30 Day Social Media Plan

Running out of content ideas for your social media accounts? Try out my 30 day social media plan to help give your channels a boost. 

Feel free to switch around the content and add your own flair to each post. These are just some general ideas to help you out.

Day 1

Introduce yourself! If your audience doesn't know the person behind the company (or the account) share a picture a brief paragraph about who you are. People connect with people, and it's a great way to build trust and relationships with your followers.

Day 2

Post a quote. Is there a quote that inspires you? Share it in graphic form with your audience and let them know why you love it. 

Day 3

Share a helpful tip! If you work in a specific industry or have better than average knowledge about a certain topic, share a quick tip your audience might not know about! 

Day 4

Go Live! Do a live video on Facebook or Instagram and show your audience what you're doing.

Day 6

Cross promote your platform! There will always be some content crossover on your social media channels, but you should always vary your content for each social media site. Use this chance to promote some of the other types of content you post on different channels. For example, if you do a specific type of photo challenge or trend on Instagram, share that on your Facebook and Twitter and let your followers know they can find it on your Instagram on a certain day (or however frequently you post that type of content).

Day 7

Ask a question. Polls are an easy fun way to engage your audience on social media. You can do simply a fun poll or even let your followers help you make a decision when it comes to product design or naming. 

Day 8

Go behind the scenes! Do an guided office tour on video and share it!

Day 9

Offer a flash sale or discount! If you sell products, offer a flash sale or special discount just for your followers. Pick and choose which accounts you want to offer the sale/discount to, or promote it across all channels.

Day 10

Showcase your role model! Do you have a role model that motivates you to be a better business owner or person? Share a picture of your role model and why they mean so much to you. 

Day 11

Showcase themed products! If you sell products, showcase different products within a theme. Since we're quickly approaching summer, maybe show off some of your brightly colored products. Maybe showcase products that will make your home smell good. They don't have to be by the same brand (if you sell products from multiple brands), but find a common connection and group them together). Make sure you have some eye catching photos to show off your products. Here's some tips from PetaPixel about photographing products. 

Day 12

Go on a follow spree! Post a picture captioned follow spree and ask your followers to put links to their social accounts if they want to be followed. 

Day 13

introduce an employee! If you have employees in your business, introduce them to your followers with a picture and a brief paragraph. Better yet, let the employee take over your social for a day and let the audience see the business from their perspective through a series of live videos throughout the day. If you're the sole person at your company, let your followers know a fun fact about you. 

Day 14

Do a giveaway! Giveaways are an easy way to get quick engagement from your followers. Make sure you're giving away something of value that your customers will really want like a selection of products you normally wouldn't find together or a certificate for a service. 

Day 15

Send followers to your website! Do a quick post to encourage followers to go to your website and check out fresh content. 

Day 16

Say thank you. Don't forget to periodically take time to thank your followers for their support. 

Day 17

Do a fill in the blank. Your posts don't just have to be promoting your business. Have some fun too! Write a fill in the blank style question and let your followers answer (just be careful when writing your questions and consider if some may be able to answer inappropriately). For example, we're located in Tennessee, so I might write "You know you're from Tennessee when __________."

Day 18

Share a testimonial! Let others know why your customers value you. 

Day 19

Share a fan photo! Find a photo on social media of a fan with a products or using your service. Just remember to ask permission and properly credit them when re-posting.

Day 20

Recommend another business you work closely with! Do you have someone that prints all your signs? Or mows your business' lawn? Give them props on social media and share their contact information. 

Day 21

Share an old photo! Share a photo from when you first opened your business or hit a big milestone. 

Day 22

Share a news/blog article! Share an interesting article related to your industry.

Day 23

Caption! Ask your followers to caption a photo. Again, just be mindful of what you're posting and if someone can turn it into something inappropriate.

Day 24

Name a customer or follower of the month! Keep track of your most active followers and reward them for engaging with your brand. Offer them a free product or discount to encourage other users to be more active. 

Day 25

Post a quote from an expert! Share a quote from someone who is an expert in your industry or who has been successful in running a business similar to yours.

Day 26

Sneak Peek! Show a teaser image of a new product or services coming soon or start a countdown to when it will be in your store.

Day 27

Share a blog post! If you have your own blog, share a post from it. It could be a more recent post or a link to your most popular article.

