Category Archives: HE Marketing

imported posts

How to install WordPress easily

In the last blog post, I suggested that…

If you’re new to blogging, register a free WordPress.com website (e.g, www.brummiedave.wordpress.com), dive straight into blogging and posting regular content and managing the website.

Once confident with your own blogging abilities and the direction of your site, purchase your own domain (e.g. www.brummiedave.com) and hosting space, and then transfer everything over. This will provide you with greater flexibility along with a more professional-looking website (e.g. no ads, your own web address, etc.).

So, let’s unreasonably assume that in the 24 hours or so since the post was published, you’ve become reasonably confident in your blogging abilities, and you’re now ready to move onto the next step; moving your wordpress.com site onto its own web domain with a ‘WordPress.org’ installed site. Here’s a good explanation of the difference between the ‘com’ and ‘org’ versions of WordPress:

vid

Installing a WordPress.org site will mean you have your own URL (i.e. ‘www.BirminghamEastside.com‘) and have the freedom to transform the site into pretty much anything, by installing whichever themes and ‘plugins’ you feel like.

To begin with though, all websites need the following:

  • A registered domain; to provide your website’s web address (e.g. 123-reg.co.uk)
  • A hosting server; a website is basically a big folder of files (like your My Documents folder on a PC), so a hosting server (e.g. BlueHost, GoDaddy, etc.)
  • A content management system (CMS); e.g. WordPress

Historically, domain name and hosting providers were separate, and fiddly settings had to be fiddled, and files uploaded using something called ‘File Transfer Protocol’ (FTP software)  in order to get everything to speak to each other, and work.

However, these days such companies tend to offer everything, and include automated methods for installing WordPress as a single package.

WordPress.com in fact allows users to simply upgrade their plan for their own domain name, and some of the features a self-hosted system offers, but it lacks the flexibility for you to ever install your own themes or ‘plugins’ to give your site extra functionality.

Now, my original plan was to show you how to setup separate hosting and domain name providers, install WordPress, and publish your site, but doing so, will involve fiddling with ‘.php files’ and ‘Advanced DNS’ in various settings pages, which seems to run contrary to the whole ‘introductory-level’ nature of this blog post.

So, I’ve tried to keep things relatively simple and non-technical by showing how to do everything through a single example, GoDaddy.com, whilst avoiding often unnecessary additional services they’re keen on selling to you.

My super-short guide to installing WordPress with GoDaddy

  1. Go to GoDaddy.com
  2. Search and ‘Add’ the web address you’d like, choose ‘Domain only’, proceed to checkout.
  3. Choose Web Hosting [only] and the package that suits your website plans/budget.
  4. Check the durations are suitable for your needs, don’t add the ‘search engine optimisation’ offer, and complete the purchase of your site.
  5. On the next screen, click the option to ‘Install WordPress’, and enter a username and password for yourself. GoDaddy will automatically install WordPress for you.

That’s it, it’s installed. You’ll now have a basic WordPress website if you go to the URL you set up. Next up – assuming you’ve started your blogging life with a wordpress.com address, let’s transfer all your old content to the new site.

How to transfer your posts to the new site

  1. Login to your old WordPress.com Dashboard, then go Tools > Export
  2. Click the basic ‘Export’ option (however appealing the Orwellian ‘happiness engineers’ sound).
  3. Select ‘All Content’, then ‘Download all content’ to download a file ending ‘.xml’ to your computer.
  4. In a new tab, open the Dashboard for your new WordPress website, then go Tools > Import > WordPress, and ‘Upload and import’ the file you’ve just downloaded (you have to click through a few steps to install a plugin first).
  5. You should now have all the pages and posts from the old site on your new domain, however, the site theme is likely to be different to the one you’ve been using. So either Google the previous theme or choose a new one based on recommendations (e.g. search for ‘best responsive wordpress themes 2013‘ for a ton of well-informed  recommendations).
  6. Download your chosen theme (e.g. Gridly is a free download here), then on your new WordPress dashboard, click Appearance > Themes > Install Themes > Upload, then upload the theme you’ve just downloaded as a ZIP file.
  7. Once installed, activate the theme.
  8. Unfortunately, you’ll now need to replicate some of the work done when you set up the wordpress.com site to tidy up any formatting issues, etc. So it’s probably best to follow my WordPress setup checklist.

