Hard Core Tech: Clean Up Your Site Backlinks

Hard Core Tech - Clean Up Your Business Blog Backlinks - spacebarpress.com

Every time I log in to my WordPress admin panel to write a post or take care of a site admin task, I see a little box in my dashboard about my site’s links.

Verify all your business blog post links! spacebarpress.co

It’s from a handy WP plugin (Broken Link Checker) that verifies all of the links on my site and lets me know if any are broken. I’m mainly interested in the incoming links, since I don’t often change the link structure of my own site, but it’s always a good thing to stay on top of.

It’s also good from an SEO perspective. Broken links can lead to a decrease in inbound traffic, so I always want to know how I’m doing.

Ask any SEO wizard and they’ll tell you that inbound backlinks are the single most important objective to getting high rankings in SERPs. (Those are inbound links from other sites.) That’s why all the online marketing folks talk about guest blogging and commenting. Those inbound links are a difficult metric to manipulate, which is why search engines give them a lot of weight when determining the popularity of web pages and sites.

What’s the big deal with inbound links?

The big deal with inbound links is that they’re a good indicator of relevancy and popularity of a web page.

  • Inbound links from social media messages signal that many other people think the page is valuable and full of good information.
  • Inbound links from two sites that aren’t owned by the same person/entity are an even better signal, since that means there’s no collusion going on and the link is genuine.
  • Inbound links from multiple web pages and sites show that the site is popular; multiple links from trustworthy sites increases this factor even more.

Simply put, inbound links to a web page are a signal that the info is good, the site is trustworthy and is possibly an authority on the topic. Search engines (specifically Google) put a lot of stock into the notion of authority when weighting web pages on SERPs.

It starts as a numbers game

Search engines first look at the number of links to a single web page, and then cast their net wider, looking at the number of domains that link to that page. This is why having multiple inbound links from a variety of places is good, but multiples from multiple inbound places is even better.

Wait, that was a bit too confusing. What I’m talking about is having multiple inbound links coming from a wide variety of quality sites, not just one or two from the same site.

Why do numbers matter?

Normally traffic and other related numbers are buried in private server logs and databases owned by the website owner. External links are publicly visible and easily stored by services that are accessible by the public.

Line up your numbers correctly

So, after all this tech talk about search engine results pages, rankings, inbound links, and analytics, what does that mean to you, the website owner?

Simple: ensure that your backlinks are always up and running, driving traffic to your site.

Check your backlinks for free

 

The Top 10 List of Business Blogging Tools

Between all those meetings, status updates, reports, and actual work, who’s got time to keep the business blog stocked with great content?

Well, you should.

Here’s the Top 10 List of Business Blogging Tools that’ll help you do that and much more.

1. Highlight your archived content

Previously published content that’s valuable, insightful, and chock full of great info for your audience is good to read any time. That’s why it’s often called evergreen content. It’s always good and never goes bad.

The issue with your archived content is that it’s constantly being pushed down the page by your new content. There’s nothing wrong with the content, it just happened to get published first.

To revive and re-use them, add a related posts plugin to your website (if you’re using WordPress.) A related posts plugin will display and link to additional posts related to the current content a visitor is reading. The two most popular are Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) and Outbrain. YARPP displays only posts from your business blog, while Outbrain can display both your content and external site content that’s relevant.

Keep in mind that these types of plugins may slow down your site, so give them a try first and see how yours responds.

2. Edit images in Canva

Canva is a great online tool that lets you edit images quickly and easily. Upload your own images, then add text and other graphics easily. Download it as a jpeg and you’re all set in minutes.

Edit in Canva - Business Blogging Tool

3. Improve your writing

Whether writing for your business blog is your main job or just one of the many things you do at work, we could all use some help improve our writing. The newer writing tools out there not only help you with the basics like spelling and grammar, but will also check for more subtle things like your use of passive sentence construction and the number of adverbs you’ve used. Assess your writing quickly with Hemingway, which is free or Grammarly, which has both a free and paid version.

