SEO tips for bloggers

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Blogging, SEO |

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is an essential part of any bloggers arsenal in the quest to increase visibility. By using search terms or keywords in your content that are likely to be used in searches by people, your rankings on the search engine results will be better. Blogs are naturally suited to rank well in searches, as a result of their topics and the frequency they appear, but there are a few ways to enhance the way the blog is indexed and ranked, which is where SEO comes in. It goes without saying that the content of the blog needs to be great – quality content that entertains or solves a problem is more likely to be shared. While you can get quite swept away by trying to write content that is crammed full of keywords, it’s not everything. You should publish content you believe in and feel good about posting. You need to think about the kind of language your users are likely to type into a search and create your piece with phrases that correspond. When thinking about which keywords to use, you need to brainstorm the phrases and words you think people will use, as well as writing the kind of content that will reach a large and relevant audience. Using online tools like Keyword Tool can help you refine your keyword compilation into a set that are targeted, useful and likely to increase traffic. The title you use is another biggie – Google pays a lot of attention to titles. If your blog is long, use subheadings to make the structure of your article clearer. Try to include the keywords in your title, as well as in subheadings, but not every subheading – it will start to make your blog unreadable. The length of your blog is another point – Google prefers long articles, but if they ramble on and on, you’re likely to lose readers. A minimum should be 300 words, with a maximum of around 700 words. In a 300-word article, you should aim to use your search terms three to six times, if possible. There are a number of plugins you can use to assist you in writing SEO-friendly blogs, which will measure many aspects of your writing and provide you a number of suggestions to improve its searchability. As you use a plugin more and more, you’re likely to start writing in a way that ticks all the boxes and increases your page rankings consistently. Lastly, links are important. Adding links to relevant content within your posts help search engines get a clearer idea of what your topic is about. Linking to other sites can be the start of a...

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The importance of using images in your blog or content marketing

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Content Marketing, Online Marketing |

Statistics show that content with images get a whopping 94% more views than those without! Content with visuals is not only more shareable (Facebook posts with images get 87% more shares, Tweets with images get 18% more clicks, 89% more favourites and 150% more retweets), but they give your piece personality. They also break up long pieces of content that can be off-putting to a reader with little time. While you think your content may not have a suitable image to enhance it (so why bother?), even a quirky or funny image that has the smallest link back to your article, can be the difference in its success. In a survey conducted by Buzzsumo, posts with an image every 75-100 words got the most shares across various platforms. Without counting the words of your blog and getting uptight about it, the general rule is to place an image right near the top of the post, one after every two or three paragraphs and an image in every section, especially if sections are broken up with subheadings. Colourful images work better than black and white – like advertising, bright and bold visuals sell products. If you have strong brand colours, try to incorporate these in with your content – it all goes towards strengthening your brand. Use different types of images too, not just photographs. Pie charts, graphs, cartoon figures and infographics hold just as much appeal. Remember to use your logo if you are creating the visual – a good infographic is often one of the most shared images on social media. A good blend of entertaining and informative images is a balance to strive for. When using stock or free images – which is most of us, since not many small businesses can afford a photographer or graphic designer to whip up the perfect visual whenever you need one – try to avoid the overused ones. Choose an image that conveys an emotion, however tenuous the link. Finally, use keywords to optimise your images – this will help your search rankings enormously. Use the keyword(s) you are targeting in your image file names, as well as in the alt text field describing the image. For more on content marketing and blog writing, contact us. We’re here to make your digital marketing easier and more productive. Please follow and like...

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Six compelling reasons to update your website

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 in Online Marketing, Website Content, Website Optimization |

