Category: Marketing

10 Free MailChimp WordPress Plugins

Many site owners consider their email lists as the most important assets they own. Even if you wouldn’t go quite to that extent, as a savvy site owner, you know that the money is in the list. In other words, the more high quality email subscribers you have, the greater an income you can generate through your online business – and these free MailChimp WordPress plugins are a great place to start.

There are a number of great email subscription providers available online, but this post will focus on MailChimp – a widely used email marketing tool with solid features to help build, grow, and maintain a mailing list for your site. It’s free for lists up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month; beyond that, MailChimp offers subscription plans that grow with your business.

Setup is easy and with a WordPress website, activating MailChimp plugins can increase the number of email opt-ins received daily. With that in mind, in this article we’ve listed the best free WordPress MailChimp plugins that will enable you to grow your email list. Let’s get cracking!

1. MailOptin Popup with MailChimp Integration

First up, MailOptin is a lead generation plugin that integrates seamlessly with MailChimp. The free Lite version of the plugin offers you tons of options to convince readers to signup for your MailChimp powered newsletter. Add a popup, sidebar widget or a before/after post style form. Or you can even target specific posts and pages with the page level targeting.

MailOptin Campaign Builder

With MailOptin there is a a built-in campaign builder that makes it easy to create your optin forms. Choose your design, customize the headline, add fields and of course select an email provider and list. You can also choose a form completion action, such as close form and reload page or redirect to a custom URL

Or you can upgrade to MailOptin premium plan to add lead generation features, email automation and even newsletters. With these premium options you can A/B split test you signup forms, add notification bar or slide in layouts, detect ad-blockers, choose from 30+ CSS3 animations, create an autoresponder for new signups and tons more. It’s a solid investment if your newsletter is a big part of your marketing strategy.

2. MailChimp for WordPress

MailChimp for WordPress is a free plugin created by ibericode. Once you activate the plugin and grab your API key from MailChimp, your MailChimp data will be available within the plugin’s settings screen. I find this convenient because there’s a table for each email list that includes all of the fields and even the number of subscribers in each group. With this information, you can determine how many fields you want to include in your opt-in form.

This plugin gives you multiple display options. For example, with the top bar opt-in form, you select your email list from a dropdown menu, and then customize it. The bar, button, and email placeholder text can all be filled in with your copy. You can also position the bar on the top or bottom of the page, change its color, and specify the button and text color – all wonderful tools to help you stick with your blog’s color scheme. Alter the look and feel of the sign up box further with the premium version.

Larger opt-in forms can be placed anywhere using shortcodes. Redirect URL options are available, enabling you to point new subscribers to the “Opt-in Success” page of your choosing.

Finally, MailChimp for WordPress also offers checkbox settings. Visitors who leave a comment or register to your website can also opt in to your email list by ticking a box.

3. MailChimp Forms by MailMunch

What I love about MailChimp Forms by MailMunch is that you have a little more freedom customizing opt-in forms without upgrading to their premium plan. This plugin easily syncs with your MailChimp account, and you can create as many forms as you want. So if you offer content upgrades with each blog post, you could create a separate form for each one if you wanted to. This plugin offers five form types: popover, embedded, top bar, scroll box, and sidebar. You can also choose whether you want this form to pop in on page load and/or exit. If you don’t want frequent visitors annoyed by popup forms, simply alter the frequency of showing this form to the same visitor.

Regardless of which form type you choose, you can selectively publish it using display rules. MailMunch enables you to display forms on specific URLS within your website. This plugin offers lots of options; the only caveat is that if you want to conduct A/B tests, you’d need to upgrade to one of their paid plans.

4. MailChimp Forms by Optin Cat

Another free WordPress MailChimp plugin is MailChimp Forms by Optin Cat. With this plugin you can incorporate embedded forms, popups, and sidebar widgets into your web pages. You can also adjust the frequency of each popup’s visibility and redirect new subscribers to any page on your website after sign up.

Their analytics feature comes standard with the free version of their plugin, but customization options are somewhat limited unless you upgrade your account. Change button, border, and text colors with all three form types. With MailChimp Forms by Optin Cat, you can create an unlimited number of forms for promotions, content upgrades, e-courses, or another creative need making it one of our favorite free MailChimp WordPress plugins.

5. Easy Forms for MailChimp

It took more time to get acclimated to Easy Forms for MailChimp by Yikes, but they did record a video tutorial to help with initial setup.

After connecting your MailChimp API, associate any of your email lists with a new signup form. They can be embedded in pages, posts, or widget areas using shortcode. An alternative approach is to enter into a new or existing post or page, click the Easy Forms icon, and then select which opt-in form you’d like to display. See the example below:

Site visitors can opt in to your email list when leaving a comment or registering for your website with this plugin as well. Account settings display the number of new subscribers, unsubscribes, and average subscription rate.

This is the least customizable plugin we’ve covered in this post thus far but if it fits your needs, it’s worth a try. With over 20,000 active installs and frequent updates, this plugin has worked for many and might be a good fit for your website.

6. MailChimp User Sync

If you allow users to register on your WordPress site, you may want to capture their email addresses and other key information at the same time. This makes it possible to add them to an email list and target them with content and promotions. If you plan to market to user email addresses in this manner, the MailChimp User Sync plugin may be just what you need.

This plugin synchronizes your list of registered WordPress users with any email list you choose in MailChimp. That way, you won’t have to manually copy each new user’s information from one platform to the other. This is perfect for A/B Testing, as well as for targeting specific audiences. MailChimp User Sync also enables you to automatically subscribe new users, sync any changes they make to their profiles (including their email addresses), and even remove contacts from your email list if their WordPress accounts are deleted for any reason. This saves you a lot of time and effort, and keeps your subscription list up-to-date at all times. The plugin is free, although you will need to install the MailChimp for WordPress plugin first. Fortunately, that plugin won’t cost you anything either (it’s mentioned earlier on our list of free MailChimp WordPress plugins), although it does offer a premium version.

7. MailChimp Top Bar

Unlike some of the options we’ve covered, which are more comprehensive in nature, the MailChimp Top Bar plugin has a very specific purpose. It will add a customizable sign-up bar at the top or bottom of your site, so your subscription CTA is more visible and prominent to users. Instead of hiding your sign-up form away in a sidebar or on a contact page, this tool gets it in front of visitors as soon as possible.

What’s more, the sign-up bar includes a variety of options and is easy to customize. You can edit the text, colors, and locations, and even use code to add in extra fields. What’s more, you can pre-select what list people who interact with the bar will be subscribed to, in case you have more than one.

The opt-in bar is easy to install and set up. You simply choose a list, and you’re good to go. Alternately, you can edit the text and colors so they match your branding, or use contrasting colors so this crucial CTA stands out. On the front end, the bar is simple and unobtrusive, and visitors are able to dismiss it if they’d like. Finally, it’s worth noting that as with MailChimp User Sync, you will need to install MailChimp for WordPress before adding this plugin.

8. Contact Form 7 MailChimp Extension

If you haven’t tried Contact Form 7 yet, it’s a WordPress plugin well worth checking out. This popular tool makes it easy to create and customize forms of all kinds, then add them to your site. If you are using this plugin alongside MailChimp, then you may want to add Contact Form 7 MailChimp Extension to the list.

This plugin enables you to capture email addresses in your Contact 7 Forms, and add them to your chosen MailChimp list automatically. This technique lets you create highly customized forms, add them to your site, and then integrate them with your email marketing campaigns. Since it supports multiple mailing lists, you can seamlessly use a different one for each form, which means you can create targeted CTAs and build segmented lists.

Aside from being easy to use, this extension is highly customizable. You can choose whether or not to send a confirmation email to subscribers, include an opt-in checkbox, and add in custom fields. Plus, the plugin is constantly updated and includes email support through the MailChimp Extension developer. To use it, you will need to have Contact Form 7 installed first.

9. WooCommerce MailChimp

Next up, we have another integration tool. If you’ve spent much time in the WordPress community, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of WooCommerce. It’s the most popular tool for adding an e-commerce store you your website. Of course, if you run a storefront you’ll probably want to add your customers to an email list for marketing products.

WooCommerce MailChimp enables your WooCommerce customers to subscribe to your marketing list right from your website. You have the option to capture this information in one of three ways: after an order has been created, once it has been processed, or after it’s completed. This is a great way to gather emails from an already engaged audience and use them in your campaigns. The plugin also provides several consent options, to keep you compliant with international opt-in laws.

There is a caveat with this plugin that’s worth mentioning. While the overall ratings are high, and it boasts more than twenty thousand active installations, the latest reviews are somewhat mixed. Many users love it, but some have expressed issues with getting it to work correctly. We recommend that you test this plugin fully on a staging site, to see if it suits your needs before you commit to using it.

10. N-Media MailChimp Subscription

Finally, the N-Media MailChimp Subscription plugin is all about enabling you to customize your subscription lists for maximum effect. It pulls all of your MailChimp lists from your account, and lets you create targeted forms based on list variables and interest groups.

