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GTServices last won the day on April 19

GTServices had the most liked content!


About GTServices

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  1. I do the same but I try to keep the same URL if possible. I limit words used on FURLS to 5 words max which allows me to make changes without changing the URL. But, there are times you just have to change the whole title. Other things I do to improve SEO... Merge similar topics (especially if old and not driving too much traffic; especially, those that have some value) Format content so that it's easier to scan. Improve content that drives traffic. (Evergreen content) Delete/Archive old poor quality content. Delete old accounts with 0 content. None of this is easy but it's worth it. I recommend starting with your most popular topics (high Views count). I'm against auto-tagging. I just don't see any value to it. My team have instructions to tag only "high-quality" content. We use tagging for the Similar Content block because it gives us some control. We have control over what keywords are used. We have control over what topics are tagged. We have control over what topics are found in Similar Content block (and tag pages). The easier it is to find these "quality pages" the more value they gain. (eg. More traffic, shares, word of mouth, etc) BACKGROUND... Years ago I used tagging like you do. Enabled auto-tagging, allowed all members to tag, etc ... we literally had hundreds of thousands of tags (perhaps over 1 million) - many were similar, typos, poor quality, etc. (VBULLETIN BIG BOARD SITE) I found myself working constantly in cleaning the mess. The ROI just wasn't there when compared to other things I could be doing. So I dropped it altogether with no regrets. TAKE CONTROL I'm sure you have heard of User Generated Content (UGC). If you run a forum site you are dependent on your members to produce content. About a decade or so ago, most forum admins peaked in terms of traffic. Since then traffic likely plateaued or dropped (more likely the latter). Heck, back then you would see many forums selling for over $1 million dollars. Not these days. The biggest problem we have with a UGC business model is that we have very little control over what members post. Technology and Google are changing rapidly it's time to start taking some control back. The above is just one way of doing just that. Joel R's Community Management tips is another great way to take back some control. A good community manager redirects focus where it should go. So let's get back to these Growth Hacks. I'm sure @Joel R would appreciate it. 😉
  2. oh, yeah ... this is custom under first post BUT only when a tag is present (tags are added by Staff or whatever group) JFYI: Automatic tagging or using tags made by members is NOT recommended.
  3. I agree... returning users are more likely to read to the bottom of the page. That's a certain segment that we must focus on. But... If you look at your traffic you will likely see that most of your users are guests. At least for large sites, this is always the case. In my experience, it NEVER hurt to place a Similar Content block directly under the first post. It ALWAYS helped. With today's SEO changes, this along with other changes help improve traffic. (The Similar Content block has the most impact when it is fast and topics are all quality content. Similar topics should be helpful.)
  4. Many readers don't even go to the bottom of the page. (There are many studies online that prove this.) The closer it is to the first post the bigger the impact. (I do love the new sidebar hide options. Very smart and NEEDED in this mobile age.)
  5. GREAT TIPS @Joel R!! I love it when I see members tagging other members. That in itself is evidence that it's an effective feature! Oftentimes, members didn't even know that it existed until someone tags them. (You see the numbers grow after each use.) If you don't have a Similar Content block directly after your first topic than you are missing out on a BIG opportunity!!! Similar Content Improves Engagement. Improves Bounce Rate Improves Conversion Rate Improves SEO. (Related content helps Google and other bots better understand your content. It also helps with internal links.) NOTES: The closer the block is to the main content the more effective it is. Sidebar block doesn't help much since GOOGLE and your users are now focused on mobile. I find you win BIG when you use Similar Content with controlled tags. What I mean by this is that only a certain group of people (eg. staff) are allowed to tag topics. This keeps the crap out.
  6. Appreciate the update/walk-through! Love the Photos (dog images). Here's my little pups (shih-poo and lhasa-poo)...
  7. There are times we change our logo for Holidays, special events, etc. Each time we upload a new logo it overwrites the previous. This causes errors with site "logo" on previously indexed pages. This affects our chances of getting into Google Search rich results. You'll can find these errors in Google Search Console > Enhancements > Logos section. For Big Board, medium, or small sites, this could hurt traffic if not aware of it. I'm suggesting a bypass overwrite option when uploading a new logo. Basically, the UI should list any previously uploaded logo with option to delete at any time (manually). (logo is found in Organization structured markup)
  8. I would also add Background Color and Text Color but only for Marketplace content. This will help authors highlight certain features, etc. I know I'm asking for a lot but I'd be happy just to get H2 and H3.
  9. Oops, I see the Remove Format button now. (Did I miss that?)
  10. Can you please add Remove Format, H2, and H3 to the editor here? The H2 and H3 buttons are for long content authors on the site. This will help create a more appealing content presentation. The Remove Format could be used when copying/pasting. Again, this will make life easier for long content authors. Also, the font-size on this site is so small. I need bifocals to read the text here. Increasing the font-size to 16px will not hurt the design here. NOTE: You have Increase Indent enabled but no Decrease Indent. Not good when you realize that you clicked by mistake or you didn't need Indent.
  11. (This drove us crazy so I figured I would share with the community. I'm sure others may experience the same thing. Or maybe it was just a stupid oversight on our end.)Some Background...We use both Sendgrid (for transactional emails) and Salesforce > Marketing Cloud (for newsletters and eblasts). Our goal is to move away from Marketing Cloud (cost cutting).We figured with SendGrid and IPS, we can build exactly what we need. A robust system that will allow us to create campaigns based on filters. (IPS is more than halfway there. YEA!)Thank You IPS And SendGrid...The IPS Sendgrid option was a check ✓ (among many) in our comparison sheet when we were researching modern forum platforms. We were happy to see that. It was all the "extra features/addons" that really made a difference for us.Prior to IPS, we used Sendgrid SMTP. So we used the same settings when we converted over to IPS.We entered the appropriate SMTP info in the Email Settings page (view attachment).Everything worked perfectly. Switching To SendGrid Web APINow, we want to switch over to Web API. For those not aware the main points for using Sendgrid Web API vs Sendgrid SMTP are: Less points of failure (vs more checks) Less latency (vs slower delivery) More control over delivery reputation (if one fails you can easily switch) Read More: Web API or SMTP Relay: How Should You Send Your Email?As soon as we got everything set up we ran a Bulk Email test and got the following error (Email Error Logs)... {"message":[{"message":"Invalid type. Expected: string, given: boolean.","field":"ip_pool_name","help":"http:\/\/sendgrid.com\/docs\/API_Reference\/Web_API_v3\/Mail\/errors.html#message.ip_pool_name"}]} As you can imagine, we panicked. We just scheduled our first Bulk Email campaign to go out right away and we got an error. So we made the call to send the email campaign through Marketing Cloud instead. Plus, I was ready to head out the door. It was late. My wife was going to show up soon ready to go jogging.First Thing In The Morning... We started looking into this...We were leaning to something that we missed on SendGrid. All these years, we were using SMTP and just recently switched over to their dedicated IP option. So, the error has to be there...Yes, the boolean error was changed to a string check on IPS.With that said, we started looking around our SendGrid account ... we couldn't find anything regarding 'ip pool name'. We look through their Knowledgebase - found a few pages but nothing really helpful.Zoom! Crash! Bang! Boom! (Cut to the point.) Ok, so here's the thing...When we first enabled SendGrid on IPS, it was the first time we moved to a dedicated IP address. This was when we were using Sendgrid SMTP. In the IP Pool field, we had entered our SendGrid dedicated IP address. YES, WE DID THAT. 🤦‍♂️As usual, we ignored the help text. Or maybe we just didn't get it for we were SendGrid newbies. So don't do the same mistake!Anyway, it turns out that if you have just one dedicated IP address you can leave this field empty. But the only way to do that with IPS is to click the 'Do not use a dedicated IP address' option.THIS IS MISLEADING!According to SendGrid... https://sendgrid.com/docs/API_Reference/Web_API_v3/IP_Management/ip_pools.html#Lesson Learned And Lesson Shared...If you have just one dedicated IP address, you can leave the IP Pool field empty. I hope somebody finds this helpful. 💖
  12. Version 1.0.0


