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What Is a Domain Name Registrar?

The post What Is a Domain Name Registrar? appeared first on HostGator Blog . Every website you visit online has a domain name, which means that every website owner went through the process of buying and registering that domain name. It’s one of the first necessary steps involved in starting a new website, along with getting web hosting and building out your site . And it’s a step that requires working with a domain registrar .   What Is a Domain Registrar? A domain registrar, sometimes called a DNS registrar (short for domain name server), is a business that sells domain names and handles the business of registering them. Domain names are the main address a website uses on the web—they’re the thing that usually starts with www and most often ends with .com. While technically, computers identify websites with a different sort of address—an IP address that’s a long string of numbers separated by periods (e.g. 111.111.111.111)—humans wouldn’t be much good at remembering and using that kind of address. So for us, websites also have an address made up of alphanumeric letters, that usually spell out a word or brand name. And there’s a specific type of process behind how people claim domain names. There are registries that manage the different top-level domain s. The registries are large, centralized databases with information about which domain names have been claimed and by who. But the registries don’t sell the names directly, they delegate that job to DNS registrars. Registrars must be accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Then, each time they sell a domain to a customer, they’re expected to register it with the appropriate registry by updating a record with your information.   Domain Registration FAQs For the most part, this process happens behind the scenes for website owners. Part of the service a good domain name registrar provides is making the process of finding, buying , and managing a domain (or multiple) simple and intuitive. You don’t have to know how the sausage is made, but if you’re curious to learn more, we’ve got the answers to the most common questions about domain name registrars. What is the role of a domain name registrar? The domain name registrar handles the process of updating the registry when a customer purchases a new domain name. As part of that, they keep track of which domain names are available and typically provide customers with an intuitive search tool to find out what options they have. They handle the financial transaction with the customer, and provide the tools needed to maintain the domain name subscription over time. You can’t buy a domain name outright, you can only rent it for up to ten years at a time. DNS registrars usually provide the option of annual renewals or multi-year subscriptions, sometimes offering a discount for registering the name for a longer period of time upfront. Domain registrars will often provide a user account where you can keep up with your domain registration status, and features like automatic renewal or email reminders. What is a domain registrant? That’s you! Well, assuming that you, the person reading this, is planning to buy a domain name or already has one. Once you take the step of selecting and purchasing a domain name from a domain registrar, you become the domain registrant. And the title will continue to apply for as long as you keep up your domain subscription. In most contexts though, people are more likely to call a “domain registrant” a domain owner , or a website owner once their site is up. What is a domain registry? A domain registry is the database that includes all the information about a specific top-level domain (TLD). The term is also sometimes used to refer to the organization that manages the database, as well as the database itself.    Domain registries have relationships with domain registrars, who submit domain name registration requests and record updates to them on behalf of customers. One of the biggest examples of a domain registry is Verisign , which manages the databases for several of the most common TLDs, including .com, .net, .gov, and .edu. What is private domain name registration? Part of the domain registration process includes providing the registrant’s information to the database of domain owners. In addition to the domain registries, the WHOIS directory tracks information on every website domain that’s registered, who owns it, and their main contact information. That’s because someone needs to be able to identify website owners who use their site for illegal purposes. But in our age of high-profile data breaches and growing concern around internet privacy issues, not every website owner wants to put their name and contact information out on the open web. And it shouldn’t be a requirement for running a website. Thanks to the private domain name registration options now offered by many DNS registrants, it’s not. Domain registrars usually charge a little more in order to shield you from having your own name and information included in the directory. They provide enough contact information to the WHOIS to keep you on the right side of the law, typically an email address associated with the registrant’s company, and keep the rest of it private. What is a domain name server? We talked earlier about how computers don’t use domain names to recognize website addresses, they use IP addresses. Domain name servers are the technology that translates between the two. The domain name system is the protocol established to ensure machines exchange the right data for the average internet viewer to see the correct webpage when they type a domain name into their browser or click on a link. Domain name