Registering your domain, purchasing the hosting and installing WordPress are some of the most essential and simple steps to start building up your online presence. But these steps are just the basics.
The following blog post will outline the essential steps that each webmaster has to implement on their website. Although some of these may sound complicated, they are actually not that hard to implement and can be implemented even by beginner webmasters if they follow the instructions carefully.
Let’s get started.
Setting up security and backup
Why would you care about setting up your backup and security before you even begin publishing content on your brand-new website? The reason is so you can have a backup file that is regularly updated. This will help you with recovering your website data in case of an unforeseen event such as a hack or hosting server crash.
It is better to set these up from the very beginning so you can avoid unpleasant situations one day when you have found out that years of hard work have been wasted due to security or file storage problems. Here is how you can prepare in advance and be one step ahead of potential technical issues that can ruin your site and your online business.
First, login to your WordPress dashboard.
Then, go to Plugins- Add new.
Type WordFence in the search bar.
This is the one you should install.
Click the Install Now button. I already have it installed so this is why it says Active. If all goes well, something like this should pop up.
Next, you can enter your email to start receiving notifications when the plugin detects an issue with your site.
Once that’s done you can start the tour to familiarize yourself with the plugin and its vast yet simple to use capabilities.
Backup is another important aspect to be concerned about. According to Boston Computing, 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster.
Also, 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for a bankruptcy within one year of the disaster.
Furthermore, 50% of business that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately.
I get it that you might think that since you are just a small business and you do not have much data and information to begin with. But as I said earlier, the information and data you collect over the years will continue to build up and you want to be protected from the very beginning.
Here is how to get this done.
First, log back in the dashboard. Go to Plugins -> Add New. Search for BackWPUp. Click on Install. And now you have a simple and efficient data backup solution for your website.
Setting up Google Analytics Google Analytics is a must-have tool for any webmaster. Google Analytics is a cloud-based software platform, provided by Google, and its purpose is to generate useful and actionable data. The platform runs under the freemium model, which means that some of the features will need to be paid for. But have no worries.
If you are still a beginner or you do not operate very large website you will find that you have all the tools needed in one place. It is even used by professionals so I am sure that you will have all the necessary features that you could need in the near future and beyond.
So, how do you set up Google Analytics?
There are several ways to do it.
One of these involves locating and editing some HTML code and placing it on the right place in your website. The second way is much more straight-forward and is also beginner-friendly.
Here is how to do it.
First, you will have to login into WordPress dashboard. Next, you will hover over the Plugins button, located on the menu on the left and click Add Plugins. Here is a screenshot below.
Next, click on the search box and type “Google Analytics Dashboard For WP”. Here is the screenshot:
I have already installed this plugin on my website and this is why it says “Update Now”, but it should say “Install Now” on your screen. Press this button and wait until the installation is complete. Click on the “Activate plugin” once it is installed.
If the installation was successful the plugins should appear at the bottom of the menu on the left as indicated in the screenshot:
Once that’s done, it is time to authorize the plugin. Hover over Google Analytics button and click General Settings:
Then, click on the button titled “Authorize plugin”. Here is the screen that should appear.
Once you click it, the following screen should appear.
Next, right click on the red “get access code” text and open it in a new tab. The following screen should appear.
Click on the Allow button. Next, the following page should come up. Copy the code, which appears below.
Paste in the text box like this:
And press Save Access Code.
Next, go to Google Analytics. Login to your dashboard. Click on Admin. Something like this should appear.
Next, click on the dropdown menu and click “create a new account”. Fill this accordingly. Since I’ve already done this I am using a website, which I will start developing soon. But you should enter your own info here, these are just an example.
Next, click on the “Get Tracking ID” button.
The following screen should appear.
Now, it is important not to get scared and intimidated by this code. It should be really easy because of the WordPress plugin, which you should have downloaded already.
Get back to the WordPress dashboard. It should be on this screen.
Click on “get access code” again. Next, the following screen should come up again.
Select the code, copy it and paste it in the “Access Code” field in the WordPress dashboard. This is how it should look like:
Click Save Access Code.
If all goes well, the following screen should appear.
I should address the fact that if you have or manage multiple websites it is important to select the proper website. In this case, I am just going to click on the “Lock Selection” button.
Then, click on “Save Changes”. Once that’s done, you should have the Google Analytics plugin visualized on your WordPress dashboard.
This is just for quick reference or summary purposes and if you need more data you can always go back to Analytics itself and get all the data needed.
Google Analytics is extremely powerful tool. It has numerous features, which can a freelancer, a small business or even a giant corporation.
