Naturally, when starting a page for a new project, your first instinct is to tell your friends and family and get them following/supporting you. This makes sense because your beloved should be able to network and attract some leads for you. You know, word of mouth and all that. Depending on your business, these new devoted fans could be the best thing to give your social media a jump-start, but in most cases, this will be a failing strategy.
On Facebook, if your fans are not engaged by your content, Facebook’s not gonna share it with everyone. And why on earth would your friend Fran, a hairdresser in Minnesota, be interested in any content related to your surfing website (or whatever your niche might be)? If she and others don’t like or follow your page and don’t respond to your content, Facebook will algorithmically mark your posts as lame. No one will see the groundbreaking photo sesh you did of famous surfer Damien Hobgood.
On the other hand, a small list of very interested followers will likely click, comment on, and share your content. Facebook will promote these social “likes” and comments in the newsfeed of their connections who may be interested as well. If your 600 high school friends see your posts first and don’t “like” them, the five people out there who care will never hear the news.
WordPress plugin: Wassup.
I feel super dumb saying the title of this plugin, because it sounds so silly, but it’s definitely worth a recommendation and something you should have in your WordPress dashboard. The main reason you’ll be saying “Wassup” to any of your WordPress buddies (har har) is that this plugin gives you great data about how you’re coming up in search engines.
The plugin gives a very close look at the individuals who visit your site, vs Google Analytics which gives a much broader look at trends and demographic information. I’m sure that some way or another you could get this information from Google Analytics, but its really nice to have such a close look at how your SEO work is coming along right from the heart of your WordPress site.
Just some of the Wassup features you should know about:
- Allows you to filter by or exclude traffic from search engine spiders in your data
- Allows you to filter spam traffic from the results
- Graphs data for various time measurements, from one hour to all time
- Gives a top ten list of your incoming traffic’s top search query, top referrer, top request, top browser, and top OS
- Enables a graph of recent traffic directly on your dashboard
- Has a widget which allows you to post traffic information in any widgetized area of your site (sidebar, footer, etc.)
- It’s free! (download it here)
Have questions about this plugin or WordPress? Feel free to contact me or follow me on twitter: @nickolusweb.
Other than just having a presence online so your customers can find you in search engines, have you thought about how you can use your website as a tool to benefit your business? With WordPress, it’s easy to add just about anything you need to your website, so don’t let your website fall short when it comes to the following essential features:
- A Class or Event Calendar
If you have classes or events at your store, its easier than you think to have and manage a calendar on your website that all your customers can use.
- Advanced Tracking of Your Traffic
Do you know how many people visited your site today? Do you know the search they placed in Google to find you? If you don’t have tools in place to measure these kinds of details, they are free and can be implemented by anyone with just a little bit of web knowledge.
- The Ability to Add/Remove/Change Content on the Fly
Some designers put their clients into the trap of needing to return to them for any small change. With today’s modern web tools, no one should need to know how to edit code in order to be able to manage their website. If you’re in this trap, a small investment in building a new WordPress site could save you thousands over the years.
- Tools to Connect Your Site With Social Media
Your visitors should have the ability to connect with you on Facebook with a single click. If your website is lacking this simple feature, it may be time to upgrade your website.
- Email Sign Up and Contact Forms
Content management systems like WordPress have tools that allow you to create forms without editing a single line of code. If you have a WordPress site, creating a new sign up form is as easy as creating an account on any website.
- A Blog or RSS Feed
The main value of a blog is to continuously add content to your website so you’ll be more and more likely to be found in search engines. They also give the opportunity for your customers to interact with your site and give a reason for visitors to come back. Although it doesn’t need to be the main focus of your website, having a blog and posting regularly will give you more traffic and user interaction.
- “Pretty” URLs
Look at the address in your browser when you view different pages on your website.They should look like this:
www.mysite.com/about-usThey should not look like this:
Not only are URLs that are too long with special characters bad for your SEO, but they are also hard to remember, difficult to type, and don’t look as clean and professional. This alone is a good reason to get a new website if you’re not already running a site on WordPress.
- Basic Search Engine “Friendliness”
If you’re not a very web savvy person, this next part will not make that much sense. If you rely on a web designer for your website, ask them the following questions, the answer should be “yes” to all of the following questions in order for your site to start getting noticed in Google.
- Does it have a robots.txt file set up?
- Does it have a sitemap.xml file?
- Has the sitemap been submitted to Google and Bing?
- Does every page have a Unique h1 tag?
- Does it have a meta title and description that tell what your site is about?
- Does your code validate and if not, has every fixable issue been taken care of?
- Does the address http://yoursite.com/ redirect to http://www.yoursite.com/ ?
Having all of these issues taken care of is a small but good start for any new or growing website.
How does your site match up with the eight features listed above? Is it time for an upgrade? Check out our pricing for small business websites, you’ll be surprised how little a new amazing website will actually cost.