This past weekend I gave a presentation at OC Wordcamp, discussing using a WordPress site for marketing your business, service or product. As promised, here are the some of the key points, along with links and tools that were mentioned. If anything is missing, leave a comment!
When developing a strategy for your site, the first and most important question to ask is:
Who do you want to come to your site? Who is your target audience?
Thou shall not answer “everybody”!
Get specific since the answer will provide the basis for all aspects of your online marketing strategy.
Does your site speak to your target audience?
Does your site….
Communicate your message clearly to the reader?
Have a great tag line?
Make it clear what you are all about and what you offer?
Guide the reader what to do next?
Example of a site that does this really well: www.IttyBiz.com
Keep it simple and focused
Don’t clutter your site with too many options by loading up your sidebars (tag clouds, archives, categories etc) just because you can – that can be confusing. Focus on finding out what your visitors actually want, and how they behave on your site in order to better organize and focus your content. Some tools to do this:
– Use the Site Overlay tool in Google Analytics for a rudimentary ‘heat map’ of what people are clicking on. Find it under the Content menu
– For a more true ‘heat map’ experience use ClickHeat – a free tool which is easy to install:
– For advanced users who want to get serious, you can use a paid service such as Crazy Egg.
These tools can show you where the most important, attention-grabbing areas of your site are so you can be strategic about where to place info such as your subscribe options, or your products etc.
A/B Testing is where you compare different elements of a web page (or email blast) to see which performs better. So you can compare different calls to action, different designs etc. Your web server will show one version of the page to half your visitors and the other half see the other version and you can compare the results.
To do this you need to:
— sign up with Google.com/WebsiteOptimizer
— Install this plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-website-optimizer-for-wordpress/
Carsonified has the definitive video tutorial to implement this on a WordPress site.
Generate ideas for tailoring your content:
Find out what your visitors really want, by tracking searches on your site in Google Analytics:
Also pay attention to the keywords that people use in your Google Analytics reports– this will give you ideas for more content, and also insight into the way people search – the way they phrase things. Useful for developing your SEO strategy.
Try and match up keywords with other metrics such as goal conversions, time on site, bounce rates etc, in order to pinpoint the most effective keywords for your purpose.
What are your most popular posts?
Develop a following
Encourage subscriptions via RSS and email
Email still crucial for businesses – try to develop your own targeted mailing list of potential customers.
RSS is well handled by Feedburner. Though Feedburner also offers email subscriptions, I prefer to send those through Mailchimp in order to consolidate my mailing lists.
Easy way to keep an active email list is to use an RSS to Email feature –Mailchimp and Aweber have this. Your RSS feed is converted to an email blast automagically on a weekly basis. This enables you to send regular email communication without having to produce a newsletter.
What can you offer as an incentive for someone subscribing to your list? A free ebook, coupons, a special offer etc.
To customize the experience for your visitor and encourage them to stick around
– Microkids Related Posts Plugin , Yet Another Related Posts Plugin, LinkWithin
– What Would Seth Godin Do, or WP Greet Box – for customized calls to action.
– Yoast’s RSS Footer Plugin does the same for your RSS feed.
– enhanced commenting – Disqus, Intense Debate
Bounce rate is not the only metric !
Depending on your goals, also look at : Time spent on site, goal conversions (e.g. a sale, email sign-up etc), first time visits vs returning visits, traffic sources etc.
Some great resources suggested by audience members:
Ad management plugin:
Alternates to Google Analytics for tracking:
Woopra, GetClicky – better than Google Analytics for real time tracking
Making your site mobile-friendly: