SEO Articles

2021 Strategies for Data Privacy & Cookie Consent Management

Read up on the tools you need to successfully implement a consent management program and enable your digital experiences to adhere to privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.

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How to Calibrate Your Brand Voice to Your SEO Advantage

One of the best ways to stand out from the herd of businesses in your niche is to develop a unique brand voice for your company – one that will appeal to customers and get noticed via SEO. This article will show you a few tricks to help develop a unique voice, structure your content, and turn Google’s algorithms to your advantage at the same time.

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MozCon Virtual 2021 Interview Series: Wil Reynolds

Get to know this year’s amazing MozCon speakers with our interview series! First up, Wil Reynolds talks about the impact of 2020 on Seer Interactive, what challenges marketers must overcome when analyzing data, and gives us a sneak peek into his MozCon presentation.

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Free SEO Masterclass for 2021

What you will learn: 1. How to optimize the bare-bones essentials – these are factors …

Keep Learning >Free SEO Masterclass for 2021

The post Free SEO Masterclass for 2021 first appeared on Gotch SEO.

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How to Successfully Manage Your WordPress Client Communication

How to Successfully Manage Your WordPress Client Communication

WordPress continues to be the most popular content management system available, with around one third of the total market. Since its launch in 2003, WordPress has dramatically grown in popularity, and rightfully so. The functionality and customization sets it apart from the competition, making it a top choice for anyone looking to manage a website. 

Given its popularity and usability, it’s no surprise that many successful businesses and organizations use WordPress for their websites. This is attested to by the fact that many of the largest brands in the world use WordPress, including Facebook, Microsoft and Sony. 

While WordPress is certainly a great tool for you if you’re looking to grow your business, it’s not enough to simply have a nice website. In order to get the most of your business’s website you need to make sure that you integrate a strong element of client communication. 

Luckily, WordPress provides you with a high level of customization, meaning you can build the client communication structure that works best for you. Creating the right plan, choosing the right plugins, and investing in the right team communication tool can ensure that your website helps you to engage clients and build their loyalty. 

Read on to discover more about why good client communication is important, and how to build it into your WordPress website and team infrastructure. 

Why Does Good Communication Matter? 

First of all, not everyone who comes to your website is a client. Setting up a way to engage with your site’s visitors can help you in the client conversion process, turning passing visitors into dedicated clients. If a website visitor feels engaged, for example through an interaction via a chat plugin, they will be more likely to become a customer. 

Setting up good communication channels on your website can also help to improve your customer service. When clients have an issue or inquiry, it’s natural that the first thing they do is open your website for information on how to contact your business. Giving them a straight-forward way to connect with you will allow you to more effectively solve their issues.

If, on the other hand, it’s difficult for them to determine how best to contact you, and they are left to dig through your website looking for the right information, they may very well take their business elsewhere. That’s why creating clear communication channels is so crucial for your business. 

Efficient client communication can also brings a range of benefits to your business. These include, but aren’t limited to:

Increased loyalty
Increased sales
Higher likelihood of promoting your business
More trust in your company
Higher overall satisfaction

96% of people state that good customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand. Good customer service is also seen as the most important factor impacting trust levels in companies. By improving your websites communication you’ll be going a long way to improving customer service and reaping a wide range of benefits. 

Now that it’s clear how successfully managing your client communication is important, it’s time to look into the best ways of doing so. 

Engaging with Clients

Simply put, through your WordPress website you should make your clients (or potential clients) feel that they matter and that you want to start a conversation with them. Giving them different options for getting in touch with you and your team will help send this message. 

Remember, people’s communication preferences are different. While some clients may love the idea of chatting directly with someone through your website, others may prefer to send off a quick note for future follow up. Giving your clients the choice will help guarantee that they are engaging with you and sharing important issues and information. 

Below are the main elements for communicating with your clients through your website. You’ll also find some of the most popular WordPress plugin options to help you make the best choice. 

Live Chat Plugins

The best client communication happens in real time, which means adding a Live Chat Plugin to your WordPress website should be a key element to your overall communication infrastructure. Live Chat Plugins allow your clients to easily enter into a conversation with a team member, leading to more quickly solving inquiries than through email. 

Keep in mind that there is a growing chatbot field that allows you to utilize AI to engage with customers when a live team member is not available. Chatbots can also help sort customer inquiries to the right person, saving your team time. 

Not all Live Chat Plugins support chatbots, so if this is a feature you are interested make sure to research which plugins support it. A note of caution, however, that some customers can easily detect chatbots and could be turned off by them. This may mean that it’s best for your business to wait until the AI has developed further and can provide a seamless experience. 

