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Creating Sharable Content

Your ability to reach target customers is limited to email databases, to past customers and to social media followers. It’s also limited by budgetary constraints; yes, you can pay to be displayed to a large network, but only if you can afford it.

Sharing takes this dated view of marketing and flips it around. It makes it possible for your brand to be displayed to an infinite number of readers without stretching your budget or working tirelessly to increase online followings.

To understand how valuable sharing is for your business, it’s important to check out a few statistics. According to The State of Social Sharing, social media sharing is second only
to strong content in terms of increasing search engine rankings.
Furthermore:

  • 46% of adults who use social media networks share or repost statuses on a daily basis.
  • Up to 80% of content on some networks – like Pinterest – is reposted, or shared.
  • 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute.
  • The +1 button on Google+ is used 5 billion times every day.

From these statistics, it becomes clear that sharing isn’t limited to a single network; in fact, it easily crosses between networks. Furthermore, it’s active and ongoing. Content is shared every second across the world.

What Makes People Share Content?

Content is shared constantly. Great. But, as a brand, unless you understand why that content is shared, or what makes certain people more likely to share certain pieces of content, your reach will remain limited.

According to an article published by the Association for Psychological Science, the following motivators are factors in content that is shared:

  • People are more likely to share positive articles than negative pieces.
  • If something creates a feeling of “awe” it’s likely to be shared.
  • Social media users are on the lookout for emotional connections. If a piece of content contributes to this sort of connection, it’s likely to be shared.
  • If an article relates closely to how an individual feels defined, or what he or she believes in, it’s likely to be shared.
  • Shock appeal matters. If something will elicit a strong reaction – negative or positive – it’s more likely to be shared than an article that does not elicit such a reaction.

How to Make Your Content More Sharable

You understand the prominence of social sharing in our society and now you have more of an idea of what makes certain articles more likely to be shared than others. What do you do with this information? How do you move forward by creating sharable content on a regular basis? Follow the tips below for measurable, positive outcomes.

1. Inject Some Personality

You want your social media followers and those new to your brand to understand what drives you in the hopes that that driver will also motivate them to action. The goal here is to become relatable. If customers can feel as though they are able to “get to know” you and your personality through the content you create, they’re more likely to be drawn to your content, to relate and
to share. Insert personal opinions, make strong statements and write like you talk for best results.

2. Be Consistent

Your personality shouldn’t change from one piece to another. If you’d like to add variety, add a second author. However, when writing from your own perspective on your brand’s page, maintain consistency. Readers begin to rely on a certain style when reading your posts, it’s what makes them feel safer in sharing the content you create. To focus on consistency, create a style guide for yourself. Write down certain phrases that are okay, certain words and formats to avoid and word choices in describing specific actions, products or other jargon that make you sound like yourself.

3. Tell a Story

Who doesn’t love a great story? Why not use your blog to tell one? Write about a customer’s experience, create a monthly team member spotlight or tell about how a certain group is using your brand’s product to make a difference. The options are endless; however, if you’re able to use your blog to tell a story, you’re more likely to allow customers to feel a connection, a connection they’re likely to share.

4. Consider Shock

This one is tricky. However, the article mentioned previously makes it clear that when something is likely to elicit opinions – negative or positive – readers might be more prone to sharing it. Consider your brand and think about topics that you’re passionate about. Be careful, if your “shock value” is too strong or too negative, it could work against you. Try starting small and writing about a more insignificant topic to test the waters. Watch how your followers react and try again in the future.

5. Create Something New

No one wants to read the same story 10 times. It gets boring; reading the same facts with the same view over and over is old news. Old news doesn’t get shared. New news, on the other hand, can spread like wildfire online. Consider investing in a customer survey or third party group to collect data. Ask questions about how your products are being used, find out more about your target market and their interests, look for new patterns and pieces of information. Then, create content accordingly. When you have something new to say, you will have an audience of potential readers that are willing to take the time to digest that information and to share it with their own networks.

6. Write for Your Followers

If you’re not taking the time to learn from your existing followers, you’re missing out. Use your social channels to ask questions and start discussions. Ask your followers what they’re interested in and what answers you can provide. Then, create content tailored to those answers. The more relevant your article is to your reader base, the more likely they are to share it with those around them. They’ll also feel more like they are part of the process, which is never a bad thing.

Understanding what makes content sharable and why it is important to your business is the first step toward actually creating sharable content. Ready to take a stab at it? Follow the tactics above and try out your own methods to find what works. Remember, if it can’t be shared, it’s probably not worth your time.

You need to start a blog Today!

The INTERNET is controlled by robots and robots love blog content.

