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Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): How To Get Started

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Right now, the internet has more than 1.1 billion websites operating across more than 271 million unique domains. That’s a nearly unfathomable number of pages competing for a finite amount of traffic, views, and clicks.

If you’re getting your fair share of them, congratulations – you’re on the right path. But just getting visitors to your website isn’t enough, particularly if you’re running any type of business.

No, you need to convert those visitors once they end up on your site. And you need to do this effectively and efficiently.

One of the best ways to do that is by implementing a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy.

If you do this right, you’ll not only improve your quality of leads, but you’ll also increase revenue and lower your customer acquisition cost. In other words, it will help you grow. 

In this piece, we’ll dig deeper into CRO, discuss why you should care about it, and provide some best practices for maximizing your conversion rate. 

What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion rate optimization is the systematic process of increasing the percentage of users and visitors who take a specific action on your website, social channels, or other online marketing campaigns.

To successfully improve your conversion rate, you must deeply understand your users. You need to understand how they navigate your website, interact with your content, and ultimately take action.

Examples Of Conversions

Conversions can be any number of things, but some of the most common are:

  • Making a purchase.
  • Filling out a form.
  • Signing up for a newsletter.
  • Adding a product to their shopping cart.
  • Clicking a link.
  • Downloading a piece of content.
  • Turning an occasional customer into a regular customer.

In other words, a conversion can be any action a user performs that results in you collecting their information, making a sale, or otherwise gaining insight into how they interact with your campaigns.

Key Benefits Of Conversion Rate Optimization

Okay, you might be saying right now, I get the importance of CRO as an overall part of a digital marketing strategy, but what does this have to do with SEO?

A lot, actually, both for SEO professionals and the businesses they work for. 

Some of the benefits of CRO include:

Increased User Engagement

Conversion rate optimization improves the way visitors interact with your website and within your campaigns, leading to better engagement and, ultimately, conversions.

An increase in engagement metrics can provide valuable insights into your campaigns’ performance and what entices users to take action.

Better ROI

CRO leads to higher conversion rates, which means you are getting more bang for your marketing buck.

It allows you to land more customers without necessarily generating more traffic or increasing your marketing budget.

Valuable User Insights

The process of CRO requires you to develop a better understanding of your audience. And this, in turn, improves your overall marketing efforts and content.

It helps you be better prepared to reach the right types of customers with the right messaging at the right time.

Enhanced Customer Trust

Many conversions require users to provide their contact information (email address, name, phone number, etc.) in exchange for content like an ebook or information about your services.

But before they’re willing to hand over their info, they need to trust your site. CRO helps you build customer trust and leaves a positive impression on potential customers.

Scalability

Even the biggest markets only have a finite pool of prospects you can tap into – and the more specialized your niche, the smaller that pool is. CRO allows you to make the most of your existing audience (i.e., traffic) to attract new customers.

By improving your conversion rate, you’ll scale your business without running out of potential customers.

How To Calculate Conversion Rate

Before we can get optimizing, we need to first discuss how to arrive at your conversion rate. Don’t worry – no higher math is required.

The conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the total number of users or website visitors, then multiplying this figure by 100 to generate a percentage.

For example, if your website generated 20 contact form fills and 1,000 visitors in one month, your conversion rate would be: 20 / 1,000 = 0.02 x 100 = 2%.

Calculating your conversion rate enables you to set a benchmark for how your webpage or campaign is currently performing.

This means you can compare the results of any changes you make and the corresponding results you generate to your original conversion rate, letting you know what’s working – and what isn’t.

What’s Considered A “Good” Conversion Rate?

There is no single, universal figure that qualifies as a “good” conversion rate. What’s even considered an “average” conversion rate varies across industries, niches, campaigns, and specific conversion goals.

Depending on who you ask, however, a rough global average is anywhere from 1-4%.

This might not necessarily be true for you. In reality, the best measure of what’s considered average is to calculate your past and current conversion rates and compare them to future results.

Instead of obsessing over what’s considered a “good” conversion rate (most businesses don’t publish this information, anyway), you’re better off digging into what drives your particular audience – and then delivering the value they’re searching for.

What Is The CRO Process?

Now that we have that all out of the way, let’s talk about the CRO process.

Conversion rate optimization is the process of optimizing your website, landing page, or marketing campaign to improve the probability of a user taking a desired action.

This optimization process is informed by past user behavior, customer insights, and CRO best practices.

The basic process is as follows:

Audience Research

Surveying your audience and digging into past customer behavior analytics to understand what users are interested in, what they’re struggling with, and how they interact with your brand.

Optimization

Using these new insights to optimize your campaigns or webpages for conversions.

These might include writing more compelling web copy, adding enticing calls-to-action, redesigning your site for better user experience (UX), or removing bottlenecks from your sales funnel.

A/B Testing

Most CRO changes are not one and done. You will want to measure your adjustments against different components to see which ones truly move the needle.

For example, you may test one call-to-action versus another to see which performs better (i.e., has a higher conversion rate).

It may be tempting to skip this step, but don’t – that can lead to false positives.

Let’s say, for example, you changed your CTA like we just described, but you also changed your product descriptions. Which one do you attribute your sales increase to? A/B testing lets you know.

Measurement

Use analytics software (like Google Analytics) to measure the success of your campaigns.

Create goals to track conversions and then calculate your conversion rate by comparing this to your total traffic numbers.

Ongoing Adjustments

Monitor your analytics to track the success (or failure) of your campaigns or webpages. Make adjustments as needed to improve your conversion rate.

Components Of Successful CRO

CRO is a comprehensive process involving various components, from the design of your landing page to the contact forms you use.

A successful CRO campaign requires an in-depth analysis of your target audience, multiple tests to measure performance, and ongoing optimization to ensure maximum results.

There are a limitless number of things you can experiment with to optimize your conversion rate. Still, throughout this process, you’re likely to address a few core elements, regardless of industry:

Design

How your website and landing pages look plays an important role in CRO. An aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-navigate design will improve usability and make it easier for users to convert.

When designing your landing pages, work with a web designer who understands CRO and how users typically navigate a website.

Your site should be responsive and accessible, making it easy for visitors to find what they want. Your fonts and include interactive menus should be easily readable to anyone.

Site Speed

Fast website load speed is an essential part of both SEO and CRO. The longer it takes for your website to load, the more likely users will drop off and go elsewhere.

Ideally, your website should load in under three seconds on both desktop and mobile devices. Decrease image file sizes and remove slow-loading website elements to ensure fast load time. This alone can increase conversions to your site.

Copy

Web copy refers to the words users read on your website and landing pages. Skilled copywriters can craft copy that speaks to the unique needs of your target audience. It’s not enough to simply write “off the cuff” and hope for the best.

This is another place where audience research comes into play. If you know what your audience is struggling with and the solutions they’re looking for, you’ll be able to communicate the value of your offer.

Ultimately, you’re trying to convince users that your service or product is the best solution for their needs.

Call-To-Action

A call-to-action is an often short, concise appeal to users to take some sort of action on your site. The most commonly seen phrases are things like “Contact Us,” “Buy Now,” and “Work With Us.” However, you can get as creative as you like as long as you’re asking the visitor to perform an action.

For example, if you know your audience is interested in a particular offer, your CTA can be more obvious, like “Buy X Here” or “Download Y Now.”

A best practice is to make it obvious what users will get once they click on a link or submit their information.

Navigation

Your site’s structure should be built with the primary goal of making your website easy for users to navigate. You should have a logical layout of where your pages exist on your site and how they interact with each other.

Most sites adopt a hierarchical site structure, with the most important pages living in the main menu and subpages in the dropdown menu. Ideally, your web pages should not be “buried” more than three clicks away from the home page.

Consider how a typical user might navigate your site. Even better, look at a content drill-down report of your site to see how users journey from one page to another.

