Monthly Archives: June 2015

How to Display Recent Posts in WordPress

Do you want to show your recent posts in WordPress? Displaying recent posts helps your users find them easily. You can add recent posts in your sidebar, after the end of your post content, inside your post content with a shortcode, in your footer widget areas, and basically anywhere else that you like. In this article, we will show you how to display recent posts in WordPress with a plugin, widget, shortcode, and the manual method with the recent post function.

A WordPress page with recent posts listed

Using The WordPress Recent Posts Widget

WordPress comes with a built-in default widget to display recent posts in your site’s sidebar or any widget ready area. Inside your WordPress admin, simply visit Appearance » Widgets and add Recent Posts widget to a sidebar.

Using the default WordPress recent posts widget

The built-in recent posts widget is very basic. You can provide an alternate title to the widget, show date, and add the number of posts you want to display. Next, click on the save button to store your widget settings.

Using Recent Posts Widget Extended Plugin

As you noticed that the built-in widget we mentioned above is quite limited, and it doesn’t even allow you to show thumbnails or excerpts which is often a priority for users.

What if you wanted to display thumbnails and excerpts with your recent posts? What if you wanted to limit them to specific categories or tags?

Well, that’s when Recent Posts Widget Extended plugin comes in handy.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WordPress Recent Posts Widget Extended plugin. Upon activation, simply visit Appearance » Widgets and add Recent Posts Extended widget to a sidebar.

Recent posts extended widget settings

Recent Posts Extended widget comes with a lot options and gives you full control on how you want to display recent posts on your WordPress site. You can show thumbnails, excerpts, limit categories and tags, ignore sticky posts, and much more. You can even use the widget to display recent posts from any other post type on your site.

Recent posts with thumbnail and excerpt in  sidebar widget

Displaying Recent Posts in WordPress Using Shortcode

Adding recent posts to a sidebar is fairly easy, but what if you wanted to show recent posts inside a WordPress post or page? The easiest way to display recent posts in WordPress posts and pages is by using shortcodes.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Display Posts Shortcode plugin. It works out of the box and there are no settings for you to configure.

Simply edit a post or page where you want to display your recent posts. Next, use the shortcode

with your own parameters inside the post. The plugin offers a whole range of parameters that you can use with the shortcode. Here are some examples:

Display 5 recent posts with thumbnails and excerpt


Display recent pages instead of posts


Change the order to title instead of date.


Display recent pages under a specific parent page.


For a full list of parameters visit the plugin’s documentation.

You can also use these shortcodes inside a text widget, but first you will need to enable shortcodes in your text widgets by adding this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site specific plugin.

add_filter('widget_text', 'do_shortcode');

Displaying Recent Posts Manually in WordPress Theme Files

More advanced WordPress users may want to add recent posts directly in their WordPress theme files. There are multiple ways to do this, but the easiest one is to use the built-in WP_Query class. Simply add this code where you want to display the recent posts.

<ul>
// Define our WP Query Parameters
<?php $the_query = new WP_Query( 'posts_per_page=5' ); ?>

// Start our WP Query
<?php while ($the_query -> have_posts()) : $the_query -> the_post(); ?>

// Display the Post Title with Hyperlink
<li><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></li>

// Display the Post Excerpt
<li><?php the_excerpt(__('(more…)')); ?></li>

// Repeat the process and reset once it hits the limit
<?php 
endwhile;
wp_reset_postdata();
?>
</ul>

This code simply displays five most recent posts with their title and excerpt. The WP_Query class has tons of parameters that allows you to customize it any way that you like. For more information please refer to the codex.

We hope that this article helped you learn how to display recent posts in WordPress. If you want to customize the display of your recent posts without writing any code, then you may want to check out CSS Hero, a WordPress plugin that helps make design customization easy – see our full CSS Hero review.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

To leave a comment please visit How to Display Recent Posts in WordPress on WPBeginner.

How to Rid Your Website of Six Common Google Analytics Headaches

Posted by amandaecking

I’ve been in and out of Google Analytics (GA) for the past five or so years agency-side. I’ve seen three different code libraries, dozens of new different features and reports roll out, IP addresses stop being reported, and keywords not-so-subtly phased out of the free platform.

Analytics has been a focus of mine for the past year or so—mainly, making sure clients get their data right. Right now, our new focus is closed loop tracking, but that’s a topic for another day. If you’re using Google Analytics, and only Google Analytics for the majority of your website stats, or it’s your primary vehicle for analysis, you need to make sure it’s accurate.

Not having data pulling in or reporting properly is like building a house on a shaky foundation: It doesn’t end well. Usually there are tears.

For some reason, a lot of people, including many of my clients, assume everything is tracking properly in Google Analytics… because Google. But it’s not Google who sets up your analytics. People do that. And people are prone to make mistakes.

I’m going to go through six scenarios where issues are commonly encountered with Google Analytics.

I’ll outline the remedy for each issue, and in the process, show you how to move forward with a diagnosis or resolution.

1. Self-referrals

This is probably one of the areas we’re all familiar with. If you’re seeing a lot of traffic from your own domain, there’s likely a problem somewhere—or you need to extend the default session length in Google Analytics. (For example, if you have a lot of long videos or music clips and don’t use event tracking; a website like TEDx or SoundCloud would be a good equivalent.)

Typically one of the first things I’ll do to help diagnose the problem is include an advanced filter to show the full referrer string. You do this by creating a filter, as shown below:

Filter Type: Custom filter > Advanced
Field A: Hostname
Extract A: (.*)
Field B: Request URI
Extract B: (.*)
Output To: Request URI
Constructor: $A1$B1

You’ll then start seeing the subdomains pulling in. Experience has shown me that if you have a separate subdomain hosted in another location (say, if you work with a separate company and they host and run your mobile site or your shopping cart), it gets treated by Google Analytics as a separate domain. Thus, you ‘ll need to implement cross domain tracking. This way, you can narrow down whether or not it’s one particular subdomain that’s creating the self-referrals.

In this example below, we can see all the revenue is being reported to the booking engine (which ended up being cross domain issues) and their own site is the fourth largest traffic source:

self-referrals-2.png

I’ll also a good idea to check the browser and device reports to start narrowing down whether the issue is specific to a particular element. If it’s not, keep digging. Look at pages pulling the self-referrals and go through the code with a fine-tooth comb, drilling down as much as you can.

2. Unusually low bounce rate

If you have a crazy-low bounce rate, it could be too good to be true. Unfortunately. An unusually low bounce rate could (and probably does) mean that at least on some pages of your website have the same Google Analytics tracking code installed twice.

Take a look at your source code, or use Google Tag Assistant (though it does have known bugs) to see if you’ve got GA tracking code installed twice.

While I tell clients having Google Analytics installed on the same page can lead to double the pageviews, I’ve not actually encountered that—I usually just say it to scare them into removing the duplicate implementation more quickly. Don’t tell on me.

3. Iframes anywhere

I’ve heard directly from Google engineers and Google Analytics evangelists that Google Analytics does not play well with iframes, and that it will never will play nice with this dinosaur technology.

If you track the iframe, you inflate your pageviews, plus you still aren’t tracking everything with 100% clarity.

If you don’t track across iframes, you lose the source/medium attribution and everything becomes a self-referral.

Damned if you do; damned if you don’t.

My advice: Stop using iframes. They’re Netscape-era technology anyway, with rainbow marquees and Comic Sans on top. Interestingly, and unfortunately, a number of booking engines (for hotels) and third-party carts (for ecommerce) still use iframes.

If you have any clients in those verticals, or if you’re in the vertical yourself, check with your provider to see if they use iframes. Or you can check for yourself, by right-clicking as close as you can to the actual booking element:

iframe-booking.png

There is no neat and tidy way to address iframes with Google Analytics, and usually iframes are not the only complicated element of setup you’ll encounter. I spent eight months dealing with a website on a subfolder, which used iframes and had a cross domain booking system, and the best visibility I was able to get was about 80% on a good day.

Typically, I’d approach diagnosing iframes (if, for some reason, I had absolutely no access to viewing a website or talking to the techs) similarly to diagnosing self-referrals, as self-referrals are one of the biggest symptoms of iframe use.

4. Massive traffic jumps

Massive jumps in traffic don’t typically just happen. (Unless, maybe, you’re Geraldine.) There’s always an explanation—a new campaign launched, you just turned on paid ads for the first time, you’re using content amplification platforms, you’re getting a ton of referrals from that recent press in The New York Times. And if you think it just happened, it’s probably a technical glitch.

I’ve seen everything from inflated pageviews result from including tracking on iframes and unnecessary implementation of virtual pageviews, to not realizing the tracking code was installed on other microsites for the same property. Oops.

Usually I’ve seen this happen when the tracking code was somewhere it shouldn’t be, so if you’re investigating a situation of this nature, first confirm the Google Analytics code is only in the places it needs to be.Tools like Google Tag Assistant and Screaming Frog can be your BFFs in helping you figure this out.

Also, I suggest bribing the IT department with sugar (or booze) to see if they’ve changed anything lately.

5. Cross-domain tracking

I wish cross-domain tracking with Google Analytics out of the box didn’t require any additional setup. But it does.

If you don’t have it set up properly, things break down quickly, and can be quite difficult to untangle.

The older the GA library you’re using, the harder it is. The easiest setup, by far, is Google Tag Manager with Universal Analytics. Hard-coded universal analytics is a bit more difficult because you have to implement autoLink manually and decorate forms, if you’re using them (and you probably are). Beyond that, rather than try and deal with it, I say update your Google Analytics code. Then we can talk.

Where I’ve seen the most murkiness with tracking is when parts of cross domain tracking are implemented, but not all. For some reason, if allowLinker isn’t included, or you forget to decorate all the forms, the cookies aren’t passed between domains.

The absolute first place I would start with this would be confirming the cookies are all passing properly at all the right points, forms, links, and smoke signals. I’ll usually use a combination of the Real Time report in Google Analytics, Google Tag Assistant, and GA debug to start testing this. Any debug tool you use will mean you’re playing in the console, so get friendly with it.

