Tag Archives: readers

The Right Way to Tag Your Blog Posts

The post The Right Way to Tag Your Blog Posts appeared first on HostGator Blog . It’s easy to overlook the humble post tag when you’re setting up your blog. But tags are worth a second look and then some. These little labels can deliver a lot of value when you know what they do and how to use them wisely. Tags on your blog posts can make it easier for readers to find what they’re looking for. They can help search engine crawlers understand the content that’s on your site. And tags can help you organize, update, and repackage your archived posts. With the right tracking tools, your tags can even show you which direction your new content should take. What a Blog Post Tag Is—and Isn’t Tags are similar to a lot of other site elements, and it can get confusing. Let’s start by clearing up what a tag is and is not. First, blog post tags are not hashtags. They have similar functions, but hashtags work across an entire platform, which is why you get results from about a million different accounts when you search for #puppies on Instagram. Post tags work within your site, so clicking the puppies tag will return only your posts about wee puppers. Post tags also aren’t the code snippets used to track marketing campaigns with Google Tag Manager. Two totally different things. Post Tags Complement Categories Tags are optional, but WordPress automatically sorts blog posts into categories. If you don’t set up your own categories and use them, your content will be “uncategorized.” That’s not helpful for your readers, you, search crawlers, or people using search engines to find the topics you write about. So please, use your categories. Some bloggers don’t tag their posts because they feel like categories take care of all their sorting needs. That can work if you have a small blog that you don’t update that often, but the more content you have, and the more varied your topics are, the more useful tags will be. Here’s why: Categories sort your posts into a top-level groups that provide a general outline of your content. For example, baking blog categories might be cakes, pies, cookies, and brownies. But you can tag posts in any of those categories with specific labels like Christmas, gluten-free, and so on, so readers can find all your Christmas or gluten free recipes in one tag search. Category and tag management menus in WordPress Post Tags and Meta Descriptions Have Different Jobs Meta keywords show up in a search results snippet for your post, and they get scanned by search engine robots. They can share some of the same words you use in your post tags, but tagging your posts doesn’t automatically generate meta descriptions. You need to enter them in the meta description box for your post. 4 Ways Post Tags Make Your Blog Better 1. Tags can help your SEO. Before you start freestyling your tag names, check out your Google Search Console data to see what keywords people are using to find your blog. By tagging with keywords, you help search engine bots find and categorize your posts. That helps new readers find your blog more easily. 2. Tags make a big blog more manageable and appealing to readers. Consider the tags on a TechCrunch post about robot food delivery . TechCrunch has been around for more than a decade, so they’ve got a huge archive. But they limit the tags to a few relevant labels. Seven of these tags lead to lists of related content that readers can scroll through. The Berkeley SkyDeck tag only applies to the Kiwi story for now. But as the startup accelerator gets more coverage, that tag may appear on more posts. You’ll notice one tag that’s not on this post is food delivery. Even though it’s central to the story, most TechCrunch readers are not there for food delivery stories. Their focus is tech. So keep your tags tied to what your readers are looking for. Resist the urge to toss in oddball tags, because you’ll end up with a bunch of one-off tags that make your site navigation harder instead of easier and don’t help your SEO. 3. Tags relate your blog posts to one another. Once you have a few posts with the same tag, you’ve got a little niche within your content that readers can explore. Behind the scenes, you can also use your tags to find related blog posts you might want to link to in new posts. You can do this manually or you can use a WordPress blog plugin that will automatically surface related posts for you. Once you have a few posts with the same tag, you’ve got a little niche within your content that readers can explore. Behind the scenes, you can also use your tags to find related blog posts you might want to link to in new posts. You can do this manually or you can use a WordPress blog plugin that will automatically surface related posts for you. You can review your tags to see if it’s time to put together a mega-post that updates and combines related content from several different posts in your archive. Tags can also help you pull together material for an eBook quickly. 4. Tags can show you which blog topics your readers like most. You can track metrics for your tags, and even your categories, but you’ll have to do a couple of workarounds for Google analytics to make it happen. One option is to create custom dimensions for your tags and categories in your analytics dashboard . If you do this yourself, you’ll also have to modify your tracking code, too. If you’d rather not mess with your tracking codes, you can use a plugin to set up your custom dimensions. The MonsterInsights Pro plugin has an add-on for exactly this purpose. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics also lets you set up custom dimensions for tags and some other post elements. Ready to set up your blog and start tagging your posts? Get started with HostGator’s managed WordPress hosting. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

