Get Google to Rapidly Index Your New Domain

google new site indexAfter you upload your website to the host server, you probably want your website indexed as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, patience is necessary when working with search engines.

Search engine bots crawl the web at what seems like a slow pace when it is time to index your new site. You can, however, help speed up the process by using a few search engine optimization techniques.


Submit a Sitemap

Sitemaps are XML files that contain links to each of your pages. Sitemaps can have only one link or thousands of URLs that point to your inner pages. There are tools online that will crawl your site and create sitemaps for you. Once you have the sitemap created, it’s time to upload it to Google Webmaster Tools.

In your Google Webmaster Tools account, click the “Sitemaps” section. In this section, you have the ability to upload the sitemap you just created.

Upload it and wait until Google processes the URLs, this can take a few hours or a few days. Webmaster Tools take some time to process data, so the best way to check the status is to use the “site” operator in the search box. Type “search:yoursite.com” in Google’s search engine, and you’ll see if your pages are indexed.

Drop a Link on Your Favorite Forum

Google frowns upon Link-dropping, but if you are part of a busy community, adding a link to your signature and creating a post is one of the fastest ways to get your site indexed. Of course, you only want to use this tactic if you are a member of the forum and interact with the community.

Any other type of link-dropping on a forum is considered spam; this includes creating a profile just to add a backlink to your site. In fact, many forum owners add the “no follow” attribute to forum profiles to discourage spamming.

Add the Link to a Popular Directory

Adding your link to directories is not a good backlinking strategy, but one or two links on popular directories such as Yelp won’t hurt you.

You can even add your link to Yahoo, which is a large quality directory recognized by many search engine optimization experts. If the search engine often crawls the directory, it will index your site within a few hours.

Add the Link to Your Other Site

This method, of course, only works if you own another website, or if a friend owns a site, and is willing to give you a link. With both methods, crawling will occur frequently.

If crawling does occur often, it’s probably faster to add a sitemap to Webmaster Tools instead. You could even add a comment on your favorite blog with your link provided the blog owner doesn’t object to leaving your link in the comments section.

Pinging Services

Some sites promise you fast indexing for your pages. OneHourIndexing and PingFarm are two examples of these services. Some of these services cost money, but if you want your site indexed within a few hours, these services can be beneficial.

In summary, if waiting for search engines to index your site is testing your patience, hit refresh in your browser, take a break and use the time for other efforts. You can start doing competitor analysis, thinking of ways you can advertise, and determine your backlink strategy.

Useful WordPress Plugins Worth Mentioning

As of 2017, there are over 45,000 plugins for WordPress and while it isWordPress plugins reassuring to see the number of WordPress users increase steadily, with 27 percent of the web using it so far, it is probable that some outstanding plugins are overlooked. Here are 13 useful WordPress plugins that you may not know are available.

1. Yoast SEO

OK, more likely than not, you’ve heard of Yoast SEO by Team Yoast. While technically not a hidden gem, there’s no denying that Yoast does what it advertises, and does it extremely well.

For those who are uninitiated, Yoast thoroughly optimizes your WordPress site to be search engine optimization-friendly, so your blog can get the amount of traffic it deserves. Its features include:
• Page analysis to check for things like post length, proper subheadings, meta descriptions, etc.
• Social Integration for popular social media sites like Google+ and Facebook
• Advanced XML sitemaps functionality that integrates post, photos, and videos, so your site is visible to most search engines

Those are but a few of the many nifty features Yoast provides for you to trick out your site to draw more visitors — but you get the idea.

Check it out: Yoast SEO

2. Backup Buddy

It doesn’t matter if you’re a high-traffic site owner or a small-time blogger; you’ll be kicking yourself all the same for not keeping backups of your site when you need them the most.

Fortunately, whether a malware hit your site, a wrong command, hacks, human error, or any other digital disaster, Backup Buddy has got your back.

What separates Backup Buddy from the rest of the pack is that it schedules timely, complete WordPress backup (database and all your WP files) and allows you to store your backups off-site. Think of it as a key holder of sorts, but for your website.

