Building an Information Structure for your WordPress Site

This is part two, of a seven-part presentation series, structured to support those new to WordPress. The goal is to provide a contiguous set of WordPress Meetups designed to help attendees gain the skills to build and use a WordPress website. This series was developed in cooperation with the Four Points Chamber of Commerce.

This beginner’s session discusses how to plan your WordPress site and build it’s information architecture — your site’s navigation — to match that plan. This presentation will focus on the difference between a ‘Page’ and a ‘Post’, and how to use ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ to build your navigation structure.

We will also review how to use the WordPress linking strategy to give the search engine spiders clear and distinct paths to follow that will improve your site’s search engine rankings. The session closes with how to use a site maintenance schedule to keep your online business on track and making money. Bring your laptops and your questions! Rich Plakas will lead this class.

This is the second in a series of seven sessions designed to support those new to WordPress. The goal is to provide a contiguous set of WordPress Meetups designed to help attendees gain the skills to build and use a WordPress website. This series was developed in cooperation with the Four Points Chamber of Commerce. This session was first presented in August 2013 under the title of Sensible Site Navigation —Building an Information Structure and is being repeated based on membership requests

Building the information structure of  your WordPress site keeping the end in mind

Just because the WordPress features give you the capability to set up a complete WordPress site in 30-minutes doesn’t mean you should.

It is easier to do it right the first time then go back and rework, restructure. The great news is that Word- Press is such a powerful tool, changing your mind, reworking and restructuring, can be handled a magnitude easier than with the old-school static sites.

The time invested in planning and organizing your WordPress website will net a successful website that meets clearly identified goals and provides compelling content that draws your audience to your site again and again. In addition it will be easy to navigate and is attractively designed to complement the content.

You do not need to invest an inordinate amount of time planning your WordPress website. Some would-be website owners use the “Planning Process” to avoid the actual “Implementation Process.”

We advocate the middle path.

Plan.Do.Check.Act

 

 

 

 

PLAN your site

DO your site,

CHECK to see if the site is doing what you PLANNED

then ACT on the information your analysis has indicated.

A successful site is the product of continuous process improvement. The time you invest in the improvement process will help you develop a site that will invoke a positive response from search engines and help convert site visitors into customers.

 Your Website Is A Business Unit

Commit to treating your website as a business unit and follow a set schedule for updating content

Make sure that your website reflects and supports both your business plan and the marketing strategy you have set for your business.

To go directly to Sensible Site Navigation —Building an Information Structure Presentation Slide Deck:

http://presentations.pleiadesservices.com/category/building-an-information-structure-for-your-wordpress-site

To review the Creation and Organization of Pages go to: http://codex.wordpress.org/Pages

To review the Creation and Organization of Posts go to: http://codex.wordpress.org/Posts

Review of the Post Categories Screen: http://codex.wordpress.org/Posts_Categories_Screen

To review Linking Posts Pages and Categories go to: http://codex.wordpress.org/Linking_Posts_Pages_and_Categories

The guide to using the WordPress Menu system to Build a Site Navigation Organization can be found at: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Menu_User_Guide

One of the reasons we are so enthusiastic about WordPress as a solution for business websites is that there are so many Free resources available to the beginning user.

In addition to the Austin WordPress monthly meetups, you can find answers to most of your questions on the WordPress Codex [codex.wordpress.org]and if you are more of an audio/visual learner there are hundreds of videos at [http://wordpress.tv].

If you have questions between meetup you can always post them on the Austin WordPress Google Groups Forum: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/wordpress-austin.

Next month we will present: How to Choose and Install a WordPress Theme.

Sane Approach to SEO

WordPress Beginners Series — December 16, 2013

Presenters: Nick Batik, H. Sandra Chevalier Batik

Sane Approach to SEO

Sane Approach to SEO

Sane Approach to SEO was the sixth in our WordPress Beginners series sponsored by the Four Corners Chamber of Commerce and hosted by the Austin Baptist Church. This final meeting of 2013 had a great turn out and attendees contributed to a lively conversation about how to use focused action steps and consistency to build great organic SEO into your site without driving yourself crazy.

Below please find the reviews and URLs for the Keyword Research tools we discussed during presentation and links to the Sane Approach to SEO class notes as promised.

Sane SEO Research Tip

When researching your competition for a given keyword, make sure you take a look at your top competitor’s back-link profile. This can give you an idea of the time investment and link building effort that may be required to be successful.

Your next step is to start digging through your preferred keyword research software. These are some of our preferred tools to drill down to a useful set of Keywords.

Keyword Research Tools

Key Word Spy 

Keyword Spy allows you to quite literally “spy” on keywords. There are several features of the free version of this tool, but the one of the most useful is the Domain spy tool. Just type any domain into the search box, make sure the radio button for “domains” is selected, and you can get reasonably accurate data on how much that site is spending in paid search, who their competitors are, and what keywords they spend the most money on. Keyword Spy is a great tool to study, model and profit from your successful competitors keyword research. The tool can give daily database updates; estimate your competition’s AD Words expenditures. It can even suggest highly successful (profitable) Keyword+ad copy combinations. Keyword Sky offers a free trial so you can test the program to see if it is a good fit for your Sane SEO Campaign.

FreshKey

FreshKey is an effective, yet inexpensive ($20) go-to keyword research tool that allows you to see beyond the regular Google Instant suggestions and predictions that appear when you start typing things in on Google. Not only does it give you new keyword ideas, variations, and synonyms, it also sorts the keywords depending on popularity. Instead of just getting four new keywords from the Google suggestions drop-down, you can now potentially get an unlimited amount of keywords if you keep adding small letter variations to the end of your keyword root. FreshKey exports the keyword results as a spreadsheet or copy them directly to your clipboard. You can also use FreshKey tool to get Amazon search box suggestion terms.

