October Tips and Pointers - Hop Studios

Cap'n's log

October Tips and Pointers

Hop Studios just got back from th' 13th annual Online What News Association conference in San Francisco, a wonderful and well-attended event whar we learned several new tips, tools, and pieces o' information that might help ye gain traffic, or improve yer site’s functionality.  We sent these out in our newsletter, too—here’s a signup form if ye’d like t' not comely wench our 'nother one.


Well, why dawdle? Let’s jump in.

REPOST-US

Repost.us be a service that makes it easy fer people t' come t' an article on yer site, copy a little bit o' code, and put that article on their own site.

When they re-use yer article, ye’ll be able t' get information about how many times th' article be read there, and ye’ll be able t' put ads into th' articles, too. Ye can also update th' article on yer own site and have that update reflected on th' outside sites. No morrrr out-o'-date information!

If ye’ve been lookin' fer a way t' let yer content be shared without losin' control o' it, this seems like a great, easy-t'-implement system.

RESPONSIVE DESIGN and MOBILE SITES

“Don’t build an app based on yer website. Build th' app that acts as if websites no nay ne'er existed in th' first place. Build th' app fer th' person who has no nay ne'er used a desktop computer.” - MG SIEGLER

Th' buzz o' th' convention be defeinitely about mobile versions o' sites, app development, and responsive design. It’s 2012, and ye now need a strategy t' deal wi' th' people who visit yer website from a mobile device.

There be three methods, each wi' its own pros and cons:

  • build one website that adjusts its display dependin' on th' size o' th' screen o' th' user (this be called responsive design)
  • build two versions o' yer site: one that displays specifically t' people visitin' wi' mobile devices
  • create an app specifically fer th' iPhone and/or fer Android phones

Which one be right fer ye? Give us a rin', we’ll figure it out.

BOUNCE RATES

Ye may be worried that people come t' yer site, look at a single page, and then weigh anchor. This be called “bouncing” and if yer bounce rate be really high, ye’re gettin' some low-value traffic, but ye’re not givin' these visitors a reason t' stick aroun', and ye’re not conbvertin' them t' return visitors.

Some things ye can try t' do fer these visitors:

  • get them t' sign up fer an email newsletter
  • show them morrrr content that’s directly related t' th' page they arrived on
  • encourage them t' share th' page they just visited in a morrrr blatant way than ye do fer yer regular site readers

If ye’re interested in lowerin' yer bounce rate, launch a flare us fer some specific ideas and an estimate o' much work this would be fer yer site.

WHAT NEWS-KEYWORDS

Google has introduced a new set o' keywords fer people listed in Google What News: th' what What News-keywords tag. Ye can read about it here.

If ye be listed in Google What News, ye should definitely be includin' this tag in all yer articles.

CHARTBEAT

This be another great demo at ONA. If ye want t' be knowin' on a moment-t'-moment basis what parts o' yer site be popular, which pages be trendin' upwards, and which be fadin' smartly, there’s a cool tool called ChartBeat that might be fer ye. It really helps ye respond instantly t' th' things that be capturin' attention at that instant.

Ye can sign up fer a free demo and decide if it helps ye make instant decisions t' improve yer content’s positionin'.

EXPRESSIONENGINE

This isn’t what What News from th' conference, but it’s a good service announcement fer ye nevertheless.

There be two new versions o' ExpressionEngine out: 1.7.3 and 2.5.3. If ye be on EE version 1.7.1 or 2.5.2, ye can probably skip this upgrade, but if ye have any afore version, there be several important reasons t' upgrade, includin' minor security issues.

Look in yer control panel’s footer, and let us be knowin' if ye want t' upgrade.

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