Backup Buddy isn’t free, however. It’s a subscription-based service, with the cheapest plan starting at $80 a year. That comes with one year of plugin updates, one year of ticketed support, 1GB of BackupBuddy Stash storage space, one year of access to Stash Live, and 10 iThemes Sync sites.

You might struggle to justify the expenditure if you’re just starting out with WordPress, but if you’re an experienced site-runner that manages multiple websites/blogs, Backup Buddy’s Gold package is worth the look.

Priced at $297, it includes all of the perks mentioned above and also lets you back up an unlimited number of sites over a lifetime; that’s a one-off payment for a myriad of benefits.

Check it out: Backup Buddy

3. Testimonial Widgets

Have you ever wished you could have those sleek-looking testimonial boxes on your product page, but had no idea how to implement that yourself? No worries! Testimonial Widgets has you covered.

Testimonial Widgets goes above and beyond, letting you fully customize the appearance of your testimonials with such functions as carousel fade, filter slideshow features, and slide text. Testimonial Widgets is free to download and also has a premium option that offers several other useful features.

Check it out: Testimonial Widgets

4. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Google Analytics is a useful tool for keeping track of your site’s average sessions, bounce rates, and traffic, as well as the countries where you get the most visits.

It’s not exactly the most convenient tool because you have to sign in through your analytics account if you want to monitor your site’s traffic.

If you’re like 1 million-plus other users, you’re probably using Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. True to its name, it allows you to view your site traffic data right on your WordPress dashboard.

It comes with a few other cool perks, like tracking which pages drive the most traffic. The best part of all is that it’s completely free.

Check it out: Google Analytics Dashboard

5. All 404 Redirect to Homepage

Some of the best plugins are those that scratch the itch you didn’t even know you had. One such plugin is 404 Redirect. Save yourself (and your users) a few seconds by redirecting them to your homepage automatically.

Check it out: All 404 Redirect to Homepage

6. Author Bio Box

Author Bio Box is for sites that have a lot of contributors and writers on hand. It gives you a neat and tidy space for a short bio, a profile picture, and social media links. It is one of the more underrated plugins hosted on WordPress.

Check it out: Author Bio Box

7. CSS Hero

Although there are thousands of free WordPress themes that give users a wide range of options for customization, you could still find the one theme that would be thoroughly perfect – save for one detail: maybe the layout is off, or maybe there’s just something in the color scheme that bugs you. CSS Hero can come to your aid.

CSS Hero offers a simple yet slick CSS editor, complete with an easy-to-navigate GUI. Even the most inexperienced coders can still tweak their theme to their heart’s content.

Check it out: CSS Hero

8. FreshBooks

Freshbooks is a fresh take on cloud-based accounting software. Designed for professionals by professionals, it includes every feature a humble accountant could ever need for sending/receiving payments, invoices, and finance management.

Check it out: FreshBooks

9. Quick and Easy FAQs

Another one of those hidden treasures is Quick and Easy FAQs, which lets you add FAQs quickly and easily. It includes everything you’ll need to make a personalized FAQ list so you can answer every question that you always find yourself answering.

Check it out: Quick and Easy FAQs

10. WPForms

Whether you’re a once-a-month blogger or a business tycoon, you’ll need a way for your followers/clients to contact you. Thankfully, WPForms has you covered. It’s got a simple drag-and-drop-based system so you can add email forms, subscription forms, and every other form you didn’t think you’d ever need.

Check it out: WPForms

11. OptinMonster

OptinMonster is ideal if you need to grow a mailing list. It achieves this by converting one-time visitors into loyal subscribers through a comprehensive series of analytics, A/B group testing algorithms, and content evaluation so if you think you can step up to handle your subscriber list “game”, check it out.

Check it out: OptinMonster

12. BirchPress

If you ever wanted an easy way to manage clients via WordPress, then BirchPress might be your solution. It’s a simple plugin that not only gives your WordPress site booking and appointment capabilities, but also includes support for international currency, employee-assigned tasks, pricing, and multiple staff members.

Check it out: BirchPress

13. SEMRush

Let’s be real: keeping an eye on your competition is crucial if you’re to stay in the game. SEMRush could be that plugin that gives you the edge on your competition. It does so by letting you see which keywords they’re ranking highest with, as well as track their organic traffic and paid keywords.

