January 20, 2011

How to turn off your blog readers

Filed under: Blogging — webtechbc @ 10:36 am

How to turn off your blog readers

Have you been blogging for a while but are not getting the traffic you want?. This is a list of common reasons why a reader may leave your site or be turned off from the content.

1. Pop-up Ads. Pop-up ads one of the biggest mistakes you can make on a blog. We all want to make money from our blogs, but a pop-up is the fastest way to lose a reader. When I see a pop-up, I don’t even give the website a chance. Good-bye. Most people I talk to about this have the same mindset.

2. Too much advertising. As stated in #1; we all want to make money from our blog. You may not have a pop-up ad but a lot of advertising can have the same affect in turning away visitors.

3. Bad Website font choices. Choosing the wrong font can do long term damage to your website. If your font is small, hard to read and condensed people will not return, even with great content. Make the website readable for everyone and everyone will be happy.

4. Content choices & Audience. Once you have chosen an audience and are getting traffic from it, stick to the content you have chosen. People will come to you because you are consistent about the content you write. It’s ok to go off topic now and then, but don’t make a habit of it.

5. Being negative all the time. People don’t want to read things that are negative or depressing all the time. If you are in the habit of doing this, say something negative and then put a positive spin on it.

6. Blog comment moderation. Turn off moderation. Let a spam plugin do the job. Respond to comments when you get them. Interact with your readers, build community and relationships.

7. Ignoring the blog. Create it and they will come. If you ignore it to long, people forget it’s there. You don’t have to create content everyday, but you should create it 2-3 times a week.

8. Over Promotion. Over promotion can turn off readers. If you use Social Media for example, keep your posts timely, once or twice a day is enough.

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November 10, 2010

SEO Tips for Photographers : Updated

Filed under: Photography,SEO,Wordpress — webtechbc @ 8:13 am

SEO Tips for Photographers using WordPress

Vancouver Public LibraryWant to drive traffic to your Photography website?

As a photographer I am always looking for new ways to drive traffic to my site. This is actually how I learned SEO. SEO is important for anyone with a website to know. Especially photographers. I live in Vancouver BC, a beautiful city where photographers are a dime a dozen.

There are some basic things you can do to improve your SEO and things you may over look.

Post Updates : 13/12/2010

When choosing a url or domain name : It’s fine to use your name but if you include photography or photo with your name it’s great for SEO. e.g. If I’m an event photographer in Vancouver, I might look for VancouverEventPhotographer.ca. You can look but I’ve already bought it. :) or if you are using your name for your brand you might use jonahlewisphotography.ca

Don’t worry as much about the length. Focus on whats available and what you want people to look for.

Host your website with a local company. If you are in Vancouver host your website with a local hosting company. While google local will do a lot for your business and you should get it listed there. If you are located in Vancouver and targeting customers in Vancouver, geotagging combined with a Local IP address will improve rank.

Other Ways you can improve rank :

1. Name your images. The above image is named vancouverpubliclibrary.jpg. You could also name it Library Square or something similar depending on what you are using it for. Always, always, always come up with a name for your image. Even if its Vancouver1.jpg this will drive keyword traffic to your site for the word Vancouver. Your image names become keyword tags.

2. Name your Blog post or page carefully. Stick to something similar to the content of your images. If you took photos at the Vancouver Public Library and are writing a blog post about it use it in the title. E.G. Vancouver Public Library Photos. Repeat the name in Alternate text and title text.

3. Include an H1 Tag. Repeat your title in the H1 tag. By having the page title, h1 tag and image name consistent you increase your keyword density on the page. The H1 tag is one of the first things a search engine sees after the URL.

4. Social Media Posting. When you post your work on twitter, facebook, friendfeed etc, always use the full URL. This way the link gets indexed. Load the front of your update with keywords that relate to the content. e.g. Photos of Vancouver Public library : (link here).

5. If you use flickr link to your blog, facebook page, twitter, etc. If you use a service like Flickr include links to your website. While flickr does include a nofollow tag, it still drives traffic to your content. In this case the links are all about promotion.