WordPress has a wide range of options when it comes to Live Chat. Below are some of the more popular ones: 

WP Live Chat Support– A free plugin that allows you to connect directly with your site visitors and customers. This plugin allows you to chat either directly (i.e.- without being routed through a 3rd party), or through a hosted server. The free direct chat option is a good choice if you have a small business and don’t expect too much heavy traffic on your website. 
LiveChat– A feature rich paid plugin designed to work with all WordPress site builders. LiveChat allows you to engage customers as they enter your site with a chat box prompting them to connect. LiveChat also provides several apps for your customer service team members to engage with customers, including Windows, Mac, iOs and Android.
JivoChat– A chat plugin focusing on Omnichannel customer engagement. This allows you to channel all of your different modes of communication through the app, including email, Facebook, phone and live chat. This is a good option if you’re looking for simplicity and consistency in your different communication channels. 
Tidio Live Chat– A plugin that allows you to chat live with customers or use chatbots. Tidio Live Chat stands out with its simple installation, meaning you can get it up and running in very little time. Tidio Live Chat is a good option if you’re looking for a quick install.

These are just a few of the numerous options available. Given the open source nature of WordPress there is an ever-growing amount of plugins available, varying in features and functionality. This means it’s just a matter of figuring out what would work best for you and your team at this point in your business’s growth. 

Do you want something free and easy to use to start off with? Or are you ready to invest in a plugin with more features better suited to larger businesses? Once you answer these questions, the choice should be easier. 

Contact Form Plugins 

It may be unrealistic to provide 24/7 live chat with your clients given the size of your team and budget for customer support, so make sure you give clients other options for getting in touch. Using a Contact Form Plugin is one of the best ways to allow your website visitors and customers to contact you even when a customer service team member isn’t available. 

You may want to also be able to gather information from your clients in a more standardized way through surveys and other short forms. Contact Form Plugins can help you with all of this. As with other plugins, the options for contact forms are numerous. Below are a few of the most popular representing the different range of the plugin options: 

WPForms- A plugin focused on simplifying the form creation process with its ‘Drag and Drop’ interface. WPForms provides an easy to navigate user experience and plenty of templates to choose from, making it a good choice if you are looking for a plugin that doesn’t require a high level of technical skill to use. 
Ninja Forms- Another plugin focused on smooth customer experience and a range of features. Ninja Forms comes in free and paid versions, and provides a high level of customizability. With an unlimited amount of forms in the free version, it’s a good choice if you’re looking to start with a plugin that you can upgrade later on.  
HappyForms–  A relatively new plugin based on the extensive experience of the Theme Foundry. HappyForms is another user-friendly option that offers free and paid versions. HappyForms is also relatively light on code, meaning it runs smoothly and is a good choice if you’re looking for a simple experience. 

In order to make the most of your plugin, keep contact forms simple and non-intimidating. If a client needs to enter too much personal information they may be turned off by your contact form, so limit the fields to the essential information: name, email, subject and message. 

Resolving Client Problems

The first step to improving communication, described above, is making it easy and intuitive for clients to reach out to your business. This will provide you with a clear channel for getting client input, but in order to solve their issues, you’ll also need to focus on your team’s internal communication. 

Providing good customer service is a team effort, often involving colleagues from across several teams and departments. That’s why an internal communication tool is essential to provide the right communication infrastructure. Using a team team communication tool, for example, can help you to coordinate your team’s collaboration efforts and make sure that they are promptly resolving customer service issues. 

With an Enterprise Instant Messenger such as Brosix IM you can manage your team’s internal communication by creating, for example, specific chat rooms or communication channels for your customer service and developer teams to more easily collaborate. This can allow your teams to easily engage on customer inquiries and issues. 

This team communication tool also comes with its own Live Chat feature, allowing you to integrate your customer and team communication for more efficiency. Utilizing a feature such as Screen Sharing with remote control can also provide your team with a  powerful tool to solve client issues directly when necessary. 

The combination of successfully managing client communication and creating efficient internal team communication is a guaranteed formula for success. Both branches of your dual communication efforts support each other and help to give your business an efficient overall client engagement environment. 

Final Thoughts

Effective client communication is one of the most important tools you have in your business. If done right, you can build trust and loyalty, increase the chances that your customers will promote your business to others, and, ultimately, increase sales. 

Providing the right website and team communication infrastructure can help you in this process by allowing you to more easily solicit client input, and more effectively answer any inquiries or solve any issues clients may have. With your WordPress website, you can choose the communication tools you need from a wide range of plugins providing different types of user experience. 

The plugins themselves won’t, of course, instantly provide you with better client communication. Rather, they are tools that your team can employ to ease the process, but how your team members communicate among themselves is just important. Take the time to train your team in customer service, and provide them with the right tools to better collaborate, and you will certainly reap the rewards of effective client communication!

Feel free to respond with some of your own tips and tools for effectively engaging with clients!

The post How to Successfully Manage Your WordPress Client Communication appeared first on WP Fix It.

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Local business listings with Schema.org structured data

Local business listings with Schema.org structured data

One of the things you can do to present your local business better in search results is Schema.org data for rich snippets. By adding structured data to your site, you can help search engines understand what your business is about and how it performs. For this reason, you have to add your NAP details, a map to your store/location, reviews, and images. Find out how Schema.org structured data can help your local SEO.

Table of contentsLocal customers use search enginesImprove local rankingsWhy Schema.orgRich search results for businessesWhy you should use JSON-LDHow to add Schema.org to your local business listingRequired properties for local businessesRecommended propertiesExample code for local business Schema.orgReviewsSocialGoogle My BusinessStructured data for your local business

Local customers use search engines

Modern-day customers use search engines not just to find your specific business but also businesses around their current location. Customers using their phones looking for ‘Italian restaurants’ will get a rich search result of local businesses. The results will include distance, reviews, opening hours, and possibly making a reservation.

Improve local rankings

Getting a good ranking for your local business means offering search engines as much data about your business as possible. Besides that, you need an excellent, fast, and mobile-friendly website, quality content, links, and reviews.

To improve your rankings, you should focus on being the most relevant result for a specific query. In addition to that, your business has to be the best result. One way of getting this kind of recognition is by asking your customers for reviews. Reviews help search engines, and potential customers figure out which business is legit and which isn’t.

Why Schema.org

The main thing to remember is that Schema.org describes your data and content to search engines. Search engines can find out a lot about your site by crawling it. However, if you add structured data, you can give everything meaning. This way, search engines instantly grasp what the content means and how they should present it. In addition to that, Schema.org is a shared initiative by the big search engines, so using it will lead to consistent results in the respective search engines. Yoast SEO automatically adds structured data with a lot of information about your site.

Rich search results for businesses

So, when we mean rich search results, we are talking about the information about a business you can directly see in search results without clicking a link. A couple of different results here: a regular organic search result for a business can feature breadcrumbs, highlighted pages, or even a search box. In Google, there’s also the Knowledge Panel on the right-hand side. Here you’ll find lots of metadata about a business, from opening hours to photos. Finally, the results you see when you search for a specific term rather than a business. See the screenshots below for the different results you can get for a particular or generic search.

Searching for a business called Urban Vintage

Searching for a specific local business, called Urban Vintage in Burbank, CA

Looking for a local business using a specific term

Why you should use JSON-LD

To get rich results, you need to use structured data in the form of Schema.org. In the past, it was pretty tricky to add Schema.org data to your post because you had to embed it in your HTML code. Now, with JSON-LD, you have to add a block of JavaScript code anywhere on your page. Plus, the code is readable and easy to change.

With JSON-LD, you don’t have code wrapping around your HTML elements anymore, with less possibility of messing things up. In addition to that, Google advises you to use it. Now, let’s see how it’s done.

How to add Schema.org to your local business listing

The most important thing to keep in mind when you are working on your listing is to pick the correct business type. Make sure to pick a specific one, not a broad one. So if you own a barbershop, you can use the Local Business Type Hair Salon. There are over 400 types of businesses, so you’ll probably find one that matches closely. If not, try using the product types ontology. This site uses Wikipedia pages for describing products or services with GoodRelations and Schema.org. Here, you can get more specific information if your listing is too broad.

While it’s possible to write Schema.org JSON-LD code by hand, it’s not recommended. Use a generator like this Schema Markup Generator or Google’s Structured Data Helper. Or use our Local SEO plugin that does this for you — and makes sure that it plays nice with the rest of the structured data generated by Yoast SEO.

Always validate your Schema.org data in the Rich Results Test Tool. Using Synup’s Schema Scanner, you can check your site to see if the Schema.org data is implemented correctly. Don’t forget to add your site to Search Console, so you can check how Google presents your site. If you want to learn more about Google Search Console, read our beginners guide to Google Search Console.

Quickly add structured data for your local business

The Local SEO plugin by Yoast gives you everything you need to do well in the local search results pages!

