The Effect of Typography on User Experience and Conversions

Typography is a body language that gives the first impression of your site to the user. The fonts depict particular emotions so make sure that the right message is being sent to the reader. Typography is important in many ways, and those who brace themselves with its pros and advantages would always produce professional designs.

In this guide, I will explain what effect Typography leaves on the user experience and conversions.

I am sure many people spend most of their time optimising the landing page, but only a few of them know how Typography can affect conversion and what should one do to get out of it. For those who are dealing with this confusion, let’s resolve it through this guide.

How Fonts Affect User Experience?

Do you know that each font depicts a specific emotion that entirely affects the user experience? Now the question here is that how do fonts affect emotions or the user’s experience?

1. Legibility

We all are aware that fonts play an essential role in making the content legible and readable. To make your content readable and understandable, a graphic designer must know that which fonts increases the readability score. You have maximum emotions of fonts that increases legibility and are specifically designed to increase the readability score.

You can pick any category of fonts for your purpose but according to me sans-serif fonts are best fonts and if we specifically talk about any font then you can go with free Gotham font that is a sans-serif typeface and worth to use in designs. Furthermore, you can surely get hands-on many other fonts that would give a better user experience. Apply fonts in a way that your user won’t find it hard to understand your context.

2. Make Appropriate Headings

Do you know that Headings are the first element of your content on which the user pays special consideration? If you fail to write eye-catchy headings, the user won’t stay at your site for long. Make headings in a way that instantly grabs everyone’s attention.

However, many other things also require in this regard, i.e., Size, Font, Space etc., and it all comes in Typography. Make sure to use an appropriate font for Headings with proper spacing and accepted size. Make sure the first impression of the user towards Heading is long-lasting.

3. Take care of Body Font Sizes

After heading, another main element of your content is the text body that will decide either the user is going to stay at your website or not. When it comes to body size, it would be approximately 14px to 16px. Make sure there is proper spacing between each line so that the user won’t find it difficult to read the lines.

Many fonts are designed to make a small size and large size body texts readable, so choose fonts wisely by keeping in mind your niche. Always remember that every font can’t go with every website because each font depicts a specific mood and feeling. These little details make a huge difference.

4. Overuse of Fonts

A common mistake often seen on the website is using so many fonts in a single design that results in messed up design. It brings a bad impact on the user’s experience, and they most likely to switch to another website. Be limited when it comes to applying font in design.

Furthermore, make sure the fonts you are using compliments to each other otherwise, it spoils the overall look of your website.

How Typography Affect Conversions?

Have you ever thought that Typography affects Conversion? The conversion rate is the time that the user spends on your website. With good SEO, you can increase the conversion rate, but here the question is how Typography plays an essential role in making the conversion rate high and low? Let’s enlist those points that reflect how Typography affects conversion rate.

1. Content is Not Readable

Typography is the main element of every content, and if a designer does not apply the right font in the content, they will end up decreasing the readability score, and if the user finds it hard to read the content appropriately, they would surely do not want to stay at your page.

To increase the conversion rate, one must make the content readable so that the user spends maximum time on your site. It is the main reason for the decreasing conversion rate.

2. Not Enough Space

Have you noticed that the content becomes unappealing when proper spacing is not given among words and lines? Spacing plays an essential role in making the content successful, and proper spacing falls in the category of the right Typography.

Once you know how much spacing is appropriate between words and sentences, things will become easy for you. A research was conducted in the past years by sending texts to 20 different people. To 10 people, the message was sent in bad typography, while for the other 10 people, good typography was used. It was found that message that was sent in good typography has the highest conversion rate.

3. Don’t Overpower the Typography

Have you ever faced the situation when the fonts used do not compliment the text? It does happen when you overpower typography. The main purpose of good Typography is to make people remember the message that you want to convey through your content. It is not about remembering the fonts that you have used in the content.

Hence, make sure the fonts you have used to complement the text. Each font conveys a special feeling. A few fonts are fun, friendly while a few fonts depict opposite emotions. Keep your website’s niche in your mind, and later choose the font according to it.

Conclusion

The user experience and the highest conversion rate are the two most important elements for every graphic designer. You can overcome both elements with the right Typography. I have enlisted those points that resulted in a bad user experience and a low conversion rate. Furthermore, I have mentioned those ways through which you can improve both.

As a professional graphic designer, you must be aware of the importance of typography and what effect it brings on other elements. Take notes from this guide and make the user experience and conversion rate better.

For further reading, check out our blog post on the 10 Tips On Typography in Web Design

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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10 Pro Tips to Leverage Your Website Design for Online Businesses

Have you just recently thought to yourself that you should leverage your website design for your online business? Have you ever thought that your website design is leading or misleading to your website visitors? Can they find what they need immediately? Will they know what type of business you own and what kind of products and services you provide? If you have a pricing layout, is it easy to follow? Have you ever checked your bounce rate?

If your answer to these questions is No, it is time to think about them and remove the barriers to your sales and business success. Here in this article, you will learn about the importance of website design and the ways you can leverage your online business using your website design.

Why Is Website Design Important?

Yes, it is certainly important; but why? Due to different factors such as the advancement in the digital world, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, etc., many businesses have turned to create an online presence. Consequently, there are many competitors in the digital market. To survive in such a competitive market, you should rely on your strength. For instance, you can improve your website design so that your website visitors will love buying from you.

It is definitely a risk to your number of sales and the number of revenues if you do not work on the design of your website. There are millions to billions of active users in the AI world who do not find every design efficient and time-saving. As a result, you have to take the matter seriously and take a step toward your website design.

How to Leverage Your Website Design for Online Businesses?

Hare, we will discuss some tips in order to let you know about how you can leverage your website design for your online business:

1. Map Out Your Buyer’s Journey

Not having a proper plan for what you are going to do can seriously bring your business down. This statement is not limited to business only. You might have experienced it in many cases other than business. Therefore, having a detailed plan for your goals is necessary. Because you do not want to invest money, time, and energy and get nothing in return.

Your conversion funnel needs to be based on a plan to turn out fruitful. Make the journey interesting and easy to follow for your website traffic. To do this flawlessly, you need to know what needs your audience may have. Focus on your buyer persona characteristics and design your conversion funnel based on that. Then, think of the number of pages, content, offers, etc. that can boost your conversion rate.

2. Add Social Buttons

Social buttons help you direct your visitors to your social media. Many of your users do not know if you have any accounts on social media. They may even be your customers but still be unaware of your presence on popular online platforms. Accordingly, adding social buttons is one of the ways you can increase organic traffic to your website and social media.

Take Instagram as an instance. There are two ways to grow the number of followers on Instagram. Firstly, you can increase your Instagram followers by using Instagram followers apps. Another way is to get your leads to share your content on their Instagram for their friends, so that their friends may get interested to follow you. Just make your share buttons available for them and wait for them to appear as new followers on Instagram.

Here are the social buttons on the Mango website:

3. Include CTA Buttons

Call-to-action or CTA buttons, such as ‘Buy Now’, ‘Explore Products’, etc., are other essential elements that have to be there on your website. Let’s put it this way: your social buttons are the gateways to your final goal. CTA buttons or phrases lead your leads to where you actually want them to be.

Your CTA button has to be somewhere which is easy to find. Moreover, its colour should be a contrasting one to the other parts of your page so that it is easy to notice. Furthermore, choose an appropriate size for it so that is not too small and not too big.

