Let Jetpack Support You in Creating a School Website

If you’re a teacher, principal, or educator, you know how important creating a school website has become — some countries even require them. Parents visit the websites of their children’s schools to find information, students access their assignments, and prospective students and community members can learn about upcoming events.

Creating a school website requires more than just setting up a landing page. It will serve as a hub for communications, marketing, and resources.

Let’s explore the Jetpack features that can help educators create their school with WordPress, while ensuring they serve as assets for students, families, and communities.

Use photos to commemorate and promote events

Images can play two important roles on a school website:

  • They’re an effective way for parents to see what’s happening at school and how their children are performing. Images from award ceremonies, trips, and stage performances help students celebrate their successes as well as commemorate their milestones.
  • Images show off your school’s strengths to prospective parents who might enroll their children in the future. Photos of classroom learning and students enjoying activities on campus can bolster a positive image of your school and faculty.

Jetpack offers tools that can present your photos professionally and dynamically. When you create a gallery (have you tried the recently launched Gallery block in the WordPress Editor? You should!), you can specify how images will be displayed, from the number of columns to whether thumbnails are cropped or not.

Share updates to engage with your community

More and more schools are becoming active on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. They use these outlets to share updates and content with their communities. Although effective, this can become a time-consuming labor of love when done manually.

Publicize lets you automatically share new content to your social media channels as soon as it’s published. Just connect to your social media accounts and it will happen automatically. You can also tailor each post to your liking, or have Jetpack create descriptions based on the content of your posts. If you haven’t connected any social accounts yet, no worries — you can do that with a few clicks from the WordPress Editor’s sidebar — once you click Publish once, part of the confirmation process includes the option to add the networks you wish.

You can also encourage students and proud parents to share your school’s posts on their own social media accounts. Jetpack’s Social Sharing feature adds convenient buttons to each post, allowing visitors to re-share them in a matter of seconds.

If a robust social media presence isn’t the right choice for your particular school, keep in mind that you can still implement Social Sharing features so that your visitors can share your content to their personal feeds.

Create a calendar to keep everyone on schedule

Whether they’re looking for winter vacation dates, the summer school session period, or the graduation ceremony start time, your students, their parents, and even your own faculty members will turn to your school website for answers.

With the Upcoming Events Widget, you can add a list of forthcoming events along the sidebar or footer of every page of your site. This makes it easier for people to find what they’re looking for.

If you link this widget to a Google calendar, it will automatically display the most up-to-date details.

Use site security to protect your data

To protect your students and their families, the security of school data should be taken very seriously. European schools were affected by GDPR legislation, and elsewhere, there are regulations in place to ensure that the data held by schools is stored and used appropriately.

Jetpack offers a number of security features to keep your site secure and accessible. These tools include downtime monitoring, automatic plugin updates, and malware blocking. You can also further enhance your site security with backups, spam protection, and security scanning, all features you can enjoy with a paid Jetpack plan.

Revitalize your school website

Your school website is a valuable asset. It can help you communicate with students and parents, allow you to share memories and accomplishments, and even attract new students. With Jetpack’s powerful features, you can enhance your school website, making it work even harder for your community.

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If You’re Looking to Generate More Leads in 2019, Make the Most of Jetpack’s New Form Block

When people visit your website, they should do more than just browse a page or two and move along to another site. You should give them the opportunity to become a customer or a fan.

That first glimpse of your website is just the beginning of your relationship with a site visitor. The goal is to encourage them to keep coming back, buy your products, or use your services while becoming an advocate for your brand.

With a new year mere hours away, let’s focus on how to generate leads — potential future customers — by allowing visitors to subscribe to your mailing list and website, and share tips for incentivizing them to do so in 2019 and beyond.

Generate leads to build a loyal fanbase

It’s tempting to assume that your website will become a selling powerhouse all on its own — that if you run an eCommerce store, people will browse through your products and services and make purchases right away.