  • Search engines pick up blog postings quickly and easily, giving you great SEO optimization and exposure in search results. Not only that, but search engines will also see that you are updating your website on a regular basis, rewarding your efforts by getting your site higher up in the search results.
  • Blogs can be built within your existing website, thus driving traffic to your whole site when someone wants to read one of your articles.
  • Subscribers have the ability to subscribe to your blog, reminding them of you and your business each time you post a new article.
  • People have an opportunity to share your article to their various social media channels, giving an opportunity for your article to “go viral.” Other bloggers could also pick up your post and re-post it to their blog (with your permission of course) or reference to it from a post, creating a “trackback” that gives positive SEO juice to your site.
  • They are positioning you as an expert in your field, giving you credibility and trustworthiness amongst your readers.
  • Being much easier to “sell” to a person who already knows and trusts you — visitors will get this from being a faithful reader of your blog postings.
  • A blog gives you a more economical way of frequently reaching out to your target market — whether it’s a short note or a lengthy article, you don’t have to pay out money since the blog can be fully managed by you.
  • Blogs are picked up by search engines more easily and can attract a more global audience whereas newsletters are targeted to a specific audience within your database.

Favorable Website Structure for Search Engines

When building a site and optimizing features, steer clear of using JavaScript whenever possible. This type of language is difficult for search engines to read, and it often hides important information from search engines and can slow down websites in a big way. This can ultimately lead to poor user experiences overall.

If you are rather partial to JavaScript for its ability to add a professional appearance to your site, consider using CSS3 or HTML5. These both provide comparable solutions, are much more lightweight, faster and eliminate the issues you will encounter using JavaScript.

Applying these five elements alongside the more frequently covered tactics should help your site in its quest to rise above the rest. One of the most important things to remember when it comes to SEO, however, is that everything is always in transition; nothing is permanent. Always be on the lookout for changes, as they are sure to come and could potentially have major consequences for your site. Just ask those hit with the Panda and Penguin algorithm penalties.

What Web development advice do you have for enhancing SEO? What do you think is the single most important design element for a site to rank well?

Web Development and Design 101

Web design takes a good bit of thought and know-how in order to pull it off. Of course, everyone wants their website to be awesome, but it takes a certain mindset for that to be accomplished.

The design process must take into account two things—what the site is for and what technical requirements are needed. If the design is done with the goal of realizing the purpose of the site as the entire focus, it should be done well. It depends on what topic and/or niche the website is about, the target audience it’s catering to, what problems it’s trying to solve, what special purpose it’s trying to serve, and so on.

The website is never really about the creators and/or owners, but about the people. The audience comes first because they’re who the website is aiming to please. Therefore, in a way, the website isn’t really yours; it’s theirs. Keep that in mind while designing, building, and running the website.

Whether you’re designing and building the website yourself or have a Web designer on hand to do it for you, the details that go into putting the website online should not be ignored. You should know what a domain name is and what Web hosting is for in order to get a website up and operational.

The domain name is basically what people have to type in to visit your website; yourwebsitename.com. Picking the right one for your website means being sure of what your brand is and considering if that alone is enough or if you need to add something else that’s descriptive. For example, you’re the owner of Acme Hardware. Obviously, acme . com isn’t unique, but acmehardware . com may be more viable as it’s more unique and tells people what your business is about.

Web hosting is where your website is uploaded and maintained. Unless you’re going to have your own Web server, you’ll have to pay for a Web hosting service to do it for you. There are different kinds of Web hosting, each with their own features that could be of use to your website. Likely, you’ll be using shared Web hosting if it’s just a regular website with only the basics. If you’re an eCommerce site with more bells and whistles, then you may have to get into a more specialized Web hosting solution.

OK, you have your website designed, built, uploaded into the Web hosting, and set up with the domain name but, wait, you’re not done just yet. You must now set up your search engine optimization to make your website more visible to people on the Internet. A website is only as useful as its visibility, so you need to set up your keywords and topics right at the start in order to consolidate all present and future content and make your website appear in search results.

Security Never Goes Out of Style

Over the past several years, cyber-security breaches have been wreaking havoc for on-line corporations and small business owners. In an effort to combat this digital onslaught, Google announced that it would provide a slight boost to sites who employed SSL encryption techniques. The company was forthcoming with this information by stating:

“We’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal…. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”

Through the utilization of SSL, an encrypted link is developed between the server and the client. Many sites have already doubled-down on this procedure. WordPress, for instance, diligently hammered away at its protection issues by increasing the number of security updates enacted in 2015 twofold when compared to 2013.

Security is of massive importance to you and everyone that passes through your site. Be sure to follow Google’s lead on this and make the switch as soon as possible; you might even see a modest improvement in your SEO score.

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