Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a staple for WordPress blogs. Did you know that there are over 4.4 million blogs posted a day?

Your blog will be hidden amongst the other blogs in no time! SEO can improve your blogs visibility, but it requires your time to understand SEO and to put it into practice. Don’t worry, we’ll give you important SEO strategies to apply to your WordPress blogs!

WordPress provides a user-friendly platform for bloggers to use. It is the industry leader; 34.6% of websites are made using WordPress and has a content management system market share of 61.4%. All the basics of SEO are covered within WordPress and it lets users to easily navigate.

Before we begin, take a look at our SEO 101: A Guide for Beginners blog as it will provide you with a general understanding of SEO.

1. Create Keywords

Keywords are what gets your blog at the top of the list in a Google search. For each article create a keyword strategy and enforce it to maximize the SEO for blogs. There are many platforms out there that provide you with predictive metrics and identify high-impact suggestions. We suggest MozTextmetricsAhrefsKwfinder, and Google Keyword Planner as tools to find the best keywords.

Use the keywords in titles and header tags to boost your SEO value and engage readers in your content. Header tags, such as H2 and H3, instantly make it more readable and serve as visual cues. Many readers skim blogs and focus more on the portion that is captured by the heading that interests them. This doesn’t only count for readers, but as well as search engines. Google scans your blog for content relevant to the searched words and looks at the header tags to understand what the content is about.

That is why it is crucial to make it easier for Google to find the words. The header tags don’t necessarily improve your SEO ranking but provide SEO value. The header tags are an important part of your SEO as they help Google find the keywords. This method of optimization should be always be done!

2. Quality Content

After conducting target audience research, you will be able to garner content that targets them. Don’t underestimate the quality of content as it can improve your ranking on Google search. Pay attention to grammar, structure, and error-free writing.

Have troubles with creating quality content? There are tools to help you. Besides providing keyword input, Textmetrics can help you with quality content. The platform contains a set of algorithms that are able to interpret wording and suggest changes while writing a text.

3. Alter default Permalink structure

The default structure for permalink (URL) is not SEO-friendly as it does not contain any keywords. It is very easy to change your default setting.

How to change your default permalink:

Make sure that you use a URL that includes keywords from your article to optimize your blogs. It should look something like this: https://example.com/your-post-titel.

4. Add Meta tags

Meta descriptions show up under your site name on search engines. These sentences are one to three sentences long and hook in the reader. Simply put, meta descriptions should tell your audience why they should click on your blog and read it. Adding meta tags will enhance your SEO and visibility and will encourage readers to visit your blog.

5. Build Links

Add links to your blog to enhance the likelihood of your post being at the top of search engines. Research has proven that the more links, external and internal, influences your SEO. External links to other sites is very important, but also internal links will improve the visibility of your other blogs. Don’t forget to include your social accounts on your blog and encourage readers to interact with your social media accounts and on your blog.

6. Create a sitemap

A sitemap is a map of your website that allows users and search engine crawlers to understand the structure of your website and easily navigate. It’s a list of URLs that you want to have public to help search engines index your site. WordPress dives into the topic and explains how to create a responsive sitemap in a matter of seconds.

By implementing our top 6 SEO strategies into your blog is vital to see a difference. Its importance is only growing more as more and more blogs come out every day. Don’t let your blog get mixed with the other ones, let it shine and be seen by readers. It’s a necessity that all bloggers need to follow in 2019.

Got questions about our SEO strategies to apply to your WordPress blog? Contact us.  

In this article, I am going to explain why it is important to protect and maintain your WordPress website and how in 2019 you can do it in a few easy ways.

1. Proactive Not Reactive
2. WordPress Maintenance Tasks
3. Hosting Reliability
4. Backing UP your WordPress Website
5. Security
6. Time is everything
7. About WP Expert

1.Proactive Not Reactive

I want to share a story, if you’ll allow me. This wasn’t a client of mine, an agency friend told me the story and I think it’s an important one to share.

Tim has a furniture business with an E-Commerce website. This enables him to sell his furniture to customers from across the country and for some pieces, around the world.

When Tim’s website was built by his web agency, they offered to assist him with website security and keeping the website maintained. Tim declined this offer as he wanted to look after everything by himself.
The unfortunate problem for Tim was that he just didn’t have time to do the important maintenance tasks that he needed to do, as well as run his business. He had good intentions when he said he’d look after his website, but time got the better of him, again and again.

As the website was not maintained for more than a year, eventually a security flaw was exploited, one that had long been patched by the developer of the particular plugin. This exploit allowed a malicious attacker to gain full entry to Tim’s website and to steal data from his customers.

Tim was lucky that he didn’t store credit card numbers, but it was a serious data breach and over 10,000 customers were affected. All of this happened because he didn’t take the necessary steps to look after his website.

To repair the damage to Tim’s website, cost Tim over $3,500. He also had to inform his insurance company of the issue and his liability, as well as apologize to every customer whose data was lost. His web agency needed to liaise with the RCMP about the issue.

Tim is thankfully still in business today, but is a lot more careful with his website now.

It doesn’t take a great deal of time to look after a website, but it’s really important that this time is actioned. Maintenance to your website is just as important to your car or your home. If you ignore either of these, eventually things will break down and you’ll have problems.

A WordPress Care Plan from an experienced WordPress agency brings you peace of mind and an expert pair of hands to assist you if there’s ever an issue with your website.

What would peace of mind in your business be worth to you?

2. WordPress Maintenance Tasks

In order to help you to avoid the kind of problems which Tim encountered, we’ve created a checklist of maintenance tasks which you need to focus on for your website and separated it into weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly tasks.

You can download your checklist here.

Use the checklist to assign tasks for yourself or your employees and you can make sure that you stay on track with all of your maintenance tasks. Your website will be safer and more secure if you look after it regularly.

You might find that you have additional tasks to add to the checklist for your specific website. For example, if you have an E-Commerce website - you might want to set a certain day of the week for adding new products or looking at improving existing ones. Feel free to add in extra tasks to your checklist. It should grow organically over time, just like your business.

3. Hosting Reliability

Now, you need to have your website available 24/7 so visitors can check your services or products anytime. Also, they need to be sure that the buying process is reliable and secure, a good web hosting is a major part of all this!

There are free online monitoring tools that you can use to monitor the uptime of your website. When we say “uptime”, what we mean is the time that your website is available online without being offline for any errors or issues.

The uptime should be 100% or as close to this as possible. If you frequently see short periods of downtime, this means your website was offline and inaccessible to your customers during this time.

Head over to Uptime Robot and make a free account.

Once you’re logged in, set up a new monitor and enter in your website address. It’s important to make sure you choose HTTP or HTTPS here, if your website has an SSL certificate (and it should in today’s modern world!). Set the monitoring interval to 5 minutes and make sure you tick the option to receive an email if your website is ever offline. Then save your new monitor.

Uptime Robot is a very useful tool as you will receive an email if it detects your website is offline. It’s like having an employee checking your website every 5 minutes… 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If your website is frequently offline or if you’re not getting an uptime of 99-100%, without a specific reason from your hosting company such as “emergency server maintenance”, then you need to strongly consider if you are hosting your website in a place that is best for your business.

4. Backing UP your WordPress Website

There’s one thing you can do with your website right now that will improve your peace of mind. Let’s make sure you have automated backups of your website in place. This way, if anything goes wrong with your website in the future, you’ve protected your most important asset and made sure that you have backups available to restore your website.

You’ll need about 15-20 minutes of time. So block that off in your diary and let’s get started…

Firstly, you’re going to need a Dropbox or Google Drive account. If you don’t have one of these, they’re both free so please choose one and get that setup first. As a recommendation, Google Drive offers more storage - so is a better choice for storing more backups.

To make the next parts easier, it’s better to follow along with a video tutorial. Our friend Adam over at WPCrafter has a great video tutorial for setting up UpdraftPlus, which is a free backup plugin, on your website. Click here to watch the tutorial.

To add on at the end of the tutorial, Adam doesn’t cover this but it’s a great extra step for peace of mind. Once you’ve finished your first backup, log-in to Dropbox or Google Drive and check to see that your website has been safely backed up and the files are present here. If you can see the newly backed up files, then you’re all set!

Congratulations, you’ve now set up automated backups for your website and made everything more secure. Grab yourself a coffee, you deserve it!

Let me know if you found setting up automated website backups easy. Do you feel better knowing that your website is automatically backed up?

5. Security measure

How are you currently managing passwords for your business?

If you’re already using a password manager - that’s great! If you’re not, please read on as this will help to keep your business safe.

A lot of people will store passwords in their browser, write them down or a combination of the two. This is not safe for a number of reasons, but mainly let’s just focus on the fact that your business security is only as good as you or your employees. It’s easy for us to be caught off-guard, and when that happens it can already be too late.

