25 Ways You Can Grow Your Business With a WordPress Website
Grow Your Business With WordPress
WordPress is the most used website platform in the world, and for good reason. Ease of use, reliability, and marketing tools are what make WordPress the platform of choice by over 33% of the internet.
WordPress is not just for blogs. The New York Times, Home Depot, and millions of other small, medium, and large businesses choose to use WordPress to build their website. If you’re looking to grow your business with WordPress, rest assured that you’re in good company.
Before we get started on 25 specific strategies you can use to grow your business with WordPress, let’s discuss some of the reasons WordPress is one of the 50 best tools you can use to grow your business.
Why You Should Choose WordPress For Your Business Website
If you’ve never built a website before, WordPress and other platforms can seem scary. Fear not. WordPress has millions of customizable themes to get you started. Try a search for website themes in your industry on ThemeForest.
One of the biggest advantages of using WordPress over other similar providers is the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) opportunities. WordPress offers countless plugins for non-technical business owners to make sure that your website is search engine friendly. More on some of the specific plugins and tactics later.
Here’s a statistic: Over 40% of web traffic in 2018 originated on mobile devices. This number is only expected to keep going up. If your website isn’t mobile responsive yet, you need to upgrade.
Tip: Test your website’s mobile responsiveness with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Plugins, plugins, and more plugins
WordPress has 54,000 plugins, and that number is growing every day. These can help you manage an email list, design a contact form, or submit a sitemap to Google. Many of our growth strategies below involve plugins, so keep reading to learn more about how plugins can help grow your business.
Publish from anywhere
Not at your computer? No problem. WordPress has a suite of mobile apps that let you upload a blog or publish a page directly from your phone. This is highly convenient and extremely simple to do.
Yeah, you read that right. All you have to do is pay for hosting, and potentially a theme. How’s that for a price point.
Now, on to the good stuff.
25 Ways to Grow Your Business With a WordPress Website
1. Build your blog
Some businesses use WordPress for their entire website, while others choose to use it for their blogging platform. Either way, a WordPress blog can help turbo-charge your businesses growth.
Blogs are great for search engine optimization. They help your potential customers find your website, and they give your search engine ranking a boost along the way. It’s a beautiful cycle. People find your website, read your blog, and because of that other searchers are more likely to find your website.
First, you’ll need to layout a blogging strategy and calendar. In your strategy, figure out who it is you want to target. Ask questions like:
-What do my customers search for?
-What questions do my customers ask?
-What do I want to rank for in Google?
Answering these questions will help inform your content strategy. Once you’ve determined your topics, set a schedule and follow it. Write a blog once per week (or as much as you’re able), and publish it on time. Getting into this rhythm will help you grow your site with consistent content.
While you might not see a rush of visitors immediately, be patient. A good blog can bring in thousands of visitors to your website over time. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, even if it’s slow out of the gate.
2. Use an SEO Plugin
According to Matt Cutts, the former head of the webspam team at Google, “WordPress automatically solves a ton of SEO issues.” One of the first things you should do when setting up your WordPress website is install an SEO Plugin. We recommend using Yoast SEO.
Yoast is an all in one SEO tool that makes SEO easy for non-technical business owners. It does a lot, but to narrow it down, these are a few of the highlights of using Yoast:
-Monitors for duplicate content
-Optimizes your website for keywords
-Reminds you to update your best content
-Checks your posts for readability
-Sets the stage for search engines by monitoring your sitemap, robots.txt and .htaccess files
-Self-updates for Google’s algorithm every two weeks
It’s an indispensable tool that every WordPress user needs to install immediately.
3. Tease your best content
The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. While the rule was created to explain the production of pea pods, it’s true when applied to blogs, too.
Most of your blog content traffic is going to come from a select few blogs. The problem is, you don’t know which ones are going to drive 80% of your traffic until after you hit publish. It’s a game that marketers are familiar with all too well.
Once you have a blog, study, ebook, or infographic that starts performing extremely well, you might want to consider requiring an email address to view the content. This worked well for one of our clients, Maupintour. Here’s what we did to grow their email subscriber list.
Example: How we teased Maupintour’s best blog content to grow their leads
We wrote a blog for Maupintour in 2015 that quickly became one of the most popular articles in the website’s long history. Our Top 100 Cities to See Before You Die blog post has brought in over 500,000 visitors to the website.
This content was connecting with readers, so we decided to help Maupintour grow their lead base by leveraging the article. Whenever someone visited the website, after three minutes we offered them the article in exchange for an email address. Over 4% of Maupintour’s visitors took us up on the offer, which built the company a remarkable email list of interested travelers.
Consider “gating” your best content to grow your business. The results can be phenomenal.
4. Test multiple contact forms
Contact Form 7 is the most commonly used WordPress plugin for contact forms, and it lets you collect a wide array of information from your potential customers. Whether you need an email address, phone number, or any other type of information, you can set it up in a few clicks with Contact Form 7.
We suggest doing an “A/B test”. Setup a contact form with minimal information required, and then after a month swap it with a different, more detailed form. You’ll likely find that more people fill out the minimal form, but keep in mind those leads will be less qualified. Monitor the results and go forward with the form that’s best for your business.
