Adding Google Maps to WordPress

Add any location map iframe tag to a sidebar widget

For widget-enabled themes only.

  1. Add the Text widget to the sidebar of your choice.
    • Edit the Text widget.
    • Copy the iframe text provided by Google into the editing box. For example:
      • <iframe
        width="425" height="350"
        frameborder="0"
        scrolling="no"
        marginheight="0" marginwidth="0"
        src="http://maps.google.com/maps..."></iframe>
        <br /><small>
        <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps..."
        style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a>
        </small>
    • Click the Done button.
    • Click Save Changes in the widget area.
      • The iframe tag stays intact if you copy the code into a Text widget.
  2. View Site to ensure you see what you expected.

Add any location map iframe tag to a Post or Page.

  1. Copy the iframe code provided by Google.
  2. Add New Page or Post.
    • Paste the iframe code into the editing box.
    • Click Save.
    • Click the HTML tab to view the code.
    • Click Publish.
  3. View the Post to ensure you see what you expected.

Make maps

Make your own annotated multimedia Google map

Launching and Promoting a Site

Promotion begins at step 1

Readings

Blogs ‘Gone Wild!’: Optimization Strategies to Ensure Yours is ‘Of Age’
Roger Gilliam. 2007. SEOBlog. Optimization guidelines to help ensure your blog’s freedom and visibility.
The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week
Free ebook download (.pdf) by Joan Stewart. 2008.
Promoting Your Site on the Web
Gisele Glosser. Wise-Women.com
The Unusually Useful Web Book
June Cohen. New Riders. 2003.
Page 279.

Before you design and build a site, read the latest research on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (first reading at the right) and be aware of how important your site structure, programming, and design are to search engines; your most important ally in the web business.

Then, based on the site’s plan (or clients’ needs), begin to create the structure, write the text, design the user interface, and program the functions to meet those needs.

Much of what is needed to promote a site is done at no cost other than your labor. Only when those methods fail, do you want to either pay for advertising to promote your site, or do more user testing to see if a redesign of your site will get you the number of visits from the right vistors that you intended.

1. Know Your Audience.

  • Who are they?
  • What are they like?
  • What do they want from you?
  • How are they willing to get it?
  • What kind of language do they use to describe your product or service?

2. Know Your Competitors.

  • Who are they?
  • What are they like?
  • How are they promoting themselves?
  • What keywords and phrases are they using in their sites?
  • Which competitors are ranking on page one of Google and Yahoo’s searches for those keywords.

3. Research keywords and phrases.

List all the keywords and phrases associated with your product or service.

4. Buy a domain.

Buy a domain name that uses your most important keyword/phrase.

  • Buy a domain name that uses your most important keyword/phrase.
  • This will make people more likely to find and trust your site.

5. Design the site to help search engines.

Readings

Robotstxt.org
Site dedicated to helping web authors understand the uses for the robots.txt file in a web site.
  • Name your folders and page files by the keyword groups you defined in #3.
  • Use unique meta tag keyword lists on each page; keep it short and related to that page.
  • Each page title is unique to the page and reflects the important keywords for that page.
  • Each page’s headers and subheads use the keywords.
  • The body text of each page uses the keywords for that page yet remains well-written.
  • Navigation from one page to the next is logical and uses the top priority keywords.
  • Avoid internal style sheets, long JavaScripts, Flash navigation, and frames.
    • Move styles to an external .css file.
    • Move JavaScripts to external .js files.
    • Navigation should not rely on Flash.
    • Frames make navigation for search engine robots difficult.
  • Use HTML text instead of image-text to display important names, content, or links.
    • Text links use keywords.
  • Use descriptive and accurate alt and title tags.
    • Include the keywords in them when possible.
    • When adding outside links (either to a blogroll or text link), remember to fill the title attribute field with keywords and phrases that describe the link.
  • Fix broken links.
  • Use compliant code and styles whenever possible to help search engines read your page.
  • Design areas of your site that take advantage of underused keywords and phrases.
  • Create a crawler page
    • List-only links to your pages (a site map).
    • Include no content or meta tags; just links.
    • Create a hidden link to it from the home page.
  • Create a robots.txtpage
    • Tell search engine robots what they can or cannot add to their index.