If there are no CTA buttons on your landing page, there is no point for your landing page. In addition, your leads may get frustrated and leave your page because they cannot find an end to their conversion. You do not want that to happen, of course. Therefore, it is necessary for you to add CTA buttons or phrases to your website.

In addition to ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Explore Products’, other instances for a CTA button or phrase can be ‘Download the E-Book Now’, ‘Sign Up for Free’, ‘See Pricing’, ‘Click for More’, ‘Watch Now’, ‘Get the Discount Code’, ‘See All the Services’, etc.

Apple has chosen a simple and easy CTA button to lead its visitors to the page where the new iPhone 12 can be bought:

5. Use Visual Content

The leads that visit your website are not university scholars who are searching for a long article to read. Long texts without visual design and content are not interesting to the eye. Plus, they not only will not read your lengthy texts but also may leave your website because they are not there to read.

Everything, from texts to visuals, should have a clear purpose on your website. Avoid inserting extra content because it increases the risk of distraction. If there are long articles, you can create a blog section on your website and add all your articles there. However, even there, you should include some visuals among the paragraphs to give rest to the eyes of your readers. Visuals can be either pictures or graphs, diagrams, animations, gifs, illustrations, infographics, etc.

If you want to add pictures to your website, you should check if they do not infringe copyright. Moreover, choose the pictures that have a high resolution so that they give a great view of your website. Furthermore, check for the relevance of the pictures to your textual content and do not add every picture that seems interesting to you.

Captivating relevant visual content makes your website visitors want to read your textual content too. Therefore, you need to be careful about your choice of visual content.

6. Check Website Navigation

Website navigation allows your website visitors to move between your pages smoothly and without difficulty. The better your website navigation, the higher your conversion rate becomes. Because there is no frustration caused by the inefficiency of your website navigation.

If your website does not have efficient navigation, it gets hard for your website visitors to quickly and easily find what they want. Therefore, enhancing your website navigation can both mitigate user experience and eliminate the bounce rate.

7. Make Your Website Mobile Responsive

As smartphones have become more advanced, many people nowadays use smartphones and laptops interchangeably. What happens if someone encounters your website and gets lost in the chaos caused by the lack of mobile optimisation of your website? The answer is clear: they will leave your website.

As the use of smartphones has increased magnificently, you will lose a lot of website visitors if your website is not mobile responsive. Therefore, it is necessary to consider all your visitors and predict that they may be using a smartphone. In addition, as you do website testing, you similarly have to do mobile testing to see if everything is working well.

8. Test Your Website

Website testing is a stage that many website owners or IT teams neglect. However, it is a very crucial stage and should not be ignored. If one button does not work or if there are any other possible issues on your website, you will not notice them unless you test your website. Think of all those who should struggle with the bubbles in your website. Think of the number of leads you may lose each day if you do not fix the errors on your website.

Consequently, you will have a loss of revenues without even being aware of the causes. Therefore, ask your IT team to test your website every once in a while so that you do not lose your qualified leads. Your IT team can automate website testing by using tools like A/B tests and multivariate tests. Moreover, your IT team can use heat maps to track the sections in which your website visitors spend a lot of time and see if there are any problems with those sections.

9. Produce Problem Solving Content

The role of content in customer retention is undeniable. The reason why your business needs SEO content is actually unquestionable. The content of your website is one of the factors that determine whether your generated leads want to stay on your website or not. Good and standard content brings more leads to your website. It not only should be optimised by the latest SEO strategies but also should meet the needs and requirements of your audience. In other words, it should be a problem-solving kind of content so that it helps them to some extent.

However, you need to think deeply about what questions your business can answer. Then, write content for each and share them on your blog. The reason is that you cannot contact the audience whom you do not know, therefore, you should provide them on your website and wait for the searches of your audience.

10. Fix 404 Errors

If your business is well-developed and your website is large, there might be some pages there that do not function. These pages welcome their visitors with a 404 error and leave them in confusion. Do you already know if all your pages are working right now? If one of the pages does not work, do you think that your prospecting lead writes to you and report to you on that? Well, wake up and smell the coffee!

It is only you who is responsible for the malfunctioning of your website pages. Your IT team or content team has to constantly check the pages and fix them in case of the existence of an error. In fact, your content team can help you, in this case, a lot because they are using the links as the internal links in their blog posts and they can notice an error.

Technical issues on your website can result in the distrust of your audience. So, if you want your leads to trust you and to become your customer, you have to make your website less inefficient.

Conclusion

Leveraging your website design can bring success to your business. Of course, there are several other ways you can resort to, but the website is the most important property f an online business. You can grow your sales and increase the number of your customers if you follow the tips above. Wish you the best of luck!

Parichehr Parsi - Profile

Posted by: Parichehr Parsi

I am Parichehr Parsi, a born writer, and a freelance copywriter in the fields of travel, fashion, and Instagram marketing. I currently write for Realtormate and online magazines in Italy and I love reading, writing, and researching. Find me on LinkedIn!

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Writing the Perfect Meta Description in WordPress

So, you’re running a WordPress website and hoping to reach the widest possible audience. You want people to learn about you, find you in their Google searches, and connect to you. If that’s the case, we sure hope you’re relying on SEO. And, one of the main additions to your SEO strategy is a strong and effective meta description for each of your pages.

A meta description is that short paragraph of text that appears right under the page title in Google search results. It serves to further inform potential readers about the content of your page. And, if you nail your meta description, you’ll have more people visiting your WordPress website. That’s why we’ll be sharing our top tips on how to write a killer meta description.

Let’s see what you’ll need to know.

1. Summarise the Main Point

Your meta description is supposed to attract your target audience into choosing your page over the competitors’. To do that, you need to show what valuable content you’re offering.

This is why your meta description needs to focus on the main point of your page’s content. That means you have to make your meta description:

  • concise
  • to the point
  • simple

There’s no room for long introductions, poetic metaphors, or irrelevant information. Just tell them what your page is about, and exactly what they can expect in they open it.

In case you need some help with your writing, check out Top Essay Writing or Supreme Dissertations. They’ll be the perfect assistants you need.

2. Keep it Short

When it comes to meta descriptions, less is more. Google won’t display your entire meta description on the results page if it’s too long, which is why you should keep it short.

Most marketers will agree that a meta description should be up to 150 characters long. Still, we’ve got a few more rules we like to follow:

  • open with the most important information to make sure they are displayed
  • make it up to three short sentences long
  • use simple vocabulary and sentence structure

Plan and edit your meta description according to these rules. This way, you’ll be able to get to the point and deliver the strong message you’ve designed.

3. Include the Main Keyword

SEO and meta descriptions go hand in hand. Therefore, make sure to include the main keyword your page is ranking for.

The main keyword needs to be included naturally. Don’t make it sound too robotic or strange.

Here’s an example:

  • your main keyword is “take care of your orchids”
  • the title of the page is “Indoor Orchid Care: 10 Ultimate Tips to Take Care of Your Orchids”
  • your meta description should begin with: “As a beginner orchid owner, you need to learn how to take care of your orchids…”

Include the main keyword since that’s what’s going to signal to potential readers they’re in the right place.

4. Insert a CTA

A call-to-action (CTA) is a short but powerful message that’s supposed to wrap up the main goal of your meta description. It’s there to inspire or motivate the readers to choose your page and get the information they’re looking for.

