If you’re a blogging newbie, here are three common questions to consider before you start writing. Hopefully these answers will help you gain the blogging confidence you need to get started.
How often should I update my blog?
In an ideal world, the answer would be ‘as much as possible’. But the world is far from ideal – and the same goes for the content that’s posted on most blogs! Aim for quality over quantity. It’s better to write a good-quality post once a month than to write a low-quality post once a week.
That said, it’s important to be consistent. Try to get into a predictable blogging rhythm so your customers know when to expect fresh content – and so that you stick to your own schedule.
Here are some tips:
What’s a good length for a blog post?
Blog articles should ideally be at least 500 words – but quality is more important than word count.
Most people read blogs because they need good, solid information that helps them get to the bottom of an issue. At least 500 words is usually enough to explore a topic in-depth without going into too much detail. If the topic warrants more explanation, aim for 800 words.
Here are a few tips:
Should I set up a blog?
The short answer is yes. Here are just three reasons why you need a blog as part of your store:
One: A blog keeps your website fresh
Updating your blog regularly sends signals to search engines that your site is a ‘living digital organism’ – that it’s breathing and hasn’t died! The ‘Google Spider’ will crawl your site more often to check for updates. This is great for SEO and for quickly indexing your pages.
Two: A blog allows you to define yourself as a thought leader
People are more likely to buy from you if you know what you’re talking about. They’re also more likely to buy from you if you’re passionate about your product. Your blog is a great platform to showcase your expertise and increase conversions.
Three: A blog drives new traffic to your website
Blogging gives you an opportunity to write about a range of topics, including your interests and hobbies (as they relate to your products) and your opinions on industry news and developments. Think of every blog post you write as a new door opening to your online shop. Each new post could attract visitors who might have never found your site through your product keywords alone.
So what are you waiting for? Start blogging and experience the results for yourself. And if you have any more questions, get in touch and I’ll do my best to help.
Now that you have read SEO Part 1 you’ll have an understanding of on-page SEO techniques.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-Page SEO techniques are methods that can be used to improve the position of a website in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) – this goes beyond website design. It is an on-going process and it’s really important if you want to achieve top ranking in search engines. It generally takes a lot of effort and time. But if you put in the hard yards you will see results over time.
If you are aiming for top rankings in Google, you really can’t do this without applying an off-page SEO strategy.
The Importance of Keywords
If you are using more competitive keywords it can take longer to improve your rankings than if you are using less competitive keywords. This is why keyword research is an important part of your website development.
What are some examples of off-page SEO techniques?
Off-page SEO is all about link building and includes things like:
Remember - the harder the link is to get – the more value it will have for your website. Don’t try to trick Google by buying lots of links from dodgy directories – this will only harm your site and could possibly get you banned from Google. Make a great website and promote it properly and you’ll get there.
I’d really recommend reading this book if you’d like to learn about SEO in more depth. Don’t worry it’s not a huge book that you have to trawl through to find the bits that are actually useful – it is a great reference guide with lots of practical examples and ideas to apply to your own website:
SEO Made Simple: Strategies for Dominating the World's Largest Search Engine
What is ‘SEO’ and why is everybody talking about it?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid ("organic") search results.
Which essentially means the process of trying to improve your website rankings for particular keywords in search engines so that when people are searching for services that you provide – your website will appear as close to the top of the list as possible. Resulting in potentially more leads, sales and interest in your business – that’s why everybody is talking about it!
SEO is more of an art than a science and sometimes things you think will improve your rankings may in fact actually impair your rankings. There are two parts to SEO: on-page and off-page.
This article covers on-page SEO - the process of applying SEO principals to your website pages at the time of development.
How do I apply on-page SEO to my website?
Make sure your website setup covers these points:
There is a fine line between too much on-page SEO and too little SEO – at Creative Web Designs we use our knowledge and experience to get the balance right.
However…that’s not all you need to do to get Google to notice your website.
