Coles Notes version of Boosting SEO

Search engine optimization collingwood

Today I had someone email me how to help them achieve online presence with Google. After typing my answer I realized it was a great post that I could share with others!
Here was my response:

  1. Have descriptive page titles. When designing a site and setting up SEO I always ask my clients “how would people search you?” for instance if you wanted a chiropractor in Collingwood then that is what you would type in google “chiropractor collingwood”. So if this is how people will find you, then you need to make sure all the page titles have this included in the title.
  2. Narrow your selection. Don’t try to be the best across the province, narrow your location to a main town and surrounding area.
  3. The more pages you have with excellent titles, the better you rank.
  4. The page content has to match the titles… so if your page is about cutting wood… somewhere on the page you should mention that you cut wood.
  5. Each page url needs to be descriptive: here is the url for one of my pages : https://wannawebdesign.com/services/modify-websites-collingwood-barrie/ see how the url is set up?
  6. You need lots and lots of content. Good content.
  7. Your content should be typed on the page… not in a jpg or pdf. Google can’t read jpgs.
  8. Google does not use keywords anymore.
  9. Add a Google presence: Google Business, add your address to Google Maps
  10. Single page websites are not great for SEO. You only have 1 shot at google finding you, across the whole entire internet. You are competing with companies with multiple pages and very specific locations. Websites with structured SEO.
  11. Google likes Blogs. So create a blog with posts that are relevant to your theme. If you play music weekly have weekly posts with where you are playing: “Live Jazz music this Friday night at XYZ Bar & Eaterie”. Update it regularly. Google likes current blogs.
  12. Name your photos… don’t upload 1234.jpg. Change the name to reflect what you are promoting.

So this is the Cole’s Notes version of SEO. But if you follow these practices, you should be able to rank higher.

If this seems overwhelming, contact me!

Cindy

Wordfence Email message alerts

If you have Wordfence Security plugin installed in your WordPress website, chances are you are getting emails from WordPress with the subject :

[Wordfence Alert] Problems found on yourdomainnamehere.com

Do not worry! This is actually a very good indicator that something needs to be updated on your website.  If you open the email (it is safe) it will tell you which plugin or theme needs to be updated or if the WordPress system has an update.

If the WordPress needs to be updated the best way to do this is through the hosting environment:

Updating WordPress through GoDaddy or Wanna Web Design Hosting

If you are hosting with GoDaddy.com or Wanna Web Design Hosting (hosting.wannawebdesign.com), you can sign in to your hosting account, click My Account, Click Web Hosting, then “Launch” and sign in to the CPanel.  Under Options and Settings, Popular Apps click the WordPress Icon. Now on the right hand side it will say ‘Manage my applications’ Click this link. You will then see a link that says ‘install new version’ click this link, and follow through the prompts. Then ‘install now’. This will take a backup of your database and files and install the new version. If there is a problem with the install you can back out of it. You will get an email when install is complete. Don’t modify your website while doing the install.

If you ever have trouble or don’t want to bother with this yourself, feel free to contact Wanna Web Design and I can do it for you for only $25.

Updating WordPress & plugins through the Dashboard

Otherwise, you need to sign in to your WordPress admin dashboard.  At the top of the dashboard screen on the left you will see a swirling circle with a number next to it. (If it says 0 you don’t have any updates).

Click this circle, it will take you to the WordPress updates page.

At the top it will notify you if you have a current version of WordPress. If it is out of date it will say Update Now. Click this link and just wait, don’t navigate from the page. Wait until the wordpress install has completed.

Then return to the WordPress updates page and continue updating all plugins and themes.  Be careful of the themes!  Some themes have been customized for your install and updating them will override your customizations.  Double check with your web designer if you are unsure of your theme name.

To update plugins: Click all of the links at once and then click ‘update’.  This will install all new plugin versions.

Do the same with the themes …. but again, do not update themes if you aren’t sure which one is yours. 

Wordfence Security Scan

There is a plugin installed in your website called Wordfence Security. This protects your site from hackers trying to gain access to the admin area. You can also run a scan to see if the website is protected.  All plugins must be up to date or you will get an error in your scan.

Hover over Wordfence Security and then click Scan.  Click scan at the top. It will walk through all files (takes a few minutes) and then you will get result of scan.  You want the message to be ‘Congratulations…”.

 

WordPress Security Options set up

WordPress websites are one of the most used Content Management Systems on the web.  They are also one of the most attacked Content Management Systems on the web!  Hackers are constantly trying to find loopholes or backdoors to gain access to your WordPress site with the intent to insert code within your theme to link to their sites (most cases).  In most cases people don’t even know their sites have been compromised, you can’t see it and it the hacks are hidden in old theme files, image files or wherever they hope they will not be detected.

There are many security plugins that you can install in your WordPress site.  My favourite is Wordfence Security.

It is easy to install and set up.

Go to Plugins Add New

In the search field type Wordfence Security, then install.

You will be prompted to type in an email address to send notifications. This is how/where Wordfence will notify you if there are any alerts on your website.

Then Click Wordfence from the left side of the WordPress dashboard and select Options.

