Use WordPress to become a social proprietor

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As presented to Word camp Toronto 2013, thoughts and observations on how to get started with hosting and building your brand on the internet.A short guide to setting up WordPress for businesses and …

As presented to Word camp Toronto 2013, thoughts and observations on how to get started with hosting and building your brand on the internet.A short guide to setting up WordPress for businesses and how to properly optimize your website content.

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  • I started using WordPress in the summer of 2008 to promote a business venture. The easy to use interface and the versatility of thousands of Plugins won me over. Since then I have become totally fascinated with WordPress and have built numerous websites. I hope to impart some of that enthusiasm to you today. I am going to give you a brief history of my involvement in small business operations over the last 30 years and how I have applied some of the lessons that I learned along the way to using WordPress.Next slide…….
  • In 1979 I was the store manager for a marine retailer that had recently opened its 5th location in Harbourfront, Toronto. There was very little activity in the waterfront area, as Harbourfront had just started up. The store was located in the first public retail areacalled Pier 4 . Business was slow at first because nobody was really aware of Harbourfront yet. Traffic improved when a restaurant opened and their clientele started to notice us. One day a new customer starting chatting with me and asked if we would consider some billboard advertisements. Head office got involved and about 2 weeks later when I arrived that morning to open the store, there was a line-up of customers waiting to get in. We had erected a billboard advertising the store. It was visible on the Gardiner Expressway, and now customers were finding us and we were reaching our target audience. Next slide…….
  • That was how you did it, back in the day!Next slide…….
  • Here is a lesson for today’s social proprietor: you must control your URL in order to be found on the internet! And all aspects of your website.Do not allow anyone else to register your business URL for you. It is very important that the URL is registered in your name or company name. Any communication regarding this must be directed to your attention. Do not rely on your cousins best friends’ girlfriend!I suggest that if you do not already have a Google Gmail account then open up one in your name or your company name. There are many other Google tools that you can use to help with your website and a Gmail account is a good place to start! For most businesses in Canada, using the .ca designation is fine. It demonstrates that your business is located in Canada. If the .com url is available you should register it as well to protect yourself against copycats!You will also need to decide if you want to hire a WordPress developer to assist you. You might meet some of them during Word Camp! WordPress developers usually offer excellent value for their work and can expedite the setup of your site and help with fine-tuning its appearance and functions.Next slide…….
  • Wordpress.com is free but you don’t control your url.Wordpress.org costs money but you do control your url.In order to use WordPress on a self hosted platform you need to register a domain name and to host it on a server.Next slide…….
  • You can do a domain name search before you register your url. I use http://www.domaintools.com/ because they also provide you with the keywords or meta data when you search the domain names of your competitors.Next slide…….
  • I have used the same hosting company for 6 years and can tell you that there are many differences between reliable hosting,poor quality hosting and the price. Customer service is still the number 1 issue.Do your research before selecting a host for your website. There are sponsors at this Word Camp that provide reliable hosting. Depending on the size of your site you may need to pay extra, but for most small sites, shared hosting is very inexpensive and reliable.In the example of billboard advertising to attract customers, our lesson is, you need to provide directions to your customers and if your website is down or it doesn’t render WordPress properly, you will not succeed.Next slide…….
  • Most hosts offer a one click WordPress setup so that you can actually open an account and install WordPress in less than 30 minutes. I personally, do not recommend doing that, but I have used these programs in the past. Now, if you are going to do this on your own, be sure that the Customer Service at your host will walk you through setting up a MYSQL database. This is why excellent customer service is required.You will also need to have these programs, or something similar to them, to set up WordPress on your own.Mozilla Firefox (recommended browser) http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/FileZilla (recommended FTP program) https://filezilla-project.org/download.phpNotepad++ (recommended text editor) http://notepad-plus-plus.org/download/v6.4.5.htmlNext slide…….
  • Once you have created a database you can upload the latest version of WordPress to your host account using Filezilla. Then you use Filezilla along with Notepad++ to edit the wp-config-sample.php file. Here you will enter your database name, user name and password along with the path to your host. Then save the file, locally as wp-config.php and upload it into the same directory that you downloaded from.Next slide…….
  • Then type http://yourbusinessurl/wp-admin/ into Firefox and you are ready to start using WordPress. Next Slide…..
  • The next steps to take are to setup site security, implement a backup strategy and choose a theme. Site securitystarts with adding and removing Users. If you have a really strong password for the default Admin account then you can leave it. However, hackers begin with that user name and work on cracking the password. You should set your own User name and password and give yourself Administrator rights. Use that account to login in the future. Individual installations of WordPress can be protected with security plugins.Users can also protect their WordPress installations by taking steps such as keeping all WordPress installation, themes, and plugins updated.Use Google or Bing webmaster tools to verify your site.Next Slide ……
  • Some hosts offer website backup as an added feature, so you may want to investigate their offers. There are numerous plugins available that can do backups for you as well. Since the backup methods are different for each plugin, I won’t get into a discussion of their merits here. For a small site, backing up your MYSQL database and using the Export Tool in WordPress will be enough to start.Next Slide……
  • Choosing a Theme is the next step. Again there are many options to choose from so we will deal with just a few considerations here. I recommend that you learn how to use the Child theme structure in WordPress, because any changes that you make to the theme’sCSS will be overridden when the theme is updated. Choose a theme that is responsive, that will help to display it properly on mobile devices.You can also look for themes that allow you to upload a logo into the header area and simplify adding paid ads to the site. Google search is effective in finding a theme. You can choose from free themes in the WordPress repository.Premium Themes are available at many different price points. Have a developer build a custom theme for you.Next Slide……..
  • Lesson 2: In 1983 I was living in Whistler B.C. I had returned from a trip to Toronto with a car load of Apple III computer clones that I thought I would be able to sell quite easily, as nobody had heard of personal computers at that time. How naive!I soon discovered that there were computer stores all over the place, so I quickly unloaded my inventory to some friends. Shortly after that, I was approached to help open the first 1Hour photo lab in Whistler.Apparently they thought that if I knew how to use a computer and a camera I would be able to set up and operate a photo lab! Next Slide…….
  • We decided that Fuji Film Canada, who had an office in Vancouver, would be our best partner. They had made a big splash in North America by out bidding Kodak for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games film sponsorship. However, they were quick to mention that they had no advertising budget left to support us!Next Slide…….
  • A couple months later we opened Whistler 1Hour Photo in the brand new Nancy Green’s Olympic Lodge.While we were installing the equipment, the technicians from Fuji made us cover a large, half moon shaped window that let in too much light.We needed to order aset of custom blinds to cover that window and so, in the meantime, we papered over the window to block the light. It was not a pretty sight, but we opened our door anyways. Business was slow at first but we weren’t too worried, after all the only other competition was dropping your film off at the drugstore and waiting a few days. I did notice, from time to time, that people would walk by the store, stop and look and move on.Occasionally, people would come in and hold up a roll of Kodak film and ask if we could develop their film.Next Slide…….
  • After we had been open for a couple of weeks, the Kodak sales rep stopped in to solicit our business. Pressing hard for something extra, I asked if they had any advertising material that we could get to promote their products. Specifically, I suggested that a big, wide banner would be nice. A few days later the shipment arrived and as promised there was a big Kodak banner with our film order. I immediately put it up over the paper covered windows and thought to myself “that looks better now”!Next Slide…….
  • Well, to our surprise, business picked up immediately. Customers no longer hesitated at the door or asked if we could process Kodak film. Soon there were lineups of people at the end of the skiing day waiting to pick up their pictures. That, for me, was a very powerful demonstration of brand power!Next Slide…….
  • Here is our next lesson for today’s social proprietor: Your goal in building your website should be to build up your brand and optimize it for Search Engines.Here are the first steps to take!Open a Google Analytics accountInstall WordPress SEO and Google Analytics for WordPress by YoastChange the default settings for your Permalinks now.Organize images, video content and start building a keyword listMake a list of businesses that you will want to link toNext Slide…….
