1. Quality Content
For any business to be considered relevant in the marketing world today, it goes without saying that it has to feature a blog on its website. A blog in simple terms is a regularly updated website written in a conversational style.
Does this mean that you should just feature or have any article on your blog for it to be optimized?
Most bloggers and business owners tend to focus on the quantity and overlook the quality of content of the posts published on their sites. Many people tend to think that for your site to be optimized for the search engines, you just have to publish content regularly.
This is not wrong and it is not right either. What matters is the quality of the content being published. We should maintain high standards for the posts published on our blogs. As it is often said content is king but in all honesty, quality content is king.
Therefore, the content in all your blog posts should be comprehensive, be of appropriate length and use the correct format for your blog.
2. Mobile Optimization Of Your Website
Mobile optimization is the process of ensuring that your site/blog is user-friendly and can be accessed with ease by people who visit your site using a mobile phone.
A recent report from Hitwise showed almost 60% of the internet searches are carried out through mobile phones.
It is important to note that most sites are not responsive to mobile phones in spite of the fact that majority of online users access the internet using their mobile phones.
For instance, when I think about myself I only use my laptop for work, most of the times I use my phone to access the internet and at times(most times) I have found myself not able to view or access some of my favorite sites using my phone.
Is your site mobile optimised?
Why not run it through this quick checker from Google
Simply replace the Ginger Marketing Url for your own and refresh the page to get your results!
3. Fix Broken Links
We have all experienced this at some point in our lives. You come across a very interesting blog title one the web, the topic catches your attention… you save the link to the post so that you can read at a more convenient time for those of us who have toddlers, you ensure that they are nicely tucked in bed so the chances of getting distracted are very minimal, almost non existent.
You then open the link, but you, unfortunately, get the error 404 message.
Man its annoying!!!! I'm sure you can relate!
Most people who experience this will dread visiting your website if at all, they ever think of it again.
It is absolutely important to ensure that all the internal and external links on your site are working as intended.
Most preferably, the links should open a new tab or window to ensure that your website visitors who may not be done going through your page remain on the page while scanning through the other pages on the website.
Proper and well-done links improve the ranking of website pages, ease the site’s navigation and most importantly add value to the site’s visitors.
If you use Weebly we have written a post to help you Fix Broken Links check it out it is very easy to do and will improve your site usability + your SEO.
4. Improve Your Site’s Speed
A slow website is very bad for business. Time is a very valuable resource in business and time wasted is never recovered.
It is important to closely observe and improve your site’s speed.
If your site is slow, chances are that you will lose your visitors/customers to your competitors especially if you offer the same goods or services.
Online tools like Google’s Page Speed Test help measure your site’s speed and your rank in terms of speed as compared to your competitors. Check out this post for step by step instructions for checking your site speed.
Time is money, and for every second you delay you lose a dime.
5. Repurpose And Promote Your Old Content
Repurposing your old content simply means updating the old content.
When it comes to repurposing your content you do not just go for any content in your “archives”… you simply go for the very best.
The one that earned you more traffic, the one that made your website trend on social media the one that people are still interested in and will still be in a few years to come…the evergreen content.
You can repurpose old content in so many ways. Some of the ways include; creating podcasts or videos in these podcasts you discuss the same topic, sharing sections of the post on your social media pages.
As discussed above, we repurpose the old content different ways apart but these ways do not include copying and pasting the same information as this can get you penalized by Google. This is bad as it causes a drop on your SEO instead of an increase.
There are different strategies that can be used for SEO, different people use different strategies depending on their sites, however, it is advisable to conduct a thorough research on what strategy would work best for your business.
P.s. No strategy was underestimated in the research and writing of this post
We are super excited to share this guest post from Gina Caro at Gypsy Soul today. We reached out to Gina specifically to see if she could share some of her insight on formatting blog posts because we've had fantastic feedback from clients about the work she has done for us!
Gina Caro is an award-winning blogger, freelance writer & editor for Mumsnet Devon. She currently lives in Devon with her partner, two kids and a crazy dog.
She runs two blogs Gypsy Soul. A bohemian lifestyle and simple living blog & Water Gypsy A travel, lifestyle & family blog.
Over to Gina!
There is no doubt that running your own blog takes a lot of time and effort. To start with you need to think of ideas for content. Then there's the writing and sometimes researching involved for the post.
The next step is to get people to actually read it. One thing that can make or break whether a person sticks around to read your blog is how you format your post.
Here are 10 tips for formatting your blog post.
Subheadings are great for breaking up your post into more manageable chunks. People these days are short on time, they want information fast. If they're confronted with a big block of text they are likely to skip your post for someone else's.
Use your subheadings to break up your writing. Readers should be able to to get an idea of what your post includes by your sub headings.
As a general rule headings work in the following way...
Using Bullet Points & Numbered Lists
Another good way to break up your text is by using bullet points and number list. These are great for skim readers as they can take in the information in short bursts.