The best type of CTA for a meta description is as follows:

  • short
  • clear
  • imperative
  • urgent
  • inviting
  • fun

A CTA needs to tell the readers why they need to click your page or what do they get by doing so. If we go back to the orchids example, the CTA could be:

  • Learn how to love your orchids!
  • Check out our ultimate tips!
  • Learn now!

CTAs can be a powerful weapon if you add them to your meta descriptions wisely.

5. Ask Questions

You want to make your meta descriptions almost interactive, and have your readers truly think about what they’re reading.

Questions are a great way to engage them and get them more interested in your page. So, ask them questions that relate to:

  • their pain problems
  • the information they’re looking for
  • their belonging to a certain target group

This will help you convince them that your page is designed especially for them and they should definitely check it out.

Here’s what we have in mind:

  • Are you a huge orchid lover?
  • Do you want to learn how to care for your orchids?
  • Is orchid your favourite flower?

You want them to respond to these questions positively and instantly understand that the page you’re describing is exactly what they’re looking for.

6. Show Brand Personality

As you know, every single word that you write and publish under your brand name counts. That means that even the shortest social media comment you write will contribute to the image that you’re building.

The same goes for meta descriptions.

You want to make them authentic and in alliance with your brand image. So, pay attention to:

  • your tone
  • your voice
  • your writing style
  • the vibrations you’re spreading

It all needs to work together to reflect the image you’re nurturing. Don’t let your meta descriptions stand out from the rest of your content.

7. Match the Page Content

Finally, you don’t ever want to mislead your potential page visitors. If they feel deceived even slightly, they’ll give up on you immediately.

This is why your meta descriptions need to match your WordPress page content 100%.

That means you need to:

  • make a promise
  • keep it

Don’t let your audience expect one thing and receive the complete opposite.

8. Proofread

Yes, you’ve only got two lines of content and it all seems perfect. But, you can never be completely sure about the accuracy unless you proofread.

Make sure to check all your meta descriptions for:

  • grammar
  • spelling
  • punctuation

Use an online proofreading tool such as Grammarly. Also, writing services such as WowGrade or Trust My Paper can help you polish everything to perfection.

Final Thoughts

Meta descriptions might be short and you may feel like there’s not much to talk about. But, we need to beg the differ. Given their importance, you should learn how to write them like a true professional.

Use the tips provided above to write perfect meta descriptions for your WordPress website, every time.

Posted by: Marques Coleman

Marques Coleman is a freelance writer and a blogger with a rich experience and refined skills. He mainly focuses on topics related to digital marketing and content writing. He currently works as a writer at Grab My Essay. He also works as an editor at Classy Essay and Subjecto.

 

 

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Why Your Business Needs SEO in 2020 – 10 Reasons to Invest in SEO

We’ve put together a pros list with essentials tips to understand why your business needs SEO in 2020, whether it’s in the future or just in general.

1. SEO Offers Long-Lasting Results for a Business

SEO is a long-term strategy which will bring you long-term benefits. It has a noticeable impact on your business. You probably heard or maybe you’ve asked yourself this question: “How long will it take me to get ranked #1 for my keywords?”. I’ve seen lots of business owners and companies that start doing search engine optimisation and, after a month or two, they just give up and say “SEO doesn’t work” or “We didn’t get the results we needed to justify the cost.”

If you start a new website, it is important to know that you’ll see results in approximately 6 to 12 months. It might seem a big period of time for some, but if done correctly, it will keep your website on SERP and the results you get can last for years. This can have high SEO importance for small businesses that are struggling to succeed.

If you have had a business for some time, then you know how important it is to keep your portfolio and generate conversions. Having search visibility is a great asset for achieving results. SEO can help you by offering visibility in SERP and afterwards with monetary results, but you have to invest in it – time and money.

There are lots of factors that should be taken into consideration when we think about SEO. You need expertise and a feasible plan to achieve SEO success

SEO is and will be a good investment for an online business, which brings us to the next point.

2. You’ll Receive Impressive ROI

SEO brings a great return on investment if you have a healthy budget and an on-going process. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Budget 6 to 12 months of SEO, otherwise you risk losing money, and you’d better use that budget for something else. Paying for just a few months won’t bring you the results you’re longing about and you’d be like throwing money outside the window.

An investment in SEO is an investment in your business’ future. SEO can bring in about 15 times more clicks than PPC advertising. It is a long-term strategy, as we’ve mentioned before, and it shouldn’t be seen as an immediate way of generating sales. A long-haul plan will bring you a return on investment because SEO is an online marketing strategy with one of the best ROIs.

It might be hard to calculate ROI, but you have lots of analytics you can track and evaluate your goals. Even so, organic SEO is way more powerful than other online marketing tactics, even stronger than paid search ads. SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search.

The results in the first months of using SEO might be awfully small. But after the 6th month, things start to soar. You’d have to wait until the big leads come pouring, and you’ll need SEO for that.

3. Organic Search Is Often Times the Primary Source of Traffic

Organic search is accountable for a huge part of a website traffic source. Lots of studies strengthen the value of organic search and its importance. Around 51% of all website traffic comes from organic search and only 10% from paid search, 5% for social, and 34% of all other sources.

Search visibility is a great asset and Google owns a significantly larger piece of the search market than competitors such as Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, DuckDuckGo, and other more. We all know the importance of a trusted website; a website that everybody likes is always liked by Google. Quality and constant website optimisation will keep the website as a trusted source by Google and be qualified as a good ranking position on the first page of the search engine results.

There are over 40,000 search queries every second on average on Google, which means 3.5 billion searches per day.

4. SEO Can Be Cheaper Than Other Paid Search Strategies

It can be cheap if we take into consideration a 6-month plan. For SEO you need to invest a lot more money in the first phase, compared to other paid advertising methods where you have to pay from month to month if you want to keep receiving traffic on your website.

Paid search marketing, compared to search engine optimisation, has a shorter time for returning conversion, but your business should invest to see results. As long as you keep paying for results, you’ll get them, which in the long term is not so equitable as SEO.

SEO converts more efficiently, SEM has more speed. Search engine marketing includes every form of paid advertising for your business. Lots of people don’t invest in search engine optimisation because it is expensive at first and desire to look for cheaper alternatives that unfortunately don’t have continuity and stability.

SEO has leverage on improving search engine visibility at a cheaper cost than SEM. The first one is a true investment in your business’ future and not a marketing cost.

5. SEO Is Quantifiable

SEO will provide lots of analytics data for your website. The only struggle you’ll encounter is pulling the data yourself and making decisions for improving your results. It might be a little tricky to understand the data and you’ll have to chew on it more before taking any actions. Any good SEO practitioner will start by finding the rotten data from the pile, which shouldn’t be a big challenge.

There are tools that can help you keep track of your website’s performance. Google Search Console provides data regarding pages that have the best performance, mobile issues regarding your content on-site, indexability.

Google Analytics gives all sorts of data regarding your website and third-party apps if connected. You can see information about:

  • your audience: what they like, what they read and so on;
  • traffic sources & other channels of collecting users: different websites, paid ads, paid search, social and more;
  • viewed content and behavioural actions on site: most clicked pages, particular events.

On top of these two tools, you can opt-in for SEO tools, that show lots of other features such as authority pages, competition ranking, linking situation, on-site errors, duplicate content, slow page speed, content marketing gaps, lack of mobile-friendliness and so much more. Mobile traffic has experienced high growth in the last years. You shouldn’t forget about these elements if you want to grow your business.

