Google has released some new guidelines that are aimed directly at bloggers who review items they received for free from companies, a growing form of native advertising for sure. Google has already grappled with this issue on YouTube with the army of Vloggers that have been endorsing products. So I very much agree with the need to disclose the relationship. Where I tend not to agree is with the classification of these blog articles and the links are non-orgnanic and thus should carry nofollow tags.
You may have noticed my blog has gone a bit quiet in recent times. That doesn’t mean I’ve been slacking off though, I’ve been busying helping start a new blog with my colleagues at IBM Interactive Experience. So if you are looking for deep insights on a whole range of leading edge digital business innovation subjects then check out the IBM Insights on Business blog where I will be contributing articles on a whole range of subjects from SEO, UX and Social through to marketing innovation.
I’ll also be adding new content here so stay tuned!
Blogging is an important Business Tool and can help you with your Search Engine Optimisation(SEO) as well. Its a perfect way to generate fresh content regularly and add value to your website. Not only that it helps feed your Social Media and can be used to drive customers back to your website. Setting up a new blog though requires some thought and planning and there are some pitfalls that lay open to the new blogger that can be easily avoided.
In this article I’m going to concentrate on WordPress as I find this the best solution and also one that I know many Businesses use.
1. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
What a lot of beginners don’t know is that there are actually 2 versions of WordPress that you can use; WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Without going into too much detail WordPress.com is website where you can host a blog, though it is limited and to overcome these limitations you need to pay for upgrades such as having your own domain name, the basic version will give you a URL of https://thedigitaldiver.wordpress.com/ where as an upgrade will give you https://thedigitaldiver.com/
WordPress.org on the other hand is opensource software that you can install on your own server and it has tons of support, help pages and plenty of great plugins that really improve your Blog or even use it to build a website. The advantage here is if you already have a website you can integrate the blog for maximum SEO benefit – https://thedigitaldiver.com/blog for example.
So its worth taking a moment to decide which is best suited for you. Check out this helpful article about WordPress.com vs WordPress.org if you require more information.
2. Choosing the wrong design
Design is not just important ascetically, but also will impact on readers spending time on your blog. So make sure you select the correct theme for your blog, I prefer to limit design to only a few colours that make it easy to read. Also its important to make sure the theme you decide on works on Mobile platforms as well. Then also try not to clutter up the sidebar with too many widgets and badges and information as this can not only slow your blogs loading time, but also it might not be the most effective way of driving readers to where you want them to be.
Have a play around with a few themes and take a look through the extensive library of Free and Paid themes before making your final choice.
3. Having the wrong Permalink structure
If you are using WordPress.org then its important that you change the Permalink structure. Permalinks are the permanent URL that your article will be found under. The default is http://www.thedigitaldiver.com/?p=1 for example, not only is this bad to read but also has very bad SEO value so make sure you go in and change this via your settings > Permalinks
Post Name is the best option for SEO.
4. Not using Gravatar and Google Authorhsip
Gravatar short for Globally Recognised Avatar is the picture that represents you throughout the internet. Its an important way to start branding yourself. You can set one up on the Gravatar website.
Following on from that is Google Authorship which is a great tool for showing you have credibility as a blogger and for me also important as a great tool for getting your link clicked on Google Search Results. It puts your picture next to the Google Search Results and is a great way to draw more clicks to your article.
5. Using Click Here and Read Me
Especially if you are then linking back to your website. To get maximum SEO benefit you want to use descriptive keyword linking. Just have a think, would you ever search Google for the phrase Click here or Read Me?
Find out how you can make effective link text and get some simple SEO tips
To find out about effective link Text and SEO tips click here
Which do you think is better?
You’ve published your blog article and now what, wait for the readers to find you?
If thats your approach then you will probably be struggling to catch the attention of any readers. No readers equals no sales opportunity, and this is after all why we as businesses are blogging.
You probably put a lot of effort into writing the post and yet the biggest mistake is not to follow this up with putting the same amount of effect into promoting it. Sure you have shared it to Facebook, dropped the link on your Twitter account and even maybe on your Google+ or LinkedIN page.
Blog Promotion ideas
- Use Different Media Types – That is don’t just place the link, use images or video to promote it.
- Use Vine to create an intro teaser about your post. Especially useful for Product articles.
- Use Instagram. Again like Vine you can create a short video sequence or just take an image from the article and link from Instagram to your blog.
- Use Pinterest. Create boards for each blog category and using an interesting image from the Blog and add the article title to the image.
- Use Slide Share. Perfect for B2B. Create intro presentation about your article and link back from the slides.
- Use Hashtags. Where appropriate and targeted these can be used on many of the above platforms.
- Use the newly created images and videos and re-share to Facebook, Twitter etc.
There are so many interesting and creative ways you can promote your blog posts, its worth the extra effort and time. Not all will work with your readers and some might work better then others so its important to track the results. Take a look at my article about Google Analytics tracking.
Want to know how to drive traffic to your website also? Check out my 6 Simple free tips to increase your website traffic.