google-site-verification: google5a04406e090cac5e.html

A Bluehost Mega Sale!

This is such an incredible deal that I had to share it with you immediately.

I have been using Bluehost as my web hosting company for over three years. I am a very happy customer mostly because their support is second to none.

In fact, I am so happy with Bluehost that when the Canadian dollar was only worth 60 cents, I stayed a loyal Bluehost customer. If you do the math, I paid about $150 Canadian per year for hosting! It was a killer, but I gladly paid for the security that comes with being their customer.

I have never seen a sale this good in the time I’ve been their customer.

Honestly, if you need hosting to get your WordPress site online, click this link to go and see not only the details of their sale, but why I appreciate this company so much.

You won’t be sorry because if you sign up for their superb hosting between now and October 24th,

you pay only $3.95 per month. 

 This promotion is available for any new hosting account but hurry, this offer ends October 24th

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE DETAILS AT BLUEHOST.COM

Warmly

 

 

PS: I am a proud affiliate and will receive a commission if you purchase hosting via this link.

The Secret to Getting More Visitors To Your Site Part 2

The secret to getting more visitors to your site part 2Search Engine Optimization

is a series of steps that you, the WordPress site owner, take to move your site up in the search results of the search engines. As I mentioned in Part 1, ideally you want to  increase your rankings so that your site shows up on the first page of the search engine results.

What Steps Can You Take To Optimize Your (New) WordPress Website?

1.  Keywords

Know the search phrases and words that your prospects type into the search engines to find the products and services that you offer. This is imperative — not an option.  If you missed the Free Keyword Research Tool and Tutorial from Part 1, you can GET IT HERE

Once you know them, use these words on your pages and in your content. There are entire books and  online courses about how to find and use keywords. A little research will pay off nicely.

2.  Good Content

Search engines look at the content on your website. They scan your content looking for keywords, keyword phrases and other relevant words and terms. Often people mistake the meaning of this and load their content with their keywords and phrases, even to the point of making their content nonsensical. But the search engines have very complicated algorithms to rate the quality of the content too. Search engines want to ensure that they are sending people to quality websites. not just those that are packed with the right keyword/keyword phrases.

3.  Linking

Another element that search engines look at are the links to and from your website. They look at incoming links – links from other websites and blogs and they look at internal links – linking within your own site (from one page to another within your site).

a. Incoming Links

Quality content helps create incoming links. Here’s what Google says about building incoming links to your site:

Create unique and compelling content on your site and the web in general

    • Make videos, do original research, and post interesting stuff on a regular basis. If you’re passionate about your site’s topic, there are lots of great avenues to engage more users.
    • Teach readers new things, uncover new news, be entertaining or insightful, show your expertise, interview different personalities in your industry and highlight their interesting side. Make your site worthwhile.
    • Participate thoughtfully in blogs and user reviews related to your topic of interest. Offer your knowledgeable perspective to the community.
    • Provide a useful product or service. If visitors to your site get value from what you provide, they’re more likely to link to you.Source:  Google | Webmaster Central Blog  You can click this link for more information

Social networking, guest blogging, and article marketing can all have a profound effect on the number of incoming links. Build relationships online to motivate people to link to your website.

b.  Internal Linking

Internal linking means that you have links from one page or article to another on your own site. Internal linking is perfect for situations where you have content that you want to draw attention to AND rank well in the search engines. Just create a link to it from other content or pages. For example, in my opening paragraph above you’ll see that Part 1 is a hyperlink to the first blog post in this series.

If you want have a sales page to a product or service and want it to rank really well in the search engines, then create a link to your sales page from your contact page, from your landing page, and any other pages that it makes sense to link to.

Keywords, Linking and Good Content are simple steps you can take to increase your ranking in the search engines. It’s not magic or difficult. Give them a try and come back to post your results here. We’d love to hear about your success.


The Secret to Getting More Visitors To Your Site Part 1

The secret to getting more visitors to your site, part 1You’ve probably heard the term ‘SEO’ a lot

and you know you should do it, but wonder where to start.  This post will shed some light on what SEO means and why it’s important.

SEO is the shortened term for Search Engine Optimization.  As an online business and WordPress site owner, you need to know that SEO is what helps drive visitors to your website.  And without visitors…well you know.

Search engines have names like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. When you are searching for information on the internet, you type your phrases or keywords into the Google, Yahoo, or Bing search field. Once you press Enter, you receive a page with a list of results.

A search engine is a program that searches documents on the World Wide Web for a specific word or phrase.  Dictionary.com

You may have heard this term before too, because it is often referred to as “the first page of Google“.  It is called this because what you are seeing is, literally, the first page of results based on your keywords and keyword phrases.