Day 28

Post a funny meme or picture! Find a funny (try to stay away from explicit language or content unless this is a part of your business appeal) relating to your industry and post it. 

Day 29

Promote an event in your area! Are you sponsoring an event? Or maybe there's a public event happening near you that you'll be going to? Share it and tell your followers to come see you there!

Day 30

Host a Q&A! Answer fan questions during a certain time period. 

 

What are some of your ideas for fresh social content? Let me know down in the comments! 

Three Ways to Improve Your SEO Right Now

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can seem like this mystifying thing that requires tons of work and lots of insider knowledge. While SEO has gotten more complicated over the years, there are easy things you can do right now to improve your search engine rankings if even you're not an SEO expert. 

1. Add "Alt-tags" to all of the pictures on your website. 

This is a really easy thing that helps Google and Bing read your website better. Alt-tags are a bit of code attached to an image that tells search engines what the picture is depicting. Since search engines can't actually SEE and understand the context of the picture, this text is designed to help search engine bots know exactly what the image is about quickly so they can index it. 

How to add an alt-tag to your picture. 

HTML: Say you want to add this image to your site.

Image Source:  Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

Add this line of code - <img src="pocket-watch.jpg" alt="Vintage Pocket Watch on Black Background">. The "img src" part is the name of the image in your CMS and you can that the "alt=" states exactly what the image is - nothing more and nothing less. You don't want to get too long when writing your alt-texts. Learn more about adding an HTML img alt attribute here.

 

Squarespace/Wix/Wordpress/Etc: If you're using a CMS and design system like these, they make it super easy to add an alt tag. In this example, I'll show you using Squarespace since that's what I use for my website. Add an image to your page or post like you normally would on your Squarespace site. For this example I'm uploading a picture of dyed eggs. Once you upload your picture the "Filename (Optional)" will say the title of image you've uploaded. Sometimes the file name can be used as an alt-tag, but if you've downloaded a stock photo you'll want to rename the file here. Squarespace automatically uses the filename as the alt-tag. It's as simple as that! For more information about adding alt-tags in Squaresapce, click here. If you're unsure of how to add alt-tags to your site,  please leave a comment down below this article and I"ll help you out!

How To Add an Image Alt Tag in Squarespace
 

2. Claim Free Business Listings

An important part of boosting your local SEO is to claim free business listings from various directory sites online and make sure the information is accurate. You especially want to claim your Google and Bing listings through their webmaster tools. This will allow you to verify your business page on their map pages when people search and it will also allow you to control the information so it's 100% accurate. When a page isn't claimed then anybody can suggest edits to the page so the accuracy can be a little iffy sometimes. You'll also want to claim your listings on sites like Yahoo, Foursquare, Yelp, MapQuest, Superpages, Local.com, Merchant Circle, etc. There are a lot of directory sites out there, but you can do a free scan of your website at Yext PowerListings.  It's free to scan for your business, however if you want to change things directly from Yext it is a paid service. I mostly use it to see a list of sites that are available to claim or create a listing and then screenshot it so I can visit each site individually. You can do what is best for you. 

You can use this free scan to see how your local SEO is doing.&nbsp;

You can use this free scan to see how your local SEO is doing. 

 

3. Check your websites for broken links.

A negative factor affecting your SEO score is if there are broken links on your website. That means at one point you had a link to a page, image, etc, and changed the link without properly redirecting and now Google and other search engines can't find the content. Whenever you change a page link you should always submit a 301 redirect, which tells search engines that your content has moved and anyone trying to find the content can find it on the new page. To check for broken links you can use a free service like Broken Link Check. Once you've found any links that need fixing you can work on redirects. Depending on how you set up your website and what service you use, you can search on Google for the best way to manage 301 redirects on your site. 

 

So there you have three ways to improve your SEO right now! I hope you found this helpful and if you have any questions or comments, let me know in the comments! 

What the Format?

As a graphic designer, one of my biggest pet peeves is when someone asks me to incorporate their logo into something (i.e. flyer, website, merchandise, etc.) and the only have the logo in one format. And it’s usually not the format you need.

While you can manipulate it to a certain extent, save your designer some frustration by requesting to receive your logo in multiple formats when it’s created. Not only will it make the process go faster, you will be able to use your logos in a multitude of ways.

