20 Tips from ThinkVis 8, September 2012
We have gathered together our notes and come up with 20 key points from the presentations that we attended.
Large-scale WordPress: How To Do It Right – @basgr
1. WordPress plugins: If you’re the admin for even one blog, it’ll pay to have these plugins installed:
- WP Smush.It by Yahoo compresses your images on the fly, meaning faster load times.
- SEO Data Transporter. Whilst there are a variety of SEO plugins to get the job done (Yoast, SEO Ultimate etc), what happens when support gets dropped by the developer or it doesn’t have the feature you require? SEO Data Transporter works by allowing you to transfer your existing WordPress SEO set up to the new plugin.
- Theme Test Drive – When it comes to facelift time, trialling out a new theme can be tricky when you’ve got a popular live blog. This plugin lets you demo the site, without affecting regular users.
- BackWPup – Safeguard your existing settings, blog posts and uploaded images. What’s good is that it also allows Dropbox backup, so if your entire server gets wiped, you’ll have another backup in the cloud.
2. WordPress tips: Avoid free themes. Whilst the premise of a quick, easy template is enticing, there are a few risks you run – namely that the developer may have injected hidden links and perhaps malicious code. Fortunately there’s a plugin to double check a theme’s trustworthiness – Theme Authenticity Checker.
Subconscious Marketing: What and How – @basvandenbeld
3. Word of mouth: Subconsciously or consciously, we rely on people around us to make choices in life and want what others have. This is why product and business reviews are so important, and why we value the opinions of people we trust.
4. Social referrals: Following on from point #3, Bas discussed how important it is to include social media buttons to allow previous / existing customers to share their positive experiences. But the importance lies in targeting their peers through their own influence, rather than keeping them loyal to the brand.
5. Target your customers at happy hour: You want your target audience to be in a positive state of mind when associating with your brand. Which is why timing is important in regards to when you engage with them, so Friday afternoons are an important period to post fun and interesting content.
Creating a Community using WordPress – @charlottebritto
6. Blogging community: Involve yourself with forums, other blogs and follow conversations on Twitter. This way you’ll quickly identify the knowledgeable figures within the sector. Follow their tips, suggestions or links, and you should find that you quickly find out enough to communicate with them.
7. Blog schedule: Try publishing posts at more formalised times. Whether it’s scheduled time-wise or topic-wise, users quickly come to expect a certain type of post at a certain time and will return to see it.
Sh*t My SEO Says – @10yetis
8. Pitching to journalist: Don’t put your brand name in the title; journalists will know that this article is only for links. Also, selling to a good freelance journalist can benefit you as they have a financial interest in selling your press release to newspapers.
9. The selling of a story: Selling the story, rather than the story itself, is more important. Don’t worry if you only have a few bullet points – so long as the journalist can get the gist, they’ll likely be happier to use that than a forced press release document.
10. Press Association is the holy grail: If you manage to get your press release accepted by the Press Association, you’ll have guaranteed coverage. Every paper uses them for information, from the big names right down to local newspapers.
Content Marketing: Beyond the Bullsh*t – @hannah_bo_banna
11. Leads > links: Content is more than just a link, as quality content that is relevant and supports your brand positioning is more valuable to your customers. Great content can be used for mediums other than guest blogging, such as email newsletters and PR. This is an important method for generating leads, which ultimately is more profitable than chasing links.
What Types of Links do you Need to Rank Post Penguin – @chelseablacker
12. Images as hidden gems: Chelsea’s link analysis compared and contrasted links from what websites she believed to be winners and losers. From this, she found that the winners had an average of 10% of links from images in comparison to 1% from the losers. She also highlighted that a variety of sources (Other) for links were more prominent in the winners’ links.
13. React to your comments: Use questions asked in the comments to add to the original article, not just to reply to. This expands your article and makes sure that all the content is delivered in the main article. This may also allow you to create new content following comment ideas.
Brands as Publishers and the Power of Good Ideas – @simonpenson
14. Predicting repercussions: Be ready for “it”. If you write a post about winter berries being popular off the back of a Jamie Oliver show, make sure you’ve got the follow up story prepped when supermarkets subsequently run out.
15. Keyword Research Tools: When creating keywords sets, the following tools are good when used in combination with Google Keywords tool:
16. Author rank: Google’s metric for collecting data about you, as an author, looks at the history of your published content. When you submit a new post, it will be placed within Google, based partly on the popularity and quality of previous posts. This encourages people to create quality content to increase their own author rank and expose their posts to a bigger audience.
17. Regular features in your content: Feature staple content so your readers get what they want. To do this, it helps to really know your audience, perhaps even character profiling them.
From Affiliate to Merchant – @qualitynonsense
18. User Feedback: If you ensure that your website is giving users what they want, you’ll get better returns overall. A few ways to find out if your site is a usability nightmare or suffering from information overload is through customer feedback tools:
- Ekomi (user reviews & star ratings)
- olark (live chat)
- Qualaroo (1 question surveys), customer feedback services
19. Invest in your brand: Investing in your brand will give you long term benefits, so think wisely before picking your company name. For example, spending £8k on a domain sounds expensive, but for the brand you can build this is a small price to pay.
20. And, most importantly, remember – don’t tweet the bride.