Category Archives: WordPress Tips

These Uses for Redirects Can Save You Time and Money

Redirects

3 Uses for 301 Redirects

I know, I couldn’t resist the numerical alliteration: 3 uses for 301 Redirects. Before we get into the uses, this post will cover some of the technical aspects you may or may not know about 301 redirects, 404 error messages, and why they matter on your website.

Technical Aspects of 301 Redirects

301 Redirects is a technical term for telling web browsers to go to a different page than the one you entered into a browser. The purpose of a redirect is to keep people from being frustrated by the error message you see so often in internet surfing: “Oops! The page you are looking for cannot be found!” This error message is technically called a 404 error message when a server receives a request for a page that it does not have. 301 Redirects Avoid a 404 Error

This is an error you do not want your users to see on your page.

“Generally, 404s don’t harm your site’s performance in search, but you can use them to help improve the user experience.”  – Google Webmaster Tools

Rather than sending the user this error message, a 301 message tells the browser to go from the intended address to another one of your choosing. Even though Google says, generally, it does not hurt search ranking, you do not want people to click on a search result and land on a 404 error message. This is the number one reason people use redirects: to prevent the website user from bouncing because they got an error message.

I have discovered several uses for redirects that do more than just prevent 404 error messages. Read on for more info.

Redirect Hacks

Redirect to A Social Page

One use of a redirect I have discovered, and use, is to send people from an easy web address to a hard to remember URL for a social platform. For example, I use www.mybloggingcommunity.com to send traffic to my free Facebook group. With a social platform, your address always comes after the name of the platform, so even if it only a word address (many profiles use long strings of numbers), it is better to have 3-4 words that identify your business and redirect that to your social platform.

Redirect from A Page You Haven’t Built

When I was writing the review for Hobo’s Grill in Fort Mill, SC, I thought I would probably want to build a landing page focusing on restaurants and breweries, but I did not have time to do it at that moment.

With a 301 redirect, I was able to insert my preferred link to the text of the article and set up a redirect to my homepage so that readers who click on it will still see something of value and when I build my local restaurants landing page, it will already have links to it.

Manage Inventory

I noticed this with an online store that I was helping manage: if you no longer hold a certain inventory item, people will land on broken pages when they look for it. If you are selling a product on your site, this is the last possible thing you want your users to see!

If you are going to discontinue an item in your inventory management, make sure you set up a 301 to send the users on to the replacement item. If you do not have a replacement item, then send users to a landing page explaining that you no longer hold that type of item, but recommend they look at a list of other sites. This way, you are providing your user with valuable service, rather than leaving them high and dry on your desolate 404 page.

These are some of the uses I have discovered for a 301 Redirect. What are some uses you have discovered?

Don’t Make This SEO Mistake!

I Broke My Website with This Simple SEO Mistake

As I was researching my website content and its ranking on Google today, I came across one seo mistake of the many I have made and am learning from in managing my own websites. 

If you’ve ever heard of the barber who never had a good haircut because the other barber had to cut it,  that’s me. I am that proverbial barber, not because I have the other barber cut my hair, but because I am a creative person who always experiments on my own product first.

If I break my own website, I am the one who suffers, not my client. At least that’s how my thinking goes, some of the time.

So, after perusing one of the plethora of articles on what to do, or not do, to improve SEO, I removed the dates from all my posts in WordPress. It might  also have been during a theme update. I don’t remember, but the end result was I changed the format of how every post on my site looks. Without thinking too much about it, I moved on to other content projects for other clients.

Fast forward to today, when I was researching my target market and realized that I had 59 404 errors listed in my Google webmaster tools. 59 broken links that were not getting search engines, or more importantly, human eyes, onto my content. Google 404 Errors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you don’t think that 404 errors matter, just think about how many times you go to a website, get a “the page you are looking for is not here” and immediately x-out of that tab, never to return to the blog again?

I know I do it.

Simple SEO Principles

I wanted to take this time to point out to you the fact that you need to think about the consequences of your actions. The simple SEO mistake I made was to substantially change all the links on my site without setting up a redirect. Here is a blog on how to do that, if you didn’t know.

If you are going to change how your site is laid out, realize that it will break things like internal links, external links, and more, and you will need to plan on having Google crawl your site and giving you a list of pages to fix.

But the simple SEO mistake you should not do is to think that the search engines don’t matter. They do matter, they just don’t matter more than the people you want to read your website. But, if your website has poor SEO or other technical issues, at the end of the day, it is your users who suffer.

Think through the people who will be on your site and realize that good SEO practices make for a good experience for them, and also remember that your experiments on your website don’t just make you suffer, they make it difficult for anyone else to engage your website as well.

5 Ways To Use WordPress To Grow Your Tribe

Every business owner online needs to build a tribe of dedicated fans in order to succeed. This is part of the marketing funnel: the more dedicated people are following your business, the more chances you have to convert them into customers. The following are 5 ways that a great business owner can use WordPress to grow their fans in both numbers and engagement.

The WordPress Reader

Follow Other WordPress Blogs
Follow Other WordPress Blogs

Did you know WordPress has its own social network for following blogs, searching for writing topics, and communicating with other bloggers? Even if you have an independent WordPress site (WordPress hosted sites perform really well on the reader), you can use the reader as a part of your networking by installing the Jetpack plugin and creating a WordPress.org account from there.

Integrated Social Sharing Buttons

I use SumoMe for my sharing buttons. You can use the Jetpack plugin I mentioned earlier, or a huge variety of plugins, HTML templates or other systems to embed sharing buttons in your site. It is so easy, and it creates an opportunity for you to network on other sites, besides your own.

Using Comments Well

For the length of my 30-day challenge, I am keeping WordPress comments activated, but I am considering using a different comment management system (Disqus or Facebook) to help streamline my management. Whatever you use, comments are a great location to build rapport with your tribe and provide value to them.

Other Blog Rolls

There are many social networks designed and tailored to sharing blogs. Pinterest is one of the most common, but there are others that are focused on networking, like BlogLovin.

Save Time Blogging

There are more powerful, more intuitive, more user-friendly products on the market for managing a website. Sometimes you need to use them over WordPress, but for blogging, there is no better product. This is where WordPress shines and why WordPress is the leading CMS on the internet.

So, if you are looking to build a tribe of fans who you serve with your content, products, and services, use WordPress to manage your blogging and networking. What other ways do you use WordPress to build a tribe?