CategoryBlogging

7 Steps To Leverage Your Content And Boost Website Traffic

leverage content boost traffic

So now you’ve got your website up and running and you need to move the needle on those traffic stats. What steps can you follow to make sure you start getting traffic and ensure it increases in a consistent manner?

If you’ve followed these best practices to give your new business website a head start, you will have understood how important it is to consistently publish new content on your website. Here are seven steps to leverage your content to bring in new website visitors.

1. Publish a Blog

The best way to publish new content regularly on your website is with a blog. Blogs are natural search engine magnets and help your content get better rankings in search engines. They are easy to optimize and update. Follow these tips on how to optimize your blog for search engines and you’ll be off to a great start.

2. Research Your Keywords

Find long-tail keywords you can rank for easily and create content around them. It goes without saying that the content you create must be related to the theme of your blog and must interest the audience you want to attract. It’s no use attracting traffic to your website if it’s not the kind of traffic that will further your business goals.

3. Address Your Prospect’s Problems

Write lots of evergreen content – that is, content that is always relevant to your audience, no matter how old it is. Make sure that your content addresses your prospect’s problems and pain points. Content that is useful, answers common queries and offers solutions that makes people’s lives easier is always in demand, and will get traffic for years to come.

4. Boost Your Social Shares

Social shares are a huge ranking factor for search engines in 2015. The more shares your blog posts get, the better they will rank. Remember to share every one of your posts on your own social profiles.

You can increase your social shares using Facebook’s Promoted Posts option that allows you to boost your post for a budget that you set. You can also give your evergreen content a new lease of life using a WordPress plugin called Revive Old Post. It will allow you to boost your social shares for the same content again and again.

5. Syndicate Your Blog Posts

Syndicate your content to sites like Business2Community, that have a massive audience, and will share your blog with their community of readers and subscribers. This will help your content reach many more people than you could otherwise reach from your own blog, especially when you’re just starting out.

Don’t forget to link back to your blog in every post, so that you get backlinks as well as potential traffic, from your syndicated post. Also repost your blog content on LinkedIn. It will help build a following and boost your credibility among your LinkedIn community.

6. Guest Blog

Find other blogs that cater to the audience you’re looking to attract. Make sure these guest blogs have a large number of subscribers and will give you a link back to your blog. Be selective about guest blogging, though, because it is one of the content marketing strategies that has been overused and abused by bloggers and Google does not view it as favourably as it used to.

7. Post Consistently

Don’t get discouraged if your posts don’t get as many shares as other blogs in your niche. It takes time and consistency to build traffic using content marketing. If you target your keywords well and get a high-ranking for many of those keywords in Google and other search engines, you will definitely get traffic from search engines, even if you don’t get a lot of social traffic.

Post quality content on a consistent basis and leverage your content using the content strategy above, and you’ll get high rankings for many of your long-tail keywords and boost your website traffic for years to come.

© Priya Florence Shah

This One Trick Helps Me Repost Evergreen Blog Content Without Lifting A Finger

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Have you ever asked yourself how you can get more visits for old, evergreen content posted on your blog? I have! I mean, who has the time to dig deep into their blog archives all the time, to repost old articles and give them a new life on social media?

I knew that someone else had surely asked themselves the same question at some point and come up with a solution for it, hopefully using a WordPress plugin. This is true for mostly anything you can think of doing on your blog – someone has thought of it before and created a WordPress plugin for it.

So, I did some digging and found this awesome plugin called Revive Old Post (Formerly Tweet Old Post). It comes in both, a free and pro version, and allows you “to share about your old posts on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin to get more hits for them and keep them alive.”

From the title of this article, I bet you thought that you wouldn’t have to lift a finger to do this, right? Well, you’ll see why that’s mostly true, because all you really have to do is to install and setup the plugin and it’ll do what it says, without you having to lift a finger afterward.

So here are the steps you need to follow to revive your old posts.

1. Install the Revive Old Post plugin

This is very simple to do. All you have to do is go into your Plugin area, click on the Add New button, search for “Revive Old Post” and press the install button. As simple as that.

2. Manage Your Settings

When you go to your dashboard and click on the new Revive Old Post link, this is what you’ll see.

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As you can see, I have the free version of this plugin and have set it up to post to my Twitter account. The free version will also allow you post to your Facebook page but that’s a little more complicated to set up, because you have to do it from the Facebook Developer interface.

Once you add your Twitter account to this plugin, click on the General Settings option in order to fine tune your post settings.

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Here you can set the minimum interval between posts (the default is 8 hours), the minimum age of the post to be eligible for sharing (the minimum is 15 days, but you can extend that if you wish).

You can also decide if you want to allow a post to be shared more than once and whether to enable Google Analytics Tracking (definitely tick this box, you’ll see why later).

You can also decide to exclude entire categories from being posted. I suggest you take this seriously, because not all of your posts may be evergreen and some may be very outdated (especially if you’ve been publishing your blog for many years).

Also, you may want to exclude posts about specific or time-bound events, so if you have a category titled News or Events, you may want to exclude that entirely.

