Category

SEO

Category

SEO

Once you become a blogger, you see this bloody acronym everywhere.

What’s so important about it? Does it matter to me?

That depends. How important is website traffic to you? If you’re looking to gain exposure for your blog posts, having your blog found in search engines is a big plus. People searching for specific terms that relate to your posts will be able to find you.

Blog posts are naturally search engine friendly because

1.blogs are frequently updated with new pages

2.blog posts are text rich

3.blog posts have links to other pages that are related to the blog post

4. So if you’ve been writing posts consistently, that are of average length and include links to other posts on your site that

5. relate or other blogs that share the same niche, you’re already doing a great job at assisting the search engine spiders.

Spiders? Spiders my friend.

Ok, not real spiders.

It’s actually similar to a web browser. Search engine spiders crawl the www the same way you would surf the internet using safari or firefox.

It can start crawling anywhere and stop anywhere. It follows links to get from one site to another. When it’s done crawling, it takes what’s it learned and drops it into a database – a search engine’s database (Google’s, Yahoo’s, Bing’s, etc) where it’s indexed and saved. When a user enters a specific term into Google’s search box, the results are pulled from that database; ranking is based on relevance to the search term (and several other variables, to be explained in a more advanced post). The higher your post ranks in the search engine, the higher the possibility that your link will be clicked on.

So how do we optimize our blogs for search engines? Let’s start simple.

Basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips For Your Blog Posts

Match your content to your title. Don’t name the post “thirty ways to barbeque foam cups” and then write about recycling for the environment.
Use your post topic’s keywords in the post’s title and headings tags. This is how the spider “decides” whether your content body is relevant to the post title. For example, if you want your post to be found by users searching for “after bedtime activities” then your post title and heading should have one or more of these words in them. Such as
Title/(h1)MainHeading: Bedtime Activities For Toddlers
(h2)Sub Heading: Toddler Bedtime Stories
(h2)Sub Heading: Bedtime Games
(h2)Sub Heading: Bedtime Stories
(h2)Sub Heading: Tips For Putting Your Toddler Down at Bedtime
Quick Rule: Only one Main Heading per post
Use secondary keywords in the body of your post. These are words that relate to the topic. Bold and italicize these words when possible. This also helps your friendly spider. Don’t go crazy, your post will look like crap.
All images should have Alt Text that applies to your post. Spider can’t see images, but if there’s alternate text there, it counts for something.
All images need a description – this is great for search engine indexing and as an excerpt when sharing on many social media platforms.
Include links to other posts on your site and use actual anchor words. If you link to a post about barbeque sauces, be sure that the anchor words that are linked to the post is “barbeque sauces”, not the word “here” as we’ve all done. You want the anchor words to be relevant to the post you’re linking to.
Choose Categories and Tags that relate to your post.
Install an SEO Plugin

Search Engine Optimization plugins help you to plug a meta title, meta description and meta keywords into your post page’s coding. This info is shown in the search engine results page (SERP) when your post is listed as the answer to a searcher’s query.  The plugin offers you the ability to write an eye catching, alluring description of the post to be shown in the SERP, assiting in helping searchers choose a link to click.

Get Social For SEO

Install sharing plugins on your post.

Get active on social media platforms.

Build your network. You need a network of peers to help you spread your post across the WWW.

The most important tip to SEO?

Write unique, meaty posts. Show Google and readers alike that you’re an authority on the subject.

Photocredit:
macromagnon via photoxpress (desk and www)
Nicemonkey via photoxpress (spider)x