    Sharing the love 💖 ... FREE apps/plugins provided by GT Services. This simple plugin helps your Staff get things done FASTER. There's no more guessing. When a Report comes in they now know why it's being reported. This plugin requires your users to leave a message whenever submitting a REPORT. For those not aware - IPS doesn't require a message when reporting content. Personally, I think this is a crazy move. They gave us the option to create Report Types but not require a message. 😕 Getting members to report content is a great feature to have. But... it becomes problematic when the reason for reporting is not clear. As you can imagine Big Board sites get many Reports. Many are confusing - it's a big waste of time for Staff when no explanation (message) is available. (I personally know this because I'm on the receiving end when something doesn't work right.) Staff get things done FASTER. Staff are happy. Staff can focus on other important things. To install... Download the file Go to Admincp > Site Features (Plugins) [Click Install New Plugin] More FREE apps/plugins coming... (The more LIKES we get the more free apps we will make available.)


  13. I think in 3-5 years, there will be less successful forums on the Web. It's just not enough these days. That's the key right there! We can't continue doing the same thing. We NEED to change. We NEED to make the whole "community experience" better. We need to... Focus on members. Focus on your diamonds ... build them up. Focus on Community Management. Focus on other content types (instead of sending them away why not point internally to your content) eg. videos, whitepapers, etc Focus on directories and landing pages (Pages). If you find that your members are constantly directing readers to XYZ site then why not create a directory out of it? For example, if your target are students you can have a Scholarship Directory or a School Directory. Heck, I can go on... how about a Videos Directory (of all the Youtube videos you are working on 😜), Articles, etc Focus on User Experience. Make sure there is nothing that turns people off. Test. Test. Test. Focus on Speed. Focus on ALL devices. Focus on quality content. Any other ideas?
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