servers play an important role in that system, storing all the information required to connect a specific domain name address to the correct IP address. Each time a computer queries a domain name server for a particular domain name, it finds the appropriate IP address to serve up. How do I register a new domain name? Now that we’ve covered much of the back-end technical stuff, you’re probably wondering how this all translates into what you, a would-be website owner, need to do to get the domain name that you want for your site. Luckily, the process for you is pretty easy. Start by finding a domain registrant you want to work with (more on how to do that in a bit). Most of them make it easy to search for available names, see the different top-level domain options you can consider, and go through the purchasing process. Provide your name, contact, and payment information through a secure form on the registrar’s website, and you should be set! How do I find an available domain name? This part can be trickier. With billions of websites already out there, all of them with a unique domain name, a lot of your options are already taken. Finding an available domain name that’s easy to remember and describes what your website does can take some work and creativity. Expect to spend some time using your domain registrar’s domain name search tool . Try out different variations on the names you have in mind. Consider synonyms and creative spellings. While a .com is usually the easiest option for visitors to remember, consider if you’re willing to go with another top-level domain like .website or .biz. The TLDs that aren’t as common will have more domain name options available. What is a top-level domain? A top-level domain is the last part of the domain that follows a period, such as .com or .net. ICANN controls which TLDs are available, and used to be pretty strict about opening up new ones. Early on, most specialty TLDs related to a specific industry, type of website, or geographic location. For example, .com was for commercial businesses, .gov for government websites, and .org for nonprofit websites. But as the internet has grown, the need for more available domain names has caused ICANN to lift the restrictions on how many TLDs are available, and who can use different ones. As such, when you do a domain name search on your chosen registrar’s website, you’ll see an array of TLD options at different price points. If the name you want isn’t available as a .com, you may be able to get it for cheaper at a .us or .site TLD address. How does domain name transfer work? When you choose a domain registrar to purchase your domain name with, you don’t have to make a long-term commitment to working with them. You have the option of switching over to a different registrar down the line, although you have to wait at least 60 days, due to an ICANN policy designed to reduce domain hijacking. If you’re past that sixty day point, you can transfer your domain name to a new provider by unlocking your domain name at your current registrar, disabling any other privacy protections such as WHOIS domain name privacy, and obtaining a domain authorization code from your current registrar. Once that’s done, follow the domain transfer steps provided by the new registrar you’re switching to. For HostGator, you can start the domain name transfer process here .    What to Look for in a Domain Registrar Now that you know all the ins and outs of what a domain registrar is and how domain registration works, you’re probably ready to find a good domain registrar and get started. You have a lot of different options. Some companies only provide domain registration services. Others, like HostGator, offer domain registration along with other services like web hosting, so you can take care of multiple basic website needs all under one account. With so many options to choose from, you need to know what to look for. Here are some of the most important factors to consider. 1. Pricing Some of the cost of registering a new domain name is related to the name you choose. In particular, different top-level domains come at different prices. But you’ll also see some variety in what different companies charge. When considering the pricing of different domain registrars, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind, First, the prices advertised are generally for a one-year time period, but you should check to be sure. A domain name isn’t a one-time purchase, you have to plan on continuing to pay for as long as you keep your website. You want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, and not putting one company’s one-year price against the price another advertises for a longer period. Also, it’s fairly normal for companies to advertise an introductory price that you pay for year one that goes up in the second year. Don’t just consider what you’re paying right now, think about what you can afford on an ongoing basis. And as with most things, sometimes a cheaper price will mean you pay in other ways, as with weaker customer service or a worse customer experience. Don’t just jump at the first low price you see without researching the company to find out if they’re cheap for a reason. 