Archive for the ‘Publishers’ Category

Three Easy-peasy Ways to Improve your SEO (and in turn your general well-being)

February 20th, 2014 by Sammy

Simplicity and ease of use. Simplicity and ease of use. It’s an SEO mantra that’s been echoed down the ages from Google itself, and a motto that needs to be applied to everything your site does to ensure it’s ranked in its rightful place according to the search engine big boys (we’re talking Google and Bing here, people). In my last post we had a look at how they sort sites as well as investigating some bad SEO practices. Let’s move on to the ones you should be using. They’re quick, simple, and quite honestly essential in the long journey to improving your page rank.

#1 Clean your act up: layout-wise, that is

For Google to understand the subtle nuances of your blog, you have to write in a way that a search engine can understand. To get a better idea of what you site looks like to Google, pop it (or any other website if you’re curious) in here: http://www.seo-browser.com/

As you can see, it’s stripped down to the barest bones possible. A search engine can’t understand pictures, or see anything made in Flash or Javascript, so all the indicators to what your page is about either need to be in text or incorporated into your cold, hard HTML or CSS.

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Source: marioanima

For this reason, y’all need to get your layouts in shape. First off, anything you’re using in your title tag needs to have what your blog’s subject in it (say,‘poptarts’), and preferably near the start of it (like: ‘Poptarts! A History of Speckled Awesome’). Anything over 75 characters is going to be skipped over. Not ideal. The rest of your code needs to be clear too. Your blog platform will usually sort this for you but if you have a self-hosted thing on the go, you need to clean out those old plug-ins, bits of useless code and irrelevant titles so the search engine can sift through your site as easily as possible.

As well as that, all your navigation needs to be easy to follow. It’s not only ever so frustrating for your site’s visitors to meet dead ends when they’re trying to find what they’re looking for, it will also confuse the spider trying to index your site, leaving it high and dry. Make convenient, common sense links within your site to make it searchable and SEO-magical.

#2 Write for your audience: not for machines

At last, here comes the content bit. Hurrah! First off, it’s super important to identify the keywords that your audience are using to find what you’re sharing so that audience can find you. There are various ways of doing this, including Google and Bing’s own offerings as well as some cracking online tools. It’s like looking into your searching audience’s miii-iiind. Spooky, fun and cool (shut up, SEO is totally cool). You might also find that doing this focuses the intention of your post, which is always a good shout.

Don’t get crazy carried away though! Writing with SEO in mind is important, but content is absolutely king. Ask yourself what your audience is going to be looking for when they search for your site, of course- but also ask yourself if that content is going to offer valuable, compelling information to the people you’re writing for. What we’re going for is clear but entertaining, something that provides information but is also remarkable enough to be shareable and a start to growing your reader base. Which leads happily on to…

#3 Self-promotion: it’s not the same as having a big head

Social links are becoming more and more important in the pursuit of SEO brilliance. A strong social media following marks you out as a legitimate source for whatever you’re peddling, be it burritos or beauty advice, and Google takes notice when you’re linked to as a great reference.

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So don’t be afraid to big yo’self up! Get tweeting, Facebooking and pinning that content. Confident, interesting feeds with a definite voice and something to offer will attract followers like ants to a picnic, and more people reading your stuff means it’s increasingly likely to be shared.

In a nutshell, these are the best basic guidelines to get your SEO in shape. Of course, there’s a plethora of research you can do into SEO that goes way deeper into the complexities (much like anything else on the internet), but following these guidelines will give you a fighting chance to be seen and heard by who counts.

The Benefits of Blogger Meet-Ups, and Bristol’s #BlogClub.