And keep this in mind for later in this post: Do you ever go to the second, third, or fourth page to find what you’ve been searching for? More than likely, you scan the results and click on a few that look like they match your search terms (words and phrases). This is how 99% of the people on the internet search for solutions to their problems.

Although it can be difficult because everyone else is vying for top position too,

all businesses on the internet need to be doing all they can to get their site to come up higher in the search engine results. Ideally, your goal should be to be represented on the first page or two of the search engine results.

Next post:  The SEO steps you can easily take. 

In the meantime,  do a little keyword research so you can follow along. Click here for more information: 

FREE KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL AND TUTORIAL

Enjoy

 

 

 

Who are these people with too much time on their hands?

SPAM comes in many forms.

Got SPAM ?I use the Akismet plugin managing the spam comments, but they can only stop the ones that are absolutely, without a doubt spam.

The new trend I have been seeing is comments that, at first, appear to be legitimate. They are very complimentary and often flattering, but if you really look, they don’t say anything specific. “Wow, great post. This is the information I’ve been looking for. I will definitely be back.”

They will even use your name, but if they don’t say what specifically caught their eye, then they are spam.

If they are complimenting you on your theme, I would say they are spam. If there are similar or duplicate comments, they are probably spam as well.

Under the comment are several links: approve, spam, reply etc. Definitely mark them as spam and then Akismet won’t allow the IP address.

It takes a lot of work to keep ahead of them, but once you start to block the IP addresses, there will be fewer.

9 WordPress Essentials: Part 2

9 WordPress essentials part 2WordPress Essentials Part 2:

5.  Search

Have a search function 

Having a search function on your site is a great idea. Just like in Google, visitors can use keywords to search within your site for the content they are looking for.

It’s a good idea to have this above the fold (before they have to scroll) for the visitor’s convenience so they can speedily find the content they are interested in.

Some templates have the search field built into the navigation bar and others offer you a sidebar widget.

You can go beyond just the search function and add both archives and category widgets in the sidebar. The archives widget allows your visitor to find posts of interest that are sorted by date. The category widget allows them to search your posts by the categories you write under.

PS  The words that people use to search online are important to know because their keywords have to match the keywords you use on your site.  To learn more about this, get my free report: FREE KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL

6.  Contact information

Have a contact page

The best option for adding your contact information is to have it on its own separate page. You’ll then have a link on the navigation bar and with one click, your visitor will have all of your information (telephone, email, and/or contact form) at their fingertips.

I have also included my toll free phone number in my header (banner) on my site.

7.  Opt in form

Offer a way to keep in touch

This is a very important step as this is how you will keep in touch with your visitors. Have it front and center on your site, before the fold. Offer a valuable gift to those who subscribe. It’s a great way to let your clients and visitors know about your products, services, special offers, and upcoming sales or events.

By the way, Aweber is the best service I’ve used so far. They are more cost effective, they have all the bells and whistles, AND they don’t charge extra to see your stats (how many opens etc).  Check them out for yourself:  AWEBER

8.  Design

Keep it easy on the eyes

The design of your page should support your brand image. But it should also be simple and not distract from your goals or purpose. Sidebars allow for the containment of additional information, and provide a way to have even more information above the fold.

Colors convey a lot of information and your color choice should be a good representation of your (type of) business or the image your are trying to present.

Word of caution:

  • Rotating banners, flashing things, and similar effects should be avoided unless it’s just an affiliate site.
  • Avoid anything that slows down the loading speed of your site. (flash)
  • Avoid using a dark background and light colored font. They are almost impossible to read online

9. Community Building

Interact

Integrate social networking buttons (lots of plugins easily manage this step for you). Let people find you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Use Social Bookmarking plugins as well. These are the little icons you see after a post where people can share your content on any number of bookmarking sites.

Allow for and encourage comments. There are several plugins out there that require people to sign up for accounts and jump through other hoops to leave a comment. I don’t recommend this. Make it as simple as possible for your visitors to interact with you.

When people feel involved or able to contribute they tend to revisit a website.

What are you thoughts? Let us know in a comment.

Get my Free Keyword Research Tool and Tutorial by Clicking Here

I am a proud Aweber affiliate and will receive a commission when  anyone signs up for Aweber by clicking the link provided in this blog post.

Kathleen

Didn’t read part 1?  Click here: http://www.thesavvyva.com/9-wordpress-essentials-part-1/

 

 

9 WordPress Essentials: Part 1

9 WordPress Essentials Part 11.  A Landing Page

Is usually associated with your main domain name.