Alex Eylar via Compfight

If there’s one thing that confuses and frustrates new (and even seasoned) copywriters it’s the not-always-obvious features and benefits.
We want to share all the great things about our new coaching program, so we say things like:
• 6-week self-study course
• Includes workbooks and live training
• Members’ only discounts
While these are all good points, they’re pretty bland. That’s because they’re features, not benefits. They tell us about the program but not why we should buy it.
Benefits, on the other hand, tell us the “so what” of features.
“6-week self-study course.” So what? Why should your reader care?
• Because she’s busy and needs to work on her own schedule, not yours.
• Because she’s already studied shorter, less comprehensive courses and needs more in-depth information.
• Because she prefers to learn on her own, not in a group.
“Includes workbooks and live training.” So what? What are the benefits of workbooks and live training?
• Your student can put what she learns into action with workbooks.
• She can get her specific questions answered during live training.
• She can work through complex issues with the help of the group.
As you can see, benefits go much further than simple attributes, such as length and format. They show your prospective client not only what’s in the program, but why the product is exactly right for her, at this specific moment in her life and career.
Features and benefits work together in sales copy as two halves of a statement, like this:
“6-week self-study course so you can learn at your own pace, when it’s convenient for you.”
In fact, this powerful feature/benefit combo is often the basis for the bullet points you see in sales copy, and the format of them makes them easy to write, too.
Simply list all the features of your product, then for each one, ask yourself “Why?” Why should the reader care? But don’t stop there. Dig deeper to uncover “the why behind the why” and you’ll soon be crafting truly irresistible sales pages that convert far better than you expect. In the above example, the why behind the why might be, “so you don’t have to spend family time on webinars that have been scheduled to benefit someone else.”
Now not only is your prospective client working at her own pace, but she’s also freeing up time to spend with her family. That’s a great benefit she won’t find with most courses.
It’s easy to list all the features of your product or coaching program, but far more difficult to uncover the benefits that will drive sales. When you truly understand the difference though, it will become easier, and your sales will reflect the change in your copy.

We’ve all seen those old-style sales pages filled with yellow highlights and screaming red text and lots of “BUY NOW” buttons, and when we think of copywriting, that’s often what comes to mind. While that style of sales page can be effective, it’s not the only way to make sales.
In fact, by taking a more subtle approach, you might even find that you generate more interest—and potentially more sales.
Stories Sell
One effective way to entice readers to click through to your sales page is with stories. These can be your stories or those of other people, with the goal of helping your readers to see themselves in the same situation.
Did you help a client turn her chaotic household into a calm oasis with better organizational skills? Her story on your sales page will get more clicks than all the yellow highlight you can buy.
What about that time you trashed your entire business plan and started over because you simply weren’t passionate about your work? Your potential business coaching clients will be anxious to learn more, and will click through without you even asking.
That’s the power of stories, and you can use them everywhere: in your blog posts, in your emails, on your sales pages, and even in videos and on social media.
Be Genuinely Helpful
Want to build a reputation as the go-to person in your niche? All it takes is to help people. Answer questions on social media, volunteer to speak to groups who need your advice, write blog posts that address the most common issues your readers face.
By volunteering your time and knowledge, you’ll attract a wide audience of potential customers who may need your services in the future. Who will they turn to? That very helpful person who went out of her way to offer assistance in the past.
Now we’re not saying you have to give away all your time, but if you really want to show off your expertise, you can’t do better than a little volunteer work. Not only will you make an impression with the person you help. But chances are good she’ll share with her friends as well, further expanding your audience.
Of course this doesn’t mean that there is no place in your business for a strong call to action. “Click here to buy” and “Learn more right now” are still useful (and even necessary) on sales and opt-in pages. The key is to know when to make a subtle offer, and when to offer a bit more hand holding.

When you hear the word “copywriting” do you immediately think of long sales pages, squeeze pages, and unwanted bulk mail?
You’re not alone in that thinking, but the fact is, copywriting is more than just sales messages. In fact, as an online business owner, most of the content you produce could be called copywriting at least in some sense. After all, if you’re creating content with the ultimate goal of selling something, that is by definition copywriting.

Facebook

Sure we all like to hang out on Facebook and chat with friends, catch up on the latest funny videos, and enjoy a mindless “quiz” or two. But for coaches, Facebook is much more than that. It’s a place to connect with potential clients, and that means that when you’re sharing your latest blog post or program with your business friends, you have to keep good copywriting in mind.

LinkedIn Profile

What makes you stand out from the other coaches in your niche? Your LinkedIn profile is where you share what makes you the best person to solve your ideal client’s problems. It’s where you shout about your credentials and let your ego run the show. Think of your LinkedIn profile like a resume, and be sure to list your most impressive credentials.

About Page

Here’s your chance to have some fun while blowing your own horn. It’s important to know that the about page is often the most visited page on a website, so it’s a critical piece of your overall brand and message. The purpose of your about page is to entice people to want to learn more about your services, so be sure to include a call to action on the page.

Blog Posts

All blog posts have a job to do. Maybe they’re meant to lead your reader to a sales page. Perhaps you’re asking for readers to subscribe to your mailing list. Maybe your blog post is designed to start a conversation. Or maybe it’s just sharing great content and inviting readers to learn more by clicking on related posts. Whatever the job, it’s copywriting that entices your reader to take that next action.

