Should You Use a Guest Blogger?

There are numerous reasons for guest blogging on another site, including building yourself up as an industry authority, building visibility for your brand, providing more value for consumers, contributing to the online community, linking back to your blog, and funneling referral traffic back to your website.

However, while contributing guest blogs is valuable for you, what about the benefits of using a guest blogger on your site? 

Of course, it is best only to accept content on your site that you believe provides value to your target audience to protect the quality of your blog.

What is Guest Blogging?

Guest blogging (or guest posting) refers to the act of writing content for another website. Generally, a guest blogger will write for a similar blog within his or her industry to:

  • Attract traffic back to their site
  • Increase their brand awareness and credibility
  • Boost their domain authority using quality external links
  • Build relationships with industry peers

Why Use a Guest Blogger?

It is advisable to allow great writers and bloggers to create content on your website, provided it’s of high quality and adds value to your audience. Below are six reasons why:

  1. Increases Your Blog’s Authority
    Creating an authoritative blog that people trust and link to from other sources and websites will naturally increase the impression of your brand. If you jam-pack your blog with valuable content, and it attracts many high-quality bloggers to post content, others will want to link to your business or blog and share your content on social media.
  2. Encourages New Readers
    Accepting contributions from an established and well-known guest blogger with a loyal readership could encourage new readers on your site. What’s more, guest bloggers will likely share their posts on their various social media channels, driving free traffic your way.
  3. Builds Relationships with Bloggers
    Whether you are a full-time blogger or do it as a part-time content marketing strategy, building new relationships with fellow influencers and bloggers is never a bad thing. It can make it easier to promote your content, get advice, receive blog comments, and help each other out with feedback and recommendations.
  4. Gives You More Content
    The chances are that you work hard to create fresh and up-to-date content on your blog weekly – even on a tight schedule. Regular posting gives your audience something new to look up to every week.
  5. Adds a New Dimension and Outlook to Your Blog
    Sometimes adding a new voice to your blog can add a new dimension and make it more attractive and engaging to a broader readership. Just remember to introduce your guest blogger to your audience and add a disclaimer that the views they express are not necessarily yours.
  6. Boosts Your Site’s SEO
    Having a lot of valuable content on your blog allows it to perform better in search engine results, provided you have optimized it well. Accepting guest bloggers helps pack your site with more content, increases your internal and external linking structure, enhances your online presence, and helps search engine robots crawl your pages.

What to Look for in a Guest Blogger

When you source for a guest blogger or accept one, look for industry blogs by a non-competitor company that can deliver real insight to your readers. Below is a suitable checklist to follow:

  • Author credibility (seek recognized experts and published freelancers, and avoid spam)
  • Superior writing style with valuable and accurate content
  • A high level of audience engagement
  • Strategic fit with your brand identity, organizational values, and communication strategy
  • Content relevance (uniqueness and recency)
  • Search engine optimization ability
  • The author should provide enough links to trustworthy sources
  • Content ownership – check that the content is original and that you own the rights as the publisher

Wrapping Up

Accepting content from a guest blogger can offer significant benefits to your website or business. However, you must be mindful of the content and links that the authors use. Remember to audit all work before you publish it and craft a long-term marketing strategy to make guest blogging part of your marketing journey. You also stand to benefit from their knowledge, time, experience, writing ability, and readership.

When Building a Website is Like Building a House

Not wanting to be guilty of speaking “techie jargon” that the client doesn’t understand, I often use analogies to explain website options and services. While none of my analogies are perfect, I hope they make clearer some of the matters related to websites for most people.

Tract Home or Custom Home?

When selecting a platform for your website, what is more critical for you? Cost vs. Flexibility

If you were having a new home built, there are many approaches you can choose.

A tract home is typically faster to build and less expensive than designing and building a custom-built home. But you will also have less options and flexibility. For example, you can select from perhaps several available floor plans, and choose your paint color and carpeting from the options offered.

In both cases, you can bring whatever furniture (i.e., your website content) you want into each room, but perhaps that gorgeous hardwood table you inherited from your grandparents won’t fit into the tract home’s dining area. In a custom home, you can have the architect design a formal dining room around the dimensions of the table AND that antique rosewood buffet you found that complemented it so nicely. You can even install an elevator to accommodate your aging parent in your custom-designed home.

It is likely you will need to pay substantially more for a custom home, but you can specify pretty much anything you want, as long as it is possible and you have the budget for it.

Of course, just as there are many different tract home developments, there are different website platforms to select from. Each have their own pros and cons, features and functionalities, limitations, and pricing structure.

