Posts Tagged Blog

Include latest article list on non WordPress website

Recently, we needed to develop a website that used a blogging system – but didn’t necessarily want to use the blog to power the full website as we had other plans for that.

In a nutshell all we really needed was to be able to include a top 10 latest articles list from our WordPress blog on the home and left handside of every page.

In the past, we probably would have used a RSS feed parser to include the latest list, but this was never very clean for us. After much searching on the web we eventually came up with a combined solution and here it is forever embedded on my blog so we don’t have to search the next time round:

<?php
      require('pathto/blog/wp-blog-header.php'); // change this to fit your path
      query_posts('showposts=10');
?>
<?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
<a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a>

<?php endwhile; ?>

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Social Media Marketing – Have you started yet?

106922Social Media Marketing is the latest buzzword to enter our “already overflowing with buzzword” brains. It seems that every business you come across nowadays have at least a blog, Twitter account or even a Facebook Fan Page.

In fact, a recent study of online retailers showed that 86% of respondents in the US already have a Facebook Fan page, with 13% more planning to have one within a year or two. 55% of businesses already have a blog and 25% more plan to have one within a year or two.

What’s worrying however, is that most businesses don’t seem to have a clear plan of what they should be doing with their new found fame.I’ve voiced my opinion on blogs in the past, but Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter accounts are another days work altogether.

Social Media Marketing is very much in it’s infancy. To date, there really are no statistics avaiable on how successufl any of these mediums can or could be to your business.  There are some signs that it can work really well for some, but this by no means works across the board.

The biggest problem I see businesses facing, is the time it takes to engage in such activities. The society we live in today, is driven by instant gratification. If we don’t see a quick return, we give up and try something else. We always seem to think the grass is greener on the other side. Most social media marketing campaigns are simply not that straight forward.

There’s no doubting Twitter is a powerful medium, combine that with a Facebook fan page and you have one hell of an application to get your message out. BUT! If you haven’t done all the hard work of building up your network and planning your strategy, in most cases your campaign will fall flat on its face.

There are many examples of how to run a successful social media marketing campaign, but they are not “one type fits all” scenarios. You need to spend time planning your campaign. The worst thing you could do is put your campaign on the long finger. The sooner you get started, the sooner it will become part of your daily working life (maybe even more) – one thing is for sure…. Social Media Marketing is here to stay.

If you haven’t already started work on your Social Media Marketing plan, why not talk to us at 2bscene and see where we can help you get up and running! info@2bscene.ie (or telephone : +353-1-2190223)

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Business Blog or Not?

Here’s a little scenario I’d like you to think about. It’s something we come across on a regular basis.

Tom runs a landscape gardening company and has a small 5 page websitewith the following structure:

Home Page
About Us
Services
Examples of Our Work
Contact Us

At the moment, Googlehas listed all 5 pages from his website on their search results. Tom knows that he shouldn’t really target more than 2-3 keyphrases per page and that his contact page and examples page have very little content, so therefore would be pointless to use for keyword targeting.

That leaves Tom with 3 pages that he can use to target Google for his chosen keyphrases. He thinks to himself, “surely there’s an easier way to get more pages on my website, so I can target more phrases”.

Tom notices that there’s a one day seminar being run in his local enterprise centre on online marketing. So he decides to attend. An apparently well respected Online PR expert recommends that he should use a blog as it will “significantly increase his ranking on Google”.

So after the seminar, Tom’s mission is to install a blog on his website. The first article he write is titled “how to create a perfect lawn”. He remembers the Online PR expert mentioning that most blogshave a system whereby they “ping” Google to let it know that you have published an article. In most cases, your article should appear pretty quickly on Google, in some cases in less than 15 mins.

After publishing his article, he does a quick check on Google to see how many pages of his site they have indexed (site:yourdomainname.com). “Brilliant”, he exlaims! “I now have a 6 pages listed on Google! If I keep going at this rate, I’ll have hundreds of pages indexed by Google in a few weeks. This is gonna be great!”, Tom thinks to himself.

As days go by, Tom keeps a close eye on his website statistics and notices that the site is getting a lot of traffic for “how to create a perfect lawn” and “a perfect lawn” etc. Surprisingly for Tom, he hasn’t yet got one sales enquiry. “Why could this be?”, he thinks.

Tom contacts his local SEO expert and asks for some advice. The SEO expert quickly points out that anyone searching for “how to create a perfect lawn” are unlikely to be looking to hire someone? “Isn’t it most likely that they will be trying this themselves since they searched Google on how to do it?”, the SEO expert says. “Ah, that makes sense”, says Tom.

So the next day, Tom decides to create an article that is more tailored towards the keyphrases he wants to target, rather than providing free tips and tricks. His new article is called “Landscape Gardening in Ireland”. He doesn’t want it to appear as a spam article, so rather than just filling a page with keyphrases, he spends quite sometime researching and writing a post on “Landscape Gardening in Ireland”.

After a few days, he checks his website stats again… “YES!”, he exclaims. “I’m being found for “landscape gardening in Ireland” and Google has 7 pages of my website indexed!”, he says.

Tom is delighted, this is great news. Tom thinks, “But why have I not got any sales enquiries?”. “Surely this time, people searching for “landscape gardening in Ireland” are looking for a landscape Gardner?”, Tom thinks to himself.

On further inspection of his website statistics, Tom notices that most people finding his website are going directly to his blog article and then leaving the website. They’re not even bothering to have a look at his wonderful portfolio page of all his great work. Tom’s unsure where to turn next. He has wasted time writing these articles that he doesn’t even enjoy doing and he has plenty of other things that he could. On top of this, he’s not too sure what to write about next… But what should he do??

Does this sound like you?

The simple answer to this is – Tom should talk to someone who can help – www.2bscene.ie would be a good place to start! :)

The above scenario is similar to situations we encounter on a regular basis. Website and business owners are led to believe that blogging is the be all of a successful online marketing campaign. The simple fact is that they can be, but NOT for everyone.

The truth is that most of those requesting a blog have been ill informed about the true value a blog provides. Most don’t really understand how to use a blog successfully as part of an online marketing campaign. They expect miracle results even though they’re not sure what exactly a blog does or can do for them.

The increase in requests for blogs can lie squarely at the feet of fly-by-night SEO Experts and “social media and online marketing experts”. These guys love to talk the talk, but most have never really walked the walk. They hype blogs as the saviour in terms of promoting and marketing your website. Unfortunately, they only give away half the facts.

To get the answers you need to see if you it’s worthwhile you need to ask them the following questions:

  1. Do you think it would suit my business?
  2. Do you think I could generate business from a blog?
  3. If so, what would my best approach to doing this be?
  4. Have you examples of clients you have helped create a return with a blog?
  5. If so, can I talk to them!

That should be enough to have them either running away or helping you understand how a blog might help your business.

Here are the simple facts:

  1. Blogs DO NOT increase your search engine ranking
  2. Google loves content – the more you have – the better (ideally it should be related to your area of business)
  3. Blogs DO help you create more content for the search engines – therefore, you should increase the traffic to your website, because your website is likely to be indexed for more search terms
  4. Blogs are a great way of building your profile and help promote you as an authority in your field

Whatever your reason for wanting a blog, please don’t be fooled by those selling it to you as a “magic bullet” solution for search engine rankings. It’s not, if it was everyone would just install one rather than hire a SEO expert.

Blogs can be good for your business, but you need to seriously consider why you are creating a blog. You also need to consider if you plan to create business from your blog and if you do, what is the best approach to achieve this.

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