The LexBlog Platform offers customers powerful, easy-to-use tools to advance their reputation online through blogging. You may have heard about the benefits of the LexBlog Platform before, but it’s possible that you don’t know all of the services it offers.
On August 14, we hosted a webinar titled “Blogging Game Changers: Master the LexBlog Platform.” During this webinar, Customer Success Manager, Aimee Wildstone, talks about the site settings tools menu and demonstrates how blog administrators can use this menu to configure or update those settings.
You can watch a recording of the webinar above and read the full transcript and edited Q&A portion below. If you have any questions about topics discussed, please e-mail email@example.com at any time.
The transcript below has been edited for length and clarity.
Meet Aimee (0:14)
Hi, everyone! My name is Aimee Wildstone, and I am the manager of the Success Team at LexBlog. For those new to LexBlog, the Success Team is responsible for delivering support and training for the tools that help our blog publishers contribute to our growing network.
I wanted to do this webinar on a set of tools that we crafted for blog administrators, called the site settings tools. I realized the importance of sharing these tools with you, because many of blog administrators do not know these tools exist or they may not know that these tools are really helpful for reviewing and maintaining important settings on your blog.
What are site settings tools? (1:55)
The site settings tools is a menu in your LexBlog site dashboard that offers administrators advanced controls to configure, review, or update your blog settings and connected services. The tools in this menu are organized into seven different tabs that each offer controls for managing different services or features on your blog.
With this menu, you can update many parts of your blog all from your blog dashboard, including:
- Blog title or tagline
- Firm information
- Contact forms
- Comment moderator
- Email notification settings
- SEO settings
- Social share meta
How do I access the site settings menu? (2:40)
This menu is available to blog administrators on product plan or premier network sites. And what this means is your blog must be on our product plan software or on a premier network site, and you must have administrator access on your blog to gain access to these tools.
How do I use the site settings tools? (3:10)
There are several options. You can use the site settings tools to configure and set up a new blog. You can also use these site settings tools to review the current settings on your blog and update them. If you want to, you can even launch your own site using these tools.
Next, I’m going to demonstrate our site settings tools and talk about the practical use for each tab in this menu. For those reading the transcript for this webinar, feel free to use the timestamps beside the respective site settings tabs to learn more about each individual tool.
Site Information Tab (4:07)
This tab is helpful for configuring settings for your new blog or reviewing and updating settings on your live blog. It’s where you can go to set or update several basic elements of your blog, including:
- Blog title
- Publishing zone
- Firm information globally across your blog
How does it work?
Updating your blog’s title or tagline will change these settings in the masthead, the footer, and meta settings across your blog.
The time zone is the time zone that your publishers are writing in. To set this, you just want to select the city closest to where your publishers are. For me in Seattle, that’s going to be Los Angeles (PDT). The reason you want to set this is so that when your publishers are publishing posts, the time zone matches when they are scheduling posts. It’s also helpful if there’s any publishing issues we have to troubleshoot.
Updating your firm name will update your copyright and also on any widget on the blog that’s displaying your firm name or firm website. Once I submit these changes, I get a confirmation at the top of my screen that the settings were updated, so I know that that was successful.
Import Users Tab (6:03)
The import users tabs is a tool we’ve built for bulk uploading many new users at once. This can save time from manually adding and configuring new user profiles. This tab is best to use when you’re setting up a new blog, and have a lot of brand new users to create, but you can also use it after your blog is live to bulk import users as well.
For example, if you have a new practice group that wants to start publishing on an existing blog, you can use this tool to bulk upload these new users.
How does it work?
To use this tab, click the link to download the CSV template and then open that in an editor of your choice.
When filling this out for the first time, there’s a column at the top that describes each item that is required. And if you’re not sure what the requirements are for each of these columns, you can actually click the second row in each column. That gives you a description of what each item is for and any special requirements there are.
For example, for your user’s username, it has to be all lowercase and you can’t have any spaces or special characters. It’s important when you save this file that you save it as a text or a comma-separated values file so that WordPress can recognize that file.
I’m going to bulk import my users, and I know this was successful because of my confirmation message at the top. It’s good to check that each time you bulk import users just to make sure there were no errors when you were setting them up.
Contact Forms Tab (8:25)
This tab is helpful for setting or updating the contact form recipients on your blog.
How does it work?
You can add multiple recipients by separating with a comma between the email addresses. After you’ve saved this form, a test email is sent to your recipients automatically. This is just so that they can see what the contact form message looks like, and they can know what to expect if they receive a contact form message from the blog.
