50 online search and SEO stats to blow your mind

 

We compiled a list of 50 SEO stats and online search facts to remind you of something important: To attract online attention for your business, you can’t just set up a website and social media profile and expect the traffic to roll in. You need to position your brand to show up in online search by utilizing search engine optimization.

When you follow good SEO practices, your brand will appear more frequently in online search results and increase your online visibility, customer base and sales.

These SEO statistics prove it.

Related: Beginner’s guide to search engine optimization for small business websites

General SEO stats

The opportunity to connect with interested customers through online search is high for brands in all industries because search engagement is incredibly high.

1. On average, there are more than 40,000 Google searches performed every second(Internet Live Stats).

2. Each day, there are 3.5 billion Google searches (Internet Live Stats).

3. That adds up to 1.2 trillion Google searches per year (Internet Live Stats).

Every day millions of people use online search. While there are other search engine options, such as Bing, Yahoo! and DuckDuckGo, Google still holds the largest share of searches.

4. About 88% of worldwide searches are conducted on Google (StatCounter).

People use search engines to look for information related to news, trends and most importantly, products, services and businesses.

Customers search before they buy products online and before they visit a physical storefront.

Here are some SEO stats to back up that statement:

5. 88% of consumers research online before making a purchase either online or in-store(United States B2C Ecommerce Country Report).

6. 27% of customers search for a local business daily (BrightLocal).

7. 69% of customers search for a local business monthly (BrightLocal).

Customers use online search to inform and guide their purchasing decisions. So if you aren’t engaging in SEO practices, you might be missing opportunities to drive new customers to your products, services and business.

And, you might be falling behind brands who are already using SEO to build and grow their business.

8. 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority (HubSpot).

Related: How Google Trends can help you find your next customer

Online search trends

If you aren’t convinced that SEO is a worthwhile marketing tactic for your brand, here are a few more surprising SEO stats to show just how powerful online search is.

It’s important to understand is that search algorithms are always changing.

 

To keep up in search, you need to know what trends and changes are happening with both search engines and users.

Search engines change through algorithm updates. An algorithm is a formula of search factors that search engines use to determine which pages should rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).

9. Since 2003, there have been up to 70 known Google algorithm updates (Search Engine Journal).

Each time an algorithm updates, it changes the list and value of ranking factors.

10. It’s estimated there are 200 ranking factors used in Google’s search algorithm(Backlinko).

To build, grow and maintain ranking potential for your website, you need to optimize your site to appeal to ranking factors that are more important to search engines. You also need to know how to appeal to the engagement factors that are more important to users.

For example, users are still sticking to the first page of search results. If you don’t appear there, you won’t drive much traffic to your site through organic search.

11. 75% of searchers never move on to the second page of search results (Hubspot).

Another interesting SEO stat refers to how people are always finding new things to search for.

You always have new opportunities for connecting with searchers.

 

12. 15% of Google searches have never been searched for (Search Engine Land).

Keeping up with trends and search habits will help you know what terms and tactics are most likely to attract search crawlers and users.

Related: 10 ways to improve Google keyword ranking

SEO and voice search

A recent search trend to follow is the growth of voice search and keyword length. At one time, most searches were for short, concise keyword phrases. But now, long-tail keywords are becoming more and more important.

Voice Search SEO Stats

13. 70% to 80% of online searches are for long-tail keywords that consist of three or more words (Search Engine Land).

Part of this trend is due to online search using more natural language.

People aren’t searching for keywords as much as they are searching for questions.

 

The rise of voice-activated search devices like Sir, Amazon Echo and Google Home have driven this trend. More and more people are speaking their searches instead of typing them in.

14. It’s predicted that by 2020, 30% of web browsing will be done without a screen(Gartner).

15. The number of voice queries increased 3,400% between 2008 and 2017 (HubSpot).

16. By 2020, it’s forecast that 50% of all searchers will be voice searches (ComScore).

Related: Voice search and SEO — What’s the big deal?

Search and mobile

The shift toward voice search started when search trends moved from desktops to mobile devices. As smart devices because more available and readily used, mobile search became more popular than desktop searches.

Holding Smartphone to Illustrate Mobile Online Search
17. Since 2015, users perform more searches on mobile devices than desktop computers(Search Engine Land).

People have their phones with them all of the time, and they frequently use them to search.

18. 87% of smartphone owners perform a search on it at least once a day (Search Engine Journal).

To get noticed, your website needs to be optimized to appeal to mobile searchers. It needs a mobile-friendly, responsive design as this is a ranking factor and something that users demand.

19. Nearly 8 in 10 consumers will stop engaging with digital content that doesn’t display well on their device (Adobe).

Your site also needs to be fast to appeal to mobile searchers.

20. 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load(Google).

21. As page load goes from 1 to 3 seconds, the probability of a bounce increases 32%(Google).

22. As page load goes from 1 to 6 seconds, the probability of a bounce increases 106%(Google).

Related: Site speed and the small business website

Local SEO
Map on Tablet Illustrates Local SEO Stats

Search engines are sophisticated, and they optimize their results pages — especially their mobile search results pages — to display businesses that are located near the searcher. This is a good thing for local businesses because local online searches lead to visitors and purchases.

23. 97% of search engine users have searched for a local business(GO-Gulf).

24. 46% of all searches on Google were for local information (GO-Gulf).

When people do an online search for a local business, they are often ready to call, visit or buy something — especially if the search is on a mobile device.

25. 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours (Nectafy via Hubspot).

26. 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day (Google).

27. 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day (Google).

28. Between 2015 and 2017, there was a 500% increase in the number of mobile searches that include the phrase “near me” and a variant of “can I buy” or “to buy” (Google).

With strong local SEO, you can effectively reach nearby searchers and drive more customers to your local business. Having good SEO leads to business opportunities in more ways than one.

Related: 7 mobile SEO practices to increase Google search ranking

SEO, conversions and ROI

As these SEO stats show, SEO is connected to strong sales funnels and often shows a high return on investment (ROI).

29. 57% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation (NewsCred).

30. 71% marketers use broad keywords to capture leads at the top of the purchase funnel(Regalix).

31. 81% of B2B purchase cycles start with web search (Earnest Agency via Freely).

32. On average, organic search leads have a 14.6% close rate, compared to 1.7% for outbound marketing leads (NewsCred, via HubSpot).

The high ROI on search has led some brands to invest heavily in their SEO strategy.

33. 45% of enterprises are investing more than $20,000 on SEO each month(B2BMarketingZone).

You can generate sales through a search engine marketing, but to really succeed, you also need to know how to maximize your efforts by using SEO strategies in the right places and accurately measuring your results.

34. On smartphones, conversion rates are 15 times higher from search than social (Marin Software).

35. On average, conversion rates are 10 times higher from search than from social on desktops (Marin Software).

36. Only 44% of companies say they can measure paid search ROI effectively (Digital Marketing).

Related: What’s the difference between SEO and CRO?

SEO, content and backlinks

As you develop an SEO plan, you must acknowledge the role that content plays in search engine optimization.

It’s difficult to have a strong SEO plan without a strong on-site content plan.

 

37. 60% of companies report that their SEO and content strategy are integrated (Social Media Examiner).

