February, 2021

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Fly.io (YC W20) Is Hiring Elixir Developer Advocates (Remote)

Fly.io is a hosting platform for distributed applications. Our users give us containers; we transmute them into fleets of Firecracker micro-VMs and run them on a WireGuard-backed network that runs app servers close to end users.

We are (almost) the ideal Elixir/Phoenix hosting infrastructure because:

* Built in encrypted private networking means simple and secure clustering

* Running app processes close to users minimizes LiveView latency

* HA PostgreSQL clusters are the default

We are hiring an Elixir dev advocate to improve our tooling and show people how to get the most out of Elixir on Fly.io. This is important – our primary goal is to attract more Elixir devs as customers.

## The Work

We do content based developer outreach, this is not a high travel job. We think the work will break down like this:

* 20% working on the [Fly.io](https://fly.io) UX for deploying and operating Elixir apps. This will mean working in Go and wrangling Docker – so Elixir folks don’t have to.

* 80% community engagement: examples, blog posts, and community outreach. Hopefully you like working with open source projects and showing other people how to get the most out of them.

That 80% covers a lot! If you are actively working on a relevant open source project, you could theoretically spend almost all that time developing your work, posting about it on our blog, and showing people in the community how to use it.

Some of your content might be useful for talks. We want you to help us decide how valuable meetup and conference talks are. Later. When the pandemic is over.

This is our first attempt at focused developer relations. There is a lot to figure out. Your work will determine how we spend money on future marketing. If you’re the type of person who wants to try a bunch of outreach to see what works, help build a dev relations organization from the bottom up, and even hire people to do the same work in other communities, you might _really_ like this job.

## The Hiring Process

Our hiring process is project based. We want to let you try the job on, see your work, and pay you to do a little more work.

1. Email [email protected], tell us in a few sentences what you like about Elixir.

2. Schedule a call with us so we can pitch the company to you and answer all your questions. We’ll also tell you the bad parts.

3. Sample project: we have a small Phoenix + LiveView demo we want you to improve. This should only take about 2 hours, but you can spend as much time on it as you want: https://github.com/superfly/elixir-hiring-project#flyio-elix…

We rate the sample projects as objectively as possible. The best projects do what they’re supposed to, use idiomatic Elixir, and are read-to-show.

In our experience, the hardest part of a sample project like this is just getting it done.

## A Larger, paid project

If we like your sample project work, we want to pay you to work on a larger project. We will offer a paid project ($1,000 flat rate) to about half the people who submit complete sample projects.

The goal here is to get a real, firm idea of what doing the job will be like. We’ll get you setup with Slack access, a channel to work in, and future coworkers to collaborate with.

We want you to do four things for us:

* Write “Elixir community report” describing where Fly fits well with a plan for community outreach.

* Come up with a bunch of sample project ideas (like, 10). Single sentence descriptions of projects to demo Elixir on Fly.

* Build a from-scratch Elixir app to demo.

* Write a blog post about the demo app.

When you’re done, we’ll ask you if we can publish it.

## Working at Fly.io

We are a remote-first company with people in Chicago, Montreal, Boulder, and London. We’re hoping we can take field trips to visit each other soon, right now all our work happens over chat with periodic audio breaks.

We’re not a family, but we do _have_ families and try to keep work prioritized from dominating our lives.

Benefits are pretty typical for a company of our size – pretty-good healthcare for US based employees, flexible vacation time, and a hardware/phone allowance.

But, we’re small! We all wear many hats and sometimes multiple hats at the same time. Come wear a hat for us.

To apply, email [email protected] and tell us in a few sentences what you like about Elixir.


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The post Fly.io (YC W20) Is Hiring Elixir Developer Advocates (Remote) appeared first on ROI Credit Builders.

How To Build a WordPress Website

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WordPress has officially passed the 39% mark and powers over one-third of the entire web. 

It’s like the Oprah Winfrey of the web hosting world—reliable, has a loyal user base, an excellent reputation, and is super popular worldwide. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to build a website on WordPress.

Creating a website may seem scary if you aren’t a “techie“ type of person, but trust me when I tell you that times have changed. It’s now faster, cheaper, and easier than ever.

In this guide, I’ll tell you how to build a WordPress site in under 60 minutes. 

Ready?

Your Two-Minute Cheat Sheet

Don’t have enough time to go through the whole article? Here’s your quick cheat sheet.

Disclaimer: This is just the gist of the whole shebang. So, don’t go looking for too many details here. Those are further below.

While you have several web hosting provider options available, I recommend starting your WordPress website journey with Bluehost. It’s super dependable, offers fast loading times, and is good for your budget.

The first step is to set up your account with Bluehost. The whole thing is pretty simple and only involves choosing a subscription plan, registering your domain name, and finalizing the deal. That’s it!

Next, you have to install WordPress (Bluehost does it for you) and familiarize yourself with its UI. Then you’ll have to pick a theme for your website that suits your brand best and also makes things functional. My favorite is ThemeForest, but you can also stick to WordPress’s official directory. 

Make sure you set your permalink structure to make your links more readable and optimized for the SERPs. This is super important, so please don’t skip it. You can also install plugins to extend your website’s abilities, but it’s strictly optional.

Finally, all that’s left to do is create fantastic content that makes visitors flock to your website.

Voila! You now have a WordPress website that looks beautiful, has amazing content, and is ready to handle the traffic.

Let’s now see how the whole thing works in more detail.

Step 1: Choose a Domain Name

Your domain name is your identity on the internet. It’s how your audience will find you and identify your brand. Precisely why you should choose something that reflects your brand and is easier for people to type into their browser and find you.

You have complete freedom to choose your domain name, though. You can choose any name you want—provided it is available and not registered by other companies. 

Here are a few tips for selecting a great domain name for your website:

  • Make it brandable and unique-sounding
  • Make sure it’s memorable
  • Keep it short 
  • Keep it easy to spell, pronounce, and type 
  • Include niche-related words. For instance, if you plan on selling pizza, it would make sense to add pizza somewhere in the domain.

Think about it: Doesn’t www.pizzahut.com sound better than pizzasellingplace.com? Exactly.

You can use Domain Wheel, a free website name generator, to develop more ideas if you’re looking for some inspiration. Simply put in a keyword related to your niche, and the tool will give you tons of suggestions to inspire you.

Now that you have a prospective domain name, you have to check for its availability. Considering there are about 1.8 million websites online, staying original can be a little challenging, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Since we all love free things, you can register your domain free of cost when subscribing to a web hosting service.

Speaking of domain registration…

Step 2: Choose a Web Hosting Provider and Register a Domain Name

There are hundreds of companies that sell web hosting services and tons of companies that allow you to register a new domain name. But wouldn’t it be more convenient to choose a company that offers you both services?

Case in point: Bluehost.

This web hosting provider is reliable, beginner-friendly, cheap, AND gives you a domain name for free—take it from someone who has created many websites for his clients in his career. 

Let’s also not forget that Bluehost is one of the few companies recommended on the official WordPress.org web page.

Sold on Bluehost? Great!

Here’s how to proceed next:

Visit Bluehost’s Website

Go to Bluehost in your web browser.

Select Your Hosting Plan

You’ll see three hosting plan options displayed on your screen:

  • Basic – Starting at $2.95 per month
  • Plus – Starting at $4.95 per month
  • Choice Plus – Starting at $5.45 per month

As you’re just launching your website, you can choose the cheapest plan—Basic—and get yourself a piece of the internet. Remember, you’ll get the $2.95 price tag only if you choose the three-year subscription plan.

Register Your Domain

Once you select your subscription plan, Bluehost will ask you to set up and register your domain.

You will see two options here:

  • Create a new domain
  • Use a domain you own

Select the Create a new domain option and enter your chosen name from Step 1. I’ll also recommend selecting a .com extension to add a more professional touch to your website.

Fill In Your Personal Information and Account Details

Next, you have to provide your personal data to set up your account.

When you scroll down, you’ll see the Package Extras section. Take care to check only those fields that you think are worthwhile for your website. 

