Robots.txt File (What It Is, How It Works, & How To Make One)

robots.txt

Not many people take the time to use a robots.txt file for their website. For search engine spiders that use the robots.txt to see what directories to search through, the robots.txt file can be very helpful in keeping the spiders indexing your actual pages and not other information, such as looking through your stats!

The robots.txt file is useful in keeping your spiders from accessing parts folders and files in your hosting directory that are totally unrelated to your actual web site content. You can choose to have the spiders kept out of areas that contain programming that search engines cannot parse properly, and to keep them out of the web stats portion of your site.

Many search engines cannot view dynamically generated content properly, mainly created by programming languages, such as PHP or ASP. If you have an online store programmed in your hosting account, and it is in a seperate directory, you would be wise to block out the spiders from this directory so it only finds relevant information.

The robots.txt file should be placed in the directory where your main files for your hosting are located. So you would be advised to create a blank text file, and save it as robots.txt, and then upload it to your web hosting to the same directory your index.htm file is located. But Yoast SEO to the rescue again.

The awesome people at Yoast SEO included a free tool to help you edit robots.txt file without having to worry about the technical issues of accessing your server.

In order to access it you need to go to the “Tools” tab inside of the Yoast “SEO” options in your dashboard.

Once you have done that just click on “File Editor”.

This is where you can make any desired changes to your robots.txt file. If you do not see one, you can follow the on screen prompts to create one.

If you need more information on your robots.txt file, I’d recommend taking a look at the Yoast SEO Example.

Sitemaps with Yoast (What Are Google Sitemaps?)

sitemap

If you own or maintain a website or intend to own one, wouldn’t it be great if you get frequent visitors who find satisfaction in getting exactly the information they need from your page?

While that satisfaction largely depends on the content of your website, how you get to be accessed by website users is the most critical factor of building a website. If your website can’t be reached universally, you defeat the very purpose of the internet: that is, to make information available to any website user from across the world. (at least within your desired market)

How you get to be accessed is actually a matter of presentation style, organization, and most importantly, how fast and extensive search engines get to lead users to your website. Unless your pages are indexed in the search engines they can’t send you the free visitors you are all looking for.

Google Sitemaps

Fortunately, the search engines want your content too and there are a number of ways you can help them, which they encourage you to do – by creating sitemaps of your website. Sitemaps created for the various search engines will enable these search engines’ “spiders” to crawl faster, more systematically, and more extensively into your website’s pages.

By doing so, you get the maximum exposure you can. Such exposure will boost your pride in having your pages viewed, read, and used by more and more visitors the way you intended them to. On the financial aspect, the more visitors your website gets, the higher your website’s potential advertising value.

Now with the vast expansion of websites on the internet, there are different types of sitemaps, each having its own complexity in setting up.

HTML Sitemaps

Creating an HTML sitemap linked to and from your home page is something savvy webmasters have been doing for years and perhaps is the simplest to create. This sitemap is simply a list of pages contained on your site and enables the search engines spiders to easily find your pages, especially the ones that are linked deep in your website that they may have trouble finding otherwise.

TEXT Sitemaps

A text sitemap is simply a list of the URLs of your site in the form of a text file. These can then be submitted to search engines such as Yahoo! to notify them that all the pages exist and by doing so invites their spider to visit.

XML Sitemaps

Google launched Google Sitemaps as a way for webmasters to give them the information they could use to better crawl their sites. This involves creating an XML Sitemap for which they provided their Google Sitemap Generator. This can be the most complicated to set up using the tools provided by Google as you need to be running Python on your server. It’s perhaps the most important one too given the current dominance of the search engine.

Don’t Worry There Is A Shortcut To Create XML Sitemaps For WordPress.

If you are following along with the “Blitz Challenge” we installed a free WordPress plugin called “Yoast SEO”. This plugin is an awesome SEO plugin for their analysis tools when posting blog posts. But, it also comes with some awesome tools.

How To Create A XML Sitemap For WordPress With Yoast SEO

Luckily, by default, when you install Yoast SEO on your website, it automatically creates a sitemap for your website. When it comes to creating your WordPress menus you may want to have a link to it so you can put it in your footer. You can get that link by going to:

SEO > General > Features (Tab)

If you click on the ? icon next to xml sitemaps on that page it will reveal to you the link to your sitemap.

