With the rise of Inbound Marketing and Email Marketing, your company website is quickly becoming an essential part of doing your business online. WordPress might have started as a blogging platform when it got first released, but it’s become much, much more. Over the years, it’s evolved into an easy-to-use and popular content management system that allows business owners to market their products and services online.
Inbound Marketing is vital to the success of a business online. It used to be that companies could market their products through outbound marketing tactics like advertising and buying email lists. With 86% of the people skipping TV ads and 44% of direct mail never being opened, these methods are now viewed as non-authentic. Outbound Marketing is, therefore, unlikely to attract large numbers of customers or help you increase your conversion rates.
Instead, the most successful companies rely on inbound marketing and focus on creating content to attract users. Companies who use WordPress are better equipped to promote their products and products and services through the usage of blog posts, landing pages and email marketing. By using WordPress, you can make your website the platform for all your marketing efforts by taking advantage of the large community, well-designed themes and the valuable plugins.
So, to say the least, content is the cornerstone of today’s commerce—and the best and brightest businesses know it. From Fortune 500 companies like eBay, Sony, GM and UPS, to international news giants like Forbes, CNN, Reuters and The NYT, to tech tycoons like Samsung, IBM and TechCrunch, big companies everywhere are rolling out slick sites with full-scale content strategies developed in and supported by the WordPress CMS (content management system).
But why are more than 77 million websites, including 60,7% of all the websites using a Content Management system?
- It’s free. All you need is a domain name and a hosting provider and you are good to go. Using WordPress itself is 100% free.
- It’s open source. Passionate users and volunteers are free to write plugins, create themes and develop patches for bugs.
- There’s a community. You’re just one Google search away from free support from WordPress community members.
Amazing Designed Themes
Out of the box, WordPress comes equipped with already some basic themes, but because of the popularity of this Content Management System there are a lot of theme designers. These different themes are easy installable and there are lots of different places online where you can find a theme which fits the style and needs of your business and your audience.
Almost all WordPress themes available online are fully responsive and mobile friendly, which means you don’t have to worry about optimising your website for mobile devices.
If you are new to the world of HTML and CSS there is no need to worry. Most WordPress themes work out-of-the-box. If you want a customised look, you can search for themes that offer easy ways for customization of page layouts, or design and color scheme which fit with your businesses color guidelines.
A lot of WordPress themes are developed with a particular industry in mind and offer industry-specific features. A restaurant theme may have pre-installed widgets for taking reservations while a photographers website could feature an extensive gallery.
Need a theme for your website? Here are a few WordPress online theme places we recommend checking out:
- ThemeForrest. ThemeForest offers over 1,000 WordPress themes. Most themes cost between $30-60 (one-time fee).
- WooThemes. WooThemes offers over 100 premium WordPress themes. Each theme costs $79 (one-time fee). If you want to use more than one theme (for use on multiple websites) you can become a member for $399 (first year) + $150 each year after that.
- StudioPress. Professionally designed premium WordPress themes. StudioPress developed Genesis, which is the industry standard in WordPress design frameworks. With themes ranging from free to around $100 (one-time fee)
- DesignModo, Startup Framework for WordPress. Although technically not an online marketplace for multiple themes. DesignModo created a brilliant framework with all the features and hooks you’ll need if you want to develop a website for your startup or business. The theme will cost $69 for one website.
Easy To Install Plugins
At the moment of writing, there are 35.458 plugins available for you to use. Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. WordPress plugins will thus help you to add features and functionality to your website which might not be available right away from the start. Installing a plugin is one of the easiest ways to improve the functionality and online marketing of your website. Plugins functionality ranges from ways to make your site load faster to improving your SEO or adding multi-language capabilities to your website. Here are a few of our favourite plugins:
- WordPress SEO by Yoast: WordPress SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.
- Disqus: Encourage your visitors to leave comments on your blog posts while reducing spam at the same time.
- W3 Total Cache: Easy Web Performance Optimization (WPO) using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.
- Inbound Rocket: Off course the list would not be complete by adding our own plugin. Inbound Rocket converts visitors into lead generators, subscribers & customers.
Converting Leads for (Email) Marketing
Off course, you can have the most beautiful website in the world, but if you don’t follow up with those visitors or convert them into leads then all work has been useless. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is no longer a nice-to-have, but an absolute must for us internet marketers, and we all know it. The key findings in research done by Econsultancy together with RedEye around Conversion Rate Optimisation are:
- Conversion rate optimisation continues to be key to digital strategy, but marketers are not satisfied
- Many companies are utilising only a handful of optimisation methods without a structured approach
- Personalisation can impact conversion rates, but many are not taking advantage
Starting Conversion Rate Optimisation starts with building your lead email list. To build your email list, add an email opt-in form to every page of your website. Then build brand loyalty by regularly communicating with these customers through email. Inbound Rocket is a WordPress plugin which helps you easily create those opt-in forms and helps your visitors to share your content from your site. In the mean time it will learn more about the visitors on your site, converting them into qualified leads. Inbound Rocket helps you squeeze the most business value you can out of the WordPress site you have today. Want to know what Inbound Rocket can do for you? Be sure to subscribe and be amongst the first companies to test when we launch!
What platform(s) are you currently using for your website? Which themes or plugins do you think added great value to your website? Leave them in the comments for other business owners to learn from.