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41 Places to Find Free Images Online That You Will Actually Want to Use

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41 Places to Find Free Images Online That You Will Actually Want to Use


Are you tired of the same stock photos?

Fortunately, free photo websites have been popping up, giving you many options to find that perfect image.

Even better news: you don’t have to spend hours searching the web yourself to find these websites. I have compiled a large list of free online image sources that have photos you will actually want to use.

The sites are in no particular order. Some have extremely niche categories.

Even though I provided notes about each website, be sure to review the sites’ license agreements to know how the photos can be used and if attribution is required.

1. StockSnap.io

Every week, hundreds of high-resolution photos are added to StockSnap.io.

According to Stocksnap.io, each one of their images is released under Creative Commons Zero and can be copied, modified and distributed, including images that will be used commercially. No attribution is required.

They curate photos from around the web, but also have their own network of talented photographers.

2. Unrestricted Stock

Unrestrictedstock.com offers royalty-free photos, videos, and vectors at no cost.

As stated on their website, you can do pretty much anything with their online collections.

The license agreement only has a few restrictions, which should be checked out before using their stock.

3. Superfamous

Superfamous features eye-catching images by Folkert Gorter. They are subject to the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license and can be used for your own purposes, as long as you give credit.

4. Pexels

Pexels makes it easy to access databases of hundreds of thousands of high-quality photos.

Not only does Pexels pull from its own website that houses images from its team of photographers and community members, it also searches other sites, including Pixabay and Gratisography.

The images can be modified and used for commercial and non-commercial purposes. Attribution is not mandatory.

pexels home page

5. Travel Coffee Book

Travel Coffee Book is a great site if you are looking for landmarks and scenery photos.

All images are available under Creative Commons Zero.

You can also submit your own travel photos to the website.

6. Unsplash

Unsplash is one of my favorite free photo websites. All you have to do is visit the site to know why.

As their website states, there are 10 new high-resolution photos added every 10 days and all images are licensed under Creative Commons Zero.

Be sure to also check out Unsplash Instant for Chrome. (Tip: Arthur Weill created an Unsplash search, http://www.arthurweill.fr/Unsplash/en, which categorizes the images).

7. Burst

Shopify offers Burst, which is a royalty-free provider for high-resolution photos. Anybody has permission to modify the images in any way and use for commercial purposes.

Not only is there a search feature, but the website also offers a good representation of different areas and topics, and the categories are useful when you are not sure what you are looking for.

Some images on the website fall under the Creative Commons CC0 license, but others have a nonexclusive license, so be sure to check how you can use the image you download.

8. Freerange Stock

Freerange Stock has thousands of free photos available for commercial or non-commercial use.

According to their website, the photos are directly from their in-house photographers, archives, and their community of photographers.

They request that you include an image credit similar to the following, “Photos courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock, www.freerangestock.com,” as well as the name of the photographer.

9. NegativeSpace

NegativeSpace provides images that work around a common theme of a central focus point with blurred surroundings.

The site is easy to use and even allows you to search for images by color or simply select from one of their categories.

The images can be used based on the Creative Commons CC0 license.

10. morgueFile

The morgueFile has a nice collection of photographs that are free for corporate or public use.

According to the website, the morgueFile license is for the use of designers and illustrators and it is requested that you give credit to the photographer.

If you are planning to use the image in a blog post, it is recommended that you get in contact with the photographer and include a byline with the image that includes the photographer’s name.

11. New York Public Library

The New York Public Library has Digital Collections with over 180,000 items, which are in the public domain.

They are now available as high-resolution downloads.

According to the New York Public Library, no permission is required and there are no restrictions on use.

12. Picjumbo

Picjumbo.com is a stock photo site created by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek.

The images are free and available for personal or commercial use.

There is a great feature on the site that allows you to “test drive” the image, meaning you can get a feel for how it can be used.

13. Jay Mantri

JayMantri.com provides free, breathtaking images that can be used under Creative Commons Zero.

Jay Mantri home page

14. Free Refe Real Life Photos

Free Refe Real Life Photos is by GetRefe.com, a site that offers royalty-free images.

