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5 Reasons Why WordPress + SEO = Awesome

August 4, 2011 3 Comments »

SEO can be a challenging task for a business owner or blogger to deal with. You are continually pumping out great content on a regular basis and putting a lot of effort into your posts, so it only makes sense to spend some time thinking about ways for this great content to be seen. From our experiences, we have found wordpress to be a spectacular platform building sites as well as blogs. We also love using it because of how easy it is to incorporate great SEO. Lets examine some of the things wordpress does for you automatically or very easily via its great plugin system, to get you on the right track for SEO success!

1. To WWW or not to WWW

Google’s bots hate “duplicate content” and since their bots determine where our page ranks, we should try to keep them happy! One thing that can happen if your site is accessible both with and without a “www” in front is that the google bot will think they are 2 seperate sites and view this as duplicate content. WordPress solves this issue automatically for you. You are welcome.

2. Sexy Permalinks

Most people think of a URL as a long list of numbers and letters that will eventually take them to a website. This is true for the most part however not all URLs are created equally. I think an example illustrates this best:

ugly URL www.ugly-url.com/232-2923=?26

pretty URL www.pretty-url.com/nice-informative-article-title/

The first URL gives us no indication of what may be on that page. The second URL is much more informative and useful to both the user AND the search bots. Not even google’s crazy algorithms can make sense of a bunch of numbers jumbled together to form a URL. It can however “read” keywords and other relevant data in the pretty style of URL. As is the case with a lot of SEO this particular item is helpful to your readers as well as your page rankings. WordPress includes a simple options panel for you to enable pretty URLs in seconds.

wordpress screenshot

 

3. Custom title and meta tags

The title tag is considered one of the most important on page factors for SEO. It should give a clear indication about what is on that page and include any keywords or phrases you may think are relevant. Unfortunately by default WordPress doesn’t allow much customization in this area. This is where the world famous all-in-one seo pack plugin comes to the rescue! This is an outstanding plugin that turns WordPress into an absolute SEO powerhouse. Once enabled you can set custom title tags per post and page throughout your entire site.

4. google XML sitemap plugin

This wordpress plugin creates a map of your site and then hands it over to the search bots. The developers description sums it up quite nicely:

“This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.”

So not only does this plugin create the map. It adds to it everytime you create new content and it picks up the SEO telephone and calls google to let them know (ed:there is no such thing as an seo telephone so please stop emailing us about how to get one lol ).

5. WordPress is easy to use

Some may argue this last item has no place on this list. “How does being easy to use help my SEO?” you may be thinking. Its simple, none of the above technical improvements will help you at all unless you actually have great content on your site. More than anything WordPress succeeds at enabling people to get up and running with creating content quickly and easily. We tell our clients “If you can use word you can use wordpress”.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of whats possible with wordpress and SEO. If you have any questions or need some help feel free to get in touch or leave a comment.

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Using SEO to Drive Business to Your Website

February 7, 2011 3 Comments »

Wednesday, Feb 16th, 2011, Marieke Hensel will be giving a workshop on Search Engine Optimization. Marieke Hensel, owner of Branding Personality has more than 10 years of experience in Search Engine Optimization, and has helped 30+ clients generate leads by optimizing their sites for the search engines.

TOPIC:
This valuable course removes the mystery behind SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You’ll learn what SEO is and how it impacts the numbers and types of visitors coming to your website.

Topics covered include:
• The differences between a search engine friendly website and an search engine optimized website
• How to position your website for SEO
• The necessary steps to optimize your website for search engines
• Tips and techniques for increasing traffic
• What elements your site needs to convert traffic into sales
• Glossary of search engine marketing terms

Discover how to create an SEO friendly website, how to use keywords, tags, & metatags, how to use links, and the top mistakes to avoid. This course will leave you better prepared to maximize the sales potential of your website.

TANGIBLE TAKEAWAY:
A step-by-step one-page guide on how to maximize SEO for your business.

The workshop is hosted by NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Orange County. If you’d like to attend, please contact NAWBO for more information.

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The 2 Types of Social Media Clients

March 30, 2010 1 Comment »

Different sized businesses have different needs when it comes to Social Media. While some needs overlap, there isn’t a one size fits all plan.

