Search Engine Marketing is a must if you are to going to get people to view any website. Nowadays everyone seems to be an SEO specialist, at least they do in Exeter and Devon, I imagine it is the same throughout he UK.
I am more aware of the abilities of WordPress than other blogging platforms so this is what I will use as my reference point. I have to say that I am totally enamoured with WordPress, I think it is great, but first a bit of general knowledge.
WordPress comes in two distinct flavours
- .com Most people start with a free WordPress blog which you can start straight away and I would recommend you to go and sign up. If you blog a for a while and chose to migrate to self-hosted this can be easily done.
- .org If you have access to hosting then self-hosted blogs open up a world of possibilities. You will need hosting with a database which is necessary to store all of the posts, images, comments and information about the site. My hosting supplier now throws one in with even the starter hosting package. You don’t really need to understand about databases (MySQL) but it can be quite interesting looking around, seeing how all of the data and information is organised.
WordPress can be thought of as a modular entity.
The site itself, everything that is needed to make it work. This includes a user friendly interface that will allow you to update the site without knowing about web deign.
There are a huge number of available themes that make the basic WP blog look different (1 column, 2 column, colours styling etc.)
These add to the functionality of the blog, they make it do more things, (display images in galleries, add contact forms, etc. )
Search Engine Friendly Blogs
It helps if your blog has a focus and a appeals to a niche. Write with a clear view of your target audience, in particular what your readers are looking to find and what words they would use to search. Incorporate these words in your text. These keywords are fundamentally important.
WordPress plugins add to the functionality of the blog. In particular there are a range of SEO aids such as;
- XML sitemap generator
This will enable the blog to develop an XML site-map that helps Google and other search engines locate the pages in your site. (you can get a plugin to create a people friendly site-map such as the one on this site).
This lets you create a good page title and meta description. These two items are very important. Gone are the days when ‘Home’ was a good page title, it needs suitable keywords. The Meta description is what will generally appear in the Google snippet, the bit of information that appears when your page has been found on Google. This should be descriptive and keyword rich.
- Share This buttons
Make it easy for people to share your site. Not strictly SEO stuff but it all helps.
- Twitter feed and Tweetmeme buttons
As with Share links Twitter is a great way to network.Donâ€™t underestimate the power of other social media such as Twitter and Facebook, cross-link your accounts try to keep a similar focus with to your blog, otherwise you will fail to appeal to your niche. There are a huge number of sites that will do the job for you, have a look at the Google search results for designcredo. There are loads of re-tweets and niche re-tweet sites in this list. Good news!
- WordPress Stats
Statistics are your source for data that lets you find out how many people use your site and how they find you. You occasionally will find unexpected results.
This plugin adds PubSubHubbub ( PuSH ) support to your WordPress powered site. The main difference between this plugin and others is that it includes the hub features of PuSH, built right in. This means the updates will be sent directly from WordPress to your PuSH subscribers.
I have recently mentioned PuSh with WordPress and my experience is that WordPress is quite PuSHy as it stands. I am currently developing a WordPress blog for a customer (several as it goes) but the one that is nearing completion has found it’s way on to Google already. This is a tad annoying because the location that it was Googled at is not it’s final resting place so in this instance the PuSHy little blog has caused me a bit of work. For now I will leave PuSH as a topic to return to.
The bottom line is that blogs should no longer be seen as SEO problems, my experience is quite the opposite. Within a couple of hours notification of the first draft of this blog had been returned to me via Google Alerts (SEO, Exeter) but in the same alert I was informed that the post had already made an appearance on another site. Don’t forget, this is organic search engine marketing my investment is time not money.
Yes, yes, time is money I know…
At Design Credo we design websites. We are equally as happy to set up a blog for you. This includes researching theme styles, editing them to suit and branding your site. We will install and configure the plugins and most importantly guide you through the interface. Give us a call (07790 322176) or contact us here.