If it is checked “Off” just simply check it “On”.

WordPress Categories (What You Need To Know)

wordpress categories

Whenever you make a new post on your WordPress blog, you have the opportunity to categorize it. Some people don’t bother, but SEO experts will tell you this is a big mistake.

To add a new category, you can do it from the actual blog post, by clicking Add Category, or you can click on your dashboard by navigating to Posts and then Categories, which takes you to the entire categories page so you can edit and manage all of your categories at once.

Here, you can create a new category and give it a parent category if you want this to work in a hierarchy system, with sub-categories. You’ll create the slug (which is the URL version of the category). Depending on the theme you’re using, you may want to add a description because some themes show the description while others don’t.

You can delete categories here too. If you delete a category, it doesn’t do away with your blog post. Instead, it just causes that blog post to return to the default category of “Uncategorized.” I personally prefer changing the name of “Uncategorized” to a general name for your “Niche”.

(For example the new name of my “Uncategorized” default category for DigiToolBag is “DigiToolBag”)

I do this for one main reason, it stands out when I’m looking at “All Posts”. This works as a reminder to me to be sure I change the category to a specific “Micro-Niche” type category it fits in.

(For example I use categories on DigiToolBag like: Webdesign, Social Media, SEO, Digital Marketing, etc.)

Categories help your visitors navigate your website better. Some people truly depend on them to find what they need. WordPress Tags help too, but they’re a bit different. For instance, let’s say you have a vegetarian blog and one category is vegetarian foods.

You can post a blog post about a certain brand of food and place it in the vegetarian foods category. But the tags you use might be the brand name and type of food that it is, such as “Yvess, vegetarian corn dogs.”

The only bad thing about categories is if you overdo it. If you have a long scrolling list of categories on your site, it can get confusing for your visitors.

So it’s better to keep them trimmed back, and possibly create sub-categories instead. I normally suggest four to five categories. That is the “Default” category and three or four others.

I believe the best way to look at categories and if you should create them or not is by asking a series of questions.

Does it fit in any of my other categories? Yes or No (If yes, you should be good to add it to that category)

Will this be one of the only posts in this category? (If yes, and you don’t have a category that it would fit under, you can just set the category as “Default” or “Uncategorized”.)

Only create a new category for one or two posts if it is absolutely necessary.

Understanding SEO (Search Engine Optimization) The Breakdown

seo search engine optimization

The first goal of any search engine optimization strategy is to get your website and all pages indexed. But even before that can happen, you need to get the search engine crawlers to visit your website. Depending on the search engine or directory and the overall circumstances (how you invite and solicit crawlers), that first visit could take days, weeks, or even months.

While it’s true that the initial crawler visits can be somewhat unpredictable (or take a long time in coming), once the ice is broken, future visits can be controlled to some degree…

Basically, the more frequently you update your pages, the more frequently the crawlers will show up on your website doorstep. Which is one of the reasons I recommend blogging on a regular basis, but more on that later.

Of course, that’s only half the battle. The other half is getting the search engines and directories to actually index your pages.

In order to do that, you need to start at the beginning. And the beginning in this particular instance is developing and enhancing pages in such a way that the search engine crawlers will be impressed.

The overall search process is simple…

All the text content that search engine crawlers gather is stored and indexed. People conduct searches based on certain phrases (keywords). Whatever content possesses the most relevancy with regard to any given keyword will be placed in the top positions of the search results.

Since the title of the page and the text content generally carry the most weight – at least with regard to what search engine crawlers deem most relevant during their visits – it stands to reason that improvement in page rank and/or search results listing can most often be attributed to having individual and specific keywords properly incorporated into those two prime areas.

Of course, if keywords were the only basis for which page rank and position in search results were determined, optimizing web pages would be pretty much cut and dried…

Pick a keyword > use it in your title and throughout your content >

achieve high page rank and top position in search engine results

The problem is, there are so many variables that not only come into play but change on a regular basis, it can seem as though achieving solid and effective search engine optimization might never be possible.