If your blog has multiple contact forms, you can select the alternate contact forms from the drop down menu and update them in the same fashion.
This page also includes the embed code. This is the code that you would copy and paste into your pages if you want to paste a contact form onto a page on your blog.
Email Notifications Tab (9:31)
This tab is helpful for creating or updating your blogs, email list, and campaign settings. It is best to use when you’re setting up your blogs, email list, and campaign for the first time, or if you need to review or change any of these settings on your live blog.
How does it work?
When setting up a brand new list and campaign or updating an existing list or campaign, a ticket is generated automatically on your behalf for the Success Team to review and QA your list and campaign settings.
To create your email list, we automatically generate a list name based off the settings on your blog, so you can leave that default. You’ll want to enter your firm name the way you’d like it to appear in your email campaigns. You’ll also enter a physical mailing address, and this is a requirement for a CAN-SPAM requirements. Lastly, you’ll enter the “from” name. This is the name that will appear as the sender in any emails to clients.
Now I can create my email campaign. To create your email campaign, you want to choose an email subject line from the drop down menu. The next thing you’re going to select is your daily email send time from the dropdown. You also can choose the send frequency. You can choose daily, weekly, or monthly intervals for sending emails. Lastly, you can choose what days of the week your emails will send. Typically, a lot of firms will just choose Monday through Friday.
I received my confirmation message that my email campaign’s been created and that a support request has been opened on my behalf. Once your email list and campaign are created, you can also send yourself a test email so you can preview what your email campaigns will look like before they send to your subscribers.
One more thing I will call your attention to is the status in the email campaigns tab. When checking your email campaign status, you might see a few things.
You might see not activated or you’ll see not ready. What those mean is that LexBlog needs to activate your new campaign. But don’t worry, we have created a ticket on your behalf and we will take care of the rest of the setup on the launch day for your blog. Active status means that your campaigns are currently sending to your subscribers. If for any reason you need to pause or stop sending emails, you can choose “pause” from the dropdown, then click change campaign status. You can just choose resume and change campaign status. Now my campaign is active and sending emails to subscribers once again.
Domain Tab (15:05)
The domain tab is helpful to use in several ways:
- Purchasing your blog’s live domain through LexBlog.
- Entering the live domain you purchased from your own registrar to connect to your site.
- Update your domain’s name servers to LexBlog’s name servers.
One thing I will note is that you can only use this tab before you launch your new blog.
How does it work?
After your blog has pointed to your live domain, you will see a message on this tab that your site is launched.
Once I have confirmation that my domain has been ordered, there are a few more things I’ll call your attention to on this page. There’s two statuses below. There’s a domain pointing status and there’s a launch status. These let you know the status and where you are in the steps towards launching. The reason you might need to use these is that it sometimes takes time to order the domain. There’s a lot of things happening behind the scenes, and it sometimes takes up to 24 hours for your name server changes to complete.
You can always come back to this tab later. Once your domain name servers are set, you will see a status here to point your domain. This is only if you want to launch, so don’t click that unless you want to launch your site.
Disqus Comments Tab (17:25)
The Disqus comments tab is helpful for setting up your Disqus site for moderating comments on your blog. You can also use this tab to create your Disqus account, and to add or remove comment moderators after your blog is live. If you need to change your comment moderators, you can do that through this tab. The status indicates whether you have Disqus connected with your blog.
How does it work?
To set up Disqus, the first thing you’ll need to do is go to disqus.com and sign up for a moderator account. Once you’ve done that, note your username you created and add that in the next step to set up your Disqus account.
If anybody ever shares comments on Twitter, this just automatically takes you in those tweets. To set up your Disqus account, all you have to do is enter the moderator name and then click submit. You can also set this up by clicking submit if you don’t have a moderator account yet.
My Disqus settings were saved successfully, and now my status says that my site is connected with “Aimee’s test blog.”
SEO Tab (19:31)
The last tab I want to share with you is probably the most powerful tab, as well as the tab that I see most administrators visiting often. The SEO tab is helpful for configuring or updating several elements, including:
- Blog title
- Verifying your blog ownership for analytics and webmastery tools properties
- Indexing or hiding your blog from search engines
How does it work?
On this tab, you can create or modify your homepage title tags and meta description. Your title tags will appear in your browser, but they also appear in search engine results. When someone’s searching on Google or Bing and they come across your site, this is what people will see in search engine results.
You also have the ability to modify your author archive title tags, as well. These are the landing pages for your authors’ content. These come up pretty often in search results. We recommend that your title take key terms should be something like your geography, practice area, followed by your firm name.
