Archive for SEO

Why use WordPress (self-hosted)?

There are many great reasons to use a self-hosted version of WordPress for developing your website and blog.  Here are my top 10:

  1. Google loves WordPress (and blogs in general) because search engines favor sites that have regularly created fresh content.  See my post on SEO.
  2. WordPress is interactive.  Visitors can comment on pages and posts.  You can create a community around your business with your site.
  3. You can organize content with categories and visitors can view or subscribe to the categories they want to.
  4. You can automatically sync your content to social websites such as Facebook with the RSS feed.
  5. WordPress sites can be translatable into many languages.
  6. WordPress sites are easy to update (far easier than reglular html or Joomla).
  7. Multiple authors and editors can contribute to writing content and posting photos or video (you can DELEGATE!)
  8. You can add PayPal buttons or a shopping cart to monetize your site (you can MAKE MONEY!)
  9. You can embed video from YouTube easily (YouTube is second to Google as a search engine now!)
  10. WordPress is open-source and is constantly evolving (it’s always getting better!)
  11. OK one more: WordPress is easy to learn!

There are more advanced reasons that concern templates, tags and permalinks, but the 10 reasons listed above should satisfy most folks who need a fast and easy way to get their business website up and running.

Here is a screenshot of what WordPress looks like from the back-end:

Live in Nevada County and want to learn more about WordPress in person?  Come to my free class.

What is Web Weaving?

“Web Weaving™” is a term that describes a process of blending skill sets for the purposes of comprehensive internet marketing strategy.  A Web Weaver™ may use some or all of the following skills to market a product, service or business online:

  • WordPress
  • Search Engine Marketing/Optimization
  • Podcasting with audio and video
  • Social Media: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more

Need to delegate internet marketing to someone else or just don’t have the time to do it?  Hire a Web Weaver™!

Catherine Scholz synthesizes the best internet marketing tools available: WordPress, SEO, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, podcasting to iTunes and more.

She also trains other Web Weavers™ how to use these tools to jump start their internet marketing strategy.

Hire Catherine to be your Web Weaver™ (monthly retainers start at $144/month), or sign up a member of your staff to learn how to become a Web Weaver™ for your business.

Comparing WordPress to Joomla

Joomla_Symbol_Color_normal

Although most of my experience building websites has been with WordPress, I have also used Joomla and I have a few things to say about my experience with it that convinced me that I strongly prefer WordPress.

1) Ease of use

I started working with computers at a pretty young age – copying code out of PC Magazine and writing programs on our family’s Commodore-64.  Navigating the Joomla system was counter-intuitive.  I had to consult with a developer in the Netherlands to learn how to use it.  With WordPress, I figured it out on my own.

2) Visual/HTML editor

The greatest beauty of WordPress (and deep gratitude to all the PHP developers across the world who collaborated to develop the software) is that users don’t need to know html – not a wink of it.  Of course, it can be helpful in certain situations, but it is not needed.  You can copy html code into WordPress’s html editor window and then go into the visual editor to see what it will look like where you can align and adjust.  This is the golden jewel of WordPress.  Though I do know basic html, many of the people I serve have no interest in learning it.

3) WordPress can be just a website or a website with blog

WordPress does not have to be used for blogging – it can be a stand-alone website.  Blogging just happens to be a great tool for internet marketing, so using the blog component of your WordPress site is a huge bonus.

4) Google-friendly

Google finds WordPress sites much faster than regular websites due to the way the permalinks are structured.  Google loves WordPress sites.

What has your experience been with Joomla compared with WordPress?  Leave me a comment.

Here to help you make your finest dreams come true,

-Catherine

Related Articles:

http://dukecarico.com/index.php/Technology/Joomla-Vs.-WordPress.html

http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/wordpress-vs-joomla-a-handy-guide

http://www.stevepavlina.com/forums/technology-technical-skills/3915-wordpress-joomla-desicion.html

http://www.miracletutorials.com/wordpress-vs-joomla-review/

The art of SEO: basic concepts for WordPress users

You’ve probably already heard that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a very important part of your total website marketing plan. Here are the basics concepts as an introduction to SEO:

1) SEO is all about discovering the right keywords people use to search for your products and services on Google.com – Google being the top search engine on the internet.

2) If you want to maximize traffic to your website, your first task is to find the best keywords that relate most accurately to what you do or sell (assuming you are good and people need what you have).  Think about this from the perspective of the user.  Suppose you sell vintage jewelry.  Is your customer going to type in, “vintage jewelry” or “1960’s Victorian diamond wedding ring?” and how many people are interested in that particular product?

3) Once you have discovered the best keywords using certain tools, your next task is to use those keywords on your site in the most effective ways to draw visitors to your site using an SEO plugin and tags.

4) Then your next step is to convert your website visits into sales (which is another important marketing topic).

Why spend time on SEO?  If you can get in the top 5 search results in Google, your chances of making a sale go up dramatically.  However, keep in mind that SEO takes time and effort.  According to some experts, doing SEO right takes a minimum of 5 dedicated hours per week.

How does all of this apply to WordPress?  Well, WordPress is naturally SEO-friendly due simply to its permalink structure and the fact that blogs tend to have fresh content, and Google loves fresh content.  And once you’ve done your keyword research and chosen your target keywords, there are certain plugins and themes for WordPress that help with SEO.  Then there are additional SEO techniques for how you use your keywords when you title your pages, write your content, create internal links & external links, who you link to and who links to you.  You can also increase your “link juice” with link brokers and by using trackbacks and pingbacks.  It’s a form of art and science unto itself.  Even the number of characters you use matters.

Those are the basic concepts of SEO.  There is a lot to learn, but if you are serious about optimizing your business with the internet, it would be wise to invest in learning more about SEO.

Fortunately for those of us who have limited time to spend on SEO, there is a free plugin that makes optimizing your posts and pages easy. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to optimize your home page using the free Yoast SEO plugin:

Stats for WordPress: Analytics or WP stats?

One of my clients just asked me if there was a way to see how many people were visiting his WordPress blog each day and my answer is yes!  There are 2 ways I recommend:

1) Google Analytics and 2) WordPress.com stats

Google Analytics is by far the most in-depth, comprehensive stats provider.  It is very useful for when you want to employ search engine optimization techniques.  However, sometimes it’s just TMI (too much information!).

WordPress.com stats is a wordpress plugin that gives you the basics in your dashboard – how many visits, keywords people used to find you, the links they clicked on while they were there, etc. Here is a screenshot of my wp.com stats since I started my e-newsletter:

stats

Which to use? Both.

Generate and schedule a weekly Google Analytics report to be delivered to your email inbox for the more detailed information – what country visitors are from, how long they were looking at your site, bounce rate, what browser they used, etc.  And add WordPress.com stats to your dashboard to get the basic facts.

If you have found this information helpful, please let me know by leaving a comment on this blog post!

Here to help you make your finest dreams come true,

– Catherine