stories, it feels like no industry is safe from the threat of a breach. 

With that said, if your site uses credit card payments, you need to guarantee all of your pages are secure with an HTTP.

If you’re unfamiliar, an HTTP is an application layer protocol that is used for increased security of sensitive information.

Every e-commerce site must ensure that all of its pages are secured with this particular security layer.

Luckily, there’s an advanced search operator that can be used to easily identify insecure pages within your eCommerce site.

Simple enter: site[yourdomain.com] -inurl:https

By using this formula, you can identify all of your site’s pages that aren’t secured with an HTTP.

Frequently Asked Questions About Google’s Advanced Search Operators 

What are advanced search operators?

Google’s advanced search operators are small pieces of code that can be used to search the development side of sites. By harnessing these operators, users can identify areas for site improvement, opportunities for growing blog traffic, among many other benefits. 

Are advanced search operators difficult to use?

While the term advanced may suggest a level of complication, these operators are incredibly easy to operate. All you need to know is what you’re searching for, and the operator will do the rest. 

How do Google search operators work? 

Google search operators work by enabling users to focus search solely on specific keywords, thus excluding others. By honing in on the particulars, your search becomes that much more targeted and effective. 

What is the difference between basic Google search and advanced?

Basic Google search and advanced Google search differ primarily in user intent. If you’re browsing the web, you’re going to want to use a basic search function. However, if you’re seeking very targeted information, you’ll want to turn to advanced search functionality to help refine your specific search. 

Google Advanced Search Operators Conclusion

We know how hard it can be to keep up with the revolving-door nature of SEO. As savvy marketers, we must use every tool available to us to ensure that our sites are as aligned with Google’s algorithm as possible. 

In this vein, using search operators provided by Google is an easy, free way to ensure that your SEO goals are aligned with the search engine’s algorithm.

As you enact the above five top search operators in your optimization strategy, you will undoubtedly uncover other ways these operators can help you improve your site from a variety of perspectives, ranging from content to site speed monitoring.

What’s the most useful search operator you’ve used? 

How to Change Your Username on Social Media

How to Change Your Username on Social Media facebook youtube twitter tiktok

The username you use on social media sites can either help or hurt your brand. 

One way to make sure that it helps your efforts is by making sure that the username conveys what you want it to convey. 

If people are searching for content related to your brand, they should be able to find you with ease. 

If you can’t be found, you risk losing market share to brands that are more easily accessible. 

It’s also important that your username is available across all social media platforms. 

If you update your Facebook username, make sure to update it on Twitter and Instagram as well.

In this blog, we’ll explain how to:

  • change your username on YouTube
  • change your username on Instagram
  • change your username on Twitter
  • change your username on Facebook
  • change your username on TikTok
  • change your username on Snapchat

As well, we’ll explore reasons why you should change your username and what to look out for when doing so.

What Should You Consider When Changing Your Username on Social Media?

If you’re looking to change your username on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and so on, you want to make sure that you’re choosing a username that is clear, simple, and easy to remember. 

It should be something different from your old account name, but not too dissimilar. A username that is too much like your previous name could get confusing for users who are following both accounts. 

You should ensure that your new username reflects positively on your brand and is a good representation of who you are, especially if it’s going to be publicly displayed across various social media platforms. This means choosing something which will look great in the “username” section of all your profiles! 

You also don’t want the change in moniker to be temporary (especially when some social media platforms cap how often you can change your username)—so avoid any names referencing holidays, seasons, or special occasions.

Here are a few more points to consider when changing your username on social media.

Make Sure Your Customers/Followers Can Still Find You

If you’re going to change your username on social media, you need to make sure that your current customers/followers can still find you.

This means that if they’re subscribed to your channel on YouTube or following you on Facebook, for example, then make sure these details remain the same after changing your username. You might need to update old links and bios with information regarding your new name.

You should also make sure that your new username is easy to remember and spell, since this will help you in the long run. 

If users can’t find or easily access your content when they search for it on their preferred social media platform, then there is little point in changing names!

Consider Making an Announcement of the Name Change

Once you change your name on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc., you should consider announcing the change to your followers

This is important because some social media users might not be quick to update their information with regard to your new name or username, meaning that they won’t know who you are when browsing through posts—and you’ll have to recreate brand loyalty (or risk losing a follower).

Make Sure No Other Businesses Have the Same Name

It’s important to check that your new username isn’t already being used by other companies or individuals. If the name is taken, you’ll need to change it again so as not to confuse potential customers and clients.

You can use online tools, such as Namechk or BrandSnag, to quickly cross-check your chosen username across social channels.

Be Consistent With Your Other Social Media Account Names

You might also want to consider updating all of your profiles across different sites so that each has the same username. 

This way, people who follow you on various platforms can easily navigate your social media profiles and find the information they are looking for quickly.

You’ll notice that my branding is consistent across every social media platform I use, and I always use the same username. You should do the same. 

How to Change Username on Social Media - Neil Patel change YouTube username

How to Change Your YouTube Username 

To change your YouTube username you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account.
  2. Go to Settings by clicking on your account avatar in the top right corner.
  3. Click on Overview and select Edit on Google next to your current username.
  4. Change your YouTube username and click OK.

You can also change your YouTube username in the YouTube Studio. Just go to Customization, Basic Info, and change the channel name to anything you like.

After you change your YouTube username, be sure to let your subscribers know.

If they don’t recognize your new name in their feed, they may unsubscribe from your channel immediately.

Making a video explaining your name change or even a video showing your new channel design is a great way to help people understand the change.

When you change your YouTube username, be sure to choose a username that adheres to YouTube’s Community Guidelines or you’ll risk getting reported and removed.

How to Change Your Facebook Username 

To change your Facebook username on a Facebook page you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your Facebook page.
  2. Click About on the left side of your page.
  3. Go to General, Username, and click Create Page @username or Edit.
  4. Type in your new username and click Create Username.

To change your Facebook username on your Facebook profile follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your Facebook profile.
  2. Click Settings in the top right corner.
  3. Click Username.
  4. Type in your new username and click Save Changes.

Keep in mind that you can only change your Facebook username once every 60 days.

If the username you are hoping to use is unavailable it will be highlighted in red.

How to Change Your Twitter Username 

To change your Twitter username follow these steps:

  1. Click on the More button (shown as three dots ○○○) on your navigation bar.
  2. Click on Settings and privacy.
  3. Click on Your account.
  4. Click on Account information.
  5. Enter your Twitter password.
  6. Type in your new username.
  7. Click Save.
How to Change Username on Social Media - How to Change Your Twitter Username

Your Twitter username must be more than four characters long and up to 15 characters.

