The 15 Best Restaurant WordPress Themes in 2019

If you’re a restaurant owner, or if you own any type of food-related business, it’s safe to assume you’re busy every day creating a mouth-watering menu, hiring staff, developing relationships with your customers, locating and ordering ingredients, and maintaining your online store (if you have one).

With all of these activities keeping you engaged, building your restaurant’s WordPress website may feel like an overwhelming and daunting task — especially if you don’t have any experience with web development. But without a great website, you’re bound to miss out on valuable customers.

WordPress restaurant themes make the process of creating your site quick and easy. Restaurant themes have menu templates, reservation-making integrations, photo galleries for images of your dishes, contact pages, online stores, and more to help you efficiently build a professional site that your customers will enjoy spending time on.

 

15 of the Best Restaurant Themes for WordPress in 2019

Whether you run a fine-dining restaurant, cafe, bistro, bakery, or bar, or if you own an online food business, there is a WordPress theme tailored to your needs. We’ve compiled this list of favorite 15 restaurant themes to help you find one that best suits your needs … so you can get back to connecting and entertaining your customers.

1. Seasons

Seasons is a responsive WordPress theme, meaning it adapts to the type of device and screen it’s being viewed on, whether that’s desktop, mobile, or tablet. It’s a versatile theme that can be used for almost any restaurant type including cafes, food trucks, and catering companies. The theme’s homepage has a featured image slideshow where you can add your newest and most important content, such as menu items and featured dishes for your visitors to drool over. There’s also a pre-built menu page that allows you to quickly add, update, and edit available items for your potential customers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Responsive theme
  • Featured image slideshow on homepage
  • Pre-built menu page

2. Resto

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Resto is a theme flexible enough to be used for both restaurants and online food businesses. The theme allows you to customize different shopping pages so you can easily sell items and manage your store. Since Resto is SEO-friendly, it’s set up to help you rank on search engines like Google, get more visitors to your site and customers to your restaurant.

Key Takeaways:

  • Online store
  • Customizable shopping pages
  • SEO-friendly

3. Butter

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Butter is a restaurant theme ideal for any business that sells food online — it includes a WooCommerce integration which makes managing your e-commerce store simple. Butter also has a parallax scrolling effect feature that you can implement to create a 3D, interactive, video-like experience on your pages. There’s also a drag-and-drop page builder that you can use to quickly customize your layout, sections, and more to achieve any look or experience you’re going for.

Key Takeaways:

  • WooCommerce integration
  • 3D, interactive scrolling effect
  • Drag-and-drop page builder 

4. Igloo 

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Igloo is a great theme option for restaurants and bars. There are customizable layouts for your menus so you can easily highlight your newest, specialty items. Igloo also offers other content layouts and features to add to your site, such as a testimonial page where your leads can learn more about the positive experiences customers have had on your site and with your products. The theme has several pre-made color schemes available to choose from.

Key Takeaways:

  • Customizable menu layouts
  • Testimonial page feature
  • Pre-made color schemes 

5. Italica 

Italica is a flexible theme with six different customizable “skins” that work in a similar way to your WordPress templates to make your theme suitable for your specific restaurant type. You can apply the different skins to get a completely different look and feel. The theme offers a variety of demo content that you can review pre-install to make customization quick and easy. Italica also has an “Appointment Manager” feature that you can add to a site page so your customers can make reservations directly from your site.

Key Takeaways:

  • Six different “skins” to customize your site
  • Demo content available
  • Appointment Manager feature to handle reservations

6. Benedicta 

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Benedicta is a multi-purpose theme that includes a variety of menu templates tailored towards several different types of restaurants. The theme gives you the option to include a photo gallery to share pictures of your favorite dishes. Benedicta also has site pages for your restaurant’s blog and news so you can share all of your latest updates with customers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Creative menu templates
  • Customizable photo gallery
  • Blog and news site pages

7. Nigiri

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Nigiri is a theme specifically tailored towards seafood and sushi restaurants. The theme includes a modern, sleek, and minimalist design. There are a number of templates available that are sushi-focused and allow you to include menu item descriptions and images. The theme has an OpenTable integration so it’s easy for your customers to book reservations without having to call your restaurant.

Key Takeaways:

  • Modern and sleek design
  • Seafood and sushi-focused theme
  • OpenTable integration 

8. Sage 

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Sage is an ideal theme for bars, bistros, and cafes, as well as businesses that sell food products online. It has a number of pre-built elements related to these types of restaurants, and an easy-to-use drag-and-drop page builder, so you’re able to design your website with minimal effort. The theme also includes a WooCommerce integration so you can easily manage your online store and product sales.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pre-built elements
  • Drag-and-drop page builder
  • WooCommerce integration

9. Bakes and Cakes

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Bakes and Cakes is a theme created for — you guessed it — bakeries. It’s SEO-focused to help your site rank on search engines and drive more traffic. The theme has multiple gallery options and product pages so you can display your baked goods. Bakes and Cakes also has a template that allows you to include testimonials and rave reviews on your web pages.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ideal for bakeries
  • SEO-focused
  • Testimonial page template 

10. Resca 

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Resca is a multi-purpose restaurant theme. It offers a “one-page” feature that allows you to build your entire site on a single page for a minimalist design that features only your most important content. The theme is integrated with OpenTable to ensure reservations are easy to make for your customers. Resca also includes a contact form plugin so creating a custom form for your customers is simple.

If your theme does not come with a contact form plugin and you’re looking for a simple way to add a form to your site, check out HubSpot’s WordPress Contact Form builder.

Key Takeaways:

  • Option to create a one-page website
  • OpenTable integration
  • Contact form plugin

11. Picante

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Picante is a multi-purpose WordPress theme with a “Live Visual Page Builder” feature that allows you to make changes or updates to your theme and view them in real-time. There are eight unique templates available so you can quickly begin designing (or re-designing) your site. The theme provides you with expert support so you can get the assistance you may need while working on your site.

Key Takeaways:

  • Live page builder feature to make changes and view them in real-time
  • Eight unique templates ready for installation
  • Expert support available

12. Dine 

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Dine is created for high-end restaurants and cafes. Each of the theme’s customizable templates come with an elegant, clean design. Dine also offers an “Off Canvas Menu” feature that provides your mobile website visitors with an easy-to-read, mobile-friendly menu. You also get access to the Google Fonts library when you become a Dine user, so you can implement any typography of your choice on your site.

