13 Tips For Creating A Blog That Both Your Visitors And The Search Engines Will Love

business blog

Blogging for money, whether by marketing other people’s products through affiliate programs, pay-per-click advertising or even to provide content to customers of a business is rarely an easy task. People and search engines alike are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to using the Web, and any blog owner needs to take steps to ensure that their site provides a great experience for their visitors and one which ranks highly in the search engine results. The following thirteen tips will help you to create a blog that both your readers and Google will love.

 

1 – Style and Design

Attractiveness, as always, is important when it comes to presenting your blog and its content. So long as your chosen style does not sacrifice usability, a professionally-designed and distinct blog is more likely to keep visitors from leaving after a minute or two. It is also more likely to attract more shares on social media sites. While minimalistic designs are the trend right now, this does not mean that your website can’t still be beautiful.

 

2 – Easy Sharing

One of the best ways to make your content reach the masses, and even give it a chance to go viral, is to get people to share your content on their favourite social media sites. You have probably already noticed social media sharing buttons on most other blogs. You should also use these to ensure that readers can easily share content they like with the click of a button.

 

3 – RSS Subscription

Really Simple Syndication might not be as popular as it once was, but it is still widely used enough to be worthwhile. All you need to do is place an RSS button on your website so that readers can easily subscribe to your updates. They will then be able to see these updates through any program or Web-based form or application that displays RSS feeds.

 

4 – Easy Searching

Once your blog really begins to grow, it will likely end up having dozens, if not hundreds, of pages of content. To make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for, you should always have a search box in place. Put the search function in an easily accessible location such as in the top-right corner of your blog. Having a search function will become essential as you publish more content.

 

5 – Clear Navigation

Clearly defined navigational features are essential, particularly since people access the Web from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers as well. Make sure that all of your readers have the easiest time possible navigating through your website. Do not use programming languages such as Java or Flash for navigation features either – this will only cause problems for many of your visitors.

 

6 – Site Map

A site map is a page on your website comprising a list of URLs. Sitemaps can be useful for your readers as well, although they are more a feature for the search engines. Sitemaps written in XML can be particularly useful for providing search engine crawlers with a structured list of pages on your site. Site maps also allow search engines to index content which is otherwise unreadable to them.

 

7 – Featured Posts

You should always use analytics to see which pages on your blog are doing the best. This will help you to come up with a list of featured posts on occasion which you can then link to on your homepage or on your social media accounts. Capitalize on your most popular content by giving it the chance to go viral. You can use popular posts to draw in traffic to the rest of your blog and exhibit your greatest strengths.

 

8 – Images and Other Content

Web content is about more than just textual content. While articles are an important part of any blog, you should not underestimate the importance and effectiveness of images, videos and infographics either. However, be sure to keep image sizes optimized so that they don’t slow down your website. A slow website is likely to turn first-time visitors away within a matter of seconds.

 

9 – Keep the Highlights above the Fold

Important information such as featured posts and titles as well as navigational features should be kept above the fold so that your readers don’t have to scroll down to find them. First impressions count for a lot, and the first thing that people will see is the upper part of your homepage. Do not forget about the visitors using mobile browsers either.

 

10 – Don’t Overdo the Advertisements

There are few things more annoying to Web users than intrusive advertising. While advertising is exactly how many blogs make money, it is important that your ads do not interrupt your readers’ experience or get in the way of navigation. Google also tends to penalize sites which make excessive use of advertisements. Define your ad space carefully and avoid intrusive techniques such as popups.

 

11 – Encourage and Respond to Reader Comments

Reader comments can be an extremely useful source of market research. While certainly not all comments are going to be particularly constructive, regularly monitoring comments left on your blog posts will help you to get a better impression of what’s popular and what your readers want to see more of. You should also reward people who take the time to post a constructive comment by responding to them often.

 

12 – Careful Link Building

The latest major Google algorithm update, Penguin 2.0, heavily penalized websites for using aggressive link building campaigns. Some of those who had broken Google’s terms of service entirely by buying links, were de-indexed altogether. Go easy on backlinks as well as on internal linking. Do not smatter your content with repetitive anchor text and instead diversify your use of keywords.

 

13 – Test Your Website Speed

A slow website is one which will quickly turn visitors away. Don’t forget that Web users typically have a short attention span, and if your website takes more than a few seconds to load, most people will look elsewhere. Optimize website performance by reducing bloat, compressing images and using professionally-designed themes. You should also ensure that your Web hosting company isn’t to blame for poor performance.

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Jurgita Glodenyte

   

Jurgita Glodenyte

Jurgita Glodenyte is an online/digital & social media marketer, manager, strategist, consultant, trainer and public speaker. Her goal is to give companies she works with the tools to make them successful in a technology based economy. Jurgita has written a few books on digital marketing & social media.
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