Manaferra Shortlisted for Two European Search Awards

We are pleased to announce that Manaferra has been shortlisted for two awards from the European Search Awards in the categories Best Small SEO Agency & Best Use of Search – Third Sector. Awards from European Search Awards are known for being among the most prestigious Search Marketing awards on a European level. Application and evaluation criteria are incredibly rigorous, seeing as how it is judged by over 80 global industry experts.

As a local leader in SEO marketing, it’s no surprise that our agency, with quarters in Washington D.C., is the only regional agency to get shortlisted in the 2021 European Search Awards

Our CEO & Co-Founder of Manaferra Faton Sopa commented on the nominations:

“We have been investing heavily into building an agency where the best people can come together and produce qualitative and measurable results for businesses around the world. Having our work recognized by well-known SEO leaders brings us closer to our mission of helping companies get more business from search.”

Faton Sopa, Co-Founder & CEO

Manaferra

We have continuously been delivering outstanding results to our clients, with most of them experiencing well above 100% growth in organic traffic & leads within the first six months of working together.

The collaboration between Manaferra and the University of the Potomac, which earned us the nomination in the Best Use of Search – Third Sector category, is impressive. In our years of working together, the University of Potomac has seen a 1,400% increase in its organic leads. This goes to show that, with a great balance between SEO, Content, and Link Building, as well as dedication from our team members, remarkable results are achievable.

Regarding the progress the University of the Potomac achieved, our Content Specialist, Arta Mekuli said:

“It’s really a product of combining great content and strategic link building, that aligned well with the searcher’s intent. We used our expertise in SEO to determine what works, what didn’t work, and what could work—with that, the UOTP grew exponentially in terms of organic traffic, and as a result, saw a huge increase in leads. Our team was always ready to meet our partnership with UOTP with new and exciting ideas.”

Arta Mekuli, Content Specialist

Manaferra

Manaferra’s steady year-over-year growth, department expansion, and loyalty to superior results is the reason that we are shortlisted for Best Small SEO Agency as well. Considering our growth in the past few years, Manaferra is a favorite as a finalist due to our untired work in increasing search presence across industries & especially Higher Ed., SaaS, and Publishing.

121 Digital Marketing Quotes Every Marketer Should Know

As digital marketers, we are always challenged with finding creative and productive ways to get results for our clients. It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of work to do it. We thought of making this list with 121 quotes (BTW. 101 is too cliche) to help you stay inspired on your awesome job. We are sure that you will find quotes that relate to you.

All quotes are tweetable, so we encourage you to share those that you like most with your friends.


Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change.

– Jill Whalen

When you are writing keep asking yourself “so what” until you are sure what is in it for the customer.

– Ann Handley.

Take a risk and keep testing, because what works today won’t work tomorrow, but what worked yesterday may work again.

Amrita Sahasrabudhe.

Advertising brings in the customers, but it is your job to keep them buying from you.

Chet Holmes.

The pace of change means that relationship is more important than ever before.

– Dave McLaughlin.

Quit counting fans, followers, and blog subscribers like bottle caps. Think instead about what you’re hoping to achieve with and through the community that actually cares about what you’re doing.

-Amber Naslund

People shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago, so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction.

– Brian Halligan

It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic.

– Jeff Eisenberg.

In 2004, good SEO made you remarkable on the web. In 2014, good SEO is a result of being remarkable on the web.

– Rand Fishkin

Going viral is not an outcome; it’s a happening. Sometimes it happens; sometimes it doesn’t. Just remember, fans are vanity and sales are sanity.

– Lori Taylor

I love being marketed to’. Said no one, ever.

– Jess3

Your culture is your brand.

– Tony Hsieh

We’re all learning here; the best listeners will end up the smartest.


– Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff

Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.

– Ian Schafer.


Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.

– Joe Chernov

You can’t fool all the people, not even most of the time. And people once unfooled, talk about the experience.

