Jetpack 6.9: introducing more tools for the new block editor

Another wave of blocks built for the new WordPress editor is here! Along with a streamlined admin page, Jetpack 6.9 is a serious upgrade to your website building and management tools.

Continue reading → Jetpack 6.9: introducing more tools for the new block editor

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Improve Your Website Conversion Rates Using Jetpack

Website conversion rates are among the hardest metrics to optimize after you build a website. This is especially true if you’re trying to sell a product or service.

The average website conversion rate is only around 1.6 percent, according to Wolfgang Digital’s 2017 eCommerce Benchmark KPI Study. That’s not very high. You should do everything you can to increase the chances that a site visitor takes a specific action, whether it’s signing up for your newsletter or completing a purchase.

Many website conversion tips address tactical points like creating compelling call-to-action buttons; however, technical problems can keep readers from spending time on your site — or even from making a purchase.

Today, we’ll look at some of the more common technical issues that can affect website conversions and discuss how to overcome them.

Decrease your page load times

People are busy. They don’t have time to sit back and wait for your website pages to load. This means that your site needs to be as fast as possible, or you’ll risk losing readers and customers.

A big factor in minimizing page loading times is the ability to serve large files (images or videos) from an offsite service known as a Content Delivery Network (CDN). By storing these files on a CDN, you reduce the load on your web server. This will make your site load faster. Often, CDNs also have server locations around the world, so if your site is hosted in one country but your visitor is from another, the nearest CDN server can send the files to your visitor’s browser faster than your web host can.

Jetpack saves you the trouble of setting up and implementing a CDN by offering the Site Accelerator feature with every plan, as well as an unlimited video CDN for Premium and Professional plan users. You just need to enable the tool within your settings.

As an added bonus, Jetpack’s lazy-loading images is a free feature that will only load the images visible on a visitor’s screen. If there are other images further down a page, they will only load once a reader reaches that portion of the page. Since the browser doesn’t need to download all the images at once, your initial page load time will be faster.

Protect your visitors’ data

The rise of eCommerce has unfortunately yielded opportunities for hackers and other malicious players to steal important user data, like payment and contact information.

For these reasons, it’s important that your visitors trust the safety of your site. They should be able to interact with payment gateways without worrying about their information being stolen. Using globally trusted service providers — for example, PayPal to securely handle online payments — will give your site credibility. A site visitor already understands that PayPal is a trustworthy service, so they are more likely to take the leap and make a payment on your site than if you were relying on an unknown provider.

Jetpack’s security services contain brute-force attack protection, automated malware scanning, and expert priority support. Although largely invisible to your visitors, these tools will protect them as well as your site’s reputation.

WooCommerce is one solution that comes with a secure payment system, but you can explore other safe ways to accept payments online. For example, Premium and Professional plans support PayPal payments through Simple Payment buttons you can add to any post or page.

Jetpack PayPal Button

Leverage relevant content

Whenever a visitor comes to your site, a great way to keep them around (and eventually turn them into a buyer or subscriber) is to persuade them to read more content that’s relevant to their interests. Generally, this means manually adding links to content that’s related to a given post or page. Already a time-consuming task, this can also have a negative effect on your page load times.

Related Content for WordPress

This is where the Related Posts feature comes in handy. When you enable it, your content will automatically be indexed; relevant matches will pop up following the content of each of your posts or pages. Because the indexing is done via Jetpack’s servers, it has no effect on your site speed. The service will continue to index any new content you add to better serve your readers.

Enhance your search features

Imagine the following scenario: A visitor stumbles upon your content via a search engine results page. After they read your content, they decide to read more related posts about your products and services, which they also find interesting. They use your website’s search functionality to look for a specific topic, but the keyword they search for appears multiple times within your posts and pages. Your site becomes slow or doesn’t return relevant results, so the reader leaves in search of a better, faster site. Ultimately, you lose the opportunity to convert that potential customer.

To prevent this scenario, Jetpack uses Elasticsearch. Used by online publications like TIME, CNN, and People, Elasticsearch implements the power of a Google-like search engine into your website, but outsources the processing of that search to an external service. Elasticsearch provides relevant search results by using modern algorithms (similar to Google’s) to rank content. It will also prioritize recent content above older content in search results. Finally, if a user searches for an entire phrase instead of one word, Elasticsearch will return content that matches the full phrase, as opposed to content that only matches words within that phrase.