Things don’t always work that way. People are unlikely to make a purchase the very first time they come into contact with an online business. According to Pew Research Center, 86% of American shoppers believe that it’s important to be able to compare prices from different sellers before making a purchase. Therefore, depending on the nature and price of your product or service, it could take a number of interactions before a shopper is convinced to buy something from your site.

To maintain a relationship with a potential customer after they navigate away from your site, you’ll want to request their contact details so that you can follow up and address any concerns or questions they might have. Alternatively, you might want to tell them about other products or services they might not have seen the first time they’d visited your site.

If you gather leads and use them effectively, you can gradually develop relationships with prospective customers. In turn, these relationships can lead to sales. You can also nurture these relationships over time, encouraging shoppers to return to your site for repeat visits while recommending your products and services to their friends.

Using forms to gather leads

One of the most effective ways to gather leads from your website is by using a contact form. Contact forms let you collect site visitor information (like email addresses), so that you can contact prospective customers to answer any questions or let them know about your services. With the new Form block — available to anyone with the latest version of Jetpack — creating a contact form on any post or page has never been easier. You can customize it to your needs, and even include a checkbox so visitors can confirm that they agree to receive emails from your business. Once they’ve opted in, send emails about your offerings, specials, or promotions.

Curious to see how a form might look on your site? Here’s how you will see it in the WordPress Editor:

Once you publish a page or post containing the Form block above, this is what visitors will see on your site:

Adding a form to a widget

You don’t need to limit your contact forms to posts and pages. To add your form to a widget (so that you can display it in your footer, sidebar, or any other widget area in your theme), follow the instructions on creating a simple Contact Form Shortcode and enter the resulting code into a Text Widget.

Adding contact form to widget

Gathering leads through subscriptions

Another popular method for gathering leads is encouraging visitors to subscribe to your site. This way, they’ll receive notifications whenever you post new content. Users can subscribe through the Subscriptions Widget.

The Jetpack subscribe widget

This ensures that your site visitors won’t miss your latest posts. When they receive notifications that you’ve published new content, they’ll be more likely to keep you top-of-mind when they’re ready to make purchases.

Incentivize your leads to become customers

Some lead forms are more effective than others. How do you encourage as many people as possible to complete yours? Here are some tips:

  • Offer leads something in return for filling out a form or subscribing to your site. This might take the form of a discount, a free download, or exclusive content. Whatever you choose, follow up and deliver it immediately.
  • Keep the number of form fields to a minimum. People may scoff at a form that takes a long time to complete. If all you really need is an email address and a checkbox, include only these items.
  • Ensure that your form is mobile-friendly. Your theme is most likely responsive, but it never hurts to check how your form appears on a mobile device.
  • Play by the rules. When someone submits a form, they will either be redirected to a custom page within your site, or will receive a confirmation message (depending on which option you choose). On your site page or within the message, tell subscribers what they’ll be receiving, how often you’ll be contacting them, and remind them that they can unsubscribe at any time.

Communicating with new leads

After you secure new leads, don’t forget to follow up with them. The moments following a signup or subscription are among those when your new leads are most receptive to hearing from you.

Linking Jetpack to an automated email service like Mailchimp will position you to send subscribers friendly emails right away, including information about your products and details around the freebie or discount code that you initially offered as an incentive.

If a user subscribed to your site content, make sure you’re publishing regularly so they don’t forget about you.

Gather leads to boost sales

Website lead generation enables you to build a loyal following of customers and fans. Gathering leads and effectively following up on them will help you win over more customers in, increase repeat site visits, and acquire a loyal fanbase. If you follow the tips above, 2019 can be the year your website can become the powerful selling tool that it’s always had the potential to be.


Posted in Learn | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Building a Community Through Comment Management

Many successful blogs attract vibrant, engaged communities of followers who are excited to read the author’s latest content. There are lots of ways to engage with your readers, but responding to and leaving comments is especially effective, as it gives you an outlet to share thoughts and promote discussions.

