7 Signs That Your Company Blog Sucks

Judging by analytics, social engagement and other metrics, there are plenty of ways to tell if your blog sucks. If you’re indifferent or oblivious, it’s time for a wake up call! Take a look at some ways that your blog content strategy isn’t up to par:

1) You never link to others – ME, ME, ME… is this all you ever talk about? This is definitely not a good sign. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to link to your direct competitors but spread your links out to give readers credible resources or recent news stories that are interesting and relevant. Not only are you being helpful but it shows that you’re keeping up with reliable sites in order to provide them with the best information.

2) Write solely for search engines – If your blog topics seem to be repeating themselves it might be a sign that you should start writing for people instead of robots. Thin content is not a way to win readers. Another tell-tale sign is always using exact match anchor text, scheduling several posts at once and not updating consistently.

3) Your topics are not focused – If your blog is bouncing from topic to topic without a relevant connection, it’s time to stop. There’s a place for that… your personal blog, Tumblr or social media accounts. For niche industries, it’s easier to stay on track but for others, it can be easy to stray away from your main industry if you’re suffering from writer’s fatigue. The cure? Rest, read and write more!

4) You don’t deliver on what you promise – Nowadays, there are many ways to come up with well-written headlines that are destined for link bait fame. But make sure not to skimp out on the content. If you’re going to promise readers something grandiose (like effective li

5) You’re lacking in the spelling and grammar department – Skipping spell check isn’t a good idea and there’s always a chance that a competitor or client will catch it and question your qualifications. Remember, the grammar police do exist! I’ve seen one message recently from a site visitor (pointing out a slight misspelling) with a note that it “takes away from the professional feel of the site.” Yikes.

6) You’re dishonest – Examples include rating a product that you’ve received for free or for compensation without disclosing it. Another example might be a marketing company writing about top marketing campaigns and including one of their clients, also without disclosing it. Also, spewing out facts and statements without proper citations. Trust me, readers aren’t stupid and all it takes is one sentence disclosing your association so that it doesn’t look like your company has something to hide.

7) There’s no clear call to action – Your blog posts must have a point for existing. Are you providing free information, entertainment, resources or offering to help solve a problem? Don’t forget to encourage some action either in the beginning or at the end of your posts.

Do you have any other pet peeves that you’ve seen company blogs succumb to? Comment and let us know or join us on Facebook to continue the conversation!

Knowing When to Quit Blogging

quit bloggingAll good things must come to an end – or so they say. Is it time to quit your business blog? If you’ve had this feeling for quite some time, or feel that your blog isn’t a useful asset to your company, it’s time to take a comprehensive look at what you can do to go through with it or to change your outlook completely.

Whether browsing client-specific industry blogs or getting ideas from other online marketing blogs, I find it interesting to see a growing amount of un-updated and un-interesting blogs. I can’t help but ask myself, why are these blogs still here? Sure, it might take some time to come up with a blog topic but seeing posts from 2009… really?

Blogging takes commitment, perseverance and time management. If you don’t have any of these qualities or aren’t willing to hire anyone who does, it might be time to shut your blog down all together. Some people argue that they would rather see no blog, than to see a blog that hasn’t been updated for months or even years. Here are some other signs that you should quit blogging:

– No new visitors to your blog
– Your blog isn’t bringing traffic to your main site
– You don’t want dedicate yourself to blogging
– You feel burnt out and lack inspiration
– You’d rather invest your time and resources to other forms of online organic marketing

These are all valid reasons to quit blogging. And this doesn’t have to be a permanent move. You can also hide your blog from main view on your site until you’re ready to pick it up again or start anew later. Because really, if there’s a blog button front and center on your home page – people are going to expect recent and interesting news!

If you still have some inkling of hope that your blog can make it, chances are that it can! If your blog has some hefty content from the the past, it might be worth it to suck it up and continue blogging every so often. As PageRank improves over time, these pages will become a valuable and some-what permanent asset to your business. You’ll be surprised at the different ways customers can find you online – it doesn’t have to be just through your main site.

For more information or help on maintaining your business blog, contact us today!

http://www.emarketed.com/articles/blogging-tips-social-media-marketing

Are You Guilty of SEO Overkill?

Google PandaEven though it’s 2011, it’s amazing how many people still associate keyword stuffing with effective SEO. Sometimes, being too results-driven can cloud your thoughts and make you forget the most important thing – effective content is written for people not robots.

Optimization could involve brand new content or pages that already exist. Whatever the case, keyword research is always the first step. This will help you determine the keywords you want to use for meta descriptions, titles and tags. It’s also important to incorporate these chosen keywords into H1 tags. They key here is to do so sparingly. When you have natural and well-optimized content, your site will rank better and become more trustworthy to human readers as well as search engines.

In honor of the recent Google Panda Updates here’s an example of a paragraph that has gone too far (hopefully, content like this doesn’t remind you of your own!):

Panda Toy Palace – the best online store for panda toys! As a panda toy store in Los Angeles, we offer the best in panda accessories, panda clothing, and panda supplies! If you can think of a panda-related product, we have it! We love panda toys and are happy to share our love of panda products with all our fans. Panda Toy Palace is the only Panda toy place that you’ll ever need!

