16 Tools to Turbo Boost Your Blogging Process

Do you blog regularly?

Are you looking for tools to make the process easier?

Blogging is hard work and it takes a lot of time to do it well. Wouldn’t it be great if you could streamline parts of that process?

In this article, you’ll find a list of tools, apps and advice you can use to find your groove and take care of blogging business.

#1: Brainstorm Blogging Ideas

When you need inspiration for your next blog post, where do you go? You can avoid blogger’s block by trying out these idea-generators to quickly get your creative juices flowing.

How to Use Quora to Cook Up Great Content: Adrienne Erin writes a pretty inspiring post about scanning Quora to find popular conversations and using those topics to create blog content.

Don’t Know What to Write About? Get Ideas From the Blog Topic Generator [Free Tool]: Ginny Soskey introduces HubSpot’s handy new topic generator. You simply put in three terms (nouns) you’d like to blog about and the tool spits out several topics. Of course, the topics aren’t always 100% perfect, but you can tweak them to make them work for you.

Let HubSpot help you find a topic to write about.

Need a Google Alerts Replacement? Meet TalkWalker: Since the future of Google Alerts is unknown, this alternative tool, suggested by Gary Price, might do the trick.

SearchEngineLand.com shares Google Alert alternatives.

#2: Get Organized to Be Productive

You have ideas, but now what? Keep track of them and organize your thoughts with cool online tools you can access from anywhere. Check out these resources that help you manage your ideas so you can make the most of your time.

How to Use Evernote as a Blogger: Michael Hyatt kills it in this timeless post where he shares his personal workflow using Evernote. His suggestion for setting up a blog template in Evernote is definitely worth the click.

MichaelHyatt.com walks you through using Evernote.

15 Tips & Tricks to Get More Out of Google Drive: If you’re not using Google Drive, you’ll be surprised how much you can get out of it! Brian Voo’s article introduces some cool ways to use Google Drive to do everything from mind-mapping to editing images.

How to Use Google Calendar to Create an Editorial Calendar: The best way to keep track of your ideas is an editorial calendar. Some people use spreadsheets, others use pen and paper. Rebecca Livermore explains why you should switch to Google Calendar and even gives you a step-by-step guide for getting started.

Learn to use Google Calendar as an editorial tool on AmyPorterfield.com.

#3: Optimize Your Content

Keywords not only help readers find you, they can also help you flesh out your post ideas. If you don’t know much about SEO (and really, even if you do), check out these posts that give you tips and advice about tools that can get you started.

Google Keyword Planner: The Ultimate Guide: Ask Ian Cleary any question about social media tools and he’ll write you an “Ultimate Guide.” So if you’re wondering about the ultimate tool for keyword research, look no further than his outstanding post about Google’s Keyword Planner.

Find out how to use Google’s Keyword Planner from RazorSocial.com.

Get SEO Tips When You Need Them: For novice bloggers who aren’t sure how SEO works, Matthew Tschoegl does a great job introducing InboundWriter’s WordPress plugin. It’s basically a “consultant on your dashboard.” It’s a paid plugin, but definitely check it out to see if it’s a fit for you.

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO: Moz is the SEO site. Their guide has been downloaded over a million times! That’s a good sign that it’s info you need. Even seasoned bloggers will learn a thing or two.

There’s a great SEO walkthrough on Moz.com.

#4: Find or Make Your Own Images (Fast!)

You know how important compelling images are for your blog, but it’s not always easy or cheap to find them. These articles show you how to find copyright-free images or make stunning graphics of your own!

How and Why I Use Photo Pin to Find Free Images for My Blog: John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing explains why he stopped using iStockphoto, Shutterstock and other image sites and started using Photo Pin. Be careful—you might be persuaded to change your mind too!

DuctTapeMarketing.com shares an image finding option.

Tool for Screenshots: Awesome Screenshot: If you’re still trying to capture screenshots using Command-Shift-3 or -4, stop! There’s a better way. Check out this simple demonstration by Amy Lynn Andrews.

How to Make a Banner for Your Blog Using Gimp (for free!): If you’ve ever wondered how to make cool banners and incorporate them into your blog post, this article by Karen Lewis of Simply Amusing Designs illustrates (complete with screenshots) how it’s done. Give it a try—it’s not difficult at all. [NOTE: This site is in construction until 2/28/14. Check the link next week.]

