blogging for business
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Blogging for Business
The British Library
12th February 2015
Set up Write My Site in 2006:www.writemysite.co.uk
Innovating for Growth participant in 2013
The power of being an expert
The best blogging platform
The length of the perfect blog post
Google and blogs
Social media and blogging
THE POWER OF BEING AN EXPERT
But Im not an expert!
Showing vs. telling
THE BEST BLOGGING PLATFORM
Whats great about WordPress?
Great for plugins
Easy to customise
LENGTH OF THE PERFECT BLOG POST
Why does length matter?
There is no difference in the amount of search traffic generated by longer or shorter posts. (Tomasz Tunguz)
Blog posts with more than 1,800 words receive the most links from other websites (Moz)
The ideal blog piece takes 7 minutes to read thats between 1,000 and 1,600 words long, depending on use of imagery (Buffer)
If a blog post is greater than 1,500 words, on average it receives 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes (Quick Sprout)
GOOGLE AND BLOGS
Why Google loves blogs
Strong preference to give the best positions within search results to websites that continually add new content
Shows that your website is fresh, current and up-to-date.
Google wants to rank sites that provide good information a helpful blog meets this requirement.
Websites with blogs
Receive 55% more traffic than static websites.
They also get:
97% more inbound links
434% more indexed pages
(Stats from Hubspot)
Adding between 21 and 51 blog posts to your site boosts traffic by up to 30%
Adding at least 52 blog posts boosts traffic by 77%.
(Stats from TrafficGenerationCafe)
A brief history of search
Google began in March 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two PhD students at Stanford University. Google initially used Stanfords domain name (google.stanford.edu) before registering google.com as a domain name in September 1998. It indexed 60 million sites in its first year.
Google's rise to success was in large part due to a patentedalgorithmcalledPageRankthat helps rank web pages that match a given search string. When Google was a Stanford research project, it was nicknamed BackRub because the technology checksbacklinksto determine a site's importance.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid search results.
Clearly, Google was huge. A whole new industry sprang up to meet the demands of organisations who wanted to position their website over and above their competitors sites in the search listings. That industry was called SEO: Search Engine Optimisation.
But wait! Google and SEO were enemies!
However as much as companies loved SEO, Google despised it.
Because for many years, the Google algorithm was easy to cheat any rubbish website could position itself at the top
of the search listings (a.k.a. SERPs) with cheap tricks, known as Black Hat SEO.
Black hat SEO: Easy as 1,2,3
Create lots of content
Stuff it full of keywords
Buy thousands of links
Last of these caused absolute chaos as the number of websites indexed by Google grew from millions to billions and beyond. Countless link farms, article spinning services and sites sprang up to help people cheat the algorithm, which for a long time counted only the quantity of links and not the quality.
Pretty soon, the Internet was a mess
By the end of the naughties, Google decided to do something about the problem: 3 dramatic algorithm updates, all intended to wipe out manipulative SEO and clean up the Internet
Targeted sites with low quality and/or duplicate content
Up to 12% of search queries affected
Targeted sites engaging in link spam
Around 2.3% of search queries affected
Designed to build upon the work done by Panda, and list more high quality sites at the top of the SERPs
Heralded the age of semantic search
Analysed search queries as a collective whole rather than a string of individual words with the aim of understanding user intent
The dawn of semantic search
Semantics: the study of meaning.
Google is trying to become more sophisticated. It wants to go beyond the words and phrases people use, to figure out what they mean.
Weve got to do more than pepper our blog content with keywords.
Changing user habits
20% of all searches in 2012 were new (Wired)
Between November 2012-13, traffic to websites from an organic search decreased by 5%, whilst traffic from social referrals significantly increased by 111% (Shareaholic)
Today, 96% of consumers time onlineis spent on content sites (Wired)
Something interesting had started to happen as the user experience changed, so too did user behaviour. People no longer
Keywords: not dead yet
Heres the deal. Google cant function without keywords theyre simply the words people type in when they use search engines. Its the language real people use when looking for stuff.
Brian Clark, Founder of Copyblogger
Keywords still exist, and probably always will, because Google cant function without them.
The underlying principle of a search engine is to collect the words people use when they search, and then deliver the information it thinks theyre looking for.
Got to get away from this idea of identical matching of keywords and content. You can still build content around a core set of keywords, but its about using natural language. Write for the reader and the search engines will reward you.
Clothing for old people?
Biggest fear is often that by not undertaking rigorous keyword research, the search engines wont know to return your site for a relevant query. The point is that if you have a clear and consistent approach to your content strategy that is centred around the user, your keywords will appear naturally. Old-style keyword research was about pulling up a list of keywords relevant to your type of business; modern keyword research is about learning the language of your customers and positioning all of your content towards them.
Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam, Google
Make sure you make a great site, that users love, that theyll want to tell their friends about, bookmark, come back to, visit over and over again; all the things that make a site compelling. If thats your goal, were aligned with that goal, and therefore as long as youre working hard for users were working hard to show your high qualitycontentto users as well.
Nice long articles that solve peoples problems
New ways of searching # 2:Voice Search
Writing error #1: Its all about me!
Im an entrepreneur: Ill blog about my business!
Writing error #2: Too boring for a blog!
Going to conclude by showing you an example of a small business doing content really well. In fact, I became a customer of Tonys Textiles as a direct result of their content strategy. Bought a house, winter drawing in, so needed net curtains. Never bought them before and needed them made to measure. Expected to buy from Homebase. B&Q, but ended up buying from these guys because
They took the trouble to create simple, relevant content that helped me to understand the product properly. Went straight for their How to guides
Writing error #3: No variety in subject matterMix of contentTips and adviceInterviews/ reviewsExciting updatesCase studiesOpinion piecesMultimedia clips
Rehashing: A Warning
Have a voice and an angle!
Tip: Go large
SOCIAL MEDIA AND BLOGGING
Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube all offer opportunities for businesses with blogs.
Use your blog to tie them all together.
After this presentation
Paid social promotion
Tip: Say nice things!
Emily Hill, CEO, Write My Site
Thanks for listening
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