For me, selecting Domain Privacy + Protection is a must as it conceals personal information like name, email, and phone number from appearing in public databases. After all, spending a few extra cents is nothing when it comes to security.

Once you’re done, click on Submit to finalize your purchase.

Step 3: Get Bluehost to Install WordPress for You

At this point, you have a hosting service provider and a domain name. Congratulations!

The only thing missing is WordPress.

Sure, you can install WordPress manually. But why should you do it if you can get Bluehost to do it for you—for free?

After completing the signup process, check your inbox for an email from Bluehost. It‘ll contain details showing you how to log in to your customer profile and start work on your site. 

Once you log in, Bluehost will show you an easy-to-use wizard that will guide you through the process of installing WordPress on your hosting set up.

Alternative Option:

You can also install WordPress by going to the My Sites section. Click on the Create Site button, and the installation will begin automatically. Enter your new site’s name and the username/password, and your WordPress website will be ready to go.

Step 4: Choose a Theme or Design for Your Website

One of the biggest USPs of WordPress is it supports themes. 

Themes are interchangeable designs that allow you to change how your WordPress website looks at the touch of a button. For example, this is what your website will look like by default:

You can change your website’s appearance by choosing another popular free theme (I chose Hestia). It’ll now look like this:

See why theme compatibility is WordPress’s biggest USP?

Choose a Theme You Like

There are hundreds—if not thousands—of WordPress themes out there. 

You can start by looking at the official directory at WordPress.org. But other than that, there are several other theme stores and marketplaces, such as ThemeForest. These are third-party sites that offer free and premium themes to alter the website’s presentation without changing the contents.

You can go through all the different sites and select a theme that you like best.

Install Your Chosen Theme

If you select a theme from the official directory at WordPress.org, all you have to do is hit Install right away. Here’s how to go about it:

Go to Appearance, followed by Themes, and then click on Add New. Enter the name of the theme you want to install in the search bar, and then click on the Install button under your desired theme.

After the installation, click on Activate to enable the thing on your website.

If you want to use a theme bought from a trusted third-party, the steps will differ slightly. 

Here’s how you can install a premium theme on your site:

  1. Start by downloading the .zip file of the new theme. 
  2. Log in to your WordPress dashboard, and go to Appearance, and then Themes.
  3. Click on the Add New option. You’ll then be directed to the WordPress theme dashboard. 
  4. Select the blue button at the top of the screen that says Upload Theme. Choose the .zip file from your computer after the prompt.

You’ll see a link to activate your team after a success message. That’s it!

While some themes are free, premium themes vary in price. There are options starting at $10 and ones going all the way up to $200. You can choose an option that fits your budget and preferences best.

Step 5: Install Plugins (Optional)

You can consider installing plugins to boost the functionality of your website. Think of them as applications for your mobile phone.

You can refer to our best WordPress plugins guide to zero down options, but you have free reign to choose the ones that appeal to you most. From optimization to website traffic analysis to security, you’ll find tons of options for every category.

That said, don’t go overboard when installing plugins. It ends up slowing down your website, which, in turn, might result in traffic loss. 

As they say, there is too much of a good thing.

Step 6: Configure Important Site Settings

Setting up permalinks is very, very important! Precisely why you should do this immediately after starting your WordPress website.

Permalink structure decides how your website links look. Think of it as a representation of your site structure. For NeilPatel.com, it looks something like this:

A good permalink structure tells your visitor exactly where they are on your website (in our example, they are in our blog section), while a bad structure does the opposite. Getting the permalink structure right is also crucial for boosting your SEO ranking.

There are many ways to do it wrong, which is why I’ve compiled a three-step guide to help you get it right:

  1. In your WordPress dashboard, click on Settings from the side menu and go to Permalinks.
  2. Under the Common Settings field, click on Custom Structure
  3. It makes zero sense to go for Numeric as it’ll only confuse your visitor. Plus, it doesn’t serve much for SEO purposes.
  4. Enter the tag string “/blog/%postname%/

Once you’re done, click on Save to save the changes.

Step 7: Set up Important Webpages and Promote Your Site

With your website ready, you can now focus on creating high-quality content that helps you boost your traffic and conversions. Start by creating essential webpages like About, Contact Form, Privacy Policy, Portfolio, and Store (if applicable).

Want more information and a step-by-step walkthrough? Head over to my guides on how to start a blog and how to make money from blogging.

I really cannot emphasize enough the importance of having optimized content on your website that is relevant to your niche. So make sure you do thorough research to get all the nitty-gritty right.

Conclusion 

That was all you needed to build a WordPress website. 

At the end of it all, you’ll have a domain name, a web hosting provider, and an up and running website. Keep experimenting in your niche, and you’ll soon establish a loyal fan base that values your opinion or love your products/service.

Have you launched your website yet? Who is your all-time favorite web hosting provider, if yes?

The post How To Build a WordPress Website appeared first on Neil Patel.

Best WordPress Cache Plugin

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

Three seconds. 

That’s all your visitors give you when they come to your website. If your website takes any longer to upload, 40% of people will abandon it. 

What’s worse, a one-second delay in page response can cause a 7% reduction in conversions. You’ll end up losing 40% of your website traffic, out of which 80% of these people won’t return—ever.

I could continue talking about these scary loading time statistics, but the bottom line is your website needs to be fast if you want to boost your traffic and conversions. If you don’t work on improving loading times, you’ll end up losing hundreds of thousands of dollars every single year.

Luckily, there is a solution: Installing a WordPress cache plugin.

These plugins are designed to improve your website’s speed by instructing the server to store some files to disk or RAM, depending on the configuration. After that, the plugin remembers and duplicates the content it’s served in the past.

The result? Faster web page loading.

#1 – WP Rocket – The Best for Speed Optimization 

WP Rocket is a premium WordPress caching plugin that many agree is the best in the market. 

It’s simple and beginner-friendly, which helps users who aren’t familiar with the typical jargon associated with different caching options. It has been specially designed to boost your website’s speed and performance.

Instead of waiting for someone to request a page to save it to cache, WP Rocket builds the website cache automatically. It also turns on recommended WordPress caching settings like cache pre-loading, page cache, and gzip compression by itself.

Precisely why you see an instant boost in your website’s performance after installing this plugin.

You can also activate other features offered by WP Rocket, such as DNS prefetching, lazy loading images, minification, and CDN support. They can help improve your web page’s loading time while simultaneously reducing bounce rates.

Plugin Features 

  • Cache preloading (two methods)
  • Browser caching
  • GZIP compression
  • Database optimization
  • Minification and concatenation
  • Defer JavaScript loading
  • DNS prefetching
  • Lazy loading

Pricing 

WP Rocket offers three subscription plans:

  • Single – $49 annually for one website
  • Plus – $99 annually for three websites 
  • Infinite – $249 annually for unlimited websites

Learn more and get WP Rocket today.

#2 – Swift Performance – The Best for Multi-Site Compatibility

Swift Performance is a WordPress caching plugin with excellent performance-optimizing capabilities that transforms caching as you know it. Although it’s a relatively new WordPress plugin, it has gained tremendous popularity among users in a short span of time.

It has all the necessary features to take your website performance and speed to the next level without breaking a sweat. The plugin has a unique database optimizer that cleans duplicated metadata, expired transients, and spam comments.

Additionally, you can optimize the delivery of static resources via its minification feature that lets you combine or minify CSS and JavaScript—all with a single click. It’s compatible with bbPress, Cloudflare, WooCommerce, and Varnish, among several other platforms too. 

I also like its Async Execute feature that allows users to run scripts individually as they upload. It’s super helpful to improve speed sites, deliver a better user experience, and boost SEO scores. 

Swift Performance’s schedule database optimization is another time-saving feature—provided you use the pro version. Lastly, you can also enable/disable plugins on certain pages thanks to its plugin organizer.