As website technology evolves (daily, it seems), so does the need to update your website. Most websites need updating every few years, sometimes more often, depending on your content. As one of your most valuable marketing tools, the need for a website that is up to date and user-friendly couldn’t be more important. Here are six compelling reasons to update your website, sooner rather than later: Make your site more responsive and adaptive If your website started as an online brochure, it’s unlikely to have the embedded tools needed to capture information from site visits. Online forms, Calls to Action and special offers can help to get your website visitors’ information that can convert into a sale. With mobile internet traffic on the rise (up to 40% of all traffic), it’s critically important to have Responsive Website Design, to ensure your site works on any size screen, or you will lose out to those competitors that do have it. Speed up your site Web surfers are notoriously impatient, so the time it takes for your site to load can be the difference between good steady traffic and a high bounce rate. Google will rank a faster loading website higher than a slow one. Get rid of old or unused content, reduce the file size of images or install some speed booster plugins. Increase security Moving from an HTTP site to a HTTPS is not just a Google ranking signal, it’s a way of ensuring that your website data is encrypted. E-commerce sites need to check their security every month, since hackers make it their mission in life to get into your site and muck it up. A hacked site could become infected with viruses, which you’ll then spread to your customers, or be blocked by search engines and browsers. It’s a hard place to come back from. Get rid of old or irrelevant content Check that your site does not contain broken links or outdated content. Blogs written several years back may not only be relics from the past, but downright embarrassing. A spring clean is an excellent opportunity to update client lists and testimonials, rewrite title and meta descriptions and make your site more SEO friendly. Rebrand and reposition Keeping up with your competition is vital, so a fresh look can go a long way. If you designed your website yourself the first time round, it may be time to get professional help with copywriting or design and photography. Your business strategy may also have evolved since you created your website and it’s important that your site is a good reflection of your company culture. Get more social Social media activity needs to be properly integrated with your...

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How to determine the frequency of your blog posts

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Blogging, Content Marketing |

There are several different schools of thought when it comes to the frequency of posting blogs. To find out the answer, you need to ask yourself some important questions about your blog. What you write about and how long it will stay relevant is a good starting point. If you write on breaking news or Hollywood gossip, you’d need to post daily or even more than once a day, to stay current. A hobby type blog, like cooking or home improvements may only require a weekly post to keep your followers engaged. A business blog may not have enough material to blog original content daily. Ask yourself: What audience am I trying to connect with and what information do I intend to share with them? When and where are they searching for this information? Can I stick to a frequent posting schedule? How much can I write in a week or month, that will produce good quality content? You can look at blogs similar to yours to see how often they post, but ultimately, you need to figure out what works for you and your site. Looking at the content of your blogs and planning the ideas for future blogs should also give you an idea of how much you can produce. If you can only come up with ten ideas in one sitting, then posting daily is probably too frequent for you. A key element though, to the success of your blog, is consistency. Once you have decided how often you can post, you need to stick to that plan. Erratic posting will not build a solid following and will also affect how the search engines rate your blog in the search results. In the end, consistent posting of quality content is better than frequent or irregular content that lacks substance. Short articles posted more often have a lot more effect than long musings that take days to write. While some people may be interested in your novelette, the majority of your followers have limited time for reading online. It’s also easier to write short articles, or even lists of tips or suggestions that you can create quickly and easily. Regular activity on a blog is way better for readers and search engines alike. For a small business owner, a regular once-a-week blog is enough to keep your readers interested. If you can update your blog once a week with an entry of about 1 000 words, after a year you will have a short book! This kind of writing will make you an expert in your niche and help you to learn more about your business, your customers and your goals. Your content volume will increase, improving...

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Why single page websites are not the best idea

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Digital Media Marketing, Website Optimization |

A single page website (SPW), also known as a parallax scrolling website, is one where all the content exists on a long, single page for visitors to scroll though. No tabs, no multiple pages. While there are some advantages to this type of website, the biggest disadvantage is that it’s bad for SEO. Here’s why: Scrolling through a SPW can take your readers on a journey and is great for an image-heavy website. It’s perfect for mobile users, who are an increasingly large segment of internet users. They have flare, since they’re pretty uncommon and give designers more room for creativity. However, they’re not great for blog-centred websites. They also take longer to load, because of all the content and images being on one page. It also makes it hard for people to share your content. Another disadvantage is that it’s difficult for you to identify which parts of your website people are attracted to – one URL means your analytics report won’t be able to tell you much. And the biggest of all, it’s not great for SEO. Each page of a website can be optimized for different keywords. With there being a limit to how many keywords (some believe that it’s only one keyword phrase) you can target on a single page, a SPW makes SEO a waste of time. It also means you have only one set of Meta Data. With only one vital title tag and one meta description, you don’t have much to lure customers to your page. In addition, squashing a lot of images, text and videos into a single page will mean that you’ll have a page that takes a while to load. Google hates heavy pages. Obviously, with no internal pages you’ll have no opportunity for links, which can be a rich source of SEO keywords or phrases. It’s unlikely you’d want to put many, if any, external links into your single page as you don’t want to detract from your business. Once again, Google hates a silo site. So, unless most of your business comes from word-of-mouth referrals and your website is essentially just a business card, it’s best to steer away from the single page website. For more on website design, SEO and digital marketing, contact us – we have lots of experience and can point you in the right direction. Please follow and like...

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