2 Step Verification: Why You Need It & How To Get It

2 Step Verification: Why You Need It & How To Get It

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Over the last few weeks, one of my clients and I have been lost in cyber hell. The lovely Vintage Contessa who glamourized your Instagram feed for the last few years had her account hacked and then hijacked. You may remember her from the Women In Biz features last year she was the first! She went to sign in to her account and nothing. Her account was gone along with years of time, hard work, and 13k followers.

 

Now, in 2020 you would think that this would be a simple matter of contacting Instagram or its daddy Facebook and they would swoop in and save her account from the clutches of these villainous assholes. Immediately went on a search for a contact email or some kind of support. I spent hours just trying to track down an email address, but the many rabbit trails I went down led to nothing. I tried every one I could think of, we filled out a troubleshooting problem forms daily for several weeks and not one attempt was made to contact us back.

 

When you use a free platform you do it with the understanding that nothing there is yours and they reserve the right to basically do what they want while not offering anything in return. Facebook makes billions from its users but they can’t offer a support line to fix issues like this? It’s not fair, but that is the way it is. Although by far the worst is Facebook/Instagram.

 

Today, I’m going to show you how to protect your accounts

 

What Is 2 Step Verification &
How Does It Work?

 

Wikipedia definition: Multi-factor authentication is an electronic authentication method in which a computer user is granted access to a website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism: knowledge, possession, and inherence. In plain old English, it means you need to take 2 steps to sign on so that if someone kidnaps your email they still can’t get into your account because they won’t be able to complete the necessary second step (a text message to your phone, an Application Authenticator APP that you download to your cellphone).

 

How Do You Set 2-Step Verification Up?

 

It depends on what platform you’re using, but I’m going to show you how to set up on a few different areas and from there you’ll know the basic steps to set it up in the places that you need them.

Since we were discussing the Contessa’s Instagram account we’ll start there:

 

Instagram Profile setting screenshot

 

 

 

2-step verification setup for Instagram

 

 

Very easy to do even for a novice! The same principle applies to all of your other social media platforms start at your profile and find the security section.

 

For Your Email Service Provider (Of course, we’re using Mailchimp.
Bonus: If you set up a 2-step verification you get a small discount on your monthly subscription).

 

 

 

screenshot from a Mailchimp

 

And finally your WordPress website:

The first thing you need it to download the 2 Factor Plugin 

This plugin is easy to set up. After uploading and activating your plugin you’re going to go to USERS>> scroll down until you see the 2 step verification settings. The easiest way to do is to check the email box (see images below).

screenshot of active plugins page

 

screenshot of 2 step verification set up

You Also Want To Add These Authenticator APPS to your Android or iPhone account.

screenshot of authenticator apps

 

 

screenshot of the Google Authenticator app

Bonus Tip:

I love tech all kinds of it, but it can be overwhelming and confusing when you’re trying to keep it all together. I use things like LastPass and ways of keeping track and Trello being another. CAVEAT: I also go old-school and keep things written down. I found an old fashion recipe box and I bought a pack of index cards. Each account gets its own card with the information needed to get into an account in the case of a computer crash or such.

Other Resources:

HOW ANY INSTAGRAM CAN BE HACKED IN 10 MINUTES – Security Boulevard

HERE’S WHY HACKERS WANT YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT:- ABC News 7

HACKING STATISTICS TO GIVE YOU NIGHTMARES  – Dataport

 

 

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The Ultimate Resource Guide & Planner To Improve Or Create Your SEO Strategy Plan

The Ultimate Resource Guide & Planner To Improve Or Create Your SEO Strategy Plan

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SEO is never a one-and-done idea, more it’s a type of philosophy that you must adapt to be successful in your endeavors. Everything you do, every sentence you write, every graphic you create and every content marketing plan you follow should ALL start with SEO.

  1. What exactly is SEO?
  2. What does SEO optimization mean for you?
  3. Why is SEO so important?
  4. Being SEO Flexible.
  5. How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.
  6. How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working.
  7. Your Own SEO Planner.

1. What Is SEO? 

Search Engine Optimization is the science of making your content rank high in the search engines of today. 

The official definition is this: 

According to this piece of MOZ SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

What goes into SEO?

To understand the true meaning of SEO, let’s break that definition down and look at the parts:

Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead, you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in the products that you offer.

Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.

Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.

