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How to install Laravel 5 with Xampp (Windows)

Laravel 5 with Xampp

Requirements

  • PHP >= 5.5.9
  • OpenSSL PHP Extension
  • PDO PHP Extension
  • Mbstring PHP Extension
  • Tokenizer PHP Extension

Install Xampp

First of all, we need Xampp, so we can download it from the official page: Download Xampp

xamp

Composer

After you’ve downloaded and installed Xampp, we need to install Composer.

A composer is a PHP package manager that is integrated with Laravel Framework. In Windows, we can install it easy going to the official page and download the installer.

Composer Download page

After installing it, we can open a Windows terminal and write composer for executing the command:

composer

Xampp Virtual Host

We will configure a Virtual Host in Xampp for a Laravel project, and in this example, we want to configure the domain laravel.dev for our project.

We need to edit httpd-vhosts.conf that are located in C:\xampp\apache\conf\extra\httpd-vhosts.conf and add following lines at the end of the file:

# VirtualHost for LARAVEL.DEV
<VirtualHost laravel.dev:80>
DocumentRoot "C:\xampp\htdocs\laravel\public"
ServerAdmin laravel.dev
<Directory "C:\xampp\htdocs\laravel">
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Require all granted
</Directory>
</VirtualHost>

After this, our apache is listening to laravel.dev connections, but we have to configure our hosts file that allows redirecting laravel.dev to the localhost that is located in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc

IMPORTANT!: To edit this file, maybe we should give access, click properties and allow your user to modify this file. Edit hosts file adding our localhost for laravel.dev:

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
#	127.0.0.1       localhost
#	::1             localhost
127.0.0.1	laravel.dev

Save the file and we are ready to install laravel.

Install Laravel Framework

We are prepared to install and configure a Laravel Framework. First of all, we have to navigate to a htdocs folder to install it and run this following command:

composer create-project laravel/laravel laravel “5.1.*”

Will start the installation of the Framework:

laravel-ins

laravel-ins

When it finishes, it will create following directory schema:

schema

Finally, start our apache and MySql from Xampp control panel:

xampp

Navigate to laravel.dev and Laravel it’s installed!

laravel

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Top 3 Ways to integrate your WooCommerce store with eBay and Amazon

If you own a WooCommerce online store and also sell your items on other marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, you might have wondered if it is possible to integrate all three in a single platform. Doing that will reduce your workload and let you manage all the orders from one place.

Luckily, there are some solutions available to connect your WooCommerce store with other marketplaces. In today’s post, I will introduce you to the top 3 solutions for integrate your WooCommerce store with eBay and Amazon.

1. WP Lab

Integrate your WooCommerce store with eBay and Amazon

WP Lab provides two separate solutions for integrating your WooCommerce site with eBay and Amazon. Both products are available as lite versions in the WordPress plugin directory. You can purchase the premium version from the website.

The WP-Lister Lite for Amazon plugin lets you integrate your site’s products with your Amazon inventory. Besides importing the existing products, you can match and link your WooCommerce store’s products with Amazon. It is also possible to import product title, image(s) and other data from Amazon.

WP-Lister for Amazon, the premium version lets you synchronize sales and create orders from your Amazon account. You will also get priority updates and instant support. The plugin is priced at $149.

The WP-Lister Lite for eBay plugin provides an easy solution for connecting your WooCommerce store with your eBay account. Along with creating unlimited items, you can add multiple variations of the products. The plugin is also available in several languages.

WP-Lister Pro for eBay allows you to sync the product inventory between your store and the eBay account. You can also create an order when an item is sold on eBay. Other useful features include uploading product images to eBay, importing products from eBay, split variations, advanced eBay options etc. You can get the pro plugin for $149.

2. Veeqo

Veeqo

With a mission of simplifying the shopping process, Veeqo provides easy solutions for integrating your WooCommerce store with Amazon and eBay. By using the service, you can easily keep track and sync the products in your WooCommerce store and the Amazon, eBay accounts.

The orders will be automatically synced every 10 minutes. Whenever an order is processed, your Amazon and eBay accounts will be updated with the tracking number. You can also print your invoice packaging slips, lists, labels in bulk amount.

As Veeqo supports all Amazon and eBay channels in the world, you can easily handle local and international orders from your e-commerce site. It is also a completely cloud-based system. Therefore, you can use the solution from anywhere in the world.

The real-time inventory syncing feature will keep tracks of all marketplaces and/or websites. As a result, your stock lists will always be updated. You will also be able to control all of your orders from one location. Each product will be accompanied by detailed information about the marketplace or website they belong to.

Veeqo also comes with several charts and reports about the sales and profit of your accounts and websites. By using these, you can easily get an overall idea about the condition of your business. There is a 14-day trial available. The pricing plans start from $130 per month.

3. Selro

Selro

Selro is a popular cross-channel selling platform with dedicated WooCommerce support. It offers smart inventory management options and shipping options for both the customer and the store owner. Selro integrates your WooCommerse store with your Amazon and eBay accounts.

The inventory of your accounts and the store will be automatically synced. The single dashboard view will make sure that you can view your product lists from all marketplaces and websites in one place. It will also streamline various backend operations like managing stock activities, product labels, handling sales orders etc.

The simple order management system of Selro will allow you to handle all the orders from the dashboard. Orders from the marketplaces and your online store will be processed automatically. The centralized inventory management options will make sure that you are always on top of your current inventory status.

Selro’s flexible technology is capable of connecting to any API and work seamlessly. In a case of necessity, you will get premium support 12 hours a day throughout the business days of the week. If you are still not convinced, you can try the 30-day free trial. You won’t need any credit card for the trial. After that, the pricing plans start from $99 per month.

Bonus: Automatically increase customer satisfaction and get more reviews on Amazon and eBay with this trick

Now that you have successfully integrated Amazon and eBay in your WooCommerce store, you can take it to the next level and automate post-purchase follow-up for Amazon and eBay customers. No matter what integration method you have used, once you have the customer information in our WooCommerce store we can use them to send them to follow up emails. For this, we will be using SIP Advanced Email Rules for WooCommerce.

Once you purchase SIP Advanced Email Rules for WooCommerce, you can easily target Amazon and eBay customers and send them specific emails, such as asking for feedback or reviews on your products. This is a great way to get more product reviews on Amazon and eBay in a way that is compliant with their terms of service.

From the left menu, click on “Sip Plugins -> Advanced Email Rules”, then “Add new”. Under “Advanced Email conditions”, set rules that will target only Amazon or eBay customers. For example, if you are using WP Lab to import orders from Amazon, you can either set “Payment method” equals “Amazon” (this is the custom name I use when importing Amazon orders, here you can set the one you chose) or “Email” contains “marketplace.amazon.com”. Similar rules can be set to target eBay customers.

