Resource: How to Display Ads to Search Visitors

Micro-targeting visitors is an incredibly powerful SEO tool.  Think about this.  You search for a particular keyword, visit a particular website from the results, and don’t quite find what you’re looking for.  If there is an embedded advertisement in the website with the exact keywords you searched for, you are much more likely to click that ad than if it were an ad reflecting the content on that page.

Micro-targeting can be done easily within WordPress.  There are a number of free plugins that allow you to specifically target search visitors and users of a particular social media service.  Here are just a few ways to micro-target your advertisements using WordPress plugins.

1. Plugin: Ad Injection | Download (free)

Ad Injection is a plugin that inserts adsense, or other advertising code into your WordPress site anywhere.  It also works with Amazon Affiliates and Clickbank.  You can set ad placements within the plugin or use template tags to insert them anywhere your heart desires.  The plugin allows you to randomly insert ads between paragraphs, and limit which posts have ads by post age, length or a number of other parameters.

The most important feature is the ability to restrict ads by referrer.  This allows you to require search engine referrals show particular ad sets.  For example, I might set the plugin to display adsense ads when is the referrer.

2. Plugin: WP Greetbox | Download (free)

I have been using WP Greetbox for a long time to display welcome messages or prompt users to follow my blog.  It inserts a small content box below the post title.  What’s great about this plugin is that you can customize it to display different messages based on the referrer.  For example, I might say “welcome facebook user, please like our facebook page by clicking here”.  This gives the illusion of a slightly personalized message which is hard to come by on a website.

For our purposes, you can identify a specific message for those come from Google.  The plugin uses the example of having Googlers follow your RSS feed.  But with the advent of Google+, you can have users add you to their circles.  Targeting for search engine traffic is just one way to micro-target.  The sky is the limit.

This is also one of the best looking free plugins I have ever used on my site.  It includes the option to close the box, adjust the placement, round the corners and even add a dropshadow.

3. Popup Social Media Follows | Download

If you want to boost your social media presence, this plugin will let you target search engine traffic by popping up right after the page is loaded.  Although sometimes annoying, these tools can be an effective method of generating social media traffic.  This plugin lets you push Facebook, Google+ and Twitter buttons at users with a stylish overlay.  You can allow users the option of closing the window, or make it time-delayed.  If your traffic supports this kind of conversion tool, and if your content is good enough to push through it, this could be a really handy plugin.



20 Awesome Dark WordPress Themes

Most professional themes on the market lean towards lighter colors, mostly because of usability. However, there are plenty of projects where a dark theme is more appropriate. I spent some time this afternoon sifting from a heap of theme to present some crisp and professional dark WordPress themes for you to check out. I have included a handful of free options plus some very reasonably priced premium themes. I hope you find them useful.

Catalyst | Demo or Buy

Good Minimal | Demo or Buy

13th Floor | Demo or Buy

Black Aperture | Demo or Buy

Blackout | Demo or Buy

Camino | Demo or Download (FREE)

Dark N Clean | Demo or Buy

Denitto | Demo or Download (FREE)

Habitat | Demo or Buy

Imperial | Demo or Buy

Los Angeles | Demo or Buy

Modern Business | Demo or Buy

Navly | Demo or Download (FREE)

Palatino | Demo or Download (FREE)

Review It | Demo or Buy

Sabuy | Demo or Buy

Senyorita | Demo or Download (FREE)

Typemagz | Demo or Buy

Ultima | Demo or Download (FREE)

Zig Zag| Demo or Buy

How to customize your WordPress 404 page

I previous discussed how to customize your WordPress 404 page in a previous post, but I was brief.  This tutorial is intended to be a more comprehensive guide for this important customization step.  Customizing your 404 page tells your readers you went the extra mile to ensure they have a quality experience with your site.  Additionally, from an SEO perspective, users who need to take extra steps or “dig” to find your content are less likely to follow through.  They are also less likely to trust your site in search results in the future.

WordPress makes customization easy with logical theme files and template tags.  Here is how to leverage those features to customize your 404 page.  For those who don’t know, and I can’t imagine anyone reading Pingable that doesn’t, 404 pages are a catch-all page for any time a user stumbles upon content that does not exist.  Perhaps the URL has been changed, perhaps you’ve deleted the content, perhaps someone has incorrectly linked to a post.  The 404 page will be found by readers in these situations.

Step 1: Prevention

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  The best way to improve the 404 error page experience is to prevent it entirely.  Here are some steps to prevent most 404 errors.

  1. Use Google Webmaster tools to track dead links and 404 messages.  Google’s huge brain knows how to tell when it has found a 404 page, and if Webmaster Tools has been set up for the domain, it will notify the owner via some nifty charts.  Find out who is linking to these incorrect URL’s and kindly ask them to update their link.  If the error is from inside your site, go through each one and correct the links.
  2. Check and re-check your internal links.  There is no reason you should be the source of errors.
  3. Use a search engine approved site map.  There are several good free plugins that automatically generate sitemaps for you.  This allows search engines to track your content quickly and efficiently.
  4. Internally link through the WYSIWYG hyperlink generator.  This uses post ID’s to create internal links so if the slug is changed, the link is not broken.
  5. Use a consistent url structure.  This is selected through the WordPress settings.  Whatever you choose, don’t change it once your site goes live.
  6. If you must move a post, consider deleting the content and replacing it with a link or 303 redirect to the new location.

 Customizing the WordPress 404 Page

  1. Find the 404 template file. In most WordPress themes, there is a file called 404.php.  This is the 404 error page.  Also in most themes, it will not be customized much.  Only super premium themes come with a custom styled 404 page.  If there is not a 404.php file, you can create one and place it in the theme directory.  WordPress will look for this file automatically and use it in the event of a 404 file not found error.
  2. Edit the file. The file can be edited with the built-in theme editor.  In the WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Editor.  Choose your theme and choose the 404.php file to edit.
  3. Choose your message. Make this message a little quirky, a little different, but be clear and concise.  Give users a next step like a search link or a link to the main page.  Apologize and tell them you will be checking into this error.  A little personality goes a long way.
  4. Give them more information. Even better than asking them to search is displaying information automatically.  This plugin will display search results similar to the document title they attempted to access.
  5. Go the extra mile.Make the design something memorable, and funny.  Humor is tied to memory anchors.  If a site makes you laugh, you are more likely to remember it in the future.  If you aren’t a designer, consider using a pre-designed 404 error page.  Here are some very inexpensive options.
  6. Need more? The following premium themes come with custom 404 pages.  If you’re feeling the need for a professional and cohesive design, this is the way to go.

Additional Resources