Check it out: SEMRush

8 Must-Have Elements for Your Local Business Website

 

local market A website is an essential marketing and branding tool for local businesses. According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 32{75d9170601b116c50b94827e4dce8cd04dd12ac6e18f635bdc3be90482b5439b} of consumers say they are more likely to contact a local business if it has a website. If you want to present your local business as a leading figure, you should include the following elements in your website.

#1) Address and Phone Number

The number one reason why users visit a local business’s website is to find their contact information. Be sure to include your business’s street address and phone number on your website.

If someone hears about your business from a friend or coworker, they may visit your website to find the address. If someone wants to know whether you carry a specific product, they may look for your phone number. Either way, you need to include your business’s address and phone number to satisfy these users.

It’s recommended that you display your business’s address and phone number in plain text format. Some business owners unknowingly make the mistake of displaying this information as an image. While displaying your address and phone number as an image isn’t going to hurt your site, it doesn’t help either. Search engines can read the context of text (not images), so displaying your contact information as text encourages higher rankings for local searches.

#2) Hours of Operation

In addition to contact information, you should include your business’s hours of operation. Before driving to a retail store or local business, consumers may search for their hours of operation online. Failure to publicly display this information could cost you sales.

On your website, list which days of the week your business is open and for how long. If there’s an upcoming holiday, you can also let visitors know whether you’ll be open or closed on that day.

#3) Social Media Buttons

Regardless of who exactly is your business’s target audience, they probably use social media. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 79{75d9170601b116c50b94827e4dce8cd04dd12ac6e18f635bdc3be90482b5439b} of online adults in the United States use Facebook — and that’s only one social media network. With digital marketing experts predicting an increase in social media usage in the years to come, this is something local business owners shouldn’t ignore.

If you haven’t done so already, create profiles and pages for your business on all of the leading social media networks. Next, add social media buttons on your website linking to those accounts. If your website uses a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, you can use a third-party plugin or module to automatically integrate these social buttons.

Once your social buttons are active, visitors can click them to access your business’s social media profiles and pages.

#4) Embedded Google Maps View

You should also include a Google Maps view of your business on your website. Doing so helps visitors find directions to your business more easily. Rather than opening a new tab in their browser, visitors can click the embedded map and enter their address. Google Maps will then reveal the fastest route from their location to your business.

To embed Google Maps on your website, visit Google.com/Maps and enter your business’s street address. Next, click the menu button at the top left corner, followed by “Share or Embed map.” You can then choose the preferred size of your map, grab the HTML code, and paste it into your website.

#5) ‘About Us’ Page

An “about us” page is an essential component of a local business website. Using this prime digital real estate, you can tell the story behind your business.

While all businesses can benefit from an “about us” page, this website element is particularly important for smaller, local businesses. Most consumers already trust large businesses like Walmart, Target and Home Depot, so they rarely look at their “about us” page.

Small businesses, however, must work to gain consumers’ trust, which is where an “about us” page proves useful: you can use this page to explain your business’s history, goals, accolades, and why it’s the leading brand for its respective industry.

#6) Call-to-Action

A call-to-action (CTA) lives up to its namesake by enticing visitors to take action. It triggers a visceral reaction in visitors, encouraging them to visit your store or perform other actions. Whether it’s text or an image, your business’s website needs at least one CTA.

Common examples of CTAs used on local business websites include:

  • Visit us today
  • Stop by our store to learn more
  • Give us a call to learn more
  • Sign up for our newsletter

#7) Contact Form

Local business websites need a functional contact form as well. Even if you include your business’s email address, some visitors may prefer to use a built-in contact form. It’s an easier and more convenient way to contact a business, as it allows users to send messages directly from the site without ever leaving.

A typical website contact form includes all of the basic email fields like name, email, subject and message. Once configured, any message a visitor creates will be automatically sent to your specified email address.

Creating a contact form from scratch requires some coding knowledge. However, FoxyForm.com is a free-to-use service that allows you to create one in just a few minutes. You enter your desired settings and email address, and it gives you the code. Just copy and paste this code into your site where you’d like the contact form and you’re done.