All photos are free and have a range of themes and imagery.

15. New Old Stock

New Old Stock is a unique image site in that the photos are vintage and found in public archives.

Per the site owner, Cole Townsend, all photos are available for personal and non-commercial use.

If you want to use them for commercial purposes, you will need to do some homework by looking into the institution’s rights statement (all of this information is explained on the Rights and Usage page of the website).

You can purchase images from pro photo packs on the website, which are available for commercial use.

16. Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons includes a collection of more than 52 million media files that are free to use.

The website has a search function the help locate specific subjects and genres.

According to Wikimedia Commons, the images are available under licenses that are listed on the image description pages.

17. Gratisography

Gratisography showcases free photos by Ryan McGuire that are offered under the same terms as Creative Commons Zero.

As the photographer puts it, there are some common sense limitations to using the photos, but attribution isn’t required.

18. Life of Pix

Life of Pix offers a relatively small, but beautiful collection of high-resolution images, which can be used for commercial or personal use and do not have copyright restrictions.

On a side note, if you need videos, check out Life of Vids.

19. SplitShire

SplitShire provides free stock photos and images that can be used for commercial purposes.

Spliteshire home page

According to the website, these images have been used by The Huffington Post, CNN, and thousands of other websites.

20. Bigfoto

Bigfoto has a gallery of images taken by amateur photographers across the world.

Photos are categorized by geographical areas and themes and can be used for commercial or personal use.

Images are royalty-free, but in return they ask that you provide a link to the bigfoto site on your website or blog.

21. Reshot

Reshot touts a free exchange of the “world’s best visual content.” Per their website, the contributors range “from seasoned pros to those with a newly-discovered creative spark.”

The images are available for commercial and non-commercial use. In other words, the images include an irrevocable, nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos for free.

22. StockPhotos.io

StockPhotos.io is a sharing community that has a collection of over 27,000 free photos.

According to StockPhotos.io, “only public domain or Creative Commons licensed photos that are allowed for commercial use are added on this site.”

They advise you to check the licensing of each photo to avoid legal issues.

23. DesignersPics.com

You can grab some great high-resolution photos on DesignersPics.com, which are taken by Jeshu John.

The images are available for free for commercial or personal use – attribution is not required.

24. Pixabay

Pixabay has more than 530,000 photos, illustrations, and vectors.

As stated on their website, all images are released under Creative Commons CCO into the public domain and can be used royalty-free, including for commercial purposes. Attribution is not required.

A search feature makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.

25. Foodiesfeed

Just like the web address indicates, Foodiesfeed is great for all kinds of food photos. If you are looking for an image of food, this site is the perfect niche for you. All the photos are free to download and fall under the Creative Commons Zero license.

Foodies feed home page

26. FreeImages.com

FreeImages.com hosts more than 387,000 free photos and illustrations.

Be sure to read the Content License Agreement and also view specific restrictions for each image, which can be seen on the preview screen.

You may need to let the photographer know you are using the image and in some cases, you will need to give him or her credit.

27. Skitterphoto

Skitterphoto has added a new image every day since its inception in 2014, giving you access to unique high-resolution photos.

Skitterphoto images are taken by three photographers and are available under the Creative Commons Zero license.

You can find various themes, including landscape, people, transportation, and more.

28. MMT

MMT provides free photos and videos for commercial use. The platform was launched in 2014 by the founder, Jeffery Betts, to share his love of photography with the world.

Images have been featured on Shopify and Canva and there are new photos every week.

The images and videos are available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.

29. FreeDigitalPhotos.net

FreeDigitalPhotos.net has free, small-sized photos (if you want larger files, you have to pay) that can be used for personal or commercial use.

There are tens of thousands of images on the site in various categories.

If you download a free image, wherever you use it, you are asked to publish an acknowledgment to FreeDigitalPhotos.net and the creator of that image.

30. Pikwizard

Pikwizard offers more than 100,000 free images and over 20,000 of those are exclusive to Pikwizard.

According to the website, there are a lot of images of people that are available for download. The images are free to use without attribution.

41 Places to Find Free Images Online That You Will Actually Want to Use

31. IM Free

IM Free offers thousands of high-resolution images in various collections.

