If your budget for your company’s online marketing is limited, you may wonder how to appropriately allocate your funds between things like the design of your website and the content you’ll use to fill that website. Both are necessary to promote your business online, but design is usually a one-time cost (with some money set aside for web maintenance and possible future redesigns), whereas content is a long-term investment. As far as which is more important and should get a larger percentage of your budget, it depends largely on your goals.
According to Inspired Mag, the average user only reads a quarter of the content on any given web page they visit. That makes it seem like content is unimportant, and when it comes to a site visitor’s first impression of your business, the web design is undoubtedly most important. In the matter of seconds, a visitor makes the decision as to whether or not to stay and whether or not to potentially become one of your customers. When it comes to “design,” it’s not a matter of the aesthetic look alone, although that’s a large part of it. Design also includes:
- The site’s ease of use
- The site’s compatibility with both mobile devices and PCs
- Easy access to all important information (such as your company’s physical address, phone number and email address)
- Limited use (if any use) of pop-ups and advertisements – these should not be distracting, if your company feels it must use them at all
When originally creating your website, it all starts with the design.
Digital Current discusses the importance of and shares tips about effective content creation. As essential as design is, content still has a large role to play in the success of your company’s website in the long-term. Even after a person has seen your compelling website design, they need something to repeatedly draw them back to your site. Repeat visitors are the most likely to convert into buyers and loyal customers of your brand. Content offers visitors something new to look at every time you update (which should be at least once a week, if not more often). While they’re reading or watching your new content, they’ll be reminded of your brand and may remember to buy again.
Which Is Easier to Produce?
Both website design and content production are best handled by the respective professionals most suited to produce them. Only experts know how to make a website both look good and operate without errors. Professionals are most experienced at writing content that’s both compelling and likely to prove search engine optimized.
Allocate a larger portion of your budget for your website design before you launch your site and then pour more of the money into content over time. If your website is effective and designed well, it shouldn’t need much maintenance or require a redesign for many years. Whether you outsource design and content production, you do it all in-house or a combination of both, focus on designing first, but don’t underestimate the importance of content later.
You probably recognize the importance of ensuring your company’s website is mobile-friendly because so many of your repeat and potential customers rely on their mobile devices. According to Comscore, the number of Americans who access the Internet via mobile devices outgrew the number of Americans who prefer PCs as of 2015. However, while you may be concerned about making the design mobile-friendly, you might not have thought about how and why to make your SEO mobile-friendly. To do so, focus on local searches.
Context of Mobile Searches
Consider what kind of context a potential buyer would be using their mobile phone to make a search in. Say you sell pizza and a hungry customer is nearby. She will google pizza in her area and will find your business. Before she’s had time to debate whether or not she should have pizza today, she’ll drive up to your store. It’s an impulse buy. Google reports that 18 percent of local smartphone purchases (compared to 7 percent of non-local searches) in 2014 resulted in a purchase within 24 hours. That’s a sizeable number.
Even when using a mobile to search from home, a potential customer is more likely to type a city name along with a search term. If he wants to try on shoes, he’ll type something like “buy new shoes Chicago” so he can find places in his city to try them on. He doesn’t care about businesses states away when he needs a product or service locally, so he’ll make sure to put his city or state name in virtually every search he does. Make sure your website is among the first sites to come up for a local relevant search term by putting a city or state name in every search term you focus on.
Study the Search Term Data
What are the most popular search terms for businesses in your industry? If you find something like “buy used books” or “affordable yoga classes” are among the top contenders, don’t compete with every business that wants to be among the top results for those keywords. There are too many businesses and if your company is largely local, you don’t need your business to appear in searches for customers around the world anyway. Add a city, state or area name to each term, such as “buy used books Houston” or “affordable yoga classes Minneapolis” to zero in on the local customers and decrease your competition.
Offer Local Incentives
Even while on the go and more likely to impulse buy, shoppers want to save money. Add terms like “affordable,” “cheap,” “discounted,” “savings” and “coupon” to your search terms in addition to the area name. Offer coupons exclusively to anyone who mentions a deal from your website to incentivize a visit to your store or office.
More focus on local searches will actually pay off with consumers who search on their PCs as well as with consumers who primarily search via mobile devices, so there’s no reason not to make local search terms a priority when developing content. Just by adding a city or state name in front of a search term, you’ll gain more relevancies and compete against fewer other businesses to get consumers’ attention. It’s a simple tweak to make to your current list of SEO terms, and it pays off substantially.
Businesses and bloggers alike are concerned about blog optimization and increasing traffic to their websites. They worry about creating compelling content and paying for the right advertizing campaigns to spread the word about their blogs, and these are both valid concerns. However, there’s something far simpler too many bloggers overlook: adjusting how you update your blog. Get more traffic with far less effort than you might think.
