Author Archives: Charles Mburugu

About Charles Mburugu

Charles Mburugu is a professional content developer and an entrepreneur. He is passionate about subjects such as technology, social media, internet marketing, blogging and SEO.

Tips for Promoting Your Blog Using Social Media

Social mediaSocial media is a great tool for bloggers who want to generate traffic and enhance their search engine ranking. Bloggers can use social networks such as Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn to interact with their regular readers as well as attract new ones. Here are some guidelines for promoting your blog effectively using social media.

1. Create a Facebook Page

A Facebook page can be a very valuable tool for any blog. Having such a page allows you to build a following of like-minded people, as well as share links with your fans anytime you post new content. To encourage readers to ‘like’ your page, you can download and install the Facebook social plugin on your WordPress blog.

2. Drive traffic with StumbleUpon

This is a social bookmarking site which allows users to look through pages which have been recommended by their SU friends. Whenever you publish something new, you can easily recommend your pages to your SU friends. However, for the best results, you will need to have as many followers as possible.

3. Make use of Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the most recent entrants in the social media scene. It is a visual-oriented network which allows you to ‘pin’ images on boards with a link to a related blog post. Pinterest is especially suitable for blogs which have blogs which incorporate lots of visual content. This includes travel, food, fashion, crafts and design blogs. If your blog is running on the WordPress platform, it would be advisable to include a ‘pin it’ button on your posts. This will allow your readers to share posts with their connections.

4. Join Facebook blogger groups

There are numerous groups on Facebook which offer a wide range of resources for different topics related to blogging. Some of the most popular groups include ‘Blogging’, ‘Guest Blogging Portal’, ‘Guest Blogging Group’, ‘Blogging Squad’, ‘Blogging Paradise’ and ‘Everything About Blogging’. If you are on WordPress, you might be interested in joining groups such as ‘WordPress’, ‘WordPress Warriors’ and ‘Advanced WordPress’. Such groups not only offer solution for different issues, but also an opportunity to network with other bloggers around the world. Take time to look around to find a bloggers group which is relevant to your needs.

5. Brand yourself

One of the best ways of branding yourself is by using your blog name as the username across all social networks. Whether someone searches for you on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, they will be able to find you easily. In addition, you can make your profiles more recognizable by using your official logo as the profile picture.

6. Don’t be selfish

Don’t only think about yourself when using social media. Take time to promote other people’s content as well. This enables you to build strong relationships with other bloggers and enhances the chances of them sharing your content in return. Therefore, take time regularly to look at what others are posting and ‘like’, repin, retweet, comment or share as often as possible.

7. Stick to it

Many bloggers give up when their efforts on social media don’t seem to bear much fruit in terms of generating traffic and enhancing their blog ranking. However, it is important to realize that success does not come overnight. You might need to persist for a little while before you see any significant changes in your blog. Furthermore, besides driving traffic, participating in social media offers many other benefits. It allows you to stay abreast of industry news, build vital relationships and even get ideas for your next blog post.

5 Tips for an Effective Mobile Site Design

smartphone-appsMore and more people are now using their tablets and smartphones to access the internet. The increasing use of such devices means that web designers need to create sites which are more responsive. Here are some tips which will help you develop a site which is mobile-friendly.

1. Make the text legible

Having text which is legible is a very important aspect of mobile design. However, many mobile designers still make the mistake of having text which is too small. Sites which have small text are also likely to have small links, thus making it difficult for users to operate the touch screen. In addition, adjusting the screen through pinch zooming will only end up distorting other elements in the web page. To avoid all these problems, you can use font solutions such as Google Fonts to identify fonts which can be read easily on mobile devices.

2. Design for fingers

When designing your site, you need to remember that mobile users normally use their index fingers or thumbs to highlight, scroll or click. Therefore, you need to ensure that all your links, menu items and buttons are large enough to be pressed using a finger. Having small links makes it easy for users to accidentally press the wrong one, thus making navigation a very frustrating experience. To make your actionable items user-friendly, they should not only be large but should also have enough space around them. This will reduce the chances of users pressing the wrong thing. However, the specific dimensions will depend on the size of the mobile device. You will need to carry out extensive testing to find out if your links and buttons are user-friendly.