You can use the search box to find what you’re looking for or browse the collections.

Photos are under a Creative Commons license and can be used for commercial purposes, but note that attribution to the creator is required.

32. Startup Stock Photos

Per the website, Startup Stock Photos began as an outlet for photos that were being taken on a regular basis, but has since grown.

Startup Stock Photos positions itself as a website with “free photos for startups, bloggers, publishers, websites, designers, developers, creators, and everyone else.”

Images are available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.

33. Foter

Foter hosts more than 220 million free Creative Commons images.

These images are from numerous online sources (Foter uses Flickr API and searches Creative Commons photos).

What makes Foter unique is their WordPress plugin.

34. Stockvault.net

Stockvault.net has been around since 2004 and offers free stock photos, logos, and web layouts.

The images are free, but be sure to check the license for each image, as it varies.

Contributors have the option of three types of licenses, including non-commercial, commercial, and public domain (CC0).

35. Picography

Picography has an easy-to-use search function and a category dropdown to help in locating images.

The photos are under the Creative Commons CC0 license and do not require attribution.

36. Rgbstock

Rgbstock has a variety of images and graphics available for free download.

Rgbstock has a detailed description of how the images can and cannot be used.

37. Stockfreeimages

Stockfreeimages is owned by Dreamstime.com, a major stock image supplier. The website includes content donated by Dreamstime contributors for free download.

You do need to register for an account (also free) to access the images. The images fall under the Royalty Free license, but if you use one of the images, you need to include an image attribution and/or a link back to Stockfreeimages.com.

38. FreeImages.co.uk

FreeImages.co.uk has an index that includes more than 18,000 images in 89 different categories.

The images can be used in printed materials, websites, publications, and other illustration or design projects, but if you use the images on your website, FreeImages.co.uk requires a link or printed credit in return.

39. Kaboompics

Kaboompics provides free stock photos that can be used for both non-commercial and commercial projects.

There are thousands of images to choose from and attribution is not required. Images can also be modified.

kaboom home page

40. StreetWill.co

StreetWill.co offers vintage photos that are available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.

The site doesn’t have as many categories as some of the others, but the images are unique and visually appealing.

According to the website, there have been more than 1.1 million downloads of the images.

41. ISO Republic

ISO Republic has thousands of images and videos available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.

You can use the search function or view the categories, which range from Animals to Sport to Technology, to find what you’re looking for.

Final Thoughts

You should be able to find just the image you are looking for on one of these 41 great free photo websites. But if not, many more free photo sites exist.

More Resources:


Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, March 2019





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5 Easy SEO Wins with Powerful Results

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5 Easy SEO Wins with Powerful Results


Search engine optimization, when done correctly, can take a lot of work. This is why so many people are so eager to take shortcuts.

Fortunately, there are some tasks that don’t require as much effort, compared to tasks like link building, yet still yield significant gains.

I’m a big fan of efficiency, so I love tactics that deliver a greater return on my investment of time and/or money.

In this article, I’m going to explain five of these tactics which are easy to execute successfully but can deliver powerful results.

These easy SEO wins will help you get more out of your efforts and sprint past your competitors. They will also help to leverage better results out of your other SEO efforts like link building and content development.

1. Prune Outdated /Low-Quality Content

You probably created all of the content on your website with the best of intentions, but still, it’s almost a certainty that some of it is garbage.

There are a variety of reasons for this, and it happens to the best of us. The solution in many cases is to prune this content. In fact, Danny Goodwin and Loren Baker recently hosted a webinar on exactly this topic.

Some people are hesitant to get rid of any content, no matter the reason. The thinking is generally that it can’t do any harm to leave it there. And Google has reinforced this thinking time and time again.

But the reality is that despite what Google’s representatives say, outdated and/or low-quality content can negatively impact your ranking and traffic.

It probably should impact your credit score too, but apparently, I don’t have the clout necessary to make that happen.

Identifying Content to Prune

Once you’ve worked up the courage to start pruning, the first step is to identify the content that should be deleted.