Today, you’ll learn about the benefits of comments, some best practices for comment management, and what tools you can use to make comments work for you.

A blog is more than its posts

A blog is more than just the content within your posts. A great blog that influences readers, reaches out to a wide community, and sparks a dialogue, will also promote interactions between its readers. These interactions won’t be limited to just you and your readers. Your readers will likely interact with each other as well. Followers who connect with each other is how a community is built in the first place.

You can build a following and community through social media. Take a look at the successful blogs that you follow. They likely have presences on Twitter and Facebook, and many will also be active on other platforms like Instagram, Reddit, or Pinterest. It makes sense to expand your community as far as possible; that way, people will visit your blog for the quality content that you post and to interact with others through the comments section.

Good comment management takes this even further. By encouraging visitors to leave and reply to comments while replying to them yourself, you can build a lively, engaged community of readers who keep coming back time and time again, and not just when you post new content.

Getting started with comment management

To get the most out of the comments on your content, you’ll need to do some basic comment management, including:

  • Verifying that the comments feature is activated
  • Ensuring that comments are configured to look great with your chosen theme, both on desktop computers and mobile devices
  • Actively asking readers to leave comments at the end of each post, either by posing a question or asking for people’s opinions or experiences
  • Replying to and answering questions
  • Inviting your readers to reply to each other’s comments

Covering these initial bases can encourage your readers to take part in the conversations that your posts prompt.

Improving your comment forms

People don’t always want to sign into your site just to post a comment on one of your posts. They’ll also be less likely to leave a comment if a form is difficult to use.

Comments setting in Jetpack

Activating Jetpack comments adds a user-friendly interface to your comments section. It also allows people to sign in through WordPress.com, Facebook, Twitter, or Google in order to leave comments. This means that people who don’t want to create an account on your site can still leave comments on your content.

The Jetpack comments form

Once you activate this feature (via your Jetpack settings), your readers will be given access to a comment form. This offers more flexibility than the default WordPress comment form.

Receive comment notifications

To reply to comments, you’ll need to be alerted whenever a new one is posted. Jetpack sends you comment notifications as soon as they’re posted, so you can reply immediately if you want to.

The WordPress app is the best way to receive details about every new comment. If you enable notifications, you’ll be alerted immediately. All you need to do is download the mobile app, and link your Jetpack-enabled site to it. This app also lets you post new content and monitor your site stats, making it a great companion for your WordPress site.

Comments in the WordPress app

Encourage engagement and build a community

Great posts tend to encourage in-depth, thoughtful responses in the comment sections. This may include people posting questions that you reply to, along with discussions between readers that don’t involve you at all. It can be very rewarding to observe readers sharing their views on something that you originally posted.

Get your readers to partake in discussions by creating content that inspires conversations, like the following:

  • Ask readers to leave comments at the end of every post. Pose a question, ask readers for their experiences, or have them share expertise or recommendations.
  • Don’t shy away from stating opinions within your own posts, even if not everyone will agree. A bit of disagreement can generate heated discussions.
  • Don’t reply to every comment or answer every question immediately. If a member of your community answers instead, it might lead to even more community member engagement.
A post from the Jetpack blog

Comments can take your blog from good to great

Effective comment management can make readers more loyal to your blog. Loyalty is partly what drives readers to visit your site more often, as they will want to connect with other people who share similar interests. It can help you build a community, which makes your blog greater than the sum of its parts. It might also legitimize you as an expert in your field, as you’ll become someone who readers can go to when they have questions or need advice.

How do you use comments in your content, and what method works best for you? Share your thoughts, we’d love to hear them!

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Tips to Increase Website Traffic With Jetpack

As a site owner, one of your goals will likely be to attract more visitors, as this is one of the best ways to encourage people to check out your content, converting them into fans or customers.

But to do this, you’ll want to increase your website traffic. This probably means increasing your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and applying other techniques to grow your audience, as well.

