Link

Recommended article: “The Guide To Strategic Writing”

I read this article on writing:
The Guide To Strategic Writing.

The main idea, as proposed in the article, is to research and find a proven idea. Then, write an article that improves on this idea.

Make sure the problem is real and your readers can relate to it

The article provides a good overview what content marketers will suggest and recommend in 2015.

The challenge that I see is trying to implement this in a small or medium sized business. You’ll need access to subject matter experts and time for research. Both are scarce.

Good times to be a writer.

WordPress-y clean-up

I just deleted over 20 WordPress themes that had accumulated in my wp-content folder. Feeling de-cluttered. I’ve kept Syntax and Underline.

I’ve also been unlinking tonnes of broken links.

Next, I need to figure out why comments are not getting thru.

BTW, there’s a WordPress conf in Zurigo on 19 September.

I’ve been using WordPress since 2004. 11 years. It’s served me well.

Is it slow? Is it bloated? Maybe, but you can always work on improving that.

Helmet hair

One of my favourite jokes is to walk into the office and complain about helmet hair. I keep saying that I’ll write a confessional book how bicycle helmets ruined my hairdo and life.

I found some stats that show helmet hair is an issue for some bicycle commuters:

Body image issues and appearance accounted for a huge percentage of women who are reluctant to cycle to work. 28% said they didn’t want to arrive at the office sweaty, 19% said they were too self-conscious while 25% in total cited unmanageable hair and helmet hair as the main barrier.

I enjoy my bicycle commute too much to worry about my hair.

velo helm

The reasons to wear a bicycle helmet outweigh the disadvantages by far:

  1. It offers some protection of your brain in case of a bicycle accident.
  2. If you ever have a bicycle accident, you can answer the most common question with “Yes, I was wearing a bicycle helmet”.
  3. Today’s helmets are lightweight and look sporty.
  4. You can have endless conversations on helmet models, which model is the best, and how to wear the helmet correctly.
  5. You can make jokes about helmet hair.

Complimentary link:
I found a link on the history of bicycle helmets. And wearing a helmet is quite a recent development.

velohelm oder beten

10x

Two sites that I read regularly – Moz and Hubspot – analyzed and wrote about their own blog post frequency.

Quality vs. Quantity: A 6-Month Analysis of the Age-Old Blogging Debate

Raising the Bar: A Publishing Volume Experiment on the Moz Blog

I am stunned. Flabbergasted.

How will small and medium-sized enterprises thrive in such a content marketing world?

High quality and high frequency.

My prediction has always been that we will return to media empires with gatekeepers guarding the entrances.

Citizen journalists and bloggers will only get a voice when the gatekeepers choose to let them.

What will an SEO audit be like in 10 years?

A couple of months ago, I went thru an SEO audit. I wanted to write a blog post to reflect on what I learned. This is my feeble attempt to collect my thoughts and jot down some notes. Where available, I’ve tried to list my source links.

bagger statt strasse

What is an SEO audit? In an audit, your website is analyzed and checked (often by an external SEO specialist) to be sure that it complies with SEO best practises.

football crazy

12 items to consider:

  1. GWT is your best friend.
    I spent a lot of time working my way thru Google Webmaster Tools, cleaning duplicate title and meta description tags. Duplicate title tags are a negative quality feature for Google. Sources of duplicate title tags are
    • non-translated title tags,
    • content management software settings, e.g. showing the same mono-lingual Drupal view in several website languages.

    GWT is the place to find these. Same for missing title tags. Or meta descriptions that are too short. Or the index status, which shows you how many pages are indexed.

  2. Follow a holistic approach. If you think you’re all set ‘cos you have had your new web design and navigation tested for usability by a user experience expert… Think again. You need to involve SEO early on in your design project. Ask for SEO guidance once you’ve gone thru the card sorting/information architecture steps. Check your designs from an SEO perspective. Write content in close collaboration with your SEO analyst.
  3. Question the SEO impact of new website features.
    Ask your web developers about the SEO side-effects of adding new features and changes. I learnt that website changes to make a website responsive and mobile-friendly may add unintended SEO problems, e.g. ‘cos the changes added a second hidden navigation which Google cannot identify yet.
  4. Ignore SEO noise.
    A lot of the SEO advice that you read on the web is blabla. Avoid link-bait. Hearsay. Look for reputable sources and SEO specialists that really know their field.
  5. Use the hreflang tag on multilingual websites.
    Add rel="alternate" hreflang=x on all web pages.
  6. Check the correct usage of heading tags.
    Use only one h1 per page. Keep the order h2, h3, or h4. Don’t jump to an h3 after using an h1.
    Check thru the design elements (e.g. navigation, footer, search button, contact form heading, teaser text blocks, or similar for hidden h1s or h2s).
  7. Improve h1 content.
    A heading 1 should provide a good summary of what to expect on the web page. Include keywords.
  8. Internal linking.
    Add relevant internal links. Add an on-page sitemap. Use footer links for important landing pages, not to repeat the navigation. Never use any hidden sub-page menus. Make sure you use dropdown menus that can be parsed by Google.
  9. Clean up any 302 redirects that may have been added by the content management system.
  10. Repair or replace all internal broken links. Tool tip: I used Integrity for Mac.
  11. Page speed matters.
    Check Google Page Speed Insight to improve the loading time of your site.
  12. Check the XML sitemap.
    The XML sitemap should only include pages with status code 200. Use the real, final URL in the XML sitemap, not the CMS page ID.

10 years plugin

What will an SEO audit look like in 10 years? That is an intriguing question. I have no idea which way SEO will go. My guess is as good as yours. I do know that SEO is getting quite complex. And may even be replaced by *something* entirely new. If you are a website manager, my advice is to dig in and ask lots of questions.

Look at all aspects. Take a holistic approach. Try to form a cross-functional team (designer, ux researcher, web developer, SEO expert, content writer).

ready mix for mandasi

If you do search on Google, remember the search engine result on page 1 is not necessarily the best content, but the best optimized content. Use Google search operators to get you off the beaten track. And there are alternatives like DuckDuckGo and Wolfram Alpha, which we should support more to avoid monopoly and manipulation.

Related links

GWT resources:
http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2014/05/21/how-to-use-google-webmaster-tools-for-seo/

On-page factors:
https://moz.com/learn/seo/on-page-factors

Duplicate content:
http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/duplicate-content-problems/
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359?hl=en

How to carry out a content audit:
https://moz.com/blog/content-audit-tutorial

Technical Site Audit Checklist: 2015 Edition:
https://moz.com/blog/technical-site-audit-for-2015

Disclaimer:
All mistakes are my own. Please let me know if I got something really wrong. I’m here to learn. These notes help me to reflect and learn.