2. Reputation While domain name management doesn’t involve that much interaction with the company, you still want to choose a domain registrar that will be easy to work with and reliable. Spend some time reading customer reviews and doing general research on the company. Are they well known as a legitimate domain registrar? Do they have a reputation for solid customer service? Do people find the registration and renewal processes intuitive? Your domain name is an important part of running your website and maintaining it over time. You can always transfer your domain later, but you’ll be better off picking the right DNS registrar from day one. 3. Extras Most domain name registrars provide services beyond just domain name registration. It’s very common for registrars to also be web hosting providers, and bundling the two services can increase your ease of use for managing each. Other good add-ons to look for are: Domain name privacy, which helps you avoid spam and any risk that comes with making your personal information more public. Auto-renewals, which allow you to put the renewal process on autopilot so you don’t have to worry about forgetting or doing any extra work to keep your domain name registration up to date. Email addresses that you can set up for yourself and people in your organization at the domain, making your communications look more official. A multi-year purchase option, so you can secure your domain name for longer without worrying about renewal. If any of these are features you know you want, find a domain registrar that provides them. Register Your Domain Today As you know by now, HostGator is a domain name registrar that provides an intuitive domain name search function and easy registration process.   We offer domain name privacy, automatic renewals, and the option to buy your domain for up to three years at a time. And on top of all that, we’re one of the most respected web hosting providers in the industry. If you want the convenience of managing your web hosting and domain name registration in one place, you can count on HostGator to be a reliable option for both. If you’re ready to move forward and buy a new domain name, get started searching . Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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Benefits of Magento Hosting

The post Benefits of Magento Hosting appeared first on HostGator Blog . Your eCommerce business is starting to come together. You have your business plan and an idea  of what the design of your eCommerce website will look like. But you still need to figure out the right eCommerce software and web hosting plan to get your eCommerce website working and ready for business. When considering your web hosting options, you may come across an option that addresses both needs in its focus: Magento hosting . What Is Magento? Before you can know if Magento hosting is right for you, you need to decide whether you’ll use Magento for your website. Magento is the third most popular eCommerce platform on the market (falling only behind WooCommerce and Shopify). It supplies the main functionality you need to run an eCommerce site, namely: A shopping cart Check out functionality Account creation and guest check out options Integration with payment processing apps to accept payment Ability to list your products and track availability Those are the basics you need, but Magento has a vast array of features that go beyond the basics. Between the core functionality of the platform itself and the extensions you can add to it , the software packs a lot of power into the framework it provides for your eCommerce store.   Why You Need eCommerce Software You know now that Magento is a type of eCommerce software, but maybe you’re wondering if you can get by without an eCommerce platform to begin with. eCommerce websites have unique needs that won’t be served by a web hosting plan or content management system alone. If you want to make sales through your website, then you need a way to list your products, track inventory, provide a secure checkout, and accept payments. If you think about the online stores you buy from the most often, they probably have additional eCommerce features like the ability to set up a wishlist, mark your favorites, set up subscriptions, or take advantage of coupons. For all of that, you need the right software. If you’re building an online store, consider eCommerce software a necessary part of the process. 12 Reasons to Use Magento for Your eCommerce Website Magento isn’t your only option, but it’s one of the most popular CMSes for eCommerce websites for a number of reasons. 1. Magento is free. Few things in life are free, and it’s even rarer for something with as much usefulness as Magento to be free. But the Magento core is freely available for anyone to use. You may incur some costs for extensions you add on, or for developers you hire to help you use Magento. But the platform itself won’t cost you a thing. 2. It’s open source. Magento is open source software which means that anyone with the skills to develop a new module or extension can do so. Magento boasts a community of over 300,000 developers. They have an active forum with thousands of contributors, all working to make Magento do as much as business owners need and want it to. One of the nice things about using an open source solution is that you can count on it to improve in quality and functionality over time as people work to make it better for the benefit of all users. 3. Magento’s advanced security is ideal for eCommerce. Website security is important for all website owners, but when you run an online store that regularly takes sensitive financial and personal information from customers, security takes on an extra level of necessity. In the eCommerce community, Magento is widely considered a strong choice for security. And while the core software provides security against hackers, you can make your Magento website more secure with any of the hundreds of security extensions available. In addition, Magento lets you control how much access you allow each person who updates your website to have. Security permissions help you limit the risk of an angry employee making malicious updates to your website, or someone accidentally breaking something on the site due to ignorance. 