Blog Sites

15 Best practice tips when designing a blog site

Recently, I have had a client ask me what the best tips were for designing a blog site for their business. So I thought I post my reply here… Best practices tips when designing a blog site:- 1. Have a goal for your visitors and make sure it’s easy for them to navigate to what they are looking for. . 2. Don’t overwhelm them with information or options, get to the point. See point 1. . 3. Humanise your blog… people WANT to know how the people are behind your blog. . 4. Fancy doesn’t mean successful: a plain site is often more effective. . 5. Make your blog ‘sticky’: create content that engages so prospects will stay on your site longer and more likely to return. . 6. Setup Google Authorship: take credit and build your reputation by installing Google’s authorship code into each blog post. . 7. Lead capture form: all businesses should be building a database of prospects, give something away in exchange for lead information. . 8. Include a Sitemap: this helps visitors and search engine navigate through your blog. . 9. Add a Privacy Policy: let your visitors know that you will protect their information. . 10. Social sharing buttons: make it easy for visitors to share you content far and wide. . 11. Social follow buttons: encourage visitors to link with you using their favourite social media profile. . 12. Mobile-friendly: design your blog so that it looks good on both PCs and smartphones. . 13. Contact Us: include a map, contact details and a contact form to make it easy for visitors to contact you or to local your business. . 14. Use WORDPRESS.ORG…. (sorry, just that I love WordPress and so do search engines, so why not make it easy and give them what they want…) . 15. Lock it down: hacking is a huge problem these days, so you should install tough security features and ensure backups are done regularly. . Can you think of any other points that should be included when developing your blog site? 1-03-2013-9-46-35-AM

Importance of Online Business Directory Listings

Better SEO with Online Directories

Do you ever wonder what you can do to get your Townsville business noticed online?

Better SEO with Online Directories

Google says “97% of consumers search for local businesses online before making a purchase”
Just think about what you type into Google when you are looking for a dentist in Townsville? Obviously, you type in Townsville Dentist or Dentist Townsville, otherwise you would get thousands of search researches that you can’t use. So as a business in Townsville, you need to do your best to rank in the top 10 places of the top search engines for your local term.

Listing on the first page of a search engine like Google for a term like Townsville Dentist is going to take a lot of work. You’ll need to spend a lot of time and effort creating and optimising content for your website that will convince both search engines and human visitors that you are the best business to provide the answers the searcher is looking for, eg you are the best dentist in Townsville.

Creating and optimising content for your website does take time and effort, but there is one thing you can do quickly and instantly to start proving to search engines that your business is the best in your industry, and that is with local online business directory listings.

The more places your business is listed, the more leverage your business will get from the search engines when your prospects are looking for your products and services. Think of it like throwing out a cast net vs a fishing line, having multiple points of information all directing traffic back to your website.

There are many websites that still don’t understand how important it is to get listings on online business directories, as the majority of them are still lacking the information as to how these web directories can help them build a strong marketing structure.

By listing your small business in online business directories, you’ll be creating inbound links to your website which is very good for SEO. Inbound links (also known as ‘backlinks’) are links that come from an external site and point to your website. Quality inbound links give higher importance to your website and can help you in your quest to get a higher position in search engine results.

In the world of search engine algorithms, a link to a website is viewed as a symbolic vote of confidence for that website—increasing its estimated authority and credibility. Search engine algorithms use these estimates to provide users with the most relevant results for their search. So you can see why it makes good digital marketing sense to increase and improve these inbound links as a way to organically rank higher in search engine results.

Could your local business benefit from some quality backlinks right now? We have created a specialist online business directory especially for Townsville businesses, and for a short time you can list for free. You can list your own business, or we can submit your details for you. http://townsville.onlinedirectoryaustralia.com

Find me on Google

 

Optimise a Blog Article For Better Oomph

Content is your website’s lifeblood; it makes search engines love you; it makes visitors want to follow you and share your content; and without it your website would lay ‘lifeless’ in a sea of millions of other websites all vying for attention. The reason you should optimise a blog article is that without good original quality content published regularly, your website will not reach its full potential.

Optimise a Blog

Optimise a Blog Article:-

  • to Get Better Search Engine Rankings
  • to More Traffic to Your Website

Just having content on your website isn’t enough to grab the attention of search engines. You must optimise a blog article to provide the search engines the content in a form and format that makes it easy for them to ‘digest’. This is called “search engine optimisation” or SEO.

Here’s how you can optimise a blog article:-.

