How to Write an Irresistible Blog Post?

Blogging has become one of the mainstays of content marketing in the present times. It has become one of the popular ways to engage with your customers and in order to bring qualified and targeted traffic to your website, a well-developed blog plays a major role. There are some elements in blogging, which if followed properly, can lead to excellent results in diverting quality traffic to your website. These elements can be followed by anyone and can be mastered through due diligence and practice and you don’t have to be a master writer to write an excellent quality blog post. However, you need to be in sync with the persona of the people who visit your website and hence getting a mastery over visitors persona is a must.

The art of writing an irresistible blog post lies in fulfilling the perceived need of your readersThe point which is being conveyed here is that needs of every section of your audience are different. Hence, while you explain the retirement benefits to a group of predominantly senior citizen or people nearing the retirement age, you would not be able to appeal to the younger section of your blog viewership. Hence, you should accept the fact that you cannot make everyone happy, and hence a B2B blog’s voice and approach is going to be totally different from a blog dedicated to first time moms.

Now, as we have this sorted out, let us now consider some other points that can help us write an irresistible blog for our targeted audiences. First and foremost, you have to make the headline catchy. Headlines are of various types. However, you have to ensure that the headline is neither too small and nor too large. The ideal length should be less than 60 characters so that it is long enough to arouse interest in your viewers and can be fitted entirely in the search results description in the Google search pages. In addition, headlines can be of various types. The first is the list type, i.e. 5 ways to improve your blog traffic.

The other type of headlines are the ones highlighting the benefits, i.e. 5 benefits of blogging consistently. One other type of headlines is the curiosity type, i.e.  The headline generates curiosity by text like Mistakes that every blogger should avoid. Are you making that mistake? Such type of headlines egg on the visitors to read on the actual blog and they are curious to determine what type of blog is it all about.

Hence, by knowing the full potential of a headline in determining the popularity of a blog post, you are all positioned to leverage it to the fullest. Remember, most of the people are going to start your blog by reading the headline of the blog post. And if it going to be inviting and able to generate curiosity to learn more about it, you have succeeded in the first step of writing a great blog post.

Then comes the opening paragraph of your blog post. Remember, this is the most important part of your blog post and the first sentence should be able to deliver the requisite punch to your opening paragraph, egging on the visitor to know more about what you have written. Also remember that the first paragraph of your blog post should be in sync with the headline of your blog post, trying to give more information about the thing or the information that you have given out in the headline of your blog post. Don’t ever try to divert from the topic or the main headline of your blog post, since that is enough provocation for the blog reader to steer away from your post.

You always deliver the promise you have made. Same goes with your blog post. The opening paragraph should totally be devoted to a sound introduction about the topic that you have already revealed in the headlines and now you are going to elaborate more about how you can make your readers aware of the topic that you have mentioned. The opening paragraph should be able to hold the attention of your audience to take them to the next sub heading and the next sub heading in turn should also be clear enough and having the same qualities as the first paragraph. Remember, clarity in your language and consistency in your style of writing play a vital role in keeping your audiences glued to your blog post. Hence, you have maintain that clarity and consistency in style throughout the blog post.

Now come the sub headings. Remember, the main purpose of your blog post is to keep the viewer or the reader glued to the blog post till the end so that they are able to come to the call to action stuff. Call to action is nothing but the action that you want the readers to take, by making them give their email, by taking them to the order page or any other section of your website. However, it is not fair that you take everything of value from your reader and give them nothing of value in return.

The subheadings do the part of returning to the viewer something of value so that they don’t feel that nothing of value has been added to their knowledge by reading your blog post. They should feel that they have received something valuable and something of real significance to them so that they are able to solve a problem of theirs or get some important knowledge about the subject they were seeking information about. Thus, the subheadings sections form the very skin and blood of your blog post and they play a significant part in determining the satisfaction value of your readers.