4. Discover new blog ideas

Give your audience what they want and they’ll keep coming back to your blog over and over. But where can you find out what they’re most interested in? Check out Google Trends to see what the hottest search topics are. Use BuzzSumo to find out what the most popular blog posts are for a particular topic. Just type in a topic and it’ll show you the top-performing posts, including how many social shares it got, as well as which social media influencers shared it (plus a lot more.)

5. Stop comment spammers

Blog comments are great for building relationships with your audience, answering questions, and just connecting with new people. They’re also an easy target for spammers who are just looking for a backlink to a questionable site. Install a comment anti-spam plugin or use an online commenting service like Disqus or LiveFyre to stop them in their tracks.

Stop comment spam with Disqus - Business Blogging Tool
Disqus helps you stop spam on your business blog

6. Optimize for SEO and Social Media with One Plugin

And that would be the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. It’s been downloaded over 14 million times and is free. Yes, free. Get immediate content analysis of your posts for your keyword and set up your Facebook and Twitter messages without having to leave your blog post draft. It lets you adjust the SEO data for both your site overall and your business blog posts in particular, and did I mention that it’s free?

7. Use quality images

You already know that you should have good, quality images in your business blog posts, so where can you find them? There’s the usual places like iStock and Big Stock Photos, as well as Flickr and CompFight. I recently discovered Pixabay and Pexels, which also have some great HD quality photos that are good for blogs.

As always when it comes to using images and photos, please be sure to check out the usage terms and abide by it.

8. Generate captivating headlines

There’s a good reason for all the posts, books, articles, talks, webinars, courses, and classes on how to write headlines; it can be really hard to do well. Good resources to look at include: Jon Morrow‘s Headline Hacks and Copyblogger’s How to Write Magnetic Headlines.

And if you’re looking for some headline fun, check out Portent’s Content Idea Generator. Here’s what it came up with for this post:

Portent's Content Idea Generator - Use it for business blogging

9. Pre-populate social media messages

Make it even easier for your readers to share your content by using plugins that will help them send out messages directly from your business blog post. Plugins like Click to Tweet from CoSchedule draw your readers to the content you want tweeted most with a visual cue like a button or special highlighting. Others like Click to Tweet let you set up the message to send out, including a shortened link to your post.

10. Upgrade your email newsletter provider

Many marketing automation tools have email newsletter capabilities built right in, so this may not apply to you. But if you don’t have a provider right now, then it’s time to get one. Your email list is the lifeblood of any business, large or small. Try MailChimp, Aweber, GetResponse, or MadMimi and see which one works best for you.

 

Create Recurring Value with Your Business Blog

In a benchmark study of HubSpot customers, they found that ones that blog 15+ times per month get 5 times the traffic than the ones that don’t blog at all.

Five. Times.

While part of that is because they’re putting out a lot of great, valuable content for their audience, the other reason is a little more subtle. The more blog posts you publish, the more you have in your archive. And your archive can produce just as much, if not more, traffic to your blog and site as your fresh content.Create recurring value with your business blog

Wait, what?

You read that right: your archived blog posts can give you just as much, OR MORE, web traffic than your new content. Especially when you’re publishing valuable posts every time.

You want to create recurring, lasting value with each and ever blog post, offering insight and information that your audience craves.

How to create recurring value from your old blog posts

Without any extra effort

Start with the search engines. They constantly send you traffic regardless of when you published the post. Each business blog post is a considered as a new page on your website, which gives it another chance to be indexed by the search engines.

Recurring value with SEO

If you’ve optimized each post for SEO, and included some nice images + ALT tags with keywords, you’ll enjoy the benefits of your blog post long after it was first published. That goes for both regular posts and evergreen ones too.

Add in social media sharing buttons to your business blog and your older content gets out there even more. Readers who like your content and appreciate its value are going to share it regardless of when you published it.

With minimal effort

Promote your older content any chance you get. Schedule a quick series of social media messages to blast out links to the old content on a regular basis (I do this every Friday on Twitter with my “From the Spc-Files” tweets.)