It can only contain letters, numbers, and underscores.

Your display name, which is shown publicly on your profile, can be up to 50 characters long.

Changing your Twitter username doesn’t affect the name on your profile or existing retweets.

Note that if the username you want to use is already taken you’ll need to choose another.

If you change your Twitter username, your old username will become immediately available for anyone else to use. 

If you’re having problems with username registration you can check out this article from Twitter.

How to Change Your Instagram Username 

To change your Instagram username, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile.
  2. Click Edit Profile.
  3. Type in your new username in the Username field.
  4. Click Done in the top right-hand corner.

If you have a large following on Instagram, the app may want to review your username change before it is approved.

If this happens, Instagram will notify you by email when your username change has been approved.

When changing your Instagram username, remember to use an email you have access to so that the app can send you notifications. 

If you don’t require approval, your new Instagram username will be immediately public on your profile. 

how to change your instagram name example

How to Change Your TikTok Username

To change your TikTok username, follow these steps:

  1. Click Profile in the bottom right of your TikTok app.
  2. Click Edit profile.
  3. Type in your new TikTok username.

Keep in mind that you can only change your TikTok username once every 30 days.

Your TikTok username can only contain letters, numbers, periods, and underscores. 

No periods can be used at the end of your TikTok username.

How to Change Your Snapchat Username 

Unfortunately, it is not possible to change your Snapchat username.

It is also not possible to transfer any account data, including Memories or Snapstreaks, to a new username or account.

You can, however, change your Snapchat display name.

Your Snapchat display name is how you appear on Snapchat.

To change your Snapchat display name follow these steps:

  1. Click the ⚙️ symbol in My Profile to open Settings.
  2. Click Name under the My Account section.
  3. Type in your new Snapchat display name.
  4. Click Save.

Please note, that while new Snapchat friends will be able to see your updated display name, your current friends and followers will only see your original display name.

Your display name may also change in individual apps if the user has your phone number saved in their phone under a different name.  

If you are running any current Snapchat campaigns or promotions, it is important to note that any existing links, coupons, or promo codes will continue using your original Snapchat display name.

How to Change Your LinkedIn Username 

On LinkedIn, you can change how your name is displayed on your profile.

You can either display your full name or your first name and the first letter of your last name if you’re looking for more privacy.

how to change your linedin user name screenshot of where to click

To change your LinkedIn username on a public profile, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click View Profile.
  3. Click Edit near the top right of your picture.
  4. When the Edit intro pop-up comes up, update your First Name and Last Name in the text boxes.
  5. Click Save.

To change your LinkedIn username on a private profile, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click Settings & Privacy from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click Visibility on the left.
  4. Go to Visibility of your profile & network.
  5. Click Change next to Who can see your last name.
  6. Select the way you want your last name displayed on LinkedIn.
  7. All changes are saved automatically.

Frequently Asked Questions About Changing Your Username On Social Media

Is it bad to change your Instagram username?

No. It isn’t bad to change your username on social media sites if you feel like it will better represent yourself or the type of content that you are posting. There is no right or wrong way to go about this, but there are a few things that should be considered before changing names.

Will I lose followers if I change my username?

You shouldn’t lose followers when you change your username on social media. That said, it’s important to let your followers know that you have changed your name so that they don’t unfollow you.

What happens if I change my name on YouTube but forget to update it everywhere else?

If you have changed the name in one place and not updated it all other places, some people might find that confusing or irritating. 

When should I change usernames for social media sites?

You can change your name on social media sites whenever you want. There are no laws or rules that govern this process, but it’s important to consider how other people will feel about the name change before moving forward with anything.

Change Your Social Media Username: Conclusion

If you’re looking to change your username on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or any other social media sites, you can do so by following a few simple steps.

When changing your username, it’s a good idea to consider how it will affect your followers and if the new username sounds professional. 

It’s also a good idea to consider why you want to change usernames on social media, as this can help prevent future problems with your online presence.

Make sure you don’t change your username too many times, as that can end up confusing your audience and possibly resulting in lost followers.

Before you start the process of changing your username on social media, create a strategy, discuss with your peers, and ensure you have a plan in place to update any content that is attached to your old username.

What was your audience’s reaction when you changed your social media username?

The Riches Are Not in The Niches

In marketing, everyone says you need to pick a niche.

And mainly because people believe the following things…

  1. It is easier to market when you pick a niche (fewer competitors)
  2. Easier to make money (fewer competitors)
  3. You can get traction faster from a monetary standpoint (fewer competitors)

In other words, you make money faster because there are fewer competitors, but that isn’t really true.

Unless you are looking to create a “lifestyle” business, the riches are not in the niches.

And I wouldn’t recommend going after a niche.

VCs don’t fund “niches”

By no means am I trying to say you should raise venture capital or even need to.

But ask yourself this… what major venture, or venture fund at all, funds niches?

Sequoia, Andreessen, Accel, Tiger, Softbank, and all major funds don’t fund niches.

Companies that raised money a long time ago from VCs such as Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Apple… and the list goes on and on… are all examples of companies that go after big markets.

And that’s what VCs want… the elusive “unicorn”. A company that hit over a billion-dollar valuation, which doesn’t happen when you go after a small market (aka. a niche)

Even the funds that specialize… let’s say fintech venture funds, aren’t going after niches. Fintech is a massive category and isn’t really a niche.

In other words, they don’t go after “niches”. Why?

Well, let me tell you a quick story that will explain why…

Years ago, I was speaking at a conference in Seattle. It was more so a panel.

It was me and Rich Barton.

If you don’t know who Rich Barton is, just think of Expedia, Glassdoor, and Zillow. He is the founder of all 3 of them.

Someone from the audience asked him… “what type of companies do you invest in”.

His response was simple… “big markets”.

He didn’t mention niches. He said entrepreneurs should go after big markets because it is roughly the same amount of work to create a business in a small niche as it is in a big market. So why limit your upside?

And then to make the message even more clear, he gave us all a baseball analogy. When you go up to the plate and swing it takes the same amount of effort to swing a single, double, triple, or home run. So might as well swing for a home run each and every time.

It takes the same amount of work…

If you are going to create a business, it takes the same amount of work to create a business in a small niche as it would to go after a big total addressable market.

And believe it or not, it’s actually easier to generate more revenue when you are in a big market, versus going after a niche.

