Blog Like a Pro Lesson 4: Spread Your Message Like St. Patrick

Andrew Raynor

Now that you’ve got a blog and a lead magnet and know what you’re about. Now that you know how to pick a fight. What do you need?

Blog Like a Pro Lesson 4: Spread Your Message Like St. Patrick

You need to evangelize. Today is st Patrick’s day and as a proud Irish American, I love this holiday. Why? Because it shows the power of one person’s words.

Patrick was a slave who escaped from Ireland, later became a Christian, and returned to the place of his captivity to be one of the world’s first missionaries.

What’s remarkable about Patrick’s mission is that unlike other religious conquests and crusades, his evangelism was entirely peaceful. Ireland became a Christian nation without any bloodshed, in spite of it being a barbarous land at the time.

That’s the power of words.

But what good is a message if you don’t share it?

Spread your words to the world

Your mission today is to be like St. Patrick. Go to new lands and spread the good news. In the world of blogging that means guest posting.

The best way to get free, qualified traffic is through guest posting. What is guest posting? Well, it’s free advertising for your blog. Quite simply it’s you posting your content on someone else’s blog.

And it works really well. This is how I got my first 10,000 subscribers — through guest posting. Here’s how it works:

  1. Identify a blog you want to write for.
  2. Read and study the blog until you find a gap in the content ok could fill.
  3. Build a relationship with the author and ask to contribute a guest post.

Here’s the secret to success with this. When you add more value than you take, people will say yes. Approach this with an attitude of servanthood and you will have better luck than the Irish.

day4-ig

Assignment: Find someone to guest post for. Or publish something on Medium.com. Share it here.

Andrew Raynor

How to optimize your real estate site

Andrew Raynor

 

 

There is a significant difference between a real estate site and a ‘regular’ website. Real estate sites have temporary content: when an estate is up for sale, there is a page for it online. But when it’s sold, it tends to leave the internet. In this post, I’ll tell you how to deal with that.

how to optimize your real estate site

First things first

Next to the ever changing real estate pages, your website needs more static content as well.

About

Even though you’re basically selling bricks, your bricks are quite expensive. It helps when you make your website a bit more personal. Add your team and images of your team. Add a short story about how selling real estate became a passion of yours. A bit of history. All these things together make your website a lot more personal. A real estate agency that understands how to do this is Gottesman Residential.

Area

We have seen our share of real estate sites in our website audits. And I have to say that especially US based real estate agencies know how to promote their specific area. Try to create levels in this. First address your entire service area. If you’re serving the entire state, add content about what’s great about that state. Why should people move there? Why is buying a house there so very interesting for your visitor? Second, see if you can find districts of that main area, like Central Texas and Northeast Texas. Find the metropolitan areas and create pages for specific cities. Obviously, the number of levels will vary per agency.

Update this area based page regularly, for instance with an event calendar and things like that. Your real estate site should become the Wikipedia of local things. RealtyAustin doesn’t only tell you why Austin is nice, it also provides things like a list of schools, a relocation guide, and neighborhood videos.

Contact and location

Personal contact is important for a lot of real estate buyers and sellers. That means that you’ll have to list your contact details in a prominent spot on your website. Make sure your telephone number is listed in a sidebar or header and add a contact page with contact details, a contact form and a map with the location of your office. Our Local SEO plugin will help you a lot in optimizing these details by adding schema.org markup to your address details. It also provides an easy option to add that map and even an option for directions.

One more thing about contact forms: if you’re looking at a certain house, and like what you see, you simply want to contact the realtor. If the website has a contact form in the sidebar next to the estate details, that will make things easier.

IDX and MLS

IDX and MLS are ways of integrating estates, from yourself or other brokers, in your own website. WordPress offers plugins for that. An Internet Data Exchange (IDX) listing tends to be less detailed compared to a realtors Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing. Both are based upon the same principle: add your listing to a central website and allow other realtors to share your listings via their websites. Both buyers and realtors benefit: every house that’s on sale is served to the potential buyer and the potential buyer will be able to make a better selection before contacting the real estate agent.

I have seen a lot of real estate sites adding an iframe with IDX listings to their website. Let me emphasize again that content in an iframe isn’t on your website and won’t help your website rank as such. If you’re using IDX/MLS, please make sure to import the content to your own website, and serve the listings in your own design. But this does mean duplicate content, as the listing are available on multiple websites. The best SEO practice for your real estate site is to create unique listings for your own website. Note that this might interfere with creating the largest reach for the property you’re selling if your website doesn’t have that many visitors (yet). A way to use both could be to serve unique content on your site and link ‘similar properties’ via IDX/MLS services below that.