When you have a designer create your logo, make sure they give you the design in the following formats (at least!):

  • Vector (.EPS; .AI; .SVG): Vector files are able to scaled to any size without loss of resolution. Not to mention you’ll be able to tweak the logo any way you wish, because it will be the original file.
  • PNG: PNG files (Portable Network Graphic) are best used on the internet. You’re less likely to lose data when using this format. You can also save the logo on a transparent background in a PNG, which also makes it easy to put on a different backgrounds.
  • JPEG: Used mostly for high quality printing and digital photography on the web.
  • PDF: Easily sent and shared, and it also maintains transparency in the background.

These are the big formats you should always have your logo available. It will make it easier for you in the long run, and save your designer some extra steps.

Simple Ways to Boost Small Business CRM

CRM: customer relationship management

As a small business owner, maintaining good relationships with your customers is extremely important. Small, local businesses rely heavily on word of mouth marketing, and because of that, doing simple things to boost your CRM will help you maintain and grow your customer base.

Here are simple things you can do to boost your CRM:

  1. Start a conversation with a smile. This is probably the most basic thing on this list. It's so simple; yet why is it when I go into some stores it doesn't happen? In fact, I've been in some stores where the workers made me feel like it was a burden having me there. Having this attitude as a small business owner can be a huge downfall. No one wants to visit a store where the people aren't friendly. So smile, and start a conversation, even if it's just asking how they are, or complimenting a piece of clothing or accessory.

  2. Make an effort to remember names. Making an effort to remember a customer's name, especially repeat customers, shows them that you care about their business and appreciate them as a customer.

  3. Create a loyalty rewards program. Create a program that rewards repeat business. This is a simple way to entice customers to return to your store by offering an incentive to shop there. Just make sure that the reward is something that people will find to be worth shopping repeatedly for.

  4. Make your customer's opinions count. If a customer comes in and has a specific request or opinion about your shop. Make sure you listen, and write it down. If it's something that is possible for you to change, get their phone number and call them when that change has been implemented to let them. It will make your customer feel like their opinions really matter. Even if it's something that you can't do, get their name and number and tell them that you'll look into it.

  5. Incorporate technology in your business. Use CRM software to keep track of purchases and customer information. Use the technology to make their experience easier. For example, if you own a beauty salon, keep track of things like what color dye you used on your customers the last time they were there. When they come in you'll be able to quickly recall what you did for them and you can make adjustments as needed. That way there will be no guessing and your customer won't end up with a color/style they hate.

    You can also use email software to send out newsletters to let your customers know what's happening in your store. Set up automatic birthday emails that send a coupon to your customer on his or her's birthday. This gives them an incentive to come into your store.

These are just a few simple things you can do to boost your CRM. What methods do you practice?

What the Format?

As a graphic designer, one of my frustrations is when someone asks me to incorporate their logo into something (i.e. flyer, website, merchandise, etc.) and the only have the logo in one format. And it's usually not the format you need.

While you can manipulate it to a certain extent, save your designer some frustration by requesting to receive your logo in multiple formats when it's created. Not only will it make the process go faster, you will be able to use your logos in a multitude of ways.

When you have a designer create your logo, make sure they give you the design in the following formats (at least!):

  • Vector (.EPS; .AI; .SVG): Vector files are able to scaled to any size without loss of resolution. Not to mention you'll be able to tweak the logo any way you wish, because it will be the original file.
  • PNG: PNG files (Portable Network Graphic) are best used on the internet. You're less likely to lose data when using this format. You can also save the logo on a transparent background in a PNG, which also makes it easy to put on a different backgrounds.
  • JPEG: Used mostly for high quality printing and digital photography on the web.
  • PDF: Easily sent and shared, and it also maintains transparency in the background.

These are the big formats you should always have your logo available. It will make it easier for you in the long run, and save your designer some extra steps.

18 Social Media Etiquette Tips for Business Owners

Social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have revolutionized the way that people communicate with each other and the way that businesses communicate with their customers.  It’s a great tool to use to keep customers instantly updated with what’s going on within a company.  For small businesses, it’s a great way to gain new customers.  Most large companies have a person (or usually a department) that is in charge of maintaining social media accounts (uploading new content and interacting with customers).  These companies have policies in place that restrict what employees can post using an official company profile.  For small business owners it can be harder to know what is and isn’t proper social media behavior

Follow these general guidelines to avoid any mishaps while managing business social media guidelines.