Length of Paragraphs
It's good practice to keep your sentences short. Use the white space to your advantage. If you struggle with this then try the Hemingway App. It's free to download and highlights where your sentences are hard to read.
Alignment of Text
How you present your text is also very important. You should always align your text to the left or justify it.
Font Style & Colour
The font style should be easy to read and not too small. It's best to avoid script fonts as these can be difficult to read.
The font colour is another important factor to consider. The most common set up is black text on a white background. If you want to add some colour to your text you can always colour your sub headings.
The size of your font is also an important factor in formatting your post. If the font is too small some readers may not be able to see it.
Highlight Important Text in BoldIf you have a particular point or message then highlighting text in bold makes it stand out from the rest.
To avoid the grammar police make sure your spellings and punctuation are correct. There are various apps and programs that can help you with this. One that is particularly good is Grammarly.
Keep Columns Short
Some blog themes have wide content columns. This can put readers off. To rectify this either choose a new blog theme or adjust your column width. Generally, 80 characters or less is ideal.
It's good practice to include images within your blog posts. Not only does it help to break up text but it adds a visual element to your post.
All your images should be good quality and as big as possible for your blog theme. Try to have at least one image per post.
It's always best to use your own images or you can source royalty free images online. Check out sites like Pixabay and Unsplash for this.
Hopefully, you have found this post useful. If it seems like a lot to remember then why not create a tick list. Use if for every post you write and tick each section as you complete it.
Here's a summary for you...
As usual we'd love to know your thoughts! Have you got any tips about formatting blog posts to add?
* This symbol indicates an affiliate link, we only recommend products & services that we personally use ourselves & deem to be of high value.
Keyword research shows that thousands of people are researching What Is SEO Copywriting on Search Engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing each and every month.
Content should form the base of every single SEO Strategy out there!! Without high quality content you will find it very difficult to rank your site, so it's no wonder so many of you are wanting to fully understand the topic of SEO Copywriting.
Whether you are thinking about hiring an SEO Copywriter or DIYing it yourself, we will cover the basics in this post, you never know, we might even give Jeff Bezos a run for his money.
What is the definition of SEO Copywriting?
SEO Copywriting is a unique style or class of writing used on the web. It is a method of writing words and phrases so that sites rank higher on search engine terms. (You know you have “made it” in the online world when your website appears on the first page of google),
The right SEO practices increase the quality of your website by making it user-friendly and easy to navigate. Google then rewards your website with more of that lovely, free traffic!
Now that we know what SEO Copywriting is how about we move ahead with some few SEO Copywriting Tips.
SEO Copywriting Tips
SEO Copywriting Tip 1: Ensure that you have a short but compelling Headline
The first impression is said to be the lasting impression and while a book is not to be judged by it's cover, your target audience is unlikely to be interested in the rest of the blog post if the heading is nothing but captivating.
The heading should also contain the keyword for the blog post. This assures the readers that the rest of the post is about the given topic and it encourages them to continue reading the post.
Top Tip: Optimise your header image for Pinterest & pin your post via Tailwind for an extra boost in traffic.
SEO Copywriting Tip 2: Perfect your blog’s/ website’s aesthetics
Okay, so we know this isn't strictly a copywriting tip. But copy & imagery go hand in hand!
Does your blog have an instant wow factor at first sight?
Beauty is said to be skin deep for humans, but in the SEO “world” beauty means results or no results. No-one wants to hang around on a post which looks outdated, messy and unattractive. You don't have long to impress your readers,make sure your blog posts look great!
Use fronts which are attractive & can be read easily. Ensure the text and imagery are formatted correctly and ensure consistency.
Insert catchy photos and memes where necessary and don't be afraid to show some personality!
Research has proven that more than 70% of online readers scan through content instead of reading it. You will be surprised to learn that even those who forward or share content to other readers have not gone through the content themselves.
A beautiful and well-formatted blog “breeds” the right audience.
SEO Copywriting Tip 3: Use power words to boost conversions to your blog
Power words are words which connect with your reader on an emotional level.
Examples of sentences using power words:
1. Free tips for SEO Copy writing.
2. Special offer to my followers.
3. Find the top secrets that guarantee successful weight loss.
Power words excite and influence readers to continue reading the blog post and take a call to action, such as sharing the post with other readers, or signing up to your email list.
SEO Copywriting Tip 4: Include external links in your posts
Cite sources from other trusted bloggers and websites.
Often blog owners are very cagey about linking out to other resources, but in fact this can improve your SEO!
Linking out to high quality sources increases the quality of the readers experience because they can easily access more information on a given topic included in the post. Just make sure you are linking to relevant and high quality sources of information.
SEO Copywriting Tip 5: Strike a balance between writing content that is engaging and interesting to the readers and writing for Google.
At this point, you might be wondering what writing for google means. Allow me to break it down for you in the simplest of terms.
The days when SEO copywriting was all about keyword density are long gone.