Vancouver Blog | Portfolio | Twitter | Like on Facebook

6. Use a plugin that allows you to edit post titles, descriptions and keywords. I like to use All in one SEO. Most of the time I will leave the title alone and enter a description. I copy the H1 heading and repeat it in the description.

7. Keep it consistant and keep doing it. Find ways to be creative with your posts. But keep the formating in place. e.g. Title, H1, Image Title, Description, Caption. Here’s an example of how I upload photos in a blog post and name them.

Dont forget to use the file path after you have uploaded the image. It’s under Link URL.

Wordpress Photographer SEO Tips

I’m always looking for ways to improve the SEO on my photography sites. If you know others please comment.

 

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November 1, 2010

Personal Branding

Filed under: Social Media — webtechbc @ 6:13 am

What I’ve learned about personal branding

If you run a blog / business and want to make it as an entrepreneur there are a few things I’ve learned that you need to do.

Its not enough to just be on social media.
You need a game plan. You need to network in person. When a person knows you or has met you, brand reach goes a lot further.

Get your name and what you do out there.
I run a Vancouver Blog that is getting requests to posts on local events. The main reasons for this include brand recognition and rank in my category. When I was on page five and pretty much ignored. Now that I’m closer to page 1 and getting my brand name out there I am getting more requests for posts. Part of this is also being flexible in what your brand offers. While its good to stick to what you are good at it’s also important to be flexible and willing to adapt your brand.

You need a website that performs well in search engines
Don’t over-look the important of good SEO on your entrepreneur website. Not only does it get your brand out there, people are more likely to recognize it when they see it on social media sites. I am not saying you need to be ranked 1st organically. A brand that is ranked high will go further in credibility then others.

Talk to people about what they are interested in.
Conversation is the most important thing to do in brand social media marketing. Without it you won’t get anywhere. You do not need a thousand friends attached to your brand. What you do need to do is make connections with people that share your brands value. Talk to them, about things that interest them. When you’ve established a relationship with someone connect with them on all of their social platforms. Comment on the blogs they run, re-tweet content for them. Market them: In turn they will market you if you have an existing relationship with them.

You don’t need thousands of followers.
There’s a myth in social media that you need a large network to go anywhere. Not true. A few close friends with a wide network can go a long way. You can also get a brand out there using techniques like hashtags to widen your reach. Getting listed also helps widen your reach. Weather it is a locally generated list or a brand specific list if someone put you on it they care about your content.

Be passionate about what you do.
If you don’t love what you do people will notice. Love what you do and your personal brand will go further.

Don’t over-market.
My final comment on this is to not over-market. There’s getting your brand name out there and there’s spam. It’s a very fline line that everyone needs to learn how to walk. I learned by seeing what other people are doing. I also keep timing in mind. Well timed blog posts tweted can generate a lot of traffic. But you have to know your audience to be able to do this properly. Post during peak periods and don’t repeat the post to many times.

Being flexible is one of the most important aspects of personal branding. Be willing to learn and adjust your techniques as you go. If you don’t love what your doing, enjoy social media or find it hard, do something else. Being positive and showing people you love what you do and produce will make your brand noticeable.

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October 1, 2010

Social Media Job Hunting

Filed under: Employment,Job Search — webtechbc @ 7:32 am

More Tips on using Social Media to Job Hunt

Social media and job hunting are new to each-other. Using social media to find a job is slowly becoming mainstream. If you have not explored job hunting options through Twitter,Facebook, LinkedIn, I have some tips for you to use.

Update your profile
Let people in your network know you are looking for work. Updating your profile is the first step. Be professional and to the point. “Web Designer looking for work in Vancouver”. Insert your own field in place of web designer. You could include how many years of experience you have as well. Updating your profile applies to all social networks, Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, etc.

Tweak your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn.com is a valuable resource. When someone searches for your name on google one of the first things to appear is a LinkedIn profile. Be specific. Re-create your resume. If you don’t have a website a LinkedIn profile is your online resume. Have business cards printed and include your profile on them. You might say you can’t afford it, but there’s lots of services that do it inexpensively. Like http://moo.com which even prints mini business cards.

