April 22, 2011
A Great Budget Situation – WordPress
This is part two of a series of followup posts from our panel discussion at Lake Communicators, “When to DIY and When to Call the Pros.”
Practically speaking, there are a lot of great low budget website promotion tools available to the layman. One of the best tools around is WordPress. It’s not just a blogging platform. WordPress can be programmed to run your entire website.
WordPress is well suited to the needs of small businesses on the web:
- It’s free
- Well-supported and popular (so it will be around for a while)
- Can be maintained by the layman
- Many great options (plugins and widgets)
- Great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Great for Web 2.0
We’ve had success with a number of websites implemented in WordPress. We design the initial site, the home page “look and feel” and features that are supported and integrated into the site, and our customers can take it from there by fleshing out each page’s text content, adding new pages and creating blog posts. This saves our customers some money because they do not have to rely on us to create new pages, and can do many website maintenance tasks themselves as well.
It is possible, of course, to use a canned “theme” for your WordPress site. But to integrate your company’s graphics into a canned theme requires some know-how of graphic design and web programming if the site is to look professional.
I’d like to talk a little bit search engine optimization (SEO). Consider the websites of just five years ago. Five years ago, it was a lot easier to attain high rankings in search engines. Why? Because there were fewer sites competing for the same key search phrases, and because today’s web programmers have become more sophisticated, and because big corporations tend to crowd out smaller businesses for the most popular terms.
Some key factors for high search engine rankings include:
- The volume of content on site
- That it is a well structured site (optimized and coded for search engines)
- The number of sites linking to the site
WordPress empowers the small business person in all these categories.
Your website needs to stay relevant and have a lot of content. If you don’t have applicable content for a particular search phrase on your website, it cannot come up in a search engine. The phrase must be on your site, and the more often the phrase is on your site, the more search engine authority your site has for that particular phrase. By enabling you to add pages and blog entries (which are seen as pages), you don’t have to rely on the added expense of having a web programmer create every single page and post, and you can create many pages rich with key phrase terms for your business.
The web programmer can create a means for the business person to optimize each new page on the site. As long as the programmer is well-versed with current coding methodologies that are best for search engines, a framework will be in place so that the code of new pages is also suitable for search engines.
Use of a good share plugin for WordPress facilitates the syndication of your content on the web. If the content of your page or post is compelling and your reader is prompted by some type of visual cue to share it, it is more likely to be tweeted or shared on Facebook or Linkedin or other social media outlets. Incoming links not only advertise your site’s content, but in terms of search engines, links lend credibility to your content and are a consideration in the placement and listing algorithms used by search engines.
Stay tuned for the next followup post in this series. You can subscribe to this blog via email.
Lakenetwork is a family-owned business providing website design and development for companies, professionals and organizations in the Cleveland, Ohio area and beyond. We specialize in providing the most cost-effective and appropriate solutions for clients’ online needs. We are located in Eastlake, Ohio.