In this post, you’ll learn about some of the techniques and tools available (including ones that come with Jetpack), to help you increase website traffic and attract new readers, fans, and customers.

Making your site easier to find

If you want to increase the number of people visiting your site, make it easier for search engines like Google to find and identify the information and keywords (also known as “crawling”) that you use.

Adding an XML sitemap gives search engines a file they can use to determine the structure of your site. Then, they will effectively crawl it without missing any important information that might help you rank higher in search results.

An XML sitemap generated by Jetpack

Activate XML sitemaps through your Jetpack settings to turn on this essential SEO feature.

Formatting your post titles for SEO

One of the ways you can enhance your site’s SEO is by making the titles of your posts and pages display in ways that tell search engines more about your site and content. This also improves the way your site appears in search results. With Jetpack, you can customize how content titles display, so when someone sees your entry among their search results, they will be presented with the most useful information about your site, which might encourage them to click through to it.

The Jetpack title format editor

For example, you can reorder items such as your site’s name and tagline, and add your own custom separators between them.

Optimizing meta descriptions

A meta description is the text that appears beneath your site’s name on a page of search results. Below, you’ll notice the meta description for Jetpack’s homepage; it’s the gray text beneath the URL.

The meta description in a search result for Jetpack

The words that you include in your meta descriptions will be viewed by people who come across your page after performing searches. So, although these won’t affect your site’s chances of showing up in search results, it may affect the chances of people clicking through to your site. Making the meta description attractive and enticing can earn you more clicks and visitors.

In addition to optimizing the meta description of your homepage, you can also optimize it for internal pages (especially for landing pages designed to increase site traffic).

Previewing your search results

Before you publish your posts or pages, you can preview what they’ll look like on a search engine results page with an SEO preview tool.

The SEO preview tool in Jetpack

Activate this tool before publishing your content, and you can see exactly how a page will look among search results. If you’re not satisfied with its appearance, you can edit your post or its settings before publishing it.

Easily sharing content

A great way to increase website traffic is to share your content across your social media channels. This increases the number of people who view your content, and might encourage them to click through to your website.

Activating social sharing in Jetpack

In your Jetpack settings, specify which social media channels you want to share to (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), provide your login credentials, and Jetpack will automatically share your new content to these pages. You can even create your own custom sharing buttons, which will make it even easier for visitors to share your site with their own followers.

Encouraging site visitors to share content from your site is extremely powerful. This can be seen as a form of validation, as they are touting your services to their friends and family, and might broaden your potential audience to include these important contacts.

Configuring social sharing buttons in Jetpack

You can add sharing buttons through your settings page, and they will automatically be added to all of your new posts. This will prevent any missed opportunities to distribute your content to more people.

Analyzing visitor numbers and behavior

To ensure that your SEO efforts are paying off, monitor your Site Stats and Google Analytics to determine what content is the most popular, and which pages people are leaving your site from. This will give you insight into your users’ experiences.

This can help you plan future content and identify which pieces of content you want to boost through social media outreach or other types of marketing. If a certain type of post attracts a lot of visitors, then it makes sense to write more posts like it, and to boost its presence.

The stats screen in Jetpack

Jetpack comes with basic stats built in, which can help you track how many people have been visiting your site and from what sources. If you have a Premium or Professional plan, you can enhance this by linking your site to your Google Analytics account and seeing detailed stats right from your site dashboard, like ecommerce tracking support and detailed reporting for products, conversions, and shopping cart behavior.

Increase your site traffic with the power of SEO and social engagement

Employing these tools and techniques can help you increase website traffic by making it easier for search engines to index your site, encouraging visitors to click through to your content, and allowing fans to share it across their own social media accounts.

Have any of these tools given your website traffic a boost? We’d love to hear from you!

