WordPress as a Powerful Content Machine for Small Business Conversions, Sales and Leads
In this Special Report for our members, we will be sharing the following aspects of using WordPress as a Powerful Content Machine for Small Business Conversions, Sales and Leads. We have decided to create this report in the form of a blog post rather than present it in the form of an ebook as we foresee making yearly updates to this report due to the constanly changing nature of WordPress.
Here are the topics we will be covering in this Special Report:
1. The different ways to create content in WordPress
2. WordPress plug-ins for creating content that strikes
3. Working with different content types in WordPress
4. Why you should use the editorial calendar plugin in WordPress
5. Marketing your content with WordPress: A general overview
6. WordPress SEO questions you must ask
1. Explore how to promote your WordPress website to attain increased traffic
2. How you can tailor your WordPress theme to increase sales
3. How you can increase conversions for your small business using WordPress
4. Everything you should know about making your WordPress website accessible
5. Testing the performance of your WordPress website, an important step for sales, leads and conversions
1. How to use lead-magnets in WordPress
2. The importance of creating opt-in forms and how WordPress opt-in plug-ins can help you
3. How to use the Yoast comment hacks plug-in for generating new leads
You have a ton of content ideas to share with the world and are raring to go! How do you use WordPress to your advantage in creating content differently each time? You start with adding pages to your site. The primary method to share content on WordPress is by adding a post. However, WordPress also allows you to add pages to your website making it more akin to a traditional website. A New Post can be created in the following ways –
- Quick Press in your Dashboard
- The New Post button to the top right of the admin bar
- Posts->Add New in your Dashboard
A new page can also be created similarly by going to Pages->Add New from your Dashboard. A link to this new page will automatically be displayed on your navigation menu, for most themes. If you are using Menus, the new page will need to be added to your menu via Appearance->Menus.
Individual images and galleries can be added to posts and pages. Videos too can be embedded from sites like YouTube and Vimeo.
The Custom Post Type feature allows you to create different types of content for your site and the freedom to publish, share and display it how you want on your WordPress site. The default ready-to-use post types built into the WordPress software are – Blog Posts, Pages, Navigation Menus, Attachments and Revisions. You should ensure that your WordPress theme contains the necessary code and functions to allow you to create custom post types on your website.
The World Wide Web is filled to the brim with mediocre content. So, if you are a content creator, you must strategize ways to set your content apart. It is not simply enough to have good content, content must be marketed in such a way that it generates traffic on your website. WordPress makes available a plethora of plug-ins that makes writing less tedious, your content more visually attractive and effective in gathering an audience. Some of these plug-ins are –
- Pre-post SEO – This WP plug-in links counter, pinpoints broken links in the text – if any, calculates keyword density, analyses meta tags, suggests how to improve content and also does your Post title optimization for you.
- Editorial Calendar – The Editorial Calendar helps you to manage content better and helps you publish content on a schedule that works better for you and your audience. It provides the tools to manage posts from multiple authors and easy access to the status of each post.
- WP Keyword Suggest – It helps to add the most relevant keywords to your content. It pulls its information expertly from Yahoo, Google and Bing and ensures that you never have to worry about adding the right keywords to your post.
- Add Link to Facebook – Sharing the content you create with your target audience is half the battle in content-creation and marketing. The plug-in automatically adds links to your published post to your Facebook pages and groups. It greatly increases the visibility of your content.
WordPress uses several content types. Pages and posts are the content types available prima facie in WP, but they are not limited to the two. The four kinds of content in WP are-
Posts are the most important content type in WP and are of five default types-
- Navigation Menu Item
While the first three types are familiar to WordPress developers, the two types trailing not so much. Creating Custom Post Types allows a user to create as many additional post types as may be required for a site.
Comments are stored in their own database table and work in a similar way to posts as each can have metadata attached to it. However, they have different content and so different fields are required for the table. Comments are linked to posts via a one-to-many relationship and they are also linked to each other at the same time. They can also be linked to the WP users table if made by users who are signed in.
Users have content in the form of biographical data about the users. Users need their own table as this data is structured differently from posts, links and comments.