Creating a Header Image for Your BlogPicMonkey is an awesome free site (with a premium subscription option) to create and edit photos for your blog. Julie DeNeen, from Fabulous Blogging, also offers more advanced tips in her post, 10 Design Tips Using PicMonkey That You Might Not Know About!

Learn how to use PicMonkey over on FabulousBlogging.com.

#5: Tell the World

After all of the hard work of writing and optimizing your blog post, you’d better make sure everyone in your network sees it and shares it with their friends too. Here are some nifty tools and guides to help your blog post go that extra mile.

5 Social Sharing Plugins Reviewed: Dan Norris lays it all out with “what we like” and “what we don’t like” about five popular sharing plugins. Now you’ll know what to expect before jumping in.

Explore some great plugins on WPCurve.com.

Need a New Tool? 3 Social Sharing Tools That Do Something Specific: I like how Amanda DiSilvestro emphasizes the “do something specific” aspect of these tools. Indeed, these three tools are so specific you’ve probably never heard of them, but you should definitely give them a whirl.

Moz.com shares sharing tools.

The Essential Guide to Content Sharing: Yes, another Ian Cleary article (because he’s the tool guru, remember?). This time Ian’s “Ultimate Guide” includes 13 tools you can use to get the word out about new posts. Some of the tools you’ve seen, some you haven’t and some you should probably use more. Definitely check this one out.

What do you think? Which of these tools have you tried? Please share your experience in the comment box below.

Borrowed Relevance: How to Engage Your Audience When You Have a Boring Brand

“There are two kinds of brands – brands that people talk about and brands that people don’t talk about.” ~ Josh Bernoff, Forrester Research Analyst and co-author of Groundswell.

Sexy brands (Apple, Facebook, and Harley Davidson) are ‘talked about’ brands – they sell themselves. Boring brands are tough because people don’t care about them. Marketers of such brands have to figure out how to get people talking about something they really don’t care about.

Is there a way around this?

The answer is “Yes!’ Borrowed relevance is a fairly new concept proposed by Josh Bernoff, in which he suggests that boring brands must encourage people to talk about something – even though the conversation is not about the brand itself.

There are several ways to do this:

  • One way is to identify your organization’s core values and then start a conversation about them. Those values might be community, work-life balance, diversity or empowerment. Liberty Mutual (from the boring category of insurance) launched the Responsibility Project as “the place to discuss doing the right thing.” By creating a platform where moral decision-making was the trending topic , Liberty Mutual shrouded themselves in relevance and (more importantly) social conversation.
  • Another way is to invite your community to talk about their own set of circumstances. Johnson & Johnson for example created a Facebook page for mothers with ADHD kids. They figured that they couldn’t spark an engaging conversation about their ADHD drug. But they correctly concluded that sufferers of the ailment (and their families) have their own set of interesting problems and why not talk about that? Their Facebook audience is a whopping 19,000 fans strong!
  • The other way that ‘borrowed relevance’ could be applied is to start a conversation about an entirely different brand with the intention of ‘borrowing’ some of their appeal for yourself. In 2007 Doritos invited customers to create their own Superbowl ads –  Turns out, that Superbowl (or any ad contest for that matter) are more exciting concepts than corn chips.

So if you’re a business that’s selling a product that doesn’t generate much interest, then the key is to borrow something that is relevant to people (topic, issue or concept), create a platform to discuss it while treading lightly on your own branding. This way, you will be able to identify your own (few) brand enthusiasts who will become very influential in spreading the word about your organization.

9 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Content Marketing Consultant

Hiring the right content marketing consultant is a significant business decision. Ideally you want someone with whom you will enjoy a great working relationship, but you also want to make sure that the person has experience, vision and business knowledge.

Here are 9 questions to ask yourself when vetting your potential hire.

#1. How much content marketing experience do they have?

To be a consultant of anything, you need a set amount of experience. But with content marketing, the concept, the talent, and the technology are all new (even though the practice of telling stories to promote a business is not).

If you consider that veteran content marketers have been at it for about 10 to 12 years now, that means the majority of consultants have much, much less than that. It’s important to keep this in mind as you decide whether you will hire based on experience.

#2. Do they understand the basics of content marketing?

Even more important than experience (I think) is the understanding of what content marketing is. Most organizations are still confused by the term, so it is even more important that the consultant is able to educate authoritatively on this subject. For instance they should know the difference between content marketing and social media, or similar subjects such as inbound marketing, and digital marketing.

#3. Do they understand the business value of content marketing?

