Category Archives: advertising

Graphic with SEO keywords

Optimizing Your Blog for Higher Search Rankings

Still struggling to achieve a top search ranking for your blog? Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that the higher your blog ranks, the more traffic it will receive. But how exactly do you increase your blog’s search ranking?

Use an SEO-Friendly Blogging Platform

The platform on which you build your blog will directly affect its search rankings. Some content management systems (CMS) contain messy code that’s difficult for search engines to properly crawl, which subsequently harms the site’s search rankings. You can avoid this problem, however, by using an SEO-friendly CMS for your blog like WordPress. Powering tens of millions of blogs and websites, WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS. It’s cleanly coded, patched with new updates in a timely manner, and features a plethora of plugins and themes.

Beware of Duplicate Content!

When blogging, use caution to ensure that your content isn’t being published in multiple locations. It’s not uncommon for blogging platforms to place new content in two or more locations, such as the original URL, authors, tags, categories, and archives. Just because you “think” your blog post is being published in a single location doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. Double-check your blog’s settings to ensure all new posts and pages are not being published in multiple locations. And if they are, use the noindex attribute to discourage search engines from crawling them.

Allow Visitor Comments

How can allowing visitor comments boost your blog’s search ranking? It’s no secret that content is a ranking factor used by Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. Websites that are updated with fresh content on a regular basis will reap the benefits of higher search rankings. While you can always create new content by hand, a supplemental method of content creation is to enable visitor commenting. Each time a visitor leaves a comment, whether it’s positive or negative, creates new content for your blog. Search engines will notice this content, taking into account when determining where and how to rank your blog.

Social Sharing

Don’t underestimate the importance of social media when optimizing your blog for higher search rankings. All of the major search engines place an emphasis on social signals like Facebook likes and Twitter tweets. Assuming you are able to attract social signals like this, you can expect your blog to rise in the SERPs.

But how do you encourage readers to share your blog posts on their social media accounts? One helpful tip is to place social media buttons directly on your blog. Instead of forcing readers to leave your blog and login to their Facebook/Twitter accounts to share a post, they can do so directly from your blog. This alone can make a huge difference in your social media marketing efforts.

Have any other SEO tips for blogs that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Should I Syndicate My Blog’s Content?

blog-rss-01This is a question many bloggers ask. Syndicating your content will almost certainly bring more visitors to your site, which subsequently results in more sales/conversions, but there are both pros AND cons associated with this technique. So before you make a hastily decision to syndicate your blog’s content, you should read the following.

What is Content Syndication?

The term “syndication” is used to describe the duplication and reuse of content on web properties other than the original source.  I know what you’re probably thinking: why would I publish my blog’s content on other websites? One of the most notable benefits of content syndication is the simple fact that you can reach a larger, broader audience, many of whom would otherwise never see, let alone read, your blog. Readers will see your syndicated content and visit your blog to learn more.

Content syndication can also be used to generate backlinks, as most syndication sites include a link pointing back to the source of the content. While there’s still some debate regarding the search engine optimization (SEO) value of such links, the general belief is that it will help, not hurt, your ranking.

What About Duplicate Content?

Of course, there are some potential disadvantages associated with content syndication, one of which is the potential for duplicate content. Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that any content you syndicate will be considered duplicate in the eyes of the search engines. According to Google, however, small amounts of duplicate content won’t cause any issues. It only causes problems when content is duplicated for the purpose of manipulating Google’s search results.

However, in some cases, content is deliberately duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or win more traffic. Deceptive practices like this can result in a poor user experience, when a visitor sees substantially the same content repeated within a set of search results,” wrote Google in an article about duplicate content.

WordPress RSS Settings

If your blog is currently running the WordPress content management system (CMS), there’s a simple way to reduce duplicate content. Log into your blog’s dashboard and choose Settings > Reading > and choose “Summary” for the option labeled “For each article in a feed, show.” This prevents syndication sites from showing your full post content. Instead, they’ll show an excerpt or summary of the post, enticing readers to visit your blog to read the rest.

Keep Syndication To a Minimum

The key thing to remember when syndicating your blog’s content is to keep it to a minimum. In other words, don’t focus the bulk of your marketing and SEO efforts on content syndication. Sure, it’s an effective way to generate traffic and drive sales, but aggressive syndication techniques could be construed as an attempt to manipulate Google’s search results — and that could negate all of the benefits it offers. Syndication should be a small part in your overall marketing strategy.

What are your thoughts on content syndication? Let us know in the comments section below!

Essential Browser Add-Ons For Bloggers

Still using the default, “vanilla’ version of your preferred web browser? Whether it’s Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Microsoft Internet Explorer, there are hundreds of excellent add-ons that can improve its functionality. This is particularly helpful for bloggers, as the right add-ons can boost your productivity while enhancing your overall blogging experience. But with so many different add-ons available, how do you know which ones to choose?

What Font

What Font lives up to its namesake by revealing the font names, families, font sizes, HTML color code, line height and more of any web-based text. You might be wondering how this can benefit you as a blogger. Well, it’s not uncommon for bloggers to come across an article with the perfect settings, so they try to mimic it on their blog. Using What Font, you can find out exactly what type of font the article is using, at which point you can duplicate the settings on your blog. It’s a free, simple-to-use add-on that can help you find the perfect text design.

