Regular blogging keeps the home-fires burning - need our help?

They say that a successful blogger should be controversial. This heading should upset one or two.

When training a Daylight Websites client, one of the most frequent debates is about the necessity of blogging. Our conversations from the very beginning underscore the importance of blogging. It is the reason we use WordPress, it is the essence of what Daylight Websites stands for and the range of services we offer.

At the core of this lies the unique ability of WordPress to automatically summon the search engines. the moment you publish something in WordPress, the software not only places your formatted contribution on your website, it also ‘pings‘ all the major search engines to let them know you have published. They come immediately – normally arriving within a few minutes.

The effect of this is dramatic. The updated Google search engine indexing formula is called ‘Caffeine‘ and it is well-named. Almost miraculously, your latest post will appear in Google under the keywords you chose for your all-important Title. WordPress allows you to dictate the URL layout as well, so you are able to control the two most significant components of a search engine result – the Title and the Link.

Why is this important?

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Good Blog Titles – the Michael Jordan Analogy

A Daylight Websites Post in Blogging, by C. Jane Taylor

Just Do it!

Each blog title you write should be a slam dunk. It should be optimized, engaging, educational, easy to read, relevant, and it should encourage your audience to act in a manner that supports your business.

It’s easy, right? Like writing poetry, or sticking to a fitness plan, or getting your two-year-old to take a nap, or just saying no to drugs (thank you, Nancy Regan).

My favorite Internet marketing blog, HubSpot, would have you believe it’s easy. And maybe it is…This morning HubSpot gives us “Six Easy Ways to Get More Visitors to your Blog” here they are:

1. Make your blog interesting
2. Make your content easy to read
3. Make your content Search Engine Optimized (SEO)
4. Encourage Interaction
5. Include Social Sharing Buttons
6. Link to Other Relevant Blogs

It seems pretty straightforward. Just like wearing red shorts and flying to the hoop, right? Straightforward, yes. But easy? Not all the time. But it can be done, if you (pardon my predictability here) Just Do It. Take it one step at a time. Read some relevant blogs, notice what you like about them, and if you are inspired, sign up and make a comment. Commit two hours a week to the health and wellness of your online presence and it will definitely payoff in the end.

The stats are out there: Businesses that blog get 55% more visitors, have 434% more indexed pages, the benefits are numerous. Check out the social media stats on Fortune 100 Companies. There are some other stats that are a bit more difficult to classify. The biggest of them is trust. Sure brand recognition is essential, but there is something deeper: community.

If you are too busy doing what you need to do to keep your business going, please don’t neglect your blog. Your community will suffer for it. Hire someone to blog on your behalf. It’s that important. Engage your audience and keep them engaged. Start to build some trust.

Time for my yoga and situps…

“His Airness” image courtesy of Sports Business Digest

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Vermont websites and Crunchy Granola

A Daylight Websites Post in Vermont, by C. Jane Taylor

While our web design office is in Vermont, our market is the Internet, which as you know reaches far beyond our lovely little state into the nether regions of the Universe, there are some things we do here in Vermont, however, that tend toward the local. Food is paramount among these.

Vermont Maple Granola - a new Daylight Websites standardTake breakfast at Daylight this morning, for example: cranberry nut granola from Manchester Center, honey crisp apples from Shoreham, and soy milk from Hardwick (OK, you’re right, the Brit had his with ‘arf and ‘arf from Monument Farms Dairy in Weybridge, he doesn’t fancy soy milk, dahling).

The granola and a new office in Maryland inspired this post, But let’s start with food first: the granola is made by the Vermont Maple Granola Company. The balance of sweet to salt in this particular blend is absolutely spectacular. Check it out if you have a chance: they sell it online!

Now on to business: Daylight is expanding! Tim is moving south and we’re taking an office in the Baltimore, Annapolis, D.C. Area. We will also be keeping our office in Vermont. Daylight Websites South is on the Chesapeake Bay, so I’m sure lunches there will include Maryland fish cakes. Beyond the fish sandwiches and salt breezes, we also look forward to bringing our SEO and WordPress services to the D.C. market, where business is booming.

Internet marketing world dominance, one office at a time…or should I say one meal at a time?

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Why Nice People Have the Best Websites

A Daylight Websites Post in Internet Business, by C. Jane Taylor

Why do nice people have the best websites? Anger and hostility kill creativity.

A recent exchange with an impatient, overbearing, controlling client reminded me why nice people have the best websites.

During the last five years I did SEO and content development for Union Street Media, a Vermont web developer specializing in real estate websites, and I admit to having favorites. Off the top of my head, I can think of three clients I’d like to have over for dinner: Chip, Vicki and Steve. They are all Realtors and they are all very nice people.

A little encouragement goes a long way...

I did an excellent job of SEO, content development, blog writing and coaching on each of these client real estate websites (North Carolina, Vermont, and New Hampshire respectively). I found great joy in the work I did for them.

The fact remains that nice people are just easier to work with. And maybe it’s unprofessional (even Pollyannaish) of me, but I must confess, I did a slightly better job for them than I did for the mean clients I worked with. It makes sense: terrific people inspire terrific outcomes.

I recently met and am collaborating with Mike McCarney at Legitify and Keri Piatek Crafts at Place Creative. Mike and Keri are both terrific people. They inspire me to do a great job even for my angry, tyrannical client.

This is turning into my dream job.

What do SEO and Dr. Seuss have in common? The Cat in the Hat of course

A Daylight Websites Post in SEO, by C. Jane Taylor
Dr Seuss the Cat in the Hat

Dr. Seuss, the first SEO guru; The Cat in the Hat, the first optimized article...

According to urban legend (and my friend Steve Crafts at Place Creative), Dr. Seuss wrote the Cat in the Hat in response to a challenge. The challenge is essentially the same challenge we face in SEO everyday: take a list of very specific words and write something appealing.

Dr. Seuss was given a list of words, most of them monosyllabic, that children of a specific age would be learning in school. The challenge was to write something wonderful using those key words.

As an internet marketer, I am not often given a list, I have to create one based on the target audience, popular usage and the fierceness of online competition. This list shapes the foundation of the content I write on sites and in blogs.

The content has to be attractive to both search engines and people. In other words, it has to be optimized without being clunky.

Today you are you, that is truer than true.
Your keywords should reflect all that you do.
Search engines like it, oh yes they do.
The right keywords will bring good traffic to you…

Apologies to the good doctor!

The Rooster crows!

What people are saying about Daylight Websites:

"You single-handed raised the bar for us!" - Alastair Gracie, Adstrategies Inc

"Whew! It looks awesome - let's launch
this damn thing! ;-)"
- Keri Piatek Crafts, Place Creative

"You and Tim were always so easy to work with and being comfortable with both of you made it so much easier for me to ask the "stupid" questions without being intimidated by your superior technological know-how...." - Vicki Wilson, Hoisington Realty

"Damn you guys are good. I don’t know what Bud will think – and it’s really none of my business. But from an integration standpoint, this is just nuts. Well done, sir."
- Dustin Moore

"Awesome!" - Bud

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