Plugin Features

  • Page caching
  • Pre-set optimization templates that you can quickly apply
  • Code optimization, including minification and combination.
  • Browser caching
  • Database optimization
  • Plugin organizer to disable plugins on certain pages

Pricing

Swift Performance offers three subscription plans:

  • Single – $39.99 per year for one site
  • Multi – $99.99 per year for four sites
  • Developer – $199.99 per year for unlimited sites

#3 – W3 Total Cache – The Best for Experienced Developers

W3 Total Cache is hands down one of the best open-source WordPress caching plugins that offers an out-of-the-box and advanced caching mechanism. While it’s packed with features, it’s also slightly complicated, especially for users who lack technical skills.

The plugin is compatible with most hosting plans, including shared, dedicated, and VPS server hosting. Since it’s free, you can use all of its features after installing the plugin—no upsells for you to worry about. 

It can improve your server performance by caching every aspect of your site and integrating with several content delivery networks. 

Developers, in particular, like this plugin as it can offer up to 80% bandwidth savings thanks to its minification feature that reduces the size of your HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and feeds without compromising other website elements. 

What’s more, this cache plugin works for both mobile and desktop versions of your website. I‘d recommend W3 Total Cache for WordPress ecommerce sites as it has tons of features that make it useful for sites with SSL certificates—something that most ecommerce sites have.

Plugin Features

  • Minification
  • Opcode cache
  • Database cache
  • Object cache
  • Browser cache
  • CDN integration
  • Fragment cache

Pricing

W3 Total Cache is an open-source plugin, and it’s available free of charge.

#4 – WP Super Cache – The Best for Customization

When a plugin has more than two million active installations, you know the developers are doing something right. 

Developed by Automattic, the same people who gave you Jetpack, Akismet, and WordPress.com, WP Super Cache is as popular as a plugin can get, and not without reason. 

The plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress content. Plus, it saves you a ton of bandwidth and decreases page load times since it makes the web server serve the lighter HTML files instead of the heavy PHP scripts.

You also get three caching modes with WP Super Cache: Simple, Expert, and WP-cache caching. 

Out of the three, the Expert mode is the fastest, but you have to modify the .htaccess file, which requires coding and web development experience. But if you do have the technical know-how, you can customize the plugin settings to make it more functional.

You can use the WP-cache caching mode to cache content for known website visitors. Due to this, the caching mode is ideal for websites whose users are typically logged in, can leave comments, or see customized content.

Don’t have web development experience? No worries, you can use the Simple mode, where all you need is a custom permalink. As the setting is easier to configure, you won’t have to change your .htaccess file.

Plugin Features

  • Page caching
  • Support for content delivery networks (CDN)
  • Caching for visitors using a mobile device
  • Browser caching
  • Scheduler to manage deletion and re-caching at given intervals
  • GZIP compression

Pricing

WP Super Cache is available free of cost.

#5 – WP Fastest Cache – The Best for Access to a Wide Range of Tools

According to the official WordPress directory, WP Fastest Cache is the highest-rated cache plugin. It has limited configuration settings, which makes it user-friendly and appropriate for beginners.

This plugin can create static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress site and also minify HTML and CSS files, which, in turn, reduces file sizes. What’s more, it combines these files to make your code cleaner and web pages leaner.

You can schedule to delete the CSS and JS files at a specific time later.

WP Fastest Cache implements WordPress broader caching effectively to reduce page load time for repeat visitors. It also combines several CSS files into one in a bid to reduce the number of HTTP round-trips. If needed, you can also disable emojis on your website.

The premium version of this WordPress cache plugin offers tons of unique features that boost your page speed by optimizing images, cleaning up databases, caching mobile devices, among several other features. You can purchase the premium version directly from your WordPress dashboard after installing the free plugin.

Plugin Features

  • Auto-deletion of cache files whenever a post or page is published
  • Supports CDN
  • Enable/Disable cache option for mobile devices and logged-in users
  • Block cache for specific page or post
  • Code minification
  • GZIP compression

Pricing

While there is a freemium version available, you can upgrade to the premium packages too. There are four subscription options:

  • Freemium 
  • Bronze – $49.99 per license
  • Silver – $125 per three licenses
  • Gold – $175 per five licenses 

What I Looked at to Find the Best WordPress Cache Plugin

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Choosing the best WordPress caching plugin won’t be the most straightforward task on your list. 

In addition to similar-sounding names, you’ll find most of them offer similar features in different ways, which is why they may end up conflicting if you use two or more at once. The fact that caching is technical also means you practically need to be an expert to make the right choice.

I’ve already listed my top five picks for the best WordPress caching plugins, but I want you to know how I reached this decision. 

Let’s take a look at the factors worth considering when researching caching plugins for WordPress.

CDN Support

CDN stands for content delivery network, a network of data servers that renders cache data to web users from a server nearest to them.

Whenever there is an increase in traffic on your website, there is also a simultaneous increase in your web hosting server’s processing activity. This causes a decrease in your website’s page loading speed.

This is the exact point where CDN comes into the picture.

Hold on. Things are about to get a bit technical here.

If you’re using a CDN, then static data from your website will get cached on every server in the CDN. As a result, whenever a user requests a page on your website, they’ll receive a cached copy from a server nearest to the user, preventing any delay.

This is why you should ensure your prospective caching plugin supports the CDN you use. If not, you might end up losing visitors.

Browser Caching Ability 

Browser caching means saving your CSS, logo, and other resources that would typically download whenever a visitor opens your webpage. This feature lets you decide how much of your webpage would be cached on the user‘s device, which, in turn, makes you independent of the user’s browser cache settings.

Look for options that allow you to set the time period for which you want the downloaded content to be saved on the user‘s system. 

That said, I wouldn’t recommend setting the time for the content to be cached for more than six months as it may result in the user getting web pages that aren’t updated. 

Asset and Page Exclusion

While many WordPress websites are purely static content, some also include dynamic content. This can include a membership website, an ecommerce site with WooCommerce, a website selling courses, and so on.

The catch is that dynamic content doesn’t play well with browser caching and page caching. Therefore, it’s wiser to look for a caching plugin that enables you to exclude specific pages and assets from being cached to prevent glitches.

Customer Support

If you’re new to the world of caching, chances are you might be hearing most of the terms we explained above for the first time. 

That’s why you should make sure the plugin developers offer efficient customer support that can help you whenever you get stuck with the daunting caching setup. If you find that a premium caching plugin offers better support, I‘d recommend choosing that over a free option.

After all, your peace of mind should always have top priority.

Conclusion 

Site speed is incredibly important for your website’s success. So if you aren’t using a caching plugin now, you’re already a step behind your competitors.

Go over customer reviews and do thorough research before choosing a plugin for your website. I’ve done my best to include options that come packed with features and ensure optimal results, but you can always opt for other caching plugins that you think will deliver better results.

In the end, the aim is to get those loading times short and your website super fast.

The post Best WordPress Cache Plugin appeared first on Neil Patel.

10 Successful Google Advertising Ideas

Coming up with Google advertising ideas is challenging. However, it’s well worth it to have a solid strategy.

With around 3.5 billion searches per day, Google gives you an incredible opportunity to get in front of the right audience. Of course, you first need to know what you’re doing. 

If you’ve been looking for ways to get the most out of your Google ad campaigns, this article is just for you. 

Before we get to strategy, let’s first understand what Google ads are. Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) is an advertising platform for PPC ads. With the right strategy, you can drive qualified traffic, connect with your target customers, and drive sales.

One of the platform’s best aspects is that it allows you to stick within your ad budget by setting your ads to stay within a certain daily, weekly, or monthly cap. You can also pause or completely stop the ads at any time. 

Sometimes in marketing, keeping a close eye on the budget can be a challenge. This flexibility allows you complete control over your budget.

If you’re not yet convinced about how effective the platform is, perhaps these numbers can give you more clarity:

  • 58 percent of Millennials say they purchased a product because of an online or social media ad.
  • 63 percent of users have clicked on a Google ad.
  • 43 percent of users bought a product after going online and seeing the ad.

It’s clear that Google ads can do wonders for your business and your bottom line.

The only questions now are: With so many marketers using the platform, how do you stand out in this virtual crowd? How do you create the right Google ads that get you in front of the right audience at the right time?

Let’s find out!