The easiest and most complete way to do this is to use software like Screaming Frog to crawl your website and generate a list of URLs. This helps to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Next, you’ll need to begin the tedious task of reviewing this list, URL by URL, to determine which content is outdated or low quality. This means you actually need to manually visit each page and review the content.

It may help to prioritize this list. Google Search Console gives you the ability to export a CSV file of the URLs Google has indexed for your website, which you can then sort by traffic.

From here, you’ll want to start evaluating the URLs with no traffic, working your way up.

sorted URLs

It’s important to point out that a lot of this content you’re deleting can and should be redirected to a stronger, high-quality page.

But don’t fall into the misguided approach of redirecting them to your homepage. If there is a legitimately relevant page on your website, redirect it there, otherwise, just let it 404.

But what about the content that’s not a complete dumpster fire, and is still relevant?

2. Improve Quality Content

If you’ve been doing things right, a lot, if not most of your content should survive the executioner’s blade.

This content should be improved based on your visitors’ needs.

The advantage here is that this content already exists, the URL has a history in Google, and it may even have some inbound links. Because of these factors, it makes a lot more sense to improve that content rather than starting over from scratch.

Depending on circumstances, this might include:

  • Editing your content to improve readability, increase engagement, and to make it more comprehensive.
  • Adding relevant and useful media, including images, video, and PDFs.
  • Including original data, research, statistics, and case studies.

We’ll want to prioritize the content to improve based on quick and easy wins. This means we won’t be targeting topics we don’t already rank for, but we also won’t be focused on improving positions we already rank highly for.

So let’s go back to our Google Search Console export and sort the data based on URLs that rank anywhere from Position 5 to 30 in the search results.

sort URLs by position

We’ll then further sort this data by relevance and potential search volume. From here, we will compare these URLs to our competitors who outrank us to identify opportunities to improve.

Some of the things we’re looking for could include:

Word Count

Despite what you may have been told, size does matter.

While not a worthwhile metric on its own, it can help to determine how comprehensive several URLs are in comparison to each other.

Depth

Generally speaking, the top ranking pages across all industries tend to be more comprehensive than those that they outrank. This doesn’t mean that longer content will always win, but it can be a powerful factor.

Does your content effectively and completely answer not only the original query, but also any related questions that may come up as a result?

You need to think about not only the immediate topic, but everything related to the customer journey. This might include:

  • Related definitions
  • Frequently asked questions
  • A summary of relevant laws and regulations
  • Explanation of a process
  • Technical specifications
  • Statistical data
  • Case studies

Readability

How well-written is your content?

This is not something you want to evaluate by gut feel – you need an objective measurement.

  • Yoast gives you a readability score while editing content right in WordPress.
  • SEMrush enables you to test readability both within their platform and with a Chrome add-on that integrates with Google Docs.
  • There are countless other tools as standalone websites, apps, and addons/plugins, available.

Your immediate goal is to make your content easier to read than the content that’s outranking you, but that’s just a starting point.

If your competitors content reads like someone spilled a bowl of alphabet soup, don’t set out to simply be a little better than them. Your goal should be to blow them away.

Media

Are original and useful images included within your content? How about video and/or audio files?

Images can provide additional context that helps search engines understand what your content is about. So can video, provided that schema is properly used.

But both serve another more important role, and that is to improve the user experience.

Look for opportunities to use media to provide additional information that’s not included in the text.

Both images and video are great at making complex topics easier to understand, but video is particularly effective at keeping visitors on your website longer, which is always a good thing.

It’s always a wise idea to include a watermark on your images to prevent competitors from stealing them.

Sure, you could file a DMCA complaint after the fact, but it’s always easier to avoid the problem in the first place.

3. Update Internal Links

Internal links can be a powerful tactic in your SEO toolbox, but it’s important to review them from time.

Your internal links should point to any pages that you want to rank well, and they should be placed on any pages with content relevant to the link destination. Equally important, these links should be direct.

redirects

This is a pretty common problem in websites where content is frequently published, moved, or deleted. The solution is to use a tool like Screaming Frog or SEMrush to crawl your site and identify any redirect chains.

As for managing these internal links, I’m a big fan of automating this task, and this is easy for WordPress websites.