Fortunately, it’s not only possible, it can be relatively painless as well. All you have to do is satisfy the top three requirements of pretty much all major search engines…

  • Provide quality content
  • Update content on a regular basis
  • Get numerous top-ranking websites to link back to your site

The search engines and directories you should be trying to impress the most are the top three contenders…

  1. Google
  2. Bing
  3. Yahoo

Beyond that, there are countless other search engines and directories.

Should you optimize for those as well, or simply level your sites on the major players and bypass all the search engines and directories below them? Not necessarily. You still want your pages listed in as many locations as possible. You just shouldn’t try to satisfy every one of them with regard to optimization.

Satisfy the top contenders. Then, if you have the time and ambition to broaden the scope of your SEO efforts, do it. If not, don’t worry about the hundreds (or even thousands) of other search engines and directories that exist.

You’re only human. And just meeting the optimization criteria of the top three is going to be challenging and energetic enough.

Of course, unless you plan to make search engine optimization your life‘s work, it’s not likely you’ll invest most of your energy in that one single area (even when restricted to the top three players). But you do need to invest a fair amount of quality effort.

That basically equates to these two missions…

1. Get your pages indexed by major search engines.

2. Improve your page rank and position in search results.

In order to accomplish both of those, you need to carefully balance the line between good optimization techniques and the urge to take things a bit too far.

In other words, you need to make certain you carry out your two missions without stepping over the line into what’s commonly referred to as “black hat” search engine tactics.

That dark and evil territory would include things like…

Keyword Stuffing – repeating keywords over and over again for no logical or practical reason

Hidden Content – including keywords or text that’s the same color as the background for the purpose of manipulating search engine crawlers

Doorway Pages – not intended for viewers to see but rather to trick search engines into placing the website into a higher index position

Although these types of practices were once considered intelligent and effective methods of optimization, they can now result in having your website banned from search engines entirely and unfortunately forever.

In general, it’s better to concentrate on the most popular and most reasonable optimization techniques. By doing that, you’ll not only achieve the results you’re looking for, your efforts will have long lasting results.

When you consider how much work is involved in getting any website to the top of search engine rank and position, it’s worth whatever effort it takes to get it right the first time.

Search Engine Strategy Basics

For the most part, there are three basic things you’ll need to do in order to accomplish proper and effective search engine optimization.

  • Compile keyword lists
  • Publish keyword-rich content
  • Establish a beneficial link strategy

Keywords

The core of any SEO strategy is built almost entirely around the group of keywords you choose to target.

The first order of business is to decide which groups of keywords you’ll be utilizing. In most instances, those groups will be either directly or indirectly related to the topic or niche that your website is (or will be) associated with.

Once you’ve established the individual groups of keywords you want to target, you can begin to compile a comprehensive list of top-level phrases that have each of the following characteristics:

  • Are searched for by thousands of viewers each and every month
  • Have little or no competition associated with it

The more people who search for the term combined with the least amount of competition associated with it, the more valuable the keyword will be with regard to gaining automatic search engine traffic.

Beyond that, you’ll want to compile lists of secondary keywords. These would still be valuable, but not to the extent that the first top-level list would be.

The main advantage of lower level keywords is the fact that you don’t have to work quite as hard to get definitive search engine recognition. And since you’ll automatically get fairly decent results position, you’ll also receive additional targeted viewer traffic.

To make up for the lack of quality in the keyword itself (in most cases that equates to fewer searches being conducted every month and therefore less competition), you need to work with a much larger quantity of lower-level keywords.

Basically, the results will be just as good as what you experience through top-level keywords. It will just take more keywords to achieve those same results.

There are several ways in which you can compile keyword lists. One of the quickest and easiest methods is to use is Google & their keyword planner.

Now, I would love to go over all the steps to use the keyword planner but I really don’t want to take up more time than I need to so I’d recommend you taking a look at this overview:

www.digitoolbag.com/keyword-planner

Quality Content

There are numerous reasons why “Content Is King”.

From a viewer’s perspective, content not only invites them to visit your website but encourages them to return on a regular basis.

It’s a relatively simple equation…

They’re looking for valuable information. Give it to them.