  • How to build your brand and optimize your website using WordPress.Next Slide…….
  • We are going to walk through creating Pages and Posts in WordPress that build our brand and optimize our content.There are no shortcuts to success in this process, rather it is through knowledge and attention to the proper structure that you will succeed! Next Slide…….
  • These are the features of WordPress, that used properly, will increase the chances of your content being found on the internet.Permalinks: Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and other lists of weblog postings. A permalink is what someone else will use to link to your article, or how you might send a link to your story in an e-mail message. The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change — hence permalink.Categories and Tags: Categories might be seen as a top-level form of Post classification while Tags help to refine that classification.Meta data: Web pages often include meta data in the form of meta tags. Description and keyword meta tags are commonly used to describe the web page's content. Search engines use this data when adding pages to their search index.Alt tags: The alt attribute is used to specify alternative text (alt text). This is to be rendered when the element to which it is applied cannot be rendered. It is also used by "screen reader" software so that a person who is listening to the content of a webpage (for instance, a person who is blind) can interact with this element. Links: Create external and internal links for your site.Next Slide…….
  • Earlier in the presentation I asked you to change the default setting of your permalinks when you setup WordPress.First time users of WordPress should understand the importance of permalinks. By default WordPress permalinks are set to display the page id number that it assigns to a new page or post. These permalinks are not pretty, but they work. We are going use the plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast. It will demonstrate the power of post and page names as permalinks for SEO benefit.Next Slide…….
  • Here you can see how WP SEO is scoring the content for a Post.This content is from a website that I started to record the history of our family cottage. That cottage is called Patches. The URL patches.ca was not available so I chose another name that I thought would have some SEO benefit. The property is located at Thunder Beach so I picked the url www.patchesthunderbeach.ca. In this post I am using Thunder Beach as my “Focus Keyword” and in this slide I have only 1 positive SEO result from the keyword in the title. Because I am using the default permalink settings, my keyword does not appear in the page url. Next Slide…….
  • You create pages and posts using the WordPressWYSIWYG editor, which is very similar to working with Microsoft Word.I have edited the content and now you can see that the SEO score has improved by repeating the keyword Thunder Beach in the content.Next Slide…….
  • In addition to marking the areas of content that need improvement in red, WordPress SEO also shows you the overall progress by color coded buttons in the upper right of the dashboard. Our goal is to get a green light. Next Slide…….
  • It is also useful, when viewing the list of Pages or Posts, because there you will be able to see at a glance, the SEO status of your content. Next Slide…….
  • I have added content to the meta description that references the keyword twice, and added the keyword again to the body of the post. In the next slide you will see what you can achieve with Permalinks set to show the page url.Next Slide…….
  • In the Settings area of the dashboard we set the Permalinks to show the Post name. If you were paying close attention, you will see that I also changed the post name to better reflect the keywords. You can click on the edit field to customize the permalink. What you want to avoid when you start out is creating pages and posts and then deciding to change the name of them. That will defeat the purpose of permalinks because anyone who has linked to the previous name will now find the link doesn’t work.Because good SEO practices are very important, I recommend going through this exercise, so that you will understand how to format your content when you first start using WordPress.Next Slide…….
  • Publishing content is critical to the success of your site. Content is published in Posts and Pages. Pages are used for information that does not change frequently, such as Contact Us and About Us pages. Content can also be images and video.Depending on the theme you chose, your landing page may be a Page or a Post. If your Home page information will not change often, then it too should be a page.Next Slide…….
  • Successful websites have a content publishing schedule. Next Slide…….
  • Organizing the content that you will publish will help achieve your publishing goals.Next Slide…….
  • It will help if you set up an organizational chart, using an Excel spreadsheet for example, to list Categories and Tags.Next Slide…….
  • Settings for Categories and Tags are in the dashboard under Posts. Categories and Tags are not used in Pages!Next Slide…….