6. Internal use of UTM strings

I’ve saved the best for last. Internal use of campaign tagging. We may think, oh, I use Google to tag my campaigns externally, and we’ve got this new promotion on site which we’re using a banner ad for. That’s a campaign. Why don’t I tag it with a UTM string?

Step away from the keyboard now. Please.

When you tag internal links with UTM strings, you override the original source/medium. So that visitor who came in through your paid ad and then who clicks on the campaign banner has now been manually tagged. You lose the ability to track that they came through on the ad the moment they click on the tagged internal link. Their source and medium is now your internal campaign, not that paid ad you’re spending gobs of money on and have to justify to your manager. See the problem?

I’ve seen at least three pretty spectacular instances of this in the past year, and a number of smaller instances of it. Annie Cushing also talks about the evils of internal UTM tags and the odd prevalence of it. (Oh, and if you haven’t explored her blog, and the amazing spreadsheets she shares, please do.)

One clothing company I worked with tagged all of their homepage offers with UTM strings, which resulted in the loss of visibility for one-third of their audience: One million visits over the course of a year, and $2.1 million in lost revenue.

Let me say that again. One million visits, and $2.1 million. That couldn’t be attributed to an external source/campaign/spend.

Another client I audited included campaign tagging on nearly every navigational element on their website. It still gives me nightmares.

If you want to see if you have any internal UTM strings, head straight to the Campaigns report in Acquisition in Google Analytics, and look for anything like “home” or “navigation” or any language you may use internally to refer to your website structure.

And if you want to see how users are moving through your website, go to the Flow reports. Or if you really, really, really want to know how many people click on that sidebar link, use event tracking. But please, for the love of all things holy (and to keep us analytics lovers from throwing our computers across the room), stop using UTM tagging on your internal links.

Now breathe and smile

Odds are, your Google Analytics setup is fine. If you are seeing any of these issues, though, you have somewhere to start in diagnosing and addressing the data.

We’ve looked at six of the most common points of friction I’ve encountered with Google Analytics and how to start investigating them: self-referrals, bounce rate, iframes, traffic jumps, cross domain tracking and internal campaign tagging.

What common data integrity issues have you encountered with Google Analytics? What are your favorite tools to investigate?

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The Biggest Social Media Science Study: What 4.8 Million Tweets Say About the Best Time to Tweet

Imagine removing all guesswork when you schedule your tweets, knowing the times that work for maximum clicks and maximum engagement.

As someone who shares frequently to social media, this info would be fantastic to have! We’re always eager to dig up new research into social media best practices—things like length and frequency and timing.

The timing element, in particular, feels like one where we’d love to dig deeper. And we just so happen to have a host of data on this from the 2 million users who have signed up for Buffer!

With a big hand from our data team, we analyzed over 4.8 million tweets across 10,000 profiles, pulling the stats on how clicks and engagement and timing occur throughout the day and in different time zones. We’d love to share with you what we found!

best time for twitter

The best time to tweet: Our 4.8 million-tweet research study

Our key learnings

Wow, we learned so much looking at the awesome stats from those who use Buffer! Here were some of the takeaways we came up with. I’d love to hear what catches your eye, too!

  • Early mornings are the best time to tweet in order to get clicks.
  • Evenings and late at night are the best time, on average, for total engagement with your tweets
  • In some cases, the most popular times to post are opposite of the best times to post.
  • Popular times and best times to tweet differ across time zones.

The most popular time to tweet:

Noon to 1:00 p.m.

We’ve taken the data from all tweets sent through Buffer to find the most popular times for posting to Twitter. Looking at all tweets sent across all major time zones, here is an overview of the most popular times to tweet.

  • Noon to 1:00 p.m. local time, on average for each time zone, is the most popular time to tweet
  • The highest volume of tweets occurs between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., peaking between noon and 1:00 p.m.
  • The fewest tweets are sent between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m.

Here’s the chart for the most popular times worldwide, taken from an average of 10 major time zones (the times represent local time).

Most Popular Time to Tweet Worldwide

Here is the graph for the most popular times to tweet in each of the four major U.S. time zones. 

Buffer social media science study - US popular times to tweet

(We normalized the data to account for daylight’s savings in the U.S. as well.)

Here are the charts for the major time zones in Europe and Africa.

Most Popular Time to Tweet Europe

(Note: The London (GMT) time zone used to be the default time zone for new Buffer users, so our data for GMT is not as clean as we would like it to be. We’ve omitted any takeaways for GMT from the research results here.)

Here are the charts for the major time zones in Asia and Australia.

Most Popular Time to Tweet Australia Asia

It’s interesting to see how the most popular time to tweet varies across the time zones. We’ve shared Buffer’s 10 most popular time zones in the charts above. Here’s a list of each most popular hour for the 10 major time zones.

  • Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc. (Pacific Time): 9:00 a.m.
  • Denver (Mountain Time): noon
  • Chicago (Central Time): noon
  • New York, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, etc. (Eastern Time): noon
  • Madrid, Rome, Paris, etc. (Central European): 4:00 p.m.
  • Cape Town, Cairo, Helsinki, etc. (Eastern European): 8:00 p.m.
  • Sydney (Australian Eastern): 10:00 p.m.
  • Hong Kong (Hong Kong Time): 8:00 a.m.
  • Tokyo (Japan Time): 2:00 a.m.
  • Shanghai, Taipei, etc. (China Time): noon

For any clarification on this or the other research throughout this article, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get right back to you.

Takeaways & thoughts:

  • The most popular time to post could be due to a number of factors: This is when most people have access to Twitter (perhaps at a work computer), this is when online audiences are most likely to be connected (see Burrito Principle), etc.
  • Should you post during the most popular times? That’s one possibility. Also, you may find success posting at non-peak times, when the volume of tweets is lower.
  • If you have a large international audience on Twitter, you may wish to locate the particular part of the world where they’re from, and adjust your schedule accordingly. You can find the times when your audience may be online with tools like Followerwonk and Crowdfire.

The best times to tweet to get more clicks

We were excited to dig into the specific metrics for each of these tweets, too, in hopes of coming up with some recommendations and best practices to test out for your Twitter strategy.

First up, the best time to tweet for clicks.

Looking at the data, we found the following trends for maximizing your chance to get more clicks:

  • Tweets sent between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. earn the most clicks on average
  • The highest number of clicks per tweet occurs between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., peaking between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m.
  • The fewest clicks per tweet happen in the morning (when tweet volume is particularly high), between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m..

The data in the below chart is the worldwide average, calculated for the local time in each time zone. So the peak at the 2:00 a.m. hour would hold true as the overall top time no matter which time zone you’re in—2:00 a.m. in Los Angeles, New York, Cape Town, Hong Kong, etc.Best Times to Tweet for Clicks Worldwide

For the specifics on each of the best time to tweet for clicks in each of the major time zones in Buffer, here’s a breakdown.

  • Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc. (Pacific Time): 2:00 a.m.
  • Denver (Mountain Time): 7:00 p.m.
  • Chicago (Central Time): 2:00 a.m.
  • New York, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, etc. (Eastern Time): 11:00 p.m.
  • Madrid, Rome, Paris, Berlin, etc. (Central European): 2:00 a.m.
  • Cape Town, Cairo, Istanbul, etc. (Eastern European): 8:00 p.m.
  • Sydney (Australian Eastern): 2:00 a.m.
  • Hong Kong (Hong Kong Time): 5:00 a.m.
  • Shanghai, Taipei, etc. (China Time): noon
  • Tokyo (Japan Time): 8:00 a.m.

Best Times to Tweet for Clicks - by time zone

Takeaways & thoughts:

  • Clicks was far and away the largest engagement metric that we tracked in this study (compared to retweets, replies, and favorites).
  • Some of the recommended best times for individual time zones show that non-peak hours are the top time to tweet for clicks. This data may reflect some particularly high-achieving posts—some outliers—that bring up the average when the volume of tweets is lowest. Still, it’d be a great one to test for your profile to see what results you get.
  • One neat thing to keep in mind is that a non-peak hour in, say, Los Angeles may correspond to a peak hour in London or Paris. The worldwide audience is definitely one to consider when finding the best time to tweet.

The best times for overall engagement with your tweet

We define engagement as clicks plus retweets, favorites, and replies. When looking at all these interactions together, we found the following trends for maximizing your chance to get the most engagement on your tweets:

  • Tweets sent between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. earn the most total engagement on average
  • The highest amount of engagement per tweet occurs between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., peaking between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m.
  • The smallest amount of engagement happens during traditional work hours, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Best Times to Tweet for Engagement

Takeaways & thoughts:

  • The best times to tweet for engagement are quite the inverse of the most popular times to tweet. (The late-night infomercial effect—tweet when fewer people are tweeting—seems to be the case here.)

The best times for retweets and favorites on your tweets

Adding together two of the most common engagement metrics, we found some interesting trends for maximizing the retweets and favorites on your tweets, especially for those with a U.S. audience.

Looking at 1.1 million tweets from U.S. Buffer users from January through March 2015, here were some of the notable takeaways we found:

  • Tweets sent at the 9:00 p.m. hour in the U.S. earn the most retweets and favorites on average
  • The highest number of retweets and favorites occurs between 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., peaking between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m.
  • The lowest retweet-favorite engagement happens at 3:00 a.m.

(Interesting to note, the takeaways from this data compared to the worldwide engagement data differ slightly for a couple reasons: 1) clicks represent a huge portion of overall engagement, and 2) the worldwide vs. US datasets vary.)

Best Times to Tweet for Engagement USA

We’d love to make it easy for you to share these results with your audience, your friends, your clients—anyone you think might benefit from them.

>> Download every chart from this post (.zip) <<

The methodology for our research

We studied all tweets ever sent through Buffer—4.8 million tweets since October 2010!

Based on this sample set, we looked at the number of clicks per tweet, favorites per tweet, retweets per tweet, and replies per tweet, in accordance with the time of day that the tweet was posted to Twitter.

Further, we segmented the results according to time zones, based on the assumption that the learnings might be more actionable if they could be specific to exactly where you live and work.