A great example of this is my latest company, NP Digital. It was the 21st fastest-growing company in the United States according to Inc Magazine.

My other businesses were not on the fastest-growing companies list in the past.

You could say some of it is luck or the right timing. But that isn’t the main reason it is on the list.

You could say great execution, but I worked just as hard on my previous businesses.

And you could say I have more experience now and I do… but I also had a lot of experience when I started the business before this one.

The big difference on why this business is growing so fast is because it is in a big market… advertising.

That’s it! Seriously, that is the big difference between this business and others. My previous businesses were in “niches” or smaller markets.

This one is in a bigger market. Which makes it easier to generate revenue.

For every excuse, there is a counterpoint

I was at a conference the other day and a few people talked to me about going after a “niche” which encouraged me to write this blog post.

They used the same logic that I mentioned at the beginning of this post in which:

“It’s easier if you create a business in a niche”.

Well, let me break down a few things for you…

  1. Marketing in a niche isn’t easier – sure you can get your SEO rankings faster, but the keyword volume isn’t that high. So, getting to the top won’t add revenue fast enough. Plus, you won’t have as much traffic to run conversion optimization experiments which makes it more difficult to optimize your site.
  2. It’s not easier to grow your revenue – I’ve found that it is harder to make money in a niche. There are less people to sell to, which makes it harder to scale up and grow.
  3. It’s harder to become efficient in a niche – from a financial margin perspective, when you have low revenue in many cases it is hard to have high profit margins. But as you scale you can make things more efficient and have a better profit margin.

Conclusion

If you want to go after a niche, you can and there isn’t anything that is wrong with it. But your upside will be limited.

Sure, you can have a great lifestyle business and if that makes you happy, by all means, go and do it.

If you want more, then you are going to have to create a business in a larger market.

So, this brings me to the real question, is your business or the company you work for in a “niche”? If so what’s your game plan?

How to Make Money Blogging

Neil Patel blogroll for How to Make Money Blogging

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

I’ve had days where I made ten thousand dollars on my blog. It’s not even out of the ordinary.

Now it took a ton of hard work and dedication to reach millions of readers. You need serious traffic to make that kind of money. It’s not something you should expect to achieve overnight.

That said, all that stands between you and this kind of success is your time and effort.

Plus, there are way more ways to make money blogging today than when I first started. Making an extra few hundred dollars a month is not that far off, if you are willing to put in the work.

In this guide, I’ll show you the exact way to make money from blogging by avoiding the mistakes I’ve made in my 10-year journey.

Sound good? Let’s begin. 

Your 2-Minute Cheat Sheet

The very first thing you need to start making money is to come up with an idea and the name for your blog. Think through the topics you’d want to write about often.

After that, sign up for the WordPress Starter plan with Hostinger. Even if you don’t have much of a budget, you can lock in an affordable rate of $3.99 per month for four years. 

After you select your hosting plan and create your account, Hostinger’s setup wizard will help with much of the rest.

Enter some details about your site and your site building experience level, then select WordPress as your platform of choice. Hostinger will install WordPress for you once setup is completed, so you don’t have to do a thing.

After that, you can select a template for your site or start designing it from scratch.

The last step is to select a domain name. With Hostinger’s WordPress Starter hosting plan (and higher plans, as well), a free domain is included. Just make sure to add on WHOIS privacy. A few extra dollars for better privacy and security can be well worth it.

And with this, you’ll have your blog site up and running. Hurrah!

The next step will be finally writing and publishing your first blog post.

Once you’ve got a few posts up and have started to attract some traffic, you can work on monetizing your blog to make your first dollars.

For this, you’ll have to sign up for a Google AdSense and Amazon Associates account to make money through ads and affiliate marketing, respectively. You can also sell your own products and services after successfully driving high traffic to your site.

That was the basics. Let’s get into the details now.

Step 1: Figure Out Your Blog’s Niche

The first on the agenda is to decide what your blog is going to be about. Whether you want to talk about marketing, CBD, veganism, or just random life stories, figure it out.

Remember, your idea doesn’t have to be revolutionary, but you do need a unique voice.

Here are two tips for deciding on a blog niche:

Choose Something That You Enjoy

I know that this sounds like a cliche, but it makes no sense to blog about it if you don’t love the topic.

Never start blogging about something that you don’t love—it will show in your writing and your readers will know. Moreover, you won’t be able to consistently produce top-notch content to build your audience and later monetize from it.

Make a list of things that get you naturally curious and that you enjoy learning about. Or think about what your friends and family come to you when seeking advice.

Find Out Whether a Prospective Niche Has a Readership

The only way you can earn money through your blog is if you have enough site visitors. 

Let’s assume you’ve already figured out your blog niche and want to write about arts and crafts.

You make a smart decision to niche down further and develop a blog exclusively dedicated to either paper art or scrapbooking. While you enjoy writing about both topics, you prefer to focus on one primarily.

But how do you choose between the two options? 

Answer: Do a quick Google search.

Google results quantity for keyword search 1 for How to Make Money Blogging
Google results quantity for keyword search 2 for How to Make Money Blogging

As you can see, there are far more results related to paper art as opposed to scrapbooking. Therefore, it makes more sense to write about paper art, which is what audiences are searching for. 

I would also like to add that it’s better to avoid broad or generic topics. Don’t be afraid to get specific as long as you have takers for it. 

For instance, if you want to create a food blog, don’t use words like “food.” Instead, use “barbecue” or “vegan.”

Get my point?

Step 2: Name Your Blog

Once an idea is in place, you need to work on naming your blog.

Does the name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ring a bell? Thought so.

But I bet Lady Gaga does.

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is Lady Gaga’s real name. She decided to go with a catchier and easier-to-remember alternative that aligns better with her music. 

Lady Gaga stage name example for How to Make Money Blogging

That’s the power of the right name.

Choosing a blog name is equal parts exciting and daunting. After all, this will be your brand name and dictate how people will remember you.

Don’t overthink it, and don’t name your blog something random or offensive.

Keep in mind the following questions when deciding on a name:

  • Does it reflect what your blog is going to be about?
  • Would your target audience like it?
  • Is the name easy to say and spell?
  • Is it short and concise?

I chose my own name as my domain (NeilPatel.com) simply because Neil Patel is who I am, and it’s also my brand. You could do what I did or come up with something entirely different.

I’d recommend opting for a .com whenever possible. But they can get expensive, I know.

If all the good .coms are taken, don’t stress. think about your main URL keywords.

