- WordPress.com Or WordPress.org – Which Version Is Best?
- Domain Name Suggestions – How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Blog
- Blog Web Hosting – Where Should I Host My Website
- How To Install WordPress And Choose A Fast Theme For A Blog
- Setting Up WordPress Email – How To Login Your New Domains Email Account
- WordPress Website Login – How To Login To Your WordPress Website
- How To Add A Custom Logo And Other WordPress Theme Options
- Installing WordPress Plugins – Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs
- Custom Permalinks And Other General WordPress Settings
- Adding Social Media To WordPress To get Visitors To your Blog
- How To Create An Email List With A WordPress Opt-In Form Plugin
- How To Use Images In Your Blogposts With The WordPress Media Library
- How To Find Long Tail Keywords For Blog Content Ideas Google Will Love
- How To Create A Custom Menu In WordPress Using Posts Or Pages
- How To Use Affiliate Links To Monetize Your Blog Without Being Sleezy
- How To Optimize Website Speed For Higher Search Engine Rankings
- Adding Google Analytics To WordPress & Other Website Tracking Tools
I wish I could re-experience the excitement of learning how to start a wordpress blog for the first time all over again.
Starting a wordpress blog is fun and super exciting but there are many things I wish someone had shared with me before I got started.
I’m going to answer the things I wish I had known first and the most commonly searched questions when it comes to starting a new wordpress blog right now.
This will be an extremely long an detailed post but you will know more than 90 percent of website owners by the time you’re through.
When I first started creating wordpress blogs I couldn’t get this much information without a pricey course or expensive monthly membership.
So if you’re a first-time blogger or relatively new blogger get ready to be completely spoiled.
WordPress.com Or WordPress.org – Which Version Is Best?
If you’re new to the wordpress scene you may be wondering which version of WordPress you should choose when your learning how to start your first blog.
Yup, there’s two versions of wordpress.
But is wordpress.org or wordpress.com a better option for you to set up a new blog or website?
This is a frequently asked question.
In fact, the search term wordpress.com or wordpress.org still gets over 500 hundred monthly searches even though the platform is over ten years old and has gotten over 75,000,000 downloads.
I wanted to clear these questions up to save you from making a mistake that could cost you your time and your money before you even get started.
The quick answer to this question is wordpress.org is that platform most of you are going to want.
Especially if your goal is to get website visitors to your blog.
But if you’re only looking to start a blog to . . .
- Practice blogging
- Set up a completely free blog
- “have a website”
- Create a personal space to send friends and family to
Then wordpress.com may be just fine.
Remember you always have the option to buy the domain name and pay monthly hosting if you want to upgrade when you get more serious down the road.
Yes, you can change from WordPress com to WordPress org.
To be more specific with wordpress.com you choose a domain name and your website or blog can be found at thenameyouchose.wordpress.com.
This may be fine if you’re a first-time blogger who is not ready to share your message with the world just yet.
But if you’re expecting to get a flood of visitors from the search engines to your newawesomedomain.wordpress.com website, think again!
While both wordpress platforms are technically “free” you will need a few things with the .org version before you start.
You will need a registered domain name and a hosting account before you can get publishing for the world to see.
The main difference here is that now your domain will be yourdomainname.com without the .wordpress subdomain in the middle.
This is exactly what you want if you’re expecting your readers and search engines to take you seriously.
With the wordpress.org version hosted and registered domain attached you can now. . .
- Optimize your website for search
- Download custom themes
- Install custom plugins and features
- Have a professional email address
- Get visitors to your site
- Receive feedback so you can plan what to do next
- Not be embarrassed to show anyone
- And much more
I register my domain names and get hosting at the same place for a few dollars a month here.
So to sum it up . . .
If you’re just getting your feet wet when it comes to creating a new blog and you want a free or more private environment to practice with then wordpress.com is most likely your best option.
If you’re creating a blog with the goal of getting traffic, sharing your message and creating some type of income then wordpress.org is going to be your first choice.
Domain Name Suggestions – How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Blog
Choosing a domain name for your blog can be a difficult task so let me give you some domain name suggestions that have helped me when choosing my own domain names.
Starting a blog can be a ton of fun, but you should first give the domain name some thought before you get typing away.
You may want to run out using a random domain name generator, choose the first domain name that you find, install wordpress and start publishing.
I’m guilty of this so I can tell you from experience that spending some time to choose the right domain name will pay off.
Let me give you my domain name suggestions that will help you choose a domain name for your blog the right way.
I’ve used this process to help me choose my domain names for myself as well as client’s websites.
Here are some questions I ask myself before registering a domain name. . .
- What is the main purpose of this blog or website?
- Will my target audience like this domain name?
- How long should I register this domain name?
- Where am I going to host this domain?
- Has this domain name been registered before?
- If so what did traffic and links look like?
- Does the domain in question hold a trademark?
- Are social channels for this domain taken?
- Does this domain hold any important keywords?
- How can I structure the domain name for increased exposure?
- Can I get the best domain name extension with this name?
You can see there are a ton of questions to ask yourself when choosing a domain name for your blog.
And I Probably just created a whole bunch more.
I’m going to share my process and a few things that if overlooked could really hold you back so you chose your domain name right the first time.
- What is the main purpose of the blog or website you are creating a domain name for?
If you have a brand name this is easy you would most likely just choose yourbrand.com if available.
If it’s a domain name for a local business you may want to have the service or city name in the domain name.
Here is a list of profitable local SEO niches to you help brainstorm.
So nywindowcleaning.com or newyorkwindowcleaners.com may be a better option for the domain name for a window cleaning company in new york than say, dudleydoright.com
But let’s say your company was ABC window cleaners and you already have the domain abcwindowcleaner.com then adding a page that supports the service and area will be best.
It would look like this abcwindowcleaners.com/service-area
As you can see figuring out whether your a brand, business or information blog first and then thinking about the name will save you a ton of time which leads to the next question.
2. Will my target audience like this domain name?
Before registering the domain name think about who you’re going to serve.
Who are the people who will be consuming the information on your blog?
Is this domain name something you like or something they will like?
It’s better to choose a domain name that clearly states what your blog or business is about but also choose something your target market will like.
It’s best to be clear about what your business domain name is about so the search engines can index it properly and your readers can clearly find you.
3. How long should I register a domain name?
It can be tempting to register your domain on a month to month basis and sometimes it may be the option if you have a lower budget.
But here are a couple of reasons you should register your domain name as long as possible.
The first reason to register your domain name 2-3 years or more is that search engines can see how long the domain name is registered for.
There are many people who throw up thin affiliate sites and spam them to get short and quick visibility.
They register these sites knowing they won’t get traffic long and you don’t want to be mistaken for one of these fly by night websites.
You want to tell Google look I’m a serious blogger who will be publishing awesome content so please reward me for it.