Available to Jetpack Professional plan users, Jetpack Search will deliver faster, more useful results to your visitors while cutting down on server resource requirements. It creates better experiences for your site visitors and increases the likelihood that you’ll convert them into customers.

Great website experiences increase conversions

To convince a site visitor to buy your product or service, you need to provide a user experience that gives them absolutely no reason to hesitate. This means eliminating long load times, questionable payment gateways, and breaks in website functionality. Not only will implementing the services outlined above provide that kind of experience, they will also decerase any doubts first-time buyers might have, helping you strengthen your conversion rates from both ends of the equation.

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Create the Perfect Barbershop Website with WordPress and the Jetpack Plugin

Whether you’re an established barber, are fresh out of school, or are just pulling together a business plan, creating an effective and beautiful barbershop website can be critical to your professional success. Let’s talk about standing out from the crowd, landing new clients, and extending your social reach by creating a website for your salon services with WordPress and the Jetpack plugin.

Desk with various barber utilities such as heairbrush, combs, etc.

Finding the perfect theme

Selecting an effective theme is the first step in the site design process, as it defines your brand’s overall tone.

You can browse more than 100 themes in the Jetpack theme showcase. If you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you can upgrade your plan for a wider theme selection that also come with enhanced features.

Whether you’re looking for a retro, 19th-century design (complete with a rotating barbershop pole) or a modern aesthetic, there’s a theme out there that’s perfect for your barbershop website. Once you find one that has the features you need, customize it to align with your color scheme and the layout you desire. After the customization process is completed, ensure that your site looks great across devices — while Jetpack themes are responsive, it never hurts to double-check that your images are properly sized for a smooth viewing experience. Help visitors get a feel for your business, which will make them more likely to book appointments.

Showcasing your skills through fast-loading images

Haircuts are all about the look, so your website should feature photos of your clients’ fresh cuts, your staff members, and your shop. With Jetpack, you can serve up your photos quickly and display them in a visually compelling way.

Jetpack’s Site Accelerator serves your photos through its global network, keeping load times low and reducing the burden on your hosting server. Your images will be automatically resized so that they fit perfectly with your theme, giving you an extra speed and efficiency boost.

This isn’t where the image optimizations end, however. Users expect websites to load extremely fast. Fortunately, with Lazy Images your site is ready to meet their speedy demands. Does it sound strange that “laziness” gets you speed? Here’s how it works: if one of your site pages contains images scattered throughout, they are typically all loaded at the same time. Your readers, however, likely want to start scrolling down a page as quickly as possible, and they don’t immediately need to view images that appear towards the bottom of that page. With Lazy Images, your site only loads the images when they need to be seen: once they scroll into view on a page.

Reaching customers with contact forms

Answering questions and responding to feedback are great ways to engage with customers. Those who ask questions and have them answered might be more likely to become customers, and anyone who leaves feedback — even if it’s critical — shows they are emotionally invested in your business.

To enable your customers to get in touch, have their questions answered, and their voices heard, consider adding a contact form to your pages or posts — it only takes seconds with the new Jetpack Form block. Each submitted form is delivered to the email address of your choice, and you can also view all replies within the Feedback section of your site.

After users submit a contact form, your site can redirect them to a “Thank You” page, where you can further incentivize interested individuals or appease critical feedback with special discounts. By adding a line of code to your theme’s functions.php file, you can add a customized message once your form has been successfully submitted.

Extending your reach with social media

Now that you have a theme for your site, images that load quickly, and contact forms to facilitate interaction, you can spread the word through social media integration. Help site visitors find your social media pages with ease in case they want to connect and share your posts to their own social channels. The Social Media Icons widget places links to your social media accounts on your sidebar. You can give viewers access to your YouTube or Vimeo clips, provide styling tips on Facebook or Twitter, or direct them to many other platforms where you maintain a presence, like Instagram.

You can also promote your Facebook page with the Facebook Page Plugin widget. This tool displays your profile photo on your website, as well as the number of “likes” your page has received. You can even configure this widget to display your latest Facebook posts on your website.

The possibilities are endless

The goal of any website is to make a business look appealing in order to attract customers and encourage audience engagement. For a business like a barbershop, which relies on sharp visuals and social buzz, Jetpack’s tools bring you one step closer to accomplishing your objectives.