We had an interesting opportunity to consider whether median or average would be the better metric to use for our insights. It turns out that so many tweets in the dataset receive minimal engagement that the median was often zero. For this reason, we chose to display the average.

Over to you: What are your takeaways?

We’re so grateful for the chance to dig into the stats from the many tweets that people choose to share with Buffer. The data is super insightful, both for sharing with others and for impacting our own social media marketing plans!

What did you notice from the stats here?

Did any of the results surprise you or get you thinking about your plans in a different way?

I’d love to hear your take on this! Feel free to share any thoughts at all in the comments!

Image sources: IconFinder, Blurgrounds, Death to the Stock Photo, UnSplash

The post The Biggest Social Media Science Study: What 4.8 Million Tweets Say About the Best Time to Tweet appeared first on Social.

How to Properly Use the More Tag in WordPress

Do you want to a show a summary of your article on your homepage with a read more link? WordPress comes with two built-in methods that allows you to do that. One of these methods is known as the More Tag. In this article, we will show you how to properly use the More Tag in WordPress.

Adding the More Tag in WordPress

Adding the More Tag in your posts is quite simple. Simply start by writing a new post or edit an existing one.

Once you’re done writing, you will need to click on a line where you would like to end the summary and show a read more link. Next, click on the More Tag button from the toolbar.

Adding the more tag in a WordPress post using the visual editor

You will notice that a dashed line with ‘More’ in the center will appear in your blog post. You can insert the more tag anywhere in the post, like in the mid sentence, in the middle of a paragraph, or after the first paragraph.

If you are using the text editor, then you can use the ‘more’ button in the toolbar or manually enter the more tag like this:

<!--more-->

What’s the Advantage of using More Tag vs Excerpts

Remember earlier we mentioned that WordPress comes with two built-in methods for showing the post summary with read more link. Those methods are More Tag and Excerpts.

You can add an excerpt for any post using the Excerpt box in your post editor screen. If you do not see that box, then click on the screen options tab on the top right hand corner and check the excerpt option.

This will display an excerpt meta box below your post editor.

Excerpt meta box below post editor in WordPress

While excerpts may sound like an easier option, there are two downsides to using an excerpt.

The first is that excerpts are completely theme dependent. If your theme does not use the_excerpt tag, then no matter what you type in the excerpt box, your theme will show the full content of your post on your homepage and archive pages.

The second downside to using excerpts is that they do not show images or any other formatting for that matter. They’re displayed as plain text.

Whereas the More Tag is completely theme independent meaning it will work on all well-coded WordPress themes. Second, it allows you to display images and all post formatting such as links, quotes, bold/italics, etc in your post summary.

What’s the Downside of using More Tag

The biggest downside of using the WordPress More Tag is that it is something you have to manually enter in all of your posts whereas excerpts are automated.

While WordPress allows you to enter a custom excerpts in the excerpt box, it can also auto-generate an excerpt based on your character count.

Depending on your preference, this may be a downside.

The other downside of using a More Tag is if you use a theme that uses excerpts, then it will override the More Tag and provide an excerpt with the length defined by your theme.

Whether you use More Tag or excerpts, it’s important that you show a summary on your homepage and archive pages rather than showing full content. See our article on the topic, full Text vs summary (excerpt) in your WordPress archive pages.

Common WordPress More Tag Problems

The biggest issue we hear with WordPress More Tag not working is when it comes to pages.

By default, you cannot use the More Tag in WordPress pages. However, there is a quick fix that allows you to add read more tag in WordPress pages.

Another common issue is more tag not working on homepage. If you are using a static page as your custom homepage, then the link above should fix the issue.

The only other reason why more tag won’t work on the homepage is if your theme is designed to show excerpts on the front page in which case your more tag is being overridden, and you should use excerpts instead.

We hope this article helped you learn how to properly use the more tag in WordPress. You may also want to check out our CSS Hero, a WordPress plugin that helps make design customization easy – see our full CSS Hero review.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

To leave a comment please visit How to Properly Use the More Tag in WordPress on WPBeginner.

What to See, Do, and More at MozCon 2015 in Seattle

Posted by EricaMcGillivray

One of our favorite things about MozCon is introducing all of you to Seattle. We love our city, and besides three days of marketing learning, we also host three night events and facilitate other fun activities. We are currently 92% sold out with around 100 tickets left, so if you haven’t already:

Buy your ticket now!

Check out the full schedule if you’re interested in knowing more about the MozCon sessions.


Birds-of-a-feather tables at lunch

After many requests for more community connecting, this year, we’re launching birds-of-a-feather tables during each lunch. There will be eight labeled tables with different topics each day and a different facilitator each day. (There are also a ton of unlabeled tables for random meeting and gatherings.) Sit down and join a conversation around a professional interest.

Roger and friends at MozCon

Table schedule

Monday tables:

  • Real Estate Marketers, hosted by Brittanie Flegle from Realty Austin
  • Manufacturing, hosted by Crystal Hunt from WTB, Inc.
  • Content Strategy, hosted by Ronell Smith from RS Consulting
  • Women in Digital Marketing, hosted by Susan Wiker from Fodor’s Travel
  • In-house Marketers, hosted by Andy Odom from Santander Consumer USA Inc.
  • Local SEO, hosted by David Mihm from Moz
  • Inbound Marketing, hosted by Eric Hess from REI
  • SEO Executives, hosted by Benjamin Seror from SimilarWeb

Tuesday tables:

Wednesday tables:

Don’t worry, with all of us in the same room, doing the same things for three days, you’ll never miss a lunch or birds-of-a-feather opportunity!


Our official MozCon evening events

#MozCrawl: Monday night

Join us and our partners for a tour of the neighborhood bars in Belltown. This is our second official MozCrawl, and we’re delighted to show off yet another part of Seattle. Each bar will feature a unique MozCon button. Collect all six and be entered in a drawing for a golden Roger. The crawl runs from 7-10pm. Make sure to bring your ID, US driver’s license or passport.

(Standard disclaimer: Roger is golden, not made of gold.)

Locations

Buckley’s, 2331 2nd Ave, hosted by Moz
Clever Bottle, 2222 2nd Ave Ste.100, hosted by wordstream
Rabbit Hole, 2222 2nd Ave, hosted by

unbounce
Lava Lounge, 2226 2nd Ave, hosted by whitespark
Wakefield Bar, 2137 2nd Ave, hosted by Moz
The Whiskey Bar, 2122 2nd Ave, hosted by kissmetrics

MozCrawl map


MozCon Ignite: Tuesday night

You’ve long asked for a networking-focused event, and in a Mozzy spirit, we’re happy to bring our Tuesday night MozCon Ignite. Starts at 7pm with networking and appetizers with talks starting at 8pm.

Ignite talks are 5 minutes in length with auto-advancing slides. All these talks are passion topics—no marketing talks—so you can put your notebook down and relax. Get to know your fellow community members and their interests beyond our shared profession.

MozCon Ignite schedule:

7:00-8:00pm Networking
8:00-8:05pm Welcome to MozCon Ignite with Geraldine DeRuiter, aka the Everywhereist Geraldine DeRuiter
8:05-8:10pm Regales of an Accidental Nightcrawler Stunt Double with Jay Neill from Affiliate Resources, Inc.

Jay Neill is an online marketing consultant who helps businesses get started in the world of local SEO through education and servicing. In his spare time, Jay enjoys jumping on trampolines and playing with his vast collection of vintage Star Wars action figures.

Jay Neill
8:10-8:15pm Sled Dogs, Northern Lights, and Mushing Tails! with Anna Anderson from Art Unlimited

Anna Anderson is an avid dog lover who owns over 35 sled dogs in Northern MN. Growing up with sled dogs, she and her family now competitively race across North America: training, racing, and traveling for 2-3 months with 20 of her best canine friends across the country! Follow her on Twitter: @boldadgirl

Anna Anderson
8:15-8:20pm Performing a Canine C-Section with Marie Haynes from HIS Web Marketing

Dr. Marie Haynes is recognized as a leader when it comes to dealing with Google penalties and algorithm changes like Panda and Penguin. Prior to her career in SEO, she was a small animal veterinarian for 13 years. It is possible that her strong fear of birds is what launched her in to a new life of battling the Penguins at Google. Follow her on Twitter: @Marie_Haynes

Marie Haynes
8:20-8:25pm Bulltown Strutters: The Band That Married Its City with Mark Traphagen from StoneTemple Consulting

Mark Traphagen is Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting. When not disrupting things online, Mark disrupts the sleep of the good citizens of Durham, NC, by making as much noise as possible with the Bulltown Strutters, a New Orleans Second Line style parade band. Follow him on Twitter: @marktraphagen

Mark Traphagen
8:25-8:30pm Okay, I Have a Confession: I Was Homeschooled with Garrett Mehrguth from Directive Consulting

Garrett Mehrguth is digital marketing enthusiast and owner of Directive Consulting, which provides SEO, PPC, and Content for small to mid-market companies. When Garrett’s not in the office, you can catch him playing foosball, surfing, or playing soccer. Follow him on Twitter: @gmehrguth

Garrett Mehrguth
8:30-8:35pm Conquering the 100 Best Books of All Time with Kristen Craft from Wistia

Kristen Craft is Director of Business Development and loves connecting with Wistia’s partner community to spread the word about video marketing. In her spare time, she takes epically long walks, swims in ponds, and brews beer. Follow her on Twitter: @thecrafty

8:35-8:40pm Tales of Coffee from a Kitchen Window with Scott Callender from La Marzocco Home

Scott Callendar is the Director of the newly launched La Marzocco Home. He is the definition of a coffee geek and spends his time away from his job in coffee with his family and thinks more about coffee. Follow him on Twitter: @incognitocoffee

Scott Callender
8:40-8:45pm Go Frost Yourself: 7 Basic Frostings & Their Uses with Annette Promes from Moz

Annette Promes has spent the past two decades in and around Seattle working in various marketing roles. She is currently the CMO at Moz, where she and her teams handle everything that is “funnel-related,” such as driving traffic to Moz’s site, converting that traffic into product trials, and reducing customer churn. Annette really loves frosting. Follow her on Twitter: @ahpromes