This might look something like:

  1. Home.
  2. Services page.
  3. Individual service page.
  4. Contact page.
  5. Goal completion (form fill).

Or, for an ecommerce site:

  1. Home.
  2. Products page.
  3. Product category page.
  4. Individual product page.
  5. Add to cart.
  6. Cart checkout.
  7. Thank You page.

Overall, creating an easy-to-navigate website is key to increasing conversions, building customer trust, and improving customer loyalty over time.

Forms

Contact forms are the most popular tool website owners use to collect user information, particularly for service and agency sites. Ecommerce sites, on the other hand, might have individual product pages and a typical shopping cart function.

Your contact forms should be functional and easy to use. By this, we mean that users should easily be able to submit their information. These form fills should be collected within your website to ensure quick follow-up.

Here are a few CRO best practices for using contact forms:

  • The fewer the fields, the better (typically). At the very least, you should collect information that allows you to follow up with leads promptly. If you want to better qualify your leads, you can add additional fields, like Industry or Budget.
  • Design matters. Good-looking forms typically equate to a better user experience. Make your text easy to read, use consistent styling, and make sure the submission button is clickable.
  • Consider customer privacy. With the introduction of GDPR and other consumer privacy laws, it’s become increasingly important to let users know how their information will be collected and used. You should always include a disclaimer that states what users are subscribing to, how you will be in contact with them, and whether they can unsubscribe at any time.

How To Measure Conversion Rate

Several quantitative tools allow you to collect data to track conversions on your website. These include general analytics tools like Google Analytics, website heat map tools like Hotjar, sales funnel tools, and contact form analytics tools.

Basically, any tool that allows you to:

  1. Track conversions or goal completions
  2. See website traffic data (which can be used to calculate your conversion rates).

By measuring your conversion rate, you’ll have data on how your site has performed in the past and how it’s performing now.

Then you can use a variety of CRO tactics to generate even more leads, customers, and revenue for your business.

Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices – Do They Work?

CRO best practices are, by definition, practices that have worked for businesses in the past. This means that the quick CRO “hacks” may not necessarily apply to your business, nor might they be relevant to businesses in the modern day.

With this in mind, businesses should be wary of adopting any CRO best practices without proper measurement and an in-depth understanding of their target audience.

For example, it’s commonly believed that a few simple tweaks are all it takes to improve conversions. These “tips” often include:

  • A/B testing headlines.
  • Changing the color of CTAs.
  • Including contact forms on every page.
  • Always adding customer testimonials.
  • Offering discounts.

Just because something worked for one business doesn’t mean it will work for yours.

Your best bet is to focus on what’s working with your particular audience and then use your own creativity to make adjustments that will improve your conversion rates over time.

Uncommon CRO Tactics

Today’s most progressive brands aren’t following trends – they’re setting them.

To stay ahead of the curve, you might want to adopt some uncommon CRO tactics and measure their impact on your business.

At the same time, keep a close eye on how users interact with your site and use these insights to make adjustments over time.

For example, some CRO-related technology and tactics to look into include:

  • AI-driven CRO tools.
  • Keyword research tools.
  • On-site customer surveys.
  • Mouse tracking and website heat maps.
  • Personalized product suggestions.

How To Improve Your Conversion Rate

By this point, it should be clear: CRO depends on carefully monitoring your customers, tracking their behavior and how they interact with your site, and comparing that information over time.

And while there are tools available for measuring traffic, engagement, and goal completions, no single CRO strategy will work for every site.

No, what works for your website depends entirely on your target audience, what you’re promoting, and user experiences.

For example, you wouldn’t expect a target audience of upper-middle-class men shopping for luxury sedans to behave like teenage girls looking for hoodies.

So, what works for the first audience may have no impact on the second, and vice versa.

But I will promise you this: If you fine-tune your UX, implement A/B testing, improve your website copy, and experiment with CTAs. Eventually, you’ll hit on the conversion formula you need.

More Resources:


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7 Ways To Use Google Trends For SEO & Content Marketing

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Google Trends is a surprisingly useful tool for keyword research, especially when using advanced search options that are virtually hidden in plain sight.

Explore the different Google Trends menus and options and discover seemingly endless ways to gain more keyword search volume insights.

Learn new ways to unlock the power of one of Google’s most important SEO tools.

The Value Of Google Trends

While Google Trends is accurate, it doesn’t show the amount of traffic in actual numbers.

It shows the numbers of queries made in relative percentages on a scale of zero to 100.

Unlike Google Trends, paid SEO tools provide traffic volume numbers for keywords.

But those numbers are only estimates that are extrapolated from a mix of internet traffic data providers, Google Keyword Planner, scraped search results, and other sources.

The clickstream data usually comes from anonymized traffic data acquired from users of certain pop-up blockers, browser plugins, and some free anti-virus software.

The SEO tools then apply a calculation that corresponds to their best guess of how that data correlates with Google keyword search and traffic volume.

So, even though paid SEO tools provide estimates of keyword traffic, the data presented by Google Trends is based on actual search queries and not guesses.

That’s not to say that Google Trends is better than paid keyword tools. When used together with paid keyword tools, one can obtain a near-accurate idea of true keyword search volume.

There are other functions in Google Trends that can help dial in accurate segmentation of the keyword data that helps to understand what geographic locations are best for promotional efforts and also discover new and trending keywords.

How To Use Google Trends For SEO

1. Get More Accurate Data By Comparing Keywords

Google Trends shows a relative visualization of traffic on a scale of zero to 100.

You can’t really know if the trend is reporting hundreds of keyword searches or thousands because the graph is on a relative scale of zero to one hundred.

However, the relative numbers can have more meaning when they are compared with keywords for which there are known traffic levels from another keyword phrase.

One way to do this is to compare keyword search volume with a keyword whose accurate traffic numbers are already known, for example, from a PPC campaign.

If the keyword volume is especially large for which you don’t have a keyword to compare, there’s another way to find a keyword to use for comparison.

A comparison keyword doesn’t have to be related. It can be in a completely different vertical and could even be the name of a trending celebrity.

The important thing is the general keyword volume data.

Google publishes a Google Trends Daily Trends webpage that shows trending search queries.

What’s useful about this page is that Google provides keyword volumes in numbers, like 100,000+ searches per day, etc.

Example Of How To Pinpoint Search Volume

I’m going to use the search phrase [how to lose weight] as an example of how to use Google Trends to get a close idea of actual search volume.

The way I do it is by using known search volumes and comparing them to the target keyword phrase.

Google provides search volumes on its trending searches page, which can be adjusted for what’s trending in any country.

On this particular day (September 22, 2022), the actress Ana De Armas was trending with 50,000+ searches, and the American ex-football player (keyword phrase [Bret Favre News]) was trending with 20,000+ searches.

Step 1. Find Search Trends For Target Keyword Phrases

The target keyword phrase we’re researching is [how to lose weight].

Below is a screenshot of the one-year trend for the target keyword phrase:

Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022Screenshot of Google Trends for keyword phrase

As you can see, it’s a fairly stable trend line from September 2021 to September 2022.

Then I added the two keyword phrases for which we have a close search volume count to compare all three, but for a 24-hour time period.

I use a 24-hour time period because the search volume for our comparison keywords is trending for this one day.

Google Trends ComparisonScreenshot from Google Trends, September 2022Google Trends Comparison

Our target keyword phrase, with a red trend line, is right in the middle, in between the keyword phrases [Ana De Armas] (blue) and [Bret Favre News] (yellow).

What the above comparison tells us is that the phrase [how to lose weight] has a keyword volume of more than 20,000+ searches but less than 50,000+ searches.

The relative search volume of [how to lose weight] is 50% of the keyword phrase [Ana De Armas]. 

Because we know that [Ana De Armas] has a search volume of approximately 50,000+ searches on this particular day, and [Bret Favre News] has a search volume of 20,000+ queries on the same day, we can say with reasonable accuracy that the keyword phrase, [how to lose weight] has approximately a daily search volume of around 30,000 on an average day, give or take a few thousand.

