Social Media Made Simple with EarthLink Web Hosting

social media integration with SocialStream and EarthLink Web HostingWhether you have a large, multi-location business, a small local retail store, or you’re an individual service provider like a lawyer or accountant, you should at least be experimenting with social media.

Social media can be a great way for all kinds of businesses to connect with and engage customers and potential customers, to showcase your brand (even if it’s just your personal brand), to promote loyalty, and to distribute promotions. Along with your company website, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn offer you an additional online channel promote your business. But managing your business’s social media for multiple social networks can be a lot of work to keep up with.

The good news if you’re an EarthLink Web Hosting customer is that all of our hosting and ecommerce plans include a free tool, called SocialStream, to help simplify and streamline the process of managing your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social networks from one easy-to-use social media dashboard.

How to Set Up SocialStream

  1. Sign into your Web Hosting Control Center at https://control.earthlink.net with your web hosting domain name, username and password.
  2. From the Build tab, click on the SocialStream icon.
  3. Click the Social Networks link.
  4. Click the Connect button for each of the social networks you want to connect to your web hosting account (you will need to have signed up for the social networks first). If you ever want to disconnect a network, simply come back to this page and click Disconnect.connect social media accounts to web hosting account
  5. A new window will pop up for each network you select, asking you to allow Social Media Tracker to access your account. Click Authorize or Okay. (You may also need to sign in at the same time if you are not already signed in to the service.)

How to Post to Multiple Social Networks

  1. If you are already in SocialStream, click the Communicate tab at the top of the page. If not, sign back into your Web Hosting Control Center and click the SocialStream icon and then the Communicate link.
  2. Simply enter your post in the Add New Comment box (following the appropriate limits, such as 140 characters), select which networks you want to post to (or click the Select All button to post to all of them), and click Post Status.
  3. You will see a confirmation message indicating your post was successful.

How to Track Your Social Media Posts

After you’ve started posting to your social networks, you’ll probably want to keep track of how they are working. SocialStream makes that simple, too.

  1. If you are already in SocialStream, click the History tab at the top of the page. If not, sign back into your Web Hosting Control Center and click the SocialStream icon and then the History link.
  2. Click the Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook icons to see information for one network at a time or click Show All.
  3. You’ll see Posts, No. of Replies, Likes and the Time of the post. The most recent posts are on top.
  4. Click the Follower Posts tab to see the users who are following your posts on your social networks and any replies to your posts.

Let us know how social media working for your business by leaving a comment below. Good luck!

SEO Basics: Sitemaps & Search Engine Submission with EasySiteOptimizer Pro

basic-seo-easy-website-optimizerThis is the follow-up we promised last week in our post about how to use EasySiteOptimizer Pro’s Code Validation tools to improve website SEO. If you missed that, I recommend starting there and then coming back to this one. And if you haven’t yet done any keyword optimization on your website, you may want to go all the way back to this post about on-page keyword SEO using EasySiteOptimizer Pro.

So, I’ll assume that by now you’ve done some keyword optimization and code validation using EasySiteOptimizer and are ready for these next steps.

First, let’s generate a sitemap that contains all the links available on your website to ensure that Google and other search engines can easily index all your pages. Using a sitemap may improve your chances to rank in search engines for the maximum number of pages.

  1. Sign into your Web Hosting Control Center at with your EarthLink Web Hosting domain name, username, and password.
  2. On the Build tab, click the EasySiteOptimizer button.
  3.  From the Main Menu window, click the Sitemap link on the left side of the page.
  4. Click the Generate Sitemap button.
  5. You’ll see a confirmation that the sitemap was created and any previous sitemap was replaced.
  6. Click the Upload Sitemap button to submit the new sitemap to Google and other search engines.
  7. Click OK after you get confirmation the sitemap was uploaded.

The next EasySiteOptimizer tool you may want to use is the Submissions tool. It’s super quick and easy to use.

Simply click on the Submissions tab at the top of the page, check the 5 boxes listed on the page, and click Apply. This will automatically submit your website to Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and AOL. (Keep in mind, submitting doesn’t guarantee that your site will be indexed, but it’s a great first step.)