Annette Promes
8:45-9:15pm Networking break
9:15-9:20pm A Creative Endeavor Inspires & Lengthens a Life with Ralph Legnini from DragonSearch

Ralph Legnini – Senior Creative Strategist at DragonSearch in NY – is an Aikido 5th Degree Black Belt Sensei, former Saturday Night Live music producer, President of the Board of Education in the 2nd largest school district in New York State, funky rock & roll guitar player, and has worked in the recording studio with music icons Mick Jagger, Madonna, David Bowie, Nile Rodgers, & Todd Rundgren. He used these unique combined skills to create a life sustaining environment for a talented 16-year-old boy with incurable cancer. Follow him on Twitter: @ruaralph2

Ralph Legnini
9:20-9:25pm Finding and Embracing Healthy Eating Habits with Carrie Hill from Ignitor Digital Marketing, LLC

Carrie Hill is the co-founder and technical SEO expert at Ignitor Digital. She loves cooking, eating, reading, and Eddie Vedder…not necessarily in that order. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieHill

Carrie Hill
9:25-9:30pm I Was Told There Would Be Hoverboards. with Dan Petrovic from DEJAN

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is one of Australia’s best-known names in the field of search engine optimization. Dan is a web author, innovator, and a highly-regarded search industry event speaker. Follow him on Twitter: @dejanseo

Dan Petrovic
9:35-9:40pm The Day I Disremembered with Chris Hanson from 3GEngagement

Chris Hanson has been involved in digital marketing since 2006 and is currently Founder and CEO of 3GEngagement. After Hanson worked as a Park Ranger, lived without electricity, raced sled dogs, and lived in Alaska, he felt that digital marketing was the next obvious career move. Follow him on Twitter: @FollowUPsuccess

Chris Hanson
9:40-9:45pm What Did You Expect in an Opera, a Happy Ending? with Chrissi Reimer from Three Deep Marketing

A Green Bay native and Minneapolis transplant, Chrissi Reimer spends her days working as an SEO at Three Deep Marketing. Most nights, Chrissi can be found experimenting with different ways to prepare arugula, trying new brews, or taste-testing every ice cream option in the Twin Cities. Follow her on Twitter: @chrissireimer

Chrissi Reimer
9:45-9:50pm The Best Practices in Cooking Hot Dogs with Josh Couper from Rafflecopter

Josh Couper is the director of customer happiness at Rafflecopter and long time hot dog aficionado. Follow him on Twitter: @josh_couper

Josh Couper
9:50-9:55pm Raising My Parents with Jen Lopez from Moz

Jen Sable Lopez is the Director of Community at Moz. She is a renowned Community Strategist who started her marketing career as a technical SEO. Jen is a self-proclaimed geek and faux vegetarian, and she prides herself in having kicked colon cancer’s butt at the young age of 37. Follow her on Twitter: @jennita

Jen Lopez
9:55-10:00pm Stoned Nerd versus the Four-Legged Home Invaders with Ian Lurie from Portent, Inc.

Ian Lurie is founder and CEO of Portent, Inc., a search, social and content agency that helps clients become weird, useful, and significant. He’s also a renowned raccoon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter: @portentint

Ian Lurie

Garage Party: Wednesday night

There ain’t no party like a Moz party, and our annual bash at the Garage is always a blast. Have one last hurrah with us before heading home and back to work.

Garage Party

For those who’ve never been to the Garage, there’s something for everyone: bowling, pool, and karaoke. Plus, a ton of food and drinks—including our featured MozCow Mule Mocktail, as well as well liquor, beer, house wine, and of course, our friend H2O. So whether you’re singing your heart out, playing for the corner pocket, bowling a turkey, or just chatting with your new friends, we’ll see you there.


Coming in early? See and explore Seattle!

Seattle by CheWei Chang

MozCon-adjacent activities

The following events are MozCon-adjacent, meaning they aren’t hosted by Moz and attendees must arrange and pay for their adventures.

Alki Kayak Tours

Paddle around Elliott Bay! At 2:30pm Sunday, for $49/per person, you can head out on the water and make new MozCon friends. You can easily catch the water taxi at Pier 50 ($4.75 one-way) from Downtown to West Seattle. Alki tours is located right next to the West Seattle ferry terminal for your convenience.

Local Craft Tours

Take a distillery tour at 12pm Sunday and learn about Seattle’s unique craft culture. Conveniently, the tour leaves from the Grand Hyatt Hotel. You can call (206) 455-3740 to reserve your spot on the tour, which costs $87.50/per person.

Seattle Mariners vs. Los Angeles Angels

Love baseball? Come see Seattle’s home team play. The Mariners game starts at 1:10pm, and you can see them take on the Angels for $17/per person on the View Level. You must purchase your ticket before 5pm July 10 in order to get the MozCon deal. Enter ‘MOZCON’ as your special offer code.


Citywide events


Mozzers recommend their favorite Seattle destinations!

Rachael KloekAgua Verde, recommended by Rachael Kloek

“Agua Verde serves great Mexican food in a beautiful lakefront setting. You can rent paddleboards and kayaks right under the restaurant to paddle your way around Lake Union.”

Chris LoweBallard brewery blocks, recommended by Chris Lowe

“A dozen really good breweries all within a few blocks of each other: Stoup, Reubens, Red Envelope, Populuxe, Peddler, Maritime, etc., etc. You can easily walk from one brewery to another. Bonus is that most of these breweries host food trucks on the weekends. The area is also just a few blocks from downtown Ballard and the Burke Gilman Trail.”

Renea NielsenBallard Locks, recommended by Renea Nielsen

“The Ballard Locks are a bit of a trek from downtown Seattle (~ 45 min. by bus), but they are a perfect Seattle maritime adventure. The Locks abut a beautiful park and show off Seattle’s maritime history. If you’re lucky, you may even find some sea lions playing in one of the closed Locks.”

Erica McGillivrayPike Place Market, recommended by Erica McGillivray

“May seen like a ‘touristy’ spot, but Pike Place Market actually thrives on local business. Every day, there’s a farmer’s market, flowers galore, and artisans on everything from cheese and spices to woodworking and jewelry. There are hidden shops (at least three bookstores) and a ton of great food.”

Rand FishkinElliot Bay Books, recommended by Rand Fishkin

“One of the best indie bookstores in the country, stocked with good stuff to buy and read, and there’s a lovely cafe, too.”

Nemecia KaloperFerry ride, recommended by Nemecia Kaloper

“Takes you to such cool places and allows you to see the city from different view and get a taste of our awesome islands! It requires usually at least 1/2 a day, but is well worth it to be able to hop over and have lunch somewhere other than the city. It’s easy to never take the trip, but well worth it if you do. I recommend Bainbridge in particular and Nola Cafe.”

Kevin LoeskenThe Fremont Troll, recommended by Kevin Loesken

“The Fremont Troll, and Fremont in general, perfectly sums up what’s great about Seattle. The troll itself is an amazing piece of art. It’s also near the Lenin Statue and close to a lot of interesting bars, restaurants, and shops.”

David LeeRodeo Donuts!, recommended by David Lee

“Best donuts ever. Even better than Voodoo in Portland, OR. This needs to be a 150 characters long so once again, best donuts ever. I really like the donuts here. Don’t go to Krispy Kreme or Top Pot.”

Abe SchmidtVivace: the Cafe Nico, recommended by Abe Schmidt

“The Cafe Nico best coffee drink in this city. Orange/nutmeg/ cinnamon paired with the greatest espresso pull in the country (only machine in the world capable of the ‘perfect’ espresso shot).”

Ben SimpsonStarbucks Roastery, recommended by Ben Simpson

“Just a few blocks from the convention center, the Starbucks Roastery is one of biggest new attractions in Seattle. Why? To start, walking it it feels like Willy Wonka had one to many espresso shots and got inspired. Starbucks pulled together its best baristas from around the country to put together some amazing craft coffee creations. And to top it all off, they’ve got a Serious Pie on location making all of their delicious food. If you do nothing else during your visit, the Starbucks Roastery is an absolute must!”


And Mozzer favorite restaurants and bars opened since last MozCon


Looking for more options?
Don’t miss our quintessential post from last year,
our mega post from 2013, Rand’s personal recommendations, and Jon Colman’s Seattle coffee guide.


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How to Better Manage WordPress Pages with Nested Pages

Do you use pages in WordPress? If so, then you probably understand how frustrating it is to manage a site with a lot of WordPress pages. The default WordPress interface doesn’t allow you to easily reorder your pages, build relationships between them, sort them, etc. In this article, we will show you how to better manage your WordPress pages with Nested Pages.

Why use Nested Pages?

Nested Pages WordPress Plugin

Nested Pages is the best plugin for managing WordPress pages, and it is completely FREE.

It comes with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for managing your page structure and page ordering. Nested Pages enhances the quick-edit functionality to make it easy for managing a lot of pages at once.

The sortable tree view of your site’s page structure is a dream come true for folks who’re using WordPress as a CMS.

Aside from these key features, it also automatically generate a native WordPress menu that matches your page structure and allows you to create multiple pages at once which will surely save a lot of time. Not to mention, you can use Nested Pages on any custom post type.

Anyone who runs a WordPress site with a lot of pages will fall in love with Nested Pages immediately.

It’s still shocking that a plugin of this caliber is completely free because the problem it’s solving is totally worth paying for.

If you are just starting out with WordPress, then you might want to read more about the difference between WordPress posts and pages.

How to Use Nested Pages to Manage WordPress Pages

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Nested Pages plugin. Once activated, it works out of the box. You can simply go to the pages screen in your WordPress admin area to see it in action.

Nested Pages

You can simply drag and drop to reorder pages. You can also create child pages by simply moving them below a parent page and then moving them slightly to the right. You can also create new child pages by clicking on the child page button next to any page.

Toolbar next to pages for quick actions

Unlike other page management plugin in WordPress, Nested Pages allows you to keep the coveted quick edit button. The quick edit interface in Nested Pages is cleaner and easy on eyes.

