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4 Ways to Get More Readers On Your Blog

Your Blog Is an Important Asset  — If It Attracts the Readers You Want

 

Promote your blog.

Your blog is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in your field and to get your brand identity known broadly. It also allows you to receive and respond to feedback from people interested in your services and your blog topics. The more people who read and like your blog, the better known you and your brand become. It’s well worth the time and effort to promote your blog. Thanks to Endurance Marketing for the inspiration for this post.

1) Promote Your Blog Far and Wide

Shameless promotion of your blog on as many venues as possible will expose it to hundreds or thousands of new potential readers. Here are the most essential things to do:

  • Get your blog listed in the top human-edited blog directories. That includes directories like Technorati, Blogarama, Blogged, Blogernity, Blog Flux, On Top List, Blog Hub, and Blogger Now, among others.
  • Include prominent links to your blog from the main navigation of your website and also in your page footers.
  • Establish social media accounts at Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, at a minimum. Include a link to your blog in the About section of each of them.
  • Include a Facebook Like button and a Google +1 button on your main blog page and on all individual blog post pages.
  • Make it easy for readers to share your blog posts on their own social pages to expand your reach to all of their connections. The tool we use here is from AddThis. It provides opportunities for readers to very easily promote your post to all of their followers on almost any social media site imaginable.

Blog2) Promote Every Blog Post Your Write

Don’t just write a great blog post and hope people will flock to it. Promote it in social media. At the very least, write about it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. And be sure to include a link to your post when you do that. For our clients, we typically promote each of their posts on a total of 15-17 of the best social media platforms.

3)  Promote Your Blog On Your Emails

Don’t overlook the opportunity to include a link to your blog in your email signature block. That exposes your blog to anyone you correspond with.

4) Promote Your Blog on Other Blogs

Many blogs have a blogroll  — a list of other, usually related, blogs that may be of interest to their readers. You can see an example of that over on the right, in the section called Other Blogs of Interest. Seek out blogs related to your topics and contact the owners of those blogs to suggest they add you to their blogrolls. You may be asked to add them to your blogroll in return, as well. If you create compelling blog posts with great information that’s helpful to your target market, similar blogs may be very eager to link to you from their blogrolls.

How do you promote your blog? Let us know in the comments below.

Like this post? Please Like it or share it with your friends via the links above, or +1 it in the link below. Thanks in advance for helping us promote our blog!

Need help with promoting your blog and your website, and showing up prominently when buyers search for what you have to offer? Rank Magic can help.

Why Your Page Speed May Be Sabotaging Your Rankings

Google announced back in 2010 that Page Speed  — how quickly your web page downloads into a visitor’s browser  — would be a factor in rankings. That makes sense when you consider Google’s increasing emphasis on positive user experience.If you click on a first page result in Google and the page is annoyingly slow, Google looks bad for sending you there.

Page download speed can affect your rankings.Addressing page speed problems is a task for your webmaster, but knowing and caring about your page speed is your responsibility. The folks at Moz did a study a few weeks ago which showed that the “time to first bite” does, in fact, correlate with ranking position. Full time to completely download a page doesn’t seem to correlate with rankings,  but the time it takes for the first byte of your page to be received by your browser does seem to correlate with rankings.

What’s interesting about this is the fact that what mostly controls the time to first byte is not your website design but your web host and the efficiency of the web server housing your web pages.

That doesn’t mean the other measures of page download speed aren’t important. If a potential customer gets tired of waiting for everything on your page to appear and clicks away before the page is fully loaded, you’ve lost a potential customer regardless of how highly your page ranked.

What to take away from this:

  1. Your back end web server performance can affect your rankings. If you’re using a discount web hosting service, whether their speed is worse than other web hosts is something your webmaster would have to research for you.
  2. While time to fully download your web page may not affect rankings, it can affect overall user experience on your site and impact your conversion rate: the percentage of visitors who become customers.
  3. Bear in mind that Google has always maintained that quality content is king, so improving your page speed can’t make up for mediocre content on your web pages. Page speed is only one of about 200 factors that control your rankings.

How’s your time to first byte? Let us know in comments below.

Do You Write Compelling Subject Lines?

Click Bait?

You need to write attention grabbing headlines!Your web page or blog post or newsletter may be astoundingly helpful or surprisingly informative, great fun to read and generally a gem that your target market really needs to know about and read. But if your subject line isn’t good “click bait”  — something that will make it impossible to pass up without clicking on it  —  no one will know.

You need to grab them with the subject line. In an email newsletter, it’s the subject of the email. In a social media post it’s the headline you give the post or the first few words of the post. On a web page  it’s the page title that will show up in search results. And in a blog post it’s also the page title, but that often duplicates the primary headline of the post.

Dierdre Rienzo wrote a helpful piece at MarketItWrite about how to analyze your prospective subject lines for their likelihood of attracting clicks.

The Value of Good Examples

One thing I’ve often found helpful, especially when a headline or subject line seems beyond my grasp, is to look at some examples.

Info Marketing Blog reprinted 100 great advertising headlines with a brief discussion of each. Review them and you’ll get a sense of what elements go into a real compelling, click bait subject line.