What makes this plugin really stand out, however, is how customizable it is. Not only does it include a visual form designer, but you can also create your styling using CSS if you’re so inclined. N-Media MailChimp Subscription also enables you to build unlimited forms using its handy wizard tool, and create popups for your opt-ins.

This plugin doesn’t have as many active users as some of the others discussed on this list, but it boasts positive reviews and is a tool well worth checking out. As with any plugin, give it a test to see if it suits your needs before you deploy it to your live site. While the base plugin is free, you may also be interested to know that the developers do offer a premium version.

Free MailChimp WordPress plugins are a great way to increase email opt-ins on your website. Along with useful content, any one of these plugins can support your mission to build your blog into a business.

If you haven’t already, sign up for a MailChimp account, create a list, and then download and activate one of the plugins above that best fits your needs. It may take some time to determine the best form type, placement, and design that’ll work for your website, but that’s part of the process. Over time, you’ll get an idea of your site visitors’ preferences.

Of course there are many other Email Optin providers, such as Mailster, MailerLite, MailPoet, OptinMonster, SendingBlue, and CRM based ones like Hubspot and AgileCRM, but Mailchimp is probably one of the best known and longest established companies in the field.

So have you activated any free MailChimp WordPress plugins on your WordPress website? Have you noticed a difference in the number of email opt-ins? Let us know in the comments section below, and if you enjoyed this post why not check out this article on ClassicPress, the recent fork of Wordpess designed for faster sleeker sites with reduced bloat!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, Marketing, WordpressTagged with: ,

How To Use John Crestani’s Super Affiliate Marketing System

Here we look at an affiliate marketing system that might be a life saver for people in areas with low employment opportunities.

John Crestani is the creator of the Super Affiliate System which has propelled him from relative obscurity (OK, in today’s world most people are somewhat obscure) to becoming a Forbes and Wall Street darling. He’s an entrepreneur who has been featured on Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc., Affiliate Summit, Yahoo Finance, and Home Business (in addition to multiple large news networks like Fox and CBS).

Wall, St

His Super Affiliate system could potentially change your life, like it did his.

If you are interested in an alternative income, or adding another income stream, then John’s training can teach you how to:

– Get the best results from the advertising networks, like Google Ads and Facebook Ads
– Create landing pages that “presell” products so people would buy them when you make recommendations
– Structure your business for time and money freedom
– Generate very large sales numbers for good and recurring commissions.

Johns training covers all the above and much more, and you could become an internet marketing guru in a relatively short period of time after going through some of the basics, even replacing your full time job, just as he did.

There is a lot of content and dynamite tips on getting the best results from Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Ads and much much more.

If you master John’s affiliate marketing system, you’ll probably be able to treat your wife and kids to vacations, work from home, and spoil them with gifts, even buy your own home without a mortgage.

Now in 2019, John’s system is available for new students to sign up for. I often get asked by people on Facebook if I think John’s training is worth it. Well, the stats above definitely answer that question, and you can see that

If you tried before and failed, be it working for clients, or doing SEO, or running an ecommerce store, or whatever – this can definitely work for you.

Digital, Marketing

So I recommend you register for his free class and you may become his next successful student.

John recently published an unusual video on YouTube highlighting that the traditional way for people to progress is broken, with heavy indoctrination from governments and people who do not really actually have your interests or financial progress at heart at all, and Id say he was dead right, so take a look at the video, it might be just what you are looking for!

Filed under: MarketingTagged with: , ,

Integrate WooCommerce with Your eBay or Amazon Store

If you have a successful storefront on eBay or Amazon, you might have thought about expanding to your own, standalone WooCommerce store. It may seem a bit overwhelming, especially after you’ve invested time and money into getting where you are right now.

But it’s worth it

Yes, Amazon and eBay come with a host of benefits like a built-in audience and brand recognition. But a WooCommerce store will help you provide more product offerings, build your brand, and, ultimately, grow your business.

You can even integrate WooCommerce with your existing eBay or Amazon store seamlessly, so your business can benefit from both existing marketplaces and a standalone online store.

Here are just a few ways that a WooCommerce store will help you grow:

Make more money

Let’s face it – we all want our profit margins to be as high as possible. The higher our margins are, the more money we take home at the end of the day.

If you sell your products on eBay or Amazon, you’re familiar with the various fees they charge each time you list or sell a product. The exact amounts vary based on what subscription plan you have, what products you’re listing, any promotions you may use, etc. Here’s a quick breakdown:

eBay charges (for a store subscription):

  • Monthly subscription fees – starting at $4.95 per month
  • Listing fees after monthly free listings are used – as much as 30 cents per listing
  • Final value fees after your product sells – as much as 10%

So if you sell a product for $100.00, you may have to pay up to $10.30 of that back to eBay, plus your monthly subscription fee. That may not seem like a lot at first, but when you’re regularly paying 10% of your income to a third party, it adds up very quickly.

Amazon charges (for a professional seller):

  • Monthly subscription fees – $39.99 per month
  • Referral fees – varies based on product category, but 15% on average
  • Variable closing fees for media items – $1.35 per book, movie, video game, etc.

On that same $100 product, you may be paying $15.00 to Amazon, plus the monthly subscription fee. Again, 15% of your income adds up!

By starting a standalone WooCommerce store, you won’t need to worry about those fees. There are still overhead costs involved – hosting and domain names, for example – but WooCommerce itself is free and you won’t need to pay any listing fees or percentage of sales. You can expect much higher profit margins!

Maintain full ownership

With an Amazon or eBay store, your business is completely dependent on their platforms, technology, and executive decisions.

What happens if Amazon or eBay decides to shut down your store? That’s definitely a possibility and they don’t even need to provide you with a reason. If that’s your only source of income, you’ll be left floundering, trying to figure out another way to sell your products.

That seems like the worst-case scenario, but consider these possibilities:

  • They could raise their fees and prices at any time.
  • They could change their selling terms and conditions.
  • They could change their search algorithms, making it harder for customers to find your products.

With a standalone store, you have full control. You’re not reliant upon a third party’s decision.

And, of course, if you want to maintain your successful eBay or Amazon store, your own website would provide both an additional income stream and a fallback should anything change with the other platforms.

Photo ©

Build a brand

Building a brand is important for any business. Good branding establishes credibility, quality, and experience. It sets your products apart and keeps customers coming back time and time again.

While eBay and Amazon do allow some customization, you are limited as to what you can change. You can add custom images, logos, headers, and text, but most stores end up looking about the same. It’s very difficult to make yours really stand out.

Building a WooCommerce store allows you to showcase your brand’s personality! Create beautiful photo galleries, highlight your team members and tell their stories, use video backgrounds, add fun animation and custom illustrations, build interactive elements, and more. You can create anything that you want – the sky’s the limit!

There’s more to your brand than just design, as well. It’s important that you provide the best possible experience for your customers. With your own store, you can install customer service plugins that allow you to respond to questions and problems, set up searchable FAQ pages, and provide a variety of contact methods that make it easy for customers to get in touch with you. You can also integrate social feeds that show your products in action.

Decide your own terms

While you do have some control over terms and conditions on Amazon and eBay, you are limited in many ways. In the end, you’re reliant upon their policies.

For example, on eBay, you can decide that you don’t accept returns. However, if a buyer claims that the item they received was not as you described, eBay makes the final decision on a refund.

Of course, it’s important that you make ethical decisions as a business owner. Writing accurate descriptions and delivering high-quality products is key to success. But there are customers that will try to take advantage of your company and receive items for free. Having full control over your responses, refunds, shipping, and other policies allows you to make decisions for yourself.

Screenshot of a product page from 2 Hounds Design, which uses WooCommerce to allow product customizations.
Photo ©

Add additional functionality 

eBay and Amazon both provide basic eCommerce functionality but there are definitely a lot of constraints. WooCommerce has virtually unlimited options, especially with their ever-growing extension database. Here are just a few features you can add to your WooCommerce store:

Sell subscription boxes. While Amazon does allow subscription boxes, eBay doesn’t currently provide that functionality. WooCommerce allows you to accept recurring weekly, monthly, or yearly payments with signup fees, free trials, and more.

Allow for customizations. Again, this is a feature available on Amazon but not on eBay. WooCommerce supports customizations of all kinds: create custom t-shirts, add monograms to products or design custom cards. Add on personalization fields like dropdowns, text areas, checkboxes, and sample images.

Accept a variety of payment types. Accept virtually any payment gateway you’d like rather than being dependent on eBay and Amazon’s limited options. Stripe, Square, PayPal, and are just a few of the built-in options, or create custom APIs to integrate with other, less common gateways.

Add a measurement calculator. Configure a pricing calculator based on dimensions, square footage, volume, or weight submitted by the user. This is particularly useful for flooring, wallpaper, frames, and similar products.

Bundle products. Sell a group of related products together as a package deal. Allow customers to add products to an existing bundle. This is a great way to upsell!