The actual numbers could be higher because Google Trends shows the highs and lows at particular points of the day. The total for the day is very likely higher.

The above hack isn’t 100% accurate. But it’s enough to give a strong ballpark idea and can be used to compare with and validate extrapolated data from a paid keyword research tool.

Related: How To Do Keyword Research For SEO

2. Discover Insights From Time-based Trends

There are two general ways to look at the keyword data: stretched across over longer periods of time and shorter time periods.

Long Period Trends

You can set Google Trends to show you the traffic trends stretching back to 2004. This is valuable for showing you the audience trends.

  • Upward Long-Term Trends: If a trend is consistently going up, this means you need to focus energy on creating content for this trend.
  • Downward Long-Term Trends: If the trend line is steadily moving down, then it may be a signal that audience content consumption is changing.

For example, review this five-year trend for [WordPress] the search term, WordPress the software, and WordPress the website:

An image of Google Trends tool showing a five year trend.Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022An image of Google Trends tool showing a five year trend.

There’s a clear downward trend for WordPress in all three variations.

The downward trend extends to related phrases such as:

  • WordPress themes.
  • WordPress plugin.
  • WordPress hosting.

There are many reasons why search trends go down. It can be that people lost interest, that the interest went somewhere else or that the trend is obsolete.

The digital camera product category is a good example of a downward spiral caused by a product being replaced by something else.

  • The digital camera caused the downturn in searches for traditional analog cameras.
  • The iPhone started the downward spiral of the digital camera.

Knowing which way the wind is blowing could help a content marketer or publisher understand when it’s time to bail on a topic or product category and to pivot to upward-trending ones.

Related: Content Marketing: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

3. Related Topics And Queries

Google Trends has two great features, one called Related Topics and the other Related Queries.

Topics

Topics are search queries that share a concept.

Identifying related topics that are trending upwards is useful for learning how an audience or consumer demand is shifting.

This information can, in turn, provide ideas for content generation or new product selections.

According to Google:

Related Topics

Users searching for your term also searched for these topics.

You Can View by the Following Metrics

Top – The most popular topics. Scoring is on a relative scale where a value of 100 is the most commonly searched topic and a value of 50 is a topic searched half as often as the most popular term, and so on.

Rising – Related topics with the biggest increase in search frequency since the last time period.

Results marked “Breakout” had a tremendous increase, probably because these topics are new and had few (if any) prior searches.”

Related Queries

The description of Related Queries is similar to that of the Related Topics.

Top queries are generally the most popular searches. Rising Queries are queries that are becoming popular.

Screenshot of Google Trends Related Queries feature.Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022Screenshot of Google Trends Related Queries feature.

The data from Rising Queries are great for staying ahead of the competition.

4. Short-Term Trends Can Bring Massive Traffic

Viewing keyword trends in the short view, such as the 90-day or even 30-day view, can reveal valuable insights for capitalizing on rapidly changing search trends.

There is a ton of traffic in Google Discover as well as in Google News.

Google Discover is tied to trending topics related to searches.

Google News is of the moment in terms of current events.

Sites that target either of those traffic channels benefit from knowing what the short-term trends are.

A benefit of viewing short-term trends (30 days and 90 trends) is that certain days of the week stand out when those searches are popular.

Knowing which days of the week interest spikes for a given topic can help in planning when to publish certain kinds of topics, so the content is right there when the audience is searching for it.

5. Keywords By Category

Google Trends has the functionality for narrowing down keyword search query inventory according to category topics.

This provides more accurate keyword data.

The Categories tab is important because it refines your keyword research to the correct context.

If your keyword context is [automobiles], then it makes sense to appropriately refine Google Trends to show just the data for the context of auto.

By narrowing the Google Trends data by category, you will be able to find more accurate information related to the topics you are researching for content within the correct context.

6. Identify Keyword Data By Geography

Google Trends keyword information by geographic location can be used for determining what areas are the best to outreach to for site promotion or for tailoring the content to specific regions.

For example, if certain kinds of products are popular in Washington D.C. and Texas, it makes sense to aim promotional activity and localized content to those areas.

In fact, it might be useful to focus link-building promotional activities in those areas first since the interest is higher in those parts of the country.

Keyword popularity information by region is valuable for link building, content creation, content promotion, and pay-per-click.

Localizing content (and the promotion of that content) can make it more relevant to the people who are interested in that content (or product).

Google ranks pages according to who it’s most relevant, so incorporating geographic nuance into your content can help it rank for the most people.

7. Target Search Intents With Search Types

Google Trends gives you the ability to further refine the keyword data by segmenting it by the type of search the data comes from, the Search Type.

Refining your Google Trends research by the type of search allows you to remove the “noise” that might be making your keyword research fuzzy and help it become more accurate and meaningful.

Google Trends data can be refined by:

  • Web Search.
  • Image Search.
  • News Search.
  • Google Shopping.
  • YouTube Search.
Screenshot of Google Trends showing the different kinds of searchesScreenshot from Google Trends, September 2022Screenshot of Google Trends showing the different kinds of searches

YouTube search is a fantastic way to identify search trends for content with the word “how” because a lot of people search on YouTube using phrases with the words “how” in them.

Although these are searches conducted on YouTube, the trends data is useful because it shows what users are looking for.

A Google Trends search for how, what, where, when, why, and who shows that search queries beginning with the word “how” are by far the most popular on YouTube.

Google Trends limits comparisons to five keywords, so the following screenshot omits that word.

Screenshot of Keyword Popularity on YouTube.Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022Screenshot of Keyword Popularity on YouTube.

If your keyword phrases involve instructional content that uses words like “how to,” refining your research with the YouTube search type may provide useful insights.

For example, I have found that YouTube Search shows more relevant “related topics” and “related queries” data than researching with “web search” selected.

Here’s another example of how using different kinds of search types helps refine Google Trends data.

I did the same how, what, where, when, why, and who searches but this time using the News Search refinement.

Screenshot of Google Trends with News Search refinement selectedScreenshot from Google Trends, September 2022Screenshot of Google Trends with News Search refinement selected

The search trends in Google News are remarkably different than the search patterns on YouTube. That’s because people want to know the “what” and “how” types of information in Google News.

When creating content related to news, identifying the correct angle to report a news item is important.

Knowing that the words “what” or “who” are most relevant to a topic can be useful for crafting the title to what the readers are most interested in.

The above is the view of search queries for the past 90 days.

When the same keywords are searched using the 5-year perspective, it becomes clear that the “who” type keywords tend to spike according to current events.

As an example of how current events influence trends, the biggest spike in searches with the word “who” occurred in the days after the 2020 presidential election.

Every Search Type query refinement shows a different help to refine the results so that they show more accurate information.

So, give the Search Type selections a try because the information that is provided may be more accurate and useful than the more general and potentially noisy “web search” version.

Unlock The Hidden Power Of Google Trends

Free tools are generally considered to be less useful than paid tools. That’s not necessarily the case with Google Trends.

This article lists seven ways to discover useful search-related trends and patterns that are absolutely accurate, more than some search-related data from paid tools.

What’s especially notable is that this article only begins to scratch the surface of all the information that’s available.

Check out Google Trends and learn additional ways to mix different search patterns to obtain even more useful information.

More Resources:


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Trevor Lawrence suffers leg injury on sack during game against Lions, but able to return

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Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Trevor Lawrence suffered an injury to his left foot at the end of the first half of Sunday’s game against the Lions, an injury that looked devastating and had Jaguars fans praying for the best.

Lawrence was twisted awkwardly by James Houston swinging his left leg under him on the sack. He was writhing in pain after the play and was being looked after by the coaches. Lawrence was able to run under his own power and returned to the sideline early in the second half.

Lawrence has been durable throughout his career, missing only a few snaps last year while under investigation for an ankle injury.

