20 dos and don’ts: websites, social media and blogging

Must-know tips and tactics to reach your target audience and make new fans. Avoid common mistakes, increase traffic to your website and watch your search ranking climb!

Power up your website
* Do use Google’s AdWords Key Word Planner, to identify key words that are relevant to your company.
* Don’t spend a lot in advance to optimise your website. Instead, try SEO services that are priced according to performance. Once your website is ranked 30 or above, you’ll be charged.
* Do encourage your visitors to subscribe via email. This way you can keep in contact and engage them as a potential customer.
* Don’t forget to invite the search engines to visit – submit a site map to the major ones. Otherwise it could take months before a Googlebot finds your site.

The secrets to being social media savvy
* Don’t jump in before developing an effective strategy. Take into the account the risks involved, as social media is unpredictable.
* Do track down the audience you want to reach. Tactics Cloud (https://tacticscloud.com) is a favourite of Ian Cleary, CEO of razorsocial.com. Use this free Twitter tool to focus on a group (eg. ‘marketing manager’), add them to a Twitter list and use Hootsuite to target them.
* Don’t use a forum to sell your products as this is seen as spamming. Instead, focus on building relationships.
* Do monitor social media to enable you to stand out from your competitors and shine. The three key areas are: your company, competitors and industry.
* Don’t try to do it all. Focus on what counts for your company; keep your top goals front and center.
* Do use Twitter’s #FollowFriday, the day to tweet about influential or interesting people to follow. This will help you to build a network.
* Don’t give up and be left out of the conversation! Stick to an effective social media strategy and you’ll reap rewards.

Take on the blogosphere and win!
* Do include infographics. They’re popular and if yours are shared and used by other websites, this will boost your website ranking. It’s easy with Piktochart (piktochart.com), which offers infographic templates, from $14 per month.
* Don’t write purely for search engines. Focus on appealing to your readers. Lighten up a little and you’ll be more approachable. ‘I’d worry less about shocking customers than I would about boring them,’ says Harry Gottlieb from Jelly Vision.
* Do make an audio version of your blog posts to share on your podcast feed. Some bloggers using this tactic are seeing a 2,000% increase in exposure, says Greg Hickman, founder of Mobile Mixed.
* Don’t publish your blog without having a fresh read through to check for any typos and clunkiness.
Do consider what ‘action’ you want readers to take, says Darren Rowse, editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips.
* Don’t think it’s all about you. It’s about giving readers what they want. If they like it, they will comment or share – a top traffic driver.
* Do bolster your blog posts with data – your readers are then more likely to visit more pages and share your infographics and stories.
* Don’t forget to include a photograph to illustrate each blog article. Canva.com offers free elements and a vast library of images that cost $1 each.
* Do use Click To Tweet (clicktotweet.com) to include a
link next to quotes that you think people might like to share on Twitter. If they click ‘tweet this’, they’ll help broadcast your message, and hopefully it’ll go viral!