The Linklifter

Little helpers for daily blogging

Bloggers love christmas. Fact!

November 20, 2013

Source: Charles Rodstrom Flickr Page

November’s halfway over, the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping so low that if you breathe out, your breath appears before your very eyes (cool no?). Mince pies start to line the supermarket shelves, alongside Cadbury’s selection packs and Santa-shaped chocolate figures wrapped in red and silver foil. The online world has gone crazy with advice on what to buy and where to spend the festive period or bring in the New Year. The tinsel and fancy baubles have already invaded the high streets and very soon they’ll be our homes too. It seems that Christmas is once again here! But are you ready?

There can be so many things to worry about at this time of year; finding the perfect presents for your nearest and dearest, making sure you get your fill of delicious Christmas food but not putting on too much weight, planning a magical New Year’s eve etc.  We all have our worries, but for the owner of a blog it should be a wonderful opportunity, to form a stronger bond with your readers, and then after a well-deserved rest, get the New Year off to a great start.

In fact we believe Bloggers in particular, should and do love Christmas. Don’t believe us? Here’s why:

Source : Wikipedia

Creativity comes easily.

Sometimes blogging can leave you with a little writers block, but at a time like Christmas there are so many things going on, that no matter if you are a travel, food, fashion, lifestyle or music blogger, creating great content should be easier to come by. Share your Christmas and New Year’s plans – what are you looking forward to the most? Any special events or family gatherings in the pipeline? Do you have tips on where to find certain presents? What resolutions do you have for the year to come? Let this festive period inspire your thoughts and your content.

You can easily alter the appearance of your blog.

Just a little red and green here and there, perhaps some snowflakes and a reindeer or two – perfect! Without too much effort you can customise the look of your blog and bring a little festive spirit to all your readers. Customising your blog might also help you to think a bit more about your blog design and whether it is still working for you – which is perhaps something you haven’t done in a while.

Whatever the topic of your blog, It’s also always a good idea to write at least one post about Christmas, even if it’s only to wish your readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Give the best of yourself effortlessly.

Now is the perfect time to republish articles that have been the most successful over the past year, or even those that hold the most meaning for you as a blogger. If you don’t want to republish the whole thing, create a top ten list instead, linking up to each post and explaining the reasons as to why you chose it.  Your current readers will love it, and it will serve as a great introduction to readers new to your blog. It can also help you to summerise and evaluate what blogging in 2013 meant to you, ready for you to power on into 2014.

Don’t forget Social Media!

Keeping your presence alive and actively participating on social media channels is important throughout the year, but during the festive season it can be essential. Companies that invest money in advertising posts will be less active during this period (as opposed to before it, when they will be even more active – drumming up Christmas business), which ultimately means that for a short while, you have the chance to easily achieve greater visibility.

Social media is also one of the most direct ways to send greeting to your readers, and also to those who are not already part of your network.  Take this opportunity to engage and connect with new readers.

Christmas = Holidays!

Source: Gatto Mimmo Flickr Page

December will be a busy month, but it can also be beneficial for a blogger. Don’t’ forget to take a bit of time away from your computer screen to be pampered by your loved ones, relax and reflect on your work. This will help you start the new year refreshed and with new ideas to offer to your readers.

So as the season of chocolate Santa’s, coca-cola adverts, gift-giving and quality time spent with loved ones approaches, make sure your blog is given that magical Christmas touch.

Have some ideas already? Wonderful – we can’t wait to see them!

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How to increase your blog’s visibility in 8 sure-fire steps (based on Google’s algorithm changes)

October 8, 2013

http://blogs.attask.com/files/2012/12/Visibility.jpeg

Search engine visibility is key in order to attract a large readership to your blog. With the recent ranking algorithm changes that Google has implemented, there are less and less shortcuts to gaining this visibility. The contributing factors now are now largely based on ‘human elements’, using signals such as social media presence, readership, recommendations, reader interaction etc. to determine how to prioritise search engine results. Although this does mean there are fewer shortcuts, it’s important to understand how these rankings are achieved in order to utilise your content and ultimately increase your blog’s visibility. Here’s how…

1. Google +

In the most recent correlation study by Moz, they found that besides page authority, the amount of Google +1’s a website has is the number one factor behind higher search rankings.