  • In this slide, there are 6 categories that have been created, in addition to the default Uncategorized.If you do not create and assign a category then your Post will be marked as Uncategorized, because all Posts must have a category!Next Slide…….
  • Tags are useful to highlight keywords in your content.They can also serve as links to internal and external sources.While it is useful to limit the number of Categories, there are no limits on Tags. Tags can be used in multiple categories to link similar content.Next Slide…….
  • Using a spreadsheet, we have listed some keywords that will serve as useful Tags.After reviewing the list of Categories and Tags I decided that Tree Removal should really be a Tag.Tree Removal can easily be deleted from the Category Menu or you can use a plugin to convert a number of Categories and Tags Next Slide…….
  • Add your Tags under Posts/Tags.Capital letters will be converted to lower casePhrases will be hyphenatedNext Slide…….
  • In your Post editor start adding the appropriate Tags.As you build an inventory of Tags you can click on a list of most used tags instead of typing them in.You can also add new Tags to the list by entering them here.Next Slide…….
  • In the All Posts menu setting, you can update Categories and Tags by choosing a Post and then use the Quick Editor feature to easily update each PostNext Slide…….
  • TheWordPress WYSIWYG editor makes link building a simple exercise.Links can be used to alert readers to other relevant content.If you are providing a link to your site from outside of your site, be sure to specify a full URL to the correct location.If you are using links to your own content, refer to the WordPress codex for a full range of options.Test your links!Next Slide…….
  • All you need to do is highlight the word or words that you want to convert to a link.Then click the LINK button in the dashboard to open the Link editor.Next Slide…….
  • Provide the correct URL… it’s important!Make sure to add a Title, it will be visible when a mouse hovers over the Link.Choose if you want the link to open in a new browser tab!Next Slide…….
  • Our WordPress SEO is looking good!Can it be improved?Yes it can, just by clicking on the Page Analysis tab in WP SEO.Next Slide…….
  • This tab provides more insights on optimizing your content.Let’s focus on the second comment for now: The images do not have Alt tags!This is an often overlooked area, both for SEO purposes and for proper website development.By the way, the Government of Ontario has mandated full access for persons with disabilities and this should be reflected on your website!Next Slide…….
  • Images that are part of your content can be edited in many ways.Simply clicking on the image will bring up 2 icons.One is to delete the image and the other opens the image editor.Next Slide…….
  • Alt tags are used to describe images, using text.Information about the image should include the focus keyword, if possible.If you can’t include the keyword, at the very least I suggest that have your Business Name as part of the text.Do not confuse Alt text with Captions!Next Slide…….
  • Now we will deal with the addition of sub-headingsThese are easily added through the dashboard editorNext Slide…….
  • Highlight the text and use the Paragraph menu to mark your selection as a Heading 2.H2 text should appear early in the content.Next Slide…….
  • H2 text is not considered a mandatory item for SEO.As you can see in the slide it changes the visual impact of your content.So the use of H2 text is an issue for website style consideration. Many tags in HTML were developed, not to assist in formatting, but to provide information on the structural hierarchy of a document. Next Slide…….
  • I would like to focus on these last 2 items as we wrap up this section.The number of words in a Page or Post and readability of the content.It is considered a good practice to write articles that are at least 200 or more words.WordPress SEO will also give you a content, “score analysis”, to keep you from using too many big words.Make the copy readable for your audience. It is not meant to be a Master’s thesis.Just tell your business story. And don’t content stuff keywords!Next Slide…….
  • Just as your website reflects your business colors, write copy that reflects your business story. Website content should match your business profile.Hire someone to write for you, if you don’t have that resource in your company.You must have a publishing schedule.Next Slide…….
  • SuggestionsNext Slide…….
  • SuggestionsNext Slide…….
  • SuggestionsNext Slide…….
  • SuggestionsNext Slide…….
  • Lesson 3: In 2008 I created my first WordPress website!Next Slide…….