I target emails 30 days after the order has been shipped from Amazon, however, you can send this email much sooner or even send more than one email per customer.

Amazon-review-email

Conclusion

WooCommerce makes it very easy to create online stores. And now you have the proper tools for managing your online store and marketplaces accounts from a single dashboard.

Which solution looks the most interesting to you? Let me know in the comments.

And if you are using any other solution/extension to connect your WooCommerce store with other marketplaces, let me know by leaving a comment below. I will be glad to take a look.

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Launch A Self-Hosted WordPress Blog In 20 Minutes Or Less

Step 1: Collect Your Resources

To set up a self-hosted WordPress blog, you will need:

  • A domain name
  • A credit card
  • 20 minutes

It’s less demanding in the event that you haven’t officially enrolled your space. It’s likewise less expensive. I will demonstrate to you proper methodologies to get one for nothing, utilizing the administration I suggest in Step #2.

Be that as it may, on the off chance that you have effectively enlisted your space, no sweat. You will just need to include an extra stride. I will clarify the procedure toward the finish of this post.

Step 2: Set Up a Hosting Account

This is the place your blog will “live.” This is a server in the cloud (i.e., a remote PC), where you will lease space to introduce the WordPress programming and deal with your blog. It’s far less demanding than it sounds. Remain with me.

There are several facilitating administration accessible—maybe thousands. Nonetheless, in view of my experience and research, I prescribe Bluehost. I trust it is the best choice for a great many people for the accompanying seven reasons:

Reason #1: Support. Bluehost has incredible 24–7 support by means of telephone, email, or visit. I have by and by utilized it a few times and observed the care staff to be brisk, affable, and educated. The greater part of the organization’s care staff is situated in the U.S.

Reason #2: Reliability. Bluehost is super dependable. It brags an uptime normal of 99.9%. That is about more or less great.

Reason #3: Ease of Use. Bluehost is super-simple-to-use (as you can witness in the above video). Truth be told, shockingly so. You’ll ask why you haven’t set up a facilitating administration before now.

Reason #4: WordPress. Strikingly, WordPress itself just authoritatively prescribes three facilitating administrations. Bluehost is number one. It has more than 850,000 WordPress web journals.

Reason #5: No Limits. Bluehost offers boundless plate space, boundless transmission capacity, boundless areas (i.e., you can have various websites or locales on one record), and boundless email accounts.

Reason #6: Affordability. Bluehost is modest—about $3.95 to $5.95 a month, contingent upon which arrange you select. The more you will submit, the less expensive it is.

Reason #7: Values. In its Terms of Service (see Section 10.03, Bluehost denies obscenity, bareness, and other grown-up substance. It entirely authorizes this standard and erases destinations that damage it. By and by, I don’t need my blog sitting on an indistinguishable server from some pornographer. In the event that you feel a similar way, you might be shocked to realize that the greater part of the most well known facilitating administrations permit obscenity on their servers.

Note: I am a Bluehost associate, which implies the organization pays me a commission each time somebody joins through one of my connections. However, this didn’t impact my suggestion, since all facilitating administrations have comparative projects. I prescribe Bluehost in light of the fact that I sincerely trust they offer the best facilitating accessible.

Disclosure: I don’t utilize Bluehost for dreamsspark.com. My site is too enormous and convoluted. It requires a committed server with a reflected reinforcement. Nonetheless, I have my different locales on Bluehost, as do a few of my relatives and companions. Bluehost works on shared servers and it is the correct decision for 95 percent of bloggers.

Coincidentally, Bluehost offers a thirty-day, unconditional promise, which is built into their Terms of Service. I have by and by tried this and recovered my cash inside a couple of hours. So there’s truly no hazard on your part.

Approve, so on the off-chance that you are still with me, go to the Bluehost landing page. Tap on the Get Started Now catch.

Presently you have to settle on your arrangement. I need to propose that you select the Plus Plan. This is Bluehost most well-known alternative—and in light of current circumstances. It’s just fifty pennies more a month than the Starter arrange, BUT it gives you the capacity to have a boundless number of sites on this one record. I feel that makes it an easy decision.

Regardless of the plan you pick, my guidelines will work for you; the math will simply be distinctive. Proceed by tapping on the Select catch.

Presently you have to choose whether you require a space name or you as of now have an area name. Will expect that you haven’t beforehand enrolled an area, utilizing some other space enlistment benefit (e.g., GoDaddy.com). On the off chance that you have, I will disclose what to do the finish of this post.

Presently enter your area name in the furthest left box, pick the suitable expansion (com, net, business, whatever) and tap on the Next catch.

Launch A Self-Hosted WordPress Blog In 20 Minutes Or Less

Fill in your record data and after that look down to choose your bundle. As should be obvious, the costs run from $3.95 to $5.95 every month. (Once more, this is for the Plus Package.) It all relies on upon the length of your dedication.

Remember, you will be required to pay the yearly rate ahead of time. That is the means by which Bluehost can offer these super low costs. Here’s the math, in view of utilizing my affiliate link.

12 months at $5.95 every month is $71.40 every year and $71.40 upfront.

24 months at $4.95 every month is $59.40 every year and $118.80 upfront.

36 months at $3.95 every month is $47.4 every year and $142.20 upfront.

I would not agree to accept any of alternate administrations recorded on this screen, yet that is dependent upon you.

Presently enter your charging data. Affirm that you have perused and concur with Bluehost’s Terms of Service, and after that tap on the Next catch. The framework will now confirm your Visa data.

Bluehost will next request that you “Select the Upgrades that Best Suit Your Needs.” I would avoid these. Tap the Complete catch at the base of the page. Be quiet. This may pause for a moment or two.

You ought to now observe the “Welcome to Bluehost” screen, alongside a “Congrats” message. Presently you have to pick a secret key for your record. Tap on the Create your secret key catch:

Utilize the Password Generator choice to make a solid, hard-to-hack secret key. Duplicate this to the clipboard by squeezing ⌘-C in the event that you are on a Mac or Control-C on the off chance that you are on a PC. Presently tap the Paste catch to glue the secret word into the fitting fields.

Presently tap the checkbook that says, “I affirm I have perused and consent to the Terms of Service … ” Then tap the Create catch. This makes your new Bluehost account.

Cautioning: You may get a mistake message here. It is just in light of the fact that it now and again takes a couple of minutes for the Bluehost robots to make your record. Try not to freeze. Most dire outcome imaginable.

This will convey you to the Bluehost login screen. Here you will be asked to log into your space. Your space ought to be naturally embedded for you. In the event that it is not, sort it into the field gave.