Your potential consultant should also understand that content marketing is business marketing. She should be able to connect the dots between the creation and distribution of relevant content with the achievement of tangible business goals such as customer acquisition and retention, increased sales, reduced marketing costs and even operational efficiencies.

#4. What type of content marketing campaigns have they initiated in the past?

You want to see what kind of content marketing projects your potential consultant has done in the past so that you can evaluate her effectiveness as a professional. Her portfolio is a good indicator of where her core strengths lie and whether her past experience is a good match for your organization’s needs.

#5. How much do they value measurement of content marketing strategy?

The old adage ‘what can’t be measured, can’t be managed’ rings true for content marketing as well. A consultant who neglects measurement tactics cannot be trusted to steer you in the right direction. Find out what methods she has employed in the past for measuring content marketing and watch out for ambiguous answers as these spell major weaknesses in her strategy.

#6. Does their personality match your needs?

People do business with those they know, like and trust. Spend some time getting to know your potential consultant and dig deeper by asking questions that reveal her personality. Ask her how she would handle specific situations. Remember that a consultant is responsible for guiding your business. Be sure that you choose someone you can trust, respect and generally feel comfortable with.

#7. Do you have a common connection or referral?

How did you connect with your potential hire? It’s a wise idea to choose someone who has been recommended by a friend or peer. This way you can find out more information from the one who referred her, and cross-check the information that she has given you about herself.

#8. Do they use content marketing themselves?

The seller has to believe in the product they are selling. So when choosing a content marketing consultant, be sure to check that she is practicing content marketing herself. Does she have a consistent blog, does she send out a regular newsletter, does she use social media, what kind of online communities does she belong to? Remember, consultants are business owners too and they should practice what they preach.

#9. What’s your gut feeling?

After all is said and done, what is your gut feeling about this person? Does she make you feel uncomfortable? Do you trust her? If something doesn’t feel right, your best bet is to ditch her and start over. Trust your intuition to guide your decision and try not to second-guess yourself.

Over to you: I feel like I’ve missed something. What other questions would you add to this list?

Using Data to Create Healthcare Narratives

I mentioned in a previous post that “important stories live in our data”.

Particularly in healthcare where tons of data abound.

The problem is that healthcare is not producing enough good stories to support decision-making in the industry.

Instead what we have is an explosion of reports, spreadsheets, charts and tables such as this:

For most people this kind of data is useless and invites lots of questions: What is this? What is happening? Why? What do we do with it?

But if you can translate it into a narrative or make it visual so that people are able to understand it then it becomes useful. Even physicians and decision-makers in the industry could use easier ways to understand this kind of data.

Something like this infographic below makes more sense (not related to above data-set):

Use visualizations not data to communicate important messages

This infographic provides a clear narrative about childhood injuries. The information is easily understandable, usable and actionable. There is no danger of jumping to the wrong conclusion.

But healthcare organizations continue to produce a ton of data hoping to glean meaningful insights that will help their decision making. Even when their own employees don’t have the skills to translate the data. Hence mountains of data heap up without a clear direction as to how it can be used.

Data Democratization

I don’t think you have to be a data scientist to handle data. Technologies such as Google Fusion, Adobe Illustrator, Tableau and others are empowering all kinds of people to interpret data and present it to others.

In fact I recently enrolled in the Knight Center of Journalism’s second massive open online course (MOOP), ‘Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization.’ The course is taught by Prof. Alberto Cairo, author of ‘The Functional Art.’ We’re learning how to create data visualizations and to discover hidden stories from data.

This week for example I learned a simple approach to storytelling through data from Andy Kirk’s book, Data Visualization: A Success Design Process (A great resource for data enthusiasts!). Here’s the outline:

#1. Scan the data

Let’s say you’re presented with the following table of data (click to enlarge) and are asked to create a story for your audience. The table is titled, ‘Frequencies of Circulatory Diseases Among the U.S. Adult Population’:

The first thing you would do is to scan it with your eyes and see if anything interesting stands out. For example I see that hypertension is the most common type of circulatory disease in the United States.

#2. Examine the data

Next try to become more familiar with the data by examining some descriptive and statistical elements. For example there are two main variables in the table above. One for Selected Demographic and the second for Frequency of Selected disease. Also there are four demographic categories – age, gender, ethnic group and level of education. This exercise helps you to see important attributes in the data.

#3. Contextualize the subject matter

Prepare the data in a way that gives more insight. For example you could find some co-relations and do some calculations to produce percentages of frequency. In this case you discover that 25% of U.S. adults suffer from hypertension. At this point you may (or may not) start to sense the beginnings of a story.

