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6 Reasons Why People Hate Your Blog

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No matter the size of your business, producing and publishing helpful blog posts is always a good idea to help your business have a powerful online presence and stand out among competitors. After all, there is no better way to add relevant content to your website on a regular and consistent basis than to use a blog. The challenge is to build a blog that people actually like.

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The benefits of blogging maybe multiple, for example:

  • It builds trust and authority amongst customers
  • It’s a way to build relationships so people feel loyal to you
  • It’s a strategy for becoming a recognized thought leader
  • And it’s a way to drive sales without coming across as someone who belongs in a used car lot

But in order to reap these benefits, you need to be able to connect with people. Blogging means nothing if you spend hours writing a blog post only for people to spend mere seconds skimming it? Ideally you want people to spend hours on your blog and come back frequently, which is not happening if they hate your blog.

Consciously or not, are you doing things that are making people tune out from your blog? Find out now.

6 Things that May be Making your Blog Posts Unpopular with Readers.

1. Your Blog Posts are Boring

At the risk of stating the obvious, there are 24 hours in a day and no matter what our schedule looks like, loaded or relatively empty, we only have these 24 hours within which to fit everything we need to do. And it’s the same for everyone. So if you run a business blog and you want people to appreciate your blog posts, you need to make the posts worth the little downtime people get after going to work, taking care of the house and looking after their kids. If you think people will take time out of their busy lives to read your long, rambling, unfocused if not downright boring blog posts, you are thinking wrong. You have to get to the point quick and as creatively as possible to keep your readers engaged down to the last word.

2. They Lack Quality Images

To have a great blog, you need amazing blog posts and the thing when it comes to amazing blog posts is that they need quality images. According to a post on jeffbullas.com, blog posts with images get 94% more total views. The same blog post also mentions that the quality of the image used for a product is more important than product-specific information and ratings and reviews. With findings like these, it’s clear that a blog needs visual content in addition to literature.

3. You are Not Publishing Content that’s Helpful Enough

The next consideration is that even if you create and publish amazing blog posts, not all amazing blog posts are created equal. For example, interviews often make for more interesting, engaging and useful blog posts. Lists posts are also usually favorites among blog readers. With blog posts, you also want them to be as helpful and resourceful as possible so back up any claim you make with credible links and references. Another thing that works like magic in keeping your readers on your blog longer and making them like you more is adding a related posts widget below each of your posts. Read more

8 Considerations to Build a Website With Maximum SEO Potential

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When building a website from scratch, to make it both usable for visitors and optimized for the major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing for good visibility, findability and traffic, some SEO components need to be incorporated into the design of the site and its architecture right from the get-go. Sure you can develop a website without SEO strategies in place and later optimize it but it’s most efficient to do it from the beginning. It’s like building a house with hardwood floors and taupe paint with the intention to later change it to carpet flooring and olive green paint. Changes can of course be made but it will eat up additional time and resources.

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With each passing year, companies increasingly understand the importance of sound SEO strategies for the successful online performance of websites. After all, your website could be the sleekest and prettiest of all websites but if it is not structured properly and ergo doesn’t rank well up the SERPs, what’s the point?

8 SEO components to incorporate into the design and architecture of a website from the very beginning

1. Avoid “code bloat” by keeping the website layout as simple as possible

With HTML and CSS, there are a thousand and one ways to achieve any result you want but that does not necessarily mean that all the solutions are created equal. To avoid “code bloat”, keep the layout of your website as simple as possible and avoid using unnecessary code. You may think the extra code is harmless as long as the website looks good for users but this is not the case. For a start, simple code is recommended because it is more likely to work in different browsers. Then of course unnecessary code means bigger files and therefore slower page load times as well as increased chances of crawling issues.

2. Use simple-to-understand URLs

URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content and structure are friendlier for visitors. So if you’re trying to determine what type of URL structure to use with your new website, remember that visitors may be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic URLs. Search engines like Google are good at crawling all types of URL structures but making your URLs as simple as possible is a good SEO practice because they clearly convey the subject matter of your content.

3. Keep your website navigation simple and descriptive

When building a new website, a key consideration is keeping the navigation structure simple and efficient to make it easy for visitors as well as the search engines to follow. In fact, many eye-tracking and usability studies have shown that the best positions for a website’s main navigation menu is either across the top of the page or vertically down the left side.