Presently utilize the secret word you simply chosen in the watchword field. Since you already duplicated it to the clipboard, you can glue it with ⌘-V on the Mac or Control-V on the PC. Presently tap on Submit.

You may see yet another redesign offer, maybe for Optimized facilitating. Don’t hesitate to disregard this for the time being. You can simply include it later. Rather, tap on the Hosting join in the upper left-hand corner.

This will take you to the fundamental Control Panel. You may get another fly up. This one is putting forth to walk you through the way toward setting up your site. You can close this screen by tapping on the X in the upper right-hand corner. I will walk you through this myself.

You ought to now be at the Control Panel, here and there called the cPanel.

Step 3: Install WordPress

Try not to be scared by the quantity of catches in this progression—it’s incredibly straightforward. The procedure used to be confused, and you must be a semi-nerd to force it off. In any case, Bluehost now makes it super-straightforward. Confide in me, anybody can do this.

Look down the page to the “Site” segment. Tap on the Install WordPress logo and sit tight for the new page to stack. Be persistent. It may pause for a moment.

Another “WordPress” screen shows up. Just tap on the Install catch. That will convey you to another screen. Presently select the area on which you need to introduce WordPress. It ought to default to the right one. Tap on Check Domain.

The following screen will state ” the evetuallyLast step, you are practically there.” Click on “Advanced Options.” Type in your site name or title. (Try not to stress. You can simply change this later.) Accept the “Administrator Username” and “Administrator Password” that Bluehost proposes.

Presently tap on the thing that says, “I have perused the terms and states of the GPLv2.” Now tap on the Install Now catch. The establishment procedure ought to start and will keep you refreshed on the procedure. Be persistent, this will pause for a moment or two.

Bluehost may then offer you another upsell. (I understand this gets irritating. Keep it together. You are practically done.) Just close the fly up if there is one. You can normally do as such by tapping on the X in the upper right-hand corner of the fly up.

You ought to now see an improvement meter at the highest point of the screen. Once more, this will pause for a moment or two, contingent upon how bustling the Bluehost robots are.eventually say, “Your introduce is finished!”

Presently tap on the View Credentials catch. This will take you to the Notification Center. Tap on the View catch.

When it is done, you will get a screen with your Blog URL, Login URL, username, and watchword. Bluehost will likewise email this data to you, yet I jump at the chance to have a reinforcement. I would record it or take a screenshot. Likewise, duplicate the secret key to the clipboard (once more, utilizing ⌘-c on a Mac or Control-C on a PC).

You’re gaining awesome ground! You have finished the most troublesome piece of the procedure. Presently things will accelerate impressively.

Step 4: Log into WordPress

Click on the “Admin URL” link. This will take you to the WordPress login page.


Now enter your username and password. (Remember, you wrote these down in Step 3. You also copied the password to the clipboard.) Click on the “Remember Me” checkbook and then click on the Log In button.

You should now be looking at the WordPress “Dashboard.” Sometimes, bloggers refer to this as the WordPress back-end. The front-end is what your readers see—your normal blog site. The back-end is what you see—how you control what appears on the front-end.

Step 5: Write Your First Post

Click on the Posts | Add New option in the left-hand side menu. You should now see the New Post screen.

Step 6: Load Your New Blog

Simply click on the “View Post” link. Your new blog should load in a new browser tab.

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How to Install and Use the Lightbox Gallery Plugin in WordPress

we will show you how to add a photo gallery to your WordPress website using the Lightbox Gallery plugin. First, we will walk you through installing and activating the Lightbox Gallery plugin. Then, we will show you how to create a Gallery and add it to a Page/Post with a shortcode.

Installing and Activate Lightbox Gallery Plugin

1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
2. Click Plugins in the navigation menu, then the Add New button.

Lightbox Gallery

3. Type lightbox in the search box, then click the Enter key.
4. You will see Lightbox Gallery listed, click the Install Now button.

lightbox-gallery-install-now
5. Click the Activate Plugin link when you see a message stating you “Successfully installed the plugin Lightbox Gallery.”

activating-lightbox-plugin

Creating a Gallery and Adding to a Page/Post

After installing and activating the Lightbox plugin, we will now show you how to create your gallery, and add it to a Page/Post.

1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard (if you aren’t logged in already), then click the Lightbox Gallery link.
2. Click the Add Lightbox Gallery button.

adding-lightbox-gallery

3. Enter a title for your gallery, then click the Add New Images button to select or upload your images. Click the Select button when you are done.
4. There are additional settings for the Gallery on the bottom of the page. Feel free to choose them as needed, then click the Publish button to create your gallery.

publishing-gallery

You will then see a Post published message.
5. Copy the Shortcode in the Photo Gallery Shortcode section.

photo-gallery-shortcode

6. Navigate to the Page/Post you want to add the gallery and open it. Paste the shortcode into the page, then click the Update button. You will then see your new gallery displayed on the Page/Post.

lightbox-gallery-in-wordpress

Congratulations, now you know how to add a photo gallery to your WordPress website using the Lightbox Gallery plugin!

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Convert Any Static HTML site to a WordPress site

In the beginning (of the web) all websites were made with nothing but text and static HTML. Now though, over 20 years later, the web is a much different place. Web sites are much more complex. They provide richer and more enjoyable experiences for site creators and visitors alike.

Convert Any Static HTML site to a WordPress site

This is in large part thanks to open source projects like WordPress. Which, over the last ten years or so, has succeeded in its core mission to democratize online publishing (and a lot more in the process) so that anyone with a WordPress install and the right theme/plugins can have a modern website with advanced design and functionality. No coding–not even HTML!–required.

divi

This is Divi by yours truly, Elegant Themes. This is one of the most advanced WordPress themes on the market today. And it requires zero coding ability to use!

This is why to avoid WordPress users like myself, it’s almost hard to believe that in 2015 someone might still be operating a static HTML website instead of a WordPress website with a theme and plugins. But the fact is there are still a significant amount of active HTML only sites out there. (Or HTML with a bit of CSS.)

Granted, these site owners may have good reasons for not upgrading or converting. Maybe their site content never changes and the simple formatting and design already in place is serviceable? Or maybe it’s less of a hassle than worrying about keeping a WordPress site updated? Both are valid reasons (among others). Prime examples of, “Don’t fix what isn’t broken.”

However, I have a feeling that these might not be the primary reason some (perhaps many) haven’t made the leap. The most obvious one being that they simply don’t know how to convert their HTML site into a WordPress site. Especially without losing content or needing to do excessive formatting on a page by page basis.

Thankfully, as is often the case with WordPress, there are a number of ways to go about solving this problem. I’ve compiled some options below.