Tips for Generating Google Advertising Ideas

There are a lot of components involved in generating and executing successful Google advertising campaigns. Here are a couple of tips to set you on the right path:

Keyword Research

Keyword research is an essential element of your campaign. If you don’t get this part right, it will be challenging to achieve the results you’re looking for.

Below, we’ll talk more about keyword research for Google ads, but for now, it’s important to start generating some keyword ideas. To get started, you can use a tool like Ubersuggest

It’s a free keyword research tool that allows you to generate keyword ideas and look at some of your competitors and the keywords they’re using. 

ubersugget for google advertising ideas

Trend Forecasting

Predictions are an essential part of marketing. Before you start any campaign, it’s necessary to have some idea of what your success (or not) might look like.

Of course, the best way to predict this is with data.

Google Ads offers a keyword planner, which you can use to get forecasts for your chosen keywords. This planner can provide you with essential information, such as the number of clicks your ad might get every day, the average cost for those clicks, the number of impressions, the click-through-rate (CTR), and more.

With this information, you can start building a solid Google advertising campaign. 

Keyword research and trend forecasting are just a couple of essential steps to get started. Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty, the strategies, and everything that can help make your campaign a success.

Top 10 Google Advertising Ideas

It’s time to get down to the good stuff: What are the Google advertising ideas that can help you reach your goals?

1. Write a Good Headline

John Caples once wrote: “If the headline is poor, the copy will not be read. And copy that is not read does not sell goods.”

There’s no denying the impact that a strong headline has on your audience. Of course, this is what convinces people to click on the ad!

Here are some basic pointers for writing strong headlines:

  • Understand your audience. Who are you speaking to? 
  • Include your main keyword.
  • Address a problem your audience is facing.
  • Highlight the biggest benefit in the headline.
  • Don’t overcomplicate things. Keep things simple.
  • Don’t be afraid to add some humor.

Creating a headline can be one of the challenging parts of the campaign. Sometimes, you just don’t know where or how to start. Consider following a strategy, like Melanie Duncan’s 4U formula, to create useful, urgent, unique, and ultra-specific headlines to help you get started.

2. Think About User Intent Before Diving into Google Advertising Ideas

When we research keywords, we tend to focus on the numbers. How much search volume does this keyword get per month? What’s the cost per click (CPC)? What about the paid difficulty?

While all these numbers are essential to consider, the most important element of a keyword strategy should be the user intent.

Why? Because user intent (sometimes referred to as “search intent”) gives you the “why” behind the keyword.

Why did your audience search for that particular keyword? Were they trying to purchase something, or were they just trying to get more information about it?

Understanding your audience’s intentions can help you discover which keywords are the best to target for higher ROI.

There are four different kinds of user intents:

  • Informational: This is when a user wants more information about a topic. For instance, “How many calories in a donut?”
  • Navigational: This is when a user wants to go to a particular web page. For instance, if you want to go to the Neil Patel blog, you type that into your Google search bar.
  • Commercial: This is when a user wants to research a particular product or service. This user will likely make a purchase in the near future, but right now, they are at the research phase. For instance, “New iPhone specs” or “iPhone vs. Samsung.”
  • Transactional: This is when a user wants to take action, like buy a product. For instance, “iPhone charger” or “cheapest flights from LA to Chicago.”

Understanding user intent will help you target the right keywords. If someone is searching for how many calories are in a donut, they want content related to that. If your product is a calorie calculator, that’s great! They’re likely to go to the calorie calculator because it helps them fulfill what they’re looking for at that time.

Paying attention to user intent can help you rank higher and attract more clicks because you’ll be giving your audience what they want.

3. Advertise Limited Offer Sales

Any offer with a ticking clock naturally encourages your audience to act faster and purchase the product or service. That’s why limited offer sales work so well. 

In a nutshell, a limited offer sale is any deal, discount, or reward you offer to consumers who make a purchase during a certain period. 

An excellent example of this is Black Friday Sales. Every year, Black Friday sales seem to hit a new record, with consumers spending more and more. 

That’s because consumers know they’ll have to wait a long time before they can get the product at the discounted price again, so they’re encouraged to make the purchase quickly.

For your Google ad campaign, if you offer seasonal sales for any of your products, you can create ads around these sales and have them go live when your sale launches. 

4. Track and Use Google Advertising Data for Iterating

One of the most important elements of any successful advertising campaign is your KPIs

Depending on your ad goals, there are a lot of important metrics you can track, including: 

  • number of clicks 
  • CTR
  • CPC
  • conversion rate

Tracking your KPIs helps you know if you’re on track to meeting your goals or not.

For instance, if you see that you’re getting great clicks on your ads, but your CTR is on the lower side, it can mean your headline and keywords are getting you in front of your audience’s eyes. However, something about the ad isn’t connecting.

It could be the copy. It could be the cost of the product or service. Maybe the headline doesn’t connect with the offer in the actual ad. 

Whatever the case, now’s the time to look into it and adjust what you need to.

5. Choose the Right Campaign Type for Your Google Ad

You can use one of five different types of Google ad campaigns for your Google advertising ideas. 

Search Ad Campaigns

These ads appear at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). 

For instance, if someone searches for “nursery furniture,” this is what the results look like:

Searching for nursery furniture under google advertising ideas strategy

Creating search ads is great because of what we highlighted earlier: The platform receives over 3.5 billion searches per day! This is the perfect place because many people (including your audience) are already searching for products you offer.

Video Ad Campaigns

Video ads show up before, after, and sometimes in between YouTube videos. Research has shown how effective video has become over the past few years. Creating a video ad campaign, which is different from a text ad, might help you stand out and grab your market’s attention.

Display Ad Campaigns

Display ads are a way of attracting the market of a particular social media platform, website, or other digital channels to your product or service. 

The best way to go about this is to find the website or brand that best connects with your audience. Display ads are great because these are a win-win situation for both you and the owner of the site or digital platform.

The website owner gets an agreed-upon commission (usually based on clicks or impressions), and you have the opportunity to advertise in front of an audience that connects to your brand. 

App Ad Campaigns

If you have an ad, perhaps Google app campaigns can be the right choice. Here, you can advertise your mobile app through Google Play, Google Search Network, Google Display Network, YouTube, and many more channels.

For app campaigns, you can run ads that encourage your target market to install your app on their devices, or if there’s a new upgrade or version to the app, you can encourage them to take a particular action.

Shopping Ad Campaigns

Lastly, there’s Google shopping ad campaigns. These ads include your product’s images and prices, and you can run them from Google Merchant Center. 

You’ll input information about the product, and Google creates your ad from this information.

Shopping ads make sense if you’re trying to market a particular product but not necessarily your brand as a whole. 

These are all examples of the different types of Google Ad campaigns. As you can see, it’s essential to understand your product and your market. From this, you’ll be able to know which campaign best suits your needs.

6. Perfect Your Landing Page

You’ve done all the hard work of creating a great headline, finding the right keywords, and bidding for them. 

While these steps may get you clicks, it’s what happens after your market has clicked that’s so important. As you know, they still need to buy into the product or service you’re selling.

Your landing page is essential because this is what your user sees as soon as they click on your ad. Ask yourself whether the landing page addresses your market’s pain points clearly. Besides just addressing, does it also solve your audience’s challenges?

There are many elements to creating a perfect landing page, including using testimonials, the right images, and shorter forms, to name a few.

For some inspiration, here are some examples of great landing pages:

TransferWise landing page for Google advertising ideas
Wistia landing page for Google advertising ideas

From the above examples, you’ll notice that the landing pages are all simple and clear, and the copy and graphics immediately grab your attention. These are crucial elements of a successful landing page.

7. Make Your Google Ads Specific

Earlier, we mentioned the importance of understanding user intent when doing your keyword research because this helps you target the right keywords.

Now we want to highlight the importance of specificity. Your keywords shouldn’t be too broad as this might cause Google to place your ad in front of the wrong market. 

Naturally, this would lead to fewer conversions.

For instance, “nursery furniture” may seem like a good keyword at first, but you can do better by getting more specific. 