If you want to exclude specific posts, click on the Exclude Posts link in the dashboard. You’ll be taken to a page where you can select posts that you want to exclude from being reposted.

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Another little tweak that you can make is to include hashtags in your tweets. You can do this by going to the main settings and clicking on Post Format. Here, choose the option to include hashtags in your autoposts. Also make sure you always include a link in your posts (otherwise it kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?).

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There are other options you can choose to modify here, if you wish, but I chose the default settings because they suited me fine.

3. Check Your Google Analytics

The part that I love best about this plugin is that, if you select the Google Analytics option (as you should), it will append a bit of Google UTM tracking code to the end of your URL, like this:

http://www.blogbrandz.com/tips/blogging-help-bypass-google-algorithm-changes/?utm_source=ReviveOldPost&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost

And if you check your Google Analytics dashboard, go to the Campaigns link and check All Campaigns, you’ll see exactly how many visitors have come to your site as a result of the Revive Old Post Plugin. The numbers below reflect just a few weeks of using the plugin on my blog.

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Once you have completed these steps, you’re done! That’s how simple it is to setup this plugin. Now you can sit back and let it work its magic for you, reviving your evergreen blog posts and giving them a new lease of life.

So did you install this plugin and try it out? How did it work out for you? Do share your experience in the comments below.

© Priya Florence Shah

10 Tips To Get First-Rate Ideas For Blog Content

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We’ve all been there. Bloggers with writer’s block. Having no idea what to put down for our next post. Wondering how to keep up with the next deadline, even if we’re the ones who set it.

I have gone through these phases quite a lot. But I usually manage to pull myself out of that funk by doing one of the things below. So here are 10 ways to eliminate writer’s block and get ideas for your blog.

1. Read… a lot

There’s no way around this one. If you want to create great content, you have to read… a lot. Don’t only read things you usually read. Get out of your comfort zone and read books, novels, non-fiction, anything that grabs your eye. Reading in a multi-disciplinary fashion can spark your creativity like nothing else.

2. Watch a movie

Movies are stories translated into a visual format on the screen. A good movie can take you to places you would never otherwise explore, and give you insights that you would never have access to. I love watching movies and find that they often get my creative juices flowing.

3. Listen to music

Good music has the effect of putting you into a creative zone, a relaxed state from where your best ideas can come. Make a playlist, or more than one, of your favourite musicians and songs and listen to it when you’re doing something like cooking or working out.

4. Explore nature

I can’t tell you how many times I have read this advice before, but it’s worked beautifully for me. I find that I am most inspired by beautiful landscapes, natural settings and just some fresh air. Travelling and vacations are some of my most creative periods.

5. Get away from your devices

Devices can be distracting to the point of killing all your creativity. For your creative juices to flow, you need some downtime. You need to let your mind wander where it will and focus on something other than emails and text messages. You need to daydream, and you can’t do that when you’re staring at a mobile screen.

6. Meditate

Meditation can put you in the perfect creative state of mind, called the Alpha state. I know it has worked for me in the past, especially when I used to practice a form of meditation called the Silva Method, created by Jose Silva. It’s pretty similar to the Indian yoga asana called Shavasana, which creates a deep sense of relaxation. You can learn more about the Silva Method and practice it here.

7. Play with your kids

One of my best articles, To Be a Champion, Become a Child, was written while watching my daughter play. It inspired me to see how kids think and react and it made me want to share my observations with others.

8. Embrace boredom

Sometimes great ideas come from just sitting and watching the world go by. If Newton hadn’t been sitting under a tree, would he have noticed the apple dropping to the ground? I’m only half kidding when I state that boredom is necessary for creativity to emerge. Remember when, as kids, you came up with some very creative games to play when you were bored? Boredom forces our minds to work harder and work out solutions that we would never have thought of otherwise.

9. Interview your readers

Often we end up creating content about things that WE want to write about. But your blog readers may be looking for other information that you’re missing out on because you can’t see beyond the tip of your nose. So, interview your readers. Have them fill out a survey and ask them about their most pressing concerns. It will give you a surfeit of ideas to draw from when creating your next post.

10. Check your blog analytics

This tip worked amazingly well for me when I saw a phrase that visitors were searching for in my blog analytics. I decided to jump on the opportunity by writing a quick post on it. It not only got me a new client, but the post also got syndicated on Monster.com. How’s that for inspiration?

You’d be amazed at the kinds of things that you can use to jumpstart your creativity and get rid of writer’s block. I hope the 10 suggestions above will help you do just that.

The Quick And Dirty Guide To Using Social Media Images

Guide to Using Social Media Images

Are the obligatory dimensions for social media images on each channel making you crazy? They’re sure making me nuts.

I mean, social media updates happen in real time. Who on earth can remember what dimensions each image should be so it shows up well on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc? Especially when you’re often choosing images for your blog from a stock image site?

So I thought I would come up with some guidelines to ensure that your image gets displayed in the best way possible, no matter which social media channel you post it from.