The ever changing content of your real estate site

All real estate sites have one thing in common: your real estate listings come and go. Of course, you’ve added a great description to your unique listing of the property. This description, your images and the address of your property will help you rank. If your listing appears in the search result pages, it should feel like a waste to delete it from your website right after the sale. So simply don’t.

First of all, if your real estate is sold, it will pay off to keep that listing online for say three months. Clearly list that the property is sold (perhaps even add ‘within 16 days’ to show your agency gets the job done for sellers as well). Clearly list similar properties on that page to redirect people that searched for a property in that street or district.

Step two is an actual redirect. To optimize this properly, we first need to divide the location into a number of levels. In almost every case, it will pay off to create a hierarchical custom taxonomy for that location, going from state > city > district and as many more levels as your service area has. Doing so will make sure you’ll always have some kind of category to link to.

If after three months that property is still sold, redirect the page to a collection of properties in the same district. Preferably, you’d want these properties to have some similarities to the real estate you’ve just sold, like the same number of rooms, located near schools; you probably know what the majority of your customers values most. The page you are redirecting to could be a taxonomy page or even the search result page for properties in that district. If you can optimize that search page with a proper title and description, that would work perfectly well as a substitute for a category page.
Now if no such page for the same district is available, go up one level and redirect the page to a similar page with results from within the same city. Broaden your location bit by bit. Doing so will keep the temporary URL of the initial property valuable for your website for a longer period of time.

If the property is up for sale again within a few months (which sometimes happens), remove the redirect and reuse the initial URL. After six months to a year, feel free to remove the initial redirect, as Google will understand by now that the property is gone from your catalog.

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/

Blog Like a Pro Lesson 3: The Fastest Way to Get Attention Online

Andrew Raynor

Why do certain political candidates succeed when they criticize other certain political candidates? Because controversy sells. And if you don’t think this has any bearing on your writing, you’re kidding yourself.

Blog Like a Pro Lesson 3: The Fastest Way to Get Attention Online

People want to believe they’re in an epic battle of good versus evil. But we all know real life is filled with much more nuance and gray area than we’d like. Or do we? In politics and and life, we want a good guy and a bad guy. We want a story to follow that is simple and easy to understand, and we want to know who to root for. More than anything, we want to believe we are engaged in an important struggle and that our side is going to win.

Of course, you can use this manipulate people and coerce them into doing things they wouldn’t normally do if they were thinking rationally. You can use these ideas to grab power and corrupt the masses, if you’d like. I wouldn’t recommend that, but you could do that if you really wanted.

On the other hand, you can’t ignore these rules.

Pick a fight

What grabs people’s attention is conflict. This is true in story, and this is true life. And nowhere is that more important than in writing. You have to have an argument, something to say that people will disagree with. I mentioned this in a Facebook group the other day, and a person told me I should use a less aggressive word like “perspective.” But that’s not what I meant. I meant argument.

Look. You don’t have to be argumentative to have an argument. But you do have to have something to say. And it begins with disagreement. What’s something wrong with the world that you could fix? What’s a problem you know the answer to? How do you feel about X (insert your political, moral, or religious issue)? We all have opinions about certain things, and we don’t do them any justice by keeping quiet.

Make it interesting

I maintain there is a thoughtful way to share your opinion with the world in a way that doesn’t sound like empty rhetoric or hyperbole. It simply comes down to making a case for your belief and taking a stand behind it. And here’s the truth: you don’t have to be right to be interesting. But just because you happen to be right doesn’t mean people will think you’re interesting.

What makes for interesting and engaging content – on a blog, in a movie, or even in politics – is when you have someone who says, “This is WRONG. Who’s with me?” In many ways, identifying what you’re against is more attractive that stating what you’re for. It’s crazy, I know. But it’s the way our minds seem to work.

One law you can’t ignore

So what does this have to do with writing and your blog? Good question. Everything. The truth is we are attracted to ideas that grab us. We want to be part of movements that mean something. And that means you can’t just be vanilla. You can’t be so-so. You have to be big and audacious and that can look a million different ways. You have to pick a fight.

Does this mean you have to be pushy and angry and call people names? Of course not. But it does mean you have to lean in to the argument you want to make. Now, don’t be contentious for the sake of contentiousness. But the same time, you can’t ignore this law of curiosity. People are fascinated with a fight. And every piece of writing contains a little argument worth sharing.