There are several plugins available that enable you to specify certain words/phrases to automatically link to specific URLs.

This allows you to instantly create, edit, and delete links across your entire website, whether you have a few pages or a few million pages.

4. Improve Page Load Speed

The longer a webpage takes to load, the fewer leads and sales you’ll generate. To compound this problem, slower websites also tend not to rank as well compared to faster websites.

This makes page speed monumentality important.

Most websites are painfully slow, but the good news is that it’s relatively easy to improve.

While improving page speed requires a moderate level of technical expertise, I still consider this to be an easy win because the improvements you make will have an immediate and sitewide effect.

I’ll briefly share a few tactics here, but I encourage you to check out another article I wrote, explaining how to improve page speed, in great detail.

Dump the Budget Web Hosting

The cheaper web hosts tend to oversell their services, so your website is crammed onto a server with hundreds or even thousands of other websites.

Because these servers often lack the horsepower necessary, the websites they host often suffer in terms of page speed.

Reduce HTTP Calls

Every part of your website – each HTML, CSS, JavaScript, image, video, and any other type of file — requires a separate HTTP request.

Fewer HTTP requests typically means a faster website.

So how do we get there?

The first step is to remove any unnecessary plugins. Then, you’ll merge multiple CSS and JavaScript files into a single CSS and JavaScript file.

You should also minimize the number of image files by using CSS to create the desired design effect and/or using sprites to merge multiple frequently used images.

Optimize Media Files

Images and videos on many websites tend to be larger than they need to be.

The first step is to to make sure your media files are in the ideal format. For example, JPG is best for photographic images, while GIF or PNG are better for images with large areas of solid color.

Then, you’ll need to ensure your media files are properly sized. Images and video should be no larger than they will be displayed.

For example, if a particular image on your website will be never displayed at more than 800px wide, the image file should be 800px wide.

Finally, you’ll need to compress your media files. There are a number of free tools available online for compressing various file types. There are also WordPress plugins that can compress all of the images already on your website.

These three steps are a good start, but as I mentioned earlier, I highly encourage you to check out my previous article on improving page speed for more tactics and greater detail.

5. Implement Schema Markup

There is no definitive evidence that schema markup has any direct impact on ranking, however, it’s still critical to SEO.

That’s because it has the potential to increase your website’s visibility in the search results, which results in higher click-through rates.

Since most websites today still don’t use schema, this creates a tremendous opportunity for those that do. Take a look at this example and tell me which result caught your eye first?

schema in SERPs

Fortunately, implementing schema is relatively simple. There are three types, and they are used in different scenarios.

  • Standard schema microdata, which is marked up directly in HTML.
  • JSON-LD, which is marked up in JavaScript and is the most recommended format.
  • RDFa, which is used in a variety of different document types including XML, HTML 4, SVG, and many others.

In some cases, you’ll use JSON and add it to your website just like you would any other script. In some cases, you’ll add markup to specific elements on your website, and in others, you might add RDFa to a different document type.

Roger Montti wrote a great, in-depth post on schema, so rather than reinventing the wheel here, I’ll just direct you to his article.

But schema goes a lot deeper than where it is today and I anticipate that it will play a much larger and more direct role in the search algorithm. Especially as voice search begins to gain traction.

Montti explains in another article how Google is currently using speakable markup, which I believe will become a more prominent factor in search in the coming years.

More Resources:


Image Credits

Featured Image: Created by author, April 2019
All screenshots taken by author, April 2019





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7 Expert Tips to Protect Your Online Reputation

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7 Expert Tips to Protect Your Online Reputation


Ready for some detailed advice to help protect your reputation online?

The advice you’ll read in this article works for both proactive reputation management, and for those that already have online negative content/reviews about them.

Be advised, however, that some sites may be impossible or very hard to beat.

Major news sites (e.g., The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, New York Times) require significant work to manage.

If a major news site has posted negative content about you, then you really need to be (or hire) an expert in SEO.

The do-it-yourself option is just not feasible at that scale. That said, these tips will help some DIYers before moving on to an expensive reputation management firm.

Up until recently, popular complaint website RipoffReport was also hard to beat.

