If you have a WordPress site with a Woocommerce online store, then you will have come across this Woocommerce Shipping Zones notification when updating to version 2.6 (or you will very soon if you haven’t updated for a while!):
Woocommerce Shipping Zones is a huge upgrade to the Shipping options offered as part of the core plugin, which is awesome!
What do the updates mean?
We were previously limited to the following shipping options (unless we added shipping plugins):
- Flat rate
- Local Pick Up
- International rate
Now, we are able to add a range of shipping rates based on self-defined zones, giving FAR more flexibility.
- Give Australia (or other countries) a different shipping rate to the “rest of the world”
- Set a shipping rate for your local region (e.g. Auckland), one for the rest of the North Island, and one for the South Island
- Set multiple flat rates for each zone: e.g. Rural and Urban, Post or Courier, etc
And within each zone, we can also set different shipping methods for customers to choose from (Flat rate, Free Shipping, Local Pick up).
This type of flexibility will allow customers to choose their preferred method at checkout!
What do I need to do?
- Please make sure you have an up-to-date backup before running the updates.
- If you are using the Table Rate Shipping plugin (or other Woocommerce shipping extensions) PLEASE make sure that you update these plugins first, BEFORE you update Woocommerce. Otherwise your site will crash. I have already helped restore a couple of websites who fell victim to this.
- The existing/legacy Shipping Rates will be phased out in coming updates, so please migrate your shipping methods over now so that you are not impacted when they are removed.
How do I set up the new Woocommerce Shipping Zones?
There are some very detailed instructions with screenshots available on the WooThemes website. If you are stuck on anything specific to your situation though, please drop me an email: [slash_mailto address=””].
Where can I find more information?
Check out the official information here
If you are on the fence (or even slightly confused) about why you should be writing a business blog, I hope that the below will convince you to take the plunge and make a start.
Writing a business blog help drive traffic to your website
Every time you add a new blog post to your website, you benefit from the following:
- Fresh content on your website
Search engines loves websites that are updated and cared for. When you add fresh content regularly assists in lifting your ranking.
- More content and keywords for search engines to search and index
Each blog post gives you an opportunity to go more in-depth into subjects in the realm of your business. This gives you more opportunity to use keywords and phrases that potential customers are using when searching online. If they are Googling a specific topic, and you have written a blog post on just that – bingo!
For example, if you are a florist and you write about “wedding bouquets for winter weddings”, you will be able to connect with potential clients searching this topic.
Unlike media advertising or other time-specific marketing, blog posts remain indefinitely. Posts continue to be searchable for the long term. Therefore, effort put into writing a business blog post now will continue to drive traffic to your website long into the future.
Writing on your specialist topics help you to be seen as an expert
When people search online, they generally look for a solution. If you offer sound advice, they are likely to see you as an expert in your field.
Ensure that your blog posts look to solve a problem, share knowledge, or answer a question. If you can help someone, your blog will help enhance their view of you. Ensure that the level of your advice is aimed at your target audience, not too basic, not to technical.
Blog posts help give your business personality
Use your blog posts to make a more personal connection with the visitors to your website. Inject some humanity, some humour or some personal anecdotes to bring your content (and your business) to life.
Blogs are great as shareable content
Each blog post page has it’s own URL – meaning that this can be shared as a standalone piece of content. This can therefore be used in a variety of ways to drive traffic to your website:
- Share on your Facebook page (although reach is significantly reduced lately for this kind of post – boosting will likely be required).
- Share on LinkedIn to help reinforce your expertise in your area. Think about the business vs. customer audience first though.
- Link to content in e-newsletters. Giving your mailing list some great info, and sending them to your website at the same time (bonus!).
- If your blog answers a specific question that a client has asked, you could email them a link to your blog, rather than having to spell it out again (time-saving, and encourages them to look at your other posts while they are there).
- Link to one post from other blog posts within your website to help give more information about a point raised. Linking to other pages helps your search engine ranking.
- When other blogs or websites link to your blog, this means that they send traffic to your website, and you are exposed to their website visitors too. ALso note that linking to other sources within your blog post also helps with credibility and Google rankings.
Great blogs can help build your email database
“Want great tips like this every week? Sign up to our mailing list here”
“Sign up now and get our new recipes straight to your inbox”
“Don’t miss the next new release, sign up to get new product alerts”
…you get the picture!
Use blogs to start the conversation
Asking for feedback, questions or other top tips at the end of your blog can open up some great conversations with current or potential clients. Give yourself the opportunity to gain insight into your target audience, or clarify your point further if required.
So… now you know why you should be writing a business blog (if you didn’t already), what is your biggest barrier to starting a blog? Comment below and let’s see if we can overcome it!
Outsourcing your blogs to a copywriter gives you back your time – time which you could use to bring in income for your business. Jackie Procter is an affordable and experienced NZ copywriter, specialising in working for small and medium sized businesses. www.jackieprocter.co.nz