So the next time you sit down to write, try the following prompts to get started:

  • Everyone thinks [BLANK] but here’s what’s actually true…
  • The ugly truth about [BLANK]
  • Why everyone says [BLANK] but really you should [BLANK]
  • What it really takes to [BLANK]
  • The myth about [BLANK]

And so on. Surprise people. Incite them. Get them excited about a battle worth fighting. Don’t attack a person. Attack a bad idea or an injustice or something that’s just plain broken. Then paint a picture of how things can be better; give your reader hope and invite them into that solution.

That’s something that writing, perhaps, does better than politics.

Pick a Fight

Assignment: Find something other people are saying and disagree with it. Don’t do it just to be controversial. Do it because you actually disagree with it. Write about a belief or idea people tend to take for granted. And then obliterate it. Invite people into the discussion and see how they respond. Be careful, though. This can get heated. You’re dealing with the most powerful form of communication there is. Good luck. Then share a link to your piece below.

What do you think of controversial writing? What’s your fight to pick? Share in the comments (along with a link to your piece!).

Andrew Raynor

Blog Like a Pro Lesson 2: Make Your Blog Matter (to Others)

Andrew Raynor

It’s one thing to write. It’s another to connect. Great writers understand implicitly the goal of writing is not just self expression. It’s connection.

matter to others

How do you know you’re doing your job as a writer? How do you know you have an effective blog?

Simple: you know because you’re connecting with readers. You’re getting feedback, people telling you that your work matters — to them.

Getting practical

How do you do this?

You build an email list. Forget what you’ve heard about email marketing and how people say it’s dead. It’s not. Email marketing is very much alive. In fact, email is the most universal way to communicate with most people online.

So how are you asking for people’s email addresses on your website? This is important. If you don’t ask people for permission to continue communicating with them after they’ve left your website, you’re leaving a lot on the table.

What does this take? How do you get people’s email addresses? You need an incentive for people.

Call it a lead magnet or an ethical bribe or whatever you like. I like to think of it as a reward for people’s attention. Whatever name you use, the point is to give people a reason to sign up for your email list and to give you an opportunity to stay in touch with them the next you have something to say.

But where do you begin? By creating something brand new out of nothing? Not necessarily. The most effective lead magnets tend to come from existing content. So here’s what you should do:

  1. Repurpose an existing piece of content — a popular blog post, your recent manifesto from yesterday’s assignment, or something else — and turn it into a lead magnet. Edit it and then turn it into a short PDF eBook.
  2. Sign up for an email marketing service like Aweber or Mailchimp and set up a new email list to deliver your free lead magnet.
  3. Start collecting email addresses. Use a tool like SumoMe (which is free!) to create a pop-up to deliver your free lead magnet. This is way easier than having to embed complicated code on your website. Watch the video below to see how to get started.

The goal of this assignment is simple: you’re trying to connect with people. You want feedback so that you can get an idea of how your work is making a difference in people’s lives. We don’t find our voices writing for ourselves. We find our voice when we hear it resonating with others.

You have to put your work out there. And you have to give people an opportunity to respond. That’s what today is about: building an asset that will be the bedrock for how you communicate with your audience from here on out.

Assignment: Take yesterday’s manifesto and turn it into a lead magnet. Once you have that set up (if you already have one, use this as an opportunity to create something new), share it here. The person who collects the most emails by midnight will win a free copy of Bryan Harris’s Get 10,000 Subscribers course.

Do you have a lead magnet? Share the link in the comments of this post (then update us again tomorrow with the number of new subscribers you got through this assignment). I’ll announce the winner in tomorrow’s challenge.

Andrew Raynor

Launch of a new eBook: Blog SEO

Andrew Raynor

 

 

As of today you will be able to buy our latest eBook: Blog SEO. Blog SEO is our most extensive eBook (containing 225 pages) in which we cover all SEO aspects needed for everyone owning or maintaining a blog. The blog SEO eBook is now priced at an introductory price of $19 (and will normally be priced at $25).

Blog SEO eBook by Yoast

Our eBook can be read from cover to cover, giving you everything you need to know and do to make your blog rank well in search engines. We will also cover User Experience, great writing, coming up with ideas and marketing and monetizing your blog. Our eBook is a must have for people who just started out blogging, but also a great reference work for those who already know there way around the major SEO topics.

