Is Your Business Hiding in Plain Site?

These days any serious business owner that knows their business trends has a website and/or blog to help market their business online. A website with your own domain name (URL) establishes a professional online presence and offers a central hub for all of your online and offline marketing efforts. It is a way to break out from the competition and let people know you are in business and not hiding in plain sight.

However, if you have not updated your website recently or posted fresh content to it, it’s time to enhance your online presence to improve your chances of succeeding in a competitive niche. There are many ways to enhance your online presence. Here are a few.

Is Your Business Hiding in Plain Site?

Is Your Business Hiding in Plain Site?

Tips to enhance your online presence with niche-related features like WordPress

If your website is more than a few years old, chances are it might not be mobile-friendly. With the boom in Smartphones and tablet computers, this has to be your first enhancement.

Second, do you have a blog? A blog is a fun and interesting way to present fresh niche-related content on a regular basis. Write the content, or commission it, upload it, and set the publication date. Your blog will be updated regularly without you having to work on it every day.

Check out WordPress for your blog or website

If you are working in a small company or are a solo entrepreneur, you might be thinking that you have no idea how to do either of these tasks and have no budget to hire anyone. The good news is that you can kill two birds with one stone with a completely free program like I use, WordPress.

There are two ways to accomplish this. The first is to set up a free blog at WordPress.com. This basic version of the program is mobile-friendly and will show you just how easy WordPress is to use. Link to your site and vice versa to drive more traffic.

The second way, and the best method, in my opinion, to do this is to download a copy of the free program at WordPress.org and upload it to the main folder of your website, or to a subfolder, such as one called blog. Install the program and start adding content consistently.

WordPress Tips

The full version of WordPress includes 2 key items that can really help your niche business take off. The first are themes and the second are plugins.

Themes set the overall appearance and functionality of the site, such as a text-based blog versus a photo blog. Search through all the free professional-looking themes available to find the one that is right for the look and feel of your business.

Plugins are little mini-programs that add a range of functions and tools to your pages and site. These can range from social media links that will let you promote your site on all your accounts and allow your customers to promote your site as well to a number of exciting niche options that will make your site a magnet for customers, such as:

– A forum or discussion board
– Top niche products lists with links to buy
– An article directory
– A membership site, free or paid
– A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) portal
– Affiliate promotion

And much more.

If your site isn’t getting the kind of traffic you want or enough repeat visitors, update your site/blog, add functionality, and see what a difference it can make to your profits.

If you need help with updating your blog or website, ask me how I can make a difference and assist you!

How to Set Up Your WordPress Blog After Install

wordpress logo button

Installing your WordPress blog or website is exciting. While it is just a one click install, there are some things that you need to do before you actually start writing and publishing on your blog. Here is a list of steps to go through to get your blog set up after install quickly.

1) Go to the Settings tab and add your Site title, Tagline and adjust your URL.
General Settings after WordPress INstall http://connectinglocalbusiness.com

Your site title can be anything you choose to name it. Most people use their url name but it can certainly be something different. The Tagline is a brief statement telling readers what your site is about. Finally, the URL can certainly be the same as it was registered, but if you choose to include a www. or drop it, it can be added at this point.

2) Set your Permalinks. These are the structure of your url. The default setting is not the best choice for SEO purposes so you should choose something that would include the site name and the title of your post. For most people the month and name configuration is a good choice but the Post Name configuration is great too.
Permalink Structure for WordPress http://connectinglocalbusiness.com

Make sure to choose before you start writing as changing structure mid way through your blog would be very bad for those searching out your posts and would take many weeks or months for google to find them again.

3). Add important plugins you will need. The Hello Dolly plug in comes as a default and this is something that you can certainly delete. It really has no function on a blog. Here is a tutorial I wrote that you can use for more help – What is a Plugin for WordPress And How Do You Use It. Some plugins you will want to use are:

* Yoast for SEO called WordPress SEO. All inclusive plug that works hard for your site!
* WordFence for blocking unwanted log in attempts by bots or others
* Spam Blocker. I use G.A.S.P. which is Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin. Easy to use and effective too!
* Share Buttons for readers to share your posts and images on social networks
* Contact Form so you do not need to list out your email address on your website.
* Google Site Map. The one I use is called Google Sitemap plugin and it will tell the Google spiders how many pages to look for and to crawl on your site. – This is not a necessary plug in if you are using the Yoast plugin.

4) Add your site to Google Analytics. If you do not already have a Google account, you can set one up easily and activate it to your site. (If you use gmail or blogger, then you have a google account) Google Analytics gives in depth feed back to you regarding traffic, keywords, errors and so much more. It really is a must for any business owner today.

5) Set Up Your Pages. You should have several pages set up before starting to blog. Typical pages would be an About page and a FAQs page. Maybe Ordering Policies and a Contact Page. This will all depend on your business and you will probably add a few more as you develop your blog/site.

6) Set Your Categories. Set up some categories for typical postings. This can be for products or topic ideas – again depending on your business and what you will be writing on. Each article and post can use several topics too so don’t feel you only have to choose just one.

7) Delete the first Hello World sample post. This is just a sample and it is not necessary to keep it. You can delete it and start a new post to tell the world you are in business, online.

8). Adjust Your Theme. Many themes today have multiple choices for colors and settings. Go through your theme options and make sure yours are set they way you want.

9) Add your Widgets. The widgets will expand the use of your footers and sidebars. You can read a tutorial I wrote on How to Use a Widget in Your WordPress Template for additional assistance.

These tips are the basics that need to be completed before you start actually blogging. Make sure to go through each section of your settings page so that your blog is looking and working the way you want it to.

What is a Plugin for WordPress And How Do You Use It

Plugins are a sweet tool that will really help you expand the use of your WordPress built site. While they are not found on the WordPress.com websites, you can use them extensively on WordPress.org built sites. A plugin is a a functional addition to your site that literally plugs into your site to add other tools that will expand the usage of your site.

Plugins are mostly built by outside developers and shared on WordPress although you can find plugins that are made my the WordPress developers, normally listed as developed by Codex.

There are thousands upon thousands of plugins that are available for use through your dashboard. While many are better than others, it will behoove you to read the details, check out the ratings and comments plus check to make sure it is being supported still by the developer. If a plugin has only been downloaded a few hundred times, chances are it is not the best choice for your blog and you should look for a different one with similar functions.

Here are some more tips for using plugins for your site.

What is a Plugin for WordPress And How Do You Use It

What is a Plugin for WordPress And How Do You Use It

Once you have your template in place, you will find the term PlugIns on the left hand side of your dashboard. You will see different options, such as Installed Plugins and Add New. With every install of WordPress, some plugins come automatically installed. These are not required to be kept. To look for and add a new plug in, click Add New and it will open up into a new window where you can search for a plugin you need.

Typical plugins that are the most useful are ones that deal with Comment Spam, adding Social Media Share buttons, adding SEO forms, Stat Counters and more. I could go on and on!

Once you find the plugins that you need to add the functions and expansion that you want on your site, it will be listed somewhere on your dashboard. Many fall under Settings, some under the Plugin term and some will create their own name on your dashboard sidebar.

Also depending on which plugin you use, many of them you can edit to it work exclusively for your site. If a plug in does have the edit capability, you will see the term Edit or Configure.

This short lesson should help you to know how to use a plugin on your WordPress.org blog. One word of caution however! Do not go crazy adding in plugins. There are many that will slow down your website and many others that do not play well together. It is best to only add the ones you really need for the best results on your blog.

For more tips like these, make sure to sign up for my emails up on the top right!