Posts By: Andrew James

How To Write An Engaging Blog Post

7 Actionable Tips For Creating An Engaging Blog Post

The company blog is more than just a place to promote products. It’s the hub of the website, and there are a number of ways to create blog posts that are beautiful, shareable, linkable and engaging.

 

1. Create images for social media.

How To Create Social Media Images

There’s a lot of information competing for people’s attentions, especially in the content world. To set your content apart and illustrate your message, images can effectively drive your points home and increase engagement in the process.

According to a study by Skyword, content with at least one image saw an average of 70 percent more views compared with articles without an image. That’s a key indicator that images are important not only from a search engine optimization perspective, but also from a reader’s point of view. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Here are a few photo banks, stock photo sites and search databases you can look through:

 

2. Use headings.

Heading Tags In Content

Headings, like the ones used in this post, help the reader scan the article for the information they’re looking for. It’s relatively easy to creating heading tags in WordPress, by just selecting the word or phrase in the body of the post, and clicking the “paragraph” menu in the toolbar to select the heading tag you wish to use.

Heading Tags WordPress

It’s best practice to reserve the H1 for the post title, while H2 and/or H3 can be used for content headings.

 

3. Link to other pages of the website.

Link To Other Pages

Since search engines generally follow links, it makes sense to place relevant links within the content of your blog post to other parts of the website. This helps the search engines crawl and index the site, and also helps visitors navigate the site and eventually (hopefully) convert.

Internal Link Structure SEO Example

One way to set up an internal link structure is to install the SEO Smart Links WordPress Plugin, which will automatically link your preset list of keywords to pages that you determine within your content.

 

4. Link from other pages of the website.

Link From Other Pages

Like linking to other pages of the site, you should also be linking from older, established pages to the new blog posts you create.

Add Link in WordPress Post

When you link both to and from pages within the website, you allow link juice to flow and authority to spread evenly across the site.

 

5. Links to external resources.

Link To External Resources

External links are an important part of the user experience, since they provide additional context for the point you’re trying to make. It’s also considered best practice to balance the number of external links with internal links in a blog post, as this looks more natural.

If you’re looking for additional resources to link to, there are a few searches you can make:

In Google or Bing, just search for the keyword or phrase and look at some of the relevant pages that display in the search results. You can also check out Topsy and search for keywords there.

 

6. Use bold, italics, •bullet points and other formatting to highlight portions of the post.

How To Format Blog Posts

Often website visitors will initially scan the post, and then decide whether they want to read the whole thing later.

Formatting Blog Post in WordPress

If there are portions of the post you want to stand out from the rest, you can format the post with bold and italics. This can help to break up the big chunks of text.

 

7. Use additional media such as embedded video, embedded social media posts to increase time-on-page and social actions.

How To Embed Media Into Blog Post

Incoming traffic is important, but it’s also important to keep that traffic on your website as long as possible to increase the chance of conversion.

One way to keep visitors engaged and on your website is by embedding media into your blog post, including YouTube or Vimeo videos, audio such as Soundcloud tracks, and social media posts from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.

Here are a few guides on how to embed media into your WordPress posts:


SEO Strategies

How To Add A Personal Touch To Your Technical SEO Strategy

Inbound Marketing is so much more than keyword research, data and spreadsheets. To truly be effective, it needs to connect with humans on a level that automated tactics can never reach.

In this #SEOCHAT, Greg Shuey hosts an informative discussion around integrating personable methods into a technical digital marketing strategy.


Content Marketing And SEO Tips

17 Expert Tips For Better Competitive Analysis

Each week, a lively discussion around a variety of Inbound Marketing techniques takes place on Twitter, and it’s called #SEOChat. You can follow and participate in the conversation each Thursday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, as various digital marketing experts weigh in on the topics.

This week, the chosen topic was competitive analysis for link development and content marketing, and was hosted by Greg Shuey of Stryde (who also happens to be the cofounder of #SEOChat). After each chat, make sure you check out the transcript on searchmarketingweekly.com.

SEO And Content Marketing Competitive Analysis Tips

Here are some of the highlights from the discussion:

 

“How has competitive analysis helped you formulate a backlink and/or content marketing strategy?”

1. “Competitive audits & SWOT analyses really help to show opportunities and hazards to detour, particularly in link building.” – Eric Lander

2. “It helps pinpoint strategies/tactics competitors have used to get links. [Also gives] new ideas for clients. – Alex Peerenboom

3. “For SEO and content, a competitive analysis really shows what I can and should be doing better than my competitors.” – Andrew James

 

“Which tools are most helpful?”