Seek out Connections in LinkedIn
Ideally people you have worked with. Volunteer organizations count as well. The ideal connection is someone who is willing to give you a recommendation. Connections with a wide network are also good for getting your name out there.

Join LinkedIn Groups & Answers
By joining groups on LinkedIn you can make it be known that your looking for work. Groups are also a place to find job postings. Rather then going through the main job board a lot of companies will post jobs in the groups. Share your knowledge. Answer questions people have, if you have the answer. LinkedIn answers is als a good place to share your knowledge.

Update your status on Facebook
Facebook is another social media site you can use for job hunting. Before you do though consider changing some of your privacy settings. Consider the content you post on facebook. Do you want potential employers to see it? If yes you can leave it as is. If no, change your privacy settings. Only allow friends to see most of your content. You can make it be known you are looking for work on facebook, and word of mouth is a great way to job hunt.

Using twitter for job hunting
Tweet your LinkedIn profile or website. Find local hashtags or industry hashtags to use. You could even combined them. E.G. #vancouver #webdesign #socialmedia #yvr etc, etc.

Don’t over tweet that you are looking for work. You could mention it a couple of times a day, but be creative in how you tweet it. No one wants to be spammed, and most will remember the first time you tweet it.

Don’t connect your twitter to linkedin. Update linked in on its own. Do connect your blog, if you have one to LinkedIn. Post about your experience, type of work you are looking for, and share your knowledge.

Go to tweetups and take a business card! Tweetups are a fantastic networking resource. It not only gets the word out that you are looking. If you make contacts and they know someone that is looking they will mention you. Having a business card with a website / resume profile is important though.

These are a few of the techniques I used the last time I looked for work.

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August 20, 2010

Twitter SEO Tips

Filed under: SEO — webtechbc @ 9:01 am

If you didnt already know, Google index’s tweets. This is a good reason to be very specific when you tweet url’s & blog posts. Not only does twitter get indexed, it also creates an inbound link to your website, for your target seo titles. I’m going to tweet this post after I write it. Rather then saying New Blog post – Twitter SEO Tips with a url in the tweet. A better way would be, Twitter SEO Tips, Blog post and the url.

As you can see from my google search the third item that comes up from @webtechbc is my twitter account. It’s a good idea to optimize your profile as well. As an example mine is… Vancouver SEO, Web Design & Photography. I’m also @photodreamz http://blog.photodreamz.net

The website link is Webtechbc.com. I state clearly what I do in the first few characters so that google finds this on my profile. I also include a back-link to my other blog with-in the profile. You will see from the image below that my twitter profile comes up in the top three searches for my website name.

Twitter SEO

Twitter SEO

Keep your character length in mind as well when you tweet a url. You never may who may want to re-tweet you. If you leave room for them it makes it easier. I try to leave 15 to 20 characters of space as an example.

Tweet other people’s blog posts, and they will likely do the same for you. Bit.ly is a great tool for tracking stats on posts. If you tweet url’s regularly you can see who is linking to you, and return the favor, by tweeting the posts on their blog. Don’t forget to hashtag your tweet. If I have an interesting SEO article I might use #seo or photographs of Vancouver? #vancouver #photography. Using hashtags help to drive traffic to your tweets and blog post.

While lots of people know the advantages of promoting your site on twitter, I see very few people do it properly. A few small adjustments to your tweeting can do wonders for your seo.

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December 19, 2009

Increase Website Statistics Using Twitter

Filed under: Twitter,Web Design — webtechbc @ 8:11 pm

Do you use twitter to increase your website statistics?

Have a twitter badge on the top right of the screen with some basic info can help increase website traffic.

Include your business name / website / and what you do.

Here is an example…

Twitter Badge on your background to increase stats

Twitter Badge

Here is an example of the direct results…

Google Analytics stats direct traffic increase of 34% last week

Twitter badge to increase seo traffic

Stats increased 34% for the week.

If you want a fixed background image set the width to 2000px wide. Its a good idea to test your background image on a smaller screen to make sure its readable. A lot of people use netbooks now with a screen size of 1024. Something to keep in mind.

You can see a live example on my @Photodreamz Twitter account.

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