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Have you started a blog for your business yet? A blog is a way to share with your audience, give your personality voice and also establish yourself as an expert in your market. In recent years, there has been an explosion in the number of busines owners blogging, and for good cause – a blog is very useful and is very important to online business owners to send messages and build their business directly with their audience.
Some of the more powerful benefit of blogging is that when you blog, you create a very strong brand awareness. Having a business blog means that you are able to spread a strong awareness to your readers. Also, because blogs can promote interactivity, you can engage your audience effectively. Furthermore, blogs can also help you influence your readers buying decisions.
Therefore, it’s no wonder that blogs have become such a popular and powerful business tool. But how do you make sure you get maximum exposure for your efforts?
Did you know that blogs are extremely search engine friendly? Fresh content is a huge plus to search engines, as well as the social interaction. There are also steps you can take to make your blog even more search engine friendly with settings and plugins.
However, with so many blogs being created and many more on the rise, how to do you stay ahead of the field? Here are some great tips that will help your blog get to the top of the search engine rankings and stay there.
Write content that people are actually looking for.
If you just stop and think about what is the driving force to any blogging business, then the obvious answer would have to be the content. Therefore, rather than churning out endless ‘quick’ content, take your time to write a decent length post on information that is in demand. What this means is that if your content is relevant to what people are searching for on the search engines, and your content are what people would love to see, then naturally Google will reward you for it.
Having contents that are in the demand and where people are searching for on the internet search engines is the key to get your content noticed by the search engine spiders (due to relevancy) and it will also be consumed by your readers and if they are satisfied, they will undoubtedly be hungry for more.
A great way for you to get the content that people are looking for is to make sure you are targeting for the right keywords. Go to a keyword research tool such as Google’s external keyword tool and make sure the content that you are going to write will be closely related to a keyword that has a high demand and optimally, that keyword should have less competition. You will also find that building a subscriber base at this point would be much easier as people who are hungry for your content will willingly subscribe to your blog for more good contents.
The length and detail of your content are very important.
Pay attention when writing your content, that you have sufficient small details in it. Google is now smart enough to determine how comprehensive your content are and it is no longer just based on the signals of relevancy. These days, if your content are junk and do not have sufficient information to satisfy your readers, then you will find that it is hard for you to get your blog to rank high.
When your content is written in such a manner that it is a ‘complete’ source on the subject, there is without a doubt that you will be viewed highly in the eyes of the search engines. Longer and complete content will be loved by your readers and search engines alike. Google takes into account things such as time on site, bounce rate, social chatter and bookmarks, return visits and more. All these signals are exactly what Google is actively looking for in a high quality site.
To help improve your blog’s informative posts and your overall content’s stickiness, you should consider including pictures on your post where it matters, good pictures can even help people understand your post. Use graphs and statistics to back up your claims. Be sure to include the source of your data and you can even show in your post how you end up with your own conclusion and opinion. A little bit of emotion, humour or personality goes a long way to help your blog gets the attention it needs from both your human readers and the search engine bots.
Don’t be afraid to link to authoritative sites on the subject, such as Wikipedia. An outgoing link to what Google views as an ‘authority site’ can actually help your rankings, as well as giving more information to your readers.
The saying ‘content is king’ has been around for a long time, and for SEO in 2013 it is as strong as ever. Write good, detailed content, focussing on your readers, and success will come naturally.
Okay, so you’ve thought about your keywords and even done some on-page and off-page SEO (if not you need to check out this post!). You’re noticing traffic increasing and you have a steady stream of daily visitors thanks to all your hard work.
So that must be it right? Job done?
Well, not quite.
Search engines have recently added another factor in determining a website’s site ranking. Bounce rate.
A bounce rate for a site means how long a visitor actually stays on your site when they land on it. If they leave the minute they reach your site, then it doesn’t look too good to the search engines. It tells them that your the visitors you are attracting are not interested in your site and thus something might be wrong it.
So is this determining factor a curse set to make the lives of web and blog owners more difficult?
Well, I would like to look at it as a blessing. Because this metric gives you the opportunity to track and measure visitors on your site, and make sure that you’re offering them what they need. If you’re not, you’ll find yourself without any customers or orders very quickly.
Now I now know that to rank well in the search engines, I also need to come up with content that is worthy enough for my visitors to want to stay longer. And the bounce rate is a great measuring tool of that.
Let us take a closer look on what aspects of a website that we can improve to make sure the bounce rate stays in the lower numbers.
Balancing Quantity And Quality
There is no use churning out article after article every single hour for your site if you have to compromise the quality of your work just for the sake of quantity.