Your Options for Converting a Static HTML site to a WordPress site

How you choose to convert your static HTML site into a WordPress site will no doubt depend on your personal preference, desired time/monetary investment, and skill level with code. You will have to be the one to decide which is best for you, but with the summaries below you should be able to decide quickly and skip straight to the most relevant information in this post for your specific situation.

There are three main options:

1. Manually create a WordPress theme based on your current static HTML site.

This will require you to get into your code. You will have to access your current site directory via FTP and use your existing code as a starting point. From there you will need to create the necessary files for a WordPress theme and copy bits of code from the WordPress codex. This is fairly simple and straightforward if you have some experience with HTML, CSS, and a bit of PHP.

2. Install a pre-made theme and simply migrate your content.

This is probably the best option at the intersection of simplicity and value. Assuming you already have to host your current website, you will only need to spend money if you choose to purchase a premium theme. The plugin we will use for importing content is freely available in the official WordPress Plugin Repository.

3. Paying to have an HTML to WordPress conversion service re-create your site.

This is the easiest solution, as it doesn’t require you to do much of anything. However, it will not do much for familiarizing you with WordPress and the cost will vary depending on who you choose to hire. I won’t be covering this option in the sections below because if this is the route you are interested in, you can simply do a quick search for service providers and they will take care of the rest.

Preparing for HTML to WordPress Conversion

No matter which route you decide to take below, there are a few things you will want to do before diving in.

The first is choosing a hosting plan. You’ll want to look over the options that are out there and decide on a package that best fits your needs. Or perhaps you’d like to create a local WordPress installation instead? You can always migrate it to a hosting service later.

Once you’ve chosen, you will need to install WordPress and log into WP Admin. This is the point at which our two possible paths divide.

Manually Converting Your Static HTML Site to WordPress

If your goal is to not only get your content from your static HTML site into WordPress but also duplicate your current design, this means you will need to create your own custom theme. Thankfully, that is not as scary as it might sound at first. It only involves creating a few folders and files, a bit of copy and paste, and then uploading the result.

You’re going to need a code editor such as Sublime or Notepad++ and access to both your HTML site’s directory and your new WordPress install’s directory.

Step 1: Create a New Theme Folder and Necessary Files

On your desktop, create a new folder to hold your theme files. Name it whatever you’d like your theme to be named.

Next, create a few files (which all go in your new theme folder) in your code editor. Don’t do anything to them just yet. Just leave them open for further editing.

  • Style.css
  • Index.php
  • header.php
  • sidebar.php
  • footer.php

Step 2: Copy Existing CSS Into New Stylesheet

If you’re looking to duplicate a design, this probably means you have at least some CSS that you want to save. So the first file you’re going to want to edit is your Style.css file.

To begin, add the following to the top of your file.

/*
Theme Name: Replace with your Theme's name.
Theme URI: Your Theme's URI
Theme URI: Your Theme's URI
Description: A brief description.
Version: 1.0
Author: You
Author URI: Your website address.
*/

After this section simply paste your existing CSS below. Save and close the file.

Step 3: Separate Your Current HTML

Before we get into step three, let me give you a quick note on how WordPress works. WordPress uses PHP to call and retrieve pieces of data from its underlying database. Each file that we’re using in this little tutorial is designed to tell WordPress which part of your site content is to be displayed and where.

So when I say we are going to “chop up” your existing HTML, what we’re actually doing is simply cutting and pasting parts of your existing code into the different files we’ve just created, so that WordPress will know where to display them.

Here we go.

First, open your current site’s index.html file. Highlight everything from the top of the file to the opening div class=”main” tag. Copy and paste this section into your header.php file, save and close.

Second, go back to your index.html file. Highlight the aside class=”sidebar” element and everything inside it. Copy and paste this section into your sidebar.php file, save and close.

Third, in your index.html select everything after your sidebar and copy and paste it into your footer.php file, save and close.

Finally, in your index.html file, select everything that’s left (this should be the main content section) and paste it into your index.php file. Save, but do not close yet.

You can close your index.html file now however and move on to the final steps. Almost done!

Step 4: Finalize Your Index.php File

In order to finalize your new theme’s index.php file, you need to make sure it can call up the other section (besides the main content) that are housed in the other files you’ve created. Or in other words, put back together the elements we just “chopped up”.

At the very top of your index.php file, place the following line of PHP.

<?php get_header(); ?>

Then, at the very bottom of your index.php file, place these lines of PHP.

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>
<?php get_footer(); ?>

And finally, we have to add what’s called The Loop. This is the primary bit of PHP that WordPress uses to display your post content to visitors. So the final step in creating your new theme’s index.php file is adding the code below within the content section.

<?php if ( have_posts() ) : ?>
<?php while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>
  <div id="post-<?php the_ID(); ?>" <?php post_class(); ?>>
    <div class="post-header">
       <div class="date"><?php the_time( 'M j y' ); ?></div>
       <h2><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to <?php the_title_attribute(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>
       <div class="author"><?php the_author(); ?></div>
    </div><!--end post header-->
    <div class="entry clear">
       <?php if ( function_exists( 'add_theme_support' ) ) the_post_thumbnail(); ?>
       <?php the_(); ?>
       <?php edit_post_link(); ?>
       <?php wp_link_pages(); ?> </div>
    <!--end entry-->
    <div class="post-footer">
       <div class="comments"><?php comments_popup_link( 'Leave a Comment', '1 Comment', '% Comments' ); ?></div>
    </div><!--end post footer-->
    </div><!--end post-->
<?php endwhile; /* rewind or continue if all posts have been fetched */ ?>
    <div class="navigation index">
       <div class="alignleft"><?php next_posts_link( 'Older Entries' ); ?></div>
       <div class="alignright"><?php previous_posts_link( 'Newer Entries' ); ?></div>
    </div><!--end navigation-->
<?php else : ?>
<?php endif; ?>

Save your index.php and close. Your theme is now finished! All that’s left is to upload it to your WordPress website.

Step 5: Upload Your New Theme

Now that you’ve created your theme files and have them all stored within your new theme folder, you’re going to need to access your new WordPress install’s directory.

Place your new theme folder inside /wp-content/themes/. Then navigate back to WP Admin > Appearance > Themes and your newly created theme should appear there. Go ahead and activate it!

All that’s left to do at this point is populate your new WordPress website with your old site’s content. Follow along with the section below (skipping over the part about using a pre-made theme) to see how that is done.

Using a Pre-Made WordPress Theme and Importing HTML Content

If the steps above seem too intensive or time-consuming to you then rest assured, there is another way. Instead of converting whatever design you happen to be working with right now into a WordPress theme, you can take advantage of any one of the thousands of themes available in the broader WordPress marketplace.