Recent changes to Google’s algorithm (which we think occurred in September 2018) have pushed some complaint sites lower in search ranking. Read my prior article for more details about this.

Tip 1: Provide Excellent Service

You want to make sure that you really are providing an excellent service to avoid getting negative reviews in the first place. Consider going above and beyond your current efforts.

For example, if you run a restaurant, maybe provide a free appetizer to surprise new or returning customers.

If you notice even the slightest sign that a customer is unhappy, try your best to resolve the issue ASAP. The next best thing is to offer a free service or refunds to make up for the issue.

You can’t make everyone happy. I have been doing SEO services for over 20 years and there have been many times when I’ve had unhappy clients.

I have always either offered free services or provided refunds to my unhappy clients, and this is how I have kept a near flawless record online.

They say the client is always right. I know that sometimes they are not, but consider whether arguing with your customer is worth your reputation.

The decision may come down to the dollar value of your services.

Maybe a negative review on Yelp or Google Maps would not affect your overall rating because you have many positive reviews.

But what would happen if you got a negative review on a complaint site like RipoffReport?

Often, these kinds of reviews rank high for the brand name and can do more damage in a few months than the amount in dispute with your client.

I have offered full refunds to several clients over the years because the threat of a negative review on the right site can hurt.

My firsthand knowledge of the damage done to businesses has made me overly cautious.

One negative review can cost thousands of dollars in online reputation management (ORM) services to try and repair.

Tip 2: Ask for Reviews

Certain professions are more likely to have more negative reviews than positive.

For example, dentists for some reason usually get a high number of negative reviews.

My guess is that no one goes to a dentist with a happy feeling. One usually goes to a dentist to fix a cavity or do a cleaning, which could result in the discovery of cavities and require more work.

Having to spend money you had not planned on spending is a pretty good reason for most people to get upset. Even the best dental insurance requires some kind of a copay, so dental procedures can be expensive.

Even if you aren’t a dentist, you’re more likely to get positive reviews if you ask for them.

If you avoid asking your best customers for reviews, you may end up with more negative reviews than you would have wanted.

Just make sure that you know your customers are happy before you ask for the review.

If you are seeing your customer in person, you may start by asking how they felt about your service right after you finish the job.

Alternatively, you may want to follow up after a few days.

Another tip is to use a different person to follow up then whoever served the customer. If it is one of your staff that did the work/sale, then either a manager or you should do the follow-up.

This way the customer is more likely to tell you about a negative experience, and you won’t feel as defensive about it since you were not the one involved.

Tip 3: Incentives for Reviews

Consider offering some kind of incentive for reviews, but be warned that this practice is against Yelp. If you do this, make sure to never ask for it in writing, but always verbally.

If someone reports you to Yelp for doing this, you may get a warning or a demotion in Yelp’s search results.

I have seen businesses post messages behind their business cards asking for Yelp reviews, with a discount for positive reviews.

A customer just needs to take a picture of this and send it to Yelp. Yelp will quickly follow up with a Consumer Alert on your account.

Tip 4: Offer Refunds to Unhappy Clients

If you have clients that are unhappy with your services, at first try to resolve or fix the issues, but if this is not possible, then offer a full or partial refund or some other incentive such as discount coupons or even retail gift cards.

Accept that you were wrong. Trying to resolve issues will always sit better with clients than trying to argue.

Refunds can either help avoid the negative review or lessen the damage and turn the negative review into a somewhat positive one.

I’ve had clients where even a partial refund has meant the difference between a 1-star and a 4-star review. Even a 5-star rating may be possible.

Tip 5: Review Generating Platforms

Many companies offer platforms for review generation. The basic concept is to collect your customer’s emails and/or phone numbers.

After their visit, or every so often, you can send a survey email or text message to ask for feedback.

The message will ask how they felt about your services and if the answer comes back positive you can then ask them to give you a review on the review site of your choosing, such as Yelp and Google Maps.

If the answer comes back negative, you will see the message and can reach out to them to try and resolve the issue before they think about posting a negative review in the first place.