Lesser quality contents are one of the reasons your visitors wouldn’t want to stay on your site for long. You have to give your content purpose, and then you visitors will have a purpose to stay.
On the hand, if it takes you a month just to publish something, it won’t work in your favor either. Even if is quality content, people want FRESH quality content. Your visitors will hate to keep coming back to a site that has not been updated frequently enough.
The key here is a nice balance between quantity and also quality. Take some time to come up with quality and valuable content for your readers but don’t take too long for you to publish it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, if there is something of value for your readers, then it is already good enough to be published. Spell-checking and proof-reading beforehand can’t hurt either.
And has it ever occurred to you before that quality content doesn’t mean it has to be 1,000 words long. In other words, your content doesn’t have to be lengthy for it to be valuable. Even a short video or an image (which are related to your niche) are also good enough if there is something of value that your readers can gain from. So don’t confine yourself to just text. Explore other and employ other mediums as well.
Don’t have time to write a quality article every week? You can get 5 unique articles written for just for you every month and delivered directly to your inbox here.
Is your blog using a free theme that is also used by 1,000,000 other similar sites? If you choose a theme that’s widely used without customising it (at least a custom header and change the layout), then your website will not make a lasting impression on your visitors. Once they see your theme, it’s “If you seen one, you’ve seen them all.”
Like it or not, many people judge a book by its cover. And they will judge your website’s appearance first before seeing your content. A website appearance is especially important for first time visitors. If your theme is an eyesore, you can be sure they will leave as soon as the web page has loaded.
By having a clean and great looking theme, they will be sure to stick around longer and thus gives you the chance to present your killer content to them and and making them stick around longer. Cleaner looking themes also makes reading the contents on the site easier on the eyes as there isn’t many distracting things going on at once.
There are many website themes out there which are free and at the same time has that great and clean look. But you also can’t use a theme just because it looks nice. You have to also find a theme that is search engine friendly. Check out if a theme is SEO-friendly as the author will usually point out that feature if it is.
Sidebars and Columns
There is a fine line between over-populating and under-utilising the sidebar. Many other websites or blogs fall into either category. A sidebar has so much potential, and if you know how to use it properly it can benefit your website and its viewers in many ways.
Don’t go littering your sidebar purely with ads. A little here and there is fine but don’t let your sidebar be EXCLUSIVELY just for ads. If you do that, then it gives your readers a reason to totally ignore the side bar. A sidebar is NOT just for ads.
Have something like links to free giveaways in the sidebar, or links to the most popular post, which then it gives them a reason to always scan the sidebar.
When you have a lot of articles or posts on your site, they are most probably related in one way or another. If they are all on different and separate pages or blog posts, you can link them together. This is called interlinking, notice how I did it above with my suggestion that you read my ‘Search Engine Optimisation – What’s It All About‘ post?
You can link these pages together using a link or anchor text in your current content. Or you can always include a link to a related content or post at the end of the current page and then label it “Recommended Reading” or “Find Out More On ….”
Remember not to go crazy on the interlinking part either. If every other word in your content looks like an anchor text, not only will it look weird, it will look very suspicious and spammy as well. Only interlink content together which you think can really offer additional value for your readers or you genuinely think that the reader might be interest in.
So What Should You Aim For?
In the end, you need to remember that good old cliche; you can’t please 100% of people 100% of the time. People come and go on a website every time. It’s perfectly normal. They might be rushed at that moment, or maybe they just hate purple (in that case woe is me!). Generally speaking, the lower the bounce rate, the better it is, but don’t obsess over getting it down to single figures. Instead treat it as one factor in your SEO and website maintenance and keep it in the back of your mind whenever you’re creating new content or working on your website. But if your bounce rate is higher than 60% than it is time to take a close look at your website and do something about it.
Search Engine Optimisation – It’s becoming more and more critical than ever to employ some sort of SEO plan in order to develop brand recognition, rank your website higher on the all mighty ‘Google’ search and attract more customers to your business. A way to start improving the SEO for your website is to closely manage and improve your website content.
Content is key for any successful venture, but in the world of Search Engine Optimisation, managing the content of your website and inserting key words which will attract the Search Engines, while selling your brand and the image you wish to convey is a highly skillful endeavor.
Web copy written for SEO needs to engage the reader, appear as natural language, and also include your keywords in the correct way. While some web developers use a mathematical formula to decide how many keywords to include, these days its enough to provide fresh content regularly, including your keywords where they naturally fit. A great way to accomplish this goal is to have a blog for your business.
