Our clients are keeping on with business. They’ve made adjustments, of course, but they’re keeping on. Here are a few tips on how.
Here’s how to check headlines on your website. It’s something you can do during quarantine downtime
Why is this important? Headlines are very important to accessibility, and they play a role in search engine optimization (SEO).
Quick Explanation: Heading tags are in the code of websites. The tags are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6. The should
- organize the content, especially for screen readers
- have keywords that are relevant to the content on the page
If you know how to check these in the software you use (WordPress for example), use that software. Add and edit the keywords if needed.
Universal Headline Check
Here’s a way to see the H tags using any computer or mobile device.
- Go to https://validator.w3.org/
- Type or copy-paste the address of the page you’re checking into the Address field.
- Click More Options.
- Select Show Outline.
- Click Check.
Next, scroll down to the Heading-level outline in the results. This validator tool shows errors and warnings, but they’re not important for checking headlines. Ignore the warnings and errors.
If you don’t see this section, make sure you selected the option Show Outline.
Important Advantage: The W3 Validator shows all the headlines on a page including those in the header and footer.
WordPress with Gutenberg Headline Check
On WordPress using the Gutenberg editor for a page or post, find the headline outline under the “i” icon near the top.
Important Shortcoming: This shows only headline blocks in the content of a page. It excludes the header, footer, and headlines created by shortcodes.
Click the “i” icon to see the Document Outline.
Keywords in Heading is First Priority
First, these headlines should have keywords. That’s what’s most important about headlines and SEO. Edit your page or have your web editor add some keywords if you think they’re lacking.
Heading Organization is Important but Not Critical
Google says headlines should be nested like an outline. If you can, do this. But this is not critical to SEO.
Find more details in our blog post about organizing headings.
Bonus: Updated Page
I think Google gives a slight bump to pages and sites that are recently updated. Making a small change might-could give you a .0001% boost… that is, a minor boost.
We all publish content for our audiences in print, on our websites, in e-mails, and on social media. We all contact our clients by e-mail, phone calls, and until recently in-person meetings. Now, with these stay-at-home times, digital media is a higher priority than it was a few months ago.
First, let me bash social media a little: a major disadvantage of social media is that when you build your audience there, your’e mostly building the audience for Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram. For instance, when you post on a business page on Facebook, estimates are that it is shown to less than 20% of your page followers, some say as low as 6%. You can pay to show it to more people, of course.
Second, here’s a better idea: build your own audience.
Newsletters and blogs go hand-in-hand to publish content and contact clients. They are a cost-effect way to build and reach your audience.
Two Strategies for your Content
The goal of content marketing (CM) is to bring people back for more content. As your audience builds, you can advertise your company or sell sponsorships to other companies who want to advertise to your audience. With CM, getting a large audience is critical, and it takes time to build that audience. It also takes content the audience wants to see.
One goal of touchpoint marketing (TM) is to keep your company or products in the recent memory of your audience. Lots of media can be part of the mix: social media, phone calls, and newsletters. Until COVID-19, trade shows and events were a part of it. These days I’m suggesting clients consider a blog and newsletter.
Blog and Newsletter Combined
A blog and newsletter can be part of content marketing or touchpoint marketing or both. Content you publish can be used on both. You can
- publish blog posts and then send a newsletter with links to those blog posts
- publish a newsletter and use the same content as a blog post.
- both of the above–whichever suits the moment
Once you have a blog post, you should publish it on social media.
BTW: You can call your blog anything like News, or Updates, or Newsletter. You don’t have to call it a blog.
Wait, There’s More – SEO
Website content is important to SEO, so adding relevant blog posts to your site can help you get found on Google and other sites.
Have something to say. If a newsletter is to be worth anything, you have to regularly create content. It could be sales information, product announcements, technical support articles, how-to tips, or links to articles you find online. You can find general guidelines all over the internet. The exact content for you depends on your business, your goals, and your audience.
One way or another, at least once a quarter and maybe more, you need content.
Where to Create Newsletters
I always recommend a newsletter service instead of managing your list on your computer; good services make sign up and list management easy, and they keep you within the law. For starters, I recommend MailChimp. They offer a free level that’s perfect for starting out. Others include Contact Contact and iContact. Search Google, you’ll find plenty of reviews.
IMPORTANT BIT: Make sure you can export your list from the service. That way you can keep a local back up and move to another service when you want.
A Word About Opt-In Only
You should add people to your newsletter list only after they explicitly opt in. By law, you can add customers, but reputable newsletter services go further requiring permission from each recipient. It’s the right way to handle it. Please, be kind, go with opt-in only.
How do you get somebody to opt-in? You ask. Make it part of getting information from new clients. Send an e-mail to existing clients. Put a sign-up form on your website.
Where to Create Blog Posts
Blogs are done on your website. WordPress has a built-in blog, so if you’re site is built with WordPress, you’re almost ready. It’s just a matter of changing some settings, checking the design, and turning it on. Oh, and you have to come up with content.
Check with your webmaster about what’s available for your site.
Building Your Audience
At first, it’s a slow process. If you’re lucky enough to create a viral video, you might build an audience quickly. Most likely, you’ll build your audience over a few months and longer. Even if your list isn’t big, a small list of existing clients can be effective. Keep at it. Ask new and existing clients for permission to add them to your list.
Plan and execute for the long term. In a year you’ll have a bigger newsletter list and a year’s worth of relevant content on your site.
Call or E-mail Your Questions
With COVID-19 keeping everybody at home, digital marketing is a priority. A newsletter and blog are cost-effective ways to keep in contact with customers, build your own audience, and improve your website’s SEO.
As always, call or e-mail me your questions.