After your site has been up for a few weeks, you may want to check in on your Google rankings. The simplest way to see if your website is indexed is to go to Google and search for your website by name. But EasySiteOptimizer Pro offers some additional support when checking SEO rankings. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Click the Optimization tab at the top of the page.
  2. Click the Google Rankings link on the left side of the page.
  3. At the top of the fields on the page you should see your Main URL listed (probably your website’s homepage). To check rankings for that page only, simply click the Check button without adding any additional information.
  4. Below the Check button you should now see numbers listed for Saturation, Back Links, and Page Rank (you may need to scroll down to see them). Saturation is the number of your website’s pages that Google has indexed. Back Links are the number of other websites that have links to your site. And Page Rank is Google’s quality score for your website (between 0 – 10, but you may see NA listed if your website is still new).
  5. You can use the Location field to get rankings for other pages on your website.
  6. Check the use www prefix box if your website defaults to www.
  7. You can add up to four additional URLs if you want to compare your website to other sites (such as competitors).

seo-with-easy-siteoptimizer-traffic-reportsAnd lastly, you can use EasySiteOptimizer Pro to get a quick overview of your website traffic.

  1. Click on the Reports tab at the top of the page.
  2. Choose a Month and Year with the drop-down menus.
  3. Click the Generate Report button.
  4. You’ll see a bar graph showing your daily website hits for the month you selected. It’s sometimes helpful to look for patterns (are Mondays always busy, weekends always light?) and signs of growth (though you may need to look back several months to chart growth).
  5. Under the graph, you’ll get a list of the top Referrers and their URLs, along with the number of hits they generated. (A referrer is basically a website that has sent traffic to you.)

Good luck with your SEO effort with EasySiteOptimizer Pro.

SSL Certificate – Give Your Customers Peace of Mind

SSL certificates give online shoppers peace of mind…and since online shopping is an important part of modern commerce, and your business should make sure to take full advantage.

https ssl certificateOnline shoppers love convenience but hate risk. No one wants to be unsure about placing a purchase because they might be giving their financial information to an insecure site.  Don’t let that happen to your business: give your customer a guarantee.

This guarantee is a digital certificate.  Also known as an “SSL Certificate,”it encrypts your site’s online shopping cart, making it incredibly tough for a third party to snatch the credit card/mailing info your customers provide you.

And how will your customers know you’ve encrypted your website?  Firstly, you can display a graphic (showing a seal of the certificate, or a lock, etc) on your site, but…more importantly…if your cart is properly encrypted, the “http://” in your store’s web address will display as “https://” (the “s” literally stands for “secure”, and there is no way to get it without encryption).

With a secure website, your customers can buy without worry.  So include an SSL Certificate as a part of your ecommerce web hosting plan!

Email Marketing Results – How to Track Them with Announcer Pro

email marketing results chart in Announcer ProWant to grow your business or keep your current customer base engaged with email marketing? Then read on.

Several months ago, we posted about how to create and send your first marketing emails with Announcer Pro, an easy-to-use tool that’s built into the EarthLink Web Hosting Control panel.

Announcer Pro is included with all our EarthLink web hosting, ecommerce hosting, and professional website design and hosting plans. (The maximum number of contacts you can use, however, does vary by plan.)

After you’ve sent your first marketing email (using the 5 steps outlined in our previous post), you should get ready to monitor the results.

Today we’ll show you just what results and stats you can track with Announcer Pro.

How to View Your Email Marketing Results

  1. Sign in to your EarthLink Web Hosting Control Panel at control.earthlink.net.
  2. Click on the Email tab and then the icon for Announcer Pro.
  3. On the Main Menu screen, you’ll see some results in the Activity section as well as the Latest Email Statistics section.
  4. Click on the View Results tab at the top of the page to go to the Delivery Results page.

Your Delivery Results Page

The Announcer Pro delivery results page is an easy-to-read overview of your marketing email. Here’s what you’ll see on the main part of the page:

  • A large pie chart showing the percentage of opened, unopened and bounced emails
  • Percentage of your emails that were successfully sent
  • Click rate percentage for your emails
  • Percentage of recipients that unsubscribed
  • Percentage of emails that were flagged as spam
  • Twitter click percentage
  • Facebook click percentage

In the left-side column, you’ll see an Email Summary with the email name, subject line, reply-to-email address, and date sent. You’ll also get links that allow you to dig deeper into the results of your email.

Click, for example, on Clicks: 40% (that was my click-rate on my last email test; so this number will vary by campaign) and you’ll see the URL or URLs that were clicked on in your email, and a list of names and email addresses of the recipients who clicked on your email.

At the bottom of the left column, you’ll have the option to download a detailed report as an HTML, CSV, or PDF file.

Good luck with your email marketing efforts. Let us know how you’re doing in the comments section below.