Bullish on Blogs

Guest Blog MTREIDYThis article is the guest blog of Michael T Reidy

Michael is a classmate of mine in CTEC-160 WordPress with at Clark College, Vancouver, WA. Michael volunteered to contribute this article for me as a class assignment. You can follow him at MTREIDY

  1. In the first article of this series I discussed Why WordPress?
    Step One: Choosing a Blog Platform
  2. In the value of Multi-Author vs Individual Blogs, I shared
    Step Two: Choosing a Single or Multi-Author Model
  3. In this final article in the series Bullish on Blogs, I share Step Three: Optimization – Blog Trends, Analytics and SEO

2014 Blog Trends

Blogs remain the most important media channel, according to Hubspots, rated business critical more often than #2 social media and #3 search engine optimization.

Content Marketing to dominate, according to Forbes, The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends that will Dominate 2014, Blogs and Guest Blogs are #1 and #2, Content Marketing (blogs) spawning new SAAS, Software As A Service, opportunities and SMMS, Social Media Management Systems.

Inbound Marketing will increase supplanting outbound marketing and sales, according to Hubspots, Inbound Marketing report for 2013. 60% of business already deploys inbound marketing, which WordPress accomplishes through links, see SEO links below.

Analytics

  • Google Analytics for WordPress has been downloaded nearly 5 million times and is one of the most popular tools for monitoring and analyzing blog traffic, bounce rate and unique vistors, etc. It can help target a specific blog audience by revealing how and where visitors are coming from if they found your site directly or through search engine or social media and what web browser and keywords they used in their search. This can help you target your keywords and content.
  • Hubspots CMO Mike Volpe defines Marketing vs Web Analyitcs,

    “Web analytics measure things a webmaster cares about, like page load times, page views per visit, and time on site. Marketing analytics, on the other hand, measure business metrics like traffic, leads, and sales, and which events (both on and off your website) influence whether leads become customers. Marketing analytics includes data not only from your website, but also from other sources like email, social media, and even offline events. Marketing analytics are also usually people-centric, featuring the prospect, lead, or customer as the unit of focus, whereas web analytics usually regard the page view as the unit of focus in its reports”

Forbes: 3 Pillars of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

1. Content Structure

  • Keyword Search (tags – prefer Long Tailed Keywords) Extremely important as a navigational aid to supplement category and menu search. Tags must be placed thoroughly in every article with special emphasis on longer phrase keyword search of 4 to 5 words, called long tailed keywords, not just one or two keyword tags. Long tail keywords improve content structure and SEO search results.
  • Content Optimization (Conversion Goals) landing pages that convert and rank well in search. Content should be optimized to the blogs primary function, everything else is a distraction and dilutes the brand message.
  • User Experience (UX Design, User Finds – easy to locate and complete task) minimize bounce rate. User Experience is not just usability or good design, bad UX increases bounce rate (initial exit) and exit rate (how many hops and how long before exit).
  • Site Design (clean, themes) Site design improves user retention and the blogs readability. Bad design equals no attraction, no audience.
  • Updated (freshness) Well developed strategy for continual update of content includes not frequent updates, but rework of content that improves overall SEO ranking.

2. Links

Comments Inbound Links,Created between pages on a blog such as the More feature to list an abbreviated summary followed by read more reference link to the full article or in marketing a hypertext link direction from an ad to a landing pages funneled by another link to a checkout.

Back Links, aka Trackbacks from an external source (must be manually created) or Pingbacks from another WordPress site that happen automatically when one blog creates a hyperlink with another. Credible trackbacks from reputable sources improve SEO rank.

Landing Pages  Thoroughly discussed in a separate post, landing pages are static web pages designed exclusively to capyure inbound marketing leads by means of a form or to funnel inbound sales from an ad to a checkout by means of a click through call-to-action.

3. Social Media

Social Media is on the rise and the #2 Media Channel behind Blogs and ahead of SEO. Fortune 500 are adopting Social Media faster than blogs because they look for social media to provide inbound marketing leads and ecommerce conversion (click through sales) One of the major reasons for social media’s popularity is that SM is currently the #1 blogging platform. 67% of social media users say they blog on SM. It is currently the #1 channel of social networking, a role that blogs also provide when properly connected to social media plugins and communities.

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About Michael T Reidy

I am a student in the Web Development Associates of Applied Technology degree program at Clark College, Vancouver, WA. Our instructor is Lorelle VanFossen who was a senior editor of the WordPress codex. I have been working with computers for over 25 years. My first computer job was managing electronic data processing (EDP) for the US Department of Commerce as the Assistant Manager for Electronic Data Processing (AMEDP) in the Tulsa Regional Office of the 1990 Decennial Census. The computer was a midrange DEC VAX/VMS. Soon after, PC Networks became popular and I became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE+I) and Trainer (MCT). I was recruited by IBM Sales as a Field Technical Support Specialist to launch their new PC Server brand. A few years later, I was invited to join IBM Global Services as a Team Lead Professional Server Expert (PSE) and Global IT Architect for Systems and Storage. I was both a contributing member and review board architect of IBM Global Services Reference Architecture. As Lead Architect for Integrated Storage Management Services (ISMS), I was the sole author of the IBM Global Services (GS) Method for Lean Storage Services: ISMS. When IBM Global Services offshored to India in the financial crises of 2007, I relocated to Vancouver, WA. For the past six years, I have worked independently as an Audio/Video Producer and Web Manager. In my personal life, I am the Minister of the St Clare Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order in Portland, OR and a Regional Councilor for Troubadours of Peace (ToP) Region in the Pacific Northwest states of OR, WA, AK, ID. I am responsible for Communications Technology development for ToP Region. I served the National Franciscan Order – USA (NAFRA) as a Q Committee member (AV Producer) for the NAFRA Quinquennial XVIII in Chicago, 2012. I twice received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for National Engineers Week: Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. I chaired the efforts of IBM, in conjunction with Intel, to promote minority recruitment in engineering through such programs as: Hermanas: Diseña Tu Futuro (Design Your Future). I was also an elementary and secondary classroom advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). I currently volunteer as a Spiritual Care Volunteer for Legacy Hospital, Salmon Creek and as a Hospice Volunteer for the Veterans Administration in Vancouver, WA.

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