Then comes your last paragraph. This should give some important piece of advice to you customers and also contains usually the call to action stuff. However, make sure that call to action is clear enough so that the readers of your blog post know what is it that you want them to do next and how they can follow your call to action. This also means that you have to care for a proper blog optimization so that it helps both the reader and you. Also, the last sentence of your closing paragraph should thank the readers of your blog post.

6 Steps to an Excellent Content Marketing Strategy

Devising an effective content marketing strategy is very important for the content of any website to get the recognition it should get. Just churning out great content is not enough, but marketing such type of great content to fulfill the goals of the website in terms of user experience (UX), user engagement and conversions is also an important factor. However, devising an effective content marketing strategy is not an easy task. It consists of various number of steps such as market research, site audits, content audits, customer surveys and interviews to enlist just a few of the steps. Below a six step content marketing strategy framework is presented to give a comprehensive idea about the process involved in devising an effective content marketing strategy.

Effective Content Marketing Strategy
Devising a comprehensive and an effective content marketing strategy is not an easy task.

Step 1: Comprehensive Research of the Company Involved

One should have a fundamentally strong understanding about the company for which the content strategy is to be devised. The entire working of the company is to be understood like the back of one’s hand in order to devise a good content marketing strategy for it. Hence, in this process a lot of questions need to be asked to the client. These questions may include but not be limited to what is the business model of the company? How does the company bring revenue? What specific products or services of the company bring in the most revenue? What is the reason for that particular product or service in netting the most revenue? Why and where are the other products or services lacking?

Then after these fundamental questions have been answered, the questionnaire moves to the sales section of the company and you may ask questions like how is the sales team structured and on what metrics are they measured by? Then comes the turn of knowing about the existing customer base of the company and how does the company attract their customers? What kind of methods they use to attract customers and how do they stack up against each other? Then, the last part of the questionnaire is devoted fully to understand the existing content generation process of the company. Questions have to be asked like are there any editorial guidelines that are being followed currently? What is the internal process to get the content approved? What kind of content is being produced currently? What kind of branding, if any, is the company engaging in?

Effective Content Strategy Model
Both the company and the customer have to be researched comprehensively for devising an effective content strategy

Step 2: Data Collection

After getting the information about the company, next step is to get comprehensive information regarding the content and the website of the company and the type of customers it is targeting and attracting. The more the type of content produced currently and the customer are understood properly, the more robust will be the outcome of a good content marketing strategy. It is also important to understand what type of content we want to produce and for this it is imperative that the customer be understood in detail. This can be done in a number of ways, and one of them is competitor analysis. You need to research aspects like and gather data on what types of content are your competitors producing and how much traction are such type of contents gaining in terms of user engagement? Are there enough comments on their blog posts? How many shares their Facebook posts have got?

After this comes the keyword research. One needs to understand what kind of keywords are we targeting and what kind of keywords are needed to be targeted to bring traffic. What and how are the landing pages for such keywords? What kind of viewership and user engagement does the current combination of keyword and landing page bring? Then comes the role of market research and customer surveys. At this stage, the surveys may vary depending on whether the company is B2B or B2C. Some of the questions that may be asked to your B2B clients include demographic related questions like occupation, industry, job, title, age and gender for any particular customer. Then you have to probe the customer more regarding how long you have been a customer for that particular company? How likely are you to recommend the specific product or service of the company to others? Then specific product or service related questions should be asked.

Step 3: Preparation and Assessment

After all the necessary data has been collected from various sources, it is very important to assess the data that has been collected and correlate with the data that you already have on hand. Meaningful interpretations have to be obtained about the company and its services, the services it is offering and the kind of customers it is targeting. In addition, in depth information should be available regarding the customers it is engaging with and the type of content this is being produced currently and the future targets thereof. In the world of measurable metrics and analytic s, you should take care to measure the following analytic s before and after the creation of the content.

There are traffic, page views, pages per visit, average time on website, entrances/exits, conversion rate, bounce rate, page authority, rankings, etc. Once such type of metrics have been established, it is time for carrying out a comprehensive content audit. The purpose of content audit is to evaluate how the previous content on the site has performed and as well as to determine the future direction of the website in terms of the content.

After going through this comprehensive and research intensive process, the company gets a clear idea regarding what opportunities are present in the website content and how it can be leveraged in order to get the maximum viewership and conversions. During this research process, not only the content is audited, but the process involved in the generation of such content is also audited and evaluated and recommendations are made right from the stage when the content is conceived in the mind of the owner or writer to its execution stage where that particular piece is uploaded on the website. The tone, voice and the style of content is also studied and improvements are made.

Step 4: Prospecting

During this process, the channels through which traction for the content that has been produced are studied and various refinements are made on the type of content to be generated so that it suits the particular traction method that has been chosen for the promotion of the content produced. Also, during this stage, it is important for the company to keep itself abreast of the specific industry news it is involved in and keep on top of the content that its competitors are creating. This will give a streamlined approach and will help in identifying clearly the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s own content produced and the kind of traction method that is to be used in order to stay ahead of its competitors.

Step 5: Creating and Promoting the Content

Now, the process of creating the actual content after all the above listed processes is started and care is taken to ensure that the content created follows both the internal protocols and processes that were established in the step three of the process. In addition, whosoever is responsible for the content produced has to take care that editorial standards are being followed and assess that content that is being creating is actually doing the job it is supposed to do. The content that has been created has to confirm to the checklist of is the content credible? The content has also be informative and should be easy to understand. The content has to be useful and something must be in the content to make it exceptional to the customers.

Promotion of the Content Produced Through the Right Channels
Promotion of the content produced through the right channels is very important part of content marketing strategy

Step 6: Assess the Performance of Content

After the content has been uploaded on the website following all mentioned above processes, it is not time to evaluate the content produced and promoted. Now it is time to answer that how a particular piece of content has performed, what teachings did that particular piece of content give to the company editors and are there any changes to be made in the process. In addition all the data that has been received in the form of website analytic has to be assessed concerning that particular piece of content.

The long term goal of the editor or the content writer should be that the content produced is able to fulfill the original goals of the content marketing strategy. Over a passage of time, producing such type of engaging and informative content should become easier, more clearly as leanings are developed and iterated every time. Even though the process seems to be resource intensive in the beginning, as time progresses, the goal is that producing effective and meaningful content for the company becomes a norm rather than the exception. The other aim is to significantly up the quality of the content that is produced through the process mentioned above and the audiences should be able to lap up the content produced.

5 SEO Tips to Boost Website Loading Speed

A lightning fast website loading speed is loved by everyone, the webmasters, the visitors and definitely the search engines. In top notch research that has been carried out on this subject, it was found out that average loading time for retail websites was over seven seconds, far above the threshold load time of three seconds or less. And as per the research of KissMetrics, this delay in website loading time is causing the retailers billions of dollars in losses. One part of their findings goes on to suggest that a one second delay in page response can lead to seven percentage reduction in sales. Besides a poor user experience (UX) and loss of potential revenue, a poor or delayed website loading time also affects yours search engine rankings. From the angle of search engine optimization, since Google has adopted the factor of website loading speed in its search ranking algorithm, a website designed keeping in mind the speed is a very important factor. It is established that websites that load faster receive a ranking bonus that moves them up in the organic search results. It is a well-known fact that Google is tracking page speed a lot more precisely than we may have ever given it a thought. Knowing this allows you to understand your rankings better. Hence, it is imperative that your website loads as quickly as possible. Presented below are five tips to boost your website loading speed.

A Faster Loading Website Ranks Better in Search Engine Rankings

1. Optimize your database

Different kinds of websites use different kinds of database to store information. This applies to any kind of website such as an eCommerce store, a blog, news and current affairs website or any other type of website that uses internal search. All such types of websites are using databases. Such databases can play an important role in influencing your website loading speed.
Adding an index to your database is one of the most desirable ways for increasing the loading speed of your website. By adding an index, your databases will be able to find information faster. Thus, instead of searching millions of entries, an index will help it to narrow down the data to a few hundred entries, thus data gets returned to the page much faster.

