In this 2-part series. We will show you how to set up a WordPress Blog using OptimizePress SnartTheme and walk you through optimizing your site using powerful SEO strategies to set you on a solid foundation towards traffic, customers and success.
Here’s what you will learn:
Part-1 – How To Setup A WordPress Blog Using OptimizePress [You Are Here]
Part-2 – How To SEO Your OptimizePress Blog And Landing Pages
Sounds simple enough right?… Well yes and no!
A website in itself isn’t enough…
See, with the dawn of the mighty search engines like Google and Youtube (Yes, it is, in fact, a search engine!) and Social Media properties like Facebook and Twitter, it’s become more important than ever to ensure that your web assets get seen and heard by your audience.
Traffic and eyeballs are key. However, if we’re to have a good chance of getting seen in the search engines, particularly in the eyes of Google. We need to ensure that our WordPress blogs are fully optimized and our landing pages are SEO ready.
In this tutorial series, we’re going to focus on the key things that will walk you through how to set up your websites the right way.
By the end of this series, you will have a firm grasp of everything you need to know to properly set up your website and correctly SEO Optimize your blog posts and pages.
So let’s now start at the very beginning by asking the following question…
To fully understand, we need to go back in time to the year 2004, when Google was still fresh off the block.
Back then, traffic was easy. Webmasters quickly learned that putting up a simple 1-page website (often containing spam) was simple and straightforward.
People capitalised on this arbitrage opportunity and made lots of money. Ads were bought cheaply and driven directly to pages with nothing more than links to affiliate offers and services, using keywords that were often unrelated, with little to no restrictions.
Fast forward to 2007, Google began to clamp down on this and introduced the Quality Score metric. No longer could you launch a simple page with junk and have it listed, but rather wanted to clear up their search results with websites containing fresh, quality content that is relevant to what people were searching for.
It’s clear that what Google wants is engaging content on a website that contains valuable information that is constantly updated and relevant.
In short, having a blog on your website keeps your content fresh in Google’s search engine and increases the chance of your articles appearing in their search results.
This is important for 2 reasons:
- Your website has a higher chance of getting seen by your target market who are searching for information using specific market-related keywords. Please Note: We will discuss keywords and site structure in part-2 of this series.
- The relevancy and authority of your website increases, which will further build your credibility and improve conversions.
In the past, setting up a blog required tedious processes with the coding and technical skill to get started.
Thankfully, with the launch of WordPress, this is now made easy using an intuitive admin area and free third-party plugins, adding further functionality to the platform.
With OptimizePress 2, we’ve made the process of setting up and styling a WordPress blog simple and straightforward and requires a few easy steps.
Step #1 – Install The OptimizePress SmartTheme
Firstly, you MUST install and license OptimizePress Plugin in order for the SmartTheme to work.
When first installing and activating the SmartTheme, at first, you will have noticed that things are slightly different versus how things were previously with our Old OptimizePress Theme. Download the SmartTheme here.
Instead of being presented with the Blog Setup screen, you now simply have to go to the Theme Options Menu under the Appearance area in the WordPress menu.
Upon clicking here, you will be presented with the SmartTheme customisation options:
Please Note: We will be releasing more themes in the near future, so please keep an eye on the blog and your inbox for further news.
Step #2 – The Header Section
The first part of the customisation options will require setting up your header area.
To set up a logo, you will be given various options. The first is to upload a basic Logo that is 220px wide as shown in the example below:
You can also upload a Retina Logo that is 440px wide. This is commonly used for full-width banners.
Please Note: For best effect. Ensure the logo contains a transparent background and is saved as a .PNG file.
Upload Your Site Icon
A Site Icon is a 512x512px image that is located on the address bar and tab next to your URL address. This is great for branding your website and business. Here’s an example from our main OptimizePress website:
Turn this on if you wish your header bar to continue to be displayed when a user scrolls down the page/post.
Show Search Box In Header
If you wish to include a search Icon in the Header, you can turn this option on.