Sell memberships. Build an entire membership system with drip content that can tie into your existing products. For example, if someone purchases a meal kit subscription box, they may also get recipe videos each month on your membership platform.

Keep customers updated. Blogging is a valuable way to answer customer questions, connect with them, share your story, provide tips, and grow your brand. Since WooCommerce is built on WordPress, you can start blogging right away and reach your customers.

Learn about additional WooCommerce extensions.

Market more effectively

With a standalone WooCommerce store, you have the ability to collect customer data and use it more successfully. eBay and Amazon have some marketing capabilities, like email marketing and online advertising, but you’re very limited with what you can do and what you can include in marketing materials.

For example, while you can send follow-up emails and coupons to existing customers, you have very few options to reach site visitors who haven’t yet made a purchase. When it comes down to it, eBay and Amazon own your customer data and you have limited access.

However, with a WooCommerce store, you have the ability to collect data and use it for marketing purposes. Here are a few ways that you can market to potential and existing customers:

  • Abandoned cart emails. Send emails or target ads to people who added products to their cart and left your site. Offer free shipping or a coupon to increase their chances of making a purchase.
  • Remarketing. Remarketing ads allow you to reach your previous store visitors as they browse other sites. While Amazon does offer a form of remarketing, it’s nowhere near what Google and Facebook offer. With a standalone WooCommerce store, you can track your site visitors and use Google and Facebook’s advertising capabilities to send ads to the people most likely to purchase your products.
  • Cross-sells and upsells. WooCommerce offers more advanced ways to upsell and cross-sell to your customers. Automatically suggest related products on individual product pages or your cart and checkout pages.  You can even suggest items that they looked at but didn’t add to their cart.
  • Marketing based on specific actions. For example, send emails to customers with coupons related to products they’ve previously purchased. You can also send thank you emails, coupons, or free shipping codes to recent, first-time, or repeat customers. This leads to more effective and successful marketing.
  • Facebook lookalike audiences. Send ads to people that are similar to existing customers using lookalike audiences. You can create these using your own email list or from information gathered when you install the Facebook Pixel on your site.

And, of course, accessing more customer data helps you understand more about your audience, their preferences, and their actions. This can help you make decisions about pricing, website layouts, product descriptions, product offerings, and more.

Group of men and women standing with shopping bags.

Gain more loyal customers

While eBay and Amazon are an excellent way to gain new customers thanks to their built-in audiences, it’s much more challenging to cultivate repeat customers. Because, let’s face it, these shoppers are typically loyal to Amazon and eBay first.  

Especially in the case of eBay, customers are often there to find the best deals. So if they run across a product that’s similar to yours at a better price, they’re likely to purchase that one instead. In fact, Amazon and eBay even send out marketing emails to their customers with recommended products that compete with yours.

With your own website, however, your potential customers aren’t presented with an array of competing products. You have the opportunity to connect with them on a deeper level and share your brand story. They’re more likely to understand the value of your products and become loyal, repeat customers.

Get started with WooCommerce

WooCommerce has made connecting your eBay or Amazon store a seamless process with Amazon and eBay Integration for WooCommerce. You can match up products on your existing marketplace storefronts to products on your new store and sync inventory, pricing, and more.

Once you’ve set up your WooCommerce store (you can find great documentation here), download and install the extension and connect your store. Here are some of the great features you’ll find:

  • Link existing Amazon and eBay products to items on your WooCommerce store.
  • Create new Amazon and eBay listings individually or in bulk.
  • Set pricing rules, fulfillment rules, and product details for Amazon and eBay listings based on existing WooCommerce products.
  • Sync inventory, orders, pricing, and product details in real-time.
  • Receive eBay and Amazon orders directly in WooCommerce.

To learn even more about how it works, check out the Amazon and eBay Integration for WooCommerce documentation.

Filed under: Marketing, Strategy, WordpressTagged with: , ,

How To Use Online Trade Shows

Trade Shows

The reason why trade shows are still very efficient when it comes to selling products is very simple. Since exposures are market-specific, you can be sure that market participants are more likely to become loyal customers. Trade shows, indeed, are commonly considered one of traditional marketing most expensive branches. If your company is spending money, time, and commitment to display a stall at an event, making the best of it is essential. Here are some of the guides for online trade shows.

Setting budget and goals


Like any other business decision, jumping into the marketing of trade shows begins with an aim. Setting a clear goal actually helps to ensure that you are using the right trade show to be in. Make a list of your objectives to help you find the best. By identifying an aim, strategizing which in return will keep you from wasting time and money, also known as your marketing budget, will be much easier.

Business cards


Business cards are fully customized advertising forms, so keeping their design and role as close as possible to the brand is crucial. And with the competitive environment of today, we absolutely recommend coming up with ideas and making your business cards so remarkable that it will attract the recipient to investigate about your business.



Without gifts, a fashion retail trade show event is never complete. Even if its key chains, flash drives, or pens, you should always integrate your free stuff or loot bags with your brand. Always give them free stuff! It probably works as well as for items related to your business. Giveaways actually help your business in getting more exposure. People are more likely to attend your giveaway session.

Company profile


If the first perception is the business card, so the first date is the business profile. Whether in the form of a pamphlet or a handbook, a business profile is intended to give a concise summary of what your fashion retail company is all about to your market or potential partner. This means it should be able to tell the story of your brand, what it continues to stand for and what it has to deliver.

Booth display


If you are planning long-term, prime location is something you can try to exploit at that time. Make your point clear and capable of being seen from both near and far in all directions. Use obvious signs and optimum illumination. To appeal to different people, have a range of different display options. Some people like flyers, brochures, and material for reading. Ensure that your trade show display is published and that it is very clear. Serve some value to the guests of the trade show. This can be something like a state-of-the-art white paper, top 10 brand lists, and latest trends. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Local Search Marketing Strategies!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more

Filed under: eCommerce, Marketing, WordpressTagged with: ,

5 Tips To Hire the Best Social Media Professionals


Are you planning on hiring a new team of social media experts? It can be easy to go wrong. There are a lot of so called “gurus” that claim to offer exceptional social media marketing services, but they rarely deliver the services customers expect. If you hire the wrong marketing agency, you may find yourself forking over hundreds of dollars a month to a company that offers little in return.

You need to do your due diligence before hiring a social media expert, just like you would if you were hiring a lawyer, accountant or any other professional.

Here are 5 simple tips to help you maximize your hiring potential to hire the right team of experts to grow your brand through social media.

Do a Competency Assessment, the Same Way that You Would With a Regular Employee

Mobile Phone

Opting into assessment testing for potential employees will help you streamline the hiring process. You can use assessments to isolate and target the best characteristics for available positions. This is a great system for finding the right in-house employees. Why not try using an assessment when looking for a social media marketer, too?

You need to know what you are looking for when hiring a social media professional. Jeff Bullas talks about some of the competencies that they need:

  • Conceptual decision making
  • Writing
  • Interpersonal
  • Planning and organizational
  • Technical

Social media marketers need a wide variety of skill sets to thrive in this career.

Interviews and resumes can only scratch the surface of a candidate’s personality. A standardized-assessment lets you compare qualities without bias, and you’ll be able to qualify people based on more than their first-impressions. Testing makes the playing-field equal by safeguarding your business from individuals that may have non-beneficial traits. 

Requiring an assessment test during the hiring process lets you express to the interviewee that it takes more than credentials to be a team-player. It could also help separate less-serious inquirers from dedicated job-seekers. You’ll get more reliable employees in the long-term. It’s not bad to save your hiring managers some frustration in the process as well. To learn more about pre-employment assessments, please visit

Multiple Interviews

Social Media

One web developer I spoke with tried hiring a social media marketer a few years ago. The marketer seemed promising in her initial pitch, but the web developer later said the arrangement was a “total disaster.” The fact is that she came across well in the first interview, but didn’t perform well later.

Many social media marketers are gifted grifters. You need to talk to them a few times to spot their lies.

Having multiple interviews can really help you weed-out those who aren’t serious about the positions you have available. It can be a huge waste of time to go through the entire process of on-boarding a new employee, and then have them decide to take another offer somewhere else. You need to know that the people you consider for employment are ready to move forward. 

Try incorporating these simple multi-level interview procedures into your hiring process. 

Have all applicants schedule a time to meet during a group interview. Present job responsibilities and standards to the group while collecting resumes. Ask for volunteers to interview first. These individuals are usually going to be your most dedicated applicants. Those who aren’t really interested won’t typically wait around for very long. 

Those who are successfully screened in the initial interview should be rescheduled for a secondary interview a few days later. It may be a wise decision to include a higher-level manager in this final interview.

Ask Consistent And Relevant Questions

You need to know what you are looking for in a social media expert. You need to know that they can grow your brand in a positive way. You need to know how they will do this.

It’s a good idea to stay consistent by asking the exact same questions to all applicants during your initial interview. The key to finding the right people is staying relevant. 

