Content Marketing, Search Marketing, WordPress

Blog Review: Dave Woodson, Social Media Consultant

Dave Woodson is a social media consultant and technologists who assists businesses with their online presence. Dave did a great review of the blogging book we wrote and put it up on Barnes and Noble. As promised, we’re doing a review of his blog to provide some constructive feedback to tune it up! Here goes:

  • It’s not immediately noticeable what the purpose of your blog is to a new visitor. I had to go to About to actually get a feel for what you were blogging about. I’d recommend putting a byline or note in the right sidebar that explains the purpose of your blog.
  • Since you assist businesses with social media and technology, I’d recommend a great call-to-action (CTA) in the top right of your sidebar on every page letting folks know that you’re available for hire. That CTA should forward an individual to a landing page that has both a contact form and some additional information on the clients and services that you provide.
  • You’ve got a great header and logo… take the logo and set up an icon for your blog. Here’s a post on how to make a favicon.
  • Your robots.txt file is in the root of your domain and has the sitemap.xml location listed – that’s awesome! I’d edit the file and disallow traffic to any /wp-* directory or file – this will stop the search engines from indexing your administrative directories.
  • Your URL path (permalink) is weird – it looks like there’s a post number inline. I don’t think that’s hurting you, but it’s a bit quirky. Since you’re not ranking high in any search results (I use SEMRush to verify), I might pull that out, it looks a bit spammy. You can use htaccess rules to change the permalink. My favorite is /%postname%/. URL structure doesn’t have as much impact as it used to, but who knows when it will come back!
  • Your blog layout is awesome – it’s very clear and easy to see everything. I like your Apture bar across the top, it really cuts down on additional clutter in the page.
  • I wish there was a great photo of you in the header. People need to know who Dave is – and a great photo will provide that personal touch that will build trust and get you recognized by folks who land on your blog. I have my photo everywhere, even on my business cards. When someone picks up my card a few weeks later, they’ll remember who I was. I don’t do it just because I think I’m beautiful ;).
  • Your posts are well-written with great spacing between paragraphs and effective use of lists. Lists are very effective when writing since people can scan them easily. I’d encourage you to increase your font-size a little and utilize bold and italic words on keywords that you wish to drive home with your content.
  • “Social Media & Tech” is a very, very broad and competitive keyword phrase on your blog’s title. Is there a niche you can target that’s narrow and a little more long-tail? By targeting long-tail keywords, you can acquire relevant traffic quickly from searches. One such term is using social media for business. It only gets about 30 searches per month, but that’s 30 new visitors to your site each month.
  • You go a bit overboard on sharing links. I’ve honestly not seen any of these work for any business aside from Twitter’s retweet button (which you already have) and Facebook’s like button.
  • The link to your contact page is buried in your navigation menu. Contact information such as a phone number, address, or associated contact page with a form should be easy to find on every blog. People don’t take the time to rummage around the site… if they can’t find you, they leave. I encourage some businesses to put that information on every single header and footer.

The biggest opportunity I see for you is to utilize your blog topically and geographically to attract new businesses. By focusing on your region and standing out as a social media consultant there, you can take advantage of searches in the region from businesses seeking your help. However, you have to make sure you have effective calls-to-action and landing pages in place so they can easily connect with you!

Thanks for the opportunity to review your site! And thanks so much for the review of our book!

10 Comments

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    Thanks Doug, you have given me a good laundry list to work on. This is my first blog that I’ve ever done and that is not at excuse, but it is my testing ground.

    thank you for your honest opinion

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    Awesome to get such functional advice. Way to put yourself out there to ultimately grow better. I sure hope I can grow up to be hip and cool some day.

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    That’s awesome of you to do this for him Doug as I know he appreciates it greatly. I agree whole heartedly with a lot of what you say and only have a couple little “nitpicks” myself.