You will have 4 Header placement styles to choose from.
Here’s how they look:
Navbar below header & tagline
Dropdown Menu Line Color
This is the colour of the line dividers that will be present in your drop-down menu, you can change this to whichever colour you desire that suits your personal brand.
Here, you can set the tagline of your blog, which will generally show under the Navbar below header & tagline header style.
Header Background Color
You can also set the background colour of your main header.
Header Bottom Border Color
If you would like the bottom border colour of the header to be different to the main header background colour, you can set the colour in this section.
Step #3 – The Footer Section
The next stage is to setup the footer area of your blog.
The footer section can be split into different columns and can select this from this area and is a very straightforward process. By default, the column is set to 3.
Logo and Retina Logo
As with the Header area, upload the Logo and Retina Logo to display in the footer. The type of logo to be displayed will depend on the number of columns set.
Here, you can type in your Copyright text, which will display on the very bottom half of your footer.
Footer Background, Headline, Text & Link Color
Pretty self-explanatory. You can set the colour of each of these elements that is exclusively displayed in the footer.
Step #4 – Styling
The styling section of the settings is focused on the general theme styling and can customise it to your liking.
It is split into 3 sections:
- Link Colours: Link Colour, Button Background Colour, Button Hover Background Colour, Button Colour, Menu Link Colour.
- Category Tag Colours: Category Tag Text Colour, Category Tag Background Colour.
- Typography: You can turn on the Advanced Settings to see more options, Turn on Uppercase Heading & Title Styling and set the Body & Headline Font.
Step #5 – Blog Layout
The next stage of the process is to set the general Blog layout. We’ve made the options for this as easy to understand as possible and self-explanatory.
- Metadata Options: You can choose to display or hide the Date, Author, Categories or Tags of your articles.
- Hide Blog Comments: Here, you can choose whether to display or hide blog comments across all of your blog posts and pages.
- Homepage Layout, Hero: Here, you’ll be able to set the general layout of your homepage and set whether you would like a feature box included; allowing you to also style it with various styling options included.
You are given 2 layout options.
As seen in the setting:
Display like this:
Here is what the Hero box looks like when activated:
You can also decide whether to display a sidebar on your main blog or not and can set it to the left or right of your page.
Blog Post Layout, Hero & Archive
The blog post layout is where or if the sidebar should show:
The next 2 submenus is dedicated to individual blog posts and contain similar options as per the main homepage settings.
Step #6 – Page Layout
The Page Layout will contain the same layout options as the Blog Layout. You will be able to decide what the layout should be like for individual pages, which is ideal for targeting specific pages and not the entire blog.
Step #7 – Optin Form Layout
If you would like to insert any opt-in forms on your blog, you will be able to set up as many configurations as you require by going to Integration Settings.
By configuration, we mean other email list providers.
Choose how many you want:
Then select the account and list:
Once setup, you will then be able to set where you would like each of them to be placed on your blog and will be shown a dedicated section for each website page type, allowing you to set an opt-in box for each if required.
Step #8 – Social Setup
This section will allow you to assign your social profiles and placements to your blog posts and pages. The options for this are very straightforward and will be able to quickly set them all up with no complications.
Step #9 – Miscellaneous Options
If you would like to promote OptimizePress using your own custom affiliate link, you can choose to include this in the footer of your blog by switching this on. There will also be the option to turn on the ‘Show in Search Results’ option. We strongly recommend turning this on for the purposes of listing your website in Google’s search engine, which we will get into in Part-2 of this series.
Step #10 – Custom Scripts
Lastly, we have as always, provided a section for inserting and custom scripts to your blogs and can do so in this section.
First, select the location of the script. You can have a script in the same location of multiple locations by click Add and add a new script.
At this stage, you should now have a fully themed blog, ready for posting articles.
In the next part of the series, we will discuss how to structure your website for SEO and begin looking at keyword selection to set the ball rolling for writing quality content to your blog and receiving targeted traffic and prospects to your website.