Posted in HostGator, Hosting, Uncategorized, VodaHost | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Right Way to Tag Your Blog Posts

4 Best Free WordPress Themes for Food Bloggers

The post 4 Best Free WordPress Themes for Food Bloggers appeared first on HostGator Blog . Got a taste for food blogging? A good blog theme is a key ingredient in your food blog’s success . The right theme showcases your food posts, recipes, and photos beautifully, and it can also do more. A theme that supports WooCommerce or another e-commerce plugin for WordPress makes it easier for you to earn money from your blog. An SEO-friendly theme makes it easier for new readers to find your blog. And a theme that’s designed to be lightweight and responsive will load fast, even on mobile phones, to ensure that the people who find your blog will stick around and enjoy your content. If your current food blog theme isn’t doing all those things, it may be time to replace it with something fresher. Here are four WordPress themes we like for foodies because they serve up great features for free. Best WordPress Themes for Food Blogs Is your food blog’s theme past its expiration date? Here are four fresh, free options.   1. MH Food Magazine This food-focused child theme of MH Magazine gives you the visual equivalent of a beautifully laid out buffet, with a three-column home page that features an array of five featured post images above the fold, topped by a 4-column header with thumbnail images and post headlines. The mobile display is a single column that alternates between full-width featured images with post excerpts and smaller thumbnail images in columns or arrays. MH Food Magazine is a visually busy theme, but if you have a lot of content already in your blog archives or if you’re generating new posts at a rapid pace, this theme will let you show off a lot of it to your readers at a glance. Add the Contact Form 7 plugin, customize your widgets, or display ads with the tools in the free version. The premium version is the parent theme, MH Magazine ($49). It offers fully customizable design elements, 26 widget locations, a news ticker, and extensive support.   2. Recipe Lite Recipe Lite from SKT Themes is a Gutenberg-compatible theme that serves up a professional look with modular editing capabilities so you don’t need to code to get the look you want. Recipe Lite’s desktop display features a three-image slider banner over a row of three featured images for your posts. Category sections follow, along with a newsletter sign-up form, a recent posts image grid, and a sidebar with a bio section and social media links. The display switches to a single column for smartphones. The free version of Recipe Lite is a good-looking theme that’s well suited for bloggers who have a lot of recipes or posts to archive. The pro version ($39) adds hundreds of Google font options, color and layout options, email and Skype support, and shortcodes you can use to add photo galleries , testimonials, flipboxes, and other elements.   3. Food Recipes This image-heavy theme from Faster Themes skips the trendy slider banner in favor of a two-column desktop layout that features four images above the fold next to the sidebar. The background is customizable, so you can use an image or keep things plain to make your featured post images stand out more. Food Recipes really shines on smartphones, where its single-column, uncluttered display makes it a good choice for bloggers whose readers use their phones to display recipes while they cook. The pro version of Food Recipes ($39) adds 1-click updates, six color scheme options, super-fast page loads, WooCommerce compatibility, and Google Fonts.   4. Foodies Foodies from Indigo Themes keeps the focus on the food. The homepage displays an array of 3 or 4 columns (single column on smartphones) of featured photos that invite readers to explore your recipes and posts. The recipe image grid calls to mind the vintage photo recipe cards of the 1970s, although the theme’s tone is fresh and modern. The free version of Foodies is SEO-friendly and designed with affiliate marketing in mind. It gives you full control of theme colors, supports left-to-right language translation, and is responsive and fast-loading. Foodies Pro ($49) adds an SEO-friendly recipe post template for easy formatting, filters for sorting posts and recipes, and AJAX-powered posts that display individual recipes over the homepage or category page quickly, without taking time to refresh the whole page.     Choosing a Food Blog Theme that Suits Your Taste Most theme publishers offer a live demo view of their themes, although you may have to view them on both a computer and a smartphone to see how they’ll look on each type of device. (Some, but not all, live previews will let you choose different device display options on your computer.) If you like the way a theme looks in live previews, the next step is to download it and try it out with your own blog content on as many devices as you can access. It’s a wise move to do this with a few themes you like before you make a decision. That’s because you can’t get a true sense of how the theme will work for your food blog until you try it with your posts and photos. While you’re trying out your shortlisted themes, ask yourself how well they support your goals for your blog, how well they support the way your readers use your content, and how fast they load your content. If most of your readers follow your recipes at home on their phones, a theme that displays recipe posts clearly, without requiring multiple taps or slides, is a must. If you plan to sell subscriptions or products on your blog, your theme needs to be compatible with WooCommerce or other plugins . And every blog needs to load fast for SEO and readership. Once you pick a theme, ask your readers what they think of it and listen to their feedback. Like a recipe that needs adjusting to taste just right, your new theme may need some tweaks to keep your readers happy. Keep listening and adjusting as needed and your fans will keep coming back to see what you serve up next. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