4. Magento supports huge eCommerce product catalogs and order volume It’s understandable to wonder just how much a free product can actually do, especially if you have big goals and expect to see significant traffic numbers or list a high number of products. Magento really can handle a lot. You can add up to 500,000 products to your store on one Magento site. And the platform can handle over 80,000 orders every hour (as long as your web hosting plan is also up to the task). Plus, Magento’s reporting dashboard shows you at-a-glance how those sales are translating to your bottom line: That means it should work for you in the early stages of building your business, and allow you tons of room to grow as your sales and customer numbers increase. 5. Magento’s flexible extensions make it easy to customize your online store. Magento is extremely customizable, especially when it comes to the changes you can make using the large library of extensions. You have a lot of power to make the backend of your website look the way you want it, as well as making the website itself intuitive for your visitors. And Magento has a lot of different features you can choose to incorporate if you so desire, such as using categories to better group your different products, allowing different payment options, and letting you manage orders through the platform. With Magento, you can configure your website to have the features you want it to, both on your end and the user end. 6. Magento’s shopping cart functionality is responsive. With over half of all web use now happening on mobile devices, it’s integral that all online stores make their website mobile friendly . Magento’s shopping cart functionality is fully responsive, which means it works just as well on tablets and smartphones as it does on desktop computers. The last thing you want is for half of your visitors to bounce because they find your website difficult to use on their particular device—or worse, bounce right before a sale because the checkout process is a pain on the small screen. Magento will help you avoid that fate. 7. Magento’s powerful product search helps customers quickly find what they need. Nothing else about your eCommerce site will matter if customers find using it more difficult than it’s worth. Your website has to provide an experience that’s intuitive and pleasant from the moment they first land on the site, to when they complete their purchase. Magento helps you realize that by letting you organize your products in user-friendly ways, so visitors can browse and filter results based on their particular preferences. You can enable features like auto-suggestion for search terms or display popular search term clouds that can further help customers find what they need. And you can load multiple high-resolution images for each product to help customers make a better decision. 8. Built-in features are designed to boost your conversion rate. Magento also has a number of options you can use to increase conversions and upsells. You can offer free shipping and discounts to incentivize sales. You can also add in areas for customers to add their own promo codes at checkout: You can enable one-click purchases (just like Amazon!) with their Instant Purchase feature: You can set up your website to display recently viewed products, so customers are more likely to go back and buy items they’d considered. You can have your website show related products , or items commonly bought together, to encourage customers to buy more products at once. Finally, you can make it easy for customers to share items they like on social or with friends. 9. Magento follows SEO best practices. The minds behind Magento knew the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) for a website and built a platform that made optimizing your pages for search simple. You can easily customize your URLs, fill in the relevant meta information on each page, and create an auto-generated sitemap to submit to the search engines. 10. Magento enables personalization. Personalization is an eCommerce tactic gaining steam and showing significant results. Magento’s core platform provides some personalization options, but you can go even further with tailoring the way customers experience your website with extensions that offer additional personalization features. With the Magento core, customers can create unique accounts so you can better track their behavior over time and show them products and ads based on past purchases or views. You can automate the process of serving up personalized recommendations for each visitor. With extensions, you can generate automated recommendation and reminder emails based on their past behavior and deliver personalized ads across other sites to help get past visitors back on your site. 11. Magento works with third-party applications. Magento helps power a lot of useful features and functionality on your own website, but what happens on your own website is only part of running an online store. You also need to think about marketing your store in various channels around the web to get customers to your website to begin with. Not to mention all the work you have to do to keep up with your business’s finances. Magento is compatible with a wide range of third-party applications that help with those parts, including email marketing software, Google analytics, accounting software products, and payment processing apps. Easy integration with the various apps you need to run your business make all the extra business tasks you have to take care of easier. 