Get Local SEO ▸Only $69 USD (ex VAT) for 1 site

Required properties for local businesses

There’s one main Schema.org at play here: Schema.org/LocalBusiness. In this Schema.org, you’ll find everything you need to inform search engines about your local business. To get started, you need at least the following properties:

@id (globally unique id of the specific business in the form of a URL)name of businessimageaddress address.streetAddressaddress.addressLocalityaddress.addressRegionaddress.postalCodeaddress.addressCountry

Recommended properties

The properties mentioned in the previous paragraph don’t get you very far, though. To make the most of structured data for your site, you need to go further. Be sure to add the following properties as well, if applicable. This is just the beginning, on Schema.org/LocalBusiness you’ll find loads more.

url (unlike the @id, should be a working link) geo geo.latitudegeo.longitude telephoneaggregateRatingopeningHoursSpecification openingHoursSpecification.opensopeningHoursSpecification.closesopeningHoursSpecification.dayOfWeekopeningHoursSpecification.validFromopeningHoursSpecification.validThrough menudepartmentservesCuisinepriceRange (how many $?)

Example code for local business Schema.org

To clarify how all of this works, we will use a real local business: Unique Vintage in Burbank, CA. This makes it a bit easier to validate the data we enter. In the code below, you’ll find all the NAP details, URL’s, geolocation data, maps, opening hours and reviews you might need.

<script type=’application/ld+json’>
{
“@context”: “https://www.schema.org”,
“@type”: “ClothingStore”,
“@id”: “https://unique-vintage.example.com”,
“name”: “Unique Vintage”,
“url”: “https://www.unique-vintage.com”,
“logo”: “https://www.unique-vintage.com/example_logo.jpg”,
“image”: “https://www.unique-vintage.com/example_image.jpg”,
“description”: “Clothing store featuring vintage-inspired women’s separates & dresses plus men’s shirts & hats.”,
“telephone”: ” +1 818-848-1540″,
“address”: {
“@type”: “PostalAddress”,
“streetAddress”: “2011 W Magnolia Blvd”,
“addressLocality”: “Burbank”,
“addressRegion”: “CA”,
“postalCode”: “91506”,
“addressCountry”: “USA”
},
“geo”: {
“@type”: “GeoCoordinates”,
“latitude”: “34.1736486”,
“longitude”: “-118.332408”
},
“hasMap”: “https://www.google.nl/maps/place/Unique+Vintage/@34.1736486,-118.332408,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x47a3a037cf1e183b!8m2!3d34.173649!4d-118.3302131”,
“openingHours”: “Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr 11:00-19:00 Sa 10:00-18:00 Su 12:00-17:00”,
“priceRange”: “$”,
“aggregateRating”: {
“@type”: “AggregateRating”,
“ratingValue”: “4”,
“reviewCount”: “250”
}
}
</script>

The localBusiness code above gets perfect scores from the Rich Results Testing Tool

Reviews

Reviews are a significant driver for new clientele. Scoring well in Google means your business provides quality, which can eventually lead to better local rankings. Think about how you pick the next company to visit. Will it be the one with three two-star reviews or the one with eighty-five-star reviews?

In the example above, we’ve added a review section. If you want to use reviews in your Schema.org data, you must keep in mind that these reviews have to live on your site. You cannot use sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor to generate reviews to show in the search engines. Ask your customers to leave a review. Make a review page, collect the reviews and present them to the world.

Social

Another element to add to complete your online profile are links to your social media accounts. To do this, you must specify an organization or a person. The URL has to lead to your main site, while the sameAs links lead to your social media profiles.

<script type=”application/ld+json”>
{
“@context”: “https://schema.org”,
“@type”: “Organization”,
“name”: “Example shop”,
“url”: “https://www.exampleshop.com”,
“sameAs”: [
“https://www.facebook.com/exampleshop”,
“https://instagram.com/exampleshop”,
“https://twitter.com/exampleshop”
] }
</script>

Google My Business

There is another way you should use to add your local business to Google. By opening a Google My Business account, you will be able to verify that you are, in fact, the owner of your business. After that, you can add or edit all relevant information about your business, such as address information, opening hours, and photos. In addition to that, you can even manage the reviews people add to Google and see how your local listing performs.

Conversely, this only applies to Google. Every search engine can interpret Schema.org, so it is still advisable to add structured data to your site. Additionally, Schema.org can do so much more than add relevant local business locations. Therefore, Schema.org should be your main focus.

Despite all this, you’re still very much in Google’s hands. Some businesses appear in the Knowledge Panel, while others don’t. Some products get rich listings, including prices, reviews, and availability, in the search results, while the same product from a different vendor doesn’t. It’s hard to predict what will happen. However, don’t let this stop you.

Structured data for your local business

As we’ve shown, Schema.org can play an important part in the optimization of your site and in your SEO strategy. Structured data can do much more, just look at all those properties on Schema.org. We’ll keep an eye on what structured data can do for your site and keep you in the loop!

Don’t forget that if you want an easier way to add your local business data to your pages, you should definitely check out our Local SEO for WordPress plugin.

Read more: Structured data with Schema.org: the ultimate guide »

The post Local business listings with Schema.org structured data appeared first on Yoast.

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