The latest version of WordPress (4.9.8) shows on your Dashboard a prompt alerting you to the “new, modern publishing experience coming soon”. Over last two months, I have been following the development of the Try Gutenberg Call-out for the WordPress dashboard. The new editor is codenamed Gutenberg, and you might ask yourself: To try or not to try?Read More
Your graphics are honey to the bees, irresistibly drawing your worker bees – er, readers & fans – to your posts from all across the internet. Graphics are King! Don’t you believe me? You say, “It’s content.” Yes, you are right. Content is king, but only if you can get the attention of your target audience, and tempt them to click on a link to actually get to your content. A great graphic for your content makes it more shareable, more enticing to click on it and more successful.
Researchers of Vanson-Bourne investigated the used of secondary CMS among enterprise organization. The study was commissioned by WPEngine and Manifesto. 300 Enterprise-level IT and marketing decision makers, involved in their organization’s website operation, were interviewed in October 2017. Respondents were from organizations in the private sector across UK and US. The companies had at least 1,000 employees, the majority of respondents’ organizations have at least 3,000 employees and the average global revenue was 3.2 Billion.Read More
How do I come up with blogging ideas for my nonprofit website or my online business?
It’s a question often asked. When you put this issue in the Google search box, you’ll find about 197,000,000 results. One answer for you: Search Analytics in the Google Search Console
The most forgotten tool for content creators is Google Search Console. About a year ago Google renamed it from Webmaster Tools as an attempt to get non-techies to pay attention to the information it uncovers.
Yes, there is a lot of techie stuff there, still. But one section is pure gold when looking for inspiration on what to blog about next. If you write for your nonprofit’s website, you need a report on the site’s position on the result pages. A report on monthly activity will work on most occasions. If it’s a new site, use the last 90 days to compile the list.
What can you learn from the Search Analytics?
It lists all keyword phrases your website was relevant, in Google’s mind, for its search pages.
For each keyword phrase in the list you can see:
- Number of clicks
- Number of Impressions
- Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Let’s take it one at a time:
Number of Clicks
People saw one of your pages listed, found it worth checking out and clicked to pull it up in their browser. If they didn’t lose patience while waiting for the page to come up, they landed on your website.
By the way, those are the visitors and sessions you see in your Google Analytics under “Organic search.”
Number of Impressions
Search Console Help states: “A link URL records an impression when it appears in a search result for a user.”
Every time one of the web pages from your site was included in the search results it counts as an impression. Google also notes that the URL does not have to be scrolled into view for it to count. It does not mean the user searching has seen the web page. What you can now see is how many people have searched for the keyword phrase.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
You can calculate the click-through rate by dividing the Impressions by the Number of clicks. It gives you a relative measure of your web page’s’ performance.
The last number is average position and identifies the spot on the search result pages. The goal, of course, is the number 1 spot. Ranking number one for your brand is easy. If people search for your company, your site should come up on the number one or number two spot.
Apart from that, to rank high enough to get to the top spot, your content needs to hit the keyword phrase exactly. The web page needs to cover the topic deeply and exhaustively. Most of the time that’s not the case.
A lot of different ranking factors go into the algorithm determining the placement of a web page. All you can aim for is close to the first page of the search result pages.
How do keyword phrases in Google Search Console help you create better content?
You look at the keyword phrases with a high click-through rate. Decide for yourself, if it’s a keyword phrase, that is relevant to the goals of yours. Relevancy is key. Sometimes we find surprises in the Search Analytics. For instance, our website ranks high for “pardon our dust.” A phrase placed on our site before we had any content. A person searching for this phrase is not interested in nonprofit technology topics.
Next, to the keyword phrase, you see a gray arrow in a square. If you click on this square, you will see an example of Google search page for the keyword combination.
Take a look at the sites listed on the first page. Now asked yourself, if you can’t do a much better job writing about the topic than they could. Your next blog post will be on this subject. Combine it with a series of other blog posts, make an ebook out of it and use it as a lead magnet. Invite an expert and interview her on this topic for your next video. Re-purpose the audio of the video and publish it as a podcast. It’ll be a lot of work, but it will be worth it.
“What’s a good read for people is good enough for Google.”
This approach should drive your editorial calendar. Do this for twelve more keyword phrases, and you improve your average position. To get to number one spot might take a few months. And you will generate more clicks to your pages along the way.
How long should your blog post be?
Well, you can aim low and go for 300 to 600 words with a nice graphic to attract readers on the social webs. If you want to hit a home run, you need to take a big swing, though. Go for the long form content.
Back in 2012, I was doing some research for myself and our customers to select the best blogging tool and work through all the necessary features to use it as the central hub of an organization’s online communication. The research for the post took me quite a while to make real apples-to-apples comparisons, and test each of the 17 features in four blogging tools.