You will also want to have an SSL certificate. This is the S in the https://
It’s a more secure version of your domain URL.
You can find a domain name with free whois privacy and SSL certificate here.
These services are usually extra but they come free at the link above where I buy mine.
The SSL certificate lets search engines know you care about your readers and they will reward you with visitors for it and in some cases take it away if you skip this step.
A domain registered for years with an active SSL certificate tells Google bot you mean business and indirectly you will receive more visitors because if it.
Another reason you want to register it as long as possible or at least have on auto-renew is so you don’t lose it.
When you register a domain and start publishing content it begins to start gaining backlinks and traffic.
It also increases in value.
There is a whole business model designed around scraping expired domains and reselling them.
Domain scrapers are patiently waiting to steal your domains!
I forgot to pay for a domain I spent a year writing on and when I figured it out a week later it was too late.
Within a few minutes, someone had purchased my domain and started writing on it themselves.
It was thousands of hours of work lost.
Please don’t let this happen to you.
And to sum it up your going to want to register your domain as long as possible, with an SSL certificate and make sure to check auto-renew.
4. Where am I going to host this domain?
You’re going to also have to host your website somewhere.
This is where all the website files will be stored so your website or blog is visible at all times.
Sometimes it’s easier to register your domain name and host it with the same company.
To make this process easy I get mine at Namecheap.
But if the domain name is not available to register where you have your hosting account you can always connect hosting and a domain name registered elsewhere with a couple of extra steps.
If you’re looking for the best hosting company always test the support and make sure they respond quickly.
If the hosting company has. . .
- helpful support
- affordable price
- access to c-panel
- fast speed
- guaranteed uptime
You found yourself a place to host your website.
The way to connect and transfer domain names will differ depending on what service you use.
5. Has this domain been registered before?
You’re going to want to know if the domain name your considering has ever been registered before.
Most people don’t check into this but it is extremely important!
You needed technical skills or an expensive analysis account to perform these tasks for a long time.
I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to check a domain name for prior history for free.
You can use a free tool called Ubersuggest to find backlinks and keywords the domain was ranking for at neilpatel.com/tools
You’re going to want to make sure none of the anchor text has anything like prescription names, adult content or commercial terms pointing to it.
You will want to see anchor texts showing brands of the domain and URL titles.
- domain website
- learn more
You will not want the domain if you see. . .
- or adult related words
Anchor texts are the words used when you link to a domain like I am doing with the Wayback machine below.
You can also check the way back machine to see what the previous versions of the websites looked like.
This is a simplified version of checking domains but running this quick free check can save you from registering a complete waste of time.
You have to be quick because there is a whole market of people buying domains to build private blog networks.
It’s a technique used where people used the traffic, links and social signals from older domains to increase the website rankings of their main blogs or websites.
What is available right now may not be in even 3 minutes down the road.
6. Does the domain name hold a trademark?
This is another thing most people don’t think of but you will want to know if the domain name has been Trademarked.
You may find a domain that checks all the boxes and looks great but if it holds a trademark you may run into trouble.
Sometimes big brands switch from .com to .net .info to .org and you may find one of these domains as they drop or expire.
You’re not going to want to start your new blog on a company’s trademarked name.
Here is a quick free way to check your domain.
You can have a look over at knowem.com
You can also do a google search and see what pops up.
If you don’t get any results chances are maybe no one cares about the name anymore.
It would be a shame to spend a ton of time creating an awesome website, branding all the social pages and publishing content to then find out you can’t operate using that name.
7. Are social channels for this domain available?
You will also want to check the availability of the social pages and accounts you plan on creating for the domain.
This is extremely important if you have a brand name or your domain holds important keywords.
Imagine setting up your site, branding it, getting everything just the way you want it.
Then you try to create an account on the social channel to start getting traffic only to find out that they are taken.
Someone has already registered your chosen name on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many other social channels you were planning to brand and expand to.
What a bummer, right?
It would save you hours maybe even weeks worth of time if you had known that from the start.
Well here’s how to check.
You can jump back over to knowem.com and type the domain your thinking about registering into the search bar.
It’s going to check every major social channel and tell you which ones are taken and which ones are available.
It will probably give you a ton of places you didn’t even know existed where you can publish your content to get visitors to your newly created blog.
Every account you have is a place to share your new posts to get visitors to your blog.
Its also going to create backlinks that will get indexed and boost your site even higher in search.
Knowem was one of the best-kept marketing secrets for a long time.
Now you can use it too!
8. Does the domain hold any important keywords?
We scratched the tip of the iceberg with this question earlier. Does the domain I want to register hold any important keywords?
This time we will go into EMD’s or exact match domains to answer this question.
An exact match domain is when the domain holds the keyword you want to get traffic from in the url.
That’s before the .com
So let’s say you were selling a dog training guide.
If you bought the domain dogtrainingguide.com that would be an example of an exact match domain.
You may find that domain’s taken and go with dog-training-guide.com
Google puts more weight onto keywords that are first in titles and descriptions when indexing content.
You want to tell the search engines exactly what your content is about but without sounding spammy or looking for tricks.
Sometimes EMD’s are great especially is your a service in a local area.
Doing this to rank thin sites with affiliate offers probably won’t get you very far.
There will be authoritative domains there you won’t beat trying to the domain buy-cheap-sunglasses.com.
You should figure out your brand, services, areas and see what makes the most sense in terms of trying to get traffic.
Structuring your domain name URL’s first can also save you a ton of time and give you a better chance to get the most exposure.
9. Can I get the best domain name extension with this domain name?
If you’re like most people you’re going to want the .com version of the domain.
Then most advice will tell you next to choose the domain name available under the .net or .org.
This is pretty much the general rule I follow as well.
However recently there have been many different domain name extensions popping up.
You can find anything .me .site .nyc pretty much any domain name extension you can imagine.
If I was a business in New York I would start looking at these.
Domain name brokers will surely be scooping up the best ones.
If you want your domain to be ranked high in the search engine results page you need a trusted domain.
If your only building a landing page for paid traffic it won’t matter as much.
If you see these extensions ranking well in your niche have a look and maybe you will find a gem.
Blog Web Hosting – Where Should I Host My Website
Where do you host your blog is another topic that there seems to be a neverending supply of opinions.
Hosting your blog should not be difficult or something that takes a ton of time to figure out.
Most of these blog hosting comments and services you see are just marketing.
There are all kinds of special wordpress hosting services and PBN hosting services marketed.
But the truth is I have hosted my websites with Namecheap, Host gator and Goddady for a few bucks a month and never had an issue.
Web hosting with these companies has been just fine.
The support was great, the sites were fast and they ranked well in their search engines.
Can you pay 100 bucks a month for super special wordpress hosting with all these “special features” of course?
But is it going to give you an edge over the wordpress websites that are hosted on an account that’s 60 bucks a year, probably not!