2. What Does SEO Optimization Mean For You?

It’s a strategy or plan that you create that will continue to build on SEO as you go along, by using: 

  • Title
  • keywords
  • headlines
  • image titles
  • image descriptions
  • categories
  • tags
  • Cornerstone Content
  • social media posts

to consistently rank higher in search engines. This strategy works best when created at the very beginning, but can be improved along any step in the process.

3. Why Is SEO So Important?

SEO is important because it keeps the search results fair. It reduces the ability to manipulate these results as much as possible so that the sites appearing for each search are there because they deserve to be there. Hard work and a website that appeals to visitors correlate with high search engine rankings, so if your site meets these criteria, you’ll have a better chance of showing up in the results.

Users trust search engines and achieving a top spot in search engine rankings signals to searchers that your site is a credible source. The higher you rank in results pages, the more clicks and traffic your site will generate. SEO also improves user experience, making it more likely for customers to become repeat buyers. According to this piece on WEBFX.

4. Being SEO Flexible

What does being SEO flexible mean? It means that you take several key factors into consideration when making your SEO plan. Such as:

  • Current Events
  • Special Dates
  • Longtail keywords
  • Pivoting when things aren’t working.

No one ever sits down and creates the “perfect SEO plan” because honestly, it doesn’t exist. Being SEO optimized is an ongoing strategy and taking in these other key factors will only improve your rankings.

Taking into account the keywords you have chosen for your brand messaging you should also find ways to create with these four ideas in mind. 

EXAMPLE:

Ellen is a food blogger and she uses these 4 keywords as her foundation.

  • Baking
  • Desserts
  • Organic
  • Gluten-free

 

Now using the previous considerations she might use these sentences or keywords.

 

  1. How To Keep Your Holiday Desserts Gluten-Free
  2. How to Bake The Ultimate Organic Holiday Meal.
  3. Baking Thanksgiving Desserts For The Dietary Challenged.
  4. Your Christmas Baking Taking To The Next Level With These Organic Recipes.
  5. Ten Things That You Could Be Doing To Completely Ruin Your Easter Baked Goods.

 

5. How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.

Now comes the easy part, because I’ve actually done the hard work for you. I created the FREE SEO PLANNER STRATEGY PLANNER and it’s a step by step guide to build a strong SEO foundation and to scale that plan as you grow.

 

On-Page SEO Tips

  1. Make sure that your URLs are clean: 
    1. Think ahead
    2. Be consistent
    3. Use keywords
    4. Avoid any special characters. As they show up as “%20” which is unattractive.
    5. Length should be 50-60 characters
  2. Make sure your title is attractive:
    1. Start with keywords.
    2. Mind the length.
    3. Make it sell.
  3. Meta Descriptions:
    1. 150-160 characters.
    2. Don’t overstuff with keywords.
  4. Schema Markup: Structured data can do wonders for your SEO strategy.
    1. Use a Schema Markup Plugin
    2. You can also use Google’s, Markup Helper.
    3. How to check- use Rich Result Test.
  5. Optimized headings (h1-h6)
    1. H1 headings- Technically each of your pages has 2 titles.
      1. The title tag is displayed in search snippets. 
      2. H1 tag benefit: Unlike title tag no character limitation. Use more keywords.
    2. H2 headings- Split page into high-level section mini titles within your content.
    3. H3-H6 headings- Used to mark further subsections within the content. Don’t overload keywords.

 

A.Keyword Saturation:

  • Use keywords earlier in the copy. You should be using keywords within the first 100 words. 
  • Go beyond “exact matches” add more related keywords.

 

B.Content Length:

  • Content length changes from year to year and is currently around 2,000-word posts do best.
  • Want to make your content more compelling? Check out this piece from MostlyBlogging.com

 

C. Visual Aids:

  • Fill in your “alt” tags.
  • Compress your files.
  • Use descriptive filenames.

 

D. Above The Fold Content:

The top part of the page visual when it’s first loaded.

  • Remove distractions.
  • Optimize For Core Web Values 
    • How fast it loads
    • How stable it is while loading.
    • How soon it becomes interactive

 

E. Mobile Friendliness:

You should check your site on all mobile search engines and make changes based on your results.

 

F. Internal Links:

  • Should flow from one link to another.
  • Pass authority from popular pages to less popular ones.
  • Move users down a funnel.
  • You need to always consider this: Whenever you create a piece of content you should always consider where the reader should go next.