#4. Develop editorial focus

To start shaping the story ask yourself some basic questions about the data. ‘What initially crossed my mind when I first saw the data? What kind of trends or patterns do I see? What kind of analysis might be relevant to my audience? Let your imagination roam and seek ideas that will make your content more interesting.

#5. Find a visual representation

Next you will need to focus on a data visualization that will answer these questions. It could be a bar chart, a bubble map or an infographic like the one above. The key thing is to create a visual from which the audience can perceive a story easily, efficiently and accurately.

Quick Wrap-up

No body wants to waste time pouring over meaningless data.

Time is money and (healthcare) decision makers have little of it. For them insights gained from data are more beneficial than the data itself. I believe they should explore available technologies (such as those mentioned above) to empower their employees to work with data. I know that stories resonate and visuals stick. This is one way to turn all that complex data into something people can use to make important decisions.

Your Turn: How is your organization using data to help fuel decision making? Are you first translating it into narrative form? Please share your views in the comment box below.

3 Steps to Building Patient Personas for Content Marketing

In content marketing and social media you want to make sure you’re engaging with the right people.

So for example an OB-GYN practice using Facebook, Twitter, and a blog to bring in more patients should make sure they’re engaging with women of child-bearing age within their geographical area. They shouldn’t bother having conversations with young men, or people living across the country.

If you’re marketing this particular practice you’ll need to consider the different types of patients to target: pregnant and non-pregnant women; married and single mothers; middle aged women and teen-aged girls and so on.

The point is you want to have a crystal-clear understanding of your community in order to have relevant conversations with them, inform, educate and seek their trust.

That level of understanding comes from building patient personas.

What is a patient persona?

A patient persona represents a cluster of patients within a particular service line, who have the same health needs, exhibit the same behavioral patterns, attitudes, lifestyle choices, motivations and even use of technology.

So for example a quick analysis of Type 2 diabetic patients at an inner-city hospital in Baltimore may show that they are typically over 45, obese or over-weight, do not exercise, have high-blood pressure, are members of certain racial or ethnic groups, and spend a lot of time on their smart phones.

How do you get such detailed information about patients?

Keep reading…

How patient personas are built (step-by-step)

#1. Conduct interviews

Conduct one-on-one interviews using a ‘large enough’ sample (based on your resources) of the targeted audience. Ideally the interview would be a frank and friendly conversation, lasting about 30 minutes, and aimed at gathering the following information:

  • Demographics (age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, education, and so on.)
  • Service line e.g. gynecology or obstetrics
  • Stage in patient life-cycle
  • Challenges or frustrations
  • Health needs and interests
  • Digital use frequency (i.e. how often a person uses search or social media)
  • Healthcare digital use frequency (i.e. how often a person uses search or social media to access healthcare content)
  • Preferred healthcare content delivery format (i.e. digital, print, audio, video etc.)
  • General narrative about the patient’s life circumstances
  • And more.

#2. Organize the data

Once you’ve gathered all this data, divide into 2 or 3  groups that display similar characteristics. For the OB-GYN practice one group might be for married, pregnant women planning for a C-section. Another group might be for young, single women who are sexually active, but do not want to get pregnant. Each of these groups is a persona.

Keep in mind though that the number of personas you build depends on the number of service lines. A cancer center may have more than eight personas to fit the different types of cancer patients (breast, lung, skin, colon etc.) and their care givers.

#3. Summarize personas

Summarize each persona in a worksheet. Give your persona a label such as ‘Teenaged Tina’ or ‘Expectant Elizabeth’ and stick a fictitious picture at the top of the worksheet. Labels and pictures are useful for characterization and clarity when communicating with your content marketing team. Remember that you cannot use real names or photos as this violates patient privacy according to HIPAA regulations.

So the next time you sit down to write an article about teenage pregnancy, ask yourself “What would Teenaged Tina want to know about this subject? Review ‘her’ persona and then write an article that addresses specific needs or frustrations without dispensing specific medical advice.

Over to you: Need help building patient personas for your content marketing program? Let’s talk. Shoot me an email at patricia@wordviewediting.com

DHC issues 7 Healthcare Social Media Guidelines

“We’re not going to sit around as you drag your feet on the issue of healthcare social media content,” is what the DHC (Digital Health Coalition) appears to be telling the FDA.

