We often hear people talking about Digital Marketing, but just what is this type of marketing?

I wanted to create this post to examine just what digital marketing is and see how and if this is good for any business out there.

Digital Marketing - The Basics

Where marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Digital Marketing is about connecting with your audience on the Internet.

That may sound too simple, but that is the basic goal of marketing you online presence. It's about connecting with your audience through many of the channels online.

When I talk about channels, we're talking about things such as Google search, Social Media, E-mail and other channels which will allow you to reach your audience and create a funnel to your offer, service or webpage.

This is, of course, simplifying what digital marketing involves, but hopefully this gives you a basic idea of just what it is.

What Does Digital Marketing Involve?

As you may already have imagined, the simple description given above is just a brief simple overview of what digital marketing is. To implement this is far more involved.

Before you even begin your marketing efforts - you first need to work out your digital marketing strategy. 

You strategy will be unique to you but will contain things such as understanding your brand and audience, setting measurable goals and knowing your competition. Your unique strategy may contain more - things that are important to your business.

When you've set out your strategy - you can then start to leverage the techniques to reach the audience you have defined in your strategy.

This is a very simplistic overview of what is involved to market your business, site or other online brand - but I hope it has at least given you some idea of the basics of what digital marketing involves.

How Can We Help?

This is quite a basic overview but I hope that it has given you some ideas on just what digital marketing is - at least the basics.

If you have found this useful then please leave a comment and with enough comments I may create a much more in-depth post on digital marketing and how you can start with it.

There is one other option of course. If you would prefer help with your online marketing effort - we do offer a digital marketing service. If you would like more detail on this; what we can offer - then please feel free to contact us.

In the last 2 posts, we went through the start of creating your own WordPress theme. We talked about the basics, what files you need to have and the simple structure of the HTML and PHP.

We then went through starting to add code that will pull out the posts and images we've created in the WordPress backend and display them.

Part 3 - Styling

In this post, I wanted to take it to the next level. I wanted to start stying the theme to make it more presentable, to make it look more like a theme.

Now, this CSS just starts to style some basics but really what you need to do is just copy and paste the CSS to your styles.css sheet.

First, want this quick video on the changes. This just shows you the CSS and what changes it makes to this basic WordPress theme.

One thing to remember, this series is to give you a basic knowledge of what goes into a theme. What it doesn't show you is all the complex work to make a theme beautiful to view.

 

The theme is starting to come together

As you can see from the video, making these changes starts to bring the theme together. We start with styling the body and links. We style the article, making the image fit to 100%, styling the meta so it looks nice.

You can achieve this look by copying and pasting the below CSS into your styles.css file. Remember, check out the previous post on creating a custom WordPress theme to get the HTML code for the past. Without this posted in index.php - this CSS will not match (unless you've created your own code with the same class names).

Here is the CSS:

/*
Theme Name : Sandbox Theme;
Author : Sean McCammon;
Author URI : https://sitesbysean.co.uk;
Description : Advanced WordPress Theme;
Version : 1.0;
*/
body {
font-family: Arial;
color: #333;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
}

ul {
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
}

a {
color: #009acd;
text-decoration: none;
}

a:hover {
color: #333;
}

.container {
width: 960px;
margin: auto;
overflow: auto;
}

header {
background: #f4f4f4;
padding: 10px;
border-bottom: 3px solid #009acd;
}

header h1 {
margin: 0px;
padding: 0px;
color: #009acd;
float: left;
}

header h1 a{
color: #009acd;
text-decoration: none;
}

header small {
color: #666;
margin-left: 1px;
font-size: 13px;
}

header .h_right {
float: right;
}

header .h_right input[type="text"]{
width: 250px;
padding: 5px;
margin-top: 5px;
}

.content {
margin-top: 30px;
line-height: 1.5em;
}

.main {
float: left;
width: 65%;
}

article.post {
border-bottom: #ccc solid 1px;
margin-bottom: 10px;
padding-bottom: 20px;
}

article.post .meta {
background: #009acd;
color: #fff;
padding: 7px;
}

article.post .meta a {
color: #fff;
}

article .post-thumbnail img {
width: 100%;
height: auto;
}

article.post-aside small {
font-weight: bold;
}

article.post-aside .well {
background: #e0eefc;
padding: 10px;
}

article.post-link .well {
background: #f4f4f4;
padding: 10px;
}

article.post-gallery {
background: #333;
colour:#fff;
padding: 5px 10px;
margin-top: 5px;
}

Stay tuned for the next post

We will be continuing this series of posts, giving you the basics so that you can understand how a theme is put together. So, keep popping back and if you have any questions, why not pop a comment below.

Following on from my first post on Creating A Custom WordPress Theme, I wanted to go to talk about the next stage.

Adding the WordPress page title and posts

In the first post we talked about the basics you need to add your own theme to WordPress. This talked about the 2 essential files but when added they didn't do much.

There are certain code elements you need to add to start pulling things such as posts from WordPress. In this post we talk about how you can add the webpage title and your WordPress posts to your Custom WordPress Theme - making it more of a useful theme. Please check out the video below first, then I will expand a little below.

The code

Adding the site title

So, having seen the video now, you know that we add some php code to our theme. The first bit of code pulls the website name from our WordPress database and add this in the HTML <title> tags. So that you can copy and paste that code into your own theme, here it is below:

<head>
<meta charset="<?php bloginfo('charset'); ?>">
<title><?php bloginfo('name'); ?></title>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>">
</head>

What this code does is, firstly it pulls the charset from the WordPress install and assigns this to the meta value charset. Next, is the important part; it pulls the name of the website from the WordPress database (which is where all the data for our site is stored) and put this in the HTML title tag. Finally, we setup the CSS Stylesheet so that we can use this in later tutorials.

