Guest Post – Our host is Boney Pandya, who has some great tips for new WordPress users.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
If you’re new to WordPress, listen up!
You’re so used to people talking about how easy and great WordPress is, but if you’re not the tech-y type just yet, chances are you need a bit of guidance: it’s nothing to be ashamed of. This post is for those of you that have done the initial set-up on your WordPress blog or site, and now you’re ready for the next step.
Often when you search about WordPress tips or any questions you may have, you’re met with jargon that can make the process of getting to know your WordPress site even more confusing and frustrating.
Hopefully this post will clear up some of that confusion for you. Below are a few tips for WordPress newbies that need a beacon of light in that foggy WordPress world.
Use these tips to make your WordPress experience smooth from here on out:
Keep a Clean Media Library
You can start your media organizing by first disabling the automatic organization that WordPress does for you. Under Settings & Media, disable the option of organizing media chronologically. Uncheck “Organize my uploads into month and year-based folders.”
Now all of your media uploads will be placed in one folder, and you can find that perfect picture you’re looking for by simply plugging in a related keyword. Just make sure you accurately and thoughtfully label your media. And:
Treat Your Pics Like Content
After all, they are.
Pictures are a great SEO tool that should not be ignored. When you load an image to your site, WP will give you the chance to add keywords, titles and descriptions. Take the time to label each one! It should go without saying, but make your titles relevant and think of SEO as you label.
Images that are labeled properly will serve a double purpose: search engines will eat them up (driving more traffic to your page), and if your image fails to load or for any reason it’s not available to a viewer, the alternate text tag will be featured to explain to readers what the image consists of.
A Little SEO Goes a Long Way
Speaking of SEO: make sure you know the importance of title and description tags for both readers and search engines.
If you’re a true newbie, and you’re not sure what the function of keywords, titles and descriptions is, just trust that taking the time to construct these for pages and images is worth it.
Descriptions explain to users what they’ll find on your site. Make them alluring and spur links by incorporating the ever-popular “call to action” phrasing.
Research the best SEO plugins for WordPress if you need a little help with this. We could get into it here, but it’s really a whole other topic or post in and of itself.
Tidy Up Your Sidebar
Your sidebar will have a tendency to get messy. Don’t let it. A clean, minimalist site is extremely impressive and desirable, so aim for having one at all times.
WordPress sidebars are jam-packed with ads, newsletters, social media icons, recent tweets, and so on. Don’t let important links get lost in the shuffle. Only choose links that you really want your site visitors to click on, and make sure they are prominent and readily available in your sidebar.
One way to clean up is to head to the Appearance and Widgets section and remove all the extra widgets, leaving only the ones that are beneficial to your business or your site.
A good rule of thumb is, if it does not add e-mails to your list, make you money, or get a user to do something you want–don’t include it in the sidebar.
Show Your Footer Some Attention
You might not think your footer is important, but surprisingly a lot of people will navigate to this area of your site to see what’s there.
Pick a WP theme that gives you access to this section and include one or more of the following:
• A link to an important article or page
• A field for your e-mail list adds
• A copyright statement
• Info about the owner or web designer
• A bio or mission statement
• Link/s to a blog
If you forget about your footer, you’re neglecting a very crucial piece of web real estate. Be careful not to.
Boil Down Permalinks
Long permalinks aren’t the best tools for SEO or readers. If you want search engines to find you and you want your readers to easily decipher your links then it’s simple: you’ve got to shorten them and make them relevant.
A long permalink that uses en excess of pointless words looks like this:
A short, easy-to-glance-at permalink will look more like this:
Users and search engines will appreciate your concise links and will reward you for it with rankings and views. The same can be said for the rest of the tips mentioned above. If you follow the guidelines, you’ll be rewarded with a clean site that receives traffic and rankings for the right reasons.