You normally can’t get top rankings without applying off-page SEO practices as well. But with on-page SEO applied to your website, the groundwork has been done and you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Read part 2 of this article: Off-Page Search Engine Optimisation
This article is aimed at helping Creative Web Designs clients achieve good search rankings for their website - if you're not one of our clients, you might still find some useful tips here to apply to your own website.
Now that your website is live, there are some on-going tasks that you can carry out to ensure you get good search engine ranking long term for your new website.
For websites that are using a brand new domain it can take a few months for google and other search engines to completely index your site - so if it isn't appearing in search results straight away don't worry!
For websites that are using an existing domain, your new website will still need to be re-indexed by google. Redirects will have been added by us to ensure that people trying to access old page links will be redirected appropriately.
During your website development on-page SEO best practices were applied to every page of your website. This means your website pages are targeted for specific keyword searches and you have a good foundation for further SEO efforts.
Off-Page SEO is required to improve and maintain a good page ranking in search engines.
Google considers website with lots of backlinks to high ranking sites to be more important than a website without backlinks. Google also considers websites with great content that is updated regularly to be worth crawling and reindexing more often.
These are the types of websites that will be shown higher up in search results when people are searching on the internet.
Recommended Next Steps
We recommend dedicating a little time each month to work on your off-page SEO for your website and improve it's ranking in search engines.
Unfortunately there is no fast-track solution available, in fact if you try and trick Google by purchasing backlinks for example, that is a sure fire way to get your website demoted or even blacklisted.
Off-Page SEO Tasks
1) Add fresh content to your website. The best way to make your website rank long term is to continualy add good quality and relevent content to your website. This could be 1 or 2 new blog posts per month, business news, testimonials, a new page etc.
2) Work on attaining more backlinks to your website. Social Media pages are a good starting point because sites such as facebook rank highly in Google's eyes. Make sure to include a link back to your website when you post on these pages. Social media sites that you may like to consider are:
4) Add customer testimonials to a 3rd party review website. Having reviews on a 3rd party review site is very important for SEO. We recommend asking your customers to place their reviews on your Google Plus page.
5) View website statistics in Google Analytics. Understand what people are searching for when they come to your site and see what pages they are looking at and for how long. This can help give you ideas for new blog articles and general marketing strategies.
This article outlines top tips to improve your website for better lead/sales conversions.
To start you'll need:
If you're not sure what these things are or you're not comfortable playing round with them then you might want to consider consulting a professional to help you get the most out of your website and make sure its working for your business.
We can help you with this and provide you with a free, no obligation 'website revamp' quote so that you can understand where improvements can be made to your website.
Our Top Tips
1. Improve Your Website Design
More than 50% of all searches start on a mobile device. If your website is not mobile friendly then you could be losing opportunities for new business.
Responsive design means that your website is optomised for the size of the device that it's viewed on, for example, smart phones and tablets.
In the not too distant future, response design will be the standard for all websites. If your website is not responsive, this should be your number one priority for improving your website
2. Get Google Analytics
Business owners need to know how users behave on their websites. What they're looking at and what they searched for to get there. You need this data to grow your online business.
Google Analytics is free and anybody can hook it up to their website to get detailed user information on your site.
If you are already using Google Analytics make sure you are reviewing your analytics at least once a month.
3. Optimise Website Content
The attention span of online readers is realitively short compared to printed material. And this should be taken into consideration when writing website content.
You need to get to the point quickly and use a larger font so your text can be read on mobile devices easily. Make sure you have your most important information closer to the top of the page so visitors can find the answer to their question quickly and easily.
Show your visitors what they're looking for and why they should purchase from your site or make an inquiry with you. Make sure you have a clear call to action.
4. Improve Your Website Ranking
Make sure you have fresh content on your website every month and give users the ability to share your content. New content and visitors sharing your content helps your SEO.
5. CreateSpecific Landing Pages
If your are using AdWords make sure you take visitors to a specific landing page targeted towards the ad your visitor clicked and not just your generic home page.
Make sure that landing page has clear messaging and a call to action. Use the title of the users' search as the header of your landing page. This will help improve your website SEO too.
If you pay attention to these tips you will see results over time and your website will become a major asset for your business.
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