For many advisors, your personal or company website is the core of your web marketing efforts. No matter what else you do online, at some point, all roads lead back to your site. Clients, and certainly prospects, want to know who you are and what you do. The easiest way for them to do that is to visit your website.
It's no surprise, then, that advisors are starting to think about how to better utilize their website to both serve their existing clients and develop new business. One way to do this is make sure your site is built on a user-friendly content management system or CMS. A CMS lets you quickly and easily add new content - like blog posts, additional web pages, even videos and podcasts - to your website.
When it comes to CMS systems, it's hard to beat WordPress. Once known mostly as blogging software, it has come a long way. Today you can use WordPress to build a blog, a website, or both. As Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress said:
"It's true that WP had very humble beginnings and was focused mainly at blogging, but it's evolved hugely since then. It's a secure, scalable, and a joy to use, which is why the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Wired, BBC, Time, TED, TechCrunch, CBS, and many more use it.”
Here are a few reasons for you to consider a Wordpress based website:
WordPress is open source software which means it is free to use. And because its open source, there are people all over the world developing new and improved ways to use it.
It’s user friendly
You don’t have to be a coder to use WordPress. Its easy to install - most web hosting companies now offer 1-click Wordpress installs. It’s easy to use - most of what you do in WordPress can be accomplished with simple typing. And it’s easy to update - more on this later.
It’s an SEO machine
Search engine optimization or SEO is the art and science of getting your site to rank highly in Google for certain keywords or phrase. WordPress is constructed in such a way that it makes it easy for search engines to process the information on your site. This helps search engines like Google better understand who you are and what you do. There are even tools that make it easier for you to add important information for the search engines beyond the content you publish.
It’s incredibly easy to update and expand
Much like the iPhone comes with a universe of apps, WordPress comes with a universe of plugins. With WordPress plugins, (think apps) you can easily optimize your site as your business grows and changes. Plugins are easy to use, often free, and can transform your site’s functionality and engagement in just minutes.
Here are a 4 ways to optimize your blog or website with WordPress plugins:
Keeping track of your site visitors is a tremendously useful resource that WordPress makes simple. The WordPress Google Analytics plugin helps you automatically monitor page views, outbound clicks, incoming links, and everything you want to know about your readers. By learning details like where visitors come from, what posts they read and exit from, and how much time they spend on your site, you can adjust content to better meet their expectations.
The All in One SEO Pack plug-in, makes doing your own on-page SEO a breeze. It allows you to add meta data like page title, description, and keywords to each page by just typing them in. SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog.
Adding social media sharing icons to your blog is a must. You want readers to be able to easily share your content with their networks on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Plugins Sharebar and Digg Digg add customizable buttons for all of the popular social networking sites to each blog post. You pick which icons you want to feature. They also show how many times your post has been shared so readers (and you) will see which posts are most popular.
Having a contact form on your blog and website is crucial. Plugins such as Custom Contact Forms and Contact Form 7 let you create and customize several forms for different purposes or audiences. You improve the chances of people contacting you by making it simple and quick with a custom contact form.
WordPress and WordPress plugins offer a seemingly endless option for managing and upgrading your website and blog. Do have have a WordPress website or blog? What plugins are you using that are most effective?