If you thought starting your business was hard, wait until you try growing it. Between searching for new prospects and trying to keep the customers you already have, when can you actually make your business better? Good thing WordPress makes it easy. Whether you’re looking for a new plugin or a new partnership, the WordPress community is filled with individuals and companies ready to help. So let’s dive in headfirst and explore eight ways you can grow your WordPress business.
Performance is everything online. Most users won’t even stay on a page longer than three seconds if it doesn’t begin to load. For an eCommerce or blogging site that runs on reliable traffic, a slow site can mean the difference between a lost sale or a customer for life.
But how do you speed up your site? There are many different options, each affecting speed in its own way. First, check your images. Ensure that they’re an appropriate size and file type. Also, check to see if you have lazy loading. This will drastically help improve speed and is a real simple fix to help images load faster.
Next, on the list: look at your caching and CDN. At Pressable, we call this ‘Production Mode.’ Enabling production mode means you’re taking full advantage of the features we offer, like our global content delivery network and caching services. When you go from development to production mode, it’s like going from zero to 60 in a sports car. Zoom.
Get to Page One
Retention and click-throughs aren’t the only things that site performance affects. To have any hope of getting to page one, you need your site to be in top shape. That means fixing bugs, improving performance, and creating great content. Because when was the last time you actually went to page two of a Google search?
Great content comes in many forms. Blogs are some of the most well-known types of SEO-friendly content, but images, videos, and yes, even about pages, can all influence SEO and search visibility. Get to work (or find someone who can get to work) on some quality pieces for your blog or site. Even going through and doing the most basic SEO work on a site can make a world of difference. Just keep updating your site regularly and continue producing quality content.
Learn from the Competition
No idea is original, and chances are, there’s already someone out there doing what you do. Are they taking your customers? Are they offering something you’re not? There’s only one way to find out. Do your research. Find out what your competitors are doing and improve on it. Even better, find what they aren’t doing and start doing that. We started offering our customers a direct line to our support team via their own private Slack channel. Only a year later and that level up support became an industry standard.
WordPress powers 35% of sites on the Internet. That’s no small chunk of users, so it’s no wonder there’s a huge community of individuals at its base that serve as an awesome resource for newbies and experts alike. Where can you go to find them? Check out Meetup to see if there’s a group near you. If you want to go even further down the rabbit hole, look for a WordCamp in or around your city (or travel to one!). It’s a great way to learn more about the community, WordPress development, and web design.
All you have to do is ask questions. At the end of every talk, ask questions. During every conversation, ask questions. At every meetup? You guessed it: ask questions. Chances are that someone there has the same question as you, they’re just too afraid to ask.
If you’re hosting with Pressable, we offer a free subscription to WP101 with your hosting plan. WP101 is the largest repository of WordPress-specific courses online today. Beginners and experts alike can always learn something new!
If you’re looking for a way to grow your business or expand your offerings, don’t worry about brainstorming. Instead, head straight to the source and talk to your customers. Ask them what some of their pain points are, what kind of functionality they wish they had, or what services they wish you’d offer. That way, you’re looking out for your customers and you’ll have an immediate audience for your new service.
Reviews are also a great place to source business improvement ideas. They’re also a must for any business with a digital presence. Send out emails to all your customers, new and old, asking for reviews online. The service we use is called Trustpilot, but there are a number of other options available.
Lock It Up
Want to make people feel better about using your site? Two words: increase security. You don’t have to pay an arm or a leg, either. Ask your host about what they do to help out with security, like providing SSL certificates. You can also take a super easy step yourself and change your password. If you’re still using the basic admin credentials for your site, you’re at risk of getting hacked. Change to a secure password (and make sure your username isn’t still set to ‘Admin’) and you’re already taking steps to keep your site more secure.
Invest in Your Site
If you’re like a majority of site owners, then your site is your business. If it’s down, you’re not making sales. If it’s not optimized correctly, you could be losing customers. The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ goes for web design and development, too. So take a little bit of capital and invest in your managed WordPress hosted website. Instead of free versions of plugins that might not get regular updates, go for the more reputable one that costs a bit extra. You’ll be glad you did.
Don’t spend it all on plugins, though. Save some for a quality host. You also might want to get a good developer to help program a specific functionality into your site. (Don’t know a developer? There are plenty of places online where you can meet one!) Think of your website like your car. If it’s built and maintained correctly, it’ll last a long time, so go for the good stuff and make sure you’re putting in what you expect to get out.
One of the best, easiest, and fastest ways to grow your business is through partnerships. What kind of partnerships, you ask? All kinds. Partner with existing customers to create a new functionality they need. Partner with businesses to help create new opportunities for your customers. And partner with the person you met at your meetup group to start a WordCamp for your city.
There’s a whole community out there waiting for you. Join up, meet new friends, learn about opportunities, and find a partnership that can help you and your business grow. Because when it comes down to it, that’s what WordPress is: a strong community of people keeping the platform alive through partnerships and growth opportunities (which is also a great way to increase MRR!).
If you’re using WordPress for your online business, you’re already doing something right. You’re starting out with a great foundation, a platform that’s been around for the better part of two decades. You’ve also got a great network of individuals ready and waiting to help teach you anything you want to know. If you’re looking to grow and don’t know where to start, try looking at your own platform for advice. After all, you’ve got 35% of the Internet behind you. Whether it’s a WordPress Host, a strategic partner, or a stranger at a WordCamp, there are countless opportunities to grow your WordPress business.