Links work in a similar way to posts in that they have content and may have taxonomy terms assigned to them. They are different from posts because they have different fields to store data about the link target, description and so forth. They can’t be assigned an author as they are not linked to users. Also, they can’t be attached to posts but can be added to archive pages.
An editorial calendar helps you to plan out your content activities according to a schedule. Perhaps you have months of content planned and need assistance in reminding you to follow your content plan. An editorial calendar will do just that and facilitate easier and timely workflow. Below, we discuss a handful of reasons why an editorial calendar plugin makes a worthy addition to your website-
- If you have multiple authors working for your site, the editorial calendar will help you track which stage of work who is in.
- Planning well ahead of time will give you an idea of what you will need for your content and which topic your content will explore.
- If a fraction of your time is spent in planning content, it will give you a better idea of where your content is heading, or which area is still left untapped content wise.
- You can see all your posts and when they are scheduled to be posted, this will help you build consistency when it comes to posting.
- Change your post dates easily
- Manage drafts with the drafts drawer
- Quick edit post contents, theme and title
A WordPress Edit Calendar ensures that you run your website exactly how you would run your business – with a good amount of planning and adhering to schedule. After all, your website reflects your personal brand value and you wouldn’t want it to lag behind, just because you couldn’t coordinate your posts according to time.
WordPress is a wonderful website for content marketing as it gets a lot of traffic. Further, it gives its user access to an SEO optimized website in minutes. A variety of plug-ins is made available to grow your website traffic. The following steps will make marketing content on WP a cakewalk for you-
- Devise a Content-Marketing Strategy.
Due planning should go into coming up with a content marketing strategy. An editorial calendar should be decided upon which will regulate the content schedule.
- Create Engaging Content
You cannot create the same old content as everyone else and expect to garner attention. Content marketing needs content i.e. resourceful and satisfies its audience.
- Build an E-mail list
E-mail marketing allows a business to send content directly to the mailbox of a person who has made a purchase or expressed interest. If you want your content to be read, this is the way to go! However, before you can send these e-mails, you will need an e-mail list. A pop-up or submission box with a strong Call to Action can prove successful in gathering e-mail subscribers. Making your content subscription only is another great way to generate subscribers.
- Use Social Media to share your content
Building a strong social media presence is of utmost importance in today’s world to build brand awareness. It can help reroute traffic to your website and make website conversions. You can use free plug-ins on your website that display FB or Twitter feeds and urge your visitors to follow content updates. Content marketers can even reach out to celebrity influencers via social media sites and request them to promote their product on their page.
- Don’t forget to analyse
It is crucial to analyse the performance of your content marketing strategy. Look into the analysis data and decide if your strategy is working for you or if it needs to be changed up. Several plug-ins in WP automatically gather this data enabling you to conclude if your content strategy has been effective or not.
The above steps will make you market your content like a dream on WordPress.
WordPress enables you to run a blog or a website without any knowledge of coding and website designing. However, knowing the answers to the following will help boost traffic to your site like nothing else –
- Is WordPress Search Engine Optimized?
No, WordPress is search engine friendly but not search engine optimized. In fact, no Content Management System (CMS) comes SEO-optimized off the box. SEO optimized CMS is a vendor propagated myth and does not exist.
- How to Choose an SEO plug-in that is right for my WordPress site?
WP offers thousands of SEO plug-ins and it can be quite a task to choose the one that works for you. Right off the bat, WordPress SEO by Yoast and All in One SEO Pack for WordPress are good options to settle for.
- Do free WP themes compromise my SEO?
If the free theme does not follow the guidelines of Google and has spam-like links, it is likely to harm your SEO. Mobile-friendly, high-user rated themes are SEO friendly in nature.
- Can a SEO plug-in replace a SEO consultant?
SEO is a continuous process and needs to be updated frequently for best results. While an SEO plug-in is a step in the right direction, it is no replacement for the knowledge and skill-set an SEO specialist comes with.
Similarly, other questions that affect the performance of SEO in WP are – If the new WP widgets will help improve SEO and what language choices affect SEO. Widgets in WP can be used to improve SEO. Non-native language usage can be detrimental for a website’s SEO. Learning the above SEO-related information will help you manipulate your website to make it gather more traction.