The first type of client would be a big business or a large corporation. This is a company with an established name and identity that needs to remain consistent throughout their social media presence. They are seeking brand reputation and to start a conversation with its customers and interested parties. Their need is to turn their product value into a social value. They are looking for a relationship with the customer because they have more to offer than just their quality product.  Corporate companies are focused more on reputation. They have a perspective on their brand and they are looking to enhance an image.

The second type is the small business that might have a local following or locally established name, but basically hasn’t built their brand yet. They want to use social media for establishing their name and growing their market to a larger area.  When working with a small company, it’s about developing brand recognition and trust as well as make people aware that the brand exists and that it offers value.

I love to help companies find the conversation, it’s like exploring the world for that client. Find out who your potential customers are, how they behave and how you, as a new brand can become of value to these potential customers.

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Online Video's are worth a second look.

March 23, 2010 1 Comment »

I’ve believed and practiced this myself for awhile so when an actual study came out confirming it, I can’t say I was surprised.

Forrester published an article stating that in a Google search, “any given video in the index stands about a 50 times better chance of appearing on the first page of results than any given text page in the index.”

An optimized video has more clout with Google searches than an optimized web page. So what does that mean? It means that video’s are coming up on the first page in a SERP or Search Engine Results Page more than actual web pages.

So take action! Borrow a video camera or buy a Flip and make a video for your web site today. Start with a 30 second commercial pitching your business.  Then move on to other aspects of your business. Be sure to follow Matt Ballek’s tips to optimize your video, upload it to YouTube, Vimeo or Viddler and you’re well on your way.

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Branding Personality and Political Campaigns

March 8, 2010 No Comments »

Last week we talked about how stimulating it can be when different clients approach us for their online marketing strategies as well as how important it is to be up to date with lots of industries.  This week I would like to focus on another campaign we are currently working on.  This is the campaign for Joe Symmon who is running for Governor of California. Anna is a political science major at Chapman University in Orange and she is a key contributor for this account. I sat down with her to discuss how she spearheaded this project.



Marieke Hensel: How familiar are you with political campaigns?

Anna: I follow national campaigns pretty closely, but I have to admit I am not as knowledgeable about local campaigns.  I am personally very interested in studying what shapes the way people vote, such as religion, socioeconomic status, gender, or level of political interest.  I am excited to see if the conventional wisdom for a national campaign works locally.

MH: What did you do to get more information?

AF: The internet is my primary resource for information about campaigns. I read various articles from the Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Daily Kos and others.

MH: How do you stay informed on current political hot topics?

AF: My primary source of news is podcasts.  I know people aren’t really familiar with them, but they’re amazing.  Podcasts are like radio shows that you can download as a file and put on your iPod or MP3 player.  You can listen to them whenever you want, usually commercial free.  You can pause, rewind, fast-forward, everything.  And what’s great is you can ‘subscribe’ to podcasts and the new shows will automatically download into your iTunes.  I listen to podcasts from CNN, NBC, NPR, and independent news and commentary organizations like The Young Turks. I usually listen to one or two hours of political news and analysis every day, but if I listened to all of it I could be spending four to five hours getting all the news I want.

MH: If you could have lunch with any political figure, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?

AF: It is almost impossible to just pick one political figure to chat with, but the one that comes to my mind first is President Lyndon Johnson.  When he was president in the 1960’s, there was a big progressive push in the country, and LBJ was able to capitalize on that energy and pass a huge amount of legislation that our country loves to this day.  Programs like medicare, medicaid, food stamps, work-study programs, and others are very popular today, though they faced harsh opposition when they were first passed.  I would love to talk to LBJ about President Obama’s current problems with health care legislation, hyper-partisanship, and the War on Terror.  I think President Johnson could have some sound advice for the 21st century.

MH: What’s the hardest part about this job?

AF: The hardest part about this job is educating myself and the campaign about the issues voters care about.  The issues Californians face are very complex, and I firmly believe that everyone who wants to run for office should be extremely educated about the issues.  There is a lot to learn, but I am eager to learn alongside the other people on the campaign team.

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