Tuesday, February 21, 2012

5 things that will kill your blog post. Guaranteed.

Blogging is a little like taking a shot in the dark. Some people hit their target, and others don't even come close. Why is that? It's not luck. Look at successful blogs and think about what they're doing. There are undeniable basics to their success! It all starts with the foundation of awesome blogging, rather than crap blogging, and there are 5 things to avoid in order to write a killer blog.

Headlines: Clever, Cute, Crafty or Confusing?
Headlines are what drive a blog. If your reader doesn't like the headline, they're probably not going to click on the rest of it. It appears several times within a blog:

  1. At the top of the blog
  2. On the sidebar
  3. In your Facebook Feed
  4. In your Twitter Feed
  5. In an RSS feed
  6. In Search Engine Results
  7. Email subject lines.
That's a lot of territory! If you confuse your reader within the first few sentences, they're highly likely to move onto the next great blog post.

Not Internally Linking
If you noticed, I snuck a link into the first piece of this blog post. It will lead my readers to another post about great writing. I did this for a few reasons:
  1. Driving traffic to an old post
  2. It contains keywords I want to rank for
  3. It directs Google and other Search Engine spiders through my website.
Make sure to never forget about previous posts - it's an all important factor in really making your blog worth coming back to.

Never Linking to ANYONE Else
Well firstly, it's rude! If you're talking about someone, say, The Huffington Post, and their awesomeness, link them! There are several reasons to do this instead of just flying through a post and not linking to anyone else:
  1. You bring another point of view to the conversation
  2. Credit. Period. If you talk about someone else's work, credit them.
  3. Link Juice. Inbound links aren't the only way to attract good rankings.
Lack of Page Optimization
What's the point of blogging if nobody finds your blog. Hmm? If you're using WordPress, fill out your Page title and descriptions - there are several great plugins to help ease the process. It really is worth the 30 seconds it takes to write two sentences summarizing your blog.

Lack of Reader Interaction
Talk to your readers! Or else they will leave. Try to incorporate some sort of call to action in each of your blogs, like 'What do you guys think?' or 'Tell me your opinion' or 'I've said 5 things, give me more!' or something of that nature to spur on conversation other than - 'great post'. I know it's a great post; I wrote it!

Any thoughts? 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How To Thursday: Avoiding Over Optimization in Anchor Text

We all know that anchor text, or your keyword phrases, are extremely important for ranking for certain keywords. And we all know that it can be completely overdone if not careful. Over optimizing with Anchor Text involves building links with the same keywords over and over again so that they no longer provide value. It's an issue. For the sake of knowledge, here is a rundown of the types of anchor text a company may have:

  • URL: such as www.integraphix.com - you do want to come up for your URL. It's surprising, but not unheard of to not rank for your own URL.
  • Company Name: some newer companies, or those who've never even heard the word SEO typically do not rank for their own company name, even if it's unique.
  • Unoptimized: the ubiquitous 'click here' applies in this section. Note: do not use 'click here' when internally linking.
  • Keyword and Brand Combo: such as Integraphix Design Firm - in this instance, we're associating our brand name with a keyword string.
  • Phrase: Chicago Design Firm - in this instance, there is no mention of Integraphix, only the search term a client may use to find us.
Writing a blog, or building links that are the same, over and over and over again, with no change-ups, will most certainly keep your firm from ranking for the keywords it wants to. For a more in depth conversation, talk to me in the comments section or give us a call for a FREE Marketing analysis