Thinking WordPress differently


23-04-2021
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If you are asking someone to ‘build you a website’ you are asking the wrong question, says flocc. Read on to find out why...

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need - Mick Jagger

The team writes:

We have made it our mission over these last few months to ban the word ‘website’ from use with the agency. Why? Well, we think it gives completely the wrong impression about how brands should market themselves on a digital platform and leads to some bad practice. It really should no longer be OK to make a few portfolio pages based on an old-fashioned ‘tree’ structure, call it a website and hope that people will both find it and listen to what you are saying.

Sure, what you ultimately end up with is a website, that is still the best way to describe a collection of web pages working together online, but if you are asking someone to ‘build you a website’ you are asking the wrong question. Instead, you should be asking how to market yourself online effectively.

So how does WordPress fit into all this? Well, it currently accounts for around 60% of the market when it comes to building websites, probably even higher when looking at the Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) sector. What this dominance has led to is both democratisation of making websites and a lack of innovation around how we approach the purpose of a website within the digital marketing landscape.

Not too long ago, WordPress was actually a blogging platform - and a very successful one at that. But, when the need for ‘quick win’ websites took off, the pages feature became more prominent with a ’blog’ tacked on.  This was the wrong move though; let’s stop for a minute and think about what we are really trying to achieve within our digital marketing.

For key aspects of SEO, the ‘blog’ (often a neglected secondary feature) is actually the most important aspect of a site. It provides us with the opportunity to create detailed, long-form content to work with our pages. For some reason though, this just isn’t how websites are currently approached.

There is also another problem for WordPress on the horizon: just about any agency or business with a little technical knowledge can make a ‘website’ using a page builder such as Divi, Elementor or Gutenberg, but there is no escaping the upcoming Google ranking factor of Page Experience including the key measurement tools called Core Web Vitals.

Page builders are good in many ways, but unless they are used by very experienced hands, there is a real possibility that many sites are going to have significant issues once the Google ranking update takes hold later this year.

So what next? Well, we do still rate WordPress and it has its place when used correctly. We have some great sites running with it, including our own (until we have time to change it)! However, we need to start doing things differently. We have recently moved our ‘tech stack’ to use a Javascript framework called Vue for the front end of our sites and a new ‘headless’ CMS called Sanity for content management. Don’t worry if that doesn’t mean all that much to you; essentially it just means that we can make super fast and efficient web pages to meet the new standards, but more importantly we can configure exactly how we group content addition away from the norms.

For content, we now talk about Digital Campaigns made from pillar and landing pages of topic themes, as well as a core set of brand pages. Doing it this way means we can specifically target keywords and importantly user intent much more easily and build up a network of pages into an overall website, optimised for both PPC and SEO. We will be adding some cool features as well in the coming weeks around content suggestions to support inbound marketing and making the whole web experience much more fit for the future.

WordPress has been great and we have loved working with it over the years, but things move on and we are very excited about the possibilities which lie ahead.

Passionate, creative. service-driven, collaborative, caring, proactive, quality-obsessed, honest, talented, humourous, technical, insightful, logical, approachable, agile. Always Lagom.

Since 2007 flocc have been working with amazing organisations to create compelling digital campaigns that deliver memorable results.

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We are creative, dedicated and humorous band of digital marketers. Since 2007 we have been working with amazing organisations to create meaningful impact through compelling campaigns that deliver memorable results.

Our ‘Lagom’ {just the right amount} ethos flows through the veins of the agency and creates a fantastic working relationship with our clients. Starting with our specialist Strategy Sprint; we use a balance of just the right tools, techniques and insights to lead your customers towards conversion.

flocc