Posted in HostGator, Hosting, VodaHost | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 4 Best Free WordPress Themes for Food Bloggers

How to Write Blog Posts for Your Buyer Personas

The post How to Write Blog Posts for Your Buyer Personas appeared first on HostGator Blog . Quick quiz for business bloggers: In one sentence, describe the audience for your blog. If you had your answer ready, you’re ready to write must-read content for your customers. If you had to stop and think about who your audience is, or if you said “everybody,” it’s time to get a clear picture of your readers so you can create more effective content. In both cases, the key is to research, build, and use buyer personas. Write for a Specific Persona If you aced the quiz, it’s because you have a customer persona . Personas are like character sketches for marketers and bloggers. They define types of audience members by their interests, age range, online behaviors, and shopping habits. You create personas based on data from your site analytics, social media monitoring, site-visitor surveys, and interviews with your readers and customers. If you’re just starting out, research the types of people you’d like to have in your audience. Start with the persona that represents the largest part of your audience. Let’s say you have a blog for your hobby farming supply business. Your primary persona might be a retired banking executive (let’s call her Daisy) in her early 60s whose partner is also retired. She recently bought a vintage farmhouse on a small acreage. Her interests are raising flowers and herbs for market and she’d also like to set up a duck pond and a rental cottage on her property. Daisy likes to carefully research purchases and she prioritizes quality over price. Here’s a sample persona template you can use to create your own website personas: Speak the Same Language as Your Customers Whoever your persona is, write in a voice that they’ll understand. Let’s stick with the hobby farm supply example for a bit. Maybe your background is in agribusiness. Daisy, your retired banking-executive persona, won’t know the ag jargon that you do. She searches for terms like “how much to feed ducks,” not “how to formulate balanced poultry rations.” Include the keywords she’s likely to use in your posts to show her you’re speaking to her, so she’ll stick around. Bonus: Better SEO is a natural outcome of using the phrases your personas use. Not sure how your persona talks about or searches for their interests? Look at your blog and social media comments and email messages from your customers. Monitor your Google Search Console data to see which keyphrases bring readers to your blog. And check out other blogs, vlogs, and podcasts in your niche. The goal isn’t to copy anyone else’s voice but to connect with prospective customers by speaking their language. Tailor Post Length to Your Audience and Your Goals How long should your business blog posts be? That depends on your goals for each post and the time your persona has to read it. Daisy is retired and has time to focus on her interests, but an audience of mid-career professionals with small children will have less time to read. Short and long posts both have their place on your posting schedule, but you’ll want to skew toward what your audience prefers. The Case for Short Blog Posts Short blog posts of at least 300 words are a great way to tackle niche topics. That’s good for readers who want specific information. It’s also good