How You Can Simplify Business Blogging

Simplify Business Blogging

You want to take business blogging seriously but the amount of information you find online is drowning you. This is true. In fact, most small business owners begin to get discouraged at the planning stage of their blog. There are a lot of abandoned business blogs that are still active online. There is a wasteland out there.

There are many ways you can simplify business blogging without losing the seriousness of your business. If hiring a professional blogger to be part of your marketing seems to cross your ethical stance on ghostwriting, then it could really be a problem to keep a consistent blog.

Nonetheless, you have another option, hire a blogger who will blog under their name while ensuring that all pieces comes from the thought leader, you. That could be a good idea right? But it is true that will still mean an additional manpower.

So you want to do it yourself but you are scared of failure.

Here are recommendations for you to simplify business blogging:

 

1.      Create the simplest editorial calendar

I mean the simplest, don’t aim for automated blogging calendar. Just plain paper with boxes. Normally, bloggers would have an in-depth keyword research when they start a blogging. Since you wish to simplify things, a complicated keyword research is not advisable. For now, just think of the most relevant keyword that pertains to your business and mix that with your locality. Start writing titles.

30 titles can keep you blogging for a month.

For example your business is Pet Shop 555 in Great Neck, New York. Then all you need to do is think of simple topics as your headlines that relate to your daily business activities.

For example:

Box 1. Dog Grooming at Pet Shop 555 Great Neck, NY

Box 2. Pet Shop 555 Pet Vaccinations in Great Neck

Box 3. Feline Friends at Pet Shop 555 in Great Neck

The list can go on forever, and you can talk about all the animals, regular and surgical procedures, all going on in your shop in a daily basis. You will never run out of topics.

The thing to really get you going in business blogging all you need to remember is that a blog is an informal kind of writing that focuses more on storytelling. While there is great value in posts that tackles deeper in subjects, that is not your goal for now.

Besides, those kind of posts must be done only a few times a month. Something that involves study and deep research. For now, you can simply tell a story.

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The reason for that kind of title in our example is to ensure you also incorporate a little SEO on your page title while making sure that you are found locally.

You may include the keyword found in the title a few times in the body of your post, if you find it awkward, then don’t. The point here is to just keep on blogging and get you writing and simplify business blogging.

2. Your blog must be in your website

I assume that you already have a website, now you need to make sure that your blog is installed on the exact server and exact domain. You can install it in a directory as http://myawesomebusiness.com/blog. If you cannot do it yourself, have your web designer do it for you.

The reason behind this is to make sure that all SEO credits for added pages/posts on the blog is attached with your main website. While there are debates that using a subdomain will be alright. I think SEO wise, it is best that you go with the former.

Just an interesting graph from Hubspot

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3. Link your blog post and website pages

That is simply adding a hyperlink on texts that you post on your blog. Make the link point to another page on your website or blog post. This will make sure that crawlers deployed on your site will be able to index all of your pages.

Links to external websites are also necessary. Not only does it improve SEO, it improves your authority as you suggest further reading or give credit to where the information you are talking about came from.

4. Images

Add a few images here and there. A great way to divide your topics is to put a spread of an appropriate related image.

Make it entertaining.

Images are a great way to enhance customer engagement.

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5. Proofread and publish

Aim for standard content length for now. By that I mean 400 – 750 words. That should be safe for search engine ranking and also for your customers to be entertained as you practice more. In time you will be able to make longer posts, those that require more study and time. Today we are more focused on how to simplify business blogging for you so you do not get confused at the startup of your blog.

There is great value in long-form content, but for business owners who do not have time daily, that is just impossible. As you practice with short-form content, making longer content will be easier in the future.

Read what you have written aloud. Check errors in grammar and spelling. Don’t worry if you think your composition is weak. It normally happens at the beginning of blogging.

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Relieve stress by not thinking about the writing too much to simplify business blogging. You will definitely improve soon. For now, just focus on delivering necessary information that you think your customers might be interested of.

When you are done with proofreading just hit publish. Congratulations, you have just blogged!

You see, business blogging is only complicated when you pay attention to buzzwords and want to apply every tactic mentioned by blogging and content marketing gurus. You don’t have to do everything they say right now. It is more important keeping your blog alive by producing original content.

SEO, writing skills, design and others will come along the way. Your goal is to speak for your business and your blog is that voice. Just say what you have to say and worry about complicated technicalities as you progress.

How do you get along with your business blog? I would like to know. Tell us how you manage your business blog in the comments below.

If you think I can help you getting started with your business blog in the right direction, please let me know.

SEO Impact of Https and Meta Descriptions

SEO Impact

SEO Impact of Https and Meta Descriptions has been questioned time and again.