#8) High-Quality Content

Finally, your business’s website needs high-quality content to keep visitors, and search engines, coming back. There’s an old adage many digital marketers refer to when stressing the importance of content: “Content is king.” While Bill Gates originally created this adage in 1996 when discussing the future of the internet, it still rings true to this day.

Publishing high-quality content on your business’s website promotes higher search rankings. Search engines will crawl your site’s content, using this as a signal in their ranking algorithms. And when your site ranks high, more users will see and visit your business.

By integrating these elements into your website, you’ll present your local business as an industry leader.

Go Easy On Yourself

When that feeling of despondency sets in, it’s time to take a break and go easy on yourself. Let go of frustration, let go of that deep gnawing feeling of failure and look at the bright side of life. Did you miss a deadline for the first time in years? Don’t worry you are only human.

Take the day off mainly to relax but also to set a system in place where you would avoid future burnouts. Value your time. Calculate your hourly wage and outsource any time-consuming task way below your hourly wage.

One of the most frustrating setbacks occurs when you are midway through a task, and you suddenly realize it is all wrong. You must set a system and or procedure in place to mitigate the risk of having to start all over by doing it the right way always.

Even in sports with games that last an hour or more, you have short breaks. In Sports such as boxing, football, tennis, and baseball, the change up is a form of a slight pause. When working on a project for more than one hour take a short break.

Use these short breaks to psyche up on happy mode. A short funny gif video, your favorite pet, relaxing music, inspirational short topics, a cup of beverage that hits the spot, and call someone you know will light up the balance of your day. Friends on social media or join a worthy network.

When circumstances get you down, stand in front of a mirror, take a hard look at yourself in the mirror, smile and then laugh, laugh, then say to yourself: I know who I am, and I will accomplish this project, nothing can stop me!

How to Overcome Writer’s Block

If you’re a seasoned writer or a college student looking to finally finish that term paper, writer’s block could interfere with even your best efforts. This process is 100 percent normal and happens to all of us, but what are some ways you can combat writer’s block before it overtakes you, your sanity and your works? Here are some tips to overcome writer’s block:

Do some free writing!

Write about whatever comes to mind first and write in a stream of consciousness fashion. You could also purchase a writing prompts journal to liven up your writing routine and to combat writer’s block.

Go for a walk.

There’s nothing a little sunshine and fresh air can’t fix.

Go somewhere for some inspiration.

You don’t have to travel too far from your current location. People watch in the park or at your favorite local coffee shop. You can observe behaviors that could prompt you in the right direction. Plus, you could have your favorite cup of Joe to get your writing juices flowing.

Try to get rid of distractions.

There’s nothing that makes your inspiration and motivation falter like too many distractions. If you can, turn off your phone, and close all Internet browser tabs. Focus on you and your writing. Purchase writing software to get you in the zone, free from what can distract you.

Read a book.

Read something from one of your favorite authors to help you get some inspiration for your works. You could get a new idea for a person, place or thing or think about a source of information you didn’t think of before.

Do something fun.

Release your inner child. Play with something that allows you to create, like Legos, model ships in bottles, photography skills on Photoshop — anything that gets you in a creative mindset.

Listen to your favorite music.

The choice can vary from writer to writer. Some like to listen to classical music without lyrics to distract them. Others like to jam to heavy metal or gangster rap. Do whatever gets you in your writer’s zone so you can find that voice the mental block is hiding from you.

Spend time with a loved one.

We all need a break, even from our writer’s block when it becomes too overwhelming. Have lunch with a friend or make dinner for your significant other at home. Taking the time to have a conversation with someone else could be just what you need to come out of your writer’s fog.

Get physical.

Exercise to increase your heart rate. Running and other cardiovascular activities can boost your creativity. You can also do yoga.

Don’t avoid writing.

If you’re struggling to find the right words for your story or research paper, if you avoid writing, then you won’t overcome writer’s block. Don’t procrastinate until you feel so inclined to write or feel inspired by something. You also can’t pity yourself or think that you just aren’t good at writing at all.These tips and more will help you as you begin to get out of your writer’s block funk.