Unless your website is very large or you’re having an issue with speed web hosting accounts that charge 10 times more will serve you no purpose other than taking you to the bank.
To make this easy I usually register my domains and host them with Namecheap.
How To Install WordPress And Choose A Fast Theme For A Blog
I’m going to show you an easy way to install wordpress and choose a theme that will make your blog fast.
WordPress is just a CMS or content management system that allows you to structure your website
The two most common ways to install wordpress are to download it from wordpress.org or use the Softaculous installer in your web hosts c-panel.
In this post, we are going to use the Softaculous installer to download wordpress and go over why a free theme may not be your best option.
The first thing you’re going to want to do before you start installing wordpress is sign-in to your domain hosting account and click on manage so you can find your way into c-panel.
Once in c-panel your looking for Softaculous apps installer.
You will also see a ton of scripts below where you can download to start your own forum, microblog, image gallery, e-commerce shop or blog.
The only thing we are interested in here is wordpress so we will click install.
Here you want to select the https:// version since you have SSL and select the domain in your account to start installing wordpress into.
Do not worry about directory you should leave that blank unless you have a specific folder your installing wordpress in.
For example, if you already have a website you’re adding a blog to you may want to install wordpress into /blog directory so the rest of the site remains the same.
But for most examples, we will be installing wordpress on the root domain and leave this blank.
Fill out the site name and description if you’d like you can always change it later after wordpress has been installed.
Next, you’re going to fill in the admin account details and your going to want to save this somewhere safe.
This is how you’re going to log in and create your wordpress blog after the installation is complete.
You may also want to change the admin name from the default admin.
WordPress websites with admin left as the admin user name are usually the first ones to get hacked so simply change this now.
Next, pick an email name so we can set it up later I would also suggest changing this from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Try adding something like support, service or your name.
You don’t need to select plugins for your wordpress install because we’ll download the ones we want after installation is complete.
Advanced settings are where you choose to auto-update plugins, auto-update themes and possibly have wordpress back itself up periodically.
Softaculous will save versions of wordpress so when and if something goes wrong with your website you can revert back to an older version and you won’t lose your website files.
You don’t have to pick a theme before you install wordpress either but you do want to have the details sent to an email you have access to.
Next, simply press install and when it’s done you will get an email letting you know it’s complete.
You will have the exact wordpress installation details in your email and you will have the name and password that you saved from before.
Your wordpress sign in will be your domain.com/wp-admin.
You will use the name and password you choose before the install to sign in.
You should not have to log into your hosting account to access your wordpress back end.
You simply visit your domin.com/wp-admin and login.
Now that you’re ready to roll and your inside wordpress you’re going to want to choose a theme.
There are many free versions of themes to start with when you first look.
However, I have spent a ton of time looking for free themes and ran into these issues.
You find a free wordpress theme you like, download it and begin to customize your blog.
Now you want to add some of the awesome features you saw in the demo.
Now is when you realize free really means freemium.
Basically, you got a version that needs to be paid for to get the features you originally choose the theme for.
Now you realize you just wasted a ton of time trying to save a few bucks.
I have run into this issue more than once and it’s extremely irratating!
If you’re looking to get traffic to your blog you’re going to want to get a few things out of your theme . . .
- A fast lightweight theme
- Doesn’t require a ton of plugins to function
- Easy for you to make changes to
- A professional looking theme
- Easy for users to navigate
- Support for constant WordPress changes
It’s much easier to just pay the few bucks to avoid all the hassle, right?
That’s why I choose this theme for my blog.
If you’re looking for a spot to find professional WordPress themes that you know your readers will love check out this market place.
It’s where I get all my other theme’s for myself and client’s websites.
You can sort by popularity to find a theme that’s going to be a home run on the first try.
When the theme is installed and you have your plugins installed you can test the speed using Google page spedd insights tool.
I hope you found a tip or two that will help you when installing wordpress and picking out a fast professional theme for your blog.
Setting Up WordPress Email – How To Login Your New Domains Email Account
Another commonly asked question is how do I set up my email on my wordpress blog and how do I log into it?
This took me some time to figure out when I set up my first wordpress website.
You bought a domain to look professional and now you want a business email on your wordpress blog that matches.
You were not planning to have readers, clients or customers contact you on your personal email, were you?
I never use the default wordpress email and suggest you don’t either.
It’s this ugly one email@example.com.
Maybe you chose another email when you installed wordpress onto your domain or maybe you didn’t so let’s start fresh and set one up.
This is one of those few tasks you’re going to new to log in into your hosting c-panel account for.
Simply visit the service you bought hosting from and log into your hosting account.
You will have to find the way into c-panel specific to your hosting provider but it’s usually the manage or log into c-panel button somewhere in your dashboard.
Next scroll through and inside the emails click on email accounts.
This is the easiest way to create email accounts in your domain and you can create more then one email account if you’d like.
All the email accounts on your domain and which domain they belong to will be shown here.
Simply hit create then choose a domain if you have more then one on your account.
Now type in the user name you want.
You can start an account with your name@your domain.com or select something like services, contact or sales.
This is how you segment your emails on your domain when you have different types of people emailing you for different reasons.
You may have different users taking care of different parts of the website so this is where you would set up an email for them that looks professional coming from the business domain.
It will generate a secure password for you.
You’ll want to save the specific email name and password somewhere safe.
The other information you will want is the URL to visit to actually get to a place where you can enter the email name and password to log into the domain’s email.
You can find that by going to yourdomain.com/webmail.
Here you will find a screen that will allow you to enter your username and password so you can log right into the correct email on your new WordPress domain.
I’ve seen some people who still sign into their hosting account, complete a few more steps get into Cpanel and then redirect themselves into the access webmail from there.
That’s the hard way and you don’t want everyone who has an email on your domain to have access to the back end of your website through Cpanel.
Simply create the email and give them access to the URL domain.com/webmail where they can sign it fast using this method.
You can also use the domain forwarder to forward all your domains email to one main account if you’d like.
This way you don’t have to log into every email account and you won’t miss any important emails.
There are some more advanced ways to use an email with your domain using private email as well as other services but they require editing files beyond the scope of this post.
I hope I cleared up some confusion about setting up your wordpress emails.
You should now be able to login to your new domains email account much quicker.
I know if someone had shared this with me when I was just getting started with wordpress it would have saved me a ton on time.
That should be more then you need to know about email getting started with WordPress.
WordPress Website Login – How To Login To Your WordPress Website
Logging into your WordPress website might not be so obvious if your just getting started with the WordPress script.
I’m going to show you how to login to your WordPress website the fastest way possible.
I still see a ton of WordPress beginners who continue to log into WordPress through Cpanel or their domain host.
This is by far the longest way to log in if you’re only trying to edit your site.
There may be times when you want to set a two-step verification and log in through your domain host.
If security is an issue you can always do it this way through a service GoDaddy provides such as two-step verification.
