A while back I had posted some of the results and experience I had gotten moving my blog from WordPress to Squarespace. And it’s a painful process moving each individual post because it rarely comes over cleanly. While Squarespace definitely had a huge advantage from a design perspective, over time I realized what it could and couldn’t do, well. Flash-forward to October 2015 and I’ve decided now to move my blog BACK to WordPress. Given how much work any of these migrations are, why in the world did I feel compelled to take on this project?
I had done my research on web hosting platforms and Squarespace had gotten good reviews online across the board as being very mobile responsive and SEO-friendly. Even Internet luminary Rand Fishkin had pimped out Squarespace as a great web platform so in I go. At $20 a month it was significantly more expensive than a good hosting account and your elbow grease but it seemed worth it. I did my migration in February of 2015 and it was pretty painful. While I was able to pull over the text content, images and pictures were tricky and I had to re-insert them after the fact. And there were some additions I needed to make around social media sharing and rich snippets to get micro-data into my posts. That being said, I was able to get 95% of my WordPress functionality and features into Squarespace which had the additional benefit of lower maintenance and expertise needed.
But over time, I noticed the organic traffic for my blog went flat or dropped. I had expected a drop when I migrated the domain name and platform over to Squarespace but historically, my blog had increased traffic year over year for the previous three. I hoped that after a 3 month transition period, the organic traffic would pick its momentum back up and move forward as expected. Unfortunately, it never materialized even though I rebuilt all the features and tuned the blog for SEO as best I could. Can I point to any specifics that prevented my blog growth on Squarespace. Not in particular but that’s what makes SEO black magic and an art. I don’t think there are MANY people who really know EXACTLY what to do because the rules are constantly changing as is your audience (market). But in general, I do believe there are best practices and it primarily works around putting out great and relevant content.
So in October 2015 I decided to move my blog back to WordPress after 10 months on Squarespace. And my goal is to keep it on WordPress! However for my WordPress 2.0 efforts, I did have some learning points to grow from. I purchased a professional template from Studiopress and Design Palette Pro which would give me many ease of use tools for the blog. There were definitely some learning points from Squarespace that revolve around responsive design and my goal was to have the best of both worlds: a fully customizable blog platform with a great-looking, well-designed blog framework that was relatively easy to use and maintain, phew!
But I am so glad to be back on WordPress! The migration process is still going on a year later and while it’s been painful, the future looks so much brighter on WordPress. I’ll be covering Squarespace to WordPress migration challenges and hurdles in a future post. But now that I’m back on WordPress, Google seems to better understand my website (see above SERP results) and I’ve added in some great features through the extensive WordPress plug-in library. Here’s to more and better moving forward!
In the world of professional marketing, time is typically one of the most limited resources. From customer meetings, sales enablement to competitive analysis, creating messaging and positioning, there’s no end to what a marketer can spend their time and energy on. But in the last 10 years, as marketing has moved to increasingly digital channels, our world has exploded into a tidal wave of technology. Platforms for marketing automation and a variety of other online marketing tools are becoming key revenue drivers for companies. Which recently prompted Gartner to make a very controversial prediction: By 2017, the CMO would out-spend the CIO on technology!
Regardless of which side you fall on in that discussion, there’s no doubt that digital technology and channels are disrupting the way marketers engage and qualify prospects whether you’re talking about the B2B or B2C world. And as professional marketers rely on increasingly digital campaigns, it requires a whole new skill-set that not all marketers are prepared to master. Nor do they necessarily have the time to master! Given all the day-to-day activities and full calendars marketers typically have, how in the world are we supposed to keep up with the quickly evolving technology landscape?
chiefmartec.com, a marketing technology blog has a fantastic graphic illustrating the diversity and breadth of vendors out there in this discipline. By Scott Brinker’s estimation (marketing technology blogger), there are over 1,800+ vendors in 43 categories, which is absolutely breath-taking. With the rapid growth of the marketing technology business (IDC estimates 12% CAGR growth and a $30 billion plus marketing technology industry by 2018), the ecosystem of companies in this technology segment range from big-hitters like Oracle, Salesforce.com, Adobe and Teradata to small start-ups.
And how does that busy professional marketer know where to even start when evaluating or learning about today’s B2B digital marketing? Especially when they’re already up to their neck in work and meetings?! That’s a fantastic question but I do think this widening gap between marketing tools and the expertise to understand and utilize them presents vendors a fantastic opportunity to educate their future customers. Hubspot and Marketo have already jumped in heavily on content marketing initiatives to educate and train their marketing audiences on the best digital marketing practices today. It’s the right thing to do for their customers and also the right thing to do for their organizations. Without the necessary digital expertise you may wind up in a marketing dead-end, see Adobe’s take on the marketing dilemma below!
And while this tidal wave of technology can be intimidating, professional marketers willing to get on top and ride this technology wave are positioning themselves, their careers and their organizations for the future. Even if you’re not a master of marketing automation or online marketing tools, you really need to understand the basics of how they can streamline and provide better decision-making in your marketing campaigns and strategies. And that is a requirement for everyone from the individual contributor to the CMO. Because while there are still questions as to whether the CMO will outspend the CIO in 2017, there is absolutely NO doubt that online and digital marketing will only increase its impact on the marketing profession for years to come…