12. Magento tutorials abound online. Nothing is perfect, and one of the downsides of using Magento is that it has a learning curve. If you’re not a professional developer, or you don’t have the budget to hire one, learning the ropes of using Magento can take some time and work. But you can find a lot of useful information to help you get started online. Free tutorials are available on sites like TutorialsPoint . Or for a more thorough introduction, you can take one of the courses offered at Magento U for a fee. What is Magento Hosting? Magento hosting is a web hosting plan that provides compatibility with the eCommerce software Magento. While Magento is free and provides a lot of useful features for running an online store, one thing it notably doesn’t provide is web hosting. Magento hosting plans will often provide the additional important business features an eCommerce website needs such as an SSL certificate and compatibility with third-party solutions commonly used by businesses, such as email marketing and Google Analytics. While many web hosting plans that aren’t specifically Magento hosting may make it possible to use Magento, an application web hosting plan that provides specific functionality related to using Magento can often better meet the needs of eCommerce stores that depend on the shopping cart software. 5 Benefits of Magento Hosting When choosing the best web hosting option for your eCommerce store, you’ll benefit from prioritizing Magento compatibility upfront. There are five main reasons to specifically seek out an application hosting plan that works with Magento specifically. 1. Easy installation With a Magento hosting plan, you can trust that adding Magento to your web hosting account will be quick and easy. With HostGator’s Magento hosting, you can add the application in one click once you’re signed into your web hosting account. You can focus your time on building your website, rather than figuring out how to get your eCommerce software and web hosting service to work together. 2. Assured compatibility If you’ve already made the choice to power your eCommerce options with Magento—and especially if you’ve already put the work into using it in designing your website—you really don’t want to realize after you sign up for a web hosting plan that there are compatibility issues in getting Magento to work right with your plan. Save yourself the trouble of having to work to get the two programs to support each other, or worse, having to switch over to a new web hosting provider after you’re already eager to launch. Start with a plan you know will work seamlessly with Magento from the get go. 3. No performance issues One of the complaints you’ll occasionally see about Magento is that some sites face performance issues, such as slow loading times. In fact, the issue isn’t usually Magento when that occurs, it’s that the website owner went with a web hosting plan that wasn’t up to the task of running the Magento site. To avoid performance issues, find a Magento web hosting plan that provides the degree of power and bandwidth you need. 4. No hidden fees Some web hosting plans will advertise an upfront price, then hit you with unexpected fees when it comes time to add the apps you need to your account.  With Magento hosting, you not only know that your web hosting plan will be compatible with your Magento site, you can also trust that you won’t have to pay anything extra to use Magento with the plan you buy. 5. Proper security As we’ve already established, security is paramount when you’re running an online store. Choosing a secure web hosting provider like Magento is one step to making your eCommerce site secure. Finding a web hosting plan that also promises top-notch security is another. A good Magento hosting plan will have strong firewalls in place to protect your website from hackers and offer additional security features, like an SSL certificate and security software you can add to your website. Get Started with Magento Hosting Starting an eCommerce website is a big deal. If you make the right choices, it can put you on the path to big profits. Early on, two of the most important choices you can make are which eCommerce software to go with and which web hosting plan to choose. If you go with Magento, picking a Magento hosting plan to go along with your choice just makes sense.Get started with HostGator’s application hosting . Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Write Blog Posts for Your Buyer Personas

The post How to Write Blog Posts for Your Buyer Personas appeared first on HostGator Blog . Quick quiz for business bloggers: In one sentence, describe the audience for your blog. If you had your answer ready, you’re ready to write must-read content for your customers. If you had to stop and think about who your audience is, or if you said “everybody,” it’s time to get a clear picture of your readers so you can create more effective content. In both cases, the key is to research, build, and use buyer personas. Write for a Specific Persona If you aced the quiz, it’s because you have a customer persona . Personas are like character sketches for marketers and bloggers. They define types of audience members by their interests, age range, online behaviors, and shopping habits. You create personas based on data from your site analytics, social media monitoring, site-visitor surveys, and interviews with your readers and customers. If you’re just starting out, research the types of people you’d like to have in your audience. Start with the persona that represents the largest part of your audience. Let’s say you have a blog for your hobby farming supply business. Your primary persona might be a retired banking executive (let’s call her Daisy) in her early 60s whose partner is also retired. She recently bought a vintage farmhouse on a small acreage. Her interests are raising flowers and herbs for market and she’d also like to set up a duck pond and a rental cottage on her property. Daisy likes