3. Avoid having long forms

Generally, people don’t like filling lengthy forms. Completing forms can be especially frustrating when it comes to mobile devices. First, it is not very easy to choose the required field. Once the correct field is selected, users are then required to type in their entry on the keyboard which appears on the screen. This keyboard then needs to hidden manually before moving on to the next field. If the form is not completed properly, the user might then have to go through this frustrating process all over again. This is why it is important to keep your forms on mobile sites brief and easy to use. This is especially vital for businesses which are using mobile sites for e-commerce purposes.

4. Adopt a linear site layout

Though multiple-column layouts work well for PCs and laptops, they are not very appropriate for mobile devices. For an effective mobile design, make sure all your content is placed in one scrollable column. This eliminates the need to scroll sideways to see more content, thus saving users time. Arranging your content in a proper hierarchy also enables users to view your content in order of priority. However, when adopting a single-column layout, don’t make the mistake of hiding content. If users cannot find what they are looking for, they will end up getting frustrated.

5. Use drop-down navigation

If you want to have multiple categories on your mobile site, you could consider using a drop-down list. This will enable you to avoid filling your mobile screen space with too many elements. Generally, it would be advisable to have not more than four buttons, icons or links appearing on your screen at any one time. This way, you can make them large enough for users to click on.

Ecommerce Sites – Tips for Attracting Traffic

ecommerce trafficNowadays, many people find it more convenient to buy products online rather than visit a brick-and-mortar store. As a result, there has been a huge influx of online stores selling all kinds of products. This has made it increasingly difficult for online store owners to attract customers to their sites.

The following are some tips which will help you attract traffic to your ecommerce store.

1. Have an attractive design

Even before reading the content, visitors will form a first impression of your store from the design. This is why it is important to invest in a professional and engaging design for your site. Make sure the layout is simple and easy to understand. Have a user-friendly navigation system which makes it easy for visitors to move from one page to another. It would be advisable to ensure that the most important information appears above the fold. This will enable visitors to view it without having to scroll down.

2. Promote your store

Even if your store has the most appealing design, you cannot go very far without promoting it. Starting a blog is one of the best ways of promoting your store. For example, if your online store sells women’s shoes, you could offer weekly DIY tips or celebrity fashion trends. Besides writing blog posts, you should also take time to advertise your brand through paid ads or free channels such as social media.

3. Network with others

No business can grow on its own. To enhance your chances of success, you need to form a strong network with other players in your industry. This might mean writing blog posts with links to others relevant sites. Alternatively, you could share or leave comment on other people’s blog posts. It would also be advisable to allow other bloggers to contribute guest posts. This way, you will be able to build a strong network. In particular, you need to identify experts in your industry or niche and find a way of getting them to link to you. One of the best ways of achieving this is by simply asking them for links. Getting links from such authoritative sites will improve the credibility of your site as well as enhance your ranking.

Besides online interaction, it would also be advisable to network face-to-face with other people by attending industry-related events. Developing a mutually beneficial relationship with like-minded individuals can help you improve your traffic significantly.

4. Encourage return visits

Prospects rarely make a buying decision on their first visit. You should therefore find a way of encouraging them to come back to you site. Even customers who buy need to be enticed to return for a repeat purchase. One of the best ways of bringing people back is by offering regular discounts and incentives. Make sure your site has a signup form where visitors can submit their contact details. In return for signing up, you could offer visitors a giveaway such as a free eBook. Having these contact details will enable you to keep your prospects and customers updated about any new offers.

Content Creation Tips for Ecommerce Sites

ecommerce contentContent is very important for the success of any ecommerce site. In many cases, it is the site’s content which will determine whether visitors will end up making a decision to buy, or even return to the site. Here are some tips which will help you create great content, thus enhancing your chances of success.