Twitter

One hundred and forty characters is precious little space for creating compelling content, yet that’s exactly what you must-do if you hope to use Twitter as part of your overall marketing strategy. Think of tweets like email subject lines, and craft them to convey as much information as possible while still enticing readers to take action.

Email

Whether you’re sending an email about a new product or service or simply letting readers know you have a new blog post up, your email definitely qualifies as copywriting. In fact, even the personal emails you send to prospective clients contain what we would call copywriting.

Ads

Even if your ad is only one sentence long, it needs to be a sentence that influencers the reader to take the next step and click on it. No point shelling out big bucks for impressions.

The fact is, copywriting is everywhere in your business, from your sales pages to your invoices. Whenever you ask a reader to take some action, you’re writing copy, and the more comfortable with the idea of it, the better (and more natural) you’ll become.

As any smart business owner knows, the key to passive income is a well-established (and full) funnel.
So of course you’ve optimized your opt-in pages and monetized your download pages and encourage more buyers through well-placed upsells and downsells.
But what about the follow-up? Do you contact customers about the products or services they didn’t buy? Do you encourage them to use the products they have purchased? Are you making sure they know about all your other wonderful programs?
If not, you’re missing the boat. But the good news is, this can be easily managed with just a bit of simple automation, and when done right, it will smoothly lead your customers from one purchase to the next, at the exact right time for them to take advantage of your best offers.
Segment Your Audience
Many autoresponder services allow you to target emails based on reader action. Want to sent a follow up email to those who clicked a specific link? Create a segment and mail away. Want to re-engage with those who haven’t opened your emails in a while? Easy to do, and you can potentially recover subscribers who have gone missing.
In more sophisticated systems, such as Infusionsoft or Ontraport, you can dig even deeper, and move people from one series to another based on their buying habits. That way you’ll never promote a product a reader already owns. Not only that, but you’ll always be able to offer the very best next thing, no matter where a subscriber is in your funnel.
Still another way to segment your list is according to what they do not buy. If a subscriber has been on a list where you’re promoting your top-level coaching program, and she has not yet purchased, it may simply be too expensive for her at this time. Consider moving these readers to an autoresponder series promoting a lower cost option instead.
All of these tactics require that you know your audience and your products exceptionally well. Study your stats. Know your open and click rates. Pay attention to the promotions that work, as well as those that fall flat. With information in hand, you’ll be better able to effectively segment your lists and make the most of all the parts of your funnel.

When it comes to leveraging your time, automation is the sharpest tool in your toolbox. It allows you to get more done in less time, and to smoothly move people through your funnel.
For many small business owners, though, the one area that’s often overlooked is your website.

Use Your Blog to Build Your Mailing List

Like any smart business owner, you likely have opt-in forms on your website. They’re in the sidebar or maybe the footer, and you might have a pop-up to capture attention as visitors are about to leave.
But do you have a solid call to action at the end of your blog posts? When a new reader is finished consuming your posts, she’s primed to learn more. Give her the opportunity by offering an opt-in at the end of each post.
Even better, make it a logical next step by creating a related offer for each post. Called a content upgrade, these offers typically consist of a simple checklist or worksheet, and capture attention by providing even more information about a topic they’re already interested in.

Keep Them Reading With Related Links

How often do you revisit old blog posts to link to newer content? This is an important maintenance job that will help provide visitors with the information they’re looking for by linking related posts together.
Not only is this strategy good for keeping visitors on your site, but Google approves as well. Posts that link to each other encourage search engine bots to crawl your site more thoroughly and help boost the rankings of your most relevant posts.
[Hint: This is a perfect job for your VA.]

Make the Best of Your Download Pages

Whether you’re giving away a free report or paid product, your download pages can pull double-duty by offering visitors a “what’s next” option. For free download pages, a related, low-cost product is best. It gives readers the chance to learn more about you with a small investment.
For paid products, consider offering a complementary product instead. If you’re protecting your download pages with a membership script such as Customer Hub, you can even offer upsells based on what they already own, making the choice even easier for them.
And if you’re using a double-opt-in mailing list, make use of that confirmation page, too! That’s the perfect place for a quick upsell or an invitation to join you in your Facebook group or weekly Periscope.
Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow on your website: Whenever a reader lands on a page, she should be offered the next logical step. When you write your blog posts or create your download pages, keep that in mind, and your funnel will practically fill itself.

