WordPress 101

Build and learn how to think about building a website with wordpress and best practices and tools for search engine and social media.

Month: July 2010

Search Engine Optimization with Google Keyword Tool

find-informationThere are a number of facets to Search Engine Optimization. The first one is knowing a little more about your keywords than you may yet be aware. Google’s Keyword Search Tool is invaluable in seeing what is being searched every month, both globally and locally. Pay attention to both, as more often you’ll benefit from the Local Traffic more than you will from Global Traffic.

As you use the tool, you’ll also receive a nice list returned from the Google Keyword Tool that shows you a variety of alternatives based upon the keyword terms you put into the Search Report to see what are those search volumes.

Often, we think of what we do when we’re choosing keywords. This isn’t the smartest approach, though it is a good beginning. It is more important to understand what the person searching is looking for, rather than what you offer. More often than not, the search terms are different, just as your perspective is different than that of the buyer.

Go ahead and give the Google Keyword Tool a try.

Best Practics: Getting Traffic to Your Website

presentation-screenGetting traffic to your website is and should be a top concern for anyone with, or planning to create, a website. No matter what community online I spend time interacting with, the common question of how to get more traffic to your website is raised. It makes perfect sense.

The whole purpose of the website is to inform customers, and to create relationships with new customers. You’ll notice it states: Create relationships with new customers, and NOT get new customers. Those days are gone, and social media is a driving force restoring best practices that focus upon building relationships with people, as people. Along this journey into social media, there were many marketers who used this effectively with poor practices that result in damaged relationships. This article focuses upon the outcomes of this journey, and re-establishes the tried and true considerations for maintaining and promoting a website.


Content is still King. Keywords are a must for organic search engine traffic, and for improving ranking for the correct keywords. Adding fresh content regularly through blogging is the easiest method, whether the blog be identified as a Press Release, a Blog, a Journal, or a News channel for your website and company. These tools are easily adapted to suit your professional and personal needs.


Keywords are the foundation from which your content is built, and if you are starting a website, an important consideration to include when purchasing a domain name. Vanity names are cute, keyword rich domains find traffic faster. Thinking like your consumer or target audience, your keyword considerations come from the perspective of them using search, rather than only focusing upon what you offer.


Understanding keywords, and content, effective link-building can be achieved to greater effectiveness. Many sites exist for bookmarking, sharing links, and social media that rank very high in search engines. Adding your links with titles and or descriptions rich with your keywords helps create more highly effective back-links which will get scored by search engines. These campaigns create traffic, help build page rank, and improve your search engine optimization efforts.

Social Media

Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and hosts of niche-specific sites, are tremendous assets in your marketing for your website. People build relationship connections, and begin and/or nurture relationships on social media websites. Conversations occur back and forth, links are shared, information is added to conversation, and recommendations are made. Look to serve others, help them, and build a foundation that earns respect. When information leading back to your site is shared, more influence from your efforts is felt through increased traffic.

Email Marketing

Marketing is not sales, marketing is sharing information that is useful to your audience. Your audience signs up to receive news from you about your company, and about your industry. Their interest requires thoughtful sharing of information that retains their loyalty, and keeps your brand present and recognized with a sense of loyalty or appreciation. Offering tips, insights, informative articles, videos, and statistics, there are many options available to you that earn respect, and create traffic. Emails should always be brief, with an enticing link back to your website to further satisfy their curiosity.

Link in the Signature

How often do you email others, either creating a fresh email, or responding to something? A surprising number of people with websites to promote do send emails without including their website link with their signature in the email. Many email programs offer a setting to automatically add a signature with every email. Don’t be spammy, but do put your basic contact details with your web-link. You would print it on a business card and letterhead, so why not your email signature?

Don’t Stop

The most disappointing result I experience with any client comes about as they complete their website implementation and they decide that this is all they need. You have just invested capital of time and money into developing a marketing channel. I deliberately choose the word channel to draw your attention to the fact that today’s technology on the web is interactive; a broadcast medium. You won’t sit day after day in front of a television watching the same re-run. Your website needs a marketing budget and strategy that develops this kind of broadcasting ability.

Getting it Right

Is there such a thing? Time has taught me that it is the process, not the outcome, that generates the most leverage in life, business, and creativity. Taking the principles shared thus far, understand that there is no better time to start than right now! So it costs money, and you may have a limited budget. Starting where you are, and building up month after month, goals will be realized. Don’t wait for all the conditions to be right, all the budget to be identified, all the designs and content in place. Early launches and using the technology and principles shared, the intelligent feedback received and observed provides valuable direction to the process of building, launching, and managing growing websites.


As with this website, welcoming feedback is advantageous to most website owners. It stimulates conversations that can better inform you about your audience or market area. Make it easy for your website visitors to interact and connect with you, and do provide links to your other online distribution channels such as your Fan Page on Facebook, a Twitter profile you’ve got running, or some other social media profile.

And what about your feedback? After reading this post, what questions remain? Use the comment form to post your question, or share other useful advice you’ve learned with your own website.

Social Media Marketing Realistically

crushed-head-acheWhen people say No, does it mean No?

Most often, it is the wrong timing, wrong circumstances.

Social media allows people to remain connected, without having to say No.

Your audience is not fighting you off with a stick, they’re following and keeping up to date (as it suits them), as to what you do with your site, if and only if, you’re keeping notices updated on Twitter and Facebook fan pages.

