Visibility in search results is vital for any small business owner. After all, how are you going to get new customers if you’re not listed in search results?
Enter Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Understanding how SEO works is kinda like rocket science. Complicated algorithms make up the bulk of it. You don’t have to worry about those, unless you have your Doctorates in Mathematics and are genuinely interested. What you should worry about is writing good content, and in return, drawing your customer’s interests.
I recently read a very good article on SEO. What the research boils down to is this: Write Good Content. For example, if your intended audience buys Widgets, and you want to sell Widgets, write about Widgets. Don’t write about Gadgets if all you want to sell are Widgets.
What We Do For You
So, what does Integrant Services do for you when it comes to SEO?
Every one of our maintenance plan subscribers has WordPress SEO by Yoast installed. While this plugin doesn’t solve all your SEO problems, it does assist you in Writing Good Content. You can find the WordPress SEO by Yoast area on any Page or Post you’re creating, right under the text editor window you type in. Follow the slideshow below, taken as I wrote this very article, and I’ll show you how.
Figure 1. Without tweaking, the first 156 characters of my post will be visible in the search results.
Figure 2. By adding a focus keyword, the SEO plugin can tell me how many times that keyword appears in the article, title, URL, and content. The more times it appears, the better the chances this article will be seen if someone searches for ‘SEO’.
Figure 3. Add your own words in the Meta Description box at the bottom. It changes what is shown in the search results, and doesn’t cut off in the middle of a sentence. You’re limited to 156 characters.
Figure 4. Click on the ‘Page Analysis’ tab at the top and get recommendations to make your post even more SEO friendly.
Figure 5. I improve my blog article even more after adding more words, some pictures, H2 (Heading 2) tags, and the keyword to the H2 tag.
For our Gold and Platinum members, we also monitor your site with Google Webmaster Tools. This ensures your site map is up-to-date, and that Google’s Bots haven’t encountered any errors while crawling your site.
The SEO Bottom Line
There’s more to SEO than just writing good content. However, good content is a great place to start, and by using the tools we’ve provided you, will take care of a large piece of the SEO puzzle.
On March 17, Stampin’ Up! announced the demise of My Digital Studio, which is scheduled for May 31, 2015. That same day, we provided instructions on how to make sure you have all purchased MDS files downloaded.
For the next few days, comments and questions flew like paper scraps. Thanks to the great Stampin’ Pretty Pals community, most of these questions were answered. Here is what’s known so far.
The company that makes MDS (StoryRock, Inc) also has their own version of software called My Memories Suite (MMS). MMS basically does everything MDS does, including the ability to open projects created in MDS. Your MDS digital downloads will also work in MMS. StoryRock is making MMS 5 available for free, available for download here. They are also offering an upgrade to their most recent version, MMS 6, for $19.99.
StoryRock even went as far as to put together good documentation on how to migrate your MDS digital downloads to MMS. You can read their migration instructions for Windows here, and Mac OS X here.
While they were at it, they put together instructions on how to change the file extension of your saved projects. This will allow you to open your MDS projects in MMS without skipping a beat. Again, file extension change instructions are located here for Windows, and here for Mac OS X.
StoryRock also has an extensive ‘how-to’ video library on their YouTube channel.
Finally, for those of you that love watching our videos, I’ve created a short one for you demonstrating how to migrate your digital purchases from MDS to MMS using StoryRock’s instructions above. I then demonstrate how to rename your existing project extensions, again using StoryRock’s instructions.
Hopefully you find this useful! Be sure to let us know if you have any questions!
If you’re reading this, chances are you already know that My Digital Studio is going to be discontinued as of May 31, 2015. As it stands, you will not be able to access anything related to MDS after this date. This includes purchased MDS downloads and the software itself. While support will cease for MDS after May 31, your files and software will continue to function. However, you never know if a new version of Windows or Mac OS X is going to break MDS.
We know you’ve put a lot of time and money into your collections, and want to make sure you don’t lose what you have! For that reason, we are taking the time to make sure you know how retrieve your downloads before they disappear.
Below are some steps to follow in order to make sure you have everything you want out of your Digital Download Manager. For you visual learners, a video is linked at the end of this article that covers just about everything that follows.
Find out what you’ve already purchased
Demonstrator downloads are located on the demonstrator website. Log in as a demonstrator, click on ‘Ordering’ in the upper left hand corner, then on ‘Digital Download’ on the right hand side, under Ordering Options. This will open a popup window, so if you don’t see the window, turn off your popup blocker and try it again.
Customer downloads are located on your Stampin’ Up! online store account profile, under the downloads tab.
The Digital Download Manager is now visible. This will list every MDS purchase you’ve ever made. You want to use this list of purchases to compare what you already have downloaded.
If you have many purchases, you can’t simply print from here. The window is set up to be endless scroll, and won’t load all your purchases at one time. You have to keep scrolling down until it doesn’t load any more product.
Print this list for future reference. Whether you print a paper copy or a PDF copy of this list is up to you.
Mac users can press ‘Command’ + ‘P’ together to print the list, and have the option to save it as a PDF by clicking on the ‘PDF’ button in the lower left corner of the print dialog.
Windows users can print by pressing ‘CTRL’ + ‘P’ together. If you’re a windows user and don’t have an option to save as PDF, you can download CutePDF Writer for free.
Compare the list to what you already have downloaded to your computer. The easiest way is to search for the title of the Digital Download, i.e. ‘Always Elegant’. Download any sets you might be missing, as you won’t be able to get them after May 31, 2015.
Mac Users can search using Spotlight, the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of your screen, or by pressing ‘Command’ + ‘F’ in the Finder window.
Windows users can search by clicking the Start button, and typing the title in the ‘Search’ window
Types of downloads
When downloading your MDS files from the download manager, you have three options. The first two are self-explanatory: If you’re using Windows, download the Windows installer. If you’re using Mac, download the Mac installer.
These installers place the files exactly where they need to go in order for MDS to find them. On Windows, these files are typically located at C:\Program Files (x86)\My Digital Studio\Components. For Mac users, these are typically located in Applications\My Digital Studio\Components
The installers contain a mix of file types: .jpg, .png, and most importantly, .svg (Scalable Vector Graphics). The installers are the ONLY download files that contain .svg files.
The third download option is ‘Other Applications’. You will want to download this for each of your digital purchases if you plan on using another graphics program in the future. For example, Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or Illustrator.
The ‘Other Applications’ download also contains .jpg and .png files, as well as a .abr (Adobe Brush) file. This brush file equates into a “Stamp” for Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Illustrator.
We’ll talk more about what to do with these files at a later time. For now, its enough for you to have them downloaded from Stampin’ Up!
To recap, you want to log in to Stampin’ Up! and download not only the Installer, but also the Other Applications file, for all your MDS purchases. You’ll be able to use the Other Applications files in, well, other applications. Take the time to download the MDS software itself: That way, if you need to reinstall it at a later time, you have a copy of it. You won’t have another chance after May 31 to get these.
Now there’s easier way to access your Schoolhouse Profile.
Once you log into your account at https://integrantservices.com, you’ll see a new link in the upper right hand corner. Clicking on “School House” will take you directly to the courses you’ve registered for.
Our first of many free training modules is now available! If you’re a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator with a blog and a DBWS account, you’ll want to watch this video. In a few short minutes I explain (and show) how to create the links that get customers to your DBWS storefront. Don’t just get customers to shop at Stampin’ Up!, get them to shop at Stampin’ Up! with you as the demonstrator!