“I dream of a world where I can blog without worrying about anything else”

-awesome bloggy friend

I’ve heard similar words several times over the years. Keep in mind, I offer SEO training, search engine marketing services, and search engine friendly blog designs. I’ve been doing this for a while now. It’s my bread and butter.

You’d expect me to promote the wonders of SEO to everyone and their grandmothers.

But I’m not.

Do you need SEO? Truth is, not everyone can benefit from SEO. And I’m not just referring to those who blog for fun.

Here’s the thing, search engine optimization, isn’t magic.

It all boils down to your goals and content.

Goals and Content and the type of Marketing that I Suggest

  1. If your goals are to impress brands and become a brand ambassador for products that fall in highly commercial industries: fitness, beauty, home decor, toys, kitchen appliances, etc, then I suggest SEO, email marketing and a social media tribe. Brands want to know that you’re not limited by your network.
  2. If your goals are to make income as an affiliate for Amazon, ClickBank, e-junkie, etc, for products meant for a large market, then I suggest to SEO your review posts. I also suggest building your social media tribe and email marketing.
  3. If your goals are to make income as an affiliate for Amazon, ClickBank, e-junkie, etc for high priced products or services that are meant for a very small specific market, then you need that same market to be your blog’s market and I would suggest guest posting, social media, and email marketing. I wouldn’t bother with SEO.
  4. If your goals are to increase your traffic to a blog that does not review products but does sell ad space, then I wouldn’t bother with SEO. I would suggest entertaining content, building your social media tribe, growing your feed subscribers and guest posting.
  5. If your goals are to increase traffic to a blog to better your rankings because you’re totally into having great rankings, then i suggest to focus on your content, be sure to supply content people are looking for, SEO your content so it’s relevant and you’re not hit with a high bounce rate, buy ad space from influential bloggers in your niche and build your social media tribe.
  6. If your goals are to build brand awareness of you as a brand or to sell your own services, then I suggest a strong SEO foundation for your blog, search engine optimized posts that speak specifically to your market’s needs, blogger outreach (Sverve has an affordable influencer marketing service) a social media tribe, email marketing, and guest posting.
  7. If you’re blogging for personal reasons you can tell marketing in general to kiss your rump.
  8. If you’re blogging to get a message out there, a message that would make the world a better place, I suggest SEO, email marketing, guest posting, and a social media tribe.

If your situation isn’t listed above, feel free to share your goals in the comments section with a bit of info about your blog, what kind of content you write, etc and I’ll give you my suggestion.

You’ll notice I mention Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing a lot. Multiple marketing strategies will increase your exposure.

Here are two real-life examples to drive home.

Example One:

A client with a Healthy Recipe Blog asked me in February to help with her traffic. She finally installed Google Analytics and after a month of tracking, she wasn’t too happy about the tiny bit of traffic she has. She’s got her tribe to help share her posts across social media and that’s where all her traffic comes from. She felt that her recipes were mainstream enough that people will be searching for them. Her goal is to gain exposure for herself in the cooking niche because she plans to publish a recipe book for those with heart disease.

Her recipes are mainstream. Forty-nine thousand people searched for Grilled Chicken Recipes that month. She had 3 different grilled chicken recipes and none were receiving traffic from the search engines.

Her posts can benefit from proper SEO.

Example Two:

Another client wanted to promote her coaching services. She’s been doing great with posting daily. Her on-page SEO is impressive. But guess what? No one’s searching for what she’s promoting.

The solution her blog provides is for people with a specific need. There are lots of people with that need, but they’re not aware there’s a solution. So they don’t search for it.

Know how sometimes you don’t realize you need something until you see it?

Now, this client is not lost. Implementing a referral program, getting involved with Blogger Outreach and guest posting would help raise awareness of her service.

Her posts won’t benefit from SEO.

You may also notice this post isn’t searched engine optimized. Why? Because no one is searching for this topic, but I know there are people who need to know because I get asked quite a lot.

As I mentioned, SEO isn’t magic. It’s not for every situation.

Search engine optimizing a post means making the post search engine friendly so those who are searching for your post’s topic can find it.

But if not many people are searching for it – 22 people a month search for how to build a blog audience yet so many want to know– then you don’t need SEO.