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Run a Successful Sweepstakes on Your WordPress Website

Sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways are often used by bloggers and marketers as ways to bolster mailing lists, boost user engagement, and increase exposure through social shares. Making sure that these campaigns are easy for you to manage and simple for participants to understand and enter will ensure that they run smoothly and achieve their purpose.

Let’s review a few tips and tool recommendations to help you effectively run a sweepstakes on your WordPress website, positioning you to reap the benefits and make the most out of your contest.

Running a sweepstakes has its perks

Using your site as a platform to run sweepstakes can increase the number of people that you typically reach. This is particularly true if your readership growth is a bit stagnant. Sweepstakes and contests can attract more eyeballs to your content, giving you the chance to reward a few of your readers for the time they spend exploring your site and sharing your posts. Since sweepstakes usually involve sharing a post on social media, your readers will be doing most of the sweepstakes marketing for you. Plus, if you’re giving away a product that you make and sell as the sweepstakes prize, your exposure will be even greater, as the winner might post and share photos of themselves using your product.

Don’t think that the benefits of sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways are fleeting. If your content remains relevant, it’s likely that participants will still follow your blog (or your social media accounts) even after your promotion ends.

Sweepstakes best practices

If this is your first time conducting this kind of promotion, here are a few tips that can help you run it smoothly.

Highlight your sweepstakes with its own page

If you’re a frequent blogger and you announce a sweepstakes within a regular post, it may get buried among your other posts. Instead, create a separate page with the pertinent contest details.

You can display your sweepstakes promotion within a widget. Use Widget Visibility to control which pages display your sweepstakes listing, and to hide other widgets that might distract from it. This should make your sweepstakes more visible to casual site visitors who stumble upon your page. Add it to your site’s primary navigation menu, display a message on the sidebar of your blog’s content page, or add a call-to-action button below your latest posts asking readers to enter your sweepstakes. This can save time that you might spend promoting and explaining the sweepstakes rules, and will make it easier for participants to navigate to, bookmark, and share your sweepstakes listing.

Be forthcoming

This rule applies to both your entry process and your intentions for running a sweepstakes on your WordPress website. If you make participants jump through too many hoops, you will likely end up with fewer entrants, which limits your promotion’s potential reach.

If you’re asking participants to submit personal information (like their names and email addresses to validate their entries), inform them about how you will be using their data. For example, if you’re conducting a sweepstakes to collect email addresses for your next newsletter marketing campaign, tell participants that they will be added to your list of email subscribers (and that they can opt out at any time). This is also applicable if you’re using Contact Forms to collect sweepstakes information.

Practice with a dry run

From contest rules to the entry process, any small hiccup could stall your sweepstakes’ success. Get ahead of these issues by testing your landing page with a small group of people before going live. You might reach out to willing participants on social media or ask a small group within your family-and-friends network to test your initial entry form.

Ask your testers how you might improve the wording of your sweepstakes rules, how long the process took them to complete, and how they felt as they were submitting their entries. Request that they submit any feedback using a contact form placed on your site, or through one of your social media channels. Take their feedback to heart when revising your sweepstakes entry form before sharing it with the general public.

Sweepstakes plugins

With Jetpack’s suite of promotional features, most of your bases are already covered; these include Social Media Icons that complement any sharing components of your sweepstakes, Publicize to automate your contest-related posts, and the Milestone Widget to create a countdown for the number of days remaining until the winner is announced. Combine these with a plugin like Pick Giveaway Winner, Contests by Rewards Fuel, or Social Polls to complete your contest toolkit.

A small sweepstakes can create a big buzz

Running sweepstakes on your website can introduce your content to new readers, increase your site traffic, and boost engagement. With a bit of promotion and the tips and tools mentioned above, you can mobilize your followers to do the marketing for you.


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Let Jetpack Support You in Creating a School Website

If you’re a teacher, principal, or educator, you know how important creating a school website has become — some countries even require them. Parents visit the websites of their children’s schools to find information, students access their assignments, and prospective students and community members can learn about upcoming events.

Creating a school website requires more than just setting up a landing page. It will serve as a hub for communications, marketing, and resources.

Let’s explore the Jetpack features that can help educators create their school with WordPress, while ensuring they serve as assets for students, families, and communities.

Use photos to commemorate and promote events

Images can play two important roles on a school website:

  • They’re an effective way for parents to see what’s happening at school and how their children are performing. Images from award ceremonies, trips, and stage performances help students celebrate their successes as well as commemorate their milestones.
  • Images show off your school’s strengths to prospective parents who might enroll their children in the future. Photos of classroom learning and students enjoying activities on campus can bolster a positive image of your school and faculty.

Jetpack offers tools that can present your photos professionally and dynamically. When you create a gallery (have you tried the recently launched Gallery block in the WordPress Editor? You should!), you can specify how images will be displayed, from the number of columns to whether thumbnails are cropped or not.

Share updates to engage with your community

More and more schools are becoming active on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. They use these outlets to share updates and content with their communities. Although effective, this can become a time-consuming labor of love when done manually.

Publicize lets you automatically share new content to your social media channels as soon as it’s published. Just connect to your social media accounts and it will happen automatically. You can also tailor each post to your liking, or have Jetpack create descriptions based on the content of your posts. If you haven’t connected any social accounts yet, no worries — you can do that with a few clicks from the WordPress Editor’s sidebar — once you click Publish once, part of the confirmation process includes the option to add the networks you wish.

You can also encourage students and proud parents to share your school’s posts on their own social media accounts. Jetpack’s Social Sharing feature adds convenient buttons to each post, allowing visitors to re-share them in a matter of seconds.

If a robust social media presence isn’t the right choice for your particular school, keep in mind that you can still implement Social Sharing features so that your visitors can share your content to their personal feeds.

Create a calendar to keep everyone on schedule

Whether they’re looking for winter vacation dates, the summer school session period, or the graduation ceremony start time, your students, their parents, and even your own faculty members will turn to your school website for answers.

With the Upcoming Events Widget, you can add a list of forthcoming events along the sidebar or footer of every page of your site. This makes it easier for people to find what they’re looking for.

If you link this widget to a Google calendar, it will automatically display the most up-to-date details.

Use site security to protect your data

To protect your students and their families, the security of school data should be taken very seriously. European schools were affected by GDPR legislation, and elsewhere, there are regulations in place to ensure that the data held by schools is stored and used appropriately.

Jetpack offers a number of security features to keep your site secure and accessible. These tools include downtime monitoring, automatic plugin updates, and malware blocking. You can also further enhance your site security with backups, spam protection, and security scanning, all features you can enjoy with a paid Jetpack plan.

Revitalize your school website

Your school website is a valuable asset. It can help you communicate with students and parents, allow you to share memories and accomplishments, and even attract new students. With Jetpack’s powerful features, you can enhance your school website, making it work even harder for your community.

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If You’re Looking to Generate More Leads in 2019, Make the Most of Jetpack’s New Form Block

When people visit your website, they should do more than just browse a page or two and move along to another site. You should give them the opportunity to become a customer or a fan.

That first glimpse of your website is just the beginning of your relationship with a site visitor. The goal is to encourage them to keep coming back, buy your products, or use your services while becoming an advocate for your brand.

With a new year mere hours away, let’s focus on how to generate leads — potential future customers — by allowing visitors to subscribe to your mailing list and website, and share tips for incentivizing them to do so in 2019 and beyond.

Generate leads to build a loyal fanbase

It’s tempting to assume that your website will become a selling powerhouse all on its own — that if you run an eCommerce store, people will browse through your products and services and make purchases right away.

Things don’t always work that way. People are unlikely to make a purchase the very first time they come into contact with an online business. According to Pew Research Center, 86% of American shoppers believe that it’s important to be able to compare prices from different sellers before making a purchase. Therefore, depending on the nature and price of your product or service, it could take a number of interactions before a shopper is convinced to buy something from your site.

To maintain a relationship with a potential customer after they navigate away from your site, you’ll want to request their contact details so that you can follow up and address any concerns or questions they might have. Alternatively, you might want to tell them about other products or services they might not have seen the first time they’d visited your site.

If you gather leads and use them effectively, you can gradually develop relationships with prospective customers. In turn, these relationships can lead to sales. You can also nurture these relationships over time, encouraging shoppers to return to your site for repeat visits while recommending your products and services to their friends.

