Installing WordPress for Inbound Marketing Success

Can WordPress be an effective Inbound Marketing platform that rivals the likes of Hubspot?  You bet it can!  In the right hands a WordPress Blog, an Inbound Marketer and cup of coffee can do some major damage in the search results.  I don’t want to turn this post into a WordPress vs. Hubspot article because in my opinion, they BOTH have their advantages and disadvantages and I have used BOTH and recommended BOTH based solely on a client’s needs and ability.  So let’s just assume that you have already done the research and know that you want to use WordPress for your Inbound Marketing efforts.  If that’s you…keep reading! 

Installing WordPress

This is fairly easy to do if you have even the basics of web site hosting down.  Here is a short list of skills needed and a level of difficulty on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being so easy your mom could do it, 5 being so hard you need a Harvard PhD in Computer Science to accomplish the task):

Installation of WordPress by Hosting Company – Difficulty Level 1

What you need:

  • Username and PW to your hosting account.

Simply login to your hosting control panel, locate add-ons and click “Install WordPress”.  The control panel should ask you a few basic questions like directory destination, username & password, name and by-line for the blog and then BAM!  You’re home!

Another option if you cannot find an “install now button” is to open a service ticket.  Some hosting companies will install it for you via this method by a trained technician.

Manual Installation of WordPress – Difficulty Level 2-3

What you need:

  • FTP Access to your website
  • A text editor (Notepad works fine here)
  • A complete download of the latest WordPress Platform Zip File
  • A Web Browser and internet access
  • The ability to follow installation instructions

Download the latest version of WordPress from http://wordpress.org/

Follow these instructions http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress

WordPress boasts a “Famous 5 Minute Installation” and although I am not sure about that, I have installed no less than 20 or so WordPress blogs and have spent an average of about 30 minutes on each one.  Each hosting company and web server seems to have their own requirements that make it a bit tricky sometimes, but nothing that cannot be overcome be reading the installation instructions and the support systems on your hosting platform and WordPress.

Configuring WordPress for Inbound Marketing Success!

What you need: Difficulty Level 2-3

  • 1-24 hours of time depending on your desired outcome
  • FTP Access to your website and Blog directory
  • The ability to install and configure Plug-ins
  • Web design & coding ability including HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript – Basic Skills ONLY

Some people will tell you that WordPress out of the box is SEO friendly.  I will tell you that that is absolutely NOT true!  In fact, failure to configure your new WordPress blog and optimize for SEO will result in your blog being basically invisible in the search engines.  After years and years of experience and experimenting, here is what we have come up with for a content marketing ready WordPress installation guide:

Skin your WordPress to match your website site graphically.  Not really an SEO requirement per se, but if you want to be professional you will want to spend some time or hire someone to do this correctly.  PRO TIP – Use a Mobile Friendly Responsive Theme!

Properly Title your new WordPress Blog.  The title of your blog in the general setting tab determines your <TITLE> Tag.  So treat this like any other web page and SEO your title with Keywords and Branding that you would your Home Page.

Plugins – Here’s where it gets REALLY fun!  There are thousands and thousands of plugins.  In fact, there are way too many to list.  I have compiled a list of my favorite types of plugins for you below.  Simply click ADD NEW plugins and use the search box to find these plugins, pick one and then click install and then configure them in the settings to meet your needs:

  • SEO Plugin – A must for making sure your Blog Pages and Posts are search engine friendly!
  • Anti-Spam Plugin – A must if you allow comments on your blog.  PRO TIP – Always allow comments on your blog!
  • Email Subscription.  PRO TIP – Tie this to your email marketing efforts for supercharged Inbound Marketing Lead Nurturing!
  • Google Analytics – Measure and Adjust!
  • XML Sitemap Generator
  • Social Media Sharing – Make sure your content is EASY to share on social media!
  • Back-Ups – To ensure your content is safe, do weekly back-ups at a minimum
  • Security Plugins – Protect your WordPress Blog and log in account from hackers

That’s it…you’re done!  If you follow these simple steps, select, install and configure some good plugins you will be all set and ready to turn your website into a content generating machine!

And oh yeah…Welcome to Inbound Marketing!

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4 Comments

  1. Enjoyed reading your post, Mike! Another vital tip I would suggest for your readers is to make sure the Permalink Settings are configured in a way that best suits the website’s marketing goals. This tends to be one of those neglected “out-of-the-box” features that you mentioned.

    Permalink structure can be set for “Post name” for a clean URL that lets your page and post titles show off their ability to be keyword-rich. Or, using the other Permalink structure options will allow people to have a URL structure that includes dates (month and post title, for example).

    Here’s where to find the Permalink settings:

    WordPress Dashboard>
    Settings>
    Permalinks

    WordPress is such a great tool!

    • EXCELLENT Point Scott!

      Using post data [DATE/TIME] for the URL is a great way for those industries who have heavy regulation (Government, Higher Ed, Legal, Broadcast, etc.) to show date and time of postings and archiving!

      Thanks for commenting Scott! I hoping a WordPress PRO like yourself would chime in!

  2. Mark Myers

    Love this post Mike! So much detail and great advice!

    Question for you?

    Which plugins do you recommend for the above listed SEO, Security and Anti-Spam plugins?

    Thanks – Mark

  3. great post, Love this post Mike! So much detail and great advice!

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