Category Archives: Website Content

Brainstorm to Blogging Success (Part 2 of 2)

What is your motivation for writing blog posts? To produce content which will drive traffic back to you website rather than relying purely on search engine optimisation? To be ahead of the game with your business’ Social Media and build new connections or solidify your existing relationships? Or perhaps you simply find blogging an incredibly rewarding activity especially when you start to see followers, likes, shares and comments? Whilst your objective for writing blog posts may be subjective and individual, your goals should not be.

In Part 1 of Brainstorm to Blogging Success we shared three of our most recommended Tips:  What Does Your Target Readership Need and Want, Reader Engagement & Social Proof.

In Part 2 of this blog post, we talk about Commenting on Other Blog Posts, Key Influencers and how Content is King.

#4. Comment On Other Blogs Yourself 

Whilst a very effective way of promoting your blog is to visit other blogs and websites and comment on them, what I don’t mean by this is to simply leave backlinks to your own blog or website. Followers will quickly cotton on to this tactic and frankly, in most cases, be turned off by the blatant self-promotion.

So how do I drive traffic to my own blog then, I hear you ask? Well, the act of commenting itself will provide a link back to your blog or website – all a reader or follower needs to do is click on your name if they want to read more about you or what you have written and, hopefully, follow you as a result. However, this only tends to happen if you have written a knowledgeable, articulate and well-thought out comment and your own blog is highly relevant to what’s been written.

#5. Key Influencers

Become a key Influencer

Klout is probably the daddy of this with the largest consumer base of any influence marketing platform. When you share something via Social Media and people engage with that content, either by Liking, following, sharing or commenting, you will be seen by Klout to have influenced them. And what is influence? The ability to drive action. So, the more influential you are, the higher your Klout score. 

Follow key Influencers

This works in reverse however. Within Klout you can also check who your key influencers are. What is the benefit of doing this? Well, it enables you to identify and engage with millions of top influencers so that you can drive awareness of your brand or business online.

#6. Content is King!

Content is KingSince the introduction of Google’s Pandas and Penguins, gone are the days when you could simply place keywords and backlinks (links to other blogs, websites or pages within your own site) throughout your blog posts and web pages.

Pandas and Penguins are essentially algorithms Google has developed to mark down the search engine rankings of websites which violate their Webmaster Guidelines. Whilst the earlier Pandas sought to mark down website which provided ‘poor user experience’ and operated on the premise that ‘quality raters’ will determine the quality of a blog or website’s content, Penguins mark down sites which use manipulative techniques to achieve high rankings.

It’s all about the content! In other words, the higher quality your written content on your blog or website page(s) is, the higher your brand or business will appear in the search engine results. When writing your content, make sure that you include synonyms of your keywords and use long-tail keywords, i.e. phrases and links as calls to action such as ‘take a look at some of the other services we offer’ or ‘visit http://www.example.co.uk for further information’ rather than just individual keywords.

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Whatever your motivation for blogging, keep the end-user in mind the entire time. Whilst it is imperative that you are interested in the content you write in order to develop an enthusiastic and influential voice online, it’s not about you!  Followers of you blog need to also feel enthused, interested by and more knowledgeable as a result of reading your posts. Blogging, as with all other Social Media channels is all about valuable exchanges and reciprocity – they’ll make the effort if you do.

Click here if you missed Brainstorm to Blogging Success: Part 1

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Brainstorm to Blogging Success: (Part 1 of 2)

What is your motivation for writing blog posts? To produce content which will drive traffic back to you website rather than relying purely on search engine optimisation? To be ahead of the game with your business’ Social Media and build new connections or solidify your existing relationships?

Or perhaps you simply find blogging an incredibly rewarding activity especially when you start to see followers, likes, shares and comments? Whilst your objective for writing blog posts may be subjective and individual, your goals should not be.

In Part 1 of Brainstorm to Blogging Success we share three of our most recommended Tips:  What Does Your Target Readership Need & Want, Reader Engagement & Social Proof.

#1. What Does Your Target Readership Need and Want?

Understanding the needs and motivations of not only the people who read your blog but also the potential followers who comment on it is the lynchpin of successful blogging. And, this presents a real opportunity to be regarded as an authority in your industry. Instead of competing with others, don’t be afraid to be yourself – this will ensure that you are being original and an authentic voice which is ultimately what will make your voice heard. By being somebody who people feel they want to get to know, your business or services will become of interest to them also.

Real Time Search   Social MentionWhilst the comment that you write will what helps this process along, a little online alchemy goes a long way.  Check out Social Mention, a highly recommended search and analysis tool which monitors and measures what people are saying (user-generated content) about your company, industry etc. across 100+ Social Media channels including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+. Social Mention will then aggregate that content into one stream of information and also send you daily social media alerts allowing you to keep track of all activity in real-time and respond if appropriate.

#2. Reader Engagement

Never underestimate the importance of this. Reader engagement is a litmus test for how valuable your content is considered and rated by its readers and followers.  If nobody is interacting with it, most likely it won’t be doing your business or your Website any favours. And if they are, then you are on your way to becoming a key influencer and industry which Google will certainly also reward you for (see Social Proof).