1. Choose a Topic To Write About

The best topics to write about are those directly related to your niche or industry that your target audience (people that will end up being customers) will find valuable and interesting. Also, selecting a subject that is currently in the news will help your article receive more traffic.

2. Choose a Single Keyword Phrase

Optimise a blog article by choosing a main topic to focus your article on, and stick to that topic. Don’t confuse your readers or the search engines by trying to cover too main different keywords in one article. Keywords are the words that your target audience will type into a search engine to find a solution to their problem.

To give your blog article the best chance of appearing high in search engines, use https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal to find keywords that have high search volumes but medium or low competition.
3. Write a Blog Article

Using the selected topic and keywords, write your article, ideally 400-500 words. To optimise a blog article stay focused on the topic and don’t use too many variations of keywords, stick to the keyword phrase selected. This will help with “keyword density”. You want the exact keyword phrase in your blog article around 4 times per 100 words. You can use http://www.live-keyword-analysis.com to check your blog article for the number of times a keyword displays in your blog article.

Additionally, to optimise a blog article, use lists to break up long paragraphs of text to make it easy on the reader and search engines.
4. Format Optimise a Blog Article

To further optimise a blog article, go through your blog article and ensure that your selected keyword is included in:

  • Title of the blog article;
  • URL of the blog article;
  • Page/Post description;
  • Header Level 1;
  • Header Level 2;
  • Mentioned in the first paragraph;
  • Once in Bold;
  • Once in Italic;
  • Once underlined;
  • Included in lists;
  • Alt tags on images.

5. Link a Blog Article

Use hypertext links to optimise a blog article. Link from your keyword and other words to other related blog articles on your website. This will make it easier for your readers and search engines to quickly navigate through you website. This will also encourage your reader to stay on your website for longer, giving you more opportunity to create a relationship with them.

6. Add Images / Videos to a Blog Article

Adding images and videos to your blog article will help optimise a blog article and will benefit both your readers and the search engines. Always include keyword rich ‘ALT’ and ‘Description’ for your blog article, as search engines find it easier to read text.

7. Create Inbound Links to a Blog Article

Creating links from other websites back to your blog article will help optimise a blog article and drive traffic to your website. You can do this by submitting a blog article and videos to bookmarking and news sites like Twitter, YouTube, Digg, StumbleUpon, Facebook etc.

8. Make It Easy For Readers to Syndicate a Blog Article

Syndicating and sharing content is like a vote of confidence in your blog article. Optimise a blog article and make it easy for your readers to ‘share’ with their followers but adding social media button code to your blog article.

9. Measure the Success of a Blog Article

It’s good practice to measure the success of a blog article so that you know whether you provided the right content for your target audience. Google Analytics is a great free tool you can use to track and measure who visited a blog article.

10. Post Blog Articles Regularly

The more often you post blog articles to your blog, the more often your website will be indexed by the search engines. That is why blogs are inherently more search-engine friendly than static websites.

Writing blog articles to attract visitors to your website is an on-going task. To get the results and to keep visitors coming to your website, you need to continue publishing blog articles regularly. Quality and quantity is key. We include blog article and content optimisation as part of our Full Social Media Marketing Package.

Let us know if there is any other ways you optimise your blog articles, comment below.

WordPress – How to Insert or Remove a Hyperlink in a Page or Post

Because I have been working with HTML for too long, I sometimes forget simple tasks like creating hyperlinked text might not be known by users just starting out on WordPress. So I will post a few tips and tricks for beginners in future. This one is looking at making selected text in a WordPress Blog Page or Post hyperlink to another website or another Page or Post within the blog.

Setup A Webhost, Add A Domain And Install WordPress

Have you ever wanted to create your own websites without having to pay a web designer each time. It’s easy, we’ll show you how.

Signup With a Website Host Provider

Find a web host and sign up with them. This could take up to 72 hours to activate. They will send you an email with all the details you need. Make sure you keep this in a safe place. In most cases, the webhost will give you a free domain with your webhosting.

WHAT WE DO: We use justhost.com.au and have purchased an unlimited account. This means we can have unlimited number of websites hosted on our web server. They also gave us one free domain name.

Host_Email_Information

Host Email Information

Adding New Domain Names

You can purchase more domain names and if you have enough space on your web server, you can ‘host’ the websites all on the same web server.

FOR THIS EXAMPLE: We wanted to create a website called www.aussie90daychallenge.com so purchased the domain name from crazydomains.com.au.

When you purchase a domain name with a domain registrar they will send you an email with your Member Account details. Keep this safe. You will need this information to login to change the nameservers eg point the domain name to the website files you have hosted on your webserver.