6. Complete the content of your site.

All visible pages need relevant content such as headlines, text, images, alternative text and title.

  • Leave off any pages that are under construction.
    • Do not use the words “under construction” in your pages/site. Search engines don’t like this.
  • Print every page of the site and review it.
    • Does it look like you want it to?

7. Test users.

Test users to help determine if you’ve met the objectives set forth in your plan.

  • 8 Guidelines for Usability Testing
  • Can they find what they’re looking for quickly and easily?
  • If not, survey them to learn how you can improve the site.
    • Observe them looking for something specific so you can learn how they navigate and perceive your site.

8. Submit your site to search engines.

Submit your site’s home page or crawler page to Google, Yahoo, and other major search engines related to your industry.

9. Create online relationships.

Link Exchanges

  • Exchange links with sites that can support your efforts.
  • But only with the sites that are already ranking high in search engines.
  • Consider becoming part of a web ring, club, discussion group, industry-related directory, or other organizations which list members.

Tools and services

10. Track statistics.

Begin tracking who visits your site and what they do there.

Readings

Web Site Statistics: How, Why and What to Count
Makiko Itoh. Wise-Women.com
Google Analytics Support Overview
Getting started checklist.

Services and products help track and graph what’s happening:

  • Google Analytics
    • Sign up for free account. Add a small script to the bottom of each site’s template to activate. The charts and data available are helpful, though I’ve read some SEO experts recommend you use a stats product that isn’t made by the search engine companies.
  • StatCounter
    • A free yet reliable invisible web tracker, highly configurable hit counter and real-time detailed web stats. Insert a simple piece of our code on your web page and you will be able to analyze and monitor all the visitors to your web site in real-time!

11. Keep up with trends.

Stay abreast of industry changes by reading articles and forums listed on SEO Chat.

12. Remind everyone of your domain name.

List your domain name on printed and other online materials whenever possible.

  • Business cards, brochures, and other giveaway items
    • Leave off the http:// and www.
    • Most domains no longer need the www so use just the domain name.
      • Example: oregonstate.edu
  • Email signatures
    • Never just put your name at the end of an email; use your full contact information.
    • Use an email address that uses your domain, not one with an unrelated domain such as Hotmail or Yahoo.
  • Online forums, articles, and newsletters
    • Become known as an expert by writing and submitting articles to appropriate online and printed sources.
    • Send an opt-in online newsletter and provide a way for customers to opt-out.
      • Do not spam your customers or friends; they may get you listed as a spammer.
  • Online Public Calendars
  • Advertising
    • Consider online advertising to hit your target audience.

Avoid becoming a splog or content farm.

The internet is a legitimate arena to promote knowledge, people, places, products, services, and communities. Many businesses rely on the internet to prosper. A large portion of those businesses are making money only via the internet. And a large portion of those businesses are abusing the internet to make money. Read Spam + Blogs = Trouble by Charles C. Mann (Wired 14.9) to learn how the abuse takes place and why splogs could smother the Internet. Lately, Google is cracking down on content farms.

Final words of advice for new web authoring masters.

Building web pages may be fun; a creative outlet. Selling services and products online is another situation, however. To be a successful vendor for clients looking to you for expertise, consider that they are paying for success of their site, not just a pretty interface. Success is ‘more paying customers.’ So design and produce with their needs in mind, which includes bringing customers to their site and ultimately to their door.

Now, maybe you aren’t considering a career in web authoring, or if you are, you just want to be the designer, or just the programmer, and not the marketer. Either way, your knowledge and experience in the promotional aspects of web authoring will be needed before you create a single web page.

Workshop Attendees Link Exchanges

Create an Online Presence workshop at Linn Benton Community College
Create an Online Presence workshop at Linn Benton Community College

These links take you to new web sites created by attendees of the Building an Online Presence workshops. Watch the list grow!

Gorilla Grams Blog, Balloon Bouquets & Classic Decor, Costumed Delivery & Balloon Twisting

Dylan McMahon, Fine Arts

Carolee S. Clark, Painter blog, web site, collaboration web site by Carolee Clark

Donna Beverly’s blog, web site, collaboration web site by Donna Beverly

Rusty Van Rossmann’s blog by Rusty Van Rossmann

Procession of the Species (Albany) by Tia Swanson.