 

G. Outgoing Links:

  • Link to larger, more established sites.
  • Each piece of content should have relevant links.

 

H. The Comment Section:

Make sure that your comments are set up as “no follow”. If you use popular comment plugins they take care of this for you. 

 

6. How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working:

If you see that your backlinks are on the rise, your SEO efforts are working properly. If you see that the number of organic keywords on your website are also increasing, it’s safe to assume that you are targeting the correct keywords for your industry and using them successfully in your content. WebFX

 

7. Your Own SEO Planner:

 I’ve created your very own SEO Planner to help you keep your brand message on point. Sign up for my weekly newsletter (Sunday morning’s) to get a copy for your very own, plus you’ll get full access to the Resource Library, deep discounts, and amazing tips to help you succeed in your online business or blog.

 

You might also like these other resources:

What You Don’t Know About SEO Could Hurt You

Simple SEO Practices You Can Establish To Be Search Engine Attractive

How To Improve SEO & Increase Pageviews In 2020

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Google Analytics Pt 3: The Final Wrap-Up

Google Analytics Pt 3: The Final Wrap-Up

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As we’ve learned over these last three weeks there is so much information inside your Google Analytics account. We learned how to connect it to your website in Part 1 and in Part 2 we learned how to read those statistics and how to find what you need quickly. Today, we’re talking about Google Analytics integrations that will take your stats to the next level

GA is a robust tool that can help you not only read those statistics, but it gives you a snapshot of the health of your business. From your website to MailChimp or other email service providers and even Youtube!

Mailchimp (which is what I use on a daily basis and you should too!) is the most important integration to me and that’s because it gives me the answers I need quickly and I don’t have to go to other places to find it. I can access the information right from my MailChimp reports page! To set this up follow these instructions:

 

 

screenshot of Google/Mailchimp integration
screenshot MailChimp/Google Analytics integration
screenshot of MailChimp / Google Analytics integration
screenshot of MailChimp/Google anlytics integration
screenshot of MailChimp/Google Analytics integrations

Google together with MailChimp can help you optimize your campaigns by giving your readers what they are most interested in.

Google Analytics & Youtube

You can also combine your Google Analytics account with your Youtube Channel. I found this great step-by-step video by ExtremeWebDesign.com

 

Google Analytics & Social Media

It’s very easy to track the amount of traffic that comes from different social media platforms. There is no integration, no coding!

This information is already there! Just sign in to your GA account and follow these intructions:

social media stats on Google Analytics
social media stats inside Google Analytics

As you can see you can easily keep track of your statistics and therefore improve your content creation, campaign optimization, social media ads or posts, etc.

Knowledge = Power!

Starting next week I’m going to be starting a new series on MailChimp! I hope you’ll join me. Don’t want to miss out? Sign up below↓.

Get Ready For The Holidays With These Customizable Pinterest & Instagram templates!

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Google Analytics Part 2: Understanding The Translation

Google Analytics Part 2: Understanding The Translation

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Last week, I started this Google Analytics series by showing you how to connect it to your website. Once you do that it will take time to record the statistics. Google Analytics doesn’t go backward! You won’t be able to check statistics from the past, but in just a few days or weeks will give you a snapshot of how you’re website. The longer that you have it connected the clearer that snapshot will be.

I completely understand that for some just looking at the GA dashboard is stressful. It’s almost like a foreign language until you start to understand the amount of information that you can find about your website, your sales, your readers, or whatever you’d like to track. Today, I’m going to show you how to find that information quickly and explain things that you might not understand.

The Main Dashboard

The first thing you need to do is to go HERE & learn the terms that you’re going to have to know to make any sense of data. Some of the information that is in GA are things that you really don’t need. Unless you’re running a larger eCommerce site. This is for bloggers and small businesses who need valuable information about

  1. How many people come to the website?
  2. What they do when they get there?
  3. What they are interested in?
  4. What is working & what needs improvement?

This will allow you to create content that your readers want. For a small business, it could help you decide when and what to put on sale. Who to target you’re marketing toward and understand what it is they need and most importantly how you can help then achieve it.

screenshot of Google Analytics dashboard

My screenshot is a little blurry, but you can see there is a lot here. Let’s go over where to find the important facts.

Google Analytics screenshot

AUDIENCE>>OVERVIEW:
  • How many people come to your website?
  • How long they stay there?
  • How many are new visitors and how many are returning visitors?
DEMOGRAPHICS>>OVERVIEW

Marketing has to be different depending on the audience.