– Seth Godin

It doesn’t matter how much ‘real’ (objective) value you have baked into your product if your customers don’t perceive that value.

– Dharmesh Shah

Best way to sell something: don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, and trust of those who might buy.

– Rand Fishkin

Commit to a niche; try to stop being everything to everyone

– Andrew Davis

Instead of one-way interruption, web marketing is about delivering useful content at precisely the right moment when a buyer needs it

– David Meeran Scott

A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.

– Scott Cook

Being able to quit things that don’t work is integral to being a winner

– Timonthy Ferris

We embed social media inside our processes. Let’s look at our processes and see how we can enhance them with social.

– Sandy Carter

The only way to win at content marketing is for the reader to say, ‘This was written specifically for me.’

– Jamie Turner

Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.

– Arjun Basu

My theory is that in the age of the internet, it’s what you write, not where you write it, that matters.

– Dan Lyons

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; you just need to share your unique perspective on why the wheel is important.

– Jon Ball

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

– Peter Drucker

The Internet makes money for you when you build something that is real and when it matters to people!

– Darren Rowse

Authenticity, honesty, and personal voice underlie much of what’s successful on the web.

– Rick Levine

Content is king, but marketing is queen and runs the household.

– Gary Vaynerchuk

Sell-sell-sell sales methods simply do not work on social media.

– Kim Garst

The difference between Sales and Marketing is that Marketing owns the message and Sales own the relationship.

– John Jantsch

Marketing is about telling good stories. Social media marketing is about getting your customers to tell them for you.

– Corey Eridon

If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.

– Guy Kawasaki

Social Media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.

– Brian Solis

The best way to persuade people is with your ears – by listening to them.

– Jamie Turner

If you don’t make mistakes, you aren’t really trying.

– Coleman Hawkins

Marketers need to build digital relationships and reputation before closing a sale.

– Chris Brogan

Don’t think of pitching. Think of offering…The offer is better than a pitch.

– Sonia Simone

On average, people should be more skeptical when they see numbers. They should be more willing to play around with the data themselves.

– Nate Silver

The paradox is the more info you give away, the more people will buy what you have to give.

– Brian Clark

So let me get this straight, you tell your clients to blog every day but you don’t?

– Paul Rosenberg

Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.

– Andrew Davis

Tell a story. Make it true. Make it compelling. And make it relevant.

– Rand Fishkin

The objective is not to ‘make your links appear natural’; the objective is that your links are natural

– Matt Cutts

90% trust peers on social networks (even strangers); only 15–18% trust brands.

– Danny Brown

You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them.

– Pam Moore

You have to understand as a marketer that consumers are functioning in the age of efficiency.

– Mitch Joel

Each of us has some kind of powerful story. Tell it.

– Leo Babauta

The modern marketer is an experimenter, a lover of data, a content creator, a justifier of ROI.

– Kim Walsh

Create a minimal viable product or website, launch it, and get feedback.

– Neil Patel

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

– Bill Gates

Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.

– Steve Jobs

Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.

– Seth Godin

Measurement is like laundry. It piles up the longer you wait to do it.

– Amber Naslund

Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want to plaster on a billboard with your face (or logo) on it.

– Erin Bury

Make the customer the hero of your story.

– Ann Handley

Disruptive innovation can hurt, if you are not the one doing the disrupting.

– Clay Christensen

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.

– Napoleon Hill

If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.

– Simon Sinek

Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.

– Anthony Robbins

The overarching problem is that everyone sees and uses social media from a different perspective.

– Neal Schaffe

Customers can’t always tell you what they want, but they can always tell you what’s wrong.

– Carly Fiorina

The brands that can connect with the client in a real way will win.

– Gary Vaynerchuk

Content is fire. Social Media is gasoline.

– Jay Baer

Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.

– Doug Kessler

Money follows passion – not the other way around.