Try to avoid hypothetical situations and rhetorical questions. That type of screening is best utilized through multiple-choice assessment tests. You could end up with very off-the-wall answers by being too vague. That doesn’t help you understand the person, and it doesn’t add value to the interview process. 

Ask about previous accomplishments for past clients. You want to hear direct, actionable data showing how they helped a company grow their business by reaching people on social media. Avoid questions that allow the person to answer them by saying what you want to hear. Be personable. You want to get to the roots of their past performance, expectations, and character. Asking them what they would do in a hypothetical circumstance leads to useless and unverifiable information.

Up-Sell Your Candidates

Great social media marketers are tough to find. If they really are talented, then you are going to want to make sure that you can get the most out of them. You can consider offering them more money for more results. You can even try offering them a performance based incentive. Up-selling is another option.

Up-selling is a term used to describe when a sales-person induces a potential customer to buy more costly products. The idea is for your business to be more valuable to the work-force than your competitors. If your company has slightly better starting rates, then you’ll get first-pick of the applicants in your area. 

You can entice potential employees to work with you by offering shared-bonuses and specialized-certification promotions. This allows you to maintain highly-skilled workers, and it helps you screen out those who aren’t willing to stay long-term. An established company should be able to attract better employees by essentially being the better option out of the applicant’s choices. 

Be the better option, and high-quality employees will come looking to work for you.

Write Concise Job Descriptions

You should always be as clear as possible in every job-posting. It is commonplace in certain industries to leave out important details in online job offers. 

The worst thing you can do in the hiring process is take applications from people who haven’t been clearly informed about the position. This is particularly common when hiring departments are forced to meet interview-quotas, and this is a good reason to avoid setting quotas. 

Reaching a wider group of candidates doesn’t help you narrow down people who are actually suited for the job. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Social Media for your Organizations Bottom Line!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: Marketing, Strategy, TrendsTagged with: ,

8 eCommerce Business Growth Hacks


Growing your eCommerce business requires a lot of effort and time. It involves marketing your online store aggressively and staying ahead of your competitors at every point in time. This will help drive traffic, generate leads, and attract customers to your ecommerce store. Here are some useful tips to help grow your eCommerce business:

Establish a Unique Brand Personality

Establish Unique Brand Personality

An excellent way to grow your eCommerce business is by improving brand awareness. Having a solid and trusted brand is essential for your business to thrive. You need to build a brand that is recognized and trusted by your target audience. Doing this will help increase your customer base and generate more sales.

However, building a brand can be really tough. For better visibility and trust, your business will need social media channels. Posting frequently on your social media pages will help you stay on their radar. Share wonderful products about your products, interact with your followers and target audience. You can also share discount and promo codes.

Building a reputable brand requires serious effort. With the above, you can establish your ecommerce business as a brand of their interest.

Adopt Content Marketing Strategies

Content Marketing

Another essential strategy to help boost your ecommerce business is by adopting a content marketing strategy. Today, content marketing remains a very effective digital marketing strategy. Your online business should have a blog. This will help build authority and credibility for the business. You can post engaging and informative contents on your blog. This will help generate traffic and keep your audience engaged.

Use Visual Content

Visual Content Marketing Statistics

A picture is worth a thousand words. Growing your online business involves using visual contents like images and videos to express what your brand stands for. Images make reading more interesting and easier.

A website, blog, or social media channel which contains visual elements will increase engagement. This will also improve your search engine ranking. By making use of visual contents, you can increase brand awareness and generate more leads for your ecommerce business.

Communicate Effectively With Your Target Audience

Whether you are selling a product or offering services, you have demography that make use of your product or services. They are your target audience. Growing your ecommerce business requires that you identify and communicate effectively with your target audience.

In addition, identifying your target market makes it possible to increase sales and grow your online business. You can easily channel your marketing efforts in the right direction. This ensures that digital marketing resources are maximized. Equally communicating effectively with your target audience will go a long way in growing your business.

Study Your Competetitors

Coke V Rb Interests

Furthermore, knowing about your competitors and the products or services they are providing can help make your products, services, and digital marketing efforts stand out. What are they doing to attract customers? How do they market their products? Take time to study their sales funnel. This will help you set your product prices competitively. You can also respond to competitors’ marketing campaigns using your initiatives.

Also, the knowledge about your competitors will help in creating effective marketing strategies. This will be used to improve your business performance and take advantage of the weaknesses of your competitors. This knowledge will help you to remain realistic about how successful your online business can be. If you really want to succeed in your online business, researching your competitors is vital. Drawing insight from the activities of your competitors may be exactly what you need to be a step ahead of them.

Build a Sales Funnel

Recently, sales funnels and online marketing continue to gain several tractions among marketers, entrepreneurs, and salespeople. Sales funnels are very helpful in automating your online business. Online sales funnels help drive traffic to your store. You can tactically capture leads through a squeeze page. This helps generate sales, identify potential customers, and upsell to your customers. This can be exactly what your business needs for growth.

Furthermore, sales funnels make use of marketing and advertising methods to attract potential customers. These customers will be encouraged to share their customer information. This will be used to nurture cordial and lasting relationships gradually. Also, potential customers will be motivated to take action and become buyers. You will also delight your customers to retain their loyalty to your brand.

Building an online sales funnel requires a lot of front-end work. However, once the processes are done, you can expect fast and efficient results.

Use A Fulfillment Solution


Another way to grow your eCommerce business is by making use of a Fulfillment service. Fulfillman offer a variety of services for all kinds of eCommerce businesses,and have keen prices, making it a great option for many. It takes care of much of the heavy lifting involved in running an eCommerce store in on place, leaving them free to concentrate on other aspects of the business. You can see more and sign up for Fulfillman here.

Use High Quality Product Images

Not only is a picture worth a thousand words, but it can also be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. Using high-quality images and stunning product photography will help increase your revenue. About 67% of consumers consider the quality of product images essential before making a buying decision. Displaying your products using high-quality images can be the fascinating difference between no sales and a high rate of conversion.

There you have it! Above are a few useful tips for growing your eCommerce business. You can’t create an online business and wait for the customers to start rolling in. This will be like decorating your home for a party without inviting anyone. You have to create awareness, build trust, make some noise, form connections, and show how awesome your products are. By implementing the tips mentioned above, you can grow your eCommerce business effectively.

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, Marketing, WordpressTagged with: ,

Reduce Cart Abandonment In eCommerce


What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Cart abandonment does not happen often in brick and mortar shops. Because of the ease of online shopping this phenomenon is only really relevant when talking specifically about ecommerce shops.

To put this ecommerce problem into some kind of perspective, three out of four shopping carts are abandoned, and the average abandoned cart rate rose 2% over the last year.

On average, over 70% of your potential customers are abandoning their shopping carts. ? See how to fix this on your ecommerce site.

Cart abandonment represents a major gap in potential conversions. For instance, it’s been found that a 65% cart abandonment rate leaves a 97.9% gap in conversions, which costs marketers an average of $2 to 4 trillion per year. Forrester Research suggests annual losses of $1

Additional ideas for speeding up your website

Optimize your images.

Offload and cache different files such as PDFs and MP3s.
Cache as much of your content as possible. You can opt for a caching plugin, though there are certain web hosts which handle caching for you.

Cache Hit Miss

Use a content delivery network (CDN).

Depending on the location, we’ve seen a CDN decrease overall load times by over 50%!

Optimize your WordPress database.

When you delete a plugin from your WordPress database using the standard method, it typically leaves behind tables and rows in your database, which, over time, can slow your website down. When your site gets too heavy, you can opt to limit post revisions or delete old ones. You may also convert tables from MyISAM to InnoDB, and clean up your wp_options table.

2. Shorten & Simplify the Checkout Process

Some 21% of shoppers said that the reason why they’ve abandoned a shopping cart was because the checkout process was too long or daunting. According to the Baymard Institute, the average large-sized ecommerce site can increase their conversion rate by 35.26% through better checkout design.

A few ideas to simplify checkout:

Offer one-step checkout (like Amazon) or look for ways to decrease the steps necessary to check out.
Offer guest checkout. 35% of online transactions are usually dropped because the website required the user to create an account before checkout. Some of the reasons why visitors don’t want to make a user account include privacy, full email inboxes, lack of time, and uncertainty around the purchase.
Strip down and simplify checkout. This could be done in a number of different ways. For example, Kinsta removes distractions on their checkout page by stripping out the top header. You can also see where you are at in the process as you go.

Ecommerce Checkout Simplified

Take a step back to really consider your existing checkout process: either in terms of a self-audit or through usability testing. Is there anything particularly confusing about it? Are there any fields you can eliminate? Test new changes and make sure to measure the impact on your conversions before fully committing to them.

3. Offer Alternative Payment Methods

When you open up an ecommerce shop, you are potentially opening yourself up to doing business with the whole world. Knowing this, you must realize that one payment method won’t be sufficient for customers in different countries. You may have to incorporate multiple different payment methods depending on where in the world your customers live.

