Musings

SEO Tips for Blog Post Publishing

Posted by BSG Team on Jun 9, 2016 4:04:14 PM

SEO_for_Bloggers.pngLast week we talked about the creative and practical side of writing a blog post.  Today, we're talking about the technical side of getting them read.

Remember, publishing a post alone doesn't guarantee that it'll be seen.  You have to optimize it as well.  Try these SEO blog post publishing tips to help get your blog posts found:

1.  Keyword Research

Before you start writing your blog post check Google’s Keyword Tool for keywords to make sure your are writing about subjects people are really interested in. Then Google those keywords to see what the competition has to say on the subject. This will help keep your SEO fine tuned and focused on what readers are looking for.

2.  Fine-Tuning the Headline

Headlines should be simple but attention grabbing. Below is a common formula for crafting headlines for list posts:

[#] + [attention-grabbing phrase] + [keyword] = headline

Here are a few examples below. Notice that the headlines are short and punchy, designed to quickly grab the reader’s attention.

9 Reasons You Need Content Marketing

8 Tips for Creating Quick and Easy Content

4 Simple Ways to Increase Your Social Media Reach

3.  Post Slug

The post slug is the user friendly and URL valid name of a post. Most common usage of this feature is to create a permalink for each blog post.

WordPress and others automatically generate post slugs from a post's title by placing every word in the headline into the slug, but this clutters it up with lots of small words. Instead, change your post slug to your primary keyword and shorten it when possible.

4.  Images

Of course images punch up your blog posts visually but they also add great SEO benefits. To get the most out of your images follow these steps:

  1. Save your images as [keyword phrase] before you upload them to your site.
  2. Add alt text as [keyword phrase].
  3. Add title tag as [keyword phrase].

5.  Interlinking

Before you publish a new post, read through it and try to find two to three organic opportunities to link back to relevant posts on your blog. This keeps both readers and search engines on your site longer.

6.  External Linking

There may not be exact numbers on the SEO benefits of external linking, but it is still something we recommend because linking to other sites is a good way to build relationships with other bloggers.

Bloggers notice and appreciate backlinks and will frequently return the favor. At the very least they tend to mention and thank you on social media. Not bad blogging karma.

7.  Meta Data

There is a lot of debate about how much stock Google puts in meta keywords, but we still feel they're important in any case. Meta descriptions have value since they are extremely important in gaining user click-through from search engine results pages (SERPs).

These short paragraphs are your chance to advertise content to searchers and to let them know exactly whether the given page has the information they're looking for.

Your meta description should have the following 3 components:

  1. Optimally, it needs to be between 150-160 characters so Google will display the whole description.
  2. Include your keywords because Google bolds them in search results.
  3. It should be an intelligible sentence preferably from the actual post.

8.  Call-to-Action

Include prominently placed RSS or Feed Subscription Buttons and offer viewers the ability to subscribe to your posts via email when possible. This gives your blog followers instant notifications about your latest posts without them having to check your site for new content.

9.  Use Social Media

Although social media and social shares may or may not affect a blog post’s SEO, your social profiles definitely influence the way readers interact with your content.

Neil Patel, SEO expert and founder of Quicksprout, has urged marketers not to discount social’s impact on SEO too quickly; he argues that social is the new SEO and that your social presence is very relevant when it comes to search engine optimization.

Patel said, “No longer can we view the algorithm as a sterile and lifeless entity to be gamed, tricked, and cajoled by our clever SEO tricks. We must now realize the enormous impact of the social web.”

So, simply put, promote your blog content on social media sites for even more web exposure.

Topics: SEO and Content Strategy, Blogging, Writing

Using Video to Grow Your Law Firm

Posted by BSG Team on Jan 27, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Using_Video_to_Grow.pngIn order for your law firm to be found online, you need to put information there that your prospective clients will find. That information has to be educational, informative, relevant, and useful, and it needs to be distinctive and representative about your firm’s brand.

Video marketing gives you exposure; an opportunity to create content that connects you to your ideal prospective clients. The more they know, like, and trust you the more likely they are to try, buy, and refer more of your services over time.

Here are five ways to use video to increase your Web presence and grow your law firm so that you can attract more clients, generate more referrals, and grow your law firm.

