building a readership

Getting your website off to a flying start – use a blog, kickstart your domain

If you are new to Search engine marketing , you’ll be forgiven for not knowing where to start. You have a website, you have your  own domain, its been out there for a while, but no one is finding you in the search engines, you’ve read a bit about SEO and links but its all a bit overwhelming.

There is a lot you can do to make or break a new domain, people will try and sell you all manner of services, Link building, Link baiting, SEO restructuring, Usability services, Re-design services, Keyword monitoring  services… the list is pretty long so I’ll say no more on it for now, other than you might not need any of them, at least not straight off the bat, consider employing an seo consultant before commiting any cold hard cash. A good consultant will be able to advise you on the best strategies. Recommend good people, that kind of thing. For less than the price of a weekend in Brighton you could be well on your way to getting your site up and running to where it needs to be.

If you’ve just had a new site built then IMHO you should have at least been told about some of the fundamentals of how your site was going to be constructed.

If your development company hasn’t factored SEO into your design then, well, I don’t want to depress you or anything but you’ve probably wasted a shed load of cash, needlessly, but that’s a post for a another day.

Getting good backlinks without spending fortunes

So assuming the best, assuming that your site has all the ingredients to do well in the search engine results pages (SERPs) then the next stage in the process would be to get those all important keyworded links for your target sales terms.

How can you get these? Well, you could always buy them, but that could well backfire on you. You could employ some blackhatter to go and spam a zillion blogs for you, but that’ll just create negative karma and come back and bite you on the arse, or you could do something relatively simple and generate things the natural way yourself. How? Simple,  install a blog.

Install a blog on your domain

Installing a blog is a breeze. WordPress is a great piece of kit. All it requires is some file space, an ability to edit .htaccess files (check with your host) and a database, usually mysql. There are at least a 1001 templates out there and plenty of good designers who’ll be happy to help you convert your blog to fit in with your existing website or even build you a new one.

Blogs are fantastic tools of communication. Who is the best person to talk about your goods and services? The answer should be you, or the head of your sales and marketing team, but then wait up a minute. What about the rest of your organisation? What about your distribution and purchasing teams, what about your direct sales teams, what about your customer services staff? Aren’t they all expert in what they do? Isn’t there someone within each of these spheres who can add a postive contribution or two?

Why blogging matters to your online promotion mix

Why am I even banging on about this?

Well, its Sunday, its sunny, I’m in a ‘state the obvious’ mindframe, I want to get the message out there that this Internet marketing stuff really can be very simple, its not so complicated you just have to do the right things and work at it a little.

Who promotes you in the offline world? What do you do, how do you do it?

Do you write press releases and hope they get picked up by mainstream media or local news agencies? Do you give your customers great service and after sales back up? Do you have direct lines of communication with past customers? Are you building those all important relationships?

Blogging  enables conversations

Bloggers are social creatures, they like to talk about each other and make reference to some of the things that others are saying – search engines too, those leviathans like Google for example are also interested in what bloggers have to say. They like the way in which bloggers link and discuss things. It gives them lots of diverse reference points to object and sites on the web that people like or have found useful, subsequently using this data to inform its SERPs and rank the websites within them, sites just like yours.

By blogging, you’ll link to others and cite good ideas and examples yourself. Others will link back to you, your domains authority will increase, your relevancy for your target terms will increase. Your customers will find you for an increasing number of keyword terms in the SERPs, they will feel reassured that your company is actively discussing and sharing what it is they do, you will be able to communicate your passion, your ethics, your ethos, launch new products and innovations in a heartbeat, create buzz and excitement in your marketplaces. 

Why wouldn’t you want to have a blog?

If you run a company and don’t have a blog, then either you aren’t really that serious about your company or you just don’t have a clue, or you just don’t want more sales, or you just…look, I can’t be convinced of any reason why you shouldn’t have a blog.

Just do yourself a huge favour and go and get one today.

What’s your tumbleweed ratio?

Just a bit of fun, let’s see you calculate your TR (tumbleweed rank) ratio and see what your score is.

TR? WTF am I on about?

 Well, how many times have you blogged on something and received less than 2 comments on your post? Why 2? Well, it might be you have a wife or a husband or a GF or a BF or a stalking loon who just happens to like anything you write and comments on anything and everything. If this is so, then sorry, but for the purposes of TR (tumbleweed rank) they just don’t count. Sure, so you may well have 2 adherents who love you bad and stuff, lucky or unlucky(dependant upon your view) you, most of us just have the one, or none even.

The measurement criterion is thus.

Count your last 3 months number of posts and then subtract the number of posts that were commented on. With the remainding number, calculate what this is as a percentage of your 3 month post rate.

If your % of non comment posts is less than 10% of your overall post rate then you are a TR1, 20% TR2,  30% TR3, etc  36%  would be a TR4 (rounded to the nearest multiple of 10)

So, in my case – Ive made 53 posts of which 23 received less than 2 comments. My blog therefore is currently TR4 (43.3% of my blog posts received no comments)

If you don’t have a big readership then the chances are you probably have had your fair share of no  response type blog posts. These might well have been savage rants brought on by some sub cerebal neurotic dysfunction, or the more likely scenario  might just be that your utterly crap post written with 1740’s pre georgian verve and panache, just failed to inspire. Perhaps they were the type of posts that just lost it, as in rambled on and on with no real point, other than the one you knew in your head, yet failed miserably to communicate to your readers.

Whatever the reason we’ve all made them, we’ve all heard that silent wind. If you have a TR of 5 or greater than I’d say that either you a) need to up your readership rate or b) need to seriously look at some of the stuff you are writing and make a big hmmn noise!

Cos I’m really sad, after easter I’m going to make a function that calculates it for you. I’ll release as the TR WP plugin 😀

It’ll have a little icon of some tumbleweed with a little face and a number. Just think,if you ever stumbled across a blog with TR5 or greater, then you could be a real sweetie and help them reduce their TR 😀 

Happy Easter all 🙂

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