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Everything You Need to Know about Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update Rolling Out on April 21

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Every year Google makes hundreds of changes to its search algorithm. The motivation is always the same- to deliver the best results possible to users. This year, Google announced a major update that will affect search results in significant ways. The announcement was made on February 26, 2015 on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, an unusual move by the search engine in that most algorithm updates come with little or no warning. For search marketers, knowing the specific details of the change as well as an exact roll out date is helpful to improve search engine optimization.

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About the Algorithmic Update Rolling Out on April 21

In an effort to deliver the best possible results to the increasing number of mobile users, Google is expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor starting April 21. Once rolled out, the algorithmic change is expected to affect mobile queries in all languages and have an impact more significant than both Google Panda and Google Penguin. At the time of the announcement, Google also talked about App Indexing for a better search experience. So the mobile-friendly update by Google will include two important changes to help users find the most relevant and timely mobile-friendly search results:

  • More high quality mobile-friendly websites in search results

  • More relevant content from indexed apps in search results

6 Things You Need to Know about Google’s Upcoming Mobile-Friendly Update

1. The Changes Google is Making on April 21

Recently, we’ve seen Google test out many changes to apps, Google Play and the presentation of mobile-friendly results up the SERPs. We also saw the search engine giant add Mobile Usability Report in Google Webmaster Tools and send warnings to webmasters with non-mobile friendly sites. Clearly these changes were in preparation for the 4/21 update. At core though, Google just wants users to have a great online experience and adapting to the new mobile usage patterns, the search engine seeks to improve mobile online experiences. So just give your users a great experience and Google will reward your efforts.

2. Will the update affect your desktop rankings too?

On a panel at SMX Munich, Zineb Ait Bahajji from Google answered this question with a non-hesitant no. This leads to the rational conclusion that Google will launch a new mobile crawler to parse, index, and evaluate mobile search results without desktop repercussions

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Local SEO Tips & Tricks for Multi-Location Pages

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Today’s search engine optimization strategies have mutated drastically, in order to keep up with Google’s ever-changing algorithms. Although national SEO is crucial, local marketing strategies offer a majorly viable source of traffic and potential income. In fact, some businesses will gain more profitability, by catering to a local audience, instead of focusing on the national market.

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Of course, in order to do this, it is imperative to follow the appropriate steps to optimize pages for your local state, city and general region. There are innumerable ways to reap the benefits. These methods will be discussed in-depth below.

Building Specific Pages for Individualized Locations

In order to rank appropriately, within your local market, it is of the utmost importance to target these areas using suitable content. By utilizing location pages and URLs for each specific city and state, you’ll certainly rank better. There are numerous advantages of building distinguished pages for each city, since you can actually optimize each page for the search engine. When you set up a page for your specific city and state, you’ll want to rely on the standard SEO guidelines for optimizing and ranking that page.

  • Use appropriate H1 tags

  • Page titles are crucial

  • Geo-specific keywords in content

  • Use localized URLs

  • Local keywords in IMG tags, when possible

Although it is possible to build content for each individual page quickly, it is advised to do so in a measured manner, in order to ensure that each page is unique. If you have specific operational hours, testimonials or reviews for a particular location, make sure to delegate these to the specific localized page. Once all pages have met a conclusion, ensure that they’re linked together in one form of another. For instance, you can build a main page, which acts as a base and links to the other individualized location pages.

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How to Use Internal Linking to Boost Your SEO Rankings

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Search engine optimization or SEO is a complex process that includes many different elements. This process was once much simpler, but because of the frequent search engine algorithm updates more and more people are starting to look for professional help. When someone mentions SEO or takes a closer look at some SEO company offers, they will notice that most services are focused on link building especially on backlinks or external links.

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Although these links are very important, the fact is that the updates we have mentioned before are usually focused on these links and it is very hard to find a good strategy related to external links. On the other hand, there is one element that is not much affected by these changes and has significant effect on the ranking, but yet for some reason this element is often forgotten or left out. We are talking about internal links.

Internal links are links that direct users to another part of the website or on a new page that is part of the same domain (website). These links are very helpful for the users because they enable them to find what they are looking for fast. In addition, internal links can be very helpful for those who want to improve search engine rankings. In other words, with a proper internal link strategy you can expect longer visits and better rankings.