Soovle

Soolvie is a free Keywoord research program that is a perfect tool for researching multiple channels. It allows you to explore the most typed in keywords on multiple search engines based on the keyword root you give it. It even includes Amazon and eBay. Not only is it a great keyword research tool to use, but it’s also a very handy brainstorming tool as you can slowly start typing in your ideas and allow it to auto-generate its own ideas.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is another very powerful free keyword research tool. It takes any keyword you give it and immediately gives you an almost unlimited list of alphabetized and numerical keyword variations of your original keyword.

Google Keyword Planner (free)

Many SEO professionals regard Google Keyword Planner as the beginning and end of any discussion about keyword research tools. You must have an AdWords account to access it. However that doesn’t mean you have to pay anything to use the tool, it’s still free. The Google Keyword Planner will show you some pretty neat stats like average monthly searches, competition level (high, medium, or low), the average cost per click, and more.

It doesn’t give you exact keyword suggestions like FreshKey or Ubersuggest, but it actually takes it a step further and suggests more synonyms and variations than many other tools available.

Common sense is the best practice when using any keyword search tool

When using any of these programs, use some of the core terms you already found and scan through those results for additional terms that you hadn’t thought of or added to your list. Many of the core terms will end up producing the same, or similar, results, but you’ll often find one or two (or perhaps more) new core terms with each search. Server logs provide keywords already people use to find your site and show low volume/high converting phrases.

Tip: Sorting Core Terms

With any of these research tools, sometimes you get junk — other times you find treasure  — excellent core terms. Just keep sifting and sorting and eventually you will find relevant core terms you can use to build your SEO strategy.

Note: Core terms research is an ongoing process. You can never find too many keywords, so just keep adding new words and phases to your core term spreadsheet.

Sane Approach to SEO Class Notes

The Sane Approach to SEO class material was based on a series of a Search Engine Optimization articles I’ve previously written and posted to my blog. Rather than summarize those articles here, it seemed more efficient to give you the links to the individual blogs, so you can read the topics that interest you, in their entirety.

Developing a SEO Strategy for Your WordPress Website

Keyword Research: Start With The End in Mind

Keyword Research Tools and Successful Search Processes

Keyword Research: The Difference Between a Hit and a Sale is Called ‘Profit’

Keyword Research Strategies — Conclusion

 Configuring Your WordPress Site for SEO

You might also find the following articles helpful when considering how to optimize your site’s content.

Developing a Content Strategy for SEO

Avoid Common Content Development Errors

Creating a Useful, Information-Rich Site

Optimizing Content

Linking Categorizing and Tagging Content

Building a Link Strategy

 

 

Content, Content, Content!

Our September 9th Meetup at Posh CoWorking Lounge was a Deep Dive discussion that focused on Content, Content Content.

It was an open-ended, fast moving discussion about all aspects of content development strategies and management.  Our attendees ranged from writers who produced their own site content, Content Flow Chart Blackboardto site managers and owners who had content produced in-house or contracted-out to professional writers here and abroad. We concluded that successful site owners and managers have a clearly defined content plan, based on keywords, identified through on-going research. Several attendees brought up points from Tony Tovar’s August SEO Presentation: how content drives a successful link campaigns, that site content has to accurately address customer queries, and provide a clear call to action. Content controlled why customers came to the site and it can be why customers quickly bounce of the site.

As promised here are some of the links we discussed during the meeting. Here’s hoping the steps provided will help you get all those words and phases out of your head and organized into a site that does what you need it to do.

Developing a Content Strategy

 Content, Content, Content — Continued!

Here are the links for the various plugins and services we discussed during the meeting

The Organize Series WordPress Plugin helps with the organization and presentation of articles/posts you write as part of a series. It helps make it easier for readers of your blog to discover all the series you’ve written and also to easily find post that are part of the same series. http://wordpress.org/plugins/organize-series/

 Yoast SEO Optimize your WordPress site with just one plugin
The most complete SEO plugin for WordPress available today offers you everything you need to optimize your site. http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/

ShopTalk  is a podcast about front end web design, development and UX. Each week Dave & Chris will be joined by a special guest who is there to talk shop and help answer listener submitted questions.  This is a great POD CAST model to emulate. http://shoptalkshow.com/

Editorial Calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog. http://wordpress.org/plugins/editorial-calendar/

KeyWordSpy Realtime tracking to monitor keyword performance. http://www.keywordspy.com/

Add rel=nofollow Plugin is a wordpress plugin that inserts the HTML tag rel=nofollow on every <a> tag mentioned in the post. http://wordpress.org/plugins/add-relnofollow-to-links/

Tag: nofollow Improves your blog’s search engine optimization by “noindexing” pages you choose. Now also for page-based (as opposed to date-based) http://wordpress.org/plugins/tags/nofollow

Get the Image is a plugin that grabs images for you. It was designed to make the process of things such as adding thumbnails, feature images, and/or other images to your blog much easier, but it’s so much more than that. It is an image-based representation of your WordPress posts. http://wordpress.org/plugins/get-the-image/

Contextual Related Posts is a powerful plugin for WordPress that allows you to display a list of related posts on your website and in your feed. The list is based on the content of the title and/or content of the posts which makes them more relevant and more likely to be of interest to your readers. This allows you to retain visitors, reduce bounce rates and refresh old entries. http://wordpress.org/plugins/contextual-related-posts/

Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the CEO of Castle Media Group the parent company of Author Media. You can follow him on Twitter @ThomasUmstattd and on Google+ He loves helping people use technology to change the world. Great newsletter to model and a profession writer’s best friend. http://www.authormedia.com/author/thomas/