38. 53% of marketers rank content creation as the single most effective SEO tactic(NewsCred).

Looking at SEO stats, you’ll see the use of content on a website is powerful because it forms relationships with audiences while impacting search engine results.

When your website has a large quantity of high-quality content, it will be more likely to rank.

39. Companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages than those which don’t (Search Engine Land).

Having a variety of high-quality, long-form pages that use on-site keyword optimization boosts SEO even more.

40. Improvements in content have been known to increase blog traffic by as much as 2,000% (Marketing Sherpa).

41. The average first-page result on Google contains 1,890 words (Backlinko).

42. Content with at least one image outperforms content with no graphics (Backlinko).

One of the best things about building SEO through content is that the value of your content strategy can grow over time.

43. 10% of blog posts are compounding, which means organic search increases their traffic over time (Hubspot).

44. Companies that published over 16 blog posts per month received almost 250% more traffic than companies that published up to four monthly posts (Hubspot).

Another upside of content is that websites that have a blog are more likely to acquire links back to their site.

45. Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website (Hubspot).

Gaining links back to your site is an important part of SEO.

Next to content, backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors.

 

Content on a page tells search engines what the page is about. Links tell search engines how trustworthy and well-known the site is.

46. The average page in position No. 1 on Google has 35,000+ external backlinks(Backlinko).

Related: How to get backlinks to a small business website

Paid search

SEO can be divided into two categories: organic and paid. Organic SEO works to appeal to ranking factors so that a site shows up naturally in search. Paid SEO uses pay-per-click advertising to pay for search visibility.

Spending money on paid search isn’t a requirement for SEO, but it can be an effective way for giving your website and business a boost online.

Many marketers report that paid search has a high ROI and is a good investment.

47. 61% of CMOs say search engines are an effective marketing channel (AdWeek).

48. U.S. spending on paid search and organic optimization will top $45 billion by 2019(MediaPost).

49. Businesses make $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend (Google).

Many marketers turn to paid search while they are building their organic SEO. Whereas organic SEO can take months to years to build (depending on your industry and competition), PPC ads can put your brand on the front page of Google in one day.

Plus, PPC ads can boost conversions — making it an online search strategy worth exploring even after building up strong organic rankings.

50. 50% of people arriving at a retailers site from paid ads are more likely to buy than those who came from an organic link (Unbounce).

Related: What’s the difference between Amazon advertising and paid ads on Google and Facebook?

Use SEO stats to inspire your online search strategy

As these SEO statistics show, online search is a powerful way for your business to connect with new audiences, grow your local customer base, fill your sales funnels, and boost your online presence.

So if you aren’t taking full advantage of online search to grow your business, what are you waiting for?

Need some help? Let the experts at GoDaddy SEO Services guide your SEO strategy and optimize your site so it gets the attention it deserves. Contact GoDaddy today to see how you can work less and rank higher.

Why WordPress? 7 benefits of WordPress websites

 

Why WordPress? I’ve been a professional blogger working on more than 100 clients’ blogs in the last 10 years, as well as posting to my own work and personal blogs, and I say this with all certainty and authority:

If you want a business website that does everything you want it to do and doesn’t require custom coding, WordPress is awesome.

WordPress is one of the easiest and most robust ways to share your business on the web.

There are simpler platforms, but most don’t offer the functionality that WordPress does. And there are a few platforms that are equally robust, but they’re difficult to use for beginners.

WordPress, a content management system (CMS), is the ideal tool for entrepreneurs and companies to showcase their products and services, help their search engine ranking, and market themselves to prospective customers. It helps you share your written content, sell products and services in an electronic storefront, or even just share photos and videos of your work.

Why WordPress? A guide to the features and benefits of this CMS

So, now that you know how I really feel, let’s talk about what we’re going to cover here, starting with the basics:

Then move into the nitty-gritty — the seven big benefits of WordPress websites:

  1. WordPress is free.
  2. Hosting doesn’t have to be a hassle.
  3. A wide variety of themes make website design a snap.
  4. Adding website content is fast and simple.
  5. Updates are easy.
  6. Plugins enable you to do just about anything on your website.
  7. Help is all around.

Let’s dig in.

Why WordPress, really?

There are a few reasons why you should use WordPress, and we’re going to cover them, but let me say first that in the 200-plus clients I’ve worked with, nearly all of them used WordPress.

WordPress in its purest form, in the hands of a professional, can be a thing of pure beauty.

 

It’s deep and complex, and has many hidden facets.

But — and this is what I love about it — it’s still relatively easy to use if you’re just a basic user.

It’s like being given a race car as a personal vehicle. In the hands of a professional, you can drive it around a race track at 200-plus mph. But in the hands of an enthusiastic amateur, you can still drive it to work. It’ll just get you there a little faster than the other cars on the road.

So let’s talk about the benefits of WordPress for, not just your business blog, but your company’s entire website. And what makes it the best and most popular platform on the internet.

Back to top

What is WordPress?

Why WordPress Logo

First of all, if you’ve been wondering “Is WordPress just for blogs?” wonder no more.

WordPress has become so much more than a blogging platform. It’s a full-featured content management system, which means it’s also more than just a website.

Unfortunately, many small business websites are basically brochures that tell everyone who you are, what got you started, how to contact you, and a few pages about what you sell. But that’s it. They don’t do anything more than that.

A blog is just a collection of articles and stories arranged in reverse chronological order about a variety of topics. It’s a public diary of sorts, covering an endless number of topics.

But a content management system not only lets you build those web pages and write those articles, it makes it so simple to do, you don’t even need to hire a professional webmaster every time you want to make a simple change.

Or, as professional web designer Stephani Worts once wrote on this very blog:

Put simply, WordPress is a tool that takes care of the nuts and bolts of publishing content so you can focus on what you want to convey on your website without having to worry about how to display your material.

Typing Blog Post on WordPress

This means WordPress can do so much more than blogging. Adding a blog article is pretty easy: At its most basic level, you just type in your information, add a few images, hit Publish, and you’re done.

Adding a new page to your website is just as easy: The window where you enter your information is the same. The formatting commands are the same. The method for adding photos and videos are the same. It’s the same interface; the only difference is when you press Publish, the thing you created is a web page, not a blog post.

This means once you have your domain and hosting space (more on that in a minute), you can build your website yourself, and then later add blog articles yourself.

Back to top

7 benefits of WordPress

Are you convinced? Are you ready to start?

I hope not, because there are about 3,000 words to go and I don’t want all this work to go to waste.

To that end, here are seven reasons why the benefits of WordPress make it your best choice for your business’s website.

1. WordPress is free

WordPress itself is 100% free, no fees attached, no strings attached, no guilt that you’re using something you should be paying for, like when you don’t pledge to your local NPR station even though you’ve listened every day for the last 20 years. (You know who you are.)

You can download the software from WordPress.org (note the .org), and it won’t cost a thing. You and your friends can get together and have wild WordPress download parties, and it’s all good.

The one downside is that you need to host WordPress somewhere. And there you have two options: 1) Self-hosted, where you take care of the hosting costs and maintenance/security responsibilities, and 2) Managed hosting, where you pay someone else to take care of the hosting and much of the maintenance and security for you.