One day along the way, the timing changes, they convert; you make the sale, or receive the referral sale.

So know that the main focus of social media marketing is you’re filling a funnel, understanding that the stuff you put into the top, all comes out the bottom at its own pace and in its own timing.

The added benefits are the curiosity seekers, new followers, increased traffic, the potential hot new sales/leads, and maybe even some joint ventures, not to mention the new friendships and partnerships that will form.

Your Website is a Broadcast Channel

rss-bullhornMany conversations these days pertain to what the website is for, where the web is going, whether the same strategies from five years ago hold true today. Before the buzzword social media and web 2.0, everyone knew the importance of a list and having regular email communication to their clients and audience. In larger organizations, the web and email may have had much less prominence, as they opted for the traditional print media channels for the client / audience communication.

Today, so much more is possible directly online.

Any business can start small and scale up to meet the needs of a growing business. First and foremost, this must be pointed out. In that same vein of thinking, this list of ideas starts with the beginning entrepreneur in mind, and evolves toward a sophisticated internet site for the business, complete with its own social engagement functionality tied in, and an employee intranet behind a secure login.

  • Basic Page: Static home page introducing a new business, complete with an embedded YouTube video, and a newsletter sign-up box.What this achieves is minimal, although for some entrepreneurs and products, extraordinary things have happened. At the very least, you have created a landing page with some brief interesting content, with a call-to-action that invites them to sign-up for more information. Ideally, you will send them a Whitepaper or Free Report as a token of appreciation.
  • Basic Site: Home Page ~ About / Information Page ~ Products / Services Page ~ Contact ~ BlogAt the very least, when you add more to your website and ready to take on the web role more seriously, you want to fill out the information pages with more detail. The About / Information page is not one to be neglected anymore either. With the number of scam artists on the web as well, people are also looking to confirm your identity. Any and all information you add, personalizes the relationship to the web visitor. Speak to the audience that will resonate with you.

  • The Blog is a key feature to be nurtured on an ongoing basis. Blogging daily is a major plus for search engines, and continually improving your ranking. People hear this all the time. While this holds truth, blogging daily isn’t a reality for most, and not really going to have such a significant impact when reduced to once or twice a week. It’s when you don’t blog at all that it really hurts you. Regularly updated content ensures the search engines are always coming to your site and indexing its pages, thus improving chances of searches landing on your website.

  • Member Sites: These allow visitors to the website to sign-up, become members, and participate in an online community. When done well, this results in significant opportunities for responding to the market / audience, building loyalty, gaining product insights, and increasing a market-share potential through simple relationship development — not management.

  • Intranet Sites: These allow companies to extend the social engagement, knowledge share, and employee development across wider regions, improving company performance, business intelligence and process or product improvements through well executed intranet site plans.


These summary points are all about websites intended for one purpose:

Engage Your Audience!

Video Marketing: Animoto! Your Photos

Animoto videos – music videos for your images, video clips and pictures. With high production value motion graphics synchronized to every beat of your music, Animoto videos blow the doors off traditional slideshows; it is time to move past the slideshow and embrace Animoto -free, easy, beautiful.

I first played with Animoto free version. I thoroughly enjoyed the outcomes of the creations. Initially, I used their extensive library of images, video, and music, to create short 30-second clips for specific uses. Knowing how much effort is required to learn the software, and custom tweak each image, transition, and effect, I could really appreciate the incredible result given the ease of use.

Here is one result, auto-pushed from my Animoto! account and published directly to YouTube, no fuss, no muss.

The upgrade plan, of $250 per year, is worth the investment for the result. Their online support, and email support has been fairly good. They show care and concern, but do have some difficulty responding timely, which often happens with new start-ups. Pressed for time and resources, managing growth, my vote is in for Animoto! They’re doing a great job and offer a great product / service.

Regarding video / image quality. It does matter, the dimensions for images chosen to use. Optimizing images to about 1MB at 1024 x 768 px is the optimal for video processing with Animoto! Applying animation, this will have some impact on video quality, although I’ve been pleased with the results. As I experimented, I accessed my Flickr account through Animoto’s service, and was able to choose images directly to be imported into a project. What lacked here, was being able to see what the Flickr file specs were, and I have some rather smaller resolution versions of many images there.

Tackling a completely different project, which you can view on this blog, hi-resolution images were used, originally 3.5MB each, and well over the recommended 1024 x 768 size. Uploading these to Flickr into a private, hidden folder, I was able to auto-import the best resolution from Flickr directly into the Animoto! project file. Regrettably, you may not be guaranteed the ordering sequence you’d like for those longer projects where it really matters. I found no matter what, I had to manually adjust a few items all the way through the project when a specific sequence was desired.

Animoto! Also allows your own music to be uploaded, so from an artistic point of view, not only can visual artists display their artwork, and musicians show off their music creating their own videos, there could also be many opportunities to team-up to cross-promote to wider audiences.

There are so many fun options with Animoto! This includes the video clip imports too – it’s not just for photos! You’ll just have to go see what I mean. I had so much fun! And still do. 🙂

As with any software, this does take some experimentation to find the sort of results desired for each project. I’ve learned some tips and tricks, and if you touch base, let’s see what conversation brings up in the way of discussion from others who also experiment with Animoto!

Animoto! your photos!