07 May How To Automate Better With WordPress
Building a great website is an essential part of succeeding as a digital entrepreneur. Yet running an online business can be demanding, and keeping on top of all the necessary tasks can quickly become a challenge. Fortunately, much of this workload can be eased by automating processes, freeing you up to focus on other things.
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WordPress makes it easy to implement automation for a wide range of tasks. This not only lets you prioritize your workload more efficiently, but makes it easier for you to run your business in general. This is down to there being far less opportunity for mistakes to be made when your core processes are carried out automatically.
If you are using WordPress, the chances are that you are already employing some degree of automation. Nevertheless, here are a few ways in which you can improve your automation strategy and give your online business a well-deserved boost.
Great content is the backbone of a successful website. But while creating this content is something best done manually, everything else can (and should!) be handled automatically. As an example, you can arrange for your posts to be shared automatically according to a set schedule, which is particularly handy if you’re going to be away for a few days.
You might also want to consider installing a chatbot or automated response service to your WordPress, so users can resolve queries quickly and expect a reply when they contact you. Depending on the sophistication of your preferred solution, this could be as simple as an automated message that informs users of when to expect a reply from you, or as complex as an NLP chat AI that can handle simple queries without assistance.
Similar tools can be used to schedule posts on social media, respond to comments and direct messages, and even to gather valuable data about social interactions with your business.
Getting the word out about your business is essential, and your approach to email marketing plays a significant part in this. However, it is not enough to simply purchase mailing lists and hope for the best. Unsolicited emails sent to the wrong audience are not only likely to be unsuccessful, but could give your business a poor reputation.
Tools such as emerging email platform Moosend are particularly useful for analyzing and segmenting your audience. This enables you to ensure that your emails go to the right people, and more importantly, gives you the ability to develop actionable buyer personae via list segmentation. This means you can deliver carefully tailored marketing emails to subsets of your audience, increasing engagement and boosting the likelihood of conversion.
Generating quality leads can be a time-consuming task. However, with a set of established buyer personae in place, you can even automate this aspect of your business. Using a plugin such as OptInMonster, you can expand your mailing list, reduce your bounce rate, and evaluate leads for their long-term viability.
Combining this with your analytics framework and your mailing list segmentation strategy, you can also qualify new and existing leads to determine which to prioritize, and which may not be worth following up.
Remember, a targeted lead generation process is far more valuable to your business in the long run. This is because this will let you reach out to those who are most likely to be interested in your website and what it has to offer.
Backup and Security
As any webmaster knows, having a robust backup and recovery framework is essential. No matter how carefully you monitor your systems, disasters can still occur, and the last thing you want is to lose all your hard work as a consequence. As such, one of your first priorities should be to implement a regular backup schedule, using a plugin such as Updraft Plus or Backup Buddy.
Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so you should also ensure that you have installed a spam blocker, and a security monitor. Some popular options here include Akismet and WordFence. At the end of the day, you can’t be available around the clock to catch every instance of spam or suspicious activity. But by automating the processes that handle this traffic, you can protect your website and keep it running smoothly, even when you’re not around to monitor it personally.
It is important to review the activity of these plugins regularly so you can check they are working as intended. You can then manually ban, block, or report any users who are a particular cause of concern.
Analytics and Optimization
Many of the strategies mentioned above rely on the use of your website’s data and associated analytics. WordPress has a wide range of tools for tracking primary metrics and collating essential analytics so you can easily review the performance of your website.
Gathering data about the success or failure of each page, and the behavior of new and returning visitors to your website provides valuable insights into who your audience is. On top of that, it’ll also form the foundations of your optimization strategy.
If you’re not sure which metrics to track, start with as many as possible and scale back any that you do not find useful. Act promptly on the data you collect, so your website is always moving towards the perceived ideal of your customers.
You can also automate the more general monitoring and optimization of your website. Plugins such as Broken Link Checker and Jetpack help your website stay functional and responsive by checking for broken links, accelerating your site’s loading speed, and even ensuring your pages are mobile-friendly.
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By automating core processes such as these, not only do you reduce the potential for errors, but you also free up time and resources which can be used to help your business grow. As you learn more about the options available to you and track the success of your business over time, you will be able to pick and choose which processes would be best automated for you.
Keep in mind that while there are countless extensions and plugins for WordPress sites, which can help you to automate your business in a range of ways, it is important not to overdo it. Using too many can place a strain on your server, which could make your website unreliable or slow to load.
As with every part of web design, be sure to test your site after implementing a new form of automation, to ensure that everything is still running smoothly. Afterwards, you can make the most of all the extra time you now have to devote to making your business even more successful.
About the Author
Kayleigh Toyra, Content Strategist
Half-Finnish, half-British marketer based in Bristol. I love to write and explore themes like storytelling and customer experience marketing. I manage a small team of writers at a boutique agency.