[pullquote]Your blog should be on your domain name, not a free blog such as wordpress.com or blogger, otherwise you will lose the SEO benefit[/pullquote]
A blog is a great way to not only provide your customers and website visitors with fresh or entertaining articles and news about you or your business, but it also is a great way to expand Search Engine Optimisation. By inserting keywords or phrases in the copy of your articles, this will trigger and gain the attention of the search engines. The more copy that is on your website with these keywords, the more likely the search engines will rank you higher on the list.
The drawback to this is many SEO writers tend to insert too many keywords. As a result, the message of the blog gets lost, and the readers don’t return. Our opinion is to blog on your website a few times per week. Find a topic which is relevant to your business or website and the keywords will naturally appear.
The search engines, which billions of users frequent daily, rely on updated content, so if you’re wanting to start with SEO the best advice I can give is to always keep adding information. Make your content fresh and relative to your website and you’ll be accomplishing the first phase of SEO Content Management which will help build your brand recognition.
A good logo design can mean the difference between business success and failure; it really is that simple. Through the history of branding, companies who accelerate their brands to a higher level often have a memorable logo which not only sells their brand best, but also creates an attraction and recognition between the company and the customer.
A good logo will include four specific design elements:
A quality logo needs to be simple in design. A simple logo is easy to recognize, and is often the easiest way to tell the customer what their brand is all about. A simple logo will also attract the eyes of a potential customer even when surrounded by dozens of competitors as well. A great example of a very simple but highly memorable logo is the Nike Swoosh or the Oakley Sunglasses ‘O’. These long lasting images were developed very simply and implied the age old K.I.S.S. concept; KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID.
A great logo needs to be very memorable once viewed by a potential customer. By memorable, we mean that it should burn a place in the viewer’s memory the instant they see your logo. This can be accomplished by design elements including font, script, color and even size. If I ask you to think of a logo with the colors Red and Yellow, what is the first thing that comes into your mind? How about Red and White? If you answered McDonald’s and Coke, you and 2.3 Billion customers would agree.
Speaking of timeless, let’s take a look at that Coke logo again. Over the years, the same brand logo, originally created in 1885 has stood as the corporate identity of this beverage giant. Their major competitors Pepsi Co. have gone through 11 different logos in nearly the same time period. This tells me that the Coke logo is timeless.
Any logo worth its weight in salt must be versatile for multiple uses. If your logo is black on white background, what would it look like on a dark background? How about size? Would your logo be appropriate and easy to identify if it was the size of a postage stamp or if it was attached to the side of a car? Make sure your logo design can be used for multiple applications.
For both bricks and motor and online businesses, Blogger blogs used to be a handy tool in 2005. However, WordPress changed the entire game plan.
Having a blog on your website is a great investment. As well as being a fantastic promotional tool and a way to keep in touch with your customers regularly, blogging has search engine optimisation (SEO) benefits, and also allows you to highlight new products and services to both people and search engines by deep-linking directly to a product. By keeping your blog on your own domain name, instead of blogger.com, you reap the full benefits.
When we talk about the WordPress Vs. Blogger debate, WordPress would always take the edge. As well as being on your own domain for the above reasons, a self-hosted WordPress blog gives you far more flexibility than Blogger, or even one on WordPress.com.
One of the best features of WordPress that helps this along is plugins and widgets. A way to add functionality, widgets has been a strong feature for WordPress users because they can simply add a couple of different widgets through the admin panel to enhance and customize their website’s front end, or add in a new feature or ability.
As well as powering a blog, did you know thatWordpress can be used as a content management system to power your whole site, not just your blog. This is nowhere near as simple and clean with Blogger. Our whole site here is powered by WordPress, not just this blog.
If you’re looking forward to establishing your own online business, multimediART are the WordPress experts. We offer both WordPress website design packages for both customising and existing theme, or we can design and create you your very own unique WordPress theme from scratch. We can also make plugins to enhance functionality, or simply install WordPress if you’d like to try your hand at setting up your own blog.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is one of the topics I get asked about most, second only to ecommerce lately. With so many new online businesses starting up in 2011, how well you handle your SEO can make or break your success online.
In a nutshell, SEO is optimising your website to make it rank well in search engines for your keywords. This includes both ‘on page’ and ‘off page’ techniques. If you haven’t already seen my SEO info services, it’s worth taking a look here.
A lot of biz owners I talk to have heard of SEO, but they’re not sure what it’s all about, or have read so much and don’t know where to start. Hopefully this infographic will help summerise things for you, and if you’re new to SEO, help get you started.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment on this post and I’ll reply right back. I’d love to help you out with your SEO queries .
