Lorie Huston: Make your blog a traffic magnet

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Dr. Lorie Huston's breakout session at BlogPaws 2012: Secrets to Turning Your Blog into a Traffic Magnet

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  • Why should you blog? Why not just use Facebook or Twitter?
  • Applies to all bloggers – not just businesses. Businesses are most worried about lead generation but we all have an audience to reach.
  • Lorie Huston: Make your blog a traffic magnet

    1. 1. Secrets to Turning Your Blog Into a Traffic Magnet Presented by Lorie Huston Social Media Savvy Pets Pet Health Care Gazette
    2. 2. Why Blog?
    3. 3. Advantages of BloggingBlogging gives you a space which youown. No one can take it away from you.Blogging can give you a search engineoptimization advantage that a staticwebsite cannot.Social media sites change over time.Remember MySpace? What if Facebookdisappears? Or Twitter?
    4. 4. Updating a business blog just once a weekincreases leads by 77%.
    5. 5. Is Blogging Dying?158 million blogs in existence according to Technorati.70 million Wordpress blogs (Source: http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/01/17/internet-2011-in-numbers/ )Decide for yourself!
    6. 6. Principles of Attracting TrafficFind new traffic, new visitorsKeep people on site once thereEncourage return traffic
    7. 7. Finding New Traffic SEO (search engine optimization) Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, etc.) SEO and Social Media Work Together! Understand Google Snippets and How to Control Them Guest posting/providing content for other outlets Use Google Author Markup Offer a Mobile Platform
    8. 8. Image Credit: DonkeyHotey/Flickr.com
    9. 9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Organic search listings versus paid listingsOrganic listings determined by Google based on relevance to search inquiry, free listingsPaid listings – Google adwords, choose keywords, place bid, higher bids placed near top, pay per click.
    10. 10. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Add new content regularly. Ideally, every day. Minimum, once weekly. Must work within your schedule. Sites with fresh content get crawled more frequently.Site loading time is part of algorithm.Use Google Adwords Keyword Tool to locate keyword phrases. Choose phrases that are not too competitive but have moderate to large search numbers.
    11. 11. SEO (cont.) Choose keyword phrases that readers will search for. Don’t use keywords that are too broad – stay focused. Use keyword phrases that fit naturally into text of post. Write for reader, not search engines! Don’t overdo the use of keywords and keyword phrases. Can be interpreted as stuffing by search engines.
    12. 12. SEO (cont.)Use keyword phrases in strategic locations throughout blog post: Title In URL Subheadings (use h2, h3 tags) Near beginning of post Scattered throughout text of post In alt text for photos In captions for photos In hyperlink anchor text
    13. 13. SEO (cont.)Take the time to create a killer title. (Short, descriptive, use keywords, evoke emotions)Create evergreen content. Write “pillar posts” that are well-optimized.Find out what your readers want and provide it! Can you solve a problem? Answer a commonly asked question? Entertain?
    14. 14. SEO (cont.)Take advantage of metatags: Meta Title - 70 characters or less, appears at top of browser and as headline in search results Meta Description – 150 characters (roughly) or less, make description interesting and/or action oriented and give readers a reason to click through to post, may appear in search engine results Use keywords/keyword phrases in both meta title and meta description
    15. 15. SEO (cont.) Meta Keyword field no longer used by search engines, can help to focus post though Meta title and meta description should be different for each page. Each page should have a different focus. SEO All in One Pack – Wordpress plugin
    16. 16. SEO (cont.)Types of Links: Inbound links – links coming into your site from other sites Outbounds links – links from your blog to other sites Internal links - links from one page or post to another within your blog or website
    17. 17. SEO (cont.)Create inbound links to your blog by: Guest posting (add link to blog in bio) Commenting on other blogs Answering questions on forums Adding links to your profiles on social media sites Adding valuable content to blog that others will want to share by linkingAvoid: Paid links, even to high Page Rank (PR) sites Three way links
    18. 18. SEO (cont.)Site Map:Allows search engine bots to crawl your site easilyUse Google site mapsInstructions available through Google Webmaster ToolsEasiest is to submit RSS feed as sitemap
    19. 19. SEO – White Hat Vs Black HatSEO is not spam. However, there are best practicesthat should be followed when utilizing SEO. Theseare “white hat” tactics. “Black hat” SEO aremethods of cheating; ways to game Google (andother search engines.) Beware! “Black hat” SEO willget your site barred from Google. “Black hat”techniques include keyword stuffing, invisible text,doorway pages (pages that visitors never see that arecreated solely for search engines.)
    20. 20. Most Popular Social Media 107 trillion emails sent last year (Source: http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/01/17/internet-2011-in-numbers/ ) Facebook has more than 900 million users (Source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/254386/facebook_nears_a_billion_members_fun_facts.html) Pinterest is closing in on 15 million users (Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/11/pinterest-stats/ ) Three billion videos streamed on YouTube every day. More video uploaded to YouTube in one month than the three major US networks created in 60 years. (Source: http://www.youtube.com/t/press) 225 million Twitter accounts, 100 million active Twitter users last year (Source: http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/01/17/internet-2011-in-numbers/ )
    21. 21. Social Media Experiment Conducted by
    22. 22. Social Media Tips and Tricks Don’t hard sell. Start conversations. Answer questions. Provide information. Make friends. Monitor stats. Determine best times to post, try different types of posts. Use Facebook insights. Tweriod.com for Twitter. Add keywords to social media profiles. Social media profiles are searchable. Keep up-to-date with changes in social media. Use WooBox to add Facebook Tab/App with link to blog.
    23. 23. Social Media Tips and Tricks (cont.) Don’t be overwhelmed by social media. Don’t feel obligated to maintain a presence on all outlets. Most likely to be useful = Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube LinkedIn works well for networking with colleagues and peers. Good for B2B. Recommend Google Plus profile even if not actively promoting on Google Plus to take advantage of Google Author Markup Find out where your audience is – take poll of customers/clients if business
    24. 24. Social Media Tips and Tricks (cont.)Don’t be afraid to ask readers to RT or share your post.Be sure you’re not only promoting yourself. RT or share other content. Join in conversations.Integrate social media into your blog by adding share buttons and follow icons.Consider adding a Facebook like box and/or Twitter stream to your sidebar.
    25. 25. Google SnippetsTitle – What you set for the title of your site or post. (Good reason to optimize!)Snippet is directly below title.
    26. 26. Google Snippets (cont.) Webmaster has fair amount but not total control over what shows up in a snippet. Can come from ODP (Open Directory Project), from meta description, a place within the page. Google often (not always) uses meta description tag as snippet. Can experiment with different meta descriptions to compare click thru rates. Plus box can show stock rates, maps (address), other interesting data on site. Site Links – no money involved. Lists individual pages like Store Locator, About, Contact, etc. Not done for all sites. Sometimes shows More Results from query also.
    27. 27. Guest Posting on Other BlogsAdd link to your blog in bio.Add links to relevant posts on your blog in text of guest post. Ask webmaster first if allowed.Introduces you to a new group of people, some of which will follow you to your blog.Makes your name more recognizable. Become the “go-to”authority in your field.Also has SEO benefits.
    28. 28. Guest Posting on Your SiteIncreases the authority of your site, depending on the reputation of the guest blogger.Introduces new audience to your site as people follow the guest blogger to see what he/she has to say on your blog.Build relationshipsUnderstand the difference between guest posting and article marketing
    29. 29. Writing for Other OutletsOther outlets may be online magazines or publications, offline magazines or publications, newsletters, content sitesInclude link to your blog in bioArticle marketing: Use cautiously – may create irrelevant links, lots of duplicate contentContent sites: Many were affected by Google’s Panda algorithm change
    30. 30. Google Author MarkupConnects your Google Plus profile to your website/blog content thru an author pageMakes search engine content stand outInstructions available thru Google Webmaster Tools
    31. 31. Offer a Mobile Platform350 million Facebook users log in using their mobilephone.For WP: Wordpress Mobile Pack
    32. 32. Keep Visitors on Your SiteEasy to understand navigationAttractive websiteEasy to read blog postsInclude links to related posts when possibleSite loading timeWrite a series of related posts
    33. 33. Website Navigation Navigation menu in sidebar or above/below header. Menu items should have short, clear, easy to understand descriptions. Limit the number of categories in menu. Each category in menu should have at least 8-10 published posts (or more.) Consider adding a “Most popular post” and/or “Most commented post” feature in sidebar. Don’t forget “About”, “Contact” pages. Also “Services”, “Hours”, “Directions” if applicable.
