Friday, 13 July 2018

Five techincal things I wish I'd known when I launched my blog

technical things you should know about when launching a blog. How to create pinnacle images perfect for Pinterest, SEO basics for your blog, quality landscape images, how to improve your page bounce rate and which categories and tags to include in your post.

I started this post a couple of weeks back (So you started a blog - now what?!), with some basic things to think about when you launch your site, saving some of the more juicy technical things for this week! 


Five technical things I wish I'd known when I launched my blog

1 SEO
Now there isn't really time to delve into this in a beginners post, so I'll just give a quick 'in a nutshell' rundown - SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and is basically all about getting yourself ranked higher on Google. It's obviously a lot harder than you think to make it onto the front page of a search, but there are a number of things you can do to improve your ranking and pull in a few more viewers. 

Always add 'alt tags' to your posts AND images (you can do this in the editing stage of writing your post), making sure you pack these tags with as many keywords as you can. Think about what somebody might be searching for if they were to come across your post, and write a few sentences containing these words (make it sound organic and natural, not just a list). These golden keywords should also make it into the first paragraph of your post, and ideally in the title too if you can make it fit. 


technical things you should know about when launching a blog. How to create pinnacle images perfect for Pinterest, SEO basics for your blog, quality landscape images, how to improve your page bounce rate and which categories and tags to include in your post.

2 Images
While writing great content is key, having beautiful, clear, high-quality photographs is so important. Find out what the optimum image size is for your platform, making sure all your images are that size - and don't forget that landscape images fill the screen better. I shared my top tips for improving your blog photography here, and would definitely recommend a DSLR camera if you really want to take your pictures to the next level - I compared images taken on my iPhone with those taken on my camera here.

technical things you should know about when launching a blog. How to create pinnacle images perfect for Pinterest, SEO basics for your blog, quality landscape images, how to improve your page bounce rate and which categories and tags to include in your post.

3 Bounce rate
A more techie one - this is basically how long somebody spends on your site before leaving. It's measured in percentage, and you want it as low as possible - meaning someone has stuck around for a while.

One quick way of boosting this is to link to some of your other blog posts. You'll find that you do this naturally as you create a post, as they'll be other posts that might be of interest to your readers (you'll notice I've done this a bit throughout this particular post), but its good to do this at the bottom of the page too, as a 'where to next' prompt. There are numerous plug-ins and widgets available through your platform that will do this for you, or like me, you might find that your blog template does it for you.

4 Pinnable images
Pinterest is a complete minefield - its taken me ages to properly get my head around it, but once you do its worth all the hardwork as it can be a fantastic traffic booster. Make sure you include 'pinnable' images in your post and share them to Pinterest to promote every new blog post you write. I find the best thing to do is to create a pin for every blog post you write - high-quality, clear photos in portrait work best, and you can add your blog link and title of your post too if you like. An example of one of my pins is below:

technical things you should know about when launching a blog. How to create pinnacle images perfect for Pinterest, SEO basics for your blog, quality landscape images, how to improve your page bounce rate and which categories and tags to include in your post.

Joining programmes such as Tailwind (there's a free version) means you can schedule images to re-pin at times when your audience are more likely to be online (Pinterest is huge in the states so you'll naturally receive more traffic and engagement overnight). I have one blog post in particular that does very well on Pinterest, regularly pulling in traffic without me ever having to do anything else.

5 Categories 
I use tags to classify each of my  posts, and I find it gives my blog clear focuses, helping readers to find posts which interest them. Include a drop-down menu somewhere on the homepage with your different sections to create a site that's easily navigated. We have very short attention spans (we're talking seconds), so if your homepage is hard to decipher a visitor may leave and not bother coming back, meaning you've lost them forever.

Hope that's given you a quick insight to the more technical side of things, and as always please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any questions at all!


Thanks for reading,
Sam Xx

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