(Image courtesy of Moz)

So, how do you utilise this for your blog? Well, firstly, if you don’t have a Google + account, make one now! Start building relationships, follow people who inspire you, share great content. Post share-worthy content and implement social sharing buttons. Link to all of your websites, online profiles etc. in your ‘About’ page. Add as much information to your profile as possible. Create a badge to place on your profile so that people can easily add you to their circles. Make your posts public!

2. Google Authorship/online presence

Google assigns you a content score based on your activity across all platforms. Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO summarised this by saying: “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users clicking on top (verified results). The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance. Since the signature of reputable bloggers can be used to promote the ranking of signed content in web search results, bloggers have a powerful incentive to establish and maintain a good reputational score”

It is therefore essential that you gain Google Authorship to establish this reputational score! Find out how to do this here and check out our Google Authorship blog post  that goes into this in more detail.

3. Keep readers on your site

Google analyses the way users behave on your website, such as how long they stay on each page and how they navigate through it, in order to determine how useful it is. Once you’ve got them through the door, give them a reason to stick around!

Guide your readers through your blog. Include calls to action to subscribe to future posts. Create links to other blog posts you’ve done and attach them to relevant new content using recommended content widgets such as nrelate. If the reader enjoyed what they read, the likelihood is that they’ll navigate to other posts on similar topics if it is there on a plate for them. This is also an effective way of re-igniting older posts, which would otherwise slip away into the archived abyss.

Do a monthly summary of your content. Wrap up each month with a post that discusses recent popular content and gives links for readers to check them out in case they missed them. If you produce a lot of content, the chances are that readers won’t get chance to read everything you post, so this offers them a nice digestable summary and an easy way to catch up on what they’ve missed.

4. Make your content ‘shareable’

Post image for Why Sharing Your Art is the Key to Online Success

Nobody shares irrelevant, unoriginal content and Google notices this – the visibility of these posts will therefore suffer as a result. Whilst at first it can be largely trial and error, it is still important to learn from your mistakes and think of ways to replicate the success of previous winning posts.

Before you start writing, put some consideration into the point of your post. What’s the hook? What’s the angle? Who will relate to this and why? Commit to blogging ideas that show the potential for virality and adapt the ones that don’t. Don’t just create noise; create value to your readers. Value = Viral.

5. Put time into utilising and understanding social media

So you’ve created content that people want to see and read. Simply posting a link on Facebook or Twitter to your latest blog post just won’t cut it anymore. You now need to put some time into creating good social content.

social media marketing

Think of it as a chance to get your personality across to your readers and learn to give, as well as to take. Provide them with content you are genuinely interested in – the chances are if it interests you, it will interest them. Understand how to utilise each platform – Search Metrics provides a social visibility report, which shows you the sort of content that is working best on each social site. Promote other bloggers within your community and build relationships. Repost good content. Make your page a relevant, entertaining resource and integrate your own content within this. Establish a consistent tone of voice. Interact with your readers. Ask questions. Listen to and act on the answers. Use them to gauge what makes your readers tick and forge ideas for blog posts around this. Post timely updates that keep you in front of the readers and on their radar.

6. Build links by connecting with your community

Whilst this is arguably slightly less relevant than it has been in the past, it is undeniable that your backlinks and referring domains (ie. links from other sites) still play a big part in determining visibility. However, where the emphasis was once on quantity, it is now the quality of these links that is the determining factor.

You therefore need to connect with your community. One way to do this is by identifying influencers within your field. Use programs like followerwonk and rapportive to identify these opinion leaders and build a relationship with them. One backlink from someone with influence in your niche and a high readership is more effective than numerous unnatural, irrelevant links.

Create high quality guest posts for other blogs in your field. Not only does this give you a chance to get your content in front of a larger audience, it also gives you a link from an influencer in your field, which will have a positive effect on your visibility. Whilst it is always good to have a guest post featured on a high profile blog, don’t underestimate the influence smaller blogs can have also – think of it as building a community that your readers become familiar with.

Link to other people’s content in a way which is beneficial to the reader. If people follow this link, spend some time on the linked website and it ultimately solves their query, Google gives both sites a visibility reward as it deems it to have satisfied the search – so it pays to make your external links relevant and useful. Include links for users and not for search engines. Also, the more willing you are to link to others, the more willing they will be to link to you in the future.

