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How to Set Up Online Reviews on WordPress

The post How to Set Up Online Reviews on WordPress appeared first on HostGator Blog . There are multiple ways to incorporate reviews into your WordPress site . Whether you’re looking to create a review-based website, or you run a site for your small business and you’d like to add reviews to your site, this post is for you. Like most things WordPress there are a dozen ways for you to accomplish any kind of task. Adding reviews to your site is no different. Below you’ll learn what WordPress review sites are and how you can build one and the best themes and plugins to use. Plus, we’ll show you how to incorporate reviews into your existing WordPress website. First, we’ll cover how to create an affiliate review site. If you’re looking to add reviews to your small business site , you can click here to hop straight to that section.   What is a Review Website? A review website is one that’s geared towards writing product reviews. You’ll find these kinds of sites scattered across almost every niche. One of the most well known of these sites is the WireCutter . The main goal of these sites are to generate revenue via affiliate marketing . The process is simple: you find a niche that’s being underserved with low quality content, and then you create higher quality product reviews. As your site builds traffic, you’ll generate revenue whenever someone purchases a product through your link. Essentially, it’s a content driven website that’s focused on providing visitors with accurate and helpful information related to products they’re thinking about purchasing. This style of site can be pretty lucrative, but you need to do it the right way. This not only means that you need to create affiliate review content that’s better than what’s currently ranking, but you also need to lay a solid foundation for your site. We’ll get into that below.   How to Start a WordPress Review Website If you’ve been wanting to start your own review-style website, then there are a few things that you’ll need. Review sites are mostly content-driven sites, but you’ll need a stable website base to work from before you write your first word of content. Here’s how you do just that:   1. Choose Your Domain Name, and Host The first things you’ll need when starting a new WordPress review website are a reliable host and domain name. There’s a nearly endless supply of hosting and domain name providers to choose from. But, if you’re looking for a high-quality and high-performing WordPress host, then look no further than HostGator. You can even register a domain name through HostGator as well. This will not only save you time, but you’ll be working with a provider you can trust.   2. Choose a WordPress Review Theme With your hosting and domain name squared away you’ll need to install WordPress. WordPress is a free CMS, so there’s no upfront cost. However, as your site grows, eventually you’ll want to invest in premium themes and plugins (which we’ll cover below). Let’s start by choosing your WordPress theme. Here are some of the best paid and free WordPress review themes.   1. REHub REHub is designed with review-style WordPress sites in mind. It allows you to create simple review-style blogs, all the way up to magazine style sites. With a variety of page templates and custom widget areas to choose from, this theme is incredibly flexible.   2. InReview InReview was developed by the team at Elegant Themes. Beyond its beautiful layout, this WordPress review theme has built-in review features that not only let the author create a starred review, but also the readers as well. This can help build trust among your readers, as the content appears peer-validated.   3. Huber Huber is a really cool WordPress review theme that takes style cues from the video game industry. However, just because the sample theme is geared towards gaming doesn’t mean it can’t be used across any niche. It’s very versatile and its unique review structure and layout can help you stand out in your niche.   3. Install the Best WordPress Review Plugins Beyond choosing a review-oriented theme there are some additional plugins you might want to install as well. These WordPress review plugins will help to transform any site into an in-depth review monster.   1. WP Customer Reviews If you want to have the ability to let your readers post reviews, then you’ll want the WP Customer Reviews plugin. You can either create a dedicated page for customers to add reviews, or you can add reviews to individual posts. Finally, this WordPress review plugin has anti-spam protection built-in, along with admin approval features, so you can ensure that all the reviews on your WordPress site are actually authentic.   2. WP Review WP Review is a free plugin that’s easy to use and will help you create rock-solid review posts, just by following a few simple steps. You can customize the appearance of this WordPress review plugin via CSS, and you can use the included shortcodes to display reviews anywhere across your site. You’ll also be able to create star, rating, and percentage reviews. Plus, it’s fully compatible with Google Rich Snippets. If you want to upgrade this plugin there’s a premium version available through MyThemeShop .   3. WP Product Review The WP Product Review plugin has both a lite and premium version. Overall, it allows you to easily add reviews to your WordPress site. When you’re writing a blog post, just select the product review option and you’ll get a menu of available settings for you to fill in. There are also additional features like the ability to add user reviews, or add reviews to your sidebar. It’s also integrated with Schema rich snippets for better search engine display.   