5. Run a giveaway
A great way to grow your social media following is to run a giveaway, and WordPress makes contests easy. KingSumo is a fantastic tool that lets businesses set up giveaways in a few simple clicks.
First, figure out what you’re giving away. Make sure you’re giving something away that would interest your potential customers, so the entries are coming from people who might be interested in hearing from or purchasing from you in the future.
Next, set a required action for entry. KingSumo makes sure that users have to perform this required action in order to enter. You could ask entrants to like your Facebook page, subscribe to your YouTube channel, or join your mailing list. It’s completely up to you.
Finally, launch your contest. KingSumo has a WordPress plugin that submits all of the entries right into WordPress, and even assign a winner directly from the platform.
6. Build custom landing pages
If your not a developer, it can be difficult to get landing pages up quickly. Often business owners have to turn to software like Unbounce and Leadpages for the sake of time.
With WordPress, this isn’t necessary. It’s quick and easy to build landing pages with the touch of a few buttons. Test campaigns, drive traffic from specific websites to specific pages and get hyper-targeted with your offering.
7. Monitor your analytics
Another benefit of running your business on WordPress is the easy integration with a host of tools, including Google Analytics.
8. Speed up your website
Large images look great on your website. The problem is, those images take a long time to load for your website’s visitors. A slow page load time increases the number of people who close your site instead of waiting for it to load, thus decreasing site visitors. Unfortunately, this also sends a signal to Google that your website might not be the best resource for its searchers.
This is where WP Smush steps in. The plugin optimizes your site’s images to make sure that your page load time is quick. Setup only takes a few minutes.
9. Redirect your traffic
If you move your site over from another platform, you’re probably going to have some dead links. 404 errors are not good for SEO, and they don’t help people who click on those pages find what they’re looking for.
Redirection is a plugin that allows you to push those lost pages to other parts of your website. Manage 301 redirects, keep track of 404 errors, and tidy up your loose ends to so you keep all your traffic on your website.
10. Sell your products
Grow your business by selling more products with WordPress. WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin that powers over 30% of all online stores, making it the largest eCommerce platform on the web. You can sell digital or physical goods, affiliate products, and handle shipping all from one place. Here’s a quick rundown of how the plugin works.
11. Use affiliate links
Affiliate links can be a great source of revenue for your business, especially if you plan on bringing in large numbers of visitors to your blog. They might not be the bulk of your business, but every little bit helps. Here’s how it works.
- You place an affiliate link on your website (it could be from Amazon, Audible, etc.)
- Visitors click your link and are taken to the merchant’s website
- You earn a commission which is usually a percentage of the sale
If you were writing a blog on social media tools, you could add an affiliate link for one of the tools to the blog and earn a commission on anyone who purchases.
ThirstyAffiliates is a great tool if you plan on growing your business with affiliate links in WordPress. It lets you cloak long and ugly links, protects your commissions, and makes it quick and easy to insert a link into your blog posts.
12. Take appointments
Most small business websites only use contact forms as a means for their visitors to get in touch. If you want to grow your business with WordPress, try using a scheduler that allows visitors to book appointments online. It cuts down on back and forth emails and gets your appointments on the books and in your calendar.
BirchPress Scheduler was designed to make online appointment scheduling easy. When you install the plugin, a booking form can be embedded in any page or post on your website with a simple shortcode. This will allow your potential customers to check your availability and book appointments or make reservations online without every sending an email.
The plugin also syncs with your calendar (Google, iCal, iPhone, Android or Outlook) to make sure you never miss a meeting with an interested customer. It even sends email notifications to keep you in the loop.
13. Build a course
Online courses are a great way to expand your influence and increase your bottom line. When building a course, try to think of the most common questions you receive from your customers. What are they constantly asking? What requires an extensive explanation that could be turned into a course?
Zippy Courses is a tool that lets you create courses quickly. You can even price out different tiers for your courses and offer premium content to those who might want an extra explanation. Once people sign up, you can give them access to all of your course or schedule it to be dripped out over a period of time. This gives you a ton of flexibility and keeps your students engaged with your content. There are tons of customizations you can use to make your course look exactly the way you want.
14. Build a portfolio
Your potential customers want to see what work you’ve done in the past to make sure it falls in line with what they want for themselves. If you’re not showcasing your work, you’re missing out on a big chunk of business.
WordPress makes building your own custom portfolio easy. Show your past projects, case studies, and results on a page that’s easy to digest and includes a contact button.
15. Accept payments on your site
Customer service costs you time and money, so why not try to design a low touch offering?
WordPress integrates seamlessly with almost every major payment processing software, including the big names like PayPal and Stripe. Build a page with a specific offering and allow customers to pay or subscribe directly on your website, without ever having to get in touch with you.
16. Grow your email list
Growing an email list can help grow your business quickly. Your list should be handled with the utmost care, for several reasons.