However, it is important to note that there are several drawbacks to this otherwise powerful platform. I am going to point out two of the most important ones, how they affect your website and how to solve them.
The first problem is that Google Analytics will track your visits to your own website. For example, if you login a dozen times a day for work purposes, this will get indicated in Analytics.
If you already have a large audience this might not be very big problem, but for a small to medium site it can be really frustrating. Also, it can give you the wrong impressions if you are a beginner and you are trying to build up a name for yourself.
Here is to solve this problem.
Go to Google and type “Block Yourself From Analytics”. Click on the first result. This is the screen that should appear.
Click on the “Add to Chrome” button. (If you are using a different browser then the process should be fairly similar. )
A popup screen should appear asking for permission for the plugin. Click on Allow. The plugin icon should appear at the top right of your browser such as this.
It is now time to add the websites you want blocked in the filter. Click on the icon and select “Options”. The following screen should come up. Type the address of the website to be block and click “Add”. Then click “Save”.
And that’s done.
The second major issue with Google Analytics is the so-called spam traffic. Basically, these are bots or automated tools which someone has created with the purpose of driving traffic to their site via your analytics account. If you want to learn more about it then check this article here.
There are several ways to do this. The first one is a bit more complicated. It involves manually going through Analytics and filtering each issue manually. If you are a beginner this might be too intimidating and you may waste hours trying to fix it up yourself. Even if you read some guides about removing google analytics referral spam you may still not be able to get rid of everything.
This is why it is better to use an automated tool to get rid of spam traffic. There are many tools, which you can use to do this but one of the simplest such tools is Analytics Referrer/Ghost Spam Blocker. It is a free tool provided by Adwordsrobot.
Here is how you can apply the filters automatically via the tool.
First, open the website. Then, click on the big yellow button called “Select Google Analytics Accounts”.
Next, you should have the option to select which Google Analytics you want to apply the filters on. Here is how this looks like:
In your case, you have to select, which account you want to use with this tool. Once you select the profile you want to use, click on the yellow button “Apply Filters”.
Now wait for few moments before the filters are applied automatically.
Once all filters have been applied, you should see something like this:
And that’s done. Now your Google Analytics should be free of spam traffic and you will have a clear idea of the actual traffic that comes to your site.
Setting up Search Console
The second most important tool you must use in order to get the most out of your SEO and content marketing efforts is the Search Console.
This tool is also provided by Google. One of its most essential purposes is to enable webmasters understand the technical aspects of their SEO progress. Setting up the Search Console properly and learning how to use it effectively will enable you to understand how Google views your website and optimize its performance in the search results.
It is important to understand that you do not have to be an SEO specialist in order to make the most out of the Search Console. There are several other types of professionals including business owners who do not understand search engine optimization and want to delegate this important task to someone qualified, a marketing specialist who wants to have more data when measuring the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns or a developer who wants to make sure that their code is compliant with the SEO rules and so on.
If you want to know more about the Search Console, and you should, then you can read about it here and here.
Now that you have a basic understand of what this tool does, it is time to set it up.
First, sign in to the Search Console. Make sure you are logged in with your Google account. If you do not have Google account, you can register one very quickly.
Next, click on add a new site and fill the site name, as shown on the screenshot:
Click on Add.
Next, the following screen will appear.
Now, there are several methods to verify your web property with the Search Console. You can see that using Google Analytics is recommended, but in this case I am going to add an HTML tag to my site’s home page. It will go in the <head> section before the first <body> section.
It is important to note that making changes to the HTML’s structure on a WordPress site can get a bit tricky. If you decide to change it straightly within the theme’s source code then things could get messed up. This is why it is important to use plugins that will allow you to edit your theme’s code in a safe and easy way. In this case, I am going to use Header, Footer And Post Injection.
I have already covered installing a WordPress plugin so I will skip the description. If you have installed the plugin properly then this is where it should appear.
Open the plugin. This is the screen that you should see.
Now, go back to the Search Console’s screen and copy the code. Then, apply it on your site by pasting it in the right section of the screenshot above. Then scroll down and click save.
Something like this should popup on your screen.
Click on the check-box in order to continue. Go back to the Search Console’s screen and click Verify.
If all is good then you should see something like this.
And that’s done.
Create content marketing plan
A professional blog is not for having fun. It‘s main purpose is to impress potential clients, employers and to build a name for yourself in your industry.
This is why it is crucial to have a clear idea and vision for your blog from day one.
Having a clear content plan from the very beginning will enable you to work much more efficiently. You will never wonder what type of content to create, when to publish it, who is it for and so on.