Tired of waiting for the government agency to provide much-needed and long-awaited social media guidance to healthcare digital marketers, DHC (a group of 60 drug and digital health industry organizations led by Marc Brad, formerly of Manhattan Research) – have taken it upon themselves to get the job done.

DHC issues much-needed healthcare social media guidelines

In a meeting that took place in NYC on February 6, 2012 the group which includes big pharma names such as Merck, Roche, AstraZeneca, Lilly, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, along with partnering agencies, Edelman and Digitas Health issued 7 Social Guiding Principles for digital healthcare marketers:

#1. Participate in Social Media

Regulated healthcare companies should endeavor to participate in social media as a means to promote public health, improve patient outcomes and facilitate productive patient-doctor relationships.

#2. Regulated companies not responsible for user-generated content

Regulated healthcare companies are not responsible for user-generated content online that they do not control. Regulated healthcare companies are deemed to “control” health and medical content if:

  • it owns such health and medical content and has material editorial authority or
  • it paid for the creation of such content and has material editorial authority over such content.

#3. Adverse events reporting guidelines

Regulated healthcare companies have a responsibility to report adverse events they become aware of. Regulated healthcare companies should follow the existing adverse event reporting rules in place at the FDA.

#4. Employee disclosure

Employees of regulated healthcare companies should disclose their material company relationship when posting comments/content or engaging in an online conversation relating to a company product or relevant healthcare issue.

#5. Timely communication response

Regulated healthcare companies should endeavor to respond to questions on sites they control within a reasonable period of time, and to implement reasonable measures to enable timely responses to crisis and emergency situations.

#6. Correct misinformation

Regulated healthcare companies should endeavor to make reasonable efforts to correct misinformation that is factually incorrect.

#7. Represent best interests of online patients

Regulated healthcare companies should endeavor to appoint employee(s) tasked with the role of “patient liaison” focused on representing the best interests of the patient online.

Key Takeaway

The idea behind this initiative was to get the conversation started about how the healthcare industry can evolve in the area of social media content. But it’s also a bold and admirable way of telling the government, “It’s not your job to tell us how to use social media to market our products.”

Given the feeble and failed attempt that the FDA made last December to respond to this issue, I believe DHC has positioned themselves as the guiding force in this important discussion.

What do you think: Will these guidelines issued by DHC change the conversations about healthcare social media or will the FDA have their say on the matter?

7 Ways to Create Content That Pulls Prospects In

The biggest challenge that all content marketers face is creating a steady flow of compelling content that attracts and retains customers and prospects at every stage of their buying cycle. (Source: Content Marketing Institute/ MarketingProfs)

The problem is that there is so much competing content on the Internet that it’s difficult for content marketers to cut through the noise and say something interesting that will cause people to stop and take note.

In this insightful article by Heidi Cohen of Content Marketing Institute, she introduces 7 ways to develop content that will pull in those prospects, meet their content needs, and do so at exactly the right time that they’re ready to receive it! Heidi understands completely the road-blocks that content creators face on a day-to-day basis and she offers valuable solutions to this universal problem.

Find out how to make this happen for you by reading the full article…

How People Search for Online Healthcare content

There’s three things that you should understand about your searchers on the Internet:

#1.They are impatient! They will not waste time wading through pages and pages of results after their first query. They want the best results in the shortest amount of time.

#2. Generally they don’t go beyond the first page of the SERP. They would much rather refine their search than go through more pages of less relevant results.

#3. They search for content in three different ways:

Navigational search

A navigational search has a very specific query

Your searcher is expecting only one result and their query has a very specific and targeted intent. They’ve visited your website before or they know that your organization exists. And so they go straight to your website by entering the url e.g. ‘bmsi.org’ or they Google the term ‘baltimore medical system’.

Informational search

Here your searcher is doing some kind of research (e.g. for high-blood pressure treatment) and is not sure exactly what they will find. Their query might produce articles, drug information, images, video clips, and a variety of other content. Your searcher may or may not find all this content relevant but will still wade through some of it as he tries to determine what he needs.

Transactional search

Your searcher is looking for some kind of interaction on the Internet. He may want to buy a book, join a discussion forum, or find directions to your facility. In this case the searcher is looking for a very specific kind of interaction and is willing to take the time to explore different sites until he finds it.

How search engines respond

In all three cases, the searcher has an idea of what he is looking for and he has some expectation of the kind of content that will satisfy him.