HINT: Try and stick with the same domain name registrar to make it easy to keep track of domain names.

To Add The New Domain Name To Your Existing Web Host

FOR THIS EXAMPLE: We wanted to ‘host’ the new aussie90daychallenge.com website on our justhost.com.au server.

We have to setup our new domain name so it knows where to find the website files (DNS or Name Server settings) and we need to tell our web host that we want to host a new domain name’s website files (Addon Domain).

If you purchase the new domain name for your web host provider, then you may not have to do the following configurations.

Step 1 – Set DNS or Name Server with Domain Registrar
Login to your domain registrar (in this example www.crazydomains.com.au); Manage Domains; Click on the domain you want to edit; select “Update Name Servers”, and change to correspond to the information provided by the webhost in their initial email.

Manage_Domain_DNS

EXAMPLE: We purchased aussie90daychallenge.com from crazydomains.com.au, but the WordPress blog we created is being hosted by justhost.com.au. We need to change the setting on our domain name so it knows where to get the website from to display when someone goes to the website. In this case, we need to set the DNS or Nameservers for aussie90daychallenge.com to show the Nameservers of Justhost which we get from their original email, which are:

NAMESERVER INFORMATION:

NS1: ns1.pipedns.com

NS2: ns2.pipedns.com

NS3: ns3.pipedns.com

Step 2 – Add on the new domain to your web host via cPanel

Addon_Domain_to_Host
Login to your web server cPanel > Add on Domains > add your new domain name.
 

Install WordPress On Your New Domain

Wordpress_Installation

Log in to cPanel > click on Fantastico > WordPress > New Installation > Select domain from dropdown > if you want the WordPress in a directory of this domain (eg aussie90daychallenge.com/blob) > insert an admin username and password that you want to use to login to the dashboard of your WordPress website > change the admin email to your email address > change the site name (this can be changed later) > click Install WordPress > Finish Installation > insert an email address to send a copy of the WordPress installation details to.

Keep a note of the username and password.

You might need to wait a few hours before the DNS and the WordPress installation are working, so don’t worry if you can’t login to the new website straight away.

You should receive your email with all the login details. Keep this email in a safe place. Use these details to login to the dashboard of your WordPress installation to start customising on your WordPress blog.

 

Watch our Video Tutorial:-

How to Purchase a .com.au Domain Name for an Australian Business

In my opinion, you should choose a domain name before you register a business name… but that’s the seo geek in me talking. Having a domain name with your keywords contained in it is half the ‘SEO’ battle. Either way, you will need to decide whether to purchase a .com or a .com.au version or both!

.com or .com.au?

There are no rules you need to abid by when selecting either .com or .com.au. (Except that you need a ABN, ACN or business number to register a .com.au).

However, there are two streams of thinking… one is that you need .com even for Australian businesses, the other is that you need .com.au. What you need to consider is your target market. Are you targetting primarily Australian clients, or the global market?

A while back a domain with .com used to present as an overseas business and a lot of Australia’s perferred to view websites with the .com.au because that meant they were Australian. But .com has lost that stigma now and is pretty much accepted in Australia. But be aware that search engines may not show your website in local area searches because it is a .com and not a .com.au. To satisfy both camps, and you have the funds, buy both the .com and the .com.au and have the .com permanently redirected to the .com.au.

Anyway… if you have registered a business in Australia, then you should jump online and purchase a matching .com.au (and/or .com) domain name. Here are the steps I take to register a domain:-

I use www.crazydomains.com.au but there are a few around:-

  1. Go to www.crazydomains.com.au and type in the domain you are looking for and click “SEARCH”;
  2. From the list of results choose the one you want and click “ADD TO CART”. (If you don’t like the results, then enter a different domain in the search box and click “SEARCH”);
  3. Click “REGISTER SELECTED”; (The next couple of screens are trying to sell you addons)
  4. You will need to create an account with CrazyDomains, just follow the prompts, “CONTINUE ORDER”;
  5. Click “CONTINUE ORDER” (I don’t add DNS Upgrade);
  6. Click “CONTINUE ORDER” (I don’t add privacy protection but you might be interested);
  7. Click “CONTINUE ORDER” (I don’t add promotion);
  8. Click “CONTINUE ORDER” (I don’t add hosing);
  9. Next, because you are registering a .com.au they will need to confirm that you are the owner of this business name, so you need to put in here the ABN; ACN or Business Number in here and the Business Name and select the type of business it is. Crazy Domains will need to check that you are in fact the owner of the Business Name (it doesn’t have to be exactly the same but similar, eg xyzbookkeepingtownsville.com.au can be owned by XYZ Pty Ltd). Once it is authorized, they will send you an email. This could take as little as a couple of minutes or a day or two.

