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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