INTERESTS>>OVERVIEW

You wouldn’t sell to a man the same way you sell to the women (just ask the creators of the tampon tax)! Unlike that example, there are reasons why you need to know your audience ages. Something that interests me at 50 would bore my daughter to death who is 28. My husband plays softball…me…not so much.

Learning how to read the language of analytics can help you drill down the best marketing approach for your individual readers. Next week, I’ll show you how to integrate GA and get even more information!

Do you still have questions? Comment down below!

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Google Analytics Part 1: The Setup

Google Analytics Part 1: The Setup

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Google analytics can be so confusing and then just when you get it figured out they change it! I hear this all of the time and you’re right. I think the whole system is harder than it has to be, but my brain isn’t big enough to figure out a better way so I’ll just leave it to Google and try to keep up.

Today, I’m going to show you some basic tips to set up your GA account so that you can understand the analytics that you’re looking at and know where to get the information needed to work with other companies.

What Is It?

First, of course, Google Analytics is a system set up to allow you to track statistics on your website. These statistics can help you improve your message, build your business or a bigger audience. 

This blogpost HERE is a list of all of the important analytics terms that you need to understand before going into your analytics account. 

How Do I Get It?

If you don’t already have an account you can go HERE and sign up for a free account. Once you have your account you need to connect it to your website. The easiest way to do this is to download a plugin. I recommend the MonsterInsights plugin but there are a lot of them. Make sure it has been updated recently, is compatible with your theme, and is being used by others.

You Can Have Analytics In Lot’s Of Places

Google Analytics is no longer just a website thing. You can GA to your MailChimp account (and I’m sure even more companies have this, but I’m a MC girl). You can also connect to your FB shop! But, today, we’re going to concentrate on the website – GA connection.

If you don’t want to use a plugin to connect your website you can do that as well. The plugin would be easier, but I am of the theory that less is more so the least amount of plugins I have to use the better. Most website problems come from plugin conflicts. I’m going to show you both ways.

Manually Connecting Your Google Analytics Account

You’re going to go into your GA account, but you should be signed into both your website and your GA account to make it easier. You need a code and to find that you need to:

  1. Look on the left side of your dashboard at the very bottom and choose *ADMIN*.
  2. You will see several columns of tabs. In the middle column it says *PROPERTY*. 
  3. The 3rd choice says *TRACKING INFORMATION* Click on that.
  4. Click on *TRACKING CODE*
  5. You will see the code towards the bottom on the right. COPY CODE.
  6. Go back to your website and go to the head section of your website. You can usually find this under *THEME SETTING* or DIVI theme options or you may have to look it up for your particular theme. Save and you’ve done it! Check the images out below.

Using A Plugin

If you’d rather use a plugin I completely understand and I use MonsterInsights all of the time on websites. Go to PLUGINS>>ADD NEW in the search bar type in MonsterInsights. Hit INSTALL>>ACTIVATE.

Go to MonsterInsights on your dashboard and you will see a button that says SETUP WIZARD. Click the button and it will walk you through step by step with very simple instructions!

Whichever method you use, however, you get your statistics you need to know where to look and what you’re looking at. Next week, we’ll do just that!

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The Tools I Can’t Live Without Pt. 2

The Tools I Can’t Live Without Pt. 2

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*The tools and products below are used by me on a daily basis. However, I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE and I am not paid by these companies.

One question that I get asked quite often is, “What tools do you regularly use to do what you do”. I spend 90% of my time online and finding tools that are easy to use, easy to set up, and affordable could be a whole career in itself. If you’re not familiar with me I run three websites, three FB groups, spending time on social media platforms, plus I manage over 58 websites (not including my own).

If you missed part 1 you can find it HERE. Today we’re going to talk about a few more of the important tools that I use to run my business. There are so many tools out there and I have to admit I’ve been guilty of shiny object syndrome and I’ve gone down enough rabbit holes in my time, but I have found that less really is better when it comes to running your business.

There are things you need to do:

  1. Email service provider (newsletter vs rss feed)
  2. Keeping track of your statistics
  3. Creating content
  4. Organizational

These are just a few, but they are the ones we’re going to cover today.