What is self-hosting?

Self-hosting for WordPress means that you purchase a web hosting plan, download the free WordPress files from WordPress.org, and install them yourself on your hosting account. That might require more technical expertise or time than you have at the moment.

Related: How to install WordPress on cPanel

GoDaddy offers self-hosting for WordPress with one-click install. You pay a monthly fee for the server space, and they make it easy to install WordPress on your hosting account with a single click. From there, it’s up to you to customize your WordPress site, keep up with software and security updates, etc.

Related: How much does hosting cost for my small business?

What is managed hosting?

For many busy entrepreneurs without a ton of technical experience, managed WordPress hosting is a better option.

GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting features:

  • A Quick Start Wizard
  • Pre-built sites that are easy for beginners to customize
  • A drag-and-drop page editor that is, again, newbie-friendly
  • 99.9% uptime promise and money-back guarantee
  • Automatic backups
  • Automatic WordPress core software and security updates
  • Easy access to thousands of free themes and plugins
  • And, best of all, 24/7 support

If you’re new to WordPress, I recommend you go with GoDaddy’s Managed Hosting solution — at least until your business grows and you feel more confident managing it all yourself or can hire someone to do it for you.

Other costs associated with WordPress are premium themes (the skin or look of your website) and any premium plugins.

Related: The most popular WordPress themes and plugins of 2018

Back to top

2. Hosting doesn’t have to be a hassle

Why WordPress Man Struggling
The basic concept of hosting is pretty easy: You need to hold your actual website somewhere. You need a place to hold all your images, text, audio clips, brochures, white papers and so on. Since you don’t want to house all that stuff on your own computer, you need someone else’s computer, also known as a web server. This is a service GoDaddy provides.

With a basic GoDaddy hosting package, you can host a small WordPress account starting at about $5 per month, which is ideal if you get fewer than 25,000 visitors per month. Once you set that up, you can install WordPress with a one-click installation. (If you’re not sure what kind of WordPress hosting you need, read this article.)

As mentioned about, you can also download WordPress to your computer through WordPress.org and then upload it through cPanel from GoDaddy, a method of interacting with your web host if you use Linux instead of Windows as your server’s operating system. (And if none of that made any sense, just talk to the GoDaddy Support team; they’ll help you out.)

Again, remember that this is the ideal setup if you want to fully take advantage of the benefits of WordPress.

Back to top

3. A wide variety of themes make website design a snap

The theme is the outer layer of your website — the face, the facade, the style, the part that makes it look pretty. With WordPress themes, you can change between any number of different styles and layouts without having to dig into the guts of your code.

GoDaddy Managed WordPress Themes
GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting offers myriad themes for all sorts of enterprises — from simple personal websites to elaborate corporate websites to online stores.

Choosing a theme may be the hardest part of setting up your blog because there are literally thousands of themes you could choose from.

Themes where the navigation bar is on the left, others where it’s on the right. One column, two column, three column layouts. Magazine and newspaper style versus traditional style. A nearly limitless number of color combinations and design choices.

You can even choose between free and premium themes.

Many of the premium themes are professionally designed and are built to have additional capabilities like helping with your SEO or working on mobile devices as well as desktop computers. There are some free themes that are equally as good as the premium themes, but be careful of free themes that seem to be missing a few components or doesn’t have a few of the bells and whistles that the premium themes do.

While the premium themes may cost $30 to $80, it’s well worth the cost because they’re made to work with the latest versions of WordPress and are designed by experts who understand the ins and outs of the CMS. The free themes are a bit riskier, but some are pretty good. Just remember, this really is a place where you get what you pay for.

For my own blog and a few of my clients’ blogs, I use the Genesis framework and choose from their smaller palate of available themes. It’s much easier because they’ve done all the hard work, and I know the code has been streamlined so it always works. I even bought the lifetime license so I can use it for several clients and get the occasional upgrades as they happen.

But there are plenty of other themes available, including themes that are designed specifically for a particular industry or field, like landscapersattorneyspizza restaurants, and so help me, skydiving schools.

First, check out the themes on GoDaddy, on WordPress.org, or one of several other places. Or you can even just Google “WordPress themes for ______” and insert your own industry or job to find the ones that have been made especially for your business type.

Then just select the theme you like and follow the instructions for installation. Installation steps will vary, depending on whether your site is self-hosted or managed, but they’re pretty easy and clear.

Related: How to install a WordPress theme — A beginner’s guide

Back to top

4. Adding website content is fast and simple

When people talk about web design and building a website, this is actually the part that freaks them out. They think there’s a lot of coding and design work that goes into making a single web page, and that adding the actual content is just a minor detail to be handled later.

But in actuality, most of that design work is already done.

That’s 1) why you use WordPress: because you can create a blog post or page with one mouse click.

And 2) why you use themes: because all the design work is already done and pre-installed, and the beautifully-themed page or post was created as soon as you clicked the mouse in the previous sentence.

It’s easy to create a new post

Put your mouse over the Posts menu in the left sidebar, click Add New, and you’ll see the Add New Post window. Type in your title, add in your content and click Publish.

It’s easy to create a new page.

Put your mouse over the Pages menu in the left sidebar, click Add New, and you’ll see the Add New Page window. Type in your title, add in your content, and click Publish.

If those last two paragraphs looked nearly identical, it’s because the process is nearly identical, and they’re both equally easy. So if you’re worried that this is going to be difficult somehow, or that adding a page is somehow harder than adding a post, don’t worry!

Here’s what the screen looks like for adding a new post or page.

Why WordPress Add New Post
If you’re a regular user of Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages, you can figure a lot of this out. The “B” and “I” stand for bold and italics.

You add a photo or video by clicking the Add Media button.

And you create a hyperlink by highlighting a piece of text and then clicking the button that looks a little like a chain.

As far as the rest of the buttons go, you only have to mouse over each one to see a little box pop up that tells you what the button does.

Related: A tip for the WordPress 5.0 release — Gutenberg and the Classic Editor

Back to top

A few thoughts on blog writing:

All in all, I’ve written over 3,500 blog articles over the last 10 years, so I know a thing or two about blog writing. Here are my top five blog writing tips for you:

  1. A blog article should at least 300 words — and more is generally better for SEO.
  2. Use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs. Write in simple language, between a 6th and an 8th-grade reading level. Use HemingwayApp.com or Word’s Flesch-Kincaid test to check.
  3. Short paragraphs are important for skimming purposes, as are lists like this one. People are more likely to read a long article if there’s white space between paragraphs or simple little lists like this one.
  4. Use a photo or two on every blog article. But make sure you get Creative Commons or public domain photos or use ones you took yourself.
  5. Dig deeper into a topic. Don’t just write the same 101-level stuff as everyone else. If you want to be an industry expert, show off your expertise! Then, use individual articles to dive even further into the different facets of the topic. For example, I could write additional articles about each of the seven points in this article. Do something like that to demonstrate your depth of knowledge.

Related: How to plan your company blog editorial calendar

Back to top

5. Updates are easy

OK, I may get into some trouble by admitting this, but updating and maintaining a blog is a piece of cake if you do it right.