– David Garland

Depending entirely on Google or SEO is dangerous.

– Danny Sullivan

Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.

– Brian Clark

Never forget social media is for reach but email is for revenue.

– Bryan Eisenberg

Care about your customers more than about yourself, and you’ll do well.

– Derek Sivers

Content is the reason search began in the first place.

– Lee Odden

When it gets difficult is often right before you succeed.

– Chris Garrett

The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.

– Tom Fishburne

Our head of social media is the customer.

– McDonalds

The secret to getting results from your social networking is to act like a member, not a marketer.

– Mari Smith

Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.

– Jon Buscall

Great content is the best sales tool in the world.

– Marcus Sheridan

Customers are usually very good at identifying their problems, not so much the solutions.

– Dharmesh Shah

The future of business is social.

– Barry Libert

The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.

– David Ogilvy

New marketing is about the relationships, not the medium.

– Ben Grossman

Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.

– Dan Zarella

Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.

– Avinash Kaushi

Your goal should be to own quality time in your customer’s inbox.

– Drew Davis

You have to start with the basic premise that you need to know what your competition is doing.

– Guy Kawasaki

SEO is not something you do anymore, it’s what happens when you do everything else right

– Chad Pollitt

Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.

– Wendy Piersall

A comedian can’t stand in front of an audience and tell them he’s funny. He has to tell the joke and let them decide.

– Doug Brown

Start with the end in mind and work backward.

– Michael Stelzner

People ignore design that ignores people.

– Frank Chimero

Focus on how to be social, not how to do social.

– Jay Baer

When it comes to content, the best marketers know that self-promotion is good!

– Kieran Flanagan

Love your readers to death!

– Darren Rowse

We must move from numbers keeping score to numbers that drive better actions.

– David Walmsley

Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale”.

– David Newman

Modern sales feels more like a Doctor/Patient relationship than a Salesperson/Prospect relationship

– Mark Roberge

You can’t shortcut relationships.

– Scott Stratten

Your website is your greatest asset. More people view your web pages than anything else.

– Amanda Sibley

Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising.

– Milton Hershey

Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing.

– Mike Volpe

Don’t build links. Build relationships.

– Rand Fishkin

Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.

– Mark Zuckerberg

When you try to do something big it’s hard to fail completely.

– Timonthy Ferris

You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills.

– Jim Rohn

“If plan “A” fails — remember you have 25 letters left.

– Chris Guillebeau

Think like a publisher, not a marketer.

– David Meerman Scott

Recruiting great marketers must be your #1 priority.

– Kipp Bodnar

Influence is providing attention and value to others.

– Laura Fitton

Some of us sell to businesses, but we all market to people

– Elle Woulfe

Blog with passion. Passion spreads.

– Scott Stratten

Make it about them, not about you.

– Simon Sinek

Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.

– Richard Branson

It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges.

– Mike Davidson

You have to understand that nothing appeals to everybody.

– Gene Simmons

Messages that fail to fascinate will become irrelevant.

– Sally Hogshead

If you get bored with social media, it’s because you are trying to get more value than you create.

– Fast Company

Make your marketing so useful people would pay you for it.

– Jay Baer

Good marketers see consumers as complete human beings with all the dimensions real people have.

– Jonah Sachs

A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today. – Karen Lamb

7 Brilliant Tools Every Blogger Should Know About

Blogging ain’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be this hard either.

Over the years, blogging has evolved, and many new platforms and tools have been created. Most of the tools aren’t very useful, but a few are.

Here are the 7 tools that have helped make my blogging journey a bit easier and hopefully yours too:

1. Hemingway App

The tool examines your writing and highlights issues preventing your prose from achieving the bone-clean strength of Hemingway’s. As you make edits, the Readability score instantly lowers (a good thing), spurning you to achieve Papa-like perfection.

If you’re imagining Microsoft Word’s underwhelming grammar checker, don’t. Unlike the obsequious Clippy gesturing towards irrelevant tips, Hemingway Editor is focused and transparent.

