Women In Business

How wordpress can help your small business shine over the competition

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In today’s environment, you’d be hard-pressed to find any business in any industry where competition isn’t fierce. It’s becoming increasingly important to find a way to stand out from your competition, especially online. As the world’s leading content management system, WordPress has made it incredibly easy to get your business online and in front of customers. However, that ease of use has also been one its biggest downfalls. There are many business websites that end up looking all too similar, and you don’t want yours to be part of the nameless crowd.

Your business’s WordPress site must differentiate itself from its competitors to generate traffic that will remember your brand and revisit your website in the future. If your website design is so bland that visitors don’t even bother to hang around long enough to read it, you’ll be missing out on a lot of potential customers; they’ll simply will opt for your better-designed competitor. Another consideration is ranking. If it’s not ranked well in search engines, who’s going to see it? That’s why in this post I’ve come up with three actionable, easy, and affordable, ways to make your WordPress site stand out and get ranked better in Google.

1. SEO: The importance of visibility

With nearly 1 billion websites in the US alone, the internet is becoming an increasingly crowded marketplace. You must make your site visible to your customers, and the way to do this is to climb search engine results. Out of the box, WordPress provides robust search engine optimization (SEO). However, to have a competitive edge, you can take what WordPress does natively and optimize it even further.

Search engines look for specific keywords and phrases. It’s best practice to use search keywords and phrases on your site,to help search engines rank you for the keywords and phrases your visitors might use. Savvy website owners will use SEO tools to see which ones are being used by their online competition and use those on their WordPress site as well. That way, you are not left out of results pages for those searches where your competitors already hold positions.

I recommend: Yoast is a powerful WordPress SEO plugin for WordPress to optimize your site and maximize your visibility in search engines. It lends a hand with reader engagement, and attracting visitors from social media and search engines.

Another way to yourself apart from the crowd is through sharing your content. The more your site is shared online by people across various channels on the web, the more it will be noticed by search engines and the better its SEO (ranking) will be. If you are you interested in extending your site to social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram you can do that with WordPress.

I recommend: Using social media widgets to connect with others and multiply your visitors. My standout social media tool is the Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons plugin. It offers a simple solution to adding social media icons to your content and images.

2. Stand-out design and features

When your visitors land are they thinking “this website looks terrible, AND it’s too complicated to use!” Or they might be thinking “Wow, this website looks great — and I found everything I needed.” The design and user experience of a website can have the most significant impact on a first impression. There’s no need to design your own site from scratch. Use WordPress Theme templates to transform your website. There are plenty of themes to choose from, including templates to cover all business types. Just know what your site is about, and pair it with an appropriate theme.

I recommend: Transform your website with a complimentary theme from the free WordPress Themes catalogue. If you are looking for advanced features to proper your website, consider a third-party themes catalogue such as Themes Forest. Here you can find thousands of high-quality themes from as little as $2.

Themes ensure a site doesn’t look bad, but it can be that your site still blends in with the crowd. Your website must stand out from the crowd for it to be effective. To do so, expand your functions. Introduce a customer contact form, email subscription list, adding a booking system – you will find thousands of free plugins offering these pieces of functionality. A considerable amount of your day-to-day pain points are easily solvable with WordPress plugins.

Use WordPress plugins to heighten your website. These app-like add ons add extra functionality, such as the ability to sell online with an e-commerce plugin. Gallery plugins let you brighten up your content, or present your products, well. Plugins cover pretty much anything you can think of.

I recommend: WooCommerce. This is hands down the best WordPress e-commerce plugin. It powers over 28% of all online stores so will be in good company. Build an online store and sell products with this straightforward and free tool, add useful extensions for calculating shipping costs, and keeping an inventory.

With regards to gallery plugins, WordPress is teaming with high quality versions. One of my favourites remains Envira Gallery. It’s one of the best on the web for creating stunning and responsive WordPress galleries with an easy to use interface.

My advice: Zendesk enables you to tie in with existing solutions and address all manner of classic pain points, address core business requirements such as customer support, appointment scheduling, email marketing, custom inquiry forms and SMS alerts, lead generation and content marketing. These features provide a big boost in productivity while also improving customer experience with email confirmations and text reminders.

3. Content is King

An up-to-date website will be more relevant to a visitor, and it will also give repeat visitors a reason to return. News, testimonials and daily updates are a few ways of making a website more exciting. Best of all, regularly updating your content makes it more search-engine friendly. Fortunately, It is easy for non-technical users to update content on a WordPress website without knowing how to code. If you can create a Word document, you can publish a new article on your WordPress website without much trouble.

Recommended: The Editorial Calendar — this plugin will help plan and schedule your content. It provides an overview of your content and automatically posts scheduled articles on your behalf.

You might not have considered adding a blog to your website. They are a staple of content marketing and shouldn’t be overlooked by as a useful tool for small businesses. A blog will bring more people to your site and educate them about various aspects of your business. The benefits don’t end there. Blogs are a great way to get a search engine boost. They will also help you position yourself as an expert in your field (over your competitors), which can boost your reputation and give you opportunities to earn new business.

My advice: Create a blog to accompany your website – WordPress is the original blogging platform, and you can’t get much better for launching yours.

Conclusion

Using WordPress is great help to a small business in a competitive environment. With the thousands of themes and plugins available, you can easily customize the look of your site, and extend its functionality to stand out from the crowd (without any coding skills).

In this blog post, I’ve added 3 easy-to-follow tips for using WordPress to make your site outstanding and visually appealing to set yourself apart from your competition. By following these tips, you can enhance the design and visibility of your site and drive more visitors your way — in turn, generating leads and increasing productivity.

About Bobby Pham

bobbyp@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Bobby Pham is part of the Content Management Team at Namecheap. He specializes in promoting Wordpress as well as general tips on getting online. The tips, explanations, tutorials, and articles he provides will help individuals build the online presence they want.

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