Imagine you have a ready WordPress website on your hands, carefully designed and crafted. Now, what do you do? Your first instinct should be to market it. You may know the ins and outs of SEO but some tips are exclusive only to WordPress users. WordPress makes available tools that can boost your search ranking with minimal effort on your part. Let us look at certain tips that can help promote your WP website.
- Build a good UX. Websites with performance issues increase page abandonment. In fact, pages that load slowly may not even be found on search due to Google’s algorithm for page rankings.
- Choose the right WP host. The right WP host will load its pages fast and build you a strong foundation for SEO.
- Use plug-ins. Plug-ins such as WordPress SEO by Yoast and SEOPressor are made to help WordPress users with their efforts in improving SEO. These tools analyse your content and suggest improvements upon them for a better SEO score.
- Take part in outreach. Search algorithms like sites that have a massive readership and a cluster of sites linking back to them. These sites are called Authority Sites as they are seen as authorities in certain areas. You can either create amazing content and strive to be one of these or have authority sites link back to you. It will improve your SEO. Guest-blogging in similar sites to yours in exchange for a back-link also works wonders for SEO.
A well-designed theme could do a world of good for your WordPress site. You can customize your WP themes to make the most of it.
Steps to Tailor Your WP Theme to Make it More Saleable
Here’s how to begin –
- Choose a niche after careful research – There are niche themes for photographers, non-profits, fashion bloggers, multimedia designers – any niche that you can think of. Choosing a niche will allow you to narrow down on a target audience to market towards and help you assess which marketing strategy and keywords work.
- Make your theme attractive – Your theme will need an arresting visual element to stand out from the multitudes of themes available on the internet. Captivating design and graphic elements will go a long way in ensuring this.
- Allow your theme to have a responsive framework – Put in an effort to make your theme stand out in every size. Don’t just focus on how it functions on smaller screens.
- Use the basic coding standard used for WP sites – WP publishes two sets – One for PHP and HTML, another for CSS. It is recommended that you use these standardized codes as many marketplaces will require compliance in certain areas. Plus, it makes it easier for other WordPress developers to use and edit your code, making your code more accessible. Maybe test out the Theme-Check plug-in which compares your code with the basic WP standard.
- Pick your theme template carefully – Premium themes will most likely have all the basic templates present in them. Additionally, you will want to add custom templates that are unique to the theme’s aesthetic sense. Find a balance so your theme is flexible and not a complete maze to navigate through.
- Make your theme customizable – A website developer needs to strike a healthy balance between allowing too many options to customize the site and not enough. Themes that are very simple are just as annoying as themes that are overly complicated. It is important that every aspect of a website is controllable by you to carry out effective content marketing.
- Shorten your website’s loading time – A website that loads fast performs much better than the one loading on sluggishly. You must respect the customer’s time.
- Accessible on all kinds of a screen – Your blog template must load in a variety of screens for it to stand any chance of converting to sales, in today’s day and age.
- Make your theme translation ready if you’re looking at serving a wider base of customers.
- Allow space for widgets – The addition of widgets that show you content you desire will most definitely come handy in boosting your sales.
- Video-embedding – Allowing videos to be embedded into the template of your website will explain the vision behind your product more clearly and gain your potential customers.
- Make it Browser Compatible – Browser compatibility will add to the overall UX of your website translating to increased sales.
Those in the know, are aware of how a WP template can affect the sales of the product you are marketing on the website. Implement these simple changes onto your WP template and you will notice a guaranteed spike in your sales.
A small business can achieve a lot with a well-functioning WordPress website. Conversion rate refers to the customers that you can retain after they’ve expressed initial interest in your product. Conversion rate optimization results in more permanent customers from the lot that was potentially interested. The conversion rate can be optimized traditionally by improving the website that advertises the product. The following ways could help increase conversion for a small business i.e. using WordPress-
- Tell your customers what you want them to do on your website. Perhaps, you want them to add themselves to your mailing list or call you instead? Whatever it is, let them know specifically. Decide how you want them to convert.
