I started my first blog back in 2007. Throughout the years, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work; I’ve learned what drives traffic, what drives pageviews, and what increases time-on-site.
How this applies to Reputation Management
Though I’ve started many companies and blogs, the site structure for my sites have stayed relatively the same. I’ve found the quickest and easiest way to deploy an optimized blog and start writing content immediately.
When it comes to reputation management, it’s important to build a powerful web of ancillary sites that you can point to your main sites to build their page rank and establish their online authority. I’ve built hundreds of ancillary sites for my clients: to accomplish such a tremendous task, it’s important to maintain a structured methodology to building blogs and maximizing pageviews.
In addition, your main blog must be optimized to capture as many people as possible into your funnel. Whether you’re funneling people into your email list or driving people to pick up the phone and dial your phone number, it’s critical to maximize the opportunities on your blog.
This is how I build an optimized blog for my clients and how you can do it too in under 9 minutes.
Site structure is easy and straight-forward.
Use WordPress for your blog platform. It’s a simple self-hosted install and is the most powerful, expandable solution.
Many companies choose to design a theme that matches their home page. While this is great for consistency, I’ve seen many blogs delayed because the designer just doesn’t put the blog design as a priority. Furthermore, the home theme may not be conducive to all the optimal elements that need to be integrated to the blog.
This is why I use a do-it-yourself theme platform that allows me to easily customize a theme with very little technical knowledge:
The blog you’re reading right now is built on top of Thesis.
Search Engine Optimization
There’s only one plugin that I use and trust for SEO on my sites. The plugin is WordPress SEO by YOAST.
I use several plugins to increase pageviews on my site. Here are the must-have’s:
1. Digg Digg
You can see Digg Digg right now following you alongside this blog post. For company sites, I always enable the following:
- Facebook (Like)
- Google +
You can see upPrev at the bottom of this post. When you finish the post, you’ll notice that it slides out from the right-hand side and entices you to read the previous post.
3. Link Within
Link Within is the best similar posts plugin that I’ve found. It automatically inserts similar posts at the end of each post and inserts images to entice the reader to click on a similar post. It’s been highly effective for me.
I use several tools and methods to capture leads.
You can see the Hello Bar at the top of your screen right now. It follows you as you read through my site and provides a clear call-to-action.
I use a series of online applications to capture emails on my sites. You can see the methods in which I capture emails in the images below:
I use Wufoo for all of my forms. There’s a free version, but I use the premium version, which is very inexpensive: just $29/month. I use Wufoo because it’s super easy to create a form, add fields, and customize the design of a form. Furthermore, it ties in directly with MailChimp, which I use as our email marketing app.
Every name and email I capture with Wufoo gets sent directly to my MailChimp account. Again, there is a free version, but the paid version that allows for auto-responders starts at only $10/month.
MailChimp is super easy to use and provides you deep analytics about what your audience is doing with your emails.
I personally dislike popups, but you can’t deny that they’re extremely effective. I use Popup Domination to trigger a popup window that captures names and emails.
I set the trigger to 2 pageviews: you only see the popup after you’ve seen 2 pages on my site. If you don’t sign up for my site, then I won’t show you the popup again until 2 weeks later.
And there you have it. This is how I quickly set up an optimized blog for all of my client sites and maximize pageviews and conversions. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.