2. Be Spartan in your approach

This applies to tracking codes, video embeds and share buttons on your website. Don’t overdo such things, five different tracking codes are not needed in one single website. Remember, being as simple as possible is going to help our cause (increasing the website loading speed). For every tracking code you add to your website, it slows the website down further. Hence, only one tracking code per website is required. In addition, the tracking code should be included at the bottom of a page. This will enable the page to get displayed, even though the tracking code has not finished loading as yet. Also, limit the use of video embeds since video frames are a real drag on page load times. Due to video embeds, a whole separate page loads within your main page, and hence its use is to be kept at the minimal. Same goes for share buttons, since the share buttons are java script based, and all that java script does is to generate a frame within a frame. Avoid this and your website loading time will be lightning fast.

3. Use caching whenever possible

Here is how to understand the concept of caching. Whenever you visit a website for the first time, your browser requests all the images, text, scripts, etc. from the server of that particular website. This information is then stored in the cache memory of your browser and hence when you visit other pages on that particular website, elements that are repetitive are already loaded and you only need to download the elements that are unique. Till last year, browser caching capabilities were limited. But this has all changed since HTML5 has arrived. Now, you are able to store megabits of data suing the browser cache instead of requiring it to be stored in your server’s database. In addition, application cache lets you access resources from your local computer so that you don’t have to wait for the server to provide them. This will also lead to reduction in bandwidth usage and server usage besides increasing the website loading speed.

4. Leverage Content Delivery Networks

Let us consider a scenario to understand this point better. Let us assume that the server of your website is located in Montana. Hence, your website should load quickly for the residents of Montana since its data only needs to travel a short distance from the server to any computer in Montana. However, now imagine that a web user in Scotland wants to access your site. Hence, the webpage data must travel from Montana to Scotland, stopping at multiple routers along the way. This adds delay or ‘latency’ to every single byte of data that is transferred, that comprises of every image, every video, every java script file, every CSS file, etc. Hence, wouldn’t it be a great idea if copy of your webpage exist both in Montana and Scotland? This is exactly the function of a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN has servers all over the world and the copy of your webpage is stored on all those servers. Thus, user who accesses your website from any part of the world is given access from the nearest server point, thus reducing the website loading time.

5. Pay attention to Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools now contain access to ‘PageSpeed’ Insights. With the help of this tool, you can analyze a give URL’s page load speed, and most important of all, gives you tips on how to make improvements on it. This is particularly valuable since Google uses a similar speed analysis as a factor in your SERP rankings. Using this tool will let you see what Google see and makes its decision on. You may also want to run the same tool for your competitor’s website/s and see for yourself how you stack up.

At the end, you have to realize that increasing the speed of your website helps you and reducing its loading time will enhance your search rankings and also the user experience on your website. Even Google is considering it as a factor in its algorithms. Hence, it becomes quite necessary to pay enough attention on this important parameter keeping aside the search engine optimization point of view.

Five Things You Should Look For In Your eCommerce Platform

Most of the people simply don’t have time to go to a brick-and-mortar store and shop. Tight work schedules, long line of personal commitments and lack of time for relaxation play havoc on our minds, don’t they? But this unpleasant reality doesn’t mean that people don’t shop at all. They still do but it’s just that physical shopping has become more of a luxury that not everyone can afford. For retailers, it’s great opportunities to setup an online eCommerce store to sell their products. To make this possible, they have to get start with an eCommerce platform. If they don’t have any idea and the ecommerce store comparison details, it may difficult for them to choose the best eCommerce solution. This article provides five important things to look for.

Day by day, eCommerceFive Things You Should Look For In Your eCommerce Platform stores are gaining more popularity. Shoppers can be done with their shopping with just a click. That’s convenience, and that’s exactly what you need to offer to your audience. But that’s easier said than done. Especially, when you don’t know a single thing about going online. This problem can be easily solved if you do proper research. If you are wondering what kind of research, read on.