From a search engine perspective, content is one of the primary factors in determining just how much weight or importance should be given to any web page.

Unfortunately, this one isn’t quite as simple an equation…

Search engine crawlers gather and index content. Figure out how to make them place your content higher on the results ladder than some other website.

Of course, in order to become King, content needs to be of considerable quality. In order to remain King, content needs to be updated on a fairly regular basis.

Not to mention the fact that you also need to add content (new pages) on a regular basis. If not, whatever ground you initially gain will simply fade away. And so will whatever search position or rank you’ve achieved.

Linking Strategies

Choosing the right keywords and publishing quality keyword-rich content puts you approximately two-thirds of the way toward optimum search engine recognition. The other third is pretty much solely based on popularity.

If we were talking about popularity in the real world, it would probably include simple things like who was voted King and Queen of the high school prom, or who had the most date options on a Saturday night, or which sibling got the most attention from Mom or Dad.

In the world of search engines, popularity takes on a whole different meaning. And in most instances, it comes down to this… the website with the most quality links pointing to it wins the contest.

Link popularity

That’s the game. And the ultimate goal is to get countless “important” websites (those that have a theme or topic that’s similar to yours) to provide links back to you. Of course, when we’re talking about importance, we’re referring to how major search engines view them.

Most often, that equates to high page rank and top position in search results. The higher up the food chain a website happens to be, the more powerful any link they provide back to you is perceived.

In order to get the most bang out of the link popularity process, it’s best if you actually seek out valuable websites. Aside from those you might already have in mind, conduct searches based on the keywords you’re most interested in gaining search engine recognition for.

Naturally, someone who’s in direct competition with you wouldn’t even consider giving you a link back. So what you’ve really looking for are popular websites that have content or products that are either complimentary to yours or are indirectly.

For example, let’s say your topic and keyword is based on ways of perfecting your golf swing. Good link back choices would be websites with the following themes or products:

  • Information about golf courses or golf tournaments
  • Golf equipment or apparel
  • Golf instructors or seminars

If the topic is related to yours and the website that’s providing the link back carries a good deal of weight with major search engines, the value of your own website will automatically be elevated.

When it comes to the actual link that these valuable and important websites place on their pages…

Always encourage the use of text links rather than just a URL. For example, instead of simply displaying https://digitoolbag.com as the link back to your website, you want something more substantial and keyword rich. And, of course, search engine friendly.

If one of your keywords is “targeted traffic”, for example, the link might read as follows:

Get Exclusive Marketing & Webdesign Tools & Resources With DigiToolBag Free Membership.

That not only gives you credit for the keyword, it encourages the search engine crawler to perceive your website as having more value.

Always keep in mind that in this particular instance, quality will always win out over quantity. Yes, you want a vast number of links pointing back to your website. But given a choice, you’re much better off with fewer links from important websites than countless links from sites that don’t carry much weight with search engines.

NOTE: While backlinks are important in getting ranked for your desired keywords, only real links are good for you. So please head my advice when I say DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY BACKLINKS. While I fully support sites like Fiverr, there are always bad apples. When you buy backlinks, especially in bulk, there is no guarantee.

Basic Overview…

Most search engines use meta description and keyword tags. High score for the overall weight and proximity of keywords, < h > tags, and bold text. Rewards quality content, anywhere between 500 to 1600 words. Content should include keywords in text and links. Likes to see keywords in the page title (utilizing 90 characters or less) and carried consistently throughout the website. Especially values link popularity, themes, and keywords in URL‘s and link text. The use of excessive keywords, cloaking, and link farms is viewed as spamming and/or “BlackHat SEO”.

What Not To Do…

After all your hard work getting your web pages optimized, the last thing you want is to do something that would prevent your site from getting indexed. Or worse, have it blacklisted by search engines altogether.

At the top of the “don’t do” list is the use of invisible text (the text is the same color as the background ). Most every search engine is wise to this practice and will currently ban any website found to be using it.