If you were aiming for talkCBDtome.com but somebody else got there first, try talkCBDto.me for something cheaper and every bit as easy to remember.

Don’t buy an available domain at this point. I have something up my sleeve to help you get it for free.

Step 3: Sign up with a Web Host Like Hostinger

You need to sign up for a web hosting service to get your blog live, along with a registered domain name that will serve as your blog’s address.

I recommend Hostinger, as its hands down one of the best web hosting companies—not to mention, it’s affordable. Head over to Hostinger’s website and click Start Now to see their hosting plans.

I recommend the WordPress Starter plan, because it’s the cheapest plan (just $3.99 per month) that also includes a free domain name.

Hostinger pricing page for How to Make Money Blogging

If you have a domain, you can save even more and get the $1.99/month rate of Single WordPress. It has lower limits on site storage and monthly visits, but you don’t have to worry about exceeding those while you’re starting out. You can always upgrade later.

After you click Select, you’ll enter payment information and make your Hostinger account. Once the payment processes, you’ll be guided by Hostinger’s setup wizard.

It asks you three questions to start in order to give you the most helpful setup process: who you are creating the website for, what kind of website it will be, and your experience level with building a website.

Hostinger experience level guided setup for How to Make Money Blogging

I’m pretty experienced with creating sites, but the rest of this walkthrough reflects choosing the path for beginners with some experience.

The next screen is where you’ll select WordPress as your blogging platform. If you don’t already have a WordPress account, Hostinger supplies a handy field to create one without leaving the setup wizard.

Hostinger setup select WordPress for How to Make Money Blogging

After that, Hostinger gives you the choice of picking a template or starting with a blank canvas of a site.

Then, you’ll secure that free domain included in your Hostinger plan. If you’ve already looked into the availability of your preferred domain, you’ll be able to quickly find it and checkout in one step.

Hostinger domain select for How to Make Money Blogging

The key, though, is to add on WHOIS privacy for an extra $10 per year. It’s not too much to pay to make sure your private information as a domain purchaser is not publicly visible or searchable.

Once you’ve checked out, Hostinger will take a couple minutes to complete the setup and install WordPress.

This is the point where you’ll have your blog! 

Once the wizard is complete, you’ll be taken to Hostinger’s control panel, hPanel. Since WordPress is already installed for you, you can now start designing your blog to suit your style.

Step 4: Design Your WordPress Blog

To design a blog, you need to select an attractive and affordable WordPress theme.

Why do you need this? Well, after signing up for WordPress, your blog will look something like this:

WordPress page editor for How to Make Money Blogging

Not exactly what you’d call sleek and welcoming, right? The way your website looks can help drive more website traffic, which, in turn, will enable you to make more money.

Luckily, WordPress has thousands and thousands of themes for you to choose from. I’ve even done a roundup of some of the best ones. Here’s how you can select a WordPress theme:

  1. Log into your WordPress account.
  2. Click on Appearance in the sidebar menu on your dashboard. 
  3. From the drop-down options, select Themes.
WordPress change theme for How to Make Money Blogging
  1. Go to Add New, located at the very top of the screen, to gain access to thousands of fancy WordPress themes. You can also click on Feature Filter to filter your search to see options more suited to your tastes.

You should choose a theme that fits your personal style, but at the same time, it should also be in sync with your blog niche.

  1. Preview the theme to see what it will look like. 
  2. If you like the sneak peek of a specific theme, click on Install and then Activate.

With a nice new theme, your website will get a much-needed upgrade that makes it look appealing to visitors.

Step 5: Come Up With Interesting Blog Topics

If you want to be successful blogging, you need to keep doing what you can to attract more website traffic or encourage more email signups. The best way to do that is through what you’re already doing on your blog posts: offering your readers interesting content. 

But what if you’ve exhausted your best ideas already on previous blog posts?

My tip is to make a list of questions you get often.

Trust me, within just 30 minutes, you’ll be able to come up with a bunch of new potential blog topics. Your priority should be to look at things from your reader’s viewpoint.

Neil Patel blog topics for How to Make Money Blogging

You can also focus on higher-level questions. The five below are ones I suggest you ask yourself to get in your readers’ minds.

Suppose you want to start a parenting blog for stay-at-home moms. Let’s go through those five questions with that example in mind:

Q1) What could be an intriguing or exciting talking point for your readers?

For stay-at-home moms, topics related to sleep training, family activities, and budget-friendly meal ideas could be a great place to start.

Q2) What are your reader’s pain points and challenges?

Common household challenges for stay-at-home moms could be meal planning, understanding developmental milestones, and so on.

Q3) What are your readers’ character traits?

Moms are typically patient and caring and appreciate a sense of humor about the hard work of raising children.

Q4) What niche topics would appeal the most to your readers?

A child’s mental, physical, and emotional development could be effective talking points for stay-at-home moms.

Q5) What topics would your readers hate about the niche?

Stay-at-home moms don’t like to be looked down on by others. So, you could write blogs about how society views them and their impact.

Similarly, you can use the above questions to come up with ideas according to your niche. While you’re at it, don’t forget to work out a catchy headline that will make the reader instantly click on your blog.

Step 6: Optimize Your Blogs for SEO

Search engine optimization or SEO is a crucial step to earn money via blogging. Here, you will optimize your website to rank higher in search engines for specific keywords and phrases.

If you’ve been following me for a long time, you may already know how SEO is my trump card.

By incorporating particular keywords and phrases, I’ve successfully driven more than 30 million visitors to my website. Shocked?

SEO performance metrics for How to Make Money Blogging

That’s the power of SEO.

On WordPress, you can optimize your content and blog by downloading a plugin called Yoast SEO. 

Go to the Plugins menu, and click on Add New. Search for Yoast SEO in the search bar, and then install the plugin. 

Don’t forget to activate it to complete the installation process.

You’ll find that this plugin will give you all kinds of improvement tips and suggestions based on the keyword you select to help you optimize your content. I’d recommend incorporating as many suggestions as you can to improve SEO and content readability.

WordPress SEO analysis for How to Make Money Blogging

Step 7: Sign up for Google AdSense

Setting up ads is the best way to monetize your blog. But you need to be smart about it.

The biggest mistake people make is to bombard their sites with blinking ads. Avoid this at all costs. 

Instead, focus on using targeted ads that appeal to your customers without annoying them.

To start earning money through ads, you need a Google AdSense account. Head over to the AdSense page, and click on Sign Up Now. If you don’t have an existing Google account, you have to set up a new one. If you already have a Google account, simply sign in.