Aim for clarity and specificity in your keywords. Instead of just “nursery furniture,” how about:

  • “nursery furniture for boys” 
  • “nursery furniture for girls” 
  • “nursery furniture in Florida”

It might take a while to get the right keywords, but that’s fine. Remember to keep reviewing which keywords are getting the most clicks and which aren’t. This can help you understand what you should focus on and what to add, remove, or tweak to get the high conversions you’re looking for. 

8. Target Your Google Ads

When trying to get the right Google advertising ideas, remember there are three keyword match types: exact, phrase, and broad matches.

Exact Match

Compared to the other keyword match types, exact match is extremely specific. Initially, if you used this match type, users could only see your ad if they typed in the same keyword phrase. Since then, Google made a few changes so that even if your user doesn’t enter the exact keyword phrase, your ads might still match. For this, the match might be with plurals, synonyms, or different variations of your chosen keyword.

Using the exact match type is great because users who type in your specific keyword are more likely to convert.

Phrase Match

Your ad appears for a phrase match if a user enters your key phrase in the exact order, but there can be other words before and after the phrase. This leaves you with the possibility of increasing traffic. 

However, if the key phrase is too broad, this could mean getting lots of clicks that don’t convert because the phrase wasn’t specific enough.

Broad Match

The broad match reaches more people because your ad appears when a user types in any word of your key phrase, in no particular order. Like with phrase matches, you might get lots of traffic and clicks to your ads, but because it’s not specific enough, there may be fewer conversions.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to all three phrases. To get the most out of your Google advertising campaign, use a combination of all three so that you get a lot of traffic and conversions.

9. Optimize Your Google Ads for Mobile

While creating your ads and coming up with creative Google advertising ideas, it’s important to keep in mind that many users are using their mobile devices for searches. 

Research shows that 61 percent of US Google visits happen via mobile devices. Most people are using their phones for searches, and it makes sense to keep these users in mind.

Optimizing your ads for mobile includes:

  • choosing responsive landing page designs
  • compressing images
  • making sure the loading speed is fast

These small details can make a huge impact on how your ads display in front of your audience and your overall conversion rate. 

10. Make Your Google Ads Available in Other Languages

It depends on the nature of your business, but if you have an international audience or you’re in a multi-lingual area, consider making your ads available in different languages to cater to your audience that may not speak or understand English very well.

This may seem like a little detail, but don’t forget that language is powerful and helps us communicate and connect. If you have a non-English speaking audience you’re trying to reach, help bridge the gap by making the Google ads available in their languages.

Conclusion

It takes a lot to generate great Google advertising ideas. While the process may be a lengthy one, it’s certainly worth it to see increased clicks and conversions.

The above tips can help get you on the right path, but don’t forget to A/B test your ads to see what your audience responds to.

Do you have any other Google advertising ideas you swear by?

The post 10 Successful Google Advertising Ideas appeared first on Neil Patel.

New comment by KaitStephens in "Ask HN: Who is hiring? (February 2021)"

Brij | NYC, Austin, or Remote | Full Stack Software Engineer | Full-Time | https://www.brij.it/

*Founding Full-Stack Software Engineer*
Full time opportunity with benefits
Opportunity to be founding engineer with significant autonomy

Brij is a VC-backed startup shaping the future of how consumers connect with their products. Brij connects physical products to digital experiences with the simple scan of a QR code or NFC tag. *We are VC-backed, have a beta product and real paying customers*

Apply here: https://angel.co/l/2uKASy or email [email protected]

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7 Types of Small Business Loans for Women with Bad Credit

If you have bad credit, it can be hard to find small business loans regardless of gender. If you are a female business owner, with bad credit, it may help to look for lenders that offer certain types of loans, rather than small business loans for women with bad credit specifically. 

What’s Best As Far as Small Business Loans for Women With Bad Credit

There are certain types of funding that work well for all business owners with bad credit, including women. 

Small Business Loans for Women with Bad Credit: Credit Line Hybrid

The credit line hybrid is unsecured business financing.  It is available to pretty much anyone for any type of business expense. You can use it for real estate, equipment, working capital, and even startup expenses.  Not only that, but there is no security required.  Furthermore, there is no down payment, and you do not have to provide income documentation. It is completely no-doc financing. 

Now, you do have to have strong personal credit.  A credit score of 680+ is necessary.  Also, there cannot be any late payments in the past 12 months, there can be no open collections or bankruptcies, and there should be less than 4 inquiries in the past 6 months on your consumer credit report.  There also has to be at least 2 open credit cards with a $2,000 limit or higher with 2 years of good payment history. 

Where does the part about bad credit come into play? Here it is. If you do not meet these requirements, you can take on a credit partner that does meet them. The payments will still be reported on the business’s credit report, so business credit will build whether you get the financing yourself or through a credit partner. 

The best part is, amounts can range up to $150,000, and often interest rates are as low as 0% for the first 6 to 18 months.  

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Small Business Loans for Women with Bad Credit: Business Revenue Lending

If your business has consistent revenue of $120,000 per year or more, you may qualify for this type of funding. Lenders verify revenue using bank statements.  There can be no recent bankruptcies, but the minimum credit score to qualify is as low as 500.  

A business must also be in operation for a year or more, and they must do over 5 small transactions each month to get business revenue financing. 

Small Business Loans for Women with Bad Credit: Merchant Cash Advance

If your business accepts credit card payments and you have at least a 500 FICO, you could get up to $750,000 in a merchant cash advance. Credit rates are usually lower compared to traditional financing as well.  

Your business must bring in $100,000 or more per year in credit card sales, and typically you can get approval equal to one months credit card financing volume. 

Small Business Loans for Women with Bad Credit: Account Receivable Financing

Outstanding account receivables can also be a source of funding for your business. Get as much as 80% of receivables advanced in less than 24 hours. You get the rest of the accounts receivable amount once you collect full payment for the invoice. Closing takes 2 weeks or less. 

Receivables should be with the government or another business. Getting financing with receivables from individuals is not as easy. If you also have purchase orders, then you can get financing to have those filled. You won’t need to use your cash flow to do so.

Small Business Loans for Women with Bad Credit: Equipment Financing

You can secure this type of financing by using existing equipment or new equipment you want to purchase as collateral.  Funding is available up to $10 million. Terms range from 5 to 60 months, and you need a minimum 550 FICO. 

The equipment must be new, and most types of equipment are acceptable, including software. 

You’ll need to provide details on the equipment to be financed and, depending on the loan amount and certain risk factors, you may need to show 2 years corporate and personal tax returns.
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Small Business Loans for Women with Bad Credit: Enterprise SBA Loans

For these loans you have to have collateral worth up to at least 50% of the loan amount, but you only need a FICO of 620.  There also can be no bankruptcies in the past 4 years.  Only for profit companies qualify, and they must have positive trends in sales growth. Generally amounts are available of up to $12 million with terms up to 25-years. 

Small Business Loans for Women with Bad Credit: Real Estate Financing

Likewise, you probably will not be financing real estate with business credit cards, even if it is 0 interest. You can get real estate financing in amounts up to $10 million with terms from 6 to 60 months and interest rates as low as 6%.  You will need a 500 minimum credit score, and there are a few other requirements. 

How to Decide Which Option is Best for You

If you are looking for business loans for women with bad credit, it’s fair to say you aren’t that confident in your credit score.  A business credit expert can help you not only determine which of these options is best for your business, but also help you build fundability so you don’t have to worry about finding funding for your business. If your business is fundable, you can get all the business financing you will ever need. 

Grants for Women Business Owners

One area where you will find funding specifically for women, and credit isn’t an issue, it grants. 
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SBA Women’s Business Centers

In addition to helping with loans, the SBA Women’s Business Centers also help women entrepreneurs get access to other types of funding. Some lend money or award grants directly, while others help connect women entrepreneurs with financial institutions.  Take a look at their website to find out more on how to apply for women owned business grants through this network.

 Eileen Fisher Women Owned Business Grants

The clothing brand Eileen Fisher hands out $100,000 per year to 10 women-owned businesses. To qualify, a woman must have at least 51% ownership, and the business must be in operation for at least three years. Also, it must bring in less than $1 million per year in revenue and have a focus on environmental or social change.  