It’s the first page your visitors will see (unless they have gotten to your site via a link to another page or post).  For example, on my site it would be the difference between http://thesavvyva.com and
http://www.thesavvyva.com/contact-the-savvy-va

Since it’s the main page of your site, it’s important to let your visitors know what you do or have to offer your wares and services. Introduce what you do, for who, why, and so on.

Here is an example of what not to do, from the real world:

I have walked past a store in my town many, many times. I would glance in the window and see Crocs (gardening shoes). I would think to myself, “Oh, it’s a Crocs store. Don’t need Crocs so I’ll just keep going”.

But yesterday when I walked past, I noticed some big containers of protein powder in the other window. This time I thought. “Huh?” Curious, I peered into the window past the display and realized that it’s a health food store.  I just happened to be in the market for some Stevia so I went in.  But had I not really looked through that window, I would never have gone into the store.

What happens when people come to your site? Do they know you are a health food store, or will they mistake you for a Crocs store? Can they tell at a glance what your site is about? Is there enough information to help them determine if you have what they want (need).  Be bold. This is your BUSINESS. If you were a brick and mortar store, would you hide all the goods behind a curtain? Of course not.

By the way, I would really like to report that once inside the store it all made sense, but it didn’t. The inside was as confusing as the window display. I found a guy to show me where the Stevia was; I paid; and left.

Has to have an objective.

What do you want visitors to do when they arrive at your landing page? Opt in to receive a free report? Click a link to go to a catalogue page?  Contact you? or something else?  This page has to support your objective.

2.  About Me Page

Tell your story.

This page is normally the second page that is viewed on any given site and should provide potential clients with information about you and your work. Think of this page as your answer to the “tell me about yourself” question in a job interview.

This is essential — after all, who wants to hire just anybody? People want to know who they are dealing with. It’s completely acceptable  and reasonable for your potential clients to do a little background research on you. Your about me page can make or break a business relationship.

Take it a step further than just publishing a resume or a list of accomplishments. Personalize the page and tell them why you are the best person to do business with.

 3.  Simple navigation

Creating an easy to understand navigation function for your site is vital.

This is the actual navigation bar for my site. It is positioned right under my header (banner) and contains all the links anyone needs to easily navigation around my site. Several of these links have drop down menus, for example, the WP Support link has several support packages listed one under the other. Clicking on any of them will take you to that particular page.


Website traffic always increases when the site navigation design is simple and straightforward. It also makes it more likely that you’ll have returning visitors because they’ll remember how easy it was to find your information.

At the very least, your navigation bar should be above the fold (which means that it is visible without scrolling).

Here is a another takeaway from the real world:

I received someone’s newsletter this morning and they are promoting a new product. One of the bonuses was an offer from another company to do a WordPress website review. Their sales copy was very compelling and I wanted to see who this hip new company was.

I got there and was unable to figure out who she was. There was no navigation at all other than 3 links in the sidebar, (that I believe most people would not know to click). There was no immediately visible means to contact this business either. Eventually I found the navigation at the bottom of the site after scrolling quite a way down the page. So overall it was not a good design.

The Studiopress templates have what are called breadcrumbs. If you look at the example in the image to the left, you’ll notice that across the top it says “You are here”  followed by Home / WP Support / WordPress By the Hour (10).

It is another way of making navigation that much simpler. If you were to click on WP Support, it would take you back to my general support packages, and then if you click on home, you’d be at my landing page. .

PS  Get your WordPress site assessed by this company.  Check this new service here: WORDPRESS SITE ANALYSIS

4.  Content is King Queen

Content is what drives traffic to your website.

People search online for information that will solve their problem, whether they need a service, a product, or a just a quick tip showing them how to do something.

Do you post enough content on your site so that you show up in (ideally their first page of) Google’s search results? Do you write blog posts? Do you create YouTube videos with solutions to the problems your potential market or niche have? Do you offer free reports? Cover all the bases. It will pay off over time.

PS  The words that people use to search online are important to know because their keywords have to match the keywords you use on your site.  To learn more about this, click here to get my free report: FREE KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL

 

Itching for variety?

Get that desire quenched at the Studiopress Marketplace.

The Genesis community continues to celebrate the introduction of the Genesis Child Theme Marketplace. In addition to the 40+ child themes available through StudioPress, selected community developers are now able to sell their Genesis-based themes through the Marketplace.

Cool stat: One of the eight themes in the Marketplace is also StudioPress’ current #1 selling child theme… Check it out by clicking here:  Elle by Lauren Mancke!

Or check out the whole line here: StudioPress Marketplace