Here is a quick rundown of everything else you should never do…

  • Don’t repeat keywords excessively.
  • Don’t place irrelevant keywords in the title and meta tags.
  • Don’t make use of link farms.
  • Don’t submit to inappropriate categories in search directories.
  • Don’t submit too many web pages in one day.
  • Don’t publish identical pages.
  • Don’t use meta refresh tags

No matter how good your website is – no matter how valuable the content it contains or how legally optimized it might be – if you use any of the things spelled out above, you run the risk of being blacklisted, branded as a search engine spammer.

Although it varies from one search engine to another, spamming can include one or more of the following:

  • Irrelevant web page titles and meta description and keywords tags
  • Repetition of keywords
  • Hidden or extremely small text
  • Submitting web pages more than once in a twenty-four-hour span
  • Mirror sites that point to different URL addresses
  • Using meta refresh tags

When it comes to directories such as DMOZ (which have human editors), spamming generally equates to one of these three practices: deliberate choice of an inappropriate category within the directory; marketing language; capitalization of letters

It’s not difficult to stay out of black hat territory. But it’s certainly difficult to recover from having used those types of techniques. That is, assuming you can recover at all.

Just pay attention to the rules established by search engines and directories. And since Google is the player you’ll most want to satisfy, it’s important that you read and re-read their webmaster guidelines which are published at http://www.google.com/webmasters/ on a regular basis.

Break the rules and you’ll always be struggling to gain benefit from all the major search engines. Follow the rules and you’ll establish web pages that will not only be around a long time, they’ll always be in contention for top search results position.

Now that we have gone through that … WE ARE DONE!

Image Optimization For Web & Mobile (What You Need To Know)

image optimization

When you are running a website you know that every visit counts. If your images are not optimized for web and mobile, it may cause your website to load slow and result in your visitors going to your competitors website.

What Is Image Optimization?

“Image Optimization” is the process of reducing the file size of the images you are using on your website as much as you can without causing a significant loss in quality. This helps keep your page load time low.

Image Optimization with Photoshop

The image above is an example of the process as I was optimizing an image. The image dimensions was 627px X 605px. That did not change for any of these but the quality did. As you can see (Under “JPEG”) the file size drops a lot based on the quality level (On the right under each image).

While saving with 0 quality would be great for page speed, it would look bad to the website visitors. I try to keep images around the “medium” setting (80 quality) when I optimize my images for my websites.

Don’t worry if you do not have Photoshop. You don’t need it to optimize your images.

About two years ago I did a deep dive on website speed optimization and found a few amazing FREE tools!

ResizeImage.net

Displaying the proper size of your image is a massive part of image optimization on your website. On average I design my websites at 1200 – 1500 pixels wide. So if you have a background image you want to use that will be stretched across the entire page it doesn’t need to be any bigger than 1500px wide.

This website will take your files and resize them to the proper size you need to display on your website. And Yes, It’s FREE!

You can also “Crop”, “Rotate”, and “Convert” your files all online with their website. It does offer image optimization but I found another site that specializes in optimizing images. It’s also free and what I use any time I’m not able to access Photoshop.

TinyPng.com

This site is AMAZING!

The 100% Free features include online image optimization in bulk up to twenty images at 5mb max image size.

The way I use this is I will take the images and resize and/or crop the image with ResizeImage.net and then I will upload them into TinyPng.com and ONLY THEN will I upload them to the website.

I never really focused on page speed optimization for my main “CJHallock.com” for years. When I started digging into it I found that TinyPNG.com has a plugin that will help optimize your images inside of your media library within your WordPress Dashboard.

You can only “optimize” 500 images per month with the plugin once you have it activated with a free account from TinyPNG.com

But if you are like me and have been blogging and building out pages for years before you optimize your images, the WordPress plugin will optimize your images for pennies. I think I did over 2500 images for about $20. (Don’t quote me on that!)

Image optimization will drastically change the load time and conversion rate of your website. Do not forget to optimize every image that you put onto your website.

The Website Pages You Need To Have

website pages

Website pages are the legs of your website. When you start building your website you need to have some very important website pages so it doesn’t stumble. 

The first page you will need to think about is your “Homepage”. This is the most important page on your website because it is the first thing people normally see. I’m not going to go deep into it, but you can read more about what your homepage should have here.

The next page we’re going to talk about is the “About Page” and this one is important because it is how your visitors get to know you. Check out this blog I wrote on how to not let your about page stress you out.