SEO’s landscape dramatically changes.

Even with that phrase it still sounds like an understatement if we look deeper into how Google’s Panda, Hummingbird and Penguin updates affected so many websites.

Not to mention the blackhat SEO businesses, whose techniques suddenly became obsolete.

This post aims to discuss and look deeper on the relevance of [http://] versus [https://] protocols and how they affect search engine page ranking.

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Furthermore, let us the discuss the importance of meta descriptions and its rumored irrelevance in terms of a criteria to rank.

HTTP Vs. HTTPS

The difference is more than the addition of “s”.

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. With the addition of S, it becomes Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secured.

You probably get the idea here, HTTPS makes browsing secure. Meaning to run your website in HTTPS will make it safer by encrypting the data between the web server and the user. Savvy right?

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SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is the technology that powers the encryption.

Google announced in August 2014 that SSL will become a criterion in SEO impact to rank. This is going to be horrific if your websites are using the standard HTT Protocol.

Does it mean your ranking will suffer?

No. Google’s implementation of SSL is only affecting about 1% of the total indexed webpages. While it is clear that there is a need to move to SSL in the future, need not hurry.

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Content relevance and quality still factors in as the highest SEO impact in terms of page ranking.

Meta Descriptions Impact on Ranking

Among HTML attributes that are hot in the SEO topics in terms of usefulness to ranking is meta descriptions.

The bitter truth about meta descriptions as a factor in terms of search ranking is a myth.

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Nonetheless, those tiny preview snippets appearing in the search have a huge factor in terms of user experience.

So do not discard your meta descriptions. They play as an opportunity for you to be noticed among the list of results. A captivating meta description will increase your chances of being clicked among other indexed websites.

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Google pays so much attention and regard on a website’s click-through rate. In fact, it is Google’s #1 SEO impact being factored in to determine page rank.

Conclusion:

patbaganologobannerDo not rush on HTTPS yet if you cannot afford the security license. There is so much talk about SEO that we often forget the importance of quality and relevant content. Focus on content not for the crawling spiders, focus on content that resonate with your audience’s needs.

Not only will this benefit your ranking but ensure that your marketing goals in lead generation and conversion is achieved.

On meta descriptions, although it is not factored in as a ranking criterion, it is best to write quality compelling meta descriptions that will set you apart from your competition.

High “click-through” rates will do you good, not only for search rankings but in the whole sense of marketing itself.

2 SEO Practices That Doesn’t Matter Anymore

SEO Practices

Let us discuss 2 SEO practices that doesn’t matter anymore. SEO has not only changed; it seems like it took a different shape if you base it 5 years ago. There are new discussions and arguments on Search Engine Optimization almost daily. Ideas today will be challenged tomorrow.
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Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates destroyed a lot of strategies that most SEO people are applying causing the SEO world to shift their focus on quality of content.

Is site submission important?

In the past, webmasters submit URLs to Google Directory. While this feature is still available in Search Console, its indispensable that it is no longer important.

The idea behind it is because when we make a Google search we are not searching the entire web, in fact, we are only searching web pages that Google have sorted and indexed in its library.

How Google does this is by using software programmed to crawl web pages and follow links, or more popularly known as spiders.

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To be indexed by Google, we need to be found by Google, among SEO practices in the past, best practice was to submit your page URLs to the search console.

If you go to the Search Console submission page you will notice that even Google mentions that there is no guarantee or neither can they predict if the page will be indexed.

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Meaning your website will eventually be discovered by the spiders crawling the web for the content you publish, eventually.

So focus more on the content than Search Console Submission.

While it remains to not hurt your website as long as you do not over submit the URL. You can go ahead if you feel like wasting a little bit of your time. But this not on the list of SEO practices that will help you rank.

Links Quantity Over Links Quality

SEO has focused so much on backlinks in the past that backlinks company sprouted like mushrooms a few years ago. There are plenty of SEO companies offering bulk backlinks to websites at a cheap (or some expensive) price. While link-building was once a good and acceptable SEO, this was killed and made obsolete by Penguin 2.0 update.

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In fact, having backlinks from poor quality or non-authority sites unrelated to your industry is subject to penalties by Google more than indexing or ranking.

Meaning when building links to improve your website ranking you need to consider the following:

  1. Inbound links must come from a reputable website related to your industry.
  2. Inbound links must come from authority website, even not related to your industry buts is an authority in news and publishing. Sites like: CNN, Huffington Post, BBC and the like.
  3. Outbound links must also be relevant to the topic on page, anchored to related text.

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While links remain to be an important ranking factor, anyone who wish to rank and remain as a reputable website or blog must consider the quality of links. Investing more on quality content while link building is among the SEO practices that everyone must consider.