4. Start Publishing Great Review Content Now that your site’s scaffolding is in place it’s time to start creating your review content. The content you create will make or break the success of your site, so make sure you’re creating in-depth reviews on WordPress that add real value for your readers. If you want to take your review site to the next level, consider actually purchasing the products or software you’re reviewing. This will give you a huge leg up on a lot of other sites out there that haven’t actually spent serious time with the products being reviewed.   Best WordPress Plugins to Optimize Your Reviews Beyond the basic plugins we’ve outlined above, there are a few more that will enhance the readability of your content. Remember, review-based content is all about conversions. So, the more informative and higher quality your content is, the better chances it has of converting readers into buyers—and earning you that affiliate check! Here are three additional WordPress plugins that can help elevate your review content:   1. Pretty Link Pretty Link is a useful plugin that helps you manage your affiliate links, while cloaking them so they don’t look spammy. Plus, you can do cool things like setup URL redirects and track your links to see if people are actually clicking.   2. Easy Azon If you plan on promoting and reviewing products from Amazon, then Easy Azon is an invaluable WordPress plugin. It makes it very easy to select and create Amazon affiliate links. You can do it all from your WordPress dashboard. This is a huge timesaver if you’re creating a lot of content.   3. Thrive Architect The Thrive Architect plugin might only be useful to more experienced website builders, but it’s worth mentioning. With this plugin you can create highly structured content with visual elements in place that encourage your readers to keep reading. Plus, it’s all drag and drop, so you can easily create professional looking content.   How to Add Reviews to Your Existing Website If your goal isn’t to create a review-oriented website, but instead to add reviews to your existing site, then you’re going to have a bunch of options at your disposal. Maybe you want to add product reviews to your e-commerce site? Or, you may want to embed customer testimonial reviews to build trust for your solopreneur business . When they’re positive, user-generated reviews can be a wonderful addition to your site. However, even negative reviews, when handled in the right way , can be a valuable opportunity to show customers how you respond to customer service feedback. Here’s how you can add reviews to your existing WordPress site.   1. Install Your Plugin Of Choice The basic process for adding review capabilities to your site will be similar no matter what plugin you’re using. Below you’ll find a list of some of the most useful plugins. But for the sake of example we’ll assume you want to integrate existing Yelp reviews into your site. To do this navigate to your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins> Add New . Then search for the plugin called ‘Yelp Widget Pro’ and click install. It should look like the plugin below: 2. Configure the Plugin With the plugin installed you’ll have a new menu option of the left-hand side called Yelp Reviews. To open this click on Settings> Yelp Reviews . Then, follow the directions on the page. You’ll need your Yelp API in order to link your account to WordPress. 3. Add the Widget With the plugin setup navigate to Appearance> Widgets , and you’ll notice a widget called ‘Yelp Widget Pro’. Drag this to your desired section and your Yelp reviews will now display on your site. What to Look for in a WordPress Review Plugin When you’re looking for a good WordPress review plugin there are some key features that you’ll want to look out for. You don’t want to have to install a handful of plugins, when one could do the trick just fine on its own.   1. Built-in Spam Filter The last thing you want is to have to go through every review yourself to guarantee if it’s real or not. But, you also don’t want your website to be filled with spam reviews. The sweet spot in between these is finding a plugin that has a built-in spam filter.   2. Rating and Review System Instead of just a blank comment box, you’ll want a review system that lets your users leave consistent reviews. Whether that’s a starred rating system, or a numbered rating system. Having a consistent review system will allow people reading reviews to get a more accurate picture of how your products and services stack up.   3. Integrated Schema Markup By adding schema markup to your site you’ll be able to improve your search engine rankings and appearance. Schema markup helps to better organize and present your website’s data so it can be more readily understood by the search engines. When you install a WordPress review plugin make sure that it has integrated schema markup.   Best WordPress Review Plugins There are tons of different WordPress review plugins that you can use to add reviews to your WordPress  site. Here are three of the most useful, especially if you’re trying to bolster social proof and improve conversions site wide.   1. Yelp Widget Pro If you’re a local business owner, then you probably have a Yelp page that’s populated with reviews. The Yelp Widget Pro plugin will let you integrate your existing Yelp reviews and other useful information into your website’s sidebar. This will help to display any existing reviews on WordPress and give readers access to your Yelp page for further verification.   2. Google Places Reviews If you have a Google Places page with reviews, then you can integrate these into your site as well with the Google Places Reviews plugin. You can display your customer reviews, business name, and Google+ page. There’s also a Pro version of this plugin , which will give you access to additional features.   3. Pixlee Pixlee is a premium WordPress review plugin, but the investment can be well worth it. Pixlee will allow you to integrate visual reviews into your site. By displaying real customer photos on your product pages, or using them with your testimonials you’ll greatly help to improve conversions.   Closing Thoughts As you can see there are tons of ways you can integrate reviews into your WordPress site. Whether you’re looking to build a brand new WordPress review site from scratch, or simply add reviews to your existing business website, WordPress makes it easy. Now, you don’t have to use every plugin highlighted above. Instead, choose the one or two that suit your needs and budget the best. Overall, it’s better to use fewer plugins whenever possible, so if you find a single plugin that does everything you need it to do, then use that one. Now that you’re ready to set up reviews on your WordPress site, it’s time to learn how you can put those reviews to work! Check out our blog post on how to repurpose online reviews for additional marketing content that converts your site visitors. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Sell Products Online in 6 Easy Steps