1.  Use good grammar.

This may seem like common sense to most of you, but social media has also changed the way people type.  To their friends and family, many people often don’t pay close attention to their grammar when sending messages over the phone or Facebook.  However, bad grammar or spelling can hurt a small business.  To some, it can seem very unprofessional and lazy.  Mistakes can happen, but do your best to use proper grammar and spelling.  There are many spell check options (and most browsers offer a spell checker).

2.  Don’t curse or use vulgar language.

Unless you’re a business that makes items with vulgar images or sayings, it’s best to steer clear.  You never know who you might offend, and it could cost you a customer.

Example: Stubhub’s twitter flub – http://mashable.com/2012/11/25/social-media-business-disasters-2012/#gallery/biggest-social-media-disasters-of-2012/518fae8797b2f876060d08b4

 3.  Don’t complain about personal things.

The link above also is a prime example of another things you shouldn’t do: complain.  Your customers don’t want to hear you complain about your day, the weather or how someone cut you off on the drive to work.  Chances are people don’t want to hear about it on your personal Facebook either, but that’s a whole other matter.  Stick to business matters.

4.  Don’t ignore complaints.

We’ve all seen “those” types of comments on business pages.  The comments where someone complains about a product they received or the service they had while interacting with a company.  We (as consumers) always want to feel like our feedback is being heard and that it matters to a company.  With social media, it’s easier to be heard. While good feedback goes a long way, bad feedback spreads like wildfire on the internet.  The last thing you want is to have someone bad-mouthing your company on your company’s Facebook page.  It can be oh so tempting to delete that comment, but stop right there.  This provides a golden opportunity for you to show the world (or more specifically, your followers) that you can take criticism and learn from it.  When someone complains on your page, don’t just ignore it; respond to it.  Make sure that customer knows that his or her complaint has been heard, and something is being done about it.  Tell him or her that you appreciate their business and that you want to keep them as a customer.  Have something to offer them -an incentive- to keep their business, but don’t try to bribe your way out of bad press though. Offer them a discount, AND ask them to come in to your place of business and discuss the ways they think you could make your business experience better for other customers.  Get your customers involved, and make them feel important.  Even if they don’t respond well to this, you can rest easy knowing that you did what you could to make their experience better.  It’s far better to have them be unresponsive than for you to ignore what they’re saying.  Customers make or break a business.  Remember that.

5.  Never, and I mean EVER, insult a customer.

I don’t care if they are insulting your mother with a ‘yo momma’ joke you thought had been left behind in the 90s. Don’t EVER insult a customer over social media.  Once it is online, it is there forever.  It doesn’t matter if you delete what you wrote 30 minutes later; chances are somebody took a screen-shot of it, and it is now immortalized and filed away in the virtual “reputation ruining material” vault of some Redditor.  It’s not worth the 10 seconds of satisfaction you got for returning that ‘yo momma’ joke in kind.  If you are ever unsure of how to respond to a customer, just take a look at how the folks at Amy’s Baking Company* handle their customers, and never do anything like it.

 

Oh, and if you do decide to have some sort of psychotic meltdown and verbally bash your customers (a la Amy's Baking Company) and decide you need to clean up the mess, don’t claim that every single one of your social media accounts has been hacked.  Be an adult, and just say you messed up.

*For those who don’t know about Amy’s Baking Company, here’s a nice little article to get you up to speed.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/gordon-ramsay-quits-filming-kitchen-nightmares-episode-article-1.1344121

6.  #thinkbeforeyoutweet

Twitter is a great place to start a social media conversation or see what the world is talking about by looking at popular hash tags.  Businesses that want to promote themselves often invent new hash tags to get people talking about them.  This can go horribly wrong though if not thought out carefully.  Today’s disaster lesson comes from a big business, McDonald’s.

McDonald’s started two hash tag trends: #meetthefarmers and #mcdstories.  Well, the #mcdstories took off in a bad way.  Customers started sharing their McDonald's horror stories, and it turned into a PR nightmare.  It goes to show that, it’s always best to #thinkbeforeyoutweet.

7.  Facebook/Twitter/Social Media in general is not your personal pulpit.

It can be oh so tempting to use the audience you’ve gained through your business page to get your opinions heard, but before you dust off your old metaphorical soapbox, remember this: social media is not your personal pulpit.