A proper way to start would be to make a site audit, then look at the traffic that comes your way and check those pages to see if you need to improve them or redirect the link if the content is obsolete. Next on the agenda would be backlinks evaluation and competitive analysis. So start with on-site technicalities, then move to SEO off-site elements.

6. SEO Offers Credibility and Trust to Your Audience

2020 for sure means trust and credibility more than ever, with the latest migration to HTTPS. That means the goal of SEO should be to build trust and credibility to Google, to the user. User experience and SEO together mean business success. In the old days of SEO, it was simpler to rank by taking all sort of shortcuts. Now, the internet user plays one of the most important roles. You need to know your target audiences very well and to fuel their appeal for your brand to build authority. That way you’ll have the opportunity to quantify your marketing efforts.

Everybody wants traffic, trust, and credibility, but few people really know that UX is involved in this process. If you gain trust and credibility, your website will earn authority, but authority doesn’t come easy. And for that, you need to offer valuable information, have a clean and easy-to-use website. It takes time, patience, effort to make your audience trust your brand and the content you provide. Every business growth needs UX in their lead generation strategy.

Website design such as easy navigation and intuitive site structure are a starting point for creating user-friendly websites. It is very important to have relevant content and description for each section of your menu and every page that you have. Speak the language of the user and don’t try to change the wheel on the natural funnel process otherwise, the user will feel disoriented.

Effective SEO relies on three pillars: authority, relevance and trust. Google has something called the Trust Factor, which is a combination of lots of factors that calculate how trustful a site is. The more trustful a site is, the more likely articles will be ranked higher on Google. A website is considered to be less trustful because it has harmful and/or has low-quality content.

If you want to see how trusted your website is, there are tools that can tell you on a scale from 0 to 100. For example, Majestic Trust Flow is such a metric which is weighted by the number of clicks from a seed set of trusted sites to a given URL, or Domain.

7. Voice Search Keeps Growing and You Need Higher Visibility in Search

Voice search has increased tremendously in the last few years. Even studies showed that. Mary Meeker’ annual Internet Trends report shows that voice search queries are now 35 times larger than they were in 2008 (when voice search was launched).

There’s no doubt that voice search has had accelerated growth and will become even bigger in 2020. Lots of brands developed voice search technologies for assistant apps that listen to the user and give audio results based on their queries.

SoundHound, an audio and speech recognition company has found 4 categories of voice search queries:

  • Personal assistant: that includes to-do lists, scheduled meetings and all sorts of events, texting, calling on the phone plus other day-to-day activities.
  • Fun and entertainment: buying and listening to music, searching movies, TV series and similar actions.
  • General information: web search, news, publications, and similar media.
  • Local information: searching for restaurants, hotels, and places near-by, traffic jams.

You need to make your audience more aware of your brand and make them hear about you more often. It will help you by raising your brand awareness and get further benefits such as authority, traffic, revenue. When implementing SEO is very important to know your users, to connect with them and make them recognise you by the particularity that you have. This way you’ll be memorable and breed brand recall, so you get more customers to stick with your brand. You need to make them always look and search for you.

8. You Can Push Your Audience Down the Funnel With the Right Type of Content

SEO starts right at TOFU, which is not food. It means the top of the funnel. You might make a correlation with food, and think of it as an appetiser. Because SEO is in the first league, where your audience is. You have to attract a large portion of users right from the start, and then push them down the funnel through the middle of the funnel (MOFU) and bottom of the funnel (BOFU) by using other techniques.

In the first phase of the buying cycle, the user lands on our page and you have to maintain them thereby offering valuable content and useful information. So the process of search optimisation starts with keyword research, understanding your audience, learning their language. There are other technical SEO elements that should be taken into consideration, such as high loading speed, high quality and lossless images, mobile-friendly website, un-broken pages and so on.

9. You Can Get More Customers and More Traffic with Local SEO

If we’re talking about the reasons why you need to invest in SEO, then local optimisation should be on the list. Due to the increase of mobile searches and voice searches, local SEO has started to dominate the SEO trends. Now, it became mandatory for every online business.

Searching for any business location on maps helps the user have more trust and knowledge of your business. It can get to you faster and receive recognition through reviews.

Google My Business is a great way to start your local search engine optimisation process. There you can add NAP (name, address, phone) information and you can connect your website, link a social account, add pictures and a lot more.

For example, you have a restaurant near the stadium in Madrid and one of your customers is visiting the stadium and afterwards decides to eat. Then they look for a place that they like nearby him and end up in your restaurant.

You can use local optimisation for your blog and search for local keywords to include in your articles and also to boost your rankings by targeting top positions in Google. If you are targeting for a specific location, then use the Keyword Tool and Content Assistant, which is very simple and easy. For example, if you are targeting real estate school and your business location is Chicago there are two situations:

  • If you want to target only the people from Chicago or who are in Chicago, my recommendation would be to choose the “real estate school” and set the local tracking.
  • In case you want to target other cities besides Chicago, you should choose the option to track “real estate school in Chicago” so you’ll see all the searches made from other cities.

10. You Can Get New Opportunities for Your Business

High-quality SEO can bring you lots of possibilities for building a better business and a bigger brand. Not only will you improve your business, but you’ll also make it sparkle.

When people understand your brand due to a quality search engine optimisation process then you reached a new phase in your business growth. If you have a well-known brand, people will search for you, share your content, ask for guest-post and contact you for collaborations. It can become a love mark, a concept that is used when brand loyalty goes beyond reason. And to create a love mark you need great stories that trigger sensorial effects which goes beyond the monitor. It is also important to demonstrate commitment and empathy to the audience.

Conclusion

SEO is an important part of any inbound marketing plan because it helps people find (then share) your content. A business should invest in SEO to get the desired results.

Implementing quality SEO has lots of benefits for your business, no matter how big or small it is. It will always be beneficial to make the most of your SEO and increase the opportunities to grow. Comparing to other paid search tactics, SEO has the guarantee of a long-term relationship. You’ll invest, and get the results for a more extended period. You don’t have to pump money to keep it going. If done correctly, it will go on by itself.

For some further reading, you can research How To Develop a Profitable Digital Marketing Sales Funnel.

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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3 Best LMS Plugins

Online courses have been growing in popularity, particularly now that it’s practically impossible to organise offline classes due to the social distancing regulations.

According to forecasts, the global e-learning market is expected to reach $238 billion by 2024, which means that we’re talking about a very lucrative industry.

Regardless of what your field of expertise is, you can easily transform your WordPress website into an online learning platform or a virtual classroom and offer your courses to people globally.

What you need is a learning management system (LMS) plugin, and voila! You can run your own version of Udemy or Treehouse without having to write code or build an entirely new website and start making money.

Here are some of the best LMS plugins that you should consider using.

What to Look for in an LMS Plugin?

A learning management system comes with several different features that allow you to create an online class setting. With an LMS plugin, you’ll be able to create and share classes, manage them, handle the paperwork, enrol students, and use tests and quizzes to evaluate your students’ knowledge.

To make sure that your e-learning website is effective and successful, pick an LMS plugin that offers the following functionalities:

  • Course building. Having a decent course page builder as well as tools for uploading various kinds of content such as PDFs, videos, or links, is very important.
  • Course progress information. This is important so that your students can see how well they’re progressing and stay motivated.
  • Student enrollment and management. With this functionality, you’ll be able to see how many students are there in your courses and collect payments from them.
  • Content dripping. This is a useful option that will slowly reveal the course materials as your students are progressing.
  • Homework options. Make it easy for your students to submit their homework, and for you to grade it.
  • Gamification. Offer your students incentives in the form of badges and certificates when they complete a task successfully or after the course is finished. Gamification plays an important role in making your students feel good about themselves and their accomplishments.