7. Be Timely

Social media has totally changed the expectations of searchers, in that the demand for timely, up to date results is higher than ever. 34% of searches are now time sensitive, meaning that search engines now increasingly prioritise timely content within search results.

http://img.timeinc.net/time/2007/eating/makes_eat/makes_eat_time.jpg

(Image Courtesy of Time Photos)

This means that you should be reacting to this too! Inject your own opinions on recent events and talking points. Pay attention to trending topics on twitter, narrow the results down to your field and create content based around these topics.

Once you have their attention, it is important to keep the flow going. Plan ahead on ways you can build on what you’ve already produced. Google wants to find out if your site is actually a good site that provides consistent use to the reader or just a one hit wonder. It’s not about who gets to number one the fastest, it’s about who can continually build on previous successes and keep the readers interested once they have their attention.

8. Create good content that you are proud of

When it all comes down to it, the quality of your content is now ultimately the driving force behind achieving good visibility – something that you just can’t fake. How is your blog different to all the others out there? Understand what your readers enjoy and make content they’ll enjoy reading and be proud to share with others. Do research on sites such as pinterest, reddit  and delicious – see what has worked before in your niche, and what kind of content your readers react to. Analyse your own most popular content and keywords using Google Analytics and use it to learn what makes your readers tick and what they’d like to see more of.

Be interesting, compelling and honest. Connect with your community and represent your blog with true passion. Become an industry expert. Don’t sit on the fence. Create original content. Inject your own angles into news and current events. Ignite conversation and be controversial.

So, what are you waiting for?!

 

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Think it. Blog it. Wear It.

September 2, 2013

Ahoy you great voyagers of the Internet,
Here at Linklift, a new tradition has been a-brewing (and we are not talking about our office table football tournaments, although they are quite fun). What we mean is our competitions and giveaways! It’s always great interacting with you all, and here’s a new chance to get involved. :)
From September 2nd and for 4 consecutive weeks till September 30th, you could be one of the lucky ones chosen from our random draw to win this awesome T-shirt.

Get your hands on one!

Look at these little wonders! And yes, before you ask, they are specially designed by us (we’re more than just pretty SEO faces you see) AND there were no bunnies involved – well not as far as we could help it. We’ll be giving away 16 T-shirts in total, so that’ll be 4 each week.
Participating in the draw is simple: Register your blog or website with us through this link, and you will be automatically entered. BUT, be aware that entries will be counted per email address, not per website. This means that even if you register several sites, you will only be entered once. This also makes it a lot more fair for those that may only have one awesome sites, as opposed to several awesome sites.

Even if we are eventually not able to work together, registering through this link will automatically enter you into the draw. Although if you do want to know a bit more about what we look for in partner blogs, check out our site for the low down.
Each Monday during the competition, we’ll select the weeks 4 winners using Random.org, and announce them winner on our Linklift Facebook page.  But don’t worry – each winner will also be notified by email, so if you won there’s no chance of you missing out on the info!

Here’s the T&C’s of the competition – make sure you have a good read:

T-Shirt Competition Terms & Conditions:

  1. The T-shirt Competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over.
  2. Entry to the T-shirt Draw will end at 5pm Berlin time on September 30th 2013.
  3. No former or currrent employee of Linklift Ltd can win the T-shirt Draw.
  4. Registrations from across the whole company will be put into one pot, from which the winner is drawn using Random.org.
  5. Please note that only registrations from bloggers who speak our 5 languages (German, French, Italian, Spanish and English) will be entered.
  6. Entries will be counted per email address, not per website. This means that even if you register several sites, you will only be entered once.
  7. All Winners will be contacted by email and announced on Facebook.
  8. T-shirts will be shipped to all winners from 7th October onwards.
  9. The cost of the shipping the prizes will be covered by Linklift Ltd.
  10. The T-shirt Draw is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Please understand that you are providing your information to Linklift and not to Facebook or any third parties.
  11. We won’t use your data for any commercial activities, but only in the context of this competition.

 

That’s it (promise), now good luck and blog on!