Let’s look at password managers. Here are three that I recommend, they all have a trial period and then a small ongoing fee to cover usage:

1Password - https://1password.com (Canadian Company - Yay!)
Dashlane - https://www.dashlane.com
LastPass - https://www.lastpass.com/password-manager

Each of the above password managers has a Team/Family option available that allows you to share passwords between your employees. So that you can have one central bank of passwords and then give each employee access to passwords that are relevant for their work.
Most importantly and as a last vital tip - make sure that you are using unique passwords for every website and online account that you access. If any of your passwords is ever leaked through a security breach with a large organisation in the future, it’s much easier to just change one password and not worry that you’re using the same one for PayPal or other critical business websites.

After you’ve setup an account with one of those password managers, go ahead and change your administrator password for your WordPress website, use the generator tool to make sure that your password is not ‘guest. Also, if you are using ‘Admin’ as a username, maybe it is time to change that too!

6. Time is everything

Time is one of the most precious gifts that we have in this world. Every second that passes is a second that is gone forever. It’s important that we’re able to enjoy every second that we have available to us, and to spend that time wisely.

As with Tim’s story, it’s easy to say you’re going to look after and maintain your website, but even the best laid plans often go to waste.

Without the time spent on maintenance, security and care, you will eventually have a problem with your website. You may have already experienced this, so if you have, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

No-one needs to spend their precious time worrying about a problem with their website. The stress of your website being offline or your customers being affected, just isn’t worth it. Fortunately there is a solution and it’s called WP Expert. Please read on to learn more.

7. About WP Expert

At WP Expert we offer WordPress Care Plans to all of our clients. If your website was built by us, you would’ve been recommended a Care Plan that would suit your business when we launched your website.

If your website wasn’t built by us, we can still help you. We run WordPress Audit on websites that were built elsewhere, which allow us to check your website for any issues and help you to fix these before you join one of our care plans.

If you’d like to see some more information on our WordPress Care Plans please click here.

Our aim is to deliver peace of mind to you and your business. We’ll help you keep your website safe, secure, maintained and updated. This will allow you to focus on the tasks that are most important to you so you can spend more time with your family and loved ones.

I hope you’ve found our article useful.

As you can see, time and expertise are the major factors in keeping your website safe and secure.

I understand that business can be stressful and there’s never enough time in the day to complete every important task. This is why we offer a WordPress Care Plan service to business owners like yourself, giving you peace of mind and comfort knowing that your website is in safe hands.

I’ve recently set up an online call booking system - so let’s have a 15 minute chat about your website and any issues that you’ve been facing.

It will be a great opportunity for you to ask any questions that you have about our WordPress Care Plans and to establish if they are a good fit for your business.

Here’s a link to my booking calendar. Please pick a date and time that is suitable for you and I look forward to talking with you soon.

We wrote this quick article for your new ebook called "WordPress Security for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses". We are compiling the best plugins for entrepreneurs that have a limited budget for their website.

BackWPup – WordPress Backup Plugin

The backup plugin BackWPup can be used to save your complete installation including /wp-content/ and push them to an external Backup Service, like Dropbox, S3, FTP and many more, see list below. With a single backup .zip file you are able to easily restore an installation.

WordPress Backup & Security Plugin – BlogVault

BlogVault is the most reliable backup and restore plugin. Trusted by 220,000 sites and counting, it ensures a stress free WordPress backup and security solution in a single dashboard.

BackUpWordPress

BackUpWordPress will back up your entire site including your database and all your files on a schedule that suits you. Try it now to see how easy it is!

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

UpdraftPlus simplifies backups and restoration. It is the world’s highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over a million currently-active installs. Backup your files and database backups into the cloud and restore with a single click!

It's about time you learn more about the entrepreneur who dedicates so much time and passion to his enterprise WP Expert: Frederic Sune!

He’s the resident WordPress wizard. With an extensive IT background and a degree in electronics, he has gained the skills to be the CEO of IT in MIND and WP Expert.

"The first website I designed was in 1996. It was pure HTML/CSS," began Frederic when I asked him what the catalyst was that sparked his passion.

Frederic grew up in Lyon, France and came for the first time to Canada in 2001. A few years earlier, he had met a woman named Cecile in France, and they had stayed in touch when she moved to Canada. Years later he broke up with his then current girlfriend and visited a friend in Montreal, and Cecile in Toronto. He fell in love with her and decided to officially move to Canada in 2002. Both of them agreed that French food may be better, but Canadian culture is incomparable.

When they lived in Toronto, Frederic worked at the French Catholic School Board and made his way up to becoming a Network Administrator. During this time, they also got married and had their child, Chloe. In 2008, they moved to the capital of Canada because they wanted their daughter to get the best French education.
When they moved to Ottawa, he didn’t have a job and was trying to find free activities to do with his daughter. He began freeactivities.ca which is a platform that provides all the free activities that you can do in Ottawa, and even Canada-wide! He began this website when blogs weren’t all that popular, even though now they have boomed.

