When developer websites for clients, it’s important to proactively anticipate needs, instead of waiting for things to come up after a design is underway. On a larger scale, this involves a client onboarding strategy that asks questions like:
- Are you targeting a B2B or B2C audience?
- Will your website need a blog?
- Will your website need any e-commerce functionality?
Once you’ve answered these big questions, it’s necessary to change your focus to the smaller things that make up a complete website. Regardless of the site’s functionality, it’s likely that clients will need help with the following WordPress site integrations.
Although WordPress has built-in website stat functionality through Jetpack, it isn’t nearly as comprehensive as Google Analytics. For that reason, and since Google Analytics can only track data from the time it’s installed, this WordPress site integration is at the top of the list as one of the first you should implement. If clients don’t have experience with the tool, you might share that Google Analytics data can help them to understand:
- Audience: specifics about visitors: demographics, location, etc;
- Acquisition: where users came from;
- Behavior: what people do when they arrive on the site;
- Conversion: how a client is measuring up in terms of goals.
In essence, Google Analytics helps you to understand all the data around how people are using your website. Though the basics can be gleaned from at-a-glance dashboards, you can get more from the tool by customizing it through premade reports from the Solutions Gallery.
Google Analytics is simple to install. But first:
- Instruct the client to create a Google Analytics account with their website details;
- Get the Tracking ID code, which you will use to finish setup of the Google Analytics account.
The easiest way to install Google Analytics is through Google Tag Manager. Another option is to use the Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights plugin (Go to Insights > Settings > Authenticate with your Google account). This can be ideal if the client wants to handle things themselves, and will give them a way to install Google Analytics without breaking the website structure accidentally. The remaining two methods for installing Google Analytics are by inserting the tracker code in the header or footer files.
The Facebook pixel is another site integration that should be on a client’s website from the first day of launch for maximum effectiveness. The Facebook pixel is similar to Google Analytics’ tracking code, in that the file itself is invisible/undetectable to website visitors. It also collects data, but it’s main purpose is for the use of retargeting people through paid ads, and for optimizing those efforts.
In the past, one ad account could have multiple pixels, but the code has since been restructured to allow the use of one Facebook Pixel for multiple Facebook pages and ad campaigns.
Installing the Facebook Pixel on your website is advantageous because of the audience retargeting has the potential to reach. As of March, there are over 1.94 billion monthly active Facebook users.
The Facebook pixel offers three core functions:
Website Custom Audiences
If you have the Facebook pixel installed on your website, it will track the movements of website visitors who are simultaneously logged onto Facebook. You can use this data to advertise to a targeted group of people. Help clients find effectiveness with advertising efforts by specifying target visitors who visited within a specific time frame or those who visited a specific page.
Custom conversions are one of the newer features of the Facebook pixel. Using this feature, you can create custom conversions that link to a completion page, which usually takes the form of a “Thank You” page. The completion page can act independent of the ads, so these conversions are tracked whether you optimize for them, or not.
Using the Facebook pixel, you can easily track those that visit a completion page, especially those that have clicked on your ads, and choose a type of conversion like “Purchase”, “Add to Cart”, “Lead”, “Complete Registration”, and more. Note that you can set a limit of 20 custom conversions, and the first few you’ve made cannot be deleted, so use them wisely.
Setting up simple conversion flows such as this, or basic guidance for setting up a Facebook ad campaign (at least the technical backend) can make for great WordPress maintenance services.
Standard events are an advanced feature of the new Facebook pixel, and are similar to the way the old Facebook pixel works. It needs a bit of code to work properly, but is able to exceed the custom conversions limit of 20, and does not need to be linked to a URL, like the custom conversion page.
Adding the New Facebook Pixel
The Facebook pixel must be in the header section of your index page so that it appears on every page of the website.
- Visit Ads Manager > Assets > Pixels to create the pixel if you haven’t already;
- Name the pixel to finish the creation process;
- Get the pixel code and add it to the <head></head> section of the index page;
- Confirm that the Facebook pixel code is working by downloading theFacebook Pixel Helper extension on Google Chrome.
Email marketing continues to be one of the largest drivers of website traffic, and email marketers often use email to get leads and conversions. A hot topic, social media is a volatile medium, thanks to algorithm changes. Because of this, social media posts sharing website updates are easily ignored or lost in the news feed. Conversely, email lands directly in a person’s inbox, where the recipient has to actively choose whether to file away, delete, or read each email.
Mailchimp is an email service provider that most people start out with because of their feature-rich free plans for up to 2,000 subscribers (which now include free automation features).
Though there are a number of plugins to integrate an email service provider like Mailchimp, one of the most seamless site integrations with WordPress is through the Mailchimp for WordPress plugin. Features include:
- Beautiful/optimized signup forms;
- Integration with WordPress plugins including Woocommerce, Ninja Forms 3, Contact Form 7, WordPress Comment Form, WordPress Registration Form;
- Developer friendly with a continuously updated Knowledge Base.
You can use the Mailchimp for WordPress premium version to unlock additional features, Boxzilla to show call to action boxes, and any of these additional plugins to add additional functionality. It’s probably fair to assume that you could code many of these solutions yourself, but configuring user-friendly plugins will help to empower clients to make some of the easy changes on their own.
When developing a website, a professional anticipates what the client needs before they even have to ask. Collecting logins and code snippets for the aforementioned WordPress site integrations ahead of project completion can help to ensure a smooth launch. On top of that, it will renew your client’s faith in you, and put you at the top of the list for recommendations to their friends and colleagues.