A little flavour of what's in store...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How you arrange your Blog sidebar says a lot about you - SEO Tip

How you arrange the side bar of your Blog reveals a lot about serious you are about connecting with people and making sharing your blog with others.

And no more so than if your blog has a commercial flavour where the life-blood of the exercise is to reach as wide an audience (and potential customers) as possible.

Here are a few tips to help you spread the word.

Place your rss subscribe link and email subscribe links at the very top of your side bar. If they're buried beneath other side panel 'widgets', the chances of them getting seen are pretty slim. It makes sense to make them as visible as possible.

My 'model' for a commercial blogs side panel is this:

RSS / Email and Twitter subscribe links first.
- i like to add a little please comment logo here also -
Your latest offer
Your twitter feed - last 5 comments is plenty
Blog archive
About you.
….anything else.

Even if you're using a standard blogger template, there are still things you can do to make it look a little more unique and business like.

Customise the header with an image - your company logo for example.
Customise the fonts, colours of headings and links etc.
For those comfortable with html and css, consider going into your Blogger template and making it wider than it is at present or add a custom background.

Now that your blog is ready for customers, the next thing you need to do is get both your content 'out there' and let potential customers know your blog exists.

Use social media sites like Digg and Stumbleupon to share your content. To attract readers, publicise your latest posts on Twitter or weave them into your genuine comments on other blogs and forums.

You've got em' - now how to keep em'?

Gaining a new following is all well and good but how exactly are you going to keep them coming back for more?

You've made it easy for them to keep up to date whenever you post something new - via RSS or email alerts - even Twitter is automatically tweeting new posts.

In a word - Content.

Gimmicks are short lived - it's content that will keep people coming back for more. So it may take you a while to discover exactly what sort of content and what style of writing most appeals to your readers.

Vary the styles a bit until you find a format that works for you, but also feels comfortable to write. If you enjoy it, then you're more likely to make a success of it.

A general rule of thumb is shorter posts with links to 'read more', which Blogger now supports, rather than long posts but it really depends on your audience. If they're looking for a really in-depth analysis, then a longer piece might convey that it is more in depth.

Cheers and good luck! - Jonathan.

Jonathan is technical partner for Fabulous Photo Gifts - online personalised photo gifts and presents. When he's not busy updating the website, he likes to blog useful seo tips for other small businesses.

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