You can also add or update meta for when people share your content on a social platform. What this does is when someone shares your content on these platforms, you’re automatically tagged in that meta and it’s associated with your account, which is helpful for tracking who’s sharing your content.
Another helpful tool is setting a default title and image that will appear in link previews. This is for Facebook, but I believe it also updates Twitter and LinkedIn meta, as well. If somebody shares the homepage of your blog, not necessarily in an individual post, this title and image will appear in the preview. You can also add a default description that will appear if someone shares your homepage on a social sharing platform.
Lastly, the default when someone shares your post on social media is going to show the title of your post, an excerpt from your post content, and any imagery you have in that post in the link preview. But if you don’t have any imagery in your post, you can actually set a default image here to display when someone shares your content. This is different from your homepage, and would be for post pages.
After a blog has launched on your live domain, you can create the domain properties for your webmaster and analytics accounts and verify those with this tool. Entering your Google webmaster tools or Bing webmaster tools verification code will verify you as the domain owner and that will allow search traffic and any other data to populate in those accounts that you create. Entering your Google analytics tracking code is what verifies you’re the owner of your site and allow analytics data to populate in your property.
You also have the ability after your site is live to disallow or allow indexing. This is particularly helpful if you accidentally launched your blog, which I’ve seen happen before. If you need to turn off indexing, you can also do that here.
This wraps up my demonstration portion of the webinar. Before I answer your questions, I want to pass on some helpful resources for you. If you would like more information about how you can access the site settings tools or if you have comments or feedback, please contact our team using the contact information below.
LexBlog Support Center
Publishing Solutions by LexBlog
Question and Answer
Question: Is the site settings menu only available for Premier accounts?
Answer: No, the site settings menu is also available to anyone on our Product Plans, which include Professional, Boutique, and Full Service plans. Only those on our Legacy sites will not be able to access the site settings menu, as they are not on our newer software, also known as our Product Plan software. You should also double-check and see what user permissions you have, because you also have to be a blog Administrator to access the site settings menu.
Question: Can you clarify the relationship, if any, between the tags, added to a blog post and its SEO power? Do the tags have to be related to the subject matter of the blog post, or can they be descriptive of the lawyer’s practice areas?
Answer: To answer this simply, yes, the tags in your blog post should be related to your content. The analogy that I really like to use with category and tag meta is that you can look at your blog as the “book of your knowledge.” In this book, your categories are your table of contents or the overall topics that you write about. On the other hand, your tags are the index. Your tags are people, places, and things related to that particular post. The more appropriate place to describe the lawyer and their practice areas is adding that information to their user profile, because there are many places on the blog where that information can be displayed, like the Author Archive page, which is a much more appropriate place to have information about the author. Some blogs have a feature at the end of every blog post that features attorneys, and that’s also a great place to add information about that attorney and their practice areas.
Question: What does it mean if my site settings don’t have an option for Disqus Comments? Am I able to add Disqus as an option to my blog?
Answer: Yes, you should have access to it if you have access to the site settings menu. It could be that comments are currently disabled on your blog. I would recommend opening a ticket with the Success Team.
Question: Is the “campaign” feature a MailChimp-like feature?
Answer: Yes, the LexBlog Platform has a MailChimp integration for email campaigns. Your List holds your email subscriber data, and your email Campaign is the actual blog email update that is sent out to your subscribers.
Question: Our blog is automatically syndicated. What’s the benefit of creating a microsite vs. syndication?
Answer: If you are asking about having your blog syndicated through LexBlog.com versus having a site on the LexBlog Platform, there are a lot of different benefits. When you are syndicated on LexBlog.com, you get the benefit of exposure to a network of over 23,000 bloggers worldwide on LexBlog.com and LexBlog social media channels. On the other hand, if you purchase a microsite through LexBlog, you will receive all the benefits of being on the LexBlog Platform, including syndication to LexBlog.com, support, access to the site settings tools, and much more. If you’re interested in a LexBlog microsite, you can learn more about them on our Publishing Products site or contact the Success Team.
Question: How important is the home page title tag keyword phrase to SEO?
Answer: The homepage title tag keyword phrase is what will display in search results and what displays in a visitors’ browser tab when they visit your site. The title tag keyword phrase is most important to visitors because this is what people will see as the description of your site in search results and can help with conversion (click-through).
We hope you will join us for future webinars with the LexBlog team. If you would like to see past webinars from LexBlog, visit our Webinar page on LexBlog.com.