Archives for March 2010

How do I install a WordPress plugin on my WordPress blog?

We’ve had quite a few enquiries recently saying “I want to install such and such a plugin on my WordPress blog, how do I do it?” so I thought a blog post was in order.

There are 2 ways to install plugins – through your admin panel and ‘manually’ – below are WordPress’s own instructions regarding how to do both.

Through the admin panel is easiest – log in and then:

From the Administration Panels, click on the Plugin tab. Once you have uploaded a plugin to your WordPress plugin directory, activate it from the Plugins Management page, and sit back and watch your plugin work.

To be honest, this does work well for most of the plugins – and if you have a little time, searching for plugins to install from the admin panel can while away a few hours, and result in you installing and playing with oodles of plugins – it’s very addictive!

If you have to manually install  plugin it’s a little more complicated – you’ll need FTP software and your FTP logins (an address, username and password – if you don’t know them, your web designer/host can probably give them to you).

So, once you have this, follow these instructions:

  1. Read through the “readme” file thoroughly that usually accompanies a plugin, or the website article from where you found the plugin. It is often helpful to print out the instructions so you can check off the installation steps as you complete them.
  2. Upload the plugin to the wp-content/plugins folder in your WordPress directory online.
  3. Make any changes to templates or files as required by the Plugin instructions including adding Plugin template tags.
  4. Activate the Plugin:
    1. Access the Plugin Panel in your Administration Panels
    2. Scroll down through the list of Plugins to find the newly installed Plugin (if not visible, start from the beginning to check to see if you followed the instructions properly and uploaded the file correctly).
    3. Click on the Activate link to turn the Plugin on.
  5. Continue making any modifications necessary from the “readme” file instructions to make the plugin’s actions meet your needs.

They make it sound very easy, and if you know what you’re doing, it is. However, we do realise that the above 5 steps may sound like gobbledygook to some people, so maybe the video below will help:

If you’re still struggling to add a plugin to your blog, or to get it to work properly,  please see our WordPress Plugin Installation Help service.

How do I add Google Analytics to my Facebook Fan Page?

We’ve been adding Google Analytics to clients’ Facebook fan pages over the past couple of days, and they’re loving it!

It’s not difficult to do – all you need is:

  • A Google Analytics account
  • A Facebook Fanpage
  • The FBML application
  • Some generated code
  • 10 minutes spare

There’s a fantastic guide to it here: How to add Google Analytics to your Fan Page

The basic premise is:

1) Add a new profile in Google Analytics

2) Use the Analytics Tracking code here to generate some code

3) Install the FMBL application on your fan page

4) Add the code generated in step 2 to the FBML page you want to track.

5) Check stats tomorrow!

The guide in the link above is great, and walks you through the process easily.

If, however, you’re having problems and can’t get it installed, then we’re offering a basic no frills installation in return for a donation. You can purchase it below. Why a donation? Because although it takes next to no time, we can’t offer it for free or we’d be inundated and have no time for ‘real’ work. This way, if Leigh spends 6 weeks adding Analytics code to Facebook pages, at least she’ll get paid for it! You can choose the amount you pay, so just pay what you think it’s worth.

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Will I be penalised if my articles are republished on other sites as duplicate content?

Mirror imageWe get asked this a lot – when people look into our Article Marketing services, one of the first questions they ask is “But won’t I be penalised for having duplicate content online?”

The simple answer is no. The web thrives on the sharing of information, and duplicate content is a part of this.

I was going to write  huge post about the different types of duplicate content, and then I noticed in my Twitter stream a message from @clairejarrett, pointing to this post from High Ranking.

As it says:

If your own bylined articles are getting published elsewhere, that’s a good thing. You don’t need to provide a different version to other sites or not allow them to be republished at all. The more sites that host your article, the more chances you have to build your credibility as well as to gain links back to your site through a short bio at the end of the article. In many cases, Google doesn’t even filter out duplicate articles in searches, but even if they eventually show only one version, it’s still okay.

It’s a well thought out article, and I agree with every word, so rather than reinventing the wheel over here, I’m urging you to go and read it over there.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: where are the joneses

Please remove me from your email newsletter

A great post today from Chris Brogan – Stop adding me to your email newsletter.

He has a very valid point – just because I’ve swapped emails with you DOESN’T mean you’ve been given my permission to add me to your newsletter list.

By all means, send me an email asking me if I WANT to be added, even send me a sample, but don’t just add me without my permission – it’s unprofessional, it’s underhand and it’s downright spammy.

The reason that most professional email systems (Aweber, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Infusionsoft etc) insist on double opt in is to stop things like this happening – while I accept that not everyone uses a system such as this to send their email newsletters, I would expect everyone to abide by the double opt in principle these days.

Anyway, following Chris’s suggestion, here’s an email you can feel free to send to people who send you their email newsletter when you haven’t asked to receive it. As he says

Share that all you want. Copy it, paste it, reblog it. Whatever. Just let’s get people to stop doing this. Okay?

Hello!