- Your email campaigns give you an opportunity to present your expertise
- People who subscribe to your list are interested in your product, so you know every email is a fantastic sales opportunity
- You can further market to your email list by creating custom audiences on places like Facebook
WordPress makes growing your email list simple. Most major email service providers offer plugins, but if you’re just getting started we recommend using MailChimp. Their plugin allows you to insert a shortcode anywhere on your website that will let your site’s visitors subscribe with one click.
Don’t just add your signup form in your site’s sidebar, we’d recommend placing your MailChimp shortcode within articles and at the end of all your content. People are more likely to subscribe to your list when they’re in the middle of reading something that interests them, so don’t forget to add it in more than one spot on your site.
17. Make a pop-up
Pop-ups are contentious in the world of marketing. Sometimes they annoy your site’s visitors, but if done properly they can help grow your business.
Similar to gating content, you can set pop-up forms to display at certain times or upon visitors hitting certain pages. If you feel someone is far enough down a funnel or has been on your website for long enough, you can set a pop-up to display to entice leads, email subscribers, or any other set action.
Check out the Popup addon for Ninja Forms. It allows you to create beautiful pop-ups that can be triggered by a click or opened on a page using a shortcode.
18. Encourage social shares
WordPress has thousands of plugins that can grow your social media following and increase social shares. If you’re interested in growing your business, you should definitely take advantage of some of these tools. The larger your social audience, the more potential customers will be looking at your brand on a day-to-day basis.
Easy Social Share Buttons is a plugin that makes sharing content easy, fast, and beautiful. Over 500,000 websites are using the plugin for WordPress, so it’s updated regularly and easy to get set up. There are over 50 templates for you to choose from, so you’ll be sure to get the button design that best fits your website.
19. Get a smart bar
As we’ve discussed, growing your email list should be a top priority for growing your business. It captures interested users and moves them down the funnel towards a purchase. One of the best ways you can grow your list is by using a “smart bar”, a static bar positioned at the top (or bottom) of your website with a call to action.
Sumo is an extensive tool that allows you to add share buttons, pop-ups, a welcome mat (a page that shows after a page loads), or a smart bar to your website. It’s easy to set up and they have a ton of free tools in addition to the smart bar that will help you grow your business.
20. Show happy past customers
When you’re building your website, keep in mind that your potential customers are looking for social proof. They want to see that your past customers are happy and that other people are signing up for your service. This instills confidence and ignites fear of missing out.
Proven is a fantastic WordPress plugin that leverages social proof to increase your conversions and get more customers. It shows recent sales and past newsletter signups right on your website, so that as people browse they’re convinced that you’re offering something that people enjoy. You can easily customize the appearance of Proven’s callouts, and manually create notifications that will capture your potential customers’ interest.
21. Host your podcast
Podcasts have grown steadily in recent years. They’re a great way to get your message out to your audience. Start by establishing a theme for your show that will interest your potential customers, and record via a service like Zencastr. If you want to tackle the editing yourself, you can use free software like Audacity, or pay someone a few dollars on Upwork to take care of it for you.
When you’re ready to host your podcast, WordPress has a bunch of tools to make the process simple. Blubrry is the best choice in our books, featuring page embeds that allow users to subscribe to your podcast and easy distribution to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more.
22. Install a Messenger button
More leads mean more business. You need to make sure it’s as easy as possible for someone to contact you in order to maximize your incoming leads from your website.
This is where Facebook can lend a hand. With over 1.5 billion daily active users on Facebook, you can rest assured that Facebook Messenger is a service people are familiar with. Facebook Messenger Live Chat is a plugin that lets your site visitors chat with you immediately, directly from your website. You’re sure to see the leads roll in after you install this plugin, do it now. Here’s a video that shows you exactly how to get the live chat going on your website.
23. Embed a video
Video marketing is one of the best ways to grow your business. It lets your customers see who they’re buying from, what they’re buying, and can provide entertainment and build trust at the same time.
After you create videos for Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram – or any other major platform, WordPress allows you to embed those videos right within your site. You can place educational videos on your blog, company overview videos on your about us page, or quick product demonstrations right within your website’s main slider.
24. Choose a beautiful theme
One of the best things about WordPress is the support you can receive from brilliant developers and designers around the world. You don’t need to custom build a beautiful website, there are thousands of themes at your fingertips in the previously mentioned website ThemeForest. Just type your industry into the search bar and start evaluating designs for your new website.
Look for themes with high user ratings and downloads. This ensures that if you run into any problems, you’ll receive quick and timely support from the theme developers. If you go with a theme with no reviews, you risk being on your own for support, so be sure to check the comments before you purchase. Most themes range from $19 to $69 all in.
25. Install a Facebook tracking pixel
Retargeting is one of the best ways to grow your business online. It lets you run advertisements to people who have already interacted with your website or content. This is low hanging fruit and it’s typically very affordable (and profitable) to run advertisements to this group of people.
The Official Facebook Pixel plugin is easy to install and lets you set up custom audiences within the Facebook advertising platform. You can then target people who visit your entire website, or just specific pages of your site, with Facebook ads. Think about it: if you know someone has landed on a page for a specific shoe you’re selling, running an ad for that shoe to that person is going to have a better chance of resulting in a sale than running an ad to a wider audience. Get detailed with your ads and try a Facebook retargeting campaign today.