This 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
- In the first article of this series I discussed Why WordPress?
Step One: Choosing a Blog Platform
- In the value of Multi-Author vs Individual Blogs, I shared
Step Two: Choosing a Single or Multi-Author Model
- 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.
- 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.
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.