There are free themes and there are premium themes. Before deciding which is best for you, you may want to read upon which themes are designed to cater to your needs and browse by theme category here at Elegant Themes and elsewhere.

Once you’ve chosen a theme you like (and have its zipped file package downloaded) you’ll want to head back to WP Admin > Appearance > Themes > Add New and install/activate your new WordPress theme.

Once this is done, you will have a new WordPress website and theme–but little else. When you preview your site, it will be empty of content and probably look sort of boring. That’s ok because next, we are going to import your old site’s content.

In WP Admin go to Plugins > Add New and search for a plugin called HTML Import 2 by Stephanie Leary. Once this plugin is installed and activated, follow its handy user guide to import your entire directory of HTML pages. Complete with images!

After this, you will have all of your old content living on WordPress and formatted by your new theme. Or, if you created your own theme above, your site should pretty much look like it did before–just running on WordPress.

In Conclusion

If you’ve used this post as a guide for migrating your website onto WordPress then you’ve just joined one of the largest open source communities in the world. Welcome! It’s a fun place with lots of developers, designers, bloggers, DIYers, and more–all building, playing and creating with WordPress and WordPress themes/plugins.

If you’ve “caught the WordPress bug” the official WordPress.org website is chock full of useful themes, plugins, and other resources. If you’d like to further tweak your theme files, explore the Codex for seemingly endless tips, tricks, and variations.

And of course, we hope you’ll stick around to chat in the comments below and subscribe to more blog posts in the future.

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Easy Way to Create Privacy Policy for Your Blog in Just Minutes

Most professional blogs have a privacy and disclosure policy. These policies can be very important to your blog, as they inform your readers about some of the more legal aspects of your website.

However, writing your own privacy policy or disclaimer can be extremely hard unless you’ve had years of law school or have extra cash to pay a high priced lawyer.

I’ve found two free websites that will take the place of your lawyer and help you create a privacy policy and disclaimer for your site.

Like a business, every blog should have a privacy policy that represents the legal aspects of the blog. If you are a blogger, you might have noticed that every professional blog has a privacy policy page.

A privacy policy page contains legal aspects of your blog, and it helps your readers to know about how the blog collects its data and how you monetize the blog.

If you want to monetize your blog with Google AdSense or Amazon Affiliates, you should know that both programs require a privacy policy page on your blog that discloses how you collect, use and store data from visitors and use cookies.

I’ve heard that a lot of people didn’t get AdSense approval because of not having a privacy policy. This is the same for other Ad Networks. And Amazon Affiliate Program also requires a privacy policy. So it’s crucial to have a privacy page for your blog.

There are many other advantages of having a privacy page for your blog. Some of them are:

  • Most online people like privacy as they are sharing personal info (Like Email) with you.
  • It helps your readers or users to know what you do with their data.
  • It is required by third-party websites and ad servers.
  • Having a privacy page represents that you respect the privacy.

Making or writing a privacy page is not an easy task if you want to do it by a lawyer. You have to pay some extra cash to your lawyer. But there’s a better and easy way. You can use Online Blog Privacy Policy Generator to make your privacy policy page.

In this post, I’ll show you how to create a privacy policy for the blog using FreePrivacyPolicy.com.

Note: If you are in a hurry and want to create a privacy policy for your website quickly, go to this website and provide your site information and advertising networks. Then click on “Generate Privacy Policy”.

However, if you have time, you should follow the below guide to creating a custom and effective privacy policy.

HOW TO CREATE PRIVACY POLICY FOR YOUR BLOG

FreePrivacyPolicy.com is the best online privacy policy generator, which helps over 500,000 sites to generate their privacy policy. To create a privacy policy, you have to give answers to some questions. It will help them to customize the policy according to your needs.

Now follow these simple steps.

1. At first, go to FreePrivacyPolicy.com and click on “Free Privacy Policy” button.

Free-Privacy-Policy

2. On the next page, you need to give answers to some easy questions. After giving all answers, click on “Next” button.

Privacy-Policy-Questions-1

3. Then you need to provide answers about what kind of personal information you collect from your blog and what you do with the information. And click on “Next” button.

Privacy-Policy-Questions-2

4. The next step is very important if you collect credit card information. You will be asked about PCI complaint, Malware scans, and SSL certificate. All of these are important to protect credit card information. If you don’t collect credit card information, you can check on ‘No’ and give the reasons.

Then click “Next”.

Privacy-Policy-Questions-3

5. Then you will be asked whether you use cookies or not. If you check ‘Yes’, you need to answer why you use cookies.

6. Now you need to give information about third-party disclosure.

7. The next step is about Google AdSense. It’s a very important step if you monetize your blog with Google AdSense or want to be Google AdSense Publishers.

8. Then it will ask you to be compliant with CalOPPA. It means California Online Privacy Protection Act. If anyone from California visits the site, then the CalOPPA requires a privacy policy.

Once you are compliant with CalOPPA, it will ask if you specifically market to children under 13.

9. Then it will ask you to be compliant with the FTC’s Fair Information Practices.

10. On the next page, you need to provide your contact information to be compliant with CAN-SPAM. You also need to provide additions CAN-SPAM questions.

11. Now enter your name and email address. And it will take you to a Congratulations page. Go to the bottom of the page and click on “Continue” button.

If FreePrivacyPolicy offers anything, ignore this for now and click on the “No, Thanks” link. And click on “Continue” button again.

And finally, download the Free Privacy Policy.

privacypolicy

It’s a .htm file.

12. Copy the Privacy Policy text and go to your WordPress Dashboard.

Click on Pages > Add New. Give the Page title as “Privacy Policy” and paste the privacy policy text in the editor. Publish the page and add the page link to blog footer.

Conclusion

Hope this post helped you to create a Privacy Policy for your blog. If you found this post useful, help me by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

However, if you have any question regarding this, feel free to ask us via comment. Also, let us know if you’ve used any other Privacy Policy Generator tools.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing

“You have mail.”
It’s one of those amazing bits of Internet history framed when the street was all the while being cleared and we were searching our way through the wild of what was the first World Wide Web.

Despite the fact that circumstances are different and AOL no longer sends CD’s on the way, we can even now say thanks to them for acquainting us with email and our dependence on it.

Nowadays, we’ve supplanted that message with Tweets, preferences, and notices, yet that doesn’t imply that our partiality for email is any less. Truth be told, in view of the commotion that is online networking, one could contend that the inbox has turned into our virtual dojo, our place of isolation among the disorder.

This is the reason, as a business visionary, I trust that building fruitful email showcasing efforts has never been more critical than it is currently. In any case, there’s an issue; the vast majority don’t know how to do it right. So in light of a legitimate concern for advancing prescribed procedures and helping you prevail as an entrepreneur, we should get a fresh start and discuss how an incredible email crusade is worked, from the beginning.