  • I was the sales manager for a company in Mississauga that sold and installed windows and doors.I wanted to reach our target audience in a new way. All of our competitors had HTML based websites and Google Ad campaigns were just becoming popular.With a limited budget, I needed to find a way compete in the World Wide Web marketplace.So that’s why I chose WordPress! Next Slide…….
  • I opened a hosting account and did the 5 minute WordPress install.Chose a theme and started publishing content.Then I opened a Google Adwords account and started bidding for keywords.Within 3 weeks I was the top ranked website in my category!Next Slide…….
  • Can you do the same thing?Of course you can.Will you get the same results as quickly as I did?Maybe, or maybe not quite so fast!Next Slide…….
  • You can see where all these companies are using my keyword and site title!Someone even started a website called windowsmississauga.ca!Even in 2008, competition was cutthroat on the web. Open source also means competitors can copy your keywords and meta data.Welcome to the world wide web.Next Slide…….
  • Remember that copying keywords and meta data is just a shortcut.It is how you userelevant keywords in your content that matters.Next Slide…….
  • Publish or Perishis a phrase coined to describe the pressure in academia, to rapidly and continuously publish academic work.This is meant to sustain or further one's career.The same thing applies to search engine results for your website!Next Slide…….
  • Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress, to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love to have you to join the family.Please give back to WP community. Join in the many forums! Check out a WP Meetup group! Write a plugin!From it’s startup in 2003, WP has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world.WordPress started as just a blogging system, but it has evolved and can be used as a full content management system.The core of WordPress will always provide a solid array of basic features. It's designed to be lean and fast.Publishing pictures and embedding videos is easy to do. Setting up an ecommerce site with a plugin can provide you with an internet based income.WordPress is used by more than 19%, of the top 10 million, websites as of August 2013WordPress is limited only by your imagination. The average WordPress user simply wants to be able to write without problems or interruption. You are the users that the software is designed for!Next Slide…….
  • Thank you!Are there any questions?There is a breakout room, to do follow-ups. Please join us if you want to continue the conversation.The End

Transcript

  • 1. USING WORDPRESS TO BECOME A SOCIAL PROPRIETOR Presented by Terry Heenan, Context Canada Word Camp Toronto 2013
  • 2. LESSONS LEARNED
  • 3. THAT WAS HOW YOU DID IT, BACK IN THE DAY!
  • 4. YOUR FIRST WORDPRESS WEBSITE Take control! Do not rely on your cousins best friends’ girlfriend! Google is your friend .ca shows you are Canadian, eh
  • 5. WORDPRESS.ORG VS WORDPRESS.COM • Wordpress.com is free but you don’t control your url • Wordpress.org costs money but you do control your url
  • 6. REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN NAME
  • 7. REQUIREMENTS FOR SELF HOSTING
  • 8. REQUIREMENTS FOR SELF HOSTING 1 click install What is MYSQL ? Mozilla Firefox (recommended browser) http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/ FileZilla (recommended FTP program) https://filezilla-project.org/download.php Notepad++ (recommended text editor) http://notepad-plus-plus.org/download/v6.4.5.html
  • 9. INSTALLING WORDPRESS
  • 10. INSTALLING WORDPRESS Then type http://yourbusinessurl/wp-admin/ into Firefox and you are ready to start using WordPress.