1. LearnDash

LearnDash is a popular online learning plugin – many universities and Fortune 500 companies use it thanks to its speed, powerful features, and professional-looking course design.

If you choose it, you’ll have more than just a basic set of features, meaning that you’ll have everything you need for selling courses, dripping content, gamification, and rewarding students, as well as action-based triggers.

It’s optimised for mobile, which means that learners will be able to attend your courses while on the go.

This plugin comes with a simple drag-and-drop functionality with which you can create multi-tiered courses together with lessons, quizzes, topics, and categories.

You can deliver all lessons at once, or you can use its drip-feed feature to schedule it for the entire duration of your course. Besides that, with this feature, you can also ensure that every learner spends the same amount of time on each lesson.

Other features include great monetisation tools, detailed reporting, support for different media types, and an option for running LearnDash on a network.

When it comes to pricing, you should know that there’s no free trial, although you can cancel your subscription after 30 days. You can have LearnDash for $159 a year for a single license together with support and all features.

2. LearnPress

This plugin is free, but to make the most of it, you’ll have to invest in some paid add-ons that will expand its functionalities.

Since there’s no set-up wizard, you’ll have to install and set it up on your own.

You can easily create a course together with lessons, quizzes, and questions. It’s worth mentioning that you can use the lessons and quizzes from one course into another, as well as that you can export your content and use it on another LearnPass-powered WordPress website.

LearnPress is a great option if you’re offering a course taught by multiple instructors. This can be useful for companies building courses for onboarding and training their employees, as these usually require different trainers for different fields.

When we’re talking about business training, the success of the entire effort depends on using business intelligence and data to scale training operations and aligning training metrics to key organisational objectives.

This plugin also supports the content drip option, assignments, quizzes, grading, and other standard learning features. It also integrates with WooCommerce and WordPress membership plugins.

You can use a WordPress theme, but to avoid compatibility issues and provide a better user experience, it’s best to purchase a dedicated LearnPress theme. Also, you’ll have to invest in a payment gateway integration, because by default, this plugin comes with PayPal as the only option.

3. Lifter LMS

Lifter LMS is a plugin that’s pretty easy to install, even on the existing WordPress websites.

Although its pricing starts at $299 annually, it does offer a full bundle for that amount. If you’d like to test it before committing to pay the full price, there’s a $1 30-day trial. However, it’s important to mention that the core plugin is free so that you can also choose to purchase individual add-ons at $99 each. In other words, you can choose to build a very simple e-learning course for free and invest only in a payment gateway plugin.

What you’ll get is support for multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, topics, categories, and more. All this allows you to create both shorter courses as well as the entire degree programs. With the help of this plugin, you can make appealing courses with lots of multimedia content such as videos, audio recordings, text, and images. Besides that, there’s also a graphics pack with different backgrounds that you can use to make your courses more attractive.

The content-dripping feature allows you to control the delivery of your courses, while the import-export tool means that you can move your content between sites.

Another interesting feature is the so-called Social Learning, which allows your learners to create advanced profiles and learn together by leveraging a timeline similar to that of Facebook.

Regardless of which one of these three LMS plugins you choose, you can’t go wrong. It only depends on what kind of features fit the bill for your online courses, as well as the size of your budget.

Posted by: Michael – Qeedle

Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.

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How to Use Cloudflare Firewall Rules to Protect Your WordPress Website

In this article, we are going to explain how you can protect your WordPress website or any website for that matter using Cloudflare Firewall Rules.

What is Cloudflare Firewall Rules?

Cloudflare Firewall Rules is a firewall offered by Cloudflare which is a powerful and flexible security tool to filter website traffic.

Cloudflare Firewall Rules is available for all Cloudflare plans; the free plan can have up to 5 active Firewall Rules.

A Firewall Rule is made up of two parts:

  • Matching: A defined filter that runs and match your traffic for a string or pattern
  • Action: the action perform on the matched traffic (block, challenge, captcha, allow)

You can also order the firewall rules to override the default sequence which is based on the rule’s action.

Firewall Rules: Matching

Firstly, we have ‘Matching’. With this, you can match traffic to the HTTP request which includes options such as country, hostname, IP Address, URI, referrer, known bots, threat score and various other options.

Known bots (cf.client.bot) is a Cloudflare defined list of known good bots, which includes bots from Google, Apple, Bing, Linkedin, Pingdom, and Yahoo. You are recommended to add cf.client.bot in an Allowed rule to avoid blocking good crawlers which could affect your SEO and monitoring.

Cloudflare also has it’s own algorithm to calculate an IP Addresses reputation and assigns a value of the threat score which ranges from 0 to 100. This is used for Security Level settings under the Firewall which works as follows:

  • High – for scores greater than 0
  • Medium – for scores greater than 14
  • Low – for scores greater than 24
  • Essentially Off – for scores greater than 49

Regular Expression matching is supported for Cloudflare Business and Enterprise plans.

Firewall Rules: Action

With this, you can set to perform an action to filter matched traffic.

  • Block: the traffic is blocked to reach your web application.
  • JS Challenge: JavaScript challenge. Visitors do not have JavaScript support (mostly bots) will be blocked.
  • Challenge (Captcha): Visitor is required to pass a captcha challenge to allow access.

Allow: Traffic is allowed to reach your web application.

Accessing Cloudflare’s Firewall Rules

Through the dashboard, you can set up all your desired rules, to do this, follow these steps:

  • Login your Cloudflare dashboard
  • Select the domain name you want to configure Firewall Rules
  • Click Firewall from the tools at the top
  • Click Firewall Rules
  • Create a new Firewall Rule
  • Search and filter the list of existing rules
  • See a list of existing rules (active and paused)
  • Activate or pause rules (turn on or off)
  • Edit a rule
  • Delete a rule

Here are some page rules you can use to protect your Website

Block certain Countries from visiting your website

Expression Editor:


(ip.geoip.country eq "RU") or (ip.geoip.country eq "HK")

In our example, we are going to block Russia and Hong Kong. You can add as many countries as you wish and then click the ‘OR’ button to add additional countries. You could for example block all countries except the United States for example, in which case we would just change the operator to does not equal and then set United States as the value.

WordPress Security

Expression Editor:


((http.request.uri.path contains "/xmlrpc.php") or (http.request.uri.path contains "/wp-login.php") or (http.request.uri.path contains "/wp-admin/" and not http.request.uri.path contains "/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php" and not http.request.uri.path contains " /wp-admin/theme-editor.php"))

This Firewall Rule will challenge all visitors that try to access WordPress xmlrpc.php, wp-login.php, and /wp-admin (except admin-ajax.php and theme-editor.php). A simple rule like this could block most hack attempts to your WordPress website.

Block bad spam bots using Expression Editor

Expression Editor:


((http.request.uri.path contains "/xmlrpc.php") or (http.request.uri.path contains "/wp-login.php") or (http.request.uri.path contains "/wp-admin/" and not http.request.uri.path contains "/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php" and not http.request.uri.path contains " /wp-admin/theme-editor.php"))

This will create a long list of bots to block. It will block any non-known good bots traffic with a user agent that contain strings such as ‘crawl’, ‘bot’, ‘spider’, and a few other user agents.