It’s not a place to talk about your political or religious views (obvious exceptions aside).  You risk alienating customers by talking about such matters.  It’s best to leave it to your personal Facebook page, or just don’t post it on the Internet at all.

http://mashable.com/2012/11/25/social-media-business-disasters-2012/#gallery/biggest-social-media-disasters-of-2012/518fae8797b2f876060d08b3

 8.  Be aware of what’s going on the in the world.

You may not read the newspaper cover to cover everyday or watch the news every evening, but it’s important to be aware of at least the most major events happening in the nation, if not the world.  Not knowing about something can potentially lead to some awkward social media tension.  Some examples are below:

The NRA posted a pro-gun tweet the morning after the shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

(http://mashable.com/2012/11/25/social-media-business-disasters-2012/#gallery/biggest-social-media-disasters-of-2012/518fae8797b2f876060d08af)

Speaking of Aurora, a boutique obviously didn’t get the message about the shooting when they tweeted that everyone must be excited about their new dress (called the Aurora).

(http://mashable.com/2012/11/25/social-media-business-disasters-2012/#gallery/biggest-social-media-disasters-of-2012/518fae8797b2f876060d08b0)

9.  Don’t use social media to promote something that capitalizes on a natural disaster, tragedy, etc.

Example:

American Apparel offered a discount to people in states affected by Hurricane Sandy.  The ad…”In case you’re bored during the storm…”

(http://mashable.com/2012/11/25/social-media-business-disasters-2012/#gallery/biggest-social-media-disasters-of-2012/518fae8797b2f876060d08b5)

Gap cashes in on Hurricane Sandy…

(http://mashable.com/2012/11/25/social-media-business-disasters-2012/#gallery/biggest-social-media-disasters-of-2012/518fae8797b2f876060d08b6)

10. Your business page is not your online dating profile.

It’s always exciting when you get a new “like” or follower on your business’ social media page.  Usually you can see who has liked your page or followed you, and you can see their profiles (depending on their privacy settings).  It might be tempting for some to check out who this “Bob Handsome” or “Julie Hotpants” is that’s liking your page, but you can easily enter the creeper zone checking out your followers. 

It’s important to know where your followers are coming from and how they came about liking your page, but it’s more important to not use your business page to contact your followers for personal reasons, such as romantic interest, etc.  It’s highly inappropriate, and you could get some bad press.  It’s best to keep your romantic life out of your business page.  That’s why it’s your business page and not your online dating profile.

11.  Speaking of....Keep your relationship out of your business pages.

Keeping on the same line as the first tip, it’s a good idea to keep your romantic life out of your business page completely.  I know you’re excited about getting engaged or about the phone number you scored from that attractive person you bumped into on the street in one of those cheesy rom-com style “meet cutes,” but it’s best to not share that story with your fans.

12.  Don’t make every post a sales pitch.

Social media is a great place to spread the word about your products and services.  You can highlight things using pictures, status updates, etc.  It’s also a great place to connect with your customers.  Customers don’t like advertisements clogging up their news feed.  So while it’s a great way to spread the news about what you do/sell, don’t make everything you post about that.  Use the opportunity to engage your customers.  Post a status asking them how their day is going or ask them what they want to see in your store.

13.  Don’t bogart another company’s #hashtag.  

Although anyone can #hashtag something on Twitter (and now Facebook), companies and brands have started creating unique hashtags to help promote their products and/or services.  It can be a useful tool and a great way to get followers to interact with you on your social media accounts.  However, if you’re looking to do the same thing for your company, don’t blatantly use another company’s hashtag campaign. This is called hashtag hijacking. Although it can prove difficult sometimes to come up with a completely unique hashtag because of the over-abundance of hashtags online, it’s disrespectful and tacky to just use another company’s campaign. Try to be respectful and come up with your own idea.  For more about “hashtag hijacking” check out this article from smallbiztrends.comhttp://smallbiztrends.com/2013/08/what-is-hashtag-hijacking-2.html.

14.  Don’t over abbreviate

When you only have 144 characters to say something to your Twitter followers, it can be stressful trying to make sure everything you want to write fits in the allotted space. It may be tempting to abbreviate as much as you can, but think of it as a creative writing assignment trying to articulate everything in a few short sentences.  It’s easier to abbreviate, and sometimes it’s unavoidable, but it’s more important to make sure that everyone can understand what you’re saying.