1.  Answer General Questions

You can use video to grow your law firm by answering general legal questions and by providing content that is relevant, timely, and utilizes the attorney as an expert in their practice area.

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world with more than 1 billion users and 300 hours of video uploaded every minute. One of the quickest and easiest ways to increase you online presence is to make videos that answer general questions, upload them to YouTube, and use an annotation to link back directly to your website.

Periscope is another great way to attract new clients. It is a live video-streaming app that reached one million users in its first 10 days. Lawyers can use this live-streaming app to answer general questions and communicate live with the viewers in real-time. The replays are available for 24 hours after the live event.

You can also answer common questions from AskALawyer.com. All of the questions from this site come from real people and many of the questions could be like those from your prospective clients. Be sure to choose general topics. For example, “5 Things You Need to Know Before Hiring a Lawyer”.

2.  Add a Welcome Video to Your WebsiteWelcome_Video_for_Law_Firm.jpg

Videos are a great way to put a human face to your law firm. It is a great opportunity to connect with visitors and introduce members of your law firm. You may also want to include a brief 30-second review from a client as well. Endorsements from “real people” now carry more weight than traditional marketing messages.

Think of videos as a form of communication. When used strategically they will build trust, and make your firm an authority online.

3.  Use Webinars to Attract Clients

Incorporating webinars into your legal marketing activities creates unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the online community. Educational webinars can help your firm build authority online and are a great way to use video to market your business.

Firms should upload a copy of the webinar to YouTube, create a landing page, and offer the webinar as a replay.  Also, export the presentation into a PDF and upload it to SlideShare and include the YouTube video.

4.  Create an Educational Video Library on Your Website

Pick topics that help build trust, authority, and expert status in your practice area. You can search online for topics and keywords. Keep video topics from one to three minutes.

It is always a good idea to batch your tasks, so before recording videos, create a strategy so that you can record multiple videos during one session. If possible, record 10-20 videos and have your editor add an intro, title, and outro. Then your marketing team can distribute one video per week on your website.

5.  Add Videos to Your Social Media

Unlike other content, videos are not viewed as duplicate content; so one video can be distributed dozens of ways online. One 90-second video can be uploaded to your website, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and SlideShare. The video links can also be shared on Twitter and you can use Periscope to discuss content from the video. That is a lot of mileage out of one video.

You don’t have to limit video marketing to these five strategies. You should also announce your new videos in emails and newsletters providing links to your educational video library and YouTube channel. As with all marketing, be sure to measure your results; track engagement and the overall result for each campaign.

Before you build your video marketing strategy, we do recommend that you consult your state bar rules. Make sure that your marketing agency understands legal marketing. Lawyers cannot do everything online that traditional marketers recommend.

You can read more about the various ways to use video to grow your law firm here. Want to learn more about how to attract more clients, generate more referrals, and grow your law firm by building authority online? We can help. Contact us today.

Topics: SEO and Content Strategy, Content Creation, Best Practices for Law Firms, Video Marketing

Three Keyword Secret Weapons

Posted by BSG Team on Dec 9, 2015 11:30:00 AM

keywords.jpgA keyword is a word or phrase that is a topic of significance online. Searchers use keywords as a way to identify their problem or search for a topic of interest. Businesses need to create content around relevant topics to their business in order to succeed in this digital world.

 Keywords are the “key” to creating a smart SEO marketing platform.

Fortunately, it is possible to DIY your keyword research. Here are a few ways to gain insight into what keywords potential buyers, clients, and customers are using:

1.  Use Your People

Who are your people? Anyone who is familiar with your business, uses your product, purchases your goods… are your people. They are your customers, potential buyers, staff and loyal fans. Figure out what questions they’re asking. What are ‘hot topics’ or trends are they following? What are they searching for?

Customers' thought processes are very different from a company, so you need to think like a customer. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes – use the words and terms they would use, ask questions in the way they ask them.

2.  Get Social

Social media is amazing when you want to know what is trending and what your people are talking about. But how do you make social media work for you? Here is the breakdown:

Facebook: Check out Facebook’s Graph Search Tool, which allows you to search anything your connections might be talking about. There is also a Trending toolbar on the right side of the newsfeed that shows popular topics.

Twitter:  On the left sidebar of Twitter’s homepage, you can see trending topics; these can be tailored based on location and interest. You can also use Twitter’s Advance Search to look for trending topics, keywords, and of course #hashtags.