to carefully research purchases and she prioritizes quality over price. Here’s a sample persona template you can use to create your own website personas: Speak the Same Language as Your Customers Whoever your persona is, write in a voice that they’ll understand. Let’s stick with the hobby farm supply example for a bit. Maybe your background is in agribusiness. Daisy, your retired banking-executive persona, won’t know the ag jargon that you do. She searches for terms like “how much to feed ducks,” not “how to formulate balanced poultry rations.” Include the keywords she’s likely to use in your posts to show her you’re speaking to her, so she’ll stick around. Bonus: Better SEO is a natural outcome of using the phrases your personas use. Not sure how your persona talks about or searches for their interests? Look at your blog and social media comments and email messages from your customers. Monitor your Google Search Console data to see which keyphrases bring readers to your blog. And check out other blogs, vlogs, and podcasts in your niche. The goal isn’t to copy anyone else’s voice but to connect with prospective customers by speaking their language. Tailor Post Length to Your Audience and Your Goals How long should your business blog posts be? That depends on your goals for each post and the time your persona has to read it. Daisy is retired and has time to focus on her interests, but an audience of mid-career professionals with small children will have less time to read. Short and long posts both have their place on your posting schedule, but you’ll want to skew toward what your audience prefers. The Case for Short Blog Posts Short blog posts of at least 300 words are a great way to tackle niche topics. That’s good for readers who want specific information. It’s also good for SEO, because narrowly focused posts can help you rank well for longtail search phrases . For example, if the persona you’re writing for is a pet rabbit owner, it’s going to be hard to rank well for “rabbit care,” which generates more than 443 million results. By going into more detail with posts on “elderly rabbit grooming,” “safe chew toys for rabbits,” “how to build a rabbit castle” and so on, you’re more likely to reach readers searching for those topics. You can later compile all your short posts on one topic into a PDF to give away to readers who join your list. The Case for Long Blog Posts Long posts —1,000 words and more—are more challenging to write and require a bigger time commitment from you and your customers. Long content typically does well in search results, so it’s worth your time to create at least a few. These can be mega-posts that combine and expand on previous short posts. They can also be new content, like a list or a how-to guide, to promote an upcoming launch or new product. For example, if you’re preparing to start selling an online course , a long post that includes a sample of the class material can help prospective students decide to register. Take your time writing and editing long posts to make sure they deliver what your personas want to know, using the same language they do. And if you’re planning a product launch, review your current site hosting plan to make sure it can handle launch-related spikes in traffic. You may want to upgrade to a more powerful plan like HostGator Cloud Hosting for more speed and bandwidth, and add on CodeGuard daily backup service to easily restore your site if your launch-prep site changes temporarily break things. Pace Your Blog Posts Properly Ask your readers how often they want to hear from you, then build a calendar to match your persona’s preferences. If you don’t have a big audience yet, remember that most people are happy to read one or two new posts a week from a blog they value. Less than that is probably okay, too. Too-frequent posts may overwhelm subscribers and lead them to drop your blog. Save daily posting for when you can hire help, have a large audience, and have specific marketing goals that require lots of new content. Keep an eye on your blog, email, and sales metrics. Over time, you should see how your publishing schedule affects page views, time on the site, email opens and clickthroughs, unsubscribes, and conversions. Tweak the schedule if you need to so your readers stick around. Close with a Call to Action What separates good bloggers from great bloggers? Great bloggers who build thriving online communities and businesses have a clear goal for each blog post before they write it. Before you write, decide what you want your readers to do when they reach the end of your post. Do you want them to join your email list ? Share your post? Buy your duck brooders? Once you know, ask them to do it. Don’t assume it’s obvious. Life is filled with distractions, so make your calls to action clear: Join the list. Get the book. Register now. Reserve your appointment. There’s one other benefit to building personas before you blog. It helps to make your posts more conversational and builds rapport with your audience. So, whenever you’re ready to write, think about your persona, what they want to know, how much time they have to read, and the keywords they search for. Then you’re ready to write posts that will connect. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Create Services Pages that Showcase Your Work and Win You Clients