for SEO, because narrowly focused posts can help you rank well for longtail search phrases . For example, if the persona you’re writing for is a pet rabbit owner, it’s going to be hard to rank well for “rabbit care,” which generates more than 443 million results. By going into more detail with posts on “elderly rabbit grooming,” “safe chew toys for rabbits,” “how to build a rabbit castle” and so on, you’re more likely to reach readers searching for those topics. You can later compile all your short posts on one topic into a PDF to give away to readers who join your list. The Case for Long Blog Posts Long posts —1,000 words and more—are more challenging to write and require a bigger time commitment from you and your customers. Long content typically does well in search results, so it’s worth your time to create at least a few. These can be mega-posts that combine and expand on previous short posts. They can also be new content, like a list or a how-to guide, to promote an upcoming launch or new product. For example, if you’re preparing to start selling an online course , a long post that includes a sample of the class material can help prospective students decide to register. Take your time writing and editing long posts to make sure they deliver what your personas want to know, using the same language they do. And if you’re planning a product launch, review your current site hosting plan to make sure it can handle launch-related spikes in traffic. You may want to upgrade to a more powerful plan like HostGator Cloud Hosting for more speed and bandwidth, and add on CodeGuard daily backup service to easily restore your site if your launch-prep site changes temporarily break things. Pace Your Blog Posts Properly Ask your readers how often they want to hear from you, then build a calendar to match your persona’s preferences. If you don’t have a big audience yet, remember that most people are happy to read one or two new posts a week from a blog they value. Less than that is probably okay, too. Too-frequent posts may overwhelm subscribers and lead them to drop your blog. Save daily posting for when you can hire help, have a large audience, and have specific marketing goals that require lots of new content. Keep an eye on your blog, email, and sales metrics. Over time, you should see how your publishing schedule affects page views, time on the site, email opens and clickthroughs, unsubscribes, and conversions. Tweak the schedule if you need to so your readers stick around. Close with a Call to Action What separates good bloggers from great bloggers? Great bloggers who build thriving online communities and businesses have a clear goal for each blog post before they write it. Before you write, decide what you want your readers to do when they reach the end of your post. Do you want them to join your email list ? Share your post? Buy your duck brooders? Once you know, ask them to do it. Don’t assume it’s obvious. Life is filled with distractions, so make your calls to action clear: Join the list. Get the book. Register now. Reserve your appointment. There’s one other benefit to building personas before you blog. It helps to make your posts more conversational and builds rapport with your audience. So, whenever you’re ready to write, think about your persona, what they want to know, how much time they have to read, and the keywords they search for. Then you’re ready to write posts that will connect. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