Here we add the Firewall rule using the Expression Editor as shown above.

To do this, follow these steps:

  • Click Create a Firewall Rule
  • Give a Rule Name
  • Click Edit expression
  • Copy & Paste the expression into the text area
  • Select Block action
  • Click Deploy to activate the Firewall rule

Block and Challenge users with a certain Threat Score

We mentioned about threat score before, what we can do here is add a rule to challenge users with a threat score (let’s say above 10). Then we can block users with a threat score above 20 for example.

To do this, we would have to create two different rules as shown below. Firstly, we will create the rule to challenge users with a threat score of equal or greater than 10:

Expression Editor:


(cf.threat_score ge 10)

Secondly, we will block users with a threat score of greater than or equal to 20:


(cf.threat_score ge 20)

Checking your Cloudflare Firewall Rules

You can check your Firewall Rules by going to the Firewall Event Log (Firewall > Events), which will list the firewall events (allow, challenge, block) and their details.

Take note on the challenged and blocked events. You do not want to mistakenly block good traffic because of a wrongly configured Firewall rule.

Conclusion

From this, we have learned what a CloudFlare Firewall Rule is and how to configure it to filter traffic and protect your website. We have also gone through how the Expression Editor works for writing more complex firewall rules.

We sure hope you have found this tutorial useful. If you have any further suggestions for Firewall Rules, do let us know. If you need any assistance with this then get in touch by dropping a comment below.

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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Should you choose a freelance team over a digital agency?

If you are a project manager, or you are responsible for finding talent for the company that you work for, you may be tempted to turn to large digital agencies for your project. Sometimes, though, it makes more sense to choose a freelance team over a digital agency.

Looking to a large agency is a perfectly natural response and it does make a certain amount of sense: established reputation, larger teams to work on your project, etc.

The trouble is that the two reliability signals mentioned above are largely perception based. Reviews can be faked, for example, leading to false signals in terms of reliability and professionalism. When choosing a freelance team over a digital agency, you are more likely to head for a freelance network such as PeoplePerHour.

Reputation signals here, such as reviews and ranking, are near impossible to spoof which makes them much more reliable and trustworthy. If the numbers say a freelance team is of very high quality, you can take that to the bank.

Of course, an established reputation is not the only consideration.

Cost versus quality when you choose a freelance team over a digital agency

Contrary to popular belief, the cost does not always reflect quality. For professional freelance teams, the quality is always going to be on a par with their much more expensive digital agency counterparts. In fact, very often, the quality coming out of a freelance studio is even better.

It may well seem like the opposite would be true, but let’s take a closer look at this. Agencies have lots of staff, in terms of the creatives and the behind-the-scenes staff that keep everything else ticking over.

All of this is very expensive, as you can imagine, and this isn’t taking other running costs into consideration either. Things like office space for all those people, equipment, IT departments, exorbitant advertising costs to stay ahead of other agencies… it’s a very expensive business.

This, of course, is reflected in the cost to the purchaser, the client, but in order to keep even those rates down, so they actually sell services, to begin with, they have to do something else too.

Digital agencies are under immense pressure to make sales, keep the revenue coming in and keep the business going. To this end, each creative department is under a massive workload weight. With strict output targets to meet, so they serve as many clients as possible, quality is obviously going to suffer.

In the instances where quality is maintained, there is going to be other areas that are lacking: delivery times, customer support, query responses, time taken for edits to be performed… everything is affected when companies put staff under undue pressure.

Why choose a freelance team over a digital agency? What’s the difference, surely freelance teams are under similar pressure to stay afloat? Not so. Let me explain.

Freelance teams are often the better option

A bold claim, right? Maybe, but it’s entirely justified. Depending on your actual needs, you may be much better off if you choose a freelance team over a digital agency. Here are just a few reasons why that statement is true.

Freelance teams are cost-effective

Because freelance teams have much lower overheads (they rarely have multi-user studios, with members of their team often working remotely) there is much less pressure on them to stack clients like an air traffic controller in order to pay their bills. In fact, a freelance team can take fewer clients at one time and still meet financial requirements.

What does all of this add up to? The quality of work that is produced remains the same, and very often it is actually increased as pressure is reduced, but the cost of the creative work is brought down and sometimes dramatically.

Cost does not equal quality, and freelance teams have been proving exactly that for years.

You know exactly who is working on your project

When deciding whether you should choose a freelance team over a digital agency, you need to decide how much you value accountability. Sure, the agency as a whole takes ultimate responsibility but are you entirely comfortable not knowing who did what, why and when?

Agencies are pretty well known for their inherent lack of transparency, which is not something many companies are comfortable with.

With a freelance team of creatives, you always know who is working on what, as teams are usually comprised of people with very specific skillsets and the teams are, by their very nature, quite small. Many freelance teams will also brief you on who will be working on which part of the project for you.

All of this helps to instil a level of trust that just isn’t possible with a digital agency.

Freelance teams are heavily invested in your success

A freelance team wants your business to succeed… Scratch that, they need your business to succeed. If their own business is to survive, they need to be sure that they do the very best possible job for you. A customer that is dissatisfied is very likely a customer that they will never see again. Worse, they could actively damage overall reputation.

Freelance teams are by nature heavily invested in the success of their customer’s business, particularly where the work they have done has a direct influence on their success or failure. It’s because of this, above all other reasons, that the question “should you choose a freelance team over a digital agency” stops being a question.

A digital agency, unless they are totally useless, will survive a customer’s failed project or business. A freelance team has much more to lose, so you can be sure they are going to put every effort into making sure your project is everything that it can be.

Digital agencies are not usually as responsive as freelance teams

Digital agencies typically only operate between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, sometimes a little later but not usually. Outside of these hours, they are not normally contactable, so if you need to get in touch with them regarding your project you will almost always have to wait until the next business day.

Many freelance teams are comprised of creatives in several different countries. Silva Web Designs, for example, has freelancers in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Portugal. What these varied time zones mean for our clients is that we are contactable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Ask yourself “how quickly do I need an answer to something that is time-critical?”.

The answer is pretty obvious, but if you are responsible as to the answer is pretty obvious, but if you are responsible as to whether or not your company is to choose a freelance team over a digital agency then you should know that freelancers are much more responsive. Their business depends on it, and if yours does too then you already have the answer to the overall question… you choose the freelance team. whether or not your company is to choose a freelance team over a digital agency then you should know that freelancers are much more responsive. Their business depends on it, and if yours does too then you already have the answer to the overall question… you choose the freelance team.

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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The 8 Best Cloudflare Page Rules For Any WordPress Site

If you are looking to add the best Cloudflare page rules for your WordPress website, then you are in the right place!

What these page rules will do are:

  • Save Bandwidth
  • Improve Security
  • Bypass WordPress Admin Caching
  • Prevent Spam Bots Collecting Email Addresses
  • and much more!

Do note, however, that Cloudflare free accounts only give you three different page rules, we will list the priority ones first in this tutorial.

As well as Page Rules though, don’t forget to configure the other settings in your Cloudflare dashboard and to use Firewalls rules to block bots from hitting your site excessively and consuming resources.