Social Media is about solving people’s problems, in other words providing answers to questions they might have, empathising with and helping to resolve bug bears and issues they might have ultimately understanding their online habits and likely end-user activity. Are they looking to purchase a product and service, looking for answers to burning question which if you resolve, will compel them to recommend your business and become a brand ambassador or simply to engage with them and listen to what they have to say. Spend time considering what type of relationship you would like to develop with your followers to ensure that your content delivers the most effective and targeted messages. 

#3. Social Proof 

Whilst your blog will gradually (or rapidly if you’re doing really well!) attract new followers, unless they are engaging with that content, i.e. via Comments, ReTweets, Likes, Google +!’s and so on, this will not influence your website traffic or search engine ranking.

The main reason for this is that readers engaging with your content by commenting and sharing to their own Social Media channels enables the search engines to measure your social proof, in other words it demonstrated that your content has some kudos and you are considered an authority in your industry in terms of content writing.  The benefit of this?

Ultimately Google, Bing and the like will rank your blog and website higher in online searches.

You can also produce custom reports in Google Analytics to track which posts are resonating the most with people and which are way off the mark and tweak your activity accordingly. Facebook Pages and LinkedIn Company Pages to name a few also have their own inbuilt analytics which enable you to do the same and continuously evolving as user-friendly and easy to understand tools for monitoring the influence of your content.

Whatever your motivation for blogging, keep the end-user in mind the entire time. Whilst it is imperative that you are interested in the content you write in order to develop an enthusiastic and influential voice online, it’s not about you!  Followers of you blog need to also feel enthused, interested by and more knowledgeable as a result of reading your posts. Blogging, as with all other Social Media channels is all about valuable exchanges and reciprocity – they’ll make the effort if you do.

Soci@lite Miniclass: Reciprocal Links & Anchor Text

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Anchor Text and Reciprocal Links work together to provide invaluable link value to your website and have the potential to significantly increase your website ranking.

Anchor Text is the hyperlink or clickable text found on a webpage. Using accurate Anchor Text is essential for good Search Engine Optimisation and when used appropriately it can drastically boost your rankings in the search engines. The Anchor Text provides descriptive and useful information for the page that it links with.

Anchor Text also enables websites to use cleaner looking text rather a distracting hyperlink, e.g. <a href=http://www.social-ite.info>Soci@lite</a> would appear as Soci@lite on the page.

A common mistake is “Click Here” Anchor Text, which apart from neglecting to describe your  content to page visitors and search engine crawl bots, means you will not benefit from SEO ranking. At one time, Google Bombing used large amounts of Anchor Text to influence the rank of a link that directed visitors to unrelated content. However in January, 2007, Google created a new algorithm which reduced the impact of Google bombs.

Where to use Anchor Text:

  1. External links (links from other sites)
  2. Internal links (links on your pages)
  3. Links on your main page
  4. Navigation maps

Top Tips for Appropriate Anchor Text: 

  • Branding: include the company or product name, e.g. Soci@lite Social Media Training & Consultancy
  • Context: provide a relevant description, such as Social Media Blog rather than just Blog
  • Keywords: include your targeted keywords to increase SEO benefits
  • Readable: it is crucial that your Anchor Text makes sense to human page visitors, not just search engines
    Succinct: try to keep your Anchor Text under 60 characters
  • Unique: each web page should have a unique Anchor Text to describe it – use variations and secondary keywords

Reciprocal Links are created when two websites agree to exchange links with each other. Anchor Text is crucial to this because you want your link partner to accurately describe your site and your site to also rank for the keywords that you are targeting. It is always good practice to use Anchor Text which is going to influence your SEO goals and positively portray your website. Search engines look at both the quantity and quality of sites that link to your site. A Reciprocal Link can bring more traffic and boost your website’s SEO ranking.

Ten Top Tips for obtaining Reciprocal Links:

  1. Find high-quality complementary sites not competitors, unless the advantages outweigh the disadvantages
  2. Initiate a link exchange by placing a link to a site on a relevant page of your own site
  3. Contact the site owner
  4. Inform the site owner of who you are, what your website is, why you’re interested in linking to their website, and how you both can benefit from the exchange
  5. Inform the site owner that you have already linked to their website and if they agree to exchange links you are happy to modify the Anchor Text to something of their choosing
  6. Provide them with the URL of the page where you’ve placed their link
  7. Request that they link back your site and suggest a page where the link may be appropriate
  8. Provide the HTML code that includes the hyperlink and the keyword Anchor Text so they use the correct Anchor Text for your link
  9. If you have not heard back within a couple of weeks then send a brief, polite reminder, but don’t push it as they may reconsider in the future
  10. Keep a detailed and organised list of sites that you have propositioned a link exchange with so you know who has provided you with a link and who you still need to contact

Although search engines such as Google assign more value to websites with the most relevant and superior links, it is of equal importance that the right Anchor Text is used in order for your keywords to be ranked and your traffic targeted. Try to diversify your link exchanges by not focusing on only high-value sites.

Finding high-quality link partners can be a difficult and time-consuming task however the eventual payoff is fantastic – good luck!

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