WordPress Best Practices

WordPress is a terrific content management system for most business websites. It’s easy to use even for non-technical people. I love to deliver sites to clients that use WordPress because I know it will be easy to use and will be updated with all the latest tools for years to come.

Here are some best practices to follow with the underpinnings of you WordPress site.

Mind Your Permalinks

Permalinks are the URLs of each of your web pages. Once you’ve set them, you really shouldn’t change them. So, give a glance at the permalink BEFORE you publish a page or post.

If you  change permalinks after content is published the URL will change. This means search engines may not find the content if they have already indexed the old permalink. Visitors coming to your site via search engines will end up on your site with an error message saying the post could not be found. You want to avoid that!

Keep Software Updated

WordPress, plugins and themes all need regular updates. These keep you safe from hacks and other security issues.

This can be as easy as a click in your dashboard, but proceed with caution! Always back up your site first, so you can restore it if something goes horribly wrong. Better yet, have this work done by a developer who is familiar with common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Remove Unneeded Plugins

Sometimes you try something that you don’t want. Other times, plugins are no longer maintained and you need to use a new one. Don’t let old, unused plugins clutter up your dashboard.

Also evaluate carefully before you install a new plugin. The wrong choice can slow your website and, worse, make you vulnerable to hacks.

Delete Carefully

You may want to delete posts or pages because they no longer serve a purpose. That’s a good idea, but you need to proceed cautiously. Since the search engines have indexed your site, deleted content on your site will render the infamous 404 pages: page not found. You need to have a plugin that will replace the page with a 410 deleted content header so search engines know the page has been deleted.

 

 

Content Marketing Basics

Content marketing works. It is the path to establishing your subject matter expertise and positioning your brand and its products and services in the minds of your target audience. The main idea of content marketing is to build an audience and to distribute content to multiple online locations.

There’s lots of content out there, but following the right plan will help you achieve your goals. And, setting those goals is where you need to begin.

Establish Clear Goals

What is the goal behind your content marketing? The type of content you need to create depends on your goals and your audience.

Select Effective Channels

With your goals and audience in mind, pick the places where your content needs to be.  Then you need to develop your content in a way that is effective for those channels. Facebook content needs to be presented differently than Instagram, for example.

Create a Calendar

Create a plan for where to post and when. This lets you accomplish the daily, weekly and monthly tasks that will add up to impact your goal.

Assess Progress

Pay attention to what content gets engagement and what falls flat. Be willing to let go of what seemed like a great idea but isn’t catching the attention of your audience. In addition to these daily observations, take periodic assessments to determine impact and any larger patterns of impact.

5 SEO Boosters to Do Daily

Here are five easy-to-do items to keep your website search engine optimization (SEO) on track.

  1. Keep content fresh
    Regularly add new content (blog!) and keep existing content up to date. Develop a schedule to help you to publish new content regularly as well as check existing pages.
  2. Add links
    There are two types of links. Internal links interconnect content at your website. External links point to sites other than your own and/or point from those sites to yours. Search engines love links, as they tell them what content is related to other content. Take time to create both types of links everyplace that makes sense.
  3. Remove old content
    Remove any pages and images that are no longer relevant. This guarantees that any outdated materials cannot be found by search crawlers or site visitors.
  4. Keep software updated
    Outdated content can harm SEO and leave you vulnerable to hacks and other security risks. Always keep your software updated to the latest versions.
  5. Check your analytics
    Take a look at your most popular pages. Make sure they reflect your latest content and keywords. These are also great pages to add links. Likewise, look for pages that have low time on page and/or high exit rates. If you think that the page warrants more time from users and/or should lead them to other places at the site, make sure the content is compelling and that the path to more related content is clear.