These services typically cost as little as $30 per month to run yourself, or up to hundreds of dollars for a full-service provider (ORM company). Some companies that offer this service include:

Tip 6: Consider Revising Your Business Model

I have a client with an ecommerce fashion store that dropships items from China, even though the business is based in the U.S.

The delivery time is usually 2 to 5 weeks, which is slow for most people. In addition, sometimes the Chinese sizes run smaller than US sizes.

So this business often gets many negative reviews and requests for returns/refunds. They also further upset clients by asking the customer to send back the item at their own expense.

As you can see, this kind of business cannot avoid negative reviews unless they change their business model.

The main benefit of their service is that it’s affordable. In fact, they are extremely cost-effective compared to similar fashion items found at major department stores.

So, what can a business like this do?

My advice begins with an adjustment to their sales copy informing customers that items are delivered from China and that shipping may take 2-5 weeks.

This tactic reduces some of their sales, but it avoids so many unhappy customers and unnecessary refunds.

Most people would probably not mind waiting a little if that would save them some money.

The customers that don’t want to wait that long are usually the ones that would complain most because they probably needed the item to be there for an occasion.

Also, they can offer free or reduced shipping costs for returns.

If the item is pretty cheap, another option is to provide a full refund and have the customer simply keep the item. Amazon used this tactic effectively in its growth phase to encourage Prime users.

The good news with this business is that they decided to change business models and keep inventory on hand to ship from the U.S. after I consulted with them.

They have been getting fewer negative reviews since they did this couple of months ago.

So my point here is to take a look at your business model to see what adjustments you can make to avoid situations that lead to negative reviews.

Even if it is going to cost you some business or money, you would be better off in the long run.

Not only will you increase business from new customers (thanks to positive reviews), happy clients will return and refer others to your business.

Tip 7: Be Proactive, Not Reactive

There are a number of things you can do to create a positive online image.

Your goal should be to populate the top 20 of Google with positive content about your business, which in turn may help to keep negative content out.

I plan on writing another article soon to cover more specifics, but in general, here are a few recommendations:

  • Register your social media profiles on the top social media sites, and stay active on those platforms.
  • Active Twitter profiles often get in the top 10 for their brand names, and Google may even show the latest feeds from them taking additional real estate space.
  • YouTube videos will often rank well for brand names. You can create a professional video for less than $1,000, or an even lower budget video using your smartphone. Also, you can hire a freelancer on a site like Fiverr to do a slide show type video about your business.
  • Distribute press releases every few months. Try to use different networks for distribution to get maximum coverage.
  • If you don’t already have a blog, create one and post on a regular basis (once a week is what we recommend to our clients as a minimum).
  • Create mini sites or blogs with subdomain blog platforms, such as wordpress.com or tumblr.com. Make sure your brand name appears as part of the subdomain (i.e., yourbrand.wordpress.com).

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Official AMP Plugin for WordPress Now Supports AMP Stories

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Official AMP Plugin for WordPress Now Supports AMP Stories


A new version of the official AMP plugin for WordPress supports the creation of AMP Stories.

Google recently added a dedicated section to search results for showcasing AMP Stories.

So there’s no time like the present for learning how to create them.

While AMP Stories can be created with or without this plugin, its drag-and-drop functionality certainly makes things easier.

Official AMP Plugin for WordPress Now Supports AMP Stories

The AMP Project team explains how WordPress offers an ideal platform for creating AMP Stories:

“Building on top of WordPress, and specifically the new Gutenberg editor available in WordPress 5.0, allows the AMP Stories creation process to benefit from the rich media management architecture available in WordPress.

In Gutenberg everything is a block. This makes it easy to create rich post layouts, provide enhanced authoring tools (word count, color contrast, document outlines, etc.), and extend with custom blocks.”

Capabilities of the latest AMP plugin update include:

  • Creating and reordering AMP Story pages
  • Dragging and dropping blocks
  • Managing your content overall as part of WordPress
  • Creating new elements, such as text, videos, images
  • Changing the background color and opacity, and adding a gradient
  • Animating the text, rotating it, and selecting a Google font

This feature is currently available in an experimental alpha version of the AMP plugin, which is said to work best with Gutenberg.

With that said, download and install the plugin at your own discretion.





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