15. Use “appropriate” abbreviations

Can you imagine a huge company tweeting, “Our new products r totes flying off the shelves”?  Just…no.  Be professional.  You aren’t tweeting your BFF Jill.  Although it’s good for companies to be able to have a certain sense of camaraderie with their customers, it’s important to keep up the professional attitude.

16. Don’t overuse hashtags.

If you’re tweeting, and you want as many people as possible to see your tweet, it can be tempting to add on a huge list of hashtags, but it’s more annoying than helpful. You end up sounding a bit like this:

Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake show you what a Twitter conversation sounds like in real life.

17. Use relevant hashtags.

Make sure the hashtags you use are relevant to the content of your tweets. For example:

Do- For a tweet about social media etiquette use hashtags like #socialmedia #Facebook #Twitter

Don’t- For a tweet about social media etiquette don’t use hashtags like #GameofThrones or something completely unrelated to your topic. It might get some people to view your tweet, but it does nothing to elevate the quality of your content.

18. Answer customer comments/questions in a timely manner.

If you’re a business owner you’re probably not constantly glued to your computer like I am (or like anyone in the internet marketing business), so you may not be monitoring your social media pages around the clock. It’s important you can answer your customer questions asked via social media quickly. We are in the technology age where people want and expect things instantly. Unless you have a huge team of social media experts at your disposal, answering questions mere seconds after they’re asked isn’t realistic.

The ideal amount of time to respond to messages and comments is under 5 minutes. If you’re a one-person operation, or just small team, you should try to shoot for under 30 minutes. You should definitely be checking your pages once an hour. I can’t stress answering messages promptly enough, because you can lose potential sales if you don’t. 


What are some of your best tips and practices for managing business pages on social media? Let us know in the comments!

8 Free Tools To Become A Facebook Marketing Boss

Free Facebook Marketing Tools

FACEBOOK IS A POWERFUL WAY TO LEVERAGE YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE, INCREASE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT AND SPREAD AWARENESS OF YOUR BRAND. UTILIZED CORRECTLY, FACEBOOK CAN BE A POWERFUL WEAPON IN YOUR MARKETING ARSENAL. CHECK OUT THESE FREE FACEBOOK MARKETING TOOLS TO HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR BUSINESS PAGE.

  1. Woobox (Free/Paid Upgrade)
    Woobox is a free tool that allows you to add cool features to your Facebook page, like a Pinterest or Twitter app which shows your activity on those social medias. In the free version you can use the following  features: HTML fangate (input your own custom HTML page), Tab for Twitter, Instagram Tab, Pinterest Tab, Youtube Tab and Pick a Winner. In the paid version you get all the free features plus access to Sweepstakes, Polls, Pin to Win, Rewards, Coupons, Brackets, Leaderboard, Prize Claim, Photo/Video Contests, Deals, Poll Posts, Quizzes, Instant Wins and Group Deals. If you have a clever web designer though you can do a lot of the paid features using the custom HTML page (or try Tab Fusion). Check out Woobox here.

  2. AgoraPulse Marketing Tools (Free Version)
    AgoraPulse is social media marketing company, but they offer a few free tools. Their free tools include a Facebook page barometer to gauge how your page(s) are performing, a Timeline Contest Manager and Facebook Marketing University, which offers videos to learn how to use Facebook. Check out AgoraPulse here.

  3. Hootsuite (Free/Paid Versions)
    Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows you to manage all your postings to various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You can schedule out all of your posts or have Hootsuite auto schedule it for you. You can add up to the three social media accounts in the free version and more in the paid version. In the paid version you can do a bit more like adding your own custom vanity URLs for their URL shortener instead of the standard ow.ly links. Check out Hootsuite here.

  4. Facebook Debugger (Free)
    The Facebook Debugger is a free tool offered by Facebook itself to let you know how your site appears with it’s OpenGraph data markup. If you’re not sure what that means, check out this article.  Check out the Facebook Debugger here.

  5. Facebook Page Manager App (Free)
    The Facebook page manager app is a free app that allows you to check your Facebook pages and get real time notifications. This is a great tool if you’re on the go a lot but still need to keep track of what’s happening on your pages. Get the app for Android phones here. Get the app for iPhones here.

  6. Facebook Audience Insights (Free)
    If you plan on advertising on Facebook then you’ll definitely want to consult the Facebook Audience Insights page. This a free tool from Facebook that allows you to find out more about your potential advertising audience. You can play around with the settings to figure out how many people you can reach in a certain demographic or geographic area. Check out the Facebook Audience Insights page here.