Adding the blog posts

Once we have the site title setup, the next thing we want to do is make this theme useful. We want to pull out our post data from the WordPress database and display it in our theme. It would not be much of a WordPress Theme without that. Again, first here is the code for you to copy and paste:

<div class="container">
<div class ="main">
<?php if(have_posts()) : ?>
<?php while(have_posts()): the_post(); ?>
<article class="post">
<h3>
<a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">
<?php the_title(); ?>
</a>
</h3>
<div class="meta">
Created By
<a href="<?php get_author_posts_url(get_the_author_meta('ID')); ?>">
<?php the_author(); ?>
</a>
on <?php the_time('F j, Y g:i a'); ?>
</div>
<?php if(has_post_thumbnail()) : ?>
<div class="post-thumbnail">
<?php the_post_thumbnail(); ?>
</div>
<?php endif; ?>

<?php the_excerpt(); ?>
<br>
<a class="button" href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">
Read More
</a>
</article>
<?php endwhile; ?>
<?php else : ?>
<?php echo wpautop('Sorry, No posts were found'); ?>
<?php endif; ?>
</div>

Here we are doing a little more. To try and briefly explain. The first thing you will notice is a few DIV containers. I've added these because, again, at a later stage we will be styling all this. So, adding there containers now will save time later.

Starting at the php if statement, have_posts(). Before we want to display any posts, we need to check we have any. So this command allows us to call into WordPress and check if any posts exist. If not, then we display a message saying No posts where found.

If posts exist then using php, we setup the title of the post as a link using the permalink followed by the title.

Following that, we setup some meta data to display the author and posting date.

Next we check if the post has a thumbnail, and if so we display that on the screen.

Finally we grab the excerpt of the post to display it. If you copy and paste this code to your Custom WordPress Theme you will have the posts displayed on your screen and you will be able to click on them.

If you would like more detail on each of these command then please check out the WordPress Codex pages where you will find descriptions on all the php functions available to call in WordPress.

Why would you want a standard, potentially boring, default WordPress theme? Don't get me wrong, many of the themes, probably thousands, offer some great visual aspects for anyone's website. The ease at which you can swap them out, change the look and feel. However, it's still someone else's design. The theme was most likely created for a website they wanted, shared to the world where many other website owners have used that same theme.

What you really want is your own theme, your own custom WordPress theme.

Create A WordPress Theme - The Basics

Why not check out this first video, in a coming series of videos, where I go through the basics of creating a Custom WordPress Theme.

After Watching The WordPress Video

So, hopefully, you’ve watched the video now have the info you need on the basic setup for your own WordPress Theme. Now, this video doesn’t show you how to create a fully featured theme, however, I am starting on a video series on doing just that thing.

I'm going to take you from the bare bone basics, shown in this video, to a point where you have a simple custom WordPress theme that displays your posts.

I will also show you how to create a custom page for displaying your posts, so you can customize all parts of your own page.

So, if you want to get to know the basics then keep popping back. Alternatively, if you would like a custom page but don't want to do the work yourself, then why not check out my services page for an idea on how much I can create one for you.

Some would say that the importance of SEO was to bring in organic search results. To help people find your site.

I say there is a little more to it than just getting your site found, though having your site listed high in the search results is the biggest reason for good SEO.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation

Getting found

Good SEO helps you get found from amongst all the other sites out there. Good SEO will help with your search engine placement which in turn will help with your organic traffic.

Many would say that this is the real, sole purpose of SEO and Iit does start There. We start off looking at a site, looking at a blog article and think 'how will I get this found?'.

That is the perfect starting point if we want good SEO. While on that journey of SEO for the article, for the website, I believe that SEO offers more than just getting found, raising your organic traffic. I believe that the journey starts there but they as you go through the process it gives you so much more.

I wanted to say, yes, it does focus on getting your found, but there is so much more too it, some of which I address in this post today.

Clarifying your message

Clarifying Message

Clarifying Message

You choose your keywords depending on what you want to get found for, that is fact. We say to ourselves “I want to get my site found for these keywords”. So, how can We do that? We write about a subject on our website or in our blog post that tells a story with sentences containing the words we want our sites to rank for.

So, looking at the process. We list out the keywords we want to rank for. We then write an article with these terms in them. Doing this means that we clarify the message we want to say? We can zone in on just writing about the subject that contains the correct keywords. Doing this we have clarity in our message, our article. The search terms give true meaning and a clear view of what we wanted to say.

We could just write nonsense and put in the terms we want to rank for. However, search engines such as Google are smart these days. They want only good well rounded and formatted content ranking high. So writing some jumbled up sentences with the correct terms it won't work, it won't rank well.

So, SEO forces us to clarify our message. We write down the keywords we want then we write well rounded, formatted content with these terms in. SEO clarifies our story, our message.

Connecting with others

Connecting With Others

Connecting With Others

Another SEO tactic is to get links back to your website from other sites with the same niche or subject. These hyperlinks back to the website give what they call link juice, which is how our site builds more authority with the search engine as well as with peers of the subject and niche we cover.

You don't have control over these other niche sites so you have to reach out and create a relationship with their owners. You have to spend time getting to know them, finding that common ground and work with them to hopefully have them link back to your site. Getting good SEO really enforces the connecting with others because you need this relationship to get good links to improve your search engine optimisation.

SEO gives you that push to connect and some of those connections could be a friend or mentor or even more for life. SEO did that, gave you the strength and drive to go out and connect.

Some would say the importance of SEO

Some would say that the importance of SEO was to bring in organic search results. I am saying its more than that. I would say it starts off with the idea of getting better organic results from placements in the search engines, but in doing so it helps to clarify your writing and helps you reach out and connect with others who enjoy talking about the same niche subject.

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