A while ago I wrote about how building business is about building relationships. As part of the article, there was a worksheet called Is Your Website Listening. Today’s post deals with how to get your site to listen and respond.
There are a number of things to make things easier on yourself as you create your site, whether you do it yourself or not.
If you are having the site professionally built, make sure the developer does all the suggested things.
Avoid These Mistakes
Get a good looking theme for your site. You can do one of two things:
- Hire a designer that has expertise in creating themes and make sure you get all the original files from them.
- Choose a theme that looks good out of the box. Don’t tweak it unless you are an experienced designer. All that you’ll do is turn something that looks good into something that looks ugly.
Then, set up analytics to measure the impact of your content. The easiest way to do this is to create a Google Analytics account for yourself and place the code inside the header.
Let your analytics data lead your decisions. Focus on how many views (and what is being looked at), the comments that are left on the website. Also look at how effective your opt-ins and, and, of course, sales.
[tweetthis]Don’t underestimate the power of content marketing. It’s hard to measure the direct return on investment (ROI). [/tweetthis] It has proven to pay itself off in the long term.
Don’t stop creating content. You may see success only after creating hundreds of content pieces and trying out countless formats for the content.
Use Best Practices for Content Marketing
Prioritize your content. You will need to create extraordinary quality in. Remember that your competitors already leverage content as marketing.
Try various content formats to see what works best for you and what resonates with your audience. Don’t limit yourself to a single format.
Be consistent. Consistency is king when creating content. Create a content plan, use content management plugins like “CoSchedule” (or similar) to make content creation easier.
Determine and decide what social media platforms will give you the most traction for your content. If you are just beginning, try several to see which ones work best for you.
[tweetthis]Make sure to understand your audience: what do they like? What do they look for? What are their needs? [/tweetthis]
Make your content actionable. Create a community around your website and your business.
Optimize the Website for Speed
Ensure you have high quality hosting. I recommend Hostgator. I use it personally.
Reduce the number of plugins you use. Why? Because the more plugins you have active, the slower the response time for your site.
Optimize your images, using plugins, for example the Kraken Image Optimizer plugin.
Use These Plugins
I recommend use of some of these plugins, if not all.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast. This is a great plugin and I highly recommend it for a WP site.
- Create a site map using the built in capability of WordPress SEO by Yoast or another plugin. I use a plugin called Simple Sitemap.
- Include a search option for the site, like Swiftype. You can see a recent list of options here.
- Google Analytics by Yoast. This is another great plugin that makes it easy to connect your site to Google Analytics.
- Use Shareaholic for making it easy to post from your blog to social media. I love it. It also has the ability to display related posts selected by the categories and keywords used with the current one.
- Use a social media bar to make it easier for visitors to connect with you. Floating Social Bar and Social Media Widget by Acurax. I use the free version of the Acurax plugin.
Build Yourself a List
[tweetthis] Your brand is more important than the emails you send. Treat your subscribers the way they deserve it. [/tweetthis]
Include comment forms at the end of every post.
Use giveaways, opt-in bonuses, and lead magnets.
Ask yourself if people trust your brand.
The above brief hints give you a starting point to optimize your website and grow your business. I’ve included some WordPress plugins that I think provide valuable activity for any site.
Remember that content marketing is a powerful tool to grow your business online. But the biggest strategy you can use is to ensure your website treats your audience like it wants to be treated.
Get Experienced Help
If you need assistance with any of the items listed here or with implementing anything else, seek experienced help.
You can sign up for a strategy session with me. We can discuss what it is you need to get completed and whether that is the best option for you at this time in your business. My team and I can do all the work and you can rest assured that it will be done right.
What are you doing to make your site efficient and friendly?
Share your strategy with our other readers, won’t you? If not, share a funny story about your cat/dog. We can always use a smile.