You evidently mistook access for acceptance. I seem to be subscribed to your email newsletter, and I’m not interested. Now, I realize there’s a click-to-unsubscribe option, but I wanted a moment of your time, seeing as you ate up some of mine by making me go through the process of unsubscribing myself from your mailing list.

I can tell you’re eager to grow your business. It’s clear that you want incredibly smart and engaging people like me to participate in your world. Here’s a hint: blindly adding me to your email list won’t really win you many fans in that regard.

In fact, you know who you get when you use that method? Lazy people who haven’t bothered hitting unsubscribe yet. And if they’re too lazy to opt out (or even report you as spam), how motivated will they be to buy your product or service? Seems like a waste of your database space to me.

So, I’m going to unsubscribe now, and I’m going to wish you the best with your business. You clearly need it, if you think blindly adding me to your lists will ensure your future success.

Thanks and with appreciation,

Get more fans for your Facebook fan page – post 1 of 2 today!

We’re on a bit of a Facebook Fan page mission here at NikkiPilkington.com – it seems that all of a sudden we’re building Fan Pages for clients large and small!

We love to see what others are doing with their Fan Pages, and with this in mind we’ve created the Here’s My Fan Page Fan Page!

Join as a fan, and post details of your fan page so other fans can find it! We’ll spotlight selected pages, post some of the on our other Fan Pages, and generally try to help you out with the gaining of fans.

All we ask in return is that you forward details of this page to your friends and contacts, and encourage them to join!

So please, become a fan, post details of your Fan Page, and help to spread the word!

Here's My Fanpage! on Facebook

And the other Facebook fan page post? Keep checking in or subscribe to the Feedburner feed top right to be alerted to it when it is posted!

Which are the best WordPress plugins to start with?

wpWe all have our favourite WordPress plugins (I’m particularly fond of Tweetmeme, Photodropper and All in One SEO myself) – and we want to know about yours!

Which plugins can’t you live without? Which ones do you wish you’d found earlier? Have you found one that’s made the world of difference to how you see your blog?

On the other hand, are you looking for a plugin to do something and can’t find it? Or you’ve found the perfect plugin but can’t install it or don’t know how?

Whataver your WordPress plugin wants, needs and loves, let us know in the comments below!

Your recommendtions for plugins will help others to find new ideas, and if you have a plugin question or query, maybe someone can help you!

Getting rid of bad reviews online – online reputation management

displeased breakfastIt seems that the more you ‘put yourself out there’ on the internet, the greater target you become.

At first it’s great – customers and clients give you fantastic reviews, you add yourselves to more and more sites and directories, set up google Alerts to receive emails whenever you’re mentioned online, and all is good with the world.

But then comes the day that you receive a bad review online – or even more. Your alerts tell you that someone or some people are saying bad things, and you’re not altogether sure what to do.

It may be that the reviews are justified, or it could be that someone is ‘out to get you’ – either way it doesn’t make nice reading.

In some cases you can go to the review sites and refute the allegations, put your side of the story, or have the review removed if you can prove that it is untrue. In other cases though, you can’t. Lots of review sites allow anonymous reviews, and although it’s massively unfair, there’s not a lot you can do about it.

So how can you avoid potential customers and clients seeing bad reviews of your service?

If you can’t fix it or refute it, and getting it removed isn’t an option, then you may want to consider burying it.

What does this mean? Quite simply you need to drive the bad reviews off the front page of Google, Bing and wherever else – so that potential customers looking for you on the Internet find YOU and GOOD THINGS about you before they find bad reviews.

Back in December I talked about developing your circle of credibility – and this is kind of an extension of that – making sure that when people search for you online they find you in various places with results that leave them feeling good about you. Let’s recap on the things I said were good to have:

Your company website. Ideally your website will be in the number one position, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have prominent links showing to the main areas of your website, including testimonials.

Your website is probably the first thing someone will be looking for, so make sure it contains some great testimonials / reviews, and shows you at your best. Case studies, examples of work and quotes from happy clients are great for showing you in a good light.

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– Your blog. Whether your blog is attached to your website, or a separate entity, it gives any potential client a flavour of your thoughts, opinions and expertise. A quick read through a corporate blog can often tell you much more than a company website, as a blog tends to be more informal and have more of a ‘personality’ – make sure yours is visible and showing the side of you that you want people to see.

– Your Twitter profile. Of course, this is only a good thing if you WANT people to find it, and if you’ve thought about your company image and brand while posting tweets :) If your Twitter profile is full of ‘Got a hangover and don’t know the name of the man I woke up with this morning’ then it’s probably best if you give it a different name ;)

However, if you use your Twitter profile as part of your company brand then having it show up as one of the results for your company name is a good thing.

Your LinkedIn and online networking profiles. Along with places such as UK Business forums, UK Business Labs, Xing, WeCanDo.biz, BT Tradespace and more, your LinkedIn profile shows that you appear in various places online that are related to business. These profiles, especially if very active and up to date, show that you’re not just a fly by night, and that you can be tracked down in the event of any problems. This is especially important if you’re a ‘virtual’ company, in my opinion.

