Friday, December 26, 2014

Loud Lady :: 5 Little Online Tweaks to Make in 2015 (A Guest Post by Sarah of Yes and Yes)

According to cliches and jewelry companies, good things come in small packages.
(and if you’re talking about one tiny, perfect wedge of parmesan I’m inclined to agree.)

But good, exciting changes to your blog and online life can also come in small, super doable packages. After one metric ton of experimentation I’ve found five shockingly easy changes that have made a big ol’ difference in my blog’s traffic.

1. Adding P.S.’s to my blog posts
I realize this sounds like a copout. BUT IT TOTALLY ISN’T. Adding a P.S. is a proven copywriting strategy and it’s a great way to integrate internal links to related content. I know a lot of people use plugins that automate related posts but
a) those create more visual clutter than I’m interested in
b) they don’t show up in RSS feeds, where 90% of my readers are
2. Relabeling every photo I download and use in a post
I have lots of sources for photos – YAY, Unsplash, Flickr Creative Commons (sorted by ‘most interesting’) – and when I download them, they’re frequently titled something like “177nadlid01.jpg.”  Which, shockingly enough, is not very SEO-friendly.  So if it’s a photo of a Florida tiki bar, I title it that way. That means my photos are much more likely to show up in Google image searches, which leads to more traffic, and (hopefully) more sales.
photos-in-twitter-feed3. Using images in my Twitter feed
Every time I publish super visual blog posts I take the time to create a Twitter-specific graphic to include in my tweet. It increases click through by a lot (super specific measurement) and helps tweets stand out in a sea of mundane updates and hashtags.
As a head’s up, make sure you resize your photos to 440×220, or you could end up with an awkwardly auto-cropped photo.
4. I make the image for each post Pinterest-friendly
If you’ve ever used Pinterest, you know the site favors tall, long images accompanied by helpful descriptions. Luckily for you, you can make the images for your posts tall and long, add text atop the images so pinners know what the post is about, and edit the title tags of your images so the pin descriptions autofill. (That sounds really complicated and technical, but I promise you, it’s not. Here’s how to do it.)

Since I started making these changes I’ve seen a huge uptick in traffic coming from Pinterest!

5. Optimizing old, high-quality blog posts
We all have some really clever, helpful posts gathering dust in our archives, right? But maybe they’re poorly formatted or they use illegal images or they’re not Pinterest-friendly or the links are broken? (At least that’s what mine are like!) Each week I polish and optimize a few of my old posts, promote them on Twitter or pitch them as guest posts. One of my old posts got picked up as a guest post and got liked 18,000+ times on Facebook!
What little things are you doing that are making a big difference? Share your insights with me on Twitter!

Sarah Von Bargen believes that yes is more fun than no - in life, online, in your business. She blogs (nearly) every day at Yes and Yes about travel, design, food, life, and adventure. You can get four of her ebooks for free right here and follow her adventures on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. This post is in support of my new program for 2015, Loud Ladies.
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