Many websites, when you want to update them, require a phone call to your web designer. You have to work out an hourly rate, they’re going to take a few weeks to get things done, and you’re going to go back and forth several times, all the while dreading what this is doing to your budget.

Not so with WordPress. With WordPress, it’s as easy as clicking a few buttons.

You log into your WordPress site and click the Updates button on the left sidebar (under the Dashboard link). There, WordPress will tell you what needs to be updated.

You can update your plugins, theme, and even WordPress itself in a matter of seconds. You can install security updates and change your theme without losing a single picture or blog post.

Bonus: GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress handles core software and security updates and daily backups for you, so you don’t even have to do this. You just update any plugin as you need it. (You should still do this weekly.)

There are two cautions I will offer before you go clicking update buttons willy-nilly.

Caution No. 1: While you can usually update your WordPress site that quickly and easily, there are a few times it’s not advisable. Then, you either need to do things like have a WordPress professional do it, or follow some of the advice in this article here, using things like staging areas and sub-domains to avoid breaking your entire website.

That’s because a couple of conflicting plugins, or trying to run an old plugin on a new version of WordPress, can break your entire website. I’ve seen sites that disappear, like the dreaded 500 Internal Server error and the equally dreaded white screen of death (Seriously, the entire screen is blank! You can’t see a single thing!). When this happens, you need someone who understands how to access the actual server through an FTP portal or cPanel.

Caution No. 2: If you do insist on doing your own maintenance and updates (and there’s no reason you shouldn’t), it’s important that you only update the plugins that you know are stable and relatively error-free.

That means don’t update any new plugins whose version number ends in .0, like 5.0, 6.0, 10.0. That’s because those new versions are often major upgrades from the previous versions — 4.5, 5.7, 9.9.6 — and have a lot of new features. New features means new bugs, and those haven’t been ironed out, which means you’re more prone to crashes and conflicts.

The bugs start getting ironed out when the version number ends in .1 or higher. So 5.0.1, 6.2, 10.7 are going to be safer because everyone else who installed the .0 versions very helpfully found all the errors for you.

Back to top

6. Plugins enable you to do just about anything on your website

Why WordPress Plug In Cable

I have a confession to make: I don’t actually know how to make WordPress work.

I don’t know how to make it secure. I don’t know how to make my calendar show up in the sidebar. I don’t know how to write forms for people to contact me.

But I don’t need to, because I’ve got plugins to handle it for me.

As of this writing, there are 54,939 plugins on WordPress.org, and they can make your WordPress site do anything.

You can sell products and services, create an online community, set aside part of your website for members and subscribers, accept payments, display tweets from different Twitter feeds, or even display the standings of different sports leagues around the world.

If you want to do it, there are probably plugins to do it.

 

There are plugins to help with your security, SEO, audio and video, and even checking your word count and usage on all your blog articles.

Some of the more popular plugins types include:

  • eCommerce (WooCommerce is the most popular)
  • Security (Jetpack or Sucuri to name a few)
  • SEO (Yoast or All-In-One SEO)
  • Contact forms (Ninja Forms or FormBuilder)
  • Page builders (Beaver Builder)

Of course, you don’t want to have too many plugins on your WordPress site. Too many plugins or even themes will slow your site down — even the plugins and themes that aren’t active.

That’s because WordPress will check each one when someone visits your site and ask, “Is this one working? Is this one working? Is this one working?” and spend its processing power trying to determine which actions it should perform and which ones it should ignore.

Another reason is for security. Old plugins sometimes have security flaws, and one of the reasons they’re upgraded is to plug those holes. But if the bad guys can find a plugin with a flaw, they’ll use it to break into your website.

This means that not only should you delete your inactive themes and plugins, you need to update them on a regular basis (see #5). Schedule a time once a week where you update everything on your blog as needed. (Just remember not to update to the .0 versions.)

Related: How to add plugins to WordPress

Back to top

7. Help is all around

Why WordPress Help Matchsticks
WordPress is an open-source platform with people all over the world contributing to it and making it better.

They also have millions — millions! — of knowledgeable users who can help you solve problems and answer questions. That’s why WordPress is used by roughly one-third of all websites on the internet: It’s so robust and powerful, with a veritable army of people making it better.

The online community is very active, and I’ve seen some of the most esoteric, most technical questions answered about things I never even knew existed. And there were dozens of people all answering the question.

There are also numerous tutorials and videos about how to use WordPress and the documentation is extensive. Best of all, you can even access the WordPress community forums to post specific questions or search for answers. (Don’t forget to check out the GoDaddy WordPress help forum, too.)

Even better, GoDaddy’s award-winning customer service is available 24/7/365.

Back to top

Next steps

Why WordPress? Now you know. So what are your next steps?

If you want to start a WordPress site, here’s what you should do:

Get a hosting solution, like GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting.

The Quick Start Wizard will help you to get your new site up and running fast. Answer some basic questions about your business, and the Quick Start Wizard will use the data to help you select a theme and begin populating data on your site.

Add the plugins to help you run your site. First, get something to help with security and another to help with SEO — JetPack and Yoast are two of the most widely-used plugins for this. Everything else can come afterward but start here.

Add new pages and blog articles as needed. Publish at least one blog article per week.

Read tutorials and watch videos to help answer any questions you have. Learn new techniques and best practices by reading what some of the blogging professionals are doing. Try new things and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Set a schedule to regularly maintain and update your blog. Make sure you’re backing up your blog regularly as well.

Again, WordPress isn’t only for blogs or websites. It is one of the most powerful content management systems in the world, and it powers over 30% of the world’s websites.

Once you try it, you’ll quickly understand why WordPress is so popular. So, no matter what your business is or what you need your website to do, you can do it with WordPress. There are plenty of people already doing it, and you can get the help you need to make your own website a reality.

This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by the following authors: Shawn PfunderTom EwerStephani Worts and Christopher Carfi.

Erik Deckers
Erik Deckers is the president of Pro Blog Service, a content marketing agency. He is also the co-author of Branding Yourself, and No Bullshit Social Media. Erik has been blogging since 1997, and has been a newspaper humor columnist for over 20 years. He has written several radio plays and stage plays, and numerous business articles. Erik was recently the Spring 2016 writer-in-residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, FL.

How to install WordPress on cPanel

You’ve obtained a killer domain name and signed up for kick-ass hosting, so the foundations are in place, but what comes next? How do you actually transform these digital assets into a working WordPress website? WordPress can be incredibly easy to get up and running, but it’s still not going to install itself — unless you’re using a managed solution like GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting, you’ll need to understand how to install WordPress on cPanel. Just follow one of these well-worn paths and your site can be online in 10 to 15 minutes.

You have two options, one easy (FTP), and one really, really easy (cPanel Installer). We’ll start with the installer, because who doesn’t like simple?

How to install WordPress on cPanel using the cPanel Installer

Most hosting services, including GoDaddy, make the WordPress installer available through your cPanel dashboard. These are the steps to an easy install:

  1. Login to cPanel.
  2. Launch the installer.
  3. Confirm the installation.
  4. Adjust default settings.
  5. Complete the installation.

Let’s get started so you can focus on what’s most important: publishing great content!