The post How to Sell Products Online in 6 Easy Steps appeared first on HostGator Blog . Deciding to start an online business and begin selling products online can be an exciting experience. However, this excitement can soon be replaced with overwhelm if the proper process isn’t followed. There are a lot of considerations and research to be done if you want to learn to sell products online the right way. Below you’ll learn the proper steps to take before you launch, during launch, and how to set your online store up for long-term success.   1. Decide What to Sell Choosing the right products to sell will make or break your success online. As a result, you should spend a lot of time during the research phase. It can be helpful to choose a product or market that you actually care about. With more and more competition every single day, choosing a market you have passion about will give you a leg up, as you’ll be willing to go the extra mile. Ask yourself: What kind of products would I love to sell? What would be my dream niche to serve? What industries do I have experience and knowledge in? What pain points currently exist in the market? Do my products provide a practical solution? This should give you a list of products or markets that you’d love to serve. With this in mind it’s time to get a better picture of the existing market, so you can decide how to compete and position yourself.   2. Research Your Market You probably already have an idea of some of the competitors in your space, but now it’s time to take a deeper dive. You’ll be looking for companies that sell similar products, what makes their approach unique, the methods they use to market themselves, and how they speak to your target market. Find your top competitors and make a list with the above elements in mind. This will not only help you better understand how to market and sell your products, but you might be able to uncover an underserved portion of the market hungry for your products. Beyond having a deep understanding of your market, you’ll also want to thoroughly understand your customers . This will make the sales and marketing process much easier. Ask yourself the following questions: How old is my customer? Where do they live? What’s their gender? How much money do they make? What’s their occupation? What other interests do they have? How do they spend their time? What are their beliefs about the world? Why do they buy products like yours?   3. Decide How to Ship Your Products With an idea of what you’re going to sell, the existing market, and your buyer preferences, it’s time to think about how you’re going to ship your products to them. The first is hiring a manufacturer to create your products for you. This can lead to a more custom product, higher quality control, and less cost per unit. But, you’ll have to spend more time creating your product, working out manufacturing issues, and figuring out shipping. The second approach is relying on dropshipping . With this approach, you’ll be purchasing other people’s products and selling them through your online store. The drop shipper will also fulfill and ship orders on your behalf. This approach will have lower overhead costs, and less work overall. However, you may have to operate on slimmer margins and will have less quality control over the final product.   4. Build Your Online Store Now it’s time to start building your online store. You’ll have a few different approaches to take. You can build your own online store through WordPress and a tool like WooCommerce. You can sell products through an existing platform like Etsy, or Amazon. Or you can use an eCommerce website builder to easily build your store and manage your products. For the sake of this tutorial, we’re going to assume you’re using a website builder. This approach will give you the freedom of customizing your own site while helping manage all of the technical details for you. With an eCommerce website builder all you have to do is select a theme, customize it to your liking with the drag and drop builder, upload your products, and press publish. You’ll also be able to manage your inventory, handle tax, and shipping rates, and even integrate a payment processor.   5. Craft a Marketing Strategy Simply publishing your site online isn’t enough; you need to craft a marketing strategy to help get the word out. It would be impossible to cover every single aspect of marketing your online store in this post, but here are a few questions and considerations to get you moving in the right direction: What marketing approaches will you take? Social media? Content marketing? Paid advertising? Influencer outreach? Guest blogging? How will you get customers to buy from you again? A royalty program? Subscriber discounts? How will you convert traffic to buyers? Regular promotions? Product and upsell suggestions? What will make your strategy successful? Rising traffic? Conversions? Email list growth? As you can see you have a lot to think about when it comes to marketing your store and ensuring it’s success over the long run.   6. Launch and Execute The day has come to finally launch your online store and start sharing your products with the world. Even though it probably feels like your work is finished it’s actually only just begun. All of the preparation work, research, and website building has been leading you up to this point. Continue to execute and experiment with your marketing strategy and optimize your site based on user feedback, analytics data, and the kinds of products they’re actually buying. Selling products online is a journey and you’ve just taken your first steps. Hopefully, you’re now better equipped to create and launch a successful online store. Get your store up and running quickly with the GATOR website builder. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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Using a Website Builder? Dive Into the Analytics

The post Using a Website Builder? Dive Into the Analytics appeared first on HostGator Blog . Do Website Builders Offer Analytics? You’ve built out your site and know people are using it. But, in the competitive online space simply building your website isn’t enough. You’ll need to constantly improve it to better meet the needs of your visitors. What’s the best way to do that? By diving into your analytics. Below you’ll learn the importance of understanding your analytics data, the most useful metrics to look for, and finally, how you can use this data to improve your website.   Why Are Website Analytics Important? If you’re using a website builder , then you’ve hopefully turned on the integrated analytics tools. A lot of people turn on these tools, but then never even look at the data. This is a shame, as the data you can uncover from your analytics reports can be incredibly valuable. Your website should be ever changing. And chances are the website you built the first time around isn’t going to be the best website for your visitors today . Your analytics data can help show you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. And it’ll help to illuminate any glaring holes in your website and elements you need to fix. With this information, you’ll be able to improve your user experience , patch any holes that are losing you visitors, and optimize your site to help you generate the most revenue. Your site visitors are telling you what they want. By using your analytics data you can actually listen to them and give it to them.   The Most Useful Analytics Metrics in Website Builders A lot of people shy away from their analytics data because it can be confusing. Yes, there’s a lot of data in each report, but you’re not going to need to pay attention to every little thing. Instead, you’ll need to look at a few crucial metrics that’ll give you the most actionable information.   1. Your Bounce Rate Your bounce rate will tell you the percentage of people who landed on your website and then hit the back button. Typically, this will tell you that this page isn’t serving your visitors and they’re leaving the page for a specific reason. This could mean that the traffic you’re sending to your site isn’t in alignment with the page, it loads very slowly, or the page isn’t high quality. Usually, it means this page needs to be improved and match the reasons the visitor is coming to your page in the first place.   2. Your User Engagement Your user engagement metrics will tell you how much your visitors are engaging with and enjoying your content. Overall, the more time they’re spending on a page, the better it is. If you have any pages with a very low time spent on page, then these pages could be improved. This means you either need to up the quality of the content, add more media, or determine if your traffic source is out of alignment.   3. Your Site Speed If you have a slow loading site, then visitors aren’t going to stick around and wait for the site to load. By improving your loading speeds you’ll see an improvement in your user engagement and create a better user experience overall. By seeing which pages load the slowest, you’ll be able to determine if it’s an issue with the media you have loading on the page, or whether it’s a sitewide issue.   4. Your Page Exit Data Your page exit data shows you the proportion of visitors who will leave your site after viewing a given page. In some cases, this will make sense. For example, if you have a page that purposefully sends people offsite, then a high exit rate will be a good thing. However, if a page has a high exit rate, but you’re not actively sending people away from your site, then there may be a problem with the page that needs fixing.   Improving Your Site With Analytics Data As you can see your analytics data can give you a ton of useful information that’ll help you improve your site. It’ll show you things like: Which pages are underperforming and can be improved Which pages are causing your visitors to leave your site Which pages are loading slowly and can be improved How your users are interacting with certain pages All of that information can then be used to make your site higher quality. For example, maybe you’ve found your site loads slowly and you need to optimize your existing media and take additional steps to speed up your site. Or maybe you have some pages that cause visitors to leave and the existing content needs to be improved? By spending time digging through your analytics data you can greatly improve the experience a user will have on your site. Then, with all the information in hand you just login to your website builder and make the necessary changes. Your website will be ever-evolving. By using analytics data the right way your website will continuously shift towards providing a better user experience and become a booming viable asset for your business. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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5 Ways To Redirect A Website URL