Herb Berman, oil painter by Regina Berman

Rose Gate Pottery and Boundless Gallery by Becca Lemon

Linda J. Edwards Visual Arts by Linda Edwards

Jan Maitland Portraits and Paintings and JanMaitland.BoundlessGallery.com, Jan Maitland

Barbara Levine and her blog, by Barbara Levine

Willamette Valley Farmlands by Ellen Hamill of Oregon Art Photos

Ted Ernst Pottery blog & website by Ted Ernst

Clay with Fire and Willamette Ceramics Guild by Steve Aulerich

Fibers of Faith by Cindy McNutt-Kaestner

Anita Cook Landscapes in Pastel and AnitaCook.BoundlessGallery.com by Anita Cook

Fine Fiber Press & Studio by Pat Spark and Kathe Todd-Hooker

SparkFiberArts and blog by Pat Spark

Noris Dairy, Angela Spalt

Umbrella Painting Journal by Diane Widler Wenzel

JR Young, PC

Web Rings

Readings

So, You Want A Web Ring, Huh?
Joe Burns, Ph.D. For HTML Goodies.
Webring.com
Browse, join, and create webrings related to your site’s topic.

What is a web ring?

Definition courtesy Scots Mist

A web ring is a group of Web sites with a common theme, configured in a loop, allowing a surfer easy access to subsequent sites in the ring by clicking on links. Some rings only allow users to access the next member in the ring or the previous member, thus maintaining the integrity of the ring concept. Others allow users to jump to the site of any member in no particular order. Many Webrings maintain standards for members so a user can expect a certain degree of uniformity and quality when visiting a member site.

To get more visibility from a ring, consider the following:

  • Join more than one.
  • Create one and be the ringmaster, to ensure your participating sites are of the same quality or better, as yours.
  • Join rings that have few sites; those with lots may not provide you with as many click-throughs.

Submitting to search engines and online directories

Readings

Search Engine Watch
Articles, reports, newsletters, for members and non members.
Robotstxt.org
Helping promote the Robot Exclusion Standard.
The Unusually Useful Web Book
June Cohen. New Riders. 2003.
Pages 310, 313 to 315.
250 HTML and Web Design Secrets
Molly E Holzschlag. Wiley Publishing. 2004.
Pages 354 to 355.

As you can tell from the first reading, the task of submitting to and monitoring placement on search engines changes often. Here’s the process I went through with my last client:

  1. Build a table (or spreadsheet) with all major search engines listed. Add columns for:
    • URL to the submitting page(s)
    • Date you submitted
    • Notes about what you submitted
    • Placement after 1 week, 1 month, 1 year
  2. Follow submission instructions for each major Search Engine. Sometimes submitting to one will list you in others. Check periodically to see which search engine is the most popular.
    • Google
      • Only resubmit to Google when you’ve had a major site change.
    • Yahoo
    • Dmoz
    • MSN / Inktomi / Submit-it.com
    • Bing
    • Industry-related directories.
    • If your location matters, then consider submitting to Geocities and similar geographical directories.
  3. Save confirmation emails with userID and passwords if any. Keep them organized so you can quickly maintain the listings.
  4. Search for your site within these directories regularly to see how you’re placing.
  5. Adjust your site as needed to rank higher (see Launching and Promoting a Site).

Remember that search engines will find you when you least expect it; meaning you don’t always have to submit, and if you don’t want to be listed, you’ve better add the special meta tag that keeps the robots out:

  • <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow” />

Link Exchanges

Link Popularity

Readings

LinkPopularity.com
Free link popularity service.
The Unusually Useful Web Book
June Cohen. New Riders. 2003.
Pages 290 to 293.

Do some research:

  • Find out how popular you are in different search engines by looking at LinkPopularity.com.
    • You might discover you’ve been listed on sites you don’t want to be listed on!
    • Or you might see new opportunities on one search engine that isn’t covered on another.
  • Find out how popular your competitors are.
    • Look for opportunities; are there few other competitors listed on the site your main competitors is on? Perhaps this is a good place your to get listed.
  • Sign up to get notified of your popularity on a regular basis.