It’s dead simple — and fun.

2. Answer The Public

Google Auto Suggest offers amazing insights on what & how users search for different terms. Tools like UberSuggest and KeywordTool automate the gathering of suggestions by appending every letter of the alphabet to a keyword you enter. This saves you a lot of time.

AnswerThePublic takes this one step further.

This tool will suggest questions people would ask on a different topic or keyword that you insert, which you can materialize in new keywords or – why not? – in new content ideas.

3. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is another tool that I love. It tracks content on all social networking sites and ranks them based on the number of shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. It monitors content by topic or user and then uses an advanced search engine to deliver very accurate results.

You can also search for the most shared content based on a URL, making it a great tool to dig up the most shared content by the top influencers in your industry or niche.

4. Canva

You don’t have to use any complicated design program (Photoshop?) or hire a professional graphic designer anymore to create stunning graphics for your article.

Canva allows you to create beautiful designs + documents easily. The coolest thing about it is that you can use most of the design elements in Canva for free, but even if you want to use one of their paid elements, it only costs you one dollar.

5. Trello

This blogging tool is critical for bloggers that create a large amount of content or for those who work in teams. Trello is essentially a project management tool focused on improving your workflow.

Something that bloggers aren’t aware of is that you can actually create a blogging editorial calendar in Trello. Here’s a template you can use to get started. Organization is key for bloggers, so Trello is definitely something worth adding to your list of blogging tools.

6. Picasio

Picasio helps you create, publish & analyze interactive content such as quizzes and slides that you can embed on your site. Quizzes are great for traffic & lead generation, something every blogger dreams of.

All content created using Picasio is easily customizable and responsive for every device. Using built-in Analytics, you’ll be able to track how your content is performing.

Sign up now to start using Picasio.

7. Simply Measured

Simply Measured has a handful of tools, and my favorite ones are their free tools.

Just put in your social media handle, and they will analyze your brand across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more. This will allow you to understand your audience and learn more about them.

Conclusion

Even though blogging can be hard work, with all the tools (listed above + lots of others I haven’t mentioned) .. it doesn’t have to be THAT hard. In this article, I’ve listed the tools that I use personally, and I’ve seen some great results from them.

I’m curious to know what’s on your arsenal? Which tools do you use and why?

Mass 301 redirect using .htaccess or WordPress plugins

It comes a day when you start making changes to your website. These changes can be from a simple change in design to completely change the CMS that powers the site. Or maybe you are moving your site from an old domain to a new one. In this case, you want to make sure that the links you have worked hard to rank in Google don’t just disappear. You want to redirect them to the new ones. How? By using 301 redirect, of course!

There are three types of redirects. We want to make sure to use the right one, 301 redirect, which tells Google that this link has moved permanently. The other two types are 302 (found or moved temporarily) and Meta Refresh. More about redirection you can read at this awesome guide by Moz.

In this article, I’m going to write about two ways to mass 301 redirect links by using .htaccess and WordPress (because it’s too damn popular to ignore it).

Mass 301 redirect using .htaccess

Mass redirection in .htaccess it’s pretty easy, actually. All you need to do is open your .htaccess file in the root of your site and add these lines of code:

Redirect 301 /old-page.html http://www.example.com/new-page.html
Redirect 301 /old-page-2.html http://www.example.com/file/

You can also 301 redirect an entire site with just one line of code:

Redirect 301 / http://www.new-site.com/

Mass 301 redirect using WordPress plugin

WordPress 301 Redirects is this awesome plugin that I use whenever I need to redirect links from my WordPress sites. After installing the plugin, all you have to do is start adding links you want to redirect from your site.