Soon after he joined the CIA.

Yes, the CIA. The Canadian Institute of Actuaries!

Frederic worked as a web administrator, and his passion of becoming a web designer blossomed even further.
In 2011, he started IT in MIND, an IT company. From there he started designing websites for clients and realized he really enjoyed it. Two years later, he began WP Expert so that he could focus on what he loved most.
Now, Frederic has a fulltime job and runs two of his own businesses: WP Expert and IT in MIND. His passion for helping others start up their own enterprises has him also volunteering with the Ottawa Tool Library, the Impact Hours and now, the Centre Espoir Sophie.

When asked if Frederic has any words of wisdom for beginning entrepreneurs, he shared his top four tips:

  1. Get an accountant ASAP.

He did his own accounting at the beginning of IT in MIND, but wished he had hired someone right away. It’s better to leave that to the professionals.

  1. Meet people.

One way to grow your community is by joining a co-working space. Frederic joined Hub Ottawa in November of 2012 and has been an active member since! He even offers his expertise to Hub members every Wednesday at noon during the WordPress Happiness Bar where people can ask any questions they might have about WordPress. He really enjoys being able to help others.

  1. Have a mentor.

It can either be a mentor that you personally know and look up to, or someone you don’t know and are just inspired by their work ethics. Frederic’s mentors are: Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates.

  1. Offer great customer service.

You need a topnotch customer service, no matter the type of business you run. Your clients should be your top priority and for a long-term success, it is good to focus on your clients. They like fast responses and actions, clear communication. Over the years, he has acquired many testimonials on his website regarding his services at WP Expert.

"I highly recommend Frederic for work on your WordPress site. First, he does excellent work, in little time, and at a very fair rate. Second, you will get more than WordPress advice. He takes the time to understand your business, and makes sure that the site is aligned with your business objectives...”
- John Stroud, CEO of Crowdsourcing Solutions

Frederic finds it vital to do what you love: “If you have the passion, you will succeed.”


Thanks for reading! Let me know if you enjoyed this article below in the comments. Interested in checking out my other articles? Click here

This plugin will add a responsive portfolio grid in your WordPress site. Highly customizable. Option for choosing custom post type for portfolio.

Advance Portfolio Grid

Plugin Features:

Source: WordPress › Advance Portfolio Grid « WordPress Plugins

CSSmatic is a "magic" tool for web designers to use when you want to quickly create one of these four CSS effects for one of your WordPress website:

It's super easy to use and can speed up your development time!
Note: that CSSmatic is a non-profit project, made by developers for developers.

Discover it now: http://www.cssmatic.com/

Enjoy!
Fred

Often using DIVI from Elegant Themes as the main theme for their websites. It so easy to configure and use. The options are endless on what you can do with it: basic content, landing page, blog, contact page, portfolio, pricing page, projects... etc. You name it. DIVI is very flexible. But, it is true that, at the beginning, it can be hard or confusing to understand the principle of ROWS and MODULES.

Hopefully, Elegant Themes has set up an amazing documentation page for the theme with videos for each module. So if you want to learn DIVI, go to http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/documentation/

Have fun!
Fred

Protecting your site from attackers is important — deepen your knowledge of WordPress security with our collection of resources for everyone using WordPress. From WordPress security fundamentals to expert developer resources, this learning center is meant for every skill level. Learn and discover best practices in our in-depth articles, videos, industry survey results, helpful graphics and more.

The WordPress Security Learning Center

Source: The WordPress Security Learning Center - Wordfence

Today, I found this amazing post:

"WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com – What’s the Difference?"

from codeinwp.com website by Karol K.

She resumed clearly what the difference is:

WordPress.com
is an online platform where you can go, sign up, and create your website/blog all in one place.

(To give you a clever comparison, WordPress.com is your Google Docs (bear with me).)

 

WordPress.org
is an open source software. To launch a website with it, you need to first download the software, and then install it on your own web server (or a web server you’re renting from a third-party).

(Continuing my “clever” comparisons, WordPress.org is your Open Office / MS Word.)

Read a more in-depth post here: http://www.codeinwp.com/blog/wordpress-org-vs-wordpress-com/

If you are a beginner with WordPress and you see the dashboard for the first time, I definitely recommend you to watch this series of How To from WordPress.tv. More video is added every week.

Good Luck!

Help and tutorials for beginner and expert alike: http://wordpress.tv/category/how-to/

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