1. Offer value

When prospects visit your site, they expect to find helpful information about your products. Therefore, you need to offer product descriptions which are well-written, relevant and current. Video and audio content should be well-edited and clear. However, don’t just copy and paste the manufacturer’s description. Instead, take time to create something that is unique. Being innovative and adding some personality to your content can make your site stand out from the competition.

Besides product descriptions, you also need to include user reviews in your product pages. Such reviews will help build trust in your brand, thus enhancing your chances of making more sales. Get in touch with previous customers and encourage them to share reviews after buying your product.

2. Optimize your content

Visitors normally use specific terms when looking for information on search engines. This is why it is very important to ensure that your content is search engine friendly. Carry out some research to find out the most popular keywords used for your product or niche. Once you identify these keywords, insert them strategically in your content. This will enhance your ranking, thus making it easier for people to find your site via search engines.

3. Be consistent

Adding fresh and unique content on your site on a regular basis will help you retain the interest of your visitors and keep them coming back for more. In addition, it will improve your ranking in search engines, thus making it easy for web users to find you. It is therefore very important to have a consistent publishing schedule which incorporates audio, video and written content. Besides promoting your business or product, it would also be advisable to keep visitors informed about recent developments in your industry or niche.

4. Make it shareable

One of the best ways of reaching a large audience is by having visitors share your content with their followers and friends on social media. Therefore, make sure your content is presented in a way which encourages sharing. For instance, you could create videos which present your business or product in a humorous or funny way. One in a while, write great how-to blog posts or announce special discounts on some of your products. This is the kind of content which visitors are likely to share with others. Don’t forget to include share buttons at the end of your posts.

5. Create content which converts

The main aim of your ecommerce site should be to convert prospects into buyers. Therefore, besides just offering information, your content should include a call to action which encourages visitors to make a purchase. Adding a ‘buy now’ button in your content will motivate visitors to take action right away. To create a sense of urgency, you could offer a special discount for a limited period. However, for visitors who are still hesitant, it would also be advisable to add links to other related content or products.

Guidelines for Optimizing Ecommerce Product Pages

ecommerce pageProduct pages play a very important role in the success of any online store. In these pages, prospects not only find details about products, but also begin the process of buying there. When a product page is done well, it enhances the chances of converting a customer to a buyer. However, if poorly done, it can have an adverse effect on the profitability of your business.

The following are some tips which will help you optimize the product pages of your online store.

1. Use professional images

Since prospects can’t touch products physically, they make their decisions based on what they see. This is why it is very important to have high quality photos on your product pages. Images are more likely to catch a customer’s eye than plain text. You need to keep this in mind as you create your product pages.

The photos used on you product pages should be clear and large enough. Include several shots showing the product from different angles and views. To ensure that your site looks professional, it would be advisable to have a standard size for all your photos. You could consider adding a zoom function to enable customers to look at the product in greater detail.

2. Apply search engine optimization (SEO)

The purpose of optimization (SEO) is to enhance the rank of your pages on search engines such as Google. A site which is optimized features prominently in search results, and can therefore be found more easily by web users. The first step to optimizing your product pages is to think of keywords which are relevant to your store and products. For instance, a store which sells web templates could use keywords such as web templates, HTML templates, flash templates, premium web templates etc. Once you have identified suitable keywords, you should then use them in your product name, product listings and product descriptions.

When it comes to naming your product, make sure you choose a unique name which will boost your rankings. Using generic names which have been used by many other businesses out there lowers your chances of appearing prominently in search engine results. For instance, if you sell men’s suits, don’t just name your page ‘Men’s Suits’. Instead, you could use a more unique and creative name like ‘Lanito Exclusive Men’s Suits’.

3. Use videos

Besides photos, videos can also be very effective in enhancing the customer’s visual experience. With modern technology, it is now easy to embed videos on your product pages. Videos not only attract customers and increase conversions, but also have immense SEO benefits. Product pages which have videos enjoy a much higher ranking than those that don’t.

One of the best things about videos is that they allow you to demonstrate your product. For instance, if you sell shirts, you can show a video of someone modeling them. This will give visitors an idea of how they would look wearing it. If your product is a tool, you can show how the tool actually works.