 

wordfence-2

These are the default selections when you install Wordfence.

wordfence-3

The Alerts let you know when there is any activity on your site. These are important especially when there is a global attack on websites. You will know when a hacker is trying to sign in and what admin user id they are trying to gain access with.

Now sometimes this can be a bit of a nuisance as repeated emails get sent to your inbox. But it is important to monitor and make sure they aren’t using a correct administrator user id.

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The login Security Options I set really tight so that once a hacker fails 2 times to gain access, they are locked out for 60 days.

Click save to save all your changes.

osCommerce Adding a page to information module

After a long struggle to find how to add several pages to the Information block and a few missed important details, I have decided to write my own tutorial!

With the proper information it is actually quite simple. These instructions are for version 2.3.3.4.

You need to have access to the files through an FTP client like Filezilla (search for Filezilla and download it for free).

Step 1

go into the /catalog/ folder and locate shipping.php file.  Copy this file to create your new page, for the purpose of this tutorial I will call it about.php

edit the about.php file and replace FILENAME_SHIPPING with FILENAME_ABOUT (2 occurrences)

save your file

Step 2

go into the /catalog/includes/ folder and edit the file filenames.php

copy the line

define(‘FILENAME_SHIPPING’, ‘shipping.php’);

and change it to

define(‘FILENAME_ABOUT’, ‘about.php’);

save the file

Step 3

go into the /catalog/includes/languages/english folder and copy the shipping.php file to create about.php

edit the new about.php file and change the following lines:

define(‘NAVBAR_TITLE’, ‘Shipping & Returns’);
define(‘HEADING_TITLE’, ‘Shipping & Returns’);

define(‘TEXT_INFORMATION’, ‘Put here your Shipping & Returns information.’);

to:

define(‘NAVBAR_TITLE’, ‘About Us’);
define(‘HEADING_TITLE’, ‘About Us’);

define(‘TEXT_INFORMATION’, ‘Put your about us information here… use html code to enter it like this :

<h2>About Us</h2>

<p>All about me, me me me!</p>

‘);

* note make sure you keep the final end single quote!

Step 4

edit the following file:

/catalog/includes/modules/boxes/bm_information.php

insert the following code where you would like to add the link to your page:

$data = ‘<div class=”infoBox infoBoxInformation”>’ .
‘ <div class=”infoBoxHeading”>’ . MODULE_BOXES_INFORMATION_BOX_TITLE . ‘</div>’ .
‘ <div class=”infoBoxContents”>’ .
‘ <a href=”‘ . tep_href_link(FILENAME_ABOUT) . ‘”>’ . MODULE_BOXES_INFORMATION_BOX_ABOUT . ‘</a><br />’ .
‘ <a href=”‘ . tep_href_link(FILENAME_CONTACT_US) . ‘”>’ . MODULE_BOXES_INFORMATION_BOX_CONTACT . ‘</a>’ .
‘ </div>’ .
‘</div>’;

save the file

Step 5

edit the following file:

/catalog/includes/languages/english/modules/boxes/bm_information.php

to include the following line:

define(‘MODULE_BOXES_INFORMATION_BOX_ABOUT’, ‘About Us’);

save the file

Upload all of the files into their respective folders and refresh your screen.

The new Link should be added beneath the Information section in the sidebar.

If you don’t see the sidebar, it might be turned off in the osCommerce admin panel….

 

Blog Post Excerpts in Genesis Theme

Genesis Theme is already set up to allow you to either have Full Post Content in your blog, or Post Excerpts with Featured Image.

Simply go to your Genesis Theme Settings, scroll down to the Content Archives.

blog-archives

When you click ‘Display Post excerpts’ it then allows you to select ‘Include the Featured Image?’.  Select the appropriate size of featured image in the Image Size drop down (according to your theme specs) and select the post navigation technique.

Click save to update your changes.

Parent Menu with no Link

A very easy solution to have a parent menu item without a link in WordPress is to use the custom menu.

  1. Hover over Appearance and click Menus
  2. In the URL text box simply enter # (nothing else just the pound key)
  3. Enter the name of the Parent item in the Link Text box
  4. Click Add to Menu
  5. Move it into the correct position
  6. Add your sub-menu items below the new parent item
  7. Save your menu.

So simple and so much easier than creating a dummy Parent page.

Including Video on your WordPress Website

With the newest version of WordPress, you can easily and quickly play a YouTube or Vimeo video on your website.  You don’t need to install the video on your website, you don’t need to use any embedding code, you simply type the full URL of the video and it automatically plays on your website!

Simply high lite the URL name in your browser, or right click (windows) in the address bar, click ‘select all’ then click copy, and paste it on your wordpress page or post on it’s own line.  So for instance this address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enYSbVV9e9s I will paste on the following line:

But you will not see the address, instead, the video!  So easy! Go ahead, try it yourself!

Facebook how to post on another Fan Page as your Fan Page

I have just come across this informative video and want to share it with you.  It  is important that you do not spam other fan pages with self-promotions!  Nobody likes this and you wouldn’t want another business to do this to you!

Note* the steps are a little out dated …. you know what to click!