Learn the Five Key Benefits of Using WordPress

Don Campbell, Internet Marketing Expert Answers Questions About WordPress

Don Campbell, Expand2Web

Don Campbell is a well-known, highly respected Internet marketing expert specializing in WordPress website development. In part one of my interview with Don shares tips on developing a WordPress website.

WIB: Many business owners hesitate to launch a website because of the high cost of having someone design, build, and maintain a website. Your company helps businesses build their own websites using WordPress. Aside from saving them thousands of dollars, how can businesses benefit from building their sites in WordPress? Is it really that easy?

Campbell: That's a great question. Many of the businesses I talk to fall into one of two categories:

  1. They don't have a website, and don't know how much it should cost, or who to trust; or
  2. They have a website, but it's not really helping their business (it's a glorified online brochure.) Maybe they even paid thousands of dollars for a nice looking one. They also struggle with updating it. Many times, they have to pay someone every time they want to make a change.

I recommend to business owners that they try to strike a balance between that costly, high-design website, and a free website that doesn't really present a professional image. What they really need is a basic, professional website that is properly optimized for the search engines and built to bring them new business.

I think using a tool like WordPress helps them strike this balance. Since WordPress is free and hosting is very inexpensive, a do-it-yourself small business owner can get going for very low cost. And with the thousands of themes and plugins available, they can quickly customize the look of the site, and extend its functionality without knowing how to program.

And someone who doesn't have the time to set it up themselves can find someone to build them a very professional business website for about $1,000.

5 Key Benefits of Building Your Website in WordPress

Here are five key benefits of using WordPress for your website:

  1. Themes allow you to change the design of your website quickly. There are thousands of themes available for WordPress.
  2. Plugins allow you to extend the functionality of your WordPress site without knowing how to program. There are over 10,000 plugins available that help you add all kinds of functionality to your sites, like social media sharing, SEO, photo slideshows, and much more.
  3. They are easy to update. If you can create a Word document, you can publish a new article to your WordPress website. Once it is set up, you can update it anytime you want, and that is important for engagement with your visitors and for the search engines.
  1. Google loves WordPress sites. Because they are updated more frequently, and the content tends to be structured well, you can get a WordPress site ranking very quickly compared to a static website. Google has even gone on record as recommending WordPress for business sites (see YouTube video)
  2. WordPress is supported by a thriving, engaged community. A recent study estimates that approximately 8% of the sites on the Internet are run by WordPress. There are thousands of designers, developers and enthusiasts out there to help if you get stuck. Help is just a Google or Bing search away.

    You can also read Don's series on using WordPress small business websites to get even more tips for your business.

    Don Campbell created Expand2Web to help small business owners build WordPress websites that rank in the top of local search results on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Now Expand2Web creates training and tools for consultants and do-it-yourself small business owners.

    WIB: I read on your website that you play piano and are learning to skim board - and you have a wife and two daughters. How important is it to maintain a balance between work and your personal life? Do you have any advice to women who are struggling with work-life balance as they build their own businesses?

    Campbell: Yes, I think work-life balance is incredibly important. The reason I left my corporate job is to have less time traveling and more time with my family. I am constantly asking myself - "what is the lifestyle that I want to live?" And I try to let that guide me. Don't get me wrong, I like to work hard, but it needs to be on things that I love to do, and with plenty of breaks and time to step back, spend time with my family, and recognize what is truly important. I admire how my wife has navigated this along with me.

    When we met, she had very successful career, and decide to stay home when we had kids. She took that opportunity to go back to school part-time, and completely change her career to something different, something that she really loves to do. Now she works 2 days per week, and gets to be super-engaged with our kids in their class rooms, and supporting our family. She's the one doing the backdrop for the school play, or running the volunteer art program at the kids school. I have a tremendous amount of respect for how she navigated all of this, and we both feel like we're living a lifestyle we love.

    And the piano lessons you mentioned; I'm taking them along with my oldest daughter and we're having a lot of fun doing that together!

    Anyway, I could go on and on, but I don't want to bore your readers too much - I think having that balance leads to more creative output and a happier lifestyle all around.

    WIB: You offer some really great tips on your blog and in your free booklet on how to get a website ranked in local searches. But what about business owners who have one physical location that serves multiple areas. How can they target a wider area?

