The other day, I was at church and was listening to the message when the speaker mentioned that sometimes when her husband is in a hurry he only irons the front of his dress shirt. She said he does this because since he is wearing a coat, nobody will ever see the back half, so what does it matter? The only people who know it isn’t fully ironed is he and his wife. Unfortunately, I have seen on too many occasions that this is the same concept people place into their website for their business.
We all want the flashy designed and pretty looking site, but are not willing to put the time & effort into making the site useful. You can have the most beautiful site in the world, but if it is missing key elements like calls to action, SEO optimization & Social integration, you in essence have spent a bunch of money for something pretty but unproductive. In this post I am going to cover two of these three. I will save the calls to action & sidebars for another post in the very near future.
How Social Is Your Site?
I recently wrote about making your WordPress site more social for consumers. In that post I shared about some great plugins that are designed for WordPress Sites that allow consumers to share your content easily and quickly on social media platforms. As you can see, currently Facebook is sending more traffic to our site than Google. Also, you can see that Twitter has made the top five. The reason that Tech Savvy Agent is in our top five is that I write there on a regular basis with links back to our site. When you look at the analytics on their site, it too shows Facebook at the top of the list. Chris Smith shared with me recently that they see over 45% of their traffic from their powerful Facebook page of over 12,000 fans alone.
We are currently seeing almost 36% of our traffic on 210 just from the various social platforms we participate on. This traffic comes not because we just broadcast our content onto Facebook & Twitter. The traffic comes because Jason & myself engage our friends/followers on the social networks in conversations and build relationships with them. After this trust has been established we can then share links to blog posts and sections of our site and people will click on them and visit. Not only will they read our content, but they are also more willing to share it with their friends/followers after reading as well. Being the complete statistics junkie I am, I did an analysis on the past 30 posts that have been written on our blog to see how much social sharing is taking place. For the past 30 posts, on average, they have been re-tweeted 23.74 times and shared on Facebook 34.19 times.
They say the average person on Facebook as 130 friends. That means on average my posts have a reach of nearly 4,420 people just on Facebook each time we write a blog post. The same holds true on Twitter. This reach is in addition to the thousands of friends/followers that we have. By using an analytic type plugin I can watch when I send out a tweet or post on Facebook the traffic coming to my site immediately. Usually there is a big rush all at once and a few hundred show up within 10 minutes. If you don’t have a site that allows for the installation of these type of social plugins, it might be time to consider a site like WordPress.
How Does Your Site Rank in Search Engines?
Search Engine Optimization still plays a major role in how consumers find your site. The social platforms do a great job of directing those you are already connected with to your site, but the search engines is what can bring in those that aren’t connected to your sphere. Before the recent explosion of social media, sites would see close to 76% of their traffic come directly from search engines. I believe that sites that are optimized properly can still see a major chunk of traffic from Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. The problem however lies in what is set up on back end of your site that is never even seen by a consumer. Each page in your site has three basic SEO components that without the proper setup you are throwing away valuable Google Juice. One of my recent clients contacted me an asked why her static website was not showing up for anything in the search engines. She would search and sometimes find it showing up on page 7 for a very specific term, but it was not generating any business for her. I asked for her web address and immediately looked at the page source for the site. Here is what search engines saw for her site:
The three main components that need to be filled out on every single page of your site and every blog post you post is the Title, Description, & Keywords. In that order of importance too. As you can see from the source code of her site, the first two segments were greatly overlooked. I cannot stress how extremely important these are to determining how your site ranks in the search engines. It is imperative that you fill in these sections with keyword rich content. This client had done a pretty decent job with keywords but their description and title was basically their name, where they are licensed and the name of the company they worked for. Unfortunately, not many consumers search for you by your name unless you are a celebrity and those searching for a company will land at the company page 9 times out of 10.
To help solve this problem, I always install on WordPress sites I build for clients a powerful plugin called All-In-One-SEO Pack. It works great and can really help take a page up the search engine results by giving you an easy way to add a separate Title, Description & Keywords for each individual page & post of content on your site. Make sure that when you add content to your page to take the extra few moments to fill it out. These simple steps can be the difference between your site ranking on page 9 for your terms or page one. A recent SEO overhaul we did for a client took her for her main keyword which she wasn’t found in the first 12 pages of Google to #4 on Page 1 in under 2 months. Since then she has reaped the benefits of increased traffic and increased income all because we went back and fixed the title, description, and keywords on the static pages of her site.
Time to Iron The Back Half of Your Shirt
So if you have been only ironing the front side of your shirt and focusing only on the visual appeal of your site, it’s time to flip the shirt over and start ironing the back half as well. 2011 is almost here and what a better time to get everything in order. Go set up the SEO & social side of your site now and start gaining the benefits as the new year comes in. If your current site does not permit you to add these components, it might be time for a change to a custom WordPress site that offers these types of things. As always, if you feel this is overwhelming and need assistance, feel free to contact us, we are here to help.