WhatFont is built to support both Typekit and Google Font API. Furthermore, the app’s developers have included a click-to-tweet function, meaning you can tweet the font information directly from your Twitter account. WhatFont is a pretty cool app that’s definitely worth checking out!

Lazarus Form Recovery

Have you ever spent an hour (or longer) crafting the perfect post for your blog, but when you click the “Save” or “Publish” button, it takes you to an error page? I think every blogger has found him or herself in this scenario before. If your Internet goes out while you are writing a blog post and you attempt to publish it, chances are it won’t be saved. It’s discouraging to say the least when you lose an hour’s worth of work, but Lazarus Form Recovery can prevent such heartache from occurring.

Lazarus Form Recovery is designed to store all blog posts, articles, social media postings, forms, and any other web-based content locally to prevent loss of data. In the event that your Internet goes out and you accidentally attempt to publish a new blog post, the content will be saved in your web browser. So when your Internet is back up and running, you can simply re-publish the post and voila, everything is still there. This makes Lazarus Form Recovery a must-have browser add-on for every blogger.

Grammarly

As the name suggests, Grammarly is a browser add-on that’s designed to help users identify spelling and grammar errors. We all make mistakes from time to time. Heck, even the most prolific blogs on the Internet have grammatical errors. But Grammarly is an otherwise simple plugin that can make a world of difference in the quality of your writing. It automatically underlines spelling and grammar errors, allowing bloggers to see and fix them before the content is published. Oh yeah, did I mention it’s completely free to download and use with no strings attached?

Which browser add-ons do you use? Let us know in the comments section below!

Tips To Increase Your Blog’s Adsense Revenue

budget-013There are dozens of different ways to monetize a blog, but one of the easiest is to display Adsense ads. Google’s Adsense program allows webmasters and bloggers to display pay-per-click (PPC) ads from its Adwords program. When a visitor clicks an ad, you earn a percentage of the total price paid for that click by the advertiser. It’s a simple formula in which bloggers such as yourself get paid for each ad click. To maximize the amount your earn through Adsense, however, you’ll want to follow the tips listed below.

Identify Your Keywords

The first step towards optimizing an Adsense-driven blog is to identify your keywords. This doesn’t necessarily mean the keywords for which you are trying to rank, but rather the keywords you want associated with your Adsense ads. You’ll generally earn more money per click by targeting keywords associated with expensive Adwords ads. For instance, you can expect to earn much more if you display an ad for car insurance as opposed to pet accessories.

You can check out Wordstream.com for a list of the top 20 most expensive keywords in Google Adwords.

Blend Your Ads Into Your Blog’s Background

Another simple yet highly effective tip is to blend your Adsense ads into your blog’s background. Ideally, you want your ads to look like they are a part of your blog’s theme/template rather than a foreign object. This encourages visitors to click, which results in higher earnings. Google has a helpful Adsense creation tool to achieve this goal, which you should certainly use.

Use The Right Ad Formats

The format of your Adsense ads can make a world of difference in terms of revenue. Generally speaking, leaderboard-style banner ads are best suited for the top area of your blog (directly under the header) and square-shaped ads are best suited for the sides. While there are always exceptions to this rule, some of the best all-around formats include the 336×280, 160×600, and 300×250 medium ads.

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize!

Just because you are earning a decent amount of Adsense revenue on your blog doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no room for improvement. On the contrary, you can almost always improve your earnings by making small changes to your blog. Feel free to adjust your blog’s layout, navigation, ad placement, and other elements to see how it affects your Adsense earnings.

Do you use Adsense on your blog? Let us know in the comments section below!

Pros and Cons of User-Generated Content

trustrank2Do you struggle to come up with new topic ideas for your blog? If so, you may want to consider allowing user-generated content. Doing so is a great way to regularly  fill your blog with fresh, unique contents. When your blog has unique content, it will usually reap the benefits of a higher search ranking. However, there are both pros and cons to allowing user-generated content, which we’re going to discuss further.

Free Content

Let’s face it, buying content from professional authors and service providers is downright expensive. While many companies sell articles for as a little as 1 cent per word, high-quality, error-free content often costs ten times as much. User-generated content is  free. Each time a user publishes a new article, comment, forum post, etc., it adds value to your blog in the form of free content.

Higher Search Rankings

While Google has yet to reveal its exact formula for ranking websites, we know that content is a prime ranking signal. This means websites that allow user-generated content will usually — but not always — achieve a higher search ranking. New content encourages search engine bots to crawl your blog, at which point they’ll view it as being an authority figure.

Credibility

Allowing user-generated content to be published on your blog helps to build credibility. Visitors will view your blog as being a leader in its niche/industry if it contains helpful information published by other users. Of course, it can have the opposite effect by hurting your blog’s credibility if you allow the wrong type of content to be published.

Security

One of the biggest issues associated with user-generated content is the potential for malware, viruses, spyware or adware being uploaded to your blog. Even if you restrict users to uploading specific file types, hackers and other individuals with malicious intent may bypass these measures by spoofing the file name. Long story short, user-generated content can leave your blog susceptible to viruses and malicious software.

Moderation

Another hurdle faced by blogs with user-generated content is the task of moderation. Unless you want to take a chance your blog will be riddled with low value content, you’ll need to ensure all new user-generated content is reviewed before it’s published. Going through and approving or denying users’ content will ensure only quality, relevant content is published to your blog.

Do you allow user-generated content to be published on your blog? Let us know in the comments section below!