Stripe and PayPal (connected to bank accounts, debit cards, and credit cards) are some of the most common methods for receiving payment that ecommerce stores accept. New, up and coming alternative payment methods to consider on top of these include Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay.

4. Consider Offering Free Shipping

According to Statista, expensive shipping is the top reason why people abandon their carts, but according to Fulfillment Service, free shipping is not the only factor to consider for drawing in new customers. Low prices are the #1 reason why customers revisit ecommerce sites.

Upon checkout, 78% of respondents said they prefer free shipping over expedited shipping. And 67% of the time, customers will choose the cheaper shipping method over the fastest one (which represents 2% of customers). Furthermore, 58% of customers are willing to wait anywhere between 4-7 days to receive an item they bought online, but as an online seller, you also have to provide an expected time frame or delivery date to keep customers happy.

Of those surveyed, 58% want free or discounted shipping, while 28% want a variety of shipping options.

Although free or fast shipping is enough of an incentive to increase sales, it’s important to understand the impact on your bottom line because shipping costs can eat into 5% or more of the total cost. In general, about half of small to medium-sized businesses surveyed said that offering free shipping increased profits.

As retailers, it’s important to find the sweet spot between adding costs and increasing sales.

Here are a few ways that retailers are doing so in terms of shipping:

Offering free shipping on standard delivery, but additional fees for premium services, such as expedited shipping.
Charging shipping for low-value products but offering free shipping for high-value products.
Using lower-cost carriers and offering free shipping if these carriers are chosen by the customer.
5. Inspire Trust with Great Website Security and Reviews
35% of individuals will abandon a website if it does not appear to have a security badge.

If you’re wondering what specific security badges to use, a Baymard survey found that the most trusted badge was Norton (35.6%), followed by McAfee (22.9%), TRUSTe (13.2%), and BBB Accredited (13.2%).

Aside from including security badges, incorporate additional website security features, such as password encryption and SSL certificates (a must — HTTPS is now a Google search ranking factor) so that your customers know you’re legitimately interested in their safety and the badges aren’t just for show.

You can also help customers get over their initial hesitation of purchasing from you through peer reviews, which demonstrate that your store is a legitimate place to shop. 84% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Get creative and place your customer reviews around your ecommerce site. Place your best review on your check out page to lower the chance that a potential customer will abandon the cart.

Ecommerce Customer Reviews

6. Provide a Solid Mobile-Friendly Shopping Experience
More than half of global web traffic is attributed to mobile users.

Struggling with downtime and WordPress problems? Kinsta is the hosting solution designed to save you time! Check out our features
76% of smartphone owners that search for a business visit it within the day; 28% of those searches result in purchases. 59% of ecommerce website visits are on mobile devices, with mobile activity accounting or 38% of ecommerce revenue. Among the three most common devices used to shop online, mobile accounts for the highest abandoned cart rate (85.65%), vs desktop (73.07%), and tablet (80.74%).

One strategy that you might employ to optimize for mobile-friendliness could involve using Google AMP, which offers a way for users to view your site quickly by providing a stripped down version of it. There are several plugins you can use to activate this functionality, such as AMP for WooCommerce, and WP AMP. However, you should also test this extensively as AMP has a lot of issues.

You’ll also want to consider our guide on making sure your WordPress site is optimized for Google’s mobile-first index.

How to Mend Shopping Cart Abandonment with Abandoned Cart Emails
If your customers still abandon their shopping carts at a high rate despite your best efforts onsite, there’s good news: you can still get them back with the help of abandoned cart emails.

Abandoned cart emails are helpful and effective. Here are some abandoned cart email statistics to take note of from Moosend:

Open rate: 45% of cart abandonment emails are opened on average.
Click through rate: 21% of the emails are clicked on.
Conversion rate: 10.7% of recipients completed their purchases. According to Barilliance, abandoned cart emails can lead to a 18.64% increase in conversion rates!
You can create your own abandoned cart emails with the help of your email marketing provider and/or ecommerce platform (for example, BigCommerce offers abandoned cart recovery features built-in).

Additionally, these solutions can help simplify the process:


Developed by the SkyVerge team, an official WooCommerce partner, Jilt was created to help ecommerce stores recover lost sales due to shopping cart abandonment.

Jilt Ecommerce Wordpress Plugin

Jilt is a plugin that you install. It integrates with platforms such as WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and Shopify. Once you’re using Jilt, it monitors incoming customers and tracks them. Once they abandon their shopping carts, it kickstarts an automated email campaign to try to make them come back.

Jilt Analytics

One great thing about Jilt is that they show you how much extra income you can make by reaching customers you could’ve lost. On that note, you’re only charged for the customers that you actually reach through your campaigns. You can also have Jilt dynamically create unique discount codes for you.


Conversio Woocommerce Plugin

Conversio is an email marketing company that specifically targets ecommerce stores.

They allow you to send any relevant ecommerce emails, such as receipts, abandoned cart emails, follow-up emails, product reviews, newsletters, and feedback emails. Conversio offers beautiful pre-designed email templates, powerful segmentation, and automated campaigns. Like Jilt, Conversio also charges according to a flexible pricing model.

Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices

Some key abandoned cart email practices to take note of:

Send more than one email. In fact, you should aim to send at least two. The best campaigns involve sending three emails (resulting in an average of 18.2% additional sales). Send the first email within the hour. If you send one beyond 24 hours, the conversion rate halves. Then, send the second email 24-36 hours after abandonment, and the third one 72 hours after.
Offer additional discounts. Offer a bigger discount in each of the emails. The solutions above have the ability to create a dynamic discount code in your email templates.

Timing is important. According to a study by Barilliance, sending your first email during the ideal time can result in a 20.3% conversion rate (versus a 12.2% conversion rate during the non-ideal time). This also affects the conversion rate of the follow-up email (a 17.7% conversion rate during the most optimal time, versus 7.7% otherwise).
Write a subject line that will get you noticed. Personalization (by using both the receiver’s name and recommending products based on what they were going to purchase) is something to strive for.

Ecommerce is enjoying spectacular growth but it’s not at the apex of what it could be, with three-fourths of shopping carts abandoned, on average. This can be remedied by understanding why customers abandon their shopping carts and implementing strategies to counter major problem areas on your eCommerce website. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on eCommerce Growth Hacks!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, Marketing, WordpressTagged with: ,

Best New SEO Software


I love tools and I have a pretty solid collection of them that I am using daily. In this article I share my most recent SEO software that’s really useful.

All-in-One Marketing Dashboard Tools

There are a few comprehensive SEO suites that report on anything under the sun, from on-page issues to rankings and backlinks.

Although I use SEMRush, there are a few other nice ones which may be of interest, depending on your application.

Ahrefs Semrush Serpstat Spyfu
Features Ranking analysis, keyword research, on-page audit, position monitoring, SERP analysis, competitive analysis, backlink research
Price $99 $99.95 $19 $39

They all have free trials, so you can check each of them before you decide which one you like best.

Here are some of the main features of each platform.

Ahrefs: Advanced Keyword Research and Analysis

Ahrefs most powerful feature is their Keyword Explorer. Not only will it extend your keyword and calculate keyword difficulty (i.e. how high the organic competition is), it will also suggest related keywords. This helps a ton in finding alternative, less competitive keywords to focus on:


Semrush: Multi-Feature Position Tracking

Semrush is the primary SEO dashboard I use. They have a ton of historical data and their tools are excellent. My favorite one is their ranking position tracker. Its pretty cool that you can track positions inside “Featured Snippets” and “People Also Ask” sections:


Serpstat: Keyword Clustering

Serpstat‘s Clustering feature is one of its kind. It helps you organize your keyword lists by relevancy, make sense of thousands of queries, understand your niche better and optimize for several keywords at a time. It’s a must-use feature for every topic research because it shows you how you can optimize one page for several queries.


Spyfu: Indepth Position History

Spyfu is one of the oldest all-in-one marketing dashboards out there. Initially focusing on PPC tracking, the tool has successfully expanded into organic SEO. Prbably the best feature is their organic history feature visualizing which pages were ranking for a given query throughout the years:


Social Media Promotion Tools

A tool that I only recently discovered for social media promotion is Viral Content Bee,


Like as many VCB-driven updates on Linkedin, Pinterest and Tumblr

This way Viral Content Bee builds both traffic and social media interactions in the best and most useful way.

Content Marketing Tools

There are lots of tools I am using for inspiration and topic research, including Google of course. Here are two of those tools I am using on a daily basis:

TextOptimizer: Content Optimization and Research

TextOptimizer is the semantic search tool that extracts related topics and entities from Google’s SERPs and lets you better research and optimize your content. It directs and empowers your writing and helps you structure your content in a most efficient way too. You can check my detailed review of Text Optimizer here.


Buzzsumo: Competition Research, Influencer Marketing, Content Inspiration

Buzzsumo is another tool that can be used in so many ways and improve so many processes.

