When most marketers think about pay-per-click (PPC) ads, they think of Google first. In turn, marketers are likely to mention Google Adwords, the largest and one of the oldest advertising platforms on the Internet.
Recently a client asked me to help him define exactly how many keywords should be placed in a page. He is an experienced copywriter and marketer, but the idea of writing for both human and machine (search engines) was just not something he was very comfortable doing without further direction.
Practical blog design means powerful business in 2015. Every aspect of blog design is important for business. Most savvy business owners and entrepreneurs not only recognize the need for a powerful and effective online presence, they also acknowledge the importance of the kind of brand awareness a good website will bring. An effective blog design needs to be mobile-friendly. It needs to be readable with a logical, flowing layout. It needs to have content that provides value to the reader.
Blog Design Essentials for Business
There’s no real need in stressing the magnitude of using a blog for business. Although we don’t blog as often as we know we should; and although we don’t have two seconds to squeeze between this meeting and that phone call, we know that blogging provides a dimensionality that the company website alone just doesn’t carry. It puts a face on the company. It humanizes the leadership. Blogging reaches out and touches the customers as well as the employees. People don’t buy from businesses, companies or corporations. People purchase goods and services from people.
Blogging is more than just sitting down and writing a blog post. Good blog design, its layout and presentation, says quite a bit about who you are and how you represent your business. A “practical” blog design doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a simple, single page layout with dark gray pixels on a white screen. Practical means sensible; in other words, the blog design, the content you include, and the little extras you provide, which supports what you’ve written, are all a part of the total package. Your blog decisions should be as deliberate as your choice for web design or even the elements of your next sales campaign.
This article aims to provide you a few tips so your blog can have a little extra something-something to turn your readers into regulars, your regulars into faithful clients and happy customers ready to bring out and sing forth your praises.
Decisive Blog Design Elements that Pop
The actual, visual features of blog design, its layout, are often placed in the hands of a reputable web design company. Hey, I’m all for that. Personally, whether your business is small, medium or large, I say outsource the work. Leave it to the professionals, folks who do it all the time— everyday— because they know how to make us look our best… and can do it in far less time than you or me.
Nevertheless, today the economy is such that situations and circumstance may force you to go with the blog design and the general layout you currently have until your budget allows for some changes or makeovers. If this is the case for you, here are a few suggestions to help your current blog design pop and sizzle…
One element that will enrich your current blog design is the use of video clips. The written word is most certainly important. Your text is the cornerstone of your blog; however, an occasional embedded video will not only add value to your reader’s experience, it can amplify, even magnify your web presence. Not too long ago, I introduced a few simple video clips to one of my blogs, one per week, with articles posted on the average of 7 per month. After introducing videos, my traffic increased by 35% over the next three months afterward. Sales also increased by 12-15%. Quality video software and supplies can be found in abundance on the internet these days, so this should be well in the reach of anyone; moreover, YouTube and Vimeo are just two of the more popular venues you can use to host your business videos.
Audio clips are especially useful tools and you can use them to enhance your blog design. One-to-three-minute sound bites can go a long way to give your blog visitors something to think about long after they’ve left your site. Radio “jingles” and advertising slogans in the 1930s through 1950s were extremely effective in keeping the name of a product and its benefits ringing in the ears and resonating in the minds of radio listeners, increasing the likelihood of purchases when they were in the stores.
Finally, use images in your blog posts; but not just any image. They must be good, quality images that are relevant to your article at hand. Sure, we’ve all heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s true. Yet, you and I know, as business owners and entrepreneurs, that just doesn’t apply to marketing or good business. An image used all by itself can be perceived with a thousand words that has nothing to do with your business, your product or services, or you as the owner. It must have the context of the content your provide in words. A properly selected image can amplify the focus and intent of your blog topic, thus making the image a powerful tool.
A visitor to your blog should have a good reason for staying to read your blog and return as a loyal reader of your blog. A good blog design that supplements the text with well-chosen, associated elements, as those mentioned above, will make every blogging endeavor a rewarding experience. By using video, audio, and quality images, your business blog will enjoy a rush of new visitors and customers because your blog design will pop.
The rapid change of technology that enforces innovation from every quarter of this industry is overwhelming. We dogpaddle to keep afloat in the waves of our own marketing niche of the Internet oceans. Those of us who “swim” in this space know that we constantly need to follow new techniques to keep from sinking. But what about the casual user, and how do they interact within this ever shifting and expanding space? It is amazing how the general populace casually surfs these upsurges almost expertly. They are barely aware of, if at all, the churning digital seas around them. Read more
After a heated discussion over the use of analytics, it struck me that the metrics are the least of our worries. Weighing the value of the various metrics and aligning them to KPIs is more important than the metrics themselves. The data must have meaning and a purpose of action. Time on page and bounce rate numbers are only meaningful if we dive deeper into these numbers with appropriate A/B testing. The goal is to use that data to find out elements that are successful or those that need tweaking.
With affordable CMS software, it becomes much easier to change out page layout and information without needed the help of developers. But this fact can also be a double-edged sword. Since we have so much control over content, we may feel the need to change out everything – instead of focusing on micro changes to improve site analytics. Going rogue on a page may be death to conversions and sales.
The best solution is to take a page that works and recreate it for A/B testing. One page may include micro-changes to content such as headlines, images, or inclusion of bullet points. Even visual elements such as beveling a button may impact conversion rate. Make sure to record the changes as a means of building a greater understanding of your customer.
Here is an interesting link that discusses “Call To Action” buttons and SEO: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/call-to-action-buttons-guidelines-best-practices-and-examples/
As an online marketer, it would be an expensive mistake to dismiss the growing source of revenue derived from digital programs across multiple mobile channels. One such channel of mobile engagement is the use of mobile coupons (m-coupons). Read more