Using forms to gather leads

One of the most effective ways to gather leads from your website is by using a contact form. Contact forms let you collect site visitor information (like email addresses), so that you can contact prospective customers to answer any questions or let them know about your services. With the new Form block — available to anyone with the latest version of Jetpack — creating a contact form on any post or page has never been easier. You can customize it to your needs, and even include a checkbox so visitors can confirm that they agree to receive emails from your business. Once they’ve opted in, send emails about your offerings, specials, or promotions.

Curious to see how a form might look on your site? Here’s how you will see it in the WordPress Editor:

Once you publish a page or post containing the Form block above, this is what visitors will see on your site:

Adding a form to a widget

You don’t need to limit your contact forms to posts and pages. To add your form to a widget (so that you can display it in your footer, sidebar, or any other widget area in your theme), follow the instructions on creating a simple Contact Form Shortcode and enter the resulting code into a Text Widget.

Adding contact form to widget

Gathering leads through subscriptions

Another popular method for gathering leads is encouraging visitors to subscribe to your site. This way, they’ll receive notifications whenever you post new content. Users can subscribe through the Subscriptions Widget.

The Jetpack subscribe widget

This ensures that your site visitors won’t miss your latest posts. When they receive notifications that you’ve published new content, they’ll be more likely to keep you top-of-mind when they’re ready to make purchases.

Incentivize your leads to become customers

Some lead forms are more effective than others. How do you encourage as many people as possible to complete yours? Here are some tips:

  • Offer leads something in return for filling out a form or subscribing to your site. This might take the form of a discount, a free download, or exclusive content. Whatever you choose, follow up and deliver it immediately.
  • Keep the number of form fields to a minimum. People may scoff at a form that takes a long time to complete. If all you really need is an email address and a checkbox, include only these items.
  • Ensure that your form is mobile-friendly. Your theme is most likely responsive, but it never hurts to check how your form appears on a mobile device.
  • Play by the rules. When someone submits a form, they will either be redirected to a custom page within your site, or will receive a confirmation message (depending on which option you choose). On your site page or within the message, tell subscribers what they’ll be receiving, how often you’ll be contacting them, and remind them that they can unsubscribe at any time.

Communicating with new leads

After you secure new leads, don’t forget to follow up with them. The moments following a signup or subscription are among those when your new leads are most receptive to hearing from you.

Linking Jetpack to an automated email service like Mailchimp will position you to send subscribers friendly emails right away, including information about your products and details around the freebie or discount code that you initially offered as an incentive.

If a user subscribed to your site content, make sure you’re publishing regularly so they don’t forget about you.

Gather leads to boost sales

Website lead generation enables you to build a loyal following of customers and fans. Gathering leads and effectively following up on them will help you win over more customers in, increase repeat site visits, and acquire a loyal fanbase. If you follow the tips above, 2019 can be the year your website can become the powerful selling tool that it’s always had the potential to be.


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Three Website Design Considerations for Tattoo Shop Owners

If you own a tattoo shop, it’s important to make it easy for clients to find you, learn about your craft and experience, and get in touch with you.

Here’s how Jetpack can help simplify a few of your most important website design considerations when building an online presence for your tattoo shop.

1. Pick a theme that aligns with your brand

One of the most fundamental goals of website design is effectively communicating your brand to site visitors. With Jetpack, you’ll have access to more than 100 professional themes to choose from, and additional 200 premium themes if you’re on a Jetpack Professional plan.

Jetpack themes

With a basic understanding of WordPress and the Customizer, you can configure themes to your liking and communicate your brand whether or not you decide to work with a web designer. Empowered with access to hundreds of customizable designs with Jetpack, your fully-functional website will soon attract potential clients.

In addition to a visually stunning theme, incorporate photo elements into your site. Display photos of your clients’ finished tattoos. Feature each of your shop’s artists, with their own respective galleries of work. Prospective clients can browse through these examples to choose an artist who excels in a particular kind of design, like shading or line work.

2. Make appointments easy to schedule

If your site visitors aren’t sure how to get in touch with you, it can prove difficult to convert them into paying clients. With this in mind, the best websites make it convenient for people to connect with the businesses they represent.

The easiest way to drive people to your business? Make it simple for customers to book or request appointments. A call to action with a generic company email address isn’t enough. It’s better to create a Contact Form that collects all the information you need.

With Jetpack’s new Form block, the process of adding contact forms has become even quicker and smoother than before.

Jetpack form block

With Jetpack’s Form block, you can add forms to any post or page on your website — not just the Contact page.

