Everything Social Networking
You’ll find all kinds of stuff posted at my blog, so keep checking back. You’ll find a lot of information related to social networking, Facebook, Twitter, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), just cool internet tools and technologies.
Name: Steve Hart
Job: Interactive Development Director for a large media communications company.
Interest: Everything Social Networks, SEO, Blogs, and Media Publishing.
Well, I finally did it. I kept saying I was going to do it. I’ve moved from WordPress.com on to a hosted solution with my own implementation of WordPress.
The migration was fairly easy, but a it time consuming. First thing you need to do is get a hosted service an install WordPress.
If you had a registered Domain you were using WordPress.com sites, you’ll need to change your name servers before you can access your new installation. Change the namesservers from pointing to WordPress to point to you hosting solution. In my case it is Godaddy. It took about 4 – 6 hours for the DNS to propagate before I could access my new installation.
Next, you’ll need to export your blog data from WordPress.com (admin function unter tools). Log into you hosted version of WordPress and in the same tools area, import your data. That’s the easy part.
Now the more difficult things:
First, you need to find a theme (plenty of free ones out there) and install it. Installing in requires saving the theme to you local hard drive then FTP-ing the directory to you hosting server space. The entire directory is copied to the themes folder under the WP-Content directory. Once this is complete login into WordPress and activate you theme under the ‘appearence’ – ‘Themes’ section.
Next you’ll need to select the plug-ins you want to install.
Here are a few of my choices
- Akismet - for spam protection
- All in One SEO Pack - for search engine optimization
- Dagon Design Sitemap Generator - for HTML sitemap generation.
- Google XML Sitemaps - for XML based site maps that can be submitted to Google
- Permalinks Moved Permanently - allows me to use SEO friendly URLs – a must!
- Secure WordPress - a set of tools to help better secure you installation
- Ultimate Google Analytics - requires setting up a google analytics account, but the best way to track our stats
- Youtube Brackets - for embedding youtube videos
- WordPress Database Backup – another must.
- Smart Ads - for serving Google adsense
- Sociable - adds links to posts for bookmarking to social sites (digg, delicious,…)
- Top 10 - Displays top posts, plus dashboard widget.
- WordPress.com Stats - WP stats in your dashboard
Most of these plug-ins require some level of configuration, but they are well worth it.
- Steve Hart
In response to a recent comment I received from Alex Hwang at http://thetechadvisors.wordpress.com, here’s my suggestions on increasing traffic on your www.wordpress.com blog. While I don’t claim to be an expert in this area, I have seen some recent success with these techniques on this blog. There are many more ideas to drive traffic, but they require a personal install of WordPress.
Here are my suggestions:
- Submit sitemap to Google – WordPress XML Sitemaps Submittal to Google
- Have a Twitter, Facebook, and Delicious accounts
- Distribute your posts to various social sites:
- Create a Twitter direct mail auto response to new followers
- Check out Twitter Follower Auto-Responding Email Message
- Brand your blog in the direct message
- Fully utilize the WordPress SEO fields
- Become part of the community – Post comments on other sites with references to your blog. They will in turn post on your blog
- Check your site out at www.googleRankings.com Website Diagnostics Panel
- Cross site linking is key – find other sites that will link to your site and return the favor
- Use Trackback links when you quote or refer to other blog posts. What is TrackBack? Essentially what this does is send a message from one server to another server letting it know you have posted a reference to their post. The beauty is that a link to your blog is now included on their site.
- Review your sites stats to see what posts are driving traffic, and focus on those topics
- Blog on a consistent periodic basis so your readers know when to check back
- Create a “Rap up” post reviewing the post from the past week or month depending on your post frequency
- Promote your posts on Digg and StumpleUpon. Unfortunately these are manual processes
- Make sure you tag your posts!
- Create great content
- Ensure you blog has a purpose
- Create hyper links to other sites within your posts
- Link Building Tricks for Search Engine Optimization SEO
- Use graphics/photos – pay attention to meta tags (Alt tag, description, link url) .