If you have problems, Townsville Social Media Marketing are happy to help. Tracy@TownsvilleSocialMediaMarketing.com

Will Your Business Benefit More from Building a ‘Website’ or setting up a ‘Facebook Page’?

Website OR Facebook Page for a Small Business?

We have had a lot of people ask us if we think that micro and small businesses should invest in a website or Facebook, so I thought I would put forward my opinions in this post.

A lot of the old-school guru’s will say that you need a flash website but some of the new-age marketers will say a business needs both! But that’s all well and good for a medium or large business that has a marketing budget and can afford the time and money to create and maintain both a website and a Facebook business Page. However, most owners of micro and small businesses don’t have the money to invest in both. So what should they do?

When you have limited funds and limited time, you really need to be focused with your marketing; you can’t afford a ‘scatter-gun’ approach. In this post I will put forward my observations and experience from years of wasting both time and money focusing on the wrong market… (Learn from my mistakes).

Firstly, you really need to know your ideal customer: not just any customer, but the one you would bend over backwards for, the one that will help your business succeed, not just provide you with a J.O.B. You need to know where on the internet your ideal customer hangs out and you need to make yourself known to your ideal customer, earn their respect and then they will buy your stuff: Engage, Interact and Follow-up.

website-vs-facebook-300x243

Real Estate analogy: Location, Location, Location.
Say you were looking to setup a brand new bricks and mortar business in a local town and you had limited funds to invest, where would you gain the most benefit regarding exposure to customers.

You could choose a nice shop front in an alley in a quiet suburb, but you will have to spend a lot of money and effort in advertising to encourage your prospects to come to you. Remember, they don’t know you so why would they trust you enough to drive have way across town to buy your stuff? This is what it is like having a website for your business. Websites are perfect once you have the customer in the door, you can sell them stuff over and over again, but you have to spend a lot of those limited funds to try and catch your potential customer’s attention; primarily by getting on the top of the search engines.

OR

You could choose to set up a small stall in a very busy shopping Centre in the heart of town. Even though you have limited resources, you will have lots of potential customers walking past your stall and heaps of opportunities to show off your stuff. Now, you won’t sell to everyone, but if you provide a great experience for the potential customer, they WILL tell their friends, who WILL tell their friends. Does this sound familiar… yes, it’s Facebook. Setting up a Facebook Page is inexpensive, but is invaluable if, and only if, you provide a “great experience” for your potential customers (in Facebook these are called leads or ‘fans’).

Facebook provides a level playing field for all businesses no matter what size they are. On Facebook you CAN compete with any of the top 100 businesses in your niche and still succeed. It will all boil do to “respect” and “word-of-mouth“.

Engage, Interact and Follow-up

  • To ENGAGE the attention of the 500+ million Facebook community you will need to be providing great content with a high preserved value: a reason for potential customers to ‘hang-around’ and see what you have to offer (in Facebook this is when they will “LIKE” your business page).
  • It will be the way you INTERACT with your Facebook fans that will create your business’ “word-of-mouth” value. If you give them the right experience, your fans will like and trust you and tell their friends about you. (in Facebook this is when you ‘fans’ will share your comments to their friends, expanding your social networking reach).
  • Once you have gained the trust and respect of your fans, it will be easy to ‘sell’, infact you won’t have to ‘sell’; they will be coming to you because they like and trust you.

Facebook First then Website for Small Business

Websites are a necessity for business and there are a number of important reasons why your business SHOULD have a website, but when starting out with limited funds, getting customers for your product should be more important that a flashy expensive website. So my suggestion is get your micro business on Facebook, Engage, Interact, Followup, then once you have a steady cashflow from existing clientele, you can afford to spend that $5,000 on a flash new website. But remember, just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come. You will still need to spend time in the internet community ENGAGING, INTERACTING and FOLLOWING UP whether that be on Facebook or other social networking site. A truely successful online marketing program will incorporate a range of media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, a Website and even offline media. The new marketing paradigm is a blend of media, but Facebook is a great place to start and it’s easy.

If you need assistance with your Facebook Business Page, give us a call and we can give you a customised Social Media Marketing Proposal.

PS If you want to receive these posts, don’t forget to “LIKE” us.