After learning about your business and website needs, UmeWorks can discuss with you the options that make sense for your specific website and budget, and the options pros and cons for each.

Teeth Cleaning vs. Root Canals

Why It is Important to Maintain Your Website’s Software

Most people don’t enjoy paying for and going for teeth cleanings and oral check-ups. However, keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy can prevent, or at least reduce the risk of, needing often painful and expensive major dental work such as root canals or gum surgery.

For those who have a WordPress-based website, or any other site that has software version updates, I strongly recommend you invest in regular software maintenance service.

Why? Because just like regular dental check-ups and teeth cleaning, most software updates are preventive health measures for your website.  Most updates are for security protection, bug fixes, and compatibility resolution. Yes, some also include new functionality as well.

Having these updates done regularly prevents potential display and functionality issues, and expensive and lengthy clean up to track down and apply a backlog of software updates from WordPress core files, patches, plugins and theme files.

UmeWorks can provide monthly software maintenance of your WordPress site and Machform script.

Are you a Wallflower at Cocktail Parties?

The Importance of Social Media Engagement

So, you’ve been proudly posting regularly to your Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. But no one is commenting or Liking your posts.

Why that may be can be a plethora of reasons (too many to cover here), but one of the reasons can be is because you are a wallflower at the cocktail party. Or worst you’re acting like BMOC*-in-your-own-mind and talking about yourself and how great you and your company are every chance you have.

Think of the other party goers’ reaction. Instead, if you introduce them to others you know and talk them up, perhaps they’ll do the same for you. Some of their friends may even come over and ask you to tell them about you.

*Big Man On Campus

I Want Red Marbles

Why You Should Choose Keyword Phrases Per Web Page

If you want some red marbles, which glass would you choose to get them?  The one on the right that contain the most red marbles, of course.

which glass would you choose to get red marbles?

Imagine that a web page is a glass full of marbles. The marbles are the words (and metadata) on that page.

If you are a local auto repair shop in Torrance and you have expertise in hybrid auto repair. You want hybrid car owners in Torrance to find you. Be sure you have a web page (glass) dedicated to hybrid auto repair so those hybrid car owners in Torrance can find you. Be sure to fill the page with the keywords hybrid auto service Torrance (red marbles).

UmeWorks can help you integrate red marbles into each page of your website.

Learn more about on-page SEO, keyword phrases and red marbles.

What to Consider Before Buying a Low-cost Website Design Package

Let’s face it; your website is arguably a must-have marketing tool. It forms the hub of all your inbound marketing strategy, and it is likely the number one thing that prospects want to see before making a purchase decision.

As businesses understand and appreciate the value of inbound marketing and SEO strategy, business websites are getting better overall. They are now faster, mobile-friendly, sleeker, and more useful. As consumers demand a better user experience, websites need to provide functionality, performance, and ease-of-use.

These are some of the factors that businesses must consider before accepting a website price, whether they are building a new site or renovating an existing one.

Website Development and Design Pricing are Not Always Straightforward

Setting a website price is not always so simple or straightforward. Although it may feel easy to shop for a website designer by comparing published online prices, you may not end up with what you expected or a site that is optimized for your business. Website designers and developers must consider many factors and nuances before quoting price estimates. Hence, many website agencies do not have a pricing listing because of the nature of their service.

A good website design or development company will first discuss with you to find out what you want, expect, and need on your website. Is it a marketing, business, or informational site? Web designers should take their time, effort, and resources to understand the various aspects of your business and brand before giving you an estimate.

For instance, if you want to generate higher walk-in sales for your business, a web designer will have to factor in such issues when creating and designing the website to enable it to attract customers to your store and buy your brand.

Therefore, it’s critical for a web designer first to understand your needs and your desired level of post-publication involvement in maintaining the site and keeping it updated with relevant SEO content for ranking and visibility.

Understanding these facts enables designers to quote an estimate for a solution that is appropriate to your particular situation. Thus, be wary of off-the-shelf prices lest you end up looking for another designer to finish the project.

Examples of Aspects that Affect Website Pricing

  • Copywriting: will you need help writing your website copy? Edits to optimize for Search Engines? For marketing?
  • Images: Will you be providing professional photographs, or will the designer look for stock images, or need to provide extensive editing of non-professional photographs you supply?
  • Functionality: Will your website need any functionality included such as online booking of appointments, ecommerce with PCI compliance, event calendar with registration, uploading of resumes, newsletter opt-in integration or the ability for affiliates to register? Content Updating: Do you need the ability to update your website content yourself (without coding knowledge)?
  • Data import: Are you redesigning an existing website from which a large volume of content must be migrated? Revisions: How many rounds of revisions are included?
  • Website Tools: Will you need website analytics tracking, security monitoring, SSL installation, cookie consent banner, content management system, or other tools, and are they included in the price?

