I taught a class over the weekend called “Marketing Websites & Blogs on a Shoestring”. (Yes, I’m aware that a blog is a website but not everyone is clear on that. So, to reach the most people and also include both keywords, I chose to call it that.) In class, I covered several topics including showing up in the free organic searches as well as a quick overview of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising with Google AdWords and a very brief overview of using Google Analytics to track what is working for you and what isn’t.
The 3-Second Rule of Grabbing Your Visitor’s Attention
One of the topics that I bring up in this class is that marketing your site and getting people to visit your site is the 1st step but unless you immediately grab their attention (the dreaded 3-second rule) and get them to stay on your site long enough to see your call to action, your efforts have been futile.
In addition to having a clean neat design with plenty of white space and your most important content viewable without having to scroll, your site needs to look professional, be free of spelling errors and be grammatically correct. Oh, being keyword rich and loading quickly is a must too.
Google Panda & the Importance of Optimization
Optimizing your site to load quickly is increasingly important now that Google Panda (their latest algorithm change) was released. (Not sure what Google Panda is? Basically, it’s Google’s algorithm that targets “quality” content.)
Since I recently had written a post on “Tips for Optimizing Photos and Graphics for Your Blog”, I inserted a slide of that graphic and explained the importance of alt-tags, alternate text, and keywords in your title and description. All of these fields help search engines find your web page and increase your chances of your site showing up in those coveted free organic search results.
I once advised a blogger to go back and re-size all of the photos on her blog. She was promoting her photography and it was absolutely gorgeous but she had uploaded the print sizes of all of her photos rather than resizing them and compressing them for the web. It was definitely affecting her blog performance. (Turns out, that she had recently moved her blog and her once optimized images were no longer re-sized. I suspect she had been relying on the software to re-size her images rather than uploading the compressed photos herself.)
Over to You:
Since it was a 2 hour class, I covered a lot more than just the importance of optimizing your site and keeping your website visitors’ attention. Stay tuned and I’ll be writing more tips. Meanwhile, although no one’s time is really “free”. (Time may be our most valuable asset and it shouldn’t be wasted.) I believe that if I can find ways to keep visitors coming back and staying longer by tweaking my blog posts myself in my spare time, why not? At least, I’m not opening up my wallet. So, that’s free enough to me. What sort of tweaks do you do to your blog to spruce it up? Do you ever go back to your old posts and spend a few minutes tweaking them and then promote them again?