Articles you’ve written. Whether they are articles on your own site, or articles on somewhere authoritative such as Ezine Articles, having your content easily findable shows you spend time promoting yourself, and those articles could be the difference between you showing your expertise or becoming just another ‘also ran’ in the competition for someone’s business.

Interviews. If you’ve been asked to do interviews and the transcripts or audio files are online, then they’re a great way for a potential customer to learn more about you – if you’ve not been asked to do interviews, start making it known that you’re available!

Videos. Whether it’s your very own YouTube channel, or videos on your site, having videos show up in the search results for your company name is a good thing. Not everyone likes reading reams of text about how great you are ;)

Your Facebook profile and / or  Fan Page. This is only a good thing if you’re aware that your Facebook profile could be seen as part of a ‘fact finding’ mission by potential customers. If your profile is available to all (and Fan Pages are by default) then make sure it shows your best side, not just your wild and possibly drunken side ;)

Basically, you want the search results for your company or your name to show a well rounded promotion of your company and services. When people see your website, your blog, your Twitter profile and Facebook Fan Page, numerous articles written by you, interviews, videos etc, they see that you’ve been around a while, that you’re not going anywhere and that you’re probably the person that they want to deal with.

That’s why we always recommend to our clients that they have up to date profiles in as many places as possible, that they blog and write articles regularly, and that they bear in mind their Circle of Credibility, no matter what they’re doing online.

Unfortunately, when it comes to burying bad reviews, the above isn’t always enough (although it’s a good start). Review sites and blogs, by their very nature, do well in search engines such as Google, and you may have to work a little harder to ensure your positive results come above the negative ones.

If you’re interested in finding out more about getting rid of bad reviews online and managing your online reputation, get in touch.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Genista

How can I track my social media marketing efforts?

Anyone who’s known me for any length of time knows that I’m a big ambassador for tracking everything you do. After all, if you don’t track your efforts, how do you know what’s working?

Social Media Marketing is no different, and it’s been on my mind for a while to write a blog about the easiest ways to track your social media marketing activities.

As usually happens, someone got there first, and saved me the trouble 🙂

Top 10 Free Social Media Tracking Tools

The above blog is a fab list of tools you can use to track your efforts – and they’re all free to boot!

If you’ve found any others I’d love to hear about them below!

Quick Facebook Fan Page tip – your web address

It’s amazing how many Facebook fan pages I come across that haven’t thought of this, and it works well to drive traffic to a website so I’ll share it with you 🙂

On the wall of your Facebook fan page, you have a space to write a little bit of info about your website. In this space I see people putting how long they’ve been in business, what they do, who they’re looking for, and all this is good.

wwwfb

But did you know that if you post your website address (using http://) then it becomes a clickable link?

On one Facebook fan page we increased clickthru to the website by over 65% just by doing this.

Make it easy for people to click through to your website – put your web address in the left hand box and don’t make them search for it by having to look through your posts or cliek on the ‘info’ tab – us internet users have short attention spans you know!

Let me know if this makes a difference to you!

Giving business to your competitors can be a GOOD thing!

«That's for you!!!»Here at NikkiPilkington.com, we have a policy that we won’t take on more than 2 companies in the same industry, and even then not for the same services.

So if a company comes to us looking for higher Google listings, but we already have a client in the same industry looking at the same keyphrases, we have to say no – otherwise we’re just competing with ourselves, and where’s the honesty in that?

But rather than just turn people away in this type of situation, I generally try to help them out. After all, they’ve usually come to me because they’ve heard something about me online, and I’m hardly helping my reputation if I just say “Sorry, can’t help you, bye!” now am I?

So what I tend to do is refer them to other people in my industry, depending on what they want. And yes, by ‘other people in my industry’, I mean my competitors…

A week or so ago I was approached by a client in financial services, who wanted SEO – I couldn’t take him on so I referred him to someone else, who is now happily helping him out. A few days ago a games company came to me for SEO too nd I referred him on to someone else, as I already have a client in that industry. A few weeks ago someone came to me wnting me to speak on social media to a large conference – I couldn’t do it and so recommended yet another of my competitors.

In all 3 cases, the people that I said “No, I can’t help you but here’s the number of my competitor” were amazed – why would I not only be turning business down, but be passing it on to a competitor of mine? Two of the people I passed business to were also quite surprised that I’d bothered.

But why shouldn’t I do this? OK, any future business from those clients may be lost to me, and if in future they’re asked for recommendations, it might not be me that they recommend, but at the end of the day, they needed help and I couldn’t give it.

To my mind there’s enough SEO and Social Media Marketing business to go around for all of us – I’d rather risk future business from one potential client by referring them to someone I know is good at what they do, than risk them finding a cowboy company and spending the next 6 months slagging off the industry I work in because they’ve been ripped off.

Also, by referring someone to a competitor company who can help them, I’ve done my good deed for both parties, and the hopeful side of me says they’ll remember that in future (givers’ gain and all that!).

So if you’re wary of recommending your competitors, maybe think again – by having a few trusted people you can refer business to, you just might enhance your reputation – and you never know, you might find your competition referring business to you too 😉

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar

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