Avoid throwing around your keywords in your content without reason. It will effect the flow of your content and make your copy hard to understand.
Google cares a lot more about user experience, Make sure you cover your topic in depth, that the reader will come away knowing exactly the answer to their question.
What is SEO Copywriting all about to you? Do you have some more tips that you would love to share? Comment below and let us know.
* This symbol indicates an affiliate link, we only recommend products & services that we personally use ourselves & deem to be of high value.
Last month, I talked about the importance of checking your site speed and the limitations many small-time bloggers can face with this metric. Generally, fewer team members and a less technical website mean a slower website.
Your goal as a blogger or site owner should be to lower your site speed to under 4 seconds. Anything above that and visitors are going to leave. You'll lose 10% of your traffic if it takes more than 2 seconds to load; nearly 30% if it takes more than 5.
There are many different ways to improve overall site speed, but browsing cache optimization has got to be one of the best. A few simple changes can make any website load faster for returning visitors, customers or subscribers.
You may be asking, “what is browser caching?”. Simply put, browsing caching involves storing various files used by your website on a visitor's computer whenever they arrive at your website. This isn't something that necessarily happens by default, which means there's a chance your visitors are having to load every resource file every time they visit your website.
Wouldn't it be great if you could dictate if – and how long – your website's resource files remain in a visitor's cache?
This is where leveraging your browser caching comes in handy. In a few simple steps, you can ensure that resource files are being stored whenever somebody visits your site for the first time. In addition to that, you can also specify which files are cached based on type and based on browsing situation.
In order to leverage browser caching, you need to be familiar (and comfortable) with editing your .htaccess file and (optionally; for more advanced editing) understand the cache HTTP headers available for use. Other than that, it's a pretty straightforward process.
Enable Caching via .htaccess
The .htaccess file is a core component of your website. You should be able to locate this file in the root directory. In short, .htaccess is a config file that helps execute specific requests that wouldn't automatically occur on your server.
By using either a web-based file manager or FTP client, navigate to your website's root directory and locate the .htaccess file. If for some reason you're lacking a .htaccess file, see this tutorial for creating one. Download/access the file for editing. Be sure to make a copy of this file in case you make any mistakes and need to restore it.
What you'll be doing is adding some simple code to the .htaccess file in order to leverage browser caching. This is to be added at the top of the file. Here is an example of what you might add:
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
ExpiresByType image/[type] "access [time]"
ExpiresByType text/[type] "access [time]"
ExpiresByType application/[type] "access [time]"
ExpiresDefault "access [time]"
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
The first three and last three lines should be added regardless. The “ExpiresByType” command is used to specify which exact file types you wish to cache, and for how long. In some cases, it makes sense to cache some files longer than others. The “[type]” and “[time]” variables should be completely replaced with the relevant variables (and without brackets). The “ExpiresDefault” is used for any files not explicitly included via “ExpiresByType”.
As an example, if I wanted to browser cache png files from my website for two months, then I'd add ExpiresByType image/png "access 2 months". In the case of PDFs, I might choose ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 year".
This is a great way to ensure that the more dynamic aspects of your website are regularly updated with each visit, while more static elements (logos, menus, etc) load quickly due to browser caching. The exact combination of resource files to store – and for how long – should be largely determined based on which elements of your website frequently change or not.
Credit to liquidweb.com
Other Browser Caching Options
In addition to the “Expires” method above, there are other ways to customise how your website is cached. Various HTTP header fields can be used to provide more generalised cache instruction. For instance, you can disable caching entirely with the “no-cache” header. You can also tweak caching so that it is only available for private, local usage or available on proxy servers.
Cache-Control is also an option for more experienced or tech-savvy users. It provides more flexibility in terms of what is stored, for how long and under what situations. Here is a list of some common Cache-Control headers.
If your current site speed is averaging a couple of seconds, then this simple change probably won't produce a huge shift for you. If your pages are taking several seconds to load, however, then this could be a life-saver.
Recently I sent a blog over to a client because I thought it was a great fit for a guest post to promote their company. They came back saying YES LET’S DO IT, but when they tested the blogger's site they found it was loading very slow.
When I checked the blog one of the primary issues it had was Browser Caching, and spot-checking a few other sites I found the same issue.
This interaction got me thinking a few things:
These are both assumptions of course, and through writing + promoting this post, we will discover how accurate these assumptions are. But my guess just based on experience is, this topic needs some attention.
If you are a blogger then this blog post series is for you. If you are a company with a blog, this may also be useful, however, it is more likely you have some kind of technical assistance. If that is the case just ask your team member to let you know what your site speed is + what improvements they recommend.
Bloggers, this series will help you optimize one aspect of your WordPress blog to increase your site speed. It might not be that browser caching is an issue for your blog - but I will say that when I checked several other blogs I did find browser caching was one of the primary issues which was slowing down the sites.