Include More Photos and Videos
Even if you initially attract visitors to your website through a stellar online marketing campaign, you won’t encourage the visitors to return if all they find is walls of text. While the content is important, you need to break up the visual presentation of your blog with more photos and videos. Find more professional-looking photographs at stock image websites. (It’s important you have permission to use photos on your blog; simply downloading a photo from the Internet may result in you being sued by the owner of the original image.) Purchase a plan and make use of unlimited relevant photos.
Videos are especially important. According to Crazy Egg, videos have a 41 percent better click-through rate than plain-text results in universal search engines. If your blog pops up during a keyword search relevant to your industry because of a video you host on the blog, you’re more likely to attract visitors. Include a video at least once a month, but make sure you have permission to share the video or make one yourself.
Update More Often
Break longer posts into multiple-part series, and keep blog posts in the 500-1000-word range. Much shorter and your content won’t prove worthwhile to readers, any longer and you waste an opportunity to get multiple days’ worth of updates and may bore casual readers. Plan your updates for days or even weeks in advance, and do your research to include more sources to give your content a more reliable reputation. If you set the posts to update automatically, you won’t even have to be in front of a computer to update throughout the week.
Change When You Update It
HubSpot claims Tuesday and Wednesday are the most popular days of the week to publish blog posts. Try changing your update schedule to include one or both of these days; this is especially important if you only update once a week or a couple of times per week.
However, just because these are the best days for the majority of blogs doesn’t mean they’ll prove the best days for yours. Experiment with the update schedule to pinpoint the days that bring you the most traffic. For example, compare a month of updating on Tuesday or Wednesday to updating on another day of the week and see if the general rule that Tuesday and Wednesday prove more popular for bloggers applies to you.
When it comes to attracting repeat visitors to your blog, how you update your blog is as important as what you update it with or how you market it. These simple changes take minimal effort and are worth experimenting with. Adjust how you update your blog, and be rewarded with better blog optimization.
Content is the cornerstone of any active blog or website. Whether you’re promoting an organization or business or you’re simply getting your own professional brand out there, you have to offer engaging content that’s relevant to your industry and that your targeted audience wants to read. Keywords have long been an integral part of SEO. If you sell bedding, for example, you want people who type “buy new pillows” into a search engine to find your blog. However, even if you’ve identified the most popular keywords in your industry, it can be difficult to understand how to weave them into your content.
Start with the Content
As Forbes reports, in 2015, search engines care more about the quality of the content than the abundance of keywords, which is a stark turnaround from how content marketing once worked. That means you have to provide engaging, well-researched content that’s easy to follow and offers visitors something of value.
Think of numerous ideas relevant to your industry and readers or consumers that you want to blog about in the upcoming weeks and months. For example, the bedding store can plan to write about “comfortable sleep positions,” “fighting bed bugs” and “finding the best type of pillow.” Plan to write about all of these relevant topics regardless of keywords because modern search engines reward websites that provide original, frequently updated content.
See Where the Keyword Fits
Identify a list of popular search terms that you hope will lead consumers to your blog.Then connect those keywords – one or two at most per post – to a topic you plan to cover. For example, the “buy new pillows” keyword fits in with the “finding the best type of pillow” topic. If you’ve run out of inspiration, use a keyword for inspiration. For example, finding out hypothetically that most consumers who buy bedding online type “extending the life of sheets” might inspire you to write a post about laundering sheets and when to purchase new ones.
Fit the Keyword in Naturally
When adding your keywords, make sure the sentence still reads as comprehensible, natural English. You want your keywords to blend in, not stand out, to lend more credibility to the content of your page. For example, a sentence in your “finding the best type of pillow” post that reads “right now buy new pillows” out of nowhere is bound to turn away consumers, even if it manages to raise your rankings in search engines. Over time, you’ll get fewer repeat visitors with obvious keyword stuffing, so it’s not worth that initial boost in traffic. Instead, add the term in more naturally. For instance: “Before you buy new pillows, take some time to consider the different types and the advantages each type offers.”
OutBrain reports that search engine results are still the number one driver of traffic to a website, far outstripping social media. Fitting keywords into your content is a delicate balance between making sure the content is relevant to the keywords and that keywords fit in naturally with the content. When choosing the theme of the post, it makes sense to zero in on one or two keywords at most. However, because visitors can spot shoddy content, you should write the post first and worry about fitting in the keywords after.