Google AdSense main splash page for How to Make Money Blogging

Fill out all the relevant information before submitting your application. The AdSense team reviews every application, and if everything goes well, you’ll be in!

Next, follow the below steps to set up your account:

  1. Go to your AdSense dashboard and click on My Ads > New ad unit.
  2. Select the size of your ad and the type of ad. Once you’re done, select Save and get code
Google AdSense add new ad unit for How to Make Money Blogging
  1. You’ll get a bit of code that you’ll then have to copy and paste between your page’s <body> tags. Here’s how it’ll look.
Google AdSense ad example HTML code for How to Make Money Blogging
  1. Once you’ve pasted the code, your ad will be live. Your AdSense dashboard will have all information about your earnings, so check it regularly.

While you can use ads on as many as you want, I would recommend starting with just one–maybe two max–to get an idea of how your audience responds to them. 

If you see a higher bounce rate on your dashboard, you should consider repositioning your current ads for better results.

Step 8: Create an Amazon Associates Account

You might have already heard of affiliate marketing. If your goal is to earn passive income, leveraging the power of affiliates is your best bet.

You can start by signing up for Amazon Associates, which allows you to start earning right away through referral links, display ads, or Amazon-based shopping carts. 

If your visitors decide to use your referral link or click on the display ads, you’ll get a small commission.

To sign up for Amazon Associates, all you need to do is visit the website and click on Join Now for Free.

This can be pretty effective. Just check out these earnings of Brendan Mace for definitive proof.

Amazon Associates earnings example for How to Make Money Blogging

Amazon Associates isn’t the only affiliate program. 

You’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of companies with their own affiliate programs, some of which pay higher commissions than Amazon. Just make sure to research before signing up to be an affiliate for a brand.

That said, I’d also like to emphasize the importance of advertising only those products or services that you’ve used yourself or genuinely believe can help your audience.

Step 9: Offer a Product or Service for Sale (Optional)

Many people think that advertisements are the only source of income for bloggers. This might be true for a few, but you’ll also find many bloggers make quite a bit of money by selling a product or service.

Of course, this will only work when you already have a loyal readership with steady website traffic like Nomadic Matt. Once you’re at this stage, you shouldn’t be afraid to take the leap.

Nomadic Matt books for sale for How to Make Money Blogging

Here are a few things that you can consider selling:

  • Training courses
  • Books
  • Video courses/webinars
  • Coaching services
  • Consulting services

Next, you have to figure out how you want to sell your product. Services like Shopify or WooCommerce plugins on WordPress, Amazon, or Etsy are great options for digital products. If you’re selling a physical product (like phone cases or clothes), you’ll have to set up a more comprehensive ecommerce store. 

Finally, let your audience know about your product or service by sending them emails. You can also consider developing lead magnets like pre-recorded webinars, PDFs, and whitepapers to build your email list.

How to Make Money Blogging Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make money blogging?

Yes, there are a variety of ways to make money blogging; such as running ads, doing paid partnership posts, including affiliate links, etc.

What’s the first step to creating a successful blog?

The first step in creating a successful blog is picking a niche topic for your blog. Do market research and see what other blogs are already out there; you don’t want your blog to cover an area that is already dense with similar blogs. Also, try to pick a topic that has natural ties to money-making blog techniques, like a partnership or sponsored posts, or affiliate links.

How much do successful bloggers make?

As of 2020, successful bloggers can make up to 7 figures per year. But that’s only the very top bloggers in successful and popular industries, like marketing or parenting.

How long can I expect it to take for my blog to start making money?

Your blog may be able to earn money in as little as six months from when you start it.

How to Make Money Blogging Conclusion

There’s a difference between simply having a blog and monetizing a blog. To make this transition successful, you’ll need to adopt a more proactive and focused approach.

You’ve got this! 

Start with my guide for setting yours up. Get reliable hosting from Hostinger and it’ll take no time at all to get your blog up and running so you can start blogging.

Just remain focused and work consistently to keep improving your blog and build trust between you and your audience. And follow my steps above to get things started on the right track.

Remember to stick with what works, and you’ll have a successful formula.

Have you tried blogging yet? Let me know about your experience.

Why A Simple PHP Framework Works for Websites

Why a Simple PHP Framework Works for Websites

As a developer, chances are you’re always looking for ways to improve your website’s functionality or create a more dynamic experience for your audience. 

Typically, you might rely on languages like HTML and JavaScript. However, there’s another cool processing language that could improve your site structure called PHP. 

With PHP, you can reduce development time and streamline your coding, while improving the user experience. Does this mean you need to build out a whole app from scratch, though?

Nope. The best (and most efficient) way to use PHP is through a simple PHP framework. Here’s how these templates work and a look at some frameworks you might choose from.

What Is a Simple PHP Framework?

First, PHP, or “Hypertext Preprocessor,” is a programming language you can use to improve websites. Web developers use it to build PHP applications and services to make websites more interactive, for example, by adding web polls. 

To build PHP apps, developers use PHP frameworks. These templates typically include prebuilt components which allow developers to speed up the process.

What’s a “simple” PHP framework, then? Well, the clue’s in the name: it’s a simple, streamlined version of a typical PHP framework. You might use it to build, for example, interactive web apps, and so on.

Here’s an example of what some basic PHP code might look like:

What Is a Simple PHP Framework - Example

Essentially, simple PHP frameworks help you build solid programs without composing huge amounts of code. They allow you to get fully-functioning apps up and running quickly, which is precisely what we’re aiming for when trying to start and grow a business. 

Want to find the source code for this framework? It’s hosted over on GitHub. However, it might be easier and faster to use a simple PHP framework that is already packaged and ready to go. We’ll cover a few of those a bit further down. 

Reasons to Use a Simple PHP Framework for Websites

If you’re not sold on PHP frameworks yet, or if you’re still unclear on why they’re useful, here are just some of the reasons why you should give a simple PHP framework a try.

1. Simplified Coding

As a programming language, PHP can be tricky. If you want to introduce new concepts or, for example, improve a website’s functionality, you need to write long and complex lines of code.

This is where the template comes in. With a simple PHP framework, you can quickly generate the code you need, which helps you build impressive PHP apps with little coding experience.

2. Quicker Development

Here’s what else is great about simplified coding: it’s a time-saver!

Rather than spending time writing repetitive code or building out apps from scratch, you can let the framework generate the code for you. As a result, you can focus your time on business and app marketing, rather than coding. 

3. Increased Security

At its core, PHP is fairly secure. However, as with any programming language, it’s easy to accidentally write in vulnerable code, especially if you rely on outdated tutorials or guidelines.