On the other side of the equation is the search engine (Google), whose goal is to find the most relevant content for your searcher’s query. Search engines understand that people want the latest news and the most recent content.

As they set out to determine the most relevant content for a person’s query, they analyze and measure the updating activity on websites across the Internet! The more frequently a website is updated, the more often the search engine checks back to see what’s new.

Sites such as Yahoo!Health and WebMD are analyzed continuously because they’re updated constantly. Hence the frequency of attention from search engines reduces as website content remains static. To the search engine this is a sign that the site is irrelevant – like an old abandoned house.

A static website with old content is as relevant as an abandoned house

In this list of the Top 15 Most Popular Healthcare Websites – Feb 2012, notice that every site on the list is updated daily.

How you should respond

This is really good news for you as a healthcare marketer because your searchers are telling you what they want. They want you to:

Your job is to engage your audience with every piece of content that you produce and to do so consistently.

Key takeaway

All this creates the need to develop a content marketing strategy that attracts and retains the people that you want to reach (or the people that are looking for you online). With your content strategy you should be able to pre-empt the queries that your searchers have and to create content around those search terms. In other words, you need to create engagement and relevance.

Over to you: Are searchers finding your content online? If so, how are you creating engagement and relevance through your content?

SEO Basics for SEO-challenged health professionals – Part 1

I asked a doctor friend what she thought SEO meant. She quickly responded, “I’m a physician, not a financial advisor.”  (I think she got it confused with ROI!).

If you’re in the health profession and have recently started ‘doing’ content marketing, then SEO might be a new term that you’ve come across as well.

SEO means search engine optimization and the idea is to make sure that when someone searches for “sore throat doctor” (or whatever key words that describe what you do) on Google or Bing, your website appears at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).

SEO may seem too technical to health professionals and can easily get written off. But the important thing to remember is that search engines reward content that is clear and user-friendly and optimization is about making your content do exactly that.

Here are some basic SEO principles to help you get started:

Optimizing the Page Header

The page header is the title that states what the page is about and is viewable to users in search engine results, on social networks and at the top of the browser when you are viewing the page. It’s purpose is to identify the page’s content and should be optimized as follows:

  • Use 10-15 words (no more than 70 characters), put the most important keywords first followed by a compelling description e.g.’5 easy ways to stay hydrated during hot summer months.”
  • Be sure that you assign a ‘H1′ tag to your title – each page should have only one h1 tag (If you need to have other headings in the page, they should be subheadings and for those you should assign h2 or h3 tags).
  • For your readers’ sake as well as for the search engine, make sure that the title of the page matches the content of the page.

Optimizing the Body Copy

If you’re targeting a keyword phrase (e.g. sore throat doctor) then your content should relate to that keyword phrase. Keep in mind that people search for keywords because they want information that is related to those keywords. Searchers have little tolerance for a page that optimizes a keyword but then delivers unrelated content.

  • Be sure to use the exact match target keyword phrase three to five times per 500 words or so. Variations and synonyms can also be helpful for better copywriting.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing i.e. overloading a page with keywords to the point that the text of the page is unnatural or even unreadable.
  • Try to work your target keyword phrase into the first sentence of your copy and then maybe two or three more times in the rest of the article.

Links in your Content

The content of your page should also have links in it. The most important thing to remember is to make it clear where a link will take your visitor. Also keep in mind that search engines are designed to look for the same clarity that humans want in a link.

  • Be sure to use internal links in your content. An internal link is one that links to another page on your own site (not someone else’s site). Internal links encourage visitors to engage with other content on your site.
  • A link’s color should be different from the main text. Most people expect links to be blue and underlined so be sure to have your web designer include that in your site’s style sheet.
  • The actual text that is linked i.e. the text that is blue and underlined is called “anchor text”. Because it is highlighted and draws attention to itself, make sure that the highlighted words give a good clue to the content you are linking to. E.g. If the anchor text reads “sore throat remedies’ then it should link to a page that talks about sore throat remedies not something else.
  • Avoid as much as possible using generic anchor text such as “click here” or “more”. Remember that relevance is a priority to both human readers and search engines.

Key Takeaway

The heart of SEO is to make web content search-engine friendly. Remember that your goal is to make it easy for search engines to ‘crawl’ the pages of your site so that they can produce search results that are relevant and useful to users. In the next section we will continue to discuss some more SEO basic principles that help your content to be easily found by users searching on the Internet.

Over to you: How familiar are you with SEO? Please share some of the practices that you use to optimize your content.