Probably the best features inside Buzzsumo are:

  • “Content alerts” sending you emails whenever anyone mentions your keyword (e.g. your brand name in-content)
  • Content Analyzer allowing you to see (recently) popular content around any keyword
  • Question Analyzer allowing you to see questions around any keywords that are being asked in the discussion boards (including Reddit, Quora and Amazon Q&A)
  • Backlink Analyzer allowing you to see people behind backlinks (there’s really no alternative to that!). You can also filter backlinks by date which gives you a solid list of bloggers to reach out to:


Backlink Analyser Tool


Neil Patels new backlink tool is pretty good and a welcome addition to the web stars armoury, and you can get some great insights for your site using it, at

It’l give you a good insight in to your sites backlinks and what you can do to improve them.

So that’s a round up of some of the better marketing tools available today, its pretty certain that you’ll find some of them useful, don’t forget to get your copy of my favorite, SEMRush!


If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on SEO Link Building!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, Marketing, WordpressTagged with: ,

Wordpress Tips For Google Indexing

Everyone wants to be on Google’s first page, maybe even the first place? There probably isn’t a website owner out there who doesn’t dream of it.

After all, you invested a lot of time and energy to create the best possible website. Why wouldn’t you want your effort to be rewarded?

However, you know what’s the first step to getting to Google’s pole position? Getting the site indexed at all. Sometimes websites don’t even make it that far.

In the online universe, that’s pretty much a disaster. If you are not picked up by search engines, your website is going to be invisible for 99.999% of the people on the Internet and you can completely forget about organic traffic.

Granted, there are alternate traffic sources, but visitors from search engines remain one of the most important and potentially profitable options.

In order to avoid this kind of catastrophe, in this article, we will look at reasons why you may be shunned by Google and then over a step-by-step approach to ensure this doesn’t happen.

How Does Google Find My Site?

Before we get started, we need to settle on some search engine basics and important vocabulary. This will make it easier for beginner to understand the following.

To find content for their search results, Google relies on so-called search spiders. These are automated programs that scour the Internet and report the content of websites to search engines.

All major search engines have their own spiders (for example, Google’s is called Googlebot, and there are many more out there.

The process of exploring a website and its content is called crawling. It’s what the Googlebot does to understand what your posts and pages are all about.

The phase after that is called indexing. It means if your content has been deemed worthy by the snarky little robot, it is then processed and added to the Google index. This index, in turn, feeds into the search results

What If My Site Isn’t Indexed By Google?

The first step to see whether your site has popped up on Google’s radar is typing into the Google search bar (naturally, exchange with your actual domain).

This will show you all the pages under your domain that Google has on their index. If the results are completely empty, that means the search engine is either completely oblivious of your content or something is going on with your site that keeps it from being indexed.

This can happen for several reasons:

  • There are problems with your server such as technical issues or faulty configuration
  • Your website violates some of Google’s terms and has been penalized
  • Your WordPress site or its SEO settings are configured badly
  • You haven’t taken any measures to get indexed or even noticed
  • The site is too new and Google hasn’t had enough time to add it to their index

Every case is different and there can be more than one issue at play. However, don’t worry, though we will go over each of these factors in detail below.

Also, note if you are here because you would like to improve the rankings of your already-indexed posts and pages. That is a different case and you might want to check out these articles .

Making Sure Your Website Gets Indexed by Google

In a way, we are completely at Google’s mercy when it comes to being found on the web. No index, no organic traffic.

However, the good news is that there are plenty of things we can do to move Google into giving us a spot in their SERPs which we will talk about in the following.

Use A Good Hosting Provider

One of the first potential barriers to getting indexed by Google is the hardware your site runs on.

Slow server speed, downtime, and disconnects can cause search spiders to abandon their cause. While not very common, it is a possibility.

Since in hosting you get what you pay for, investing in a quality host with good hardware and excellent availability is always worth it.

Write High-Quality Content

The thing about being indexed by Google is, we don’t just want them to be aware of our site, but be aware of it in a good way.

If your site is empty or — worse — full of crappy content, it might get indexed but it won’t get anywhere near the front row of the SERPs. That’s almost as bad as not being indexed at all.

It’s no secret that Google cares about the relevancy and quality of your content. For that reason, when you set up your site, focus on high-quality, useful, original content. Naturally, that also means to stay away from duplicate and/or scraped content.

Check Settings In WordPress

During the development phase, usually the last thing we want is to be indexed by search engines. In fact, we want to keep Google and Co as far away from our site as possible.

Otherwise, we may be caught with incomplete (and thus low-quality) content and Google will form an opinion about our site based on that. No good.

The problem is only when we forget to revert the measures we have taken to keep search engines away after our site goes live.

One of the most common mistakes is to leave “discourage search engines from indexing this site” active in the back end of WordPress. That’s basically a death sentence for organic traffic on your site.

So, in order to make sure you get indexed (or if you are having problems appearing on Google), definitely have a look at this setting at the bottom of Settings > Reading to make sure it is unchecked.

Don’t forget to save if you made any changes.

Set Up The robots.txt file Correctly

Telling WordPress to discourage search engines does a bunch of things. For one, it adds noindex and nofollow meta tags to the head of your website (more on that below) and also keeps anyone from pinging your site.

Most importantly though, this setting configures the WordPress-internal robots.txt file to disallow all search spiders from indexing your site.

In case you didn’t know, robots.txt is an important server tool to directly communicate with search engines. You can use it to tell them which parts of your site you want them to index and which you don’t.

Because of that, you or your developer will often set up an additional robots.txt file to control indexing during development. While that’s fine and dandy, it becomes a problem when you forget to change it back.

Share Your Site Online

As I said earlier, in order to index your site, search engines first need to find it.

How do they do that? In short, links.

When an already-indexed page points to your site, it becomes much more likely that Google will find you as well.

So, what is an easy way to create a link to your site?

The answer: social networks.

By sharing your website on Facebook and Twitter, you can alert search engines (and fellow humans) that there is a new site in town.

While it’s true that many of these links will usually be set to nofollow, search engines that track social signals (like Google) should still be alerted to your presence.

Sign Up To Google Analytics

Regardless of indexing, in order to gather more info on the performance of your site, you will want to install some sort of Analytics

In that regard, most of us opt for Google Analytics because it’s free, comprehensive and gives us all the necessary information to work with Google.

However, there is another good reason: When you set up Google’s analytics suite, you also tell Google that there is a website they should pay attention to which makes it more likely that they will.

And if you are feeling adventurous and want more advanced tuning, you might want to have a look at SEMRush, its got an absolute ton of tools in there which can be used, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

Create A Sitemap

A sitemap is an XML document that contains a list of all the content on your site. It tells search engines what you have to offer and how often they should check back to see if there’s anything new.

In short, sitemaps are a great tool for guiding search spiders and creating one for your website is a good idea.

To do so, we have several plugins at our disposal. One of the most popular is Google XML Sitemaps which is trusted by more than a million users.

So just go for one you feel comfortable with and tweak it until you get it right.

Submit Your Site To Google

However, the usefulness of sitemaps doesn’t stop there. After all, do you just want to let it sit around and wait for Google to discover it?

Here’s a better idea: How about letting the search giant know exactly where your sitemap is located so they can start indexing your content right away?

You can do exactly that in the Google Webmaster Tools. If you don’t have an account yet, use the link above to set one up.

Google Webmaster Tools give you a lot of information about what Google knows and thinks about your site and how you can further improve it.

After connecting your site to the Webmaster Tools, go to your account and access Crawl > Sitemaps. Here, click on Add/Test Sitemap in the upper right corner.

website indexed by Google submit sitemap

Now all you need to do is add the address of your sitemap to the end of your domain. It’s usually something like

Set Your Preferred Domain

While we are in the Webmaster Tools, why not use the opportunity to also set up your preferred domain?

Why so? You see, your site usually exists in two different domain forms, namely and

While both point to the same location and both are fine for Google, technically it is not the same domain. Instead, the www version is a subdomain.

If you don’t submit both sites to Google and tell them which one you prefer, sometimes you will get a message that your website isn’t indexed even though it is but the wrong version.

To avoid this, make sure you add both site versions to your GWT account (from the Search Console dashboard). After that, access both web properties and use the settings button in the upper right corner to go to Site settings.

Google webmaster tools site settings

Set both sites to the same preferred URL (your choice) and Google will from then on stick to one version for crawling and indexing.

Now all you have to do is set a redirect on your site that points people accessing the non-preferred version to the preferred one. Done.

Check For Crawl Errors

When indexing fails, it can often be because there is something technical wrong with your site. Thankfully, if that is the case, Google Webmaster Tools will warn you about it.

It will do so directly on your dashboard (the big Crawl Errors window) and under Crawl > Crawl Errors.

website indexed by Google crawl errors

Most often errors will be 404s, meaning links to URLs that don’t exist.

It’s fine if there are a few of them (it happens), however, in this place you will also notice if there is something bigger going on that keeps your site from being indexed.