In this post, we are just going to check the site speed, in Part 2, I will show you how to optimize your browsing cache. So make sure you are signed up to our newsletter - you won’t want to
miss the next post!
How To Check Your Site Speed
What do you think the current patience level is of your visitors? I dare you to have a guess now. How long do you think someone will wait for your page to load on their mobile, desktop or tablet before clicking off and visiting someone else's site?
20 seconds, 15 seconds, 10 seconds?
Well – one quarter of people will leave your page if it hasn’t loaded in 4 seconds. That is 25% of your traffic gone, lost, probably never to return unless you are recapturing them on Facebook.
So, your goal is to get your site speed to under 4 seconds. I just spot-checked 10 personal blogs that we have in our database, this was their site speed:
· Site 1 > 15.5 Seconds
· Site 2 > 7.7 Seconds
· Site 3 > 6.04 Seconds
· Site 4 > 7.04 Seconds
· Site 5 > 4.91 Seconds
· Site 6 > 14.04 Seconds
· Site 7 > 3.14 Seconds
· Site 8 > 3.63 Seconds
· Site 9 > 3.78 Seconds
· Site 10 > 5.70 Seconds
So out of 10 sites, 3 had the goal site speed. Clearly, this needs some work!
So let's get stuck in.
First things first, check your site speed here for free:
CHECK SITE SPEED WITH PINGDOM
With Pingdom you are able to test your site from different locations. In this test, I chose Dallas Texas, USA.
Once you hit ‘Start Test’ you will get a summary of your site speed as above. You can see here that Ginger Marketing HQ has a load time of 3.32 seconds.
It only gets a C though, there is still a lot of room for improvement.
If you scroll down you will get a further breakdown of site speed issues. Check for leverage browser caching, if this is an issue for you then sign up to our newsletter so you get Part 2, where I will take you through a step-by-step process for leveraging your browser cache.
If it is not an issue for you then great! But, check the other points. Even better, go one step further and email me with your number one issue and I will create a post about how you and other bloggers can fix this too!
There is no reason we should lose traffic from our blog because of a slow site. And believe me, you don’t need to be technical to understand or execute on these issues. I am the least technical person ever, which means I will need to do a ton of research and make the process super, super simple if I am going to understand this and explain it to you.
So, no worries - we got this.
Until next time.
In the world of blogging Google is absolute authority, king, queen and knight. But, the "word of Google" isn't as gospel as you might think. It pays to test!
That is why I am so excited to have James from Names.Of.London guest posting with us again. He has recently tested some of Google's comments around domain names, and how much of a ranking factor they really are.
Over to James!
That's right - despite numerous comments from Google that the domain name does not make much difference to a site's rankings, we managed to get a brand new dot-CLUB domain, with no relevant content, ranked top-10 in the UK (ranked No.5) and the US (ranked No.7) within 24 hours of purchase.
The fact that Google even knew the site existed is pretty impressive – but to get top-10 ranking that quickly is almost unheard of.
Clearly, in our example, we've hit a relatively rare search term, giving less competition, but there is further anecdotal evidence that new-GTLDs can boost your search ranking.
Maybe they're both right and here's a possible explanation.
When you see a hyperlink on a page, it comes in two parts. The linking text you see and the URL, you will be taken to, that you don't see. Google was the first search provider to fully exploit the concept that the text that you see, the link-text, contains important clues about the content of the site you will be taken to.
So let's look at the HTML code of a typical link – here is some HTML that might be emended in the code of a web page ...
Now lets consider the domain names cars.for.sale – on many social media platforms, like Twitter, this domain name will be recognised as no different than more traditional domain names like www.barryautos.com and so cars.for.sale will be converted into a hyper-link. Effectively cars.for.sale will be converted into the HTML code.
And Twitter is not the only site that will do this – many other social media sites and message apps will do the same. On Facebook, you would be required to enter the full URL to get it to be hyper-linked. In this example you would need to enter http://cars.for.sale/ - so you would end up with HTML code that looks like this.
So, when coffee.club went live, which was widely reported, every time it was mentioned it was also probably hyper-linked. So instead of just reporting the website as the plain text “coffee.club” people made it clickable by using the full hyper-link, like this.
On Twitter, you normally have no control over the link-text. Twitter simply uses the URL, or domain name, as the link-text. Therefore the only way you can control your link-text on Twitter is by using a descriptive domain name. This is common to many social media platforms.
Research by bit.ly shows that attractive links on social media achieve a 34% higher click-through rate. So the link “cars.for.sale” will almost certainly get more click-throughs than either barryautos.com or some URL shortener - as well as giving the site an SEO boost on the search term "cars for sale".
A further boost can be gained from type-in traffic. Domain names, usually new-GTLD names, that exactly match common search terms will get type-in traffic. We see about 10,500 users a week entering a search term that matches one of our new-GTLD domain names.
This may be because they have accidentally typed in a dot instead of a space, or it could be that, as these are mostly young users (55% 18-to-34) on phones (88% on mobile), they simply expect domain names like gifts.for.men or puppies.for.sale to work.
Google knows that direct type-in traffic is a valuable recognition of the user's familiarity with the website. For sites we do not often visit, we usually start with a search. But for sites we often visit, we either type the name directly into our browser, or we have the site bookmarked. If the site has Google Analytics installed, Google will see all this Direct traffic and this implied familiarity can provide an additional boost to the site's ranking.
If you buy a domain name, probably a new-GTLD domain name, that exactly, or very closely, matches the search term that you are trying to optimise for, it will almost certainly give you an SEO boost on two fronts - as well as coming with a bunch of free, targeted, visitors - but the boost is not from the way Google deals with the domain name itself, but the way people interact with it and the way other sites handle it.
Its probably the cheapest boost, to your online business, that money can buy. So if you want to rank high on nikes.for.sale or gifts.for.mom, maybe you need to consider buying the corresponding domain name - but the boost does not come for free, you will still have to work for it.
In some ways, it seems obvious. The search term you are trying to optimise for is the phrase you most want to associate with your site. So if your target phrase is "tours of london" owning the domain tours.of.london has to be an advantage.
But, remember, the old rules also still apply – if you don't have relevant content the visitors will just click-away so any gained traffic will be valueless.
If you have multiple domain names pointing to the same site, to get the best ranking, you should host the site on only one of the domain names, then use a permanent redirect (HTTP 301 redirect) at the other domain names, sending all the traffic to the primary location. That way Google knows all the domain names are effectively synonymous, and aggregates your ranking.
This is a republished post, the original came be found here.
I’m so excited to introduce you to this lady! I stumbled across her blog Kate Sammon not too long ago and just fell in love with her writing. So, I invited her to guest post so she can share her tips for adding personality into our writing.
If there was a choice between a perfectly crafted, spelling free, grammatically perfect piece of writing, and a piece of writing written with soul, passion and a ton of personality, I’d pick the later every single time.
There are so many tools out there now which are apparently helping us to improve our writing. But unfortunately, I fear that they are turning the written word into some kind of robotically produced product. Less tools, more connection + creativity. So, I’ll shut up now, introduce Kate and then let's get into the core of the post.
Kate Sammon is from the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. She is a sometimes writer, sometimes performer, and constant cubicle dweller. She currently lives in Seattle where she is basking in the Pacific Northwest’s natural wonders.
She writes because she thinks storytelling is a crucial unifying mechanism for humanity. Kate writes a regular advice column on her blog, along with other timely and/or random posts. She is also writing this post in the third person right now.
7 Ways To Add Personality Into Your Writing
No one wants to read canned content. If you’re looking to make your content accessible and relatable, put some personality in it. Preferably your personality. It makes the experience of reading AND writing more enjoyable. From word choice to self-awareness, there are multiple ways to go about bringing authenticity and color to your work.
In the list below, I map out how to do just that.
1) Write How You Speak
Years ago, back when AOL Instant Messenger was the most exciting and liberating way for teens to communicate, I spent way too much of my time on there chatting with cute boys and friends.
One night, after a long conversation with my friend Joe, he said, “Sammon, I like talking to you on here because your messages sound the same as when you’re talking to me in person.” I was flattered. No one had ever complimented my instant messaging skills before (or since, for that matter). Back then, it came naturally, as a way to clearly communicate; now I make sure to write that way. When I don’t do that, when I try to jazz it up too much or try to sound like someone else, my stuff falls flat. Every. Time.
If you want to tell me how good the pizza you ate last night tasted, tell me as if I’m sitting across the room from you. Don’t tell me it made your taste buds dance if you’d never say that in person. If you’d tell me that the crust was the perfect combo of crunch and chew, then write that! If it made for a great hangover breakfast the next morning, write that too. Make like you’re having a conversation with me. When we write like that, we sound more relatable and we get our point across more effectively.
2) Don’t Try Too Hard
Growing up, when I’d come home and complain about a teacher’s pet or a manipulative queen bee at school, my mom would always say, “Oh, she’s just a Try Too Hard!” My fiancé and I have adopted this in our own conversations, but we’ve shortened it to ‘TTH’.
Don’t be a TTH, and especially don’t be a TTH in your writing. Don’t go into a piece sure of the tone you’re going to have. Let the tone evolve as the piece gets rolling. This is a mistake I’ve made plenty of times; I’ll go into a piece trying to sound like a foul-mouthed brassy broad when in reality, my point is more effectively made with subtle humor and sarcasm.
Let the tone find you and then nurture it from that point on.
3) Do Your Research
This might seem like the most obvious advice I could give, but it’s always worth repeating. A real, secure knowledge about your topic is a gift to your process.
Once you have all the facts straight, you’re free - free to write on top the foundation of facts, free to write like yourself.
4) The Thesaurus is Your Best Friend
I know I said you need to write like you talk, but every so often you need the *perfect* word, and sometimes it’s not at the top of your mind. That’s when the thesaurus comes in.
Before I go any further, I need to make something clear: do NOT be a TTH with the thesaurus. Don’t use it for every other word. Use this tool when you’re really trying to come in with a gut punch, or trying to eloquently express where you’re coming from.
A varied vocabulary is something every writer needs in their tool box, and it also serves to set your work apart. Play around with different words, find the ones that serve the sentence the best and make the most sense. That’s where the art of writing lives.
5) Brain Dump
A few years back, I took a writing workshop in which instructor told us about ‘brain dumping’. (That’s a nice visual, huh?) It’s essentially free-writing, but I liked the idea of dumping all your thoughts about a given topic onto a page.
That’s how I like to start a lot of my pieces. I find that while there’s a lot of unnecessary stuff there when I’m done, there’s also some good, meaty stuff that doesn’t come out when I do stop-and-go writing. We’re more honest when we spent five to ten minutes writing without stopping.
Dump it out and see what kind of gems you find. They’re in there.
6) Get an Accountability Buddy
Find someone to read your stuff who really a) knows you AND b) knows good content. I’m lucky enough to live with a writer, but another one of my good friends has had editing experience in the past. I run all my stuff by both of them.
Just recently, I spent too little time on a piece about the importance of living in a city. It had the trappings of click bait and as soon as my ‘editor’ read it, he called me out on it: “This sounds like something that would be on a sign sold at Target.” And you know, he was right. It was crap. I felt it when I was writing it. When you have someone who knows you and your voice well, it’s hard to get inauthentic stuff past them.
7) Be Yourself
I’m going to end this by channeling that poster that hung on the wall in your 6th-grade classroom. You know, the one that said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken!” You can’t accurately convey personality in your writing if you’re being a fake.
I don’t know how to appropriately guide you towards a greater sense of self-awareness in this blog post, but I can say that if you are self-aware enough to know yourself, that should come through in your content.
There are a lot of trends with online content right now, certain types of generic voices. Avoid them at all costs.
The more genuine and original your content seems, the more credible it is.
As an SEO who has brought many a domain name in the past, the .com shortage has me somewhat concerned about the future of small businesses on the web. If Google can’t even buy the domain of it’s parent company, Alphabet.com, because BMW owns it then what hope is left for the rest of us?
But maybe we are looking at this all wrong? Maybe the shortage opens up an opportunity in the space of semantic domain names.
Today we have a guest post from James Stevens CEO of Names.Of.London who will shed some light on this topic for small business owners.
7 Things You Need to Know about Semantic Domain Names
1 ...What are they?
They are referred to by various terms including “spanning the dot”, “semantic domain names”, “readable domain names” or “spoken domain names” - but whatever you call them, they have one thing in common, they are domain names made of natural language, and they look poised to become big earners for the new-GTLD registry operators.
These new style of domain names are made possible by the fact that a large number of the new top-level-domains are real words, like dot-CLUB, dot-MARKET or dot-SALE. This is one of their major unique selling points. Where old top-level-domains all look like geeky computer code, many of the new ones have a much more familiar and human characteristic.
Recently Rightside issued a list of its top premium domain sales, and there was one noticeable thing a lot had in common. Taking together the two words, either side of the dot, made a natural language phrase.
So it was hardly surprising that Rightside’s No.1 price went to video.games – not only is this clearly a great name, but also such a common and ubiquitous phrase.
2 ... People like them
How do we know people like them? ... because people are already using them - despite the fact few have even been told they exist.
A pioneer in this field, UK start-up Names.of.London, sell human readable phrases that work in any browser, under the brand phrases.for.sale. This includes ones such as kings.of.football, pride.of.london and all.for.one - primarily to be used for redirecting people to specific product content. Names.of.London record around 11,000 uses a week of their phrases, despite the fact most are yet to receive any kind of promotion.
As we can see from the Google Analytics, most of the use is coming from mobile devices.
The most obvious explanation for their popularity is because they reflect real human language - they are familiar. This means website names can reflect the sort of words & phrases people actually use in everyday speech.
With the exception of Kim Dotcom, who changed his last name to “Dotcom” in homage to the stock market bubble that made him a millionaire, most people do not use the phrase “dot-COM” in everyday language (apart from when discussing domain names).
With the emphasis on dot-COM endings, and short prefixes, the range of reasonable choices for website names seems to be shrinking to the point it can be hard to work out how to pronounce some of them. Yopa, Emoov & Tepilo is a selection of the leading online real-estate agents in the UK.
At times it feels like we’ve been dragged back to the 1980s and the terrible days of MS-DOS where filenames could only be up to 8 characters, uppercase letters and numbers only. We were all so relieved when Windows came along and we could name our files pretty much anything we wanted – and then actually find them again.
3 ... They are easier for people
Through their use of natural language they are easier to read, remember and tell your friends about – and possibly most important, to say into your phone.
With voice search, and voice input, rising as the communication of choice for a new generation of mobile users, the need to have website names that can be easily spoken into a phone becomes increasingly important.
Even if you are not using voice input, with predicted typing and dictionary assisted keyboards, website names made of real words are always going to be easier to enter.
4 ... They act as a call-to-action
Short familiar phrases, that link directly to the relevant content, have the effect of acting like a call-to-action button on a poster, TV ad, Radio ad, billboard or leaflet.
The vital importance of a call-to-action in online content is well known and widely documented, but all too often the same care is not taken with a call-to-action in offline advertising.
Posters that simply quote the company’s main website can leave users struggling to find information on the product or event that sparked their interest, and ones that quote a phone number, that leaves people on hold for hours, are hardly going to give a good return on their investment.
5 ... They (may/can/do) boost SEO
When you match a domain name to a search term, there is an SEO boost.
How great that boost is can be open to discussion, but there have been a number of studies that have demonstrated a clear boost. Even if that boost is only 1%, if it’s what puts you ahead of your competition, or if it’s what moves your search entry from the second screen to the first, the value could not be over estimated.
coffee.club is one of the biggest success cases so far for a new TLD. The website was able to climb to the front page of Google US for searches of “ coffee club”, which is very uncommon for a new website.
Names.of.London have seen domain names go top-10 on Google in both the US & UK within 24 hours of registration, well before there is any relevant content – but where the search term and the domain name are an exact match.
While “hacienda pony club” is almost certainly one of the web’s more marginal searches, to reach top-10 ranking within 24 hours, with zero relevant content, is a considerable achievement.
6 ... They can match your existing branding
With such a wide choice of new top-level-domains, it can be possible to find a familiar natural language phrase that matches your existing company name, slogan or strapline - meaning you can now have a simple familiar phrase people can type into their phones or browsers that will take them directly to your content-rich online experience.
If you can’t find one to match your existing branding, the wide choices available means finding one that will match your requirements shouldn’t hard.
Imaginative, creative or amusing phrases, that people can enter directly into their phone or browser, can really engage your audience and help boost your advertising ROI.
7 ... They are directly clickable on social media
Being completely valid domain names, just like any other dot-COM or country domain name, social media platform, like Twitter, automatically recognises them and make them clickable through to your site.
This means they can not only take people out of the Twitter ecosystem and onto your site, but they can also be used as a natural part of what you have to say.
Hashtags a great for starting, or joining in with, a conversation, but they can easily be hijacked by those with ulterior motives and they trap users in Twitter.
If your aim is to stimulate sales, you need to get people out to where they can buy - which usually means onto your site.
This a republished post, the original is here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-things-you-need-know-spoken-readable-semantic-domain-james-stevens
Obviously, Guest Posting + PR is an important part of our strategy at Ginger Marketing, being one of our primary services. Slowly but surely we are starting to increase the amount of time spent marketing our business, but it's tough to carve out the time! Even we have difficulties - and we have everything set up and in place to execute!
Recently I've been trying one tactic which has worked pretty well. It is SUPER simple and takes only a few minutes every day. That is if you follow the basic rules about how to execute the tactic effectively.
And today I'm going to explain what this tactic is AND the basic rules you need to follow in order to execute it effectively.
Please, please, please, read down to the end of the post. Don't just read the tactic and go "Right - that’s it!" and launch into execution without at least trying to understand the nuances.
Very likely you will already know this, you will probably have read every piece of advice I am about to give.
BUT, until you have actually implemented it correctly, to land your company a premium PR placement like we did for The Telegraph, maybe there is something you are missing. I am pretty sure if you are pitching and pitching, and pitching and pitching, and not getting anywhere then I know what the reason is.
And I'm going to explain exactly what is going wrong and how you need to start changing your behaviour to get results.
The reason I am pretty sure I know the reason is because I see people doing it all the time.
In fact, very recently I found an ‘hourlie’ on People Per Hour where someone was selling a pitch template - and even their pitch template had this error. It had been sold hundreds of times, with this error.
Another fact, last week I made the error myself and had to adjust, correct and send the pitch out again.
So, if there is a voice saying - "I know this", "boring", "I don't have time", kindly tell it: “Thanks for popping by and sharing, this is only going to take a few minutes, let’s pay attention and see if we can get this and land our business an epic mention on a premium site.”
P.S. Before I go further, we do not currently offer premium mentions or premium PR (I keep getting enquiries). We offer a mid-level, niche guest posting service which is extremely valuable for your SEO strategy, growing community and brand presence in your niche.
So let's get going.
The tactic I used to land a mention on the Telegraph was answering a #journorequest on twitter.
If you don't follow it already then there is a great hashtag on Twitter called #journorequest where journalists, and also bloggers, tweet out for comments on features they are writing.
There is also a free tool you can sign up to called; Journorequests which collates all of these requests into a handy email so you can just scan through and reply.
Pretty simple right?
You are probably thinking “It can't be that easy?”.