In this case, you would log into your domain host, find the website you want to log into, click log in and they will send you a code via text or email.
You have a few minutes to enter the code and from there you can enter the backend of WordPress.
The fastest way to sign in to WordPress is by visiting the admin URL you can find here yourdomain.com/wp-admin.
You simply enter your username and password and your good to go.
If you’re still worried about security you can use the loginizer plugin which will lock your website for a certain length of time after a few failed login attempts.
This could help deter hackers from your site if you’re worried.
Another popular plugin that would help security issue would be Wordfence.
But in most cases, you would just visit the admin URL to sign into WordPress.
You can also create other users for wordpress with different permissions just like you would create different emails on the same domain.
If you let someone else edit your website or perhaps write content for your blog you may want to create a separate wordpress user for that person.
It’s very easy to sign in and create another user and you can always erase the user in the future.
Just make sure that you assign the content that user created to the admin or everything will also be erased that user published on the blog.
To sum it up, you know more than most beginners when it comes to logging into WordPress and creating users.
However, most of the time visiting the admin URL is all you will need to do.
How To Add A Custom Logo And Other WordPress Theme Options
You’re looking to add a custom logo and setup other wordpress related theme options.
Adding a logo to wordpress may be a bit confusing at first because there is more than one way to accomplish the task.
You can add your logo using the standard wordpress site customization feature as well as add your logo using theme options from your specific theme.
It can be confusing at first and you may be wondering which one do you set to add your logo to wordpress and does one override the other?
Let’s take a look at both ways as well as set some other wordpress theme options and find out.
The first way you can add your logo to wordpress from your dashboard go to appearance then customize.
Now you go to site identity.
Here you can add a custom logo, set the site title, add a description as well as a favicon.
The favicon is a very tiny logo you see a website has when viewing through a browser.
You can set that here under site icon.
Be sure to customize your logo to the recommended pixel size so it looks great on every device.
That’s the easiest and most obvious way to set up your logo on wordpress.
Depending on how you have your theme set is how your logo will appear and in which position.
It may be inside the menu bar or above which brings us to theme options.
For specific themes, you will have more advanced features and these are features you probably bought the theme for.
So let’s actually set the settings for your logo in theme options which you can find inside the wordpress dashboard under appearance and then theme options.
In most themes, you can find a ton of advanced settings in theme options as well as other very important theme-related features.
If you bought a good theme this is where you will spend some time setting things up.
In my theme which is Schema by My Theme Shop, I now have the same basic options as well as a place to set up a touch icon logo for the android and a metro icon for internet explorer.
That’s 4 different places to set up your logo in general settings.
You will also be able to add header and footer tracking codes for other services which we will get into in a later section of the post.
Make sure to view the performance tab ad set things like lazy load images to increase your website speed.
You will also find styling options if you want to change font or colors you would do that here.
If your fancy you can also add custom CSS for even more customization.
Setting a custom background will also make your site pop.
The header section is where you can change your logo from being inside the main menu to above very easily.
Homepage settings next are where you can change the layout and enable sliders or just turn them off.
If you want to change copyright info, links or widgets in the footer you can also do that under the footer tab.
You can look in the other sections as well to find places to change social media icons to your personal business pages as well as change text and select menu placement.
I have more in-depth explanations in further sections of the post.
You should have no issues actually adding your logo to wordpress and changing the most important theme related options.
It took me some time to figure out how to work with different themes when I was getting started with wordpress by now armed with this you should be able to get it done in no time.
Installing WordPress Plugins – Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs
Before we just start installing wordpress plugins let’s take a minute to figure out what the best wordpress plugins for our blog will be.
If we just go installing a ton of plugins on our blog it could really slow things down.
There is even a good chance they won’t work together.
If we bought a good theme, our theme will come with most plugins we need and in some cases, the features will be built right into the code.
More reasons for buying a theme would be some come with graphics, demo content and premium plugins to get you set up quickly.
It’s easier to edit pre-populated content then to start wireframing the website from scratch.
You get much more then you pay for with most paid themes verse trying to make a free theme work a lot of times.
You can purchase plugins and upload them or upload them from the wordpress plugin repository.
I should mention if your uploading plugins from your desktop to wordpress you’ll want it in ZIP format.
If it’s not in ZIP format unless your a veteran or seasoned pro it may be difficult to add the files to your website.
Most of the time this won’t be an issue but if you run into a problems uploading wordpress plugins it’s most likely the format.
Upload your plugins from Worpress whenever possible to make things easy.
First, you must decide what’s important on your blog?
It’s probably a combination of at least the following.
- search engine optimization
We are going to want to keep the number of plugins to a minimum to keep things fast and secure while still providing all the functionality we are looking for.
If you’re unsure if your plugins work together or may possibly be slowing things down, try installing them one by one and running a test with a tool like Google page speed insights.
We’ll go over in it greater detail in the website speed test section.
Sometimes with wordpress plugins, things break and testing them one at a time will be your solution to the problem.
Your other option is to pay a coder a ton of money to figure out what went wrong so let’s avoid that!
For website optimization, you’re going to want an SEO plugin like Yoast.
There’s a free and paid version available.
If you don’t get the paid version your limited so in the case you don’t want to buy it have a look at RankMath.
Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin is free and offers a ton of features to make sure your writing content that will attract the search engines.
If your looking for some added security try something like Wordfence.
Speed will be one of those things you will test an see what’s actually needed.
If images sizes become a problem I have used plugins like Smushit to reduce file sizes in the images library.
I have used the auto-optimize plugin as well with success making the site load faster which I tested with the Google Page speed tool.
If you looking for a page caching plugin to speed up your site for free try w3total cache or the superior paid option WP Rocket.
It’s a good idea to figure out the main features you’ll need and start adding wordpress plugins as needed.
There is also a more advanced plugin called google amp for mobile pages.
This could also be a great option for more advanced users to speed up the mobile version of there site moving forward with Google changes.
You will hear a lot of advice about what plugins to use but as WordPress continually updates they add features that will make some plugins irrelevant.
You don’t need to double up if your theme is providing those features already.
This is why I suggest to add the main plugins for SEO, speed, and security but use the other on an as-needed basis.
There is another plugin I should mention if you want added functionality with the new wordpress Gutenberg editor.
It’s called Ultimate Blocks and it will add extra blocks to the newer Gutenberg editor.
Blocks like a table of contents, improved buttons countdowns and reviews.
Don’t worry if it takes a while for you to get used to this editor everyone has to relearn it as its a block editor with completely new functionality.
I’m actually loving the Gutenburg editor but it will change the way we used wordpress and plugins so stay tuned.
You’ll want to keep your site fast, SEO friendly and with all the added functionality you need without adding unnecessary clutter.
Custom Permalinks And Other General WordPress Settings
Setting custom permalinks in wordpress and knowing what general settings you should change before you launch your blog is also important.