Blog_SEO_Preview_TOC_x2

Blog SEO contains lots of practical tips and includes many examples. These tips and examples will make this eBook our most practical one yet. We will really help you to put the theory to practice and to start optimizing your blog right a way.

Blog SEO ebook preview

As we present this new eBook, we’ll say goodbye to our first eBook ‘Optimize your WordPress site’  (which came out about a year and a half ago). This eBook needs some updating, but also contains to much duplicate content to keep selling it alongside of blog SEO. For people who bought ‘Optimize your (WordPress)-site’ in the last three months, we will provide a 100% discount on Blog SEO. People who purchased Optimize your WordPress site more than 3 months ago, will receive an extra discount code.

Interested in content marketing? In our content marketing newsletter we share all our latest insights with you!

Sign up now!

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/

Professionals Are Confident (BLP Day 1)

Andrew Raynor

Lesson 1: Know What You’re About

All great writing, and certainly many great blogs, are about something bigger than the author. When you set out to build a community, you have to create something that’s bigger than you. And before you can do that, you have to know what you are all about.

Professionals Are Confident (BLP Day 1)

What’s your worldview? What gets under your skin? What wrecks you?

These are the questions great writers, and incidentally great bloggers, must ask themselves. The answer can something big and bold like women’s rights issues or something fun like dog sweaters. It doesn’t have to be serious to be important.

And once you’ve identified it, that thing you’re writing about, you’ve created something powerful for your readers to connect with.

By the way, this is not a subject I’m talking about. It’s bigger than that. An overarching theme to every word you write, everything you have to say. In writing, the why should always be bigger than the what.

So where do you begin? Start here: with a manifesto, a short shareable document that tells the world what matters most to you. What’s a manifesto? It’s a short, shareable document that makes an argument.

Just how powerful is a manifesto? Well, here are a few examples.

The Declaration of Independence, which initiated America’s fight for independence, is a manifesto.

So was Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, which sparked the Protestant Reformation and changed the face of one of the world’s largest religions forever.

And so was the Communist Manifesto by Marx.

As you can see, words can move people to powerful action. So what kind of movement will your words create?

For an example of a manifesto, which is only 900 words and has been inspiring hundreds of thousands of people for years, you can read mine here.

Assignment: Write a manifesto: a 500-word treatise on what you’re about. Then publish it and share it in the comments here.

Andrew Raynor

How to Launch Your Blog Like a Pro

Andrew Raynor

This week, we’re running the Blog Like a Pro Challenge, and you’re going to want to be a part of it.

launch like a pro

What does this entail? 7 days. 7 blog posts. 1 epic challenge that will leave you a better blogger. But before you jump in, you’d better have a blog. So let’s talk about that.

Why do you need a blog?

Three important reasons:

  • Because blogging is accessible. Anyone can do it.
  • Because blogging is relatively easy once you understand the tools, which I argue even your grandma can figure out.
  • And lastly because blogging is powerful. It’s a simple way to get your words out into the world. If you have something to say, why wouldn’t you have a blog?

But lots of people launch blogs that never make an impact. How will yours be different? Well, there are a few things that I think set a professional blog apart from the rest of the clutter on the Internet:

First, a professional blog is owned by the author. In other words, it’s self-hosted, which really means that you pay to host the website elsewhere as opposed to letting a free service like WordPress.com or Blogger host it. There’s nothing wrong with those services, except that they can put up ads or any kind of other distractions on your website whenever they like. Why gamble by placing the controls to your content in someone else’s hands? Own your words.

Second, a professional blog is branded well. What I mean by that is you should be using a .com or .org version of your domain name if at all possible (the domain name is the web address people will use to get to your site). A good domain name should be short, memorable, and relevant to the blogger’s message. In other words, dancing-girl-1352.net doesn’t work. Find a good domain name and use it.

Third, a professional blog is designed well. This is why I recommend WordPress. It’s free to download, cheap to host on any number of sites (like Bluehost, for example, which I have an affiliate relationship with and love recommending), and has a ton of free resources including a treasure trove of nice-looking free themes. What makes a theme design a winner? Clean layout, simple graphics, and nothing that distracts the readers from the copy. Invest in the design of your site, and you won’t regret it.

Ready to start blogging?

