The Dominance of WordPress Continues

WordPress’ overwhelming popularity as a content management system is one of the reasons I use and recommend it as a platform for new sites or site redevelopment. Having that large a user base means it’s that much easier to find developers and to hire consultants or employees who already know the ends and outs of the software.

But when I see the statistics, such as those presented in WPEngine’s new infographic below, I’m impressed all over again with how dominant WordPress has become. Dominance doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the “best” CMS, but for small businesses it remains a solid, relatively safe choice that’s likely to hold up over several years.
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Why I Recommend WPEngine for WordPress Hosting

I don’t make hosting recommendations lightly. I’ve been using WPEngine myself for over two years which is about as much time as it takes to convince me they can consistently deliver a high level of service.

Web hosting is a mission-critical service and hosting relationships usually last years. Ideally it’s a service you set up and forget about, but all too often that’s not what happens. Your site goes down, or slows to a crawl. Maybe you get hacked. You try to contact your hosting company for help and you either can’t get through to a person, or you speak to someone who is reading from a script and who knows less about hosting than you do, or you have to wait hours or days for any meaningful response. Meanwhile, your business is on hold. None of those experiences is likely to occur if WPEngine is hosting your site.

Here are the main reasons I advise small business clients use WPEngine for hosting their WordPress sites.
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Filter Your Own Site Visits From Google Analytics

Google AnalyticsTo get a clearer picture of how visitors interact with your website, you should filter your own visits from the data, along with those of any consultants or developers working on the site. After all, if you see a sudden spike in traffic, you want to be able to pinpoint its source and not be thrown off track by site-keeping issues. Also, since most in-house visits are direct, your ratio of direct to search visits will be skewed if you don’t filter your own visits out of the data. Good decisions rely on good data, and good web analytics data require filters.

Here’s how to filter your visits in Google Analytics.

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Simplify Your Website to Increase Conversions

birdofparadiseOne of the great things about web marketing is that we can test our assumptions. One of the less appealing characteristics of humankind is that we are often unwilling to do so. That’s why I love studies that analyze user behavior. Reading them makes me step back and look at the websites I’m working on with a new eye. Sometimes it’s to challenge my assumptions; other times it’s to remind myself of basic principles that can get lost when you are up you your eyeballs in decisions.
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How Critical is a Mobile Strategy for Your Small Business?

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Zombie Apocalypse or Business As Usual?

In a meeting of SEO specialists not long ago, one practitioner stood up to say “You’ve got to optimize for mobile now! About 40% of traffic is coming from mobile, and with the current rate of adoption it’ll be 50% in a couple months. That means half of all your visitors will be looking at your site on mobile devices, so you’d better be sure it’s designed and optimized for those devices.”

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Does Your Organic Search Traffic Measure Up?

A recent study shows that most websites get about half of their overall traffic from organic search. The sites in the study belonged to large enterprises, most of whom invest heavily in PPC and social media marketing. They also tend to be well-known brand names that get a lot of direct traffic, but STILL, about 50% of their traffic came from organic search.

google organic traffic
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Inbound vs. Interruption Marketing: What Gets the Clicks?

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SEOmoz, one of the leading providers of online analytics tools and reliable information about search engine optimization, has rebranded itself to just “Moz.” Why? Well the CEO, Rand Fishkin, tiptoes around the issue a bit, but the main reasons seem to be an association between “SEO” and spammy, “black hat” practices and the growth of other forms of online marketing, particularly social media.

What struck me in their announcement blog post was this graphic that juxtaposes “inbound” vs. “interruption” marketing tactics. While 90% of marketing investment is spent on channels that interrupt people, it is inbound marketing that gets 90% of the clicks on the web.
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How to Write Better Titles and Get More Traffic

morgueheadlineIn this era of content marketing, the titles that you give to your blog posts or online articles do most of the heavy lifting. A keyword rich title can boost your rankings and search traffic. A catchy title will get more social shares. A captivating title will entice more people to click through to your website and maybe even read what you spent all that time researching and writing.

It’s intimidating, isn’t it? Trying to fit all that importance into 70 characters. And yes, not only does the title have to be good, it has to be short: brevity is the soul of a good online title.
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