The post How to Create Services Pages that Showcase Your Work and Win You Clients appeared first on HostGator Blog . Every kind of service business has the same basic challenge: You need to let your target customers know what you offer, why you’re the right person for the job, and how to contact you. That’s why it’s so important to have a well-written, well-designed services page on your website. 5 Tips for Building a Service Page that Wins Clients Here are our top five tips for building a services page that works. 1. Know the ideal audience for your services. Who is your services page for? A good services page speaks directly to the needs of your best customers—or, if your business is brand-new, the customers you hope to have. Think about your customer personas, if you’ve developed them. If you haven’t yet developed customer personas for your marketing , do that before you create your services page. 2. Decide whether you want one services page or a page for each service. If you already know you’re going with a single-page website, then your services section will be part of that single page. Otherwise, you need to choose to have one or multiple service pages. When you should have one Services page Putting all your information on one page makes it easier for visitors to scroll through your offerings on a phone. Some SEO experts and theme developers also say putting all the information on one page moves visitors through the conversion funnel faster, so they’re more likely to subscribe or contact you. One services page may be best: Your business is new and you don’t have a big portfolio yet. You offer a small range of easy-to-understand services. Most of your customers find your site through mobile search. When you should have multiple Services pages You can also have a services overview page that links to individual pages for each service. This gives you more places to use focus keywords to boost your SEO. The trick here is to limit the number of subcategories, so your site remains easy to navigate. Multiple services pages may be your best bet if: You have portfolio examples and testimonials to show for each type of service. You offer a large range of services or services that require explanation. You’re in a competitive niche or location and want to raise your SEO game. 3. Create content for your services page Every service page needs your unique selling proposition, service descriptions, social proof, and calls to action. Your USP You don’t have to write a novel, but this is the place to brag on yourself. Do you have years of experience? Thousands of positive customer reviews? Case studies showing how your services helped clients reduce costs or increase revenue? Link to or embed that information here. Service descriptions Go into some depth on each service, because longer copy with relevant long-tail keywords can help your page rank better in search results. Does your premium dog grooming package include a canine massage? Do your birthday party packages include gluten-free cupcake options? People searching for this level of detail are often ready to buy. Help them find you! Social proof If you have them, include or link to portfolio samples, reviews, testimonials, or case studies somewhere on your services page—either in your USP at the top or in each service description. A call to action Put your call to action (“call us now” or “request a quote”) at the top and bottom of your page. Signup content To stay in contact with undecided visitors, offer free content in exchange for their email address. It can be general, like “A guide to choosing a home renovation contractor.” You can also create several pieces of content tied to individual services, like “How to decide between wood and vinyl siding” and “Which replacement windows are right for your home?” You can segment customers who sign up by the types of content they request and nurture those leads via email. 4. Make your services page easy to navigate. Now that you have the information you want to include on your services page, make that information easy for potential customers to use. Scan-friendly copy Organize your text so it’s easy to scan. Subheadings, short paragraphs, and bulleted lists are easier to read on small screens than long paragraphs. Consistent style Keep your headings consistent. On a single services page, use the same heading level (H1 or H2) for each service you offer, with descriptions underneath. This helps readers grasp your services at a glance, and it’s better for SEO, too. If you make separate pages for each service, keep descriptions, heading usage, and page formats consistent across those pages. Consider turning on breadcrumbs, so users can easily see where they are. Appealing design You can design your services page with the Gutenberg drag-and-drop editor when you choose one of HostGator’s managed WordPress hosting plans. These plans come with more than 100 free template options to help you design a great-looking site fast. You can also install other WordPress themes to get the look you want. Some of the free themes we like for small businesses and solopreneurs are Experon, Life Coach, Ryan Grid, Astra, and Schema Lite. Want to have a pro design your services page? You can save time and get great results with HostGator’s Website Design Services . In addition to a professionally designed site, you also get expert SEO guidance, individual training, and monthly marketing help. 5. Monitor your services page metrics. After you debut your services page, watch your metrics in Google Search Console. When you click the Performance tab, you’ll see a list of the search queries visitors have used to find your site, the click-through rate from search results, and the pages they visited. Over time, you’ll see whether your services page keywords match the keywords your visitors use to find your page. You’ll also see whether they’re sticking around, signing up for your free content, and more. You can adjust your keywords, calls to action, and other page elements if you need to, based on your Search Console data. Ready to get started? Check out the services pages for HostGator’s managed WordPress hosting plans and Website Design Services today. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Use Facebook Messenger for eCommerce