While you’re at it, why not add and configure a Contact Info Widget? This tool displays relevant business information like your address, hours of operation, phone number, and an interactive Google Map. Putting all of this information in one place can make it that much easier for prospective clients to schedule a time to visit your shop.

3. Use descriptive menus for smooth site navigation

If you’re thinking about improving a future client’s experience on your site, you’ll also want to consider your site navigation. Be sure to label your menus based on words that customers can easily understand.

For example, instead of “News,” you may want to use the “Blog” to label your section of up-to-date information and relevant articles that cover tattoo industry trends. “News” isn’t technically incorrect, but it might just be a term that people associate less frequently with a tattoo shop.

Similarly, if you want to direct people to make inquiries, it might be more appropriate to label a section of your website as “Contact Us,” as opposed to “Inquiries.” If your business is casual and friendly, make sure the language you use on your site matches it.

Your designs can be intricate, but keep your website simple

A simple website with a great user experience can outperform a gorgeous but confusing website. These three website design considerations can help to streamline your efforts and improve your clients’ online experiences with your tattoo business.


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Improve Site Navigation for a Superior User Experience

If you regularly publish relevant content, but visitors leave your site once they finish reading an article, you might want to consider your user experience.

Your readers likely want to learn more about the topic at hand, but if your site is missing a structured navigation menu, they might find it hard to locate the content they’re looking for. This might confuse them, prompting visitors to find an alternative site to use in the future. Ultimately, this can result in a higher bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave a site after viewing only one page) and could negatively impact your search rankings — and your business’s bottom line.

It’s a vicious cycle, and the best way to break it is by improving your site navigation to create a better user experience (UX). Positive experiences convince site visitors to stay longer and eventually return to read more of your content.

Let’s review how having intuitive site navigation can help to improve your user experience and decrease your bounce rate.

Site navigation matters

Site navigation helps to structure your website and serves as a high-level index for your content. Through your navigation menus, visitors can quickly locate the content they’re looking for. This encourages them to explore your site for longer periods of time, all the while building familiarity and trust with your brand.

A great navigation menu can also help first-time site visitors understand what your website is about, all within seconds of landing on your page. Adding post categories and drop-down subcategories to your navigation menu also helps your audience understand how your content is grouped.

On top of making your website more accessible to readers, transparent site navigation can also give you an advantage over competitors in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). Navigation considerations are among Google’s most important ranking factors.

Improving your site navigation for a better UX

Below are a few bases you’ll want to cover to provide visitors and search engines alike with a way to swiftly navigate your site and content.

1. Only display the most relevant categories

Even if your site features hundreds of well-written posts that are meticulously filed under dozens of different categories, don’t display every single one within your menu. Those extra categories will clutter your menus, overpopulating your site navigation. This might diminish your user experience by overwhelming readers with too many options, defeating the purpose of navigation menus altogether.

Jetpack's navigation menu includes the categories: Product Tour, Pricing, Support, and Blog

Instead, display only the categories that are the most important to your readers and use descriptive keywords that are in line with your SEO strategy. For example, a website for avid hikers might display the following categories: “Hiking News,” “Trail Maps,” and “Connect with Other Hikers.”

2. Limit your menu items

Having too many menu items within your navigation menu doesn’t help your user experience either. According to cognitive psychologist George A. Miller, most people can only retain about seven items within their short-term memories at any given time. So, try to limit your navigation menu to a maximum of seven items.

3. Test your menus for accessibility across devices

Make sure your menu is clear, intuitive, and visible across any device that a visitor might be using to view your content. Due to the various design elements that make up a website, side navigation menu icons can disappear into the background, or become unclickable when viewed on a mobile device. This increases the likelihood that visitors leave your website without getting what they came for.

To ensure that your website doesn’t fall victim to this design flaw, test it out using a tool such as Google’s Material Design Resizer so that you can get ahead of the problem before it impacts your bounce rate. You can also make use of Jetpack’s mobile friendly theme that optimizes sites for use across various screen sizes — or simply use a newer theme, as virtually all modern themes are responsive.

4. Create primary and secondary menus

In addition to displaying too many menu items, another common mistake is adding too many menus to your website. It’s advisable to create up to two menus — having more than two might confuse site visitors. Nowadays, many site owners use primary navigation menus for the more popular areas of their websites (such as “Blog” pages or product categories), and secondary menus for important but less-frequently referenced information (such as “About” pages or contact information).