You’re in their home

Individuals are immersed with interference, pitches, and commercials wherever they look, and however you may think yours is unique, there’s a high likelihood that to the per user, it looks the same as the rest. This is the reason it’s imperative to recall where you are and utilize your great behavior accordingly.

Getting into somebody’s inbox resembles being welcome to their home for supper. In the event that they request that you take your shoes off, you consciously do as such. It’s the same with email showcasing, so before we start I’d essentially get a kick out of the chance to remind you to be on your best conduct at all circumstances and recollect that… you’re in their home.

Stage I: Getting Permission

Obviously, no email battle was ever worked without kicking consent to get off, so first, we’ll have to concentrate on building a sizable email list.

There are numerous ways you can do this obviously. Some want to give something without end for nothing while others essentially offer a pamphlet or item refreshes.

I can’t disclose to you which is the set in stone answer for this situation, yet I can reveal to you that it’s essential to have a reasonable reason when requesting an address. This is the place a solid suggestion to take action becomes an integral factor, and copywriting is super essential.

  • What do I get when I give you my email address?
  • Is it accurate to say that you will spam me?
  • How regularly will you email me?
  • Will I get rebates?
  • Will I get the first break at your beta?
  • Will you send me important offers or more garbage?

These are the sorts of things you’ll have to deliver on the off chance that you need to be fruitful in stage 1. Basically posting “enter your email for updates” wouldn’t get anybody eager to do as such. Rather, consider sharing specifics:

A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing

Investigate the cases above and you’ll see that the principal reveals to me I’m getting a free index and a progression of audits and exceptional offers, while the second lets me know precisely when I’ll get the pamphlet refreshes. This is a much more particular, and compelling, method for working together.

A speedy take a gander at my own particular practices discloses to me that the offers I subscribe to frequently are for:

  • Email Series
  • Free Downloads
  • Free White Papers or eBooks
  • Refresh Lists (New Issue Notifications, Product Updates, New Releases)

In conclusion, and Amazon does this truly well, your clients make incredible applicants, so keep in mind to incorporate some type of enlistment or email membership as a feature of your obtaining procedure. Simply recall treating these locations with unique respect, which we’ll discuss in stage 2.

Get Whitelisted

While all legitimate email specialist co-ops work hard to ensure that your messages are not hindered by major ISP’s, they can’t control regardless of whether your messages hit the inbox or the spam box. Albeit most will help you by giving a quality score to help you decide accessibility, getting whitelisted is the best approach to guarantee that your messages get conveyed legitimately.

Basically, getting whitelisted is equal to being set apart as a companion, and an ideal approach to accomplish this is by being added to the beneficiary’s address book. An ideal approach to do this is by giving guidelines to do as such at the highest point of each email, particularly on the underlying thank you and first follow-up email.

Stage II: Playing the Numbers Game

Oversee Expectations with Follow-Up Efforts

Email promoting is about desires, and it’s dependent upon you to set them. In the event that your suggestion to take action is solid, and your follow-up is reliable, then you can depend on a positive crusade. In any case, on the off chance that you guarantee to send one email for every week and rather send them day by day, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Despite what might be expected, on the off chance that somebody is expecting every day refreshes or basic item updates and you don’t’ convey, then they are probably going to be similarly as disturbed all things considered as well.

This is the reason the principal follow-up email is so urgent to the achievement of your email showcasing endeavors. All email specialist organizations give you the alternative to making an autoresponder grouping, and it’s basic that you exploit it.

The underlying follow-up email ought to be sent promptly as an approach to present yourself and detail what you anticipate doing with your new supporter’s email address. It’s ideal to be indulgent and point by point than it is to be snappy and subtle, however in the event that you can pull off fast and compact then good luck with that.

From here, it’s only a question of satisfying their desires.

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10 Google Analytics Tips for eCommerce Websites

It has been decades since eCommerce has invaded the Internet. According to a current study, 40% of users worldwide have purchased products or goods through the Internet. On that scale, that amounts to more than a billion online buyers globally ¾ and it will continue to grow in the coming years.

With all that data to gather, perhaps one of the most effective tools in the industry of data analytics is Google’s very own Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a great tool that can give you the data you need to optimize your eCommerce strategy, and its features are yet to be explored by those who truly value data available at their fingertips.

To cut to the chase, here are tips you can use to optimize your efforts and strategies within your eCommerce site:

10-Google-Analytics-Tips-for-eCommerce-Websites

1. Block Out Referral Spam

However, I suggest a different method, a stress-free tool called Referrer Spam Blocker developed by Stijlbreuk, a digital agency from the Netherlands. You simply have to log in your Google Analytics account, visit their site, follow the instructions on the site, and voila! Just sit back and relax as it automatically filters all the spam. You can also import their own segment that filters these spam from your historical data.

Why do you need to block referral spam? Blocking these spam data can clean your Analytics and you can determine if a campaign is truly working or not. Referral spam only adds to your bounce rate, so if you’re experiencing a high bound rate these past few months, you should start installing filters on your Master View to filter spam in the future.
10-Google-Analytics-Tips-for-eCommerce-Websites

This is a perfect example of segmented data. Note that this was applied to an Unfiltered view, so whatever comes knocking on GA’s tracker, it records it and leaves it as it is. Applying the segment [RSB All Sessions] and Bounced Sessions gives us the data above.

This data is from May 2015 to March 2016. Since we can conclude that ghost spam sessions are bounced sessions, we can compare the data we have. However, there were reports of declining referral spam traffic early this year, that’s why there was a decline in bounced sessions in the report. Using the segment and the filters can help you determine the true state of your audience; are you gaining potential customers or just fluff traffic?

2. Install eCommerce Tracking to Unlock Ecommerce Conversions

ecommerce-overview

Installing eCommerce tracking is more complicated than your “paste before the tag”, but it will reap benefits that can help you dig deeper with Google Analytics. We recommend that you get this done by a trusted web developer. Moreover, you can use Google Tag Manager to make it easier for you to implement eCommerce Tracking.

3. Observe Audience Demographics and Interests

audience-demographics

Know your audience better with demographic and interest data. This way, you know what age group, gender, and interest category to target. This can be a guide in coming up with promotions, content marketing, and more. This website is an eCommerce site for plastic travel cases; judging from the data above, the majority of the buyers are male adults in their 25 to 34 years of age. Most of them are Technophiles or Automotive enthusiasts, with more emphasis on TV and Video. We can focus more on producing content that matches the interests of the audience to capture their attention, whether they may be new users or returning customers.

4. Determine Mobile Audience

mobile-audience

In this website, it is apparent that they do gain more traffic through desktop, but if you compare it from the previous period, you will notice a shift of acquisition between desktop, mobile, and tablet. While desktop reigns supreme, this gives you an idea to push for mobile site optimization.