Nested Pages Quick Edit

Creating Navigation Menus Using Nested Pages

Many WordPress sites use pages as their main site structure and add it in their navigation menus. Up until now, this process required multiple steps because you would have to first create the pages, then create a menu, and then add all the pages to it along with reordering them.

Nested Pages plugin makes it super simple. After you have arranged your pages, you can simply check the Sync Menu checkbox. This will replicate your page structure into your navigation menus.

Sync your pages layout with your WordPress navigation menu

You can control how each page appears in the navigation menus without leaving the pages screen. Simply click on the link icon next to a page or click on the Add link button at the top.

This will bring up a popup where you can add a navigation label and URL for the link. You can choose to hide the link in the nested pages or hide it in the menus.

Add link to menu from nested pages screen

Adding Multiple Pages At Once Using Nested Pages

Another great feature of Nested Pages is the ability to quickly create multiple new pages at once. This feature is particularly useful if you already know what your page structure would look like.

You can start adding multiple WordPress pages by simply clicking on the Add multiple button at the top.

Add multiple pages quickly

This will bring up a new popup window where you can provide a page title, select status, author, and template. Click on the plus icon button to add another page. Repeat the process for all the pages you want to create and then click on the add button.

Adding multiple pages in nested pages

Note that the pages you create will be empty, and you will have to edit them individually. Also you cannot set parent or child pages from multiple pages popup. You will have to set them as child or parent when you are done adding them.

Enabling Nested Pages for Other Post Types

You can enable nested pages for any default or custom post types in WordPress. Simply visit Settings » Nested Pages in the WordPress admin and click on the post types tab. Next, select the post types where you want to enable nested pages functionality and then save changes.

Enabling Nested Pages for other post types in WordPress

We hope this article helped you learn how to better manage your WordPress pages with Nested Pages. You may also want to see our guide on how to display a list of child pages for a parent page in WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

To leave a comment please visit How to Better Manage WordPress Pages with Nested Pages on WPBeginner.

Why ccTLDs Should Not Be an Automatic Choice for International Websites

Posted by Liam_Curley

There are many articles on domain structure for international sites. Many, if not all, recommend the use of ccTLDs due to the geo signals they send to Google; but I’ve read very few articles that substantiate this type of claim with any research or evidence. Is this recommendation outdated? With every passing year, Google gets better at reading and setting geo signals. By introducing hreflang and improving Google Webmaster Tools (recently rebranded as Google Search Console) with regards to setting target countries, it’s so much easier to get geo signals right than it was a few years ago.

With the recent changes Google has been making, I am left questioning whether or not we really need ccTLDs to target other countries. Do they have a positive impact on rankings? If they don’t, why would you use them? If you can set geo signals via webmaster tools or hreflang tags, is it better to consolidate your link equity with one domain and separate everything with subfolders?

I wanted to look at the market data concerning ccTLDs and their performance on different international versions of Google. I wanted to know whether ccTLDs demonstrated any tendency of outranking sites with gTLDs (as defined here) that had a greater DA or PA. If ccTLDs did demonstrate this trait, then perhaps there is merit in selecting them over subfolder structure. If not, and the ranking of websites on SERPs shows the general trend of order by DA/PA, then surely there is no reason to structure an international website with a ccTLD and the best option is to consolidate all links on one site and geo target the subfolders. I understand that there is more to this decision if we take into account the user’s preference to interact with local domain websites. We’ll touch on that point later. For now, I just want to focus on how Google seems to treat ccTLDs.

The SERP Research

The hypothesis

ccTLDs don’t supersede PA as a ranking signal. I believed that if I gathered a decent sample size, the general trend would show that ccTLDs didn’t tend to outrank sites with a gTLD and higher PA.

Local link ratio doesn’t correlate with high rankings. Rand’s research suggests local links have a positive impact on a sites ranking on local search engines. Does the ratio of local links correlate with a higher ranking? If they do, then this could lead us to believe that a consolidation of local links on a local ccTLD would support successful international SEO. If there is no correlation, then this would further support that there is little ranking benefit with this regard to using a ccTLD, as we can receive local links to a gTLD.

A local IP address doesn’t improve rankings. There still seems to be some opinion in the community that hosting a site on a local IP address will help rankings on local versions of Google.

Methodology

I wanted to gather data for competitive terms from several competitive markets. The first task was determining which markets to select. I made a decision based on the markets that have the highest B2C spend per digital consumer. I initially picked out the top 10, then selected five from those based on which sites I was able to work with (linguistically). The markets selected were: U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and Italy.

Next, I selected the keyword categories that I would use to analyze SERPs. I picked out the sectors based on the biggest digital B2C market sectors in the U.S.. From the top 10, I selected five: clothes, toys and games, computer and consumer electronics, furniture and home furnishings, and auto parts.

Then, I decided to identify 10 keywords for each category in each market. Keywords were selected by inputting a broad keyword into AdWords for each category (say, “game”), filtering by search volume, and selecting the highest search entries that had an average AdWords suggested bid of higher than £0.05 which would provide terms that had high search volume and commercial relevance.

This was done for each category in each market.

I collated data from the top 10 pages ranking for each SERP, giving me a total of 2,500 web pages to analyze. Searches were conducted for each keyword on the local version of Google (e.g., google.it) using the SEO Global Chrome extension from RedFly Marketing, allowing me to see the search results for a local user.

Analysis of data

Once the keywords were selected for each market, I collected the following data from each SERP:

  • Ranking position
  • URL
  • Domain structure
  • Domain authority
  • Page authority
  • Page title
  • IP address location
  • Local link ratio

From this information, I would also collect the following on each web page entry on the SERP:

  • Is there an exact keyword match in the domain?
  • Is there a partial keyword match in the domain?
  • Is the exact keyword used in the URL?
  • Is a broad keyword used in the page title?
  • Is an exact keyword used in the page title?

Each entry was given a yes or no for the questions above, which would allow me to compare domain performances on a like for like basis with regards some of the basic on-page SEO elements.

Once this data was collected, I started to identify the following:

  • Whether the ccTLD was outranking a gTLD that had a higher PA
  • Whether the ccTLD was outranking a gTLD that had a higher PA, where both the ccTLD and gTLD in question had matching on-page SEO implementation for the keyword in question

Research limitations

Let’s start with the obligatory “correlation does not equal causation.” Nothing discovered in this research will definitively prove or disprove ranking factors for international SEO. However, I believe that this kind of research does throw up interesting data, and any SEO trends and correlations discovered through this type of research can set us on our own path to research further and look for more concrete signals to prove or disprove these results.

I had a decision to make regards whether to measure ccTLD ranking over TLDs with a higher PA or a higher DA. I decided to go with PA. Predominantly because I’m looking at the ranking performance of a page, not a website. DA has a direct impact on PA, but if we measured performance against DA, I think we’d be less likely to get a true picture (e.g., blogs on subdomains, and small sites with a keyword in the domain ranking with their home page).

The resources available for this research (i.e., me) meant there was a limit to the volume of SERPs and web pages analyzed. My limited linguistic skills meant I couldn’t analyze SERPs from a broader language base (e.g., Nordic and Japanese), and I could only collect data from the top 10 rankings for each SERP.

Also, ideally the data would have been drawn from the SERPs over one day. I collected the data manually. (I could have set up a crawl, but at the time I didn’t have the knowledge available to do that.) So, it was taken over the course of around six weeks.

Finally, I mentioned that I compare the rank of pages based on like for like on-page SEO. Due to time restraints, I was limited to a handful of what I deemed to be key on-page SEO signals. Therefore, it’s open to debate as to whether the signals I selected are the key signals for on-page SEO.

The results

research-cctld-vs-gtld-infographic-large

Discussion

ccTLDs are not outranking gTLDs. Graphs 1 and 2 demonstrate that the majority of ccTLDs are not outranking gTLDs that have a higher PA. Graph 1 shows that 46% of ccTLDs reviewed outrank a gTLD with a higher PA. However, when we only count “outranking” to occur when both the ccTLD and the gTLD have the same basic on-page SEO (e.g., keyword in title, URL and/or domain), we see that the percentage of ccTLDs outranking gTLDs falls to 24 percent.

This information doesn’t definitively tell us whether or not a local ccTLD is a ranking factor in national SERPs, but it does indicate that it’s probably not a signal that generally outweighs PA. That being the case, from a purely SEO perspective (not considering online consumer psychology), a subfolder must be the best domain structure for the majority of international sites. Unless you or your client is a major brand with a large budget, the resources required to launch several ccTLDs and build enough authority for each to make them visible in their respective search engines makes a ccTLD an unwise selection.

A Local IP address doesn’t pack a punch. Again, this research can’t definitively determine whether an IP address does or doesn’t provide ranking signals for national SERPs, but Graph 5 suggests that if it does, the signals are weak. Of the 474 ccTLDs with a local IP address, only 19 percent were outranking a gTLD with a higher PA. This figure suggests that an IP address has little direct impact on rankings, even when combined with a local ccTLD. That said, it’s worth checking out this article on IP host location from Richard Baxter, which presents a different finding.

A Local link ratio has no relationship with high local rankings. While Rand’s research indicates local links have an impact on local search results, a local link ratio doesn’t have a relationship with high rankings. There doesn’t appear to be a benefit of setting up a ccTLD to gain local links for an international market. Local links can be earned for any domain and any structure, whether ccTLD or subfolder.

Implications for international SEO

It is difficult to make an accurate, broad statement on best practice for international SEO. Every market is likely to be slightly different with regards the way that users interact with content, as well as the way that search engines crawl and rank web pages. You also have to take into account that if you’re working with a client on SEO for different international markets, goals and resources will vary. Toys “R” Us does very well in the SERPs we analyzed with a ccTLD structure, but then they have the resources available to support multiple domains and earn local authority and PR for each domain.

