WordPress for Dummies: An Intro to WordPress
- Today WordPress powers more than 35% of all the world’s websites.
- Its massive developer community means there are over 55,000 plugins and SEO tools for WordPress, each giving users an immense range of customization options.
- WordPress is beloved by small businesses (and even some really huge ones like Microsoft and Disney) because it’s easy to use, cheap, endlessly customizable, secure, and durable.
- In this blog, we’ll take a look at how to make your WordPress site pop as we guide you through the basic steps of getting the most out of your site.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is to small business marketing what plates are to a restaurant. Sure, you can try something unique like slippers or dog bowls for restaurants or custom architecture for websites, but at the end of the day, it’s hard to beat the versatility and functionality of the simple plate/WordPress.
They’re both durable, affordable, and incredibly functional. Plus, they both give you the freedom to customize what you offer as much as you want, knowing that the basic delivery method is always going to be the same, and customers will have no problem figuring out how to navigate it.
Today WordPress powers more than 35% of all the world’s websites, and its massive developer community means there are over 55,000 plugins and SEO tools for WordPress, each giving users an immense range of customization options.
It’s much-beloved of small businesses (and even some really huge ones like Microsoft, the New York Times, and Disney) around the world because it’s:
- Easy to use: There’s a graduated learning curve meaning that new adopters can jump in at the shallow end and learn how things work at their own pace rather than getting handed a system by their web designers which feels more complex than the control room at NASA.
- Cheap: WordPress is free to use, and most basic plugins and SEO tools for WordPress are too. This gives users the chance to get initiated first before making any big financial commitments.
- Endlessly customizable: Want slideshows of all your latest Instagram or Facebook images? Want to automatically add product reviews on your products whenever a new one is written? Want to make the cursor the size of half the page for no logical reason? Well, whatever your site needs, either specific to your business or to help marketing and customer experience in general, on WordPress, you can probably get a plugin for that.
- Secure and durable: Many business owners with small marketing teams (or doing it on their own) don’t have the time or resources to deal with coding bugs and advanced security against hackers. WordPress has them covered with updates and patches for the underlying system as well as data and payment protection plugins to allow for safe interaction with customers.
So, we know why businesses work with WordPress, but how can they take the next step: to get WordPress to work for them? Let’s take a look at how to make your WordPress site pop as we guide you through the basic steps of getting the most out of your site.
Making WordPress Work for Your Business
Creating the Right WordPress for You
What do you intend on using your WordPress site for? No, seriously, it’s a very important question. Many small business owners may have their WordPress sites up and running, posting blogs every now and again. That’s fine if you only want your site to be like a directory entry and provide some basic SEO leverage, but why not maximize its true potential?
Building a site that really works for you the way a sales and marketing department can first means understanding what you want it to achieve. Do you want it to boost traffic and brand recognition through SEO? Can it be a key convincer in your sales funnel through video, graphics, or data? Do you want it to generate leads that you can target in future campaigns? Or maybe you want it to do all of that and more. Why not? WordPress has the capacity and functionality to let you do pretty much whatever you want.
The first step is figuring out what you want to do and how to do it.
Pro Tip: It can be overwhelming to try and organize and keep track of all your marketing and media channels as well as preparing for campaigns or product launches. Even if you plan on doing the bulk of your digital marketing in-house, it can definitely help to go to the professionals to get a solid start, some WordPress SEO tips, and get pointed in the right direction.
Planning Your Attack
Running a marketing operation that has big dreams but without the marketing firepower of Coca-Cola or General Motors means you have to fight smart and plan effectively. Fortunately, WordPress has all the tools you need to keep all of your online marketing efforts running like clockwork.
What you’ll need are some plugins, some WordPress SEO tips, and a plan. By combining both you’ll be able to map out your short and long-term strategy to tackle the areas of your digital marketing that need the most attention.
Pro Tip Plugin: Workflow by Growthhackers
What is it: Two great plugins, Contentools and Growthhackers, joined forces to create one unified tool for creating and organizing content across WordPress and all other digital channels. It allows businesses to track content creation and analyze the results and effectiveness of their efforts.
Deciding What to Create
Whether it’s boosting your SEO, generating leads, or driving conversions through targeted landing pages, your WordPress content needs to be fit for purpose. Obviously, content can serve many purposes at once or be laser-focused but there are some basics about content creation which always need to be adhered to. And you guessed it, WordPress has a plethora of plugins to make sure you’re not only creating the right content but in the right way too.
Pro Tip Plugin: Visualizer
What is it: This plugin allows you to create and easily modify charts giving data representations on your site a visual boost. It makes it easy to import data from Excel, Sheets, and elsewhere and is mobile responsive so it won’t slow down page load speeds.
Pro Tip Plugin: Optimole
What is it: This plugin automatically optimizes all the images on your site to reduce the weight on your server and greatly reduce page load speeds (up to 80%). This is essential for any business where images are a major selling point but customers are likely to be accessing their WordPress site on mobile (such as restaurants or hotels).
Track and Tweak
Understanding how your WordPress site is performing and how your efforts are going down with your potential customers is not just about the pretty numbers; it will also inform your future marketing work. Does your audience respond better to newsletters or Facebook ads? Are you ranking for Local Search? What about TikToks?
The availability of data is one of the great beauties of digital marketing (not like classic beauty but if you love it you see it). However, staring at reams of numbers and percentages won’t actually do much good unless it’s focused on making your marketing better. Tracking how your content is performing and tweaking it to make it better is the key to continuously successful digital marketing.
Pro Tip Plugin: Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin
Price: Free (or $89/yr for Premium)
What is it: Simply put, the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin is one of the most important SEO tools for WordPress for anyone with an interest in how their website is performing. This plugin automatically rates content before publishing and gives expert WordPress SEO tips for boosting ranking potential and readability. The Yoast SEO WordPress tool also checks through your site for ways to improve how it is working in terms of internal linking, broken links, and navigability.
At RMG, we’re WordPress gurus (though geeks is probably more accurate), and we love taking a look under the hood of WordPress sites to see how well they’re working for their owners and what tweaks could be made to have them running smoother. Even for those planning on doing most of the marketing heavy lifting themselves, we’re always happy to have a chat and point people in the right direction in regards to SEO tools for WordPress or WordPress SEO tips. To get in touch, drop us a line, and we’ll arrange a call.