Okay, so now that I’ve made my case, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Set up your blog. I recommend a self-hosted solution like Bluehost (watch the 8-minute video below to get set up). For less than $4/month, you can get rolling with your very own, customized website. Pretty amazing, right?
  2. Choose a domain name that matches your brand and message. It could just be your name, the subject about which you’ll be blogging, or some kind of mashup of the two (for example, my name is Jeff Goins and I’m a writer, so I chose Goinswriter.com).
  3. Install a WordPress theme. These range from free to fairly expensive (a few hundred dollars). I recommend something simple to begin with like the Twenty Sixteen Theme, which doesn’t cost a thing. You can always upgrade later.
  4. Start blogging! The first thing you want to write is your about page, because that’s one of the most important pages on your website that many bloggers ignore.

If you get stuck, there are tutorials for all this stuff (Google is your friend). But keep in mind, that’s why we’ve built this community of bloggers — so that you can get the help you need. If you need something, just pop into the Intentional Blogging Facebook group and ask your question. I’m sure someone will help you.

And if you don’t have a self-hosted blog, I highly recommend getting one. You can follow my quick tutorial here. Or watch the video below.

So that’s all for today. Get started blogging and make sure you’re signed up for the daily email updates on the challenge if you don’t want to miss a thing. A week goes by pretty fast!

Assignment: Set up your blog. Share the link in the comments.

Andrew Raynor

Blog Like a Pro: 7-Day Challenge

Andrew Raynor

Ever wondered what it takes to get your message heard as a writer? So many people start in the wrong place. I’m hosting a free challenge to change that. For seven days, I’m going to give you a daily challenge on how to take your blog to the next level.

Blog Like a Pro: 7-Day Challenge

Once in a while, I reach out to the Internet and encourage anyone who’s ever thought of blogging or maybe started a blog but haven’t seen it take off in the direction they wanted to join me in a blogging challenge.

And we’re doing that again, right now. Here are the details:

When does this start?

Now. Right now. Why stall or hesitate? Set up your blog (it takes eight minutes!), and get going. The best time to get your words out there was yesterday. The second best time is today. (Technical dates of the challenge are: Mar. 14-21).

Who is this for?

Anyone who: a) has a blog and wants to take it to the next level, b) had a blog but have since stopped posting to it, or c) has always wanted to blog but just never got started. Whoever you are, we’d love to have you! (If you need help with the technical side of blogging, go ahead and join, and we’ll help you with that, too.)

Why now?

Because you can always get better. And this is free. So that’s a hard price to beat. Oh, and I’ll be picking ONE person who completes all the assignments to my satisfaction and will be personally coaching them. Which is worth, like, a ton of money. 😉

How do I join?

It’s super simple. All you need to do is:

  1. Set up your blog (here’s a tutorial on how to do that).
  2. Join the Facebook group today! (Challenge starts Monday, Mar. 14)
  3. Do all the assignments and have a good time! (I will be posting all the assignments to the blog, so bookmark this page or sign up for email updates so you don’t miss anything.)

Remember: at the end of this challenge, I’ll be picking one person to personally teach and coach.

So, are you in? Ready to blog like a pro? Just leave a comment below and include your blog URL! (Let me know what you want to learn.)

Andrew Raynor

Images for blogs

Andrew Raynor

 

 

From a SEO perspective, the text on your blog is most important. However, images for blogs are really important in getting your audience to read your post. A post with a nice photo or illustration will receive lots more attention on social media. In this post, I’ll explain the importance of photos and illustrations and give practical tips on how to find images for blogs on your own.

Images for blogs

Choose images that fit your blog post

If you choose a photo or an illustration for your post, make sure that the image actually fits the topic of your blog. A picture should make people want to read your blog or explain something you’ve written about in your blog. Text and picture should be about the same topic, they should reinforce one another.

Tips on how to find images for blogs

You cannot just use any picture or photo you find on the internet. Illustrations have copyright (just like text, software or any other creation of someone) and should not be used without consent of the creator. No worries though, because there are plenty of databases containing pictures you can either buy or even use freely.

Photos

Take your own pictures

If you really want original pictures that fit your post, you should make your own photos. Taking your own photos ensures that you’ll show an original picture, one that can never be found on another blog. On top of that, this allows you to shoot a photo that really fits the content of your post. If you’re blogging about your day-to-day life, taking your own pictures is definitely the way to go. That also goes for food blogs. For a company blog or a technical blog, or for Yoast.com for that matter, it’s much harder to take pictures that actually fit the content of the posts you’re writing.

Use photos from platforms

If the content of your blog is somewhat abstract, taking your own pictures just isn’t doable. You could then buy or download pictures from a platform. You could use many platforms to download free or paid images: Yayimages, shutterstock, librestock, unsplash. There are many more out there.  Make sure your stock photo isn’t a photo that is used by everyone though.