Lawrence is in the midst of a redemptive second season in the NFL. His rookie year was overshadowed by Urban Meyer’s disastrous tenure and Lawrence’s struggles. He had just 12 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions last year. Lawrence has looked like a franchise quarterback this season, throwing for 16 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

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Rackspace Hosted Exchange Outage Due to Security Incident

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Rackspace hosted Exchange suffered a catastrophic outage beginning December 2, 2022 and is still ongoing as of 12:37 AM December 4th. Initially described as connectivity and login issues, the guidance was eventually updated to announce that they were dealing with a security incident.

Rackspace Hosted Exchange Issues

The Rackspace system went down in the early morning hours of December 2, 2022. Initially there was no word from Rackspace about what the problem was, much less an ETA of when it would be resolved.

Customers on Twitter reported that Rackspace was not responding to support emails.

A Rackspace customer privately messaged me over social media on Friday to relate their experience:

“All hosted Exchange clients down over the past 16 hours.

Not sure how many companies that is, but it’s significant.

They’re serving a 554 long delay bounce so people emailing in aren’t aware of the bounce for several hours.”

The official Rackspace status page offered a running update of the outage but the initial posts had no information other than there was an outage and it was being investigated.

The first official update was on December 2nd at 2:49 AM:

“We are investigating an issue that is affecting our Hosted Exchange environments. More details will be posted as they become available.”

Thirteen minutes later Rackspace began calling it a “connectivity issue.”

“We are investigating reports of connectivity issues to our Exchange environments.

Users may experience an error upon accessing the Outlook Web App (Webmail) and syncing their email client(s).”

By 6:36 AM the Rackspace updates described the ongoing problem as “connectivity and login issues” then later that afternoon at 1:54 PM Rackspace announced they were still in the “investigation phase” of the outage, still trying to figure out what went wrong.

And they were still calling it “connectivity and login issues” in their Cloud Office environments at 4:51 PM that afternoon.

Rackspace Recommends Migrating to Microsoft 365

Four hours later Rackspace referred to the situation as a “significant failure”and began offering their customers free Microsoft Exchange Plan 1 licenses on Microsoft 365 as a workaround until they understood the problem and could bring the system back online.

The official guidance stated:

“We experienced a significant failure in our Hosted Exchange environment. We proactively shut down the environment to avoid any further issues while we continue work to restore service. As we continue to work through the root cause of the issue, we have an alternate solution that will re-activate your ability to send and receive emails.

At no cost to you, we will be providing you access to Microsoft Exchange Plan 1 licenses on Microsoft 365 until further notice.”

Rackspace Hosted Exchange Security Incident

It was not until nearly 24 hours later at 1:57 AM on December 3rd that Rackspace officially announced that their hosted Exchange service was suffering from a security incident.

The announcement further revealed that the Rackspace technicians had powered down and disconnected the Exchange environment.

Rackspace posted:

“After further analysis, we have determined that this is a security incident.

The known impact is isolated to a portion of our Hosted Exchange platform. We are taking necessary actions to evaluate and protect our environments.”

Twelve hours later that afternoon they updated the status page with more information that their security team and outside experts were still working on solving the outage.

Was Rackspace Service Affected by a Vulnerability?

Rackspace has not released details of the security event.

A security event generally involves a vulnerability and there are two severe vulnerabilities currently in the wile that were patched in November 2022.

These are the two most current vulnerabilities:

  • CVE-2022-41040
    Microsoft Exchange Server Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) Vulnerability
    A Server Side Request Forgery (SSRF) attack allows a hacker to read and change data on the server.
  • CVE-2022-41082
    Microsoft Exchange Server Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
    A Remote Code Execution Vulnerability is one in which an attacker is able to run malicious code on a server.

An advisory published in October 2022 described the impact of the vulnerabilities:

“An authenticated remote attacker can perform SSRF attacks to escalate privileges and execute arbtirary PowerShell code on vulnerable Microsoft Exchange servers.

As the attack is targeted against Microsoft Exchange Mailbox server, the attacker can potentially gain access to other resources via lateral movement into Exchange and Active Directory environments.”

The Rackspace outage updates have not indicated what the specific problem was, only that it was a security incident.

The most current status update as of December 4th stated that the service is still down and customers are encouraged to migrate to the Microsoft 365 service.

Rackspace posted the following on December 4, 2022 at 12:37 AM:

“We continue to make progress in addressing the incident. The availability of your service and security of your data is of high importance.

We have committed extensive internal resources and engaged world-class external expertise in our efforts to minimize negative impacts to customers.”

It’s possible that the above noted vulnerabilities are related to the security incident affecting the Rackspace Hosted Exchange service.

There has been no announcement of whether customer information has been compromised. This event is still ongoing.


Featured image by Shutterstock/Orn Rin

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A Comprehensive Guide To Marketing Attribution Models

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We all know that customers interact with a brand through multiple channels and campaigns (online and offline) along their path to conversion.

Surprisingly, within the B2B sector, the average customer is exposed to a brand 36 times before converting into a customer.

With so many touchpoints, it is difficult to really pin down just how much a marketing channel or campaign influenced the decision to buy.

This is where marketing attribution comes in.

Marketing attribution provides insights into the most effective touchpoints along the buyer journey.

In this comprehensive guide, we simplify everything you need to know to get started with marketing attribution models, including an overview of your options and how to use them.

What Is Marketing Attribution?

Marketing attribution is the rule (or set of rules) that says how the credit for a conversion is distributed across a buyer’s journey.

How much credit each touchpoint should get is one of the more complicated marketing topics, which is why so many different types of attribution models are used today.

6 Common Attribution Models

There are six common attribution models, and each distributes conversion value across the buyer’s journey differently.

Don’t worry. We will help you understand all of the models below so you can decide which is best for your needs.

Note: The examples in this guide use Google Analytics 4 cross-channel rules-based models.

Cross-channel rules-based means that it ignores direct traffic. This may not be the case if you use alternative analytics software.

1. Last Click

The last click attribution model gives all the credit to the marketing touchpoint that happens directly before conversion.

Last Click helps you understand which marketing efforts close sales.

For example, a user initially discovers your brand by watching a YouTube Ad for 30 seconds (engaged view).

Later that day, the same user Googles your brand and clicks through an organic search result.

The following week this user is shown a retargeting ad on Facebook, clicks through, and signs up for your email newsletter.

The next day, they click through the email and convert to a customer.

Under a last-click attribution model, 100% of the credit for that conversion is given to email, the touchpoint that closed the sale.

2. First Click

The first click is the opposite of the last click attribution model.

All of the credit for any conversion that may happen is awarded to the first interaction.

The first click helps you to understand which channels create brand awareness.

It doesn’t matter if the customer clicked through a retargeting ad and later converted through an email visit.

If the customer initially interacted with your brand through an engaged YouTube view, Paid Video gets full credit for that conversion because it started the journey.

3. Linear

Linear attribution provides a look at your marketing strategy as a whole.

This model is especially useful if you need to maintain awareness throughout the entire buyer journey.

Credit for conversion is split evenly among all the channels a customer interacts with.

Let’s look at our example: Each of the four touchpoints (Paid Video, Organic, Paid Social, and Email) all get 25% of the conversion value because they’re all given equal credit.

4. Time Decay

Time Decay is useful for short sales cycles like a promotion because it considers when each touchpoint occurred.

The first touch gets the least amount of credit, while the last click gets the most.

Using our example:

  • Paid Video (YouTube engaged view) would get 10% of the credit.
  • Organic search would get 20%.
  • Paid Social (Facebook ad) gets 30%.
  • Email, which occurred the day of the conversion, gets 40%.

Note: Google Analytics 4 distributes this credit using a seven-day half-life.

5. Position-Based

The position-based (U-shaped) approach divides credit for a sale between the two most critical interactions: how a client discovered your brand and the interaction that generated a conversion.

With position-based attribution modeling, Paid Video (YouTube engaged view) and Email would each get 40% of the credit because they were the first and last interaction within our example.

Organic search and the Facebook Ad would each get 10%.

