5 Ways to Improve Blog Performance

5 Ways to Improve Blog PerformanceAs Google’s algorithms continually reinforce the need for consistent quality content for SEO purposes, more brands are starting to act like publishers. According to a report by Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 60% of B2B businesses surveyed say they plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. One way that brands consistently engage potential customers with content is through a blog. The same CMI report showed that B2B businesses have increased their blogging by an average of 45%. It’s now more important than ever for both B2B and B2C businesses to improve their blog performance. Here are five blog content tips that brands can use increase the ROI of their content marketing efforts.

Build Links (And Relationships) With Guest Bloggers

Anyone who has ever attended a blogging conference has heard some iteration of the advice: “court guest bloggers.” Though this advice is, at this point, commonplace, many people don’t understand the reasons why guest bloggers are so important. The idea behind snagging guest bloggers is not simply to ad additional or more diverse content. The hope is that the guest blogger will link to the post from their own blog as well as link to the post via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. One of the most important aspects of blog SEO is acquiring links from reputable sites. Guest blogging is often a good way to gain an authority link.

If you don’t already know who some of the primary bloggers are in your niche, it’s past time that you learn. The first step to courting a guest blogger is to establish a relationship.  It’s likely better to not originally reach out to primary influencers by asking for them to do you a favor. Instead think about engaging them through social media and trying to start up a conversation. If you can get them to see your blog and respect what you do, there might be a link in it for you.

Create Content that is Conducive to Sharing

There is some content that people just don’t want to share. You might be the biggest rutabaga enthusiast in the world. But your recipe for rutabaga pot pie might just not be the sort of content that’s destined to go viral. Brands should consider the type of content that gets shared, produce such content and make it easy to share with social buttons. According to SEO Moz’s Rand Fishkin, content is more likely to go viral when it contains strong visual elements. Based on our experience, this is definitely true. We’ve found that when we post an infographic like our Evolution of SEO, it inspires more shares than when we post text-based posts. For example, if you incorporate that rutabaga pot pie recipe into a large infographic about vegan alternatives to traditional recipes, it will likely generate more shares. Look at the kind of posts that are getting shared in your niche, both on your blog and on others. If you notice a certain type of content generating more views and shares, consider incorporating similar posts.

Optimize Your Blog For Mobile Devices

Research shows that 50% of searches are conducted on a mobile device. However, up to 79% of large online advertisers still don’t have a mobile optimized site. It’s now easier than ever to optimize blogs for mobile devices. In our recent article 5 Promising Cloud Marketing Solutions, we reported that Appifier allows brands to automatically create a mobile optimized version of WordPress sites. This can help ensure that you blog is easily readable by mobile users.

Optimize Load Time

No one likes waiting for content to load. If your page load time is 4 seconds or longer it can have an incremental effect on your bounce rate. Page speed should therefore be a crucial component in your blog optimization strategy.

Tools like YSlow can help give insight into your blog’s load time. If your blog’s pages aren’t loading quickly enough, don’t worry. There are steps you can take to improve loading speed.

For example, you can compress Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and javascript. By minifying  your code (removing all unnecessary bits), you can improve your loading time by up to 30%.

Though your goal is to create viral content, the more views your blog gets, the easier that your content can overwhelm your server, decreasing loading time. A way to circumvent this issue is to implement a caching system. A caching system can call a page’s information less frequently, save the results and then pass the saved version to viewers. This can be a lot quicker than calling the information each time a user accesses your page.

If you have a WordPress blog, try implementing a caching plugin like Hyper Cache.

Participate in QA Sites

Sites like Quora, Yahoo Answers and LinkedIn give you an opportunity to win over a following in your niche. By answering questions and posting helpful advice, you can add legitimacy to your brand. Be careful not to appear spammy when dropping links to your blogs. Be aware that most links on QA sites will be nofollow links, which don’t carry the authority of follow links. But it’s best to have a balanced link profile that contains both follow and nofollow links in order to avoid arousing suspicion from Google’s robots. SEO purposes aside, participating in QA sites will connect with a highly engaged community in your niche. Fellow bloggers might even be inspired to link to your blog from their personal sites if they find your content helpful.

To learn more about blog SEO check out:

The WordPress SEO Tutorial from Yoast

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