- Never lose sight of your target audience. Target an audience and speak to them simply, in their own language. Discuss issues topical to them. Doing so will allow you to build a personal bond which will reflect in the sales.
- Build an E-mail List. If you have been able to capture significant traffic to your website, you know how inconsistent the process can be. For a constant flow of traffic to your website, create an e-mailer.
- Lastly, focus on content. All small businesses should have the following pages on their website – Home, About, Services, Testimonials and Contact Us. Not only should these pages be available, they need to also be easily accessible from the main navigation.
Follow these simple methods and your small business website will also begin to generate new business leads!
So, you want to make your WordPress website available to a large variety of audience and don’t know how to go about it? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s discuss some features that will open access to your WordPress for a more sizeable group of people. Accessible websites also have faster loading time, better SEO and are good for PR.
Tips for making your WP webpage accessible:
- Alternate text for images – Screen readers need alt text to make sense of images included in the content. Any in-line image, even the featured image should have alternate text in place for visually impaired individuals.
- Links and Menus accessible via Keyboards – Users with mobility impairments cannot navigate a mouse. They use the keyboard or a replacement keyboard to work their way through a webpage. They use the Tab key to go forward and backward. Drop down sub-menus are most frequently not accessible by the keyboard, posing problems for some to access key functions of a webpage.
- Visible Focus Style – Those using the keyboard to navigate a webpage can often not tell where on the page they are due to lack of focus style. Themes reset the current focus style. This reduces visibility. A visible focus style will allow a keyboard user to know his/her location on a webpage.
- Adequate Color Contrast – Low contrast backgrounds will compel those visually impaired to struggle with reading. Reading on a laptop against a sunny background is difficult even for the sound of sight.
- Skip Link Option – Skip Link will enable screen reader users or keyboard users from going over the same links repeatedly. It can be made invisible to sighted users using CSS.
- Semantic HTML Headings – Good headings are beneficial to everybody. Sighted users can scroll down to the section they want and those using screen readers can head to the level they want.
- Screen Reader Text for “Read More” links – Screen reader users can come across various “Read More” links on a webpage and fail to understand the context for each. It can happen in a blog that uses excerpts. Without the presence of Screen Reader text, the link destinations wouldn’t be clear. Also, Screen Reader Texts will be valuable in case of icon fonts where alt text isn’t made available.
- No Autoplay for Media – Auto playing media can confuse those with cognitive impairments. Auditory media can interfere with a Screen Reader’s reading of the page. More preferably, media should be included as part of plug-ins and not the theme itself.
- Highlighted Form Labels – If the labels on a form are not explicitly clear, it can be difficult for Screen Reader users to understand properly. They may not be able to comprehend which information is required where.
A site optimized for disability is almost always also optimized for search engines. The basic requirements for both are the same. It is because the techniques that allow search robots to index a site also allow Screen Readers to describe content to those with visual impairments. Optimize your website to make it more accessible and you will be opening it up for increased traffic. What could be better?
5. Testing the performance of your WordPress website, an important step for sales, leads and conversions
A WordPress website can be tested for its speed and responsiveness under a certain workload. Several tools and plug-ins are available for this purpose. Putting your WordPress website’s performance to test will benefit you. You will be able to implement the required changes to enable a better viewing experience for your audience. A fast site is more user-friendly, optimized for mobile-viewing, has a higher Google ranking and makes more conversions. You may lose sales, leads and conversions with a sluggish website that takes too long to load.
Why Optimize Your Website?
- Google Ratings – The search engine includes site speed in their official ranking algorithm. While it is okay for your page to load slowly sometimes, consistent slow load time will raise a red flag with Google and plummet your site ranking.
- UX – A lag in a page’s load time will result in an impatient and unhappy customer. An unhappy customer will pave the way for the loss of traffic to the website. A slow website provides poor User Experience and you would do good to correct this if you want your website to perform better.