6. Data-Driven (Cross-Channel Linear)

Google Analytics 4 has a unique data-driven attribution model that uses machine learning algorithms.

Credit is assigned based on how each touchpoint changes the estimated conversion probability.

It uses each advertiser’s data to calculate the actual contribution an interaction had for every conversion event.

Best Marketing Attribution Model

There isn’t necessarily a “best” marketing attribution model, and there’s no reason to limit yourself to just one.

Comparing performance under different attribution models will help you to understand the importance of multiple touchpoints along your buyer journey.

Model Comparison In Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

If you want to see how performance changes by attribution model, you can do that easily with GA4.

To access model comparison in Google Analytics 4, click “Advertising” in the left-hand menu and then click “Model comparison” under “Attribution.”

Screenshot from GA4, July 2022GA4 Marketing Attribution Model Comparison

By default, the conversion events will be all, the date range will be the last 28 days, and the dimension will be the default channel grouping.

Start by selecting the date range and conversion event you want to analyze.

GA4 model comparison_choose event and date rangeScreenshot from GA4, July 2022GA4 model comparison_choose event and date range

You can add a filter to view a specific campaign, geographic location, or device using the edit comparison option in the top right of the report.

GA4 Model comparison filterScreenshot from GA4, July 2022GA4 Model comparison filter

Select the dimension to report on and then use the drown-down menus to select the attribution models to compare.

GA4 model comparison_select dimensionScreenshot from GA4, July 2022GA4 model comparison_select dimension

GA4 Model Comparison Example

Let’s say you’re asked to increase new customers to the website.

You could open Google Analytics 4 and compare the “last-click” model to the “first-click” model to discover which marketing efforts start customers down the path to conversion.

GA4 model comparison_increase new customersScreenshot from GA4, July 2022GA4 model comparison_increase new customers

In the example above, we may choose to look further into the email and paid search further because they appear to be more effective at starting customers down the path to conversion than closing the sale.

How To Change Google Analytics 4 Attribution Model

If you choose a different attribution model for your company, you can edit your attribution settings by clicking the gear icon in the bottom left-hand corner.

Open Attribution Settings under the property column and click the Reporting attribution model drop-down menu.

Here you can choose from the six cross-channel attribution models discussed above or the “ads-preferred last click model.”

Ads-preferred gives full credit to the last Google Ads click along the conversion path.

edit GA4 attribution settingsScreenshot from GA4, July 2022edit GA4 attribution settings

Please note that attribution model changes will apply to historical and future data.

Final Thoughts

Determining where and when a lead or purchase occurred is easy. The hard part is defining the reason behind a lead or purchase.

Comparing attribution modeling reports help us to understand how the entire buyer journey supported the conversion.

Looking at this information in greater depth enables marketers to maximize ROI.

Got questions? Let us know on Twitter or Linkedin.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Andrii Yalanskyi/Shutterstock

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Top 10 Essential Website Optimization Strategies

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Google officially launched 24 years ago in 1998.

A lot has changed since then, but one thing remains the same. If you simply focus on the basics, you can still be highly successful online.

Of course, the basics in 2022 are much different from the basics in 1998. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and distracted. It has never been more important to be disciplined in one’s approach to SEO.

So, the obvious question is this: What are the factors to concentrate on? How can one boost rankings? How can anyone build traffic in such a competitive environment?

This post will delve into which factors carry the most weight and how to optimize for each.

1. Search Intent

As machine learning, artificial intelligence, and deep learning continue to evolve, each will carry more weight in the Google Core Algorithm.

The end goal for Google is to understand the context of a given search query and to serve results consistent with the user intent. This makes advanced-level keyword research and keyword selection more important than ever.

Before spending time and resources trying to rank for a phrase, you will need to look at the websites that are currently at the top of the SERPs for that phrase.

A keyword’s contextual relevance must align with a search query. There will be some keywords and queries that will be impossible to rank for.

For example, if Google has determined that people searching for “Personal Injury Attorney [insert city]” want a list of lawyers to choose from, then a series of trusted law directories will appear at the top of the SERPs.

An individual or single firm will not supplant those directories. In those cases, you will need to refine your strategy.

2. Technical SEO

The foundation for technical SEO is having a solid website architecture.

One cannot simply publish a random collection of pages and posts. An SEO-friendly site architecture will guide users throughout your site and make it easy for Google to crawl and index your pages.

Once you have the right architecture in place, it’s time to perform a technical or SEO audit.

Thanks to the many SEO tools available, an SEO audit is no longer a daunting task. That said, the key is to know how to interpret the data provided and what to do with it.

For starters, you should check the following and fix any issues that are uncovered:

  • Check for status code errors and correct them.
  • Check the robot.txt for errors. Optimize if needed.
  • Check your site indexing via Google Search Console. Examine and fix any issues discovered.
  • Fix duplicate title tags and duplicate meta descriptions.
  • Audit your website content. Check the traffic stats in Google Analytics. Consider improving or pruning underperforming content.
  • Fix broken links. These are an enemy of the user experience – and potentially rankings.
  • Submit your XML sitemap to Google via Google Search Console.

3. User Experience

User experience (UX) is centered on gaining insight into users, their needs, their values, their abilities, and their limitations.

UX also takes into consideration business goals and objectives. The best UX practices focus on improving the quality of the user experience.

According to Peter Morville, factors that influence UX include:

  • Useful: Your content needs to be unique and satisfy a need.
  • Usable: Your website needs to be easy to use and navigate.
  • Desirable: Your design elements and brand should evoke emotion and appreciation.
  • Findable: Integrate design and navigation elements to make it easy for users to find what they need.
  • Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to everyone – including the 12.7% of the population with disabilities.
  • Credible: Your site needs to be trustworthy for users to believe you.
  • Valuable: Your site needs to provide value to the user in terms of experience and to the company in terms of positive ROI.

Multivariate and A/B testing is the best way to measure and create a better experience for website users. Multivariate testing is best when considering complex changes.

One can incorporate many different elements and test how they all work together. A/B testing, on the other hand, will compare two different elements on your site to determine which performs the best.

4. Mobile-First

Google officially began rolling out the mobile-first index in March 2018. Smart marketers were taking a mobile-first approach long before the official rollout.

According to Google Search Central:

“Neither mobile-friendliness nor a mobile-responsive layout are requirements for mobile-first indexing. Pages without mobile versions still work on mobile and are usable for indexing. That said, it’s about time to move from desktop-only and embrace mobile :)”

Here are some basics for making your site mobile-friendly:

  • Make your site adaptive to any device – be it desktop, mobile, or tablet.
  • Always scale your images when using a responsive design, especially for mobile users.
  • Use short meta titles. They are easier to read on mobile devices.
  • Avoid pop-ups that cover your content and prevent visitors from getting a glimpse of what your content is all about.
  • Less can be more on mobile. In a mobile-first world, long-form content doesn’t necessarily equate to more traffic and better rankings.
  • Don’t use mobile as an excuse for cloaking. Users and search engines need to see the same content.

5. Core Web Vitals

In July of 2021, the Page Experience Update rolled out and is now incorporated into Google’s core algorithm, as a ranking factor.

As the name implies, the core web vitals initiative was designed to quantify the essential metrics for a healthy website. This syncs up with Google’s commitment to delivering the best user experience.

According to Google, “loading experience, interactivity, and visual stability of page content, and combined are the foundation of Core Web Vitals.”

Each one of these metrics:

  • Focuses on a unique aspect of the user experience.
  • Is measurable and quantifiable for an objective determination of the outcome.

Tools To Measure Core Web Vitals:

  • PageSpeed Insights: Measures both mobile and desktop performance and provides recommendations for improvement.
  • Lighthouse: An open-source, automated tool developed by Google to help developers improve web page quality. It has several features not available in PageSpeed Insights, including some SEO checks.
  • Search Console: A Core Web Vitals report is now included in GSC, showing URL performance as grouped by status, metric type, and URL group.

6. Schema

Schema markup, once added to a webpage, creates a rich snippet – an enhanced description that appears in the search results.

All leading search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex, support the use of microdata. The real value of schema is that it can provide context to a webpage and improve the search experience.

There is no evidence that adding schema has any influence on SERPs.

Following, you will find some of the most popular uses for schema

If you find the thought of adding schema to a page intimidating, you shouldn’t. Schema is quite simple to implement. If you have a WordPress site, there are several plugins that will do this for you.

7. Content Marketing

It is projected that 97 zettabytes of data will be created, captured, copied, and consumed worldwide this year.

To put this in perspective, that’s the equivalent of 18.7 trillion songs or 3,168 years of HD video every day.

The challenge of breaking through the clutter will become exponentially more difficult as time passes.

To do so:

  • Create a content hub in the form of a resource center.
  • Fill your resource hub with a combination of useful, informative, and entertaining content.
  • Write “spoke” pieces related to your resource hub and interlink.
  • Write news articles related to your resource and interlink.
  • Spread the word. Promote your news articles on social channels.
  • Hijack trending topics related to your content. Promote on social media.
  • Use your smartphone camera. Images and videos typically convert better than text alone.
  • Update stale and low-trafficked content.

8. Link Building

Links continue to be one of the most important ranking factors.

Over the years, Google has become more adept at identifying and devaluing spammy links, especially so after the launch of Penguin 4.0. That being the case, quality will continue to trump quantity.

The best link-building strategies for 2022 include:

9. Test And Document Changes

You manage what you measure.

One recent study showed that less than 50% of pages “optimized” result in more clicks. Worse yet, 34% of changes led to a decrease in clicks!

Basic steps for SEO testing:

  • Determine what you are testing and why.
  • Form a hypothesis. What do you expect will happen because of your changes?
  • Document your testing. Make sure it can be reliably replicated.
  • Publish your changes and then submit the URLs for inspection via Google Search Console.
  • Run the test for a long enough period to confirm if your hypothesis is correct or not. Document your findings and any other observations, such as changes made by competitors that may influence the outcome.
  • Take appropriate actions based on the results of your tests.

This process can be easily executed and documented by using a spreadsheet.

10. Track And Analyze KPIs

According to Roger Monti, the following are the 9 Most Important SEO KPIs to consider:

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
  • Content Efficiency.
  • Average Engagement Time.
  • Conversion Goals by Percent-Based Metrics.
  • Accurate Search Visibility.
  • Brand Visibility in Search.
  • New And Returning Users.
  • Average Time on Site.
  • Revenue Per Thousand (RPM) And Average Position.

The thing to remember about these KPIs is they are dependent upon your goals and objectives. Some may apply to your situation whereas others may not.

Think of this as a good starting point for determining how to best measure the success of a campaign.

Conclusion

Because the internet has no expiration date, mounds of information and disinformation are served up daily in various search queries.

If you aren’t careful, implementing bad or outdated advice can lead to disastrous results.

Do yourself a favor and just focus on these 10 essentials. By doing so, you will be setting yourself up for long-term success.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

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11 Best WordPress Login Page Plugins (Secure & Customizable)

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Are you looking for the best WordPress login page plugins?

Your WordPress login page is the door to your website’s admin area. You need to make it secure, but you also need to let authorized users log in easily.

In this article, we will share some of the best WordPress login page plugins you can use.

Best WordPress Login Page Plugins

Improving the Security and Appearance of the WordPress Login Page

The default WordPress login page looks the same on all WordPress sites. It is very plain and doesn’t have any of your site’s styling or branding:

The WordPress default login pageThe WordPress default login page

Maybe you run a membership site. Perhaps you have multiple people who log in to your WordPress site. In either case, it’s best practice to customize the login page. This lets you make it look good and create a better user experience.

Plus, you may want to make logging in as seamless as possible without compromising WordPress security.

Let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress login page plugins. These can improve the login experience and security of your website.

1. SeedProd

SeedProd website builderSeedProd website builder

SeedProd is the best WordPress theme and landing page builder. It allows you to create completely custom website pages without writing any code.

SeedProd comes with a login landing page template that lets you change your default WordPress login page into a personalized login page designed to boost conversions.

Here’s a custom WordPress login page template from SeedProd:

Custom Login Page for WordPressCustom Login Page for WordPress

You can also use SeedProd to create custom login pages that cross promotes your other products, show existing users loyalty discounts, introduce new products, and more.

Login pages are a hidden revenue opportunity that many businesses do not utilize. If you have an online store or a membership site, then this plugin is a must for your site.

2. WPForms

The WPForms form builder plugin and signature addonThe WPForms form builder plugin and signature addon

WPForms is the best WordPress form builder plugin. And it comes with powerful user registration and login addon.

WPForms allows you to create custom user registration and login forms with just a few clicks.

It’s easy to add these forms anywhere on your WordPress site. Plus, you can use them as payment forms so that users need to pay to register.

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to create a custom login page in WordPress

3. Theme My Login

Theme My LoginTheme My Login

Theme My Login is a popular plugin for creating custom WordPress login pages. You can also use it to let users register on your WordPress site without them accessing the admin area.

You can use any page on your site as the login, registration, and ‘forgot my password pages.

For more details, see our guide on how to create a custom login page using Theme My Login.

4. Temporary Login Without Password

Temporary Login Without PasswordTemporary Login Without Password

Temporary Login Without Password lets you give users access without creating an account. You can set an expiry date or time for the temporary login or delete it at any time.

This is a good option if you need to give WordPress developers access to your site. You don’t need to create a permanent account for them.

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to create a temporary login for WordPress.

5. Shield Security

Shield SecurityShield Security

Shield Security is a multipurpose plugin. It can perform a number of useful security features for your site.

By default, WordPress does not lock users out if they try the wrong password multiple times. Shield Security lets you limit login attempts and block brute force bots automatically.

It also has features to stop comment spam, help you control automated WordPress updates, and more.

6. Nextend Social Login

Nextend Social LoginNextend Social Login

Nextend Social Login lets users log in to your WordPress site using Facebook, Google, or Twitter. That way, they can log in more quickly. They don’t need to create a separate password for your site.

The plugin is easy to set up and use. You can set a custom redirection URL to send users to a specific page after registering. You could also use their Facebook, Google, or Twitter profile picture as their avatar on your site.

7. WordPress Persistent Login

WordPress Persistent LoginWordPress Persistent Login

WordPress Persistent Login automatically checks the ‘Remember Me’ checkbox on your WordPress login page. Normally, if you don’t check this box during login, WordPress will forget your login as soon as you close the browser window.

The plugin also extends the default login status for one year whenever you visit the login page. If you’re running a membership site, then these settings will also apply to your users.

It lets you force log out users from your WordPress admin in a single click. You can monitor the total number of users logged in on your site.

8. Custom Login Page Customizer

Custom Login PageCustom Login Page

Custom Login Page Customizer lets you design your own custom login page using the WordPress theme customizer.

You could change the login page using other methods. However, many of them require you to add code. Custom Login Page Customizer makes it much easier for you.

9. Simple History

Simple HistorySimple History

Simple History makes it easy to track user activity on your WordPress site, including user logins. It keeps a simple and easy-to-understand log of basic user activity, which comes in handy to protect your website.

The plugin lets you see when a user logged in and what they did during their session. You can also see when they logged out.

For more details, see our guide on how to monitor user activity in WordPress.

10. Password Protected

Password ProtectedPassword Protected

Password Protected allows you to easily make your whole WordPress site password protected. You can allow admins and logged-in users to view it. You can also create a master password to share with others.

For step-by-step instructions, see our guide on how to password protect your WordPress site without user registration.

11. LoginWP

LoginWPLoginWP

LoginWP allows you to redirect users to any page on your website after they log in. You can set up these redirects based on user roles and capabilities.

It can also be used to set up a redirect for individual users. This could be useful if you have several people working on different parts of your site.