Now that we have those two pages complete we are going to go over some of the other pages that you may want to use on your website. Because this book isn’t for a specific industry I can’t say you need “THIS” so I’m going to cover some of the most important pages in most industries aside from the home and about pages.

Blog Page – This page doesn’t require any design within Elementor. It will automatically display your recent blog posts (if you plan on blogging). The only thing you may want to consider is what you would like listed on the sidebar for your blog. But, because of the awesome features with Elementor Pro, you can build a custom Blog “Index” Page that will allow you to add C.T.A.’s and other awesome features.

Services Page – You may think it is enough to say that you are a painter but your services page will let your visitors know if you do drywall work/repair, deck staining and other things that you may believe to be understood as a painter. Listing the main services you offer helps people have peace of mind knowing you’re not just saying “Yeah I can do that!” because you promote it and wouldn’t promote something you haven’t done before. 

Products Page – If you offer/sell products it always helps to have a page that does more than saying that you sell cars. You should have a page that lists each of the products you have to offer with details for each product. If you only sell a small number of products you may want to create a page or write a blog post for each product. Or if you own a store that has a lot of products, you may just want to have one products page that has a good overview of the type of products you have in your store & list a “products” category from your blog that lists posts that do deeper into detail of each product as you publish them.

Portfolio Page – This could be used for many different industries including graphic designers, painters, t-shirt companies, artists, etc. This is basically a page to display your work. You can use individual images with small write-ups about each “project” or you could even make it a page that displays a category “Portfolio” from your blog and do a new blog post for each of your portfolio items. Then they just see the featured image for that post and have to click on the blog post to read more information about that “project”.

FAQ Page (Frequently Asked Questions) – This may seem a little dated, but it works! Having an FAQ page will give you a bit of a resource section that you can send people to if they are asking a question about your process, or maybe your turn around time. The most powerful part of the FAQ page is using it to acknowledge and address skepticism and objections to your products and/or services.

Overview

When it comes to “Needed Pages” I start EVERY website with SEVEN Pages.

The Seven Pages Every Website Should Have

  1. Home
  2. About
  3. Blog
  4. Contact
  5. Privacy Policy
  6. Terms Of Use Agreement
  7. Disclaimer (Earnings)

Just because most people do not understand that they need an earnings disclaimer for a lot of basic internet marketing I may not put the page in the footer but just to be safe I create the page.

Now, it may seem like it is a lot of work to create these pages and you should worry if I didn’t make a shortcut for you! (The following is for adding the seven pages into a “WordPress” self-hosted website)

Before we create the pages we are going to need for our website I need to add one more thing.

Go into the “All Pages” tab inside of your Dashboard and “Delete” any of the default pages. We are starting from scratch and need to be sure we don’t have multiple pages for the same thing.

Blitz Challenge Note: Do not worry about any of the content on the pages we are about to create. We are going to be covering the “Content” for our pages in Module Four: The Content.

I created an export (.xml) or better yet a template of the seven pages. With this file you can “create” all seven pages within your WordPress Dashboard by importing a single file and be finished in about a single minute.

I uploaded the .xml file to DropBox. You can download the file there and then use it via:

Dashboard > Tools > Import

wordpress tools import

The next step is to install the WordPress Importer by clicking on “Install Now” under the WordPress option.

wordpress importer plugin

Once you have installed the plugin, the next step is to “Run Importer”. Click “Run Importer”

run wordpress importer

The next step is to upload the “Pages Import File“. (File Name: Blitz-Pages.xml)

import wordpress page

Once you choose the Blitz-Pages.xml file, just click on “Upload file and import”

upload file for wordpress page import

While it is uploading, the next step is to assign yourself as the “Author”.

assign authors

You will assign yourself as the “Author” by going to the dropdown box for “or assign posts to an existing user” and select your WordPress User.

Do not download & import file attachments. Keep this box unchecked.

Then click on “Submit”

import wordpress all done

Congrats! Your first seven pages are created!

imported wordpress pages

Moving forward you can create any additional pages for your website as needed.