    Campbell: This is a very good question. In the Google Place pages are set up for a business to show up for searches in the city or town where their business is located. But the reality is that many businesses server entire areas of nearby neighborhoods, towns and cities. There is no perfect answer for this, but what I recommend is that the business claim and optimize their Google Place Page, and other pages like Yahoo Local, Bing, Yelp, etc. And then couple this with a good website. On that website, I have them create a page for each of the nearby cities/towns that they serve, including details about the area.

    For example, describe why you have clients from the nearby city. Maybe they work at a company located there, there and it's convenient to stop by your business on their lunch break. Each page is highly optimized for the city specific keywords, and linked to properly from other areas of the site and from other web sites too. Here's an example of a city specific page: http://www.northvalleyoptometry.com/milpitas-ca-optometrist">Milpitas, CA Optometrist

    Don Campbell created Expand2Web to help small business owners build WordPress websites that rank in the top of local search results on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Now Expand2Web creates training and tools for consultants and do-it-yourself small business owners.

    WIB: Many business women ask me about whether or not it is worth the time to enter business contests. One of your business ventures, RefMob, was a finalist in TechCrunch 50. What is RefMob and was TechCrunch 50 (TC50) a worthwhile experience?

    Campbell: Absolutely. TC50 was a fantastic experience. The coaching that the TC50 team provided was awesome. We had practice sessions that were video taped, and were coached by Jason Calacanis and Michael Arrington; they watched us present and then gave us specific feedback on how to improve, and then had us come back again. Any time you can present in front of thousands of people it's a great opportunity. I met some amazing people during that process and built some very important relationships that led to other opportunities.

    WIB: There is a lot of emphasis today on building trusted and valued inbound links for websites. How important is this and do you recommend people pay for links?

    Campbell: Yes, getting high-quality inbound links to your website is very important for ranking in the search engines for the keywords you care about. This is the hardest, most time consuming part of search engine optimization. There are no shortcuts. Most of the time buying links is not the right way to go. But there are some effective ways to build quality links out there: James Martell's PAD technique is the very best I've seen. You need to commit to building some quality links for your site, or hire a link building specialist from a reputable SEO agency to help you.

    Don Campbell created Expand2Web to help small business owners build WordPress websites that rank in the top of local search results on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Now Expand2Web creates training and tools for consultants and do-it-yourself small business owners.

    WIB: Your website talks about the important of growing a website and keeping it fresh by having a content plan. How often should people update their websites or blogs if they want to stay competitive in search engines?

    Campbell: As often as possible. Having a good content plan is essential for the success of a website. I know many SEOs that will not work with a client if they won't commit to a content plan. The Google crawler thrives on unique original content published consistently. Every time you publish, Google gets a "ping" asking the crawler to come back and visit your site. The challenge, especially for small business owners, is that they want to do it, but they are very busy running their business. Part of the content plan should be a realistic assessment of whether the site owner can write the content, or if they should hire a copywriter to help them.

    I've found some amazing copywriters to help me with my clients and even my own website, at very reasonable costs.

    WIB: Tell me about training courses you will soon be offering.

    Campbell: I have three training courses right now, along with a membership site, which is a community of web consultants and DIY small business owners all learning, helping each other out and referring business to each other. We call it the Expand2Web Experts Group

    Here are the online courses we've been delivering:

    • Building and Customizing Your WordPress Website: In this 4 week course students start from scratch and by the end they have a fully functioning WordPress website and know how to build more of them.
    • The Circle of Trust Local SEO process: We've built an effective method for getting results for small businesses called the Circle of Trust SEO process. In this course we teach how to implement this proven process, which includes website optimization, content strategy, online reviews, local profile optimization, and link and citation building for small business websites.

    The courses have been a big hit - our students are coming out and building websites, Facebook pages, and doing SEO projects to help small business owners succeed online. The best part for me, is building a community of like-minded folks that can all help each other to succeed. I'm very excited about where this is going!

    Don Campbell created Expand2Web to help small business owners build WordPress websites that rank in the top of local search results on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Now Expand2Web creates training and tools for consultants and do-it-yourself small business owners.