The research looked at SERPs for five countries and 2,500 web pages. The results for each country did vary, and while analyzing 500 web pages for each country doesn’t represent a sufficient sample size to make a sound opinion on each, it does lead me to believe that the choice of whether to use a ccTLD or a gTLD for an international market could vary depending on the market in question. More information is available here on the data collected from each country. To summarize, here are the findings:

sample-countries-for-serps-infographic-l

I’ve omitted the U.S. from the second table, as there were only two web pages with a ccTLD from the 500 analyzed. That confirms what many of us would have suspected or known: ccTLDs aren’t widely used in the U.S. With hindsight, it probably would have been more interesting to swap the U.S. with a different country for analysis.

The information above suggests that maybe there is some variation in how sites rank in different international search engines. It’s also interesting to note that ccTLDs are more popular in some markets than other, which could have an impact on the user relationship and interaction with a website depending on it’s domain structure.

Consumer psychology and ccTLDs

Let’s put aside what I’d consider to be some of the ranking
implications behind a choice of domain structure. There’s another consideration
to be made when it comes to selecting a domain structure for an international
site: Does a local domain have a positive impact on consumer psychology and the
choice of buying or browsing on one site over another?

As with the SEO argument for a ccTLD, there are plenty of
articles and research that suggest consumers prefer to shop on an
eCommerce site with a local domain rather than a generic domain (U.S. excluded).
Eli Schwartz recently wrote an article summarizing research he’d conducted on
the
searcher perception of
ccTLDs
. The post provided some really interesting results. However, I didn’t
necessarily agree with the approach taken with one of the questions put to respondents
regarding eCommerce and the impact of ccTLDs on purchase decisions.

In the
study, Eli asked each respondent this: “Of the links below, which is most likely to
offer the most reliable express shipping to your home?” The respondent was then asked to select either a website with a .com domain, or one with a local ccTLD.
The results are interesting, but if we’re looking for insight into eCommerce
buying decisions, I think it’s a bit of a leading question. If you ask the
respondent a question like this, and give them the choice of a local domain or
a generic domain, they’re likely to answer yes to the ccTLD. However, I don’t
believe that this indicates that the ccTLD is used as an aid to make a purchase
decision. It tells us if you strip all other buying aids from the process, boil
it down to the choice between one domain and another, the respondent selects
the local domain. Real-life buying decisions don’t work like this.

Following on from my research on international rankings, I
wanted to try and create a real life test environment where respondents pick
one website over another to purchase a product.

Test 1 – Impact of domain structure when a consumer is browsing an
ecommerce store

Using CrowdFlower and UsabilityHub, I created a test for U.K.-based respondents. First, the respondent was presented with the following
information:

“You’re looking to
purchase a new laptop. You’ve done your research and found the make and model
that you’d like to buy. You find this laptop on two eCommerce websites. Based
on the page your about to view, which site would you buy the laptop from?”

The respondent was then presented with the following two
eCommerce sites:

DABS-Moz.jpgLaptops-direct-Moz.jpg

Both sell the same laptop with the same specification, same price, same delivery and same returns offer. The key difference between the two is that one is hosted on a .com domain and one is on a .co.uk. The design and layout for each is different, but I’ve attempted to create a real-life situation, and you’d never be choosing between two eCommerce stores with the same design.

Two hundred sixty-two respondents participated in the Dabs vs. Laptops Direct selection, and 174 of these respondents provided feedback on why they made their decision.

The results are as follows:

dabs-v-laptopsdirect-infographic-1-large

As you can see, none of the respondents selected either website due to the domain structure of the store. Choices were predominantly made on a preference for less ads or clutter, product information, usability, or branding. It seems clear to me that when the consumer is browsing an eCommerce site, the domain structure plays no part in their purchase decision. Although not tested here, localization indicators such as language, currency, delivery, and returns policy will arguably dictate whether or not you stand a chance of winning their business rather than the domain.

Test 2 – Impact of domain structure when consumer is browsing the SERPs

After I’d reviewed consumer decision-making while on the webpage, I wanted to see if ccTLDs were a genuine factor in consumer psychology on a SERP when the user is making their browsing decision.

In the next test, U.K. respondents were presented with the following text:

“You’re looking to find an eCommerce site that sells car parts. You go to Google and search for ‘car parts’. You see the following results page. Which website would you click on first?”

The respondent was presented with a SERP for car parts, making sure that one ccTLD of four websites (the third organic result) was available in the organic results. As you can see, the second organic result, a gTLD, contains U.K. within the domain:

google-serp-test-moz-google.jpg

The following heat map shows the websites selected by the respondents:

SERP-car-parts-Moz.jpg

The 200 respondents were then asked to give a reason for their selection. The results are as follows:

car-parts-serp-infographic-2-large.jpg

It does seem that a ccTLD can play a part in the browsing selection for a portion of the audience. Eleven percent of the respondents indicate they made their selection because the website was based in the U.K., although they don’t specify how they made that assumption (i.e., could be ccTLD, meta description, etc.). Five percent of the respondents specifically mention the local domain as the reason for their choice (although they seem to be confusing the autopartsuk.com as a U.K. domain). Seventeen percent of our respondents made the website selection based on their belief that the website was based in the U.K.

The research also shows how important the meta description is in the user-browsing decision, something that I think often gets overlooked by SEOs. In fact, 30 percent of our respondents indicated they made their selection based on information provided in the meta (mentioning things like free delivery, range of stock, and discounts). I think that when we get a website ranking for a really important keyword, SEOs can be a bit like the football (or soccer) team that’s just scored a goal. We’re so engulfed in the success of scoring that we switch off at kickoff, letting the other team score straight away. There is a danger that we think we’ve won when one of our web pages ranks well, when in fact that’s just part of the job. We still need to compete for the user’s attention once we’re on the SERP, and entice them to click on our website instead of the competitor’s.

Do Google’s new ‘branded breadcrumbs’ change the significance of ccTLDs?

We’ve seen that a number of users make a SERP selection based on their assumption that the selected website is based locally. At present, the domain structure is used as a key indicator of a websites location. However, as part of the mobile algorithm update, Google’s announced a move from a URL display to a branded breadcrumb that will remove the domain structure from the SERP. On mobile, from a location perspective, the domain structure will no longer influence a users SERP selection. The 17 percent of respondents making the selection based on location will look for other information to aid their decision.

For now, on mobile at least, the SERPs present a level playing field for ccTLDs and gTLDs with regards to consumer psychology. The meta description is even more important in enticing the click.

Conclusions

For me, the research shows that choosing a ccTLD as the domain structure for an international site shouldn’t be the automatic decision that it seems to be for many. While further research is required, I don’t believe that a ccTLD domain structure has a big enough impact on rankings to warrant selecting this option over a subfolder, which allows us to consolidate links and boost DA and PA on all of our international content. We can geotarget subfolders via webmaster tools and hreflang tags, and as a local ccTLD doesn’t seem to supersede PA as a ranking factor, we should act accordingly and launch international sites with the highest PA possible (i.e., subfolders).

The research on consumer psychology does show that a ccTLD can have a positive impact on SERP user selections. However, meta descriptions can also be used to promote local service and delivery. The changes announced by Google for mobile SERPs will remove URLs from the selection equation, and we’ve seen that when a user is on a website, they pay little attention to the domain location.

While I feel this is the right advice for most brands, it’s probably not the right advice for all. If you’re working with a large brand, you might have the resources available to earn the marginal gains in every facet of what you do. If further research shows that ccTLDs do have some ranking impact, no matter how small, and that improves your ranking by one position for each keyword, then the impact could result in a significant amount of extra traffic if you’re working for a large eCommerce customer.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

How to Choose the Right Stock Photo for Your Next Project

You’ve likely got a great way to search the web for the best free stock photos.

And once you know where to look, how do you decide which photos to choose?

Should you go with abstract or specific?

What is the best color profile?

What is the best orientation?

There are so many great sources for free photos. I find myself asking these questions most every time I pick a photo—how to identify the right stock photo for a project. There’s a good bit of research and advice out there on how to make the best choice when it comes to stock photos. Take a look at what I’ve found here.

Choose the Right Stock Photo

1. Know where your image is going

How will you use the photo? Where will the photo appear?

There’re a million different places an image could appear, based on the million or more types of projects that involve stock photography.

Let’s consider online content for a moment.

When we look at the different places that a stock photo may appear, there’s often a handful that come to mind most often:

A full-width image in the header

Examples of this include stories on Medium and popular blogs like Crew or Zapier.

Medium screenshot

A background image as part of a graphic, behind text or icons

Examples of this include the images we create for Buffer blog posts and some great designs on blogs like Copyblogger and Agora Pulse.

Copyblogger screenshot

Right-aligned images inside blog posts

Examples include The Social Times blog. (The image could also be left-aligned, too, though the far more common usage is right-aligned.)

The Social Times blog

Full-width images inside blog posts

Examples include the Unbounce blog and the Quick Sprout blog.

Quick Sprout blog

Social media featured images

Examples include Facebook and Google+ when you share a link and Twitter when you’ve enabled Twitter cards.

Facebook example

Slidedeck backgrounds

Lots of great examples on SlideShare.

SlideShare example

In each of the examples above, it’s possible that a different stock photo would be considered an ideal fit, based on what looks good with text on top of it, what looks good splashed on Facebook, or what looks good at the start of a blog post.

In my experience, I’ve seen stock photos commonly used in one of two ways. Either

  1. On their own as standalone images
  2. With text or graphics placed on top, as designed images

Both are great routes forward, especially considering the unique places these images are used online. Once you figure out where your image is going and how it will be used, you’re certain to have a greater sense of what’s right stock photo for your project.

2. Understand the contrast of your image

Identify areas of low contrast if you plan on adding text or graphics to the image

Let’s say you want to add an overlay onto your image—a catchy quote with Pablo or an announcement blurb and graphic over a cool background.

The ideal stock photo for these projects would be one with areas of low contrast so that your text and graphics have an even, consistent backdrop.

The SlideShare blog has a good example of how contrast affects the design of image. SlideShare refers to those images with areas of low contrast as text-friendly images.

Good example:

Good1

Bad example:

Bad1

Put another way, these ideal stock photos with areas of low contrast make it possible that your text and graphics will have high contrast with the photo.