We get it. If your key products are panda toys posting content like this is neither helpful or relevant. It’s just a really long and drawn out way to promote your products and Panda Instead, you can write about natural or “natural” panda toys. Maybe a post about panda toys to coincide with upcoming holidays like Halloween and Christmas? You can even highlight a few products and ask customers for their opinions. Your content needs a good reason to exist!

Panda Updates are cracking down on “spammy” content that is overstuffed with keywords. Many legitimate sites have had trouble because of these updates and it’s just a reminder for everyone else to be mindful of their optimization tactics. Remember to keep your eye out for signs of over optimization and overkill – the Panda is always watching!

Do You Read Other Blogs?

With your busy schedule, you may already have a hard time finding a spare moment to crank out some blog posts. Do you take the time to read any other blogs in your leisure? Browsing blogs doesn’t have to be a time-waster and there’s actually a lot you can learn. If you live on the internet like I do, you’ll know why you should read other blogs:

1) Get ideas. Like anything else, blogs come in three different categories: the good, the bad and the ugly. Although you want to stick with the good ones, you can learn from the horrible ones. Reading other relevant blogs will help you keep up to date with current topics. Don’t have a list of favorite blogs? No problem. You can always browse sites like AllTop that aggregate the most interest blog topics. Sometimes, I also just like to surf tags on WordPress.

2) Make connections. Maybe your blog focuses on a niche topic. By reading other blogs, you can make friends with other relevant bloggers. Once you exchange comments, you can add them to your blog roll and hopefully, they’ll do the same. Link exchange is great and you can get more readers.

3) It’s fun! Feel like killing some time on your lunch break? Instead of browsing YouTube for some videos, why not browse some fun blogs? Blogs and tumblelog can be fun and give you a much needed break. Now, sit back and de-stress by reading other people’s work-related hell.

Have you started your free WordPress blog yet?

facebook google search resultsIt’s been a little while since my last post. I’ve been busy blogging on other blogs I manage. I was inspired to write this blog last night when I found a new blog that I started 7 days ago is already coming up in the Google search results. Now take in mind that I did nothing to promote this blog and it’s already coming up in Google. The search term I used was not the most competitive word but it does show the power of starting a free blog in wordpress. Click here to sign up today for a free wordpress blog. Start posting blogs related to your industry and services and you’ll start getting natural traffic.

You can’t ignore social media!

I just finished a webinar by ClickZ titled “Conversational Marketing: How to Develop a Successfull Social Media Strategy” presented by Dave Evans, author of Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day. The webinar should be available later today or tomorrow to watch. Dave Evans is a social media guru and was able to do a good job in the limited time he had to discuss this subject.

One of the key takeaways for me was that you can’t ignore social media. It’s here to stay and he gave a great example of a user that created a fake ExxonMobil twitter account and amassed a huge following while ExxonMobil was not aware of this. They finally found out and shut down the twitter account. Click here to see this shut down account. Mr. Evans thought that the better use of this twitter account with the following it had amassed would of been for the company to actually take it over and start using the twitter account for PR. I agree.

The webinar also talked about how social media is just one function of your overall marketing campaign and how this should be integrated in with your print, tv, and any other advertising campaign you’re running.

Social media involves participating with your potential customer or existing customers. Social media inlcudes some of the following mediums: blogs, microblogs (twitter), photos, audio, and videos

Get started today! emarketed currently is ramping up as well with social media and is offering this as a service to enhance your search marketing campaign. Sign up for a Twitter account today and start following us on Twitter and follow other companies in your related industry to see what they are doing in the social media space. Also start a blog with a free account through WordPress and follow other bloggers in your space.  Also signup to YouTube as well if you have some videos or presentations to share with others. We’ve been using YouTube more agressively over the last few months and have found it beneficial to our business. You can preview our channel to see some of the videos we’ve created for our clients which has been part of a social media campaign for our clients which involved website video marketing. And lastly also sign up for a Facebook account and start using facebook even if you don’t plan on using it for your business right away. It’s imperative that you start using Facebook so you can see how people are using it and how adverters are starting to target their demographics.

Blogging Tips & Helpful Blogs to Follow

I’m currently putting together a presentation for an event we’re hosting in Los Angeles on November 12th in a few weeks that will discuss blogging, local search engines, social bookmarking, and how to monitor your business and was inspired to post this blog about blogging. If you’re new to blogging these links will be very helpful. I’d sign up to follow these blogs so you can see some successful bloggers in action.

You might also want to follow a few blogs that relate to your business so you can see what others in your space are doing.

Here’s a list of what to look out for when you’re observing these bloggers.

  • Use of catchy headlines
  • Links to other sites and blogs from within content
  • Free downloads and how they capture your email
  • How often they post
  • Comments – post a link back to your blog if you can in the comments field (Start commenting on other blogs!)
  • Ad-ons (what else do they have on their blogs that add value to the user experience – twitter feed, list of users, advertisers, links to other social media sites such as Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon)

And lastly I’d start putting together a list of ideas for your own blog. Thanks for reading! Please feel free to post some blogs you’ve found helpful.

Free Local Search Marketing Workshop

We will be offering a free search marketing workshop on November 12th for business owners in the Los Angeles area. We will be covering the following topics: blogging, local search engines, social bookmarking, and ways to monitor your business on the Internet

Lunch will be provided along with FREE blog hosting and setup for all attendees.
Please click here to RSVP and find out all the details. We look forward to seeing you!