Rule 1. Secure the WordPress Admin and Bypass Cache

In your WordPress Admin Dashboard, you should have a few settings which we can combine in a single page rule. What we will do he is; set the security level to high and bypass Cloudflare’s cache (as there is no need to cache the admin area). We should also disable Cloudflare apps and performance features (such as minify, Rocket Loader, Mirage, Polish, etc…). We only want to speed these things up on the frontend, which is why we are disabling this in the admin backend.

So, for your page URL, you should use this:


yourwebsite.com/wp-admin*

Your page rules will end up looking like this:

2. Decrease Bandwidth Of WP Uploads

So, WordPress upload files do not change very often, there isn’t really a need to have to cache them as often which saves a lot of bandwidth. We can achieve this by setting Edge Cache TTL to a month. If you need to update certain files or directories before a month; you can always purge the cache for individual files within Cloudflare.

We are also going to be setting the browser cache TTL is set to a day. This sets the expiration time for resources cached in a visitor’s browser, an item often shown in GTmetrix.

So with these rules, your page URL would become:


yourwebsite.com/wp-content/uploads*

With your page rules looking something like this:

3. Stop Bots From Collecting Your Email

What this page rule will do is hide your email address from bots (so they don’t get used to spam you). The email address will still be fully visible within your website to humans though. The general rule here is enabling email obfuscation on any page that contains your email address which will, in turn, prevent your spam. You can also turn it on globally in Cloudflare’s Scrape Shield settings and then change this to be on any page.

Let’s say you only have a visible email address on the contact page, then we can simply add this page rule URL:


yourwebsite.com/contact

And your page rule settings would look as follows:

4. Don’t Cache Preview Pages

This simply will bypass Cloudflare’s cache if it’s in a preview page of a page or post. This helps especially when updating a live website, on a preview page you don’t want to see a cached version when performing updates right?

Page URL:

<code class="language-HTML">
yourwebsite.com/*preview=true*
<code>

And your page rule settings would look as follows:

5. Forward XMLRPC URLs

What this page rule will do is significantly improve the security of hackers using XMLRPC for their attacks. This forwards requests from your xmlrpc.php file to any URL on your site, i.e. your homepage.

Your Page URL will become:


yourwebsite.com/xmlrpc.php*

And your page rule settings will look as follows:

6. Make Important Pages Always Online

As it says, Always Online will keep your most important pages online if your server goes down and can be turned on for the most important pages of your website. As an example, this could be your homepage, contact page, portfolio page and so on...). So what this does is that if anything was to happen to your WordPress website, your most important pages will remain visible.

To do this, set your Page URL to:


yourwebsite.com/url-of-important-page

Then your page rules will look like this:

7. eCommerce Sites And Dynamic Content Using AJAX

eCommerce websites include dynamic content (which shouldn't be cached) but you still want to cache everything else. A good solution is to cache the entire page, but bypass the cache for dynamic (eCommerce) elements like AJAX requests. To achieve this, it requires using 2 separate page rules.

The first-page rule bypasses cache for AJAX requests:


yourwebsite.com/ajax*

This will result in something as per the below:

The second rule we will be adding caches everything else. When ordering page rules, make sure the AJAX rule is before the Cache Everything rule. In other words, this page rule should be ordered last.


yourwebsite.com/*

Which will result in the below:

8. A Rule to Force HTTPS connections

This forces all visitors to connect to your website through HTTPS. This means that all visits through HTTP will redirect to the HTTPS version.

This can be added as follows:


http://*yourwebsite.com/*

The page rules will look as follows:

However, since there is already an option, you can simply enable this in your Cloudflare dashboard under SSL/TLS → Edge Certificates → Always Use HTTPS. This saves you from having to use one of your 3-page rules which is why we mentioned this one last.

Conclusion

So there you have it, you now know which Cloudflare page rules to implement on your WordPress website. In the beginning, we said that the first three page rules were the most important. However, this depends on the type of website that you have, so essentially, not every site is going to have the same page rule settings which are quite evident when it comes to whether you have a standalone blog WordPress website or an eCommerce website.

This should give you a general idea of what you should be adding and how your website can be optimised with Cloudflare. If you've not used Cloudflare and want to know the benefits it can provide to your website, we would recommend reading this post: 4 Reasons to Use a CDN for WordPress

Remember though, in this tutorial, we have only gone through the Page Rules we can use to optimise your WordPress website, there are other rules in which we are going to list below:

Additional Cloudflare Tweaks To Improve WordPress Speed

Rocket Loader is a great additional to improve page speed. However, if you are using WP Rocket plugin, then it might not be beneficial to use this setting. What we would test this with GTMetrix and compare the statistics with both options (enabled/disabled).

If you have upgraded to Railgun, then this makes sure requests that cannot be served from Cloudflare's cache are still fast.

Hotlink Protection prevents people from copying/pasting images from your website to theirs (possibly resulting in bandwidth savings). Especially helpful for sites using high quality images or people who want to protect the images on their website.

What about if I'm using WP Rocket? What should I do then?

If you are using WP Rocket's amazing caching plugin, then you can add your Cloudflare credentials within the settings:

  • Global API key is found in your Cloudflare profile
  • Account email should be same email used in Cloudflare
  • Zone ID is found on the 'Overview' tab of your dashboard

Optimal Settings allows WP Rocket to configure your Cloudflare settings for better compatibility with their plugin. However, it also turns on email obfuscation (resulting in a GTmetrix error on every page) and disables Rocket Loader which may be useful for your site.

Fortunately, WP Rocket has recommendations for configuring Cloudflare such as:

  • Set Caching Level to 'Standard'.
  • Enable Auto Minify for JavaScript, CSS and HTML.
  • Disable Rocket Loader to prevent conflicts.
  • Set Browser Cache Expiration to '1 year'.

What do these Page Rules Terms mean?

  • Always Online - This means keeping a limited version of your site online if your server was to go down for any reason. This is usually used for your most important pages (eg. homepage, shop, contact page, etc...).
  • Browser Integrity Check - This attempts to deny spammers from accessing your website and challenges visitors with a suspicious user agent commonly used by abusive bots.
  • Browser Cache TTL - This time Cloudflare instructs a visitor's browser to cache a resource. You can increase this for pages that aren't updated frequently to save on bandwidth.
  • Disable Performance - This turns off auto minify, Rocket Loader, Mirage, and Polish. These are great to speed up pages, but they should be disabled for your WordPress Admin area.
  • Edge Cache TTL - This time Cloudflare's edge servers cache a resource before going to the origin server for a fresh copy. You can also increase this for pages not updated frequently.
  • Email Obfuscation - This prevents spam by hiding your email address to bots while remaining visible to visitors. You would only use this if your email address is publically displayed on your website
  • Enabling this on the contact page (and other pages showing your email) can help prevent spam.
  • Security Level - By using this, Cloudflare assigns IP addresses a threat score of 0-100. Page rules can be created to assign high security to WordPress admin and sensitive areas of your site.
  • Cache Level - The amount of caching done by Cloudflare ('everything' is most aggressive option for this).
  • Asterik (*) - This is used in page rule URLs to match certain parameters. For example, if I used silvawebdesigns.com/wp-admin* as my URL, then I set the security level to high, that means all URLs with that contain anything with /wp-admin/ would have a high security level.

Do you have any questions?

Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the setup of Cloudflare.

What do asterisks do in page rules?
Asterisks serve as a wild card when using a URL in the page rule. For example, yourwebsite.com* would include any URL variation that comes after the asterisk. If you use *yourwebsite.com* as an example, this would include anything before or after, in this scenario, it would also include sub-domains.