/2012/09/old-post/ http://www.example.com/2012/09/new-post/

Conclusion

Whenever you change something in your link structure, it’s imperative to be careful of what will happen with the old links. You don’t want to see all SEO traffic going to 404 error pages (which eventually will follow with a drop in rankings). It’s also a bad experience for the visitors. So whenever you make these changes, you have to be sure that the old links are pointing to the new ones.

How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website

WordPress powers 41.5% of the web. We at Manaferra like to think of WordPress as one of the best things that ever happened to the web. Its simplicity and flexibility are the main reasons why WordPress is so popular nowadays.

WordPress it’s one of the most SEO-friendly Content Management Systems out there. But there is still some work to be done in some areas. Let’s take this case as an example:

You have this amazing, well-designed WordPress site with high-quality content and great user engagement, but while your website gets more visits day after day, a very common problem starts to appear, and that is “your page speed.”  Judging it from a visitor’s perspective, that is irritating, and as a result, it sends your potential customers away from your site. Even SEO is affected by page speed.

Below, we present to you some tips on how to speed up your WordPress site.

First of all let’s see how fast is your site loading by using Pingdom.

The first thing that visitors notice when they come to your site is speed, and if your site is slow, they will go away. You may have the best website in the world, but if nobody sees it, what’s the point then. Google also is considering site speed as a ranking factor. Studies have shown that slower sites perform badly compared to the faster ones when it comes to buying stuff online or, putting it differently, e-commerce sites.

From the above screenshot, we can see that the load time is relativity good, but still, there is room for improvement. Let’s start with the basics.

Plugins

WordPress plugins are wonderful, especially for us with limited coding skills (or not at all). One-click, and you’ll add almost any feature you want on your site. They also have a dark side. They make your site perform slower. If you go to Installed Plugins in WP Dashboard, I’m sure that you’ll find one or two active plugins that you don’t use. De-activate them and look for other plugins that you don’t need that much. Also, install P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) and use it to see which are slowing down your site. After that, you can see what’s happening in the backside and try to find a solution to fix it.

Hosting

Hosting is an essential part of your WordPress site. It’s a little bit tricky to find good hosts with affordable prices. However, it is important that the website’s speed can not be ignored. If you just have started your WP website,  you might want to look at Bluehost, Dreamhost, or Hostgator. These hosting providers are a good solution if you have just started your website. Still, when its visits start to get significance increase,  you might want to start thinking about switching to a VPS or Dedicated Servers like OVH, GoDaddy, HostNexus, GoDaddy, or others.

Another solution for WordPress hosting websites may also be WPEngine, a provider built and developed mostly for WP sites.

Caching

With caching, you’ll see dramatic improvements the moment you click the Save button. There are two popular caching plugins, WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. I prefer the second one. These plugins are amazing because they simplify the way WordPress works. After all, it makes it possible that the content you’re looking for to be served from the cache without being generated over and over again.

The picture below shows how installing and configuring W3 Total Cache helped our blog go down from 1.71s to only 964ms load time. Isn’t it great?

Image Compression

When you’re dealing with websites with many pictures, then image compression is a must. For WordPress, there is this amazing plugin called WP Smush.it which helps a lot. What this plugin does is that it automatically compresses every picture while you’re uploading them. You can also go back and compress (or “smush”) pictures that are already on the site, like logo or banners, to save in maximum.

Content Delivery Network

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network, and it’s a way of delivering your web objects like scripts, URLs, text and graphics from different locations across the globe. For example, when a visitor from Europe visits your blog, it will automatically look for the closest server that hosts these files to show you. This way, you’ll improve your site speed.

Conclusion

A faster website these days is a must. It’s not something you can ignore. Ignoring it will cause visitors to leave your website, bad user experience, dropping rankings in Google etc. Most of the tips in the article are simple and easy to execute; however, if you don’t understand or know how to do something, I would be happy to help you. If you have any other tip on improving WordPress speed, please share it with us through comments.

Are you now more familiar with speeding up your website speed? Share your challenges with the community using the below comments.

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