The WordPress platform has made it incredibly easy for small businesses to create a website that can be easily updated and maintained. However, like any website, you need to know how to optimize your WordPress site for maximum results.

While the process is similar to optimizing any other website, with a WordPress installation you can customize many of your pages' SEO elements automatically, cutting down on the time it takes to post new content.

Templates

If your site is hosted at WordPress.com, you are limited in the changes you can make to your page template and this can restrict your SEO. This is why it is best to host your site on your own domain.

Plugins

SEO plugins are a great way to optimize you site and make management much easier. There are several useful WordPress plugins, so search for one that works best for your particular needs.

Stay up-to-date and Avoid Malware

WordPress hacking for malware is very common. Thankfully, Google now provides alerts within Webmaster Tools if malware has been found on your site.

Be sure to stay up-to-date and check those malware reports to ensure that everything is safe.

SEO for WordPress

WordPress is well-suited for SEO and plugins will go a long way toward improving upon the existing WordPress platform.

However, WordPress can't do it all. You will still need to find the right keywords for your product or service and you also have to focus on optimizing URL structures and internal links.

Of course, you will also need to provide your visitors with fresh and relevant content as well.

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There are three key activities associated with online marketing.

These activities include:

' Acquisition
' Conversion
' Retention

Acquisition

Online advertising is a method for online acquisition. The goal of online acquisition is to grow awareness and interest in your company's product or service.

Other methods of traffic generation include search engine optimization (SEO), affiliates, third-party email lists, social networking, collaborative blogging, in-house email lists and online video ads.

Acquisition can also include offline methods to drive traffic to your site. These methods include television and radio advertising, print ad magazine advertising, public relations and media coverage.

Conversion

Conversion is the second key activity of online marketing.

Once you drive traffic to your website, your next goal is to make these visitors take a desired conversion action. A conversion action can be considered anything that has measurable value, whether is it a purchase, download, newsletter registration or a simple click-through to another page on your website.

In order to achieve conversions, you need to have an appropriate landing page design.

Retention

Retention starts immediately, once the initial conversion has occurred.
This initial action may have been an email newsletter or a white paper download. Retention seeks to build on the initial action with anticipated, personal, and relevant ongoing communications.

The basis for all retention programs is the ability for the user to receive information from your company on an ongoing basis, through the use of email, newsletters, blog feeds and news feeds.

This helps to increase the long-term value of your client relationships and can have an effect on revenues. Of course, you need to make sure that, before you apply an online marketing strategy, you have first created the right landing pages for your site and your website is properly structured for easy navigation.

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Small businesses are quickly coming to appreciate the fact that Facebook and Twitter are the best places to market a business online. So many businesses are rushing to use social media as part of their ongoing marketing campaigns.

A recent small-business marketing survey found that 81 percent of small businesses are now using social media as part of their marketing campaigns, up from 73 percent last the spring.

Facebook seems to be the preferred network according to the survey. With 96 percent of small businesses focusing their marketing efforts there, but Twitter is gaining popularity as well.

Twitter is now used by 76 percent of small firms, up from 60 percent last spring.

Businesses are using social networking platforms to directly interact with their customers and nearly two-thirds of all businesses surveyed said they answer all of the comments they receive through their social networks, both positive and negative.

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