Start with a content audit. This process will help you determine whether you need to publish blog posts, infographics, ebooks, video or something else. Ideally, the content you create and publish should be the so-called „ever-green “ and should be relevant and useable for at least one year. This will generate more value and better return of investment on your efforts.
Here are some additional benefits of effective content planning:
Having a clear editorial plan makes you more professional
It allows you to publish a variable types of content
Saves you time by not having to constantly think about what you are writing next
Creating your first proper blog post can be extremely daunting especially if you are completely new to creating content, blogging and SEO. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can execute in order to be better prepared for launching your first blog post. Some of the most important steps include the following:
Deciding on the topic:
Coming up with an impactful title
Come up with statistics, facts and other data and information that supports your idea throughout the article
Create the introduction in a way that entices the reader to go through the whole article
Come up with useful, actionable information, data and tips, which the read can use immediately after reading the blog post.
These steps are just the very basics of creating a powerful blog post. If you want to know more about creating your first professional blog post then you can check out this article here.
Outreach and link building
Outreach is very important part of the daily tasks of a digital marketing specialist. Outreach involves building a list of relevant contacts such as bloggers, journalists, social media accounts and so on and then start a strategic outreach process with the purpose of building a long-term relationship.
This section will include building a list of contacts, templates for email outreach, building up relationships with influencers, how to build relevant links to the content you have created and what will the outcome of this be for your website.
Contacts and relationship building is very important part of the modern SEO process. Just like any type of business you will need to find potential contacts that will enhance your brand and online presence and take it further.
For example, a useful contact can be someone who runs an influential blog in the relevant industry and is a contributor to notable industry publications such as magazines, journals, websites and more. Also, an influencer can be a journalist working in a traditional media company such as TV, newspaper or editor of that company’s website.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay in touch with people who run smaller bloggers or social media accounts. The reason for this is that you have no idea how far they can build up their websites and accounts within just a year and it definitely won’t hurt you if you stay in touch with them or get a backlink from them from the beginning.
Here is how to get started with building a list of contacts.
First, pick a niche/industry or a business. Next, try to come up with related niches in that industry. For example, if you want to create content for SEOs, webmasters and other similar categories then you could do a Google search for “top 100 SEO experts”.
Next, create an Excel or Google Docs table and create suitable columns where you can fill the relevant data you find. Start your table with a first name column, family name column, website URL column, email address column, social media channels column etc.
Then, go back to the search results and start filling out the columns with the information found via that search.
Repeat the process several times and you will end up having a decent-sized database of potential contacts you can use now and in the future.
You may stumble on some really notable experts who have very large audience on social media and run huge websites with hundreds of thousands of visitors per month and have dozens of extremely useful blog posts per month.
If you are an SEO expert or just getting started in SEO and digital marketing you may find Neil Patel to be such a person. Another example would be Brian Dean.
Anyway, you get the idea. Getting in touch and building a relationship with such people in your area of expertize should be one of your main priorities from now on.
Backlinks and link building
According to this article from Search Engine Land, backlinks are one of the top 3 most important factors. The other two are content and RankBrain. Actually, most webmasters and SEO experts tend to agree that backlinks still play a huge role in the SERP results.
Essentially, link building means that you build relationships with website managers, influencers and other related people in order to get them to link to your content.
The key issue is that if you are going to build links make sure that they are of very high quality and not spammy. The reason for this is that Google’s algorithms have advanced so much in recent years and they will eventually detect that your site contains spam traffic and will not allow you into the top search results.
Now, you may have heard that some spammy or the so-called black-hat tactics may still work in the short-term, but the only way to guarantee long-term success is to keep creating high-quality content and build relationships and links with high-quality, industry-relevant websites and blogs.
Digital marketing and establishing profitable online presence can be a lot of struggle especially to beginners and small to medium business owners who understand the importance of establishing an effective online presence but do not necessarily have the skills, knowledge or time to do these by themselves or have someone on the team learn it and implement or hire an already experienced individual.
My hope is that anyone who needs online marketing for their business, but has not done it before will be able to at least get started with the process of establishing effective online presence by themselves by implementing the processes that were covered in this HUUUGE blog post.
If you were able to implement these successfully then you should have a decent infrastructure of tools and other resources, such as content, that will be able to support your digital marketing efforts.
So, was this blog post helpful to you? Let me know in the comments. Do you need any help implementing the different tools and advices that were listed out in this blog post? If yes, then please feel free to reach out at any time.
@dmargaritov_ Launching A New Website: Essential Steps
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