What You Need To Create Social Media Profiles (Image Sizes, Bios & More)

social media

The first thing that you need to have is your handle and your domain. (@uronlinebrand www.uronlinebrand.com)

If you don’t have a uniform name you can go through this tutorial to get everything to be the same on all platforms. Click Here

Once you have your handle you will also need to put your full name in. This may be different than your handle. If you are “John Smith” you might not have @johnsmith but you might be @iamjohnsmith as your handle so your “name” would be “John Smith”.

If you are a business and your name is “Professional Business Brand” and your handle is “@pbbrand” that’s how you would enter it.

After that, the next thing you need to focus on is your Tagline. You may or may not use your tagline in your profiles but it is important to have.

Your “Brand” online is focused around your “profile pic”.

The “recommended” size for the profile picture are different across the different platforms.

I have found a default image at 1500px X 1500px will work across all platforms.

View the SproutSocial guide to “Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet

Once you have a picture in mind for your profile pictures you need to make sure that it is centered within the “circle” the images crop to within the different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin & Instagram.

The other image needed for social media profiles is the “Header” or “Cover” photo.

The next thing you need to focus on is your “Bios”

This needs to be different for each of the platforms. You can keep the same basic concept but it needs to be written for the right platform.

With your Facebook bio it can be basic and doesn’t need to focus on a specific thing.

Instagram’s bio changes because of the use of emojis. I found that using emojis helps you say more with less characters. It also is more native to the vibe of the platform.

Inside of LinkedIn you will want to have your bio written geared more towards the business professional which is the average user on LinkedIn

You can be a lot more playful on twitter with your bio.

***Blitz Challenge Note***

The goal of this step is to create the pages/profiles so you can have the links to them to use in your website.

Creating A Tagline (Tips For A Remarkable Tagline)

tagline

When it comes to creating a tagline or slogan, sometimes people feel overwhelmed and overthink the process.

A tagline should be something that is used for people to remember who you are and what you do.

My first attempt and understanding the power of a remarkable tagline was years ago while I was a member of a local, small business & professionals networking meeting.

One of the taglines or catchphrases that are from a member of that meeting and will always stay in my mind.

The tagline is for Blair Academy for the Arts. The owner is “Daniel Blair”. He teaches people of all ages piano, violin and a few other musical instruments. He capitalized on his name and his niche with one of the best taglines I’ve ever heard for the niche/category of the business.

“Don’t Just Play Your Music, Blair Your Music”

Side Note: If you are in the Tri-Cities, and looking to learn how to play an instrument, you should check out Daniel and show him some support by sharing one of his awesome videos.

Ok, now onwards to creating that perfect tagline or slogan for your business or brand.

Over the years I have seen/heard some amazing taglines, but I’ve also heard some bad ones. So I’ve listed out some tips you should keep in mind when coming up with a tagline.

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Short & Simple

The smaller the tagline, the easier it is for people to remember. You know some of the more famous taglines that kept it short and simple.

  • M&M: “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands.”
  • Nike: “Just Do It.”
  • State Farm: “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There.”
  • California Milk Processor Board: “Got Milk?”

There are some good and bad taglines in that list.

Before we go through which of the four taglines are good and which could be better let’s cover a few more things.

Don’t Leave Questions

Between your brand name and your tagline, there should be no big questions about what you do. Even if it is not direct, something within your tagline should suggest what you do.

Another awesome example of a tagline I’ve heard locally in networking groups is for American & Import Auto Repair. Could be another classic.

“From your headlights to your rear end, we’re your car’s best friend.”

You should be able to tell that they obviously work on cars. 🙂

Let’s take a look at the four examples of taglines.

M&M’s: “Melts in Your mouth, Not in Your Hands.”

Without actually saying what they are, M&M’s is suggested in their tagline to be chocolate by melting and it’s a snack because you can hold it in your hands.

NIKE: “Just Do It.”

Honestly if I was there when we started I would’ve said no to “Just Do It.” because that doesn’t help with people understanding what Nike does. But I would’ve been wrong! That is because they built their brand around their name and their tagline “Just Do It.” almost became a symbol of greatness by associating it with “Champions”.

So as another reminder with any of the content consumed on D.T.B. … Only you know your business so make sure it feels right to you.