The plugin also allows you to set up redirects for user registration forms as well. This enables you to properly greet newly registered users, give them instructions about the next step, or simply show them a thank you note.

For more details, see our article on how to redirect users after successful login in WordPress.

Which is the Best WordPress Login Page Plugin? (Expert Pick)

We believe SeedProd is the best WordPress login page plugin. It lets you set up your custom login page in just a few clicks and is easy for beginners.

WPForms is another great option if you’re looking for an overall form builder because it comes with user registration forms, login forms, and more.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress login page plugins for your website. You may also want to see our list of the top WordPress plugins for business websites and our comparison of the best business phone services for entrepreneurs.

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



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9 Best Schema Markup Plugins for WordPress (2022)

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Are you looking for the best schema markup plugins for WordPress?

The right SEO plugin will help you properly optimize your content for search engines, so you can outrank your competitors and grow your business. You can also use schema markup plugins to create valuable rich snippets for search engines like Google.

In this article, we’ll share our expert pick of the best schema markup plugins for WordPress.

The best schema markup plugins for WordPress

Why You Should Use Schema Markup Plugins for WordPress

If your site has lots of high quality original content, then you’re already off to a great start. However, you also need to help search engines understand that content, so they can include it in relevant search results and drive more people to your website.

Schema markup is structured data that help your website communicate with search engines behind the scenes. It uses invisible code to clearly label your pages and posts, so search engines know exactly what your content is about, and when to show it to users.

Search engines such as Google also use schema to create rich snippets.

An example of a rich snippet in Google's search resultsAn example of a rich snippet in Google's search results

These valuable snippets show additional information about your pages and posts. If you manage to get a rich snippet on a search engine like Google, then your content immediately stands out from the crowd. This can improve your organic click through rate and increase your blog traffic.

Using the right schema markup is important, but it can also be complicated. Thankfully, there are WordPress SEO plugins that can walk you through the process of adding schema markup to your site. Some of these plugins will even generate the right schema automatically.

Using a schema markup plugin doesn’t guarantee that your rich snippets will appear in the search results, but it will improve your chances.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the best schema markup plugins for WordPress.

1. AIOSEO

The AIOSEO SEO plugin for WordPressThe AIOSEO SEO plugin for WordPress

All in One SEO for WordPress (AIOSEO) is the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market used by over 3 million websites. This complete SEO toolkit has everything you need to outrank your competitors including support for rich snippets schema.

AIOSEO makes sure your schema markup is properly set up, so search engines can show your content to people who are searching for pages, posts, and products just like yours.

The plugin even has special schema for FAQs, courses, recipes, software, ratings, and dozens more. This helps your customers find your products, services, and digital downloads over your competitors.

If you have a physical store or business, then AIOSEO has local schema markup for your business logo, address, business phone number, opening hours, and more. This gives you the best possible chance of appearing in Google Maps and local search results.

AIOSEO’s Google Map integration has multiple location support, which is perfect for successful businesses that have multiple offices, stores, salons, or other locations.

To learn more, see our guide on how to add multiple locations schema for local businesses.

This powerful WordPress SEO plugin is also easy to set up. To start, simply enter all your website information into the plugin’s settings.

Adding schema using AIOSEOAdding schema using AIOSEO

Then, just work your way through the Schema Markup settings for each content type.

For example, you’ll typically map your Posts to the Article schema type, and Pages to the Web Page schema.

Configuring rich snippets using AIOSEOConfiguring rich snippets using AIOSEO

AIOSEO is flexible, so you can override these default settings for specific pages, posts, courses, and more from inside the content editor.

When editing your content, simply scroll to the AIOSEO Settings section and then click on ‘Generate Schema’ to open the Schema Generator.

Generating schema using the All in One SEO WordPress pluginGenerating schema using the All in One SEO WordPress plugin

You’ll now see all the different schema that you can add to this particular piece of content.

By simply repeating these steps, you can optimize your entire WordPress website without having to write a single line of code.

One of the best schema markup plugins for WordPressOne of the best schema markup plugins for WordPress

AIOSEO has support for all the modern schema types to get you rich snippets including the new FAQ schema. SEO pros can use the custom schema tab to enter any type of schema format they wish.

It also has built-in schema validation to ensure that your website is properly optimized for highest SEO rankings.

To get started with AIOSEO, please see our ultimate guide on how to set up All in One SEO for WordPress correctly.

Price: AIOSEO Pro licenses start at $49.60 per year for a single website. There’s also a free version that you can use to get started.

2. Schema Pro

The Schema Pro WordPress pluginThe Schema Pro WordPress plugin

The Schema Pro plugin has more than 20 schema types including recipe, article, book, job posting, and more.

You can add all of these schema types to your WordPress blog or website without writing a single line of code. Simply choose a schema type from a dropdown menu and then tell the plugin where to add this schema.

To help you use the correct schema, Schema Pro will even map default data such as page title, featured image, author, and data. You can then simply fine-tune these defaults to suit your content, and Schema Pro will add the correct code across your website.

If this is your first time adding schema, then the plugin integrates with the Google Structured Data Testing Tool and comes with built-in field validation. This allows you to test your schema and see whether you’re likely to get a rich snippet.

If you’re using custom post types or other unique content, then more advanced users may want to try the plugin’s Custom Schema markup tool. This allows you to create your own schema in JSON-LD format, and then test it using the Structured Data Testing Tool or Rich Results Test.

Price: You can buy an annual Schema Pro license for $67 which includes product updates, premium support, and advanced schema types.

3. WordPress Review Plugin

The Review Schema plugin for WordPressThe Review Schema plugin for WordPress

Positive customer reviews can convince shoppers to buy from your online store and will make your website seem more trustworthy. With that being said, you’ll want the search engines to highlight your reviews.

The WordPress Review plugin can add the schema that search engines need to correctly identify your customer reviews, and include them in rich snippets.

You can use this plugin to create both single and multi-criteria reviews. This helps your customers make a decision about your company or products at a glance, and then explore more detailed reviews if they want extra information.

Creating a multi criteria review for your online storeCreating a multi criteria review for your online store

The plugin can also generate rating schema and markup for your WooCommerce products, which makes it a great choice for any WooCommerce user.

The WordPress Review plugin comes with a selection of layouts that you can apply to your reviews plus support for numeric pagination. In this way, the plugin can display your reviews in a way that makes sense to shoppers as well as the search engines.

The best schema plugins for WordPressThe best schema plugins for WordPress

Despite the focus on eCommerce, this plugin can also create review schema for any page, post, or custom post type. For example, you might encourage visitors to rate their favorite blog post.

If you’re worried about spam and fake reviews, then the plugin comes with built-in support for reCAPTCHA v3. For more information on how reCAPTCHA works, please see our guide on how to add reCAPTCHA to WordPress.

Price: You can download this plugin for free from the official WordPress repository.

4. WP Review Plugin

The WP Review schema pluginThe WP Review schema plugin

WP Review is another plugin that’s perfect for anyone who sells digital downloads, products, or services online.

This plugin adds 9 different schema types and allows you to show reviews in a structured box that features star, point, and percentage ratings. You can also add user comments, affiliate buttons, and more to create an eye-catching layout.

Adding a review box to your WooCommerce websiteAdding a review box to your WooCommerce website

By presenting this data in a box with the correct schema, you can encourage search engines to include the information in their search results. For example, Google often shows star ratings next to each product.

As long as you get a high rating, this can make your products stand out from the competition and should improve your click-through rates.

WP Review’s boxes are completely customizable, so you can fine-tune them to perfectly suit your WordPress theme by changing the text color, adding a border, changing the background, and more.

Using schema to create a review boxUsing schema to create a review box

Price: You can download WP Review for free from the official WordPress repository.

5. Structured Content

The Schema Structured content WordPress pluginThe Schema Structured content WordPress plugin

This plugin allows you to add structured data to any page or post, and it then renders that information as JSON-LD.