  7. Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer  (Free)
    Headlines are extremely important because they are what grab people’s attentions when they are viewing all the posts on their Facebook timelines. If your going to be sharing your blog posts on Facebook often then it’s a good idea to run your headlines through this tool. The most effective headlines are those that use power or emotional words. The Headline Analyzer takes a look at your headlines and analyzes them based on scientifically proven research. Check it out here.

  8. TabFusion’s Tab Maker (Free)
    I mentioned earlier that Woobox allows you to add a custom HTML page to your Facebook page. Tab Maker allows you to create the HTML code for a custom tab through a simple editor that almost anyone can use. You can save the code and input it into a Woobox tab.  Check out Tab Maker here.

 

Update 4/3/2018 - Check out "Social Media Marketing: The Movie" by John Lincoln for some great info from leading industry professionals. Click here to watch the movie for free. 

How to Write a Wordpress Blog Post That Is Search Engine Optimized

how-to-write-a-wordpress-blog-post-that-is-search-engine-optimized.jpg

How to Write a WordPress Blog Post That Is Search Engine Optimized

THERE ARE MILLIONS OF BLOGGERS AROUND THE WORLD, SO HOW DO YOU GET YOUR BLOG POSTS NOTICED BY SEARCH ENGINES? FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE A WORDPRESS BLOG POST THAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZED:

Creating a new post:

1. Login to your WordPress account and click on “Posts” then “Add New.”

WordPress Post Titles, URLs & Heading Tags:

2.  Create a Title for Your Post. WordPress blog posts titles should be between 40 and 70 characters. Keep in mind the content of your post and choose a certain key word or key phrase (also known as a focus word) that describes what your post content will be about. For example: say your post is going to be about essential oils and what they can be used for. You will want your post title to be something like “Essential Oil Benefits for Your Health and Your Home.” (The key phrase being “essential oil benefits”). When deciding on a keyword or phrase, keep in mind phrases that might be typed into search engines to find content like your post. If you’re having trouble figuring out a good focus word check out the free Google Adwords: Keyword Planner tool (requires free Google account). If you want to check and see if your headline will grab someone’s attention try out this free headline analysis tool from CoSchedule.

3.  Modify the Post URL. Once you’ve typed in the title of your post, WordPress will automatically assign it a URL based on the post title. You can change this to help its SEO. You would want your URL to contain that same key phrase you’ll be using in your title and post content. Take for example the Post Title above. WordPress will automatically make the URL something like “www.myurl.com/2016/01/5/essential-oil-benefits-for-your-health-and-your-home.” It’s not necessary to have all the title in the URL, so you can change it something that is shorter and more beneficial to your SEO. If your key phrase is “Essential Oils Benefits,” you would want your URL to be myurl.com/posts/2016/01/5/essential-oil-benefits. (If your Post Title is just strictly your key phrase then you won’t have to change it, but if you have other words in there you will need to change it).

Click the "Edit" button next the URL to modify it.&nbsp;

Click the "Edit" button next the URL to modify it. 

4.  Create your headings. Once you have named your post and changed the URL (if necessary) you will then move onto to writing your post content (the body content). The first two things that should be done to your post content is making sure the Headings are search engine optimized. You’ll notice on your tool bar that you can change the font style (ranging from “Heading 1” [also called H1] to “paragraph.”

Headings tags range from Heading 1 to Heading 6. (Most important to least important.)

Headings tags range from Heading 1 to Heading 6. (Most important to least important.)

The first sentence of your post should be typed in the Heading 1 Style. It should reflect the title of your post and should also contain your key word or phrase. To continue with our example, I would make the first sentence (in the Heading 1 style) read “Essential Oil Benefits for Your Health and Your Home.” Then press enter to go down to the next line and type “Essential Oil Benefits range from improving overall physical health, mental clarity and more.” The second sentence should be in the “Heading 2” style. The H1 and H2 styles are very important in regards to search engine optimization because they are the one of the first things that search engines look at to determine what a post or page is about. This is also helpful for telling your readers the same thing. You can use the other heading tags throughout your post, but the H1 and H2 tags should be your priority.