The post How to Use Facebook Messenger for eCommerce appeared first on HostGator Blog . Facebook Messenger is no longer just an app you can use to message your friends. Now it’s an app where you can chat with your friends and shop at the exact same time. That’s right, Facebook Messenger is also a powerful tool for eCommerce. According to Statista, there are now 1.3 billion monthly active Facebook Messenger users worldwide. That’s a ton of users that you can interact with. But, don’t open Facebook Messenger and start messaging your followers at random, telling them to buy your products. Not only is that time consuming, but it’s also ineffective — and weird. So, how do you use Facebook Messenger successfully to impress your customers and grow your sales? Here’s how to use Facebook Messenger for eCommerce. 1. Convenient Customer Support With the advances in technology we have today, customers are no longer interested in calling your customer service line or waiting hours for you to answer a customer support email. In fact, 12% of Americans rate their number one frustration with customer service as “lack of speed”. They want lightning fast customer service and support, so your business needs to adapt. Luckily, with Facebook Messenger you can provide quick and convenient customer support to consumers around the clock, no matter where they are. But this doesn’t mean you need to be sitting around, Facebook Messenger app open, and answering customer support questions all day, you can use a Facebook Messenger chatbot to handle customer service for you. With a tool like Many Chat , you can easily create a Facebook Messenger chatbot to answer all of your customers’ pressing questions and concerns — without having to touch a line of code. With this tool, not only can users access your customer support right from Facebook, but you can also add a Facebook Messenger Customer Chat window to your eCommerce website . This way, all of your customers will be aware of your convenient customer support option, not just the ones who follow you on Facebook. 2. Generate Leads and Deliver Content Most users that visit your website will not buy anything from you on their first visit. They might be checking out what you have to offer, comparing prices, or reading reviews before they make the decision to purchase. So, instead of risking losing these visitors, take the opportunity to turn them into a lead. A highly effective way to turn consumers into leads is by offering a free gift like a coupon or exclusive content through an email signup optin on your website. But, for those users who would prefer not to get content via email, you can send their content via Facebook Messenger instead.   OptinMonster , a powerful lead generation tool for your website, now has a chatbot integration feature that allows you to do just that: Simply connect your OptinMonster account with your ManyChat account and you can drag and drop the Facebook Messenger block right inside your optin form. The users who previously would avoid signing up for your email list have a whole new avenue available to them, giving you more opportunity to generate leads. 3. Personalized Recommendations Personalization is important in eCommerce. In fact, 33% of customers who abandoned a business relationship last year did so because personalization was lacking. Luckily though, you can use Facebook Messenger to enhance personalization for your customers too. By using a chatbot for Facebook Messenger, you can give personalized recommendations to give your customers exactly what they want. That will not only impress them, but boost your sales as well. Take a look at this example from Lego. Their chatbot, named Ralph, can help customers find the perfect products by asking questions such as where they’re located , how old they are, budget, and interests. This added level of personalization will help prime your potential customers for checkout and make their overall shopping experience with your online store a breeze. 4. Offer Easy Checkout What if customers didn’t even have to visit your website to make a purchase? After all, the more options your online store provides for your customers to buy, the more opportunity you have to boost sales. Well, you can make that dream a reality with Facebook Messenger. With Facebook Messenger chatbots you’re not limited to giving users product recommendations; you can actually allow users to browse products and checkout right from the app. This option eliminates steps for the consumer; instead of asking them to visit your site to make the purchase, the checkout button is right there, making them more likely to take action. You can even send abandoned cart messages via Facebook Messenger that include a checkout button. So, no more losing out on potential sales. Consider adding urgency with a message like “Last chance to claim this offer!” to increase conversions even more. Your customers will love having the ability to shop at your online store without ever having to leave the Facebook Messenger app. Boost eCommerce Sales with Facebook Messenger Your target audience is probably on Facebook multiple times throughout the day — aren’t we all? Why shouldn’t your eCommerce business be there too? Don’t miss out on using this powerful social media messaging app for your eCommerce business. When you use Facebook Messenger for your eCommerce business you can increase customer satisfaction, generate a ton more leads, and boost your sales. Plus, it’s easy and affordable too. Start turning your instant messaging conversations into sales today. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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