Running an effective website can be as time consuming as running the business itself. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of automation tips to help you trim down the time required to keep your website’s content fresh and your customers or clients engaged.
If your WordPress website relies heavily on fresh content (as most websites do these days – Google loves fresh content!) you may find yourself in the frustrating position of having to log in simply to post content that’s potentially been written in advance. having to log in every time new content needs to be posted misses the point of having the content created in advance. To avoid this, use the scheduled publishing feature in WordPress.
In the “Publish” box in the post’s edit screen, change the setting from “Immediately” to any date and time you wish. In this way you can spend one focused sessions scheduling your posts, and let the website take care of the rest.
Instead of manually replying to each email you receive via your website, why not set up auto responders. Our favourite form plugin, Caldera Forms, allows you to set up responders on a per-form basis. This means that someone who fills in an enquiry form won’t have to get the same automated response as a person who fills in a complaint form, for example.
If your website has a newsletter (and really, all website should), you can make use of awesome automation tools. We use Mailchimp (We’re also Official MailChimp Experts), arguably the best newsletter software around, to drip feed content to newsletter subscribers. Fairly complex automation “workflows” can be set up to automate email lists to subscribers based on which pages on your site they’ve visited, which products they’ve purchased, how long they’ve spent on the site, and more. Read more about this powerful software here, and you’ll be amazed at just how much of your client communications can be automated effectively.
Social Media Automation
Making sure you stay engaged on social media is as important as keeping your site up to date – social media is likely where all your customers or clients are already hanging out, so it makes sense to try and engage them there. However, it can be time consuming to republish everything you do on your site on the various social channels out there (whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or one of the myriad other options).
That’s where the awesome software called Hootsuite comes into play. We’re big fans. It allows us to automatically share everything we do on our site and our clients’ sites to the respective social channels, and also allows us to easily schedule future posts. Posts can be scheduled per-channel too, so you can be sure that your Tweets stay within the character limits, and so that in general, channel-appropriate messaging can be used for each platform.
Users are wising up to automation techniques. While they are, by and large, a boon to website owners, when they’re used too often and without thought, they can make the website experience an unpleasant, impersonal one. Think of how you’d feel if you received an email addressed like: “Hello, %firstname%!”. All we’re saying is – use automation, but use it wisely and use it considerately. Not all tasks can (or should) be automated.