1. Login to cPanel

Login at http://yourdomain.com/cpanel with your user name and password. Or, GoDaddy customers can log into their GoDaddy Account Manager and select Manage Web Hosting:

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Login

Then click cPanel Admin to open the Admin screen:

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Admin

2. Launch the installer

Once you reach the cPanel admin screen, scroll down to the Web Applications section of cPanel Admin and click on the WordPress icon to start the installer.

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Installer

3. Confirm the installation

When the WordPress installer opens, it will display information about the WordPress version you are installing. Click Install this application to continue.

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Confirm

4. Adjust default settings

Review the information on the screen that pops up. You can leave many of these things set to the defaults. Key items to check:

  • If you have more than one domain on your account, take care to select the one where you want to install WordPress.
  • To install WordPress in the root of your site, leave the directory field blank.
How To Install WordPress On cPanel Adjust
  • In the settings section, choose an administrator name and password you can remember or write down the one provided. The default given will be secure but impossible to remember.
  • Set an administrator email to receive system notifications.
  • Enter a title and tagline for your website.
How To Install WordPress On cPanel Settings

The rest of the settings can be left to their defaults, though it’s a good idea to scroll through and confirm that these are the settings you prefer.

5. Complete the installation

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Complete

When you’re satisfied with the setting selections, click Install, which is located at the bottom right of the screen.

The installation process will launch. When complete, you’ll see a screen listing the details of your newly created WordPress installation, including a link to the WP Admin dashboard so you can get directly to work adding content to your site.

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Dashboard

How to install WordPress on cPanel using FTP or cPanel File Manager

If you don’t have a handy-dandy installer available to you or choose not to use it, you can install WordPress manually. To do this requires a few more steps, but it’s still quite manageable.

  1. Get WordPress.
  2. Upload the files.
  3. Create MySQL database and user.
  4. Go to your domain to complete the install.

If you’re a little more technically minded and don’t mind moving some files around, this might be the method for you. Let’s dig in.

1. Get WordPress

Obtain a copy of the latest WordPress version and place it on your desktop.

2. Upload the files

Upload the files to your server using cPanel File Manager or an FTP program such as FileZilla.

Uploading via cPanel File Manager:

How To Install WordPress On cPanel File Manager

File Manager is available through your cPanel Admin Screen. This short video explains how to upload the zipped file and unzip it on the server. If you want to install WordPress on your root domain (like http://mydomain.com), upload the file to your site’s root directory, which is usually called public_html. If you want it in a subfolder (i.e. http://mydomain.com/blog) then create that subdirectory inside public_html (/public_html/blog/) and upload the file there. Unzip the uploaded file as described in the video. You will now have a directory named WordPress in your target folder.

This is where a bit of a kludge comes in — you need to move the files in that folder up one level in the directory structure so they are directly inside your target directory, not in a subfolder of it. To do that, go into the WordPress directory you just created by unzipping the file. Select all files in the directory. Then click the File Manager “Move” icon and move the files up one level. For the sake of housekeeping, delete the empty WordPress directory. Now you’re ready for the next step.

Uploading via FileZilla

If you prefer to use an FTP client such as FileZilla to upload the files, there’s a video for that as well.

3. Create MySQL database and user

From the cPanel Admin, click on the MySQL Database Wizard icon in the Databases section.

How To Install WordPress On cPanel MySQL

Follow the wizard to create a new database and add an initial user.

  • For Step 1Create a Database, enter a name for your database.
  • For Step 2: Create Database Users, enter a database username and password.
  • For Step 3: Add user to the database, select All Privileges.

Be sure to write down the database name, user name, and password as you will need them in the next step.

4. Go to your domain to complete the install

Open your domain in your web browser. If all is well, you’ll see a language selection page like this:

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Domain

Click Continue. The next screen simply advises you that you’re going to need the details of the database you created.

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Information

Click Let’s go! to continue to the next form, where you will enter your database connection details:

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Connection

Enter the database name, user name, and password you created. The database host is most commonly localhost, so you can leave that as is. When you click Submit, WordPress will test the connection and report success:

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Run

Click Run the installation to complete the final step. WordPress will ask you for a few details about your site, including a username and password for the Admin user:

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Username

Fill in the requested information and click Install WordPress. Mission accomplished!

How To Install WordPress On cPanel Success

Choosing a WordPress installation method

When picking an installation method, there are a couple of minor differences to consider:

  • If you install WordPress using an installer, you can easily uninstall it, database and all, through your cPanel control panel. If you install manually, you’ll have to delete manually, should that day come.
  • If you use the manual method, you can opt to install an older version of WordPress. Unless you have a specific reason for doing otherwise, it’s always best to install the latest version, so this generally isn’t important.

Related: How to uninstall WordPress

Some people prefer the ease of the installer while others like to get a little more under the hood. Whether you opt for the installer or go manual, your WordPress site will function just the same.

Related: How to choose the best WordPress hosting plan#wordpress#design#development#featured#godaddypro#hosting

Anne Martinez

Anne Martinez

Anne Martinez is a freelance writer and web developer. She travels between the worlds of information technology, business, and writing, and is an ardent fan of all three. Bringing them together to build things of use to other people is best of all.

What you should know about selling on eBay and Amazon

If you sell products online, you are probably considering or might already be selling your goods on third-party marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. While creating an eCommerce store on your own website is a great place to start, many eCommerce businesses are drawn to the appeal of these marketplaces — and for good reason. With that in mind, let’s dive into a significant eCommerce debate: selling on eBay vs. Amazon.

Editor’s note: GoCentral Online Store makes it a snap to list your products on Amazon, Etsy and eBay, sync your inventory to multiple sales channels, and manage all your orders from the same dashboard.

Benefits of selling on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon

There are many benefits to becoming a merchant on marketplace platforms like eBay and Amazon — which combine to total more than 55% of all eCommerce sales.

Gain more exposure

The most obvious benefit to selling your products on Amazon and eBay is the increased exposure it affords your business. Every eCommerce website needs traffic to survive and many businesses invest heavily in digital marketing initiatives designed to increase visitors to their website.

Instead of putting so many resources into bringing customers to your website, you can simply list your products on websites that are already driving millions of daily views.

In January 2019, Amazon received 2.63 billion desktop and mobile visits. Although not as powerful, eBay still boasts 179 million active buyers globally.

Increased brand equity

Many merchants don’t realize it — but there is a ripple effect of branding when you dive into the question of selling on Amazon vs. eBay.

Amazon and eBay are like any business and must invest in advertising and marketing. In 2018, eBay spent $1.4 billion in advertising.

By becoming a merchant on Amazon or eBay you benefit from their brand equity. When eBay spends millions of dollars driving more traffic and active users to its platform, it benefits their merchants — in addition to eBay.

Additionally, many consumers trust these brands more than they do smaller retailers.

A recent study from NPR/Marist discovered that 67%of Amazon customers trust the platform — even though they had little to no trust in other online retailers. Because your products are listed on these marketplaces, you benefit from the consumer trust in the larger brand.

Consumers like marketplaces

Again, online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay dominate the online retail market. One reason they are so successful is that consumers simply prefer shopping on marketplaces.Online retail marketplaces have changed the consumer shopping experience.