1. User experience: You end to provide outstanding user experience to engage your visitors. According to a research, 40% of the online shoppers abandon a slow website, while 79% shoppers have said that they will never visit a website again that doesn’t offer acceptable user experience. So while choosing an eCommerce platform, eCommerce application and cloud platform, don’t forget to check the loading speed. Make sure that the coding is optimized for high performance and quick content delivery. This will make sure that your customers aren’t abandoning your store in the middle of the purchase.

2. Reliability: If your store is having a turnover of $100,000 per day, a one second delay in the site will potentially cost you $2.5 million in annual lost sales. This simply means, you need to have a store that’s up nearly 100% of the time.

3. Security and compliance: For any business, security and data protection is a must. More so for online retailers who store or process sensitive consumer information. As having a secure site leads to high turnover business, PCI compliance should be the main element of your business strategy. Make sure you are in compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, where you need to deploy specialist security infrastructure. However, remember that PCI DSS is costly and so if you are a small firm, consider outsourcing the security infrastructure to a specialist.

4. Mobile strategy: You can’t avoid mobiles in this high-tech age. Retailers need to create effective mobile strategy to reach their target audience and to convert the visitors into paying customers. Apart from having a user-friendly website, you need to have mobile-friendly one too. You need to make sure that your site is fast and easy to navigate on all types of smart phones. Don’t forget to deploy social sharing capabilities to maximize your business.

5. Vendor partnership: Make sure you and your vendors/partners are on the same page. If you already have zeroed in on a b2b eCommerce platform, select the vendors who have experience in it. If you are letting the agency guide you, let them recommend a best ecommerce platform they are experienced in. Also, remember that it’s always important to establish a close partnership and knowledge transfer between your website developers and your cloud support resources.

Top 6 eCommerce Mistakes That Cost You Sales

How many times has it happened to you that you open an eCommerce website and close it immediately because the design doesn’t click with you or you find it too complex to navigate? Do you want your visitors to go through the same experience? Of course not because ultimately it will cost you sales. Just go through the following six eCommerce errors to know how you can avoid such situations and increase ecommerce website sales:

Top 6 eCommerce Mistakes That Cost You Sales

Complicated filters:

Along with the search functionality comes various filters such as new products, low priced products, different brands and so on. If you wish to offer outstanding user experience, you need to offer simple yet intuitive search functionality and easy-to-use filters is one such feature. Make sure that the search filters are simple yet effective; they should aid in navigation not hamper the process.

Out of stock:

Although it’s great to have out-of-stock sticker for the products you don’t have on hand, little does it do in way of customer satisfaction. Of course you can’t help it when you don’t have the product on hand but you can definitely add “Notify me when the item is in stock,” which will definitely go a long way in soothing your disappointed visitors.

Low-quality images:

Low-quality images are sacrilege when it comes to eCommerce conversion optimization. It’s only through the product images customers can make an informed buying decision. For higher sales, you have to make sure that the images are of high quality. Also, don’t just upload a single image for a product; upload multiple shots from all possible angles to offer better information to the visitors.

Invisible search box:

Search functionality is very important as it helps visitors find the exact product they are looking for. If your search box is user-friendly but not visible to the visitors right away, little good it will do. Make sure that the search box is visible on each of the pages, including inquiry form.

Inadequate product overview:

Visitors love quick product overview feature because it offers them a chance to scan the catalog quickly. It also makes the browsing process easy for them because they don’t need to leave the category or search results’ page. If you aren’t offering product overview or are offering inadequate product overview, it could be one of the major reasons of low sales numbers. So tighten up your belt there.

Hidden shopping cart:

There are two main types of shopping carts – one that appears every time an item is added, and second which only notifies whenever an item is added. If you are using the latter, you need to change it pronto. A customer should always known what he/she has purchased until then – unless you want rising cart abandonment ratio.

Do you know any other reasons for low sales numbers? Comment here to share it with us. Now.

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