The overall performance of a website consists of the following elements –
- Technology and page-load speed of a website
- How the smaller elements of a website perform
- SEO meta information
- The number of requests that are made
- Performance of WP plug-ins
Here’s how to test the performance of a WP website-
- Test the time it takes for the webpage to load – The load speed of a webpage is its primary test of performance. Input your site’s URL into your browser’s address bar and observe how long it takes for your page to load. Even then, your observation is only for what speed the site performs at, for you. It may not be the same for your audience. The website Pingdom allows you to check your load speed from different geographical areas. Choose the one nearest to your target audience. It also analyses individual components of your site’s performance.
- Find out how much concurrent traffic your site can tackle – The Load Impact tool examines this by creating 25 bot users and sending them to your website at the same time. By doing this, it can tell you how your website performs under pressure.
- Examine the quality of your setup – Your WP, like all software, is made up of many fine elements. Multiple small scripts and mechanisms go into making your WP site what it is. However, not all of them are optimized. GTmetrix tests these elements for you and gives you a detailed summary.
- Test the optimization of your plug-ins – Plugin Performance Profiler or P3 is a plug-in that tests how much individual plug-ins contribute to the overall load time of your website. It allows you a clear insight, so you can remove and/or replace the plug-ins that are slowing your website down.
Test your website’s performance periodically for maintenance and it will tell you just where you can garner new leads, more sales and conversions.
A lead magnet is a benefit offered to a potential customer by a marketer in exchange for their e-mail IDs or other contact information. Lead magnets usually offer up freebies in the form of digital, downloadable content such as a free PDF checklist, report, E-book, whitepaper or video. Perhaps, you have a WordPress site and you want to generate leads. You could grow your subscribers to the site by restricting your content only to those who’ve signed up via e-mail. Visitors to your site, who have found your content appealing, will then provide their e-mail IDs to you along with the permission to contact them.
Why offer lead-magnets?
The goal behind offering lead-magnets and opt-in incentives is to encourage website visitors to take positive action and grow your membership. It is often used to persuade visitors to your website to join in an e-mail list or newsletter. The website owner then has a window to ask this member for repeat visits to his/her website to check out new content and/or offers.
Don’t alienate your visitors
You may have attracted visitors to your site somehow but can you ensure that they stay on in your site? Urging them to share their contact details is crucial at this stage of your interaction. They may be browsing similar sites parallelly or not be interested in signing up for your services then and there. If they give you their contact details, it means they will probably also be willing to sign up as a new member.
Opportunity to build a bond with a one-time user
Lead magnets can and do play an important role here. Offering new visitors a gift in exchange for their contact details means you can relieve yourself of the worry of turning them into paid members immediately. You can work on building a steady relationship with this visitor instead, so you are naturally on their mind when they become willing to make a purchase or join a membership programme.
Types of Lead Magnets
- A Digital Download Lead Magnet – Ebooks, video content, audio files and software in exchange are a great way to obtain e-mail addresses from your visitors.
- Access to Locked Content – WordPress’ best e-mail opt-in plug-ins restrict access to parts of your content, i.e. only visible when a visitor adds themselves to the mailing list.
- Free E-mail Course – Providing a free e-mail course can be a great sampler for your paid content.
- Free Membership Site Trials – Offering free access to your website for a limited time is another great lead magnet idea.
- Limited Membership Plans – Maybe you do not want to offer free content at all. You can always offer a lower-priced alternative that gives access to your content for a shorter time or perhaps, limits the content it gives access to.
- Membership Site Coupon Code – Offering a coupon for your new email newsletter subscribers don’t only grow your network, it gives them a reason to choose your membership.
Giving out freebies is an effective way to turn your website visitors into paying members. There are many options for you to explore, that will help you generate new leads. The proper tools like an email newsletter service or a good opt-in plug-in will ensure that the process is smooth and tension-free.
The goal of content creation is to have an audience. If you’re creating content in a vacuum with no one reading it, the purpose of creating the content is lost. What can remedy this? A well-built newsletter. Email marketing is one of the longest surviving marketing trends. Building an e-mail list of interested subscribers is not easy. The opt-in email form which pops up on your webpage with your newsletter sign up form is an effective way to gather subscribers. They are more profitable than you think and form an essential part of any e-company’s marketing strategy.