Buyers have access to a wealth of information within a single platform to help them make the most educated decision. They have access to product descriptions, photos, reviews and other details about the product. They can easily compare substitutes and competitors based on things like price, ratings, reviews and more.

Consumers love the flexibility and control they have shopping on sites like Amazon and eBay. Additionally, these platforms often have multiple vendors selling the same product, which offers more stable inventory levels for buyers.

Amazon, eBay and other eCommerce marketplaces also invest in the user experience.

They are constantly updating their platform to provide a seamless interface that makes the purchasing experience easy and enjoyable. They have quality assurance controls and customer service software to keep their customers satisfied and coming back. They are always looking for new ways to improve the buying process and are constantly at the forefront of online shopping advancements.

Consumers love shopping on marketplaces for many reasons — and, as an eCommerce business, there is value in selling where buyers are most active.

Related: GoDaddy introduces marketplace selling to its online store

Disadvantages of selling on marketplace platforms

eBay VS Amazon Red Sad Face

There is a lot of value to becoming a merchant who sells on a marketplace like eBay or Amazon (or both). However, there are some negatives to consider when deciding whether or not to list your products on marketplace platforms.

Lower profit margins

Profit margins refer to the difference between your cost to produce, market and distribute your products and what the end consumer pays for it. The greater the difference, the more profit you earn per transaction — and the better off you are as a business.

If you operate a business that manufactures, sells and distributes goods through channels that you own, you can have much more control over your profit margins throughout the process. However, when you start using other supply chain vendors, they can eat into your margins.

This is exactly the case with listing on third-party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

These platforms have fees for merchants that use their services. While you might be able to sell more products, you will likely see the per-sale-profit decrease because of the added expenses.

These marketplaces have different options for vendors to help mitigate some of the fees — ultimately, however, your business will need to decide if there is enough profit left over after the additional fees to make it worthwhile.

Not “your” customers

Customer retention is a huge part of running a successful business. We’ve all heard the stat that it’s 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer as it is to retain an existing one. Well, how about this one?

You’re 60% to 70% more likely to sell a current customer.

Unfortunately, when you sell on a third-party marketplace, the customer is not really your customer — they’re the marketplace’s customer. Most platforms offer limited to no communication between the seller and the buyer to prevent the seller from circumventing the marketplaces for future transactions.

For instance, Amazon doesn’t provide sellers with the email addresses of their buyers — which makes it difficult for businesses to market to past customers.

While these platforms do have some communication features, it’s much more difficult to retain and resell customers on a marketplace platform than it is through your own eCommerce store.

Limited control

Your lack of control is the biggest disadvantage when you look at selling on eBay and Amazon. Not only do they control your ability to communicate with leads and customers, but they limit other important areas of running a successful online business.

For example, design and user experience are powerful ways for eCommerce companies to grow their brand.

However, when you consider selling on eBay vs. Amazon, you are limited to constraints of their layouts and customization options. You can’t create pop-ups; you can’t redesign your product pages — it makes it difficult to differentiate your brand from competitors. This often leads many consumers to base their decision on price or reviews/ratings.

Most marketplaces also prevent you from adding additional analytics to your pages and don’t allow retargeting code such as Facebook pixels.

If you want to have full control over your eCommerce business, then you should consider launching your own online store.

Selling on eBay vs. Amazon: Choose a marketplace

eBay VS Amazon Online Sales Stats on Mobile Phone

If you’ve decided to start selling your products on a marketplace, the next consideration is on which marketplace to list your goods. The two most obvious choices for any eCommerce business are eBay and Amazon.

Let’s look at each briefly to see the pros and cons of the marketplace.

Amazon overview

When people refer to selling on Amazon, they actually mean Amazon Marketplace. Amazon is a retailer first and foremost, but they also have Amazon Marketplace which is a service for merchants who want to sell their products on Amazon’s eCommerce portal.

For a fee, Amazon allows businesses to join (or apply for specific industries) their marketplace as a third-party merchant. As an active merchant, businesses can list their products, sell to consumers, facilitate the transaction and delivery and handle customer service, all within one interface.

Amazon is the largest eCommerce in the world, and there are roughly 1.7 million current sellers with active products in the marketplace.

Sellers on Amazon Marketplace can do quite well, in fact, a recent survey found that 19% of Amazon sellers earned more than $1 million in sales for 2018.

Related: How to sell stuff on Amazon

eBay overview

Today’s eBay is vastly different than it was when it launched in 1995. The auction platform of old is hardly recognizable with eBay now shifting to compete with other retail marketplaces like Amazon.

Today, eBay is very much a fixed-price listings platform that’s highlighted by their “Buy It Now” button.

Like Amazon, businesses can sign up as a third-party merchant on eBay, list their products and start selling within eBay’s interface. While eBay still supports auctions, it’s mainly reserved for extremely rare items like collectibles or high-priced, used items such as cars.

eBay CEO Devin Wenig has lofty goals to increase eBay’s active users by almost 300%. This ambitiousness presents a unique opportunity for merchants selling in their marketplace.

Selling on eBay vs. Amazon: Amazon pros

When compared to eBay, Amazon has a much larger audience. This larger audience means more potential buyers of your products. Amazon also has a robust logistics and delivery feature in Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) that offers businesses a streamlined solution for inventory management and shipping.

Amazon (46.7%) has also recently surpassed Google (34.6%) as the first place users go to start their product search.

Related: Everything you need to know about Fulfillment by Amazon

Selling on eBay vs. Amazon: Amazon cons

There are some cons to choosing to list on Amazon over eBay. For one, Amazon has complete control over the customer and offers the merchant very little options for communicating with buyers.

Amazon is also overpopulated with similar vendors — meaning unless you sell a unique product or have an exclusive partnership with a manufacturer, you’re likely to have many competitors.

This increased competition will often create a price war, driving down your profit margin even further. Sellers on Amazon are also finding it increasingly important to advertise in the marketplace, which can continue to drive up the cost of selling on the platform.

Selling on eBay vs. Amazon: eBay pros

One of the biggest pros of selling on eBay is that they provide you with the buyer’s email information. This gives sellers the ability to grow a marketing email list that can be used to resell, cross-sell or upsell products in the future.

eBay also has fewer sellers than Amazon, which means you have a better chance of converting visitors to your product and a lower need to advertise, which can increase sales and decrease expenses.

Related: Upselling and cross-selling techniques for online stores

eBay vs Amazon: eBay cons

The clear con to choosing eBay over Amazon is the substantially smaller audience. Another disadvantage to eBay is its lack of a fulfillment option for its sellers. It’s reported that eBay is piloting a fulfillment solution. However, it’s planning to leverage third-party fulfillment services instead of building its own, which might give Amazon the edge in quality and price of fulfillment.

Selling on eBay vs. Amazon: Which is better?

Choosing whether to sell on eBay vs. Amazon takes some careful consideration. There are obvious benefits and disadvantages to each marketplace.

Ultimately, if you have decided that you want to list your products on a marketplace, the next thing to do is look at some of the questions below:

eBay VS Amazon Fork In The Road Choices

Is your product unique, rare, or used? eBay is better suited for custom, rare, or used products, whereas, Amazon is best suited for common, new products for which people actively search.