For instance, an image with many shades of blue could be said to have low contrast. If you were to add white text on top, the white text would have high contrast with the blue image.

If you always add white text to your images, look for images with darker colors.

If you’ve grabbed a black icon from a site like The Noun Project, you’ll want to place it on an image with lighter tones.

One way to look at contrast in this sense is to picture the color wheel. Selecting colors that are opposite one another on the wheel creates a contrasting effect. You can choose an ideal stock image that focuses on one color and text and graphics that focus on an opposite one.

color_contrast_and_dimensions

Legibility and clarity are key here. Typically when you create an image with text, graphics, or other elements overlaid onto a photo, the most important visual aspect of your image will be your enhancements, not the stock photo itself.

You don’t need to think much about the content of the picture—especially if you’ll be adding strong effects like blur or darken/lighten.

You’ll just want something that has the right contrast to make your added elements pop.

Another trick I like to try, when possible, is to add an image to my photo editor (Canva, typically) and change the image to black-and-white. Usually quite quickly I can tell if the image has high or low contrast within its colors.

(You’ll also grow to notice the right contrast rather intuitively over time.)

Where this becomes important is when you begin to place elements on top of the image. Text, for instance, has the chance to be difficult to read if you’re placing it over contrasting colors—white text could disappear over the white parts of the image yet still look just fine over the darker colors, for instance.

3. Choose colors that elicit a visceral response

Attention-grabbing colors & images will stand out on social

Visceral reactions are some of the strongest connections we can make to visual content.

Biologically, when we feel a visceral reaction, we tap into the part of the brain responsible for survival instincts and fight-or-flight responses. The response is subconscious. It originates from the central nervous system whenever we’re stimulated by vital factors like food, shelter, danger, or reproduction. We might not be able to explain why we love a beautiful design because our conscious thought hasn’t yet caught up with our subconscious.

And one of the ways to drive these visceral reactions is with color choice.

A study from Georgia Tech looked at 1 million Pinterest images for the color trends between the highest and lowest shared images. They found:

  •    Red, Purple and Pink promote sharing
  •    Green, Black, Blue and Yellow all stop people from sharing

The thinking was that the three highly-shared colors—red, purple and pink—are tied to visceral emotions. And the overall takeaway is that color makes for a huge portion of an image’s success.

To find an ideal stock photo that’s rich with attention-grabbing color, you can again turn to contrast—in particular, the seven color contrasts identified by Johannes Itten.

  1. Pure (hue) contrast
  2. Light-dark contrast
  3. Cold-warm contrast
  4. Complementary contrast
  5. Simultaneous contrast
  6. Contrast of quality (color saturation)
  7. Contrast of quantity

(For more detail on each of these seven, I’d highly recommend this blog post from Love of Graphics.)

Two of Itten’s seven color contrasts that stand out to me when choosing stock photos are contrast of saturation and contrast of hue. The Color at Play blog created some great examples of these contrasts in action.

Contrast in saturation

Print

Example:

photo-1429616588302-fec569e203ce

Contrast in hue

Print

Example:

photo-1429000263672-1b8b4008d2f7

4. Find an image that supports your message

Attention-grabbing images are great, so long as they don’t distract

In most cases, stock photos are generic and abstract enough that they can grab attention without diverting too much focus.

There are, however, exceptions.

Simply, when choosing a stock photo, find one that does not distract from the main message of your article, update, or headline.

Typically, distracting images would be those that have one or more of these qualities:

  • Controversial
  • Loud, garish
  • Too specific
  • Recognizable
  • Meme

Here’s an example of one that I used in a story. The image was probably a bit too specific—a football game, fans dressed in white, lettering in the end zone—and on looking back at it now, my mind immediately begins trying to figure out just who those teams are (instead of focusing on the cool article).

Facebook example post

5. Take care to pick a person

What to consider when picking a photo with a person

There’s been some neat research about this question. What effect is there, if any, should you choose a photo with a person?

Turns out, there are a lot of different ways to include a person in your picture.

  • Looking away from camera vs. looking at camera
  • Back of head vs. face
  • Shadow/silhouette
  • Pics of arms, legs, or bodies

A brief overview of some case studies on the topic reveals these findings:

37 Signals Person Page test

eye tracking study stock photos with people

6. Be mindful of the size and shape

Which orientation do you want? Tall vs. wide vs. square

One factor that might sway your decision one way or another is the size and shape of an image. In general, these are the ideal image sizes for each social network:

The commonly-held best practice is to aim for something like this:

  • Facebook & Instagram — square images
  • Pinterest & Google+ — tall images
  • Twitter — wide images

What happens if you fall in love with an image that isn’t the right size? 

There’s a fun tip we use here at Buffer for how to crop easily.

When you double-click to open an image on your Mac computer, you enter Preview, which contains several useful tools.

To crop, place your mouse over the picture and click and drag to select the area you want to keep. Then go to Tools > Crop (or press Command+K).

You can also resize large images from Preview by going to Tools > Adjust Size.

In this way, you can fall in love with just about any image and crop down to the size and shape you need.

7. How to perform a search

The best way to search for abstract photos

Many of our favorite free image sources have robust search features to help you dig through the photo archives.

Sometimes there can be a bit of an art to finding what you’re after.

If you’re writing an article about brand management, for example, it could be difficult to know which terms to use in your search; if you were to search for “brand” or “management,” the image results might be a bit lean and off-topic.

What we like to do in searches for the Buffer blog is to enter terms that have to do with the image we have in mind, rather than the title of the page itself.

  • For social media posts, we often look to find pictures of computers, laptops, mobile devices, or keyboards.
  • For analytics posts, we look for transportation, things with forward motion.
  • For research posts, we might search for books or pen and paper.

We also find that crowd shots or interactive photos with two or more people together make for good social media images.

What this might look like in practice:

  1. Search according to the verbs in your headlines or page titles, rather than the nouns
  2. Go to the thesaurus to find variations of your search terms (a simple thesaurus: Google search for “[keyword] synonym”)
  3. Search for nouns related to your verbs, e.g. “launch” could mean rockets or race cars

Over to you

What are your favorite tips for finding a great stock photo?

I’d love the chance to learn from you! Leave any thoughts here in the comments, and I’ll respond right away.

Image sources: Pablo, IconFinder, SlideShare, John Barsby Photography, Color at Play, UnSplash37 Signals, Eyequant

The post How to Choose the Right Stock Photo for Your Next Project appeared first on Social.

7 Top Marketing Podcasts and the Lessons They’ve Taught Me

As someone who’s motivated by self-improvement and achieving more, I’m constantly trying to learn as much as I can.

Books are naturally one of my main go-to sources of knowledge. But there’s also a wealth of information to be consumed in the awesome world of podcasts. For digital marketers in particular, there are tons of great marketing podcasts out there, each with their own ideas to try and lessons to learn.

And. All this information is completely free!

Listed below are my 7 favorite marketing podcasts and the lessons they’ve taught me. If you have a favorite one that’s not listed here, I’d love to hear about it!

best podcasts

7 Top Marketing Podcasts and the Lessons They’ve Taught Me

Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned have come from podcasts.

Rather than just list out my favorite podcasts, I thought it might be a great chance to share some gratitude for what these podcasts have given me: Valuable lessons in digital marketing.

Interestingly, these new ideas and lessons aren’t always presented in one easy to listen to episode. Sometimes the lessons learned might come from listening to a show for a while and identifying the common themes or ideas that the hosts keep bringing up. Today I’m going to sum up the main lessons I’ve learned while listening to some top podcasts.

How I listen to podcasts

If you don’t think you have time to listen to podcasts, then think again! Podcasts are great to listen to while you’re in the car, on the bus, at the gym or going for a walk.

I use the Podcasts app for iPhone when I’m on the go and the Apple TV at home. In addition you might try some of the following apps that are great with podcasts (many are available for Android also):

  1. Overcast
  2. Downcast
  3. Pocket Casts
  4. Soundcloud
  5. Spotify Now

Aside from smartphone apps, you can often listen to podcasts from the web via a podcast player on the host’s website or via Soundcloud. This is also great when tuning in to podcasts while you work.

Okay, without further adieu, here’s my list of favorite marketing podcasts!

1. The Fizzle Show

My favorite lesson: Knowing Your Audience

The Fizzle Show

From the founders of Fizzle.co, The Fizzle Show is a podcast for online entrepreneurs that brings you lessons about building your audience, creating a valuable product or service and starting a business that matters. It’s also an incredibly funny show and hosts Chase, Corbett and Barrett are hilarious.

The biggest lesson I’ve been able to take away from The Fizzle Show is this: know your audience better than they know themselves.

In other words, in order to succeed you need to understand the deep emotional problems your audience faces. This will inform the creation of your product or service and ultimately determine how you’re going to convince people to spend money on what you have. It’s also going to play a crucial role in how you communicate to your audience. You need to understand how to talk to your potential customers and what language to use. This only comes through having a deep understanding of your audience, their needs, problems and aspirations.

This last part is really important – when Chase Reeves introduces the show, he usually says something along the lines of:

“Welcome to the Fizzle Show where every Friday we publish another conversation about entrepreneurship in general, building a thriving audience, and the battle of supporting yourself doing something you actually care about.”

This really speaks to me personally. As I’m building my own website that helps people to be more productive, I’m wrestling with these challenges. When Chase introduces the show like this I feel like it was made specifically for me. That’s how you need to make your audience feel.

Here are some of my favorite episodes from The Fizzle Show:

Also, if interested, you can check out the Fizzle “Small Business Roadmap” for an outline of the main steps to starting and growing your online business:

  1. Finally! A Roadmap for the 6 Stages of Small Business (FS100)
  2. Connection: Stage 2 of 6 on the Small Business Roadmap (FS101)
  3. Planning: Stage 3 of 6 on the Small Business Roadmap (FS102)
  4. Build: Stage 4 of 6 on the Small Business Roadmap (FS103)
  5. Money: Stage 5 of 6 on the Small Business Roadmap (FS104)
  6. Scale: Stage 6 of 6 on the Small Business Roadmap (FS105)

2. ConversionCast

My favorite lesson: Testing Your Assumptions

Conversion Cast

From the creators of the top lead generation service Lead PagesConversionCast is a digital marketer’s paradise and is packed with useful examples of how different websites and marketers have optimized their conversion rates to grow their email lists, website traffic, user trials, customer signups, social shares and more!