Perks of an opt-in form
- E-mail opt-in form play a significant role in building a relationship with the customer as well as keeping them engaged
- A subscriber is in the loop of your product launches online and is more probable to spend money on your products
- Pop-ups ensure that they receive maximum attention and guarantee that the content gets read frequently
In conclusion, opt-in forms are crucial to generate subscription and keep your customer engaged.
WordPress Opt-in Plug-ins
SumoMe is a free WP plug-in for creating pop-up forms. It comes with three different tools that encourage email subscription and sharing of web-content. It also helps optimize your workflow. List Builder creates forms that pop up at a stipulated time, Scroll Box adds an opt-in form at the bottom corner of your site and disappears when users scroll down and Smart Bar displays the form at the top of the page. The creation of the form is made easy due to the intuitive features of the tool. SumoMe allows third-party integrations, supports asynchronous loading and is mobile optimized
MailChimp for WP enables the display of timely pop-ups that urge visitors to subscribe to your site. It allows you to create opt-in forms with the help of a shortcode and display them anywhere you want on your page. You can also add checkboxes and new form fields to your form. Its Reports sections logs in the entire user activity on your site.
Optin Monster is an innovative newsletter plug-in that permits the addition of pop-up messages, sidebar forms and floating bars. Along with email marketing integration, it also offers form customization and analytics. A feature called the exit intent technology senses the exit time of a user and displays a pop-up right then for maximum effect.
Bloom E-mail Opt-in Plugin allows website owners to enjoy increased email subscription, targeted content and easily configured settings with the help of its rich feature-set. Unlike other plugins, it offers an automated insertion of the form in your pages. You can also restrict access to content. Only a section of your page will be available to the visitor filling-in his/her e-mail ID.
E-mail opt-in forms are integral to any website’s marketing strategy and can help heaps in generating subscribers for your newsletter. There are more than a few WordPress plug-ins that help with building opt-in forms for your website without any hassle. If used properly, opt-in forms can generate new business leads and help make market conversions.
Comments can be used for lead generation and are the easiest way of engaging your users. However, the WordPress comment system is not conducive to having a commenter revisit their original comment. Let’s discuss how comment forms can be used to generate new leads below-
Lead Generation via Comment Forms
- Comment Redirect – In the default system, the commenter can only see a preview of his own comment when he goes to submit the comment. You can amp up the UX of your site here by redirecting the commenter to a thank-you page or a different page with content instead. The Yoast Comment Hacks plugin enables this. The commenter will now be redirected to a page of your choice – with an email sign up form or one offering a free discount.
- Add Comment Subscription – WP does not leave you any notification to alert you to new comments left on a website. A person must manually visit the site to check if a comment has been left in reply. Yoast Comment Hacks comment subscription changes this. It increases page views, return visitors and brand recognition. Most of all, it provides you a chance to convert visitors to your sites into subscribers.
- Minimum length of comment – Yoast Comment Hacks plugin allows a minimum limit of characters to be set for its comments. As a result, you are spared low effort comments that have no bearing on your business.
- Crisp notification emails – The Yoast plugin leaves comment notification emails concise and clean. It encourages you to start a conversation with your commenter and vice versa.
- Allow you to e-mail commenters – There may come an occasion when you want to email your commenter directly or even email all the commenters on your post. The Yoast plugin module adds an email link in the admin if you hover over the comment and an email all commenters button on the WP Toolbar on a post page. You can engage your subscribers more directly and effortlessly now.
- Edit parent comment – You may have mistakenly replied to the wrong person, what do you do now? The Yoast Comment Hacks plugin adds a simple input field where you can alter the parent comment. There is little chance of confusion and it saves from taking away anything from your UX.
Lead generation refers to the acquiring of initial customer interest or query into a product or service offered by a company. The comment section on your WordPress holds ample resource for you to be able to do this. However, the default WP comment plugin is not up to the mark. The Yoast Comment Hacks plugin is a useful tool here, which comes in handy for generating business, thanks to its effective modules. These modules encourage you to build a relationship with your commenter which will assure repeat visits to your website. In turn, these repeat visits may result in an increased subscription to your webpage.