Amber Grant 

The Amber Grant awards $500 to $1,000 per month to a woman-owned business. One of the recipients also receives an additional $10,000 grant at the end of the year. Applicants only need to tell their story and turn it in with a $15 application fee.   

#GIRLBOSS Foundation Grant 

Specifically for woman-owned businesses in fashion, music, and art, the #GIRLBOSS small business grant awards $15,000.  They also offer exposure via the Girlboss website and social media platforms. Judges rate those applying on creativity, business savvy, planning, innovation in the field, need, and where they plan to work. 

Cartier Women’s Initiative Award 

The Cartier Women’s Initiative Award is $100,000 for first place and $30,000 for second place.  They award the grant to 18 female business owners from around the world each year.  Women business owners who are just getting started may qualify.  

 Business Loans For Women With Bad Credit Do Exist

They really do.  They just aren’t necessarily for women exclusively. Still, if you find something that will work with bad credit, you’ve found gold.  It’s even better if it can be used to build business credit at the same time.  

It does no good to find funding for bad credit once.  You need to work on the bad credit so you can eventually get the best terms and rates. This is where a business credit expert can be exceptionally helpful.

The post 7 Types of Small Business Loans for Women with Bad Credit appeared first on Credit Suite.

5 Reasons Why You May Need an Online Business Loan

These days you can find anything online. In fact, you can even find an online business loan.  Some business owners shy away from this option because of the fear of predatory lending. It is possible to find online lenders that will work for your business though. 

Is an Online Business Loan for You?

So, is an online business loan right for you and your business? Here are five ways to know. 

  1. You do not qualify for a loan from a traditional lender, like a bank or a credit union. 

          Online lenders tend to have less strict application requirements, including lower credit score minimums. 

      2. There is no time to wait. 

           You need funds quickly. Online lenders typically fund much faster than traditional lenders. 

      3. You flexible terms

          Online business loans often have more flexibility repayment options. 

     4. You have invoices or accept credit card payments.  

           Online lenders often offer invoice financing and merchant cash advance options. 

     5. It’s impossible for you to wade through the paperwork necessary for a traditional loan. 

           Online lenders usually have super fast application processes. Most of the time you can apply online for a business loan in just a few minutes. 

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Where Can I get a Business Loan Online? 

There is no shortage of options for online lenders out there.  However, you must be careful to choose the best one for you. It is extremely helpful to have a business credit expert help you.  Still, here are a few to help get you started on your search. 

Remember, details for an individual online business loan or lender,  such as interest rates, fees, and credit score requirements, can change frequently. Always check with the lender directly for the most up to date information. 

BlueVine 

BlueVine offers funding up to $100,000. Annual revenue must be $120,000 or more and the borrower must be in business for at least 6 months. Your personal credit score has to be 600 or above. It is important to note also that BlueVine does not offer funding in all states.  

Upstart

Upstart is an online lender that uses a completely innovative platform for loans.  The company chooses to use a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to gather alternative data instead of relying solely on credit score.  They then use this alternative data to help make credit decisions.

It can include such mobile phone bills, rent, deposits, withdrawals, and even other information less directly tied to finances.  The software learns and improves on its own. You can use their online quote tool to play with different amounts and terms to see the various interest rate possibilities.  

To be eligible for a loan with Upstart, you must meet the following qualifications per their website:

  • Credit score of 620+
  • No bankruptcies or negative public records
  • No delinquent accounts
  • Meet debt to income standards (they only note they will check this ratio, not what their standards are.)
  • Have fewer than 6 inquiries in the past 6 months on your credit report, not including those related to student loans, vehicle loans, or mortgages

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Fundbox

Fundbox is a great option because there is no minimum credit score requirement for their line of credit product.  

 They offer an automated process that is super-fast. Repayments are automatic, meaning they draft them electronically, and they occur on a weekly basis.  One thing to remember is that you could have a repayment as high as 5 to 7% of the amount you have drawn currently, as the repayment period is comparatively short.  This means you need to be sure you have enough funds in whatever account you connect them to so that it can cover your payment each week. 

Fora Financial 

Founded in 2008 by college roommates, Fora Financial now funds over a million in working capital around the United States. There is no minimum credit score, and there is an early repayment discount if you qualify. 

 The business must be at least 6 months in operation and the monthly revenue has to be $12,000 or more. There can be no open bankruptcies. 

Bond Street

Offering term loans of up to $1 million, Bond Street will ask for both EIN and SSN.

Their offer arrives within 3 days. They will only do a soft credit pull, and a 640 or better credit score is likely to get you a loan.  However, they will look at other factors too.  For example, they require 2 years in business and annual revenue of at least $200,000.

Lending Club

Lending Club offers term loans. Business loans go up to $300,000. You can get a quote in less than 5 minutes. Funds are available in as little as 48 hours if approved. There are no prepayment penalties.

Annual Revenue must be $75,000 or more. You must be in business for 2 years or more. Personal FICO score of 620 or better is required.

Rapid Advance

Rapid Advance offers standard, select, and preferred loans. Your company must have annual revenue of $120,000 or more. You must have a personal FICO Score of 580 or better. The minimum time in business is 2 years. 

Kiva 

Kiva is an online lender that is a little different. For example, the interest rate is 0%, so even though you have to pay it back it is absolutely free money. They don’t even check your credit. However, there is one catch.  You have to get at least 5 family members or friends to throw some money in the pot as well. In addition, you have to pitch in a $25 loan to another business on the platform. 

OnDeck 

Obtaining financing from OnDeck is quick and easy. First, you apply online and receive your decision once application processing is complete. If you receive approval, your loan funds will go directly to your bank account. 

You need a personal credit score of 600 or more.  Also, you must be in business for at least one year. Annual revenue must be at or exceed $100,000. In addition, there can be no bankruptcy on file in the past 2 years and no unresolved liens or judgements. 

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Accion 

If your personal credit is okay, Accion may be a good fit. It is a microlender, a nonprofit, that offers installment loans to both startups and already existing businesses. The minimum credit score is 575. In some places they will go as low as 500. You don’t have to already be in business, but if you are not, you must have less than $500 in past due debt. In addition, your business needs to be home or incubator based. 

 Credibly 

Credibly is also a good option for business loans if you are already generating some revenue. They offer short term loans for both working capital and expansion. You must be in business for at least 6 months to qualify, and they will approve loans to those with credit scores as low as 500. 

Do You Need an Online Business Loan? 

You might.  If you fall under any or all of these 5 reasons, an online loan may very well work for you. Business funding is a difficult landscape, and there are many more options than most realize. Consider these options, do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask a business credit expert for help.  It could very well propel your business to new heights. 

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Best WordPress Directory Plugins

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A functional online directory plugin will help you deliver business or personal information by location or category for internal or external use. 

Whether you want to build a glossary of names and terms for your employees or a comprehensive business index, a good directory plugin for your WordPress website will help you do just that. 

Directory plugins serve a simple purpose: to create a user-friendly database with up-to-date details for both your customers and internal team. Your plugin of choice will give you access to this information along with pictures, location information, and contact details. 

As there are many directory plugin options out there, I’m here to make it easier for you by narrowing it down to the top five best directory plugins for your WordPress website—so you won’t have trouble finding the right one for you. 

The Top 5 Options for Directory Plugins 

#1 – Business Directory – The Best for Extensive Directory Categories 

If you’re looking for a wide variety of directory categories to choose from, the Business Directory plugin is an excellent option. 

This plugin allows you to easily build the directory you want by seamlessly pairing it with any WordPress website. 

It doesn’t matter what type of directory you wish to build because the Business Directory plugin has it all. The plugin covers the basic local business directories as well as employee, member, restaurant, medical, tour and travel, hotel, software review sites, and book review site directories. 

Along with its extensive category list, Business Directory offers a simple installation process that WordPress users can rely on. 

With its easy directory templates, you can change the style and layouts to suit your preferences. This plugin also lets you have full-field control to create your own custom fields for simple list navigation.  