  • 11. INSTALLING WORDPRESS Setup site security Implement a back up-strategy Choose a theme Create new Users Verify your site
  • 12. INSTALLING WORDPRESS
  • 13. INSTALLING WORDPRESS Choose a Theme Use a responsive design Utilize the Child theme capability of WordPress Google search will help you find a variety of themes
  • 14. ANOTHER LESSON LEARNED
  • 15. ANOTHER LESSON LEARNED
  • 16. ANOTHER LESSON LEARNED
  • 17. ANOTHER LESSON LEARNED
  • 18. ANOTHER LESSON LEARNED
  • 19. BRANDING YOUR WEBSITE Build your brand Link to your business partners Optimize your content Set up Google Analytics
  • 20. BRANDING YOUR WEBSITE
  • 21. CREATE QUALITY CONTENT Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. Albert Einstein
  • 22. WORDPRESS BUILDING BLOCKS Permalinks Categories and Tags Meta data Alt tags Links
  • 23. PERMALINKS WordPress SEO by Yoast http://yoast.com/
  • 24. USING WORDPRESS SEO BY YOAST
  • 25. USING WORDPRESS SEO BY YOAST
  • 26. USING WORDPRESS SEO BY YOAST
  • 27. USING WORDPRESS SEO BY YOAST
  • 28. USING WORDPRESS SEO BY YOAST
  • 29. PERMALINKS IN THE URL
  • 30. POSTS: CATEGORIES AND TAGS Categories allow for a broad grouping of post topics, Tags can be used to describe a post in more specific terms Each post must be attached to at least one category The use of tags is entirely optional
  • 31. CATEGORIES AND TAGS If you publish a post attached to a category “food,” the URL will look like this: http://yourbusinessname.ca/category/food/
  • 32. CATEGORIES AND TAGS The same post using the tag “food” will look like this: http://yourbusinessname.ca/tag/food/
  • 33. CATEGORIES AND TAGS If you publish a post attached to a category “food” and with the tag “rice”, the URLs will look like this: http://yourbusinessname.ca/category/food/ http://yourbusinessname.ca/tag/rice/
  • 34. CATEGORIES AND TAGS Categories can have a hierarchy You can have Child categories
  • 35. CATEGORIES
  • 36. TAGS Tags, however, exist in their own right Tags have no set relationship to anything else Categories can be changed to Tags No limit to the number of tags
  • 37. ADDING TAGS
  • 38. ADDING TAGS
  • 39. ADDING TAGS
  • 40. USING WORDPRESS QUICK EDITOR
  • 41. USING LINKS WITH WORDPRESS Create custom links Improve your SEO score with links Hyperlink to other web pages Link to internal content (Posts/Pages) TEST your links
  • 42. USING LINKS WITH WORDPRESS
  • 43. USING LINKS WITH WORDPRESS
  • 44. USING WORDPRESS FOR SEO
  • 45. WORDPRESS SEO: FINAL STEPS
  • 46. WORDPRESS SEO: FINAL STEPS
  • 47. WORDPRESS SEO: FINAL STEPS
  • 48. WORDPRESS SEO: FINAL STEPS
  • 49. WORDPRESS SEO: FINAL STEPS
  • 50. WORDPRESS SEO: FINAL STEPS
  • 51. WORDPRESS SEO: FOCUS
  • 52. BE A SOCIAL PROPRIETOR Engage your audience Write content that reflects your business Provide insights into your operations Become the “RELIABLE SOURCE’ for your product
  • 53. BE A SOCIAL PROPRIETOR Find ways to tell your story Use example of customer service issues Provide product applications Publish manuals Brag about your accomplishments
  • 54. BE A SOCIAL PROPRIETOR Build up your Links Use Social Media to share Add connections to LinkedIn profiles, Twitter and Facebook feeds Collect email addresses Use the Comment feature in WordPress
  • 55. BE A SOCIAL PROPRIETOR Monitor your Social conversations Reply to Comments Use Google Analytics Keep your site updated
  • 56. BE A SOCIAL PROPRIETOR Google Places Yelp and Foursquare YouTube Webmaster tools
  • 57. WORDPRESS: A LESSON TO REMEMBER
  • 58. WORDPRESS: A LESSON TO REMEMBER
  • 59. WORDPRESS: A LESSON TO REMEMBER
  • 60. WORDPRESS: A LESSON TO REMEMBER
  • 61. WORDPRESS: A LESSON TO REMEMBER
  • 62. WORDPRESS: A LESSON TO REMEMBER
  • 63. WORDPRESS: A LESSON TO REMEMBER "Publish or perish“ Harold Jefferson Coolidge
  • 64. USE WORDPRESS TO BECOME A SOCIAL PROPRIETOR
  • 65. USE WORDPRESS TO BECOME A SOCIAL PROPRIETOR Presented by Terry Heenan www.contextcanada.ca