While traffic is important, the latest Google Penguin and Panda updates have shown that relying on search engine traffic to generate revenue is a business model that is destined to fail. The thing is, you just don’t know what is going to happen the next time an algorithm change occurs.
Now, the right answer to the question is simple – engagement.
Yes, engagement is a buzzword that is thrown around a lot in social media marketing and is often misunderstood when it comes to sales and business. Essentially, it is more important to give your visitors a means and an opportunity to return to your website. Having someone visit your website from a search engine is one thing, and having them visit your website from a social media conversation and then opt-in to your email list or jon in a conversation on your forum is another. It’s about relationship building – on your website – possible with the help of WordPress plugins!
That being said, here are 3 relationship building WordPress plugins that will help you to transform visitors into a community of engaged enthusiasts.
WP Greetbox – This plugin has been around for quite some time but is not used as often as it should be. Essentially, this plugin looks at who referred a visitor to your site and displays a unique and customizable message to them. There are a ton of pre-made messages based on various referrers, but you can also create your own.
This comes in very handy when you have a large amount of traffic coming from one source. Rather than let all of that traffic go to waste, you can create a message that encourages them to sign up to your email list, buy your latest product, or join the community in some way. If they are coming from a specific social media channel you can tailor your message to have them “RT” your content more or follow other Twitter accounts that you might have. The possibilities are endless!
bbPress – Although more effective for larger and more focused business sites, forums are a fantastic way to build a community but is usually avoided because of how daunting the installation of one seems to be. Well, the good news is that bbPress allows you to create an entire forum within WordPress on the fly and within your theme. What a great way to encourage your visitors to become engaged in what your business cares about!
Comment Redirect – A great little plugin that will redirect visitors that have made their first comment on your WordPress site to any page of your choice. For example, you could set up a landing page that encourages first-time commenters to join your forums, like your Facebook page, or to subscribe to your email list. The sky is the limit. You could even give them a free gift thanking them for the comment. There are many who post shout-outs to new followers on Twitter or Google Plus – you can be doing the same with your blog commenters!
These tools will help to reinforce the idea that traffic is meaningless if you can’t convert that traffic into a community. Little hidden gems like these offer the opportunity to build a business based of people that love what you have to offer and what you have to say, rather than how well you rank on a search engine that could change on a dime.
Are there any other relationship building WordPress plugins that you recommend? Have you used any of these plugins before? Please do share your experiences with the community!