Some other helpful features include: 

  • Free and paid submissions for extra traffic or revenue 
  • Mobile-friendly listings 
  • Google maps 
  • PayPal and Stripe integration 
  • Full image support 
  • Rating module 

Business Directory offers three pricing plans, including: 

  • Basic: $199 per year for one site, unlimited listings, and one year of support 
  • Pro: $399 per year for up to five sites with all basic features and priority support (most popular)
  • Elite: $599 per year for unlimited sites with all pro features and all directory themes

These pricing plans may be quite expensive for some, so I recommend the Business Directory plugin for those who need a diverse range of categories for their directory. All pricing plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee. Try it today.

#2 – GeoDirectory – The Best Customizable Directory Plugin for WordPress

Customization is important for directory plugins, which is where GeoDirectory comes in. GeoDirectory is an excellent option for website owners who are looking for ultimate flexibility and customization options. 

With its incredible compatibility, this plugin works with any WordPress theme and allows you to easily customize your page the same way you do for your actual website and theme. GeoDirectory also lets you customize 40+ widgets, shortcodes, and blocks, and all features are available in any format. 

This plugin offers an intuitive drag-and-drop tool that helps you organize and reorder listing pages while easily adding customized tabs, fields, and content. 

Custom fields also come with a fully customizable and unique badge system that you can include in your listings. These badges include terms such as new, featured, and recently updated. You can also add badges with counts, video icons, and social links. 

By using GeoDirectory, your WordPress website will benefit from multiple advanced features, including: 

  • Add business hours to any listing 
  • Ratings and reviews 
  • Developer-friendly system  
  • Pre-built templates 
  • Advanced integrations 

As one of the most comprehensive directory plugins on the web, GeoDirectory offers four different pricing plans: 

  • Four Months: $99 paid every four months 
  • Six Months: $129 paid every six months 
  • One Year: $199 paid every 12 months (most popular) 
  • Lifetime: $995 paid once 

Every plan includes all products, add-ons, and premium support for the corresponding period. If recurring subscriptions aren’t your thing, GeoDirectory offers single four, six, and 12-month plans. A 30-day money-back guarantee covers all plans, except for the Lifetime tier. Learn more.

#3 – Connections Business Directory – The Best Free WordPress Directory Plugin

With its high-quality and supportive features, Connections Business Directory is a great free option for those looking for a starter plugin. With over 900,000 downloads, this plugin will help you seamlessly integrate your customized directory with your WordPress website. 

The Connections Business Directory system and database have been carefully crafted for maximum compatibility with WordPress, so your installation experience is smooth and simple—especially for website owners with little technical knowledge. 

The plugin is also completely scalable and gives you the option to manage hundreds of entries within your directory. 

Another outstanding feature of Connections Business Directory is the robust templates. For a free plugin, it offers you a decent range of templates to get you started—with a template pro package available for an additional cost. 

Apart from it being free, which is a huge bonus, Connections Business Directory has prominent features, such as: 

  • 30+ languages are translation ready 
  • Many free and premium extensions 
  • Repeatable fields 
  • Free support forum 
  • Developer-friendly with open APIs 

As you can install Connections Business Directory for free, they don’t have any pricing plans. However, you can purchase premium add-ons and extensions for an affordable price. Some of the most popular add-ons include the Widget Pack for $9.99 and the Custom Category Order for $4.99.

Template bundles include: 

  • Extension Pro Pack: $29.99 for one site 
  • Template Pro Pack: $59.99 for one site 
  • Pro Pack: $74.99 for one site

Although these prices are very affordable, it’s also important to create a budget not to overspend on the extras. In that case, you may find a different directory plugin with additional features for around the same price.

#4 – Advanced Classifieds and Directory Pro – The Best WordPress Plugin with Multifunctional Features

Create a powerful business directory using the Advanced Classifieds and Directory Pro (ACADP) plugin. With its unique unlimited features, you can build an advanced directory from scratch with little to no effort. 

Even though this plugin offers customizable settings and layouts for an easy view of your listings, the multifunctional widgets are by far the best feature to take advantage of. 

ACADP has a wide variety of WordPress-compatible widgets that offer a more convenient way for you to add and manage content on your website without complex code, making it a perfect tool for beginners. 

ACADP specifically designs the widgets to showcase listing-related information and tools for easy navigation. The widgets include ACADP search/filter, categories, locations, listings, listing address, listing contact, and listing video. 

Your website will easily support these widgets and all users need to do is hover and click on the widget they need for extra information. 

Being quite a comprehensive plugin, you will benefit from many features, including: 

  • Advertiser and user panel functions 
  • Backend management 
  • Email notifications 
  • Bookmark tools with advanced search and filtering 
  • Unlimited listings, categories, locations, and custom fields

ACADP has two pricing plans you can pay for monthly, yearly, or with a one-time life fee, which includes: 

  • Starter: Free and includes one site with unlimited listings, categories, locations, and custom fields plus email templates.
  • Professional: $9.99 per month, $95.98 per year, or $289.99 lifetime and includes one site with all starter features and payment gateways.

ACADP offers between three and five sites on the Professional plan, but you will have to pay additional costs according to how many sites you want. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans and a 20% discount on the lifetime plan. 

#5 – Name Directory – The Best Directory Plugin for an Online Glossary Builder

Name Directory is another free plugin, however, it’s a little different from the other options on this list as it isn’t a standard business index plugin. If you are a beginner looking for a more basic database that can build online glossaries for your WordPress website, Name Directory is an excellent option. 

With a similar control panel view to the WordPress administration panel, you will have a simple time adding to, navigating, and managing your online glossaries through Name Directory. You can add multiple directories with this plugin with simple shortcodes to copy and paste into the database. 

Every online glossary you build also has a few customization options to alter the directory’s layout and functionality. 

Even though this is a basic directory, there are still a wide variety of configuration options you can choose from to help maintain your online glossaries. 

Some of these include the option to show/hide title, description, and search function, select the number of columns to display, enter the subject of the directory, and limit the number of words in your description with a ‘read more’ link. 

Because it is an entirely free plugin, there are limited features, but Name Directory includes: 

  • An in-depth support forum with the developers 
  • Import CSV files 
  • Customization for listings 
  • Language support 

Name Directory is free to download and install. However, the developer team offers paid customization for anyone looking at a more extensive plugin at a low price. 

What I Looked at To Find The Best Directory Plugin for WordPress

Now that you know my top five recommendations for the best directory plugin for WordPress, it’s time for you to look for the right product for your website. 

To make it easier for you, I narrowed down the top three criteria that helped me find the best options above. All you have to do is weigh up these criteria against your personal needs to find the perfect plugin for you. 

Not every plugin will have all three criteria, but it’s important to find a plugin with at least one or two of these for you to use your website to its maximum potential. 

Customization for Listings 

Being able to customize your old and new listings is paramount to the success of your business index. 

Having a flexible and customizable plugin like GeoDirectory will make sure your listings are up-to-date for your users. 

Not being able to customize your directory will heavily impact your business due to lack of functionality, so it’s imperative to find a plugin that offers at least some customizing options. 

Rating and Review System

A rating and review system is paramount for letting your users express their opinions about your listed businesses. 

Just like the Business Directory Plugin that offers a rating module, it helps to bring more inclusivity to your website by allowing users to rate businesses on a scale of one to five. 

Plus, ratings and reviews help users decide on the most trusted service, and you can risk losing business without it. 

Bookmarking Tools 

A plugin that offers any sort of bookmarking tool will help transform your website. 

ACADP is one of the directory plugins that have this tool alongside advanced searching and filtering features. 

This tool will allow your users to bookmark individual listings for future reference, making it incredibly convenient while saving time. 

Your business index won’t completely suffer without it, but it’s a handy tool that will increase consistent traffic for your website.

Conclusion 

Finding the best directory plugin for your WordPress website depends on a few factors like customization, a rating and review systems, and bookmarking tools, among other features. 

Looking for these elements is a great place to start, as it will ensure you get the maximum support from your desired plugin. 

I’d recommend the GeoDirectory and Business Directory Plugin to anyone looking for extensive and highly customizable directory plugins for your WordPress website. 

