The good folks over at MemberPress (an awesome and powerful membership plugin) were kind enough to allow me to write a post for their blog recently. "3 Actionable Ways To Use Google Analytics" takes a deeper look at what can be…
Figuring out WordPress and getting your website up and running is just the beginning of having a successful site. What happens next is where the real work begins! As a website owner you’ll need to know the fundamentals of online marketing – search engine optimization, conversion optimization and all kinds of other skills to help you generate traffic and business with your site. With Google constantly changing and new developments happening all the time, it’s tough to keep abreast of what’s going on. Here’s a few of my favorite resources for keeping up on online marketing from those who are already finding success.
How To Make Your WordPress Site Conversion Friendly: Part 2 – Effective WordPress Sidebars
Sidebars are one of the best places to put your calls to action. Widgets make your life easy and almost every theme has ’em! But we need to exercise some self-restraint when working with sidebars to make them effective.
Control Your Sidebars!
The reason you need to control your sidebars is so that you can tailor the content based on the area of the site the user is in. Some themes may have already baked in a way for you to choose different sidebars on different pages so that you can have different widgets accordingly. But many have one sidebar that will display the same set of widgets on every area of the site. If you want to get really refined about the conversion process you’ll need more control.
My favorite plugin for this is Display Widgets which I discuss over here
If your theme does not give you a way to choose a different sidebar per page, you need to go grab yourself one of the plugins listed.
What Should Go In Sidebars?
Sidebars often become the dumping ground for all the stuff you want people to see but can’t fit anywhere else. But less is more in this case, and more is just…..diluting and confusing. So try to keep sidebars lean and mean. The very top of your sidebar should house the most important elements. What those elements are will vary according to your business, what you are selling (if anything) and what your conversions are (see part 1). Here are some ideas.
Part 1 – Defining Your Conversions and Calls To Action
Mastering the use of WordPress is just one step in making your online presence effective and successful. Your website is going to be in a state of refinement until you’ve really figured out what works and what doesn’t. However, those folks that aren’t designers or developers tend to leave a lot of important decisions about how their website functions up to the developer of whichever theme they’ve purchased, and that’s not always a good thing. For example, just because every theme has a carousel on the homepage, doesn’t mean it’s an effective strategy for your website. Theme developers are trying to sell you a theme, so their objectives are different than yours when presenting a theme demo. Oftentimes people buy into the beautiful presentation of a theme without fully thinking through how it will affect their business goals. Your job is to create a website that has your own objectives in mind – you are going to be guiding your visitors on a path that you have determined.
Google Analytics is a super-powerful tool and most people only scratch the surface. Here’s a few cool features to check out that you may not have discovered yet.
Do You Need A Better Mobile Strategy?
Talk of responsive design, mobile apps, mobile plugins etc are all the buzz right now, but what will be the best strategy for you? If your site is not responsive, will it be worth investing in a responsive design, or should you just use a WordPress plugin to cover your bases?
Well one way to find out is to look at the mobile report within Analytics to see how many people are even trying to access your site from a mobile device. You’ll find this report under the Audience tab on the left. Click on Overview and you’ll see a simple breakdown of how many visits came via desktop vs mobile devices. Currently Analytics doesn’t distinguish between tablets and smartphones – both are ‘mobile’.
Click the pie chart icon on the right to get a nice visualization of what percentage of visitors use a mobile device.
Have you noticed how some Google listings show a wee photo of the author along with a link to their Google Plus profile? This nifty feature is part of Google Authorship which is a way of associating your name and…