The SEO industry has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and it’s hard to believe that it’s been over 15 years since Google’s PageRank and Toolbar were introduced. The early pioneers of SEO had their hearts in the right place. They did a lot of the dirty work required to get us where we are today. Manipulating ways to test Google’s algorithm led to significant changes in the field and the difference in Search Engine Optimization compared from then to now is drastically different, like night and day.
SEO in its past life was never really about generating high quality content. Instead, it relied too much on a mathematical model that tended to reward strategies that were about rigging the system, often times sacrificing content that would be useful to any reader. Google has caught on to these tricks and as a result the entire philosophy of SEO has undergone a dramatic overhaul. Here are some old ways of optimization along with the right way to do it today.
Quantity vs. Quality
The old way of link building was based around the concept that he with the most backlinks wins. Links are still used and are an extremely important part of SEO. Every reputable link building service in the industry knows that having the right links to a page, making sure the strategy is effective, and that the content is written with high quality is the way things are done today. It’s no longer just about who has the most backlinks, it’s about who has the highest quality of backlinks. Examples of low quality links are:
- Not relevant to the topic
- Unnaturally/excessively stuffed into content
- Obtained from link farms
- Deceptive or manipulative
- Generated in the comment sections of random blogs or forums
Links should be relevant to readers and pertain to the words being clicked on.
Singular Keywords vs Long-Tail Keywords
People searching online now know exactly what they are looking for and exactly how to use Google or another website to find it. This means longer, more detailed, and more difficult-to-predict keyword phrases to locate content, commonly known as “long tail” search phrases. More than 70% of your traffic will come from a long-tail keyword, which acts more like a search query than a specific term. They are far more likely to convert as people are more conversational when using search engines today.
Trying to rank for a keyword like ‘car insurance’ is extremely competitive, but a longer phrase that has a decent search volume like ‘car insurance for bad drivers’ is much easier to go after. Today’s SEO is all about targeting your niche audience.
Short Content Vs Long Content
When it comes to content length, there are different opinions. One thing is certain, the days when only 500 word articles were enough are long gone. Studies routinely show the most popular viral content is generally in the 2000 – 3000 word count. The biggest reason for longer content ranking higher is because it tends to get more links. It is passed around more often on through social media and it longer content tends to have a more certain evergreen credibility to it. Readers assume longer content is well researched and therefore more trustworthy.
Recently a team of SEO analysts ran tests on Google AdWords that landed on longer content pages versus shorter content pages. In every case, the longer content showed a better conversion rate than the shorter content. In the first test, the longer content converted at a 40% better rate. When even longer copy was used, the rate of increased conversion continued to rise, ending at a 45% better rate in the test that used the longest content.
Fear of Interaction Vs Audience Participation
For a long time people were hesitant to jump into the social media world online fearing it could do more harm than good. And it’s true, the anonymity of the internet allows for trolls throughout spoiling a good post and making public their derogatory comment. The thought of this negative publicity scared off a lot of companies from dipping their toes into the social media pool. My how things have changed. Google is trending in the direction of giving greater attention to social stats, so getting ahead in the game now will do wonders for climbing the rankings.
The combination of SEO and social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can be overwhelming for big as well as small business marketers. Until recently, search engine optimization and social media marketing were thought of as two very different things, but actually these are two sides of the same coin. Here are the important things to remember about how Google evaluates big two, Facebook and Twitter:
- Amount of Shares and Likes- You should remember that “shares” carry more weight than “likes”.
- Amount of Comments- The collective amount of likes, shares and comments correlate the closest with search ranking.
- Authority of followers, mentions and retweets
- Number of followers, mentions and retweets
- Speed and intensity of tweets and RT over time
It’s a safe bet that if you Google your brand name, your brand’s Facebook page will show in the results. However, by including relevant terms in your profile, you could also rank for other important keywords in your industry. Social media sites have high domain authority, so there is an increased likelihood that your content will rank, which creates more opportunity for high placement in search engine results.
It used to be that the goal in SEO was to focus on keywords and get rankings on the SERPs. Some believed how you got there wasn’t quite as important as holding that spot on page one. But SEO practitioners should focus more on a brand’s reputation, how people engage with that brand, and the quality of the product/service. In the end putting a focus on this should improve your rankings by increasing shares and natural linking across the web, but ultimately the focus needs to be on how your brand is viewed as opposed to its ranking position. Today’s SEO is about being natural, being you, and optimizing for humans instead of web crawlers. When putting together your next strategy, it should be out with the old and in with the new, that is the only way to succeed in interne marketing.