I still suggest multiple forms of other marketing, and I believe search engine optimizing your blog gives you a well-organized foundation, but not everyone sees search engine traffic from search engine optimizing their posts.

No matter what industry you’re in, you never stop learning. The day you decide to stop, is the day you limit your potential.

These days, SEO is a hard industry to keep up in.

Google is forever changing and updating to “better” the info they provide in the search engine results.

Did you know Google pushed out 500 algorithm changes this year alone?

After the last update, I found many marketers griping about losing on average 30% of traffic.

It’s a dog eat dog world and Google is The Dawg.

But that’s only if you care about search engine ranking.

If you don’t, totally cool, just do a sistah a favor and share this post.

It’s a PSA for those who rely on search engine traffic for their income.

So here’s the deal.

One thing about seo that does not change is the importance of how you structure your permalink.

Or at least it hasn’t changed yet.

Many of us who start using WordPress, start with either the default WordPress permalinks structure that ads a page number to your domain name or we go with the whole year/month/postname format. When I moved this blog from Blogger to WordPress, I went with the category/postname. Just using postname format was not possible then, it was considered unstable.

Once this option became stable, I wanted to change my permalinks to domain name/postname.

Why?

Shorter format, better for SEO.

So I scoured the net.

Read everything I found.

Took the leap after I moved my other blog, After Bedtime Blog.

Once I moved, I headed into Settings > Permalinks and changed changed After Bedtime Blog’s permalink structure.

I then added a bit of redirection coding to the .htaccess file.


For those that I told I would do this for you after I experimented with my own blog, I won’t be doing it. Read on…

ALL links converted fine.

Everything ran smoothly.

I submitted a new sitemap to Google.

Two weeks later, Google deindexes me.

Nice, no?

But no fear, I saw that coming, AND my site is indexed again.

I know how to fix that problem.

However, there’s two things I hadn’t foreseen that none of the SEO gurus I read mentioned about permalinks.

#1 I lost my social media share count.

If you thought SEO wasn’t dependent on Social Media…you’re so wrong.

Social proof is a necessity and I’d lost it. Remember, tweet, likes, shares, +1s are all of a specific URL. If that url disappears, so do those shares.

#2 Those backlinks I built to specific posts, though they redirect, no longer count.

Let me clarify.

Though my site is indexed, though all my links redirect just fine…

The url structure of the lin and the destination must match. And my Urls didn’t anymore.

So, my review posts that once ranked on page one of the search engine results are now on pages 2 to 5. 

Because without social proof and backlinks to a post, it’s dead in the water if competition is stiff.

This AfterBedtimeBlog post that ranked #1 and sent me crazy traffic from Google– >
“WordPress Image Sliders And Galleries That Kick Ass”
means nothing now. My digital footprint has shrunk. And because of it, no affiliate payments  for a month.

That’s when I noticed.

When the payments didn’t come in like clockwork, from this post and 3 others, that’s when I knew. Those who know me well know that my affiliate payments covers my mom’s rent (as social security doesn’t do squat even after 36 years of paying taxes) and the website expenses. My income from the services I provide help me to help hubby pay all the other expenses like rent, bills, health insurance, food, things the kids need, etc and leaves a bit to nest away or spend.

November and December is a slow month when it comes to bloggers and entrepreneurs investing in their web presence. So the affiliate sales? I was counting on those puppies.

And yes, I can go back and undo it all, but the fact is, the shorter permalink is better and now that I have it, I shouldn’t let it go. Also, if I changed everything now, it wouldn’t make a difference before christmas, so what’s the point?

Might as well just keep moving forward.

There are two morals to this story.

1. Don’t change your Bloody permalink structure. yes, you can change the keywords in the post’s link from the post area before you publish. And if you have a low performing post that you want to update, by all means, change the permalink and redirect the old one. But do not change your permalink if you have an established blog that generates and income or brings in a high amount of traffic.

I have to admit, I do now get about 50% more traffic, which is what I was hoping for at the least when I changed my permalink structure.

2. Sometimes you can’t really learn something until you do it.

I honestly don’t regret making the change, but if I had foreseen this one consequence, I would have waited.

Again, I’d really appreciate a share. As I mentioned, I didn’t come across this info anywhere when I was researching the permalink change, so I’d like to get this info out to those who are researching it now.

Thanks for reading.