When you search for “compare blogging engines” the article is still listed on the first page, five years later. It doesn’t perform as well anymore because in the last five years a lot has happened in that landscape. You can imagine that on top of my to-do list is to update the post with new information, make the overview table responsive to mobile devices, and then it will drive more relevant traffic to our website again. Studies show long-form content outperforms shorter content for the long tail and both have their places in your content marketing strategy and search engine optimization activities.
“Give people what they need, and they will reward you with their clicks.”
Resources for your Content Production
Now when you write, you would need to make sure you do your onsite search engine optimization. More about Onsite SEO on our podcast episode #4.
Yoast, developers of Yoast SEO WordPress plugin, just added another free feature to their plugin, called Cornerstone Content Analysis.
NewsCred’s managing editor, Heather Eng, wrote about their internal Content Quality Checklist every piece of content needs to pass. It should get you started to formalize quality standards for your content producers.
Send us your comments, questions or suggestions via commenting below or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
(Editor’s Note: Pauli Systems’ founder Birgit Pauli-Haack originally published this piece earlier this year at NPTechProjects.)
WordPress Image Galleries are built into the WordPress core and, as such, provide a very useful, entertaining and colorful enhancement to your content – and your content marketing.
This is a post that was orginally posted at the site of WordPress Meetup Southwest Florida
For Relevanza, and a Google+ Hangout on WordPress gallery, I produced the two videos. In the first I walk you through the task to created an image gallery to be displayed in a post or a page and how to change some of the display options for Thumbnail Grid and Slideshow built into WordPress Core. You don’t need to install any plugins to make this basic functionality work beautifully on your site. As mentioned before the basic WordPress gallery is built into the Core of WordPress.
How Jetpack Modules improve WordPress Gallery
Once familiar with the WordPress Image Gallery built into WordPress Core, Jetpack gives you additional options and and features to augment the look of your gallery or to display various galleries in the side bar widgets.
Photography is my way of trying to stay in the moment just a few seconds longer, cherishing it by freezing it in time.
Time is fleeting and change relentless, especially in technology. Not much time remains for dwelling in the past. Despite living in technology, I resist change as much as the next person. Photography gives me a chance to hold on a little while longer, to the peace, the comfort of the known and customary behavior, before charging again into the next unknown, the next adventure, the next level where I unlearn what I know and become a rookie all over again to new plateaus and new sites and other ways of doing things better in my profession.
This year’s travels made me realize how much better I have become at selecting special points in my life, holding on to the precious so much better with the help of a great camera on my phone, the Nexus 4, by connecting its storage via Instant Upload to my Google+ photo space. No more need to connect my camera to a computer, waiting until the camera program loads, waiting until the MBs over MBs of digital information travel the USB cable. Until Google+, the process was long from photo taking to editing to sharing with my friends and family.Read More
The following is an interview with Birgit by CFCamp officials:
Birgit Pauli-Haack, President/Founder of Pauli Systems, LC was chosen as one of the speakers for the Fourth Annual CFCamp 2013 to be held October 14-15, 2013 in Germering near Munich, Germany. The CFCamp has established itself as a fixture for Coldfusion developers and offers again this year many interesting sessions by well-known speakers. Birgit’s session topic will be Mango Blog “How Mango Blog works and how easy it can be extended”.
Tell us a little about yourself (your work, passions etc…)
What motivated you to speak at CFCamp 2013?
With CFCamp being held so close to my hometown, I wanted to participate in CFCamp last year, but I already had committed to NCDevCon, where I gave a presentation two years in a row. With a little planning of time, it worked out much better this year. I cherish the occasion to be able to meet up with the European Coldfusion Community and spend additional time with my family. When I contacted Michi regarding my registration and ask if I can help in any way with organization, he asked if I wanted to speak. I pitched a few topics, and he suggested I talk about MangoBlog.
There are lots of interesting speakers lined up this year, what other presentations are you looking forward to
Yes, the presentation line up on the schedule is very, very interesting! And I am looking forward to CFWheels, Bootstrap, MangoDB, Fusion Reactor, and Raillo
What technologies excite you and where do you see the future of web development?
Definitely quite excited about context-sensitive information in mobile development, integration with 3rd party APIs, as well as the semantic web.
Have you been to München before and do you have plans for your visit
München is hometown for me. My family is from Starnberg, a small-town 15 miles (ca. 24 km) south-east of Munich and my parents live there. Beyond catching up with family and friends, I don’t have any plans yet, but at some point I will be visiting München’s newly re-opened Lenbachhaus (@Lenbachhaus), and I will be making an appointment with Alexander the Great in Rosenheim’ @LokschuppenRO
Final question: TSV 1860 München, FC Augsburg, FC Nürnberg or FC Bayern München?