Do you depend on customer lifetime value? If you depend on repeat purchases or leveraging existing customers, you might enjoy that eBay provides an easier way to communicate with past customers.

Do you want a turnkey solution? Amazon offers the best turnkey solution for sellers. It’s easy to set up and provides fulfillment options for merchants.

Are insight and analytics important? While neither platform provides flexible analytics, Amazon does have the more intuitive and extensive data reporting software.

Do you want the cheapest option? Amazon’s selling fees are slightly more affordable than eBay’s, but you will likely spend more on Amazon’s advertising to compete. There isn’t a clear winner for the cheapest option because it will often depend on the product/industry.

Do you want the most potential? Because Amazon has a larger audience, it provides the biggest potential for sales.

At the end of the day, every seller needs to weigh the pros and cons of selling on Amazon vs. eBay to decide which platform — or both, or neither — is the right fit for their business. Do your due diligence, and you may reap great rewards from the effort!#featured#ecommerce#onlinestore#sales#websites#digitalmarketing

Derek Miller

Derek Miller

Derek Miller, MBA is a digital marketing expert with a background in content, SEO, PR and email and social media marketing. He specializes in small to medium business growth.

How to make a responsive website

It’s a mobile world

A responsive website resizes itself to fit the viewer’s screen, whether a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone.

79% of the website traffic in India comes through mobile phones. If your website can’t be easily used on a smartphone, it is as if you have no website at all.

3 ways to make a mobile website

You have three options for building a responsive website.

  1. Use a Content Management System (CMS).
  2. Build it in 90 minutes with Website Builder.
  3. Write code to create your site from scratch.

Before we dive into your options, let us first examine how to know if a website can be easily viewed on a mobile device.

Is your website mobile friendly?

The Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool is a quick way to check whether or not your website can easily be used on mobiles. “Mobile friendly” is often used interchangeably with “responsive.”

How to Make a Responsive Website Google Tool
To check any website, just type or paste the web address into the box.

Running the test is straightforward. Simply type or paste the URL of your website into the box. Then click RUN TEST.

How to Make a Responsive Website Google Results
In seconds you will learn the results.

The Google tool shows how your website looks on a mobile device and gives the site a pass/fail score for mobile friendliness.

How to make a responsive website?

You can make a responsive website by choosing any of the following three methods.

1. Use a Content Management System (CMS)

You can use a CMS like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal to create a new site just for viewing on mobile devices. A CMS is a software application that allows just about anyone to create and manage digital content.

In this case, you do not have to write the code from scratch. You simply choose a mobile-responsive theme and customise it according to your taste by adding text, photos and content as per your liking.

Themes are pre-built websites where all the coding has been done for you.

 

There are literally thousands of WordPress themes on the internet — some free, some not.

Although many of the WordPress themes these days are mobile friendly, you should still check and see before settling on one. To do this, look for the Demo option on the theme page.

How to Make a Responsive Website CMS Demo

Grab the URL of your chosen theme’s demo page and put it in Google’s mobile-friendly test tool.

How to Make a Responsive Website WordPress Theme
It’s wise to test any WordPress theme you want to use before downloading it.

Another factor you need to check while choosing a theme is the page speed. This refers to how quickly the website you build with this theme will load for customers.

Most people will wait no more than a few seconds for a site to load before clicking away. So your theme must be fast.

Page speed is critical factor that also impacts the search engine ranking of your website.

You can check the theme template for the same by typing or pasting the theme’s URL in the PageSpeed Insights tool. As a point of comparison, best-selling WordPress theme Avada loads in 1.14 seconds.

2. Build it in 90 minutes with Website Builder

If you are looking for the answer as to how to make a responsive website easily, Website Builder is your solution. It is even easier than a CMS like WordPress. It does all the heavy lifting of coding and back end work so that you can create a website by some simple drag and drops.

You can take a free trial of 14 days here (no credit card required).

 

With GoDaddy’s Website Builder, you can create a professional, mobile-friendly website in under 90 minutes.

3. Write code to create your site from scratch

If you are looking for a highly customised website, you can hire a developer or do it on your own if you are comfortable with coding.

The widely used languages in web development include HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and Python.

How to Make a Responsive Website Screen Displaying Code
If you know how to code, you can build a responsive website yourself.
Photo: Sai Kiran Anagani on Unsplash

There are many frameworks available for free (aka open source) that make the responsive website easily and in no time. The most popular being:

These are prewritten HTML, CSS and JavaScript frameworks to create mobile-friendly websites. These frameworks have already been tested and optimized to support different browsers and screen sizes. Using one of them greatly reduces the quantum of code that is required to be written for a responsive website.

Is it possible to make an existing website responsive?

Yes, it is absolutely possible to convert an existing website to a mobile-friendly website. Let us consider different scenarios and solutions.

When your website is built using a CMS like WordPress

In such cases, you can simply update your current theme (in cases where your theme has been updated to be mobile friendly) or switch to any other mobile-responsive theme which is easy.

If your website is built using HTML/CSS or any programming languages

Here, you have two options:

  1. Create a responsive layout. In this case, you add a responsive layout to your website using targeted media queries that allow the website to adapt to fit the customer’s screen size.With a responsive layout, you need not manage two websites. But not all website designs are compatible with conversions; you could face some usability issues and conversion flaws later.
  2. Build another site altogether. Option 2 is to create a separate website that is mobile friendly. Whenever someone visits your website using mobile, they are directed to this site.Note that if you choose this option, you will have to manage two websites. Any change or addition you make to your mobile site, you must also make to the desktop site so they match.

Wrapping it up

Whether you choose to convert an existing website to a responsive site or start from scratch, just make a choice!

Non-responsive websites are not an option anymore.

We have discussed in detail on how to make a responsive website with all the possible options. Now that the ball is in your court, don’t just sit on this information. Choose a method that suits you the best and create a website that can be accessed on any device.

Shweta Saxena
Shweta is a freelance content writer and strategist. She loves helping new startups and small businesses create their content marketing strategy and write their blogs. As the founder of Exploring Startups, Shweta helps startups by sharing useful tips and inspirational startup stories. She also gives writing and blogging tips on her new blog, Up The Reach. The faucet of her creativity never turns off. When she is not reading or writing, you can see her playing the piano, sketching someone or practising her favourite classical dance, Kathak. Connect with Shweta on LinkedIn or Facebook.

How to add a location on Google Maps

Help more people find you

Prospects and customers will turn to Google to look for your business. Make sure they find you.

It’s easy to add your business location, contact numbers and other details using the add location on Google Map feature. Also, it won’t cost you anything.

First things first

Before we get to the “how to” part, the first thing you should do is get a Google account. This is different from the regular Gmail account you might be using for your personal email.

Google offers several services for business. You must get a Google account before you can add your business location on Google Maps.

Hands-on: a step-by-step guide

A listing on Google Maps will increase the number of visitors to your office or shop.

To use the add location on Google Map feature, simply follow these directions.

  1. Point your web browser to the site business.google.com.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account by either choosing the account name (if it was saved earlier) or by typing your existing Gmail address. Click “Next.”
  3. Enter your password and click “Next.”