January 21st, 2014 by Sophie

The blogosphere. You either get it or you don’t. You either love it or are completely oblivious to it. You either experience something great and think “Boom! This will make a great post”, or you just ferry it away in your memories. Either way, if you’re reading this post then it’s likely that you are down with the world of blogs and understand the importance this world has to many. So for all those that believe in the word of ‘blog’, you’ll also understand the significance of that golden word ‘community’. This could be the following you accumulate with a well-maintained and informative blog, or the clan that you converse with through tweets/comments/hashtags – whatever tickles your communicating fancy.

photo The Benefits of Blogger Meet Ups, and Bristol’s #BlogClub.

Everyone knows the plus points of how a positively engaged online community impacts on your blogging, but what about taking this online community that you talk to safely behind your smart phone/iPad/computer (delete where appropriate) and making them real and physically in your face? Also known as a Blogger Meet-Up.

With the incredible expansion of blogging that now rages across the interwebs, the need to ramp up interactions and solidify communities has spawned these meet-ups, and they are now as casual and frequent as late-night dashes to the chicken shop.

But this isn’t just because online ‘friends’ are getting bored of being stuck behind their computers late at night behind their bedroom doors. There is so much more to blogger meet-ups than just an excuse to swig some cocktails and take some fancy photos (with a couple of filters applied) of fabulous blogger friends… although those activities usually occur and always guarantee a good time.

Regular meet-ups allow you to actually put faces to the names that you’ve been stalking in your RSS Feed for months (perhaps even years) and you get to be surrounded by a crowd of people who you know have a major hobby in common with you. Your online blog world is a time-consuming project that may leave you isolated from your everyday friends who live in a world where they think the word ‘blogging’ is Dutch for forest clearance. At least in this environment, you’ll be able to discuss about posting at peak traffic times or how many times you should tweet about your new post, without being received with confused glazed stares.
You may be a motley crew of eclectic styles and interests, but no matter what your background is you all share this one passion for blogging! Now if that’s not a conversation starter…. In saying this, what would you expect if you rounded up a bunch of talented bloggers and passionate writers? Not only are they able to connect and engage in person, but they create an instant bubbling resource of inspiration, motivation, tips, ideas and advice that streams forth from their wealth of experience.

SheandHem1 The Benefits of Blogger Meet Ups, and Bristol’s #BlogClub.

Here at Viral Ad Network, we understand the importance of bloggers and networks of communities, and being based in Bristol (which is frankly, THE creative hub of the southwest) we felt the need to help get some kind of meet-up flourishing for local bloggers. Our blog-obsessed Publisher Team joined forces with Hayley from ‘Bonjour, Blogger!’ to host the first #BlogClub in Bristol. We were astounded by the quality of blogger talent that attended, and it was such a success we are hoping that this will bring about a regular monthly meet-up.

But what is #BlogClub? The intention of #BlogClub is to help motivate, inspire, educate and improve bloggers. You may have been blogging since the dawn of the internet, or you may be a novice looking for help. Whichever you may be, these blogger meet-ups will be designed to help you improve or just provide a space to focus and blog your fingers to the bone. We’re hoping to have workshops, guest speakers or just Q&A time with established bloggers to get some advice to our age-old blogging questions. January’s #BlogClub was a general meet n’ greet to gauge the reaction to the idea, and since it was so well received we’ll be planning for more productive meet-ups in the future!

blogclub2 The Benefits of Blogger Meet Ups, and Bristol’s #BlogClub.

 So to all those who wake up thinking how their last blog post was received in Australia; to all those who sip tea whilst gleaning inspiration from twitter; to all those that have mastered simultaneously watching TV and their Google Analytics; get involved with your local blogger meet-ups! If none exist in your area, why not begin your own? Or if you’re in Bristol, get in contact.

Blogger Meet-Ups: Guaranteed to be refreshing and rewarding, and most of all they’re guaranteed to get you blogging better than ever.

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Many thanks to Hayley (Bonjour, Blogger!), Josephine (Style by Josephine), Lily (Lily Doughball), SJ (Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion), Laura (A Daisy Chain Dream) and Jo & Victoria (She and Hem – also credit to image 2)