1. Use landscape images, not portraits

If you use images that are longer vertically than they are wide, you’re begging for them to get cut off in Facebook and Twitter. These two channels, especially, cut off images that are too long, making the top and bottom impossible to see in social media.

So if you share infographics, which are usually long, vertical images, you need to give your audience a very good reason to click through, so they can view it. Or else just upload the entire image to Facebook, so it will be displayed in toto.

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2. Make sure the image is large enough

When you upload the image to your blog or website, make sure it is a minimum of 450 to 600 px wide so that it gets pulled into the newsfeed and displayed properly. Smaller images, like the one below, will be displayed as a thumbnail and will not get your post the attention it deserves.

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3. Make sure the main elements are in the center of the image

If you use an image that requires the edges to be visible in all social media channels, you will be disappointed. Facebook and Twitter often don’t display the complete image truncating the bottom and top, like so.

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Make sure none of the most important elements in the image are too close to the edges. Ensuring that the main elements are in the center of the image will make sure they don’t get chopped off or truncated and will be visible in all social media channels.

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4. Use an open graph plugin on your blog

I use the WP Open Graph plugin to ensure that Facebook pulls in the right image and displays it properly in my blog post. You can use this or any other plugin that performs the same function.

5. Get a professional image designed for your blog post

If you have the time and the resources, you can go all professional, and have a designer create the perfect image, with the ideal dimensions, for your blog post.

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Images like the one above, created by SocialMediaExaminer.com, usually follow all the guidelines I’ve outlined, display beautifully in all social media channels, and help brand their content too.

The image I created at the start of this blog post was made in Powerpoint. That’s about as quick and dirty as you can get!

Follow these quick and dirty guidelines above, and you’ll no longer have to gamble on how your social media images are displayed to your audience. Start using them now and may the odds be ever in your favour.

4 Lessons That Masterchef Taught Me About Creating Great Content

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For those who don’t watch (or download) TV shows, Masterchef is a top-rated television competitive cooking show franchise watched by millions of loyal followers worldwide.

After watching Masterchef (Australia, US and Professional) for a number of years, here are some of its lessons about great food that I’ve applied to the art of creating content people love.

1. It has to grab your attention

We eat food primarily through our eyes. Food that looks delicious is more visually appealing and will get the diner’s mouth watering. If your dish looks like something that came out of a dog’s behind, never mind that it tastes awesome, there’ll be few takers for it.

The contestants that usually win Masterchef are those that have exceptional plating skills. They know how to make food look like a work of art.

So how do you make your content “yummy”? Whether you create text, images or video – your first view of it has to be eye-catching.

Your headlines must be captivating and grab your reader’s attention immediately. Your text must be easy to read and have a lot of white space. Images must be colourful and attractive, or pleasing to the eye. Videos must be engaging, not boring.

2. It has to follow a familiar recipe

Just like certain foods create a pleasant sensation because they follow a familiar recipe (think apple pie and ice cream, a classic that never fails to please), your content must take the reader down a familiar path. It needs to have a beginning, middle and an end.

The best example of this is the rules of press release writing – the 5 W’s” (and the H). Or to put it more clearly:

  • Who is this about?
  • What is the actual news?
  • When does it happen?
  • Where does it take place?
  • Why is this news? and
  • How did or will it happen?

Let your reader or viewer know the benefits of sitting through your content within the first few sentences, and then take them through every step of your story in a way that keeps them engaged and interested.

Tell a tale, weave in an anecdote or two, and let them munch through your content bite by delicious bite, with the warm feeling that it all comes together in a familiar way.

3. It has to be creative

Creative food is inspiration on a plate. When a contestant in Masterchef excels at the invention test, using an ingredient in a creative way, it elevates their plate of food to make it restaurant-quality.

When you infuse your own creativity into your content, think out of the box and use elements that no one else thought of using in that way or combination, it separates a lackluster piece of content from one that has your readers or viewers raving over it.

4. It has to come from the heart

What takes a plate of food from good to great is the same thing that makes a piece of content go viral – emotion.

When you cook from the heart and infuse your cooking with your love (and sometimes, your pain), your emotion becomes contagious, infecting and inspiring everyone who tastes your food with the story that went into creating it.

Great content is about stories that trigger emotion – stories that tug at the heartstrings and leave butterflies in your stomach.

When one of these stories is released upon an unsuspecting public, people instantly relate and react to it. They are infected by its emotions and share it with everyone they know. And that’s what makes it “go viral.”

Bonus Lesson: It has to keep them coming back for more

Very often, when faced with two delicious plates of food, the Masterchef judges ask themselves a question – which one would they want to eat again?

That’s the question you need to ask yourself about your content. Is it so good that it keeps your readers coming back for more? Would they come back to consume it again and again?

So, the next time you settle down to watch Masterchef, think about the lessons it teaches us about food and life, and how we can apply those lessons to creating content that inspires and leaves us with a yummy taste in our mouths.

© Priya Florence Shah

Image credit Connormah

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