Not doubt: FC Bayern.
“So how is business?” a friend asked me quietly the other day. I could see the barely disguised fear in her eyes at the prospect of having to hear in reply another devastating story of how the Great Recession has turned yet another business into … let’s say a non-profit entity. Imagine her delight when I told her that I feel blessed and business for Pauli Systems has been fantastic. “People are now coming with bigger dreams to our boutique web development and design shop on Radio Road,” I added.
Once upon a time we were seen as a mere office supply store, where one just buys something to put up on the web and is forgotten until something new is needed on the web. Gone are the days when one hops from web developer to web developer, who invariably rip up an old website and installs a new one, which then an instant small business website & ghost town.
I never cared for those cookie-cutter web site shoppers who only want a Number One spot on Google Search and want it with a single key phrase, like “real estate” (in a town with 7,000 Realtors) and want it instantly, without any sense of content or context. “Water removal,” “pet grooming.” .
The conversation has changed and I am very happy about that.
Business owners and managers realize today that “being online” is part of their business and content is king. High demand for story, data and image sharing online have become a strategic part of savvy business plans and daily operations. And the savviest business owners come to us looking for a partner to take them beyond single parts and who offers a broad spectrum of tools, services and guidance. We share our experience to help build systems flexible enough to grow with the business’ and customers’ needs but also stable enough, scalable enough to integrate into operational processes of a growing business.
We don’t have a chinese menu, from which one picks and choose. Online presence and online marketing has so many different moving parts that picking one over the other is like asking which pencil an architect might use to design a structure. As with building a house, we first need to better understand your vision, goals and budgetary outline.
Our motto is “Form follows Function” or “Form follows Content”, all depends on what you want your web site to be or do and what you think your various groups of visitors would want to see or do on your website; and in which context will they interact with you.
Similar to architects, we will find the right combination of software, tools and services that would best fit your overall content strategy, internet marketing plan and budget. Then we will oversee implementation, acquire resources (software, developers, graphic designers, services providers) and manage the configuration and assembling process.
Most online systems integrate with APIs (Application Programming Interface) and the trend now goes to single purpose apps. That’s what mobile phones and tablets brought us but as an enterprise you depend on the best integration of systems. You need a consultant who has a good working knowledge in many systems and is able to weigh advantages against trade-offs and manage the gaps between systems or innovations.
Within the new paradigm, there are, however, challenges. One of those is to keep fresh content filling a content management system, content to share over the social webs, keeping it fresh and real. As most of you know, I founded two years ago, with journalist, author and friend, Steve Hart, a new company, Relevanza, to integrate all aspects of online technology with the ongoing need to produce relevant content and meet customers on their terms and within their own context.
Business communication is not driven any more by corporate speak, no-one wants to speak to a 501(3)(c) any more (waving at Kivi Leroux-Miller). On the other hand, businesses need to tell the stories of their products, how they are produced, what’s in them and how to put them to use. Business news editors do that for industry publications and that’s what your business needs to do, too.
At Relevanza, we provide the missing link. We are your own news room. We help you speak, tell your story and, then, let the whole world know using the “new” online tools and social media.
Each organization needs to develop an online community to be reachable, approachable and transparent. The biggest challenge now is to understand what a business has to say and say it with authenticity, integrity and honesty. That’s part of the contract with your customers. They chose you because you are able to build a relationship of trust.
Businesses now have plenty of data about their customers and can meet them on their own terms and within their own context. Yet most businesses are still not able to put the data to the best of their knowledge.
It’s still hard to connect the real life interaction in the store, in the restaurant, in the classroom or in your office and continue your online relationship. But how much richer does the business interaction become when you get personal and meet your customers as individuals. Most business schools don’t teach that kind of interaction and most corporations discourage that kind of approach to customer service.
But, as a consumer yourself, how much do you like, perhaps even expect, personal interaction, personal services and customizable experiences? Your customers and clients are just like you.
You’ve gotta work your blog, for it to work!
When it comes to making sure your website or blog builds interest and passion amongst your target audience for whatever it is you do, (you know, the people you want cheering for you — your customers, constituents, donors, etc.), you’ve got to get off the sidelines, roll up your sleeves, and get involved in telling the story, and keeping it fresh. Designing and launching a web presence can be a monumental task, (and, a great achievement), but that’s just half the battle. Once your site or blog is up and running, it’s not going to run itself.