If you’re wondering what a permalink is it’s just a permanent static link you set in wordpress that leads to a webpage.
Why would you want to set custom permalinks in wordpress?
So you can structure your website to be SEO friendly and we accomplish that by setting custom permalinks to reflect the URL structure we want.
In fact, it should be one of the first things you do when setting up a new blog.
If you don’t set the permalinks correctly first it will create a mess for you if you try to change it in the future.
You’re going to have to redirect the old URL to the new URL or you will lose the traffic and links it has gained up to the current point in time.
By default, it may look something like this yourdomain.com/aug/post-3
Not only is it super ugly it doesn’t tell search engines what the page is about.
It won’t help visitors to find your page as well as decreases clickthrough rates.
Which URL would you most likely visit. . .
The clear winner will always be the keyword related URL which also helps search engines to index the page in a place your site can get traffic from search.
This helps people searching for your product or service to find it.
Unless you have a huge website with tons of category pages you’ll most likely want to set your permalink as follows.
From your wordpress dashboard click on settings then permalinks.
You will want to make sure /%postname%/ is selected so your URL contains the keyword you will be optimizing for.
It will auto set the title of the page here for postname.
This is one of those things you used to have to set but wordpress sets it for you now.
It’s still a good idea to check and know it’s function.
You can optimize it even further from the publish post page if it ends up needing to be shortened or changed before you hit publish.
Once it’s optimized, published, linked to it from other pages and it has started to gain some quality backlinks your going to want to leave it alone if you can.
If you change the URL any time you have linked to that post from another post and any time someone has linked to you those links are now useless unless redirected.
Redirecting URL’s is a hassle for someone just starting a new blog.
The only other way you may want to structure your permalinks when you’re starting a new blog is like this. . .
If your website has tons of categories this would be the way you could structure the website to organize and hold important variations of your target keywords.
If someone had explained permalinks to me like this when I set up my first website it would have saved me a ton of time.
I’m hoping it does the same for you.
Let’s get into some other general wordpress setting you’ll want to check.
Yup, you guessed it!
From your wordpress dashboard, your going to want to click settings.
You will find. . .
- Possibly some other plugin related settings
You’re going to want to go through setting by setting, learn and double-check things the same way you should when installing a new plugin.
The more comfortable you are with these settings, the faster you will be able to make changes and solve problems if something isn’t right with your wordpress site.
Let’s go through the wordpress settings quickly here but it’s something you should get to know well on your own.
- General settings – for time zone, site address and tagline.
- Writing settings – default post-placement, post by email and who to update when you post new content.
- Reading settings – homepage setting for a static page or a post and how many to show.
- Discussion settings – everything wordpress comments.
- Media settings – media sizes when adding to the media library
- Permalink settings – URL structure to be SEO optimized
Viola, It probably took me over a year to digest what I just mentioned in this last post so don’t get discouraged if it was a lot to handle.
You’re well on your way to understanding custom permalink structure in wordpress and probably know more about general settings than many business owners.
If you want to want to learn about the SEO silo structure for even higher search engine rankings check out this post.
Adding Social Media To WordPress To get Visitors To your Blog
Maybe you’re wondering how to add social media to your wordpress blog or how you use social media to get the first backlinks and visitors to your blog posts.
Getting social signals, backlinks and visitors to your blog is what’s going to show Google your website is relevant and useful.
But how do you get the first ones started without paying or using shady tricks?
In this post, we are going to go over exactly how to get social media set up to get your first backlinks and visitors to your blog.
First, you’re going to need social profiles to add to your WordPress theme so you have something to add and somewhere to post to.
I would suggest if you don’t have any to create at least the major ones to start.
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram are the one I would focus on first.
If you don’t have any and want to use your available personal accounts you can start with those.
You just need somewhere to post a link with your new blog post people will see it and click or share it.
The more active you are on these accounts the better you will do.
If your accounts are small, spend a few minutes a day following, liking and subscribing to other channels and content.
You’ll find the law of reciprocity kicks in and they will do it right back which will help your social media channels to grow.
It’s a good idea to fill out the profiles on these social accounts and add a link to your blog.
If the profile allows it which most do add links to all your other social media profiles.
This links them all together and creates a network of social links around your domain.
It’s a good idea to do the same on your Google about me page and as many Google products as you have time fill out.
Google will crawl and index there own products quickly so you will get the most visibility this way.
Think about it one social profile with all your other social profile links on it.
Then the same one for each social profile.
Imagine when you start posting your fresh blog posts onto these social media channels.
The number of trusted links linking back to your website and blogposts will start to exponentially grow.
You will find a few places you can add you main social profiles to your wordpress site.
Most people add them to. . .
- The menu at the top of the blog
- In a sidebar widget
- In a footer widget
If you’re unsure where you can find access to them here’s how.
- The menu at the top of the blog – wordpress dashboard then theme options then social buttons is most likely where you can add them to the top of your page.
- In a sidebar widget – wordpress dashboard then appearance then widgets. Search available widgets for something like social media icons and drag it to your sidebar section. Now you can open it up under sidebar and add the social media pages you’d like. If you want the social icons at the top simply drag and slide the widget where you think it looks best.
- In a footer widget – This is the same method as sidebar except here you drag an available social media widget to footer 1, 2, 3 or 4 depending on where you want it in relation to the left or the right.
Way to go! Now you should have some social media channels connected to your blog.
It’s also a great way people can connect with you if the like your content.
I should add that having a social sharing widget also increases these social links and traffic.
Now visitors can save, pin, like, share and tweet your content right from your blog.
The theme I’m currently using, Schema comes with one.
This is just an added bonus when buying a decent wordpress theme from the start.
Now every time you create a piece of content or awesome blog post, you can share it with a link back to the post on all your social channels.
Will it take a long time? Well kinda.
Will it be worth it, absolutely!
One of the best things you can do is to show Google your actively publishing content to your wordpress blogs that is picked up and shared on social media.
And now if start to build links in the future you won’t get into trouble since your domain is already a liked known and trusted website.
It kinda works like the real world and it would make sense since the Google algorithm was written by humans living in the real world.
When in doubt just think practically about how to promote your website and the search engines will reward you with real traffic.
You can also learn how to build backlinks to your website here.
You should post to social networks manually one at a time so you understand how the process works but I would be lying if I told you there wasn’t and easier way.
Yup, you guessed it!
There is a plugin you can add to wordpress that makes posting your new blog posts to the social media channels you want that you can set up and get it done in just a few clicks.
You can learn more about it here.
I’m a firm believer in getting to learn the marketing process before you start automating your workflow.
If your not sure what you’re doing how are you going to automate it?
This is how people end up ruining marketing campaigns and our give marketers and certain marketing tools a bad name.
So learn then process and then automate what you can so you can scale your business.
This is a ton of more helpful information than I had when I got started but i know today it works.