This information is crucial for taking remedial action and you can find similar notices in your Sitemaps menu.

Request Google To Crawl Your Site

If you do have problems on your page and have taken steps to correct them, you can then ask Google to kindly have a look at the affected pages again.

This way you will know whether your solution worked and also tell Google that these pages are ok now without having to wait for them to crawl your site in their own sweet time.

To do so, you first need to fetch the URLs in question. This happens under Crawl > Fetch as Google.

website indexed by Google fetch as Google

Here you can input any page on your domain for Google to check and via Fetch and Rendereven display it the way their search spiders see it. The latter can help you spot errors or other things that go wrong during processing your page.

Once you have fetched a page, it will appear in the list at the bottom with a button that says Submit to index. If the fetching and rendering goes well, you can use this to tell Google to try and add the page to their index.

You can either submit only the page itself or include all direct links it points to. You are allowed to add 500 pages per month with the first option and 10 with the second.

Check .htaccess

.htaccess is another important file on your server with info for browsers and search engines how to use and deal with your site.

For example, .htaccess contains rewrite information, which is enables you to use pretty permalinks. Besides that, it can also contain permissions for different directories on your site.

While that’s super useful, it also means that this file can be a problem source for your site’s indexing efforts.

It’s a bit beyond this article to go into this (very technical) topic, however, if you are experiencing problems with indexing that you can’t explain otherwise, checking this file might be worth it.

Sometimes it can be enough to go to Settings > Permalinks in the WordPress back end and click on Save Changes to have WordPress flush the .htaccess file. If this step doesn’t work, you may have to do some googling.

Check Meta Tags

Meta tags are elements in the code of your site that provide additional information about its content and architecture.

For example, if you set a meta description in a WordPress SEO plugin, it will show up inside a meta tag in the head section of your page.

One tag named robots in particular is very important.

Its value can be index/noindex and follow/nofollow. As you can probably guess these are directives aimed at search engine spiders.

In fact, the aforementioned “discourage search engines” option in WordPress adds a noindex, nofollow tag to your site until switched off.

If you are experiencing indexing problems (or just want to make sure there isn’t a problem), you can check the head of your site via Firebug or your browser’s developer tools.

Should meta tags like that exist, you will find them quite easily. After that, it’s only a matter of figuring out which plugin or program is responsible for putting them there.

Get Quality Backlinks To Your Site

As mentioned earlier, search spiders usually find a site through a direct link.

However, links are not only a pathway to your website but also a way for Google to judge its quality.

While in earlier times you could go to any kind of web directory and shoot yourself links until you ranked high, today this kind of behavior will hurt you more than help you.

By now, it’s all about link quality.

Google determines a high-quality link by the following characteristics:

  • Relevancy — The link is coming from a site related to your topic or industry
  • Trustworthiness — Not from a low-quality or spammy website
  • Activity — The link actually sends traffic your way
  • Relevant anchor text — The text that functions as a link (like this one) is meaningful
  • Link location — Links inside an editorial piece carry more weight than sidebar or footer links
  • PageRank — If Google already trusts the linking page, they will also feel good about websites it links to
  • Uniqueness — Different websites that refer to you once are more valuable than one website linking to you over and over again
  • Reciprocity — If the link is a one-way street (meaning you don’t link back to the same site), it means there is no link exchange scheme going on

That’s a tall order, I know. But be aware that not every backlink has to have all those characteristics to help you in your ranking.

Acquiring high-quality backlinks is an art form in itself, and Backlinko has written an excellent guide on how to do it.

It’s also more of a long-term strategy and not a quick fix, but it is worth it. Not only will it help you get found but also make your site more valuable in Google’s eyes.

And that’s a good thing because the more valuable Google thinks you are the more pages they will index from your site.

It Can Take A While..

Patience doesn’t come easy to everyone, but sometimes there is no other way.

Even if you do everything right, it’s unlikely that Google will index you two minutes after going live. That’s just not how it works.

While it is possible to appear in search results within 24 hours, there is no guarantee that this will actually happen.

So, if you are the impatient kind and have done everything you can, go read a book, take a walk, eat some doritos or do something else for a while until it’s time to check the results of your efforts.

How To Get Indexed In A Nutshell

One of the first steps towards search engine success and free organic traffic is getting indexed by Google. Without being picked up by search engines, all the SEO in the world will not do you any good.

Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to make getting indexed more likely. From correct server and WordPress settings to content optimization and backlinking — the possibilities to improve your chances are numerous.

Following the above tips should lay a solid groundwork for appearing in the SERPs. You can also use many of them for troubleshooting if you are experiencing problems.If you want to ramp things up a bit, and are prepared to get your hands dirty with some analytics and tweaking, then I’d recommend SEMRush, go and get the free trial of that to start with.

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on the Best new SEO software!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, Marketing, Strategy, WordpressTagged with: , ,

Instagram Shopping To Increase Your Revenue


Ramp Up Your Instagram Strategy

If you run an eCommerce store and are looking for a way of promoting and increasing sales, then it might be a good idea to look at Instagram. Here we look at doing it without drama and  excess cost.

Instagram is a superb social media tool that has more than 500 million daily active users.

People follow other people’s accounts, like photos, create stories and try to provide their products or services on the platform.

And so do we!

Along with Instagram shoutouts, you can also use Instagram shopping ads, which are getting to be a really effective marketing tool.

So today, I’ll tell you how to set up Instagram shopping ads and get the most out of them.

What are Instagram Shopping Ads?

In simple terms, Instagram allows you to create a mobile storefront and turn any of your posts into the opportunity to shop.

Here is how it works.

You post a photo and tag your products in it. People see your picture and like it, for example. Once they tap a picture, they will see the price and the short description of your products.

If people click on the product again, they will see a richer product description, additional photos and the “Shop Now” or “View on Website” button.

Once they click it, they will be redirected directly to your store, where they will be able to make a purchase.

That’s it

You can tag lots of products in the picture, but we advise you to limit yourself to 2-3 products. Otherwise, your picture will be a bit messy.

Benefits of shopping on Instagram

Instagram is a super effective tool for businesses which is truly worth your time and efforts.

And here are some reasons why.

  • Instagram has a more engaged audience than Facebook

According to statistics, this social media has 58 (!) times more engagement per follower than Facebook. What’s more, Instagrammers usually don’t ignore advertisements as much as Facebook users do.

  • Instagram welcomes creativity

Instagram users like colorful, bright and beautiful pictures, and adore experiments with them. They track the newest trends and easily make them go viral.

Besides that, it’s no secret that the Instagram audience is mostly young. That’s why Instagrammers are very loyal to any changes and positively respond to innovations.

  • Instagramers often buy products online

The statistics indicate that 75% of Instagram users take actions such as clicking the “Shop Now” button or visiting a website after looking at shopping ads.

  • Instagram offers lots of opportunities for businesses

An Instagram business account opens a great world of features which can help you successfully promote your business. Call-to-action buttons, Instagram insights, stories or Instagram shopping ads will help you get the most out of your marketing campaign!

How to set up shopping on Instagram

Make sure that your Instagram account meets all the requirements

Shopping on Instagram is not for everyone, however, There are many requirements which your business should follow.

First of all, you need to check if your business is located in a supported market. Unfortunately, Instagram has a limited list of countries which residents can create Instagram shopping ads and run this marketing campaign. Thus, if you don’t see your country in this list, the access to this service is denied for you ?

Secondly, you should read Instagram commerce policies very carefully and make sure that your eCommerce business fully complies with them.

In short, you have to sell legal physical goods which meet all Instagram requirements. For example, it’s forbidden to sell ammunition, animals, no commercial intent and third-party infringement (counterfeits, replicas of branded goods, etc).

If you’re ok with all the previous steps, make sure that you switched your Instagram account to the business one and connected it to your Facebook page. Before doing it, we advise you to go through our article where we explain the whole process in detail.

That’s it! Your Instagram account is ready to use. Go to the next step.

Create a Facebook product catalogue

As you have probably noticed, Facebook and Instagram usually go hand in hand. If you want to create a successful marketing campaign, you need both Facebook and Instagram business accounts.

To make your first Instagram shopping ad, it’s necessary to create a Facebook catalogue. It will contain all products you can promote on your Facebook or Instagram pages.

There are some ways to create a product catalogue. Let’s look at them.


The first one is the so-called DIY method. You create a catalogue and add all the products, photos and descriptions manually.

As you can see, there are many fields that need to be filled in. As for me, I spend about 7-10 minutes per product to enter all the necessary information into these fields.

To better understand how much it is, let’s do some calculations.

For example, I have 100 products in my store and I want to add all these products to my Facebook product catalogue. I usually spend 10 minutes to enter all the necessary information into the fields. To add all my products I need 1000 minutes or more than 16 hours!

And what if you want to promote more than 100 products? How much time will it take you to do this?

Thus, choosing this method is a bad idea if you have lots of products in your store. It will be just a huge waste of time.

