How to Choose a WordPress Theme – 5 Tips

WordPress is one of my favorite software packages.  Not just for the actual usefulness of WordPress itself, the core files, and the Content Management System framework, but also because of all the website themes and plug-ins that have been developed by third parties.

If you are going to acquire a theme for use on your site, here are our top 5 Tips for WordPress Themes

  1. Responsive is your #1 priority in theme selection - Don’t even consider a theme that is not fully responsive.  Google Webmaster recommends responsive websites.  In late 2014, the search traffic on Google from non-desktops passed the 50% mark and still on the upward trend.
  2. Be SEO friendly – Many themes indicate that they are designed to be “SEO optimized” or “SEO ready”.  This often means they have made it easy in their theme to edit the “SEO Assets” of a web page.  In addition, we also recommend that you add an SEO Plug-In called Yoast SEO and learn how to use it.
  3. Buy the Premium Version – Always buy the premium version of the theme.  Many themes are available in a free version, which is stripped down and does offer any support.  Premium versions will give you access to unlimited use of the best features as well as assistance from the theme programmers.
  4.  Easy customization – Almost every website has some custom elements, so choose a theme that easy customization options, such as a custom CSS box, a variety of color schemes, logo file uploader, background color and image options.
  5. Choose a theme with all the sub page layouts you will need - Some themes only come with a couple of page layouts, such as full width, left side bar and right side bar.  Others, premium themes, include these, plus gallery pages, contact pages, and more.  You may not need more, at least not now, but if you are choosing between two themes, pick the one with more pre-built page layouts.

New Website for Alstott Outfitters

Just posted in our portfolio, details about the new AlstottOutfitters.com website project.

Click to See More.

Recovered Website for Bear Creek Outfitters

See our latest customer portfolio item regarding a website recovery project for Bear Creek Outfitters.

New custom website for HeadHunterOutfitters.com

We have just launched the new HeadHunterOutfitters.com, a custom built website for a Saskatchewan Whitetail Deer and Black Bear outfitter.   This client was in need of a new home for their website, plus website management and came to us because of our ability to get other outfitter websites ranked well on search engines.  The client’s site had been out of commission for several months.  We were able to work with the previous webmaster and to restore and enhance their site with new image galleries and updated hunting information.

You can see more in our portfolio.

New WordPress Responsive Site

Check out the new website for Chatterson Wealth Management.  This project combined custom website development along with using a WordPress responsive theme and Search Engine Optimization.  More information is available in our client portfolio.

Responsive Website for Bear Down Outfitters

We have just launched the new BearDownOutfitters.com, a custom responsive website for a Saskatchewan Black Bear outfitter.   This client was in need of a brand new website, from scratch, and came to us because of our ability to get other outfitter websites ranked well on search engines.  We also worked with the client to put together a Google AdWords campaign.

Lather Rinse Repeat SEO Method

Maybe the better title for this SEO Method article would be How to Repeat Success.

When you have a marketing activity (tactic) that works, the simple formula to get more results is to do more of the same activity.  If you invest in 100 units of something and get back 200 units in return then simple math says that you can get 400 units, if you put in 200 units.  That seems pretty simple.  As easy as washing your hair, where the instructions on most shampoo bottles is “Lather – Rinse – Repeat”.  Following those instructions should produce predictable results, clean hair.

Sometime marketers are convinced that they must constantly innovate and change in order to deliver value to their organization.  To this I say yes, but not always, especially in many cases.  How was that for clarity?  Simply put, i don’t believe all change and all innovation is progress.  If you have uncovered a formula, or a process that works, it would be a disservice to your company to stop following that process.

An example will help explain.  A tried and tested formula for achieving good SEO rankings is to select a search term with value to your customer base, establish a page, or several, that provide the user with interesting and valuable content on the topic, supplement with several blog articles, posted at regular intervals, and make use of social media to help spread the message and attract potential links.  If this works for Product A, how do you attract a market to Product B?  Lather – Rinse – Repeat, follow the same SEO formula.