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The Hive 2013

July 23, 2013

Hi Linklifters,

So it’s been a fair while since two of us lucky Linklifters returned from the Hive, shoulders aching from the Haribo Bärchen we carried around as Giveaways, smiles sore from meeting so many lovely people, but most importantly brains packed full of ideas, inspiration and tips to pass onto you guys (and even some for ourselves!).

Talk topics varied, and included; how to write a great Newsletter, and use it to promote your blog, by the awesome fellow Berliner Tiffany,  blogging about your passions by travelling mama Tina , and how to make you blog posts that bit more individual and pretty by Tabula Rosi.  We were also fortunate to attend Video Blogging and SEO workshops by the wonderful Kat (who has the most vivacious personality we may have met – ever!), and the informative Georg Seebode. There was even a surprise talk from Freunde von Freunden. :)

This was all topped off by the array of cupcakes and food that was served throughout the weekend! The organisers did a great job, making sure everyone was fed and watered, and knew where to go, and when. Well done Peggy and Yvonne!

So our aim now, is to gather everything we learnt and heard from the inspiring Speakers, and present it to you, together with our own knowledge and expertise, in our future blog posts. We’ll leave you now with a Hive-related video that we hope makes you smile as much as we did.  :)

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Dig out your glad rags and brush your hair, it’s time to increase the visibility of your blog through Google authorship!

April 4, 2013

Hey lovely Linklifters,

So we encouraged you to go be social and connect to your fellow bloggers a while back, but now we want to approach the subject of being social from a different angle.

How about being socially visible?

We believe that 2013 is really the year to begin being socially visible on the Internet.  If you aren’t doing it already, you should be, because it’s good for you and your blog, anchoring it to earth and granting it with the gift of “realness” (which actually is a real word… kinda).

It also helps improve your ranking and is something that BB Google and other crawlers will start to look for.

And how you become a socially visible blog? With Google Authorship of course.

You can tell a blog has undergone the “Google Authorship Treatment” (only available in select Spa’s), by searching for it in Google.  A small picture (normally of the blog or sites author) should appear next to the title of the blog, as well as the number of Google + circles the author’s part of.

We’ve roped in a willing assistant to give you a visual example. Enter Matt Cutts, Google employee.

Beautiful ay?

Authorship assigns each site (if only you are working on it) or each post (if several people are posting on one site) with paternity and identity.

This creates credibility for the readers and once people can see there is a person (with a face and personality) behind the writing, traffic should also increase to your site and posts. A personal connection has now been made and trust has been built. Excellent.

Another great aspect to this, is that it will help fight against content being copied without citing the source, or even completely duplicated (how very dare they), as the text is officially and clearly bound to one person.

You may say, “But I’m already on Facebook and Twitter, isn’t that enough?”

The answer in fact lies in the question little one. :)

Google always tend to favor it’s own products in it’s search engine (including Adwords), so aside from addressing the points mentioned, you would be aligning with their expectations of a good, nay awesome blog.

Let’s demonstrate this by typing “Google Authorship” into Google and looking at the first 4 results:


Two results that refer you back to a Google site, and another two that have already configured their authorship! You shouldn’t need more convincing than that :)

And how do you set this all up then?

The general approach is to configure it manually through your Google+ account (which you should also get if you don’t have one already!).  Enter the email address of your site (which must use same domain as your site, eg emailaddress@yourdomain.com), and then add your name (eg. Joe Bloggs) on the pages of the site.

You can follow this link for a more detailed explanation from BB Google itself, about how to link your Google+ profile and the content you’re creating.

Do be aware though, that if you use WordPress, it may be easier to link your account by clicking on the categories “Users” > “Profile” > “Google+”. Then just click save.

Ta-da! Easy as Pie, or was that cake?

And how do I know Google received my application and has made the changes?

Google will let you know that you’re successfully the proud father / mother/author of your content when you see the signs we mentioned above (ie. picture & name.) But if you want to check before the few days that it takes to implement this change, you can do so by using one of Google’s Webmaster tools. Just enter your website URL and it allows you to see what will appear after processing your authorship request.

So what are you waiting for? Scrub up, take that picture and show everyone who’s the boss!*

*author.