5. Incorporate design elements

Many site owners will link their logo back to their homepage, place menus in locations where readers expect to see them (such as a header or sidebar), organize menu items according to their site structures and content hierarchies, and add search boxes near their navigation menus.

Jetpack gives you the advantage of being able to round out your navigation system with Site Breadcrumbs to streamline the structure of your navigation system, and a Social Menu to display links to social media profiles to further refine your user experience and increase engagement across various channels.

Social Menu allows site owners to create a new menu location, used to display links to Social Media Profiles

Improve your site navigation to give visitors what they want

It’s important to align your site navigation with what your visitors are looking for. It also plays a role in how you want readers to interact with your website.

If this is your first time creating a navigation menu, or you’re reworking existing menus, implement these techniques to refine the process, supporting visitors as they engage with your content.


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Support Your Airbnb Listing with a Property Rental Website

Furniture and towels are in place, the cleaning is done, and your A‌i‌r‌b‌n‌b‌ profile is complete. Your rental property is ready to accept reservations — but you’re limited to whatever information the rental service allows you to share with prospective guests.

When you list a property to attract guests, you’re selling an experience. You want to convey a feeling that is often hard to channel within the confines of an application or third-party service.

Let’s review how keeping a property rental website to complement an Airbnb listing can support your vacation home by providing more images and information that set you apart as a host. Your website can play a significant role in convincing prospective guests to rule out competing listings and book their stays with you.

Receive more views with a property rental website

You may be thinking, “If I’m already listed on Airbnb, why is creating a separate property rental website necessary?”

Having a website to share your rental property with prospective renters can add to (or even replace) those services by empowering you to provide more detailed information about your place, including maps, additional images, and resources that your guests might find extremely useful, like a contact form that allows them to reach out directly if they have specific questions or concerns.

Helpful hosts get favorable reviews

The best way to get and maintain five-star ratings on rental websites is to be a reliable host. Being attentive and keeping your property in good shape is just the beginning. Be proactive by providing any information that your temporary tenants might need. When you do that, you show that you’re an approachable host who is there to answer questions and support guests.

A website is a great place to house and manage all of this information. While many rental properties share instructions and house rules via email prior to guests’ arrival, the very best hosts also share website URLs for their properties. By providing guests with a website full of resources, they can address the most frequently asked questions and supply far more than a list of rules. Going above and beyond with a website will set the tone for your guests’ experience, and might reflect even better on you once it’s time for them to leave reviews.

Build out your listing with thoughtful details

Besides house rules and the always-crucial Wi-Fi password, consider building out the character of your listing by adding a few extra touches.

  • Are you renting out a historic or interesting property? Include an “About Our House” page that explains what makes your property unique.
  • Guests might be interested in learning about your story as well — so introduce yourself and provide some fun facts about your background. This is where you can go beyond the two-line introduction that a third-party rental service allows.
  • Add a guestbook plugin to let guests share experiences and tell stories about the good times they had at your property. This simultaneously provides you with useful testimonials to feature on your site down the road (with permission from the authors) and convinces future prospective guests to make reservations.
  • Share additional photos so your listing stands out. The orange sunset falling below the mountains, a historic hiking route, or even the cocktail lounge a few blocks away — many properties’ biggest selling point is their proximity to other attractions. Rental services prefer that you only share photos of your listing, but with your own website, you can share as many additional photos as you want. When you show them to visitors through a powerful content delivery network like Jetpack’s, your site will stay lightning-fast.
  • Share exciting local events with prospective renters. The farmer’s market held every Thursday afternoon might not be news to you, but it’ll be a first for your guests — so be sure to tell them about it. You can display any local events worth sharing with the Upcoming Events Widget.
  • Showcase popular local destinations — list your favorite hangouts, the best cafe in town, or a legendary brunch spot. Is there a scenic beach nearby that nobody knows about? Use a map block so your guests can plan their trips.

Websites are the perfect platforms to organize and present this wealth of information. As an added bonus, your posts can double as advertisements if you share them to your social media channels with Publicize.

Better ratings, more reservations, increased revenue

At the end of the day, having your own property rental website positions you to achieve one very important thing: providing superior guest experiences. Better experiences lead to positive ratings for your property, which bring in more reservations. If every weekend is booked months in advance, you earn that much more income.

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