You may already be aware of the importance of business blogging. However, you may not be very clear as to how you can optimize your blog posts and make them search engine friendly. Without search engine optimization (SEO), you cannot expect to take full advantage of the tremendous marketing potential that blogging can provide. A study conducted by blogger.com showed that approximately 60 percent of the businesses have blogs, but 65 percent of the blog owners do not even update their blogs. The aim of this article is to provide some tips on how you can optimize a blog post for SEO so that you are in position to enjoy the benefits that blogging offers.
8 Tips On How To Properly Do Blog SEO
#1: Do extensive keyword research
For proper on-page optimization, a thorough keyword research is essential. You may naturally include keywords when you provide valuable content on various topics on your website. However, it is important to make use of certain techniques and tools in order to identify related keywords that you may have not considered, but are relevant to your blog. You can make use of semrush and Google Adwords keyword tool to find out related keywords depending on the topics covered in your blog posts. You can also use these tools to find out what keywords or keyword phrases your competitors are targeting in order to generate traffic for their websites.
#2: Sprinkle keywords throughout your blog post
After identifying the keywords that are relevant to the topic of your blog post through research using the tools, the next step is placing them strategically to create maximum impact. This is important because search engine crawlers index the content on the basis of relevance and keywords usage. Include keywords in the title, title tags, headings/subheadings, first paragraph in the introductory sentence, last paragraph, anchor text and meta descriptions. However, you must take utmost care to avoid keyword stuffing as it can irritate readers. In addition, Google can penalize you for keyword stuffing. The trick is to strategically place them at a couple of locations.
#3: Optimize images
You must include the keywords in the filename of the photos that you add to your blog. Additionally, you should also include a keyword rich description in the alternate text field.
#4: Reference other blogs/bloggers with links
Sometimes, you may refer to another article or blogger in your post. If you do that, it is important that you incorporate a link to the referred article or blogger. It is good blogging etiquette. In addition, you may receive a link back to your blog, if you are lucky. Quality links are helpful in improving your SEO ranking.
#5: Give visitors an opportunity to subscribe
Place Feed/RSS subscription button at a prominent place on your site so that readers can easily subscribe to receive your blogs through email. This enables your followers to receive instant notification when you post new blogs.
#6: Make use of social media platforms to expand your reach
You may already be using Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc., in order to create new connections for your business and engage with your current customers. It is a good idea to promote your blogs also through these sites. This will help to increase your web exposure. You can easily post the links to your blogs on several social media platforms with a coule of clicks by using free programs such as Hootsuite.
#7: Write good blog posts
It is very important that your blog post remains relevant and well laid out. Many bloggers just write whatever that comes to their mind. If you are a natural writer, then it may be easy for you to write good articles. However, it is a good idea to keep the following aspects in mind when creating a blog post.
• What is it that you want to convey to the readers through your text? What is the reason for creating the blog post? What is it that you want the readers to do after they finish reading your blog? It is a good idea to write down your answers to the questions prior to writing a blog.
• Decide the structure of the blog post. Your article should definitely have an introduction, a body and a conclusion.
• If you want to convey more than one idea, segregate the body of your article into different paragraphs. Convey only one idea through a praragraph.
• Use headings to help people find their way through your article. Subheadings help to lead people. It also helps them to scan your page and makes the structure clearer.
• Use signal words in order to make it easy for your readers to scan through your article and quickly grasp the main idea. For example, if there are three reasons as to why you are selling a product, then the signal words you can use are: Firstly, Secondly and Finally. Words such as So, Therefore, Surely, Nevertheless and Indeed are also signal words that you can use in your blog posts. Signal words are important elements that enhance the structure of your text.
• Prior to publishing your blog, get someone to read it. This is to ensure that there are no typos and there is clarity as regards the main idea of the post.
#8: Use WordPress SEO plugin
WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast helps you to create a blog post that is search engine friendly. This is because the plugin measures several text-related aspects as you write your article. The three important ones are as follows:
• It helps you to formulate your meta description.
• It calculates your article’s Flesch reading ease score. This provides an indication about the readability of the blog. For example, the score even takes into consideration the length of sentences.
• It checks whether you have included the keyword in 5 key locations such as the article title, page title and URL, article content and meta-description. In addition, it checks as to whether there are images and links in the blog. Further, it determines the word count and keyword density of the article.
If you can invest some time and incorporate the simple SEO tips explained in your articles, you are sure to enjoy higher rankings in search engine listings, increased web traffic and better customer conversion rates.
Finally, here are a couple of links that will help you to have a better understanding of the aspects discussed in this article. One is a blog written by Jonathan Long on B2C http://www.business2community.com/blogging/6-blog-post-seo-tips-get-content-ranking- 0963109 and an article contributed to Yoast’s blogging site by Marieke van de Rakt https://yoast.com/seo-friendly-blog-post/