- Ask your readers for their opinions and or suggestions
- Focus on hot topics and keywords
- Post titles should contain relevant keywords. Use catchy headlines
Remember, driving traffic takes time. If your blog is new, don’t expect lots of traffic. Stick to it and keep blogging. If your content is good, readers will find you following the steps above.
If you have other suggestoins, I like to hear from you.
- Steve Hart
XML Sitemaps – usually called Sitemaps, with a capital S – are a way for you to give Google information about your site. In its simplest terms, a Sitemap is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process.
Here’s an overview of how to Verify your site and submit your WordPress Sitemap to Google.
Step 1 – Google Site Verification:
- Go to Google Sitemaps and login.
- Enter your website into your dashboard- click add site.
- Now, Google needs to verify your site.
- You’ll need to choose a verification method – use “Upload an HTML file”.
- Copy the entire random string Google generated. Don’t close this browser tab.
- Now, go to WordPress and log into your blog.
- Create a new page anywhere on your site. I created a child page to my “About” page.
- In this new page title, paste the code that Google generated (the one you copied) and publish your page.
- Now go back to the Google Sitemap page, and click “Verify”.
- Once Google has verified your site, your can now delete the WordPress page you created.
Step 2 – Submit your WordPress Sitemap to Google
- Go to Google Sitemaps and click on Sitemaps in the left column menu.
- Click Add Sitemap and select General Sitemap.
- Enter “YourBlogName.com/sitemap.xml” into the text box (step 3 – My Sitemap URL is:).
- Click the Add General Sitemap button
- You have successfully added your Sitemap to Google.
- Check back with Google in a few hours to see if Google has indexed your site.
- Steve Hart
You’d be amazed how many folks still don’t understand how important link building is for high ranking in search engines, and in specific for Google. And, what are valid tactics for 2009, what things have changed?
Backlinks, or ‘incoming links’ are a critical part of your website’s ongoing visibility in search engine results. If you couple this with quality incoming links, you’ll likely see benefit (increased traffic) from people clicking as well.
The game has changed over the recent years. Now, you see the fast emergence of the “social web”, and new tactics such as social networking, social bookmarking, blogging, social news has to be learned. Still, reliance on traditional marketing and public relations is a must, more than ever.
To become and continue to be a leading website, more thought and care must go into developing ‘link bait’ – quality content, tools, widgets and similar – that may receive faster/better links from other websites back to you, with less ongoing work – links just keep coming!
Creating content is not enough – you must promote and drive users back to your site from many channels, which can include PPC (Pay Per Click), for example. Running a quick campaign using Paid Search to send visitors to your content bait is one of the creative ways to build awareness and traffic. Think about your target audience before starting any of this.
Things To Remember When Link Building:
1) Rich Keyword Use – in the anchor text. This is the recognized “blue underline” link that points back to you. Get keywords in there!
2) Trust and Authority – incoming links from other significant sites – to send powerful ‘link juice’ and to help elevate your site as another professional, trusted site amongst users and search engines.
3) Natural Link Acquisition – no massive, short and spiked build up of links, no bad link neighborhoods, but a carefully distributed effort amongst varied IP#’s – to show breadth of sites. No black hat approaches or spamming. Also, remember that sites that have more trust and years established online, can get away with more than newer sites.
Manually searching for these authority sites can take time, but professionals do it all the time. Since relevancy is key, try to stick within your marketplace, but don’t over-analyze either, mix it up.
You can submit to directories, use article marketing, and locate blogs for a wider distribution, and I recommend picking a few strategies to start. Don’t try to do too much, too fast.
Some Tools and Ideas:
a. Keyword link search builder – Linksearch – type in a keyword, and it will build Google search strings to speed up the processs.
b. Directories – you should consider Yahoo Directory, Business.com (B2B), Botw.org, Goguides and JoeAnt to start. If you find 20-40 directories of higher quality and related to your niche, that’s good. Try dmoz.org as well, but it will take a while. To find more, use ISEDB.
c. Social Media Sites - The ‘link juice’ is often excluded on sites in this marketplace, but can garner secondary links and certainly visibility and traffic for your brand. Look into Delicious, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn (B2B), Twitter to start.
These simple tactics and steps should get you thinking about how you must change your link building game for 2009.
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