Another thing I want to let you know is, if you are planning to build a brand around your tagline, it may be a little different and that is 100% totally fine! 🙂

State Farm:”Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There.”

This is a good one. It represents care and concern from the brand to the customer. It’s short and simple and it will force people to recognize the brand.

If you call or text a friend the following message..

What is that phrase? “Like a Good Neighbor, …” I can’t remember the rest.

Your friend would be quick to sing the jingle in their head and easily reply.

“State Farm is There!”

California Milk Processor Board: “Got Milk?”

I don’t believe I should have to say anything. Got Milk?

This is one of the most recognized taglines in the USA and has been since that marketing campaign started in 1993.

Create a Tagline for Your Brand!

Luckily, this is not something that is 100% permanent. You can change this if you have a better idea later.

***Blitz Challenge Note***

Don’t spend a lot of time on this at first. We can come back to this and put some extra thought in after we finish designing our website.

How To Get A Second Phone Number (Free With Google Voice)

google voice

When it comes to starting a new business from home you may not want to give your actual phone number out to customers and clients. That is why I swear by Google Voice.

With Google Voice, you can get a second number that forwards to your cell phone and my favorite part, you can send “after hours” calls straight to the voicemail!

You can text via your computer and the Google Voice App (Available On All Platforms).

When people call you, you can select to have them identify themselves before the call goes through so you can “screen” incoming calls to get rid of the ridiculous “telemarketing” calls.

You also can get a text with the transcribed voicemails that are left for you so you can read them instead of listening if you wish. Unfortunately, the transcription process isn’t 100% accurate so some of the messages may not make sense but about 75% of the time it is close enough for you to understand what was said. (In My Opinion)

In order to get a Google Voice Phone Number you need to have a Gmail Account. If you don’t have one and not sure how to create a free Gmail address, you can go through the tutorial here.

Once you have a Gmail (Google Account) you need to go to https://voice.google.com.

Once you are on the home page, simply click on continue to move forward and choose a Google Voice number.

The next step is easily wrapped up by saying type in your area code.

After you do that it will show the available numbers you can reserve for free. Choose the free phone number you want by clicking on the “Select” button that is next to the number you want.

The next step is to verify your existing phone number. Click on “Verify”

In order to finish, all you have to do is enter your existing phone number (cell phone number) into this pop up and click on “Send Code”. After you do that you will receive a text with a code that looks like “G-XXXXXX”. Enter in that code and just like that … you have a new free phone number that you can use for your business!

P.S. Please don’t abuse this feature, we as a community benefit from cool tools like this. So please don’t give Google a reason to get rid of this tool. 🙂 Basically put, don’t use these to spam people…

What You Need To Know About WordPress Tags

wordpress tags

If you are working on building your own website or already have a WordPress website you will need to have a good understanding of WordPress Tags.

WordPress tags are very important and are similar to your categories, only they’re not necessarily there for navigation purposes. They’re more for sorting posts according to topics and identifying your content for search engines and visitors with keywords and phrases.

Tags are more specific than their category counterparts. Categories are broader, but tags dig down deeper to tell you specifically what’s inside a particular blog post. Whenever you add a new post, on the right side, you’ll see a section that says Post Tags.

You can type in keywords and phrases and separate them with commas. Or, if you’ve had the blog for a while, just click “Choose from the most used tags” and pick from among your common tag choices.

If you change your mind and want to delete a tag, just click the gray X beside the tag. WordPress recommends an average of 5 to 10 tags be added to each blog post. Not having any isnít good for your search engine optimization. Having too many only confuses the reader.

You can manage your tags from the main dashboard, too. Click on Posts and then Post Tags. You can add tags from there, delete or edit them. On this page, you’ll see a massive tag cloud, too.

A tag cloud shows you which tags you use most on your site. If you see a tag you want to edit in the tag cloud, click on it and it will let you edit the words and the URL for that tag, too.

Tags and categories are both important to your site’s findability and navigation. Don’t exclude one for the other & use them in conjunction to give your blog the best SEO boost possible.

Please check back often for new blog posts and other tutorials & pieces of training.

Talk Soon,

CJ Hallock