Determine what sites would be great exchanges

Sites with excellent search engine placement may be good candidates for inclusion in your site, and visa versa. Many search engines rank sites higher if many other sites link to them. Consider these:

  • Your clients
    and partners

    • Have a link to your client’s site and list your site either in the credits page, or in the footer as the webmaster to be contacted when maintenance is needed.
  • Like sites with high ranking.
  • Related sites with high ranking.
  • Organization sites you belong to.
  • Directory sites where you’re listed.

Domain names

Readings

About.com’s definitions
and related information pertaining to domain names.
The Unusually Useful Web Book
June Cohen. New Riders. 2003.
Pages 33 to 39.

What is a domain name?

Juergen Haas, author of Your Guide to Focus on Linux and contributor to About.com defines a domain name as the unique name that identifies an Internet site. This identifier is the most important way you promote your site. I’ve bulleted Haas’ list of characteristics here:

  • Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots.
  • The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general.
  • A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name points to only one machine.
    • For example, the domain names can all refer to the same machine, but each domain name can refer to no more than one machine:
      • matisse.net
      • mail.matisse.net
      • workshop.matisse.net
    • Usually, all of the machines on a given Network will have the same thing as the right-hand portion of their Domain Names (matisse.net in the examples above).
  • It is also possible for a Domain Name to exist but not be connected to an actual machine.
    • This is often done so that a group or business can have an Internet e-mail address without having to establish a real Internet site.
    • In these cases, some real Internet machines must handle the mail on behalf of the listed Domain Name.

Read the Related Articles on About.com for information about:

  • Domain Name Servers (DNS)
  • Cybersquatting (see artichoke.com to see an example)
  • Email Addresses

Purchasing a domain name

  1. Be sure you’ve spent time addressing steps 1 to 3 on the Promotion checklist to help clearly define what domain name(s) your site will need. At what key word or phrase will your audience attempt to find you?
  2. Once you have ideas, see if they are available by checking whois. Many domain registration companies will show you details about who owns a domain. Not all will show you all available domain extensions (i.e. .gov, .com, .net, .us, .us, .org, .tv, etc.).
    • If the domain you want is available, consider buying all available extensions which use the main name/phrase. For example, if you want pizza.com, then buy pizza.org, pizza.net, pizza.biz, etc.) This secures your name in cyberspace. Usually, the additional domains are redirected to your .com, or main domain.
  3. Decide who’s got the best price for each domain and either:
    • Have your web server host make the purchase/transaction and assign it to your server.
      • This generally works best; the two companies speak the same language.
    • Purchase it yourself and transfer the name to the server once you’ve chosen a host.
      • Be sure to keep the purchase info handy; it’ll include a login and password, which your host may need.

Using your domain name

Once you have a domain name assigned to your web server, put at least an index.htm page up that explains what your site will be about, or upload your site there if it’s ready to launch.

If your site host also handles your email, ask for the email addresses you’ll need and the number of separate accounts (one per person in your company, for example). These email addresses are to be used on all promotional materials–this is the second main reason for having a domain name! Having an email address consistant with your domain name means you’ve got double the “top of mind awareness” of your name.

Meta tags

Meta tags help search engines find your site. These are the most common for HTML 4 and XHTML, which you can copy and paste into your template:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
<meta name="Keywords" content="" />
<meta name="Description" content="" />
<meta name="Author" content="" />
<meta name="Copyright" content="" />
<meta name="Rating" content="General" />
<meta http-equiv="expires" content="0" />

These are more common for HTML 5:

<meta charset="UTF-8" />
<meta name="Keywords" content="" />			
<meta name="Description" content="" />			
<meta name="Author" content="" />

Fill in your text between the quote marks.

If you don’t want search engines to find your site, then add these (or replace the others):

<meta name="Robots" content="noindex, nofollow, noarchive" />

OR

<meta http-equiv="pragma" content="nocache" />

Here is an example of complete meta descriptions for XHTML:


<meta name="Keywords" content="nw river tours, willamette river, willamette, osu, corvallis, oregon state university, boating, nordyke, hiking, nature photography, jet boat, north river boat, " />
<meta name="Description" content="Northwest and Willamette River Tours" />
<meta name="Author" content="PamVanLonden.com, CJ Nordyke, John Nordyke" />
<meta name="Copyright" content="2009" />
<meta name="Rating" content="General" />
<meta http-equiv="expires" content="0" />