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/

Optimize your (WordPress) gallery

Andrew Raynor

 

 

My recommendation when sharing a page that contains a photo gallery as the primary content of that page, is to upload three or four images from that gallery to Twitter, which will result in a tweet like this:

The fact that you have to upload these images to Twitter seems to fit the ‘all your content belongs to us’ trend in social media 😉

Facebook photo albums

Facebook allows you to add photo albums. As Google and Facebook have little overlap, you might want to consider creating a Facebook album for your photo gallery as well. Promote it separately. I totally understand that you primarily want your photo gallery on your website and your website only. From my personal experience, I can tell you that a proper Facebook album also works well. Be sure to add the right title and description. Your Facebook page might have a different audience than your website. Be sure to test this for your own content.

The title of your photo gallery

The one thing everyone can control is the title of your gallery. It’s the title of the page. And it’s the title that will most probably show up in Google’s search result pages as well. In our WordPress SEO article, we already mentioned that you should make sure the title is topical, and contains the keyword you want to optimize that gallery for.

In the article, and in our plugin’s content analysis, we recommend adding that keyword early in the title, which Google seems to like. Besides that, scanning the search result becomes easier with the desired keyword as one of the early words.

Introductory content for your gallery

Every time we discuss taxonomies, categories or things like that, we mention introductory content. Like your category pages, a photo gallery is a collection of things. It doesn’t matter if these collections contain posts or images, you want to tell your visitor (and Google) what the common ground for your collection is.

Explain why you set up the gallery:

  • Are these photos from a certain event?
  • Are these photos of a certain product?

My gut feeling tells me these are the two main reasons to set up a photo gallery (feel free to add yours). Describe the event or product and by all means link to other pages that contain more in-depth information about the topic. Your introductory content should be the glue that connects all the separate items together, but shouldn’t have to be the main content you want to rank with for a certain topic. If it is, your gallery is probably illustrative and not the main part of your page’s content.

The obvious: alt tags, captions, and file names

There are similarities in optimizing images and photo galleries. You have to make sure your alt tags are descriptive. For better scanning and a text to accompany the images in your gallery, you want to add captions. For more information on how to do this, I’d like to point you to my article on image SEO.

If you want to go all the way, every single image in your photo gallery needs to have a unique, descriptive file name. In practice, this will probably almost never be the case. It’s a lot of work and depending on the subject of your gallery, there will be matching subjects. Most galleries will have filenames like garden-flowers-01.jpg to garden-flowers-10.jpg, where dandelions.jpg to sunflowers.jpg will work better in the end. In reality, you’ll understand that this might be a bit too much hassle to be workable.

AMP and its carousel markup for galleries

We have been talking about AMP a lot lately. AMP has a way to deal with galleries as well. I have been testing this with a default WordPress gallery and the AMP plugin by Automattic. It creates a carousel of your gallery, which actually works pretty nice. This is done by adding the amp-carousel tag, which helps “displaying multiple similar pieces of content along a horizontal axis; meant to be highly flexible and performant.” Examples can be found here.

The code for that would look something like this:

<amp-carousel width=300 height=400>
  <amp-img src="my-img1.png" width=300 height=400></amp-img>
  <amp-img src="my-img2.png" width=300 height=400></amp-img>
  <amp-img src="my-img3.png" width=300 height=400></amp-img>
</amp-carousel>

Example taken from the ampproject.org website, by the way. The WordPress plugin creates just that for you.

The only thing that seems to fail sometimes is scaling. This is not an odd issue I think, as AMP prefers set dimensions. I’m sure this will be fixed over time. Overall this is a really nice solution for displaying galleries in accelerated mobile pages.

When I was looking into similar plugins for Joomla! and Drupal, I found this piece of information telling me it’s coming to Lullabot’s Drupal AMP module later on. Weeblr released a Joomla! plugin called WbAMP, but I can’t locate any information on how it deals with images or, more specific, photo gallery handling there. Anyone tried this one already?

Wrapping things up

I understand that there are things in this post you can’t ‘just’ implement like that. Changing every single file name to match the subject of the image is a lot of work. I would recommend against doing that for your existing photo galleries, but it might be something to test in future ones. Always add introductions to your galleries, and make sure your captions and alt texts are correct. Just remember that it’s the entire page you want to rank, not just that single image!

Read more: ‘Optimizing images for SEO’ »

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/