There are many things that affect website pricing. You are not expected to know whether your site needs all of these. But again, a good website designer will know the questions to ask you and determine what makes sense for you, your business and your website.

Over to You

Pricing for web design and development services is not cut and dry. You must factor in numerous variables such as the examples listed above, as well as the experience of potential agencies and the services they provide. It is vital to understand what you need before you accept any website price. Choose a website designer that can help you determine those needs.

When is the Best Time to Publish Posts to Facebook for my Business?

I hear this question a lot.

Pundits have suggestions, i.e., Tuesday through Thursdays between 9am – 2pm for B2B; Monday through Wednesday 9am – 5pm for B2C, you may want to try another strategy. I’ve found that most “expert sources” have different recommendations. Also these are subject to change over time as people’s behaviors change.

What you can do is check when YOUR Facebook Fans are online, and post then so they are most likely to see while they are active. To find out, go to “Insights” on your Facebook Page. Then go to “Posts”. At the top of the page, you’ll see the days and times “When Your Fans Are Online”.

Graph showing best times to publish Facebook posts

With all this being said, know that Facebook is suppressing the frequency that organic posts are being displayed drastically. So while posting regularly may not be a good strategy to reach new customers, having a Facebook Page is still critically important for credibility. If a prospective client wants to check you out, chances are they’ll check your website and your Facebook Page. So continue to post engaging content regularly when your Fans are logged in!

To reach prospective new clients, use targeted Facebook ads.

Contact UmeWorks to help you build your business’ presence on social media and increase its visibility.

Getting Your Business through the Coronavirus Crisis

Working from home, self-quarantine, and canceling events may help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis and protect your employees from the deadly virus. However, social distancing also threatens to devastate businesses.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) global crisis spreads to new epicenters in the U.S. and Europe, businesses are scrambling to mobilize responses. The outbreak continues to create health risks to employees and significant financial risks to businesses. Companies must come up with an appropriate response.

It is still too early to fully map out and understand the severity of the crisis or its long-term effects. What’s evident is that the reluctance to go out and the resultant drop in foot traffic has left many businesses empty.
Below are some ways to help your business stay afloat and survive the crisis.

Protect Your Cash Flow

Cash flow is your business’s lifeblood. Your business will always have expenses, but the longer the coronavirus pandemic exists, the tighter it will get to maintain cash inflows. Crisis-proof your business using the following strategies.

  • Prepare cash flow projections for the next few months to help you see and anticipate what changes you need to make and when.
  • Review your credit policies and histories of your customers.
  • See if you can extend payments to your suppliers. As an example with dine-in at restaurants down as much as 75%, food delivery service company Grubhub is deferring commission fees for impacted independent restaurants.
  • Offer your customers discounts.
  • Use cash flow management tools to help you forecast, track, and manage your cash flow.

Embrace E-Commerce

E-commerce can help shield your business against the adverse effects of social distancing and staying home. It’s natural for consumers to shift their purchases online to avoid public places. Therefore, consider adding online services and payment if feasible, or adding product shipment for your brick-and-mortar store.

Sell Gift Certificates

Sell and promote gift cards and certificates to immediately put cash into the business. Encourage as many customers as possible to buy gift cards and store merchandise on your website. Use the money you get to maintain your cash flow until the crisis ends.

Webinars, Online Training, and Teleconferencing

Hold webinars and online training and service delivery using tools such as Skype, WebEx, Zoom, or join.me to promote your products online. You can also use business conferencing tools and apps to make remote work environments more manageable and support your business operations.

Stabilize Your Supply Chain

Stabilize your supply chains by ordering your supplies online, using safety stock, finding alternative sources to get around travel bans, and working with your suppliers to solve bottlenecks. You can also co-develop plans, implement interim solutions around the pandemic, and communicate strategies to your stakeholders.

The Bottom Line

The COVID-19 crisis is neither the world’s first pandemic nor its last. Getting your business through the crisis requires a cool head about you. Create a disaster preparedness policy to deal with the worst-case scenario of an all-out coronavirus pandemic that cripples most operations. A thorough plan will include procedures round remote work, cash flow, e-commerce, securing lines of credit, supply chain alternatives, insurance coverage, and much more.

UmeWorks Can Help

If you need help implementing these online strategies, please give us a call at 323 638-9328 or email us at info@umeworks.com.