Posted in HostGator, Hosting, VodaHost | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How to Write Blog Posts for Your Buyer Personas

How to Optimize Content Before Publishing

The post How to Optimize Content Before Publishing appeared first on HostGator Blog . Even the most engaging content with all the right elements won’t serve the purpose if the search engines can’t find it . Before you hit that publish button, there are several steps you can take which will ensure that your content is properly optimized. If you are ready to invest your time and attention to optimization, the following tips will show you how to do that effectively. Create Content with Optimization in Mind In order to optimize your content, you need to add some important and relevant links, as well as some keywords, to catch the attention of search engines. Some writers make the mistake of creating the content and then placing the links and keywords where they think it fits. This is a BIG mistake! Why? Well, if you add search engine optimization elements after everything has already been composed, it will most probably stick out. Readers can’t overlook randomly added words and links that just don’t naturally fit into the flow of the content. Writers used to stuff articles with meaningless words just so they can add keywords and links to optimize the article. Then in 2011 everything changed because Google established Panda Penalties to make sure that people would be penalized for low-quality, keyword-stuffed content. If you want to write high-quality content with naturally embedded links, you need to know which optimization elements you want to add before you start with the writing process. First, you should know your topic and your target audience. This will help you to search for corresponding optimization elements. Find suitable keywords and valuable links and save them. Along the way, start brainstorming how you can form your content and which subtitles you can create by adding the keywords. During the whole process of research and writing, you will already have your links and keywords ready which will inspire you to write suitable content. By having the optimization elements in mind while you write, you will find a way to add them without sounding forced. Apply Reader-Friendly Formatting We live in the age of people with short attention span or skimmers, how they are popularly called. That is why you need to format your content so that they stay long enough to read through the article and hopefully click on some of the links. There are several elements that every content should have if you want to optimize it in the right way and keep the reader’s’ attention. For reader-friendly formatting, focus on the following: A headline with the main keyword Subtitles which consist of the main or relevant keywords Using H1, H2, H3 metatags for titles and subtitles The main keyword in the first paragraph (recommended) Images with ALT attribute (with main or relevant keywords) Placing keywords naturally and evenly in the text Remember that you’re not writing a book but a text for a website Pay Attention to Content-Length and Readability Focus on the length of the article because you need to write just enough so that the content doesn’t seem stuffed with optimization elements but not too much so that you lose the reader’s attention. The recommended length is at least 1,000 words when it comes to writing articles and having a readability score of 60-70 points. Keep in mind that these numbers depend on the niche, so don’t go to extremes. (Note: the HostGator blog team aims for minimum 2,000 words when we really want to rank!) It can be very helpful if you can ask someone to read your article, web post, or blog post before you publish it. Having a second pair of eyes looking at what you wrote from a different perspective can ensure you that you will give the audience what they want. The person who will read your content can tell you whether there is a natural flow or if some keywords or links pop out. This is a helpful way to find out whether you accomplished to create high-quality SEO content. If you want to improve the readability of your content, you can use some online writing tools such as Grammarly , EssaySupply.com , Readable , and GradeProof . Add Social Media Elements Social media is the perfect tool for raising awareness about your brand and what you represent. It is also a very important element when it comes to content optimization . If you want to optimize your content fully you need to be aware that the readers won’t spend their precious time trying to share your content with their friends and family. Considering that social media is the most common place for sharing interesting findings, your content needs to feature convenient social sharing elements. That means that you should add sharing buttons and locate them strategically on a visible place which doesn’t distract the reader such as the top or at the bottom of your page. You can also set it up so that it follows your readers on the left or right as they scroll. Adding social sharing buttons is good for SEO because it helps to generate more traffic, drive more links, and eventually increase SERPs. Include Comments Section Comments are a great way to connect with your readers, establish a certain relationship, and maybe give them some further insight into the subject you are writing about. But what may surprise you is that comment section can also serve as an optimization tool. How is that? Comments will keep your content fresh and updated and since they are part of the content that will matter to search engines especially if they consist of targeted keywords and high-quality links. Your readers can ask you about a different content piece which will attract shares and backlinks. Also, when answering questions you can also add some relevant links. In addition, you will signal Google that you care about providing value to your readers which is always a plus. Veronica Wright, CEO at Resumescentre has shared a valuable piece of advice concerning this topic, “A comment section is great for SEO! However, you need to pay extra attention to unrelated comments, spam, and low-quality links because they can harm the process of optimization. Don’t hesitate to delete those comments.” Final Thoughts The usual steps of optimization such as adding the links and using the right keywords have been discussed million times, but these steps will take you a step further and help you to create high-quality content with just the right amount of optimization. Dedicating your time to content optimization will certainly improve your ranking and provide you with some valuable clicks. That is why it is important to follow these guidelines and adapt them to the type of content you are creating. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

Posted in HostGator, Hosting, VodaHost | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How to Optimize Content Before Publishing