The post 5 Ways To Redirect A Website URL appeared first on HostGator Blog . 5 Ways To Redirect A Website URL When you just get started online, everything is simpler. You only have a few pages of content. Your URL is straightforward, and you’re building some initial momentum. But, over time, your site grows more complex. You have more pages, posts, and URLs to deal with. You create pages and posts that no longer exist, or you decided to simplify the URL structure of your content. Maybe you even purchased a few domains you want to redirect to your site, or you want to switch domains altogether. As you can see, there are a lot of reasons you’ll need to redirect a website to another. Below you’ll learn what a website redirect is along with the most common scenarios then you’ll want to implement a website redirect. What is a Website Redirect? A website redirect will take one website URL and point it to another. When anyone types in or clicks on that original URL they’ll be taken to the new page or website. Even if you don’t need to implement a redirect now, it’s probably something you’ll need to do eventually. Knowing how to implement a redirect will a valuable skill moving forward. You can implement redirects on a URL or page-by-page basis. There are a few different types of redirects you’ll want to be aware of. As you’ll see below, the 301 redirect is the most common and useful, but there are some other redirects available as well.   1. 301 Redirect A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect. This is the most commonly used and powerful redirect as it passes on nearly all of the link juice of the existing domain. This type of redirect takes place on both a browser and server level. In time, the search engines will index this redirect.   2. 302 Redirect A 302 redirect is used when you want to temporarily redirect a URL, but you have the intention of moving back to the old URL. For example, you’re redesigning your site, but want to direct users to a different domain while you finish building your site. 302 redirects aren’t used very often. If you’re considering using a 302 redirect, think carefully: you might be better off just utilizing a 301 redirect.   3. Meta Refresh A meta refresh isn’t used very often. But, you’ve still probably seen this type of redirect before on page loading screens. Have you ever landed on a page and been greeted with a message that says, “The original URL has moved, you’re now being redirected. Click here if you’re not redirected in 5 seconds” ? Then you’ve experienced a meta refresh. This type of redirect does pass on a little link juice, but not as much as a 301 redirect.   Reasons Why You’d Implement a Website Redirect Now that you’re familiar with the types of redirects you can implement, it’s time to go into the reasons you’ll want to redirect a URL in the first place. Here are some common scenarios where you’d want to redirect one website to another.   1. Redirect a Subdirectory to a Page on Your Site Maybe when you created your site you decided to create your blog page on a subdomain of your site. So, instead of your blog URL being “mysite.com/blog”, it’s been “blog.mysite.com.”. Only now you’ve decided that it makes sense to switch your blog off of the original subdomain structure. In this case, you’ll want to implement a redirect. The same goes for any other reason you’ve created a site or section of your site on the subdomain, and now you want to switch up the URL structure.   2. Redirect Duplicate Content to the Original Page Having duplicate content across your site can really mess with your rankings . If you have a large site, then the chances are high you have some pages with duplicate content. When you have more than one version of the same page it makes it hard for Google to figure out which page to rank. You can avoid common duplicate content issues by redirecting the duplicate piece of content to the original. This will not only reduce confusion with your visitors, but it should improve your search engine rankings as well.   3. Redirect Multiple Domains to a Single Domain It’s common practice to buy up multiple domain names related to your main URL in order to protect your online brand. But, instead of just buying these domains and letting them sit there you can redirect them to your main website. Whether they’re common misspellings of your existing domain name, other domain name extensions , or something else entirely, they’re worth redirecting back to your main site.   4. Redirect Your Old Domain to Your New One Did you originally build out your site on a domain that wasn’t your first choice, only to buy your dream domain later on? It happens more than you think. Maybe you went through a massive rebrand and changing your domain name was necessary. Whatever the reason, you need to implement a redirect of your old domain to your new domain. Now, migrating an entire site is more intensive than a simple redirect, but it’s a good starting place.   5. Redirect an Old URL to a New URL Sometimes you’ll have to change the URL of existing pages and posts. Maybe you’re cleaning up your existing URL structure , or you moved some pages around and the old URL no longer makes sense. If this sounds like you, then you’ll want to implement a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one. This is especially true if your older posts are already indexed in the search engines, or you have links out anywhere online.   Conclusion As you can see, there are many reasons you’ll want to redirect a website, and a few different website redirects you can use. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of their value and why it’s something you’ll need to learn, eventually. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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Looking for Custom Website Design

Good Morning, After 8 years with our existing design we are looking to get into the times with a clean and responsive design. We wanted t… | Read the rest of http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1721526&goto=newpost Continue reading

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