Key Takeaways:

  • Elegant, clean design
  • Mobile-friendly menu feature
  • Google Fonts library access 

13. Tamarind 

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Tamarind is a multi-purpose restaurant theme with a variety of pre-made templates that you can choose from. The theme includes an OpenTable integration as well as the Contact 7 Reservation Forms plugin for you to manage your reservations. There are also a variety of presentation styles that you can add to your site to uniquely display your breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pre-made theme templates
  • OpenTable integration and Contact 7 Reservation Forms
  • Variety of menu presentation styles available

14. Tavern 

Tavern is a WordPress theme ideal for bistros, cafes, and bars. The drag-and-drop page builder requires no coding knowledge and includes over 60 pre-made elements that you can use to customize your site. The theme is approved by the Google Mobile-Friendly Test meaning your site will be responsive and functional for visitors browsing on-the-go.

Key Takeaways:

  • Drag-and-drop page builder
  • 60+ pre-made page elements available
  • Google Mobile-Friendly Test approved 

15. The Flavour 

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The Flavour’s responsive design automatically changes your site’s format to fit the screen it’s being viewed on, whether that’s desktop, mobile, or tablet. There are different image slider options that you can add to your site pages so visitors are able to scroll through full-width photographs of your menu items. There are also restaurant-specific icons (typically of different food items) that visitors can click on to be redirected to a different section or page, creating an interactive and unique experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Responsive theme
  • Sliders to display multiple, full-width images
  • Restaurant-specific icons for visitors to click 

Back To You

No matter the type of food business you run, or the type of restaurant you own, you’ll need a WordPress theme to get your website looking and functioning the way it should to ensure a positive user experience. If, after reviewing our 15 theme recommendations, you’re still interested in considering other restaurant themes for your WordPress site, there are hundreds of options for you to browse in the WordPress theme library. Get started increasing traffic on your site, sharing your menu items, improving user experience, and easily managing your reservations by installing a restaurant theme and customizing it to your liking.

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Looking Back on 2018 Predicted Tech Trends: Which Flourished, and Which Flopped?

Every January, the Consumer Electronics Association hosts the annual (and potentially largest) Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada — where events often begin with a projection of the top tech trends to come that year.

At the start of 2018, it was predicted that a handful of trends would dominate the year. And as we look ahead to 2019 and prepare to return to CES next month, we’re taking a closer look at those that stood out to us the most over the past year.

Here’s what flourished — and which predicted trends didn’t make quite the splash that was anticipated. 

1. 5G

5G is a type of wireless technology that you may have heard about over the course of 2018 — such as when Verizon selected Samsung as the provider for its 5G commercial launch.

The “G” stands for generation, in that this is the fifth generation of this type of connectivity. Currently, 4G powers cellular connectivity like LTE. The goal of 5G is to support the rising number of mobile internet users, by providing better speed, handling more data, greater responsiveness, and connectivity to smart devices.

That’s part of what makes 5G such a big deal — that it has the potential to provide significantly higher wireless speeds, capacities, and lower latency — which generally means that there will be far fewer delays or “technical hesitancies” in some of the things it powers, like wireless virtual reality (VR), or autonomous vehicles.

And as those latter two technologies have also continued to progress over the course of 2018, having the right wireless infrastructure to support them becomes increasingly important.

While 5G may not have made quite the mainstream splash this year that some predicted, looking ahead to 2019, it could remain integral to the development of digital communication and connectivity

Further reading:

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

If we had to identify one core reason why AI is such an important technology, it would be how many other technologies it informs and impacts.

AI continues to be an area where there’s still a bit of confusion among consumers and businesses alike — which could explain why a search for what differentiates AI from things like machine learning, deep learning, and bots yields a plethora of content.

In a nutshell, AI is what powers many of these other technologies, including some of those appearing on this list. It’s a way of replicating the intelligence or thought process of humans that’s required of certain processes, like answering questions, navigating transportation, recognizing someone’s face, or even determining what’s in your refrigerator.

“I’ve been impressed to see how artificial intelligence has spread into SMB software. In some areas like messaging and chat it has enabled companies to work more efficiently, reducing steps so marketing, sales and service professionals can there for customers in a more reliable way,” says HubSpot VP of Marketing Meghan Keaney Anderson. “In other areas it has made what wouldn’t have been previously possible possible, rapidly assessing huge volumes of data points to glean insights that would have taken significant human investment otherwise.”

So, as all of these areas of technology continue to expand and evolve, and power the new products and capabilities that have launched this year, it could be argued that AI was not only one of the most pivotal tech trends of 2018, but will continue to be in the next year (and, potentially, many years to follow).

Further reading:

3. Robotics

In the earlier part of 2018, it appeared that “bots were the future.” Notable brands across the broad spectrum of industries were launching their own chatbots, for example, in a way that allowed them to interact with audiences to provide support, surface content, or make appointments.

As we mentioned above — these capabilities are powered by AI.

But in some respects, bots may have peaked in the first few months of 2018, only to to lose some momentum, or at least some of the hype around them that started the year. Chatbots on platforms like Messenger, for instance, may have taken a bit of a hit when news of data misuse on its broader platform, Facebook, began to make repeated headlines this year.

But where chatbots may have had the most impact and carved a crucial path was the dialogue — no pun intended — they began around the importance of conversational capabilities in technology. While a text-based bot on Messenger or Slack might differ from a voice assistant (e.g., Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri), at their respective cores, they’re all still bots, and they’re all powered by AI.

To that end, bots take on far more forms than just voice assistants and chatbots — with many categorizing things like autonomous vehicles and drones as robots. And let’s not forget: Throughout 2018, we began to note the growing presence of actual robots that such complete “human” tasks as preparing lattes and serving food.

Further reading:

4. Voice

Voice technology continues to progress and appear on a number of different platforms, potentially making it one of the most prevalent tech trends of 2018.

Voice is yet another instance of crucial technology that’s powered by AI, especially when it comes to voice assistants: the digital personas that power smartphones, smart speakers, and more. (On Apple devices, for example, it’s Siri. On Google hardware, it’s simply named Assistant. On the Amazon Echo, it’s Alexa.)

Where AI also plays a pivotal role in this technology is the capacity of these machines for voice recognition — being able to differentiate the voices of multiple users within a single household, understand what that person says, and produce the information that person wanted. 

Seeing as a number of voice-assistant-powered products launched in 2018, like video smart speakers — and considering that a growing number of search queries are conducted by voice — we wouldn’t be surprised to see this trend continue to evolve.

“I think voice is incredibly intuitive, and that lots of people don’t even think about using it,” says HubSpot VP of Marketing Jon Dick. “Long term, I think voice will dominate a ton of our transactional queries.”

Further reading:

5. Virtual Reality

Finally, we’ve arrived at virtual reality (VR): one type of technology that many developers, content creators, and certain businesses want to succeed — but when it comes to going mainstream, has faced numerous obstacles.

Nevertheless, it was a technology to which we paid close attention in 2018, attending industry events around it and observing the ways it can be used in a consumer and business setting alike. We tested out new headsets, collected data on user sentiment, and spoke with experts on the forecast for how it will grow in the years to come.

So, what VR one of the “biggest” tech trends of 2018? In terms of user growth, maybe not. But with so much attention paid to it this year, it shows some promise for 2019.

Further reading:

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Author: Amanda Zantal-Wiener

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The 15 Best Free WordPress Themes for Bloggers in 2019

If you’re a blogger, it’s probably safe to assume you want a website that’s equally as stylish, unique, and high quality as the content you share. You also want visitors to have a positive experience navigating your site — reading posts with ease, searching for topics of interest, and discovering other content that makes them excited to return. A WordPress blogging theme can help you achieve the exact look, feel, design, and layout you envision … without the need for coding.

Stop wasting time on SEO strategies that don't work with the help of this free  PDF guide >>” src=”https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/53/bd685600-02f9-40f3-a4e7-18488a8d79ba.png” align=”middle”></a></p>
<h2>The 15 Best Free WordPress Themes for Bloggers in 2019</h2>
<p>We’ve curated this list of our favorite 15 free WordPress themes for bloggers like yourself — not in any specific order — to consider using for your website. Each theme includes a description of the features that make them unique as well as a list of key takeaways in case you’re in a hurry.</p>
<h3>1. <a href=Juno

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Juno provides you with unique blog-style layout options that makes it easy to pair your written content with images and/ or videos. Juno is a simple WordPress theme that offers a minimalist and clean design without any clutter. The theme also has a masonry-style blog layout, which displays your content in a grid format to make it organized and easy to browse.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gallery options to pair written content with photos and video
  • Minimalist theme
  • Grid-style layout

2. Kale

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Kale is built for food bloggers. There are a number of feed displays to choose from so you can determine how you want to organize your written content and images of the dishes and menu items that you’re featuring. The built-in social media sidebar widget makes it easy for your visitors to locate, view, and follow your accounts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ideal for food bloggers
  • Variety of blog feed displays
  • Built-in social media menu buttons
     

3. Writee

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Writee is ideal for photography or image-heavy blogs — the theme has a slider hero image feature which allows you to include several full-width images. Writee’s responsive design automatically changes your site’s format to fit any screen, whether that’s desktop, mobile, or tablet. You might also be a blogger who sells branded merchandise or other related items. If that’s the case, Writee makes managing your online store simple with their WooCommerce integration.

Key Takeaways:

  • Responsive design
  • Full-width image slider
  • WooCommerce integration

4. Hemingway 

Hemingway is a simple two-column blogging theme that keeps your content organized and easy to read. It includes a parallax scrolling feature which adds an interactive, 3D, and video-like experience to your blog pages. Hemingway’s translation-ready feature comes with pre-made language files so your website can be automatically translated into a number of other languages with the click of a button.

Key Takeaways:

  • Simple two-column theme
  • 3D, video-like scrolling feature
  • Auto-translates into several other languages

5. Radiate

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Radiate is a blogging theme that offers unique visuals, including a customizable, full-width hero image and primary color options so you can match your branding. If you have a WordPress.com Premium or Business account (that is, if you pay for WordPress), you can take advantage of custom Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS. CSS is a markup language that determines the look of your HTML so you can modify and customize the design of your web pages.

Key Takeaways:

  • Full-width image background
  • Multiple color options
  • Custom CSS that allows you to modify and customize web page design

6. Flat

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This blogging theme employs “flat”, or 2D, design principles, to give your site a minimalist feel all while using bright colors and unique typography to maintain a level of appeal. The theme has customizable sidebar navigation that allows you to build a clean and functional menu for your blog content. There’s also an easy-to-use “Theme Options Panel” in which you can update your site’s settings, add images and logos, include social links, and more from one, central location.

Key Takeaways:

  • Flat, 2D design
  • Customizable sidebar navigation
  • Easy-to-use Theme Options Panel to customize site pages

7. Bulan

Bulan offers multiple homepage layouts for your blog including full-width, boxed, narrow, and multi-column options to provide your visitors with a unique experience when they enter your site. There are also a number of customizable sidebar and navigation configurations to enhance your user experience. Not to mention, you can install custom widgets to increase your site’s functionality.

Key Takeaways:

  • Multiple homepage layouts
  • Customizable sidebar and navigation options
  • Custom widget options

8. Total

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Total is a blogging theme with a masonry-style layout which places your latest three, six, or nine blog posts in a grid format to keep your content organized. There’s also a portfolio section if you want to share some of your artistic work. Total is SEO-friendly, which means it’s set up to help you rank in Google searches and get more traffic to your site.

Key Takeaways:

  • Grid-style layout
  • Portfolio section available
  • SEO-friendly
     

9. Spacious

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Spacious is a blog theme with four different page layout options and four blog display options to choose from. You can customize your theme’s primary color to match your site to your branding. Building your site with Spacious is a simple and painless process due to their downloadable demo sites that you can use for inspiration and support.

Key Takeaways:

  • Four blog display options to choose from
  • Customizable primary color for your theme
  • Demo sites available

10. Revive

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Revive is a blogging and magazine theme that’s ideal if you have a variety of photo content that you want to share on your website. The theme has a responsive design so your visitors can easily view your website from their desktop computer, mobile, or tablet. Revive also offers access to Font Awesome Icons that you can add to your theme to create a more interactive experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Blogging and magazine theme
  • Responsive design
  • Access to Font Awesome Icons to create an interactive experience

11. Wisteria

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Wisteria is a blogging theme with a clean, minimalist, and straightforward design. The theme has layouts tailored to a variety of blogs including lifestyle, food, fashion, marketing, and more. Wisteria is retina-ready meaning all of your images and content will be high-definition to ensure your site has a professional look and feel.

Key Takeaways:

  • Clean and minimalist design
  • Created for a wide variety of blog types
  • High-definition
     

12. Editorial

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Editorial is a blog theme with a live customizer feature that lets you edit your site, move sections, add content to your theme, and view changes in real time. The theme is flexible enough to organize large amounts of editorial content in a way that doesn’t seem overwhelming to your readers. Editorial has a variety of easy-to-use widgets that allow you to customize several of your site page sections with the click of a button.

Key Takeaways:

  • Live customizer feature to make and view edits in real time
  • Easy to organize large amounts of written content
  • Variety of easy-to-use widgets

13. Brilliant

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Brilliant is a blog and online magazine theme that allows you to artistically pair your blog posts with photo and/ or video content. You can add or edit your own custom logo on your homepage as well as easily customize your theme’s accent colors to match your blog’s branding. Brilliant is also translation-ready so your visitors can read your content in a variety of different languages with the click of a button.

Key Takeaways:

  • Easily pair blog posts with photo and video content
  • Quickly add a logo and customize the theme’s accent colors
  • Can be auto-translated into multiple different languages 

14. Poseidon

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If you want to include large, professional-looking photographs on your blog’s website, Poseidon is the option for you. This theme offers a full-width image slideshow on the homepage that allows you to display multiple photos. The layout is mainly white to create a clean, organized look that appears spacious and organized. Poseidon also has completely customizable navigation bars that you can implement on your site to enhance user experience and improve your site’s configuration.

Key Takeaways:

  • Full-width image slideshow
  • White background to create a spacious and clean design
  • Customizable navigation bars

15. Author

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Author is suitable for all types of blogs and includes a responsive design so your visitors can read your content from any device and still enjoy their experience. The theme’s minimalist look allows your visitors to easily focus on your content without any distractions. There is expert support available in case you run into any issues while designing your website as well as several tutorial videos to walk you through different customization tasks step-by-step.

Key Takeaways:

  • Responsive design
  • Minimalist appearance
  • Expert support and tutorial videos

Back To You

A free blogging WordPress theme will allow you to create a unique, functional, stylish, and eye-catching website where you can share your content. Each theme has features, layouts, and styling that set them apart from the others — so, consider the overall design you’re going for on your blog to help you determine which option is ideal for you. Then, install your theme and begin adding your blog content and customizing it to your liking to create a great user experience for your visitors that will keep them coming back.

seo myths 2019

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How to Take a Screenshot on Your Android Phone [Easy Guide]

Maybe you just made the transition to an Android, or maybe the process of taking a screenshot just slipped your mind. Either way, whether you want to include a screenshot in one of your blog posts or send a funny meme to a colleague, here’s a quick, easy guide for taking a screenshot on your Android phone.

Download the free stock photos you've been searching for here, no attribution  required.

Image Credit: Gadget Hacks

To take a screenshot on your Android phone, hold down the power button for a few seconds and press “Screenshot” on your phone screen. If that doesn’t work, hold the Power and Volume buttons at the same time for a few seconds. If you see an animation of your screen shrinking, like the image below, your phone has taken a picture of your screen and saved it in your photos app.

Image Credit: Gadget Hacks

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13 of the Best Email Newsletter Templates and Resources to Download for 2019

If you had to guess, how many email newsletters do you think you’re subscribed to? Ten? Twenty? Fifty?

To be honest, I’ve lost count — and I know I’m not alone. Email marketers have a lot to compete with in their subscribers’ inboxes. That’s why a solid newsletter template is crucial to designing an email that people are encouraged to click through.

If done well, though, email newsletters can do wonders to help you build an engaged subscriber base, keep your business top-of-mind, and nurture leads that are already making their way down the funnel.

However, “done well” means more than just serving up great content. In fact, an often overlooked component of the newsletter creation process is the design.Click here to download our free lookbook that's packed with our favorite email  newsletters.

Don’t have time to build out a custom template from scratch? We’ve scoured the internet for the best resources for email newsletter templates and compiled them below. Once you find one you like, download the template and customize it to fit your needs.

Email Newsletter Lookbook

1. Pook by Litmus

Price: Free

Litmus offers a free email template collection — from newsletter templates to account management templates. The marketing-specific theme, below — referred to as “Pook” — is modern and sleek, while still being kind of fun. All of the templates have been tested with Litmus, and you can easily check out how the email will appear in different email clients here.

While you are required to create a Litmus account with your email address to access the templates, the templates themselves are free of charge.

Pook email newsletter template by Litmus

2. Sonata by Web Canopy Studio

Price: Free

Sonata is an email template by Web Canopy Studio, available on the HubSpot platform to any HubSpot user, free or paid, looking to promote a special offer or resource to their loyal subscribers. As you can see, the newsletter template below embraces a clean aesthetic with image slots to capture the essence of your brand in three separate tiles.

You can customize almost any component of the template below, from the company logo at the top of the email to the “Get The Checklist” CTA at the bottom. Get this template from the HubSpot Template Marketplace, which includes a full gallery of similar templates linked at the end of this article.

sonata-email-newsletter-template

3. ZURB Ink

Price: Free

ZURB Studios has five responsive email templates available for free, including the newsletter one below. It has a great, fluid layout you can customize with your own colors, images, and wording. If you want to see how each template looks on different email clients, you can check out screenshots from each template’s email client tests, which are on available the site. These layouts are optimized for most email clients — except for Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013.

The template comes with a separate CSS stylesheet and HTML file to ease the editing process, and most clients put the CSS inline with the HTML itself after both are uploaded separately. If you’re going to add images to your newsletter, keep in mind you’ll have to create a separate folder and compress with the CSS stylesheet when uploaded.

Zurb Ink email newsletter template by Zurb Studios

Image Credit: ZURB Studios

4. Wire by HubSpot

Price: Free

Wire is a HubSpot-designed newsletter template, catering to marketers who are rolling out a new product or service they want their prospects and customers to know about. The thin typeface and contrast between the dark background and vibrant product copy can add a sense of intensity to any new campaign.

wire-email-newsletter-template

5. 99designs

Price: Free

99designs is a growing online community and collaboration platform for designers and small businesses, and they have a great designer blog and business blog. As a free offering to their blog readers, they recently released a set of 45 free email templates — perfect for newsletters, promotional messages, and personalized responses. All of the templates are fully responsive and compatible with all major email clients.

99Designs email newsletter template shown with responsive design on multiple devices

Image Credit: 99designs

6. Webinar Invite by WorkCast

Price: Free

The email newsletter template below can promote anything from articles to new products, but it’s particularly useful for promoting a webinar you want people to register for.

Developed by WorkCast for the HubSpot platform, the template below offers a healthy balance of text and graphics so you can grab your recipients’ attention and give them the where and when of the webinar you think they’d be interested in attending.

webinar-email-newsletter-template

7. ThemeForest

Price: $6-23/template

ThemeForest is an awesome resource for email templates if you have some budget to spend. Their library has over 460 newsletter templates in all different colors, styles, and themes. They’re rated using a four-star system, and you can filter by rating, price, recency, and popularity.

There are a lot to choose from, but here are four of our favorites:

Market – Responsive Newsletter with Template Builder ($19)

This template has eight prebuilt layouts, 24 color variations, 24 full-layered PSD files, and more. Plus, it’s supported by all major email clients.

ThemeForest email newsletter templates

FreshMail, Responsive Email with Template Editor ($18)

Want a more minimalist look? This is a great template with minimalist design that’s also flexible and repeatable, so you can easily arrange the layout and use it to build your own unique template. Even better, it comes with helpful documentation and video tutorials to help you make the most of the design. It works for all major email clients and is responsive to mobile.

ThemeForest Email Newsletter Templates

FancyMail – Responsive Email Template ($19)

If you’re looking for something more elegant and sophisticated, this might be the template for you. It comes in seven layout options and eight colors, along with six, fully-layered PSD files so you can customize as you wish. It works with all major email clients, is responsive to mobile devices, and includes helpful documentation so you can make the most of the template.

ThemeForest email newsletter templates

Rocket Mail – Clean & Modern Email Template ($16)

This template is great for marketers who are going for something that looks like your classic, basic newsletter design. It comes with 72 variations comprised of six color themes with six layouts each, and two backgrounds (light and dark) for each color. It has well commented HTML code to make it easier to follow along and customize. It works for all major email clients.

ThemeForest email newsletter templates

8. Resonant by HubSpot

Price: Free

Resonant is another free email newsletter template by HubSpot. The template’s base design is perfect for welcoming new users to your service. At this stage in the customer journey, you don’t want to overwhelm your newest users with too much content right away — but you do want to give them a taste of who you are. The wide image space at the top and text blurb beneath it help you do just that.

Maybe you want to send this email to help new users complete their registration, or offer them the next tier of your product. The “Download” CTA at the bottom of the email template gives you a modest up-sell opportunity, which you can personalize with any links and copy you’d like.

resonant-email-newsletter-template

9. Antwort

Price: Free

Antwort offers three newsletter templates: one single-column, one two-column, and one three-column. They’re all responsive to mobile devices, so columns on desktop automatically condense on mobile devices. You’ll notice they’re pretty minimalist in design, which helps if you want to do a lot of customization work. They were also designed with dynamic content in mind.

On desktop, they work for major email clients like Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, and AOL. On mobile, they work for Mail on iOS and Email on Android.

Free email newsletter templates by Antwort

Image Credit: Julie Ng

10. Useful Notifications by TemplateMonster

Price: $14

TemplateMonster offers a variety of email newsletter templates, such as the Useful Notifications newsletter template pictured below, all of which are available for relatively low prices. Their templates are clean, customizable, and easy-to-use, and they’re compatible with most major email clients, such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail. Additionally, the templates come with built-in responsive layouts for screen adaptability, such as on the mobile phone pictured below, and PSD sources for a litany of customization options.

useful-notifications-email-newsletter-template

Image Credit: TemplateMonster

11. Themezy

Price: Free

Download sixteen free HTML, CSS, and PSD sources of customizable email templates on Themezy. You don’t have to submit an email address to get started, and there are various color schemes and layouts to meet your email list’s needs. Plus, they’re designed to be responsive across devices to ensure that your subscribers can read your newsletter.

Free email newsletter template by Themezy

Image Credit: Themezy

12. Email on Acid

Price: Free

Email on Acid offers a free template with a basic, fluid design that’s also responsive to mobile devices. In other words, the three different “layouts” you see below trigger based on the width of the recipient’s screen.

Although there’s only one template here, you can actually mix and match each section of the layout to fit your specific design needs. The layout supports one, two, or three columns, and recipients on mobile devices will see the version that converts to a one-column layout for easy reading.

Email on Acid NewsletterImage Credit: Email on Acid

13. HubSpot Template Marketplace

Price: Free & paid options available

If you’re a HubSpot customer, HubSpot offers a great collection of email templates you can download or purchase from our template marketplace. Paid templates are available for as low as $1, and once you buy a template, you can start using it immediately right in HubSpot — no HTML or CSS required.

The second, fourth, sixth, and eighth templates on this list all came from our Marketplace.

HubSpot Template Marketplace.png

Ready to draft your next 2019 email newsletter campaign? Download one of the excellent newsletter templates from the template galleries and landing pages above. Then, grab your free guide below for creating an email newsletter your audience will want to engage with.

Free Download Email Newsletter Lookbook

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The State of Voice: Looking Ahead to 2019

The word “voice” has taken on many meanings over the years.

At its core, “voice” is the audible sound made by humans to utter the spoken word. But it can also describe how something feels. How you imagine a written word to sound, in your own mind. It can describe unification.

Whatever definition the word “voice” conjures for you, know this: It’s likely to becoming increasingly used and important over the next year.

Around here, we most frequently use the word “voice” to describe the way people search for information or execute tasks that, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and other technology, can now be completed digitally. Rather than going to an online browser bar and entering a search query, we can now press a button on our mobile devices or speak a command to a voice assistant to get the information we want.

Clock_Frame_CTA_Molecule1112Source: Google

You might even be on a first name basis with some of these voice assistants — “Hey Siri,” “Alexa!” and “Okay, Google” have become part of the daily vernacular for many of us (present company/author included). 

But looking ahead to 2019, how many of us are really taking advantage of this technology — of using voice assistants, buying the hardware (like such smart speakers as the Amazon Echo or Google Home) that they equip, and even gifting others with them? And where we do use our voices in this capacity, what are we using them to do?

We asked over 3,400 people across the U.S., UK, and Canada to weigh in. Here’s what we learned.

The State of Voice: Looking Ahead to 2019

The Prevalence of Voice Assistant Use

Most People Say They Don’t Use a Voice Assistant

In response to the question, “Do you use a voice assistant, like Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri?”, there was a close split between those who indicated that they do use a voice assistant (52%) and those who do not (45%).

Do you use a voice assistant, like Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri? Data collected with Lucid

Out of those who do use voice assistants, most do so on their phones, suggested that the smart speaker market has a but of a road ahead in terms scale or becoming mainstream.

There also still remains some confusion about what defines a voice assistant, with about 4% of people answering that they aren’t sure what it is.

That awareness somewhat informs use cases for voice assistants, which is what we examined next.

The Privacy Issue

One barrier to scaling voice assistant use could be privacy. When we asked survey respondents what their reasons are for not using a voice assistant, most answered that they have privacy concerns about the technology.

Why don't you use a voice assistantData collected with Lucid

The issues of privacy and personal data protection have been front-and-center in 2018, with headline after headline appearing about how personal details from users’ online accounts have have been either improperly harvested or otherwise misused.

Where that particularly manifests in the realm of smart speakers became particularly relevant when Facebook — who faced one privacy-related crisis after another this year — launched a video smart speaker, Portal, which came equipped with a camera.

How People Use Voice Assistants

Then, we asked survey participants: “In the past 30 days, what have you used your voice assistant — like Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri — for the most?”

Here, fewer respondents indicated that they don’t use a voice assistant (about 40%).

In the past 30 days, what have you used your voice assistant -- like Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri -- for the most?  Data collected with Lucid

As for the use cases among those who do enlist the help of voice assistants, they were somewhat fragmented, with a fairly small percentage of users falling into each category. The highest number, however, said they use the technology to check the weather, with shopping following close behind.

The State of Voice Shopping

Given that shopping was one of the highest-indicated use cases for voice assistants, we want to drill down into that behavior and find out just how prevalent it was among users.

We asked: “Have you ever used a voice assistant — like Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri — to buy something online?”

Have you ever used a voice assistant -- like Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri -- to buy something online?Data collected with Lucid

While nearly half of respondents said that they don’t use a voice assistant at all, nearly a quarter of those who do said they have used the technology to make a purchase online.

When Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, and the hardware it supports, Echo, first launched, that was one of the key selling points in the company’s narrative: Got your hands full? Now you can reorder dog food on Amazon, just by asking this speaker to do it for you.

The Future of Smart Speakers

Finally, we wanted to know what people’s plans are for purchasing a smart speaker: the hardware that’s supported with various voice assistants to execute commands much like the ones we asked about in our use case question.

Do you plan to buy a smart speaker?  -1Data collected with Lucid

Exactly half of respondents indicated that they have no foreseeable plans to buy a smart speaker. Out of those who do, most said they plan to buy one for themselves — not someone else — within the next six months.

The Year Ahead

Looking ahead to 2019, voice search shows some promise for growth. Over two years ago, Search Engine Land reported that 20% of all Google search queries are made by voice. With the amount of Google-Assistant-equipped devices — like the Google Home and Home Hub — having launched since then, that number is likely to have increased in the time following that statistic’s publication.

The same could be true of a mainstream presence of smart speakers. After all, our above research shows that 37% of people plan to buy a smart speaker either for themselves or someone else within the next 6-12 months — and about 14% of people said they have already made such a purchase.

What’s key to remember about the growth of both voice assistant use, as well as the hardware it will support, is how it will inevitably be used for marketing purposes as the technology permeates more households. 

The New York Times recently published an article titled, “Marketing Through Smart Speakers? Brands Don’t Need to Be Asked Twice,” which explores ways that businesses are creating user experiences on these speakers — not to be confused with creating paid ads on them, since neither Google Home nor Amazon Echo will run them (yet). 

To think about the best experience to create, have another look at the data on use cases. First, where does your audience fit in — and second, how can you help users who are new to or unfamiliar with voice assistants navigate this technology? As many predict, voice commands could feasibly go toe-to-toe with actions executed on desktop computers and mobile devices. 

“These are still early days for marketing on voice devices,” writes Sapna Maheshwari, author of the aforementioned New York Times story. “But over time … voice interactions will begin to replace many of the activities that people are conducting on screens.”

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The Meeting Agenda Sample That’ll Help You Run Productive and Efficient Meetings

A week without at least one pointless meeting is like getting accepted into Hogwarts. It’d be a dream come true, but sadly, it’ll probably never happen (don’t ever stop waiting for that owl to drop you your letter, folks!)

Pointless meetings infest the workplace. In fact, Atlassian estimates that you’ll waste 31 hours in unproductive meetings each month. And these lost hours will cost U.S. businesses more than $37 billion this year.

Needless to say, unnecessary or unorganized meetings are maddening. They waste the time you need to get your work done — work that you might have to finish during your own time.

Download your free marketing goal-setting template here. 

Fortunately, there’s a solution for unproductive meetings — agendas. Agendas force attendees to prepare for the meeting beforehand, set clear expectations, keep people focused during the meeting, and budget the allotted time effectively.

To help you create a meeting agenda that’ll help you run a productive and efficient meeting, we’ve designed a sample meeting agenda that’s based off the meeting agenda that Roger Schwarz, an organizational psychologist, a leadership team consultant, and CEO of Roger Schwarz & Associates, uses to run his team meetings.

Meeting Agenda Sample

Topic Preparation Structure

1. What are the current issues with our blog’s email subscription strategy?

Time: 15 Minutes

Purpose: Analysis

Leader: Cliff

Read the attached memo that includes images of recent emails we’ve sent out and our email subscription and engagement data.

1. Review data and highlight the key issues and insights extracted from it

Time: 5 Minutes

2. Go over why you think email engagement has suffered

Time: 5 Minutes

3. Ask team why they think email engagement has suffered

Time: 5 Minutes

2. How should we enhance our blog’s email subscription strategy?

Time: 15 Minutes

Purpose: Brainstorm

Leader: Tova

Come up with three ideas to boost the blog’s email engagement.

1. Propose possible solutions for boosting email engagement

Time: 5 Minutes

2. Ask team what they think of your proposed solutions

Time: 5 Minutes

3. Ask each team member to propose one of their own solutions

Time: 5 Minutes

3. What are the next steps that we should take?

Time: 15 Minutes

Purpose: Decision

Leader: Karla

Think about how you could practically implement each of your ideas into our blog’s email subscription strategy.

1. Decide on a proposed solution or multiple solutions

Time: 5 Minutes

2. Explain why we’re going to pursue that specific path

Time: 5 Minutes

3. Divvy up responsibilities to each team member

Time: 5 Minutes

As you can see, we segmented our agenda into three sections — topic, preparation, and structure. Here’s an analysis of why modeling your meeting agendas like the one above will help you run productive and efficient meetings.

Topic

When you design your meeting agenda, segmenting it by topic will set clear expectations and keep you on track during the meeting. Before you decide on the topics, though, consider asking your attendees what they’d like to discuss and why.

If someone suggests a topic that isn’t relevant to all the people attending the meeting, don’t include it on the agenda — discussing an issue that’s only of interest to a small part of the group will disengage the rest of the attendees and make them feel like they’re wasting their time. But, before the meeting occurs, remember to tell the person who suggested that topic the exact reason why you aren’t including it on the agenda.

Framing your topics as questions will also lead to productive and efficient meetings. Doing this prepares people for the meeting’s particular talking points and forces them to stay focused on them. For instance, which topic do you think you could better prepare and provide a solution for — “Email Subscription Strategy” or “Which types of posts should we send through our email subscription?”

Additionally, setting an allotted time frame for each topic will help each attendee cover all their speaking points, answer questions, come up with solutions, and approve next steps without wasting too much time.

Finally, stating the topic’s intent will clarify what needs to get accomplished during the allotted time frame. This keeps attendees laser-focused on achieving a goal and minimizes the amount of time wasted trying to figure out the point of discussing a specific topic.

Preparation

If you send your agenda to attendees before the meeting and identify how they can best prepare for it, you’ll get everyone up to speed and ready to discuss their thoughts when the meeting starts. You’ll also have deeper, more insightful conversations because no one will need to waste time sorting through their initial questions about a subject they’ve already prepared for.

Structure

Structure adds a concrete set of steps to each of your agenda’s topics, streamlining your meeting. By assigning particular talking points and allocating specific time frame to each topic, your attendees will know exactly what to expect and discuss during each segment of your meeting.

Meetings Shouldn’t Be a Waste of Time

Unproductive or unorganized meetings are as beneficial to you as procrastinating on the web — they’re timesucks. Fortunately, the sample agenda above can help you design and structure a productive and efficient meeting that will make people feel excited, focused, and ready to get to work.

free marketing goal setting template

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The Essential Introduction to Google Merchant Center

Imagine this — you’re having friends over for a dinner party, and your recipe (which you found on Google) calls for spiralized zucchini noodles.

On your smartphone, you Google “spiralizer” and find this:

Among the first results you see are Williams-Sonoma’s spiralizer products. You click one, and are immediately taken to the product page on Williams-Sonoma’s website, where you can order your spiralizer within minutes.

Admittedly, this type of instant shopping is hardly new. We’ve seen an incredible rise in ecommerce over the years — today, ecommerce influences 56% of in-store purchases, and 10% of all U.S. retail sales. That number is expected to grow by 15% each year.

Ultimately, if your product doesn’t appear in search engines, you’re missing out on a large majority of your potential consumers.

However, you might not realize that Williams-Sonoma is a loyal customer of Google Merchant Center, a platform with tools that allow your business to create smart ads for Google, Google Images, and YouTube, reach your ideal customers globally, and use analytics to get better at reaching people already searching for your products.

If you’ve never used Google Merchant Center, you might be feeling overwhelmed. Don’t worry — here, we’re going to cover all the fundamentals of getting started with Google Merchant Center, to ensure your products are online and easy-to-find for those who need them.

Ecommerce businesses can retain more customers by following this free guide.

Set Up a Google Merchant Account

It’s easy enough to set up a Google Merchant Account — in fact, there are only four steps before you’ll have a Google Merchant Account of your own. Here’s how:

1. Go to the sign-up form for Google Merchant Center. Fill in the required information about your business, including which country your business is based, the name of your business, and your website URL. When you’re finished, click “Continue”.

2. On the next page, read the Terms & Conditions. Check the box marked “Yes, I agree …” when (and if) you agree, then click “Continue”.

3. Enter your website URL into the box, then click “Save” and “Finish”.

4. This step is optional, but if you don’t complete it now, you’ll have to complete it later within the Merchant Center dashboard — if you want to wait, click “Skip”. Otherwise, use one of the four offered methods to verify your website URL, then click “Finish”.

5. Voila! You’ve officially set up your Google Merchant Center.

How to Use Google Merchant Center

To manage your shopping ad bidding strategy, create advertising campaigns, and track ad performance, you’ll use Google Ads and Analytics — not Google Merchant Center.

Why, then, should you use Google Merchant Center?

Essentially, Google Merchant Center can help you do three things:

  • Notify Google you have products to sell
  • Give Google information to create a targeted ad for your products
  • Provide Google with information necessary to ensure Google will showcase your products to users who are the best fit for your products

Let’s dive into how you can set up your Google Merchant Center to ensure you accomplish all three.

To ensure Google has all the correct information to find your products, create targeted ads, and showcase your products to the right people, it’s critical you upload a complete product inventory to Google Merchant Center.

Fortunately, Google Merchant Center allows you to upload straight from their own, pre-designed Google spreadsheet template, making it incredibly easy.

To upload your product inventory, follow these steps:

1. Go to “Products” within your Google Merchant Center, then select “Feeds”. Click on the big blue “+” icon to add new products.

2. Fill in Basic information, including the country you want to sell products to, and the language. This will help Google ensure your products appear to your ideal demographic, in both the language and currency most appropriate. Then, click “Continue”.

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 11.26.45 AM

3. Name your feed and choose your input method. For our purposes, I chose “Google Sheets”. Then, click “Continue”.

4. If you choose to upload with a Google spreadsheet, you can either choose an existing spreadsheet or use Google Merchant’s spreadsheet template.

To use Google Merchant’s pre-made template, I chose “Generate a new Google spreadsheet”. You also have the option to select an upload schedule, i.e. daily or weekly, depending on how often you update your inventory. Then, click “Continue”.

5. Within the spreadsheet, fill out the necessary columns, including “id”, “title”, “description”, “link”, “condition”, “price”, “availability,” etc. Be as specific as possible, especially in the “description” column, to ensure your products are correctly advertised.

6. When you’re finished and ready to import, go to “Add-ons”, “Google Merchant Center”, and then “Upload sheet”.

If you’re unsure of what any of these columns mean, such as “id” or “gtin”, take a look at Google’s Product Data Specification page for details.

It’s important to note, what you type into your inventory is exactly what will appear when a user clicks on your product in Google Shopping, so it’s critical the information is both specific and accurate. You’ll want to make sure information such as “price” matches exactly what is on your website.

For instance, here’s how a spiralizer appears in Google Shopping, with a full description, price, and title that matches the information on the product’s website.

How to Make Changes to Your Merchant Center Product Feed

If you need to make changes or update your feed (i.e. inventory), you don’t have to register or upload a new spreadsheet. Instead, you can use “supplemental feeds”, which allow you to provide additional data that can be integrated with your existing data in the primary feed.

A supplemental feed can’t be used as a standalone feed — instead, its purpose is to update existing product data in your primary feed, so you don’t have to create a new primary feed every time your inventory information changes.

To create a supplemental feed, go to the “Feeds” section and click “Add a supplemental feed”. Follow the prompts and provide information including your supplemental feed name, input method (i.e. Google Sheets, Scheduled fetch, etc.), which primary feed you want to link to, and a scheduled fetch for your product data so you don’t need to manually upload it.

Alternatively, you might use Feed rules to resolve errors or help Google Merchant Center correctly interpret your primary feed’s data, if it seems it isn’t working or needs to be adjusted.

To do this, go to the “Feeds” section, click the feed you want to fix, and select the “Rules” tab. Choose the country to which you want to apply the rule (if you have more than one country of sale), then click “Create Rule”.

Finally, select the attribute you’d like to impact, configure your data sources, and click “Save as draft”. Then, select “Test changes” to ensure you’ve made the correct changes to your product feed. If you’re happy with the changes, click “Apply”. If you don’t want to apply the changes after all, click “Discard”.

Next, take a look at How to Optimize Your Google Shopping Data Feed.

Amplify your retention and acquisition strategies with the power of user-generated content.

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Author: Caroline Forsey

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Canonicalization 101: Everything You Need to Know About Canonical URLs

Every marketer wants their content to rank well in search engines, which is why we invest so much time into our websites’ Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

While many aspects of SEO are pretty straightforward — like headings, meta descriptions, and link building — other aspects of SEO can be a bit trickier. But that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore them.

One of these trickier elements is canonicalization — and it can play an important role in how search engines evaluate the quality of your pages.

Stop wasting time on SEO strategies that don't work with the help of this free  PDF guide >>” src=”https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/53/bd685600-02f9-40f3-a4e7-18488a8d79ba.png” align=”middle”></a></p>
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What is a Canonical Tag?

Sometimes referred to as “rel=canonical,” canonical tags tell search engines that a given URL is the master copy or authoritative source for a piece of content. If there are multiple versions of the same piece of content at different URLs, the canonical tag informs search engines which one is the primary source. The canonical tag appears in the HTML head of your page.

You can think of canonical tags as the technical SEO version of including a citation, as it gives credit to the original material and prevents duplicate content penalties.

On the surface, the concept of using canonical tags to avoid duplicate content issues might seem pretty straightforward. After all, even middle schoolers are taught that you can’t just copy and paste content from a website and call it your own. But leaving duplicate content issues up to chance shouldn’t be an option. Your SEO strategy should include a plan for managing potential duplicate content issues with canonical tags.

Duplicate content can create problems when you consider that search engines and humans look at content in very different ways. For example, we, humans, may think of http://www.hubspot.com and http://hubspot.com as the exact same page. After all, we built it as a singular page, not two separate pages, and the difference in the URL is just a matter of how someone arrives at the page.

Even though users on your site know that the page is the same even if it’s loaded under one of these conditions, search engines perceive a distinct URL for each version, and therefore think that they are each unique pages. As a result, we’re in a tough spot where there are several pages that have the exact same content. If we look at these pages from Google’s perspective, we’ve got a case of plagiarism.

Much like your high school English teacher, Google frowns on plagiarism, and your SEO will be negatively impacted due to duplicate content.

Luckily, canonicalization offers a solution to this.

When are Canonical URLs necessary?

The previous example of the same content being at https://www.hubspot.com and https://hubspot.com is just one of the situations in which it is important to include a canonical URL. Each of the following situations is a commonly occurring instance of when you’ll want to make sure you’ve added a canonical URL:

URLs that Identify Variations of the Same Product

Especially on e-commerce platforms, it’s quite common for URLs to adjust depending upon the specifics of the product that a customer is looking at. For example, let’s say you’re selling dog toys, and have a popular chew toy that comes in three separate sizes and has color options as well. The main page for that product may be www.example.com/product, but you likely also have pages URLs like www.example.com/product?size=large&color=blue.

Mobile-Specific URLs, Such as AMP Pages or a Mobile-Specific Subdomain

Creating content with mobile in mind is a marketing must — just be sure to remember to set your canonical URLs when you have pages that are specific to mobile but have the same content as a page on the desktop version of your website. For AMP pages specifically, Google also provides detailed guidelines on how to correctly differentiate your Accelerated Mobile Page from your standard webpage.

Region or Country-Specific URLs

Geotargeting is another great way to cater your content to your viewers based upon where they live. If you do this by adding a regional slug or using a regional subdomain (e.g. https://www.example.com/fi/page or https://de.example.com), you’ll want to make sure these region-specific pages point back to the master version of the page. It’s important to note that if you’re translating your page (for example you have the master version in English and have another version that’s entirely in Mandarin), this wouldn’t be a case of duplicate content. When it comes to region-specific content, you’ll want to include the canonical tag if most of the on-page content is the same and in the same language.

Self-Referential URLs

Most CMS platforms do this automatically, but it’s important to not overlook it. When you create a page, you can set it as its own canonical URL. This is known as a “self-referential canonical URL.” The usefulness of self-referential canonical tags has been widely debated until recently when Google confirmed that this can help your pages perform well in search results.

How to Set the Canonical URL for Your Page

When it comes to setting Canonical URLs for your pages, there are a few different approaches you can take. Each approach has its own benefits and disadvantages, and some may make more sense for you than others depending upon your overall web strategy. That being said, there isn’t one method that’s uniformly “better” or more SEO-friendly than the others. When it comes down to it, each method has its own situation where it’ll be most appropriate, and the bottom line is that across the board it’s better to have a canonical URL set than to not.

Specifying the Preferred Domain

One option for setting canonical URLs requires using Google Search Console to specify your preferred canonical domain. The primary benefit of this approach is that it is quick and easy to implement, and is ideal for sites that have the same content living at the same URL paths but at different domains. For example, you may have a main office and a branch office that have the same “About Us” page at two separate domains. With this method, you can set www.mainoffice.com/about as the canonical variation of www.branchoffice.com/about without making any in-depth adjustments to your website.

The downside to this approach is that specifying the preferred domain in Google Search Console is only going to correctly set the canonical variation for Google, and not for other search engines. Additionally, your URL paths have to be identical for this to work. This method can correctly identify the canonical version for two pages ending in “/about”, but if one is “/about” and the other is “/about-us/,” this method won’t work.

Using rel=”canonical” tag

Perhaps the most common option for specifying the canonical version of a page is to use the rel=”canonical” tag. With this approach, you’re adding metadata to the page head and specifying the appropriate URL to be used as the canonical address. This tag is added within the page’s head tags (not to be confused with the page’s header) and is formatted as: .

The primary benefit to this approach is that it can identify the canonical URL for an infinite number of pages, and you don’t have to worry about specific URL paths like you do with the preferred domain method. Plus, many content management systems, including HubSpot, will automatically set and update the canonical tag in your pages’ metadata.

As far as drawbacks go, this approach can add to the size of your page, which may affect loading speeds on weaker internet connections. Additionally, if your CMS doesn’t automatically update this tag, it can be difficult to maintain accurate canonical tags if your website’s URLs are updated with much frequency.

Using rel=canonical HTTP header

Functioning similarly to the rel=”canonical” tag, you can set a canonical link in your HTTP header response to identify the correct canonical version of your content. This method is particularly useful if you have PDFs or other non-HTML content on your website that you need to correctly identify, as the tag metadata only works with HTML pages.

Like the canonical method, this approach can be used to map an infinite number of pages, but because it isn’t loaded onto the page as metadata, it doesn’t increase the size of your page.

The challenge with this approach is that it can be a bit more difficult to set up correctly than the other approaches, and it can also be difficult to maintain for very large websites or sites where URLs change somewhat frequently.

301 Redirects

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that forwards one URL to another. For example, you may type “example.com” into your browser and automatically be redirected to “www.example.com.” 301 redirects tell Googlebot and other search engine crawlers that the URL to which a page gets forwarded needs to be considered the canonical variation.

It’s best to use this approach only when you’re deprecating one version of a page for another or when you’re forwarding the root domain to a subdomain. Using it in other situations can create issues for the clarity of your sitemap, and can also cause issues if you decide to reuse a URL for different content.

Canonicalization is Key 

Setting the canonical URL for your pages is a great way to ensure that search engines and visitors alike understand where your content is coming from, and that your website is performing as well as possible in search rankings. By leveraging canonicalization, you can indicate the structure and organization of your content in a way that shows that it is as unique as your business and your customers.

Skill Up

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Author: Blake Reichenbach

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