 

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Target Practice

March 11, 2013

Dear Linklifters,
You guys are a clever bunch, so you’re most likely very familiar by now, with how your site benefits from social networking, and how search engines view being actively social as a sign of quality and authenticity (but in case you aren’t, you can read a bit about it in one of our previous posts: “Being Well Rounded and Connected“). Saying this, we’ve recently come to the decision to focus on having only one Facebook account for the whole company, which will include all our international postings and hopefully become a knowledge hub!

“But what’s the dealio? Which language will you post in?” I hear you cry. Fear not – we’ve got it sorted….

The Facebook FAQ is very thorough on this subject, but we thought we’d make our own little “How-to” guide anyway. So, imagine you were about to type a message or post on your Facebook wall. As soon as you click in the box to type, you’ll notice some extra buttons appear below.

Activating your account is easy!

Go to “edit page” and then “Manage Permissions” and check the “post privacy gating.”

Select the image of the Target and the “Add Targeting” drop down option will appear. This button allows you to actually choose who you want to receive or see a particular post.

Here at Linklift we’re an International bunch (speaking 5 languages fluently) so the option that interests us the most is “Language”.

At the moment we have numerous accounts across different social media sites, each written specifically in one language. But now, with this new option, we hope to be able to merge our Facebook accounts into one Grand, Official, Ultimate Linklift Page, whilst still targeting one language at a time, rather than send all posts, in every language, to everyone! This is great for all you blogs out there that do post bilingually.  Or maybe it could even be a way to put that 2nd, 3rd or 4th language you’ve been meaning to learn, into practice?!
Another thing that’s handy, is that if we decide to organize an event in Berlin, then with this new tool, we can also geographically target our followers in the capital!
That’s the advantage of this option: You can be very precise when selecting your audience and should therefore achieve better results and feedback than you would if you sent it out to everyone at once. Who wants to have a post in Russian or Japanese come up on their feed, when they don’t speak it? Not a lot of people, that’s for sure!

So here’s where we wave “Au Revoir” to our French Facebook Page, and link up to that new ULTIMATE Facebook site of ours, where we shall be refocusing our efforts! If you speak English, French, German, Italian or Spanish, we hope you’ll join us there sometime soon to check out our whimsical musings and blogging tips, all in your language of choice!

 

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The Daily Quest for .co.uk

June 22, 2010

Hi! I’m Philippa, I am the newest member of the LinkLift team.

I have found that the most important skill required for a new LinkLift intern (me!) is the ability to search effectively for great blogs and websites. One of the key issues I face is:  how do I find out where in the world this blog is situated? Many bloggers may also wish to find likeminded individuals online in their country of residence or interest, so read on if this sounds like you and searching for blogs in a particular country seems difficult.

Because we are the  UK department at LinkLift, UK domains always feature highly on our blog search lists for all campaigns. I have found a list of all the domains by country, and surprisingly, even that lonely continent, Antarctica, has a domain special to it  – .Aq. If I come across a .Aq domain I am sure to be very excited, but on an average day, I will be searching the online world for UK sites. Now, with a little nifty knowledge that I will impart here, searching for .co.uk sites is easy!

For example

We have a campaign running about home improvement and I would like to find some blogs on this topic but with a UK specific domain.

Step 1: Go to your favourite search engine.

Step 2: Input this string into your search engine of choice: “intext:home improvement inurl:.uk”

Step 3: Hit enter key.

Et voila! All the sites about home improvement with .co.uk in their URL will appear.

You could replace the “inurl:.uk” with the  operator “site:uk”. Same difference.

And just for fun, I have tried this with inurl:.Aq and, disappointingly, no penguins are currently blogging.

If anyone out there with a blog or website in English, with few existing adverts, lots of great content and an old domain (not necessarily .co.uk!)  you could save me a search or two by registering with us directly! We are looking in particular for blogs with topics covering these areas:

Home improvement

Interior design

Food and drink

Women’s lifestyle/fashion

Travel

Just to Note

This month Google has implemented a PageRank update. This change to the basic indicator of a site’s popularity means that many sites have been recently demoted or promoted in their overall ‘importance’ on the web.

Some online advertisers wish to promote products only on those websites with high PageRanks (4 and above). At LinkLift, however, we treat Google PageRank as a general indication of a website’s use and value, but more important to us are the content and links. We can usually tell what is a good site, whether or not this is reflected in the PageRank.

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