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October 17, 2014

Cindy Penchina, President
Blogging Best Practices 2014

Today, 60% of all businesses have a blog and 35% of those businesses are blogging at least once a month. Blogs can help drive new traffic to your site and recent blog posts tell your visitors  that your business is alive and kickin’. Blogs are useful for content marketing and many other reasons but there’s only one problem…you’re blogging all wrong1.

A Recipe for the Perfect Blog Post

Not all blogs are created equal...in fact most of them are terrible. You can be an excellent writer targeting a very specific audience and still see your analytics show that nobody is reading your article for longer than 20 seconds. Why is that you ask? Because writing is not blogging.

To get your readers to stay on the page and read the whole blog post is no easy task. You need to utilize the internet to its fullest capacity to keep people’s attention all while showing that you really do know what you’re talking about. Blogging is more than just throwing words on a page...

  • Write intelligently
  • Have a captivating featured image and title
  • Cite external and internal resources
  • Display media that supports your blog post (figures, youtube, quotes, twitter posts)
  • Offer your reader something (a download? Privileged information?)

If you have all of these ingredients then your readers will see you as an expert in the topic, keep people on your site longer, and drive more traffic to your site through organic search results.

Blogging Dos and Don’ts

Here are some blogging best practices that will help your post’s performance:

  • Create a catchy title with the keyword near the front
  • Use title modifiers like “2014”, “best” or “guide” in the title to help keep it unique
  • Use a consistently sized main post image. This will help make your blog template look nicer and will help your readers to quickly get familiar with your format
  • Keep mobile users in mind, make sure all media resizes properly
  • Write more, not less
  Content length helps search rankings  
There is an extremely strong correlation between content length and a high search ranking.
Source: How Long Should Each Blog Post Be? A Data Driven Answer

 

Popular Blogging Platforms

52% of all bloggers use wordpress blogs2 and 23% of all websites are powered by wordpress3. That is a huge market share majority over any other platform. Outside of custom blog platforms like wordpress the next most popular platforms are Blogger (google) and Tumblr. These are excellent blogging platforms but will not give you a unique url at your own domain which is a must for many businesses.

Wordpress is so popular because it was one of the first systems to blur the lines between blogging and CMS platforms. That is you can use it to create just a website, just a blog or both all in one system. This makes wordpress extremely cost effective for many businesses.

PlatformCustom or Hosted?Market Share

Wordpress

Custom

52%

Drupal

Custom

7%

Blogger

Hosted

3%

Tumblr

Hosted

1%

CMS: A content management system (CMS is a computer application that allows publishing, editing and modifying content, organizing, deleting as well as maintenance from a central interface. 4

 

 

Check out some of the new features released in Wordpress 4.0 “Benny”.

Blogging & SEO

Blogging is excellent at improving organic traffic to your site as long as you do it right. Many people focus on SEO before their readers. This is backwards logic as the search engines also read cues from readers to determine how relevant or “good” a blog post may be. Google sees how long the user was on the page and how far they scrolled down. If every reader left the page/site after 5 seconds (a high bounce rate) then google will automatically demote the post in search results even though the post may be highly optimized for SEO.

Following these SEO best practices will also help get your post ranked higher:

  • Alt text for images (be descriptive of the image and concise!)
  • For long posts insert “extras” to break up the text and hold a readers interest…think videos, callouts, tables, asides and figures
  • Insert links to 2-3 internal resources (deeplinking) and 2-3 external resources
  • Create a url with 3-6 words like “/blog/blogging-best-practices-2014” with no file extension and hyphens instead of underscores
  • Never copy someone else’s content. Ever. You will be penalized by google.


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