Use it wisely to start getting links, social signals and visitors to your blog posts so you can show up at the top of search results for keywords that will bring your business customers!
How To Create An Email List With A WordPress Opt-In Form Plugin
You will need to learn how to create an email list if you want to start collecting subscribers.
WordPress opt-in form plugins will help you accomplish this task.
WordPress opt-in form plugins are available for you to use on your blog free or in the premium versions.
If your paying for an email marketing service most likely you will have an opt-in form generator through that service.
You can collect your subscribers by adding a widget created from your email marketing service.
Simply adding an opt-in form my not be enough these days to get subscribers signing up to your list.
You may have to bribe them with something to get more opt-ins.
It called a lead magnet.
You should create something that is specific, helpful, easy to consume and something that is accessed instantly.
E-books, swipe files and cheats sheets work well.
Is there something that helped you in the process of the topic your writing about that could also help your readers.
Great, you have your giveaway.
Since you’re probably just starting out and email marketing services can get a bit expensive, let’s take a lot at this free one.
It’s called newsletter and it’s pretty simple to use, it has tutorial videos about email marketing as well.
Simply go to your wordpress dashboard then plugins then add new and search for Newsletter.
Here you will be able to install the wordpress plugin for free.
It also has some paid upgrades so when your list starts to grow which you can make things easier.
Until you have about 1,000 subscribers you can stick with free options to keep costs down.
Now that you have installed newsletter you can find it on the left of your wordpress dashboard.
This is where you will create your newsletter and see who is signing up.
You should create a nice welcome series and tell them who you are and what you will be sending.
If you start spamming them with promotional offers you will end up with unsubscribes and get ignored.
To avoid this introduce yourself and send your subscribers helpful information.
You can send them products or service that have helped you once they get to like, know and trust you a bit more.
Rule of thumb is to send value send value then pitch or offer.
This seems to be a good combination to keep your subscribers happy.
To add the opt-in form to your page simply go to appearance then widgets then slide then slide newsletter widget to your sidebar or footer from here.
Remember to save changes and now your subscription form sign up should be showing on your page.
Test it by filling it out then checking newsletter in the back end of the plugin and make sure to see your email under subscribers.
You can craft messages as an automated sequence or just send a broadcast every now and then to update your subscribers about cool events and offers in your niche.
You can also let them know when you create a new post.
If you’re just starting out with email marketing I would do this manually for a while before you start automating the process.
Maybe just send an automated welcome email and let people know who you are and what you do.
Then when you get some subscribers and you know what kind of content they like you can create an automated sequence that is helpful to them but also helps you to support the blog.
I just wanted to help you create an email list, install the WordPress plugin and give some tips to get you started.
How To Use Images In Your Blogposts With The WordPress Media Library
If you want to use images in your blog posts you should get familiar with the wordpress media library.
I’m going to give you a couple of tips to help you navigate the media library so you can add images to your blog posts fast and make them SEO friendly.
If you’re inside your wordpress dashboard on the left you will find media.
This is your media library and here you will find all your image assets.
If you bought a theme you will find demo content in here you can practice with.
You will be able to create content much faster if you upload all your images to the library first.
This way when your writing your content all the images are ready for you to add rather than have to hunt them down them one by one.
I was doing this when I first started and it took forever.
Another thing I wish someone had told me was images can slow your site down and there is actually a way to shrink them down as you upload them.
Early in this post, I mentioned the plugin SmushIt.
This is an option that will shrink your images automatically in the media library.
You can also bulk smush images if you forgot to do this from the start.
You can also click on images and edit them from the library.
We also have a ton of new ways to make our images pop with the Gutenberg editor in wordpress.
The more you work in the media library the easier it becomes.
If you want to add images into your posts and optimize them for SEO here is how you do it.
Click on a post or page and click edit.
Now click on the plus button and select something like cover or and image.
If you click on the image you will be given options to upload from your computer, upload from the media library or use a URL location of an image you found on the web.
Using the media library as an example lets select an image.
Now on the right, you will have some new options under attachment details.
You can edit the image for the specific post you are trying to add the image to here by clicking edit image.
Now without going overboard and making sure we get the things that matter most were going to see alt text.
If are images are shrunken down as much as possible the last step is to optimize the image for SEO.
Search engine spiders even though getting smarter all the time cannot look at an image and figure out exactly what it’s about.
The image alt text is where we help the search engine spiders to figure out exactly what this image is about.
Your readers don’t see the image alt text this is specifically for robots like google bot to index relevant content.
This is a great place to be really descriptive and use related keywords you are targetting your post for.
If your writing a post about how to do on-page SEO and you have added a few images, the image alt text should be filled out before you hit publish.
You should describe the image with as many related keywords as possible.
Maybe you have an infographic about on-page SEO so you would describe I using terms like “how to add images for SEO” or “the best heading tags to add your keywords to”.
Use these phrases while describing your pictures so the search engines can understand you’re adding helpful images to your article.
Be descriptive and use the terms you are targetting to get traffic to your blog.
These steps may seem basic to some but when I was just starting a blog I didn’t know this.
If someone had shown me how to use the media library properly and how to add image alt text for SEO it would have saved me a ton of time.
Spending some time to structure your content for SEO and adding images to your media library first will save massive amounts of time.
If you wait to do this and try to get it done later you will have so much to change and likely just not do it.
Gather your images, use the smallest size possible and optimize them for SEO by adding relevant image alt text.
You will be glad you did.
How To Find Long Tail Keywords For Blog Content Ideas Google Will Love
You’re going to have to learn how to find long-tail keywords if you want people to read your blog.
Long-tail keywords also create awesome blog content ideas because they are easier to rank for and very specific.
Long tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases which are very, very specific to whatever you are selling
The more specific the long-tail keywords your targeting with your blog posts are the higher the change people will find exactly what they are looking for on your blog.
Google knows when readers visit your blog, how long they stay and when they hit the back button.
This is known as bounce rate.
You want to keep your bounce rate as low as possible.
You can do this by creating engaging content that people are actually searching for.
Heres how you can find longtail keywords to come up with blog content ideas.
We are going to use a bunch of free tools first so you may want to save them to a master list.
First, you will need some seed keywords which we will use to find the long tail keywords.
These will be the more general terms in your niche.
For this post, I may start with blogging, or wordpress or plugins or themes.
These are very general seed keywords I can use to find what people are searching for related to these terms.
Now that we have our seed keywords we can head over to Google to use autocomplete and related searches to see what people are actually typing related to our seed keywords.
You can use modifiers like how to and best.
You can also use inurl: and intitle: to find how many websites are optimizing there titles and urls for these terms.
This will give use rough idea of competing pages right under the search bar
You can also use the wildcard * and try how to* wordpress to come up with some variations people are typing in.
I don’t hear many people talk about this.
There is an easy free way to find how many monthly searches by downloading a browser plugin called keywords everywhere.