    Now this really doesn’t apply to Dave’s site as his images are usually not his but for some they are. For those that are you don’t want to tell the search engines to completely ignore your wp-contents folder as by default image uploads go into /wp-content/uploads/ and for sites like my wife’s (she’s an artist, and hasn’t been keeping it up so I won’t share cause she hates when I do) get a lot of traffic from image search. On side note, not sure if this changed in all of WP3 or just with multisite enabled but it doesn’t seem to use wp-content anymore (my only WP3 setup is a multi so not 100%, though if upgrade would be diff also then if they made different default in new one, so would need to verify for ones self) but if changed then can have it ignore all wp-

    Next, um, have you seen Dave? Seriously, you want his photo in the header? And you think it’s possible to take a good one? Dave? Hehe, I kid the Daver. 😉

    I personally hate the bars that keep popping up on websites, but from what I get I’m in the minority. The one thing though is I much prefer the bar on this blog over the one on Dave’s. At the bottom it’s out of the way and it’s always showing. Anytime I have something pop up from the top that covers content I feel it’s really doing something wrong. Maybe if the bar was always there would be better because you would naturally adjust your scroll to it, but at the bottom of the page it has the least chance of getting in the way. If I scroll down to read an article I don’t want you to pop up a bar that blocks the fist line of the article from me, or worse something that covers the whole content. Though atleast he doesn’t have the cover everything and beg me to sign up for his mailing list box, those are the worst. 🙂

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    Your 3000 limit is killing me 😉

    Okay 2 other points that I discussed with Dave over IM but figured I would share on here.

    First is one I know people go both ways on. I prefer not having the full article on the front page. First you get the extra Page View if that matters to you, but it also lets you know what someone found catchy enough to commit more with a click. If whole article there they could read 1 and 4 of 5 without you knowing it. As well makes it easier for someone to find an article that interests them without having to scroll pages to get to the next article (Dave’s posts aren’t that long but if are can cause annoyance and people not getting to the article they would like.) But I know others feel the opposite on this and it’s really a 50/50 personal pref kind of thing.

    Second is having some sort of text to go with what is said in the video. Until Google is reading audio out of videos (and liek you should trust that, wow my Google voice translations are HORRIBLE) and putting into search results you really need to have the points of the vid really spelled out in the text. While full transcripts would be nice I know they are a pain but just getting a bullet point list of the major points might help. The text that is there helps but I think more of what’s actually in the vid can help as well.

    Sorry for adding a long ramble on 🙂 and again big ups to you for doing this for him.

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    The only one I’d push back on is making people click through for the article, Richard. This method is really for CPM (cost per thousand) sites where advertisers wind up paying for pageviews. It’s an artificial means of increasing their pageviews so they make more money… at the expense of the reader.

    I’ve not seen any evidence to date that partial posts drives more traffic to a site or drives conversions. Until I do, I’m not going to do it. 😎

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    It’s a great blog, Dave! Don’t look at this list as critical, it wasn’t meant that way. It’s all constructive feedback that should help your blog grow and get you some business!

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    I would have to agree with you on not having full post view on the main page. My thoughts are:

    1.) You should have your most popular post on your front page in a feature section. These are your money posts that have generated most revenue or conversation. There is a reason why it is your most popular, probably because its well written and relates well to most users. So why not entice them on your front page even though they could be a month or two old. You dont want them buried in your feed if they give you the best return.

    2.) The rest should be snippets of your newest from the feed. People, IMO go to the front page for a general idea of the site. You have 30 seconds or probably less to keep their attention. So having thumbs and snippets of your feed will hopefully catch the readers attention on something. If you have full posts, me personally if i dont like your first full post topic then i might not carry on through the site. But if i can peruse the recent topics and posts in snippets i can see more about the site and more likely to get deeper.

    It is one of those great debate type topics. I find that most of the people that call themselves “experts” or “pro” bloggers prefer full post view on the front page.

    But in reply to doug: I’ve not seen any evidence to date that full posts drives more traffic to a site or drives conversions. Until I do, Im not going to do it. 😎

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    I agree that for some it’s a CPM type of issue. For me though I think it helps to determine what stories the visitor actually read compared to not knowing if they cared enough to read on or not. I’ve got nothing to convert personally and more just want to know if the person was actually caring enough about it to go forward or really if they didn’t care to get more.

    Actually should just make it a JS “expand” type setup so they get on that page, see only little bit to decide if want more, but then still get full article there and I get data I want. That might be easiest/best combo for what I want.

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