5. See How You Fare Against the Competition: Benchmarking

bench

Allowing your account to send anonymous data to Google’s servers gives you this opportunity to see how you fare against the competition. This data was checked within the Travel Industry and in all regions of the United States; our statistics for this website was tested against 444 web properties who also contributed to Google. It’s a quick reflection of our status against competitors online, as well as a guide on where we should be focusing on next.

6. Set Up Site Search

Before you check out this feature at Google Analytics, you have to set up site search first.

site-search

This feature gives you insights on how your users use the search box on your site. The true beef of this feature is the Search Terms where you can see what terms your users typed in the search box. You can infer the most searched term and optimize the landing page where the keyword is primarily targeted.

7. Take a Peek on your eCommerce Overview

ecommerce-overview-2

After installing eCommerce Tracking on your site, you should expect to see this on your reports. Here you check your Top Revenue Sources by Product, Product SKU, Category, and even Source/Medium. Here we sorted it by Source / Medium. Surprisingly, this site was gaining more revenue through Yahoo!’s organic traffic, despite efforts to comply with Google’s guidelines.

8. Determine Product Performance

product-performance

With Google Analytics, you can automatically check the top performing product in your store. If you’re strategizing on what product to improve on, you can always refer back to this list. It is also possible to sort the list by Product Category.

9. Analyze Multi-Channel Funnels

multichannel-overview

multichannel-visualizer

We all know that a customer will come from different channels, and there will be times that conversions will be assisted channel per channel. Looking at the Multi-Channel Funnel Overview will give you an idea on where most of your conversions are happening. You can now target the channels that work best for your client!

10. Install Custom Reports

custom-reports

Finally, you can use Google Analytics to come up with your own customized reports! This is a Custom Report, generated to determine what day of the week the site has the most visits. You can import Custom Reports from the Google Analytics Gallery itself. Now you can plan your efforts on the day (even at a specific hour) that your campaign will be most effective!

Google Analytics is the best tool you can have if you’re short on budget for more advanced analytics tools. All you need is patience to install and configure your Analytics dashboard, and you’re ready to go!

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SEO Tips That You Must Start Employing Today

Every individual owing a website desires to see their web page on top of Google’s search results. To achieve this, each person strives towards making panda and penguin happy by setting every on-page SEO element right. In return, they hope that Google acknowledges the efforts and their site is gifted with a promotion in ranks. It often happens that even after setting every on-page SEO element right your site does not rank as desired.

This is where the role of off-page SEO comes into play. Offline SEO strategies play a major role in promoting your site and in certain situations prove to be more vital than on-page SEO strategies. You must be thinking what is so important about off-page SEO. A greater insight will help you understand the strategy better.

SEO Tips That You Must Start Employing Today

Points to ponder on:-

Off-page SEO refers to activities you undertake outside the boundaries of your website which help your web page to get ranked higher in Google’s search results. Mentioned below are 11 easy steps which if followed will not only make the bird and the bear happy but also raise your SERP ratings by considerable levels.

1. Blogs:-      

One of the greatest ways to promote your website in today’s world – blogs are meant to be written. Posting blogs on your website at regular intervals will engage Google more as regular updates will indicate that your site is under constant maintenance and activity. As Google prefers active sites as to dormant ones, this will help to give you a surge in SERP ratings. Moreover, regular blog posts will give your visitors a reason to return to your site at regular intervals.

Blogs should preferably consist of unique contents such as tutorials, question-answer forums and trending video links to keep your visitors engaged. In addition to this, you should comment on other blogs same as your genre, participate in question-answer forums which give you a chance to post a link to your blog in their comment or answer section. If visitors find it relevant, your site traffic is sure to increase.

2. Social Bookmarking:-      

Penguin and Panda love popular bookmarking sites such as Reddit, Stumbleupon, etc. Posting your blog links in these websites can give you a ranking surge as a content of these websites is updated regularly. If your blog has valid content which is related to the information on this site, people could find it useful to click on your link giving you that raise in ranking.

Bookmarking also helps to promote an author’s name to the world. If you have posted a link to your blog or website to Reddit and people there find it helpful and relevant to their needs, they are likely to share it more. This will help Google identify it as a genuine and relevant site which will help the site to get ranked higher through the process.

3. Acquire backlinks:-   

Acquire backlinks

I am sure, as a website owner, you would love to receive valid links to your site from trusted sources and so does Google. Receiving backlinks from higher ranked authentic sites will put your website in Google’s good books. If you are thinking how does it help? Well, web crawlers see that site as consisting of useful and relevant information. Useful content is always appreciated and awarded by Google.

But be careful as Penguin does not like spam links. Suppose your website represents clothes, while you receive a backlink from a blog post related to cars. Penguin identifies these as spams and would result in the de-ranking of your site. Therefore be sure to check you link surely.

4. Social Media Promotion:-      

Social Media Promotion

You are surely aware of all the major social networking sites such as Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Then you should also be aware of how to use it to give a push to your site’s SERP ratings. If not, then have a read.

Sharing your website or blog in one of these social networking sites offer a chance of free promotion. Since Facebook and Twitter are considered to be the biggest online platforms today, sharing your work in these places is sure to attract more viewers than any other place.

5. Market Forums:-      

Forum marketing involves getting involved in communities related to your genre. You can participate in online forums discussing a particular topic relevant to your website or blog. As a return, you can post “Do follow” links to your website with a chance of increasing online traffic. This also helps search engines to find your site more easily.

With the help of marketing forums, you can make yourself known to everybody. Moreover, if your site has unique and valuable content, visitors are likely to share it on other platforms giving that all needed exposure.

6. Local Listing techniques:-      

Instead of targeting a global audience, local listings are an important technique you can apply if it goes with your website’s niche. This also enables Google to find your site easily. Local listing refers to an online profile that will contain your company name, phone number, location and the service it provides. You can do local listing by submitting your site to Google Maps, Yahoo local, Yellow Pages, and Google+ Local.

7. Guest Blogging:-      

Guest-Blogging

If you can put in a little more labor for the good of your site, then guest posting is a very effective way. All you need to do is write and post content on some other websites or blogs related to your genre. When visitors see your website name mentioned in several places on a trusted website, they will judge your site as a reliable source of information which in turn will help your website’s traffic.

So how is it done? As mentioned, writing content and publishing it on another website is only the first step. What follows is putting a link to your website, sharing it on social media and keep visiting to answer queries and comments. Guest posting will help you build relations with you readers and is an effective way to get yourself known to others.