The Financial Brand has s helpful set of rules for creating a killer subject line, even though their focus is financial.

From an advertising perspective, Crazy Egg has a list of nine steps to follow to create a compelling subject line or headline.

If you don’t get enough inspiration from these sources, try searching in Google, Yahoo or Bing for headline ideas or how to write a headline. There are some great ideas to get you through that writer’s block.

BTW, if you found this helpful, please share it with friends: Like it or tweet it withthe buttons above and =1 it with the button below.

 

What Does It Mean That Google Makes Searches Secure?

Last month Google announced that all searches (other than PPC clicks) will be secure.

What does that mean exactly? The main tangible result will be that you’ll no longer be able to identify what keyword phrases people have used to find your web pages in Google Analytics. For some of us, that may be a pretty big deal.

How new is this?

Google started doing this two years ago  — they began encrypting searches for anyone who was logged into Google. The reason given was privacy. If you check your traffic by keyword in Google Analytics you will have noticed an increasing portion of your traffic shows a keyword phrase of “Not Provided”. It was annoying, but you could still get an idea of your keyword traffic based on the keywords that were provided. Now that’s going away.

Average percent of "Not Provided" searches in GHoogle

Why? According to Search Engine Land,

Google said it wanted to block anyone who might potentially be eavesdropping on a string of searches made by an individual and also prevent the actual search terms themselves from being seen by publishers, as some of them might be too “private” to reveal.

Why is Google really doing this?

Conjecture abounds.

One potential reason is the recent activity of the NSA in tracking Internet behavior of Americans. There have been National Security Letters sent to Google (and others, of course) which include a gag order. Google has been fighting in court to have the gag orders nullified so users would know how secure (or not) their Internet activity is. By making searches secure, they are encrypted and not even Google knows what you searched for.

Another popular theory is that businesses will now turn more to AdWords, Google’s Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising program, so they could see which search terms are bringing in visitors. Google denied that, saying:

We want to provide SSL protection to as many users as we can, in as many regions as we can — we added non-signed-in Chrome omnibox searches earlier this year, and more recently other users who aren’t signed in. We’re going to continue expanding our use of SSL in our services because we believe it’s a good thing for users…. The motivation here is not to drive the ads side — it’s for our search users.

Whatever the reason, you will soon be unable to tell what searches brought organic search visitors to your site.

Your comments and experiences are solicited in the comments below. We welcome your input.

10 Reasons Your Site Needs to Be Obvious for Users

 There’s a fine line many web developers walk when designing their sites that toggles between coyness and pushiness. We don’t want to beat people over the head with our pitch, yet we fear losing visitors if we don’t make that pitch effectively. By pitch, of course, we’re talking about the message or intent of your website – telling the visitor what you want them to know. Answering the question your site is meant to answer. There are very good reasons why your site needs to be obvious to users, and we’re going to look at ten of them here:
  1. First Impressions – We all know the old adage about them, and it holds true as much online as anywhere else. If your visitor doesn’t get their question answered right away, or isn’t clear on what your site is about, they likely won’t come back to find out later.
  2. Distractions Lead to Detours – If there’s a lot going on all over your website, your visitor can easily overlook its import. You need to guide them to do what you want them to do and go where you want them to go before they get lost on a tangent that takes them someplace else.
  3. They Can’t Say Yes If You Don’t Ask – Visitors need to know what it is they need to do when they land on your page in order to get what they came for. Your site should be easy to navigate, and action buttons or windows should be prominently displayed above the fold.
  4. Short Attention Spans – Remember, more often than not your visitors will be coming from a search engine link. This means your site will be one among many options they have to find what they’re searching for so you need to tell them quickly and clearly why your site is the one they should use.
  5. Web Surfing = Channel Surfing – There’s a reason the terminology has been carried over to internet browsing: the psychology and methodology of the two are very similar. Web surfers are looking for a reason to stay put. If they don’t see one right away, you’re history.
  6. If You Lead, They Will Follow – People respond to clear instruction, and even prefer it. If you tell them exactly what to do, visitors are more likely to do just that and will appreciate the uncluttered, direct approach.
  7. Too Many Options = Too Many Wrong Choices – One of the wrong choices we’ve mentioned already is that they will leave your website. However, it’s also confusing and unnecessarily complicating your purpose to offer a visitor too many options. Provide the shortest path possible to your objective.
  8. Inspire Confidence – A website that asserts its message and establishes itself as a concise source of whatever the visitor is searching for tells them that they’re in the right place. They are less likely to continue their search if you make it plain that it isn’t necessary.
  9. Keep It Simple – Don’t put a lot of speed bumps or roadblocks in your visitor’s path. Have them click as few buttons and follow as few links as possible to arrive at their destination and your objective. Any extraneous action is just another opportunity to leave before they arrive.
  10. Page Ranking – When your content is relevant, high quality, and answers the visitor’s search query, your website will rank more highly in search results. That means more traffic coming to your pages, instead of turning them away.

Thanks to Hannah Howard at Longhorn Leads. This article original appeared here.