Grow Your Blog Readership With These 5 Videos

The post Grow Your Blog Readership With These 5 Videos appeared first on HostGator Blog . To boost your blog readership, the solution isn’t always to create better content. Instead, you may need to diversify the types of content you produce. Video content can attract and retain new visitors to your site. Optinmonster reports that “video marketers achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness.” Explore your options when creating eye-catching video content. Here are five types of video to help increase your blog traffic. 1. Behind the Scenes As the world becomes more connected, it transforms into a tight-knit community. This exclusivity gives rise to closed-door activities and sparks people’s curiosity to see beyond the red velvet rope. With the help of video, your brand can feed into your readers’ cravings with behind-the-scenes footage. It’s a rock-star move to give your audience a backstage pass to how your business operates. But do more than show random clips. It’s important that you tell an interesting story on your blog. Ash Read , content crafter at Buffer, explains: “The best video content tells stories that connect with the viewer. The better you tell stories about yourself, the more likely your viewers are going to understand what your company is offering and what it can do for them.” You can give your video an edge by using time-lapsing techniques, adding upbeat music in the background, or even performing a voice-over. These strategies will help engage your reader longer. Behind-the-scenes videos invite readers to explore your brand in a unique way. So, make it special for them.   2. On-Site Events Events are an effective way to bring your audience together. Whether it’s a live product demo or a charity fundraiser, it’s an opportunity to showcase your brand. However, everyone can’t attend your fun-filled event. By capturing these moments on video, readers don’t miss these remarkable experiences. You’ll want to build a strategy before pressing record. You may stream the live event to get folks’ real-time reactions. Or you can stick to editing the footage later to produce a recap video. Below Toyota spotlights its presentation at th e 2017 New York Auto Show. For avid auto enthusiasts, this video brings the experience to people who couldn’t attend the live event. To promote your upcoming video, a good idea is to develop a short trailer. Similar to blockbuster feature films, you can build anticipation amongst your blog readers. Your events won’t be perfect every minute. Rather than editing out the mistakes, you may decide to keep the bloopers. Your brand’s mishaps become relatable to your audience. Sometimes you’ll have to bring the event to your readers. Take advantage of video to make the impossible possible.   3. Tutorials The Internet is an oasis for people seeking to learn something new. From how to change a car battery to how to write the perfect wedding toast, online resources have become a primary resource for individuals. These consumer habits offer your brand a chance to take part, too. With video tutorials , you can give your audience step-by-step instructions on how to complete a certain task. Bustle , an online American women’s magazine, uses video to inform its fans about relevant topics. In the video below, the brand shares tips on how to spot expired makeup. Aim to create useful videos with timeless material. Plus, it’s wise to change up the format. Some videos may include an on-air instructor, while others will include screencasts. “When creating tutorials, remember to throw in a bit of personality to make it interesting. Also, be sure to keep these videos succinct and focus on packing them with value, rather than flashy graphics,” states Foundr contributor Farheen Gani. Transform your blog into a learning environment. Your audience will appreciate the knowledge and look forward to watching your future tutorials.   4. User-Generated Video You’re not required to produce every video clip for your brand. In some cases, it’s better to receive help from your advocates. User-generated video is an opportunity for readers to express their thoughts and feelings about your company. Asking these fans to submit video on specific topics opens doors to social proof . When encouraging readers to create content, you’ll want to establish a common theme. The videos may focus on a particular holiday, the outdoors, or a back-to-school experience. This strategy gives both creators and your brand a focal point, making it easier to share high-quality content. GoPro encourages its audience to upload videos of their adventures. This tweet from a consumer reflects the humorous nature of the brand and shows off the product’s features. GoPro Charlie! #giantdog storms the #goldengatebridge #goprodogs #dogcelebration #landofdogs #dogsoftwitter #sf #sfbayarea #gopro pic.twitter.com/Qwc7MpqWuJ — Coconut Cam (@coconut_cam) August 9, 2018 Your team can gain more blog readers by hosting a user-generated video contest. Entrants get a chance to win a cool prize, and your company earns more brand awareness. User-generated video is more than a consumer posting a funny video. It’s also social validation that your brand is making an impact on the culture.   5. Expert Interviews Information is a goldmine for consumers seeking to improve their lives. Receiving expert advice can help people start a new career, buy a dream home, or even plant an amazing flower. Your readers can get the inside scoop when you interview experts on camera. When selecting your expert, think about your audience’s needs. What do they want to learn? How will the expert offer guidance? Consider the questions you ask the interviewee as well. Stay away from generic questions that only produce basic answers. Get a fresh perspective by crowdsourcing questions from your blog readers in advance. Interviews also build your brand’s credibility. Before booking your experts, prepare them to share lively stories with key takeaways. Answering distinct questions with a plot twist will hold people’s attention.   Grow Your Blog Readership With Video The state of video marketing continues to gain momentum. You can increase your readership with videos highlighting events, tutorials, and expert interviews. Give your blog the boost it needs with different types of video content . Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

Posted in HostGator, Hosting, VodaHost | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Grow Your Blog Readership With These 5 Videos