Find your Google My Business listing

Next, you’ll want to create a listing or claim your business listing, if it’s already there.

  1. Click the Google Apps icon (you’ll find it next to your profile photo or logo, top right of the screen).
  2. Click on the “My Business” app.
  3. Enter your business name and be sure it matches the registered name of your business, as listed on your business website and business cards. Click “Next.”

The following prompt appears: “Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?”

  1. If so, click “Yes” and “Next.”
  2. Specify your country and address for business correspondence. Be sure to fill in all the fields (state, pin code, etc).
  3. Check the address details and verify the pin code. Click “Next.”

Pinpoint your business location

Now for the details.

Add Location on Google Map Red Location Indicator

  1. A map will be shown with a balloon marker indicating the approximate location of your business.
  2. Use the +/- buttons to zoom in and out of the map, looking for some familiar landmarks near your location. Tip: If you make a mistake, click Reset and start over.
  3. Point at the red location marker and drag it to the exact point of your business location.
  4. Once the location marker is on your exact location, you can move to the next step by clicking “Next.”

You should see a prompt that says, “Do you also serve customers outside this location?”

If you have branches or other office locations, then respond with a “Yes.” Specify additional locations in the same way you specified your primary business address earlier. Click “Next.”

Choose a category for your business

Next, specify a category that best describes your business. Categories are general descriptions such as Marketing and Sales, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Teaching, etc.

  1. Choose among the autocomplete options carefully, selecting the category that is the nearest match to your business. Click “Next.”
  2. On the next screen, you will be asked to enter your contact details and website address. Tips: Add the country code prefix before your phone number. Begin the web address with http:// or https://
  3. Click “Next” and “Finish.”

In this screen you will be asked to verify your phone number by call or text. Choose a suitable option and follow the instructions on screen.

Complete your listing

Add Location on Google Map Busy Street Scene
An accurate listing in Google Maps will bring customers right to your door.

There are a few more details that you need to specify to complete your listing for the add location on Google Map service. By mentioning these additional details, your customer will know a bit more about your business including your working hours.

It’s good to add photos of your office, your products and perhaps your business logo.

  1. Fill in other details like hours, business description and opening date. These details will make it easier for your customers to find your business from the street.
  2. The “Info” screen shows you the status of your listing. Notice that it now says “Pending review.”
  3. Log in after three days and check the status again in the “Info” section.

It will take up to three working days for the Google team to validate all your details, and only then will your business be listed on Google Maps. Look out for an email from Google that informs you about this.

You can then search for your own business on Google and see what details appear. This is what your customers and prospects will see when they search for your business location on Google.

Of course, you can edit these details at any time by signing in to your account on business.google.com. Be sure to keep these details up-to-date, including special hours for holidays.

Add your location on Google Maps — it’s easy and free

Now that you have added your location and business details to Google Map, you can expect more people to call or visit you.

Your business is so much easier to find now, and people will look you up on Google Maps. People will also find your business in the search listings when they look for specific products or services that are similar to your offerings.

Once your listing is confirmed, search for your business on Google Maps and copy the link in your browser bar at the top of the screen. Then paste it into an email or text message you can send whenever someone is about to visit your office.

Editor’s note: Don’t have a website yet? Get one quickly with WordPress Websites. A website will provide more complete information to customers than a Google My Business listing alone.

Brian Pereira
Brian Pereira has been writing on consumer and business technology for 25 years. He is the former editor of InformationWeek and CHIP magazines in India. He has written thousands of articles and blogs and has travelled around the world to report on technology events. Brian is currently a content specialist at a startup in India, developing content for Fortune 500 companies. He is also an aviation enthusiast and likes all things from the 1980s. He continues his journalism work on his own platform Digital Creed.

How to open a WhatsApp Business Account

Text customers and leads with ease

Currently free, this app makes it easy for businesses to interact with customers in a way they are already familiar with.

In these markets, businesses have been using WhatsApp as a marketing or customer support channel. But using WhatsApp for business communication has been cumbersome as yet. Hence, the company introduced a new version of the app focussed on businesses.

Available only for Android smartphones as of now, WhatsApp Business is similar to the regular WhatsApp — with a few additional features made for small and medium businesses (SMB).

How to open a WhatsApp Business account

WhatsApp Business Account ProfileThe WhatsApp Business app is available on the Google Play Store for Android smartphones. To get started, you’ll need to sign up using your phone number.

  1. Download and open the app.
  2. Choose from business or not a business.
  3. Accept terms and conditions.
  4. Enter a phone number (they give you a chance to change before they verify it).
  5. Create profile.

You can only use one of the two — WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business — for any phone number, so make sure you don’t use your personal phone number while signing up for WhatsApp Business account. Using business phone number will also help with seamless business verification later.

What are the features of WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp Business helps SMBs to connect more efficiently with their customers. You can set up a Business Profile, which provides WhatsApp users with useful information like:

Businesses using WhatsApp will be listed as business accounts, so users will know they are talking to a business. There’s also a closed pilot program for verifying business accounts with a green checkmark to distinguish them from personal and fake accounts.

Some of the business-focused features of WhatsApp Business are:

WhatsApp Business Account Labels

Labels

You can organize your contacts or chats with labels to find them again easily and remember the context. For example, you can label a conversation as ‘new lead,’ so even when the customer responds after some time, you can quickly identify that this person is a potential customer.

Messaging statistics

WhatsApp Business offers business owners access to important metrics such as how many of your messages were successfully sent, delivered and read.

 

Automated messages

Like with emails, you can set an away message when you are unable to answer so your customers know when to expect a response. You can set it up to send the away message:

  • At all times.
  • On a customised schedule.
  • Outside of business hours.

You can also set up a greeting message to introduce your customers to your business. It will be sent out automatically when a customer messages you for the first time or after 14 days of inactivity.

WhatsApp Business Account Desktop
To manage many customer conversations, use WhatsApp on a desktop computer.

Just like a personal WhatsApp account, you can use WhatsApp Business via the desktop app as well. This makes it easier to interact with a large number of customers.

At the moment, WhatsApp Business is free for all SMBs although it is likely the company will look at monetisation by charging larger enterprises.

Using WhatsApp Business effectively

Once you’ve set up WhatsApp Business, you can use it to offer one-on-one support to your customers. It allows small business owners to quickly respond to business queries, thereby gaining new customers and turning current customers into loyal fans.

You can also send out updates about your business such as:

It is the perfect way to connect with your existing customer base. WhatsApp also allows you to create broadcast lists to send out messages to a large number of people in one go, saving you the time.

Concierge and delivery businesses can use the service to offer timely updates so that customers can track the status easily.

In India, government institutions like police forces and municipal corporations have been using WhatsApp to deliver citizen services. Citizens are able to report issues or file complaints while these departments are able to broadcast important information and government notifications to the public.

Let them talk to you the way they prefer

Messaging is the preferred communication mode for most young people and millennials as well as mobile-first elders, and businesses are looking beyond email and online forums for one-to-one communication with their customers at scale.

WhatsApp Business could be just the right channel for your business to engage with its customers in an organic way — a mode that they are already familiar with.

Image by: Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash