Blog. Blog. Blog. You’ll hear us say this over and over and over again. You have to be blogging on a regular basis because it is the center of any successful INTERNET marketing strategy.
Blogging has multiple benefits that you can read in detail about here, but in a nutshell it allows you to:
- Have fresh content and more indexed pages on your website – Google likes this A LOT.
- Blogs help you get found on-line by potential customers – there is a method to this blogging madness that involves thoughtful planning and strategy, but remember that whole feeling overwhelmed thing? Yeah we don’t want that to happen today.
- Provide helpful information to your customer base. If you have an active blog that is providing good, quality information to your target audience, they are going to keep coming back and maybe, just maybe, turn into a customer.
The frequency at which you post your blog content really depends on your industry, your competition and of course, your budget and resources. A good starting place is to post twice a week.
Your goal: blog twice a week
Having a hard time getting motivated to start? Here’s what you do:
- Schedule time on your calendar to write
- Actually use that time to write
- Set a timer to write for one hour…okay fine….30 minutes
- Just write. What do you write about? Here are some ideas.
- Nothing coming to you? Then just sit there. Right now it’s about building a habit. Research if you want to get ideas…but no email for Facebook!
- When the timer goes off, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. It will get easier – we promise!
Blogging will become your bread and butter. You know how people can get cranky when they don’t eat. Well, you’ll need to keep feeding Google or else it will get cranky with you. But think about when you’ve had a really good meal with someone. They are so happy and relaxed – and Google will be too. So much so, that you’ll start seeing results – what kind of results depends on your personal on-line marketing strategy.
Schema markup provides search engines with even more information about the pages on your site, such as what is available for sale and for how much, rather than leaving it open for interpretation by the spiders and algorithm.
Although Google does tend to be relatively accurate about the purpose of websites, schema markup can help minimize the potential for any mistakes. In a increasingly competitive digital ecosystem, brands do not want to leave themselves open to errors.
Schema has also been attracting attention because of its potential to help brands trying to gain extra attention on the SERP in the form of Quick Answers and other universal content. Brands that want events included in the new Google Events SERP feature, for example, should use schema to call the search engine’s attention to the event and its details.
Things to do to make sure your site has the correct level of schema markup:
- Markup pages that have been optimized for Quick Answers and other rich answers
- Markup any events you list on your page or transcripts for videos
- Check for common schema errors including spelling errors, missing slashes, and incorrect capitalization
- Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure the markup has been completed correctly
Google loves links, specifically high-quality editorial links that help identify websites and webpages that bring most value to users. And Google hates link schemes.
Google upgrades its algorithms that distinguish editorial links from paid ones on a regular basis by analyzing link patterns. Here are three examples:
- You’ve been in the cleaning business for years, but your site got zero reviews. Suddenly, Google comes across dozens of reviews about your company. All of them feature a link to your site, specifically one single inner page that describes services you provide.
- Your site’s backlink profile has been stable for years, but suddenly it receives 100+ inbound links. A massive spike like this, especially if you haven’t posted any content, suggests to Google that something fishy is going on.
- You’re smart about links and consistently earn them through guest posts. Unfortunately, all of your articles are published in the sponsored section. This is a clear sign to Google that you paid to be published and, consequently, paid for the link.
A spammy anchor list raises a big red flag to Google, too. Actually, it’s one of the easiest ways for Google to identify spam.
If 100 percent of your site’s inbound links feature one single anchor text, it suggests to Google that:
- You do everything you can to rank for this phrase.
- You build links artificially (i.e., purchase them).
This is why you need to diversify your anchors. Links pointing from similar anchor phrases, even if they truly are the best editorial links, will harm your site rankings. Don’t let this happen – perform regular link profile audits.
Don’t use any SEO practices that might suggest to Google that you rely on paid links rather than editorial, naturally-acquired ones. Even if your links are good, and Google thinks that they are bad, no matter what you do, your site is in a real danger zone.
Try your best to be objective. If you were coming to your website for the first time, what would you think of it? How does it make you feel? Irritated? Overwhelmed? Calm? Happy?
There are a lot of things that can contribute to these emotions, such as overall design, colors, fonts, navigation, and images.
Your goal — Take 30 minutes and jot down some things you notice. Consider:
- Where your eye goes to first
- If the company contact information is easily found
- If the site loads fast or slow
- If the product or service information is up to date
- Whether the navigation bar makes sense or not
- Broken links
There. That was easy. Now you have to decide what to do about it. I suggest asking a friend or perfect stranger to evaluate your site too. Someone who is honest and you trust. Because sometimes we think something looks good, but we’re wearing rose colored glasses.
Once you have a second or even third opinion, it may or may not be time for a re-design.