GeoDirectory is the most customizable option on the list, with excellent WordPress compatibility and an intuitive interface. As a developer-friendly system, anyone can transform and customize the pre-existing databases to suit your every need. 

Business Directory Plugin is also great for extensive categories. If you have multiple niches and locations you wish to cater to, this plugin has it all in terms of options. It’s also mobile-friendly and has great payment integration options if you want to earn as you go. 

That being said, the other three directory plugins are excellent options that highly suit beginners. 

Here’s a quick recap:

The post Best WordPress Directory Plugins appeared first on Neil Patel.

How is MLOps Used in Business and Marketing?

Chances are, your brand has data scientists and operations professionals on the team, and while they do their best to collaborate, they each have their own areas of expertise.

This could lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings. The data scientists can interpret the data, but they likely don’t have the background to manage business operations. Likewise, the business team can make their side of things work, but they don’t fully know how to interpret and implement data.

Here is where machine learning operations (MLOps) come in.

In this article, we’ll discuss how MLOps can help with collaboration between your data and business teams, as well as additional immediate and future benefits of implementing it.

What is MLOps?

MLOps, in simple terms, is a set of best practices for improving communication and collaboration between your employees on the data science and operations sides of your brand.

In less simple terms, it’s a combination of machine learning, data engineering, and development operations. The goal is to provide a more streamlined process for developing and creating machine learning systems, allowing business administrators, data scientists, marketers, and IT engineers to cooperate on the same level.

It is an extension of what we know as DevOps. DevOps is the process of organizing cooperation between everyone involved in the design and building of big data. This process has been around for a while, but MLOps is still in its youth.

MLOps creates a lifecycle and a set of practices that apply to the development of machine learning systems. This includes research, development, operations, and implementation.

What Is MLOps

The process of brainstorming, developing, and implementing machine learning is extensive. Having a set of duplicatable processes to guide each project helps in many ways.

5 Benefits of MLOps

Now that we have a general understanding of MLOps, let’s look at how it can impact our businesses. All new technology has either a positive or negative effect on the digital marketing industry, so it’s crucial we understand what we’re getting.

1. MLOps Can Increase Efficiency and Automation

Making the most of our time is something most of us strive to do.

Ironically, we spend a lot of time figuring out how to do this.

We may look into all different kinds of apps and books. We could spend days reading articles or even attending seminars on efficiency and time management.

But, perhaps automating would be simpler for many people.

Automation, by definition, should increase efficiency. Once minute tasks are out of people’s hands, they can focus on big picture issues.

An essential but draining task many folks on data science teams spend time doing is data entry. That’s time they could spend focusing on the science rather than passively improving their typing skills (and, we all know, a typo in data entry can bring disaster!).

MLOps gives options for automating tasks like data entry. It takes some work upfront, but once things are going, the data scientists can get back to what they do best.

2. MLOps Eliminates Waste

MLOps helps businesses improve communication and avoid bottlenecks and costly errors.

How much time have you wasted answering the same questions, reiterating a previous point, or working extra hours to clean up an error because someone simply didn’t know what to do—or what someone else was supposed to be doing?

If you had a set of operations for each employee or contractor to follow, there would be no need to answer the same question continually. You could send them an operations checklist, and they work through it until completion.

The best thing about this is it’s highly duplicatable. I’ll use the example of a content marketing company creating content for its clients.

Let’s say you run a site reviewing camping products. Every page should follow the same basic format so your readers can easily compare products or skim to the parts they care about most.

Suppose you give your reviewers and editors a template to follow, step-by-step instructions, and information about what the others are doing. In that case, confusion can be lessened, and you can focus on which hiking boots are best in winter weather.

MLOps does this, not for content, but for communication. It allows leaders to share “templates” of what should be done on a given day and, after any frontloading, questions should lessen and related waste eliminated.

3. MLOps Focuses on Collaboration

As mentioned, a lack of communication can kill a business quickly. Collaboration between departments is so crucial. Otherwise, work gets lost, notes aren’t passed on, things get missed—and tempers may flare.

MLOps creates procedures for passing one task on to another department. The word “lifecycle” is often used to describe this process.

As a project moves through the lifecycle, workers should be able to see what has happened, what should be happening now, and what will happen next.

This is where we put on our marketer hat and look towards tools like ClickUp and Trello. These are useful for managing large numbers of tasks at the same time.

People involved in the project can access things like checklists and previous conversations at all points in the pipeline, eliminating the wait for responses on work chats or dealing with the dreaded group email.

Communications come in order, everyone who needs to be in on the conversation can be, and they’re unlikely to get lost in dozens of messages.

This process also allows for documentation. Not only does this create a paper trail of who did what so the right people can be given feedback, but it also eliminates miscommunication because it’s all outlined already.

4. MLOps Supports Machine Learning Models

MLOps Supports Machine Learning Models

Reducing the amount of variation from one project to another is an important key to scaling any business. MLOps help do this by creating reproducible models you can use as a benchmark at the beginning of each new project.

These data set registries help track resources, project data, logs, and metrics. These factors combined eliminate bottlenecks, reduce wasted time, and help move projects through the pipeline faster.

Essentially what you’re doing is creating a template that can be used over and over. These machine learning “templates” or “models” help reduce production time and produce a better product by having a benchmark to follow each time a new machine learning model comes out.

Having a duplicatable model is vital in marketing because it allows you to input any variable and experience the same result. SEO is an exceptional example of this.

Once you have a proven strategy to create content, upload it, optimize it, drive links to it, and re-optimize, you’ll never have to worry about variables because the steps are the same.

It wouldn’t matter if you were ranking an article about ergonomic keyboards or funeral home carpeting because the bones are the same.

It starts with providing those in need with the resources they want on their own time. We live in a 24-7 connected world where people work all different kinds of hours.

Gone are the days of working 9-5 and leaving all your work behind. Every employee or contractor you have should be able to receive an answer to any question when they need it.

If they have to sit around and wait for you to come back into the office in the morning, it’s creating a bottleneck, slowing down your process, and ultimately costing you money.

5. MLOps Makes Deployment and Implementation Easier

MLOps’ ability to improve communication, create processes, and automate things can make deployment and implementation easier because of the inherently reduced chances of errors.

With MLOps at their fingertips, developers can pack models much faster while still maintaining quality control with profiling and model validation.

It provides a way for data scientists and administrators to perform at a higher level with confidence in knowing each step was followed and validated for consistency.

What is the Future of MLOps in Business and Marketing?

MLOps is a new but colossal industry expected to hit $4 billion by 2025. The most significant impact it may have relates to how we manage data.

Data is meaningless if you don’t have an understandable way to translate it.

Machine learning operations allow you to take that data and turn it into something tangible. For example, if you made some changes to a specific business model and you notice worsening results after six months, you may want to circle back to the original model.

Plus, MLOps provides consistency. Producing a consistent product is a tall order because each scenario is different, and you’ll likely run into unique issues each time. Businesses all over the world struggle to put out a consistent product/service time and time again.

MLOps helps data scientists and operations managers work together to produce consistent results across a considerable time frame. As the project moves from one end of the pipeline to another, all the people involved need to have a way to ensure quality is maintained. MLOps can even automate the process of quality assurance with routine scans.

Conclusion

MLOps helps create lines of communication between everyone involved in the process of developing machine learning technology. As marketers, we can learn something from this and implement the same principles in our businesses.

Every business can benefit from clear guidelines and processes to follow. If you’re experiencing bottlenecks, slow production times, and a large number of errors, you might want to pull back the curtain and take a look at your procedures as a whole.

If that sounds like a lot of work, we can help!

How do you think MLOps will impact business and marketing?

The post How is MLOps Used in Business and Marketing? appeared first on Neil Patel.

6 Tools to Bring Your Content Marketing to the Next Level

Content marketing is not just the most effective forms of online promotion that you can take part in, it’s the foundation of pretty much any other form of digital marketing. It remains stable over time, …

The post 6 Tools to Bring Your Content Marketing to the Next Level appeared first on Paper.li blog.

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