    34. 34. Attractive WebsiteUse attractive colors.Professional look.Shouldn’t be too crowded or busy. Not too many widgets in sidebars. No busy backgrounds that interfere with reading text.Consider adding a footer.
    35. 35. Make Blog Posts Easy to ReadMake blog posts easy to scan. Write short posts (400-800 words.) Use short paragraphs. Use subheadings. Use bullet points. Use an easy to read font. Don’t use a background that makes reading difficult. Use photos and other forms of media (graphs, charts, videos) to add visual appeal.
    36. 36. Internal NavigationIncluding links to related content keeps web visitors on your site. Use appropriate anchor text! Don’t use “click here”Make links visible. Don’t underline text that is not a hyperlink.Use appropriate tags and categories. Tags act as a index for your site. Categories resemble a table of contents. Both are useful for helping visitors find relevant content.
    37. 37. Write a Series of Related PostsChoose a broad topic and write a series of posts eachfocused on one aspect of the topic.For instance: Pet Nutrition as topic Reading a pet food label Ingredients Types of pet foods Where to buy How to make at home The role of treats Etc.
    38. 38. Site Loading TimeMost visitors won’t wait longer than 3-5 seconds for a page to load.Use clean code. (Not all WP themes are created equal.)Keep photo file sizes small.Use page caching. (For WP, Supercache or Total Cache plugins)Minimize the number of plugins.
    39. 39. Encouraging Repeat VisitsEncourage engagement (comments, discussion via social media outlets)RSS FeedsEmail subscriptionsNewsletters
    40. 40. Encourage Engagement Don’t make visitors login to leave a comment on your blog. Consider allowing comments to be posted without moderation. (Use spam filter like Akismet. Can program to moderate only comments with links.) Captcha codes can be annoying and difficult to use. May set up an obstacle for commenting. Allow visitors to subscribe to your comment feed for email notification when new comments are posted.
    41. 41. Encourage Engagement (cont.) Contests and giveaways are good ways to encourage engagement and repeat visits. Administration of contests and giveaways can be time-consuming. Starting a discussion about a controversial topic can also be a good way to encourage engagement and repeat visits. Can require a lot of time to moderate. Use social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to facilitate discussion with different groups of people. Respond to comments on blogs and through SM.
    42. 42. Blog SubscriptionsProvide an email subscription option in addition to subscribing through an RSS feed. Many people prefer to have email notification but some like RSS better.Place RSS and Email subscription options in easy to see locations.Consider using a service like Feedburner. Allows you to track stats.
    43. 43. NewslettersDifferent than email subscriptions for your blog feed.Need to provide fresh content. Offer something of value.Can allow you to build a list of subscribers to market to if you have a product to offer.
    44. 44. Call To ActionCall to action can be inviting visitors to subscribe to RSS, Email subscription or eNewsletter.Could also be an invitation to leave a comment.An invitation to follow you on social media can work as a call to action.A request to share a blog post also makes a good call to action.
    45. 45. Contact Info:Website: http://lorie-huston.comBlog: Pet Health Care Gazette http://www.pet-health-care-gazette.comBlog: Social Media Savvy Pets http://social-savvy-pets.com Email: loriehuston@pet-health-care-gazette.com Phone: (401)921-6369 Address: 306 Bellman Ave, Warwick, RI 02889

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