Ideally you should use different compelling headlines with each message, but you could even just use the same one. Much like the syndicated sitcom on TV, you’ll just be sending out the same message every time. It works for them, so it can work for you.

With a bit more effort

If you’re in the groove and really want to mine the value from your old business blog posts, then how about using it to build your email list? Simply take one of your post headlines and turn it into the opening line on your email sign-up form. Once the reader’s handed over their name and email address, redirect them to the blog post, where they’ll get the great content you promised if they signed up.

There’s still life in the old business blog

You don’t just publish blog posts and then forget about them. Use them to your advantage and wring every drop of value they have. Whether you just want to do the minimum for your old posts, or really go to town on them, they’ll deliver for you forever. Start them off right and they’ll be the gift that keeps on giving.

#MondayFun – Filmmaker Roberto Benigni

Painting of Johnny Stecchino by Borbay
Painting of Johnny Stecchino by Borbay

What It Is

This week marks the last film in the Roberto Benigni & Nicoletta Braschi retrospective at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival here in Toronto. I try to watch the occasional Italian film just to keep up with my Italian language skills, however I tend to watch the movies at home. Yet I may make an exception this time around. Tomorrow night they’re showing Johnny Stecchino, which is my favourite Roberto Benigni film.

Why I Like It

Johnny Stecchino was my introduction to the whirlwind that is Roberto Benigni. You probably remember him best for his crazy Oscar acceptance speech for Life is Beautiful (“La Vita è Bella”), or rather, for his journey to the stage for his Oscar. Here’s a reminder just in case you’ve forgotten:

One of the reasons that Roberto has such success with his movies worldwide is that he infuses them with a sincerity and heart that transcends the subject matter. Whether he’s talking about a serial killer in Florence (“Il Mostro“), a case of mistaken identity with a mobster (“Johnny Stecchino”) or Jewish internment (“La Vita è Bella“), there’s always heart.

But it’s in his pure comedies that Roberto really shines. Mixing great comedic timing with hilarious jokes and well-executed pratfalls, Roberto has something for everyone. If you don’t believe me, check out the trailer for “Johnny Stecchino”:

Just hilarious. So go enjoy some laughs today courtesy of Roberto. He’s hilarious in any language.

#SociallyJulia – What I’ve Been Tweeting Lately

Welcome to #SociallyJulia

aka What Julia’s Been Tweeting About Lately

I’m a big fan of social media in general, and Twitter in particular. I think it’s just a great platform to talk with others about whatever, whenever.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter @spacebarpress (and why don’t you? Come on, join in on the fun!), then here’s a list of what I’ve been tweeting about lately…

And that’s a wrap!

#MondayFun – XFiles Lego Sets

What Is It

Brent Waller is a Lego fan and artist who creates Lego sets for things he’s really passionate about (or Geeky for). Without further ado, here you are:

LEGO X-Files

Why I Like It

Yes, you guessed it: XFiles Lego sets! Who wouldn’t want to have a mini version of Mulder’s I Want to Believe poster?

I Want To Believe

Or Lego Mulder & Scully flashing their badges?
We don't need no stinking badges\

Go check out Brent’s work because it really is phenomenal.

Brent Waller’s Lego Xfiles link

The secret to high-quality business blog images (and it’s free!)

Finding royalty-free images for your business blog is always a challenge. If you’re able to get a subscription to a site like Big Stock Photo or iStockphoto, you’ve got accFree images for your business blogess to thousands of great images and vectors that you can use quite easily.

What if you don’t have a big image budget? Or no budget at all? Things get a little more complicated. However you’re not completely shut out from good quality images.

The newest free image tool for your business blog is here

And it’s not one you might’ve expected. It’s from Getty Images, the powerhouse photography company, and it’s available to use for everyone, but not everyone may know about it. Especially in the business blogging world.