So, you should now have a self-hosted website/blog with your old site’s content and its own theme. Unfortunately, the only (user-friendly) way to automatically redirect old users from your old blog to the new one and keep any SEO you’ve built up is to purchase a WordPress Off-site Redirect for a year or two, which will redirect users for a fairly low annual subscription.

Have you found this post useful? Leave your comments below.

No. 1 Position in Google Gets 33% of Search Traffic

Not much of a surprise I guess, but it’s always useful to have hard numbers when talking to non-technies about such things:

New findings from online ad network Chitika confirm it’s anything but lonely at the top. According to the study, the top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 33 percent of the traffic, compared to 18 percent for the second position, and the traffic only degrades from there.

via No. 1 Position in Google Gets 33% of Search Traffic [Study] – Search Engine Watch (#SEW).

Admittedly, this particular blogger comes across as fairly obnoxious, but he does give a good overview of what content-based marketing is about:

It’s not about being pushy. It’s not about slamming people with endless pitches and sales efforts.

[…]

Your site/email newsletter/podcast/whatever should consist of something like this:

  • Some posts that are just friendly and storytelling.
  • Some posts that are gentle pushes towards a next action or an ask.
  • Some posts that are pure selly-sell, as I like to call it. Apparently over here they call that an offer.
  • Some (but very few) totally off-topic posts.

via Why Content Marketing is Not Branding | Copyblogger.

Using Weibo to Attract Students

I’ve been looking into using Weibo (AKA ‘legally different’ Chinese Twitter) to various parts of the University get a foothold in East Asia. It’s a trend more and more Western universities seem to be following.

Unfortunately however, it may take a bit of getting used to, so in the meantime, here’s a useful overview of what it is and how it works:

US institutions with the highest number of Weibo followers are Yale University with over 30,400 despite starting its Weibo account just a few weeks ago, and University of California, Berkeley with 11,740. The University of Michigan, which posts on Weibo around three times a day, has some 5,000 followers, according to statistics collated by Zinch.

via Universities increasingly use Weibo social media to reach China students – University World News.

If you’ve used Weibo in the past, do you have any advise for using it?

Early SEO Tips For Facebook Graph Search

Although the geo-location angle of Facebook’s new Graph Search may not be brilliantly suited to the needs of advertising a university course as much as the retail sector (‘it’s 8pm and I’m in central Birmingham, where’s the nearest MA course?’), it’s still worth optimising your Facebook pages to ensure they get found once the search is fully rolled out.

Here’s some early SEO tips from Facebook:

The business Page is what a small/local business can control the most, and Facebook’s three specific tips for business owners, then, are focused on optimizing a Page for the new search (and this is straight from their post):

  • The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.
  • If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
  • Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.

via SEO For Facebook Graph Search? Facebook Has Some Tips.

A useful(ish) infographic for the best and worst ways of doing conversion rate optimisation.

Found a useful(ish) infographic for the best and worst ways of doing conversion rate optimisation.

Although I don’t agree with all of its assertions, there is a useful little quotable nugget in that ‘1 in 4 people use online reviews before paying for a service’. Having said that, the source of the data isn’t cited, making it pretty much useless as a quote:

Continue reading A useful(ish) infographic for the best and worst ways of doing conversion rate optimisation.

Using Sponsored Stories Advertising on Facebook

There’s an interesting news piece on the Beeb’s site on whether ‘sponsored stories’ on Facebook for Barack Obama’s campaign has been a good or bad thing:

BBC News – Barack Obama Facebook campaign sees ‘likes’ soar.

Have you ever used sponsored stories to promote a blog, website or ad campaign? How did it go?

Personally, I haven’t tried the new-ish version that posts stories directly onto news feeds, but found promoted stories in the side bar to be quite effective – provided they were pushing interesting, non-sales, content.