Email Service Providers

I’ve worked with a lot of email service providers and I’ve even recommended a few, BUT I always come back to MailChimp. I hands down recommend this to everyone whether they are a blogger or have an eCommerce site. You cannot find better value then the paid version of MC and if you have under 2,000 you can use totally FREE!

Below are a comparison of the top three email service providers CONSTANT CONTACT, CONVERTKIT & MAILCHIMP:

pricing charts for MailChimp

You can see here that for $9.99 you can have up to 50,000 contacts with a MailChimp Essentials account. Under 2,000 is completely free.

Pricing Chart For ConvertKit.

ConvertKit charges $29 for 1,000 subscribers.

 

 

Pricing chart for Constant Contact

As you can see Constant Contact wants a whopping $45 a month!

I use MailChimp, I recommend MailChimp and if you look right over there →→→ ( in the sidebar) you will see the MailChimp logo. I’ve recently partnered with MailChimp and after weeks of testing, I am now an official MailChimp expert. I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE I DO NOT MAKE MONEY FROM YOU SIGNING UP. I just really love the service.

Have questions about what MailChimp can do for you? Just email me at Rena (at) theblogging911.com.

Tracking Your Statistics

You know I love me some statistics! So much so that I became a Certified Google Analyst. Also over there →→→ BUT that doesn’t mean that it’s the only tool I use. Sometimes you need comparing views especially when you’re trying to see if what you’re doing is working.

So of course, I turn to Google because let’s face it, they are the internet Gods. But I also like using JetPack’s statistics. You can get a lot of information by comparing the two. Jetpack has a free and a paid version and it does offer a lot of features but you can get the same information for free.

Google Analytics is free and very easy to set up these days and if you use the MonsterInsights plugin it gets even easier. I totally recommend all three of these products.

IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure to filter out your own IP so that you aren’t counted in those statistics. I made a video showing exactly how to do that in this blog post.

Creating Content

Creating content is nonstop so anything you can find that will help you accomplish creating compelling content that people are actually wanting to read can be difficult some days. I usually write all of my content right in the WordPress post editor but when I’m working on ideas I like to open up a Google Doc. They are easy to use and easy to share. I do have Microsoft Word, but Google Docs is just easier sometimes and this especially true if you’re using Gmail.

I like to get inspiration from several places. It may be a newsletter I’ve read, a webinar I’ve watched or a podcast I’ve listened to. My favorite place to go for a little inspiration is Pinterest first. I am a visual learner and Pinterest is the eye candy of visual learners. I love to learn and I try to learn something new every single day even if it’s just about myself.

I also get a lot of inspiration from your questions, but lately, my most favorite way to create content is in my newsletter. I share a blog post every week, but I also like to have conversations with all of you. I love hearing your replies so please keep them coming! Also, if you have something that you’d like me to cover let me know.

Organizational

I have to be totally for real here. I struggle with organization every single day of my life. I am not an organized person and I work hard, but don’t always accomplish my goals. My mind doesn’t work the way it used to and some of my struggles are memory issues, spatial judgment, and organization. That being said as a business owner I require a certain amount and the way I’ve found to deal with this is to try not to overcomplicate it. I have bought courses on time-blocking, organizational concepts, and automation and on and on. All a waste of money in hindsight.

No one thing works for me so I use a multitude of services to achieve the mediocre amount of organization I can actually stick with and here it goes.

Dropbox

I save all of my clients’ assets to a shared folder in Dropbox. This is also where I store all website backup copies. I also store most of my assets there as well, but historically I have used Google Drive for client files and One drive for mine, but recently decided to keep it all in one place. I spent a REALLY LONG weekend setting it all up, but I love it now.

Trello

I am very new to the Trello game and I cannot believe what I have been missing! I am still working out my system there because I did what I always did and ran around like a sugar addict in a candy store creating more and more boards, but I have created ONE BOARD that contains EVERYTHING I need in my daily business. Client info, passwords, subscriptions, and even a list of the many, many courses I’ve bought over the years.

Canva

Is also a great place to store graphics and pdfs etc. You can create folders to keep it all in order. This way when I’m making a graphic I have what I need to create it in the client folder. I love Canva so much (I have the business account) that I totally did away with Photoshop & Illustrator. I can do everything I need to do with Canva and $12.95 is a lot better than $53 monthly!

Pinterest

Is another place to store things. I create a secret board with every new design to pin inspiration, ideas, and branding pieces. I always have a few secret boards going for research purposes.

What tools do you depend on to do what you do?

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