4. “ahrefs for backlinks, SEMRush for KW research, Buzzsumo for content. Combine the data for insights.” – Jesse Semchuck

5. “I always start with a good ol’ crawl from Moz Open Site Explorer.” – Caitlin Boroden

6. “You can’t beat Google SERPs as the jumping off point for competitive analysis. Search long-tail variations.” – Laura Sultan

7. “PR software like Cision, Vocus and Meltwater is great for finding sites read by a given audience.” – Samuel Scott

 

“What are the metrics that help you identify quality competitive link opportunities?”

8. “Moz metrics, engagement metrics, then the ‘eye test’. Gotta be relevant.” – Tanner Petroff

9. “In conjunction with domain/page authority, we look at citation flow to determine quality links.” – ThinkSEM

10. “New/Lost link analysis on ahrefs is very helpful. From there, check domain records (and key users) in BuzzSumo. You can learn a lot on who to interact with, what to share, what to write and WHEN to pounce. Also, what to ignore.” – Eric Lander

 

“What are the metrics that help you determine if a content topic is worth pursuing?”

11. “If it’s going to bring the right traffic to your site, then it’s worth pursuing. Knowing your audience!” – Ty Kilgore

12. “Obvious answer is search volume. Also, is the #1 ranking page good, and can I do better? Is similar content being shared on social?” – Paul Shapiro

13. “Search volume, relevance, number of posts on topic getting links. Where links are coming from, and number of sites getting links on topic.” – Tanner Petroff

 

“What are the best written resources for rookies in competitive link development?”

14. “Ultimate Guide to Link Building by Eric Ward and Garrett French is great…” – Alex Peerenboom

15. “Buzzstream is really good. Also, this post by Paddy Moogan is pretty amazing.

16. “3 Pillars of SEO Competitive Analysis” by Joshua McCoy. Also monitor their content production.” – Andrew James

17. “[Here’s a] great resource for competitive link development by Neil Patel. – Bruce Clay, Inc.


6 Ways To Supercharge Content Marketing

6 Essential Ways To Supercharge Your Blog Content

It seems like everyone is blogging these days. In fact, people spend 23% of their online time reading blogs and browsing social networks like Facebook and Twitter, so blogging is quickly becoming a part of today’s culture.

So how can you cut through the web clutter, and make your blog post stand out from the rest? More importantly, how can you craft a beautiful, share-worthy post that will entice one-time readers to become loyal brand evangelists?

Supercharge Blog Content Marketing

Here are 11 things every writer should consider doing:

 

1. Create intriguing and clickable titles

Kids Playing With Cans And String

You don’t necessarily need an Upworthy or Buzzfeed styled headline to grab people’s attention. A powerful title can entice people to click through to your website, which is really important given the statistics. While an average of 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, only 2 of them will actually click through to read your article. The good news is that you can beat those numbers with a bit of practice crafting a great title.

Here are 5 actionable resources for creating a click-worthy headline:

 

2. Use eye-catching and compelling images

Delicate Arch

If compelling titles entice people to click through to read the story, interesting and unique images will most likely make them stay on your site longer.

Be careful with where you get these images, though.

Not every photo found on the internet is available to use, since images have different licenses which can restrict where they can be published. There are a few options for photos, however, including images from stock photography sites like Getty, or photos with a Creative Commons license that you can use with proper attribution.

Here are 3 posts to read about using images correctly:

Here are 5 sites that offer free photos:

 

3. Build out buzzworthy lists

Buzzfeed List Post

There are a few reasons why I’m in love with lists.

They’re share-worthy (especially when you get into the 50-100 item range), they’re easy to scan, and they’re easy to view on a mobile device. While it’s never a good idea to put all your content eggs in the same list basket, lists can be a great filler between your in-depth articles, and a way to drive some decent traffic.

The format for a list post is simple:

  • Quick introductory blurb about the article.
  • H2 headings for each item in the list
  • Photos or embedded media placed below each item heading
  • Quick blurb below the photos which describes each point

 

4. Add in embedded media

Facebook

Text posts are boring, so spice up your blog by adding embedded media. Videos from YouTube and Vimeo, Facebook and Twitter posts, Instagram photos, SlideShare slideshows, Vines, and anything else that comes with an embed code can be added to your posts.

Here are some guides to embedding media in your WordPress blog:

 

5. Stick to a content calendar

Hubspot Content Calendar

An editorial calendar can let you schedule your resources around future planned events, and also helps you continue writing when you feel like there’s nothing to write about. It doesn’t need to be complex, and in fact, the simpler the calendar system, the more likely you will use it.

Here are 5 content calendar templates:

 

6. Track the wins with Analytics

Analytics

Each month, identify your top 10 visited pages in Google Analytics, and brainstorm ideas to repurpose them. If these 10 pages and posts are your site’s most popular pieces of content, expanding them will likely lead to additional traffic opportunities.

 

What are your go-to tools for blogging? Let me know!