In total, Structured Content adds 6 schema types including LocalBusiness, FAQPage, and Person. If you sell online courses, then there’s a Course structured data type that will help search engines show your training in relevant search results.

If you run a job board in WordPress, then we recommend looking at the plugin’s JobPosting schema as this can help your job listings appear in Google’s job search experience.

Here, Google will show your job listings along with your logo, plus any company reviews or ratings you’ve received. This instantly makes your job listings more interesting and should get you lots more applicants.

To help you add schema to your website, Structured Content comes with its own blocks. Simply click on any block to add it to your content.

Adding schema blocks to your WordPress websiteAdding schema blocks to your WordPress website

After that, you configure the schema markup by filling out a form.

This makes it easy to add correctly-formatted markup to your website.

Configuring a schema block in WordPressConfiguring a schema block in WordPress

Price: A free download of Structured Content is available from the WordPress repository.

6. WP SEO Structured Data Schema

The SEO Structured data schema plugin for WordPressThe SEO Structured data schema plugin for WordPress

If you want more control over your schema markup, then you may want to look at this free WordPress plugin.

Although WP SEO Structured Data Schema does have some site-wide settings, it places an emphasis on flexibility and manual customization.

Setting site-wide schema settings for WordPressSetting site-wide schema settings for WordPress

This plugin allows you to add schema in JSON-LD format on a page-by-page basis.

WP SEO Structured Data Schema does require a bit more setup compared to some of the other plugins on this list.

However, it is a powerful solution that gives you lots of freedom to fine-tune your schema. This makes it a good choice for users who are more familiar with schema markup.

The best schema plugins for WordPressThe best schema plugins for WordPress

Just be aware that you’ll need to upgrade to the pro version if you want to add schema to custom post types.

Price: You can download WP SEO Structured Data Schema for free from the official WordPress repository.

7. WPSSO Core

The WPSSO Core scheme plugin for WordPressThe WPSSO Core scheme plugin for WordPress

The WPSSO Core plugin supports an impressive 500 schema types and sub-types.

It also stands out from the crowd by providing structured data markup for social media sites including Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and WhatsApp.

The best schema plugins for WordPressThe best schema plugins for WordPress

If you’re already using some of the best SEO plugins, then you’ll be happy to hear that WPSSO Core integrates with WP Product Review, WP-PostRatings, and WP Meta SEO. WPSSO Core can even read settings and data from AIOSEO.

Beyond SEO plugins, WPSSO Core also integrates with Easy Digital Downloads and WooCommerce, so we recommend checking out this plugin if you run an online store.

WPSSO Core is also a good choice if you previously tried to add schema markup manually, but encountered errors. This plugin claims to fix all schema markup errors in Google Search, Rich Results, Merchant Listings, and more.

Price: To download WPSSO Core for free, simply visit the WordPress repository.

8. Five Star Business Profile and Schema

The Five Star schema plugin for WordPressThe Five Star schema plugin for WordPress

Like many plugins on this list, Five Star Business Profile and Schema can add LD+JSON schema structured data to any page or post.

However, it also has a unique contact card feature that lets you add all your business details with the correct schema markup. This includes a Google Map, opening hours, plus your phone number and WhatsApp number with a click-to-call feature.

Search engines can then discover this information and show it next to your listing.

The best WordPress schema pluginsThe best WordPress schema plugins

If you accept appointments and bookings, or own a physical store then this will help customers contact you. In fact, if you have multiple locations then Five Star Business Profile and Schema will automatically add a dropdown menu so customers can choose between the different locations.

Even better, you can add the card to any page, post, or widget-ready area using either a shortcode or a special Contact Card block.

The Contact Form WordPress blockThe Contact Form WordPress block

Beyond the SEO-friendly contact card, this plugin has a database of every organization type schema and every rich results type.

Each schema and rich results type comes with the corresponding fields and properties. Simply fill in the default values that you want to use and the plugin will handle the rest.

Configuring the default schema for your WordPress websiteConfiguring the default schema for your WordPress website

If you want to use different values on a specific page, then you can easily override these defaults from the post editor.

Price: You can download Five Star Business Profile and Schema for free.

9. Schema and Structured Data

The Schema Structured data plugin for WordPressThe Schema Structured data plugin for WordPress

This plugin adds 16 schema types to your WordPress website including reviews, email, and comments, plus support for custom schema.

After activating the plugin, Schema and Structured Data will automatically fetch the data from your website and then enhance it in the Google search results.

If you have an online store, then this plugin is compatible with WooCommerce so you can get your products and services featured on search engines like Google. If you’re using WooCommerce extensions, then this plugin is also compatible with WooCommerce Booking and WooCommerce Membership.

If you want to add schema to lots of content, then the plugin has some useful conditional fields. This allows you to include and exclude posts, pages, and taxonomies from the schema.

Schema and Structured Data has some extra features that can help search engines understand your content. This includes support for breadcrumbs and Google AMP compatibility so you can easily enhance the markup for the AMP version of your site.

For more information about AMP, please see our guide on how to properly setup Google AMP on your WordPress site.

Price: An annual license for a single website is priced at $99.00.

Which is the best WordPress schema plugin?

After carefully evaluating all the popular schema plugins in the market, we believe that AIOSEO – All in One SEO is the best WordPress schema plugin.

In the past, websites will use their main SEO plugin and then a separate schema plugin which would lead to complication, plugin conflicts, and even performance issues.

With All in One SEO, you can use just one plugin that gives you everything you need to grow your SEO rankings.

The free All in One SEO plugin has support for on-page schema markups, but you will need the Pro version to unlock access to their powerful custom schema generator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Being the largest free WordPress resource site on the planet, we have helped tens of thousands of people choose the best WordPress SEO plugins. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Does schema improve SEO?

Yes, having a proper schema markup will absolutely improve your SEO rankings. Google and other search engines reward websites with rich snippets and higher rankings when they use proper schema tags.

Does WordPress use schema?

By default, WordPress does not add schema markup. That’s why website owners use WordPress schema plugins. You can easily add schema markup in WordPress by using the All in One SEO plugin.

For a more detailed explanation, see our guide on how to add schema markup in WordPress and WooCommerce.

Does Yoast SEO plugin add schema?

Yes, Yoast SEO plugin does offer limited schema support. However they do not have powerful custom schema generators or schema validation like other plugins such as All in One SEO, Schema Pro, and others mentioned in the list above.

Can you add schema to WordPress without a plugin?

Yes, you can absolutely add custom schema markup in WordPress without using a plugin. All you need to do is simply add the custom schema code in your theme’s functions.php file.

Although we don’t recommend this because if you update your theme, then your customizations will be overwritten. This is why it’s better to future-proof your custom snippets using WPCode.

With that said, most professionals use a plugin like AIOSEO to add schema because they keep it updated with new SEO guidelines.

Will schema markup help me get a featured snippet in Google?

Yes, having a proper schema markup will increase your chances of getting a featured snippet in Google, also known as position zero. At the end of the day, Google decides which sites get the featured snippet, but generally only websites with schema markup get the featured snippet.

What’s better JSON+LD Schema vs Microdata?

Modern search engines like Google prefer JSON+LD schema markup over the microdata schema markup. This is why most large websites have switched to using JSON+LD schema, and the plugins we recommend in our list all output as JSON schema markup.

Which is the best review schema WordPress plugin?

The best review schema plugin for WordPress is All in One SEO. It lets you add review schema, so your search listings can get start ratings and other rich snippets. But unlike other plugins, AIOSEO will not force you to use their styles, so you have full control over how your website brand looks.

The second option people often use is Schema Pro which is built specifically for generating schema blocks.

Which is the best custom schema markup generator for WordPress?

We believe that All in One SEO is the best custom schema generator for WordPress. It offers a guided wizard for all schema.org markups, and for true SEO pros, it even has a fully custom schema markup input, so you can experiment further.

We hope this article helped you find the best schema plugins for WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress and our expert pick of the best analytics solutions.

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



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