A month or so ago, I wrote about formatting your content as a blog, including some tips to get started, as well as some pointers to avoid the dreaded blogger burnout. The first tip mentioned to avoid blogger burnout was to blog/write about what you love. Staying motivated is a whole lot easier when you’re constantly thinking about, and dealing with the topic you blog about. If you love your topic, you’ll find it easier to think up content ideas, engage with readers, and establish a warm and welcoming voice that encourages rapport and develops a readership. Rest assured, if they’re not reading about you and your organization, they’re probably reading about someone else.
Find your voice, and let people ˜hear” what you have to say. You know your story better than anyone else, so really capitalize on that strength. Make it a point to draw people into your site or blog by sharing and posting articles that highlight and support your mission. Tell your readers about your experiences at a recent industry event, talk about a partner organization’s initiative that ties into one of your own, give accolades to a colleague for his or her outstanding achievement in your area of interest. To that end, here’s an idea — consider authoring your own series of articles around a common theme, making it a weekly feature on your website or blog.
For example, post a spotlight piece each week that introduces a person in your industry/area of interest that is a fervent champion for your cause, or an unsung hero forgotten by the news, but, in spite of, is still forging ahead, (with all the bad news these days, we need more ways to good? stories, don’t we?). The people you profile in the spotlight series may be within your own organization, (staff, volunteers), respected industry peers, folks who do much but ask for nothing in return, etc. Or, consider including a friendly, personal anecdote remembering a past interaction with a well-regarded champion or hero — maybe recalling how he or she helped you get your start. Remember, it’s the heart-warming human? stories and anecdotes that grab people’s attention and make them take notice. These are the types of stories that inspire others to join a cause (perhaps, yours), and get involved.
And, on that note, why not harvest the wealth of personal stories and industry news that resides within your target audience — invite them to share their tales, accomplishments, and expertise. Their contributions are the perfect way to enhance and add emphasis and credence to the material you post, creating another compelling reason for visitors to your site or blog to return again, and again. Depending upon the response to your invitations to submit material, a section or category dedicated to your readers’ stories and contributions may be warranted. Just a thought.
With all the great and eagerly anticipated content you’ll be generating, your readers are certainly going to make their voices heard, by posting comments in response to the stories and articles appearing on your site. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to reach back out — respond regularly to their comments! Let your readers know you are involved, “listening”, and are interested in what they have to say. Answer questions, provide clarification, let them know what action you are going to take, which suggestions you are looking more closely at, and thank them for their feedback. While you’re at it, why not cull reader comments for possible future article ideas? Make your site an interactive and meaningful one, and make your visitors part of the conversation.
The bottom line is, resist the urge to make your website or blog a strictly clip and post? service, where you simply rehash news and material from other sources. (And, let’s not forget about potential copyright infringement issues, right?) If your visitors can get it from another source, why do they need to visit your site? Roll up your sleeves, and make your content a personal reflection of you, your organization and your mission.
In another post, we talked about blogging as a format you can use to build website content, including some back-to-the-basics info onwhat a blog is, tips for getting started and avoiding blogger’s burnout. Here, we’ll focus on the software available, and how to determine the best fit for your needs.
Bottom line, the type of blog software you choose is mainly dependent upon the current state of the rest of your online presence. If you have static web pages, you might want to consider using a self-hosted WordPress installation. This would allow you to easily convert your static pages and start blogging in a short period of time. What’s more, the chances are good that your current website design can be transscribed by your designer into a WordPress theme.
However, if you have already a fairly expansive website built on top of a content management system (CMS), you can ask your web developer about integrating their favorite blog software with your website. He or she will probably be able to offer you several options to choose from. For example, our CMS, Pauli Systems – Community Suite, includes membership administration, photo galleries, and an events calendar feature, and integrates very well with open source blog software that is developed in the same programming language. And, the layout can be seamlessly integrated.Â
If you don’t yet have a website, think of a domain name and order a self-hosted WordPress installation; WordPress.org provides you with a list of hosting companies. We have an easy two-minute WordPress site signup available, that offers variety of templates.
Here are the must-have features for blog software:
- Auto-creation of RSS feeds
- Auto-creation of archive pages by date, by categories, by authors
- A widget section and ability to have 3rd party code displayed from Flickr, YouTube, e-mail signup forms and recent posts
- WYSIWYG editor for content production and formatting
- Easy upload feature for images
- Comment administration with moderation and spam prevention
- Effective creation of meta tags for description and page title to be visible for search engineâ€™s and optimized for social media sharing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others
A closing thought:
With more frequent updates on your blog and, therefore, your website, you will increase the visibility of your company on search engines for various keywords. Make sure you are able to benefit from it and have your domain name be part of your blog’s address. For example, Â blog.mycompany.com, or www.mycompany.com/blog is fine, as well. Keep in mind that if you use a service such as WordPress.com or blogspot.com, they will benefit from increased search engine visibility, not you and your business.