Facebook Business add-on

Another way to create a product catalogue (with the AliDropship Plugin) is using their Facebook Business add-on. It helps you upload all products from your store to your Facebook catalogue in a few clicks.

Let’s look at how exactly it works.

Here are your steps.

  • Install the Facebook Business add-on on your WP website and activate it.
  • Choose the “Categories” tab and click the “Add new” button.

Add all the categories you’re going to promote through Instagram Shopping Ads

Add an appropriate Google category to each category of your website.

This aspect is very important! The name of your product category may significantly vary from the name of the categories used by Google.

For example, you sell soft toys and one of your product categories is called “Funny Bunny”. You understand what it means, but Google or Instagram don’t. Without categorizing your product categories it’ll be difficult to show your ads to the right people.

  • Go to the “Product Feed” section, enable it and click Save. Select categories you want to include in the feed and choose the appropriate currency.
  • Click Generate XML and wait until the progress bar reaches 100%. Now you can download XML file or copy URL with your product data feed.

So now you have created a list of your products, which you just need to upload to your Facebook catalogue.

Upload your product data feed to Facebook

Once your product list is ready, it’s time to upload it to your Facebook business page.

Go to Facebook Business Manager account and find the “Catalogues” menu. Then click Create Catalog and select your catalog type.

As you have an online store, we recommend you to click the “e-commerce” button.

Find the “Upload Product Info” option, give your catalogue a unique name and upload the product list that you have created with your Facebook Business address.

Add Products To Fb Catalogue

Choose Use Data Feeds as an Import method and click Next.

If you have generated an XML file, just upload it. If you’ve chosen the way of copying a data feed URL, enter it into the special field.

Besides that, we advise you to choose the “Set a Schedule” option, so that your product list could be updated regularly. This option helps you forget about any troubles related to your products.

If everything is ok, you’ll see the following window. Click Done and go to the next step.

Note: if you have any mistakes when creating a product catalogue, check this article to learn more about how to fix them.

Choose Instagram Shopping options

After your Facebook catalogue is created you will be asked about the way you want to use it.


As we try to create an Instagram Shopping ad, it’s obvious that we should choose the first option. Click it.

Once your products are added, you will see a green tick near the “add your products” field.

After that, you should connect your Instagram business profile to your Facebook catalogue. Click the button, select your page and enter all the necessary information.

Well done!

Wait for Instagram approval

Once your catalogue is set up, Instagram will automatically review it to make sure that everything is ok and you don’t break any rules.

As a rule, this process takes several days, so be patient and focus on other things.

Create your first Instagram shopping ad

Once everything has been approved, you can start adding product tags and stickers to your Instagram photos or stories.

Instagram allows you to tag up to 5 products per image and up 20 products on multi-image posts. Besides that, you can add shopping tags to your old posts on your business profile.

Instagram shopping ad

Instagram shopping ad

As for Instagram stories, you can add one product sticker per story.

Instagram shopping ad stories

Analyze your results with the help of Shopping Insights

You should analyze every marketing campaign you do to see how it is performing.

Instagram has a great tool which is called Shopping Insights. It’ll help you learn more about your target audience and what posts and stories your followers engage with the most.

To view Shopping Insights, you should visit your business profile, find the corresponding tab and click it.

Here you can track impressions, interactions and other statistics which are important for evaluating the success of your Instagram Shopping Ad campaign.

There are also third party services which can help, for example Foursixty


Or another is Pixlee


So here are a number of options to get your Instagram shopping up to speed for your business.

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: Marketing, Strategy, TrendsTagged with: ,

Denzilla High Quality Furniture & Interior Design

Custom Built Branded Business, Built Site and Domain For Sale

eCommerece Dropshipping stores are becoming a good way for people to get in to the online selling industry, however, many people struggle with a lot of the aspects of setting one up. Things like finding a niches, finding suppliers, setting up social media accounts, setting up the store, paying monthly fees, and quite a few other things mean that it can be a non starter for many.

Fortunately, I have a couple of examples which are available for shrewd entrepreneurs, and here is one of them.

Its called Denzilla, and it comes with all the rights to the .com domain name, the business name, any logo which is produced for it, the social media accounts already set up with user name “denzillarama” and quite a lot more.


We’ve got verified suppliers for high quality furnishings including leather sofas, fabric sofas, chairs, wardrobes, dining tables, kitchen furniture and a whole lot more. These are verified and high quality people who will dropship the items and take care of the insurance etc, and they are not Ali Express. Currently UK and Europe, with a USA option available aswell. So a great possibility to build a global brand which is highly recognisable across all major social media channels and also offers a dual revenue opportunity with the option for service based interior design work. The current design is a sample and in fact we can build any theme or original design for the site as required and all will be custom built and extremely well engineered.

There is an example site at, and this can be built according to taste, as above, with any design if necessary and high quality hosting and maintenance. Also any integrations and CRMs, custom plugins etc including the potential to be one of the first furniture outlets to use Matterport 3D for Virtual Display of certain products if necessary. This niche has high profit margins, and is mid to high ticket, with turnover being easily 500K upwards PA, so if you want to get in to and build a recognisable brand this is a great opportunity for budding furniture moguls and/or interior designers to start at relatively low costs and build up a great brand name get in touch at [email protected] for more information and a chat on how we go about it.

In fact you might kick yourself if you miss this one!

Get in touch at +1 (646) 224 2225

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on using Instagram Shopping to increase your store revenue!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, Marketing, Trends, WordpressTagged with: ,

Social Media Marketing Tips for Luxury Brands


Brands and Social Media

Social media marketing is no longer an option for most brands. Just hop on to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and you’ll see brands of all kinds pushing product and services through their social channels. And there’s a reason their spending money to do so: it works. For run-of-the-mill ecommerce stores and average consumer products, platforms like Facebook have made it so ridiculously easy to reach and target new customers that businesses of all sizes have recognized the potential. It’s a win for all parties.

But not so fast. If you’re a luxury brand, social media advertising isn’t as simple as it seems, and most of the strategies and tactics other brands are using on social might not apply.

“We’ve had to change the way we think about social media marketing, as we’re trying to maintain a high-end, luxury image but with discounted prices,” said Leon Rbibo, President of The Pearl Source and Laguna Pearl, which sells pearl jewelry online.

Here are the top five tips and tricks for advertising luxurybrands on social media.

  1. Take Advantage of Income Targeting

While Pinterest and Instagram audiences are (or should be) the main outlets for advertising luxury products, platforms like Facebook are still significantly used when in need of promoting premium services with higher price tags. In order to do just that, brands should take advantage of income targeting – especially since Facebook users are usually older, as well as more financially stable than Instagram users. The audience demographic data is currentlyobtained from average household income per US ZIP code, with four main options to choose from:household income – top 5% of US ZIP codes,
top 10% of US ZIP codes, top 10%-25% of US ZIP codes and household income – top 25%-50% of US ZIP codes.

  1. Maximize Brand Heritage by Selling Stories

When you are in the business of luxury marketing, one of the major aspects to keep in mind is that the client wants to know your story, your values, as well as why and how you create your products. One of the best examples is no other than Apple, who chooses to communicate with their customers by creating a cohesive story, from explaining the reasons why they exist to what they do: “Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently (why Apple exists). The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly (How Apple achieve their why). We just happen to make great computers (What Apple do).”

3. Hop on Social Networks with Visual Impact

When selling luxury items online, one of the main things you need to compensate on is the exclusive boutique experience – and in order to do just that, creating a boutique-like atmosphere through your website is imperative. The first thing on the ‘to do list’ when aiming to build up your aspirational image is to focus on extremely high-quality, high-detail photographs, then share them on visual social networks like Pinterest. The power of Pinterest when it comes to luxury items has been long demonstrated by Chanel, who, despite not having an account on the social platform, manages to be pinned thousands of times daily, simply by their supporters and clients. Whether it’s an image of their latest catwalk styles, pearl strands or chic belts, the brand has a very powerful presence on Pinterest.

  1. Use Comment-Baiting – The Right Way

As a luxury brand, hunting for comments might seem a little too frantic – and that might interfere with your exclusive image. But the good news is that there are a few simple tricks you can apply in order to make sure that those comments are rolling in. While not exactly in the luxury arena, take Forever 21 as inspiration: the brand’s creativity paid out when they asked their followers indirectly to formulate their rapper name, which lead to thousands of comments and shares within hours. A little innovation is all you need when trying to achieve your likes and comment goals on social media, be it Instagram or Facebook.

  1. Post Previews as Teasers and Estimate Demands

You are about to launch a new collection – or, you’re just starting to design a few new products. Whatever stage your creative process may be at, it’s never the wrong time to post a little teaser on social media. This tactic will achieve multiple things at the same time: it will create demand and stir interest, it will show you just how liked your new designs are via the likes and comments you receive and it will make your followers tune in again to see your final products – all of which are great for your business. If you b enjoyed bthis post, why not check out this article on Social Media for your Organization!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: Marketing, StrategyTagged with: ,