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Reach New Customers and Boost Your SEO With a Quality Blog

Continue reading → Reach New Customers and Boost Your SEO With a Quality Blog

Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Create a Good User Experience with Google Analytics

Creating a good user experience (UX) for people who visit your site is important for a number of reasons. A good UX enhances site accessibility and increases the chances that your visitors will engage with your content in deeper ways by exploring your blog, buying your products, or subscribing to your content.

Sites with strong user experiences may also notice increasing visitor numbers, as visitors will want to return to them. Additionally, SEO experts from Search Engine Land believe that good user experiences can have bigger impacts on search engine rankings.

The importance of good user experience has also grown with the rise of mobile internet browsing. Someone using a small screen doesn’t need a site to look beautiful as much as they need it to be laid out clearly, with an easy process for finding and consuming content.

A site with great UX will offer content that’s clear and readable, has an intuitive navigation system in place, a logical structure, tools such as search, and forms that are easy to use.

So, if you want your site to succeed, you’ll want it to have a good UX. But, how can you measure yours? There are a number of ways to test UX, including feedback, test sessions, and hands-on testing conducted yourself.

In this article, you’ll learn about some of the Jetpack tools you can use to measure the success of your user experience, and identify ways you can make improvements.

Continue reading → Create a Good User Experience with Google Analytics

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Better Social Media Sharing with Jetpack

Tips for Better Social Media Sharing

If you want as many people as possible to find your site and engage with your content, you need to make sure that your content is shared, and that those shares encourage new people to visit your site. In a world where so many people are already vying for attention on social media channels, how do you stand out?

The answer lies in optimizing your content for social media sharing, and also optimizing your shares to maximize clickthroughs.

Let’s review some tools and techniques to help you do just that.

Continue reading → Tips for Better Social Media Sharing

Posted in Social Media, Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Create High Quality Content with These Free Tools

How much does the quality of your site’s content matter? As it turns out, it matters quite a lot.

You might be surprised to learn that quality content can impact your search engine rankings. The truth is that as Google’s algorithm becomes more sophisticated, content matters even more than it used to. The sites recommended by Google aren’t stuffed with keywords and links, but feature quality, relevant articles.

High quality content can also contribute to audience growth. It encourages people to stay on your site longer to browse different posts. It might even increase the likelihood that readers interact with your site, share your content to their social media platforms, and come back for repeat visits in the future.

Quality content is certainly important… but it isn’t always easy to create. If you aren’t a professional writer or lack the budget to hire one, you should consider using tools designed for improving the quality of your writing.

Let’s cover four of these tools in more detail, and how they can improve the quality of your site’s content.

Continue reading → Create High Quality Content with These Free Tools

Posted in Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments
Jetpack 5.8. Advanced Search and lazy loading

Improve Your SEO with Sitemaps

Embarking on a new WordPress project is incredibly exciting. You’re probably full of ideas for your site and what you hope it will achieve. You may even have content or products for an online store ready to go.

It’s tempting to only focus on the creative side of things, or the business aspects of building a site. But there are some equally important technical tasks that you should spend some time fine-tuning, and one of those is building a sitemap.

In this post, you’ll learn what a sitemap is, why you need one, and how to create it. Most importantly, you’ll learn how Jetpack does a lot of the heaving lifting for you!

Continue reading → Improve Your SEO with Sitemaps

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an illustration of two people having a conversation about a website

Why, Where, and How to Add a Contact Form

Your site serves many purposes. Tt’s a place where people can learn about you and your business. It can also operate as an outlet to engage with fans, customers, and sales leads.

Many people rely on social media to interact with site visitors, and a good social media strategy is definitely important. However, social media isn’t always the best method of communication. In some scenarios, using a contact form to build direct relationships with site visitors gives you more control and flexibility.

Let’s take a look at some of the best places to put a contact form, and how to use Jetpack to create custom forms for your site.

Continue reading → Why, Where, and How to Add a Contact Form

Posted in Tips & Tricks | Tagged , | 5 Comments
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