Once you have developed a process that produces success, you don’t need to start over.  Can you get better results than your Lather – Rinse – Repeat SEO method.  Absolutely!  But modify your success formula in small and measurable ways, so that you know what changes produced improvements.

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Responsive Website – Classic Ball Fields

A quick announcement, we have just launched a new website on a classic subject, using the most current responsive website programming.  ClassicBallFields.com is all about the love of the game of baseball, and the baseball fields the games are played in.

You can read more detail in the Portfolio, or go visit ClassicBallFields.com

The website is fully mobile responsive, which is even more important now that Google is using mobile friendliness as a ranking signal for mobile search.

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Google Wants to Reward Your Mobile Friendly Site

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

If it is, then Google is preparing to reward you with more mobile traffic by giving it better ranking on mobile search results.

Does Mobile Friendly Matter for My Business?

Usually the answer is yes.  If your business relies on customers to drive revenue, then absolutely.  Some examples of businesses where mobile friendly should be considered essential include:

  • restaurants
  • retail stores
  • personal services
  • bodyshop
  • mechanic
  • eye care
  • dentist
  • home services

Of course the list can be as long as we have time to sit and think of business categories.  Simply put, if you have customers and competition, your website should be mobile friendly.

Mobile Search is the fastest growing segment of the search market.  Depending on which study you refer to, mobile users take action on their search results, within the hour, 55% to 70% of the time.  Mobile users that find your business online have a conversion percentage nearly three times higher than the same search done on a desktop or laptop.   Why? Mobile users are on the go. When you’re browsing, you grab the laptop and start researching or just satisfying curiosity for products or services. When you grab your smartphone to search, you have a specific intent in mind, whether it be food, clothing or an oil change for your car. Mobile searchers are buyers, assuming you can meet their needs.

How Can I Test my Website:

Google has provided a tool to test webpages at google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.

Here is what it will look like if you pass the test:

mobile-friendly-screenshot

April 21, 2015 Deadline for Google Mobile Friendly

Google will roll out an update to it’s ranking algorithm on April 21st that is said to have “significant implications” on mobile site rankings.  If your site is able to pass the test for what Google considers to be Mobile Friendly, then expect more traffic coming your way.

What does Google Mobile Friendly Mean?

There are 3 tests that Google performs on a website to determine if it is Mobile Friendly.  These are:

  • Is the text large enough to read on a phone?
  • Is the mobile viewport set?
  • Are the links far enough apart?

One of the great things about the test, is that if you don’t pass the test, it will tell which of the three reasons your site failed.

What Do I Do If My Site Fails the Google Mobile TEst?

The first thing is too panic, and then panic some more.  It’s Mobilegeddon!  OK, done panicing?  Good!  Now lets get to work.  April 21st is just around the corner.   If you want to lead your business segment for mobile search traffic, then we can help you convert your site to a mobile friendly site.  Just use our Contact page or call us directly at 306-371-4595.

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Can Your Website Live Without a Logo?

How important is a logo to your website? More importantly, how important is a logo to your marketing?

The power brands are well know by their logos, think IBM, Coca-Cola, Nike, Chevrolet, Apple, Shell, McDonalds. The brand awareness of these companies is so strong that almost anyone seeing the logo can immediately name the company and knows the products they sell. On the Internet, we have grown accustomed to company logos appearing at the top of the page and clicking the logo taking you to the home page of the website.

For a lesser known company, a logo is less recognized, but think back to some companies that were lesser know only 10 years ago, and as you read each one, does their logo come to mind?

  • Ebay
  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Yes it does.

But can your company survive, grow, and thrive without a logo?  The answer is yes you probably can, but why would you want to risk it?  All of the famous brands have a recognizable logo, so there is a lesson in that for all marketers.  I believe some elements of a business marketing plan are non-negotiable.  A logo is one of them.  I have a favorite graphic designer I farm out all of my client’s logo design needs to, a trusted source of quality work.  I do this because I get quality work at a reasonable price and my clients are always happy.  You can also farm out the design work to some market places on the Internet and get designers to bid and submit proofs for your review.

Regardless, don’t skip past the importance of a quality logo for your business.  It is the anchor for your brand and for your website.

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