Conclusion about this 2 SEO practices:

Leave behind the worries that if you do not tell Google about your website through Search Console submission that you will not be found. You will be, Google spiders are programmed that way.

Focus on creating content that spiders will find relevant to your industry then you will not only be found but loved.

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Review your outbound and inbound links. The quantity of the links in your webpages will only be given weight in page ranking if it is quality. Forget quantity, Google reminds us all the time that we must be writing and creating webpages for our users and not their robots alone.

While it is important we keep in mind best SEO practices to guide the robots in finding our web pages. There is so much consideration that must be placed in the quality of content for the human users.

Successful Blogging Ingredients

Successful Blogging Ingredients

Successful blogging ingredients are quite different from article or content marketing. With the widespread ideas and terminologies across the entire web. It is quite confusing to understand the difference between a blog post and other forms of content.

Writing a blog post on a daily basis is different from other forms of written content marketing.

Not only is it difficult to find a topic that was never written related to your niche, but much energy goes to what format and elements must be added.

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I have summed up the successful blogging ingredients that creates a delicious blog. Considering this list might improve your blog’s traffic:

  1. Make your point

There are a lot of blogs that have so much to say then getting lost in the muchness until they lose their point. You may find some of the things expressed in the blog to have substance, but still there is no point. Successful blogging pays close attention to every post or entry to deliver a particular message.

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A blog post with a point will be able to create a connection with your reader. Then they feel compelled to share, react and engage.

Isn’t the mission of a blog post to communicate a point? So don’t lose it.

  1. Visuals

Among other successful blogging ingredients, visuals are something that is often unnoticed by most bloggers. While there is so much importance to the written words, both for humans and crawlers. Bloggers need to include visuals for their readers. You don’t only blog because you want Google to crawl on your post, I hope.

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The goal with visuals is not only to make your post look interesting but to help your reader to have a stronger grasp on your point. Humans process visuals faster than letters and words strung together.

  1. Framework

To express what you are trying to communicate with your readers you need to organize the ideas first.

Not having a framework will make an incoherent composition that accomplishes nothing.

When you build a structure for your blog entry, follow a layout that is similar to an inverted pyramid.

Express the most important messages at the beginning with supporting details following. In this case you are able to captivate your readers interest.

A good layout will have:

Headings

Subheadings

Paragraph breaks

Bullet points

All these elements support successful blogging in terms of layout, providing a good flow for your readers.

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A good flow for a blog post is:

  1. Introduction – Captivate your reader.
  2. Body – explain the point you are trying to make or several points. Just as long as you remain explaining one point at a time.
  3. Conclusion – Sum up your points and call-to-action.

Nonetheless, for some experienced writers, they have a way to convey their ideas in a different format. But always following a particular structure.

  1. Original Content

You need unique content. Hopefully you are not copy pasting. What is the sense of blogging if you are copy pasting?

Being original means that you have another way of saying things, maybe you have read some things online you wish to write from different perspective.

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Because there are about 2 million blog posts published daily. Sometimes it appears to most bloggers that what they are going to say has probably been said many times, many ways.

Probably, it’s true. Nonetheless your way of expressing the subject, your angle and views will definitely be unique.

  1. Length of Post

There are no rules on this. Although recently, as what have been rumored across the marketing world. Long-form content is favored in search engine rankings. According to people with some strong data to support their theory.  1,000-2,000 word count will do well for page ranking.

Nonetheless, please do not drag your points to lengths called boring just to reach 2,000 words. If you do, dragging might cause you be touching irrelevant subjects.

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Which is no good for your readers. If they often leave, that is going to cause your bounce rate to rise, which is no good for ranking. If the purpose of your blog is to tell your story, just write. Anything above 500 words will probably be okay.

  1. Spelling, Grammar and Syntax

Mistakes happen, I have a habit of posting without proofreading. But that was in the past, now it became a habit to proofread about 5 times before posting. When you copyedit and proofread, it will actually help you grow.

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You will become aware of your common mistakes, if not mistakes can become habitual which is not good of you aim successful blogging.

  1. Links

Before worrying of inbound links and outbound links to increase traffic on your website. First focus on your internal links. Internal links are those you build to link to another post or page within your website. This is also a criterion in enhancing the overall value of your website.

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I will discuss a more detailed internal linking strategy in another post. That’s a whole different point. For now, I just want to express the point that you need to link your posts to whatever is related.

For example, you are blogging about best beaches you discovered and wanted to mention Hawaii. Make a phrase that mentions it and link it to your previous related post.

  1. Encourage Action

More popularly known in the content marketing and blogging world as call-to-action, this is a magic spice that will make your post standout and serve its deeper purpose.