You need to download it, find it in your browser under add-ons and insert the api key they emailed you when you signed up.
It should work fine and even bring search volume to amazon and ebay as well as many other places.
Putting the keyword in quotes “keyword” will give you have many exact match results there are.
This is how the google keyword tool works.
To use the google keyword tool you will need to have google adwords account.
The Google keyword tool is not as helpful as it used to be.
The best blog post ideas will be ones with the highest amount of searches and the lowest amount of competition.
For extra ideas have a look at answer the public.
You may also try ubbersuggest.
Here are some examples I found using the previous suggestions.
Once you get a handle on understanding how to find long tail keywords manually you can use a premium tool like this to do it much easier.
I’m going to suggest to get good at finding them by hand first or a premium keyword tool will be hard to understand and you won’t really know what to do with the data.
There are also many useless keyword tools.
My recommended keyword and niche finding to can be found here.
Good luck finding long tail keywords you can make awesome blog posts around.
Remember high search volume, lower competition and creating helpful content around longtail keywords will help drive traffic to your blog
How To Create A Custom Menu In WordPress Using Posts Or Pages
If you’re starting a wordpress blog your going to need to learn how to create a custom menu.
You can create custom menus in wordpress using posts and pages.
WordPress also lets you use tags and categories to make navigation easy for your readers.
You can put posts and pages into a custom menu in wordpress.
The main difference is pages are static meaning they stay the same and posts are not they are movable type pages.
Pages could be your about, contact, information while posts are usually new topics you’re adding to your blog for traffic.
You are not going to try to rank your about page but you may want to rank your best tools for digital marketer post.
You can sign up for tools you like and use and promote them on the page.
When readers read the page and sign up through your affiliate link you will make a commission to support the blog.
I used to think there was a major difference in blogs and websites but not so much anymore and you are free to customize it any way you like.
You will have to create the menu first and then you are free to use them where ever you like.
You will see menus added to WordPress . . .
- In the footer
- In the header (main menu)
- In a sideber widget
- As a button for mobile
To access and create menus in wordpress you will want to do this.
From your wordpress dashboard click on appearance then menus.
Now you will be able to edit the menus and manage the locations.
You can add posts, pages, custom links or categories.
You can drag and drop to arrange the order of the menu how you like with anything under add menu items.
You will find new posts and pages here as you create them.
You will need to create or select a menu and save any changes or you will not find your edits when you view page.
Get used to saving and updating everything in wordpress.
In manage, locations are where you make the primary, secondary and mobile menu.
Make sure to edit your mobile menu to make it easy for people on mobile phones to access your site.
You can also manage with live preview which makes it super easy to see changes live.
This is especially helpful for beginners to edit there wordpress menus.
You can access the primary, secondary and mobile menu here as well.
You will have to hit publish to save changes on your menu.
That is pretty much all you need to know to create the menus.
But if you want more options go to appearance the widgets.
This is another place you can move them around in the footer or sidebar areas.
Some themes allow you to use theme options to customize your menus too.
Depending on your theme, your style and what navigation you want your menu will be specific to you.
There really is no right or wrong, but you do want to make sure your URL’s are optimized and easy to access.
You can also achieve this by interlinking related posts together which your seo plugin should already be helping you do.
You know more about wordpress menus then just about everyone who owns a website other the programmers.
If your still having trouble spend some time moving things around and I promise it will become easier and easier to edit your wordpress menus.
How To Use Affiliate Links To Monetize Your Blog Without Being Sleezy
There are many ways to monetize your blog. The most popular way is affiliate marketing.
In this post, we will be going over how to use affiliate links to monetize your blog without being sleezy.
You will need . . .
- Products to promote
- Cloaked affiliate links
- Helpful posts that lead readers to those products
How to find affiliate products to promote
You will need products to promote but where do you find them?
Just about every business these days has an affiliate program.
Ebay, Walmart and Amazon have affiliate programs
You will get paid by sending your traffic to these websites.
I would suggest to only use products you have used, liked and tested.
Clickbank, JVZoo and offer vault has a ton of products you can promote.
You can also do a search for your niche + affiliate programs to find more.
You will be able to sell products you actually use much better than ones you don’t and you will lose credibility sending your reading to bad offers.
Collect a list of affiliate offers you like and will offer value to your readers lives.
You will need to sign up and save your affiliate links in a file.
Next step is to cloak your affiliate links.
How to cloak affiliate links
You will need to cloak your affiliate links if you want to track and actually have people click on them so you make some sales.
My favorite wat to track affiliate link is to use bit.ly
You can add your ugly affiliate link to bit.ly and create a small version of it and even select what you want the link to say.
Bitly will tell you how many clicks the links got, where they came from and the location.
You can add a hyperlink inside an article or post and use your bitly link as the destination.
Some other plugins people seem to like are pretty links and thirsty affiliates.
Creating helpful posts that lead your reader to your affiliate links
Don’t create content specifically to get affiliate sales.
Create helpful content that leads the reader to make their own decision.
You will make more sales when you stop selling.
If you are writing your content after choosing a long tail topic that solves a problem you will be doing this automatically.
What were you thinking when the light bulb went off in your head and why do you start using that product.
Use the emotional triggers you went through and chances are your reader will make the same conclusion.
Drop your links sparingly throughout the article.
You can make money and add value to peoples lives at the same time.
I would follow this approach.
You can also do reviews, product vs product comparison or be the first to write about upcoming product launches and give a bonus for anyone who purchases through your link.
Its called launch jacking.
It’s also a good idea that you reinforce all the benefits right before you drop your link.
Like this. . .
With this version of the plugin you get. . .
- benefit one
- benefit two
- benefit three
- as well as benefit four
You can learn more about the product I use here – Drop your affilaite link
Find products, sign up and create content that leads people to see the value in them.
Work on these thing and I think you will find your sales will increase.
How To Optimize Website Speed For Higher Search Engine Rankings
If you want Google to reward your hard work with search rankings and send visitors to your site, you have to keep your site optimized for speed.
We scratched the surface of optimizing your website speed earlier in this post but let’s go into it a bit deeper here.
Some things you’ll want for website speed
- A fast theme
- Plugins that optimize website speed
- A way to test in real time
- A bit of patience
If your running an old, free theme or a ton of plugins chances are it’s slowing you down a bit.
I am currently using this theme and love it.
People also like the Genisis framework.
There are a ton of great themes here as well.
You can test your website speed here.
- Google page speed insights
Now that you have a speed score and some tips to speed up your sites from one of these services you can start making changes.
If there are any plugins or extra themes installed you don’t need to start by deleting them and rerun the speed test.
Auto optimize and WPRocket can help with these issues.
Amp for mobile pages if you know what you’re doing.
The key here and what helps me is to make a change then test.
Rinse and repeat until you see your desktop and mobile score over 90.
