What We Learned at WordCamp Omaha, Pt. 2

This is the second of our two-part series covering “What We Learned at WordCamp Omaha”. Special thanks to the speakers, sponsors, and organizers for making our experience at the 2015 Omaha WordCamp the best it could be. Here are Dan’s takeaway’s from the business & content sessions of day one of the event.

Google Likes Responsive Sites, And So Do Your Customers

Tyler Golberg from CyberSprout provided his expertise on how to approach SEO on WordPress sites. His talk included an analysis of the industry’s current best practices for SEO, as well a useful discussion about the WordPress plugins that dominate the SEO landscape (including my personal favorite, Yoast).

Tyler also explained the importance of designing your WordPress sites around the demands of mobile searchers. As you may know, Google announced in late April 2015 that mobile-friendliness would become a ranking factor for sites in their index. This means that having a responsive, mobile-friendly website is not only ideal for mobile and tablet users, it may influence your site’s visibility in search engine results pages.

The Best Customer Referrals Still Come from Word of Mouth

Your digital marketing efforts and ad dollars can only take your company image so far. Shape your client experience to be one that customers want to rave about and share with everyone they know.

Kevin Moser’s presentation emphasized the fact that the value of referrals and recommendations from friends, family members, and coworkers isn’t losing its power anytime soon. Take advantage of unique opportunities to make your client interactions both personal and memorable.

Consider Automating Your Content Distribution With Jetpack for WordPress

I’ve used Jetpack for years on more than one of my personal WordPress sites. While some webmaster might argue there are better alternatives for some of its features (i.e. Google Analytics vs. Jetpack’s Site Stats), both the support and functionality of the plugin have improved tremendously for the current version.

Christoph’s presentation also explained how Jetpack can offer webmasters the ability to distribute content to a variety of social platforms immediately upon publish. While I am primarily a Buffer user, I am an advocate for automation, but also a perfectionist when it comes to presentation. If you do choose to automate your entire content distribution to social media using Jetpack, be sure you know what your posts look like once they are released into the wild. Proper formatting goes a long way on social media platforms like Google+ and Twitter.

Consider Retainers for Clients That Demand Constant Upkeep & Support

Building a new site can be fun and exciting. Providing ongoing support for client sites after they have been pushed out the door is a whole different story. Ask yourself if providing ongoing web maintenance is something you want to do at all, or if you possess the technical know-how and time budgeting to allow for it.

Michelle’s talk inspired quite a few interesting questions from the audience concerning how to approach and price client retainers for site maintenance. Explain to your clients that regardless of whether or not they needed support last month, it still required you and your developers to put aside time to offer the personal attention needed to fix potential issues.

If You’re Not Growing an Email List on Your Site, You Should Be

Another one of the amazing features of Jetpack for WordPress is the ability to grow an email list with the placement of a single widget. Christoph inspired an interesting discussion about content distribution when he asked, “What would your company do if, say, Facebook or Twitter disappeared overnight?” The room went quiet.

Social media provides a place to take part in online discussions surrounding your industry, and also offers a host of opportunities to engage customers in authentic conversations about your brand. Larger brands rely heavily on multiple social networks for distributing content and interacting with their audiences. While it’s not likely, if one of these primary distribution channels were to disappear or go offline, having an email marketing list would allow your brand to still push out your message into the inboxes of interested parties.

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