These episodes are nice and short, usually about 15 minutes in length. It’s a great place for inspiration and picking up new ideas of things to optimize and test across your website.

Each episode features a guest who has successful “moved the needle” on some key metric.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from ConversionCast is this; TEST, TEST, TEST!

While the show gives you some awesome examples of how to optimize your key performance indicators (KPIs),] it’s vital to test these ideas with your own audience. What works for one person or website may not work for you.

Instead, ConversionCast recommends you apply the Lean Startup methodology:

  1. Come up with a hypothesis (i.e. an idea of something you’d like to test).
  2. Use customer cohorts or split-test this change to validate your hypothesis.
  3. Measure the results using actionable metrics.
  4. Based on the results you can persevere with your strategy or pivot and try something else.

lean-startup

Here are some of the more notable and popular episodes of ConversionCast:

3. The Smart Passive Income Podcast

My favorite lesson: “The Riches Are in the Niches”

SPI Podcast

I love this saying and it’s so true. Pat Flynn, host of the Smart Passive Income Podcast often talks about the importance solving specific problems within some niche that you’re part of.

The great thing about the Smart Passive Income Podcast is that Pat is actually doing and testing the things that he’s talking about.

He calls himself an “online marketing guinea pig” and puts everything he learns to the test so that he can share the results with us. Pat has built a highly successful blog, podcast and now YouTube channel and is a great example of how to execute content marketing effectively.

On the Smart Passive Income Podcast Pat interviews guests, all the way from Tim Ferriss and Michael Hyatt to young entrepreneurs who have only just started to get noticed. He’s great at putting a spotlight on everyday people and showing how anyone can build a successful business.

Some of the success stories coming from the Smart Passive Income Podcast are really inspiring and it’s amazing to see what kind of niches people are able to squeeze themselves into. It just goes to show that great marketing is all about identifying a specific audience and filling their needs like no one else can or has.

Some of my favorite Smart Passive Income Podcast episodes include:

4. The #AskGaryVee Show

My favorite lesson: The Changing Social Media Landscape

The Ask Gary Vee Show

If you want to keep up with the fast changing landscape of social media then The #AskGaryVee Show should be top of your list.

Entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuck has been running his creative agency, Vaynermedia, since early 2009 with a focus on social media and digital advertising.

The Vaynermedia team publish a couple of podcasts episodes per week. Where they’re being really smart with their content marketing is that they actually film the show and extract the audio to produce the podcast. Talk about two birds with one stone; this is a great example of how to be more productive with your content marketing (let’s call it a bonus lesson).

Gary has been in the social media game for a long-time. He started his YouTube channel, Wine Library TV, to promote his wine business in 2006, just one year after YouTube was created. Gary is completely up to date with the latest social media trends and best practices. As we know, Facebook’s algorithm is constantly changing, the social media space is becoming increasingly competitive and engaging with your audience can be a challenge. Gary and his team are constantly testing new social media strategies to find out what works and of course they share the findings via the podcast.

It amazes me how knowledgable Gary and his team are about social media and how much they’re always testing and experimenting with new post types or platforms. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from the show is to adopt this mindset and react fast to social media changes. Often huge benefits can be had by getting on to a growing platform early when there’s less competition.

Always be on the lookout because the next big social network or other adopter opportunity could be just around the corner.

Each episode of The #AskGaryVee Show is packed with useful advice in a Q&A format, but I love the Gary Vaynerchuk originals that have been produced recently:

5. The Suitcase Entrepreneur

My favorite lesson: Finding Your WHY

Natalie Sisson

Natalie Sisson, also known as The Suitcase Entrepreneur, runs her business and podcast on the go while she travels around the world having awesome adventures.

Natalie’s podcast discusses online marketing, business and entrepreneurship. The show is a mix of interviews with successful online entrepreneurs and her “Fresh in 15” episodes which are shorter-form and are used to bring you quick tidbits of information.

The message I’m constantly hearing from the The Suitcase Entrepreneur Podcast is to do something you care about and find your WHY. It’s so important not just for individuals, but for businesses as well to find their WHY; their purpose or reason for being.

Your WHY is what separates you from your competition. It’s why your audience buy from you and it’s why they’re going to share your story with their friends. Finding and communicating your WHY is crucial as it’s what allows you to attract the ideal customer.

For more information about the importance of your WHY, check out this must-watch TED Talk by Simon Sinek.

Here are some of the best Suitcase Entrepreneur interviews and episodes:

6. StartUp

Being Transparent with Your Audience

StartUp

Gimlet Media is a new podcasting company that produces high quality narrative based podcast shows. StartUp was their first podcast and follows the story of CEO Alex Blumberg and his team as they wrestle with the challenges of starting up a new company.

This podcast is like nothing I’ve ever listened to; they’re telling and narrating their story as it’s actually happening. The show cuts between interviews with investors to awkward conversations with Alex’s wife to voice overs where Alex explains everything that’s happening.

Usually we only get to hear about a startup once it has become semi-successful. As the show says in the intro, the podcast shows you the side of startups that no one usually sees; those early days when it’s all trying to get this thing off the ground when you have no idea if you’re going to succeed.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned from the show is the importance of transparency.

While producing this podcast Alex has to be completely transparent with his wife, his co-founder, his team and of course us, the audience. Everyone can see (or hear) what’s happening the entire time and there’s no hiding anywhere. This of course contributes to the brilliance of the story. I’ve learned that people really appreciate transparency.

As a member of the audience listening to this show I really appreciate that the show hasn’t been sugarcoated to give a certain perception of the company. It’s all just raw conversations between employees about real challenges and concerns.

Every episode of StartUp is really insightful. If you want to get started with this show, check out episode one here:

Or you can start with season 2 which follows the story of two female entrepreneurs:

7. The Tim Ferriss Show

My favorite lesson: Constant Learning

Tim Ferriss-2

Best-selling author, entrepreneur and investor Tim Ferriss hosts The Tim Ferriss Show and interviews world-class performers in order to deconstruct what it is that they do to become so successful.

Tim is the author of three best-selling books; The 4-Hour Work Week, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef. His writing focuses on deconstructing a topic to find out what the “minimum effective dose” is for achieving a goal, whether that’s building a business, sculpting the perfect body or accelerating your learning.

Tim has interviewed awesome guests like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Robbins, Peter Thiel and Ramit Sethi. While the range of topics and skills these interviews cover is wide, one of my biggest takeaways from the show is the importance of constant learning. These world-class performers are constantly trying to improve their skills and never stop learning.

One of the common questions Tim likes to ask is “what book have you gifted to people more than any other?” or just “what are your favorite books?”. Books are an excellent source of knowledge and reading is one of the most common traits among these high-performers. These people have a thirst for knowledge and even though they’re at the top of their game, they’re constantly trying to learn more every single day.

And if they can, so can you!

Here are the standout episodes from the Tim Ferriss Show which are particularly good for marketers:

Other Podcasts to Check Out

  1. Seth Godin’s Startup School by Seth Godin. This podcast is a series of talks by author and entrepreneur Seth Godin as he guides 30 entrepreneurs through a startup workshop.
  2. The Productivityist Podcast by Mike Vardy. This is another favourite of mine. Mike’s podcast is a great source of productivity tips that help you get more done.
  3. Entrepreneur On Fire by John Lee Dumas. Hear the success stories of successful entrepreneurs with this top business podcast. Perfect for all your entrepreneurial types.

Your Turn!

I highly recommend each and every one of these podcasts. They’re all brilliant in their own right and you won’t regret taking the time to listen to the shows.

I’m always on the lookout for more great shows, so tell us; what are your favorite podcasts? Let us know in the comments below!

Image sources: Pablo, Unsplash, IconFinder, Lean Startup

The post 7 Top Marketing Podcasts and the Lessons They’ve Taught Me appeared first on Social.

How to Add an iframe Border Around a Video Embed

Do you want to add an iframe border around your video embed? Recently a user asked us for a way to add a border around their videos in WordPress. Since you can use both iframe and oEmbed to add videos in WordPress, we will show you how to add an iframe border around a video embed as well as how to add a border around oEmbed videos in WordPress.

IFRAME Border around WordPress Videos

Adding Border Around iframe Videos in WordPress

First thing you need to do is to open a post or page containing your iframe video embed code. A typical iframe embed code should looks something like this:

You can add a border around it by adding inline style to the code like this:

An iframe video embed with border around it

Simply change the width of the border as well as the color, and you’re done.

While adding an iframe border works, there is actually a better way to add a border around videos in WordPress. That’s by using oEmbed.

Adding Border Around oEmbed Videos in WordPress

WordPress comes with built-in oEmbed support. Basically WordPress allows you to paste the link of the video, and it will automatically get the embed code for them. Now this only works for oEmbed enabled sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Hulu, etc. (See: how to easily add videos in WordPress using oEmbed)

Now that you know how to add a video with oEmbed, here is how you can add a border around oEmbed videos in WordPress.

When adding a video using oEmbed, simply wrap the URL in span tag with inline style parameters, like this:

<span style="border:3px solid #EEE;">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzOOy1tWBCg</span&gt;

If you want to add a same border around all video iframes, then it would be best to add a CSS class to your theme’s stylesheet.

.frame-border { 
border:3px solid #EEE; 
}

Now you can use the CSS class in your iframe embed code like this:

You can also use the same CSS class in the span tag around your oEmbed video URLs, like this:

<span class="frame-border">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzOOy1tWBCg</span&gt;

The benefit of using a single CSS class is that if you change themes later, then you can easily change the colors with one click vs going back and editing each video individually.

We hope this article helped you add an iframe border around a video embed in WordPress. You may also want to see these 9 useful YouTube tips to spice up your WordPress site with videos.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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