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Slide 1

Blogging for Business

The British Library

12th February 2015

About Me

@emilyhill1982

emily.hill@writemysite.co.uk

slideshare.net/EmilyHill1

Set up Write My Site in 2006:www.writemysite.co.uk

Innovating for Growth participant in 2013

Contents

The power of being an expert

The best blogging platform

The length of the perfect blog post

Google and blogs

Finding inspiration

Social media and blogging

Q&A

THE POWER OF BEING AN EXPERT

But Im not an expert!

Showing vs. telling

THE BEST BLOGGING PLATFORM

Whats great about WordPress?

WordPress is:

SEO-friendly

Responsive

Great for plugins

Easy to customise

Flexible

Free!

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)

Also

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.

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PageRank

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.

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Enter SEO

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.

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But wait! Google and SEO were enemies!

However as much as companies loved SEO, Google despised it.

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But why?

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.

.

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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.

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Pretty soon, the Internet was a mess

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Operation clean-up

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

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Panda: 2011

Targeted sites with low quality and/or duplicate content

Up to 12% of search queries affected

Penguin: 2012

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

Hummingbird: 2013

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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FINDING INSPIRATION

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

Predictive search

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Predictive search

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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

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They took the trouble to create simple, relevant content that helped me to understand the product properly. Went straight for their How to guides

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Writing error #3: No variety in subject matter

Mix of contentTips and adviceInterviews/ reviewsExciting updatesCase studiesOpinion piecesMultimedia clips

Rehashing: A Warning

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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

any questions?@emilyhill1982

emily.hill@writemysite.co.uk

slideshare.net/EmilyHill1

FREE CONSULTATIONTo book, email emily.hill@writemysite.co.uk

FREE 15 minute phone consultation with me

Ill review your blog, or make suggestions about how to start one.

Youre under absolutely NO OBLIGATION of any kind!