Google+: To see what people are talking about on Google+ just login to your account and head to the Google+ Trending page.  It works similarly to Facebook and Twitter.

YouTube: You can search the most popular videos and topics on YouTube using its Trends Dashboard. You can narrow in on trends by selecting a city, state, or country, an age group, and gender.

3.  Google Tools

Google has a whole suite of tools to help you get to the most out of keywords and phrases.

Google Trends allows you to look at Google’s database of searches by regions, categories, languages, and set the time and search properties.

Google Autocomplete is the tool that finishes your sentences for you. According to Google, “Autocomplete predictions are possible search terms … The search queries that you see as part of Autocomplete reflect what other people are searching for and the content of web pages.”

With any Google account you can access Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Enter a keyword and Google will populate search volume (how often it is used) and the competition of that word (how many people or businesses want to rank for that word). This tool lets you filter by language, location, and mobile or desktop use.

With a little bit of hard work you can harness the power of keywords and make them work for you and your company. Contact us if you need help or have any questions about keywords.

Topics: SEO and Content Strategy

Hashtag Best Practices for a Wider Social Media Reach

Posted by BSG Team on Mar 31, 2015 9:30:00 AM

images-6It began as a writing style popular in the Twitterverse but now the use of hashtags is seen across social networks. In fact, the hashtag’s popularity has grown so much that the term was added to the Oxford English Dictionary last year.

Hashtags are handy tool to broaden your social reach. Words or phrases affixed with a hashtag allow for the grouping of similarly tagged messages to be found in electronic searches, which means anyone interested in the topic can find you. Your messages are not just limited to your followers.

It’s no surprise that hashtags are especially useful on Twitter.  A study by Buddy Media found that tweets with hashtags get 2X more engagement (clicks, retweets, favorites and replies) than tweets without them.  Research from Twitter itself found that brands may see up to 50% more engagement by using hashtags (100% for individuals). 

Google+ automatically gives posts hashtags depending on their content, but users can edit or add more.  Hashtags can be especially important here since hashtags are now included in Google searches.

images-5The jury is still out on whether or not hashtags provide any benefit on Facebook.  Research from EdgeRank Checker found that using hashtags has no effect on reach and posts without hashtags outperform those with hastags.  However, many social media experts believe that hashtags should still be used on Facebook as long as they’re used correctly (see this helpful article from our friends at PostPlanner).  We’re inclined to agree.

Tips for Using Hashtags:

1.  Don’t Go Overboard  

Buddy Media’s research found that 2 hashtags are the maximum number that should be used. Posts that use more see an average of 17% less engagement.  Another study from Social Baker had similar findings when it comes to hashtags on Facebook:

  • Posts with 1 or 2 hashtags averaged 593 interactions
  • Posts with 3 to 5 hashtags averaged 416 interactions
  • Posts with 6 to 10 hashtags averaged 307 interactions
  • Posts with more than 10 hashtags averaged 188 interactions

Instagram is the lone exception to this rule. Posts will 11+ hashtags get the most engagement.

2.  Double Check the Meaning of Your Hashtag

Before adding a hashtag to any post, do a quick search and see how it is currently being used. There is no benefit to choosing one that is being used elsewhere for an entirely different topic or has an entirely different meaning.

3.  Do a Little Homework to Find the Best Terms

Use tools like Hashtagify.me to find other trending terms related to your post.  You can piggyback on other hashtags to increase your visibility and reach.  However, make sure the hashtag is relevant. 

images-74.  Be Careful with Placement

Don’t put a hashtag in the middle of a post.  It’s disruptive. Place your hashtags at the end of your post as to not interrupt the flow of your message.

5.  Be Consistent Across Channels

If you are using a specific hashtag on one network, then use it on all your networks. You can “brand” your hashtag this way, encouraging fans and followers to use it on whichever social network they are engaging on.

 

Topics: SEO and Content Strategy, Best Practices for Businesses, Content Marketing, Social Media Best Practices

How are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Content Creation Strategy connected? Engaging content on social media gets shared which leads to visibility and credibility for your business!

Posted by BSG Team on Dec 11, 2014 12:33:00 PM

seo-infographic-829x1024
Learn more about SEO here!

Topics: SEO and Content Strategy