Keep both versions of your site as fast as possible if you want to optimize for SEO.
A fast theme, minimum plugins, plugins for speed, deleting extra themes and media should help to speed up your site.
I have never run into and issue these simple methods did not help so if you find one please let know so I can update this post.
Adding Google Analytics To WordPress & Other Website Tracking Tools
You will want to add Google Analytics and Google Search Console so you can track your progress.
These are great website tracking tools that will unlock a bunch of data you can use to optimize your website and get even more traffic.
First, you will need a Google account so you can set both up.
Then you will be given some code to install on your website.
It takes some time to set up but once it’s done in requires little intervention from you.
And if you’re using a recommended SEO plugin you can actually pull the traffic data into wordpress and access it from there.
In the future, you will also be able to use this traffic data in your other marketing tools but if your just getting started don’t let it overwhelm you.
You will also want Google Analytics setup so you can add a sitemap and request them to crawl your site initially.
If there is ever any major issues you can be sure Google will notify you in webmaster tools which is now Google Search Console.
I hope you have a Google account ready cause we are starting right now.
You should open up Google Analytics and Google Search Console in your browser, having a Google account will speed this process up.
Let’s start with Google Search console.
In the top left, you will find add a property which you will want to click on.
Here is where you add all your websites to Google Search Console.
You will want to add under domain, not prefix which is a newer feature.
Before you used to have to add every version of the site which was a nightmare.
Simply add yourdomain.com and hit continue.
You will see this Verify domain ownership via DNS record
Now copy the google site verification code.
You will need to Sign in to your domain name provider
If your following allow it will be Namecheap.
You will want to add a record and pastes that code there.
If you’re having trouble you can contact support and they will help you.
Namcheap is great with support issues.
Once the code is in you can hit verify and if everything is good to go your search console account will be verified.
Now you will see these options on the left.
- URL inspection
- Mobile Usability
- Sitelinks Searchbox
- Manual actions
- Security issues
- As well as a way to submit feedback to Google and Check what version your using
Google updates search console but still lets you use older versions.
Google Webmaster Tools was changed To Google Search Console so don’t let that confuse you.
Let’s go through each so you know what to find in each tab
- Overview – A quick snapshot of your website’s performance in search results.
- Performance – Number of clicks your website received, how many impressions or times they showed your website as well as the keywords people are using to find your site.
- URL inspection – You can put a URL here and crawl to see if it’s indexed in Google, if a sitemap was submitted and if it’s mobile-friendly.
- Coverage – Check for errors.
- Sitemaps – The sitemaps or structure of your site.
- Mobile Usability – Mobile crawler.
- Sitelinks Searchbox – Another crawler
- Manual actions – Have you been removed from search
- Security issues – website vulnerabilities
- Links – Whats site links to yours (backlinks), what pages and what terms they use (anchor text) to link to you.
- Settings – Here you can add users if you want someone else to help you with your traffic.
That’s more than you need to know as a beginner.
I’m not sure I would even call you a beginner if you’ve made it this far.
The next things you’re going to want to do is sign into WordPress and find your SEO plugin.
Here you will be able to add search console and get the data right here without signing in to Search Console every time.
I’m using RankMath plugin to do this.
If you have already set up Rankmath you just click Rankmath then Search Console and now you have a much nicer looking presentation of the Google Search Console data.
The overview shows you.
- Click-Through rate
- Average position
- How many keywords in the search results
- How many pages
- Even graphs of history
You can click search analytics and see every keyword as well as the individual data for each one.
You can switch between pages and keywords too.
RankMath is a fantastic SEO plugin.
They are even planning a keyword tracker which is coming soon.
You are now a Google Search console expert and have all this data at your fingertips so you can learn how to gets floods of traffic to your site.
You can also go into webmaster in Rankmath and add bing, Alexa, Pinterest, and other traffic monitoring sites.
I could write a book on how great RankMath is but let’s get on to Google Analytics and see exactly what users are doing on our website.
Google Analytics may be a bit harder to set up but once you do it you will have all your traffic analytics recorded for you moving forward.
Once you’re in Google Analytics navigate to the gear icon in the lower right and click on it.
Ther are two views, admin and user.
Make sure you are on the admin view.
You will see three columns which are
You will have to create an account which will be a group of sites for yourself or a client but you will group sites together in this account.
Pick an account name select web and now put the name of the website you want google analytics to track along with the URL, industry, and timezone.
Once you click create you have created an account with the website you want Google to track set up.
Make sure you are on the right account and move to the second column where you are going to hit create a property.
Hit continue and select the same setting you just did previously.
The main difference now is you will get a google analytics tracking ID and a piece of code that says google tag manager.
Save both of these in a file.
We have to add the Google tracking id and or the Tag manager code to your wordpress website before it starts tracking your visitors.
We are going to want to add that code, then come back and link analytics to search console.
The last step is to check if its working and if you stay signed into wordpress it will show you at least one visitor is on your site.
Let’s jump over to wordpress and add what’s needed to the site to track it.
To make it easy you can download a plugin and add the UA tracking code to it but personally, I like to add the tag manager code to the header of the website so I know for sure Googles tracking every page.
This will be the only time I suggest going into the actual editor of your theme.
When you’re inside your wordpress dashboard go to appearance then theme editor.
Under the theme files click on header.php
You’re going to want to paste that code in the header before the body section.
Now click update file and never go back in there again unless you really need to.
Now when you return to Google Analytics you want to go to the top left and click on accounts, then hover over the account, then hover over the property and then click on all website data.
I should mention you can download apps to these tracking devices and view them on your phone while you’re on the go to see how your website is doing.
You should see it says there is at least one visitor on the site right now as long as your on the site.
You’ll want to click on the bell icon and link analytics to search console as well.
Now that Google Analytics is all set up let’s briefly go over what it all means.
While some of this stuff is more obvious some isnt and there is way to many features to explain.
Let’s just go over the one you’ll want to know getting started.
Google Analytics home
- Users – how many people are on your website over time.
- Sessions – how many times they were on
- Bounce rate – How many times did people hit your site and leave (lower bounce rate is better)
- Session duration – How long are users staying on your website
In the blue box you will see active users and users per minute.
Moving down to how do you acquire users?
- Traffic Channel -here you will see if people visited your website. directly, through search engines, other websites or social media.
- Source/Medium – You will see individual sources of traffic.
- Referrals – You will see websites that refer you traffic.
The rest of the data is pretty obvious like what devices, times, locations and what pages they visit.
The other thing which is more advanced is to set up goals and conversion tracking but if you’re just starting you may not need this yet.
If your still looking for tools have a look at my digital marketing tools page.
Pheewww, That was a ton of information If you made it through all of this you are probably the worlds fastest when it comes to learning how to start a wordpress blog.
I was using wordpress for years before I knew just a small portion of everything we just went through.
Congratulations your well on your way to starting a very successful blogging career!
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