Frameworks provided by reliable platforms are constantly tested for vulnerabilities and updated where necessary, so your apps will be as secure as possible. 

4. Easier Maintenance

It’s much easier to maintain your application if you have a clear template to follow, which is where the PHP frameworks really help.

Not only do PHP frameworks include documentation to help run your apps smoothly, but developers are constantly building community libraries to help other programmers manage their code more efficiently, which allows for easier maintenance.

5. Improved Teamwork

If you’re programming alone, it’s simple to keep track of the code as it develops. However, it’s challenging (not to mention time-consuming) for new team members to come in and learn your whole code from start to finish.

A PHP framework boosts collaboration. With a template, your team can quickly skim the template and understand how it applies to your particular application. 

Simple PHP Frameworks to Try

OK, so that’s what a simple PHP framework is and why you might use one.

How do you pick a framework for your needs, though? To help you get started, here’s a selection of simple PHP frameworks, each with slightly different benefits.

1. CodeIgniter

If you’re a newbie looking to make your website more dynamic or build some functional apps, check out CodeIgniter. From creating simple news items to complex web services, CodeIgniter can help you out:

Simple PHP Frameworks to Try   - CodeIgniter

Lightweight and nimble, CodeIgniter is a simple PHP framework aimed at developers who want to create scalable apps without a fuss. There’s very little configuration involved and it comes with clear documentation, so you can be up and running in no time.

Compared with similar frameworks, like Laravel, it’s easy to learn and simple to navigate, but it’s no less impressive. Give it a try if you want to build on a comprehensive framework without taking up too much space on your device.

2. Laravel

Do you want to build a scalable, sophisticated app with advanced features? Then consider Laravel

Laravel is all about providing a great experience for those looking to innovate and develop apps quickly. It’s based on a neat, elegant structure, and you can quickly generate skeletal templates to build into complex apps without compromising on quality or security.

What’s great about Laravel is how scalable and flexible it is. The entire framework is designed to “grow” with your business, so you can rapidly scale your apps as your audience grows.

Whether you run Mac, Windows, or Linux, it’s simple to launch Laravel and get building. That said, it’s not the easiest PHP framework to learn, so new developers might prefer other templates.

3. Phalcon

Do you need a framework to help you build a high-performing website? Phalcon might be an option for you. 

Phalcon is all about low-level architecture. The framework prioritizes performance and speed over complex configurations, so it’s one of the fastest PHP frameworks out there and offers a sleek, streamlined coding experience:

Simple PHP Frameworks to Try  - Phalcon

Why is it so fast? It’s all about memory usage. Phalcon is “memory-resident,” meaning you can load it once, and it runs continuously in the background. It’s ready and waiting whenever you need it, so you can work quickly and efficiently.

What’s more, it’s flexible enough for either small app developers or enterprise-level designers. You’ll also find a great range of documents, screencasts, and tutorials for more help when you need it.    

The takeaway? Phalcon is an option if you need a fast framework with a little freedom to configure your own directories.

4. Yii

Are you new to coding and seeking a simple PHP framework to learn the ropes? Then check out Yii

Yii, which translates to “simple and evolutionary” in Chinese, aims to streamline web app development. What does this mean? Well, the base code is fairly simplistic. However, this is why Yii stands out.

It’s essentially a universal template, meaning you can use it to build a whole host of different PHP web apps. All you do is add components from the library to your core template, and you can build high-performing apps with relatively little code:

Simple PHP Frameworks to Try  - Yii

Is it a popular framework? Sure! Developers use the Yii framework for developing a huge range of tools, ranging from simple apps to scalable web services. There’s an active user community, too, so there’s always support on hand when you need it.

Bottom line? Yii is speedy, easy to install, and just as secure as the other frameworks. It’s probably the most accessible framework on this list, so give it a try if you’re unfamiliar with making PHP apps or you want to build tools fast.

5. Slim

Looking for a lean, compact framework to create basic functional apps in minutes? Slim could be the answer. 

Created in 2010, Slim targets developers building smaller or more simple web services. For example, you might use Slim to build REST APIs for the web, or web apps that rely on a simple HTTP request and response model.

It’s easy to get up and running, too.

  • First, install Composer.
  • Then, install Slim by executing the right framework command. 
  • Finally, make sure you’re running the right implementation to launch Slim on your device (check out the website for help with this.)

Once you’re all set, run the “Hello World” tutorial to see just how easy it is to compose through this simple PHP framework:

Simple PHP Frameworks to Try  - Slim

As with the other PHP frameworks, you’ll find an active user community and plenty of online documentation to help you jump in. However, what truly sets Slim apart is its sleek, simplistic template designed to create small but mighty web tools in no time.

For app developers seeking a secure PHP framework for no-frills prototyping, look no further than Slim. Don’t let the simplistic functionality fool you, though: advanced developers can add more code to make Slim web apps more dynamic. 

6. Symfony

If you have some experience with PHP, or you’re building an enterprise-level app, consider Symfony. It’s simple to operate, easy to install, and gives you the freedom you need to build more complex configurations.

What’s so great about Symfony is its large library of reusable components, which means there’s no need to spend time writing repetitive code for different apps. You can just select the base code you need from the library and get going!

What’s more, you can easily link Symfony PHP frameworks with larger enterprise-level platforms like Drupal, so you can seamlessly integrate your apps into a wider content management strategy.  

If you need a little help figuring out Symfony, don’t worry. There’s a whole library of text and video tutorials to walk you through everything from installation to app creation.

In short, while Symfony’s not the most accessible framework on the list, it’s exactly what more experienced developers need to build large-scale apps and web solutions. Check it out if you’re ready to take app development to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions About PHP Frameworks

What is the purpose of using a PHP framework?

A PHP framework simplifies the process for building websites and web applications. It’s useful for anyone trying to design PHP-based apps and services to grow their business.  

Is PHP popular in 2021?

Absolutely! The PHP language is advancing all the time, which means it’s sophisticated enough to handle the demands of modern web services. You’re definitely not wasting your time by learning simple PHP frameworks in 2021. 

What is the best framework of PHP?

There’s no one “best” framework. The right framework for you depends on your particular business needs, and how comfortable you are with code. If you’re new to PHP, you won’t go wrong by selecting one of the frameworks we talked about earlier. 

Why should I use a PHP framework?