Where and How Can We Use Internal Links?

1. Use Your Footer

Many website owners don’t pay much attention to the footer although this area can be very useful when it comes to attracting organic search traffic. The website footer is much more than a place where you place a copyright notice and basic info about the creator of the website. This place should be used to improve user experience and assist users who are looking for fast access to the wanted information.

2. Use your Sidebar

If you want to start a successful SEO campaign, you should know that every element of a website can be used for better ranking. The sidebar is another element that can make a difference in your website’s success. Many people use the sidebar to place links or icons that actually direct people from their website to another place – affiliate links, ads, buttons to their social media profiles etc.

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How to Create a Mobile-Friendly Website for Your Visitors

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Let’s start this post with a little exercise. Using a mobile device, access your website.

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What do you see?

  • Can you access the pages easily?
  • Can you read the pages easily?
  • Can you find all the important information?
  • Is it hard to use?

Here is the deal: the desktop version of a website might look great but unless it’s mobile-friendly, it might be difficult to view and use on a mobile device, requiring the user to constantly pinch and zoom to consume content. This can lead to a frustrating user experience and subsequently the visitors abandon the site for greener pastures in the form of your competitor’s mobile-friendly site, which is readable and therefore immediately usable.

Did you know that, in the United States, 94% of people use their smartphone to search for local information? Even more interesting is the fact that 77% of mobile searches occur at places where desktop computers are available, namely at home and at work. The translation of these statistics is simple: Whether you are selling products to people or you are running a business blog to build trust and authority among your potential buyers, mobile is critical to your business and your website needs to provide a good experience for users, whether they are using their desktop computer to access it or their mobile devices.

But how can you optimize a website to look good and offer users a full mobile experience?

1. Make your Website Easy to Use for Customers

If you are a large men’s athletic footwear store, your goal is to make it easy for potential customers to complete certain tasks. For example, you may want customers to:

  • Pick your site from the SERPs after searching for shoes or men’s athletic footwear to buy
  • Browse through your selection of products
  • Check out your blog posts and product reviews
  • Get your local address
  • And ultimately purchase some men’s sneakers or men’s tennis shoes

Outline these tasks and design your website so it streamlines the process for users and help them complete these tasks through a minimum number of user interactions. At the end of the day, designing a site to be mobile-friendly is based on the principle of prioritization. Once you know the most important tasks your customers perform on mobile, your site should be designed to support these tasks and support ease of use too. The quality of a mobile site matters!

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How to Put Together a Homepage that Converts

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Here is the deal: If you own a website that you use to build authority amongst your customers and/or drive sales, the first impression you make matters. This makes your website’s homepage one of the most important (if not the most important) page on your website. The need to get its design right stems from two considerations:

  • A website’s homepage is where most of a website’s traffic lands that you hope to convert into leads and sales
  • Once a visitor lands on your homepage, the first impression is formed and you probably won’t get a second chance to make a first impression

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But what makes a great looking homepage that also converts as much of the traffic it receives as possible?

1. A good homepage clearly answers the questions of who you are and what you’re offering

Unless you are a company or brand with as much reach and impact as Coca-Cola or say Nike, your homepage needs to clearly answer the questions of who you are and what you do. The reason for this lies in the fact that you need to assure visitors who land on your website that they are in the right place and do so very early on so they don’t bounce. 

2. It resonates with the target audience

Your homepage also needs to resonate with your target audience in being fairly narrowly focused and communicating with people using the right language. Take a look at these two homepages:

Both are brilliant in that they use clear heads and subheads with no use of jargon and the content avoids corporate Gobbledygook.

3. It looks great

This one is a no-brainer. A website’s homepage should be designed to impress. The challenge it seems is for businesses to keep it simple. After all, what you want to do here is to provide a good and memorable user experience for visitors but not reinvent the wheel per se. To that end, choose a simple layout and the right color scheme. Include the critical elements that make a good homepage such as:

  • A headline
  • A sub-headline
  • Benefits
  • Your primary CTAs
  • Features
  • Customer proof
  • Success indicators
  • Navigation
  • Supporting images
  • Content offer
  • Links to useful resources
  • And secondary CTAs

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