Writing Your Blog Post Content

5.  Content Length & Key Word Usage. Now that your main headings have been written you can move on to the the rest of your post content. The entire length of your content should be more than 300 words, but less than 1,000 words. Unless you’re writing an academic paper, there’s really no need to write that much. To find out more about why content length is important, check out this article from serpIQ.

WordPress offers a word counter at the bottom of their text editor. It can be helpful for tracking how many words you have written.

WordPress offers a word counter at the bottom of their text editor. It can be helpful for tracking how many words you have written.

Remember to use your key word or phrase through the content of your post. This can be a bit tricky for some people because you want to make sure it’s included organically throughout the text. Using a word or phrase organically simply means that the placement of the key word or phrase makes sense within the context it’s used. You don’t want to put it into every sentence or in sentences where it doesn’t make sense. As Google phrases it, “repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural.” There’s not really a magic number of times you should use the key phrase but I would shoot for ten or more times.

6.  Readability. An important thing to remember is to make sure that your text is easy to read. Generally shorter, easier to read sentences will do better than longer sentences with more complex vocabulary. To check the readability of your text you can use this free tool: https://readability-score.com/

7.  Use Images. Images are a great way to break up long paragraphs of text and engage your reader visually. Make sure the pictures you use are relevant to the content you’re posting. With our example posting images of essential oils, essential oil plants, etc., would be appropriate images. You also want to make sure you have the rights to the images you’re using. It’s always best to take your own pictures, but if you can’t then make sure the images you use aren’t copyright restricted. There are great websites our there for downloading free commercial use photos like Pixabay.

You can optimize images for search engines in several ways.

You can optimize images for search engines in several ways.

There are several tricks you can use that will help boost the search-ability of your blog images. When you upload a new image to WordPress it will show you the following options:  You should see the “URL” space which is the URL of that specific image (given to it by WordPress). Below that you should see a space for the image title. Typically when you upload the image WordPress automatically assigns the title as whatever you had the image named on your computer. You can change this if necessary. Again you’ll want to keep in mind your key word or phrase. You can also add a caption, which will show beneath the photo on your post. It’s not always necessary to use a caption, but you can add one if you like. The next space you can fill in is the “Alt Text.” The alt text is extremely important; search engines can’t visually “see” images on a website, so the Alt Text is what they use to determine what an image is depicting. It’s important that your Alt Text is an accurate description of what the image contains, and that it also uses the key word or phrase when applicable. You want the Alt Text to be short and simple. The last space you can fill in is the Image Description. This is where you can post more text describing the picture and the topic. When you share the image on social media the open graph software will typically pull the information from the alt text and description.

The Final Touches: Categories, Tags and Featured Images

8.  Categories.  After you’ve finished typing your body content, you’ll want to choose the category(ies) for your post. If you’ve been blogging before you’ll most likely have your categories already set up. Pick the one that is most relevant to the topic of your post. The purpose of categorizing your blog posts is to make it easier for reader so search for content from a single topic.

9.  Create Tags. You can also add “Tags” to a post that act as little descriptors for your post. This is not as important as it used to be, now that Google has placed less importance on meta keywords rather than keywords placed organically through page/post content. The main purpose for these tags is to have another way to make it easier for readers to find posts on a certain topic. For our essential oils example, some tags I might choose are “essential oils” “natural healing” “holistic health,” etc.

10. Set a Featured Image. Featured images appear at the top of your post, and typically contain an image depicting the content of your post. Some people add words to the image. Not everyone uses these, but they can be helpful when you or your audience shares your posts on social media. The Open Graph Protocol uses the featured image as the picture that is shared on social media sites like Facebook, etc. For example, this is what pops up when I share one of my blog posts that uses a featured image:

Facebook’s featured image size is 470×246 pixels.

Facebook’s featured image size is 470×246 pixels.

If you don’t use a featured image, then it will show a link. I recommend using a featured image because it can help grab people’s attention when scrolling through their timelines.

BONUS TIP:

For WordPress.ORG users only: If you are self-hosting your blog I highly recommend downloading installing the Yoast SEO Plugin(it’s free with optional paid premium version). It will help you keep you on track with all the things I mentioned above. You can also edit how your blog post will show up on search engines and when shared on social media sites. It’s definitely worth using.

So there you have some helpful tips about how to write a WordPress blog post that is search engine optimized. If you want to learn more about the basics of search engine optimization click here.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to like this post and share it!