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When a reader has reached the end of your post means they are well engaged in your content. Now they are ready to engage more. Whether you want to build an email list, make them purchase or download your e-book. You need to have a call to action area in every post.

If you are using WordPress try Mailchimp plugin to help you capture emails and build an email marketing list.

A careful inspection of the above ingredients in successful blogging will help you achieve better tactics in the future. Once you gain more experience, you will realize that building structure, linking and adding images will be easier and done more naturally.

Truth About SEO That Business Owners Are Not Aware

Let us discuss the straightforward truth about SEO in a non-techie way.

Upon searching the web about SEO one can easily get lost among the endless contradictions. The rules of Search Engine Optimization dramatically change on a daily basis.

What is best practiced today will be challenged by another idea tomorrow.

If you are not tech savvy, you may get discouraged or easily become a victim of fraud and scams in SEO marketing.

Not only will it cost you a lot of money, but it can get your business penalized by Google to never be indexed ever again.

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Even if you are not a content marketer, it is important to keep updated on SEO related subjects if you have an online presence.

This will make sure that if you haven’t started SEO, that you will start with the right foot first.

If you are already doing a little SEO, this post is intended to set some things straight.

On Viral Content

There are about 2 million blog posts published daily. What will probably set yours apart is uniqueness.

Content that goes viral are both random and rare. To predict how a content goes viral is impossible. What captures people’s attention at a viral level is something we need to leave to chances.

If you are a business owner and you devote all your time and energy to create content to go viral, you are bound to make some serious mistake.

Nonetheless, national and global brands can make something go viral. Not only because they have a very wide existing fan base, but because they can allocate big amounts of money to promote an ad to make it viral.

For small businesses who have no budget to create viral content it is best to just focus the budget on content that can boost your brand’s performance on a local level.

SEO companies promising viral content are those you must stay away from. It is a bunch of lies they made up just to take your advertising money.

On Black Hat SEO -Bad SEO

Black Hat SEO is a term used among internet marketers to label what was once an acceptable kind of Search Engine Optimization. Over time, Google changed the rules, those who used several techniques to gain dominance on first page rankings were penalized by Google.

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It brought about the good practices and bad practices in the open.

In short, Black Hat SEO wants to game the system, trying to dominate search without much relevance to users’ intent.

Since Google strives to provide relevant, reliable and genuine information, it penalized sites using Black Hat SEO.

At best, to rank low, at worse, the domain name to never be indexed.

Keeping your SEO clean and staying away from those who offer Black Hat SEO will serve you best, this is an indispensable truth about SEO .

Much of the rules do not change, tweaking content with short-tail and long-tail keywords remain an acceptable SEO. In fact encouraged to help deliver more relevance to users.

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Maintaining good quality of inbound and outbound links and ensuring you keep updated to recent technology, Google will love you.

On Inbound Links

Incoming links are only good in boosting your page rankings if the links are coming from an authority website. Another truth about SEO that you cannot and must never dispose.

If you are linking to web of untrusted websites, then, sorry to say, you are hurting your ranking.

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You must only link to a related industry website, otherwise, a handful of links coming from non-related websites will mark you as over-optimizing, or using a Black Hat SEO scheme.

On Relevance

Everything on your website must be relevant to the audience you wish to cater to. Google rewards relevance and strength of the content.

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Pay close attention to:

  • Image descriptions
  • HTML tags
  • Title
  • Subheaders
  • Page attributes

All of the above must be aligned with your website’s purpose and your on-page topic.

On being your own SEO specialist

Outsourcing to a content marketing and SEO specialist is a good thing for people who do not have the time. But devoting a little time to be your own SEO specialist is never a bad thing.

Experts on SEO matters and Google have already laid out everything.

There is not much truth about SEO that hasn’t been delivered to the general public.

From monitoring automation to tips on keyword research.

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Knowing a little bit and starting from there can take your website’s performance from zero to hero.

It is important that you also understand a little even if someone else is doing it for you, then you can collaborate easily without having to worry that you are told rubbish.

On Mobile Optimization

It is obvious that everyone is on their mobile devices. Be it mobile phones or tablets. If your website is not mobile friendly, then you are missing out on a large number of consumers.

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Google shows different results for web and mobile. Check your mobile friendliness using Google’s tool. It will tell you everything that is wrong about it. Talk to your web designer on this matter and fix issues at once.

This is one truth about SEO that is being disregarded. Website performance across devices is an important element in ranking.

In short, those who have a website and does SEO, but not mobile friendly, are those discarding the whole essence of optimization. Why waste time and money if you are not optimized across platforms and devices?