A Simple Guide in Mastering the Internet
You’ve decided it’s time for a new website. Great! Let’s talk! When working on your website development strategy there is more to think about than just design. Getting your website right behind-the-scenes is crucial and there is a goldmine of cost-effective (or free) tools to take your website, and your business to the next level. It takes much more than just slick design and laser-sharp copy for a website to run like a well-oiled machine. You need smart data, effective insights, and easy-to-use customer service tools to help you make good decisions and create a top-notch user experience for your customers.
WordPress is our platform of choice, and the possibilities for plugins (those optional extras) are endless. We’ve pulled together our favourites – which are cost-effective or have a free option to test the waters. Take a look below for website wizardry that will better support your business goals.
Our lead generation plugin picks:
Create a seamless communication with your customers on your site and build your databases for continued convos once they leave with these plugins.
3CX Live Chat Plugin
Connect and chat to your website visitors and potential leads in real-time as they browse your website. Answer their questions quickly allowing customers to stay on your site and continue browsing. The 3CX Live Chat plugin is a free, tested plugin that is super reliable. You can resolve issues quickly by switching to a call or video with your customers and answer chats remotely, which is great for anyone working on the go. You can also create automated messages for commonly asked questions, creating quick and easy solutions for you and your team.
A chat function with the benefits of Meta’s (previously Facebook) sophisticated web of consumer data. Gain untapped insights into your customers’ habits and interests and create the ability to build a subscriber base via messenger (much like your email database) which you can use to communicate with your customers regularly. You can also set up auto-replies to help keep manage customer expectations, so you don’t have to be available 24/7.
Building an email database is essential to growing your business. While all eyes are on social media, your email database is everything. It’s a free communication tool, and most importantly, the data is owned by you and not impacted by the whim of wildly swinging algorithms.
OptinMonster is one of the most powerful conversion tools available to grow your email list. If you’re in the product biz, it can help you reduce abandoned carts and optimise conversion rates by using its retargeting function to provide repeat customers with special offers or create targeted campaigns for new users.
Creating a sign-up form is easy with a simple drag and drop function and several designs to choose from.
Our top picks for making data-led, smart decisions.
Gain valuable insight into who your customers are and how they are behaving on our website with these powerful, user-friendly tools.
Google Analytics offers meticulous detail on your customer’s habits, behaviour, and interaction with your website, all on one easy to read dashboard. The dashboard helps you make decisions on products and pricing as well as uncover new opportunities. The more you understand your customer’s behaviour, the more you can deliver better results and make confident decisions backed by evidence.
The dashboard also integrates with Google AdWords, helping to optimise your ad campaigns based on real-time data and insights from your ideal customer, and it’s free for anyone with a Google account. Woohoo!
Hotjar is a very clever tool that gives SME’s a level of sophisticated insight once reserved for big businesses.
Hotjar has made heatmaps accessible to everyday businesses which visually tell the story of how your customers are using your site through mapping the hot and cold spots of your site. Pretty cool, huh!
Hotjar can also create recordings of customer behaviour, offering a full playback of users ‘scrolling, moving, u-turning, and rage clicking’ on your site to help you to easily spot the pain points on your website.
Our top picks for increased website performance
A slow website is not just annoying for potential customers, it also greatly effects your SEO and Google ranking.
WP-Rocket is a premium product that lets you ‘set and forget’ improving your SEO performance behind the scenes by ‘page caching’ – preloading all the information of your website so that it isn’t downloaded by the server over and over again – giving your website an instant speed boost and instantly improved your search ranking.
WP Fastest Cache
For a free and well-rated option that offers excellent page caching with no frills, try the free version of WP-Rocket. There are fewer optimisation tools to access but it’s a robust page caching tool to get you started, nevertheless.
Our top picks for optimising images
Super sharp images that don’t slow down your website at the touch of a button.
Not just the cutest name on the interwebs, Smush is the most popular image optimisation plugin available for WordPress. Smush reduces your image size by up to 5Mb without losing any quality and does other tech wizardry to improve your page performance, such as auto-resizing – saving you the time consuming and thankless work of compressing your images by hand. Smush is an easy plugin for beginners. It’s simple to use and does all the work for you – optimising all your existing images, and new images will be re-szied automatically.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
ShortPixel lets you optimise 100 images a month for free. One of the benefits of ShortPixel is it stores the original copy of the image, making it easy to restore if you need to. It also includes CMYK to RGB conversion and image scaling across most image files.
These are our picks to get you started with plugins, but there are hundreds of plugin options available for WordPress. What works for you depends on your business needs – are you a service or product business? Is your website more image or content based? Chat to us if you are looking to level up in your business and want to talk about your next website move.