Webmasters and web analysts have two main tools at their disposal to optimize visibility or check the indexing status of their websites – Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Google Search Console has been around since 2006. Before May of 2015, it was known as Google Webmaster Tools. While Microsoft’s Bing Webmaster Tools launched mid-way through 2009.
(Pixabay / Photo-Mix)
While Google’s version is much more robust than Bing’s, all is not lost in using both. The differences between Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools can be seen in the following features.
- Dashboard – When you log in to either of these two services, you will see some important statistics. Google will give you the basics about your site as it appears in Google’s index, such as search queries and site errors. You will also get malware alerts if your site is compromised and unnatural link warnings if you’ve been dabbling in shady SEO. Bing will give you similar information about your website, including clicks resulting from searches to an inbound link count.
- Website configuration – The configuration section for both tools is basically the same. With Google, the tool can give your website specific locations to target users in search. Bing allows you to manually submit URLs and block specific pages on your site from appearing in Bing search. And similar to Google’s Disavow Tool, you can also tell Bing to ignore incoming links to a site that might be spammy or unnatural. Google makes disavowing easier by allowing a single formatted file to be uploaded, while Bing requires you to tediously submit links one-by-one.
- Crawl reports – Both tools offer analytics to help you learn more about any issues that might discourage search engines from ranking your site.
- Search queries – Google will tell you the keywords that have led to most impressions of your website. Bing will give you similar reports about keywords that appeared in a search for a period ranging from 30 days to 6 months. As of Google’s 2018 update, their data goes back 18 months.
The official website of the White House has now joined nearly a third of all of the world’s websites in being powered by the content management system (CMS) known as WordPress.
(Pixabay / oohhsnapp)
WhiteHouse.gov is the official web page of the White House and is owned by the federal government. The website was launched in 1994 to share information about the President and Vice President as well as press releases, executive orders, and speeches by White House officials. The site was previously powered by Drupal before White House website developers migrated it to WordPress.
Both WordPress and Drupal are open-source, free content management systems that were rolled out less than 20 years ago. But WordPress has amassed a much larger following-up to 10 times larger by some accounts.
In my opinion, WordPress holds a number of benefits that the White House can take advantage of.
- WordPress is agile and allows for input from multiple users.
- With how many staff are at the White House, user management is important for allowing the constant stream of information that the government needs to put out.
- WordPress facilitates better search engine optimization.
- WordPress sites can be indexed easier due to a more search engine friendly structure, more diverse page-speed improvement options, and better SEO plugins, like Yoast.
- Strong backend
- Granted, every software will have its day of vulnerabilities. However, because WordPress has so many users worldwide, this helps others stay secure with the “wolfpack” benefit of other users reporting potential security gaps in the platform’s infrastructure. With millions of users testing the waters, problems can be identified and fixed before they have a chance to develop into anything significant.
Minimalism is currently one of the most popular types of web design. It has features and advantages that will make a lasting impression on the design landscape and is simplicity makes it attractive to potential customers.
A minimalist website is aesthetically pleasing, compelling, information-rich, and easy to navigate. It provides a gratifying experience to users who are not looking to scan through untold quantities of pages of content.
(Pixabay / rawpixel)
Advantages of minimalist web design
The professional look of minimalist design makes your website stand out from the crowd. It prioritizes information by eliminating “background noise” and including only the most relevant content. Here are some of the advantages of a minimalistic design.
- Easier to maintain than more complex sites.
- The pages load faster because there is less code.
- It is also less likely to go out of style soon because of its simplicity.
A minimalist website creates an environment that allows readers to focus on your products or services instead of the complexity of your site. It can easily guide readers in a certain direction, resulting in higher retention, more sales conversions, and a positive impression of your brand.
However, as with everything, there are cons for every pro.
Disadvantages of minimalist web design
Minimalist design isn’t for everyone. Some people feel that over-emphasizing simplicity might give viewers the impression that your site is unfinished. You can counter this notion by using spaced-out design elements and rich content.
Another drawback of this design style is that it can limit growth. You start with the basics, but what happens when your business expands? Will the no-frills design template enable you to accommodate new information and images?
If you are concerned about the limits of minimalist design, make sure to plan well in advance. Build on a heavy-duty framework that will enable you to keep on growing and expanding, even with a minimalist design.
The internet has allowed every customer in the world to search online. It has also opened a lot of opportunities for businesses to capture them. Hence, your goal now is to ensure that your website will always be accessible to them. If you don’t have a website yet, this infographic will teach you how to make one.
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress, designed for use for any online merchant, large or small. The plugin was launched in 2011 and has already gained wide acceptance and popularity because of its inherent simplicity of installation and customization.
(Pixabay / pixelcreatures)
Powering more than 30 percent of e-commerce sites and several million active installs use WooCommerce, this plugin is more than just a plugin. By 2014, WooCommerce was already powering more than 380,000 sites (roughly 18% of all e-commerce sites). Solidifying it’s future stability and growth, in 2015, Automattic, the operator of WordPress.com, acquired WooCommerce together with WooThemes.
Considering that WordPress powers nearly 30% of all websites worldwide, this will be a major boost to the plugin’s exposure. I would anticipate WooCommerce to become a built-in, default option within WordPress. In fact, WooCommerce is expected to give older players such as Bigcommerce and Shopify a significant run for their money.
The Christmas season is over, and the next major consumer holiday is on its way in the form of Valentine’s Day. Savvy marketers have planned their campaigns for Valentine’s Day even before Christmas. If you haven’t started preparing, it’s time to get busy.
(Pixabay / Nietjuh)
Cater to last-minute shoppers
Most people don’t think ahead enough to buy Valentine’s Day gifts in January. After all, most Americans are still recovering from the Christmas season. People typically begin making their romance-themed gift purchases at the start of February.
Think outside the box
Jewelry and chocolate are standard holiday gifts, but they’re not the only options. If you want to get your fair share of holiday revenue, you can start by making a Valentine’s Day category on your website populated with a list of Valentine’s Day gift recommendations.
You can also make dedicated landing pages for some of your products. Adding these easy-to-navigate Valentine’s options to your website will encourage shoppers to make purchases.
Cash in on gift wrapping and shipping upgrade options
No one wants to be late with a Valentine’s Day gift, but few buy in advance. Consumers are will often be willing to pay extra for fast shipping.
Offer accommodating delivery options and gift wrapping add-ons as well. For people who have ordered too late for even the fastest delivery options, offer to send a notification to let loved ones know that their gift is on its way.
Email, email, email
Finally, email remains a very strong way of communicating with customers. Send out an e-notification well in advance of the holiday to remind customers about Valentine’s Day and let them know what deals you will be offering.
Don’t let Valentine’s Day pass you by. In 2017, the holiday brought in nearly $20 billion in sales. There’s plenty to go around if you can mobilize customers.