How do you set up a website for marketing?
Most business endeavors can benefit from the use of a well-designed web site. I’ve made plenty of nice looking sites for clients but always used a very basic look for my personal sites! As a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professional I tend to look beyond the fluff and try to see a site like a search engine bot would.
Most people will use a free service to make their web site but most of the free CMS engines do not have good SEO tools built into the system. So you seemingly have a beautiful site but ends up with little to no presence in search results. As a former pro photographer we’ve seen this pattern for over 15 years.
I like the WordPress engine because it’s almost free (you end up paying a hosting fee to someone) and is constantly being improved and updated daily! In this venture we’re using the Genesis engine created by Studiopress. Several of my older WordPress sites had problems with brute force attacks. The Genesis has a tighter security built in and I have had no problems with any of my Genesis sites going off line.
Once you find a host for your site install the WordPress files and get to work. Your work progress should follow three simple steps:
1. Set up Site. There are plenty of tutorials online on how to set up a WordPress site and we’ll concentrate on building a solid foundation.
- Add Google Tracking code to your site.
- Add the site to your Google Webmaster Tools.
- Add plug ins that will help your site (don’t get too crazy):
- Activate Jetpack
- Lead-in Pro
- Social Share
- SEO Tools
2. Create your content. You should sit down and map out how you see your site working for you, go to another successful site and see what they do and get ideas.
- Keep your site to around five or six menu items.
- Make a page for each menu item.
- Each page should focus on one or two main themes only.
- Use the SEO Tool plug in.
3. Review your work. WordPress is a bit different from a basic hand coded site and there are a few things to look out for to make the most of your SEO opportunities.
- SEO Review.
- Make sure you see a page title for each page and it’s different from other pages.
- Make sure you see a page meta description for each page and it’s different from other pages.
- Type in site:websitename.com and you should see all the pages that Google has indexed from your site.
- If you can’t read all the text you are using too many characters and need to shorten your title or description. (Notice the ellipses and [Read More], we need to fix these issues.)
- Make sure you are using at least one <h1> tag and at least one <h2> tag in your content.
- Ensure you have at least 250+ words on each page, remember to focus on one or two main keywords.
- Use images, make sure they are not too big and use the alt tag features found in the SEO Tools or in the media section.
- If you create categories and tags, most people do when they use WordPress you need to add a no index notation so that you do not end up with multiple pages that will look like duplicates – Google thinks of these as spam!
These steps are SEO in a nutshell and just touch the surface, but you get the idea. If you create each page purposefully and use the proper SEO tools built into your WordPress site you will have a site with a better search engine presence than your competitor.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”