8. Submit to search engines:-      

This is considered as an effective way of internet marketing to increase rankings of a website or webpage. You can directly submit your website to search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. You can submit your website to two processes. Either you can submit one page at a time by using webmasters tools or you can submit your entire website. This is done by submitting the home page of your site to as many search engines as possible.

9. Directory Submission:-      

Listing your site in several directories or databases under concerned categories or subcategories is known as directory submission. Proper directory submission will enable you to get exposure, provide reliable backlinks and will help increase your blog’s overall earning. Chances are there, that you might also get paid post opportunities.

10. Ask:-      

Simply asking for a link is often quite beneficial what many of the bloggers forget to do. Suppose, your blog name has been mentioned in any article but without a link, you can simply ask that respective author to include a link to your blog. Moreover, you can also ask for a mention of your blog in return for a similar favor if both blogs are the same niche. Both bloggers gain equally and also helps up in building contacts.

11. Link Baiting:-      

The process by which you can get your visitors to share your website’s link is known as link baiting. The primary criteria of successful link baiting are creating quality and unique content. You should be able to make your readers believe that your site has that piece of information that is worth sharing.

In addition to this, do not forget to come up with engaging and attractive content which will compel a reader to click on your site. It must be kept in mind that one tactic is related to the other. Without quality content, an attractive link has no value. Similarly, in the absence of a catchy link, visitors are less likely to click on your site even if you have a catchy content written inside.

 SEO-Search-Engine-Optimisation

What are the benefits of using off-page SEO?

You can get the following advantages by using off-page SEO strategy the correct way:-

  • More traffic:
    As your page ranks higher, your website gets more visitors, followers and social media shares. This is a never ending process where the only criterion is to create good content and regularly update your website.
  • Online Branding:
    If your website manages to please Google through its offline SEO strategies, you will be rewarded for your hard work with online branding facilities from larger companies. In other words, large e-commerce sites will want to hire your page for advertising their products. This, in turn, increases not only your page value but generate that extra income.

Final words:

Therefore, it can be seen that not only online SEO’s, but off-line SEO strategies are very important as well. A survey from trusted sources has shown that people spend 70% of their time maintaining on-page SEO and the remaining 30% goes to off page SEO. Experts recommend a more balanced approach to make your site more SEO friendly. You must remember Google loves pages better optimized for SEO and that is what everyone is striving for today.

 

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How Long Will Keyword Research Remain Relevant In SEO?

Keyword research is often the first thing you do when planning a new SEO campaign (or auditing an older one). It provides the skeletal framework for a campaign, and for years has been a mainstay tool in the SEO expert’s belt. But over the past five years or so, keyword research has undergone some interesting evolutions, becoming less relevant in some ways and fundamentally changing in others.

If this trend continues, or if we see another major leap forward, could keyword research become totally irrelevant for SEO?

Why Keywords Matter in the First Place

Let’s remind us why keywords are important in the first place. The goal of SEO is to get your site ranked higher for various search queries—but how do you know which queries are best to rank for? This is where keyword research comes in. It allows you to find keywords that offer:

  • Relevance, so that all incoming queries directly relate to your business and are capable of making your inbound users satisfied with the results.
  • High traffic, so you have as many new people as possible seeing your site listed in search results.
  • Low competition, so you don’t have to work as hard to rank for your chosen queries.

This information allows you to selectively target valuable keywords and phrases to include in your site’s metadata and content.

Finding and keeping track of keywords also serves as a valuable metric which you can use to gauge the effectiveness of your campaign by tracking keyword rankings over time.

The Old Days of Keyword Research

Keyword research used to be pretty simple, back when optimizing for various keywords meant simply stuffing them into every meta tag, and as much throughout a page’s content as you could (along with exact-match keyword anchor text in link building efforts).

Through Google Analytics, Google used to offer tons of data about how people were searching and how they found your site through keywords, and once you had a list of keywords with high traffic and low competition, you could straightforwardly optimize for those queries.

Most Google queries featured a one-to-one search relationship; Google would take your word or phrase and look for near-exact matches to those words and phrases on the web.

Hummingbird and Semantic Search

Enter Google’s Hummingbird update, which rolled out originally in 2013. This update introduced a concept known as “semantic search,” which drastically changed how Google handled incoming queries. Rather than taking a user’s words and searching for matches on the web, Google now evaluates the intention behind a user’s query, and then finds appropriate results that match it. This may seem like a small difference, but it’s had a major impact on how search optimizers think about keywords.

For starters, including a keyword or phrase verbatim isn’t a surefire way to optimize for it, and it’s possible to gain rankings for semantically linked words and phrases that you didn’t optimize for directly – and sometimes ones that aren’t even present on the page that’s ranking for them! Check out this query I tested out just now, “that movie where the guy takes a pill to feel no emotion”:

HOW LONG WILL KEYWORD RESEARCH REMAIN RELEVANT IN SEO?

Yes, the movie I had in mind was Equilibrium. Bravo, Hummingbird!

Long-tail keyword phrases, which comprise many words linked together (usually in some kind of conversational query) have also become more popular, in part due to Hummingbird’s effects, and in part due to increased search competition forcing marketers to find less competitive, rarer phrases.

This has led to an interesting dichotomy in the search community; is it better to research and optimize for keywords, with the specific intention of building rankings for those keywords, or research potential content topics—focusing on general topical themes rather than keywords—to better serve your audience?

As the semantic search continues to become even more sophisticated, the power of individual keywords will continue to diminish, while the power of topical themes will continue to rise. Google is always getting better, and that means simple, calculated approaches will become less relevant over time.

Google’s Restriction of Keyword Data

Over the years, Google has also become increasingly protective of the keyword data it leads to marketers. It started with its restriction of keyword data in Google Analytics, preventing marketers from evaluating keyword-based traffic to their sites. Now, Google is throttling keyword data in AdWords (at least, for low-spending accounts), presumably in an effort to blind organic search marketers to this data.

What is Google thinking? First, Google wants to encourage more spending on its paid advertising in search results. Second, Google has always wanted to crack down on anyone trying to exploit quick wins in organic search rankings, to keep them fair and trusted by users. I imagine this trend will continue even further, though there are plenty of third-party tools to make up for what Google won’t give us directly, a few of which I covered here.

Looking Into the Future

New technologies are also shaping the way that people conduct searches. Digital assistants like Siri and Cortana are encouraging users to search for things through conversation, which fundamentally changes the way queries are input, as well as their structure since spoken queries are often much different than written ones.

They also introduce new search mechanics into the world of optimization, offering spoken responses rather than search results pages that list relevant results.

New technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and wearables could have a similar and complementary effect, further prompting people to change the way they search, and possibly disrupting the ranking system altogether; small screens and new types of interfaces may someday totally change how we interact with search results.