It’s all about embedding the images

Getty Images launched their new embed tool about a year ago, however it hasn’t really taken off in the blogging world. I was recently reminded about it by Dave Stubbs, the Montreal Canadiens beat reporter who’s been embedding them in his tweets and articles for the Montreal Gazette.

Getty’s embed feature lets you use them on blogs, websites, and social media with the proper attribution. That’s the key here: the attribution. “Images are the communication medium of today and imagery has become the world’s most spoken language,” said Jonathan Klein, co-founder and CEO of Getty Images. The embedded images include photographer attribution and, when clicked, link back to www.gettyimages.com where the image can be licensed for commercial use.

How to embed a Getty image

The process is slightly different for websites, blogs, and social media.

Embed a Getty image on your website or blog

  1. Navigate to gettyimages.com and search for your image.
  2. Mouse over an image and click the </> icon.
  3. Copy and paste the code into your website or blog post.

Embed a Getty image on social media

  1. Navigate to gettyimages.com and search for your image.
  2. On the search results page, click an image.
  3. Mouse over the image and then click the appropriate social media network icon. A pop-up window for that network appears and you can share the image.

GettyImages

Save money and still give credit where it’s due

Getty Images embedding tool is a pretty handy tool, great for those of you with a limited images budget for your business blog, but also a good way to change things up if you do have a subscription somewhere. Have you been using it on your business blog? Link to some of your posts in the comments and I’ll check them out.

#MondayFun – French Open Tennis 2015

This Week’s Fun

It’s time for the 2015 of the French Open at Roland Garros, the second Grand Slam of the tennis calendar. And the only one on clay, aka the red terre-battue.

Why I Like It

  1. It’s a tennis grand slam, which is always fun. Plus, that means 2 whole weeks of tennis fun!
  2. It’s on clay, which means there’s the possibility of more upsets.
  3. It starts on a Sunday, so I get to watch one more day of tennis.
  4. It’s the smallest of the 4 Grand Slams in terms of footprint, which makes it interesting for fans as they don’t have to go far to see great matches.

Tennis is one of my passions, as I’ve been a lifelong fan and some time player. These days most of my tennis-related time is spent working as a tennis line umpire for Tennis Canada. Which is why I don’t write more about it as I used to on social media. Don’t want to cross any impartiality lines!

But I can still talk about my passion for the sport and encourage everyone to start watching and playing more tennis. So get out there and start swinging a racket! Or watch live tennis. There’s nothing like it.

Interview en coulisses pour des ramasseurs en quête de gloire… #InsideRG #RG15

A photo posted by Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) on

Interview en coulisses pour des ramasseurs en quête de gloire… #InsideRG #RG15

A photo posted by Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) on

Tennis Photogs

If you’d like to check out some great tennis sports photography, like the one I linked to above, check out these photogs:

Jimmy 48 PhotographyRob on Twitter

Ray Giubilo photography

Michael Cole photography

Michael Baz photography

Julian Finney photography – Julian on Twitter

More Images from Roland Garros here and here.

#MondayFun – DIY #StarWars Fun

This Week’s Fun

DIY Star Wars X-Wing made from office supplies.

Why I Like It

  1. It’s Star Wars.
  2. It’s fun.

And who hasn’t tried to build things with the office supplies while waiting for that conference call to start? I had almost all of these things readily available at my last full time job, and attended a ton of meetings and conference calls. My colleagues and I could’ve had mini spaceship battles as we waited. *sigh*

Why Aren’t You Using SlideShare?

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of research on different content types, and keep coming back to SlideShare. SlideShare is a great platform to share content, in particular business (or B2B) content, since that’s where a lot of business professionals hang out.

Just check out these stats on SlideShare:

  • 60 million unique visitors each month
  • 215 million page views
  • One of the 120 most-visited websites in the world

It’s one of the best places to generate website traffic for your business, and gets you credibility with search engines. Check out this edition of the Social Media Marketing podcast with Michael Stelzner, where he interviews Todd Wheatland, author of The Marketer’s Guide to SlideShare. Michael and Todd chat about how to use SlideShare to generate more exposure and leads for your business.