Which is exactly what I thought when I tested it out. I figured, I'll sign up, for the next 2 weeks I'll answer requests and I'll see if we get anywhere. As a rule, I tend to test lots of new tactics and then shelve or keep, depending on results.
#journorequest is a keeper.
So, hopefully, by now, I've convinced you to sign up for the tool or follow the hashtag.
Let's get into how you are going to make it work for your business.
1. Get your sales head on
itching is like selling. You are selling your story to the journalist. When you are selling something to a client what is the first thing you think about? I'll bet you think “What does this person want that I can help them with?”. Or at least that is what you should be thinking.
The trick to selling is aligning what you have with what they want.
Are you with me?
Spend at least one minute reading and thinking about what this person wants before you even think about what you can give them. In sales - the person you are selling to is more important than you. Get that trick right and you are golden.
The problem is, we have a major egocentric issue in our society. Most people are just waiting for everyone else to be quiet so they can speak, this won’t get you anywhere. Read, listen and really think about what this journalist wants and is asking for.
2. Get to the point quickly
There is a MASSIVE difference between writing an educational post like this one, and pitching/selling yourself. When you write a post like this you have to take your reader on a journey, hold them by the hand and lead them to a realisation or a knowing - that's the goal. It's a slower process, the message takes time to unfold because the goal is to educate.
BUT, when you are pitching to #journorequest all you have to do is prove in 140 characters you have what they need. Your goal is to sell. So, get to the fricking point! Just tell them plainly, this is what I can add to your feature. Don't dress it up, don't start talking about your gazillion awards, just tell them what you can offer.
3. Pack your pitch with juice
Just look at how succinct the pitches are with this hashtag and look at how much juice is being packed into the responses. The good thing about Twitter is you have a limited character count which gets rid of waste. The best pitchers give a large amount of information in a short number of words. This gives the journalist everything they need to understand if you are a fit for their piece. If you are a fit they will contact you to get more information, at which point you can start to expand and go into depth.
In summary, read what the journalist is asking for - think about it for at least a minute. Then think "How can I add value to this piece?”. Then sell the journalist that value in a short tweet which
Gets to the point
Packs a lot of juice
Practice makes perfect, so get out there and start pitching!
If you have any more tips we’d love it if you could share in the comments below. What has worked for you?
Patrick Foster, e-commerce writer & marketer
Ten years e-commerce experience under the belt, with a more than a fair helping of SEO know-how. Writing articles to help entrepreneurs and small businesses.
How to Set Up an SEO Campaign - Everything You Need to Know About Your First Steps into the World of SEO
For those who have never done any SEO work, it’s a subject area which can seem strange and daunting. But don’t worry, we’re here to take you by the hand and help you take those first steps into the world of SEO campaigns. You’ll find that it’s not so daunting, or as difficult, as you might have first expected...
SEO for Entrepreneurs
Are you an entrepreneur who’s doing everything yourself? If so, you can still get your SEO campaign going with some simple steps. And don’t worry - funds are obviously going to be tight in these early, tentative days, but there are actually quite a lot of things you can do without spending a thing!
Here’s an overview of some of the things you might like to do when you have the chance:
When you’re doing everything for yourself, SEO is probably going to be lower down on your list
of priorities, but you shouldn’t neglect it. If you can find the time, these three things are definitely worth doing — just remember to approach anything like this with a measured approach, as search engines are suspicious of sudden changes and new domains.
Small/Medium Sized Business SEO
If you’re a small business, then you may be in a position to hire somebody specifically to run your SEO campaign. With somebody dedicated to this full time (or even part time), you can get a little more ambitious with it.
Here’s what you could do with an SEO person on your team:
To hire an in-house SEO, you could expect to pay them a salary of around $43,000 - so this is probably not going to be an option for a lot of people. However, there are a lot of freelance SEO consultants around who would be able to offer you some sound guidance at a much cheaper price. Speaking to an SEO could actually help you get an idea of more things that you could be doing yourself as well. (Hiring a digital manager to do SEO, PPC, social media, content and everything else might seem like a good idea at first...but can anyone really be an expert at everything?)
If you really want to push forward with a strong SEO campaign, then your best bet is to hire the services of an SEO agency. Doing this, you are most likely to be dealing with professionals who really know their stuff and the risk of working with SEOs who aren’t well enough informed is much lower.
Here’s the sort of things you can expect from SEO agencies:
Pricing will range a lot on this. If you can only afford a little, then you might like to pay for a slightly smaller service from an agency. Then, of course, there’s also the fact that there are huge differences between individual agencies. If any of them seem too good to be true in terms of pricing, you might want to find out more about their methods: they might be unreliable and outdated.
So in conclusion, if you are going to start up an SEO campaign for your business, there are several different paths open to you. Of course, different options won’t be available to all businesses, but there are tips here for businesses of every size. SEO is extremely important and now that you know how to get started, it would be a good idea to invest as much time as possible into doing so.