What is best Page Rule for the WP Admin?
The WordPress Admin should have a page rule that enforces a high-security level, bypasses Cloudflare's cache, and disables apps + performance features in the admin area. Since WordPress security isn't the greatest since it's so commonly used these days, this would be one of the main priorities of our website.

How can page rules improve speed?
What Page Rules will do is help with decreasing the bandwidth used by the WP Upload area, set a higher Edge Cache TTL and it will cache any dynamic content with the right page rules. On the other hand, if you are looking to simply improve your page speed results (i.e. GTMetrix), configuring Cloudflare's speed tab in the options dashboard is the way forward.

How can page rules improve security?
With Page Rules, this can force SSL, forward XMLRPC URL requests, and lets you use email obfuscation (to prevent spam bots from collecting your email) on single pages without having to worry about an email-decode error showing up in GTmetrix for your entire site.

How many page rules can I have?
You can add up to 3-page rules on Cloudflare's free plan, it will then cost you $5/month for 5 more rules. You can find out more about Cloudflare's pricing if you do wish to upgrade here.


And that finally wraps everything up! If you have any questions about these page rules then don't hesitate to get in touch, we'd love to help you. If you have any better implementations, then we are all ears, let us know.

Drop us a comment below if this has helped and as always; thanks for reading! 🙂

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well of many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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5 Ways How to Increase Organic Traffic Without Link Building

Link building is one of the most popular ways web owners use to rank their website on the SERPs. It’s also one of the fastest ways to bring Google’s penalty hammer down on your website.

Well, if link building is an effective organic SEO strategy, why ban people from doing it? And if it’s frowned upon by Google and other search engines, why do site owners still risk it? The answer to this has been shrouded in shades of grey for a long time.

Firstly, the problem with backlinking isn’t the act of linking itself; it’s the intent behind it. Websites that have a few links to their web pages from authoritative websites have a good thing going. However, too many web owners take it too far and try to drown their websites in links from unreputable sites, most of them paid for.

Of course, we get the drive; everyone wants to earn wealth and live an improved lifestyle. However, using shady backlinking practices to boost your site’s traffic and, potentially, revenue, is almost guaranteed to end in tears.

Buying backlinks is a massive risk, and it’s only a matter of time before Google’s algorithm fishes out your site. And you can be sure they will, and when they do, there’s no coming back. The introduction of ‘no-follow’ links was a response to spam links; these link types tell websites not to pass on their reputation or vote of confidence to the sites linking to them. Still, no-follow and do-follow links can be useful if you know how to use them, but that’s not the reason for this post.

The truth is that links are still a huge ranking factor for websites even though search engines see most of it as an SEO guideline violation. Thankfully, there are a ton of other ways to boost organic traffic to your website.

You could be building a POD platform like Teespring, an authority blog like Neil Patel, an essay writing service review outfit like Online Writers Rating, etc. Whatever the case, if you’re thinking of how to increase organic traffic, the strategies on this list will prove incredibly useful for you if you do them right.

Focus on researching and putting viral content.

There’s regular content, and there’s viral content. This doesn’t mean that regular content is terrible by any means; however, viral content, by definition, is the kind of content that “breaks the internet” and pulls waves of traffic to your website.

While almost anyone can write and publish regular blog posts, creating viral content is an art form. It takes a higher level of writing and research skills to put out such content successfully. Thankfully, there are few reliable resources online to help with that.

Authority resources like Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and many more have a ton of posts to guide you in writing articles that will go viral. Virality, beyond the writing and research, has to also do with having your finger on the pulse of trends, as they are more likely to go viral.

Another resource for gleaning viral trends is Buzzsumo. It is an established idea generator for insight into trends and trend-worthy article ideas. YouTube is also another great idea generator. You will come across many videos that inspire you about stuff that hasn’t been written about yet, or at least not exhaustively. Develop those and watch your organic traffic grow.

Long-tail keywords are your friend.

Can you make a guess how many people are trying to get traffic with “digital marketing,” “hair care,” “credit cards,” and more? Probably a lot more than you think. There’s just one problem; they’re all doing the wrong thing.

These keywords are generic and very likely oversaturated. Plus, they have no intent behind them anyway. However, imagine instead of trying to rank for “what are credit cards?” you build content around “what are the best no-fee credit cards in Ontario?” Do you see the difference? The latter keyword is a long-tail example and is something people are searching for. Everyone already knows what a credit card is, so no one is searching for the first keyword—unless they’re from another planet, which is just as unlikely.

Long-tail keywords typically have sizeable search volumes that grow with time, so it makes sense to use them to boost organic traffic. Just bear in mind, though, that ranking for long-tail keywords is almost always a long-term tactic. You’re almost guaranteed to see no impact on your traffic in the first few months. But if you’re patient, the results typically start to come in at the six-month mark and beyond, and it can affect your website traffic rankings significantly.

Don’t search for keywords. Search for questions.

Technically, they’re the same thing. However, when most people make a search engine query, they usually phrase them as questions. Quick usage of Google’s autocomplete feature will prove this assertion. What’s more? These are usually long-tail keywords, which means the competition and traffic potential is relatively low and high, respectively.

So how to get traffic to your website using these questions? You’d have to find them first, and besides Google’s autocomplete, places like Quora are a good place to start your search. A quick tip: if you find a Wikipedia page as a top result, the chances are that you may have a shot at the keyword in question. Wikipedia typically doesn’t employ too many backlinks, so showing up as a top result points to the fact that you may be able to rank for the same keyword without risky backlinking practices.

Tools like Moz are also great at sniffing out a page’s domain and page authority. You can use it to analyse the top five results to understand your chances for ranking for any given keyword better.

Niche topics are amazing.

There was a time before Google Panda when crash and burn website experts were raking in the big bucks. All they had to do was create a website and stuff it full of hundreds of pages talking about the exact same niche topic. Thankfully, those days are gone, and Google’s algorithm has prioritised content quality.

Still, this doesn’t negate the usefulness of niche topics. There are so many untapped or undersaturated niches out there that are just waiting to be discovered and optimised. Niche topic sites include gun blogs, health blogs, writing recommendation blogs like Best Writers Online, gaming blogs, gardening blogs, and more. Almost anything could be a niche topic.

So look out for niches that have relatively little competition, and you should be able to create content that will rank for said niche easily.

Look out for markets beyond your geographic location.

Don’t forget; the world is a global village. Just because you live in the United States does not mean you should only target US traffic. Consider creating content for a more global audience. Content marketing is relatively still unpopular in many parts of the world, keyword saturation is still a myth, and many of the practices circa Google Panda still work in these places.

The beautiful thing is that content for these regions can blow up nicely and boost your organic traffic without you needing to build a single backlink.

Final Words

Hopefully, you can see now that how to get traffic to your website isn’t always about link building. The strategies in this post are wonderful to get a superior rankings to boost that will, in turn, grow your organic traffic, risk-free.

Melissa Mauro is a self-improvement author who is always interested in new projects. She wants to create her own writer brand, that’s why Melissa is looking for fresh platforms for the implementation of her ideas. Creativity and unique style make it possible to deliver valuable and engaging content to her ideal reader.

Posted by: Melissa Mauro

Melissa Mauro is a self-improvement author who is always interested in new projects. She wants to create her own writer brand, that’s why Melissa is looking for fresh platforms for the implementation of her ideas. Creativity and unique style make it possible to deliver valuable and engaging content to her ideal reader.

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