Monthly Archives: October 2013

Starting a new Blog

Adding a Blog to your website is something that every business should consider:

-    A blog enables you to add information without making any changes to your main website or overcrowding it. You can do this yourself: it’s easy to create new posts, there is no need to learn HTML and this is one area of your website which you can maintain and update yourself.

-    A blog is useful for adding fresh and up-to-date information to your website. This shows your website visitors (as well as Google!) that your business is keeping up-to-date with was is going on in your sector of activity. Blogs are recognised by Google (and other search engines) as a rich source of specialist information. Note: A good blog doesn’t try to sell or advertise products or services, it is simply sharing valuable experience and information on a subject. A quality blog with regular posts giving useful information reflects expertise and a sustained interest in your field of activity – this is highly likely to lead your readers to check your website too, and perhaps share and bookmark your Blog!

-    Writing posts about your area of expertise is an excellent way to use keywords related to your business in a natural and informative manner. Your blog could become a useful ‘door’ to your website, drawing in more traffic! Every time you publish a new post, it gives Google another entry point to your main website. This adds to your site visibility.

-    Of course, you can link to your website main pages from your blog, which creates another incoming link – valuable for Google.

DOS AND DONTS!

-    You should aim to add posts regularly (every couple of weeks is a good average – do what I say, don’t do what I do!). You should aim to add new posts at a fairly constant rate. If you need to increase or decrease frequency, try to do this gradually.

-    Your posts must be relevant to your main subject and only give links to relevant areas/pages of your main website.

-    Blogs need to be useful, free information (eg advice and tips). Topics should be related and complementary to your main business website and likely to be of interest to your website visitors. A good post should not feel like an undercover marketing message. It should provide helpful information. People won’t want to read how good your business is, they’re just after what will help them get what they want.

-    Having your blog as part of your website (using your actual domain name) will help increase traffic to your website. If you host your website with Blogger, for instance, this will not be the case.

-    Don’t duplicate contents from your website onto your blog – write on complementary or new aspects of your business or expertise.

Happy Blogging!

About Google’s update of 4th October 2013

Google’s latest update, Penguin 5 (AKA Penguin 2.1) was aimed at removing low quality, spammy sites from the results pages. It specifically targeted low quality links and paid links. It appears to have affected around 1% of Google queries.

If your website was hit by this update, there will be a marked decrease in traffic either from the day of the update or from the next day – check your website statistics.

SEO experts advise that if your website has been affected by this update, the only way to bring its ranking up again is to remove all poor quality links and work at improving the quality of your website information, paying special attention to your external links – your website links MUST be relevant to your business/subject and should aim to give further useful information.

It is worth mentioning that this update was run as a ‘filter’, ie it is not running constantly in contrast with ‘algorithm updates’ which bring permanent changes to Google searches. So, if you need to take some action, do it as soon as you can and you’ll need to wait for the next time Google runs this type of ‘filter’ to see any improvement in your rankings.

We all value finding good quality information on the websites we visit – I hate following poor links which are just a waste of my time, don’t you?! This time again, Google is taking another step towards dropping poor quality/spammy websites from their search results.

Web Design: Making Information Accessible

The primary purpose of a website is to give information. However, if the information isn’t organised logically and labelled clearly, it probably will not get read –  most of us web-users   don’t like wasting time thinking too long deciding where to click next, so the next website in our search could be our next click!

The first step towards achieving a well organised website is to take time and think carefully about all the information we want to give to our website visitors.

The second step is to divide this information into logical chunks, starting with the main sections (pages). When a large amount of information is given, it is appropriate to use an ‘inversed pyramid’ style, ie top-level pages should contain the more general information and link to sub-levels pages giving more extensive information on more specific aspects of the main topic .

Web pages should ideally have a 400-450 word-count, for two reasons:

  1. This is thought a reasonable amount of text to include enough keywords related to the topic of a page so that search engines can index the page.
  2. In most cases, this is enough text to give sufficient information on the more general aspect of a topic. Further/deeper information can then be given by linking to other (sub) pages with more detailed information on specific aspects of the main subject.

Once the bulk of the information has been organised in sections, it is useful to draw a wireframe or diagram to see how all these sections are going to be connected: clear menus are an essential part of any website – a page/section which is difficult to find will not receive many visits!

For more articles and tips about website design, visit Woodham Web Writer’s Clients’ Resources page.