A framework is a huge time-saver. With even a simple PHP framework, you can simplify the coding process, speed up app development times, and make your website easier to maintain in the long run. If you’re looking for an efficient app and web design approach, even for beginners, you should check out PHP frameworks.

Simple PHP Frameworks Conclusion

If you’re a web developer looking to improve efficiency without compromising code quality, you might want to try PHP frameworks.

Simple PHP frameworks are uniquely designed to help you build the apps and services you need quickly and securely, so you can focus on designing useful tools rather than wasting time on repetitive coding.

Are you still unsure where to start with PHP frameworks? Check out my consulting services to see how I can help. 

Have you tried using a PHP framework yet? How easy did you find it to work with?

How to Avoid Getting Put Into Facebook Ads Jail

How to Avoid Getting Put Into Facebook Ads Jail

With 2.91 billion monthly active users (MAU), Facebook is the most popular social media network. That makes it a powerful tool for businesses to reach their marketing, sales, and revenue goals.

Unfortunately, navigating the world of Facebook ads is not always easy. Sometimes you may step on landmines that can land you in Facebook jail.

What’s Facebook jail?

It simply means having your Facebook business account disabled, or limited. This is usually a result of not following Facebook’s guidelines on ads.

When this happens, it becomes impossible for you to run Facebook ads, resulting in lost revenue and marketing opportunities.

However, when your Facebook business account gets disabled, that’s not the end. There are steps you can take to get it reinstated. Sadly, even if you get your account back online, you’ll still have lost a lot of business. That’s why it is crucial to avoid getting put in Facebook ads jail.

What Are Common Causes of Getting Your Facebook Business Account Disabled?

To avoid getting thrown in Facebook ads jail, you need to know what gets people in trouble in the first place. Here are a few common causes to look out for:

  • You haven’t verified your business on Facebook.
  • You’re in violation of Facebook’s advertising policies.
  • Your ads receive a high volume of negative feedback.

Don’t worry if this seems to be too general; we’ll go into greater detail down below.

How Am I Alerted If My Facebook Account Is Disabled?

When your Facebook account is disabled, Facebook will send you a notification that looks like this:

How Am I Alerted if My Facebook Account is Disabled

Unfortunately, Facebook won’t tell you the reason why your ad account is blocked. You’ll have to go through their policies and troubleshoot your ad account to find out why.  

How to Avoid Getting Your FB Business Account Shut Down

Now that we’ve laid down the groundwork, let’s get to the business of the day—how to avoid getting put into Facebook ads jail.

1. Stay Up-to-Date on Facebook Rules

One of the simplest ways to avoid Facebook ads jail is to keep up-to-date with Facebook’s ever-changing advertising rules. This is where most marketers get tripped up. They run their campaigns based on old rules, thereby falling afoul of the platform’s requirements.

Facebook’s advertising policies serve as guidelines on the types of ad content allowed. When you place an ad order, your ad is reviewed against the policies. If it doesn’t meet the requirements, your ad will be disapproved.

If your page has many disapproved ads, it could land you in Facebook ads jail. To avoid having your Facebook business account disabled, be vigilant about staying up to date with all their new rules and regulations.

2. Stay Aligned With Facebook’s Data Policy

To run effective and targeted ads, you need to leverage user data. From audience insights to creating lookalike audiences, the way you handle, manage, and use your data must be in line with data protection policies.

How to Avoid Getting Your FB Business Account Shut Down - Stay Aligned With FB's Data Policy.png

If your ads break any GDPR or other data protection policies, your Facebook business account can be disabled.

What does this mean for you?

When you collect data through Facebook, make it clear to your audience that it’s you collecting the data and not Facebook.

All data collected via your page’s call-to-action button should be used solely for the purpose of rendering the services associated with the CTA.

Using automation to harvest user information is strictly prohibited. This includes the use of harvesting bots, robots, spiders, or scrapers.

With GDPR and other data regulation policies becoming stricter, it’s more important than ever to closely follow the data protection policies set by Facebook. Failure to do so will result in dire consequences—Facebook jail.

3. Follow Facebook’s Community Standards

Facebook was created to give users a place to connect and communicate with others in a safe environment. To achieve this, the platform put in place community standards to govern what’s allowed and what’s not permitted on the platform. 

To avoid Facebook ads jail, your business account must follow the standards that guide the usage of the platform, including avoiding:

  • Harassment, hate speech, violence, pornography, etc.
  • Phishing scams and spam content.
  • Contacting fans personally for commercial purposes.

Failure to follow the community standards could lead to your account being disabled.

4. Follow Facebook’s Terms of Service

Facebook’s terms of service govern the use of the platform and other affiliated technologies, features, apps, and services offered by the brand. Following Facebook’s terms of services is the legal agreement you make to abide by the rules set by Facebook. 

How to Avoid Getting Your FB Business Account Shut Down - Respect FB's Terms of Service

Understanding the terms of service before using the platform and its advertising features is crucial as they are legally binding. Violating Facebook’s terms of service is a sure way to get your business account disabled.

5. Stay Current With Facebook’s General Policies for Pages, Groups, and Events

As we covered earlier, Facebook’s policies are always changing. This is mainly in response to user feedback. That’s why you should always make sure to stay current with Facebook’s general policies for pages, groups, and events. A few policies to be mindful of include:

  • Prohibited business practices: These include promoting products, services, schemes or offers using deceptive or misleading business practices. It also includes ads intended to scam people out of money or to dubiously get personal information.
  • Impersonating a brand, entity, or person: When showing support for a person or entity, your ads must clearly show you’re not officially representing them.
  • No gambling: Your page can’t promote gambling or gaming that requires users to pay for the opportunity to play.
  • Inaccurate tags: Content that contains inaccurate tags for the purpose of encouraging engagement is forbidden.
  • Incentivization: Giving followers incentives to break Facebook rules and terms of use goes against the pages, groups, and events policies.
  • False advertisement of alcohol and drug treatment: Your business page should not advertise drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers that are misleading or promote practices that are harmful to patients.

As a marketer, you need to be familiar with these (and more) policies and adhere to them to avoid having your Facebook business account disabled.

6. Follow Facebook’s Rules on Promotions

Thinking of running a promotion on Facebook?

Then you need to pay attention to and follow the platform’s rules on promotions. Some of the most prominent rules to pay attention to include:

  • Proper communication of your promotion: It’s your responsibility to ensure the lawful operation of your promotion. This includes communicating the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements, and ensuring participants’ compliance with applicable rules and regulations.
  • Including a disclaimer in your promotional content: Your promotional content should include a complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant. You must also acknowledge your promotion is not sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.
  • Administration of promotions: Promotions can only be administered on pages, groups, or events and not on personal timelines. You’re also not allowed to leverage personal connections to administer promotions by asking them to share your promotion or tag connections.
  • Assisting promotions: Facebook is not obligated to assist you with the administration of your promotion. If you do use their services to administer your promotion, you do so at your own discretion and risk.