If you’re yet to integrate a Facebook fan page into your online marketing strategy, then you definitely need to get a Facebook fan page now! Facebook is more widely used than a lot of small businesses know, and not just by teens either.
Here are some of the statistics:
- Half of all the active Facebook users log into their accounts every single day
- The average Facebook user spends about 55 minutes a day
- Facebook has approximately 350,000,000 users
- Facebook users are averagely aged at 37, with 61% of them being either older or middle-aged
With these figures to consider, it is hard to think of a reason why your business should not make use of Facebook. In addition, Facebook and other social media is now being used as part of your Google rank, making it an essential online marketing tool.
To help you come up with a most effective way of marketing your Facebook fan page, here are tips to keep you at the top of your game.
Always Keep your Content Fresh
By updating information on your website, you increase your chances of having repeat traffic. Updating website content does not require a lot of effort, it can be a blog post or a quick status update. As a way to market your business online, you should take advantage of not only your Facebook fan page, but also try integrating other social media tools such as twitter or photo sharing sites. This is highly possible and effective with very little effort. For instance, you should:
- update blog posts on your Facebook wall occasionally by making use of tools such as Pingomatic
- setup widgets for Flickr and your YouTube channel to automatically add posts onto your Facebook wall
Interact with New Traffic
For first-time potential clients who will be visiting your Facebook fan page, the wall might seem a bit exclusive and intimidating. For this reason, it is extremely important that you try and interact with these new customers. I recommend that you direct new customers to a landing page that has key information about your products and services. You can then ask them to become members of your Facebook fan page.
Offer your Fans an Incentive
There many incentives that businesses can use to grow their fan base. These are used to entice Facebook users to become your fans. For instance:
- exclusive coupons for products
- weekly special that will be promoted on your fan page
- providing free shipping for your Facebook fans
Having a contest on Facebook
One way to increase value to your Facebook fan page is by providing incentives to fans. One such incentive is by having a contest on your Facebook page for your fans. However, you need to be familiar with Facebook guidelines regarding contests on fan walls before initiating such a contest.
If you’re not sure how to take the next step with your Facebook fan page, you can order a Facebook Marketing Plan for your business here. For $50, you’ll get a full report on your Facebook fanpage, including 10 posting ideas for your business and a weekly schedule to help you plan your facebook marketing.
If you operate an online business today, many of your customers, despite their gender, economic status or age, are probably very active in social media sharing and social networks.
- Facebook users are averagely aged at 37, with 61% of them being either older or middle-aged
- social users between the ages of 18 and 24 do not dominate any social networking site
- females and males are almost at par in terms of how much they use social networking sites
Chances are that you will miss out on marketing your online business if you do not know which social networking channels your potential customers spend most of their time using. In recent days social networking sites are among the fastest ways that any online business can acquire new customers.
To help you out, here are some tips that will help you use social networking sites to the advantage of your online business.
First, you need to know what your competitors are doing.
Whether you need to take your efforts and social media marketing up a notch or are new to this area of marketing, you should make use of competitive intelligence. This means that you need to take time evaluating what your top competition is doing on social media. This should include:
- what social sites they use
- the types of content that they publish on social media sites
- the number of views and/or followers that they have on the site
- take note of the programs, events, and/or products they promote using social media
To get more ideas on what works well with social media marketing, take a look at what other successful online businesses in other niches are doing.
Follow Your Customers
In order to effectively market your online business using social media, you need to choose the right social conduits to market yourself. To do this, it’s a good idea to ask your existing and potential clients what social media websites they like to use. In addition to this, you may use tools that will help you monitor social sites and give you an idea of how your brand is viewed. These could either be free tools such as Trackur or Social Mention. For more robust results, you can also use commercial tools such as Radian6.
Don’t Over Promote
Yes, the main aim of your online business is to sell a certain product or service however, this does not mean that you should push promotions and products on your customers. Your social media marketing strategy needs to cover a broader number of techniques than simply trying to promote offers. By including some amount of significant engagement with your potential clientele you are most likely to experience success.
Launching your new business website is very exciting, and a lot of work. After all those hours preparing your site, the big launch day is always a great achievement. Now you can just sit back and wait for the sales to come. Or can you?
A lot of business owners make the same mistake when they build their first website, or they add a significant new feature like a shopping cart – they think their website will immediately start to get visitors and sales. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work like that. Websites should be treated as almost a living entity – they need ongoing care and maintenance if you’re going to achieve your goals.
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