Running promotions on Facebook is an excellent way to generate leads, drive brand awareness, and generate sales. However, before you jump to deploying your promotion, carefully read and understand Facebook’s rules regarding promotions. Failure to do so will result in you ending up in, you guessed it—Facebook jail. 

7. Adhere to Facebook’s Pages-Specific Policies

Another landmine that can lead to Facebook business pages being disabled is failure to adhere to Facebook’s page-specific policies. Because there are so many of them, it’s not surprising that some marketers overlook some of them. Let’s look at some of them below:

  • Naming your page: Page names must not include profanity or generic terms and locations. They may not contain excessively incorrect punctuation or grammar.
  • Content visibility: All content posted to a business page is public and can be viewed by everyone who can see your page.
  • Choosing cover photos and profile pictures: Your business page’s cover photo or profile picture shouldn’t include third-party products, brands, or sponsors. You should also avoid using a verified checkmark.
  • Age gating: Restrict access to your page by age using Facebook Page gating functionality. This is necessary for compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Post previews: Editing any elements of post previews, particularly when sharing a third-party link from your Page, is forbidden.
  • Name change and merges: When you change your Facebook business page’s name, the changes or merges must not substantially alter the page’s subject matter. They must not result in a misleading or unintended connection with other entities.
  • Regulated goods or services: If you deal in the sale of regulated goods or services, your promotions should comply with Facebook’s community standards.
  • Diverting traffic to other apps or websites: Accepting anything of value for the purpose of diverting your traffic to an app or site that engages in traffic arbitrage or contains more ads than content is against Facebook’s policies. So is diverting traffic to sites with content that is highly sexual, shocking, designed to be clickbait, or promotes scams.
  • Originality of content: Your page should not contain content that is plagiarized. Most of your content should be original.

If you want to avoid getting put in Facebook ads jail, compliance with page’s-specific policies should be a priority.

8. Stay Aware of Facebook Rules on Branded Content

As a business, you’ll want to post and share branded content. However, you need to be careful you do it in a way that doesn’t break Facebook’s rules on branded content. Here are some of the rules you should know in this regard:

  • Posting branded content: Facebook defines branded content as content that features or is influenced by a business partner in exchange for something of value. You can only post this kind of content using Facebook’s branded content tool to tag the featured third-party product or brand.
  • Necessary disclosures: You’re required to include all necessary disclosures to Facebook users. For example, disclosures indicating the commercial nature of your content must be clearly visible.

9. Follow Facebook Job Policies

If you’re a recruiter or using Facebook to recruit employees for your business, you should pay attention to Facebook’s job policies. These provide guidance on what types of job posts you’re allowed to publish on Facebook.

A few noteworthy rules include:

  • Don’t post misleading, deceptive, or fraudulent job ads.
  • Job posts that promote employment opportunities that involve illegal activity, drugs (illegal or recreational) products, or services are not allowed.
  • Your job posts must not be discriminatory in any way.
  • Job posts must not promote employment opportunities in a sexual manner.
  • Promoting employment opportunities requiring adult services or the use of adult products is prohibited.
  • Your job posts shouldn’t solicit personal identification or financial information from potential applicants.
  • Profanity, bad grammar, and poor punctuation are not permitted in job posts. You should also ensure the proper use of symbols, numbers, and letters in your job posts.

10. Follow Facebook’s Event-Specific Policies

With the massive audience on the platform, Facebook is an excellent tool to promote your events—virtual or in-person. However, promoting your event the wrong way could lead to your Facebook business account being disabled. Here are the top three event-specific policies you need to watch out for:

  • Invite automation: You cannot use automation to generate event invites.
  • Full disclosure of costs: Any actions or costs associated with an event ticket must be made clear on your page.
  • Misleading event changes: Any changes you make to an event must not result in a misleading or unintended connection. Furthermore, you must not substantially change the event.

How to Reactivate Your Disabled Facebook Account

Now you know how to avoid landing in Facebook ads jail.

What if your Facebook business account is already disabled?

Thankfully, you can always appeal to Facebook to have your Facebook business account restored. There are two main ways you can lodge your appeal:

1. Chat With a Facebook Representative

One of the best ways to lodge your appeal is to chat with a Facebook Marketing Expert via live chat.

How to Reactivate Your Disabled Facebook Account - Chat With a Facebook Representative

Facebook specialists are employed by Facebook and are available to offer high-level advice on how to get your Facebook business account reactivated.

To access a Facebook specialist, head over to the Facebook Business Help Center home page, then scroll down and click on “Get Started.”

2. Submit an Appeal Review Form

Another way to get your Facebook business account reinstated is to fill in an appeal review form.

How to Reactivate Your Disabled Facebook Account - Submit an Appeal

Once you’ve submitted all the required information, your ads account will be reviewed, usually within a couple of business days.

However, if the review reveals that your Facebook ads account was disabled due to a policy violation, the chances of your account being reactivated are very slim. The only solution is to open another Facebook business account.

Make sure to carefully follow the guidelines this time and do everything in your power to avoid getting thrown in Facebook ads jail.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Prevent Your Facebook Account from Getting Disabled

What is the most common reason for getting your Facebook account disabled?

Facebook is very strict when it comes to adhering to its policies, especially for ads. Violating their policies is the most common reason for Facebook business accounts being disabled.

How long does it take for Facebook to un-disable your business account?

Getting your Facebook business account undisabled can take anywhere from 12 hours to a few business days. 

Why is Facebook restricting my business account?

Facebook can restrict your account if they deem your content or activities to be in violation of community guidelines or their terms of service. 

Does Facebook disable business accounts on accident ever?

Sometimes business accounts can be disabled by mistake. When that happens, you can visit the Account Quality page and request a review.

How to Avoid Getting Your Facebook Ad Account Disabled: Conclusion

As a digital marketer, you need to leverage the most promising channels to distribute your content and offers. Facebook ranks among the best.

However, to successfully use the platform to drive your business and marketing goals, you need to ensure your business account is always active.

You should know how to avoid getting into Facebook ads jail.

Using the insights and tips above, this should now be easy.

What’s your experience with Facebook business accounts being disabled?